Friday, June 21, 2013

In which Sara continues to see many miracles! :)

That's cool that Jacob's almost a little fireman, and is saving people. That just seems perfect for him (to me) :) 
Hahaha, don't you even apologize about raising me as y'all did... I love it! I love the fact that I grew up learning how to camp, shoot guns, work outside, and hold my own around a bunch of guys! :) Seriously, I could not have grown up doing girly things... just not possible. Haha.

Please, please, please take too many pictures at Adam and Morganne's wedding! The official photographer won't have the pictures ready for at least a little while (editing, picking and choosing, etc.), so get whatever phone pictures you can, and send them to me! :) Ha.

Mom is so cute. The fact that she did that for Steph is adorable :)

Thanks for all the info on everything! Y'all are the GREATEST little family in the whole wide world! :)
So, number 1 (I'm the worst daughter ever, sorry that I missed this last week): HAPPY BELATED FATHERS DAY, Babbo! Seriously, you're the greatest dad in the whole wide world, and I love you oodles. No one in the world measure's up! Keep being great, you! :)

Also, I love transfers. It's just fun, seeing everyone :) I saw my favorite Sorella Hoppe (we're both training, again! We've had just about the exact same mission experience so far, same time and everything). I love her. We've decided we're gonna serve together. She's so much fun :)

Oh, so I haven't even told you! Haha, whoops! So, my new companion (daugherr #2) is Sorella Danica Baird! From Utah :) (she broke my no comp. from Utah streak!) I'll be sure to send a picture. She's awesome :) We saw about 478329x little miracles the other day, thanks to her (I'm 100% certain it's because she's magical, and has the greeny fire. The same thing happened the first week I had Sorella Seare). Our second day here at Siena, we had a ton of little miracles! We ran into a man who we had taught before, and he told us to call him this week. We met a man who had met with the missionaries before, and we had a lesson with him. We called a referral from a lady we met in the park, and he had met with the missionaries before, and we have an appointment with him and his FAMILY tonight! And, we met a wonderful lady who was looking for hope, and she was very interested when we talked to her about the BOM and how it can bring hope. Lots of little miracles that will lead to even bigger miracles! And, not to mention there's a man from Ghana (Antony), who we're teaching, who can't wait to get baptized! (after we invited him to baptism, and explained to him what it was, and now that's all he talks about; how he can't wait to get baptized, and make this change in his life. There are a couple things we have to work out before he's baptized, but he's such a little miracle, he's amazing!) 

So, the work's picking up a lot here at Siena, lately! Finally! It has it's slow days (...weeks/transfers), but it looks like it's picking up again!

Also, we had... 30+ visitors in church on sunday! Hahaha. Here in Siena, a tourist city, and now that it's the summer time, we're gonna have a lot of visitors coming in and out. We had 5 different families this past Sunday. It was so fun. That was the MOST packed I've ever seen our little chapel :) ...looks like we're gonna be doing a lot of translating this transfer! Ha. (I alreayd had to translate a talk in sacrament, and the youth class this past Sunday... Agh!) It's fun, though. Almost. I'm getting to the point (hopefully) where I can translate pretty well. I don't do word for word (it's rough. Because, italians phrase things differently), but I can translate the ideas pretty well.

Well, Italy's been super hot lately! The heat just came in immediatelly! I am not going to wear a cardigan/sweater/anything così for the next 5 months! We're going to the market today, and I'm gonna buy a bunch of short sleeved shirts, and some sandals! :) Yay! I'm SO excited, y'all have no idea :) Haha.

Well, I gotta go. Love y'all! Vi voglio troppo bene!

Sorella Willis

Me and Sorella Baird! :)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

In which Sara doesn't get transfered, and is training AGAIN!

Okay, I have little time! I wrote back everyone else today, so I'm gonna try and cram as much as I can in this email!

Number one, we got transfer calls! I'm STAYING in Siena (for a 4th transfer - wow!), and Sorella Seare is leaving and going to Mestre. And, I am TRAINING again! Mamma mia, I have no idea why, there's so many things I could have done better while training Sorella Seare... well, I guess I get another chance at this to do better! Haha.
Also, there's an Anziano who loves my handshakes. He says I shake hands like an Elder. I think that's a good thing. Haha.

Also, would you like to know one of my new favorite scriptures? 2 Timothy 1:7 - go read it! :)
Also, Adam and Morganne, I got y'alls wedding announcement! So cute! Y'all are adorbs :) Take zillions of pictures at this here wedding!

Also, so we did our blitz the other day, and Sorella Padulla (one of the greatest Sorelle EVER) told me she was praying the other day, specifically for me, and she told me she felt prompted to tell me a) the Lord is proud of me. b) I have a purity and a goodness about me, that can pierce people to the heart, if I'll let it. That that is one of my gifts. That just made me 100x happy! Because, I know I'm not the greatest. I'm not the smartest, I don't know the gospel upside down and backwards, I don't speak Italian like an Italian, I'm not a great public speaker/speaker in general... (PS, I carry "I Am Willis" in my scriptures, and this made me think of that)... but, I've been told all my life I'm good, sweet, kind, and pure... that's what I am good at. It's a gift I have. It was so great hearing that, after doing a blitz, and realizing how much you don't quite do 100% right. Oh mamma. So, I just wanted to tell y'all that. I dunno why :)

Also, you know what's frustrating? I didn't hear much about the new Pope when he was new... but now that he's a bit more well know... everyone loves me! Dang it. It's harder to talk to people, cause they're like, "Nope, the Catholic church is great, have you seen the new Pope? He's the best!" I'm sure he's a great man, he just doesn't have the authority. Agh. I'll just have to try to tell them all that. Ha.

Also, oh buddy, can I tell you a miracle? One of my favorite less actives does not like a certain part of the gospel - it just doesn't rub her well. Well, we taught it to her the other day. We were all crying at one point or another. Then she texted us another day and said that we had done the best job of all the missionaries who had ever taught her that... she said it's one thing to know things intelectually, it's another to have the heart know it. Agh! I love her oodles.

Um, I'm out of time, I'll send pictures next week, and I'll write oodles more next week (with my new comp/greenie/daughter! Haha).

Vi voglio tanto bene!
Sorella Willis

PS: Papaveri (poppies) are my new favorite flowers. They're all over Tuscany in the spring - apparently it's Tuscany's flower :)

Friday, June 7, 2013

In which Sara has an American Western party! :)


Can I explain my happiness right now? No, not at all! Emails from the family, Kelsey Ross, Taylor Parker, and some of my very favorite people down in Miami?! Honestly, I was laughing, grinning from ear to ear, and just utterly over-joyed! Thanks so much for the emails this week, y'all! :) So so so much! :)

Okay! Well, there's lots of pictures to send to y'all this week! I'll try to get all that done... haha. Lets see - HAPPY BIRTHDAY HYRUM KALEB WILLIS, last Wednesday! :) My little "babe" is growing up! Weird, weird.
Wanna hear something interesting? Remember when I couldn't teach or pray in English? (just cause I've been doing it in Italian for so long, I have to translate things from Italian to English)... well, that's passed! Haha. We taught a less active on Sunday (who I love!), who's from Nigeria, and so we taught her in English. And it was so fun! (PS: I don't speak Italian like an Italian, or anything - anzi, I still speak Italian like an American, but certain things that I do only in Italian [i.e. pray, teach, etc.] it's just habit to speak in Italian. Ha)

Well, if you would like to hear some miracles, let me just tell you!

So, we had dropped this one lady we were teaching a couple months back - she wasn't making much progress. Well, we may or may not have seen her on the street the other day walking (we're not sure, because she said she doesn't remember seeing us, and we weren't sure if it was her), but ever since we thought we had seen her we had thought we should go see her. We stopped by a couple times, and she wasn't home. Well, we had a day where all of our plans fell through... we had only taught 1 lesson, and we were doing casa. Then before we went up to a door, I just stopped, and told Sorella Seare we should call this lady, and try to see her that night (mind you, we only had about 1-2 hours left in the day). So, we called her. She answered! She said we could stop by that night! We came, we taught, the lesson went wonderfully (she likes to talk A LOT, and sometimes our lessons get out of control with her, and they just go all directions), but we said before we went to teach her we would take control, we would tell her we couldn't only be there for 1 hour, and we would teach what we went to teach. Well, the lesson actually went REALLY well, the spirit was really strong, then at the end she prayed! ...and, after she finished the prayer she started crying! We let her cry/compose herself a little bit, then after a bit she said, "è  tornato." (like, "He came back."), as in SHE COULD FEEL THE HOLY GHOST/HEAVENLY FATHER'S PRESENCE IN HER LIFE AGAIN! Hello, miracle!? Holy cannoli. She told us thanks. She said she would come to church the next day, and she did! And it was testimony meeting, and she was just crying throughout that whole meeting, too! It was just the greatest! We set a baptismal date with her, so keep her in your prayers!

Also, on a very unimportant note, the other day it rained... a lot. It was a giant rain/thunder storm. And, I loved it SO MUCH! I miss the rain. And, especially the thunder. I just loved hearing it, for some reason... I'm strange, I guess. Haha. 

Also, we did a surprise second (techinically third) Blitz this transfer! With the Sorelle from Firenze, again (Sorella Forbes and Padulla). They're the most amazing Sorelle I've ever met, I adore them! Sorella Forbes is a good friend of Kaycie Foster - and she (Forbes) finishes this transfer! I'm so sad! I look up to her oodles. And, Sorella Padulla is the sweetest, most boss-like ARGENTINE missionary in the world (yes, she's from Argentina)! I loove her! :) 

We had some crazy happy miracles from working with them the other day... as in, a lesson in the park, getting a return appointment, and setting a baptismal date... all in the first visit! Like I said, these Sorelle are amazing!
Well, that's about it for miracles! Our Western activity was really really fun! A bunch of our investigators that we invited didn't come, but we had 6 non-members there (which is really good!), and a bunch of our members came! It was a great activity, they had lots of fun! :) We taught them some dances (Anz. Capece taught a square dance, Sorella Seare and I taught a line dance [we got permisison to dance, haha], and then we showed them the Hokey-Pokey which they LOVED!).

Basically, I'm the HAPPIEST here at Siena. It's so great. So hard. After this Blitz, I realized how much I'm still not doing. I need to improve SO much! It's the craziest, humbling experience... the whole mission. I love my comfort zone. I love getting into a "norm". Well, that's a bad idea. We (...I) need to be constantly changing, and getting better! Oh, the rollercoaster of mission life...

Well, that's about all. Now I need to send a bazillion pictures! :) Thanks, again EVERYONE for all the emails! :) Sounds like y'all had fun at the beach :)

Vi voglio tanto bene!

Sorella Willis

PS: I may or may not get around to emailing everyone this week, so if you don't get an email back from me, I WILL respond next week! :)

Sorella Seare and I in front of the Duomo (at Siena)

Zone Conference! :) I LOVE zone conferences! So so much!

Sorella Forbes and I :)

My least favorite picture in the whole wide world, but this is all four of us during the blitz! Me, Forbes, Seare, and Padulla! :)

Getting ready for the party! :)

Anziano Capece teaching square dancing! (so much fun!)

Yay, the activity! :)

Simone and Luca - I loove them! :)

Lorena and Chiara - love them!

Sorella Seare and I! :)

The majority of the people (some left early, and I think we're missing Anz. Capece... haha) - I'm so sad it's blurry! :(