Monday, December 30, 2013

December 30, 2013 - Christmas Pranza

Editor's note here:
We got to Skype with Megan on Christmas day. It was awesome to see her and to feel her joy for where she is and what she is doing. Here's my favorite picture of her through Skype:

Skyping with Megan on Christmas morning!
She didn't send a lengthy email today, but she did describe her Christmas celebration to us. Here is her email this morning:

So, I have a good amount of time today since just a few peopled emailed today. So, I will try to answer most of your questions. The post Christmas was interesting, haha.
Our little tree on Christmas morning
We were all exhausted and just wanted to sleep and stop seeing people, but that's not what missionaries do, so we went to our pranzo the day after Christmas and then had our weekly District Meeting right after a long and exhausting Pranzo. That district meeting was very special though. Our District leader, Anziano Barone, knew we were all very tired and knew we probably would not get much out of a long and intense training, so instead, he said he wanted to do somehing special for Christmas and give us each something. What followed was something I will probably never forget. He then went around the circle we were sitting in (we had been too tired even to bring in tables) and told each of us what he admired in us as missionaries. It was incredible. I could not believe it. His kind words and honest praise brought such a spirit of love and unity to our district and helped us each to see the good qualities of those we work so closely with. It can be hard, when around someone 24/7, to appreciate all of their good, because you also get to see most of their bad. But after he finished, Anziano
Barone told us about how it always helped him to love his companion and others more when he first looked for the good in them. At the end, he began to cry when he expressed his love for all of us and how grateful he was to be in this district and to have the chance to work with all of us. It was beautiful. It changed the whole feel of the meeting, and the whole feel of our district. That's what can happen when you have a servant of the Lord who fulfills his promise to be obedient: he or she can be guided by the Spirit to say exactly what God's children need to hear. And it can change a lot. 

The next day, I got very sick and the next day I stayed in bed all day. But then I had Anz. Barone and Rigby give me a blessing and I went to church yesterday and today we are going to see the Colosseum! So don't worry, I am on the mend :) 

For New Years Eve our ward is having a party at church, but it starts at like 7:30 and we have very strict orders to be home by 9 PM. It is going to be a crazy night! We have been hearing fireworks for the past two weeks, so that night is going to be something else! We will be safely watching from inside our top floor apartment :)
I will attach pictures of the rest of my 4 course, multi-hour Christmas pranzo:
3rd course
4th course!

Megan from the viewpoint
of a 7 year old on Christmas
Editor's note again: I took pictures of Megan's friends at church yesterday as the twins are now home from their missions to Ecuador and Mexico City. We had to take the standard twin picture of them kissing Megan. I sent them to her last night and here is what she responded:
I miss the twins so bad!! I wish that I could have been there when they got home!!! They BETTER be there when I come home!!!!!!!!  Everyone just looks so HAPPY!! I love it so much!!! I could not ask for a better group of friends!!! 
Mykle, Megan, and Kyle
Okay, so this is probably the last week with my companion. She has spent 5 transfers in this city, so she is likely leaving. I have no idea how to get around Rome, no idea where anything is, no idea about a lot of stuff, but I know the Lord will help me if He takes her away! Who knows, maybe He will throw me and Sorella Viazzo together after all! Magari!
Okay, well I can't think of anything else... I hope that everyone had a great Christmas and will have a fabulous new year!! I will be starting a diet, possibly, since I now only have one year to get in good shape and work off all this bread. Yeah, we'll see. 
Okay, gotta go for real now. Love you all!!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

December 16, 2013 - Caroling in Rome

Bouna sera cari!!

Caroling at the Spanish Steps
Okay, this time I told you I would tell you about the people we are teaching, but first I want to tell you about yesterday, because last night was one of the best nights of the mission and I want to tell yall all about it! We went caroling!!!!!!!!! In ROME!!! At the Spanish Steps!!! It was incredible!!!!! We invited all the Missionaries in our zone, which is like 50 or something, and we invited members and non members, and just tons of people. And 6 missionaries showed up... and one member. Who brought two girls she had met that day in church who were just passing through for the day, but wanted to come watch. Anyway, not the best turnout, and we were nervous, like really nervous. We were a tiny little 6 man-band, versus a thousand tourists and Romans and vendors, but holy cow. What an experience. We started with a prayer amongst ourselves, to ask for courage and the Spirit, and then we began singing Gioisca il Mondo (Joy to the world). We were all scared and nervous throughout the whole first verse (for me the whole song!), but we kept going and got a little louder, and pretty soon, passersby were stopping to see what the heck was going on. When we finished that one, we started another right away since we had quite a few listeners. As time went on, we got more and more brave, and more and more loud, and many people would stop and watch our little 6-missionary group randomly singing at the bottom of the Steps. Also, before we had begun, we had asked the three girls to pass out pass-along cards. We gave them each a huge stack! So, as people stopped, they got a card, and then continued shopping or whatever they were doing. But pretty much no one passed by without getting a card and some Christmas Cheer! It was awesome!!! By the end of the night, we had given away all our cards and two Books Of Mormon. After only an hour of singing. And three members. We are small but we are strong!! God uses the weak, that's for sure!!!
Decorating Andrea's mom's mini tree
We have since spread the word about how successful it was and we plan to go again at least two more times this week. It is awesome. Seriously the best ever. So many people were touched! Also, lots of people took pictures and videos and just stood and smiled for a while and enjoyed it. None of us are like SUPER good singers, but it was enough that all together it sounded just right :) Best. Idea. EVER.

Okay, I have no more time, well just enough for some shout outs! Yay for Sharah and Micheal who just tied the knot!!! Tante buone cose a voi!!!!!
Happy Early birthday to my dear older brother MATTHEW SCOTT PATTERSON  who turns the big 23 on the 19th!! What an old man!! Love you!!

The Vatican
Okay, also, I saw the Vatican today... WHAT. Awesome. We didn't go in to the Sistine Chapel yet. That will be another Pday. We jus tdid the free stuff today. Super great. Next time, I will probably buy a fake Prada bag from the Africans and come home and tell you all it is real. HA! Pretend with me please :)

Kay, love you all very much. Hope everyone is already getting fat from the Christmas goodies!! I know I am!! One of my favorite Holiday traditions ;)

Also, I will not email next week, so don't be mad when there is nothing new to read :) 

Kay, love you all!!
Sorella Patterson

Monday, December 9, 2013

December 9, 2013 - Finally received her birthday package!

Ciao tutti!!!! 
Okay, so my mom sent me like a million questions, and the answers are basically everything I was going to tell you, plus she reminded me of some, so here goes:

1) First, flashback to Pescara: Gianni got baptized!!! I heard it was awesome and that the Spirit there was incredible. No, I didn't get to go, but we had a huge day that day anyway, so it was probably better that way. Yeah, I was a little bummed, but it taught me that it doesn't matter who does the work, just that these people get brought to Christ. But I called him and talked to him on the phone anyway :)  (being authorized... no worries) It was great! And then this Sunday, a member from Pescara who has a stake calling was visiting my ward and told me all about it. Mi manca Pescara, ma è così :)

2) I GOT MY BIRTHDAY PACKAGE!!! I cannot express enough thanks to all of you friends and family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You really are WAY too good to me and I do not deserve all of this. The Scripture book..... WOW. That was way incredibly more than I expected. Thank you, all of you. That was the best birthday gift I have ever gotten. That was just incredible. Special shout out to my AWESOME MOTHER for totally making that happen and for all the hard work and just everything she does for me and for everyone else!!! LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3) You don't want my address here. Mail is real sketchy where I am, along with everything else. Use the address of the mission office from now on, until I get transfered to Sicilia or something. It is:

Sorella Patterson
Missione Italiana Di Roma
Piazza Camaro, 20
00141 Roma, Italia

4) Heard Debb is going to Cali!! She always was a California girl :) Haha. I can't believe her and Hermana Barnes will be in the same state!!!! They are so awesome!!!!!!!!

5) So, last week we saw the Pantheon, Colosseum, Spanish Steps, every designer store you could ever dream of, Piazza Navona, and a couple other awesome sights. So today we might take it a little easy! (The pictures are of the Pantheon and Piazza Navona.) 

6) The food here is great, as always, but I miss the Pescaran specialty: arrosticini. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

7) Pray for Andrea!! He is awesome and we are trying to have good lessons with him, but it is always a bit hard. We just need to figure out how to meet his needs, but we are getting there!

Okay, That's all I got for this week! Sorry it was all touristy stuff and not much about the awesome people I am meeting and teaching, but next week it will be all about them, deal? In the meantime, guess what?? There is a huge sciopero going on in Rome. It is like a strike, but all transportation shuts down. We have been told to buy enough food for about a week and a half. They don't know how long this will last. So yay for walking!! :) Also, EVERYthing is decorated for Christmas!! It is so beautiful!! I love Natale!!!

Love you all so much!!! Buona settimana!!

Sorella Patterson

Monday, December 2, 2013

December 2, 2013 - When in Rome

Ciao da ROMA!!!

Non ci credo che adesso abito a Roma!!! Ma è così. 

Saying goodbye to Lucia, Gioia and family, Pescara
So much to tell you all!!! So, The day before we left Pescara, it snowed!!! It was so beautiful!! We woke up to white all around!! It was not super heavy, and it went away fast because of the rain, but it was beautiful and a great surprise for my last day! Okay, leaving Pescara may have been harder than leaving for the mission!! But also easier... It is weird. I love those people so much. A piece of my heart will definitely always live in Pescara and Chieti. That will never change. But the funny thing about the mission is that the more that I give my love to these people, the more love I tend to get, or the greater capacity I have to love more. So I am not losing anything by saying goodbye to and leaving them; in fact, I now have more love to give to others! I haven't taken math in school for a couple of years, so someone else can figure out how that all works... I just know that it does :)

So, my new companion is Sorella Panchieri. She is from Idaho, despite her Italian name... And I LOVE HER. Seriously. She is so fun and so awesome and so dedicated to the Lord! She is incredible!! I have so much to learn from her. This is going to be the funnest and best transfer yet!!! Today, we are going to go see the Pantheon... !!!!! Oh yeah, so Rome is split into four or five different sections. Our section includes The Coloseum, The Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, The Trevi Fountain, and tons of other awesome stuff!! Pdays are going to be the best!!!!! And, once a transfer, we can go to the other sections of Rome and see other stuff. So we will definitely be seeing the Vatican soon..... :)
Okay, this is awesome. The Pacella Family
had us over to say goodbye and we went through
my family photo album and the twins Piero and Andrea
saw the one of me, Mykle and Kyle at our last Mormon Prom
and they wanted to re-enact it.
It's the one under the arch and I'm in the red dress.
I think we did pretty good!
The ward here is a little different than Pescara, but I already love these members. I can't wait to start serving them and loving them and helping them invite their friends to learn about the restored gospel. This transfer really will be awesome. One member already invited us over to paint her house!! We are planning on taking some youth with us so that they get the opportunity to serve and love like we get everyday. Also, we are planning lots of caroling trips this transfer that will allow us to talk with tons of people!! Christmas is the best!!!

Image they were trying to recreate!
Okay, well that's about it. Oh! So there are two other sisters that live with us, Sorelle Pace and Furlanich. They are awesome. And so fun. Seriously, I am so blessed to have been transfered here!! Missionary work should be fun! Even the hard stuff can be fun!! And it will be :) Also, remember Gianni? Hopefully he will still be baptized this saturday, and hopefully I can go back for it... Pray that it is a yes!!! 
Love you all with all of my extra self thanks to this awesome Italian food!!
Sorella Patterson