Monday, July 31, 2017


I have been transferred to Bari!!!!

I was so sad to leave my home in Rome. That is a very special city to me and it is my HOME because that I spent four transfers in it, which will be the most amount of time I have and will spend in a city on my mission.....unless they send me back to Ragusa or Taranto!!!!

And funny story I almost didn't make my train. I woke up at 5:30am to make my 7:30am train, but appartenuto that wasn't enough time. So I bugged the spragues one last time and asked them to quickly drive us to termini. We pulled up at 7:22am outside of termini and the Anziani (Elders) were standing outside and we sprinted down the binario (platform) and they loaded all of the bags on the train and the Anziani helping us got off at 7:29am haha. It was STRESSFUL!

I will give you a little background on Bari. It is a city on the eastern coast of Italy in the region of Puglia (Taranto, my first city, is also in Puglia). I am now back on the ocean and I have missed it! It's so weird being here because it's like I'm reliving all of the things that happened to me last year!! Giant meal appointments (that my stomach is not used to, but that are delicious), doing finding in città vecchia (old city) or on lungo mare (along the sea), people who talk to you for forty minutes on the street, taralli, smells of the ocean and of fish, olive trees, and that's all I can think of right now. But I love it.

I got here and we have no work haha. It's crazy because in Rome there is ALWAYS something to do and you are running around here and there trying to plan which days you can do what and here we hardly have any investigators. We have one, but my companion was nervous we were never going to hear from her again. Haha so thus far we have done finding for six hours in the day for the past four days.

Points of the week:

  • because there were 14 sisters that came into the mission last Tuesday I was able to take them all around Rome!! It was so much fun and I got to see SORELLA TAYLOR!!!!
  • Leonardo talking to us for an hour about how we radiate the light of Christ and how we are beautiful and how we are saving the world....that was right after this lady yelled at us to stop preaching about Christ to which my companion yelled back, "NO!" I was actually very scared 
  • I told his lady I liked her pants and she asked me what size I was and where the address of the church was so she could buy me some and bring them to me hahaha - Also this lady gave us her number!! So hopefully we will be able to teach her!
This week I came upon a really awesome scripture that I really loved that I thought I would share. It's from D&C 24:88 Be patient in afflictions, for thou shalt have many; but endure them, for, lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days.

Heavenly Father is always with us. He loves us.

I hope you have a great week!!! Mi mancate tantissimo!!

Sorella G ❤️🇮🇹

Tuesday, July 25, 2017



The title of my email will make a whole lot more sense later on in the email but my companion said, "I feel like we kind of jumped out of the boat and then someone shoved our heads under water for a little bit" hahahaha I love being a missionary

This week was a little more difficult! We tried to really focus on finding this week because our work has kind of plateaued, but no one was having it. I don't exactly know why our week was a little more difficult, but it just was.

I will tell you about Saturday. Well here in Rome 3 (it wasn't like this in any of my other cities and I am not sure if it is Rome 3 or if it is just this time of year), no one wants to meet with us until Saturday. So we wait all week for our appointments with members, investigators, and less actives and then try to crank out like 6 in one day!! That's near impossible here. 

I don't know if it's because Italians talk a lot or because of travel situations or what. We cancelled meetings and we had a solid four appointments to start the day. We planned very well and wanted to be very prepared so we had scriptures and thought provoking questions we wanted to ask and it was just great our lessons were going to be worth the wait!!! We get to our first appointment and our investigator Carmela just doesn't say anything. She said she had a really bad headache and she was really really down. I didn't think it would be the best idea to question her about and study the restoration so I said, "Sorella wood we have to change our lesson." She was like........uh ok....... that was all thanks to the spirit helping us out and we watched a Mormon message and read some quotes and scriptures about hope and you could see the change in her countenance. I was so amazed at how well it went!! I was bearing my testimony at the very end to close the lesson and she interrupts me and goes on for 18 minutes non stop yelling about how her husband is psycho and her children don't help her with anything! Sorella Wood timed it haha that's how I know it was 18 minutes. It was so frustrating and sad because we had seen the condition she was in, did our best to change it, changed it, and then it was right back to where we started and the spirit said "ciao ciao!!"

Well then our member cancelled and then Magdona didn't answer so we went to go see our Peruvian investigators that work at the bar. While we were there, Magdona called us and told us to meet her in Termini at 5 (which is like an hour travel time there) and the Peruvian ladies talked the whole time about how much the heat has been bugging them and how they are so tired from working all day every day. We weren't even able to teach a lesson so we left them two plan of salvation pamphlets and headed to termini.

MAGDONA!! Oh mamma mia sometimes I want to pull all of my hairs out. It was just frustrating because she believes that our church is the true church and she wants to be baptized. She even told her Mormon daughter that she is meeting with us!! The only problem is she says in the lesson "well I don't really believe that Jesus did everything people say he did." Or "Jesus and God aren't really there to hear our prayers." WHAT??? I was just pleading with her kind of throb bearing testimony and reading scriptures to please just ask in faith Magdona!!
Because God will answer!!!!

My patience was like at its wits end. It was so hard for me to sit there and listen to these people who talk for 40 minutes about how hard their life is and how the world is falling apart and how terrible this is and that and I really love them so much I just sit there and listen intently and then when I try to talk they don't want to listen. BUT!!! That's ok. We are here to learn and there is a great scripture I studied this week that really helped me out.

It is found in Matthew 14:24-32

Why would the Lord allow Peter to get out of the boat and go to him if he already knew Peter was going to fall?? Because it was the perfect opportunity for Peter to learn. Christ will always stretch forth His hand. He is merciful and He is a great teacher and after the lesson was learned, the winds ceased. Fear and faith cannot exist together!!!!

But it is also a lesson that we need to get out of the boat!! I love that Peter desired to go to the Lord. It's like the Brother of Jared. Are we seeking for things in this life? Or are we just sitting around waiting??

In Jackson Hole we went whitewater river rafting when I was about 8 years old and I was on the bottom of the boat crying the whole time because I was scared. AND I MISSED THE WHOLE RIDE!!! It's when we leave the boat that we learn and grow the most. We discover the strength of the Lord. He is there to reach out to us and lift us up. And in the process we can have joy and enjoy the whole purpose and ups and downs of life.



If any of you didn't know yet, I love being a missionary and I love Italy and the Italian language people, culture, everything haha. And I might be leaving Rome!!! Ahh! I'll let you know next week.



Sorella G ❤🇮🇹

Monday, July 17, 2017

Io sono Gesù Cristo. Ti voglio bene

Ciao cari miei!!!

This week was great!! We had a lot of miracle appointments and some
interesting stories that we were told....

First things first, our investigator Magdona has a baptismal date!! We have been really trying to use the Bible more in our teaching and we invited her to be baptized on the 26th of August and she said, "the 26th? Why not the 23rd? That's my birthday!" Haha it was one of the best things I have ever heard. She's a funny person and still has a long way to go, but she has taken that first leap of faith so now we will start on helping her prepare herself for baptism! First step: come to church haha.
I had a scambio this week with Sorella N'Zoungani. She is originally from the democratic republic of the Congo but has lived in Italy since she was 2 so she only speaks Italian and she is in her first transfer. We had a lesson with a member and it turned out that her husband, who is a non-member yelled at us for like ten minutes telling us about how Mormons are racist and how we don't read the correct bible and on and on and on and then left while slamming the door. I never thought I would receive that response from asking someone who has read the Book of Mormon twice what they thought about it? Our member was really worried about our testimonies after that haha but it was really cool because this scripture came to my mind that I thought was perfect. There's no
way I could have remembered it if the Holy Ghost didn't bring the reference to my brain, but it was in Mosiah 24:13-14, 

"13. And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their   
afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.
14. And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions."

Sorella N'Zoungani had this idea that she was going to come into the mission
and find all of these investigators and baptize them, but they have been really struggling for five weeks and haven't been able to find anything which has been really frustrating for her. I helped her realize that we don't have to baptize people to change their lives, we don't have to have investigators to be successful missionaries, and we can be teaching people ALWAYS!

As for the interesting stories, I think Italians and people from other places in the world are a lot more visionary than Americans are. Or at least they are more open with the dreams and experiences they have had. One of our less actives this week told us this story about how she had a dream that Jesus came to her when she was a little girl and wrote on her forehead, "I am Jesus Christ. I love you." She was wondering what her dream meant. And what it means when people leave messages on our foreheads. I had no idea. So if anyone knows, feel free to fill me in haha.

There were lots of other things, but I don't have time to write them haha. Just know that the day in the life of a missionary is never boring. There's ALWAYS something.

This week I was reading in the Gordon B. Hinckley manual and he said something that I really loved. He said, "I have come to see that if we complain about life, it is because we are thinking only of ourselves."

I really liked that because it is so true. 

Why are missionaries happy? 

Because they spend the majority of their time thinking about everyone except themselves. I have such a testimony that when we lose ourselves in the service of others, we find ourselves.

Have a great week!!

Vi voglio bene!

Sorella g

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Make it so that HAPPINESS never ends

This is a letter written by Lucy to her Aunt Natalie Gochnour in response to Natalie's article she wrote in the Deseret News on July 5th, 2017 entitled: 

Goodbyes are hard, but they are also meaningful

Hey Nat!!!

I just read your column and I absolutely loved it. I think you are an incredible writer and you should really give yourself credit. 

It actually made me feel kind of sick because I've felt that pit in my stomach when I've said goodbye to people. I have lived every experience that you described in your column and I was thinking WHY DO WE EVEN HAVE TO CHANGE??? Haha sometimes it's like "do I really have to change this much? I'm comfortable where I am," but the reality is that when we do say goodbye we also say HELLO!! In Italian you can use the word CIAO interchangeably which is so cool. I think of all of the people I love here in Rome and all of the goodbyes I have had to say to these people that I have served with. Sometimes I think. It would have been a lot easier if I just really didn't get to know anything about these people or if I would have just focused on the work so much more than helping the ward. BUT then I stop myself in my tracks and thank Heavenly Father for the blessing to getting to know those people. To have those experiences. The good ones. And the bad ones. Those are the moments that have made my mission all worth the sacrifice! To me it's so important to just LIVE IN THE MOMENT. To enjoy every second that you have because that's another one gone. Hello's and goodbyes are part of life and if we do our best to put all of our heart, might, mind, and souls into everything we do, the middle will be so much sweeter. So let's just say CIAO!! Goodbye and hello!! And remember that everything in the middle helped us to grow :)

Thanks for the prayers. They really are felt. I love and miss you all

Sorella g 

This weeks email:

Hello everyone!!!

Another week gone by just like that!!

I felt very grateful this week to have celebrated the Fourth of July!! I can't express the gratitude I feel for having been born in the americas.

We had a little bit of a rough week. We weren't able to get ahold of our investigator this week Magdona. Hopefully we can see her todayWe were supposed to do a scambio and we even made it all the way to termini, but then they announced that there would be a strike the next day, so we wouldn't have been able to switch back companions so we decided to postpone it to this coming week. There was another sciopero (strike) this week!!! We consisted of a lot of walking in a lot of heat! We went to visit a member on her birthday and she wasn't there because she had swollen legs and had to go to the hospital. Well yesterday we went to go visit her in the hospital and it was super far away and our ward members gave us the wrong directions haha so we found out really which bus we were supposed to take 30 seconds after it passed by and then we only had ten minutes left where we could visit her and we would have had to wait for another bus to come, so that was a major bummer. We had a relief society activity and there were four sisters that showed up, which was a little sad because we really had hoped that some more would come.

Haha I hope you all realize that missions are not all miracle lessons and baptisms and flowers and golden investigators. BUT THEY ARE STILL THE BEST THINGS EVER!!!

And instead of focusing on all of the negative things let's look at the miracles of the week!!

  • We were able to get home on time (9pm) for the majority of the week this week which was super awesome because where we live is pretty difficult to travel and we also rely on the mezzi (I don't remember how you say that in English means maybe?) to get us around everywhere and they are actually like the most UNRELIABLE thing ever haha.
  • There was a man who stopped us and asked about English course and actually we passed out SO many bigliettini. Actually we had two different people ask for a stack of bigliettini to hand out to their friends so that was really cool. I just have to figure out how to get those people to actually come now
  • We were able to give a Book of Mormon to a lady in Termini that is from Ethiopia and speaks Amharic? That was really cool. We still need to follow up and see if she has had a chance to read it.
  • There was this lady as we were doing finding one day and I don't think there has been anyone who has let us talk or share our message in a couple of weeks so when she said "si, ascolto" I was SHOCKED. I stumbled over my words haha but she gave us her number and we haven't been able to contact her but that was a miracle!!
  • Our cinnamon rolls that we made for the relief society activity were the most ghetto cinnamon rolls I have ever made haha. We forgot all of the measuring cups and we didn't have enough time to let it rise and stuff so we just guessed and put in what we thought was correct and they turned out to be super good!! That was thanks to Heavenly Father. And all of the sisters that did come to the activity really enjoyed it, so that makes me really happy. Here we say "SIAMO POCHI MA BUONI!!!!!"
  • When we were on our way to try to go to the hospital yesterday, this man stopped us and actives like he knew us. We talked to him for a little and he said he has a friend for us that he wants us to talk to with him so we got his number and we will see where it goes. He said "I will be expecting a call from you" I kind of think we did this whole nightmare of a journey to maybe just talk to him. And if that was the case, I would be very happy.

All in all it was just kind of an average normal week in the life of a missionary. I like average weeks. There are ups and downs. Good things and bad things. The hard days make the good days better. And they make the experience into something that you love and is even more dear to your heart.

This week I was reading a talk given by elder Richard G Scott and he said, "A famous Brazilian song repeats a falsehood many believe: Sadness never ends, but happiness does. I witness that with faith in the Savior and obedience to His teachings, happiness never ends, but sadness does."

I know that if we have faith in the savior and our obedient to His commandments His promises WILL COME!! We have to remember that those promises are eternal and not temporary and they may come in this life and they may come in the next. Whichever case THEY. WILL. COME. And I
really hope we can make it so that happiness never ends and our sadness does.

Have a great week!!

Con affetto,

Sorella g ❤🇮🇹

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

La volontà di Dio

This week was a little bit slower. In the sense that I don't have much to tell you are, but the week flew by.

I had a scambio (exchange) this week where Sorella Holmes came to Rome three!! Unfortunately we weren't able to teach any lessons because the two we had scheduled were cancelled so we did lots of finding. And got shut in the closing doors of a metro haha. That one was my fault because I jumped in and she didn't have time to so she had like one leg and one arm in the door and I didn't know what to do so I pulled the doors open and jumped out haha. That was a funny experience. She really helped me to refocus on my work and also helped me to have a greater ability to talk to people.

We also had a ward party saying goodbye to one of our members that is moving to Puglia. We had two people come to the party that we weren't expecting. Our investigator Magdona was progressing and we finally got her a Book of Mormon in Hungarian!! The only bummer was that she was pretty firm on saying that when we die, we are buried and our bodies turn to dust and that's it. Our spirits don't go anywhere else. We are hoping to really have a great plan of salvation lesson and help her see that there is hope after we die and we will all be resurrected and get the chance to live with Heavenly Father!!!

We also met with a member who is from the Philippines. Her name is Sharon and she is here with her two children. She does a really great job of doing member missionary work. Her son is 17 years old and her daughter is 14 and she has raised them well!! We had a great discussion with them about James 1:5 and her son bore his testimony to us about how he gained his testimony. They are very shy and it was such a miracle to get him to open up to us. He said the whole thing in Tagalog because he doesn't like speaking English and his mom translated it for us into English. Languages are the coolest things ever!!

The highlight of the week was zone conference!!! The closer I get to the end of my mission, the harder it is to get through zone conferences. It is such a special experience, I can't really describe. But basically I don't have any family here in Italy and my mission President and his wife and the missionaries that surround me have become like my parents and my brothers and sisters. Zone conference
always brings everything into perspective because it makes the hard times in the missions seem like precious learning moments and the good times seem like the best times ever. Our theme of zone conference was given in a talk from April 1979 titled "Forward and Upward" where we discussed about how sometimes we have paused on some plateaus for too long. We also discussed a lot about the will of God. As I was studying this topic I really was hit by how much of a CHOICE it is. When we take upon ourselves the will of God, that is a choice we are making. And by making that choice Heavenly Father will lift us up and edify us and help us grow into the people that we need to become.

My sister grace sent me in an email one time this quote that I really love, "we shouldn't count how many prayers we say, but how many prayers we answer." And I really love that. I feel like that goes along with the will of God. It could be the best thing that ever happened to us, but it all depends on the perspective that we have of it.

I was also able to play my violin at zone conference. I accompanied an elder who sang, "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul". He has an incredible voice and I thing everyone was able to really feel the spirit. It is really cool for me to be able to play because that was a song I wasn't able to play before my mission, but now without practicing I am able to play it. Which doesn't make sense logically, but with the help of the Lord He can transform us into ANYTHING to help us bless the lives of others!!

Sorry if this email is a little boring haha....

Also happy Fourth of July tomorrow!!! Eat lots of yummy food and watch
some cool fireworks for me!!


Sorella G ❤🇮🇹