Monday, June 26, 2017

Troppe cose

So many things happened this week if I were to write them all out it would take probably four hours SO I'll try to do a bullet point list with the most important things and include as many details as possible
  • Tuesday was Sorella wood's birthday. The spragues had previously given me a Betty Crocker yellow cake mix as a gift and so I made her a cake with chocolate frosting on it. (Just like the ones you make mom!!!!) it was really good, but it almost got ruined!! On the bus I was sitting down with it in my hands (we didn't have anything at home to cover it with so it was just uncovered) and this lady like wasn't holding on and basically lost her balance and almost SAT ON MY CAKE!!! Good thing I moved right before she like sat on my lap haha
  • Then we went to go do casa in casa and it was probably the worst experience I have had thus far doing it! We went to this nicer neighborhood because we really thought it would be where we could find some great leaders for our ward here in Rome 3. Basically I stopped this lady and she looked at me for a sec and then tapped my tag and told me in a very irritated voice that I need to put that in my pocket. And she said some other stuff that doesn't matter. She probably just had a really bad day or something. Turns out that neighborhood has been over proselyted by five different churches, including the jehovah's witnesses (which no one really likes at all and we look a lot like them). We did see an English course student Angelo though!! And we talked to him for a little. That was a little tender mercy Heavenly Father gave us.
  • We met with Magdona at McDonalds!!! She is our investigator and she accepted a soft baptismal invite!! She has kind of a complicated situation and it's actually really hard to be able to meet with her so that's why we weren't able to pick a date yet.
  • Saturday was one of the busiest days ever. We had a lesson with a less active and then a member. Then we went and saw an ex investigator from the Philippines. She had some pretty crazy stories and relations to Joseph Smith, so we are hoping she will read the Book of Mormon and pray to know it is true. She said she would!! Then we made corn bread and took it to go see a less active. FOUR lessons in one day!! That's a big deal for us here in Rome because traveling is a nightmare. It probably takes an hour and a half at least to get to appointments. And a lot of the time that is counting on if a bus comes at the time it says it will (very rare occasion)

Missionary work is CRAZY! It's busy. And sometimes when you are dripping sweat on the way to an appointment you are late for, on a bus that you sprinted to catch, it is like WHAT IN THE WORLD AM I DOING? But I promise you it is FUN. it's so fun to look out the window and enjoy those times. Like the MasterCard commercial they are PRICELESS.

This week I was listening to a talk while writing in my journal and Brad Wilcox talks about GRACE. He explained in a way that had never occurred to me and now I understand the God's grace in a whole new light. Jesus Christ paid our debt IN FULL!!! Every last penny. It's not that we pay all that we can and then He makes up the difference. JESUS MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE. How lucky we are to have someone who loves us THAT much.

Love you all

Have a great week!!

Ps happy anniversary mom and dad!! Thanks for getting married!! (And Ralph and Abby happy anniversary too)

Con tanto amore

Sorella G ❤🇮🇹

Monday, June 19, 2017

Le ciliegie e un vero sciopero

Hello folks!!

This week was quite full of miracles and I am going to share two of them with you. And a funny story haha.

We'll start with the funny story (and it might now be funny to you guys so just bear with me here). Well our investigator pool is quite small right now and we are trying super hard to find new investigators!! On Wednesday we went to this ex investigators house and did some casa in casa (door to door) around her neighborhood. No luck, BUT it was super hot and I saw this guy in this little ape (mini Italian truck) selling cherries and I told sorella Wood we had to stop. It was €3 for one chilo of cherries and €5 for 2 chili of we got 2 haha and then went and waited the bus and took pictures of our cherries and spat out cherries seeds. It was on a really busy road and I'm pretty sure all of the cars thought we were the strangest people ever, but hopefully if they ever see the missionaries they will remember two sweaty American girls eating
cherries on the side of the road!! That's actually not that funny...sorry

Also this week we had a sciopero!!!! What is that? It's a strike. I'm pretty sure it just happens in Rome haha. Maybe other places. But  what happens is all of the bus drivers and metro workers get together and say we're not going to go to work on this day. So literally none of the buses work and the metro is closed and locked from 8 in the morning until 5pm at night. Usually there are like one
or two buses that will pass and you can usually figure out how to get most of the things done that you need to, but this time they decided to like go all out and NOTHING was running. We had two appointments to get to, both of which were pass off lessons (you give your investigators to other missionaries). One was near our house. The other was by the Vatican which is approximately an 1 and 45 minute travel with bus and metro. Well the first appointment we walked to, which took us about 50 minutes. Back to the old RAGUSA days (walking)!! It wasn't bad at all, the only downside was that it was at 1 in the afternoon and felt like 40 degrees Celsius outside. The second one we were able to shift the appointment time a little to make it there in time! It was such a miracle. They were three really great investigators so that was kind of sad, but I'm excited for those missionaries and hopefully they will help those people enter the waters of baptism!!

The first cool experience of the week was when sorella Wood and I were like very desperate to help our FHE problem. In Rome three we do a weekly family home evening every Monday night to try to help the ward. Recently we have been getting about two members here and it is really frustrating because we have tried literally everything to get people to come. Well we have prayed and fasted so many times for this and felt like we just weren't getting an answer. Sorella Wood was kind of like "come on Heavenly Father we have prayed so hard to figure out the answer, WHERE IS IT??" And after that we just started talking and talking and spitting out ideas and building off of one another and
just like that we had a six week family home evening program and an invite for every week and all of the spiritual thought, activity, food, and invite are on the same topic so hopefully they will remember it more. It's kind of hard to describe the whole thing, but really it was the spirit working through us to receive answers to our prayers. The spragues were so grateful almost to the point of being emotional about the plan we had come up with. There is SO much joy feeling like you were an instrument in the hands of the Lord to make someone's
burdens a little bit lighter.

The next cool experience was when we met this man from Bangladesh. We were on the metro and I was holding a Book of Mormon in my hands and the only thing showing was the back cover which says, "la chiesa di Gesù Cristo dei santi degli ultimi giorni" in really little font. Well this middle eastern man says, "excuse me, that doesn't happen to be a Book of Mormon, does it?" He didn't know what Gesù Cristo meant but he thought the Book looked familiar so he looked it up on google translate and saw it meant Jesus Christ and then asked us. He used to be an investigator of the elders, but they aren't allowed to teach him due to his safety and our safety, bit honestly it was probably the coolest experience ever. We said a prayer with him and talked to him about religion and his situation. We like kind of helped him realize that we didn't run into him by accident and he said he would try to come to church but that he's super busy with his tests right now. He didn't come, but it was still a really incredible miracle.

When I meet people like this man there are a lot of thoughts that run through my brain. How grateful I am for the plan of salvation, how blessed I was to be raised in the circumstances I was raised in, the incredible amounts of faith that people have, how grateful I am to be experiencing these things. I find so much comfort in knowing that Heavenly Father has a specific and perfect plan for each and every one of His children. It's so easy to say, "why does this person who is
such a great person with so much faith have to go through so much pain and hardship?" when I witness the incredibly hard situations people deal with and then I just feel peace to know that Heavenly Father loves them. He knows them and He has not left them alone. FAITH IS REAL PEOPLE. Experiencing the things I experience daily as a missionary is something I wouldn't trade for the world. It is priceless. And I love it.


Sorella G ❤🇮🇹

This week I almost started crying because the song "con te partirò" popped into my head and I realized that someday I am going to have to say goodbye to this country

Also no surprise with transfers. I am staying in Rome 3, the only change is that I will now be the sister training leader with sorella rushton. So that's exciting! It's going to be fun!! I have no idea what I'm doing haha.

Monday, June 12, 2017


Haha oh man we had a packed week!!

On Wednesday, we didn't have really any set appointments so I put my violin on my back and we went to go see this referral a member gave us. It was kind of questionable referral (meaning that we didn't think it would really be anything), but we went anything and it turned in to be our new investigator Magdona!!! She is from Hungary and her daughter is a member of the church in Budapest. She said she never was baptized because she works to much but we are going to see if we can work with her. We went to this appartamento and she is a substitute badante which is a person who takes care of old people and she let us
in. We started talking and got to know her for a little and she was too busy to have a lesson because she had to bathe Umberto and put him to bed, but I played my violin and sorella Wood sang where can I turn for peace and it was a really great experience!!

The communication issue thing happened TWICE this week. We an appointment with this member lady, Paola (she's older and I had never met with her before), but the problem was that we had five people that wanted to meet with us on friday at 5:30pm. I called her to see if we could maybe move the appointment a little and she said no haha and asked if the senior couple was coming with us. I told her I would call them and then call her back, so I called them and I didn't think it was appropriate to call her that night because it was late and we
needed to go to bed. So I forgot the next day and then Friday she called and was very frustrated with me!!! Sorella Wood answered the phone and got yelled at by this old Italian lady and she had no idea what she was saying so she passed the phone to me haha and Paola was like "I am an old single lady and you knew that you were supposed to call me and I can't plan for six people to come and not know if they are coming!" I felt terrible and apologized and asking if there was anything we could being. Long story short she probably told us 50
times at dinner that she could have made a lasagna or it would have been much better if she could have had more time to prepare, but Sorella Gochnour didn't call her. The spragues thought it was hysterical and it was just one of those "learn to laugh at yourself" moments. Or a missionary failure moment haha. It turned out to be a great lesson and she was very kind to still allow us to come and feed us.

Then we had an appointment with a potential investigator named Judy. I had called her multiple times to confirm the appointment and she never answered. I asked the elders if we should still go anyway (because she lives like and hour and a half away) and they called her husband who said she was at home. Well we're sitting there on the train waiting for it to leave the station and this lady comes up to us and goes "hey sisters? How are you sisters?" She is a less active lady named Louisa and she just happened to pick the same train car that we were on. I had never seen her in person, but talked with her on the phone and had many appointments with her that she cancelled so it was really great that we got to know her! Back to Judy, I call her as we are pulling out of the station and she says, "I'm not at home sisters. I told you you needed to call and confirm to make sure that I was at home." I TRIED CALLING YOU JUDY!!! Haha I can laugh at it now, but in the moment I wanted to pull all of my hair out. It ended up being a great experience. We were able to get to know Louisa and she felt bad for us so she took us to her non member friends house to get to know her. (That's a whole different story) Heavenly Father turned that into a miracle of a night!!

Then we had an interesting lesson with those two Peruvian guys. I don't really remember if I explained their story to you, but we finally met with them this week and taught the restoration. They had a ton of great questions and we were able to just talk about some of the things we believe. It's hard to explain everything, but I think they were kind of a little skeptical. Out of the three people taught the mother said she already knows everything she needs to know, the other one said he should read and pray, but he probably won't, and the last
one said he would read and see how he feels about it. One of them at the very end said, "ok, last question. Do you really believe in everything you just said? 100%?" It kind of made me laugh a little. I was able to just bear powerful and simple testimony to him. "Sì. So che queste cose sono vere. Senza dubbio. Cento percento."

If I didn't know that these things were true I would not be here walking around all day in the heat away from my family speaking a foreign language in a foreign land to people who, the majority of which, don't want to listen to me.

I KNOW THIS CHURCH IS TRUE. It is not a church established by man. It is a restored church. And it is the Church of Jesus Christ. My goal is to help these people to come unto Him.

And I love doing it. I wouldn't trade it for anything.


Sorella G❤🇮🇹

Ps transfers are tonight. I'm not expecting anything crazy to happen
just because I'm smack dab in the middle of training, so most likely I
will be here for another six week, but who knows. I'll fill you in
next week!!