Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Baptism and pizza


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 :)


Louisa Russo

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


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

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


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

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Congrats to Clemson on the National Championship, sounds like it was an exciting one!!​

Where to even begin! This week has been jam packed and so many things have happened...

I guess I'll start with the fact that I just spent the day at Pompeii! Our district went together and it was so amazing. My pictures won't do it any justice so I'm sorry in advance. (I have a ton of pictures so check on my blog sorellacarleyneuberger.blogspot.com to see more of them!!) Pompeii was incredible and way bigger than I was expecting. We spent hours walking around the city and still didn't get to see all the ruins! There were amphitheaters, a coliseum, all sort of houses, pool rooms, fountains, gardens....we got to walk thorough and see these things plus more. Plus the beautiful view of Vesuvius and parts of Napoli. Wow.

Now for an update on some of the people I've referred to in previous emails!

Gianfranco: He had an interview with our mission president on Saturday and after years of coming to church, he will be getting baptized on January 21st!

Sofia: After our lesson with her last Monday night, we found out she's moving to a city in Italy that's out of our zone, so we referred her to the missionaries there and hopefully we will hear back from them soon! It was heartbreaking to hear that she's moving after developing a close relationship with her, but she doesn't have a job or family here in Caserta. Such is the case for a lot of the refugees here, it's hard to find work in Italy and it's sad to see them move around from place to place without family or anywhere to really call home. Sometimes we forget how privileged we are and take certain things for granted, so I'm thankful for the opportunities I've had so far to count my blessings and remember how much Heavenly Father loves and cares about us.

Stefania: We've been trying to contact her and meet up for the past couple of weeks but assumed she was out of town with family and busy with the holidays. Veronica (recent convert) got ahold of her and found out that unfortunately that wasn't the case. Stefania had blocked our phone number because her parents didn't want her to meet with us or progress towards baptism. You can bet how devastating it was to receive that news!! It kind of goes to show how much different Italian culture is than American. Although Stefania is 19, she still lives with her parents, as do all Italians until they get married. But we will still be praying for her and her family and hopefully one of these days it will all work out :)

Mary Joy: She is a less active we've been working with tirelessly! We tried to visit her this week but she was at work. However, her 3 children were home so we got to teach them, very simply, the Restoration! Mary Joy's son is 12 and he has been baptized, but her daughter hasn't been baptized yet. She's 9 and just the absolute cutest. So on Saturday night, as we do every Saturday night, we called them to remind them about church in the morning. When they walked in the doors on Sunday I had a really hard time containing myself. What I wanted to do was jump up and down screaming "Look everyone, Mary Joy is here with her whole family! Look! Look! They're here!!!!!" But since the meeting had already started, I refrained. Sorella Hess and I just looked at each other with huge smiles and it was hard to hold back the tears. Being a missionary is seriously the most rewarding thing ever, especially when you see a family with a desire to come unto Christ. We are WAY excited to continue working with this cute family!

In other news, IT SNOWED ON FRIDAY! First snow since 1986, according to a member we visited that day. Apparently Friday was also the day of the Befana which is like Christmas round 2 for Italians. She's a witch that comes and brings lots of candy for all the kids! So the whole town was shut down for the day because snow + Befana. Fine by us except we needed some water hahaha......so we stopped at the first open store we came to and got 2 cases of acqua :) I don't think we realized how much it cost we just paid for it. Then when we only got small change back, Sorella Hess was in shock I had no idea how to say "We actually don't want this water anymore"  so we carried those babies home and yes, we are appreciating it so much more than our normal water :)

Me and my awesome companion S. Hess
We got to have interviews with President Pickerd and Sorella Pickerd this weekend and it was really good. Don't really know how else to say it! Apparently Sorella Pickerd always asks for 2 good things about your companion. Well, no one prepared me for this question, so when she said "Sorella Neuberger, what are 2 things you like about your companion?" I couldn't say anything. I just cried a lot hahaha. When I finally regained composure the first thing I said was "2 things aren't enough." And it's the truth. I'm so blessed to be supported and led by such an amazing companion all day every day. I've learned so much from Sorella Hess so far and can't wait to keep doing so! I'm the luckiest greenie in the mission and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Yesterday was zone conference for Napoli and it was a huge testimony builder for me. President Pickerd quoted Oliver Cowdry and said, "These are days never to be forgotten" (Joseph Smith-- History 1:75). I know that as I serve as a missionary here in the Italy Rome Mission, these are days that I will never forget. As it is for all of us--- these are days we'll never forget! Make today unforgettable. My mom has a quote that says, "Act now, so that a thousand years from now, when you look back at this moment, you can say this was a moment that mattered—this was a day of determination" (Neal A. Maxwell). I know that as we strive to give every moment our all, we'll be blessed beyond comprehension.



With the district at Pompeii

Napoli Zone Conference

Suprise party for Luana (recent convert)