I don't know what else to say but that this week has been the ultimate roller coaster. I just want to tell everyone that this mission is HARD! Yes, once in a blue moon we get to have an amazing day in Rome and Napoli but it is not just a vacation! haha! I wouldnt say that this mission is physically challenging... we are blessed in the fact that we have heat, and hot water and showers.... but oh man.... it is mentally one of the most challenging things I have ever done. To mentally stay positive and happy after spending six hours trying to find people to teach and the catholic tradition is rooted SO DEEP in their soul, meanwhile you feel like you are spitting out a bunch of nonsense in some weird language. and then you do the same thing all. over. again. in the same small city... that you have been in forever... and then investigators dont come to lessons or church and you just think "what else could go wrong here?" it is hard to really explain but frustration to the point of mental break down could describe it pretty well! Sorella Gates and I were looking at photos of us when we entered the MTC 6 months ago and then looked at us now and said... " we look like we were just hit by a semi truck" I dont even want to know how beat I will look in a year! hahaha!
But then little experiences of hope are given to you as a tender mercy from Heavenly Father. This week, Sorella Gates and I went to Bari to go on an exchange with the Sister Training Leaders. Sorella Anderson and Sorella Vickers. Sorella Gates (my comp) was with Anderson and I was with Slla Vickers. I didn't really know what to expect from the scombi but it was one of the most spiritual experiences of my mission. Sorella Vickers is the most unexpected type of person you will ever meet. She looks like a pageant queen but is an amazing missionary! Her go to finding/teaching tool is family history. She has living relatives that live in Bari and she has been waiting her whole mission to serve there and find, teach, and baptize her relatives. The first thing we did was prepare to teach thier investigator who is a 16 year old boy. Before the lesson we were waiting for him in the church and she showed me MY family tree on familysearch.org IT WAS SO COOL! Like Facebook but with history! thank you alll my great aunts and other family members who have been doing all that work! WOW! so much has been done. Seeing the family tree before the lesson really got me in a good spirit. When we taught the lesson It was the strongest lesson I have ever been apart at. It was all about the book of mormon. We read a chapter together and were talking to him about it. I was able to share personal stories about how I KNOW the book of mormon is a true word of God. My Italian has never been stronger and it was one of the few times in the mission where I legit felt like a literal tool in the hands of the Lord. And to top it all off.... this boy we were teaching... who used to be a total punk.... started to cry and said he now knew it was true. And he decided he wanted to be baptized!! When we got out of the lesson I told sorella vickers " I get it....this is what I wanted to feel like in a lesson for my whole mission" She was so sweet and even though I will probably never see that boy again she told me " I am so thankful that you could be a part of his conversion... he will always remember that " WOW. just wow!Also during the scombi we went and found/did genealogy with Slla Vickers real life family! It was absolutely so amazing to see family come together and see slla vickers have the opportunity to teach them the gospel! So cool!! I cant wait to use family history as a finding tool here in Italy! Get the italians excited about family history and it is the easiest intro into the gospel!on the last day of the scombi Slla Vickers asked me if I felt ok and how I was doing. I basically told her my true feelings that I expressed above. She was like an angel! She was able to tell me exactly what I needed to hear and testify to me... that even though this mission... the italy rome mission... is one of the hardest missions in the world.... it is the most rewarding mission in the world. It breaks you down so you can understand Christ better. It makes you humble... but it makes you build your faith! As she told me all this.. she was crying... I was crying and I felt peace!I am not saying that now everything is perfect. Not at all... everyday has its ups and downs. But that is just LOAM.. Life Of A Missionary! Everyday I am learning how to embrace it, love it, and find joy in all moments! Those when you are at the Colosseum and those when you are walking through trash filled/muddy streets of Foggia.Vi Voglio Bene!Sorella Fuller
Wow!! were to even start this week?!?! Probably the most amazing week of my mission/life!!
So, this week there was a big mission conference in Rome given by Elder Tixeria (area authority) It was really great! He talked all about setting baptism dates on the first lesson with an investigator. It gave me a new perspective because what is the worse that could happen... the investigator says "no?" If they say no, then it gives you better understanding of what they need and you can quit wasting time. President Waddoups told us that in our mission we "only teach golden investigators" meaning, we only teach those who are absolutely prepared for the gospel. At first I thought that seemed a little extreme but the more I think about it, the more i understand. I cant tell you how many people you work with that it is literally like pulling teeth. So much effort... for months and months... you are scared to let them go because you are afraid you wont find anyone else to teach. But it shouldnt be that hard. Find, teach, invite, baptize!Anyways let me tell you all the amazing/sick details of our trip to Rome!!!So we (our district) left Foggia around 10 am the day before the conference. The Elders in our district are zone leaders so they have a car. So our travel plans were to all drive up--road trip-- through italy to get to rome! I have to say that it was probably the BEST road trip I have ever been on in my entire life! We were just driving through Italian country side for like 5 hours with a great group of people! One highlight was on the way there we stopped through NAPOLI for lunch! aka... THE BEST PIZZA IN THE WORLD!! I am not exaggerating when i say that. We went to Sorbillo's and the pizza there was so good it made you want to cry. just so simple and quality! simply unbelievable!! Our district of 6 ordered 16 pizza's! ahhh! they were just that amazing! We were all just giddy to be eating that pizza in Napoli! So unreal!After the pit stop in napoli we finished the drive up to rome. We went to the mission office and they told us to kill some time. So, because 5 of the 6 of us had never been to Rome we decided to quickly take the metro to the Colusseum!! MOMMAMIA!!!!!!You get off the metro stop and BAM... it just hits you like a brick wall! So big and so amazing! Literally my breath was taken away! It was evening time and it was all lit up! the temperature was perfect and it was just such a beautiful sight! I couldnt even talk.. and tears came to my eyes! It was a total aesthetic experience! There are only a few times in my life when I have felt so overwhelmed with beauty. I just felt so much history and beauty everywhere! We continued to walk around rome and quickly see some sights, I literally was pinching myself!! It was amazing! I would love to serve in actual rome at some point! I kept thinking.... "what is today? This morning we were in crummy foggia (hahahhaha) then we ate pizza in Napoli and now i am in ROME!" only one way to describe it..... magical ;)
That night we slept in the Villa. It was so funny... for some strange reason Sorella Gates and I thought we would be the only ones there. um no.... hahaha! We show up and there are like 30 missionaries outside hanging out. It was actually really fun! We just all talked that night and president was just being super fun and making jokes with us. It was a bit awkward when we came up for breakfast the next morning a little too early and saw president in his robe! awkward! hahaha!We went to the mission tour, learned alot and it was fun to be with lots of other missionaries. I have to say, I am pretty positive that the Rome, Italy mission has the coolest/funnest missionaries ever!! Everyone I meet is just awesome! I just keep thinking.... " I am not cool enough to be in this mission! hahahaha!" It was wonderful! That night we drove back to Foggia and back to the grind! It kinda felt like going back to school after a long weekend! But it was all good because......... our new investigator... John.... committed to BAPTISM! He is planning on being baptized on April 11th! He seems genuine and promising! He came to church again on sunday and stayed for all of it! We are super excited right now because every companionship in our district has a set bap date for April 11th! We are all praying that everything goes as planned so the investigators can make the goal!!Sorella Gates and I are continuing to work hard here in foggia! We do lots of finding... i mean LOTS!!!! This last week... we had the leading numbers in the entire ZONE for quality gospel conversations! We beat out all the Elders!! WINNING!! Gates is awesome! She is such a great example to me! We are sad because we will probably only serve together for this transfer!
Well ciao my friends and family! What a week!
Sorella Gates and I have just been tearing it up this week! Let me first just say that at the beginning of this week we had ZERO, yes ZERO, progressing investigators!! We didn't really know what to do about that but then we were given a challenge by our zone leaders.It came from a quote of Elder Ballard. Elder Ballard promised ALL missionaries in the world.. From Brazil to Rome that if they have 10 quality gospel conversations with random people everyday they will ALWAYS have people to teach! A quality gospel conversation includes a doctrine taught and an invite extended. So, Sorella Gates and I took this challenge very seriously! We went finding for HOURS this week! Just hard core hitting the streets of Foggia! Stopping everyone we could! It was so fun! By the end of the week we didn't just meet the goal of 70 conversations we hit 90!!!! and you know what ..... now we have not 1 but 2 progressing investigators!! Both people we contacted on the street! One, is a man named John.. he is African and speaks English. We were talking to him on the street in English and invited him to church. While we were talking to him, another man, Antonio heard us talking and was interested because he knows a little English. Antonio stopped us and asked to know more! Antonio is NOT Catholic (unheard of) and they BOTH came to church on Sunday! This is the first time I have had an investigator in church for a long time! It is awesome! Even though Foggia is one of the hardest areas of the mission (lowest amounts of work, and pretty darn ugly hahha) I am really thankful for it because it makes me appreciate EVERY LITTLE THING! Never take a mini miracle for granted!!
This week we are going to ROME for a mission conference! There are three conferences and so about 1/3 of the mission will be there! Our district will be taking a 4 hour ROAD TRIP to Rome! So pumped!! We will be stopping for lunch in NAPOLI for some authentic NAPOLI PIZZA!!! SO FREAKING SICK!!! Also we got the sleeping arrangements for mission tour and ALL of the other missionaries are staying at missionary apartments in Rome EXCEPT Sorella Gates and myself! hahaha! we are staying in the Villa (mission presidents home) So it will just be us and President and Sorella Waddoups! hahaha! We are joking that they are making us stay there so that we don't distract the other sorelle and have TOO much of a party! I will give you updates on that next week! But for now it looks like will be doing companionship study with President!
Also, Sorella Gates and I are in training right now. When I say training I mean..... football training. Sorella Gates has this Nerf football and I admitted to her that I don't really know how to throw/catch a football! So Everyday we get up at 6 am... we run to the church... and play catch till 7 am! Now I am getting pretty good but my arm is wicked sore!! haha! By the end of my mission we will just be total football pros! Jed, dad, you would be so proud! Once we get football down we are going to do basketball free throws!! Playing catch is so fun! Seriously I look forward to it every morning! A great stress release!! hahaha!
I hope all is wonderful back in the good ol' US of A!! I sometimes miss that beautiful, free, promised land!! BUT I will only be in ITALY for ONE MORE YEAR! (today in exactly one year i will be on a plane home.... NO!! ) Just trying to embrace everything I can! Even if I stay in Foggia per sempre! (forever)
Vi Voglio Bene!! Sorella KFULL
Oh wow!! I love this girl! Seriously between the two of us there is just so much energy!! We are just laughing and telling stories and killing it all the time! Sorella Gates is awesome! She is super bold and just totally un afraid to go up to anyone and talk! I feel like I have already learned alot from her! Also she is young in the mission.... so we both are learning Italian together! Already I feel like a different missionary! On Sunday night Sorella Gates and I decided that our district should do gesso! So our district went to the center of Foggia and brought sidewalk chalk and drew the Plan of Salvation to find people to teach. I didn't want to just stand there like an idiot... so I would just run up to all these ragazzi (teens) with a Book of Mormon in my hand and ask them… "Do you know what this book is?" of course none of them did... so it was perfect to dive right into a quality gospel conversation. They were interested in it and we got some numbers for return appointments! Also they were DYING when I told them that I am from "new york" and I went to EAST HIGH SCHOOL! HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL!!! WHATTTTSS UPPP!! Like seriously when I told them about East all these girls started just screaming! So excited! Everyone just looked at me and was like....what the heck! HAHA! They thought I was a celebrity so they asked to take a selfie with me! I was like of course... and in the selfie I held the book of mormon up in prime positioning! hahaha!! It was awesome!!
Also on sunday I had to SPEAK IN CHURCH!! Seriously so scary! I was super nervous to give a talk in italian but it went great! Already I feel like this transfer is pushing me to be more of an independent missionary and I love it! Its only been like 3 days!!
I am super pumped right now about Foggia!! Talking to people used to really freak me out because of the lang but now I dont even care! Being with Sorella Gates... because both of us are young and dont really know what we are doing we just go for it and do crazy things... if people dont understand us.... va bene... who cares...Everytime we talk our italian gets better and we get better at teaching!
bottom line.... I am having a blast! Missionary work is sooooo fun!!!
love you all!! Vi voglio bene!!
Ciao family and friends!!
What a week! I have officially killed my trainer!! wow! That was seriously tramatic!! This week was really busy because she wanted to say goodbye to so many people and getting her packed! The entire time I had no idea if I would get transfered or stay in Foggia. So we would go around and Sorella Price would be giving these heart felt goodbyes and meanwhile everyone assumed that I would also be staying and wouldnt say goodbye to me. I just kept thinking... "what if by some random chance I have to leave... I will just disapear and no one will know" BUT I dont have to worry about that because I am staying in FOGGIA for ANOTHER transfer (six more weeks baby!!! ) I am actually really excited because my new companion is........*drumroll please*Sorella Gabby Gates!!!!mini bioShe is from Alpine Utahshe is young in the mission (has only been here for one transfer more then me) I really excited about this esp because I have only been with my old trainer...and....she is the girlfriend of another Anziano in the mish (cough cough Erik Mika... BYU basketball)I am serisouly sooooo excited about this next transfer!! Everyone is telling me that she is super fun, cute, crazy, and hard working! YES!!!!!!!!!Between the two of us.... SOMUCH ENERGY IS GOING TO TAKE OVER FOGGIA!!!!!!!! SO MANY BAPTISIMS ARE COMING! (even though we have no progressing investigators! whoooo) hahahaha! But in all honesty I feel really excited! I am terrified to be "training the city" But I know it will be really good for me. I kinda feel like I am finally stepping out of my trainers footsteps and taking my mission into my own hands.Along those lines.... I have been thinking a lot about it.. What type of missionary I want to be. How will I be without my trainer? What will I do the same and differently! It is a lot to think about! It is really overwhelming! But I know that if I put the Lord first and am obedient everything will work out!So right now Sorella Price is up in Rome at the mission home getting ready to fly home tomorrow. I am staying with other Sorelle in Bari until Sorella Gates comes here. She currently is serving in Palermo in Sicilia! So she will come meet me here in Bari (about a 10 plus hour bus ride) late thursday night and then we will go to Foggia together on Friday morning!I can't believe a new chapter of my mission is starting! It is terrifying and exciting all at the same time!!Ok here is the miracle of the week.....So you might remember our investigator "Alessandra" The mother of two member girls who has been taking the lessons forever and wants to get baptized. She was ready to have a date but then she got a job that she has to work all the time! Including sundays! Really sad day when we found out about this job! BUT... we were finally able to see her (while we were on a train) and she told us she lost her job and she can see us again!! WHOOO! I really do feel bad becasue work is so precious but we are all excited about her spiritual progression!!Also I got the recipe for the lasagna from the lady in our ward!! That will be really fun to make when I come home in a year!! ( This transfer i hit my six month mark!!! and im not even close to being fluent!!! come on gift of tongues! work! hahahah)speaking of the lang.... I am really excited for this next transfer in terms of pushing more to communicate! I have to take charge so I really hope and pray it will help my italian!! I have been praying everyday, multiple times a day, (for the last transfer) that this upcoming transfer will really help my italian grow! I really want it to so I can be my whole self in English and Italian!!also this transfer we get to go to Rome for a Mission Tour.. an area authority is coming to speak to us and training us to use the iPads! There are two conferences, one in Rome and one in Sicilia! Exciting stuff!!The rest of my district is staying the same... we have a new Elder in our district... his name is Jake Flynn (he is also from Holliday UT, went to olympus HS) We have good chats about Utah stuff like skiing and Lone Star fish tacos! hahahaWell.... here we go!!!! Diving in head first into a new transfer!!! CRAZY!!!!!Ti Voglio Bene!!!!!Sorella Karin Fuller