Monday, March 24, 2014

March 17 and 24, 2014 - Catching up here

From Megan last week:
March 17, 2014:
Man, I just teared up through your whole email. I bet you probably will too now, haha. We are just two peas in a pod! Did you see how your discourse on gardening applies to missionary work? Probably you already did, but this is just how my mind works right now. It is just the exact same thing. You said you feel peace and serenity when you walk through your garden and watch things grow. That is how I feel when I listen to the testimony of a less-active member we have been working with or when I sit in Sacrament with my investigators, knowing that these people are all growing, and that if I just do my best to be an instrument in the hands of the Gardener, He will make these people grow up to be spiritual sunflowers, or spiritual zucchini, or whatever their calling will be in the kingdom of God. There are of course tons of squirells and rats that get in this garden and try to ruin things, but The Master Gardener knows every corner of His garden and doesn't forget a single plant, and He will nurture them in His time. "Being a part of nature and the anticipation of a harvest is so exciting. I've yet to get a lot of any one thing (except rejections) but that's okay. I'm learning a skill that I hopefully won't have to RELY on in the future, but I can do it for fun now." This IS exciting! And we don't always get what we want, but we get what God gives us. And I won't get to be a missionary forever, but the skills I am learning now will go with me forever. I will be a good member missionary, and a good future companion to someone and this work will bless me and my family forever! Haha and someday my mission stories will be way more annoying to people than garden pictures, but they will always be meaningful to me. :) La Fine.

Here, the work is going really great. We had a pretty hard week with most of our investigators not really being able to see us and not really wanting to keep their commitments. We have been doing all we can to help them progress, but it just isn't happening lately. But then, this weekend was just a miracle weekend. There was a farewell for Giulio Mastino, a 27 yr old boy in the branch who got called to serve in Milano, so we got to invite tons of people to it. They do them really different here. It was a Saturday night and pretty formal. All the missionaries came and I even gave a talk, along with another Elder. Mine was on the joy of misisonary work and it went pretty well, even if I was still pretty nervous. But two of my investigators were crying at the end of it, and they both really were touched by the scriptures and the Spirit, so that was pretty cool. Then later that night, one of them said that she always feels something different when we (her missionaries) talk to her, versus when the members sort of take over our lessons with her and try to teach her. That was kind of an answer to my prayers, because she hasn't really been understanding much, and I know that she will never understand if the Spirit is not the one teaching her. So important to have the Spirit!!!!!!!!!!! Then, Sunday, three of our investigators came to church, and two for the whole time!!! Angela even wore a dress, which she says she hasn't done in twelve years. We gave her a CD with some Mormon Tabernacle hymns on it on Saturday. Sunday, she said she had listened to it before leaving for church, and she said, "I couldn't understand a word of that music, but I felt so good so I wanted to dress nice for church!" Yay Angela!!! The Spirit is TOTALLY working on her and it is SO beautiful to watch!!! Please keep her in your prayers! :)

Now gets graphic... Don't feel bad if you skip this part.
WORM CHEESE. See the little black lines Not dirt...
Okay, so remember how I told all of you about worm cheese? Well, maybe not. It is this cheese that is only in Sardegna and they take it and put it in the ground and let worms eat it and... digest it, then what's left is the cheese they eat. Well, Sunday our friends Daniela and Monia and Andrea had all 8 of us over for Pranzo and at the end, Monia brought out a jar of..... WORM CHEESE!!! 

I just don't know how it happened, one second, I was so not interested, then it was on a piece of really yummy bread in front of my mouth, and then I ate it!!! Hahaha, never doing that again. Kind of tastes like stomach acid, but not as bad, because I also tasted that this week when I threw up. Turns out my stomach doesn't like yogurt cake and chocolate that much after a long bus ride through the country side, sitting backwards. My fault! As Dad always says, "The burnt hand teaches best!"

Sorry about that; mission life has its ups and downs ;)
Some squid at Sandra's house.
We left before dinner was ready.
(It won't let me rotate this picture. Sorry!)
Anyway, we are getting pumped to go to Rome tomorrow and hear the General Authority speak to us! We don't know who it will be, but that is okay. We take a train tomorrow at 10 AM to Caglieri, then a boat at 7 PM all night to Rome. We will arrive at 7 am ish, have the conference, get back on the boat all night, and get here in time for English Course Thursday night at 7. Should be quite the adventure!!!
I am LOVING Sassari and this branch and my comp Sorella Knudsen!! She is from Utah BTW and knows Scott Brimley (body rollz). Needlesstosay, we get along great ;)
Well, this is quite long enough for one day. I love you all!! Have a great week and eat more vegetables and less yogurt cake!!

Sorella Patterson

March 24, 2014:
Cara Famiglia e cari amici,
At the port, how cute!!
Look at the tiny people next to it; that statue is HUGE 
What an awesome week!! We made it safely to Rome and had an incredible time listening to Elder Kearon speak to us. He is the Area Authority for Europe or something like that. I can't quite remember, but I remember that he is incredible. He was so inspired and talked about everything we needed to hear as missionaries right now. Also, he had an English accent, so he probably could have said anything and it would have sounded beautiful. But really, it was perfect. He boosted us up and sent us away, all wanting to be better missionaries. And then we all got sick. Well, my house. But no worries, we are doing fine.

Our awesome boat crew.
We spent so much time with them, and taught them a couple things.
They were just great.
Alright, shout out time. ANDREA IS GETTING BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Andrea who is about to get baptized,
already doing missionary work.
Can you believe this guy?
He has been working so hard for it and has wanted it so bad!!! The Anziani have been teaching him for a couple months, and trying to help him quit smoking, and this week he is entering the sacred waters of baptism to covenant with his Father to live a life for Jesus Christ. It has been a hard process, and he has seen SO many trials of his faith, but his faith in Christ is so great and he is being blessed for it. He seriously is such a special person, and God has plans for him. He is 19, had to leave his house with nowhere to go, just made it into Italian X Factor because of his incredible voice, wants to serve a mission and totally will because he is awesome, and he has found a home in this little Sassari Branch. He is great. He is a part of our little friend group that we have here in Sassari. Alessia, Andrea, Sara, and Daniela are kind of our best friends here. They are incredible people with the biggest hearts and will be life-long friends, without a doubt. It is such a privilege to share the most precious thing that I have with some of the most precious people in the world: my testimony of Jesus Christ as my Savior. I know He lives. I know He loves me, and them. And I love Him, and them!!! I just love these people!!!

So, we as missionaries here try to help a lot of people quit smoking. I have never personally had to do that, so it has been hard for me to understand everything they go through. So I decided to do something crazy. We have this 15 step program we use a lot. Well I wanted to know what it was like, so I decided to try it. Don't worry, I didn't start smoking so that I could learn to stop. But, my comp and I have decided to quit our horrible addiction to sweets for two weeks. Sounds easy, eh? Well, not in Italy where breakfast is supposed to be cookies and milk, and every meal is followed by dessert, without fail. Plus we live with a chef. Anyway, we are going to do the 15 Step program and kick this addiction! Really, I just want to know what I am making these people do, and hope to gain a little better understanding of their trials. I know it won't be perfect, but it's the best I can do. Here goes nothin!

Well, this is a short one, I know. But it is our day to do the spesa, and I am pretty exhausted, so it will have to suffice. Just know that I love you all and that you are all great. OH! one last thing. Remember my Muslim investigator Muhammad from Rome?? Well, when we went there last week, Sorella Haynie told me the Elders that we passed him off to (since he was a young, single man) are baptizing him!!! Well, it should have happened two days ago, hopefully I will hear today. But I am sure it did. But man, that was the best knews ever!! He is such a great guy and just an inspiration. When I get home, ask me about his story, but only if you have time. He is pretty great. I love the gospel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Okay, for real this time. Love you all!!!!!
Sorella Patterson
 The view from our cruise ship we took to Rome.
Sounds exotic, eh?

Cagliari at night from the boat. So beautiful.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

March 10, 2014


This week has been SO LONG and SO AWESOME. Seriously. We saw so many miracles and did so much work and we got three new investigators who are all incredible. I will tell you about Francesca and Simone. So one day, actually my first day in Sassari, Sorella Knudsen and I were looking for a place to make copies of the house keys for the other two Sorelle. We asked everyone we saw because no one seemed to know, until we met Francesca. (Okay, she was actually no help, but totally inspired anyways!) After we talked about how far away the key making place was, she pointed to my Book of Mormon and said she used to have one! (Okay, as I write this, I feel like I have written it before...) Long story short, she told us to come back tomorrow, and then we did and she wasn't there and then we came back a couple times and she was never there. BUT. Friday, we were walking this old man to his car and we passed her house and she was on her balcony and waved to us and said ciao, so afterwards we went back and she let us in and we had a great first lesson on the Book of Mormon! Simone is her boyfriend who she lives with. He didn't like us at first because he thought we were this other religion that does the same thing we do, but they aren't always super nice (...), so he didn't want to talk at first, but then she told him we were different and he sat down and listened for a bit and then they both agreed to take the lessons! Yesterday, we went back and taught them about the Restoration and Simone only came in at the end, so we had to review it again for him, but it was awesome becasue then Francesca taught him some of it that she had just learned a little before! It was so cute!!! They are so awesome and just the cutest and at the end they made a bet with each other to read the Book of Mormon, 2 pages a day, and she made Simone promise to even take notes on the things he read! She gave him her favorite notebook from London!! They are literally too cute!! They are really excited to pray and know if Joseph Smith and Thomas Monson were/are prophets of God. We asked Francesca what it would mean to her if President Monson really was called of God to be a prophet. She said it would mean "la salvezza dell'umanità" or the salvation of mankind. Yeah, she is pretty cool! They are reading and praying and waiting for an answer, and we will meet with them tonight. I am so excited for them!

 Please pray extra hard for Lucia Solinas and Antonella to come to church! They haven't come for the past 2 Sundays and it is really making everything harder for them and for us! We don't really know what else to do if they don't come!

Also, pray for Andrea. He is an investigator that the Anziani are teaching and he is supposed to get baptized this Saturday. He really wants to, like really bad, but he is having trouble quitting smoking. That is sucha huge problem in Italia, EVERYone smokes! So just pray that he will have the strength to give it up for good!

Well this week we will hopefully set some more baptismal dates and see more miracles. We are on a language fast, so no English outside of Emails and English Course. We know that the more diligent we are in every aspect of the work, the more the Lord will bless us with His spirit and the more we will be able to help and find more of His children. So, we are starting with the small and simple things, and making them are strengths. I'll let you know all the great things that are brought to pass!

I love you all so much!! I know that God has a perfect plan for all of us imperfect children!! I know He loves me and you!!!
Sorella Patterson

PS On sister Waddoups blog are tons of pictures taken by yours truly. She didn't come to our Zone conference, but sent her camera, so I took pics of everyone. Should be some nice selfies on there... ;)

And here they are:
Current Companion, Sorella Knudson

Original Companion and Trainer, Sorella Mistura

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

March 3, 2014 - Raining Miracles

Cara Madre e tutti,

YAY for Jadarius and his brother who came to church!! And on behalf of every missionary everywhere: THANK YOU to everyone who greeted them and welcomed them and made them feel loved. You are all awesome!! Seriously, that is the best thing in the world. Just last night we missionaries threw an activity in church so we could bring investigators and less-actives. As I was sweeping up afterward, I looked over and saw two English Course students who we had invited standing in a circle with a couple of members and everyone was laughing and smiling and just enjoying the Spirit of Sunday and the beautiful church building and you could see the love in the faces of the members as they got to know these young people and made them feel welcome. It was so beautiful! Member missionary work is SO important, maybe more important than what we do. One of our biggest fears as missionaries is to baptize someone and have them fall away, for whatever reason. But if they feel loved when they come to church and feel needed, they are a lot less likely to fall away. And the members here in Sassari and there in The Colony are SO AWESOME!! WE LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, in the last week and a half, we have invited 5 people to get baptized, and two have said yes!! Antonella and Lucia Solinas!!! So awesome!!! We will invite Angela, who we met this morning, tomorrow evening in our lesson. Yeah, it's Pday but Sorella Mastino called uo this morning at 9.30 and said she had a friend who wanted to meet us at 10.00 in church... So we ran up there and got there just in time to clean up a little more from last night and then we had a little church tour with Angela and Sorella Mastino and then we introduced her to the Book of Mormon and we talked for a while. The one thing that really had hit Angela was the picture of Jesus being baptized. She looked at it for a while and just kept saying, "Questo è stupendo." So cool! She wanted to take a picture of it to make a copy for her house! She is so awesome!!

Communque, Sassari is awesome. The work is just going great. We occasionally  
The hail on our balcony in Sassari
have freak hail storms in the middle of an abbastanza nice day, and it's quite colder than they told me it would be here, but Lucia accepted baptism!!! She is doing all she can to build her faith in Christ, and she amazes me!She has quite a difficult life but knows that Christ can help her overcome anything. Please keep her in your prayers, along with Antonella and Angela. They and Lucia Farina will hopefully all have baptismal dates at the end of this week. Pray that they will open their hearts and receive and recognize their answers, and COME TO CHURCH!

Yay for Trek!! Have fun everyone that is going next week!!

So my comp Sorella Knudsen is too great. We have WAY too much fun together, but we are both dedicated so it's good. We've set a lot of goals and we are working hard to reach them, and we are seeing miracles!!!! We actually lived together back in Pescara. We weren't comps, but roommates. However, my trainer is here on the island down in Caglieri, so it's so awesome to see her at zone conferences!

Sorella Cilla telling us these melon slices were good for our skin
Well, it's raining miracles and ice and water, and I am just soaking it all up! I LOVE SASSARI!!!!  I hope I get to stay here for quite some time!!
Love you all so much!!!

Sorella Patterson

PS Did I tell you that I live with a Sorella who studied gourmet cooking in college and does all our cooking, and that her greenie is obsessed with cleaning?  Living the high life here in 
Sassari. :)