Thursday, June 27, 2013

God is good. ALWAYS!!

Update for this week!!!
We are working hard to visit all our simpatizzanti and meni attivi which results in tired bodies by the end of the night. It is incredible how fast the weeks go by when we put everything we can into the work and just go, go, go. By the end of night, I barely have energy to plan for the next day, let alone shower and write in my journal. (I have a goal to write in my journal everyday this transfer because it happened about 4 times last transfer. I made the mistake of sharing this goal with Sorella Lemos... she chastises me when I don't do this. But then again, she made the mistake of asking me to be her coach in the morning. hehehehe) My love for these people just grows more and more every day. I LOVE ITALY!!! Another thing we have noticed is that the people we work with want to feed us more and more often. It is a beautiful blessing to share time and pranzare o di mangiare cena insiema but it has also resulted in an extra kilo to Sorella Jameson. But I cannot complain because I have eaten some amazing foods while sharing the gospel together. :)
This week we had so many miracles working with our members! The one that touched me the most happened yesterday "by accident" if you will. We had planned our day but two appointments fell through so we had a hole of time that needed to be filled. I felt we needed to give J a call (our amazing simpatizzanti) and we planned to visit in about 30 minutes. We ended up letting a couple different buses pass us because I thought we needed to take a specific autobus to the Pricipe train station (all the others that passed went to the Brignole Train station). On our way to her house, we ran into on our members, Sorella Herrera on the autobus. We have wanted to bring Sorella Herrara to a lesson with us but have never been able to schedule a time that works out because she works during the time of most of our lessons. When we ran into her, we explained where we were going and she offered to come with us. WHAT?! Ummmm yes you can! So Sorella Herrera came with us to visit J. When we started the lesson, J expressed a deep concern for a relative with health challenges. She was filled with so much grief and cried to us. Sorella Herrera then began talking; explaining how wondrous the Lord works because she was not planning on coming but ended up with us at the lesson. She then continued to explain how she too has had an experience with her own son who suffered from health issues as well. It was through this experience that Sorella Herrera found the church 2 years ago. The spirit was so strong and touched everyone there. Really... not much more can be said but that God is good. ALWAYS. It was through His guidance that all of this happened. We had not planned to visit this simpatizzanti, we waited to get on a specific autobus and ran into the member that we had wanted to come with us. She shared a testimony and strength in the exact moment and time that it was needed. What did I learn from this story? Follow the Spirit.
I want to share a little tidbit about my companion: Sorella Lemos is absolutely incredible! It is amazing how we have learned to work together and love each other every day. She shares her love and patience with me all the time, especially when I need to hear it the most. The other day we were saying our nightly prayer together right before bed (a tradition that Sorella Lemos brought from home) and my companion started to cry after we finished. She expressed her love for me and for the work here in Genova that we have together. "Everything is perfect right now and I do not want anything to change." My heart was so full of love and happiness for and from my companion. I love Sorella Lemos!!
Vi voglio bene!!! Continue to read, no to STUDY the Book of Mormon every day!!! It is the word of God and the proof that God is a God of miracles. That he loves us and that he has called prophets once again on the Earth today. :) Thank you for your love and support. You are all in my prayers!!
Sorella Jameson :)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Climbing Mountains

Santa Polenta... you wrote in Italian to Sorella Fava!!! You actually did an AMAZING job!!! Really... I am so impressed with you / google translate. I absolutely love our members in the ward. The last time we were at Sorella Fava’s house she made us take a nap after lunch. I am not really sure if that is allowed but there was really nothing we could do. Italians are extremely forceful. :) When I tried to protest, she asked "what kind of a grandmother would I be if I didn't let you rest?" :)  She wants to see us at least every week and feed us. Oh I love her!
Okay I absolutely LOVE Kirtland!! It was probably my very favorite session of EFY last summer. I think Kirtland is often overlooked in regards to the history of the church and more people focus on Nauvoo. SOOOO much of the Gospel was restored again in Kirtland, it is INCREDIBLE. For me, I felt a special sense of ... I am not sure of what but it was so amazing! To go to Jerusalem, to study the gospel of Jesus Christ, and then to Kirtland, where the same priesthood powers were restored. WOW!
Update for GENOVA 1 :)

Summer has arrived. :) Along with a TON of bugs and bug bites. I keep discovering them - like one I found on my hand. What? I didn't know bugs likes hands too. Yesterday was pretty stinken hot but I know that this is nothing compared to July. I keep thinking to myself "I can do this! I did 2 years of EFY in JEANS. Right now I can wear skirts." The big difference is that there is really no such thing as Air Conditioning here. Weird huh? Soooooo I need to figure out how to keep myself hydrated. Water, si I am thinking gelato. heheheheheh
So last week we wanted to "climb a mountain" if you will, with our missionary work. Anziano Gibbons, our zone leader, gave a talk last Domenica and said the Sorella could teach 20 lessons in one week if we wanted. (It is our mission goal to teach 15 lessons) We laughed because it is difficult to even get 14 let alone 20 lessons. Sorella Lemos thought about this for a while and finally decided that we could get 20 lessons if we wanted. I replied that we could not do this (lack of faith) because we could barely get 14 or 15 each week. After reciting some scriptures to me, we decided to try. We worked SOOOOO hard last week to try to get 20 lessons and ended up getting about 17. Mama mia... we had 17 lessons last week! This is an incredible miracle for us because it is difficult but we had faith and acted. WAMO - with actions, miracle occur. :) Now... we are tired but we are shooting for 20 lessons every week this transfer. 

A tender miracle I saw this week came through a closing prayer with one of our Meni Attivi. Her daughter has health problems and has been in the hospital for 2 weeks, close to death. This member is a grand example of faith and diligence - if it weren't for her daughter's health, she would come to church every day. We took some time to visit her yesterday in the hospital and saw that her daughter's health has improved immensely. This was a miracle in and of itself. What touched my heart the most was to hear this member give the closing prayer, thanking the Lord for sending the missionaries in the times she has needed it the most. I often question myself, if I am following the Spirit enough to see the people that need us the most or if I am simply planning time for a "lesson". This was an answer to my personal prayers. We are called with the assignment to invite others to come unto Christ and it warms my heart to know that is what we are doing. :)
M is amazing as always. Really... I love her sooooo much!!! We had an incredible lesson with a member on Thursday about the Decima (tithing). The member prayed to know what we were teaching and kept thinking to prepare for the Decima. So she brought 10 chocolate pieces and a STRONG testimony of the legge. By the end of the lesson, M wanted to start paying tithing NOW. She also said that if she needs to stop drinking coffee to be baptized, she will stop drinking it. Her faith is amazing! 
J is wonderful as well. :) We had dinner with them on Friday night and ate some delicious Equadorian food. (Really I eat more foreign food than Italian with the people here. As I am sure you could imagine, I am sooooo happy.) The entire family was with us for dinner and for our message about the Book of Mormon. One of the biggest blessings of being a missionary is to see how the Gospel changes the lives of those around us - especially families. J and her family have more love and unity together and are simply happier. 
I studied that this morning in Preach my Gospel. It said "Family can be the source of our greatest joy"
Vi voglio bene!

Sorella Jameson
Sunday before church

N: she is one of our simpatizzanti and I absolutely LOVE her. She is leaving for the Philippines for 3 months tomorrow. My heart was broken to say goodbye...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Staying in Genoa & Mormon 9

I absolutely love hearing from you every week! Really, it is something I look forward to. I can tell you that I feel 100% different than I was when I walked into the MTC, than when I first arrived here, and when I was asked to be a trainer. It is really interesting actually. Who am I? Sono Sorella Jameson, una missionaria per la Chiesa di Gesu Cristo dei Santa degli Ultimi Giorni. Sono un representanta di Gesu Cristo. Il mio scopo e di invitare le personne a venire a Cristo. That is who I am right now. That is who I want to be for the rest of my life. 
This morning, Sorella Lemos and I woke up at 6 to make breakfast for Sorella Pace because it is her birthday! She is a grand 20 years old! We made crepes and Sorella Lemos made Dulce di Leche. MMMMMMMMmmmmmm... I love having a South American companion. :)
Okay as for an update on my life....
Sorella Lemos and I are staying together!!!! I am so grateful and so excited to continue working with her - we just started to figure out how to work better together. Me = stressing out a little less. Her = being a little more effective with time. We make a brilliant team if I do say so myself. Sorella Pace is being transfered to Savano unfortunately (she came in 6 weeks ago) and Sorella Heupel is going to be a Training Traveling Sister with Sorella Eaton. I am so excited for the adventures to come in this next transfer!! The craziest part is that I cannot believe I have already been in Italy for 3 months! WHAT?! At the end of this transfer I will hit my 6 month mark as a missionary (not that I am counting) It is insane. Speaking of, this week has also flown by so fast. I have discovered when I work hard and do all I can with all of my heart, the days go by faster because my mind is elsewhere and not on myself. 
We saw wonderful miracles last week, especially with our members.  We have amazing members in our ward!! Last week, my companion and I had 9 member present lessons (thanks to the hard work of Sorella Lemos) and one of them included 2 members for our baptismal date.  Yesterday, this baptismal date (M) came to our scheduled lesson in the church with a member, Sorella Fava. Sorella Fava came to our member present lesson last week and is incredibly kind. We ended up arriving about 10 minutes late to our lesson in the church only to discover that M and Sorella Fava were both missing. To our surprise, we found out M had a terrible fever and ended up going home. Here is the beautiful part of the story - Sorella Fava accompanied M all the home to make sure that she would be fine. It was amazing to see how much the members love and care for the simpatizzanti we bring to church. :) On Sunday, Sorella Lemos and I felt full of love for our members. I thought to myself "I can stay here in Genova for the rest of my life" as a missionary of course. :) Really, the people here are incredible and we love working with them so much. 
Friday we went to the hospital to visit a member who had knee surgery. On the way there, I smiled to a man on the bus who smiled back at us, and I continued to talk to a woman sitting next to us. At the prossima fermata, the woman left and the man came over to us, asking where he could find our church. What? That is not a normal question that we receive (mostly it is "Are you American? I am not sure how people can tell so fast...) I was a little confused with his question and responded by telling him that we were missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. After so talking and re-explaining, thanks to the help of my amazing companion, we gave him a pass along card and scheduled to meet him the next day. Saturday we taught him about the Restoration and invited him to church. He came. :) We have another appuntamento with him on Thursday. 
It is amazing how the Lord prepares things for us to be blessed. Not only as missionaries but as children of God. He is all knowing, all powerful, and continues to bless us every day - it is just up to us to receive these blessings. I have been reading Mormon these past few days and have loved learning about the power of God. It surprises me how people believe that God was a God of miracles in the Bible but that he is not capable of doing that today. NO. God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He never ceases to do miracles. NEVER. Mormon 9 :) 
Italy is amazing. I love the language, I love the food, and I love the people. Also, I love you!!! Have a wonderful week! 
Vi voglio bene!!!
Sorella Jameson :)
PS: I didn't have a picture to send so I took one just now. This is where we do our internet. :)
PSS: I am slowly but surely reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish now with my companion!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

God is Divine!

Sooooooo this week we have seen sooooo many wonderful miracles. It is hard to believe but we are already on week 5 of my 2nd transfer here in Italy and I have been training. I feel 100% different that how I was 6 weeks ago but in a good way. The thing is, I know the Lord has blessed me with an incredible companion that I was meant to be with and to work with here in Genova. Sorella Lemos is incredible!! At times it is difficult to understand each other 100% due to language and cultural differences but we both share the same purpose and the same desire. We love each other soooo much and have a lot of fun insieme. :) This week my companion is taking the role of Senior companion for the whole week and it is great! I do not have the stress I have been feeling but another kind of stress. I worry about Sorella Lemos because I want her to do well and have confidence. She is doing an amazing job!

Last Thursday I went on a scambi with Sorella Huepel (the other sorella in our apartment) - she was half trained by Sorella Gomez and is incredible. We saw so many incredible miracles together that came from the fruits of the hard work of the Sorelle in Genova 2. We taught 5 lessons, 2 in the presence, and found 4 (almost 6) new simpatizzanti together. It was a wonderful day that was so productive and yet not stressful. Sorella Huepel and I talked about how we feel stressed training but discovered a beautiful balance working with one another. I absolutely love Sorella Huepel! She is a beautiful example of humility and hard work in a fun and supportive personality. I want to learn how to work hard with patience and humility like Sorella Huepel. :) 

One of the most beautiful miracles happened while we were waiting at a bus stop to go home in the evening after our last appointment. We both had high spirits because our lesson went well but we were tired and ready to report our day to the Lord. While we were waiting at the bus stop, a woman walked by, smiling at us. I smiled back and offered her a "Buona sera!" She stopped and asked if I was American (a very common question that I receive). After confirming her question, I asked how she knew I was American. She said it was in our faces, a light that illuminated our eyes and smile. This of course is not only in Americans but in all people - it is the light of Christ. We began talking and she said she visited the Temple in Utah one time and loves our church. Before I could ask if she wanted to hear more about our beliefs, she asked for our number. We informed her that we will be having a baptism coming up soon and she wants to come and even bring a friend. It was a wonderful encounter that lifted our spirits and gave us strength. :)

Another incredible miracle: we had two simpatizzanti that wanted to come to stake conference with us but both of them ended up being sick. M was actually in the hospital! Sorella Lemos and I woke up at 5:30 to pick up one of these simpatizzanti before we found out she could not go. A little disheartened (and very tired), we headed back to the train station to wait for our train. While we were waiting for the train, another simpatizzanti called us to say that she and her daughter were coming!! We bought her a ticket (the conference was in Alessandria) but they came too late to the board the train. Poor Sorella Lemos was so sad because they barely missed the train. So our Elder's Quorum President made a few quick calls and we had some members come pick up J and her daughter. The conference was beautiful and they loved coming. We have been working very slowly with J and her family but this has helped them move forward a little bit. It really was an incredible blessing that they could come.

I loved what you said about how the Lord knows who we are individually. This is something I have been explaining a lot to those I meet throughout the day. I even learned how to say that in Spanish because we are teaching several Spanish speakers. :) I love it! God is Divine. He has all power, all wisdom, and all glory. But he is also a loving heavenly father who cares for us and wants what is best for us. All we have to do is pray and speak to him. Like a conversation to our father. 

I love you!!! Thank you for your support and your love. 


Sorella Jameson

When Codi was in Jerusalem, we begged her to send us pictures. We got very few. I have been visiting other blogs and have actually seen more pictures of Codi on other Sorelle blogs than what she is sending us. This week I put "subliminal" messages throughout her letter asking for more pics. She obliged! I got 4!! I have no idea where these were taken, but at least I got more pics!!

This is Codi's response to the subliminal messages:

"MAMA!!!!! I absolutely LOVED, LOVED, LOOOOOOOOOOOVED this email from you!! It was especially hilarious to read all the little (please send more pics) hehehehehe But hey! At least you get pictures every week right? Bahahahah :) I am planning on sending you my SD card in the mail this week so hopefully your dreams will soon be met. :)"