Monday, January 19, 2015

Venice is a Dream


First off, i would like to verify the rumors...VENICE IS A DREAM. Yes, it is 100% as amazing as everyone says, i am a living witness! Last Wednesday after we emailed we hopped on a 2 hour train to Venice. We only had 3 hours there, unfortunately, but we were still able to see most of the city and even managed to get lost for a solid 20 minutes! It is a really confusing lil place. But holy moly, it is magical. The big thing there are the masks. SO many masks everywhere. Holy cow. I even bought a little baby one that is a magnet, because i felt weird going to Venice and not buying one! Sooooo yeah, Venice was a dream. I wish that we would not have been in such a hurry, but i imagine that i will go back there sometime in my life. We took loads of pics so dont worry i will share um :) we also got the classic pizza and gelato...just to authentizie...ha i dont think that is a word...the experience. Venice is super touristy, it was so funny how much English we heard! It was a good time for sure.
Venice is a dream!  Piazza San Marco.
San Marco Basilica in Venice.
After Venice we hopped on another train to head to Pavia! We got there around 9 o'clock at night and stayed the night because my appointment was the next morning. It was sooooooo weird to be back there. Seriously it was weird, and actually a little bit hard for me for some reason! But seeing Sorella Woods again was absolutely magical. I adore her! She and her new baby are doing great and the work in Pavia is actually progressing! Naturally it decides to progress right when i leave...ha but yeah i went to my appointment the next morning at the Questura...Police station? not really sure how that translates...but yeah i had to get my fingerprinting done for my Permesso...the thing that lets me stay in Italy. I did it and then the lady said that i was going to have to come back on Tuesday and i was like...uh i don't live here..and long story short, all my paperwork is getting transferred here to Trieste and is all just a large mess! I have these scary ladies from Milano that call me every couple days to see the status on my paperwork and stuff...they are not very nice and keep telling me that if i don't get it done i will have to exit the country...yikes.I am sure it will all work out though! But yeah it was a super long but good little trip to Pavia. It was hard for me to go there but i learned a lot and I am a better human for it!
Sorella Woods...I love my Mommy!
On the way back to Trieste (we accidentally took the wrong train that took like an hour longer)  we were just sitting there talking,,trying to figure out what we need to do to be able to meet our goals for the lessons we wanted for the week. We have had a really hard time getting lessons like for this entire transfer and we were just trying to figure out what we needed to do differently. Then the thought came to my head...go find lessons on this train. I voiced my thoughts to Sorella Nedelkov, she agreeed, and we stood up to go find some people to talk to. The first girl we talked to wasnt very interested and quickly exited the train, so we stood up and went to find someone that was interested. I felt impressed to sit down next to this certain lady, and as we started talking to her, I quickly saw why. Her name was C. and she was WONDERFUL. We talked to her about our message...just the whole thing, about life, about God, and man, she was just so sincere and so open. She was asking us questions and we were able to answer, and the spirit was just incredibly strong! i am not really sure how to explain it but it was amazing. We gave her a Book of Mormon and got her information, unfortunatley she doesnt live in our area but holyyyyyy cow it was such a beautiful MIRACLE. I know that we got on the wrong train for a reason. I know that she was placed in our path for a reason. I am so greatful that i was able to follow that prompting from the spirit and that we were able to find someone who is being prepared. Heavenly Fathers plan is perfect, i know that for sure.

Things are just going suuuuuuuuper well here in Trieste! We are finally seeing miracles and things are starting to happen!!! Patience and hard work pay off...i can tell ya that much. Literally this entire transfer has been suuuuuper rough, and we have worked super hard but haven't seen much success. BUT we have not given up and we are being blessed with miracles. Seriously there are just too many to tell them all. Things are just going well! Our days are going how we plan, we have actually been able to have appointments with people that have been ignoring us and we are finding people that seem very sincere. I can testify that this is the Lords work, that He knows exactly how it is all supposed to work out. This transfer I have learned how to trust in Him, and in His plan. I have learned that we just need to KEEEP ON KEEPIN ON...because the blessings ALWAYS come to the faithful. We are not perfect missionaries, that is for sure. There are a thousand things that I could do better, but I am trying, and Heavenly Father sees that desire. He KNOWS US PERFECTLY and He knows what is in our hearts. If we are constantly seeking to do His will and to do our part 100% of the time even when things are hard, we will grow. We will learn. We will look back on hard times and see how we have become better humans. I am so grateful for His love for me and for EVERY SINGLE ONE OF HIS CHILDREN. He loves us all, always has and He always will. Turn to Him, seek His will, and everything will work out!
We get transfer calls this Saturday so we will see what will be happening! i really have zero clue, but i feel like i will probs stay here...but who knows!
I love you all and i hope you have another wonderful week!

con amore,
Sorella Burt

Venice - Rialto Bridge overlooking Grand Canal.
Venice canal.
Venice gondola.
Venice selfie.
Venice selfie 2.
Venice selfie 3.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

We Can't Change the Wind

Buongiorno tutti!

It has been another wonderful week out here in the beautiful città di Trieste! Learning lots errrrrrryday. The week started out wonderfully, last Wednesday. We had a party for New Years at the church with the ward. Tons of members came and everyone made food and we just had the best potluck type dinner of my LIFE. man Italians really do know how to cook. The real miracle of the night was the fact that two of our investigators, J. and R, actually came to the party! We had invited them but we weren't sure if they were going to make it, but then they did and IT WAS SO GREAT. They came and also an ex-investigator that we found in the area book named M. (she came as well) Annnnnnnnd to top it all of one of our members brought a friend! It was just suuuuuch a miracle night for us! We were able to introduce them to a lot of ward members and just get to know them better! They had a wonderful time that night, talking with everyone and it was just a wonderful activity. J. is wonderful, she has a real desire to change her life but doesn't really want to take the actions necessary to do so. She is also very flaky when it comes to appointments, which has made teaching her very difficult. The party was actually the first time I met her! But she is great and I am really hoping that this good experience that she had at the party will spark her desire to truly make a change. It was just neat, i felt SO happy that night. It was one of the first times where i truly just felt like i was myself with the people! I was able to talk to them and carry on real conversations, and just really get to know a lot of people!! ah it was just so great, i cannot describe it. We have a wonderful ward! So many really amazing people.
A cool statue in Trieste.
The other day we were helping this super old lady in our ward go shopping for some groceries. She has a really hard time walking but insisted on going to like the farthest little market to buy like 3 things...haha she is quite interesting. She was holding on to me the entire time and we were doing SO well the whole time, taking it slow and easy....until we come to the curb riiiiiiight across the street from her house...she goes to step off the curb and even though I am holding onto her, somehow she completely FALLS and screams and is just flat on her back in the middle of the road! OH MAN, i felt so bad...and because she was holding onto me, i almost fell right on top of her as well! yikes. it was bad. She was just fine, and afterwards we had quite the laugh.

On friday we literally had a miracle day. I am not sure why but it was one of those days where everything just goes really smoothly and everything works out how you planned! That happens VERY rarely. but it was just wonderful. We had wonderful lessons and got places on time, and it was just so cool, we kept running into people all over! Like we ran into one of our less active ladies and were able to teach her a little lesson, we ran into a potential, and one of our members that was having a hard time! And that night we had some time for finding and so we went to a little piazza near our house and we were able to find this girl named C....she is 16 and had talked with missionaries before! We were able to have a really great talk with her about the plan of salvation and get her information. So many little miracles! It is amazing how many people we meet here that have heard about the church before or met with the missionaries in the past! it happens SO often! Like the other day we were on a bus and I had a feeling like i should talk to this certain lady. I kind of put it off for a second and then i realized that i was being dumb and then started talking with her. Turns out she used to go to our English class in the past and met the Elders a few weeks back! I was so glad that I talked to her, she said that she would start coming back to English class! I have really been realizing how each encounter that someone has with the missionaries or with the church is just another step in their conversion process! With a lot of converts it takes A LOT of different encounters with missionaries until they actually decide to listen or until they are ready. It is amazing how perfect the plan of our Heavenly Father is. Each person we talk to...we are just one more steop in their journey to the truth. I like thinking of it that way!

This week we had a really wonderful Zone Training in Pordenone. I love Zone meetings, they just get me super pumped to get out and to do things even better and work even harder. I love learning from older missionaries and hearing how they have seen success! One thing that I took out of the training this week has to do with this quote from President Monson, "you cant change the wind, but you can adjust the sails" As i have been thinking about this quote this week, i have learned quite a bit. My mission has been nothing like what i thought it would be. Nothing. There have been strong winds that i did not expect, experiences that I could not have predicted. But it has been exactly what I have needed. Heavenly Father controls the winds. He knows exactly what we need exactly when we need it. Sometimes the winds are strong, sometimes they are calm. The only way out of the wind is through it, and the only way through it is to adjust our sails. I have learned how the small adjustments according the His will, is what make the difference. Those little adjustments are what make the winds worthwile. I have learned to love the wind, to embrace it, and to learn from it. The winds come to all, but if we are not focused on our purpose and focused on our Savior, they may blow us off course. But with His help and with a clear mind to our purpose, the winds blow us closer to where we want to end up. We get pushed when things are hard, we are forced to grow and to see things in a new way...and i am so very greatful for every gust of wind that He has blessed me with.

Today we are going to Venice and then to Pavia! It is going to be a long day of travel but I AM STOKED. yeah, Italy is just the coolest place ever.

I love you all, you mean the world to me! keep on keeping on!

Til next time...keep it real.
Vi voglio bene,
Sorella Burt

Sorella of the best missionaries I have ever met!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

From Rocks to Diamonds

Hello ALL.

Another week over and done. It will never cease to amaze me how quick the weeks fly out here! Literally they just go and go and go and before you know it they are gone! hahaha that sentence made like zero sense but whatev. the weeks go fast. ha

I still cannot really get over how wonderful it was to see and talk to you all last week on Christmas! ah. like it was too good. it just makes me happy thinking about it! Thank you for being the best fam ever. I could have talked to you for like 12 more hours and still had plenty to say...that's when  you know you have a pretty rockin family! thanks to each and every one of you.

This week was a bit on the hard side...for a lot of reasons. i can say that i have learned and grown a LOT this week and it really has turned out to be amazing. We are still just focusing on finding finding and finding. It has been really hard because we have gone out and talked to tonnnnns of people but not seen any real outward success, which gets hard at times.

And it has gotten to be FREEEEEEZING here, like hollllllly how it is insanely cold. The Bora is here....the super strong wind....and so that makes it like a thousand times colder. I am pretty sure that my ears no longer have any feeling! I am going to hopefully buy a warm hat and some gloves today so that will hopefully help!

Through all of this finding work, we have been able to talk to some pretty interesting people, which always keeps things fun. It is always fun to approach someone and have zero idea how they are going to react to you...some are super mean and some are surprisingly nice! The other day we were in our fav piazza doing some finding and we stopped this one lady and she RULED. she had such an amazing spirit and actually started crying while i was bearing my testimony about Jesus Christ. It was weird because one second she was crying and then the next second she just walked away...ha Italians are so interesting. We really tried to focus this week on our work through the members, with asking for referrals and what not and we were able to see some miracles come from that which has been great! I am confident that as we continue to trust in the Lord and press forward, giving it everything we've got, we will see blessings.

Yesterday I went to the city of Mestre for an exchange with the sister training leader there. it was SO great. holy cow she is in her last transfer and is literally the best missionary I have ever met! i learned SOOO much from her here that i am going to try and implement in my work here in Trieste. I have a lotttttt to learn. a lot. but that is okay! we are like rocks at the beginning of the mission, and Heavenly Father helps us become diamonds. Rocks do not become diamonds over is a long process and takes patience and time! I know that as I continue to be patient, improve each day, and do the best work that I can, Heavenly Father will help me to become the diamond that I am meant to become. Only through Him can I reach my full potential!

I feel like before the scambio I was just in this weird slump...but now I have a renewal of fire to just go out there and do it! I am just super stoked to continue to work here and I just feel like I have tons of energy and just excitement to make magic happen..ha I know that Heavenly Father is a God of miracles. He always has been and He always will be. Today I read some great scriptures in Mormon 9:20-21 that helped me a lot. If we don't trust in the Lord with our whole heart and believe that miracles can happen, then they won't! We must believe and we must ACT on that belief. That is the only way to do this work...ACTION. We gotta be bold like lions, that's how this is gonna get done! (Prov. 28:1)

I feel lots of happy feelings right now and lots of gratitude to be here in Italy. I know that I have a lot to learn but thank goodness for Jesus Christ. He is there for me every step of the way! I am excited for this next week, its gonna be a week of miracles!

I love you all and I hope that you have a wonderful new year! it is crazy that it is 2015 now! It looks like the wedding was absolutely beautiful! I definitely thought about you all a lot that day! Thank you for making me a part of it. It was harder then i thought it would be to miss it, but i know that I am loved, and that is what matters!

Vi voglio bene,
Sorella Burt