Friday, March 25, 2016


Cari Tutti!

Happy Spring!! It's getting so nice and warm here! I hope it's warming
up where you are and that the sun is shining everyday! I just love
missionary work in the spring! People are just so much happier and
more open to the message :)

This week was quite the week! Last Thursday was the missionary
conference with Anziano Christofferson! And that was amazing! The
spirit was so strong and I learned a lot! A quote that he said that I
loved was "You don't need to give more time, you just need to involve
more people."
"On the train ride home from the Elder Christofferson Conference which
was held in Milan"
Last week we had some pretty great lessons with the Romanian family!
So there are now about 4 houses we go to and each place has a lot of
people. Each time is such a different experience and we never really
know who's going to be there. But I love it!! At one house, that has
the most people usually, they let us come in and then just tell us to
go in the kitchen. There is this one girl, Larissa, who is 5 and she
loves it when we come! She's sooo cute! We will sing songs with her
and her cousin and then it's her mom (Cristina) who is the most
interested there. We had a great lesson with her reading the Book of
Mormon in the corner of the kitchen. She shared some great faith
experiences that she's had in her life. These people have practically
NOTHING yet they have so much faith in God! And they  trust Him so
much. She shared how her prayers have been answered when she didn't
have any money but went out and prayed that she'd be able to get 5
euro, not at someone's cost though. And a man randomly gave her 5
euro. Then another time she needed to find work and really prayed and
didn't find anything until she came home and a cousin said there was
an opening at a place he knew. One lesson we had with her, we were
reading in 1 Nephi and we talked about how it's important to
recognize how we feel as we read it. Something I learned from Elder
Bednar was to have the investigators describe how they feel and help
THEM recognize the spirit. The words they gave were so good. Tamara,
Cristina's mom said "good". Cristina said "Filled" and another woman
another time said "like God's inside me". It's so neat to be apart of
people's first experience with the spirit. Cristina really wants to
know if the Book of Mormon is true and if she should get baptized and
was asking us great questions about how to recognize God's answer! She
committed to church... And didn't end up coming... But hopefully next

One time we went over and there was another family there that we had
never met. A mother with five kids just lost their house. We showed
the Easter message, and she was so touched. She started crying. We were
able to see her again at Corina's house and taught her the restoration
and she loved it! She also has so much faith and shared how when her
oldest daughter was a baby she got stuck in a burning house and she
thought she had lost her. She went to the hospital to get her clothes
thinking she had died, but then something told her that she was still
alive. And she knows that God saved her.
Getting to know these people have been incredible. I absolutely LOVE
it! When I prayed to find a family, I had NO idea God would send a
HUGE, extended family to teach. It's pretty fun because they all know
that we go to all their cousins houses and then they'll ask about the
other members since they don't see each other as often as we see them
Haha. And we've gotten to try some pretty great Romanian food :)

This Sunday is Easter! Buona Pasqua! In Italy they have a tradition of
giving these big chocolate eggs. A ton of store/bakery windows are
 full of chocolate eggs and it's so cute! Also with Pasqua we've
been able to share the Hallelujah video! I love how it says several
times, "with Christ, I have found new life." In district meeting our
district leader shared with us a great quote from Ezra Taft Benson
about change that I just loved:

"The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside
in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the
slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums.
The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes
men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human
behavior, but Christ can change human nature."

It's so true. Christ truly CHANGES people. I have loved seeing that in
other people, and also myself. The Gospel brings so much joy, hope,
and LOVE.

Have a great week and always remember the One who rose again the third day.

Vi voglio bene,
Sorella Dixon

"Seeing Sorella Pulli at the Elder Christofferson conference"

"Seeing Sorella Goethals at the Elder Christofferson conference"


"They always bring treats to English class"

"The treat usually consists of fruit and nuts"

"This is what happens when the elders get ahold of your iPad!"

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Rest with Them

A picture of happiness.
District meeting!
Cari Tutti,
This week was such a great week. Bologna is doing well. Rain some days and sun some others. I'm so excited for spring to come!!

This week was so full of miracles! God is amazing and can truly make amazing things happen. This week I noticed how God is always there, even in the tiniest little ways. As Helena always says, "È lo spirito" or It's the Spirit. She always gives credit to the Spirit. No matter what it is!! Even in the toughest of situations she always praises God. And it's so true. We are always guided and blessed in our lives because of the spirit.

This week we saw Gilda. I don't know exactly how much I've told you about her. We found her before Christmas and have been teaching her since then. She can't read because of her eye sight, except when we're there with the larger words on the iPad. We did find a member though who is willing to read with her and speaks Romanian. Well she has always told us that she doesn't want to come to church because she just has no desire to go. She has been about 4 years ago when she met with the missionaries for the first time and she just didn't have any desire to go back. She said she never goes in any church. Well we've been praying and teaching her different things. And she has prayed and knows that what we teach is true. One of the lessons that we still needed to teach was the Word of Wisdom. She always knew that we don't smoke or drink and the missionaries tried to help her quit last time but she never wanted to. She said because of their insistence she actually wanted to smoke more. She says she has tried to stop smoking in the past because she knows she should, but she has never been able to. Well we invited her to pray about it to get the DESIRE to stop and the next time we came she said she did and she felt something different than she's ever felt before. She felt a change. She actually wants to stop smoking and is doing a fast to stop smoking! It's like she had this shell over her heart that is finally starting to crack so the spirit can enter. And then after that lesson she committed to come to church! She actually said she would and she did!!! It was for about a half an hour because she got lost, and then had to go help her daughter, but she came!! 
   I know these are really small things, but they are also huge blessings. Huge steps and changes after hardly any progress at all. 

Another small miracle and a way we were led by the spirit was on Monday. As a mission we are meeting with members and challenging them to find a family in their neighborhood and then also taking that challenge us to find someone in their neighborhood. We made that challenge and then finally on Monday we had time to go to the area to do some finding. We did casa and were able to show the new Easter video!! It's so great! So we ring this door and the girl who answers says she's Atheist, but she invites us in anyway. We actually don't even end up showing the video because she was talking about other things and then we end up teaching the whole restoration! Crazy! This was the first time Sorella Albos has actually gotten in doing casa, so that was a miracle. And ending up teaching the restoration to an atheist! During the whole lesson and with the questions that she was asking it was amazing to see how the restoration can truly answer all questions. We weren't planning on teaching it, it just happened because of the questions she was asking. We would teach a point, she would ask a question and it would lead right into the next point! We are so blessed to have the knowledge that we do of the truth. It's interesting to hear what people think and the ideas they try to come up with to explain things. And we don't have to worry about that because we know the reason! She thought what we said was interesting and was pretty open. So we're hoping to go back and help explain more. 
Actually in that area there are a lot of younger people who were open to hear our message. A lot are students since there is a University here. And a lot are atheist. but they were still nice and let us talk a bit with them! 

I love seeing how God puts us in the exact spot that he needs US. On the bus Sorella Albos and I usually split up so we can talk to more people. And we always end up talking to the perfect people just for us! Like one time I started talking to this lady and she has been to the United States so that was an easy conversation starter and then we got talking about Mormons and how she has friends who are Mormon and how they are really good people. And then there's Sorella Albos over there talking to and being best friends with a Filipino lady who said we can come over to share our message! :) I love it!

A great scripture that I read this week was D&C 15:6
"And now, behold, I say unto you, that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father. Amen."

So section 15 and 16 are exactly the same and I read both of them one morning. And it's a good thing they say the same things because I didn't catch something amazing until section 16! I noticed the "That you may rest with them" part. This work of salvation is definitely to help others gain salvation so they can return to live with God again. But we are also helping others and gaining relationships with them so WE can be with them again too! I love it! It also mentions this in D&C 18:15
"And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!"
It just makes the work something so much more personal. It really makes me think of Love. Am I serving and doing this work because I truly LOVE them and want to be with them again? Am I willing to do whatever it takes for that person, that family, or those people so we can all enjoy eternal life together?

I hope everyone has a great week! Tomorrow we have the opportunity to hear from Elder Christofferson who's coming to Italy! We get to have a missionary conference with him!

Remember "È lo spirito!" And keep Helena in your prayers because she's in a tough situation right now and has to pack and be out of her house in 10 days. All while being in a wheelchair! But she knows God will help her and so do we. But extra prayers wouldn't hurt :)

Vi voglio un sacco di bene!!!
Sorella Dixon

"Helena's baptism certificate"

"WebEx! The blessings of iPads.
We can have missionary meetings with our pres.
in our cities online"

"Another yummy lunch"

Saturday, March 12, 2016

A Missionary Promise from Elder Holland

Cari Tutti!
I hope everyone had a great week! Weeks go by so fast I can't believe it's already pday again! 

We had a good week here in Bologna! We got transfer calls and I will be staying here with Sorella Albos! :D I'm pretty excited since I love Bologna, the people here, and Sorella Albos! 
This week we had kind of a slower week with finding people, but we were still busy and saw a lot of people. Right now we are so blessed to have so many people to teach that we are always on the go, but then the effort to talk to a lot of people and find isn't as great. So we are hopefully going to build that up this week. But we were able to have some amazing lessons with the people we are teaching.

With Helena we are teaching the Preach My Gospel lessons again and have really been able to go in depth and help her understand the doctrine more. We had an amazing lesson about the plan of salvation--mostly about life on earth. It was so great because we just shared scriptures and quotes that we have heard so many times, but for her it was new and she LOVED it. The spirit was so sweet. She was also really good at listening. That's something she's trying to work on. Not talking so much haha. Because she can talk A TON. But she's getting better at really just listening and trying to learn. She now has visiting teachers and they are so sweet. Yesterday was National Woman's day (So... happy woman's day!) and they surprised her by bringing her flowers and a cake. She called us after they left just to tell us because she was so happy! She loves being a part of this "family" :)

Last week we did a scambio with the sorelle from Piacenza. Sorella Weidmann and Sorella Bowman. I got to work with Sorella Weidmann and she's from Germany. She actually came in with Sorella Goethals! So that was fun! I love being able to work with and learn from sooo many sisters from ALL over the world!! It really is incredible! She is such a great example of strength and following God's plan. It was interesting because she's in her 4th transfer and was feeling a little discouraged, and I told her that my most discouraging time was also in my 4th transfer. And then I was talking with Sorella Albos later and she said that it was in her 4th transfer that she also felt the most discouraged. I don't know what it is about being 6 months in, but apparently it's pretty common to feel down at that time. So I just want to say  to any missionary around their 6 months mark and are down (or really any missionary feeling a little discouraged) It's ok. There will be hard days. And the work will be hard. But don't give up! There's a quote in our kitchen from Elder Holland that says:

"I bear witness that He came from God as a God to bind up the brokenhearted, to dry the tears from every eye, to proclaim liberty to the captive and open the prison doors to them that are bound. I promise that because of your faithful response to the call to spread the gospel, He will bind up your broken hearts, dry your tears, and set you and your families free. That is my missionary promise to you and your missionary message to the world."

The mission is truly amazing and I wouldn't give it up for anything, not even the hard times. 

On Sunday night none of our plans worked out, so we were trying to do some pass-bys and thought about seeing Giovanna and Rosa. We have been able to see them twice since I've been here and have tried several other times but it never worked out. So I didn't really think they'd let us come, but we tried anyway and it was just what they needed. We go in and the first thing Giovanna told us was how their dog died last week. They've had this dog 15 years and it died from a heart attack. They were devastated. I think God knew exactly that our plans needed to fall through so we could see them and help them feel a little love. 

Also on Sunday we were able to do a mission wide fast and invited our wards to fast as well to find people to teach. And then we were able to kneel down with all of the missionaries at 1:30 to pray and ask God to help us find those we can teach and bring into the gospel. I love how President had us do that and include the members too. Just as so many leaders have asked, I invite you all to pray with the missionaries and search for ways to be a missionary as well instead of just praying FOR the missionaries! 

This week we saw Gilda and we are working with her to stop smoking. She has been smoking a loooong time and every time she goes to stop, or try to smoke less it's harder for her and she ends up smoking more. But last time we talked about doing a fast to have the strength to begin stopping and she was really interested in that. So we will be doing that with her. She is so great. She believes everything we teach her. Her life is so hard, yet she has sooo much faith! 

Well those are just a few things from this week! I hope everyone has a great week and continues to feel the love of the Savior everyday! 
Vi voglio un sacco di bene!
Sorella Dixon

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

II Battesimo!!!!!

Cari tutti!

This was a great week!! There's soooo much that happened! I can't tell
you everything so i'll just tell you a few experiences--

So Saturday was Helena's baptism and it was so beautiful! 
She was so happy and just glowing!!  So many members
of the ward ended up coming. The support was so great!

 It was so sweet because she met a member
while at stake conference last Sunday who lived in Pordenone and she
came all the way down just to go to Helena's baptism.

On Monday after the baptism we talked to Helena about the weekend and
she said the feeling after a baptism is weird. It's so different than
anything she's ever felt. It really is like being born again.
We had an amazing lesson with her this week about the Atonement and
agency. She was studying the Bible and the Pearl of Great Price (she
could NOT wait until she was able to get the Pearl of Great Price and
the Doctrine and Covenants! She had to wait awhile since we had to
order it from the office in Portuguese). And she really realized how
important it is to keep covenants after baptism. I remember when Elder
Bednar came here last year he talked about this too. How our agency
kind of changes after we make covenants. We don't really have a choice
not to keep them. It's more of representative agency I think he called it.

This week we had a couple of scambi. One time I was with Sorella
"Scambio with Sorella Fuller
Fuller. She's in my group so it was fun! The morning we didn't have
any appointments set up so we were going to do casa, but first we were
going to try to passby by one of Corina's cousins. But she didn't
quite understand that or just forgot or something... because when we
got to the door and I rang the door a little girl opened and said
"Ciao!!" and then i just went right in and started talking to all the
people there (because we have been there before) and Sorella Fuller
totally thought we were just doing casa! Haha too bad it really wasn't
like that and we just found a great new family to teach! But it was
still a great lesson! We started teaching one of the cousins named
Cristina. (this family HUGE. the cousins are seriously never ending!!)
She is really serious about baptism though and really wants to FEEL
something and learn things well before she's baptized. It was such a
great lesson.

Another great lesson we had this week was with Irena. We decided to
teach her the restoration again since the time we taught it to her she
wasn't really there the full time. And this time when we went there
both her husband and her baby were asleep so she was really able to
focus. We taught just a simple restoration but the spirit was so
strong. Then at the end we had her say the prayer and she did and we
could really tell she was saying a really good meaningful prayer (it
was actually in Italian so we actually understood it this time!) and
then afterward she said she felt something inside her! I feel like
this was really the first time she had a good experience with prayer
or the spirit because she said she didn't really feel close to God or
Christ. So that was so neat!

We saw Chiara this week! She is such an example of strength and
patience. Her husband is against her getting baptized so that's why
she can't right now. But we was asking us about fasting and told us
that she has been putting aside money as tithing until she can pay it
as a member. Because she does want to become a member, she's just
going to live as much as a member until she can. She has never fasted
though so we talked about that and she is planning on doing it this
Sunday :)

Scripture for this week:
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love
God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

Even though some times things are hard, they always work out. I know
that God is in charge. We are on HIS side. If we just love Him and try
our best He will help us out. If we really search and recognize the
blessings we will see that He is there EVERYDAY!

Love you all so much! Remember, Love is a part of us. It's natural. So
go out and show it :)
vi voglio bene,
Sorella dixon

"Sorella Albos is an amazing pianist"

Never a shortage of pizza!
"At a different baptism, trying to distract this kiddo"
Notice his missionary tag!

"These are the Fratta girls.  They are so cute! Their Dad is half
Italian and half Canadian, and their Mom is Columbian.  Camila is the one
to my left. She is the only LDS YW at her school."

"Eating lunch at the church"

"On top of the tower"