Friday, November 28, 2014

Dessert Mishap - November 26, 2014

Ciao, Famiglia! 

Ahh! I hope you all had an awesome week! It sure sounds like it!

Okay, questions. It rained the first two P-days and there's been a few weeks were it came down like crazy, the coat is great, the boots aren't quite as waterproof as we were hoping. That's okay, though, I'm doing great! I don't think we really celebrate Thanksgiving, but we've had some lessons on gratitude in honor of it! The number of investigators coming to church really fluctuates, last week we had a family of three, the week before 1 person and other weeks none or 1. But it was amazing to have a whole family this past Sunday!

So, we had the Fingerle conference this Thursday and it was really cool. Elder Fingerle and his wife were awesome. He said that iPads will soon be used in all of Western Europe, but he has no idea if Italy is a part of Western or Southern Europe! Oh, well, he gave us great ideas for getting members to use social media instead of us! He had this awesome presentation about increasing our efforts by 1% in everything to have an overall huge increase. It was really cool and we're trying to put it into practice. Plus, he's getting us really excited for geneology work. Did you know you can add pictures and recordings and documents to family search? So cool! One funny thing, he asked if any one did ballet dancing, but because of his accent we thought he said belly dancing and we were all just sitting there with mouths open in shock until his wife clarified. Oh, and Pres Dibb had us reenact the battle at Jericho, so we had elders running around a "wall" of sisters, it was pretty funny and bizarre. Also, that day, we met with S, who was the guy we met on a subway and then he texted us the next day. He was really cool and legit, he said he's going to go to church in Busto and meet the anziani there, we really hope he does!

I had another mini scambio with Sorella Hawks and it was awesome to see her again! I didn't even get us lost! Then Saturday we cleaned the church and while we were cleaning a police officer came up to the gate and asked to be let in becuase a suspect had thrown evidnece or something over the gate onto church property, so that was exciting!

Sunday we had dinner with a member family who were super awesome (the mom is Sicilian) and the wife taught us how to make tiramisu. They always give us this coffee substitue here, so I may come home with a coffee addiction, who knows. Then that night, we met with another member family who had brought us some focaccia from Genova, which is apparently the best, and it was amazing!

Monday we had district meeting and an FHE with a member and her daughter. The daughter, G, was super brava, she had picked out hyms and marked them in their hymbooks and had prepared a talk to read for the lesson, she was awesome! We brought dessert, a ponnet(sp?) cake that was super good, but then the next night, and the ward FHE, the member came up to us and showed us the ingredients, and there was some alcohol in the cake!! Oh my gosh, we were dying, we were so embarrassed! We, the missionaries, brought an alcoholic dessert to a member's home! AHH! Oh, well, we learned our lesson and it'll hopefully never happen again.

So, that's my week! Sorry, the letter's a little shorter than usual! I hope you all have an awesome week! I love you! 

Love, Sorella Snow

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Labor of Love - November 19, 2014

Ciao, Famiglia! 

So, just to answer some questions, (skip this if you don't care about it), the recipes were great! Thanks, Mom! (I think I forgot to say thanks for those and the genealogical info, but THANKS SO MUCH! It was much appreciated) Sorella Gluck speaks English pretty well, so I was able to speak that a lot with her, I'm getting better, but having a conversation not related to gospel words is hard because I don't really know those. Also, she had a German/Italian accent so that was hard to understand. Most of the people we teach are actually South American or Filipino. The South Americans throw in a ton of Spanish words, so I can sometimes understand those. And yeah, I always throw in Spanish words on accident, it took me weeks to say molto instead of muy. And if I know the Spanish word but not the Italian, I can sometimes throw it in and the Italians will understand since they hear Spanish so much. Our curfew is still 9:30 at the latest, which can be frustrating because people do stay up later, In the summer, the anziani get to move their curfew back 30 minutes to try to accommodate this, but the sorelle don't because they're worried about us being safe. 

Okay, so, yeah this was a crazy busy week! We successfully taught 21 lessons! It was amazing! We were soo exhausted by the end of it. Our last night, we were having a really hard time finding one more person to meet with. We had already met with most of our simps and less active families that week and the rest weren't answering, it was already dark so we couldn't really do any street finding and we had no idea what we were going to do. We tried to see if one member was home but she didn't answer, so I was seriously praying to Heavenly Father, asking Him to help us find someone. Then 2 minutes later, we were walking to another member's apartment to try and see if she was maybe home and as we were passing people in the street we were saying buongiorno, like we always do, and one young guy turns around and stops us and asks if he knows us. We explained we didn't know him, that we just said hi to everyone. And we then taught him a little about the restoration and had a prayer with him. It was amazing and it was a testament of how God really does love us and will answer our prayers. That seriously never happens to us. When we say hi to people, they just look at us suspiciously and walk faster. So it was a really neat experience. Anyway, that was our 21 lesson experience. I know we and the mission will be blessed for it.
Last Wednesday, we went to a legit castle in the middle of Milan, in the city. It's just normal city and then all the sudden there's a huge castle. It was beautiful. We met up with Sorella Hawks and her trainer (I kinda felt like a little kid whose mom was arranging a play date while Sorella Carter and Sorella Hawks' trainer were setting it up.) and we got panzerotti which is like a calzone but better and some awesome gelatto. It was a really fun day.

Sforza Castle in Milan
View from castle

Sorelle Snow & Hawks

Sorelle Carter & Snow

Thursday we had English class, which is always fun because I get to sound smart. We taught the M--- family which is a mom and two daughters. They're really fun and awesome. We saw W--- at English class. He's a Filipino guy who looks like he's in his 20s and is actually like mid-thirties. 

Friday, Sorella Carter and I fasted to have 21 lessons and we saw some awesome miracles. A man we had talked to on the mezzi the day before texted us and said he's really felt our spirit and wanted to learn more about our message. However, he wants to meet with us specifically (he actually said he wants to meet with the missionaries who introduced him to Mormon.) and he's a single dude who's not even in our area, so we'll meet him once and we'll have to try to convince him to meet the other missionaries. We went to Patrizia's house that day ( she's an awesome member and she always brings friends to activities and friendships investigators and less-actives, she's an amazing missionary.) and she had two friends over, which we weren't expecting, so we got an extra lesson. There was a bus and mezzi strike that day (sciopa) which apparently Milan has like once a month, but we didn't end up being inconvenienced by it, which is a miracle. So, yeah it was an awesome day filled with miracles. 

Saturday (by the way it rained HARD this week, Milan was a swamp. there were seriously street corners that were 2 feet deep with water), it was raining cats and dogs and we still needed to teach 5 lessons that day to make our goal, so we were out for hours in the rain and we were soaked. Milan  rain is nothing like California rain or even Utah storms. But we met Romeo and Lydia who are a Filipino couple that speak English. She's a member and he's not. They're like 70 years old but they work 4 AM to 8 PM every day making and selling Filipino food. They fed us and sent us home with a lot of food. (shopa, no clue how to spell it but it tastes sooo good) They are such examples and she has such faith they are really amazing people. They could live in a way nicer apartment and retire but they work hard every day to send money home to all of their family. We went to another Filipino family's house for lunch .We went to Sorella Vacca's home ( she makes the food for FHE and its amazing) and she fed us, so I was stuffed by the end of that day. 

Sunday we went to the ward mission leader's house for dinner and they of course fed us a ton (EVERYONE wants to stuff you with food, you'll say no, but they just keep on piling it on your plate and you have to eat it),  While we were talking they asked me about my family and I said I have a mamma and a papa instead of papà. Papà means dad. Papa means pope. So that was a bit embarrassing but you just need to learn to laugh at yourself. 

Monday was my two month mark from the day I went into the MTC! I don't know about you guys, but the time is flying for me! I can't believe its been that long. We did another scambio with the other Bergamo Sorelle and I was with a Sorella who went to the Provo MTC speaking only French. She had no one to help her translate, but she learned English and Italian and she's now awesome in both and it's only been four months that she's been here! The gift of tongues is real, that's all I'm saying. Oh, and Monday morning we had a district meeting, even though they weren't obligatory this week because we have a conference with an area authority this week (which we are so excited for! We had to read a talk about technology for it, so we're hoping they're going to make an announcement about iPads in the mission!) And the District Leader, Anziano Perkins dressed up as Santa. It was really fun, they even had a Christmas tree with lights! It was awesome! He is so good about trying to make every district meeting enjoyable for us.
Anziani Helton, Vasquez, Perkins & O'Riordan
Sorelle Carter & Snow
Then that night was the Bergamo scambio. The next day, was finally beautiful with no rain! And Bergamo is gorgeous,  it's kinda more of a touristy city than where we are in Milan. We had one inactive sister we visited and I kid you not, we had to take a train, bus and gondola to get to her. She lives up in the mountains above the city and it was beautiful! She had an amazing testimony and she helped us do some missionary work with a woman we talked to while we waited for our gondola for like 30 minutes( the other lady smoked 4 cigarettes in that time. Everyone smokes here). Then I was back in Milan that night for FHE which is always super fun.

City in mountains near Bergamo

City in mountains near Bergamo

City in mountains near Bergamo

Gondola view -  Kim wrote, "It was so much more breathtaking than it looks in the pics!"
Random building in Bergamo
Wow, I wrote a lot this week! I think I'm done for now! I love you guys!

Love, Sorella Snow 

P.S. In the sister's home, in the mountains, we could see our breath every time we spoke, it was so cold, and that was inside! And we saw a super classy three story McDonalds.  

BTW I found a bug inside the keyboard crawling around while I typed this, so it is a labor of love for y'all that I kept on going.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

She's Got the Hypochonderia! - November 12, 2014

Ciao, Famiglia! 

So, this has been a pretty hectic week! It's flown by for me! So, Thursday we had new missionary training, and it was great to see how all the peeps from my MTC zone are doing and to hear their crazy stories! Man I love them so much! Then that night, two of the Sorelle who had come to training missed their train home, so we had an impromptu sleepover with them, because the training was held in our area! One of them was Sorella Hogan.  It was it was cool to talk to her a little but I felt pretty bad because they were so exhausted. Then the next day I had my first real scambio for 24 hours. I went to Bergamo and met Sorella Gluck (idk about the spelling). She's from Germany so it was really cool to talk with her about the differences of living/growing up in different countries. It's a seriously gorgeous city, and I think we might want to spend a p-day there. While I was in Bergamo, Sorella Carter and McMurray were tearing it up in Milano, they found 5 new simps(simpattizzanti) and a potential in that 24 hours! I was pretty impressed. 

Saturday there was a ward talent show, which was fun, but it started about an hour late. I'm told this is normal for Italians. But there were a tooon of non-members and less actives and simps there, so that was really cool! Oh, and I had the first guy try to do the cheek kiss thing with me. Super awkward, luckily he spoke English so I was able to adequately explain that I couldn't do it. But this guy is really cool. He's not a member, he just comes to our English class, and he's amazing at English. I hope the Anziani can get him to come to sacrament some time, because he's so cool! He came to General Conference so he could watch it in English and practice his English. Anywho, the talent show didn't end till like 11, but we took off at 10. We had to stay that late becuase we were in a skit with the anziani, the four of them were doing a slow motion race to a trophy for best missionary, and then we came in at the end and walked right past them and took the trophy. I promise it was funnier than it sounds. 

Sunday we went to an inactive member's birthday party, which we thought was going to be a sit down lunch or something but actually turned out to be a real party with music and random people there, so we made the best of it and tried to talk with the non-members there about the church. It was interesting! And she ended up serving HUGE plates of this dish of rice, chicken, hot dogs and shrimp. South American food is crazy. It was pretty decent, and I ate as much as I could, but wow, if you don't clean your plate, they think you didn't like it. So I'm going to have to start eating a ton more and trying to exercise more after. To answer your question, I've been fed in member's homes twice so far. Lampugnano isn't an area were you get fed a ton, but there are other areas where you'll get fed 3 or 4 times a week. We do get some awesome food at FHE at the church, so that's cool. Oh, and we don't have a scheduled time for dinner, so we eat a big lunch and have a snack when we get home at night. Dinner time is just prime proselyting time here and 1-3 is dead, so we study then.

We had the primary program on Sunday and the missionaries actually sang in a few songs in it because the primary is so small, but it was fun. The kids are soo cute and the songs were really great.  Monday we got dinner again (that was the second time) at an FHE with an inactive family. They had invited two friends and it was pretty crazy because one of them was insisting that Mormons are polygamists and we were trying to say no, we are Mormon and we are not. But she kept on saying that she's studied this and she knows we are. We finally managed to convince her that we are not and we ended up having a good lesson at the end, so that was really cool. The other lady bore a beautiful testimony about making covenants with God and how he loves us. 

We're trying to teach 21 lessons this week, which is a lot, but we have faith that we can do it. We seen some amazing things everyday and we've heard amzaing stories from other missionaries. We know that this work is ture and that God supports us every step of the way. So, I just have to remember that when I'm choking down mysterious chicken parts in South American dishes. 

Yesterday, we met a man who had a crazy story about crossing into the US illegally with the help of a coyote and then getting sent back to El Salvador after being caught by the police and finally making his way to Italy. It was pretty crazy. Oh, and the title of my email. So, my collega was talking about how she gets so worried about how she has all of these diseases, like how she had some bugs bites and thought it was some sort of really bad rash. So I explained to her my knowledge of hypochondria, which she'd never heard of, so I felt so smart and I have Boy Meets World to thank for that. Now all I've been able to think about for the last few days is about Cory and placebos and Uncle Sammy Sosa.

So, as for your questions! The people here are so crazy and fun! We have a pretty big ward and they're awesome. My collega is so much fun and crazy and she's spiritual and awesome! I love her!  

Random stuff: Sorella Hawks lives in a full-on villa, like two stories and all! I may have witnessed a sketchy drug deal in Bergamo, I'm not sure. Digiorno pizza di=of and giorno=day, so Daily pizza, mind blown. There was a crazy tren (trains that go on rails through the streets, they're like the size of three buses) driver that was trying to push through a busy intersection and almot got hit a few times and at one point he climbed down out of the tren and started yelling at another tren driver. Ummm, I can't think of anything else for now! 

I love you all so much! And I love all the emails, keep em coming! Have an awesome week!
 Love, Sorella Snow

More Pictures!

Kim sent a few more pictures from the MTC and we received an email with a picture from President Dibb.

MTC district with teacher Fratello Knutson

MTC district with teacher Sorella Mohrman

The MTC roommates do facials before leaving for Italy

Look out Italy!  Here we come!
Trainer Sorella Carter & Sorella Snow with Sister & President Dibb

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Once Again I'M ALIVE But Now I'm in Milan - November 5, 2014

Ciao, Famiglia! 
Ahhh! So this has been a pretty insane week! I met my trainer, Sorella Carter, and she's been pretty awesome! She's crazy and fun! Also, my new district is pretty cool and I think we're going to have an awesome time(I'm still working on learning their names but give me a break, I'm learning a whole new language!)
The first day, we went to the Duomo  (IT IS AMAZING) and did some finding. It was sooo intimidating.

So, yeah, most of you already know, but my first area is the Lampugnano (gn makes the sound like in canyon and gl makes the sound like the l's in million) area, which is in the actual city of Milan! Isn't that so cool?!?! I get to start off in the main city! We use mezzi(metro) and buses everyday and all the buildings look cool and Italian-y. 
So, I've aleady been seeing lots of teeny miracles each day and it's pretty amazing seeing how much the Lord cares about each of his children and helps us all out! My first Thursday, we had a ton of appointments fall through, so we were just walking around trying to find someone to teach when we came across a ward member who really needed someone who talk to. She's been going through a really rough time and since our appointments fell through, we were in the right place to meet and talk to her and help her out. Everything happens for a reason. 
That same night, the Anziani tried to prank us on our walk home. They put a carved jack'o'lantern in our path and put a phone inside of it which they called and tried to freak us out.  Unfortunately for them, it didn't scare us. So, the next night they got our address and sent us a pizza that we had to pay for as another prank attempt. But then the pizza place found out and ended up calling them back and shouting at them for doing that to us, so it kinda backfired. They're pretty funny, though! Oh, and I was asked about polygamy my very first day, so that was fun! (not)
We had an English class the first Thursday, (thank goodness) so I got a chance to actually talk with people and understand them. 
Oh, also, unbeknownst to me, Sorella Hawks warned Sorella Carter that I'm a total klutz on my first day, and then I ended up tripping and twisting my ankle and scraping my knee really bad (it was actually super bad, like blood dripping all the way down my leg and we had to go into a pharmacy to patch it up) like an hour later, so that was kinda embarrassing. Thankfully, my ankle's already mostly better, so that's a tender mercy.
So, I usually start all of my conversations with people by telling them I'm new here and asking if I can practice Italian with them, and they're usually pretty happy to do it, and then I wind the conversation around to the gospel because they're usually looking at my tag a ton. It's pretty interesting. Almost everyone believes in Christ and most of them are Catholic, so you can usually have a good conversation going, but it's just so dang hard to understand them! They all talk so quiet and on the bus or the mezzi, it's really hard to understand them! Oh, well, The gift of tongues is helping me! Plus, I can't spell English words for my life anymore, so have fun with that! 
Everyone's super warm and inviting, if only I could understand them. Everyone calls me Sorella Nuova.
Sunday was pretty good. It was fast Sunday so we had testimony meeting and wow I have no clue what anyone said. There was one lady I could understand and I was so excited, but then Sorella Carter leaned over and told me she was an American and had an American accent. I had a scambio(exchange)  on Monday with Sorella Hawks! Both our colleghi are STLs (sister training leaders) so we were together while they had a meeting. We went and did some parco( finding in a park) and it was good to see her again! 
We had FHE last night and it was fun! Only like six members showed up, so half of the people there were missionaries, but it was good! We played a game and had a spiritual thought and I got to try and know some people better. 

On her first p-day in Milan, Sorella Snow visited the Duomo and an interesting church that is not far from the Duomo.
 San Bernardino alle Ossa is best known for it's ossuary, a small side chapel that is decorated with human skulls and bones.

Inside one of the chapels at San Bernardino alle Ossa

It's been raining cats and dogs the last couple of days, and man, when it rains in Milan, it pours. But I love the rain so it's okay! 
Umm, what else. I was trying to say we want to share a message (Vogliamo condividere un messaggio) but said we want to become a message (Vogliamo diventare un messaggio). So I can't think of much else for now! But I love you all so much! 
Love, Sorella Snow 

Finally...Travel to Italy - October 28, 2014

The group of missionaries headed for Milan, Italy, left on Tuesday, October 28, 2014, via Texas and London.  They arrived in Milan on Wednesday, October 29.  We were able to talk with Kim on the phone while she was in the Salt Lake City airport and the Dallas-Fort Worth airport.  It was so great to hear her voice and her enthusiasm to preach the gospel in Italy.
Sorelle Snow & Hawks

Some of the missionaries headed for Milan
On Wednesday afternoon, I got a phone call from one of the mission office elders to let me know that Kim had arrived safely and at that time was having dinner with the other new missionaries and President and Sister Dibb.  I was also informed that her first area was in the city of Milan and her trainer would be Sorella Carter.  Happy news!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

MTC Photos

Here are some photos from the MTC that Kim emailed home this morning:

Sorelle Yonk, Hogan, Snow & Hawks point to Italy on the MTC world map

Dress Like An Elder Day

MTC zone at Provo Temple - October 26, 2014

MTC District at Provo Temple
Anziani Hubbard & Mayberry, Sorelle Hawks & Snow, Anziani McPherson & Davis

The 6 MTC roommates
Sorelle Yonk, Hogan, Fuller, Bray, Hawks & Snow

Sorella Hawks & Sorella Snow

Look closely at this MTC trash can for a bit humor!
(Perhaps especially amusing to the Italy-bound missionaries and if you are a Vaccarello)