Thursday, April 30, 2015

Bednar BEST

CIAO tutti! We have had a suuuuuper crazy beautiful week full of incredible things and i am sooooo stoked to just tell you ALL about it. Buckle,'s about to get goooooood.
(I am just going to go day by day to make it a little easier!)

okkkkkkkkay so it all started last wednesday when we were doing some finding! We had been doing it for quite some time and was not having much success. We had really been doing our best to be consecrated finders and try to talk to everyone but NO one was stopping for us. I felt impressed to stop this one woman with her dog and we started to talk to her about Jesus Christ, a subject that she thankfully liked very much! we talked for a little while and she was very kind but after a little bit it was obvious that she wanted to leave. When she told us she had to go, we asked if we could say a quick prayer for her and her family and she agreed. Once again we saw the miracle of prayer as her whole attitude towards us changed dramatically after the prayer. It turned out that we were standing right in front of her apartment and she gave us her phone number and said when  would be good to stop by! She was just reallllllly wonderful. The spirit touches hearts of all who will stop long enough to listen! We are really hoping that we can start teaching her...this is often the part of missionary work that is the most difficult...actually setting up appointments with all these stellar people that we meet on the street. Making potentials into investigators is the tricky part!
On friday morning we were doing some finding and we got probably one of the rudest rejections that i have ever gotten! We tried to stop this woman and she just laughed straight at our faces when i said we were missionaries for our church. She continued to walk and laugh when we told her that we were  not JWs, and to that she responed she just got really angry and yelled, how can you be SO stupid! you are soooo young and so stupid. that doesn't sound that bad when i type it...but i promise, it was REALLY rude. it like really made me so sad. she doesn't even know what she is hardcore rejecting and calling stupid. It just made my heart hurt. I hope that one day she will give the truth a chance. That same night A. had her baptismal interview and did wonderfully. Her baptism was supposed to be this coming Saturday but we had to move it back two weeks because of scheduling conflicts and what not. But she is still doing suuuuuper wonderful and is very excited for her baptism! Her non member father that lives in Rome is even going to try and come so that should be really neat! That one guy i told you about a while back, G....that we found in the area book a while back and is just suuuuuuper incredible and golden...he is getting baptized one week from Saturday. He is still doing incredibly well and ALREADY finished the Book of Mormon. He is truly special, one of a kind.
On Saturday we had a really cool miracle. We didn't have any appointments in the morning so we decided to pass by P....(our investigator that had been ignoring us for over a week and we were really sad about it but everything is good now because we were able to set an appointment with her, she is adorable and still loves us) we passed by her but she wasn't home and then decided to pass by a woman named M., one of our Less actives. It was the most incredibly timed most inspired pass by EVER. she was just bawwwwwling in her bed because she is going through some reallllllly hard stuff right now with her family and just really needed some comfort. It was so amazing and she told us that we were her angels. Heavenly Father literally sent us to her in the exact moment that she needed it most. It was amazing to see that and to be able to be an instrument in His hands.
Soooo on Sunday after church we packed up and got all ready to catch our train to go to Verona. When we got to verona we met up with Sorella Schoenhals and her little greenie and stayed with them for the night. i didnt sleep hardly at all because i was like really excited or something..but then the next morning we woke up suuuuuper early to get all ready in our Bednar Best and catch our train to Milano in time. It was so fun being on that train just FULL of missionaries all of us headed to Milano. We got there just barely on time and rushed in to take our seats. The conference was held in a chapel in Milano and every missionary in our mission (241) were there on time, reading scriptures, waiting for Elder Bednar to arrive. When that door opened and he walked in the room, the spirit entered powerfully and we all stood. It was one of those moments where you get that amazing confirming feeling that he TRULY is a prophet of God. That spirit came and stayed in that room, more powerfully then i have ever felt for 6 straight hours. At the beginning Elder Bednar asked us all to stand and sing our mission hymn which was one of the most powerful experiences of my life. Every missionary in our mission together in one room (which is so rare and pretty much NEVER happens) just proudly belting the words to our amazing mission hymn to and apostle of The Lord. He just stood on the stand and smilied at as all...and holy cow. I cannot even describe how spectacular it was. I have never been so proud to be a missionary, especially a missionary of the Italy Milan mission. It was incredible. The meeting started and I cannot explain how it was or what was said exactly...but the spirit was there and the spirit is what did the teaching. It was neat because Elder Bednar would ask a question and then missionaries would stand up and give their thoughts on it and then Elder Bednar would add to it and it was just so neat and personal. He was just so real with us, and i loved that about Him. He jokes around but is a spiritual giant. We talked a lot about the digital age and how we need to change how we do missionary work. It was neat because a lot of missionaries thought that it was just going to be about Ipads and what to do and what not to do with them...but holy cow it was so much more. It was about how we must be agent and act and how disobedience is not an option if we truly know and understand who we are and why we are here. It is all about what is in your heart and how you choose to see things and where your dedication lies. The spirit spoke to my heart and soul in such a special way, i cannot explain..but it was definitely a mission highlight if not a LIFE highlight. I learned sooooo much about myself and how i personally can improve and how we each need to improve to be missionaries in the digital age. There was just tooooo much goodness that i cannot really explain it, but from the sounds of it a lot of things are gonna change! I am excited to be a part of it. We were talking and it is cool that we get to see both parts of a mission..with and without ipads...and we will be able to see the differences. I really think it will be a very positivive change and will really help us flood the earth with the gospel! We didn't receive them yet, but should be getting them within the next 2 weeks. There is a lot of training involved, but it should be good! Elder Texiera from the 70 and Steven B. Allen were there as well and their wives and i can't really explain how good and beautiful it really was. I am stoked to be a missionary in the digital age and be a part of this huge expansion!! The whole conference just ruled and it was suuuuper fun to see all my friends and stuff! It was just amazing. Best. Day. Ever. We stayed in Verona again that night and were able to do a little bit of finding work around the city so we were able to see it a little bit so that was super fun!! It is a breathtaking city! we came back to Trieste on Tuesday morning. It was a suuuuuper long and tiring trip but SO worth it and definitely changed my life.

annnnnnd yeah that is pretty much my week in a nutshell! things are just great and happy and YA. i am so just happy to be a missionary during this time and grateful to have had the opportunity to recieve counsel and direction directly from an apostle of The Lord. I will never forget that. He is just so inspiring, i cannot explain. We unfortunately could not shake his hand because He and sister Bednar were off to Rome to do the same thing there. buuuut anywayyyyys yeah it was just wonderful! i love you all and hope you have a wonderful week as always! let me know what miracles you are seeing in your lives :)
Sorella Burt

Sunday, April 26, 2015

93 year old women need umbrellas too...

Another week well spent here in the magical land of Trieste! This is my home and i never wanna leave. We are working hard, seeing miracles and preparing for some really beautiful things coming in the near future!

The biggest and most important thing that is currently going on in our lives is our investigator A. awhhhhhhh. i cannot even describe my love for her. She is progressing SO well and is just so excited and so ready and soooooo prepared for her baptism. We have been seeing her a lot lately and it has just RULED. Our relationship with her has just blossomed so beauitfully and she trusts us and loves us! It has been really neat to see our relationship with her grow over the weeks and even months since i have been here. Ever since we started making her our top priority and meeting her outside her home, she has really gotten comfortable with us and has really opened up to us! She is only 14, but i swear, she knows the lessons better then i do! She has been taught by the missionaries for soooooo many years and just knows all the lessons front and back. Like the other day we were reviewing the plan of salvation and she pretty much just taught us the whole thing! It is neat to see how incredibly prepared she is! She has had a few baptismal dates in the past but they haven't happened, but this time she 100% doing it and she is just really excited about it! It has just been an incredible blessing for us to be a part of it and to see her grow. I love that even though she knows all the lessons, she still asks us questions and is still seeking to learn even more! ah, she is just so wonderful.

The other biiiiiiiig thing going down is the Bednar Conference! It is THIS week and we have just been doing everything we can to be sure that we are prepared both spiritually and physically for this special occasion! Since Milano is SOOOO far away from Trieste and they dont want anyone to be late, we get to take a train to Verona on Sunday night to sleep and then wake up on monday and go to Milano. I am suuuuuper stoked because we get to sleep with Schoenhals, my MTC comp and her little baby!! We are suuuuuuper excited and yeah. it should be a truly amazing experience for us all. We have truly been focusing on consecrating ourselves and being in the right place spiritually to recieve counsel directly from an apostle of the Lord. We have to be willing and make the choice beforehand that we will do ANYTHING He asks of us and accept his counsel with loving and open arms. I am so exicted to see how this will change our work and our mission in general! Every single missionary in the Italy Milan Mission in one room along with an Apostle of the Lord...ah it gives me chills just thinking about it.

This week we had some beautiful experiences, as alwayyyyyys. One nice little story that will explain the title of this email is this: The other morning our appointments fell through so we had some time to go out and talk to people on the streets. Which is wonderful except for the fact that it was POURING rain and REALLY windy. and when i say windy...i mean like Trieste, Bora, windy. So we go outside and it is just impossible to talk to anyone or to do anything, but we are like...NO we have to! miracles always come in the rain! so we are just walking and Sorella Hawks' umbrella breaks so we are just sharing mine, trying to let it not blow away and we see this suuuuuper old lady with a walker walking doing the streeet without any umbrella or anything. So we go and offer her Hawks' half broken umbrella and the look on her face was PRICELESS. she was just thrilled and asked us what she had to give us. when we told her nothing, she was even more thrilled. she then told us that she is 93 years old but still really young at heart...ha idk she was just suuuuuper adorable. then when we told her that we were missionaries her mouth just got really big and she was just so amazed by that! it was sooooo adorable and she gave us her address and told us to pass by. it was just a beautiful little tender mercy from Heavenly Father on a very miserable morning, weather wise. We helped a woman that Heavenly Father placed in our paths, and she helped us have happy spirits on a rainy morning.

We are happy to be in the service of the children of God here in Trieste. The joy it brings to my heart is undescribable! His love is real and as long as we are seeking to make Him happy, everything else works out! As it says in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, God loveth a cheerful giver! So let us be cheerful and get out there and give all we have in the service of others to please or Father who loves us so much!

Love and prayers,
Sorella Burt

Monday, April 20, 2015

More Work to Be Done


As you all know, another transfer has come and gone. It is crazy how fast these things fly by. I feel like this last one just barely started and just like that, it is gone. We got our transfer call on Saturday...and we will just say that I was surprised. Evvvvvveryone has been pretty positive for quite some time that I would be the one to be transferred and I was pretty sure it was my time to go as well. Surprisingly enough just the opposite that I thought would happen, is happening. I GET ANOTHER IN TRIESTE! Holla. annnnnnnnd...the impossible happened, HAWKS AND I GET ANOTHER TOGETHER!!!! Crazy. We were shocked. It is extremely rare for anyone to get three transfers with the same companion, especially for the yeah, we were pleasantly surprised!
I love this mural!
It was just so crazy because my mind was just set on the fact that I would be leaving because that is what everyone thought so I started thinking it too, and now that is not the case. I am super excited though!! At first I was a tiny bit like..awh, I was kind of ready for some sort of change. but as I have thought about it more I realize that there is a definite reason that I am staying here with Sorella Hawks for 6 more weeks. There is something more we are supposed to do here together. My work in Trieste is not yet finished! I love this place so very much and am grateful that I get more time here to see miracles and bring even more people closer to Christ!
Us with Anziano Briand.
I love Sorella Hawks with all my heart and we are starting to think that we are gonna be eternal companions...just never leaving each other! We have gotten super close over these past couple transfers and we are just super stoked to keep the love going strong and do work here in Trieste! As far as the other missionaries in Trieste, Anziano Briand, is getting trasferred to Verona-He and I got here on the same day, 3 transfers ago, so now I am the Queen of Trieste (like i have been here the longest..ha). It is sad because our current district has gotten really close because there werent any changes last transfer so it is sad that our lil family is getting split up! But the Anziano that is taking his place is in my group, so we were friends in the MTC, so that will be fun to serve with him.
Our district.
 This week was wonderful! we saw many miracles, of course. Miracles come, small and large EVERY day. that is the beauty of doing the work of The Lord. One cool miracle we saw was the other morning we had to go to the Questura to figure out some paperwork stuff for my permesso..we were kind of worried when we got there because there were tons of people and we had to make it to an appointment shortly after. We stood in line for a few minutes and then they randomly took me out of everyone! I went upstairs and was terrified to go into the room that ALWAYS rejects my paperwork and always tells me that i am missing things...i had that awful butterfly type feeling you get when you are about to go on a first date or the first day on your mission. annnnnways, i talked to the guy and he FINALLY accepted my paperwork and i was just like YAY. finally.

Then we ran to our appointment and made it there on time! It rulllllled, we get there to the park and our investigator, P., had brought a friend! We were stoooooked. We had planned to teach the plan of salvation. It was really cool because at Zone Training the day before we learned about scripture chains and how helpful they are in teaching and how much they help the Spirit in lessons and what not. So for our lesson we planned this sweet scripture chain and the lesson just RULED. it was soooo neat to see how when you are prepared and when you make the scriptures the foundation of your teaching, it just flows so much smoother and the spirit is SO much stronger! They understood everything super well and it was just a powerful lesson. We were able to give the friend a Book of Mormon and they were both really excited to read the assigned chapter together and to come to church. It just ruled and we really learned the importance of the scriptures and of following the Spirit.

Zone training.
We had another cool miracle this week with a woman named M., that we found in our area book. She is an ex investigator. She called us up to see if we could come over and we were like...ya! So we went over and she happens to be the most wonderful human EVER. she has read the Book of Mormon FIVE TIMES, she listens to hymns in her home, prays night and day! we were in shock! She knowwwwwws that it is true, but cannot physically be baptized. She does everything we do but she just isn't baptized! She says that she has people asking her why she does  the things she does and she just says...because it is right! this is the right street for me and I don't need to go looking anywhere else! we were just like was incredible!!! I cannot explain. her faith is just unreal. she wants to be baptized soooo bad, and one day i know that she will.

The work is just plugging along really well! It is really fun to see how things are improving and picking up...members are coming up to us and saying...hey i have a friend coming over for dinner on this day..and so are you! haha it just rules. the members here are just so willing to missionary work and it just rules. I am so happy and excited to continue to serve the people here in Trieste. It is a dream city full of miracles to be had. The field is white and we are ready to harvest it! so grateful to be a member of the great harvest team of the Lord! He trusts us to do this work, now we gotta step up and do all we can to finish the game. Sorry this is kind of short and somewhat lame but i am doing really well and excited to kick it for another 6 weeks here in the land of dreams!

Love you alllllll,
Sorella Burt

Beautiful Trieste.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Conference RULZZZZ and lots of pics

Hello Everybody! Like always, it is so wonderful to hear from you all. Sounds like everyone had a good Easter/Conference weekend and that we all learned lots of beautiful things! MAN, Conference is just the BEST, isn't it? Everything went smoothly this time around for Conference! We were able to watch all the sessions except for the Sunday afternoon because they were showing it live at like 10 pm. But all the rest of the sessions RULED. Like seriously. It is amazing to me that conference is just SO good every single time. That is when you know that it is true and that they don't make this stuff up! It is direct revelation from our Heavenly Father for US specifically and individually. I love the fact that we each get what we need personally out of the talks and that they apply to each of us in a different, special way! Ah. just too good. Like they said...the gospel is like a fountain of knowledge that NEVER runs dry! There is always more to learn, always more to do, and alwayyyyyys something that we can improve on! I had prepared myself with a few specific questions and went into conference searching for the answers. Every single one was answered. Man, Heavenly Father knows us. He loves us. And He answers our prayers! Some things I really liked specifically were Whitney Clayton's talk about faith and belief. He said that each day is a test that we must decide if we want to follow our Savior...even if we feel like we are in the dark and the light is no where to be seen, we can CHOOSE to believe and then act on that belief. Each day we choose and the light of Chirst is constant. I also loved President Uchtdorf's talk about the grace of God. We cannot and will not ever be perfect in this life...but we CAN grasp the grace of God and hold firm to the Atonement of Christ. Often times we get down on ourselves because we feel like we are not good enough and that we will never measure up...and in reality we will not! But with the grace of God, we can be saved and over time we can become perfected. He just asks that we just TRY our best! I loved what Dale G. Renlund said..the church is like a big hospital...we are all sick in some way and we come here to get help! The power of Christ's Atonement can cure any sickness, and through Him we can become perfected. We need not get down on ourselves or ever feel like we are alone in this. We are NEVER alone and we are worth soooooo much in the sight of God. We just need to keep trying our very best, and He will take care of the rest!! I obviously could go on and on about what I learned from Conference...but the important thing is that each and every one of us take what we learned and what we felt and actually put it into practice in our lives. That is when it makes a difference. That is how we improve and grow as human beings!
Our current district on a little district walk

Other than conference...our week wasn't too terribly exciting! We were at the church for a lot of the time, with different activities and such for the holidays! Here in Italy they have Pasqua (Easter) and the Monday after is called Pasquetta (which literally means little easter..ha) It is pretty much just another excuse for the Italians to get together and have a party and eat more food! I swear they just make up little holidays here and there just so they can get a day off work and eat tonnnnns of food! ha We went to the church for a little BBQ on pasquetta, and that was really fun! we had a few non members there and quite a few less actives so that was neat! A cool little thing also happened during our little Pasqua weekend...on Saturday we were just at the church watching conference and these two 20ish year olds walked in with these big backpacking packs on and sat down to watch conference. With this being a small bit strange, we asked them who they were and where they were from...turns out that they are from California and are just on a backpacking trip across Europe! They were lost and just happened to end up at our church. As we talked to them a little more, it turned out that the girl was actually a less active member and her boyfriend was not a member. They said that they had just been super lost all morning and had been walking for a super long time and they ended up right in front of our church! She recognized the formation of the words on the front of the church and they came in to try and see if they could get some help! It was suuuuuuper cool because they ended up staying for a whole day and watched Conference with us and came to the BBQ and we just became really great friends with them. The anziani taught the boy about the restoration and it was cool becuase i think that she really recognized that it was a miracle and that they found the church for a reason. We challenged them to attend church wherever they are heading next, and it was just really cool that they found our church...especially because it is like really far away and in a little secluded was definitely meant to be!
us and our coooooool backpacking california friends...they are living my DREAM
This week we started making progress with one of our investigators named A.. she is 14 years old and has been meeting with missionaries for quite a long time. She and one of her sisters are the only ones in their family that are not members and she is just wonderful! We have been trying to help her for quite some time and it is a really long story...but pretty much now she is ready for baptism! She is supppper brava and knows all the material and definitely has a real desire to be baptized and has a date for the next month! We are really excited to help her figure out some of her fears and stuff, but she is ready and we are stoked. Miracles.

We will find out about what is going to happen to us next transfer this Saturday sooooo it will be interesting! Everyone thinks that I am leaving..but you really never know! anything could happen. We had interviews with President Dibb this week and they went really well! We will seeeeeeeee, I suppose. I don't want to leave this place. I love it soooooo much.

Welp, I don't reallly have much else to say! we are still working on seeing our investigators and stuff, now that the holidays are over it should be a bit easier! Things are great and we are happy!
Have a wonderful week!
Sorella Burt

Our FAVE graffiti

The view from the Trieste castle

All of us after the exchange

Me with Sorella Gillespie - I LOVE her!

Our cute matching "Bora" t-shirts

they don't call it Grotta Gigante (giant cave)  for nothing!! 

The cave that we visited was 500 steps down and 500 steps up

Us in the large cave

Sorella Hawks first KEBAB!

Selfies in church with an awesome girl in our ward

Matching for Conference

Us and one of our FAV girls in the ward!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


It is an absolutely beautiful day here in Trieste! The sun is out and spring is most definitely in full swing. No coat necessary! Horray. The happiness of Easter time is here and we are lovin' up every minute! This week was great for us, and we are really getting into the Easter spirit! You all have probs heard/seen the video that the church made for Easter this year...out here we call it Perchè Egli Vive! Our mission president asked us to take time these weeks before Easter to visit each member in our ward for 15 minutes and explain to them how they can share this beautiful Easter message with their friends and loved ones...and we have done just that! We have gone into the homes of almost all of our members and spent a little bit of time talking with them about what we need to do in our lives Because HE LIVES. The happiness that we have in our lives is because of our Savior and what He did for us. He lives, and SO WILL WE. Many people believe in Jesus and in the Resurrection but many do not understand that we will ALL have the same opportunity. Our Savior made it possible for us to return to live with our Heavenly Father, what a beautiful message! This Easter i have really come to realize why we have this holiday and have been able to come closer to my Savior while helping others do the same. We need to remember the WHY behind the festivities and make that our foucs. The JOY it brings in unreal! Due to the holidays, it has been difficult to make appointments and such..everyone just does the classic,"after the holidays" sooooo that makes things rough! But its okkkkkkay the beautiful weather makes for some great finding :)
We had a wonderful little exchange with our sister training leaders this week. I went to Mestre and was able to spend a day with the beautiful Sorella Gillespie! It was such a dream. I have sent pics of her before, but we were in the same district in Pavia and just like love each otherrrrrr, so it was just wonderful. We were able to see some cool miracles while doing some finding on a tram so that ruled. I love the opportunities that we have to learn from other missionaries. I think i was having some sort of self confidence issues or something, but Sorella Gillespie cured um right up! She just showers me with so much love and compliments me allllll the time. The wonderful thing is that she means it, and it was just the exact thing i needed. I learned that i still need to not be so hard on myself and that I am actually a good person and a good missionary! It was just a happy time.
I absolutely lovvvvvvve the members here. Holy moly. If i ever have to leave this place, i dont think it will be possible. They are just so deeply planted in my heart! It has been really neat because in the time since i have been here, i have really been able to see the love and trust of the members in us as missionaries grow a ton! They actually love us and it is just wonderful. Sorella Hawks and I started sending a nightly scripture text to all of the members/less actives/investigators a while back and I think that has really helped gain their trust. We visited one of our fave families this week, The G. family, and they just spent like 5 solid minutes talking about how much they love us and don't want us to leave and how all missionaries are great but we are special. awh that just melted my heart in so many different pieces. One of our other GREAT members delievered breakfast to our appartment the other day...fresh baked goods from the bakery! sooooooo great. and another member gave Sorella Hawks a turtle made of chocolate for her birthday...haha Italians show their love with food.
Yesterday we saw a lil' miracle in the parkkkkkkk, so that was great! We talked to this little lady from Romania named M. She was very kind and in agreeance with what we were saying but not super into the convo. We asked her if we could offer a quick prayer for her and she agreed. After we prayed her attitude towards us completely changed and she said she felt goosebumps and jsut really happy...aka the spirit! It was just really neat and you could totally tell that she felt the spirit. The power of prayer is real and I love helping people realize that they can actually talk with their Father in Heaven! Introducing people to prayer and to feeling the spirit is the best thing evaaaaaaa.
I am happy things are swellllllll. We went to a SUPER large cave today called Grotta Gigante...once upon a time it was in the Guinuess Book of world records, so thats pretty cool i guess!
We also talked to the cutest little lady from Peru yesterday...well she talked in Spanish and we talked in was just the funnest little language barrier experience! It is so cool how much we can understand.
Yesterday our asian English class student, M., gave us oragami cranes that can flap their wings so that was definitely a highlight.
I love you all and hope you are happy! Life is good, make the most of every moment!

Con amore e Buona Pasqua!!
Sorella Burt

annnnnnnd just so you all know....all of Sorella Hawks' pics got earased at this crappy internet point last i wont be sending pics until we find somewhere safer! Sorry