Monday, March 21, 2016

First email from Italy!! 3/21/2016 Week #6

Wow what a week it's been!! So rewind to the last days of the MTC, we
had a great last week getting everything ready to go and saying bye to
all of our friends we made there. Monday morning we woke up at 4am and
got our stuff all together and said bye to our Milano Sorelle. Then we
were off to the airport!! I got to talk to my family which was the
best thing ever! We had a 4hr flight to JFK and then an hour layover
and then flew directly to Rome!! I didn't have anyone in the seat next
to me for the last 8.5hr flight so I was able to sleep majority of the
time. I can honestly say flying over the Alps as the sun was coming up
was hands down one of the coolest things I've ever seen.

We got to Rome at 9am their time and met President Waddoups and the
AP's and then went over to the Rome Temple construction site!! Ah I
can't even tell you how beautiful it is. I pray that it will be
finished while I'm still in Italy!! Then we went to the Villa (mission
home built in the 1920's by Mussolini) and we met Sorella Waddoups
(she's a doll. I love her so much!!) The AP's took us to the Metro and
we went to Downtown Rome and saw all kinds of cool stuff: the
Colosseum, Roman forum, the Capitol building, piazza del popolo, a
really cool chapel, etc.

The next day we set up our iPads and had trainings all afternoon and
then that night we opened our golden envelopes that tell us where our
first area is and who our trainer is!! Like I said, I'm in Taranto and
my trainer is Sorella Adamson from Melbourne Australia!! The very
first thing President said to me was "How's your Australian Sorella
Hess?? And DON'T DRINK THE WATER." Lol. Turns out there are parasites
in the water here so we have to buy all of our water that we drink.
Taranto is on the top of the arch of the heel of the boot, right on
the ocean.

The next morning we woke up at 4am and took the metro to Termini, the
big train station in Rome, and met up with a lot of other missionaries
to go to our new areas. They made a mistake with me and accidentally
put me on the train to Bari instead of the train to Cosenza where my
trainer was waiting for me, so we took a 7hr train ride and then they
put me on a train for 3hrs by myself from Bari to Taranto. My poor
comp was in Cosenza to pick me up so she also had to ride back to
Taranto by herself. Well I can now say that I have ridden a train
alone through Italy! Check that one off the bucket list haha. Anziano
and Sorella Lahederne, our senior couple in Taranto, were waiting for
me at the train station and I hung out with them for the rest of the
night until my trainer got there at 9pm. They took me with them to the
chapel for English course where I met the Anziani in our district.
English course is a blast!! Haha it was a crazy day but I was glad
everything worked out.

That next night we had a ward relief society party and I got to meet a
lot of the sisters in the ward! They are soooo sweet. I love Italians
so much already. They all just hug and kiss me on the cheeks and tell
me how bella (beautiful) my blonde hair is😊 I'm literally the only
blonde person in the ward hahaha. It was supposed to start at 6 but
they didn't even start until 6:35 lol. Italian time😂 The food here is
UNREAL. I will probably have to be rolled off the plane in 16 months
haha. Just kidding, we walk a ton to make up for how much they feed

We had a lesson with one of our investigators on Saturday night with a
couple from the ward. Wowwww. Italians talk fast hahahaha. I can catch
a couple words in every phrase but most of it just goes right over my
head. Ma va bene!! I know it'll come😊 I just keep praying to be
patient with myself and to focus on loving the people. After that we
went down to Centro (pronounced chen-tro) which is the main downtown
part of Taranto where all the shopping and stuff is! We did some
finding and I got my first gelato😏

Our first Sunday was so fun! Church is great! The ward here is strong
and everyone is so sweet! After church we had pranzo (lunch) with some
members! They gave me a huge bowl of pasta and I was already
struggling to eat it all, and then they brought out the rest of the
meal--chicken, bread, dessert, etc! Sorella Adamson told me it was
actually a super small meal soooo.... #pray4sorellahess hahaha. My
poor stomach needs to stretch ASAP😂
I love being here! Italy is more amazing than I could've imagined!!
It's so beautiful! Everyone just laughs at me because I'm always
taking pictures of everything!! They just say "I was like that when I
was a greenie too! You get used to it." 😂
I'm so thankful for the opportunity we have to communicate with our
Father in Heaven whenever we want. He loves us so much. Although I
can't communicate with these people very well yet, I know how much our
Heavenly Father loves them and I want to share that love with them.

Sorry for basically writing a book, but so much has happened since
last time I wrote!! I love you all!! Grazie per tutti!!

Con amore,
Sorella Hess

Pics: gelato on Saturday night
Colosseum with my MTC Zone

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Ciao from Rome!!! 3/14/2016 Week #5 1/2 :)

Hi Mom and Dad!! 
I'm here in Rome emailing from Sorella Waddoup's ipad!! It's so beautiful here!!!! We went to the temple earlier and then had lunch at the mission home. Now we're heading down to downtown Rome to hand out pass-a-long cards:) Sooo excited!! We find out tonight which area we're going to:) I love you guys!! Talk to you next week on P-day!!!!

Sorella Hess:) 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

MTC week 5 (last week at the MTC) March 10, 2016


We leave in 4 days!!! What?! I'm beyond excited. We fly out on Monday at 11am from SLC to JFK, and then directly to Rome. Our time here in the MTC has FLOWN by! This week has been really fun! Since we were expecting to fly out on the 7th, we crammed everything we were supposed to learn in really quickly, so this week we just did a lot of reviewing which has been helpful. :) 

Due to our departure changes (Milano missionaries are now leaving on the 21st), Sorella Rogers and I got put in a trio with Sorella Keglovitz who is also going to Rome. She's from southern Oregon:) It's been fun figuring out how to teach with 3 people!

We had a fast and testimony meeting on Sunday in Italian and we all got to bear our testimonies. It was so cool to see how much we've all learned both spiritually and with the language since we've been here. 5 weeks ago we got here and couldn't even introduce ourselves (mi chiamo Sorella Hess) and now we can pretty much carry a conversation and teach the lessons in full Italian!

I taught a lesson on Sunday in Relief Society on Enduring to the End. As I was studying for it, I kept thinking about how important it is to not just endure, but to endure WELL. Just like in D&C 121! We're going to go through hard things in life, but it's important to do our best to have a good attitude about it. :)

I can't remember if I said this in my group email last week or not, but for the past couple weeks we've been able to Skype with members who live in Italy and teach them a lesson. This week we taught this man in Genova (northern Italy) and it was so awesome! Italians are the coolest people. I can't wait to get there and to serve them:)

Yesterday we went around the room as a district and shared our 1st impressions of each other. It was hilarious! We've all become so close these past 6 weeks. Every single person has taught me so much. I know certain people are placed in our lives for a reason. :) 

I'm so excited (& a little bit nervous) for this next week. I've been waiting for this for the past 6 months (Well, and my entire life, but I've had my call for over 6 months now:)). Sono emozionata condividere il Vangelo di Gesu Cristo con le persone in Italia! So che questa chiesa e vera. So che noi siamo i figli di Dio e che Lui ci ama. Vi voglio bene!! Grazie per tutti che voi fate per me:) I'm excited to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the people in Italy. I know that this church is true. I know that we are the children of God and that He loves us. I love you all! Thank you for all that you do for me:)

Pink Day Wednesdays
Talk to you all on the 21st!! Ciao ciao for now America!

Con amore,
Sorella Hess

Pic: Our "on Wednesdays we 
wear pink"

With Sorella Teague (she is going to Milan)

District on point

Flight plans!!

Hanging with the District

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Week 4


So...more big news this week! We actually aren't flying out until the 14th. They were planning on having us leave on the 7th, but some missionaries in my zone have visas that wont allow them to be in the country until our original date which is the 14th. It was kind of a bummer at first because we were all so excited to get to Italy, but it's okay because we need as much practice with the teaching and with the language as we can get. So, T-10 days until Italy--for real this time :)

These past couple weeks we've been hosting new missionaries coming in on Wednesdays and it's one of the highlights of my week! It's so fun being with them and helping them get settled in here. There are some pretty amazing missionaries here that are going to bless a lot of people around the world. The work really is hastening! As of last week there were 1200 missionaries here in the MTC and 53% were sisters!! #sistermissionariesforthewin!!

I started il Libro di Mormon over again this week and as I've been reading, I just keep noticing how simple and beautiful our gospel is. In 1st Nephi, it talks a lot about "the plain and precious truths of the gospel," and how those are the easiest for people to understand. We don't need to have a big and elaborate explanation when we're sharing the gospel. We just need to teach the simple truths and invite the Spirit to be present, and that's how hearts are converted to the truth.

We had a discussion this week in class about how it's okay to not know all things. In fact, when we have questions about the gospel, it means we're learning and growing. We may get questions on our missions that we don't know the answers to, but we can testify just like Nephi in 1 Nephi 11:17, "I know He loveth His children, nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things." It's so important to know that we're God's children and that He loves us. That's why it's typically the first point we teach. If we have faith in God and do all we can, He will take care of us. I love this Gospel! It brings me so much joy and comfort!

I love you all! Vi voglio bene! Thank you for all you do for me! You're all such great examples to me. I'm one blessed Sorella :)

Con amore sempre,

Sorella Hess