Thursday, August 27, 2015

A New Companion


I hope everyone had a great week! Its is great here in Genova Italia!!
Last Thursday Sorella Russell and I travelled to Milano so she could
go to Como and so I could pick up my new companion!! It was kind of
stressful that morning because we missed our train... twice... haha.
Really I have no idea how. We literally missed them by a few seconds.
But I think there was a reason because we were able to talk to a few
people and we also ended up talking to a couple from Kansas City who
were here for their anniversary. He was a minister for his church and
it was just really great to talk to them about their lives and how
much they love God. They shared how their faith has helped them in
their life and how God has totally led their lives. It has turned out
so much different than they thought, but so much better. They are
doing a lot of good things and helping so many youth believe in God
and do good things. It just gave me a whole new respect for other
religions. It also shows that God has a plan for everyone. This man
has a student who is LDS and actually went through a temple open
house. And then they ended up talking to 2 missionaries in Italy for
about an hour and a half waiting for a train. Maybe it's not their
time to become members yet (he told us he was in the process of
starting up a church in a new area), but little by little they are
being brought to the gospel.

So I got my new companion and she is so great! Her name is Sorella
Gregg and is from Spanish Fork, Ut. She is about 5 feet tall!!  She is in her 9th
transfer right now and has served in Prato and Ravena. She is just
adorable! She is always telling me stories! It's so great. Just stories
of her mission and crazy things that have happened to her. I love it.
She's pretty easy going and easy to get along with. She just loves the
people and is super sweet to everyone. I think we're going to have a
great transfer together :)

Friday we met with Mayra. For the past 2 weeks we have been trying to
meet with her but she either cancels, isn't there, or we have to move
it. So we finally got to see her! She was baptized when she was little
but doesn't really have a testimony. So we're helping her. She's funny
and will always read the Book of Mormon the day after the sorelle
visit her but then doesn't after that.. she said she prays and then
opens the Book of Mormon to a random page expecting a response but it
never works. We told her that even though that works sometimes we also
have to show faith and read everyday to show Heavenly Father we're
serious and will keep doing the right things. She's going to Ecuador
next month but said she really wants to be serious and start coming
back to church when she comes back, so hopefully she does!
We also saw Sophya so Sorella Gregg could meet her. She's so great!

Saturday we passed by Teresa and Madelin and they were home! And the
husband was there, too! That was a miracle. We hadn't met him yet. We
had a great lesson about the Book of Mormon. It's kind of sad because
they recognize that there is a lack of spirit and that life isn't as
great as it was before when they read the scriptures and came to
church, but they just won't do anything about it. We commit them to
read the Book of Mormon, but they just don't read it. We set up a time
to see them Tuesday, but then they cancelled yesterday.
We had English later that day. In our class there is this lady named
Elena who comes every week. She loves learning English. So after
English we always share a spiritual thought and the time before this
time we committed her to pray. Times before that she said she was
atheist and everytime we invited our class to pray she said she would
but never did. But last time she said she really would. So then on
Saturday we asked her and she said she did!! YES!! It made me so
happy! I honestly think that she knows that God exists but has had
hard times in her life and also just caught up with history and
science and stuff. But piano piano she's learning and feeling the
spirit :) (piano piano is a phrase they say ALL the time here. It just
means slowly or bit by bit pretty much. It's just sounds so much
better in Italian)

Then I took Sorella Gregg to see Cate!! Aw she's so great! She called
earlier in the day asking when we were going to come see her so its a
good thing we planned for her that night! She's so funny. When I
answered the phone she asked who I was and I said Sorella Dixon and
then asked if I was the one she has met. haha ya she doesn't really
remember anything. She always tells the same stories over and over.
But they're so great! She just makes me laugh.
So on the way there we were on the bus and this kid sits next to me
and I just say "ciao!" and he says "ciao" back and then we just start
talking. He was nine and his mom was standing there by him but wasn't
much into talking.. so I just talked to him! He was adorable and
carried on a conversation really well! We told him our names and he
asked if we were sisters haha and then after I told him we were
missionaries and a little about what we did he was like, so you aren't
sisters and you work in a church named Sorella Gregg? Hahahaha How
cute! We explained our tags and what the real name of the church was.
I know he'll see missionaries again someday :)

Sunday Talia came to church!!! Finally!!! She said with her work she
can come every other week. She was able to stay for Relief Society
this time and met lots of great people. She LOVED the Relief Society
lesson and could really feel the spirit. She said she felt like it was
just for her. She also said the people were so nice! After church we
had a lesson with her and Rebecca. That was a great lesson! Rebecca
was really able to share her testimony and Talia just ate it up.
Sorella Gregg got to meet members so that was good. Its crazy for her
here because we're over two wards. And since we are, I don't really
know a ton of members either.... so sometimes we're meeting them
together! That night we were able to meet with a great ward family
from Ecuador. Oh that's another thing that Sorella Gregg really
noticed here, we meet mostly people from South America. So many people
from Ecuador live here! I love it!

Monday morning we didn't have anything planned so we just did bus
finding and we ended up finding a lady named Ana from Ecuador whose
cousins might be members. They have gone to our church at least. We
are going to meet with her and her family Saturday! Then the Anziani
in Genova 1 and us split the ward so we actually had people for us to
find and reactivate. So that will be good. We've been wanting to do
that for awhile but we never found a time, so it was good to actually
get that done. Later that day we met with Stefania. I can't remember
if I told you about her. She was in church when she asked us if we
would come study with her since she felt like she couldn't be open
when the Anziani came over. Her boyfriend whom she lives with is a
member... The problem is is that she's married to another man. But
separated and they can't find him to get divorced... and since she's
not divorced she can't marry her boyfriend... So that's lovely. We're
kind of teaching her slowly because of the situation and she wants to
go really slowly to really understand everything.
After that our appointments fell through so we did a lot of passbys...
a lot. And we actually had a good lesson with someone. Everyone else
couldn't, BUT every single one answered! Miracle!! So we planned for
other days to come by.

Tuesday we saw Ester in the hospital. She's always just so sweet. It's
so sad because Ofilia's dad is now at home.... and we have no way to
contact them.... We wanted to continue teaching them about the Book of
Mormon after he goes home but never got their number. Bummer... and
Ofilia was actually reading it! So hopefully a miracle happens with
them and they see the missionaries again someday. Then we saw
Giorgina. She is so great. She is just so down to earth and sweet. We
had a great lesson about God and Christ. She has a lot of faith. She
said she doesn't know if she'll come to church this Sunday because she
doesn't know anyone and we're going to the other ward, but there's an
activity this Friday that we invited her to where we can introduce her
to great YSA (or GANS in italian) members. so hopefully that will help

Then we had a lesson with Talia!! We taught her about the Word of
Wisdom. She pretty much has no problem expect she likes wine and beer
every once in awhile. She said she will start living it next week once
she finishes the bottle of wine she has in her house.... haha. We will
probably have to move her baptism back a week since she has had so
much work.. but I think it will still work in this transfer!

Well, that's was my week in a nutshell! I'm so excited for this transfer!
It's been fun showing Sorella Gregg around beautiful Genova and
introducing Focaccia and pesto to her! :)
Well... have a great week full of miracles!!
Vi voglio bene!
Sorella Dixon

Sorella Gregg and Sorella Dixon

With Cate, a sweet friend from South Africa!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Can Ye Tell?

Cari tutti!

Well, we got transfer calls this week and I'm staying and Sorella
Russell is going to COMO!! Beautiful Como! She'll love it there!
She'll be in a threesome and one of her companions in Sorella
Insalaco, one of the sisters in my MTC district! So, we had our last
week together. Crazy! We've been visiting people like crazy! But I
love it!

 Last Thursday we saw Chiara and her Mom Elizabetha. They are the
referral we got from the lady in church and they are so adorable! They
are from Peru. So Chiara's Dad is a member but less active and the Mom
is a devout Catholic, but last December Chiara wanted to go to her
Dad's church and ever since then they have been coming. I think more
regularly now though. Chiara is thinking about being baptized. She's
9. We had a great lesson with them and the Mom really opened up.
Chiara also instigates  prayer and scripture study every night.
She's amazing.

Friday we saw Ofilia and her Dad again at the hospital when we visited
Ester. And Ofilia said she started reading the Book of Mormon that we
left them! That was a miracle! They love having us come visit them. He
goes home soon so hopefully they'll let us keep seeing them after they
leave the hospital.

Saturday night we had a lesson with Nimmi and her husband. Mamma mia
that was a lesson... So the husband is a member but less active and
Nimmi is buddhist. Really buddhist. I think I know why I was called to
Italy where everyone here already has a Christian base background... I
cannot teach people otherwise! Ok, I probably could if I had more
practice and learned how to... but it was tough. They are super nice
though. We found out that the Anziani had actually been over there the
week earlier. I think they're going to keep teaching him since he is
less active and doesn't really have a testimony. 

Sunday we visited a lot of members and had a great lesson with Sophya,
our new convert that Sorella Russell taught! I was also talking to
Rebekah, another new convert and she's super interested in coming to
lessons with Talia. We've have been praying to find members for Talia
since everyone we call can't or are gone... It has been hard to find
members for her for some reason, but I think we finally found someone!
And then we talked to a family who invited us to dinner Tuesday night
and since we can't have dinner with just members we asked if we could
bring a friend and they said sure! So we were able to invite Talia! We
had that dinner yesterday and it was am-az-ing. Talia and her Mom came
and just bonded right away with the family! It was so spiritual. They
were able to share their testimonies about the gospel and how much
they have been blessed from the gospel. It was beautiful. Talia loved
it and said she now had friends and wouldn't be alone when her Mom
left for Cuba. It was a perfect lesson for Sorella Russell to end

Monday and Tuesday we were EVERYWHERE visiting people and saying
goodbye. We saw miracles. One was with the train. We were at a lesson
with Chiara and Elizabetha at 6 in Sestri and had to be at Brignole at
6:30. It's a 21 minute train ride or a 45 minute bus ride.... we
forgot to check the train times to Brignole and so as we ran to the
station from their house I was seriously praying the whole way there
for a train, or a miracle, or someway to get to Brignole on time since
it was the dinner with Talia. We got to the station right at the train
was pulling in and we hopped on with a minute to spare. It seriously
was a miracle. We had great lessons and people just loved Sorella
Russell. It was so great! Tiring but so great!

So this week I read Alma 26 and I was thinking about this last
transfer as I read it. It pretty much sums it up. I especially liked
verse 2 "And now, I ask, what great blessings has he bestowed upon us?
Can ye tell?"

Can ye tell? Can you see the hand of God in your life? Are you looking
for it? Because it is ALWAYS there. I love it. We just need to have
the eyes open to see that God is there. Just like the train. I know
God's hand was in that because we needed to have that lesson with
Talia and the family.

Well, I hope you all have a great week! Love ya lots! Can't wait to get
to know my new companion, Sorella Gregg! We will see miracles in
Genova I know it!

Vi voglio bene!
Sorella Dixon

Eating Sushi

The main train station in Genova

Genova Centrale
Arch near the center of Genova

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Everything Happens for a Reason

Cari Tutti!
I hope everyone had a great week! This week just FLEW by! I don't even
know why. I guess if you're busy time just flies. This weekend we get
transfer calls! Already! It's crazy!

So last Thursday morning we decided to passby Teresa and Madelin.
We've passed by them before and they are usually home and let us in.
So we tried them again and they were both home! Teresa is the Mom and
Madelin is about 20 and also has a little girl. They became members
about 4 years ago but don't really come to church anymore so we're
working with them. It was a great lesson and we really talked about
reading the Book of Mormon and praying to know if it's true. Teresa
said she prays everyday, but has pretty much stopped reading the Book
of Mormon. So hopefully we can help her gain a testimony of it. It was
a miracle that we saw them because that day they were leaving for
Spain for vacation! So it was definitely guidance from the spirit! So
here in Italy EVERYONE leaves on vacation in August.... so that's fun
haha. Pretty much everyone that we talk to on the bus, doing strada,
or doing casa, say they're leaving so they can't say when we can come
see them again... but we still get their number and will just call
them when August is over I guess!

Thursday night all of our appointments fell through so we ended up
doing passbys and then doing casa (ringing doorbells of that
apartment building). We actually had a few miracles that night! We
ended up passing by someone who when we rung the citofino just let us
right in. Usually they ask who it is before they will unlock the
apartment door. That means they probably didn't know it was us...
and that's what it was. The lady at the door was kind of confused when
she saw us but we still talked with her and found out that her husband
is the member we were passing by and she's Buddhist. The Anziani have
worked with her husband in the past so she's familiar with
missionaries. She thought it was her husband coming home that's why
she unlocked the door. Well, we asked if we could come visit her and
her husband sometimes, and she was really willing. On the way out we
saw her husband coming in so we talked to him for a few seconds. We
are seeing them this Saturday so hopefully that goes well!
Then we were able to walk and talk to a lady who was just leaving her
apartment. She was super sweet. Hopefully we'll see her again.

Friday we had lunch with a member from Finland. She's an awesome
missionary and was telling us she needed copies of the Book of Mormon
in Urdu and Punjabi since she was talking to these guys about it.
Crazy. We had to call the mission office for those. Later that
afternoon we had an appointment for Stefania but when we got there she
said she didn't feel like studying. Turns out that
she was feeling sick and didn't have our number so she told the
Anziani to tell us but they couldn't get a hold of us so we never found
out... but everything happens for a reason because as we were waiting
for the bus there was a lady that we started talking to, and she was
interested. She lost her Mom a few years ago and now lives alone. She
has no family nearby and isn't married. We talked a little about the
plan of salvation. So we hope things go well with her!

Saturday night we saw Talia! So, we were supposed to see her Thursday
night but earlier that day she called us and told us that she got the
job she had been hoping for!!! Yay! She had lost her job and didn't
know what to do. The last lesson the sisters had with her (while we
were on scambio) she was really down and hopeless. But then the lady
who was thinking about moving ended up moving so Talia got her job!
She was SOO happy. So she decided to take one last vacation to the
beach with her mom on Thursday. But we got to see them Saturday and
she was just telling us how much she loves her job. She said the
opening prayer and was  thanking Heavenly Father for everything.
She also told us her Mom wasn't really interested so she wasn't going
to be in the lesson with us... but we still invited her because we
told them we had a video and it was in Spanish! So she'd be able to
understand completely! So she came and we watched the restoration.
After that we talked and it was probably one of the most powerful
lessons I've had. The spirit was guiding both me and Sorella Russell.
Her Mom opened up and really told us what was on her mind. We were
able to bear strong testimony about Joseph Smith and the Book of
Mormon. She is actually really reading the Book of Mormon and likes
it. She feels good with this church, and we told her to continue to
follow these feelings and keep studying it out. She's moving  back
to Cuba in a couple of weeks so hopefully we can send her number and
address as a referral.

Sunday we helped in the primary so they could have a piano player
while they sing. There was a lady in there next to her daughter who I
actually talked to before sacrament meeting and introduced myself. I
didn't realize this, but after church a member came up and said that
the lady isn't a member. Neither is her daughter actually, who is 9.
The dad/husband is a member but less-active. The member said she
talked to them and they are ok with having us come over! So we'll be
seeing them this week. She gave us their number on a piece of paper
and when we looked at it later it was a sweet note. She said that she
had actually prayed that we would be in their ward on Sunday so she
could talk to us about them! Because we're over 2 wards we have to
switch which ward we go to. Usually we go to the ward where
investigators or less-actives will be. We were planning on going to
Genova 1 because Talia was going to come to church, but then she
couldn't because of work (work is a blessing and a curse!!) and so we
decided to go to Genova 2 since we went to Genova 1 last time. And
it's a good thing too since we got to meet the lady and her daughter!

Monday was pretty much talking to people. Getting bidones. Doing
finding. All that good stuff. Luckily we were able to end the day with
Talia. She just makes our day so much better. I don't think she
realizes what a blessing she is to US. She is just so sweet and we
love teaching her.

Yesterday morning we saw a member family who are from Ecuador. I loved
talking to them! They have 2 young women, so with the two of us there
it was like there were 4 daughters! Almost like home haha. The members
are so great and so willing to help us out! Then later we saw Cate,
the member from South Africa :) She's so funny with all her stories.
That she just tells over and over , but she loves missionaries and
we love seeing her!

Well, that's pretty much my week! At least all the highlights :) It
will be crazy to see what happens when we get transfer calls this
Saturday! But everything is in God's hand. He has the perfect plan for
everything. I know that if we trust in Him everything will turn out
even better than we thought it would! I know I'm here for a reason and
I'm so grateful I get to be a part of this amazing work.
Go out and look for a miracle this week!
Vi Voglio Bene!!
Sorella Dixon :)

This is the only photo this week, as the computer was working too slowly!!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

I Love Just Trekking up the Hills of Italy!

Cari Tutti!
Happy August! The weather was really nice to us the first 2 days. It was nice and cool and there was a little rain! But now its back to being nice and hot again. 

Last Thursday we visited a lady in the hospital. Her name is Ester. I don't know if I've mentioned her before. But she's really sweet. She was less active before, then broke her leg, and now has nothing to do in the hospital but read so she's been reading the Book of Mormon. All the way through for the first time actually. She loves it! Hopefully this will help her gain a real testimony and come back to church. As we were leaving the hospital we stopped outside for a little bit to try to call a couple of people. There was a hill right by us and we noticed a bunny. Then we saw more. And then they just kept coming! There were just random bunnies hopping on this hill! I was really curious and there happened to be a lady there watching them, too, so I asked her if she knew why the bunnies were there. I honestly just wanted to know that. I wasn't even planning on talking to her before that. Well she told us that the owner of the bunnies just let them loose and now there are about 30 wild rabbits who live there. Then we actually ended up talking about the gospel anyway! She told us she comes everyday to be with her dad who is in the hospital. Her mom passed away several years ago and before that she lost her sister. She said she has kind of lost her faith. We talked about hope and life after death and we asked her if we could come visit her and her dad here again and she said sure since she's there everyday anyway. Sooo yesterday we visited Ester again and then went and found Ofilia and her dad! It was really good! Turns out that her dad had actually talked to missionaries before and has a Book of Mormon at home. So he was open to us. At the end we asked if one of them would like to say the prayer and Ofilia said she would because it has been a long time since she had prayed. And then she ended up getting teary eyed while she prayed. Also, in the room while we were there was another lady who was with whom I assume is her dad. We showed Ofilia and her dad a Mormon message and asked the lady if she wanted to watch and she shook her head but then she ended up standing up during the video so she could see it better. :) Then she told us she liked it. :) Miracles that all started with bunnies!

To make it even better yesterday night after we got back from the hospital both of our appointments we had fell through... so we were trying to figure out what to do. We decided to call this member (it was actually the member we dragged up stairs and to the lesson with Elisabetta who ended up canceling on us!) and asked if we could come visit her. She lives really close to us. She said sure! Whenever we wanted! So we went there and ended up talking about Ester. She is really good friends with Ester and visits her almost everyday at the hospital. This member, Sorella Perez, is so amazing. She is a rock. Even with all that she has been through. And she stays strong even though most of her kids have chosen different paths. We told her about our experience with Ofilia and her dad and she said she knows her! Since she goes to the hospital so often she has talked with her before. So that was neat! We're going to try to get Ester and Sorella Perez involved with helping these people learn about the gospel! 

Friday I went to Savona for a scambio with Sorella Schoenhalls! It was so fun! Sorella Schoenhalls is great! We had great lessons, ended up walking forever in the boonies trying to find this passby, and got to go to these little towns outside of Savona that are right next to the ocean, so they were gorgeous! It was fun to get to know Sorella Schoenhalls. She's a great missionary. But God gives us companions for a reason. I feel like I can teach so much better with Sorella Russell. And we just see miracles happen everyday when we're together. It's just a powerful companionship. So I'm grateful to be with Sorella Russell :)

Saturday we had English class and then shared a spiritual thought with the people there. I love English class here. Because people actually come and they are also kind of interested in the gospel as well. They participate really well during our spiritual thoughts. So there's this lady named Elena and she has come almost since when I first got here. We found out she doesn't believe in God. Last time we were talking about happiness and she actually told us that she hasn't really felt happy in her life lately. We talked about the Book of Mormon and she was actually interested! So was her friend who has come to English class before apparently but Saturday was the first time I had seen her. Tonight we have English class again so hopefully they come!

Sunday after church some members invited us over for lunch and it was delicious! They are a couple from the Philippines and Indonesia. Sophya, our new convert, was also there and it was so fun! Then we had a really good lesson with Mayra. She is less active and told us she doesn't even know why she was baptized. It was a good lesson where she really opened up with us. Hopefully we can address her needs and really help her gain a testimony. 

Monday morning we had no appointments so we went out and did finding. It was a great morning actually! We talked to SO many people! I loved it! We ended up doing bus, street finding, and casa. Later that afternoon we had a lesson with Talia and really talked about trusting in the Lord and recognizing the spirit. She didn't come to church on Sunday because she was out til 3 the night before and was too tired... so that's a bummer. But she said she would for sure come this week. After her we did some passbys in that area. So where we live apartment building are just built on all the hills. So we are always climbing up. There are literally pathways of just stairs that go on forever to get to a street, or you can take a really long, skinny, windy road. But i love it! I love just trekking up hills in Italy! Especially because all the buildings we pass are gorgeous and colorful! 

Yesterday was the day we saw Ester, Ofilia, and the member. And then when we were walking home from Sorella Perez's we ended up seeing Sophya, our new convert. She was taught by Sorella Griffin and Sorella Russell actually. She just loves the missionaries! She wanted to have a short little lesson on a bench so we shared a little thought with her. I think she really needed us at that moment actually because she was telling us she had been having a hard day. She's away from her family and she's also worried about them because they're not doing the best things. So it was good to lift her day. 

Today we went to Camogli and it was gorgeous! Just more ocean, colorful buildings, boats, and cool churches! So pretty! :) Italy is gorgeous and I don't know why I'm so blessed to be here right now! 

Well hope you have a great week!
Vi voglio un sacco di bene!
Sorella Dixon

Here is some Italian eye candy. What a gorgeous place!

She gets prettier every day! :)

"Just a cool old building"

Salmon pizza


"Missionary selfie"