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!
Beautiful blue-eyed blonde sisters!
"Making dinner with Sorella Serra."
"Yes! Even the dogs have pasta for food! "