Saturday, July 30, 2016

2016-07-27 Life is Good

On the train back from Venice again! My trainer used to say that she
believes the harder areas for mission work are blessed with beautiful
scenery. It's sort of like God is saying, "sorry no one ever wants to
listen to you and nobody wants to be baptized and everyone in your
ward is less-active, but hey, look, there's the leaning tower of

On the other hand, in Pordenone we've found a LOT of people move to
Italy for the military and then go less-active. Most of the time I
imagine it's because they're in gorgeous Italy and who wants to go to
church when you can go biking instead, right? That's basically the
mindset of this whole country. Most Italians just go to church for the
social aspect. The old ladies will go to mass and then meet up with
their old lady friends and go to a museum afterwards. Friendship is
important, and Catholicism is great, I'm just saying that it's hard
for people here to want to depend on God when it doesn't seem like you
need Him at all. Life's good! The grass is green, the mountains are
cool, the food and drink are good, see you later God! So many American
members go inactive after they get transferred here. It gives me a lot
more respect for the Italian members who come because most of them are
converts and don't have familial support to go to church every week.
But I like church! We take the sacrament, we learn, we teach, we feel
the Spirit. It's good. I gave a talk last week that I forgot I had. If
you've ever had to BS a talk and you thought it was hard, try doing it
in a second language....but no one seemed to know that I had prepared
the talk in 30 seconds haha. And a member told us three new
missionaries that we all roll our r's very well! ๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿผ anyways I love
it out here! I'm very blessed to be a missionary!

Lots more dogs than cats in Italy

For Caitlin - Lots of little books

On train back from second trip to Venice

Saturday, July 23, 2016

2016-07-20 Pordenone and Venice

(Jill did not send a Blog email this week.  These are excerpts from her emails to us.  Soo, yeah, these are a little more real than what is usually put here.  :) )

It took us one hour with three heavy suitcases to find our palazzo that is 5 minutes away from the train station....I about killed someone. Picture sweaty, exhausted, fish-out-of-water, slightly angry Jill rolling up to her new palazzo and stopping just short of chucking all her suitcases on the ground at the front door. Now picture judgy old Italian landlady watching this all unfold from that same front door, telling me to go get the rest of my stuff so that afterwards she can tell us "how things are done around here." Oh my gosh haha I love Italians. She then went on to give us a billion ridiculous rules like how we have to leave the tapperelli down at night in case it hails and breaks the glass windows. It's summer?? Anyways, she likes us a lot because we're sisters and we pay better attention to cleaning things up and not being loud etc. Traditional Italian old couple: she is bossy but loving and is an amazing cook with strict rules about "what one does and does not do." The man is super nice and gardens all day. Her and her husband are this couple to a T. Our palazzo is adorable, I'll try to remember to send a picture. 

Look where we went today!! ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ™ƒ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜Œ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜š๐Ÿค“☺
Also we work with an AMERICAN ward is t that crazy?? Because I'm right by a military base!! I've met so many cool people but we also get to work with the Italian ward which is good cuz otherwise I'd have to start all over with my language again.
So many people out here say they don't believe in God because so many bad things happen like war. But then they b---- and complain about the immigrants in their makes me crazy.....I told a lady that maybe we need to help these people because our lives are much more blessed than theirs. When she realized I was calling her a hypocrite, she got a look in her eyes (scared) and started talking about how one person can't do much.
Well, one person can stop complaining. One person can make a difference in ONE persons life maybe. And service betters your own life too. So if you help just one person, you're really helping two people instead of zero.

Well, that's my spiritual thought this week. As always, I do not have very much time to write and I have 31 emails to respond to this week....were on a train to Venezia (Venice), I will attach pictures ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š. I really like my companion. I learn to get along with people more and more every companionship. 
Anyways, we have an American and an Italian ward and they are AMAZING. In fact I got to see ANOTHER baptism! that makes two baptisms that I've been present for!! And I love her so so much! We literally did the last lesson with her and then she was baptized the second day we were here. But she is a better person than I am. Her name is Lauryn, she's a military daughter, she's a sassy black 18-year-old who reminds me exactly of myself but better. I feel like I was meant to meet her because she needs someone who understands her and I need someone to make me realize that I need to be better and have a stronger testimony.
Having wards is throwing me off though, watch me get sent somewhere next where there's a branch with like, 10 members.....were pretty sure that one of us will leave already next transfer which is already in 4 weeks cuz it's a short transfer. You never know until you get the call, though. Happy to be in Pordenone for now, even when my skirt gets caught in the bike chain and gets ruined (because I found a bunch of way cute clothes in our apartment from an old sister missionary woo-hoo)!

I believe this is the "I'm want to kill someone" look.

But all better with Pistachio Ice Cream and good companions (Sorella Bindrup)


And ridiculous licorice


Friday, July 15, 2016

2016-07-13 Torino Wrap Up

Ciao ciao, this is Sorella Arndt here, many of you have forgotten
about me already I'm sure but in any case I've almost done 1/3 of my
mission so I'll be back before you know it, it seems.

I'm almost 6 months in and I'm finally leaving my
first city although I wish I could have served my whole mission there,
truly. Torino is a hidden treasure. I feel super special to have been
one of the missionaries to serve there and really get to know the
city, but more than that, the people. I know it sounds clichรฉ but it's
the people that are the most important thing. If I had to write a list
of the people I've come to love during this time, it would be
literally everyone who lives here even though one guy accidentally
spit on my mouth I love him especially, actually. If I had to write a
list of the people who've touched my life forever it would be
considerably shorter than a list of everyone who lives here, however
it would still be very very long. Is this making any sense? Basically
I just love the people here a lot and I can't imagine NOT coming to
Italy and NOT getting to know tons of people on the level that I've
come to get to know them.

Dang this is way too hard to put into words. Maybe I'll just tell a
couple stories and then sign out.

So we have an investigator who's intercom doesn't work, so when we
show up to her apartment we have to call her on her phone. Well one
time we showed up and called her and she didn't answer! But her
windows were open so we knew she was home. She lives on like, the 1.5
floor so her windows are reachable barely. So since we're pretty tight
with her we stepped up on the ledge and started yelling into her
windows "Mabel! Mabeeelllll! Mabel it's the sorellleee!" Nothing. We
waited and waited for like 15 minutes, yelling into her kitchen window
every now and then until we had finally give up hope. As a last
resort, I took a bunch of our Jesus cards and chucked them into her
kitchen window as like, an M.O. so she knew we came, and then we left.
As we were walking away, we hear Mabel yelling after us so we turn
around and see her head poking through the window. We were so happy
and turned around to go visit her and when she came to the door she
had a fistful of Jesus cards and was like, "is this you who be doin'
this?" Hahaha. She shook her head at me but we all laughed. Turned out
she was on the phone with her mom in Nigeria and lost track of time.
But, she doesn't know that we were this ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿผ close to giving each
other a boost up and just breaking into her house through the window
before we decided to leave instead.

That was the funniest story I could think of shoot, I feel like I can
do better than that. we laugh a lot but nothing too crazy has happened
to us recently that I could recount so that'll have to do. But another
quick story is just a lesson we had, it was with this Italian girl who
is 17, her friends are in our ward so we had our lesson in the members
house. We taught her the restoration with her two young girl friends
and there was just so much peace. At the end of that lesson, we all 
kneeled together and her prayer was so beautiful. I have to
tell you that investigators pray way better than any member I've ever
met because they pray like how we should, like its a conversation. She
told God, without us telling her what she was feeling, that she was
grateful for the feeling of the Spirit and wants it to stay with her.
She said a lot of other just....just things that were really good. And
you just knew that she was getting her answer right in that moment and
it was so powerful. Because then when she ended the prayer she just
burst into tears. We just sat there on our knees in silence for a
minute or so while she cried and her friends hugged her, just saying
nothing and we just felt the Spirit so strong. After a while I told
her, "non mai dimenticare come ti senti in questo momento," which
means don't ever forget how you feel right now.

Well, I'll tell you one thing, getting really close to people
spiritually has opened me up to a whole new worlds of questions and
uncertainty. There's need to remember what we do know. I'm not willing
to throw away everything I've worked for because I have a doubt or a
question. That defeats the plan, because the plan is to progress. I
have encountered questions I never even imagined I would have to
during this time, have needed a fair amount of advice from older
missionaries, but at the end of the day if I can't answer their
questions then at least I know that God loves me. And He loves
everyone of you. He is our Father, He wants to help us. I know that
Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died for our sins so that
we can overcome our shortcomings so long as we try our best. I know
that Joseph Smith was really a prophet and he translated the Book of
Mormon because he didn't just make it all up. But I also know that as
human beings, and members of the church, we sure know a lot less than
we think we do. So be nice to everyone and be understanding and just
know that, even when you seem lost, if you just hang on to what you
know and try to keep adding to it and acting accordingly, everything
will work out okay in the end. Because He is merciful. And He loves

Prossima fermata, Pordenone!

๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Transfer 3, Sorella Lau ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น

Mom's note - Jill moved to Pordenone, Northeast of Venice, on 14 July 2016.

Buona Domenica! (Happy Sunday)

New President and Sister Allen

Aosta e il Castello di Fenis
(Well preserved medieval castle in Valle d'Aosta, Northwest of Torino)

Sorellas from Torino

Fresco of St. George slaying a Dragon.  And Jill :)

(she did not say what this building is, but it is impressive)

Jill and Sorella Lau, at end of transfer

Torino Missionaries

Jill and new companion Sorella Bindrup, in Pordenone

Saturday, July 2, 2016

2016-06-29 No Time for Sleep

As always, I do not have much time to write. We do not even have time
to sleep, we've been to bed late every single night this week except
one when we physically made an effort to be home on time (it felt like
we were EARLY) so here's pictures instead since everyone knows
pictures are more interesting than words anyways

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