Thursday, October 23, 2014

70 Peeps = 1 Gelato

Ciao Ciao Ciao Ciao.

WAADDDDUP. hi like it is always Wednesday i feel. Always time to do this weekly email. Like the time is just FLYIN on by i cannot even believe it. I am mad because I forgot my little sticky note of all the things I wanted to tell you all this week...but its okay I have a pretty stellar memory! Also we had to go to a semi-sketchy internet point for emailing today so I am going to err on the side of caution by not plugging my little picture thing into the computer...i dont want no virus! I am sorry but no pics this week, which is too bad because i have some pretttttty good ones, i guess you will all just have to wait til next week, i know it will be hard but sometiems life is that way!! haha

So i have gotten a few questions in the emails the last few times so I figured that i would start by answering them! So our home is just this largish apartment building sort of near the train station. It is like the ugliest building on the outside, but the view is really nice and our actual apartment is pretty cute! It is pretty small, we just have a kitchen and a bed room and a bathroom and a where our desks pretty much just your basic rooms! it is nice though and it feels like home now. ha i do really miss carpet though. you gotta allllllways wear socks or your feet just freeze to death in like one second.

My beautiful trainer, Sorella Woods is wonderful! She is my mom, as they call it in the mission. Your trainer is your mom. ha She and I still get along very well and we work really hard, well this week we tried really hard to work harder. We kind of were going through this weird slump time where we could have been doing better and we realized that and were like, kay this is dumb, we gotta GO HARD. sooooooo then we made some goals and are just going really hard because guess what? that is why we are here, believe it or not! We are here to talk and to teach and to just give it everything we have. We have this thing where we come up with a hashtag of the day that will like push us...for example some of them have been #wesharebecausewecare #talktilyoudrop #dontthinkjustspeak#findtheone...and so on. it is silly but it is fun and keeps us motivated! Sorella woods is really good at giving me opportunities to talk and really pushing me. This has helped my lang skills for sure, and she is really good about correcting my grammar and such with love and just really builds me up with words of encouragement, which is great because i really need that!

One of our goals we set was we have to talk to 70 people before we can get gelato again. And its not just saying hi to someone it is actually having a real gospel convo with them! It is a lot of people before gelato and we reallllllllly want gelato so it is a good motivation to just be a forever finder and talk to ALL. it has really helped me in getting over my fear of opening my mouth and just not caring about what people are going to think or say! Goals are the bomb. they really help you stay focused and have something to push you! otherwise you are just wandering around without much purpose.

The work here is really slow, as far as we don't have very many investigators that we are teaching...which has been a little hard! But we are trying to talk and find and have the faith that Heavenly Father is preparing someone here for us to find! I REALLY feel like He is, i actually know that He is, we just gotta be patient! This week was a good one as far as just re-committing ourselves to our purpose and just doing what we came here to do. There was one day where I was like just thinking about alllllll of the things that I do not know, it is soooo much! there is just so much to learn and to do as a missionary, i really had no idea! It is crazy and overwhelming at times but then I read the classic scripture about line upon line, small and simple things...and i realized that i just gotta chill out a bit. I have been here for almost one transfer and I have lots more to go! I have plenty of time to learn! As long as i am focused and really trying to improve each day...i will eventually become the missionary that Heavenly Father knows I can be. I know that. We cannot expect to climb Mount Everest in one hour! it takes time. Its a struggle, but we NEED to learn to embrace and be grateful for the struggle. It has been the craziest whirlwind time, this first transfer! but holy cow i have already learned and grown so much. I know that this is exactly where i am needed, and I am going to do all i can with my portion of The Lords vineyard that he has entrusted me!

BIG NEWS. I had my first real life Italian, homemade lasagna and pizza this week and HOLY COW. i cannot even tell you, it was the most amazing experience ever. LIKE IT WAS SO GOOD. i have never tasted anything so delish...sorry mom, it was better than your lasagna! We went to a members house for the first time to eat and it just ruled. They are The Durante family and they are just the best. They love us sooooo much and have a daughter serving in Paris. They told us that we are coming to their house for Christmas, so that was great! They are wonderful people! The dad i cannot remember his name but his only goal is pretty much to get me fat...haha he was just trying to make me eat more and more and wants me to be a...big he called it. HA Italians are so funny.

We had a really cool thing happen this week! Our investigator, O., set us up with a really cool service opportunity. It is pretty much just like a soup kitchen place for homeless people and they serve dinner every night! It is sooooo cool. It is through a Catholic church and the people that volunteer there are all super nice! We went there and it was just really cool because everyone was super welcoming and kind to us and we even had some chances to talk about our church. They were all just curious why we were there and asked us lots of questions! So yeah, it is a really neat opportunity and we are really stoked about it!

This week was all around a really good one! We are working really hard and really trying to just keep the faith and continue forward! Press onward and upward, one day at a time! i love you all so much and I am so grateful for all the love and support! KEEP IT UP AND REMEMBER WHAT IS IMPORTANT IN LIFE.

Buona Settimana!
Ti Voglio Bene!
Sorella Burt

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Jus livin the life...‏


I just want to start out by saying that this week was 100X beter than last week. Like seriously, i am very sorry for all the whiny emails that I sent last week. It was just a rough time. Sometimes things are hard and you just have to let it all out on email! But i guess now you know that i will tell you exactly what I am feeling and exactly how things are going, so that is good i guess! after i finished emailing i was like...kay that was dumb! i am a missionary and i am stronger than this! i can handle this, snap out of it! haha so yeah after i cried a little, i just decided that I was being really dumb and i needed to quit it!
My artistic side.
I just really learned so much this week, it is hard to explain it all. First and foremost I learned that this is not about me. Last week I really realized that I was just way too focused on myself. I dont know the language. I miss my family. I dont know how to be a missionary. I, I, I....that was all i could think about, myself! But guess what, this is not about me at all! This week i just really tried to focus myself outwards and on the needs of others, and just tried to refocus myself on my purpose here! I am here to help others. I read this really bomb talk in an oldish Ensign entitled, Called of Him to Declare His is by Randy D. Funk, and it was the exact thing i needed to read this week, an exact answer to my prayers! It just talks a lot about how if we prepare ourselves the very best we can by being humble, obedient, and giving ourselves to the service of others, The Lord will magnify our efforts! I just loved that. If i do my part to be obedient and constantly seek to be humble and submit to the will of The Father, he will magnify my abilities! I have so many weaknesses, but this week as i tried to not focus on those weeknesses, but rather on the needs of others, i felt much happier! I know that through my faith and my obedience, The Lord will make my weaknesses into strengths. He knows exactly what i need and He will help to magnify my abilities to bless others!
On top of the Duomo!
I also realllllly love Mosiah 8:18, it talks about how God has provided a way that through faith we can work miracles and be a benefit to those around us! last week i was feeling a lot like I am not really being of help to anyone, how can just one little person make a difference? but this scripture really brought me comfort. I know that God has prepared a way for me to make a difference, through my talents and ablilites! i know that to be true, and as i have been really trying to focus on taking it one day at a time and turning my thoughts outward, i know that i will fulfill my purpose here. Oh man, i am just so grateful for the things i am learning here!

The Duomo in Milan.
It is crazy that tomorrow i will have been here for 4 weeks, pretty much exactly one month! I am loving it even more and more every day.

This week was the first week that I actually was able to see my improvement in Italian. I was actually able to see that i am learning and I am making improvement! That is a really big step for me because this whole time i have just been really down on myself and not feeling like i am making improvement, but this week i really feel like i am, and that is such a blessing! i had several Italians tell me that my Italian is really good for only being here for 3 weeks, ah that felt soooooo good and just boosted my confidence SO much. i really am getting better and I can see that The Lord is helping me. This week i finally understood what the Gift of Tongues is...i have always heard that but not really understood what it meant, but this week i have truly seen it work in my abilities. As I strive to do my part, The Lord gives me divine power to learn and to communicate. It is truly incredible.
Yep, I'm happy.
So last week I said that we got 2 bap dates...but unfortunately that family that we have been visiting don't actually live in our area! it was a huge bummer and a little embarassing when we found out that we had been going out of our area! haha no one told us!! haha but yeah so we had to pass them onto some other missionaries that we are really hoping will be able to work with them and get them baptized! We did have a cool thing happen this week...we found this lady named O. in the Area book that is an ex-simp and we went and had a visit with her. she is SOOO kind and very open and willing! We taught her the restoration, it was actually our first real time teaching the full restoration to an investigator, and it went really well! I was able to remember things and the spirit was really strong. We are really hoping that that will go somewhere!

OHHHHHH man, hi this week i made the BEST PUMPKIN BREAD EVER. it was with fresh pumpkin and Italian chocolate...ooooooo. SO good. i cannot even explain. We ate way tooo much, but oh well! It was BALLER.

It rained A TON this week! like crazy amounts! luckily I have un umbrella and a rain coat! Sorella woods let me borrow some extra boots, so it was all good, but seriously crazy storms this week!
It was overall just a really great week and we have some solid goals for making next week even better! the main one is jsut talking to more people....that is my biggest struggle!i just get scared, but i am really trying to get over that, it is just hard! but its the biggest part of this, that is why we are here to talk to people! i just think to much and it is just a strugg, but that is my goal for this week!
I love you all very much and i hope that you all have a wonderful week! you are all in myprayers! i am really sorry if i dont have time to write you all individually but i am really grateful for your emails!! they mean the world. i sent yall a letter in the mail last week, so be looking for that! Have another good week and never forget that I LOVE YOU!!!!

Ti Voglio Bene,
Sorella Burt

The view from our apartment.

Our desks and study area.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Week Threeeeeeeeee‏

heeeeey allllllll!

Week three is over and done out here in Pavia! It has been a pretty interesting week and I have learned a lot of very valuable lessons, not really in the ways that I thought I would! The work here is hard. Our first two weeks were relatively easy as far as work goes, but these last couple days everything has definitely gotten a lot harder. We are just struggling getting any appointments with our investigators and everyone keeps cancelling which has been hard. But I guess that is what pink washing is all about! Also it seems like nobody will listen to us and we have just gotten a ton of rejection, which is of course a huge part of missionary work, but this is the first week that the rejection and the hardness of this work has hit us full force. We are staying positive though and still trying to work very hard to find new people to teach and to try and help the investigators that we do have make some progress.

Everyone in our ward went to the temple this week too, so that has been kind of hard as far as not really having any opportunity to get referrals or meet with the members. We are still kind of in the newbie stage where we are just trying to figure out who everyone is and what we have to work with! It is hard but it is okkkkkay! President challenged us to have a 21 lesson week this week, which we are really trying to do-it just might be difficult if no one will let us visit them! haha

Buuuuut, on a good note, we set two baptism dates this week! So that is super exciting! It was with that cute family that I talked about before, B. and her son D. We taught them the restoration and invited them to be baptized on November 15th and the accepted! It was really neat and they are just really sweet. It is a little hard to figure our how much they understand what we are teaching though. They speak English but for some reason they have a hard time understand our English! We are going to have to take it very slow, just to make sure they understand what we are teaching! That family is a definite miracle though, I really hope that they continue to progress. They are going to come to church on Sunday, so that should be really great!

So probably the worst day of this week was Conference Sunday...sad, I know. Conference was just a really big struggle, and I will tell you why! So we went to Milano on Saturday night to watch the Saturday morning session and everything went great with that, I loved it SO much. like it was ridiculous I never wanted it to end! but the people in Milano told us that they were only showing one of the sessions on Sunday. So on Sunday Sorella Woods and I were able watch the Womens session at the church but when we went back to the church to try and watch the next session we could not watch it because the members were using the computer! so then we were going to catch a train to watch it in a different town but all of the trains were like 3 hours late so then we just went back to the church and watched it but the internet is suuuuuuuper terrible and so it paused like every 2 minutes. and then we missed our bus and had to walk home! It was a really hard day and we only ended up being able to watch 2 of the sessions..buuuuuuuut i did learn that i am really grateful for America and how easy it is to watch conference there! I did love the sessions that I was able to watch though.

I had prepared a few questions that I really wanted to receive answers to and I really felt like so many of the talks were direct answers to my questions. The overall reaching thing that learned was what It means and the importance of becoming more Christlike. This was a really hard week for me in many aspects, but I learned how much i just really need to forget myself and serve as Christ served. This is His work and I am His servant. I learned a lot of ways that I can do this and I am really excited to put them into practice. I know that this is where I am supposed to be and I know that even though it is really hard right now and I really miss home and I really don't know anything about what it means to be a good missionary...I know that My Heavenly Father LOVES me individually and that he will never leave me alone. He knows my desires and he knows that I am trying. I really did love the things that I got out of conference and I really hope that we get to see the other sessions sometime! be grateful for your television everybody :)
Two months in!
My companion Sorella Woods is the actual best human. I love her so very much and she is the perfect companion for me! She just supports and helps me in all aspects of this missionary life and I am so very grateful to her! Last pday we went Milano and went on top of the Duomo so that was super fun! I will send you all some pics! This week I hit my 2 month mark in the mission so that was pretty exciting! it is crazy that i only have 16 left! time is gonna flyyyyyy! I am really grateful to be here though! I love this place more and more every single day! also it has been raining a lot lately, so that has been wonderful!! I know that my Heavenly Father loves me and has a wonderful plan for me! I hope that you are all doing well and I continue to pray for you every day! sorry that this email is kind of sucky, but it kind of reflects my week! haha i am happy though so don't worry at all! have a good one! Buon Giorno!

Sorella Burt

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Arrival In Italy (pics from the Mission Blog)

Here are some fun pictures from the mission office of the new missionaries arriving in Italy.

Collecting baggage at the airport after arrival.

All the new missionaries that arrived in September.

Hurrah for Italy (and Israel)!

First day finding on the train.

Giving his information to the missionaries.

Leaving the train station to do more contacting in the plaza.
7 of the 9 new sisters ready to go.
Finding in the plaza.

The 9 new sorelle at the Duomo with Sorella Dibb.

At the subway station.

The September 2014 group.

Dinner at last...tired but hungry!

The trainees and trainers waiting with anticipation to see who they're companions will be.

Instruction with trainers and trainees now together.

A few weeks after arriving the new missionaries and their trainers got back together for some more training.

Sorella Burt telling about her new companion.

11 of the new missionaries and their trainers.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Party Time Pavia

Buon Giorno!

Holy cow it is completely crazy that it is time again to write this email! That was like the fastest week of my life. The days go by so fast, it is a little freaky! People are tellling the truth when they say that missions go by fast! This is literally going to be over before i know it! Well it was another wonderful week here in Pavia! We saw some miracles and had some really awesome experiences! I will do my best to lay down the best details of the week! I just want you all to know alllll the details but i guess that is not really possible!
Study time in the apartment.
So last Wednesday i went on my first scambio...or like exchange. I went to one of the areas in Milan with one of the sister trainer leaders-Sorella Smart. I was definitely a little bit nervous before hand because I didnt really know what to expect or how it was going to go down. But it ended up being really awesome! sorella smart is like the coolest human, she is from draper and we just got along really well! We had a bunch of appointments set up for the day and every single one fell through, so that was a bummer. But we learned the importance of good planning and having back up plans! We did get to teach one lesson to these two super cute girls that cant get baptized because their mom wont let them! super sad. but it was a good lesson and i felt like i was able to communicate a solid  testimony and some good thoughts. The scambio was a really good experience and it was cool to see how someone else does work.
Sorella Woods and I on the bus.
This week we also had another Mostra, trying to get people to come to our big Ward Conference. We were outside for another 8 hours handing out fliers and trying to talk to people, and it wasnt that huge of a success, unfortunately. we thought it was a waste of time UNITL, we found a golden family. They are sooooo cool! We taught them a little lesson (in English) and got their information and set up an appointment! They are the sweetest little family and It was such a huge miracle that we found them! We are meeting with them this week so that should be really great! Alsoooooo we ran into a guy named L. but anyways we had met this guy at last weeks Mostra and got his information and stuff but he hadn't answered our calls all week long. But then he just walked right past us and we were able to talk to him and he said that he just was super busy but he still wants to meet with us! It was such a miracle that he just happened to walk past us! ah. so neat. And get this, he even came to church! YAY.

So Ward was supposed to be this huge deal, a big missionary tool where everyone invites their friends and tons of new people were supposed to come. We had a table full of book of mormons to hand out and everyone was just amped....and then literally like no body came. It was soooo sad. The only one that came was L. but he didn't even stay for sacrament! It was really a bummer, but oh well we tried really hard! The mission president was even there! it was a great meeting though! I helped the primary with a wonderful musical number, We'll Bring the World His Truth, the missionaries sang with them and I played the piano and it was super powerful! i loved it. everyone is soooo grateful that i play the piano!
I got my first SIG ring.
This week we went to Milano for a New Missionary Training with the mission president and it was super awesome! I learned so much and just had a renewed vision for what this is all about and the importance of just talking to everyone. It was fun to see some of my MTC friends and we all got our own box of pizza! thats how they do it here, you just eat an entire pizza by yourself and its totally okay/expected! haha so funny. I got a letter from dad and Hailey so that was a wonderful surpirse! thank you very much!

One other miracle that we had was the other night after we had tried to contact this family that we had found, but they didnt answer their door. We had gotten back on the bus and were heading back and this suuuuuper creepy guy started talking to us. like super creepy. he wanted us to go get drinks with him and yikes it was bad. we tried to talk to him about Christ and then he left us alone! but this other guy came up to us and was like, are you talking about Jesus? i am interested! and we were like...ohhhhhkay cool! so we started telling him all about the restoration and everything...this was in English by the way, there are a lot of English speakers here, like Africans,. anways he was golden! he ate it up and even told us that he has been looking for a restoration of the spirit in his life! aah it was so cool! we prayed with him and got his info and it was such a miracle!!

It was a good week and i just really feel like I am learning so much every day! I feel like a kindergartener, having to start at the very beginning! but it is great. I love learning and i just have to remind myself daily that I have only been here for 2 weeks...i got a long way to go and soooo much to learn! i love being here and I love being a missionary! It is such an amazing work and such an incredible opportunity to just be able to give everything that I have to The Lord! what a blessing!

I am SOOOOO stoked for General Conference this week! we have to go to Milano to watch it, but its gonna rule! i love you all and I thank you again for your continued support! oh also, I need some pictures of the fam for these family books that we are supposed to make, so if you could send some in the mail, that would rule! kay kay i love you all and i hope that you have a wonderful week! remember to humble yourselves each day and look for The Lords hand in your life in every moment! You all rule and I pray for you daily!

Sorella Burt

Our nice kitchen.