Sunday, October 13, 2013

Catania, Sicily Week 4

Dearest Family,
Life is great! I am glad everyone seems to be doing well and that you all go to watch conference. I am also glad that you got the picture from the Godfreys. We love them!! 

Ok, life is CRAZY! I don't know how it is already Pday again. Not possible. A note on Pdays: they will now be moved to Monday. So prepare to hear from me again in just a few days. Wahoo!

Last Wednesday went to Mt. Etna! It was so awesome. The view was great and it was so fun to be up in the mountains with colder weather and thinner air. I also bought an awesome nativity made of lava rock. Don't worry it was cheap.

After the pday part of pday we did an exchange (scambio) and I got to go teach with Sorella Bair. We taught one of their investigators, Tina. She is a rather old woman and absolutely adorable. She seems really lonely, but she loves the church and has a lot of really good questions. By a lot of question I mean a LOT. It was interesting trying to control the lesson. 

On Saturday we had another lesson with Mario. It was ALL over the place. We covered so much ground. However, he still wants to be baptized. We picked a new day that we are all working towards having him ready. It will be November 7th! AND he wants to see us twice a week instead of once. AND he wants to go to the temple. 

That night we went to the casa of the Godfrey family to watch conference. They just moved here and Fratello Godfrey is in the navy and works for the base here. It was so fun to be with them. The next day we watch one session with the Groves family on base and then went back to the Godfrey's for another. 

Conference was great! I am pretty sure that Elder Ballard's talk was written just for me. It was what I needed as a missionary. I noticed that there was a lot of emphasis place on members working with the missionaries. As a missionary I just want to say that it is so, so, SO important. As missionaries we can only do so much. We're not living a normal life right now and lots of contacts think that is weird. They need to see members living regular daily lives. We need members to uplift our investigators by talking to them at church, inviting them over, and going to lessons. They are really so strengthened by your testimonies and friendship!

Yesterday, Tuesday, we had another scambio because Sorella Lovell and Sorella Vincent are Sister Training Leaders. They have to work with all of the sisters in the zone. So they went to Siracusa and I worked with Sorella  Bair. It was a blast. We had a packed day and made so much progress. We visited the nonmember mothers of several members. They were so strong and great to talk to. We will be visiting them again. We also went to lunch with an investigator we had kind of given up on, but are now hoping to start working with again. It was really great to rebuild the relationship. And of course nothing went quite as planned and we got lost several times. But hey, that is the life of a missionary!

Today Sorella Bair, the anziani, and I headed down to Siracusa to pick up our companions and enjoy our pday. Right now I am in a city called Ortigia. Holy cow! It is the most beautiful place I have been in Sicily. I am excited to get to explore it more today.

The church is true, I promise.

Vi voglio bene!
Sorella Katie Francom

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Catania, Sicily Week 3

Dearest Family,

I got the letters from you guys yesterday! Thanks, it was so nice to hear from all of you. And Noah, I sure hope you aren't actually failing all of your classes. I am glad that everyone is doing so well. Although the rain sounds CRAZY! Glad I am not there right now. 

OK! I really have no idea where time goes because it's Wednesday again. ALREADY. But I have some things to write.

Mario! We just love him. We had another lesson with him and his member wife, Monia, last Thursday. He relapsed a bit on the Word of Wisdom, but we recommited him and gave him some help with it. I really think he'll be able to do it. And, more importantly, I know that Heavenly Father will help him to be successful. The lesson went really well. We taught about scripture study and the importance of likening the scripture to ourselves. They loved it and we found out that Monia has read most of the Book of Mormon and they are both excited to start doing so together. The next day we went to Mario's work in Misterbianco (a nearby town) to visit him. Ok, it was the cutest town I've been to since coming back to Italy. It was nice to feel a bit of small town slow Italian life. He works at a pizzeria and we enjoyed a few pastries courtesy of him. I may or may not have fought him to let me pay. He didn't and his boss didn't let me either. Bummer. That time we talked about conference and just checked up on him. He is once again keeping the Word of Wisdom and he reads the scriputres EVERY day at work. He is even telling one of his coworkers about the gospel. However, he and Monia weren't able to come to church on Sunday. They got ready too late and would have missed sacrament. This means we have to push the baptism back. At first I was really sad, but now I am kind of glad because it gives us more time to prepare him to remain active and experience a conversion. He is still committed to being baptised and that is what matters!

On Friday night we went out to Sigonella to go to a relief society activity with the American branch. We learned how to cook Philipino food! It was awesome. More importantly we had one investigator (more on her later) and one contact from English course come with us. It was fun to watch the Italians interact with the Americans and to feel the Spirit that was there. There were a few nonmembers from the base there and the other sisters have an appointment to teach them. Wahoo!

Ok, so that Italian investigator that went with us to Sigonella is Valeria. The missionaries have been working with her and her husband, Rosario, for a year now. They are a young couple and the are AMAZING. They already act like members. The come to church every Sunday and to all of the activities. However, they haven't wanted to be baptized. But.... drumroll.... The other sorelle have no gotten them to commit. Rosario will be baptized next Friday and Valeria will be a few days later after Rosario gets the priesthood and can baptize her. We are all so excited because we have all had the chance to work with them.

For my Siena friends, do you remember that institute fireside we had at the Dante? Well the same man, Brother Perego, gave a fireside here in Catania on Saturday. It was a super weird and awesome flashback. Also, I live with Sorella Lovell one of the missionaries who was in the ward in Rome when we went. She remembers us and was at the dance we went to. Also, Andrea from that same ward, the one we took that picture with, has a brother here in Catania. Small world, right? I love that there is always something to remind me of Siena.

Right now, as a district, we are focusing on gaining the trust of the members. So we're trying to visit and serve as many as possible before the transfer ends. Without the members are work is not as affective. Italians listen to and understand better when they can see a member who understand their background and difficulties and has overcome them. So far all of the appointments have gone well and I am excited to continue them.

Well I am off to Mt. Etna this afternoon. You know the famous mythological volcano. Yep, going there.

The gospel is true, I promise.

Vi voglio bene!
Sorella Francom