Monday, July 28, 2014

July 28, 2014 - Picture Overload!

Howdy yall!!

Just hanging around...
I realized it's been a while since I have sent pictures, so maybe I will just send a picture email. All is well here in the land of olive oil and yellow melon (these are a few of my favorite things). I got to go back to Pescara and see some old friends and church members and it was really nice to work there again. I am definitely not the same person that showed up there a year ago. Also, I got to pass my one year in Italy mark back in Pescara, so that was a nice little blessing. 

More interested in his phone than my message...
What?! It's okay, totes got that number.
He is so coming to church :)
 (if you haven't noticed, my comp takes lots of
pictures of me when we're out...)

I am learning a lot about patience and love these days. I don't have a scripture or anything for you, just a promise, that if you can somehow manage to stay faithful and just wait until you don't think you can wait anymore, and if you wait well (patiently), that God really will take care of you and give you EXACTLY what you need, which is probably different than what you thought you needed. And then, while you are waiting, look around and see who you can help along the way. Observe than serve. It will take your mind off waiting and you will develop more love! Just don't ever give up on the Lord. Never stop waiting and seeking! He PROMISES us that if we ask we will receive, and if we knock it will be opened, and if we seek, we WILL find. So ask, knock, seek. Go! Show some trust in the one person that has never let ANYONE down! :) 
I love you all.    
Sorella Patterson
the pizza that the Torre family made me my
last night there. Their shop was right
 under our house so we were pretty close... :)

What I looked like when I went back
to Pescara...I was a little excited... :)

Headed back to Pescara!

Thrust in your sickle with all your
might... :)  also,that's the hat the member
that owns the plant shop gave
me... Fratello Marras. Great guy!

Fourth of July lunch

Mama Gigante's birthday :)
Happy Fourth of July!

Shot from the house of a referral. I love Italy.

Me getting Matt's letter! Sibling Love!!!

My dear sweet Alessia!!! Quanto mi manchi!!

Proselyting to the bus driver. 
he was actually really nice and might stop by
 church some day. That would be pretty cool!
The temple! It's getting there...

That girl is Sara, that was my last day in Sassari,
waiting for the train. I sure miss all those kids! 

My companion (Sorella Mathews) and I
at Zone Conference!

Monday, July 21, 2014

July 21 - 2014 - Tender Mercies

Dear Friends and Fam,

I'm sorry this week wasn't as awesome. It started out a little rough and I kinda faltered a little because I thought my load was too heavy to carry and that Heavenly Father wasn't helping me like I needed. But then He very kindly showed me that I need to put more faith in Him and have a little more patience in waiting for the answers and the help. He is so right! One of the "helps" He gave me this week was in the form of an awesome greenie (new missionary) named Sister Pinkston. She is from St. Louis MO and is incredible. She has the best sense of humor and my abs were literally hurting after our exchange. Being, the more experienced missionary, I went into this exchange thinking I would teach her a thing or two about missionary work... WRONG. I spent some of the best 24 hours of my mission doing nothing but learning and being extremely humbled. We all come into the mission with different degrees of 'preparedness', and if I thought I was at all prepared... yeah... seriously, these new missionaries coming in are just blowing me away. I can hardly believe it. I have never felt more inadequate! Pazienza. 

In other news, we invited like 6 or 7 investigators to come to church... and Sunday morning, no one was there. Pazienza. Then... KEVIN CAME!! He took a bus all the way to Fiano Romano from his little paesino and made it in time for Gospel Principles. He only speaks English, and the teacher didn't know enough English to talk about Gospel subjects, and since Kevin was the only investigator, we made the Anziani teach it. Really it just turned into one of the Elders and myself tag-team teaching. It went pretty well and Kevin liked it-he got a lesson tailored completely to him and his needs, in his language! Then, in sacrament... the members literally made me cry for joy- I was a little bit nervous that since Kevin is a very different demographic than 99.9% of all our branch members that they might not mesh. But. Every single brother in the church that knew a single word of English came up to him and said hello and made him feel so welcomed and so loved. Andhe really did love it! He asked me afterward if we did anything during the week and I said no, just Sundays, and he said he'd be there. !!! That is the power of the members!! They just have so much more control over helping our investigators have a positive experience in church. Man I am just so grateful to be here! 

And tomorrow, I am going back to PESCARA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I can hardly believe it!!! My companion has to do exchanges so we are driving down Tuesday night and might make it in time for English Course... :) One of the sisters there said the members are excited to see me and are planning to come to English Course. I could cry. I know I will cry. I am WAY more than aexcited to see them all again and to return to my "birth city" of the mission. This is seriously just the hugest blessing I could ask for right now. My Heavenly Father really loves me, a LOT. Holy Cow. Yeah.

OH!! Also, we were waiting for a train the other day that comes every 15 minutes. For some reason, it didn't come for about an hour. I have never seen that before. BUT. It meant that we met this group of American tourists from..... AUSTIN TEXAS!!! I could not belive it!!! Seriously, Heavenly Father LOVES me. Their accents made me feel right at home. We just were friendly to them, and eventually they asked some aquestions about who we are and stuff and I got to explain some things and I ended up getting an email of one of them and we will hang out when I get home. They are all professors at UT, all women, and all hilarious and awesome. What a tender mercy, for them and for us. 

Sorella Patterson

Monday, July 14, 2014

July 14, 2014 - Easter Package Finally Arrived

I got the package :) And Matt's letter :) :) :)
(This was supposed to be her Easter package!)
Zone conference last week with pictures courtesy of Sister Waddoups:

Okay not a ton of time but to answer your questions:

How is Rome? I don't know how Rome is, haha. We have only been there once, for Zone Conference, but we are going back on Wednesday for an exchange. I am excited because I will be able to be with Sorella Udall again! She was with me in Sassari, and I just ADORE her. She is one of the most incredible missionaries I have ever heard of. So much Faith. 

How is your companion? Where is she from? Are you the "senior" companion? My comp is awesome. Her name is Sister Mathews (Mathews and Patterson! Haha) and she is from upstate New York and knows Jonathan and Derek, my college friends. Crazy. She is half Phillipina and it is a great finding tool!
What do you do on your pdays there? Pdays, we do Parkour. No joke. There is a member that does it, so we asked to do it too, and now we are teaching three of the friends. It is my favorite finding tool ever!! A little missionary work, my style? Haha. We don't do the crazy stuff, but my body is still a little sore from last week. Pazienza. 
What kinds of service do you render? Just English course. That has been the struggle of my mission (one of them): that we don't get to do lots of service. It is hard. But we always look.

Was it like Christmas when you got your suitcase you had left behind and the mission office when you went to Sardengna??? YES!!! But I still haven't had time to open it. We are so busy all the time! It is the BEST! When I got here, there was nothing. Last week my companion and I beat both of our personal records for new investigators and we are just taking off! She is getting a little sick though, so keep her in your prayers so we can keep up with our work. Heavenly Father is doing wonders here as we increase our faith in him. I love it. 

It's really hot here.

Love you all! I hope you have a great week! Thank you so much for your love and support, I hope I can be everyday the missionary that you all think I am/can be. I am SO grateful for you all and for your love and care.

Sorella Patterson

Monday, July 7, 2014

July 7, 2014 - Celebrating Independence Day in Italy

Dear Friends and Family,

Real quick. My area is outside Rome by about 45 minutes and is just a bunch of little towns with a couple cities. The town I live in is smaller than The Colony, by a long shot, and I think I have probably met or seen most of them by now, haha. It is cute. My companion does all the driving when we need to, or the Elders drive when we go to church or District meeting in Terni. They are the prettiest drives of my life that is for sure, but we are spending a lot more time in a car than I am used to, and that means not talking to people. My solution? Memorize scriptures! At least I am practicing the language and trying to memorize ones I could use with people I meet. It is nice, and passes the time fast. 

For the 4th of July, I made some burgers for me,  my comp, the elders, and Alessandra and her friend Veronica. It was great. We had a great little celebration of about one hour because then we had an appointment, haha. But it was nice to remember I am American :)

This week was... HOT. And filled with awesome miracles. I'll show you one I wrote to President, well it is one morning, but like 100 miracles. It is really nice to be a missionary. I am just so grateful, all the time!!

Letter to Presidente:

"That's about all the investigators I have seen. The rest of our time is spent finding new people that are typically not from our area, so lots of referals! It kinda makes it seem like missionaries aren't meant to be here, and I think that is the mentality here, from what I have seen, but to me it shows how much God loves His children that He put us here to find all these people that might not have been able to ever meet the missionaries of their own area. We have been seeing so many miracles that put us in the most random places where we find people that accept our invitations. Saturday morning for example, we were headed out to a little paesino dove abita this contact that we met last Monday. When we got to the station, we realized we hadn't taken into account that it was Saturday and so the trains were less frequent. We missed one by about 30 seconds, and the next wasn't for 3 hours. We decided to see if there was a bus, so we headed to the bus station across the way. On our way there we stopped for a moment to talk to this man that sells things on the stairs of the station. We told him about how we missed our train, and he said that there was no bus at the station that would take us to Monterotondo, but that we had to take a little bus to the highway thing and wait for a bigger bus. We had no idea that existed, so that was awesome. He waled us over to the little bus and told the driver what we needed. Then, we realized we didn't really have money for the ticket, but the really nice driver let us ride for free since it was one stop away. On the bus we talked with the driver until another man got on so we talked with him too, and that man already had a Book of Mormon at home! Miracle! We gave him a booklet on the Restoration and gave an English Course card to the driver when we got off. Then, we walked over to our next bus stop where there was just one woman sitting alone, so we started talking to her. She was SUPER interested from the very beginning, I mean 100% prepared! She took a Book of Mormon and while we talked about it, her bus passed! It was ours too but we really felt bad that she missed her bus, especially when we found out the next one didn't come for an hour... But since we had an hour, we asked if we could explain the Restoration booklet and she said yes, so we said a prayer with her then we started. Before we got halfway through, two more people came up to this bus stop in the middle of nowhere (literally) and listened for a bit as we were talking about prophets. One, a young man, asked if we were nuns (common question). We said no and paused our lesson to explain who we are to him (Terry). He then said he doesn't believe in anything, but agreed to listen to us as we talked with Pelagie. As we were talking with them and teaching the Restoration, ANOTHER bus went by, and we all missed it! Another hour to wait... Haha! I couldn't believe it. Heavenly Father knew what needed to happen that morning though, way better than we did. Long story short, Pelagie, the first woman, is the best referal I have ever given (she lives in Rieti-so Terni) and Terry, who believes in nothing, was super touched by the Book of Mormon and our testimonies and took a book and gave us his number and really hopes we can help him build his faith. When their bus finally came, we knew it was too late for us to go to that appointment, but they both got on it with huge smiles and both had a Book of Mormon in hand. Pelagie was really glad she had missed her bus that day, and I think Terry was too. I just am so grateful to be a missionary for the Lord. Right after their bus pulled away, we walked off the road into the hay field and knelt down to say a prayer to thank Heavenly Father for all that had happened. I have never been so happy to miss a train by 30 seconds."

This place is great :) Also, this week is Zone Conference!

Also, shout out to Paige Wightman, a sister missionary that finished last year. She was and is incredible. She was serving in this area when I got to Pescara, and she had such an incredible influence on me and my mission. To keep it short, did a LOT of work here in Rome 5 and we are seeing so many fruits of her awesome labors. I cannot thank her enough for her dedicated service to the Lord. So many seeds planted, SO MANY. And such a love for the people that showed in her actions. She is great.

Okay, missionary crush over. 

Anyway, this week was good, and I am looking forward to another good one :) I love you all. Thank you for your love, support, and prayers! Have a great week!!

Sorella Patterson

June 30, 2014 - Rome 5

Aloha Friends and Fam! just kidding, I am not on the island anymore. Do I miss it? I'll never tell.

Rome 5 is very different than any other city I have been in or seen. It is basically just a bunch of little towns outside of Rome that each have one or two members in the whole place, and they put them all together in a little branch of about 50 people. I love it. It is so beautiful and we get to take lots of trains and buses, which are great for talking to people becasue they can't walk away! Also, we have a car!!!!! Never saw that one coming. But there are several places where we just can't get to without a car, so we share it with the two Elders in our branch. This is my first time being in a 2-person home, and in a less than 6 or 8 missionary branch. It is just a really big change, haha. But really, nothing has changed, except me. I literally feel like I am starting my mission over, fresh, from the beginning. I just feel so good here, and so motivated! And so focused! I don't know what it is, but it is a bit like this at each transfer, a new beginning, taking with you only the good that you have learned from the previous transfers and cities. I know we did a lot of good in Sassari and I feel like I have brought all that with me to Rome 5 and we are just getting down to business. I just love it!!!

Exerpt from letter to Presidente:

We have one investigator who has a baptismal date for July 19th. His name is Alessandro and he is from Nigeria. Would you like to know something cool/an awesome miracle/proof that you are completely inspired with transfer calls? I was present at his first lesson ever with the missionaries, one year ago, when I did my first scambio with Sorella Wightman in Rome 5. We taught him about the Book of Mormon and he became an investigator that night with his mom and brother. Then, he had to go away to school and they haven't been able to see him at all, but he got back last week and they met with him and he says he has been reading that Book of Mormon and wants to get baptized. And now I am going to teach him! How incredible!! I don't know if he will remember me, but I'll see him tonight. He has been at his college graduation so we haven't seen him yet. I am really excited for his baptism!

Well, we had a lot of time to do finding since I've been here, but I don't think we will keep having time. Already we are setting up appointments from area book finding and members inviting us over. I was asked Friday night to give a talk in church on Sunday, and I spoke right before the Elders Quorum President and Stake President. Intimidating? A little. But I did my best, and the members were at least able to see my love for them and the work. And two have asked us over, that Sorella Mathews says they have never visited. I know that the Lord blesses us for trying! Also, somehow He was able to take my weaknesses and use them for good, and now we can gain trust and get referalls! I am so excited! I have never felt so motivated or just wanted to go out and work! This is great, and Rome 5 needs some energy and drive! 

Okay, that is all for now. I hope that you are all sharing the Gospel in fun and creative ways, like smiling and complimenting and showing your love for everyone you meet! I just love you all so much!!! Have a great week!!

Sorella Patterson