Monday, September 26, 2016

La Vita è Bella

So some great things that happened this week: 
We discovered a new fruit. I think it's some type of cactus fruit.
One of our members bought us a basketball! It will be fun to mix up morning workouts. That was just so nice of him, I still can't believe it.
We went a WHOLE WEEK without eating pasta. We didn't have it a single time! That hasn't happened in like forever. You'd be so proud mom.

As for the more important things, it wasn't the most fun week, but still we saw some amazing things happen. Tuesday we had all of our appointments in the afternoon cancelled last second, so we went out and did some wonderful finding, and got to talk with the great people of Rome. We didn't really have any success, and we got to English class about 15 minutes early to set up, and there were people outside waiting but luckily it was the only time I've ever forgotten the keys, and all the Anziani ended up being late, and I say luckily because it gave us more time to do another round of the neighborhood and go talking with people, and so we decided to use the time to invite people to come to the free English class. No one ended up coming, but then Thursday one of the ladies came and she brought her children and her sister and her sisters children! They're such an amazing family! That's only the second time in my mission someone I've personally invited has actually come, so it was pretty great. 
Also on Sunday for the first time since I've been in Rome someone actually came to church! It was awesome to just see her face light up when she came in. Like church is really good stuff! We don't just say it to people to just say it, but like c'è bisogno ogni domenica. 

I've learned a lot this week about gratitude. You're happier once you realize all there is to be grateful for. I was making a list of all my blessings, and it just made me happy, and pretty overwhelmed at the same time. I've realized that all the greatest blessings that I have in my life, come back to, well Heavenly Father of course, but then facilitated through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They come from faithful parents who continually strive to change and be better everyday following the example of Jesus Christ and living His gospel, and being faithful to their baptismal covenants and helping out in the church of Jesus Christ. 
I have everything! Like I really have everything I could ever ask for and its because of my amazing penitent parents. 
We say the gospel blesses lives like every day, and it really does. I know it does. I've seen it. 
I'm so happy and grateful for my everything! 
Having all this, it's my duty but more importantly it's my desire to share it with everyone. I can't just go on living selfishly with all these blessings. 

Well, much love all! Have a blessed week

Sorella Holiday 

 We did a district pday today and went to see a castle and we all got to pay the Italian price because Anziano Da Ponte is Italian and Anziano Moraes has Italian citizenship.

 Pensive, haha

My prom pose

 Left over soup from Sorella Sears

 New fruit and
us NOT eating pasta

Monday, September 19, 2016

Boots and niggles

Boots and niggles (British words that we don't use in American English, but I'm going to
use now as much as I can)

Caro famiglia,

I had a wonderful week. This week we had MISSION CONFERENCE. It was
life changing fantastic. The general authorities who came and spoke to
us were President Kearon and President Sabin. President Kearon is the
area president of Europe and he's British, and I'm such a fan!
Everything he said was made cooler by his accent, I could have
listened to him all day. Like it wasn't just his accent, he was also
super wise and inspired. The mission conference ended up being nothing
that I expected it to be, but everything that I needed. I've just been
quoting it all day every day since, and practicing my British accent,
and oh my goodness it was just so great. I could just binge watch
episodes of President Kearon, he's such a great speaker. Anyways,
that's probably weird.
Soooo, other than that, we did two scambi this week so I was barely
companions with Sorella Groll, on top of the having four of the Bari
sisters stay with us one night for the conference and then the next
night I slept at the Villa for the leadership conference. I missed
her! I love Sorella Groll.
It rained A LOT, but also people are a lot nicer to you when you're
soaking wet and still trying to preach the gospel, haha.
Our friend came back from India and she got us Sahrees (how do you
spell that?). Sahri...Sorry...sawree? I don't know, but WOW. So
pictures to come, and she is going to teach us how to wear them first.
Also she let us taste a type of Indian fudge, MAMMA MIA, CHE BONTÀ!
Then this week something that made me sad, was just like no one seemed
to be keeping their commitments. NO ONE. We asked one woman what might
be holding her back, and she was just like, "well, the biggest reason,
is really just laziness. Because it's not like I can't find five
minutes during the day to read the scriptures". Yes! I love that woman
she's so real. I'm sad of people saying "I can't, sorry I just
couldn't", and it made me reflect of how Heavenly Father must feel
when we don't keep our promises. He only asks us to do the things that
will bring us the most happiness. So I thought, wow, what can I be
doing better? Surely there are a lot of things, and "can't" has just
got to get out of the vocabulary. He always provides a way! It's all
about acting, and being agents.

Birthday shout outs to- Courtney, Jennifer and Yesenia!!!! I love you
beautiful women.

Mtc group
Man we are a good looking crew. 
Finally reunited after 1 year.

Presiden Kearon
I looked like a hot mess after it rained, POURED, on our way to the leadership training. 
He is so cool!

 Pday pictures :)




My hair is getting longer

Monday, September 12, 2016

My First Catholic Mass

I really really loved this week!
 I can't really remember what I wanted to write about....but it was great!
My brain is seriously not going past Saturday right now...
Okay, yes. Friday, morning we got to go to the Questura to do the
fingerprints  so that Sorella Groll can be legal. It was total
chaos. Like I thought my experience of Ragusa was crazy, but this was
just a whole 'nother story. A fight broke out, naturally, but we made
it out alive!

We've been trying some former investigator finding, and we found
another one who has continued to read the Book of Mormon, and also
writes gospel rap. He gave us his cd, so I guess I'll have something
nice to listen to after the mission!

I translated for the first time in sacrament meeting! Usually the
Anziani do the translations, I don't know why, but I tried it for the
first time and it was a lot of fun but really hard.

You guys, I can't even tell you how many miracles we saw this week,
but I'll hold off and wait until everything is official before writing
any details. It's funny, because you work and work all day, but it's
always like the people who are prepared or the ones who want to learn,
are always just kind of handed to you. They just kind of come out of
the blue, and they are never where or who you thought they would be!

Well, pictures, because my brain is so fried right now. I love you all :)

We went to a funeral (for funerals they do a special mass, that's why I went to my first Catholic mass this week) and then we ate at lake Albano afterwards. The popes summer house is right behind us.

Our pronzo
The Sears couple spoil us way too much.

Catholic mass was interesting but it made me realize how visual
everything is, and how much we rely on the spirit in the church of
Jesus Christ. It made me think of our new convert in Pescara, and how
she's blind, and I know why she was so quick to accept the gospel, and
it's because she felt something she had never felt before, and if you
don't have your vision, the art, and the actions, and the recited
prayers, and all the other little things, don't do much for you.

So delicious!
We all gained a new love for the country we serve in after this lunch.
I can't even describe to you how GOOD it all was.

 This is the translator set up

Random ruins.
On the bus to visit someone Friday, we drove pass Appia Antica. Paul
walked that same road on his way to Rome. It's in our area, and we
have some members that live by it. Thinking about Pauls journeys, is
super inspiring. I can't imagine what it was like to go leave his
country, and travel, learning all these languages to communicate with
the people, and working hard every moment to the very end, and still
knowing that the fruits of his labors would not go on for generations.
He knew there would be a general apostasy, but he still worked until
the very end. He knew it wouldn't last forever, but he knew what his
message was and he preached it like it was life or death, (which
essentially that is what it is). It was just inspiring to think that.
We know that he work we do will bless generations, because there will
not be another general apostasy. If we can save only ONE soul, we
bless their posterity, and their ancestors because we can do the work
for them now too. It's wonderful! It's hopeful! It's awesome, and I'm
so grateful to be a latter-day missionary

Monday, September 5, 2016

Happy Birthday Sorella Groll!

Today's my companions birthday! So we are going to go to Villa
Borghese to ride bikes, and a lot of missionaries probably think it's
weird that we are riding bikes for fun, but hey!

I don't really know what to write about this week. It rained, so we
all know what that means - miracles! We actually called a woman, who
was an investigator in the past, and she asked to be baptized. I was
so humbled by that, I can't even describe it. She said she was hoping
we would call. When we met with her she talked about how she's
continued to read the Book of Mormon, and she's prayed, and she says
she doesn't know what those sisters did in the past, but she has had a
complete change of heart. And it's not that the sisters did anything
bad in the past, but it's that they did EVERYTHING. They loved her
wholeheartedly, and those little acts of kindness helped change her
heart, and the heart of her husband, who, a year ago was super against
her joining another church, says now that he wants her to do what she
feels is right.

After that lesson I could have literally fell to my knees outside of
her apartment complex and just offered up a prayer of gratitude. We
didn't right here, but after. I felt so humbled, because I realized I
needed to be giving more heart to things. I think I got so stressed
out lately that I was forgetting to stop, and pay attention to the
little things that matter.
This transfer with the sisters we're studying charity and consecration
so I looked some things up on consecration, and one talk talked about
"Many missionaries in Europe and similar places who never stop
offering their bruised hearts despite continual rejection." and I was
like ouch, that hits home, but his point was that we shouldn't stop.
Consecration doesn't equal perfection, like I think I thought it did
in the past. It just means doing your absolute best, but recognizing
your weaknesses. Accepting that your consecrated effort will only ever
be "almost" but that with Christ, it will be enough. So I'm working on
giving more heart to things, and not worrying about the outcome. There
are a lot of people that could care less, but there are also those
special people notice every effort you give in helping them.

Other big news for the week, our members are back from Switzerland! It
was so cool to see one of the members on Saturday right after, she
just had this light and looked like a changed person. Sorella Sears
(her and her husband are a senior couple serving in our ward, and they
went on the temple trip as well) she said that when the bus arrived to
the temple after the 12-14ish hour bus ride everyone started clapping
their hands, and some cried, and they sang, (in Italian) the hymn,
"Beautiful Zion, Built Above". I'm just so happy for them and I can't
wait until that day that they get a temple here at Rome!

Well, there was a lot else, but that was pretty much the week! :)

Also, Villa Borghese today was a magical fairytale bike ride. You can
google it, but the pictures probably don't do it justice. We went with
the Rome 6 Sorelle

We took a break from the bikes for a photo shoot :)

When it rained and we borrowed an umbrella from the church.
Darn it, my arm looks so fat when I hold the water bottle there. 

 I forgot my watch one day

Waiting at the bus stop