Saturday, 30 January 2016

Wetzikon 11/1/16 - 25/1/16 Woche 77 und 78 von 102- Distrikt P-day, Zone Training, Wohnung Inspektion und Gemeindekonferenz!

Woche 77 von 102- Distrikt P-day, Zone Training, Wohnung Inspektion und Gemeindekonferenz!
Höi zäme!

So this p-day was district p-day, so we headed out, did our shopping, sent a couple of emails whilst shopping and popped home to put stuff away before heading out to get to Winterthur! So what did we do for district p-day? Well, seen as we were at the chapel we had wifi, so we could still check and reply to emails when we fancied it, but to start with the Winti Sisters prepared lunch for us all, so we had Salad, Bread Rolls and Chicken Curry! It was actually really good! Probably one of the best Curries I've had since being here! It was so good! Oh and the Sisters invited one of their investigators to join us for the day, so it was actually a really relaxed and fun p-day! After lunch we played a game called 'dog'? I have no idea! I don't even know how to explain it, but it was okay! It was interesting! I just don't have a clue how to explain it! So that basically filled a good few hours, then we headed back to our own areas! We decided that we'd spend the evening in Uster doing some finding and vorbeis! So that was basically our evening! So from all of that, we managed to get in a lesson with a less active, so that was pretty sweet! Then we headed home and planned for tomorrow! Oh and I had my first customer! My companion somehow managed to con me into cutting his hair; like I really did not want to, just cause it's like - if I mess up with my own it's fine, like I only have myself to blame and I can just change my hairstyle until it grows again, but when you’re cutting someone else's hair it's just pressure! So yeah, somehow he conned me into cutting it for him, so that was my Monday evening!

Dienstag was Zone Training day! After studies we headed off to St. Gallen for 12.00, as that was when Zone Training started! Zone Training was good! Präsident Gappmaier came to ours as well, so he spoke with us about a few things and it was so good! A few notes I took- A commandment is an offer for more blessings. (By the way- excuse my translation- we do all of our meetings auf Deutsch so when I write notes, I also need to translate them after!) He also gave a really good reminder about how negative talk is not from the Lord- whether it is true or false; negative talk will always be negative talk! Then he gave a super cool parable! He said how some rules may not be particularly for our benefit, but we are all given them because maybe we are needed to keep them to be an example to those who do need to benefit from keeping them. Then he compared it to an airport by saying- "I am not a terrorist, but each time I go through the airport I have to go through those stupid metal detector things. I shouldn't have to do that, but I do it because with some people it is necessary to do it, to keep everyone safe!" I thought that was a pretty cool analogy! Then the ZLs and STLs spoke for the rest of it about effective daily planning and set some zone goals of having 10 baptisms as a zone this quarter; 4 in the transfer and then 90 potentials a week and 106 lessons as a zone a week! Seems pretty doable! Then the zone vision is Matthew 4:19, which is pretty cool! Then as I said, yesterday Zone Training has been cut to 2hours, so there was a bit of time for the 2 newest missionaries to share their testimonies- oh man! Both of them- their German is way better than mine when I was at their age on a mission! Then we came to a close, had like 10mins to chat and collect mail from the office- I got my little package from the ward! That was greatly appreciated as I just ran out of British goodies a week or two ago! Shout out! Then we headed home and like it takes us a while to get to St Gallen, so it was coming quite late when we got home. We had a bit of time to pop to the chapel to tidy up some progress records and send to our GML- it's taken a while for us to sort that, as we were supposed to have done it last week, but were pretty busy! Then home for dinner and planning and the day was over!

Mittwoch after studies we headed out to Uster to meet P! Well, he never turned up again- well that was a big fat bidone! Sucked! So we grabbed something for lunch seen as we were supposed to be eating with him as well! Then we headed to Meilen to the Familie B. Well, we had a really nice lesson and then had a hot chocolate with them! 'Twas nice! Then our appointment with Frau S also fell out! So on our train back from Meilen, a girl and guy come and sit next to us, as the train was pretty full and she is like doing everything she can to try and get a reaction from us, but we didn't. Like those type of people are normally really annoying and do it to start a conversation to just bash. So we ignored and then eventually she says to the guy she was with "Welche religion bist du?" ..and he's like ‘You’re an idiot I have seen their name tags’ ..and that’s when we started laughing and then we actually had a really good conversation with them both, then she got off and we chatted some more to him until we both got off. Like it was actually really cool! Then we headed over to Greifensee for our evening appointment with the Familie Z for abendessen. We had raclette! As per- always a good one, even though my stomach always feels like a solid block of cheese a few hours later! Mensch! Then we realised how lazy we actually are! Like from Wetzikon Bahnhof we can take 2 ways home- the S3 for like 3mins and then walk 5mins home or bus for 10mins and then 2mins walk home and we always take the bus route, cause it means walking less even though it's a few minutes longer! It's not too bad, but still! Laziness! Ceebs to walk after working all day! Oh and it snowed like crazy today, although the ground was too warm and wet for it to stick, so we just have it on the ground in the mountains and on some hills, but thankfully we don't have to suffer the nasty stuff where we are working! Wahey!

What a day! So today was a little rollercoaster- we went from good to bad to brilliant! So after studies we cleaned the apartment a little bit before having lunch, as today was our inspection! So the Justesen’s came to inspect! Oh mensch! It was like the fastest inspection ever! In and out ever so quickly and as per usual it was the cleanest apartment they've seen today! I get that from every couple who inspect my apartment! Then we headed out to Uster, did a bit there but it's terrible, like it's been snowing again today, but this time it's actually been sticking, so we have the joy of walking through it and nobody wants to stop and speak in the cold and snow! Then we went by R, and he wasn't home, although he did tell us yesterday that there may be a chance he won't be home as he had to go to a funeral and didn't know how long it would go on for! So that was sad! Then we popped by the chapel to get an address. As we were at the chapel R called us up to ask if he had missed us, which sucked, cause he had, but we chatted with him about a few things, organised it so we could skype lesson him when he's in Thailand for the next 2 months and we reset his baptismal date to the 16th April! He was so excited about it! Then we headed to the Familie U for abendessen! It was super food and they shared a load of mission experience stories and then like at the end of it a whole load of referrals just came flooding in. Like in total they gave us 9 referrals this evening! That’s probably like the most I've actually had my entire mission and they all came from the same family in one single evening! Like we came out of there like "What just happened?!?" Mensch! They are such an awesome family and that was basically our rollercoaster day! It's always good to end on a positive note!

Well today after studies we planned to go by S, but my comp wanted to call him first to ask, but he wasn’t available, so instead we headed to the chapel to do the Survey we got sent from the missionary department in preparation for mission tour in March, as it needs completing in the next few days, so we got that done, as Pres told us that it is a non-pday activity! Then home for lunch before heading to U to a less actives. We had a pretty nice lesson with him and hopefully he'll be at church Sunday! Then a bit of streeting before popping home as we needed to grab Jenga before our appointment tonight and it was time to head there. We were at the Familie DR this evening with A and P. It was a really nice evening and the food was awesome! Legit they are such a cool family! Then we got home a little late as our train had "technical issues", so we had to get off and wait for the next one! Oh mensch! So we planned and then Bible Prophecy time! Mine was 1 Samuel 17:3-5, weird! Now we just wait till tomorrow morning!

So this morning was like the longest wait ever for transfer calls. Like they ended up calling at like 7.30, which is pretty late. We must have been the last ones they called. Well, we are staying
together for another transfer, although there is a change in every other area in our district, so that will be fun! Then after getting ready and doing part of studies Schw G called as she was ill and
couldn't get out of bed, so we went and gave her a blessing and chatted a bit! Then we headed over to S and then home for a quick mittags and to grab some BoM's before heading out to a member who asked us for them last Sunday, as she won't be at church tomorrow and she lived quite a while away. Then we came back to do weekly planning, although the majority of it was kind of a contemplating stuff - type of a planning, so we may have to finish that off another day! So this evening we headed out to Schw M with A, in the middle of a beautiful blizzard, so we got there, ate with her and went over the Plan of Salvation. It went pretty well and so far she’s following the reading plan we made for her! Then home and planned! Might get an early one, cause I am dead tired! Oh mensch!

Gemeindekonferenz Sonntag! So we were supposed to have GMK again this morning, but for snow reasons that got cancelled and we shovelled snow and salted the paths instead with our GML! So Gemeindekonferenz was great. The theme of it was taken from 1 Samuel 3 "Speak, Lord; for thy
servant heareth" .. and the whole conference basically followed that theme. The talks were all brilliant and then the rest of it was a Sunday School class or Joint Priesthood/FHV class from the High Councillor; all based on the same theme! It was actually a really good conference! It had a special spirit about it! Then we went to the Fam. D for mittags- Raclette .. and had a quick GMK with J before going to a less active family to take them the Sacrament, as Bishop asked us to yesterday! That was a really nice experience. Just seeing the pure joy and appreciation the sacrament bought to that family. You don't always see that from just blessing and passing the sacrament in a ward or branch, but on an individual basis where they haven't had the opportunity for a while to partake, you could just see how much it actually meant to them personally to have the blessing of the sacrament. Then we headed to U as we had an appointment this evening. We were a little early, so went by a less active who lived nearby and we had a little door step lesson with her and it looks like we can start working with her and getting her active again, which is exciting! Then we headed to this family. It's a part member family, so we aimed our message to the husband. It was a really nice evening and the spirit was so strong and you could just tell that he felt it too! Then we got a return appointment to start teaching him through the lessons, so that was really cool! To be fair this week hasn't been too bad. At the start of the week we had a few appointments fall out which just seemed awful, but in all the week was pretty good!

Alles liebe,

Woche 78 von 102- What a week!
Grüezi wohl!
So Montag we headed out to Konstanz to do some German price shopping; so we got there although the trains kind of suck these days. There used to be a train every 30mins between Konstanz and Zürich, but now it's once an hour, so it took a bit longer to get there, but oh well! Then I sent a giant box full of stuff home, as I can't be bothered to carry it all around with me anymore! I did that and then we bumped into Byrom and Lucas, so had a bit of lunch with them before saying Tschäu and going shopping! We bought loads!!! Then we missed the faster train, so had to go the long way back again, otherwise we would have had to wait another hour! Arrghh! .. but then it turned out Byrom and Lucas were also on the same train as they were going somewhere else for the evening, so we chatted and chilled some more on that beautiful 1/2 hour train ride! Then when we finally got home, we only had like 45mins to do emails, but I guess that was enough really! Then this evening we were at the Familie PL. They are such an awesome family! I love them! These are the L’s with P! Legit he's like what I'd wanted as a little brother if we'd have had one! Their family is awesome! Then home and the day was over! Oh, I also read through the talk from dad by President Nelson and it was awesome! I loved it and it gave me the most perfect inspiration of what to talk on for district meeting tomorrow, as this time we each have an open gospel topic to speak on for 5-10mins, so I'm going to share the first point he suggests as that was my favourite, although I’ll need to translate it first.
Typical Dienstag again. Did studies, then out to Winti for Distriktsversammlung! So with it being the last one before moves on Thursday we each had the assignment to talk for 5-10mins on a Gospel topic of our choice and I got to go last with mine, so I really went back to basics and spoke about the First Principle in Chapter 3 of PMG that ‘God is Our Heavenly Father, He loves us and we are His children’. We each have a divine destiny and purpose. Then I shared with them a part of the devotional talk dad sent from President Nelson. The part about 'learn who you really are', then challenged them all to do what he says in the second to last paragraph of that section; to pray to God and ask who they are, what He thinks of them and what their mission on earth actually is. Then write down those spiritual impressions, read them often and act on them. Then the promise he gives in the last paragraph of that section .. and tied it in to how that will also bless the lives of those we work with, as it is only when we are converted that we can strengthen our brethren (Luke 22:32). It seemed to all tie in together and I felt the Spirit as I was teaching it. Credit goes to Dad for being inspired to send that talk this week! Thanks! Then we had district lunch, but finding got cancelled as Frauenfeld Elders had to go to an appointment and the Winterthur Elders and Sisters also had too much to do, as one from each companionship is moving on Thursday, so we headed back to our own area! Then this evening we were invited to the Family M, so we headed there and oh my goodness they live in like a mini castle/palace thing! It's beautiful! We chatted for a bit, then ate and got to know the family a little more. They are an American family, so we had an English speaking appointment, which was strange,as I haven't had one of those in quite a while! Oh, they also have an exchange student staying with them from Argentina who isn't a member, but came to church with them and has met with missionaries before back in Argentina, as last year the daughter of the M’s did an exchange there and stayed with her family, so that’s pretty cool. It's been a while since she met with them so for the spiritual thought we did a Restoration lesson. Oh mensch! It was such an intensely spiritual lesson. I loved it. It feels like a while since I last had such an intense spirit in a lesson, so that just made the day! Then we headed home!
So Mittwoch after studies we headed out to go by S. He wasn't in, so we did a few other vorbeis before popping to the chapel to download a video for later in the day! Then home for a very quick lunch before heading out to the Familie B. We talked about the Book of Mormon and shared the mormon message of the Bishop from London. It was pretty cool! Then we popped by Frau S and had a little doorstep lesson. We gave her a commitment, which she accepted and said she'll call us and let us know how it went! Then we headed to Uster to meet P, only for him to call as we were part way there to say change of place, so we met him there instead. We had a hot chocolate, chatted and then we went with him to this Portuguese restaurant! Oh mensch! It was so good! Chatted some more and spoke about all sorts of stuff. He has a car now, so hopefully he can start coming to church again. Then he gave us a referral and headed back! As we were getting on the tram back to Hauptbahnhof I saw that the driver of the tram was none other than Schw. M (Dielsdorf), so I had to go to the front and say hi. Then we basically just chatted for like the 15min ride to Bhf. Then we got home, planned and that was our day!
Donnerstag! So after Personal and like next to no Comp study we headed out to Wald, as we had an appointment. We got there pretty early, so went by another less active in the area, but she wasn't home. Then we headed to this appointment for him to tell us he meant next Thursday, so we had a tiny bit of time to head home to grab lunch, which was good as otherwise we wouldn't have had time for lunch. Then out to Uster for the rest of the day. Went by everyone who lived in Uster that was an Ehemaliger, Weniger Aktive oder Vielversprechende, so we got like 3 lessons in today! Wahey! Even though all of our actual appointments fell out. Not bad, hey! We basically did Uster vorbeis and finding until we had to head home as it was getting late! Not too bad of a day! Plus, one Ehemaliger we went by was like super excited to see us and she said that she was so close to baptism, then she got really ill and had to cancel a few appointments and then she never heard anything from missionaries again, until us .. and that was like years ago now. So she was well excited to see us! The Lord is preparing people to hear the Gospel, even if they aren't initially ready and another lesson learnt is ‘just because a few appointments fall out with someone consecutively, it doesn't always mean that they are dropping you, they may legitimately be ill’! 
Freitag! Studies filled the morning, followed by the chapel for a bit of internet, to sort out uni stuff.  Then we came home, mittagessen and weekly planning! Had a pretty full on weekly planning session and next week is looking pretty good again. Plus, we may have to use two progress records to report on the past week, cause we've had quite a bit... That’s a first. Missionary work really is a funny thing; some good weeks, some bad weeks, some absolutely terrible weeks and then you get absolutely brilliant weeks! It's weird, but I have to say that the brilliant weeks come at the times when they need to. Like some days you get so down from all the bad days, rejection and like no success, but when you keep going regardless of all of that, all of a sudden He'll bless you with a brilliant one to keep you going! Legit! The Lord’s hand really is leading His work! Then after weekly planning we headed out and started working on our list of referrals who we needed to contact. So we went by 7 of the 9! 5 had like no interest or said that they had no time at the moment, but they were still really kind and I think there’s still a possibility that one day they'll accept it. Then two of them..... Oh Mensch! That was just awesome! The one was a lady whose husband wasn't home yet, but she wanted so desperately to let us in and talk. Times when the 3rd man rule sucks. Like honestly, she had this like glow in her eyes. I don't even know how to describe it. I'd imagine if you've experienced it before you'd know what I'm on about, but you know when you look in somebody’s eyes and you just see how they have been thirsting to hear the message and you just see the realisation come upon them that this is it, that they've found it (or in other words that it has found them). Like that was such a testimony building experience. Then the other one- we klingled and a guy asks who it is so we're all like, "Wir sind Missionare für die Kirche Jesu Christi" and he's like "okay warte mal". So we wait and like a minute later he's at the door and invites us into the entrance hall of their home. His wife is like “Who are you inviting in?” then she sees us and realises who we are and is totally cool then. So this family live on the same street as the U’s and she has a Liahona subscription. She was with Schwester U earlier in the day and she mentioned missionaries to her and spoke about her mission in St George and all, so when we came tonight she was so excited. The husband isn't really interested in religion, but he wouldn't mind hearing a little introduction to the church to find out what his neighbours actually believe in. So we have an appointment with them Monday afternoon. Exciting! Like, their home just had a feeling to it that you get in members’ homes. Like it just felt so welcoming and like we had known them for ages. It was so cool! Pray for them. Legit! Then this evening we headed over to S. It was one of the best meetings with him! We had a bit of dinner with him and then we planned to do something a bit different with him and he was like "Oh what, like a roleplay type thing?" So we changed the plan and did a role play with him like he said! It was so cool! He was the missionary first and had to go from street contact to first appointment teaching the Restoration. Then we did the same. It was actually really cool and that was basically the day! It was pretty darn brilliant! 
Samstag Morgen after studies we headed over to Schw. G, as she wanted to have us over for lunch. So we got there for around 11ish and helped her prepare lunch and also did a few things around her apartment for her. She is such an awesome lady and always has a story to tell. Legit, we are probably strengthened so much more than she is when we visit her. Just an incredible woman! She gave me a sofa today. So she loves making these sofa cover things for tissue boxes to make them look nicer and they are actually really cool. Every missionary who serves here gets a sofa from her. So I'll have to take a picture of mine. It's a Heidi design sofa (Heidi is apparently a typical Swiss movie- I've personally never seen it, but now when I get home it's a must)! Well, after spending a good few hours helping Schw. G and having lunch together, we headed out to Stäfa, where we got some wifi for a few seconds and got emails.
My Tissue Sofa box from Schw G

President sent the Alphorn- and it's super sad- my MTC Sisters are on the 'Gott sei mit euch bis auf's Wiedersehn' page! It's all downhill from now; every time there’s an Alphorn from now on there will be missionaries in it on that page who are younger on their mission than me! Anyways, so in Stäfa we went by a few WA's, which was cool! One of them we had a nice doorstep convo, to which she tells us they'll be at church tomorrow which was sweet, but they were just heading out, so we couldn't leave them with anything. Then we went by another one who was in, so we met with her and it was pretty good! Then we went by a few other people and up a mountain to go by another one. It turns out he moved like 5 years ago, so then we got to slide down back to Bahnhof! Mensch talk about dangerous! It was slippy! Then it basically filled our day, so we headed home to grab dinner and that was that! 
So Sonntag morgen began with Choir. So we had no GMK this morning! We practiced 2 pieces. The one wasn't all that great, but the second one was brilliant! It was a really nice hymn! Then church and two less actives came, who we've been trying to work with, so that was really cool! Sacrament was really nice. The talks were brilliant! Oh and we met a member from Napoli Branch! I can't remember her name, but she is in Switzerland visiting her daughter and family cause her daughter just had twins, so she is up to help, so came to church today with her son-in-law. She's Italian, but spoke like perfect English, so we had a little chat and she thought it was crazy how small the world is that I have a sister who's serving in just her neighbouring ward! Haha! So that was pretty cool! Sunday School was pretty awesome. We had the lesson on Lehi’s dream and the interpretation thereof! It was done really well, so that was awesome! Then for Priesthood we discussed the talk 'Seien Sie ein Vorbild und ein Licht' from President Monson from last General Conference. It was really good! All about being a good example, even when we think nobody is looking. Somebody also said something pretty interesting, which was something like- ‘We are always an example whether we think we are or not. We show an example wherever we go and whatever we do, whether that is a good example or bad example that is where we make a choice’. Then after church we had Gemeinderat. Seriously, Gemeinderat here is perfect. Short and Snappy! Then we headed to the Familie D for Mittagessen! Typical Sunday Afternoon! We chatted with Bruder D for quite a while. It was really interesting. Like it jumped over all types of topics including conversion and how missionaries aren't just supposed to convert investigators, but also members and themselves and then about family history work and how we will impact the lives and the choices that our posterity will live with. It kind of went along with the ‘being a light and example’ topic from Priesthood meeting. Then he also mentioned something that’s obvious, but also a great reminder. He moved onto Eternal Families and mentioned how a couple or family being sealed in the temple is just the making of that Covenant, but as with every Covenant which is made, we also have a role to play. The sealing ceremony does not automatically make you an eternal family, but when we each keep that covenant made over that holy altar and do our part, that is when we are an eternal family. Then we finally did studies on a Sunday! It feels like I haven't had studies on a Sunday for ages, so that was really nice to have some good Sunday Studies! 
Well, I best add a little Spiritual thing going along with the themes recently. I am so grateful for that knowledge, for the knowledge of the gospel. I am so grateful for the blessing that we are an eternal family. I pray that we each are doing our part so that we do fulfil the covenant made to be an eternal family. It kills me a little bit that I won't be there next Tuesday as my family are all reunited with Ashleigh, but I know I am exactly where I need to be, in the Lord’s service, bringing souls unto the truth, which both Ash and I have been doing for the last 18months. I love each one of them so much and am excited and nervous for just over 5 months’ time when we will all be reunited again. Families are forever and I am so grateful for that. I'll be thinking about mine next Tuesday; they'll be in my thoughts and prayers! Have a great week everyone! 
Alles liebe,

Elder Ammon Robertson xxxxxxx

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Caserta 4/1/16 - 18/1/16 Penultimo blog dalla Sorella Ashleigh Robertson

Allora.. Week one ...

This week has been a little different. 

Monday was a shopping day. The SALDI (SALES) here are super super amazing and it just gets better and better. I figured I could even get my home clothes eg jeans and stuff here too while they're really cheap and save a ton of money! I didn't actually find a ton though, just a jumper, cardigan and some cuuuuute chinos. Don't even know if the stuff is classed as 'cute' tbh, but whatever #postmissionprobs. Oh, on the way to the shops, the bus was PACKED. It took me back to my Rome days. They squeezed us in so tight! Then there was a woman who was listening to us and clearly not understanding English, cus another woman asked her if she understood our English (all in italian) and the woman listening to us was like "non tutto ma generalmente quello che stanno dicendo, si.. Dicono che noi italiani... Siamo 'snob'" and we weren't even talking about Italians hahaha I was so annoyed, but whatever. I didn't wanna embarrass her and I don't think she thought we understood Italian. Pazienza! Honestly didn't know what the right thing to do was.. Correct her or just leave it; so I left it. Bohhhhh. After that, we got fruit, emailed and headed over to see la Famiglia G. Sono veramente bravissimi. I love them. We spoke about missionary work. Straight after them we headed to church to see G.

Oh side note.. I also got a phone call while I was emailing from Sarah Grice (I don't remember her married name) and it was so good to hear a brummy accent haha. To start with I thought it was mom. She was all "Hi Ashleigh" in that cheeky little brummy accent that mom sometimes does and I was like 'hi......?' hahah honestly I was lost for a moment and my heart stopped haha. It was super awesome to hear from her though and we are planning on doing a pday with her soon, so that's gonna be so awesome. We are only allowed one pday out of our area though, so it's so so so sad. I guess Pompeii and Volc Vesuvious and all that good stuff will have to wait til out trip back... but we are planning on riding around the Amalfi Coast.

Tuesday, we headed straight to Napoli for DDM and it ended with an awesome Restoration role play. He is really good at that; making role plays fun. Anyways, the best part was probably going to get pizza... Then having to eat it outside the station. Fun! Then we went home, studied and saw Sorella B. She gave us so much chocolate and cake and the spiritual thought went well. After, we headed straight to Corso. That also went well. Our spiritual thought was so good. We did the second part of the Restoration, all focused on families. Started with Earthly Father, Heavenly Father.. asked them questions, involved them and just spoke about the importance of the family and the need for the teachings of Jesus Christ. We also emphasises how we are one big family and children of our Father in Heaven. Then at the end; invited them to read 'The Family: A Proclamation to the World' and they all accepted! Then we chatted to some of the students that came.. who came a while back and were taught by Anziano Smith when he was here! Super cool! 

Oh ALSO. Highlight of the day. We were on the train on the way back home from Napoli. The window steamed up and we started drawing on it.. Then as missionaries do, we wrote '', so typical I know; but we did it to see and the man next to me TOTALLY went on it on his phone hahaha it was so so so cool. He was doing it all sneaky hahah, so we started speaking to him and we had an awesome gospel conversation with him. His name was F, so please pray that he contacts us! 

Wednesday ... Today was so fun haha... Well, the morning was; between us 4 missionaries we have 3 bikes, which, usually the Anziani just use. It's cool seeing them around with their suits and helmets haha.. Like they look like real missionaries! It reminds me of home. Anyways, they told us we could use them and we had appointments farrrr from home and wanted to get as much as we could in the morning as we were heading to Battipaglia for a scambio. So yes, we looked so attractive. It was pouring down with rain, we had like raincoats on with the hood up, with the helmets on our heads and our skirts on.

Hastening the Work with the use of the Elders Bikes

These bikes are also just the most random looking bikes I've seen in my life. One we used is a really old, kinda cute red bike and the other is like a speedy bouncy boy racer bike.. I had that one! So yeah, I hope you're getting kicks out of this, cus I would if it were you. The bikes were SO EFFICIENT though; what would have taken us about 45 on foot took only 15/20. Incredible! We got 3 lessons in that morning. J, M and G. After that, we had the quickest pranzo ever. I am literally obsessed with Zucchini. Like, I absolutely love it. I make this soup kinda thing which literally consists of zucchini, tomatoes, rosemary and like a few random spices with half a meat stock cube and some water. Literally though, I'll eat the stuff with anything, it's so good. I remember when I hated it as a child, but now it is just like my fave veggie! The ride to Battipaglia was long. We got there and it was one of the weirdest experiences I've ever had. I was with Sorella Rackham, who is literally one of the sweetest girls I've met. She came in with the sweetest girl I have ever met.. Sorella Roberts. Apparently in Battipaglia, they have this deal (which apparently started in St George Utah) where the Mormons get together with the Catholics and sing during one of their masses. Yeah, don't ask me. Anyhuuuu. That's what I spent my evening doing. At least the Priest gave us a shout out. It was so weird. So so weird! Meanwhile, poor Sorella Defranchi was sick and Nelson was playing nurse and that was Wednesday!
Scambio with the Sorelle of Battipaglia (great views)

Thursday... I was with Defranchi. We were supposed to go for an appointment with someone, but they gave us a big fat bidone... So we ended up going to Salerno with the sisters and elders to do a Gesso Mostra. It was a family history and honestly not many people were interested. One of the new converts, S came (he's YSA, super cool) and the Branch President came. The Branch President was a killer finder. He was literally probably the most awesome Branch President/Vescovo I've ever met in my life. Cento percento stellar! My companion was just going hard core and I was trying too and after a few hours of that, we went to eat at Burger King. Yeah. Who goes to Burger King when you're in Italy? I have no idea, but we did hahah. I got the double bacon cheese burger and they gave it me in XXL, but it was ok, cus here in Italy EVERTHING is half size and double the price, so I managed! Then we caught the train and headed home. First experience was a young lad who thought he had it, you know! Like, he tried to 'make friends' with us... By attempting to impress us with his English skills. (He literally just said Hello), then when we asked him if he spoke English, he was like 'a lot'; but did the hand gesture for so little, so that was funny! Then when it got awkward he was like 'I must go .. Hello' and left hahaha. Then we had a change over at Cancello. There was this man called P, who stopped us and asked a bit about us, so that was a cool experience. Hopefully we'll see him around. Then this man tried selling us a dustpan. Then we got on the train and headed home, so you see, my last scambio ever turned out to be the weirdest one. We dropped our bags and stuff off at the church and went around sticking English course posters up before correlation. Then after we had English course. 

Friday... We began with weekly planning. Then headed to see G. He is really an awesome guy, but with all of this stuff he is facing right now, it just.. I guess is just too much for him. After that, the Anziani set up this 'mini district meeting' basically talking about the work in the ward. After that, we went home and finished our pranzo. After Italian, we headed to M who lives below the Anziani.. She fed us SO MUCH PIZZA hahahahah. Then we did the restoration. It went well, but she wasn't interested in being baptised... Because she is 'too old'... I spoke with her about R and so that was cool and it made me think of that sweet sweet little woman, but she still wasn't interested. Then we headed to a less active sister. We did the restoration with her and that went really well too. She is super sweet! Then we headed to try and see G who lives above us, but she ignored us... So we made calls and set up a couple of appointments for next week, with potentials. 

Highlight of today though, as we were walking to the less active sister, we saw A in his shop, READING THE RESTORATION PAMPHLET.

Funny highlight. In the night Sorella Nelson shouted "SORELL" and I was like wwwhat? And she was like "WHERE ARE YOU?" And I was like "I'm in bed ... Why?" and she was all “I thought you were going to Caserta..." Then I was like "WHAT THE HECK - ARE YOU JOKING???" All confused; hahaha then I was like "Are you conscious?" ..and she was like "I think so!!!" Then we just like crieeeeed with laughter. So funny!!

Saturday .. We saw A and her 3 beautiful beautiful beautiful children!!! They were in and it went sooooo well! We tried to see A... Turned out the Anziani saw him already. Had pranzo and lingua, then went to Capua to see V. We did the restoration and it was super cool the way we did it. It was Sorella Nelson’s idea. We basically all 3 taught. Like one another, kinda just each took turns. He is so awesome, literally will be such a stellar missionary one day! After him, we met with L (jun) and got a gelato, spoke about the conference and our purpose, mentioned the importance of baptism and how to get there etc. Not sure if it scared her off, but she just told us she wants to be 100% sure... Then we headed to help the DG family with their technology haha. 

Sunday.. We began helping a visitor get her purse which she left in the cab she took to church. Luckily it was there still and the driver brought it. Miracle moment :) The talk went well, MENOMALE. It was aimed at the primary children and I focused it around sharing the gospel. I'll send it to you if you want? :) It was pretty simple and only lasted about 10 mins. Then the other talks were super awesome! Sunday school was super great too, then for Relief Society I translated. It's getting easier and easier, just as I'm about to leave haha. Sad times, but it was all about Christ; taken from the new manual. Chapter 1 'Jesus Christ-- our only way to hope and joy'. I loved it and it was taught by Sorella R really well :) Then there was a linger longer. Then we headed home, napped and studied, then headed out to see A, K and F. It went really well. F is A's brother and he was baptised a while back. His family (wife and kids) are still in Ghana. They are so cool though. He's solid and absolutely loves the missionaries. The rest of the night consumed of trying to find less actives.

We have been kinda lazy with running this week, due to scambio, but we went probably like 3 times at least :) 

I still have a testimony. I'm still growing and I am constantly facing things that enable me to develop humility. I still need to be less sassy, but I'm working on it. With Christ, anything is possible right?

I know the church is true. Missionary work is the best, even when it gets tough. 

I love you all and can't wait to see you soon.

Meeeee xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Week two of the fortnight ...

Heyyyyyy. So this week I have literally not had time to write every day as it has come, so this email is super brief... Plus, next Monday (which would be this Monday as you read this email) we are doing our 'out of zone' pday, so I literally won't have much time to write, as I'll be travelling around Napoli and its surroundings. We haven't really planned it properly yet, but we will haha AND we'll take lots of pictures (when we feel safe to do so... Cus I mean.. It is Napoli haha) but pizza from Napoli tho, like usually I'm not a Pizza fan unless it's Texas BBQ from Dominoes hahaha; but this is the real deal.

Monday. We really wanted something cool to do, but it kinda sucks as in Caserta you have the Reggia, Reggia Vecchia and that's like kinda, basically it.
Reggia Vecchia in Caserta
All the cool stuff is in the Castellammare area.. And we can only have 1 out of area pday a transfer... Anyhuuuuu. We tried to have fun. We went to do spesa, like a proper spesa for the first time in a while. Did email, tried to find an old theatre, but don't think it exists anymore, so hit up some saldi. I just got some cute trousers and a cardigan. The real buy though... Was my Gucci perfume. I figured most people buy something kinda swaggy and expensive, like the Anziani buy suits and obviously that costs way more, but I got the perfume in the sale so ended up spending about €68? It's so hard not to use it! I have wanted a new perfume forever since my Nina Ricci ran out .. Anyhuuuu, we then had a weird experience meeting with a contact we made making calls. She met us in her school. I'm honestly not sure what she expected? I think she thought we wanted to go to her school for help with Italian? No idea HAHAHAH so we get to this office room and there is her and like 4/5 other women and then we just drop our purpose and she's all like 'Oh, in that case, I'm not really interested!' So as awkwardly as you guys could probably even imagine we got out of that room and headed over to the G fam. We did the restoration with them and cus we had more time, we headed out to do some publicity for our English course.

Tuesday. We met L in the centre... She needed a coffee for the strength to walk to the church, so she got that, then we went to the church. She loved it. After that we met G. That went really well. Honestly can't remember what we did, but it went well. I think it was the helping him to quit smoking lesson. Then we came home/had pranzo/made treats/studied. We figured maybe if we pull that 'we slaved away making you treats' trick, that maybe some of the less actives that either we have never tried and don't know or that just ignore us.. Would let us in. It didn't work unfortunately. They just came down, got them and thanked us telling us they were too busy. Less active work I think is probably the most frustrating in missionary work. It's probably the element of missionary work that we've seen the most success in, but it's definitely for me at least, the most frustrating kind. Anyway, we basically giro'd around all afternoon/evening doing that then went to English course. It went really well. We spoke about Dispensations for the spiritual thought. Then this woman walked in as everybody had left.... And we had planned to do a spiritual thought with R... Who is a member who got baptised in Chili, but her records seem to be missing and this lady (O, who we had never ever met before) wanted to join. From there we swapped numbers and that was that. 

Wednesday. We headed first thing to Napoli for DDM. It was good. He taught a lot of things, boxes were broken as much as time and then we did an awesome role play. Honestly role plays are THE worst. Pretty sure I'm like the only person who hates them this much, like yeah, all missionaries apart from him hate role plays, but like the level of hate I have for doing them exceeds all limits HAHAHAH BUT that is something our DL is pretty good at. I actually enjoy the way he does role plays, cus it's not the typical way missionaries organise them. After that we went for pizza. 'When in Napoli...'. After lunch we headed back home, studied then saw Sorella V. She hadn't been to church for a few weeks, so we wanted to check up on her. We tried speaking about being an example and teaching our children principles of the gospel. WE SAW O and she is literally golden. We did the restoration. She wouldn't set a baptismal date, but agrees to be baptised if she received an answer to her prayer. She met with the missionaries over a year ago and I guess it just wasn't her time. We just filled the remainder of time with finding.

Thursday. We headed to San. Maria Capua to find some less actives who haven't been seen for I don't know how long. None of them even lived there.... I guess they're lost now, so sad. That took up our whole morning. It consisted of walking around a city none of us knew, so it wasn't the most straight forward search haha. Before pranzo, we headed to the hospital to visit G, cus her little beautiful beautiful daughter is there. Then my super awesome bold bold bold companion just was like stating our purpose loud and proud for the whole hospital room to hear and it was just super awesome, some of them seemed interested and asked a ton of questions for us to answer... then we headed for pranzo.. A little later than usual because of how the visiting hours worked. We originally planned to get the bikes and head out far to some more less actives that we are working with, but there was a problem with the bikes so we headed to church and S (a girl who the elders taught way back when) was there sooooo we did a lesson with her and that went super well, even got a return appointment #newsimp. Then had Corso.. Then taught V who was there. We did a repeat of the apostasy, cus he had some questions.

Friday. We did weekly planning, the usual. Nothing new.. Then L called and so we went and did a lesson about prayer and receiving answers with both her and her daughters. After that, we headed to see J and used a talk called Overcoming discouragement. It spoke about 3 things we must do when we are faced with challenges and I really liked it so here you go:

Many of us face significant challenges. Even the great prophet Enoch experienced sadness when he viewed the wickedness of the world: “And as Enoch saw this, he had bitterness of soul, and wept over his brethren, and said unto the heavens: I will refuse to be comforted; but the Lord said unto Enoch: Lift up your heart, and be glad; and look” (Moses 7:44). 

There are at least three steps to take when striving to overcome discouragement:

1. You can work on changing your attitude toward the problem. Even though you can’t change the circumstances in which you work or live, you can always change your attitude.

2. You can receive help from those who are close to you--your family, friends and ward members, those who love you the most.

3. You can develop a more powerful and complete trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

I think it went well, since she accepted help, so we are making progress. :) We originally wanted to teach her all about humility and then we found this talk and it fits in, but gives a different perspective. It's a really good one, cus it then goes on to explaining the points. :) 

Then we did a bit of finding. From this, we got to teach 2 extra lessons. One to a guy called M and another to a guy called R. I have written down in my numbers we taught more, but didn't write who, so that's sad :( 

Oh we also met a beautiful beautiful girl from Guatemala who had spoken with the missionaries about a year ago ... that was also suuuuper awesome. 

Saturday. Well, we started the day with a pretty intense work out. Then came home and learnt that we had no water.. In fact basically the whole of Caserta had no water, but anyways we NEEDED to shower. It was hair wash day for both of us and, as I said we worked out hardcore. So we got all our stuff (we basically packed a scambio bag) and headed to the chapel. Luckily, this area of Caserta wasn't affected. So, we used the custodial shower thing, that isn't like, actually a shower, but it gave us hot water. Not sure how clean it was, but we had soap and shampoos and stuff #tramps hahaha. But hey, you gotta do what you gotta do. Like I said a while back, if you wanna serve a mission, you've gotta be willing to give up all forms of pride. Non c'è spazio per queste cose, ma veramente! Anyways, after we met with Gand R and spoke about repentance. After, we went to print some stuff off at a stationary place and got to teach the restoration to the guy working there. That was super cool! Then we headed to the DG's and taught them some Italian. :) They're a sweet sweet couple! The rest of the day wasn't as hectic as the morning.. We saw O. GOLDEN. Her prayers are THE best. Literally like conversations with God. I love hearing her pray! Then we spent the rest doing finding finding and moreeee finding.

Sunday. Today was great! The B couple are back, yeyyyy! They helped us in getting L to church. It was so awesome. She was just making friends with EVERYONE. Church was awesome. The talks were great and the Sunday school lesson was too. It was all about the tree of life and Fratello G had really taken a lot of time in preparing it. It paid off and he did an awesome job! Then Relief Society, then we had correlation. B is the best WML I've ever had. After, we had pranzo and studies Italiano... Then nobody would answer and those who we had set appointments with had cancelled. Sooo, we went finding. Case casa. No luck, but we bumped into an English course student and her husband knocking on one apartment complex.. But they were heading out to the cinema for a date. They invited us along too haha so cute! So we continued doing that a bit. It was SOOO COLD. like the cold here is like such a bitter cold that gets right to your bones. Like it's cold back at home, but this is like a different kind, so we were prayingggg that we would find someone to teach indoors. Then we made some more calls while one of us knocked.. In the end we taught R at hers, about the plan of salvation. Then O wanted another lesson. We focused a lot on Christ, authority and baptism and this time she agreed to set a date to be baptised :) so she has a date for the 27th February. Obviously I'm not gonna be here for it, but it's just super awesome, cus it's totally gonna happen. She wants us to teach her the commandments, so she can make sure she's keeping them all. Haha I love her! She took us home and that was our Sunday. 

Well, it's Sunday night and I'm finishing this email off. Tomorrow we are going to use our 'out of area' day to go to Pompeii and get some things from Napoli eg: Pizza and Ties for our dads and brothers heheheheh; so I'm excited about that. I know I'll have time to send this and I'll take a good amount of pics.

It's beginning to hit me that I have such a short period of time left here. I just honestly love this lifestyle. I'm super excited to be home and live the more 'normal' lifestyle too tho haha; but really I just love being here and doing the Lord's work. There's nothing more rewarding.

I love you all. I miss you a lot! See you soon 😇

Sorella Robertson


Saturday, 16 January 2016

Wetzikon 28/12/15 - 11/01/16 Frohes Neues, Ausweis Verlängert, IKEA, Pflegeheim besuch, ZM's und ziemlich viel Erfolg gehabt! Oh, ja! Und eine taufe!

2015-2016- Frohes Neues!

Grüezi, Grüezi!

Natürlich, wie immer Montag! We began after studies to clean the apartment, before popping quickly to Migros to grab a couple of things and pick up emails and send a couple as well! Then home, where we had a little snack because of our appointment tonight. So, for the rest of P-day we basically then headed to Zürich to do a bit of after-Christmas shopping .. Wahey! Then home and to the chapel to do emails! 'Twas lovely! This evening we had an appointment with La Famiglia T! So that is why we had a snack at lunch! They are Italian, so I figured they would do a typical Italian meal as Ash talks about and right I was! Oh Mensch! It was soooooooooo goood! So it was like 5 courses and each course was super amazing! They even said that today was small, because of the last few days being Christmas and they've eaten so much, so we are lucky ‘cause we get a small meal! They come from Palermo! The kids all speak German and Italian, but the parents only really speak Italian, so we had an Italian appointment and the daughter translated most of it, although honestly I caught quite a bit of what they were saying before she even translated it, Good old Ash using Italian words in her emails and the gift of tongues obviously playing a part; but man, they are such a cool family! I want to learn Italian, so we can work more with them! Arrghhh! Ash would love this family! They are so cool, but now I've experienced an Italian dinner appointment, so I know how you feel Ash. We shared the Jenga Spiritual Thought with the Christmas twist, so used the cartoon video in Italian- that was so good! The Italian translation for that is so good, in German it’s legit just the English video with German subtitles, which is bad, but Italian is like perfectly done!

Typical Dienstag! Studies and then headed off to Winterthur for DV! It was pretty good; I had the Deutschtipp so that was fun.... Not! This weeks’ Christlike ‘mas Attribute is/was Diligence, so we spoke a lot about that and then teaching again and it was alright. Like President has a training plan, which the DL gets and we basically all follow this plan for DV. Well, we had distriktessen and then did some finding, as per, in Winti. I went with Elder Kallenborn and like the first lady we spoke to was like ‘Oh yeah, where’s your church’? ‘When does it start?’ ‘Oh sure, we can exchange numbers’ and ‘You can call me and remind me to come’! Haha! It was so cool, but so random. Then like the rest of it, no such luck! We had some cool conversations, but no more potentials found. Then quick to the chapel to get times for when we need to leave for our appointment this evening and then we basically had to leave sofort. We went round to the E's for abendessen. It was so good and they are such an awesome, spiritual, clever couple! Mensch! It was an awesome evening! We shared a spiritual thought taken from when Christ receives news that John the Baptist was beheaded and instead of automatically taking some time out; some quiet time after learning of the death of a loved one that we would all normally do, He instead served, He carried on, comforted and fed the 5,000. Then after all of that, He went into the mountain to pray and have that time. Christ knew what was most important, He knew the plan. He continued to serve even though He was also going through a mourning process. Christ really is our ultimate example! "Look to Him in every thought; doubt not, fear not."

Mittwoch began following studies with heading to Migros to do some shopping for the one and only Schwester G! She is such a legend.... so she asked us to come round to help her do a few things and then she called yesterday if we could pick a few things up from the shop for her as well, as the milk man normally sells fruits and stuff for her to buy, but he's on holiday, so she was all out. We did a bit of shopping for her and then went round, put the stuff away whilst chatting to her and then did a few more things in the garden and then a couple in her apartment. Legit, this woman is incredible- she's 98 years old and has had such a hard life, but she is soooo positive and strong in the gospel and ahhhh, just mensch, she's amazing! Then we headed home to grab something before heading to Zürich to meet P, but as we were almost there he called to move the appointment to tomorrow. 'Twas a little annoying, as it takes about 35mins to get there and then another one then to get back! Arrghh! So we came home, had lunch, finished a bit of study before heading back out. Then this evening we were invited to the Familie DR! They are so cool! It's the Mom and two kids, a boy and a girl and she invited Schw. R, A, a less active and one of our investigators. It was so cool! Dinner was amazing! Schw. R is Italian and made pizza for dinner, so we had pizza and salad. It was really good, all from scratch. Then we shared the cartoon Christmas video, cause technically Christmas is sort of still going and then we went round the room and everyone said what it means to them that Christ was born. Oh mensch! The spirit filled that home! It was immense! I am so grateful for the power of the Spirit and for the amazing blessing a mission truly is. To be able to associate with and get to know such Spiritual giants! I love it! Then on our way home, I thought I saw a controller come up on the train, so grabbed my pocket to get my wallet out with my GA and my wallet wasn't in there. Luckily it wasn't a controller, so all was fine in that case, but I was freaking out cause like, that has everything in it, drivers licence, GA, bank cards, insurance card, temple recommend, Aussweiss, like CHF50. I was stressed and I had no idea what happened, like I didn't remember putting it in my pocket before we left the apartment, but at the same time I always check my pockets whenever we get off a bus or tram or train to check everything is there, so I was really confused as to where it could be. I was like praying so hard that it would be at home when we get there or that someone turned it in, just that all would be well. That was honestly the longest journey home ever.... So we got home and thank goodness, it was sitting on my desk, so that was my little miracle from the day. Although I'm still super confused as to how I never realised that I didn't have it when I always check to see I have everything when we get off transportation, but yeah, Miracle! Then we almost died- as when we were walking across Bahnhof from the train to the Bus a freaking firework goes off right next to us, legit, almost died. I went death for a few seconds but all is well now, so that was basically the adventures of New Years’ Eve's Eve!

Happy New Year’s Eve! So Donnerstag began after studies by popping to the chapel for computer work time, before heading out to Zürich to meet P! We went with him to an Italian restaurant and it was really good. We had Pizza again, talked and shared a spiritual thought about Sacrament. It was the Mormon message 'Always Remember Him'. It is so powerful, just the way Elder Holland puts it is incredible and then we headed back to our own area, sorted a few things before going out. Then this evening we were at Schw H with A again! It was a really nice evening, we had Fondue Chinois and then played games, shared a thought and then it was coming up to 22.00, so we had to head home .. and that was basically New Year’s Eve, we'll just sleep through till the New Year .. or so I thought, but at like Midnight fireworks started, so it woke us up, but I really couldn't be bothered, so just dropped my head back on my pillow and fell straight back to sleep!
In Zurich

Happy New Year! Today began after studies with a bit of weekly planning before having mittags, did a bit more weekly planning and headed to Winterthur to tausch! I'm in Wetzikon with Elder Fischer! We basically ended up finding, which was pretty good, although there were barely any people on the street! It is New Year’s Day to be fair! Then this evening we headed to S with Bruder E. It was actually one of the best lessons we've had with him. We spoke about looking for the positives in others, but especially in ourselves. Then it was basically time to head home, so we headed home, had abendessen and planned!

Oh mensch! What a day! Well, we always do studies and I'm bored of writing it now. We headed to open the chapel Samstag morgen for the Familie DR who called last night saying that they need to clean the chapel, but have no key, so could we open it for them. We went and opened it and then helped them clean the chapel ‘cause we are nice like that. Really, we had no other appointments, so figured doing a bit of service would be a good opportunity. Then headed home, had a quick lunch and began our Auswertungsgespräch! Then we headed to Winti to tausch back. We tausched back and headed back, popped to the chapel to check on times for the rest of the day ‘cause we had a district finding "day" planned in a dorf in Frauenfeld area from 15.00-17.00 and we had an appointment with our Bishops’ family at 17.30, so we needed to see times and stuff. It turned out we couldn't do the finding day, as when we get there we would have 20mins to find before we needed to leave to get to Bishops; place. We did some finding and organising stuff before heading to Bishops! It was so cool! He has such an awesome family! We shared the Jenga Spiritual Thought and they loved it! We also spoke quite a bit about the work and investigators and how we can help the ward. It was really a great evening!

Sonntag morgen we headed to the Gemeindehaus bright and early to have our first GMK with our new GML! I have to say it was probably the best GMK I have actually had! He is so pumped and ready to go... Bonuses of having a recent RM as your GML! So we did the normal GMK stuff and then he was like I want to start doing member splits, get some ward missionaries called and maybe even hold some member ausstausches; if your President is okay with that. He has a load of ideas, so we're excited to work with him. Then church! It was a really nice testimony meeting and I set myself another goal that I'll bear my testimony each testimony meeting, so I did! Then Sunday School and Priesthood were also great! Book of Mormon year! I'm excited for it! Then in Priesthood we spoke about goals and working towards them and how goals lead us to progress. There was quite an emphasis on spiritual progress, which was really nice, as normally when people speak about goals they focus more on the worldly stuff, but in the next life, how much will that really mean! Then we chilled and chatted for a bit with the members and set up some appointments before heading to the Familie D for mittags and a spiritual thought. We shared the Sacrament one again and it was again really spiritual. Then we popped quickly to the chapel to print something which we forgot and whilst we were there a member knocks on the window, so we let him in and we ended up giving him a blessing.  The spirit and the love that we each felt that the Lord has for each human being during that blessing was indescribable. Each time I have the opportunity to use the Priesthood, my testimony of the reality of it, of the fact that the authority to act in God's name has been restored is just strengthened every single time. I don't think it was just coincidence that we needed to go to the chapel at that time to print something. Even if it didn't seem like a spiritual impression to print something, it must have been, because he really needed a chat and blessing! So lesson is - follow the promptings you receive from the spirit, even if they seem small and quite insignificant, ‘cause it can lead to be able to serve someone! Then we helped another member sort a load of old photos to submit for family history and church history and stuff in Switzerland. Yeah! That was fun! Then home, had dinner and planned! Then I cut my hair again ‘cause it really needed a cut .. and that was basically the week!

I hope you each have brilliant weeks!

Alles Liebe,

Elder Ammon Robertson xxxxxxxxx

Woche 76 von 102- Ausweis Verlängert, IKEA, Pflegeheim besuch, ZM's und ziemlich viel Erfolg gehabt! Oh, ja! Und eine taufe!

Höi zäme!

V-tag! Actually the Deutsch way is never actually used, but hey! So we headed out to shop, cleaned a bit and then headed to Stäfa to meet with a less active member. It was cool. We spoke about all sorts of stuff and we were there for like well over an hour. We spoke about G and told her we'd send her the talk from Brad Wilcox to read! Then we met with another less active and shared a video with her. Then finally headed back to Wetzikon and it was getting late, so we headed to finish p-day by doing some proper email time! 'Twas great to chat a little! Oh and whilst we were doing that S called us! Like he never calls us and he basically just tells us that something hit him when we were there last with Elder Fischer and Bruder E and he's thought a lot about something Bruder E said and wants to try and relight his torch so to speak, but he wants to take things slowly. So we are super excited about it all!

So Dienstag is the day where we head out for DV! I can't even remember what happened! It was actually a pretty good meeting to be fair. We did a Distriktsauswertungsgespräch where we each give one thing good and one thing that the distrikt can improve on. It was pretty interesting to see what the distrikt actually thought about it! Then Elder Fischer spoke about this weeks’ attribute of Obedience and what true obedience is. Just some notes I took was about willingness to be obedient- why do we do it, because we have to or because we want to? It isn't questioning why we should do it, we just do it ‘cause we love the Lord and know that all things will be for our benefit and learning. How real obedience is placing ones heart and will on the sacrificial altar, giving it all to the Lord. Then Elder Heller spoke about goals and about also having long term goals. How important it is not just to have goals, but to have a plan to help achieve those goals, otherwise there is no point in them, as you'll likely never achieve them without a plan, which lead into the Sisters assignment about Weekly Planning and having an effective weekly planning session. It was good! Then we had lunch together. Then we left ‘cause we needed to get to the Kreibüro, so I could extend my Ausweis! We missed district finding this week! Sad times! So we finally got that sorted and then had to pop into IKEA, as the hinges of one of our cupboards in the kitchen just completely snapped off for like no reason whatsoever last night! So the Kreisbüro is near an IKEA, so we decided it made the most sense to pop in then, as it's also the nearest IKEA to where we are, so we did just that. Found the hinges we needed after trawling through the place to try and get to the Hall bit where you pick up stuff and as per - it was packed, just as IKEA always is. Well its Swedish prices in Switzerland, so who wouldn't go for it! Then time was getting on so we headed home, fixed the cupboard quickly before heading to S. That was actually pretty good! He really wants us to visit his wife as well who’s in a care home type place, so we'll do that tomorrow! Then home for a bit of bendessen and the day was fast over!

Mittwoch after all of our studies we headed out to Rapperswil and it is pretty beautiful there. I forgot to take pictures ‘cause we were too busy trying to find the Lords’ elect! Although we didn't have too much success this morning, so we headed home to grab mittagessen before popping out to the Care home where the wife from S is. We waited for J to arrive, as he was our JT for the day. We went in, brought her a little gift, sang a song and prayed with her and that was like the extent of our visit, as it's not really a visit, as she can't talk and the right side of her body is paralysed, but she seemed to enjoy it. She hums along to the hymn we sung and she did like a blowing kiss-type gesture, which I believe means danke! Then we met S downstairs in the Cafeteria afterwards as we planned and spoke to him again for a while and had more Peppermint tea with him! It's like a tradition, whenever we meet with him, we have Peppermint tea! Then we headed to the chapel to get something and then finding for a few hours and home! It was a pretty nice day! Tomorrow is pretty full, so it should be a good day!

Donnerstag was a crazy busy day! We began by popping to the chapel to get train times for our appointment, before leaving to actually get there! We headed down to Meilen to go by a less active family for lunch and then shared a little lesson about looking for the hand of the Lord in our lives, shared a Mormon message from President Eyring and then went round the room and everyone shared one thing where the Lord had blessed them that very morning. It was pretty cool! Then we set up an appointment, so we can start teaching her kids, who aren't members, so that will be pretty cool! Then ‘cause we had J being our JT again we went by a former who lives not too far from this family and she was home, so we shared a quick message, as we needed to head off to Stäfa for our next appointment. That was cool and we set up a return appointment with her. Then we headed off to our next one with C! She's a bit less active and is going through quite a difficult time right now. She is so cool though. She really would be active if she felt she could be, so we shared the Mormon message of Esther and spoke about courage and trusting in the Lord. It was really nice and the Spirit was really strong. Hopefully she'll be at church on Sonntag! Then we had to run for the bus to get to our next appointment. Just made it in time. So we swapped JT’s for another return missionary and headed over to Reini with A. Again, it was a pretty good lesson. We planned to speak about recognising the Spirit, but that had to change. He realised how important this all was and how important baptism is and so we talked a lot about that and his questions and stuff. It was pretty cool to see that though, just to see him realise what this all actually means and how important it really is .. and oh my goodness, A is a brilliant joint teach! She is totally still in missionary mode, which is so cool! Then it was getting late and we headed home for dinner and planned. It was a pretty packed out and effective day and we got to spend the majority of it with recently RM’s!

So Freitag morgen, we'll begin with studies. So another goal I have this year is to actually study and prepare for the lessons we have on Sonntag. So I was studying the student manual for Sunday school and they have a part in it which is. I actually have no idea how to translate this properly to English, "Ideas to discuss with the Family"??, or something like that, you know what I mean! Well, it says in there to list people, friends, colleagues and neighbours that do not have a Book of Mormon. Think prayerfully about the list and how you will introduce and give a BoM to at least one of these people on the list. So my challenge for you this week is to do that, to list and prayerfully plan how you will do it and then follow through with it. As with every commitment we give out as missionaries, I will be following up about it next week if you don't report back on it in your emails! So after some pretty good studies, we headed out for a bit, including popping by the chapel. Then out again for a bit of finding before popping home for mittagessen. So after Mittags the plan was to do Weekly Planning, oh and we got an SMS from Frau M cancelling on us tonight, which sucks.

Package from Ashleigh arrived

So Samstag began without any frühsport, as we had to get ready to be on time to leave before 7.40 to get the train to Beautiful Bern! So today was tempeltag! Basically the temple closes on Monday (today when I send my journal entry home) for like 3 weeks, so today was our last opportunity to go this transfer, so we took it! It was a really nice day! I love getting to go to the temple. It is one of the blessings of serving in Switzerland! Then afterwards we popped to the Döner place down the street to grab lunch and there were a few members there, so we went and sat with some members from Gemeinde Aarau, chatted with them and got to know them a little. Then they left and we left a few seconds later and it turned out that they told the guy that they were paying for ours as well, so when we go up to pay afterwards he's like "they already paid for you". Legit! Some members are like the sweetest people ever! Love 'em! Then we headed back home, got home for like 30mins study, as we needed to plan a spiritual thought for the Familie G whom we then headed out to. So this family are half-Swiss half-Chilean (no idea if that’s the politically correct term for people from Chile, but you know what I mean). She is a member and is very active, her husband isn't a member and the boys are semi-active. They are really cool though and such an awesome family. We spoke about the BoM with them and committed them to read for 20mins every day in the BoM! It was a really cool evening! Great way to finish a great day!

What a day! Sonntag is probably one of my favourites! We began the day with GMK with our awesome GML! Then church began! The meeting was really good! There was one talk on Family History, which was really good. Then the other one was about Enduring to the End and it was brilliant- probably one of the best sacrament meeting talks I've heard! Then after the meetings we had the opportunity to give a member a blessing with the Bishop. Oh mensch! I seriously cannot stress how real the Priesthood is! It is such a blessing to have all of these opportunities to exercise that power as a missionary! Then we joined the JAE class for Sonntagschule! J gave it and it was about what we can learn from the Book of Mormon about the Godhead and the Gospel. Again, it was great! Then todays Priesthood class was an overview of the life of President Hunter and it was really interesting! Then we had Gemeinderat, which was pretty good, nice and short! Then off to the Familie D for mittags! We shared the Jenga spiritual thought and oh my goodness, it was probably the shortest game of Jenga I have ever played! Haha! They are such an awesome family though! Then we popped home to grab something before heading to the baptism of the L's daughter. It was such a beautiful baptism! I love this family! Then we headed out to Frau M this evening and did like an intervention lesson ‘cause she is making like no progress and hasn't been to church for like months now and we just don't know what to do with her. So we spoke about a few things and she actually read this time; and she opened up to us about a few things and we ended up having a really spiritual lesson. It was so good. Then we popped to the chapel to pick up some food, which the L’ told us they would leave a few left-overs for us after the baptism and Schw. and J D were there doing some family history, so we chatted with them a bit before heading home and the day was done! Legit this week has been a boss of a week! We have had so much success! Like our average number of lessons so far this transfer is 3-4 lessons a week, this week we had 12 lessons! Like legit!

That was basically the week! Well, we have zone training tomorrow, so that will be fun and interesting as President sent out another Info and Reminders email and said that zone training should be a maximum of 2 hours. In the past they have always been 3 hours and even then they have gone well over, so cutting it down to 2 hours will be very interesting! Then Saturday is transfer calls! Who knows what will happen! This transfer has been strange, like it's felt like it's been forever, but at the same time it also feels like it's gone quickly. So any transfer guesses before Saturday? Will I stay? Or will it be like last Christmas and my Christmas transfer will just be a one transfer area? Well, today we are having district p-day in Winterthur, so I am sending this whilst shopping in Migros again and then we’ll be at the chapel playing games with the district.

Well, for now I will wish you all a Schöne Woche! And don't forget Friday’s Commitment!

Alles liebe,

Elder Ammon Robertson xxxxxxxxxxx

Monday, 11 January 2016

Caserta 21/12/15 - 4/1/16 Natale e Capodanno a Caserta

Week 1 of the fortnight:
I'm just gonna start from Monday. This email took me forever, as I had no time this week to type it up... 

Lunedì ... We began with email. We had planned to ride bikes around the English gardens at the Reggia (palace)... so we went, but it was closed... so instead we went through the actual palace rooms. That was really cool! After the rooms, we bought sandwiches, went to church and emailed some more. Then in the evening, we tried to see M... but she wasn't in. Then I went to look at M's veggie garden... and I think she saw me, so we ran away. Then we saw V. That went really really well. We were with her daughters and mother. They love us and it's sweet. :) After that, everyone bidoned us, so we saw the G’s. They are super awesome. Love them. That was basically our day.

Martedì .. I'm gonna be brief, cus I’ve saved this to last and my little fingers are gonna drop off. But... we basically didn't set appointments. We just went around giving cookies to people, but it worked out pretty well, cus they all let us in, so it was a win win situation. We saw Sorella V and her grand-daughter (who desperately wants to come to church and loves 'grandma’s church') was awesome and just wants to come and be baptised! She's adorable. We had a lovely time with them! Then we went to sort the phone out, cus it wasn't showing our texts or calls so we were freaking out. Then AWKWARD MOMENT. We went to the shop and I'm all like 'look' cus it's too technical to explain in Italian and I don't know the words.. and they looked and IT WORKED JUST FINE. SO EMBARRASSING!! The phone just decided to work, so that was sad ha. Anyways after that, we ran another errand. I needed medication, so I ran to the pharmacy to get meds, cus I was ill. She gave me melting pills that you pop in water and homeopathic oil for my nose. Weird, but I just went with it ha. Anyways, I used that and it just gave me the worst headaches, so I just went without and just decided to get better naturally. Like lemon water and oranges and that seems to be working. Then we had pranzo while making more cookies... and headed out to get more lessons. We managed to see S, G (new simp as of this day) and G. They all went well. Then after English course, we had a lesson with L (young).

Mercoledì .. Lots happened today, so I'm just gonna be brief! We began popping into some of our investigators and less active and non-less active members to give them some Christmas treats that we had made during language study (not apostate, we listened to a talk in Italian as we made them haha). First, we stopped by at Sorella V's house to drop off the cookies and she gave us in return a giant Panettone (traditionally here in Italy you find these giant giant not quite cakes, but kinda sweet bread things that they cover with powdered sugar and eat throughout the whole Christmas period). A ton of Italians buy a ton of them. Sorella V probably had like minimum 15 of them under her Christmas tree, so she did a swap with us and gave us one. Then we headed over to V and her family. We gave them cranberry sauce from the American base, cus she had told the other Sorelle that she misses it .. and also the cookies. She was super grateful and we spent a few mins with them. She gave us a gift! So cute! ..and then invited us over for New Year's Eve :) Such a wonderful family! I love working with them. After that, we popped by M (daughter of M and her beautiful little girl was just so so adorable wanting to play! We gave them cookies and shared a message, as their neighbour had passed away during the night and they were pretty upset about it...especially M! Then we headed to our house for pranzo. I had been suffering with my headache, probably from blowing my nose so much with this cold/flu thing, so we get 1.30 mins for pranzo and we decided to take an hour long nap and eat something really quick, so we had pumpkin soup mmmmmmm! After that, we both felt awesome and ready to get this day done. We headed right over to A (after we did language obv) Anyways, A was so awesome! We did a lesson about women in the church and our role! We used the talk "Fulfilling the purpose of Relief Society"; which was given by Julie B Beck in October 2008. After A, we did some more cookie droppings hahahahah that looks funny, but I just don't know what to call it. After that, we went to Gricignano for a DA with L, the new convert who is visiting her (non-member) parents who live on the American base from Colorado. They were awesome and had a few questions.

Also, before I forget .. this was the day we met old L. We had to unlock the chapel for the Stake President for an interview with the police.. Maybe I've written about this already I don't remember!

Christmas Eve! Today was seriously just so so so so awesome. We began finding and spending time with the woman who we met on Wednesday. It took a mission to find her, but eventually we did! She invited us in and her whole family were there! Husband and 2 kids. To start with, we felt that they were only interested in the English course but then, towards the end, she told us that she knew one of our members... So anyways.. then we ended up speaking about church and our purpose then she is all "So what do I have to do to become Mormon... Like if I wanted to be maybe?" ..and so we go ahead and explain our full purpose and how we go about fulfilling it... I was about to then go onto baptism, but before I got the chance she is all like "So, the first lesson..  when are we gonna do that? Saturday?" ..and so we are all like ...yeah! Anyways. We chatted some more and then we left. We are grateful for her. She's a little miracle. Also, her son was awesome! He has a ton of potential. Unfortunately he is out of town (working in Napoli) all week, but he’s free on the weekends, so we are gonna see how we'll meet with him too! Or maybe get the Anziani to try! Anyways, after that we headed home, pranzo-ed, then headed around giving people our treats... Then headed for the station to go to Gricignano for the best Christmas Eve in the mission. We got there with the Anziani and the S family picked us up (J and her daughter, L) and drove us to their home on the base. We got there and they had not only their own family there, but L’s boyfriend and 2 other friends. We began just chatting as they finished off preparing the food, then we got the food and it was really good! A big giant ham, greens, funeral potatoes...(that's an actual thing) and bread pretzels. It was so nice to just be able to help yourself and not to be stuffed silly with like 5 courses like how we've been having dinner appointments for the whole of our mission haha. It was just right! I was in total control of what I ate and I didn't feel sick from all the food! After, we iced sugar cookies. Super cute tradition right there! Then after, we all gathered around in a circle in the living room.... gave all their Christmas Eve pyjamas out and gave each of the missionaries NAVY hoodies! All matching! So so sweet, so everyone put them on. Then we read a family tradition for Christmas Eve called "Not even the mouse" cute. Then we read in the Bible of the Birth of the Saviour. It was just a beautiful awesome evening. All of this while drinking eggnog, which was a first for me and I really liked it! This family are just incredible. I deffs felt at home. They made my last Christmas in the mission a real good one and I honestly am glad it was no other way. It was perfect! From that moment, I finally felt like it was Christmas. We chatted some more and then went home.. J dropped us off and had a good long chat with us. She is such a special lady.. So so much fun!

Christmas Eve

Sugar Cookies

Il proprio giorno di Natale .. WELL, we obviously began with our 1 extra hour lie in! Then we headed to the church, so I could SKYPE HOME, which was obviously the highlight of the day! After that, we had time to kill, so we went to take pictures outside haha and made the funniest time lapse videos.. After that, we headed over to Gricignano (however it's spelt) to go to the base for Christmas dinner with B and A .. cutest couple ever! It was super good! We had ham, turkey and then typical Filipino food. These corn things called Tamales and Lumpia .. which are basically like a spring roll. Then we had a Mexican cake called Tres leches, then they get their gifts out for us! They got us Fererro Rocher, fortune cookies and a cookie mix (American: Oreos, Chips ahoy and Nutter Butters), then a huge box of American crisps! Doritos, Cheetos .. all that good stuff. Then the Anziani did the spiritual thought. It was ‘The Restoration’. The spirit was so strong, it was one of the coolest things. When they got out the pamphlet, I was just like 'the Restoration on Christmas Day, like, what typical missionary mode!' haha but honestly, it was super awesome. I was basically shaking while I shared my testimony, cus I just felt the spirit like I hadn't for a while. (I had obviously felt the spirit and feel it frequently, but that strong.. it's been a while!) It was just awesome! The missionaries in this area are just absolute top notch. Then we headed to watch ‘Inside Out’, which was probably the strangest film I've seen in a while hahahaha .. maybe I wouldn't think it was so weird if I had seen normal films recently ..who knows. Haha, but it was cool! Then the other missionaries skyped while I emailed/ tried to catch-up on my journal and then we headed home. That was basically it. It doesn't sound like we did much, but it was an awesome relaxing day! :) B and A made me feel at home too. They are honestly the sweetest couple I've met here! They are just so pumped to help us in any way they can. I love them!
Christmas Day in Caserta

Boxing Day. We headed to the church to watch...... ‘Despicable Me’! I forgot how good it was. Love that film gosh! Anyways, after that, we hung out un po' .. then went for a walk, headed home and took a nap. A good long one. I won't say how long, but President said "appropriate activities" and "start working again at 18:00" .. sooooo, I think a good bit of rest is quite appropriate for two Sister Missionaries. Right? Anyway, after that.... We headed tooooooo the old L. That was a ball .. and we taught her how to pray. Then her son and his pal came and wanted to chat and they were all.. 'We are going to the cinema, wanna come with us' and so we explained how as missionaries we dedicate all of this time to the work of God.. Then they were all "So many rules! You can't do anything!" ... and we were like noooo!!! Then the son is like 'Can you look through telescopes?' and we were like 'yeah, on P’DAYS' and he was like 'Maybe we can all look at stars one day and eat a pizza together' ..totes trying to hook us up. Gosh it was hilarious! Anyways, we got to do a prayer and speak about why and how we pray. When I started praying, L repeated everything I said and I got so distracted, then she looked at Nelson and was like "devo ripetere" (do I need to repeat?) and she was like nope hahaha. They also thought we couldn't eat lemons cus we refused their lemon alcoholic drink... And they didn't let us explain that it was cus of the alcohol.. Anyways after that delightful experience, we headed home to organise rides for our investigators and less active members.

Domenica .. È stato davvero bellissimo oggi, mamma mia! So we headed straight to church. A little frustrated with a certain less active member who told us she'd come if we set up a lift for her... which we did, cus we love her and want to help her keep her baptismal covenant... but she ignored all our calls and so we had to call the awesome members who offered to take her not to worry. Anyways, we got to church... We only had sacrament meeting (I think it was like that throughout the stake.. Cus in the evening there was to be a fireside with Elder Dallin H Oaks.. He came to Rome!!!) I played the piano and the talks were all super awesome! AG did the first one, aimed at the children. They have a talk for kids every week and I think they do that throughout the stake.. Or maybe even throughout the world? I think it's an awesome idea. They do it so kids don't get bored and take something from the talks. She focused on making goals and aspiring. It was really motivational. She's so awesome! After that, the DR couple each did a talk. They're a sweet sweet newish couple in the ward and she's pregnant .. they're adorable. She spoke about the gospel and families and he spoke about being spiritually ready for the temple. It was just really awesome! Seeing that only one of our investigators came to church kind of disappointed us... but then we turned around and L (our sweet sweet young L) is basically fellow-shipping herself! Talking to everyone! She heard about the big convention they're holding for the YSA in Verona and spoke to Vescovo about it. He gave her permission to go. It is all super exciting with her! She's making friends in the church and just wants to make more. As Vescovo was going over conduct during the conference, she was totally like ‘Yeah, I do this anyways.’ She doesn't smoke or drink or have extra piercings. She is ALWAYS dressed modestly and she wants to invite us over for dinner at her house with her parents! Love her! After that, Vescovo asked me to give a talk (one aimed at kids) for the 10th January. He was pretty broad about the topic. He basically just wants it to cover one of the basics, e.g. prayer, faith, repentance etc.. to last 10 mins! Easy! Haha. We headed home to start our weekly planning session. It went well, but we didn't have much time; we had pranzo, took a nap (cus we had time and we are both like loving the nap time these days) haha. Obviously during our lunch though, they're not apostate naps. This was just a 20 min one. It was good. 

THEN we got a text from the Anziani saying 'call us asap' .. so we call and they tell us that last minute, Elder Oaks has decided to have a meeting JUST FOR THE ITALY ROME MISSIONARIES that would be broadcasted before the conference. Isn't that the coolest thing? He wanted to talk to the Italy Rome missionaries! So jel I wasn't in Rome, but it was so amazing nonetheless. We headed straight to church and got it up (broadcasted version obv) and it was so awesome. He and his wife were just top class. Here are the notes I took: (I hope they make sense to you) …
Make sure the members are doing their part. Keep all commandments; be willing to sacrifice and serve... Pay tithing!...

The story of the boy who was paralysed .. Basically about 7 years ago Elder Oaks was there with his wife.. (In Italy) and he saw a boy in a wheelchair.. Paralysed! He was speaking about promptings of the spirit. He said how he felt prompted that the boy needed a priesthood blessing and he needed it there and then. Anyways, they went and gave it him. He didn't know what to do or say, cus this boy couldn't see, feel, hear, speak etc. Anyways, he was prompted and did it anyway... Then the boy took a breath, the boy wasn't breathing! Isn't that like one of the most incredible things you've heard? No-one knew. He wasn't breathing. He was prompted, followed the prompting and with the living power of the priesthood, saved that boys life!

I will be responsible if I have not taught correctly the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Repentance precedes baptism. We don't expect everyone to be perfect, but what we do expect, which is stated in the scriptures, is that people repent. That means change. Don't hasten a baptism until you are sure that people are truly committed to change. 
You may not see them baptised, but if you put them on the right path that makes you a successful missionary.
Change is a challenge for all of us. Repentance is a continuing process. Just as it is a continual process, so is learning. We must have open ears and pray for new insights all of our life. 
You are not here to convert people to the church, but to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
People can be members of the church, without being converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ... What is really our purpose?
We carry strength from what we are doing right now.
Pen. Instrument in the hands of the Lord. Alma 17.
What does it mean to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord ....?
In order to... We have to be filled. STUDY. FUNCTION physically, mentally, spiritually, exercise. 
My message or the Lord’s message? What do I talk about? What do we do on p’day? Am I an instrument in the hands of the Lord 24/7?
I have to respond when the spirit wants me to speak or write.
Follow promptings and seek them on p’day too!!
I have learnt in my life that the Lord rarely shouts, he speaks in small whispers. Whispering of the spirit.
How do I tell the difference between whisper of the spirit and thought not of the spirit? The study of a lifetime.. If it's something I don't want to do, it's not likely that it's something originating from me...
Out of the ordinary or undesired..
Little things make the difference. Sister Oaks' experience where she saw a room full of people. She taught in Japan where she had served a mission years ago. She was able to see the fruits of her work; people who she taught, years later baptised. Testified of the good we do.
Make sure that others can see by my countenance that I have a message of truth that they need to know.
She felt prompted to invite us to ask Elder Oaks anything we felt prompted to ask, no-one asked anything and then Elder Oaks himself felt prompted to ask her how she knew the gospel was true.. cus she is a convert. We can change lives. She knows how it is to live with and without the gospel. Took herself to primary. Parents were less active. She knows the difference. 
This church is intended to provide ETERNAL LIFE IN THE CELESTIAL KINGDOM WITH GOD.
Matthew 28:
We are travelling under the direction of the apostles. 

After that, there was the fireside. That was also super awesome. It began with Presidente DF... We kinda missed that, cus of the technological problems. I'm sure it was good though. Then Sister Oaks spoke, about Elder Oaks and what it's like being married to an apostle and work ethic; then Elder Oaks spoke about a ton of this.. All doctrine! This is where I'm a little mad at myself, cus I never took notes for this. I just wanted to enjoy the moment. Problem with that though, is that I wasn't gifted with a great memory, so I remember next to nothing. I do remember him talking about the Book of Mormon, the temple; just super important stuff. I really did enjoy it and felt the spirit. I've learnt my lesson. TAKE NOTES! 

Then we had some cake that Vescovo brought. Chatted with some people, went home and finished planning. No lessons... Kinda sad, but it was just a very weird day! Awesome though, I loved it. Definitely spiritually uplifting.

A FUNNY STORY THAT HAPPENED IN THE NIGHT. so. I am fast asleep... Then I wake up, for some reason or another... and the room is just illuminous. There is a literal pillar of light hahahahaha, so I look around all confused, cus I can't figure out where it was coming from (and I just woke up) and it was Nelson’s lamp... but she was asleep... and it wasn't on when we went to sleep.... so I'm like what the freak....? I move around like kinda making noise to wake her up to turn it off hahaha, cus I was scared and too comfy to turn it off myself. Then, she starts speaking about one of our investigators... Like some kinda question she seemed to be asking me, then opens her eyes and looks directly at me as if she was expecting a response.. So I'm SUPER confused and on the edge of getting a bit creeped out. I'm all like "Are you talking to me????????" ..and she was like "Yes, I'm thinking about how we are gonna get L to church..." So I'm all "Why are you thinking about this?.....? and why is your light on????????" Kinda confused, tired and like what the heck..! and she is all 'It's time to be awake!' and I'm like "I don't think it is...? What!!! Why would you say that? Did your alarm go off?' and she's like 'I don't know, I don't think so' and she asked me what the time was and it was '01:57'; so I was like 'It's 2am!' and she's like 'Oh.' and I'm like 'Can you turn your light off?' and she did and we went to sleep. The best part about it was like 10 mins later she just busts out laughing and she’s all like 'I can't believe that happened. Can you? .....Sorel?' and I was like "uhhhhhhhhh" then she remembered like 2% of the situation and we just died of how hilarious and random it was!!!

Well I love you all. The gospel is true. It was so so good to be in then mission during this time of year, able to speak about Christ, to all!

You're the best! Can't believe my flight home is booked already. Crazy!
Baci e abbracci xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Week 2 of the fortnight:
Lunedì .. Today was awesome; we didn't do spesa, so had the whole day (up until 6) to P’day it up! We headed straight to the Reggia with our bikes. It was BEAUTIFULLLLLLL. Like, when I go back with my family, we are going there for sure. So so so beautiful! After that, we went s h o p p i n g! That was fun, but no saldi yet... I got some boots and they're cute little ankle ones, brown. Love them! Got 2 tops too and 2 necklaces. We are gonna go back next week though, cus there is a HUGE sale. After, we emailed! Then saw the G’s. Sweeeeeet family. We are trying to help them prepare for the temple. After that, we made calls :) 

Martedì .. (Pranzo entry) Those who have served missions would know that when missionaries are close to the end, they follow a program famously known as '6 months til sexy'. Well, clearly I missed the notice.. or just couldn't be bothered with it all (the latter is more fitting), but now; since I have 6 weeks left and it's the new year, so we've gotta make some resolutions and the members have given us a ton of junk food, which I can't not eat... I better start something! So, I've given it a lot of thought and figured that we don't need a 6 month programme for that, but that 6 weeks will do the trick. ANYWAY, with that being said, we got our sleepy little bodies up as 6:30, said our morning prayers, put our trainers on, shorts and knee socks (I don't have joggers) and headed out for a run. Approximately 15 seconds into our run, I hear my companion screaming her little head off and going slightly off track (into the road)... so I'm like freaking out, cus it was dark and didn't see anything and then her scream was followed by a tiny scream.... coming from the giant rat, which was trying to escape our giant human running feet! I nearly peed myself and also went off track (into the road). Nobody died. It was a really good run after that and we felt so good; had a good egg or two for breakfast and then studied (all this obviously after showering). My study was so awesome. I read a great talk about the priesthood, which helped my understanding and appreciation increase to a whole new level. The talk was given by Robert D Hales in October 1995. It was called ‘Blessings of the Priesthood’. The day began and we headed to see a less active, who wasn't in.. so we headed in the opposite direction to pop into G’s shop. On our way, there was a guy who was hanging outside his Suit and Shirt shop and just asked us who we were and what we were doing here. We spoke to him for a while about our purpose etc, then we spoke about how we spent Christmas. He told us he spent it with his family (wife and 18 month old son) and then we were just like awwww. Then he invited us into his shop and showed us pics of his beautiful little baby boy! We spoke more with him about religion and the wrong things that exist in the world.. It was cool. He seemed abbastanza interested, said he would read the Restoration pamphlet and then offered us something from the bar next door. Awkward moment hahahah, but it was cool, so pleaseeee pray for A! He was awesome and maybe I can get some nice bargains on ties if he sells them (for the men in my life e.g. Dad and Ammon hahahahaha). After that, we headed to church for a lesson with G. He smokes and once before when he was investigating, he received a priesthood blessing and he stopped for 7 months, but then started again as a social thing, so obviously we are wanting to help him be ready for his baptism and by doing that we need to help him stop, which I really think won't be a super difficult problem for either of us. His desire is grande. He asked in the lesson for a blessing from the Anziani, as he already has a testimony that the priesthood power is real and he's experienced the blessings of it already, so we called them and they organised it between themselves. The Anziani will go to his house at 5 this evening. He even wants to see if his son will accept a blessing :) ahhhhh he's so awesome! After him, L came with the money for the convention, so we just went over a few standards with her, which she basically knew anyways. She's just literally the best. Funny story. On the way home, Sorella Nelson stopped this little old man who was getting his money out of the hole in the wall and she was all stood by him and said "buingiorno!!!!!!" Then stood waiting for his reply... Until he turned around, looked at her and she realised it wasn't who she thought it was hahahaha. Gosh! Then she tried unlocking the neighbours door thinking it was ours … it was an awesome morning! Anyways, we had pranzo, then studied,  thennnn made some calls... Then left the house.. everyone we had planned on seeing just weren't there... Sad times! So we went to pass by G and she was awesome. We wanted to originally share The Restoration, but we felt Mountains to Climb seemed fitting. She loved it. She was crying and just agreed with everything. She was super grateful for our visit. After, we bore our testimonies of Christ and how his gospel helps us face these challenges of life. She was just awesome. After her, more bidones. Figured we'd pop into the shop that a really cool guy owns to see if we could have got a lesson in, but it actually turned out to be a cool conversation with both him and his daughter. His daughter didn't quite understand our purpose and was trying to set us up with her brother, showing us pictures of him etc hahahah funny girl, but her dad really understood our purpose and was super respectful. We’ll pop in to get 'something' again during the week and try and teach him! Oh, also as we were talking, all the lights went out. There was a power cut hahahahah, so we were stood in this pitch black shop. Anyways, after that, we felt like we should pay a visit to A and G who live above us. We went and they let us in (we met them for the first time when we popped in to introduce ourselves with cookies), then for Christmas, we had wrapped a Book of Mormon and gifted it to them. We went and chatted for a bit, then A (the mom) received a call and had to leave, so we got to know G a bit better. Well, we ended up doing The Restoration lesson with her and it was awesome! It went really well and she is super excited to read the Book of Mormon. She told us that she is catholic, but not practising and that basically she doesn't believe in Saints and stuff like that, so she's on the right track haha.. but really, she is so awesome and we were so excited after! We got home, but couldn't scream or shout or express our joy super well, cus she literally lives above us and she would have heard and I don't know about you, but that would have weirded me out..haha. Anyways, after that we did some area book work, then planned. The Anziani called to let us know how the blessing went and it went so so well and now I'm about to get in my bed.... 5 mins early!

Happy points of the day:
Anziani on bikes at train station. Not seen missionaries look like missionaries for a while! It was a good sight!
G’s prayer asking for help to quit smoking.

Mercoledì ... Woke up. RAN. Yes, we mean it when we say 6 weeks to sexy hahahaha. It’s cool, cus since being on the mission I've lost weight anyway. Must be all the walking around, cus it certainly isn't all the pasta! The run was great. We headed home, got ready for the day and headed to Napoli for district meeting. Well, travelling on the way to Napoli we had a cool experience. We noticed a group of people speaking some English/Italian and another language we couldn't quite point out.. so we asked them where they were from and they were Hungarian. Super cool! Anyway, we get talking and 100%; as it happens, the conversation turns to us and what we're doing here, so we tell them and they ask where we are from and one of the guys is like 'I studied in Birmingham at the Aston University’ and went on about how impressed he was by it. He was super excited that I was from Birmingham and we spoke a bit about what we miss about the city haha. Anyways, we speak about a ton of things on the way...then as we said goodbye, we left him with a card.. He honestly seemed so cool and open! Then he was like 'Hey, I will be in Birmingham at the town hall for my graduation, can we meet for that?' So I was just like ‘Yes’! Tell me when you are there etc etc, so we will see if he messages us on the mission phone, cus that's all we gave him! He literally seemed so cool. If ever I get in contact with him I'd totes bring the missionaries with me hahah. So cool. Anyways, district meeting was really good. It was different to usual. Anziano Borden is our district leader and he's a good one. We began talking about what stood out to us in the Elder Oaks conference, then, he started the addestramento with the verses in Abraham 4: 1-5 about the creation and basically likened the '6 parts of the creation' unto missionary work. Today we did the first part ('lesson 0') or 'How to begin teaching'. He bore powerful testimony throughout. We watched an episode from the district and pointed out the points they used and discussed it, then basically shortens the how to begin teaching points into our own words and discussed each one, and its importance etc. Then, we did a role play which was actually fun. He said it would be fun and I was just thinking 'Whatever .. role plays are the worst, they're never fun, he's crazy!' but it was cool. He was the investigator and he had a chair in front of him and each of us in the district took turns with each point. It was amazingggg. Then we went to get 'the best Napoli pizza', which was actually really really good. Me and Nelson shared half, cus we are on an exercise / waning what we eat / still keeping the Italy Rome food traditions plan... if that makes sense. The district is awesome! It's pretty big. We have 4 Castellamare Anziani (McKenna, De Feo, Blaylock & Battaglia.. Then there's 4 in Napoli (Anziani .. Coe, Freidman, Pace and Rosenburg) then us Caserta missionaries. Anziano Coe was telling me about how he went to Castellamare to interview the daughter of someone who knows me (Sarah ... was Grice) who will be getting baptised. They LOVE the family. Always saying how awesome Sarah is! The Anziani told me that Sarah was like 'Do you know Ashleigh?' and they were like 'Whaaaat?' Haha then she explained and they realised what a small world it is. Anyways, we headed back. There were some creeps on the train who were high as a kite, but there was also a sweet old lady who just made us feel better. My mind went into emergency mode, like making all these plans if they got off at our stop, but there was no such scenario. MENOMALE! Then we got to Caserta. Ate fruit! I ate Lycee (?) for the 1st time.. From Madagascar. They were lush! Anyways, after we walked so so so so soooooo much, oh my goodness. Just to receive a bunch of bidones again. Just was one of those days. However, we got to see M and then A and K. M, mamma Mia. Anyway... We walked for what seemed miles to find another one of her daughters.... Went to the wrong house, this sweet sweet couple answered and were really confused, cus we asked for 'E' and that was her name, but not who we were looking for hahaha. It was kinda awkward! Then we walked some more, got a gelato to go, cus we had 0 energy at this point. There's a reaaaaaally good one I'd compare with Sicily here, so the Ferrero Rocher is next level stuff. Then we saw A and K and spoke about the Book of Mormon.  Our creep radar only kicked in once today while we were travelling back from Napoli when two men who were high as kites tried figuring out where we were from and where we were living here. We both went into emergency mode discussing ways to escape if they tried following us! HahHah. Highlight. 

Giovedì .. Today we did cardio indoors/on the balcony. I studied a lot on tThe Restoration and the Priesthood really struck me again and I reflected and realised that I need to emphasise more while teaching The Restoration and the Priesthood, so I made it a goal. I am also currently reading in Alma around 17-20 chapters about Ammon, so I always have fun relaying that to Nelson in comp study! After that, we tried popping into A. Non c'era. After that, while walking to our next appointment we saw A outside his shop and he offered us a pizza at like 11am .. only in Italy! Then we went to old L. SO AWESOME. well, kinda. To start with, she was cooking and we were like ughhhh we planned a great restoration lesson... How are we ever gonna teach it, but in the end we were just super bold and told her that that was what we wanted to do. First Sorella Nelson prayed and L copied everything. Then we stopped.. told her again that she just needs to listen.. Then started from the top! After that, we started The Restoration. She listened for about 4 minutes while we made our speak about the priesthood and how it's necessary for a church to be the true church of Christ and how only this church has it.. then we went into the ministry of Christ, the Great Apostasy, then the Restoration. L has some hearing problems, so she is very specific in our tone and how we must pronounce every single letter accented. So, as Nelson quotes The First Vision, I'm like acting it out just to be sure she understands and Sorella Nelson is trying not to laugh.. I didn't even realise she could see me, but like, L struggles to understand and like, I mean visuals work for me? Haha After L, we headed home, had a good pranzo and a nap. So good. I'm gonna miss pranzo naps! After that, we headed straight over to V and her family. She had prepared food and oh my gosh. I have never eaten so many sandwiches in my life! All these different types of fish. I am pretty good with fish these days. I certainly eat stuff you wouldn't have caught me eating before the mission haha. Crazyyyy, but it was good. Then we had decided to share the message of The Restoration. IT WAS GO GOOD! The whole family was there! Her husband, 2 daughters and mom and grandma. A perfect little family! The spirit was super forte and it was just incredible. We testified. Focused on the importance of the priesthood power, on the fact that this is the church of Christ, restored through the power of God. We testified of the Book of Mormon, ahh it was awesome! Then the dad dropped us off at the station to go to Gricignano (dinner appointment with B and A). Waiting at the station on New Year's Eve is just how you expect it, even if it was only like 6pm. Crazy drunk weird people. This one man was right in my face asking me 'cosa vuoi?!' (What do you want?) and so I was like 'un po' di spazio' (a bit of space) hahahahah what a weirdo!!.. Like, he was the one who came in my face hahah. Anyways, this other guy tried chatting us up and failed obviously. Then this crazy crazy came into the station with 2 dogs and a cat on leads! The cat was sat on the top of the guy’s bag, which was on his back. It wasn't half a scene. It was just crazy. Finally our train came and we got on it.. Got to Gricignano and A picked us up :) It was a really awesome night. We ate fish tacos, salad with lime dressing then an ice lol. It was just an awesome evening. They are a super great couple! Then we headed back, planned and tried to go to bed. The fireworks were CRAZY LOUD. We live right in the centre. Super close to the church and opposite our house is a park, so the fireworks were crazy. There are also these weird things the teenagers use which sound like bombs and shake the whole house haha, so we woke up and just watched them all. I took some videos too! Then that was our day!

Venerdì ... We went for our usual morning run again, people were still out, everywhere, at the kebab shop, cafes ecc. All drunk as heck, but we were running, so it was cool. Then got home and studied.. then deep cleaned the house, which, as usual leads us to 6pm. After that, we had to weekly plan, which lead us up to 9pm .. Then we daily planned. That was the essence of our day. If I wouldn't have had a companion as awesome and fun as the one I have, it would have sucked, but we really get on and it was a fun day! Just one of those that have to be done!

Sabato .. I actually had a real good study today. I always find myself finding things that I need to work on. Sometimes it's tiring, but it is humbling and we all need that. Something I've learnt in the mission is the absolute need each of us have for a Saviour and Loving Father in Heaven. Before I came out here, I knew I had a ways to go, but I thought I had it. Typical teenager. We all have faults, but isn't that part of our personality? Or so we think, pretty often, at least me. In the mission I've learnt that it actually isn't. We have faults as trials, as obstacles for us to overcome. I have a ton and I feel that I'll be overcoming one after another for the rest of my life. I was talking about that yesterday with my wonderful companion. That's the whole point in us being here.. to grow, to learn, but above all else to learn how to rely on our Saviour. To humble ourselves before our God; who wants to help us reach our full potential, which, with our faults, isn't possible. Even small little faults we have, we have in order to grow. I feel that as I'm working on one, during my studies, something else shouts out to me, brings to my knowledge that I need to change, but that's a good thing. I said it’s tiring, cus it is, we are human, but you know, when we see our faults, that's the 1st step to repentance. I always thought that repentance was really only for people who do bigger things, but how wrong was I. I have had some incredible companions on my mission who are some of the most humble, holy people I've met. They, are those who have taught me what repentance is. I've wished and hoped to be like them one day and still do, but as I reflect on the difference between me and them, they notice all of these little things. Something that I'm learning now, so whenever something comes up, or nudges me and prompts me to change, I shouldn't feel that I suck. We all have our weaknesses, but when we recognise them, it's the first step to change. How grateful I am that we can change. I'm not a super different person as to the person I was when I left, but my understanding, appreciation and knowledge of the gospel is different. It's not perfect and never will be, not during this earth life at least, but it's a process. A process of change and it's just so incredible that each of us can change! I know that Jesus Christ is our Saviour and that God is our loving Heavenly Father. Because of them, we can change. Change for the good, as Elpheba and Galinda would say and that is the best! Anyway, that is my spiritual thought of the week :) 

After our studies, we headed straight to the church for a lesson with G. R came too! Member present .. it was super cool. We read in Nephi about Lehi’s vision and discussed it together. After G, we went to see G and then A. We weren't convinced that he had read the pamphlet though, so that was disappointing.. Anyhuu. After that, we did some finding. Found this awesome family where the mother had learnt about our church years back, so we are hoping to see them soonish! After that, we came home for lunch and it was super good. I can made fresh pasta now and Fufu.. Haha and that's it; but I'm super good at 'using what we have' and making it good, so don't you worry! Oh, I also have the recipe of the best Lasagne I have ever eaten! Mm! After that, we studied, then headed to Capoa for a lesson with V. He is so so awesome. We met at the café and this time I got the hazelnut hot choc. I literally love hazelnuts. I could sit and eat them all day; that and pistachio. So good! Then we had missed our train and so we did some English course advertising there since the new zone goal is based on that.. Since most of our work comes from students that come to English course! Went well. There are some places here in Italy with grand pianos just in the middle of the street. It's so amazing, so we used that as a finding technique.

We got to talk a bit to the little girl and her father in the video. It was awesome. Then we did some preparation for the next day (we were asked to teach the youth Sunday school and organise the music). That was basically our day!

Domenica .. Church was awesome! Fast and testimony meeting is always my fave! There were some awesome awesome testimonies shared! It's so cool to think that it's the same throughout the church all over the world! I had to chorister and got so nervous, as I felt I was the only one singing hahaha. They are so quiet! Then the youth lesson went so so well! I had never seen the new manuals that they use for the youth! It's different, but I really like it! We did the January Godhead section all about teaching others the gospel. It went really well. It was weird though, cus we did it in both languages, cus there's a good mix in the youth! After that, I translated Relief Society. I found it easier, but I still struggle with listening, understanding, translating and talking it all at the same time. I can do it all like individually, but when you gotta do all of those things at once, it's a struggle Hahahah. It went well though and I did a better job than last time. After that, we went home and had a long nap since we were fasting! Didn't have to make food. It was bliss! Then we did some finding. After that, we went to A and K. They made us fufu with dry fish and 'cow' meat soup, then after that we watched The Restoration together :) then we went to see the DG couple who are actually from Pismo Beach and know the Gilstraps, Prawitts and Mankins! They're a sweet sweet couple and we wanna work with them. They are just planning on living here for a year and a bit. It was a nice evening. We helped them know what there is to do here, how to get around etc, and then left them with a small spiritual thought. They were both so so grateful for our visit :) After that, we headed homeeeee, planneddddd and ate chips (like the type you put in the oven) I still call crisps, crisps. Don't worry! For some reason I just feel the need to clarify. Although in saying that, my comp calls them crisps now ..and she calls jumpers, jumpers haha. 

Well, that was my week. I realised today that it was my last official fast and testimony meeting as a missionary in Italy. That is so sad! Italian testimony meetings are awesome! I cannot believe my time is coming to an end. Every time someone has reminded me of that, I've just shunned them haha "Noooo, I have ages!" but it's hitting me now and it's a good thing, because I am able to reflect back on what I have done and what I still need to do here before I leave. I love this country so much! The people here are so so special. This is the work of the Lord. I am so grateful to be a part of it. 

I LOVE YOU AMD MISS YOU ALL. Tell me how you spent NEW YEARS?

Anyways, vi amo così tanto.
Baci e abbracci,

La tua missionaria, Sorella Robertson xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox