Hey! how is everyone?? are you ready for my travel plans??? i really am freaking out. i don't know what i am going to do... i know i will be fine but this is so scary! i am soooooo excited but just really nervous too! ok. so
American airlines flight #2008 going to dallas. leaves at 8:10am and arrives at 11:50.
British airways #192 going to london. it leaves at 5:50pm and arrives at 8:50am
british airways #560 going to ROME. leaves at 12:45pm and arrives at 4:15pm.
So that is my plan! I have plenty of time to call in dallas so i will for sure do that. and also before i leave the SLC airport so everyone please be near phones! I want to talk to everyone. Tell teachers that i will be calling you and see if there is anyway you can leave class. I think i get to email next monday before i go. Hopefully at least. just to give a last little update. Tell Diane buma that i would love to see her if i can. i meet at 5am on tuesday to get on the bus to go to the airport. im thinking that we will get there for sure by 6:30. i would guess that it will be closer to 6. i hope that is early enough. really quick about calling cards. i can get calling cards here but they are not for international. i am wondering if you can send me one that i can use in london. that would be really nice... I can't wait to talk to everyone. this is going to be great. and hopefully i get to call all 3 times. there are no rules on calling except that we just have to be at our gates 30 min prior to them leaving.
other than flight plans this week has been pretty much the same. i thought that you all would like to know that i have improved my basketball skills this MTC. haha. i can make 3-point shots. thats pretty much all i did while i was in gym. me and sorella smith. oh and sara casaday is in my gym too! its been so fun! she plays with us. its great!
Will everyone please do me a favor and send me letters to italy this week so that i will receive some soon. its going to be weird not having dear elders come every day... i'll survive but i just want to hear from you. it will be nice though that i will have more email time and will be able to just email everyone individually!
we had the best sunday ever this week. i was so happy that i was here for it. the mtc president talked about the last 3 days of the saviors life. it was incredible. just what i needed before i flew out. i just felt his love for me so strong and it gave me so much motivation to just tell everyone about their savior so they can find the same kind of joy in their life that i have in mine. I can't really explain it but i felt the spirit so strong. i know that i have a savior that atoned for me. that is the most amazing thing to know. i can't imagine what life would be like without knowing that. the atonement is something i will never understand but i come to know it a little bit better every day on my mission. I know that when i get to italy, i am going to need to rely on it even more. it is great knowing that i am not doing this alone though. my savior will be with me every step of the way. i couldn't ask for a better companion. i can do it if i have Him with me.
I really don't have anything else that i need to say, and i don't have anymore time haha. so i will let you go but i hope everyone has a great week! I hope i get to email on monday but if not, PLEASE KEEP YOUR PHONES WITH YOU!!!! i will be calling! i love you all so much. as always, thanks for your love and continual support!
P.S. lois and emily, will you put my italy address up with my MTC address on facebook and the blog? And tell them that after monday morning, no more dear elders will get to me! thanks!!!!
Before the letter this week I'd like to encourage all of you to write Chelsea a quick note before she leaves the MTC. That gives you 2 weeks. With dearelder.com it's super easy. Just go to that address and click on write a letter--make sure you pick the Provo MTC under letter selection and then click write a missionary. Her info is Sister Chelsea Buma MTC box #116, Mission code=ITA-ROM, est. departure is 0406. It's easier than reading through this. Then you type your letter in the empty box and click send letter and you're done. She would appreciate it so much. Just take 10 or 15 minutes and let her feel how much you support her.
Hey Fam Bam! Just another week here at the mtc. i can't believe how incredibly fast the entire thing has gone. i leave 2 weeks from today so that is just the most insane thing ever. I really just feel like i am never going to be ready. Oh well! i will learn italian better when i get there im sure. Thank you for your letters this week! I love it! I don't get dear elders from friday night til monday night and I LOVE MONDAYS because all my family writes me. its so great. I have so much mail and just really feel of the love and support my family is sending me. and this is a side note but im really excited to get to talk to you on the phone SO soon. That will be amazing! Everything seems to be under control and everyone seems happy and healthy for the most part! aunt sandy, im so glad that everything is ok and that it was a false alarm with your heart! Grandma buma and grandma joyce, get better! I pray for you every night and hope that all is well, or at least getting there.
Ok, well this was a really big week for the italian zone. we received 38 new missionaries! it was insane! and so fun. they are great. its so true that missionaries will just keep getting better and better. They are amazing! they will be much better at the language than i. the programs at the MTC are getting better and better too. i had the opportunity to hear their testimonies on thursday night and teach them with the zone leaders a little bit. it just brought me back to my first days at the MTC. haha. I was such a stress case. I had no idea what i was doing, i was just happy to be here. They all have such amazing testimonies but its cool to be 6 weeks ahead of them and know how much stronger those testimonies are going to be. Having new missionaries is also a little more time consuming for me because i have to interview all the sorelle each week. so instead of just 6, now i have 13... haha. needless to say, interviewing that many girls takes awhile. I didn't do any studying at all on saturday. and i had already completed 4 interviews prior to that... I love my time with the sisters though. I know they help me so much more than i help them and its interesting as the spirit prompts me to say something to them, it usually is something that i really needed to hear too. it has been such a blessing for me to serve them and spend so much more time worrying about them and their needs than my own. They are great! I can't say that enough.
on a more sad note, an elder from my district left for home on saturday because he needs to take care of a few things. its interesting to see how close you really get to each other when someone leaves. he is amazing and has been such an example to us. One day ill have to tell you all the things that he has been through in his life. He really was like alma the younger and went about destroying himself and the church. anyway, he will be back with us in 10 months, i guess really a year because he is going to do to 9 weeks of the mtc again, but i will be SOOOOOOOOOO happy to see him again with us in rome. that is going to be a happy day. he left will a really good attitude though and knows that this is really what is going to make him a happy successful missionary and person through his entire life. keep him in your prayers. I know satan will be working really hard on him to make is so that he can't or won't want to come back and join us. I realized this week why people say it is so much harder so leave the mtc than is to leave home. not that i don't miss my family and friends, but those are people that i will come back to in 16 months. I have gotten so close to the people here and it is just different. this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for sure. I need to make my last 2 weeks really count.
Ok, next thing. i want everyone to go to the distribution center and buy the dvd "special witnesses of christ" (something like that). I had seen it before but i forgot about it kinda. it is so powerful to hear the apostles, our special witnesses of christ, bear testimony that they know he lives. I wish i had a dvd player and could watch it every week or something. watch it for family night or something. Its great! i have never felt the desire more to share what i know to be true as when i watched that dvd and felt the spirit. it is so motivating. i want everyone in italy to know how to feel that way. Their lives will be so much better with the gospel in them and knowing that they have a savior that suffered for them and truly knows how to bring them peace and comfort.
Ok, another great experience. and just something that i really needed after spending a lot of time with the other sisters and really wondering if i am doing any good. Brother lamoureux (in our branch pres) is an army man through and through. honestly when i first was here, i was SO scared of him because he always has a way he wants to correct us and he doesn't do it in a super loving way. anyway, in branch council on sunday he just said he had something to say to me and just told me how good of a leader i am and how much he appreciates everything i do. then i thanked him after for his kind words and he expounded more. he said that in the army they call it leading from the middle. he said that i am a true leader of the sisters. he said other great things to me too and it was such a tender mercy from my heavenly father. I needed to hear that on sunday. coming from him that meant the world to me. his job is to teach people how to be good leaders! I didn't mean that in a bragging way at all, it just felt good to know that my father in heaven and my leaders are happy with what i am doing.
anyway, next. and this is random. but is there anyway that someone can get the MTC special that is going to be on during conference recorded so that i can see it when i get home? If not its totally ok but it just a thought that i had. They have been here filming a lot. I think its going to be really cool. Speaking of filming really quick, they pulled me and sorella lewis out of the lunch line and asked to come be in this movie thing they are making for the mtc. i had to say my name, where im serving and what language. and then say all that in italian. easy stuff. at least thats what i thought. but i messed up the name of the church!!! hahah. How am i going to be prepared to go to italy if i can't just say the name of the church???? They told me to do it again and i didn't mess up the second time thankfully:) ummm.... i think that might be it for the week.
I GET MY TRAVEL PLANS THIS WEEK THOUGH SO NEXT WEEK I CAN TELL YOU THE DETAILS!!! oh man. so scary haha. i haven't been in the "real world" and i kinda like it this way:). But that isn't why heavenly father called me on a mission! Thanks again for everything! I have the best support and i can't even tell you how much it helps. Have a great week everyone! I can't wait to hear from you! Know that i have a testimony of this gospel. I wouldn't be here if i didn't! LOVE YOU!!!!!!
Hello!!!! How are you all doing? I can't believe that another week has already passed. Everyone was right. Some of the days are kinda long but the weeks are going so fast. I can't believe that kevin has been out a transfer already. That is NUTS! he sounds like he is doing good though. i hope i can take advice from him and really just go out and be the best i can be. I really enjoy his emails because i know that he is using his personality to really connect with people. that is something that i need to hear and see right now.
sorella lewis and i are getting along so well!! I have grown to love all the little funny things she does. she is so dramatic and i just love her for it. I have a testimony that through prayer, our charity can grow for everyone around us. I never thought that i would have grown to love her as much as i do but i pray for it every night. She is so funny and i just love her! I guess it has been coming gradually but my eyes were really opened to how much i love her last week. we have turned into a really good team. Such a blessing. and the best part is that its mutual! she has so much love to give. we talked last night about how at the beginning of the mtc we were both worried this would never work out but how we have grown to love each other even with our differences. so cool!
I have another cool experience with one of the sisters in my zone. Sorella walton. Last week her district leader came and talked to me about her because she isn't understanding the language very well. So in my interview with her, i talked to her about it. Anyway, in branch council i brought it up and my branch president told me to talk to her about the story of enos and the power of prayer. So yesterday i pulled her and her companion aside to just share that with her. I started talking about it and it was fine but i wasn't feeling super good about. I felt like i needed to also talk about enoch and how when he was called to be a prophet he told heavenly father that he wasn't qualified because he was slow to speak. and look at all the amazing things he did! his whole city was translated! we got talking and she asked me what she could do so that when she had these feelings of discouragement she wouldn't start feeling jealous of others in her district and stuff. I had the strongest impression to talk to her about service. all three of us together made a deal with each other. when thoughts of discouragement come in our head, we are going to pray and find someone that needs help that day. we are going to try give a smile to someone in our district that might need one that day. basically instead of dwelling on our own discouragement, whatever it may be, we are going to focus on others and how we can lift them. we aren't amazing at the language but each one of us can lift those around us. In preach my gospel it tells us that our purpose on a mission is to bring others unto christ. I think that here at the mtc we forget that and think that it only applies when we get out to the field. but that is SO satan's way of thinking. the missionaries here need it just as much. So we are going to start concentrating more on fulfilling our purpose here in the mtc now and on sunday we are going to meet again and share our experiences. Sorry that story was a little long but it touched me so much. not only did sorella walton need to hear that but so did i!
Ok... what else. we are getting new missionaries this week. 7 new sisters and 32 elders! can you believe that?? 18 milan, 21 rome! SOOOO COOOL! i am really really excited. so wednesday and thursday night i will be with them in their meetings and me at the zone leaders will try and help them start off on the right foot. its gonna be great. its funny how much older you feel just because you have been here 6 weeks. it seems like forever ago that i arrived here. I have learned so much its unbelievable. I just love it here! I hope i can pass that love along. this is a once in a lifetime experience to be here at the MTC. i will never get this again. even if i serve when i am older. Its just not the same.
ok, just a couple more things. one, anziano free (in my district) has an adopted brother from romania. a couple years ago he was burned in a house fire and pretty much had his entire body burned. (he is sitting next to me and told me to say "What's up, emily?" haha). anyway, they adopted him and he is SO cute. BYU is doing a special on him for conference or something. It is going to be in the varsity theatre at BYU and he thinks that it will be the friday before conference. he is going to ask his family for sure and then let me know. if you guys can go i think it would be SO cool. you can meet his family and i think at least one of my teachers will be there. Ill give you more info but that is just a heads up. Also, just if you think its ok, will you call keri holyoak and see if there is anyway i can get a couple more months of my medicine? I am just scared that some of my mail wont make it to italy so i would love to have a little more sent to me while i am here if that is possible. if not, i understand. just an idea!
I think that's all for me this week. I just can't believe i leave 3 weeks from today. I should get my travel plans next week! its CRAZY. I hope all is well with everyone. To my siblings that didn't write me this week... i love you so much! and i want to hear from you:) Thanks for all the love and support you all show me every week. i couldn't do it without you. I am so grateful for the opportunity i have to serve a mission! LOVE YOU!!!! write me soon!!!!
"from Anziano Rodriguez"
HEEELLLLOOOOO!!! i just wanted to tell you that i really think you guys are awsome. even if i havenlt exactly met you guys really. ha, but, anyway i just personally (through email) wanted to say hello, and hoping you have a super "iper" day!! grazie per tutto!!! mi piace molto sapere que possono capire italiano! que lingua meravigliosa, e anche bellissima, italiano e un grande! in boca lupo con tutto questa settimana!
very sincerely with alot of love,
(He is one of my zone leaders. haha. he just wanted to say hi!) and anziano free says hello to the "Buffa" Family. That is what they call me here... Sorella buffa. Don't ask....
Hey!!! can you believe that i am going to italy pretty much one month from today? we dont' have our travel plans or anything but we are probably leaving april 5. italians usually leave on a tuesday! So crazy! Time just keeps flying by my face. i can't believe how fast it is going. it kinda scares me because i feel like my mission is just going to fly by. our teacher told us that one day he was walking and he stopped and kinda freaked out because he didn't know hwere the past 7 and 1/2 months had gone! SOOOOOO scary. but i think that is pretty much going to happen! the mtc is flying by. the new missionaries come in a week from tomorrow and i don't feel like i am ready for it! Oh well! Ready or not here it comes!
I went to a meeting sunday night with the zone leaders for our training on making sure the new missionaries get told what they need and feel at home. we also have a meeting that we teach them on thursday night that we need to start working on. im so excited! I have not idea how many sisters there will be but i know there are at least 2 coming! so it will be really fun! Last tuesday night at the devotional there was a guy from the New york times taking pics of missionaries because there is apparently an article coming out that they are writing. look for it! I think that is so cool! I hope that it is something that can help the church be seen in a positive light. Who knows! But look for it and let me know.
that night after the devotional we had our tuesday night devotional review with our district. a member of our branch presidency pointed this scripture out. romans 1:15-16. verse 16 was a scripture mastery but i had never really paid attention to the verse right in front of it. it was such a cool moment because paul announces he is going to preach in rome. I don't know, it just really hit me hard that work has been going on in rome for so long and i am going to be a part of it. I kinda wish i had put that scripture on my plaque. anyway, read it. its sweet! it really sums up my life for the next 18 months.
We turned into a three-some last week, like i said. I think it has been hard for all of us to adjust, especially in teaching. it takes work in lessons to make sure everyone has a fair chance and can talk when they feel prompted by the spirit. we will get better im sure! it is just going to take more prayer, patience, and practice. sorella bishop is really struggling with the change. she just was so comfortable and doesn't like that things are different now. that is just kinda how life goes though. you get comfortable and then heavenly father makes you stretch. The mtc is like a constant stretch. satan works so hard at making us feel like we aren't good enough and it just very discouraging. We also were told by our teachers that we are going to hit a wall in the language this week. i can kinda feel it! But he told us that that is when we really have to push harder because if we let ourselves slack at all, we are going to find ourselves freaking out in 2 weeks when we only have 2 weeks left till we are actually in italy. Sorella swensen, one of the italian teachers, subsituted for us this week. She told me that i don't give myself enough credit about how much italian i know. I know a lot more than i think. I was teaching sorella lewis about prayer and then teaching her how to pray and was SHOCKED at how much i could say. I need to speak it more because that is really how it is going to come. especially this week before the new missionaries get here. I really feel like it is so important that i try my best to be the "ideal" missionary they are going to see when they come. The brother that gave us the instructions on sunday night told us that these new missionaries come in and they look up to the older districts so much! I really did look up to our older missionaries so much. and i want to be like them! They knew so much! So that is my goal this week. Speak italian way more! i have gotten better at speaking it but there is always so much more room for improvement.
Im trying to think what else happened this week.... oh! Let me tell you about sunday. You will be so proud of me. I was sitting in fast and testimony meeting and my heart was just pounding. i knew i needed to get up and bear my testimony but it was so scary because i have to say it in italian if i go up and people just know when you mess up and stuff. Well, i was brave and got up. My testimony was short and simple but i did it. Really as a missionary that is my greatest tool i can take. people can't take away my testimony. That is so comforting to me. and im so grateful that even if that is the only thing i can say when i leave the MTC, i can tell all the italians this... io so che la chiesa e vera. io so che gesu cristo il nostro salvatore. io so che padre celeste ci ama. Sono multo grato per questo. Io so che padre celeste ascolte le nostre preghiere. Possiamo a ricevere la risposta allle nostre domande mediante lo spirito santo. nel nome di gesu cristo, amen. That is really hard to type in italian on the computer haha. im just really not used to that at all.
well, i think that that's my week pretty much. Thanks again, as always, for your love and support. i feel so blessed that my family is so great to me! You are all in my prayers every night! I miss you dearly but i know that i am doing what i was called to do! I never pictured myself here but i am so grateful heavenly father gave me this opportunity to serve a mission. I am sorry that i can't write everyone back each week but know that a letter will be coming to you! I will have much more time when i get to italy! Thanks for writing me anyway! Even though i can be bad at writing back... Have such a great week! I can't wait to hear from everyone. LOVE YOU!!!!!!!
This is always so stressful. I have so much to say this week. MARY IS HERE!!! oH my gosh i can't even tell you how amazing it is to have her here. and she is 5 doors away from me! we get to spend lots of time together. I love it! I really can't even tell you how happy i was on wednesday when i saw her! it was soooooooo great! I think she is doing really well. she has a really hard companion too. like almost identical personalities to my companion. anyway, she is the best! she is going to be an amazing missionary. Its nice to just see a familiar face every night and get to just chat with a friend! so, sorella simkins left today to baton rouge! ahaha. i am so excited for her. sorella bishop joined us today and it is going to be great. she is the cutest person ever and just wants to badly for everyone to know how much she loves her and she has such a huge desire to serve her father in heaven with exact obedience. its going to be fun having her in our room cause it has just been me and sorella lewis so far. i really can't even tell you how much i love her. and mom, thanks for writing her. she was SOOOO happy to get a letter from you. she needs the extra support.
Well this week i had another really cool experience. The lord really works wonders when you are called to serve his children. I have prayed for charity for all my sorelle in my zone especially while i am serving them. it has been really amazing to see my prayers being answered with this. last week there were a few of the sisters that broke down. It was so cool that they trusted me enough to want to come and talk to me. THey are all amazing. i learn so much from them. i don't really get why they come to me cause they are all more incredible than me but it was an honor. I think they are doing much better though now and we are all growing closer to each other. sorella smith and i were talking the other day. i was telling her that i never planned on serving a mission but that im so happy im here. She told me she is so glad i am here and that i was called to serve a mission partly to lift other missionaries. I couldn't do this without the specific sisters that i am here with. they are so supportive and keep me going. i am learning a lot more of why sorella lewis is how she is too. she had a break down this week and cried to me and said that she was just so sad that people weren't drawn to her like they are to me. I have NEVER thought of myself in that way. i think that she has never really fit in and it has affected her. she has never really been friends with "popular" people she said. it just brought a lot of things into perspective as i listened to her talk. and she is really struggling with her boyfriend. its hard for her to be away. i could do without the boyfriend talk all the time haha. OH well! at least she loves him! and he just better NOT write her off while i am her companion! I don't think either one of us could handle that.
OK so, we weren't supposed to give a lesson in italian until next week... well yesterday we were surprised to find that we got a new investigator that we had to teach yesterday all in italian. oh it was a joke!!!!! Haha. i said things sooooo wrong and they just came out really not in the right way! haha. it made zero sense! anyway, i hope that it gets better. and it will. it just comes with practice. at least i know that it can only go up from here. haha. we also did like a "ceremony" thing yesterday with our whole zone and basically threw our english out the door. we are supposed to speak italian any minute we can. i really am so scared that i won't we able to communicate for a couple weeks but i know that i will be blessed if i can sacrifice! Speaking it is really the only way it is going to come for all of us i think. plus we get new missionaries in 2 weeks and we need to be better so we can be examples for them. Its really nice when i talk to people that aren't in my zone though cause i can talk in english! :).
Ok, this is random but someone in my zone had something sent through BYU bookstore mtc same day delivery. I don't know anything about it but its something you may want to find out about. I would guess that it is either free or a lot cheaper. OK. I know i ask for things all the time but this is what i have needed this week. nothing is way important just things to have before italy. a brown watch. i only have black which presents a problem. the deoderant that is in my closet that i hardly used. em should know which one is it. i have 2 dresses in my closet that are just like cotton dresses. my black and gray one and my all black one. they are just from like target. i think it would be nice to have those cause they are just comfortable. i hope you know which ones i mean. write and ask me questions if you aren't sure! my cuticle cutter thing in my nail polish bag. its brown. and maybe some of the colored paper that is in the kitchen in the cabinets. honestly mom none of it is really really crucial so just sometime in the next couple weeks. thanks for everything fam!
I love you all more than you know. Its hard to be away but i am learning and growing so much. I am learning to rely more on the savior and his atonement. I am excited to take this message to the italians. I know that having the gospel in our lives is what makes us truly happy. Until next week! ciao!!!
p.s. these are always written so bad! Im so sorry! Also please tell grandpa that he can't scare us anymore. I don't like that. I sure love them dearly! All my grandparents!