Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Transfer Call!

Caro Tutti!

Well this week was a great week! Saturday we got TRANSFER CALLS! I'm
staying in Lampugnano and Sorella Nedelkov is going to Torino! My new
companion's name is Sorella Griffin. That's all we know. I'll be
picking her up tomorrow! And Sorella Nedelkov will be leaving! Crazy,
but I guess that's how missions go :)

So this last week we've been seeing a lot of members so she could see
them for one last time and get pictures. And since we were there
taking pictures I got some, too! So hopefully you'll get to see so many
of the people I love! :D

Friday we had a great lesson with Elda! We talked a little about the
plan of salvation and the purpose of life. She is always bringing up
how so many people make bad choices and how it's hard for her to be
happy. It was a great lesson as we testified about Christ and how we
can use the Atonement. Then she gave the closing prayer and it was so
beautiful! She really speaks from her heart when she prays. The next
day she called us and talked to Sorella Nedelkov on the phone for
awhile saying she didn't feel so great. Not sick-wise, just sad and
lonely. The last time we were there we gave her some chapters in the
Book of Mormon to read and said whenever she feels sad or bad inside
to read it, and she'd feel better. She said she was reading and she really
liked what it said. Sunday morning she didn't come to church. Bummer.
But she called us and she was talking to us about repentance. We
haven't even talked about repentance with her yet, but she was already
realizing that she needs to repent! Faith in Christ truly brings about
a desire to follow Christ and repent. She is progressing really well.
We just need to help her realize that church is important and she
needs to come every Sunday.

Friday we also saw Nancy! We visited her in the hospital and also got
to meet some of her relatives that we've never met before. She was so
happy that day and super happy to see us. As she as lying there in her
hospital bed she promised us (with the cross over her heart and all)
that she would come to our church after she got out of the hospital,
and she told us she wants us to come and talk to her about the gospel.
So amazing. She truly is a miracle. Who would've thought getting hit
by a car would be a miracle! Because I don't know how else we would've
seen her! Heavenly Father works in mysterious ways. We sang a hymn for
her and she loved it. She started crying and said that there was an
empty space in her heart that needs to be healed.

On Tuesday we went again and brought a Book of Mormon. She wasn't doing
that well Tuesday. She was in a lot of pain and really tired. But she
is so strong! She is so positive and puts on a smiling face anyway. :)
We gave her the Book of Mormon and explained it. We also sang her a
hymn and prayed with her.
 We left as she had the Book of Mormon in her arms.

Sunday we were visiting a less active member. Her name is Hilaria.
She's an awesome member who only doesn't come to church because she has
school on the weekends. Her son is 11 and comes to church every
Sunday, well if someone can give him a ride. So, we were at her house
and she said that she is looking for a house because they need to
move. Luckily she has til December. So the owners of the house were
going to come in about 20 minutes and she needed to sign some papers.
It was going to be fast and then we would just continue after they
left. They eventually came, and we thought we were just going to
sit on the couch and wait, but then she told us to come with her and
she took us to her room and just said we could sit in there and then
she shut the door! Haha! it was the funnest situation! We had no idea
why she stuck us in her room to wait! Pretty random. It was only about
20 minutes, then they left and we continued with the lesson.

This week we had quite a few "greenie spoofs"... where you pretty much
mess up with the language. I was talking with a lady and asked where
she was from. She said Pero (a little place close by) but I thought
she said Peru! She didn't look Peruvian, but who knew! So I was like Oh
how long have you been here? and she was like here? about 5 minutes!
We were at a bus stop... and when I looked confused she said I'm
Italian! ...whoops!

Another one: So there are two words- Carita (which means charity) and
Castita (which means chastity) the way you pronounce them is the same,
so they rhyme. So during a prayer that Sorella Nedlkov said she meant to
pray for carita, but instead accidentally said castita! haha! That was
so unexpected that we both couldn't help but giggle! It's a good thing
it was just a prayer between the two of us :)

Monday we visited Patrizia and Washington (the members from Ecuador).
They insisted on feeding us. Then we had an FHE with the Ramos family.
They are from El Salvador and are such great members! The oldest 2 are
less active, but slowly they are coming back! I just love them! We did
a lesson where we placed markers in different shapes and asked them
what number it was between 1 and 5. Then we did a different shape and
asked for the number. They would look at the numbers to find the
number, when in reality the number was on our fingers. We would just
put our hand on the ground with the number but they wouldn't even see
it. We applied that to distractions and how sometimes we focus too
much on distractions and things of the world instead of focusing on
the important things. The oldest son mentioned how on Sunday he woke
up at the time to go to church but was tired and decided just to sleep
in. Later when he was talking to to his brother who just got home from
church he said he didn't come because he was tired. But then his
younger brother said, I was tired too, but I still decided to go. He
realized that sleep was the distraction and that he still could've
gone to church. He is so bravo. He always gives great insights when we
have FHE with them! Then after FHE they insisted on feeding us food
from El Salvador! Goodness so much food that night! I thought I was
going to explode! But it was good :)

There are so many other people we visited but not enough time to tell
you about them, so I'll just send the pictures! I'm happy that I'm
staying another transfer because I love the members here!!! It will be
so fun to show Sorella Griffin around
 and introduce her to these great people!
I hope everyone has a great week!
Vi Voglio bene!
Sorella Dixon

The Church where the painting of The Last Supper is housed.

"This is the last supper. It's not the original, you can't take pictures of that one.... and we actually weren't able to see it because you need to reserve tickets months in advance I guess... so I just took a picture of this one :)"

"This is Elda"

"This is Gladys and Giulia (pronounced Julia). They are so cute! I just love them!
 Giulia remind me of Rissy. Her favorite game is Uno :)"

"This is also Maria Rosa Vacca and her Mom. They are so adorable! Maria Rosa just makes me laugh! She is the only member in her family. Her Mom just comes to FHE and other activities because she lives with Maria Rosa and she won't let her stay home alone."

"This is Hilaria and Demitri. She's the one who put us in her room haha :) 
They are awesome!!"

"This is the Romas family! She's cooking some sort of El Salvadorian food... delish!"

"This is Maria Rosa Vacca, Patrizia, Gladys, and Rita Dal Zotto, some of my favorite women in the ward!!! We were lucky to get a picture with them because they were all at FHE yesterday! :D I just love them!"

"And this is Kebab... we don't know what it is... its just Kebab.. kind of weird..."

Google says:
Kebab, (also kebap, kabob, or kabab) is a Middle Eastern, Eastern Mediterranean, and South Asian dish of pieces of meat, fish, or vegetables roasted or grilled on a skewer or spit.
Pretty Italian flower that looks very island-like to me!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Work is Great! The Spirit is Strong!

Cari Tutti!
I hope you have all had a great week! This week in Lampugnano was pretty great :)

Thursday we had lunch with an older couple, the Marzanos. They are so cute! Fratello Marzano always calls us angels and just LOVES the missionaries! I've figured out Italian meals, they are pretty much all the same. Pasta for the first course. Then meat (usually chicken) and salad for the second course. Sometimes a piece of fruit after that. Then some sort of dessert. Occasionally we'll also have Orzo (like coffee but without caffeine). I don't really know how they can eat the same thing everyday! For lunch and dinner! It's good, but its good to have a little variety. I'll definitely be able to make you an Italian meal when I get home though!

Thursday afternoon we had a great lesson about the restoration with a lady we met on the bus the week before. She actually lived in Georgia for a few years and had been to LDS activities before but has never met with the missionaries. She has a cute daughter that we also taught. She's only 10 but was asking great questions! She wants to come to church. The only thing is, her Mom is a bidonte, so a lady who takes care of an older person. They work pretty much 24/7... so its really hard to meet with them. 

Thursday night we had English class. Lately our English class has been pretty small... We're trying to figure out how to make it bigger. But the week before two sisters randomly showed up who weren't members. Gioia and Paula. Apparently someone they know told them about it. They liked it so they came last week too! This time we were able to explain a little bit about our church and even gave them a tour. They were interested and asked great questions. We invited them to church and guess what? They came!!! They even read the restoration pamphlet that we gave them Thursday We are going to meet with them tonight!

Saturday we had a lesson with Elda. She's the lady who we met at the bus stop several weeks ago who had talked with missionaries before. We just wanted to talk to her about church and get her to come this week since she hasn't come any other week. We had a good lesson and she said she would think about it because it was early. We planned for a member to give her and ride and then Sunday morning we called her. She was still unsure, but we said we had a ride for her and she finally agreed. She came to church and she LOVED it!!! The members were also really good and so many talked to her and welcomed her to church. It was great to have a member give her a ride because she was able to get to know her. It was so great to have investigators in church on Sunday!
Sunday was a great morning in church! Then later that afternoon we visited Patricia and Washington, the great members from Ecuador. We got to hear their conversion stories from just a few years ago. We were planning on talking to them about the temple, when their nephew, his compania and son came (Compania is the name of the person they live with but who they are not married to. yes, they actually have a name for that here..). They sat down at the table and Patricia and Washington told them we are about to have a spiritual message! I was like, oh dear... now what do we teach? I thought maybe just talking about the Restoration.. but that just didnt feel right. Then as Sorella Nedelkov was talking a little about families, I got the thought, you already planned for this, talk about eternal families and the plan of salvation. As we were planning for the day we planned to teach Patricia and Washington about temples but a lot of times they have friends over who aren't members so we planned to talk about eternal families just in case that happened! So that's what we did and we had a great lesson with them! The spirit was there.

Monday we had an AMAZING zone training! I just love zone training! The spirt was SO strong and it just got me more fired for missionary work. The first half we talked about gaining member's trust. The spirit was there and I learned a lot! This part was in Italian and a member even came and talked to us. Then the second half we got our iPads! It's so weird that we actually have iPads in our hands! We couldn't open them until Tuesday when we had to set them up. Then today we did an online course.  After every missionary in our mission takes that we'll be authorized to use them! Crazy! I didn't know how I felt about having iPads, but we've learned a lot about them and how to use them for missionary work and I'm sure we'll learn LOTS more as we use them. I'm excited to be able to use them to learn, teach, and share the gospel. The mission has given us booklets that are truly inspired so we not only know how to use them to fulfill our purpose, but how to stay safe while using them. These are great things to use even AFTER the mission. It will be great to learn how to use technology righteously and wisely. 

Monday afternoon we visited Mary, a less active member. We have visited her several times before but she still hasn't come to church. This time we were praying for a really good lesson with her. We asked her about her baptism and how she gained a testimony. She said she never actually got a testimony. She doesn't believe our church is true, but she still prays to God. We talked with her about her concerns about church and the members. During the whole lesson I was praying for guidance for what to say and it was amazing how different ideas and words would just come to my mind. Sorella Nedelkov told me the same thing was happening to her. We told her that she does have a testimony. The testimony isn't in the CHURCH, it's in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that's what she believed. She committed to coming to church on Sunday! We really hope we can get her to come to church because we know her kids love it, too. One daughter is 8 but not baptized and we hope by getting her Mom back to the church she can help her daughter prepare for baptism so they can all become strong active members! 

Monday night we had an FHE with the Ramos family. Their oldest son is coming back to church! And they have been inviting friends to church. They are amazing! They just share the light of Christ by just being themselves. Their friends asked them what they are doing on Sunday and they reply they go to church and then invite them to come! They tried inviting a few to FHE but they had work so that didn't work, but we might be doing another FHE type thing Saturday with one of their friends.
Tuesday we visited Marlene's daughter in the hospital again. She is so great! She is so sweet and loves having us there! Apparently she had been thinking about coming to church a little bit before, while her Mom was meeting with the missionaries. We thought she didn't like the missionaries with what Marlene had told us before! But she was the one who told her Mom she needed to tell us she was leaving to Venezuela so she could get the address for the church! Miracles! So now we're going to visit her a lot since she'll be in the hospital for awhile and it will be great to teach her what her Mom believes. 

Well I got to go! The work is great!  The spirit is strong!
Love you all!
Vi voglio bene!!!
Sorella Dixon

"A street named Moroni. I thought that only happened in Utah"

Technology for missionaries to assist in hastening the work.
A "Little" tram ride.

"The hospital"
"The anziani in my district"

Happy (After) Mother's Day

Cari Tutti,
Skype on Sunday was so amazing!! It was so great to see all of your smiling faces! Live! :D I LOVED it! How am I so blessed to have a family like you? :) 

Well since I actually didn't really tell you about last week, I'll do that now :) Last p-day after emailing we went to Como, which has a beautiful lake and a light house on the mountain that you can hike to. It was so great to see mountains! And a lake! And forestry! :) I've sent some pictures of the lake. When we went to the was closed... so we only kind of got to see out over the whole city.

That night we had a great lesson with the Argenti famly. We talked about miracles and how they can see miracles in their lives, just like missionaries. Even if it's just talking to someone and sharing their testimony. We got to share a little miracle with them about when we were travelling to their house. I talked to a lady about faith on the bus. It wasn't anything big, and I probably won't see her again, but it was still a good gospel conversation. Sorella Argenti is in the primary and asked me to play the piano for the primary song in sacrament meeting, and now she just loves us. I have a huge testimony about service and how that helps others trust and learn to love you.

Saturday we got to go to Como again, but this time with all the missionaries in the zone! The wards there were doing an MTC thing so they had all the missionaries in the zone come and go out with the members for part of the day! I got to go with Sorella Menini. She was super cute! We tried to visit a less active family, but they were eating and then had other things to do, so they couldn't see us. So then we tried casa. Pretty much like ringing the doorbell outside the gate to the houses. It was not working. We tried to talk to a few people who were out in their yard, but nothing was working. We tried going to a park, but no one was there. I didn't know what to do! I wanted to have a good finding experience with this member, but nothing was going well. I guess she got a taste of real missionary life ;) Finally we decided to stop and pray. After the prayer we were walking along a different street and ended up talking to several people and even had two lessons! We talked to man who had talked to the missionaries before. We prayed with a lady who was just working in her yard, and with a man who was walking his dog. After the prayer, we were actually able to have good gospel conversations with people. It was a great experience. A little nerve racking because I was with an Italian and had to lead the way, but it all worked out! :)

Monday we had a scambio with the sister training leaders again. This time I went with Sorella Boscia and we worked in Navigli. Sorella Boscia is Italian, from Sicilia, and is actually in her 30's. She is a rock! We were communicating completely in Italian the whole time! I actually really liked it! By the end of the scambio, it was just natural. Granted she spoke more than I did, but my brain was in Italian mode and I know I improved in Italian after one day. Even if it was just understanding! During the scambio we were able visit a lady in the hospital and we sang some hymns. There was another lady sitting nearby who was listening and was just smiling and loving it. It was so cute. We were also able to do an FHE with an amazing family. A new convert was also going to be there but she ended up having work. So we just taught the family. It turned out to be a lesson the family really needed. It was great to spend time with just members. I just love visiting members! Monday we also visited a new convert, Maria Anna. She's 74 and knew about a bunch of churches, but when she saw the Anziani one day she asked THEM to come to her house and explain the church. She is from Sicilia, so she and Sorella Boscia connected right away. Sorella Boscia is a great example of really loving the people. She's just a great missionary all around. I learned a lot from her. The next transfer is her last. I can tell she has been a great missionary. 

Today we got to go to the EXPO! There's a member who works for EXPO, he actually helped plan it, and he got us tickets! It was pretty neat. We got to see lots of stuff about food and different countries. We didn't do a whole lot because we only had today, but what we saw was interesting. We saw America's stand and ALMOST bought a real american hamburger. ;)

Well, I should probably go! I hope you all have a great week! Monday we should be getting ipads, so we'll see how that goes! 
Love you!
Vi Voglio Bene!
Sorella Dixon


The closed lighthouse

Working with the members

Photos from the food EXPO

America's area

Shout out to Lena!! :)

This photo looks like Sorella Dixon has One Fancy Hat!!

"The Tree of Life"

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day Skype

Here are a few photos from this morning's much anticipated Skype. 
It was fabulous to see, hear, laugh, and shed a tear or two with our missionary girl!! 

Our first few glimpses....

The smile is big and the shine in the eyes is bright!!

We had told Savanna that Jessica wouldn't be home to Skype, but Jessica came home--a surprise to Me, her Mom, and to Savanna!! It was AWESOME!!!!!

This is how she felt about the surprise as Jessica appeared 
in the little box in the corner of the screen.

Oh man, I have missed this laugh!!

I have no greater joy than to hear
 that my children walk in Truth.

Sorella Nedelkov was in the other room Skyping her family.
 We "met" them, too!

Aren't they adorable?! :)

This is the look she gave as she said, "I have some homework for you......"

Of course she had homework for us!! :)

"The homework is to go look in the Italian hymnbook at Hymns
40, 44, and 196. Play them and sing them."

"Hymns 40 and 44 are Italian lyrics and music".

Hymn 196 is:
"I Wonder When He Comes Again"
Sorella Dixon plays the piano EVERY week in Sacrament Meeting...
and she thought she had been released from the calling! ;)

Savanna Smiles!!

We had to get a picture with the name tag showing!
She really does wear His name over and in her heart... in every way!

Bearing her testimony in Italian. It was beautiful.
Made this Mom cry!
 She is amazing!!

To learn a language in less than 3.5 months is incredible.
 What a blessing and privilege.

She said it is HARD, really HARD, but she loves the work
and the people.

One last good laugh before we had to say Good-bye!!

The image of joy in the service of our Heavenly Father.

Ciao for now....See you in 7 months, Sweet Savannie!!  
Heart is full and life is good!!