Wednesday, May 16, 2012

tasty food week!

ok everyone well it was a great week! i only have four weeks left you
guys. it makes me sick. its so weird and i am not ready!!! i am
excited to meet my nephews and to get back in shape and stuff but man
it seems weird. anyway last week we had an amazing experience to spend
the whole day with the young women of this ward (all three of them!)
and we got a lot more appointments covered when we were in bigger
our work is really going well. i can't believe we had 0 investigators
7 weeks ago and now we are working with so many people that we can't
even keep up with the work. last saturday we saw paola the brazilian
and fausto her bf. it was a really fun lesson and we invited fausto to
be baptized. the thing is, they have to get married before he gets
baptized. well the president has challenged us to have 20 baptisms as
a mission in the month of may. we dont have anyone that is ready right
now... maybe MAYBE gregorio. but i believe in miracles. fausto and
paola are really making great progress. fausto said that he will be
baptized if he feels like it is what God wants him to do. we said "you
should ask Him if He wants you to." :) we have a really great
friendship with them. i bought a few necklaces from paola who has no
job, but is a very skilled jewellery maker. one for you mom :)
on sunday i woke up at 4:30 so that i could take a shower so that we
could be in the church by 6 because there were 2 baptisms!! the
anziani had been teaching catalin and sabina who are brother and
sister 9 and 11 years old and they got baptized!! they both shared
their testimonies too. it was soo cute. the three of us sisters
performed, i sang slla spicq played the piano and slla miles played
the flute and we did the song when Jesus Christ was baptized down in
the river jordan.... it went well. three of our four progressing
investigators were there: pablo the peruvian, fausto the italian, and
elena the romanian. they LOVED it! especially elena. she could get
baptized in may... man that would be the BOMB! after the baptism there
was a ton of food and then we went home and died.
monday there was a transportation strike and so we couldnt go anywhere
so we stayed home in the morning and called people and updated the
member book and then in the afternoon we had an appointment at sister
alabastro's house. on the way there, i say these two younger african
men that were wearing white shirts and ties and slacks but they werent
JWs and i was wondering who they were so i asked them! they work for
vodaphone. then they asked us who we are and we told them that we have
a message about Jesus Christ. one of them, the younger taller one,
seemed interested and asked if we would like to share our message with
him. i said of course! so we set up an appointment for the next day.
cool huh! anyway, slla alabastro is filipino! we ate lumpia and tasty
rice noodles. it felt like christmas for me :) she told us that the
woman that she works for wants us to know more about the church!!!
holla!! soo cool. it was like the first thing she told us. slla
alabastro is super cool. she converted with her family when she was 11
and at that time (probably about 20-25 years ago) the church still
wasnt huge in the filipines like it is now. her husband was always her
best friend, but he didnt what anything to do with the church. he
moved to italy, and they stayed friends, then it developed more and
they ended up getting married. they have a daughter, but her husband
wasnt a member until about 5 years ago! she introduced her husband to
the church. :) so cool! (sister spicq always says that: sooo cool!)
it was a great lesson and we would go meet her friend next week :)
yesterday wasfun because it was a holiday and there were no buses, but
we had tons of appointments.... so we literally walked around rome
from 10 am to 10 pm. the morning we say the two african boys, etienne
and aleou (they both speak french and etienne is french for STEPHEN!
haha its a gorgeous name.) anyway they were late, but it went well
anyways. :) etienne is super cool. super believing. aleou is open but
he is muslim by birth. we gave them both books of mormon and tried to
set another appt but they never know their schedule until like the day
of so we have to call them. anyway super cool guys. then we had a
lunch appointment with hermana rosita from ecuador. she made the
yummiest beans and rice!! she is sooooo sweet. she has been having a
lot of problems because her son commited suicide about two years ago
and she fell away from the church and has just started to come back.
she is very fragile right now. poor thing. she is so sweet. she works
as a nanny and she brought the girl that she watches, alessia, to
church and we gave her a book of mormon. how cute! then we tried to
wait for a bus but there were none! so we just kept walking and we met
the CUTEST lady named JASMINE who is a super catholic from madagascar
who said that "italy is not like madagascar because madagascar is
actually a catholic country." and i just furrowed my brow and thought
"did i just hear her really say that?" you want a country more
catholic than italy!!! we got the stinkin pope for pete's sake!!!
anyway she as a GEM. soooo funny. and she has this really high tinkly
laugh and she lives right near the vatican and on her day off, she
goes to help the nuns! hahaha! so we got her number and she as super
excited to meet us. we actutally ended up walking with her for like
half an hour. she was great. i am excited to have a lesson with her.
then we stopped in a chinese store and bought new watches becuase all
of our watches just happened to break at the same time. weird i know.
and we kept asking each other what time it was, and no one knew, we we
had to check the cell phone haha. i got THE coolest watch. its
actually a necklace. you will all see it some day. then we had an
appointment with STEVEN. he is THE sweetest little 15 year old cutest
little thing. he was baptized about 4 years ago and then we went
inactive. all of the sudden he showed up in church, and now he hangs
out with us all the time! he goes to institute and seminary and he
came to our lesson last night with boris. well actually yesterday was
kind of funny because it was a holiday so we didnt think that anyone
was going to come to english course, but we needed to stop by the
church to put up a sign saying that we werent going to do english
course and we had scheduled the appointment with boris instead of
english course, so when we got there and there was a student we didnt
know what to do!! hahaha..... so just look at how merciful our
Heavenly Father is. there was one student and a member there who was
waiting to have a temple recommend interview. so we ended up teaching
the course (or rather i taught an english lesson to our student from
afganistan named achmed and later gianluca came) for about 20 minutes.
the other sisters went to the appointment with boris, and i stayed
with the sister that was there for her interview and the stake
president never showed up! so i took the bus (which just happened to
pass at the exact moment!! ) with her and she walked me to the
appointment. boris made us dinner and we watched the restoration! it
was a good lesson, pretty long, but it was good. boris asked some good
questions. like "if your church is the right church, does that mean
that no one else is going to heaven?" and so i explained that everyone
will have an equal chance. but anyway it was a good lesson. after the
movie we asked what he thought and he said he wanted to go home and
pray so that God would appear to him too! hahah
well family everything is going great here. when people ask me how
much time i have been on my mission i just smile and laugh.... i hope
that you are all doing well and that you are excited for mothers day!!
all my love
sorella ashman

a FROG!!!

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MOM AND DAD!!!! i am so grateful that you two found
each other at miller apartments and that you got married in the
beautiful castle temple of manti.

alright well the biggest news of the week is my greenie, sorella spicq
(pronounced speek with a little french throat roll at the end) IS A
FROG!!!! yes my companion is french. she is awesome!! she i learning
so quickly and already teaching me a ton. she is a ballerina! 
anyway i have very little time this week because president gave us a
specail assignment to write an essay (AAAHHH!! i wasnt supposed to
ever do that again!!) and i have to get that done. it was an amazing
assignment that has really changed the entire spirit of the whole
mission. we were supposed to spend 3 or 4 months studying charity, so
that we would become experts of charity. and now we have to write our
just want to highlight the best part of this week, which was
yesterday. a few weeks ago, our young woman's president said that she
wanted to do an activity for the young women in which they would have
a day in the life of a missionary, and it all came together and
yesterday we did it! it was a holiday in italy and three girls came to
the church at 7 am and then spent the rest of the day with us running
around like crazy people all over rome. it was insane! but it was one
of the most beautiful experiences of my life. we split into 2 groups
and covered about 5 different lessons. the girls were so gung ho.
right from the start, they would come with me to talk to people and we
even got a phone number! it was so fun teaching with them, and we got
to go visit several people who didnt want to see us, but because it
was a a young woman's activity, they let us come! it was amazing. all
three of the girls want to serve missions. we finished it all together
at the bishops house and then the girls went home and we stayed and
hung out with the bishop and talked about our conversion stories. it
was a GREAT day.
ok everyone i am so sorry but that is all for this week. sorry!!
all my love
sorella ashman

I forgot to add these pictures to the previous blog so here they are


well its really weird to think about it, but my first transfer in rome is over. that means i have one transfer left on my mission. guess who got transfered? not me! but guess what is happening! I'M TRAINING AGAIIIIIIIIIN. i wasn't expecting that. this is my LAST transfer!! but president wants me to train. i am happy to train, it just caught me off guard. i always heard about people death training, and i kinda thought it might happen to me, but i wasnt actually thinking that it would. well.... it did. sister miles is staying in rome with us too so we are going to be in three but just for 2.5 weeks, then she is going to BARI!!!!!!! there is a sister in our mission who my second baby sister sobeck trained, who is actually called to the kiev ukraine mission, but who had to wait in our mission before going to the MTC. so she has 2.5 weeks left in bari, then sister miles is taking her spot. i am excited to train. the sisters coming in this time are 1 french, 1 italian and 1 american who only did three weeks in the MTC like me. there are three kind of interesting a little out of the ordinary sisters. not that there is anything wrong with the regular 9 week mtc process.  anyway, in about an hour we are going to go pick her up from the mission home. im excited to see who she is! 
this week has been spent a lot in organizing our NEW HOUSE!!! friday night we got a call saying that our house was ready (we have been living in the elder's house, and they have been living at the house of another companionship for the last month cuz our house wasnt ready) and that we needed to pack up and be ready to move tomorrow. so we did! we were only up til 11:30. not too bad.  then i woke up at six took a shower and kept going. the kruegers the AWESOME senior couple came to take all our stuff for us and after we finished our appointments for the day, we got to go home to our new house. there was NOTHING there. no towels, no blankets, no silverware, pots, pans sheets. so tuesday, we went on a huge (mission approved) shopping spree to ikea. we spent over 300 euro but the best part was that ikea is literally right across from the temple and we got to see the temple. it is amazing!!!!! they have made so much progress!!! and the assistents to the president are teaching a guy who works on the temple who is getting baptized in a few weeks. sooo cool
last week we had the biggest miracle of all time happen. when i was in bari, the first counselor in the bishopric, his name is caricola, his wife told me that they had a very inactive daughter who lived in rome and that i should go and see her. who knows! she said. so she gave me all her info, address phone numbers, etc. we tried to go and find her once upon a time, but realized that she lived in fiumicino, and we decided that it was too far to justify going to see someone who probably would just say "get out of my house" in the first place, so we kinda dropped her. however, during general conference, we decided to watch the priesthood session and there was a talk by richard edgely called the rescue for real growth. as soon as this talk started the name CARMEN CARICOLA flashed in my mind. its the first thing i wrote down on my notes. the talk was about how its hard for less actives to come back! its not that simple said the girl in his talk. i thought of her and how she must be feeling. i then decided i just needed to call her and be brave, but i was afraid of what she would say. i just imagined her saying "why are you calling me?? dont you know i want nothing to do with that church??" i didnt know how long she had been inactive, or if she even knew who the missionaries were, but i just decided to do it. so i called her. i introduced myself as a friend of her parents in bari. she said that her parents had talked about me and that we could some and see her. wow. mini miracle number 1. the day of the appt which was last friday we got on our train and started heading out to fiumicino. it was raining, but she came to get us from the train station. she was nice, cordial.we walked to her house and she showed us where she worked told us a little about her life. we sat down and played with the cat and chatted. it came out right away that she had served a mission, but that her grandparents passed away when she got home and that had made her lose some faith. anyway we ended up staying at her house for over an hour. we shared with her the scriptures in mosiah 24 that say "nevertheless, the lord seeth fit to try his people" and then talked about how he made their burdens light. everyone was crying. we asked her what her future with the church was. she said she wanted to come back but it wasnt that easy. and i just thought, wow. i knew that was her problem even before i met her. i knew that she was going to say that. she knows it is true, but she has suffered from a case of being converted to the church and not the gospel anyway it was amazing. i really felt like i was doing something right. she lives with her bf who is not a member and they both agreed to come to church, but it is not that easy right? cuz they didnt come last week. but it was a really amazing thing. i know that we need to work with her. that was no mistake that her name came flashing in my mind, that i already knew her parents so we totally connected and that that talk was TOTALLY about her. i am excited to see what happens. 
basically everything is going great. im training again! it seems weird. but i am excited. im gonna go pick her up right now! our african investigator boris is going great. more about him next week. 
the new address is missing the zip code. if you search it on google i am sure that you can find it. search montespaccato roma codice postale
via villata 28 
instert zi code here!! roma italia
but i live close to the mission office, so if you want to keep sending stuff to piazza carnaro 20 00141 roma, its the same. 
all my love sorella ashman

Why seek ye the living among the dead?

yay donovan!!!! i love the name. i love vanessa's big over due belly!! he was so teeny and cute!!!!!! donovan wesley criddle. i feel bad for merm. :( but at least she got to go to seattle cuz i didnt. but i AM in rome..... 
well easter in italy was great like everyone asked, not because of italy though, but because the gospel is true wherever you are. i kid you not, it was one of the best sacrament meetings i have ever participated in in my life. right along with the one when i spoke right before i left on my mission at byu and i said "well, for all the guys who were checking me out on the stand, you're too late. cuz i'm going on a mission." hahaha i think bill and vince were there. i can't BELIEVE i did that!!!!!!! i was CRAZY before my mission guys!!!!! i am going to have to relearn how to relax and have fun i think. not that the mission isn't fun.... but.....yeah. i've become a big time wet blanket. i think my comp thinks i'm a nazi sometimes. but i digress. back to the good part. the easter sacrament meeting was incredible. there were a million tourists there too. i translated the meeting and i felt the spirit so strong working through me. its sooooo fun to interpret on the spot. its a huge act of faith. faith that the gift of tongues works and that He will really fill my mouth as i open it. like there was a sister, the bishop's wife, who shared her testimony about her niece who had a cinderella bandaid on her finger. how do you translate cinderella bandaid???????? of course she was speaking italian so i obviously remembered!! but i dont remember right now and that's called the gift of tongues. anyway i want to share the story about the cinderella bandaid. the bandaid was coming off the finger of the niece and the little girl was crying. sister dematteis asked if cinderella was her favorite movie and the little girl said "NO! Jesus is my favorite movie!" then the little girl said, "did you know that Jesus died?" and sister dematteis just thought about that question. she said it hit her and she couldn't get it out of her head. then the next morning when she woke up to her baby crying, she held him in her arms and it came back to her. Jesus died. but He gave us all our lives back!! thanks to Him we are here, this miracle of a baby was born and they will be together as a family forever. it was a beautiful contrast between the death of Christ and the birth of a new baby. there were lots of investigators and lots of less actives and the testimonies were so great. after the sacrament meeting, anyone who didn't have a family got to stay together to eat a potluck lunch. it was really fun and we got to hand out with the investigators. 
it was a great week. we had zone conference and it was really good (i got to translate some of that too!). friday night we were able to see this sister that we have been trying to see for the last month. she hadnt been able to see us before because her knees were hurting her, so we nicknamed her "bad knees mary-lou" and we used to say "this town aint big enough for the two of us, bad knees mary-lou" but then we met her and she is DEFINITELY  not bad knees mary-lou. she is like 4 feet tall, she is PERUVIAN bill!! and she can barely walk. her hip is alllllllll messed up and she finally decided that she was going to have a hip surgery this week. we asked her if we could help her with her grocery shopping. luckily she has her boyfriend that can usually shop for her. but we planned to help her out with the little stuff like milk and yogurt and bread. we asked if she wanted to come to church this week and we would come and help her get there. she said she wanted to!! but sunday morning she called and said she couldnt do it. which i understood. she is soooo cute. she asked us what are first names are and we made the mistake of telling her, so she calls me ilaria and my companion rachele. hahah that evening we got an interesting phone call from the sisters in rome 3. for circumstanzes that i am not at liberty to reveal, we did splits so my companion went to rome 3 on saturday and sunday, while one of the other sisters came with me to rome 1. (there are 5 wards in rome btw isnt that awesome!!!!!) that evening when i was with the other sister, sister turley (from seattle!!!) we saw gregorio our investigator who is seeming to be less interested in the gospel than we might have hoped, and we saw paola the brasilian!!!!! and fausto her cohabitater. and dad paola said "LUI รจ BRASILIANO!!!!!!" when i asked how your portuguese was. thats right my dad is tight. anyway that lesson was intense. paola is just a faucet, she just cries all the time. fausto has to overcompensate by saying that nothing phases him but also making himself seem really arogant and then there's the whole elephant in the room about that fact that they are BOTH married WITH CHILDREN mind you to OTHER people and they just keep going along as if that were normal..... man our family isnt perfect, but its pretty dang close you guys. compared to the junk that is going down in other people's lives. side note: some people tell us that we don't know what the world is really like because we are totally sheltered from reality. ive gotten that soooo many times. guess what I DONT WANT TO KNOW what is out there! all the stuff outside the gospel of Jesus Christ is sadness. i am totally convinced of that. anyway the lesson was intense because fausto the boyfriend doesnt understand the guilt that paola feels and she is starting to get too far down the bad road.... its a very scary place. she is on a slippery slope and fausto doesnt really help her spiritually. anyway theyy both came to church on sunday and stayed for the lunch with the other people who didnt have families. there was a visting family from brazil!! so paola was thrilled. the brazilain family is coming to las vegas next year so i invited them to my house. haha
anyway things are going great. we have sooooo much to do here. its not typical missionary work, baptisms and teaching but there is sooooo much less active work and ward mantenance to do. the ward before the current bishop was called a few months ago was a disaster. DISASTER. LOTS of chastity problems, lots of backbiting, lots of inactivity, lots of baptizing without conversion, lots of part member families with huge problems, drugs, alcohol, just everything. there is an inactive member whose father is 12 years older than her. that's just one example. anyway. things are great. i love this work. i love this gospel. i am soooo grateful to be here. im in rome. its crazy. 
all my love 
sorella ashman

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

its the most wonderful time of the year

just saying that easter is my favorite holiday. the resurection of Jesus Christ is so amazing. a Man died, and He lived again!! death is not the end!!! talking about this with people this week has done some big miracles too :) it has been an incredible week. our work has just exploded all of the sudden and we have seen so many miracles. last wednesday we taught an awesome lesson with pablo who is from PERU BILL!!!!! he showed us this tourist video from peru and it looks soooo awesome! i would love to go... but the next trip on the list is pakistan and india :) with sister gulzar, the pakistani sister that i met in the mtc. anyway the lesson with pablo went really well. i am learning a little espanol too :) he is our first real investigator in rome!! 
thursday we went to find this less active named sister diana. finding her house was seriously a maze.... as we walked up and down the same street we noticed these two guys, a younger guy and an older guy, sitting on a bench in front of their house. they were kind of laughing at us. we thought about going to ask them directions, but decided not to, then we decided that we might as well. so we walked over and they were like "what are you guys doing???" they thought we were crazy. so we explained who we were and starting sharing our message with them.  the old guy stood up and walked away, but the younger guy, gregorio, listened. i asked him what he was doing on sunday evening, and then invited him to come to general conference. he said he would like to. we exchanged phone numbers, and then we said a prayer with him. wow. (more on this later!)
friday we ran around looking for another less active that we never found, but during our adventures, i talked to a lady on the subway from romania. i was sitting next to her and i wanted to talk to her but she was looking away from me pointedly. the no 1 sign that somone thinks they arent interested. so i did what any self respecting woman would do and i complemented her shoes :) that got her going! hahaha she said she had had them for 3 years and i was like no way!! you cant tell at all!! haha anyway she asked me why i was here and i told her my testimony about the restoration. then she said that her husband had passed away not too long ago. she totally opened up! i told her that she must have lots of questions like where is he? will i see him again? is he happy? and i gave her a passalong card and she devoured it. (it has all those questions on it ;) ) and then we exchanged phone numbers and i got off. i called her yesterday and we have the appointment for tomorrow :) :) :) :)!!! she is so awesome. luisa. 
saturday was the first day of general conference, but that morning we went to find a less active sister that has been recommended to us by the bishop. i called the bishop and he told me that she has 3 children, two daughters and a son. the two daughters both have illegitamate children, and one of their boysfriends is a drug dealer. basically its a pretty bad situation, but anyway, we can deal with anything. 
romans 8  38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able toaseparate us from the blove of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
yeah. one of my favorite scriptures. so we watched the last talk of the young woman's broadcast and i thought about you guys that were there and i tried to see you on the screen but i couldnt. 
sunday i was thinking about gregorio all day. i had called him saturday to make sure he was coming and he said he was!! sunday i called him at 5:20 (the session was at 6) and he was at the bus stop!! at 5:45 i called and he said that nothing was coming so he might just give up. i was like  NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! so i grabbed slla miles and we went into a class room and prayed that the bus would come. at 6:30 he still wasnt there. i called him and he said that he wasnt coming. i was devastated!!! why wouldnt he come?!?! and so i just was a little sad... cried a little and then i thought, how am i still so easily upset by people not coming to church? it never gets easier! that is the truth for whoever is going on a mission. when people dont keep commitments, its devastating! because you love them so much and you do EVERYTHING and somehow..... anyway so i talked to ex elder scothchi for a little and i just asked him "why doesnt it ever get easier?" and he was like "i really dont know the answer to that one." he is in my ward now, but he used to be on the mission with me and i thought he was so cool and always had the best words of wisdom. there so no answer to this one though. after conference (which was AMAZING btw) i called gregorio and fixed an appointment for monday :) success is going from failure to failure with no lack of enthusiasm. -winston churchill
monday was crazy. the morning we went on a few errands after we made over an hours worth of phone calls.... (we have a ton of contacts!!) then the afternoon we saw the less active sister diana that we were looking for when we met gregy. we found her!!! it was amazing. she has been inactive for a loooong time. we got some work to do with her.... then we saw gregorio. he. is. amazing. i am so surprised that this kid who was laughing at us has turned out to be GOLDEN. he kept talking about how much he wants to come to church on sunday to figure this all out. his friend mario walked up and we started telling him what we were all about and gregorio basically said "cool huh?" and so we invited them both to come to church. WOAH. then the ward mission leader and his girlfriend had invited us for FHE and they invited the elders too and this guy that they had met on the street the day before. new investigator. from jamaica!! then we ate sooo much food. :) sister salza is an amazing cook. 
yesterday was looong. we left at 9:30 to go and see this muslim contact named mimmo who has a jewelery stand. he gave us some jewelery as a gift. (middle easterners love gifts!) and he asked us so many questions about why we were here. we gave him a Book of Mormon in arabic. he was a little sceptical but you never know! im wearing the necklace he gave me today :) he is the NICEST PERSON ever. (i also got a couple other pendants for whoever wants them) then we went to slla shakir's house (the ex muslim) and had lunch and then helped her put up her mosquito nets for summer. on the bus ride over, i started talking to this man from bangladesh about the church. then he said that americans were pretty because they "have long figures" (="they are tall") then he said i had a nice figure and i thought that he might need to get his glasses checked and i stopped talking to him. then this other guy got on and said hi but i wasnt going to talk to him except he started asking me a bunch of questions and the bangladesh guy kept telling him all about me and they both kept staring at me and when some guy got on with a dog i tried to use that as a distraction but they both were like oh you like dogs??? i just reeeeaaaallllyyy wanted off that bus. hahahahahaha. yeah. its because im blond. anyway then after we took care of things at slla shakirs house, we went to a lesson with a man named vincenzo. he reminded me soooooo much of the love of my life daniele!!!! slla miles didnt like him, but thats cuz she doesnt know daniele. then we went to english course and there were a bunch of new students! two cool brothers named carlo and mario and then there is this indian lady named selena who brought her daughter. she is adorable. we played bingo :) 
so basically it has been a great!!! week. we have so much work now!! it really didnt take that long either.... we have so many people im starting to feel like we are going to get to being like bari, where we had so much work we had to start giving investigators to the elders. its amazing what happens when you open your mouth. the two secrets of missionary work: talking to everyone, and calling them. it seems so simple, but so many missionaries dont do it because they are afraid to talk both in person and on the phone. open your mouth. thats my testimony. 
all my love, 
sorella ashman

oops i forgot the pictures

no name

the last three weeks have been very interesting. starting from nothing, and still having more or less nothing, coming from the city with the most work in the mission, its been weird. the weirdest thing is how much the Lord has helped me. the things that once would have gotten me down or annoyed me dont bother me at all.... i feel way happier. i promised myself that in this city i was going to talk to everyone regardless of what my companion did. i think that has been one of the hardest things for me on my mission, having companions who dont talk to anyone, it gets really tiring to have to stop everyone by yourself, but i promised myself that i would not allow tiredness to be an excuse. and i've kept pretty true to my promise and its nice and slla miles talks to a lot of people! and i just feel happy. we go around rome not knowing anything or anyone and somehow at the end of the day i feel satisfied. i feel happy. this hasnt happened before in my mission. i go from one rejection to the next and it doesnt even phase me. maybe its just because im old in the mission and i am used to it. or maybe its that Someone is helping me. as i do more and more for Him, He does more and more for me. why would anyone ever not want to go on a mission???? how in the world did i think that i didnt want to do this? but one of the other sisters asked me if there has ever been a moment in my mission when i felt like i would have been better off if i had stayed home. i just thought "do people think that??" no. i have never thought that i would have been better off if i hadnt come. ther are a lot of times i think that i would be better off if i never went back! ha but then i think that that means not being with my family. anyway things in rome are going great
last week we had an awesome lesson with elena. she is from romania and she is living in the house of the second counselor of the relief society presidency, who really quickly let me say is AWESOME. she has a daughter and two grandkids and she works as a cleaning lady, and yet there are three people living in her house that are not her family. and she invites them all to come to church, and this one is coming. elena. she is awesome. so we are working with her. rodica, who is the 2nd counselor, got elena to quit smoking last week. :) haha rodica is the best missionary. elena is nervous about getting baptized because she is planning on moving back to romania, and there is no church in her city. we shall see.....
probably about a week ago, i had a dream about the cunningham family who is an inactive family with an american dad and an italian mom. so friday we went to find them, and they werent home, but we met the doorman of their complex who was very nice and maybe interested... who knows!
saturday was amazing. there is a woman in this ward who has a disabled daughter, and is two times a widow. well i was thinking that this sister, sister rose, was like 60 65 ish. she is EIGHTY. and her daughter i thought was probably 25 or so. FOURTY. wierd. anyway she was telling us all about her life and her amazing conversion story. she said the church is so different in italy than it is in england (where she was living when she was converted). its just that its is so hard to get people to listen here. im not making excuses, but it really is. its ridiculous. the church should be a lot bigger and stronger, but its not. and it makes it hard for the members. they depend soooo much on the missionaries. i dont even remember any missionaries that have ever come to our house except one from belgium when i was like 12 but i just thought it was cool that he was foreign. here, we are on the home teaching list!! even us!! the sisters!!! i have sooooo much respect for italian mormons. it really is a big deal for them. anyway sister rose's house is in this GORGEOUS teeny town and it was just like a fairytale.
we have been doing a ton of advertisment for our english course and last night a lot of people came!! i think they liked it, but we have been praying that the people will come and that we will find someone from it. this man yesterday came named luigi and he was asking us a million questions cuz he was there like 30 minutes early. i dont know what is going to happen but i think he might be it!!
anyway sorry this is a super boring letter, not too much has happened, except that i really wanted to say that when i get home i am dedicating myself to my health because i have seen more old people in my mission than i have in my life and they are all complaining about having diabetes and they are miserable and they are losing their toes one by one and i just refuse to let that happen to me. i refuse to have diabetes.
anyway hope everyone is well, especially vanessa and tom. i wish i knew what his name really was.... i love you all and am excited to see you someday in the future.
all my love
sorella ashman

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Take two

sooooo being in rome makes me think of the lizzie mc guire movie all the time..... i just wish that sister miles would drive me around on a vespa like lizzie and paolo. sister miles has never even seen that movie!!! anyway i explained it all to her. she really is an awesome companion... so it was a great week. lots of fun miracles... seems like so much time has passed. but i have only been here for 13 days. already 13 days!!!! :(
alright so last wednesday night, we went passed the house of a man whose relatives just got baptized in germany. they wanted us to go and find him. well turns out the address and phone number we had were wrong, but we decided to go see the less actives that lived in the area. as we set off, i asked sis miles to say a prayer to decide which one we needed to go see. as she prayed the name quiroz quiroz quiroz went through my head. i knew we needed to see her. well we sarted to make our way over, when i saw a young man working in a bar and i felt like we should talk to him, so we went in and talked to him and gave him a pamphlet. then we were making our way over to slla quiroz's but then we realized that it was 8:30 we are supposed to be home at 9 and everything in rome takes FOREVER. anyway.... we went home, but decided to go back first thing the next morning. so we went back, looked around and did not find her name anywhere. but i knew we needed to be there for something. so i rang someone's name and she wasnt interested, but she let us inside the palazzo, so we went up to the top floor, we rang the bell, and there was no one home. right in that moment, the elevator came up and a mom and son got out with a bunch of grocery bags. we told them that we were sharing a message of Jesus Christ and that we would love to share it with them. the mom was like no no i already attend a prayer group and we just got home, but the son (who is about 32) was like come on mom, just 5 minutes, they seem like nice people. the mom was like 5 minutes? and i was like yes absolutely so she let us in. we sat down and started telling her about the restoration but mostly about our ability to have a personal relationship with our Heavenly Father. they were both very intrigued, they even offered us a piece of cake. :) then they offered us a teeny little mandarin from their nice rooftop garden, then we said a prayer togther. it was such a strong spirit!! when i looked at the mom, she had tears in her eyes!! it was literally less than 20 minutes. that is a miracle in italy. i told the mom that we would love to come back and see her (since the son was just visiting from bologna) she said it would be hard, but she gave us her number anyway. i called her last night, and guess what? she totally opened up to me. she told me that she has been in and out of the hospital, and that not too long ago her husband of 25 years just decided to leave. and now she is alone. i told her that she should never have to do all this alone and that we are here to help her. she said we could see her next week :) 

on monday, we we in the middle of district meeting with the other missionaries when a member came in and said that there was a woman upstairs who wanted to talk to the suore (the nuns) and she insisted and wouldnt leave until she saw the suore. so i promptly went upstairs with another sorella. there we met a young african woman named mary. she was scarily skinny and frail. she told us about being abused and mistreated by some priests and she said how can people who pretend to represent Jesus do something like this? anyway we asked her if she could come back tomorrow when we had more time. she said yes, we have her a Book of Mormon and we said a prayer with her. the next day she was late and we had to teach english course, but it actually was a good thing because there was and african member who came to english course and stayed after for the lesson with mary. mary has some intense problems.... she is not totally right upstairs, but she is sooo smart. the african member, christine thought that mary should have a blessing so luckily there was a member of the bishopric downstairs. he came up and gave her a beautiful blessing. he told her that the Lord has never abandoned her and that if she will let herself be helped she will be free from ALL of her sufferings. as soon as he finished the blessing mary said "im hungry!" GOOD! so we took her to get some pizza. she is sooo skinny and weak...anyway the blessing was beautiful. as we ate pizza slla miles asked her what her favorite music is: classical. her favorite book: se questo e un uomo by primo levi i read that in italian 340- its about world war 2 and the diary of anne frank. she is so amazing.there is sooo much work to do, so many layers to peel back, but i klnow that with time mary will become our shining diamond. she is really a wonderful person. i am excited to see her progress. such a cool story. 

anyway thats basically it for this week. today we played tennis and had lunch with all the sister missionaries in rome. it was sooo fun. after lunch we all got to say what we love about the mission. i said i love EVERYTHING about the mission and i never want to leave. things are going great. steady but surely. things are going great :) 
all my love 
sorella ashman

Monday, March 19, 2012

its a good life so why ya'll trippin-be sure to check out the pics

ROME IS CRAZY. i LOVE rome. i felt like bari was home and so much more like las vegas. rome is so trafficky and chaotic its awesome!! i really firmly stick to my love for big cities. there is so much more diversity, opportunity, openness, possibilty. i love big cities. ok a little rundown of what has happened so far. 
last wednesday we ran around like chickens with our heads cut off saying many goodbyes to my beloved barese people. it was intense. thursday morning i packed a bunch more and then at 11 daniele came to take us to the station. we loaded our HUGE bags in the car and then up and down a million flights of stairs in the train station. i thought daniele was going to have a heart attack cuz he insisted on being a strong man but he is 65 years old and he smoked for like 35 years. we are young and healthy and hauling the bags isnt that big of a deal. anyway. we got there and then we had to wait for the other missionaries to come from rome. my little baby sister sobeck was waiting for her GREENIE. yes she is training. the good part is, her greenie is italian, so the language for her is no problem. then we said good bye to all the bari missionaries and went to our train. we went back over to wait for our train and daniele said he was going to leave before the train arrived or else he was going to cry. so i had to say bye to him and i cried of course. when our train got there, angelo, who had come to send me off, helped us get our bags on the train and all of the sudden.... the train started pulling away WITH ANGELO STILL ONBOARD!!!! hahaha!!! he got off at the next stop and then went back to bari. it was only about 15 minutes. hahahaha sister fidler and i traveled first class because there was a promotion for woman's day-two for one! so we rode first class from bari to rome. when i got to rome, we found out that we didnt have a working cell phone and that our apartment wasnt ready for us. so we stayed the first night in ladispoli, a little town just outside rome, with the sorelle there. then the nest day, we went to the apartment where the anziani live and we cleaned the whole day so that it was livable for us to stay there while we waited for our real apartment. they said it should be ready within a week, so we are hoping that any day we can move in to our REAL apartment, which is supposedly really nice and on the top floor! and closer to the church. 
rome is alllllll about public transport. its soooo easy to get around and super fun going on trains and metros and buses all over the place. rome is ENORMOUS. we take a train for 20 minutes and we are still in rome. it takes like over an hour in the train to cross the whole city. that did not happen in bari. just sayin. 
anyway saturday we did an orientation with the anziani so they could show us around and tell us how to get to the church etc etc. then sunday we went to church!!!! it was sooo fun and there were several non members there. first we met a boy named lane who is bill's CLONE. he was even wearing the same shoes. except his teeth had a tiny gap. but he was wearing flat front tan pants with a striped sweater and he stood with his hands in his pockets, was very well mannered and had curry sandy brown hair. he was missing glasses..... but yeah anyway he is a military brat and his rents live in germany. his gf is a member also in germany (but she is a member) and he is in rome going to school. it was his first time in church and he is probably going to get baptized really soon. there was also pablo, who is the boyfriend of a member and they have a son. he has been an investigator for 2 years, and we think his time has come!! we were supposed to have a meeting tonight, but we dont have a phone to call and confirm and she didnt call the anziani, so we'll have to see him sunday. there was also a guy named fausto who is the boyfriend of a member from BRAZIL! dad she wants you to email her, but i forgot to bring her email address with me... im bad. anyway we got his number and as soon as we have a PHONE we will be seeing them.... anyway the ward is AWESOME. its soooo multicultural. there are people from romania, LOTS of south americans, a japanese family, an egyptian sister, an ex jew from england, three american families and my favorite person ever, ex anziano scotchi!! and his fam who are from moldovia. we served together in sicily. its crazy that i am in his ward now haha anyway there were a TON of visitors in the ward this week from america. so we taught sunday school in english. i was sooo impressed with all the kids, the visitors and the normal members alike. it was a really great lesson thanks to them. after church we had a huge potluck. it is a 2nd sunday tradition of this ward and i was ok with it. :) then we went with a young single adult sister and ez anziano scotchi to the hospital to visit a sister who has cancer. she was soooo sweet. and it was so fun to do missionary work with anz scotchi again. 
monday we had our first lesson with a family of members, the goumba family from the central african republic, but they have been in italy for over 30 years. christine and her sister odette have been members for over 25 years, and christine has two kids, marlena and stefano. this family is AWESOME. i was so impressed with christine in relief society. she gave the most amazing comments. man... and i was translating for this visiting sister from SEATTLE!!! she was very nice. the kids are the basically ideal. stefano is 18 and preparing for a mission, and marlena wants to go. we asked them to pray for someone that we could teach and that we would check back with them on sunday. it was a big adventure getting there. since niether of us know anything, we had the help of a very nice lady named monia and we did end up finding the house. then they even fed us! it was really good :) 
yesterday we went on a bunch of wild goose chases. our strategy so far for finding is that we want to get some less actives reactive and then have them invite their friends, this way we get to reactivate AND baptize. so we chose some less actives that we wanted to go visit and we went looking for them. well we didn't find THEM but we talked to lots of people. we gave out lots of passalong cards, but got zero phone numbers. the afternoon we needed to go find the cousin of some recent converts in germany who referred this family. we spent about 2 hours finding the house just to find out that the address was wrong... we talked to tons of people and still hadnt gotten any phone numbers. anyway then we had to go teach english course and we were feeling a little.... yeah but we kept going and kept smiling. on our last bus that took us to the church this lady started asking a bunch of questions and then i asked her for her phone number and she gave it to me!!!! it was the best thing ever!!! when we got off the bus we danced a little. it was a huge success. 

anyway things are going great. today we ate at the hard rock cafe. it was so weird! i was supremely uncomfortable when a linkin park song came on, but other than that and the ridiculously high prices, it was very fun. 

i know that there are people ready in this city. alma 13: 24 says so, and i feel like we are going to see lots of success, we just need to find it. sister miles is an incredible companion, maybe my favorite. best for last! (dont put that on my blog!!) she looks exactly like cousin sara, like EXACTLY. she is awesome. 

if you want to send me anything not electronic, send it to the mission home for now. we dont have an apt and i dont know how long we will be in this one. 
sorella ashman 
italy rome mission
piazza carnaro 20
00141 roma italia

ok i thinks thats all for this week. i hope that pablo has a baptismal date but this time next week. dad if you want to email me something in portuguese for paola, that would be MOST appreciated. thank you!! 

vanessa what are you going to name the baby??!?!?!?

all my love

sorella ashman

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Eternal City

alright everyone the big news this week: TRANSFERS.

well i would say guess where i am going, but i will just tell you. i am in the rome mission and havent served in rome yet, so i am going to ROME. just saying it feels good. i am going to the eternal city, and i am going to finish my mission there, just like paolo. i am incredibly excited. i already wish i could stay there longer. i only have three months left. :( i hate this!!! why can't italy be closer... well the catch with my transfer is that i am going to be opening the city with my new companion sorella miles. opening means that there are no sisters in the city. there is no work there. like when you get transfered you go into the work that already exists. when you open you just.... go! it is a big honor to be opening. i have wanted to open for my entire mission so i am thrilled to have this chance. i am so looking forward to it. i will be serving in the rome 1 ward, which awesomely is the ward of one of my very favorite people in the world, ex-anziano scotchi who i served with in sicily for 4 transfers.
i got a letter from trisha telling me that i need to come to alaska and i have every intention of doing that asap. man the mission is the worst thing ever!! you fall in love with everything and then you have to leave it!! just like going to alaska was a horrible choice for the same reason. i also got a card from dad sent some strange address.... ah!! i can't except that this is for real you guys!! you know how i feel about the spring pond ct. house!!!! anyway, i had a dream that might be the answer to my prayers. i dreamt that i was living in the OK corral with lindsay and we were both going to UNLV and i was working at a restaurant on the strip and we were super happy because i realized how close the little house is to down town vegas. it might be the answer. will someone ax lindsay what her plans are?
anyway this week has been AWESOME!!! apart from the much desired though not much needed shopping that i did last week... things have just been amazing. i have been being smothered with love. when people find out that i am leaving... well its been a bit overwhelming the love that i have felt. its going to be really hard to leave this place. i have lived here for over 8 months....
last friday we had a fun adventure... we decided to try and be healthy and we went running in the morning. when we came back, i put the key in the door and tried to turn it. didnt work. all the other sorelle tried. nothing. then we realized that i had used the wrong of two almost identical keys. since we had taken the keys of the other sorelle i didnt realize that there was one right and one wrong. so there was nothing we could do. we called a couple peeps and found a member who was available at 2 pm. it was 7 am. we didnt really want to wait all that time, so when he called back and said that he would be able to come sooner, we decided to wait for him. but when could we do for two hours? so we went over to slla magno's house. we were starving and she gave us some cookies. ha. italian breakfast.... anyway we hung out there. i read her preach my gospel and the other sorelle slept on her couch. haha. anyway, fllo papagallo (10 bucks to whoever knows what that means!!) saved us and we thanked him by giving him a glass of pear juice. then we had a huge delicious lunch with anna, our investigator with a shoe shop. it was delicious. pasta al forno, fish and wine. jk i didnt drink any, though it was there!! then we went and stopped by the love of my life albanian mariana's house. ok this lady is HILARIOUS. we didnt have an appt so we just  dropped in. when we got there, she had just gotten out of the shower. she was like hold on hold on!!!! im naked!!! (she was wearing a robe.) so we sat down in the kitchen while she got dressed but she came out like a few minutes later and she was like "am i wearing underwear???" and she flashed open her robe and she was definitely wearing underwear. hahaha she is CRAZY. but i think all albanians have that really loud funny sense of humor. i love them. anyway, she is sooo funny, but she is also sooo smart and soooo attentive. she loves reading the book of mormon, but she especially loves when i read it to her. haha so we read some together, then we had an appointment in the church with this guy we had met the day before. his name was nicola. we set the appt up right on the street! i was so excited!! then he didnt show up or call. meh. then we went to get some din din with annalisa lorusso and angela cafagno, and then the four of us went to daniele's for a lesson.
saturday we saw luigi. he is doing good, but a little slower than when he first started. he hasnt understood the need to come to church....but the cool thing is that we gave him a few little hw assignments, and he did them all. we had to each make a list of positive attributes of our parents. he doesnt get along too well with them, so we encouraged him to think of the positive things. mom and dad, i will show you the list i made someday. but its in italian so you wont know what it says haha! it seemed to be a good exercise. he is reading the BOM and praying, but not coming to church or living the WOW. that afternoon we had a breaking point lesson with daniele. we asked him why he has to go to his wife's grave on sundays and if he dedicate another day to her and sunday to the Lord. it was a VERY intense lesson. the Spirit was super strong. we talked a lot about his potenital and how he is living below it when he doesnt follow the commandments. that he is worth more that what he is giving himself. he said that he was very confused and needed to pray. we also started a fast together. that evening we went to see slla avantario. she is soooo sweet. she is pretty old, in poor health but so wonderful. we watched finding faith in christ with her and cried. it was great.
sunday was pivitol for daniele. if he came to church it means that he had choosen the Lord over his wife. if he didnt.... yeah. so we were in sunday school and... in walks daniele. where the fuschia sweater that he knows i love. man it was intense. i gave my testimony in sac meeting and i cried. i took tons of pics with everyone. we wanted to ask daniele what had happened, but he had to leave after church got out. that evening after church we found out. the costanzo family called and said they were at the park so we decided to go and invited daniele too. he came. he was still fasting. after the costanzos left, we talked to  daniele about his experience with the fast. he said that he hardly slept because he was decided whether to go to see his wife's grave to go to church and in the end he felt like he needed to go to church. HALLELUJAH. he listened to the Spirit!!! it was incredible. he said we are disrupting his life, but because of us, he feels like he is living again. it was the sweetest meeting ever.
monday we had district meeting and then we went to lunch with angelo and marinella at a restaurant! it was sooo good and mom you and i have a date there!!! yum yum (the picture of the meatballs is not from this restaurant). that night we had FHE at the valentinis house (mom they want us to stay at their house and i would take them up on that offer) the coolest thing happened. we had planned to talk about profets and we had also mentioned that we would have liked to watch the testaments. guess what fllo valentini said when we got there? "we thought we should talk about profets and we wanted to watch a clip from the movie the testaments" uh. COOL! so anyway it was a good meeting. daniele is never himself around men though. its weird. men, maybe you have some insight? is this like a male territory thing? hmmm... whatever. it was a good lesson.
yesterday was a great day. we saw antonio, the 5 year old in the 59 year old body, and then we had lunch at slla magno's house, then we saw valentina the 12 year old new convert. she is AMAZING. she was bearing her testimony up one side and down the other to her friend. then we had english course, and i gave my closing remarks and cried!! was NOT expecting that. but they are just soo wonderful. i love the english course students. a few of them cried too!! haha. then we went to a restaurant that i have been wanting to go to for 8 months. thats the picture of the meatballs. IT WAS INCREDIBLE. but expensive, but daniele payed for everything. he is such a brat and spoils us so much. there were at least 10 different appetizers. it was soooooooo good. (mom we are also going there when you come).
today we had a huge awesome miracle!! we walked past this beautiful african woman and she smiled so big. i smiled back and kept walking. "are you seriously just going to walk past? she just recognized you for what you are. go back" said the Spirit. so i said "im going to look back. if she is still watching us, i know thats the sign that this is true." i turned around. she was staring at us as if begging us to tell her who we were. so i yelled at sorella sobeck. "hey hold up!" turned around and introduced myself. her name was julie. i gave her a pass along card, told her to call us whenever, and then her bus came and picked her up. two minutes later there she was. she said that she got off the bus to come and talk to us becuase she knew that God put us in the right place at the right time. so we walked with her for a few minutes and we just happened to be right by angelo's salon. we invited her to meet our dear friend. she said she would love to. we went in, taught a lesson. set an appointment for tomorrow and she said the closing prayer. she said she knew that God put us there for a reason. woah.
miracles happen.
all my love
sorella ashman