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