Thursday, October 27, 2011
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!!!
P.S. Pictures arent working so ill try to send another email with them. LOVE YOU!
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
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.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
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!
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
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!