Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Spreading the Gospel and Nutella

So another beautiful week in Roma 2.. We had a ton of success this week:  5 new investigators!  We are really excited about it.  I've never had that many new investigators in one week before. 

Monday we spent p-day with all the departing missionaries, which was sad. but fun.  Get this:  we went bowling. yeah. bowling in Rome.  Definitely the elders' idea, and I definitely put up a fight..  

"WHY would you go bowling on your last day in ROME?"   

But it ended up being a lot of fun and took me back to all those high school bowling parties that I hated and loved.

It was fun to get all the advice from the sisters leaving and to see Anziano Prieto, who was a big part of Carol's conversion story. 

Square One
Then Monday night we did a FHE with the Salerno family and Shadi.. It is really cool to teach her because we get to start from square one and teach her all about Jesus Christ and his life and his purpose.. I've never taught someone without a Christian background, so I've been learning a lot for myself about Jesus Christ and his role and his life.

Church members faithfully give generous fast offerings each month and perform service in a spirit of love. 
They literally offer helping hands in the Lord’s way. ()

Helping Hands
Tuesday we did a service project with the elders. The elders quorum volunteered to clean up a street and so all the missionaries went to help.  Except every time we tried to pick up a tool of any sort, the leaders would be like 

"SORELLE!  Don't touch that; I don't want you to hurt yourself.

and I'm like "Guys, it's a rake, tranquillo"..  

They told us OUR job was to hand out the "Mormon Helping Hands" vests and to spread Nutella on bread... (Italian gender rules).. 

  So Sorella Wiltbank and I grabbed rakes and ran off before anyone could tell us no.. 

(Quidditch Practice)

"Work builds and refines character, creates beauty, 
and is the instrument of our service to one another and to God.” 

"We are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and to lift His children. 
He is dependent upon each of us." Thomas S. Monson

until we got tired and gave in to spreading Nutella on bread.  

BUT it was really fun, and everyone was really grateful. We got to stop and talk to some people walking by and everyone was super impressed that we would volunteer to do that.

Soul Sister
THEN Tuesday night we had a lesson with this lady named Stefania.  She is a referral from one of the elders and I think we are soul sisters.  We never know what to expect with elder referrals (seeing as they have given us MORE THAN ONE CRAZY PERSON), but she was so cool. 

She invited us to her CUTE apartment and she invited her ex-boyfriend and her college aged son to come and listen as well. It was probably one of the most elegant lessons I've ever been to.. elegant in the fact that it's fun teaching well educated people that have really thought hard about religion and spirituality-- that's how I love talking about it as well.  

Anyways, it went really well.  We talked a lot about the Plan of Salvation and it was a really well-guided lesson as well.  I could see the Lord guiding us to know what to see and guiding their questions.. Those are some of the best missionary moments. So we have a return appointment with them tomorrow.

Wednesday we had a lesson with the anziani and a Japanese investigator they wanted to pass to us.  

We also had another lesson with Simona, another one of our new investigators who even came to church on Sunday!  She is 21 years old and really cute. (Things that tip off the members that we have a new investigator in church: lip rings).  

0 to 12
She committed to read the Book of Mormon and came to church and she is even coming with us to an FHE tonight with all the YSA.  It's been REALLY cool to see how the young adults in our ward have grown.. 

When I first got here there was ONE active YSA and then she moved to France.  Now with Carol baptized, Jomar baptized, Luca getting baptized THIS WEEK and all the investigators that we and the anziani are working with, we could have about 10-12 YSAs between the two wards.. SO COOL.

Damage Control
Thursday we saw the Iakaniani family and they brought a friend to the lesson!  Her name is Barbara.. and the lesson didn't go too well.. by the fact that while we were explaining how the gospel blesses families, she said 

"You know what? I USED to think that my husband loved me.. but now after what you are saying I'm not too sure."... 

DEFINITELY NOT what we were going for.  But she came to the RS activity Friday, so we must have repaired it enough. 

Slow, Constant and Sure
We also saw Ilenia and she is doing really well.  She came to church on Sunday as well!  She said she has been praying EVERY DAY and that she feels like Heavenly Father is listening to her and answering her prayers.  

That is so amazing because a few months ago she didn't even believe in God. 

The coolest thing about staying in the same place so long is that you get to see how much people progress. You get to see where they started and where they are now.  You realize that the Lord's work is slow, but it is constant and it is sure and as we persevere it all works out. 

Change of Perspective
Friday I had a little freak-out moment. I've just been afraid of becoming too comfortable: we take the same routes every day, see a lot of the same people, spend a lot of time doing lessons in the church.  I got a little stir crazy and might have tried to cut all of my hair off.. 

Don't be alarmed, Sorella Wiltbank stopped me. 

We decided to find better ways to change things up this transfer, so we moved our whole house around (which was probably a bad idea, because it takes more time than we thought, so now it's been 3 days and its only half finished).  But it was really good just to have a little change of perspective even if it's just the way our desks are placed and where our beds are. 

Also Friday night we did and FHE with this cute young married couple.  Carol came and we watched 17 Miracles and cried.

Talent Show
Saturday we got 2 buca's (no show appointments) but then we prepared for the ROMA 6 TALENT SHOW, which was so much fun.  

We had to do an act as missionaries so Sorella Wiltbank had the idea to do the whole "be upside down and draw eyes on your chin and lip sync to 'Lollipop'."  The elders couldn't think of anything else, so they did it too.. hah. and the Italians LOVED IT.  

Anz. Sorgiacomo (he is from Muggi├▓ where Paige is serving!) putting on his truca for the talent show.

Anz. Jones, who was probably the least excited about drawing eyes on his chin, needed a little help.

We also did "cups" from Pitch Perfect. 

Lucas' band came and played "Sweet Child of Mine" and "Knocking on Heaven's Door" and the ward LOVED IT... seriously.  I've never heard them scream like that.  

Lisbane makes their appearance at the Roma 6 talent show. 

We were all singing along and then afterwards the sisters came up to me and said, "Sorella O'Connor, we saw you singing ROCK music..." all disapproving.  Then I translated the words for them and they said it was okay.. so we are all good there.

Then another great Sunday. We went to lunch with the Wilkins (American family) and they gave us VANILLA. Like real American vanilla.. not the powdered Italian kind.

No time no time.  But I love you all.  I love Rome 2.  We have had so many good things happen this week, and I'm really happy to still be here because I just love this ward.  The members are so involved in our work and we have the best investigators and there is nothing more that I could ask for.

Vi Voglio Bene
With Love from Rome, 

Sorella O'Connor

(Email Sent - February 24, 2014)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Eternal City

Another beautiful week in my favorite city. 

Monday we spent p-day with Carol.  She took us to all the secret sites of Rome and it was beautiful. 

We also stopped and got white hot chocolate with pistachio on a little island off of the river Tevere. 

This is just my life.

Then afterwards we did an FHE with the "Gans" at Rome 2. It's crazy to see how much our Gans (Giovani adulti non sposati - Young Adults) has grown since I've been here.  When I first got here we had NO young adults in the ward. Now we have 2 recent Gans baptisms and more on the way!  

At the activity Luca said "I hope to be baptized as soon as possible" CHE FORTE! He has a bap date for the first of March, and the best news about that is:  I'LL BE HERE FOR IT.. 

Stay... just a little bit longer
Yeah, jokes on you guys.  I'm STAYING in Rome 2 with Sorella Wiltbank.  

Bet you didn't see that one coming.. It was the big upset of transfer call predictions (upset as in the sports term, not as in I'm upset about it because I'm SO not).  So yeah, basically everyone thought I was leaving so I was sad all week but mentally prepared for transfer calls.  

When the assistants told us we were staying together, I thought they were playing a really mean joke.

 We paid them with kinder chocolate to call us FIRST thing in the morning, so we were super shocked all day long trying to figure out if they were playing a mean joke. 

They know how much I love Rome 2.  

But alas, they were telling the truth.  Holler -- going on 7 months in Rome 2.  Hope they aren't sick of me yet. 

Just a thought:  How about a transfer to Budapest to be comps with Fresh Nover?

Stood Up
Communique: We just got a lot of stand-up appointments this week. we counted. 13 appointments scheduled that fell through. that's a lot. so we did a lot of finding this week. 

We also did another scambio where I went to Rome 1 with Sorella Williams.. We were pretty happy because it looked like the rain had passed, so we might have forgotten umbrellas and then an hour later found ourselves seeking shelter under bushes with a scarves over our heads... 
It rained so much the river flooded the streets

BUT after the storm passed and we stopped back home for 15 min to blow dry ourselves off (because if you don't the Italians will SCOLD you for getting colpa d'aria and dying).  

We saw the most BEAUTIFUL rainbow.  I can't even tell you. Italian skies.. It's just another world.  

We were on the bus that night and the bus got stuck trying to go down this little street because there was a car parked in a wrong part of the road... 

All the Italians started honking and getting mad at the bus driver and he was trying to pass but couldn't go either direction... so he opened the bus doors to try and pass, giving the car space to go inside of the bus thinking it would give him more room.. 

But then he was even more stuck and couldn't close the bus doors... The people behind were really mad and started pounding on all the windows telling everyone to get off the bus.. 

We were sitting there like "WHY?

I'll tell you why:  because they wanted us help MOVE THE CAR with their bare hands... yes. They just picked up the car and moved it out of the way. 

& I thought.. "Yeah, this doesn't really happen in America." 

And that why I love Italy:  because things like that just happen here and no one is phased by it. 

Temple View
Thursday I headed back to Rome 2 and we went to visit a member who has the best view of the temple. 

 As we were walking to her house, we saw this lady walking her dog looking towards the temple.. 

So I thought, "WE HAVE TO GO TALK TO HER!"  

So we asked "Hey, do you know what that building is?

and she said "I heard it's a Mormon temple"

 and we said "Yeah in fact it is, we are actually Mormon missionaries, can we meet some day to tell you about that building?"  

She said "Yes" and we got her number. 

Meet Cute
Wouldn't that be the coolest baptism "how I met the missionaries" story?  I used to think about cute couple first-meeting stories, but now I'm all about the missionary meet cute.  

ALSO that same night Sorella Wiltbank met this girl on the bus and she started heading towards our house with us.  She said she just moved here and she is from a really small town in Brazil.. 

So we asked where.. and she replied that "No one ever knows where it is.

.. just guess.. one guess.. yes.   Belo Horizonte.  

DALLIN:  all these people you missed have to come to ITALY to get baptized now.. Thanks though, I love my Brazilians. Anyway, so we got her number and we are hoping to start teaching her with Carol because they are from the same neighborhood. talk about destiny. 

Missionary Be Mine
Friday I almost forgot it was Valentine's Day.  We had English Course and everyone was sad--because those who came to English course were there because they didn't have dates.  Holidays just don't really exist as a missionary. sad but true. 

Valentine's Day Pizza

Saturday we got 3 canceled appointments so we did FINDING ALL DAY.  We also thought we saw our investigator Simon pass us in his car and flash his lights at us.  He pulled over so we ran to see him.. but it was just a creepy old man who offered us a ride home. 

no thanks. 

Also Sorella Wiltbank and I tell everyone we are twins. The Italians love it. 

Getting (too) Comfortable
So that's about it this week. ANOTHER TRANSFER IN ROMA 2. I'm really happy because I love everything about it here.. but I'm also afraid that I'm getting too comfortable.. 

Sorella Wiltbank and I are trying to figure out how to push ourselves and work harder.. usually the Lord gives us trials for that.. like crazy members, no investigators, hard companions.. lots of things.. 

but Roma 2 is like the celestial kingdom of missionary work so we are struggling to know how we can push ourselves to be more dedicated and try harder.. I only have 4 transfers left so I really don't want to be wasting any time. 

Anyway, times up!  Happy Valentines Day! 

"Rome, you will remain eternal within me"

With love from Rome (eternally),

Sorella O'Connor 

(Email Sent - February 17, 2014)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Week of Surprises


That was probably my biggest surprise of the week.  So happy for you kid.  I really hope Shalee wants to be my friend when I get back.  So happy for you guys.  Really wish I could be there for the wedding. 

Second surprise:  We got a call Monday night that we would have two guests staying with us this week. Two sisters had to come up for doctors' appointments and needed a place to stay, so we have had them recovering at our house this week. 

One of them is from Australia and I found myself doing that thing that Mom does where she starts copying a person's accent when she is with them for too long.  Sorella Wiltbank keeps catching me when I do it. ooops.  I wish I really did have an Aussie accent. 

Third surprise:  We found out Friday night that Kasper had to be transferred.  There was an emergency in another city, so they had to do transfers a week early.  We were all really bummed--mostly because Jomar's baptism was scheduled for the next week.  So they pulled some strings and changed the baptism to Sunday so that Kasper could be there.  

saying goodbye to Anz. Kasper

He was super sad to go because he has been here 8 months.  It just scared me because you never know when you have to leave and everyone is talking to me like I'm leaving next week and I probably am but still it makes me sad to think about it and it made me even more sad to see Kasper have to get up and go.. but missionary life goes on. 

Rain Delay
Monday it rained all day again so we stayed inside for pday. hurrah. 

Entertaining themselves - Italian mustaches

And then we had an appointment that night that got canceled because it was raining so hard that it eroded a hill that blocked off the street.  Same thing with the train tracks, so we couldn't even get into Centro if we wanted.  But we got to do some finding in the rain and found a couple cool contacts so that was nice. 

Real Intent
Tuesday we had a lesson with Simon, a man we found at the train station, and we were passing him off to the anziani and it was a really good lesson. He is a really spiritual guy, one of the ones who really takes what we are saying seriously and has that real intent. 

At the end I got to extend the baptismal invite, which is just one of the best experiences to do as a missionary.  

It's Just That Easy
We also had dinner with the Canzachi family and Carol.. they are the best at missionary work.. 

We get there and Fratello Canzachi isn't home yet, but as soon as he walks in the door he says "Sisters, come with me.. No, not you elders.. just the sisters."  

He takes us upstairs to his neighbors' apartment and introduces us and says, "We want to come back sometime and show you a little film.. okay? bye!"  

And I'm like, really though, it's just that easy to do missionary work. 

Wednesday we went and saw Patrizia at the crazy home like we do once a transfer.  She asked me if I was pregnant, so that was cool, and then she started stroking my hair and telling me I'm beautiful, so that was weird.  

We also had English course and our lesson was on FHE.  We had Luca in our group and he told us that he wants to do FHE with his family and he wants to study the Book of Mormon with his family in the future--so that made my day. 
Luca and the sorelle

One Year
Thursday was a day of no special importance and I don't want to talk about it being the anniversary of anything.  I'm sad that people keep asking me how long I've been on my mission and I now have to say one year.  They all have to tell me that I'm going home like tomorrow.  So we didn't celebrate or anything.  I'm like those old people that don't celebrate birthdays because they make you sad.  

February 6, 2013

So instead we went to two ward correlation meetings (Rome 2 and Rome 6) and on the way home with the elders, all 6 of us were practicing synchronized whistling.. (and people think missionaries don't know how to have fun).  

Also we had a lesson with Maria and she talked for 15 minutes straight, then kept interrupting to tell us about why she thinks Padre Pio is an apostle.  So we have to drop her.  Italians love Padre Pio. 

Friday I left for a scambi in Rome 3, which was fun because Sorella Furlanich is serving there too so I got to see her again (we were in the MTC together). 

 I was with Sorella Patterson, and she is really cute and has Mom's same hair color.  

Making People Happy
We were at the bus stop when this lady walks up to us and says, "You know, it's my birthday."  

So we say, "Happy Birthday!" and ask her if she is doing anything to celebrate.  

She says, "No, I'll probably have lunch with friends or something on Sunday, but I'm just going home right now."  

So we are feeling super bad for this old Italian lady that kind of looks like Mad-Eye Moody from HP, and so I say the first thing that comes to my mind which happens to be "Hey, do you want us to sing Happy Birthday to you?" and she said "Yes.

So we did. and I think it made her happy. and that's what missionary work is about: making people happy. 

To All Nations
Saturday morning we continued our scambi and visited one of their new investigators who lives in an African refugee camp. I love teaching Africans because this guy pulls out the Book of Mormon and says, 

"I know this book is true. I just know it it.  I just want to understand it.  I have a lot of questions, but I know it's true". 

We also visited the neighbor in the camp who is a member and she has these two little girls and they keep trying to jump into our arms.  Satan knows that the hardest rule for me is not to hold babies and so he tries to tempt me with cute African toddlers.  

So we switch back at lunch and we have to get McDonalds at the train station because we don't have time to stop anywhere else, and we run into this lady who starts speaking to us in English.  

So we teach her the Restoration in the McDonalds, and I love being a missionary because you can just do that.  She called us "Mormoncine" and said that Mormons are cute and don't look like witches like she thought and she said she was going to come to church. 

We also taught Shadi, our investigator from Iran and she has read up to Helaman in the Book of Mormon, but doesn't understand any of it.  So we are working on the basics with her... starting with God and Jesus Christ.  It's just tough because she is reading in Persian, so we have no idea what part she is really at.  We'll figure it out.  

We also had a lesson with a Catholic priest from Zambia and that was probably the coolest lesson of the week.  He was really touched by the idea of authority (probably because we mentioned it in almost every sentence) and our testimony of Jesus Christ.  

He is such a cool, humble guy and I learned so much just from his testimony of Jesus Christ and his love for Him.  Can't wait to go to that baptism. 

Sunday was Jomar's baptism!  

It was such a great Sunday.  Shadi came to church and stayed all three hours and didn't understand a word.. but she still stayed.  

Don't Eat the Glue Sticks
We had to teach the Primary.  They planned it all out for us, but the kids started smooshing glue sticks and saying it looked like mozzarella--and that's why I love Italy because everything ties back to mozzarella.  

Then we went back to the Canzachi's friends' house to show them the Restoration movie.  It's always interesting teaching with members, mostly because Italians like to yell at each other and it doesn't always bring the best spirit, but at the end everyone is still friends.  So we are working on that too. 

But back to Jomar.  He is the coolest guy and he and Carol are best friends.  It was cool to think about how much they have grown together going through this process.  I love the spirit that is at baptisms.

He told us that he cried after our musical number and then again after he was baptized. such a sweet guy. 

Sorella Wiltbank, Jomar, Kaitlin, Carol
So that is my week.  I'm sorry if I sound a little grumpy; I just kind of am a little.  But I remember when I was set apart that my blessing said that every week I need to bear my testimony; probably because when I bear my testimony I'm not so grumpy.. I'm a lot more thankful. 

I could never put into words really how much I love Italy, how much I love these people, how much I love this work. I know that it's all true.  

I am grateful that Heavenly Father has blessed me with so many experiences to strengthen my testimony and to teach me what's most important in life.  

Even though I'm sad that I only have 6 months left, I'm grateful for the time I still have here, and throughout my life, to serve my Heavenly Father.  

I am grateful for a life full of love and service and the understanding of my purpose and the true nature of our Heavenly Father.  I've grown in ways I didn't know that I needed and my Father in Heaven has blessed me so incredibly. 

With Love from Rome,
Sorella O'Connor  

(Email Sent February 10, 2014)

progress on the temple

All four buildings: apartments, temple, visitors' center, chapel

reflection on the polished granite

Travertine Marble and Roman Brick accent on the Visitors Center

Each piece is carved to create the uniquely curved shape of the Rome temple.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Nothing Can Stop Me

So many great moments this weeeeek. I love baptisms. I want one every week. 

So here are the deets:

Monday it was raining all day so we stayed inside and wrote a lot of letters. boring. I know.  But it was nice to get a break and it was seriously miserable to even go outside and do the shopping.   So we vegged for my first pday ever.  Monday night we had an FHE with the Teodosi family..  

Shoutout to Sorella Teodosi who reads my blog and makes really good food. 

It was really fun.. We went with Carol to FHE and Vescovo (Bishop) invited the elders' investigator so they came too.  We talked about Carol's baptism and she and Jomar (the elders' investigator) shared their testimonies with us.  It was really dolce (sweet) and a lot of fun. 

Killing Me with Karaoke
Also we have the NOISIEST Asian neighbors... twice we have had to move our mattresses into the study room because they think it's okay to salsa dance at midnight... or this week's karaoke marathon with a special "Killing Me Softly" musical number that I found extremely ironic.  

Why is it So Hard?
Tuesday we had an incredible DDM about receiving personal revelation and it was really beautiful.  I feel like receiving revelation is one of the hardest things to recognize and so many people struggle with it..  

Anz. Perry started by asking "Why is it so hard for us to recognize revelation?"  

But really though... why isn't it easy for us to always recognize our answers from God?  Why doesn't he just give us dreams like he does for most Italians?  

It got me thinking and just made me realize just how much we learn from the process of receiving revelation and how we have to humble ourselves and seek and search -- it reminds us to turn to our Heavenly Father. 

Scambi Miracles
Wednesday we did a scambio with the sorelle in Ladispoli.. so Sorella McKenna (from Paige's MTC group) came here to Rome with me.
Sorella McKenna (Top, Far Left) with Paige at the MTC

With scambi miracles, we met the coolest people.  I gave a Book of Mormon away to a man on the train who has a Russian wife and a daughter named Helga.   

Also, they changed the binnario (track platform) where our train comes usually, so everyone was confused.  
There was this man who looked super lost and he just yelled "How do I get to Monte Rotondo?!"  

So I was like, "Hey!! Come with us! We will take you".. 

Gift of Tongues
So he followed us and I realized that he doesn't speak much Italian.  So he started speaking to me in Spanish AND I UNDERSTOOD HIM. 

It was weird.. I taught him like the whole first lesson in Italian and he was responding to everything in Spanish.  It's like I don't remember anything from high school Spanish, but I understood the meaning of everything he was saying.  

Sorella McKenna kept asking me, "What is he saying?"  I don't know how I knew, but I knew. 

Anyway, he was super excited because he found out we were Mormons and he said 

"Are you serious? We have TONS of Mormons where I am from in the Dominican Republic.. They all ride bikes and wear ties."  

Yep, that's us.  So we laughed about that and we got his number so that we can give him a Spanish Book of Mormon. 

For the Strength of YSAs
We also got to take Carol to a fireside for the GANS (YSA) and Anziano Defeo of the 70 spoke. (He is in our ward but hardly attends here because he is always traveling on church business.)  

We had to leave early to get home on time, but Carol got to stay for the whole thing and she said she loved it.  Also Flavia was there (the investigator we taught and then passed to Ladispoli) who said she is getting baptized in two weeks here in Roma 2!!  So I really hope that I get to go. 

No Ride Shares
Thursday we got followed by this scary Libyan guy for a while, so I told Sorella Wiltbank she isn't allowed to talk to Libyans anymore.  We blamed it on Anz. Perry because President made a new rule that elders can't give the sisters rides anymore.  So he couldn't give us a ride with them to correlation... 

Also we started a new Language Study exercise where we take American songs and try to translate them into Italian and sing them.  It's really annoying and really funny and the elders started getting into it too.. "Call Me Maybe" in Italian is the worst. 
I Like to Look for Rainbows
Saturday was the BAPTISM DAY!  It was the best day.  

It had been raining ALL week.  Then on Saturday we spent all day getting ready for the baptism and when we got back home for lunch, the clouds parted and there was this HUGE rainbow.  It was so cheesy, but so perfect--just like the Primary song.  

The baptism was so beautiful.  Even more beautiful then the Robles Family baptism from the District 2. yeah. that good.  

Carol looked so beautiful and the baptism was FULL!  Everyone came out to support her and I have never seen her so happy.  We had a beautiful moment before her baptism where we just said a little prayer together.  

She just has the strongest faith and the strongest testimony and I just feel so blessed to be able to see her go through that process.  After our little prayer she said, 

"I know what I have to do and nothing can stop me from doing it."  

So for the service I gave a brief talk about both Baptism and the Holy Ghost and the covenants we make and the blessings that God gives us from those covenants we make.  Then Jomar did the musical number!  He sang "Amazing Grace" and it was totally pop and the coolest baptism musical number I've ever heard.  It was really sweet to have everyone involved.  

Then we went over to the font to watch the baptism.  Sorella Wiltbank and I got to stand on the edge and watch from the little hall on the inside so we could hug her as soon as she got out of the water.  It was the most beautiful moment to watch her come out of the water and see her huge smile.  Just one of those mission moments I know I'll never forget. 

Afterwards she gave her testimony and it was so beautiful.  She was so confident and so happy.  Then she took photos with everyone and we cleaned up and then went across to get pizza and celebrate. 

It was the best day. We were just happy all day long. It wasn't one of those overemotional experiences where you end up crying a lot... but just a day filled with peace and joy and just a sweet confirmation that the Lord was aware of her, and that the choice she was making was the right choice.  

Anz Brynt explained it perfectly.. he said "There are baptisms, and then there are REAL baptisms."  

Sunday she was confirmed and she bore her testimony in Relief Society of HOW she received a testimony.  Sorella Wiltbank and I are already picking out her future callings and things.  She is going to be such a strong member and such a great influence for her friends and family back home.

So it was the best week. We are really happy. We are working really hard to get some more of these really great weeks in. 

With Love from Rome,
Sorella O'Connor 

(Email Sent - February 3, 2014)

We got Sorella Stuerer flowers for her birthday.. 
We told them she likes yellow, so this is what they gave us.

Also Tiziano got baptized. 
 He is the son of Ann Ferrari  (baptism when I first got here)