Wednesday, April 27, 2016

You Must Stay and Finish...

Ciao Tutti!

I hope everyone had a great week! This week was great. It was pretty
calm since we didn't have any scambi or trainings :) We did get
transfer calls Saturday though and I'll be staying in Bologna!! My new
companion will be Sorella Marostica. She is super sweet and is going
"My new companion"
into her 12th transfer! I'm excited to work with her! She's actually
here right now since she travelled today. And then Sorella Albos is
traveling tomorrow. So she's spending pday with us in Bologna! :)
We had a lot of great things this week! It's so crazy that Sorella
Albos is going home this week! We were able to see a lot of people, so
that was good!

Last Thursday we had a little get together with some sisters in the
ward. The idea all started after we had a lesson with Alexiana. She's
been having a hard time and we were thinking of more ways we could
help her than by just visiting her. Then we were inspired by the
thought to have a little get together with her and some other sisters
in the ward so she could get to know a few other people that might be
able to help her. She knows Marilia since they are both from Brazil,
but we also wanted to her to know Erika and Elizabeth who are from
Peru. That was such a fun get together. We had merenda
and then shared a thought. They all opened and shared some
experiences. And Alexiana just fit right in :) They all loved it and
want to do it every week they said haha! We'll see if that will
happen, but I think we'll definitely do it more often. These women are
incredible. They have all been through such hard times, yet they are
so strong. Right now we are especially working with Erika. She has
been less active for a long time and her husband isn't a member. But
she is the sweetest and has so much faith. She has told us that
recently she has felt closer to God than she ever has. One time with
her we talked a little bit about the temple and you can just see her
desire to enter the temple with her husband someday.

A funny mess-up that happened Thursday! Well we were trying to go back
to some college students that we met while doing casa before Easter,
and when we got to the house we completely forgot the citofino. We saw
one that said Giulia and Andrea and we were pretty sure the girl's
name was Giulia so we rang. (Yes, this is a bad example of keeping
track of people we've talked to...). Someone answered and it was a
man. We thought that was a little strange since it's a house of girls.
But just going along with it we ask for Giulia. They eventually look
out the window from the 3rd floor and ask who we were (that's pretty
common. A lot of times instead of answering the citofino they'll just
call out the window) and we realized that it wasn't the girl we talked
to last time at all! And then we realized that Andrea here is a man's
name. WHOOPS!! They were so confused as we were talking to them...haha
Unfortunately I can't say that it turned into a great miracle and they
let us in... It was just funny ;)

We saw a woman named Maria this week on Saturday. She's one of our
sweet English class students. She made us tortellini and we talked
about the plan of salvation. She's really interested in family history
so it was fun to talk about that with her. She actually set up an
account with family search with missionaries in the past, so we did
some stuff with her. And we met a couple of her grandkids! They were
super nice! One works in a gelateria by the church, so that might be a
good excuse to go over there :)

We were able to see a few Filipino less-active members this week too
since Sorella Albos is leaving. They are sooo sweet! I love them!!
They are usually less-active because of work. Which is such a bummer.
Hopefully we'll be able to continue to meet with them this next
transfer too.

This week I read some great things while studying. I was pretty sure I
would stay in Bologna but I was kind of ready for a change since I've
been her for awhile... And I didn't really know what else I could do
here... But I read some things and Anziano Wright gave a great
training in district meeting that helped me realize that I am still
here for a reason. One was an article from the March 2008 Ensign. It
talked about a dream Orson. F. Whitney had on his mission. He
witnessed the Atonement of the Savior and then saw Christ with the
three apostles before they ascended into heaven and this is what he
said:

        "All at once the circumstance seemed to change. … Instead of before,
it was after the Crucifixion, and the Savior, with those three
Apostles, now stood together in a group at my left. They were about to
depart and ascend into heaven. I could endure it no longer. I ran from
behind the tree, fell at His feet, clasped Him around the knees, and
begged Him to take me with Him.
        “I shall never forget the kind and gentle manner in which He stooped
and raised me up and embraced me. It was so vivid, so real that I felt
the very warmth of His bosom against which I rested. Then He said:
‘No, my son; these have finished their work, and they may go with me;
but you must stay and finish yours.’ Still I clung to Him. Gazing up
into His face--for He was taller than I--I besought Him most
earnestly: ‘Well, promise me that I will come to You at the last.’ He
smiled sweetly and tenderly and replied: ‘That will depend entirely
upon yourself.’ I awoke with a sob in my throat, and it was morning.”

Even though I might not know why, I need to stay in Bologna. I really
do love the people here so much. And I have absolutely LOVED serving
with Sorella Albos. We have seen miracles!! And have had such a great
time these last 2 transfers. I know she has done a great work here,
and her work is now finished. But God still has a work for me to do in
this wonderful city of Italy. I'm excited to see what He has in store
for me this next transfer.

Have a great last few days of April!
Vi voglio un sacco di bene!
Sorella Dixon



"Lunch with Sorella Whiting and Adrie."


"Homemade Tortellini..sooo good!"

"Lesson with Helena and Sarra"
"Get together with Erika, Alexiana, Marilia and Elizabeth"


"They made a delicious Peruvian dish with potatoes, eggs, lettuce, and a
delicious sauce. I don't know how to spell it."

"Goodbye party for Sorella Albos"

"District picture in Ferrara"

"Primary"


Goodbye to Sorella Albos. God Speed.





Thursday, April 21, 2016

Dio risponde alle preghiere. Sempre. (God Answers Prayers. Always.)


 Cari Tutti!

I hope everyone had a great week! This week just flew! I heard about
the snow there, that's crazy! Here it is as sunny as ever and just
gets warmer and warmer!

Aww man... I miss that wrinkle nose beautiful smile!!
This week was quite the week. We had some high ups and some very low
downs... But I learned a lot about the Atonement and just how much God
loves each and every one of us. I also saw how his plan is PERFECT and
we just need to have the faith in Him when things don't go how we
think they should. Luckily the downs have come up, so it's not so bad
anymore. There were some really stressful and hard days, but prayer
works MIRACLES! I remember when Anziano Kearon was here he told us to
"stop worrying so much". God loves who we love just as much and MORE
than we do, so he'll take care of them. That's what I had to do. I was
trying to help out in my way, but when I stopped and  prayed to
God to help them and just help me do what He would have me do, I
received the confirmation that He would,  and I just felt peace. I
didn't worry so much, and I know that He gave me the right words at the
right time. Everything is in His hands.
Speaking of hands...
This week I saw a lot of great things through prayer. One evening we
had about an hour before we had to go home. We were trying to find a
person who Sorella Distante found while she served here and she told
us about him when we did Scambio last week. Well, we didn't end up
finding him so we decided to do some casa before we went home. We
didn't feel right on the street we were on, so we decided to pray to
be guided where to go. After we started walking towards a different
street, and then we got the thought to call a lady named Romilia who we
had talked to on the bus awhile ago. We called her and she didn't
answer. Then about a minute later we get a call from a private number
and it's her!  We asked if we could passby her and she actually said
YES! She lives pretty close to where we were so it was perfect! We
went and showed her the halleluia video and had a great conversation
about Christ. She believes in Christ, and when we told her that
the message we bring is about Him and that it will bring peace into
her life, she said she really wants that. She has been wanting peace,
and has been wanting to change. It was so great. I think things will
go really well with her! She is from Peru and has a 7 month old baby!
So cute! I love how God just put us exactly where we were needed at
the right time too! Just that morning another lady from a different
religion came and gave her some religious books... So we will help her
find the truth!

Sunday afternoon we saw a family who we found last week, and it was
quite the lesson..... They are from Egypt...and it was a little tough
because there was a language barrier. We did have a pamphlet in Arabic
though, so that helped. But the husband was so firm in his belief that
all prophets are false. It was hard to help him understand, mostly
because of the language. And unfortunately we didn't have a Book of
Mormon in Arabic to give them, but when we do we will go back! After
that all of our plans fell through and we didn't really know what we
were going to do. It was really weird... But then we got a call from
the Bishop asking us if we could come with him and his family to visit
a family in our ward from Nigeria! Perfect! This family is so cute!
They have 4 kids. 3 boys and a newborn baby girl! :) They came to
Italy a year ago because their situation in Nigeria wasn't that great.
And here, they have been having a hard time... Finding work, learning
the language, and having a good place to live. Right now the husband
and wife are actually separated and the kids live with the mom in a
home for women and children. We are hoping that we can do some service
there. They are so great though. The wife is adorable and always so
positive. She LOVES the church and the members. The Elders have
started doing an Italian class for them and other Nigerians who live
with them, so hopefully that will help.
"Gloria and her kids from Nigeria.

This week we were able to see Sonira!!! She is the lady who we found
doing casa and had a book about Mormons, like about the pioneers and
stuff. We gave her a Book of Mormon last week and then we were able to
see her again and she had great questions. She told us a great story
about how her husband didn't have work, but she told him to put God to
the test. To change something he was doing and pray to find work. So
he prayed and told God that he would stop doing a certain thing if he
gave him before 5 on a certain day. And then that day exactly at 5
they got a call from her father-in-law saying he knew of a job her
husband could have. She also told us other amazing stories that have
happened in her life. She KNOWS God exists and has sooo much faith.

She said she barely has time. She would love to know more, but it will be

hard to see us. So we told her to do what she said to her husband, put
God to the test and ask him to make time for her. And so far he has!!!
Yesterday we were able to do the full restoration and it was amazing.
We went over at 11 and she wasn't there.... So we decided to do some
casa in the area and try about 30-40 minutes later. And she JUST got
home. She got called into work and took her youngest daughter, but
then she was sick and crying and stuff, so she ended up coming home. I
know it's weird to think that her daughter getting sick is a tender
mercy, but I believe it happened so we would be able to see her!

This woman is incredible. She talked sooo much during the lesson, but
understood and loved everything we said. She would say what she
believed and share her concerns and confusion about all the religions
and things going on in the world today, and her beliefs are  the
same as ours. She is sooo prepared for the gospel. I just wanted to
tell her EVERYTHING about the church because I know how much she will
love it!!! She is such a great Mom. She has 3 kids and teaches them
about God and how He blesses us even in the little things. Everyday.
She told us a cute story about her son who opened the fridge and it
was empty and said he really wanted a pizza and a certain candy bar.
Sonira has always taught him to pray for things, so he said, "you know
what I'm going to do? I will pray for a pizza and a candy bar!" And
then went outside and prayed really hard for that pizza and candy bar.
That evening her husband called and said that at work he was given a
little extra money and she said go to the store and get a pizza and a
candy bar for your son! He came home to the son waiting at the door
for the pizza and candy bar because he knew God would answer his
prayer.
At the end when she gave the prayer it was beautiful and she thanked
God for sending us to tell her things she has been waiting for. I know
we were guided to this amazing family. God truly does prepare people.

Well, I hope you all have a great week! This Saturday we get transfer
calls so we'll see what happens!!!

Always remember: prayers are answered and God is in our life everyday.
Vi voglio tanto bene!
Sorella Dixon
"This is an Indian dress I got from Helena"

"Scambio with Sorella Bowman"




"Lunch with Erika"
Dynamic Duo--what will they do without each other? Sorella Albos goes home
next week. There will now be two Dixon girls who have a part of their hearts in the Philippines.


I just looked at the Italy Milan Mission blog, and found these photos of Savanna.
They were taken in February when she was given a leadership responsibility. She didn't ever mention that to us, but I am thinking that pictures don't lie...right?:) 

February 8, 2016----Mission Leadership Council





Can you find her? :)



Wednesday, April 13, 2016

See Them How God Sees Them

Ciao Tutti!

This week was so great! So much happened and I don't think I have time
to even tell you a fraction, but I'll tell you of some great experiences!

Well, first we got to watch some of the Sunday afternoon conference
session since we didn't get to when it was shown because it's too
late, and I absolutely LOVED the talk by Anziano Kearon about
refugees. I love the church's whole new program they are doing for
refugees. I feel like it will have a huge effect in Italy, and Europe
in general. There are so many people who have left their country
coming here with nothing and don't know how to live since they barely
speak the language or have money. We are blessed to be in the homes of
so many of these people. And I LOVE it. They are the most humble
people, so giving and kind, and have sooo much faith in Christ. I love
to see how God prepares the hearts of these humble people.

With that there is some sad news: Corina her husband, Cristina and her
family, and Irena and her husband all got kicked out of their house
this week. We found out when we were seeing Cristina (the other one)
and Maria. They were living in a casa di comune and usually they let
them stay there for several months, but the time was up I guess so
they threw them out. It was devastating. They didn't have anyplace to
go for a few days. Now Corina and Ovidio are going to southern Italy,
Cristina went to Forli, and Irena is at a church. We've still been
able to see her a couple of times when she's randomly at the others'
houses. So that was pretty sad. We are praying for them and know that
God will help them.

Cristina and Maria are doing GREAT! This week we had great lessons
with each of them. We usually go earlier to teach Maria and then
Cristina will come home from work and we'll do a lesson with her. They
actually both talked about baptism this week and how they are
considering it! They have both been against it. Well, not against it
but have seen it as something in the far future... Because they think
they are too young and don't want to end up messing up because they
know that baptism is important. But then Cristina was saying that
there isn't really a big sin she does anyway, so she wouldn't do it
after baptism either. So that was neat. Also, Cristina was praying
about her work since she was worried that she was going to lose it,
and then she got a contract to work until September!! Prayers
answered!

Sorella Whiting has been so great and is planning on doing a little
"Sorella Whiting's darling baby"
get together with them and another member in the ward who speaks
Romanian. We're pretty excited and I think this will be great for
Cristina and Maria to feel more included with the members.
We also had an amazing lesson with one of their cousins named Chiara!
We had met her once before at their house and she said we could come
to her house sometime! So this week we went and ended up  talking
to her and showed her the Follow Him animation. She's 13, but SOO
mature for her age. She said she had learned the stuff in the video
before, but never really thought too much about it or gave it
importance... But this time she FELT something! Something she couldn't
describe! So great! We are excited to keep seeing her!

So Gilda is going to Romania this week and will be gone for 4-5
Gilda

months. We saw her for the last time yesterday. Pretty sad. I think
this will be really good for her though. She'll actually be able to
sit down and read the Book of Mormon without worrying about taking
care of all the people in her house. And she'll be able to buy classes
for really cheap there! I think this will be a good 4-5 months for her
to really grow spiritually. And we're going to try to get the
missionaries to see her in Romania. Even though she lives really far
in the country...

We had some great miracles this week with meeting new people!! There
was a lady I talked to on the bus named Meri who was really
interested. And then when we were doing a Scambio on Monday our
Sorella Albos captured this missionary moment.
appointment got canceled with Erickson (we were able to see him the
next day though and he is doing great! He is reading the Book of
Mormon and loves it. We are really praying for him to be able to find
a way to come to church since he has work Sunday morning. But he
really does want to come so we know miracles will happen!) so we
passed by a lady we met the week before and gave her a Book of Mormon
and she was so excited to get it and was really curious about it! For
some reason she also had a book about the pioneers or something about
the history of our church that she loves to read, so she's excited to
read the Book of Mormon! We should be seeing her tomorrow! And we also
met two other AMAZING families! That we'll be seeing later. So many
new people to teach and help bring to Christ!! I'm so excited!! And
where are most of them from....? Romania! Who knew I would be coming
to Italy to teach and love so many Romanians....?!?! But really, I do
love them!

A thought that Sorella Deem shared with me this week (who was
actually Sorella Swenson's MTC comp... just for an FYI) was about seeing
Sorella Deem
people as God sees them. She said that Sorella Dalton shared how when
she got set apart she got the gift to see people how God sees them
and really says that she does. She said that she saw people for who
they ARE and sees their LIGHT and doesn't pass any judgement. That's
something I'm really trying to do. Is see everyone as a child of God
who He loves! No matter who they are, where they are from, or what
they have done. Everyone deserves to feel that love and to be blessed
by the gospel.

I love this work and I love this gospel. :D

Vi voglio un Sacco di bene! E buona settimana!
Sorella Dixon


"Going out of our area to visit a member"

Web meetings with the mission president!!  Unique use of hymn books!
Sorella Dixon labeled this,
"We wanted a tall tv to webinar with President Dibb."
Sorella Dixon's Romanian friends whom she loves so much!


"On the weekend, Bologna Centro is so crowded
 they just close the streets to cars."



Yummy Filipino food

Just for you Jess! :)

Cute Companions!






Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Lavoro missionario è incredibile (Missionary Work is Incredible)

Cari tutti,
I hope everyone had a great week! And especially a great weekend
watching conference! We are sooo blessed to have modern day prophets
and apostles who can lead and guide us and say words perfect for each
one of us.
This week I was able to learn so much from so many different missionaries.

Scambio with Sorella Rosano
Last week we were able to spend pday with Sorella Rosano because there
were some transfer changes so she stayed with us for the day to wait
for her companion. She is Italian and is such a a sweet missionary. We
taught a lesson that evening to Cristina and Maria and Sorella Whiting
(the American who served in Romania) came with us. It was so great to
have her there. They looooved her! And loved being able to speak
Romanian with her! It was such a crazy lesson because they were all
speaking in Romanian with her, and then Sorella Whiting would
translate for us the gist of what they were saying. And then I would
translate into Italian for Sorella Rosano. But it was so good because
for Cristina things finally clicked and she understood that there was
only one true church with the authority of God. Sorella Rosano gave
such a powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon. The way she teaches
is amazing. She is sooo bold and so powerful, yet she also teaches in
a way where you can feel so much love and see the happiness that the
gospel brings.
Cristina said she would really pray about it. When we asked her about
it a few days later she said she prayed and asked God if our book or
their book was right. And didn't feel anything. When I asked her what
their book was she said the Bible... Haha so we explained that a
little better. She's still praying about it and does want to
get an answer.

Thursday and Friday we had several zone trainings. We had the
opportunity to go to Padova, Mestre, and Rimini. I love being around
missionaries. The energy and spirit is always so high! We talked about
some great things. One of the most powerful parts was when we talked
about the apostolic blessing that Anziano Christofferson gave when he
visited the missionaries. They gave each of us a copy of some of the
promises he made and it was neat to hear everyone's thoughts on it.
Some missionaries in our mission weren't able to go to the conference
because only a certain amount of missionaries could. But there was one
Anziano who didn't get to go, but instead of feeling left out he was
sooo grateful to hear about the blessing. He felt the spirit so strong
and really shared his thoughts about it. I think we could all feel the
spirit so strongly when he was talking. We have been blessed by an
apostle and I've already seen some of those blessings in my life and
in our missionary work.
Zone Confernce

Zone Conference

Travelling and dinner with President and Sister Dibb

Saturday and Sunday were great because of conference!! 
Conference goodness!!





I'm guessing she turned around to play the piano, as well!!
We were also able to see a few people those days.
Monday we had such a great District meeting. Our district leader right
now is so great. He is so humble and truly follows the spirit. As a
district we have decided to consecrate this month. We've made some
goals and things we really want to accomplish, so we can find and
baptize people and really involve the members.
We are calling it Operation "So Great a Cause" (inspired from these
scriptures in D&C 131)
19 Now, what do we hear in the gospel which we have received? A voice
of gladness! A voice of mercy from heaven; and a voice of truth out of
the earth; glad tidings for the dead; a voice of gladness for the
living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy. How beautiful upon the
mountains are the feet of those that bring glad tidings of good
things, and that say unto Zion: Behold, thy God reigneth! As the dews
of Carmel, so shall the knowledge of God descend upon them!

22 Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and
not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your
hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth
into singing. Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to
the King Immanuel, who hath ordained, before the world was, that which
would enable us to redeem them out of their prison; for the prisoners
shall go free.

I think this is just what Bologna needs. We have already seen miracles
actually and I know we will continue to see them this month!!

Then we were able to have a Scambio with the Sorelle from Modena. I
got to serve with Sorella Lau from Arizona :) (well actually her
family now lives in American Fork)
That Scambio was amazing! This is another incredible Sorella! I
learned soooo much from her! Something that we talked about that I
want to share is how as members we don't fully live the gospel. We are
happy with our lives and feel the peace and joy from the gospel. But
when we involve missionary work, we can enjoy the fullness of it. We
aren't worried or stressed about our own lives, instead we are
searching for ways to uplift others. We find opportunities to share
and build our testimonies of Christ, even in ways we never thought
about. We truly can make a bigger impact than we think we can. We
aren't just everyday people living normal lives. We are children of
God, who is all powerful. If we think we aren't good enough, we are
being selfish. When we think of Christ instead, all fear goes away and
we can see just how much He can help us do.

We had some powerful lessons and great miracles! One in particular was
at the very end of the Scambio. We were doing some parco and ended up
talking to a lady from Moldova. She just came back to Italy that day.
We showed her the Hallelujia video and she said that all of her family
is religious except her. She said that they pray that she'll come back
to church because she hasn't gone to church in 6 years. Yet, after we
talked to her and shared our testimonies she said she wanted to come
to church this Sunday. I know we were supposed to talk to her. And I
think it really shows because in the middle of the day Sorella Lau
showed me the phone, and it was locked... And she couldn't remember the
passcode. There was no way to talk to the other Sorelle so we just
decided to meet up when we had planned to. Well, when we got to the
station at 5:30 they said they had been trying to get ahold of us
forever because some plans changed and wanted to take the train at
5:20 instead of 5:50. Well of course we never got that.... But if they
would've called, then we would've left the park before we could have
talked to Natalia.


Well there's so many more great things of this week, but that's all I
have time for. So I hope you all have a great spring week and remember
how much good you can really do!
Love you lots!
Con amore,
Sorella Dixon

Venice..so close, but yet so far!











A beautiful library in Bologna





Underneath in the library--I'm not sure how they got there...

 

HAPPINESS!!! She looks sincerely happy!!