Thursday, December 31, 2015

Buon Anno (Good Year)

Cari Tutti!

This last week we were able to spend a lot of time with a bunch of
families! I loved it!! And of course the best was when I got to skype
home to see my family!! Soo so great!! You are all so amazing. :D
Christmas evening we spent with the Bishop's family and had a great
dinner! Which included meat, cheese, olives, tortellini, lasagna,
meat, potatoes, lentils, and dessert. A real Italian Christmas dinner.
Here they call it a Cenone. Which means a big dinner. Cena means dinner
and if you add one at the end it means its bigger. It's actually in
the dictionary ;) haha. They even hand made the tortellini.

On Saturday it was mostly just doing parco and trying to talk to
people. We were going to try to see the Romanian family but then we
realized that the bus that we would take to get to them doesn't take
that route on the weekends... and it was way too far away to walk....
so weren't able to see them Saturday. But we did end up talking to a
man on the bus named Erickson. He is from the Philippines and when he
saw us he said," Mormons"? and then laughed a little. We said yep and
talked to  him a bit. It turns out he had a Book of Mormon but it was
in the Philippines. So we offered to bring him one and talk more. We
were able to see him Monday. He has a wife here and we thought she
would be home, but she wasn't. And we can't go in the house without a
woman there... so we had to tell him that and then ended up having a
lesson right there at the door. He got little chairs and we sat on
them with the door open. You should've seen the looks the neighbors
across the hall were giving us as they came home haha!! All just on
chairs with our coats on because the hall is really cold. But it
turned out to be a really good lesson! We taught the restoration and
explained a lot of things he had heard about us. He accepted the
invitation to be baptized! So we really hope things will continue to
go well with him. He has had so many life experiences and has a lot of
faith. He knows the Bible really well and has been searching for the
truth. In fact we asked him how can we know which church is true if
there are SO many and he was like, that's what I have been trying to
figure out!! His name is Erickson and I believe that God put him right
there in our path.

Sunday we were trying to see people after church and we decided to
passby a less active named Giovanna that Sorella Russell has seen a
few times. We had an appointment with her a few weeks ago but she
cancelled. So we decided to
just passby instead. And it was just what she needed. We had planned
to talk about the Book of Mormon with her and really bore testimony of
how it could help her everyday. Right now she is pretty much taking
care of her parents. Her dad is in the hospital and her mom is sick a
lot. She says that she needs to figure a lot of things out and make
some decisions and we told her the Book of Mormon would be able to
help her. "Feast upon the words of Christ. For behold the words of
Christ will tell you all things what ye should do." I love it when we
are guided to people at the right moment when they need it.

Monday we were able to see the Romanian family again!! Corina, Ovidio,
and Samuel at least. And it was amazing. We watched the Restoration
video with them this time. Luckily they had a DVD player but they
didn't have a remote.... how were were going to change the language?
They pushed a few buttons and the movie started playing and it was in
Italian!! Then we stopped it so we could say a prayer and then when
they started it it was in English.... oh no! So then they tried again
and it was in English. Sorella Russell and I were both praying for a
miracle. For the video to be in Italian or Romanian. Either one. As
long as they could understand it! and it worked! It switched to
Italian again! Don't ask me how. Miracles. Afterward we had a really
good discussion. The spirit was so strong. When we asked them to pray
about Joseph Smith, Samuel was just like, ever since you told us about
him last week I already believed. And Ovidio said last week before we
came they didn't have light in the living room because they weren't
able to get a light bulb. But then we came and we were "two angels"
who lit up the place. And the next day they were finally able to get a
light for the living room. They are the most humble people, yet so
loving and giving. They have so much faith in Christ. We were able to
share how we were guided to them because Heavenly Father loves them
soo much and wants them to have the blessings that come from the
gospel in their life. I loved being with them. I already Love them soo
sooo much!!

At the beginning of this transfer I told Sorella Russell we needed to
pray for a family because I did that in Genova and we found Edith. And
God has already blessed us with this beautiful family! They are so
cute, when we ask when we can come back they say "Whenever! Whenever
you have nothing to do, just come over!"

I just love being a missionary! And being able to see how God guides
you to those who are ready. This really is His work and we just get to
be blessed to share this great message to His children. We are so
blessed to be able to feel the spirit when we testify and see how much
He blesses others and also US! He blesses us with so much love for His
children. So much I don't think I can keep it all in! I know I'm in
Bologna for a reason. There are people to find and teach.

I hope you all have a Happy New year!!
vi voglio bene! :D
Sorella Dixon

Eating pizza in Bologna

"Our decorated Door for Christmas"

"Christmas morning"

Christmas lunch with the Palmeiri's

"Christmas dinner with our Bishop and family"

Homemade tortellini

Homemade lasagne

Meat, lentils and potatoes

"We climbed one of the Towers today. Here is the view..."

"A pretty church we went to today"
A nativity inside

"A street in Bologna"

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas Day Skype

It was so great to Skype with Sorella Dixon yesterday morning.
She had lots of funny things to share with us!!

Oh, Man we've missed this cute face!!

Laughing so hard at something Karissa said about her birds...
we'll leave it at that!!

Sorella Dixon explaining to us how Italians not only talk with their hands, but they
like to touch you when they talk to you to make sure you are listening!

Telling us she is getting a little closer because we all look 
blurry and fuzzy.

Saying good-bye and I LOVE YOU!!!! ( ti amo)

See you in 5 months, Sorella--on Skype one more time!!!
So proud of this girl!!
Love and miss her to the moon and back.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Nativity in the Corner

Ciao Tutti!!
Buon Natale in about 2 days!! :D I hope everyone has the best
Christmas ever! Even though it has been so different not being home
for Christmas and around family, I have really loved this Christmas
season growing closer to Christ and thinking about Him ALL the time in
EVERYTHING that we do. Christmas season in the mission is so great. It
makes it so easy to talk to people and share a little christmas share
with everyone :)

I want to thank everyone for all the great birthday wishes I got!! I'm
so sorry if I'm not able to respond to everyone, but know that I loved
them all! You are all so sweet! It made my birthday that much greater!
Gelato for my birthday!
So last Friday we had a zone training which was great and then that
evening we had serata familiare in the church and our investigator
Chiara came. It was a good FHE where we talked a lot about the savior.
The spirit was strong.

Saturday we had a great day! It started well where we went out to the
park for about an hour before weekly planning and ended up being able
to show the Christmas video to some pepole and giving out pass along
cards. Little miracles! Later we were able to go to caroling in centro
with some members! That was fun :) So centro is such a busy place,
especially at this time of year. There are stores everywhere so people
are doing their Christmas shopping. And then on Saturday there just
happened to be lots of people in the palazzo by the duomo who were
playing music or doing different things.  There's the tree
The tree in Centro
with lights and other decorations up. It was pretty crazy. We were
trying to figure our where to sing. We decided to go in this area just
off from the main place and tucked away in a little corner is a
Nativity set up. I would've never known it was there if we hadn't have
decided to walk over there. There were some benches some ways off with
a few people sitting. It was a lot quieter there and we decided to
sing there by the nativity. It was actually pretty neat because people
would come in and take a look at the nativity and then stop to hear us
sing for a bit. There weren't as many people there as the other place
but we were still able to touch a few people. And then we went out and
we could hear the music again and there were lights and people
everywhere. It reminded me of how our Savior was born. In a
tiny stable that no one really knew about. Only the humble shepherds
and His parents were there. He wasn't in the center of everything and
didn't look for attention. It was kind of like he was tucked away in a
corner as we found him in Bologna.
The nativity in the corner
Then we headed to the church for the ward Christmas party! We ate good
food and listened to good music. Several members made lasagna.... mmmm
mmmm good. It was probably the best lasagna I've had! And of course
the bishop kept feeding us so much food! Then he told us that as a
tradition they have the missionaries go up and sing. So we just did a
little song and then some members dressed up as Santa and came in carrying
huge bags and boxes. I thought they were gifts they were giving out to
everyone but they just plopped them in front of us. What?! The ward
gave each companionship a HUGE bag of food and another gift that we
haven't opened yet in a big box. We were NOT expecting that! They were
sooo nice! Our cupboards and fridge are well stocked :) That was
pretty fun to carry home haha :)

"All the food we got from the ward. The big yellow box in the back is a sweet bread like treat called Pandoro.
On Sunday they didn't have Sacrament bread, so they used Pandoro left over from the ward Christmas party.
Only in Italy."
A miracle that I want to tell happened on Monday. It was the evening
and we were trying to do some less-active passbys. We tried one and
found out she didn't live there anymore so now we just needed to
figure out how to get to the next one. Sorella Russell had the map and
was leading us and somehow we just kept ending up on the EXACT street
that we needed to be on, without really realizing how we got there.
Everything was working out perfectly--even the bus that came just a
minute after we got to the bus stop even though it was supposed to
come in 10 minutes. So I just knew that there was a reason we needed
to go to this passby. So we get there and it reminds me of dorms or
something. There were a ton of apartments. We looked for the name of
the person on the citofino, but no luck. She didn't live there
anymore. So we start ringing other people. If she wasn't there, then
there was someone else we were supposed to talk to. We get let in the
building and start going to people's doors that we could tell were
home. Eventually we get to a door and the lady is sweeping the
doorstep. But she didn't want to talk. Then we get to another door and
a lady answers, but she wasn't interested. Then we get to another door
and a lady answers and says that she's busy but then we ask if we can
just show her a 2 minute video and she decides to let us in and gets
us chairs. And we end up sharing the Christmas video and teaching the
whole restoration! And they were so interested! So these people are
from Romania. There were a bunch of people there because they are
brothers and cousins married with babies. And they were just all
visiting each other. They love God and learning about Christ and
everything and had really good questions. It was such a miracle!!! We
should be able to see them again tonight (speriamo bene :)  We left
just in awe. We were definitely guided to these people. It was a great
miracle after not that much that has been going on lately. We have
talked to lots of people and have tried to find people, but really
it's God who guides us to those who are ready. Another part of this is
prayer. Pretty much every miracle I've seen on my mission comes AFTER
prayer. And this time it was after tiny little prayers of the heart on
the way there. I was saying little prayers asking for guidance to the
house we needed to go to and an opportunity to talk to someone who
needed the gospel and Heavenly Father sure answered those!
I know that if we pray for miracles and for little opportunities to
serve and help someone this Christmas season God will truly answer and
give us those opportunities.

I hope everyone has a great Christmas and remembers the tiny babe born
in the humble manger two thousand years ago.

Buon Natale e Vi voglio bene :D
Sorella Dixon

"Stamping a bunch of Christmas pass along cards"

"Lights by our apartment"

Lights in Centro

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

I made it to Bologna, and it is Gorgeous!!

Cari Tutti!

I hope everyone is having a great December! Looks and sounds like it's
very cold and Christmasy! I love it :) Only 9 more days til Christmas!
Pretty crazy! But that means 9 more days of talking about the birth of
Christ with EVERYONE!!

So last Thursday was transfer day..... it's always pretty long and
exhausting. Especially when everyone you are traveling with has 3
suitcases... haha but tender mercy, the train station had elevators!
and when we didn't have elevators people were pretty nice to help us
carry the suitcases up the stairs.

So, I made it to Bologna without any problems!! Bologna is GORGEOUS!!!
Genova was pretty, but Bologna is just something else. It is veeeery
old, but very well kept so it's the beautiful antique look. It is also
very clean!! yay! For Christmas there are lights everywhere along the
streets and huge Christmas trees decorated in Centro and also some
other places. We get around on buses. The bus system will take me
awhile to figure out here. In Genova it was easy because it was a
line. Here it's a circle and the buses take weird routes that change
on different days. Crazy! So I get to keep doing bus finding!
Sometimes it's a little exhausting, but really it is a great way to
talk to people because they are already sitting and have nothing
 else to do. :) We have been talking about the E nato un
Salvatore video with about everyone so that's pretty fun!

My new companion is Sorella Russell, and she is from Canada. She is one
transfer ahead of me and speaks Italian really well. She is sweet.
Very quiet, but nice. We work really well together actually. I think
it will be a great transfer!
She had been here for 4 weeks so we are kind of learning the city
together. We have done a lot of passbys and finding. We had a neat
miracle on Saturday where we were doing some parco and saw a lady with
a very energetic dog that was pretty cute. We saw her as we were
making some calls and didn't get the chance to talk to her. But later
we were doing some casa and were at a gate to some apartment
buildings. Then she walked up because she was coming home and lived
there! We started talking to her. It was actually kind of funny
because we rang someone's house, and they just looked out the window and
said "che e?" after we said who we were, or probably after we got Gesu
Cristo out she said she wasn't interested and that we should leave if
we weren't looking for anyone in specific. We just rang other people
and then this lady with the dog came up. The lady at the window told
her to tell us to leave so she asked who we were here for and we just
said that we talk to everyone. She asked us if we were looking for
anyone specific and we said, no, but then she was curious as to who
we were, so invited us in the gate to talk and it actually turned out
really well. She's pretty interested in what we believe so we'll
hopefully get to see her again!

There is a university here in Bologna so we see students EVERYWHERE! I
love it :) It reminds me of college. We are actually doing emails in
the library right now. We have gotten to talk to some students so
that's fun. I'm not used to doing finding with so many people my age
or a little older.

The ward here is great, and I'm so excited to get to know them more and
work with them! Tonight we actually have correlation with our ward
mission leader! And he seems really great.
There are a few investigators here. One is Chiara. She is veeery
Catholic and has been investigating off and on for the last 10ish
years. She is super sweet and actually has great questions. So
hopefully we can clear things up that she has problems with and then
really help her recognize the spirito santo and gain a testimony for
herself. We were able to help her around her house yesterday and then
had a great lesson.
Well, I have to go! but Have a great week! And 9 days before Christmas!!

Buon Natale and Vi voglio un MONDO di bene( translated---"I love you so much")
Sorella Dixon

"On the train"

Sorella Russell and Sorella Dixon in Bologna

A Christmas Market!

"The Duomo in Bologna. They only half finished it. 
They didn't get to put the Marble on the top part because apparently when it was being built
 the Vatican needed money so they had to stop the Duomo in Bologna."

"The Two Towers: a popular site in Centro Bologna"

"Pretty sites in Bologna"

Santa is sneaky!

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
"Isn't it Cute?"

Another view of the Church.