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:

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