Tuesday, August 15, 2017

FOURTH FLOOR, LAST DOOR!

Ok so this week was JAM PACKED and so many cool things happened, but to not write a novel, I will try to pick and choose a few of the coolest. I could have titled this email "I made it through another Italian summer" or "rainbows!!!" Or something else, but I think the one I picked is the most fitting title...

I am going to follow up and update you all on how our finding new investigators plan went haha. So this week we got 0 NEW INVESTIGATORS!! That's a bummer, BUT we DID do 10 hours of finding, and we were able to meet our goal of meeting with four members this week (which is a lot for us). So I was so happy that we were able to reach those goals. 

We did everything from offering people brownies, asking people which elders tie they liked better to get started talking with them, asking them to identify a scripture from the Bible and one from the Book of Mormon, a wheel of fortune thing where they can win prizes like a Book of Mormon, pamphlets, dvds, pass along cards, etc etc. and then the best one this week was our VIOLIN CASA IN CASA FINDING!!

We decided to take my violin, and go with the other two sisters into apartment buildings asking if we could play a song for them to help them somewhat feel the spirit. So this lady was leaving her apartment building and we ran in and she was like, "what are you doing?" Our response, "we are going to play music for people" her response, "don't ring Lopez" so we went in. We started at the eighth floor and weren't having any luck. Then we got to the fourth floor, the last door on the floor and this young 20 year old girl answered the door. We asked her if we could play a song for her and she started laughing and ran away to go get her friends. She brought two other girls to the door and it was one of their birthdays!!!!! So I quickly whipped out happy birthday on the violin and then we asked if we could play and sing Nearer My God to Thee and they said yes. Then they invited us in so we went in and started talking. They were very interested in English course and doing an American/Italian dessert switch type thing so we are super excited about that!! It was so cool!!!! They will be out of town thanks to Ferragosto until September, but hopefully we can meet with them again!!

Also the next day we did the exact same thing and two young 20 year old girls answered the door AGAIN. ON THE FOURTH FLOOR LAST DOOR! TWO DAYS IN A ROW!!! This girl has a boyfriend who is American and she really needs to learn English they were a little bit less interested, but it was so cool to have basically the same experience two days in a row. 

We also had zone conference which was really cool. President Pickerd is now back in Italy and we missed him a lot!!! Sorella Pickerd will hopefully return in September, but anyway. He also told the whole zone that I am the oldest missionary in the zone. THANKS PRESIDENT!!

We did receive a potential investigator from one of the members we met with this week that we will meet with last night and we saw the biggest miracle ever last night!!

We stopped these three girls and did the Book of Mormon/Bible thing with them. Basically what it is is we read them two scriptures and they have to guess which one is in the Bible and which one is in the Book of Mormon (they always get it wrong haha) and we started telling them why we are here and what the Book of Mormon is and stuff and it was so cool!! I asked if I could leave a Book of Mormon with one of the girls and she said "yeah for sure! I think my mom would love this!" She also gave us her number and one of the other girls wanted a Book of Mormon and we got her number as well!! MIRACLES. 

These things may seem like little things and it's not like we have any progressing investigators or investigators with a baptismal date, BUT the Lord is blessing us so much. These little miracles help me to know that He is there. That He loves me. That He is preparing people to be taught the gospel of Jesus Christ. That He loves His children and is aware of them. 

There's a quote I love in preach my gospel about goal setting that says, "THE ULTIMATE MEASURE OF SUCCESS is not in achieving goals alone but in the service you render and the progress of others. Goals are a means of helping you bring about much good among Heavenly Father's children."

GOALS ARE SO IMPORTANT! And they help us to stay on the path of returning to our Heavenly Father. 

Have a happy FERRAGOSTO!!!!!!

Ciao ciao!

Sorella G ♥️๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น

Also I think the heat is over!! Woot woot!!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Unprofitable Servants


Hey family!!!

How was your week??? Mine was probably the hottest week of my life. Meno male we have air conditioning in our bedroom or I wouldn't have slept for the past week and a half. It's SO HOT!!!! And so humid. It's like when you step outside you can hardly breathe because the air is suffocating you haha. I actually kind of like it. The sweat is pretty gross but once you get past the fact that you are dripping sweat 24/7, the heat is quite enjoyable, in my opinion. I despise getting in the shower sweaty and getting out of the shower still sweaty though. It's like you don't even get to enjoy being clean for one second!!!!

Other than the heat it has been a good week. We still haven't been able to see any luck with the missionary work. I met our one investigator, Valeria. She talked for a little bit about how small her house is, how hot it is, how she's sick of doing all of the chores for her and her boyfriend, and then we finally got to the point of being able to share a message and her estetista showed up to do her nails!!! PEOPLE. Haha so we had to leave unfortunately and she gave us a bidone (by setting up an appointment and then wasn't home) the other time we
tried to see her.

We have some really great recent converts though we have had a couple of lessons with. Monica and massimo are this darling couple and they love the gospel and have the strongest testimonies I have ever seen. They really don't seem like new converts. Then there is a new convert named Valeria and she gained a testimony of the law of chastity before she even knew our church existed and hen she searched something about it and found our church. These are not normal occurrences people!! So hopefully Sorella James and I can find our own miracles.

This week we reached our goal of giving out bigliettini!! Which was super happy for us. We had quite a few really good conversations with some really great people, but no one really interested yet in the gospel. Sorella James and I had a really great weekly planning session where we planned out that we are going to try to do at least 9 hours of finding this week. That's roughly an hour and a half daily, not including Monday's. Which is like a minimum. Then we planned to
hopefully see four members this week and then made a list of ten ex-investigators to call. We have a goal to get two new investigators from our own finding, two from members, and two from ex investigators. So we'll see how it goes!!

I also got to see Mariella from Taranto this week again!!! Her daughters boyfriend is from Bari and so they came to pick her up and said hello!! She was so sad she couldn't bring me tiramisu or food so she bought us like three packages of food for us to take home and then bought us waffles to eat right then. She's the nicest lady ever.

This week was really humbling for me. I read a quote about parenting that I thought goes not just for parenting. It says,

"A sweet and obedient child will enroll a father or mother only in

Parenting 101. If you are blessed with a child who tests your patience
to the nth degree, you will be enrolled in Parenting 505. Rather than
wonder what you might have done wrong in the premortal life to be so
deserving, you might consider the more challenging child a blessing
and opportunity to become more godlike yourself. With which child will
your patience, long-suffering, and other Christlike virtues most
likely be tested, developed, and refined? Could it be possible that
you need this child as much as this child needs you?"

In Mosiah 2:20-22 he talks about how we are unprofitable servants. I was pondering on that and thinking, "well I agree, we are all and always will be unprofitable servants.....so WHY DO WE EVEN TRY????" Haha. 


There is something super important that we need to understand. Kind Benjamin is commanded to say that ALL THAT IS REQUIRED OF US IS TO KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS. That's all we have to do. And in return He promises to bless us. And He will never break that promise. In verse 24 it says, "....therefore he hath paid you. And he are still indebted to him, and are, and will be forever and ever." He loves us. He doesn't ask much of us. And for that which He does ask, He promises to bless us. SO MUCH LOVE!!!

I hope you all have a great week!!!

Con affetto,

Sorella G ❤️๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น










Monday, July 31, 2017

B A R I #PUGLIA ๐Ÿ ๐Ÿฌ๐ŸŸ


I have been transferred to Bari!!!!

I was so sad to leave my home in Rome. That is a very special city to me and it is my HOME because that I spent four transfers in it, which will be the most amount of time I have and will spend in a city on my mission.....unless they send me back to Ragusa or Taranto!!!!

And funny story I almost didn't make my train. I woke up at 5:30am to make my 7:30am train, but appartenuto that wasn't enough time. So I bugged the spragues one last time and asked them to quickly drive us to termini. We pulled up at 7:22am outside of termini and the Anziani (Elders) were standing outside and we sprinted down the binario (platform) and they loaded all of the bags on the train and the Anziani helping us got off at 7:29am haha. It was STRESSFUL!

I will give you a little background on Bari. It is a city on the eastern coast of Italy in the region of Puglia (Taranto, my first city, is also in Puglia). I am now back on the ocean and I have missed it! It's so weird being here because it's like I'm reliving all of the things that happened to me last year!! Giant meal appointments (that my stomach is not used to, but that are delicious), doing finding in cittร  vecchia (old city) or on lungo mare (along the sea), people who talk to you for forty minutes on the street, taralli, smells of the ocean and of fish, olive trees, and that's all I can think of right now. But I love it.

I got here and we have no work haha. It's crazy because in Rome there is ALWAYS something to do and you are running around here and there trying to plan which days you can do what and here we hardly have any investigators. We have one, but my companion was nervous we were never going to hear from her again. Haha so thus far we have done finding for six hours in the day for the past four days.

Points of the week:

  • because there were 14 sisters that came into the mission last Tuesday I was able to take them all around Rome!! It was so much fun and I got to see SORELLA TAYLOR!!!!
  • Leonardo talking to us for an hour about how we radiate the light of Christ and how we are beautiful and how we are saving the world....that was right after this lady yelled at us to stop preaching about Christ to which my companion yelled back, "NO!" I was actually very scared 
  • I told his lady I liked her pants and she asked me what size I was and where the address of the church was so she could buy me some and bring them to me hahaha - Also this lady gave us her number!! So hopefully we will be able to teach her!
This week I came upon a really awesome scripture that I really loved that I thought I would share. It's from D&C 24:88 Be patient in afflictions, for thou shalt have many; but endure them, for, lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days.

Heavenly Father is always with us. He loves us.

I hope you have a great week!!! Mi mancate tantissimo!!

Sorella G ❤️๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น






































Tuesday, July 25, 2017

GET OUT OF THE BOAT!!


Hello!!!

The title of my email will make a whole lot more sense later on in the email but my companion said, "I feel like we kind of jumped out of the boat and then someone shoved our heads under water for a little bit" hahahaha I love being a missionary

This week was a little more difficult! We tried to really focus on finding this week because our work has kind of plateaued, but no one was having it. I don't exactly know why our week was a little more difficult, but it just was.

I will tell you about Saturday. Well here in Rome 3 (it wasn't like this in any of my other cities and I am not sure if it is Rome 3 or if it is just this time of year), no one wants to meet with us until Saturday. So we wait all week for our appointments with members, investigators, and less actives and then try to crank out like 6 in one day!! That's near impossible here. 


I don't know if it's because Italians talk a lot or because of travel situations or what. We cancelled meetings and we had a solid four appointments to start the day. We planned very well and wanted to be very prepared so we had scriptures and thought provoking questions we wanted to ask and it was just great our lessons were going to be worth the wait!!! We get to our first appointment and our investigator Carmela just doesn't say anything. She said she had a really bad headache and she was really really down. I didn't think it would be the best idea to question her about and study the restoration so I said, "Sorella wood we have to change our lesson." She was like........uh ok....... that was all thanks to the spirit helping us out and we watched a Mormon message and read some quotes and scriptures about hope and you could see the change in her countenance. I was so amazed at how well it went!! I was bearing my testimony at the very end to close the lesson and she interrupts me and goes on for 18 minutes non stop yelling about how her husband is psycho and her children don't help her with anything! Sorella Wood timed it haha that's how I know it was 18 minutes. It was so frustrating and sad because we had seen the condition she was in, did our best to change it, changed it, and then it was right back to where we started and the spirit said "ciao ciao!!"

Well then our member cancelled and then Magdona didn't answer so we went to go see our Peruvian investigators that work at the bar. While we were there, Magdona called us and told us to meet her in Termini at 5 (which is like an hour travel time there) and the Peruvian ladies talked the whole time about how much the heat has been bugging them and how they are so tired from working all day every day. We weren't even able to teach a lesson so we left them two plan of salvation pamphlets and headed to termini.

MAGDONA!! Oh mamma mia sometimes I want to pull all of my hairs out. It was just frustrating because she believes that our church is the true church and she wants to be baptized. She even told her Mormon daughter that she is meeting with us!! The only problem is she says in the lesson "well I don't really believe that Jesus did everything people say he did." Or "Jesus and God aren't really there to hear our prayers." WHAT??? I was just pleading with her kind of throb bearing testimony and reading scriptures to please just ask in faith Magdona!!
Because God will answer!!!!

My patience was like at its wits end. It was so hard for me to sit there and listen to these people who talk for 40 minutes about how hard their life is and how the world is falling apart and how terrible this is and that and I really love them so much I just sit there and listen intently and then when I try to talk they don't want to listen. BUT!!! That's ok. We are here to learn and there is a great scripture I studied this week that really helped me out.

It is found in Matthew 14:24-32

Why would the Lord allow Peter to get out of the boat and go to him if he already knew Peter was going to fall?? Because it was the perfect opportunity for Peter to learn. Christ will always stretch forth His hand. He is merciful and He is a great teacher and after the lesson was learned, the winds ceased. Fear and faith cannot exist together!!!!

But it is also a lesson that we need to get out of the boat!! I love that Peter desired to go to the Lord. It's like the Brother of Jared. Are we seeking for things in this life? Or are we just sitting around waiting??

In Jackson Hole we went whitewater river rafting when I was about 8 years old and I was on the bottom of the boat crying the whole time because I was scared. AND I MISSED THE WHOLE RIDE!!! It's when we leave the boat that we learn and grow the most. We discover the strength of the Lord. He is there to reach out to us and lift us up. And in the process we can have joy and enjoy the whole purpose and ups and downs of life.

BE OF GOOD CHEER!!.......

AND GET OUT OF THE BOAT!


If any of you didn't know yet, I love being a missionary and I love Italy and the Italian language people, culture, everything haha. And I might be leaving Rome!!! Ahh! I'll let you know next week.

BUONA SETTIMANA!

Love,

Sorella G ❤๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น