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