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!