Wednesday, November 25, 2015

God Shall Wipe Away All Tears!

Cari Tutti!

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving tomorrow! :D There's always
soooo much to be grateful for!

This week on Monday we were able to
have a Thanksgiving meal made by the Roses, the senior couple in our
area. And it was delicious!

Genova is going great! Last Thursday we saw Sorella Papallo. And that
was fun. She leaves next week for Brazil, so we're hoping we can see
her one last time before she leaves. She's going there for Christmas.
We also saw Monica, who is so cute. We had to have a pretty quick
lesson with her because we had to go to another appointment, so when
we said we had to go she looked worried and said she had made us a
pizza! She just hadn't cooked it yet... so asked if we could come back
later. So we figured out a time squeezed between appointments and
left. Well on our way to our next appointment, we called and she said
that she had forgotten and wasn't at home and set up another time. We
then had to decide to go back to Monica or try a few other people. We
decided to go passby a few people that we have been wanting to since
they were in that area. No one was home, but as we were walking away
from Francesca's house her mom, Veronica passed by us! So we went back
since she was going home and found her outside the apartment locked
out. No one was home and she didn't have a key. She didn't know when
they would be home, so we ended up reading the Book of Mormon with her
right there on the steps. That was a little miracle :) then the rest of
the family came home and we got to meet her husband. After that we
rushed to Monica to get the pizza then rushed to the Alvarado's for an
FHE. It was so great.

Friday we were able to see Georgina and had a great lesson with her.
She has now decided that she DOES want to quick smoking. And she has
been smoking less and less! The reason she has been smoking is because
she has used it as an out. She has had sooo many hard things in her
life. She has had a lot of hurt and has painful memories of the past.
So by smoking she has tried to escape that. We are trying to help her
to use the Atonement and Christ to help ease the pain, instead of
cigarettes. I know that Christ will be able to help and lift her if
she really applies it. This week as I was studying I came across a
beautiful scripture and we were able to send it to her. It's "And God
shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more
death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more
pain: for the former things are passed away." -Revelation 21:4

This week we had a powerful lesson with Elizabetha and Chiara. We were
able to get Sorella Moreschi to come as well and it was so great. When
I first started teaching them, it was mainly just for Chiara because
she was the one who was thinking about being baptized and wanted to go
to church and everything. Elizabetha just went to church because
Chiara asked if they could. Elizabetha would have us over thinking the
lesson were just for Chiara, but really they have been for both of
them all along. :)  Elizabetha told us the differences she feels in
"her husband's church" and "her church." That's how she would
distinguish the two to her kids. She loves how in ours it's like a
family. Everyone knows eachother and you feel the love. She said that
she doesn't really have the desire to go to her church anymore.. she
likes ours. Now whenever she says to her son "let's go to church" He
doesn't ask which one. He just automatically goes to ours! He's so
cute! He's five and is such a busy boy! But he is adorable and gives
the cutest hugs! And he loves coming to church! She also talked about
some of the hard things that have happened in her life--especially
when a dear friend passed away. God is so loving and so merciful and
has provided us with a knowledge of the Savior who can wipe away our
tears and comfort us. We are so fortunate to have the restored gospel
and know that we will see our loved ones again.

Also Friday and Saturday we had a scambio and I got to go to Savona
with Sorella Friedbaum! This was the first time Sorella Goethals would
have to lead the city without me.... and she did great! We all had a
great scambio! I love the sisters here! We ended up running a ways to
make it to the train. I have a strong testimony on running for trains.
Heavenly Father really helps us make it-- every time. :)

Last weekend we had "Meet the Mormon"showings in Italian and it was
also online on Youtube for free for a few days. We were able to watch
it with people and they loved it!  We also had a great Zone Conference
on Monday and learned sooo much! That's when we had the Thanksgiving
dinner :) We talked a lot about using our Ipads in finding, teaching,
and receiving referrals. We have been using them so much more and I
love it! They are such good teaching tools! I'm so grateful for the tips
and ideas they gave us. I love how they said that we can all find
people the conventional way, it still works. But God is hastening His
work, therefore we should, too. We have these tools for a reason and we
can use them to see miracles! After the conference we were on our way
to an appointment and I prayed for an opportunity to talk to someone
and use my iPad like I had just been taught. And I was able to talk to
a lady from Ecuador on the bus and share a scripture with her in
Spanish and then explain the Book of Mormon and Bible using a picture
we have been given. It was really neat!
Well, that's all I have time for today! So much more happened, but
there's never enough time!

Vi voglio un mondo di bene!
Sorella Dixon

Sorella Papallo



Christmas decorations!

"The baptismal font in the Savona Church"

Zone Conference

Zone Conference

At the train station


Cobblestone crosswalk: the white stones are
not painted.

Christmas lights

Christmas lights with the sister training leaders

Scambio with Sorella Friedbaum

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Look Up!

Cari Tutti!
This last week was a great week! It's getting closer to Christmas and
I love it! They are putting up Christmas decorations and lights
everywhere! They have yet to turn them on though... I'm just waiting!
It will be so magical and beautiful when they do :) Everyday there are

This last week we had some great lessons with all the people we love!
Thursday we saw Cate and made crepes with her. And she loved them. She
has been craving them because she hasn't had them in awhile and we
were happy that she actually ate something since she doesn't eat a
whole lot. She told us all her usual Cate stories and occasionally we
hear a new one :) Then we saw Monica. She is Sorella Serra's daughter
and is so shy and sweet, but she is slowly opening up to us. And she
is progressing really well. She reads the Book of Mormon between every
visit and this week she actually came to church! Her mom was there
this last week and afterward we were walking her home because she
lives pretty close. We told her that Monica said she would come to
church and then she stopped and gave us huge hugs because she was sooo
happy! She has been praying for her kids so so much and finally her
daughter is learning with the missionaries again!

On Friday we saw Georgina! We are helping her quit smoking. We watched
a Mormon message with her called "he Hope of God's Light" (It's soo
good. Sorella Goethals showed it to me and I just love it!). She has
been smoking since she was 10. But she knows she'll be able to stop.
The only thing is really WANTING to stop. But lately she has been
thinking about if she really does like smoking or if she really can quit.
We have made a plan with her and really hope it will help.

Saturday night we saw Edith!! :D She is our miracle investigator we
started teaching last week. She got a new job where she works m
Mon-Fri, so we weren't able to see her during the week. But she has Saturdays
and Sundays off! So that's good! I was so happy when she said she
didn't have to work Sunday. Way too many times it has happened that we
get someone great to teach and then they get a new job and have to
work Sundays. And work is sooo hard to get here that they can't just
quit the job and get another one. Anyway we had dinner with her where
she made us rice and chicken and then had a great lesson with her and
her son. They are so great! They just love what we are teaching them
and are so excited to learn more! On Sunday they ended up talking
about the Plan of Salvation in Gospel Principles and she loved that!
She is so funny. During dinner she was telling us stories about Africa
and how much she is afraid of snakes!! She made us laugh so much!
Especially when she told us about the cobra that was in her house and
when she saw it she just started climbing whatever was there to
climb. She is just so cute and bubbly!

Sunday was a lovely morning in church! And then later that day things
just didn't go quite as planned, but we were still able to see people!
We had made an appointment with a lady who was an investigator a
couple of years ago so we went to the church. She didn't show up so we
tried calling her and she said she was on her way. So we waited and
waited.... and tried calling her again but this time it wasn't
available.... so that was lovely... We decided to head to the other
church for another appointment and got stuck in the bus because there
was an accident that happened in the road! Eventually cars could pass,
but the buses weren't let through. They eventually opened the doors to
the bus and we decided to get off and take a train. On the way back we
couldn't take the bus because 11 buses were backed up because of the accident... 
... just lovely.
But then we were able to see Ester and then Catherina that night!
Monday night we saw Talia and she is doing great! This weekend she
went to Rome for some document thing and said she was with her friend
and he started to smoke but she didn't! She said it was hard, but she
did it! This week we'll be helping her with her house a bit. She is
moving to Sampierdarena, so she'll actually live closer to us now!
Yesterday we had a great lesson with Chiara and Elisabetha! Elisabetha
had a rough day and almost called us to tell us not to come because
she was just so upset, but we were able to help them and bring a
little love :) They made us delicious Peruvian food and then we read
the Book of Mormon together. Chiara is so cute! She always wants to
keep reading more! She loves it! And this Sunday neither Elisabetha
nor her husband could got to church because of work, but Chiara still
wanted to, so she was able to go with a member. She is such a strong 9
year old! Children are amazing examples. We had a great conversation
about baptism too and Elisabetha actually accepted the invitation. It
was a straight YES! Since we have started teaching her there has been
so much growth in her. She is still scared to pray about the Book of
Mormon... but we're slowly helping her along! She is like another mom
to me. I love her sooo much. Yesterday we were in the kitchen and she
was showing me how to make the special sauce they use and we were
talking about how I'll probably be transferred in December and she
started tearing up! That wasn't good because then that almost made me
cry! I'm not even sure if I'm leaving yet and it's still 3 weeks away,
but when I do leave it will be pretty tough. I love the people here so

This week in District Meeting we talked about setting personal goals
and I just want to leave this one thought that Elder Kearon said to us
when he was here: "However good you were yesterday is not good enough
for tomorrow". I know this is a gospel of change of progression. I
have seen it in other people and I have been able to see the growth in
myself. If we really utilize the Atonement we can become better
everyday and grow to be more like our Savior. We just need to remember
to always look UP!Llook up at our potential and UP to our Father in
Heaven who is always there to help us. Italy is definitely the place I
have learned to look up. Because that is truly where all the beauty is
physically--all the beautiful buildings, structures, and colors. And I
have learned to look up and rely and the one who is above in Everything.

Vi voglio un sacco di bene!
Sorella Dixon

Keep looking up that's the secret of life:

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Tender Mercies are Real

Cari Tutti!

We had a great week this week! :D Let me tell you about some of my
favorite things that happened!

So Thursday night we had an FHE with the Alvarado family. They are a
family from Ecuador and have been less active for awhile. Except one
daughter who is 17 who comes every week. When I first got to Genova
the Anziani were working with them and would see them every once in
awhile. Well, about a month ago they asked us if we would try to see
them since they live closer to us and they have only been able to see
them when they passby. So we tried passing by one night and had a
really good conversation/lesson with the mom. We then set up an FHE
for every Thursday with them. So now every thursday we see them. The
first two they kind of forgot we were coming but we were still able to
do it, but this week they remembered and were preparing pizza when we
came! We had a little lesson in the kitchen while the pizzas cooked
and talked about the Restoration. It was great. And then afterward we
were talking and laughing a ton! It was one of the funnest nights I've
had! We talked about them coming to church and they actually said they
would! If we came in the morning. So that's what we did. Sunday
morning at 7:30 we went to their house as a wake up call. The dad let
us in and told us to sing while he went and woke everyone up. So we
sat in the living room singing hymns for about 45 minutes while they
woke up and got ready! They all got ready and we barely made it on the
bus! They came to church and it was great! I think the members were
really happy to see them there too because so many of them were
talking to them. :)

Saturday was another great day! That morning we saw Edith. Let me tell
you about her. About 3 weeks ago we had scambio and during that
scambio I talked to Edith on the bus. I found out she was a Jehovah's
Witness, but we were still able to switch numbers. So we had her
number in the phone and it wasn't until last week that I thought to
call her. We were actually at a bus station when I got the random
thought to try calling her so we did and set up an appointment. We
decided to meet at a certain bus stop in Sestri. We went there
Saturday morning and waited a few minutes before she came walking
around the corner. It turns out that she had decided to take a
different bus to go downtown unless she saw us. Well, we walked by her
bus and she saw us. She didn't want to get off because she already had
a seat and everything but something told her to get off. And then she
came rushing up the street to where we were. We were able to meet with
her in the church and give her a church tour and then we had a great
lesson about the restoration. She told us how she had been so confused
her whole life about religion because she has had sooooo many
different religions in her life. Her dad being JW, her mom Catholic I
think, and then a bunch of her family different religions, most of
them different ones in Africa. She's from Nigeria and speaks English,
Italian, and a little french. She is baptized Jehovah's Witness but
doesn't really practice. She only goes to go church every so often and
that's usually a Catholic church but she never fully likes it.
She is so cute! We were talking about the spirit and asked her how she
felt when she was with us and in the church and she said tranquil,
relaxed, peaceful and we told that was the spirit and she was like "It
IS?!" and was so happy. And then she was excited when we gave her a
Book of Mormon. We invited her to church the next day, and guess what?
SHE CAME!! :D We introduced her to a bunch of members and she just
loved it! She said she's going to bring her son next time and her
husband when he gets home in January. I'm so excited to keep teaching

Later that day we saw Denise who we're teaching English and slowly
introducing the gospel to. She is so fun! We've been able to laugh a
lot together and have a good time. This time we gave her a Book of
Mormon and she said she would read it. She even had a few questions
about our church so that was great!

After our normal English class that day Maria Jose was like, "I don't
know what to do now. I'm just at home alone." So we were like "you can
come with us if you want!" and she did! We had a lesson with Talia
that evening so she was able to come with us! It was so fun! Maria
Jose is just adorable! I love her! I think she thinks we're crazy...
but we make her laugh. We had a great lesson with Talia about faith
and the word of wisdom and Maria Jose was able to bear great
testimony. Talia had started smoking again after 7 years because of
all the stress she has right now--no job and looking for one and
having to move. But she wants to stop and said she really will. She's
done good so far! And she came to church the next day!! :D
That night Maria Jose sent us the cutest text. She said: "Grazie a
voi, per portarmi sempre pace, luce e felicita. Siete speciali e
troppo PAZZE ed anche divertenti!!!! Grazie per tutto cio che fatte.
Vi voglio un sacco di bene. Grazie mile e buona notte!!" or Thank You
for always bringing me peace, light and happiness. You are both
special and too crazy and also fun!!!! Thanks for all that you do. I
love you a bunch. Thanks so much and good night!

So Sunday was a great day! We were able to do a musical number in
church which was great and so many people came to church! Not only the
Alvarado family, Talia, and Edith, but also Chiara, Elizabetha, and
Georgina! We were able to see Georgina last week and then Saturday
night she asked if she could come to church with us! We were in Genova
2 this week which is the one furthest away from her house, but she
still came! She is in contact with an elder who made a huge difference
in her life this past year and he has been a huge influence in her
wanting to meet with us again and coming to church. I hope I'll be
able to stay in contact with those I love here so I can continue to
help them after my mission!

Well, those are some of the great experiences I had this week :) I just
want to end with one thought:

"Surely the thing God enjoys most about being God is the thrill of
being merciful, especially to those who don’t expect it and often feel
they don’t deserve it." -Jeffrey R. Holland
Throughout the Book of Mormon a HUGE theme is how merciful the Lord is
to the people. That's what it is really--it starts out with Nephi
saying that he will show how the tender mercies of the Lord are over
all his people. It has been such a special experience to really see
that in the Book of Mormon as I have studied about Christ. And I can
see His tender mercies in my life more and know that He is always
there. I know that he leads and guides us. This is truly HIS work and
I'm so grateful I an be a part of it. I know He is preparing people
and we get to be the instruments in His hands who helps these people
really know the truth.

Vi voglio un mondo di bene!!
Sorella Dixon

Friday, November 6, 2015

God Loves Us

Cari Tutti!

Happy November! I can't believe that November is already here! It sure
doesn't feel like it here! I still leave the house without a jacket
most of the time... which usually isn't good because it does get
chilly in the evening, but it still looks and feels like August or
September during the day!

Well, this week was a great week! We had a lot of fun, a lot of
spiritual experiences, and were able to see a lot of people! It was
great! For Halloween we ended up going to 2 activities! One on Friday
with the GANS (the YSL) and one on Saturday with the ward in Genova 2!
They both turned out great! Georgina came for the beginning of the one
Friday! Which was a huge surprise! Randomly last week she texted us
asking us how we were and said she has been busy with work and
school lately but was free the next week sometime. So we set up an
appointment to see her and she ended up working late, but still was
able to come to the activity later that night!! So that was neat! Then
on Saturday we had Rosio, Elizabetha and Chiara at the activity! We
also had a lesson with Rosio right before and talked about the
Restoration. She's really interested and really wants to search for
things for herself. Maria Jose is the member who invited her to
English class and she was able to be there for her, too. I just love
Maria Jose! She is so sweet! She is 19 and wants to serve a mission
sometime, too! She's going to be a great missionary!

The Halloween activity with the ward was CRAZY!! SO many people came!!
IT was so great!! So much fun!! We played a bunch of games and ate a
bunch of delicious food! The Anziani dressed up as a cowboy and a
pirate and Sorella Goethals and I wore butterfly headbands :) All the
kids thought it was funny that we were butterflies because Halloween
here is only associated with scary things....haha so I guess
butterflies weren't scary enough :)

This week we were also able to see Talia and get her reading in
the Book of Mormon. We have made a focus to read the Book of Mormon
with our investigators. I love it! I love helping them understand and
helping them get into the stories and experiences.

On Monday we saw Sorella Papallo. She's the one who we called before
the first appointment and said we were welcome to come but she wasn't
going to come to church. And then she just loved us because of how
many times we had to change the appointment. I just love her! She is
so bubbly and fun to be around!! She is just sooo nice to us and 
shows so much LOVE for us! She was cute and said that she felt a
connection with me right when I first talked to her on the phone. She
still has a testimony of the church but there have  been problems
that have happened in the past I guess, so hopefully we can help her
with that.

Yesterday we tried passing by Kerly, and she was home! Yay!!! We
haven't seen her since that first time we saw her. It was an amazing
lesson. We talked about the Restoration, and she was reminded of a lot
of stuff. She has forgotten a lot, but wants to learn and start with
everything again. She has been through a lot in her life and has done
a lot of different things,and she asked us a lot about repentance. She
truly wants to repent and be clean. She asked us if God really does
forgive any sin if we repent from the heart? It was such a neat
experience because I could say YES, completely sure that it was true.
God really does forgive anyone from anything!! He loves us soooo much
and just wants us to be clean so we can return to Him. What was even
more special was that even though I know that she's going to have to
repent and change her life, I could feel the Love that God and Jesus
Christ have for her. There is no resentment or judgment or holding
back. They love her 100% and are sooo happy that she WANTS to change
and come closer to Christ. I was able to share that love for her and
help her know that Christ is there with her all the way. I know that
that's how it is for EVERYONE. Christ loves us so much, and when we
desire to repent and come to Him he accepts and embraces us!

I'm so grateful that I was able to have that experience and 
feel the love that God has for each of us. As missionaries we are
called to teach the gospel and help others come unto Christ. We are
the ones that are supposed to help, but really I think the others
really help. Most of the time I feel like I'm the one being more
blessed in the situation. I get to feel the love from others and
really get to know them in their homes. I get to learn from them and
learn from the spirit as I teach and help others. I love it. We are so
blessed as missionaries!

Well, I hope everyone has a great week! :D Miracles happen everyday!
Make sure you look for them! Vi voglio bene!
Sorella Dixon
Beautiful sisters in beautiful Genoa

Halloween 2015 for Sorella Dixon

Sorella Goethals making Sorella Dixon a Dutch dinner
Sausage, potatoes and carrots--cooked the Dutch way!