We’ve had a big week, as usual. Anjali started Kindergarten! She really seems to be liking it. She has been pretty energetic about it and I can’t wait to see what she learns this year. She also started a music class this week (continued from last year,) and is really excited about the keyboard.
We will start Joy School this week for Elli, along with dance. It’s going to be a full year! We’re excited to see what it brings us.
On Friday, Dovy and I drove up to eat with my Yiayia (Greek grandmother.) She spoiled us at Cheesecake Factory and we had a lovely time visiting with her and seeing her. It’s too bad we live so far away from each other! Thank you, Yiayia! We truly enjoyed it.
We had the neatest opportunity today. At church today, I bore my testimony about the growth of the church throughout the world and my recent experience traveling in Italy. It was amazing to see how much the church has grown since I left Italy 11 years ago and I shared how grateful I was to see it grow and know that my testimony of the gospel has grown.
When I walked back to my seat, a brother sitting behind us that I didn’t recognize grabbed my hand and said, “We need to talk about Italy when church is over.” Turns out, his son-in-law is our new hometeacher, and the brother that stopped me said he’d been to Italy many times, that his company is the only one in the world that has the rights to reproduce La Pietá (the statue of Mary holding Christ that sits in the Vatican – see our Rome, Day 5 post!) Anyway, he told us that he had a reproduction in Orem and would be happy to show it to us today. So, we did! The reproduction is more like the original than any other. Back in the 70’s, some guy that thought he was Christ, took a hammer to Michelangelo’s statue about fifteen times before he was stopped. This particular reproduction was molded and casted about 81 years ago, thus being more like the original before it was restored after the hammering. When you see this work in the Vatican, it is behind glass about 30 feet away from you. Today, we actually got to touch the statue and look all around it. We also got pictures! If you want to see them, though, you have to see us, because he asked us not to post the pictures anywhere.
It was such a really neat experience and you could really feel the spirit of the Atonement when you were there. The depiction of Mary and her love for Christ in that moment were so incredibly evident. It was a really neat experience. We’re so glad that this brother was willing to share this with us. (Side note – if you are in the area, he is in town until Wednesday. He said we could bring people back any other time before that if you want to see it! Let me know!)