Thursday, May 25, 2017


This is not a picture that goes with this email - it was from an earlier gathering.

Hello everyone. Time is short so like always I'm just going to give a few highlights and leave the rest for funny stories when I get home haha. Also I'm sorry if I have already written an email titled like this before, but I relearned this concept this week so that is why.

New missionary interaction of the week:
Sorella Wood: "why is this cheese soooooo good?"
Me: because it's real mozzarella cheese haha

Sorella Wood: "American cheese pizza is lame. That's what I've learned."
Me: (laughing) "I'm glad that in two and a half weeks of missionary
work you've learned that American cheese pizza is lame hahahaha


  • we had a lesson with a member and we were teaching her about giving a Book of Mormon to someone. At the end we invited her to do so and she says, "you know as you guys were talking I was thinking about all of the people I could possibly give a Book of Mormon to and this lady's name popped into my head. I have no idea why because she is super cattiva (direct translation is like evil but we don't really describe people in English as being evil and I don't remember what word you use so we're just going to use the Italian one) but I will pray about it and see what it is that Heavenly Father wants me to do." Ok coolest experience ever!!!
  • Saga made us Finnish pancakes because she is going back to Finland to go through all of her mom's stuff. (We will probably take a break teaching her because she doesn't really have intentions to be baptized and I don't think she has as open of a mind as she says she does)
  • We had a scambio with Sorella Wise and she is so funny haha she says to me "I'm done praying for charity or patience because every time I do Heavenly Father gives me EVERY opportunity to develop that characteristic. Don't do it!!" Haha she was joking obviously but it was super funny!

  • Saturday, we had the miracle of all miracles. There is this less active family that I have called since February (when I got here). I call them every week. Sometimes multiple times a week and no answer. But this week he answered and set up an appointment with us Saturday. I was really skeptical that it was going to happen so on Friday I called to confirm and it was confirmed. So Saturday, we leave our house at 3:30pm to get there. Well long story short our appointment was at 5pm and we got there at 6pm!!!! Haha oh man. The struggle. And when we got there they had prepared dinner and he had left work early to be there, their 14 year old son didn't go to tutoring to be there and the wife didn't work so she could be there. They are from Peru and all have really strong testimonies, they just work literally 24/7 so they can never come to church. They invited us back for a FHE on Monday and it will be awesome! Finally a breakthrough!!! Prayers are answered people!!

  • Sunday, we got a call from a less active family I have never even heard of. They called our phone 8 times during church and we got out and called them and they said "can you guys come visit us?" YES!!!!!! That has NEVER happened to me before.
  • There also was this Chinese man who went and sat next to Sorella Wood on the metro and doesn't speak Italian or English really. Just Chinese and he was telling us how he is Christian so in our limited communication we managed to set up an appointment with him so we'll see how that goes. I'm still trying to figure out how to teach someone when you don't speak the same language but we'll figure it out!

The title comes from something really crucial that I learned this week.

I wish I could explain it in more detail but basically 

WE WORSHIP A FOURTH WATCH GOD. Meaning that God will always come, but it will be in the fourth and last watch of the night after we have rowed the equivalent of 75 football fields against the wind. Sometimes I feel like I'm in the 48th watch and He's never coming, BUT Brad Wilcox allowed me to learn otherwise. He says, "We worship a. Fourth watch God. So when the trials aren't over and the blessings don't come, don't assume that Ne is not there or He is not listening, or He doesn't care, or you're not worthy. ALWAYS ASSUME you have NOT YET REACHED the fourth watch."

I know that we worship a loving and merciful God. He loves us and He wants to help us grow. He is ALWAYS watching us and He is ALWAYS listening. He will calm the storms of our lives.

"Be still and know that I AM GOD."

Have a great week and always remember that when you're like almost drowning, you haven't yet reached the fourth watch, so HANG IN THERE
until the Savior comes to your rescue!!!

Con amore,

Sorella G ๐ŸŽˆ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น

Monday, May 15, 2017

I Often Go Walking.....

Adriano chillin at the park

Ciao carissimi!!!

First of all. Family. I love you all so much. Seeing your faces and hearing your voices makes me so happy. I miss being with you all. I felt like a proud family member when we discovered that four members of the family were wearing duke gear, three members of the family were in church clothes, and the other two are in Italy!!! THAT'S WHAT I CALL A FAMILY!!!

This week I don't have very many exciting stories to tell. I will tell you that I have never had so many cancelled appointments in my whole mission!! What is with these people???? We make appointments and then we get there......nothing. Sorella Wood and I were kind of laughing because we were going to be SO BUSY Friday and Saturday and Sunday and actually every single appointment we had cancelled haha. So at least we got weekly planning done!! We also made sugar cookies for all of the mothers in our ward and we had some extras so we were handing them out to all of these mothers on the bus and in the streets that we saw and they were so happy. We also gave them to all of our neighbors and I don't think I have ever made so many people smile. Successful missionary moment. Making people smile is the best!!

New missionary quote of the week: "feeling discouraged?" After she watched me get shut down for about two hours of finding haha Also I really walk too fast I think. Poor sorella wood always asks me, "why are you walking so fast?" I blame it on you mom and dad!!!

Sometimes when all of your appointments get cancelled you get a little discouraged. I think it's pretty natural so I'm not too worried about it. Or I guess I'm like the worst planner in the history of the world. I am such an imperfect missionary. Last night was particularly bad however, and I was a little bit at a loss of what to do. Well Heavenly Father blessed me with a little tender mercy and a little lady from Columbia named Betta. We were at a bus stop (the second one because after waiting for forty minutes of the bus not coming we decided to take the bus that brings us within walking distance of our apartment)
and she asked us if we knew when the bus came. We started talking and I was able to testify to her that someday she will be able to see her son (who passed away) again and explain some of the things we believe in and where our church is and talk to her about what she believes in. She said she works for an old lady who doesn't let people come over and so she can't really meet with us, but for me just to be able to speak to someone who wanted to listen in Italian and to hear testimony and to testify of the things we believe in was such a tender mercy. Heavenly Father loves His children!!!

This week I was studying in chapter nine of preach my gospel (how to find new investigators) and I was highlighting the things I need to do, and the things Heavenly Father will do in return if I do those things. I was looking for a goal for this transfer and I cam across this sentence

If you will look for opportunities to love, serve, and teach, the bishop and ward members will be more likely to trust you with their family members and friends.

Sorella Gochnour needs to LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES to LOVE, SERVE, and TEACH

In return: the bishop and ward members WILL BE MORE LIKELY to trust you with their family members and friends.

I made this my transfer goal and as a weekly goal to help me accomplish this transfer goal I want to have a family home evening with one member family every week and as a daily goal I want to call a member every single day and talk to them and just ask them how they are doing and offer service to them. I think this will help them to feel like they are more loved by us and they will be MORE LIKELY it's not a guarantee to trust us with their family and friends. But I am confident in the promises of God and know that if He makes a promise, He will fulfill that promise.

As I was contemplating how grateful I am for mothers this week I had a couple of thoughts. There are some incredible talks given by general authorities and prophets about mothers but the thing that really sticks out to me is the connection between the love of the Savior and the love of a mother. It is a divine love. Elder Holland says, "Maternal love has to be divine. There is no other explanation to it." Thanks mom for being a savior on mount Zion. Thank you for shaping souls and for demonstrating the pure love of Christ. There's a primary song that comes to my mind whenever I think of you and it goes like

I often go walking in meadows of clover,

 and I gather armfuls of blossoms of blue.
I gather the blossoms the whole meadow over;
Dear mother all flowers remind me of you.

O mother, I give you my love with each flower
To give forth sweet fragrance a whole lifetime through
For if I love blossoms and meadows and walking,
I learned how to love them, dear mother, from you.

I hope all of you mothers know how much I love and look up to you!!!
Especially you JBG!!!


Sorella G ❤️๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น


cookies we made for Mother's Day and then extras we passed out to our neighbors and people on the bus - missionary miracle, we got smiles and thank you's 

Saturday, May 13, 2017



So I bet you're all dying to hear where I am......(or not) either way, I'm still here in Rome 3 and will be for the next two transfers because I'm training!!! I did not expect that at all actually. There are about 26 sisters that come to our mission, but they come next transfer, and then the transfer after that so I thought I would be training then, not now, but Heavenly Father knows best!

My new companion's name is Sorella Wood. She is from Oregon and is the youngest of her family and the first sister missionary in her family!
She is super kind and I am excited to be able to work with her. I have only spent three days with her so I don't know her very well yet. Sorella Bicchierri got transferred to Taranto which is where she was born and she has a ton of extended family there which is crazy! But she was so excited.

This week we saw Vanessa and Nino in church!! They came, they were only an hour late and missed all of sacrament meeting, but they still came! I was so happy. The ward members did a really great job of helping them feel welcomed and they liked it I think. We are really trying hard to set a baptismal date with them this week. So speriamo bene!!

Sorella Bicchierri and I also had a lesson with an ex investigator and it was the strangest lesson I have ever been a part of. The investigator said a prayer to open and then Sorella Bicchierri said a prayer and then I said a prayer. And then she asked us to pray for her health because she's going to die in two years? She also had four Book of Mormons? I'm not sure exactly why. Anyway. Her name is Lucy haha. Perfect. We'll see where things go with her.

From picking Sorella Wood up on Thursday and Sunday we have been doing
A LOT of finding and talking with people and we haven't really seen any success. It is kind of funny some of the questions she has asked in these first three days. For example, "Does anyone ever want to listen to are message?" "The one guy that we talked to tried to kiss me." She also just speaks in English to everyone she sees and it's super funny haha. She sat down on a bus next to this old lady who had her feet on the chair and Sorella wood told her, "you're fine you can
keep your feet there" haha as if the lady could somehow understand her. I asked her about it after and she said, "Yeah I didn't know how to say that in Italian so I just said it in English." Haha. She's super awesome and helpful. She has a good memory and is very mature.

We also had a funny experience this week. We were talking to this lady and she was being sooo kind. She was this old little grandma and she was telling me how much she admired us and how much of a devoted catholic she was and I asked her if she would like to add to her knowledge and listen to the message that we share with people and she kindly said no, but after I was like ok well we have to go, but what's your name? She says, "guess! It's the most beautiful name in the world!!" I said, "Maria!!!" And she practically tackle hugged/kissed
me haha. It was funny. I guess I guessed correctly.

I am so excited to be able to train again. There is a lot of responsibility and stress however that comes with it. I love and have found inspiration in a talk given in this past general conference given by Elder Palmer titled "The Jesus Beholding Him Loved Him." I have found great comfort in his closing remarks which are, "My dear brothers and sisters, now anytime you feel you are being asked to do something hard....think of the Lord beholding you, loving you, and
inviting you to let it go and follow Him. And thank Him for loving you enough to invite you to do more."

Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us. It may seem sometimes like we never really get a break, but I am trying to change my perspective and think about how anytime I have been asked to do something hard, I need to think about how much Heavenly Father loves me and thank Him for LOVING me ENOUGH to invite me to do more.

B E C O M I N G. It's a process. And if we submit our will to that of the Father, He will help us to become the people we are destined to be.

I love you all and am sending you lots of love from la Bella cittร  di Roma!!!!

Con amore

Sorella g ❤️๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น

Monday, May 1, 2017


Ciao cari mieiiiii..............

Pasta pasta pasta pasta BASTA WITH THE PASTA!! Oh my goodness I have eaten so much pasta this week. I can't take it anymore! My body is starting to refuse it so that is how I feel about pasta right now. Am I sick of the taste? Not in the slightest. Do I want the carbs? NO. 

So transfers are tonight and I have no idea of what is going to happen, but I know that Sorella bicchierri and I will no longer be companions. It will be sad not being able to be with her. I really love her and she is such a great example to me of charity and of selfless love. This transfer I picked a "good, better, best" to work on and that was loving my companion. I love her and really you can kind of get along with a person pretty easily, but I wasn't loving her as I should have. I really have a testimony of divine help. I feel that as I have strived to do my best to love sorella Bicchierri and to see her as Christ sees her, our relationship has grown. There were a couple of little things that bugged me really bad and it was super frustrating for me because I didn't want them to bug me, they just did. And the worst part is they are stupid little things that really don't matter. But it wasn't until I sought divine help that I was able to move past those things and love and serve her the way I should I am really grateful for Sorella bicchierri. She is one of my best friends. I have learned so much from her and she will be one of my best friends for the rest of my life. I am so grateful for the divine love and help that I received from Heavenly Father and have a testimony that PUNTO 13 of weekly planning is very inspired haha. I am no where near perfect, but it has been really great to see a difference in our relationship. 

Also guess who we saw this week!!?!? Vanessa and Nino!! Woot woot! They are really so awesome. Every time we go over there I become more and more convinced that they are already members just not baptized. They are so faithful and would be such an incredible blessing to Rome 3. We will do our best to help them continue on the right path!

Another highlight of the week was an FHE we had with the cutest member family. They are so awesome and are really such a good example of what I want my own family to be like some day. I mentioned something to them thanking them for their example of living IN the world but not OF it and how scared sorella Bicchierri and I are to return to "non-missionary life" (even though I still have a solid seven months don't worry I'm not trunky I promise). And fratello Bosco says, "fate bene fate bene" haha which basically means "yeah good job don't think about it it's scary and you don't want to return to the world" haha. Thanks for the advice! He also speaks perfect English and was joking with us how in the premortal world he was like really wanting to go to America and was headed on his way and then he tripped and fell in Italy haha. They have such strong testimonies and their children are so sweet. They are also really trying to do member missionary work which is the best thing ever!!

On a more spiritual note this week I read a talk given by Elder Nelson about how we can prepare the world for the millennial reign of the Savior. He brought up a point that I really like. He counsels us to study the lives of the 16 prophets of this dispensation and then goes on to share an experience he had with President Joseph F. Smith. President Smith in a meeting expressed love and confidence and a sincere desire to help the leaders of the church instead of telling them what they should be doing and what to change. After the meeti he was complimented on his remarks that he gave and his response was, "I did not come here to fail." 

We can learn so much from this phrase but the first thing that came to my mind was the beautiful plan the Heavenly Father created for us. He didn't send us here to earth for us to fail, but to have success. And more than that, to find joy in the process. So that is exactly what I am trying to work on.

I'll let you know next week if I remain in Roma 3 number 1 or if I am transferred somewhere else!!!

Have a great week!

Sorella G ❤๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น

pasta that Sister B and I Made !!

favorite flower peony - free