29.12.14

Christmas in Foggia

What an exciting week! 

As this was my first Christmas away from home, I knew it would be different. What I did not know was how enjoyable and uplifting Christmas as a missionary is. At the beginning of the week at zone conference we reinacted the nativity!  It was especially exciting for me because it is a tradition I do with my family every Christmas back at home. The following day at English course as we taught the advanced class we were speaking about Christmas traditions. We shared with them the tradition of the nativity. We were able to talk about the birth of Christ and share scriptures with them. They were all excited and responded well to the message. We finished the lesson by showing "He is the Gift". The Spirit was strong and beautiful! 
For Christmas eve and day we were able to spend time with a family in our ward. They have quite an interesting make-up. There are 2 full time members, 2 less actives, and 2 non-members. During our meals with them we were able to have very meaningful gospel conversations and lessons. I feel like because it was Christmas their hearts were softened to the gospel. It was wonderful to share the season with them and plan to work with them in the future.
Of course it was exciting to skype with my family and hear from them. Such a blessing and wonderful way to spend Christmas. 

 So now I need to share the classic missionary moment I had. I want to tell you all a story of the BEST (or maybe worst)meal appointment!! So our friend, Costance,is from Nigeria and she invited us over for dinner to try some of her traditional food. She fed us a traditional African dish called FUFU and soup... or fufu for short... let me explain...

first off... there is a large ball of flour and water that forms a play dough type of texture and taste
you use your hands and dip the "dough"  into soup.. (please notice that the entire meal is eaten with your hands!!! EW)
then there is the soup... this soup was probably the nastiest thing I have ever consumed! It was super spicy and was the consistency of boogers!!! Inside was chicken on the bone that you had to pick off, liver, whole fishes, and what I think was heart and some type of cartilage. IT WAS SO WRONG!! As we were eating it, I was like... this is not that bad but then the experience just got worse and worse. The bowl was soooo big that after spending about 30 minutes swallowing each hand full and looking at the bowl and still having so much left it seriously felt like a challenge on the tv show Survivor. The cartilage pieces were so big that we had to rip them with our teeth and then swallow them whole!! Then came the fish... I literally saw eyes and the full skeleton of the fish going into my mouth. At one point Costance left the room and Sorella Price and I just looked at each other and she said..."I can not eat anymore, I am going to throw up"... mentally I was doing fine up until this point and then I LITERALLY threw up right there...BUT like a champ I RESWALLOWED the food back down my throat. I could literally feel bones in my throat coming back up! Shortly after we finally were able to leave and I went in a back alleyway and threw up again! I can testify to you that the only way that we both survived that meal appointment was by divine help from above! I am not even kidding! blessed! hahaha!!



This Christmas I recognized the biggest gifts in my life. Family, friends, and the gospel. All of these gifts are given to all of us because of Christ! I am so happy and thankful to be a missionary and teach and share these gifts with others! What a wonderful opportunity! 



 I love you all and have a happy New Year!! On New Years Day we get to deep clean our apartment! Super exciting!!  

16.12.14

M~M~M: Musical Magical Moment!

Hello All!

It's officially Christmas time here in Italy! It is... do I dare say.. magical!! There are Christmas lights everywhere! Over all of the streets there are just stands and strands of lights. On the main streets downtown they close the streets to cars and set up these little booths full of candy and roasted nuts! It's awesome! 

The other night we were walking home from an appointment and we saw a crowd of people standing around a large projector screen. We were curious of why and we learned that here in Foggia there is an old theater. Kinda what you would imagine any old ballet or opera house in Europe. But, it has been closed for like 10 years because of lack of funds, strikes, etc.. (classic Italy) Anyways that night, when we were walking down the street, the theater REOPENED! There was a big reopening concert! It was a symphony by Schubert conducted by one of the most famous conductors in all of Italy! (let me tell you..this is a really big deal esp because it is in Foggia) On the projector screen they were doing a live broadcast of inside the concert hall! Of course my companion and I had to stay and watch it! As we watched the musicians and heard the beautiful music through load speakers all throughout the little streets of Italy, it was an overwhelming experience! I just kept thinking, this is amazing! I am in ITALY right now! I am listening to some of the most beautiful works of art, in Italy! I am not just hear as a random tourist, I am here representing the Lord! I am living here, I speak Italian(not perfect by any means but I do) what an amazing experience! As I stood there I had tears in my eyes, because I was so overwhelmed by the amazing beauty I was surrounded by!  I wish I had more time to describe in detail every element of how surreal the night was! It was simply spectacular! 

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful Christmas season! Everyone go get a Chick-fil-A Peppermint Chocolate chip milkshake for me! lots of kisses and hugs! xoxo


Sorella Fuller

8.12.14

It's Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas in Foggia!

Hello Family and Friends!!! 

The Christmas season is upon us! So exciting! Today in Italy it is a holiday.. "Holy Virgin day" or something like that! Everything is closed, so our pday(day off) is not as exciting. It is also raining/SNOWING right now so it really is finally starting to feel like winter and Christmas! For the last 6 weeks they have been stringing Christmas lights throughout all of the downtown of Foggia! I think they turn them on tonight so that will be very exciting! 

This last week was transfer calls (when we find out if we will stay in our area or go somewhere new) and everyone(us 6) in our district is staying in Foggia for another 6  weeks!! Thank goodness! We were all super excited because it would not be fun to leave right before the holidays! 

This week there were so many miracles! First off.. we found two new investigators! An old lady and her 40 year old son. The son got in a major car accident a while ago and has some brain damage. We found her wondering around the street and she told us she was really lonely! We went to visit her and said well… "We are going to teach her about the church...if she doesn't like it..well then, oh well!" She seemed to like it and invited us back over. We don't really know how much potential there is...and we don't really know if her son understands what we are talking about.. but it is good to teach some new people!  

Also we have our less active friend Costance. (she is the one who was/still could be a prostitute) We had a break through lesson with her. We were talking about going to the temple.(Temples are places of worship that require a high standard of worthiness to enter) You have to have a interview with your Bishop to obtain a recommend (basically they want to make sure you are living all the commandments) We were talking to her about going to get a temple recommend.. then she would HAVE to repent and stop being a prostitute. She told us that she wanted to.. that she had tried but was offended that she wasn't allowed to have one. So she stopped going  to church... she was upset.. and we were the first set of missionaries/church members to reach out to her in a while. I felt sooo bad!! I couldn't believe how NO ONE EVER REACHED OUT TO HER!! Even though she definitely needs some major help, and needs to change her lifestyle.. you would think that SOMEONE would reach out! This went on for about a YEAR! FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR NOT ONE PERSON CONTACTED HER!! WOW! We told her that we would be with her the entire time on Sunday if she came to church! She said "ok i will come."

So on Sunday COSTANCE CAME TO CHURCH!!!!! It was such a happy feeling!! But even better was that SHE BROUGHT WITH HER NOT ONE BUT TWO FRIENDS!! Her friends are students at the university and they loved church! So now we have two MORE potential investigators! IT'S A MIRACLE!! Do I dare say it's a CHRISTMAS MIRACLE?! 

Sorry for all the CAPS! Missionary work can just be so exciting! 

Also the new video "He is the Gift" or "Egli รจ il Dono" came out this week!! I think I can say that I was one of the first people to ever see that video. I saw the rough cut in the MTC! It's so good! Everyone go and watch it right now on mormon.org or youtube! It is only 3 minutes and it will be the best 3 minutes you spend this day! If you haven't seen it go watch it NOW and if you have seen it go watch it again NOW! It's so great! So much love!  
I love you all and have a wonderful week! xoxoxo 


Sorella Karin 

1.12.14

Short but very Sweet!

Hello family and friends!

What a wonderful week!! Last night when we reported our numbers it didn't look like we had a wonderful week but we did!! 

We have been spending some time with a 14 year old girl named Patricia. She and her sister were baptized last march. Her sister is SOLID in the church... like finished her personal progress in two months after baptism… I'm like that took me 6 years! But Patricia struggles. We knew she was having a hard time but we didn't know why...but every time we would visit she would act like a total punk to her mom and she wouldn't go to church. We felt like we should befriend her and gain her trust. This week we had a breakthrough!! She totally confided in us her struggles and questions with.... boys,the Word of Wisdom, church, God, everything! Sorella Price and I really both feel like we can help her. She already says that she feels a difference when we come over to her house. Also a plus is that her mom is not baptized (her dad is not in the picture anymore) so when we go see her mom also listens to the lessons. I really see some good potential in that home!! 

Also this week we challenged Costance, (our less active, maybe prostitute) to invite a non member friend to a lesson. We didn't really think that she would actually follow up on the commitment but she did!! Costance is from Nigeria and brought one of her friends from her original tribe in Nigeria to the lesson. Let's just say that her friend was REALLY receptive. Boarder line hilarious on how receptive she was. We taught the restoration and she was like 'yes, I know that boy had a vision... I know it!' We were like yes.. he did! It was SOOO different than any other lesson ever!!! We will see how that goes.. I will keep you updated!! This is how imagine South America....no words

This last week for P day my comp and I wanted to go to Eataly! It is an amazing Italian specialty food store. There is one in NYC that I have been to but we really wanted to go to the one here in the Puglia area! So we took an hour and a half train to Bari. We then got off the train and we realized that neither of us knew how to get there! Ooops! I remembered that there was a billboard sign for Eataly that said 4 minutes and a giant arrow. We decided to follow that. My comp had absolutely no idea what was going on so I just kinda took the lead and pretended like I knew what I was doing. We ended up walking for two hours in the middle of nowhere following random billboards that totally were miss leading!The entire time the only people were old men drinking and playing cards and some gypsies! Kinda sketch! We were like WHERE IS THIS PLACE!! We finally found it and it was such a beautiful sight!! I walked in and it felt like entering the Celestial kingdom!! I think I shed a tear!! I got a giant gelato because I was starving and dehydrated! Looking back the story cracks us up but during the moment it was not funny!! 


Love you all!! xo

Sorella Karin Fuller

(some of the guests/friends at our English class)

25.11.14

A PIZZA MIRACLE!

Hello everyone!!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday week! Have such a HAPPY THANKSGIVING! We are super lucky here in Foggia because we are missionaries!! So amazing! Also... the American family in our ward is cooking us Thanksgiving dinner so we are super excited! I love Thanksgiving so much.

I am having a hard time remembering exactly everything that happened this week! It is all going into a blur! haha! We are still working with our investigator Jake. He loves the church, the Book of Mormon, everything! but....... this week got awkward when he started to confide in us his struggles with the Law of Chastity and all of his current relationships. Long story short he still has a while to go until he can get baptized and the Elders sometimes help us teach him because it can be so uncomfortable! My companion said that never in her mission has teaching the law of chastity been so difficult! So I guess I am getting the super uncomfortable lessons over with now and so I don't think it could get much worse! hahaha! Just pray that Jake can live the law of chastity so he can get baptized! 
This week we also started to teach a the mother of two young woman in the ward. Her name is Alessandra and she has been taught all the lessons before but has never been baptized. All her kids are baptized, she is now single, and her youngest son has been in the hospital for a month now because he can't eat! We have been making friends with her two daughters and as a result she wants to talk to us!!! Super exciting potential!! 

Ok so funny story.....
This week we were at a less-active members home for dinner. Her daughter is not a member so we are trying to teach her while reactivating her mom. They invited us over to have pizza. I thought to myself... this is a pretty safe bet... some Italian pizza made my Italians in Italy? Sounds AMAZING right?!?!?! Ok um...no HAHAHAHA!! When you go to someones house for dinner they start cooking the dinner once you get there! So they were making the pizza and meanwhile they are SMOKING the entire time! Everyone in Italy smokes but I am still getting use to the smell. While she is cooking and kneading the pizza dough I just see cigarette smoke everywhere and I am about to get sick because the smell is so strong! Then their dogs come in and literally throw up on the table where they are making the pizza! The combination of dog barf and cigarette smoke was just INSANE! I was just thinking.. how will I eat this... smoke/vomit infused pizza?! MIRACLE OF THE WEEK was that I said a prayer that I would not be able to smell anything for the rest of the appointment and I kid you not my nose stopped working! For the next hour I couldn't smell the smoke or the dogs or the pizza or anything! I was totally able to eat the food and all was well! As soon as we left the apartment and went in the elevator I could smell cigarette smoke again! Call it what you will but it was a PIZZA MIRACLE! 

Time is short and I gotta run! 
I love you all, and Happy Thanksgiving!

 xoxoxoxo

Sorella Fuller

17.11.14

Foggia week 3

Hello Family and Friends!!

Thank you to all who have written me!! I absolutely love getting emails!!  Everyone sounds so great! 

This has been such an awesome week! It first started off when we went to "Padre Pio Land". It's actually a church 100% dedicated to the Catholic Saint Padre Pio. It is in a little mountain town called San Giovanni Rotondo. About 7 million people come to this shrine every year to pay homage to Padre Pio who died about 40 years ago. My entire district went (6 of us) and it was quite the sight to see six Mormon missionaries in the church. It is always interesting to learn about other religions. From what I know.. The Catholics  worship Padre Pio because they believe that he performed 1/3 of the Atonement. (the other 1/3 by Mary and the other by Christ). The entire inside is completely made of gold and mosaics of Padre Pio on the cross with Christ. Padre Pios actually bones/body are also on display there. There were people praying and crying to the bones/body of Padre Pio. It was very interesting. Because we do not believe in Saints and we believe that Christ performed the Atonement by himself for us.... it felt apostate and kinda creepy.  It didn't seem sacred...... just creepy. It was an interesting learning experience! 
The church of Padre Pio

So the big miracle of this week started with what did NOT seem like a miracle. 

Late on Monday night we got a phone call from our zone leaders. They continued to inform us that as a zone they set a new goal. We needed to have 10 meaningful gospel conversations--with a commitment-- EVERY DAY! I don't know what it is like for missionaries in other parts of the world but here in Italy that is very difficult. Most of the time our conversations are explaining that we are not nuns and people just want to know about America and come to our English class. So we were really stressed out about this goal. The next morning we were struggling. We were waiting for a bus and it was an hour and a half late. We were trying to talk to some people but everyone out in the morning is like 99 years old. We finally got on the bus and taught a lesson and then returned on a different bus. We got off the bus at a different place than usual but it was a miracle! Because.. as we were turning the corner a random girl (about 30 years old) stopped us. She said "sisters sisters... basta(stop)." We were like... what is going on? She introduced herself. Her name is Angela and she is a member. BUT she hasn't come to church in over a year because she lives in a town about 2 hours from the closest ward building. She doesn't have a car and the bus doesn't come on Sundays to her town. She asked if we could meet with her. We were like "OF COURSE!!" When does anyone ASK US to meet with them?! So on Saturday we took the longest bus ride up into the mountains to find Angela. (bonus of the trip... the radio on the bus played Shake it off by Taylor Swift and we had a mini dance party!) Anyways when we got there we found her and had the most amazing time. She is an opera singer, and she is living in this town because there is some prodigy teacher who lives there. She is been to the temple, and loves the gospel but she has been struggling lately because she has been alone and hasn't gone to church in over a year. 

Earlier that morning-during my morning personal study- I felt like I should study the Atonement and the comfort that is given to us because God is always with us. I read the talk "None were with Him" by Elder Holland. I had no idea why I studied that but I did. 

While we were with Angela I shared with her the message of the talk and the blessing that God is always looking out for us. It went soooo well!! I can already tell we will be great friends! Later that night before we went to bed she called us! She said 
"I just wanted to call and tell you how much I appreciated you coming today! I felt the spirit of the Holy Ghost for the first time in a while. I have been thinking about the message you shared Sorella Fuller and it was exactly what I needed to hear!" 


When she said that on the phone it was like God calling us and thanking us for our work. I felt like i actually made a little difference in the world. Our purpose as missionaries is to bring others unto Christ. Many times people think it is all about baptisms. But I know that you can bring others unto Christ IN SO MANY DIFFERENT WAYS!! It was like a little "Its a Wonderful Life" moment! 

Time is so short, so I send mi amore to you all. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about love! So xoxox to you all!

LOVE,
Sorella Karin


 This is Manfredonia where we visited the promising opera singer.
This is the Matilda, the cutest little bambina from the ward

12.11.14

Week 2 in Foggia. I've learned so much already!

Wow this week has been so crazy! Italy is the most amazing but strangest place in the world! I have started a little journal with just crazy experiences that would only happen in Italy! It is already getting really full! I love it! I could go on and on with the ups and downs, the miracles, and the craziness of this week but I will try to keep it short!

First off we started teaching a less active this week. Her name is Constance, she is from Africa, and speaks English. Randomly she came to church but she did not take the sacrament. We then felt prompted to give her a call and just see if she wanted to chat and see how she was doing. We set an appointment but we did not know exactly how to prepare. We thought that faith would be a good lesson and remembering that God loves her. When we were teaching her the lesson went in a totally different direction. She asked us all about repentance and we turned it into the Atonement. We were totally teaching on the spot but it was so inspired. Random scriptures would just come to me and it was exactly what she needed to hear. We talked to her for a long time and she admitted that she was some type of under the table prostitute. It was so sad. I was just torn up inside. She was so desperate. She knows she needs to repent and she was crying the entire lesson. Just the spirit hit her so hard. It was amazing to be a part of. We are going to continue working with her. If anything I learned how the Atonement really can work for everyone! It is such a miracle!

We are also teaching a man named Jake. Last week I told you all that we taught him the Restoration and gave him a Book of Mormon. In our lesson this week he first told us that he has only read the introduction of the Book of Mormon and he knows it is true. I invited him to be baptized and he said yes. So amazing! A total miracle! My trainer, said that was not common and to relish in the miracle! He has a baptism date on Dec 6th. BUT...... he is not married to his girlfriend! We told him this and he said that he wants to get married so that he can get baptized! So miracles will need to happen to make it work but I have faith! President Waddoups told us that when we do not set dates it is showing a lack of faith! So we prayed and December 6 seemed right. The rest of this transfer will be crazy but I am beyond excited! 

So many miracles so many blessings! 

At times things are extremely frustrating, like when we have been walking around Foggia all day and all night and no one will talk to us. Or when I am trying to talk to members in the ward and they all laugh at my Italian. It is easy to get down. But I always remember the little tender mercies! I find more joy then ever before!

Today we are going to "Padre Pio land" A golden church dedicated to Padre Pio. It shoud be interesting! I will send pics later!


I love you all! I love hearing about life in the US of A! 

xoxo 
Sorella Fuller 

4.11.14

I'm in ITALY!

Ciao from Italy!

Anyways, my life right now has completely changed and been turned upside down! It's awesome but so different. Where to even start......

Ok first off, our flight to Rome was probably the most fun flight I have ever been on. Our MTC group of missionaries were so close so we just had a blast the entire time. Some were determined to hand out a million Book of Mormons. I was nervous to do so and said if the opportunity came I would.  While I was in the London airport I had that opportunity. I was waiting in customs and a 17 year old girl was standing right behind me. She was Romanian and was returning home from a study abroad in America. We were chatting and long story short she was super fascinated by all of  us missionaries. We talked about prophets and she asked me "do  you have prophets?" I said…"Yes! we are the only church that has modern day prophets and apostles on Earth!" I then told her about the first modern day prophet Joseph Smith. She was interested but said, "How do you have proof?" at the exact moment I just whipped out a Book of Mormon and said, "This is the proof!" She got excited and I told her my testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. Then she had to leave to catch her next flight. I will probably never see that girl again. But that is ok... it is just exciting that a little piece of truth is out there in the world.

When we finally arrived in Italy the first miracle of the mission happened. NO ONE LOST ANY LUGGAGE! Seriously! Mini miracle. Anyway, when we all walked out of the airport and saw our mission president it was so exciting and extremely comforting. From the airport we drove to the LDS Temple construction in Rome. It is HUGE! The temple square is bigger than Salt Lake City's temple square. We then drove to the mission home, the Villa. It is the largest mission home in the world apparently. It was built long ago by Mossolini for his daughter. It can sleep over 40 people!  At the Villa we met Sorella Waddoups (mission president's wife) --she is such a doll and so sweet! Love her! We had a big Italian dinner, well I guess it's just 'dinner' here and then…it is such a blurr in my mind but the big news was finding out where our first area is! There is a tradition in the mission that everyone opens up a little golden envelopes with the area inside, everyone is drum rolling and it is super exciting! So......

I am in Foggia! I literally had never even heard of Foggia in my life?!!? So random! None of the AP's or anyone had a lot to say about it except there is  a great ward. I was like ok sweet! The next day we woke up super early and I took a train to Napoli and then a bus to Foggia. On the train it was super strange because the tickets were organized in a weird way. Long story short I was put in a little, Harry Potter-like train compartment/room, with an elder. He was the former AP and he was leaving the Villa to go to his last city before he finished his mission. Literally we were all alone in there. He was like this is the first time I am been alone with a girl in 2 years! It literally felt like I was on a date! So hilarious/awkward all at the same time. HAHAHA! Anyways once we arrived in Napoli I got off the train and I met my new companion! Her name is Sorella Price, she is from Springville UT, she has been here for over a year. So far so good. No complaints! She is super cute but kinda shy in some ways. For example, she doesn't like street contacting all that much but I can't speak language so we are working on using each others talents/we are forcing each other to street contact even though it is uncomfortable for us. Anyways, right before we left on our train to Foggia Sorella Bray and I ate a Napoli Pizza..... most amazing thing (I am ruined now) and then I had so say goodbye to Sorella Bray. So hard! We were just giving each other the biggest hugs! I am sure people thought we were so strange but I love that girl.
         (Arriving in Naples with Sister Bray and having our first pizza and saying goodbye)

On the bus the closer we got to Foggia the odder the scenery became. It was more rugged-ghetto. So I asked my new companion Sorella Price what Foggia was like. She continued to explain to me that it is kinda the "armpit" of the mission. "It is like the ghetto of South America with the stubbornness of Europe" great...… Ha! Bring it.

So now that I have been living here in Foggia for a week I have been trying to describe it. Yes it is a little sketch. Maybe even a lot sketch. Think of what you would think Italy would be like.... The Amalfi coast, Florence, Rome... now think of the exact opposite. That is Foggia (the entire Bari Zone is like that)--now that sounds extreme. There are definitely some really cool old buildings but most of it is really run down apartment complexes. Not exactly charming. Napoli is considered more charming than Foggia. BUT I love it here! We have one really strong investigator, we have lots of potentials, and so we have some exciting work going! Our ward building is really big and nice! In lots of areas in Italy member numbers are so small that church is held in the missionary apartments. So it is big deal we have a ward building! Also a huge tender mercy is this amazing,cute,new American family just moved into our ward. It is super random that they live in Foggia (IDK why you would choose to just live in Foggia) All the people and missionaries are shocked! They are so nice and have the cutest little girls and they speak English!!!  Last night the mom drove all the way from their home in the country to our sketch neighborhood to give me a "Welcome to Italy card" and some pumpkin chocolate chip bread. Literally the sweetest thing ever!! 

Missionary work is coming along! We taught a lesson about the restoration of the Gospel to an African man named Jake. I was able to contribute and say a little here and there, including the first vision! He speaks French so we gave him a French Book of Mormon and I was able to read him part of the introduction in French. It was awesome! He was excited to get the Book of Mormon and seemed to like what we were saying. We teach him again tomorrow so hopefully all goes well. We are going to invite him to get baptised! On Sunday I gave my testimony in Italian at church. It actually went a lot better than I thought it would! Everyone said it was great.. they might have just been nice but I am sure it went pretty well! There are two other greenies in our district here in Foggia. Anziano Anderson and Anziano Hanely. They were in my district in the MTC. So it is fun to be together again in Foggia. One of the Elders has really struggled with Italian... since day one in the MTC. He gave the  most simple testimony but it was amazing. Seriously I was so impressed! Little miracles everyday!! 


Yesterday was zone conference and we traveled to Bari. It was great to meet some other missionaries and see President Waddoups again. Last night when we got back to Foggia our district... 2 elder companionships and me and my comp... went and got pizza. We were sitting outside, just eating pizza, and some Coke light and I was just thinking, "this is the most surreal experience of my life." I am just sitting in some random/kinda sketchy Italian city eating pizza. I am the only blond for miles around and I get so many weird looks, I barely say a word of Italian/half the time I have no idea what is going on?! I guess you could say I am totally out of my comfort zone but
somehow... in the strangest way possible... being here in "freaking Foggia" it feels right. I always feel safe,and protected. I am really happy and I just tell myself every morning when I wake up and say... WHAT AN ADVENTURE! It's amazing!!! 

Amore,
Sorella Fuller




 President and Sorella Waddoups

This is called "Three Arches" in Foggia. It is the coolest thing to see in Foggia…in fact it is the only thing on the tourist guide--literally looking at the arches! HAHA!

22.10.14

Last week in MTC

Last Week in the MTC!

WOW, I can't believe that this is my last email from the MTC. On Tuesday I will leave for Italy. It doesn't seem real. I feel like I have been born in the MTC and I feel like I will be here forever. This week has been really bitter sweet because I am excited to go to Italy but I am also sad to leave my new friends I have met here and I am also terrified to leave the good ol' US of A. I know I will love it but it will take some adjusting. I was so nervous before I came to the MTC and now I don't want to leave. I can only imagine how hard it will be to leave Italy in 17 months. The Italian is coming. I have probably said this a million times but I probably don't even realize how far I have come. I know more Italian now, after 6 weeks, then I ever learned in the 6 years of jr. high and high school french classes. I can carry on simple conversations, understand for the most part (what the teachers say to me), say prayers, teach gospel related lessons. It is challenging... my teachers told us that in about 6 months we should be fluent. So by my birthday next April I should be good! ;)

Ok so I have to tell you a funny story......

Every six weeks a new group of Italian missionaries come and go from the Missionary Training Center. Around last March a group of Sister missionaries found a old, gigham, NEON green button up shirt in a give away box. They started a tradition that every Italian sister missionary has to wear the shirt one day before they leave the MTC. 

Let me tell you... this shirt is so ugly. At first sight it doesn't seem bad but it really does look like an alien/cowgirl decided to go on a picnic. It's bad. Of course it is hilarious. One sister, who is like 5 feet tall made it into a skirt.....


It is really funny and she worked it! 


Another difficult problem with this shirt is that we can only do laundry once a week on Wednesday! SO....... lets just say that it doesn't smell the best after week. 

Yesterday was my day to wear the shirt. I actually was kinda excited because it was all part of the MTC experience. I thought it would be hilarious... and let me tell you it was! 

First off... I wore it on Tuesday. This was problematic because  Wednesday is laundry day and so when I wore it 6 girls had already worn it. It literally smelled like rotting subway stations mixed with Fabreze. I was gagging all day. Nevertheless, I was determined to rock the look. 

Besides the smell, it wasn't that bad. Until devotional time.....

 Every Tuesday night we have devotional where a Church general authority/leader comes and speaks to us. The Missionary choir also sings at the devotional. They broadcast the devotional on large screens in the auditorium AND to like 20 other MTC's around the world. 

So my companion is an amazing singer. (#classic mormon girl probs) I am a terrible singer/border line if I auditioned on American Idol someone would make a remix of my voice and it would be a total joke on Youtube. Anyways I always go to choir because I know my companion loves it. In weeks past when we perform it is a pretty easy song/arrangement. I can fake it (not really ever making it) but I make it work. THIS WEEK was the most difficult/advanced song arrangement I HAVE EVER HEARD! The entire time I am mouthing the words to the song. I can't even catch a bit of the tune. It's hilarious. During rehearsal I try to convince my companion that we should just leave and not sing.. but... long story short I did not win that debate. 

So it's time for the devotional. We take our seats in the choir. I am seated in the EXACT center of the choir. I am like oh great (typically I hide in the back to avoid the cameras that scan the entire choir that broadcast the performance to the entire MTC and the WORLD)  I might be on the camera.... I have no idea how to sing this song AND I AM WEARING THE PICNIC SHIRT!!!! I am so nervous. We start to sing the song and automatically I look at the huge screens all around the room. The green shirt might as well have been neon green lights! It was radiating! Then... I kid you not... The camera does a close up RIGHT ON MY FACE! I am not even singing.. I am mouthing every word and in the Italian picnic shirt that smells like a car full of post-workout teenage boys. I totally started to crack a smile and my entire zone just started to bust up laughing. It was just classic. 

To top it all off... the speaker at the devotional was Elder Godoy. He spoke at general conference in his native language of Portuguese. This is important because his SON is in my zone! So right after the devotional our entire zone met him, have a devotional review(discussion) with him and the ENTIRE MTC Presidency. At the end of the night everyone congratulated me on making the shirt famous. Haha! Good times, good memories! 

I love you all! I just finished reading the Book of Mormon again. My goal was to finish it before leaving the MTC! I did just in the nick of time. I honestly encourage everyone to read it and pray to our Father in Heaven if it is true. At least read the last chapter in the Book of Mormon. It is so powerful! XOXO! Next time I write I will be in ITALY! AHHHHHH!!!


Sorella Fuller

21.10.14



Week 4 Missionary Training Center

Hello family and friends!


THANK YOU 
 First off I want to give another big thank you to all those who sent me packages, letters and emails this week! It was great to hear from all of you! Thank you Alyson Freedman for sending me the dress! When I opened the package I was just overcome with appreciation! You are too kind! Also thank you Dad for the brownies overnighted from Brooklyn. When I signed for the package I was thinking what could have been sent to me from Brooklyn? I got a good laugh and my hipster friends were VERY appreciative. They were like "you have the coolest dad!" I just responded..... I know! Also we thought they were laced with pot because the bakery was called "Baked" and it was in Brooklyn but obviously not! HAHA

Daily life
 Hopefully you don't get too bored from all my Missionary Trainng center emails. I feel like they could get pretty repetitive. Every day is exactly the same but with different emotions. It's funny becuase you do the same thing every day but there are days that are the best ever and some that are more difficult. 
I want to describe one really good day to you all. It started when I woke up at 6:30 and did some daily study of the Book of Mormon in the book of 3rd Nephi Chapter 11. In this chapter it explains the accounts of Christ (after he was resurrected) visit to the people of the Book of Mormon in the Americas. It is probably the best chapter because it gives so much hope for the 2nd coming. Then I ran 5 miles on the MTC running track. It felt great to physically push my body again. Then we had to teach in "TRC". TRC is when we teach church members who speak italian (mostly volunteer return missionaries). We simply give them an uplifting messages and challenge them to a simple task like... reading the scriptures more, pray as a family, or give more charity to others. We do it once a week every Thursday. This week we taught a family in TRC! It was a mom and a dad with two little girls. They were ages 2 and 4! It was crazy! They were screaming and I had to think of what to say (in Italian) and have it be a meaningful experience for everyone! It was going crazy until Sorella Bray and I started to tell them our testimonies of the trueness of the gospel. All of a sudden the room was silent and the warmest feeling of the Holy Spirit came into the room. Everyone was happy and love overflowed! It felt so great! I can't even imagine how that would feel in Italy with actual investigator families! 
After TRC we went to language class! I just love my language teachers! They are super patient and funny! We crack jokes with them all the time and it really lightens the mood! Sorella Bray and I have made a ponit to be friends with our teachers because they are both like 22 years old and students at BYU. They are also our "fake investigators". So we practice teaching them all the time. The funny thing is that when we teach them they are in "character". They are not allowed to ever break character or use english. We have started to try to do everything we can to try to get them to break character. Sorella Bray and I have found the best way to do this is to get them to laugh. On this day we had the best success yet.... let me explain....

So one day we were playing a chuch history trivia game in our free time between lunch and language class. One of the questions was "what was the name of Joseph Smith's first born child?" Everyone in the class revealed the right name which was "Alvin Smith" BUT our teacher Brother Gessel said the name DON JUAN! We were like..... what are you talking about?!?!? It sounded so funny but I guess one of Joseph Smith's still born babies was named Don Juan. The name literally sounds like the next contestant on the Bachelor! HAHA! We were dying of laughter. 

So flashforward to this lesson we taught. We were done with teacher our investigator/teacher (Brother Gessel) about the power of prayer and attending church. We committed him to come to church-- he said yes. He asked if he could get a ride. I followed up by saying "Of course! Another member named DON JUAN will come pick you up." I had a totally strait face and he just busted up laughing! It was so funny! Maybe you had to be there but as a misisonary any opportunity for some humor is THE BEST! 

At the end of the day we had a devotional. The speakers name was Drubray (can't remember his first name) Anyway he is the head of all media for the church. Advertisements, Mormon message videos, "I'm a Mormon", social media.. you name it... he is in charge of it! He talked all about spreading the goodness and happy message of the gospel on social media. He also told us that the Easter video titled "Because of Him" that was released last April was veiwed by millions of people including people on mainland China! The gospel is truly spreading over the entire WORLD! He shared with us some BIG surprises the Church media department has in store for the Holiday/Christmas season. I am sworn to secrecy however I will say that on December 7th go onto the Youtube home page. Also NYC you have some big surprises coming your way!

He also talked about some experiences he had on his mission in New Hampshire. He said two main tidbits of wisdom that really resinated with me in regards to missionary work. I also think that it can apply to everyone! 

1) Do the very best you can... God will take care of the rest. YOUR best may be different than any other missionary (or person). Simply strive to follow the Spirit of God.
2) THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU! As a missionary (esp. in the MTC) it is easy to think..."I can't learn the language, I am homesick, I don't like my companion, I can't do this. etc" But once you realize that EVERYTHING we do as a missionary and in life should be to glory God and thank him for all of our blessings... everything will be worthwhile!

I hope all is well! I miss everyone but I know that serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is exactlly what my purpose is right now! 

Also I leave in TWO weeks! AHH! This Friday I find out my flight plans/if I got my visa!

xoxo Ciao Sorella Fuller
 This is Sister Dew. She was Eponine in Les Mis on Broadway! She is the best! I hope          we can be companions in Italy!

This is Sister Pavich who I randomly met in the SLC temple the day before I entered the MTC. She is amazing! Below is my companion Sister Bray! We had just taught an awesome lesson so we were really happy!

10.10.14

Ciao family and friends! 

Today I am officially half way done with my time in the Missionary Training center! I can't believe it! Days can seem so long but weeks go by in a second. I feel like I just got here! Wow! 

So this weekend was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints semi-annual General Conference. All of the modern day Apostles of the Lord and modern day Prophet speak to all the members of the church (and anyone else who wants to listen) about the beautiful messages and doctrine this church teaches. It is very uplifting and probably one of my favorite weekends of the year. It is broad casted on TV, the Internet, and radio to hundreds of countries around the world and translated in hundreds of different languages. You can watch reruns/clips of general conference on lds.org

Anyways I wanted to share with you some of my favorite uplifting messages that were shared this weekend! I really enjoyed listening to Jeffery R. Hollands talk regarding charity and service. We are taught that "charity is the pure love of Christ." This is so true. I really liked how he emphasized that we all need to be better in regards to giving and helping others. However, he was extremely BOLD in saying that he does NOT believe in handouts, he is not trying to push the panhandling business. We must do all that we can before we beg for charity. Obviously this can sound very controversial however the bottom line is... however you see fit.... we must join Christ and lift up the poor. We must count our blessings and remember "what would Christ do?" I have to remind myself of this everyday. How can I simply serve others in big and small ways? And sometimes even more importantly how can I have a good attitude/Christ like attitude while doing it? Twice a week we have "service project assignments." They might as well be called "weekly chores." We go and clean all the bathrooms in the MTC. It starts at 6:15 am and goes for an hour and a half. I have to say that it can be really hard to have a good attitude while do the projects. I am really tired and the last thing I want to do is pull long, hair out of the shower drain. However, I have to just think "what would Christ do in this situation?" He would find it a privilege to serve his fellow men. I challenge you all to do one act of selfless service this week (can be big or small) with a positive attitude! Hopefully we can turn more outward and not stay so inward. 

On Sunday nights we always have a live devotional here in the MTC. This Sunday night the speaker was a former BYU all stars football player, former Green bay Packers player, former Philly Eagles player, and most importantly a returned missionary! His name is Vai (I can't remember his last name b/c he has a long Polynesian last name) He now lives in Philly and works for NBC sports as an anchor. Before the devotional started I assumed it was going to be all about his life as a Mormon Pro athlete. However I could not be more wrong. He told countless stories about how for the last 20 years after his "official" missionary service he has tried to be an everyday missionary. Him and his family invite people over every week to have dinner with their family and the local missionaries. He told this story about how like 8 years ago he was getting on an airplane from philly to SLC and on his same aisle was an 9 year old boy who was wearing a BYU t-shirt. He was traveling by himself and was obviously Mormon. Then a moment later a lady came and sat in the middle seat between them. During the flight the lady started to read the bible. So Vai took it as an opportunity to talk to her about religion. She said that her boyfriend was a devout Catholic...she was not...so she wanted to read some of the Bible before they got more serious. She said that she liked the Bible however, she didn't like how "evil" Adam and Eve seemed. Vai continued to tell her that in his faith... Mormonism..... we do not believe that Adam and Eve were evil... in fact the Fall of Adam was necessary and extremely sacred and important for all of mankind. The lady did not believe that a Christian faith could teach that. She asked if that was Vai's personal opinion. He responded and said... "no that is a widely accepted truth we belive." He said "in fact-- even children know this truth." She didn't believe him. So he turned to the BYU t-shirt boy (who had been completely silent the entire time) and said to him "can you tell this lady what we believe in regards to the Fall?" This boy just continued to say the 2nd article of faith. "We believe that men are punished for their own sins and not for Adams transgressions." Vai said that he was SO excited inside! The woman was greatly impressed and took a Book of Mormon. Vai said she never got baptized however............. to this day Vai and that little boy have been in contact. That little boy is now a missionary in Eastern Europe and told Vai that that day was the day they may have not converted that lady but he felt converted himself. What an amazing story! Vai said that because of that little boy his new "travel uniform"  always has the BYU logo on it. He says he wears that because he can't wear a missionary name tag! What a great example of being a member missionary! So amazing! A mission doesn't end when we return from our assigned country... missionary work should never end! 

Life in the MTC continues to be great! I have made some great friends and am still struggling/loving to learn a new language. It is so difficult to learn however with the pain comes the best gratification! Every little progress seems huge! Even though we are half way through it still hasn't hit me that I am going to Italy! I don't think it will until I land in the country. 


I love you all! I love getting all the emails and letters and packages! Sorry if I can't respond right away! Just know that I love you all!! XO -Sorella Fuller 

2.10.14

Ciao! Week 2 at the MTC










You gotta take this shot while at the MTC!
       

Ciao family and friends!
So sorry that lasts weeks email was all over the place! The first week in the MTC was simply madness! Things have calmed down now and starting to feel pretty normal! 

Well first off this week was pretty exciting because some of the Italian missionaries (including myself) got to take a little adventure to SLC to have our visa interviews! We took the front runner train from Provo to SLC. Sitting on the train for an hour heading to the "big city" totally reminded me of New Canaan life! But instead of going to NYC we were going to were I was raised in the heart of SLC! It was so awesome and strange! Leaving the MTC and going into the "real world" as a missionary was super strange! You just felt everyone looking at you and I felt much more outgoing to random strangers.  It also felt strange to be a missionary in my hometown.
The interview went great and I should have my visa in two weeks! We got our flight schedule and we go from SLC-Chicago-London-Rome! We can't leave the airport but we are super excited! The best part of the little adventure was that we got to eat lunch at Jimmy Johns which meant I could get a DIET COKE! Enjoying the simple miracles in life!
Jimmy Johns and our DC!
                                       
This week more than anything I have learned about patience! Patience with myself, the Lord, with my comp, investigators, and other missionaries. Like I mentioned last week, Italian can be super difficult! Everyday we have language class and sometimes after I just think "did I really just learn anything?!" Everyday we also have to teach multiple people (fake investigators) in Italian. Sometimes I will walk out of the lesson and think...."did I even teach them anything meaningful?" "How will I ever do it in Italy?" My companion and I spend hours preparing and translating these beautiful lessons to give but, after it can be really discouraging because it doesn't go perfectly. However, I have hope and faith that it will come! Yesterday one of our teachers told us to give a lesson on the plan of salvation (where we were before birth, why we are here, and where we are going) on the spot-- no prep time, in Italian! I was thinking how am I going to do this? Then I said a little prayer and got up and gave probably one of my best lessons! Simple, clear, and genuine! I WAS SO HAPPY! It just shows that the Lord will uplift you if you have the Holy Ghost and patience in His timing. I must always remember this! What a miracle!

District/Zone

A district is a small group of missionaries (about 6) who have all their classes together and a zone is made up of like 6 districts. Our zone is super unique! Lots of different personalities! There are what we call the "babies" or "little brothers" aka the 18 year-old, right out of high school, elders. They are totally hilarious. There are some super "molly mormon"/classic sister missionaries. They are super spiritual and give the BEST insight! Wow! I am so impressed! There are also some super cool girls in our zone. One played Eponine in the NYC  Broadway production of Les Miserables, one is a world traveler who speaks 4 languages, one is a college grad who is super smart! Crazy talent! There is a little group in the zone of "hipsters" ---they are so hipster they don't even refer to themselves as hipsters. Its funny because you might think they are from LA or Brooklyn but they are from Idaho and Arizona. They read poetry and have deep conversations. I just listen on and think... wow they have the most interesting points of view and artistic brains and I just don't understand anything! It's hilarious! Anyways the miracle of it all is that even though we come from all different areas with different talents and interests we all get along so well here! We have so much fun and laugh so hard at our slaughtered Italian! We all support each other and love each other! Its a beautiful thing!

My companion Sorella Bray and I are having so much fun! We seriously get so stressed but laugh SO HARD! ALL THE TIME! one of our teachers is probably really annoyed with us! HAHA! Last night we were talking about Christmas traditions and started talking about those puppet Christmas movies like "The Year Without a Santa Claus" and "The Little Drummer Boy" and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" We were saying things like "I'm a man now Tanta Kringle" and we were laughing so hard that we literally fell off our beds and had tears rolling down our checks! I think our quality of what is funny has gone WAY down since becoming a missionary! But its all good because we are just so happy! 

I love you all!! Thank you SO MUCH for the letters, packages, and emails! THEY ARE MY SALVATION! 

Thank you Baba and Kenna for the package with treats! That trail mix was amazing and I think i shed a tear when I saw the Swig sugar cookies! 

Also I have to tell you that the other night we were all getting in bed and over the ENTIRE MTC intercom was "SISTER KARIN FULLER PLEASE COME TO THE MAIN OFFICE" I was literally terrified!I had to change out of my PJ's and put on a skirt. I was thinking.... was my skirt too tight, will they send me home, did a family member die, do I have to have an emergency meeting with President Nally (MTC Pres)??? Then I get to the office and they said "you have an one day delivery package. we are obligated to give it to you so we had to call you down" The package was the Bamburry Cross maple bars from Dad, Jed, and the Zwicks! IT WAS SUCH A HUGE RELIEF!! They tasted like a dream! And it was the night before fast Sunday so they totally hit the spot! THANK YOU!!!! 
The "emergency" donut delivery!

I love you all!!!! 
xoxoxoxo
Sorella Fuller

24.9.14

Ciao from the Missionary Training Center!

Family, friends-- I have been thinking of a word to summarize my 1st week and all I can say is CRAZY. I could go on and on! I feel like I have been here my entire life! I kinda forget of everything else in my "previous" life. But I have to say that I really miss instagram! Wow I am an addict! I feel "phantom phone vibrations". I will look through my photos i have taken on my camera to fill the void. I also miss watching Jimmy Fallon but its all good because every night at 10:30 i am OUT! So tired and fulfilled! 

1st day
ok so right after i was dropped off i went through a missionary assembly line. Getting checked in, getting a mountain of Italian books, and of course the missionary name tag! As soon as they put that tag on, you just feel so much power. Like a superhero or  a gold medal athlete! Its so legit! I then met my companion! Her name is Chloe Bray and we knew each other at BYU! She is from Gilbert, AZ. When we found out that we were comps we were so excited and were jumping up and down! She has blonde hair, blue eyes and cute style. EVERY SINGLE MISSIONARY here calls us the "twin companions". We seriously laugh all the time and make so many new friends! We are having a great time! It feels like BYU but you can only give handshakes, there are no exams, and I have to wake up at 6:30 am! 

Italian
So I am sure you all want to know how the Italian is going! I will say that learning Italian is the most humbling experience! On the first day here we went to class and our teacher, Sorella Urban was only speaking Italian. The entire time I was thinking, holy cow how will i ever learn this EVER! On the 2nd day we had to teach a gospel lesson to a fake investigator  in ITALIAN! With no notes, books, or anything. All i could say was Dio amore lei... God love you... Gesu Christo e salvatore.. Jesus Chirst is the Savior. I just kept repeating that... so hilarious! 
Every day it gets a little bit better. I can give a simple prayer, testimony and lesson now. Sometimes I catch myself saying "how am i not fluent yet?" Then i remember that I have only been here one week! 
One hilarious lesson was when we had to give a lesson on Joseph Smith. First off the Italian Bilbe formatting is different then the english one so we were in teh lesson and trying to find James 1:5 and we COULD not find it! I was flipping through the pages and Sorella Bray got the giggles. Which gave me the giggles. I found what I think is the right scripture and read it in butchered Italian. Laughing the entire way through. After we left we literally fell on the floor crying/laughing so hard for a solid 45 minutes! It was so funny and so pathetic all at the same time!!! Even though the language is so hard i know that the Lord blesses me everyday with the gift of tongues because in only ONE WEEK i can weave italian into my normal conversation! AMAZING! 

Io Sono Felice! (i am happy!)
Even though the language is hard i am SO happy! Seriously the Spirit is so strong here it is tangible! I love being a missionary, I honestly feel like this IS the place to be! Everyone is so happy, fun, and kind all the time! I feel so much more meaningful purpose in my life and i feel MORE CONFIDENT here then I have ever felt before! I think EVERYONE should go on a mission. If you have a testimony at all then a mission is right for you. I can already tell taht deciding to go on a mission was the best decision of my lfie! I get sad thinking of not going. We hust always feel the spirit and have a blast!! I have seen so many friends since coming here. 

Chloe Bray (BYU-AZ) going to Rome
Josh FAllentine(BYU-CA) going to Argentina
Evan Jensen(BYU-GA)going to Argentina
Jason Davis(BYU-AZ)going to Milan
James Otaini(BYU-CA)going to Japan
Calvin Quigly (BYU)going to Mexico
Naomi Rhondeau(bff for life)going to Mexico
Sarah Morgan(BYU-WA)going to Thailand
Philip Soleburg (cousins with the Madsens and the Gardiners-- he is in my zone!)going to Romania
Breenan Oglsby (SLC ward-- probably butchered his name) going to Florida
Harrison Young( he is from Austraila, I met him this summer with the Eyres. His family was living in the OC for the summer. We became FB friends but I never thought I would see him again. Until FATE at the MTC) He is going to the Marshall Islands 
and
 Elder Brown (my cousin on the Fuller side of the family)going to Mexico
the list just goes on and on!! 

Daily Struggles 
Besides Italian the daily struggle is keeping my heart locked! Seriously it is so hard because literally everywhere we go there are hundreds and hundreds of clean cut, hard working, well dressed, spiritual boys. Its like a dream come true gone wrong because as a missionary we can not even hug! Its a struggle! HAHA! 
Another thing that is hard is that everyone becomes such good friends like siblings. Whenever I feel the spirit I just want to give every elder i know a hug but I can't. HAHA! 

Food and exercising
I was really worried about exercising and food but it is actually really working out! I get a salad every day and its good. Have to be fit before all the gelato! Also there is a super nice gym here and there are tvs to watch conference talks, and mormon messages. One TV is on a constant Elder Holland talk loop, one is a movie about the life of Chirst, one is mormon messages on repeat, and the last is always a recording of Elder Craig Zwick speaking. I just laugh and think of our good friends the Zwicks! I think I will have his talk memorized by the time I leave the MTC. 

Spiritual
I have already told you that I feel the spirit so strong. But last Sunday I felt the Spirit more then I ever had before! We had MTC choir practice and sang the most beautiful rendition of "Joseph Smith's first Prayer" I am a terrible singer but I felt chills the entire time. Then we watched a recording of Elder Bednar's MTC Christmas devotional tilted "Characters of Christ" It was all about how we need to stop turning inwards and turn outwards, like how Christ would. To always think of others! I have really tried to apply that in my life here at the MTC. It is super hard because when my companion wants to do something that I don't want to do, or I have a negative thought regarding others I have to catch myself  and say "This is not about me". I am here to love others the way Christ loves them and to serve the Lord. 

Wow! I feel like I have been writing forever and that is only a fraction of what has happened this week! I love you all so much! Owen congrats on being baptized! What a special day! You have made the best decision!! Jed, I am so proud that you are a worthy, preisthood holder who could baptize him! Lund, nothing makes me happier then hearing about SAB! Keep up the hard work! Mom and Dad thanks for the dozens of letters you sent me! NOT!! HAAHAHAHA! DearElder.com is a great resource. I can read those any day of the week! 

Huge shout out to Aunt Janna, Uncle Mike and Sarina Vetterli! My first letters at the MTC! I love them so much! Also thank you Sister Ella Madsen, Unlce Greg, Melissa Cutler, Karalee and Scott Jennings, Emmy Gardiner, Kristin Hart, Alyson Freedman, Lindsay Riches, and Mom for the emails! I LOVE to hear what is going on! It makes me so happy!!!!! I felt so much love today when I opened my email! Tell me every little detail. Even boring details are exciting in the MTC. Dad will you please give me a brief summary of current events and politics and even some pop culture! I need to know what is going on out there! 

Mom it would be great if you would send me some luna protein bars and healthy snacks from trader joes, Stews, and that store in Pound ridge! ASAP! My comp gets like 4 packages a day. I need to prove to her that you love me! HAHAHA 

Ok I am seriously out of time!! 


ciao! xoxoxo sorella fuller




16.9.14

so long, farewell

This is it! tomorrow i leave for the Missionary Training Center! (mtc)
I am so excited and nervous! but i know such wonderful things will be in-store for me! this last sunday i had the opportunity to speak at my church. below is my talk all about why i want to serve a mission and my belief in Jesus Christ! i hope you enjoy! xo -sorella fuller



Good afternoon brothers and sisters. I am so happy and humbled to be speaking to you today before I start missionary service in Italy. My heart is so full of love and gratitude at this time. I am so thankful that I can have this opportunity to speak in this ward. Even though my family no longer lives full time in this ward I still consider it my home. It is so great to be speaking to a congregation full of my ward family. I also am so incredibly grateful for all the family and friends who have made the effort to come here today. I am so touched by the support and I am so happy that I can share my testimony with you all.

I want to start off and tell you the main reason why I have decided to serve a mission. I feel so incredibly blessed in my life to have the knowledge of the gospel, blessings from the temple, the constant companionship of the holy ghost, and an eternal amount of love from my heavenly father. The amount of blessings are so overwhelming that I constantly am overcome with amazement. I have grown to realize that the only true happiness in life comes from the gospel. I have decided to be a missionary so that I can help spread God’s love and happiness to others.

Coming to the conclusion to serve a mission was not easy or even expected to me. Last year at this time a mission seemed a million miles away. I was about to move into the BYU freshman dorms…. Something that after hearing countless stories from my parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins I had been looking forward to for most of my life. I also had an intense desire to get an education, to peruse a career, and make a name for myself. I couldn’t wait to embrace and soak in everything byu had to offer and peruse a career that lied ahead.  

This last week marks one year exactly from my first week of college. And how things have changed. Instead of returning to Provo to continue my education and peruse my lifelong goals I will be returning to enter the Missionary Training Center. Many, including my closest family and friends wondered how did you have such a complete change of heart? I hope that today my genuine feelings of faith and love for this gospel will come across to you so that you may understand how much the gospel has changed my life and how I hope to carry that knowledge into the mission field.

Alma 5; 12 reads “according to his faith there was a mighty change wrought in his heart” Although the term “a mighty change of heart” is commonly used in regards to repentance, I would say that in the last year I have had a mighty change of heart in regards to serving a mission. I 100% credit this change to the power of the Spirit of the Holy Ghost and the love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ has bestowed upon me. I believe that God is in every little detail in our lives. In the moment we may not notice these details but looking back they will become clear to us as we examine and contemplate the tender mercies we see in our lives. One of these little details in my change of heart happened on move-in day at BYU. I noticed two beautiful girls who were moving in directly across the hall from my room. Not moments later they continued to invite ALL of the girls who lived on the floor into their room to get to know each other. I quickly learned that they were both Southern California girls who were nothing but kind, inclusive to everyone, beautiful, smart, and simply HAPPY people. Despite a slight intimidation factor they would later become some of my closest friends, one of which is here today. From our friendship I learned that they were BOTH recent converts to the church. Up until that point I had never had any close acquaintances that were converts. As they would tell me their conversion story I was touched by their undenying faith, and I was even more impressed learning how eternally grateful they were for the gospel. I remember thinking how amazing it was that because of others teaching them the gospel their lives and their posterities lives would forever be blessed. Becoming close friends with these girls was probably the first time that I opened my heart to accepting the idea of serving a mission.

By the end of my first semester I had had a wonderful college experience. I loved meeting new people from all over the country, I loved living in the dorms, being in a professional learning environment, everything… I love it all. I couldn’t wait to return for my next semester. However, this time was different than before. I had seen so many friends, including my friends across the hall submit missionary papers and leave for their service. Most of these people were sisters. I was amazed by how many girls had CHOSEN to leave behind college to serve the Lord. I started toying with the idea of serving. Every girl I knew that had left for a mission had characteristics that I admired. They were girls that I looked up to and wanted to be like.  I knew that if I was to go on a mission it would require me to ask my father in heaven humbly if it was the right thing for ME to do and I would need to have a purpose.

Slowly and surly I would eventually reach my decision. It started with simple prayers asking for assistance in my decision making, then to constant scripture reading, then fasting. However I still had no answer. I was confused and distraught. I just wanted to have a yes or a no answer. However, I learned that the Lord doesn’t always work that way. I needed to turn my stupor of thought into clarity. Through this decision process it was the first time in my life when I had to recognize the spirit in making a big decision. I had to rely on so much faith to help me in this process, and I needed to strengthen my own testimony of the gospel so that I could carry it with me into the mission field.

I found this strength in studying and focusing my life around the life of Jesus Christ. In particular,  recognizing and appreciating the details of the Atonement in my life.

President Holland teaches “Indeed the Atonement of the Only Begotten Son of God in the flesh is the crucial foundation upon which all Christian doctrine rests and the greatest expression of divine love this world has ever been given. Its importance in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints cannot be overstated. Every other principle, commandment, and virtue of the restored gospel draws its significance from this pivotal event.2

The atonement literally means to be “at one with God” as we further study… we realize that we can never fully appreciate the grandeur of the eternal significance of the Atonement.

One element of the atonement that I am sure we can all relate to is the tender mercy that is given to us through the repentance process. Every sin or mistake that we make can be simply forgiven and made anew because of the mercy that is given to us. In life there must be justice in all things. God gives us justice so that we can receive the blessings from our good doing. With this justice we should also be punished for our sins. The laws of justice must be met… however, because of God’s mercy He made it possible.  Through the suffering, crucifixion, and resurrection of his PERFECT son we are not punished for Adams original sin and all of our own imperfections. This idea of repentance was always hard for me to totally grasp. It was not until this last year as I prepared to serve a mission that I fully felt the love and mercy given to me through the repentance process. The comfort that comes from knowing that God has forgiven you and you have the opportunity to start anew is indescribable. As I felt the power of repentance in my own life I knew that this was just one of the many blessings offered by the gospel that needed to be shared. Everyone in this world deserves the knowledge of justice and mercy. It is crucial for our eternal salvation. In 2nd Nephi, Lehi teaches his son Jacob of the importance of mercy. He states in Chapter 2 verse 8 that ,

“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, ad grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit.”

Another amazing blessing of the atonement that I have felt throughout my life is the comfort and blessing of NEVER being alone. Because of the Atonement no matter where in the world we are, no matter who we are, no matter what our circumstance we will never be utterly left alone. Throughout Christ’s mortal life he always was surrounded by people. He was born to loving parents, as he taught he had throngs of followers, and of course the companionship of his apostles. On the eve of his crucifixion slowly but surely Christ’s support circle of disciples got smaller and smaller. Then as he went into the garden of Gethsemane he continued on without companionship. While Christ suffered for our sins, as he bleed from every pore, as this perfect person suffered so that we could be redeemed, he had to do what is completely impossible for us to fully understand. To complete the suffering He had to be completely alone, meaning the spirit and comfort of the Holy Ghost was withdrawn in this dark hour.

Elder Holland explains this time of Christ’s suffering even more so saying,

Nevertheless, that the supreme sacrifice of His Son might be as complete as it was voluntary and solitary, the Father briefly withdrew from Jesus the comfort of His Spirit, the support of His personal presence. It was required, indeed it was central to the significance of the Atonement, that this perfect Son who had never spoken ill nor done wrong nor touched an unclean thing had to know how the rest of humankind—us, all of us—would feel when we did commit such sins. For His Atonement to be infinite and eternal, He had to feel what it was like to die not only physically but spiritually, to sense what it was like to have the divine Spirit withdraw, leaving one feeling totally, abjectly, hopelessly alone.”


This sense of loneliness made Christ weep out, “My God, My God. Why hast thou forsaken me?” The miracle of the Atonement is that because of Christ’s love for us his suffering saves us so that we will NEVER have to feel alone. Never have to experience the suffering he endured on that lonely night in the Garden of Gethsemane.

God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost will ALWAYS be there for us. When I was sixteen years old I moved away from home to work as a Senate Page in Washington DC. As amazing as this experience was for me it was the first time in my life that I felt so helplessly alone. I had no family, at times I felt ridiculed by my teachers and bosses, I had no LDS friends, my ward building was temporarily shut down and moved too far away for me to reach Sunday meetings. On days where the stress of school and work was so intense and I would feel utterly alone and lack of support, In that dark moment of my life I had no other option then to turn to my heavenly father. I remember going in the bathroom of the US Capitol building, the only privacy I ever had, and falling on my knees begging for some support. From that prayer I was prompted to turn to my scriptures. I read in Alma Chapter 37 verse 36

“Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.”
I then turned the page and read in Chapter 38 verse 5
“ as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trails, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day.”

When I read these verses I knew that they were a gift from my heavenly father sent to me for comfort. Those words have strongly resonated in me and help me any time I am alone. Three years later from that day in Washington I still cherish these scriptures in my heart.


What I learned was that no matter where I was or how alone I felt because of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice I would never feel alone again. Not a day goes by now that I don’t think of the peace and love I felt from heaven during those 6 months in DC. In the moment it sometimes seemed too hard to bear but looking back now not only did it give me a strong academic and  professional foundation, it gave me the greatest gift, the foundation of my testimony.  A testimony that I will use not only as a missionary but for the rest of my life. As a missionary I know there will be days that will be hard, that I will feel alone and forsaken. I also know that everyone in this world have those days of feeling utterly alone. But as long as we turn our hearts tword Christ we will never be left alone.  It is my prayer that as I enter the field as a missionary I will be able to express this message of comfort to someone. So that they can feel the same peace and support that I felt when I needed it the most.

Let us not forget the ultimate miracle of the Atonement. While Gethsemane and Calvary were such dramatic and traumatic experiences for the savior, on a beautiful spring morning, 3 days after his death, Christ came forth from his tomb as a resurrected being. This significance is that every human being, man and woman, good and bad, will be resurrected. Breaking Satan’s bands of death. Families will be rejoined, we will live in a state of spiritual happiness, and the love we have for each other will be overflowing. What a wealth of knowledge this brings us. I am so humbled when I think of the blessings of the Atonement. This is a message worth spreading to the ends of the earth.

As we begin to further understand the Atonement we will draw closer to God. For me as I learned and experienced the atonement in my life I was able to recognize and appreciate the love that God has for me. This overwhelming amount of love is what gives me faith and purpose. Once I recognized this love I knew the answer to all my prayers. I knew that serving a mission was right for me. My confusion of thought was put at ease and I knew that I needed to dedicate 18 months to His service.

Missionary work is an errand of God.  As Moses chapter 1 verse 39 states

“For behold, this is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”

Missionary work, no matter if you are set apart as a missionary or simply sharing the gospel to friends, colleagues, and neighbors is not easy. In an address to the MTC Elder Holland stated,

I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him?”


I know that on my mission there will be days that I feel inadequate, when no one will listen, when I miss home, and my cell phone, and the language will seem impossible. I  know that there will be days of sorrow and pain. I am terrified for the unknown that lies ahead and I feel totally inadequate. However because of him, I know that any sorrow will become peace, despair will become hope, and burdens will be lifted. This is the message that I hope to carry with me into the mission field.


In the beloved story of Les Miserables it addresses many themes that parallel to the Atonement and the gospel. Justice, mercy, forgiveness, redemption. However the overall theme/message of the story is summarized in the last sentence of the musical adaptation. This sentence states, “To love another person is to see the face of God.” Not only does this touching sentence summarize the theme of the Victor Hugo classic I believe that it should summarize the theme in our lives. Because at the end of the day LOVE is what this gospel is all about. Every element of this church ultimately is all about love. The more we can show love to others the closer we will draw to God.

More then anything I pray that I will be able to give as much love to the people of Italy as I physically can. I pray that I can show others love the way God has shown it to me. Without God’s love I wouldn’t be here today.

I can’t say this enough but I am so thankful for this gospel, for my family, and friends that have been an example to me. Especially

·     My extended family, for all being strong and faithful members of the church
·     My cousins who have served missions and are currently serving missions. Even though they are not here today I hope that my gratitude will be expressed to them by the Spirit.
·     I am so thankful for my friends who have never lead me astray and were such great examples to me
·     My brothers for being so loving, kind, silly, and supportive
·     And my parents for being a constant example of love and Christ like example that holds our family together

 As I stand here today I want you to know that I have a testimony of Jesus Christ, of a loving heavenly father, of the holy ghost. I have a testimony of the restoration of the gospel and I for the atonement. I love this gospel, I love all of you, and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ amen