Thursday, September 29, 2011


WOW my family!
I am here in italia! (real quick, the italian keyboard is different, so pardon if i don't capitalize anything or have random symbols everywhere!)
I can't believe it has been a week since i have been here. It feels like forever since i talked to you all! Oh that was absolutely the best! Mom, I am pretty sure those were expensive phone calls because I have only withdrawn 40 euros since i have been here! I have 1 hour to write here in the mission field so I'll quickley give you a rundown of what happened since I talked to you all!
Wednesday- we arrived in Milan and Pres. and S.lla Wolfgramm picked us up. They are wonderful!! We went back to the mission office for a minute and then they gave us each a Book of Mormon and we set out! Talk about throwing you right in! We went and saw the duomo in Milan... it was beautiful! I have pics and I will try to email them home next week. We just walked around contacting and trying to give away our Libro di Mormon. It was HARD! goodness it seemed like no one wanted to listen... welcome to missionary work :) but no worries... we saw the inside of the Duomo, ate a panzerotto, and then tried again! This time... SUCCESS! S.lla oakes saw a girl trying to take a picture of herself in front of the Duomo. She asked if she could help and then we started talking to her... her name was stella. After a few minutes, we told her we were from the united states. She was like... YOU SPEAK ENGLISH? we said yes! She was so relieved! She is actually a student fromchina, who is studying at the university of bergamo. She speaks Italian, Chinese, and English, but english was easier for her than italian. She lives in a city called forli. She told us she doesn't have a religion, but she thinks it is important that people do! Perfect! We explained a bit about our church, gave her the book of mormon, told her to go to lds.or and read online in chinese, and got her info for the missionaries!! IT WAS SO GREAT! we were so tired and exausted and so when someone finally listened it just made our day! When we told the AP's they were really excited because there was a chinese girl who was just baptized in forli, so it will be perfect for stella! Then we ate some gelato and went home. It was probably a combination of only eating airplane food and panzerotti and gelato, basically no sleep and carsickness from the crazy ride home, but when I got back to the presidents house for dinner, yes... I was quite ill. Acutally, for sure I went into the bathroom and threw up! Yep... I would do that my first day in Italy! BEST DAY! but don't worry, I was fine after that. We were able to go to our hotel and I crashed immediately!
ANY WAY Thursday we found out where I was going. My teacher in the MTC, S.lla Fairbanks, guessed before we left that I would open Genova (there haven't been sisters here for a long time!) And what do you know, SHE WAS RIGHT! I can't believe it! So after waiting in the train station for about 6 hours since our train got cancelled, I got to Genova at about 10:30 thursday night!
Since then things have just been crazy! Since we were opening an area, we had to get stuff for our apartment, meet the ward leaders, and get all settled in. It has been a lot of work, but I am really excited to finally start getting on a normal schedule and doing lots of missionary work! A bit about Genova... I totally though Genovia from Princess Diaries when I first heard the name :) Actually it is the home of Christopher Columbus! yahoo! So they have replicas of the 3 ships he sailed right by our apt. We are RIGHT on the ocean, Literally! It is sooo close! So it makes for lovely weather. Supposedly it won't get too cold here either! It has been lovely and sunny everyday since I have been here, well except sunday when it was pouring on the way to church. We live about 25 minutes outside our area so we take the bus everyday. It is a really big city. I thought I was going to be all fine since I have already been to Italy, but Genova is totally NOT like Siena ;) it's like Siena is Alpine and Genova is NYC! Em, I totally feel like you! It is like living in Manhattan! Shopping galore, sooo many people, and Lots of crowded bus rides and metros ;) But I really am loving it! Never thought I would live in the city, but look at me now!
On Sunday, we went to the ward here. We have an AMAZING ward! and they are all very excited to have sisters again which is so nice that we have support. They called on us to bear our testimonies... yep... first disaster of the mish. You'd think I wouldn't have a problem, but I guess I just got nervous. Really it wasn't a disaster, but I did tell them all that I had been in Italy for 5 years instead of 5 days, which is why i didn't talk to great... yep they all got a good laugh out of that one!! Everyone teased me after! BUT now for the story of the week... My first lesson!
We taught a girl named claudia. she met a member of our ward last week as she was flying home to genova. There are lots of immigrants here in Genova, Claudia is from Capo Verde. We taught her on monday and she is golden. she kept saying how she wants to read more and more of the book of mormon and wants to change her life! WHAT?? How did I get so lucky to have her as my first experience!! I think Heavenly Father was well aware that I was a bit overwelmed at being here, and opening a city- my comp S.lla Bowman is awesome! But we are both new to the city, so we have been trying to get the hang of buses and everything! ANYWAY- At the end of our lesson, we invited her to pray. She said she would and we told her she could say it in whatever language she felt most comfortable (the member she met, keeps telling her to pray in English so she can practice her english, but we told her prayers are personal, so she could talk to heavenly father in whatever language she felt most comfortable) She asked if she could pray in creole. we of course said yes. She said a beautiful prayer and the spirit was so strong after she jumped up and told us she had chills and had never felt this way before. We told her that was the spirit! we invited her to be baptized and she said yes! AHHH! we are sooo excited! Heavenly Father definately had a hand in leading Claudia to us!
Well, This has been an absolute whirlwind of a week! It's been quite the adjustment and already I have learned that the mission certainly has its ups and downs... (We lost an investigator to the JW's yesterday) But this is the Lord's work and he will stand by you! I know that through prayer, Heavenly Father will be right by our side to boost us up always and thanks to the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we will be enabled to do this work!
I love you all and miss you bunches!,
S.lla Kate
P.S. JOS! AHHHHH!!! I AM SOOO PROUD OF YOU!!! Sabi and Jake, good luck at shakespeare! Ems, I think you need to get an email so I can e-mail you too! Love you all!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011



Well, I just got off the phone with KATES!!! She got to call us when she was at the Chicago Airport. We had 2 1/2 hours to talk to her and it seemed to fly by! It was not nearly long enough! She told us many stories about her time in the MTC and we told her about our lives back home! It was so super grand! We MISS HER OODLES AND BOODLES! She bore her testimony in Italian and it was FLAWLESS!!! (not that I would really know... ) She told us about the new October Ensign- it is all about the book of mormon and how it relates to the bible. "It is perfect for us missionaries." she said. The minute Kates said that, we were out buying some. We got 5 Ensigns so if you need to borrow one...feel free. She also told us how much she adored being a missionary! She is having the time of her life. She is the worlds best sister missionary for sure!!!!!!!

That is just a little about our visit with katie! Now we have Christmas to look forward to!!! WHAT THE WHAT! Hopefully time goes by quickly!

*oh and please notice that there has been an address change!!! She is NO LONGER in the MTC!


(you can tell its been a good day)


P.S.S.S.S. More Picture are coming!!!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Well hello fellow followers of Katies Blog! Ahoy! So kates leaves TUESDAY!!!! Yes, I get to talk to her tuesday!!! I could not be more excited!! Here is Katie's E-mail from her last week in the MTC- sorry it is so late... oh what the heck! It is me controlling the blog.... you all already know it is going to be late!!! Get used to it!

Ciao Tutti,
CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS IS MY LAST P-DAY IN THE MTC???????? What?? I simply cannot... it is crazy! Where did the two months go? I am soooo excited and a wee bit nervous at the same time! We got our flight plans last friday, and holy smokes, holding that paper in our hands suddenly made the whole thing seem more real than it ever has! I AM ACTUALLY GOING BACK TO ITALY! I would have never thought it would be this soon! So I fly from Chicago, to Frankfurt (a little shout out to Bomer... can I get a woot, woot for the German stamp I am going to get on my passport! Horrah for Tedesco!) and then to Milan! We leave Tuesday morning at 5 am from the MTC and get there Wednesday at about 11 AM. SO EXCITING!
Well, If the travel plan think didn't make this week just awesome, everything else did! On Sunday we had a special fireside in Honor of September 11th. It started off with Jaren Wood accompanying another Elder on the Piano, Singing, "I know that my Redeemer lives"- It was Unreal! Jaren played SOOOOO fantastically, that the spirit just filled the room! We watched a montage of what happened that day, and then had the chance to watch the "Music and the Spoken Word" Special the Mormon Tabernacle Chior did with Tom Brokav (AMAZING! IF YOU DIDN"T SEE IT WATCH IT!) Then President Brown of the MTC got up and spoke to us. He told us that the world is full of tormoil such as what happened on 9/11. He then told us that our message was a message of peace, and that we had to take it to the world. "your words will have a much greater impact on the lives of people that guns or swords ever will." In the scriptures it talks over and over about the Peace and joy the Gospel brings, and the Savior constantly tells us to be at Peace! How grateful I am for the peace the gospel brings to my life! How grateful I am to be an American and for the men and women who sacrifice their lives to keep us free! I can't wait to share this message of peace with the Italians :) Just 1 more week!
AND FOR THE FINALE.... ELDER BALLARD CAME LAST NIGHT!!! What an amazing surprise! We thought for sure we would not get to hear from another apostle before we left! We think it was a departing treat for the 11 awesome Italians that will be leaving next tuesday... yeah totally was! It was simply wonderful! Elder Ballard always speaks like he is talking to friends. His words were simple and powerful, and he delievered them as if he was giving a friend advice. The theme of his talk was a quote Joseph Smith told Wilford Woodruff when he left his family to go on a mission, "No Matter what may come upon you, round up your shoulders, and bear it, and always sustain and defend the kingdom of God. Get up and go on! God Almighty is guiding the course of this church... not we!" He then listed several things we should do to be excellent missionaries! And no matter what happens to just "Get up and go on!"- He told us to "Keep it simple, Become a Preach my Gospel missionary, Exercise faith in the Savior, Pray with Faith and determination, Have Confidence, Don't be afraid to committ!" He told us to let Christ help us with the work, after all, it is his church. One final quote.... OH THE WHOLE TALK WAS SO GOOD! " This sojourn we are on is a middle phase of an eternal quest... Go forward with faith; trust, serve, dedicate, commit! Be wise, don't compromise!... May the PEACE of the Lord be in your heart and minds." It was so awesome! How thankful I am to live in a time where we have Prophet and Apostles leading this church! How wonderful to hear him witness of the reality of our Savior and the truthfulness of this Gospel!
This was a wonderful week! I love every minute I am having here! We are still having uber amounts of fun with our little district of 11 and our new District of Italians... It sure is fun to have 10 Sorelle here! We have been trying really hard to speak lots of Italian... and sometimes you start mixing up english and italian. The other day in a lesson I was telling Kristina, our new investigator, that Christ overcame death and sin through the atonement. I said "Mediante l'espiazione, Gesu' Cristo ha vinto la morta fisica e sin" I completely said sin, in english rather than saying Peccato, in italian... but don't worry, I said it in a super think Italian accent... so I know she understood! My Colleghi and I just started busting up and the Sorella Camp said, Peccato? I then apologized to Kristina and we kept going!
I love this gospel! I know the atonement is real! Thanks to our Savior Jesus Christ, we can repent, we can be comforted, and we can have peace in this life because we know we can return to live with our Father in heaven and our Families forever!
My family I miss you like crazy, but wouldn't change this experience for the world! I Love being a missionary! I hope everything is great... Dearelder has been down since last friday, so sorry if you wrote and I'm not responding to questions!
Have a wonderful week! I'll talk to you next tuesday!!
Ciao for now...
Sorella Nilson
P.S. Jos Bos- SAW ELDER BAGLEY! He totally came up to me and was like, "Are you Josie's sister?" We have bonded and are now friends... He says I act just like you :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Post to Paige...

You thought I forgot didn't you!! Well, I didn't. This is a special Blog Post for Paige Ellis Slade because I forgot to put a picture of her and kates saying goodbye! And although it is two months late I know many will still appreciate it! Here they are...

Thanks pai for being so great! Hope you are loving life and Enjoyed the post!
Much love,

Due Settimane Piu'

Ciao Famiglia,
Can you believe it?? I only have 2 more weeks left in the MTC!! Actually 1 week and 6 days to be exact... but who's counting! We are all getting so excited to head out to Italy... but the MTC is awesome, really it is! With this new program you seriously le
arn so much every single day especially about how to be better teachers! I will probably be getting my travel plans this week so then I will be able to tell ya the time of my flights and such!
Well this week was just fabulous as usual! I love it here, I love teaching, I love speaking italian, I love being a missionary! We got a new "investigator" this week named Kristina. We found her while we were knocking on doors and she has been really receptive to reading the Libro di Mormon. We are still teaching Roberto... alas... we found out he was a criminal in his past life! So we had to postpone his baptism, and he is meeting with the mission president! Then hopefully when we see him tomorrow we will have the heads up from the Mission President and will be able to reschedule his baptism!
We got the new italians this week! 7 Sorelle and 3 Anziani! It was crazy! Now we have basically equal numbers of elders and sisters! They are all really great, and we have a ton of fun with the new sisters! Only Sorella Soh is going to Milan, and the others to Rome, but it is fine... we will all stay friends!!
Alright... for the spiritual thought of the week. Hope it makes sense, I'm typing like crazy!. I have been thinking alot about prayer this wee
k. It is so important that our investigators pray, because once they start to pray, their relationship with Heavenly Father becomes personal and they will get answers! I have been thinking alot about how to make my prayers better too.... On saturday, our districts paired up and we taught each other. Since the other district has one less person than us, 2 of us sorelle had to be together. I was going to be the lone sister, but then Sorella oakes wanted to be so Sorella Camp and I got paired up together to teach Anziano Droghei. Guess what the topic was, Prayer. We taught our lesson, and then Switched. Anziano Droghei began teaching us... it was amazing! He shared so many wonderful insights beginning with praying to know what to study, and about how prayer can help you in every aspect of missionary work! When I asked him my question about making my prayers better, he told us to just do our very best to have a good relationship with Heavenly Father. Then he turned to D&C 84:88 and read "my spirit shall be in your hearts" He told us that in the end, if we are doing what we can to have the spirit in our hearts, Heavenly Father will know what is our hearts, he always does. And thus even if you don't pray as well as you want to, if you do your best, he sees the desires of your hearts. he knows where your Heart is and if it is filled with his spirit, he will bless you! It was amazing and was exactly what I needed to hear. Then Sorella Camp also had a question, and he was able to answer it for her in a way th
at I sure couldn't! As we talked about the e
xperience after, we knew that It was not a coincidence that we were paired up to be taught by Anziano Droghei. From this experience, I had it reconfirmed to me that our Heavenly Father is SO aware of us! He knows our needs, he knows our desires, and he knows what is best for us! If we just trust him... and do everything in our power to do our best, he will make things work out perfectly. Will there be trials and tough times, absolutely, but he knows us, HE KNOWS US! and he will helps us, and in the end, "all things shall work together for our good."
I know that I am supposed to be here right now, going to Italy, with my companions and my District! Remember that time I was thinking about moving my date up, but it just never seemed right? Mom thanks for telling me that I got called to go in July for a reason. IT IS SO TRUE! I know Heavenly Father knew I was supposed to be here now! I am so grateful for my amazing companions... I learn from them everyday! I am so grateful for the Amazing Elders in my District and Zone... I am tell you that they are amazing! I learn from them everyday... Dad, you should rest assured that I am surrounded by excellent Elders that want to Share the Gospel!! You can just tell the difference! They all have the strongest testimonies.... Seriously! Last night after the devotional we always have a review of the devotional. As we sat together, Us 11 Italians, I think I learned more than I got from the devotional! They are just so awesome and have the strongest testimonies... so a big shout out to Sorella Camp, Sorella Oakes, Anziano Ginolfi, Skanchy, Vigneri, Stewart, Roisum, Droghei, Nelson
, and DeVincent if they ever read this in 2 years! :)! They are incredible Missionaries! Thanks to their families and parents for raising such excellent missionaries!
Well... If you can't tell... I'm just know that this gospel is so true! Heavenly
father loves and is aware of all of his children! And that is why it is so important that we share this knowledge with those who don't know! We have learned here that we really aren't the ones who change peoples lives... the spirit does that, but Heavenly Father needs us as the instruments to take the spirit unto them, and then it is up to them to accept it! My love for this work grows more and more each day!
I love you all! Thank you for the packages and letters! Jonzee... thank you for the Football updates... I hereby put you in charge of continuing to send them :) we see the stadium lights from our room... gasp! So glad to know you are all having fun! I love you my siblings and mom and dad! Thank you for your letters... they help keep me going! Remember how much Heavenly Father loves you and that if you ever need anything... Just ask him!
Ciao for Now,
Your Sorella Nilson

Here are some Pics of Kates and Seth (Our dear cousin) before he left for the Philippines!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Non ci credo!

Goodness gracious another week has passed! Do you realize that I only have 3 weeks before I leave to Italia! Yahoo! I am sooooooo excited! So to begin this letter, Elder Destin Swartz says hi... he is sitting right next to me as we wait for our laundry :)
WELL YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE WHO CAME LAST NIGHT!!! JUST TAKE A GUESS.... OKAY, I'll tell ya.... ELDER HOLLAND!!!! I couldn't believe it! We were so hoping we would get to hear from an apostle before we left, and allora... we got Elder Holland! I wish I could even describe how amazing it was. Elder Holland started his talk by telling how much he and the other apostles and the prophet love us. He then spent some time telling us that we are doing the work Alma, Ammon, Paul, Moroni, and other amazing missionaries were never able to finish. Each of their dipensations ended in Apostasy, but ours won't! He told us "ancient prophets did what they did because they knew our day would come, they took heart from our success" even though they were never able to completely succeed, we will! It is such a sacred responsibility!!!!! Then he got VERY emotional, and told us that members of the church view the missionaries as perfect, even if we aren't. But he said "You don't have the right to compromise this image;" Then almost yelling (in a very spiritual Elder Holland way) he told us that after our missions, "You are NOT entitled to walk away from this after your mission. You don't have the right to defy this, DO NOT walk away and act like it didn't matter.... Every blessing in my life came through the portal of my mission. I want your mission to change your life FOREVER!"
Wow... It was amazing... He just said that the only thing that could get him mad was a missionary who comes home and walks away from the church! It was such a powerful message to me that I have to let my mission literally go through me!!! After this he said, "now I will talk to you" it was about 30 minutes in :) Then he answered some questions missionaries had written to the MTC Presidency. One questions was "Why does God Love us?" He explained that the only thing he is almost perfect in, is the love for his children. He said if that is true for me, an imperfect man, "What does that mean for our Heavenly Father... He is perfect, and he knows you. He gave his perfect son, for his imperfect ones... We are litterally his children!" Needless to say his message was amazing and I know it will have a lasting impact on my mission as a whole.
Then the closing song was done by 2 girls going on a sign language mission(shout out to Brooklyn). I don't think I have even felt the spirit so strong in my life. After the prayer it was completely silent. I know that Elder Holland is a man of God, he is a witness of the truth of this gospel. Goodness, I love being a missionary!
Well, nothing else is as exciting as last night! But This week was great... Still having so much fun! I love teaching and speaking Italian... and I LOVE learning about the Gospel!
We keep getting closer to our little zone... I am serious... These Anziani and my Colleghi have become my best friends! We even had an Anziani appreciation day yesterday because they are just so good to us! We laugh so much with our district, Anziano Vigneri, Skanchy, and Ginolfi- on monday we spent some time re-writing the lyrics to "Hallelujah" to make it be about the 10 commandments- It was a blast! All our Anziani are just top notch!
We got 11 new italians today, 7 are girls! WOW!! So now I am coordinating 11 girls! Hip hip horrah! OH! I forgot... On sunday, We had the Sorella Nilson show... I played the piano in sacrament, Sang AGAIN (Don't ask me how I got roped in!), and then got called on to speak! Wowzer... FUN!
I love you all and miss you so much! Mom, I hope you are feeling better... can't believe that happened! Dad, heard you did excellent! Siblings hope school is going blissfully! I love you all so much!
I want you to know that I know this church is true! The gospel brings us happiness, peace, and comfort that we can't get ANYWHERE else! I know that through Christ's atonment we can return to live with Heavenly Father, and most importantly, That he loves us sooooo much!
have a fantastic week!
Vi voglio bene,
Sorella Kates