Monday, December 26, 2016

Buon Natale Amici MieiπŸŽ„❤️

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 πŸ˜‰ 

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 πŸ’•

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Birthdays, Physical Therapy, English, and Prayer :)

Buon Natale Everyone πŸŽ„❤️πŸ’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 πŸ˜‚ 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  ❤️πŸ’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 ever😍 (DP is almost impossible to find in Italy)

Monday, December 12, 2016

Robberies, Being Alone, "c'Γ¨ 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 hadπŸ’•πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ

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❤️❤️πŸ˜‰). 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 :)