Alex and I had quite the adventure getting to church! Rome does not have a good metro system and really utilizes busses. Confusing! We got on the right bus and got off when it said the name of our stop and started making our "10 minute" walk to church. Well, we started questioning things about 20 min into our walk and not hitting the street we needed to find. Luckily I had the map app on my phone with the church still programmed! Even without wifi your phone will show you were you are and the point you had previously looked up! WHAT A BLESSING!! So we realized church was still pretty far. We decided to take our chances and get back on a bus and ride it for a while. Little did we know that each stop basically had the same name we were looking for and that's why we had gotten of earlier. So strange! The map on my phone showed us as the blue dot so we were able to figure out where to get off and how to walk to church from the stop. We probably wouldn't have made it if the maps app didn't still keep track of where you are without wifi. Being in Europe without a data plan and cell service has made me really grateful for this feature and also for free wifi spots. Haha!
Alex and I made it to church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, only 20 minutes late and just in time to take the sacrament! I love that wherever in the world you are, the LDS church is the same. Different people, cultures, buildings, and language... But the teachings and doctrine are the exact same. The first speaker actually spoke English, which was really nice! A missionary translated his talk into Italian. Everything else was in Italian. A sister missionary gave a talk in Italian and I had no idea what she was saying besides catching the word Jesus Christ sometimes. I remember while she was bearing her testimony I felt the Spirit so strongly. It's hard to describe, but it was like a warm rush along with a really comforting feeling. The thought that accompanied the feeling was that this is God's church. The Spirit was there and I could feel it strongly even with a language barrier. Without knowing what she said, I can know it was true because the Spirit testifies of truth. My eyes well up a little just thinking about it. Such a cool experience! I remember feeling similar when I was at church in Mexico last summer as well.
The congregation was pretty small, maybe 40 people or so. There were so many missionaries! At least 10! That was really cool! Overall it was a great experience and I am very grateful we could attend church!
The Spanish Steps:
Alex and I had a funny/ annoying/ gross/ uncomfortable experience at the Spanish Steps...
A man came up to me and said something about being pretty in Italian (Bella? My Italian roots don't help my Italian vocabulary.) and also gave me a rose. At first I didn't take it because I didn't want to pay for it. He said, "It's a gift because you are so beautiful!" So I took it and then he suggested we all get a picture together. (Sure, why not!) I handed my camera to someone to take a picture and our buddy gets between us and puts us in a headlock!! He was so excited about this picture so I was laughing along... Until he kissed us both on the cheeks!! (Gag! Not again!) At least the people around us watching got a good laugh. He was a happy camper after that, or so we thought...
About 30 seconds after we walk away from him he follows us and asks for money for the "gift." I tried to give the rose back but he wouldn't take it and kept asking for money. (Internal dialogue: Wasn't letting you get away with kissing us a good enough payment?!) I eventually gave him a Euro just to get him off my back. I'm a sucker. Alex didn't have any change and I was all out so he took Alex's rose away. Hahaha! Sad! But then I gave my rose to her, so it was all good. Not that she really cared at all. Haha!
#nothinginlifeisfree #twoforonespecial #thatsamore
While we sat on the Spamish steps we made a really great video of us singing "That's Amore" and "Evening in Roma" by Dean Martin. Both of those songs are very fitting for being in Rome and have been stuck in our heads since the moment we landed in Italy. :)
If you haven't heard these songs then you should probably follow the links!
That's Amore: http://youtu.be/-jbqyPzbjOQ
Evening in Roma: http://youtu.be/7IEHc33agZs
Tonight we also solidified our plans for how we want to spend the rest of our trip! It's about to get even more crazier with switching cities more frequently and constantly being on the move. This trip is intense, but we wouldn't have it any other way! #ajandjjtakeEurope