Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Italy, Week 38 (7/29/15) - Sunday Funday

Hello from the wonderful land of Cimiano, Italia! So last P-day we went to Lecco, which is basically Como. Lake Como comes into Lecco and it's beautiful and there's mountains and water and joy. We had to wait forever for our train which was thirty minutes late, so instead of our hoped for two to three hours in Lecco we got about an hour, but it was enough :)
We had some pretty cool miracles this week! One was finding the house of an investigator! We were walking there trying to remember how we got there when she had showed us the last time and we got a little lost. After a bit of trying to figure it out, we stopped and said a prayer and turned around, asked a nice man for help and he gave us a
free little map of the area and we did it! With the guidance of God we found our way! Also we passed by a less active family's house and our investigator (that we had been trying to see) was there with her! It was awesome! We were able to set up an FHE with them all together.
I had an awesome scambio with Sorella Griffin in Lampugnano this week!  Two birds of a feather flock together, right? Hehe anyway, enough with corny bird jokes. But while we were on a scambio there was a giant thunderstorm at night and I was sleeping right by the window and I woke up to rain drizzling on me and the sound of thunder right above
us. It was glorious, I miss thunderstorms
SUNDAY WAS INCREDIBLE!! So many people came to church! About 16 people that don't normally come to church came to church. It was so cool!  SIXTEEN! I was sooo happy and so was everyone that came! So our church
building here was under construction for a bit so everyone had to go to a different building further away. After two months of this, we were finally able to meet in our own church which is way closer for everyone and everyone was so happy! They said it was like being home again. Best Sunday ever!
Monday night we taught this cute young family with a four year old and a 27 day old baby. So fun! We taught them the plan of salvation with little pieces to show the plan and there's a little tomb and the little four year old boy kept saying that it was a door that when you unlocked it with the key, it opened into the land of dinosaurs. He said it about ten times at least. Maybe he just knows something we don't know yet.... Now I know that heaven is where dinosaurs are.  Paradise: riding a dinosaur in the clouds.
This past Monday we talked about charity in district meeting, what it is and how we get it and grow it. Charity has been something I've been trying to wrap my head around and obtain my whole mission. Why is it so hard to have pure charity? So many things stop us from fully loving the people around us, in all their faults and weaknesses. Why is it so hard to just be selfless and think of others' needs before our own?
How often do we tell ourselves that we need this when really it's just a want? One thing I've learned that's the hardest thing to give is time. Time is so precious, and what better way to use it and spend it
than with others? In the service of others, helping them with their needs, physically and spiritually? As members we are commissioned to this! It is our sacred duty and responsibility and opportunity to care
for those around us. I've learned that as we take care of others, we are more blessed and more capable of taking care of ourselves. Look at the birds in the sky and the lilies of the field. God takes care of
them. When we show God that we are willing and wanting to help those around us, He blesses us ten-fold. Yes, we should always make sure that we are secure and okay before providing for others, but we can
always help in different ways. Even just a smile and a nice word to someone who is down can mean so much. What a blessing it is to be disciples of Christ, especially in this day and age when so many
people are suffering and don't have the light that we have. Let us share it and use it for good and for others.
I love you all so much and hope you have a wonderful week! Vi voglio bene!
Alla prossima!
Sorella Hawks :)!
The beauty of Lecco

Feliz cumpleaño Peru!

The beauties of Lecco

Thursday, July 23, 2015

July Pictures from Milan

Happy Fourth of July! 'MURICA!

Dinner with the Nigido's and our simp Patrizia!
Boats in the Trieste harbor

Our District!

Trieste missionaries for Life.

That's Trieste, the Adriatic Sea and a little bit of Slovenia for ya :)

We're at the cheese church! I finally did a hike here!

That's Piazza Unità behind me :)

Mission sisters! We were all trained by momma Yost!

With our wonderful investigator Viola :) 

A guy's trying to get Sorella Nilsen to buy corn to feed to the pigeons. 



Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Italy, Week 37 (7/22/15) - Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Hi everyone! Well to start things off, let me just inform you that Milano has officially turned into an oven and it's still heating up.  Woohoo! Reaching the hundreds this week according to yahoo weather.  Some fun facts about how hot it is here: it gets so hot, the pavement on the sidewalk literally moves. I'm not over exaggerating. One time we were standing waiting for someone and when me moved our feet, there
were our footprints in the nice hot tar :) super hot. At night, sometimes we'll take cold showers in our clothes before getting into bed and turn the fans right on us just so we can even get some sleep before all the water gets evaporated from our clothes and sheets.  Also, while standing in place, not only the tops of your feet start
burning because they're exposed to the sun, but also the bottom because your shoes get really hot. I guess what I'm trying to say with all these words is that it's hot. Dang hot.  But I love it still :)
We had a ward picnic this week which was super fun and afterward we were going back to the metro station with these young women (from the pictures) and we stopped and taught them a lesson and then took a bunch of selfies and videos :) so fun. We eventually had to leave because these dumb boys started throwing pieces of sheet rock and plants in pots at us from a sixth story window. So for safety's sake we headed off. No worries, we all walked out intact  :)
FAT FACE. Too much pasta!!!

These girls are soooooo great! I missed young women so much after having almost none for six months. I'm so happy!!

Young Women in Milan

Sorry, not a ton of pictures this week, but these were cute and they're more than nothing :) vi voglio bene!!
Last night we had an FHE and for part of our lesson to establish a point, we pulled a prank that I had tripped and fallen while we were running and sprained my wrist. It was all wrapped up and everything, and we got them sooooo good! But I think it helped them to understand the point. We talked about the lost sheep that are among us. Everyone drew a sheep, but because of my wrist, I couldn't participate. I was
the lost sheep and was sad because I felt useless and out of the group. Everyone that leaves the church or comes less frequently always has a reason. They don't want to and it's for different reasons that they don't want to. What are we doing to help those people? So we know what's wrong? Do we know how to help them? Members' influence on those who are far from the Church is much stronger than missionaries'
influence. They need to feel loved, that they serve a purpose, that they have a friend. What are we doing to help these people? It made me think a lot about how I never did anything before for these people. I just thought "man, that's so sad. I hope they come back soon, it will help them so much." At times, at the encouragement of others, I dropped cookies off with a nice note and an invitation to an activity.  Or I talked to them for a bit when they did show up. But I never truly became their friends, which is what they needed. A friend that was a true friend, not just someone becoming their friend with the intent that they'll start coming back.We work a lot with less active members here and some of them just need time while others need a hand of love and friendship. What a great opportunity it is to help those we truly love to experience the happiness we experience and to do the things to help them return WITH us to the kingdom of our Father.
I love you all so much and I truly appreciate all your love and
support. You're the best. Vi voglio un mondo di bene!
Sorella Hawks :)

Italy, Week 36 (7/15/15) - Dream City

Hello and welcome to the wonderful land of Cimiano Milano! (Pronounce Chee-mee-on-no) It's not the most beautiful city, but it's definitely got the best work I've ever seen with my own eyes. It's incredible! We teach so many lessons and have so many appointments! In my other cities there was always at least a few hours of just finding pretty much everyday, but here there is none of that. No time. What?! No time to do finding?! I still can't fully wrap my head around it. We teach people on the metro between appointments and it's so fun! I never thought I would like the metro, but I really do! It's kinda fun and you see a lot of interesting people. One guy got on, turned on his boom box, and just got down and jiggy with it. Obviously for money, but it was still pretty entertaining.
My companion is awesome. Her name is Sorella Nilsen and we have the same trainer! So we're literally sisters haha. We get along super well and we're both super determined to lose weight this transfer: yay!  My gosh there are just so many people and so many things I don't even know what to talk about... Sunday was great, the ward welcomed me with open arms, which was really nice. The majority of our ward and the people we meet with are from South America, mostly Peru. They're super wonderful and loving. Plus I'm learning Spanish here and there which is pretty fun. We also meet with some Filipino people and they're so wonderful. Gosh, all of the people we work with are so loving

Anywho, I'm sorry but I really don't know what else to say... Oh! I see Sorella Burt a lot, my Como who I was with for three transfers in Trieste, it's super fun! We did a Pday together today at the duomo! We went to the top! We died of heat. It's freaking hot here... 41degrees Celsius.... It's awful. I'm sweating so much.
Whelp, just know at God is there. I'm starting to learn that we can find inspiration and learn something knew from every chapter and every moment we put into studying the scriptures. Even the war chapters throughout the Book of Mormon is filled with things that we can learn and take from them; how to arm ourselves against the world and Satan, how to be prepared, to always turn to the Lord and repent and be humble, and sooo much more. I know that if I read the scriptures and after I didn't learn something new or was reminded of something I need to work on, I didn't study well. We always need to start and finish it
with a prayer and stay tuned in with the Spirit. The scriptures are how God speaks to us. Find what He's trying to tell you!
I love you all so much, keep up the good works and always stay strong.
Vi voglio bene!
Sorella Hawks :)