Wow what a week🍕we haven't been in Messina much, went to Bari for 3 days to get my permesso and then did a scambio with the sorelle in Catania and then we were here for the weekend and President called and told me I'm training! Yay! Won't find out who she is until Thursday when I pick her up from the stazione in Catania...I am SO excited!
Friday when we got to Messina we got a bidone and didn't know who we could go see so we said a prayer and both felt prompted to try Davide-brother of Zahaitu family, unfortunately we haven't been able to see them for a little bit cause they're going through a really rough time financially. But we called up Davide anyways and he told us to come over immediately! So we did and it went soooo well. Before we even said the prayer Davide told us he had been reading the Book of Mormon, and asked me if it were possible if he could serve a mission one day. After seeing my reaction he laughed and said "I know, I need to get some things in my life in order and then be baptized. With time Sorella Taylor!" He's so awesome:) were going to get him to stop smoking so it will take some time but he is somethin special! We taught him, Zahaitu and her 4 children about faith and read Alma 32 together and the Spirit was so strong.
We set a time to meet with him Sunday morning to walk to church together, and Sunday morning we waited for him in piazzo but he didn't come or answer his phone and we were so sad. Well after church we get a text from him and find out that he had walked for about an hour and a half, his phone died, he got lost and couldn't find the church, and decided to turn around and walk back home. Satan is working so hard on him cause he knows how ready he is-but were going to get him to church on Sunday I know it:)
We had an amazing lesson with Ivan this week! Because Sorella Cueva is being transferred to Bari (wahoo I'm so excited for her) we can't teach him Spanish anymore so we told him and he was still so tranquil and wants to continue learning about the gospel. We taught him the plan of salvation, there is nothing more beautiful than telling someone for the first time they can live with their family, the ones they love, and Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ for eternity! There are some people who are just so ready for this gospel and you could see his eyes light up when we explained to him he is a literal son of God and there is a purpose for him here on earth. Before we invited him to ready the Book of Mormon he said "I want to read the Book of Mormon to learn more about my purpose." We're passing him to the anziani (Elders) just cause he's male and all that but I'm so grateful for the experience that we've had teaching him!
One morning cute Sorella Giorgianni called us and was so distraught and needed help in her yard so we hurried over and helped move things in her shed and worked in her garden, it was so much fun! She didn't talk to us very much while we were there but at the end she just grabbed us, hugged us tight and with tears in her eyes she said "siete angeli." I have a strong testimony that through service we get just a small taste of how much God really does love His children and that we can be windows of His love to others :)
So grateful to be here in the mission and to be sharing this perfect gospel! I was so grateful to take the sacrament yesterday and have that personal time with my Savior and recommit myself to be a better disciple of Him...we truly can restart every day through Him and find a new life. He lives! Yesterday we were so sad cute Leona didn't come to church so we went over to her house and she had just been crying all day cause she misses her husband who passed away a couple years ago...I know that through the gospel of Jesus Christ we will see our family again and can live together forever! This gospel brings so much happiness and truth!
Until next time amici e famiglia :-) sending some love from sunny sunny Messina!
Ciao a tutti! This week has just flown by I don't understand where
time is going! It's been such an amazing week, the amount of miracles
and tender mercies we see every day just strengthens my testimony that
this is the Lords work! I am so grateful to be a missionary, to meet
so many people every day and to share my simple testimony of Jesus
Well first off this morning we were standing in line at the questura in
Bari waiting for my permesso (visa) and in walks this huge group of refugees!
They all were speaking English and one of them said something that was
so funny so I started laughing and he turns and looks at me and smiles
and yells MISSIONARIES! I'm a Mormon! Turns out he just moved here
from Nigeria and has been looking for the church! He was soooo cool,
he had been preparing to go to the temple in Ghana! We talked for a
bit, gave him the address of the church and everything, it was such a
This week we had the opportunity to do member exchanges with the
Crisafulli sisters-Martina 18 yrs old and Samantha 20 :) I went with
Samantha and it was such an incredible experience....she is in the
process of deciding if a mission is right for her and is nervous that
being timid she won't be able to talk to people about the gospel! We
went out and taught some investigators (including Anna, the awesome
woman we met in the shoe shop-I am so happy about this one she is so
ready for the gospel), went finding and taught some less actives. And
throughout the day and during lessons Samantha began to open up and
overcome this fear and she bore the most beautiful testimony and
shared some powerful experiences! Well, at the end of our scambio the
Relief Society pres. texted her and asked her to give the relief
society lesson...on MISSIONARY WORK! She did such a good job and
shared her experience from this week. It was just so cool to see
that no matter how much fear we have to share the gospel, if we open
our mouths and pray God will give us the words to say and the strength
to overcome any fear and be the instrument He needs! And nothing
compares to the joy that comes from sharing this gospel!
Little update on investigators...
-Ivan came to corso a few weeks ago, told Sorella Cueva he wants to go to
Spain and learn Spanish so she was like hey we will teach you 30 min
of Spanish if you'll also let us teach you 30 min about our church.
And he was like yes why not! Well we taught him and it turned out to
be such an amazing lesson, he loved it! if Sorella Cueva leaves this next
transfer I sure won't be able to teach him Spanish but I think he
might have more interest in the gospel than he does Spanish!
-Also we picked up Giovanni and Guzzi, cute young couple from corso.
They're super duper Catholic but also very open and disposti to listen
to our message! Anyone can change and I think with time they will be
-We're not only teaching Patrizia from Columbia but her 2 daughters
now! And last week we taught her 16 yr old daughter Michaela the
restoration when she was sick in bed and the spirit was SO strong!
Afterwards she was like "secondo me è vero!" and has started doing the
libro di Mormon challenge from start to finish with us!
-Francesca has been coming to church for a year but doesn't want to be
baptized or commit herself cause it scares her and I'm just like WHAT
you know this is true! She's a bit tricky to meet with during the week
but one morning we were prompted to see her so we made a dolce and
took them over and turns out she was sick so wasn't at work and we had
a wonderful lesson! #miracles
In February President & Sorella Waddoups invited all missionaries to read
the Book of Mormon from start to finish by May, so I did and finished
it on Sunday yay! Never in my life have I read the BOM with this much
diligence, meditating and trying to put into practice what I learned
every day! Doing this has been one of the biggest blessings I've seen
in my mission the past little while:) I've come to better understand
that the BOM is literally the word of God-in some of the past little
struggles during the mish Heavenly Father has always lead me to open
the BOM and every time I found peace and answers and comfort that
nothing else could give me-He literally can talk to us through the
scriptures. Well Sunday morning as I was playing the prelude music in
church Fratello Impollonia came up to me & asked if I could give a
talk in church because there would be extra time....I was one of the
first to speak, had no idea what I was going to say but as I stood up
felt strongly prompted to share my experience about the BOM. As I was
talking I really felt the Spirit bearing testimony to me of the truth
and I just was so overwhelmed that I have been so blessed to have this
knowledge! The BOM is true and contains the fullness of His gospel and
draws us closer to God:)
Well I just loooooove being a missionary. I don't know why but this
past week especially I have been so overwhelmed with gratitude for the
opportunity to play such a small part in this work with Sorella Cueva.
It's been hard, Satan tries to discourage us every day and tell us
that we're not good enough and not capable of doing this or finding
people who want to talk to us. But we also have Heavenly Father and
Jesus Christ on our side who are literally guiding us to people who
are in need, and helping us find the joy of seeing others making
changes in their lives to become closer to Christ and find the hope
that this gospel brings. And we have been able to find this joy
together...I LOVE THIS GOSPEL.
Well life is so good. Have an incredible week, happy wedding to my
best friend Maddy and happy graduation Daniel :) I love you all!
It's been another happy week! So many good experiences, adventures and lots of things to be learned! Loving Messina more and more every day!
This week we did a scambio with the sorelle from Siracusa so I got to spend the day with cute Sorella Harmon from Oregon! She's the best! We had so much fun together, we plastered the city with English course posters, went less active hunting in the middle of no mans land, and talked to more people in the space of 3 hours than I've ever talked to in my life. We walked into a shoe shop to ask this woman if we could put an English course poster outside her window and then proceeded to talk with her and share a message. She loved what we had to say and told us she is searching for peace in this world-I think we can help her find that! We exchanged numbers and we will hopefully get to see her this week, speriamo bene :)
One morning we went less active finding up in the mountains and were able to get in the door with this cute Sorella who hasn't been coming to church in months. She has the cutest daughter named Cristal!!! That made me happy :) Anyways, we shared with her the story of Damascus and afterwards she told us the overwhelming feeling of the Spirit that she felt and that it was the same feeling she had when she came to church. She explained all the reasons why she hasn't been coming to church and feels like her life has been easier since...but she hasn't been happy and she knows she needs to return. It was such a spiritual lesson. We also went and saw Sorella Gambardella, she said that no one has come to visit her in the last 3 years since she has left the church. Working with all these less actives lately has really shown me how it's never too late to return and come back! Since leaving the church lots of these people have faced problems and challenges and haven't known where to turn. And they find themselves so unhappy! I know that Christ is just waiting for all these sheep to come back and He will help carry them home:)
One night cute Leona (less active from the Philippines) invited us over to dinner with a couple who she thought would have interest in the church. Haha it was quite the experience...first the boyfriend walks in wearing a byu sweatshirt, so that just made my whole night! He didn't remember where he had bought it...anyways we started eating and tried talking to the girlfriend but she wouldn't talk to us or even look up from her plate..her boyfriend said she doesn't talk when eating and wants her privacy. We continued to eat, I didn't know what I was eating most of the time-lots of mystery Phllippinian food so that was fun haha. All of a sudden the boyfriend said something and his girlfriend just started to laugh, and the more she laughed she couldn't stop. And she continued to laugh for about 10 minutes, no lie, and none of us had any idea what was going on...the boyfriend seemed a bit worried. Haha it was the strangest experience. Anyways we shared a spiritual thought, unfortunately the girlfriend walked out of the room but he had so much interest! He told us when he was 14 years old he prayed to feel Gods love and felt that God was listening to him. He told us he wants to know more about what we believe in. We're excited to teach him the restoration this week-I think he will love the story of 14 yr old Joseph Smith :)
Our investigator Rosario came to church yesterday so that was a huge miracle! She's 18 years old and loves to play the piano but doesn't have one so she loves playing in the church and listening to the hymns. She hasn't been able to meet with us the past few weeks but she came to church yesterday and absolutely loved it! Excited to see what happens with her.
Something interesting that happened this week haha...the other day as we were walking back from visiting a less active, this older man stops me and says "English?" And I smiled and turned around and said yes!!! He proceeded to tell me that he had read the Book of Mormon and taken the lessons from the anziani in the past. All of a sudden he started speaking in French and then reached into his pockets and grabbed a handful of candy and shoved it into our hands! He then grabbed my hand and said baciami! (To kiss his cheeks) and I nicely tried to tell him as missionaries were not allowed to kiss men and then he grabbed my hand even tighter and just started laughing and smashed his lips on my cheek and gave me a huge wet kiss. Bleh. I turn around and Sorella Cueva was hunched over she was laughing so hard and I escaped his tight grip and then he yelled "I love you!".....ayyy ayy these Italian men. The moral of the story is to not take candy from strangers...
Well that's a wrap for this week!! I love the mission and I love being a missionary! I am especially grateful for the Book of Mormon this week, it's true and anyone can read it and pray about it and know personally of its truth. It brings so much direction and answers into our lives! Have the BEST week, love you all and thank you for all the support!
It's been such a wonderful week, so grateful to be out serving here in Messina!!
-made brownies for all the people in our apartment and delivered them
-watched part of meet the Mormons with our investigator Michela and she LOVED it
-started teaching the sister of a member, at the beginning of the
lesson she was very closed and mad at God because of things that have
happened in her life but by the end she seemed so at peace and could
feel the spirit
-we're teaching this caregiver who works at a nursing home and one day
we go and teach her and the cute signorina she takes care of (92 years
old). As we we're teaching the plan of salvation and life after this
life the old woman just started laughing and laughing--we thought she
was going to have a heart attack! Haha and she said this is the best
thing I have ever heard, I will live again!
-teaching the Zahaitu and Cosenza family and both are progressing :)
-there's a little bookshelf in the street outside our apartment and
anyone can leave/take a book! So we left a Book of Mormon with our
number and when we returned a couple hours later it was gone:) Let's
hope for a miracle!
We picked up 4 new investigators this week! People who I think have a
lot of potential and have been very willing to listen to our message!
One of them being this woman named Mariangela-she was found in the
area book and had been taught back in 2008, so we decided to call her
back up and see if she was interested! Well we went over to her house
on Saturday and the lesson went so well! She is a lawyer, they have 2
children and her husband is a religion professor so you can imagine
some of the questions he had for us :) Anyways, we taught the
restoration and the Spirit was strong and the husband said we must
come over to dinner this next week and he will have a whole new set of
questions! As we were leaving, they have this dog, (the biggest dog I
have ever seen), and it's tied up to the railing of the stairs and the
husband is like "don't worry he's a nice dog, he only bites Mormons."
All of a sudden the dog growls and jumps up on his back two legs
onto my companion (literally the size of a bear) and the whole stair
railing looked like it was going to come flying off! Hahah it was a
Fratello Impollonia-I have really just gained such a great
appreciation and love for this member! He is in his 70s, has 4
children who have all gone inactive and written anti Mormon books, and
because of that some members in our ward are struggling with their
testimonies. He is the 2nd counselor in the bishopric, he is over
genealogy, he is our Ward mission leader, and he cleans the church
every week. His wife gets angry with him cause he spends so much time
doing things for other people and for the church haha. I have never
seen someone so humble and so dedicated to their church callings, it's
been so humbling for me to see. Almost every time we walk into the
church, without fail, he is in the computer room doing genealogy or
shuffling around the church and cleaning:) At correlation last week he
offered to give all of our investigators rides to church! You can tell
he is just so heart broken his children have all left the church, but
he is doing all he can to set a Christlike example for them. Every
member a missionary! "Let there be cultivated an awareness in every
member’s heart of his own potential for bringing others to a knowledge
of the truth. Let him work at it. Let him pray with great earnestness
about it." President Gordon B Hinckley :)
Yesterday as we were walking to the church this man on the street
yelled "Sisters!" Haha I was shocked to hear English, we went over to
talk to him and I was so awkward and started saying some words in
Italian haha. Anyways, turns out he was from New York, and they were
visiting his wife's family here in Sicily! He proceeded to tell us 4
of his children had served missions in Rome and Greece and also told
us that he wasn't active in the church anymore. I felt so strongly to
invite him to Conference and he said they couldn't but he promised
they would watch it on the Internet when they got home and he was just
so sincere. I hope you all loved General Conference as much as I did!
We were only able to watch the Saturday and Sunday morning sessions so
I am excited to read the rest of the talks later:) I honestly felt
that every talk was so inspired and they all supported one another! We
watched Saturday morning with a new convert Stefania and she said she
had never felt the Spirit so strong before, and I could agree it was
such a beautiful spiritual experience! We watched it in Italian, and I
remember feeling at times that I didn't understand everything but the
Spirit helped me understand things I needed to hear!
A little tender mercy from this last week-Angela, a less active from
Bari who started coming back to church right before I left emailed me
and told me she had talked to bishop to prepare for a MISSION! She
said that there are people out there who need to hear her testimony of
the Savior, and she is doing all she can to prepare:) I think my heart
was about to burst I'm SO happy!!!!! I just know with my heart that
this church is true! Those of you who haven't found that confirmation
I promise you if you pray God will give you answers and you will find
more happiness and clarity and light in your life than you can
imagine. I know this because I see it in every moment of my life and
in those people who act on our message! The gospel changes lives!
Crystal's current area is Passo Corese, Italy.
Her address is:
Via Giacomo Matteotti, 187
02032 Passo Corese RI