Monday, December 26, 2016

Buon Natale Amici Miei๐ŸŽ„❤️

Buon Natale a tutti!! I hope you guys had a great Christmas!! People aren't lying when they say the best Christmases are on the mission. It's been such an amazing week. The members here spoiled us. We're so blessed! It was awesome talking to my family yesterday too. I love those guys :)

We had two HUGE Christmas miracles yesterday. There is a less-active woman we've been working with since I got here back in July. We visit her several times a week and she's never been to church but yesterday she CAME. Sorella Neuberger and I both got teary-eyed as she walked in. We were so happy!

Right before sacrament meeting started our investigator Gianfranco came up to us and  said he's ready to be baptized as soon as we can do it!!! He's been coming to church for the last year or so but he's in a tricky situation and hasn't been able to get baptized until now. We both cried again right there when he said that!! We are so excited for him. He has the strongest testimony and hasn't missed a week of church since I've been here. Best Christmas gift ever❤️

It's been such a special week. I gotta keep this short because we are doing something reeeally cool for P-day today. Stay tuned for next week!! 

I've been studying this week from the Harmonies of the Gospel. It's right after the Bible Dictionary and before the JST. Mamma Mia, it's helped me a lot with understanding the New Testament and the chronology. My testimony of the Savior has grown so much this week as I've read about His life. I'm so thankful that He was born and that because of Him we can have eternal life with our families. I love my Savior and am eternally grateful for His atoning sacrifice. 

I hope you all have an amazing week. Don't party too hard for New Years ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

Con amore,
Sorella Hess

Via Caduti sul Lavoro 3 
Caserta, CE 81100

Christmas Eve with a cute family in the ward
Merry Christmas from the Caserta Sorelle :)
Best Christmas ever ๐Ÿ’•

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Birthdays, Physical Therapy, English, and Prayer :)

Buon Natale Everyone ๐ŸŽ„❤️๐Ÿ’š

Thank you all for the birthday wishes yesterday :) It was a great day! If 20 is anything near as great as 19 has been, I'm in for an amazing year! I hope you all have a Merry Christmas this week! I'm super excited to Skype my fam on Sunday. This week was great. We've seen a lot of miracles even though a lot of our investigators have been really busy and haven't been able to see us. We were singing some Christmas songs together the other day with a couple less-actives and the 30yr old daughter just cried because the Spirit was so strong. I love Christmas time and the Spirit music brings :)

Wednesday I went to the doctor in Napoli because I've been having a sharp pain above my belly button for the past month or so whenever I walk up. Not enough to stop me from working but it's just annoying more than anything. Turns out my scoliosis has gotten worse and that's what's causing the pain so they're making me do physical therapy once a week. Not a big deal :) We went back on Thursday and the physical therapist strapped me to all kinds of crazy machines hahaha. Don't worry though, we taught him the La Restaurazione while I was laying there haha ;) 

We had an awesome lesson with a girl named Sofia who's 21 and is from Nigeria. She just got to Italy a year ago. She's darling and we had a really powerful lesson on the restoration with her. It was our first time teaching the restoration in English so it was pretty simple but it went well. We realized about halfway through that we don't know the entire first vision in English hahahaha. Oh man. I was translating it in my head from Italian to English the whole time haha. 

The ward Christmas party was a success in Saturday night. We had the English Course students do the nativity for the ward in English and it was hilarious. I love when Italians speak English haha. Before the party we went with some members and dropped off a ton of groceries and food for one of the less-active members in the ward who can't afford a Christmas. It was so sweet to see how happy she was. Her friend that was there came to church on Sunday and is now an investigator. It's amazing the miracles that come from service.

My birthday on Sunday was awesome!! Easily one of the best birthdays I've ever had. My cute comp woke up early and made me French toast and then when we were getting for church ready the elders surprised us and brought by cinnamon rolls. Church was great! We had a lesson right after the block with Patience (the friend of the less-active) and Veronica was the member present. Patience is also from Nigeria so the lesson was in English. I didn't think Veronica would say much because she doesn't speak a lot of English, but she LAID IT DOWN. She was sharing all kinds of scriptures and quotes from Preach My Gospel and bearing her testimony of baptism. It was amazing. She is a powerful missionary already and she was just baptized a month ago.

After that the senior couple invited all us missionaries over for a Taco party for my birthday! They are the cutest. It was such a fun day!! Today we are celebrating by getting district pedicures ๐Ÿ˜‚ Not my idea but I'm pumped. I think the elders are more excited than we are haha. 

I've been studying a lot about Prayer this week. As missionaries we pray sometimes up to 30 times a day or more! Sometimes I find myself getting repetitive and I used to blame it on the language and that I just didn't know how to say other stuff, but I made it a goal this week to make my prayers more like a conversation with the Lord. It's amazing the change it's had on me. I love you all! Thanks for all the birthday wishes! I hope you all have a Merry Christmas! Remember the reason for the season  ❤️๐Ÿ’š

Con amore,
Sorella Hess

Via Caduti sul Lavoro 3 
Caserta, CE 81100
Pics: Caserta statue lit up for Christmas, not a bad view from the Dr's office, physical therapy, best bday present ever๐Ÿ˜ (DP is almost impossible to find in Italy)

Monday, December 12, 2016

Robberies, Being Alone, "c'รจ una puzza", Quasi Christmas :)

Buongiorno guys!! Wowowowow. Are you ready to hear about this crazy week?! Here we go!
Tuesday during pranzo we had to have the elders come to our apartment because a service guy had to come work on it and we couldn't be alone with him. It took like 6 men to figure it out haha. The wall in our study room that connects to the apartment next to us smells like there's a dead animal inside and it's been like that for weeks. We've cleaned our apartment top to bottom and couldn't figure it out but turns out it's a water pipe break or something from the apartment next door and has been rotting our walls. Eww. 

Wednesday morning bright and early at 5am the elders call us and say that they just got off the phone with the police. Apparently someone robbed the church so we all had to go down and sure enough they had taken the computer, tv, some other random stuff, and a wheelchair (get-away car lol). We all went down to the police station and turns out they found all the stuff on the side of the road...? Guess the guy just left it all? We filled out a police report and got cameras installed in the church and the locks changed haha. 

Later that afternoon we were back at the police station for Sorella Neuberger's permesso di soggiorno (Italian visa). We had been waiting for over 3 hours and finalllly this lady came and got her. I get up to go with her and the lady (who wasn't very polite to me to put it nicely haha) told me I had to stay there. Well my brand new companion was gone for 45 minutes and I was left alone in a parking lot full of men. I was asked on 2 dates by men that didn't speak English or Italian haha and realized that there's a reason we preach the gospel 2 by 2 hahaha. Finally they let her go and we got out of there real fast haha. Traumatizing day for both of us hahaha.

The other night we HEARD A SAM HUNT SONG on in a store and mamma mia, it took everything in us to keep our cool. I honestly haven't heard 1 country song since I've been in Italy and it definitely made our night. I love my little southern, country loving companion :) :)

Thursday to Friday I was on exchange with Sorella Bellomo. She's from a town near Milan up north in Italy. She's absolutely amazing and the cutest person ever. We had so much fun together!! I know we were friends in heaven :) She made me promise to fly out to Italy for her wedding after the mission haha. She doesn't speak much English so the whole exchange was in Italian which was awesome. I survived SYL-ing for over 24 hours! Holllaaa! There are so many incredible missionaries in this mission. I love getting to know new people.

I gave a talk in church yesterday about service and I based my talk off of part of the talk by Elder Bednar from this last Conference. "Serving Him requires all of our heart, might, mind, and strength. We grow to love those whom we serve. And because serving others is serving God, we grow to love Him and our brothers and sisters more deeply." I know this is true that as we serve others, our love for them grows and so does our relationship with God. I love you all!! Pray for opportunities to serve and you will be truly happy :)

We're spending the day on the Amalfi Coast again so pictures to come next week! Siate forti!! Siate una luce per il mondo! Vi voglio tantissimo bene :)

Con amore,
Sorella Hess

Via Caduti sul Lavoro 3 
Caserta, CE 81100

Fav italiana :)
Pic with the police hahaha
Post-gesso district pic

Monday, December 5, 2016

"Back to December"

We worked so hard this week and mamma mia are we tired! Those are the best weeks though. Here are some of the highlights of this week:

Tuesday we had an AWESOME double member-present lesson with 2 of our recent converts in the ward and our investigator Stefania. Luana and Veronica are amazing. Their testimonies are so strong and by the end of the lesson they were all crying. It was incredible to see the fellowshipping and the spirit working hand in hand. Tuesday was also the coldest day of my mission so far. I think my blood is thinning out after that deathly hot summer or something but we were FREEZING. Humidity isn't my friend.

Wednesday after DDM we found the bessst restaurant. Half priced lunch on Wednesday's so you better believe we'll be back there again soon. Best mozzarella sticks I've ever had๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿผ

Thursday we went to the military base to help the American ladies in the ward make quilts. My finger got smashed in the car door so that was fun :') Then we went out and visited Florien our investigator from the Philippines that we hadn't seen in forever. On the way home our bus driver was so cool. We gave him one of our wrapped copies of the Book of Mormon and it was fun to see how excited about it he was. 

Friday we had a scambio!! I was with Sorella Barnes from North Salt Lake. This is also her 3rd week in the mission along with my companion's. :) She is so sweet! It was really fun getting to know her better. We had an appointment set up and when we got to her house she wasn't there. I was kind of frustrated because we had called and confirmed it, but Sorella Barnes said, "It's ok! There's obviously someone else Heavenly Father wants us to talk to!" We actually did run into a couple of our less-actives on the street after that and had a cool lesson that we wouldn't have had. I'm thankful for her positive attitude! New missionaries are the best.

Saturday we had Specialized Training as a Zone--Christmas style. It's always fun to see President and Sorella Pickerd and be together as a zone. (shout out to Sorella Pickerd because she told me she reads my group emails❤️❤️๐Ÿ˜‰). At the end we reenacted the nativity which was so fun! I love Christmas time :)
Sunday we taught RS on humility and unity which was really fun. We translate for ourselves so that was interesting haha but it went well :) 

One of our investigators taught us a cool analogy a couple weeks ago. She said that we are a lot like a clay pot that is being molded. Sometimes we get torn down and we don't understand why and have to start back over but then we realize that we are just being shaped into something better. I was reading the talk, "Yielding Our Hearts to God" this morning. One of the things I've learned on the mission is that the Lord ALWAYS knows better than we do and that He is apart of every aspect of our lives. If we submit our will to His, we will be so much happier! :)

"So trusting my all to thy tender care,
And knowing thou lovest me,
I’ll do thy will with a heart sincere:
I’ll be what you want me to be."

I love the mission, the people here, Italian culture, my companion, sharing this gospel, and my Savior! I'm so happy here :) Love you all!! Thank you for your love and support❤️

Con amore,
Sorella Hess

Via Caduti sul Lavoro 3 
Caserta, CE 81100

Le foto:
Braving the arctic
Nativity ft. Napoli Zone
Napoli today for pday as a district with the Battipaglia Sorelle :)

Monday, November 28, 2016

✨Sii una luce✨

Met some AMERICAN girls the other day outside our apartment (WHAT).
The asked to take a selfie with us so of course we did ;)
Buongiorno cari miei!
I hope you all had a fun Thanksgiving! Ours didn't disappoint. We were
spoiled by some of the American members here :) #blessed.
This week was awesome come sempre. We had an awesome DDM. One of the
elders taught about the diligence and I loved how he explained it. The
work for diligence in Italian is diligenza and the verb for that is
diligere. The translation for diligere is "to love tenderly." In order
for us to be diligent, we need to love people tenderly. One of my
favorite books, PMG (hahaha embracing the missionary life ๐Ÿ˜Š), shares
this quote by Ezra Taft Benson, “I have often said one of the greatest
secrets of missionary work is work! If a missionary works, he will get
the Spirit; if he gets the Spirit, he will teach by the Spirit; and if
he teaches by the Spirit, he will touch the hearts of the people and
he will be happy. There will be no homesickness, no worrying about
families, for all time and talents and interests are centered on the
work of the ministry. Work, work, work--there is no satisfactory
substitute, especially in missionary work.”
I love that!! I've definitely seen this on the mission. The happiest
days are the ones where you go to bed at night completely EXHAUSTED
because you've been running around all day from appointment to
appointment sharing the gospel. :)

Casertavecchia today :)
We started advertising for the church's Christmas campaign this year,
"sii una luce." I think it's "be a light" in English :) We've already
seen so many miracles as we've used it in finding this weekend. The
Spirit is so strong at this time of year. I invite you all to go on and to do the daily challenges with us as we "light the
world" this Christmas season!! :) Another cool thing our Zone is doing
for every day of December is that each companionship is giving away a
wrapped copy of the Book of Mormon to someone as a gift. It'll be over
250 copies of the Book of Mormon given away just from the Napoli zone.
You guys are all more than welcome to do it with us ;) Be a light!!

The field is white here in Caserta. I'm learning so much every single
day from my companion, our investigators, the ward members, the
scriptures, and the Spirit!! We were watching a video on gospel
library the other night and they said something interesting about how
God doesn't need us to go do His work in the mission field necessarily
but He knows that WE need the opportunity. It reminded me of this
quote by President Uchtdorf, "God does not need us to love Him. But
oh, how we need to love God!" I love you all!! The church is true :)

Con amore,
Sorella Hess

Via Caduti sul Lavoro 3
Caserta, CE 81100 Italia

Met some AMERICAN girls the other day outside our apartment (WHAT).
The asked to take a selfie with us so of course we did ;)
Casertavecchia today :)

Monday, November 21, 2016

"God is great, pizza's good, and people are crazy."

Ester & Pia
Picking up Sorella Neuberger
Well this week was absolutely not what I was expecting but it was
great!! We got our transfer calls Monday nights and I thought I would
for sure be transferred because I've been here since July, but.....I
found out I would be staying here and getting a new missionary! I was
so happy!! I love it here so much and am excited for the opportunity
to train a new Sister!

We had a crazy week getting everything ready and so Sorella Jarnagin
could say bye to everyone. We had a really cool lesson on Tuesday
before English course with our investigator Stefania who's 19. We
taught her the Plan of Salvation with one of our recent converts,
Luana. Stefania accepted a baptismal date and has already started the
Book of Mormon so we're excited about that :)
Thursday morning we took the train to Napoli and waited for my new
companion to get here. She got off the train and I immediately knew we
would get among great :) Her name is Sorella Neuberger from Lexington
South Carolina. She went to BYU for the past year and is so cute.
We've already had so much fun together so the next few months will be
a blast!! She's taught me so much already. The first day we had
English course and she bore her testimony at the end and was so sweet
and brought the Spirit. The next day I showed her how to do English
course finding and she just jumped right in and started talking to
people on the street. It was so awesome to see how willing she is to
talk to anyone. She's amazing :)

Saturday night we had a Thanksgiving Party at the church with the ward
members and then we also invited people from English Course. We had an
awesome turnout!! We added a new investigator named Omayra who's from
Columbia. She's so nice and seems really interested in the church so
I'll keep you posted! ๐Ÿ˜Š
First Napolitano Pizza
Sunday we had a gesso with the Anziani and yet again she just blew me
away with how brave she was! We added a new investigator right there
on the street and she seems really promising. Caserta sta fiorendo

I'm so thankful for this opportunity I have to be a missionary. Il mio
cuore รจ pieno (my heart is full). "All that I treasure most in life
began to mature in the mission field." -Richard G. Scott. I invite you
all to take a minute to write down some of the things you are thankful
for and you will be overwhelmed by everything the Lord has given us. I
love this time of year and the Spirit that is in the air. It's
especially strong out here on the mission as we can focus on serving
other people and helping them feel the Spirit. La vita รจ bella!!

Vi voglio un tacchino di bene๐Ÿฆƒ❤️
Sorella Hess

Le foto
Ester & Pia
Picking up Sorella Neuberger
First Napolitano Pizza

Monday, November 14, 2016

La vita รจ bella ๐Ÿ’•

Veronicas baptism!!
Helllooooo :) :) :) It's been such a great/crazy week!! I'll start off with the highlight...Veronica's Baptism!! Everything went perfectly and she was so so happy. She was baptized on the US military base and we had a lot of support from the ward. She bore her testimony at the end and said that it was the happiest day of her life and that the feelings she felt were indescribable. ๐Ÿ˜Š It's moments like that that make the whole mission 100% worth it. All the hard days and cancelled appointments. My heart just felt so full. I'm so thankful Heavenly Father allowed us to be a small part of her conversion. She's amazing๐Ÿ’•

We had Thanksgiving with an American family in the ward on Friday night which was awesome. We're so blessed here in this city haha. It's getting really cold really fast. We've whipped out all the coats and tights and it's still freezing! This humidity is brutal. We're "babysitting" Sorella Wise from Battipaglia for the next 4 days until transfers because her companion finishes her mission tomorrow so we're having fun in the trio!

I was studying repentance the other day and found this quote by Spencer W. Kimball that says, "True repentance makes a brilliant day out of the darkest night." I love that. Repentance doesn't have to be a sad and hard thing. Someone loved us enough to give His life for us so we don't have to pay for our own mistakes. All we have to do is repent and come unto Him. As I watched Veronica take the sacrament for the first time as a baptized member of the church yesterday, I thought to myself how incredible it is that we can renew our baptismal covenants every single week.

I love the 2nd and 3rd verse of "As Now We Take The Sacrament" that says, "As now our minds review the past, We know we must repent; The way to thee is righteousness--The way thy life was spent. Forgiveness is a gift from thee, We seek with pure intent. With hands now pledged to do thy work, We take the sacrament. As now we praise thy name with song, The blessings of this day Will linger in our thankful hearts, And silently we pray For courage to accept thy will, To listen and obey. We love thee, Lord; our hearts are full. We’ll walk thy chosen way."

I love you guys. Thank you for your examples and testimonies. Pray for missionary opportunities :)

Baci da Caserta,
Sorella Hess

 Il battesimo!
La Reggia la settimana scorsa :)

Monday, November 7, 2016

9 months, la Reggia, benedizioni ovunque!!

Buongiorno a tutti!

We are so excited for this Saturday for Veronica's baptism. She's doing amazing! She came with us this past weekend to Pozzuoli to see a baptism and she loved it. We were on exchanges the other night and I was with Sorella Crandell from Lindon and we had a really powerful lesson with her. We talked about eternal marriage, temples, family history, etc. Back in our mission conference a few weeks ago, Sister Nelson (Russell M. Nelson's wife) invited us to explain to people that their ancestors are likely listening into their lessons and are also progressing in the gospel. We aren't only sharing the gospel with one person but most likely affecting generations! She invited us to pray to be able to find people whose ancestors have already accepted the gospel on in the Spirit world and are waiting to have their work done on earth. We explained all this to her and she was so excited to get started with family history work. She bore her testimony in Fast and Testimony Meeting yesterday and brought her parents to church. On the way to Pozzuoli we were talking to a lady about the church and Veronica jumped in and bore her testimony of the church and how much joy it's brought her already. And she told us she's already set aside the money for her tithing that she'll pay next Sunday right after she's baptized :) She's so in gamba (on the ball).

We celebrated my 9 month mark getting pizza after English course. Italy is so awesome. We just choose a random pizzeria every time (because there are like 20 within 3 blocks of our apartment haha) and every single one is delicious. I'm scared I'll get transferred somewhere else and the pizza won't be good to me anymore because this zone is known for having the best pizza in Italy ๐Ÿ˜

This week has been incredible! It's so hard to summarize a whole week in an email but these have been the main highlights! I love Caserta :) Sta fiorendo ancora!

One of the Mormon Messages we show quite a bit is "Your Privilege, Your Potential" by President Uchtdorf. It's one of my favorites! It's about the man on the cruise who thought that he had to bring his own food so he ate crackers and beans the whole week and stayed inside his room. Then on the last night, he realizes that the price of the ticket included food and all the parties! We need to live up to our potential! We've been given so many amazing gifts that we need to take full advantage of so that we can become who God wants us to be! The Atonement, Book of Mormon, conference talks, the Ensign, technology, etc. are all tools that we've been given so we can reach our full potential!

"If you live up to your privileges, the angels cannot be restrained from being your associates.” Joseph Smith

I love you all! Spero che la settimana prossima sia fantastica!! 
Sorella Hess

Le foto:
Scambio in Battipaglia! I walked 13.3 miles that day๐Ÿ˜‚ I beat you Mom and Grandma ;)
At the baptism in Pozzuoli on Saturday night! Sorella Crandell and Veronica :)
La Reggia for pday today! 
My cute collega :)

Monday, October 31, 2016

Quanto sarร  grande la vostra gioia๐Ÿ’›

Sorella Hess comin' at ya live from the Amalfi Coast round 2!! Easily my favorite place on earth.

The wind is INSANE today so this is as good as the pics from Amalfi got haha
It's only been 6 days but we've had a crazy week with so many miracles. The biggest had definitely been Veronica (the girl that showed up at church a few weeks ago and said she wants to learn more about our church!) She's incredible and hasn't missed a night of reading the Book of Mormon since we met her and has been to church every week :) She's preparing for her baptism for next Saturday the 12th!! She's so prepared for the gospel. We meet with her almost every night and just walk away from each lesson so amazed by how amazing she is. Her testimony is so strong already :)
With Veronica after the Halloween party :)

I could stay here for the rest of my life and never get sick of it.
Our mission has been doing a mission prayer every night right at 10pm where each companionship prays to be able to reach our new standard of excellence for the mission. It's amazing how many miracles we have seen from it! The Sorelle from Battipaglia came to Caserta and did exchanges with us this week and it was fun to blitz a city and get a lot of work done! We're doing an exchange with them in their city tonight and tomorrow so it should be fun! :) On Saturday night we did a Halloween Party for our English course students and the ward and it was super successful! Several of our investigators came and were able to meet members of the ward :) Member missionary work and fellowshipping is crucial!! The mission is amazing and it's making me pretty sad to think that this journey is halfway over this week! These past 9 months have FLOWN by and I've grown and learned in so many ways. I'm so excited to see what is in store for the next 9 months :) I am thankful that as missionaries we have the opportunity to see a small glimpse of God's love for His children. It's humbling to know that someone loved us enough to give His life for us so that we can overcome sin and return to our Father in Heaven one day. I testify that if you pray, God will listen. He loves us more than we know and wants us to be happy :) Vi voglio un montagne di bene!! Prego per la vostra felicitร  ogni giorno :) Con tanto amore, Sorella Hess :) With Veronica after the Halloween party :) The wind is INSANE today so this is as good as the pics from Amalfi got haha I could stay here for the rest of my life and never get sick of it.