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.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Letter #5 - 10/21/13

Ciao Mia famiglia! 

So it's my last week in the MTC!!! so crazy. We leave on tuesday mornign! Our flight leaves around 12:30 so I will be calling sometime before then! I am so excited to talk to you!! :) I will tell you all the specifics of my itinerary in my letter I'll write today but we go from SLC to Dallas to London to Milan. I bought a $5 calling card today so I can call you from SLC and then save the International ones for our layover in London. So I got to meet President Nally last week! He was super nice and told me how much he loved Grandpa Yost. It was really cool. thank you so much for that story about Grandpa Yost, dad! I loved that so much. I didn't know all of that. really really neat. And last week I got your package mom! Thank you so much! I LOVE that scarf! So cute. Thank you so much! And those sees candies are now my own personal countdown to Italy. I eat one every night before I go to bed. haha So I need to give what I don't want to bring to Spencer? I can just mail it home if that's easier.They have a mail center on West Campus. But whatever is easier for you! I think I want to keep my sheets and pillow and then send home my blanket, unless I have room. And then I just have a few shirts that I tried on that don't go with anything that i figure i shouldnt bring all the way to Italy. OH and then we got a letter from President Dibb this week saying no I-pods. So I have to send that home before I leave to. Let me know! Conference was so good! It went by so much faster here in the MTC than it ever has before. Probably because I wasn't taking notes for Seminary make up. haha I did miss watching it with the family and the Rands though. That's a good tradition we have. After conference on saturday night we got to watch the Relief Society Broadcast and I got to watch it with Bonnie! Ahh it was so fun. She saved sister Mcpeek and me a seat so we got to watch it together. Loved it. And then on sunday night for our devotional vocal point came and performed for us which was super cool! I had to say by to Bonnie which was super sad though. But she will have such an amazing experience in Boston and Brazil :) I am so excited for her. She is awesome :) Oh then todya guess what! I got to see Lauren!!! I saw her right after she got dropped off and was waling away with her host. It was totally an answer to prayers because I really wanted to see her and then right before we were going to give up and leave and go back to west campus she was there. So cool. She looked really happy and excited :) she is going to be such a great missionary. So proud of her. Oh and this week we found steel wool in our brownies at dinner. classic west campus. haha but i love it here. it'll be so weird to leave but I am so excited! I have learned so much here at the MTC and I have so many things to be grateful for. I know italy is where I am supposed to be and I can't wait to get out there and give it my all. Here's something in italian for you :) Io so il vangelo di Gesu Cristo e vero ed Io so famigli puo essere insieme per sempre. Io so noi siamo figli di Dio ed lui amore tutti noi. Io motto grato per tu amare ed vi voglio bene! Te amo mom and dad! tell the family I say hi and that I love and miss them! Hi charlie! :) 

Love you! 

Sorella Alli Yost

P.S. thank you so much for all the cards and pictures and dear elders! I love them all :)

me and my district with the statue of Samuel Smith the first lds missionary
found uncle Joe and aunt Barbara on the wall of the MTC haha

 bonnie (her friend from here and BYU)  and my nametags
                                       me and Bonnie after watching the RS broadcast together :)
                                                            my zone minus a few

I SAW LAUREN :) right when she was walking away with her host after getting dropped off

                     (Lauren is her really good friend she met at BYU last year.  She is serving in Australia)
501 verbs...this book is amazing. hahaha 

                                                            me and my district

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Letter #4 - 10/2/13

I FINALLY GOT THE PICTURES TO WORK!!!!!!!! Only took me a month, no worries. haha So hopefully you enjoyed getting a thousand emails because it only lets me send two at a time :) haha so Spencer came and found me today and we called the bank and they said they got my travels plans all set to go and then he had me sign a paper so that you can access my account and everything from now on while I'm gone. We got to use the info you texted him dad so thank you so much! I was so temped to text you but I resisted. haha So tell Spencer thank you again for me! He was so helpful. Let me know if I need to do anything else. Oh and he told me a really cool story about Grandpa Yost and President Nally, the president of the MTC, but I don’t have a lot of time because of sending all the pictures so I will write that in a letter today :) Also today I got to host the new missionaries at west campus!! It was so much fun. And guess who I got to host? BROOKE LEFEVER! So cool :) We totally made a scene in front of the bus and everything and it was great. So tell her parents she is totally okay and is on west campus with me and Dakota :) Oh and will you please tell Jamie thank you so much for sending me her address so I can send her letter from like two weeks ago and write her this week :) THANKS JAMES :) so this week Sister Mcpeek only had one night terror...but we aren’t entirely sure haha it's so funny. We wake up and will try and remember if she just talked in her sleep or screamed. I'm so used to it now. It's crazy. This week it started to get pretty cold so I had to pull out my space bag full of winter stuff to get my coat. But now it's getting warm again so I don’t know if I'll need it again. We will see. Then our zone is basically the best zone ever and we play bump-lightning-blackout-elimination aka bump (there was a big dispute on what the "real name" of the game is haha) during our gym time at night and it is so fun. We all get really into it. And I totally won the first game! haha Everyone was freaking out because I was making threes and getting the elders out and they totally weren't expecting it at all. haha classic. But we have a lot of fun. We are always the table at lunch that is laughing the entire time. It's so fun and it'll be sad when everyone goes to their separate missions in a week and a half. 8 of us will all go to Milan together though so that's good :) Oh dad, you'll be so proud of me! I played the piano for my branch on Sunday during Sacrament Meeting without even being asked to! It was scary because I wasn’t planning on it at all and a member of the mtc Branch presidency was there because one of the counselors was getting released but I did it! :) We taught a man named Stephen in our TRC on Saturday and it was such a cool experience. We didn’t think we were going to teach him that day and then our teachers walked in and told us to grab our scriptures and go because we have TRC so we didn’t have a lesson planned and so on our way in to the room we decided to teach about the plan of salvation and so we started with a prayer and I just kept saying, "Heavenly father, what should we teach Stephen?" over and over again in my head and the word "Atonement" came to mind and then I had all these ideas of what to say and it was the coolest thing ever. The Italian just flowed and we were able to teach him a lesson that I know Heavenly Father wanted him to hear and the Spirit was so strong. I am so glad I have this opportunity to be a servant to the Lord. It is the best calling in the world and the Gospel can bring people so much happiness. Heavenly Father will always help us; we just have to ask :) Tell Anna I hope she had an amazing birthday and that I love her :) Tell Will and Abbi and Charlie I love and miss them too! thanks for all the cards and letters and dear elders! I absolutely love them! THANK YOU!!!! Love and miss you mom and dad! Thanks for everything!

Sorella Alli Yost

My New Bed

My closet

                                                     my really cute work out outfit haha 

"we made it to Sunday" on the first Sunday in the MTC :) 

                                                             me and my district :)

how i really feel about ironing... sorry grandma :) 
 how i feel when i get home at night haha i always tell everyone to go to bed. hahahah sleep is precious
I miss my puppy. so i talk to a picture of him haha 

                                                       telling charlie to sit :) hahaha

                                                   the girls waiting for the train to SLC

                                                   trip to SLC to see the consulate :)

                                                       our zone in front of the map!

famous map picture :)

really excited about my 1st package :) THANK YOU MOM AND DAD

one of the times i ran into Bonnie :) LOVE HER.

                                my classroom aka where I basically live every minute of every day.

 sora bray and i were matching and didn't even plan it :) i love her. she is so awesome. and hilarious.

we were really excited to wear pants haha  

                                               this is my stash under my bed haha