Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Le vedove di BARI

I have no idea how to start these things anymore so I'll just follow the example of my cute friend Amelia and talk about the weather..... it is definitely fall and is getting much colder. The days are hot the mornings and nights are cold, but I love it. It is for sure my favorite time of the year, I probably said that in the springtime too. 

Ok, I have to tell you some things about my hilarious companion....

  • She eats milk and cookies for breakfast every day
  • When she eats something she likes she always yells, "so good!!!" 
  • She is scared of everything (cars hitting us, motorcycles running us over, spiders, the dark, creepy men) all of which are very rational fears, but at this point, I'm just kind of used to it, she will need some more time to adjust 
  • She loves harmonizing and we have so much fun walking home on the side of the freeway from the church screaming hymns at the top of our lungs
  • She knows lots of Italian tongue twisters (tre tigri contro tre tigri or trenta tre trentini entrarono a Trento, tutti trenta tre trotterellando or the soldiers shoulder surgery) 
  • We were doing weekly planning this week and here were some quotes I thought were so funny. There was a person who was making our lives a little bit difficult during weekly planning and she goes, "I don't have patience for this kind of bull crap." Then right before we were ending weekly planning I asked her to make some goals. She said to me, "you know I never actually look at my goals, I just write them down because you make me." 
  • She called the other missionaries this week to ask them if they have any referrals for us 

We saw lots of miracles this week and also had lots of hard days this week. It is fun being with a new missionary because everything is a new experience. One morning we were doing finding and it was like her first break down while doing finding, it has happened to the best of us. Luckily we said a prayer and after that, we went and talked to this guy who said he used to come to English course and used to have a Book of Mormon. He got kicked out of his house and now lives homeless in Bari so we just bore testimony to him of how God loves him and we asked him to come to English course and gave him a new Book of Mormon, but unfortunately, he didn't come. It was a really cool experience to be a part of though. 

We also had a lesson with Sophia and Nellie (two African potentials that are our two new investigators!) where we talked about the Book of Mormon and Nellie said the closing prayer and prayed to know if the things we taught were true. It was a really cool experience. They are from Nigeria and hopefully, we can meet with them this Saturday

The title of this weekly email is, the widows of Bari because this week none of our investigators were able to see us so we spent a lot of our time this week strengthening the widows of the ward. We have quite a few who can't come to church because of health problems and they are all sad and lonely. They live alone and just spend all day every day alone so leave it to the sister missionaries to help them out!!! One of those experiences was learning how to make orecchiette!! Sorella de Vanna was so happy to do it with us. Usually, when we go over she just talks about her problems and the doctors appointments and all of the surgeries she has to have, but it was like she was a changed person so patient and loving teach us how to make pasta. Win-win situation. 
In James 1:27 we read,
27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

We had choir practice last night for stake conference and it was so much fun. Singing I know that my Redeemer lives in Italian is one of my favorite things ever. Especially when you have a crazy Italian choir director. 


Sorella g 

Friday, October 6, 2017


Best thing I ate this week is going to be turned into weirdest thing I ate this week: an octopus sandwich

This week I don't have much to write. We went to zone conference in TARANTO!!!! I got to go back to my first city once again, which was so much fun. I had so many more memories flood to my mind this time which was kind of fun. We were mainly trained on how to use Facebook in our
proselyting. The zone leaders and I gave our presentation on how to be WISE missionaries because we got a new chapter of preach my gospel which will substitute for chapter 8 of preach my gospel. It is titled "how can I fulfill my missionary purpose?" It is really cool and helps us focus more on the people once again, rather than on going through a checklist during weekly planning. Right after that Anziano Campbell leaned over to me and said, "how do you feel about this being your very last zone conference?" I was shocked. WHAT? I still have one more!!! Well apparently because of the mission tour and the general authority coming to our mission in October, there will be no zone conference. So I had my first and last zone conference in Taranto. Pretty bittersweet.

The zone leaders had an investigator they were teaching that needed to be passed to us so we got to teach Nunzia!!! She is the daughter of Dora, the recently baptized convert. We had an incredibly powerful lesson and she accepted a soft baptismal invite (meaning she knows that the way to return back to Heavenly Father is to enter in through the gate of baptism and that is something she wants) and is looking for peace and comfort in her life. So we are so excited to be able to work with her.

News on Valentina, she said she has been very busy with school, so we are going to give her a break this week.

As for the best part of the week.....GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!

I wish I could write out all of the things that I loved in general conference. I hope you all know that I have a very strong testimony that those are men and women inspired by God. They know exactly the things we all need to hear INDIVIDUALLY. Isn't it cool that these people can give a message and every person that listens to it can get something completely different out of it? I guess for me this
conference, the main thing that stood out to me was the question, "where are you going?" There were so many messages of how we need to focus on the things that MATTER MOST in life. What matters to you? And if you are doing something that doesn't really matter to you, why are
you doing it? How precious is the Book of Mormon to you? We need to look beyond what we see and find the things that are most important in our lives. HAVE FAITH AND TRUST IN THE LORD. WE CANNOT FEAR AND WE CANNOT DOUBT.

I was especially struck by how many times they talked about how Heavenly Father wants us to come home. I think that's the same in any circumstance. Mom and Dad, I'm pretty sure you want me to come home and I know it's the exact same with our Heavenly Father. He loves us. He is merciful. And he just wants us to be happy.



Sorella G ♥️๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น

Monday, September 25, 2017

Lucia + carbonara

Famiglia mia!!

I will tell you about the best thing I ate this week first because it corresponds with my email title. On Friday we did weekly planning and after weekly planning, I made carbonara for lunch. It was the best pasta I think I have ever made haha. I hope I can recreate it.... later that day we went to a little city that just so happens to be called Carbonara and we met with this lady named Lucia who needed help with some presentation she has to give in English. After that, we went to go see a potential investigator who is the mother of one of Sorella Baielli's MTC companions and guess what her name is? Lucia. Haha. So Friday was a Lucia + carbonara day, even though carbonara originates from Rome I believe. If you don't know what carbonara is, look it up (bacon and eggs)

The more time Sorella Baielli spends in Italy, the more Italian she becomes. It is so much fun. We were doi some finding and she still is not used to the whole "ho fretta"  (I'm in a hurry) response that you get every single time you stop someone on the street and so twice this week she said, "I can't WAIT to get to the spirit world!" Me: why? Her: you know why. 

She wants to ask them, "ancora hai fretta amico mio??!!??!!?!" (why are you in such a rush my friend)

There was a lady this week that I stopped and she initially said, "no, no, no" until I started talking about eternal families and that caught her interest. I can't wait for the temple in Rome!!

We also got hugged by a random lady from the country of Georgia. That was hilarious. We were trying to help her understand who we were and eventually just gave up and hugged us and then left hahaha

Now for the meat of the email......
Tuesday was a day full of tears. I will explain why. 
We went to go look for this potential contact that is cousins of a former missionary and they also own a panificio (bakery). We went and it ended up being very awkward and just left because they weren't interested. Afterwards, we made an attempt to do finding, but it was raining (even the sky was crying), no one wanted to talk, and so I just decided that it was ineffective to do this type of finding and we went home a little bit earlier than planned to make some phone calls. I called this lady we have been trying to meet with for about two months and she said that "today was her only free day" but we already had another meeting and English course and all of our studies so we were going to have to do it another day. Then I realized how dumb that was and told her that we would meet with her. 

For lunch, I just practiced my violin because I was feeling discouraged and music always helps me feel better and afterward I knelt in prayer and poured out my thoughts, feelings, worries, desires, and the things I am grateful for to Heavenly Father. Tears were shed.

During language study, I read in Doctrine and Covenants 121 and 122 which always makes me feel better and then we set out for Grazia's house. She is a single mother of two ten and eleven-year-old daughters. I'm not exactly sure that I can include all of the details of her life story, but she has not lived an easy life. I was able to share with her those scriptures that I studied during language study and bear testimony that Jesus Christ is with us always. She was in tears, the spirit was very strong, and we were able to kneel in prayer at the end. 

After that appointment, we had a meeting with the branch president of the Bitonto branch. He and his wife are incredible people and they just had a daughter leave on her mission to the Milan mission. We did this object lesson with water, pepper, and dish soap and talked about the atonement. How it's not just for our sins, but also for when we have afflictions, pains, and temptations. And how without the atonement we would never be able to have the possibility of becoming perfect someday. Sorella Santoro started crying because she said she had had a really hard day and it was exactly what they had needed. They haven't had missionaries visit them in two years.

It was really cool because we were trying to decide what we should share with them (we were mainly going to try to figure out how we can help the Sorelle in Trani) and Sorella Baielli showed me this object lesson and I thought that would be perfect and it turned out to be exactly what they needed to hear!!! Sorella Santoro was in tears. Heavenly Father knows His children. He loves them and He wants them to feel that love.

I am grateful for all of your prayers and love. I hope you know that you are prayed for as well, and not just by me.

Spero che abbiate una buona settimana!!! (I hope you have a good week)

Sorella G ♥️๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น

Monday, September 18, 2017

Polignano p-day round #2

Ok, not much happened this week so this will probably be a short email.....

Good news:
We met with Valentina (from violin casa in casa)! It was a miracle because she was the only one at home which made it so we could be a lot more personable and get a lot further in our lesson teaching!! We read the Book of Mormon with her and it seemed to be something that she likes reading and we explained to her our purpose of why we are here as missionaries and she still wants to meet with us!! So that is a major plus. Piano piano! Sorella Baielli is an incredible teacher and knows the doctrine very well. 
Sorella Baielli did her first casa in casa. There was this lady that we offered to help and she told Sorella Baielli to move the entrance mat and I can't describe it but it was the most awkward thing ever. Sorella Bbaielli just like bent over while this old lady is telling her, left, no right, a little more right, no to the left haha. But we did meet this cute girl we have to visit this week who wants to talk to us!!! 
We met a lady while doing finding this week who we asked: "what makes you happy?" She said "dogs" as she walked her four dogs around. She said she's too busy for us but I totally agree that dogs make us happy. 
The zone leaders had a baptism this week that we got to sing at! It was a beautiful ceremony and it was so much fun to see how happy they were to see this lady enter into the waters of baptism. The gospel of Jesus Christ makes us happy you guys!!!!! 
The BEST THING I STUDIED this week was Alma 24 about the Anti-Nephi-Lehites. Those people are such an example to me. I was really struck with their understanding of the doctrine of Christ. It says in the chapter that they "were among the most lost of all mankind" and it just shows how it is NEVER TOO LATE to repent. And then once they had entered into that baptismal covenant they understood the true meaning of repentance. They understood that when we repent of something, we commit to never doing that thing again. And they were not going to break that promise, even if it meant they had to lose their lives. That is a true disciple of Christ. I hope we can all follow their example. I am certainly not a perfect person, but with examples to follow it sure makes it a lot easier. 
"And thus we see that the Lord worketh in many ways to the salvation of his people"

Sorella G ♥️๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น
PS best food I ate this week:
Curry that I made for me and Sorella Bbaielli 
she sai, "this is the best food I have had on my mission by far!" (Granted she has been on her mission for a month haha) 
Or Swiss chocolate that a member brought us back from their temple trip (the BEST)

Monday, September 11, 2017



This week has been a little bit crazy. Well, actually a lot crazy.

Transfer call: I will be staying in Bari Libertร  as the sister training leader for the Bari zone and for the last two transfers of my mission I will be training a new missionary!!!! YAYAYAYA!!!! Her name is SORELLA BAIELLI. And she is Italian.....kind of. She was born in Cagliari (which is on the island of Sardegna) and lived there until she was 12 years old and then she moved to Eagle, Idaho. So she is fluent in Italian and in English haha. Can't get better than that. I'M SO EXCITED TO SERVE WITH HER!

So Sorella James is out of here and she actually went to the island of Sardegna. She was super excited and I am very happy for her and proud of the changes at she made. She's funny, intelligent, and kind. She makes me laugh so hard haha. As she was saying goodbye to everyone we saw the biggest miracle ever!!! I don't know if you remember those girls we met while doing casa in casa (home to home) with my violin. We were able to schedule an appointment with them and we showed up to the appointment and instead of being three people there, there were six!! Two boys and four girls. We were able to pray and to teach the restoration, parts of the plan of salvation, and talk about the word of wisdom. They were very interested in comparing "their" religion and ours and said that we could call whenever we wanted. They agreed to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it so we will see how it goes with them. Soooo cool.

Sorella Baielli is incredible!! She is very upfront and honest with me, which I really like and it is really a joy to be able to be training a new missionary. This is my favorite part of missionary work. We had a really cool experience last night. I told her our gesso(gathering in the city square) was themed "the Book of Mormon" so she grabbed a Book of Mormon. I had already stepped out the door and as she was closing the door she asked, "do I really need this Book of Mormon? It's not like I'm going to be handing it out anyway." I replied, "Why would you say that? Of course, you're going to be handing it out tonight!!" She kind of shrugged and rolled her eyes and brought the Book of Mormon. I said to her, "that is my invite to you. To hand out a Book of Mormon tonight at the gesso." She agreed and at the gesso she was having difficulties communicating with people. She said she was trying to talk to people and a couple would stop, but that no one would listen to her. Then she said she prayed really hard and told Heavenly Father she really wanted to talk to someone and that she was ready to talk to someone and boom. She stopped a man named Francesco who she had a great conversation with. She was able to get his phone number and to give him that Book of Mormon. It's moments like these that make training a missionary my favorite part of missionary work. I was very proud of her.

Also I am sure you have all noticed that I started using Facebook haha. I got Sorella Baielli on Thursday and we did a quick weekly planning session and then headed off to English course. The poor girl probably had no idea what was going on, but on Friday morning I left really early in the morning with Anziano Vance and Anziano Cutler (the zone leaders) and we took a four-hour train ride up to Rome for MLC to be trained on how to use this new technology as missionaries. I am excited to start using it. I will admit I was very fearful of it. But after MLC I was able to really grow a testimony of how vital this will be in helping this work grow. We are continuing to move forward! (It was also SO MUCH FUN to be in Rome. I love that city) just a couple of details, Like in the white handbook, I communicate with friends and family through my email (Lucy.gochnour@myldsmail.net) and will not be able to comment back or respond to any of the comments you send me on Facebook or with messenger. Facebook is more of a way for us to become friends with investigators, contacts, and members here in Italy so that we can then communicate with them through messenger (have lessons, chat, etc). Everything I do on Facebook will be with my companion.

We already had a super cool experience on the train ride home. Me, Anziano Vance, and Anziano Cutler were just talking and we started talking to these people that sat next to us on the train. We started teaching them the restoration and pretty soon we had half He train car 
listening to our message. It was so cool and this man and this mother, who were the main ones we were conversing with, we're going to Bari, but would only be there for a little bit. We asked the man to follow Anziano Cutler on Facebook and he did so now we can be in contact with him!! Within the past two days of having access to it we have been
able to reach SO MANY people we wouldn't necessarily be able to reach without it. It is so incredible.

Update on Leonardo: he came to the gesso yesterday and goes straight to me and asks why I was trying to act like I didn't see him haha. Awkward. Then he started talking. Anziano Vance saw and SAVED ME. He came over and was talking to Leonardo and it actually ended up really not that great because Anziano Vance told him we couldn't talk and that we had to do missionary work and he was not happy with that. He called Anziano Vance some bad names and then stormed off. Hopefully, he doesn't come back. If it weren't for Anziano Vance I probably would have been stuck in another two hour conversation with him.

Updates on Silvia and Rosa: they have stopped responding,  unfortunately. We will try this next week to contact them and if not we will try our best to find those who are READY to hear this message!

My spiritual thought for the week is Alma 5:27 Are you sufficiently humble? Because I am not.

Thanks for your support and inspiration. I love you all. L'Italia sta fiorendo!!! (Italy if flourishing)

Con affetto,

Sorella G ♥️๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น