Wednesday, September 23, 2015

"I Wish You a Sack of Good"

This little message from Savanna made my morning: :)

"Guess what? One of the elders in my district shined my shoes haha. I
came to district meeting and he was just like "I brought something for
you. But I need your shoes." And then he pulled out shoe shining
stuff! They look so nice now! I've never shined shoes before...
but my shoes really did need it. So that was super nice of him".

YUP!! Kindness matters!!
Now on to her email...

Ciao tutti!
This week we saw so many miracles! It was so great!!!

So Last Wednesday we had p-day with the Sorelle in Savona and
Alessandria. It was kind of last minute decision but I'm super glad we
did because they are great sorelle and we had lots of fun together
just exploring Genova! And also we got an amazing referral from
Sorella Back who is serving in Alessandria. There was a 12 year old
girl who they were teaching but then she moved back to live with her
Mom who is in Genova! So we called her mom and set up an appointment
for Saturday! When we went they were both smiles and super happy to
see us! They are the cutest! Her little brother was there too. So now
we're teaching all 3 of them! They're names are Veronica (the mom),
Francesca, and Manuel. They are from Ecuador.

Then Friday night we got home and saw that we had a referral. We
decided to call them and set up an appointment for Saturday morning.
It was a lady named Marjeta and she said she was going to bring her
son, too. We went to the park and taught them the restoration! They are
soo great! Marjeta just loves how family oriented the church is. She
also wants her son to join so he can have a good group a friends and
people to be around. They are from Albania and she was in Albania on
vacation when she talked to the missionaries, then they sent the
referral to us. She also said she had family in Florence who is going
to our church. She was talking about some of them and said Angela.
Then Sorella Gregg was like, "Angela?! I know Angela! I taught her and
she got baptized!" Angela is her new convert from a year ago and now
we're teaching her AUNT!! She was sooooo excited! WE couldn't believe
it! They are great people! They said they would come to church the
next day. Well, they didn't come and we were kind of bummed... but then
they sent us a text later that day saying that they didn't hear the
alarm and were really sorry they didn't come and then asked to set up
another time to meet!

Saturday was just a miracle day. We couldn't believe that we were
pretty much just handed these two families to teach. All of a sudden.
They are so great! I'm so excited to keep teaching them!

Other things we did this week and little miracles:
On Thursday we had Zone training which was so great. We talked about
planning and we are planning so much better now. I know planning is
HUGE! Especially on a mission. It was a great training. We saw a less
active named Mayra. She's less active because she has work. A lot of
times that's why people are less active. She still has a  testimony and we had 
a great lesson with her. I love it when we are all enlightened during the lesson. 
Then you know the spirit was definitely there. We  also visited the Garnero family. 

Friday we saw another less active Mariana. She's from Romania and she
made us soup, chicken, and potatoes. She's a great lady! Right now
we're trying to visit a ton of less-actives from Genova 1 because most
of the list are less-actives. And we've been able to set up a lot of
appointments so that's great! We also did a passby to a family the
Bishop's family told us about. They ended up not being interested, but
we were able to talk to them! It was great because we weren't exactly
sure which house it was... and which number on the citofino. But we
went to the house we thought it was and tried a number and there was a
little boy outside on his bike. He said he lived there and we said we
were friends of Nadia and her family and he was like oh Nadia! YA just
come upstairs it's open! So cute! So we went up and talked to them.

Saturday was our miracle day with so many new people to teach! yay!
Sunday we had a lesson with Stefania and later that night we visited
the Biondi family. They're great. He talked to us a lot about working
with members. It was really good and we talked about that at our
district meeting on Monday. We are really hoping to find more
opportunities to work with members more and get them more involved in
missionary work.

Monday was district meeting and then we visited Ester at the hospital.
As we were leaving on the bus we saw the Anziani teaching a guy on a
park bench. I loved seeing that! I just love missionaries! I'm so
happy that I am one and that I can talk to others and bring them

We tried passing by Talia that night since our FHE got canceled. But
she wasn't home. I don't know what happened to her. She doesn't ever
respond to us and is never home. So that's really a bummer.

Tuesday we had a great lesson with Chiara and Sorella Moreschi came.
She is such an amazing member. Elizabetha, Chiara's mom, told us how
much the Moreschi's have done for them. She told us that she is the
example of a Mormon. Elizabetha's husband's family is all LDS but a
lot are less active.  Hugo, the husband, is really hesitant to have Chiara
baptized on the date we set for her. We haven't ever been able to
talk to him because he's not at the lessons, but Elizabetha has told
us. He doesn't want her to just join just because and then decide to
be done a few years down the road.

We saw Denise that night!!! (the lady from the train) FINALLY!!!
Every time we set up an appointment she cancels or can't... but this
time we went to her house and it was so great! She told us her story
and her experiences. She loves art and is such a deep thinker. She
kind of over thinks stuff I think. She's had a lot of hard times in
her life. But I know the gospel will help her so much! It was so good
to actually see her!

I know that God is blessing us so much! I love working here in Genova!
Everyday I see something new that's so beautiful and I get to talk to
and teach such great people! Miracles are real and I love being a part
of this amazing work!

Vi voglio un sacco di bene!
(haha one day one of the elders said that to us but in English just
how it is and it translates to "I wish you a sack of good." Haha ;)

-Sorella Dixon

Might and Strength!

Beautiful sites of Italy!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I Love Genova in September

Cari Tutti!
September is so great here in Genova! The weather is cooler and there
has been occasional rain. Which I LOVE!

Last p-day we had a miracle. No one showed up for our English class so we
decided to try a passby that has kept coming to my mind. So we went to
it and after figuring out where we were and being lost for just a bit,
we found it but no one was home. So we just walked down the street a
little bit. We saw at one apartment names of some families in our
ward. We didn't think they were related but it got us to stop and we
decided to casa the apartment. We tried the door and it was open so we
went in to ring some doorbells. No one answered until we got to the
last one. We didn't think anyone lived there because there wasn't a
doormat. EVERYONE in Italy has a doormat. But, they opened the door!
We talked to them for a bit and they asked if we wanted to come in.
Uh. ya. I couldn't believe they asked us that. I have NEVER been let
in someone's house before doing casa. So I had to make sure I knew what
to do... haha. We got to know them a bit, and we showed a m
Mormon message.  They are a couple from Albania and were super nice. She said her mom
actually went to our church before and said that she needed to. They
said we could come back in the evenings so that was so great! It was
such a great miracle!

Thursday we had lunch with Sorella Fava. She is just a cute little old
lady in one of the wards and LOVES missionaries.
She just talks and talks and talks! I love just listening to her because it's perfect
Italian. I'm so used to the Italian of South Americans. Which is
good... but they mix a lot of Spanish in there. I didn't really
realize how many  South Americans there are here until Sorella Gregg
pointed it out. She has never served in a place with so many.

The church in Sestri held a conference  about suicide prevention
and as missionaries we went to the beginning and the end so we could
talk to people as they came and as they left. It was pretty good. We
just set up a stand and had a bunch of pass along cards and
pamphlets. We actually had someone take a Book of Mormon and we got
her number. And other people talked to us.

Friday we saw a great member who told us how to make focaccia! I'm
going to have to practice so I get it right. That is one thing I want
to know how to make before I come home!
We started a scambio that night with the Savona Sorelle. I stayed in
Genova with Sorella Shoenhalls. It was so great! We had a great
scambio together. We ended up teaching Sophya and Romona. And finally
someone came to English class!  His name is Giuseppe and he has
actually been coming for 5 years but just didn't come for the summer I
guess. He was hilarious!

After English we only had about 35 minutes before we had to take a train so we
decided to try a passby that lived close to the church. And
miracle-she was home! We have tried Mayra soooo many times but she's
never home! She was so nice and she still loves the gospel. She is
just so busy with work so she can't come to church. Hopefully we can
help build their family more in the gospel.

Sunday they cancelled church... it was really weird. It was because of
severe weather warnings. I guess everything was closed. w
We didn't find out about it until we got to the church... and then we just went
home to do studies because normally we don't do them s
Sunday morning.  It started pouring soo hard. It was so neat to be in the house
watching it. When we called people later they told us not to leave the
house because of the rain!   But it really wasn't that bad, and it
ended up lightening up so we still went out. We visited Ester in
the hospital and a member and a lady were visiting her. The lady,
Tina, isn't a member but the member, Fratello Sanchez was talking to
me and saying that he has invited her to church and she said she would
come sometime. So that was neat.

We saw Sorella Serra that evening and she fed us a ton, like usual.
But it was good :) I think she really needed us to come and share a
spiritual message. She has kind of been down lately because of the
choices her kids are making, her health, and other little problems.

Monday we had to go to the Questura to file a report about our lost
phone. We ended up talking to the guy who was doing it and he asked us
questions about who we were and stuff. He was really nice. If the
reason we lost our phone was just to talk to him and introduce him to
the gospel, than I'm totally good with that!

Later that day we visited a less active family, the Herrera's. Well
the wife is really active, but the husband and oldest daughter aren't.
The Anziani had been working with them, but they decided we might be
able to help them a little more because the husband isn't home as
often as the wife and the oldest is an 18 year old daughter. So we're
excited to start working with them.

After another lesson with Maida we got a call and someone on the other
end asked for me. I answered it and she said we would like a Book of
Mormon. I kind of figured it was someone I knew but I just played
along and asked their address and name yaddy yaddy yadda and then it
turned out to be Nancy!! from Milano!! She surprised me with a call! I
was so happy to hear from her! She's doing great! We've emailed some,
but I was so excited to talk to her! So that was a fun surprise :)
That night we had a great FHE with the Salas family from Genova 1.
Their son is less active and his wife isn't a member. The anziani have
been teaching her. There was also her sister there who is 13. She was
cute. It was a fun FHE.

Yesterday was a bidone day where every. single. appointment that we
had got cancelled...but we were able to reschedule ALL of them!!
Yay! And we got ahold of a lady named Ami who was a referral from
President and Sister Dibb. Ami is from Albania and is here in Genova
with her husband for a few months. She had met with the missionaries
there a few times and wanted to continue so now we get to teach her!
When we called her she was SO happy that we called!  She said she had
been wondering how she would be able to contact the missionaries here!
She sounds so nice and cute!

Well, that's pretty much my week! Miracles happen everyday and I know
that Heavenly Father is guiding us! I just love working and serving
the people here!
Have a great week!

Vi voglio bene!
Sorella Dixon

On exchanges with Sorella Shoenhalls

"The view from our balcony on a rainy day"

"A delicious dish called caprese. It has tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, olive oil, salt, and pepper. 
So simple yet so good!" 

"A typical site in Italy--pigeons"
(Reminds me of Mary Poppins)

"A beautiful church"

"Everyone here rides Vespas and motorcycles"

"If you look at the right in the lower half you can see 
Christopher Columbus's house!" 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

There is a Reason for Everything

Cari Tutti!

I can't believe it's another p-day! Crazy! This week was great. Sorella
Gregg and I are doing great and seeing lots of miracles.

Last Thursday we visited the Bishop of Genova 2 and his family. They
live in the best Italian house I've been in so far! It's on this street
that's too small for cars to go down, so they have to park in a
parking lot before the street. It's this old house that was kind of
falling apart but they have done lots of work on it. It's small but has
2 floors. They have grape plants and vines just outside the front door
and there are little hills by the street they live on. I loved it! I
Love Italy! This family is so great and I loved visiting them!

Friday was pretty much a "C'e un motivo per tutto" day (or there is a
reason for everything day) because we had to do a LOT of waiting at train
stations. But if we hadn't waited we wouldn't have been able to see
the people we saw! Like Alexandra who got home just right before we
got there and then Talia. We had planned to see her but then when we
got there she wasn't there. We were late because of the trains but
then just 3 minutes later she was walking home with groceries! If we
had gotten there sooner we probably would've just left because she
didn't answer. And we didn't have a phone to call her....

Saturday morning we went to the church to see Denise, the lady on the
train we met last week. Aaand she didn't come.... we tried calling her
with the Anziani's phone, who thankfully were also at the church, but
she didn't answer. But the Anziani had our new phone! yay!! We left
and then they called us and said that Denise had called them back and
really wanted to talk to us. So we called her and she said that she
didn't come because last night her mom's health was SUPER bad and she
was so worried about her. So she woke up several times to check on her
and pray. So that morning she was exhausted and didn't feel very good.
She felt bad, but she still wants to meet with us and asked if we
would pray for her! And she said she has a friend she wants us to help
as well! So we still have to see her and her friend!

We were able to see Sorella Marines, a great member from Genova 2 that
day as well. I love members! She only joined about 4 years ago, and is
as strong as ever and misses going out with the missionaries. She's
had a tough life, but she has stayed strong.

Then we saw Sophya, our new convert we're working with. It was so
great that we saw her because she needed some spiritual uplifting. She
said she hasn't read the Book of Mormon in awhile and there have been
lots of temptations around her. She had been reading about the wars
and how the cities built fortifications and prepared. So we told her
that is what the Book of Mormon does. It helps her have protection
against the temptations from the adversary everyday.

Sunday we found out something amazing!!! So last week we met with
Chiara, the cute little 9 year old we're teaching. We had wanted to
get a baptism date for her but during the lesson both Sorella Gregg and I
just didn't feel like it was right. We taught the restoration and
committed her to pray about the Book of Mormon and ask if it was true.
So on Sunday we called a member, the member who told us about Chiara
and wanted us to teach her, to see if she could come with us to a
lesson on Tuesday. She said she couldn't BUT she did tell us that she
talked to Chiara and Chiara told  her that she had prayed about the
Book of Mormon and got her response! She felt all warm inside and knew
that was the spirit telling her it was true!

Then on Tuesday this week we met with her and asked her about it and
she just said she felt "caldo caldo caldo caldo caldo!" Apparently it
lasted 2 days for her. She's so amazing. I think this is the first
time I've actually had an investiagor sincerely pray about the Book of
Mormon and get a response. So then we were able to set a baptism date with
her for October 17! Her mom was a little hesitant but she didn't stop
her because it's all Chiara's choice. She just wants her to really
understand everything and not just do it. We said that's why we're
here, to teach her and make sure she knows what she needs to do to be
prepared for baptism. We also told her we prayed about that date and
knew it was right for Chiara. I'm so happy!

Monday we kind of got sad news.... Talia didn't come to church and
when we tried to call we could never get a hold of her. Finally Monday
night she texted us and said that she had had a headache and that she
just has too much work. One of her colleagues is on vacation so she
has to work more. She doesn't feel ready for baptism and says we'll
have to leave it for later. We haven't been able to get ahold of her
to talk to her more.... She just has sooo much work. Work in this
country is so. hard. Hard to find, and then hard to keep. And to keep
it they have to work all the time. I was talking to the Anziani's new
convert, Cristiano and he told me his story of how he joined. It took
him 2 years. And at the beginning he had a baptism date but then told the
elders that he didn't feel ready and that he needed to put his life in
order. Then about a year later he started again. It happens all the
time. So I have hope for Talia, I'm just sad that she has to wait
awhile. But everything is in the Lord's timing. We just have to trust
in Him. He loves those that we care about even more than we do. And he
wants the best for them,too, so he'll take care of them.

Well those are the main happenings of the week! Also filled with
little miracles with talking people and just sharing the light of
Keep shining!

Vi voglio bene!
Sorella Dixon

"Me with the Bishop's daughter in the cute Italian house"


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

It was Almost as if Heavenly Father was saying,"Come on Sisters...Get off the Train".

Cari tutti,
Come state? I hope life is great for everyone :)
This week was quite the week. Thursday was super great. We had a conference with Anziano Kearon of the seventy. That was amazing. He just showed Soo much love and gratitude for us. One of the things that I really liked that he said was Become the Message. It's so true. When we are truly happy and show that, people are more likely to talk to us. He was a convert in his twenties so we got to hear his experience as well as miracles that happened when he was a branch president. The spirit was so strong and I loved it. We got to go to Milano for that, and I was able to see all of my past companions! All of them! So that was so fun! 

Friday morning was weekly planning so that took a lot of time. Then we tried pass-bys and had a lesson with a new convert who has been a member for almost a year. That night we had a Relief Society activity with Genova 1. Talia couldn't come, but we texted Giorgina and she said sure! So she came. The activity was pretty much just talking... So that was kind of awkward at first... Especially for Giorgina. But luckily a few of the members talked to her. Then afterward as we were headed home she really opened up and we learned a lot about her and some of the things she's been through. I feel really close to her already. She's so great. She didn't want to come to church this Sunday because we wouldn't be there, but she said next week since we'll be in Genova 1 then.

Saturday was pretty much our rejection day... haha... Sorella Gregg had to do some permesso stuff to renew it, and we were supposed to do it as soon as we could so we did it that morning but when we got to the post office they wouldn't do it because it closed in 5 minutes... Then later that day no one came to English class. No one. That hasn't actually happened before. We've always had at least 2 or 3 people come at least. But maybe because it was the very end of August and people wanted to get one last vacation in. Luckily we were able to see Mayra before she left for Ecuador and her Mom was there! Which she is only home about every 15 days so that was a miracle! She needed some spiritual uplifting because she lost her daughter about a year ago and it's still really hard for her. So we were able to help her out a little. Then that night we tried this referral that we actually got from some sisters in the Alpine Mission. Apparently one of their investigators wanted us to pass-by some of her relatives and share the gospel with them, especially the plan of salvation since they had lost a family member recently.  All we had was the address and they actually lived up a street pretty close to us so we just walked there. So we go, and were able to get in the apartment since the door was open and then we rang the doorbell for the door. We could hear someone on the other side looking in the peep hole. But they didn't say anything. Usually we just let it go because they're not interested but since this was a referral we wanted to tell them that they had a relative that asked us to come by. So we rang it again and this time they actually asked who it was. But they didn't open the door. Instead we could hear her on the phone with someone and then all of a sudden these 2 people come up the stairs and go straight in the apartment. They just passed right by us. We were kind of confused and didn't know if we should just leave or wait to see if we could try talking to them. Well, then we heard the old lady telling them how we wouldn't go away and all this stuff and then they opened the door and asked what we were doing and when we asked if we could explain or when we tried to bring up their relative they just cut us off and threatened to call the police... So  that was a lovely referral. We were pretty sad that they weren't even open enough to hear why we were there. 

Sunday was a great Sunday! We were in the Primary again so I could play the Primary songs! Later that day we were headed to Cates and were at a bus stop. We tried to call Talia, but she didn't answer. Then we were on the bus and we wanted to make another call when Sorella Gregg looked in her bag and the phone wasn't there! Uh oh. We looked all over and then got off to take a bus back to the bus stop to look for the phone. Aaaaaand it wasn't there. Ya. We lost the phone. And we still don't have one. We were able to use the Anziani's phone to call the office and they said we might be able to get one on Thursday. So we are hoping! It is quite different doing missionary work without a phone. You don't realize how much you use it until you don't have it! 

But even through all this craziness we had a great miracle! So Monday morning we had district meeting and it ended up going little bit over. We had to go to the post office for Sorella Gregg's permesso and we were planning on going to the one in Sampierdarena since the lady is super nice and we wanted to try to talk to her more and get her to come to English class or something. But we didn't have time so we just has to go to the one in Sestri. So we got that done and then got on train. Now that I look back I can see how every decision was guided by Heavenly Father. We could've gone in a door closer to us but then last second we decided to go in a different door. We go in and sit down and this lady across the aisle kind of diagonal from us is just looking at us. I try to smile at her and I was thinking of a way I could talk to her since the seats right across from her were already taken. Well, during the ride she just starts crying. I nudged Sorella Gregg and told her that the lady was crying, and we both were like we need to find a way to talk to her. I pull out a tissue and had Sorella Gregg hand it over to her since she was next to the aisle. She took it and said thanks. We decided to stay on the train past our stop and see if she would get off the next stop and then we'd get off, too. So we get to the next stop and she doesn't get off. Then all of a sudden she grabs her back and practically runs off. What?! Well, now it was too late and we didn't want to just go chasing after her. The train was still at the stop and then the doors close. And we figured it was too late.  Then the train just sat there. It was almost as if Heavenly Father was saying, come on sisters... Get off the train... So we decided to see if the doors would still open. And they did! So we get off and walked out to the main part of the station. We spot her in a gift shop. We were standing there trying to figure out how to approach her when she came out and came close to us. So then I just started talking to her, not knowing what I was going to say. But we were both given the words and it was so great. Her name is Denise, and she said she was looking at us because we were just so beautiful and confident and when she saw our name tags she said "that's why! Because you're close to Jesus!" She started crying because she just doesn't know what to do in her life. She just feels lost and confused. It really was a miracle. We told her we could help her, and she was so interested! She said she had decided to leave to Venice then while on the train she felt like she should go back home and that's why she just got off randomly. And she was the one that said, but then I met you guys! So that was so neat! I'm so excited to teach her!

So miracles still happen! Even in crazy times haha! Missions always just keep you on your toes! 
Well, have a great week! And always look for the good things in everything!
Vi voglio un Sacco di bene!
Sorella Dixon 

Sorella Dixon and Sorella Gregg


Sites of Genova

"The Minan family. A great member family. I love them."

"Relief society activity with only a few of us! At the best Gelateria
in Genova apparently :)"

Sites in Genova