Saturday, 26 December 2015

Cagliari / Caserta 7/12/15 - 21/12/15 Un ultimo trasferimento...addio Cagliari, ciao Caserta

Week 1 of the fortnight…
This week has all been one big blur! I haven't been able to write a Monday-Sunday journal, but I'm gonna just go through some of my favourite experiences. 

After our p’day, which was kinda a day full of errands; buying things, writing notes, trying to print pictures etc we popped into say goodbye to R for the (what we planned on being my last time), then headed over to la famiglia DP’s for a FHE. Fratello DP did the spiritual thought this time and it was based on the talk Dieter F Uchtdorf did on ‘Being Genuine'; then he had made pasta al forno, which was really good! It was a really good evening and I miss the DP family already, but they welcome me back whenever, so I’ve got some really awesome friends here hehehe. 

For the remainder of my time in Cagliari, I spent it saying goodbyes to some of my favourite people that I've met here! We saw V, A and R, who took us to a lush Brazilian restaurant, just like Rodizzio Rico, MMM! Then gave me a Brazilian mug and the cutest note! Then we saw C and P, then B at church; then we did English course. I have pics, I'll send them on Monday. We had also been in to see R for the 'for reals' last time! I didn't have the time to say goodbye to everyone. I would have loved to have stopped by la Famiglia S one last time, and The D fam, but time was so short and I figured when I return I'll see them again :)

The hardest part is saying goodbye

Then I packed all my stuff on the Wednesday morning. The Coppia Hansen took us to the airport and I was 8 Kili over!!!!! We moved stuff around and figured it out (I'll explain that story when I get home). THEN we went to the Rome 2/6 apartment for the night. I SAW MY FIGLIA. SHE IS BEAUTIFUL AND JUST LUSH AND SWEET AND I WAS SO SO HAPPY TO SEE HER SHINING FACE!!! We chatted, her companion made us all a really lush soup and that was our evening. We woke up the following morning at 5:40 to leave the house at 6 to meet all the transferring missionaries at Termini near the corner inside where there is the McDonalds (that's the missionary meeting point for transfers). We waiting around, cus we needed to get our train at 11 and who came but SORELLA REBER.
Catching up with Sorella Reber

I got to see two out of the 3 of my alive companions in the mission! It was awesome! Sorella REBER is the sweetest little thing! It was cool. Then I travelled to Napoli with Sorelle Defranchi and another Sorelle who is actually from here, but can't leave for her mission yet to Colorado, because of visa problems. We got to Napoli and our comps met us. My comp is so fun I was super excited to be with her. After that, we went to Caserta, which I LOVE ALREADY. It's literally like the most convenient place I've served in! Everything is in reasonable walking distance. We don't have to rely on buses, like ever; trains now and again but it's just perfect! 

My first lesson here we did with a lady called L. She is the cutest. We basically did a lesson 0 and she agreed to take all of the lessons :) Then we did English course and as usual, the students are all super awesome! 

So you see nothing too crazy happened this week, well, I mean that up until Friday... We started with weekly planning as usual and it obviously took longer than usual because my comp had to explain everything to me. Thennnnn.... We had an appointment with a less active, which was an interesting experience.  THEN we went to see a less active African, called G. We got there and she was all 'I can only speak to you people for 5 minutes. I am tired and I want to sleep'; so we are like okay. Then we start talking about baptismal covenants and the importance of church attendance and she just went off on a rampage about how God isn't a God of peace, how the sacrament can come after all her other problems and how she hates the bad things in the world. Nelson said she has never seen her like that, so I guess I got lucky Hahahah. 

Saturday was just an awesome day. We finished our planning. Saw a less active daughter of one of the members and she was awesome and had the cutest puppy that looked just like Honey. After that we saw V, an awesome member who would be active if there was a way for him to get to church on a Sunday. He is super sweet! After him we saw G and R (he is a simp and R is a member). We did the restoration and it went really well! Then we saw K and A! They want to prepare for the temple, to be sealed; so we are working with them on that.

Sunday was the craziest thing I've seen hahaha. It was so weird. The primary did the presentation and it was all American! It was so strange for me! It was awesome though! Then at the end, one of Bishop’s kids said the prayer and he was like 'Please bless the linger-longer that it will be the best linger longer ever!' and he also prayed that we can all be on the nice list. It was HIL. Then church was awesome, I translated in Relief Society.. Then a good amount of our investigators came to church and the linger-longer, so it was awesome, cus they were able to get to know the members! Then we went home, made calls from the contact sheet while making brownies for our neighbours, then we went to do a gesso with the Anziani.  It was super great, I'm really excited to be here, Caserta is so awesome! 

I love you all so much. I cannot believe I'm in my last transfer!

Well, I wanna let you know that the church is true and this work is the best. Today I'm rushing and I'm sorry, but I love and miss you all.


Week 2 of the fortnight …
HAMMYYYY’s greenie is so awesome. She is full of greenie fire even still! I love her! We get along so well .. our friendship reminds me of the friendship I have with Hammy! :) Anziano Borden likes to translate and he is way more capable than I am. I had to do it for Relief Society though. I certainly wasn't blessed with the gift of translating, so I'm very glad that Borden is here! I still do not have my suitcase, so I guess I'll see it next when I get the plane home, so it's tough; but I'm trying to buy real cheap tights and jumpers, but they only really have cheap stuff at Chinese stores.. So yeah. I'll survive though, as long as I have a functioning coat. I think I'll need to buy some boots though, cus they're in Rome haha :( I got to see Sorella Roberts on the way down here and it was so awesome!!! I have missed her a lot!

Yeah – Borden is serving in the same ward..... He is a very focused hard working missionary and he is what the ward needs. He's ready to absolutely kill it, so Vescovo is on our side. He even called us the ‘cream of the crop’, so he's super excited. They also called a new ward mission leader, Fratello C from Guam. He's so awesome! So it's all going down with the missionary work in Caserta. We're gonna see miracles. Also, Borden’s greenie, Anziano Bower, is on fire! He's the sweetest, most hard working missionary I've met! We did a gesso on his 3rd day in the mission and he was absolutely giving it his all, so we are excited! 

Monday.. P’DAY. We set this first p’day as a day of errands, so we can just live it up for the rest of our time here. We printed pictures, did a giant spesa, bought blankets; cus although this house has been done up all sweet the heating is bad. I bought socks, tights and slippers, cus it's getting super chilly and just basically random stuff like that. We got pizza for lunch, not quite real Napoli pizza yet, but it was decent nonetheless. Then we went back to church, put some more Christmas music on our iPads and that was basically our p’day. It was nice to just get relaxed and get everything ready for the transfer. I figured I'd get warmer pencil type skirts in the January sales, cus otherwise it's too expensive, so I'll wait for a little longer! After that, we saw la Famiglia G. They are the sweetest. The mother was baptised short of a year ago. We shared the Christmas video from last year and they LOVED it. They talk a lot, but they are so on topic and so sweet. I love them already! After that, we tried to pop into other people, but nothing seemed to work out, so we went home, got some of the brownie that we made, went to bed and ate it. Just kidding; we got the brownie and started getting to know our neighbours. We went to the apartment above us and she was super sweet. She let us in and was just adorable. Her name was A and then her daughter came, whose name is G. They said we should come another time to eat pizza together :) so there are some good potentials right there! By the time we left there, it was time to go home anyways (it was nearly the end of the day before). Basically that was our day, cus after that; all we did was planning and bed.

Tuesday. Dad, your talk was awesome! I especially loved the quote you used by Spencer W. Kimball. It's so true and I've come to really appreciate the Sabbath Day here in the mission!

Today kinda began naff. Nobody would see us, so we headed out to try and find a less active who we have been asked to see. The address is just a supermarket, so we asked around, knocked a ton of doors and nobody knew her... so we did casa finding and streeting. Nothing! This was probs the worst day of the week. We had just one lesson, but it was with G and so obviously that went really well. Then for English course we had the spiritual thought. For that, we wrapped up one of the baby Jesus ornaments and got someone to open it and then basically spoke about Christ and the real meaning of Christmas.

Mercoledì ... We headed straight to see Sorella B. Initially we planned on speaking about the importance of coming to church and sharing the gospel with others *referral lesson*, but we were guided to speaking about the Atonement of Christ instead and we showed the video 'Mountains to Climb'. It went really well. Sweet sweet lady! After her, we had an early pranzo, cus we had an appointment with V (investigator) at 3:00. We got there and she is such a sweet sweet woman! We shared a Christmas message with her and her cute family! It went really well too. She told us that she loves the spirit we bring. She is awesome! We also helped her with figuring out PowerPoint for a presentation she needs to make for Uni. After that, we went toooooooooo the train station to pick up Hammy and McKenzie (Hammy needed to pick up her permesso for real haha), so we did a scambio. Me and Hammy, Nelson and McKenzie. It was wonderful. I seriously miss Hammy a ton. We went to V, cus Ham never got to say goodbye to him when she left. Then we took the longest bus ride in the world home. Then we went and tried finding contacts that had given us their address on the phone when we made the calls a week or so back, but no hope. Then that was basically it. It was so so good to be with Hammy. 

L-R Me, Sorella Hamilton (Hammy) and Sorella Nelson

Sorella McKenzie catching us in her selfie

Thursday. Today was so awesome. We left super early, said goodbye to Hammy and McKenzie and headed to the station to get the train to Napoli. Mamma Mia. It reminds me of Rome. We got to the church and mingled a bit with the missionaries, then the conference started. It was all mainly just about using English course effectively in finding people to teach. They all gave us a ton of awesome ideas and really good goals! Then I did my death testimony.... I had tried to plan it, but each time I sat and thought about it I'd get distracted or nothing would come, so I just went for it spontaneously. It seemed to go well. Not sure how many of them even understood me though, cus of my weird accent haha. There were some confused faces watching me hahah, but Sorella Waddoups told people she actually understood me, so that was great. That's all that matters huh hahah. Then we mingled more while we waited for our pizza to arrive. I opened post and I had a super sweet 'chocolate letter' from the YW. It made my day! Probs the coolest thing I got. Basically the only thing I got haha; besides a card with some money from the Maces, which I really appreciated! They are so sweet! I need their email to thank them! Anyways, back to this chocolate letter. I thought it was a scarf or something with the way it was wrapped, but then I unrolled it and practically the whole zone were crowding around reading it with me, they thought it was the sickest thing in the world, no joke. My fave line was 'You are one "daim" fine girl'. They were a little tipo at that one haha, but I loved it. Then we ate, cus the pizza finally arrived, then headed out .. AND AS I WAS ON THE TRAIN I REALISED I FORGOT ME CHOCOLATE LETTER, so I called the Napoli Anziani and asked them to hide it. Luckily I trust them. Hahah. Anyways, we got back to Caserta and it was all go from there. We didn't return home literally until the end of the day! We headed to see G, a contact we found in the area book. She was the sweetest lady I have met here so far! Her little daughter was gorgeous and so sweet just with this cute lil smile there the whole time. We shared a Christmas message at her cute little shop that she owns and just got to know her. She was just like a mom. Told us to call her anytime we need anything, even during the night. She was just the sweetest lady. This was the first time even meeting her and we just both felt so peaceful and at home with her. We asked her how she met the missionaries and her story is super simple and sweet too. One day she was really struggling and she was just having a tough day (about 3 years ago) and the Elders just randomly came in to share a message with her. She was super grateful and she recognises the spirit when she feels it and she is still, right to his day; 3 years later grateful for these Anziani for helping her to feel at peace by being guided to share a message with her. We both feel really good about this lady and really we are just so excited to work with her. She is definitely prepared! She even asked us to invite her and her children whenever there is an activity at church! It was an awesome experience! Right after that we went to see A. She is a less active. She comes now and again, but we are working with her and her husband and we are hoping to help them get to the temple eventually to be sealed, :) She is super sweet. We spoke about baptismal covenants and the importance of renewing them every Sunday. :) She told us she will come every week from now on :) After A, we went to stick up some English course posters (after our zone conf). First, we found ourselves in a library, cus someone had told us before; that it's one of the best places to advertise English course, which makes sense I guess, so we went there and then had an awesome conversation with two middle-aged men. One called R and the other one .. I can't remember any more, but one is a photographer for newspapers and the other one is some kind of art history professional. Boh. Anyway, one wanted to come and see our church so he came with us as we were heading that way for a lesson anyways. He loved the art we had up. (This was R, the photographer). It as super awesome. He then headed out and told us he would for sure come the following week. I'm awful at asking for numbers still to this day gosh dang it, but I feel like he will defs come :). Then we did a lesson with G. It was ‘The Gospel of Jesus Christ’. He knows it all. He's taken the lessons before years back and was explaining everything. We invited him to be baptised on the 16th of January. He didn't say no and told us that it is definitely something that is on his list of things to do. So that's exciting! He is awesome. Anyways, after that we had English course, which went really well. The Anziani did an awesome spiritual thought about prayer :) After that, we did a lesson with L. We taught it with D, who is an awesome YSA new ‘ish convert who Anziano Smith baptised! He's super cool and really helped us out in the lesson and really fellowshipped her :) Today was awesome! Oh, then we got home and Hammy had left us some gifts :)

My last Zone Conference (Napoli Zone)

Me and Sorella our last Zone Conference

Venerdì .. We began withhhhhh weekly planning as per usual. Then ate and studied Italiano. Then we tried to see some of our less active members, but that just didn't seem to work out, so we popped into a member to see how she is doing since she has like, 0 home teacher/ visiting teacher visits. After that, we bucked it to the train station, cus we had like 15 mins to get on the train.. With a 25/30 min walk. We made it easily. Then we met V and A for hot chocolate. They are less active YSA. Well, they come to all of the things at church that they can, like seminary and stuff, but the only reason they don't come to church is cus there is NO public transport on a Sunday and they live a little ways out and no members live near. So it sucks, but they are awesome. I had the lushest hot choc ever. It was strawberry flavoured MMMM. Anyways, it went really well and we were able to make a good friendship with each of them :) and of course we shared a spiritual thought. :) After that, we headed back to see another less active before the day was through. We seem to rush around everywhere in order to see these people since they live so far away from one another, but we just wanna see them so everything is rush rush rush! We saw Sorella P. Her cat scared me a little ha. It went well and she cracked me up! Anyways, this was basically our day :) 

Sabato .. Today was so sick. We left home super early to catch the train to Gricignano, then Anziano Bryan picked us up (Me, Sorella Nelson, L and D) and took us to the base. The base is so weird! It's like a little land of America in the middle of Italy. Like I had always expected the American bases to kinda be like shelters; like little cabin things I don't know hahah, but it's so legit. We had to sign on. It was all serious business hahah, but it was cool. Then we went to the 'chapel' which I was expecting to be a Mormon chapel, cus they made it sound like they had their own... but it's just like a community chapel which I assume accommodates all Christian religions and they use it, cus we don't have a font in our actual "Mormon" church. So it was interesting. Anyways, we were early so we waited a bit with Anziano Bryan as he had to organise the font. Then we went to the food court and I got a Subway sandwich, a cookie and root beer for breakfast. Taco Bell wasn't open .. another time! 
Breakfast on the American Base.

Then the baptism started. It was a really sweet baptism. I forgot that 'normal' baptisms include the confirmation on the same day and to start with it seemed weird. I guess I haven't gone to one for so long, just new convert ones where they're confirmed on the following Sunday. It was awesome. It was so sweet and B looked beaut! Such a cutie :) Anyways, then we ate some more, cus they had prepared food! Then we went home. Well, the train took FOREVER. The one we had planned on getting, which was scheduled to come didn't. We waited more than 1 hour there. In the middle of the station, in the middle of nowhere, so we did a lesson/ spiritual thought with L as we waited! L loved the baptism :) She is so sweet! :) Then we got back and studied Italian. After that, we tried to find a few people, then found ourselves at the house of a lady who lives beneath the Anziani. Her name was M and she was awesome! So sweet and so much fun to be around! We got to know her and shared a spiritual thought with her! She is also super happy to have these new Anziani here. After that, we headed straight to the chapel for the activity that they had set up for Christmas. It went really well! 2 of our investigators came, G and S :) It went really well. :) That was that!

Domenica .. Today was great. Sunday is always so wonderful. Sacrament was awesome, all about Christmas with lots of singing! Then Sunday School was all about symbols and revelations in the scriptures and how they can be a protection and guide for us. Then Relief Society was basically an overview of everything that we studied in the year; all about centring your life on Christ. An American girl came! Her parents are here on the base and she is visiting them. She's a new convert and she is so so so sweet and she really wants to spend time with us! She wants to have us over for dinner and wants to study with us. She is super super golden! We are excited to see her again! Her parents aren't members either, so she's an awesome example! Oh, HILARIOUS story for you all. So we were in sacrament meeting, right at the start. Literally just about to sing the sacrament hymn.. and this man walks over (R, from English course) with a giant potted olive tree in his little man hands and tried giving it to Sorella Nelson, who is just like what??? and he is like "It is a gift for you" and she takes it all awkwardly and places it on the floor in front of her; then we turn to each other and D I E. hahahahaha hahahahah It was so so funny, oh my gosh. Only in Italy do they gift you with giant olive trees. Then every time we looked at it we just cracked up. It was so random hahahah. Gosh. Then after church we had correlation, B is so awesome. Like, the best Ward Mission Leader ever. He is so humble and just wants to do all he can to help us. I really appreciate him! After that, we headed home for pranzo and lingua, then we headed out for more lessons. We saw M and G. It all went super well. We even got M to commit to coming to church next Sunday, so we hope she keeps to that word! Then we tried to find another less active, buuuuut she got mad at us and didn't want to know, it seemed. Then that lead us to home. We planned, spoke to our STL and then our DL. Drank soup and went to bed. Oh, also I got super ill, so during pranzo I slept for half an hour. I have a cold / flu thing and it sucks big time.

Anyways, that's it for this week. It's been good, our numbers weren't too bad! I would really like to Skype home on Christmas Day, cus last year it sucked on Christmas Day, cus I'd already done Skype on the Christmas Eve. We do have a member appointment and so we will either do Skype 1st thing or last thing, cus in between we'll be on the base. 

I love you all. I am loving every minute. I'm trying my best not to 'die'. It has just got real to me that I'll be home really soon and instead of feeling concerned and worried, I'm starting to feel really excited, but I'm trying my hardest to not let that make me lazy. My comp is also real good at helping me not to feel trunky! This mission is the best. This experience I don't want to end. I know this is the work of the Lord and I'm so grateful to be a part of it! Missionary life is the best. There is literally nothing better! 

I love and miss you all. Keep being amazing and have a Merry Christmas!

Before I forget, here is the quote of the week: (talking about exercise, cus we have worked at it these last few weeks) .. "I dunno, I just, like, hate to hear myself breathing hard, you know?"

Buona settimana! Vi voglio in sacco di bene!
Baci e abbracci

Sorella Robertson