Tuesday, May 30, 2017

happy happy happy

Buondì!!

I love Catania. I love Sicily. I love my companion. I love my
district. I love the gospel. I love being a missionary. And most
importantly I love my Savior. Just so happy right now.

Busy week! We spent Monday and Tuesday in Siracusa on scambio with the
sorelle there. I was with Sorella Ferre from Sandy Utah :) She reminds
me of Audrey haha so it felt like I was with my friends at home :) We
had a blast! We did about 7 hours of finding and it felt like we
talked to about the entire city of Siracusa but we got some great
potentials!!!

I met a crazy older man the other day on the bus (shocker). He made us
laugh pretty hard. EVERYONE tries to speak in English to us even if

they only know how to say "how are you" and then they switch into
Italian or dialect. Well this guy was about 6 inches from my face and
tried to convince me he is a dog hahaha. But the only word he knew in
English was "dog" hahaha. "Sono un dog." Over and over again hahaha.
He was barking at us and even lifted his leg and pretended to pee
hahahah. Can't say I've had that one before πŸ˜‚ BUT, here's the cool
part. This had been going on for about 15 minutes and I was just dying
trying not to laugh. EVERYONE on the bus was overhearing this 50yr old
barking at 2 American girls and just dying laughing. So this guy in
his 20's was overhearing the "I'm a dog" conversation and came to the
rescue and started talking to us so the crazy guy couldn't. He was way
cool and we got his number for the elders. Thankful for that crazy guy
for getting the elders a new contact that is actually sane hahaha :)

We had Stake Conference so all the members from all of Sicily came to
Catania (including all 50 missionaries in Sicily). It was so awesome!
Elder Charles from England from the 70 came and spoke to us and my
companion and I got to talk to him for a few minutes afterwards. He
and his wife are awesome!

Zone Conference!!!!!!! Holy cow. I cannot believe we just had my 2nd
to last zone conference. I got my departure packet which kind of made
things feel more real. We talked about being "all in," our purpose as
missionaries, and our divine identity. It was amaaaazing. I loved it.
I just wish time would stop for a while :) We had a CRAZY weekend with
10 sisters in our apartment that should only be able to fit 3 or 4
hahaha and they're still with us today for a Zone pday so it's been
fun!

Last night we had a zone blitz and we all did finding together in
Centro. Some people were singing hymns, others were talking to people,
some were drawing with chalk and we had sooo much success from it!
Here are some of the cool stories:

I stopped this family and they responded to me in Spanish and told me
they're from the Dominican Republic. I called one of the new greenies
in our zone over who's from there too and it turns out they're FROM
THE SAME CITY. Sooo cool. We can understand Spanish pretty well
because it's so similar to Italian and they can understand us too so
it was really amazing! Anziano Sanchez was explaining the Book of
Mormon in Spanish and me in Italian but we could all communicate! The
Gift of Tongues is real! They promised us they will come to English
course tonight so hopefully we see some cool miracles from this
family!

I talked to another woman named Gabriella who has 2 kids and just told
me she feels like something is missing in her life. The other
missionaries were singing and she said as she walked by she just felt
so much peace. I got to talk to her for a good while and asked her if
she had ever prayed before and she said not since she was a young
child in catholic school. I explained to her that she can have a
personal relationship with God again and taught her how we pray in our
church. She said she would do it because she felt so "tranquil" while
talking to me :) The Spirit is so cool guys!!!! Hopefully we will be
able to meet with her again & follow up :)

This week I read the talk "What Lack I Yet" and have been trying to
focus on specific things I need to work on. I went through the
Christlike Attribute Challenge in chapter 6 of PMG and it helped me
think of some goals I want to work on :) It's a humbling experience
but definitely helps us strive to become more like the Savior. I
invite you guys to do it too! It's awesome. I love this quote by Elder
Bednar, “Most of us clearly understand that the Atonement is for
sinners. I am not so sure, however, that we know and understand that
the Atonement is also for saints--for good men and women who are
obedient, worthy, and conscientious and who are striving to become
better.”

I love you alllll. Sorry this was forever long--so much has happened
since last Monday! Hope you all have a great week :)

Con amore,
Sorella Hess

Via Genova 27
Catania 95127
Italia

Le foto:
Sorella Ferre aka my fav. Also Siracusa is beeeautiful
Pranzo with Dana and Agata and their cute kids
Reunited and it feels soo goooood. So fun seeing all our fav people at
stake conference!!!
Zone blitzes
Waiting at bus stops = serving in Catania.
Cutest zone ever
Another reason I love Catania. We run here every morning :) blesssssed
Zone frisbeeee today









Monday, May 22, 2017

Mbare vogghiu a canni ri cavaddu

Hey guys!! 

Subject line is in dialect haha. Italian isn't really that ugly :)

Currently on a road trip to Siracusa with the ZL's for an exchange with the sorelle there so stay tuned for next week :) It should be fun!

We worked our tails off this week and we've been able to see some cool miracles. We've had a ton of potential investigators these past couple weeks but haven't been able to meet with them again but this week we finally got our schedules coordinated and added several new investigators! 

Catania is really cool because there are so many young kids around our age. As a mission we've been really trying to focus on the golden age from mid-teens to the kid-twenties. This week we had a super fun activity with the youth and the YSA in the ward before institute and we invited all our contacts and investigators in that age group and we all played volleyball and ultimate frisbee at the church. We had a good turnout and it was a blast! 2 of our British friends Meredith and Neda came and seem interested in the church so we'll see where that goes! Also our friend Courtney from Washington state came and she's soo fun! They're all exchange students here for a year and are so cute. It's WEIRD teaching in English. Yeah, we teach africans and filipinos in English but it's different when they're Americans or British and our age haha. 

We were doing a mostra last night in centro with the elders and this guy walked by and spit on a Book of Mormon and was yelling some not very nice things at us and earlier in the week a lady did similar things as a big crowd of people was watching. Honestly my initial reaction would have been to yell back or get mad (the natural man in us) but it made me think about how people did the same thing to the Savior but instead of getting defensive and wanting to defend Himself or argue back, He just turned the other cheek and loved them. He was perfect and had dedicated his entire life to serving others. He had done nothing to deserve to be treated like that and had every reason to be frustrated but instead He asked His father to forgive them. That's true Christlike love and something I'm trying hard to develop because I'm far from perfect. I'm thankful for the mission though and the things I'm learning out here even though it's not always easy. Time is going fast and I am trying my best to continue to open my mouth and share the gospel with everyone that will hear it. I'm happier than I've ever been!!! 

Omni 1:26 says,
"And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved."

I am so thankful for the knowledge we have of the Savior's Atonement and that He is just waiting for us to come to Him and turn our lives over to Him. He's waiting at the door but we just have to let Him in! Pray for ways to serve others and I promise you guys will be happier :) Loooove you guys!!

Con amore,
Sorella Hess

Via Genova 27 
Catania 95127 
Italia

Le foto: 
First and only district pic after volleyball!
Beautiful sunsets πŸŒ… 
Cute Courtney :)
The elephant of Catania. Apparently it brings good luck!
Siracusa!!






Monday, May 15, 2017

I'm a wizard

Buongiorno guys!

Everything is going great down in Sicilia. I absolutely love it here!! 

I've always had a testimony of God especially protecting the missionaries but this week definitely confirmed it. We were walking home one night and there are these giant poles that stick out of the sidewalk so people won't park there. We literally couldn't have walked 5 steps past them when this car comes barreling into them and flattened them to the ground and then spun off and hit another car. We easily could've been seriously injured but luckily the car didn't hit anyone else on the sidewalk except the other car and they were all miraculously okay even though the cars were destroyed! Exact obedience brings miracles guys! 

Family history: We have a friend from California that lives on our block and we got to help her do family history this week. She's seriously one of the coolest people I've met on the mission. She is African American and has her PhD in English so she's a professor for a university here. It was so fun helping her and getting to know her better. She's a practicing Jew but we are hoping family history will trigger some questions about our church and she'll have more interest :) 
Adelaide: Okay this is my personal fav for the week. Saturday night we were doing finding in a cool park called Villa Bellini and we saw this girl who was crying and was obviously having a hard day. I'll be honest, I probably wouldn't have normally approached her but I literally felt like someone pushed me to talk to her. We sat down and asked if we could show her a video that we knew could help her and she said "yes, please do!" So we showed her Grazie a Lui (because of Him) and talked about having faith in Christ and how we can overcome our trials. She said what we were saying was super intriguing and that she instantly felt peace when we started talking :) We invited her to church and she came the next day! I love when we're just completely led by the Spirit to do something we normally wouldn't do but it turns out being a huge miracle! 

In other news, that same night we were walking down the street and this guy stops us and asks if we speak English. He proceeds to tell us he's a wizard and by the end of the conversation tries to kiss my comp...not just like on the cheek like normal here... like "a real kiss" (in his words). I turned into mama bear for a minute and we got outta there hahahaha.

I gave a talk in church on John 14: 17-18 which talks about how we won't be left comfortless in trials and that the Savior will come to us. As I've been studying this week, I've been able to reflect on the many times during my mission and my life where I felt alone and then every time without fail, I'm overwhelmed with the Savior's love.

Another thing I've learned a lot on the mission that was reinforced this week is how when things don't go to plan...there's nothing we can do about it. It's not worth it to get frustrated! Stuff hardly ever goes according to plan on the mission. It's okay because it's out of our control if buses aren't on time...or just don't pass at all, or if people cancel on us, or if they change the talent show to start at 9:30pm on a Friday night and then the missionaries can't go cuz #curfew. :) Learning to just roll with it :) 

Skype was awesome!!! I got to do a group Skype call with my brother Sam who's in Fiji so that was a blast. I love my fam! I hope all you Moms had a great Mother's Day! I love and appreciate you all :) 

Con amore,
Sorella Hess

Via Genova 27 
Catania 95127 
Italia

Sorella James quote of the week: "I feel like missionaries walking up to a member's house in Sicily for a meal appointment is like voluntarily choosing to get martyred."
You guys they feed us soo much here it literally HURTS you and feels like your stomach is going to tear and you're in pain for hours afterwards haha. It's such good food but almost turture.

Le foto:
1-the view on the way to the church each day
2-haha idk. 
3-1st vision Italian version
4-πŸ’•πŸ’•
5-one of the cool churches in Catania
6-the damage from the accident 😬





Sunday, May 7, 2017

Goodbye Bari....hello _______!!!!

Monday, May 1, 2017

"I'd keep 20 commandments for her"