Wednesday, April 24, 2013

One week shy of a full transfer!

I have been here for almost a full Transfer! Well, I am on week 5 out of 6 but that is CRAZY. We find out about transfers next week which is really scaring me. I really don't want Sorella Gomez to be taken away from me. We have been praying to have our desires aligned with God's so we will be ready and fine with whatever will happen. But we both secretly want to stay here (and by secretly, I mean we talk about it all the time.) Comunque - O is baptized!! AHHH!!!!! It was absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!!!! He is shining with the spirit now. We had a chance to sing a song at his baptism too which was incredible. The Anziani were so kind and helpful with everything that they wanted to sing too. Oh my goodness... words cannot describe how wonderful it was - I have never been so happy in my entire life. When he received the Gift of the Holy Ghost, my heart felt as if it were about to burst with joy. I loved it! 

For a funny story - Sorella Gomez and I were asked to fill up the baptismal font on Sunday for a little boy's baptism. We had a lunch appointment with a less active family prior to make some cibo americano. We decided to make some Shepherd's pie and brownies (the Italians LOVE brownies) Mama mia... it was a mess. The oven wasn't working. (So the Fratello literally pulled the oven out of the wall to fix it) They had an ENTIRE chicken for us to work with. By the time we could eat, we only had 5 minutes. So we gobbled it down (oh and they LOVED the food) and took off for the church to fill up the font. We decided to take a different bus than usual and run the rest of the way. Alas... it began to pour rain when we got out of the bus. After running for a while, we discovered that the bus could have taken us to an even closer stop bahahahahah we were SOAKED. So we finally made it to the church and began filling the font. It takes 2 hours to fill and we be started at 3:30 for a 5 o'clock baptism. Well... we went to check it 30 minutes later and discovered we didn't put the plug in......... So we had only an hour to fill it up. Luckily the family doing the baptisms were on the shorter side so all was well. It was absolutely hilarious though. :)

For a MIRACLE Story -  Our biggest miracle was mentioned in my last letter to you - one of our investigators was baptized on Saturday! It was absolutely beautiful! He is so happy and just glows with the Spirit now. I love the Gospel! The miracle I really want to share with you happened right after the baptism. One of our new converts brought her two younger sisters to the baptism and we had a chance to teach them a quick lesson afterwards. We felt we needed to teach God is Our Loving Heavenly Father. This is exactly what these girls needed to hear. One of them immediately began to cry when we told her about God's LOVE for her and how special she was to Him. They are now our two newest investigators and are so wonderful. Not only will the Gospel bring them happiness, but it will help strengthen their sister as a new convert.

Oh there is so much more I would love to tell you but have run out of time. Don't worry... I am writing it down in my journal to share later or in letters.
TAKE CARE!!! I LOVE YOU SOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!! Vi voglio bene!
Sorella Jameson

PS: Pictures include one with O and his brother and Sorella Forbes, Lopez, Gomez, and I at Cinque Terra TODAY. :) Hence why I am e-mailing so late.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bikes, Baptisms, and Senior Companion for a day!

WE ARE HAVING A BAPTISM ON SABATO!!!!!!! AHHHHH!!!! I am soooooo excited!!!! His name is O - the brother of F G in our Ward. He is so incredible and wonderful! On Lunedi after our lesson, he asked if we could talk about his date. He started to explain how he needed to change the date because of some conflicts in the schedule with his friends. My heart started to beat so fast and I could feel my spirits start to flicker - I thought he was going to push it back to Maggio or Junio. O continued to explain the problem and finished by asking if he could be baptized this Sabato instead. WHAT!? Sorella Gomez and I were speechless for almost a minute it seemed like. My heart was immediately (once I comprehended what he said of course) filled with happiness. I have never experienced so much joy and happiness for another person in my life. We are preparing him to be baptized this Sabato at 5. :)
Now to back track a little bit. I went on a scambio or exchange on Venerdi. Mama mia... I was so nervous! The night before we went to Savona to exchange companions - I thought I would die when Sorella Gomez left me! But I was with Sorella Forbes and she was incredible!! Savona is a tiny city so we got to ride bikes. Oh my goodness!! I LOVE riding bikes!!! It is a little tricky with skirts but it was so great! We taught an Israeli man that day - we became best friends obviously, and later taught an amazing older man who wanted to change his life. That is one thing I love about the gospel - we can change through the desire and repentance. The best part was on our train ride home. There are a lot of strikes in Italy, like a bus strike which affects the trains. You know how you bond with the people around you if your plane is delayed? That is what happened when we were tossed around at the train stations. So we just laughed and chatted with all of these wonderful people on the train. On woman just laughed at us - in a loving, motherly way. She asked if we had boyfriends etc. :) In the end, we got 2 phone numbers and another man asked if he could have a pass along card! It was great! 
Fast forward to Monday. Guess what? I was senior companion for a day!! Last Wednesday, we got a call asking if Sorella Gomez and Sorella Forbes could leave for a special training on Monday to Milano. This meant I would be paired with Sorella Lopez, another girl from my MTC group, in Genova for a day. I thought I was going to DIE when I first found out. Well... I thought I was going to die the whole day. :) It ended up being a HUGE blessing though. Sorella Gomez has taught me so well and made sure I would be fine. I also prayed with a lot of faith that I would be able to understand more that day and be a leader. Throughout our lessons, I felt I could understand a lot more than before. Heavenly Father really does answer prayers. I had a great time from Sorella Lopez and learned so much from her too. At one point on the bus, a woman was talking to us about how she had once read a little bit of the BOM. I couldn't really hear her or understand her too much but I just began to tell her about the purpose of life - to have joy. I felt like time froze as I testified to her of the Love of God and the restoration of the Church. Sorella Lopez shared her testimony after me. There was a girl sitting next to the woman who looked up at us when we talked. It was scary to do it without Sorella Gomez but we did it and it felt so right. Life is so GREAT!!
Anyway... life is wonderful!!! I love being a missionary. Sometimes, well often, it is hard. I wonder why I am doing it or think about how long this will be but then I realize that this is real life. We have a purpose in life - to learn and grow and one day return to God. That is what I am helping others see too. 
PS: The picture is of me and Sorella Lopez on our Scambio Monday

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Genoa ~ Conference and Calluses

On Thursday we had a Zone Conference and a Questora appointment for Sorella Gomez. We couldn't do both because they were at the same time but wanted to try. So that morning, we woke up at 5:30, got on a bus at 6:30 and were at the Questora at 7. They let us in at 8, saw us at 8:15 and sent us to finish up at 8:30. YAY for all the blessing!! The second part, however, was a tad stressful. We waited for 20 minutes for the woman to come and finish the fingerprinting etc. By the time she came, it was 8:50 and our train was leaving at 9:02 and it was a 15 minute walk away. We finished at about 8:53 and RAN!! I don't think I ran so fast in my LIFE! But we made it!! Fun little story. :)

Later that night, we were trying to find members to attend a lesson with us but they all helping a family move. A thought popped into my head - maybe we should call to ask if they need help. So we called and the sister had just been praying that something could happen - she was called into work and didn't know how she would finish cleaning. We were an answer to her prayers. It ended up being so much fun to help too! We not only cleaned but also helped her move which meant we walked up 3 flights of stairs countless times. Let's just say the BYU stairs were good practice. Two members who were helping then came to our lesson with this investigator and it was so incredible! 

We were able to watch 3 sessions of conference: Saturday morning, Saturday Afternoon (on Sunday), and Sunday morning. I loved the thought of the family watching the same broadcast at the same time. :) I need to read the talks from the Sunday Afternoon at some point. I loved all of the talks on Missionary Work and then also the family and obbedienza. The things that are said are so much more real to me as a missionary now. One of my favorite talks was given by Rosemary M. Wixom about speaking to children. I love children!! It is so important to listen to others and speak with the mildness they need to hear. Not only is this important for my future with children but also as a missionary. I also loved hearing from the Prophet - obbedienza is so important for blessings. I have learned this as a missionary. When we are obedient to the rules, we receive blessings and the work is so much more enjoyable. Obbedienza porta felicita. 

Here is a little miracle story I told my Presidente: We have been blessed with so many little miracles throughout the week! These, from what we believe, are from following the Spirit and trying to obey with exactness. We have not been able to find a new simpatizanti despite our efforts and had a goal to find at least ONE by the end of the weekend. Since it was general conference weekend, we were not sure how to make it happen but we wanted to try. On Sunday morning, we planned an hour of finding work to find this new simpatizanti in the Principe area of Genova. While on the bus, we were talking to a beautiful family and missed our intended stop. So we decided to just look for someone in that area instead. Several people denied us and kept walking but we finally stopped one girl. Sorella Gomez and I were able to teach her right there and set up another appointment. We made this goal we wanted - it was a moving miracle. We try to pay attention to the guidance of the Holy Ghost more for more miracles. :)

One more quick, fun little fact. The other day, I was putting my tights on and noticed these strange dry patches on my knees. I told Sorella Gomez and she told me she had them too. After asking a few people, we found out that they were calluses from praying. WOAH!!! How cool is that! I love having them because we really do pray a lot and it is such a great reminder. 

Continue studying your scriptures DAILY!!!


Sorella Jameson

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Genoa, April 3rd

This past week has been a little crazy because we had to go up to Milano for New Missionary Training. That happened on Friday and it is about a 4 hour round trip on train but my goodness... it is beautiful. I needed to go to the training very badly! Being here in Italy was a little bit harder than I expected. Most of it stems from my frustration of not being able to speak to or understand ANYONE. Alorra, the Lord blesses me day by day to understand just a little bit more. Thursday night, I felt like I was never going to understand or share the gospel. Friday was the perfect recharge I needed to have. Presidente and Sorella Wolfrgramm gave us so much love and support throughout the meeting - they are truly inspired. The best part for me was to see Sorella Stephens and my district again. When I first arrived at the church building, I saw Sorella Stephens' coat and ran upstairs to find her. We screamed and embraced, crying and saying “I love you! I love you! I LOVE YOU!!!!” I felt so much strength being surrounded by all the people I loved. :)

Here is one of the coolest parts of day. On the train back home, I saw a man smiling at us so I said hello. He continued looking at us so I decided to start talking to him. The other Sorelle joined the conversation and we began teaching him about the gospel. At one point, Sorella Gomez turned to me and I just opened my mouth and started to talk. I didn't know what I was going to say or how to say any of it but my mouth was filled with words. I just kept talking about how much God loves us and how we can return to live with him again. The Spirit will guide if we have faith to go forward.

Sunday was Easter Sunday or Pascua. I kept thinking about Jerusalem - one year ago I was in the Garden Tomb. This Easter was just as beautiful... mostly. I felt a migraine coming on our way to church and it hit right before sacrament meeting. I prayed I would be fine for the rest of the day so I could work. After suffering through sacrament meeting, it mostly went away but I felt super tired the rest of church. (I have only had like 5 migraines in my life and I normally drink water, take advil, and sleep. I did two of those things.) Luckily I felt better by the time we left for our lunch appointment with a beautiful family in our ward. Mama mia... we ate sooooo much food!!! I had literally the BEST lasagna I have ever had in my entire life. We also had cannoli, salad, strawberries with fondue, toast with butter and salmon and then tiramisu. I started laughing when they brought out the tiramisu because I was SO FULL!! I loved spending time with the family because it felt like my family. When I speak Italian, I don't feel like myself but I felt like myself around the family. Just goofy. :) I have felt blessed with opportunities to gain confidence in who I am as a missionary in Italy. Heaven Father really does answer our prayers. 

The next day I was out - we had all of our investigators cancel on us and took it as a sign for me to rest. I didn't think I needed it but the Lord knows better than we do... :) I feel so much more prepared to take on my mission, one day at a time of course, because my body and soul had time to rest. Funny thing... I didn't think we could ever have a break as a missionary but we get them when we need them (aka when we are dying)

Okay I need to wrap this up but I just wanted to share a little thought with you. GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!! We get to have the opportunity to listen to a real live PROPHET of GOD!!! AHHH! This is incredible!!! We have been inviting everyone we talk to, to listen to conference. So... maybe you can do the same. :) Also, member missionary work is SOOO important! ALSO, the Book of Mormon is INCREDIBLE!!! I love studying the scriptures for an hour everyday - I have learned so much.

I love you!!!! Thank you for all your support!!! Remember how precious knowledge is! D&C 130:18-19.

Vi voglio bene!!

Sorella Jameson