What the goodness you are sooooooooooo wonderful!! YOU MADE MY BIRTHDAY AWESOME!!The only thing that would have made it better is if you all could have apparated here for the day!!! Mom you are the greatest thing ever!! And I need to thank everyone that e-mailed me! Nothing like opening your email as a missionary and seeing it full! I officially have the best friends and family ever!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!! Yesterday was for sure a fun day!! My comp woke up feeling terribly sick... boo. But I made us birthday crepes because that was a must. Then we went out and worked the morning and got a cancelation and lots of doors shut in our face. Best day. THEN we went to Heathers! Mom you sly dog!! I couldn't believe it!! I knew immediately when I saw what she made it was upside down spaghetti!! We had brown cows, and ceasar salad too! And she made me a chocolate chip pumpkin cake which was just bliss cuz pumpkin does not exist here! Heather is officially an angel and my family here and mom thank you soooo much for being her partner in crime to make my Birthday soooo blissful!! By the time we got done with lunch Slla Morley was not doing good so we went home and called Slla Wolfgramm and ended up having to let her rest. So we were inside until the night when we went and taught enlish class. They sang happy birthday to me in English... darling especially when it sounds like "Hoppy birfday tew yew" when they sing! I loved it! Then we finished the night by stopping by Pizza Love. They had made me a pizza and then as we were getting ready to head home.... Silvia whops out a nutella crostata with 22 on it that she had made for me!!! They are the best!!!!! All in all it was a wonderful birthday!! I felt soooo loved and blessed and lucky and to top it off I was a missionary! Today we are going to do some more celebrating, shopping, gelato, the works! I am excited! Things are going good here! Miracle of the week: Yamilka. I don't know if you remember her but we were working with her for ages and she was't progressing at all because she wouldn't read the Book of Mormon or Pray. Well Saturday we go to see her. We have this incredible lesson where she tells us that she will get baptized as soon as she gets an answer from Heavenly Father and her asking us what she can do to get that answer. I am like PRAY AND READ!!! So we even set a baptism date with her! Aug. 10th! THEN we went back monday... SHE HAD READ!! For the first time ever!!! AND SHE SAID THE CLOSING PRAYER!!! For the first time ever!!! It was so neat! I am excited for her because I just KNOW that the gospel is what she needs. She has spent her whole life looking for the truth and I know if she keeps praying and reading she'll get her answer! We are still teaching and looking and will finally get to see Veronica again tomorrow. Last week we couldn't cuz she got called into work. But I am excited to see her again. I got the ward package this week! Soo fun and I got letters from Grandma and Siera's announcment! Yay for their wedding.Grandma sent me a letter about reasons why we serve a mission. There are 3 categories: Fear, Duty, and Love. It really hit me. I know that I want to make sure that I am here serving because I love these people. I really do love them. I think sometimes it's hard to get past the duty area, hard to get past the idea that I am knocking doors cuz I have been called to and remember that I am knocking doors because I know that there are people behind them that absolutely NEED this gospel. I want to make sure that for the rest of my mission I serve like that. I do love the Italians. I love the africans, romanians, cubans, south americans.... every single person I have had the chance to meet here. I know that Heavenly Father loves them. He loves us. The Savior Loves us. He is the perfect example of love. I know that he died for each person I meet and although they might not know it, or appreciate it... that's why I am here. To let them know that they can find peace, relief and comfort if they just go to him. I love being a missionary. Even in the hot, the hard, and the heartache. Its so worth it. Thats why we have to serve missions. So people can understand the atonement! Well guys this has been a fun week! We recieved transfer news... I am staying another transfer here in Verona with Sorella Morley! I am soo happy cuz Verona is my Home now :)! I love you all and thank you will ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL my heart for what you did for me! I miss you!
Wow... Alpine is burning down! What the goodness?! That is crazy! It sounds like your 4th of july will be a little like mine here in italy... fireworkless... alas! Me and my comp are planning on doing something crazy... maybe drinking some fanta and eating brownies or top ramen... very american! (Yes, Heather gave us tons of top ramen... and yes I know that I am serving in Italy, land of pasta... but ramen never tasted so good ;))
Anyway I hope you have fun regardless! You still having the carnival and BBQ??! I hope so!!! Can you stick my name in the drawing even if I'm not there?? I could really use a 6 pack of Gatorade or a giant sticky hand! Oh man am I gonna miss the carmel apples and crackerjacks! Tell grandma I will sing a very beautiful rendition of God bless America!
Well this week has been... HOT! I don't think it would be possible to start a fire here because it is tooooo wet.... and humid! We look like we stepped out of the shower the minute we walk outside ;)! But things are going good here in Verona! We had a really neat miracle the other day... It went like this: We planned to casa (track) a specific street looking for a young girl. We went to the street in the morning, but didn't finish, so that night went back. We got into a palazzo (building) and after several floors of nothing, finally a door opened. It was a Beautiful, Young Italian girl! I immediately started teaching and told her God had a plan for us and asked her what she thought it was... She replied "You know... I really don't know..." She was sooo sincere!! Anyway she invited us in after a few minutes and asked us where we were from. We said america (blast our accents ;) and she started laughing and said, in english, "I did forgeign exchange in California! You guys can speak english if you want!" WHAT?! Anyway she had heard about the church in california. We taught the entire Restoration and she said the prayer at the end! It was amazing! She talked sooo sincerely to Heavenly Father saying that she was looking for him and wanted to find the right path. It was beautiful! I love her already!!! The plan is to go back tomorrow!!
In other news we are still doing lots of finding work. We are hoping to keep help Gica move a long and so she and Davide could get baptized. I think that the hardest thing is just knowing how many blessings she could have and how much peace she could find if she were just baptized, but we will keep helping her realize that she needs to just do it!
Speaking of Just do it... Our Zone Leaders made that the theme of our Transfer: we are TEAM H.O.P.E. (Heavens Operating Power on Earth) and we JUST DO IT. I think is is really such a perfect theme for living the Gospel, Keeping the Commandments, Obeying the Prophet and Parents, and Serving... you JUST DO IT. If Heavenly Father asked you to, you do it. If he asked you to, that means there is a reason. It is usually to keep you safe and he ALWAYS has blessings for you if you JUST DO IT! I think it is easy to think commandments, or callings, or even scripture reading and prayers are hard... but if you JUST DO IT... it is soooo worth it! A while back Lindsey Rhodes wrote me about this italian phrase... Ne vale la pena = It's worth it! And it is sooo true! Anything Heavenly Father asks us to do is worth it! He has soooo many blessings in store, so JUST DO IT!! This is really helping me right now because no matter what happens with our work and such, we Just do it. And keep doing it, because it is the work of the Lord and we are the HOPE of the people here!
I thought this was especially prudent for our family considering Nike has a very near and dear place to our hearts ;) So fam... Just do it! Don't ever give up on anything because it is WORTH IT!
I love you soooo much! I hope you have the best holiday EVER! Maybe you could watch fireworks on TV or something... ;) HE HE!!!
Guys what the goodness... You are all over the place! Jos, GREECE!! I am jealous... I shall go there one day. Remember History of Creativity... you are like living that class! Jake... basking with the priests... Sabrines at the cabin... Ems... Chilling with mom and dad (best deal I think ;) ) It seems like sooo much it going on! Fun to see the pics of it all, Brady's wedding looked fun... Brookie goregous! Tell her hi for me! And Siera, congrats!! WOW I am so excited for her. Summer is always a time when I feel like everything speeds up. It certainly feels like that on the Mission! I mean we are at the end of June!! Slla Morley has now been in Italy for a month!
Jose... Shout out to you!! Tanti auguri a te!! Buon Compleanno! It think it is quite prudent you are celebrating your 20th birthday in Europe!! WHAT you are 20!!?? We are getting old. ;) Eat some gelato and send me some pics okay!
Yesterday we had blitz. The sisters from Pordenone came here to help us with our work. One sister, Slla Lloyd sings. She started singing Scarlet Pimpernel and I felt immediately at HOME!! Oh how I have missed the bursting into song. I still do it.. but bursting into MO-Tab or EFY don't quite have the same effect ;)
Well this week was great. We had an awesome conference on Thursday where we learned about finding. President has asked us to quit introducing ourselves and just start testifying. So when we meet someone on the street it goes a little like this...
Hi. How are you? I know God has a plan for us here on this earth. According to you, what is our purpose here? Then we just start chatting with them. It is blissfully awkward but we have seen miracles come from it. People actually talk to us for a bit! We are doing LOTS of searching... knocking doors, street contacting, bike contacting... the works!! I know Heavenly Fathers got people out there for us, we just gotta track them down!
We had a pretty neat experience about being in the right place at the right time yesterday. We went to visit a MA in our ward. She lives outside of verona so we took a short train ride out there. She wasn't answering he phone so we set out to find her house by ourselves. We did casa and strada along the way and then found her street. It was long and we finally found what we thought was her house. We definately looked like we were lost, because we were in the middle of no where it seemed. A man walked past us, but then stopped turned around and asked us... "What are you doing out here?" WELL long story short, Francesco this man had met missionaries in Milan 1 year ago. He opened the book of Mormon and showed us the picture with Christ and the Nephites and said it was his favorite picture of Christ. He said when he saw us he was wondering what on earth missionaries where doing out on this country road. Anyway we talked to him, got his number and invited him to come to a baptism the anziani have on friday. He said he had just lost contact with the missionaries! NEAT!!
We are still working with Gica and Davide... I love them so much I just want them to be happy! I know that living the Gospel makes us happy... PUNTO (period!) Honestly that is what I want most when I meet people to help them know that LASTING HAPPINESS AND PEACE come through living the gospel. Through staying close to Christ and Heavenly Father. It's the only way. It's what makes me smile everyday as a missionary. Getting to tell people that!! I love being a missionary!
Have the best week okay! Live up all these adventures... and I expect LOTS of pictures! Love you, Slla Kate