Bonjounro family and friends!!! Ahh I am alive! 1 week later and it is finally pday :)) I can't believe that it has all ready been a week...oh my goodness time flies like crazy here. Okay so to start out I am just going to apologize for all my scattered thoughts, I have so little time to write and I feel I could write a novel about this last week! It has been so amazing!!! I will do my best to tell you all about the incredible experiences....Me and my collega have taught 4 lessons to our investigator Fabio in Italian, I can bear my testimony, pray, say my purpose and recite the 1st vision in Italian, I got the greatest companion in the world, we listened to 2 general authorities, we joined the choir (let me just say singing I know that my redeemer lives with 4000 missionaries is powerful) and me and my zone had an amazing opportunity to go teach people on the front runner and the trax and downtown slc:)) I will talk a litte bit more about that later...haha the mtc is exhilirausting.
Okay so FIRST my companion was a gift sent straight from God! She is incredible and I couldn't be more grateful for her! I didn't know you could become so close to someone after being with each other for a week...but man we are best friends. Her name is Sorella Holiday and she is from Stockton California, she says it's rated the most miserable city in the world:)) haha but you would never know that after meeting her...she is probably the happiest person ever!! She has an afro, so cute and looks like/loves beyonce:) She also took 2 semesters of Italian at BYU last year...and helps me so so much. #tendermercy She is always smiling and has an incredible testimony....I so wish I knew her when we went to BYU we would have been best buds. She is 6 feet tall, haha played volleball and basketball and taught water aerobics in high school...so pretty much I have a personal trainer at the mtc, no worries mom I'm not gaining any weight...yet;))) but the food here,,, ayy let's just say my body is adjusting...very slowly. hahah mom you should take this out of the mass email but the amount of food that I put into my body definitely doesn't equal what comes out....those probiotics though are a miracle!! #mamataylor knows best
So I LOVE the mtc...it definitely takes a bit of adjusting but I have never been happier in my entire life!!! Such a wonderful, exciting, overwhelming, spiritual and happy place:) After saying bye to the family I couldn't help but be so happy because the spirit in this place is INCREDIBLE!! Putting on my nametag was probably the greatest moment of my entire life...I am finally wearing Christ's name and am handing this next year and a half up to the Lord:)
So Italian.....no bene no bene haha it is definitely testing my patience, and for those of you who no me I am quite an impatient person. The minute I walked into the classroom a week ago my adorable teacher, Sorella Bucco who served in Milano (who reminds me SO much of cousin Jacque) just started talking a million miles a second at me in Italian and all I could do was laugh and say non capisco...ayy. It will take lots of work but it is definitely coming:) I can't believe how much I can all read understand and say after just a week of being here. That is we study about 9 hours a day...study study study :) haha it is a very VERY good thing I went to a year of BYU before this...my study habits after high school were no bene no bene. DANIEL!!! You won't believe it!!! Mine and Sorella Holiday's 2 roomates are going to Romania!!! Ahhhh I seriously love them so much, we instantly connected...man God just knew:)) sora Yost is from Hawaii, she has wild hair exactly like Rachel Jenson's and it totally reflects her personality...she is SO hilarious I love her!! And Sora Jerez is so sweet, she is from bountiful.
I LOVE MY DISTRICT. And my zone. And my branch presidency and all of there adorable wives who have totally taken us 7 sisters (20 elders & 7 sisters in our zone) under their wing...they know we don't get a lot of hugs and our always missing our mamas so they are sooooo good to us:) The other 3 sorellas in our zone I have gotten so close to...sorella Weidmann is from a little village outside of Zurich Switzerland and I adore her. Sorella Huthals is from the netherlands and Sorella Butsch is from Germany!! They are in a trio which is so good for them, they are all quite a bit homesick so that was a blessing they were all put together:)
So I guess the highlight of this week was teaching our four lessons to Fabio in Italian...such a hard thing but such a rewarding experience. (He served his mission in Milano, is active in the church but is roleplaying "Fabio" who was an investigator he taught on his mission) even though he is not a real investigator, I have grown to care so much for him and love him so much. the most important thing that I have learned this week is not how to speak in Italian but how to speak in the language of the spirit...one of our lessons me and Sorella Holiday walked in there and I was no preparato...I completely lost track of what he was saying, and started to get a little bit frustrated that I couldn't understand him, which completely took the spirit out of the lesson. Such a learning experience. the next 2 lessons after that i made it a goal to ALWAYS pray before for the gift of tongues and to just try and listen to what Fabio was saying. I can't even begin to explain how amazing those 2 lessons were..I don't think I have every been happier in my entire life and I get teary just thinking about it....A week ago I would have had no idea what this man was saying but as I listened I totally knew what he was saying and the problems he is dealing with, he has depression and is struggling with finances, and doesn't believe that God can help him through all of this. In both of those lessons following I just opened my mouth and words just started flowing out...probably didn't make too much sense but the Spirit was definitely there. We've been able to give him a book of mormon, teach him how to pray, and invite him to church. It's amazing!!! #churchissotrue
Well yesterday was probably my most favorite day EVER! Me, my collega and about 11 other elders in our zone (by the way there's only 4 out of the 27 missionaries in our zone going to Rome, the other 4 are going to Romania and the rest are going to Milano) Anyways about yesterday, hahah I'm sorry I am getting so sidetracked I feel my brain is going to explode I want to tell you so much. ANYWAYS yesterday. We had to take the frontrunner and the trax to the italian consolate in the heart of downtown slc to sign some papers for our visa! I will say it was a little hard driving right past the draper exit and seeing the temple and practically my neighborhood, also very hard being right next to Matthew's work building...haha I had to be very cautious about my surroundings making sure I wasn't going to see anyone:) It was our first time being missionaries in the REAL world!!! It got me SO excited for the field and just talking with everyone. Within the first few minutes of the trip, we were waiting for the front runner at the station and a women came up to us and asked if we could teach her 3 boys why it's so important to not use foul language and why we should respect others. Seriously the cutest blonde boys with bright blue eyes who were all in elementary. They all had their skateboards and scooters and told us they want to be pro skaters when they grow up. Anziano Pyper (the most hilarious goofball from idaho in our district) shared a brief message of why it is so important to use clean language and then the sweet mother, who looked very tired and distressed, asked us if we could pray with them. I'll never forget that experience. Getting onto the train was a whole new experience, haha we met so many people I couldn't believe it. We got our visas taken care of and then got to eat at a restraunt downtown and of course I got pasta!! We then waiting for trax and this is when things got really interesting haha. A sweet little homeless man whose feet were black with cuts and sores all over them was yelling and really angry....and seeing us didn't make him feel any better. He started yelling and cussing at us and eventually security came out of a store and calmed him down a tad...anyways at first it was a bit discouraging and I couldn't get him off my mind. I don't know...the more I thought about it yesterday the more I realized this man was a child of God! This past week I have learned so much about seeing people for who they can become and i couldn't help but feel so much compassion for this man. I just wanted to love him and help him, even though that wasn't a good idea...but I just can't believe how much my love for everyone has grown. People I don't even know who are cussing me out or whistling at me and Sorella Holiday or just giving us dirty looks. I just LOVE them...that probably doesn't make any sense but my perspective has changed a million degrees since I have been here. Everyone just needs Christ! One the way back home, we had to wait for the front runner for about an hour and we met so many more people. It's just so crazy to me that I have lived here my whole life but nevver really taken the time to just sit down with everyone and talk to them!!! And now that I have a nametag I just feel so much more confident in expressing my thoughts and talking to people. Me and my collega sat across from the most adorable Mongolian lady on the train who knew about 4 english words. She just kept making her hands into the shape of a heart and pointing it at us...I had a small picture of Christ in my bag that we gaver her and she got so excited and got out her Mongolian BoM and temple recommends to show us...it was so great :))
Anyways I am so so so grateful to be here. I know it is where I am supposed to be, and I have never been happier or more exhausted in my entire life! I now have a little taste of what people say when they say the mission is hard...and I'm not even out in the field! haha but it is the most rewarding work ever :) I know I still wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Christ, I know there's no way I would be able to find comfort in knowing that i won't see my family for another 18 months if it wasn't for Christ, and there's no way I would have been able to teach 4 lessons in Italian if it wasn't for Christ. I love this gospel and I love all of you! Have an incredible week my friends:))
ps Sister Heslop and Orr me and my roomates are beyond grateful for you!! Thank you so much for being second and third mothers to me:)) I love you so much....Sister Heslop your cookies were genius-who would have thought to put an oreo inside a chocolate chip cookie!? You guys are the best! And thank you everyone for the letters and emails and love and support
Crystal's current area is Passo Corese, Italy.
Her address is:
Via Giacomo Matteotti, 187
02032 Passo Corese RI