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! :)