Thursday, April 26, 2012

Yahoo! I love being a missionary!!‏


Okay this week has been the craziest for sure on my mission so far! And sooo fun! Okay but first... I finally got pics of seth! He looks soooo great! Oh I am sooo proud to call him my cousin! I love how huge he is next to everyone in the philipines! Ha! Jose... Good luck with finals! Jake... ap test coming up? Are you studying? Remember... Jamestown VA the 1st english colony: Settled 1607 :) Sabrina! Don't break your finger! I can't believe it! Atleast you have a cool story... catching the game winning touchdown I am sure right? Em's... I shall steal your room when I get back... it is too cool for school! Mom and dad- Be excited, I am learning how to cook lots of delicious things! We are becoming Italian when I get back okay? 

Well... so for the deets of this week! We are still teaching Yamilka... she doesn't get the Book of Mormon so we are really trying to help her understand that by reading the Book of Mormon she can strengthen her relationship with Christ. Honestly there is no better way to come closer to him then by reading it! 

We are also working hard with 2 families right now... one a part member family- teaching the mom and her 2 kids because the dad is a member and another Single Mother named Gica and her son Davide. Okay... It is awesome! We have lots of work to do but working with families is incredible because I just KNOW that they can become eternal!! I have to tell you about Gica and Davide... Gica is an eternal investigator- she has been coming to church for about 2 years now and been through lots of missionaries and had a baptisimal date. But Davide just turned 8 and he wants to be baptized. I have NEVER seen an 8 year old kid like him. He always prays for his mom to be baptized with him. We started again teaching them the 1st lesson and he told us the entire Joseph Smith story. We asked him why he wanted to be baptized... his reply "I know it is the right thing to do and I know that Heavenly father will help me and my mom even more when I am baptized!" Oh goodness... I love this little boy! I love these families! 

I also mentioned it was a little crazy... 2 examples of this are... 
1. While knocking doors we met a man named Marco who we had actually taught in the street about a month ago... Marco is obsessed with Audrey Hepburn... I mean Obsessed. We couln't go into his house because he is single, but don't worry he had photographed every part of his house and showed us the album he created... every 2 inches there is a picture of Audrey Hepburn. He also took pictures of the tv when he was watching her movies... needless to say I don't know if I can ever watch Breakfast at Tiffany's again without thinking of Marco. 
2. I taught a Profetess yesterday, Priscilla from Nigeria. She has recieved a divine calling to help and heal people. The holy spirit called her to do this work... and she has lots of followers. She was very proud of us for choosing to serve missions because she too is serving a mission. Yep it was a doozy... the thing is she believed the Joseph Smith story... because she too had been visited by Jesus. Wowzer. 

Okay BUT I have to say this: BEST PART OF THE WEEK!  I got an EMAIL from Liz from Genova!!! SHE WAS BAPTIZED THIS LAST WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She told me how wonderful it was and that she invited her friends and family. She told me about her disire to serve a mission, about how the gospel has changed her life! I can't even express to you how happy I am for her! Honestly I love that little girl so much!!! Today I read Alma 29- All about the Joy of missionary work- Alma says "And behold when I saee many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with Joy!" I am soooo grateful for this chance to be on the front row of watching people's lives change!! The church is true!! Anyway I thought you all would be excited about that!!! 

I love you all very very much! 
Have a wonderful week! 

Slla Kate 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Verona in the Spring time...‏


Ciao tutti! Come state? Fam! I just got the news last night... I will be staying here in Verona for another transfer! I am sooo excited! I thought I would be staying here but I really wanted to stay here with Slla Laratro and guess what? We are staying together!!! I think maybe I will serve 3 transfers with every comp or something ;) I am so happy I get to stay with her. Things in Verona are just blossoming and I am glad we get to keep working together!

So this week we have been working lots! Yamilka is moving right a long and we have another appointment with her tonight. We have to move slower with her because she has really no religious back ground at all! But she is great and we are trying to fill her with the spirit and the gospel!

Saturday we went and taught a family that we met on the bus. It is a woman named Kate who has 3 beautiful children! Her husband left her 2 years ago and she hasn't heard from him since. It is sooo sad. She is working to try and support her kids. Man my heart was just filled with love for this family! The gospel is just what they need! After we had the chance to go to a members house and teach there nephew. It was soooo neat! We talked about our purpose in this life and how living the teachings of the gospel protect us from all the difficult and terrible things we encounter in this life. We had the chance to share with him the Book of Mormon and the members bore amazing testimonies of its power! It was sooo neat and the spirit was there!

I just love seeing all the little miracles that take place daily in the life of a missionary. Probably there have always been miracles in my life, I just haven't taken the time to notice them. But they are sooo apparent on the mission. For example, we have a pizza place that we love and always go to! Because my companion is so amazing she talks to even them about the gospel. So we have been little by little teaching them priciples each time we go... and guess what?? ON SUNDAY THEY CAME TO CHURCH!!! It was amazing! The entire family came! Then yesterday after 2 transfers of trying to have an appointment with a part member family we finally had one! They are the darlingest family and the mom, and 2 kids want to be baptized! MIRACLES!

This week I read the April Ensign. It was soo great. Elder Bednar wrote an article called... The Atonement and the Journey of Mortality. It is incredible.... He talks about the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ not only in making bad people good, but good people better. He shared so many examples of how we can have power through the atonement and talked about Nephi when his brothers tied him up. He said...

"It is especially interesting to me that Nephi did not pray to have his circumstances changed. Rather, he prayed for the strength to change his circumstances. And I believe he prayed in this manner precisely because he knew, understood, and had experienced the enabling power of the Atonement."

Strength to change our circumstances. That really hit me. It is so true that sometimes we have trials or have to go through hard things and they don't seem to end. But I know that through the atonement, the enabling grace of the Savior we can be strengthened. I know this is the only way we can make it through trials and as a missionary it is the only way we can do this work. Our strength alone may not be sufficent, but with the Savior we can have strength to change our circumstances and help others change their circumstances!

Well I love you all and I hope you are all doing sooo good! I can't believe Alex got his call to SPAIN! Thats incredible! My companion says the spain MTC is the best thing ever! I hope you get the chance to go to Kiawah even though I am confident it will not be as fun without me ;)

Today we are going on a tour of Verona with a family here! I am excited and will try to send pics next week okay! I love being a missionary!

Slla Kate

Thursday, April 12, 2012

chocolate eggs and magic days...‏

Carissima Famiglia Mia!

Sounds like you had a fabulous week! What a fun Easter!!! I certainly had quite the Easter experience here too! Sunday we went to church and I got asked to share my testimony about the Savior... how neat! It was really so great to have the opportunity to bear testimony about the Savior on Easter Sunday, on my mission, in Italy. After Church we went with the Pirondini Family for Easter lunch. This is the family of our Bishop here in Verona. They have 6 kids and 5 were there with their spouses and grandkids so I felt right at home. It was soooo wonderful! Then we commenced the eating process.... 1. pasta 2.crepes 3. 3 different types of meat, veggies, bread 4. Uova di Pasqua (this is a gigantic chocolate easter egg. It is a tradition here in Italy. They don't do Easter baskets but instead have these giant chocolate eggs,and inside there is a suprise!) 5. Colomba (a dessert shaped in the form of a dove for easter) 6. Dessert!!! It was a joyously lovely day filled with eating and fun! It was so great to be with their whole family. We laughed a lot and I impressed everyone with my abilities to finish a rubix cube (the suprise from the chocolate egg). All in all it was a wonderful and memorable easter! OH! And Easter morning we had our American Easter! Mom thanks so much for my Easter basket! It was perfect! And I hid my companions basket! She was thrilled to go on a hunt for it! It made my day to see her so excited ;) She thought the whole thing was simply splendid and decided she wants to do that tradition for her kids! Then we had a delicious breakfast of french toast- complete with strawberries and whipped cream! Needless to say I ate enough for a week in 1 day! I was fabulous!

The day after Easter is also a Holiday here in italy... it is called the Pasqueta. As a result no one was really feeling the desire to listen to us. But we did have a ward activity and went on a little "Hike" around the wall of Verona and got to see the whole city. It was beautiful and soooo fun to be with the members!

This week has been so busy and full of miracles. Since last wednesday we Taught a woman named Yamilka. She met missionaries ages ago and we called her and set up an appointment. We watched "FInding faith in Christ" for Easter and asked her about who the Savior was for her. Turns out she doesn't have a religion at all and has litterally been searching all her life! We then ended up explaining the first lesson and bearing testimony that the church is true!!! She told us that in all her life she has never felt something like she did with us... i.e. THE SPIRIT!!! It was soooo neat! We go back to teach her tonight!

Also Tuesday we had a really neat finding experience. We set out to do some casa (appartment buildings) Usually you have to first get through a gate by ringing and asking someone to let you in. THen you have to do it again to get into the appartment building. If no one lets you in then you can't even begin knocking doors. Well we walked past a gate and noticed it was open so we walked in... well It lead us to not one Building, but an entire complex of buildings... we were in finding heaven!!! But after the first palazzo (building) we had to go to an appointment. We were sad because we didn't know if we would get back in to this place again. But we went... and got a bidone (they weren't there). So Slla Laratro said "Slla we have to back to where we were." We go back and found on the back side of the complex another gate open!! So we started on the first palazzo we came to. We got in and started knocking every door of the building. No one opened. We always start at the top and work our way down. We were on the 2nd floor when finally a man opened. He was an older gentleman who had just gotten back from a trip and was in the middle of the changing process... thus had a white tank top, pants unzipped, and belt undone. Yep, I was like OH dear. But we went for it. "Ciao, siamo due missionarie della chiesa di Gesu' Cristo...." and told him we had a message about families. He said it was a bad time but we asked if he had a family. He said yes. Well turns out Alessandro had just gotten back from visiting his grandkids. His love for them was so apparent. We couldn't go in but he hurried and brought a big frame with the pictures of all his grandkids and told us their names and ages. We asked about his wife... and he began to cry. She passed away 2 months ago from a tumor. You could just see that his heart was absolutely broken. He told us how much he loved her and how long they had been together. We bore our testimonies that he would see his wife again and ended up saying a prayer with him in the door way. Just as he shut the door a woman walked down the stairs. She said... "Are you mormons?" We said yes! We walked out of the palazzo with her and started talking. She had come to her moms house because she was missing her... her mom passed away 4 months ago!!! WHAT?? Again... we bore strong testimony of the Plan of Salvation again!! And where able to Give Grazia (her name) a Book of Mormon. Well we had to go to another appointment so we walked out of the complex and saw a girl on the street. We stopped her and told us who we were. This girl, Laura lost her father a year ago. AGAIN!! The plan of Salvation!!!! Honestly it was a miracle to me! We were supposed to have an appointment at that time, but following the spirit went back to that palazzo and met 3 people who needed to know about the plan their Heavenly Father had for them and that they will see their loved ones again. It was such an amazing day!

I love how Heavenly Father is so present in our work. He and our Savior guide and direct us! It is soooo apparent! They guide us not only as missionaries but also in our lives! I KNOW THIS IS TRUE!! AND I KNOW THEY HAVE A PLAN FOR US!!! How grateful I am for the knowlege that families can be together forever. As I talked to each of these people I thought a lot about you guys. I was thinking how thankful I am for an incredible family and for the knowledge that I get to be with you forever (whether you like it or not ;) ) Guys, the church is true. Point blank! I love being a missionary and getting to share this with others! I am sooo glad you had a fun Easter! Keep doing lots of fun things together because man... the family is where it is at!

Sorry this is so long today but I didn't write yesterday because We had Zone Conference. It was wonderful...literally a spritual feast! My mission president is SO inspired and so is his wife. We learned so much about the power of prayer and about presicion. Stephen Allen came to the Mission and taught some of the missionaries, they related what they learned to us yesterday. He told us about Naval Fighter Pilots. They have to land a 54,000 lb plane on an Air Craft carrier. Thus they have the space of about 100 yards to go from 150 mph to 0. And this happens in about the space of 2 seconds. He said that everything about landing these planes is about Precision and Deviations. Thus he explained that deviations in this work,one wrong move, 1 degree off on the angle, 1 second off on the timeing can literally be deadly and you have to be 100% precise. They applied this to our lives and missionary work and Encouraged Precision!! We learned that we must live a precise life and then be willing and striving to fix our deviations, because it makes all the difference! Wow... I just learned soooo much and loved it!!!

I miss you oodles and hope you have a good week! Thanks for the letters! Keep praying and reading alright?
Love you,

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Your daughter is amazing (ward member in italy)‏

I got this surprise today! Happy Easter to me!!!!
So...I wanted to share it with all of you........
Happy Easter to you!
Your beautiful daughter serves in my ward and it is such a joy to know her!

She is a true beauty inside and out and is so giving, is serving so
strong, always willing to help and is making such a difference!

My husband and I moved from California to Verona in November and it
has been so wonderful for me to be able to speak to someone in English
and she is a dear friend now, so happy to know her!

We've taken a couple pictures while the Sisters have been at our house
and I wanted to pass them along!

One day the sisters taught me how to make homemade pizza and tiramusu
(yum!) it was so fun and exciting.

Another night this week they dropped by to give us a 21 day challenge
to do missionary work and we fed them some american brownies, they
bring the spirit with them so strong every time they come.


Heather Fujikawa

Buona Pasqua!‏

Hey Fam,

Just a short little note this week but I want to wish you a BUONA PASQUA!!! Happy easter! I hope you all have fun at the party! The pics from conference looked soooo fun! I sure hope you all ate enough crepes for me!

CONFERENCE was AMAZING!!! I think it is litterally a whole new world watching conference as a missionary. It is like an outpouring of revelation! How lucky and blessed we are to have a prophet and apostles that lead and guide us today!! I got to listen to 2 sessions in English. Preisthood and Sunday morning... AMAZING! THen I got to watch 2 others in english. I SAW SUZE!!!! I felt so proud to see my little suze singing in the chior! I love it! Well, Preisthood I think was my favorite ;) I loved The first Presidency's talks. President Monson talking about DUTY!! I think it was perfect not just for preisthood holders but for MIssionaries too!

This week has been a good one. Lots of finding but the thing is little miracles happen everyday! I would say we had a conference attendance miracle. We decided that we were going to call all investigators and invite all the people we met to conference. In the two days of conference we ended up having 6 investigators come and watch! It was such a blessing because They were able to feel the power of the prophet and the apostles and more than one of them said, "That was exactly what I needed to hear!"

I love being a missionary. Even on the hard days it is the biggest blessing in the World. I am just soooo greatful for my Savior and for what he did for me and for each of us. I know that it is only through him that we can return to our Heavenly Father, and constantly keep going. The power of the atonement not only cleanses us but sustains us through everything we have to experience or endure. THe Savior is always there walking right beside us. I hope you all have a wonderful easter and think lots about the real meaning of easter.

Also, decorate a colored egg, eat one of grandma's sugar cookies and a bag of cadbury eggs for me!

I love you times a thousand!

Slla Kate