Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!!

What a blessing it was to see and visit with our beautiful Sorella today. We laughed and cried. Pictures will be posted soon.

She has a beautiful request: I want to invite all to take time to remember this beautiful Christmas season to ponder about the gift that He has given to us. How have you felt the Love of the Savior Jesus Christ in your life? Please visit the following link:

O Come, Emmanuel

And a very short update: This miracle was so sweet and so full of relief. Our baptismal date J had told his mom that he was too afraid to inform us that he was not ready for baptism this upcoming Saturday. I had spoken to his mother and she explained that she wished to study the scriptures with him more and try for a baptism in April or March. We had studied and prayed for days to know what to do and what to say the next time we would see him. This past Sunday he had asked to talk to us after church, so we met with him and he immediately began to talk about the baptism. He explained that he wanted to be baptized as soon as possible but that he felt he needed to learn a little more. He also explained that he wished to be baptized no later than the end of the month of January. It was such a relief and such a blessing to see how eager he still was for baptism. When we asked what we could do to help him prepare, he asked us to explain and help him understand the book of mormon. :) We will continue helping him and hopefully see a baptism soon here in Forli. :)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Enduring to the end with a forgiving heart

AHHHHH I love Christmas!!!!! :) We had a beautiful Zone Conference with Presidente here in Forli last Thursday for Christmas. It was so beautiful and soooo happy. (OH and I finally got the packages. It was really funny. My District Leader, Anziano Lloyd handed my 3 big packages and then a box from deseret industry - something I ordered months ago. I opened the one from October - THANK YOU - and am saving the other two for Christmas. Patience. :) But seriously! Thank you sooooo much for the socks. They are AMAZING. They are so warm and comfortable. My feetsies are now so much happier.) L came to the Conference to help out with the cooking - we had some good ol' tacos. SO GOOD. One of the assistants was born here in Forli and taught L. It was such a happy occasion to see Anziano Christensen and Laura greeting each other after a year of not seeing one another. Happiness!!!!

I thought my heart was going to burst with happiness when we had this miracle on Saturday. Our inattiva, G that we have been working with CAME to an activity!!! It was a shock really. We came to her home on Friday night to read some scriptures with her and invited her the activity. As mentioned last week, J (our simpatizzanti) has been pushing her friend G to come back to church.  Right before the activity on Saturday evening, my companion called out to me to hurry down the stairs. When I caught up, I saw G's children. Oh how the members were soooooo incredibly happy to see them! Then about half way through the activity, G herself showed up. :) Everyone greeted her with love. She stayed the rest of the evening. It was so tender and so beautiful!

Earlier that morning, we went to teach L and A, oppure, they taught us. Last week while we were trying to plan for them, we had this huge stupor of thought. They are so elect and so converted. So then, with the help of the Spirit, we asked for them to teach us. So A prepared a BEAUTIFUL lesson of Enduring to end (or persevering to the end in italiano) and forgiveness - how they go hand in hand. It was so wonderful and clear. I had never thought of how in order to endure to the end, we must be willing to have a forgiving heart. Yes both are important but to go so well together... wow. The gospel is so beautiful and simple. Comunque, Al planned this WONDERFUL lesson full of scriptures and even an article of Nelson Mandela. L and A are so kind and charitable. Once they are married and baptized, they are going to be such a HUGE strength for this special branch here in Forli.

Another quick miracle.... on Sunday I was starting to feel a little stressed due to our simpatizzanti who cannot keep commitments but have so much faith and for not reaching goals of FINDING people to teach. On our way home, we passed through a park and saw two people sitting on a bench. My wonderful companion immediately stopped her bike and started talking to them. They were so kind and so fun. We taught them the first lesson in a nut shell and have a return appointment with them tomorrow. Little blessing really help brighten the day. :)

Also, we have been teaching J, son of R (a recently reactivated memeber) and he is just progressing so much towards baptism. :) Hopefully we have a Christmas baptism. We shall keep you posted next week. WHEN WE SKYPE!!! (Oh and you will probably get to meet L and A)

I LOVE YOU!!!!!! Good luck getting ready for the holidays,. :) Thank you for your support and your love. We had a lesson about the family last night and I am just soooo lucky to have an amazing family.

VI VOGLIO BENE!!!

Love,

Sorella Jameson

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

You bring so much peace and joy into my life

I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!!!!!! Oh it is just soooooooooooo beautiful!!!

We have had amazing miracles with one of our simpatizzanti - si chiama J. She is from Africa and has a baptismal date for later this month - she was a referral from her husband who we found two transfers ago on the sidewalk (P). We decided to pass-by J last Thursday to say hello and set up another appointment to visit her. After speaking, we offered our service to help her clean her home, which we did the following morning for 3 hours (and it was only the kitchen hahaha). It was such a beautiful opportunity to serve her while we got to know her even better. She has had such a difficult life and yet she is still so faithful, so kind, and so loving. By the time we left, her heart was soft and more open to us. A few days later we visited J to teach her a lesson and do some more service. She told us that she talked on the phone with one of her dear friends who was a member of our church, G (the miracle we had the week before with the meno attiva!) When she told us that she had talked to this Meno Attiva, we were so worried that bad things were said. G only said the most beautiful things about the church and J encouraged her to come back to church with her on Sunday. They were basically doing missionary work for each other!! J told us to visit her and try to convince her to come to church this weekend with her. It was such a tender miracle! When we visited her yesterday, she prayed, giving thanks to Heavenly Father for bringing us into her life. J said, "When I see you outside the window I am filled immediately with JOY and happiness. You bring so much peace and joy into my life." We promised her that this is something that she can keep with her through the gift of the Holy Ghost after her baptism. :) AHHH I love her soooo much!

And a random, fun little side note - we saw Anziano Gibbons on Sunday (remember him? He was with me in Genova for the whole 6 months) He told me my Italiano has gotten SOOO much better! It really surprised me. :) Oh how I love to speak Italiano.

Another really fast and funny story - we often go to do missionary work with our amazing side kick A. He is absolutely hilarious and a wonderful member of the ward. We had taught for a short time a very, VERY Italian woman si chiama L. Oh mamma mia... she is just a SPIT fire! Kind of like Grandma but MORE because she is not Mormon and she is Italian. A just LOVES her! He is normally a quiet person but when he was with her, this fiery side comes out and he just gets so Italiano. We went to go visit her and it was just one of the funnest lessons I think I have ever been in. She has invited us over for Christmas Eve to teach us how to make Mascarpone. (Sorry.. not a super great story but just really funny)

Vi voglio bene!!

Sorella Jameson

PIC: Ravenna oggi :)

PS: I absolutely LOVE my companion with all my heart!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Our Savior can help us with ANYTHING

Oh mamma mia... we are having so many miracles here in Forli. :)

Thanksgiving came and went suuuuuper fast (just like every day in the mission field) so I am a little worried about how fast Christmas will go by. That being said, being a missionary during Christmas time is such a beautiful experience. I just have this LOVE and joy for the little things - like all the Christmas lights and decorations - and especially for the birth of Jesus Christ. We can sing more often to the people, talk more about the beauty of the gift, and just all rejoice more together. I wish it were more like this through out the year but it really is so magical! :) For Thanksgiving, we ate at L's and Ao's home and celebrated A's birthday. It was sooooo beautiful. We invited one of our "dry members" who is 89 and very lonely. L is such a loving and accepting person that she immediately began to show love to him. The next several days were just filled with miracles that touched our hearts. The work is rolling forward in Forli!

This weekend we had one of the most tender and touching miracles. The Jefferies have been working with an inactive member of the branch by the name G. We had never met her and had only heard "Good Luck" when we talked about visiting her. As Sorella Jefferies has gone to visit teach G, her heart has been softened more and more. Sorella Jefferies suggested that we go and visit her, bringing some banana bread because it was her favorite. On Sunday we went, not really knowing what to share and going with the intention of getting to know G and follow the Spirit. This woman is such a special and beautiful child of God. We felt prompted to just sing some Christmas hymns which invited the Spirit and made it very easy to talk about the love of Christ. I then asked if I could share my favorite scripture (Alma 26:35-37) and we shared how much God loves her and has not forgotten about her. G began to cry and explain that she missed this, how she had forgotten these things that she once loved and believed in, and how she wanted to come back to church. The Spirit was so strong and guided us along to say the things that G needed to hear. It was so beautiful!

To finish, I just wanted to share an insight that I read this morning in parallel to the chapters in Mosiah 23 and 24. So many of us are faced with trials and challenges that we must overcome. At times we feel there is no hope. I have seen this so often with meno attivi or with simpatizzanti here and it just breaks my heart. They often say to us that we cannot possibly understand what they are dealing with because we are so young. Yes that may be true. But the thing that I know with every single FIBER of my being is that our Savior Jesus Christ can help us with ANYTHING in this life. I just love these chapters in Mosiah because it explains so clearly that we WILL have trials but that, with the promised covenant that we make, the Lord will help us. 

In regards to Mosiah 23:21, Elder Orsen F. Whitney said "No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude, and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God... and it is through sorrow and suffering , toil and tribulation, that we gain education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven."

Now I must apologize that this is a little bit shorter than usual. :) 
VI VOGLIO BENE!!!

Sorella Jameson

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The feeling of doing something better with the Lord's time

Holy hannah it is COLD!!!! I thought I knew what cold was but I guess I did not take into consideration how it would be even colder being out all day on a bike. That is the rough part. When I breathe in, it hurts my lungs. Here is the best part... it isn't even THAT cold yet. :) But it helps with the desire of not wanting to eat any gelato. :)

As for transfer news, I am staying here in Forlì with my sweet baby. :) Oh how I was soooooo happy when I didn't receive any phone calls on Monday. I was a little stressed out at the thought of being transfered. I just love this place way too much and I LOVE my companion. We just laugh all the time and try to work really hard. :) AND now I will be here for Christmas. :)

THANKSGIVING: Dinner with L e A tomorrow with the Jefferies. WOOT!

Sorella Andromidas and I have another beautiful transfer together in Forlì!!! We are so very excited for the next few weeks to continue the work here and to love our simpatizzanti! When we didn't receive a phone call on Monday night (the normal time when are called to translocate), L (one of the most special people here in Forlì and simp) said "Dio esiste!" It was so funny! Several other simpatizzanti commented on how happy they were that we would remain together. It is amazing how you don't realize how much of an impact you make until it is time to go. 

We had a blitz in Rimini, the birthplace of my trainer Sorella Gomez. It has always been my dream to serve there but when I knew I was going to Forlì, I realized that it was going to be impossible to serve there. Doing a blitz was a  dream come true!! We went with the Sister Training Leaders, both of whom I love dearly! It was just a wonderful weekend to work with these amazing sisters and to be in that beautiful city. We later had a cultural activity Saturday evening down in Rimini and hoped to have L come down to see it. She could not come unfortunately. Once I realized that we would be in Rimini without any simpatizzanti, at this fun and wonderful activity, I couldn't shake the feeling that we needed to leave. The lines of Good, Better, Best continued to run through my head. I said a little prayer in my heart to know what to do and felt a "well, you could stay here. There is work you can do at this activity. It will be fine if you stay. BUT... you know there is something better that you can do." So Sorella Andromidas and I packed up and headed home to Forlì. The District President stopped us and asked if there was any way that we could stay but we said no, that there was work to do in Forlì. We later went to L's home and had an extremely spiritual and meaningful lesson that was meant to be had. The feeling of doing something better with the Lord's time was something so satisfying. 

Work has been moving forward with one of our newest investigators, J, the son of a meno attivo. He is so elect and ready to accept the gospel. Last week we set a baptismal date with him for the 7th of December, which he quickly accepted. (At this point, we need to work things out with his mother and might push back the date to the 21st of December) Yesterday we had a beautiful lesson with him at a members home and with the Young Men's President. We all watched the Restoration film together. Mamma mia, the spirit was incredibly strong and so beautiful. At the end of the film, we asked him how he felt, what he thought, etc. He was absolutely speachless for a few minutes just shaking his head. Then he responded saying that he had doubted us when we first gave the first lesson of the restoration but he said "God is telling me in my heart that this is true. It's true." It was such a beautiful and special lesson. :) The work continues to move forward in Forlì. :)

To finish, I just wanted to share my thoughts about Alma 18. Sorella Andromidas and I have been very perplexed as we read about Alma going around, baptizing people. He even immersed himself under the water when he baptized Helam. We asked "Where did he get that authority? How could he baptize himself?" These were not questions about salvation but rather questions of curiosity. Meno male we have an institute manual that addresses this very concern. Joseph F. Smith stated that Alma did indeed HAVE the authority. Maybe he received it before he became corrupted by Noah or if he received it afterwards. The dunking is not of him baptizing himself but rather a symbol of humility and repentance. :) I am so grateful for the revelation that we can receive from modern day prophets to clear up any confusion. 

Thank you for your love and support as always. 

VI VOGLIO BENE!!!

Sorella Jameson

San Marino!!!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

How beautiful is that?

Once again the week has just flown by and I really need to back track in order to tell you what has happened. :) Today is my 8 month mark here in Italy. Can you believe that? Sometimes when I think about the year 2013, it just doesn't seem to exist to me because basically all of it has been given to the Lord. This week is week #5 for the transfer which also means that it is Sr Companion week. Sorella Andromidas gets to take charge. :) It is both a relaxing but also stressful situation. Relaxing because I don't have the stress of planning but then soooooo stressful because I have all the stress of my companion planning. I just want my baby to do well!!! My sweet companion is so incredible and has just taken to missionary work so well. She is doing so well. :)

Well... we had a baptism this weekend. It was for a little boy who was basically a member in the ward but because his parents are not members, it counted as a convert baptism. The beautiful thing is that we HAD a baptism and the font has been used two weekends in a row for the first time in 2 years. Unfortunately the baptism that we had planned for the following was dropped and so was the simpatizzanti due to unkept commitments.

MIRACLE: This weekend we had such a beautiful and tender miracle. Our less active, R, has been absolutely wonderful with coming back to church and with sharing the gospel so willing and so openly. Her son arrived from Nigeria last week and came to the baptism that we had over the weekend and then to church the next day. We were able to come and meet him on Sunday evening with the Jefferies (who are very good friends with R). His name is J and he is absolutely wonderful and elect. As we taught him, he took time to think about the things we taught, asked many questions, and even shared his own testimony of the things that he had studied in the bible. He even asked how there could be a covenant people of God in the Americas when they were established in Jerusalem. He accepted our invitation to baptism and wants to love and work for God. :)

So I was studying this morning and read Mosiah 14 - when Abinadi shares the Isaiah chapter with the wicked king Noah (see Isaiah 53). This is my favorite chapter from the book of Isaiah. I recall reading this one night in Jerusalem in order to finish a homework assignment. All of my roommates were sleeping so I only had my bed side light on. Up to this point I had not really understood Isaiah but it finally clicked that night. One of the greatest things that I learned from Jerusalem are from studying the Old Testament was about the Love of God. This chapter explains the Atonement as Isaiah symbolically describes the Savior as the Servant in this chapter. After he explained the pain and afflictions that He would suffer, versae 10 says "yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him." My understanding of this verse is that the Lord was pleased with the suffering that took place in the Atonement. WHY? Because God loved the world sooooo much that He gave his only begotten Son. How beautiful is that? 

Love, 

Sorella Jameson :)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

So many beautiful miracles

Every P-day I really have to think very hard about WHAT actually happened the week before. Days fly by so fast when you look back at them (during the day it feels long) As always, I just love doing this work. Saturday there was a baptism in our branch for a little girl named R. Her mother was less active and had some difficult trials that kept her from coming to church. This sister has made a complete turn around - she loves coming to church and even calls to offer help with teaching some of our African investigators. She invited sooooo many people to her baptism and there was such a beautiful spirit there with all these loved ones. It was such a wonderful way to contact her friends and share the gospel. We also did a musical number with A, our unofficial third member of the companionship (he is ALWAYS more than willing to come to lessons with us and help us with anything that we ask for. His father is also the Ward Mission Leader and is incredible.)

We have had so many beautiful miracles, especially since we have been trying to become more full tithe payers (the difference from being a part time or full time tithe payer - doing and giving are 100% all to the Lord) within our missionary work. We have been working hard but realized that there is always MORE that we can do for the work of the Lord. Last week we put into action all of the things that we had learned with Anziano Texiera. As a result, we gained 3 new simpatizzanti within the the first two doors that we had knocked on last Tuesday. We have since knocked many more doors, talked to many more people and been rejected by many of them but we KNOW that we have work to complete. :)

So I thought it might be good to describe some of the people that we work with so that you can know them better. If you recall, we met this AMAZING man name P last transfer. He is so elect and so ready to accept the gospel. When we teach him, he always asks many questions to understand and reads every pamphlet that we leave with him. Paul accepted the baptismal invitation that we extended to him and almost accepted the baptismal date., Every lesson that we have taught has brought the spirit so powerfully. He asked us to please pray for him and help him to understand baptism more - why he must be baptized again. He is so kind and wonderful. When we teach him, I can literally feel the love of God just BURSTING through my heart. GAH!!!!

To end, I would like to end with a funny story. We have rules on a mission, yes? Many rules that I have learned to love and follow them, even when I may not understand them. The rules to wake up on time have never been an issue. EVER. Yesterday (after dropping then phone the night before and then resetting it incorrectly due to the fast it is on military time and that I still don't understand it) we woke up at 7:30 instead of 6:30. Accidentally. I felt TERRIBLE. Sorella Andromidas came into the room and told me  "Okay... don't freak out but it is 7:40" (I had been praying before then) I didn't believe her because the cell phone said it was 6:40. When it finally sunk in what had happened I felt completely awful. I immediately started to prayer and ask for forgiveness. Even though I felt like my day was ruined for sinning in ignorance, it brought a little joy to know I cared so much about being obedient.

I love you so much mama!!!! Thank you for all that you do! I can't wait to talk to you next month. Let's start making a list of things we must discuss okay?

Vi voglio bene!!!

Sorella Jameson
My BEAUTIFUL baby girl

Mosaics of Ravenna

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Half way done and it feels very, VERY strange

I have hit my 9 month mark today. I am officially at my halfway point of my mission.  I must admit, it feels very, VERY strange. I still feel as if I am a new missionary but then again, I look at the young, brand new missionaries and realize that I am not. Time is literally going faster than I can imagine but I still know that there is time ahead of me. Last month, when I hit my 8 month mark, I felt a little panicked with the thought of the lurking 9 month mark. 3 months ago, I felt myself groan and think "how can I do this for another year? It is hard." When I woke up this morning, my thoughts were "CRAP. I need to work HARDER!" I don't want this to end. I LOVE my mission so much. Everything that I do. The ups and downs, highs and lows, happiness and disappointment. I love being a representative of the Lord.

Friday night we had a Talent and Taco Night for a ward activity. There was a WONDERFUL show of non members, invited by our fantastic members.
The guests were a little hesitant to speak with us at first but they opened up by the end of the activity. Why? Sorella Andromidas and I did one of the FUNNIEST skits of my LIFE.

(The white on my face was yogurt) I believe one of the members was going to put it up on facebook. Sorella Andromidas was my arms while I sang to "My Prayer" by Celine Dion. Oh it was a riot.

This week, our Presidente gave us the challenge to have 21 lessons. I told Sorella Andromidas (whom I love soooo much) that it will not be too difficult. I have done it MANY times before. We needed to accomplish this within Saturday to Saturday. Unfortunately, because people have agency and we have adversity, almost ALL of our planned lessons fell through Saturday and Sunday. We had planned 10 for both days and were able to do 5, grazie a Dio. We saw SOOOOO many beautiful blessings from this experience. On Sunday night, I was very frustrated and a little discouraged from our Baptismal Date who has cancelled on us SOOOO many times. I had called him, chastised him because it was not fair to us, felt like repenting afterwards, and then we left to stop by and visit him. As we were waiting, we said a prayer, asking for patience and guidance. About 2 minutes later, a young man named Marco walked by and we ended up teaching him. Nothing came out of it but it was so beautiful to help someone else come closer to Christ. By the time we saw R, we were calm and loving again. We ended the night by going to L and A's home. They fed us and we enjoyed the evening sharing our favorite scriptures. :)

Our miracle followed us home from the specialized conference that we had yesterday with Anziano Teixeira, in FLORENCE!
It addressed exactly what I needed to hear to improve myself as a missionary and servant of the Lord. I have reached my half way mark and have felt that I needed to work a little harder and a little more but I couldn't find the motivation to do such. This was answered yesterday. When we got home last night, we made the extra effort to knock doors in between our appointments and to stop more people. We now have several potential lessons set up for tonight and tomorrow. The bigger blessing is that we feel much more satisfied and happy with ourselves as we work for our Lord.

The gospel is so beautiful and the future is so bright. I was reading in Mosiah 5 this morning and felt a scripture echo the thoughts of my heart.

It says in verse 4
And it is the faith which we have had on the things which our king has spoken unto us that has brought us to this great knowledge, whereby we do rejoice with such exceedingly great joy.

I absolutely LOVE this. It is by FAITH that we can come to the knowledge that the words our prophets have said are TRUE. It is also by faith that we can still rejoice and have JOY in this world. I am so happy to be a missionary and to have this chance to serve the Lord. I have SO much joy.

Vi voglio bene!!!

Sorella Jameson

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Family Mission Plan

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!! I was really hoping to get an e-mail from you freaking out, wondering what has happened to me but alas... it was not meant to be. We had a New Missionary Training in Milano yesterday so we moved our P-Day to today. It has really thrown off my internal missionary clock and I don't really like it...... Part of me wants to just give up this P-day and get to work but I know it would kill poor Sorella Andromidas. :)

We have seen so many beautiful miracles and blessings here! I am so very happy to be a missionary and a trainer here in Forlì. Sorella Andromidas came pre-trained. Literally. She even went teaching with some missionaries in Italy last Christmas (one of them being Anziano Hatch. Small world huh?) So we are just working our hearts out, trying to be obedient and have faith. I honestly don't know HOW I keep lucking out with INCREDIBLE companions. ALL of them!!! And both people who I have had to train speak better Italian than me. Hallelujah! :)

SOOOO Speaking of Italian, Presidente Dibb asked Sorella Andromidas to translate for the District conference this past weekend. AHHHH it was sooooo scary and yet so exciting at the same time. We had these little walkie talkie hand sets to translate for Sorella Dibb and the member of the Seventy as well as anyone else that needed English. We both came in with MIGHTY prayers in our hearts (ENOS) and were definitely guided as we translated. There was one point that a woman spoke soooooo fast that I had to say "I am sorry... she is speaking really fast" into the handset. This was only for reading the scriptures, words just came out of my mouth without realizing what she was actually saying. The gift of tongues exists.

I wanted to share some of my thoughts from the District Conference. It revolved around missionary work - this seems to be a BIG thing that church is focusing on. They talked about having a Family Mission Plan, just how ever ward has a mission plan. He also explained that all of us are missionaries. The only difference if that we have a black name tag and you have a name tag that shines through your face. It was so beautiful!! Sharing the gospel through the Spirit that we have and the JOY that so many others can feel. SOOOO what do you think? Would you like to do it?

Also, L and A were able to come to the District Conference and they just LOVED it!!! Someone even asked if L was a member because of the light that just shined from her eyes. She is so special.

On Sunday afternoon, we went with the Jefferies to teach a lesson with one of our investigators, N and her family. As we were approaching the door, she came out with her daughters and said "I am so sorry! I need to take them to R's house. Can you come back at 5 instead?" So we went to teach another simpatizzanti and were heading to her home when we received a call from a Meno Attivo named R. It was the SAME person that N was going to go visit!!! R invited us to her home to teach N instead. The daughter of R will be baptized on the 9th of  November so we had a beautiful and powerful lesson on the Gospel and importance of the Priesthood authority. We set a baptismal date with N and one of her daughters for the 7th of December. :) It was a beautiful miracle.

Okay I need to wrap this up if I want to contact anyone else. :) I have LOVED going through the Book Of Mormon again with the mind set of a missionary. It is such a beautiful and TRUE book of God. One thing that I loved was in Omni - the people of Zarahemla. They had lost their belief in God and ability to speak the language. Why? They didn't have scriptures with them. We NEED the scriptures. To continue with our beliefs in God and to learn of our fathers (just as King Benjamin taught to his son Mosiah). I am so very grateful for the Bible and Book of Mormon, for preserving the FAITH of Christ.

VI VOGLIO BENE!!!!!

Sorella Jameson :)

PS: Pictures: I wanted to show you how long my hair is!!! Don't worry... it shall be cut soon. When? I don't really know. And one of my sweet baby. :)

 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I have felt the HUNGERING within my soul

I LOVE LOVE LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE my new companion!!!! Don't worry... I couldn't figure out how to say her name for at least the first 2 days. I will tell you more about her further down. She is so wonderful though. :)

Milano: I SAW SORELLA GOMEZ!!!!! Oh my gosh it was one of the most JOYOUS occasion EVER!!!! Oh how I loved her and was so blessed to be trained by her. I didn't get to see Sorella Lemos but she is OPENING?! AHHHHH I am so excited for her!!! She will do SO great!!!!!!! Who is she with?

L and A: I have mentioned things about them but never mentioned names. They are wonderful and still slowly progressing towards baptism and happiness. I try not to use too many names while writing just because some situations are very tender and personal.

So I am training once again and this time around it is not as scary as the first time. :) I am not sure how it keeps happening but I always get the most AMAZING companions!!!!
Sorella Andromidas is incredible. Her mother is Italian (from Alessandria which is right next to Genova and center of our Stake over there) so she speaks Italian already. There are moments that I think ,"Maybe Presidente just thinks I cannot speak Italian because he keeps putting me with Italian speaking companions" hahahahah. Then I think about it and I realize that I could never properly teach a new missionary how to speak well.... hehe I know I speak and understand Italian but the whole grammatical part of it is still a mystery to me..... :) Communque.... Sorella Andromidas has officially been a missionary for 3 weeks today and is just soooo much fun. She is actually not older, despite her very mature looks. Her birthday was last month, the 16th of September when she turned 19 years old. She is younger than Jarom. Bahahahaah I love it!!! I feel like I am with my younger sister. We already get along so well together and she is just fearless.  When we stop people, she just steps up and starts bearing the truth. I can see a bright and amazing future with her here in Forlì. :)

Another thing that I have learned is that I know Forlì better than I thought but I still get us very lost. (This makes my <3 smile. You have to know Codi to fully understand why.) It is much different than a bus city where you can take a bus and watch for the stop. We have been a little lost and had to pull out the map several times. In the process of getting lost, we have given ourselves more time to get from one point to another which has given us more time to talk to people instead of just rushing from one appointment to the next. It has been so beautiful to share a little bit of hope and sunshine with more people everyday. GOSH I LOVE being a missionary!!!!!

The man P, who I have been explaining, came to church this week! Oh my goodness... it was such a beautiful miracle! He was so worried about coming because he did not have any suit and felt it was important to come to church dressed nicely. After reassuring him that he was fine in his best clothing, he said that he would came. We had a member translate for him in Gospel Principles and then we translated for him throughout sacrament meeting. At the end of the hour, he just kept  thanking us, telling us how happy he was and how perfect the whole experience was for him. It was beautiful and he felt the spirit so much. The members did such a wonderful job greeting him and making him feel welcome.

To make the e-mail a little shorter, I wanted to end here. But I also wanted to share my latest insight of scripture reading. I have just loved studying the Book of Mormon more in depth (and I have decided to start on the rest of New Testament) I finished reading Enos this morning. This is such a beautiful story of the miracles of mighty prayer. I love to look back at the times when i have felt the HUNGERING within my soul - for my guilt to be taken away, for a question to be answered, or for a little more peace and comfort in this world of turmoil.

4 And my soul hungered; and I knelt down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.

7 And I said: Lord, how is it done?

 8 And he said unto me: Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen. And many years pass away before he shall manifest himself in the flesh; wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole.

12 And it came to pass that after I had prayed and labored with all diligence, the Lord said unto me: I will grant unto thee according to thy desires, because of thy faith.

15 Wherefore, I knowing that the Lord God was able to preserve our records, I cried unto him continually, for he had said unto me: Whatsoever thing ye shall ask in faith, believing that ye shall receive in the name of Christ, ye shall receive it.

I love to look back at the times when I have felt the HUNGERING within my soul - for my guilt to be taken away, for a question to be answered, or for a little more peace and comfort in this world of turmoil. We must pray in faith and with DILIGENCE. I know that he will answer our prayers. ALWAYS. I have felt this  time after time, especially as I have felt myself saying "What more must I do for these people Father?" He has responded. Why? Because He loves me.

Vi voglio bene!!

Sorella Jameson :)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Training again and the Holland Hammer

This might be a shorter email. Why? 1) Last week was a literal blur. 2) We got our transfer calls and have thus been running around like crazy.

Transfer Call: As predicted, Sorella Brown and Sorella Bennett are both leaving (to which I am very sad. I had an AMAZING time with them.) Sorella Brown will be going to Como with Sorella Baer - someone who I heard was "sweeter than Sorella Jameson" as quoted by Sorella Bennett. This will be so good for her. Sorella Bennett will be going to Savona. My old area. I am SOOOOO excited for her! I already told her she needs to get focaccia and visit my city. As for me? I will training again!!! This call to train was much different than the last call and I am really quite excited for it. I actually had a dream the night before we got the call that I was asked to train. So we have running from person to person to try and get everything done that we need to. I want to be all prepared and ready to go when I pick up my new little baby. :) There are only 4 coming in.

This week has been like a roller coaster emotionally, spiritually, and physically. We had some very intense lessons on Saturday that reminded me of Genova a little bit. As servants of the Lord, we can feel the love that God has for his children. We also spent all Monday cleaning (REALLY cleaning) for the next transfer. By the end of the night, my thighs were sore from squatting and standing for hours. To celebrate at the end, we got some Chinese food with the Jefferies, who then threw a sutprise birthday party for Sorella Bennett. Oh how we love the Jefferies.

The man that we found and taught last week is our biggest miracle. P has continued to meet with us, ask many open questions, and love everything we have to say. On Sunday we called him to ask if we could show him where the church is located and to give him a tour. Throughout the tour, he just kept saying how beautiful the church was and that it was perfect at the end. He also shared with us that he even has a wife that he had waited to introduce - to see if we were acceptable or not. P is so honest and pure with a heart of gold. He is truly a miracle.

Later on Sunday night we taught a meno attivo family who are normally very sensitive and hard to get to talk. SO as we were going into this lesson, I had thought of bringing out the "Holland Hammer" of speaking the blunt and direct truth. When we entered the home and began talking to them, I felt my heart soften and felt the need to do a more "Eyring type" approach. We just laughed, talked about food, and taught a lesson about JOY (Alma 26:35-37 my mission scripture) We invited them to have a little more joy in their lives by praying a little more and coming to church a little more. At the end of the lesson, il fratello said "We will see you again soon! First at church I guess!" Oh the joy that fills my heart. :)

This week I have felt especially sensitive to the Love of God and the sacrifice of our Savior Jesus Christ. During sacrament, I would like you to ponder deeply of his Atonement. Maybe even read "In remembrance of Him..." by Holland.

Vi voglio bene!!

Sorella Jameson :)

Pictures: lasagna :)



Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thank you modern day Prophets called of God

General Conference. This is candy for missionaries. Really it seems to fuel us and give us that extra charge that we truly need. Did you invite anyone to watch it? I fasted before Conference with a specific question to be answered. I can testify that my question was more than answered. I feel it has changed my outlook on missionary work and even the rest of my life. There were many other things that I felt were answers to doubts I had or problems for other simpatizzanti. Oh how I love General Conference!!! We were able to broadcast it in our chapel, something that had never been done in the history of Forlì. (It came about from my interview with Presidente Dibb). 5 simpatizzanti came, one of whom is a pretty tough cookie when it comes to our lessons. He ended up LOVING conference. Thank you modern day Prophets called of God.

Sunday, I hit my 8 month mark as well. Yes. This felt much different than all the other month marks (that I should probably not be counting...) I realized that next month will be my half way point which means my time is running out. Only 2 months ago I had thought to myself that there was TOO much time and that I was not capable of working another year.  My love for my mission and for my Savior has deepened so much. I look forward to the next 10 months of my mission with excitement and love. :)

We have had sooooo many tender mercies and answers to prayers this week!! Stopping people to talk to them is something that I am not particularly great at doing, especially when we have bikes to ride. These last few weeks I have been praying for the strength, courage, and guidance to stop people to speak with them. Last week I saw a man riding his bike and just felt this need to stop him. We rode past him due to the busy street and small sidewalk but the thought was still pounding in my mind. So I pulled to the side of a parking lot, waiting for him to come past. I wasn't sure what I was going to say or how I was going to get this man to stop his bike long enough to talk to us but I knew I had to do this. When he came by I just started to talk to him and he stopped. We exchanged numbers after explaining who we were and why we wanted to visit. On Saturday, we went to his house to teach him. It was a beautiful lesson and he is so excited to continue studying with us. His friends even came in to listen to us as well. It was a tender mercy and an answer to my prayers.

Another answer to my prayers came yesterday with our visit to a meno attivo. I had asked the night before for the opportunity to talk to more people, something hard in the pouring rain (which has been really fun with skirts on bikes. No sarcasm intended. I just laugh the entire time) As we were about to start with a prayer, a friend came to visit. She had been given the Book of Mormon by the active mother of the meno attivo but never had time to meet with us. God had answered my prayer. The more beautiful part is that the less active began teaching the friend of the restoration and the truth of the Book of Mormon. The spirit was beautiful. :)

Scripture insight:
Finishing 2 Nephi is always something so hard. Always. My favorite part of finishing it though was the last testimony of Nephi. His last words are "I must obey." That is is Nephi in 3 simple words. He is a wonderful example of following the commandments of God - that is all he does in the first book of Nephi.

Thank you for your love and your support. It has been such a strength to me during my mission. This mission is the one of the greatest blessings and gifts that I could ever ask for.

Vi voglio Bene!!!!

Sorella Jameson

PS: Pictures of my watch and of SPONGEBOB tissues that I found for only € 1 !!!


This girl and her Spongebob. All is right in the world!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

They WILL have their questions answered

Last week was a really off week for us and so was yesterday. I am not sure why but the people here are very hard to work with - they are so very kind and yet do not seem to open their hearts to our message. The people of Genova are known for how closed off they are. Whenever we would say hello to them they would just grunt or something to that effect, Here everyone openly waves back and smiles, saying "Buongiorno!" back to us. When we try to share the message of the restored Gospel, they are closed and politely (or not) reject it. They are extremely religious though, something that is beautiful because it is not seen in all the world. It reminds me a lot of that song from Fiddler on the Roof "Traditions". Many of our lessons go in circles, in an almost bible bashing manner. Honestly it leaves me a little exhausted by the end of night. Why? I know that our message of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is not only a wonderful message of faith, hope, and love in Christ but it is also what brings SALVATION. My heart just breaks every time we are rejected. This is not because I wish they would listen to me or that I want to be the victor to say "I told you so!" but because I KNOW this is what will bring them true happiness now and joy for the eternities to come.

After a very rough weekend of round about lessons that ended nowhere except our own exhaustion, we went to go visit N and E - the African family from last week. Oh it was such a beautiful miracle. They bring so much light to our days and hope to the work that we are doing.We had asked if E was reading the Book of Mormon and he explained that he wasn't because his mother had taken it from him to read it. YES!!! So we offered to bring more over and dropped them off yesterday. When we asked E (his mother)  what she thought of the book, she said "I like it but I want my own copy!" We laughed and handed her a copy of the Book of Mormon. They have promised to come to General Conference and even come to English class to help out. :)

We have been trying to teach a man called E from Albania. His lessons have always been just a little on the strange side and we have felt they haven't really progressed in any sort of manner. This last lesson that we had, at his door step in fact, was full of the spirit and actually touched him. He had explained to us that he felt far from God after the death of his young niece. I was able to share from the personal experience of my grandpa's passing and the comfort of the plan of Salvation. A new light seemed to touch his eyes and he opened up a little more. He has also almost finished reading through 2 Nephi in the Book of Mormon. We are excited to continue working with him so the Gospel can help heal him.

There is so much more I would love to tell you but I am running out of time. I am just so very grateful that General Conference is coming up soon - we have asked all of our simpatizzanti to come and bring questions of the soul. The best part is that I know if they come, they WILL have their questions answered. In fact, can you do something for me? Can you put on my picture for FACEBOOK (the cover photo) this picture and also upload the video a couple times. I want everyone to know about it. Also I want to challenge you to invite at least one person each to watch general Conference. What do you think? :)

Vi voglio bene!!!!

Sorella Jameson

PS: No new pictures I am sorry!!!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

So many beautiful miracles

This week has been one of our off weeks but we have still been able to see so many beautiful miracles. For a start, we found 6 new investigators! 6!!!!! At the same time we have been receiving un saco di bedoni (cancelled lessons). We are all trying to work on being better missionaries because we know we will receive blessings according to our faith and obedience.

We were doing some phone finding the other day and stumbled upon number for a N. So we gave her a call and asked if we could visit her on Sunday. As we met up with her, we found out that she was from Nigeria and had not really had any lessons before, just meetings from the missionaries. We walked into her house and found a beautiful family, all sitting in the living room watching the Bible episodes from History channel. WHAT?! How beautiful is that? As we began explaining the Restoration, particularly Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, her Husband, E, stopped to ask us questions. He began asking us how the Book Of Mormon and Bible relate,why it is important, and how he can know. In the end, he explained that he really wanted to know the truth when the other missionaries came but they never came back and how he wants to study this out to know for himself. He also said "I also have the same questions that Joseph Smith had - how can I get salvation? If you have the answer I want to know." It was such a beautiful and SPIRITUAL experience. As Sorella Brown was testifying of the Book Of Mormon, I felt my own testimony burning within me. If I had any doubts, they would have been smashed by her testimony.

Early that day the Son and daughter in law of the Jefferies came to church and I had the opportunity to translate for them. OH it was sooooooo amazing!!!! I felt as if I was the one bearing my testimony while I spoke for the speakers. It also made me realize just how much I am able to understand and comprehend with Italian. Another HUGE blessing to working with Sorella Lemos. :)

Last night we had a lesson with a very faithful and very observant man from Africa, named R.We have been struggling to get him to really commit to things but he has enough faith to move mountains. Earlier that day I had studied for and prepared another lesson for other simpatizzanti but saw the scripture references flash in my mind in the middle of the lesson. We read James 2:17-26 with him (faith without works is dead) and then brought it together with 3 Nephi 27:19-21 (the gospel of Jesus Christ). It struck home to him. Before he had always said to be saved you need faith and the word of God. This is true. But you also need these works. We set a baptismal date with him for the 19th of October. :)

One of the biggest lessons I have learned this week is the Holy Ghost. This Spirit is here as a guide, a comfort, a help,and a witness of Christ. We need to humble ourselves, slow down, ponder, and open our hearts to the promptings that he whispers.

Vi voglio bene!!!
Sorella Jameson



Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Radiating JOY and happiness

I just love being a missionary and working here in Forlì. There are times when I feel like I never actually worked in Genova. Then there are other moments when I think I was never anything BUT a missionary. I love it. :)

This week has been long but also full of many little miracles. Forlì is beautiful but it is also hard work. We have an amazing Branch with AMAZING members, not to mention some pretty fantastic missionaries ;) . And yet there hasn't been a baptism here for the past 2 two years. Why? I am not sure. But we have faith and are going to change it!!!

In the pictures that I sent, you can see that we are wearing white blouses -this was for a branch activity that was a trip around the world. It was beautiful and had so much success! For me, the biggest miracle of the night happened when a youth began talking to me and just opened right up. It reminded me so much of why I love working with the youth and how special they really are. Most of them are just trying to figure out WHO they are and they need to learn that they are literally sons and daughters of Heavenly Father who not only loves them, but cares about their happiness. I hope to keep working with the youth and help them find the same joy and peace that I have found.


Another miracle came after a long bike ride into the country side with an Ex simpatizzanti that we found doing phone finding. MAMA Mia! I was absolutely in LOVE as we headed out into the country (about 7 kilometers out of town) to a little farm house. This ex (now current) simpatizzanti is a single father with amazing children. Here is one of the best parts. He invited friends to meet us! We ended up being interviewed for an internet radio station as well about our daily lives and our work. As we finished up our lunch with them, they said to us "Look! They are radiating JOY and happiness. They must have a beautiful purpose!" It was an amazing opportunity. Also we have a return appointment with them next Saturday as well. :)

This is a miracle that was not necessarily a direct miracle that we could have seen in front of us. We had a lesson with a simpatizzanti, si chiama A. He is a wonderful man who is very intelligent and loves everything about our message and the church. We had planned to set a baptismal date with him (he said yes earlier to the soft baptismal invite) at our last lesson with him. In the end, he told us that he could not have a solid date to work for even after much explanation for the reasons of WHY. The thing that was a miracle is that he can see the great importance of BAPTISM. He even asked that we not call it a "cosa" but rather some other word to describe the sacredness of the ordinance. This is something he wants to ponder more and study more before being baptized, not because he is not wanting the commitment but rather that he understands it is more than just the dunking into water and he wants to understand it. He even told us that he felt he was already a member of the church, a part of the congregation (we really do have an amazing branch). This reminded me of Brigham Young - it took him 2 plus years of seriously studying the Book of Mormon before he was ready to be baptized. Even though we may not see the actual baptism in our time here, we know that when A is baptized that he will be converted.

Funny Story: We were at a dinner the other night with some AMAZING simpatizzanti. They have a difficult situation that they are facing right now and have always asked for prayers and support. At the end of the lesson, Sorella Bennett offered the prayer to close. While she was praying, she asked that they could have more "pazza" which translates to "crazy" After she realized she said that, she tried saying "pace" but ended up saying pazza again!!! The simpatizzanti burst out laughing, pleading that they not actually have any more crazy but rather that God knew what she really meant. It was HILARIOUS and we all just laughed. Nothing can get better than that.

Finally, I wanted to share a scripture that I absolutely loved while reading this past week. If you were on schedule, you probably read it too. 2 Nephi 22:2 (and the entire chapter). "... I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also has become my salvation." Our Savior, Jesus Christ, is the source of our strength. It is through His Grace that we can become uplifted in times of trial and feel the force to do what is right. When it comes down to it, it is only through the Grace of the Savior that we can do the things we do in this world. I am so grateful for his Grace.

I love you so much!!! Thank you for your support for me, which also gives me strength.

Vi voglio bene!!!

Sorella Jameson

PS: the second set of pictures are just an example of the craziness we experience together. :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A little bit of Indiana

I absolutely LOVE it here right now!!! Seriously, this little city is amazing. I love the bikes (yes my bum is a little saddle sore as Sorella Bennett would say) I love the little branch that we have. I love our simpatizzanti. I love Forlì. It is a little town that reminds me so much of Indiana. Flat. Cute. And nothing super significant which makes the gems even more precious. Having the Senior couple here is also an AMAZING blessing!!! I feel like I am at home with them - they are constantly taking care of us, coming to lessons with us, or just swinging by to give a treat. It is amazing how different the world of Genova is compared to the world of Forlì. At first I was afraid that I would just end up comparing everything about Forlì to Genova and not love it but I just can't. It is too special to do it. Another thing I have also learned about myself - I do NOT like big cities. I didn't realize how exhausting it was to live in Genova and always be in this fretta. Forlì is so tranquil and peaceful. It is exactly what I need.

Sorella Brown, Sorella Jameson, Sorella Bennett
As for my companions. I. LOVE. THEM!!!! I didn't think I could love people so fast after being so nervous about them. There is a definite reason that I am here - I know it. Sorella Brown is from Florida and is sooooo wonderful. She is a GEM. When I was at the train station, I saw a group of missionaries approaching me and there was Sorella Brown, standing out in the midst of them with a glowing smile on her face. I felt her love immediately and she helped me feel comfortable instantly. She has about 3 or 4 transfers left on her mission (depending when she wants to go home.) The thing I love about her too is that is so patient with me with the Language - she is great with the little details of grammar and other things and take the time to help me learn well. Sorella Bennett is an absolute HOOT. She reminds me so much of my friend Kjersti (from EFY) and we are already insane together. I don't know how it happened but we just laugh non stop together. She is a transfer younger than me but knows how to work so hard.

One HUGE blessing that I have seen from being with Sorella Lemos is my new ability to be clear and direct.
Transfer day complete with silly socks!
Sorella Lemos was so great with that and it has helped me as we've worked together as missionaries, with members, and with simpatizzanti. I have also seen how blessed I have been with the language. Speaking all the time with Sorella Lemos has really helped me become much more fluent.

Within our work this week with a meno attivi that the Jefferies has found. They had tried scheduling and passing by several times for an appointment to visit E. (I am not sure what her last name is at this moment) Finally they were able to meet with her during a time that she needed this help and support. We came back to visit her on Sunday with the Jefferies to share a message about the Book of Mormon. The Spirit was so strong, especially when Sorella Jefferies shared her testimony of the Book of Mormon. It was a beautiful experience that opened the heart of this meno attivi - she wants us to continue coming back to visit.

SPIRITUAL THOUGHT:

I just started reading D&C because I feel the need to know that book a little better. I know the Bible well and the Book of Mormon even better so it is about time to start the Doctrine and Covenants. The first section is so powerful, it is no wonder why it was the Lord's Preface. The first verse begins with "Hearken, O ye People of MY church..." This is Christ speaking. He is the leader of THIS church because it is HIS. Not Joseph Smith's, not Thomas S. Monson's, it is CHRIST's church. He leads and directs it through his servants, the prophets, and revelation. Oh how wonderful this is!! We are a part of the Church of Jesus Christ.

Sorella Jameson

PS: I did cut my hair (finally) you just run out of time as a missionary. It looks a lot better now.
PSS: My companion thinks I am a crazy squirrel. She compares me to a squirrel off of Over the Hedge? IDK. But I guess I am insane. :)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

FORLI, here I come!

Okay this week has been absolutely crazy and I don't even know where to begin telling you things.

First of all: I am obsessed with thinking about Jarom. I pray for him constantly throughout the day and hope all is well. In all honesty, the first week in the mission field is a little brutal, as is the first entire transfer. Don't send him peanut butter. He can find some, somewhere. Maybe not on the little island but he is bound to go to an international market somewhere. (I must admit that peanut butter is a food that I have been severly missing here in italia.Especially American Peanut butter)

Second of all: Transfers. I am no longer going to be in Genova. After almost 6 months here (7 months as a missionary - WHAT THE?!) I will be packing my bags and heading to Forli. Dovè? That has been my reaction when I have told people where I am going. I have a feeling it is going to be very similar to Indiana - no one really knows much about it. It is a little city with BIKES!!!! Oh yeah!!! So you will have 2 children with bruised bums, biking their hearts out. And here is the other part. We will be in 3. I must admit I am a little shocked, nervous, excited, and anxious for all of it. Sorella Lemos, on the other hand, will be here with another sorella from her same group but she will be Senior companion. She is scared out of her mind - unfortunately, she does not have a very high self esteem and cannot see what she is made of. I can see just how STRONG and amazing she actually is so I am excited for her to have this experience. It is a little sad to be separated but I know it is time for us to go our own ways and grow.

Okay as for an update on this week. Woah was it INSANE. I really cannot believe that another transfer came and went. It is not real. This transfer has been a lovely but also challenging transfer here and I am ready for some change. SOOOOO to start off with this week I need to explain what happened just hours after my last email to you. It was Y's birthday so we went out to a Japanese Restaurant to celebrate (funny and ironic since Jarom was probably eating sushi at the same time I was.I have had sushi before and loved eating some more with Y, L, and Sorella Lemos. About 30 minutes after we ate, I started to feel a little sick - light headed and a tad nauseous. We were on our way to visit Sorella Fava  for the afternoon and I literally felt like I was going to pass out. By the time we arrived, I was very sick. Luckily we were in the hands of our nonna and she started to take care of me. Two members came to give Sorella Fava a blessing and they decided to give me one as well because I had no color and slept for an hour and a half. One of the members happened to be a nurse and told me that I had probably received food poisoning from the fish (apparently we don't have an enzyme to break down the fish here in Italy?) They told me I had to go home and sleep because this was SERIOUS but I thought I felt well enough to try to keep going. Plus we had 3 lessons planned for the night, one of which with a golden investigator (Sadly, Codi's email cut off and I have no idea how the story ended. She must be doing better since she will be moving to Forli!)
One last visit to Cinque Terre

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Working with members

Oh my gosh!!!!! I absolutely LOVED the story of daddy and Jarom seeing each other in the airport!!! (Jarom flew to Japan on Monday but his flight was delayed. His new flight had him fly out the exact same time as his Dad. Their gates were A3 and A4. It was indeed a beautiful tender mercy! For the complete story, visit Jarom's blog. A link is on the left side of this page.)

As for my time left here in Genova... I really do feel like it is coming to a close. I would LOVE to stay here one more transfer with Sorella Lemos. So many things are happening with our ward, our simpatizzanti, and our members. Also the weather has been soooo beautiful lately, I am falling in love with Genova again. Time will time.

This past week we had amazing opportunities to work with the leaders in our church. We have amazing members and amazing leaders that are here to help us and the help the ward. On Saturday we went to the Bishops house up the mountains (where there are single houses instead of apartments) and we brought M to his request.

M and Codi
We felt a little nervous about going because of some training that we received (soon to be explained in a letter) but it ended up being an INCREDIBLE experience. M felt totally loved by the Bishop and his family and the trip out of Genova city was absolutely refreshing for all of us.

We had a tender and  beautiful miracle Domenica sera with one of our members. We received a text message from her, asking if we would like a ride to go visit another member in the hospital due to pregnancy issues. It was a wonderful experience for us to work together in the service of the Lord for another sorella. By the end of the visit, we all felt edified and strengthened. We sent Sorella Deborah Polinelli, the member who came with us, a text message of our gratitude and thanks for all she does to help us and the members in the ward. She then sent us a text thanking us for our work as well and for the opportunity to serve together. It is amazing to work with members, especially since they are so willing and ready to take the opportunity to help those around them. :)

Allora, I hope you enjoy the pictures!!! There are a LOT more to send. :) I love you sooooo much!!! Thank you so much for the support and the love. It has been amazing to see the blessing of in our family while Jarom and I have been out serving the Lord. This is one of the comforting blessings we as missionaries are promised while we are away from our families. Thank you for letting me have this opportunity mama!

VI VOGLIO BENE!!!!

Sorella Jameson

Look how happy she is to receive a stuffed envelope from home!
PS: THANK  YOU AGAIN FOR THE AMAZING ENVELOPE YOU SENT!!!!!!
I LOVE, LOVE, LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVED IT!!!! I was actually looking at my mint stock and saw that there were only 2 left last Monday. My heart was very sad to see this and thought about when I could have more. God does answer prayers! :)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Love, Italian Shwarma, and the Psalm of Nephi

Okay... I am sorry my letters have been short. These past few weeks have been so incredibly insane and yet at the same time I don't know what has happened. You know that feeling? When it just goes by way too fast to even comprehend anything? As for the pictures... we have't taken any. Literally my last pictures are at M's baptism. Why? Well first of all I really have no idea but I think it has to with us running around like crazy with no thought of savoring the beauty around us. BUT I promise to send you pictures next week - we are planning on visiting a castle today.

AHHHHH I am sooooo excited for Jarom to fly out!!! (Codi's brother, Jarom, is leaving the MTC and flying to Japan on Monday) I sent him a letter with all of my recommendations for traveling to a foreign country. Really, it is an amazing experience to go outside of the US and live in another world. Poor guy... that is an EARLY flight (They leave the MTC at 2:30 am) but it should help with the jet lag if he does what he is supposed to.

UPDATE on our week.....

We have been taking the time to visit our members, especially the older women who are either widowed or single. It is amazing how incredibly strong they appear in church and how much faith they have to keep going. We have discovered how hard it can be to be an older, single person in the church - to have no support and to feel so alone. As we have taken the time to meet with these members, they have expressed their faith and love for the Savior and his church. They are part of the great foundation in our wards. Because we have visited, we have been asked to return for a lunch appointment for a sister and her non member daughter. Our love for the members has grown and has given us a greater desire to serve. :)

Funny story. We planned on going shopping for P-day last week because the SALES were coming to a close and we thought "why not take a day for ourselves and do a little shopping." So we began by eating a Kabab which is another form of Shwarma that I had in Jerusalem (oh how it made me happy) and made our way to Centro Genova for shopping. I had a MUG root beer that I bought at an ethnic food store (didn't realize how much I missed that either) and just laughed with Sorella Lemos is the rain. About 20 minutes later, we got a call or rather 5 from a simpatizzanti and her mother in law. Her mother in law was on her way to the airport the day before to travel to the United States when someone stole her passport out of her purse. SOOOO they needed my help to fill out American documents to reapply for a visa into the States - the form was all in English. Sorella Lemos and I quickly went to help her and as we all know, these legal documents take a very long time. Fast forward 4 hours and we are heading to English Class. P-day over. Although we lost this time for ourselves, we gave it up to serve another, who was so very grateful for all we did. We felt tired and missed this break that we had but in the end our hearts were full with this service we performed. When we are in the service of our fellow beings, we are only in the service of God.

Do you remember how we started teaching the son of one of our investigators? K? He is so incredible and his mother wants him to do everything with us and with the church. Last week we took him to the Famiglia Herrera for a lesson and for him to get to know other youth in the church. When we met up with him and his mother, she was so excited to send him off with us. It was a great experience. Then on Sunday, the famiglia Herrera took K home for lunch because his mother was working!!! The young men took care of him during church and even watched the Restoration film with him. He has been such a miracle and blessing for us to meet with and teach him. K and his mother, A have been reading the scriptures together and praying everyday and just glow with the light of Christ. :)

As for some other news, Otto received a calling in the Stake for the Single Adults - he is in charge of organizing activities and other events for GANS. He gave a talk on Sunday about how the Gospel has changed his life for the better and how happy he is. Tears came to my eyes as he spoke. I am sooooo happy for him. His growth in the faith brings me sooooo much happiness and joy. One of the many blessing of being a missionary. :)

To finish, I want to share with you some of the insights I have received while reading the BOM (thank you thank you THANK YOU for the challenge. I love it!!!)  I recently read 2 Nephi 4 - the psalm of Nephi, one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon. In verse 17 he explains that the more he learns of the gospel, the more he realizes just how imperfect he is. This shows the importance of coming to know God and his Word through diligent study. There are times that we beat down on ourselves for the imperfections that we have but what we must do is not grovel but rather awake and remember who we trust like Nephi. Repent, change, and grow closer to God because He is with us.
 17 Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.

 18 I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me.

 19 And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted.

 20 My God hath been my asupport; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep.

 21 He hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh.

 27 And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy?

 28 Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul.

 29 Do not aanger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions.

 30 Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation

I love you so very much! It is incredible how fast time is going by. Jarom will be going to Japan. You started School. Brenna is going into her JR year. WHAT?!  Time is precious. We must do all we can to prepare to meet God.

Vi voglio bene!!

Sorella Jameson

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Obedience is key to blessings

This letter is also going to be a little short because I have a TON of emails to write others. We have amazing simpatizzanti and amazing members. We have seen so many little miracles throughout the week but we have also had the opportunity to see the fruit of our labors. On Domenica morning, we had planned to meet with one our meni attivi to help bring her and her family to church. As we were gathering all the little ones, I had a prayer in my heart that some of our simpatizzanti and meno attivi could come because I did not have time to send them all reminder text messages. While we were sitting in church, waiting for somebody to show up, the doors opened and in came 2 simpatizzanti with baptismal dates, 2 other simpatizzanti, 3 meno attivi, and our new convert. It filled my heart with soooo much joy to see them walk through the doors and enjoy the spirit of the sacrament meeting.

Another one of our simpatizzanti, Ad, brought her 16 year old son to a lesson yesterday. K has been here for only 11 days from Equador. His mother has encouraged him to come to church to get to know the youth here (because there are a TON from Equador) and to learn of Christ! WAY to go!!! She also explains how much peace and tranquility she feels when she meets with us. The Holy Ghost is amazing. :)

Also, we have been receiving a lot of guidance from our president with new rules and regulations. Most of them made a lot of sense but we received one that was a little hard for me to understand completely. Part of me thought, well I can half way follow this rule and still do my work just fine. As I thought about it more and studied obedience, I came to realize that obedience is key to blessings, happiness, protection, and trust from the Lord. It is a little strange for me to live according to the ways and life style that I did not necessarily choose (as in, what I did with my time etc before in college) and to follow without question EVERY rule. As a missionary,  as a representative of Christ, I am expected to follow my mission president. Then I started to think about life outside the mission and just how important it is to live by 100% obedience, even when we don't agree with the rules or think we follow 50 or 75%. Really, we can learn to have so much more happiness and faith in others if we are obedient. We have seen so many blessings as we have followed these new rules established by our mission president.

I love you all sooooo much!! Thank you for your comfort and for your words of love. This is something that is very much needed for all missionaries as we work away from our families.

Vi voglio bene!!!

Sorella Jameson :)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I have been a missionary for 6 months!

I don't have a ton of time to respond because I was playing on store.lds.org. To answer your question, yes. Yes we are cooking. It is amazing how gross we can get in just a short time outside. Bahahahaha oh well... everyone is gross too. :)

I absolutely love reading about Jarom and Brenna!!! It makes me sooooo happy to see how much Jarom is growning  - this is why I was so excited for him to go on a mission. All of the sudden all the things that were once important as a youth become silly and obsolete. Then the things that have real, ETERNAL importance come to light. Like the Gospel and God's love for us as He set forth His plan of Happiness. :)

Here is a quick little update for the week...

Are you ready for this...? I hit my 6th month mark YESTERDAY. Woah... I have been a missionary for 6 months already which means I only have a year left. Can you believe that? I can't. At times it feels really long but then by the time we reach the end of the week, we look back and see how fast each day went by. In about 2 weeks I will also be in Italy for 5 months. Sometimes I wonder what America used to look like... Italy just feels so normal to me now.

This week has been a little crazy with our members and with our simpatizzanti but we have still been able to see so many tender mercies of the Lord. Yesterday I felt a personal miracle come when Sorella Lemos and I set a baptismal date with our simpatizzanti J. We have been working with her since my first day here in Genova, or rather my first day as a missionary in the field. She has a beautiful family and has been making slow but steady progress towards baptism and yet it has been all in a continuous cycle without true progression. After praying fervently, I felt impressed to set a date with her and her family for late September. As we were trying to set this date, there was a lot of doubt, distractions, and fear but I felt strength to help me keep pushing for a goal in mind for them. In the end we were able to set this date and now we can start working towards baptism. :)

I love you sooooo much!!! Thank you so much for all that you do for me, in the past and now. Continue with faith and PRAY with all your heart, might, mind, and strength.

Vi voglio bene!!!

Sorella Jameson

PS: No new pictures for today... mi dispiace!!!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Be bold and loving

We have begun another transfer here in Genova!! It is sooooo weird to think that I arrived here 4 months ago in March. So much has changed - io, la mia collega, il nostro lavoro, il nostro rione, i nostri simpatizzanti, il mio italiano, etc. Being a missionary is something that just feels like a part of me, like I have been doing it all along. I really love it so much! Yes, there are times when it is hard and I feel like it would be easier to go home, but there are more moments of complete joy when we help others come closer to Christ. Such as ...

M!!! As I am sure you know, she was baptized on Friday and received the Gift of the Holy Ghost on Sunday. Oh mama mia... it was an absolutely beautiful ceremony. We have been working so hard with the ward, with M, with the Presidente, and with each other to get every thing ready for this baptism. It has been a long road but M has finally made it through the first door of baptism (next stop... the TEMPLE!!!) M has changed sooooo much since the first night that Sorella Gomez and I found her at the bus stop one April night. There is a light and joy in her eyes and face and she just GLOWS with faith in Christ. She told me on Sunday how much peace and tranquility she has found in this church and how happy she is to have found it. The baptismal service was absolutely beautiful as well. We had 4 simpatizzanti come and at least 6 others of the other missionaries come. There were several ward members and 3 of M's children came. We performed a musical number after (there is a recording on my card) and the spirit just FLOWED into the room. The funny part of her baptism: When she was baptized she let go of her nose.... when she came out of the water she was chocking and coughing up water. It was absolutely hilarious because she just started laughing, saying how buffa (funny) she was. Oh M.... Now she is a huge beacon of faith for us and other members. I love her sooo much!!

Some other miracles...These miracles came slowly throughout our day's work on Monday. We had a District Meeting that morning and talked about our calling as missionaries, sopra tutto as representatives of Jesus Christ. We have been set apart and have the power and authority to do this work for our Savior. Our district leader, Anziano Edwards, gave us the battle cry to be bold and loving with our simpatizzanti, meno attivi, and membri as we help them come closer to Christ. As we worked throughout the day, I had this thought and challenge in my mind. I felt our lessons come out more powerfully as we taught simpatizzanti, meno attivi, and membri. It made a difference for the entire lesson, the entire atmosphere. The people we taught were touched and we could see and feel this Spirit working with them. It was an amazing experience that I hope to never forget as an authorized representative of our Savior, Gesu Cristo.

Grazie per tutto voi avete fatto per me and la mia collega. Sono molta grata. Continuate con fede and speranze perche Gesu Cristo vive!

Vi voglio bene!!!

Sorella Jameson
Codi's zone, meeting President and Sister Dibbs