How to write to Sara:

Sara loves to get letters!

Sorella Sara Leckie
The Italy Rome Mission
Piazza Carnaro, 20
00141 Roma

For more details regarding mail, go to the following link:

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Email from Sara 12/23/08

Okay this is going to be pretty short today because I'm talking to you on Thursday. Yay!!! I'm planning to call between 5:45 and 6:15 on Thursday evening here so between 11:45 and 12:15 there. I hope that's okay becuase that's what you get :).

Alrighty, I'm gonna send a picture, but one big-ish thing that I forgot to mention last week was that I got my hair cut. There is a guy in our ward who works in a salon and when I left there I was really really worried, and he even said that he wanted to do more to my hair but that I looked scared. Anyhow, let me just tell you that I have bangs now. Initally I thought I looked like a boy with a shaggy haircut, but it has gotten better now, I'm still slightly regretting the bangs, but all I can do is let it grow now. I guess it's alright though.
Hm, lets see... this past Friday was the ward Christmas party and we had a few investigators there so taht was great. The Christmas party itself was pretty chaotic. It was supposed to start at 7:30 but didn't actually get going until 8:00ish and then it was just a mad house, they tried to have a contest with the food and sampling food between performances by the young men and women and it was just impossible to get everyone back into their seats for another round of cheesy skits. But the food was delicious and I think everyone had a fun time. There was a little part for the kids that did'n't even get started until 10:00- and yes, all the kids were still awake and going strong. And to top it off... someone brought non-alcoholic beer to the party. It just looked very very apostate, but I suppose it could just be a cultural difference. Who knows? The bishop didn't seem too concerned :)
We've officially started the new transfer and my companion and I are both determined to work hard and do our best. It's hard sometimes but this is the Lords work and He blesses His missionaries. This is where I'm supposed to be and I only hope and pray that I can become what the Lord wants me to become.
Sorry this is so short today, but I guess anything else I can tell you on Wednesday. :)
Love ya tons and tons!
Sorella Leckie

Here are the pictures and Sara's descriptions:

Our tree!

This is right after I got my haircut and he styled it and everything... you can see why I was scared, right?

This is a few days later after all the hairspray was gone and I felt a little bit more like me. This is actually at the Chrismas Party. It's me, Sorella Bennion, and Simona one of our potential investigators. She is great! Anyhow...

This is at Piazza del Popolo. It's really really close to where we have zone singing.

This is my district with our Justice and Mercy League ID cards. I'm not sure how much I've mentioned about the Justice and Mercy league, but my companions and I started it last transfer as a way to hopefully create more district unity. It was really fun.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Email from Sara 12/17/08

Ciao tutti!

Well it is a beautiful day in Rome!  It’s not very cold and the sun is shining for the first time in days.  We’ve had some really good thunderstorms here though.  The thunder just seems to rumble for forever.  I love it!  Lots and lots of rain though.  But I manage to stay dry enough.

I will be staying in the Rome 2 district.  I’m pretty excited about that and look forward to getting to know my way around a little better.  I am still with one of my companions, Sister Bennion.  Sister Ross headed home this morning :(.  But I’m excited for her to be home for Christmas.  We are actually still in a Threesome for the moment because the °Dying° missionaries leave on Tuesday, but Transfers don’t actually happen until Thursday.  So another of the Sister’s (Sister Johnson) who’s companion died is paired up with us until tomorrow morning.  We are actually sleeping in the other district, but still having to do what needs to be done in our area, so it’s kind of weird.  I’m excited to be able to get into a routine.  And I’m super excited to be working with Sister Bennion.  For the past month, I’ve felt like we were just kind of plodding along, doing what had to be done and nothing more.  But S. Bennion and were discussing that we don’t want to plod along.  So we’re stepping it up.  I’m just hoping that we step it up to a pace that we can both maintain.  It will be great!

Okay... I guess I’ll take care of this little item of business.  I can get an international phone card her for €5.  Which is really really cheap and that will allow me to talk for the 30-45 minutes we are allowed.  So,  I don’t know for sure what time I’ll be calling, because that has to be arranged by our district leader who is being transferred in tomorrow, and  I think we’ll be having P-day on Tuesday because Wednesday is Zone Conference ,so I’ll try to let you know on Tuesday what time I’ll be able to call.  But, as far as who to talk to and how I’ll talk with everyone...  I don’t think I’ll have time to make a bunch of calls and I’m not sure how I would do a conference call, but if you wanted to have a trial run and see how well you can hear when you have the cordless on speaker phone and a cell phone on speaker right next to it or something.  I’ll let you all figure that part out.  But I’ll be calling from the church here with a phone card at some time on Christmas day.  The tricky part will be figuring out the time difference so I’ll let ya know when to expect that.

Alrighty, what else… I always seem to forget what I wanted to tell you when I sit down in front of the computer. I’m not exactly sure what the problem is :) Probably that my brain is fried.  That seems to be the most likely.

We have our ward Christmas party coming up this Friday and we have several non-members who have said that they will come.  We’re really excited.  There are so so so many good people who are friends with the missionaries and members but seem to be content with just that. They aren’t interested in hearing the lessons or anything, but they just want to keep on they way they are.  It’s tricky to work around, but there’s a quote in Preach my Gospel that says something to the effect that one day every person will be backed against the wall of faith and we will have to choose if we are going to follow our Savior, Jesus Christ, and try to live His gospel.

We do have one investigator, Jackie, who is fantastic.  She’s been learning for a while, but she works on Sunday’s and hasn’t been able to come to church, but she knows that’s what she needs to do to be baptized. She wants to be baptized and do what’s right and that is so exciting!  There truly are people who are prepared for the gospel.

Okay… well we still have lots of things to do and not much time to do it, so I’m gonna run. I’m super excited to talk to you on Christmas day!  I love you all and hope you have a fantastic and very merry Christmas.  And mom, you better have made lots of goodie plates even without me there to practically force you to do it :).  Love you!!

Sorella Leckie

p.s. – I spent €45 on a pair of boots.  It just rains too much to have something that doesn’t cover your entire foot.  They should be very adequate for this winter and next.  Just wanted to let you know where that chunk of money went  :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Email from Sara 12/10/08

Well hello everyone! Happy christmas! People here are starting to decorate their balconies and I love it! We found an old Christmas tree in our apartment and even some decorations and lights so we have a nice little tree that starts about 4 feet off the ground becasue all that we could find for a stand was the base to a fan. It looks a little silly, but it works and I love it. And all around the bottom are my many many presents- it really is testing my patience especially sinceI can kind of tell what some of them are... I really want those reeses! But I'm waiting for christmas- or I'm trying to anyway. I got two packages and that's all that I remember you saying you sent so I'm assuming thats everything... which is good because there is PLENTY there!

Its interesting to see the diferent ways people celebrate the holidays here. It really doesn't seem like christmas is that big of a deal, it could just be that I'm on a mission, but when we talk to people and ask what they do for christmas it doesn't seem like they have any really big traditions or anything. Kind of sad. The week of Thanksgiving we had english class and we were talking about thanskgiving and I didn't realize how thankful I was for that holiday. It was sad to me to see how hard it was for some of them to think of something they were thankful for and then when they did come up with something I think the first thing they said was wine. So sad to me. I'm glad that I've always been encouraged, not just at thanksgiving, to reflect on my blessings and all the ways the Lord shows his love for us.

Continuing on, yesterday was fun. We do service at a nursing home and we sang some christmas songs with some of the folks there and it was fun to find some that everyone knew becasue the old people, the nurses, and other people visiting would start singing. It's amazing to see how the holidays can affect people when they stop to think about the meaning.

As far as the work goes, we meet so many wonderful people all the time, but it seems so hard to just get an appointment and be able to actually teach them doctrine. It's not even because they don't want anything to do with the church, but they just don't realize how important it it. They always say they're too busy now, or they'll learn more later. It's sad, but we just keep going to find the people who are prepared and want to learn, becasue I know they're there. The lord is always preparing people to recieve His gospel.

I guess right now we're all just kind of holding our breath. Transfers are a couple of days before christmas and of course no one wants to be transfered, but there are six new sisters coming in so there has to be some moving around. In my companionship S. Ross is going home and S. Bennion has been out long enough that she would be able to train one of these new sisters, but I'm really jsut hoping that we'll both get left here for at least one more transfer. We find out on Monday, so I'll let ya know. Whatever happens will be fine, but I'd really love to stay here for christmas. =)

Alrighty, well my companion needs to use the computer so I'm going to attach a picture and call it good. This is A picture of Sorella Ross trying to guess what my presents are and of the tree. It's lovely, huh? I'm not sure how well it's showing up but I'll try to take a better picture of it later.

Okay, well I hope everyone is great.. I'll try to figure out a number for you to call at. I'm not sure if we'll be at the church or a member's home or what. Then there is always the possibility that i could be transfered so I'll let ya know next week when and where to call.
FYI' there are two more packages coming so let me know when they get there... It's for the fellas of the Leckie clan. Sorry sistas!
Love you all!!!!

Sorella Leckie

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Email from Sara 12/3/08

Ciao tutti!!

This will be short and sweet today.  It's been a long but good day- things haven't gone exactly as planned but you just have to roll with it I supposed.  I went with the Sister half of the senior couple this morning to a shopping center to help her buy some things- she needed a little bit of help with some translations on lotion bottles and things like that.

Anyhow, we thought that it was just going to be a little store, but it turns out that it was like a giant mall.  We had planned to go shopping today anyway becasue Sorella Ross wants to buy some things before she goes home, so we ended up staying there all day long practically.  This may sound great and wonderful, but I'm not the greatest fan of all day shopping trips, especially when I don't  have an overabundance of money, (I did buy a few shirts, though :).

Anyhow, there's actually a grocery store- a giant grocery store attached to this mall, and an Ikea intrestingly enough, and so we did ALL of our shopping.  We had lots of stuff, but the problem at this point was that we didn't know where the bus would come to pick us up because we had ridden with Sorella Pearson to the store.  So we go outside the way that we think we're supposed to go and don't see a bus stop, and the bags were REALLY REALLY heavy, so we walk a little further and there's still no bus stop. We see a bus that we could maybe figure out the route on but even it was going the wrong way.  So we, being the spoiled sister missionaries that we are, were able to make a phone call and have someone come pick us up.  It's a very nice luxury, but the point of that very long story is that I don't have much time tonight.  And there is a very Very VERY sad detail in this story- and that is that I lost my memory card for my camera. I had taken it out and left it in my camera case because I'm working on a christmas present for you all and had a new SD card in my camera and I think at somepoint today my old card fell out of my camera case.  I'm pretty bummed out about it because I will never be able to get some of those pictures back.  My only- and very small- consolation is that most of the time I was taking a pictures other people were as well so there are similar pictures somewhere around here.  :( But I guess it's not worth losing sleep over.

That's very exciting news about my new nephew.  I like the name Andrew James.  I'm excited to meet him someday and I hope everyone is doing well.

I had a great thanksgiving.  It was all the missionaries in my district and everyone contributed somethings and we had a regular Thanksgiving with Turkey, Dressing, and all the fixin's.  It was fun to get to know the elders and couple missionaries in my district.

A quick cool story and then we've got to go because we have an appointment, but sometimes on Sunday's we have °zone singing°  and we go to a big Piazza where there are a lot of people and just sing and if people stop to listen then one of the missionaries will go and talk to them.  It's a really good way to find new people.  Anywho, we were finishing up and there were only a few of us left and there was a small group of people who stopped to listen.  We ended up talking to them a little bit afterwards and it turns out that they were also from the states- New York specifically, and doing a study abroad.  There was  a girl, Caroleena, who was amazing.  She was really nice and I was able to bear my testimony to her- in English- and it was fantastic to be able to share my testimony unhindered by the language.  Obviously I have no Idea if she'll ever persue the gospel. She lives in Florence now and will be going back to NY soon, but the seed has been planted.  It's a good feeling.

Alrighty, well my time has expired.  I hope everyone is doing splendidly and gearing up for the holiday season.  I love it!  People are starting to decorate and it's so fun.  I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Vi voglio piu bene!!
Sorella Leckie

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Email from Sara 11/27/08

Hello family and anyone else who reads this!

I hope everyone is enjoying their Thanksgiving. We have a pretty big dinner planned with the missionaries in my district. There are twelve of us all in the same ward so it should be pretty fun. We moved our P-day to Thursday and it's been a pretty nice laid back day. We aren't planning to go see anything big or exciting, and that's fine with me.

I've gotten to meet a lot more of the ward members here this week. It has been nice. There are several people who speak english and even a few Americans who work either with the Embassy or FBI. They are all so nice. I've actually had a cold the past week and the members have all taken really good care of me. :) There was a relief society/young women/primary activity this past Saturday and we invited an inactive lady and surprisingly she came, and while she was at church she said that she was coming back to church. She couldn't come last sunday because she already had plans with her son who is not a member, but said she would come this sunday. Keep your fingers crossed and your prayers coming!

This past sunday was actually the primary program and it was great. The chapel is actually the multi purpose room and there wasn't room for everyone so we actully watched the program from a room upstairs where it was broadcast on a little TV. It was fun to see how some things are just the same wherever you are. It was also funny to see how some things are different as there were camera flashes going off throughout the program. Kinda funny.

Oh what else. Last week I got to go to see the Cistine Chapel. It was amazing in many different ways. It was amazing how much work went into that building, and amazing how much of the building they make you walk through before you can actually see the Cistine Chapel. Mama mia! We probably walked a few miles within the Vatican before we got to see it! Unfortunately you're not allowed to take pictures of the actual ceiling, but I did take some of the Vatican and of other art before we got to the chapel. It is all incredible and very enlightening on Catholicism- very interesting to see their perception on some things, such as the priesthood keys etc.
This is one of the more famous works in the Vatican. When I was taking humanities I could have told you what the name of it was and who painted it, but now I'm pretty clueless. I do know that it was one of the first major paintings where they were trying to use perspective and dimension in paintings.

I've decided that I could live in the Italian countryside. The city I could do without but the countryside is BEAUTIFUL!!! We went to harvest olives at a members house this past Saturday and the drive there was amazing! Harvesting olives was pretty cool, too. It was pretty different, I wasn't really sure what to expect, but pretty much there are these special rakes and you just rake the tree. We got to climb some of them too. :) The family who has the trees uses the olives to make olive oil. And yes, they use olive oil here like it was going out of style- on EVERYTHING!! When you eat something italian it either has olive oil, tomatoes, or nutella :) Okay, that may not be exactly true, but sometimes it seems like it.

I really don't feel like I've had that much Italian food, people seem to try to make other things for us when we they feed us. But it's all pretty good, whatever it is. I'm very lucky- at least so far- that they don't try to make us eat anything really nasty. :)
Also we had our Zone conference with Elder Oaks and Causse. Needless to say it was fantastic and very inspiring. They spoke primarily on having the spirit as a missionary and on being 100% committed. It was great.

Aside from those things it was a fairly normal week. We stay relatively busy, I say relatively because it seems like we spend so much time on the bus. Our area is HUGE! But we're trying to find ways to make our bus time more effective.

Okey dokey, well I better go so I can send a few pictures. I love you all and am SO THANKFUL for all that you do for me!! The church is true!

Vi voglio bene!!!

Sorella Leckie

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Email from Sara 11/19/08

Dear everyone!

Wow! What a quick week. I feel like the time is flying already. Alrighty... where to start. This week has been pretty crazy and will continue to be. Sunday we had to wake up early to go help translate for seminary. There are actually quite a few people in the ward who speak english. There's a military base and just some people who work here with their families. They have seminary on sunday mornings before church so we went to do that. Sunday evening we had zone singing. That's pretty much just when anyone who wants to from the zone goes to a palazza and sings and if people stop to listen then someone goes and talks to them or you can just go and stop people. It was fun to go. We did talk to one lady who said she was interested in coming to church. We'll see, but who knows. As the sisters in our district we get a lot of the single sisters to teach. It's great- the only problem at this point is that it just doesn't seem like there's enough time to go to everyone we have on our lists. We also work a good bit with some of the inactive people in the ward. It really is a fantastic ward and there is a lot of support for missionary work. The Stake Pres, Patriarch, and Mission President are all in the ward. Also our Ward Mission Leader right now is really great. He just got home from a mission to Spain, I think, and he's really on the ball.

Okay back to my week. Monday we had to get up really early and go to the °Qustura° It's like the immigration office because we have to have a °permesso di sojuorno° so that we can stick around after our visa's have expired. It was quite the adventure as everyone was trying to get in first. My companion had an appointment, but that doesn't seem to matter. My other companion has an appointment this next week so we get to do it again. Tuesday was pretty normal, but we had English class to teach. We have the advanced class so we really just get to talk with the Italians. Today is Wednesday, obviously, and we are headed to the Cistine Chapel today and then we'll get some fantastic gelato. I'm pretty excited. Then tomorrow, we have service in the morning- we ususally go to a nursing home. I feel really dumb when we go because I have a hard enough time understanding people speaking italian clearly, but when the old people mumble it's impossible. But we go and hopefully they enjoy it. Last week sorella bennion played the piano at the nursing home and they really seemed to enjoy that so we might be making our service a little more music oriented. Friday is Zone conference. It was supposed to be wednesday but we actually have two general authorities coming and they needed to adjust things. I believe it will be Robert Oaks, and Gerald Caussè. I think. Anyhow that should be fantastic. Then Saturday we are going to go olive harvesting. I'm really excited and hopefully we'll be able to get some of our investigators there. So that's my week in a nutshell.
As far as investigators go, we have a lot of people that we visit, and a few that we teach. There are several people who it seems that they want to be baptized but they work on sundays. It seems that that is just too big of a leap of faith for them to try to find another job, but hopefully the Lord will touch their hearts.
Just a few little tidbits that you might find funny or interesting about Italy is that there are motorini- or scooters EVERYWHERE and they are crazy. YOu know how there are usually two lines down the middle of a street? Well the people on scooters seem to think that the space between the lines is their lane. It's ridiculous especially when there are people coming from both directions. I'm not sure how everyone stays alive but I've actually only seen one accident. But I definitely would never want to drive in rome. There doens't seem to be any rhyme or reason to anything. I'm quite content to let the amazing bus drivers navigate.

Also something funny that I've noticed is that there seems to be at least five differnt types of tile in every apartment, building, home, or anything. THere is tile everywhere. It's kind of fun, and it doesn't seem to matter that they don't match. :)

On a more serious note, I guess there are some days here when I don't feel like i'm accomplishing anything- I don't know the language, I'm not helping my companions, etc. But somehow the Lord always confirms in my mind that this is where I need to be, and i just need to follow the Spirit so that I can be in the right places at the right times to find those who'se hearts have been prepared for the gospel. I'm just waiting for the day when I can see how someone I've found has changed their life because of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know it's true and the way to the greatest happiness we could ever want. I love you all so much and pray for you daily!!

Vi voglio piu bene!!
Sorella Leckie

This is Sorella Bennion, Sorella Ross, and Me... we took this today just so we would have a good picture of the three of us. Sorella Ross has a really cute one of us waiting at the bus stop in the rain at night eating m&m's. Good stuff- but that's on her camera.

This is the temple site. It's 15 acres and the plans are to have a temple, a stake center, and some kind of housing facility for people who come from far away.

Jumbo jet that took us from Chicago to London

This is from the MTC, obviously. The classic picture by the map.

This is one of the only pictures of my entire district from the MTC.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Email from Sara 11/12/08

Mama mia!!! What a week!!! I have so much to tell you and I'm just not sure how it's all going to fit in this email. First of all- I'm going to go to Word to write this, just in case. So I'll copy and paste a letter in in a few minutes...

Okay- where do I start. Okay, I’m serving in one of the districts in Rome. The Rome 2 district. I think there are 3 districts and then a few more close by that are in our zone. Our area is HUGE and there are SO SO SO many people. It’s crazy. We ride the bus everywhere and it makes for not many appointments because sometimes it takes a really long time to get somewhere. I am actually in a three-some, yes, that’s very unusual for a trainee to be in a threesome, but it’s fine to me. I told president in my interview that I hoped he had a good trainer picked out for me because I would need a lot of help, so apparently he believed me. Not only do I have two companions, but the mission home is in my district, so we have the Assistants, the Office elders, the senior couple, a set of elders, and us in our district- so I think that’s twelve. The mission president is actually in our ward- so I have lots of help and supervison close by.

My companions are amazing. The official trainer is Sorella Ross. She is from Ohio and this is her last transfer. She is amazing and in any pictures she is the one that looks very Italian (for a reason- her mom is actually Italian). My other companion is Sorella Bennion. She is from Oregon and has been serving for about 8 months. She is absolutely amazing on the piano and can play anything by ear and transpose like it was nothing. They are fabulous and I’m very fortunate to be able to serve with both of them. In any pictures she’s the tall blonde-ish one. Alright- well I only have half an hour before p-day is over so I have to type fast. I’ll just tell you that I’m not sure exactly what time I’ll be writing every week. We are actually using the office computers, which is nice because we don’t have to pay, but we have to schedule with all of the other elders to make sure we all get a chance to write. We don’t have a set time limit, but we’ve been asked to not be extreme and not abuse the privilege, so I understand that we try not to take more than 45 min-1 hr. Also- I can get emails from anyone, but I can only respond to family. It would be really fun to get real mail so that would actually be a great way to communicate with the non-immediate family people :).

I’m going to just try to give you a rundown of what my first week has been like- this will not be a grammatically correct listing but the general ideas. I’ll try to include details for some of the funnier things, but I don’t know if I’ll have time today. But this week: I have had my first Italian pizza (it’s different, but very good- obviously); fallen asleep in really random places (jet lag is a beast); seen the colosseum (but only from the outside); I washed my hair in the sink at the London airport; me and my companions were asked on a date by one one of the bus-drivers and his friend (he wasn’t driving at the time, and we’re pretty sure they were high); exchanged many dollars for euros (the rate isn’t really that good right now, but it’s getting better); endured two bus strikes- it’s really obnoxious; lost my coat; found my coat; ridden a train, three metros, and too many busses to count; ate lots of delicious Philipino food at a part-member family’s home; got yelled at by a silly teenage boy; stared blank faced at several Italians who I tried to talk to, and then they responded- the language is coming, but slowly; had stake conference; been kissed (on the cheek) by a very drunk old man- it was incredibly awkward; had my first District meeting; been to a baptism for Raphael- he’s Philipino and AMAZING!; helped teach an English class (we have the advanced class which really means we just talk to people in English- perfect!); we’ve gone running/walking a few times and the sunrise is absolutely amazing- I’ll try to take a picture one morning; oh yeah, and Sorella Ross and I sang at Raphael’s baptism and the sorelle gave a little presentation on the restoration. I’m sure I’m forgetting some things. Aside from that we’ve visited with several inactive members and gotten some referrals. Thankfully there are actually a lot of people here who speak English- or at least try to, so we can usually communicate somehow :). My companions help me a lot. Wow! there just isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done- I already feel like the time is flying.

It’s been good though. An adjustment, but not too bad. It’s a little frustrating to not be able to understand people, but all in all I can get by. Everything here is so old- I’ve been able to see some amazing things already. St. Paul’s cathedral was beautiful (that’s where we went on the first day). It’s amazing to see these structures and think that this is where Paul taught so long ago. It’s amazing to see some of the symbolism in the statues and artwork. It makes me appreciate the restored gospel so much more than I already did to know that we have the same authority that was on the earth with Christ.

Okay- Well I’m running out of time and I still have to get some pictures attached so I’ll try to do that really quick. I love you all! I know that you’re praying for me because I can feel the blessings come. Sorry this letter is a bit short on good details, but ask me if you have any questions and I’ll try to give you all the details you could want.

Vi voglio bene!!
Sorella Leckie

Explanation for the pictures... I wanted to send more, but it takes a really long time to attach each one. I have lots of really fun ones from halloween in the MTC, too. So maybe another day when I have more time I'll send some of those. I'm already past 6:00- mama mia!! pic 212- me and S. Hawkey. This was about 3:30 in the morning before we left for Italy.

This is where I live.

This is the Colosseum

I'll try to send more pictures another day!! Love you!! Oh no! I have to take off some of the pictures-- there's a size limit. Sorry!

(a separate email):
So, apparently I can only send like one picture with each email, so I'll send lots of little emails next week. I'll also have a christmas list for you- I've already been trying to think of things.

Love you!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Email & Pictures from Mission President 11/8/08

Here are the pictures of your missionary with their group, President and I, and their new companion.  The name of the companion and city in which they will first serve is used as the name of the file.  (Your daugther is actually in our ward!)

Preparation Day is Wednesday.  They will email you on that day, but because of the time difference, you will want to send your email Tuesday night so they will have it when they get to the internet point Wednesday morning.

You should mail all packages and letters to the Mission Office.  They are then delivered at least twice every transfer (six-week period).   

The address is: 

Sorella Sara Leckie
The Italy Rome Mission
Piazza Carnaro, 20
00141 Roma

Please see for more specific mailing instructions.

Know that they are happy and well and will serve the Lord well.  We feel it an honor to serve with such fine young men and women.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at this address.

Con affetto,
(with affection)

President and Sister Acerson
Italy Rome Mission

Email from Sara's Mission President 11/7/08

Sara left Provo and went to Italy on Tuesday, November 4th, so we did not get the usual email from her.  We were all very excited, however, to get to talk to her on the phone while she was at the Salt Lake Airport and then again later when she was in Chicago.  She is doing great and it was wonderful to get to talk to her!  Here is an email that we received from her Mission President, President Acerson:

Dear Parents,

I'm sure you're all anxious to hear word that your missionary has arrived safely!  We picked them up from the airport yesterday -- with all their luggage! 

They had their first pizza, then we when went to the beautiful St. Paul's Basilica where Paul (teacher of the people, defender of truth) is buried.  Following that, we drove past the colosseum on our way to a lasagna dinner and an interview with President Acerson.


Today was filled with training and Golden Transfers, then they were off to their cities.

You can be very pleased with your missionary.  While I realize this is a group email, I can honestly say that I am speaking to each of you individually.  Every single elder and sister in the group was helpful, outgoing, happy, and excited about getting out there to serve!  They will make great missionaries.  Thank you for your sacrifice in sending them here to serve the Lord and bring others to Christ.

Tomorrow I will send pictures, mailing instructions, and more.  Thank you for your love, support, and prayers.  God be with you.

Con affetto,
(with affection), 

President and Sister Acerson

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Email from Sara 10/28/08

Ciao tutti!!!

Come va????   I can't believe that this is my last p-day in the MTC.  It's bittersweet really.  I've come to love my district and companion so much that it will really be sad to say bye.  Everyone got their travel plans last Friday so that was pretty exciting.  Even though we are on two different flights all of us will be leaving from SLC around 7:30 Tuesday morning and going to Chicago where we will be for about 5 hours.  The people going to milan will be there for about 3 hours so we have a little more time to say bye.  I do think I'll be able to call while I'm in Chicago. I have a calling card and I'm just planning to call mom's cell phone.  If there's a problem with this or any complaints you better send me a letter this week :)   I'm excitedly terrified to leave the relative security of the MTC.  I feel like I just don't know Italian well enough to go and actually teach people. 

Yesterday in our last TRC (where we go and practice teaching a lesson to someone in Italian) it was very frustrating becauce our "investigator"  asked a question that first of all was impossible to understand in Italian- and second of all- once I did figure out what his question was I'm not even sure if I could answer it in English.  Mama mia!  We recovered the lesson, but it was a bit dissatisfying to not leave feeling that we had answered his question.  But, alas, it was probably a good experience for me to realize that not everyone in Italy is going to know all the answers to the questions :). 


I'm jealous when I hear about the fire in the fireplace and going camping.  Lately the weather here has been absolutely perfect for going camping and I really just want to go up the canyon and have a bonfire.  It's painful when we walk back to our residence hall and I think about all the fun bonfires I had and how perfect it would be up there right now... *sigh*... but right now I get to get ready to go to Italy... and what could be better than that?!?  I do have a feeling that Thanksgiving will be a little different there than here... oh wait a minute... I'm actually pretty positive that it will be non-existant.  But, I'm sure I'll have some good Italian food to make up for the turkey and dressing.  :)


I do have some sad news...  At gym the other day I lost my watch and CTR ring.  I put it on the bleachers like I always do and then when it was time to go it wasn't there anymore.  I suspect that someone just picked it up accidentally but they haven't turned it in to lost and found yet.  Believe me- I've checked... and checked... and checked.   One of the anziani has been nice enough to let me steal his watch for a few days, but my teacher is going to go to walmart to pick up one for me because at the bookstore they're all $40+.  I think I will buy a new CTR ring though... I just feel naked without it, but it's so sad because I've had that one for so long.  Oh well... life goes on.


It's kind of funny how the elders in my district don't seem to trust the sisters anymore... we have played a few too many tricks on them... but they seem to like it even if they pretend not to :) We haven't done anything bad... just little things like move they're stuff around when no one else is in the room... really harmless.  I don't like mean pranks so we don't do any of that. 


Today is my last temple day for a year and a half.  I'm really sad. I've come to love going to the temple and will miss not being able to.  We've all decided to go back when the Rome temple is dedicated- that's a good excuse, right?  Anyhow...


I guess I'm gonna sign out now.  This week, I know, will fly by.  I'm excited for the chance to go to Italy and for the chance to help people come unto Christ.  Our teacher was sharing some stories about her mission, and it just reminded all  of us that there are people in Italy waiting to hear the gospel.  Thanks for the letters and prayers.


Vi voglio piu bene!!! 


Sorella Leckie

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Email from Sara 10/21/08

Alrighty, I'm thinking this won't be as long of a letter this week because I've made a cassette tape for you.  I'm going to mail it today- don't get too excited it's probably ridiculously boring.  Sorella Hawkey was kind enough to let me use her tape recorder so you get a tape.  There's a tape player under the foot of my bed in one of the containers if you can't find one anywhere else :)

Okay, I think I did mention a lot of this on the tape, but I guess some of it you will just get to hear twice.

Our new district arrived on wednesday. There are 6 sisters who will all be going to rome, and 8 elders.  7 will be going to Milan and one to Rome.  It's really kind of cool- there's a set of twins in the new district and that is the one elder who is going to Rome.  How crazy would it be to be in the MTC with your brother?  It's good though.

I did recieve the other package, and I'm drawing a blank on what other things I could want.  To a large extent it's probably cheaper for me just to buy most things that I may want here instead of having you mail them.  But thanks for the offer.

I was so sad to hear about BYU's loss- very disapointing, but I guess all good things must come to an end, right?

I sang in Sacrament meeting on Sunday-  I was kind of nervous so it wasn't as good as I would have liked, but I could tell that it touched some hearts- which is why we have music in Sacrament meeting, so I guess that's good enough.  I need to go back and read E. Uchtdorf's talk in Relief Socitey and remind myself not to focus on the things that I could have done better, and be thankful for what I was able to do.

Note for dad:
There are horseshoe pits here; I keep trying to challenge people to a match, but no one is brave enough.  =)   I'm glad to know you're still playing.  I challenge you to a game in... hmmm.... about 17 months, and then you'll be able to beat me fair and square I'm sure.

I CANNOT believe that I only have 2 weeks left in the MTC.  AHHHHH!!!  It's kind of interesting to see the change of heart I've had about the MTC, because before I didn't even want to spend any time here at all because it "was too much like a prison" in my mind... you go in, but you're not allowed to go out, but now I don't want to leave.  I love my teachers, my companion, my district, my zone, the atmosphere, everything.  Now I'm loathe to leave (I think I used that word right :)

I'm not sure when you 'll need to start sending snail mail to Italy... I'm really just anticipating continuing with the emailing.  But just in case I wanted to put my address for Rome in this letter:
CP 11/282 Montesacro
00141 Rome RM, ITALY
for packages:
Piazza Carnaro, 20
00141 Rome, RM, ITALY
no excuses now :)

This week has been really great- We got to hear from Richard G Scott on last Tuesday, and Sheri Dew this past sunday.  And we actually go to shake hands with both of them.  A cool experience for so many who haven't had the opportunity to shake the hand of an apostle before.  I'm very fortunate that this was time number 3 for me.

I was feeling pretty discouraged a bit earlier in the week- I wasn't sleeping well, and I felt like I wasn't working hard enough, and I always feel pretty stupid when it comes to learing Italian- all in all it was kind of rough, but then we were preparing to teach the Plan of Salvation yesterday and we were preparing to teach the atonement and discussing Alma 7:11-13, and it was such a testimony builder for me that even when I am having a rough day/week/ or whatever that my Savior wants to help me and knows how because He's experienced all of my pains- however minimal- so that he would know how to succor ME.  What a great message of hope for all those who don't know.
I'm so thankful for this opportunity I have to share the gospel with the people of Italy- and pray that I will be able to serve in such a way that the Lord will be able to say "well done, thou good and faithful servant."

Again, I love you all and hope all is well!

Vi voglio bene- piu!!
Sorella Leckie

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Email from Sara 10/13/2008


Mom- you can elaborate as much as you want.  I love all the details.  And as far as being in Italy, I'm pretty sure emailing will be just fine. 

Wow-- the weeks pass so quickly here.  There is still so much for me to learn, I just don't know how I'm going to fit it all into the next three weeks.  We have some new sisters and elders coming in this wednesday so our zone will increase in size dramatically.  There are six new sisters coming in who will all be going to Rome.  Very exciting.  I really wonder just how many sisters serve there- there must be a ton. 

I've had so many opportunities to hear great talks since i've been here.  This past sunday we had a relief society lesson from one of the members of the RS general board and the lesson was amazing.  She used a metaphor of Sarah Hughes (an Iceskater in the 2002 olympics) and her relationship with her coach, the crowd, and her reception from her coach at the end of her performance.  She applied this to our missions and also our lives.  Our coach would be the Lord, or any other guiding influences in our life.  The crowd- the angels who are cheering us on. And the reception from the coach at the end how we'll feel entering our Father's presence again.  It was absolutely amazing- you should look up her routine on youtube or something and watch it with this in mind.  Fantastic.


We did actually see some snow the other day- two days acutally.  It didn't ever snow long enough to really stick down in the valley, but the Y was covered with a light blanket :)  Pretty cold around here lately.  But I'm in a classroom most of the day so it's really not a big deal.  My coat situation is fine for now, layers work really well.


I did get my package the other day- it was like Christmas!!  Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!! 


I got a lot of letters yesterday- It was great!  I'm pretty excited about the fruit trees- and I totally think you should get a cow.  I'm not sure why, but I think that would be pretty cool :)


That's really exciting about the Spanish Branch.  That came up really fast- what a blessing for them and for the ward. 


I've come to the conclusion that I need to take smaller bites with my goal making.  I get overwhelmed with where I would like to be with the language and the gospel and I want to be so much farther than I am, and I bite off more than I can chew and just end up not doing any of the things I made a goal to do.  I'm working on making goals that are managable on a daily/weekly/monthly basis.  One talk we had the other day was on becoming consecrated missionaries and leaving everything on the alter.  It's hard to do, but I know if I can do it, that my mission will be more than I ever hoped for.  One think he said was that the Lord doesn't expect immediate perfection, but He does expect immediate progress.   I'm going for progress! 


Alrighty, well I'm gonna head out of here.  I love hearing from everyone and being able to keep tabs on what everyone is doing. 

I'm so blessed to be able to be here.  I have a fantastic companion and I absolutely love my district.  My teachers are amazing and push and stretch us to be better and better.  I'm truely able to see the hand of the Lord in my life each day.  I love you all and pray for you each day!! 




Sorella Leckie

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pictures 10/11/2008

So Sara's companion (Breanna Hawkey aka Sorella Hawkey) also has a blog that her sister is keeping for her (like I am doing here for Sara).  Today there new pictures on Breanna's blog that I have "borrowed" since Sara is in them...          

Sara & Breanna in front of the MTC
Sara and her zone in front of the Provo Temple

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Email from Sara 10/7/08

What a fantastic week!  I cannot even describe how excited we all were
to hear that there is going to be a temple in Roma! And somehow the
excitement isn't dying down at all.  We watched conference in the gym
and most of the Italian missionaries were sitting together. Let's just
say that all of the people in the gym knew where the Italians were
sitting :).  I know it is an answer to so many prayers.  Their closest
temple right now is Switzerland, so this will open up so many
opportunities for so many.  One of my teachers was telling us that she
had been recieving calls and texts non-stop since the announcement. (She
served in Milan) and that in Italy when the announcement was  made there
was a "standing ovation."  A temple will be such a great blessing, but I
know that great opposition will follow.  We're getting ready.

Conference was just amazing.  It was a nice break from the routine.  I
really loved so many talks it's hard to narrow it down to even a few,
but two thoughts that I just wanted to share that have been on my mind
are from President Holland's talk and pondering ways that I can be an
angel for others.  Another point that really stood out to me as I've
been learning how to teach and the importance of teaching was Brother
Gerald Causse when he said that the principle goal of a lesson is
conversion in people's hearts and that you know you have been a
successful teacher when people's lives change.  It's so difficult to
make people's hearts change becasue we cannot do it, but by bringing the
Sprit into a lesson, lives change. It's a daunting task, but It will be
worth it.

We all have a renewed determination to be better this week and in the
coming weeks.  One of my teachers (Sorella Clayton) Is amazing and truly
inspires us to be the best missionaries that we can.  She has been
teaching at the MTC for several years and really knows how to push us to
be better.  Both she and Fratello MacDonald are great teachers.

It was really interesting to watch conference as a missionary. I'm not
sure if  there have always been so many references to missionary work or
if it just seemed more pronounced this time because I am a missionary.
It was great.

We are once again attempting to speak only in Italian this week, becasue
we know we will be better if we can and will do it.  We did cheat a bit
at the end of last week... I know it's an excuse, but conference kind of
threw us off a little bit, but in a good way.  We had heard before the
little story about the missionary who thought he couldn't learn spanish,
and we try to remind ourselves frequently that we're glad it's only
Italian and not something much much more difficult.

About 10 missionaries from my zone sang in the priesthood session and
becuase the Relief Society broadcast ends before the priesthood session
we went over by where the elders were watching priesthood so we could at
least listen to the last song.  We were sitting on the steps and one of
the older gentlemen who works in the sound booth asked us if we wanted
to come and watch the last song.  Of course we said yes and we did see
one of the elders.  Apparently in the first song most of the elders from
my district made an apperance.  They're watching it today so hopefully
i'll get to see it.  They sounded SO good.  It's amazing how good they
can be when they try.  :)

On to other  things I'm so thankful for all of the letters I recieve.
During the week I get selfish and think I haven't gotten any letters and
then on tuesday when I go to respond I look at the pile of mail I've
recieved and it's a great reminder of how many people love and support
me.  Thanks to all.  I wish I could respond to every letter, but I don't
think I physically have time... but keep'em comin'!! :)  I love hearing
what's going on with everyone and am glad that people are reading the
blog.  Thanks, Crystal for doing that.  I'll try to keep it interesting.

I can't say that I'm sad that I'll be missing this round of Sister's
unite :)  But I wish you well in your endeavors!
Also, thanks Crystal for taking care of my earrings while I'm gone...
that's just too generous of you :) Oh!and for sending me the forecast-
the other sisters and I really appreciate it!

It's kind of strange how much I like hearing about the garden.  I'm not
sure why I like it so much, but just knowing that you're still getting
things out of the garden makes me happy for some reason.

I continue to be thankful for a wonderful companion.  She is one of the
most thoughful people I've ever met.  She is always writing kind notes
to people- people that I would have never even thought of sending
something to- so it's a good example for me to not be so concerned with
myself and look to the needs of others around me.

I love all of you and am so thankful for all of the support that I
recieve ogni gourni!   Grazie! Grazie!  Grazie!

Vi vogilo bene!!!

Sorella Leckie  :)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Letter & Picture 10/2/08

Howdy Fam!

I was hoping that you wouldn't mind delivering these notes to the respective places. THANKS! (I'm trying to save a few stamps and was going to send you a picture anyway).

I also forgot to tell you a funny (and yes it is funny) story about my companion falling down the stairs. We were racing-bad idea-I know and I was winning and she said, "You're goin' down." Right about then I hear a nice *thunk* and I turn around to see her sitting on the stairs and her shoes are at the bottom. I'm sure it isn't quite as funny without seeing it, but the timing was amazing. We laughed all the way back to our room. Yes-she's okay.

We go up and down stairs ALL day long because our room is on the 4th floor and our class is on the 4th floor. You're think that we'd be good at going up and down stairs by now-but no. And it's still not any easier to walk up 4 flights of stairs.

Also I forgot to tell you that we do get to watch conference on Saturday and Sunday. I'm really excited-especially because it's in English. : )

We also get to watch the Relief Society broadcast during Priesthood session-so that will be bene. I'm sad that we don't get to watch the elders sing. About 10 elders from my zone are singing in the MTC choir for Priesthood session. We do get to hear them practice, though, because for service we clean the building they practice in. It's gonna be good.

Alrighty-I'll write again next week! Vi volio bene!

Sorella Leckie : )

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Email from Sara 9/30/08

Dear Family!

Alrighty... This week is going to be a rough one. We are speaking only in Italian for the entire week. You may think... "Wow, she knows enough Italian to go a whole week without english!" Don't think that. I know nowhere near enough. My companion and I have resorted a few times already to a strange sign language known only to us. :) As difficult as it is and will be in the next few days, I know it will help a ton. I can already tell that I am learning more.

Okey dokey... Let's see.... this week I jammed my finger pretty good playing basketball. The sister I was guarding/was guarding me was REALLY aggressive and of course instead of just backing off I kind of stepped it up a little. About two minutes before gym time ended an elder made a really bad pass and so me and the other sister were jumping up to get it. I reached it first, but only with one finger. Non bene! But it's getting much better now. It's still kind of purple, but I can bend it a little more now.

Just so you know what's going on- I've decided not to print off more pictures, but just put them on a CD at the bookstore, so I'll do that when I have a good many pictures, that way you'll have them electronically.

It's always fun to get your letters. It's really my only link to the world while I'm here in the MTC. Ironically I did know about the movie Forever Strong because there is an article about it in the Church News. It's actually a rugby team from Highland. You should read the article. The team has an AMAZING record- somethink like 360 wins and 9 losses. Crazy.

I had no idea about the Gas crisis. One of our Branch Presidency made a very vague reference to the "current situation" right now but we didn't really know what that meant. It's a cross between being really great and really frustrating not know what's going on in the world. Although, I'm enjoying the bubble more than I might have thought.

That sounds fun to have Holley and the girls visit for such an extended time. It will be a great opportunity to get to know them a little better.

I'm sad/excited to hear about Kate's hair. Be sure to send me pictures! I was also strangely excited to hear about the garden. I'm glad that you are still getting things. How is the sweet potato project going?

I can't believe how fast the time here is going. I leave for Italy in 5 weeks. That is not very many, and I can only hope that my Italian improves by leaps and bounds before then.

Each week we go to the LRC/TRC (Language Resource Center/Teaching Resource Center) There we do a door approach or some other random small assignment in Italian with some volunteers who speak Italian. We do the first part entirely in Italian and the past few weeks I will throw in a word or two and pretty much just stand there and try to figure out what in the world is going on. My companion took Italian in college for a semester so she's way ahead of me and understands a million times more than I do. After that we teach a lesson in English. This week was the last time we teach in English, so next week will be really really tough. Anyhow, yesterday something really strange happened. I was acually able to speak Italian in the LRC. Sorella Hawkey was having a rough day and the Italian just wasn't coming out of her mouth, but I can't help but think that it was the Spirit helping me to speak, because I've never been able to to that before so quickly. I'm not saying I conjugated everthing right or used all the right words, but I was able to spit them out in a somewhat cohesive and comprehensive manner. It was a good experience.

Alrighty, well there's a long line for the computer and I'm about out of things to say, so I'll head out. Thanks for all the letters. They really make my day(s)!! I love you all!!!!!

Love, Sorella Leckie

P.S.- I'm pretty sure I understood what you were talking about with the money situation and it sounds fine.

P.P.S- I'm assuming you haven't sent a package yet, I know this might be kind of expensive to mail, but I was wondering if you would send a set of those new scriptures that are under the TV in the Family room. I think my triple is going to bite the dust any day now. It was silly of me to think that it would make it 18 months with the perpetual use. I might not use my english one as much later on, but it's still pretty rough. If you can't or don't want to, that's fine and I'll make do, but it would be nice.