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

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Email from Sara 2/25/09

Una bella giornata!

Today has been really really fun. We went to the top of St. Peter's cathedral and man oh man were there a LOT of stairs!!! If you pay 2 euro more you can use the elevator, but we just took the poor-man's route, which was fun, but exhausting! It was almost a district activity with 5 of the elders and me and my companion, but we have a rather large district here since we're with the office. We actually have 13 missionaries in my district at the moment. There will usually only be 12, but the assistants to president are in a three-some right now. It's really fun. It was absolutely a beautiful day- which you can see in the pictures and it was actually pretty warm. My companion and I a really getting excited for spring!

Okay, just some fun things that happened this past week. Aparently there's a holiday in Italy and a few other parts of Europe called "Carnivale". It's sort of halloween-ish in that little kids, and sometimes adults dress up in costumes. But it's actually a week long event that ends with fat tuesday. (Happy Mardi gras everyone.) Anyhow, so we do service at a Casa di cura or nursing home and they were having a festa for Carnivale and so me and my companion who had helped make lots of masks and hats for this festa wanted to go and talk to the old folks and see this party. It was actually really really fun and the old people loved it. I have some fun videos of the staff dancing and stuff. It was great. There is actually one lady who works there who has asked some really good questions about the church. She says she's content with her church for now, but we're just trying to serve her and answer her questions for now.

One kind of funny experience we had this week doing house...
okay... it's a little different because there's an intercom and you have to get someone to let you into the building before you can actually knock on doors, so sometimes we end up just pushing citofono buttons until someone will let us in, and sometimes we don't get in. But one night we were doing house and this one lady was NOT very happy about it and actually threatened to call the polizia. I almost had to chuckle because I'm really not sure how far she could have gotten if she told the police that someone rang her citofono and offered to share a message about Jesus Christ. For some reason I don't think they would have gotten too worried about it. Such as it was we thanked her for her time and carried on. But it was a kind of funny experience nonetheless.

Ahh... running out of time... it's almost 6:00, but it's just been such a good day.

Yesterday was wonderful too. We did all get the opportunity to shake hands with Elder Dallin H. Oaks and to hear him speak. I actually got to sit on the front row because I was leading the music and I could just look into his eyes and feel the spirit. It was a great meeting and ALL the Italy Rome Missionaries were there, which is VERY unusual. It is really really really unusual to bring the missionaries in from the island for anything but transfers because it's kind of expensive, but someone anonymously paid for them to come. So it was EVERYONE. There is such a great spirit in a gathering of missionaries. I LOVE it! They talked a lot about Hard work and serving to the best of our abilities. It was a good motiviating meeting. One problem I seem to have though, is that I'm motivated for about 2-3 days after one of these conferences and then I seem to slip back into my normal lazy self, but that's why it's good to take notes and write down personal thoughts and goals so we can remember how we felt when we were motivated. It's still hard sometimes, but good.

Alirighty, well I've got to wrap this up so I can send some pictures. Thanks for all the love and prayers you send this way... they help so much!!
Love you!!!

Sorella Leckie

p.s.- Jackie said she's going to talk to her boss this week about not working on sundays, so keep her in your prayers and that her boss will let her take a few hours on Sunday morning to come to church. Thanks!!!

This is me at the top of St. Peter's. Isn't Rome beautiful!!

Us with the assistants (Mellis, Welch, & Silva) on top eating carrots... don't ask. :)

Me and Sorella Bennion. Playing with Black and White. We were waiting for the Elders and so happy to do it as we just sat in the sun working on developing the best farmers tan in history!!! :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Email from Sara 2/18/09

Ciao tutti!!

This will be a little bit quick today. We’re having a fun day at the Villa (mission home) today. We’re going to work outside in the garden and we’re learning how to make Sorella Acerson rolls. They are delicious and she’s teaching us the ways. But because we’re here there’s only one computer. We’re pretty excited about it too, because we get to wear pants!! So exciting!

Alrighty, well... lets see what’s new. We have a new couple here in the office from Utah. They are great and will be really fun to have around. Sunday was such a great day. We had a wonderful sacrament meeting that was absolutely perfect for the investigators and inactives who were in church. The final talk was on the restoration and was absolutely wonderful. It was given by one of the counselors in the bishopric. After church we had a lesson with one of our investigators, Jackie, who is really close to being baptized, but she works on Sundays. She’s from Peru, and pretty much told us that even if she were able to come to church two times in order to get baptized that she would never (as long as she was living in Italy) be able to come to church every week. It was good to get that out in the open, but we were a little bit discouraged, but she was talking about how she could go to church more when she goes to Peru and how she wants her daughter to go on a mission and how she should start saving money now, etc.. Anyhow on Sunday we had a lesson on obeying the 10 commandments, and she kind of had this “ahh....” look on her face, that she didn’t realize that by working on sundays so she could buy a car, and by not honoring the Sabbath day she was denying herself blessings. Anyhow, so now we’re hoping and praying that she’ll have the faith and desire to change and not work on sunday’s anymore. We’d love any prayers that you can send up that Jackie will decide not to work on Sunday anymore so she can come to church.

After church on Sunday there were quite a few families who stayed after church to have a dinner and it was wonderful to see how all of the different ethnicities were intermingling, because sometimes it seems like we have about 4 branches within the ward (Italians, Phillipinos, South Americans, Americans) But it was wonderful to get to talk with the members more. Sorella Bennion and I brought brownies to contribute and everyone LOVED them. They were gone in less then 3 minutes.

We’ve also been able to meet some great potential investigators. We’ve been out looking for some inactives that the ward asked us to find and every time we’ve been going out to do that we’ve come accross others who are very curious about the gospel. There are people prepared and it’s wonderful!

This next week will be wonderful. Elder Dallin H. Oaks is coming to Rome and there will be a special mission conference and he will also have a special meeting for the members. We are trying to get some of our investigators to be able to go- as I know it would be so strengthening for them to be able to be in the presence of an apostle of the Lord. So we’re really excited about that and we have been told that we will have the opportunity to shake his hand at the mission conference so that’s really exciting!!
Other than that, we’re just keeping on keeping on. There are days when I really just feel lazy and have trouble being motivated, but my companion is great about getting me going, and hopefully I can do the same for her when she has her down days. It’s great to be a missionary and I’m so thankful for this opportunity. I love you all and hope you are doing great.

Sorella Leckie

We had zone conference this past week and it was WONDERFUL!!!!!! These are all the sisters in the Rome zone.

This is the group of members who stayed after church to eat on Sunday. Good times!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Email from Sara 2/11/09


Hello Family and Friends!

I'm glad to hear that you got my little package and hope you enjoy it.

Weather wise i guess it's pretty normal around here... not super cold and lots of rain. It's alright.

Glad to hear that you have a full presidency again. I'm glad that you have that support. I don't think I realized that Tyler and Carman were staying that long, but that's great!

That's funny about the spinach.. I kind of miss gardening strangely enough. At my appartment right now there is actually a TINY little garden area. Just a random story- my companion and I have decided that we shouldn't supress generous thoughts if it is within our capability to do it. Well, the other day I noticed that our neighbors above us have been losing clothes pins for a while now and I decided that i would go out really quick and pick them all up and put them in a bag to take upstairs. Anywho there are a lot of small plants and shrub like greenery growing back there and I my arm barely brushed up against one of these small plants and my arm started tingling and some small bumps showed up on my arm that kind of looked like mosquito bites. It was wierd, and I decided that I wouldn't have any more generous thoughts. No worries though, I washed it and it went away.

Another kind of funny but painful story... I walked into a sign today- well more like fell into it. I was getting off the bus, the sun was in my eys, and I was looking down at the curb so I could span the gap between the bus and the curb and apparently there was a sign with two bars that went accross right about at my forehead and my mouth. I know that probably doesn't make much sense and I'm still not exactly sure what the sign looke like, all I know is that I hit it HARD. MY companion was about to follow me into the sign when she heard the BANG. Oh well.. Theres a mild goose egg, but hopefully no serious damage. Luckily I'm pretty hard headed. =)

Something else very fun... we were at a members house the other day and they went on goole maps becasue they wanted to see our houses in the states. Well, theres this thing called "street view" where you can actually be at road level and look at houses and stuff, and they must have taken the pictures exactly a year ago because the roof is partially finished and it was pretty blurry but it's possible that I'm working on the roof when they went around... I's really hard to tell, but kind of fun anyway. So... I wanted to give you a few addresses for some of the places here so you could see where I live and the church, etc. So if you want to look up "piazza carnaro, 20; Roma" or "via incisa in val d'arno, 9; Roma" you can try to see the church and the area around where I live. It's like a personal tour!! Yay!

Alrighty- as far as legal schmegal stuff. I do have the affadavit from the bank and I haven't faxed it yet because I wanted to look up my last transaction, but it was so long ago that it wasn't online, so I'm just going to write on there that I haven't used it yet this year and hopefully that will be sufficient.

I'll try to make sure I let you know when I get the card and all that jazz.

Thats exciting about Nicole Martini's dad. That's wonderful that she was able to share the gospel with her family. I think hands down, that the best way to increase your testimony and knowledge of the gospel is to share it. There's nothing that confirms your testimony more than sharing it.

I hope you all work hard to find those who the Lord has prepared to recieve the gospel. Oh- and offer to let the missionaries teach people in our house... and better yet- find someone for them to teach at our house! They'll love it!! =)

I love you all so so much!!!

Sorella Leckie

p.s.- I don't know right now who wrote the arrangement of the song, and I have plenty of sugar here to keep me busy without sugar cookies!! But thanks for the thought! Love you!

This is the group that I came into Italy with at Three month conference. There are actually a few more becasue the group before mine was very small so they joined us. It was fantastic!! I got a little artsy and played with the colors and stuff... I just liked it better this way.

This is my companion, Sorella Bennion. We were waiting at the bus stop and there wasn't anyone else around and we have new somewhat matching umbrellas so we decided to have a photo shoot. Good times!

Me with my umbrella. We're so excited that we both have umbrellas now. Usually we both try to squeeze under one and half of us is wet. Hopefully we can hang onto these and not leave them on the bus =)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Email from Sara 2/4/09

Tomorrow is another day...

Alrighty, last week was a little rough, which you might have inferred from the call from the bank. This time I didn't lose my wallet... it was legitimately pick-pocketed- if pick-pocketing is legitimate. It was in my backpack and usually when the buses are crowded I swing my backpack around to the front so I can make sure no one takes anything, but this time my hands were full so I couldn't. I actually looked around me and saw a man behind me but my companion was pretty close to me too so I thought there wasn't too much of a reason to worry. Guess again... And the same night I stepped in dog poop on the sidewalk. There is actually a lot of dog poop on the sidewalks because there aren't really a lot of yards or anything and a lot of people don't bother to clean up after their pets. So anyhow in the semi-dark walking home after our appointment I stepped in a good one.

Also... a day or two later we had another appointment at a members home with two of our investigator- (the investigators- Doris and Neliane (from El Salvador and Brazil) and the members (from Ecuador) are wonderful) - anyhow after the lesson (which went GREAT!) we were going to eat some hot dogs and I go to sit down and the chair crumbled and I tumbled. I promise I haven't gained THAT much weight since I've been in Italy. Apparently the chair was already broken but they don't usually use it and forgot to move it. I already had a pretty good headache and miraculously when my chin hit the table on the way down I didn't break my jaw or even bruise, but it definitely didn't do much to help my headache. But I laughed it off and all is well.

There were a few other things- canceled appointments, etc- that didn't add to it being numbered among my favorite weeks, but it wasn't ALL bad :)
This past week the Lord did give us a little miracle. For the whole transfer we had a goal to have at least one new investigator every week and once again it was Saturday and we still didn't have a new investigator. We had reached our goal for every other week of the transfer and it was the last week and felt thought we weren't going to reach our goal. We were a little disheartened because we knew we could have worked harder and done more to find a new investigator and it's tricky on sunday's because there's church and we had zone singing which is good for getting potential investigators but not so much for an actual new investigator whom we have taught a principle, have their contact information, and an appointment to meet with them again... anyhow... sunday we were at church and a girl came to church who had met the sister missionaries about 4 months ago- and they had given her a pamphlet, and now she wants to learn more about the church. So not only do we have someone else to teach, but we were able to meet our goal and have at least one new invstigator every week last transfer. YAY!!! The Lord loves His missionaries!

This week is already going better. I actually have my three-month conference this week on Thursday and Friday. From what I understand we (all of the missionaries who arrived in Rome the same day that I did) will go to the Villa (the mission home) and have some trainings... eat good food... have more trainings... practice teaching.... and get pumped up for the rest of our missions. At least that's what I hear. I'm looking forward to it though. It will be fun to see everyone from the MTC again.

Alrighty well, I'm trying to think of what else I need to put in here and I'm coming up with not much so I guess I'll go ahead and call it good. I'm still thankful to be here and to be able to strengthen my testimony as I share it with others. Thanks so much for all the letters and support. I love you all!!

Love, Sorella Leckie