Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Last email home: T-minus 2 days!!!!

Well, hello.

Yeah, I know, it's weird... I never cry! But, I did! But, don't worry, that was the only time. I told you, because I cried so much that week, my final goodbyes were going to be so anti-climatic... and they were just like that! Anti-climatic! Haha, which I'm fine with. Sunday was just a normal Sunday (with lots of running around and taking pictures), but I didn't cry... I didn't even come close to crying. Then these past few days I've been sayign goodbye to everyone, investigators and members and less actives... everyone! And, I've not yet cried! I expected it be this way. In the moment I don't ever get really sad. Dad, it's totally that CORPORATE mindset... that's not the right word, but using it in the way you and Elisabeth joke about it, I just realize there are things that need to get done, important things, that if they get messed up, everything gets messed up, so I don't really have time to cry... which I'm totally fine with! Haha.

And, oh my word babbo, you are such a sappy-love person! You cutie-pie. Sleepless in Seattle. Sounds like the cutest Valentines Day ever!

Well, I'm actually pretty good these days. Obviously, I'm fine, because my "to-do list" mindset has come out, because I have zillions of things to do (pack, clean, get rid of lots of things I'm not taking home, area book, leave info for the 2 new sisters... - oh, PS, Sorella Lyman and I are getting white washed, we're both leaving! So we have to leave everything in PERFECT condition so that the two new sisters can walk right into our area, and jump right into work)... so I have no time for crying! Haha :)

Well, just thinking the other day, I've been super blessed! God let me be in Siena for summer time (I got to go to the Palio!), and he let me be in Verona for Valentines Day (which there was nothing crazy big, just a couple hearts thrown everywhere, and a happy chocoalte market)... Verona's totes the city of love/Romeo and Giulietta! Yeah :) And I was blessed to be in Collegno for our awesome Halloween, and Christmas parties we had! I was just super blessed throughout my mission! :)

Also, the other day we had a missionary musical! Because between the 2 wards here at Verona, there are 6 companionships of missionaries, many of who are musical... so we had basically a concert of missionaries doing their thang! It was so much fun, I didn't do anything personally, cause lets face it, I can't sing alone in public, and I haven't practiced much piano over these past months/years... BUT, at the very end we all (missionaries) got up on stange and sang "Barbara Ann", and we changed the words to make it missionary-y... it was SO much fun, I loved it! Then we all, along with the audience, sang "Fratellli d'Italia" which is the Italian National Anthem... I WAS SO HAPPY! Anz. Burton (the one who was on Am. Idol threw it all together... mostly him, him and his comp, and ward) I got a couple videos to show y'all when I get home :) Haha.

Also, I pretty much already told you, but Sorella Lyman AND I are both leaving Verona! We're being white washed. They're taking the Sister Training Leaders out of Verona, and are moving them to another city. Whoa! And another sister is getting transfererd in our apartment... so, we're gonna be dealing with a lot of luggage tomorrow... AGH! Haha.

Also, basically my favorite thing lately, and throughout my mission has been obedience. Just the principle of obedience. It's so great! We've been going around teaching a short lesson of obedience to our members, and the other day we were leaving, and our member was saying the prayer, and she said, "Heavenly Father, we thank you for the commandments..." WHAT AN AMAZING PRAYER! I love the commandments! Did you know that Heavenly Father gave us commandments because he LOVES us? And he wants us to be happy? Allora, if we just obey the commandments we'll be happy! Punto! It's so simple. It doesn't mean life will be easy, but we'll be HAPPY. We'll be able to get over the difficolties and the trials with peace in our hearts! Ij ust loved that prayer, it's so great, we should be so thankful for the commandments!

Also, just this morning I read D&C 71:3... I don't have to freak out. God will give me another mission after this one! My 18 month mission in Italy was just for a season, but other missions I'll have later on :)

Also, oh my word, do you know what last weekend and this weekend represent!? ONE YEAR FOR THE GORI FAMILY BEING BAPTIZED! Can you belive it? I can't! I just love them so so so so much, and now they've already been baptized for a whole year! They're so amazing :)

Also, 1 Corinzi 6:19 is so funny... I imagine him straight-up yelling, "What!?", in a really exasperated tone. Oh, I love the scriptures :)

Well, I gotta run. I'm not gonna send you any pictures, because I don't have anymore time, and I'll just show you the picurse in a few days anyway...

Vi voglio bene!
Ci vediamo fra alcuni giorni!

Sorella Sara Willis

PS: For reals, though. Pray for me and my little heart that it doesn't break into a zillion pieces when I leave... grazie :)

I almost cried the other day. Not because they threw me this goodbye festa (completely unbeknownst to me, I was not expecting it AT ALL), but because I took a picture like this, and then looking through my fotos that night... I DELETED IT. My heart litterally broke into a zillion pieces... you know how much pictures mean to me, all of these families mean so much to me, one of my last nights in Italy... and I DELETED the picture! I almost cried. I moped around for a second, then Sorella Lyman said she would let me have the picture she took. So, here is the happiest picture that ever was, thanks to Sorella Lyman! :)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

NEXT WEEK!!!!! AUGH!!!!!!!! :)

Okay! Well... ci vediamo settimana prossima?! I know, I can't believe it either!

Okay, on a lighter note, Sorella Lyman and I figured out that "Savior, Redeemer of my Soul" and "Pioneer Children" have the same first 8 notes! (più o meno)! How awesome, no? :) Haha.

Okay, also, let me just tell you how it is. So, basically, I've been just fine with finishing my mission... up until last week! So, I had this dream that I was just barely getting home from the mission, and we were driving home down Gano, about to turn in to Bay Circle... and I was not happy (don't worry, this is totes a dream). BECAUSE, I was told the evening before, by an ex-misisonary (there not RM's here... everyone just says ex-missionary) that once he came home his mission just seemed like a dream... and, I woke up, and in my dream it was totally like that... Italy just seemed like a dream... I DON'T WANT MY MISSION TO BE LIKE A DREAM! It's real, it happened. I don't want it to just be a memory, or a distant thought... I want to be able to come back to Italy, to keep all of my relationships, to keep Italy real and alive for me! Mamma mia. But, don't worry, I'm, not freaking out. I'm fine now. I won't let it feel like a dream. Punto. :) Haha.

In other news, I cried soooo much on Sunday. And, it wasn't even my last Sunday in church! Haha. So, long story short, at the beginning of church, we asked a member for help, and there was actually more to the matter than we knew/that we asked, and she kinda reprimanded us, and told us that we gotta know these things, and be better prepared/whatnot... she wasn't doing it to be evil, or mean, but (probably because my emotions are on edge this week, it being the last week!) I had to go into the bathroom, and cry... for about 15 minutes. Then, the second hour was fine, then I asked one of the bishopric if I could bare my testimoney next Sunday, since it will be my last Sunday, and he said they had to do the Young Women's program next Sunday, and that I might have to do it that day in church (like, within the next hour)... and, in fact, I had to do it the next hour! So, because I had already cried that morning, my emotions were even more on edge, and I was fighting back tears all of Sacrament Meeting. Then I went up to bear my testimony... and I cried the whole time... I have no idea if anyone understood me, but I was crying, and apparently I made others cry... in my testimony I read a line of one of my favorite songs "Each Life that Touches ours for Good", then as I sat down, they said, "Well, in honor of S.lla Willis, we're changing the closing hymn to "Each Life that Touches ours for Good", which of course made me cry EVEN MORE (because it's like a goodbye, "God Be With You Til We Meet Again" song). Basically, I didn't sing. I was crying the whole time. Way super hard. I wasn't bawling, because let's face it, I don't cry that hard... but it was the closest to bawling I've ever gotten. THEN, after the song, and prayer, and everyone, zillions of people just came up to me, and hugged me (which makes me cry even more!), we got invited over to some of the greaest members' houses... and, basically, I was crying so much, everyone came up to me, and was like, "Basta piangere..." (like, "Stop crying", "that's enough crying"... haha. But, because this past Sunday was so intense and I cried so much, do you know how un-climatic this Sunday (which is actually my last) is gonna be? Dang it. Oh well. So, that was my insane, tear filled, Sunday!

Then, remember my favorite Emily from Siena/England? She's in VERONA! I got to see her, too! :) I love her, oodles. So so much :)

I also gave my last testimony among missionaries... it's called the "Dying Testimony" that you give at your last "Zone Training/Conference"... that was fun. I didn't cry, just got a little teary-eyed, but it was so cool! I felt super duper powerful, just splurting off my testimoney! Fun stuff :)

Also, less important things, the other day I was going to tell Sorella Lyman that the bus won't pass for another 3 minutes, but I ended up saying something like, "Il pullman non passa per 3 settimane..." which means 3 WEEKS! Haha, she was like, "Okay, we might as well go home then..." I didn't even realize what I had said, either! Ha. I got a good laugh out of it :)

Also, if F.llo Garvin ever reads this, Sorella Lyman and I both have to thank him for putting the word "tipo" into our vocab... he was both of our teacher in the MTC, and said that word all the time... and now, we both say that word all the time!

Also, last night I had a dream that I saw Cameron and Camilla in a grocery store (here in Italy) then out popped Aunt Nice and David... and Aunt Nice was like, "No way, you're finishing in a week?!"... haha, I know it's hard to believe!

Okay, last but not least, I'll finish with this. Basically, I haven't had super amounts of success (numbers wise) her at Verona... but, now we're teaching this awesome African woman who is AMAZING! She's keeping her commitments (read a pamphlet about the Piano di Salvezza, and continued on to read the BOM (intro, and has already read the Witnesses, and we didn't even ask her to go on to read that part!)), and really really wants to come to church. There have been obstacles these past 2 weeks getting her to come to church (it's just difficult with a tiny, 1 month old baby baby), but she told us that she really wants to come to church, and she told us she asked a friend to call her every Sunday at 7am, so that she can wake up and get herself ready, then later on she'll wake up her children and get them ready... she has so much real intent, and is so wonderful! She knows that if she didn't make it to church we had to change her baptismal date, because we told her the week prior, but she's going to do all she can to get to church, so that she can be baptized 2 marzo! We love her so much, and she is making so much progress. Keep her in your prayers! My heart is a little sad that I won't be here for her baptism, but I'm pretty much fine... there are some baptisms that I haven't seen, that I wish I could have seen on my mission... but, it's okay, it's not ME that doesn't anything. Babbo, just like you said, I'm just the tool. I just do the work for the one who's really in control, holding the tool in his hand (which reminds me of one of my favorite verses in the Isaia chapters in 2 Nefi... that I cannot remember at the moment).

Well, I've written way too much for this week. I hope y'all all still write me, cause I'm still gonna check my email next p-day! :) Haha.

Vi voglio tanto bene!

Sorella Sara Willis

Our MTC group (minus 2 people who weren't present), ONCE LAST TIME! :/ I love them so so much :)

Anziano Johnson and I! He's the one who reminds me of Luke... 100%... he's SO funny! BFFs :)

Sorella Hanson and I with Sorella Vardeu! (she's Italian, I love her.)

My favorite AP's EVER! Seriously, they make me laugh like crazy. Bravi ragazzi. Anz. Christensen and Anderson.

Sorelle Montagnoli and Stephens! They're so great, I love them :)

Sorella Gjika and I! I love her sooo much! She's from Albania. Speaks English, and Italian, and Albanian all perfectly! She's such a boss :)

Arianna Ascione and I! I love her so much, she's the most simpatica person ever! I just want to be like her :) Haha

Elisabeta Dal Pozzo and I :) She's so cute, I love her! She sews like a boss. That dress she's wearing? She made it. As well as all of her other dresses!

Anziano Payne and I! BENJAMIN LEGRAND WILLIS, did you serve with his brother in Washington? Because, it's very likely that you did!

My last district ever! Anz. Matah'u (something like that), Howell, Garner, McKinnon, Sorella Lyman and I :)

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Countdown: 2 weeks!!!! :)

Hey, lets tell you about life!

So, I wanted to tell y'all last week, but I forgot. Mormon 3:2-3... I fell in love with those verses! As I was reading it, I totally thought, because the Lord straight-up said to GO BACK (aka, he had already tried once) and tell them to repent, that it was going to be like Samual the Lamanite where, EVENTUALLY, bunches of people believe on his words, or something like that... but, no! It says that they were still hardended in their hearts, and didn't listen, and stayed evil (something along those lines). And, I was like, "Man, why did the Lord tell him to turn around and go back if nothing happened... no one listened to him...?", and then my question was answered. Sometimes the Lord tells us to do things because he wants us to show our obedience! I'm sure he thought, "But, these people are so hard heartened, they'll never listen!"... but, that didn't stop him. He went right back and preached repentance! I wrote in my scriptures (something along the lines of), "It's not always a matter of who's ready to hear the gospel/what WE think is the right thing to do, but sometimes it's just a matter of obedience." Just that. I explained this way better in my scriptures... sorry if this doesn't make sense! Haha.

I also said something the other day to some Sorelle that made me realize, even more... my english is SHOT! I don't know how to speak any language anymore (when I try to think). I was trying to say that phrase, "Get my feet on the ground", but I mixed it with "Get my head on straight", and said, something likeunto, "I need to get my feet on straight!"... honestly, I thought it was the funniest thing ("Get my head on the ground" would be better, though. Haha). Oh mamma.

Also, you should know, I'm not sleeping all that great! Haha. I don't know why. Just kidding, I do know why. So, I'm dead tired, right? And, after we eat lunch we do language study... which is always super hard to stay awake during... so, I almost always take a 10 minute nap during language study or the lunch hour... which 10 minutes RUIN my sleep during the night. Even if I nap for 5 minutes during the day, it messes up my nighttime. So, I either have to drag my body throughout the day, or take 1-2 hours to fall asleep at night... whatevs. I'm fine, I'm not really dying, it just takes me a while to fall asleep... but, I still feel rested when I wake up.

Also, mom, I totally know Anziano May! He served here in my ward at Verona with me about 3 transfers ago! And then he went home. It's a small, small world!

Also, so I have a little nipotina (Sorella Seare's trainee)... who I did a scambio with the other day... and I love her so much! Sorella Reni. She's so goofy, she just kills me. And, she's a boss of a missionary. I love her, oooodles! :)

Well, I don't know what else to write about. We got a new investigator who we set a bapt. date with! She's super sweet, I love her :)

Well, I'm gonna run.
(did y'all realize that next week when I do email I'll basically only have 1 week left... AGH!)

Vi voglio bene!

Sorella Sara Willis

One time the primary made all of the missionaries little dolci. I loved them! Like mini tiramisu, without chocolate... yum :)

Italy Milan Mission Sorelle... it rains for a whole month (slight exaggeration... but, almost not an exaggeration), and we still go out on our bikes every day! :) Me, Sorella Lyman, Sorella Reichert, and Sorella Haslem :)

Scambio! Sorelle Carter, Roth, me, and Lyman :) They're soo goood, I love them :)

Today these wonderful women took me out shopping... (and I bought stuff! Courtney, you would be so proud of me!) I love them! Sorella Mistura, and her daughter Elena :)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Only 3 more weeks!!! AUGH!!!!!!

Dude, dad, that driving the car analogy is the bomb! I love it, thanks :)

Well, here's some things to talk about this week. Sorella Lyman taught me this super awesome thing. Are you ready? Okay, just say "boots n' cats" over and over again, and YOU'RE BEAT BOXING! I died when she told me that :)

Also, remember my best friend who we found last week, and who was gonna get baptized? Well, she moved back to Romania... my little heart broke. There's no work here, so she had to go back. What made my little heart break? The fact that we had no idea that she went back to Romania, because she didn't have a phone (with an Italian number), because she couldn't pay that bill, because she doesn't have a job, so she couldn't call us, and we had to find out from her neighbor that she left. So sad. But, I had some awesome little personal revelation the other day! Basically, that day that we found out she wasn't in Italy anymore was a super hard day... everything that could have gone wrong went wrong... and, it was so hard, cause the week before we were SO PUMPED, and were having so much success, and then everything seemed to go wrong. I remember, I was just riding my bike, just talking to Heavenly Father, like normal, and I was just saying, "Heavenly Father, what is going on? I'm giving MY ALL to the work, to Gina (my BFF in Romania), to these last few weeks of my mission... and it's breaking my heart!", and then Heavenly Father, through that still small voice told me, "Allora, this is what it means to give your 'heart, might, mind and strength'... even if it breaks your heart." Dang it. Haha. Allora, I'll just never get married... my hearts been broken too many times on the mission! Haha, just kidding... my heart hasn't been broken that many times. Haha.

Also, so I had to write 4 short essays for the BYU application... and it was so fun! Slightly stressful, because, what kind of missionary has time to write essays? But, I loved writing essays again! I'm stoked to get back to school... eventually! Ha.

Also, so I've been trying to eat healthy at the house this transfer, so that I don't come home super grassa, but the other day I was just dying... so I made cookies! But, I had no chocolate, or anything disgustingly yummy... all I had were blueberries... so I made blueberry cookies! And, they were so yummy! Okay, they were kinda yummy. The idea was GREAT, the cookies recipe I had wasn't all that great... but, I'll get it all figured out, and have an awesome bluberry cookie recipe one day :)

Also, I bought 10 bellpeppers today... I basically use them in every single one of my meals... I love bellpeppers! :)

And, I'm so sure there was something else I wanted to tell you, but I can't remember it for the life of me. So, if it comes to mind, expect another email! :) Haha.

Vi voglio bene!
Sorella Willis

PS: Happy Birthday Aunt Nise! Tanti auguri! :)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

4 weeks: less than a month now!!! :D

Holla. Can I just tell you about this insane, wonderfully, sick week we've had? Okay :)

So, last Thursday we were doing casa (knocking doors), and this family from India opened up, invited us in, we taught a lesson, and we got a return appointment! 4 new investigators, YES (almost 5, the dad had to leave). They're adorable and amazing, and I love them.

Then we had interviews! Super awesome. I love President Dibb, he's the greatest. I asked him for a blessing (long story short, this past week [cioè, 2 weeks ago] I was basically crying off and on all day [/for an hour or so] because satan was putting all these evil thoughts in my head, basically of all the things that I HAVEN'T accomplished on my mission, and all of the people that COULD HAVE been baptized, but WEREN'T, because of me, and all of the things I still HAVEN'T learned/skills I HAVEN'T developed... he was being super mean to me. But, I was able to shrug it off, and then the next day I got a blessing from Pres. Dibb), and it was super simple, but super awesome just the same. You know how Satan tries to make you fall just before wonderful, great things happen? Well, he tried to do it to me, but I didn't let him! Yeah! Haha. Because, do you know what great, amazing miracle was waiting for us on Sunday? Let me just tell you.

Basically, I haven't really seen lots of work/success here in Verona, and it makes me a little... not happy. So, I fasted last Saturday so that we can have a baptism this transfer. Well, going to church, a member walked in to Relief Society with a young woman who I've never seen before. After RS we were able to get to know her a little bit, and another long story short, she's the cousin of an ELECT man we found a month ago (he calls us his angels), who we gave to the Anziani to teach (because he's a single man). Then, going throughout church, sitting in Sacrament Meeting (the last hour) I realized... SHE'S THE ANSWER TO MY FAST! Okay, honestly, I don't know if she will 100% get baptized, I feel like that was Heavenly Father answering my fast and prayers with someone prepared to hear the message. So, upon realizing this, I started thinking and hoping (because we had a lunch appointment with a member family that day), "It would be perfect if [that memeber family] also invited her [potential investigator] over to lunch with us...". "Also, I would love to be able to get her on track to baptism, ASAP, and teach her soon... even tomorrow (monday)!", "And, I would love to be able to see her frequently... it's so hard make appointments with people through work, and family, and school..."

ALL OF THESE THOUGHTS/TINY PRAYERS OF MINE WERE ANSWERED! Our member invited her over to lunch, where we had a little lesson. We were able to set up an appointment with her for the next day (monday), and she doesn't have work right now, or school, or family! Long story short (I'm pretty sure I've used that phrase 3 times in this email now) she's Romanian, she just got to Italy ONE WEEK ago (although, she alreadys speaks Italian pretty well), her family is all back in Romania, and she's not working right now (which is not necessarily a great thing, but we can see her often! So good!)

Then, we went to see her on Monday, and basically we're best friends. Honestly, I love her with my whole heart. I know I say that about a lot of people, but I honestly love this girl SO much! You have no idea. She's only 23, and has a husband and daughter back in Romania... and is so wonderful! Basically, we set a baptismal date with her (for 16 febbraio... my last Sunday in the mission!), and hey, we need ALL OF Y'ALL'S prayers for this girl! I'm praying for her like my life depended on it, also pray that she finds a job, specifically where she won't have to work on Sunday (lets be specific in our prayers! When we pray specifically, God will give us specific answers!). Pray that all will go well, and that her baptism will happen successfully... I honestly may cry if it does, because also her cousin (the man whose door we knocked on, who calls us his angels) is also getting baptized on that day... seeing them both get baptized? My last Sunday in the mission? I'm gonna be a mess!

But, honestly, seriously, pray for this girl with your whole hearts! She needs it! I love her so much! Allora, if you love me, you'll pray for her.

Well, on a lighter note, two things:
1) I saw my new favorite last name the other day. They're called la famiglia Bellebarbe... do you know what that translates to? The Beautifulbeards! I love them. Hahahahaha.
2) I wear plastic bags in my boots sometimes (when it rains), because they're maybe coming apart a little bit, and I'm too indicisive to go out and buy a pair of boots. I only have so many p-days left, and I don't want to waste a single minute, going shopping, just to decide that I don't even really need boots! Ha.

Well, that's about all, famiglia mia.
Ci sentiamo fra un pò, eh? :)
Vi voglio bene!

Sorella Sara Willis

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Countdown: 5 weeks! :)

Oh my word, the pictures of Tanner are super cute! Dude, he's a giant now!

Well, nope, I cannot believe Kaleb is takling to girls now... dude, Kaleb and I can have an EFY road trip! Yeah :)

Well, things to tell y'all for this week.

a) Sorella Lyman and I are only speaking Italian... period! Ha. In the house, outside, everywhere! Mostly. Except we're the Sister Training Leaders, so we have to do trainings and whatnot, which we do in English... and we have members who only speak English... so, we kinda break that rule kinda spesso, but only because we have to! But, for the majority of the time, we only speak Italian! It's way easier than I thought, but also harder than I thought.

Also, did you know that D&C 31 is one of my favorite sections EVER? It has been since the MTC, but I just re-read it the other day, and it's still just as great! :) Especially verse 3, basically makes me cry ALL THE TIME. And then, verse 5, says (più o meno) "For the laborer is worthy of his hire." I love that line! It just makes me want to work so much more! To be able to be WORTHY of my hire! It's just like a pump-up line :) Ha.

Also, I gave a talk on Sunday. I didn't know I was giving a talk until Thursday evening. Guess what? It was the first talk that I've ever given that wasn't 100% written out! Haha. I just preferred having EVERYTHING written, and planned out before the mission, and even on the mission I've written out all of my talks, because I didn't want to mess up with the language, but this Sunday, I figured a) I knew enough of the language, b) I teach by the spirit enough now, so that I should be able to give a talk by the spirit (obvisouly, prepared beforehand, with notes and whatnot... just not 100% written out). It went well. I still cried. I always cry. Whatever. I was given the topic of Temples (I dunno why, I haven't been in 18 months!) :) I didn't think it was amazing, but after my talk I had a couple people thank me afterwards. Three comments in specific made me terribly happy (translated to english, so it's not exactly what they said, but whatevs)

1. "You gave me chills, it really struck my heart, and I almost cried."
2. "If I could hug you right now, I would! But, I'm a man, and you're a sister missionary, so consider yourself hugged!"
3. "Your's was the first talk I paid attention to in 5 years."
...maybe this going-by-the-spirit stuff is where it's at! Hahaha.

Also, we've been seeing a lot more of our members lately! It's wonderful! They're all so great, I just love them.

Well, I kinda gotta get off... the internet point is closing!

Ci sentiamo la prossima settimana!

Vi voglio un sacco di bene!

Sorella Sara Willis

So, there were transfers. A new sister moved in. She's super cute, Sorella Haslem. She bought me these little candies, called "Baci". which are translated "kisses", and she wrote me a little note, basically saying, "These are for you, prepping you for after the mission, when you get some real life kisses!"  Hahaha, I thought it was hilarious :)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Start of the LAST transfer!!

DUDE. icannotbelievei'mstartingmylasttransferever! Does it annoy y'all when I write sentences without putting spaces? Sorry. Haha. So, for my very last transfer ever, I'm staying in Verona with Sorella Lyman! Crazy, I've NEVER had a companion for 3 transfers! She'll be the first :) And, man, I can't believe it's finishing either! Countdown? Who has those? Haha.

Well, this past transfer/few weeks have been super good and crazy. We just started teaching a bunch of new people! Although, they all seem to have just gotten busy, so lets hope things work out for the best! So, the Anziani in our ward gave us this woman they had found and taught a little bit, but she's single, so they passed her to us. Basically, I love her with my whole heart, and when I first met her, we became best friends :) Haha. She's from Romania, and the first time we met her, she came to CHURCH (um, most wonderful person ever? Yes. It's SO hard to get people to come to church)! One of our members immediately started fellowshipping her, and they became best friends too. And then this past week we had a lesson with them at our members house. Agh! It was just soo perfect. But, she's busy looking for work, so it's kinda hard to see her... pray she finds work!

Then, after that we went to see some of our members, and we knew they had a referral for us, so we had a short lesson, and talked a bit about that referral... and we decided to go see her the coming weekend. Well, before we left our members house, we got a phone call, and our plans that evening had cancelled... soo, we talked to our member, and we worked it out so that we could go see her friend THAT NIGHT. RIGHT THEN, actually. And, it was awesome. She's an awesome African woman, with an adorable family (4 kids!), and she's so so wonderful. She listens so intently, and really tries to understand what it is that we're explaining, and really wants to understand about our church. I love her, too. The only thing is, she lives far away, so it's hard for her to come to church, also because she would come with 4 kids! Finding a ride for 5 people? Kinda hard. But, she's amazing, lo stesso :)

Then, we were doing casa (knocking doors) one night, without much success, and at the citofono (the type of doorbell) we said (along the lines of): we're missionaries of the church of jesus christ, and we have a message about Him that we'd like to share with you, if you have 10 minutes (mind you, this is AT the citofono), and they said yes, and let us in (...okay, lets be real, that never happens)! They're an adorable Romanian family (husband, wife, 5 year old son), who lived in spain for 5 years (they speak spanish very well), and last week they were finally all reunited as a family (the wife's been living here in Italy for a year, the husband has been in Italy for 3 months, and the son just arrived in italy last week!). They're very open, asked if they could come to church, and just seem like the most prepared little family. We have a return appointment, with a member, and I just love them soooo much! Seriously, as a missionary I just fall in love with people all the time (in the sense, that they're just my brothers and sisters). Honestly, I just love them oodles. So, pray for all of these people, per favore! :)

also, Alma 56:44-47. So, basically verse 44 has been one of my favorites since I was little, I don't know why. I think it may be because watching the "Living Scriptures" movies growing up, when Helaman asks that question, it's just a very powerful moment! I love it! So, I read that part, and as I read it, I thought about it a little differently. Then I went back and re-read it, and I just love those verses even more now! Imagine with me now, reading those verses, but as if they're talking about when God's plan was presented to us in heaven, even when we knew there would be opposition, and it would be a fight. Now go read Alma 56:44-47. It just makes me terribly happy, reading it that way :) (as if, Helaman's God, and we're the 2,000 warriors).

Also, did y'all celebrate La Befana? I sure hope so! 6 gennaio! Just kidding, it's just like a second holiday after Christmas. But, just so y'all know, for next year! Haha.
Also, dearest brother Adam, for some reason, after 18 months of not thinking about it, "Not a Penguin" just popped into my head! I hope you still sing that sometimes :)

Also, you should know, I'm slightly addicted to the BOM/the scriptures. Whenever I find myself with some free time, I tend to just grab my BOM :) It's so great! (because we don't have the Conference Liahona yet! I probably won't be able to read it until I get home. Which reminds me, can y'all order me a Genercal Conference Liahona/Ensign in Italian, so it can be waiting for me when I get home? Grazie)

Also, did you know that whenever I listen to EFY music I just feel like I HAVE to go home, and be an EFY counselor? Because, I do.

Also, thanks Grandma and Granddad for the Christmas card! I just got it yesterday! Y'all are super duper adorable! :)

Okay, well I think that's basically it. Haha.

I gotta go finish, OH, also I'll send you Christmas pictures :)

Okay, vi voglio tanto bene,
Ci vediamo fra poco! AGH!

Sorella Sara Willis

Our district

Sorella Lyman and I! Christmas gift from our ward mission leader :)

Christmas lunch with the Eusebio's and Tamin's!

Christmas evening, with the Castillo's (where we skyped from)

Simone (from Siena) came to Verona (for a YSA thing)! :)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Buon Anno!!

Well, hi! :)

First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY INDIA! On New Years Eve, right? How old is she gonna be 8? :)

Okay, next on the list... ha, so I really didn't write a big ol' email for everyone last week... whoops! I wanted to, but I just ran out of time! Christmas day is a crazy day, did you know that? Haha.

Well, lets see... I have a great "coming home" plan. Haha. It's slightly a joke, slightly real... I'm so excited for it :) So, I'm gonna come home and work for a few months, and save up money before I go out to school, right? Well, I am just going to go to the Temple everyone other weekend-ish... and, while I'm in Orlando, I might as well save time and just go to Disney World, and hit up Epcot-Italia (just to keep up my Italian, you know). I'll just buy a year-pass to Disney... greatest plan ever, huh? I hope it actually happens :) Hahaha.

Also, two of my fingers were hurting a lot last Sunday... it's like they were stiff, or jammed or something. I told one of the Senior couples about it, and she said maybe it was carpal tunnel... agh! I hope not! The stiffness eventually went away, so lets hope it was nothing! :)

Also, we had the best Christmas Sunday ever... basically, EVERYONE was asking us if we had a place for Christmas eve/Christmas day (because our ward mission leader announced it in Sacrament Meeting that we needed a place to go... hahaha), and it was the greatest! The Sacrament Christmas program was AWESOME! Everyone single person participated. Each leader of each auxiliary read a part of the Christmas story (Luke, and part of Matt. with the wise men), and after the auxilary leaders spoke, that auxiliary SANG. i.e. the Relief Society leader and counselors would go up, and read a part of Luke 2, then after they finished reading their piece, all of the Relief Society went up and sang a song (that we had prepared) of Christmas. Then after our song the Priesthood leaders went up and read a piece, and after they finished all of the priesthood went up and sang (this was actually the greatest part of the whole day... when I come home, remind me to tell you how they sang it... I cannot be written through email, I have to sing it to you.) Basically, I'm gonna make fun of the Anziani in our ward for the rest of their lives. Hahah. And, yeah, the Christmas program went like that, I loved it! :)

Then, Christmas eve was amazing! We went to our Ward mision leaders house, and honestly, he's just the funniest person in the world, I LOVE being in that house! So, it was just a super fun, laughy evening. We sang some Christmas songs, they gave us Nutella as a Christmas gift... it was super duper :) Oh, and before that we had a member who asked us if we could carol to some of her friends, so we did! We went around with them, (us and the anziani) and carroled to some families... it was super fun. Then afterwards they gave us hot chocolate, and pandoro :) Yum.

Then, Christmas day, did I already tell you what happened? I think so. We went to the Eusebio's house (they're from Brazil), and they invited another member family, the Tamin's (from the philipines), so we had brazilian and philipino food for Christmas! Super yum :) We played some games, re-encated the Christmas Story (so funny), then we were eventually on our way. And, oh my word. Look up the song, "è natale, e a natale si puo fare di piu."... basically, it's like an advertisment song, and one of our elders hears it ALL the time, and it gets stuck in his head, and he sings it ALL the time, which gets it stuck in my head... so, that song was stuck in my head ALL christmas day! Haha.

We also found a magical apartment where we did casa one day (not on Christmas) and it was the greatest thing in the world, cause everyone was like, "come in, lets not talk about this in the doorway...". the only problem was they were ALL men (except for one, the cutest Bulgarian woman who I love with my whole heart), so we couldn't go in... but, we gave some awesome referrals to our Anziani! Haha.

Yeah. And, I already told you about my "gift of tongues" experience, where someone spoke to us in Spanish, and she couldn't understand what we were saying (speaking italian) and after not trying to speak spanish for over 1 1/2, the words, I say, "nos somos las hermanas de la iglesia de jesucristo..." yeah, that was fun :) It just came out of no where! Sure, it's not perfect, but it's spanish! Haha.

Also, dear Chelsea Wiser and Sydney Sanders, do you know any Richardson's? An Elder here has family that's from Panama City Beach! Just wondering :)
Also, you want to hear a crazy awesome story/poem thing? Look up "The Room" by Joshua Harris... although, I don't think it's called The Room. But, who knows.

So, guess what else I'm gonna do today..? BYU application! Weird. I don't even know if that's for sure where I want to go, but if I don't apply then I'm FOR SURE not going... so I'm applying :) Haha.

Also, are my standards too high if I want to marry a man like Moroni? Hahahaha. I just read that part in Alma that other day where it was describing a little bit of Moroni, and I was just like, "Yeah. I'll totally marry a guy like that." Vediamo. Hahaha.

Also, my heart is dying/going crazy! Within a 2-day period I met THREE Italain-American families... where one spouse was Ital. and the other was Amer. And their children all speak perfect English and Italian! Did you know that my children are going to be like that ( too. Haha)? Yeah, I dunno how, cause I'm not a native Italian, but whatever! Haha.

Also, this past Sunday was another one of the amazing-est Sundays ever... a referral from our Anziani came to church. Nicole. I LOVE HER. So much. We haven't even taught her yet, but we've already become best friends, our members fellowshiped her like whoa, and I'm just super super happy :)

OH YEAH! Also, Simone, from Siena, was here on Sunday! I almost died! He's here for a YSA activity... also, Chris Dean (remember that one guy who served in Italy, who has family in Florida/sometimes lives there, maybe... and he and his parents took Sorella Seare and I out one day on p-day?)... I dunno if you remember him, but he came too! So, it was just like Siena all coming back to me, it was stupendous :)

And, that's probably about all. Sorry I've written WAY too much, I'm just trying to compensate for last week.

And, we're doing p-day today, because our 1 gennaio is filled up with appointments, so we just switched p-day.

Well, I gotta run. Vi voglio tanto bene!

Sorella Sara Willis

PS: Happy New Year! It'll be 2014 for me before it will be for you! How crazy :) Haha