Monday, October 31, 2016

I'm still alive!

Yes, there were five earthquakes last week. The last one was
especially strong, but we are all good here. A lot of people took it
as a sign yesterday morning to wake up and go to church. There won't
be really a group email this week, but next week I'll be sure to write
one and I'll try to make it detailed but not too boring. Okay sweet,
have a wonderful week, hold to the rod, be awesome, be happy, ok ciao!

Sorella Holiday

Monday, October 24, 2016

An Apostle in Rome

Hello family!
'Twas another fantastic week. I met president Nelson on Thursday and
that was sooooo amazing. He's so smart, and he basically just brought
his scriptures and expounded them unto us for a straight hour and
talked about deep doctrine. Mostly about the 12 tribes of Israel. It
was definitely an experience I will never forget. The other people who
spoke also gave really inspiring and encouraging discourses.

One I liked in particular was given by Elder Halstrom. He talked about
us "becoming". And how the mission is meant to change us forever. I
think that's one thing I'm afraid of, is going back home and then just
being the kind of lame person I was before. I'm definitely better than
I was a year ago, and I hope the things I've learned remain in the
very fiber of my being forever.

Also last week for pday we went to the Vatican and it was soooo cool!
I saw the Sistine Chapels and it's honestly the only thing I've ever
wanted to see serving in Rome, and it was also so worth it. I just
love that classic image that is printed and posted everywhere of the
hand of Adam and the hand of God, as Adam falls from His presence. It
just like so perfectly illustrates how man was made in the image of
God, and it's so tender it looks like a Father letting go of His son.
A companion and I talked about this once, about how much trust Adam
would have had in Christ before this life. Knowing he was going to be
the on to make mankind a fallen people, he really had to trust in
Christ to know when he came he would have been perfect and saved
mankind from their fallen state.

Wednesday night was a lot of fun, the night before the conference all
the 200 missionaries came to Rome so we just got to flood the city
with missionaries, and we did a mini scambio, and then we also had
four other sisters sleep at our house so that's always fun. A lot of
missionaries had to sleep at a convent next to the Villa, haha.

Friday was not that awesome of a day, in fact pretty much everything
went wrong. It started with the metro strike. So the metro was shut
down almost all day and we didn't know about it. I asked someone how
we can find out when there will be a strike, and she said, "you don't
watch t.v.?" Haha, uhm no, nope I don't. So that meant missing an
appointment, but then an angelic member came and took us to a
different appointment so that was great, and yea a few other stressful
and not that great things happened but then at the end of the day I
looked back and I thought about President Nelson's talk on Joy again.
He said, "We can feel joy even while having a bad day, a bad week, or
even a bad year!" and it's soooo true!
Friday night something wonderful happened, and one of the women we've
been working with has read up to Jacob, and she bore us her most
sincere testimony, and it was one of the sweetest moments of my

Also! Since Friday night we've been in a trio so that has been pretty
fun. We're pretty much like Cheetah girls: One World, because I think
that's the one when there's only three of them. Charlie's Angels?
They're in three too, right? I don't know. The 3 Nefites...there we
go. But we're girls so like, yea, I don't know but we're an awesome
force of three.

Well, that's it! The good, the bad and the wonderful.

 We made s'mores with the English students. And Sorella Groll was back getting her permesso di soggiorno so there was just a ton of missionaries Thursday night.

 When my companion couldn't walk

 Vatican museum from last week

Waiting in line at the vaticano

 Sorella Battezzatos other greenie. Her name is Sorella Bicchieri

Fun reunions

The fantastic four reunited!

At our favorite pastry shop

Last pday

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

It's not our pie

It's been a pretty interesting week. We've had a lot of highs and
lows. However I just feel so grateful to be a missionary, and to get
to witness the hand of the Lord everyday. We were talking about it
this week, and I was like, this is really not our work. With all the
miracles that we witness all of the time, I can't deny that missionary
work is led and guided by, not us, but our loving Heavenly Father and
Jesus Christ.
It's like a pie. My mom makes really really great pie, but you would
never say that, oh that spoon made a really good pie, or that bowl
did, or whatever other instrument was used in the process, but like,
that's my moms pie. And so it is for us in this great labor of love.
We're just instruments in His hands, we're only a means to an end, and
it is truly the greatest privilege.

I was feeling a little discouraged the other day, realizing how little
time I have left, and looking back at what I've done in the past 14
months. This week no one was progressing towards the Savior, and in my
time here most of the people I've taught haven't made it to the waters
of baptism. During zone conference yesterday, (we had zone conference
that's why our pday is Tuesday this week) they highlighted the
different baptisms that there were last transfer in all the mission
and it was cool because all except two were people that had been
investigators for a really long time, or who were investigators like
10-20 years ago. So you never know when those people will be ready,
but someday they just might be! So maybe I've just planted a ton of
seeds for most of my time out, but it's been a joy. :)

Other things that happened this week, we did wheelchair finding
because my companion was injured but I'd go crazy if we had to be
locked up in the house all day. I got to do a scambio with the lovely
Sorella Moro. And yea, other belle cose :)

We have the zone with the most sisters!

Last pday :)

Monday, October 10, 2016

Fourth floor last door

It was a great week! But I totally don't feel like writing a big group
email this week. I just want to go party with my new comp. Soooo, the
big things that happened,
Transfers, so my last companion went to Foggia, and I'm here with a
new companion - Sorella Dustin! Her grandma lives in Stockton, and all
her cousins live in Manteca. Like they went to Manteca and Sierra High
School. I know who they are. Isn't that so crazy??? That may seem
normal if you are right now in either Manteca or Stockton, but there are
like 15 million members of the church and the fact that I played
sports against her cousins and our Italian bishop served his mission
in Manteca is kind of crazy! Coincidence? I don't think so.

One of the cool miracles we saw this week was last night, plans fell
through so we decided to do some door to door. The first doorbell we
rang was this man, who told us to go away, and then (also remember,
door to door is ringing apartment intercoms in Italy) yea well and
then we didn't, so he came down stairs to yell at us and as he was
coming down I saw him through the glass and realized I knew him! Haha,
we were just in this seemingly random neighborhood in giant Rome, and
the first person we ring is someone I know! Ha, so he didn't yell at
us, instead he was nice and gave us some tips on where we could go do
finding in the neighborhood.

I've been scanning through a bit the rest of the conference talks that
we didn't get to see and they are so great! I loved President Nelsons
talk on Joy, especially because, guess what? President Nelson is
coming to our mission in two weeks! Woooooo
I'm so excited.

Old companion and new companion :)

(Note from Sorella Holiday's mom)-Bro. Holzapfel visiting Rome on Sunday took a picture with Sorella's Holiday and Dustin and emailed it to us yesterday.

This is pretty much the only picture I took this week. We went to the American family in our wards house for dinner and they are like 100% American, and it was the biggest culture shock of my life. And I realized that I am going to be the awkward returned missionary someday. They fed us hamburgers and ROOTBEER and gave us both big things of peanut butter because my companion was getting transferred. It was great! But yea, I'm super robotic speaking to people who are not my companion in English, and I think I looked like a deer in the headlights half of the time, haha.

Monday, October 3, 2016

"You don't find the happy life, you make it"

This was one of the best weeks of my whole mission/whole life. Last
night after one of our friends came to the Saturday afternoon
broadcast of conference, we walked her to the bus stop and it was
bright and sunny outside and raining and there was a complete rainbow.
It was just like the cherry topper on a great week. Afterwards I just
wanted to go inside and lay on the church floor happily and watch the
rest of conference, but I didn't, haha, I sat in a chair.

Saturday we were looking back on the week, and we couldn't believe all
of the miracles happened in the same week, because they were like BIG
and I'm not going to write most of them because they were really
sacred to me, and probably boring for most of you to read anyways.

We did two companion exchanges last week because it's the end of the
transfer, tonight we get transfer calls so next week you'll find out
if anything changed. But health problems and a lot of things stopped
us from doing our scambi and so we had to shove them in the last week,
and we ended up doing two back to back scambi.

I went to Ostia one day! It was great, and I got to work with the
lovely Sorella Leathern. She is literally so fantastic , I'll tell ya,
the sisters in this mission are just stellar, all of them. Wednesday
night, we went to go visit a potential, but there was no one at home
and so then while we were waiting at the bus stop, I had the
impression to ring the doorbell of the house across the street, and we
were in no rush, and so we went, and this young man came out who has
studied with a lot of religions in the past but wants to know if the
Book of Mormon is true! That neeeevvverrr happens. That is probably
the first time anyone has ever let us teach the full message of the
restoration at their door step since I have been out! It was awesome
and we just kept seeing these types of miracles all week.

I learned that if you just keep hoping, keep acting on your faith, and
be believing, you will have success. I love being a missionary! I also
learned and decided, never take the easy route. In the end, the hard
road is so much more worth it. It takes time, and patience, but it is
worth it. Any trial, can be for your gain.

Oh also a cool story! So we had our first gypsy encounter on the metro
this week, and it was like a movie. It was the most crowded part of
the day and we were at termini, finishing up a scambio. Everyone was
pushing to get on and there was this teenage girl behind us and I felt
bad because it looked like she wasn't going to get on, but at the same
time I was like eh, whatever. (I'm a lot better person now, but I'm
not perfect yet) so we start getting on, and then this Italian man,
struggles to tell me in broken English, "that girl is a pick pocket"
and I was like okay, thank you. And then we all got down and I looked
down and I see the girl doing some weird thing and she tries to go
into my companions purse, and I was like "Sorella" and as I said that
this man grabbed the girl and pulled her off the metro as the doors
were closing and we looked out the windows and then the girl starts
hitting the man and yelling at him, and I was just like "whoa, that
girl was trying to pickpocket you". And so yea, just another guardian

Have a blessed week! I love you :)

Sorella Holiday

 We saw the temple for pday today

 I love to see the temple

Here is a picture from last week