Wednesday, December 18, 2013

In which Sara wants to be in a Santa race!

Hey!

I have 0 time to email today!

Okay, things to say. I bought India, Abby and Tanner gifts last week, and honestly I wish I had bought them for myself. Coolest little things (for children) EVER! Get excited :) Haha.

Oh, and so this past Sunday, do you know what we did with our ward? We went and sang at an old folks home! It was SO FUN! I loved it. We sang Christmas songs, then after the Christmas songs we sang old Italian songs from the 40s and 60s, to help them remember their good ol' days a bit... and I ADORED all of those little old Italian songs! I can't wait to go home and listen to them all day long! :)

Oh, also, going to church last Sunday morning, do you know what I saw? Basically, at Centro here in Verona there are always races going on (running/bike races), and Sunday morning there was a Christmas race going on. Not just your average christmas race, but ALL OF THE RACES WERE WEARING SANTA CLAUS OUTFITS! Do you know how badly I wish I could have joined in on that race? It was the bombest!

Oh, and dearest family, just so you know, the Christmas package was gotten :) Grazie mille! It was the happiest :)

Oh, also I saw a flaming car the other day! Well, long story made short, a car drove passed us, and as it passed we realized one of the back tires was enflamed! Agh! So, it's driving off, while other cars are honking at it, then it drove off, and we didn't see it. Well, as we proceeded forward, we see the car again! It had pulled over, but this time the whole back of the car was engulfed in flames! Poor guy, that would seriously ruin my day if my car lit on fire :(

Also, dearest Miami friends, does Anziano Fiorentino come home this week? I've heard he does. If he does, can you all please give him a little punch from me - I had NO IDEA he was finishing his misison! He didn't tell me. So, someone punch him for me, thanks :)

Also, the other day we did our Scambio with Sorella Seare and her new daughter, Sorella Reni (aka, my granddaughter). We have a picture. I'll send it next week. But, basically I love them both oodles. Obvs, y'all know I love Sorella Seare, but Sorella Reni is SUPER adorable too! I honestly just love her. And, her dad's straight up, 100% Italian, but they live in Provo, and that's where she's from. Super legit :) Ha.

Oh, also let me just tell you. Remember how I've been super excited to come home? Well, I totally am! I'm so stoked to come home, and see y'all. But, I just went to our Christmas Zone conference, and I almost started crying while we were singing the songs... THAT'S MY LAST CHRISTMAS ZONE CONFERENCE EVER! In my whole life! It made me want to stay in the mission for forever. But, I'll get over it... haha.

Oh, and dear Mike Mulligan, I saw a man at the train station that looked just like you! I almost wanted to go up and stop him, then I realized it wasn't you! Haha.

So, here's two scriptures that I wrote down to tell you about this week, that I don't have time to tell you about :)

Acts 17:29 - so cool!
Alma 29:14-16 - makes me laugh :)

Well, remind me to tell you about the amazing Daniele (the guys whose door we knocked on)! I may have already done that. I probably did. But, he made me SO happy yesterday! I'll tell you later :)

I gotta run!

Vi voglio tanto tanto bene!

SEE YOU next week!

I think I'll call around 6pm our time, I think that works out for us. And, my mission president said Google Hangout is fine.

A presto!
Sorella Willis

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Merry Christmas from your missionary!

Hello tutti! :)

Okay, little things to tell you!

We went to the Arena last week, and looked at a bunch of Nativites from around the World. It was so cute, I loooved it! Also, they were playing Andrea Bocelli Christmas songs the WHOLE time. I was so so happy.Then, today we went to the same Arena and just looked around the arena! It was super cute, I love Italy :)

Also, we put up our Christmas tree in our apartment! I love it, I'll be sure to send y'all a picture :)

Also, do you know how BLESSED I am? God sure does love me. Basically, every Sunday when we're in Relief Society, we're right beside the Priesthood, and we're just separated by those little accordion wall things. And, we get to hear, every Sunday, the men sing their opening hymns. Do you know how much I LOVE that? I LOVE men choirs, and just hearing men sing, without women! It's one of the most beautiful things in the world! And, our men here just sing with such vigor and umph! I looooove it :) Haha, sorry, that's kinda pointless, but it's something that made me happy this week! :)

Well, we were doing strada one morning (walking along the street, talking to people), and we talked to a wonderful, African woman with so so much faith! She had a stroke about 3 months back, and is re-learning how to speak (both Italian and English). She's an amazing woman, we've taught her once, and she's curious about Thomas S. Monson, and we invited her to watch the Christmas devotional online. We're excited to return and see what she thought!

Well, it's all Christmasy here in Italia, here in Verona, and I loooove it! :)

Also, did you know that I'm freaking out lately? Haha, just kidding, I'm not a freak-out-er. But, it's just weird, thinking about the end of my mission. It's like, I don't feel like I'm finished, and I'm not spiritually where I should be... but it's okay, because I'M STILL NOT FINISHED! I still have this transfer, and next transfer. So, obviously I feel like that, cause I still have stuff to do! I just need to not worry about it, and keep focused :)

Also, we made cookies the other day, and after 4 hours they were kinda hard. Then after 24 hours they were SUPER hard! There's gotta be something in the Italian air, and or baking supplies... cause, all of their breads are soft for the first hour, then they ALL get hard! Haha.

Well, today is crazy, we've been running around, I've been buying y'all gifts for when I come home :) Honestly, my favorites are those for the nipotini! Haha :)

Well, today there's not too much to say, I'll go ahead and send y'all the pictures!

Oh, and my mission pres. didn't ever respond about Google Hangout, so I wrote him back and just told him that I'm gonna use it until he tell me otherwise. Haha.

Well, I gotta run!
Vi voglio bene! Pictures to come! :)

Sorella Willis

One time I bought a giant deck of cards. Who's excited for next Thanksgiving? This missionary :)

Christmas tree! Me, Sorella Reichert, Lyman, and Acerson :)

Me at the Arena, here in Verona! :)

At the Arena, again! :)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

In which Sorella Willis becomes Anziano Willis :)

Dear family, and everyone else,
hahaha.... that's so funny to address an email like that... I have no idea who will read this!

Well, I have oodles of little things to tell y'all this week!

Okay, 1: I'm a nonna! Babbo, do you remember that vocab word from a few weeks back? It means grandma! Haha. My daughter (who I trained) - Sorella Seare - is now training! Weird. I'm way old in the mission! Ha,

Also, I want a giant black dog when I get home! I saw the most beautiful dog the other day, it was seriously the biggest dog I've ever seen. It looked more like it was part bear than part worlf. I fell in love with it. I'll find one likeunto it when I come home :)

Also, we were doing comp. study the other day, and I was telling Sorella Lyman that I had just read 3 Nefi 12 (specifically verse 13), and just talking about it, I told her how we all have to "maintain our saltiness". She fell in love with that phrase, and wrote it on her wall. Haha. I thought it was kinda cute after I thought about it. Comp. study is fun, you say things you never would hear if you just studied, and thought alone! :)

Also, fun fact, I've been called "Anziano Willis" at least 4 times this past transfer. It makes me laugh so much! The last time it happened, the elder who said it said, "It's just cause you're just like one of the Anziani, just like one of the guys..." Yeah :) Remember how I love being "one of the guys"? Growing up with 5 brothers does that to a girl! :) Haha.

Also, tender mercy? I heard one of my favorite songs EVER the other day! "The Lords Prayer" by Andrea Boccelli and MoTab. Basically, I've been wanting to listen to that song my whole mission, and I totally could if I wanted to, cause it's MoTab, and great, but I just never had the means of listening to it. Well, we went to our Mackay's house the other day, and on their MoTab playlist this song came on... and it made my heart so full! Tender mercy? Yes :)

Also, do you know how annoying I am these days? I dunno what it is, but I just come home at the end of the day, and I'm just a chatter box! I talk Sorella Lyman's ear off every night! I almost annoy myself, but I just feel like I need to talk, and get everything out of my head! Weird. I've never been a talker. Haha.

Oh! And, where's my Benjamin LeGrand Willis? Question for you! Did you ever serve with an Elder Payne in your Tacoma Washington mission? Basically, I'm serving with an Anziano Payne whose brother served in the Tacoma Washignton mission 10-11 years ago... please tell me you know who he is, that would be so cool! :) Haha.

Also, OHMYWORD, can I tell you how happy I was made the other day? Remember the wonderful man, Antony, who got baptized in Siena over the summer? Remember how he had to move to Napoli? Well, I never knew if he ever found the church in Napoli, so for all I knew he was just down there, maybe inactive... who knows! Well, after talking to an Anziano the other day, he said that Antony is back in Siena, goes to church all the time, and is amazing, and how he wants to get the priesthood! True story, when the anziano told me that my hear literally filled with joy! Missionary work: fills the soul with joy! I've experienced that first hand, mamma mia!

Also, we were doing casa one night, rather unsuccessfully, and as we were going from door to door I was wondering why we were doing it... there had to have been something better to do with our time. Well, it was getting near time to finish, but Sorella Lyman suggested we do one more house. We went, rang a few, and there was one that opened the door for us... they didn't even invite us up, we just heard a little grumble, and they opened the door. Well, we went up, hoping to find the right floor, where we found a cute elderly couple waiting for us at their door! They invited us in, and we were able to teach them a short lesson, and get to know them a little bit better. They're very curious, and are excited about reading the BOM, and coming to church! They say they don't want to change religions, but they are curious to figure out a little bit about our church. Agh! We love them so much, and are so excited to teach them, and we're sure as they read the BOM their hearts will be softened :) They gave us chocolate cake. Adorbs :)

Also, I Sorella Lyman mentioned the song, "Baby It's Cold Outside" the other day, and it basically destroyed me. Remember how that's one of my very favorite Christmas songs?! I love it! Not to mention it has lots of significances, and memories connected to it! Well, first of all, it's basically what I sing to myself everyday when I'm riding my bike, cause hello, it's super cold riding a bike in the winter. Also, "Elf". Need I say more? Also, "Mission: Baby It's Cold outside" when a bunch of us OP kids silly stringed Elder Wolfley and Williams. Basically, that song's great :)

Well, I kinda gotta run, but I love y'all oodles!

Super excited to talk to y'all in a few weeks!

Vi voglio tanto tanto bene!
Sorella Willis

Saturday, November 30, 2013

In which Sara explains her favorite pizza!

Slave a tutti!Aw, you guys sent me a Christmas package! Y'all are so cute! :) Hahaha.

Well, I have a lot of little things to say this week! Nothing crazy, just tons of little things! :) Haha.

Well, first of all, did you know that tomorrow's Thanksgiving?! Happy Thanksgiving! :) :) Have fun camping without me. No worries, I'll be camping with y'all next year! And, it's okay. We had a mini Thanksgiving today! Honestly, this is one of the happiest days of my mission! Just super fun, and relaxing... (I don't know if I've ever had a relaxing p-day, but today was just so good...!). Basically, 3 of our Senior Couples here at Verona (there are 4 couples, but 1 is constantly out of town) made us a Thanksgiving lunch today! And, can I tell you HOW MUCH FUN it was? Basically, we ate the yummiest lunch, with the yummiest stuffing ever! Then afterwards we listened to the piano (Anz. Sanacuore... remember, he's a BOSS at the piano), and just chilled for a sec, then we went and cleaned up everything, then we all sang a couple Christmas songs from the hymn book, then we all took the happiest Thanksgiving Eve Day picture EVER! :) Honestly, I can't explain how happy I am! It was like just being with my brothers again! Just eating Thanksgiving lunch with a bunch of Anziani (2 companionships from Verona 2, and 2 companionship from Verona 1), and some of the greatest senior couples ever! ilovethemallsomuch!

Oh my gosh, do you want to hear the funniest story!? Okay, so there's this awesome super in gamba senior couple called the Savoldi's (they're from Georgia, I love them! Yay for the South!). Well, Sorella Gross and I (during a scambio) went over to visit them for a second, and we got talking a little bit, and they realized that I was from Florida... Jacksonville, specifically. Well, she proceeds to tell me that she has a grandson who just moved to Jax for work! Hahaha! Basically, she wants me to marry him. THEN, fast forward to today, all of the Senior Couples were walking around taking pictures, because, duh, it's the happiest day ever, and we all want to remember it... well, I got my pie, sit down, then Sorella Savoldi says, "Sorella, stand up for a second, let me take a picture of you with your pie!"... so I get the picture taken... then right after she says, "Perfect, that's going to my grandson." HA! Oh my lanta, I about died... so funny.

Other random things to talk about? I love cherry tomatoes SO much. I basically eat them everyday... I just pop them in my mouth. Remember when I was little and I used to hate tomatoes? Yeah, the mission's really changed me! :) Ha. Also, I made an omlet this morning, and I put zucchini in it, on purpose! And it was the yummiest! Do you know how much I love so many foods, now? So much :) Ha. Also, basically I want to learn really really bad how to cook with artichokes... because, I looove them! My favorite pizza? Let me just tell you. Artichokes, olives, red and yellow peppers, and mushrooms (and sometimes zucchini). Yummiest ever? Yes.

Also, basically I bought a pomegranate this past week. Basically it's super yummy. But, as I eat it, I always remember Betty LaFontaine! Haha, I dunno why. I don't know if it happened once, or if it happens every year, but I just had a very vivid memory of her eating a pomegranate while we were camping for Thanksgiving. Just know, I'm thinking of y'all :) Haha.

And, we were hoping Sorella Gross would still be here for Christmas, so that when we do our Christmas skype calls, y'all could call Betty over, and she and Betty could speak Navajo together! ...BUT, that can't happen :( Sorella Gross is getting transferred. And, Sorella Lyman and I are staying together! At least for 3 more weeks... there are 3 sister missionaries who are going home in the middle of this transfer (for school/holidays), so basically it's very likely that I could get transferred... because they are all 3 in Sister Training Leader positions!

Also, during the Sorella Gross scambio, basically, it was death. Hahaha, the scambio was great, and I love Sorella Gross, BUT as the day weaned on, it got colder... and rainier... so basically, we were soaked from head to toe, riding our bikes in 10 degrees celsius, and we're on bikes, so the wind makes it even colder! I may have gotten a little sick the next day. Haha. Then, the other day we were biking, and it was 0 degrees celsius! It's getting so cold! I dunno how I'm gonna do it on the bikes! Because, it gets freezing, because your getting wind blown straight on you, but at the same time, you're exercising, so you eventually get super hot! It's so hard trying to figure out what to wear... coat.. jacket...? How many layers, because I'll just want to take off tons of the layers anyway, after the bike ride! Haha, crazy.

Oh, also, I'm pretty sure I'll get glasses when I get home. I really don't need them, but they would serve me. Example: at Zone Conferences it's kinda hard for me to see what's being displayed by the projector. Or, getting our kebap the other day (ilovekebap!), I could not read the menu... I'm becoming near-sighted... dang it! I need to eat more carrots!

Also, read Mosiah 23:27! I just love it! Alma's so cool! I liked it better in italian, because it says he put himself in the middle of them, and I just had a really cool movie play out in my head, but he's just the greatest! He's just a normal guy, trying to do his best to encourage, and inspire, and help the others to remember the Lord! Wouldn't that be great if we were all like that? If we just lifted up, and encouraged everyone! So happy :) Let's all be like Alma. And Moroni. And Ammon. And all of the prophets!

The work's been kinda slow. We're working on it. We're gonna pick it up! We're still working with our most wonderful Romanian investigator... I love her, and her tiny little family! They're totes gonna get baptized... we hope! :) Best Christmas present EVER! Ha.

Well, I should probably run. I love y'all oodles and oodles! Super excited to talk to y'all for Christmas! And, thanks again for the Christmas package!

Vi voglio un mondo di bene!
Sorella Sara Willis


Happiest Thanksgiving in Italy EVER! :)
Some of the greatest senior couples ever! :)
Sorella Lyman and I found the HAPPIEST yellow-leaved tree!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

In which Sara is in a Christmasy mood :)

Ciao! How are y'all? We're just doing dandy, over here in Verona :)

Babbo, thanks for the emails, glad everything's going super duper :)

Basically, I just listened to Manheimm Steamroller the other day. Yes, I broke my rule of not listening to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving, but in my defence, there's really no Thanksgiving here in Italy, so I have no way to gauge when it's actually Christmas time! Haha. Also, we've been listening to "A Charlie Brown Christmas" soundtrack, a lot. I looooove it! Super adorbs :) Haha.

Well, first of all, remember my mission parents, the Capece's, back in Siena? They finished their mission back in October. Can someone please tell them hello, and I love them and miss them, and hope things are going super great for them back home!? Thanks :)

Also, dear Courtney, remember how one time, for Thanksgiving or Christmas, or something, we tried to make something with Persimmins (I dunno if they're spelled like that... haha)? And, they weren't ripe, and we tried eating them, and they tasted like chalk? Basically, those fruit are ALL over Italy. They're called Kaki :) And, Sorella Mackay (mission parents #2) made a little persimmin pudding/cake for us today. It was delish! You should make it :) (ps, they have to be ripe to the point that they're so squishy, you want to barf, and you think they're going bad... but they're not.) Haha.

Also, dear Lyndzie Frey/NOT Frey, I had a dream the other day that I was taking pregnancy photos of you. Crazy! I can't wait to take pictures of y'all at the Temple one day, okay :) Haha.

Also, basically, we had TWO zone trainings the other day! So, as sister training leaders, we sometimes travel. There aren't sister training leaders in every zone. SO, we were able to go to the Verone Zone Training, and the Bergamo Zone Training! And PRESENT a training (on Adjusting to Missionary Life - this awesome new booklet we have, it's adorbs, and I love it). Remember me, how I'm super shy, and hate being in front of people? Well I'm slightly like that, but not really anymore. Haha. I still kinda get a little nervous right before I get in front of people. but doing all these presentations/trainings is actually really fun :)

Basically, I looove zone meetings! I love just seeing other missionaries, and talking with them! I have so much love for them all, honestly. It makes me so happy seeing a big group of missionaries... just brings a giant smile to my face, seeing a big missionary force. Then I remember I'm a part of that force, and feel super blessed/cool :) Hahaha.

Well, I'm basically out of ALL time today, sorry our time was cut short today, but I love y'all OODLES, and I'll see you soon at Christmas time! :)

Vi voglio bene!
Sorella Willis

PS: Sorry, it's a lame-ly short email! :(

Sometimes I sleep on really tiny beds when we do exchanges :)

Some of my besties! Okay, not really, I love them oodles, but it's whatevs. Haha. Basically, they're all dying/going home at the end of this transfer. Anz. Collins has been in every single one of my zones with me (he's basically been in half of my mission). Then Anz. Sanacuore and Modugno are both Italian, and I got to know them these past 2 trasnfers, and I love them too! Such good people :)
One time I went to the Bergamo Zone Training and found my DAUGHTER! I love her oooooodles! :) Sorella Seare and I :)

Okay, but really, some of my besties! :) Haha. Anziano Howell and Sloan - I love them oodles! They're like little fratellini! :)

Best little District ever :)


Friday, November 15, 2013

In which Sara has some reunions :)

Hey!

So this week hasn't been super crazy.

Oh, first of all, TANTI AUGURI GIACOBBE! :) (Happy Birthday Jacob!) He's the cutest, isn't he? :) Haha.

Also, the other day I bought new boots. Because the zippers were tired, and died on my old boots... BUT, these boots were only €18,00! And they're the cutest brown you ever did see, AND they have a tiny little heel! And my shoes "clack" whenever I walk now! Do you know how much I've missed hearing that clacking sound? Remember how I had never worn flats until my mission, and how much I love high heels? Yeah, I'm content with these boots :) Haha.

Also, silly/random question. How do you know what kind of toothbrush you're supposed to use? Basically, my old toothbrush was a SUPER hard bristled one. And, I just opened up a new toothbrush the other day and it was the softest bristles I have ever brushed my teeth with! How in the world can I figure out which type of bristles works best with my teeth/gums? I dunno if these soft bristles are what my little mouth needs!

Also, on a different note, MOM, remember how you and Chiara Gori are best friends, and y'all talk on facebook? Can you please tell her I said hi, and I love them, and could you tell her that I tried to write them a couple months back, but I don't think it sent, seeing as how I never got a response (maybe I got the email address written wrong?). Grazie :)

Also, basically we did the greatest little exchange the other day, where we exchanged with Sorella Smart and Sorella SEARE! Yeah, remember my daughter, Sorella Seare? She's near our zone, and we're her Sister Training Leaders! So good :) But, I went with Sorella Smart, who is insanely amazing! I honestly honestly love her like a little sister, she's the sweetest person ever! :)

Also, crazy miracle story? Okay. Sorella Lyman's mom served a mission in Italy about 30 years ago. She also happened to serve here in Verona! So, she basically gave us a bunch of referrals the other day, and we've been trying to go around and find them, but we've had little success. Well, she gave us the name of this one person, and her address, but no phone number. So, we just had to go with the hopes of finding SOMEONE there. Well, we went, we rang her citofono, and she asked who was there, and we said, "Siamo le sorella missioanrie dalla Chiesa di Gesù Cristo... oppure, la chiesa Mormone..?", to which she replied, "Avanti, terzo piano!" (which is like, "come on in, 3rd floor!") She's super cute, and we were able to teach a great lesson with her! Her husband died a little while ago, and her little family is so so important for her. Che miracolo! It was insane! We were on cloud 9.

Well, that's about it for now. Sorry, it's kinda short this week. Courtney mentioned something to me about instead of Skype this year, doing a Google Chat thing... we should plan that soon, so that when Christmas comes around we missionaries won't be scrambling around.

Sorry, I feel like this is a lame email, but I'm out of time!

Vi voglio bene!
Sorella Willis

Sorella Smart and I - I just love her soo so much! :)

Elder and Sister Teixeira and I :)

Friday, November 8, 2013

In which Sara gets interviewed by a General Authority!

Whoa! Okay, Tanner is a giant! He's a toddler, he's not even a baby anymore! Remember when I left, and he was 1 MONTH old? Yeah. Me too.

Basically, how are y'all doing? Things are doing super good here at Verona! Lots and lots of little miracles!

Let see, first of all, we had a Zone Conference yesterday! So good! Anziano Teixeira, of the Seventy, came and talked to us! The bomb? Yes :) Afterwards I guess he interviewed the missionaries serving in the Verona city (because that's where we had the Conference), and guess what? I'm serving here! So, before I knew it, I was being pulled into an office for an interview with Anziano Teixeira! Basically, it was super fun. He's the greatest! He's just full of the spirit, and the love of God, he just made me feel so GOOD! He talked to me about my family (I talk about y'all ALL the time, btdubs), and he asked me what I'm doing after the mission, seeing as how I'm finishing soon. I told him all of my "maybes", and I mentioned accounting, and babbo, how you're a CPA, and he said that's a great course to take, and that he's also a CPA :) Haha. Then he asked me if I had any questions, because it's not everyday that you get interviewed by a General Authority... and I didn't! I had 0 questions! I was pulled in for the interview last second, so I had no idea I was being interviewed until that moment, and I had 0 questions in mind! So sad. Then, he told me to thank my parents, especially (you guys have been doubly thanked this past few weeks! People just love you two!), and to tell you two he says hello :)

Oh, also, can someone send me some Adam and Morganne wedding pictures? I've only seen the cell phone fotos y'all took the day of, but the photographer has to have finished with the fotos by now, SO I'd love to see the professional ones! Not all, just a couple! :)

Also, miracles from the last few days? Okay.

1. Go to teach our less active and her family (whose husband is not a member). He typically leaves the house, or goes to another room when the missionaries come over, BUT this day, HE grabbed a chair, and brought it in the room to be with us, and no one told him to do it! Then during the lesson, he just asked a bunch of questions about our church, and everything! It was super wonderful :) I could see, he was more open to listening, he had a light about him this time :)

2. We went to pass by a potential who didn't seem super interested when we talked to her on the street (didn't give us her number or anything)... well, when we met her, she was pregnant, and when we passed by (a few weeks after the fact) she had had her baby, and she was so much different! We had a great lesson, got 2 new investigators (her and her husband), and they both said that in the past they weren't super believing, but now that they have a little baby they believe much much more! Che perfetto! :)

3. Go to teach our other less actives - we set up the appointment, but they were running late. Well, we sat and talked to/taught their son (SO good, he has so many questions about religion and life... he's 15!), and uncle (he's exactly where Joseph Smith was - seeing all the confusion in religion these days...)! It was amazing! The family came home too late, we had to leave to catch our bus, BUT they invited us back over immediately! They were sad we couldn't stay, they said, "Come back again, whenever you want!".

Aren't miracles the best? :) Well, I'll leave it there, I guess. Try to send y'all some pictures :)

Happy belated Halloween! I totally forgot to say that last week - whoops! Haha! Can you belive Thanksgiving is coming up? Basically, transfers are on Thanksgiving! But, Sorella Lyman and I think we're staying together for 2 transfers. We'll see! :)

Well, vi voglio un mondo, e un eternità, di bene! :)
Sorella Willis




(I dunno if I ever sent this one) Sorella Gomez and I on top of Verona! I've been on top of every single one of my cities so far :)

Sometimes we wrap up our members like mummies for Halloween :)

Sorella Lyman and I by Juliet's balcony! :)

I'm on a bike. And I'm in Italy. And I'm a missionary. Che divertente, no?! :)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

In which Sara says "also" a lot ;)

So, this week has been pretty goood! :)

Well, our work is going pretty slow, but we're doing a lot more personal finding/contacting. It's so good, I love talking to people on the street, and knocking on doors. Some missionaries hate it, but it's one of my favorite things about missionary work! Just getting the word out! :) Ha.

Okay, lets see. First things first, someone tell Jher-bear (aka Jheremy Barber) that I say hello, and give him a little hug from me! I haven't heard much about him lately.

Also, do you remember Emily, my favorite Emily from Siena (/from England)? Well, she made me a little book! I took a picture with it. It's basically my favorite thing ever. I'll send y'all a picture (hopefully. I'm the worst at sending pictures lately, sorry!) It basically made me the happiest person ever :)

Also, we had Stake Conference the other day, and they thanked all of the missionaries, and then they told us, all of the missionaries, to thank our parents! Without your support/without you creating us, we wouldn't be here! And, I'm pretty sure 6% of people actually transmit these things when people are like, "Tell ..[so and so]... we said thanks." So, I wanted to be the 6% that transmits the message (I just made up that statistic by the way). My Stake here in Verona is super thankful for y'all, you cute genitori, you :)

Next, accidental verse find! Don't you love those? So, basically I wanted to find a good verse about the scriptures, and I read a reference and was trying to go to 2 Nefi 32:3-5, but instead I flipped to, and read 2 Nefi 33:3-5, and verse 4 ended up being PERFECT for what I needed! That verse had never stuck out to me before, but it was so good! Just the things that scripture study does for us, how it blesses us... so good :)

Also, the other day, we had correlazione, and an Anziano (Anziano Howell) started whistling a song... and then I died of happiness! He was whistling "Goin' Courtin'" from "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers"! And then the next day all of the songs from that film were stuck in my head. Whoops! Haha.

Also, oh man, can you guess what? Let me tell you! So, we had Stake Conference this weekend... and do you know who came?! ENZO! Basically he's a member from COLLEGNO! He came because his girlfriend, who just got back from her mission, was asked to give a short testimony. It was SO good to have a little Collegno reminder! :) :) Super awesome!

Also also, babbo, basically since you know everyone in Florida, if you ever happen to meet a Susana De Ruvo tell me! I met her niece in the MTC. Her niece is from Bergamo (where we go to do scambi as STLs), and basically we could have a million connections if we just knew each other! Hahaha. I have no idea where in Florida she lives, but an Anziano told me she lives in Florida. Keep your eye out! :)

Also, I was reading in the BOM the other day... 2 Nefi 29 - SUCH a good BOLD chapter! I love it :) Basically, I read verse 9 and I love it oodles. "Poichè la mia opera non è ancora finita." Did you know that God said that? Not just Joseph Smith, or some man... God said his work is not finished! It needs to move forward! And it is! And we're (ALL - not just missionaries) moving it forward! How cool? I just loved that verse. I literally did a little fist pump when I read it.

Well, that's pretty much it. Yesterday was a super awesome day. Basically all of our plans, as soon as we walked out of the door, were thwarted... by the weather. I got soaked twice yesterday, and had to change clothes 3 times (the third time being the best... throwing together random shirts/skirts/shoes of a member). Hopefully I'll send pictures :) haha.

Well, Luke's in the MTC now. I'm super excited for him! I can't believe we're 3 out on missions right now! How crazy! So fun :)

Well, I'm gonna run, but I love y'all oodles, and one day I'll catch up on emailing everyone... sorry! Haha.

Vi voglio tanto bene!
Sorella Willis

PS: Basically, I can't email pictures today... it's not working for some reason. Would you hate me if one day I just emailed home pictures and didn't hardly write anything? Hahaha, I'm so behind on sending pictures, it would take a long time to send a bunch of them!

The book Emily made me. I love her oodles!

ENZO (from Collegno!) - both Sorella Lyman and I served in Collegno, so we both love him :)

Twinners :)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

In which Sara gets a new companion!


Ciao y'all,
so this week hasn't been crazy busy, BUT let me just let you know what's going on :)
First of all, I LOVED the picutres of Luke's Eagle Scout Court of Honor! How adorable! So cute, my little brothers are :)

So, last week Sorella Gomez went home - so sad/weird! I "killed" one of my companions! It was weird seeing a mission come to an end... it made me realize that MISSIONS COME TO AN END! Ma che!? Well, my new companion is Sorella Lyman. She's 1 transfer behind me (I knew her for a little bit in the MTC), and she's adorable, I just love her :) She's from North Carlina (East Coast!), and SHE WORKED AT DISNEY WORLD! Did we just become super good friends? Yes, yes indeed. Ha. We're super similar in a lot of ways.

The work has been going pretty slowly, lately. This last transfer, but specifically this past week, it's been particularly slow... but, we're gonna pick it up! We're super excited :) We're working with the Anziani in our ward to try to contact ALL of the less-actives (at least, the ones who are contactable).

Well, here's a little study bit - so, I'm studying Matt, Mark, Luke, John, and 3 Nefi, and I'm studying all the questions that Christ asked, and thinking more about the questions that I ask, in lezioni, and whatnot. So, I was reading the other day, and I'm in Luke right now, and I read Luke 7:40,

"40 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on."
Jesus said, "I have something to say unto you." And Simon was 100% willing to listen, ready for whatever the Lord wanted to tell him. As I read that I thought of just how WILLING he was to listen to the Lord, whatever he said. How often does the Lord say to us, "Sara, I have somewhat to say unto thee.", and Sara saith, "Okay... give me 10 minutes, then I'll be ready to listen..." Sometimes the Lord is ready, is TRYING to tell us something, but we put it off, thinking that we'll be able to listen when the time is good for us. But, truth is, the Lord's time is the right time. When he wants to speak to us in a certain moment, he want so speak to us in that moment! Not in 10 minutes! In 10 minutes that opportunity may very well be lost! We should learn from Simon, and say, "Master, say on.", ready and willing to actively listen!
Anyway, that's just a little tidbit from my studies.

On a completely pointless note, since I've moved to Verona I've developed this habit where I have to shine my spoons before I use them. I dunno why I'm just noticing it here, but there's always water build-up on the spoons, so I must shine them EVERY time before I use one. Also, dad do you know what widgets are? Now, I do too! :) Ha, we talked about them in a meeting. The missions just prepping me for my studies post-mission life! Hahaha.

Also, lets see, um, ADAM BRANSON LIVES IN ITALY! That's so crazy! I don't know if I could see him on the mission... I'd want to give him the giantest hug! Hahaha. Wow, that's so crazy!

Also, I didn't know Heather Moss was going on a mission! Gah, so many changes! I'm so out of the loop! Hahaha. Heather, congrats on the call! Isn't he Temple great? :)

I can't belive Luke's heading out soon! I tell everyone about my little baby siblings serving missions. Do you know how much I love telling people about my family? "Yeah, he served a mission in... and she served in... and she's currently serving in.... and my parents both served in..." For reals, y'all are the cutest family in the world! Everyone loves you guys :) Hahaha. Also, whenever I show people a picture of my family, they always ask... "Which ones are your parents?" You guys are just too young looking! :) Haha.

Well, I'm gonna go ahead and end this here, so that I can EMAIL y'all some pictures! Finally!

Vi voglio tanto - anzi, troppo bene! :)
Sorella Sara Willis


One time, about 4 weeks ago, my skirt got stuck in my bike. Agh!
 
Biking in the rain. Super fun! :)

Just cute little Italy :)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Catching up on Sara's pictures!

Sienna:


Luigi. We buy cheese from him every week. I love him!

Gianni (Johnny)! He's my other best friend. We buy Kabap from him all the time. He's from Turkey. Speaks a Language called Zaza. Awesome, no? Haha :)

Saying goodbye to the Gori's! Mamma mia, che sad! :(

Chiara's basically my sister, and I love her to Death :)
 
Good bye Siena, my best friends Lorena and Redi! (they're married. So cute, no?) :)

Haircut!
 
Sorella Baird and I - cookie monster! (at the end of the transfer thing. It's terrible/delicious)


Verona:


Sorella Gomez and I making our piñata! :)
 
Our piñata!

Our Anziani's piñata!

Me in front of a happy colosseum

Eduart's baptism!

In which Sara ships off her companion back home!

Email: 10/16/2013

Dear EVERYBODY,

I will try to write you ALL back next week. But, seeing as how today is Sorella Gomez's last day (pretty much) we're cutting our email short today, so that she can get everything done that she needs. She's great, I love her, I'm so sad she's leaving, but she's was such a good example for me of how to finish my mission strong, and to just LOVE everyone! Honestly, one of the greatest things I've learned from her is to LOVE! She is full of love for everyone. Sometimes I'm too much the Martha and not the Mary, but I'm working on balancing that out :)

Let's see what I can tell you all in just a few minutes.

Well, it's FALL here! I love it so so so so so so so so much. Do you know how much I would just love to take pictures of everything? I would. But I don't. But, I can't wait to eventually get married/take engagement pictures in the fall! Hahahah (because I control when that happens, of course... ha).

Well, lets see... the Dema family is the cutest, still. We had a little goodbye thing for Sorella Gomez last night with the Dema family and some members, and we played a game called Animali (animals) - funnest game ever! It's basically like "Fatty fatty" and "Big Booty", except with animals! Each person is an animal and has to have a sound and a gesture of the animal... and if someone messes up, people move a seat, and you take their animal... it gets SO confusing, and so so fun! :) We'll play when I get home :)

Also, I really want to cut my hair these days. A lot. A little more than a trim (maybe 1-2 inches off), and my bangs have grown out into the rest of my hair, so I might get those trimmed up a little bit shorter! But, I'm just torn with who I need to go to. There are zillions of sister missionaries who know how to cut hair, who went to hair school and whatnot, BUT last week in the Pronto Soccorso (not emergency room, but likeunto it...? Anyway...) we were there for 9 hours (long story, I'm completely fine, it was Sorella Gomez, who likewise is completely fine) and we met the cutest little family, and THEY HAVE A HAIR SALON! I dunno if that's a sign or a temptation... but I'm debating on going to them... I just dunno if a) they would do a crazy job, and b) if it would be expensive. We'll see.

Also, I was talking to Sorella Acerson (we live with another companionship, like y'all know) and I just love her so much! She's just so GOOD! And, we were talking about life and school and everything, and she may or may not have confirmed my want to study Accounting. Okay... she did not confirm it, but she made me want to do it more! Ha, but I'm still undecided. She said she wants to be a CPA (just like you dad! Aw :) haha), and just talking with her was super fun. We did a scambio the other day together, and it was soo good! We taught a bunch of lessons, and she's such a good example for me - even if she's younger than me in life AND in mission life, she's so good, and such a good example! Super driven and in gamba (...like, on the ball).

Also, do you know how much I want to study Isaiah when I get home? So MUCH! Apparently there's a class you can take a BYU on Isaiah, and I just want to take it oodles! I'm reading the BOM again, and I'm noticing EVERYWHERE where it makes reference to him and his writings, and how much they studied the words of Isaiah to understand even MORE the mysteries of God. Funny right? Isaiah clearning up stuff? I cant't wait :) Hahaha.

Also, we went to the Lake the other day (just to look, of course). It was so great! I may have felt a little too much at home (just FINALLY seeing a big body of water again), and... I may have gotten home sick for 5 minutes. But don't worry, it passed :) Ha.

Well, I gotta finish up. I'm still not finished saying everything that I wanted to, but NEXT WEEK I will FOR SURE update y'all on everything, and send so so many pictures! Sorry, I haven't sent hardly any this transfer! Whoops!

Oh! So, my new companion will be Sorella Lyman! I don't know her super super well, but she was in the MTC with me (the group behind me), so I'm super excited to work with her :)

Vi voglio bene! Thanks for all the emails and updates about everything and everyone!
Sorella Willis

In which Sara plays catch up!



Email: 10/2/2013


So, our p-day has been crazy today! I dunno if I'll have time to write today, or even read all the emails, but we'll try to make up the time another day maybe (we're getting back from a scambio, and we're just running around like crazy lately!)
So, I'll hopefully be able to read the emails sometime this week, and respond.
But if not, know that I love y'all oodles and oodles! :)

Vi voglio un mondo di bene!
Sorella Willis


Email: 10/9/2013

Hello family!

Well, wasn't conference just wonderful?! It was fun. I listened half and half Italian and English. The first one italian, the second English, then on Sunday the first English, and the last one Italian. It was so good, and there were pros and cons for listening to each! As I listened to English I was able to understand perfectly, but I heard a lot of the WORDS, whereas when I listened in Italian, I did sometimes get tired-er than usual, but also I don't listen to the WORDS all the way, and I listen to the stories, the message, and as I hear not beatifully phrased phrases, but the message I'm able to listen to the SPIRIT more, and listen to what I need to pull from the message. It was super cool.

Well, crazy little points I wanted to talk to y'all about.

First, probably strange question - does Tanner know who I am? I was just wondering the other day, I left when he was just 1 month old, and when I come back, will he even know who I am? I hope y'all occasionally show him a picture of me! Ha.

Also, mamma mia, this is a very important question... seeing as how I finish my mission in a few transfers... WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO BRING YOU FROM ITALY? I know that's a very vague question, so I've divided up the categories for you to choose from - a) something practical you'll use (and if yes, in what sense? Clothes? Kitchen stuff?) b) something timeless (some kind of table piece, or thing to sit on the mantle, or c) some fun souvenir type thing. DITEMI PURE! (let me know!)

Also, sometimes when we're late getting home, when we have to call our zone leaders, they make us sing a primary song... and we sang I'm so glad when daddy comes home in italian. It was the funnest! I loved it! I can't wait to sing primary songs in Italian all day when I come home! Hahaha.

Sorry, this is going to be a crazy random email.

Also, Sam Buhler I just got your letter a week or so ago! So, I'm writing you back as quickly as I can! I looooooved getting your letter! It made me so happy

Also, I have a little cold right now. But, physically I feel fine.

Also, did you know that I loved crepes with pear jam? It's basically the yummiest, and I could eat it every morning of my life! I may just do that when I get home

Basically, I have a lot to write about, but I have no time. I'm SO sorry! Honestly, I just wish I had time to write y'all, but these days have been (and will continue to be) super crazy... next week will be just as crazy, if not crazier, because Sorella Gomez is going home next week!

So, I'll hopefully be able to find time to write a good email and send PICTURES soon!

Sorry, my emails are terrible these days!

Vi voglio un sacco di bene!
Let me know what you all thought of Conference!

Sorella Willis

In which Sara meets one of the 3 Nephites! ;)

Email: 9/25/2013

I love all the different people I meet, and all the cultures I get to know! I just love Italy so so much :)

So, first things first. I ALMOST DIED. Haha, not really, but kinda really. Ha :) So, we were riding our bikes to church on sunday... and, I chose to wear long skirt... well, other long skirts work fine on bikes, but the one that I chose that day... is not a bike skirt! Ha. So, basically, I was just riding, my skirt got caught in the wheel of the bike, within 0.5 seconds... it happened SO fast! And, my bike just stopped INSTANTLY. It came to a complete halt. Sorella Gomez was ahead of me, and she didn't even hear me yell "Sorella", but she said she did hear a loud "CLUNK". (my skirt just blocking the bike). Well, as we were riding we were passing and being passed by this little old man the whole time, and when my skirt got stuck, he was behind us at the time. And, let me just tell you, it all happened so fast! So this little adorable old man rides up behind me and says, "Do you need a hand?", and honestly I had no idea, because it had happened 2 seconds before, so I didn't know if I could pull my skirt out or not... but he just started helping, anyway. Turns out, I couldn't pull me skirt out, and he couldn't either! It was SO stuck, it never would have been able to come out... It was wrapped like 7 times around the wheel... and I couldn't rip it either! Luckily, the amazing old man had tools on the back of his bike, so he pulls apart my bike, takes the wheel off, pulls me skirt out, then puts my bike back together! We ask him what we can do to thank him, and he says (along the lines of) "We're here to serve and help each other...", and rides off on his bike. Sorella Gomez and I stood in shock after that, just of everything, and how quickly everything went. Honestly, it's like what i imagine a car accident to be like... haha, but less traumatic. I got stuck, there was a little old man/angel to the rescue, he fixed everything, then he was gone in an instant. He was very much so an angel the Lord put in our path. We're also convinced he was one of the 3 nephites :)

Honestly, I feel like my story telling ability doesn't describe what happened. It was amazing. I love that little old man :)

But, in other news... I just love it here in Verona... with Sorella Gomez. It's sad, I've never "killed" a companion before (she finishes her mission at the end of this transfer), and it's sad knowing that she's leaving, and I WILL begetting a new companion. It's not sad, I love all the other Sorelle, but it's just sad knowing she won't be my companion anymore. She's the best :) But, do you know how fun it is to read the BOM in Italian? Or, in another language, in general? There's so much I'm learning from the BOM just because I get to read it in another language, and the way things are worded I had never noticed certain things before... but now, the simplest phrase that I've read 60x in english has a new meaning to me! I love it! :)

Oh, also, so we were on the train the ohter day coming home from a scambio, and there were these 2 little older ladies sitting kind of accross from us... so, eventually we started talking to them... and they were both from North Carolilna (Charolotte)! I loved them instantly, because we heard them talking, and they had Southern accents :) Haha. But, one of them, after talking to her for a bit, said she lived in Florida for a while - Jacksonville, even! I think she said her husband is from Jax. How wonderufl! I just loooove them :) Then, when we got off the train, they just gave us the happiest hug and kiss... I felt like I was in the south again :)
Oh, and remember how my last district we had 3 missionaries from FL (including myself)? Well, coming out here to Verona, my district leader is from Florida! His name is Anziano Reeve. He might be from West Palm Beach? I dunno, I might have made that up off the top of my head! He told me where, but I forgot... haha. Whoops! I love the amount of missionaries we have from FL in this mission :) I know of at least (including myself) SIX :) How happy :)

Oh, and we had the greatest lesson the other day with a lady named Marina. Honestly, she's the cutest person in the world. She wants to come to church with her husband, and she wants to see a baptism, too! Keep her in your prayers? Grazie :)

Also, we went to see one of our less actives in the hosptal/home the other day, and she said something that I just loved. We were talking about faith, and she said, "My strength is my faith." How wonderful is that? Some people think physically, their strength is the muscles, and their body. Others may think their strength is knowdledge, and how much they know. But for this member her strength was her FAITH. Which is more powerful and which is stronger than ALL other things that we could put our "strength" in. What a good example, eh? :)

Well, I'm gonna try to send some fotos! :)
Vi voglio bene! :)

Sorella Willis

In which Sara calls dad stupid in Italian ;)

Email: 9/18/2013

Babbo! Thanks for the little email, then the giant email!

True story, you know how they only say Babbo in Tuscany? Yeah. Only in Tuscany. I need to learn to say "Papa" more. Haha. One of our ZL's is Italian, and he's form Sicily, and down South "Babbo" means "stupid"... dang it. So, basically, I can only use "Babbo" in Tuscany! Which is a bummer, because it's become a real habit to use! Hahaha.

Well, let's see. Fun fact: I've been the 4th Sister Missionary in every single city that I've served in! (Collegno was opened by Sorella Eaton and Laratro, then Eaton with another whose name escapes me, then Eaton with me! Siena was opened with Sorella Soh and Nilson, then Nilson and Bush, then Bush and me! Verona 2 was opened with Sorella Bush and Gomez, then Gomez and Beus, then Gomez and me!). Now, what does this mean about me...? Ha. I'll figure it out later.

Oh, dad, I met that Anziano Stewart that you were telling me about! He said his brother does live in Jacksonville! Crazy! Small, tiny little world!

Also, Verona is amazing! First of all, it's an adorable beautiful place, I love it! Second, the members are AMAZING! So so amazing. I can't even explain. They're adorabs. We're working with one of the most beautiful families who are getting baptized soon (the dad THIS SATURDAY, and the mom and daughter within 2 weeks)... they're so amazing. It reminds me of the Gori situation. How the Gori's were this amazing family, member referral, about to get baptized, and I get transferred in, and take the blessings of some other missionary. Obviously, it's all one work, it's not like it's MY baptism, and whatnot, but just that there are other people who deserve to see these moments, and I just feel bad being plopped right into blessings... ha, is that weird? I just got here. I need to WORK more for blessings like these. Honestly, I already love this little family so much. I hope to be as good of a missionary as those who were before me who worked with them (because, they were some pretty great missionaries who worked with them!). They have a little 6 year old son, who is my best friend, I love him to death! His name's Adam. We ate some pizza with them a couple days ago, after a lesson of course, and I was sitting by their daughter Michela, and Adam says, "Mom, I want to sit beside HER!" pointing to me. It made me so so happy :) There was not primary/nursery at Siena, and at Collegno it was pretty small, but here in Verona it's pretty big! Well, big for what I'm used to! And, I love it, having all these little kids running around church! So fun. Sunday there was a baptism of an 8 year old boy. His parents are from Peru. And, all of their non-member family came! It was wonderful! I talked to a bunch of them! Courtney, the nonno (grandpa) spoke at the baptism... and after we got to talking, he told me that he was from Texas! He's been living there for about 10-13 years! I dunno if he lived in any area where you served or not... he named off where he was from, and it sounded kinda familiar, but I wasn't sure if you had served there or not. I also don't remember what the city was called, or his name... haha, whoops! But, I can maybe find out his name on Sunday... haha. Sorry, I know that's a super big help.

Oh, remember my best friend Anziano from Sicily (just kidding, we're not really best friends, he's actually a super quiet person)? Well, he kills me. He plays the piano. Like a boss. Like, way better than me! He plays these beautiful little classical songs, and things like "Mi mancherai" or from "Cinema Paradiso"... and I can sometimes just sit and listen to him play for forever! Fun fact? He's only been playing the piano for about 3 years! Mamma mia, he kills me. Well, it's never to late to try something new! Haha.

Hm. The actual work work (street contacting, casa, etc.) I'm not super familiar with here at Verona, yet. We haven't done a lot of it. But, I love Verona so much, already!

Oh yeah, I'm on a bike! Finally! Neither at Siena or Collegno did I have a bike. Now that I'm over a year in my mission, I get to experience the soreness that comes from being on a bike! It's fun, I'm not even that sore anymore. Sorella Gomez said she was pretty sore for 2 weeks. I'm pretty fine now. Meno male.

Also, we're living in 4! I haven't had to live in 4 (2 sets of sister missionaries) in my whole mission, until now, either. But, with so many new sisters, a lot of people are living in 4 now. So, it's just all new experiences for me now! Living in 4, being on bikes, being a Sister Training Leader... no getting comfy for me! Ha.

Well, I'll send you some pictures from leaving Siena and hello to Verona (okay... there's only one hello to Verona). You know how my companion is Sorella Gomez now? I just love her so much. She's probably the cutest person in the world. Our ward is going to have a little Mexican FHE this monday to celebrate the Mexican independance day, and guess what we're doing..? MAKING A Pinata! I' excited. So when I come home from my misison to Italy, I'll be able to show you all how to make a pinata! :) Haha.

Well, now I should run. But, I love y'all oodles!
Vi voglio so much bene!
Sorella Willis



In response to reading about Luke's new mission call:

Holy cannoli, how amazing! Luke's going to Argentina! That's so so so so so wonderful! :) And, 5 weeks? My word, that's fast! I remember I had 5 MONTHS to prepare! Haha. Crazy. I'm so excited for him :) Is he super excited/stoked? Better yet, LUKE EMAIL ME, and tell me how you're feeling/thinking/everything! :) So good :)

Well, just to inform y'all on what's going on over here lately. This week has been insane. We have been running around like crazy. We were getting ready for a baptism, then we had Ward Conference, then we had a FHE for the ward that we were in charge of (just for that night).

Let's start with the baptism. It was SO good! It's the most adorable family in the world, Eduart (he's Albanian!) was baptized. He has the cutest wife (Ilenia) and the two cutest kids in the world (Michela and Adam). The baptism was great, a lot of both of their families came (grandparents, brothers and sisters and what not). It was soo good! :) I'll send pictures! :)

Then, we had our FHE on Monday! So... because sorella Gomez is Mexican, she happened to know when the Mexican Independance day is... it was this past Sunday and Monday! So, we did a Mexican Fiesta for FHE! It was so much fun, we were making our pinata for weeks! And, it came out wonderfully (we made a yellow M&M - pictures to follow!). Also, the anziani in our ward made one (we have 2 sets of anziani in our ward), and our ward mission leader made one (although his kinda died, so it's really funny looking, I love it). It was super super fun! We made guacamole and piccos de gallos (?), and the anziani made Orchatta (Ben, have you ever had that? It made me think of him as soon as I tasted it. It's like rice pudding, but in liquid form. It was delish!) And, Sorella Gomez taught us the song you sing when you have a turn hitting the pinata (did you know there was a song? I didn't know! Haha). If I remember correctly, it goes like this,
"Dale, dale, dale, no pierdas el tino. Porque si lo pierdas, pierda el camino. Ya le diste una, ya le diste dos, ya le diste tres, y tu tiempo se acabo!" I dunno if I misspelled any of that, but I love the little song! Haha :)
And, one of our investigators (who I had not met until that night) CAME! Because, a member invited her! Oh mamma, missionary work goes so much better when it's done with the members! We gave her a church tour afterwards, and she really enjoyed it. When we showed her the baptismal font, she was really interested! She loved it. We told her there would be a baptism soon (of a little boy), and she said she'd love to come! :) It was wonderful :)
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Other random fact, one of the sorelle who we live with, Sorella Gross, is an adorabel red-head convert, who grew up on the reservation, and speaks Navajoo! She's cute :)

Well, if I want to send pictures, I should probably finish up.
Vi voglio bene!

Have Luke, and Jacob, and Ben, and EVERYONE email me! :)
Vi voglio tanto bene!

Sorella Willis

In which Sara gets transferred - to VERONA!

Email: 9/4/2013

 Hi, funny story. Babbo, I went to type your email in the "To:" section, and I typically write "ray..." and it pulls up your email, but for some reason I initially started typing "babbo..." today... and nothing came up! Weird. Hahahaha.

Anyway, crazy story this time. Remember how there are transfers this week? Yeah. I'm getting transferred. Sad. To where? To Verona! Awesome. I have no idea what Verona's like. Super excited :) My companion is going to be Sorella Gomez. She's adrobs, and I already know her and love her. She's from Mexico. You want to hear the craziest part? Oh mamma, it's the craziest. Well, I'm going to be her companion, and be a Sister Training Leader with her. What?! Do you know what that is? Let me explain. It's basically a Zone Leader for sister missionaries. AGH! Is that a joke? I am NOT ready to be a sister ZL! Ha. I had this crazy feeling this past transfer that I would be called to be a STL super soon, maybe this transfer, maybe the next... I knew it was coming, but I just didn't realize it would be THIS COMING TRANSFER! Mamma mia. So, basically I go around, and do scambi (trade-offs?) with the sisters in my zone, teach and train them (Say what? I have this problem where I'm totally humble enough to learn from others, cause I KNOW I can learn so much from Others, then I forget all the time that I have things to offer, things that Others can learn from me! Whoops), and we do teach trainings at Zone Conferences, too (if I'm not mistaken... that's the major part of what we do). So, I'm kinda not super worried, cause obviously whom the Lord calls, He qualifies, but still... the fact that I don't think I have a lot to offer is my wishy-washy spot right now. But, I'll get over that and learn quickly, eh!? :) Ha. When we got the call about transfers from President on Monday, we were doing Language study. Allora, after we got off the call, I went back to my langauge study... I was reading the LDM, and I was in Ether 12... hello, perfect, no? So, I read verses 27-29. Tender mercy, reading those verses! Then also, verse 38: "And now I, [Sorella Willis], bid farewell unto the [Senesi(? Siena people)], yea, and also unto my brethren [& sisteren] whom I love, until we shall meet..." Dai, che perfetto, how these verses applied to me in that very moment!

I've said goodbye to a couple people. I'll send you pictures. I'll say goodbye to a couple more. Honestly, I just love this little city so much. We went to see the Gori's last nigh. I might have cried a little bit. Hahaha.
Also, I'm having a problem packing all of my stuff into my luggage... I might by myself another suitcase... maybe not, I'm not sure. But, I was just trying to fit everything today... and, it just wasn't working. Hahaha. Whoops!

Siena's great. I love it, I'll miss it oodles, but I'm excited to get out to Verona, and see work I need to do there! :)

I'll send pictures.
Fun, story, on Monday we taught all people from Africa! All of the lessons were in English. I love African's, they're so funy to talk to. They're so passionate about what they believe! Sometimes it's hard teaching in English, then trying to switch back to Italian. Haha. Hopefully in Verona I'll have ALL Italian ALL the time! That would help me better my Language :)

OH! BABBO! I had a "the holy ghost descended upon Him in the form of a grapefruit" moment! I've been wanting to have a moment like that my Whole mission. Basically, I was talking about muffins, and explaining to a member the type of muffins Sorella Capece had made... and they were brown sugar. Allora, in Italian brown sugar is "zucchero di canna". What I ended up saying was "zucchero di cane"... aka, "dog sugar". Ha! I might have died. It was hilarious.

Also, I have a best friend in Mexico named Consuelo. She's the greatest! She met our member in an airport, and she recognized she spoke spanish, so they helped each other out. Then they kept talking, and became super awesome great friends, then our member invited her to Church... and she came! And, she came about 4 weeks in a row (until she had to leave). Did you know she had to wake up at 5am on Sundays to come to Church (with the bus systems, and everything). I love her oodles. She headed back to Mexico this week. We gave her a BOM, and taught her a little bit about it. She said she is going to find the Church in Mexico, and start going, and take her mom... and, she knows exactly where it is, too! She said she Always saw the Church sign, but never learned anything about the Church. AGH. What wonderful people. Seriously, I've just been blessed to meet the most Amazing people!

Well, I'm gonna finish up, and send y'all some pictures. Next week will be crazy! Babbo, I still dunno if I'm gonna buy another bag of luggage or not... so, just be on the lookout for that.
Well, I'm gonna run.

Vi voglio un mondo di bene!

Sorella Willis

Thursday, August 29, 2013

In which Sara becomes a train jumper! ;)

Babbo! First of all, thanks for all the pictures! Tanners adorbs, and obviously India and Abby are still adorable - I have the most adorable nieces and nephew ever, no? Sì. Hahah.

Well, this week hasn't been too crazy. Oh, silly thought, though. Remmeber me? I don't really get tired during the day. At all. Doesn't matter what time I wake up or go to bed. During the day I'm fine until I go to sleep for the night. Well, you know how they say missions make you tired? Well, it's true. It's now wearing on me, and I'm now tired all the time! Haha, no just kidding, not all the time. But, good golly, a lot of the time I am just pooped!

So, what's been going on with y'all lately? Any Luke update? Haha, I love the story of Uncle Darren - so good!

And, that's so crazy! So, I may or may not know who you're talking about - Stewarts family. So, I met a Sorella Stewarts in the MTC (she was a transfer behind me), and we've seen each other during the mission a little bit, too! I know she has a Brother in an Italian speaking mission, but I forget if it was Rome or Milan, because I've never seen him. That's crazy! Did they just move there? They're permanantly moved to Jax? That's crazy, so Sorella Stewart and I will return home to the same ward in OP2? My mind is slightly boggled! I hope I see her soon, and talk to her Abou it :)

So, last p-day was fun. We went to Firenze and saw the Davide - I might have send you a picture of the Davide that I've seen, maybe 5 transfers back - well, that was a copy (I was unaware of this). Last p-day, we went and saw the original! So, I've never really been crazy into art, sculpture like things, but I was very impressed by it. Funny story? We almost missed our train, going to Firenze, so we jumped on, without stamping our ticket (you have to stamp it, to validate the time and date you use it), with the hopes of finding a worker before the train ride got too long, to tell him we didn't have time to stamp it. Well, 30 minutes pass, and he doesn't show up. And, if he does show up, and we haven't stamped, we have to pay €50 fine. Well, luckily we were able to get off at the next stop, run out of the train and stamp the ticket, and run back onto the train before it took off again. Shortly after we did that, the man came around and checked our ticket. Tender mercy? Yes! Hahaha, it was so crazy. Super fun :)

We've had a lot of good lezioni this week. Nothing crazy out of the blue happened. We were able to explain why "the Sabbath" is now Sunday instead of Saturday, how it used to be in the past. First time I've had to do that!

We also taught some great lezioni on Sunday. One specifically with Chaira. You know, Chiara Gori? I just love her to bits and pieces! She's seriously one of the greatest people in the Whole wide world! Gah.
Also, we had a scambio (trade-off?) Yesterday with Sorella Padula and Mancuso (my old comp., Sorella Mancuso!)! I was with Sorella Padula, for the 3rd time for a scambio. I just love her so so much. You know, Sorella Padula from Argentina? Yeah, she's great. She finishes her mission next week. Che sad! And, I was her very last scambio, ever. Mamma mia, che privilegio! I look up to her oodles, she's one of the greatest sister missionaries in the world. She wrote Elisabeth a little note in Spanish, that I'll hopefully send out soon :) Haha.

Also, remember the greatest person, Barbara from China? We just taught her this morning for the last time, ever (probably)! She's moving to Milano. So, unless either of us get transferred to Milano, that would be the last time. Ha, but who knows!

Anziano Capece said something the other day in district meeting that I loved. "Volere è potere." Che true! I need to live by that.

Oh, PS, I'm getting my haircut today! Hahah, not a lot, just a trim. The great Bianka is doing it :) (I've seen her cut Sorella Bush's hair, so I just know she's gonna do a great job) :)

Well, I gotta run. Sorry, there's nothing really of importance or significance in this email. But, pictures are coming! Haha.

Vi voglio bene!
Sorella Willis

In the train - our un-stamped ticket - whoops!

What I eat almost every night! Tomato and mozzarella ball, sliced up, salt, pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar - delish! I could just eat that for the rest of my life :) I'm sure you've been dying for this picture, no? Haha.

My wonderful district!

Me and Lina, English class student! She won't be here next week (which I'm pretty sure will be my last day in Siena), so we took got a happy little foto together :)

Barbara, Sorella Baird and I, this morning! Our last time teaching her, and seeing her :( She's the greatest, I just love her so so much!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

In which Sara gets to teach in Spanish! :)

Hi.

Life is great lately. First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY YESTERDAY, BEN WILLIS (p-day was supposed to be Yesterday, so I thought to be able to say auguri on his actual birthday, but we had to change p-day, so I'm late!)! Also, Happy Birthday Jess Willis soon, also! Happy August birthdays! What a great month, for my little family :)

Congrats to Sarah Moss! Panama City? Didn't Tyler Curtis serve there? Or, am I way off? Hahaha. I don't remember. Courtney's headed out to England... and she's going to meet my favorite, Emily! You know, the famous Emily I Always mention in my emails? They're gonna meet and become best friends! I'm so excited to hear about this! Yeah, I just realized that the other day... all of the Willis girls will be out of the house! Weird!

Ha, glad you got that picture/text! There's Always such nice, wonderful visitors from the states, on Sunday. They all say, "Let me take a picture of you, and send it to your parents!" It's cute, I love it :)

Well, things to say, lately. Have you read/heard the talk from the Priesthood session "Your Sacred Duty to Minister" by Elder David C. Beck? I fell in love with that talk! It was Amazing! Not only for the Priesthood, but everyone should read it! (maybe because I read it in the mindset of a missionary? ...but still, everyone read it!)

Also, so you know how much I love Italy/Italian? I love it. Oodles! But, lately, my love for the Spanish Language and South America has been creeping back in! Maybe it's because of Elisabeth's emails, maybe it's because there are a lot of South American's here in Italy, that we talk to... sometimes Sorella Baird and I will read the pamphlets (about the Restoration or the Plan of Salvation) in Spanish... at the beginning it was terrible, and I didn't remember how to pronounce anything in Spanish! But, now, we've actually done it a few times (just joking around), and I think I've almost got my Spanish accent back! I read a tiny bit to our Columbian member, Enrique, the other day, and he didn't correct me, or anything... he just said, "Wow, you read good in Spansih!". That made me happy :) I really really want to learn Spanish when I get home! And, I think it'll be a lot easier, now that I have 1 latin based Language.

Also, someone give Mike Mulligan and Corrine a hug for me! I thought about them the other day, and how they were the last people to see me, the night of my farewell... how, they came over after everyone had left. And, I just love them, and wanted that they know I said Hi :)

Also, if you ALL could keep Fabio in your prayers. So, he's the most amazing person I've ever met, we've already taught him everything, and he's started obeying all of the commandments already - he's Amazing!) He decided he needed to resolve some personal issues, before he saw us again/made it back to church... we told him to keep reading the BOM and praying, and he responded by saying he definitely not quit reading the BOM, because it helps him too much, and it strengthens him. Agh! He's so Amazing. So, if y'all could you keep this mister Fabio in your prayers? Grazie mille.

But, we did have an AMAZING activity as a Ramo (branch) out at the park, last weekend. It was so fun. And, it was also kinda zoo-like! There were monkeys, a bear, an ostrich (I dunno how you spell that), a buffalo, and other things. It was great. We were able to have some good lessons while we were there. I played some hardcore frisbee for a while, with some members... out in the sun. I got a teeny bit red. Haha. And, by the end of the day I was SORE! Playing frisbee, I was jumping around, bending, using a lot of muscles that I really honestly haven't used in a while! Haha. But, it was oodles of fun. You know the great Bianka and Lorena? Well, Lorena's husband is my new best friend (he doesn't know, though!) Haha. He's the funnest, he reminds me of my brothers! He's just super sarcastic. Like, SUPER sarcastic. I love it.
Well, Siena missionary work is still going magically! I can't believe, I've seen the lowest numbers out of my Whole mission here at Siena, and the highest numbers on my mission here! It's Amazing. A city, and it's reputation mean nothing. The people, and the work that goes on, the effort that's put forth in that city is all that matters. Siena is magical! I love it! :) Hopefully transfers don't come...! Haha, just kidding. They'll come, and it'll be at the right time.

Well, vi voglio un sacco di bene! We're headed to Firenze today to look around the town a bit, and all the historical things, so dad there might be some transactions made on my card, for travel and whatnot. (Ps, I have withdrawn some money here and there these past little whiles, and haven't told you. Whoops!)

Vi voglio bene, ciao!

Sorella Willis





Willis chocoalte! No, I didn't eat any. ...yet.

 
A little bright, but still good! :)


So, this little statue thing is all over the place in a city called Poggibonsi. Lovely, no? :)


Poggibonsi!