Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Rule 109: Be happy, It's Christmas!

Buon Natale! Auguri a tutti! 

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

We had a really cool miracle this week. We have been trying to visit some of the less actives and old investigators in our area book. We were able to set up some appointments. However every single one wasn't home when we came. And all of a sudden their phone didn't work... one morning after this happened again we decided to do some street contacting. We ended up talking to a man selling Bibles. He actually knew a lot about our church which is uncommon here. He was really polite but didn't have any interest. We were about to leave but then his friend came over. Turns out his friend just wanted to argue about how the Book of Mormon couldn't possibly be true. I could tell we weren't going to get anywhere with him. But for some reason we stayed. A few minutes later another friend came over. I was ready to walk away, I didn't want to waste our time Bible bashing. But when the third friend saw the Book of Mormon he said "che bel libro!" My companion and I were shocked! We asked him if he had read the Book of Mormon. He said he had and he went on to bear the most beautiful testimony of the Book of Mormon. He said it has brought him more peace and joy than the Bible. He then counselled the other two men to read it. Sorella D'Ambrosio and I were speechless. Fast forward a couple minutes and we got his contact information and his background story. He has studied with missionaries before and unfortunately had some struggles that kept him from being baptized. He got discouraged and left the church. He agreed to let us teach him again though. We know it was a miracle that we found him. He has such a sincere testimony and I know we were supposed to find him that day. This is the right time. God really does put people in our paths. 

That was the big event of the week but we had a good week. Our sweet ward gave us huge sacks of food. We probably have a year's supply of food now. At our ward Christmas party they had us sing Santa Claus is coming to Town. It just isn't the same in Italian. 

With the Egli e il dono (He is the gift video) our mission has asked us to think about what will be our gift to Christ this Christmas. I encuorage all of you to think of something you give to Christ this year. He gave us everything. Thanks to Him we can have eternal happiness. I know he lives. I know He loves us. 

Anche io, vi voglio un mondo di bene,

Sorella Dani Hamblin

Christmas in Bologna!

Beautiful Christmas decorations all over Bologna!

Sorella D'Ambrosio and Sorella Hamblin

Singing Santa Claus is coming to town with the Anziani at the Ward Christmas Party.

Ward Christmas Party!

Look what our Ward did for us!  So generous!  THANK YOU!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

rule 104: Watch where you are walking!

December 17, 2014

Well I think the work here in Bologna is about to blow up because we have hit quite a few hard trials this week. I am beginning to call all the trials we hit the "Bloopers of Bologna". Sorella D'Ambrosio and I have had some good laughs this past week. As far as the work here in Bologna I think it really could use a sisters touch. I couldn't ask for a better companion to open a city with. Sorellla D'Ambrosio is so great. She is just in her third transfer but she is one of the most bold missionaries I have ever met. It has been so great to go to the streets of Bologna with her. She has no fear.  

I like Bologna. It is HUGE. We are still trying to figure out the buses here. The architecture here is truly amazing. Church was so fun on Sunday because the whole ward was so excited to get sisters again. I am not going to lie it was a little hard to walk into a city where we have absolutely 0 investigators when my last branch had 5 people with dates for baptism. But I never have felt so secure and so peaceful. Sorella D'Ambrosio and I are working hard. I know as long as we do what we feel is right then God is proud of us. Even if we don't see all great results from our actions, even if we don't find a ton of people I know we working as hard as we can. We need to be patient. I never have been so satisified with the work I am doing even though we haven't see very many big miracles this past week. I know we will find people here. Bologna is about to be changed!

Hope you have a great week this week leading up to Christmas. Remeber HIM :)

Sorella Hamblin

Bologna -- famous for it's towers...

Christmas decorations in Bologna

Merry Christmas from Bologna!

Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Rule 100: Don't sing "God Be With You Till We Meet Again". Just don't.

December 10, 2014

Well first things first. I'm getting transferred. I'm trying not to be totally devastated about it. But my heart breaks a little more with each goodbye! But meno male, I have almost said all my goodbyes and I am headed to Bologna tomorrow!!! I'm am excited to open the area with a companion who just got done being trained! "Greenie" power! I will tell you her name next week though because I can't pronounce it... let alone spell it :) 

Sorella Hastings and I had such a crazy week. Normal. We had our scambio with Pisa last Thursday. I went to Pisa with Sorella Griffin. She is only on her 2nd transfer but she is a rockstar. Sorella Hoffman came to Montevarchi and helped us set baptisimal dates! That Sorella knows how to work! I am so sad she is going home tomorrow. Then Zone Training on Friday. We talked about the importance of getting the members to share church media (like the He is the Gift video) on social media!! Go do it! Yes, I am talking to you!
Saturday we got transfer news and we have been trying to see as many investigators as we can before I leave tomorrow. What can I say, Montevarchi really is the land of miracles. We set another baptismal date last night with an amazing 17-year-old named Benedetta! She is a friend of Alice, one of the new converts in this branch. She is so sincere. She asked us how we came to know the Gospel is true. We were able to share how we gained our own testimonies and then Alice shared how she gained hers. It was such a simple beautiful lesson. Montevarchi has some great things in store for it and this branch is growing with an amazing speed. There are 5 baptisms scheduled in January and 1 in February. It is truly amazing. What a blessing it is to see the Lord move His work forward. I am truly blessed to have met these people. They have changed my life forever. 

As much as it is hard for me to leave I have such a testimony that this is the right thing. God has a plan for us. If we do His will (cheerfully) we will be blessed. I know there are things for me to do in Bologna. Plus there are Christmas miracles, opening miracles, "greenie" miracles, and much much more waiting for me there! 

If you haven't seen the He is the Gift video go watch it. It is amazing. Think about someone you can share it with and then do it! The missionaries in your area need your help. Trust me! 

Love you all! Stay warm! Find Miracles! Eat chocolate! Do good! Sing a Christmas song or two! And remember the true meaning of Christmas!

Sorella Dani Hamblin

Rule 91: Be careful what you pray for!

December 3, 2014

First things first: Thanksgiving! Okay so it's not a holiday here but Sorella Hastings and I were super exited regardless. We decided to change our Finding for the day and go around asking people what they were thankful for. It was super fun. Most people talked about their families or God (both important in the gospel). We saw so many small miracles that day and even got an amazing new investigator named Benedetta (it means blessed... isn't that just too perfect!). It was fun to focus on the true meaning of the day. And don't worry we at least made turkey sandwiches to honor the day :)

We got another new investigator this week that we met on the bus. When I said I was a missionary she said her daughter was a missionary... for another church. We ended up getting off on the same stop and I thought that would be the end of it, but she told us to come visit her some day! We passed by the other day and she wasn't home. We passed again on Friday and she was so excited to see us. Turns out it was her birthday! Miracles! Well we haven't taught her a lot but she has a lot of interest in learning what our church is about.
One of the hardest things about this work for me is explaining to people why bad things happen to good people. It is hard for some of the people we have been teaching to understand that trials are a part of life and that through the Atonement of Christ all will be made right in the end. My heart aches for these people because of the trials they are going through I can scarcely imagine. I did not know what sacrifice was until I came to Italy. Sorella Hastings and I are trying to make our lessons even more Christ-centered. He is our Savior, He is our comfort. We have started sending out daily texts about the Savior. We have already seen miracles from doing this. Thank you to those who sent me their favorite scripture on Christ! I loved reading them and I have added a few to my list!

Lately we have been focusing on making our prayers more powerful. I have such a testimony of prayer. Sadly, yesterday one of prayers got answered in a way I didn't expect. In the morning I read a story about a missionary who prayed that their dinner appointment would take them out to eat. It turns out right before the missionaries came over for dinner the families oven broke. The story ended with a warning to be careful what you pray for. I didn't think much of it. That morning I prayed one of our new converts would call us because we hadn't seen her in a while. A few hours later sure enough... she calls. I answered the phone excited to talk to her when she told me her house was on fire. My heart sank. No, not her. She has been through so much. She just got baptised her life is supposed to be getting better not worse. I have to admit even I asked why. Sorella Hastings and I did our best to get to her as soon as we could but with trains and buses it took us 3 hours. On the train ride down, I was thinking about this question everyone we are talking to seems to be struggling with. Why? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why couldn't it have happened to me and not them? The truth is we don't always know why these things happen to us. We rarely know WHY. But that is okay, because God does. He doesn't put anything in our path that we cannot handle. He knows our capabilities better than we do. If we come to trust Him we can overcome anything. I know He has a plan for us. I have come to see the hand of the Lord really is in everything we do. I think that is why I am so obsessed with miracles. They happen everyday. God is with us. He loves us. My heart still aches for this woman but I am immensely impressed by her strength. She is overcoming this with so much hope. I am thankful for the support this small branch has offered her. I think every single member called her to offer help and support.
Have a great week! Find the miracles!

Sorella Dani Hamblin

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Rule 88: Just do it!

Can we talk about miracles for a sec.... I have been trying to count all the miracles that happened this past week, but I just can't count that high (at least not in Italian)!

I don't even know where to start. First off, Saturday Giovanni (one of the Anziani's investigators) got baptized!!!! All the excitement happened before the baptism though. The Anziani had to stay the night Friday night in Firenze so they could not travel up to baptism with Giovanni (p.s. we do all our baptism in Firenze). They called in the morning to check on him and he said he was having some doubts. They hung up prayed then called him back but he wouldn't answer. Uh oh. That's when we got a call from the anziani seeing if we could go over and talk to Giovanni. We read Joseph Smith History with him and his mom -- the part when Satan overcame Joseph right before the first vision. Right before we are about to make good choices Satan will try to stop us. Other investigators have been talking about temptations they have now that they didn't have before. Satan is real and is powerful, but God is always more powerful. The Spirit was so strong in that house as we read together. Before we left to go to the baptism we said a kneeling prayer together and Giovanni pulled out his knee pads (he never stops joking :P)! His baptism was absolutely beautiful. Just simple and perfect. President got to come to it too because our Stake had Stake Conference this weekend. Gabriella (Giovanni's mom) is telling everyone her baptismal date now. She is so excited. She asked me to baptize her.... so we had a lesson about the priesthood this week. I hope Giovanni baptizes her :)

Monday, in district meeting, the anziani challenged us to challenge Sara to baptism that day. Well Sorella Hastings and I were super pumped. We planned it all out and we were going to challenge her in the first 5 minutes. When we got there, however, before we even started, she hit us with some bad news. Well the lesson didn't go at all how like we planned and we were a little down. It was 5 minutes to 9:00 and I didn't know how to challenge her before we left. But I had to. So I just did it. We weren't talking about it at all but I just told her we wanted to set a baptismal date with her and she said "absolutely"! She said she already told her mom that she wanted to be baptized! I wish you all could have seen the smile on her face, it changed her whole attitude. She was so happy. I am never going to forget that smile. Her life is really hard but I see hope in her eyes now. THIS GOSPEL CHANGES LIVES. We also saw her yesterday and she asked us if she could serve a mission. Haha! We didn't see that one coming at all. She always knows how to surprise us.

To add to the story, Sorella Hoffman called that night and we told her that we set a baptism date. She said she wanted to set a baptism date the next day. We told her to call us when they did. Sure enough  the next day we got a call from the Pisa Sorelle. This is so great that we get to help challenge each other.

Another small miracle: one of my name tags got ran over by a car (don't ask me how). The pin broke but the name tag is perfectly perfect and I can just order a new pin. On Sunday we found it waiting outside our door. One of our neighbors must have found it outside and put it there.

We also had Stake Conference and that was amazing but I am running out of time :)

Last thing:  Sorella Hastings and I are starting this thing in December called 25 days of Christ. We are going to send a scripture about Christ to our investigators every day in December. My invitation this week to y'all is to send me your favorite scripture about Christ and tell me why you like it!

Remember Grazie a Lui we have this beautiful Gospel and we know we can return to live with Him again. We don't ever have to be alone because He knows how we feel. He knows our pains and only through Him can we be completely healed. I am honored to wear His name every day. I know He lives. Don't ever forget that He loves you.

I love you too!

Sorella Dani Hamblin

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Rule 80: There is never enough email time

November 19, 2014

So much happened this week I hope I remember it all!

First off we had an amazing Zone Conference yesterday with Anziano Fingerle, an area 70. I loved it. One thing that stood out to me is how much we talked about the importance of prayer -- for us and for our investigators. It is easy for us to forget to make our prayers sincere at times. We talked about the importance of saying personal prayers aloud. I have such a testimony of this!  I know that prayers are powerful. I know if our investigators learn how to sincerely pray they will see miracles.

We also talked about how missionary work and family history work is the same great redemptive work --  they go together. He said we weren't called to be family history missionaries, but my brother is. I think it so cool that Derrek and I get to work on both sides of the veil. Our work goes hand in hand. 

If I had three more hours to write I still wouldn't be about to fit in everything I learned yesterday. 

We also set a baptism day with our investigator Gabriella. It is for January and it gives her 3 weeks to quit smoking. I know she can do it. She is making all the right choices to help her in her goal. 

I lost my bible a while back and didn't have one in Italian. Our sweet new convert surprised me the other day and gave me a mini bible. It was such a sweet little miracle.

Our primary program was on Sunday and was so cute. One of our investigators, Sara, came to church for the first time and she is going to Giovanni's baptism on Saturday! 

Sorry I ran out of time again this week! Just know things are great here. I love this work. I have never felt so much love in my life. I can feel all of yours prayers. I love you all! 

Sorella Dani Hamblin

Monday, November 10, 2014

Rule 73: It isn't a good P-day without bucket-loads of rain!

Ciao Tutti!

I can't believe another week has flown by! I got a new companion. Her name is Sorella Hastings and she is from Arizona! We both have names that Italians can't say because the H confuses them. so much. While I was waiting for her to come down from Milan on Thursday I got to work with the Firenze Sorelle. It was fun to work in another city for a day but I have to say I like my small towns in my area compared to the big city of Firenze. My new companion just served in Milan so she is getting used to this small town thing.

Halloween; Day of the Dead; and Day of the Saints were all this past weekend:  Also our branch president's daughter came home from her mission and one of our investigators had a birthday! It was quite a busy weekend! 
I had a really rough week and I was feeling super down, but it brought a super neat experience. One morning while I was praying I could literally picture all the people back home that are praying for me. I got so much strength from remembering how loved ones are cheering for me back home. It was one of the sweetest moments I had on my mission. After some good study and an inspired district meeting I am feeling completely back to normal. Not to mention, my companion is amazing! We compliment eachother's strengths so perfectly. I am excited for the upcoming weeks!

The work here is so great. We are teaching some truly amazing people. I love teaching. My favorite part of any day is teaching. It even tops gelatto ;) It is amazing to feel the Spirit teach through you. There is nothing like it in the world. Sometimes you don't have a clue what to say but as long as you try, you are always able to say something. Sorella Hastings and I are exhausted, but its that "I have used every second of every day to the best of my ability and I can't take another step" kind of exhausted. I feel so blessed to be serving in this branch. the new converts here are doing amazing. It's amazing to watch them continue to grow.

This work is amazing. God knows us. Dio ci ama. Tutti!

Sorella Dani Hamblin

Firenze Sorelle

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Rule 72: American desserts always win

This week was by far one of my favorites on the mission. I have had some of the sweetest spiritual experiences this week with the people we are teaching. I have seen people open up. I have seen the gospel put light in people's eyes. One investigator broke up with her boyfriend because of the changes she is making in her life. But before she did, she taught him the plan of salvation. I have seen the Book of Mormon answer questions direction and have felt the spirit guide us directly where we need to go. The Lord has really opened up the hearts of people near the church and I believe we will keep seeing blessings from the church changing buildings. The anziani (elders) and us are both finding a lot more people close to our new church building. It's amazing to see the Lord's hand directly in our work.

My companion is going home this week and so is my trainer. The biggest thing they have taught me is not to  waste a single second. The time we have here is precious. I don't want to look back with any regrets.

This week in my personal study I started reading the war chapters in Alma. For some reason I kept applying the Lamanites to the Jehovah Witnesses (there are so many here!!!!) I felt bad for thinking this but I couldn't stop thinking about it the whole time I was reading. This went on all week. I even told my companion how guilty I felt about it. Then on Sunday we went to visit a recent convert and who did we find there? Jehovah Witnesses! Uh oh. It broke my heart. She said she has them over because she doesn't understand the Bible. We visited this convert again yesterday and she is really confused right now. Uh oh. I have no doubt that my personal study was actually a warning. I know where we need to focus our efforts. I have no doubt this new convert will be okay, but I know we have some work to do. 

Oh yeah, we also had Susan's baptism on Saturday!!! It was beautiful. Simply beautiful. I have never seen her so happy. I saw her yesterday and she is still just floating on a cloud. She had waited a long time for this but I know this was the right time for her. The Lord knows us and what we need. He will not give us challenges we cannot handle. President Sotilli asked me to bear my testimony at the baptism and I don't think I have ever just felt so full of love and joy. It was amazing. I know there were missionaries all over Italy and America cheering for Susan on Saturday. The branch has also  been a great support to her and I am so thankful for that. Everyone brought desserts but of course those American chocolate chip cookies we brought were the first to go. Italians know food but Americans will always win with their desserts.

Remember God loves you, 


Sorella Dani Hamblin

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Rule 70: Namaste' (yes, I mean yoga)!

October 22, 2014

Ciao Cari,

Last week I wrote about a woman who stopped us on the street Wednesday morning. We set an appointment with her that night. When we came by her daughter was there. They both had a lot of questions about our religion. They both said that they want us to keep coming and the daughter says she will be baptized if she finds out it is true. These two were definitely prepared. My favorite part of the miracle though is the reason Chetti (the mom) decided to stop us. She said that one of her really good friends is the lady that works at the Gelatteria that we always pass by on the way to the train station. We always make sure to say "hi" to her and we have had a chance to talk to her for a couple minutes. This lady told Chetti to talk to us because we were really nice. Months of saying "hi" to woman helped us find two people who were ready to listen. The Lord really does work in small and simple ways.

It's my last week with my dear Sorella Russell. She goes home next week and I am going to miss her a ton!  We are preparing for Susan's baptism on Saturday and we finally have a good teaching pool. I wish we could just stay together and work together for a few more weeks.

We just finished another scambio with Pisa. I got to be with the one and only Sorella Cassandra Hoffman again! Whoo Hoo! It was fun to be in Pisa again. I know the church is true because the Lord did not give me a bike area for my first area. I ran into a car... and a person. Let's just say my balance skills are zero. But there were no injuries so I would say that was a success. But really, I felt so bad, I think tourists try to get hit sometimes. We ended our scambio going to a yoga class taught by one of their investigators (see pics). I may or may not just have fallen in love with yoga. My body feels so much better. Okay Dad, I finally see the light. 

This week was another one filled with tender mercies. I love this work. I love my mission. Haha I am surrounded with so many good missionaries that are going home soon. All they tell me is not to take this time for granted! I am trying to enjoy every minute!


Sorella Dani Hamblin

Sorella Hoffman and Dani at Yoga Class

Rule 67: It's okay to get lost!

October 15, 2014

Last week was a rough week! I am pretty sure everyone we know canceled on us, people we didn't know canceled on us (appointment's set up by the anziani), and we even had two investigators cancel appointments that we didn't set. Let's just say our week was filled with a lot more finding activities than expected. But we had a HUGE miracle yesterday when we were making calls to set up appointments for this week. Everyone answered the phone! It was amazing. We were able to set up appointments with people we hadn't seen in weeks -- one lady I hadn't even met yet and we have been trying for 15 weeks to contact her again. We had scheduled 5 appointments for the afternoon, and even though 2 of them fell through, Sorella Russell and I felt a renewed sense of hope. 

With all the finding opportunities we have had lately Sorella Russell and I may or may not have gotten lost a couple times this past week. The amazing thing is every time we get lost we ended talking to someone who is actually interested, or we run into an investigator. Even this morning on the way here we had a little miracle. There is a women that I have seen around our little town a few times that always says "hi" to us before we say hi to her. That's HUGE. Italians don't do that. Last time we saw her I really felt like we needed to talk to her but she disappeared before we could. I told Sorella Russell the next we saw her I would talk to her. Well this morning we took a different way than usual and we saw her! I was walking up to talk to her but before I could even get out my "Buongiourno!" She comes up to us and says "Hi I would like to talk about your church. I'm Catholic but I am interested in learning about your church." What?!! My comp. and I were a little stunned I think. We somehow found the words to set up an appointment for tonight. Miracles :)

Also our church is moving to a different hotel in a different city. It's is a huge miracle for us missionaries because it will be so much easier to get our investigators there! A few of the members have to travel a lot further though and they may decide to go to the Firenze ward instead. If all of them decide to do that we would lose our Young Womens Leader and our Primary President and our Sunday School teacher (yes we only have one of each). I'm not sure if we would have enough people to cover all the callings but I trust this will work out. It just means we need more baptisms! 

Our sweet investigator who is getting baptized in two weeks thinks my name is Kimball. She has called me Kimball for two months now and I have no idea why. She keeps a notebook with the missionaries names in it. There is Sorella Lopez with Sorella Yost and Sorella Jarvis with Sorella Condie then there is Kimball (me) with Russell (who she added yesterday). She will look at my tag and will still say Kimball. It is pretty hilarious. We are so excited she is finally to be baptized! We have had our ups and downs with her and her family giving her permission but finally everything has worked out. Looking back we can really see how these struggles have strengthened her and helped her grow. 

The Anziani also have an investigator with a baptism date and he's amazing! He came to church for the first time and he already just fits right into the branch! We taught Gospel Principles and he knew all the answers. He is definitely ready. We were riding on the train home from church and all together and he wanted to have all four missionaries over for dinner. Its against mission rules but he was very persistent so we said maybe we could get permission for Christmas. Haha so we already have Christmas plans (even though none of us may be here for Christmas, don't worry we told him!). In fact Sorella Russell and I have appointment with him and his mom (who also has a baptismal date!) tonight. But I haven't even told you the best part... His name is Giovanni, He lives on via Giovanni del San Giovanni in our little city named San Giovanni. Yeah. 

Well I think that covers this week :) Tutto Posto in my little corner of Toscana.


Sorella Dani Hamblin

Joust  in Arezzo

An older picture of Sorella Jarvis and Dani in Venezia (Venice)

Rule 56: General Conference = Missionary Christmas

October 8, 2014

Ciao Tutti!

I hope you all got to watch General Conference this weekend. From the missionary emails I've read I think that I can speak for most missionaries when I say that Conference weekend is like Christmas here on the mission. I was able to watch all except the last session in Firenze, because we weren't able to show it at the hotel our branch meets in. All the talks were absolutely amazing! I loved the temple focus of the women's conference. What amazing blessings temples are. Thanks to temples we are able to have such an eternal perspective that other religions are not able to have. We know we have a goal to work towards. We know we can be with our families forever and we know how we can! 

Another theme I loved from conference was that of personal revelation and personal responsibility. In the world today we have more responsibility to stand up for our beliefs and be a light to the world. I feel bad I don't know the name of the speaker, but I absolutely loved the talk that was in Spanish. We are planning to show his talk to a few of our investigators who speak Spanish. It will be nice to show them a talk that isn't translated. 

The work here is still moving. Some days all of appointments fall through, the next day we are running down the streets to make it to all of our appointments (I personally like these days more). We are really trying to find some more people to teach. In Zone Training on Monday I found out that Finding is the universal problem in missionary work. I think it is hard sometimes because it can be discouraging and sometimes it takes courage to talk to random people on the street. But I have such a testimony that God really does put people in our path and we will not find them if we do not open our mouths. 

I know this Gospel is true and I am thankful for every second I am out here doing this work. 

Vi voglio bene,

Sorella Dani Hamblin

P.S. SO random exciting news: I won a jar of peanut butter in zone training! Haha best day ever!  

The Italian's don't know what they are missing!  YUM!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Rule 51: Homeless people really can be the best investigators!

I think the most interesting thing that happened this week is that both me and my companion got colds. Haha! Other than that, we've had a pretty average week. We have been doing a lot of "finding" work in the cities closer to the church because most of our investigators live really far away. We found out that the church is only about a 20 minute walk from the train station so all we have to do now is convince everyone that they want to have fun Sunday walks with the sisters. 

Oh the cool girl we met on the train last week came to English class on Friday! She actually speaks English amazingly well,-- better than I speak Italian! Who knew?! She probably doesn't need the class at all but I'm not going to tell her that! Another amazing person that we are teaching is a homeless man that lives in our city. He is amazing and has already read so much of the Book of Mormon. The only problem is he likes to hang out on the steps of another church. It makes it a little hard to teach him, but at least the pastor of that church is super nice! 

Well somehow I always run out of time, one day I will write a super long incredible misssionary email :)

Till next week!

Vi voglio bene,

Sorella Dani Hamblin

Rule 45: Mission Birthdays are the best!

September 24, 2014

(This was stuck in the "draft" folder, so it is a little late!)

Thanks for all the birthday wishes!!!! I had the best birthday a missionary could ask for; full of birthday miracles! We even set a baptism date! It was really weird because the whole day I kept forgetting it was my birthday. You spend everyday on your mission trying to think about yourself as little as possible so when your birthday rolls around you don't know what to do. I made it my birthday goal to set a baptism date and we were able to! It was one of favorite days on the mission so far. We were blessed with having a day full of appointments and even teaching on the train in between. I have learned a lot of success on the mission comes from having faith. Sure, everyone you work with has their own agency. Yesterday we got stuck in a small city called Incisa for an hour because a lady never showed up to our appointment and there was no train back. But even when things fall through you can still look on the bright side. Because we had this appointment we took a train where we met an amazing girl and she is going to come to our English class! We got off at the same stop and she asked if she could walk with us for a while because she liked talking to us. We would never have met her if we hadn't been stuck in Incisa. 

I had culture class this morning so our p-day is cut a short. Sorry I can't respond to everyone today!

I have a new companion, her name is Sorella Russell and she is AMAZING! We get along so well and she is such a hard worker. This is her last transfer so she is ready to work as hard as she can before she leaves. I am excited for the weeks we have coming up. 

Vi voglio bene,

Sorella Dani Hamblin

My birthday dinner with Jasmin and Muma!

This is so appropriate for this week!  New companion!  I will miss Sister Jarvis though!

My new awesome companion:  Sorella Russell!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Funerals! Baptisms! Transfers! Oh my!

Jasmin was baptized on Saturday!! Sorella Jarvis felt the adversary fighting against this baptism all week, especially Saturday. Because Firenze is pretty far for our branch members, most of them couldn't make it, including the two members we asked to give talks. The anziani were great though and offered to the do the talks. The biggest miracle is that Jasmin didn't feel the tension at all! Right before the baptism she said she felt sick, and we were scared she was getting nervous. But when we asked her what was wrong she said that she had never felt so full of happiness before, it was literally making her sick. The baptism really affected her mom as well. She said it was amazing to watch Jasmin come out of the water! Jasmin brought with her some cousins and another one of our investigators.  She was going to bring two more aunts but the van was full and Firenze is just so far from Arezzo.  Jasmin is an amazing example and I know she is really going to help the work in this area. She wasn't confirmed Sunday, because her mom could't come but she will be this Sunday.

I think I can say with assurance that Saturday was the craziest day of my whole life. First off, I dressed someone for burial at 7am. It was the first time I have seen a dead person, let alone touched one.  I can't believe I did it!  If you know me at all, I don't do medical things -: blood, shots, nothing!  My companion was having a really hard time because we had actually visited the women a few days earlier. I know I was blessed with strength to be able to overcome my fears so I could help. Now everyone in Relief Society thinks I should be a doctor... haha sooo not happening!!!! However the experience ended up being really great and made me really appreciate the Plan of Salvation. It wasn't a a sad experience which was really cool.  Afterwards we headed straight to Firenze to prepare for the baptism. On the train we got a call from President.  Sorella Jarvis is heading to Rimini tonight to be Sister Training Leader and my new companion is Sorella Russell who only has one transfer left. I will meet her tomorrow and I am super excited. This means I will most likely be in Montevarchi for two more transfers and I am so excited about that! 

As far as the baptism, a lot of things fell through last minute but it was a good experience for Jasmin, and that is all that is important. She really is one of the most elect young women I have ever met! President Dibb always says our little branch has the best young women. It is so true!

Well I am hoping this next week will be a little calmer, but either way I am excited for things coming up. This work is amazing!

Thanks for all the birthday wishes already!!! 

Vi voglio bene,

Sorella Dani Hamblin

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Rule 27: Sing Often!

MIRACLES: The same simp I wrote about last week, Meri, came to church this past Sunday!  She told us she wasn't going to make it but then she just showed up with her two year old daughter and her daughter Michel who got baptized last year! It was such a great day. In Gospel Principles we invited a member to the lesson. It was so great. Meri connected to her instantly and the spirit was so string during the lesson. I am hoping to have this member come to more lessons with Meri because they live near each other (which is another miracle). All-in-all we had 5 investigators at church. Our baptism commitment,Jasmin, brought 2 people with her. She is such a great example to everyone around her and I know her baptism is going to bring even more miracles!

We have definitely felt increased opposition with this upcoming baptism. We are praying members even show as it is going to be more than an hour away for most them. However, Jasmin is still super excited, and she just amazes me everyday.

Today we went to Cortona, an old city up in the mountains. It is beautiful! We missed the bus we were going to take back so we decided to walk around until the next one came. Well... it started pouring  and there was absolutely no place for cover. A man yelled at us to stand under his little restaurant to wait out the rain (We were trying to hide under a balcony... we were soaked). He went inside then came back and had brought us wine. He had already poured us 2 glasses before we could tell him we don't drink alcohol. He then said in English, "but you drink water?" He gave the wine to a nearby couple and then we had to run to catch the next bus. I don't know if he was going to bring us water but he was super nice! So it turns out that the bus to take us back looked nothing like the bus that took us there, so we missed it again. And it was still pouring. All of sudden this bus full of people in super fancy dresses shows up. A WEDDING! They let us stand in the bus until ours came. I think the only reason they let us in is because Sorella Jarvis and I were singing "Singing in the Rain". We were able to tell them about our missionary work. I should have told them about the Rome temple...

Yesterday there was an Europe Area Women's Conference. Anziano Bednar and Anziano Ballard spoke along with many other speakers. It was amazing! We had to go to Firenze to watch it so we had to leave before either of the apostles spoke but it still so great. It made us feel so connected to the church . Sometimes Italy feels so disconnected. They don't even have quads in Italian... haha -- ok little thing :)

This week I have studied charity a lot. It so important to remember that everyone around us is a Child of God. They may be hard to work with but charity isn't easily provoked and we have to be patient. God is patient with us and all the silly things we do. I am so thankful I have been able to see people in a new light here as a missionary. It is amazing to see people as our Father in Heaven sees them. Every soul is precious!

Vi voglio bene,

Sorella Dani Hamblin







The downpour in Cortona!

Cortona and the rain!

Soaking wet in Cortona!


Reading with our new convert!

Reading with our new convert!