Email: chelsea.buma@myldsmail.net

Address: Sorella Chelsea Buma
Via Flavia 21
00055 Ladispoli (RM)
ITALY

Address for the mission home in Rome:
Italy Rome Mission
Piazza Carnaro, 20
00141 Rome RM
ITALY

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy New Year!!


Ciao Tutti!!
     Merry Christmas to all those i didnt get to talk to!  I hope your christmas was great!  This email is going to be more difficult to write because i really dont have anything new to say.  its seems really weird that im writing and that i just barely talked to you.  But all is well here.  We are workng hard and we are excited for the holidays to be over...  Not because we dont love the holidays, but because its just a little harder for the Italians to find time i their schedule for us.  Anyway, I hope you all know that i was thinking about you on Christmas!  It was a great christmas here!  Ill give you a brief update on what we did for christmas in case i forgot anything on the phone.

Christmas Eve:  We went to Rome and sang in Termini (the big train station) with some other sisters and then on the metro on the way to the Valentine's house.  they are a couple in the office and made us a great lunch for Christmas eve.  President and sister Kelly were there and it was so perfect.  it was the perfect way to kick off christmas.  it almost felt like being at home with our families.  I just really love being around the other missionaries.  its a good thing i really love my companion because we dont get tons of time to spend with other missionaries.  its  a lot different than being in catania in that sense.  Anyway, I picked up my package at the lunch too and then we headed home for our dinner!  Haha.  Basically we just ate a lot for christmas.  Then we went to the church and Bruna and Franco came to pick us up for dinner.  We were really nervous because we have only spent time with them in english course and we really didnt know how it would go.  But it was so great.  They had a little gift for us and the house felt so Christmasy.  They had their daughter there and her 2 kids as well.  And they just took us in like their own.  Plus i ate... Drum roll... this is big... Oysters (I think thats what it was.  Unless that is different than muscles because that is the literal italian translation) and then we had clams in our pasta.  Me and my companion kept looking at each other and just laughing at what we were eating.  ANd it actually wasnt terrible.  I wuld never just choose to eat that but it was great.  Then we went home and slept but i was so excited for christmas that it took me a while to fall asleep.

Christmas: We went to church and then went to Civitavecchia for lunch with one of our investigators and her family.  It was such good food and we were so grateful that they were willing to basically let 2 strangers come over for christmas lunch.  Anyway, it was great.  A couple awkward pauses but other than that it was good.  Then we went home and did the Nativity by ourselves and wrote in our journals.  Its was a great Christmas!

Christmas Continued on Monday:  We went to rome and watched Tangled with our district.  We watched it in Italian and it was one of those shocking moments when the movie was over and i realized that i had understood a movie in another language.  it was so weird.  Then we all went and had lunch at a peruvian place.  SOOOOO good and so fun.  I love our district.  We dont see them tons but its always fun when we get to.  Then we headed back to Ladispoli to call all of you!  Funny story, so we were like in a panic because with computer problems our second calls were a little more difficult.  SO we look at the clock at it says 9:25.  Luckily we live really close so we said bye and made it home on time.  We go and plan for the next day and then go get ready for bed.  (By this time its like 10... at least in our heads)  Sorella Miles looks at her clock and it says 915.  but her clock resets sometimes so i just told her that her clock probably reset.  Then i get all in bed and then i look at my clock.  It says 930.  SO i check the phone... 930.  Well, with 3 witnesses we decided that we could believe that it was actually only 930.  The clocks in the computer point must have been off.  I dont think they have changed them since daylight savings.  Haha.  Anyway, we were home in PLENTY of time and had some time to just talk about what our families had said.  It was really great!

Its so weird that Christmas is over!  I have been thinking about this christmas away from my family for over a year now and its over already.  Time is FLYING.  Its the craziest thing and a little scary.  But it was a great christmas.  I love that its something i know ill never forget.  my Christmas in Italy was great!  We are really going to miss singing christmas carols for people. We LOVED it.  it was so fun and just so many good stories.  Im going to have to make a list in my journal about all the excuses that we heard from people. haha.  Or maybe we will just sing the operah we made up with our excuses on the recorder and email it home next week.

And this weekend is another weird weekend.  Saturday we have to be in at 6 and then monday we are cleaning all morning and afternoon till 6.  Then the next week should go back to everything being normal.  Our investigators are all doing well and we have lots of people that gave us their number and said we could call them after the holidays.  2012 is going to be a great year!  Im excited to see what our new mission goals are and what this year has to bring.  We have lots of work to do in the first half of this year!  Im going to set some good new years resolutions.  Anyway, not much more to say this week.  I hope you party hard for me on New years and think of me while im sleeping:) haha.  Do a little new years dance for me!  You can record it and send it to me.  Haha.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  Have a great week and know that i love and miss you all.  Ill talk to you in 2012!

Love,
Sorella Chelsea

Me and Leonardo.  Our neighbor/chef.  we saw him this morning and he told us to come get our dinner when we get home from Rome:)
Christmas Eve lunch at the Valentine's apartment
Us in front of the big tree at the vatican.
Christmas eve crew at dinner
Nativity #1 angel speaks to mary
#2 Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus
#3 Angel tells the shephard(spelling??)
#4 Wisemen come bearing Italian gifts
Anz. Larcher in our district has a rap CD... haha.
Dinner at the Peruvian place day after christmas
Eating COW HEART!!!  At least thats what they told me it was.
The whole crowd at the Peruvian place
Me and Andreina eating an Italian favorite, Pandoro

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Buon Natale Tutti!!!!
      Non posso credere che è gia Natale.  Mamma mia!  Il tempo vola!  Anyways, im soooooo excited to talk to all of you on monday and hear all about your christmas.  Its going to be great.  Im soooooo excited for this weekend.  Let me tell you all the wonderful things we are going to be doing. Well, saturday during the day we are going to pick up packages that have been sent to us at one of the homes of one of the senior couples and they are going to have a christmas eve lunch for the missionaries.  Im pretty stoked about that.  Then that night, an older couple in our english course has invited us to come have Christmas eve dinner with them!  We have never taught them before and are so excited for this opportunity.  They seriously are so great.  The lady tries to speak english with us and comes to the advanced class and its just really funny because she isnt advanced... Haha.  Then on Christmas morning we are going to get up and open our presents and then go to church for an hour and then head to a city about 30 min away on the train to have lunch with an investigator and her whole family.  We have only met with her once and then we never heard from her for a month so basically we thought she read something on the internet or something and was ignoring our calls.  Then she called a week ago and invited us over for christmas!!  What in the world????? Such a miracle.  We feel so blessed that we are going to be spending these 2 days with these people!  We will come home that night and study the life of the savior and do our best to do our reinactment of the birth of Christ.  haha.  We are going to maybe go and have Rosaria and antonella and maria help us if we get home in time.  Then on monday we get to sleep in an extra hour!!!!  Then we are headed to rome to watch Tangled with our district and go have lunch with them.  Then is the best part that we get to come back to Ladispoli and call our families!  Its going to be a great christmas.  For sure one that i will never forget.  
     As for this week.  Man, it was a little rough at the beginning.  The recordings will basically tell you all our miracles but it was probably one of the most amazing couple days.  We did SOOOOOO Much finding this week by asking people on the street if they believe in christ and then ringing people at home and asking if we can sing for them.  We got let into 6 houses this week!!  and i have only been let in one other time on my mission!  SUnday night was literally a night of miracles.  
     Here is our miracle that happened last night.  We were doing house and got into a big Palazzo and were asking people if we could sing.  We get to this door and a lady opens it and says we can come in.  We didnt even get to sing before she is asking us about our church.  Then she gets teary eyed and says, "Right before you rang my doorbell i was so desperate.  My son is 10 years old and is in the hospital right now with heart problems."  I had the strongest impression to tell her that the true priesthood has been restored to the earth and that because of that we are able to receive blessings.   And then i asked her if we could go with someone from our church that holds the priesthood to give her son a blessing.  She immediately said if we really could do that without bothering a member she would love it.  She told us that she is Muslim but is so interested in talking more about christ.  We got her number and told her that tomorrow (so today) we would come to the hospital with someone.  I walked out of that appointment really 100% knowing that i was in the right place at the right time and was able to tell her what she needed to know in that moment.  So tonight we are going with our bishop (who is seriously amazing) to give her son a blessing.  Im soooooo excited for tonight.  I hope that everything goes well and that this mom really feels the spirit.  THis message is exactly what her family needs right now.  
     That is just one of the great miracles we have seen.  I have really, really had my testimony strengthened this week about the fact that none of our work goes unnoticed to heavenly father.  That miracles really do happen all the time but we just need to be willing to look for them and work for them.  Sunday night after we had gotten let into the fourth house i was walking down the stairs to the next floor and just couldnt even believe all that had happened that night.  That people were just so much more receptive to our message and i knew that it was me being able to see the miracles the Lord wants to do and does.  I dont know if that made sense but it was just a great week.  
    As for our investigators, Cristian has moved so Sicilia for a while and we dont know when he will be back.  Andreina SLOWLY makes progress and we love her more than anything.  The girls are great and Maria (10 years old) fell asleep reading her book of mormon the other day:)  So cute!  Raffaela fasted on her own to know what to do with her boyfriend.  We are praying that she receives the strength to do what we know she knows she needs to do.  Pino is doing great but was crying to us yesterday because he really doesnt have a home or a job.  Our ward is being so great about helping him.  yesterday we bought him a notebook to write down what we learn because he wants to study it throughout the day.  He made sorella Miles write every little word that either one of us said about the plan of salvation.  Haha.  I love him.  ANd then we have some new investigators that we are really praying for.  Work is going great and we are happy to be where we are.  
    I should also say that i love sorella miles.  We get along so well and its great.  I cant even tell you how many times during the day we are just crying because we are laughing so hard.  It has made finding so great because we are making the most out of it.  We are praying that we will have 3 transfers together:)
     ANyway, thats it for me this week.  if i forgot anything, ill talk to you about it on monday!!!  You have my phone number so if something isnt working on monday, make sure you call me.  Thanks for everything!  I sure love you all so much!  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!  eat some honey baked ham for me.  that sounds really good right now!!  Ill be thinking about you this weekend!  Have fun with all you do. BUON NATALE!!! AUGURI!!!!!
Love,
Sorella Chelsea
p.s.  I tried to figure out how to send pictures a different way and i have NO idea.  Im sorry that im not good at the computer....  hopefully its fine.  Love you all!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Another day in Christmasy ROME!


Famiglia!!!!
    Ciao!!  Come state??  Man.  I have a lot of things to tell you but first with a little christmas surprise that my companion found this week.  MY FIRST GRAY HAIR!!!  and by that i mean that it was totally white and im going to send you a picture of it.  We laugh and say that it is because it stresses me out to have a daughter and she is giving me gray hair.  Dont worry, Sorella Miles has looked all through my hair and there arent anymore but i was pretty shaken up haha.  She found it in the middle of church and It was just bad.  I didnt even make it till 23... haha.  Hopefully that was just a one random one.  Next, we got cocky in our cooking skills and have had some disasters.  First, it was Rosaria's birthday and we tried to make her pancakes.  Well i didnt want to take the time to look for baking soda so i just thought we could make them without... Turns out that if you dont use baking soda pancakes turn into basically crepes.  SO then we decided to just add some baking soda (because once i looked i found it) but we added too much and they were NASTY.  SO then we had to just start all over.  The good news is that they turned out.. it just took a little longer.  Then, we tried making the cake for Rosarias birthday.  (Basically their family has nothing and so we tired to make her birthday really special for her.)  You would think we would have learned by now that you really do have to follow the recipe exactly.  Well we didnt learn.  We tried using flour that already had yeast in it to make the cake.  All the sudden I smell burning.  Well, i went and looked at the cake and it had exploded and there was smoke all over our kitchen and it was such a mess.  Then we had to make the cake over again.  Haha.  Im learning at least, right??
    Ok, moving on to CHRISTMAS.  Me and my companion both have to make more than 1 call on christmas and we talked to president and he said that its probably better that we dont ask a member because it will take a long time.  So we are going to do it at Internet point instead.  We are wondering it we can call Monday, the day after christmas, instead so that we dont have to spend money on christmas.  If its not possible president gave us permission to go to internet point christmas.  SO im wondering if i can call the Moss family at 6 at night my time (Noon your time right?) and then the Buma family at 7 my time so 11 in the morning.  let me know if that works or not.  If it doesnt work we will figure it out next wednesday but hopefully that will be ok for everyone.  LET ME KNOW!!!
    Attention siblings.  I am sending a TINY package home with something for each of you.  I hope that it gets there because you never know with italian mail.  But know that the thought is there and there should be something small for you from me in Italy this Christmas.
    Ok, really quickly.  Update on our Investigators:
-Andreina.  We went and saw her monday.  She was really busy last week with family in town because it was a holiday here for La Madonna (of course) and so she couldnt see us.  Basically she doesnt feel ready for baptism but still is searching for her answer.  Not much to update there except that i love her so much.  She is like my italian grandma here and i love when we get to go see her.
-Cristian.  He actually came for all of sacrament meeting on sunday!  So great!  But still not ready for baptism.  Yesterday night he asked us if he was going to get baptized on saturday.  I told him that he has to be better about coming to church and doing the things to show the Lord that he wants to follow Him.  He is leaving to Sicily next week and we dont know for how long so we are going to send his number down to the elders near him.
-Rosaria, Antonella and Maria.  I just love them.  Sorelle Foote and Heiner found them in about september.  I have never met the dad but the mom is always there.  SHe is very nice to the sisters but doesnt ever really talk to us.  I think the whole birthday thing really got her though.  She came in and was singing with us and taking pictures and everything.  She is doesnt go to a church but is really religious.  We are trying to get to a point that we can start teaching her too.  Anyway, "The Girls" (thats what we call them) came with us sunday to watch the christmas devotional in Rome.  It was really good and they got to hear our prophet speak so that was great.  I love them so much.  They have so much desire to do good and they are just (mostly rosaria) mixed in with the wrong crowd.  We just need to help her stop smoking but she is pretty private about it.
-Giovanni is an investigator from so long ago.  Has been one on and off for like 10 years.  He just has little hang ups.  Its so sad.  LIke he cant accept why the sabbath was changed from satruday to sunday because gods commandments never change.  Anyway, we are going to really try to help him understand and have a testimony of the restoration and BOM because then all the little things dont matter and we can find those answers out after.
-Pino is a new investigator we have.  Has no family or job because his wife left him and just wants to find the truth because he knows God can help him.  He is SOOOOO great and is from southern italy and just reminds me of my sicily loves.  Its great.  He is really progressing though and i really think that he will be baptized.  Comes to church every week and its great!
     Well i think thats about it for me this week.  Its been a good week and we had Zone conference yesterday and it was so great!  I love it!  I love that i can work harder and be better every day.  Thats what matters.  I love sharing this gospel at christmas time and having this year to really focus on my savior and his life.  That is such a blessing for me.  Thanks for all you do for me!  Im so excited to talk to you next week and then for christmas!!!  LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!  have a great week!
Love,
Sorella Chelsea
P.S.  I should probably tell you that sorella miles and i will be together at least one more transfer!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas is Coming!


Hello!!!!!
     I love this time when i can write my family!  I love reading your emails and knowing of your support for me.  Especially this week.  Thanks so much for all you do for me.  I really have been blessed with such a great family.  Thanks for the phone call this week.  It wasnt the easiest phone call to have but i loved hearing from you.  It was such a blessing to hear about Grandma from my family instead of our mission president.  I am so grateful to him that he let you call me.  Sorella Kelly also called later that afternoon to make sure i was doing ok.  Its good knowing that i have my "Parents" here.  They really care about us so much.  Sounds like everything went well with the funeral.  Thanks for sending the program and everything.  I loved the nature on it.  Grandma would love that!  Haha, she just was in awe all the time about this earth that was created for us.  I am writing a memory i have of her every night until christmas.  I love it.  Its been a little hard but like it said last week, im just so grateful for the plan of salvation.  That i dont have to doubt where she is or what she is doing.  I know that i will see her again and that she is right here with me helping in this work.  That same day i found out, friday, our cute chef neighbor could hear us in our apartment and he came up with some lunch for us.  It was just a little tender mercy from heavenly father.  I know he cares about us so individually and that he really is right there with us all the time.  What a wonderful thing to know!!
    Happy Dutch Christmas by the way!  Took pictures in the morning with my chocolate and my sweaters.  It was so fun haha.  And then i ate a windmill cookie and some chocolate.  SO good!  Thank you so much for the package!  And the shrunken shoes... haha.  Ill attach a picture of it.
     Another thing really quick, so saturday morning we decide we are going to go to this little town right next to us to do some finding.  Well we get there and it starts raining like i have never seen before.  We were laughing so hard and just found an apartment complex to try and get it.  Well then it starts hailing and we couldnt even hear anything people were saying and we were SOAKING wet and it was so great.  I looked at my companion and we just laughed our heads off.  I never really pictured myself standing out in a hailstorm trying to talk to random strangers.  And i just love it!  We read a quote the other day, i think by president eyring, that said that all the people we talk to, even the ones who say no, will thank us in the next life for giving them the chance to say yes.  Such motivation to talk to everyone, even in a hail storm.  What we have is precious!  I love that i can share it with everyone.  I dont want to come home with any regrets of not opening my mouth enough.
     As for our investigators this week.  Cristian is just not ready to be baptized. And he knows that.  He comes to church for maybe the last 15 min and just doesnt put anything in to it.  He is leaving on the 19th to go to Sicily for a little bit and we are going to send his info down there.  He doesnt know how long he is going to be down there and then thinks if he doesnt stay there he is going to go to France or Spain...  It just breaks your heart when you see how badly people need the Gospel but then just wont accept it.  Andreina came to church on sunday and was there for most of it.  We took a member with us to her lesson on saturday and it was great.  He is a convert of like 8 years and just really brought the spirit.  I know Andreina knows its true but she just doesnt feel ready to be baptized.  We are praying so much for her.  She wants an answer so bad.  On saturday she looked at me and said, " I did what you said.  I got down on my knees and said a prayer last night."  It was so cute.  She is doing what she needs to do to get an answer and we are just praying that she gets it.  We told her that she has people all over the world praying that she will get an answer too.  She really liked that, haha.  Its just going to be a matter of time with her.  Last i want to tell you about Rosaria, Antonella and maria.  They are sisters and are from Africa.  I really feel like they are all my little sisters and i LOVE going and teaching them.  The other night Rosaria called us and said that she needed to talk to us.  I was FREAKING out because i really thought that she was going to tell us that she didnt want us to come teach them anymore or something.  Well, we went over there on monday and she told us that she really is starting to believe/know that the book of mormon is true (she has been reading it and is almost half way through) but that she doesnt feel worthy to be in our church because of the things she has done in the past.  We explained about the atonement and are going to do a good lesson on it tomorrow.  She has such a desire to change and just feels so guilty for the things she has done (she is only 16!).  Its so sad how much people, especially outside of the church, dont know how the atonement can heal us and that literally we can become a new person.  We talk to so many people who are catholic who say they have heard the word "atonement" but dont know what it means or what it is.  Its incredible!  Anyway, I love that Rosaria and all of us can have so much hope because of the atonement and what our savior did for us.
      Well, i need to go.  We are going to Rome today because one of our investigators told us of this Piazza we need to go to that is really Christmasy.  SO we are going to go check it out and do some shopping. I love ROME!  Such a cool city!  Still so surreal that im here right now.  Thanks for everything you all do for me.  I cant tell you enough how much i love you all.  All my family and friends.  Thanks for your emails, especially this week!  I love you and i know that this plan of salvation is perfect!  Have a great week!!  Talk to you all next week!  And dont forget to get my skype all set up!
Love,
Sorella Chelsea

HAIL STORM!!!!!!
Me with Rosaria, Antonella and Maria
Happy Dutch Christmas!




Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ciao Tutti!


Buon Giorno Famiglia!
     Thanks for your emails this week!  Im so glad you all had a good thanksgiving!  I hope you all ate enough for yourselves and me.  Ill be looking forward to a good American Thanksgiving again next year:)  Now on to the Christmas season.  I cant even believe that christmas is almost hear!  And that a year ago i was a little stress case at christmas trying to get everything ready for a mission.  Time flies.  Thats for sure.  Im excited for Christmas here.  Its not quite as big as it is in America in the sense that there arent tons of lights and stuff.  Its going to be a good Christmas.  I can already feel it.  Sorella Miles and I bought a little, humble christmas tree and we love it!   We decorated last wednesday and i just love looking at our little tree.  We took some pictures and ill attach them to the email.  haha.  Im such a weirdo.  Sorry about that....
      I am going to write grandma buma a letter and an email this week but i just want you all to tell her how much i love her.  I have so many great memories with all my grandparents and i truely feel blessed.  I love that all day long i am teaching about the plan of salvation.  Teaching people that this life is not the end.  That its just a step we take on our way to eternity.  We can be with our families forever!  I know that.  So its hard, really hard, not being with my family right now and not getting to spend the last little bit with her but i know that she is going to be my guardian angel.  With her help I know our work is going to be so much better:)  You are such a strong person, Grandma!  Im grateful for your example of the kind of person we all need to strive to be.
      As for our week is was such a great and a fast week!  I realized that i havent said much about my companion.  We get along soooo well.  We laugh all the time but are really trying to work hard, too.  Its great!  She is so funny and has such a good attitude about everything.  I have heard sisters tell me that when you train someone, you really know that you 2 were meant to be together.  ANd i really think that both of us know that.  I dont think i could have trained anyone else.  She is great!  We are going to have a great christmas together!  We have a couple things up our sleeves... LIke the reinactment of the birth of christ that both of us do with our families every year.  We arent sure how we are going to do it with just 2 people but we will figure something out.  And we listen to nutcracker all the time.  We have both seen it a million times and so we can do the dances for each other too:)  Haha.  Good times.
    The in Ladispoli is hard but its going.  We have found some new investigators and its great!  our mission goal is to find 6 new investigators the last 4 weeks of this transfer.  We have already found 2 and we have some good potentials.  its just hard because every at christmas is so busy and say they have no time to meet with us.  The investigator we found this week is SOLID though.  He got a disease 2 years ago and lost his eye sight almost completely.  I dont really get it but apparently over time it should slowly come back.  Not all the way but some.  He is getting to the point where he can actually read a little bit now.  Perfect because he can read the BOM!  He told us that he never really knew if he believed in God especially with what he went through 2 years ago.  But now he is at a point that he knows he needs to search for this faith and find his relationship with god again.  ANd he know that he wont find it in the Catholic of the Jehovahs witness churches.  So he is willing to read the BOM and meet with us and its great!
     Our baptisimal dates.  First there is Cristian.  I think this week we are going to have to push his date back.  He just really doesnt show a desire to do anything.  he came to church the past 2 sundays for like the last 30 minutes.  We just dont want him to get baptized and then not ever be an active member of the church.  And he just has some things he doesnt understand.  We are praying for a miracle with him!  That somehow, he can find this desire to do the things that bring us closer to heavenly father.  I know that is what he needs in his life but we just cant force him to do anything.
    Andreina is so great and i love her so much.  We taught word of wisdom this week and i was a little nervous because she drinks coffee every morning.  So she is reading this paragraph that explains exactly what this is and im praying sooooo hard that her heart is open to accept it.  She finishes reading and talks about how she doesnt have any other issues except with coffee.  We talked about how its just not good for our bodies and creates a dependence and she said, "Oh, I didnt know that.  I guess i will have to find something else to drink in the morning!"  LIke it was no big deal at all.  She said that if heavenly father says its bad then she needs to stop drinking it.  She is drinking less and less every day so its going great.  The only obstacle i guess you could say she has is that she just cant trust the answers heavenly father has given her.  She will come around but it just might take some time with her.  I have learned one really important thing though, members are SOOOOO important.  That is what is going to help andreina the most.  Seeing italians that have converted and made this change in their lives.  That they are people more like her.  Members are crucial.  Take the opportunity to help missionaries when you can!  I know that this work goes so much better when missionaries and members can work together.  I have heard that a million times but i really see that every day!
     Ok, i have written lots today.  I think that about hits the highlights.  I need to tell you about Rosaria and her sisters next week.  They are 16, 13 and 10 and just like our sisters.  We call them "the girls".  I love them!  We have such great people here in Ladispoli.  I have so many things to be grateful for.  Im grateful for my testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel.  I know what im doing is what i should be doing with my life right now.  There are so many people who just need this in their lives!  Thanks for all your support.  I hope you all have a great week and know how much i love you!  My family and friends are so important to me!  Have a great first week of DECEMBER!!!!  Crazy!  Love you all!
Love,
Sorella Chelsea

Me with Andreina and just some of the paintings in her house
These next 2 are me being really weird by the christmas tree.  We were really excited.....



Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
     I just have to say one thing that is going to blow your minds....  Well today for our preparation day, we had thanksgiving feast as a district.  So we were in charge of pumpkin pie and stuffing.  Literally i was laughing so hard when they told us because me and my companion dont have much practice in cooking you could say.  So anyways, they dont sell pumpkin in a can here so we bought some pumpkin, steamed it, mashed it up and made a pie.  We made the crust by hand too.  ALL HAND MADE!!!  Plus super yummy stuffing by hand too.  I felt sooooooo proud of us.  We took our lunch time yesterday and cooked like mad missionaries.  It was fun.  WE had our christmas music on and after it looked like a bomb blew up in our kitchen.  But everyone was impressed with us yesterday.  I felt pretty accomplished.ù
      This is random but remember our neighbor that cooked for us?  Well on thursday we got home for lunch and he stopped us in the hall and threw a bowl of pasta in our hands and said, "It's all hot right now!  Go up stairs and eat it right now while its hot!"  Haha.  So cute.  Plus he cooks so well so its just amazing!  Our little chef.  We think he is out of town because we havent seen him in a couple days.
     Ok now that i got the not so important things out of the way, i want to start with our week.  Sad but really actually happy news is that Francesca passed away on Monday morning early.  Her funeral was yesterday and she is now just so much happier.  I saw pictures of her from 6 months ago and was SHOCKED.  I couldnt even tell it was her.  Anyway, the funeral was in church and it all went well.  Her son was there and seemed content.  I know he is sad but we all know she is so much happier.  It was great hearing everyone at the funeral talk about the plan of salvation.  There were a lot of non members there and i know that this plan just brings so much hope to people.  I love it.  I love that when we teach it, it just makes sense to people.  That there isnt a glitch in it.  Everything is laid out perfect.  Heavenly Father wouldnt do anything less.  Im so grateful for our time that we had together though.  I loved singing with Francesca.  Her favorite song is All creatures of our god and king and she would just sing with us as much as she could with the energy she had.  We sing it all the time now.  I will always think of her when i hear that song.  What an example to me of someone that was in a tough spot and went through it with so much faith and hope.  She loved smiling and just being happy!  I could go on and on about her.  ANyway, one of the blessing in my mission and my life will be the time i got to spend with her.
     Other great news!  WE have 2 baptisimal dates!!!  December 17 for both of them.   The first one is Cristian.  I dont know how much i have told you about him but he has been an investigator for awhile but then went to spain for the summer and is now back.  He is like 26??  He wants to be baptized but then never does anything to show his desire.  Basically he never sacrifices for it.  So we told him if he really wants it, we will set this date.  A goal for him to really work towards.  I think he struggles with depression big time.  He never does anything and just always seems so sad.  I know that him putting the gospel at a priority in his life would help so much.  But we cant force him to do anything.  He will come around though.  He just needs some love and some good time in the book of mormon.  Ill keep you updated on his progress.  We gave him a baptisimal calender yesterday and i think that will really help him.
     The next one is ANDREINA!!!!  Oh man.  SO we had a lesson with her monday.  I guess first i should say that she came to church and sunday and had a lot of questions but really liked it.  She is becoming friends with a lady in our ward that we bring with us to her lessons recently and that has been perfect for andreina.  Just someone older that can relate more to her.  Anyway, so we knew we needed to talk about baptism again with her and set a date.  We prayed about the 17th and both felt good about it.  So we go and teach a lesson.  We used D and C and she LOVED it!  haha.  She was like can i buy that book??  Anyway, so the end of the lesson comes and im FREAKING out that i have to invite her to be baptized because in the lesson she said that she just likes to really research things before she will do them and really likes to take her time.... Anyway, i start talking about how we prayed about a date for her and i just started crying talking about how i knew this was right for her and heavenly father loves her so much and just wants to bless her.  I felt so much love that our heavenly father feels for her and i just couldnt help but cry.  I know she felt the spirit but was too scared to give a big YES!  But she said that its something she will really try for and that she wants to try and be ready for.  The key with her will be sorella silva.  This lady we take.
     Ok time for one more story and then i have to go.  So right before we had our lesson with andreina, we had a lesson with this lady named Guisy.  She is incredible.  LIke 30 and so cute with a husband and a cute little 3 year old.  Anyway, we havent seen her in like a month because she has been really busy with work and being out of town and sick.  But FINALLY we saw her.  SO we had planned to talk to her about the last half of the Gospel: Baptism, gift of the holy ghost and enduring to the end.  Well, we talk about baptism and she says, " I actually was thinking about baptism today!"  SHe is telling us how she was thinking about it and thinking that it might be something she will never do even though basically she loves our church and knows its true because she would have to do it by herself. Her husband says she can take whatever road she wants and he will support her but doesnt have much interest right now.  ANyway, we talked to her about praying to know what Heavenly father wants her to do.  That Heavenly father has a plan for her and her family.  She needs to be an example to her husband and once he sees how much this is changing her life and how happy she is he will follow.  He is GREAT!  Just needs a little more time.  Anyway, i know she will be baptized too.  Not sure exactly when but she is so ready!
    ANyway, i have to go.   But i love you all!  Thanks for the Thanksgiving wishes!  Happy thanksgiving tomorrow!  I hope that it is the best day!  I am so grateful for a loving heavenly father.  That he created this perfect plan so that we can return to live with him forever.  Im so grateful for my family.  That He loves me enough to bless me with such a wonderful family.  and friends!  And im grateful i can share this with these people i love her in Italy so they can enjoy these blessings too!  Ill talk to you all next week!  Also we got permission to skype on christmas so ill get you details later but be excited!  Good christmas present!  Thanks everyone!  Vi voglio bene!!!!  A dopo!

Love,
Sorella Chelsea






Thursday, November 17, 2011

Abbiamo visto i miracoli!


Ciao famiglia!
    Thanks as always for your emails and your prayers!  It really is such a blessing to hear from you all every week.  Im glad everything seems to be going good.  Busy but good!  All is well in Ladispoli as well.  i wanted to say really fast that if packages are coming for christmas you can just send them to the office.  Around the christmas season i think it will be better.  ANd on the customs form just write that its missionary supplies.  Thats all for my annoucements i think.  ummm....  Ok, im just going to dive into the week because really we saw tons of miracles and it was amazing.
     So, last week i was pretty bummed, you could say.  I just feel so much pressure being the older companion and literally no one would talk to us and my companion hated finding and it was just a bad situation.  I really used it as a time to work on my faith.  When we find, its hard yeah but there are people ready to hear the gospel where we are or we wouldnt be there.  So i really worked on focusing on this faith that i needed to have to see miracles.  To find people.  And i prayed a lot!!  We found some great people that we are really excited to teach.  Tomorrow we have our first appointment with a guy we met on the street and his family.  A couple years ago he had some accident and lost most of his vision.  He said that during this time he lost his faith and belief that there is a God.  But now is on his search to find Him again.  He was totally willing to let us come over and share the book and plan that we have that brings us the peace and comfort we need in this life.  Then i called to actually set up the appointment and he had told his wife about us and she was really excited for us to come over too.  We have that appointment tomorrow, and with a member, and we are really excited!
     Next, the casse miracle.  Ok so we were doing finding.  We had just talked to Alberto (guy from above) and were sooooo happy that we found someone who wanted to hear more.  So the next guy we talk to is this old african man named Casse.  He hardly speaks italian but said that he would want a book of mormon in french.  We set up an appointment on sunday at 5 to bring it to him. Well, i wrote down his phone number but forgot to write down his house number.  I had the street but not the number.  So im asking him if i can see this paper that had his information on it again and he was like you already wrote my number down.  I couldnt explain it because he doesnt understand italian really well and so we just left and decided we would call him when we got to the street.  So i call and of course, his phone is off.  I thought i remembered his house number being 127 so we went searching.  The normal road ends at like 50 but continues up this little dirt road.  So we decided we will keep looking.  we Stop and take a picture out in the middle of nowhere with this french book of mormon in our hands, seriously so desperate to find him and then walk all the way up this dirt road.  No sign of him so we turn back around and are just going to rind every house we can before our next appointment.  So we are walking down and I see this other african guy at a door but i cant really see who it is.(Keep in mind there are like 4 houses on this street and  the one that this guys is at is old and white and creepy and looks abandoned.)  I have just a glimpse of hope and so i walked closer to look again.  Ok Casse wasnt the guy that i saw originally but he came walking up the gate to open the gate for this other guy.  And we happened to be walking by right as he was there opening the gate.  IT WAS SUCH A MIRACLE!!!!  He didnt let us teach him and honestly we were ok with that considering where we were but he accepted the book of mormon and a restoration pamphlet.  Who knows what will happen with him but i can say that i know that he needed the book of mormon that day.  We had been lost twice, taken a picture and then just at the right moment we were right where he was.  It might seem small, but it was such a testimony to me that heavenly father is so involved in this work.  He guides us and directs us even when it seems so small.
      Ok, next.  Lesson with Andreina.  Ok, so we had a lesson with her last night.  We took a member that is a little bit older and it was the best lesson!  We talked about the plan of salvation.  LIke always, she had tons of questions but understood it all.  Sorella Silva is a convert and just said the perfect things.  At the end i couldnt remember what invite we had planned to give her.  and then, so strongly i felt like we needed to invite her to be baptized.  I pushed it aside for like 5 seconds because we were going to be late to english course but then just had to do it.  We hadnt planned a date or anything so i just invited her to pray about baptism and promised her heavenly father was waiting to give her soooo many blessings.  She was BEAMING!  ANd it was one of the most spiritual moments on my mission.  Sorella silva said after that she just know andreina is so special and that she is going to be baptized.  Im so excited for our next appointment with her!  Pray that she comes to church this week!!!!!  and that she receives an answer that really this is what she needs to do.
      I have like no time left but i want to talk about monday too really quick.  So we went and met with this lady that i had called from our area book.  She came and met us and got hot chocolate with us and brought her cousin.  SHe didnt remember anything about the missionaries and hadnt even ever seen the book of mormon.  Anyway, we had a good lesson with them and they accepted the book of mormon and want to have us over for lunch to talk about the plan of salvation!  They are soooo cute.  Alessandra and Roberta.  Both in their mid 30s.  So we met with them and then went home really fast to get some brownies i made for our dinner appointment.  We see our neighbor out in the hall.  Turns out that he is a cook and cooks SO well.  He isnt married so we told him we couldnt come in his house but gave us some food to take home and eat.  Then yesterday we went to take brownies to than him and he ended up giving us some bread and stuff. So basically we have a little chef now.  I just need to get his recipes because he cooks soooo well.  He is like 70 and sooooo great.  Then we went to see raffaela and her boyfriend for dinner.  We have been praying that he will come around so they can get married and she can get baptized.  She has a testimony of everything and is essentially a memeber without the baptism.  Anyway, the miracle was that at the end, Carmine (the boyfriend) said the prayer!  It was awesome!  Anyway, lots of small miracles but we have felt so blessed this week!
      Well, i love being a missionary.  Its tiring but its the best!  I love what i do and just talking to people and sharing what is so important to me.  I love these people here.  Italians are such a passionate and great people.  Im excited for all of you to meet them.  You will love them!  And their food:)  I really have to go but know that i love you all SO much.  I miss you and pray for you.  Thanks for all your support!  Have a great week!  Talk to you next week!
Love,
Sorella Chelsea

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Week 40: Hello Family


Ciao Tutti-  
      Ok... first i need to say that my exclamation doesnt work on this keyboard and its really annoying but thats just how it is.  How is everyone??  It sounds like everyone in my family had a busy, busy week last week and this week.  Good luck with everything you have to do.  Know that i have been and will be praying for you in all that you are doing.  Work and school and everything.  My week has been pretty stressful too...  Just a lot of responsibility.  But ill get to that in a minute.  Thanks for all your emails and your prayers.  Its been hard but i really can feel the Lord helping me.  Im so grateful for that because literally this isnt something i can do alone.
      My companions name is Sorella Miles.  SHe is from Bountiful and this is the big thing.  Her grandpa is elder nelson.. Yeah... Talk about pressure.  She is super cute though and pretty young.  Her parents are mission presidents and so she was able to leave early on her mission.  Its been a lot better than i pictured it going in my head.  First, she loves just trying to talk to people and its awesome.  She will get the language fast just because she is so willing to try.  And she wants to work hard.  Im really excited for our transfer or transfers we will have together.
      For me... its good but really hard work.  Making sure that we have appointments scheduled that we understand everything, that lessons go well.  Everything.  Its a lot to do.  But i really have felt the gift of tongues so strongly.  I can get by in Italian, its not like i am really really struggling, but i wouldnt call myself one of the good speakers by any means.  Its amazing though because i realy have been able to understand anything that is really important and have been able to say anything that needs to be said.  Probably not perfectly  but i dont really feel super hindered by the language.  Its interesting though because when its not so necessary i really cant speak like i was in a lesson or something.  These gifts are real.  I know that.  I know that what i am doing, i am not alone in it.  THat heavenly father qualifies those whom he calls.  That has been the biggest source of strength for me.  Knowing that i can pray and that he listens.  One other really hard thing has been finding.  NOTHING we have tried has been working.  I dont know what happened but i know Heavenly Father is trying to teach me something.  Singing worked so great till sorella miles got here.  I just feel so bad because she thinks we are totally wasting our time and i know she is frustrated with finding.  Its hard work in Italy but I know that there are people that are ready and willing to listen.  Thats where my faith really comes into play.  We have some more ideas for finding that we got in our district meeting and im just praying and praying that it goes better.  We did some calling of old investigators and have lots of appointments for the rest of this week though.  Its going to get better we just had a couple rough days.
      SUnday was awesome though.  I really felt the spirit in church.  That heavenly father loved me and was happy with where i am and the work that im doing.  Exactly what i needed to feel in that moment because i really felt like i was failing.  Then we had 2 really good lessons that night.  One was with Andreina and i love her so much.  And we are just ready to work hard this week.
     As for our investigators.  Andreina, she is the one that is 84, and she is seriously awesome.  SHe has so many questions.  They all have to do with the restoration and the plan of salvation.  I know the other sisters have already taught her these things but we are going to start over and go slow so she really understands and can ask her questions.  She has received a testimony of the book of mormon but just is too afraid to fully trust it.  She is expecting something big that covers all her doubts.  So that is our goal with her.  To tell her that through the pray and meeting with us, her questions can and will be answered and that she will be ready to follow christ and be baptized.  Raffaela is the one that is living with her boyfriend.  SHe love the BOM and loves coming to church and everything but now told us that she doesnt know if she wants to be baptized or not. I could see the sadness in her eyes as she was telling us.  I know that she wants to be baptized but her mom and boyfriend are standing in the way of her receiving the blessings.  We are trying to go teach her more when her boyfriend is there and hopefully he will come around.   he is realy nice and will listen to the lessons but for now doesnt want to do anything about it.  He is great though and i think with time he really will want this.   Cristian is our other investigator close to baptism.  He tells us that he wants to be baptized but then doesnt do anything about it.  He comes to church sometimes but comes super late.  His actions just arent showing it at all.  we are going to set a date with him and really explain that if he wants this, he needs to show the Lord that he is willing to sacrifice for it.  Its just hard knowing what we can do to help these people.  Especially with Raffaela and Cristian, they are at a point where free agency is going to have to be used.  We cant really do anything else except love them and pray for them.
     Other than that, i think thats about it.  Training is hard but i really am loving being here.  I love our ward and our investigators and all the people i get to talk to every day.  I knew this wasnt going to be easy but its so worth it.  Its so worth it to have 1000 people say no but then to see someone that really has a desire to know Christ and be a part of their journey.  Thanks for all your support you show me as family and friends.  I know that is one of my biggest blessings in my life.  Ill talk to you all next week.  I love you all more than you know.  I miss you but i know this is where im supposed to be.  I have lots of things to learn on my mission that i know will help me for the rest of my life.  Have a good week-lot of exclamation marks.
Love,
Sorella Chelsea

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It's a girl!!


Ciao Famiglia!
     Well the big news of the week is that im going to be training.  I dont even know what to think about it or what to do.  I feel so inadequate to do this but i guess that is where prayer and the atonement come in.  President told me to take some deep breaths and that i would be fine.  haha.  I really cant believe this is happening.  I hope i dont ruin her!  That is mostly what im scared about.  and the fact that i have only been here for 2 weeks and we are going to be lost every day.  I had Sorella Foote tell me everything about Ladispoli and i have tried to write everything down.  Deep breaths.  Anyone have any advice for me?? I would love it.  I am excited though.  It will be an adventure every day.  trying to get around and then once we get there trying to understand.  Its so nice being the young one because if you dont understand you just turn everything over to your companion... I dont think that is going to be happening anymore.  Anyway, tomorrow i'll go to the mission home to pick her up.  I dont know who it is so its going to be a surprise.  Mom, you need to stop guessing things because you are ALWAYS right and its always something so scary!  Anyway, please keep me in your prayers this week.  Sorella Foote has trained twice and she said she grew so close to our savior and really started understanding the atonement when she trained.  Thats what I want to learn from this experience.
       As for everything else, this week was great but really hard at the same time.  Sorella Foote is going home and getting her all ready for classes and stuff was really hard.  Then Sorella Heiner had a little break down and needed a blessing from president so we spent a couple hours at the mission home too.  It was good though because sorella heiner is doing much better!  Plus we just got to spend some time with president and sorella kelly.  And they made lasagna for us.  Just made for a strange week because i felt like a lot of them time we werent doing missionary work.  All things that needed to get done but just was different.  I also learned that i need to start the registering for classes and everything a lot earlier because sorella foote and sorella tutt had problems with their deferments.  So i want to make sure mine is all good.  Our president is really good about getting everything done though.
       the ward had a halloween party!  It was so fun and the ward is so awesome.  The primary leaders all learned the thriller dance and performed it.  So fun!  They are a lot more americanized here close to rome than they are in Sicily.  Its really crazy seeing the difference in the ward and the people.
       Next, Francesca was WAY weaker this week.  I think i told you this but she is an artist and usually she still can draw really well and everything.  Not this week though.  She had 0 energy and we are hoping that she will make it through next week at least.  I want one more week with her.  She gave me her favorite drawing pencil yesterday!  So sweet!
       And this week we are going to do some good old finding.  Lots of it!  We have some great investigators but they are now at the point that they need to decide what they want.  They need to sacrifice a little and use their agency now.  I really want to find a good family to teach.  A mom and dad and kids.  I never really have before and this is something i really want!  I have been praying a lot for it.  Our ward could use another good family too.
        Other things about this week.  Oh my.  Yesterday we had a lunch and a dinner appointment.  Let me just walk you through an italian meal so you all will feel bad for me and my stomach and my body yesterday and today.  Well, first we started off with cheese and some bruschetta.  Then they had some other little anti pasta things.  Then they bring out a plate of lasagna.  And when i say a plate.  I literally mean a plate.  It was HUGE and i wanted to die eating it.  Then after we had pork chop things and sausage (sausage is huge here and i hate it).  I couldnt eat all my sausage.  then they gave us a huge slice of this cake type thing. I was dying.  But then our dinner appointment was the same thing.  it was actually the best meal i have had here and i was so sad i was so full because i didnt enjoy it as much.  Sorella foote also said it was the best she has ever had and it is her last day tomorrow.  But honestly while i was eating the pasta, after 3 bites, i was praying that i would be able to make it through without throwing up.  We felt like we were on fear factor.  And then to top it off, we have a lunch appointment in an hour!  haha.  Im going to die....
      I think thats it for the week.  I forgot my planner at home so i dont if i wrote anything else or not. Im going to try again and attach pictures.  I want you so see my adventures.  Mom, i will get my picture to you and send it next week.  We dont have time to go to rome today.  But i did walk through the vatican piazza the other day.  SOOOOOOO many people holy cow!  Well, wish me luck tomorrow.  Im so excited to get to share my love of missionary work and italy with my new companion.  I know what we are doing here is so important.  I have so much to work on!!  But i love what we get to do.  To bear testimony to everyone about the gospel.  that we can just stop people in the streets and its not weird because that is what we are called to do.  Thanks for your support.  I love my family and friends.  Ill let you know how the first week of adventures go!  LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU ALL!!!!
Love,
Sorella Chelsea
P.S.  Congratulations Linds and Brycen!  Im so excited to hear the story!!!  LOVE YOU!!!  Dont forget to tell me a single detail!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ciao!


Ciao Famiglia!
Come state??  AMO LADISPOLI!  Mamma Mia!   Im so happy that im here.  I know im going to love my time here.  Its going to be cold but ill just bundle up.  Its actually been really good weather the past 2 days.  They all told us that a HUGE storm was going to be in Rome today and not to go there but we are going to go anyway to buy some sweaters and everything.  And there is not huge storm haha.  Its raining but its not bad at all.  Italians are so funny.  If its raining, no one goes outside.

Its so crazy to me how fast you can fall in love with those that you are teaching.  We have a couple great investigators and i love them so much.  And then they just use their agency and break your heart!  Raffaela is AWESOME.  Literally you would think that she is a member already.  SHe comes to church every week with her gospel principles book and carries around her book of mormon like its the best thing she has ever owned.  I think that she has been an investigator for like 3 months??  not really sure on that one.  Heres the problem... She lives with her boyfriend.  We had a good old lesson on the law of chastity the other day and told her that she needs to move out, break up with him, or they need to get married.  We'll see what happens when we see her tomorrow.  I know that she has such a strong testimony and wants to get baptized and if this keeps her from it im going to be so sad.  Im just scared of her just getting comfortable being an "eternal investigator" and then never taking the final step.  At least not for a long time.

Next, there is Andreina.  She is 84 and so with it.  She gets everything about the Gospel that we teach her and tells us about the peace in her heart that she feels with she prays and reads the book of mormon.  and for the first time she was in church on sunday!  She was only there for an hour but apparently they have begged her for so long to come and she finally made the step.  SO great.  Getting people to church is one of the hardest things.  People dont want to give up 3 hours of their sunday to come.  Its really sad.  Anyway, andreina basically just wants a perfect knowledge before she will get baptized.  Somehow we need to get her to understand that that is a process we go through our whole lives.  That we dont just pray and have the answers to everything.  SHe will get it though.  She just needs some more time.  Also, she is a painter and since sorella foote is leaving.  she has given us SO many paintings.  Mainly she does flowers and they are beautiful.  They are all small but i love them.  Im going to take a picture of them and send them to you all next week.  then you can be excited!  Plus i know who spent the time making them so they are really special to me.

We went to see Francesca again yesterday morning.  You just realize how precious life is.  She is only lik 65 and really doesnt have much time left of this earth.  Me and my companions were talking about how important every day it.  Its a choice to hate what we are doing and complain that a mission is hard, but it goes by so fast and before you know it, its going to be over.  I dont want to look back and not have tried my best to make every day here the best day.  Same with life.  Francesca has learned to enjoy the simple things.  It it such a privilege to spend a few hours with her every week.  We were singing to her yesterday and she told us she wants to go while we are around her bed singing to her.  Then we told her she just has to make sure its on a tuesday morning!  Man, i love her!

I dont really know what else to say about this week.  Im really happy!  I love my companions and the ward.  its barely big enough that its a ward but its definitely small.  Its going to be so fun because ill really get to have good relationships with everyone in the ward.  They dont really celebrate Halloween in Italy but the ward is having a party and we are really excited.  Im learning so much from Sorella Foote.  She is probably the most dedicated missionary but still just herself.  Everyone loves her.  Literally.  She is such a good missionary because she just loves the people and really listens to the spirit.  But she has the funnest personality.  Even when we are doing finding and everyone says no, we are laughing and its a good time.  And Sorella Heiner really has a gift with the language.  She is already an awesome missionary and she has only been here a couple months!  Its going to be really interesting what happens with transfer calls on Saturday (SOOOOO weird that its transfers again.  My 5th transfer FLEW by.)  Sorella Heiner could stay or go!  We dont know!  Ill still be here... haha.  So thats all that matters.  I love it here!

Well, thats a wrap i think.  I want to attach some pictures really quick before we have to go.  Thanks for your love and support!  I love my friends and family un sacco!  I really cant ever express how much you all mean to me.  Mom, i know you were thinking that my address isnt right but it should be!  Try sending me a letter and ill let you know if i get it:) Sorella Heiner got a letter today and this is what the address said:
Via Flavia 21
00055 Ladispoli, Italia
Have a great week!  Love you all so much!!!
Love,
Sorella Chelsea
P.S.  Pictures arent working so ill try to send another email with them.  LOVE YOU!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Where Am I???


Ciao from ROME!!!
    Literally im sitting right now in Rome writing this letter.  We are going to walk around central rome today for p-day.  Im pretty much stoked for this.  It seems so unreal!  I dont know what all we will see but next week i will send you all the picutres.  Its going to be great.  I have so much to say this week so im going to just jump right on in. Its been a great week!
 
    Ok, so first, Lidia's baptism!!  I am so grateful that i was able to stay in Catania and leave on such a good note.  It was perfect.  Let me tell you a funny story about filling up the font though.  Ok, so we, the sisters, had never filled the font in Catania before.  So i was on the phone with the anziani while they were giving me directions.  We were already a half hour behind in filling up the font!  I did everything they said and then we just had to wait for like 4 hours to fill it up.  Ok, so then Sorella LeCates goes in to check the water (after an hour).  Only to find that yes the water was warm but it was only like an inch high!  Then it dawned on me... I didnt think about a plug so that the water would stay in.  The anziani didnt say anything about it so it didnt phase me.  Haha.  It was such a stressful but funny moment.  We fixed the drain and then decided to wait an hour and decide then if we were going to need to use buckets and help fill it up.  In the mean time it was raining outside and we put the buckets outside to catch the rain.  Haha.  SOOOOOO dumb.  There was like nothing when we went to check them.  But we took a picture to remind us of our brilliant idea.  Anyway, everything was ready to go by the time everyone arrived for the baptism.  She was so happy and excited.  It was all perfect.  Not tons of members came but there was a good showing and they all brought some sort of treat to share at the end.  I know Lidia was really touched by that.  Then she was confirmed the next day in church and she is officially a member of Christ's church!  I will attach some pictures of it if i can figure it out here.
 
     Next, my last sunday in Catania was really sad!  I LOVE that i was there for so long.  I have really good relationships with so many people in that ward.  Starting with the bishop.  He is such a spiritual great guy (its his counselors that have crazy missionary plan ideas).  Anyway, im sitting in church and thankfully i was listening.  Bishop gets up to give his talk and he says, " This is sorella buma's last week and so i want to ask the sisters to come sing hymn 100 and then I want to ask sorella buma to leave us with her testimony."  Haha.  So spur of the moment we get up and sing.  I really enjoyed it actually.  And my leaving testimony was just so much easier than my first one in the ward.  Our bishop was all choked up though.  And then after church he kept saying bye and thank you to me and finally he said he just had to leave or he was going to start crying.  I hated saying bye to all the members.  It was really hard!  It was just a huge realization of how much i have grown to love these people.  I will be so happy when i get to go back and visit them again!  Another story from sunday.  This time in the Sigonella ward.  Before church the first counselor asked sorella askew if she would bear her testimony on how we know if something comes from God because the speaker didnt show up.  SO they announce sister askew and then they announce that they would like to hear my testimony too.  So i bore my testimony on the Book of Mormon and how it was written for us to apply it in our lives today.  The first counselor gets up to give his talk and says that he really felt like someone that day needed to talk about the BOM but that morning he had changed his topic that morning because he didnt feel like it was him that was supposed to give a talk on that topic.  He said how grateful he was for that little experience of how involved the Lord is in our lives.  Then after church he thanked me for following the spirit.  It was such a testimony builder for me, too.  Mostly to realize that even when i dont have some huge overwhelming feeling the spirit is prompting me.  I get frustrated sometimes that i dont feel like im being guided by the spirit like I want.  It was an experience i needed to help remind me what it really is like when we are being lead by the spirit most the time.

        Then Monday was my big day!  I flew to Rome.  Man, trying to get my bags to be 50 pounds was a JOKE.  I was so stressed.  I put all my books in my carry on and it weighed like 60 pounds.  Thank goodness nice people on the plane helped me get it in the overhead thing...  It was the weirdest thing saying bye and then being by myself.  I felt completely out of place and like everyone was looking at me.  I really didnt know what to do with myself.  Then i got to the airport and Sister Kelly had told me to go up to departures because its easier for the assistants to pick me up there.  Apparently she didnt pass the memo on though.  Haha.  SO i was just standing outside waiting by myself for like 30 min till they finally decided maybe i was somewhere else.  But, i got here safe and sound monday afternoon and i love it!  I love Ladispoli.  Its so close to rome but its just a smaller, quieter city.  We live right by the train station and its small enough that we can walk anywhere in about 30 min.  I think im going to love my time here.  The only thing is that i was used to HOT catania and its cold here!  SO cold.  I dont even want to think about January here... It could be bad.  My companions have recieved all their packages here so you can send them straight to me here.  It takes about 2 weeks to get here so not too bad.  Oh and about my companions.  They are AMAZING!  Sorella Heiner (From Mesa AZ) is newer than me in the mission and is doing so great.  I love her!  Sorella Foote (from Reno NV) is leaving to go home in 2 weeks and is an all-star.  I have never meet anyone that loves what they do so much and is totally and completely herself.  I have a good 2 weeks to learn everything i can from her.  Its going to be great.  I love working with them.  its going to be so interesting seeing what is going to happen next transfer...

      One last experience and then i really have to end this.  There is a lady in the ward named Francesca, about 70, that is in a care center dying on cancer.  She has been less active for years but the ward has been great and someone is with her every morning and night.  Our time with her is our service for the week.  We went there yesterday morning and it was one of my neatest experiences.  Just to watch this person who knows they are going to die and is SO sick and tired but is so happy and loves her time that she gets to spend with the sisters.  She was an artist and so everytime the sisters go she teaches them some new thing about drawing.  WE sang with her and helped her eat and brush her teeth and just talked to her.  Honestly, i was holding back tears the entire time.  It was just such a spiritual experience for me.  I was so touched by her.  We go every tuesday morning and im so thankful!

     Other than that, i have to go now.  SO I CAN GO SEE ROME!!!!  Haha. I feel like im living in a dream.  Getting off the train the other day to see Francesca and there was Saint Peters.  I only saw the top but this whole thing is just surreal.  I love what im doing and where i am.  I am so grateful every day for the plan that heavenly father had for me.  I know that we are asked to do hard things but he makes it possible.  Thanks for everything you all do for me!  I pray for you always.

Love,
Sorella Chelsea

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I'm leaving on a jet plane


Ciao Famiglia!
   Come State??  I have so many things to tell you.  LIke always.  And there just isnt tons of time...  First things first!  Giorgia was baptized this week!!!  It was such a great day!  Oh man.  I have been waiting with her for these 6 months for her dad to finally give her permission.  It was awesome.  It was such a feeling of pure joy to watch her be baptized.  I am so grateful that i had the opportunity to stay here in catania for it.  I am so proud of her.  Besides her mom, she really has no support.  Her grandma, especially, is really catholic and was not very happy.  But Giorgia knew what she was doing and why she was doing it and she got baptized!  The weird thing was that her dad wasnt worthy to baptize her so someone else in the ward performed the baptism (that wasnt the weird part).  The weird part was that he was in the circle when she got confirmed!!  i guess its up to the bishop to say yes or no and the bishop was in the circle and didnt say anything.  From what we last knew, he was smoking and stuff and hasnt been to church for a long time!  It was just a little stress moment.  Till we realized that really we cant do anything.  Anyway, then the next day he and giorgia's little brother were in church!  I havent told you anything about her brother but he is 9 and really doesnt like to do anything that relates to the church.  Wont listen to lessons, pray, or go to church.  But the last couple times we have asked him to help us teach giorgia and he said yes!  And he will even read scriptures.  Im hoping that soon the sisters can work with him and he can be baptized too.  It was so amazing to see the whole family in church together.  I hope that Giorgia and her example can help her dad get back to church!  Such a nice guy just a little lost.
      Lidia.  SO GREAT.  She had her interview and will be baptized on saturday.  6 pm my time.  So sunday was fast and testimony week here.  She asked us if she could go up.  We said yes but were a little nervous what she would say. she got up and bore a perfect testimony.  The ward was so impressed!  Which is great because its giving them a really good reason to accept her.  You all know how they kind of struggle of that.  But everyone knows who she is know because she got up.  And the ward is really helping will her baptism.  So we are so relieved.  It was a really scary thing talking to them about her getting baptized.  We were just really scared they were going to say no.  But everything is going great and she is really excited.  its going to all come together before i go!
      We also had zone conference this past week.  Im really lucky because i will get to rome right before the zone conference there.  So i get 2 this transfer:)  By the way, our mission goal for baptisms every month is 20 and we got 19 last month!  We are so close!  And president said that for october it looks like we might make the goal.  Which is awesome because its growing! I love hearing about the baptisms happening here!  I love these people and i want to find them all in the temple!  Anyway, i really loved something that my president talked about.  he talked about 1 Ne. 7:17-18.  How when Nephi prayed to be unbound, but asked for strength to free himself.  He didnt say, "Heavenly Father, i dont want this trial in my life.  Make it go away."  Instead, he simply asked for strength.  I thought about how many times i have simply said, I dont want this.  Please take this trial from me.  Which is fine to ask for but more important is to make sure we are asking for strength to do the Lords will.  I loved it!  I cant explain it like President Kelly can but maybe after the second zone conference I can say it all a little better.  maybe thats why i will have 2 this transfer.  So i can learn more.  Man, so many things that im learning and so many that i have to learn still.  Thank goodness our heavenly father is so patient with us!
      The "miracle monday" is recorded on the USB that sorella askew has so im not going to write about it.  But i know that the lords hand is in this work.  i have seen way too many miracle to deny that.  it was such an amazing day!  Especially our last appointment.
      Well thats all for today.  My last time writing from Catania.  Its going to be great coming back here with my family!  I love this city!  wish me luck on my flight to rome by my self.  And that my bags arent over weight... haha.  Im nervous for that.  Talk to you next week!  I love you all.  thanks for everything you do for me!
Love,
Sorella Chelsea

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Conference!


Hello Family!
     How are you all doing??  Thanks for your emails.  Its always such a treat to open my emails and read how you all are doing!  Sounds like you watched conference and all is well.  I LOVED conference.  We were laughing on sunday morning about how excited we were to get to spend the whole day watching conference.  I have always loved conference but its just different being a missionary.  I loved talking to people about the special weekend we were going to be having because there is a prophet on the earth today and he was going to speak to us.  (I said this to one lady and she is now an investigator!  She said that she really wanted to hear what this prophet had to say to us in these days.  Pretty sweet!).  Anyway, i loved it all.  I want to hear what they talked about in the last session because we cant hear it here.  Lots of good things i learned though.  It was interesting to listen to it and be thinking about our investigators that needed to hear that specific talk.  I really loved the talk from elder hales because he talked about waiting on the Lord.  So many people we are teaching, and i guess everyone in the world, has so many trials but i loved how he explained why we have them!  I wont reccount all the talks because you all heard them but it was just great!
    Next, we have a baptism this week!  Giorgia is getting baptized and im SO excited i cant stand it.  Everything is all done.  The primary and her mom took care of everything.  I practiced "Keep the commandments" to play for her but then they decided it would be great if someone else in the primary (cutest little boy ever) played for her.  So i practiced for nothing.  But it was fun.  I have found a love for playing the piano but now i never have time to practice.  ATTENTION SIBLINGS:  you cant say i didnt tell you this.  Keep practicing your instruments.  It is so important.  I wish so badly i could just play the piano.  And the members would be so grateful too...  YOu will appreciate it so much in the future.  I was the dumb teenager that quit and i regret that a lot.  Anyway, she is really excited for her baptism and is as ready as an 11-year-old can be.  I love her so much!  I will be sure and send you pictures.  she also wants to try pancakes so next week we are going to make them with her as a little celebration.  Its going to be great!  Think about us on saturday at 5 my time!
     Lidia.  Ya know how we were worried about her still smoking? We had been really blunt with her the time before and asked her if she was still smoking because her breath smelled like smoke.  Well, the next time we went she didnt smell like smoke!!!  We asked her how it was going and she said that she hadnt been smoking and that we couldnt tell her she smelled like smoke because she really hadnt! We taught her tithing the other day and all was well.  Also, she went to church sunday morning and had an interview with our bishop.  We told him that we just kinda wanted his imput on whether she is ready or not.  We have tried calling him a bunch to see how it went and we havent gotten a response yet.  But for now we are saying "no news is good news."  Hopefully that is right and she can be baptized the following week!
    We have found a new "finding" technique that i love.  We just ask people if we can sing a hymn for them really quick at the door.  Usually we sing I am a Child of God.  We have been surprised at how many people say yes.  I have NEVER gotten anyones number from doing house and we have gotten like 10 already!  Its awesome.  Tons of people still say no but at least there are some that are saying yes!  We even got let into a ladies house (super catholic!) and taught her a little lesson!  Then she loved it so much she took us down to have a little lesson with her niece and her niece's family.  She is pretty catholic too but at least we got a return appointment with her.  Its been fun!  Its so funny to watch people's faces when you ask if we can sing for them really quick.
     Last thing before i have to go.  Well, remember how i drank alcohol the other week?  This week it was coffee... haha.  So we were singing to people and this guy invited us in.  we couldnt go in because there wasnt a woman home but he said he would bring us almond milk at the door (which is soooo good. i have had it but my companions hadnt.  its a big sicily thing).  Sister lecates got it first and drank the whole thing really fast because she liked it.  THen sister askew.  she only drank about half.  I had one sip of mine and immediately knew this wasnt normal almond milk.  Then the guy says, "Ya i mix it with coffee because i like it better that way..."  Haha i think sorella askew was crying because she was laughing so hard.  Anyway, then it was really awkward so we left...  Good times.
      Well that is all for me this week, i think.  We have zone conference tomorrow and interviews with president!  Im really excited for that.  Hopefully we will be able to make a more sure plan of when im going to Ladispoli.  Because at this point i really have no idea.  I think its just kinda when i want to go.  Ill let you know how it goes next week.  Thanks for your prayers and support.  Its felt and needed.  I love you all!  Have a great week!  Know im always praying for you!  I have been out 8 months.  That is nuts!  Time is flying.  and i hear it just gets faster and faster...  Ill see you all before you know it!  Vi Voglio Bene!
Love,
Sorella Chelsea

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Conference!


Ciao Famiglia!
     Come state??  I just want to tell you all how excited I am for this weekend.  CONFERENCE!  We are going to the Bays sunday to watch the 2 saturday sessions.  Then the Italian ward will let us watch the sunday morning session (at 6 pm here) in english in church.  So sunday is going to be session after session.  Im so excited for that!  So necessary.  ANd im grateful we can watch it in English.  I dont know how much i would get out of it in Italian.  Its sad here though because we never get to see the sunday afternoon.  I will just have to read it when it comes out in the Liahona.  Man... We have to wait too long.  Haha.  Sigonella is going to do a Relief Society activity and watch the relief society session.  I told sister bay they need to do that while im still here!  I hope that is possible.  Also, you all can know that sunday morning while you are watching conference i will be watching it at the same time!  It will just be 6 pm for me instead:)
       Next, i love my companions!  It has been a great week!  Sister Askew goes home at the end of the this transfer so im trying to learn as much as i can from her.  She LOVES finding and its contagious.  She is always always talking to someone on the bus or any little time we have.  And i am learning to love it even more!  Its a little awkward at the first but then its great!  The first contact of the morning or afternoon is always the hardest but then its just fun.  Its fun talking to people and getting to know them.  I LOVE IT!  S. Askew is an awesome missionary and i really am sooooo grateful to be with her for a little bit.  Her dad lives in Draper and her mom lives in Arizona so she is from both places.  Sister Lecates is great too.  She has been out 2 transfers (3 months) more than me.  She is so fun too!  its fun to be learning together.  She is from Highland.  So we are all just right there in the same area.  Man, i have so much to learn haha.  They tell me my language is good but i just have such a hard time believing them.  I think sorella Lecates and i speak about the same.  Sorella Askew speaks beautifully.  That is my language goal by the end of my mission. To speak like sorella askew:)  She also served in Ladispoli she has been telling me all about it.  Im really excited to go there.  Its going to be a different world!
      Lidia is still doing great.  We are a little worried about the smoking thing because sometimes her breath smells a little like smoke.  but she says that she is not smoking so.... It could be that her kids still smoke in her house.  I dont know.  I really hope she isnt (she has little candies all over her house to help her) but we are just going to be very observant of this.  Other than that she is doing great.   She has to work this weekend and so she cant watch conference and she is super sad.  A lady in our ward told her she could come watch it later on the internet at her house though!  Also, we told the bishop about her baptism date and he said its great.  We were really worred about it after the ward fiasco but it sounds like everything is good to go!
     Giorgia is awesome too!  Right now she is praying to know exactly who she wants to baptize her.  Im really proud of her for sticking with the decision that she knows is right even though her dad and her grandparents dont really support it at all.  She is awesome!  I love her so much!  I hope that i will be able to play the piano for her... Im a little nervous about it.  I need to find some time to practice.  maybe sister bay will let me use their piano on sunday.  that would be great.
      Anyway, I think thats pretty much it for me this week!  Lois, thank you for the package and kimberly for the pictures!  I was soooooo happy to get them!  and now... DONT SEND THINGS TO THE BAYS ANYMORE:)  we are scared that i will be gone before it gets there.  Just send things to the mission home for now!  Thank you all so much for your love and support.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY DANI AND DIANE!  I hope its a great birthday.  I love you all and miss you but really love where i am!  And ill be home before you know it!  Kinda freaks me out!  Have a great week!  Dont forget to email me!  You are always in my prayers!  Have fun with Brother Bradleys (anziano medina) family!  Send pics!

Love,
Sorella Chelsea