Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Cari Tutti,

This week was a great week! We saw lots of little miracles! And I
learned a lot! We got to do a scambio with the sorelle in Savona. I
was with Sorella Salmond. She's from West Valley and went to the
University of Utah. She is in the same group as Sorella Nedelkov, so
she goes home December. She is such a great finder! She talked to
everyone! I loved it! I learned lots of great things from her, and I
feel like my finding has improved just from being with her for a day.

Sorella Goethalls and I have really been trying to do lots of finding
and talking to lots of people so I was able to put some things I
learned from Sorella Salmond into practice. We were able to see a
woman together Friday night. Her name is Maria and she has been
less-active for several years. It was kind of funny because when I
made the appointment with her on Monday I said something that made her
laugh. Then on Thursday I had to change the time. Then on Friday I had
to change it back, and it was just kind of crazy. But things happen for
a reason because it just made her laugh and she just thinks we're
great now. She really wants us to come see her a lot, especially
before she goes to Brazil at the end of November. It was interesting
because when I first called her she said we are welcome to come see
her but she wasn't going to come to church. She just said that right
out. We said we still wanted to come see her. Then when we saw her she
told us that she had told that to other missionaries and they didn't
end up coming. Hopefully she'll be able to feel our love and will want
to return to church.

Saturday we saw Mayra and her mom. Mayra is our age and has a hard
time gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon. She feels like she was
just baptized because that's what her mom wanted her to do. Her mom
has a strong testimony. But on Saturday when we came she said
she has been reading the Book of Mormon, and said she prayed and then
opened the Book of Mormon and found a verse that was perfect. Then the
next day she did it again and the same thing happened. It was a
different verse, but it said pretty much the same thing. She has been
reading ever since and has really liked it. We were so happy!! She is
finally coming to know for herself!

Friday night we had an FHE with the ward in Genova 2. and it was sooo
great!!! SOOOO many members came, and it was  blast! We even had
several of our investigators there! :D I'm so excited to continue to
do FHE with this ward. I think we'll see lots of miracles. The ward
will grow closer, and it will help with inviting friends and

Monday night we saw Talia!!!! YES!! We finally saw Talia! She has been
so busy with work and kind of figuring things out for herself. She's
going through a hard time right now. We had a great lesson with her,
and she really opened up to us. She does want to get baptized, I think
she's just afraid of the commitment and the complete change that comes
with this decision. I think both Sorella Goethalls and I were guided
with what to say during the whole lesson.

Yesterday morning we decided to passby a lady named Susanna and she
was miraculously home! She's Kerly's and the other Mayra's sister. The
three of them are the ones living in Italy and they have 6 other
siblings in Ecuador and in the United states who are really active members
of the church. I don't think it's a coincidence that we have started
to teach all 3 of them. Heavenly Father is definitely guiding this
work. They all say they feel something missing in their life and want
to get that back. They are all so great.

We were going to have a lesson with Glenda, but then she cancelled so
we decided to passby Elizabetha and Chiara and they were there! Chiara
had a rough day at school because she didn't do too well on an
assignment... and Elizabetha was super tired. But by the time we left
they were both smiles! We talked to them about the 10 commandments and
the the hand signs to remember them. I just love that family so much.
I just feel at home when I'm with them.

Yesterday on the bus I was thinking about the Atonement and how
blessed we are to truly know what we do about what Christ did for us.
He didn't just make a worthy act and die for us on the cross, but he
truly suffered for each one of us in the Garden of Gethsemane. He
knows us so personally and knows EXACTLY what we go through. I guess
what made me think of it was whenever we talk to people about Christ
they usually say they believe in Him and he was a great person. How it
was a great sacrifice that he made to die on the cross or whatever.
But they never really understand how MUCH he did. A lot of people we
talk to don't even believe in Him. This morning I read Mosiah 14 and
the words Isaiah use to describe what Christ went through are so
beautiful. It truly humbles me and makes me grateful for the love
Christ has for each one of us.

Well, I hope everyone has a great Halloween this Saturday! We're
getting ready for a great Halloween party we're having with the ward
:D Italians actually DO celebrate Halloween, but only in these recent
years. It's fun to see the decorations in store windows and the
bakeries, who make yummy Halloween goodies :)

 Love ya bunches!
Vi voglio un sacco di bene!
Sorella Dixon

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Nine Months. A Time for a lot of Reflection...

Cari tutti,
Right now I'm way up high in the hills of Genova, and it's beautiful. We are spending p-day with Ester, the lady who was in the hospital, but is now out. She lives way out of the city in the trees and hills. We stopped by an older lady's house and now we are just waiting for Ester to finish doing something with her, and so I decided to take time to write. This older lady is from Sicily and she is a little crazy. Haha! I can understand her well enough but Sorella Goethals can't at all. She lives in the tiniest little house. It's quite adorable. So Italian :)

Anyway, this week was hard at times but really good at other times. I wasn't able to email yesterday because we had a sister's conference with Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson and Sister Linda K. Burton. We were able to meet them and give them both hugs! We also ate lunch with them. I got to sit across from Sister Osarson during lunch :) the conference was I was spiritually lifted and inspired. The spirit was so strong, and I learned so much. It was the same spirit that I felt during the conference with Anziano Bednar. I just love these inspired teachers and the words they bring to us missionaries. That church in Cimiano Milano will always be a sacred place for me. I have been able to learn at the feet of apostles, prophets, general authorities, and inspired leaders from our Heavenly Father. They really talked about the mission being a time to really grow and prepare for life after. To become that disciple of Jesus Christ and keep that spirit with us and the things we learn forever. I think I learned the most through their example though. One of the things we're really focusing on as a mission is becoming the message and these wonderful women truly are the message. I could see it in the way they talked, how they held themselves, the testimonies they bore, and the way they treated everyone. They truly take their callings seriously and work out of revelation from God.

 Sister Burton shared a little experience where she was asked by President Russell M. Nelson to listen to his talk before he gave it at this last conference. He was on his 24th draft and he wanted the Relief Society's perspective. He gave the talk on "The Plea to Sisters". It just made me realize how sacred these words are and how much time our prophets and apostles spend on them. Each word is so exact. The words from our prophets and leaders are truly revelation from God, and i'ts important that we treat them that way. I just gained so much more appreciation for the opportunity we have to receive guidance from our Heavenly Father in this day as well. They really talked about our role as women and and how much we can contribute in the Lord's work. 

This week has been a time for a lot of reflection about a lot of things for me. It was my Hump Day yesterday! CraZy! And it was the best hump day I could've had because of the conference, and I got to see all of my past companions! So fun :) I just love each of them so much! I was able to get a picture with all of them together :) It also made me think of things I've gone through with each companion and things I've learned from each of them. 
Left to right:  Sorella Goethals, Sorella Russell, Sorella Griffin, Sorella Dixon,
Sorella Pulli (MTC), Sorella Nedelkov, Sorella Gregg

I thought a lot about what I've done so far on my mission. What I've learned. Who I have become, etc. I have learned so much and have grown so much spiritually. I've learned how to recognize the spirit more and how to respond to promptings. I've learned how to pray more specifically and personally. Especially in those hard moments when I have no one else to confide in. I've learned what it means to have faith in Christ and how to use the Atonement daily. I've learned patience and what it means to really love someone. Even someone you barely know. I've learned how to ponder and cherish the scriptures. And so so so much more. I've especially learned a lot through training. It has taught me a lot about motherhood. It's also neat to see how far I've come because Sorella Goethals is a lot like me when I first got here, so I can totally relate to what she's feeling and thinking and going through.

 I've also grown a lot in Italian. I still learn new things everyday which I love, but now Italian just feels a part of me. It was pretty neat the other day when we met with some members and I was telling them about FHE that we're going to do every other week. But to say every other week you say "una settimana si, una settimana no" or one week yes, one week no. And the older son, who's in his 20s and served his mission in Rome, was shocked that I got that right. He said he had never heard a missionary say that right before. Haha so that was pretty neat :) 

It's so weird that I've already been on my mission 9 months. 9 months!! That's practically a school year! It does not seem that long and I'm pretty sure these next 9 months will go even faster! I'm glad I still get 9 months to be in Italy and serve the people here. 

This week we did a lot of finding and talking to people. We also found 2 great less-active families to really work with. One wants to start doing FHE with us every week so we're pretty excited about that. And we found some new people to teach through English class! We've been passing out English class flyers like crazy and lots of new people have come because of it! Yay! Hopefully we keep seeing miracles through that. 

Well, Genova is still as beautiful as ever and I still love every second of my mission! Remember that Christ loves you and is ALWAYS there for you. For anything.

Vi voglio bene!
Sorella Dixon
"Don't Forget to Play"

This photo had no caption. For a minute, I thought she had 
gone to the Philippines! :)

District Meeting

"I just had to take this photo for Jess"


Getting to see Sorella Russell at the Sister's Conference

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

We're Half Way!!

We're half way---
36 weeks 
270 days
6,480 hours
388, 800 minutes...
and an eternity of blessings!!

Temple Day

Setting apart

Waiting to say good-bye at the Provo Temple

See you in 18 months


And she's off...

                                                                     Laundry in the MTC.

Yay for Italy!!

First day in Italy

The shops in Milano


A few too many heads

Sister Nedelkov--Savanna's trainer

Beautiful Italian sister

Visiting in the hospital

Children love Missionaries and Missionaries love children

Pizza--the Italian way

Chocolate-the Switzerland way

Making friends

Sisters in His service


Sorella Dixon and her sweet trainee!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A Breath of Fresh Air

Cari Tutti!

Well I have a new companion, a new greenie, and her name is
Sorella Goethals (pronouned Hoot-alls). She is from the Netherlands
and speaks Dutch! She speaks English almost perfectly, too, though :) So
we can communicate ;) She is so so sweet and I just love her! She is
really from Belgium but has lived in the Netherlands for awhile. She
said she knows, or at least recognizes, Elder Hayden Lott.
(Mom's note: Savanna went to elementary and high school with Hayden, 
and we are good friends with his family). He was a
greenie in her ward when he first got there!

So last Thursday was transfer day and Sorella Gregg officially left
Genova! I had to go to Milano early in the morning to pick up Sorella
Goethals. We had our training and got our companions, got lunch, and
then travelled back to Genova. That night we saw Ester in the hospital
and then Sorella Serra. Ester left the hospital this Tuesday so now
we'll get to help her around the house and hopefully help her come to
church. Sorella Serra was supposed to be just a passby to introduce
her to Sorella Goethals and see how she was doing, but of course she
had to make us dinner! So we ate a huge dish of pasta and some
meat. She always gives you more and more. She's an amazing cook so it
was so good, but we were running late! I felt bad for Sorella
Goethals, she was so tired and it was just her first day here. Well,
nothing like an Italian meal to welcome you to Italy! :D We were able
to share a message with Sorella Serra which she LOVED and helped her
feel better. So that was good.

Friday we saw Mayra and then Glenda later in the afternoon. Mayra has
an autistic son who loves music so we are going to prepare a song to
sing to him. Glenda really opened up to us and told us a lot of
things. She told us that the first time we called she wasn't going to
answer the phone because she didn't know the number, but then decided
to. When she heard it was us she thought about saying she wasn't
interested, but then said ya we could come see her. She doesn't really
say no to anyone. She hasn't been to church for a few years. I think
it's mostly because Sundays are the only day off they have so they
like to sleep in.

I also got to introduce Sorella Goethals to Cate! Cate is from South
Africa, but she speaks Afrikaans, which is a lot like Dutch! So they
could speak to each other and understand each other! Sorella Goethals
said the prayer in Dutch and it was so beautiful! I want her to teach
me Dutch :)

Saturday and Sunday were slower days because we had weekly planning
and then General Conference. We were able to talk to a few people
outside though. In fact we had a cool experience with one lady on the
bus. We started talking to her at the bus stop. She was just sitting
there smoking her cigarette. I just asked her how she was and she said
"so so", pretty much. We talked to her about happiness and she said it
was hard to find happiness because life was hard. She shared how her
Mom had been in the hospital for 3 weeks now. Eventually we said a
prayer with her, more for her Mom. And as we kept talking with her on
the bus she just completely changed. She just lit up and was happier.
We gave her a Restoration pamphlet, and as she was looking through it
she asked us if we had another one that she could give to her friend
who needed some help! So amazing. She went from being sad and gloomy,
to lifted up and thinking about helping someone else!

I LOVED General Conference. During all of the talks I just felt so
much love from our Apostles, Prophet, and leaders. And above all from
our Heavenly Father. The spirit was so strong and I learned so much.
They are truly inspired. One of my favorites was Elder Renlund's
testimony. I love how he talked about seeing others through the eyes
of the parents. It's so true. When we see others as true sons and
daughters of Heavenly Father our love for them is greater and our
purpose to share the gospel to them is deeper.

Monday morning we just did some passbys. We are really going through
our ward lists right now to see if people really live where it says
they live. So we passby the people who don't have a phone number or
whose number is less active. I got to show Sorella Goethals the
beautiful colorful buildings of Genova :) And walk the hills with her!
Then later that day we saw Denise! She is so great. She wasn't able to
come to General Conference but we shared a part of President
Uchtdorf's talk from the Women's Conference with her. She loved it!
She told us she's afraid of the Book of Mormon. I don't think I've had
that reaction to it yet. She loves the Bible. She's also hesitant to
pray how we taught her, but she did it this time! And it was so great!
Last time she just wanted to say one of the prayers they have in her church.

Tuesday one of our appointments fell through, so we just did some
finding in the park. We were able to talk to quite a few people. We
actually did a lot of finding that day! Casa, parco, treno, bus. Just
on the way to appointments and when we had time. I love talking to
people. It's so interesting to hear other's beliefs and then ask them
inspired questions that get them thinking.

This transfer is going to be so great I can feel it! I love having a
companion just straight from the MTC! The spirit is so strong, and I
know we are going to see miracles!

Well, Buona Settimana tutti!
Vi voglio bene!
Sorella Dixon

Beautiful blue-eyed blonde sisters!

"Making dinner with Sorella Serra."

"Yes! Even the dogs have pasta for food! "

"Beautiful Nervi"

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Transfer Calls- I'll be Training!

Cari Tutti!

Well last Saturday we got transfer calls and I'll be staying in Genova
but Sorella Gregg is leaving to Collegno because I'll be training a
new missionary! We were both super surprised because Sorella Gregg had
only been here one transfer. President Dibb told me that there are 4
sisters coming in and they are all European. So I'll be training a
sister from either the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, or Italy!
I'm pretty excited! :D It will definitely be a new experience
especially because this is the first time I'll be senior companion and
she's not American, but it will be so great!

So this week was good! On Thursday we got to meet Ami. I don't
remember if I told you about her. She's a referral we got from
President and Sorella Dibb because the Mission President from Romania
told them about her. She's from Romania and moved to Italy for a
couple of months. She is so great! She first found about about the
church through English class and she has learned a few lessons. She
even had a few lessons with the mission president and his family. She
loves what we teach and likes church, so hopefully we can continue
with her!

We had a lesson with a lady named Glenda who is less-active. We
discovered her by making a bunch of calls from the ward list. She's
been less-active for awhile, but still agrees with and likes the
church teachings, so I'm excited to help her and her family come back!
So on the way to Glenda's Sorella Gregg sat on some gum on accident on
the train... She noticed when we got up. We got off the train and were
trying to get the gum off with a tissue. It was kind of working, but
not really well. After a little bit she looked up and there was a guy
who was watching us from a train door and then silently offered her a
wet wipe.  It was so nice of him! He didn't say anything. He just
gave it to her and then went back into the train. We called him
"Silent miracle man". And she was able to get all the gum off her skirt!
We also taught Marjeta and David. They are so great! Marjeta just says
we're like her daughters. She just loves us! We talked about The book
of Mormon with them and a little about baptism.

Friday we were able to do some service! A member recently moved into a
new apartment and we offered to help out with stuff. She has two
little daughters, and they are adorable, but just mess everything up
as she's organizing stuff  so it was good to go and help her. We
also hung clothes on some laundry lines for her. I felt like a true
Italian ;)

Saturday we got transfer calls that morning! And then we went and
visited Sorella Martino who is a sweet old lady who lives in a nun
institution. Well it's just like a retirement home, but nuns run it.
She's so cute and loves when we come over and share a spiritual
thought with her. Our other appointments fell through for the rest of
the day, so we did some passbys and stuff. And we had English class
and 3 new students randomly showed up! They are so great! So that was
fun! And we went to a GANS (YSA) activity for a little bit so Sorella
Gregg could say goodbye to them. I love the GANS here. They are so

Sunday was a great Sunday. It was Sorella Gregg's last Sunday in
Genova! Crazy! We stayed after church to play for the choir and
Primary since they are singing in a sacrament meeting sometime soon.
We also got to visit Ester in the hospital.

Monday we had district meeting and then ALL of our appointments didn't
work out. Bummer... But that's ok, we were able to see beautiful
Genova and climb up a lot of stairs doing passbys and finding :)

Tuesday we saw Cate! Sometimes she gets so lonely. She just loves
having someone there to talk to. We brought her a cake to celebrate
her birthday :) We also got to see Marjeta and David again! She gave
Sorella Gregg some clothes she made since she's leaving! And gave both
of us a book that she had written. It was in Albanian  but still
so nice! She's so adorable! We also had some Jehovah Witnesses ring
our doorbell during lunch. That has never happened before! We just
talked to them and were nice because we know what it's like to be on
the other side.of the door. They were nice and didn't try to argue or anything
once they realized that we were Mormon missionaries so that's good!
They just read a scripture and offered us a pamphlet. :)

Tomorrow is transfer day and I'll be going to Milan to pick up my
greenie! Im so excited! :D This week we weren't able to see a bunch of
people we wanted or planned to see. But that has to happen to really
appreciate the good weeks! The weather is now getting kind of chilly!
So we'll be bringing out our scarves here real soon. If you don't wear
a scarf, you'll get a scolding from the Italians ;)

Well life is great here in Genova! I love missionary work and being
able to talk of Christ to everyone! :) Little miracles happen everyday
even if it's just getting someone to smile because we smiled at them!
Vi voglio bene!
Sorella Dixon

"These are pictures of Nervi! A beautiful place by the ocean!"

Clothes lines

"This is cute Chiara!"


"How would it be to just live here and come by
the rocks and read a book?"

"Italian hot chocolate. mmm mmm good! It is thicker than American. 
Kind of like pudding, but still liquidy enough you can drink it!"


"A beautiful castle we walked past!"