Wednesday, January 27, 2016

La Pace (Peace)

Cari Tutti!
I hope everyone had a great week! This week was so great here in Bologna! So Helena is doing GREAT! She absolutely LOVES everything we teach her and just can't wait for more. We've been able to see her regularly and she loves it. We were able to get her to church on Sunday. Thanks to the help of some members. Since she has a wheelchair it's tough for her to ride the bus. It's fine when the bus has the ramp that can come out for wheelchairs, but not all buses have that. So some members who live kind of near her were able to give her a ride. And she was just so content at church, sitting there with her legs up on her wheelchair and taking notes. Haha she's so cute :) And she's already getting to know the members and loving them! 

She said after she went home on Sunday she was just alone in her house and felt so at peace. She was actually j really calm and everything when we saw her the time after she went to church. It's so amazing the peace the gospel really does bring into our lives. Even when we don't realize we are missing it, the gospel provides it. That is what has happened to Helena. PACE (peace) is the word she tells us she feels the most. 

Seek for the peace the gospel brings. Remember that we are SO blessed to have that in our lives. It's such a great promise that Christ has given us-- 
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
I see and talk to so many people everyday who live their lives and remark how bad the world is and how troubled they are by it. But we have the opportunity to help others find that peace in their life. The peace that the world doesn't have. 

Corina and her family are still doing great. They are the most humble people ever and so giving. Corina is such a great Mom. I love just seeing her with Romina, her daughter. She loves her so much and takes such great care of her. She is such a strength in her family. As we read the Book of Mormon with her, Ovidio,and Romina, the spirit is so strong. It's a beautiful family scripture study together :) And of course it also involves Romina being a busy body and going through our bags for things, but she's just so adorable. When they read, they just want to keep reading because they love it so much! 
We have found a member who is American (her husband is here for school) and speaks Romanian because she served her mission in Romania! So she'll be able to come to lessons with us to Corina and Gilda. Whomever we bring to Corina and Ovidio, they just love!

This week we were finally able to see Chiara again. She's been on vacation, but now she's back and we had a lesson with her. We were worried it might not work out because when we went over there at the planned time, she wasn't there but it was Marilia (our mission leader's wife) tending the kids. She called us and said she would be about 30 minutes late, and after that was up she still hadn't come and didn't get home until an hour after the original lesson plan.... and then she only had about 20 minutes before she had to go somewhere else... but we stayed anyway and helped her make a fruit salad as we talked. It ended up being a really good lesson actually! Since she has been studying with the missionaries for a LONG time, she already knows the stuff, it's we're just trying to help her gain a testimony. She mentioned how she has prayed to know about the Book of Mormon but hasn't gotten a response yet. Not at all. So we talked about what needs to be a part of that prayer- sincere heart  , real intent, and faith in Jesus Christ. The part that we really focused on was real intent and what that means. Right now she is an active Catholic and doesn't really want to change... so she was just praying just kind of out of curiosity. But we talked about how real intent means you must ACT according to the response you get. So she said she needs to really think about what she would do if she got the response it were true. It was what she needed. She even told us that she didn't know how important it was going to be that we came and talked to her a little bit that afternoon. 

Well, I hope everyone has a great week! Remember to recognize the blessings from the gospel EVERYDAY!! Smile and share the light of Christ with everyone :)

Vi voglio bene!
Sorella Dixon
A photo I just found on the mission blog. This was zone conference at 
Christmas time!!

A Peek into "Home Sweet Home" for Sorella Dixon




Study Area


Cute Missionary :)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

So Many Great Things Happened and my Heart is so Happy!

Cari Tutti!

I hope everyone had a great week! This week was so great here in
Bologna. So many great things happened and my heart is so happy :)

I want to tell you about a woman we met named Helena. Last Thursday we
were on the bus going to an appointment and a lady gets on the bus in a
wheelchair. She has a man with her who is helping her. I was not
really close to her, but I wanted to talk to her. But she beat me to
it! After a little bit she asked if I was Mormon and then said she had
seen the Mormon book and read something about a tree of life and
really wanted to know more. She asked for our number and asked when we
could come over-- and wanted it to be as soon as possible! So we got
all the information and planned to see her Friday. Although we weren't
able to see her until Sunday. Oh, I was also able to learn, before we saw her at her home,
 that she's from Mozambique and she speaks Portuguese. So we see
her on Sunday and it was amazing!!!

This is her story-- 
She came to Italy about 3 years ago. She was married but is now single and lives
alone. She LOVES religion and has read about every religious book
there is! She found God and Christ here in Italy. She studied with
Jehovah witnesses and the Evangelist church. But she didn't really
feel anything when she went there, so she stopped. She believes one
should FEEL something to continue in something. About 8 months ago she
was online just researching stuff and came across the Book of Mormon.
She downloaded it and read a little bit from each book. The thing that
really caught her attention was the tree of life. She LOVED it! Well,
one day her computer crashed and she wasn't able to read it anymore.
And then she just had this desire to find the book! The thing is, she
has kind of been stuck in her house for a long time because she has
broken feet/ legs... i'm not sure which one. But she can't get around
on her own that easily. She did go to an internet point and was only
able to find the chapter in the Sunday School manual about the tree of
life. She just WANTED this book. so. bad. So one day her friend from
Nigeria was helping her out and took her out. She had told him how she
really wanted to find these Mormons and two days later we were on the
same bus. He actually pointed me out to her because he came to the
church in Bologna about a year ago. And then she asked us to come
over. So we taught her the Restoration on Sunday and she  believed
everything we told her and then gave her a Book of Mormon. In
Portuguese. And you would've thought she just won the lottery the way
she reacted when she saw the book, and then saw it was in Portuguese!
Her native language :) It was so great!

It really made me think about the Book of Mormon and if I really
appreciate it and really WANT to read it that bad all the time. She
just LOVES it and just HAD to have it. We are so blessed to have such
an amazing book in our life that I think sometimes we can take it for

Helena wants to come to church and do everything. It was funny because
she was asking US when we could return, what we wanted her to do for
the next time, what the requirements are for baptism and everything.
And she gave the most beautiful prayer. If you ever get to hear an
African pray, it's such a neat experience. I love love love it.

Then we were able to see her yesterday. We talked a lot about the Book
of Mormon and really helped her recognize the spirit. She told us as
she was reading it between Sunday and yesterday she liked it, but
didn't have that strong feeling like she did the first time. It
was just like a storybook this time. So we talked about the spirit
and how it works. And how it isn't always a really strong feeling. In
fact it's usually really small, and just peaceful. We helped her apply
the scriptures to HER and just 1 Nephi 1:1 about recognizing the
blessings from God even though we have afflictions in our life. She
actually talked about how it's weird because she has so many hard
things going on in her life right now, but she just feels at peace.
She's not worried about things like other people would be. It's so
weird and different for her. It was after we talked about the
scripture and applied it to her that she said she felt something. And
got something out of it. Oh, I just love her. She is truly elect. I'm
so blessed to have this opportunity to teach her.

Other news-- I got to hear about Genova yesterday!!! And boy was that
sooo good to hear about!! Elizabeth and Chiara are doing sooo well!
Sorella Pulli and Sorella Jones are taking good care of them! And
Edith! It made me so happy. :D I'm pretty sure we'll be hearing about
all of their baptisms pretty soon!
Well I actually have to go, sorry I can't tell you about all the other
wonderful things that happened this week! But Bologna is a place of
I have you all have a great week! Tonight we have the opportunity to
hear from the first presidency for a worldwide mission broadcast! So
we are so excited for that! I know it will be amazing! I'll tell you
about it next week!

Vi voglio bene!!
Sorella Dixon
Look at that cute sorelle peeking out the window!

On the way to San Luca

"Walkway to San Luca"

A church called San Luca

Overview of Bologna

"Venice!!! I went there for a scambio (exchange) this week with Sorella Burgess"

The restaurant to celebrate one year serving a mission

Thursday, January 14, 2016

L'espiazione (The Atonement)

Cari Tutti!

I'm so sorry about last week's letter. Sometimes the internet
connection just doesn't work very well... but hopefully this letter is
a little better!

These past couple of days have been really warm. I love it! It's so
sunny and the skies are so clear! It doesn't feel like January at all!
"Oh ya know, just normal missionary these gorgeous streets"
So last Wednesday was the Befana. It's the day a witch flies around on
her broom and gives little kids candy in a stocking if they've been
good that year and coal if they haven't. Apparently it's supposed to
be a super old, ugly sock. So we spent the day with a family and they were
cute and gave us a sock full of candy! And it had a few holes
haha. ;) I love getting to know members here. Their conversion stories
are amazing and their continual faith is so inspiring. Since it was a
p-day we just spent the afternoon there. Normally we're allowed an hour
and a half for meals with people-that also includes the thought or
lesson. With Italians though lunch is usually a 2-3 hour ordeal. These
people just love to talk!

Corina and her family are great. We're having a hard time getting them
to come to church. But we're hoping that the members that we've
invited to lessons will help. They live a little ways from church and
they don't have a car so it's not the most convenient thing for them.
Samuel, Irena, Corina, and Ovido
One evening we went over and it ended up just being Corina. But that
was great since some of the time she's just in the kitchen and
we just teach the others. So it was good to actually have a lesson
with her. She has shared such great experiences with us. When she had
Romina there ended up being health problems and about eight months
later Corina was in the hospital with a horrible infection. There was
one night in the hospital when she kneeled and prayed by her bed
asking God to help her with this situation, and promising Him that if
He did, she would follow his path. That was about 7 months ago. And
then we showed up. Amazing how God works. He didn't just send
missionaries right away, but he did eventually. She is so worried that
she's going to mess up though. That's her main concern. She doesn't
want to make promises to God and then go back to who she was. So we're
really trying to help her understand the Atonement. Because Christ is
always there and always accepts us back if we come with a broken heart
and a contrite spirit. I just love this quote that I found about the
Savior forgiving us:

          "Our Heavenly Father knows what we are facing, that we all sin and
“come short of the glory of God” again and again. He sent His Son, who
“knoweth the weakness of man and how to succor them who are tempted.”
His Son teaches us to “pray always that [we] enter not into
temptation.” We are told to “cry unto [God] for mercy; for he is
mighty to save.” The Savior commands us to repent and to forgive. And
although repentance is not easy, as we strive with all our hearts to
obey His gospel, He gives this promise: “Verily I say unto you,
notwithstanding [your] sins, my bowels are filled with compassion
towards [you]. I will not utterly cast [you] off; and in the day of
wrath I will remember mercy.” The Savior wants to forgive"

Friday evening we were able to visit Sorella Volta. She is a sweet older
member who loves missionaries. She was having a really hard day and we
came over at the right moment to lift her day and help her feel
better. It was just really nice to be able to help someone without
really realizing that she needed us until we were there. We have
actually been trying to see her for awhile, but we weren't able to
until this week. And that's when she needed us!

Sunday was a great day of church, a ward lunch, Corina's family, Gilda
and lots of finding miracles. We actually have an old investigator
just show up in church, and she came and introduced herself to us! She
stopped meeting with the missionaries a couple of months ago because
she was busy, I think, but now she wants to start seeing us
again! Her name is Loredana and is from Italy, and we should be able to
see her this week!

Gilda is a lady who we found a couple of weeks ago. She is also from
Romania. We found her when we were trying to do a passby but the lady
wasn't home so we just did casa. A man opened the door and said to
come back the next day when his wife would be home. As we were leaving
we passed a lady and started talking to her. She had met the
missionaries in the past but her Book of Mormon was in Romania so we
got her number and said we'd bring her another one!  So we go back to
the guy's house the next day and  the lady we talked to ended up being
his wife! She really likes our message. And she has been losing her
eyesight so it's hard for her to read the Book of Mormon since she
doesn't have glasses, but with our iPads we can make the text bigger
so she can actually read it in her language and understand completely!
We are just hoping to find a way that she can read on her own. Or
maybe someone can at least read to her.

Another miracle-- Last week we were calling a bunch of less active
members who were in our phone and set up an appointment with a lady
named Gemma. So we met her on Monday and were asking her how she got
to know the church. She is from the Philippines and has been here
about 4 years. She told us that her sister and aunt or cousin are
members and that she wasn't a member yet she had just been to church a
few times with them in the Philippines and a couple times here. What?!
Apparently she saw the sister missionaries at the train station here
and talked to them and they misunderstood and thought she was a
member! She told us that she wants to be baptized and really hopes she
can come to church. She works, but it should be a pretty easy job to
get off Sunday morning. We are praying for her! So we are super
excited to start working with her!

Tuesday morning we met with a man named Carmine. He is Italian, and we
met him doing parco. He is super nice and is a Chinese
religion that I don't fully understand, but he's interested to know
about ours. I just love all the different types of people we meet here.
Everyone has such different backgrounds and beliefs and it's so neat
to see how God prepares people for His gospel....Piano piano and in his

Back to the thought about the Atonement. I think this is a good reminder
for everyone. Investigator, less-active, member, missionary, etc. We
all make mistakes, yet Christ is there ready to forgive. He helps us
overcome our weaknesses and resist temptation. I know that he gives us
the strength and helps us continue towards God. Satan is the one that
points out the things we do wrong and the mistakes we make, yet if we
turn to Christ, He will show us what we are doing RIGHT and all the
good we do. He wants us to come to Him. And he wants US to want to
come to Him and then He just readily accepts us.

Spero che ognuno di voi veda i miracoli ogni giorno!
Buona Settimana!
Vi voglio un sacco di bene!

Translated.....I hope that each of you see miracles every day ! Have a good week! I want a lot of good for you !
Sorella Dixon

"New Year's Eve pizza"

"Missionary selfie"

See why we miss her....:)!!!
"The stairwell in the Towers"
'The Towers"

"This is Bologna"

Roasted chestnuts

"This statue was burned on New Year's Eve"

"Typical Bologna Italy"

"Inside a beautiful church"

"Pretty, old buildings"

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Miracoli ogni giorni, anche se sono piccoli (Miracles everyday, even if they are small)

Well, the email I just wrote got lost. And I don't really have time to
write everything again. So, sorry this is so small.
But this week was good. Full of ups, downs, walking in the cold,
talking to all kinds people, and seeing how God truly does love each
one of His children.

We had some great experiences talking to lots of people this week. One
time we talked to a lady at the park, and she wasn't interested at all
so we went away and about 5-6 minutes later we heard someone calling
for us from behind. When we looked back it was her, and she was
interested in what we had to say. We taught her the restoration and
gave her a Book of Mormon and she was really interested.

Another time we were doing a passby and took the wrong bus. Then when
we got on the right one we ended up missing our stop. But then a lady
got on the bus that we started talking to and she was curious about us
because she was a history teacher and new about Mormons. She had a lot
of questions. It was great. We were in the right place at the right

We had several lessons with Corina and Ovidio and there were always
different cousins over. So we taught the restoration a lot of times.
Ovidio would get into it and teach part of it,and then he would bring
up baptism and say "and if you read this book and do what it says you
can get baptized!"  He was just so excited to tell everyone
about baptism, and he's not even baptized. Sometimes I think we can be
reserved to mention baptism or get a little nervous, but he was just
so excited to invite everyone. We also sang "I am a Child of God" with
them, and they loved it! We sang it at the lesson yesterday, too, with
them and they tried singing along. They are so cute. I just love
teaching them. The spirit is always so strong and they understand
everything so well. Their faith is strong and they really do want to
follow Christ.

Well I have to go, but I hope everyone has a great start to their new year!

Buona Befana!
Vi voglio un sacco di bene!
Sorella Dixon

No photos this time, but I found one or two in our folders.

This is what life looked like in January a year ago...

Sorella Dixon--pre mission.

Is that nuts? Yup!!!!

Italian pizza in UTAH! :)  Before Sorella Dixon with all her
pizza photos in Italy.