How to write to Sara:

Sara loves to get letters!

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

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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