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

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Email from Sara 8/26/09


Cara famiglia mia!!!

Wowsers! Well, I must have been enjoying my time here in Pistoia a little too much, because I’m heading out to Livorno. I’m excited to finally have the opportunity to see the ocean and I’m excited to serve with my new companion, Sorella Cheesman, but man-oh-man, will I miss Pistoia, and Sorella Stephenson!

As far as the past week has gone, people are finally starting to come back after their vacations, and it’s cooling down just a little little bit.

I’ll start off with last our last p-day. We had planned to go to Pinocchio Park. It’s in a little city called Collodi, which is a little less than 30 minutes from Pistoia. The only thing is that the closest train stop is in a city called Pescia, which come to find out is about 5 km from Collodi. We however, had been informed prior to going that it was only a 10-15 minute walk. Well, I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to walk 5 km in 10 minutes, but it’s not exactly possible. We were in a pretty big group. 8 missionaries and a new convert, walking allong the road at about 1:30 in the afternoon, the temperature was definately right around 100 F, and there is no lack of humidity here. Despite the fact that none of us really knew exactly where we were going and very hot, it was actually really fun. Even when we got to the park and found out it was 11 Euro and decided that was too much to pay because we only had about an hour at that point before we would have to head back to Pistoia. So we explored the area a little bit, ate a late lunch, and then waited for the bus to take us back to the train station. It was a fun day.

The Itala family continues to amaze me. The whole family is just rock solid in the gospel, even if Piera is the only technical “member.” Piera is such a good example and will be such a strength for not only the youth here, but also the adults. I’m pretty sure there hasn’t been a Sunday yet since she was bapitzed that she hasn’t had some kind of assignment. Francesca, the mom, is about ready to pop and infact I think they are inducing labor today. Hopefully we will be able to see Baby Elisabeth tonight before I leave for transfers tomorrow. I really look forward to coming back and visiting them someday.

We had a really great activity with some of the youth and a few investigators. We actually just had a spiritual thought and played ultimate frisbee, but they loved it so much. They dont’ really have the opportunity to have weekly mutual nights and activities very often so it was great to see them having so much fun.

There are so many wonderful people here in Pistoia, and it will be hard to leave. I feel like I’ll be leaving a large portion of my heart here, but I guess I’ll just have to find another large portion to leave in Livorno. I’m excited to serve there. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about the branch and apartment, etc. There’s also an american base pretty close, so we can get some peanut butter and brown suger =) .

We have an English class here, there is a dual purpose. One to find people to teach, and another to do service. It works great, but only when people come. We’ve been working pretty hard lately to get people there and last week we had 15 new people and there should be more again this week. It’s such a great tool to find people. We discussed as a district the advantages and disadvantages to spending some of our time doing “English class publicity” and it’s amazing how many people will listen to you when you offer them something where they can see the direct benefits. Whereas with the gospel, they can’t see the benefits or blessings and don’t want to give you the time of day to find out what they are. So many people are taught and baptized through the english class. I’m glad that there are more people coming who will hopefully feel the spirit and want to know mroe. Sorella Stephenson is amazing and I have complete confidence in her abilities to keep everything here moving inthe right direction. She really is amazing and I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to learn from her. We were talking the other day about what she wants to do in the future, and i’m pretty sure that she has more ambition in her left hand than I do in my entire body. It’s amazing and somewhat exhausting to see/hear. But it makes me appreciate even more the differences that everyone has and how it has to be that way for the world to turn.

Alrighty, well I’m going to sign off now.. Hope this longer letter compensates a little bit for my crummy one last week. Love you all so so so much!!!!
Sorella Leckie

Our trek to Collodi

Me and Sorella Stephenson in Collodi

Sorella Stephenson, Annalisa, Me, and Annalisa's 102 year old Nonna.

My district for transfer 7. Anz Billings, Hoopes, Me, Sorella Stephenson.

The Itala family... plus a few other relatives.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Email from Sara 8/19/09

Another quick one.

Sorry, another quick one this week. August seems to constantly work against all of our planning efforts. Things just like to close randomly and not open for a few weeks, it's really fun.

It has been drippingly hot this week. Thankfully it should start to cool down this week.

Small miracle: Annalisa's mom got back from her vacation and Annalisa had already told us that she wasn't going to be able to come to church on Sunday. We were sad, and really really worried that all her progress was just going to slide the other direction. We went to RS, and then Sunday School, and when I left the classroom, Annalisa was there. We were so happily surprised. We asked her what happened and she said that she told her family that she had something more important to do and came to sacrament meeting. She is great. Piano piano, or little by little she's getting closer to being ready to make covenants with the Lord.

Piera continues to amaze me. She loves the gospel and told us about the other night when she just read the book of mormon for 2 hours. She is such a good example for me and is truly one of the elect.

There are hard days to be sure, but I love being here and am so happy. I have a great companion, a wonderful district, and Pistoia is beautiful and the people are also great. What's not to love?? I'm so thankful for this opportunity to invite others to come unto Christ.

Hope everyone has a great week! Love you all!
Sorella Leckie
At the Itala's house on P-day- we were making Cicilian scones... Yummy!
Giusuè's Birthday. We took him a cake and then played a couple games.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Email from Sara 8/12/09

Short one

Sorry this one will be short again and without pictures.

Italy is closing down... I cant tell you how many places and stores are closed for August. Most places have signs, but a few don't even tell you first that they will be closed. you just go thinking all is normal only to realize that a store or the library will be closed for more than a week. I really don't understand how some of these places stay in business. Also, the busses are on a different schedule and only come half as often as usual... which means for some of them once every hour, we end up walking even more than usual becuase we don't want to wait for the bus. Anyhow, life for us missionaries goes on, and despite 90% of the stores being closed there are still a few people around to teach.

Sorella Stephenson and I were commenting the other day about how we hardly have any time to do finding work because we actually spend a lot of time teaching... or walking to appointments :). And somehow we still have more people appearing for us to work with. Mostly single women who the Elders have a hard time working with, but who are amazing. There's Francesca- a Brazillian member who hasn't had contact with the church since she left brazil 10 years ago. Katrina, a wonderful Chinese lady who wants to know if she has a heavenly father, Mariana, Annalisa, and then the Itala Family, especially Piera, who are amazing and wonderful.

Such great people here! I love it! This transfer is passing so quickly and I hate the thought that I may be one transfer closer to leaving Pistoia. I absolutely love it.
It's been pretty hot around here. It's kind of funny because there are some people who just won't leave there house because it's "tropo caldo" or too hot. It's ridiculous to me that the world just stops for some people because it's too hot. But oh well... patience.

Alrighty, well we gots to take a train in a few minutes. Sorry there really aren't any great stories, even though there were some fun experiences I just don't have time to do them justice.

I love you all and hope you have a great and safe week!
Con tanto affetto,
Sorella Leckie

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Email from Sara 8/5/09

A little longer

Cara Famiglia Mia!!

I’m so sorry that you got such a short letter last week, but I’ll try to make up for it today. I’ve been making a little list of the things that I wanted to tell you about. First off…

Paglio –also known as “Giostra dell’orso.” It’s like when we went to Siena but better because it was in Pistoia. We actually didn’t get to go to the actual event but we got to watch a parade that morning. (We traded a few of our p-day hours from Wednesday to Saturday) There were a couple of the girls from the branch who were in the parade so it was fun to see them. It’s so much smaller and better than the crowded mass of people who go to Siena. I think the main reason is because to attend the actual event here in Pistoia you have to pay to enter. In Siena it’s free and a much more historical and more publicized. They told me to come back next year to see it, so I guess I’ll have to be back in Italy on July 25th. =)

We had a great Zone conference this past week. Sorella Stephenson and I did a musical number, and it’s always great to go to Zone conference and leave with a boost to go forward and find the people who are waiting for us. After Zone conference we had a special occasion. We had a little “sister’s conference” which as it turns out was mostly just a time when sister Acerson gave us some advice on ways that we can work better with the elders. Then we had a question and answer session with President and Sister Acerson. It was so much fun and I really feel like I got to know them much better. They have had amazing lives.

This past p-day we went to Montecatini Terme and Montecatini Alto. It was so much fun. We pretty much got off the train and had no idea where we were going and just started walking. We stopped at a bookstore and asked the girl working there what we should go see. She said we should go to Montecatini Alto. It was so cute. We had to take the “funicolare” up the mountain (the Funicolare is a little cable car that gets pulled up the mountain) and then just walked around up there and enjoyed the beautiful view of Tuscany. So much fun.

There was a baptism for the Prato missionaries and we as a companionship have kind of had a monopoly on musical numbers for the past few baptisms and the people being baptized specifically asked us to do a musical number. It was a very odd couple (an Italian man and a Chinese woman) but they seem to really love each other, dispite limited communication, and are very very happy to be members of the true church. It was great. We had an investigator, Annalisa, at the baptism and she loved it. She is progressing wonderfully. If you want someone to pray for … pray that her mom’s heart will be softend. Her mom is very very very catholic and has been away from home for a couple weeks and it’s been great for us as far as teaching goes, and we’re a little worried that it will be hard to keep progressing as quickly with opposition from the mom. We’re hoping and praying that it won’t be a problem and that the mom will have respect for her daughters’ decisions. Annalisa is 24 so it’s not like needs permission but it would be nice to have the support of her family. Annalisa asks so many good questions and reads every day. It’s great!

We also are teaching a lady named Mariana. She’s the grandmother of Piera who was baptized a month ago. She loves the book of mormon and has been able to see the changes that have come into her life since she started taking the lessons. She’s going on vacation for the next two weeks but she wants to take a book of mormon to give to her daughter and she said she’s going to talk with her evangelist friends about the missionaries. She’s wonderful.

Francesca, Piera’s mom, is very very pregnant and we thought was going into labor between Sunday school and sacrament meeting, but it turns out it was a false alarm. It was all very exciting…. Sort of… okay not really… labor does not look fun. :/ Anyhow, still no baby, but it could be any day now.

Sunday at church there were about 5 young couples from different branches who all came to Pistoia. One of them had gotten married about a month ago and they were all just spending a few days together. It was such a great thing to see. Looking at them, who had been married in the temple and who were striving to stay on the path, I could just see the future of the church here in Italy, and it gave me so much hope. It was beautiful.

Other than that we’re doing a lot of finding and searching for the people who are willing to listen and accept this wonderful message. I love Italy and the people here.
I’m gonna go now so I can attach some pictures. I hope this kind of makes up for my short email last week. I’m still not great at writing super detailed and interesting letters, but you can at least get a little idea of what’s going on, right? Remember I love you and have a great week!!!

Con tanto affetto,
Sorella Leckie

The couple who got baptized last saturday. Giuseppe and Lily.

We were walking the other day and it was just a Perfect evening. It had rained earlier in the day and cooled everything off and it was just beautiful and perfect so we took a picture.

These are all from from Montecatini Alto. It was so pretty!

Poster for Giostra dell'orso.

After our Sister's conference President bought us Gelato before heading for the train. It was wonderful to spend time with just the sisters.

From the parade. This is Isabelle and her boyfriend Giuseppe.

Giuseppe, me, slla stephenson, and Isabelle.

Branch president (Isabelle's dad), Anz Hoopes, Me, Annalisa, Slla Stephenson, and Anz. Billings.