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