Thursday, January 30, 2014

Letter #20 - 1/29/14

Dear Mom and Dad,


GUESS WHAT? I am wearing pants right now!! hahaha Oh how I have missed them. Today we are going hiking in a little pizino outside of Florence so we got to wear pants. Don’t worry mom, I'll take lots of pictures :) haha.


So this week was really really hard but like I said a few weeks ago, it’s the hardest days that precede the miracles and that is exactly what happened. We are teaching this 17 year old girl that is friends with one of our new converts and she is super amazing. I already love her so much. And our 12 year old new convert brought her mom to church again this week and she brought her little 2 year old sister and she is so adorable, all the members of the branch are already obsessed with her, haha.  We did a musical number because it was Branch Conference and she decided she wanted to be a part of it too so she went to the front of the room and stood in front of us and kind of danced a little and then when the song was over she said "sediti tutti!" which means everyone sit down, haha. It was so funny. But probably one of the most amazing moments so far on my mission happened on Sunday when our three new converts went up in front of everyone in Branch Conference and bore their testimonies for the first time ever. It was so powerful and they all have grown so much in the past three months. I was like a proud mamma watching them all up there bearing their testimonies. It was so so so cool.


Oh and last Wednesday for pday we went to Siena! We climbed the bell tower and it was so fun. Literally one of the most beautiful views ever. We were all the way at the top, right under the bell and we could see all of Siena and then the rolling hills of Tuscany. It was beautiful. Oh and by the way, a bird pooped on me, haha.  It was right before we went to go climb the tower and Sorella Lopez, Sorella Forbes and I were all standing there and out of nowhere a bird pooped on my arm. Don’t worry, no one else got hit but ME, hahaha. It was hilarious. And we went inside the duomo in Siena and it was really pretty too! Siena was just absolutely beautiful. We had a blast.


This week has been full of ups and downs but even on our hardest days we can see how blessed we are to be here in this area at this time. This is Heavenly Father's work and he is always supporting us. I love being a missionary, with all my heart. Don’t get me wrong, it is the hardest thing I have ever done in ways that I didn’t even expect, but it is also the most rewarding.


I love the Italian people so much and no matter what we go through it is always worth it for them. Heavenly Father loves them so much and so do we. I love it. Thank you for everything you do for me and for all your prayers! I can feel them for sure. Have an amazing week and I will talk to you next week!


Love you la mia famiglia!


Sorella Alli

Friday, January 24, 2014

Letter #19 - 1/22/14

Hi Mom and Dad!


Okay so this week was pretty good, we have seen so many miracles! Our three new converts are doing SO goood. They are literally the best. The 12 year old actually brought her mom to church this week so we are going to start teaching her now! She is super, super cute and we are really excited. Also, I met my grandma this week!! Haha. Well my mission grandma -  Sorella Lopez's trainer (Sorella Forbes) is living in Siena for the next couple months so I got to meet her on Monday when we were in Siena for District Meeting! She is super awesome and we are spending pday with her today in Siena, haha.  We are going to climb the tower! It should be really fun.


Also this week, we met a super awesome guy on the train. We were on our way home from Arezzo which is about a 35 minute train ride and there was like no one on the train. So we sat down and I saw a guy sitting in the row behind us and so it was like "okay, I’m going to go talk to him" so I get up and start walking towards him....and realize he is listening to headphones. And me being my awkward self, I decided the best thing to do would be to keep walking past him, haha. So it walked past him, went a couple rows down...then turned around and walked back to Sorella Lopez and sat down. I looked at her and was like " so...have you ever taught someone listening to headphones?" and she said yeah a couple times and so I was like alright, then I can do it too.. So I got back up and walked over and sat by him and we started talking, haha. It turns out he is super, super legit and was really nice and Sorella Lopez came over and we taught him about the Book of Mormon! We had him read a couple paragraphs from the introduction and he looked up at us from reading and asked us where he could get one of these books. We were like...we can help you with that, haha.  So it turns out he is going on vacation to Spain for a couple weeks, but then once he gets back he wants to meet up and get a  Book of Mormon. MIRACLE! For real. So lucky my awkwardness didn’t scare him away and hopefully I will get better at talking to people over the next year, haha.


Also we had to go to Empoli this week for a class for my permesso. I had to watch this 3 hour long video about laws in Italy. It was super exciting, I sat next to a nun. We have to go back again this Friday and them I am done with my training, haha. If anyone ever goes on a trip to Italy, I don’t recommend going to Empoli. There is literally nothing there, haha. But we rewarded ourselves with kebab afterwards so it was all okay.


Well I think that is all for this week! I hope everything is going well back home! Thank you for your emails and pictures every week, I love them so much! Thanks for everything you do for me, I love you so much!


Talk to you soon!


Sorella Alli

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Letter #18 - 1/15/14


Okay so this week was pretty good! We have seen so many miracles already and we are really excited for this transfer, we know there is something more we have to do here in Montevarchi. We have had some really, really incredible lessons the past couple days. Last night we taught one of our members (who fed us the best meal I've had so far in Italy by the way) and the Spirit was so strong. We switched the scripture we wanted to share with her right before the lesson started and it turned out to be the exact scripture she needed. We handed her the Book of Mormon to read for us and before she even read it she started crying and said "I know this scripture". It was such a cool experience. I love being a missionary!!!

Anyways, this transfer our district leader decided that we are going to have a Harry Potter themed transfer. I KNOW. So there are 4 copia in our district and so each companionship is one of the different houses in Harry Potter. My companion and I are Ravenclaw (we protested because clearly we are Gryffindor material but that one was already taken and we didn't want to be hufflepuff, haha). So our DL decided I am Sorella Luna Lovegood for this transfer and my companion is Sorella Cho Chang hahahahahahaha, seriously the funniest thing ever. We have a point system for how many lessons you get and things like that and are having a House Cup. It is really really funny. Basically a dream come true, haha. Oh and I emailed Bonnie all about it, haha she would love it. Tell Mackenzie for me too! haha she would appreciate it.

But we are doing good out here, we are happy and are excited! The three who were baptized last month are doing so well and we love them so much. The little 12 year old wrote me the cutest note the other day and it is hanging on my wall now.

Italian is hard but I think I am getting slightly better so that is a good sign, haha. We are trying to do more language study this transfer. Also, we went to the Hard Rock Cafe last week in Florence and it was so fun! but we didnt take any pictures . . . I know, I am so sorry! haha, but we will take more today :) Promise!

I think that is all for this week, I love and miss you all so much but I know this is exactly where I am supposed to be right now! Have a great week and I will talk to you soon :) love you!

Sorella Alli

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Letter #17 - 1/8/14

Greetings from....Montevarchi!


Sorella Lopez and I are both staying here in Montevarchi for another transfer! Guess that just means we have more work to do here so we are going to go out and find out what that is :)

It has been a really interesting week, our three new converts are still doing so well and we are so proud of them! The 16 year old even started seminary this week so we are so excited for her :) They have to do seminary via Skype here because everyone lives so far away from each other. I’m sure Abbi is really jealous :) haha

Last Thursday we had a scambio with the sister training leaders in Pisa! And we did finding in the rain the whole time, haha. It was really good though and I got the wonderful opportunity of riding a bike in a skirt for the first time – In the pouring rain! it was so much fun and quite hilarious actually seeing as I was riding a unisex child’s mountain bike...literally no joke this thing was tiny! The Sorella I was with handed me the keys to the bike lock before we went out and said, "I apologize in advance on behalf of my companion for your bike for the next two days" haha yeah. I'm sure the people of Pisa had a good laugh though so it was all worth it. We did finding and no one let us in but that’s okay because we were trying! An hour or two into it I was like "why doesn’t anyone want to talk about Jesus?!" And the other Sorella laughed at me, haha. But it was a really, really good experience and we had a lot of fun together.

And then on Sunday night I got a little sick. We ate at a member’s house that night and we ate dead fish. Like literally, the fish had probably been caught, killed and put on our plate all within a couple hours. It was nuts. It still had a tail, skin, spine, and everything. We had to peel the skin off and take the spine out and everything. So funny. But I ate as much as I could of it and then I woke up in the middle of the night that night throwing up. It was not super fun. Poor Sorella Lopez, I feel so bad she has to deal with me for another 6 weeks, haha. But I am totally fine now! But you better believe next time I will not eat the fish, haha.

Then I got my giant Christmas package! Thank you so much Mom and Dad! That thing was huge. Like literally missionaries were taking guesses of what was inside of it, haha. But i loved it all! The Sheldon and Amy dolls are sitting on my desk Dad! Haha. I was laughing so hard. And the clothes were so cute Mom! Thank you! and Sorella Lopez and I are loving the treats. They have helped us through some rough days already so thank you so much! :) And I LOVE the slippers! Put them on as soon as I got them :) Thank you so much you are all the best! I am totally set for like the rest of my mission now :) haha.

Well I better go but know I love and miss you all so much! The mission is literally the hardest thing I have ever done. And it is not always super glamorous and we definitely have our hard days but I know that it is the days that are the hardest that will precede the miracles. Thank you so much for everything you do for me! You are the best! Tell Abbi, Anna, Will and Charlie “hi” from me and that I love them! Have a great week and talk to you soon :)


Sorella Alli

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Letter #16 - 1/1/14

Buon Natale e Buon anno!

Well – this week has literally been crazy. But that’s okay, because on Saturday THREE of our investigators were baptized!! MIRACLE! We are so proud of them and they are so happy with their decision. They are already doing missionary work and introducing us to their friends and it is so great. We love them so much and are so proud of them and the decision they made to be baptized. I am grateful that Heavenly Father sent me here at this time where I would get the opportunity to even meet them.

But so rewind a little bit, before the baptism was Christmas! It was SO nice to be able to talk with you all again! It felt like I was right there with you. Sorry my Italian is so bad, haha – I promise I am working on it. But Skype was awesome and we had a lot of time – but then we missed the train back to our area – so we got to stay an extra night in Firenze with the other Sorelle. Party Round #2! We had a lot of fun together, haha – we exchanged presents and ate Christmas candy and even got to watch one Disney movie of our choice – and you better believe we chose Emperor’s New Groove and we loved every single minute of it, haha! We literally were laughing the entire time; that movie is pure Gold. Then we had lunch at a member’s house and it was so good and then we Skype'd!

Saturday was the baptism and one of the girls getting baptized asked me to give a talk so I gave a talk and I don’t think I messed up too horribly, haha – Italian is hard. But that’s OK – I have 14 more months to learn it, Haha! But the baptism was great and they were all confirmed the next day in church and our Branch just loves them all already. It was great.

On New Year’s Eve, we had to be in our apartment by 5pm (we called it lockdown, haha) because apparently people here go crazy on New Year’s. So we stayed in and finished our area book and journal’d while watching The District – crazy New Year’s Eve for us, am I right? Haha. There were tons of fireworks at midnight and our neighbors were clearly having a big party all night long that they did not invite us too – how rude right? haha just kidding.

Mom! guess what! You will be so proud of me. On the way home from the baptism, while we were waiting for the train, I bought a reward for myself for making it through the day – yep, you guessed it, a diet coke, haha! Best thing ever! Have fun watching The Bachelor on Monday!!! I can still be excited about that even though I am a missionary right? OK good, because I am, haha.
I hope you had a fun time in Utah for New Years and had a really good Christmas! I miss you all so much but I know I am right where I need to be right now. Thanks for all you do for me, I LOVE YOU!

Sorella Alli

 Our little Italian Christmas Tree.
 Helping out in the Kitchen.

 Our District Christmas Dinner celebration.
 Getting ready to open Christmas presents!
 At the Baptism.
 A special friend.
Celebrating with some sebadas - It is a super good dessert from Sardena.
 The wonderful family that hosted us for Christmas and Skype!