As always, thank you for your emails. I love them! I look forward to hearing from everyone each week. Sounds like all is well. All is well here. I thought i would start by saying just a couple of things about Catania. First, it is the hottest city in Italy. Summer here we come! Haha. That means that everyone is going to stink way more than they already do. haha. Lets just say bus rides are interesting. We try to not breath. There are lizards every where. We have found them in the church and they just kinda creep me out. they arent big but they are SO fast. they come out of no where! Pretty much everyone has a vespa and there is so much traffic that its the only way to get around in a timely matter. we really want to get one but we dont think that our president would be thrilled about that... haha. People are super nice here and love Christ but just really arent interested in a new religion. Basically i love Catania. Its a big city and im really nervous for when my companion leaves because ill be the one that is supposed to know where im going... haha. All the streets look the same and they are all one way streets downtown pretty much. So i need to be paying more attention. Also, you smell so many discusting smells walking down the streets. haha. We dont even want to know what we are smelling.
We have bad news, Fillipo and Patrizia called and said that they dont want to investigate the church anymore because they dont want to pay tithing. We are going to try to keep working with them but its hard. It broke my heart when they called. I just had seen the biggest change in them. Especially Patrizia. She is so much happier now and you can see it in her face. I am hopeful that we can go see them later this week and try to figure it out. Its just hard because they are SO poor and they dont think that paying tithing is right.... Its one of those things that they wont have a testimony of until they try it out. There are blessing waiting for them. I know it. They just need to take a leap of faith and trust that if they pay the Lord first, they will be blessed. So right now pretty much we dont have any investigators. FINDING. Im actually really excited for it! We need to trust that the lord will guide us to those that are ready and just get out and work. Ill let you know how it goes. We have boxed off some zones on the map that we want to do house in. Im excited. Finding always has some good stories. haha.
We have a new missionary here. New, new. So im not a baby anymore. His name is anz. hill and he is from southern california. He just got here thurs night so i dont know him that well but i think he is going to be a great missionary. He has a lot of enthusiam for missionary work.
I knnow this is super short this week but we didnt get as much time this week. I will try and write some more next week. I want you all to know that i am so grateful to be a missionary and see literal changes in people as they come closer to their Savior. I didnt think i would ever be here, especially in Italy but i love it. I love the people and the message that i am here to share. Thanks for everything! I love you all so very much! Have a great week! I cant wait to hear from you!!!
Well another week has already gone by. Its just so true what everyone says. Days could go on forever sometimes but the weeks seem to go by a lot quicker. Thanks for all the emails this week! I Always love hearing how everyone is doing and how things are at home. Sounds like everything is good. I like to hear that. I cant believe that you had a snow storm in utah that big though! Thats crazy! I dont think it snows in Sicily... But maybe by winter ill be somewhere else. Who knows? As for now, me and my companion are staying together for one more transfer together in Catania. Im happy especially because this city is huge and the streets are way confusing so i need to learn it better before she leaves me. Also, tomorrow Anz. Medina is getting a new missionary! So i wont be the only new one here! I am so excited! I knew the missionaries that are coming tomorrow in the MTC so it will be fun to see who will be in our district with him.
Ok, this week was great. First, Zone Conference. It was SO fun to meet all the other missionaries serving here that i hadnt met. There are a lot of us here. We had p day with them and it was great to get to talk to them and get to know them better. President kelly talked about desire and how our mission is obedient but he doesnt think that we have quite the desire we need to baptize. he talked about how we need to make sure our goals are always in our minds and that we are consistantly looking for ways to make our goals happen. I loved it. It was such good motivation. I want to set good goals with my companion for the transfer and then write them down where we see them every day and really try to look to reach them. Its like faith, we cant just pray for it and expect it to come. Our desire, like faith, comes as we go out and work. then we can see how this message is blessing people's lives. its something i really want to work on! I had to bear my testimony because i am a new missionary. It was a really cool experience for me. I know why i am here and i am so grateful to be on a mission. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet and i am so grateful for his courage to say a prayer and then to always do what he needed to do. That one prayer changed all of our lives and i just want people in Italy to know that they can be with their families forever. That is the greatest blessing. That this life is just a moment and if we are faithful, we will be so blessed in the next life.
Anyway, then we had stake conference this weekend too and president and sister kelly were here for that too. It was great but i really couldnt understand a lot of it. With any background noise it is really hard for me to focus on what people are saying. But Fillipo and Patrizia came and they were so excited to tell those they met about the fact that they are going to be baptized. I looked over at them during it and Fillipo was crying. It was such a happy moment for me. It is such a blessing to see the Gospel change lives and really get to see it first hand. He kept telling people that he knows this is the true church. SO COOL!!!!!
K, update on Fillipo and Patrizia. They were acting weird i think because they havent quit smoking. patrizia knew it would be hard but i dont think that Fillipo really understood how hard it was going to be. We went and taught them yesterday with the elders though and explained to them that they best way to stop is just to stop. because right now they are trying to just taper down. They didnt seem to really want to do that though. We are going to see them tomorrow so it will be good to hear how its going. I love them though. They want the Gospel and are really trying. I dont think they will be able to get baptized on the 28th but i really think they will be soon. They are pretty much our only progressing investigators right now. we really need to do some good finding.
Ok last things, Have you taken care of my pharmacy license yet? I just want to know where thats at. Ummm... I have had about 20 mosquito bites on my legs so far... haha. its terrible. Now i have bug repellant though and we got something to put in our room. So im hopeful that helps because it stinks to walk around all day when my legs are just itching. I should have taken a picture. Its been insane. and my companion hasnt had any! I think thats pretty much it for the week. Thanks for your prayers and letters! Thats all i need! To my friends that have emailed me, you will have letters coming your way. Sorry i cant email you. it stinks. But thank you for writing. Honestly you dont understand how much it means to a missionary. Well i love you all so much! Have a great week and i will write you next week!
How is everyone?? All seemed well when i talked to you. Everyone looks good and looks about the same. That is comforting... It was so good just to actually get to talk to everyone and see your faces! It felt way too fast though and i felt like i didnt get to talk to everyone enough. Just know that you are always in my prayers and I love you all very, very much.
Ok, So i found out the numbers of missionaries in Sicily. There are 36 total. We have 2 senior couples and 32 elders and sisters. OH and this is a little side note but we are getting a senior couple in catania in June. We are so excited! Especially because starting today the elders dont have a car anymore. Anyway, there are 24 elders and 8 sisters. So almost half of the sisters are on sicily right now. Crazy huh?? Im excited because today is a zone p day and tomorrow we have zone conference so i will get to see everyone. I dont really know any other missionaries except the sisters here. So ill meet all the elders today. Everyone says Zone conference is so great and just gets you so pumped for the work. Its gonna be good. Plus, president and sister kelly will be here and I have only seen them once so im way excited!
As for the work in Catania. Its going good except we are really sad about Fillipo and Patrizia. I told you on the phone that we taught them the quit smoking program. They have acted WAY weird since. They cancelled our appointment on Saturday and then they didnt come to church and then we went to teach them yesterday and they just werent there. They just decided not to show up. I dont know if they arent interested anymore or just dont want to quit smoking or what the problem is. But its really really sad. They are amazing i just see the desire they have to change their lives and have something better. Hopefully we can get an appointment with them on friday or saturday because it would just be good to know what they are thinking. We will see how it goes... Also sad news, Sofia is moving to Rome the end of this week. I love her so much. She really is just the sweetest person and has a good head on her shoulders. She said that she wants the sisters in Rome to continue teaching her and i really hope that she continues to progress. We went over on monday to teach her and she bought us presents to tell us thank you for all we have done! She gave us both a pair of earrings. It was SO nice of her. I will really miss going to see her. We are hopeful though that her sister will continue to let us come over and teach her. Other than that we really dont have any investigators that are making progress. We are going to do more finding because we need to find the people that are ready for baptism. We need more people to teach!
So, on monday we went to visit Lia in the hospital. I am so grateful for america and i really hope that nothing ever happens to me that i need to go to the hospital here. I cant imagine! it was a culture shocking experience. Ok first of all, its just mass chiaos. Second, there were just people on their hospital beds in the hall. And we were trying to walk by them to find LIa and it was SO just uncomfortable. Then we get to Lia's room. There are about 20 beds in the same room and people everywhere. it cannot be sanitary. I wish i could describe the scene. it was so loud and i dont know how anyone gets any rest to help them get better. It was incredible. I looked around and felt so bad for these sick people that were confined in this room with so many others. We are all so blessed to live where we do. You dont realize what you have until you are somewhere else....
Oh also on monday, i had my first real mission and rain experience. So it kinda looked like it was going to rain so i asked Slla. Pearson if i should bring my umbrella and she says no. So i didnt. Well, we got out of the hospital and its pouring! So we had no other choice to make our 45 min walk to the bus station that would have a bus that goes near our house. Needless to say, we were SOAKED! Literally. Haha. we were just laughing. We got on the bus and about died and how we looked. its so fun to be a missionary... haha. these experience are ones i will always remember. Everyone looked at us like we were crazy. We finally got home and i had to take a shower because i was FREEZING! I learned a lesson though. If i have a feeling to take my umbrella. Im not listening to my companion! She felt bad... haha.
Well i think that's about it for my week. IM so grateful for the experiences i am already having. I love this Gospel and I love being a missionary and sharing what i know is true. I know the Gospel has blessed all of our lives and that it will make a HUGE difference in the lives of people that accept it here. They need it. Anyway, I hope all is well and that you all are safe and healthy. Thanks for your encouragement and support. Remember to write me! Dont forget about your missionary in Catania! Thanks for everything. I couldnt ask for a better family! I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! Oh and we get transfer calls on saturday! I am sure i am staying here. I hope they let me be with Slla. Pearson one more transfer... cross your fingers!
The first picture was easter morning haha.
next is the D'uomo in Siracusa
Anz. Medina outside our van that is going away... it has seen better days.
How is everyone doing? I hope all is well! No big news so I think that is a good thing. I get to call everyone on sunday!! holy cow im so excited to see everyone's faces! Moss Family, im going to call you first. It should be about 430 my time. Then, Buma fam, i will call you guys after. Turn your skype on about 515 my time. Also, if you have a problem with it, email sister bay. I wont be able to check my emails or anything.
As for us, this week was good but definitely had its hard moments. Let me just tell you about yesterday haha.. Ok, so we got up and went to take the bus as usual. We went to see Tiziana, an investigator. That was kinda sad because she told us that she doesnt feel anything different in our church than in her catholic church. she feels the spirit the same in both places. She watches the priest bless people and they are healed and so its just bad news. We are going to have to move her into former investigators because she just isnt ready. Well, then we went to go get on a bus to go to Lia's house. We waited for 30 min, no bus ever came so we started walking and were just going to catch one on the way. At this point we knew we wouldnt have time to go home for lunch so we stopped at a store and grabbed some milk and a couple tthings we needed. Also, something to snack on because we were starving. We leave the store and decided to wait at the bus station right outside it because for sure at this point a bus has to come. Doesnt come after 45 min so we continue walking. We walked all the way to her house without a bus. about and hour and half just walking and almost 3 hours total... haha. With a heavy grocery bag. So we teach her and it was just great. We leave and need to meet the anziani to go see our investigators that are getting baptized. We told them the meeting point and just didnt realize how far it was from lia's house. we here we are walking forever again. Then, of course my grocery bag breaks and now i am just carring it in my arms. we meet the anziani and go to our lession. All was well there. Then this is just the icing on the cake... haha. ok, so when we got home, we had to quickly make a cake for our investigator, sofias, birhtday today. when we were done, i wanted to wash our table cloth. so we moved everything off, or so we thought, shook it outside and then put it in the wash... well we couldnt find our cell phone. Sorella pearson all the suddened froze and was like do you think there is anyway i threw the cell phone outside? long story but yes our phone got thrown outside, down 2 floors. we couldnt see it till this morning but there it was. Its way hard to get behind our building so we used someones phone and the elders came over this morning to get it from it. The miracle was that it still worked! Anyway, haha days like yesterday Make me really grateful for days that just go a little smoother. And for buses that actually come... thats just rare here.
Other than buses, catania is great and i love the people we are teaching. we still need to teach the quit smoking program to fillipo and patrizia. Im not worried about fillipo at all. He is so determined! He wants this gospel in his life soooo much. Its so great teaching him. He is a little missionary and is calling us when his kids are there because he wants them all to be taught and baptized. They have 3 kids, 2 older and they are both living with people. their son is 11 and loves reading the book of mormon. he is so cute. fillipo cant read so their son will read for him. They also had a granddaughter in the hospital and so the son would call fillipo at night and read to him over the phone so he could still hear it! They are SO great! The wife isnt quite as on board but she is coming along.
Language.... Im understanding more which is great. I still dont understand a lot but its at least growing. I need to not be scared to speak too. I know that that is going to be the biggest help for me. I am going to try harder this week and let you know how its going on sunday!. Funny story. When we go teach lia we always read from the book of mormon. When i start reading she hates it because im so slow... haha. she is just an old italian lady. anyway, she always just cuts me off and starts reading. Its SOOO funny. haha i just its just miserable for her to hear me read haha.
Last thing i wanted to say was something i read this week and loved. a couple months ago our mission president's wife put this story in the newsletter we get. Pres. Kelly wrote this story while he was at BYU and it got put in the Ensign. Its called Ye are the temple of God. he asked these questions and i have them now hanging in my room. Am i dedicated to the Lord? Am i peaceful and calm within? Is my mind and heart open only to worthy thoughts and feelings? is Holiness to the Lord engraved upon my soul? Am i engaged in vital service to gods children? Do i lift my eyes towards heaven? Am i wililng to build myself by sacrifice, toil and patience? Does the spirit of god dwell in me? Am i becoming a temple to the most high God? I loved these questions. A perfect thing to constantly ask myself as i really try to be worthy of my calling as a missionary and as a daughter of god. Sorry to be preachy i just loved what he said. I have to go but i will talk to you all on mothers day!!! LOVE YOU SOOOO MUCH!!!!
p.s. Lois, i got the paper that says i have a package to pick up. someone in my ward is picking it up for me so i will have it soon! thanks soooooooo much! and mom i will be looking for yours! Thanks for everything you all do for me!!!!