Thursday, April 25, 2013

In which Sara gets kicked out of an apartment!

Hello hello!

Okay, so we couldn't do p-day yesterday, because we had lessons! :) So, we're doing p-day today!
Thanks for the emails, sounds like everyone's doing great! :)

Sol, I got the package a couple days ago! Thanks so much, I loove it (the shirt, and the cds, and the letters, and everything)! Also, so I've never known ice cream (gelato) to have a smell... but, here in Italy, it does. And you walk past, and want to eat it. It's great. Haha.

Also, we saw one of our less actives the other day (who I love! She just works a lot), and she told us, "You girls are so great, you're parents must be so proud." I sure dunno what she's talking about, but I figured I'd pass it along to y'all, you great parents, you :)

Also, y'all NEED to go listen to my favorite talk in the world! I dunno if/where you can find it, because it was a BYU devotional, I think, but it's called "Will You?" by V. Dallas Merrell. It's my favorite! I've listened to it 3 times in these past 2 transfers :)

Also, so let me just tell you, funny thing that happened these past few days. We were doing a blitz here a Siena, with the Sorelle from Firenze, and I was with Sorella Bucco again (love her!), and this guy driving by did some strange cat call (don't worry, doesn't happen a lot. Ha), and we just kept walking, then we heard a giant "boom!"... and he had slammed into the car in front of him! Ha. Sorella Bucco said, "That's what you get when you mess with the Lord's missionaries." Haha.
Also, someone tell Britany Stephens/Anderson to tell Andre I said hi :) Or, anyone just tell Andre Meyers I said hi :)

And, let me just tell you the crazy wonderful miracle that happened this week!

We were doing casa one evening, and we knocked a door, and a girl answered. We talked for a bit, but her dog kept trying to escape, so she said, "Come over to the window" and we talked there for a bit. Her and a friend were studying, then they eventually said "Do y'all want to come inside, instead of just standing at the window?" So we got in, got to know them a little bit, then another guy from another room walked in and joined us, then another friend drove up to the window, and he eventually came in. So, these are all college students, living together (1 girl, 3 guys), and we were able to teach all of them the Restoration! You could tell the spirit was definitely there, and they were all really interested in the Book of Mormon. It's interesting, they all have different needs and we need to teach them separately, but they all seemed really interested. And, they wanted us to come back! But, they're all going down south for an Italian holiday, so we set up a day at the beginning of May! They're awesome, and I'm so excited to teach them! I HOPE I don't get transferred! I would be so sad, I would love to teach them :) I love them, we instantly became really good friends.

Then, we went to see a family last night who likes to travel a lot, and has actually been to Utah, and seen the SLC temple! They were the nicest family in the world, I love them! But, they're just that. Super super nice. I dunno how interested they are in learning. But, we'll see! :)

So, this week was just not super crazy. Work is really really slow. It's hard. But, we keep doing it! :)
Basketball was SO much fun last week! I wish I could do it every week! But, my companion isn't big into basketball, so we gotta even things out, and take turns. Haha.

We also got kicked out of an apartment the other day. But, it's okay, because just before that we talked to some people, and got a phone number! :) Yeah!

Well, this week was kinda slow. Transfers are next week! I'll let you know what's happening! It's crazy, because there are 17 new sister missionaries coming in next transfer! That's a TON! So, we have no idea what's going to happen.

So, this weeks email is kinda scatter-brained, but I'm just scatter brained lately.
Well, I gotta go.
Vi voglio bene! Ciao!

Sorella Willis

Me and Siena! I loooooove Siena!

Me and Sorella Bucco and Siena!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

In which Sara translates in a meeting! :D

Hello hello hello!

Basically, I have no time today! We're gonna go have lunch with some of my favorite people in the world (Bianka and Lorena!), then we're gonna go play basketball! Can I tell you how excited I am?! SO excited! I haven't played a sport since the MTC! Ah, I can't wait. And to make it even better, it's basically spring time here! As in, we walked around all day the other day, and I came  home a little pink. YES! I can't wait for summer time, and to get some color again :) Haha. So, we have to make it to the bus stop pretty soon, so I don't have too much time. But, hey, thanks for the emails!

Okay, okay... this week. Well, Sorella Seare and I want to plan a little Western Activity for our branch. We don't know if/how it will turn out, but we're hoping and planning! So, anyone who has ever thrown things like that together, thoughts/advice please! (Like, Hootenanny style!) But, remember... I'm in Italy. Where I have no idea where to find a cowboy hat or bandana. Haha.

Also, Sorella Seare and I were just talking the other day, and a thought came to me. We were talking about promised blessings, then I had a thought: that with every blessings comes a trial, no? (and vice versa) So, if with every blessing we have a trial, and we have promised blessings, then we must also have promised trials! Which, strangely enough, does not worry/scare/bother me in the least. Because, we know that we were not sent to this earth to fail. We were sent to succeed. Chirst has done everything for us so that we can succeed, and everything leads us/points us/helps us to succeed (except for all the natural man-ness going on around us). So, basically, all of these promised trials (that we WILL have) we can overcome. Because, we weren't sent to fail. It actually kinda makes me happy to think about it. "Yeah, I'm gonna have a trial. And I'm gonna overcome it." Haha. Overly confident? No, no, no. Faith! Trust! Ha :) So, that was a happy little thought I had the other day :)

Oh, and here's a little crazy bit! So, the coppia Capece (our Sr. couple) their daughter and her family came to visit this week. And, they asked their daughter and her family to give talks. Aka, they wrote them in English... and had to be translated! It was a daughter, son, then the husband and wife who gave talks. Luckily, there's a guy in our ward who speaks a good bit of English. So, he translated the guys talks, and I translated the girls talks! AH! It went pretty well. Hopefully. Haha. I didn't see these talks until I walked up to the podium to translate as they spoke. And, it wasn't super easy. Because things are phrased differently in Italian, so there were a couple points of awkward silence, where I had to work it all our in my mind before translating, but it happen! But, a lot of it was pretty easy. Just a couple parts were really rough. I translated! It was insane! Haha. At the end, I didn't feel super great about how I translated (just the one little part where I had gotten stuck, killed me!), then after wards I talked to some members, and especially Sandro (the new convert who baptized his daughter) is one of the greatest people in the world! He made me feel so good! We were talking, and he said something along the lines of "I understood everything, you did a great job.", and I kinda was like, "Well, I'm glad/hope you understood most of it", to which he responds, "Everything. I understood it all, it was wonderful." Ah! I kinda feel like he's just being the wonderful dad that he is, and making me feel better, but still, he's a wonderful dad, and did make me feel better :) Haha. And other people told me I did a great job, too. I LOOOOVE this branch here at Siena. They're amazing! Oh, and a funny bit. So, I was ready the talk in English and translating it into Italian. Then, when I went home to do some studies later on, I picked up an english BOM (that I've been trying to finish since Oct! I'm almost done!), and started reading... and I started instantly translating in my mind to Italian! Haha, I was just used to doing that that morning (reading the talk and translating) that my mind continued to do that throughout the day! Haha.

Also, so yeah, we walked around ALL day the other day! Well, first of all, they are going to start having sisters in leadership in the missions now (like a ZL, but a sister), so one of the sisters at Firenze had to go to that meeting, and her companion couldn't go... so, she came to be a trio with us for a day! And that was fun - Sorella Bucco, I loove her! (PS: crazy thought, she is friends with one of my roommates from the MTC! Small, small world). So, we picked her up, then the next day we had to take my compaion to the Questura (legal papers/fingerprints/etc.) and we had to go to two different ones. So, we found the first one easy, no problem. Then they tell us to go to this second one, and they tell us it's beside the Duomo, and there's an address on the paper. Okay, so we walk towards the Dumo. Nothing. We asked someone, and he looked at the address and tells us it's a ways away. The address is the street where we live on. So, we walk all the way out (a good 45 min. walk) back to the street we live on, then we start looking for this building. Well, this adorable little old man stops us and says, "No, the library is that way.", I guess thinking we were students. Then we told him/showed him where we needed to, and he was befuddled (isn't befuddled a word? Do you spell it that way? Who knows!) too! He basically walked the whole street with us, trying to help us find it. Super sweet. He's an ex-police officer. Then, after talking with him for a little bit, he said he had met with the guy missionaries before! Ah! Awesome! He wasn't super interested to meet up again, but we gave him our number :) Then we headed all the way back to the duomo, and asked a few more people, and eventually found the second questura! Yeah! So, we walked a lot a lot that day (more than it seems) - okay, from 8am-1pm. Non-stop. I was fine, I love walking, but my companion sometimes has leg problems? They hurt her, sometimes. And her hip. Agh. Then, after this long fun day of walking we went to take Sorella Bucco back home to Firenze, and then to do a Blitz the next day! (We work in Firenze with them) It was super fun! I was with Sorella Bucco, and Sorella Seare was with the wonderful Sorella Santoro (Italian. Boss. I love her! Haha) And, we had a pretty rough morning. Then, we had an appointment that night that the Anz. at Firenze were going to give to the Sorella - they found these people, but they live in the Sorelle's area, so they were gonna teach them, and have us there in the lesson to get to know them/pass them off. But, turns out, things fell through with the Anz. (their member couldn't come, so they couldn't even enter the house without a man), so they came to the door with us introduced us, and left, and we taught the lesson! PS, all this we figured out like 15 minutes before the lesson! Haha. We hadn't planned on teaching that lesson! But, it went really well! They're an adorable family from Peru (the man wasn't home, though. That's why the Anz. couldn't stay). It was crazy, but really really fun :) I looove Sorella Bucco. We had a good bit of fun together :) 

And, that's basically it! No, I have't gotten the package yet, but I assume I'll get it tomorrow (we have a zone training, and they bring the mail). Thanks for whatever it is! Haha :) 

Well, for not having a lot of time, I sure wrote oodles today! Dad, thanks so much for answering my questions! Dearest everyone else, I am out of time, but I'll respond next week! :)

Love y'all oodles and oodles! Vi voglio bene!

Sorella Willis 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Happy birthday Sara!!!! :)

Hellooo everyone!

No, I have't gotten the birthday package yet, but if you send it to Milano, I'll get it by next weekend. So, no worries! :)

How's everything going? Good? Good. :) Well, some random thoughts for this week. We went and explored a castle last p-day, and it was cool. They had some super old pistols hanging up, and they explained them a little bit. Then we talked about how maybe some of the first pistols in the world were made in Pistoia, Italy (a city pretty close to Siena - Anziani in our district are out at Pistoia), and that's maybe how pistols got their name. Cool huh?

Also, basically, I've never EVER noticed this before, but apparently I mumble? Or I've started too? Or, maybe it's just I talk too fast, and slur words together (ps, I mean when I speak in english). Haha. A lot/maybe all of my companions have to ask me to repeat things, sometimes... a lot of the time. I thought it was weird, cause I've never been told that I mumble! Just that I speak fast. But, people understood me when I spoke fast, anyway. But, nope. Weird. We'll see if I speak more clearly when I come home :) Hahaha.

Also, Sunday was full of miracles. One of the biggest, that we have been struggling, trying to figure out how teach our investigator, whose from China - because we can understand each other well enough (he speaks a bit of Italian and English, well), but there are still some times where we don't understand each other. Well, just before the Priesthood session of General Conference started, a young man walked in the door. After talking, and getting to know him, his name is Chihuwee, from China, member of 3 years, baptized in Ukraine and will be in Siena for a while, studying Italian (and he speaks English really well)! Che miracolo! Also, one of our excomunicated members (long story, but he's still a good guy) sent an SMS to Anz. Capece at the end of Conference, saying that he found his testimony again. What?! Awesome :)

Also, so as a missionary, yes you notice your zillions of weaknesses, but you also notice your strengths, cause each companion points them out, and they're always the same! Ha. So, my first few comps have all told me that I'm super patient, and calm, put together, kind, loving, etc. But then lately, my last two comps have pointed out that I have no physical disabilites - overall, that I'm never hungry and never tired. I'm never starving, but I'm always up for eating. And, I'm just not tired (thanks, dad, for those genes!). But, as long as I'm up, working, on my feet, I could go all day. It's just funny that both of my last couple comps have pointed that out. Hahaha.

Also, lately I make vegetable soup, with vegetables I used to hate (zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, onions, etc.)... on purpose! It's funny, my tastebuds are gonna be so different :)

Oh, also, so my comp. now, Sorella Seare, studies the music - specifically the violin. So, the other day at our Zone Conference, we did a musical number! I played the piano and she played the violin. It was super nice :) We played "Nearer My God To Thee".

Oh... Ashley Kay Sant (if she doens't read these, someone get her attention for me) - you have/had a relative serve in Italy, yes? I feel like you told me that one time. Well, there's a lady in my ward who has a bunch of nametags of old missionaries (she's great, I love her), and she has an Anziano Sant... relative of yours?! If you do have a family member who served here, ask him if he knows Santina (or just, Tina)! Hahaha :)

Also, so Chiara Gori (the greatest NC ever!) just called me... to wish me a happy birthday, on behalf of her family (adorbs) and on behlaf of MOM. Haha. Apparently, they're bffs on facebook! Haha, so thanks mom, and y'all just keep being best friends with Chiara, and the Gori's - they're the best! :)

Also, General Conference. Oh man, the best, right!? Talks that are my favorite: I loved Elder Bednar's talk about Chastity - BOOM. SO good! Elder L. Whitney Clayton's talk... I had never wanted to be/get married more in my whole life. Man! But, then I was reassured that I needed to be on my mission. Then, I went into Conference with the question "What can I do to become a better misisonary, and to contiue to  become a better person throughout my whole life, even after the mission..?" Answered? Yes. I heard a lot, a lot about l'obbedienza! Obedience! So simple! SO important! It also made me think of my Patriarchal Blessing, things it says there to me. Basically, confrerence is wonderful. Everyone be obedient! Rules/laws/COVENANTS/commandments! All of it! It only will make you happier :)

Well, that's about it. Y'all are the greatest! I'll let you know how our lesson with Roberta goes - we met her, and talked to her for a bit, but she had other things to do, but she asked if she could see us again before we even did anything. Ah, yeah! I have great feelings/lots of hope for this woman! Keep her in your prayers, everyone! And also, just missionary work in Siena as a whole... and in the mission, as a whole.

Okay, I'm out. Love y'all!
Vi volgio bene!

Sorella Willis 

Me and Sorella Seare!

My zone!
One of my favorite people, Emily! :)

Our district!

The greatest district leader, who made cinnamon rolls for my birthday! :)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Happy General Conference Weekend! :)

Well, hello!

This week has not been the craziest of weeks. But, as always, great! :) Easter Sunday we had lunch with the coppia Capece, and it was delish! And then, before we were about to leave, Sorella Capece put something in front of me... OREOS! I had mentioned to them how much I used to love oreos back home... how they're basically my favorite cookie (next to a soft, chocolate chip, of course), and you can find oreos at maybe 1 supermercato here... and they go shopping there, sometimes. So, they bought me some! They're the greatest! :) I loooove them!

Also, lets see, there was an American in church on Sunday! Actually, there were a lot! (Pres. Wolfgramm and his family were in Siena for Easter, also another couple from the states, and then this other guy who I am about to talk about). Basically, his name's Michael. From Washington (or D.C. - I don't remember), and he studied opera? So he sang some awesome song during sacrament meeting. Speaks Italian like a boss. But, didn't serve a mission here (served in Scottland), but this kid still speaks Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, French... I may have made up a couple of those, but basically a zillion latin-based languages... and he didn't even serve a mission in any of those places! What talent, right? Maybe when I get off my mission I'll be able to pick up languages like that... :) Haha.

Also, we've gotten a zillion potentials this week. We'll see how they all turn out! :)
Also also, sometimes I forget that there's life after the mission... as in, "You mean I won't wake up at 6:30, and go to bed by 10:30 every day for the rest of my life...? Che cosa?" It's weird, that missions eventually end. But then I remember that I have my "Il Volo" cd waiting for me at home, and everything's just great :) Hahaha.

Soo... here's a miracle for this week! So, last week we stumbled upon this older couple during casa (Addriana e Vinicio), they were very nice, they let us in, and we started talking to them for a little bit. We found out that their daughter had given them a BOM some years ago (the daughter isn't LDS, but she went to the USA a while back, and she came back to Italy with a BOM, which she gave to her parents). Well, the older couple wasn't super excited to learn about the gospel, so we didn't get a return appointment, but they said we could come back whenever we wanted to stop by. Well, we decided to stop by the other day, and they were more than happy to see us. Then they said they had talked to their daughter, about how they had met us, and then they told us that the daughter wants to meet us (figlia: Roberta - good name, right dad? Haha)! They called her up right then and there (she lives close by), but she was already winding down for the day, in her PJs, but we set up a day to come back, and meet with all 3 of them! I don't know exactly what kind of contact their daughter had with the church/how she got a BOM, but we are crazy excited to meet with all of them! :) How awesome?

Also, who's excited for General Conference coming up!? Oh man, I can't wait! The only bummer is, here in Italy we can't ever watch the 4th session (it plays here about 10pm). We could always go back and watch it, and we can always read about it, but we don't watch it live. Oofa. But, it's whatevs. Haha :)

Also, we saw our member Luca again, the other day! He's a boss, he's becoming one of my favorite people here! He's super sarcastic sometimes - talking about il Piano di Salvezza, and how we all chose to come here, to which he responds, "No I didn't choose to come here, I was tricked. Someone told me, "Hey look down there!", then they pushed me..." Haha.

Well, there's really not a ton to talk about for this week. We're going to an old castle, that's supposedly haunted today with the coppia Capece! I'l be sure to get pictures of that :)

Also, Sorella Seare and I are very unhealthy eaters. Hahaha, not really, we're pretty good. But, sugar/chocolate... bad idea. Easter, we got a chocolate pie type thing (delish), oreos, and chocolate eggs... all of which are already gone! Haha. Whoops!

And, well, I can't think of much more. Sorry, this is super short this week.

Oh! We knocked the door of this awesome Australian girl, and taught her! It was funny, at first she said where she was from, but I heard Austria, so we just kept speaking Italian. Then halfway through, she mentioned something about English, and we realized she was Australian! Haha. So, we spoke in and out of Italian/English. She's awesome, we haven't been able to go back and see her yet, but we hope to soon!

And, I'm just super excited for this weekend - Zone Training! I looove trainings, meetings, all of it! You just learn oodles. Well, y'all are great. Watch the last session of Conference thinking of me... haha.

Thanks for the updates dad, and always for the little pictures of Tanner-man. Take zillions of pictures at Adam's wedding! Punch Elisabeth for already being pretty fluent in the Spanish language, for me... I would love to be 100% fluent! Ah, it kills me that I don't speak Italian perfectly. Oh well. Most Italians don't either. Hahaha.

Oh, hey, dad, remember how this month is the greatest month of the year? April birthdays are where it's at :) Haha.
Vi voglio bene!

Sorella Willis

So, in the MTC there were 10 of us who came to Milan. And, 5 of us are training this transfer! I loooove these people! :) Sorella Hoppe, me, then Anz. Dowling, Klemm and Day.