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!
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.