Friday, November 29, 2013

Rome for the Holidays!

I'm staying in ROME!  

President didn't want to make a lot of changes because there are THREE holidays this transfer: Thanksgiving this week (which no one celebrates, so I kind of forget about it--sorry Aimee I know it's your favorite) and then Christmas and New Year's.  So Sorella Foster and I are staying together.

But I'm really happy to be staying in Rome.  

Christmas in Rome.  

What a dream come true.  I love our ward and our investigators. Things have been really going well lately; we have a ton of new potential investigators and we have been working really well with the elders in our district.  

(Even when they make fun of me.)

Mail Call
Also I got the packages THANK YOU!  Sorella Foster has to keep me from opening all the days of the advent calendar at once. This year it's not even for chocolate (because there is none) but it's so cute and I just want to see what's behind all the doors. 

Thanks for the pens. I didn't know I was so picky about pens, but I am. so grateful.  Also thanks for the conference Liahonas.  It was perfect timing because I got them at a missionary conference we had this week, so I gave out the extra copies to my favorite missionaries there.  

We have been DYING for the conference Liahonas, so it was the best gift.  So I got those two packages this week! THANK YOU. 

I thought Paige's email last week was so funny, so I printed it and read it to everyone. (Read Paige's blog HERE

Secret Sister Stuff
I'm so happy we are both in Italy because there are just some things that no one else can really "get" unless they serve here.  I also got a cute letter from her this week with the best Anziano Holland talk and a picture of her to show to the cute elders--because I'm shopping for a brother-in-law. 

It's been a really cold week here in Rome. It's rained almost every day.. and I got holes in my RAINBOOTS too... (Thanks Nonna for convincing me to bring rainboots) so my feet have been cold and wet. 

I bought myself a Thanksgiving present. don't be mad. new boots. 

But other than the rain, it's been really good.  Last pday we went to the craziest museum.  It's a crypt decorated entirely with bones of dead friars. yes, you heard me. so creepy. Imagine walking into a dimly lit room COVERED in human bones.  

Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini

Also we went to the mall after to buy things for winter because its WAY colder than I thought it would be and I NEEDED a warm blanket. 

But while we were there, we walked by the movie theater and I died a little because they showed the Hunger Games trailer AND The Hobbit trailer with LEGOLAS and my fangirl teenage heart wondered if it was worth the sacrifice to be a missionary, and I decided it was.
(Small interruption: this cute little boy whose mom works in the internet stop just gave me a drawing of his Pokemon character and my heart melted a little.) 

As far as actually missionary work goes, it's been good.  We did a scambio with the other Rome sisters and I got to go with Sorella Fossa again!  

I love Italian companions. 

It was really fun because they have 4 sorelle in their house and the 2 sorelle from Ostia were down for their baptism (because they don't have a font in Ostia).  So there were 6 sisters there that night--pajama party as the Italians say.  

Sorella Fossa and I got to teach this pregnant lady named Zara the Plan of Salvation and it was so good. It was cool teaching with a sister who is about the same age as me in the mission and who speaks the language.  The lesson went so smoothly and it just felt good to testify of Jesus Christ and his role in our lives here on earth. 

Then we got to go to this cute baptism where I cried. (I might cry every time I see a baptism, especially the Robles family on The District, because I'm still sad I wasn't there for Maria Rita's baptism.)  

(Robles Family's Story:  HERE )

She was so cute and her boyfriend baptized her.  Then we found out he is going on a mission in a WEEK to Ogden, Utah. (I hope he is companions with Taylor Basset.) I love baptisms.

Real Intent
Thursday we had a really great chance to go to a missionary fireside with the Sunday School general president and Brother Ridd from the Young Men's general presidency. It was so great to just sit and learn and feel like I was back in the MTC again. 

(Kaitlin is right behind Brother Ridd and President Osguthorpe)

We learned about what it means to have "real intent" as a missionary: what is our intent in teaching and how can we help people through our teaching skills?  

The Big Three
I learned a lot and it reminded me a lot about the three most important characteristics in missionary work/life: faith, hope and charity. 

Real intent is just hope, realizing your desire and your intent for doing missionary work, and applying the faith and charity to that desire will give you the power to have success.  It was a great booster because sometimes you just get so into the pattern of things that it's easy to forget your hopes, desires, and your intent. 

We have seen lots of other miracles this week, one of which is a new investigator. Guess where from: BRAZIL. not just brazil, Belo Horizonte. (where her friend, Dallin Bergquist, served).  

Anyway, some elders ran into her on the train and referred her to the elders here... Turns out the elder that found her had to get transferred here for an emergency and found out that she hadn't been contacted!! 

So he called her and she came to church and they decided that we sorelle would be a better fit for a cute, single 20-year-old.  I'm not complaining because she is SO cute and SO prepared. We are so excited to be working with her. 

Our other investigators are progressing but slowly. Missionary work takes a lot more time then they make it seem in those stories they tell at conferences and in talks.. but I heard a quote once that says something along the lines of "success is sweet, sweeter if long-delayed and obtained through trials."

What I've learned this week is that the real joy in missionary work is seeing people change. It's seeing the clouds of darkness being dispersed from their lives and watching as the Light of Christ starts to fill them with joy (see Alma Chapter 19--King Lamoni). 

This week I have been grateful for the constant support of my Heavenly Father, who strengthens me and gives me all that I ask for as I strive to do his work. 

The Center
Every week I am more grateful for my chance to serve. My mission experience has been so different than I ever imagined it would be.  I've grown in ways that I didn't know I needed, and my testimony has grown deeper and more secure of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

I'm learning what it means to make the gospel of Jesus Christ the center of my life, and it's something that I am eternally grateful for. I have been continually blessed by daily scripture study, the words of modern prophets and apostles (and my sister), quiet prayer, and bearing testimony in the rain. 

I feel so blessed to be given the chance to serve a mission here in Rome and to be blessed by the people with whom I serve. I know the Lord is working miracles and I know that this is His gospel, that the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints knows what it means to have the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

I am coming to know Him and understand more of his love as I serve His children.  That's all the reward I could ask for, and yet he gives so much more. SO I'm grateful. 

With Love From Rome,
Sorella O'Connor

(Email Sent - November 25, 2013)

Monday, November 18, 2013


I was a bit selfish today and took a lot of my time reading and responding to my emails.  I love getting emails from my friends at home and on missions.  Thanks for the updates. 

YAY Tanner is getting married :) So happy for him. 

YAY Bekah's baby is here :):):) 

I am excited to be an "auntie" and play with all of them when I get back.  

Also I've been thinking all week how I was with Zoe a year ago when she met her husband in the ice cream aisle and how that is the perfect "first-time-we met" story.  And how I said, "Watch, you are going to marry him and get to tell everyone you met your husband in the ice cream aisle."  You're welcome Zoe. 


We met an African lady dressed in a bright teal spandex jumpsuit who asked us to come preach to her on the bus.  So that was cool. 

Tuesday we did some finding in this cute park (I love park finding).   There was a bus/metro strike so it took us forever to get there and we only had like 10 min to do finding before we had to leave.  I stopped the first people we saw and it was this cute young couple.  

We pulled out the happiness survey:  
"How many times have you smiled today?" 
"What makes you happy?" 
"We are here with a message about eternal happiness through the gospel of Jesus Christ."  

 Anyway, so this guy is SUPER interested.   He starts telling us that he has been going through a trial of faith because he goes to church and realizes that they aren't teaching what the bible says... So we exchanged numbers and he says, "So can I come to church on Sunday?".. miracles. serious miracles. 

 He didn't come.  But I'm not giving up hope.  They are getting married in the Rome temple, 
I can just feel it. 

Speaking of which, they are HOPING the temple will be done in 18 months.  They shipped in a ton of Americans to figure out why the Italians aren't getting it done fast enough (pranzo hours.. that's why). 

getting the temple spires

So that means more people for me to translate for in Relief Society, but I secretly love it because they spoil us like grandmas do. 

We have been teaching the niece of one of the members and giving her some private English lessons.  So, this week we were teaching her about the Restoration and Sorella Foster was just about to get to the part about Joseph Smith--It was so cute because Sorella Foster says, "and then a miracle happened..." and Marina gets really close and whispers, "What was it?" all intently.   Then Sorella Foster tells her the story of the First Vision. super spiritual power. 

Also we went to visit one of my favorite families, the Iakaniani family, and she made us a cake in the shape of a bear.  We have the best members here in Rome 2 and 6. (our wards names) 

Hey, Hello
We found another new potential just by smiling. hah.  Typical sister missionary story, right?  We were walking down the street and I was just smiling and saying "hello" to everyone that passed.  I realized we wrote down the house number wrong and we needed to go back to the other end of the street.  

So we started walking back and one of the guys that we said "good morning" to was at the stoplight and he started asking us questions.  We were able to give him a Book of Mormon and he asked about church and asked if he could come and we got his number! 

Seriously we are finding people out of no where.  This has NEVER happened to me.  Last night at the bus stop this guy says, 

"Hey, so do you guys have one of those books from Joseph Smith?
and I'm like "Excuse me?!  You know about Joseph Smith?!"  

He tells us that he has friends in England who are Mormons.  He is from Romania, so we got his number so we could bring him a copy in Romanian.  We have NEVER had this much success in finding people that will even listen, let alone give us a chance to explain more.  So we are super blessed. 

His Love
Also things are going well with Giorgia.  She came to church yesterday and we had a great lesson with her this week.  As we were studying, I had the overwhelming impression that we needed to explain the atonement to her and how much Jesus Christ loves her and how he suffered for her personally in the garden of Gethsemane. 

It was really powerful. She won't be ready for her baptism this week, but she is making progress.  It was a really good chance to find out where she is at and how we can prepare her. 

How It Works
So it's been a good week.  Since the wards split we have been doing a big less-active search as well. Yesterday we went to look for someone, but her name wasn't written on the citofono.

How it works in Italy is that every apartment building has a set of doorbells on the outside, so you have to ring the doorbell to get let in.  Then sometimes you have be let in again to get past the gate INSIDE and then again AT there door.  When you ring outside, there is a little speaker where they ask who it is... but sometimes they don't ask and just buzz you in. 

Heavy Breathing
So after this less-active wasn't there, Sorella Foster and I felt impressed to do the rest of the apartment building.  (We are trying not to do casa because we don't see much success with it.)  

Anyway, we go up to the top floor where this person let us in without saying anything... We are waiting at the door and I hear this noise.. that sounds like Darth Vader... and it's coming from inside the house.. getting closer and closer to the door.  

So Sorella Foster hits the button to the elevator because we are both freaked out.. and the noise is getting louder and louder as we wait for this elevator and it arrives JUST as we hear this loud creepy oxygen tank type thing RIGHT at the door.  We run in the elevator trying not to scream as I'm saying "HIT THE BUTTON! GET US OUT OF HERE!"... the joys of casa. 

So yeah, it's been a good week.  We get transfer calls this week.  

I HOPE I'M STAYING IN ROME 2 because I love it.  

Sorella O'Connor 

I bought myself a beret to keep my head warm.  The anziani make fun of me.
It's classy.

The tourists are gone!  We had the Trevi Fountain to ourselves.

accidental "artsy" shot

Kaitlin received pictures from Sardegna of Maria Rita's baptism!!

 "Isn't she the cutest?  So happy!!"

(Email Sent - November 18, 2013)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Halfway... What?

The Hardest Rule
First of all, I can't tell you how excited I am about TWO new baby Bergquist GIRLS.  Marleigh is SO beautiful and I'm so sad I can't hold her. so sad.  So keep sending me LOTS of fotos.  so many babies.  

Welcome Marleigh Jane!

I agree with Paige, it's been SO hard to follow that mission rule... especially because our ward has the CUTEST babies. seriously. and they speak Italian. and I want to hold them. 

Mid-Mission Crisis
So this week it finally happened.  I hit the halfway mark. SO weird.  I was having a sort of "mid-life" crisis.. but it has passed.  I just can't believe how fast it's going.  Probably because we are SO busy.  A really good kind of busy. 

Dreams Come True
MONDAY I SAW LA CAPELLA SISTINA! (Sistine Chapel) dreams come true. they do, they do.  
It was SO beautiful. I can't even describe it.  

Sorella Foster and I decided to take a tour so that we could have someone show us around.. Because the Vatican is SO huge,  I knew I would miss something important on my own.. and it was so good.  Also we talked to our tour guide about the gospel in Italian and that was cool.  But seriously I never wanted to leave the Sistine Chapel.  

Outside the Vatican

From my point of view

(fortunate placement of the tour guide's head)

Hey Sisters!
Also we got "hey sistered" in the chapel. 

(That is when we see Mormon tourists and they yell "Hey sisters!"... usually accompanied by a joke or asking how many baptisms we have had.. today's "hey sister" was "Do they let you come over here?" referring to the Vatican.) 

School of Athens... an art history student's dream coming true 

Tuesday I found out that my companion has NEVER HAD RANCH DRESSING. never. ever. or sour cream. & I can't even make her eat it because we don't have it here.  Isn't that so crazy?  

I just kept saying "CHIPS AND DIP SORELLA, YOUVE NEVER HAD CHIPS AND DIP?" that's like a staple football party food.  Speaking of which, I can't tell you how much I love the BYU football updates.  It's been cold football weather here and I've been slightly homesick for BYU football. Next year. 

We met with our cute RS president and she has this new baby (again with the babies) and I couldn't hold her.  But it was still a good meeting because we are doing a lot of less-active work right now. 

Because they split the two wards and the member lists are smaller, they can put more attention on less-active finding.  So we are going to be doing a lot of that.  Also we had a good lesson with our new investigator Giuseppina at the church before English Course. 

Get the Rust Off
Thursday we did finding at Villa Ada.  Because we have been so busy, we haven't had a lot of time specifically set aside for finding.  We have been getting kind of rusty, so we decided to spend the whole morning getting out of our bubble again to do finding. 

So I made Sorella Foster talk to these two ladies playing with their dogs and it was such a good experience.  Neither of them were interested in knowing more, but at the end they just praised us for all the work we are doing and told us how wonderful we are and how wonderful it is that people our age are making these sacrifices to help people find happiness.  

What Makes You Happy?
We have been doing a new sondaggio (survey) about happiness.  We ask people how many times they have smiled.  Then we ask what makes them happy.  

Then we go on to explain that we are here with a message of finding eternal happiness through the gospel of Jesus Christ. cheezy but we love it.  Anyway at the end, they gave us big hugs and wished us well. so cute. 

That night we went over to our OTHER ward mission leader's house. (Since we work with both wards, we also have two ward mission leaders.) They are American.  It was so weird because we walked into their apartment and it just felt like a classic Utah home.  

We had corn bread and chili (which Sorella Foster also had never eaten) and FRESH SALAD. heaven sent. seriously. The salads we have had here are basically lettuce, oil, and salt.. sometimes tomatoes.. and sometimes olives.  

We're Not Nuns
ALSO when we were going there, I started talking to this girl who was Italian but speaks English because her boyfriend is British.  Then I hear Sorella Foster explaining to this man that we aren't nuns (which we get a lot).  

Afterwards he gets off at our stop and we explain more and offer him a Book of Mormon.   He says, "I don't know if I'll read it because it is black and it looks depressing."   I answer,  "Well its actually blue on the outside and it's white on the inside and it will fill your life with light."  So we will see if that works. 

Parli Inglese
Friday we were doing some English Course publicity in the park and this guy was like "Why are you teaching people English and not teaching people what the Bible says?" and we were like, "Ummm, yeah, we do that too."   I've never had anyone be mad that we offer English.  But he didn't want us to teach him about the Bible either so...  

We have started this English Course for kids once a week for service.  The last time we taught it (which was also the first time we taught it), the parents who came sat in the back read through ALL of the pamphlets we left them.  So that was cool. 

Saturday we traveled a lot.  We went to a member's home because she has a friend who needed some help with English for an exam.   So we went to help her out and at the end we had pranzo together (The Peruvians are good to us). 

We talked a ton about the temple and gave her a Book of Mormon, so we are hoping that all goes well. She seems really excited about the temple and about eternal families because there are a lot of marital problems right now.  Also she is dating a less-active member, so that would be so cool if we could get them ready for the temple.

Yesterday we had stake conference! so fun. I got to see Martina Sana (from Cagliari) because she moved to Rome and is in my stake and I got to see Flavia our investigator that we passed to the Ladispoli sisters. so much fun. 

Sunday Ride
Then Sunday night we had no appointments, so we decided to travel all the way to Prima Porta to find Giorgia.  She has been avoiding our phone calls because (we think) her BF is not too happy with the idea of her getting baptized.  

On the way I started talking to this lady on the bus from ORISTANO (Sardegna.. smallest branch where we have missionaries) and now she is living in Prima Porta. 

Anyway, we started talking and we had a lesson with her on the bus and then we exchanged numbers and got a return appointment for next Sunday!  NEW INVESTIGATOR!  and we have great members over there in Prima Porta to help out.  

We got to reach Giorgia at home and her boyfriend was there, so we got to meet him and tried to show him we are not so scary (I hope.. it's been raining a lot so we looked pretty scary) and we have an appointment tomorrow. 

Don't Think About It
miracles miracles miracles. I love being a missionary. so much. I got sad last week thinking that by the end of next summer I won't be wearing the name tag anymore.  So I just stopped thinking about it. 

I love being here in Rome. It's the best.  We have so much to do and I'm learning so much.  But I love all the updates from home, so keep them coming.  Something that sucks about having a greenie at your halfway point:  everyone has forgotten about you, but she is still getting 10 letters a week.  So I wouldn't be mad if I got more letters ;) 

Anyway. love you. I can't believe Thanksgiving is coming so fast.  We have two offers for an American Thanksgiving, so we are pretty excited about that. There are pluses of having Americans in your ward. 

Send me more baby pictures. Hold them tight for me. I sent Brit a letter this week.  Tell Di that I'm SO excited for her :) okay bye.

With Love from Rome,

Sorella O'Connor

Anziani stealing oranges from the church for DDM

The Harry Potter train by our house. 
The train station is right by our house and we hear it ALL the time... 
It also makes our house shake and sometimes glasses fall from the counter in the middle of the night. 
But it's cute


(Email Sent - November 11, 2013)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Don't Cry Sorella

Another week come and gone and they aren't lying when they say it goes by fast.  We have been SO busy here in Rome.  Here is my little update from this week:

Time for a Trim
It is a law in Italy that parrucchieri (barbers) can't be open on Monday; and since pday is now Monday, President gave the missionaries permission to get their hair cut on other days as long as we do missionary work while doing it (obvi).   

Anyway... so there is this less-active member who cuts the missionaries' hair for free.. Can you see where this is going? oh no... oh yes.  

So you know that scene in Roman Holiday where Audrey Hepburn goes to the parrucchieri and is like "OFF.  Cut it all off!" (gasp from Mom) ... well.. I didn't do that. ha.

We go to see this less-active man and his girlfriend is washing my hair and telling me all SORTS of things that I don't think Artan wants me to know.  People seem to just trust missionaries and we end up knowing everyone's secrets--like how she thought she was pregnant and that she wants to leave him because he wouldn't be a good father and that they were trying to start a family and oh my gosh it goes on and on.   

... Just a Trim
Then Artan comes to cut my hair and he holds about SIX INCHES between his fingers and says, "So about here, right?"  I freak out , "ARTAN.. NO.. POCCO POCCO!!" and he says, "รจ brutto sorella" and I'm like, "Yeah, I know but just the ends PLEASE!!

... so I set Sorella Foster on guard to watch him and he ends up cutting off about that much anyway.   But he does it sneakily.. like "I'm just making it even... It's longer on this side." blah blah blah... 

Don't Cry
So he has me looking down to make it even in the back and what not, and just before he tells me I can look he says, "Don't cry sorella"... good sign right? 

One of the anziani said Artan told him once, "I listen to what they want and then I make adjustments."... so I got a "modern" haircut as he says.. it will grow right? 

I'm sure it will get gloriously long by next summer.  Lessons you learn in Italy.  It's okay really...
 I didn't cry. 

"Don't cry Sorella"

Still long in the back

My "modern" Italian haircut

One of the members was looking at my photos from before the mission and she said something along the lines of "Wow Sorella, you were so glamorous... Good thing we keep feeding you.  You can't be this pretty and serve a mission.  The Lord needs to protect you." He's protecting me a little too much if you ask me. 

Take the Show on the Road
Anyway, so that was funny. kind of.  Also we had zone conference this week which was fun.  Sorella Merrenda and I did an addestramento on "teach when you find, find when you teach" and how to use the Restoration pamphlet. I think it went well.  President said he is going to take us on the road with him.  

New Investigators
Also, we got a referral for someone who lives by the Colloseo, so we had an excuse to go there this week.  It was fun.  The tourist people were trying to sell us tickets to go in and I got to say 
"No thanks, we live here.. We are just going to see a friend."


We had a lesson with a new investigator this week.  She is the niece of one of our members and she said she is going to start reading the Book of Mormon, so we are way excited about meeting with her. 

We have another new investigator:  that lady that we met in Villa Ada park came to English Course and now we have an appointment this week with her and she brought us chocolate. so we like her too. 

Also I got no mail at zone conference so you guys are in trouble. 

Lost in Translation
We went to a Halloween/birthday party for a member, and I really wanted to dress up as "the Holy Ghost" and wear a sheet and put lots of holes in it..  But then I realized that the translation in italian is just "lo spirito santo" and it wouldn't make any sense to why I was wearing a sheet with holes in it.. It was a nice idea. 
Halloween Party

Hate to Give Her Up
Also I got to go on a scambio this week!  So we have this incredible investigator named Flavia.  She is 18 and she is Peruvian and SO cute.  She has so much desire that on Sundays she takes a train from Bracciano to Rome, which takes an hour and a half (at least).   She has an aunt in our ward so she has been coming here.  But it was getting really hard to see her because she has school on Saturdays now and she can't make it out for lessons. 


So we decided to do a scambio with the sorelle in Ladispoli (because that's actually the area where she lives).   She hasn't wanted to go to that ward and meet with those sisters because she doesn't know them.  It was perfect because I went with one of the sisters to visit her so that she would know someone and be able to go to church and meet with them there.  I was sad about it because she is SO golden and knows it's true and you hate giving that kind of investigator up.. but it was for the best. 

We had the BEST lesson with her about baptism and the Holy Ghost and how she can receive an answer to her prayers about baptism.  We also brought a member who lives in the same tiny city.. and it was so perfect.  I'm so sad to give her over... BUT that night she called me and she said that she was thinking about everything we taught her and she had the impression she should be baptized on her birthday!

She was calling to ask how she can know if that was a prompting of the Holy Ghost or not, and I'm like "YES IT IS! IT IS! DO IT!".   

Right Impressions
Then I remembered an impression that I had as I was thinking about how to teach her:  I was wondering why Heavenly Father wouldn't just give her a clear "yes" like he had with other questions before.  (She has had several really cool experiences with the Holy Ghost and receiving revelation.)   I had the impression that we were teaching her a pattern for the rest of her life:  she needed to learn how to search, ponder, pray, and then recognize the small promptings of the spirit and go ahead with faith. So we did a fast with her yesterday and it's going so well. 

Filled With the Spirit
I love being a missionary. There were several moments this week where I just was filled with the spirit, making me so grateful for the work I was doing. The first was on a the train ride to see Flavia.  We started talking to the two old men in front of us, then the two ladies in the aisle next to us started asking questions.   Then I realized that everyone in our compartment was turned around and listening to us. 

The second moment was with members in an FHE teaching about "the power of one":  how Abinadi courageously bore his testimony, and from that testimony Alma was converted.. and from Alma came the conversions at the Waters of Mormon.  His son and the sons of Mosiah went on to convert others.. and then before you know it, a whole Lamanite nation was converted and millions of people today are still being converted because of their words.  Yet Abinadi died not knowing his testimony had changed anyone. (Read Abinidi's story in Mosiah)

The last special moment was while we were teaching Flavia.  This RM sister was explaining what it means to "take on the name of Christ" and she gave the example of our missionary name tags--how we are constant representatives of Jesus Christ.  Three different experiences, but the feelings were the same. 

Small Part in a Great Work
I am so grateful to be a missionary:  grateful for the chance I have to share my testimony every day with complete strangers, grateful that my small testimony can help others have the desire to change-- like Flavia and Maria Rita (who was baptized Sunday).  The lyrics of a Fleet Foxes Song come to my mind:  

I am just a small part in a great work, and I'm grateful that I can play that small part with a bunch of other small parts to complete a great work. The work that changes hearts and changes lives and helps imperfect people to find a perfect happiness.. and in return we become changed ourselves.

I love wearing this name tag.. it's the best. I know it's hard.. and I'm not lying about that because it is.. but it's also so beautiful and I'm so happy that it is so hard because it has taught me so much about what is really important to me: who I want to be and how I can build my life on the gospel of Jesus Christ and how I can forever be a part of his work. I love it I love it I love it. 

Also we are going to the Sistine chapel today, so that's pretty cool too. Rome is the best. Missions are the best. The gospel is true. 

Sorella O'Connor 

(Email Sent - November 4, 2013)