Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Letter #15 - 12/25/13

We had the great treat of speaking with Alli today (Christmas Day) over Skype for 130 minutes!!  She is doing great and we loved being able to see her live and in person.  Below are a couple of short videos from her today.  The first video is Alli wishing you all a Merry Christmas.  The second is Alli doing a routine "train" contact in Italian.  We also threw in a family picture of the Yosts' crowded around the computer - what was for all of us our "best Christmas present, by far."


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Letter #14 - 12/18/13

Buon Natale (Merry Christmas)!

So this week was crazy. Literally. Haha so much has happened. But we are doing so good! Next week is Christmas? What? So weird, haha. But we are definitely in the Christmas Spirit listening to "Oh Holy Night" by Glee on repeat whenever we are home. It’s our favorite, haha.

We are going to Firenze for Christmas! We don’t really have a member’s house to go to for Christmas since we have like 15 members and they all live at least a train ride and then usually an additional car ride away from the station and apparently the trains don’t run as often on Christmas, so we are going to a member’s house in Florence with another set of sisters to Skype! We can only Skpye for 40 minutes!  I will just call you when we get on – I will use Dad’s account. We are so excited! You better be too ;) haha.

Funny story for the week, apparently I laugh in my sleep sometimes? Haha. Sorella Lopez said that the other night I laughed in the middle of the night in my sleep. She said it was funny and creepy all at the same time. The things you learn about yourself on a mission right? Haha.

I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU GOT RID OF THE BEAST (our old suburban with 200,000 miles on it). The burb is really gone? Forever? Good thing I said goodbye in the parking garage at the airport, haha. Do you like the new car mom? All the cars here are tiny little Fiats. I can’t even remember what it’s like to not have to bend to get into a car anymore, haha classic.

Our investigators are still doing well and we just love them so much. They are so strong and they know it’s all true. So hopefully we will be having three baptisms pretty soon!

It’s Christmas season and it is so important to remember why we celebrate this time of year. We are so blessed to be a part of this Gospel, it truly does bring happiness. I have already seen that so much here. Remember Christ especially this time of year! He is the reason for the season :) Love you all and I’m so excited to SEE YOU next week! Thanks for all the love and prayers!

Ti voglio tanto bene!

Sorella Alli


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Letter #13 - 12/11/13

Ciao Famiglia!
How is everything back home? This week has been really good! Our investigators are amazing and are so prepared for the gospel. It has been so cool to watch them gain a testimony for themselves. We love them so much!

So yesterday we had Zone Conference! It was really fun and President and Sister Dibb put on a little Christmas party for us and it was really, really fun :) They got us all aprons with the mission logo sewn on them! They are really cute and we had lunch prepared by one of the Italian senior missionary couples and it was SO GOOD. I didn’t see anyone from the MTC at zone conference as we all got super spread out in the mission – I am the only one in this zone. 

We are not sure what we are doing for Christmas, I don’t think there will be a branch party or anything and we already had our zone conference, which was a Christmas party.  It was really, really fun! Maybe we will do something with the other sorelle in Firenze. The computer won’t let me load any pictures today so I will send more next week! :) You will be so proud mom, haha we tried so hard but the computer wouldn’t cooperate. Italian is hard but I am trying my best! I am sure between Sister Lopez and the Zone Leaders we will figure out how to Skype on Christmas. 

Our zone leaders are actually the elders that were assigned to our branch and they are really great! I think they go to Milan once a month for consiglio, but I’m not sure if they ever have to go more than that.  They have a car, but I never want to drive over here – ever! It would be so scary because Italian drivers are crazy.

I got all the packages you sent Mom! Thank you sooooo much! You seriously spoiled me. Tell Abbi and Anna nice job wrapping, haha. But really thank you so much! I am so lucky and I am excited to open them on Christmas! :) And tell everyone thanks that wrote me a letter for the advent calendar! Those mean so much to me and I love reading one each day. Thanks so much Mom and Dad! So we made our Christmas tree and we are so proud of it, haha. We put a green blanket over our ladder and then made ornaments out of paper and bought some Christmas lights and wrapped them around it and then put a star we made out of cardboard at the top. It is really legit. Plus we have the Christmas tree in a box you sent nicely situated on our dinner table.  We have two trees!!

Even though it is cold old, we are staying warm! It actually gets really, really foggy here. Fog in Italian is nebbia, but yeah it gets super, super foggy and the train stations look really creepy – kind of like out of a Harry Potter book, haha. It’s really cool. Our new apartment is really nice and we stay really warm and my coat is perfect outside. I always wear the running tights from like freshman year track under my skirt haha, cute right?

Thanks for all your prayers for us and our investigators! Everything is going well here and we are so grateful for this time of year especially because people really do turn more to Christ at this time. Thanks for everything you do for me; I am literally the most spoiled missionary ever. I am glad Will had a good birthday! Thanks for all the pictures! :) I love you!

Have a great week and I will talk to you next week!

Love, Sorella Alli

A Thanksgiving Dinner I will never forget!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Letter #12 - 12/4/13

HAPPY BIRTHDAY WILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Hi family! How is everyone?! Did you have a great Thanksgiving? We celebrated Thanksgiving in true missionary style, we ate pizza and watched the district in our sweats - haha so funny. Sounds like it was so fun having Uncle Jim and Aunt Tonia and everyone there! Oh and Kaila had her baby?! He is so cute!!! I can't wait to meet him someday :) haha - tell her and Joey congrats!

This week was really good, we had our 4 investigators in church on Sunday and they all loved it! We have a new investigator that is a friend of theirs and she is 12 years old and seriously soooo cute - haha -  She is HILARIOUS - haha. She is trying to learn English and I am terrible at Italian so we help each other out and are pretty much best friends, its great, haha, she is so adorable and she LOVED church. We went to visit her and our other investigators on Sunday night - it's a mom and her daughter and then their two friends, one of which is this 12 year old girl. They are all friends so they all go over to the mom and her daughters house all the time. And so the litDle 12 year old girl comes in the room while we are having the lesson with the daughter and sits down and is like "okay, so if I want to get baptized, what do we need to do?" hahaha and we are like "well first we need to talk to your mom..." and she is like" oh no, my mom will be fine -  don't worry, but what do we need to do?" haha! So we told her we will need to meet a few times each week and teach her and so she takes my planner and writes out her schedule for me. haha She has dance on Mondays and then school until 3 every day and then she is free. haha It was so funny, Sorella Lopez and I were laughing so hard.

I can't wait to Skype with you on Christmas - we are so excited!!  I think it will be the best Christmas present ever.  Make sure Abbi notices the One Direction singing thing hanging on our funny wall from the card she sent me - haha, it still sings and lights up. Thank you for the great letters you write me and all the cards.  I love reading about dad's mission stories and Mom, you are the best at all the details from home.  I also like that you each send me a quote every week.  I print out your emails, and read them over and over again.

We moved apartments last week and our new apartment is so cute - it is a really nice apartment! Our old one was really nice too, but this one is a lot cuter and we even stay warm at night now - haha, and yeah I like having my own pillow from home - I couldn't sleep without it, and my sheets are perfect. My new apartment is great - it even has its own mailbox so you can send my letters direct to me.

We decorated the walls in our new apartment and on one wall we have a sign that says "Enjoy the Sacrifice" and we write inspirational quotes and miracles on it. Then we have another wall where we write all our funny quotes and stories; it's great. On our funny wall we have a picture of everyone coming out of the Conference Center after General Conference and then we have a sign that says "never forget Utah still exists - you are never alone," haha because no one ever knows who we are here, very rarely have people even heard of "Mormons." So sometimes we just have to remind ourselves that we aren't alone and that there are members of the church all over the world. We are turning our ladder into a Christmas tree this week so get excited for pictures of that, haha - but I love and miss you so much! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and that Will has a great birthday today!! :) Love you!

Sorella Alli

 My leather-bound scriptures
 Italian sunset from our balcony
 This is really good
 Our new apartment
Our quote wall
 We love to decorate
 Our beds
This is really nice

I love my trainer & McDonalds

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Letter #11 - 11/27/13

Hi Family!

We had to go to the Questura in Florence early today to get my permesso to stay in the country so we are early for email today.  They had to take my fingerprints and everything, it was super exciting and it lasts for year, so I will be back there in a year to check back in.

This week has been so good here in Montevarchi. We had 5 investigators in church on Sunday which was literally a miracle. We were so happy. Two of them have baptismal dates and another one decided she wanted to be baptized while she was sitting in Sacrament meeting! She is super awesome. Then after church our branch had a big lunch together and everyone was talking and getting to know the investigators and it was just super awesome. They have made some friends and really love church which is so important.

Oh and so here there are not a lot of youth in the church and the few they have live really far away from each other so they have to do seminary each morning over Skype. Ask Abbi how she feels about that haha, I thought she might like the idea of that.

It is freeeeeeezing here now. This week it seriously got so cold. It is crazy. Last night I literally slept in my big winter coat with my hat, gloves and mittens and scarf on. It was hilarious, haha, but so worth it. Sorella Lopez was sick for a few days this week so I got to do a lot of studying in the morning. I finished the entire D&C! haha. It has tried to snow a couple times but not enough to stick. I wear my big coat mom got me from Nordstrom with layers underneath, my hat, my gloves with mittens overtop and then those really thick under armor tights with the tall black boots.

We are moving apartments but are staying in our area and city; they just want us to move into the apartment they got for the Elders because they think it is a little safer for us because it is on the fourth floor instead of the first. So that will be fun! Yayyyy moving again, haha, but we are so excited to have Elders in our area now. It will help so much.

Okay quick funny story, on Sunday night we were in a super amazing lesson and we just couldn’t leave. It was just such a good lesson. So when it was over, we ran to the train station afterwards but ended up missing our train and the next one didn’t leave for another hour and 15 minutes – we weren’t leaving Arezzo until 10:07pm which meant we wouldn’t get home until right before 11. We are supposed to be in every night by 9 and asleep by 1030, haha, soooo we had to call our mission president and explain to him why we weren’t going to be home on time that night. Always fun. So we called him and were like "hi president! How are you? So we have a miracle to tell you and also a problem. Which one do you want to hear first?" haha, he was really nice about it and loved our miracle story about our lesson. He is super awesome.

We do mostly train contacting for finding and it is fun. We went to an art museum this week – see the picture below.  I really loved it – Europe is really one big, fantastic museum.  I have lots of food! Sorella Lopez really likes the fruit leather you sent me, so I share those with her a lot. I am craving Ritz chicken right now, haha, but I can have that when I get home ;) haha Sorella Lopez introduced me to rice milk and it really isn’t that bad! And one of our members makes this really good chicken and rice curry thing that I really like, it is so good. Italian hot chocolate is super weird, it is really, really thick, so no where near as good as Mom’s. We drink pear juice here, it is really quite good. I eat this generic brand of SpecialK every morning with rice milk, because the normal milk here is weird and super fattening. 

Well I Hope you have an amazing Thanksgiving! They don’t celebrate it here but I will definitely be thinking about you and everything for which I am grateful! Eat some chocolate cream pie for me :) I am so grateful for my family, thank you for everything! Love you so much! Happy Thanksgiving! :)

Sorella Alli


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Letter #10 - 11/20/13

Hi family! :)

So this week was crazy, as usual – haha. We had THREE investigators in church. I KNOW RIGHT? It was so awesome. Our investigator with a baptismal date, her daughter, and their friend all came! Oh and by the way her daughter accepted a baptismal date this week too!!!! She is so awesome, we absolutely love her. She is 16 and she is our best friend – haha. But we had three investigators in church, never been done before (that we know of) in Montevarchi. So picture this - there were 12 people in total in church on Sunday: 3 were investigators, 5 were members and 4 were missionaries - hahaha classic. But they really liked church and they are planning on coming back on Sunday! MIRACLE for real. They are all so awesome, we are so excited for them. Sorella Lopez and I are doing well! We definitely have our hard days but we are seeing so many miracles and blessings for being here and we know it is all worth it. Tell Kieonah and Kyle congrats for me on their mission calls! that is so awesome! I am sooo excited for them :) the mission is the best. Most definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done but it is so rewarding. Tell Tanner “hi” and welcome home from me! That is so awesome! :) I love it here and I am doing well! Some days are really hard but we just think of our investigators and how much we love them and want them to have the gospel as a permanent part of their lives and it makes it so worth it. I have seen so many broken families here. It is so sad and it makes me even more grateful for the loving family I am a part of. Thank you so much for everything Mom and Dad! Tell Abbi and Will and Anna “hi” and that I love and miss them! Thanks for everything! love you all!

Sorella Alli

Alli’s answers to Mom’s Questions:

Where do you go to use the internet?  We have to come to Florence every week to email and it takes about 40 minutes by train to get here.  We haven’t found an internet place here in San Giovanni.  The place in Florence is pretty reliable and you pay for it by the hour here so we just want to use the time we have already paid for here – we bought the 5 hour option.

How much time do you get to use the internet on p-day?  Only an hour and a half each p-day.  Seems we are always depressed afterwards because it is so fun to email back and forth with you – almost as good as talking live. But I have started printing off your emails so I can read them thoroughly on the train ride home. Printing isn’t too expensive.

Have you received the packages we sent you? I got the two padded envelope ones and the box from Amazon UK last week! But that is the only time we have gotten packages so far.

Are you taking a lot of pictures? I think I have taken about 100 pictures. We are only allowed to take our camera out on p-day here so it kind of restricts how many pictures I can take.

How much time can we talk on Christmas? We have 40 minutes to Skype on Christmas.

What will you do for Thanksgiving? They don’t celebrate thanksgiving here :( we will probably get gelato or something to celebrate – haha, and it’s okay!

How much study time do you have? We have personal study and companionship study for an hour each morning and then I read aloud from the book of Mormon in Italian for an hour of language study.

Tell us about the members and the Branch?  After seeing the sacrifice of the members here, I appreciate EVERYTHING we have at home; I am so lucky to have everything I do – for example I am so grateful that we have carpet in our house!!!!!  In Redmond, our church is only 5 minutes away. The sacrifice is so big here; it cost about 18 dollars to go to church every Sunday and a lot of people can’t find work.  Our Branch President is wonderful and our zone leaders drive all the way to our Branch each Sunday to help bless and pass the sacrament. There is a Relief Society President and the branch President’s wife plays the keyboard each week for music.

Are there any youth in your Branch? Our primary has 4 kids and 2 young women.

Do you get time to exercise? I do the exercises in the book I printed off before I came – I do those each morning. Plus we run for the train like every other day so I get a good mile run in and then plus all the walking.
We love and miss Alli so much - she is so funny in the things she writes.  The computer didn't have a working USB port for her today so she couldn't send any new pictures to us - so we got the following pictures from the Mission President's website - Alli looks tired after traveling all night.

Alli arriving in the Milan Airport. 

New Missionaries have group dinner at mission home.

 Alli meets her trainer - Sister Lopez
 One of the largest groups of new missionaries to ever arrive in the Italy Milan Mission.
Mission President training the new missionaries. Alli wearing the blue striped shirt.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Letter #9 - 11/13/13

Hi Mom and Dad!
So this week has definitely been a week of miracles. We have been so blessed. The president challenged us to get 21 lessons is 8 days this week (he gave us an extra day because we had zone conference) and my companion and I were able to call him and tell him we did it in Montevarchi. He was so excited, haha we ended up getting 30 lessons in the 8 days and 26 for the week. We set the record for the zone and they think we may have gotten the most out of anyone in the mission for that week. So that is super awesome. And we had our baptismal date come to church which is such a miracle. Investigators are never able to come to church, and she came! It was so awesome and we think she really liked it and her daughter is meeting with us now too and she is 16 and just the cutest thing ever. We are obsessed with her. She totally knows it’s true, we can tell. The spirit is always so strong when we teach her.
I have gained such a huge testimony of prayer. We have been praying sooo much more this week and it definitely makes a difference. We have been praying to find those who will listen to us and that is exactly what has happened. We have met so many super nice people who will listen to our message and even some who are interested in learning more! We have been teaching anywhere we can, on the train, when we see people sitting on benches, people randomly walking past us on the street. Anything haha it’s awesome. One lady we met on the train loved us and even called us "angels". She was so nice to us, and we met a guy from Brazil who was super awesome too - just so many miracles. My companion almost got slapped by an older lady witha walker though. haha She really didn’t appreciate us trying to talk to her, but that’s okay, we tried!
Our members are really awesome and take such good care of us. There is one lady in our branch who is such an amazing example of member missionary work. She always wants to come out with the missionaries and always buys us gelato. And she found out our favorite food is pizza so now she buys us pizza and then buys us extra to take home for dinner haha she is so awesome, we love her.
I got your packages this week! The two in padded envelopes and the one from Amazon UK! Thank you so much Mom and Dad! I loved them! They were perfect! and I have so much food now haha, the fruit leather is really good Dad and I love the yogurt covered raisins too! Mom I loved the notes from the CTR 5s and all the cards from Abbi and Anna and Will! Thank you so much! and the peanut butter is soooo good. I ate it with an apple last night :) And I think of you every time I eat the cinnamon bears because they remind me of you :) Will and Dad thank you for all the cool BYU stuff! I loved it :) you send the best packages ever :) I am set for a long time haha.
Did you ever get the letter and postcard I sent? I found out the other day that those international stamps you sent me won’t work here :( they only work for going anywhere from the US, so I had to buy some Italian ones today. They are 2 euro each, so pretty expensive. But we aren’t going anywhere today so that we can write letters home! and now that I have the right stamps they should make it to you this time! I’m sorry I didn’t know that :( I hope everything is good back home! I pray for you all the time and have lots of pictures up of you. I look through that book you sent me all the time. Thanks for everything you do for me! I love and miss you so much!

Love you!
Sorella Alli Yost

 piazzalla michaelangello

View of Florence. 

My companion, Sorella Lopez.

More pictures of Florence on P-day last week. 

We finally got pizza it was so good! Not as good as kyle hansen pizza though I do have to say :)
At Zone Conference Training.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Letter # 8 - 11/6/13

Hi Mom and Dad! So another week has come and gone here in Italia. On Saturday we moved to our new apartment in San Giovanni, so we are not living in Firenze anymore.  San Giovanni is a lot different. haha A lot. It is kind of a depressing city but we are trying really hard to make the best of it. Our apartment is really nice but it is about a 20 minute walk from the train station so we definitely get our workout in each day walking back and forth and back and forth. haha  Sometimes we have to run, like this morning, haha, which is also fun. Pretty sure the people think we are crazy when they see two American girls booking it down the road. haha  Its funny, gives us something to laugh about. Dad, I used my debit card the other day for you. I bought toothpaste, haha, and it worked! I am buying something today so I will use my credit card to make sure they both work in Italy. The thing here is to get your scriptures leather-bound in Florence. And they look super awesome. Florence is one of the only places I think you can do it here that I’ve heard of.  So I dropped my Italian scriptures off there two weeks ago and we are picking them up today, I will send a picture next week.
Yesterday we had Zone conference and Elder Texiera came and spoke with us. It was a really good conference and we learned a lot. He was really nice and he told lots of stories. I didn’t get your package so maybe in the next couple weeks it will come. They bring mail whenever we have a meeting or conference and someone has been to Milano. So they will come soon I’m sure. As far as Christmas goes, the only thing I can really think of is maybe some slippers, Mom. They don’t believe in carpet here, it’s all tile. So I have been using my snow boots in the morning and at night as slippers, haha it’s kind of funny. Oh and maybe the Vocal Point CD. I am obsessed with it. I think it is called "lead thou me on".  It’s really good, Sister Lopez has it. My clothes and shoes are doing good. I shouldn’t need anything new. Just save it and we can buy new clothes so I can try and be cute when I get home mom :) haha, um besides that I should be good! Maybe some normal socks for when I wear my boots. I didn’t pack a lot of those, but I really am doing good, I don’t really have anything I desperately need yet :) Mom, you just did such a good job of packing for me before I left!

This week was pretty hard. We are feeling pretty overwhelmed with our area and we are kind of out in the middle of nowhere by ourselves. But we are seeing miracles for sure. This Sunday we were having a really hard day. We had just moved into the new apartment the night before, we barely missed our train in the morning to go to church, we didn’t get invited to any of our members house for lunch like we usually do every Sunday, and it was fast Sunday and we didn’t really have any food because of moving and it was Sunday. We did have some crackers and bread though so don’t worry, I ate! haha but anyways, it was a rough day.  So we got on a train to one of our cities called Arezzo and we said a prayer that we would be able to have two lessons that night.  First we decided to go visit our investigator with a baptismal date. Her daughter called through the window and said her mom wasn’t home so we said thank you and started walking away and then Sister Lopez and I just stopped, and turned around and went back, rang the bell for her apartment again and asked the daughter if we could talk with her for a few minutes – and she said YES. So we taught her a lesson and she was super interested and told us she wanted to meet with us again – and we are seeing her and her mom later this week. It was so awesome, this girl is so cute, she is 17 and we just clicked with her. It was great - then we went and taught a lesson to a less active family in our branch and it went really well, and they FED us which was totally a tender mercy. Then we were on our way back to the train to go home and we ran into a lady we had contacted on the train a couple days ago. We didn’t get to talk to her for a very long time last time but this time she had us come sit with her. I KNOW. So we talked to her and turns out she has met with the missionaries before in Santa Domenga and even had a baptismal date but then she had to move and was never baptized. She said she has seen the missionaries once or twice since she has been in Italy but doesn’t have a book of Mormon any more. So guess who is meeting with her later this week to give her one? that’s right – US! haha She was super sweet and really liked us and we are really excited to meet with her again. So in one night we got three lessons and two new investigators. MIRACLE. It was so awesome and exactly what we needed to keep going. Heavenly Father really does answer prayers and I am so grateful for that. Thank you so much for everything you do for me Mom and Dad. I am so lucky to be a Yost :) Thanks for all your love and support. I feel it all the way over here in Italy :) tell Abbi and Anna and Will and Charlie hi for me! and that I love them! Love you mom and dad!

Sorella Alli

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Letter 7 - 10/29/13

Hi Famiglia! How are you? Well I survived another week here! It was really good and we made some progress with some of our investigators. They are all really, really awesome, it’s just so hard to get them to church because it is so far away for them. My companion and I are over 5 cities in our area. Our Branch is super small, we have about 15-20 active members and we meet in the basement of a hotel in one of our cities called Incisa. It is super expensive for people to get to church because a lot of them don’t have a car and don’t live in Incisa so they would have to pay for the train in order to come. So that is what we are struggling with right now. The cities we are over are San Giovanni, Figline, Incisa, Arezzo and Montevarchi. The furthest from us is Arezzo and it is an hour train ride away. But it’s through the hills of Tuscany so it’s absolutely beautiful. Our branch president is awesome. He is super supportive of missionary work and is trying so hard to help us. We just love him. Our branch is called The Montevarchi Branch. So this week I tried gelato for the first time and turns out everyone was right, it is amazing. Sooo good. We have a little bit of a mosquito problem in our apartment and I woke up the other day and my eye was completely swollen. I must have gotten bitten on the eye in my sleep. haha classic. It was awesome, but it’s all better now so it’s all good. I have gotten so good at killing them though. I can literally see it on the wall and hit it with my shoe and it’s dead - pretty impressive actually. My companion can catch them in the air with her hand. We make a good team. haha. We are still living in Florence, no word on when our apartment in San Giovanni will be fixed, but we are totally fine with that because we love the other sorelle we are living with in Florence. We taught a lady that lives up on the top of this hill outside of the city the other day and when we came out of the lesson the sun was setting and it was literally one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen; you could just see all of Tuscany and the houses and the hills and it was just so pretty. And then we stopped to visit one of our investigators in Incisa on our way home before the train came and we literally had to run to catch the train to get home. It was so funny, we were booking it because if we missed the train we would have been stuck for at least like 40 minutes in Incisa and been late getting home. Since some of our cities are pretty small trains don’t go in and out too often so we have to really plan it out and check the train schedule. I am sending your letter out tomorrow so you should get it next week! and I haven’t got your package yet but we have training tomorrow so I might get it then. Thank you so much! :) I think that is it for this week. I love being a missionary. It is so hard but so rewarding. I am learning so much and have so much more to learn. I don’t know Italian super well so I am learning to rely on the Spirit more than ever before. Our investigators are progressing; we just have to get them to church. Thanks for everything you do for me, I love and miss you!

Sorella Alli

View from our apartment in Florence.
My bedroom and bed.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Letter #6 - 10/23/13


HOLY COW. So I am living in Italy! It has been the craziest week of my life. Okay so first of all, I don't know italian. hahaha awesome. But my trainer promised me I will learn it so i am hopeful. But I am living in Florence right now and serving in an area called Montevarchi! It is so beautiful and literally in the hills of Tuscany. So pretty. Sorella Lopez and I have about 5 cities we are over and so we basically live on the train. It's pretty fun. Right now we are living with two other sisters in our Florence apartment. They are super nice. They are supposed to be serving in Siena but one of the sisters had an allergic reaction to the mold in their apartment so they had to move to Florence (Firenze in Italian) and so now they are temporarily serving as the Firenze sisters. Sorella Lopez and I are supposed to be living in San Giovanni (one of our cities) but our apartment didnt have gas or hot water for two weeks so they are having us live in the Firenze apartment too until they fix that. Basically we are all the misfits living together, haha, but its awesome, all the sisters are great and we get along really well. My trainer has been sick this past week so that made things kind of interesting. I taught my first lesson with one of the Firenze sisters and guess what I ate RAW FISH - oh my gosh. It was not good at all. But I just kept telling myself how big of a sacrifice it was for the investigator to give to me and I was able to eat it. Then yesterday at one of our appointments, I had to eat prune pudding, yup thats real. But the lady was so sweet I just couldn't say no. Teaching is super interesting here. You have people from all over, so some lessons are in italian...some are in italian/spanish...we have one investigator who speaks romanian....and then some from Nigeria who we teach in English. So a little bit of everything haha I am learning so much and humbled each and every day. I know this is Heavenly Father's work and the only way I will be able to do it is through him. This week has been hard. Really hard. But I know it is all worth it. I just have to have faith - I will learn it all with time. Did you get the package form Spencer yet? Do we know why our phone call was dropped yet? I think that maybe they think it was fraud because I had put the card in so many different times. When I tried to call back they said my card was rejected and then I had to run to my flight so I am not sure - that was all so confusing; I felt so bad. But I am so glad I got to talk to you! Thank you!
I am going to try and send pictures so you can see how pretty it is here. I love it. Tell Will, Abbi and Anna I say "hi" and that I love them! Oh and Charlie too :) haha.  Love and miss you mom and dad! Thank you so much for everything you do for me! You are the best. Have a happy happy birthday Dad! I will be thinking of you! Love you! 
Sorella Alli 
 Sister McPeek and I with our new necklaces (thanks Will) before we left the MTC.
 Our German neighbors in the MTC
 Our MTC classroom - 2nd floor to the left. 
 Trying really hard to learn Italian.
 Two more MTC teachers (Teichert and Lehnardt) with sisters from my MTC district.
 Sorella Miles, my amazing MTC teacher.
 Our MTC District with two of our teachers.
 Sister McPeek and I saying Goodbye to America.
 Calling home from London Heathrow.
 At the Duomo in Milano - my 1st day in Italy.
 At the Ecco Florence.
With Sister Lopez (my new companion) at the Duomo in Florence.
 The view from one of the train stations.
My first Italian purchase - matching purses.