Monday, April 6, 2009

Roman Forum

Karen and Cam Ballantyne in the Roman Forum

Inside the coliseum


Italian Communist Demonstration

This past week has been very different. Last week Will was asked by President Acerson if he would be willing to fly back to Utah with an elder who was ill and needed to return home. Of course Will said he was happy to help however he could. It was all a little vague and we weren’t sure if it would happen or not. Then, Tuesday evening, about 9:30 the assistants showed up at our door and said that Will would be picked up at 6:30 the following morning so he could be taken to the airport. We had been at English class at the Church and also our cell phone wasn’t working. As it turned out, the elder had a seizure the next morning and so even though Will was picked up at 6:30, I still wasn’t sure if he had left for the states until I arrived at work.

The flight home was a little insane as Will and the other elder had to change planes in New York. City. Actually they had to take a taxi to New Jersey to continue on their flight home. The other elder was so weak when they arrived in Salt Lake that Will wheeled him out in a wheelchair to meet his family. His mother burst into tears when she saw him. This elder, a super missionary, is 6’1” and weighs 95 lbs. He is a very sick young man.

Will didn’t fly out of Salt Lake to come back to Italy until Saturday morning. Needless to say, he has been a bit tired since his return. He was in Utah just long enough to try and get his internal time clock changed to Utah time and then flew back across the world. He was able to talk to Bret on the phone and see several of his own children and grandchildren. In fact, they had a traditional family Easter Egg Hunt on Friday. Will was also able to attend an endowment session at the Draper Temple with Jim and Maray. No one was more surprised to see Will than our sweet little neighbor Norma, who lives across the street from us in Draper.

While Will was away, I had a P-day and Cam Ballantyne was in town with some friends. Cam is Peter’s brother. These four young adults were good enough to put up with my company during Saturday. As I traveled downtown to meet them, I was kicked off the bus twice because there was a Communist demonstration going on downtown. When I finally did meet up with them, we took a tour of the Coliseum and the Roman Forum. The tour guide was very informative, even though you had to listen pretty closely as he was speaking fast, broken English. It is really warming up here and the day was a gorgeous one. After treating everyone to gelato at the end of the afternoon, rain clouds were sputtering and I rode the bus home while Cam and his group returned to their lodgings for a nap before their night rendezvous.

Sunday morning, Will arrived about 8:30 at the airport. He slept on and off a good part of the day, trying to get turned around the right direction once again. In the evening, we invited the other mission office couple over to the house to watch the Saturday morning session of conference on the computer and have dessert with us.

Then, early this morning, about 3:30 we experienced an earthquake here in Italy. The epicenter was about 70 miles from us in L’Aquila. Our missionaries there were not harmed, but many lives were lost and much damage sustained. We felt our entire apartment building swaying back and forth for about a minute.

So you can see that we do not lack for adventure. Hope you enjoy the pictures and are maybe even checking out a little Italian history.

Love and Hugs,
The Sommerfeldts

Italian Gypsy