Saturday night we took a train to La Spezia and I was so excited to meet some of Cameron’s friends from his mission when he lived in Italy. He had spent almost 10 and a half months in this city and loved the people very much. Salvatore and his daughter Rita picked us up at the train station and we drove back to their house. We met 3 more of their friends
“Are you hungry?”
“Oh, a little. But we’re okay.”
That just doesn’t cut it in Italy! He made us a delicious dinner from scratch including pasta with a red sauce, frittata, fresh bread, and crostatta for dessert all at 11pm!
We stayed up all night talking and I loved hearing them get so excited and seeing them use their hands to talk. I later asked Cameron a question that night and he responded in Italy and never realized it. He’s stinkin adorable I tell you!
We went to church the next morning in a tiny little rented out room of a building met all 30 members of the branch. We were running a little late, NOT because of me this time, thank you very much… and they had already started the opening song. Everyone got excited when Cam walked through the door and they stopped the meeting. The Branch President got off the bench and came and sat with us as did the missionaries and a few little old ladies got up to come kiss us. Talk about feeling welcomed! I was also really tall compared to most people which surprised me since I am 5’2. They later asked Cam to bear his testimony and I have never felt the Spirit so strong in my life. I could barely make out words but I know my husband enough to know that his faith in the gospel was reinforced in tiny little rooms like these on his mission. Simple people and simple faith built Cam into the greatest man I know. I conversed pretty well and people were excited that I knew some Italian. You say a few sentences and they break out at rapid speeds with hands flying! Salvatore had never come to church in the almost 11 months Cam served there but that day he came. It meant so much to Cameron and I saw that 19 year old boy come to life in his 25 year old eyes.
After church we went out and got A TON of pizza and gelato and Rita taught me how to shop the Italian way! I am pretty sure she is my Italian soul sister! Then, we were invited to the branch president’s house for a 6 course meal for dinner. Buono! I even got to help grate the cheese! Sister Margaretti made red pasta, fish pasta (with octopus in it! Ahhh!!) grilled chicken, bread, fruit, and dessert! Whoo talk about full! It was too delicious to describe!
Monday, Salvatore set out the best little breakfast for me. Italians, usually just have a pastry and cafe but he went and got me corn flakes, milk, and Bravo (a fruit juice). Just the hospitality alone made me fall in love with his family! He drove us to Pisa and then we took a train to Florence for the day. That night Salvatore took us to dinner at Ristorante D’Angelo were I ate the best pasta of my life!
Tuesday we toured Cinque Terre and then we were off to Rome! Before we left Cameron took me by La Pia and ate delicious farinata pizza! So so SOOOO amazing! We stayed Saturday night through Tuesday night and had so much fun with everyone!