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

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

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!

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 รจ 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!!!!!
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!

    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!
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!

     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!
Sorella Chelsea

Me with Rosaria, Antonella and Maria
Happy Dutch Christmas!