Saturday, January 17, 2015

Rule 121: Meditiation and Missionaries don't mix!

January 14, 2015

Okay well I never thought Rule 121 would ever be rule, but I learned my lesson this week. On the way to zone training last week we met a nice man on the train who asked if we taught English class in Bologna. We have been working so hard to build our English class!  We were so excited someone asked us about it. This man had actually met with missionaries back in Silicia. He is Buddhist so we had a good conversation talking about our religions. We invited him to come to English class a little bit early so we could teach him the Restoration beforehand. He said he would if he could teach us how to meditate. I thought meditation was just sitting and saying ummmmmmm for a long time... it's not. Well we invited the elders to come to the lesson but they couldn't make it, luckily a member was able to come. Well when he tried to explain how to do meditation to us my comp. and I quickly realized it was a bad idea. It involved shaking and dancing... it was pretty awkward explaining to him we couldn't do it. Maybe after the mission I'll look into it ;) He went back to Silicia this week and I hope the missionaries find him down there. 

We started teaching a homeless lady named Maria this week. She can barely understand Italian but we were still able to have a really good lesson. I am thankful for the Spirit that can overcome language barriers.

We have really been trying to talk with everyone we see. The other day we were on a really crowded bus after we were cancelled on... again. Sorella D'Ambrosio accidently bumped into someone. It turns out he was really nice and we easily were able to start a conversation with him. We ended up talking to him for 10 minutes but then he suddenly hopped off the bus. We were able to give him a pass-along card but weren't able to ask for his contact information. We both knew we had to get it. At the next stop we got off and ran back to the last stop. The stop felt like it was miles away, and I was holding a plate of brownies!  Amazingly,  he was still there! He probably thought we were pretty crazy, we even gave him a brownie, but he was really nice. We haven't heard from him since then, but we know we did what the Lord asked us to do that night. I am thankful we decided to get off the bus when we did. 
Everyone asks if I am warm enough. Amazingly this week has been beautiful, or maybe I am just getting used to it. But thick tights, scarves, and hot chocolate get me through the coldest days. I can't complain! Thank you for all the prayers! 

I got to eat some traditional Bolognian Tortellini this week! Yum :) Bologna is famous for its tortellini and Lasagna. I'm in a good place!

Lastly, today I finished the Book of Mormon for the first time on my mission. Today also marks my 8th month mark. Before the mission I would have thought I would have read the Book of Mormon through 8 times by now. And there are some missionaries that have. But I wouldn't have done it any other way. I know I read at the pace for a reason. God really does speak to us through the this Book. Every single day I read exactly what I needed to hear for that day. Every single day! Of course I didn't realize it every single day. But I'm learning. This Book is incredible. Please read it. Rely on it. It changes lives. It is changing mine. I am so blessed to get to testify of it every day. I love getting to carry it with me all the time (even if I do wish we could get the Italian version in paperback sometimes!). I remember my first day on the mission my dear trainer handed me the book and said you get to carry the spada (the sword). I haven't let go since! I love this book! It is true! It is so true!

Love you all, do good things this week, state mi bene!

Sorella Dani Hamblin

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Rule 111: Holidays never end...

January 7, 2015

Well I'm not really sure what to say about this week... It wasn't terribly eventful. However I think there were about 15 different holidays this past week. The bus schedule is different on holidays and we were never sure which schedule to follow because there were so many small holidays. 

It seems like Sorella D'Ambrosio and I are always baking something up, whether it be brownies for our ward pranzo or cookies for members and investigators. They just love American desserts. We have been really working on getting to know the members in this ward. Members really do make all the difference in missionary work. Not even with just referrals but also with any investigators you have found on your own efforts, if members will befriend them, the conversion process is so much easier! 

In Zone Training on Monday we found out that we get to watch Meet the Mormons at the next Zone Training. I'm excited, I've heard a lot of good things about it. 

On Sunday we taught the lesson in Gospel Principles. I really liked the lesson this week. It was simply: God, our Heavenly Father. It was so great to spend 45 minutes with our tiny class and just talk about our Padre Celeste and His love for us. How very true that He loves us so very much! HE LOVES US!  He always will. 

Our district leader said something on Monday that I really liked. He said that if you are ever feeling lost or alone or confused, spend some time talking to the One who knows all things. The One who will always listen. The One who will always respond! You are never alone. All that God does He does that we may return to Him. Every single thing that He does is to help His children. Remember how special you are to Him always. I think one of most said phrases in Italian is Dio ci ama (God loves us!). One of my favorite scriptures lately has been Luke 1:37.

Have a miracle-filled week!

Sorella Dani Hamblin

Zone Training

Just a little shopping at Luis Vuitton & Gucci...

and Burberry and Armani...

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Rule 112: Snow is one of Satan's tools!

December 31, 2014

I hope everyone had a great week! I know our Christmas was pretty special here. We got to eat a propio Italian meal with a sweet older couple in our ward, play a few games, and best of all: SKYPE home!! It was so nice. It was the first time to skype for both me and my companion and we were really worried we would get really homesick right after. However we were just fine. If anything it was really nice to see that our families are still just their normal wonderful selves and that they are still living their lives. I don't really know how to explain it, but somehow I think we are less homesick :) 

Anyways, this week has been rather uneventful. Our ward mission leader gave us a list of old investigators and less actives that he thought we could try to visit. We have gone through the whole list and have set up an appointment with almost every single person on the list. Most the people we had already tried but had had no luck. It is a blessing to know that our leaders really are inspired and are a huge help to missionary work. So out of the 7 appointments we had scheduled for Monday and Tuesday only 1 actually went through. But hey, that is just how it goes sometimes! My companion and I are working hard and the other missionaries and us are really trying to get the members excited about the work here. 

It snowed for the first time on Sunday and I can almost guarantee there were more members in church at the Montevarchi branch than our Bologna ward. It was pretty depressing to be in our big chapel with only 2 families and a handful of couples. I have decided I am adding snow to the long list of Satan's tools! Haha!  At least its pretty! 

One thing I have really thought about this week is happiness. It really is a choice. It is easy to be happy  when everything goes your way. But you grow so much more when you can be happy when things are hard. You feel stronger. I know God has a plan for every single person on this earth. Yes, even you. Even the creepy drunk people on the street. Even the crazy bus drivers who almost run over your companion. I know every single person is important to Him. I know it is important to help each other out  in any way we can, even if it just a smile. I hope you have have a great New Year's (Capodanno!).

Vi voglio tantissimo bene,

Sorella Dani Hamblin

Our improvised Christmas tree! 

I took this picture skyping with the family.
Derrek (Elder Hamblin)  is talking on the white phone Dad is holding.
(He didn't get to skype from his mission.)

Bologna has beautiful architecture!
(Yes, it's COLD!)


Playing air hockey at our Bishop's house with the Anziani.