Sunday, August 26, 2012

I finally got caught up with Katie's letters...I was a few behind!

Here you go....finally caught up!
I am glad to see I am back on the ball!

I bid thee farewell my dear sweet Verona!‏

Famiglia Mia,
I AM GETTING TRANSFERED! Yep... It doesn't come as a huge surprise, but where I am going does! I am going to....
What the what?!? I never thought it for sure and I found out last night! And so thus tomorrow morning me and Slla Morley are off on the first train to Milano, where I will then stay! It's back to the big city for me! Back to buses, metro, and crowds... even bigger than Genova! I can't believe it. I am for sure really excited but oh man my heart is breaking to leave Verona. I've spent like 1/2 my mission here. I love the members, my little sorellina morley, the people, the city, my bike... alas! I don't think everything has quite sunk in yet because it is still so fresh, but I am quite positive tonight I will be a mess! My new comp is named Slla Lloyd from Lehi. I am really excited because we were actually in the MTC together and best of all... SHE LOVES MUSICALS!! She reminds me so much of you jose... We have done exchanges twice together and last time she sang "astonishing" for me when I told her I was going to miss your play. Thus it shall be broadway bliss in our apartment!  I will for sure miss Slla Morley too. We have had so much fun together, and above all learned so much together! I am just glad she lives in Highland and thus it isn't a real goodbye!
Sabrines, Ems and Jake... You guys started school!! Crazy! How is it??? Jake you are a SENIOR!! That is just crazy business! You are all growing up too fast!
This week seems like it was even more insane than the last week. We have been working like crazy with Yamilka still. Last week we had some incredible lessons with her and on Saturday night we called her and she said she wanted to be baptized! I about died! So we hurried and got everything ready so that she could be baptized tonight before I left. We announced it Sunday in church... but sunday night... Doubts started flowing. She said she couldn't do it. We with the Family Avesani tried smoothing things over and we did. But yesterday she said she just couldn't do it. She didn't feel ready. She said she will be baptized, but just not in this moment. I was really blessed with an enormous amount of peace. Yes, I was so sad. Mostly because I just see this battle going on in her head. I know the only way she will have the peace she wants is through the gospel of Jesus Christ and that is the HARDEST part. She knows this is right, but fear gets in the way. Man is that one of Satans most powerful tools... he gets us to fear and thus block out the ability to have faith! AH! However, I know that she is someone very special, with enormous potential. The day will come, just in the Lords time. Gosh it's hard to leave!!
 We have seen a lot of miracles this week in finding. We have litterally been trying to talk to so many people! The other night in the park we ride up on our bikes and stop the first person we see. Name: Martina Description: 2 dogs, Piercings everywere, and a "nice" outfit on. We started talking to her and she said she felt like she has hit rock bottom in her life. She said I think I am starting to believe in God again because there has got to be someone who can help me. She said a few days before out of desperation she said a prayer for the first time in years. Then we showed up. Don't you love how Heavenly Father works ;) We talked to her about our message and In the end we got her number and asked if we could meet her again. She said of course and "Can I bring my Mom?" BLISS! Of course we replied!
Another Miracle like that happened just yesterday when we went to the park. Stopped another girl walking her dog (I think they are lucky) She told us right off she was atheist (code for I just don't really want to talk to you). We asked why and got talking. Well I asked her what she thought happens after death. She replied, "Thats something I ask myself a lot. I mean... I don't think it all ends here..." Allora! That means she does have some faith ;) Well we told her it doesn't end here and that Heavenly Father has a plan for her.... and she said she wants to know more about it! MIRACLE!
Yay for all these miracles that are happening just as I leave! But So it goes on the mission! I am soooo grateful for the time I have had here in Verona. We have incredible members and honestly these people have become like family to me. They have been there non stop to help us, take care of us, and feed us ;) I love them so much!
I can't wait for the adventure that lies ahead for me in Milano! We shall see whats in store! But I know that its where I am supposed to go. I Love being a missionary. I know the church is true. It really is the best. Its the only way we can be 110% happy even in the hard times. I love you all soooo much! 
Ciao for now...
Slla Nilson  
 P.S. I feel like I am sooo behind the times, but I can't believe Hans and Hills are HOME!! Hills thanks for the email and post card. Berit's on a mish yahoo! Roomies... I want to hear from you. Seth, Pete, Alex? We're all missionaries! Can I get alex's address or email? Will he be in the spain mtc for part of it? Thanks my friends for your letters... I promise one day I will respond when I have atleast 3 minutes to write! ;) Love you all!

A slice of Humble Pie‏

My bellissima Famiglia! I miss you!! 

Guys, the summer is finishing!! I cannot believe it! Today is a festa here in Italy and thus everything is... quite. The entire city went to the beach I am pretty positive! ;) 

Guys this week has been... quite unreal. I have never been so humbled in my entire life. Wednesday night we had a terrible lesson with Yamilka. She found out that we participate in Politics and went off saying she couldn't believe we are involved in something so corrupt. We tried to explain that the church doesn't control our choices and that we participate to try and make a difference, and that we are told to live in the world but not be of it. She wouldn't hear it. She just kept going and going, until I... with a very strong voice just told her to STOP! We then bore our testimonies and explained that although we didn't know everything we knew this was TRUE. That this was the Church of Jesus Christ restored on the earth. That the Book of Mormon is true. We had an appointment for friday but find out she went to austria and thus was not baptized this week. With all of this it sorta felt like the world was falling down. I can say this... I have never been so humbled in my entire life. 

I think that one of the biggest lessons you learn on the mission is Humility. Wednesday night all I could do was hit my kneels and talk to Heavenly Father. I can say this. I still don't understand exactly why everything fell through, but I do know this- Heavenly Father listens to our prayers, he cares about us and wants us to be happy. The Atonement is REAL. I am sooo grateful for the chance we have to repent, the chance we have to get help and strength above our own. I just can't imagine my life without the atonement, because you just cannot make it without it. I think that I really needed to learn that ONLY by relying 100% on Heavenly Father can you do missionary work, and make it in life. 

Today while reading the Book of Mormon I read 1 Nephi 17:3-

And thus we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled. And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and astrengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them; wherefore, he did bprovide means for us while we did sojourn in the wilderness.

Think about our lives... Heavenly Father nourishes us and strengthens us so we can do what he has asked us to do. He always Provides for us. In his time, but everything he has promised us MUST BE FULFILLED. I loved that it was perfect! 

Friday we had interviews. It was great! I love having the chance to learn so much as missionaries. My President and his wife are incredible. It was neat getting to talk to him, and Sorella Wolfgramm is just amazing. She talked to us about putting Christ in the Center of our lives. Making him our focus and that when we do that everything falls into place! 

So we started applying that and we have really seen miracles! Seriously, one minute we are like AHHH! Everything is falling apart and then the next, Miracles. Sunday for example, I am just in the chapel saying hi to people and in walks one of our Less Actives. We have been writing her letters and Dropping them off in her mailbox almost everyday for the past 6 months. And there she was in the Church. I ABOUT DIED!!! My heart was bursting... seriously! She is the most incredible woman, but just NEVER comes... and she came!!! 

Then the past 2 days we have had the chance to meet some really wonderful people. Monday we stopped a woman who told us, "I feel like I have made so many mistakes, I just have lost my faith." We immediately talked to her about the hope of the Gospel, and she said "Maybe this is what I need to get me past this wall I feel like is in front of me!" MIRACLES 

Transfers are next week. Its going to be hard!!! President alluded to the fact that I am probably leaving since I have been here for 5 transfers. But man... Verona is my home now!! I know for sure my heart is just going to break because I love these people soo sooo much! We will see what happens! 

I miss you all so much! I want you to know that even when things get tough, I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! I am soooo grateful for EVERYTHING Heavenly Father has blessed me with... most importantly YOU GUYS!!! YOU are incredible! LOVE YOU times 50 gazillion! 


It's the climb...‏

Hey guys!
Yes, Hannah montana did inspire the subject of this e-mail! How are you all doing? Goodness gracious time is flying! Mom mentioned that school is starting in just a couple weeks... crazy! Jose... you still alive? I am sooo excited for you and the play! I think it will be awesome! Please make sure you film all of it okay! Jake you ready for sr. year? Thats crazy! You're gonna love your ap classes though! Sabrines... what? 9th grade! It's impossible! What classes are you taking? And Ems... you ready for 6th? Wow... crazy how old our family is getting! Or maybe it's just me!
Well guys, the work continues to go on! This week has been quite a roller coaster- in the exciting, crazy sort of way!! We have been working like crazy this week with Yamilka. She is awesome, she really is. The ward loves her and everybody just keeps telling us how great she is. She really has felt welcomed too. BUT, she told us she isn't ready to get baptized. Her baptism was supposed to be this week, but she says she is still waiting for her answer. We are trying hard to help her realize that she has already gotten it. Honestly she has had a dream of her baptism, an experience from the past that helped her know the plan of salvation is true, peace, happiness... the works. It's just getting her to recognize all that. I love her so much and honestly am just praying and having faith that we can help her get what she is looking for because I know she will be baptized. It's just a matter of time ;)
We had another miracle on Sunday... Two weeks ago we visited a MA family that hasn't been to church in Years. The lesson went well and we talked to them about how they can become an eternal family. Well this Sunday, after years of never coming, in walks the Dad with his 4 kids. (the mom had to work) They were soooo well recieved, the ward was thrilled. When we went and visited them yesterday all the kids said they loved church and as we were leaving said... "See you on Sunday!" It was amazing! I know the gospel blesses families and gives us the chance to be together forever!
Miracles continue to happen everyday. We are searching like crazy to find those who are willing to listen. It is really neat though to have this chance to talk to people, to leave them with hope, and to make them feel Heavenly Fathers love for them. Just yesterday we stopped on our bikes to talk to a woman. As we talked to her she just stopped and said... "Wow, I have goosebumps... gosh I just feel something in my heart!" She said it three times while we were talking to her. We smiled and then explained what she was feeling was the spirit. We are planning to see her again this week.
I really love being a missionary. I am learning that honestly in life it is about finding Joy in the Journey, about finding happiness now. Heavenly Father wants us to have peace and joy now, not in 20 years. Like President Uchtdorf said, we don't have to wait for our golden ticket to be happy now, Everyday there are miracles and blessings that Heavenly Father sends us. We just have to recognize them and then be grateful for them. I am sooo grateful for the gospel. I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who has sooo much patience for my weaknesses. I have been so humbled on my mission I can't even explain. How grateful I am for a Savior who made it possible for us to repent and start over when we make mistakes. To take the sacrament and be clean again. All of this brings me joy!
I love you all so much! Keep on keeping on and have fun while you are at it! Miss you!
Slla Nilson
P.S. We had a ward activity this week. We played Volleyball. Americans (missionaries) vs. Italians... I hate to say it... we lost. I will need to refine my skills! But it was sooo fun and the ward leaders thanked us for spending time with the ward ;)

Life's what you make it... and the Gospel makes it wonderful!‏

Allora! Famiglia Mia!
Ciao tutti belli e brutti! It is I again. One more week has passed and it seems like 2 seconds ago I was writing you! The weeks are flying and we are staying busy! The days are... HOT!!! I mean drippingly hot! We for sure continue to look like beasts but at least we run into nice people that still tell us we are molto carine (very cute!) We have been biking an unusually large amount because we have some people that live outside of Verona... I love it! I decided that first thing I want when I get back is not a phone or computer, but a BIKE! Me and you pops... we can become bike fools! And all who want to join us! I just want a matching outfit like dad has too!
This week have continued our finding work as usual! We are certainly trying to be FOREVER FINDERS and share the gospel WHEREVER WE ARE! We have been trying out a new technique for the past week that we learned at zone conference... it's called Whiteboarding. Basically we write a yes or no question on a whiteboard and walk up to people and ask them what they think. Well it is WONDERFUL! The thing is it gets people talking! We have been using this question lately "Can marriage continue after death?" It is amazing. We get yes's and no's but the wonderful thing is that it gives us a chance to talk about the importance of family and to talk about the plan of salvation and the temple.
We actually had a miracle doing this! We saw a woman with her kids in the park and decided to go and ask her what she thought. She immediately said yes. When we asked why she said "Because I am married, my family is the most important thing in my life, and I don't think it ends here!" After talking to so many people that just say no or have no hope it was a breath of fresh air! She is sooo awesome! We talked to her for a while and she just is soooo good! Already living so many principles of the gospel and everything and LOVES her kids. Well the story continues. We got her number and called her back and had an appointment yesterday. We met her in the park and when we got there, there was an old lady sitting on the bench next to Rita. I thought they were friends or something but turns out no. Well we started teaching the resto anyway to both of them. Well this old lady was a bit... over the top. She kept talking, telling crazy stories, and by the end of our lesson she said "You guys have talked forever and I don't understand a thing!" Then she started saying some rought things. Here is the Amazing part. RITA just stands up for us! She turns to the lady and says... "Haven't you been listening! They are trying to help people change, trying to help them be happy. The Book they have (the Book of Mormon) is magic. It does this for people. I think you just need to open your mind and listen to them!" Sorella Morely and I were just in shock. Well the old lady didn't really love that so she decided to leave. We turned back to Rita, and she just told us she felt it. She felt it was right- She said "You know what... that lady felt it too... and then she fought against it!". She told us that she wanted to know more about the fact that we have a Prophet, what he says to us, More about the temple and that she will read the Book of Mormon! We showed her a picture of the temple and said it was being built in Rome.... She just stopped and looked at us. She said... "I told my husband the other morning that I wanted to go to Rome. I have never wanted to go to rome... I have never been there and I am Italian. But just this week I have been talking to him about how we need to go to rome and I don't know why. Then you just said that the temple is being built there... That's crazy!" 
Needless to say the whole experience was insane! She has 2 beautiful kids... 14 and 12 and they are just awesome! I love her and them Already. I just was filled with desire to tell them everything I knew so that they could become an eternal family! Seriously... life is hard. Rita admitted that, but she said she knew it can be good if we do what is right. It is true! How many times does the Book of Mormon say it. Obedience brings happiness. The gospel brings happiness... the kind that LASTS FOREVER!! I am sooooo grateful for eternal families! I am so grateful for this knowlege! I love you my family! 
Wowzer! (hope that makes sense I was writting at mock 90!) That was a huge miracle for us and an amazing experience! Man... I still haven't even written about Yamilka! Her baptism is set for the 10th and we are doing all we can to get her ready! She has been taught everything, and is praying and reading and changing. She wants to feel her answer and says she hasn't felt it yet. But we are praying and working and we are seeing miracles right and left. She is wonderful and I know the gospel will change her life. It just does that to people ;)
Last thought of this Novel I have written today.... Today I was readying in Moroni 8. Amazing Chapter. We learn about three very important things: Faith, Hope, and Charity. It is amazing how they are so interconnected. You can't have faith without bringing yourself hope too. And when you have faith and thus hope you can be filled with Charity, the pure love of Christ. I know this is true! I just can't tell you how much my testimony has grow about Hope and Happiness. The Gospel and the precious truths contained in it bring HOPE and HAPPINESS. We meet soooo many people who have lost that. Thats why they need this so much. I know its the only way to TRULY be happy!
We are soo blessed my family! I love you all and hope everything is wonderful! Jose... ROck the play! I can't believe I am missing another one! But don't worry I'll be there when you go to broadway! Jake... get better bud! I shall mail you some gelato if you get your tonsils out! Sabrines and ems... I love you and hope you are basking in fun with Tamara and Tiana!
Love you all and have a good week!
Slla Kate