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:

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Email from Sara 4/29/09

Dear family!!

Wow... life is good and flying by. My companion and I are getting along great and she is helping me so much. She is very disciplined and wants to be obedient and it really helps me. There is a lot of work right now in Pistoia so we have our hands full. It’s great.

We live in Prato which is about a 20 minute train ride away, and we live about 20 minutes walking away from the train station. So we have to take our lunch with us to Pistoia every day to eat lunch at the church. It’s a bit of an adjustment, but good. I don’t really like being tied down to the train schedule quite so much- there’s not much flexibility, but ya do what ya gotta do. We live with two other sisters still and it’s pretty fun to all be in the same apartment. This is by far the smallest district possible and it’s just us two sisters and then two elders. They are awesome and are very enthusiastic about the work. It makes it easier to be diligent and want to work when everyone around you is doing the same.

Right now I’ve met a ton of people and I’m trying to keep them all straight in my head, and I’m learning my way around the city. SO much going on in my head makes it hard to think straight. Sorella Stephenson sings really well and did music and theatre before coming on a mission (at BYU, New York, and London) so we sing sometimes at our appointments and we were invited to sing with an investigators international choir. They have practice once a week at 9, but he’s going to have a special practice so we can join them. It’s pretty funny to me, but a good way to develop interest in the church.

We were also able to establish a service opportunity this week at a retirement center and the people there are really excited to have us come. I’m hoping some great missionary opportunities will come out of it…. Only time will tell.

I’m really short on time, but suffice it to say that I’m happy, healthy, and glad to be here. Love you all and hope all is well with you!!

Love, Sorella Leckie

P.S. I’ll let you know details about calling on mothers day next week. Is 9:00 in the morning good for you all. We have church from 9-12- so the latest I can call would be 11:00 here. Let me know specific times that will work the best. Love ya!!

Me in Pistoia.

My new district. Me, Sorella Stephenson, Anziano Rossi, and Anziano Hoops.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Email from Sara 4/22/09

There's a change in the winds

Alrighty, well my time in Firenze was short lived. I'll be heading to Pistoia (a 20 minute train ride away-so I can still come to Firenze for P-day) tomorrow and I'll be serving with Sorella Stephenson (or Stevenson-not sure) She's only been here one transfer and her trainer went home today because she finished her mission. Needless to say I'm a bit overwhelmed at the prospect of being the one who someone is looking to for help, but I hope the Lord knows what He's doing. The only things I know at this point about my new companion are that she only eats salads and will not speak in English unless she's speaking to an american who only knows english. I'm in for some dramatic changes. I honestly feel like for the past transfer I've been on vacation. There are so many tourists here and we found out that all the museums here were free for the past week and so we've gone with a few members and I've seen SO SO SO much art in the past few days. I've seen the David and a lot of Bottecelli's paintings, and a few by Raphael. Lots and lots of famous works. It's cool, but I can only take it in small doses.

As far as the work goes, we were able to watch "The Restoration" video with a really really nice lady from Camaroon. She has two kids and is super nice. She is a baptist and right now I think that she kind of sees us as traveling preachers who talk to people who maybe didn't make it to church that week. Better than nothing, but I doubt that any other preachers that come to her house will teach her about the the restoration and the book of mormon. She really seems to like what she hears and says she will come to church soon. I'm sad that I won't be able to be there when she comes.

Funny story. Okay, so there are some pigeons nesting on our balcony and joking around we dared one of the Elders to eat a pigeon egg if they laid one. He didn't think we would bring it so he said he would. Uh... the pigeons definately laid an egg and we hard-boiled it and he ate it. It was pretty funny.

I've taken a bazillion pictures lately so I'm going to go ahead and close this so I can put some of those on there. Keep the prayers coming. I'm pretty overwhelmed with my upcoming responsibilities and I think prayers are my only hope :)

I hope everyone has a great week! I love you all!

One of my districts favorite activities- eating Gelato.

Anziano Mondragon with his Pigeon egg.... yummy!

This is just a replica of the David that's in a Piazza. You can't take pictures of the real one.

Me at Ponte Vecchio. The stores are full of really nice jewelry. There would be a lot of really angry people if there were ever any structural problems. Its pretty cool though.

This is me at the Duomo in Firenze. It's the big famous Cathedral here. It really is amazing. There's always a line to go in so I've never seen the inside, but I heard that the outside is more amazing than the inside.

This is from a piazza where you can see the whole city.. it's beautiful!!! Sorella Favero and my last together :(

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Email from Sara 4/15/09

Short one, but more pictures.

So, I'm probably going to keep this a little short today, but I'm going to send a few more pictures to make up for it. It's been a good week. I can't believe that this transfer is almost over. It really seems like it has flown by. I had a great easter. We were able to go eat with all the other missionaries at a members house and we had a very big and delicious meal with roasted chicken and potatoes, roast beef, bread and cheese, salad, strawberries, and a colombo (a cake that is especially for easter). It was a lot of fun and they are a great family. From there my companion and I went to another dinner appointment. Yeah- It was rough becasue we were already really full. We really don't get that many dinner appointments and then we had two in the same day- we need to figure out how to spread them out a little. The second one, though, was with an eternal investigator, Holenka. She's kind of crazy and from Peru. She takes care of an old lady with Alzheimers and had lied to someone (the old lady's husband who lives far away) and told him that she wasn't home becasue it was supposed to be her day off, and then he tried to get in the house, but the locks had been changed (because apparently he's not the best of men) and she told us to be really quiet so he would think that no one was home... Anyhow, it was quite the adventure and we were pretty happy to get out of there. I don't know how much sense that story made, but suffice it to say that we weren't especially thrilled to be there and were happy to leave unscathed.

The soccer game was SO fun. It felt a lot like a college football game, but in Italian :). It was really fun and Florentina (the team for Florence) won! So everyone was really happy. The team they were playing was from the Island so there really weren't too many fans for them. Poor guys.

We also got to dye easter eggs at a members house. It's not somethign they do in Italy although I did get to paint a few eggs for servie at the Casa di Cura. It was fun. The members we dyed eggs with though, the wife is American and the husband is Italian so we did it because she wanted to. It was really fun and a good opportunity to get to know them better.

I felt like in Rome that I was finally starting to feel at home. Unfortunately I haven't gotten to that point here, but hopefully it will come with more time. The members here are great and I'm getting to know them and it's great. It's proving to be a bit challenging for me to live outside our proselyting area, but there must be a way.
I have to give a talk in Sacrament Meeting this sunday. Keep me in your prayers. It could be rough. ;)

Other than that, I'm hangin in there. Life is good. I have a great district and I'm thankful for them. I'm glad to be a missionary.
I love you all!
Sorella Leckie

Dying easter eggs. They looked pretty different because you can't find white eggs here, but it was a lot of fun. (Anziano Mack, Jill, Michele, Sorella Favero, and Anziano Helm)

The soccer stadium.

My district at the game + Cristian. Anz Kunzler & Helm, Sor. Favero, Me, Anz. Mondragon, & Mack and Cristian is the one in Black. It was SO much fun.

Here instead of easter baskets there are giant chocolate eggs with toys inside. It's pretty fun. We got one for the elders in our district and they got really cool toys. All we got was a tiny bag with fairys on it. Lame. Oh well. It was still fun and yummy chocolate.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Email from Sara 4/8/09

Buon primavera!! (Happy spring!!)

Okay, nobody actually says happy spring, but I am so happy that its finally warming up. We don't have to wear nylons now and I feel like I've been set free!! It's great. Short sleeves are it for now and let me just say that the Elders are super excited to not have to wear their coat jackets anymore. Life is good.

Okey dokey, I suppose I'll mention the big news about the Earthquake- I didn't feel a thing, but one of the sisters in my apartment and the elders all said that they felt a tremor but at like 10:45 and the actual earthquake didn't hit until around 3 something in the morning. But we were supposed to have interviews that morning and they were a little bit late so the news I got was "interviews are going to be at 12 instead of 10 because there was a earthquake in Rome." I thought the elder calling was joking, but I wasn't sure, and having just served in Rome I was a little concerned when I found out that he was serious. Thankfully the damage to members homes hasn't been too extensive in L'aquilla and there really wasn't any damage in Rome. We were talking with president about it and that area is just really really really old and not especially well cared for. Everything here is old, but there's not really too much to worry about, but anyhow... it is very sad and I'm sorry for the families who have lost loved ones. It's been on the newspapers here, but other than that we haven't really heard too much.

Okay, I acutally made a list this week of the little things that happened throughout the week so I could remember what to tell you.

First of all... conference. We watched the saturday morning session live at 6:00 in the evening. Then on sunday we watched a recording of the saturday afternoon session and then the sunday morning session. We still haven't gotten to watch or read the sunday afternoon session, but we can either print talks of the internet or we can wait for the Liahona. I'm excited to hear the rest of conference. I felt almost like I was at home when I was watching conference. It was a great to actually be experiencing how the prophet speaks to the world and how the messages are the same for everyone.

As you know, Sunday was palm Sunday. Kind of interesting, people carry around olive branches here for Palm sunday. I know the story from the bible of people laying down palms in the road, so I guess it's just a symbolic thing that they carry them around here on palm sunday. It was interesting and the first time I'd ever seen anyone do that.

A funny italian experience: The other day we were on the bus, and I am continually amazed by how the bus drivers maneuver around in these small narrow streets. Anyhow, there was a van parked where he was blocking part of the road (people double and triple park here like you're supposed to do it) and the bus couldn't get through. Well when there's someone parked in the road- because people stop and turn their hazards on and then run in the store instead of finding a place to park- and then everyone just sits there and honks so they'll hurry and move. So the bus driver is honking and the driver of the van comes out and is not in a hurry at all to move his van, and in fact comes over and looks at the space between the bus and the building and starts fussing at the bus driver saying that he had plenty of space. So then the bus driver and the van driver start yelling at each other. The bus driver gets off the bus and very respectfully was yelling at the van driver and telling him that he needed to move his van. People on the bus were either yelling or laughing. (My companion and I thought it was hilarious). Anyhow, all ended well. The van driver moved his van and the bus kept going, but it was just a funny cultural experience.

Funny apartment experience. SO in the mission there are tons of "eating challenges" usually among the elders where they have to eat a certain amount of food in a certain amount of time (ie. 24 Duplo bars in 10 minutes, or just eating 750g. of Nutella without losing it) Anyhow, we had half a lemon on our kitchen table and we told Sorella MacKinnon that we would give her 4 Euro if she would eat half of the lemon with the peel. Well... I don't know if she's crazy or if she just wanted to entertain us, but it was really really funny. I took a video, but it just doesn't do justice to the situation. Good times.

Another exciting thing is that we get to go to a soccer game. I'm pretty excited. I really don't understand much of the rules in soccer, but it's such a big cultural thing here that I'm excited to have the experience. I'll be sure to send pictures. We're taking a shortened p-day today so that we can go on saturday.

A somewhat gross experience: We had a dinner appointment with an investigator- a Peruvian lady who works for an old lady who has Alzheimers. Anyway, apparently there is a special Florintine dish made with liver, sardines, and capers ground up and mixed together and put over bread. It was pretty much like we were eating cat food. Probably one of the worst things I've eaten in Italy. The octopus was even better.

A cool experience that we had the other day. So I told you all about how the inactive sister challenged this guy to read the Book of Mormon and to come to church, etc. Well we were at her little store the other day and he didn't even come in to buy anything, but he seriously came by to ask her what time church was on Sunday. We were shocked and totally excited. Unfortunately he was a little bit detoured by the fact that it was conference weekend and Maria told him that it was all day long and 2 hours away. But hopefully he will come to regular church sometime. It was cool.

We also had an appointment this morning with an investigator. She's actually a Baptist from Camaroon. It's really different teaching someone who's not Catholic. But good. They're already thinking outside the box and know that we pray to Heavenly father, etc. It was a good appointment and we're excited to go back.

It's been a good week. It's seriously flying by, I can't believe that this transfer is almost over.

I hadn't actually heard about Leckie's mission call. Thanks for letting me know, mom. CoNgRaTuLaTiOnS to Leckie! That's so exciting. In Rome there were a lot of Romanians- unfortunately a lot of them get a pretty bad reputation because most of the gypsies are from Romania and make trouble and then the respectable hard working Romanians have a hard time finding jobs and stuff. But they are great. A lot of Orthodox people, but we met quite a few who were curious if not interested in the gospel. I'm excited for him!

Okey dokey, well I'm going to pick out some pictures to send you and then I think we're off. I hope everyone has a wonderful week and a very very happy easter.
Love you all so much!!!
Sorella Leckie

This is the bus full of missionaries going from the church to the Train Station after conference. The people who got on the bus were a little confused.

This was a really pretty field next to the church where we watched conference. These are the Florence sisters and then Sorella LaRoca. Her companion didn't want to be in the pictures. There are lots more, but I'm out of time! This was a really pretty field next to the church where we watched conference. These are the Florence sisters and then Sorella LaRoca. Her companion didn't want to be in the pictures. There are lots more, but I'm out of time!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Email from Sara's Mission President 4/6/09

Some of you may have heard that there was an earthquake near Rome last night. Here is an email that Sara's Mission Mom sent to all the parents of the Italy Rome missionaries:

Dear Parents,

I apologize. I hadn't thought of contacting each of you about the earthquake until this afternoon. We have talked to the affected missionaries' parents and are trying to keep them up to date with things that are going on, but I am now realizing that each one of you are worried and would like to know how things are.

First of all, you should know that all missionaries and members are safe. Two families from the L'Aquila (pronouned lock-wee-lah, with the emphassis on "lock") branch have lost their homes, but are otherwise unharmed.

We awoke this morning at about 3:30 a.m. and felt our bedroom gently shaking and swaying. One of our daughters later said that it seemed so gentle, she decided it wasn't worth getting out of bed because she was so tired and didn't think anything would fall on her. I mistakenly thought that it was just a mild tremor here in Rome, although it lasted for some time (perhaps up to a minute). Just a few minutes later, the phone rang and President answered saying, "Are you OK?" It was the elders in L'Aquila: Elder Brothers, Elder Brock, Elder Wheeler, and Elder Grigg. They said they had felt the building shaking and ran out in their pajamas. When the got outside, they gathered and said a prayer. They immediately felt calm and at peace and knew they would be all right. They realized later that they were the only ones who were calm and, thus, were able to better help those around them.

When things had calmed down somewhat, they ran back inside for warm clothes. The building did not look damaged at all and they said they did not feel like they were in danger. Later they would dash back for food, money, passports, and clothing. We asked that they try to get everything at once so they would not have to return to the building just in case there were aftershocks. They were also to wait for officials to come and inspect the building and let them know whether it would be safe for occupancy.

We did not know how bad the earthquake was and President Acerson got up and checked the internet. While he waited for the next half hour, nothing appeared, so he called the missionaries asking for updates every hour or so.

At 6:00 a.m., one of the missionaries' parents called and told us that it had been on the news in the U.S. We checked the internet and found quite a bit of information at that point and called all the parents of the missionaries who were affected. (It was a 6.3 earthquake with L'Aquila as its epicenter.)

The roads in the area have been closed so that engineers can inspect the many tunnels and bridges that surround L'Aquila. This has made it impossible for us to get in or the missionaries to get out. However, they have reassured us that they are safe and happy to be of service in so many ways. The members fed them a picnic lunch and they said they have plenty of things to keep warm -- it's an otherwise beautiful day as far as weather is concerned.

They have checked on the church which was in the center of the city and have reported that it is unstable with cracks in the ceiling and walls. They will not enter this building again. They are also being careful to not place themselves in harm's way as they help others.

I was not at home for the most of the day and was shocked when I returned this afternoon and saw the pictures on the internet which showed the devastation that had occurred there. I know you are seeing those pictures and are extremely worried. I asked the elders there to take a picture of their apartment building and send it to their parents so they could reassure them that this is not the case where they live. They have told us that their building is probably one of the safest in the area as it is not close to the city center and is modern and well built.

Some missionaries felt the tremor west of L'Aquila to Rome and east of L'Aquila to Pescara, but all are well.

I will try to keep things posted on our family blog. Go to and click on Acerson Family Blog for more information and pictures as we receive them. Feel free to email us back and let us know if there are questions that we have left unanswered.

We ask you to pray for the residents of L'Aquila and continue your prayers on the behalf of our missionaries and all those others who faithfully serve around the world.

Con affetto,
(with affection),
Sorella Acerson
(President is in Florence interviewing missionaries today, but is always available by phone)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Email from Sara 4/1/09

Happy April Fools Day!

Dear family-
How great it is to hear from you all! It’s really been a pretty normal, but surprisingly quick week. I guess writing on Thursday last week makes Wednesday come a little faster.

I seem to have acquired a little bit of a cold. It’s ugly and unfortunately makes staying awake on the bus nearly impossible when I take cold medicine. Of course it’s not enough to keep us from working, but it just makes it less fun for me. But this too shall pass, right?
We have found a few potential investigators and are still learning our way around. There are a lot of less actives to work with and we’re still learning who the members are and everything. It’s a great branch.

The other night we were coming home on the bus and there were about 5 college Americans who got on the bus also and we started talking to them and a few of them said that they would try to come to zone singing this Sunday. The only problem now, is that we won’t have zone singing this Sunday because of conference, so hopefully we can run into them before this Sunday. They were here for school and from all over the country. It’s always nice to be able to have a conversation with someone and be able to say every word that comes to your mind.

Funny story about last Sunday and Zone singing. It had been kind or rainy and cloudy all day, but we were going to have go sing anyway. So we’re out there singing in this piazza and suddenly it starts to downpour. Usually the rain here is just slow and constant, but this was like POURING! So all the umbrellas pop up and it starts raining even harder and there wasn’t enough room under the umbrellas and so a few of the Elders made a run for this covered arch area. It was quite humerous to watch all of this. Then the rain stopped and we went and started singing again, only to be rushed back to cover after it started pouring again. It was pretty funny and entertaining. Luckily we were able to talk to a few of the people who had also run for cover.

I working on mailing two small packages heading home, both with ties and with a few letters. A few of the letters are to mail and a few are the ones that I was sent and just need to be put somewhere until I can re-claim them. Let Justin pick first from the ties since it’s his birthday and he’s turning 12. Hopefully it will get there before his birthday. There are 7 ties so you can divide them how you like. There really are tons and tons of super nice ties here, it makes it really really hard to decide which ones to buy. But if anyone, and I mean ANYONE wants a silk Italian tie for €2-3, just let me know. And let me know specifics of color, pattern, etc.

I also found out that we will actually be watching zone conference in Prato, which is another area but only like 20 minutes from our house. Apparently they don’t have satellite or whatever is required to watch it in Firenze, so everyone from the district (it’s not quite a stake yet) goes to either Pisa or Prato. I’m so so so excited to hear conference and to hear the words of our living prophet.

I hope everyone is doing well. Thanks for sending the news about Charlie and Teresa. It’s a humbling and sobering reminder of how fragile life really is. I hope everyone can find comfort from being with one another. Experiences like this make me truly thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. That we KNOW that we can be together with our families for eternity when we live a life in accordance with His will.

Thanks for all the love and support that I enjoy everyday! I love you all!

Sorella Leckie

This is me with the other sisters who all live in the same apartment. We were going for lots of unity and all wore red to DDM. A few of the elders didn't even notice. It was pretty funny.

This is at one of the many tie places in the markets. This was where the elders told us to come because the ties are only €2, but we found lots more that we liked at other places that were only €3, but unfortunately I had already bought 7 here. Seriously, let me know if you want some ties.