Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ask in Faith

I LOVE PISA!!!! I love Sorella Stewart. I love being a missionary.

First I must start off with a VERY funny story. When I first arrived here in Pisa, Sorella Stewart begged me to get a new bike. Why? Because the one that Sorella Mancuso had was awful. It looked like it was a mountain bike for a 12 year old boy. Well... it was. Luckily I only had to ride it once to the bike shop to buy a NEW beautiful bike. Because I am Sorella Jameson, I tend to have the best luck with these things. Meaning that my brakes totally gave out after 2 weeks with this new bike. So I took it to get the brake fixed. YAY! When I was riding afterwards, the bike was SUPER hard to pedal. So we took it back. It was still hard to pedal. Finally our amazing Anziani discovered that the wheel was not on tight or properly. So the next morning I fixed it. It worked perfectly. Here in the best part... as we were riding to the train station later that night, my back tire blew out. That is right. So within 24 hours, my bike has had to go through a LOT. And I only had it for 13 days. It is working perfectly now. Meno male. Life is so funny.

This past week has been full of miracles and personal growth. We have recently been finding many new simpatizzanti (most of them are falling through after the first lesson but at least we have a bigger selection). Last week we had the opportunity to visit a part member family to have a family home evening. The family Gori is made up of a very strong and faithful return missionary mother with a husband who is not a member but comes to church with her every Sunday. Their daughter is also active in the primary. :) The family started and N. G. (the husband) was not very open due to his timidness. By the end of the evening, he was laughing and joking with us. We have a return apointment this weekend. This past Monday we also found 2 new simpatizzanti through casa casa. It was actually a very edifying experience because I felt all day that we needed to be out doing finding work. (Instead of going to visit other simpatizzanti or members) It was what God wanted us to do.

Last week we had a scambio with Firenze - Sorella Strong and I found a Nigerian woman and asked to come and visit her. So Sorella Stewart and I stopped by on Saturday. Her name is Mercy and she has been looking for the church that will bring her closest to God. She mentioned how she is studying with the Testimony di Geova because it is the closest thing but that she is not convinced. We invited her to be baptized when she knew of the truth and she said yes. :)

A little update about Tuscany.... It is a little bit hard to be quite honest but it is also so very special. Each area of the mission has it's reputation and here is the reputation of hard work. I love it. The people here either believe in God or they don't - most of them shut down when we mention Gesù Cristo. When religion is not involved, they are some of the most friendly and loving people ever. The other day we were riding a bus to visit a family in the ward. I distinctly remember feeling that I should talk about other things with the people instead of just "Do you believe in Jesus Christ?" We asked if they could help us. Not just 2 people helped us but about 6. They talked to the bus driver who let us off early so we didn't have to walk very far either. They are SOOOOOO kind and loving. We were able to share English Class invited with them as well. I love Italy and I love serving here in Tuscany.

I just wanted to share my testimony on the POWER of prayer. It works.  I want to invite you to prayer more throughout the day in all things. God loves us. Please read the following devotional on prayer: Ask in Faith


Sorella Jameson
I took a picture of all the people trying to hold up the leaning tower! ;)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Alma 17:9

This past week has been suuuuuper long and so full of craziness!!! All I have to say is that I LOVE being in Pisa and that I LOVE being a Sister Training Leader. Punto.

So I think that the storm that hit you with snow came and hit us with rain. One of the BEAUTIFUL things about being in Toscana during the winter is that it is very nice and warm. It feels like March instead of almost February. Meno male. For 3 days straight (Friday - Sunday) we were PELTED with rain and thunderstorms. The best part is that the few appointments that we actually had scheduled were cancelled, thus leaving us tracting in the rain. By the time we would get home we looked like drowned cats. Luckily Sorella Stewart and I just laughed the whole time and thought it was hilarious. On Sunday we were heading out of the parking lot on our bikes when the slight drizzle turned into a vicious down pour with some hail. It stopped by the time we got home. So we changed into dry clothes and went back out in some dry ones. On our way back home it began to down pour ... again. Because of the injustices of life, it stopped as soon as we started pulling onto our street. So we changed once again for the evening. Hahahahah attached is a picture of me when I got home from the church. About a 15 minute bike ride.

We had several amazing miracles happen yesterday as we did our scambio with the sorelle from Firenze. In the morning we planned on doing a singing mostra with the Anziani in centro. It was such a huge success. Talking to those who passed was much easier because they could recognize our presence instead of just *POP* suprising them with a teach to find. (Although those still works as well.) We were all filled with the Spirit as we sang and felt uplifted together. Right before the mostra we also found and taught two individuals within 15 minutes and have potential return appointments. Tender mercies and little miracles filled our day with the Firenze sorelle.

Things are slowly starting to change here in Pisa. I am trying to stay positive and rely on the Spirit of the Lord. It has been so amazing to be working with all my might only to be rejected continually throughout the day. Why? Because it is all worth it. I love reading the Book Of Mormon and Bible during these times about the work of Alma and the Sons of Mosiah along with Paul (bible) as they preach the word of God. They were thrown into jail, beaten, stripped of their clothes, spit on, humiliated, etc. Yet they CONTINUED. They had with them the power of the Spirit.

Now Ammon seeing the Spirit of the Lord poured out according to his prayers upon the Lamanites, his brethren, who had been the cause of so much mourning among the Nephites, or among all the people of God because of their iniquities and their traditions, he fell upon his knees, and began to pour out his soul in prayer and thanksgiving to God for what he had done for his brethren; and he was also overpowered with joy

Prayer works. My testimony has grown SOOOO much these last few months in the power of prayer. We ALL have this gift readily given to us.

SOooo I wanted to invite all to have a prayer readily in your hearts so that you can be "instruments in the hands of God" Alma 17:9.

Vi voglio bene!!!

Sorella Jameson
We ate subway today. It was sooo good. :)

Sorella Stewart is amazing

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

How can we NOT share the gospel with others?

I AM IN PISA!!!!! It is an absolutely BEAUTIFUL city that is full of grumpy people who don't want to hear the gospel but... it is still fantastic!!! I am in the FLORENCE zone!!! WOOT!!!! Sorella Stewart has already planned on taking me to Florence and other places so I can see and play. Today is our day of rest however. I am tiiiiiiiired!

The tower here is REAL!!! When I first saw it I just gasped! It looks sooooo fake! And it literally leans. Like... it leans more in real life than in the pictures! I don't have a picture yet because I haven't had time to snap one. :) SORRY! The branch here is really amazing too - they have their own building. This building is the first built in italia too! There are several American families who are here as well because there is an American Military base close by. It was a little bit of a culture shock to be with Americans again. hahaha

I am with Sorella Stewart and she is just amazing!! It is a little weird to be with someone who knows what they are doing more than I do - after being a trainer for most of my mission. It is also refreshing being with someone who is older than I am as well (it makes me remember that I still need to mature a little bit) Sorella Stewart is soooo hard working and is 100% conscecrated. She does what she does well because she understands the gospel and has a love for God. I know that I will learn a lot about responsibility with her (especially about being on time to things....) She only has 2 transfers left on her mission so it is likely that I will be her last companion. YES! I am soooo excited to work with her!

We have spent many long hours doing finding work but along the way we have witnessed the small miracles that are around us. One of these occured on Sunday evening while we were doing some casa casa in an area called CEP. Even though everyone was declining our offer, we still asked all for referrals of anyone that they knew who would have interest. One of the people who we asked directed us to a "ragazza who lived in the back over there." It appeared that there were no more houses "back over there" but Sorella Stewart suggested that we try to take a look anyway. There were some more houses in the back along with a colony of cats that began to follow us.  As we tried to follow the Spirit and the cats, we were eventually led to a house with a woman who warmingly allowed us to come in (along with the cats). Her name is M and is from Brazil. She was sharing her opinion of the apostasy and was more than willing to listen to our message of the Restoration. We have a return apointment with her on Sunday. Tender Mercies of the Lord.

Final thought... as we have been going around meeting many people each day, trying to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I have noticed many interesting things. One of which goes along with the conversion that we have within us to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I had asked a woman, who claimed to be very religious and practicing, if she knew of anyone who had need of being happier or who needed to learn of Jesus Christ. She responded, saying that she might know someone but that their names were not coming to mind. I offered her our contact information on a pass along card, asking her is she could give it to her friend that might be in need. Immediately she declined, explaining that she couldn't be given that responsibility to share that with others. My heart sunk a little bit when she said that. WE have the happiness and joy that the world is missing. When we actually think about it, how can we NOT share the gospel with others? The knowledge that God exists? The comfort to know that He loves us and listens to our prayers? It made me ponder how much we truly love and understand God. Is it enough to carry the responsibility to SHARE it with others or is it only abbastanza to be faithful and go to church every week.

I know that God does indeed love us. Ecco why I am serving a mission for Him. We can have peace and happiness through Him. We can help others experience this as well.


Sorella Jameson
Saying goodbye to A & L

Sorella Stewart!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A call to lead and happiness that trumps sadness

Yes we did receive transfer calls for this week....  They were the most BEAUTIFUL and most joyful calls I have EVER received on my mission. (Especially in comparison with my first call)  We were busy cleaning on Monday when we received a call from Presidente. I have been called to serve in Pisa as a Sister Training Leader with Sorella Stewart who was in Genova right before me! This is exciting but not as exciting as the next part of the call. NOTE: when we receive transfer calls it is either done on Speaker Phone or with the both of us hugging each other so we can hear and give one another support. When Sorella Andromidas started speaking to Presidente, he explained that she would be staying here in Forli to continue the work with a new sorella. Training? No. Better. Drum roll please. Sorella Andromidas will be serving in Forli with SORELLA LEMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH IT IS A DREAM COME TRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When I heard this I literally screamed and fell to the ground sobbing. Presidente stopped talking due to the scream. Sorella Andromidas said quickly "Sorry! That was my trainers first trainee! We are just really excited!" He paused and said "ooooooooookay...? Well..." I am soooooooooooooo happy! Normally transfers fill me with a little bit of pain and fear - pain to leave the people you love and fear that others will not take care of them well enough. I have no fear whatsoever now! Sorella Andromidas ansd Sorella Lemos are going to TAKE OVER ITALY!!!!!!!!!! I will have to write a letter home to you to explain more. As for me... it is hard to say goodbye. My happiness is trumping the sadness in me right now because my prayers were answered. :)

Some fast stories before I finish. We have one of the most golden and prepared people EVER right now. His name is C. He used to investigate the church YEARS ago but was not able to follow through on the commitment of baptism. Now he said he wants to make up the time he missed and start down the right path. Our branch mission leader invited him to church the other day so he came last week, we set up an appointment and met in Forlimpopoli - a little town outside of Forli. We had to meet inside a mini mall with loud music but (with the prayers in our hearts and the work of the Lord) the Spirit was so strong. We all cried at one point or another throughout this lesson. He wants to follow Jesus sooooo badly and preach the gospel just like us! We asked him to be baptized on the 15th of February and he accepted. Unfortunately I will not be there but I told him to send me a picture of him in white. :) There in an attached photo of him. :)

We had the most BEAUTIFUL sacrament meeting of my entire life this Sunday. The day before my poor companion puttered out and got really sick so we headed home early and missed a lesson with J (the boy with a baptismal date) and an African dinner appointment. She slept in till 10 am the next morning. I had been praying with all my might that she would wake up and feel well enough to go to church. She felt 100% healed (probably because she slept 15 hours... magari! I have only slept about 6 hours ever night this week) We arrived at church in just enough time for sacrament meeting, which is last in Forli. It was AMAZING!!!! There were 4 people we teach in church and 3 of them stood up to bear their testimony - the first being C. Oh my goodness... the spirit was amazing. Not only that but two non members gave an opening and closing prayer. All of the members were just filled with happiness and joy afterwards. :)

God is good. ALWAYS. He has blessed and touched my life in so many ways. I am so grateful to see the many miracles He has provided throughout my life and especially for my mission. I LOVE GOD!!!! :)

Vi voglio bene!!

Sorella Jameson

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Santo Stefano

BUON ANNO!!!!!! It is absolutely CRAZY to think that it is already 2014! WHAT?! It seems like 2013 did not even exist because I was off in Italy. :) Woah.., I have been in Italy longer in 2013 than my own country...... Oh the life of a missionary. I LOVE IT!!!!

This past Christmas was the BEST Christmas I have ever had in my entire life. Many people had warned me how hard it would be to be away from my family (which is true) but it was so easy to rejoice in the birth of our Savior and to spend this time of year with those who I am serving. Being with the Jefferies was one of the best parts of course. We ate croissants and hot chocolate :) (A Jameson Christmas morning tradition.) I still made the lion house rolls. I got to be with my beautiful companion and simpatizzanti. I got to talk to my ENTIRE family. It was amazing. :) Please thank all of the wonderful people who took part in the packages and wishes for Christmas.
I LOVED the letter full of all the little notes from people. That was probably my favorite part. :) Later Christmas evening we went to visit our Ward Mission Leader and his family! They gave us the most beautiful presents : oreos and a pen with our FULL name engraved on it. :) OH I LOVE FORLI!!!!

After Christmas there is another holiday that Italians celebrate called Santo Stefano. :) We celebrated it by visiting a part member family for a lunch (aka feast) with the Jefferies. Then we finished the evening with an inattivi family for dinner. This family (inattive si chiama famiglia Z) is sooooo precious and special to us. They are husband and wife without any children so they are like the "cool aunt and uncle" if you will. My heart overflows with joy when we are with them. If I had to move back to Forli for the rest of my life for any person, it would be for this family. (There are 100% invited to my wedding) There is a light and a special spirit about them that just makes them shine. :)

This week has been full of beautiful, little surprises. Some of the biggest occurred on Sunday. We had 5 non members in church on Sunday - 3 of which had come on their own or through the efforts of our members. Along with them came an inactive family that we have begun to visit (and whom we love with all of our hearts!!) The air in church was so full and beautiful. :) Later that evening we went to teach a simpatizzanti from Nigeria (si chiama K) who had a friend visiting him. This friend (si chiama F) had invited himself to listen to us and to learn of our message. It was a very interesting lesson due to the fact that F currently lives with a pastor but does not understand who Jesus is but the Spirit was sooooo powerful. (Really... it felt like a very fishy lesson. His questions were too perfect and thought out. I felt as if he were a SPY for the Pastor who was originally a member of our church) It was one of the most spiritual lessons I have ever experienced. F asked many deep and soul searching questions and we just tried to bare our testimonies with all of our might. We literally felt the power and authority of our calling (something that we both had just studied that week in chapter 1 of Preach My Gospel). F became a new simpatizzanti and we have a return appointment with him on Friday. We hope to bring some members with us and to help him discover our Savior, Jesus Christ.

To finish I just wanted to share a thought from the reading of the Book Of Mormon. Alma 8 is such a powerful chapter, especially revolved around missionary work. In verse 10 it explains how Alma "labored much in the spirit, wrestling with God in mighty prayer..." I read in the Book Of Mormon institute manual regarding this verse, about the power and meaning of mighty prayer. Wirthlin asks simple yet powerful questions about how we pray to God. He asks whether our prayers are repeated without much thought, like from a machine or whether we take time to ponder the blessing. If there is not an effort on our part to pray, how much of an effort do we expect from God? He told us to take time to ponder the blessings in life and "struggle" if you will to pour out our heart to God. I KNOW that God answers prayers. It is up to us to do our part in the conversation and speak with Him, our loving Heavenly Father.

Vi voglio bene!!!

Sorella Jameson

This is a baked pasta dish. It had spinach, ham and cheese rolled up in homemade pasta. L made it and it was absolutely delicious. (Thank you Sorella Jefferies for helping us figure out exactly what this was!)