Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Here are some more pictures of Katie! Enjoy!

I'm dreaming of a white, red, and green Christmas... in...‏

GENOVA!!!!!!!!!!!!! Family... I am staying here in Genova!!!! Transfers are tomorrow and President called us yesterday and told me and Slla Bowman that we are staying together for one more transfer in this Blessed city that is Genova! I cannot even express to you how excited I am! PRAY WORKS! We have been praying so hard we could stay here! We are suuuupppper excited! In fact when I heard the news I proceeded to do a Newsie jump/fist pump right in the street and then a little jig! It is so wonderful to get to stay here for christmas, with our wonderful members and investigators! We get to be in the Christmas program too so we are really happy!
This week was crazy! Thursday we went to Milan for Zone leader training. THey have it every month and each time invite a coppia (companionship) of sisters to go. Slla Bowman and I got invited to go this time. It was really fun! We learned a lot and even helped set the new standards of Excellence for next year. We spoke for a bit on Member/missionary relationships and how to more effectively use members. I have certainly learned how important it is to be a member missionary.... It makes missionary work sooo much greater when you have members that find, help teach, and support your investigators! It is wonderful that we have such a splendid ward, so we have great support!
Well as a result of that conference we missed out on a day of work. Friday and Saturday were a bit slow so when we got to Sunday our lesson count for the week was tragically low. But Sunday we went to Stake Conference! It was really great and I actually got to help be a translator for members who only spoke english! PLUS... I saw Silvana!! She was the woman that I taught in the MTC with her Husband Ivo... What are the chances?? She lives in Savona which is in our stake. Anziano Healey and Anderson told her I would be there and guess what... she brought me a Christmas present! She is the sweetest thing and it was just a little miracle to see her!
Well after the conference we took the train home. A couple of our lessons cancelled, so I was really bummed. Our numbers were soooo low. I was also thinking (darn that Satan) how is anyone ever going to know that we are different from the other people they meet on the street? There are sooo many Jehovah Witnesses, and Evangelists here that people just get sick of being stopped! Well those were the thoughts in my head as we headed to our last appointment Sunday Night. It was with that miracle family that we found on the bus that I talked about last week. As We walked into their home and the spirit was just so strong! We sat their at taught this family, Mom, Dad, Angie 17, Giosue 12, and Maria Danielle 7.... IT WAS AMAZING!! They talked about how important family is to them and that 5 years ago they were experiencing a really hard time but they know that it was God that got them through it! Their kids bore such powerful testimonies of family and God... Seriously, you just don't find 17 and 12 year olds that care so much about their family. We testified about the importance of families, and That we have a loving Heavenly Father who wants us to return to him. This family is SO elect! They are already living their lives in such a way that they are SO close to the Lord, and the gospel will just bring them closer! As Sonja, the mom, Said the closing prayer, She thanked Heavenly Father for bringing the "Little sisters" to her family and that she felt something and that she knew what we were saying was true! We have another lesson this weekend with them!
Now, I don't know exactly what the Lord has in store for the Yepez family- But what I do know is that I left that home on top of the world. It was like someone shouted in my Head... "THEY WILL KNOW YOU ARE DIFFERENT BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE SPIRIT!!!!" I just sat there in awe... THis is the LORD'S WORK!! I know it! As missionaries you are weak at times, but the thing is the Lords work will go forth, and he will do it his way! That feeling is the most amazing thing ever! It just makes me know without a doubt that being a missionary is the greatest and that this gospel is true!
I know that if I live worthy, if we all live worthy of the spirit, we can influence those around us. They may not know what it is, but they will feel that there is a difference!
I hope you all are having so much fun getting ready for Christmas. Hang in there Jos... Finals will be over soon! Jake, Sabrina, and Ems... I hope school is going good! I am sure you are excited for the break! Have so much fun with everything! Cherish every moment!
Love you times a million,
Slla Kate

Oh what joy it is to ride on a packed bus in Genova!‏

Carissima Famiglia mia,
Hows everything going!? How is it possible that it is December 7th... I do not know! Are you all ready? Christmas letters written? what are you all asking for... I want to hear! I am glad the play is going good! Work it Jos! Don't worry that I just made up my own version of Jinglebells, and like to burst out singing Christmas Carols.. "how much are you gonna give me joe,..." I'm keeping the Christmas spirit Alive here!
Well this week was packed full of fun and miracles... very prudent considering it is Christmas time! first Miracle happened Thursday. we had a lesson with Liz... you may remember she is 16. We had an awesome lesson about the gospel... The spirit was so strong and she understood everything. And so I was feeling it and asked her to be baptized... she said YES! And I told her that we wanted her to pick the date and that she could pray about it. We started talking about how we new this was the right decision and that she would see so many blessings and about a minute later she interrupts and says "january 15th... I want to be baptized January 15th" We died!! We are sooo excited! I just hope I get to stay another transfer to see her get baptized! She is one awesome little girl! The trouble right now is going to be getting permission from her mom, but we are going to pray really hard!
Thursday night we left and did a blitz exchange in TORINO! We were there all day friday, I know that is one of the cities Scottie Served in. It was really fun and I learned a lot. I worked with Slla Walton (who used to be neighbors with The bunkers) and got to see Slla Soh from the MTC again... SO fun. I learned a lot because we did a lot of finding and it really helped me open my mouth and just talk to people... Definately can't share the gospel with a closed mouth... something I am learning and working hard on!
On Saturday we saw lots of miracle! We helped at a Wedding in Genova 2. The Sorelle we live with had 2 investigators get married so they can get baptized next week! it was awesome to see! Then the family invited us to eat... yum... but really strange to be at a reception as a missionary! They are from south America so there was lots of music and dancing... pretty awesome! well we then had some appointments so we headed to our lessons.... we first had to stop by the church. As we got there a woman was looking in the window.. She asked if she could come in and see our church! We of course said yes and Slla Bowman and I ended up teaching her a lesson! She wasnt interested, but still... Awesome! Then We were on the bus and this woman sat down by Slla Bowman. We started talking to her and ended teaching her and getting her number! Wonderful! Then we went to our appointment. Afterwards, I just felt like we should do this Palazzo near our member. We did the whole thing, knocked on every door and had zero success! BLISS!! BUT do not fear... everything happens for a reason! We went to get on the bus and ended up getting on the wrong one. However there happened to be a family on there... just us an a family... what... the buses are NEVER empty in Genova! Then We got off to get on the right bus, and so did the Family... we knew we had to talk to them! so slla bowman started talking to the mom... turns out she could only speak spanish! BUT... Slla boman starts talking to her in spanish! Miracle! She studied spanish in High School and just pulled it out of nowhere! In her broken spanish she was able to convey that we have an important message. When we got off the bus she had us meet her family, her husband and kids speak Italian so we were able to tell them about our message. Then we got their number and will meet with them Sunday! miracles!
The Work is going just lovely! I love being a missionary and just giving People hope! So many people walk around without any hope... and that is everything that the GOSPEL is! HOPE for a brighter future, better life, and an eternity of blessings! It is a great message to share especially at this time of year!
I love you all so much! have fun at the Christmas carol... catch a gold coin for me! God bless us...everyone!
Love you,
Slla Nilson
P.S. Claudia update: She went to the temple this weekend and did baptisms!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She had the greatest experience and is doing soooooooooooo good! YAY!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!‏

Ciao Carissima Famiglia mia!!
How are you all doing! Sounds like things were quite exciting last week! So glad to hear that the play went good! AND woot woot to all you runners... so proud! Cant believe it! Let's make that a tradition... we are doing it when I get back! I am glad you all had a lot of fun together!
Well this past week has been a whirlwird of craziness and sooo much fun! I will start with Thursday... 0 for thanksgiving here! It was a bit sad, only because we missed what we knew was going on at home! But we were lucky enought to have a lunch appoinment so we got a big meal in ;) And dont worry that thursday night when we got home I made Grandma's fruit salad, my favorite one... I just couldnt go a year without it! We had fun.
Friday and Saturday were days of pure bliss! Amid all our other missionary work we had Lesson with the Herrera Family on Friday. We got permission to have the Anziani come too for a lunch appointment. We ate some lovely equadorian food... lots of meat and fish! Then we taught our lesson. It was on telling the truth. To demonstrate this we decided to play a lovely game of chubby bunnies. Each time you put a marshmallow in your mouth you have to say "Chubby bunnies" for those who are not informed on how this game functions, and as you get more and more marshmallows in your mouth, it gets harder and harder to say. This represented that each time you lie, it gets harder and harder to tell the truth. I will just say that I dont think i have LAUGHED this hard since i have been on my mission... TEARS! To hear them try to say "Chubby bunnies" in the first place with their accents... is enough to make you die laughing! It got down to anziano pitt and anziano Romeo, the rest of us had already spit them out. Anziano Pitt tried to put one more in his mouth, but he was laughing so hard he just exploded.... MARSHMALLOWS EVERYWHERE!!! Primarily all over Slla Bomans face... We DIED!!! It was so fun. I have ginormous amounts of Love for the Family!
Then Saturday, we had a Birthday party to go to for Daniel Salazar. He got out of the Hospital and is doing fantastic so they celebrated his birthday! It was sooo fun! We ate delicious food, cake, sang and the kids played games... Copious amounts of love for this family too! Plus they are all going to the temple this weekend! They joined the church just 7 months ago so it is just for Baptisms, but they are SOOO excited and Christian the dad gets the Mel. Preisthood soon! They are sooo excited! It is amazing to see how the gospel has completely changed these families lives!
We also had some amazing miracles this week. First, Nelly. Nelly ran into the anziani at the market and asked to meet with the sorelle... Come to find out, she had been taught 4 years ago in La Spezia by sorelle! We met her on Firday and Taught her. She told us why she has always had a connection to our church... Years ago in Ecquador when her son was just a baby, 2 Elders would always come to their family store to get a drink and play with her son. They would come by a lot. One day they came by but Nelly and her son weren't there. They asked where they were and the Grandpa (who was running the store) said Nelly was in the Hospital because her son had been poisioned by something he ate and was in a coma. The elders asked for the address and went to the HOspital right away. They gave him a blessing. The next day, he was better. WHAT???? She said that experience has always remained with her! We started teaching her right away about how we have the priesthood! Then we had a lesson with her today because it was they only day we could meet her. Today at our lesson her friend was there, Tatiana. Nelly told us that Tatiana wanted to listen too. We taught about the Restoration. Tatiana had sooo many questions and just wanted to know where she could find the truth. We had the ANSWER!! THE BOOK OF MORMON!!! We bore our testimonies she could find it here! At the end I asked if either of them had any questions... Tatiana said, "Just one,... When are you coming back?" AH! We were soooo excited! It is amazing how Heavenly Father puts things into place for you to meet those who are searching! Seriously, this work is one miracle after another. If there is ever a day that doesent go how we wanted it to or we are feeling just a bit overwelmed, we just stop and think about all the Miracles Heavenly Father puts in your path... He is soooo AWARE OF HIS CHILDREN!!! I KNOW THIS!!!
I dont know if you all remember, but we have a woman named Kerly that I talked about a while ago. She was supposed to be baptized in November, but wasnt feeling ready, but dont worry, she prayed and decided to be baptized Dec. 18th! We are soooo excited! The sad part is it is after transfers, so we realllly hope we stay here!
I love being a MIssionary!! I can't believe it is already time for chirstmas! Genova is all decked out... Lights everywhere and a huge Christmas tree in the piazza! I will send pics next week!
I want you to all know I love you sooooo much! Thanks for your letters and your continued support! It is sooooo appreciated!
Have the best week ever!
Slla Kates
P.S: EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ ELDER HOLLANDS PREISTHOOD TALK... I loved it ;) we finally got our Liahonas! Conference in English! Hallelujah!

Monday, November 28, 2011


Here are some pictures of Katie in Italy!!!!!

The City She lives in! WHAT?!?! BEST DAY EVER!

Recognize these people??? Well, If you don't too bad. Life goes on.
Okay, okay. I will tell you. They are two missionaries from our home Stake.
Elder Anderson and Elder Healey!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

  • Happy Thanksgiving!‏

To Jill Nilson, Joe Nilson, Josie Nilson
Cara famiglia,
Ciao everyone! I really hope you are doing good! I bet you are having fun getting all ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow! I hope you all have fun! I will miss eating all that deliciousness and being with you all!
This week was definately a busy one. We had a 3 zone training on Friday, so we went up to Milan. It was absolutely wonderful! I love the trainings, Our President and his wife are simply amazing and we learn so much from them. We had the chance to watch the movie "17 Miracles". It was amazing. Have you all seen it yet? If not, go an buy it... and watch it this weekend... It is perfect for thanksgiving. As I watched that movie all I could think about was the faith of those Pioneers and their sacrifice to come to Zion. They were amazing! I am so grateful for their examples of Faith and sacrifice. I have been thinking a lot about their examples of Faith.. that is how strong I want my faith to be. I am going to work on it! I have really learned that Faith brings Miracles, and Obedience, blessings... It is soooo true!
At the conference we also got to see a lot of missionaries. I saw anziano Andersen and Anziano Healey... who told me Suzy got her call to Argentina!!! AHHHHH!!! I am sooooo excited for her... do you know that makes 9 of us on missions! SOOO excited!
I am grateful my Mission President constantly reminds us to look for miracles in our work. I saw a lot of miracles this past week. One was with Paola, yep, the 16 year old girl we dropped last week. We went back over to her house on Saturday to teach her mom, a new convert. But Sorella Garcia was not there... just Paola... We were stressed. My collega and I didnt plan on this and were worried since she was so mad last week. Well we went a head and started teaching about how God is our Heavenly Father, and it was going no where, she was just grumpy and not responding. So Slla Bowman just started asking her questions. We learned in our conference the power of inspiried questions, and I can tell you it is real. We cant even remember all the questions she asked, but suddenly Paola was bawling. She explained that she has been struggling so much with her family and that she feels so alone and felt that every missionary that has come to teach her only came because they wanted a baptism. Oh how we were grateful we came back! We talked to her about how much we loved her and were there to help her in anything she needed. She told us she was willing to start reading the Book of Mormon atleast to try.... MIRACLE, I think yes!
2 other Miracles... TThe other day We got on the bus to go and visit the salazars, Daniel is out of the Hospital! Thank you for Preisthood blessings! Anyway, There was a girl at the front of the bus and we where at the back. Sorella Bowman smiled at her and the girl then waved, so Sorella Bowman waved back. Then the girl came over to us. We had no clue who she was and asked if we had met her before. She said yes, just now when you waved to me. We were so surprised! We told her we were missionaries and asked if she would be interested in learning, she said yes and we will see her later this week! It was such a miracle! Then Last night we were on the bus home. We sit down and this man turns around in front of us and was like "Are you the missionaries from la chiesa di Gesu cristo dei santi degli ultimi giorni?" We responded yes... He then went on to tell us that he had been visiting the missionaries in Torino and was looking for them here. He said he was very religious and wants to learn. He also said that he has lots of friends who want to learn too! He told us to set up a time and he will make an event on facebook and they will all come so that we and the elders can teach them. We about died...! WHAT? So he might be crazy, but it is a miracle none the less! We are gonna call him tonight!
Well the work is going forward. We are kind of in a drought for people to teach, but we are gonna keep working hard no matter what!
Before I go, I just want to list all the things I am grateful for this year! I know I cant be with you all but I love you soooooo much!
I am thankful for... my family, you, my amazing siblings and mom and dad. I am thankful that my dad has the priesthood, that my mom has the strongest testimony, that my siblings make good decisions, that I have the tightest family around, that I have amazing cousins, aunts, uncles, and Grandmas! For amazing friends who have stayed so close to the gospel! For amazing friends who have served and are serving missions! I am thankful for the gospel! For a Heavenly Father who loves me and my family. For a Savior who died for me! For a Prophet who recieves modern day revelation! For General conference so we can hear the word of God! For the opportunity to be a missionary and share this joyful news here in Italy! I love being a missionary!
Have the best time tommorow and eat lots of grandmas fruit salad for me!
Love you,
Slla Nilson

  • The Rains came down and the floods came up....‏

To Jill Nilson, Joe Nilson
Mia Famiglia!
I would like to commence this e-mail in letting you all know that since I last wrote to you I have left my apartment on 2 days!!! Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday (we got to go out for a bit on Monday) We were trapped in our appartment due to Flooding in GENOVA!! Yes!!! It was POURING for all three days... centro was completely under water. This empty river that we always drive past that is about 30 feet deep was completely full and overflowing. It was crazy, Actually 8 people died! I couldnt believe it! But dont worry... I am safe.... Our Mission president and bishop would not let us leave! WHAT! The crazy thing was that where we live there was only rain, not flooding... so it felt weird to stay inside. But we saw all the pictures at District meeting from where the anziani live.... water up past their knees!
Well when you have a week inside, you dont actually do much teaching... Alas, you really go crazy as a missionary when you have nothing to do! It didnt feel like a nice break or anything... more like stress cuz we couldnt see our investigators or members and couldnt be out working! We definately had a lot of time on our hands.... and lots of time to study. I finished the Book of Mormon (granted I was in 3 Nephi), We watched EVERY episode of the district, watched finding faith in christ, on the lords errand (twice), and did lots of comp study, Wackle, I know!! In reality, it turned out to be a good thing. My companion and I learned a lot and set a lot of new goals for this transfer! Can you all believe I am starting my 2nd TRANSFER! Crazy! We made goals to talk to more people and give 110% to our misisonary work!
We got to go out on Monday and put what we learned to the test! We made a goal to make sure that every time on the bus we talked to someone, this is hard for us cuz the buses are always so crowded and loud, and honestly I get nervous I wont understand people. but I studied a lot about Faith during those 3 days in and I KNOW That if you have faith, you can do ANYTHING!. And we did it! It was awesome. We went to pass by a less active and she didnt actually let us in, so we got back on the bus to head home. While on the bus, a lady came and sat by us. we started talking and ended up telling her all about the church! We got her number and she will be a referal for the other sisters! Then as a little extra bonus... we stopped by a fruit stand to get some clementines, they are basically to DIE for here! We have been there before and started chatting with the owner this time. we told him who we were and what we were doing, and just chatted for a bit. In the end, it was 2 kilos for 2 euro... he gave us 3 kilos and 2 bananas just for the 2 euro! Oh happy day! I love being a MISSIONARY!
It was such a great day! It just goes to show how much your attitude and determination to serve the Lord make ALL the difference on a mission! If you always remember that your purpose is to invite other to come unto Christ and love them as he would, its easy to do! Yesterday we were stuck in side again... alas! Until the night and we got to go have a lesson with claudia! Having lessons with her always make me so happy! She went to a YSA (GANS in italian) activity in Torino this weekend and said she has never had so much fun in her life! She said she felt the spirit so strong and just thought the whole time "This is where I am supposed to be! THIS IS RIGHT! i am so happy!" She said that over and over! OH CHILLS! It is amazing to see her life change!
Last miracle of the week, we met this girl named Cythia 2 weeks ago. We planned an appointment with her but she cancelled cuz she had to work. We have been calling and calling her and praying she would visit with us and NO response... we were sooo bummed cuz she was the best! We had pretty much given up and just decided that hopefully she would one day be interested again... and BOOM! She called us yesterday! She had just been visiting her family in Rome! we get to meet with her tomorrow!
Everyday of my mission I learn so much about how much HEavenly Father is aware of each of us! He LOVES his children and all he wants is for us to be happy! Hope everything is sooo good at home! I love you all!
Ciao for now,
Sorella Nilson
p.s. SHOUT OUT TO MAC DOG!!!!!!!!!!!!! VARSITY!, you rock my socks!

I know it is True

My Famiglia!
How are you all! It sounds like things are super busy right now! I am definately sad I am missing the play! Rock on Jake! I know you are awesome! Sounds like things are busy, but Thanksgiving is coming soon so that will be a nice break right? He he (easy for me to say!)
Well I want you to know that I am doing wonderful! We had another great week here in Genova! Man, everytime I walk down the streets here and look around me I just think, how lucky am I to be a Missionary... and in Italy! I just love it here! This past week was really busy, lots of lessons to teach after a week of being inside.
This week I had my first experience of having to drop an investigator. It was a young girl named Paola... (I don't know if I have ever talked about her before). She was doing so great and her life was changing, the trouble was, she didnt realize it was the gospel that was making the difference. On saturday we had a lesson that turned out to be disaster to say the least. We had an amazing lesson on faith and watched Finding faith in Christ. The spirit was so strong and Slla Bowman invited Paola to make a baptism date.... It was all down hill from there. She said she had already been baptized so she didnt need to, who were we to say we had the authority, that her faith would be enough in the end and that God still loved her even if she wasnt baptized. She said she didnt need to read some book to know the truth. BOOM... yep. It broke our hearts. I promise I was devestated... she had everything in her hands and just turned away! We hope that one day she will be willing to listen again. But the reason I share this experience with you is because it totally strengthened by testimony... how? you may ask... Well I will tell you. Because during everything she said, I was not phased one bit. The thought that came to mind mind, was "I am so sorry, but you are just so wrong!!!!" I bore my testimony to her that I KNEW Joseph Smith saw what he said he did! I KNOW he restored the church to the earth, and I KNOW That this way, by being baptized a member of this church, is the ONLY way back to our Heavenly Father. Yes, faith is important, but faith without action... is nothing! I LOVE THE GOSPEL! It is sooooo precious!!! I realized that as my heart broke as Paola turned away. AH! Don't take it for granted!
Now one more story! We have another girl named Liz who we are teaching, same age as Paola, 16. She came to church on sunday for the first time and LOVED IT! She has sooo many questions! Yesterday was the 3rd time we have met with LIz, we reviewed the Plan of Salvation with her because we actually taught it to her on her first lesson because of her questions, but that was 2 weeks ago so we wanted to review. We set out the first peace of the plan, the spirit World. I was about to talk and she was like "Oh I know this" and she went ahead and explained the entire plan to us! WHAT??? This little girl is amazing! She is reading the Book of Mormon, and Told us how she used to just think her life didnt have a purpose, but she is so happy to know it does, know that she knows about the plan of Salvation! AH!!! I LOVE THIS GIRL SOOO stinking much! She is awesome! I love being a missionary and seeing the joy the gospel brings to peoples lives!!! It is such a blessing!
I love you all so much and pray everyday for you!
SOrella Nilson