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.


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!!!