Wednesday, February 26, 2014

We are now 3

These past few days have got to be some of the most stressful but wonderful that I have experienced in my mission. I have mastered, or so I thought, tranquility and peace as I have served as a missionary. After my almost "I am finished!" time in Genova, I have been able to find the peace that God wants us to have in this life. How? I have placed my life, my trust, and my will into His hands. That being said... I was faced with questioning all of that these past few days. We currently have a third missionary with us, Sorella Boscia, because her sweet companion had to return home due to health issues. (We hope that they will be solved so that she can return soon!) It has been CRAZY to balance 3 once again in a city built for two.

BUT we have also had so many miracles and we have grown a LOT together! Oh and Sorella Boscia said that she has never seen an American cook as well as I do. :) YES!!!! She said that I am Itliana, not Americana.

We had a beautiful miracle working with the members once again here in Pisa. Saturday night we had an appointment to visit a family in our branch with meno attivi children. When we arrived, the sorella informed us that her friend would be staying for dinner with us. We shared a spiritual message before we ate, and the friend, S, was extremely open to the message that we presented. At the end of the message, Sorella Stewart asked if S would be interested in learning some more about the church. When she answered positively, the member explained a little more about our church and volunteered to take us to the home of Sonia for the next visit. The entire evening was beautiful and full of the spirit as we shared the beliefs we had. :)

To finish, I just wanted to share my thoughts about VIRTUE. I have been thinking a LOT about my our thoughts are affected by the things in everyday life. It is crazy how often things will enter into my thoughts - movie scenes, songs, books, etc. They can seem harmless when we see them or even remember them. Then I think about how our minds can be better occupied by the things of God. In Alma 37:35-37, he talks about how we should put the Lord in our lives.

 35 O, remember, my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth; yea,learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God.

 36 Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea,let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.

 37 Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the corning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

It makes sense. If we want to be BORN AGAIN. If we want to become disciples of Christ, we need to be thinking more about him. Being virtuous is much more than having clean thoughts. It is also that chance to commit ourselves to God in our THOUGHTS and DEEDS.

It feels like April here in Toscana managia!


Sorella Jameson

PS: Picture right before I got here today... the bike I am using doesn't have fenders. Joy. :)

Sorella Boscia

Some fun pictures of the greatest ginger ever. :)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

HAPPINESS. It is real.

MAMMA MIA! This past week went SOOOO fast! No... this past TRANSFER! Sorella Stewart and I are staying together again in Pisa! YAY!!!! We are both super excited about that. Really... we have soooo much fun together and we are starting to do a great work here in Pisa. It is changing soooo much. Especially with some of the meni attivi. Towards the end of the week, we were freaking out a little bit, both worried to be separated. She will be the first companion that I "kill" on the mission (aka send home) It will be interesting. And sad. Also, we are both SOOOO tired. Everyday is harder and harder to wake up.

One of best moments of member work happened last giovedi as we went to visit one of our progressing investigators. We had called a member of the branch who had originally met this simpatizzante, M. Michael (the member) met up with us and came to the appointment only to discover that M was not there. Her roommate, however, was at home. We asked if we could at least come in and share a 5 minute message with her, to which she refused. Several times. Finally Michael, in his amazing African dialect, began talking to S (the roommate) and she finally let us inside. The atmospher softened as they began speaking of the beauties of their native home and as Michael bore his personal testimony of the Book of Mormon. There would be no way that S would have let us inside if Michael wasn't there with us. Member missionary work is sooooo important!

This past week we have had some time to do finding. I LOVE doing door to door finding. We have two very different experiences as we worked. On Sunday, we had a very angry man screaming at us to leave after Sorella Stewart said we wanted to talk about Jesus Christ. This made me very sad. (My mission depression comes as people stop meeting with us and when people throw away this chance to talk to us.) Yesterday was an entirely different experience. We did finding for 2 hours in seguito and almost everyone was soooo kind! An old man even gave us some little violets to hold onto. Through out all of this, we have found more faith in Jesus Christ as we are either denied or spit upon.

HAPPINESS. It is real. This is what our message contains and what we preach about. I love the last verse found in Alma 33, when Alma invites us to come and experiment on the word so we can have JOY.

I love you!!! Thank you for all that you do for me!

Sorella Jameson
Giant ice growing in our fridge.... oops.

 Firenze duomo

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

When you are in the service of your fellow being

This has been suuuuuch an exhausting week! We were in Firenze Monday through Friday last week. Then in Milano for Consiglio with Presidente. Yesterday when I was walking, I literally felt like an old woman. Hahahah my shins and thighs ached so much from all the speed walking / running and biking trying to get from one place to another. It has been an ADVENTURE!!! That being said, I finally got to see my sweet MTC companion Sorella Stephens!!!!
AHHHH it was the BEST thing that has happened to me in a while!!!! We ran and hugged each other, teary eyed and laughing. It is amazing to see what has happened in the past year. The Lord has taken us and shaped us into better tools and servants. We rode up and back with the Capi of Montevarchi to Milano - they are fantastic. It is amazing to be in the presence of SO many consecrated and diligent servants of God. You can feel their devotion and love to the Lord.

The biggest miracles that we have seen these last few days came from our acts of simple service. I truly believe that SERVICE is one of the best ways of showing Christ-like love to those whom we love so much. We took some time to serve our part member family this past weekend as they prepared for an activity. N G is a very timid simpatizzante who is not very open in showing any signs of interest in the church. After a few hours of serving them, another member reported that this was the best thing to do for N. He loves us! N commented on how kind and sweet we were to always be there to help. We can see that he is slowly opening up to us. :) The day, domenica, we went to one of our Meno Attivi who has been suffering from depression these last few months. She told us the day before that she had not showered for 3 weeks nor cleaned the kitchen. I called her domenica pomeriggio, asking if she had showered or cleaned. When she informed me that she hadn't, I told her we would be there soon to help. After about an hour and half of cleaning, Sorella C had showered, tidied things up, and had a beautiful light about her. The entire atmosphere changed! When we passed by her yesterday, there was an obvious difference from when we first visited on Saturday. When you are in the service of your fellow being, you are only in the service of your God. :)

Yesterday we had a full and blessed day. Some visiting members from another city gave us a referral of a woman is soooo ready for the gospel. Her name is F. We went to visit her yesterday morning and she was more than willing to hear the things that we had to share. She has been going in giro all her life, looking for the truth and has taken parts of the truth from all. My favorite thing that she said what that she learned about Jesus Christ through Buddhism. We can learn from ALL religions and beliefs. It is through the holy Spirit that we can be enlightened and touched by the truths of God. Mamma mia... we are soooo blessed!!!

A little bit about my sweet companion. Sorella Stewart is probably one of the most amazing people I think I have ever met in my life. Why? She reminds me so much of you. :) (You as in me. Codi's mama.) She is absolutely ADORABLE but has a super sharp and witty side. It is like a time bomb if you will. Hilarious to play with but then there are moments of explosion out of nowhere. Hahahah we have some mornings when Sorella Stewart is out of control funny and others when she is grumpier than all get out. Overall though, she is hilarious and loving. REAL. She is just REAL. It is refreshing, even when I annoy her some days. (I am not sure how to feel complimented or offended.)

Last thought. God really does love us and wants us to be happy. Prayer truly does work. I cannot believe that I went my whole life without praying every second of the day. He wants us to feel His love.

I LOVE YOU SOOOO MUCH!!!! Thank you for all that you do - especially randomly sending my valentines. I AM OBSESSED with them!!!! (Minion valentines, of course! Mama's thought, Daddy's purchase and knowledge of what makes Codi happy!) 

Vi voglio bene!!!

Sorella Jameson

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

They are just showing up out of nowhere!

Last week was such a successful week! We had many beautiful miracles that were direct answers to our prayers. (Oh and we found 5 new investigators! They are just showing up out of nowhere) Last week we had planned and prepared for one of our investigators to come to church. A member had scheduled to pick her up and she wanted to come. We had contacted our Branch President to ask if he could pray that she would make it to church. He responded very positively and asked for her name specifically to aide the prayer. "M" showed up to church and loved it.

Yesterday we had a small yet important answer to our prayers. We are currently teaching a young man and his friend - he has a companion but she is never out in the room with us while we teach. Sorella Stewart and I prayed very specifically that she would be able to participate within our lesson. When we showed up yesterday, she came out, sat down, and became a new simpatizzante. God anwsers prayers. :)

One of the new people that we found actually came to talk to us. The river here in Pisa was about to  overflow and there was a HUGE group of people around every bridge just to take pictures. I personally would not want to be close by if the river overflowed..... So we were waiting for a bus but it was late due to the crowded bridges. While we were waiting a man named "A" came up to us and just opened up about everything. He explained how he just wanted to be healed and feel peace. For the next 40 minutes we talked to him and set a return appointment for the next day. The Spirit was so strong and he cried with us as we explained the Atonement. We set a baptismal date with him for the 1st of March. We will have to pass him to the Anziani but they are going to do such a wonderful job with him. :)

Within the past week we had the chance to do scambi with Siena and Montevarchi. I got to work with Sorella Boscia, a 35 year old Italian here in Pisa last week. Oh my gosh. I want to be her best friend! She is so sweet and has such a huge desire to work. Then I got to work with Sorella Lopez!!!!!!!!!!

Ah it is was great! I love seeing how much we have both grown and changed on our missions.  I love being a sister training leader. There is SOOO much that I can learn from the other sorelle.

Thank you for your love and support!

Vi voglio bene!

Sorella Jameson

(Editors note. On Wednesday we received a letter from Sorella Jameson. An SD card was included. Here is a beautiful video that was on the card. Enjoy!)