Sunday, July 31, 2016

July 25, 2016 "Casertavecchia, miracle, e nuovi simpatizzanti!"

Buongiorno Cari Miei!

This week was amazing! We saw some incredible miracles. One night we
were doing finding in a park and we stared talking to a man on a
bench. He told us he was atheist and didn't want anything to do with
God, but we kept talking and after a minute he invited us to sit down.
We ended up teaching him the whole Restoration and gave him a BOM but
he wouldn't give us his number so we were a little bummed. Two nights
later we were at the same park doing finding and guess who we saw
again?? Roger!! I don't believe in coincidences. He immediately
invited us to sit down and asked us to share something else with him
so we went right into the Plan of Salvation. He asked some really good
questions and I pray that his heart continues to open up to our
message! Such a nice guy!! He said he's coming to English Course
tomorrow so we're going to try to meet with him again afterwards.

We added another investigator named Gaetana who owns a clothing store.
She's really cute and has known the missionaries for a while but
hasn't let us share a message. We stopped by to visit her and she had
several friends there in the store. She introduced us as the American
Mormon missionaries and asked us to share a thought on the Savior. So
cool!! We're hopefully teaching her the Restoration tonight :)

Another thing we do here in Italia for finding is a called a "mostra"
or a "gesso." It's where all the missionaries go to a busy part of
town and someone draws with chalk or does something to get others'
attention and the rest of the missionaries try to stop as many people
as possible. Last night we did a gesso with chalk and it was probably
the most successful one I've had yet on my mission! We got a bunch of
phone numbers so we're excited to contact them this week and explain
more about the church :)

The Anziani (elders) in our city made us lasagna & tiramisu for lunch
yesterday after church because one of them is from Milan. It was super
fun! There are two recent converts here in the ward that are always
helping the missionaries out with lessons, mostra's, etc. so they had
lunch with us too. I love when recent converts share their conversion
stories. It's one of the most powerful things ever :)

Today for P-day some of our English Course students, Rita e Salvatore,
offered to take us to Casertavecchia and then show us some cool places
around our area! It's this really beautiful ancient city up in the
mountains near Caserta. Then they showed us several really cool
chapels and took us to this silk factory. This week was full of really
awesome experiences but I'll keep it short :) I love you all! Thank
you for all of your support. Have a great week!!

Sorella Hess

Ps, my new address in Caserta is:
Sorella Whitney Hess
Via Caduti Sul Lavoro, 3
Caserta, CE

And our mission office moved this week so if you happen to send me a
package (😉)  our new address is:
Sorella Whitney Hess
Missione Italiana di Roma
Piazza Monte Gemma, 9

Later in the day........
Other photos!
We walked to the church less than an hour ago and it was barely
sprinkling, and then we just went outside and the roads are completely

Monday, July 18, 2016

July 18, 2016 "Una semana muy loca!!"

Hey guys!! Holy cow so a ton has happened since last week!! That feels
like a lifetime ago but also like yesterday!! Time on the mission is
so weird!!
Last Taranto District Pic

Tuesday: the AP's called us during comp study and said we'd have to go
to Bari the next morning for Slla Flansberg's trainer's meeting! We
had District Meeting and then all went out for pizza together. We took
a bus out to Lama to visit a less active so I could say bye to her,
but she ended up cancelling on us, so we did language study on the
beach by her house until the bus came. We came back and had a lesson
at the church with Iole and she had read all the way up to 1 Nephi 11
in just a couple days!! Whoo!! Then we had our last English course in
Taranto. I love them!!
Bye to Slla Flansberg & Mamma Lahaderne

Wednesday: We woke up at 3am to take a train to Bari. Huge tender
mercy because on Tuesday morning there was a massive head on train
crash that killed 27 people right outside of Bari. The missionaries in
Bari Zone said they take that train all the time but luckily every
missionary was in District meeting at that time on Tuesday. Heavenly
Father protects His missionaries. I'm so sad for those people and
their families who were effected by it. We came back to Taranto and
had pranzo and then we went over to say bye to my BFF Tanya in the
ward here. She's the cutest :) We had a lesson with Cristina after
that and MAMMA MIA. You guys, she's amazing. She walks in and shows us
what she's holding. It's a tithing slip! She said she fasted for the
first time on Sunday and is paying her first fast offering!! Whaatt?!
We hadn't even taught her about tithes/offerings yet!! She also told
us she's thinking about bearing her testimony sometime in church😍 Oh
man, it was so hard to say bye to her. She's incredible.
Caserta welcomed me with 2 days of rainstorms!!

Thursday: The senior couple, the Lahaderne's, picked us up and they
took me to the train station and dropped me off :( I love them so
much! It was hard to say bye to my cute comp and my second set of
parents. I took a train by myself for 4.5 hours up to Napoli. The
train went past Salerno, Mt Vesuvius, Amalfi, etc. It was so so
beautiful!! I met the whole zone there & got my first Napoli pizza
which was legendary!! So yummy. Ahh. We took a train to Caserta and
had English course! Long but awesome day! Also my new comp is Sorella
Peterson from Smithfield, Utah. She's the sweetest thing ever :) We're
going to have a super fun transfer!

At the Palace today! (Reppin' my Fezzari shirt Chris and Nancy) 😉

We walk a TON here. There's no buses in the city at all. Haha we've
averaged 9 miles a day since I got here. And we live on the 4th floor
and there's no elevator so you could say I'll be burning off all the
pizza I've eaten the past 5 months😂 Also we live about a mile away
from the Reggia (Caserta Palace) so we run there every morning. No
biggie, we just run to a castle everyday haha, don't be jealous ;) We
spent P-day today riding bikes around the massive gardens outside and
then did a quick walk through part of the castle. Have I told you guys
I love Italy yet? I might never come home... Just kidding mom ;)

Also, there are dialects ALL over Italy. Napolitano is real. We had a
lesson my first night here with a less active and all she was speaking
was in dialect and I felt like a greenie again. I understood 1 word in
10 haha. Finally she switched into real Italian haha thank goodness.
People don't finish their words here hahaha. Like instead of saying
"tutto posto" they say "tutto pos". Haha I love Italian so much.

We added a new investigator on Friday named Rory. She's from Chile and
is super cute! She will most likely be baptized sometime in August but
she's thinking about what date. Super exciting:)

Church was awesome on Sunday. I already love this ward so much!! We
have to translate every meeting because the ward is half American and
half Italian. Haha I totally got the chills when I heard the sacrament
prayer in English. I'd missed it. I love Italian so much too so it's
the best of both worlds here :)

Ok well I love you all!! Have a great week!! Happy Pioneer Day haha:)

Con amore come sempre,
Sorella Hess❤️

Monday, July 11, 2016

July 11, 2016

Ciao Amici,

I'm being transferred! I'm going to CASERTA which is a city that's
close to Napoli (Naples in English haha). I couldn't be more excited!!
All I know about it is what the members here have told me because I
can't really Google it as a missionary haha. You guys should send me
some info on it :) Apparently majority of the ward is American because
it has an American base there. Sacrament meeting is in English which
will be crazy! We translate it for the Italians is what I've been
told. It has a cool castle that's been in a bunch of different movies.
My comp is Sorella Peterson! She's 2 transfers older than me in the
mission and I actually met her on my first day in Italy so I'm
excited!! I should get there Thursday afternoon :)

So up until Thursday, we were having a pretty tough week work-wise.
Everything we had planned to do was falling through at the last
minute, and I mean everything...even our backup plans. We spent a lot
of time doing finding and less-active hunting. It got to the point
where we just had to laugh when things went wrong because if we didn't
do that we would've cried haha. But "the sun will come out, tomorrow!"
And it did!

On Thursday we had lunch with our Bishop and his wife. They are the
cutest couple ever! We always have a lot of fun with them. They
brought us back to the church after and we had a lesson with C
which went really well. She's progressing a lot :)

Ok back-story: 2 weeks ago when I was on exchange with Sorella Dustin,
we were teaching English course and one of our students, 'L'  asked us to 
pray for her friend. Afterwards she came up

to us crying and hugged/baced (kiss on both cheeks that everyone does
here) and said thank you. The next Tuesday in class, she asked us at
the end about the Book of Mormon and we explained it a little but had
to get going so we set up an appointment with her for Thursday before

So after our lesson with 'C', Iole was supposed to come at 6 for
a lesson before class started at 7. We didn't think she was coming
because it was 6:15, but guess who walked in?! 'L'! I almost cried
haha. So so happy! We were able to teach her the Restoration and add
her as an investigator. She's amazing! We have another lesson with her
tomorrow night :)

Saturday morning we got transfer calls and then did weekly planning.
We heard that there are 75 companionships in our mission and 72 of
them will be changed this transfer! Mamma Mia that's a lot of
missionaries moving!!! We've been going through and updating the ward
list and calling all the numbers to see which ones are still active.
The elders in Taranto are getting blown out and the elder that's
coming in is getting blown in and training, so hopefully the new list
helps out a little haha. It breaks my heart because there are many
people who have moved and changed numbers and the church doesn't know
where they are now so they're just lost :(

Sunday I bore my testimony in church and was able to say goodbye to a
lot of the members. It's so sad to be leaving! These people are like
family to me. 'E' and 'C' both came which was exciting.
'C' was so cute in church and just kept hugging me and she cried
and said "her American daughter can't leave her Italian mama." I'm
going to miss her so much.

We've decided this week that a mission is a lot like riding Space
Mountain at Disneyland. There are ups and downs and you can't really
tell when it's coming. This is the hardest but most amazing and
rewarding thing I've ever done. I wouldn't change it for the world.

I love you guys!! Ci sentiamo next week from Caserta!!🇮🇹

Sorella Hess

“Nothing valuable can come without sacrifice, effort, and patience.”
-Elder Holland

Città Vecchia Lungomare
Sorella Flansberg, 'G', me, and 'C' at church yesterday
Cutest girl ever. Carlotta :)
Sorella Parabita. Our cute Italian Grandma & one of the strongest
members of the church I've ever met.