First off, what is trunky? Second, everyone needs to stop stressing me
out and telling me not to be! Saturday night I was talking to my Mtc
companion, she's the only other sister dying with me (that's mission
language for finishing your mission. And yes she's in a different zone
but I asked permission first from president. Don't worry.) and we were
just both freaking out about everything! I was like, ya know I don't
really want to go into this last week because it's too sad I don't
want to say goodbye to everyone because my face is just going to be
depressed instead of smiling and then if I don't smile they're going
to think I don't care and that I don't love them but I really do!
Sorella Taylor has served in her last area since July also so she
understands and then Sorella Taylor was also freaking out about other
things. So we vented and laughed and then came to the conclusion that
we just have to mentally accept that we are going home. And then I was
like, "whoa. I think I can do this."
Also if anyone else is going into the last week of their mission,
everyone is going to tell you to not think about home, but that is
such a lie! Forget that, and start thinking about it, because last
week was zone conference so I had an interview with president and
turns out the deadline to do my ecclesiastical endorsement is
WEDNESDAY. I almost couldn't go back to college! This is madness!!!
Also, I was thinking, "oh this will be just like another transfer, so
I'll just pack Saturday night before I go." Nope, good thing I checked
the "death packet" they gave us two months ago that I never really
looked at, because packing includes listing EVERYTHING YOU BOUGHT and
how much it costs if you're going back to another country. Yep, let's
just say if there was a movie made about the last 18 months of my life
it would either be called, "Eat Pray Love" or "Confessions of a
Shopaholic" yea, I don't know, things just add up! So that is going to
be a bit tedious but it's okay because last week there was a worldwide
mission conference and the church changed the missionary schedule so I
have two more hours of pday to worry about all this tedious stuff.
Okay, enough about all that "trunky" stuff. I'm sorry. Don't stress
yourself out if you still have at least 2 months left. Just accept the
imminent stress that will come in the last two weeks. Find, teach,
baptize and be merry, for you still have at least two months before
It was a great week but a little weird with all the things we had
going on. Tuesday was zone conference, Wednesday was world wide
mission conference and Thursday was going to the questura to do
Sorella Graffs fingerprints. It was luckily the smoothest fingerprint
appointment I've had at Rome so that was a huge blessing! During this
week unfortunately almost no one was able to visit with us! But it's
okay because that means we had a lot of "ca$h money $wag flow" days,
hahaha. So I'll explain, in October our mission started using the
"area book app" and so we plan out our days and what not on the iPads.
And this app has the different types of activities you can do during
the day, color coated. Studies is purple, teaching appointments are
blue, and finding activities are green, service is yellow, etc. So we
sometimes are blessed with very green days, and so I joked one night
and I was like "it's okay, it just looks like tomorrow is going to be
a pretty cash money day....cash money swag flow".
There were some cash money days this week.
One day we went to go look for a former investigator and then we
happened upon these palazzi (buildings) that were just absolutely
enormous. FOURTEEN FLOORS! 72 homes inside. And there were seven of
them! Gold mine, right? Our ward mission leader suggested we do more
house finding. We walked up to the first one, the intercom was broken
and the gate wide open and so it forced us to come in and actually
knock on people's doors! We could just hear the choir singing "come to
Zion" there was bound to be at least one person to let us in, but
there was no time right then so we planned to come back the next day
Went back the next morning and we just went for it! Door by door,
floor by floor no one let us in! Granted everyone now and then someone
would accept a pamphlet and another woman invited us to maybe come
back and "chitchat". We got closer and closer to the top, and then we
arrived to the last and final floor and knocked that last door,
then.... still nothing.
So we went to the next building 11th floor, 1st door, before we knock
a woman came around the corner and we were like "hey! how are you?"
Salute everyone, it's better to not be awkward if you're in someone's
apartment building. It's just better to act like you know everyone.
Turns out the woman was going to visit her aunt, and then she stopped
and looked at us a moment and said "hey I know you!" she is 33, and
when she was a teenager she was an English course student! She invited
us over to her house! She was in the 3 building, 7th floor. A tender
mercy we didn't have to knock all the way up to that one to find her!
Also, I will try to write an email next week for my last pday, but
guess what, another miracle! So remember from like August? We met this
guy in a park who was an investigator 10 years ago when he was a
college student? But now is married and we met him when he was walking
his baby in the park? He kept coming to my mind and so I emailed him
and asked if he would be a tour guide for the missionaries for our
last pday and he said yes! He was so happy that we remembered him and
the details about his family. He's taking work off for this. So cool!
It was a wonderful week.
We had a lot of lessons, we were able to get more members involved in
the lessons, we met a lot of new people and saw a lot of miracles
One thing I've noticed recently, is really just how sad and depressed
most people are. People are just unhappy, and they have absolutely no
hope. It's sad, and we meet a lot of people everyday and whether they
are the poorest of poor, or richest of rich many have a similar
negative outlook on the world.
One woman we met with this week was complaining about this, and how
"the world is so terrible and people are terrible" and also she said
"then there are people that just give you a negative energy and they
just bring you down". The last part was pretty true of what she said.
Pessimism is contagious! The Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley said, "There
is a terrible ailment of pessimism in the land. It’s almost endemic.
We’re constantly fed a steady and sour diet of character
assassination, faultfinding, evil speaking of one another. …
I come … with a plea that we stop seeking out the storms and enjoy
more fully the sunlight" ☀️
With all the misery that there is in the world, we are here to have
joy? Yes! That's wonderful.
I testify of the JOY that the gospel brings to our lives. That was
definitely one of the things that pushed me to come serve a mission.
The difference I felt in my home and in church, was literally a
tangible difference from that I felt in other places. Places that
surely brought me a lot of happiness, but not really that fulness.
There's just kind of an emptiness. "Thy faith hath made thee whole."
This week we had kind of a cool experience with a new investigator we
have. She is wanting to be baptized, and so her husband decided to sit
in on one of the lessons. He was super skeptical at first, but man
that lesson was a bomb. At the end when he read from the Book of
Mormon he stopped, and after he read the verses, he said "whoa" and
held his hand to his heart and asked us to wait a minute because he
just needed to digest it. Another thing that was special about that
lesson is that we brought a less active member with us who wants to
learn English. She is pretty much the prodigal son, and how we ended
up coming in contact with her is another miracle but for another time.
She was a super strong member a few years ago, and then some stuff
happened and things just went spiraling down. She told us how it's so
hard to get yourself up, but sooo easy to fall. Then even harder
getting yourself up the second time. In that lesson she bore the most
sincere humble testimony I've ever heard. It was beautiful.
We found a new hipster place to do finding. It's basically like an
Italian Hait street San Francisco. People are nice. We ate lunch there
today. Searching for a basketball court. Here's a selfie! Have a buona
This says: "You give a little thing if you give your riches. And when you give yourselves You truly give. There are those that give with joy. And this is their reward. Through their hands God speaks. Through their eyes He smiles at the earth."
It was a wonderful week. We went pretty hard, saw some cool miracles,
learned some new things and yep!
I did a scambio in Ladispoli and it was great not being the "senior"
companion. So much freedom! And it made it even nicer that Ladispoli
is on the beach. It made me miss serving in Pescara so much! It's just
a completely different vibe, and nice to get out of the chaos of the
city every now and then.
I gave a talk in church yesterday! It was the first time here in Rome
3! I don't know how I made it so long.
Also did a mini scambio Wednesday, because the Sorelle from Bari came
to do permesso stuff.
Yea, I'll just keep the email short this week. I have to save up some
stories. Here's some pictures!
Well, another amazing week. And an incredibly hard week. Always filled
with the pains, the sorrows the joys of missionary work. I never
thought that serving in the same area for a long time would be really
hard, but I also never imagined I would be the missionary to stay in
an area for a long time. It drives you kind of crazy in a way I can't
quite describe. It's like pretty stressful, being the companion who
does all the talking, the leading, and so basically if somethings not
going right it's all on your shoulders! I was just feeling pretty
lost, and was feeling kind of like a mess wondering what I could do
more for Rome 3, not feeling like I could carry the weight of this
area on my shoulders any longer. The week before we only taught one
lesson the whole week! You know what it's like to teach only one
lesson the whole week as a missionary? It means a lot of rejection, a
lot of getting yelled at, a lot of being outside and not inside a warm
place. It means a lot of putting your most precious and treasured
beliefs on the line everyday, and not getting anything out of it.
(Shout out to all the faithful missionaries in Russia.) Like I've
been here since July, things should be going better shouldn't they?
Well anyways, I prayed a lot more and studied a lot more and worked a
lot more this week.
I came across a scripture in the bible. In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul
talks about how he was having a bit of a trial also. He describes it
like a "thorn in the flesh", pretty uncomfortable stuff. He asked the
Lord THREE times to take this trial away from him. But in the end, he
was grateful for it. Because it made him weak, he became stronger
through Christ. (2 Cor. 12:8-10).
Thursday night I prayed for about an hour, pleading and waiting for an
answer, but I didn't get anything. Instead I did get an answer to my
prayers Friday morning. It was a pretty awesome morning, but I won't
describe it all, but I'll just say that Heavenly Father definitely
answers prayers for all of His children. His plan is perfect and He
has not forgotten or abandoned any of us. Most of the time it's just
us who are too impatient or not really keeping an eye out for the
blessings that there are.
After my prayer was answered I felt bad that I ever doubted, or was
impatient! I felt so full of gratitude, I even felt grateful for the
capacity I had to feel so much gratitude! Like missionary work is
straight up joy! It's super humbling in every way you could imagine
and it's so awesome because of it.
Yes, there are castles everywhere, but what about that modern art? Haha, too good.
Ciao! Okay. I don't know what to tell you, like I always say, there's
so much to say! And so little time.
Everyyyyone was sick this week! Members investigators and missionaries.
Thursday I tried basketball contacting for the first time. People were
definitely way more interested in hearing what we had to say! They
were like, who is this young nun who knows about the NBA and how to
shoot a basketball? Haha. Also, like one of the talents that I've
gotten on the mission like singing which I totally didn't do 18 months
ago, I was hittin those corner shots . Swish.
Other highlights of the week we had FOUR meal appointments! We just
balled out of control in every sense this week. Like we may not have
had hot water this morning, but that's fine because we were getting
showered in LoVe all week.
Also, so I have talked about my cannoleria, I'm sure. The guys that
work there are like our Italian uncles, they love us. They gave us
free cannoli this week because they missed us.
Aside from food, we saw some great miracles this week. I've realized
more how if we're doing what we need to be doing, Heavenly Father will
guide us to right where we need to be. Tuesday morning was pretty
rough, and I was pretty tired. Sometimes, you just get tired and you
don't feel like talking to anyone. But as we came into the park, I
said to myself, "okay, no, have faith" and one of the first people I
stopped was this woman with her children. I had no idea what I was
going to say but I just went for it. I went for he good old, survey
approach. Don't know why. And then somewhere in the conversation
something spilled out of my mouth about the plan of salvation, and
this woman just started bawling. She said 4 times in the meeting that
day that God had sent us to her.
We actually had a lot of cool experiences like that this week. People
calling us Angels, like, it's pretty cool.
Yesterday I translated in sacrament meeting. Also, transfers happened
last week! Everyone keeps rubbing it in my face that it's my last
transfer. IM NOT DEAD YET THANKS
The great thing about Italy is that the partying barely starts with
Christmas Eve. Yesterday was Christmas and today is Saint Stefano's
day, Saturday's New Year's Eve, then there's New Years and then
January 6 is the Befana. Today we got invited to 2 members homes which
is pretty awesome, kind of stressful because it's pday, but worth it
because the first is lunch with a less active family. I was there at
the hospital when the daughters son was born which is crazy because
now he is almost six months old, haha. I have a 6 month year old
niece at home I haven't even met yet! But yea, so that will be great
and delicious food, and then tonight we're going to a little get
together and we're all going to sing Christmas carols and there are
going to be nice people to meet! So worth it.
This week was great. One of the highlights I would say would be the
caroling we did. It was hilarious because Christmas caroling is not an
Italian tradition and so people were totally caught off guard, one guy
tried giving us money, but then just let us in and we got to share a
message with his family. Another man let us in and accepted a "how to
quit smoking course". Totally random, but awesome! We also ended up
with a lot of chocolate. It was like we went trick or treating or
Christmas Eve was really special also. Saturday morning we got
together with the whole zone and just blitzed Piazza del Popolo for
like 2 hours. (You can google Piazza del Popolo if you want to see a
good picture of it). A group of people sang, while others of us went
around talking with people, stopping people, and teaching people. I
actually had a pretty cool experience with this girl on a bench. She
will for sure read the wrapped Book of Mormon we gave her, but she
lives in the Milan mission boundaries. My companion and I wrapped
some books of Mormons like Christmas presents, so there was also that
to give out. It was totally cool, and nice because it wasn't just
tourists, but actually mostly locals. A lot of people stopped and took
pictures and video taped us, because they were just like, what is
going on??? A bunch of random young people from around the world
singing Christmas hymns and not asking for money.
One of my favorite moments was when this little girl went out in front
and started conducting like she was Beethoven, haha, it was sooo cute.
Afterwards we all went out to lunch at this one members Philippino
food restaurant, and did our secret Santa gift exchange. Haha, one of
the elders got me and gave me a jasmine doll. (Of course the ethnic
looking princess). Hahahah. We gave the elders in our district
cinnamon rolls Christmas morning, a bottle of chocolate soy milk,
because one of them is lactose intolerant and socks to match their
suit pants. Yea, we hit a home run on that. I've mastered making
cinnamon rolls on my mission. You just make the dough at night, let it
rise during the night, then wake up early roll them up and bake them
in the morning!
Also, I refuse Christmas morning without cinnamon rolls! That is just not okay.
On Christmas Day, our bishops family are like some of the most
Christlike people so they have a big pranzo/dinner and they do it at
church every Christmas Day and invite anyone who doesn't have family
to spend Christmas with, or even if you just want a nice Christmas
meal. There was soooo much food! I was kind of sad no one we invited
came but it was still really great. It was super generous.
Also, I skyped with my parents! That was crazy. Then we played
foosball and Tombola, which is like Italian bingo.
That's pretty much all. Also this is the last week of my black out
year. Pretty special year, because I've been a full time missionary
for all of 2016.
This is the sweet little girl that conducted our choir 😊
My Christmas Eve lunch
We turned on Christmas lights and watched the nativity from the bible videos before we went to bed Saturday night
The zone ❤
We were waiting on the stairs for a little girls mom to get home and she kept bringing us out toys. And then she told us to close our eyes and she put these things on our heads. 😊