Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sardegna, Week 4

Cara Famiglia,
Sounds like it has been a great week in the family! Matthew, congratulations on the baptism. It sounds beautiful. I hope it will make a difference in her family. Noah, WOWZAS! You're going to state! Congratulations. You're going to rock it! Mom, it sounds like work is going super well. I am glad that you're having fun and enjoying it. Grandma, I am SUPER happy that we will be going back to Mt. Rainier for Christmas. Thanks for keeping me involved in all of that. Dad, I wish you could have been there too. I think Sorella Caramia will probably post videos on facebook sometime this week so you'll just have to accept her friend request to see our acts.
Question time...
Ok about cakes... I have no idea why we always make cakes. We just always want to do something to show our love for people and the only gifts that we can really give are food. And well cakes are easy... But I think I would be okay without eating one for a LONG time. I would also just like to say that I have gotten a lot better about eating here in Cagliari. I am finally starting to lose my Sicily weight haha.
On killing a companion... It's a really odd thing to do. Each time it's been a little bit different. But it is always hard to watch it end. To know what their going through and tell them it will all be okay. Out here the mission feels like the only life you've ever known so it's scary to go back into what seems unknown. It's like the Plan of Salvation. We can hardly remember the premortal life, we're working our hardest in the earth life (mission), and unsure but hopeful for the next life which we're told and we believe will be infinitely better. On a serious note, I have loved serving with such experienced missionaries, especially Sorella Caramia. I have learned so much and seen who I want to be at the end of the mission. It has really motivated me to change and improve.
On customs differences... One big thing is that the wards here are a lot tighter knit. Every one knows everything about everyone because church is their social and spiritual refuge. The have dinners together. The primary kids often call their teachers by their first names because they were have raised by them. Uhhh... what else? Dating is different. You do not go on casual dates. Someone who only goes on one date with someone and then on another with some one else does not have a good reputation. They also do NOT get married early. When they do they say are doing things the "American" way. Oh culture differences...
Well it has been one heck of a crazy, busy, whirlwind week. Wait.... I say that every week. But I like it this week.
The week started with Zone Conference. I LOVE zone conference! It always come at the right time to give me the spiritual boost that I need. The leadership of our mission is so inspired. This conference was all about personal revelation. It really helped answer some questions I have had about the work. One funny moment of zone conference: We were playing this game where I was blind folded and had to follow a voice. Well I followed the wrong voice. It was the voice of the AP, ok. You're supposed to follow your leaders. Well The other sister in my group grabbed my arm and began pulling me rather forcefully away from the voice. Sorella Waddoups says that has never happened before haha.
On Wednesday we had a crazy full day. In the morning we had an English lesson with Giusy and Alessandra (the women from last week). Alessandra brought her husband too so that was really cool. We started to teach them the Restoration. I am excited to finish it next time. After that we had a pranzo with the Gordillo family and several of the GANS (young single adults) from the ward. Then we ran to a lesson with the Secci family. We taught them the restoration. The have been members for a long time, but despite all of this time the Spirit still touched them and they learned something new. It is cool to see that no matter how many times we here a message of truth it still touches us. We ended the night with the Leone family. We taught about the gospel and that gave Francesca a pep talk to prepare her for her first talk in church.
Well Thursday I was sick so that day was not particularly exciting. However, it brought news that all of the water in Cagliari is contaminated and will not be drinkable for another few weeks. Didn't think that sort of thing happened her! Luckily bottled water is readily available.
Friday and Saturday commenced our long weekend of goodbye appointments for Sorella Caramia. We went a little bit of everywhere. It's been so touching to watch how much every cares about her and to witness the difference she has made here. She is truly special.
On Saturday we also had a lesson with Simonetta. We were able to bring a member that she loves and she opened a lot more than normal. We talked about prayer again and how it really will give here more peace. This time she was so much more open. The Spirit was so strong. At the end we watched the Restoration video and talked about how our prayers ARE answered.
Well we also got transfer calls on Saturday. And......... I am staying! Big surprise, right? I will be getting Sorella Hensen. She has been serving in Pozzuoli (by Napoli). She is my age in the mission. For the first time I will not be with someone older than me. Should be intresting! I am kind of nervous about having to know everything, but luckily we have a lot of help from the Sprit.
Sunday brought the beginning of the end. We spent the day teaching last lessons, eating, and saying goodbyes. The it was Sorella Francom. In the study. With a spoon. Sorella Caramia is dead. We took her to the airport this morning. The Italy Rome Mission has lost one amazing sister.
I am excited to tackle this new transfer and all of the challenges and miracles that await.
The gospel is true, I promise.
Vi voglio bene!!
Sorella Katie Francom
P.S. The photo is at the scene of the crime.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Sardegna, Week 1

Cara Famiglia,
I love hearing from you guys! And I love learning from you that I am an Sister Training Leader before hearing it from the mission. In fact still not sure that it is true, but we'll find out. HAHA. I am so glad that all is going well with the Seahawks. They would do well when I am not there.... I am pretty sure they are receiving blessing because of my sacrifice, just saying... AND Noah got his license. COSA?! When did we all get this old?!

Well I left Catania. And my heart... I LOVE that city. I love the people. I love the ward. I love Sigonella. I love the food. I love the missionaries. The list goes on and on. Let's just say that leaving was hard. It was accompanied by lots of really hard goodbye and farewell dinners. And one amazing parting DDM. I can't even tell you how much this district has helped change me spiritually. And this meeting was just the cherry on top. I will miss them...
On top of saying goodbyes I also did missionary work haha. We had a really good appointment with a less active. Last time we met with her she asked if we could bring the ward mission leader with Fratello Bruno so this time we did. It went SO well. It really reinforced to me that members have the keys for how to work with members. We need them.
Okay. Now I want to tell you about two miracles that happened in Catania as I was leaving.

Miracle 1:  
At the very beginning of my mission Sorella Vincent and I received a very strange phone call. A woman called Amelia who was not American or Italian called us (in English) moaning and crying about her stomach and asking us to pray for it. We asked her if she wanted a blessing or a visit or something. We were really confused so we gave her the number of the Relief Society president at Sigonella and left it at that. It was just something weird that happened, something weird enough that I remembered it. Ok, fast forward 3 months. We're sitting in DDM and I hear the Senior couple talking about this woman that President asked them to find. Her name is Amy and she is neither American nor Italian. They have an address that seems outdated, but no number. I told them about that weird phone call and that we still had the number of Amelia. So they called. IT WAS HER!!!! They went to see her the next day. She wants to come to church again and has been praying that the missionaries would find her. Her friend was there for the lesson and the Spirit was so strong that she has now committed to be baptized. WHAT?!

Miracle 2:
At English course we have this amazing student Davide. He is young, respectful, and successful. We had ALL always wanted to teach him, but everytime we decide to talk to him something happens and we don't. Well on my last night of English course he came. At the end they were all talking to me and thanking me. He told us that all of this time our Spiritual thoughts have touched him. He said that thanks to us he has reawakened his faith in God and has seen a change in his life. All this time wanting to teach him and we already were! Sorella Fossa plans to start teaching the lessons ASAP. WOOHOO!
Well on Thursday I flew to Sardegna. What? I am still not used to the fact that I am here. It is TINY after Catania. AND CLEAN! Weird... Also, the accent is much clearer than Siciliano and the people look different. How interesting is that. Sardegna is famous for sheep, beautiful beaches, and this really thin bread called music paper. My companion is Sorella Caramia. She is in her last transfer and she is AMAZING! The ward loves her and she has made such a difference here. I am excited to learn from her. She is also Italian. So my Italian should continue to improve! I better speak well after all of these Natives!
I want to tell you about the Gordillo family here in Cagliari. They are from Peru, but they live here. They have been active for four or more years. And they have never been sealed in the temple. The sisters here started visiting them and last Sunday the came to church. On Saturday I had a lesson with them about the Plan of Salvation. At the end they decided that they want to work towards going to the temple as a family. YAY! Then they came to church yesterday, and the daughters came to a fireside, AND they want to come to institute. Miracles happen, people.

I am excited to get to work here and to learn to love it as much as I love Catania. I know that I am here for a reason. And I am excited to see what Heavenly Fasther wants me to do.

The gospel is true, I promise.
Vi voglio bene!!
Sorella Katie Francom