Thursday, March 22, 2012

Peach tea and strawberries

Yesterday I went visiting teaching. I'm in a threesome companionship that visits four other women. We got our assignment a few months ago, but this is the first time I've been able to go with them.

One of my companions picked me up just after 3:30 and we took a bus to the edge of centro. From there we walked a few blocks to meet our other companion. She was waiting in her blue car. I had understood that we were going to drive to our teachee's home. They explained that one of them would sit in the back and I should get up front with Ada. "Lascia il passeggino!" the told me, motioning for me to leave my stroller parked next to the car.

"Siete sicuri?" I asked, not really thinking it would be safe to leave the stroller there while we went to our appointment.

They said we'd only be 15 minutes. I got in the car and went to close the door but it got stuck on the stroller parked too near the car. When they said to leave the door open, confusion too over. I turned to ask them what they wanted me to do again when I saw their Liahona's spread open on their laps and finally realized we were only getting in the car to plan our lesson. No wonder they said to leave the stroller. When I told them I thought we were driving someplace else they got a good laugh and understood my hesitation to just leave the stroller in the parking stall.

We visited one woman. She had peach tea and strawberries waiting for us and quickly made a few adjustments (moving chairs in front of outlets and placing valuables out of reach) when she saw that Ada came too. We shared our message and visited for a while, then I tuned out while I followed Ada around the room and tried to make sure she didn't burn the place down. We were there for nearly 2 hours.

The whole experience was so Italian. The large open window in the second story flat. The high ceiling in the living room. The large painting on the wall. The rhythm of the conversation. The tablecloth. The feeling of having no place to go which makes the moments seem to hang in time. 

But it was also so familiar. Gathering with a few women over the glossy pages of a church magazine. The back and forth of sharing experiences and testifying of truths. The friendship and support. The feeling of sisterhood.

I was grateful after getting home 4 hours later that I am part of this grand organization of women that gives us the chance to be guardians over one another. And it also made me realize how relatively easy my church responsibilities have been in the past (visiting the girl next door, walking to the temple . . .)

I hope this experience will shape my perspective in the long-term; that I'll reflect on it when I feel overwhelmed and too busy to serve and remember that I spent 4 hours on one visiting teaching appointment. And I was tired. But I was grateful for the chance to belong.

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