Monday, August 29, 2016


Thanks for all the love this week! Of course I'm still alive. The city
where the earthquake hit was 30 minutes from us, but there are no
missionaries serving in that city, I don't think that it has ever been
opened up to missionary work. My companion woke up to it, because we
live on the third floor (which means fourth floor in American terms).
But the other sisters who live on higher floors felt it worse. For me,
there's really nothing that can wake me up before 6:00, so I didn't
notice it. Aside from the tragedy of the earhtquake, it was a really
good week.

We had so much going on, and so much planned, literally all week
consisted of jogging places, sprinting home to make curfew, running to
appointments and praying at every bus stop that the bus would come
soon (and I testify that it totally works!).

Monday evening we had an FHE birthday party, and there were three
cakes, and I had a piece of all of them.... :) it's rude not to at
least try it!
Tuesday, was absolutely fabulous, but the best part of it was Tuesday
night. We ditched out on English discussion group because we had a
lesson with this family who is wanting to come back to church and the
son who was never baptized. It was probably one of the my most
favorite lessons I've been to on my mission. I won't write all the
details, because it was like THAT special. I'm just going to keep the
description vague, and let you know it was so worth missing English
class especially because none of our potentials ended up coming, and
one of the best nights ever. Also we got fed, so that was just a
double bonus.
Wednesday was also a great day, those days when you have to pack a
lunch because there's no time to eat, you know that's a good day. One
of our investigators pulled down our eyelids and said we look tired,
and need to stay out of the sun and drink more water. Haha, I think
about a year ago I wouldn't have been okay with someone grabbing my
face while teaching a lesson, but you learn a lot of things on the
mission. Now I kiss people everyday, I don't know if I ever said that?
Hahaha. Training helps you remember the things that are culturally
different. That's how you greet, or say goodbye to people you know in
Italy. Sometimes it's people we've just met, but those metro/bus
conversations can get pretty deep sometimes, you make bonds with
people pretty fast.
Anyways, Thursday, I don't really remember super well. I just remember
one of the most humble families ever fed us, and I've been being a lot
more BOLD with people.
Friday we went to dinner at the bishops house, except he wasn't at
home, so it was just us the mom and the kids. Also, I found out that
the bishop in our ward served his mission in the United States, and he
served in the SACRAMENTO CALIFORNIA mission in the 90's! Is that crazy
or what?? And also the brother of bishops wife served in that mission
in the late 90's and he served in Stockton. Small world.
On the way to the bishops house, to get there we had to take a train,
and I don't love trains because they're really stagnant. Like they're
usually pretty empty and it's usually just people listening to music
or sleeping, so before we left we prayed that we would be able to
teach someone on the train and we did! We got there and sat down and
there was no one else, but then last second this guy got on the train,
and all the other 4 person seats in our cart were occupied with one
person, and I guess we looked like the least intimidating people to
sit by so he sat down by us. And like with past experiences, I'm
pretty hesitant about teaching men, but you can always feel instantly
when it's a good guy or a creep, you could just see in his eyes that
he was a married man with kids. So I noticed him reading our name
tags, and we got started up talking. It was going pretty great, until
we handed him the pamphlet and he saw the Book of Mormon on the back,
and he was like "oohhh, now I understand!" But really then he didn't
understand, he just thought we were Amish and polygamist. Like a
combination of the two.
Haha that documentary called "Mormoni" about the Amish, is going to
haunt me my whole life. Someone just messed up on the translations,
and then there's that other show about a polygamist family and it has
been translated to Italian. WONDERFUL.
Haha, he was like, "you're the ones that go around on horses and dress
in old clothes, and don't use technology"
"No that's not us"
"Oh, what are your views on the family"
(Have him read The Proclamation to the World on my technological iPad)
Apart from all that it went really well.
The Sister Vescovo invited some of their friends over and we got to
share a message with them as well. They were one of the families who
were affected by the earthquake, their house collapsed and so the mom
and her two daughters are living in their car now. Luckily everyone is
safe, they were just a little shaken up from it.
Saturday we met so many crazy people, I've never met someone who hated
America so much until Saturday.
Sunday yesterday, our members left last night for their week long
temple trip. It was so cute to see how excited everyone was during
church. They were like kids on Christmas Eve, because they are only
able to go once a year, and a lot of people aren't even able to make
it before then. The senior couple in our ward also left. I don't know
what I'll do a week without Sorella Sears!!

And well yea that was pretty much our week :) it was fantastic.

This is my Amish hipster chic look and the view from the bishops house

 This is our neighborhood

 15 minute meals
We're thinking about starting a tv show after the mission. Contact food network!

We stopped by here today, (it's in the central part of our area) and I
remember standing here my first day in Italy with the Waddoups, and
thinking "I'm going to serve here one day"
And look it happened!

Monday, August 22, 2016

I survived Ferragosto!

Since I've been on the mission I've been told horror stories about how
awful August is, specifically Ferragosto. But honestly it wasn't that bad
or as dead as Ragusa during the holidays, so I don't know what all the
fuss was about. Like yes, A LOT of people were on vacation, but it's
okay because now they're all getting back and we get to set up
appointments and yayyyy

We met the bishop and his family yesterday, they are fabulous. They're
probably some of the coolest people, and yes their kids are kind of
crazy but super adorable. They're half American half Italian, bishop
is Italian and his wife is American. And they speak perfect Italian
and English and its adorable.

Last week we met with this woman, she was an online referral because
she ordered the Book of Mormon and she found out about it from an app
she has on her phone for the bible. She is soooooo cool! Before we
met her and went into her house we prayed that we would be like Alma
and Amulek, and then her husband ended up being like Zeezrom, haha.
Like he was great, but just a little too ready to start a fight. She
just has this incredible light in her eyes and the three of us sat at
a table and did the lesson together, while her husband sat on the
couch with his bible all marked up, and at random points he would be
like, "QUESTION", and then he would ask a random question about
something like speaking in tongues, and then start turning in his
bible and I was like yea, just like in 1 Corinthians 14... The woman,
wasn't really in agreeance with anything her husband was saying, And
yea anyways we just kept going forward with the lesson and then at the
end when we invited her to pray for it, he was like, he saying all
this weird stuff, but anyways the spirit was so strong and it was a
really cool lesson.

We ate really good Indian food and Bolivian food this week. We didn't
have time to do grocery shopping last week, because it was deep
cleaning so we spent most of the day cleaning the house, but it was
such a miracle because people fed us sooo much this week! 4 times! We
didn't even need to do groceries.

Well, it was a great week, but there's not a whole ton of time to
write, and right now we are going to go bowling with the youth in the
ward for pday! So, lots of love, I'm feeling great, and SORA GLEASON,
both of the new sisters from the mtc are in my zone. I've only met one
of them and she is super adorable!

Alla prossima!
Sorella Holiday

 Final DDM

 President and Sister Pickerd bought us burgers

When you find Cannoli in Rome

Monday, August 15, 2016

Welcome to Africa!

Soooo many miracles this week! I'll tell ya, about Tuesday, it was
like the heavens opened and the faucet for miracles wouldn't turn off!
That morning we went out doing finding, and we passed by this local
garden and met this awesome woman who has actually received a Book of
Mormon from another member in a different ward. So when she got
excited about us being Mormons, it was actually sincere! She wasn't
just thinking she was meeting the Amish or a Polygamist for the first
time, haha. It's so nice to meet people who actually know who we are!
She's super open, and even introduced us to all her friends! The next
day we got to go help out in the garden and talk with more people
about the gospel. Eva was pretty excited that we got to share the
gospel with her friends, and usually I don't use people's first names
but this is too perfect.... (So if you're a missionary you will
especially understand) at the end of the week we planned to go back
and visit her and to teach the Plan of Salvation, and we were like
whooaaa... We are going to the garden to teach Eve about the plan of
salvation...haha, crazy!

We also got to meet some other super awesome people this week. One
girl came to English class discussion group, and she just had this
special light about her, and it turns out that she is someone who is
just sincerely searching. She was like, "Wow, I really liked that part
at the end. Most English courses don't share a spiritual thought"
haha, yea, we're a little different from the others. :)

Saturday we had an activity where we watched meet the Mormons,and
let's just say it went A LOT better from the last time we tried
planning an activity like this. We tried at Pescara, and it was a
total flop. But this time it was great :)

Yesterday, we ended up having two pranzo appointments....the Anziani
claim to have forgotten but I don't know if I buy that. We had planned
to go eat at one members home. He has been planning to have all the
missionaries over for months, and planning to make this big grand
African meal. he's from Gabon. It was good food. But then there was
also another member who wanted to make us all Fufu, he's from Nigeria,
and he actually brought it to church yesterday and kept it in the
fridge then heated it up for us to all eat right after church! Haha,
this member brought a friend with him, and right before we started
eating he was like "welcome to Africa!" Haha, he has nooo idea, we
were definitely welcomed yesterday with two back to back meal
appointments. So after that we went to the members home and ate with

Other highlights.... Well a funny story, so remember that bigliettino
miracle? Turns out it was just a crazy lady who is in love with an
Elder who just got transferred. (Yea, Anziano Rosenberg, watch out)
awwwwkwaaaardddd. Well, haha, that happens.

Well that's definitely not all that happened this week, but these are
some of the highlights.
Have a good week!
A dopo!
Sorella Holiday

 Being Angels
It's cool when someone says they had just finished praying asking God to send her Jesus, once you call asking them to visit. We did an impromptu lesson with her and then the Anziani came to give her a blessing.

 More of Regina

 She is basically an Egyptian princess

 Model pics, haha

 Welcome to Africa

Getting ready to dig in

 Nothing gross about sharing the same water bowl

 Sorella Groll's first Fufu

 The Fufu

And the African feasts don't stop.
Don't worry, that is sparkling cider and non alcoholic beer.

 We live in a pretty nice part of our ward boundaries

 Our morning walk to the metro

Rome is cool because there are ruins EVERYWHERE. Like this is just what we passed on our morning run. Just random arches in the ghetto.

The church

 Attached to the police office, haha

Monday, August 8, 2016

Most people in Rome aren't Italian


This week I studied a lot about pride and also this talk called "Which
Way Do You Face?". Pride is kind of a dangerous thing because it's
only thinking about yourself, and thinking about others only in a way
of "how can I be better than them?" Pride is competitive, and not
trying to lift others up, but only trying to lift yourself up above
others. Then I like this talk called Which Way Do You Face because in
it Elder Lynn G Robbins talks about how we all sometimes are too
worried about pleasing the world. We're too afraid of not being
popular enough, accepted, or even just of offending someone, and so we
avoid doing the thing that is right. But that's why we need courage!
Courage helps us overcome our fear even if that fear is just the fear
of man.
Sometimes after we pray before we leave the house we yell "I FEAR NO
MAN" and our neighbors probably think we're crazy but hey, it be like
that sometimes. Haha

This week we had a great week, I feel like we're finally getting more
immersed into the ward here. We still don't know who the bishop is!
Haha, but apparently he's always on vacation. So other than that, it's
getting pretty good. It's always great that first fast and testimony
Sunday in a ward, and you get to hear the testimonies of the members
and is just fantastic.

Also this week I got to do an awesome scambio with the lovely Sorella
Caramia (her last name means "My Dear" how cute is that??). And got to
teach my first lesson in Spanish last night!

That was really cool last night and I definitely gained a stronger
testimony of the gift of tongues. A lot of people in our ward are from
Spanish speaking countries like Bolivia, Peru, or the Santo Domingo,
so I've just been asking them all for help throughout the week because
we knew we would be teaching someone who speaks very little Italian.
We did NOT teach the WHOLE lesson in Spanish, I was just throwing out
whatever came to me haha, and her friend who is a member translated
and helped out. But it was just the coolest thing because the spirit
was soooo strong. Like me and my companion are over here still trying
to learn Italian too, and even if by textbook definition it was one of
the most dysfunctional lessons haha (3 foreigners trying to
communicate in a language they barely know) it was actually one of the
most functional lessons. Like one of those moments you feel like "The
District 3 - Rome Italy", with us teaching in unity, little kid crying
and playing around in the background, the member bearing testimony,
and the friend who actually has the desire to know what we're teaching
is true.
It is also pretty amazing because when it comes to talking about
religious things in Spanish, my comprehension is like almost 100%, it
was super clear everything they were talking about. Yay for Latin
languages, and yay for the help of the Spirit!

Also I'm really happy because last night coming home we met this young
Indian couple who invited us over to their house to eat Indian food,
and I'm pretty much as close as I'll ever get to India  serving here,
and a lot of other countries (unless Melissa is still down for that
post mission trip to india??)

Well that's it

#iforgot to put on makeup and we took a nap for pday :) and also did
some shopping because I'm getting tired of looking at my clothes

Where we got the sandwich

Monday, August 1, 2016

Rome water fountains save lives

Well, it was another very hot week in Rome. Minus the rain,
unfortunately, but never minus the miracles. We just had to endure a
little longer for them.

We did see some miracles just handed to us when we did our scambi
(companion exchanges, don't know if I ever clarified that) this week.
For one scambio we went to the Rome 6 area, to work with the sisters
over there. We ended up having one of the coolest park lessons ever!
We went to go see if a woman was there that they had met the other
day, and we got there and she was there, but also she was with another
couple. We taught them the message of the restoration and it was
awesome because this woman and her husband and the friend were pretty
much like "the cool kids" at the park. You could just tell that they
totally ran that part of town. And to give you a better visual, Rome
6, it's definitely the very classy side of Rome.
It was awesome though because as we taught and testified, the other
people around them stopped talking also, and began listening in. One
woman began coming closer to the bench, and now that the cool kids
were listening to the Mormons, everyone was trying to get in on that
action. Don't worry, there's enough for everyone! Bread to feed
thousands, no? They were great. We prayed together, and they even
offered to have us over at their house to eat spaghetti after they get
back from their vacation!

As for the work in our own area, it's really taught me about patience
and I didn't even realize until this morning that that is what it was
teaching me. Patience goes hand in hand with hope. I've been studying
a lot about faith and hope and having the hope has helped me keep a
positive attitude knowing that the Lord fulfills His promises. Having
faith, has made me want to work hard to let the Lord know, that yes, I
do believe. So I guess that this week it was put to the test. We had a
lot of great gospel conversations but no one would pray with us. No
one was available, or they were too tired, or we missed an
appointment, or just everything! We did so much finding under the hot
sun, or in the air conditioned metro. (Our area may not be the
fanciest...well, let's be real it's straight up the hood, we meet for
church in a former prison, haha, but we have the NICEST metro in our
area. It's so funny, and seems so out of place when you first see it.

But anyways, we worked really hard finding people this week and
looking for ways to serve people. Thursday night after English course,
we kept on searching for people and talking with everyone and it
wasn't until 8:55 p.m. (5 minutes before curfew) that we found this
awesome 17 year old girl right down the street from our apartment, who
wants to meet with us again!
And then Friday she contacted us letting us know that her mom
surprised her with a vacation, and so she's out of town until who
knows when, but we'll hear from her again sometime at the end of
August. Haha, it's culture here to go out and be gone for all of
August, and so it has been the dreaded month for many missionaries,
but President Uchtdorf was here a week or two ago and said to the
mission president, that we shouldn't fear August, and so we keep
pushing forward!
I don't think I've been blessed with so much time to do finding as I
was this week, and I don't think I've passed out more pass a long cards
than I have my whole mission.

We met a lot of wonderful people, and potential, and in the end we
didn't get to teach a single lesson this week. Like, not even to a
member...but then Sunday after church
we had one of the COOLEST MIRACLES.

Wait for it....


That's right. Cue the hallelujah chorus.

We had two missed calls on the phone from her, and called the number
back and I don't even remember which person it was, but she remembered
my name, and apologized for not coming for church and just expressed
how kind she thought we were, and wasn't interested in setting up an
appointment. Then we saw a missed call again a few hours later, and we
called back, and she said she had watched one of the videos on Christ
and she just felt so emotional while watching it, she had called back.
We're going to see her this next Friday! It's so great that at least
we were able to help leave a strong enough impression on at least one

Well that was the week :)

Sorella Holiday
 We did a gesso with the other Rome missionaries on Saturday night.

We went to a members home with the Sears couple