Thursday, April 21, 2011

HAPPY EASTER!

so last week we were standing at the bus stop, about to get on the bus. it was coming up the street when a very nice looking woman came up to us and asked us if we were the missionaries. naturally we were excited and she told us that she used to meet with the missionaries. the bus was there. i asked her how we could get in contact with her and she gave me her address and she told us to come by between 3 and 5. we went the next day and she was so nice!! her dad was super closed, but she was very receptive. yesterday i called her to fix another appointment and she said 'can you come tomorrow?' we said yes! i called this morning to confirm the address and her husband answered. i introduced who i was and he told me that they were busy this morning and hung up. 
now why would i start a letter with this story? i was thinking about why in the world this would happen. it was so perfect! (now i'm not saying that it's over with her by any means. we are going to call her again tomorrow) people on the street ask us everyday why life is so hard and why there are so many people suffering etc etc. so far the best answer i have come up with is 'if life were easy, what would it teach you?' if missionary work did itself, what would i be learning right now? if this were easy, i wouldn't be here! there wouldn't be missionaries! we are here to learn patience and to think on our toes and to trust the Lord. it's His work and He uses us like His puppets. i am grateful to have these tiny hiccups in the plan to always remind me by whose grace i am here and how powerless i am. 
let me tell you the best thing ever. monday was soooo full. we taught five lessons and just did sooooo much work. so we were really refreshed for tuesday, energized with the prospect of making the day even better. we started the morning singing walking down the street like in the movie '500 days of summer' yeaeeeeahh you, you make my dreams come truuuuuue!!! picture this scene, two blond americans dancing down the sidewalk singing. we got to a cross walk and literally this man on his vespa stopped and motioned with his hand, smiling and said 'PREGO!' it was so wonderful!!!! i wish someone was making a movie of this..... when we get to the other side, i'm going to ask ryan mclean to set that scene to music. and maybe make me look a little more slim. hahahaha! i'm still sorella modella though, even if i am not losing weight. i have been proposed to 3 times. 
let me tell you about domenico and elisabetta. they are two young adults (22 and 21) that we met at the park last week. they are cousins but they could not be any more different. elisabetta is a bit pudgy, tall, just a ray of light. she is always smiling and very nice. physically reminds me of me three years ago. she is very religious and she listens to us with such attention. her mom is a jehovah's witness, and she is a thinker. domenico is the complete opposite. he is slim and short and he has anorexia. he texts the whole time we teach them and he straight up told us that he wasnt going to get baptized. hahahaha. elisabetta is so tender and kind to him. as we walked away after the lesson two days ago, she linked arms with him and just talked to him. what amazing people. elisabetta is so excited to come to church (not this week since its easter) on may 1st. she is going to get baptized! pray for her and domenico.
emiliano is still doing well. monday we sat him down and gave him a come to Jesus talk (literally). we told him he needed to get baptized and then he told us that he is just having a hard time doing it by himself. we asked him to make a bit more effort and we told him that we would help him and keep our eyes peeled for any hotties that want to take this journey with him. 
i just had an amazing experience. there was a woman sitting next to me and she said 'bloody heck' under her breath and so we started talking. she was from australia and here finding her roots. there are so many italians who have moved to australia. anyway shes a really amazing person who i am sure that we will be best friends and when i get home we will be friends on facebook. 
life is full of great surprises. its better than i could ever imagine. last sunday was palm sunday, where we celebrated the triumphal entry of Christ in jerusalem, beginning the last week of His mortality. we know what happened four, five and seven days later, and it's for this reason that i am here. easter has always been my favorite holdiay. the resurrection has always been my favorite story, and now i am in the country that i love teaching the people that i love about the Savior that i love. tomorrowabout 2000 years ago Jesus Christ atoned for our sins. in this day, this week, i am more grateful than i have ever been before. i see people everyday who are afraid of death, the incertainty of this life, and being separated from their families. how immensely grateful i am for a beautiful family that is sealed together for eternity! thank you family! and i also want to thank my Savior who made all this possible. His voctory over death has given each of us the certanty that we will rise again! i have no fears! only hope for the beautiful future that is before me, in this life, in my mission, and in the eternities with my family.
all my love and happiest easter ever,
sorella ashman



yo yo yo

so im training. or maybe im being trained. i LOVE sister lewis. she is so on top of things, and she was made to be a missionary. she just gets it. she sings opera. she speaks beautifully and she is super stylish. sorella zeller said when you are a greeny you are so impressed by how mature the senior missionaries are, and when you are the senior companion you're shocked by how great the babies are. it's true.... 
today we spent the whole day with emiliano. and we got two gelatos..... it's been a great p-day. emiliano came to church this week! it was amazing. he just walks in like he owns the place. its becoming more and more natural for him and i just hope im here to see him get baptized. we are praying for the 29th of april. he has officially been to church enough times and taken all the lessons. we are just waiting for him to be sure. 
sorella lewis and i are tearing up ragusa. i thought zeller and i did some good work but it just gets better and better. 
our adventist investigator pinuccia is great. her tj uncle not so much but... we had a fun lesson with her the other day :) we taught her about baptism and baptism for the dead! she thought it was outrageous, but isnt it awesome that we can make outrageous claims because they are true? mwahahaha
so raposelli, our favorite toothless less active is no longer less active. it's unreal. he said he is going to continue to come to church every week. i told him that most likely piano piano he will find the love that the people in the ward in ragusa have for him. he said he thought it could happen. i told him i know it can. :) he has been my biggest miracle so far, and the person i feel like i have done the least work for. strange. 
thank you dad for your letters! can you tell brother sanders hello from the chines family and the micozzi family? this is crazy that we are serving in the same place!! is there anyway i could get a picture of brother sanders? i'm still doing detective work for these people that he knew.... stay tuned! i am hanging on every word of this battle between unlv and the school in utah.... what's going to happen???? all i know is in october 2012, i will be at conference with my companions from the mission, emiliano, and some of the other elders. we are already talking about it! hahaha 
wasnt general conference INCREDIBLE???? i cried like a baby when the prophet talked about the rome temple. wow. how amazing to be here in italy in these days!!!!!! it makes me want to cry again just thinking about how stinking blessed i have been!!!!! and my italian is getting better and better. i am sooooo grateful for the preparations that i have had to be a missionary without even knowing it.... thank you everyone for your support!!! i love you all!!! special shout out to nikki who is getting married in two days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
the Church is true and Jesus Christ is our Savior. the Church is the same Church that he organized 2000 years ago, a living, breathing, growing church, lead by Jesus Christ. thank you parents for raising me with these principles. i love you.
sorella ashman


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

BIG TRANSFER NEWS!

transfer news!!!!! alright so i knew sorella zeller was dying so it was pretty likely that i stayed in ragusa. president called us on saturday to tell me that i would be staying in ragusa for the fourth transfer and i am TRAINING a brand new missionary!!!!!!! i am a baby!!!! i have been in the mission for 3 transfers and i am having a kid!!!!!!! whats also cool is that in my district, there is another set of elders and there is also going to be a greenie there! so me and my district leader are training. its going to be a great transfer!! im excited and not nervous at all like i thought i would be! who knows how she will speak..... i kinda thought this might happen. my italian is getting really good. the gift of tongues is amazing. sometimes i just talk and talk and talk and realize that that conversation was happening in italian. as far as the language goes, i feel prepared for this baby.... hahaha
ok lets get the other highlights in: general conference was incredible.... we watched some with emiliano and he cried like a baby!! it was elder scott's talk about eternal marriage and his wife and stuff. i just keep asking myself "when is he going to be ready???" he knows its true!!!! this morning we hung out for a few hours at the market while sorella zeller spent a fat wad of cash on all the stuff that she hadnt gotten yet in a year and a half. emi is sooooo great. he bought us a bunch of stuff for zellers departure (a whole cake each.....) 
rapposelli, the drinker, smoker, inactive for 30 years who says the members in ragusa can 'rot and burn in hell' has come 180 degrees. he told us that he is concinved that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the church of Jesus Christ on the earth. but we found something important and bad the other day. he never quit smoking to get baptized. he has literally been smoking for over 40 years. whoever baptized him just never let him take the sacrament..... man the church 30 years ago isnt what it is now.... thank goodness. so he wants to get rebaptized, but he has to stop smoking and drinking first. its going to take a literal miracle. his body must be absolutely black as tar inside. its literally going to take a miracle, but i know miracles are possible. 
ok a few items of business: suzanne the pin on my bank card.... its not working. i can use the card to buy stuff at the store and stuff, but when i go to make a withdrawal, it doesnt work. should i have sorella kelly call you? i dont know what to do. if you need to reset it or what. yeah. 
ok i got the letter from dad about the members here from lee sanders! the salvatore capella sr is dead, the other two are inactive. i am doing some detective work now to find out more. stay tuned!!
alright we gotta go to catania now so slla zeller can die. man.... good thing she lives in oregon and we have family there!
love you all!!! the Church is true.
sorella ashman