Monday, November 20, 2017

Stefania came to Church!!!!!!

Ciao a tutti!

That's right, Stefania came to church this week. I would like to say this was our miracle of the week but more amazing things happened, you'll have to keep reading. We had a goal for 1 lesson every day this week and by some miracle we accomplished it! We have been visiting Stefania, a less-active, every single week that I've been here and probably long before that. And we've made plans so many times for her to get to church and they always fall through. So yesterday we called and called and called and she never answered. Then when I saw her head poke into the chapel I had to do a double take! There was a smile on my face the rest of the day, undoubtedly. The members were all very sweet and saluted her, so hopefully this is the start of something really good. 
Gift and Stefania

Also at church this week: GIFT! Wonder woman! She is amazing, I don't think I can say it too much. Sometimes I have to take a step back and think about all that she's been through... escaping her country in Africa, seeking refuge in Italy, losing both parents.. and she's only a couple years older than me. Wow. She brought Unity to the lesson (the cutest little african boy that she babysits) and was telling us how he can't go to school here because he doesn't have documents. It's a really long process for them to get those. Just one of the many humbling experiences and encounters we have on a day-to-day basis.

This one's for Chase: yes, spending 5 hours a day or more doing finding is rough, but I can sympathize. We do like 20-30 hours a week. Sometimes it's tough!! Especially a couple days this week when it was raining and there weren't too many people out. In those cases you have to stop everyone, even if you think you know what the outcome will be. On Tuesday we were doing just that and a lady, in the middle of the street, said "Prego!", meaning go ahead, tell me the message!!!!! So we stood there in the middle of the street in the pouring rain, huddled under umbrellas, and bore testimony of the love our Heavenly Father has for His children. Seed planting!! It's experiences like those that you can't be fully prepared for, but that you'll never forget.

We had a scambio with the Cagliari sorelle this week, they came to Sassari again. I was with Sorella Greer, she is in her 3rd transfer and her dad served in the Rome mission back in the day! So we set up a meeting with a lady named Bianca, Sorella Greer's dad was really close with when he served here in Sassari! I was so lucky to be a part of the beautiful reunion of Bianca and Sorella Greer. They were both in shock a little but it was so special to witness. We were with Bianca in Bianca's house, exactly where Sorella Greer's dad came when he served here. They spent a lot of time catching up but we did get to share a spiritual thought from the Book of Mormon! Not sure if Bianca is super interested in the gospel, but now we have that connection with her and she said we are welcome back any time :)

Visited Alghero for our p-day.
Also during the scambio.....Sorella Greer and I were doing casa in casa and got buzzed into a building! We knocked on Tina's door, apparently she had met sorelle on the bus in the past. She was sick and not feeling well at all but let us into her house so she could write down her phone number for us to call her when she gets feeling better!!

This week at english course we decided to "break boxes" (call everyone out) and teach prayer. We read James 1:5 and talked about the importance of prayer and having a relationship with Heavenly Father and not using vain repetitions. Well, I'd like to say it went over really well, but in a 99% catholic country.......haha yeah I'll leave it at that. But our students have been asking us lots of question the past couple weeks just about missionary life in general and then some of our beliefs! It's awesome seeing them want to learn more. One student, Katarina, even gave us a ride home after! We are hoping to get her contact info and meet up sometime outside of english group :)  

On Thursday we will be having a festa during english group for "il giorno di ringraziamento", Thanksgiving!! The students love learning about american holidays, and eating.. I'm right there with em! And we invited the members too so hopefully we will get a good turnout and it'll be a great chance for the english course students to create relationships with the members!  On Friday we got to go visit a member, Sorella Carboni! She lives out in the country and is just the sweetest. She makes pizza on fridays, so she made us some pizza- che buona! 

During the week we also met up with Mario, the english teacher (from a while back) and one of his students! Turns out Mario played basketball for the Sassari Dinamo tanti anni fa and lived in england for 30 years. But it was great to talk with he and his student about our lives as missionaries and why we are here!! Hopefully this will lead to bigger and better things :)

And now..
the biggest miracle of the week!... hopefully I can explain this in a way that makes sense.
On Friday our phone rang, unknown number. It was a lady named Irene, who said she got our number from Maria Chiara (a member of the branch). She wanted us to come over on Saturday. Well we assumed she would want to be taught english or something along those lines since she mentioned that she used to come to english course. When we got to her house on Saturday we were greeted by the cutest lady ever! Irene is a lawyer and works with the branch president, also a lawyer, and knows his family super well. Then she proceeded to tell us all the members she knows! Turns out, Irene used to meet with the sisters in 2015 and came to english course and church rather frequently!! She has a copy of the Book of Mormon, so we read the introduction and Moroni 10:3-5 with her. She said that she really wanted to start meeting with us again which is why she asked for our number from Maria Chiara. We were in complete SHOCK as you can probably imagine. Things like this are so rare but we are SO excited to see what is to come! The only challenge I can see right now is that she lives in Sassari by herself just for work, her parents live outside of the city so she goes to visit them on Sundays. So yes! Meet Irene :) 

I hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I am thankful for my family, friends, for all of your support. I am thankful that I get to be a missionary right now in this beautiful country and work with such amazing people every day! But most importantly, I am thankful for a Heavenly Father who loves me and all of us so much that He sent His Son!  I am thankful for the gospel and the joy it brings into my life every day. 
Happy Thanksgiving! Eat some extra sweet potatoes and brown sugar for me! (neither are a thing in this country...). Love you all!


Sassari district
Exchanges with Sister Greer

DeMann's 1year anniversary in Italy

Service at the Caritas

Always something happening in the town square

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire (or some kind of nut)

Nativity made out of cheese

Gift and Stefania

Where we buy our fruit and vegetables each week
Sorella Carley Neuberger
Le Sorelle Missionarie
Corso Giovanni Pascoli 25
Sassari, SS 07100

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Benvenuto inverno

Welcome winter!!

That's right, it's winter here on the island and it's so cold we have no idea what to do with ourselves....and it's only going to get colder :) We are just counting down to November 16, the day the city turns on the heaters in our house! Then we can at least be warm somewhere.... but until then we will hover in front of our little baby space heater and do our studies mummy style- wrapped in blankets! 
Our apartment
Not too much to recount from this week.....when it's cold or rainy or both cold and rainy, Italians don't go out. And when you try to approach the door, "it's too cold". :) love it!! 

One highlight from this week was that when we went to visit Stefania, she said she has gone to institute the past 2 weeks! And she said she's been reading the Book of Mormon!!!! Sorella DeMann has been here for 6 months and this is the first time she's heard Stefania say that! Woo hoo!!!!! There's a phrase Italians like to say, "piano piano" which means "little by little". Piano piano Stefania will be back to church. We are praying so hard for her to make that step! She's coming for institute and reading the Book of Mormon :) 

We got a new ward mission leader this week........*drum roll* Jonathan Tavernari (he's a BYU basketball legend, and now plays professionally for the team here in Sassari!). Sorella DeMann and I were lowkey fist pumping when they announced that change in sacrament meeting. He is so awesome and has been such a help with Pietro. It's going to be great working with someone that is just as motivated to be a missionary as we are!!

We had a lesson with Gift this week (she is still on date for baptism, December 16th!). We invited Matia, she's a convert in the branch that speaks english really well! She came to help out and bear testimony of the word of wisdom!! And when Gift arrived, suprise! She brought a friend to the lesson!!!!!!!!! This girl is on fire. She brought her roommate, Blessing, to come to the lesson and learn about the word of wisdom. When we asked Gift if she would live the word of wisdom she said, "I already do all of those things" YES!!!!! And Blessing was asking us some questions at the end, it was so awesome :)  Gift came to church yesterday too! She is really so strong. She comes to church by herself every week and doesn't have any friends really because she doesn't speak Italian. But she still comes every week with no push from us. It's incredible. Yesterday she tried to pay tithing AGAIN! This time we had to explain to her that she can't pay tithing until after her baptism so she can just keep the money or make a donation (fast offering). So she just paid the money as a donation!!!!!!! WOW. She blows us away. Ah being a missionary is so rewarding, I don't know how I got so lucky to be able to witness her conversion and diligence in keeping the commandments but I am so thankful. 

We also technically have a new investigator, Theresa, I think I mentioned her a couple weeks ago but she's known the missionaries since 1973. She's a tough cookie that's for sure. But for some reason, we really feel like now is her time. She's ready, she knows, but she's scared and hesitating. So if anyone has suggestions, I'm ready!! Sorella DeMann and I are ready for the challenge though, because when we are sitting in her living room bearing testimony of the gospel truths we know, every single thing about it feels SO right. 

Eggplant lasagna
At the Mensa Caritas on Saturday, I got to try my new favorite Italian dish, it's eggplant lasagna--so good! "Melanzane".

Last night we were planning to go out and do some video finding, but then decided to call Fulvia, a member and see if we could come visit, although it was late and there probably wasn't a bus. When she answered the phone she said she wanted to call us and invite us over but thought it was too late to catch a bus!!!!! So of course, we hunt down a bus. We may have gotten a little lost and missed our stop, but we got to talk to a really cool dad and his 2 little sons! They were super interested in coming to english course so we are praying it works out for them to come. It's so amazing how the Lord puts us in situations He knows we need! If we wouldn't have missed our stop, we never would have talked to that man :) Fortunately, the bus driver was nice and dropped us off in the general direction of Fulvia's house. Thank goodness for technology because we were able to use maps to wander around the streets in the dark until we found her house :) 

Fulvia told us a really cool story of a girl she met over a year ago, Monica. Fulvia prays every day for the chance to share the gospel with someone. One Monday she did just that and felt that she needed to go to the grocery store. She didn't know why, because she never does grocery shopping on Monday, bad produce, etc. But she went anyways and loaded up her cart with water and a few other things. When she went to check out, she met Monica, who was working at the grocery store. Monica asked how she was going to carry all this water to her house. Fulvia told her she lived alone but that she had some angels that would help her, the missionaries (well played, Fulvia, well played.). And from that, stemmed a beautiful friendship between Fulvia and Monica. Monica has 4 children, Fulvia has given her a Book of Mormon and I think she has read some. Fulvia has been trying to get her to meet with us but she's busy. Last night when we were at her house, she called Monica (on speakerphone). She said, bold like an Italian, "Monica, why don't you come meet with the missionaries? You need the gospel in your life. Everyone needs the gospel. Your family needs the gospel, etc. etc." OH it was AMAZING. I turned to Sorella DeMann and said, "dang, we need to bring her finding with us!" hahaha but seriously! Members like Fulvia >>>>> .  Fulvia has also been friends with Theresa for a very long time, they are like sisters. Theresa came to Fulvia's baptism 20 years ago. SO.....vediamo!

Found matching hats while sorting clothes
We also met with Kiri (Tavernari) one day this week..... there is a huge clothing stash at the church that we didn't know about until she showed us! Apparently members have been bringing clothing donations to the church and they've been building up for a while. So we sorted them into categories. We are trying to think of what we could do with all of these clothes because there are so many refugee camps in need for this winter. (if you have ideas please let me know!) Kiri got approval from the Sassari basketball team that they are going to make this their winter community outreach event. So now all the members of the basketball team and their families are sorting through their closets too! Kiri even went around her apartment building knocking doors asking people for donations. She's awesome. We are just brainstorming a way to incorporate the gospel into this amazing project!!

Other than that, our week was full of english group finding! We are trying to emphasize it because the most recent baptisms in Sassari are results of english course students! I think we handed out 400 or more cards this week just traveling around with our giant sign!! It's a lot of fun! :)

Quote of the week: "Testimony is not a destination; it is a possession for performance." (from "What is your Destination?" by Marvin J. Ashton). This is something I've been reflecting on a lot this week. Obtaining a testimony isn't a destination!! There are thing we can continue to learn and parts of our testimonies that need to be strengthened! But when we do have a testimony, we are more able to share the gospel with others :) A testimony really is a possession for performance! That's something I've really come to learn as a missionary and is something I invite each of you to do this week. A testimony doesn't have to be verbal, but can also be demonstrated through our actions!! I have a testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I am thankful for Him, my Savior, and His atoning sacrifice for every one of us. I am grateful to be His hands in His work here nella bella cita di Sassari. 

Vi voglio bene! Alla prossima!!

From English class. (we got some funny answers)

Our kitchen
Our bedroom

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


Monday, November 6, 2017

Conferenza come una missione

Ciao cari miei! 
(short one this week because we were out of our city for 3.5 days...)

il grande annuncio per questa settimana: (Big announcement of the week)
Gift is getting baptized!! On December 16th. We met with her a couple times this week and when we asked her to follow Christ's example and be baptized she COULD NOT stop smiling. And neither could we :) She just continues to blow us away with how strong she is and her desire to learn and understand. We had TWO members of the bishopric yesterday tell us Gift paid her tithing. We said "and?" and the response was "When is this girl getting baptized?!" December 16th, we can't wait.

Something cool I learned this week:
One of the members of the Sassari branch loves the Book of Mormon so much that he took the time to record himself reading THE ENTIRE BOOK! Because the pre-recorded stuff on gospel library doesn't exist in Italian. That's dedication. Also, how can I get a copy?! 

New food I tried this week:
Pesto fresco al noci! It's a different sauce to eat with pasta, besides tomato sauce. The best way I can explain it: it's like pesto but also kind of like peanut butter? hahahah. Guess you just have to try it to know! Probably my new favorite food.

Halloween in Italy:
Is actually really scary.....everyone dresses up as really scary things, no fun princess or superman costumes. Even adults dress up and go around trying to scare kids. It's something! The way they did trick-or-treating in Sassari (since no one has actual houses with doorbells), all of the stores in centro participated and decked out their store. Then the kids went store to store collecting candy! It was a lot of fun to just walk down the street and see!

Highlight of the week:
We spent all of Tuesday traveling to.....ROMA! We were in Rome for 24 hours for a mission conference with all of the missionaries that are on the mainland, Malta, and Sardinia (Sicily had their own conference). So everyone flew/trained in for that! It was amazing getting to see all of my friends from the MTC, every single one of us was at the conference (except 1 in Sicily)!! It was a blast and just felt amazing, I don't know how else to put it. The mission really does give you another family, away from your family. That's who these missionaries are to me! I feel like I am home, like I belong, like I am a part of something great. And I am! La Grande Missione Italiana di Roma :) 

MTC district reunited
Caserta district reunited (minus a couple)

MTC group together again at the conference

The guest of our conference was Elder Torben Engbjerg! He's from Denmark, so it was a cool experience hearing him talk about the Copenhagen temple and other sites and having visited those sites myself!! He and his wife both addressed us, they are so awesome. He told us of a great accomplishment: he and his sons biked from New York to San Francisco in 28 days. Wow!! It was neat to hear stories like this one and his other life experiences. Something he challenged us to do as missionaries was to find "the ONE". To find someone you can touch every day. Well, Sorella DeMann and I have been working super hard on that right when we got back to our city Friday afternoon!! We did some video finding with "Grazie a Lui" and there was one girl that said after the video "I'm touched by that!" We were like YES! We didn't even have to assume that she was touched, she just came out and said it:) We had a lot of success that night and got some wonderful new contacts, so hopefully there are good things coming in Sassari. With the approach of winter comes a new slew of struggles but we are pushing through. 

Our first night in Rome Sorella DeMann and I ventured out on our own and found "Alice" a pizzeria. Now the pizza in Rome is not good. But this pizzeria was completely different, we had a cheese and zucchini pizza, a pumpkin based pizza, and a tomato and fish pizza! It was so much fun trying new foods and they were delicious. But the main reason I'm including this on this email is so that I remember the name of this place. I'm going back.

Alice Pizzeria

A cool miracle that happened at the mission conference:
Anziano Fuller (the best friend of Chase's companion/trainer)
An elder came up to me (Anziano Fuller) and introduced himself and then asked if I had a cousin serving in Korea. I said, "yeah actually, it's my brother!" He responded by saying, "My best friend is training your brother" WHAT?!? The world just keeps getting smaller and smaller. It made my heart so happy to hear that! Of course, we took a picture together. :)

We have been working more this week with Stefania, a less-active member, we even made a plan to get her to church! We even saw her on Saturday and she was down! But then on Sunday morning we woke up to a text from her that said not to stop by :( Sooner or later, she's going to make it, I know it! 

On Saturday night, Sorella DeMann and I decided to do a 2-man gesso with our board! "Trova la felicita". It's so much fun standing next to that sign and handing out Gesu cards. It's also funny to see a wide variety of reactions. We had one couple walk by and after offering the card the girl said "no, no grazie" and the guy said "io prendo Gesu!!!" Mama mia, it's moments like that that keep us going, honestly. We had another guy decline the card, then come back about 20 minutes later because he had changed his mind. He wanted the card so he had a picture to show when he went to get a Gesu tattoo. Hahahaha 

Yesterday after church it was pretty rainy, luckily we got the invite to go to Paola's house! Her son and husband (the branch president) sleep the whole day so she needs someone to talk to. And we're the only other people in this city that don't sleep during pranzo :D! It was great visiting with her and an exchange student that's here from Utah. We learned how to make Italian sandwiches like professionals, and she said she'd have us over another time to learn her lasagna recipe! Whoop whoop! 
The Market - Say cheese!
Shoutout to Chloe (Neuberger), the first cousin to email me! (besides Ali.....we're all in this together). But seriously Chloe, you made my day/week/month and you're so awesome. Keep it up. Love you girl.

This week I read a really good talk by Elder Hales in which he says, "Now is the time to become a disciple of Jesus Christ, which means accepting His invitation to 'come, follow me.' This is the decision we made in our premortal lives. Now we must make it again here in mortality, every day, in every situation by taking the Savior’s name upon us, remembering His atoning sacrifice, and keeping His commandments". I absolutely love this, it's a great reminder that each one of us decided before this life to follow Christ. And every day we have the opportunity to make that decision di nuovo!! What a blessing and a privilege. It's my hope and prayer that we will choose to follow Him every single day, no matter how hard it may be at times! I am so blessed to have the opportunity to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and a 24/7 representative of Him in Sassari, Sardinia. I love my Savior, I love this gospel and I love being a missionary.

Mission Conference with Elder Torben Engbjerg

Sister Oehler - MTC comp

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

Monday, October 30, 2017

ite zese fatende

Some of the english course students taught me that phrase this week, it's Sardo! Aka Sardinian dialect for "cosa stai facendo". 

Ciao a tutti! Hope yall had a great week, I'll start with a miracle:  The anziani were walking through the park the other day on their way home when a guy stops them and says "What church are you guys from? Because I had a dream last night that I needed to come to this park to meet 2 men in white shirts and ties" WHAT?! Meet Romeo, the newest investigator in Sassari who came to church yesterday-- and brought his brother. (baptismal date TBD hahah).

Chase in Korea!!!
Another cool miracle this week... since we are a facebook mission I got a random facebook message one day from a completely random name, definitely Asian. My initial reaction was "I don't know you" and I opened the message to see a picture of Chase and his companion sitting on the floor with a family (see picture attached). Definitely brought tears to my eyes, it is so awesome how the Lord brings us happiness when we need it most.

Miracle number 3... Gift came to church yesterday and our Sunday school lesson was on tithing. After the class we were standing in the hall talking when she comes up to us and says, "come here! I have to show you something!!" And takes us to where the tithing slips and envelopes are. She then asked us how to fill one out. So we showed her. And then she proceeded to put a lot of money into that envelope. Wow we were shocked but it was so awesome!! She is such an example to us of living every principle of the gospel! And she isn't even baptized (YET.. baptismal date TBD!!) We are meeting with her tonight and praying she will accept the invite to follow Christ's example and be baptized :) It has been a slow process because she can't read and has never been to school, so learning is definitely a struggle! But we are making slow progress and yesterday was a good indication of that progress.

We spent a lot of this week prepping for the big Halloween party. Sorella Demann and I put a ton of work into this thing and it definitely paid off. With the help of Kiri, an awesome, American member. One day we were at her house cutting out decorations and apparently it's her tradition every time a new missionary comes to their ward to facetime the parents. That being said, I gave her my dad's phone number and we got to talk for a little!!! It was so cool and kinda weird. There's a reason we don't do that every day. But it was awesome. Thank you dad, for answering a facetime call from a random Italian number :)

So yes. Halloween. It's not very celebrated here but we made flyers and did a lot of finding handing them out to random people on the street trying to get more than the members to come to this party!! It was a huge success. For those of you that don't know, European missionaries rarely get to see when a party goes really well.. SUCCESS! We got to actually see the fruits of our labors it was amazing. We completely transformed the chapel/cultural hall. We strung decorations across the ceiling, all over the walls, and had a bunch of fun games set up all around the room it was beautiful. I won't tell you how much time we spent on this (so worth it). 

About 30 minutes before the party started, in walks.....SABRINA AND HER NIECE!! We had called her (no answer) and texted her (no response) to invite her to the party. She came by to salute us and bring a plate of treats even though she couldn't stay. Woah. :)))))))

About 30 minutes after the party started, in walks.....STEFANIA! She is the less active that we have been working with, she hasn't come to church since I've been here but this party was a good baby step. The members were so excited to see her and so sweet to her :)

Pietro came to the party too! Kiri's husband, Johnathan, spent the night playing chess with him and telling his conversion story. Johnathan pulled out a copy of the Book of Mormon and promised Pietro if he would read from the Italian copy and the english copy every day, he would learn english. And that he will find a job. It was amazing to see Pietro listen and take to heart the things he was saying. I love seeing him open up slowly and he is definitely starting to feel and have a desire to learn more!! Plus he came to church yesterday :) stay tuned.

We had so many members come to the festa and so many random people that saw our sign or got a flyer on the street! It was awesome getting to meet new people and talk in a normal atmostphere. Everything about Saturday night was perfect and just felt very normal. I was just soaking up every minute of it because the mission is a roller coaster of emotions that is most of the time out of your control..........

Friends from English course that came to the party.
*cue the time change* Yes, our clocks already fell back an hour and wow we are straight up struggling. So Sunday night we found ourselves outside at 5:30 pm in the dark, wind, cold, rain, ringing citofonos. We got let into a building and when we went inside Sorella DeMann said "this looks like tower of terror!" because the elevator was slightly ghetto.... We should've taken a hint. But no. We got on the elevator and (you have to push and hold the button to go up) well the button stopped working halfway between the ground and 1st floor. NONE of the buttons worked. Stuck on an elevator, in the dark. The lights flickered for a minute then when out. By some miracle we got service in the elevator and were able to call the anziani to help free us. We called the number inside the elevator and whew. From Saturday night to Sunday night we went from one end of the spectrum to another. That's the mission for ya! 

If anyone has an ideas of what we are supposed to do when it's dark outside and no one is out, let me know. When we were doing casa in casa everyone was in their pajamas telling us "it's too late!!!" at 7pm before they've eaten dinner. OK. hahaha gotta love Italians. 

Scripture of the week: Alma 26:3 "this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work." It truly is a blessing that I get to be an instrument in God's hands to further His work in Sassari. I know that each of us has a part to play to bring about this great work! It really is a blessing bestowed upon us. Thank you for all of your emails and prayers! I love yall! Buona settimana! Ci sentiamo!!


Sorella Carley Neuberger

Stuck on elevator.


Monday, October 23, 2017

Elder Ballard

Happy pday!  Transfer calls came and went, Sorella DeMann and I will be together for another 6 weeks! I'm pumped, I'm really learning a lot from her and she's a great missionary. Plus we have too much fun :)

I'll start with some exciting mission news.... the island of Malta opened up a Sorelle area!!!!!! So now there are 2 sisters on Malta which is just the coolest ever. And one of them is......Sorella Oehler!!!!!!! Yes, my MTC companion is opening Malta for sorelle. So so so so so cool. The work is growing! Slowly but surely. On the other hand, 2 cagliari sorelle got sent to different parts of the mission so now there are only 2 sorelle in cagliari. Which means..... I am 1 of 6 sisters on the island of Sardinia! Pretty cool :) Other than that and 1 zone leader, no one got transferred off the island. Our zone is the exact same which is awesome, we will all get to know each other and help each other with the work! Sardegna sta fiorendo.

A ward member gave us a referral at the beginning of last transfer. An older lady named Francesca who had been taught before and had come to church in the past but hasn't come or been taught in a while because of different medical problems. Well we have been trying her citofono for 6 weeks and FINALMENTE she answered! No questions asked just told us what floor :) (that never happens) and we got to visit with her for a little! She is a talker mama mia but she does just need someone to talk to. We are hoping to help get her back to church because she loved it and loved the people there!!

Speaking of Francesca....we got a new contact this week named Francesca. She was sitting on a bench in centro and we showed her "Grazie a Lui" she said she wants to learn more when she gets back from Venice at the end of November! You better believe we put it on our calendar. 

We had pranzo with Pietro again this week, gnocchi and pesto-- yum! 

Lunch with Pietro.
I got my Permesso renewal documents sent fingerprinting appointment isn't until March 20th so I am going to get to come back to Sardinia in March! Gotta love the speedy Italian gov.

We had a lesson with Donatella this week! We may have set up that appointment on accident..... I was calling everyone in the phone and she wanted to meet so we set it up! Then Sorella DeMann said, "Donatella? She's our Jehovah's Witness friend" oh mama mia. She is so sweet and she most definitely has the light of Christ, so we were very hopeful going into that lesson. But she brought a companion and it all went downhill. Luckily we were able to share the message of the Restoration and bear testimony of that and they accepted our pamphlet! They were super nice and respectful so I thought it went pretty well considering.

English course.....we are getting new people! Slowly but we are! And our phone rings a lot with people wanting to know more details! It's awesome!! This week we decided to do Mormon Do's and Don'ts for the spiritual thought. We made 2 lists to clear up the stereotypes and to bear testimony of the knowledge we have of eternal families!! I know everyone learned something new that night and people were asking question wanting to know more, it was perfect.

We met with Gift this week but it was really short so we only had time to review the Plan of Salvation, purtroppo :/ But she is remembering a lot! We tried to meet with her on Friday too but we got the bidone (ditch).

We did some casa in casa finding this week. We got let into an apartment building and the door or doorbell of each apartment usually has the last name on it. Well we got to one and the last name was Migliore meaning "best" so we were feeling super good, hoping for the "best". AND got to share the "Grazie a Lui" video with a guy that lived there, probably in his 20s. He invited us in but...rules haha. So we are hoping to go back by and see if he is interested! Maybe with our ward missionary. (before passsing him to the anziani). Speriamo per il migliore. We hope for the best ;)

And we spent some time wandering around the city this week putting up english course POSTERS! They are premade by the mission, definitely not the cutest or best marketing but I guess they get the job done. We put them up in almost every bar and cafe around town! Speriamo for more people in our church for english group this week.

We had the awesome opportunity to meet with Rosalba this week, a less active member who lives out in campagna. We aren't exactly sure why she agreed to meet with us but we were able to share some of our favorite scriptures from the Book of Mormon and talk about its importance. It's really difficult because her testimony is struggling. She told us, "if you went to the catholic church, you would know it's true". Huh. That's definitely a new one!! But we really clicked with her and just kind of got to know her and be her friend :) She was super hesitant about reading the Book of Mormon, but by the time she left, she said I promise I'll read not 5 but 10 minutes every day! Success :) We can't wait to go back and see her. 

Another visit we had this week was with Theresa. She's and older lady from Ireland, speaks perfect english, but has lived here long enough that she thinks in italian now. So the lesson was in Italian. We found her number in our phone and she was down to meet up! We went to her house and got to know her......she has known the missionaries since 1973, is friends with the members, has been to church, and has a 1973 edition of the Book of Mormon in english, well worn and read. Along with several other copies of it! So so cool. We proceeded to teach her the restoration, but she probably knows it better than we do to be honest.... she definitely knows it's a god-given book. She knows. But the only doubt she has is about Joseph Smith. As soon as she overcomes that, this woman is GOLDEN! So hit me up with suggestions/solutions per favore :) We are praying to know exactly how to help her. 

We got to meet with Joy this week too! (She and Gift both came to church yesterday). She showed us how she had downloaded the gospel library app on her TV and was telling us how they watch general conference every night before they go to bed and first thing when they wake up, so sweet :) We decided to ditch our original lesson plans and watch a talk with her, since that was obviously what she wanted to do :)))) We watched President Nelson's "The Book of Mormon: What Would Your Life Be Like Without It" very suiting since he talks about his visit to africa. Joy is so cute and it is awesome to watch her testimony slowly grow as she consistently listens to general conference and the Book of Mormon.

Saturday night, the ward relief society had an awesome activity planned, everyone bring a dish using zucca (pumpkin)! And as a relief society talk about the recipe and then have a ward social type thing after, eat and mingle. So naturally, Sorella DeMann and I remembered to invite some less-active members and potentials, english course, friends from the Caritas, etc. We made pumpkin chocolate cookies and got to the church right on time! No one there except the Eldersquorum president. Who tells us the activity got cancelled last night. Mama miaaaaaaa. So we go to call the people we had invited to tell them not to come (awkward) but our phone is dead. So we walk home to get the charger, walk back to the church to see if anyone had shown up while we charge our phone. Whew it was quite disatrous but good thing we are having a Halloween party this Saturday! We are working to get everything together for that. And this one won't be cancelled the day before menomale. Italians are starting to celebrate Halloween more and more I think, mainly because Americans do it and they want to be like America, ma va be! We are so excited for that!! We made fliers and a sign on our board to go out in giro with, hopefully we will get a decent turnout.

The Sassari branch Relief Society
And now, the reason the activity was cancelled. Apparently because ward conference was the next day and major bishopric changes! We got a new branch president, counselors, new relief society president, new eldersquorum president, new young mens president. So pretty much everything! It's pretty crazy the stake presidency comes over from Rome for it. And Sorella Renga (Velardi) was there, she's the stake relief society president but was in my ward in Caserta and is the absolute cutest/classiest lady ever. (Anziano Velardi's aunt). It was so fun getting to see her! 

with Sorella Renga (Stake Relief Society President)
When we sat down in church yesterday, Fratello Mastino came up to us frantic and says in perfect english: "sisters which one of you is it that plays the organ I can't play today we need someone to play prelude and can you play those hymns....." hahahah we didn't know how to react mainly because we were in shock of his perfect english! But I was so happy to play the "organ" aka a keyboard with an organ setting. It was fun getting to accompany, and I'm hoping I'll be able to do it every week now since Fratello Mastino is now the branch president! Vediamo.

Elder Ballard came to our mission this week! Well, he came to Rome... so all the Rome zones and Napoli zone got to see him, shake hands, all that jazz. The rest of us got the broadcast version lolololol. But it was great to hear from him along with Elder Clayton and Elder DeFeo (Elder DeFeo is an italian member of the 70!). They mainly talked about finding more people and talking to more people. Which we are trying so hard to do! At the end of the conference, President Pickerd referenced a talk by Elder Ballard (october 2002 priesthood session) called "The Greatest Generation of Missionaries". I decided to study it this week and it has to be my new favorite. Elder Ballard is very blunt and straight up but he says this: "Listen to those words: valiant, courage, strength, active, true. We don’t need spiritually weak and semicommitted *missionaries. We don’t need you to just fill a position; we need your whole heart and soul. We need vibrant, thinking, passionate missionaries who know how to listen to and respond to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit. This isn’t a time for spiritual weaklings. We cannot send you on a mission to be reactivated, reformed, or to receive a testimony. We just don’t have time for that. We need you to be filled with “faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God” (D&C 4:5)." There is so much power in those words, and something I've been trying to work on this week. Working to have those Christ-like attributes. Being all-in. Not lukewarm or semi-committed. Elder Ballard says to "Rise up and measure up". So that's my challenge to each of you this week! Even though you may not be a full-time missionary, God has high expectations for all of us. We all have unimaginable potential. Are we rising up? Are we measuring up? 

I love you all! Buona settimana!!!! XOXOXOXO

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