Wednesday, September 28, 2011
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!
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
I have so much to say this week so I hope i can get it all out in time. First, TRANSFERS!!! Let me just say this is going to be a very strange transfer for me. Sorella Tinoco is leaving Catania and going Mistretta, another city in Sicily. We were SHOCKED when we found this out. I have been here for twice as long as her. But president says thats where she needs to be. Then, for me. I am going to be here in Catania with 2 other sisters, sorelle LeCates and Askew, for 3 weeks to show them the city and stuff. Then, around october 17th, im heading to Ladispoli which is just outside of rome!!! Im so excited! I think i will be there for Christmas and that is what i wanted:) Also, President said that since sorella pearson is there we can do an exchange for one day together before she goes home! I really hope that that really can happen. I would love it. So, in Ladispoli i will be with sorelle Foote and Heiner. Sorella Foote goes home after this transfer and sorella heiner is new in the mission. This will be her second transfer i think. Maybe 3rd... I dont remember. Anyway, its going to be an interesting transfer. But im so happy because i will be here for 2, thats right not just one, BAPTISMS!!!!!! I am so happy! Also, i will be able to watch some of conference with the Bays and ill be able to really get something out of it:)
Now for our second baptism we have. Her name is Giorgia and she is 11. Her parents are members but they arent active. Her mom has a testimony of the church and would come but she has work. She comes about once a month on the sunday that she doesnt work. Her dad, on the other hand, has no desire to change and come back to church. He smokes and stuff and is content with where he is. The sisters have been meeting with Giorgia since before i got here and we have been waiting for the day when either her dad decides to change or gives her permission. Anyway, he gave permission for someone else in the ward to baptize her! And her mom said, "I have a plan. She needs to be baptized before sister buma leaves and i want Giorgia to sing Keep the Commandments and sister buma can play it for her." So that is our plan! October 8th. I guess i need to start practicing... haha.
Update on Lidia! All good things. So the other day we go over there and we were going to teach faith and the word of wisdom (she smokes). We walk in and first she wants to show us her plants on her balcony because she loves gardening (I thought of you mom and your love of the same thing!). Then we go sit at the table to start our lesson. Lidia says, "First can i tell you guys one more thing?" We told her sure. Then she said, "I quit smoking 2 days ago! I love God more than I love these things and so i decided to quit!" Oh man! It was AWESOME! We still are going to do the quit smoking program with her to give her extra support. She is seriously a miracle. Im so grateful for that my Heavenly Father allowed me to witness this miracle. She is a completely different person. At the beginning she reminded me of Eyore (I have no idea how to spell it) from winnie the pooh. Now she has a light in her eyes. She is so much happier. I love it! Im so happy she has found and accepted the Gospel. its completely changing her life.
Last thing, this is funny. So last night we were with a member, Maira. She brought us some dinner and some apple drink. After the dinner anziano hill tells me that he needs to tell me something really funny. We get in the car and he says, "so sister buma, how do you feel right now? Do you feel warm inside?" I was SO confused. Then he goes on to tell me that there was alcohol in the drink!! Not a lot but definitely alcoholic. So, i guess now i can say that i have drinken alcohol... haha. Its so weird that this happens to so many missionaries!
I think thats it for this week. Thanks for the emails and everything! Im so grateful next week i will write from Catania again! I love being here. I love the people and i love serving them. Its hard but its so worth it! I know the Gospel of Jesus Christ is on the earth and we are so blessed to have a testimony of its truthfulness. Have a great week! I will write you all next week and i hope to hear from all of you! Vi voglio tantissimo bene!
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
First i want to say that im on the main land today! Haha. Its so great. We are in Regio Calabria just for today. Anziano medina served here and there is a member that said we could come to her beach house today and have a BBQ and stuff. Im really excited! it should be a lot of fun. Its interesting because i just kind of picture all of Italy like Catania... And that is just not the case. Its a lot cleaner here and just a different world. Its going to be weird to go to another city. I LOVE catania! I have all my friends that i see every day and i love the people here! If i leave, its going to be really weird to go to another city. Im really nervous and excited for Saturday when we get our transfer calls!! I have no idea where im going except that im pretty sure im not going to Sardegna (which is sad, i want to go there) or Rome. WHo knows!
Anyway, for the week. Ok, i want to say this first. Haha. So sunday in church there was the Young women's program (apparently they have this every year and it is like the primary program but for the YW. It was really great actually! I think we should start it in our wards. All the Young Women gave talks on the virtues. And the best part was that i understood everything!!! Such an accomplishment! I love when the youth speak in church because its so much more simple and i can understand. But this was the funny part. All the parents were taking pictures of their kids in the middle of sacrament meeting!! Haha. I have never seen that before. Sorella Tinoco was shocked that i havent seen that. The church is the same everywhere, yes, but there are some things that show the church is still young here. I wanted to get my camera out but i figured it wouldnt be a good idea for me to take pictures...
Next, I had my first experience with an investigator having a dream. For those of you that dont know, people in Italy have dreams all the time. But until Monday, none of the people we are teaching had had this experience. Anyway, Lidia called us monday morning in a panic and said that we had to come over that day. (I dont know if i have told you about her or not but we started teaching her about 2 weeks ago. She is like 55 or something). She didnt even go to work because she had this dream and needed us to come over. So we went over to hear about and it and help her know what it meant. Basically, she saw an angel that walked towards her with some plates (like ancient records) that had something written on them but she couldnt understand them because they were in an ancient language. Then the Angel told her that the things written there are true. She also woke up feeling like a completely new person and that she had a clean slate. Like everything she had done in the past was gone and that day she started a new life. Anyway, we talked to her about it and she came to the conclusion that it was an answer to her prayer. The night before she had prayed to know that the Book of Mormon was true. This was her answer that indeed the it is true! I told her the part i liked the most of her dream was how she felt when she woke up. That literally as we accept Christ and His Gospel and are baptized this is what happens. We become a new person and all our sins are washed away. We can really start to use the atonement of christ in our lives. And then we set a baptisimal date with her!!!!! october 15th! I dont think i will be here for it but im so happy anyway. I have been praying and praying to find someone in catania that is really ready for baptism. I have been here for almost 6 months and found so many people that were close but as of now arent ready and willing to make that step. Lidia is an answer to my prayers. I wont be here to see her baptized but im SOOOOO happy to know that she is going to be able to have the blessing of the Gospel in her live. I know it is going to change her in so many ways. She lost her husband 13 years ago and has really struggled since. I am so happy so knows about the perfect plan our father in heaven created for us! I love sharing this with people!! I cant imagine how much harder life is without knowing that we have a Heavenly Father and after this life, we can live with him forever!
We talked with the Evangelist family again twice this week. The wife was SOOOOO happy to see us. She is ready to be baptized its just her husband. They already switched to the evangelist church and so i think he is afraid to switch again. Anyway, they told us that they have found some things in their church that arent right. like that they only take the sacrament on easter and that its not like a family when they go to church. I think with time they will want to learn more about our church and be baptized. They are awesome and want to badly to find the truth! The not so great part is that the husband lost his job and so they had to move to live with his mom because they couldnt pay for their house. So now they live super far away and cant go see them because his mom doesnt want us to come. They did say though that they will try and come to church this week especially because its probably my last week. We'll see!!
I think that pretty much hits the highlights for us this week! Oh ya, i wanted to get a response from those of you that have served missions about the best way to handle the polygamy thing. Lots of people here think that we are polygamists. Obviously the answer to that is no, but what exactly do you say when they ask why we did it in the past? Some advice on this would be great:) Basically we just say that heavenly father commanded His children in the old testament too. Well, i hope you all have a great week! Im excited for next week to tell you about transfers! Its crazy! This could be my first city change! So weird! Anyway, thanks for everything. For your emails and your support! I love my family so much! I am so blessed to have you all in my life! Thanks for supporting me as i try my best to serve the Lord here in Italy! talk to you next week!!!
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
I cant believe that it is already september. Thats nuts. Im SOOOOO grateful for some cooler weather. Sunday and Monday were AWFUL with humidity but today and yesterday were do-able. Anyway, thanks for your emails this week! I love it. I know I say this all the time but i really am so grateful for my family and the support i have from you all. I know you all are busy so it means so much to me that you take time to write me.
As for this week. It was kind of a rough week. First, our family that we found in the park, told us that they dont want to hear more about the church (the gift of tongues family). Well, i should say the husband. he talked to some people at church and they told him not to talk to us, obviously they are going to say that. Anyway, we went over there last night just to say hi because we were in the area and the wife was so happy to see us. They are moving on sunday and she told us that we have to come back before then and that we need to keep seeing them. I think that the husband was actually happy too. We read him a scripture that talks about Abraham seeing God and i think it really helped. Before he said that he couldnt believe that Joseph smith saw heavenly father and christ because no one has ever seen God and no one can. But yesterday we read the scripture and he was like oh, i guess he did see him. I dont know. We will see how it goes. I want to at least see them one more time so i can have get a picture with them.
Next rough thing. Our ward has created a ward missionary program and we are all pretty upset about it. Basically they ruled out more than half of the city and told us that we arent allowed to teach anyone in these areas. if the person doesnt have a job, we arent allowed to teach them. they told us that we arent allowed to do finding on the streets and that we can only go to these certain parks to do finding. This is the worst part though. We were going to have a lesson with Eleonora during church. We sit down and one of the members comes in. She proceeds to tell Eleonora that she cant be baptized right now because they are scared that she is going to live with her ex boyfriend again and then have to be ex-communicated... Then we were in the hall getting ready to leave church and this same member said that Eleonora is not allowed to come to church anymore for awhile. They said that its too dangerous because her ex boyfriend was violent and they are scared he is going to follow her there. Anyway, maybe its dangerous for her to come but its just wasnt the right way to tell her this. It was awful. I felt sick after church. I know i need to be ok with what the leaders of the ward say but this one has been really hard for me. Im learning a lot of patience and that sometimes i am not going to agree but i have to just let it happen. Anziano Medina talked to President Kelly and he is going to try and talk to the stake president. So, i dont know what is going to happen with Eleonora. They told us that we need to stop teaching her for now. But we are going to go see her still. As much as anything, she needs some love in her life. To know that there are people that care for her. And its in the Lords hands now. We are praying so hard that something will happen to help this situation with her.
Saying that, i read in Romans 1: 7-16 the other day. Paul is talking to the people in Rome and he is so happy to be there with them. Its exactly how i feel. And i needed to read that this week. That i LOVE these people. I love italy. Im so grateful to be here serving them for my Heavenly Father. Thats why im here and i cant forget that. ANyway, i love these verses. it hit me so hard because literally paul was here with these same people doing the same thing. And i love it!
Last thing. In our sigonella branch this week we had some Libia refugees. They elders have started teaching them and 2 of them bore their testimonies. Talk about humbling. They have seen so many awful things and here they are thanking their Heavenly Father. One of them told of all the people that died on the boat ride to sicily (his dad included) and how grateful he is to heavenly father that he is here safe. It makes you so grateful for America when you see the way people are living in other places. Its such a blessed land and we are so blessed to live there.
Other than that, i dont have time to write anything else. We have found some good investigators (ill tell you about them next week). Its been a hard but a good week. Thanks for everything. I love you all so much and wish you the best this week! Dont forget to email me and dont forget that i love you. Im grateful to be where i am. I know that sharing the Gospel is the best thing i could be doing right now. There are so many people who need this Gospel in their lives. Thanks for all your love and support. Know always that you are in my prayers!!