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