Thursday, November 5, 2015

Rule 398: Get Lost in Castles!

November 4, 2015

Another beautiful week has flown by here in beautiful Italy.
Ina is doing amazingly well. I can see such a big difference after
receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. She has even more light. She
remembers and understands things better now. The Holy Ghost is such an
incredible gift.

We had interviews with President on Saturday in Verona. I technically
wasn't supposed to have one because I will have one next week before I
leave. But for some reason I was scheduled anyways. Halfway through my
interview Sorella Dibb comes and knocks on the door and tells
President that I don't need an interview. Oops! But I'm glad I had
one. President and I just talked about all the amazing lessons we are
learning from the Book of Mormon. I love that Book! Lately I've really
noted how much it talks about deliverance. Everything the Lord does is
to deliver us out of some kind of bondage. Whether it be from
Egyptians or Lamenites, sin or oppression, ourselves or the devil!
The Atonement and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about freedom and

Halloween is lame here in Italy but we saw a few kids dressed up. We
played Halloween Jeopardy in English class.

We had Stake Conference this weekend. It was great. I really enjoyed
all of the talks. This stake is led by some amazing leaders.

This Ward has some amazing leaders too! We had some truly amazing
members at some our lessons this week. They really do make a

Our investigators are doing well! They still have some hard obstacles
to get over before they can be baptized but I know they can do it. I
love each and every one of them! And I know the Lord does too! He will
not abandon them.

We are teaching an adorable family. The parents don't listen but the
uncle and the two kids (8 and 10 years old), are so interested. I am
amazed each day at how much the kids understand. They are so much easier
to teach than adults because they really do trust God. They believe in
miracles. And this Gospel is full of them!

Well, sorry for a short letter this week but we got back a little late today.
We went to a castle today! It was beautiful!

I hope you all a great week!

I'm excited to work hard my last week here in the field and squeeze
every last miracle this town has to offer!

Vi voglio un mondo di bene! Ci vediamo fra poco!

Sorella Dani Hamblin

Rule 390: Everyday is a New Beginning!

October 28, 2015

Ina's baptism was on Friday. There weren't a lot of people there
because everyone was working that night but President and Sorella Dibb
came. They don't get to come to a lot of baptisms with all the
things they do so it was nice for them to come! Of course everything
was crazy right before the baptism: people getting sick, people who
are giving the talks can't make it, no one is answering their phone
but as soon as the baptism started the spirit was so strong. Ina has
waited so long for this moment, I've never seen anyone one want it
more than her! I just love baptisms because they are so simple. It is
through this simplicity that you are really able to feel the spirit.
No distractions. Just spirit. I love it! Ina's baptism was just as
beautiful as she is and I'm so happy for her. She was just glowing
Friday night. This Gospel really does change lives. It gives people a
new start. I am so thankful for the power of the Atonement. I have
learned so much about the Atonement this past year and a half. It
really is incredible how through Jesus Christ we are healed.
On Sunday morning Ina was confirmed a member of the church and
received the gift of the Holy Ghost. Her blessing was incredible, I
know she is going to be a huge blessing to this ward.

On Sunday another less active member came back to the church for the
first time! He has been coming to F.H.E. the past six months but after
many prayers from us and the anziani he finally came back to church
after years. I know this path back hasn't been easy but I am so proud
of his courage and trust in God.

This week we had some highs but we had some really low lows. We had so
many hard rejections this week... I don't really want to talk about
them. Haha! Sunday night I was feeling kind of frustrated. I'm used to
rejection after a year and half but this week was especially hard for
some reason. One of the biggest blessings on the mission is you really
get to feel how much the Lord loves these people. It is so amazing and
wonderful but it also means when people reject God and Christ you hurt
more. You hurt because you love them and you know this message will
make them happier but they are pushing it away. I felt of a lot of
sadness this week because people I really loved were pushing away
Christ. Monday morning I read Alma chapter 5. It really helped. The
whole chapter is amazing but verses 44-46 really stuck out to me (this
is also my Ponderize scripture):
"For I am called to speak after this manner, according to the holy
order of God, which is in Christ Jesus; yea, I am commanded to stand
and testify unto this people the things which have been spoken by our
fathers concerning the things which are to come.
And this is not all. Do ye not suppose that I know of these things
myself? Behold, I testify unto you that I do know that these things
whereof I have spoken are true. And how do ye suppose that I know of
their surety?
Behold, I say unto you they are made known unto me by the Holy Spirit
of God. Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know
these things of myself. And now I do know of myself that they are
true; for the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me by his Holy
Spirit; and this is the spirit of revelation which is in me."

All I can do is invite people. The beautiful thing about this Plan of
Happiness is that we are all free to choose. I have no control over
other people but I can testify to what I know to be true. And I do
know these things are true.

Yesterday we had a really tough lesson with a member. She was really
struggling with the fact that there is so much injustice in the world.
She works with mentally handicapped individuals and she doesn't
understand how God could let people live like that. The question of
why life is unfair is one of the toughest to answer. You really have
to trust God. The Plan of Salvation is perfect. It really is for our
happiness. But this life on earth is only a small part of the plan. We
aren't meant to receive all of our happiness here on this earth. The
purpose of this life is 1) to get a body and 2) to learn and become
like our father in Heaven. If we didn't have trials we wouldn't grow.
It is impossible to climb a smooth mountain. We need the ridges and
rocks so we can have something to hang onto as we climb. Life is like
that as well. We could not progress if we did not have trials. I don't
understand everything in this life but I trust God and know that one
day I will!

I am thankful for this time I have to be here in Italy and represent
my Savior whom I love.

I am thankful also for all you who support me!
I love you all!

V.V. B.

Sorella Dani Hamblin

Rule 382: "The more proselyting you do in the rain the more beautiful your spouse will be!" -- Linda K. Burton

October 22, 2015

Sorry I'm emailing a day late, we had a conference yesterday with
Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, Sister Burton, and President Johnson. It
was such a fun conference! All the Sorelle in the mission came and the
anziani who lived close to Milano. It was so great to hear from
General Presidents of the Relief a Society and Young Women and also
their husbands and also President Johnson, a member of the seventy,
and his wife. All of them talked about not losing the skills, habits,
and talents we learn on the mission.  They
stressed the importance that the mission is a training for the rest of
our life. Not only did I learn a lot and receive spiritual support, I
also got some major moral support from seeing all my past companions
who are still on the mission. There are eight! It was so great to see
them all and say goodbye before I leave in three weeks. I love each
and every one of them and I am so proud of the work they are doing. I
am so lucky to have served with some of the most amazing, hardworking

On Sunday we went to Bishop's fireside for the GANS (young single
adults). A fireside in Italian is called Camminetto which means
"little walk". I thought that was interesting. It was such a good
fireside! Sometimes as missionaries, missionaries think they are not a
part of the ward, but I feel like such a part of this ward. Bishop
said some things that I really needed to hear that night and I'm so
thankful that he is inspired!

Last Friday and Saturday we did a scambio with the Milano Sorelle. I
went to Milano with Sorella Hibo. It was such a fun scambio. I love
working in Milano because it is jam-packed with people. We talked to so
many people in the little time we had to do some finding. One lady was
just coming from serving some elderly. We talked about how the real
purpose of life is to help others. She didn't want to learn more but
she was touched by what we were doing.

My Ponderize scritture this week is Mosiah 14:4-5 "Surely he has borne
our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken,
smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our
transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of
our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."

I thought the scripture was fitting for this week with Ina getting
baptized tomorrow. I don't remember how much I've said about her but
our investigator Ina finished her cancer treatment and the doctors
have declared her cancer free! She is getting baptized on Friday! This
is answer to many fasts and prayers by missionaries and members in
Modena and Reggio Emilia! She met the missionaries three years ago in
Reggio Emilia. She has battled cancer treatments off and on these past
three years and has been waiting to be cleared by the doctors so she
can be baptized. She said the doctors are very surprised how quickly
she has recovered. This past tumor was only found 5 months ago and she
is cancer free now. The doctors have attributed her rapid recovery to
her incredible faith. She has truly relied on her Savior and Father in
Heaven to get her through this. She has trusted that whatever was
supposed to happen would happen. Her faith truly is incredible. On
Sunday she didn't say much at church because she was so excited for
her baptism. I know she is ready because I have never met anyone who
understands the healing power of the Atonement so fully!  We visited
her today as the spirit was just so strong. All she talks about now is
helping others. She wants others to find Christ like she has. She is
one of the most humble, most special people I've ever met. I am so
thankful I get to experience this with her. She is going to do some
amazing things.

President and Sorella Dibb said they are going to try to make it to
her baptism tomorrow.

Well all in all it was a pretty fantastic week. I'm so tired, but so happy.
Praying you all see some miracles this week too!

Vi voglio bene!

Sorella Dani Hamblin

Rule 375: Make Christ your Everything!

October 14, 2015

This week was a little harder. We are still trying to find some new
people to teach. We haven't had a lot of success, but at least the people
we are teaching are wonderful! Weather hasn't been on our side either.
Haha -- but I have super grateful for my rain jacket. I actually like
riding in the rain... As long as I can see!

We had Zone Training on Thursday. It was my last one. But that's okay
because next Wednesday all the sisters in the mission get to go to a
conference in Milano with Bonnie L. Oscarson. I'm excited! Also I
might be emailing a day early or late next week!

Church this week was just wonderfully beautiful. Again! I just love
fast and testimony meeting. Fasting has come to mean so much here on
the mission. I love how on Fast Sunday you can unite with the whole
ward. We really are all in this together. It is really great that we are
seeing some meno attivi come back to church these past couple weeks.

Marta came back from Cuba yesterday! We are going on scambio Friday so
I won't be able to see her because I'll be in Milano but I'm excited
to hear how her lesson goes!

It was fun to hear all your ponderizing scriptures from last week!
Everyone's was so perfect for them. I want to keep hearing them!

My Ponderize scritture this week is 2 Nephi 26:12-13.
"And as I spake concerning the convincing of the Jews, that Jesus is
the very Christ, it must needs be that the Gentiles be convinced also
that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God;
And that he manifesteth himself unto all those who believe in him, by
the power of the Holy Ghost; yea, unto every nation, kindred, tongue,
and people, working mighty miracles, signs, and wonders, among the
children of men according to their faith."

Our mission is reading the Book of Mormon with a focus on Jesus. When
President Dibb invited us to do so I was already doing it thanks to
Derrek's challenge from his mission President. It must be pretty
important. It really is. Really, there is nothing more important than
knowing who Christ is. It gives your whole life purpose. It gives you
hope. We had opportunity to teach a young African mom yesterday. I
love teaching Africans because most of them have such a deep love for
Jesus Christ. They really understand that if he didn't come and
sacrifice as He did we would be nothing. Yesterday she told us that
Christ is her everything. I could tell that she truly meant it. It
reminded me of the verse in Isaiah 12 (also in 2 Nephi 22) that says
"the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also has become my
salvation." He is our everything! As I read 2 Nephi and Jacob this
past week I have really noted that everything they say leads to
Christ. Because it was my last Zone Training on Thursday. Because I
had thought we were going to have a November Training before I went
home I hadn't thought too much about what I was going to say. But it
really wasn't hard when I got up there to summarize what I learned in
this past year and half. Why? Because it was all about Christ. He
really is everything. He has given me hope when I was uncertain. He
has given me strength when I have been weak. His love has encircled me
and motivated me to try a little harder, to be a little better. He has
helped me to love more fully and more deeply than I could have ever
imagined. He is my perfect example and the phrase "What would Jesus
do?" Really has been imprinted on my heart. You don't need to go on a
mission to develop a relationship with your Savior but I am so
thankful for my mission. I am stronger and firmer in the faith and it
is all thanks to Him. As everybody keeps reminding me, I only have a
month left. I want to use this time to help everyone I meet know their
Savior just a little bit better. I have not been a perfect missionary,
finder, companion, sister, but thanks to the Savior, I have been
perfect at retrying. I know that through Him we can truly do anything.

I am excited to see what miracles lie in our path this upcoming week!
I love you all very much! Remember you never alone!


Sorella Dani Hamblin

Rule 372: "Exercise faith, discipline yourself and do it!"

October 7, 2015

Our Ward here in Modena is just wonderful! I am constantly impressed
by the strength of these members. On Thursday night we had an appointment
with our investigator Ina, that Bishop had set up for us. He and his
wife drove us to the appointment. Ina told us the most amazing
news! She is healing! Her cancer is going away! It doesn't even feel
real. This is definitely one of the biggest miracles I've seen on my
mission. Her doctors are amazed. No one is too surprised though
because Ina has such incredible faith. All the doctors say
they have never have seen anyone as optimistic as Ina. Now that she
is feeling better both Ina and Vescovo (bishop) want her to be
baptized as soon as possible. We still have quite a few lessons to
teach her but she should be baptized this month.  We met with her
today. She is in a lot of pain but she is receiving her last treatment
this weekend! I love teaching her, because she already lives the gospel!
She had never heard of the word of wisdom but is already following it
to a T. We haven't talked to her about the importance of praying, yet
she says the most sincere, heartfelt prayers and she prays often! I
have never seen anyone more prepared.

2nd miracle this week: our investigator who fasted for the first time
a couple weeks ago saw an answer to her fast this week! She said it
was because of us and we said no, it was because of her faith! She
really has incredible faith and I am so thankful for this miracle in
her life!

One of the members here came home from her mission on Thursday! She
served in Spain! The Ward threw a little party for her on Friday. It
was fun watching the Ward get so excited for her to come home. At the
party everyone was asking so many questions about her mission. Someone
asked her what she misses most about the mission and she said that she
misses having the Spirit with her every minute of every day. It really
made me think about how true that is. The Spirit is our constant
companion. I can feel it even in the small things I do; riding my
bike, getting ready for bed, and even eating. I realize I have taken
this for granted. I know it's not difficult for me to have the Spirit
with us, because we are constantly on the Lord's errand. There is a rarely
a prayer we say that we don't sincerely ask for the Spirit to guide
us. I loved the emphasis that speakers gave to searching to have the
Spirit with us constantly.

It is still weird watching conference on a different schedule. We
watch the Saturday morning session on Saturday night at six. Then
Sunday they show the priesthood session at 11, the Saturday afternoon
session at 2, and the Sunday morning session at 6. Then you are left
on your own to watch the Sunday afternoon session sometime the next
week.  I'm so thankful for modern technology that allows us to watch
the two morning sessions live with the whole world. I hope you all got
to watch all the sessions of conference because they were amazing.
If I could name one of the themes of the conference I would name it
"How to endure to the end. And how to do it happily." I really like
the Women's Conference and the first session especially emphasized
this theme. This life is supposed to be enjoyed. Yes, we have trials.
It's supposed to be like that. But with the gospel we can truly be
happy, no matter what!

2 Nephi chapter 2 is one of my favorite chapters in the Book of
Mormon. As I was reading it this past week a different verse stuck out
to me. Verse 8 reads:
 "Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto
the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no
flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the
merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his
life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the
Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being
the first that should rise."

After hearing our wonderful leaders speak this past weekend and
receiving so much guidance and inspiration my desire to share is even
more profound. I know that it is only through Christ that we can be
truly happy. I'm so thankful for prophets and apostles who show us the
way. This is truly the restored Church of Jesus Christ again upon the
Earth. I know it with my whole soul and I will never deny it. I chose
to Ponderize this scripture this week! What scripture are you
ponderizing! I loved that talk by Devin Durrant. I remember when he
was Mission President in Dallas. I remember when he came to our stake
conference, I only wish I remembered what he talked about in those stake
conferences! I thought his talk was fantastic and I loved his two
invites. I hope you all consider following both of his invites.
I don't know if you could tell but I really enjoyed conference! Haha --
after every talk I was just like, "that was perfect!" Like my
grandparents said, I couldn't begin to pick a favorite talk. Our
leaders are truly inspired. Even the music was inspired! I have never
appreciated more the beautiful fact that we have a living prophet and
apostles who lead and guide this church. I know each and every one of
them is called of God. I am thankful for the lives they have lived and
for their willingness to give their will to God. I am so thankful to
be a part of this church.

I challenge you all to take what you learned from conference, exercise
a little faith, discipline yourself, and do it!
I love and appreciate you so much! Thank you for all that you do!

-Sorella Dani Hamblin

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Rule 370: "We Love Sports and We Don't Care Who Knows!"

Rule 370: "We love sports and we don't care who knows" -Anziano Robinson

Last Wednesday was so great! I kept getting birthday wishes throughout
the week! Thanks for the emails! We had a fun ward family night party
that night.

Saturday we received transfer news.... I'm staying in Modena with
Sorella Besco for my last transfer! I am so happy! I love Modena so
much, I didn't want to leave. You come to realize on a mission that
you don't get called to a place, you get called to people. And I LOVE
these people. This Ward is incredible and each week I am just so
amazed at how supportive they are. Sorella Besco and I both woke up
Saturday morning knowing I would stay. I thought about other cities I
could go to and nothing felt right. I belong here in Modena. This will
be mine and Sorella Besco's third transfer together, it'll be the
longest I've been with any other companion. It must be because
everyone thinks we are real, related sisters, even twins!  After I
told Sorella Besco that I am staying for a fourth transfer I said that 
people are going to start asking when I am leaving... Sure enough on
Sunday one of the Relief Society sisters asked me when I was going to
leave Modena. Haha they don't say it to be mean they just aren't used
to missionaries staying for 6 months in one city. I've done it in both
of my other cities though and I wouldn't have it any other way! The best
part about being in one area for a really long time is that you really
get to know the people. All my companions who are younger than me in
the mission have served in at least 4 cities by now, but I'm very happy to
be the one that always stays!

A cool thing that happened a week or two ago was Ariel, who was
baptized about a month ago, got called to be the assistant ward
mission leader! It is so cool to work with such a new member! He is so
humble and is always striving to do the right thing!
Church was fun because both us and the anziani had a few
investigators in church! I sat by the 6 year old daughter of one of
the anziani's investigators during Sacrament Meeting. She was an
absolute angel! Most definitely one of the most refined, well-behaved
6 year olds I have ever met in my life. She loves coming to church!
She asks her dad if they can come everyday! Haha I wish all 
investigators were that excited about church!

Sunday night we had a little culture dinner for the GANS activity. The
anziani covered America while Sorella Besco and I made Korean food! We
made Bu....... . Everyone loved it! We had some good Ghanese, Brazilian,
and Puglianese food too!

I absolutely loved the Women's Session of Conference. Obviously we
couldn't watch it live here, but Sorella Besco and I watched it as
soon as we could. I really enjoyed all the talks. One of my favorite
themes of the session was that even though life can be difficult we
can still find joy. In fact, one of the purposes of this life is to
have joy. Being happy really is a choice. And it's not always easy,
but it's possible. I have seen this many times on the mission.
Sometimes you have such good, righteous expectations but then things don't
work out like you think you should. But that's okay. Because Heavenly
Father knows what He is doing. We are in His hands. We are His.

Sorella Besco and I are struggling with what seems to be the most
common problem here in the mission... Finding people to teach. We have
tried what seems like just about everything. Despite not finding a lot
of people who want to learn more I still enjoy the conversations we
have and we met some really amazing people this past week. One of my
favorites was a man from Ukraine. He spoke very little Italian. We had
a hard time trying to communicate anything until we realized the
park we were in had wifi! Thanks to modern day miracles we were able
to download the video "Because of Him" in Ukrainian on our iPad and
show it to him. Then we used google translate to communicate with him!
The Lord has blessed us with some amazing tools so we can do the
seemingly impossible. "For with God nothing shall be impossible" (Luke
1:37). We were able to get his Ukrainian phone number and I pray the
missionaries will find him and his family.

I love this work. I love this Gospel. I am looking forward to  Conference this
weekend! I am so thankful for the Prophets and Apostles we have here
on this earth!

Vi voglio un Sacco di bene!

Sorella Dani Hamblin

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Rule 367: Be Born the Same Day as Your Companion

September 23, 2015


Rule 367: be born on the same day as your companion #truecompunity

Thanks for all the birthday wishes! It has been so fun to read all of
them! Oh and hey it's my companion's birthday today too! It's so cool!
I woke up to cute little presents by the alarm clock today. I sticky
noted/attacked her wall with notes from friends. It's the best birthday
ever because I can focus on making her birthday awesome but she's
trying to make mine great too. It's really just been an overall great
day! The weather is perfect and we have found some great food. Tonight
for FHE the Ward is throwing us a "surprise" party. Love them!
Thursday we had Zone Training in Verona. It was a really great
training about how we are becoming the message and how we can take
what we learned at our Conference with Elder Kearon and put it into
practice. We talked a lot about other ways we can "attack the day".
Good planning is a big part of that. Also that day was both of my
companion's year mark in the mission so we brought cupcakes to

It was also really great to see my MTC companion Sorella Destribois
again. She helped give some of the training and she did a wonderful
job. She has such a pure testimony and I am so thankful I got another
chance to hear it. She really is an example to me of humility and
Thursday night we came to Bologna and I got to see Jenny again. That
was great. There was such a sweet spirit during the lesson. So the
plan was to have Jenny's baptism on Saturday but due to complications
it has been postponed for a month. I'm not really sad that I will miss it
because I know this is right. I am so thankful that I got another
chance to see Jenny. I know she will be baptized soon and I know
Sorella Yonk will take good care of her here in Bologna.
Friday was spent calling ward members, inviting them to the baptism
and then calling them all back to tell them it was cancelled. We also had a
cool miracle Friday morning. The other day a woman called the Bologna
phone and said that the missionaries had talked to her on the bus and
she wanted to meet with us. Her name is Giovanna. We met with her on
Friday and she was amazing. She had so many questions and listened.
She accepted the challenge to read and pray about the Book of Mormon.
It was just so simple. My favorite part of the whole thing was that it
was actually Sorella Distante who had found her on the bus. Missionary
work is amazing like that. We never know if someone we talk to one day
on a bus or in the street will one day months, years later call the
missionaries and be interested in learning more. Sorella Distante
worked so hard and I'm so happy to see her efforts are still affecting

Saturday night an 8 year got baptized here in Modena. It was probably
one of coolest baptisms I've ever been to. There were so many non-
members there! Edoardo had invited all of his family,  his whole class
at school and even his teachers! What a great example he is. He told
me he wanted to be baptized because he wanted to do what is right and
wanted to follow Christ. I know he is going to be a huge strength to
the church. I really believe each generation is stronger than the
next. People like Edoardo give me such hope.

Sunday we went to church in Bologna. It was really strange not to go
to Modena but it was really fun to see everyone in Bologna. I love
that ward. I came on the perfect day because Heloise (another 8 year
old) was getting baptized! Two baptisms in two days! It was absolutely

Sunday night we got a call from the office that Sorella Yonk was
getting a companion. There was a little confusion about the day. Later
we found out she was getting her companion that day! We had to book it
to the Modena apartment pack all of Sorella Yonk's things and get her
to her new comp. Thanks to very helpful members we were able to do it!
It's weird to be only two of us again, haha it's a lot quieter. It'll
be good because we didn't get to spend much time in Modena last week
so now we can get back to work here!
It was a really fun week, but I am broke from traveling! Both of my
companions ran out of money so I had to pay for lots of train tickets
this week. I'm excited for a calm week where we get to stay and work
hard in Modena. Saturday we get transfer calls so we'll see if
anything exciting happens. I really would love to stay here in Modena
my last transfer. I absolutely love this ward. I don't want to leave
them! But I know my companion doesn't want to leave either... We'll
One thing I really reflected on this week was just how simple the
Gospel is. I love everything about the gospel because it all just
comes back to one simple principle. We have a Heavenly Father who
loves us. Because He loves us we have so many blessing. No matter how hard
life gets, He loves you!

Vi voglio bene!

Sorella Dani Hamblin