Friday, August 30, 2013

Ostia to Rome

August 29, 2013

After driving for an hour to Ostia to deliver a set of crutches to an injured missionary, we saw some interesting sights on the way home.  We've been to Ostia before and didn't see any of these sights on the way home then.  Sometimes Tom, Tom takes us to some strange places but it's always an adventure--except for when we are in a hurry.

Center for  Arts

Basilica of Peter and Paul


Peter - You can always tell Peter because he has the keys.

Basilica of Peter and Paul

Door to church

Door to church - Peter was crucified upside down.

Door to church - Peter holding the keys.

Door to church

Door to church - Paul was beheaded

Inside basilica - a more modern church




Government building

Downside of Preparation Day

August 29, 2013

Missionaries love P-Day, but it does have it's downside.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Letter to President

The minds of our missionaries are being enlightened everyday.

Miracles happen every single day. God puts people in our paths. We are put in people's paths. We have to have faith, we have to pray, and we have to act on that faith, believing that good things will come when we do. And they always do.

I am studying a lot about light in the scriptures and what it really means that Christ is the light of the world. I realized a couple weeks ago that light helps us see more clearly our imperfections. It helps us see dirt in the corners and dust under our beds. If Christ is in our lives, we will always be working hard because we will see more and more the ways we are not like Him. But we will become cleaner and purer and more full of light every day. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Letter to President

I love it when the spirit bears testimony to our missionaries.

This past week I have really started to see for myself the importance of the spirit, and the importance of listening to it. Me and my companion were going out to visit less actives one morning. As we were waiting for the bus to come, my companion felt we should get on a different bus and go finding. He asked my opinion, and I agreed. So we got on a different bus and got off at a stop. We started talking to every person we came across.  The whole time trying to figure out what we were doing there. We got to a spot where there was a split in the road, and no one was out. We decided to say a prayer to ask God to help us know why we were there and how to help his children in that area. We concluded our prayer and started walking. we came across a park with a man walking his dog, so we went and talked to him. He was nice but he was not interested. After talking with him, we saw another man back on the street. We started talking with him. He did not believe in God, or Christ. But you could tell his spirit wanted to. He had been abandoned by his parents when he was a baby and he had always wondered why God, would allow that to happen. He asked us to sit down in the park near by and we accepted. We talked with him for over an hour about our message, The restoration, The book of Mormon, and Prayer and the Holy Ghost. At the end he still wasnt sure about all of it, but he allowed us to say a prayer at the end and we were good friends by the end of it all. As he was walking away, me and my companion both recieved a strong impression that he was who we were there to see. Even though he did not believe in God. I know that God loves each and every one of his children and  he wants to help each and every one of them.
   This was a really cool experience that I thought I would share with you. I won't deny, sometimes I get discouraged out here, and maybe a little home sick, but I don't let it get me down. It is those times when I know it is the most important to dig in and work hard. To Love the people and to worry about their needs and what I can do to help them. And it is always after these times that I recieve a witness that what I am doing here is the most important thing for me right now. And that I am here for a reason.

Letter to President

One miracle we saw this week was in teaching Brians family. Being under 18 he has to have permission from his Mom so we asked if we could come one night to his house and talk to his Mom about all of this. We went that night and it was amazing. It was easily the best lesson we have taught all transfer long. She is catholic but completely fine with Brian being baptized and now is going to read the Book of Mormon and wants us to come back and explain the Plan of Salvation over dinner. We taught the Restoration to his Mom and Sister and they loved it.. They had a ton of questions and were both just extremely interested! Brian was ecstatic and knows already what it means that his Mom wants to read the Book of Mormon. We are scheduled to have dinner with them again and talk about the Plan of Salvation.

Letter to President

Our missionaries are growing and learning more each day.

The other day, we were walking to our apartment and we saw this beautiful older lady standing on the side of the road. We caught her eye and decided to talk to her. We said “Signora!” and then she responded, “I speak English” haha come to find out, she was from Canada, but her husband was Italian, so they were in Foggia visiting relatives...which relatives happen to live right under us! Coincidence?? I think not ;) The next day we happened to run into her relatives as we were walking into our apartment building. Thanks Heavenly Father :)
I know the Lord's hand is in this work. He truly guides us as we put our trust in Him and do His will. My theme scripture for the week is Mormon 1:7 "I do not know all things, but the Lord knoweth all things ...wherefore, He worketh in me according to His will. 

I love this work! The gospel is TRUE

Sightseeing in Malta

August 27, 2013

I got to spend a couple of hours seeing the sights in Malta.  Michael, on the other hand, had to do an audit of the Branch there and then did an exchange with the missionaries.  Since there are no sisters currently serving on Malta, I couldn't do an exchange.  The senior couple and the Branch President's wife took me for a ride so I could see a couple of the sights.  I feel sorry for my husband when he doesn't get to go with me at times like this, but it's just the way it is.  I take pictures and tell him about it and he is content to be a mission president and do the things mission presidents do.



Valetta is a city built by the Knights of St. John after the Great Siege of 1565.  It is known as the "city built by gentlemen for gentlemen".  It was built as a fortress to defend Christendom and as a cultural masterpiece.

In its day, Valletta was a fine example of modern city planning.  Designed on a grid system, now common in the United States, the city was carefully planned to accommodate water and sanitation and to allow for the circulation of air.  Most towns and cities evolved over centuries, but Valletta, in contrast, was one of the first European cities to be constructed on an entirely new site.

Valletta is the capitol of Malta and is very much a working city today.  We didn't have time to go inside the city but I am hoping before we leave in three years we will have an opportunity to do so.

Crazy Tree


The prickly pear grows widely on the islands of Malta, where it is enjoyed by the Maltese as a typical summer fruit (known as bajtar taxxewk, literally 'spiny figs'), as well as bajtra.  The prickly pear is so commonly found in the Maltese islands that it is often used as a dividing wall between many of Malta's characteristic terraced fields in place of the usual rubble walls.

We saw a man harvesting the fruit in the early evening.  I was told that during the daytime hours, the cactus will literally throw it's spines at you if you try to pick the fruit.  The man I watched had a long stick with something that looked like an empty soup can on the end of it that he used to pick the fruit.


Mosta is a city in Malta.  Mosta boasts the third largest unsupported dome in the world dedicated to the Assumption.  The Feast of the Assuption is held on August 15 and is a public holiday.  The church is also known as the Rotunda of St Marija Assunta.  On 9 April 1942, the church was nearly destroyed during World War II.  An Axis bomb hit the dome of the church but failed to explode.  The detonator was removed and a replica bomb is now displayed as a memorial.  The rotunda took 27 years to complete but the result is a tourist attraction of world standard.

Malta Specialized Training

August 27, 2013

Malta was the final stop on this round of specialized training.  We have four elders and a senior couple currently serving in Malta.

Malta is an island that is in the very southern tip of our mission.  It is an independent nation.  The main language is Maltese, although most people speak a little English.  Most of the older people speak Italian as well, but the younger ones don't learn Italian like they used to.  The Maltese language is extremely difficult because it is a blend of several different languages like French, Italian, English and mostly Arabic.  The missionaries who serve there really work hard on their Maltese.  The people there are impressed when you speak their language because they know nobody else in the world speaks Maltese except for their tiny country.  I'm sure the missionaries sometimes wonder why they have to learn the language because there's not much use for it after their missions, but the Lord sees the bigger picture.  Maybe it's worth it to learn the language so they can communicate with the one person on the island who has been prepared for them to teach.

Malta is a difficult place to teach the gospel because there is currently no Maltese translation of the Book of Mormon.  When we were there six weeks ago, we took them copies of the Restoration pamphlet in Maltese.  It's a tool they'd never had before and they were so excited.  The Assistants packed up a suitcase full of supplies for us to take with us to Malta.  Included were a bunch more pamphlets in Maltese.  When the missionaries opened them up and looked at them, they were written in Hungarian not Maltese.  Oops!  They were shipped to us that way from the distribution center in Germany.  I guess they didn't now the difference either.

The missionaries are responsible for fixing lunch at the training conference.  They usually try to do something that is unique to their area.  This time they got a sandwich that is traditional Maltese food.  It was made with tuna fish, tomato sauce, cheese and a bunch of other extra ingredients.   I'm not a fan of fish of any sort so was grateful they also had plain ham sandwiches.  The missionaries, however, said they much preferred the tuna sandwich.  The Branch President and his wife are from England and she has been teaching them to make bread pudding.

The emphasis on this round of Specialized Training has been to use the pamphlet on the Restoration as a finding tool.  In every zone we have used roll playing to help them learn more about the pamphlet and be more comfortable in sharing it with others.  It's so amazing to see the difference in the missionaries as they practice.  They all think it is full of great information and yet they are surprised at how great a tool it is when they actually know how to use it to the best advantage.  From our perspective, it's such a rewarding experience to see the missionaries grow and learn and gain more confidence.  It makes my heart sing.

Villa in Malta that is currently being used as the church

"This isn't written in Maltese."

Traditional Maltese sandwich

Bread pudding