Monday, September 18, 2017

Miracoli ovunque❤

Buongiorno! (sorry this is a long one. feel free to just look at the pictures:) )

Wow this week has been crazy but awesome. I'll start by attempting to explain the biggest miracle of the week/my mission thus far. It's a little difficult to explain so bear with me. :)

OK. SO. 
On Tuesday the Anziani were at the church waiting for someone to show up to an appointment they had set up several days ago. At the same time, Sorella DeMann and I were at the Giardini, our favorite finding park, waiting on a contact that wanted to meet up, Cristina! As we were waiting, we noticed a mom and her 3 children playing on the playground. Sorella DeMann said, "Hey I think I've talked to that lady before maybe? If I'm thinking of the right person, she's from Brazil and doesn't speak Italian well. But she seemed really on top of things, and she seemed like a family oriented mom." 

So we looked in our phone under the name we thought.....there it was! Apparently they've tried to contact Diana before but she never answered. While we were waiting on Cristina to show up for the lesson, we call the Anziani, we didn't know what they would be doing but we thought it would be so cool to give Diana a portuguese Book of Mormon. Turns out they are at the church because the person they were trying to meet with didn't show up. They weren't doing anything at the time and they happened to find a portuguese Book of Mormon AT THE CHURCH?!?! What. They sprint to the bus stop and catch a bus all the way across town. 

Meanwhile...... Sorella DeMann and I are teaching Cristina about the restoration. She has been taught by missionaries before, so we just wanted to see how familiar she was with everything. It was a good lesson! She brought her cute baby boy, his name is Gesu (Jesus). Apparently it was his birthday and his cake was going to have Jesus, the Madona, and Padre Pio on it (if you know, you know). Right as the lesson was ending, the Anziani come sprinting into the park with a portuguese Book of Mormon!! 

Fortunately, Diana was still there so we walked up to talk to her, she said she remembered Sorella DeMann. And oh wow the look on her face when she opened the book and realized it was in portuguese. It was so powerful. She started reading it and as we were walking away, we kept turning around to see if she was still reading. She was! So many things came together so perfectly for us to be able to place the Book of Mormon with Diana that day. It is all the Lord and His timing, it truly is miraculous. 
Finding people to teach.

We have been doing lots of finding this week, trying to find new investigators. Just someone to share our message with. That being said, we did A LOT of "casa in casa" meaning door to door ringing citofono. You go down the list and if someone wants, they can buzz you in! Well, we got to one apartment complex and the door was unlocked so naturally we went in. Starting at the top floor working our way down knocking on everyone's doors. The funny thing about this is that some people have peepholes with covers. But if you're standing outside the door you can hear them uncover the peephole and look at you. So it's pretty hysterical when they do that and don't open the door hahahaha. Anyway. A family in the building let us into their apartment!! I think we were so in shock we didn't even know what to do when we were invited in hahaha. Sorella DeMann said that's only happened to her 1 other time since she's been here (almost 1 year). They were a cute family from Iran, we showed them the "Because of Him" video which always brings the spirit so strongly. It was cool to testify of Christ and see them feel something too. 

First day of school picture. Taken in front of the school. (It was the first day of school here.)
We did a gesso this week and it was kind of raining...not a lot just drizzling. It's funny how Italians love to point out weather things. So almost every person we were trying to stop didn't say anything but "it's raining" and kept walking hahahah. We found this hysterical for some reason. Once it stopped we had a little more success talking with people. There was a guy about our age who approached the anziani (<-- major plot twist..) and asked, "what do mormons believe" and they got to briefly explain to him! So cool.

There's an older lady in the branch, Sorella Fiori, it was her birthday on Saturday! So we decided to take her some flowers, she lives by herself. She lives out of the city and it was really an adventure getting there, including walking next to the guardrail, but we made it! She is the cutest, we got to wish her a happy birthday and share a little thought.

When we made it back to the city, we went to the Giardini (park) and saw a man sitting on a bench reading a book! Sorella DeMann and I talked over how to approach him....he likes to read so why not read the Book of Mormon, right?!? He told us that once he finished his book, he'll start the book of mormon :)

Dinner at the Bishop's home
Last night we went with the Anziani to dinner at the branch president's home, his family (5 kids) live in an actual house, very uncommon in Italy. Their kids are the cutest. Also I thought that Italian dinner was supposed to be small. Maybe it is. But what we had last night was nothing small. The first course was a heaping plate of pesto pasta (so yum) and a heaping plate of pasta carbonara (so yum). I would've been very full if the meal ended there. The meal did not end there. They brought out these huge meatballs. Oh wow they were delicious but no wayyyy could I eat all of that plus the potatoes and giant salad that were also on my plate. It was literally like a stereotypical missionary moment....I was sweating and trying to eat and swallow my food it was so much. Luckily I was sitting next to Anziano Dunn, if you saw him, you would know why this was lucky. He may or may not have helped out with my meatballs. No one will ever know for sure. Then we had a big piece of ice cream cake. Wow. We had to take the elevator up to our apartment when we got home and Sorella DeMann said, "that wasn't even bad...". Enough said.

On Friday we decided to venture to the other side of the city to Parco di Monserrato! Look it up, I'm sure there are pictures on google or something it is absolutely beautiful. It is undoubtedly a place where the spirit can be felt, just by entering. I can't fully explain. Unfortunately we timed it wrong and there wasn't anyone there except the gardener or worker man, Antonio. He told us when prime time was so we will definitely be going back there! We were debating whether we should talk to Antonio or not and we just figured why not. We told him we were showing a video, it's only 2 minutes, he said yes! So we showed him "Because of Him". It was amazing to see the changes that occured in his countenance in those 2 short minutes. When the video ended all he could say was "che bello", how beautiful. It was a moment that definitely brought tears to my eyes, standing in that beautiful, serene park so full of the spirit. How beautiful. How beautiful that Because of Him we can be happy, experience joy in this life and in the life to come. How beautiful that we can be forgiven of sin, have eternal families, and experience life in the fullest. How beautiful. I am so thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and this opportunity I have to be a missionary and share this beautiful message with the people of Sardegna. It is all because of Him. 

I love you all and hope that you have a good week!! xoxoxox
English course friends

Pizza after English course

Someone got a hold of my camera during English course.


Sorella DeMann eating a kebab.  My first kebab.
(Apparently, I only take pictures when I eat.)




Sorella Carley Neuberger
Le Sorelle Missionarie
Corso Giovanni Pascoli 25
Sassari, SS 07100
Italia

Monday, September 11, 2017

Ciao

Hey family!! 

Rotary Club sign in Sassari?
I made it safely to Rome! Left Tuesday morning at 7am, got to Rome Wednesday at 8 am and went straight to work with the Rome 2 sorelle. I crashed their district meeting and we had a district lunch it was a lot of fun. I also got my transfer call to......Sassari! It's a city on the island of Sardinia. Flying into my new city was amazing- it is absolutely beautiful! 

My companion is Sorella DeMann, she was in my MTC district so we are super good friends, ah it is going to be a great transfer. We work so well together and definitely push each other, it's awesome. And she is so much fun, we are almost always laughing no matter what we are doing. 
Carley and her companion Sorella DeMann enjoying gelato

There is an actual church building here in Sassari, a mile walk from our house so not bad at all! And there is a small branch here, I am so excited to get to know everyone. Our district is us + 4 Anziani. 2 in our branch and 2 in a branch in a different city. 

The English course is pretty small here, but I think it may be because it's still summer and people are still on vacation. So hopefully we can do some more corso finding and get it full!! English course is always super fun though, we have a great time with that. 

We have 2 investigators, Joy and Gift, they're both African. Joy has a really cute 3 month old baby boy named Jeffery oh my he is so adorable I will have to get a picture. Too bad missionaries can't hold babies :/ Neither of our investigators can read very well so they aren't progressing a ton, but we taught them how to listen to the scriptures, we just aren't sure how much they actually understand. I got to help translate for them in relief society which was an adventure but really helps with learning the language. Anyways, It's kind of a difficult situation but they are so awesome and love the gospel. And while I'm thinking about it, there's an African refugee serving in our mission right now, I haven't met him yet but maybe I'll get to! They made a video about his story so I'll put in the link for y'all to maybe watch! 

As for the rest of the work, it's struggling a little but I'm ready to get things rolling and I know that we will. We have been going through contact lists calling people and setting up appointments and doing lots of casa in casa (ringing citofoni) and are hoping to see something come of those efforts. Planting seeds :) 

We met some ragazzi (teenagers?) in the park the other day when we were doing finding there! They were super nice and very interested so we taught them the whole restoration, gave them copies of the Book of Mormon and exchanged phone numbers! That was on Friday. Then last night we called and texted trying to set up something to meet up this week and we got a text saying "You have the wrong number". Sorella Demann and I were heartbroken about this because they put their numbers in :( . But it's okay! I know that one day the time will be right for those ragazzi.

The missionaries here in Sassari have a great setup where every Saturday from 9:30-1 we help out at a Caritas! It's a place where people go that don't have food. So we sort through the food that is donated from local stores and shelve the good stuff. Help cut up fruit, prepare the meal, etc. And then lunch is from 11:45-12:45 we serve lunch and it was a lot of fun and a really good community service here. The people that run the caritas and the other volunteers are really good friends with the missionaries. It's a blast. I'm really looking forward to doing that every Saturday that I'm here in Sassari! 

Helping out at the caritas! Do you like the hats and aprons??
Church yesterday was nothing short of amazing. Being back in an Italian ward I've been thinking of it forever. I got to play some prelude music on the piano until the pianist got there and then I got to introduce myself and bear my testimony, in Italian of course. I shared a scripture, like the only scripture I have memorized in Italian, Alma 29:9, "I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy." 

The flight was long, jetlag is real, and my body is trying so hard to keep up with walking and working but it is, so good. The work is good and I absolutely love being a missionary. I know that Sassari is where I am supposed to be right now I am excited to further the Lord's work here!! The Church is true and I'm thankful for the happiness the gospel brings to my life. 

Love y'all and hope you have great week! Zone conference is next Tuesday and we are traveling down to Cagliari on Monday for that, like a 4 hour train ride, so not sure when I'll be able to email. 

Also I'm just now realizing how long this email is.... I'm sorry. Congrats if you made it to the end! Just so much happening and I'm loving life.


XOXO, Sorella Carley Neuberger

Pizza in a cone!  So cool!!
Gelato #2.  Can't get enough!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Baptism and pizza

Ciao!

Happy Birthday to my favorite sister Claire!!!!!! She turned 14 on the 17th. Hope it was the best ever, Claire!

We had an incredible week full of miracles! Let me start by saying I love Italy and I love the people of Italy with my whole heart. I'm so blessed to be serving the Lord and furthering His work in such an amazing part of the world.


On Tuesday we stopped by to visit a less active, Miriam. It was the first time visiting her since I've been here and she is the absolute sweetest. She has an adorable 3 year old daughter and they are just so stinking cute. I enjoyed every minute of visiting with them, getting to know them, and talking about the Restoration together! After the spiritual thought, Miriam asked if we wanted to stay for pranzo.....as if we would say no to an invite like that! My first Italian meal appointment in Caserta!! Mama mia it was so delicious-- rigatoni! Pics attached :)

Carley, Zina, and Hess
English course this week was still pretty small, but people are gradually starting to return from their holiday vacations! On Thursday after english course, we went with some students to the best pizzeria in Caserta, the one right by our apartment where our investigator Zina works! We got some sad news that they're probably going to be closing the pizzeria at the end of the month....SOS because I don't know what I'm going to eat for the next couple of months I'm in Caserta!! Zina has been working there for 17 years and she's from the Ukraine! Every time we eat a pizza there, we get to talk with her more and more about the church. And the look on her face when we gave her a Ukrainian Book of Mormon was priceless :) Sharing the gospel with others really does bring so much joy!!

Deborah and her brother Simeon
And speaking of joy.. time for an update on Mary Joy and her daughter, Deborah! They came to church AGAIN yesterday!!!!! I think I'm probably going to cry every time I see their cute family walk into the chapel :) . Sorella Hess and I got to go to primary with her since she is the only Italian speaker in senior primary, it was so much fun! So not only is Mary Joy now an active member of the church, but Deborah is getting baptized next Friday, February 3rd! I'm not sure if it's possible, but I think Deborah may be more excited than we are...! We've been getting creative with our lessons to keep them entertaining and interactive for a 9 year old, it's a challenge but we love it. For the plan of salvation we did coloring pictures and cut them out and for tithing this next week we are planning on doing orange slices or chocolates or something yummy! Ah being a missionary is the best. Especially when we get to work with such amazing people all day every day.


On Friday afternoon we went with an Italian member and an American member to a foster home in our area. The American member gave us all a ride and wow it's been a long time since I've been in a car because the ride was probably 15 minutes and I thought I was going to throw up by the end of it...car sickness or maybe it's just the way these crazy Italians drive! Anyways, there are about 10 teenagers that live in this house. The relief society in our ward has been making quilts for months for these kids so we got to go help deliver them!! It was so much fun meeting new people and they were all so nice, hopefully they'll be able to come to english course tomorrow night :) I am looking forward to going back and serving there and the youth in the ward are already planning a visit!!

After our delivering blankets and a couple lessons on Saturday night, we decided to go visit Zina and get pizza of course. Sorella Hess and I wanted to get rid of our change so we dumped all of our coins on the table and started counting out coins to pay for our pizza. Well while we were in the middle of this intense process, in walks Gerry- our friend from english course!! I guess we looked pretty pathetic to him because he so kindly paid for our pizza. Miracles!! It was so sweet of him. But we still have lots of change hahah.

Okay now for the good stuff! Best for last?? Saturday was the best day ever!!!!! Gianfranco got baptized!!!!!!!!!! It was seriously such a special day. The baptism was on the American base at the non-denominational chapel because the next closest baptismal font is in Pozzuoli. It was really cool to see someone that I've become close with experience such a tremendous change in their life. He bore his testimony at the end of the service about the feeling of peace he felt. I'd be lying if I said I didn't cry...
Gianfranco's baptism


After his baptism we had a big BBQ with some members on base and they may or may not have been playing country music the whole time we were there.....enough said about that ;)

Today for pday we went to the best pizzeria in Napoli, Michele. WOW. I think I'll leave it at that.

We had a member of the ward give his farewell talk in church yesterday! He's headed to the Philippines. It was so weird listening to him because I feel like that was me just yesterday! I am so excited for him because he has no idea what he's about to experience. His talk allowed me to reflect on my personal conversion and the happiness that I've been able to experience in the past couple months. I'm so thankful for all the growth I've experienced and can't wait to keep learning, growing, and strengthening my testimony every day.

I finally watched the video "Lift" this week, (https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2015-05-003-lift?lang=eng) if you haven't watched it yet it is 100% worth your time and it's fairly short. This video helped me remember that when we are serving others we are serving God. And that when we serve others, we can feel sincere joy. James 4:10 says, "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." I know that we rise by lifting others!! I am so thankful for the 18 months I have to dedicate my time solely to lifting other and helping the feel God's love for them :)

I know that we have a Heavenly Father that loves every single one of us. I know that we can communicate with Him through prayer and I know that He answers our prayers according to His will. I can honestly say I've never been so happy in my life and I am so thankful to be a representative of Jesus Christ!!

I love you all and hope you have a fabulous week :)


XOXO,
Carley


Louisa Russo


Found Nike in Napoli
Ciao Bella...our new PJ's


Veronica

 More pics of Pompeii in case you wanted to see more.
Mount Vesuvius in the background







Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Pics

Editors note:  No letter for the blog this week.  Enjoy a few more pics of when they visited Pompeii last p-day. Also if you are reading this blog and haven't written Carley, now is the time to repent.  She would love to hear from you.

























Zone Conference - Napoli