Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Ragusa 23/3/15 - 13/4/15 - Laboriosa, colta ed esperta nel settore della lavorazione della pasta

Week 1:
HELLOOOOOOOOOOOOO EVERYONE! Today I’m emailing you all frooooooooooom CATANIA!!! All of the Anziani in our zone are doing a zone football day and so we wanted to do something with the Sorelle here! So we came up last night and are gonna spend the day insieme!

Monday - So we had a ton of FUN in Siracusa with the Sorella! Saw the Greek theatre... the catacombs were closed, but we still had fun and got gelato instead! :) 
P-Day in Siracusa

P-Day in Siracusa

Rock Star Posing with the Sorelle of Siracusa

Rock Star Posing with the Sorelle of Siracusa

we're so fast we fly

Tuesday - Me and Sorella Puzey did some Less Active finding in the area! Didn’t find much success, but we had a few good gospel convos in the street! :) Then we went to some little ‘dodgy looking’ place to eat (close to the train station) and I had a boar sandwich. It was okay! I didn’t get ill, so that was good. It’s funny being on the mish.  We eat at places I would NEVER eat at if I was at home hahahahaha. You will be surprised!!! haha. Then we went home, which took FOREVER on the bus, but there wasn’t a train, so we had no option! Then had English course! A girl we met on the bus a while back called Bruna came! SHE EVEN did the closing prayer! IT WAS SO CUTE! Everything she said related to the spiritual thought that the Anziani did. So we spoke to her after and Sorella Hamilton gave her a book of Mormon! She said she’s Catholic, but we feel she has a ton of potential! :) Speriamo bene!

Wednesday - WE GOT BIDONES HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE. EVERYONE we had booked an appointment with (3 different appointments) CANCELLED!! I was so annoyed! We had all 0’s all week and this was nearly going to make up for the lack of numbers, due to the scambo, but no! I was so disappointed! DDM IN THE MORNING WAS AMAZING and we are really blessed to have such an awesome DL, Anziano Smith. He has such a great spirit with him as he teaches! He’s fab!

Thursday - We went to Comiso. Thursday is our Comiso day. Our area covers a few towns. It’s really sad, cus some we never get out to. In Comiso, we saw 2 less active families, the Guastellas and the Minardo :) It was really nice to see them! :) and we did our lil English course with Lorena’s friends :) and did a little talent show with them :) ah they’re really good kids!
Then on our travels, a man gave us a bag of free oranges!  ANDDDDDDDDDDD then at English course, there is a lady who we think is a really good potential and so for our spiritual thought I just played ‘Joseph Smiths First Prayer’ on the piano and then said: If they want to know about the story behind the song, speak to us! I managed to give her a restoration pamphlet and I just really feel so so good about her!! :)

Friday - Was ANOTHER day of bidones. I was just so done with cancellations, so we decided to just do the 'drop in' effect. We dropped in on a less active who was in and let us do a spiritual thought :) and the Puglisi family :) It really made up for it! I had prayed that morning and asked Heavenly father for success and that we don’t get bidones.. and we got bidones so I prayed again that we would find something to do, some kind of lesson and HE PROVIDED! As always! :) Then the ward had a 'salty cake' activity! :)

Saturday - We saw Rita and Rosemary! The lessons went really well and the spirit was so strongggg! :) Then we went to eat Chinese food with Gabe! :) HMMMMM!

Sunday - Church was great! Me and Sorella Hamilton taught Gospel Principles in English about the Atonement! :) Then we had pranzo with the Manzini SEN fam! I GOT SO FULL, BUT IT WAS SOOOOO GOOD! Then we did a LA lesson with Sorella Ragusa!!! Thennn headed to CATANIA!

Monday! I’m here in Catania with Sorelle Hamilton, Campos and Vasilachi! LOVING LIFE! The sun is OUT and we are so happy to be together!

I know the church is TRUE. It’s SO true! This is the Lords work and I’m so grateful to be a part of it.

Week 2:
Does anyone remember Sister Andrews? At the conference in Palermo one of the Anziani came up to me and said ‘hey’ and I was like errrrrrm ‘hi’! Then he was all... someone told me to look out for you and to say Hi and I was like haha okay (super confused) then he was like 'Sister Adams.. she served in your ward and she's dating my brother' and I was like errrrrrrrrrrrm, I don’t think I know a Sister Adams and then he was all awkward and embarrassed then went to sit down.... then during it Sister Andrews name came to my mind and then at the end I told him that there was a Sister Andrews and he was like 'YEAH her' hahahah, then we took a picture together, so he could show her. It was like random, awkward and funny, but he was a really sweet guy ha!
Also, this was in my notes for last week, but I must have forgotten.. but I read a talk called 'Mountains to Climb'. I don’t really remember what it is about right now, but I wrote it down cus I loved it, so if you find free time, it’s a really good talk! :) It’s by Henry B Eyring, who is literally one of my all time faves!! :)
Soooooooooo Monday we were in Catania with Sorella Vasilachi and Campos! WE went shopping... and all I bought was a new bag! Nothing too fancy, it’s a little smaller than the black one and it will come in handy for exchanges, so I have a rucksack and a small bag! We ate Arrancini and Conolli, which are so so good! Then we went back 'home' to Ragusa for a less active lesson with Sorella Angelini!!! We went to see her to read scriptures and speak about faith-- THEN Gaudia walked in (her daughter.. a less active we have been trying to see for AGES!) During the lesson, I bore my testimony of the small things that we can do to exercise our faith and Gaudia said 'So I need to come to church more?' and we like awkwardly looked at each other like ...'yeah' haha! SO that was super cool! :)
Tuesday we had a lesson in the morning set with Pietro... we met him at the main Piazza to do the Gospel of Jesus Christ lesson... After him, we went and did some direct finding in the street, which is always fun!! haha.. then we had lunch and studied the language, then we went and saw Rita! and read some scriptures with her! She bore her testimony on the Holy Ghost and the spirit was so strong. I think I’ve said this before, but I LOVE this woman. Her testimony and prayers are some of the most powerful I have ever heard!! THEN, in English course MARINELLA PRAYED!! We always begin with a prayer and close with a spiritual thought and prayer and after the spiritual thought the Anziani asked if anyone would like to pray and she volunteered straight away and it was one of the sweetest prayers I have ever heard (this is the lady I gave a restoration pamphlet to), so currently she’s a potential, but she really is great and we will try and set up an appointment with her tonight!! :) She would be such a great member!! :)
Wednesday -  In the morning we were supposed to finish the lesson with Pietro, but he cancelled on us, so instead we did moreeeeeee finding!! Then in the afternoon, we had a lesson with Iolanda (new convert) HER LAST lesson, but we will still meet up with her to do spiritual thoughts! She’s so great! :) Then we went to Ibla to do follow up finding... then on the way home an old ‘ish man started a conversation with us... he told us he used to come to our church and he knew a lot about it, so we gave him a card with our number and church times! :) and then he helped us get off at the right stop (he asked the bus driver to change route for us and he did) haha! SO that was super cool! Then, as we were waiting for the next bus an African man named Tony came up to us with a lady and asked us to help her onto the bus, so we did and this old lady was SO FUNNYYYY! These creepy men came over to us and started asking us questions and this little old lady shouted at them so loud.. I didn’t really understand, cus she was speaking Sicillian and not very clearly, but she scared them off hahaha.  It was so funny! Then when they walked away, she was so proud of herself haha! 
Thursday we saw the Chines before DDM and we spoke about how we received a testimony of Joseph Smith and invited them to invite a friend for a FHE with us and they accepted the invite :)
Then DDM WAS SO SO GOOD! ANZIANO Joegenson did an addestramento about ‘Wants and Desires’. It was really well taught and it was just what I needed.  I found myself worrying about numbers a lot and then when I heard that and when he spoke about the differences between wants and desires; it got me thinking... Are these numbers a ‘want’ because of how I want to look to other missionaries and President or are they a ‘desire’ for the people. Basically, he taught that a desire is the reason behind the want. It was really really interesting and I took a lot of notes!! :)
Then Salvo (a member from Gela) brought treats for us and told us during this time that the only words he knows in English are 'I love you', 'kiss me' and 'prepare to eat' .. it was so funnyyyyy!! OH, also on this day me and Sorella Hamilton went outside to RUN!! :):) I was very proud of us! haha Then we had English course and me and Sorella Hamilton did the spiritual thought about the Book of Mormon! :) My fave quote of this day from English course was when we played the game where we write a word in English behind someone’s head and the others have to describe the work without saying it (in English) and one was Enchilada and someone says 'ENKILADA.. It is a kind of Mexican cat... I think' HAHAHAHAH it was hil as heck. I LOVE ITALIAN’s, especially when they speak English .. it’s so cute!!!

Friday - Saturday the Siracusa Sorelle came to us for an exchange!  Me and Sorella Puzey went to the Guastella’s and Criscione’s! I only got a tiny bit lost, but on the way I asked a man for directions and ended up leaving him with a card and VERY briefly explained who we are. He was really coooool!! :) Then after the appointments for dinner, we met the other Sorelle and the Anziani at a burger place! :) On Saturday, me and Sorella Palmer went to see Rita and we showed her a mormon message video and bore our testimonies of Christ! WE asked her if she needed help setting up for conference and she told us that a member family had invited her to go and watch it with them at their house, which I am really pleased about and she seemed very excited :) Then she closed with prayer and it was (as usual) one of the most beautiful prayers I’ve heard!!! <3 Ritaaaaaa!
Then in the evening when I was back to normal with Sorella Hamilton, we did finding and we saw this really cool man called Santi... we had a really long convo with him in the street. He seemed genuinely interested! He is from Milano! He took one of the ‘Article of Faith’ cards and then later in the day we saw him sat on the bench reading it :) Then after, we came to the chapel to watch one of the General Conference sessions. I loved it all and I took so many notes. President Eyring’s talk was about service and went PERFECTLY with my morning study that day and it just blew my mind!!! I did notice a LOT talked about marriage and the family though and it was super beautiful!! :) Made me think of my beautiful family!! Fratello Guastella made us lamb pie! I LOVE LAMB. It was so good! Lots of bones though, but very good!! Then I had a really good conversation with Sorella Magrograssi (jun) about missions. It was probs one of the best conversations I’ve had with a member. I was really pleased with myself .. I’m not super confident with general conversation, but that really boosted my confidence! She’s a super great member and we were speaking about missions (she’s from Brazil and served in Brazil) :) 

Soooooooooo transfer calls are coming uppppppp!!! I’m sad, cus I think Sorella Hamilton will go :(:(:(:( but it’s okay, cus I’ll see her in April at the Elder Bednar Conference!!! :):):):)

Week 3:
ALRIGHT where do I begin! SOOOOOOOOOOO I guess I’ll do the usual diary form..!
Monday - was our deep clean day! Yeah, that was boring and we half-managed to get the black mould... I guess Me and Sorella Reber will have to try and get the rest.

Also, I had a weird dream that Verity (my cousin) went on a mission to France Paris. That was a weird dream, but now you know, if she serves a mission and goes to Paris France; I totally called it.. 

Also, we were buying food in a shop and the video to 'Thinking out Loud' by Ed Sheeran came on and it was so cute and it made me feel way trunky! hahahah trunky is such a weird word... but home sick sounds too dramatic. You know what I mean! ha! 

ALSO, me and Sorella Hamilton watched the Women’s session of General Conference! All about the family!!!!! (made me think of my lush little family) hehe! <3 ALSO, I don’t know if you got to see it, but they showed a few videos and in the second video ASHLEY SOUTHALL AND HER FAMALAM were totally featured in it and it was SO SO CUTE!!!!!! You should watch it if you haven’t already!!! Brought a tear to my eye!! All of us missionaries noticed how a lot of the conference was all about marriage hahahaha ... awkward for the dying missionaries! They better get on it!! Menomale I still have just under a year hahahaha I don’t need to be worrying about all of that just yet!! Anyways, so that was basically our Monday.

Tuesday - Was our P’Day and Sorella Hamilton really wanted to eat a rabbit, soooooo we were in the shop and they had a full rabbit.... we debated in our own heads how likely it was that we would buy it and go for it... then discussed for a few mins.... than totally got it hahahahahhaha!! So, for lunch we had a 'different' time.. I mean; obviously we cooked and ate, but we also had to view and touch the insides of a dead rabbit, which was delightful... just kidding - it was actually really sad and if we could have bought just the meat (not looking like a rabbit), we totally would have, but this is all they sold and she really wanted to try it! So there you go! It tasted good, but we ate the whole thing in a day and I think it’s safe to say, neither of us wanna eat rabbit ever again! :) THEN as usual, 7:30 rolled around and we did English course! There is this guy who comes to English course and he is literally so funny; like one of the funniest people I’ve ever met and he speaks to us in English! (his English is pretty good - apparently he lived in Birmingham England for a while so that’s cool); anyways, some things he says are really strange, but they make my day anyhow!!
Wednesday - We saw Rosemary! That lesson went really well! We showed her the Easter video! If you haven’t seen it--- WATCH IT !! It’s really cool and powerful. I love the music used in it!!! <3 :) Then we went to meet Pietro..... but he stood us up... anyways we call him and he was all 'yea I’m sorry', so we shall see with him, but we will have to move his baptism date back! Anyways! then for pranzoooooooo we tried to make a Focaccia (I think that is how you spell it...), but it didn’t really work out. They are super good though if you buy them from a bakery-type place.
Thursday - We had DDM -- it was a late DDM cus the Anziani were on exchanges and then the other Anziani in Gela had an appointment, so it was later, BUT we did our kinder predictions... or shall I say giant weird different egg predictions (but I stuck to the tradition and just got a regular kinder egg ahha) anyways!!! the predictions were right ish!! I said Sorella Hamilton would follow-up train one of the 3 Sorelle that came in 2 transfers ago AND SHE IS!!!! Anyways for DDM we watched the other session of General Conference, which was really really good! :) then we went to go to Comiso and as we were waiting for the bus they called to cancel... so we ended up.... FINDINGGGGG:)  Then we had English course!

Things I liked about that day was that during pranzo time we went to get Granita, but apparently it was too cold for Granita .... but not too cold for gelato. I thought it was the same, but apparently not haha! Then, as we were walking to centro to do finding, a man on a motor bike beeped at us (the usual) then parked and came up to us with his phone on selfie setting all 'beautiful girls let’s take a picture .. so beautiful girls' and Sorella Hamilton was all 'EW NO' and I couldn’t control my laughter. They are so creepy, but if you get all serious it can get super annoying, so you really do have to just laugh it off. One day I will record one of these scenes cus it sounds unbelievable hahahahahha, but it really happens!! Then also, a lot of raggazzi in the street think we are German cus as they walk past they shout German words at us, so that’s weird! OH also, in the morning I studied 2 talks which were really good. One called 'Spiritual Whirlwinds' by Meil Andersen and one called 'Bare up their Burdens' by David Bednar! They were super good!
We constantly get "chatted up" by Italian Men of all ages, but our response to them is always the same!
Friday - We did weekly planning and it was the saddest weekly planning we ever did :(:( cus we knew it would be our last together. Then for comp inventory it was super emotional... then we gave each other advice for our new companionship etc and it was just so sad and we cried.. before we even got the call hahaha .. man, this girl is also another one of the BEST FRIENDS I’ve met here! Sorelle Hamilton, Nagliati and Perkins!!! So I have high hopes for Sorella Reber! Anyways! In the afternoon we had a member lesson with Sorella Iacano. SHE IS SO SWEET! We spoke about the restoration and she has the sweetest spirit! We sung with her, spoke about how we each came to know that he is a prophet and then spoke to her about life and she was legit just the sweetest person! Then she gave us cookies! Then as we left, our hearts were full with so much joy!!! Then straight after we went to a less active.. the one and only SORELLA RAGUSA!!!!!!! She is SO cute! She is so cute and funnyyyyyyy! Then we spoke to her about the Atonement.

THEN Gabe... one of the Anziani’s simps wanted to go to eat at a Mexican restaurant at Marina di Ragusa. MARINA DI RAGUSA IS SO BEAUTIFUL!!!! It really filled us up haha! THEN! After we got home, Sorella Waddoups called to thank us for the mini Easter package we sent... then asked if she woke us up.. which she didn’t... then gives us our transfer calls early!!!!!!!!!!! I spoke to her in my best american accent! We actually understood each other and she was very impressed with the work Sorella Hamilton has done with me in terms of the accent hahahaha! SO YEAH! Sorella Hamilton is follow-up training Sorella Harman in Cosenza and I remain and get Sorella Reber!! :)  Sorella Nagliati is going to Rome 1 and SHE IS IN THE SAME HOUSE AS SORELLA ARNOLD!!! JEL!!!!!!! and next transfer is Sorella Arnold’s LAST!!!!!!!! Can you believe it!!! She dies soon!!!!!! 
Saturday - We did a member lesson with the PUGLISIS AND I LEARNT HOW TO MAKE PASTA!!!!! Real FRESH pasta!!!!!! I’M SO EXCITED TO MAKE IT WHEN I GET HOME! It’s SO easy, but so fresh and so so so good!!!!!!!!!!!!! MMMMMMM then we ate with them too! :) Then after them, we had another member lesson with Sorella Campo and Iolanda!! THEY ARE SO SWEET!!!!!! Such a sweet sweet family! We spoke about their conversion story and we sung with them!!!! Iolanda really wants to serve a mission and really she would be such an amazing missionary and Sorella Campo is like the mom for the missionaries in Ragusa!! She is so adorable and all of you would LOVE her!!! :)
Making Pasta

The finished result

I'm a Pasta expert - IO sono una pasta expert
Sunday! Church was great and refreshing and I loved it and I understand a bit more as time goes by, but I still don’t understand everything! I get the gist though, so that’s good! :) The Anziani taught about the priesthood for gospel principles! It was actually a really good lesson and even I learnt a few new things! :) Then we went to the Cascone’s house for pranzo and they did SWEET RICOTTA RAVIOLI AGAIN!!! IT IS SO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!! MM! Then we went to do finding in Ibla and as we were on the bus I hear this little English man’s voice saying .. 'We’re a hell of a way now!' and I was like: WHERE IS THIS MAN!!! Hahahaah, so I found him and he was SO British I loved it! This little old man and I’m sure his wifey was German or something, so I asked where he is from and he said 'London' and I told him where I’m from and Sorella Hamilton told him where she is from and then we spoke a bit about why we are here and he said 'yeah, there’s a show about the Mormons' and I’m all 'yeah, haha .. it’s not a very accurate one though ' hahaha .. it was awks, but he was super sweet and we offered our help but I think he was good with the map! :) Then we came home and Sorella Hamilton started.... :,( .. packing :( :( and then we made calls to book and confirm appointments for this week! So this week one of our member lessons is with Bishop and his family!!! The reception was bad, so Sorella Manzini said she would call back... Anyways, they call back and it’s Vescovo (bishop) and I don’t understand him (awks) then he passes her onto the phone and she is all 'he said hgilghlegh' and I still didn’t understand, then she speaks in English (SO CUTE) she served a mish in france, so she can speak a bit of English and apparently it turns out that he was joking around and was saying 'oh, so you want to go to other houses for lunch but not us' ahahaha, cus we are going to the Puglisis on Tuesday! ANYWAYSSS so we have a lesson and DINNER with them on Friday! Sorella Reber’s 1st full day and she has a lesson with BISHOP.... AND DINNER! She’s so lucky! hahaha :) I’m really excited .. they are such a sweet sweet family!! :):)
And that was basically our week!
I want you all to know how much I love being here! I have learnt so much! I can only assume that there is still a TON of things for me to learn!!!
This opportunity to serve a mission has indeed changed my life. I have different perspectives; I see some things way more differently. I just love it here.  I know that this church if indeed Christ’s church. The same church he established when he was here on earth!! We are so blessed to have this knowledge!!!  I know that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real and powerful. That only through his Atonement, we can be healed. I am so grateful for this knowledge!!! I know that only through him, we can be truly and eternally happy. I know the power of prayer is REAL. 

Have a good week!

Sorella Ashleigh Robertson xoxoxoxoxxxxxxxxxxxxxx <<3 <3 <3