Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Funerals & Bikes


This was a slightly strange and not extremely eventful week. The summer time in Italy takes a large toll on the success of the missionary work. It is still possible, just a little bit more challenging. our week consisted of countless cancelled appointments and no answer phone calls..tinsy bit of frustration here and there but as always the small, happy moments that make it all worth it.
An interesting experience that happened this week came in the form of a Catholic Funeral. yup, that's right. we got a phone call one morning during our studies from a girl in our ward inviting us to her grandfather's funeral later that day. we didn't have anything going on so we decided to go to support the family...and let's just say that it was an interesting experience. It was one of those experiences where you just are kind of like..uh i am in Italy and this is kind of crazy but i like loved it anyways. it was really cool though to see the change in spirit in feeling from when the Priest was speaking and from when the family had a chance to speak. they were talking about the plan of salvation and quoting the Book of Mormon in a large catholic church and the spirit really did was really neat. It was another testament to me of the truthfulness of our church...that and many other things that i witnessed during the ceremony. The church is true and the plan of salvation is real. We will see our loved ones again some day.

We have really been trying to focus these last few weeks on finding more less active people we can work with. there are TONS in the ward but we have just had a hard time finding them! But this week we were able to teach two more then normal and that was a huge deal for us because we have really been trying and praying to be able to find more less actives to work with and this week we did! We made an appointment with one of our members to teach the restoration and make a mission plan with her and when we got there we found out that her daughter who is like 26 is inactive. We were able to teach them about the Restoration which was a good review for all of them. The coolest miracle for me was when the inactive daughter said to me, "Sorella, tell me about tithing. I am ready to pay it, I am just not sure why we do it." I was blown away because President Dibb had just barely told me that we needed to teach our less actives about tithing and then she asked ME about it! It was so neat. Another miracle that came from it is that she has an 11 year old daughter that is not baptized that we had no clue about and we were able to start teaching her. So she is our new investigator and we saw them again yesterday! It was just such a beautiful miracle and i am grateful that we were able to follow the spirit and find someone that really has a desire to return back to the church. we are really striving to seek after the one, and we found one this week. amazing.

Probably the other large highlight for my week was the beautiful Scambio we went on yesterday (okay scambio=exchange...i just cannot say exchange so just remember that..ha) but yeah we had a scambio with the sorelle in a little town called Modena and i was able to go there with a wonderful sister and see how their work is going there. and guess what....THEY RIDE BIKES THERE. literally it has been my dream my entire mission to serve in a biking city but i have not and i have not even ridden on a single time! BUT i got to ride one for an entire day and let me tell did sooooo many beauitful things for my heart and soul. The scambio yesterday was literally sent from heaven. i cannot explain it, but it was one of those times where i just KNOW i was supposed to be there for that sorella that was struggling and that i needed that little breath of fresh air and just to cruise around little cute streets in Italy. Heavenly Father knows our very need and holy cow, i saw that first hand. we had an amazing scambio and we just saw miracles left and right. i am grateful for that incredible gift from my Father in Heaven and i know that HE knows me and is watching over me.
That is about all i have for this week! but i am happy and things are going well. i just feel at that really good part in my mission. i am content with how things are going and i am grateful and just so full of energy for the work!
i love you ALL.
Sorella Burt
Best day of my mission - riding a BIKE in Italy!!

On a scambio

Friday, July 24, 2015

Walking Miles Spreading Smiles

hello to all the people that i love.

we walked a lot this week. there is just something beautiful about walking for miles and miles in the scorching heat, having not a clue where you are going but just feeling really happy to be alive. these are the moments i will cherish. the sweat just drippin and the smiles wide, grabbing gelato on the corner because it is literally your saving grace and the only thing that keeps you sane in the heat. man the mission is just too goooooooood.
Here's me by a cute little Vespa in my favorite color

i just had a really great week this week and i will tell you why. A lot of it is thanks to my beautiful, incredible companion, sorella roper! She is incredible and i just love what we have in our companionship. i want to tell you all why i love her. this week i learned a lot about love and i will tell you what, i love her so very much. i love her because she knows why she came out here on a mission and her purpose shows in everything that she does. she is concentrated and she has a vision for her mission, for her life, and for everyday. I love her because she loves me for my quirks, weirdness, insecurities, and flaws. she helps me when i am down and makes me laugh through it all. i could go on and on, but i just wanted you all to know, that she is a special person. i know that our companionship was an inspired one and i truly learn so much from her every day.

so many little moments this week that i just felt so much love from others, for others...all from my Heavenly Father.

One night we were on a hot bus trying to do some pass by's to some less active members and we ran into one of our cute Ecuadorian members. we got off at her stop and she insisted on buying us gelato at the local bar of the little baby town. That member and that gelato was the exact thing we needed to lift our spirits that night. We were doing some finding one morning before our weekly planning session and i felt impressed to stop a certain woman. her name was E., and she was a beautiful daughter of God searching for the truth and open to our message. i felt so much love for her after knowing her for only 5 minutes. it is amazing to me how that works in this work. We were teaching our investigator, F., who is absolutely wonderful but has some very difficult questions that are hard to  answer. we felt impressed to talk to her about how much our Father in Heaven loves her and as we did so and testified of is immense and incomprehensible love for her, the spirit touched her heart and there were tears in her eyes. I love her and i know that He loves her an will help her and comfort her and answer all questions and take away all doubt. he loves us that much. We met with a member family to discuss missionary work only to learn that the husband is a missionary maniac. he hands out Books of Mormon like fliers...and has a goal to place at least one book of mormon every month. He gave us three referrals of people he has shared this incredible, life changing book with and i could just feel his incredible love and desire to flood the earth with this book. he is an amazing example to me and i felt so much love for him and his passion for the work.

One of the most important lessons about love i gained this week came at our district meeting. we talked about how if we truly want to obey the second great love our neighbor as we love ourselves...we need to start at the end. love ourselves. I have struggled with this throughout my whole mission, truly loving myself. Loving my weaknesses for who they help me become. loving myself for who God created me to be. I learned and am still learning that when we truly take a step back and acknowledge the good in ourselves and truly LOVE ourselves, we have a greater capacity to love those around us, to love our neighbor. I am grateful for who i am for the person i am becoming. when you loose yourself in the work you TRULY do find who you really are!

Today we went to the World Expo...i don't really have time to explain it all but it was just a really neat experience, that i am pretty sure was once in a lifetime! If you don't know what it is, look it up online. It is pretty much just a bunch of reallllllly cool museums about like all the countries in the world. you just walk around and learn about what they are doing to help the environment and can just really get a cool feel for all the different countires and cultures. i really enjoyed just learning so much about different cultures and just felt so much gratitude and love for this amazing world that we live in.

I LOVE you all very much. The Love of our Heavenly Father is incredible and infinite. Discover it.
have a wonderful week!
Sorella Burt
  I was so sad to see this puzzle on the ground - I LOVE puzzles!
I'll take the hugs where I can get them

Me by the sign at the American sign at the expo #burgersandbeer #yipppeeee #proudtobeamerican

Milan's World Fair

The World Fair

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Change is Good

This week has been a crazzzzzy one, that is for sure. There has been so much change, things learned, beautiful miracles, lessons learned, feelings felt, people helped, angry rejections, beautiful spirit and just so so much more..all wrapped into one week. Man oh man...the mission, am i right? So we will just start with the beginning...aka the beautiful baptism of our lovely friend R.. Everything went according to plan and it was a beautiful evening. Her husband and daughter even came and they absolutely loved it and most definitely felt the spirit. She is the start of something very special for her family and I am just overjoyed for them. R. is just one of those amazing new converts that has already been talking to her friends at work about her new faith and even called me before her   confirmation to ask if I could bring a Book of Mormon and some pass along cards so she could give them to her friends. She is a stellar missionary. Unfortunately, because she technically does not belong to our ward, we had to pass her to the Sorelle in the Cimiano Milano ward so we won't be able to visit them anymore...which is kind of sad, but it is definitely all for the very best!

The next day I said goodbye to my beautiful companion Sorella Boscia and said hello to my wonderful new companion Sorella Roper! And mamma mia, she is literally such a large blessing in my life. We clicked right from the get-go and just both have the same vision and drive for the work. She is younger in the mission by a few transfers, but you literally would never think that. She is an AMAZING missionary and person. She knows why she is here and it SHOWS in everything that she does. I don't really know how to explain it, but she is incredible. She is from Ogden Utah and man oh man, I just love her so much already. the transition has been a little bit interesting for me and i have been a tad bit emotional...but i am just SO much happier. i learned a lot last transfer, and now that i am out of it, i am seeing all the ways that i grew. i am grateful for the things i went through and for the ways they have made me see who i really want to be. we have just been finding SO much joy in just talking with EVERYONE on the metros, buses, trains...always. it is amazing how just talking with someone on a metro and bearing them your testimony, makes you feel a thousand times better. We have also been running into lots (okay only three) cute little mormon families around the city and that has been just so much fun. we ran into this one the other day in the train station and they were lost and we saw them, and something just told us they were different! the mom later was guys really don't understand how much you stand out. that really hit me, it is SO true. we stand out as missionaries but ALSO as members. we always need to make sure we are acting as Christ would at ALL times. One quick little miracle before i finish this up...we were on the bus the other day in a little city trying to do a passby to an ex investigator. we were about to get off the bus but there was a lady that i had seen and just really felt like i needed to talk to her. Sorella Roper kind of was smiling at her too, so i decided to talk to her. she ended up getting off at the same stop as us and we stood on the side of the street and talked to her for a while. she was from Equador and had had the missionaries over to her house many times before. we were able to watch Grazie a Lui, a short little film with her and the spirit was very strong. she has been fighting a hard disease and was just in dire need of comfort in that very moment. i was so grateful for the opportunitiy that we had to give her a little bit of that comfort she was seeking and just help her to feel Heavenly Father's love for her. I was very touched by her faith and especially when she said...i know it wasn't by accident that i ran into you two tonight. The miracles of The Lord are real. He loves and watches over each one of His children. We must be worthy of the spirit so that we know when He needs us to help Him watch over and love one of His precious children.I love you all and thankkkkk you as always for the support.
Sorella Burt
Me and Sorella Roper

Sorella Hawks is also serving in Milano!!! 

I LOVE Sorella Roper!

okkkkay also:
Sorella Hawks is now in Milano too, just a different ward so today we did Pday together!
allllso, how it works with me being the only is just like normal pretty much. we still do exchanges but i only do it with one of the sisters. also they changed the areas so i am over completely
different cities, so that should be interesting!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Literally I am Melting

heyyyyy fam.

we are currently sitting in a pizzeria doing this email sesh and i literally feel like i am mellllllting. so much sweat so much heat, cannot handle. I had heard that Milan was hot in the summer but I nevvvvvver imgagined it would be THIS hot. They say that it is supposed to get better in a few down a bit. I hope that is true but part of me just thinks that is wishful thinking. Hot missionary work is a lot harder but it doesn't stop us from going hard all day every day. I have probably never sweated or drank so much in my entire life.
Cookiewiches in honor of the 4th of July - a tribute to Grandma Moore

okkkkkkay, It was a week full of goods and weirds. I will focus on the goods so that we can all continue to smile and look for the positive in all situations. FIRST OFF...I have to give a LARGE shoutout to the wonderrrrrrrrful mother of mine that literally gave me the most wonderful gift I have probably ever received in my whole 20 years of life. When I opened that magical little package the tears were flowwwwwwwing. I do not even have the words to express how I felt and how perfect that gift was for me at that moment. Thank you mom for putting that together and another LARGE thanks to all the people that wrote me notes and sent the pictures of them holding the sign. Gifts like that are literally gold for any missionary. I just felt an immense amount of love and gratitude for all the incredible people that I have in my life that support me and love you. Thank you EVERYONE. It means more then you will ever know. Your support gives me the push and drive to continue forward and yeah. I just really felt the love of my Father in Heaven through the notes and the pictures. The fact that He loves me so incredibly much to give me such an incredible support system at home makes me OVERJOYED. Thank you a thousand times ovvvvver. My birthday was just wonderful. Church ruled, birthday emails, hugs, real-time italian lasagna from my companion, and even lots of beautiful miracles. Couldn't have spent my one and only bday in Italy any better.
Creepy dark birthday pic

One amazing miracle that happened to us this week came in the beautiful form of a member referral. We got a phone all from a member in a different Milan ward for her friend that lives in our ward. She told us that she had been to church a few times and was very interested in learning more. We called her friend, C., and set up an appointment for yesterday. We got to her house after a small struggle with trying to find the place, we are just DYING of heat...but we get there and this lady is literally an angel. She just radiates light and was sooooo kind. And the member was THERE too. ah. what a huge blessing. We had a wonderful time with her and taught her the restoration annnnnd...yeah. i know we as missionaries say this a lot...but seriously SHE IS SO PREPARED. probably the most golden prepared individual I have ever taught here on the mission. She was crying and just soooo happy about the restoration and I cannot even explain it. she is amazing. So she is Italian but speaks english perfectly, and this member friend, R., is actually American but married to an Italian. annnnnd this girl R.'s cousin was there because she is visiting for the summer and she just graduated from Riverton high! so that was a crazy connection! man. the world is so small. But anyways C. is just a huge miracle and I am so grateful for the opportunity we have to teach her.

Today is the baptism of R., and we are really excited about it! She is so prepared and just SO excited. She was also very prepared to receive the gospel and it has been a huge blessing to know her. I once again have to give a talk on the holy ghost so lets hope I don't like cry in front of everyone or something terrible like that.

As far as transfer news goes...i am staying her in Milano, and my new companion is Sorella Roper! yay, maybe she is related to the Roper's in our ward? I don't know anything about her, just that she is younger then me in the mission. I'm gonna be STLin' it by myself, so that will be an interesting experience. I am STOKED for the new transfer and the things it will bring. The work here is really picking up and we are seeing miracles right and left. I love you allllllll. Seriously cannot express myself adequately. But yeah.

hugs and kisses.
have a gooooood week.
Sorella Burt

Sunday, July 5, 2015

It's Up to Us

Heyyyy family.
We have had a fairly average week this week! Just working hard and learning lots, just like every week. Not sure if this will be super long because I'm not sure if I have lots to say but we'll see! I'll start out with probably the most exciting part of our was probably on like Friday or Saturday that I received a phone call from the mission office saying that my Permesso di soggiorno (that thing that allows me to live here that has literally been the death of me) WAS FINALLY READY!!!!!I was like sooooo excited because that meant I would need to take a trip to Trieste to pick it up! My appointment was for Monday afternoon so on Monday morning we left Milano to take the 6 hour voyage to Trieste. We lucked out biiiiiiiig time because we had a 30 minute 'layover' with train switching and what not in VENICE. So we ran around for a second and took some pictures, it was a dream! Sorella Boscia has never seen Venice so she was just in heaven and it was just suuuuuuper fun. There were like a MILLION people there because it's tourist season but it was like the best layover for transportation I have probably ever experienced. Annnnnd oh man, going back to Trieste was a little baby dream. Man, I love that place so so soooooo much. Unfortunately we were only there for like 2 hours but we were able to see Sorella Hawks which made me cry because I just love her so stinkin much. And also I randomly saw a new convert at the train station and also the Anziani on the street that I used to be with. It was just beautiful and did wonders for my soul. Also seeing the sea again was almost too much for me to handle.
The dynamic Burt/Hawks duo reunited!
VENICE round 3!!

We saw one of our amazing investigators this week, F., and just had the most wonderful time with her. She actually requested for us to come and see her through the church website a few weeks back and is just suuuuuper awesome. She actually used to meet with the Sorelle a few months ago for about a year when she lived in Holland, and pretty much just knows everything about the church. She has such a reallllll desire to do what is right but is just struggling with some things. We had an amazing lesson about how it is up to her if she wants to overcome these things. She can choose to turn to her Father in Heaven and with Him, she can overcome any trial that is placed in her life. I
don't really know how to explain it, but she is just amazing and I know that we were supposed to meet her for a reason. The spirit was powerful and truly helped her understand the things we were teaching. She would ask a really good question, we would answer it following the spirit and then she would say, oh okay yeah that makes sense. As we as missionaries seek to have the spirit with us, we can be instruments to help bring the truth UNTO people's hearts, but it is up to them to let it INTO their hearts.

I have learned this week that happiness is a CHOICE. It is up to us if we want to be happy or not. I read a really great article in the new Ensign that talks about the pioneers and how happy they were despite all the reasons they had to not be happy. Happiness is something we decide. It is within us and is not a factor of what is happening around us. As I have chosen to be happy this week despite my circumstances, I have seen that this is true. When I say...okay, I am going to be happy really works! We are the masters of our fate and the deciders of our destiny. We are given situations that we cannot control, but we can always control how we handle them.

Just so you know, next week pday is on Tuesday because transfers are being moved to Wednesday. I bought all the supplies at the store today to show Sorella Bosica what the 4th of July is all about! Grandma would be proud, I'm gonna make cookiewiches!!! I cannot go a year with out them! Happy 4th! Watch all the fireworks for me...I mean they are for me, right?
Love you allllllll,
Sorella Burt
On exchanges in Como
We were just REALLY excited about being in Venice
Us with the Sorelle in Como by the lake after an exchange
Long train rides equal selfiesssssss