Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The African Showdown

Okay I don't have a lot of time because I got many beautiful emails from my dear friends and loved ones. Thank you!!! I am excited for my birthday tomorrow but I think that I am more excited for the special conference that is coming up in May when Florence becomes a STAKE!!!! :)

This week has been crazy like always but soooo good too. :)

We forgot that Friday was Festivo and therefore did not plan our day out as well as we should have. All of our plans had fallen through but we still had many other miracles. One of which came by visiting our baptismal date, S. Oh my goodness... I love S sooooo much! While we talked to her about her baptism, she expressed how she is still preparing for the date. We reminded her that it is scheduled for the 10th of May. She thought about it, smiled and said, "Yes! I am ready! Oh I am so excited!" She has come consistently to church these past 4 week !!! :)

The next day, Saturday, we went to visit B with Michael. S, Bishop's wife, was there with us. Before, S hasn't shown a lot of interest in our message until this past lesson which we deem as the "African Showdown" Yes... it was a showdown indeed. We decided to be a lot more BOLD with our lesson to help them understand our purpose. SO we talked about Salvation and I said "B. and S. God is the ONE person. He has ONE church and ONE way to return to live with Him. That is THIS church. You can only return to live with God through this Church." Well... B flipped a little bit and then Michael Israel started bearing STRONG testimony of the truth. S looked at Michael and asked "You believe this is true Egbon?" When Michael said YES, S nodded her head and murmured Uh huh! In a very approving African way. In the end, Michael just said that the only way we can know if it is true or not is to pray. We cannot argue over it or ask others what they think. Only GOD knows the truth. Amen my brotha!

Also we went to do a double scambio in SIENA that week. Oh my gosh... it was BEAUTIFUL!!! Attached is a picture that we took at San Gimignano. We ate the World's best gelato. It was probably the best that I have ever had.

I will hopefully will write more next week!!!

Sorella Jameson

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

He was still within reach

EASTER!!!! And happy birthday to my sweet niece Iris and my daddy!!! :) I told everyone it was their birthdays. Also, Otto got baptized last year on the 20th. YAY!! :)

This Easter was amazing but also very tender. We had a stressful weekend due to one of our simps who found them self in a tough situation. I felt as it the weight of the world was on my back. So what did I do? Cried and prayed. I told Sorella Bennett that when this happens, I normally talk to my mom, cry, and sleep. But I couldn't do 2 of the 3. But praying to God is just a good (if not a little better - no hard feelings?) Our sacrament meeting was so incredible and full of the Spirit. I had the opportunity to talk about the Savior. During the weekend, I really felt the power of the Atonement working this weekend on me, my companion, and our loved simpatizzante. While preparing this talk, I felt my love for the Savior welling up inside of me. As I gave the talk, tears poured out of my eyes. Jesus Christ is amazing. I love him so much. It was amazing to ponder of His life, His example, His sacrifice, and His resurrection during this time as a servant of the Lord. Last year I was still jet lagged and had a migraine so I can't remember much). I know that whatever we go through, we can be strengthened and helped by the Lord if just come unto Him. I shared the scripture found in John 20

15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.

 16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

 17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

 18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

While I was in Jerusalem, I found myself facing the same thing. Searching for Jesus Christ, not realizing that He was still within reach. Then , when I found this, I knew that I had to SHARE it with others. There are so many people SEARCHING,  not knowing where to find Him. He is here. He is waiting.

This week has been another one of those crazy weeks when you look back and think to yourself "what happened?" We had many miracles however, especially on Monday evening as we were with a member. We had an appointment set up but then received a call saying that our simpatizzante (Q) was not in town. So we looked at our watches, saw that we had an hour until our next appointment and asked if the member would like to do some finding with us. She has been thinking about going on a mission but is still very shy about doing the "dirty work" of the mission life. Cioè, finding. But we starting to do some strada and found someone. After teaching them (a full 2 prayer lesson) and setting up a return appointment, the member expressed how easy it was to talk to others and share the love of God with them. :) Member missionary work - works!

Just to close, I love my companion and I love serving here in Pisa. There are so many miracles. I only have 3 and a half months left to serve the Lord and I want to give my ALL.

Sorella Jameson

Picture of Florence. We went to see Davide but the line was too long... sad. No matter! We ate Lindt gelato. Man was is goooood!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I be missionary sista!

This week has been beautiful and amazing. :) We had interviews with Presidente on Saturday (who later told me that I picked up Sorella Stewart's accent hahaha) and then we went out with Sorella Dibb!! It was so much fun to do some lessons and drive around Pisa with the Mission President's wife. Mamma mia... she is sooooo funny too!!! Ready for the best news?

FIRENZE IS GOING TO BE A STAKE!!!!!! On May 10th and 11th, we will be made into the Stake of Florence. Isn't that incredible!!! We are sooooo excited for this historic event that will take place. Also, I think that we are combining with Rimini, which is where Forlì is!! So I might be able to see my loved people of Forlì. :) 

The work itself has been so wonderful this week. S our Nigerian simp, came to church again and just loves it! She is praying for the help and strength to prepare for her baptism in May. :)  We also had several Family Home Evening's with M and his family and with B and his family. And we ate more Nigerian food. (I should have taken a picture!!) We brought cinnamon apples with ice cream for dessert but they refused to eat it at first. Once they tried it, they fell in love and ate all of it! :) 

Funny story. On Sunday we went to Pontedera to meet up with M because we had left something at his home. There was a train strike going on so it took us forever to get there. By the time we got back home it was almost 8 but it was still light outside. While walking up to the bikes, I noticed that Sorella Bennett's bike was shorter than usual. That is when I saw it. Or rather didn't see it. No front wheel. SOOOOOO someone stole a wheel. We attached her bike to the back of my bike and walked 30 minutes home, through Centro with our bikes. Many people pointed and laughed. Our bike shop workers just shook their heads when we showed up. Again. We just have the best luck with bikes here in Pisa. :)

Yesterday we had a beautiful miracle with L. As noted a few weeks ago, she was a referral from the Anziani who had contacted her last summer. We had an amazing lesson with her last time and this time. For the lesson yesterday, we watched the Restoration film. Her eyes were wide the entire time and she agreed with the quotes from the film. There wasn't even any kind of disturbance during the first vision (which always seems to happen). It was perfect! At the end of the film, she expressed how beautiful it was and how much sense it made to have another prophet today. Lina then expressed that her beliefs were different than ours. We live in a different world, cioè, we live the commandments that we teach. This gives us inner peace and glow of happiness. She explained that her religion had an "eat, drink, and be merry" feeling about it. We re-set her baptismal date for the 24 of May. :)

To finish, I actually just want to share a little reminder of the WHY of Easter.  It is for Jesus Christ. Easter is just as important as Christmas and we should keep it sacred and special.  In Luke 22:19, Christ asked us to take the sacrament and remember him. Elder Jeffery R. Holland expressed some ways that we could remember him.... 

We could remember Christ’s miracles and his teachings, his healings and his help. We could remember that he gave sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf and motion to the lame and the maimed and the withered. Then, on those days when we feel our progress has halted or our joys and views have grown dim, we can press forward steadfastly in Christ, with unshaken faith in him and a perfect brightness of hope (see 2 Ne. 31:19–20).
We could remember that even with such a solemn mission given to him, the Savior found delight in living; he enjoyed people and told his disciples to be of good cheer. He said we should be as thrilled with the gospel as one who had found a great treasure, a veritable pearl of great price, right on our own doorstep. We could remember that Jesus found special joy and happiness in children and said all of us should be more like them—guileless and pure, quick to laugh and to love and to forgive, slow to remember any offense.

Please click on the following link to see a PERFECT Easter message!

I am so grateful for the Savior Jesus Christ and for the sacrifice that he has made for me. For all of us. All that we have to do it COME unto Him. And we can! We have His church restored once again on the Earth today and can truly come unto him. 


Sorella Jameson

P.S.  am learning African English :) I be missionary sista! Abi no be lie?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Conference and babies

WOW! It has been CRAZY these last few days!! I had to stay up in Milano all Thursday and Friday due to transfers and Consiglio with our Presidente. We didn't get back until Friday night (with out Sorella Bennett's luggage) So she borrowed my clothes until Monday. :) Then we had General Conference. Not much missionary work got done but Sorella Bennett and I tried our best to find and teach people during the days of travel. :)

YES!!!! We are together again!!!! It has been so much fun and so surreal too. We have both grown up so much but still know how to have fun. :) Also I got to see Sorella Stephens AND Sorella Andromidas during what is called Transfer circle. AHHHHH I was talking to Sorella Stephens when someone grabbed me and whirled me around. It was Sorella Andromidas. I SCREAMED and just held onto her. We couldn't go away from one another. It was like we were glued together.

This past week has been a little crazy due to lost time in Milano and time spent for conference but we still saw many miracles. On of our biggest miracles was with our simpatizzante B. He is a father of a family that our member referred to us and is amazing. On Saturday, he came to General Conference with Michael (the member) here in church. Right after the session, he said, "I need to get a testimony of this book." He was holding the Book of Mormon. AMEN!! We later had a lesson with him to follow-up. As we were teaching, I felt impressed to speak extremely simple and clear words. "B," I said, "there is only One God. This means He has only One church. THIS is the One and only church that will bring you back to him." He laughed and asked if I said those words because I believed them or because it was my church. We bore strong testimony that it was true. I would not have given up 18 months of my life and spend thousands of dollars if it were not true. He smiled and told us that our words touched him. He has committed to REALLY pray to know the truth and to understand the Book of Mormon.

ALSO, Friday morning we received a call from M, our pregnant simp. She said "Please! The baby is coming! Can you find someone for me?" I frantically called everyone who lived in Pisa to ask for a ride. It was 7 am. I finally called the president of the branch who told me to wait while he got ready. I was running around in the apartment in Milano, helpless to do anything. In the end, her sister picked her up. Now we have a sweet baby girl who sleeps while we teach M. I must take a picture next time.

My favorite conference talks were many but I loved the one by Zwick, Uchtdorf, Ballard, and Bednar of course. :) I am so grateful for the chance that we have to hear from living prophets today. The world is getting a little scary right now but we can have peace and safety through our Savior.


Sorella Jameson

PS: We made a Sunday dinner for conference. It was good.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Worn hands, fence sitting, and Colorado in Italy!

Okay so here is the news. My sweet Sorella Stewart is going home. I am so sad that she is leaving. It feels as if the mission will no longer go on without her. But I must say that I have a developed a friendship for the rest of my life. She is one of those amazing, faithful people that you know will always be there for you (like Rabea) . I love Sorella Stewart!!! So who is coming to be my new companion? Are you ready? Sorella Bennett. Yep... that is right. The same Sorella Bennett that I served with already in Forlì (so I won't have a new comp but I will have a new experience!) I was shocked! I asked if the information was correct or if it was an April Fool's joke. Nope. It is weird to think that I will be with someone who I know and served with already. That being said, we have both grown and are in different situations now. It is going to be AMAZING. :)

Saying goodbye to the Rossi family before leaving Forli
Now there are some other, sad things that I wanted to share. As I am sure you have seen or heard from the Jefferies (who are now home), Fratello Rossi passed away last week. Sorella Jefferies called me on Thursday morning to tell me that he had passed and my heart broke. It was a shock. I just wanted to write a little dedica to him. Fratello Rossi was one of the most amazing people that I have ever met. He was a great missionary at heart, always willing and ready to help people come unto the Christ. There was always a smile or a kind word that he shared with others. Fratello Rossi was also one of the hardest workers that I have ever met - his hands were wonderful examples of this. Well worn and continually working. I will miss Fratello Rossi but I know that he is doing an amazing work on the other side. :)

The work in Pisa is picking up and we are seeing so many miracles! Sorella Stewart and I have worked so hard to make changes and bring HOPE. This past domenica, we had a break the fast to end our 40 day fast, focused on missionary work in the Pisa Branch. It was BEAUTIFUL! We had more people there that I have ever seen (90!) and had a beautiful fast and testimony meeting. One of our simpatizzante came for the first time and even stood up to share her testimony of Jesus Christ. It was amazing! The branch was the most united that I have seen that day. :)

The simpatizzante who came to church is absolutely AMAZING!!! Her name is S - she is also from Nigeria and I love her so much! (She also thinks that I have a really cool voice... yes!) While she was at church, Fratello Ostrander (an American member) asked what she thought of church - if it was true or not. This got her thinking because she realized that she cannot be a fence sitter and not decide. So she went home that night and REALLY prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true and if the church was true. When we met up with her Tuesday morning, she started to tell us that she had a dream. At first she didn't want to tell because she thought we would think that she was crazy. In her dream, she say a man kneeling over brass plates. He was wearing red and black armor. Who was this? Moroni. She pointed to the picture in the front of the Book of Mormon and said it was similar to that. In the dream, Moroni told her not to mess with the Book because it was important. When she woke up, she told her friend, M (our other simp) that the Book of Mormon was true. S explained that she had not truly prayed to know if these things were true and had regarded the Book of Mormon as something below the bible or not important. But when she TRULY prayed, God answered her prayer. She had prayed with "real intent" (Moroni 10:4). Her baptismal date is for the 10th of May. :)

I LOVE Sorella Stewart!!
Really fast and funny story! I met a woman from Tamra's (my mama's sister) ward the other day! We were heading towards a member's home for lunch on Monday, a day of the transfer that we normally don't leave due to deep cleaning. But we left and met this woman! We heard "Sister!! Sister!" so I stopped and Sorella Stewart almost crashed into me. I turned to find a happy woman walking towards me, so I called back "Ciao?!" a little confused. When we met up, I was trying to take off my helmet but it got caught on my earring. In the process of doing this, she asked if I was Tamra's niece. When I said yes, she screamed and hugged me. With my helmet still in one hand, I dropped my bike to hug her with the other. Oh it was hilarious and wonderful. :)

I love you so much!!! Thank you for your prayers and support!

Sorella Jameson