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. 


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? 


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