Saturday, July 30, 2016

"Be not Afraid, ONLY BELIEVE"


Adelide's wedding sounds awesome. And must have been super fun watching everyone jump in. I miss you all so much and love hearing from you and laughing at your stories.  Also, happy Pioneer Day!!!! We watched the movie legacy in Italian during Sunday school so that was my little celebration of pioneers.

Ok so this week haha. Oh man this week. Every week in Italy is crazy. This is just a crazy mission. Last week at English course one of our students, Giovanni (he is probably 80 years old), showed up with a little surprise for me. He asked me if I knew who Luciano Pavarotti was and I said, yes of course! And he pulled out this piece of paper. He had printed out lyrics for la canzione dell'amore in English and in Italian and it talks about this girl named Lucia. All of the Italians hate when we say our first name is Sorella so they pry and pry until you tell them your real name so that was last week.  We sat there and listened to the entire song before English course haha, a memorable experience. We also taught them how to play 'Simon says..' and that was hilarious.

The next day I put on my black Clark's because I hadn't worn them yet because my feet were too swollen to even fit in them. I wore them for maybe an hour and they RUINED my heels. I might not be able to wear them again unfortunately. Also, that same day I witnessed my first Italian girl fight! It was actually really scary. They were like punching each of her in the face and
pulling each other's hair and Sorella Flansberg and I were so scared and just walked around it and kept walking.

It has been SOOO HOT. I just drip sweat all the time. We decided to do a little experiment one night and go to centro which is like the center of the city and I played the violin while they tried to talk to people haha. And let me just tell you it was not that successful. It was very fun for me to play and I loved it but the contacting was not that great so we probably won't do that again unless we are super desperate for investigators. BUT the good thing about our mission is that we can go get gelato and it makes everything better. I think we finally found the best gelateria in Taranto so I am happy.

I'm going to kind of explain summers in Italy. Or at least in Taranto. Our transportation is solely by busses. And the busses don't come on time in the summers so you go to the bus station and sometimes you wait for two minutes and sometimes you wait for two hours. Which can be very frustrating and also hard to plan for. Then you have the beach. The beach in Taranto is gorgeous and every single person goes to the beach and they are there all day. So no one can meet with us.  Then the lessons that you do get with people they talk the WHOLE ENTIRE TIME about their moms, dads, and cousins that lived fifty years ago.  It is hard to concentrate on what they are saying and then try to get a word in on top of all of that haha. Also, there is no going door to door. They have citofonos which is like the thing you ring and they ask, 'who it is?" and then you tell them and they choose to unlock the gate or not to. So that makes things a little more difficult as well. And then you throw the whole city closing down for pranzo on top of all of that. 

We had a lesson with one of our investigators named Christina and we also had Sorella Lahaderne there and oh man Italians can talk. We had this whole lesson planned and then we had to go start English course.  We hadn't even started  the lesson and it was time for us to go.  I just asked, "can I share a scripture?" and they said for sure, for sure, so I shared my scripture and then was going to give a thought or testimony to go along with it and she just started talking and talking again so I just gave up haha. But I got a scripture in!!!!!!!

Last night the whole ward threw a party for this couple in our ward who was celebrating fifty years of marriage. It was so awesome. The ward is just like a family and I am trying my best to get to be better friends with them all because that is so important.

I want to leave a spiritual thought today of the things that I learned this week. One of the incredible things that we get to do as missionaries is study every single day for at least four hours a day. That is a lot of time and I have been able to learn so much in that time. I am sure you all know all of this but it is always good to be reminded of things. I studied the talk given by Elder Holland that is title Lord, I believe. I am sorry I always share quotes with you from Elder Holland. He is just my favorite and speaks with such power and elegance that really touches my soul for some reason. 

He talks about this man who needs his son healed. He goes to Christ and says "if thou canst do anything" and Christ responds with "if thou canst believe". And
STRAIGHTWAY the father asserts his strength first, "Lord I believe" and only then acknowledges his limitation "help thou mine unbelief." Elder Holland prompts us to say that if we wish for more faith, we are to remember this man. He says, "HOLD THE GROUND YOU HAVE ALREADY WON even if that ground is limited. In this church what we know will always trump what we do not know. And remember, in this world, everyone is to walk by faith. Imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with, so be patient, kind and forgiving. And do not be afraid to ask for help. Honestly acknowledge your questions and your concerns but first and forever fan the flame of your faith because all things are possible to those that believe." 

These words are so powerful to me. Our testimonies and our beliefs are things that no one else can take from us. It is important to hold strong. Keep that ground we have already won. We have been giving the blessing of charity which is a Christlike attribute that we can develop if we work for it. And always remember everyone that charity is not simply something you do, but it's something you become. Spending time in the Book of Mormon is so incredibly important. We will be able to feel the spirit more in our lives and be guided by how we are to live our lives in these last days.

I want you all to know how much I love this mission. The Italy Rome mission is something else. All missions are so incredibly different and I can say this one is a lot different than I had imagined. The work seems hard, but it is progressing. My character is being built, my testimony is being built, and this gospel is being built. Every experience I have is indescribable. I wish I could tell you the way I feel about these experiences that are hard and challenging and how I miss you all so incredibly much. I don't know how or why I love these crazy people or this crazy culture, but I do.

I hope you know I think about you all every single day. That is one thing I hope gets a little easier as time goes. I pray for you so hard haha and I love you all so much.

With much love and pizza and pasta and gelato,

Sorella Lucy Gochnour

Below is a link to Lucy bearing her testimony when she in SLC  - before she left for Italy!

Also my mission address is:
Missione Italiana di Roma
Piazza Monte Gemma, 9
00141 Roma Italia

Pictures from Taranto, Rome

Monday, July 18, 2016

MAMMA MIA what am I doing here ?

MAMA MIA!!!! Ok wow. I have so much to tell you. So backtracking a few days.........I never thought I would be sad to leave the MTC, but unfortunately I was a little sad. It is just a weird place because it's like prison but it's also such a spiritual place. I was really sad to say goodbye to my teachers but it's ok. 

As you know, we missed our plane but luckily our plane to Italy wasn't packed at all so I got two whole seats to myself which was so nice. President and Sister Pickerd and the APs picked us up at the airport. We went straight from the airport to the temple sight and then handed out some pass along cards on our way to all of the main tourist sights. It was really cool to see them all. We didn't get to stay long though. The Trevino fountain is so cool. 

We didn't have water at the mission home that night which was pretty crazy because there are like ten girls freaking out about not being able to take showers. I slept on the floor that night because it was too hot to sleep in the bed.

The next day we just had like training all day long. And THEN we did "golden envelopes" where they put in a yellow envelope the first city you are serving in and your trainer's name. 

I am in the beautiful city of TARANTO. Taranto is right on the ocean and it is beautiful. The actual city is pretty gross though. My trainer is Sorella Flansberg. She has been on her mission for 14 months!!! Which is so long haha. She's from Carson city Nevada. She's very nice.

So we had to take a train down to Taranto at 6:26 in the morning so we woke up at 4!!!! It was about a six hour train ride and I was on the train with Anziano Anderson who was in the MTC with me and Anziano Friedman who is our district leader. He is the best guy. He is from Texas and he kind of has a lisp but he is a great missionary. Super happy and excited about everything. 

My comp and our senior couple picked us up at the train station in Taranto and took us to our apartment. The senior couple is Anziano and Sorella Lahaderne. They are so helpful. We are so lucky to have a senior couple in Taranto.They are such a blessing. And we are in a ward!! Which is also very lucky. Our church building is its own building which is rare and it is very close to our apartment which is also very lucky. It is the only building at the end of a pretty long street and sometimes at night there are really sketchy cars there with people in them doing really creepy things haha. Nasty. And the roads are so full of garbage and
smell like sewage. Every single person smokes and I am praying that I don't get second hand smoke on my mission haha. But the city is also very pretty. 

After we unpacked our suitcases we went to English course which was my favorite thing. The lesson was "at the dentist" and no Italians can say the "th" sound so hearing them struggle through tooth and teeth was as you can imagine, very funny. We share a spiritual message at the end of every English course and the greenies were asked to bear our testimonies. First day here and already bearing testimony!! It was a little rough but I did my best and the Italians were very nice to me and told me that I speak good Italian, which is not true. But they were very nice about it.

On Sunday we had an awesome church meeting. It was kind of hard to focus because I don't know what is going on and my companion had to play the piano so I sat by our investigators alone. I could understand the main topic of every talk but it's hard to understand everything because you kind of translate word for word and then you get some you don't know so you get stuck and then you are behind but I did my best to try to pay attention. Also the sacrament bread was like a baguette so that was a great addition. 

We bore our testimonies in sacrament as well. In my testimony I talked about how grateful I was to be here and how I was called by a prophet of God to be here and to do His work and a lady came up to me after church and said she was so touched by testimony. She started crying and explained to me about how it reminded her of her mission. That was a very tender moment for me and one I will never forget.

After church we made chocolate chip cookies! We found some brown sugar and for what we were working with I would say we did a pretty good job of it. Then we had an investigator named Elena that we had a lesson with. The lesson was TWO HOURS LONG!!!!! Hahaha. Oh man my head hurt so bad after. She is very intelligent and very scholarly and she knows English so she would speak in Italian about science and about everything that happened with her family and her whole life and then she would switch to English and then back to Italian. Haha she is awesome though and she might be getting baptized!! We asked her to pray about it but we will see. The stuff she says is really confusing and relates everything back to physics.  But she said a really beautiful prayer at the end of the lesson.  Sorella Flansberg said that was the first time that has ever happened.

Today pday was very fun. We met the Anziani at the church and took a bus into centro which is just the city and we ate panzerotti which is basically just a calzone and then toured this really old naval base castle thing. It was cool and after we got granitas! I ordered coke
flavor and it's kind of like a slurpee haha. They do there best. I'll probably just stick to lemon gelato next time though. We are going to a birthday party tonight of a Tongan lady so we'll see how that goes. Right now I just kind of go along with the flow because I have no idea what's going on haha.

Now I am going to share some things that might take me getting used to here in Italy. 

First off the water in the south is bad. We can't drink it or we will get salmonella so that's not good to get that. 

Second we don't eat dinner. Italians have what they call pranzo, which is like meal/nap time which happens anywhere from 12-5 about and all of the stores are closed and no one is out. So we eat breakfast in the morning and then we eat a really big lunch and that's it. None of the members invite us to pranzo either and the bishop won't let us like pass around a list in relief society for some reason haha so we are working on that. 

The weather in Taranto has been SO AMAZING. It has been like perfect. One day it sprinkled a little and another day it was sunny but not hot and the good thing about being right by the ocean is that it's ALWAYS windy. So the weather hasn't been too bad at all and I have actually been able to sleep quite well. I wake up quite a few times every night but it's been pretty good. 

The Food is great. We haven't eaten out much because we make ourselves pranzo everyday but the times that we have it has been really good. Also I need to get used to bacios. Those are like the double cheeked kiss thing. We only do it with sisters of course but I still find it weird haha. I will get used to it. Italians are also the craziest drivers. When crossing the road you just have to walk across and they will stop for you but there is a very high possibility you could get killed very easily though haha, but we are protected. The language is alright. It's tough but I'm trying. Italians just have such thick accents and slur all of their words together so sometimes it's really hard to understand. And NO ONE can say our last name, literally no one can say it. Mamma mia gli italiani.

As far as studies go, this morning I read the talk elder holland gave this past general conference and if you are ever needing a boost of hope or faith I would encourage you all to read it. It is titled "tomorrow the lord will do wonders among you" and it really just gave
me a needed boost of hope. The thing that touched my heart the most was when he says,

"So keep loving. Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep growing. Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever."

I love that. Missionary work is so not easy. I have found it is definitely not for the feint of heart, but I also know that it is the most important thing we could be doing and it really all just depends on our attitude. 

Our mission decided to do this thing where you say "in the Rome Italy mission we......" But I have decided to make it my own and say, "In my mission I am choosing to be happy." I love you all and am so grateful for all of you and for all of your examples. I hope you know how much I miss and love you all.

Tell duke I love him and I thought about him tons on his birthday. Tell Adelide congrats!!!! She looks beautiful in all of her pictures. I am so happy you guys got to see Henry! I bet he is so cute. It sounds like he was an amazing missionary. I am so jealous you get to
go to lake Powell that will be SO FUN.

I think you're supposed to send letters to the mission home which stinks because I only get them every six weeks but it's ok.

With so much love,

Lucy Annie

Sunday, July 10, 2016

VOLARE // translations "to fly"

Mom and dad I expect you to listen to that on Monday morning haha or just have dad sing it to you because I will be flying to Italy because GUESS WHO GOT HER FLIGHT PLANS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ME!!!!!

Ok I'll start at the beginning of the week haha. Sorry. Last p day after emailing we got to go to the temple and clean it. They took the sisters up to sealing room six and we got up on ladders and took out every single crystal from the chandelier and polished it and cleaned it and then we got to put it back in. It was honestly one of the coolest experiences ever. I loved it. It was so rewarding to see our work even though it basically looked the exact same as when we started haha. It took us three and a half hours and we didn't even finish the whole thing. That was a bummer. But a very incredible experience. 

On Friday we got our flight plans and I was so excited. We have to leave the MTC at 3:50 on Monday morning haha. We fly to Alanta and have 43 minutes to catch our flight to Italy. Which is crazy. But it's nice that we don't have a super long layover and that it is a direct flight into Rome. I seriously hope we catch our flight. I will be calling from the Salt Lake airport most likely so I will try to wait a little bit longer so you don't have to wake up at 5 in the morning to talk to me. 

After we got our flight plans I was so excited and then during my personal study I just felt so sick haha. It kind of hit me that I was going to Italy and don't speak Italian or know really how to teach lessons or even do anything as a missionary. Just kidding, but I really kind of had a panic attack and then during companion study I felt totally ok. My companion and I were able to talk about it and really we can worry about anything we want, but those are things we can't control. I have done my best to learn the language and to be a successful missionary and to get along with others and that is all I can do. So that was really awesome. Now I am just excited. I have accepted the fact that this first little bit is going to be pretty rough and I have decided to embrace it. I am so grateful for examples in my life that have helped me understand that we are so much happier in life when we look for the good stuff in life. I promise you there are good things that happen in every single day, it just depends on how you look at it.  

We had our last lessons with our investigators and it is crazy the relationship you build with people when you are praying for them and teaching and learning with them in the gospel. I am going to be so sad to say goodbye to Fratello Hatch and Sorella Russell. They are some of the most incredible people ever. 

We had a devotional with Elder Jenson from the emeritus seventy and it was one of the most powerful devotionals I have been in and it was so needed. He talked about faith and the power of faith. There are so many different levels of faith that we can have. It is a principle of power and action. I hope that some day I will be able to develop my faith so that I can have unshaken faith. The word investigator has the word INVEST in it. Which is so crucial. I love our gospel because it requires effort and work on our part. We were given the blessing of agency so we can act on our own. 
If you want to gain a testimony you have to work for it. It starts with a desire, but you then have to work with that desire. In Moroni 6:4 it talks about how Jesus Christ is the author and the finisher of our faith. I love that. We are finite and He is infinite. We will always fall short, but through His grace, He can finish our faith and give us enough to push us through the finish. I am going to need so much faith in these next couple of weeks. It is going to be hard and challenging and different and so many things haha. But I just have to trust in the Lord with all of my heart and He will direct my paths. The last thing I want to leave you with is something to ponder. Christ came to earth to suffer for the sins of the world. That was His job. That was all that asked of Him. Instead of doing what was required of Him, He went completely beyond that and suffered for our infirmities, and for our loneliness, for our sicknesses, and for our pains. He suffered so that we might NEVER be alone. This is something that brings me so much hope and peace and joy and humility.That someone could care that much about me to suffer so that I might not have to ever feel like I am going through something alone. 

I wish I could share all that I learn with you every single day, but there is just never enough time. I want you to know how grateful I am for the opportunity I have to serve a mission. It is probably the best decision I have made in my life thus far. I have learned so much and grown my testimony so much and can't wait to see what these next 17 months hold for me. If any of you are questioning going on a mission, I would exhort you to take a leap of faith and go. All Heavenly Father asks of you is to have a desire. 

I love you all. Thank you for your prayers and love. They are much needed haha. I can't wait to see who my trainer is and my first area and the amazing city of Roma and all the adventures to come!!!!!! Many pictures and I'm sure stories to come next week!!!


Sorella Lucy Ann Gochnour

PS In choir this week we sang the song More Holiness Give Me. It is such an incredible song because we could all use more of the things that are in that song. Here are the words READ THEM..

More Holiness Give Me #131

1. More holiness give me,
More strivings within,
More patience in suff'ring,
More sorrow for sin,
More faith in my Savior,
More sense of his care,
More joy in his service,
More purpose in prayer.
2. More gratitude give me,
More trust in the Lord,
More pride in his glory,
More hope in his word,
More tears for his sorrows,
More pain at his grief,
More meekness in trial,
More praise for relief.
3. More purity give me,
More strength to o'ercome,
More freedom from earth-stains,
More longing for home.
More fit for the kingdom,
More used would I be,
More blessed and holy—
More, Savior, like thee.
Text and music: Philip Paul Bliss, 1838-1876

Sunday, July 3, 2016



I got the package mom!!!! Thank you so much. That is so helpful. Thank you for the shirts, they are perfect and very comfortable. Also, the pita chips were to die for haha. I like ate the whole bag. I hope you and dad had the BEST anniversary ever!!!! I was thinking about you all day. I also hope Abby and Ralph had a good anniversary. 

Also, as far as I know I only have one sibling. It is a sister and her name is Grace. As far as other siblings? Haven't heard from them in about a whole month. I hope they are all still alive and well. 

It sounds like Philmont is a blast!!! Sleeping in tents eating the same food as me with people snoring!!!! Haha just kidding, but it sounds like you are learning a lot. I have loved the messages that you have shared with me so thank you. I am going to severely miss your dear elders every day. We get our FLIGHT PLANS TOMORROW!!!! I am so excited haha.

I have so much to write this week haha so I will try to get it all down.  How can so much happen in the MTC? I am not sure, but it does so here we go. 

So on Thursday and Friday last week we had some mission president's come and teach us. Our mission presidents were The Msane's. They came from South Africa and were going to Kenya and they were so incredible. The African people are unlike any other. First of all their voices are so powerful. I could listen to them talk all day long and then their faith is incredible. I hope I get to teach Africans in Italy. On Saturday we went to the temple for the last time and I got to take those family names that you sent so that was so awesome.

And we met President and Sister Pickerd!!!!!

Holy cow they are incredible people. They both served their missions in Rome and are so humble and amazing. They are so kind and actually were very emotional. President Pickerd was an Area 70 and they have been on like the temple presidency or something to do with being on a board of a temple for six different temples!! They lived their whole lives in Texas and then moved to Arizona. They were called in October and meeting them for the first time was so incredible. They said with tears in their eyes that they have been praying for us since October. They said we want you to tell your parents and make sure they know that we love you. They talking a lot about Moses 6:24-35 and I think a lot of our mission will be based around the scripture 3 nephi 5:13. We asked about the temple and he said you know, the answer I give people is that 
"Rome wasn't built in a day" 
haha and that it is all up to the first presidency. But I don't know if you know. Inside the Rome temple will be an exact replica of the Christus statue found in Denmark I believe, and the church has digitally copied the original statues of the original 12 apostles and those will be surrounding Christ in the Rome temple so that's pretty incredible. 

They also talked about the story of Esther which I of course love. I hope I will be able to have that same courage that she had on my mission. They said when the apostles were here they made it very clear that this is HIS work. This is not our mission they are not our baptisms. It is His work and it will be done the way He wants it to be done. They left on Monday and will be touring the whole mission this week meeting every single missionary in the mission!!! haha. I think they finished that yesterday and now will just be preparing for the new transfers....... WHICH IS MEEEEE!!!!! They are incredible people. I feel very lucky. It is inspired.

I played my violin on Sunday in Sacrament which was very fun. I didn't have the piano music so I gave my music to one of the Romanian elders and he made up an accompaniment. He was telling one of the elders, who told me after the fact, that if there was anyone his name would be caught in like a "heart" with it would be Sister Gochnour, and this particular elder, haha he's from Australia and is so funny says, get in line. WHAT. THese people are on missions what are they thinking??????  That just shows you a tiny bit of what I deal with daily. Some of them are funny, others I just want to kill.  Now all of the guys in my district make fun of me for it haha.  They also all call me mom. haha. Typical. Bet you can't figure out why that's the case. I am not bossy. I promise. I just ask them to nicely pick up the apple that they threw at the garbage can and please close the door when they leave the room every five seconds. hahaha oh my life.

On a more spiritual note, I will share with you what I learned this week. President Stephen B. Allen talked about how we are the Savior's elite troops. We were saved for this time to come to earth to fight the war with Satan. He then talked about how well Satan knows us which is so true and really very scary. Satan knows EXACTLY how to push our buttons. He puts these dangerous thoughts in our minds that build up into other things. Satan is not happy with any of us. We are outnumbered, but we are much stronger than he is. The Lord promises us that if we bear with patience our afflictions will will be given success. We have to hang in there and perhaps I might be the means of saving one soul. If that. He also says unto us, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." There is no sin we can commit that hasn't already been paid for. It is a big concept to wrap your mind around but we are so incredibly lucky. He said I want you guys to serve your missions in a manner so that when your are on the plane flying home you can hear the words in your head saying, "Well done thou good and faithful servant." That is what I want more than anything right now. This is His work and I want to be able to be an instrument in His hands to help others understand the joy and peace this gospel brings me. 

We also heard from Elder Arnold from the seventy and what I liked most about his talk was how he said, "Do your best, and then try again." All we can do is our best. The Lord will make up for the rest. I am so grateful for that and to be able to be a part of a church where I get credit for even trying because I am SO far from perfect. We sang the song Hoorah for Israel which was so incredible. I am Israel. I and all of you, have been saved for these last days to help bring others to the fold. To help gathered scattered Israel. I can see Joseph Smith in so much turmoil and so much pain, leaving his family and everything he loved and saying "Hoorah for Israel". I am so grateful I have been saved for these last days and that I get to be a part of this work.

I love you all and am so grateful for the love you show me. It is very much needed. Missions are very hard sometimes and I feel like I don't want to do it sometimes, but if you're ever in a situation that seems terrible, play the "well at least game". Well at least I have a family that loves me who I get to be with forever. I think this will come in handy when I am asking people to share a message with them and they just say no or yell at me haha. I can't wait for Italy and I am grateful to be a part of this beautiful work. I love you so much.



Sorella Lucy Ann Gochnour

P.S. Also, there are 33 new italians coming this week!!! so that is going to be pretty insane. I don't even know what is going to happen haha but the overlap is only five days so that's good. I am so excited to see Carly and Miles!!!

Elder Dameron and me

 Me and Sorella Bishop