Monday, November 28, 2016

Post Thanksgiving

I'm still debating if this is going to be a really long email or not,
so we'll see.

Well yes it was thanksgiving last week and of course we celebrated,
and no they don't celebrate it here, but we're American, and it's a
good excuse to party. We threw a party in place of our English
discussion group time, and invited all the ward and English group and
it was a pretty big hit. Our bishop is such an amazing cook! He made
the turkey, and also yesterday we went to his house for dinner and had
lasagna and tiramisu and it was some of the best that I've had.

I don't really know what to write, if I went into detail about the
week, you'd probably be like, oh my goodness that's crazy why do you
do that? And I really don't have the answer, but I know it's true and
it makes me happy and I want everyone to have the chance to hear it!

Saturday was pretty cool, it was a day full of service! I think it was
a national event, where they had this huge food bank collecting at
every grocery store. So we helped collect food and advertise for it on
Saturday. The other people working there were like, "oh sorry, people
can be kind of rude sometimes when they're not interested", we were
just like, haha, yea, this is nothing. They probably thought we were
crazy because we were smiling the whole time. It was a lot of fun! And
we got to meet a lot of people.

One of our investigators has gone a little crazy, but she gave us two
referrals! So even if we can't meet with her anymore, at least we can
meet with her friends!

There were two random ponies at a park one day when we were
proselyting. Our hot water broke, and our heater  for the house is run
on hot water and so we didn't have any heat in our all tile cement
home! It was so cold, and I saw how it broke and so I was pretty
discouraged because I knew it would take a while to fix and the guy
who comes to fix our house is going to get so sick of me, but then
Saturday night, in the middle of the night, our hot water fixed
itself!! I have no idea how, but it's working. So yea, you can count
that as a pretty great miracle.

The new senior couple moved in, their name is the Spragues, pronounced
like plague, and it confuses everyone because we all think it should
be pronounced like Prague, like the city. But yea, they're awesome and
super adorable! It's like greenie fire times 2.

Yesterday was the primary program in church! I was the pianist. This
is the second primary program I've been a pianist for on my mission,
basically living the dream. :) So for those who don't know, the
primary program is the one Sunday of the year where the children from
ages 4-11 run the sacrament meeting (the first hour of church), like
after we finish with the important stuff like taking the sacrament,
the kids take over and it's the cutest thing ever. If you have an LDS
friend who wants to invite you to church, and you don't really want to
go, at least request to know when the primary program is. It's like
one of the best Sunday's of the year, probably next to general
conference, or the Christmas program.

 Sorella Graff had her first good pizza of her whole life

 Also, traditionally you have to try a bomba.

Our humble Thanksgiving

Monday, November 21, 2016

I'll be in Roooome for Christmas 🎶

Yep, so there were transfers last week. After we got our call Sorella
Dustin and I were like in shock for a little bit, so she got
transferred to Bari, and I'm staying in Rome 3 still as stl and I'm
training again! Which means this is my last companion and my last city
and whoa, yea, because I only have two transfers left. I can't believe
I'm training a third time and I can't believe I'm finishing my mission
in Rome 3, like the transfer has already happened and I still can't
believe it. So that's that! I love Rome 3 and the people here, Sorella
Graff (my new companion) and I are going to go so hard!

Last week one of our members passed away and that was really sad, so
there was a funeral and I played the piano and the missionaries did a
musical number. She was such an amazing woman, but had been suffering
a really long time, she had been in the hospital since agosto. I'm so
grateful for the plan of salvation! It was interesting because this
was the first LDS funeral I've been to in Italy. Like even though she
was a member we all kind of assumed it was still going to be at the
Catholic Church. It was cool though, she was the only member in her
family, so it was very different.
The Sears couple finished their mission as well last week, I'll miss
them so much.

Training is really different each time, kind of hard, but always an
opportunity for growth.
Last night when we were doing some park finding, we were walking up a
hill and I saw this woman on a bench and she just had light ☀️ in her
eyes so I knew we had to talk to her. She was very open, and said she
was searching for ways to become closer to God. We started talking,
shared the message of the restoration and she said she hopes it to be
true, and that she is very religious, but doesn't practice with any
religion, nor has the desire to because she doesn't want to follow any
"rules" and she prefers to do what she wants. She's more one with
nature. And so she made me think, why do we follow rules? Well, even
the plants and all the elements of nature follow some rules. The rules
of the universe, which are also rules of God. Different from the
plants that grow or the sun that always promises to rise, we are
agents, and we are free to choose. We are free to choose good or evil.
The rules of God that we have are special and I've seen the blessings
come when I choose to follow those rules. He doesn't give them to us
to make us miserable, instead they are there for us to discover joy
like we've never known before. Being a missionary has really deepened
my love for the commandments.

Well that's your weekly update! Today I got all the black mold out of
our house and showed my new companion around Rome. Haha, she's so
doe-eyed still it's great.

 I love Sorella Sears sooooo much!!!

 MLC Burgers

 Here's Sorella Graff doing her first door to door. I don't know, I don't think she was scared, haha.

 Me last pday

More pictures from last pday

 Our American members live on this street

 This is THE Appia Antica

 We made friends with the people that work at this farm

Monday, November 14, 2016

Never fail brownies

Well first off, I just want to say that I can introduce myself in
Arabic, and ask people about if they know about the Book of Mormon in
Tagalog. That's really random but I'm pretty excited about that.
Italian, still got to work on that one.

So this week a lot of missionaries are finishing their mission! So
it's been a lot of sad goodbyes for them. Other than that we've been
able to see a lot of people that we haven't been able to see recently
this week, so that was a miracle.

We met with this one less-active family and we shared a message on
joy. We asked the mother for the moments she has felt the most joy in
her life. She talked about her baptism, and how she felt when she
reads the Book of Mormon. But still she doesn't want to come to church
because she is offended from something someone said. It's so sad! Why
do we let ourselves get so offended? I was talking about this with
another missionary once and it's interesting because in Italian there
are verbs that are reflexive. These verbs are structured so that the
meaning of them is that you are doing it unto yourself. The verb "to
offend" is one of those. So really, we just offend ourselves, and let
ourselves get offended. Italian is definitely the language they speak
in heaven.

So other than that we did a scambio last week, it was great! Usually
it's us who stop people but this past week we had a lot of the
opposite happen due to the past U.S. election. We met this couple, the
husband was Italian and the wife American (this has nothing to do with
the previous sentence I'm just scatterbrained) and they are both opera
singers! They were soooo cool, and the wife actually knew about the
church because she had a lot of LDS friends growing up. Then we had
this guy who stopped us and asked us about the election, he started
talking to us in English, but then we were like don't worry man, we
speak Italian. So we just ignored his question and asked him how he
knew Mormons. Then we got talking for like ever! He told us the
religion he was practicing with right now was founded by a Korean, he
was raised Catholic, but said he likes the focus on the family in his
new religion. He said he's a seeker of truth, and he started his
search 25 years ago. He was so cool, I look forward to seeing him

And yep so it's transfers tonight so you'll find out next week if
there are changes!

 A chill countryside pday

Monday, November 7, 2016


I don't think I could have ever imagined how much joy Heavenly Father
had in store for me here in Italy.
So, a little recap of the week-
Monday was Halloween and we have an American family in our ward (the
dads in the military) and they don't really speak much Italian but
they lived in South America for a while so the parents speak Spanish,
the husband served a mission in South America and the wife served a
mission in France and so they somehow get by with their Latin language
background, and they planned the most amazing Halloween party ever!
People loved it.

Throughout the rest of the week my companion battled fevers and all
type of illnesses. She was basically dying. But we managed to get some
lessons in, meet some great people and see some miracles nonetheless.

We met with this less-active who loves me deep down but also always
complains that I smile too much. I can't help it, it's just my face.

I was praying Wednesday morning and like I started thinking a lot
about this former investigator from Pescara, and that same day I got
an email from her! She got my email from another member and thanked me
for everything and told me she was getting baptized on Saturday. WHAT.
I could not tell you how much joy filled my heart. This woman had me
waking up at like 5 in the morning worried, and wondering what we
could do more to help her. But June wasn't her time, instead this
Saturday was.

I don't remember!

Okay, basta, like let's get real and get to Saturday because uhm-

NADIA WAS BAPTIZED. Yep. That amazing woman was baptized. She is from
Moldova, and the most humble, faithful human being, and it has been
such a pleasure knowing her and teaching her this beautiful gospel.
She's 30, and married with the cutest little girl ever. Friday night
before her baptism they had us over for dinner.

So, like, I I've said before that I live in the poor part of Rome.
It's really really poor, and mostly foreigners and refugees. One day
we were doing finding in a nicer neighborhood (because our boundaries
stretch out to the colosseum) and we invited this couple to church but
then once we told them the zone our church was in, they were like,
"WHAT? I've lived in Rome my whole life but never been to that zone".
You could say it's kind of a sketch zone, but really I've only met
some of the best people here! I've met people from 58 different
countries all over the world, and they're just good with all very
diverse cultures.

But my point, is that it is extremely humble when a family that has
almost nothing insists on feeding you dinner.

So Saturday two people that I've been blessed to teach were baptized,
and I'm so excited for them. I can't really describe it, but it was
the moment when I was praying Wednesday morning that I realized, when
Nadia is baptized she will qualify to live in the Celestial Kingdom in
the presence of our loving Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ, whom she
loves so much, for eternity. And when that thought came to my head,
lots of joy filled my heart. I don't know why, just this really happy
feeling overcame me.

Yep, well that's about it. Love you!

Nadia's baptism day

 pday pictures