Monday, December 19, 2016


The line of the week this week was, "I didn't ask for this!!!"

Haha from Monday until Thursday we were traveling. We had some pretty crazy experiences on the train that were very funny and super awkward and a little bit scary at times, but we made all of our trains and are alive!!

I was so happy to be back in Taranto. I love that city so much. We had the opportunity to go to a meal appointment with Mariella (Matteo's mom)(she's like the best cook ever) and it was super fun and loved catching up with her. There is some good news!! My permesso (a document which states that I am legal to live in Italy) expires the exact same day that I go home! So I don't have to renew it, which is a huge miracle. Also we went to English course and it was the day of Santa Lucia so there was like this parade going through the streets and Giovanni (guy that played the harmonica) was like "I had a feeling you were going to come today!! It's santa Lucia!!" He was very happy to see me haha. 

The quote comes in because anziano wright (an elder in my district) was furious because they out finocchi on his horse sandwich and he didn't order that hahaha. But that was exactly what Sorella demann and I were feeling this week. We had the strangest bites on our legs. Mine were in a circle and hers were in a straight line and we had no idea where we got them. She had bed bugs in college like a year ago and she said they looked exactly the same so we were kind of freaking out about that, but luckily we haven't been bit again so let's hope for the best. 

My favorite part of the week was when we got to go to the old folks home and I played the violin while other people sang Christmas songs and it was super fun. It reminded me of the good old days in Jane Mensel's violin concerts at old folks homes. They love hearing the music and it is sooo fun to see their faces light up. 

I hope you all have a very merry Christmas!!! This week I was reading something that talks about the significance of the star. Why did Heavenly Father choose to make the sign of Christ's birth a star in the sky? It's like Moses with his staff. LOOK and LIVE. We have to do our part to look and to follow the star that lights up our paths and our lives. And through Christ, we can be saved. I don't really know if any of that makes sense, but it makes sense in my head haha. There are some weeks and some days and some moments when we just want to scream "I DIDN'T ASK FOR THIS!!!!" Haha. But if we got everything that we asked for we wouldn't be able to become the person Heavenly Father wants us to become. And for that I am incredibly grateful for a father in heaven who knows me so well and knows exactly what I need to become what He needs me to become. 


Sorella G

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Without Easter there would be no Christmas

Hello everyone!

This week was full of a lot of miracles! It all started when we went to the social services building in Ragusa (it was actually a huge miracle that we found it and right on time because we went early and ended up going to the wrong building and if we wouldn't have gone early we wouldn't have made it on time....miracle). The man that talked to us about serving was so kind. He was so honored and content that there were two people here asking to help and wanting to serve and he said it doesn't happen often so he wants to put us to work. The only problem is they have to organize something for us to do so he said he will call us after the holidays in January so he can have some time to plan and organize something for us to do, so let's hope for the best!!

Then we had a lesson with a member present!!!! WOOT WOOT!! We had a lesson with this really kind lady from English course. I don't know how interested she is in the gospel though. We taught her the restoration and invited her to read and pray and come to church and she agreed to all of those things! However, she mentioned that Sorella Bicchierri had tried teaching her the lessons before, so that kind of made me curious why she wasn't already baptized haha. She said she had read the Book of Mormon and prayed about it and that she didn't get an answer so we just bore testimony about the promise that Moroni gives to all who read the Book of Mormon and tried to help her understand how to recognize the spirit. Then we talked to Sorella Rushton (sorella Bicchierri's companion before me) and she said she remembers teaching someone from English course and this lady gave them back the Book of Mormon which is super sad so hopefully this time she is ready to receive the restored gospel. We haven't had the chance to see her again since that lesson. 

On Wednesday we went to this older couple's house from the ward haha. The Micozzi's. They are a little bit crazy and it was a very funny experience. The husband has been sick and they haven't been able to come to church so we thought we would visit and hopefully bring a little bit of the spirit with us. When we got there I asked fratello micozzi what was making him feel sick and he responded by telling me that it was his prostate, and then he asked me if I knew what that was hahahaha. Yikes!!!!! Then we shared a message and asked if there was anything we could do to help them. Sorella micozzi said, "well I actually haven't been able to do my Christmas tree yet" and I jumped on the opportunity to do service for someone and insisted that we help do it and she accepted!!!! So we went back the next day and put up her Christmas tree. It was so fun!!! And also funny. When she made us tea she just put the tea bag in the pot that was on the stove and the string caught on fire because it was hanging in the flame of the stove.......luckily it stopped because the top of the string was wet, but it was a bit scary. Sorella Demann and I were dying laughing because she had no idea and I'm pretty sure she doesn't have the greatest eyesight anyway. 

On Thursday we saw another miracle. We made a goal to show the siiunaluce video with at least one person while doing finding that day. We made sure that Heavenly Father knew of our goal and went out to find the person He wanted us to share it with. We walked for a while and there were literally no people on the streets!!! It's a little bit hard to show someone a video when there is no one to even ask if you can show it. So after a while we decided to just go in a store that didn't have anybody in it and ask the owner if we could share it with her, but she said no. We decided to just start making it to our appointment and we found this 13 year old girl walking her dog. We asked her if we could share this video and she agreed. And it may just seem like something small, but for me it strengthened my testimony that Heavenly Father truly does know and love us. He is aware of us and He hears our prayers and answers them. 

This week I was studying in my scriptures and I don't usually do this because it doesn't usually work for me haha. But I opened my Book of Mormon and started reading. I had opened to Helaman chapter 13 and started reading. This chapter tells the story of Samuel the Lamanite. 

v 2-4
Samuel goes into the city and starts preaching to these people and they don't want to listen to him so they cast him out, so he decides to start heading home. However, the voice of the Lord comes unto him and tells him to go back and preach to the people again the things that come into his heart. So he does exactly that. These people of Zarahemla don't want to let him in so he climbs up and stands on the wall and teaches them the things that are put in his heart. 
 v 39 
He tells them that he hopes the anger of the Lord will be turned against them, but knows that it cannot be unless they repent. 

This story really inspired me to want to be more like this courageous man. He is commanded to go back and try again after he has already been cast out. He doesn't say to the Lord that the people don't want him there, that he already tried, and that they won't listen. He just obeys. And when the people don't let him in, he finds a way to do what has been asked of him. And he ends the chapter by showing love to these people who were absolutely nothing but rude to him. He desires their salvation and that is true charity and true conversion. 

Sorry if this is super long, but this is the last thing I wanted to share. We got the opportunity to watch the Christmas devotional and there was a talk in it that really helped me to understand Christmas and why we celebrate the birth of Christ. I had never before realized that there would be NO CHRISTMAS without the plan of salvation. He had to come to earth so that we could have someone to save us from our sins. Without His atonement and His resurrection, we wouldn't be able to make it back to our Heavenly Father. We shouted for joy in the premortal life because there was someone who would make this whole plan of happiness possible!! It was the Savior's sacrifice that made Holy that silent night in Bethlehem. The gift that makes the Christmas season sacred is His very life, which He gave that we might have everlasting life. 

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!

Sorella G 🇮🇹🎄🎁❤️️

Sent from my iPad

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Nativity

Caio caio cari miei:

This week we had zone conference in Catania and we reenacted the nativity!! It was actually very fun. I was asked to be an angel and had a solid line or two and Sorella Demann was a shepherd. It was probably a big highlight if the week. Every zone conference, president Pickerd makes a slide show of all of the pictures of the baptisms that happened in the last transfer and he goes through and tells us the stories of all of these people and they are all so incredible. They are the craziest stories almost like you can't believe that there are people out there that are like that. And then at the end of every story he says this classic line every single time, "you can't make it up elders and sisters!"Other than that I don't even remember what happened this week. 

We are in great need of some new investigators. So we have been doing lots of finding in all sorts shapes and sizes!!! We went to the city hall building to volunteer or to do some community help or just to do something and we have a meeting with someone tomorrow so we'll see how that goes. Then we also made our way down to the hospital to try to see if I could play the violin or if we could talk to people in the hospital or sing or something and we were doing so well. There were a lot of "good idea go ask this person" and then we got to this lady and she said "absolutely not. You don't have the authority to do anything of the sort." And I asked if there was anyway we could get some type of authority and she said no. haha. Maybe next time. We have yet to find someone, but I will not give up!!! We have a lesson with a really awesome potential tomorrow so I'm hoping that goes well. 

Other than that we had a really cool experience with a less active lady this past week. 
I am constantly taken aback and also touched by the strength of the spirit that comes from a new missionary. We were in his lesson and Sorella Demann felt like she didn't have anything that was coming to her mind, however, towards the end of the lesson she bore simple, yet powerful testimony that brought this less active to tears. We were really feeling the spirit and I felt prompted to promise her some blessings and then we were able to leave her with that spirit. What was the most incredible part was that Sorella Demann afterwards told me she had wanted to promise this less active some blessings that come from being obedient to the commandments, but that she couldn't think of how to say that. And I was able to tell her that those were the exact blessings that I had promised this less active! It was just such a testimony to me that the Holy Ghost is the teacher and we are just simply instruments in the Lord's hands in accomplishing this work. 

This past week we were down in the center of Ragusa playing the violin and talking to people and we ran into an English course student. He is fairly new and he was talking to the elders and Sorella Demann. I heard her ask him, "Do you have any friends who would want to listen to our message?" And the man kind of laughed and thought she was just like being funny. Sorella Demann says, "I'm serious." Haha and then we all broke out into laughter and unfortunately he didn't think of any friends that would be interested. 

I love being a missionary. I know I say that every single week, but I honestly don't know how I could ever live my life without being a missionary haha. There are just some experiences that I would never in a million years dream about experiencing. Hard, funny, scary, incredibly uplifting experiences that are building me into the person that Heavenly Father needs me to become. It is especially fun to be a missionary at Christmas time to be able to just bear testimony that HE LIVES. And that we can share His light to the world!!!! 

Fun experience with the siiunaluce video was with this catholic lady who was at a less actives house. We showed the video and she loved it! And then she was like, I want to watch it again. So we watched it again!! Unfortunately she got on her phone and then left still on the phone before we could bear our testimonies or do anything else, but at least she saw it!!! 

I love you all and hope you have the best week ever!

Sorella g 


Sorella Gochnour 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Be The Light

Hello dear friends and family!!  

Not a lot of things happened this week so I will just start with thanksgiving. It was so fun! We kind organized a thanksgiving activity for our English course and for our members and it turned out really well. We did a little activity that I remember doing in all of elementary school where you outline your hand on a piece of paper and make your hand into a turkey and they we had them write four things they were grateful for on the wings which was fun and they seemed to like it. Then we ate!! It was definitely an Italian style thanksgiving but I did eat turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy, so it was a success. We shared with them this incredible quote from President Uchtdorf about gratitude, "We sometimes think that being grateful is what we do after our problems are solved, but how terribly shortsighted that is. How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God that there is rain? Being grateful in times of distress does not mean that we are pleased with our circumstances. It does mean that through the eyes of faith we look beyond our present-day challenges. This is not a gratitude of the lips but of the soul. It is a gratitude that heals the heart and expands the mind." DONT EVER FORGET TO THANK HEAVENLY FATHER FOR THE RAIN!!! 

This past week Sorella Demann and I had to discontinue teaching (I don't want to say drop because I hate using that term) three of our investigators this week. They are not ready at this time to accept the message that we have to offer and although it is really sad at times, I just felt like that was the thing for us to do. We had to stop teaching Ida and nida because it is dangerous for them and for us, but it was really sad because she has such a big desire. Now is just not the time. I felt so at peace with stopping teaching every single one of these people. We have been set apart and called to find those who are ready to accept this message and if we continue to teach these people who aren't ready right now, we are losing precious time!! There is never enough time!!!! 

This past week we have been trying to do some really good planning to find new investigators and as we have contacted people on the streets I have been incredibly amazed by how kind the people have been to us. We have yet to find someone who has wanted to learn more about our message, but every single person has been so kind and I know that is a blessing from Heavenly Father. Sorella Demann is doing such an incredible job. I can only imagine what it must be like to be in your first city for a week, you don't know the language, you lose three of your investigators in one week, you're doing finding everyday, on top of adjusting to living in a different country and she is killing it!! We are having a lot of fun and just trying to laugh. She bore her testimony in church on Sunday and she gave the most heartfelt testimony and I just had the biggest smile on my face the whole time. Proud moment. 

We also saw the BIGGEST miracle in church this week. We showed up to church and had figured out a way for one of our less actives to get to church so she was able to be there (first time in about four weeks), then our investigator noemi was there and she wasn't really going to come, AND THEN we saw Sorella Ferraro! She is a less active we have been working with and I have never seen her in church except for yesterday she came and brought two non member friends and her non member husband!!!!! Fratello Lomonaco (our ward mission leader) was sitting on the stand and like got my attention and mouthed something about Sorella Ferraro and I said, "no she's not here again" and then he like motioned behind me and I turned and looked and saw all four of them and was so happy!!! I can't describe the joy that comes when you see people taking steps toward coming closer to Heavenly Father. It is a joy that is indescribable. 

On December 1 the church's Christmas program for this year will start. If you don't know about it, then go look up It is an incredible program that will help all of us to grow to be like our Savior. And it is a chance for us to be LIGHTS in this world of DARKNESS!! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

As you all could probably tell I was kind of freaking out about training and I would like you all to know that every single one of my fears has been wiped away. I have felt your prayers and Heavenly Father has blessed us with so many miracles every single day. It is incredible to be able to just soak up this experience everyday. To be able to laugh about the hard and awkward times and to be able to feel the love of the savior lift the burdens from my back. I feel so blessed to be on a mission and to be taking the steps toward coming to know and understand my Savior. 

There are a lot of times in my mission when I have asked the question, WHY??? W H Y. But the thing that I automatically do when I ask that question is smile. Because I don't have to know why. All I have to know is that there is a plan. He knows. Not me. I just have faith in Him. Trust in Him. Jesus Christ knew very well before performing the atonement that not all of Heavenly Father's children were going to return back to Him. But He suffered for EVERY SINGLE one of them so they could have the CHANCE to return to Him. That is an amount of love that no one on this earth will ever be able to understand. 

Like it states in the living Christ:

God be thanked for the MATCHLESS GIFT of His divine son

I love you all and hope you will always be able to remember just exactly what He did for us during THE BEST TIME OF THE YEAR (polar express)

Con tantissimo amore

Sorella G ❤️️🇮🇹