Saturday, March 27, 2010

Home--Beginning of Week 1

Aubry's home!!!! I was able to talk to her for a little while yesterday when she landed in Atlanta, Georgia!! Then last night we had a great reunion at the Sacramento Airport!! Now she and all her Siblings are here along with a brother-in-law and a new nephew!! We are having a great time!!!! It has been fun editing her letters and putting them on her blog, but now I will officially return her blog to her care!!!

In Aubry's words: Keep Smiling!!


Pescara--Week 6--Last Blog from Italy Rome Mission

I don't really feel like this needs to be a long email. I'm going to see you soon. I think some missionaries also call in the Rome airport. That would be Thursday night your time. So if people start doing that, I might jump on the bandwagon. If they don't however, I probably won't. So, there's a heads up. And yes, I'll call you for sure when I get to Georgia.

My companion got transferred to Sassari (the island). So we're getting blown out again! I don't know if this means all my work here stinks and president likes closing the cities behind me. Oh well, I'm going home now. He can't close any cities behind me anymore. Next transfer he has to close three cities to sisters (at least I think...six sisters are dying but I don't know if anyone's coming in. I don't think so).

I don't really want to say anymore. You can imagine that I'm a little nervous. I'll probably just start rambling. I love the people here in Italy, but I am ready to come home. Well, I will see you in a few days. Oh its so weird. Keep smiling:)


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pescara--Week 5

Wow, there's so much to respond to. It was funny. Yesterday (the 16th) I remembered that the 15th was the Ides of March. So I mentioned it to my companion who didn't recognize it. I told her it was Shakespeare, but I couldn't remember which one...possibly Julius Caesar. Well, I was right, and I got to tell her today that I am your daughter. I love my family. I keep mentioning different things about you and dad to my companion. She is convinced that you are fun people. And then I smile and nod.

Oh, and did I ever tell you I got a letter from Masashi. You gave him my blog address and he sent me a Japanese. Well, he wrote part of it in English, then he told me to find someone to translate the other part. Still haven't found one, but I keep the letter with me just in case. You never know who you might run into.

Well, I kind of felt like my last email wasn't as uplifting as it should have been. So, I decided that I would give more details about my week so that you don't think I'm just moping all over the place because we don't have any investigators. Well, we do have investigators....they just aren't ready to progress.

Monday we were doing house. A man was leaving the building as we were ringing the intercoms (how do you say citofoni in English?). As he came down he, of course, asked what we were doing? So we told him. He then asked if anyone had let us in, and he let us in the building to just get out of the cold. Even though he wasn't interested, I feel like that was an act of service that will be recorded in heaven. (It was pretty cold).

Last Thursday we stopped by an old investigator. Her name is Flori and she seems cute. She couldn't meet us then because someone was sick, however, she will meet with us tonight. I hope and think it will go well. She seems nice and friendly. She's from Romania.

Friday we stopped by another old investigator. She basically told us that she had decided to remain Catholic and wasn't interested in changing. The thing is, though, that I felt like it was important for me to challenge her to quit smoking. I told her we would come back Monday with a program to help her quit. Until that point, her assignment would be to pray and ask God if this was the time for her to quit. In the end she canceled the appointment, but we're hoping to be able to go over tomorrow night. So...well... it was cool because I really felt like we needed to help her quit smoking. Ultimately it will be her decision. I know, though, that if she really prays, she will feel the beating in her heart that says now is the time. And I've done my part.

Saturday afternoon we stopped by an inactive’s house. I always feel like "stopping by" is risky because they may not be home, and it takes more time than to just call. However, we called her, and no one answered. I wasn't really sure what to expect. And we had already tried to find her house, but we couldn't. She lives in a city outside of Pescara and we don't have a map of that area. So in the end we followed some directions other missionaries had left...directions that didn't seem to be very clear at the time.

Well, we passed by, and she let us in. It looked like she had been doing her hair because it was all in different directions. And she had been smoking recently. I felt like we had been there at a bad time, but she still let us in. Then she told us that the sisters had stopped coming, possibly because they had come a couple of times when she wasn't home. And then she lost the number for the sisters, and her home phone became disconnected. So she kept hoping that eventually the sisters would pass by. She called our visit a blessing.

Okay, our district consists of our companionship (Sorella Ritter and me) and one companionship of elders. Elder Dallari, our district leader, is Italian but he speaks English almost perfectly. Elder Wright is from Oregon and is relatively new in the mission. (Elder Wright was offended when I told them my mom didn't want me spending the night in Oregon. I had to explain that it wasn't anything against the state, she just didn't want me to spend the night in an airport).

Sunday I gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting. It went well. Afterward, Anziano Dallari told me I only made one mistake in my talk. He said I actually said it right, and then I corrected myself to say it wrong. So I laughed about it. I'm still learning Italian. I just think it will be oh so much easier to give talks in English now.

Okay, I think I need to get going. I love you. I am excited to come home. I'm also excited to have one more week in Italy. And I'm excited to bring you here so that you can meet some of the amazing people here...or just see the sites. We can do that too. Keep smiling:)


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pescara--Week 4

So Emily enters the MTC today. Wow. I love her. I am so excited for her.

Thank you for the scripture. I really like that one too. The Savior won't forget us. I love how his heart is full of love for us. He wants us to return to him. His hand is always stretched out to us. But we have to take it. Oh, I love this church. I love how we have the opportunity to repent and be better. My heart is full of love when I think of my Heavenly Father.

Okay, you probably want to hear about my week. Well, the biggest news I have comes from Rome 1. We had zone conference last Thursday so I got an update on my investigators. Cristina, who was golden from the start, is now baptized. Her brother-in-law performed the baptism.

Paola told the elders that she doesn't come to church because someone told her they didn't want to see her in church. Sad day! Apparently she told the elders that she wanted her daughters who are in Moldavia to get baptized into this church. However, she knows that she can't ask them to do so if she doesn't do so. She can't get baptized unless she comes to church. It makes me sad because I didn't realize how close she really was. I had asked her "Will you get baptized when you are ready?" She said, "When I'm ready, yes." And now I realize what that "ready" meant because even when I asked it I didn't know what I was asking. The question just popped out to get her to commit. And she did. And now...I don't know. I want you all to meet her. So, I'll give you a choice. You can either quickly learn Italian or Russian. I'll take either:)

After I found that out about Paola, of course, Paola occupied my mind for a long time. Finally my companion told me, "You need to worry about the people in Pescara. We have Lorella and Silvanna who have to occupy your thoughts." It's true. Updates on them. I just want to throw my hands in the air and say I don't know.

Lorella is awesome. She needs her family's support.

Silvanna is very Catholic. Yesterday we broke all of her boxes and asked her to get baptized in three months. She'll think about it and let us know next week.

This morning I studied in Revelations. I will finish both the New Testament and the Book of Mormon before I come home. Anyway, I just want you to know that we should definitely make sure we have a lot of water in our food storage. Water is very necessary.

This morning I had a panic attack. Time goes by so quickly. What happened? Where did all the time go? I'm at risk to panic attacks more frequently lately. I am excited to come home. I'm just... life is so weird...I'm so lost. Yikes. It's all good. I still have time. I feel so weird because I don't feel like anything's ending. But people keep telling me that my time is winding down. It's so weird.

Well, I love you. Keep smiling:)


Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Pescara--Week 3

I didn't hear about Chile. I am glad to hear that the people were more prepared. These are the last days and we are going to be hearing about earthquakes after earthquakes it seems. Tomorrow is zone conference, so we're going to Rome tonight to spend the night. The elders are going to L'aquila to spend the night, and then they'll drive to Rome with the zone leaders. Our district leader said he wasn't excited because L'aquila has earthquakes. Hee hee. I think all will be all right. I think he was just referring to the big earthquake L'aquila had last year.

About the week...ahem. It was a week. I guess I can tell you about some appointments.

Silvanna: Very interesting lady. She knows the church is true and wants to get baptized...but she lets doubts get in the way and doesn't know that she knows that the church is true. She loves Padre Pio who I absolutely despised until Anziano Dallari, who's Italian, told me a little more about him. He named himself Padre Pio so that they couldn't make him a saint. Welp, he's a saint anyway and everyone prays to him and thinks he took upon himself their sins. But apparently Padre Pio himself didn't say as I should stop hating on him. He was probably a very good man, just utterly confused and not in the true church of God. Ugh.

Silvanna is a good person. She wants to do what is right.

Lorella: I love Lorella. I love her the more I talk with her. My heart aches for her. Her family thinks she's crazy because she meets with us. Her husband is 100 % not interested in our church. She said she could only come to our church on a Sunday that her husband is out of town. But she wants to come. Please pray for her. Pray for her husband that his heart will soften for the gospel. She can be so strong in the church if she has her husband's support. Lorella is American so we teach her in English. Oh I love her.

We saw an inactive Sorella La Rovere. She has a dog that is very interesting. As we were walking to the door, he yapped his heart at us. We pressed the doorbell, and he stopped. Sorella La Rovere opened the gate, and he was as calm as can be. The dog knew what this meant and started walking to his cage. As soon as she locked him up, he went crazy! I seriously thought he wanted to tear us to pieces. Don't worry though because he was locked up. I've met a lot of happy nice dogs that like to be petted. Ssshhh, don't tell Shannon that I talk to other dogs.

Anyway, about the appointment, well, she doesn't have a testimony, and I wonder if she ever really had one. She showed us pictures of her daughter and a missionary saying, "He doesn't look like it there, but he's a missionary." He didn't look like a missionary in normal clothes and his arm around her. And her daughter is now Buddhist. Surprised anyone?

Tomorrow is zone conference. That means that I am going to get pumped up, and we'll see miracles, and next week I will be dying to give you news. Until that day I repeat the phrase President Acerson always says. "Sempre avanti." "Always forward."

Sunday night we did chalk with some youth in the ward who brought a friend that the elders taught. It was fun. I like our youth. They're good kids.

Welp, I love you very much. Thank you for everything you do for me. I hope I'm not forgetting anything. Last week I wanted to share with you 3 Nephi 26:9 and encourage you to read the Book of Mormon. I don't remember what it says because I didn't bring a Book of Mormon in English, just my flashcard in which I wrote down the scripture. You can look it up.

I am a little anxious to try to talk to people in Italian and have them talk to me in Spanish. I think we actually will be able to communicate well. Welp, keep smiling:)