Friday, December 26, 2014

Buon Natale


Due to the fact that i will be seeing all of your beautiful faces via Skype TOMORROW and we will probs talk about lots of stuff then, I am not sure how great this email will be! But i will do my best to recap my week #sostoked
Christmas in Trieste!
My first full week in Trieste was a little bit of a roller coaster, that is for sure! We had great times, funny times, weird times, awkward times, hard times, sad times....just all the various different type of times! It is truly incredible to be spending this Holiday season in the beautiful country of Italy, i could not be more greatful. There is just something truly fulfilling about walking out the door each day and being able to bear your testimony of Jesus to random people on the street and on the bus.

This Christmas I feel as though I have truly been able to understand Christmas, not just enjoy it! It has indeed been special. I have learned that it is not enough to just think about Christ during this time, but we need to help other people to truly come unto Him and feel the joy that can be had through this gospel and through the miracle of His atonement. He has given us everything and we need to give something back to Him. I encourage you all to think of something you can give up, something you can improve...and give it to the Savior. That is what this is all about. It is about coming unto Him, walking in His path. Giving our will completely to the Father and striving each and every day to follow the example of our Savior. Truly understanding the WHY behind the celebrations is when we can fully ENJOY the beauty of it, the hope, and the JOY. I am just so happy. Man, it is hard to describe. It is so weird that you can have struggles and the work can be hard and it doesn't feel like you are getting anywhere...but somehow still feel so happy. I know that this joy comes from my Savior. Only through Him can we feel peace and hope in this life. It is not easy, by any means...but through Him it is POSSIBLE. and not just possible but incredible, fulfilling, JOYOUS.

One night this week, one of our appointments fell through so we decided to go to this BEAUTIFUL piazza in the middle of town and do some finding work. There were a lot of people gathered around so we had lots to work with! We started to just go around and ask people what their favorite part of Christmas and from there talk about Christ and the true meaning of the season. We were able to have LOTS of really neat conversations with people and truly understand their thoughts and feelings. There was this one man that was sitting down on a bench that we decided to talk to. He ended up being super BRAVO and we had a really Amazing conversation with him about what we believe and why we believe it. He asked US why we celebrate Christmas, and we were able to bear testimony of the Jesus Christ and the hope of His light. We invited Him to watch He Is The Gift, and he pulled out his tablet and we watched it right there on the Street. The spirit was so strong and he was very touched. It was a CHRISTMAS MIRACLE, indeed.

We have been struggling to get appointments set up with people this week because everyone is busy for the holidays and such. Today we are just going to try and pass by people and share a small Christmas message. We are hoping that after the Holidays things will be able to pick back up! But tomorrow we have somewhere to go for lunch and dinner, with some members, so it really should be a wonderful Christmas. I hope you all are happy and I AM JUST REALLY EXCITED TO SEE YOU ALL TOMORROW. ill probs just end this now because i don't really know what else to say and I can just tell you more TOMORROW.
Our Christmas decorations.
Have a wonderful Christmas Eve!!!
Sorella Burt

Friday, December 19, 2014

Buon Natale da Trieste!

Greetings from Trieste!!
Buon Natale da Trieste!
Ciao all! Lets just say that this week was completely insane! my entire mission life changed. It all started last Thursday...aka the longest day of my life! We woke up at 5 and took a train to Milano. Sorella Woods had to be there early to pick up her new baby. It was soooooo sad to say bye to her. like just the worst. I just love her so very much, but all good things must come to an end.
Goodbye "Momma" Woods!
I will see her again though in like 2 weeks because I have to back to Pavia for Permesso stuff (the thing that allows you to stay in the country, you start it in your first city and have to go back to finish it..huge pain).

But yeah, so i just had to wait at the train station in Milano for like 4 hours with a bunch of other missionaries, Transfer Circles, it is called. It is really fun because you just get to see tons of friends and missionaries and it is just a good time. Our train finally left around 12:30..we got to ride in a Freccia...a really super fast and nice train, just because we were traveling like clear across the country! I was with a bunch of Anziani the whole way there, which was interesting for sure, but at least i wasn't alone. It is a reallllllly long train ride and we had to get off and switch trains like 3 times and it was just crazy and exhausting. I was probably traveling for a total of 7 hours, yikes...the exhaustion struggle was so real!! But i made it.

My new companion, Sorella Nedelkov, was there at the train station to greet me...and her old companion, Sorella Carter, who got permission to do a delayed transfer because of the ward Christmas party. So we were in a trio for about 3 days.  But i LOVE my new companion, Sorella Nedelkov! She is from Ogden, she is 19, and is only 1 transfer ahead of we are both definitely newbies. But she is here to follow the rules and to work hard, as am I, so we get along great!
Hello Sorella Nedelkov!
Trieste is a total seriously is SO BEAUTIFUL. i cannot handle it. It is right on the ocean but also has mountains. the Whole city is like built on Hills, and holy moly it is just gorgeous. It is hard to explain, but it really is just an incredible city! I got really lucky. The ward here is incredible as well! They are just so welcoming and kind and they really know how to work with the missionaries and do work!  It is nice here because everyone lives in Trieste and you can access anywhere on a bus, so it isn't hard to visit members or to bring them to lessons and such, SUPER nice.
Pictures don't do Trieste justice!
It is another bus city, unfortunately! I hope to someday serve in a biking city. It is just really hilly, so biking would be a terrrible struggle. I got here and we have like NOTHING to work with. like nothing. it was a little dissapointing, but it just means that we have a lot of work to do. We just don't really have many investigators or anything...BUT, we are going to change that. We have set a lot of goals and are really trying to just concecrate our work, 100%. It has just been a little bit of a rough start. The other day we went to try and find a potentials house and got SUPER lost. like incredbily lost. Trieste is just super confusing and Sorella Nedelkov has only been here for one transfer! We got lost the next day as well...we had an appointment with an ex investigator and we never found their house. It was just extremely frustrating and we just really didn't understand why we kept getting lost. We know that God has a reason and a plan for everything but we really didn't understand what He was wanting us to learn. Maybe He was seeing if we would keep working, if we would continue to talk to people and to try? Maybe He is just showing us that sometimes things are hard and you don't understand why, but you just keep going forward. I know that He has a plan. I know that people are being prepared here in Trieste and that miracles are on the horizon. We just need to continue to have faith and press forward, doing absolutely everything we can do. It is frustrating at times to not see outward success, but i know that if i continue to give it all I have and put my trust in Heavenly Father, the work will go forward!

Next week is Christmas!!! HOLLA. it is really an Amazing time to be a missionary. To go out everyday and to talk to people about why we celebrate Christmas and just bear my testimony to them. It is truly incredible and I could not be happier! I love just going out and talking to people about what i believe! nothing beats.  i am suuuuuper stoked to talk to you all next week!!! yipeeeee. i dont really know any details, on the skype thing...unfortunately, but i will have to let you know next week.

My new address is:
Via Largo Uno Mioni 9
34138 Trieste (TS)
Italiasend stuff here, because otherwise i will not get it for a super long time!!

I love you all and I am so grateful for each of you! remember the why for the season and make that your focus. I CANT WAIT TO SEE ALL OF YOUR FACES!!!!!!

Isaiah 55:8
Alma 36:7

Loving Trieste so far!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Expect the Unexpected‏

To say it has been a crazy week would be quite the understatement. Sometimes things don't happen how you think they will and good things end way too fast.  Saturday was Transfer News day. We waited all morning for the call from President to tell us what would be going down. The wait was KILLER, we were just dying to hear what would be happening. We finally got the call at about 12:30 and President told Sorella Woods that she would be training again and would be a Sister Training Leader and the shocker part came when he said that she is staying in Pavia! She then handed the phone to me and President told me that I was being transferred to TRIESTE. I was completely SHOCKED. I was pretty much 100% sure that I would be staying in Pavia, and so was Sorella Woods. It is just SO uncommon to be transferred in your 3rd, so I was completely prepared to stay. Boy were we wrong!!

I am going to the very East that you can possibly go to this little place called Trieste. It is like a little piece of land that hangs off Italy and is surrounded by water. My new companion...I cannot remember her name...she is only one transfer ahead of me, so we are both newbies! I just still cannot believe that I am already leaving Pavia, it feels like I just got here!! It is my home, the members are my family! It is all I know of Italy, of missionary work! It is my birth city!!

Goodbye Pavia!
I am still just in shock that it is a real thing. I am sad to be leaving here but also excited for this new adventure! From what I have heard of Trieste, it is like FREEEEEEEZING cold. It is known for its dangerously strong winds...I guess that there is a rope that you have to hold onto when you walk down the street, just so you don't fly away!! But I have also heard from pretty much everyone that it is absolutely BEAUTIFUL. Everyone tells me that I am really lucky to be going there, so I am excited to see what my new city has in store!

This week has been crazy, trying to get ready to move...packing, cleaning, saying last goodbyes! It is just a sad thing! I am really going to miss Sorella Woods,,,SO much. It is insane how close we have become over these past 12 weeks, we are bestest of friends! I just cannot imagine missionary life without my momma! It breaks my heart to think that today is my very last day with her...but I guess that all good things have go come to an end. I cried like a little baby when I bore my testimony in Sacrament meeting on Sunday.
Sorella Woods and I in front of an old castle.

Pavia has been such a good ride, it was literally the best start of my mission that I could have ever asked for. I learned and grew SOOOO much, it is ridiculous. We saw miracles, laughed, cried, got soaking wet, ran after way too many buses, ate way too much foccaccia, talked to loads of people, and just did missionary work. It has been the biggest growing period for me...the beginning of a mission is rough, really rough. I struggled with things I never thought I would. But I have learned to rely on my Heavenly Father. I have learned that He knows everything and without Him, we know nothing. I have learned the importance of being bold talking to people. I have learned to embrace the hard and to be grateful for times of trial. I have learned soooooo much i could go on for DAYS. I have loved it so much...but I am really excited to find out why I am needed in learn and to grow and to just continue to serve my Heavenly Father and be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

As you all probably heard...I also lost my wallet this week...yipppppppe. It caused quiet the stress on me and was just a really unfortunate thing all around! I lost it on a random bus in a town far away from Pavia last Thursday and was very sad because it had cash and cards and just all the important stuff.....BUT let me tell you one thing....MIRACLES ARE REAL. I found it yesterday! We decided to call the bus company one more time yesterday and they told us that they had found it. A man drove it to us and everything was still in there!! AHHHHH. it was the coolest miracle cards are still canceled, but it doesn't matter because it was just a huge testimony builder to me that God hears and answers our prayers and our desperate pleas for help...ALWAYS...but it is in His timing and His way. I think that He was teaching me patience and faith...both of which have grown this week from this experience.

I am moving tomorrow, my whole mission life is about to change. But i am happy and i am excited to see what this new adventure has in store.
That is all I have for today...but I love you all! Keep it real.

con amore,
sorella burt

I love the people in Pavia!
With the Elders.

My Christmas package arrived just in time!!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Work Will go Forth...‏

It is CHRISTMAS time in full swing here in cute little Pavia. Christmas lights, trees, decorations, food...EVERYTHING. it is such a dream! They are even put in an ice skating rink in the center of town and have cotton candy and fried bread with nutella and a cute little market! AH. it is too much! It is such a happy time of year and a beautiful time to be in Italy! From what i hear, Christmas are just a dream in Italy! i am STOKED. I am not really sure what we will do on the actual day of Christmas. Of course we are gonna Skype home and hopefully have dinner with some members but who knows!
Modeling new dress from Mom!
We get transfer calls this coming Saturday, and it is pretty much a 99% guarantee that we are going to be spit up...SO SAD. It literally makes me sick just thinking about it. Generally the trainer leaves the trainee...that is what usually happens, but you never know! It is normally that the trainer leaves and then someone else comes and then one transfer later i would leave...that is the trend of our mission, but surprises always happen! So we don't really know! It  will be interesting to see what will happen. It will be weird to leave Sorella Woods...she and I have become SO close...she is all i know as far as missionary work goes, so it will be interesting to be with someone new! But i am excited, a chance to grow a new best friend.

This week was one of our best ones yet! It was seriously just sooooo good! I don't even fully know all the reasons why, it just ruled. We have really been trying to work reallllllly hard because the whole time we have been here in Pavia we haven't seen much progression in the work. We have seen miracles, for sure...but not much progression! But we have continued to work our very hardest no matter what. It is one of those things where you just keep going onward with faith, knowing that Heavenly Father will bless you in some way...just not always in the way you think or want!

We had a cool experience the other day when we were out doing some finding work...we were talking to people on the street and stuff and it got to the point that we really needed some direction as far as where we should go. We said a quick prayer and immediately after started talking to a lady on a bench nearby. She ended up being super awesome and actually became a new investigator! it was a huge miracle and an amazing testament of the real power of prayer. Heavenly Father is mindful of us out here, and He will help us to know who we need to talk to! We ended up finding one more investigator that day and talked to LOTS of people, and it was just a miracle day. We needed one of those!

The other day we also found another new investigator while we were waiting for the bus...her name is V. and ohhhhh man she rules. She was SO open and soooooo excited about us coming over! I called her the other day to set up an appointment and she was like SO STOKED that it was the sisters calling her! That has never happened before!! Hopefully she will continue to be amazing and we can start to teach her! We are seeing miracles here. The work goes forth! Slowly but surely...ha welcome to Italy! I know that if we continue forward with faith and diligence, we will always see blessings!! THE WORK OF THE LORD WILL NOT BE FRUSTRATED.

For Thanksgiving...we did nothing! it was def the saddest thanksgiving i have ever just rained a lot and nothing went well, but it is okay! i thought a lot about being grateful not just for the things I have but also for hard times and trying situations! I am grateful for everything Heavenly Father gives me, good or bad. It all works together for my good and everything put together equals who i am! He knows everything, thank goodness! I am so grateful for that knowledge and for the chance I have to help others come to know of it too!

This week i got my first hair cut in Sorella Woods! ha apparently that is the thing to just cut each others hair! To save money? i dunno...Sorella Woods did a great job and only cut off a tiny cant even tell! I guess the Italians are a little crazy when it comes to cutting hair.

No need to worry about the fact that we don't eat dinner! it is just what you do here! we don't starve and we have plenty of money!! We just don't come home!! work work work...but we do eat a snack before was weird at first to not eat dinner, but now i am used to it!

That is about all i have for this week...sorry not the best email! But i am doing great and just loving life here in Italy! next week I will know the deets on transfers so that will be an exciting time! i love you all so much and hope you have a wonderful week!!

Sorella Burt