Sunday, February 7, 2010


Posted by Picasa


Posted by Picasa


Posted by Picasa


Posted by Picasa


Posted by Picasa


Posted by Picasa


That's the lesson that I am getting out of this package fiasco at least. Not only do we not have any idea where the package is but the package people now have no idea where I am right now either. Or, where I could be in 1 week when we have transfers again...Sunday night I was told that I would be going to Verona for 2 days for exchanges while my companions would stay in Pordenone. Monday morning at 8 am my mission president called me and asked me if I could go to Milan in 4 hours instead. I thought he meant that they had figured out a way for me to get my permit, but I thought wrong. I had to pack up all my bags, trek across town with all of them, then travel alone to Venice (well, Mestre, which is about 5 minutes from Venice) and from Venice to Milano. Hopefully I'll go back to Pordenone sometime so I can actually see Venice on a pday. And now I am back in Milano 2 serving with my first companion again. Her companion went home a bit early and they needed another body here at least until transfers which are in a little less than 2 weeks. I sure am glad I didn't end up spending money on a bike in Pordenone!

I am really, really happy to be here though. And Sister Simons was nearly in tears when she saw me. I think she and I have learnd a lot the past couple weeks of being apart about the importance of appreciating and loving one another and being humble in order to do the Lord's work. We are basically starting from scratch here again and it's a fun adventure.

As for Mom's questions..

Where did you and Crust do yoga? Did you go to a class or just use a video? I try to do yoga at least 1 time a week. All of my companions that I have had have started exercising with me about a week into every transfer. The first few days they just look at me funny (rightfully so, I generally do those exercises from the 30day shred video which are kind of random - not as wierd as the Jane Fonda moves though, at least) and keep doing their stretches. About the 4th day they ask me where I learned all the exercises. And by the end of the week during companionship inventory they ask if they can do them with me. Today for Pday here in Milano all the sisters from the other wards wanted to get together and have me teach a yoga class (I guess my companion mentioned something to them while i was gone)...but then 20 minutes ago they called and asked if we could postpone it until next week and get pizza together instead. My companion and I have gone running together the past two mornings, though, and she seems pretty determined to keep it up. Plus, it is nice to have the wieghts again here in the Milano apartment. In Pordenone I had to make some really ghetto weights with old hot chocolate containers filled with rocks and batteries.

Here in Italy the missionary couples never teach the English classes. Maybe in other countries, though. Did I tell you about the missionary couple in Pordenone? They worked mostly on the American military base nearby, primarily doing reactivation with those working there.

Please forgive me, I did not write down Mosiah 4:14 last week so I did not remember where it was that I was supposed to read and respond to. I will this week.

I wear the black coat you sent me and sometimes my tan one on warmer days. I generally am warm enough if I am not lazy in the moring and put on all necessary 5 layers under my clothes.

In Pordenone I only ate at members homes 2x. Well, one of the members was a very less active. Eating with members in Italy really takes up too much time so we try to avoid it. We really don't get that many invitations anyway, and it is always super large amounts of pasta that they feed us...I am still not sold on pasta despite what everyone said about liking it once I got here and had real Italian pasta. The desserts though here are killers! I told you about the Tiramasu already, I believe, but not about the chocolate ricotta cheese cake concoction that I ate at the other members' house in Pordenone. Oh man, so good. It is nice when members want to feed us but really the thing we need most is for them to come with us to appointments or give us referrals for their friends who we can teach. Or, it would be incredible if members would just drop food, or just desserts, off to us like our ward does back home.

Completely heathy thanks to airborne (or the Italian brand thereof).

We did teach the Congolese family was incredible! The father wasn't home yet when we got there so we chatted with the mom and the 2 daughters for a bit first. The mom was telling us all about how important it is for her to teach her daughters from the scriptures, the daughters were sharing their favorite stories from the scriptures, and they mentioned that their dad loooved one of the talks that they heard in sacrament meeting and sat them all down when they got home from church and shared his thoughts on the talk. When the dad finally got there he basically taught our lesson. We sang 'I am a Child of God' first then I asked him how God leads and guides us today. Then he literally, point by point, went through the entire first lesson talking about how God loves us all, called prophets to help guide families, sent Jesus to show us the way, people rejected Jesus and killed his apostles, we can know the truth of things today by the Holy Ghost, etc. All we had to do was fill in the story of Joseph Smith, then hand over the Book of Mormon. Heavenly Father really is preparing people to hear the message of the restored gospel.

My hair is not super short but shorter than I expected. She first tried to do layers, then realized that cutting straight hair is way different than cutting her sister's curly hair. so just had to chop off all the layers she attempted and make it straight.

Unfortunately, since I didn't have a camera in Pordenone, I didn't get any pictures with the bike, helmet, skirt combo. Hopefully my comps will send me some eventually. I am attaching some pictures to this email though that Milano companion has on her camera from my last weeks here in Milano last time. The random couple is who we spent Christmas Eve with.

Whew, ok, I think that answers all of Mom's questions...On to the amusing stories of the week:

Prayers are my favorite. Not only am I personally learning how to really use prayer as a real conversation with our Heavenly Father, but I am also learning that there are about 10 million ways that people in this world say prayers. In a first lesson with a family we found doing casa last week in Pordenone, we asked the dad to say an opening prayer for us before we started the lesson. He got this really serious face then stared straight ahead and started talking about God. His wife and kids remained silent with their eyes opened so we did the same. Then he stopped after about a minute and everyone was still silent for about a minute and looking at us. Finally Sorella Barufini jumped in and was all..."So, was that your prayer or were you just talking to us?" Turned out it was the prayer.

Second awesome prayer of the week was during another lesson in Pordenone with a mother and daughter (11 yrs old) from Ghana and their Italian friend who they live with. Actually this entire lesson was classic. I love teaching them. We had been teaching them for about 2 weeks and the daughter always reads the chapters in the Book of Mormon we asked them to read and highlights all over the place. Plus, She watched the Restoration DVD about 5 times before we came for this lesson and recounted the entire story to us when we asked a brief question about it. Probably the best part of the lesson was when we asked her to share one thing she liked from the chapter we left her to read, figuring we could easily tie it into our lesson on the Plan of Salvation...she got really excited and explained that it would be hard for her to choose just one favorite. Finally she choose 3 Nephi 2:4-7. First of all, that was definately not in the chapter we had planned on her reading. Secondly...go read it and tell me how you would have tied it into the plan of salvation.

Anyway, the closing prayer. The young girl asked to say it. She started by trying to thank Heavenly Father for sending us to her house, but she forgot our names. So she stopped, said sorry to Heavenly Father and asked him to wait, looked up and asked us what are names were. Then the Italian woman she live with, who was eating fries drenched in oil and downing a can of beer in the kitchen but still had been participating in the lesson, shouted out that she should just call us the sisters. A couple of sentences further in the prayer, the girl had another question that she turned and asked us. Then her mom got all upset at her and starts yelling in the loving African mother way, "JoAnnA! You don't ask questions during a prayer. Just keep talking to your Heavenly Father! He gets it. Just keep saying the dang thing."

Well, I better write to my President and maybe I'll have some time to write more later. But for now, Adios!

Sorella C.


Pray for me that it is Heavenly Father's will that I go to Cinque Terra and Florence!! As of July they will be in my mission!!! wahoooooooo!

Sorella C.

Cari Anziani e Sorelle,

One of the signs that the Church is maturing in a country is a reduction in the number of missions. As the number of stakes increase and as the local leadership matures, the need for large numbers of missionaries and missions is reduced. We have arrived at a point in Italy where the need for three missions is no longer necessary. For this reason, the First Presidency has determined that the number of missions in Italy will be reduced from three to two. On July 1, 2010 the Catania Mission will be disolved and become part of the Rome Mission. The Rome and Milan Mission boundaries will be adjusted so that the Firenze District (which consists of the Toscana region) will become part of the Milan Mission. This change is being announced to all priesthood leaders in Italy this week and will be published in the Church News on February 13.

These changes are a sign of the growth of the Church in this land and will result in the Lord's work moving forward at an even greater pace. This past year, the number of baptisms in Italy has increased significantly. I am confident as each of us does our best to focus on the Lord's work and consecrate all of our efforts in finding, teaching and baptizing, we will see many more miracles. I encourage you to seek the Lord's guidance as to what you can do to continue in our effort to take his work to the next level.

I am grateful for each of you and the dedicated, faithful service you are giving.

Tanti calorosi saluti,
Presidente Dunaway