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

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Email from Sara 10/28/09

Short One...

So I've already been reading/writing for quite a while so this will be really short today. It's been a good week. We are hopeful that our lice problem is resolved. Especially now that we have both dyed our hair. It's basically the same, but sorella Cheesmans has a really really cool purple undertone. I really like it. Apparently I had been going shockingly blonde before and now all my blonde highlights are gone and are a reddish brown color. it's not bad, but I reallylike my natural hair color. I'm anxious to put it all behind me.

Sunday I had to play the organ for Sacrament meeting... all four songs on the organ!! AHHHH!!! At least i'd had some heads up and had been able to practice a little. The organist is amazing. Sabrina. She is so much fun. She came to play soccer on Saturday and seriously pulled or tore a muscle. Anyhow, it's not technically her calling to play the organ but she's VERY accomplished in the piano and organ... went to school for it and all that. So she just usually plays. Before she had even gotten hurt she was jokingly/seriously saying how much she'd love a sunday to just relax and sing and not worry about playing, so I was already considering it. And then when she hurt herself it sealed the deal. Oh well... we're all still alive so I guess it's alright.

We were able to meet with Josy and she just blows me away by how much she's learned and how strong her desire it is to continue. I love it!! Veronica is also great and is bringing her brother and sister to our Halloween party on Friday! Yay!!! It should be a pretty fun night. We have the branch here and from Pisa who will hopefully come and then we invited all of the english class. We're going to try to do a cakewalk (NOT an Italian thing) and other trunk or treat games and stuff. Italians love halloween. It's really not a holiday here at all, but lots of people love it. It's kind of funny to me. I mean, if you're going to steal a holiday, why not a better one like thanksgiving, right? Oh well. We will probably have a thanksgiving activity too.

It's been a good week. We are working on improving in so many ways, one step at a time. Life is good. I feel so loved! So many good stories that I would love to share, but I really just don't have time today. I love you all and hope you have a fabulous week and a very happy halloween!!!

Vi voglio tantissimo bene!!!!
Sorella Leckie

Claudia. This is the doll I made for a relief society service project. I wish we'd had a sewing machine!

Before dying our hair. Sorry it's a little blurry.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Email from Sara 10/22/09

Interesting Week

Well well well. It seems as though fall is here for real... maybe even a little bit of winter, but I guess it's getting about that time. Speaking of time, the time change here is next sunday. When is it there. I think I saw on a calendar that it's not until november, but I can't remember. Anyhow it will be nice to have an extra hour of sleep.

Zone conference was great. It was interesting. A couple of Zone conferences ago we were able to hear from Elder Kopischke (or something like that) and one thing he said was that we should never come to any church meeting without having an idea of what we want to get out of it. Having recieved this counsel it's amazing how much more you can get out of meetings when you're listening for something in particular. When you're prepared to be taught. Anywho, before this conference I was trying to get a good idea of what I wanted to walk away with, and I was having trouble nailing it down. But it's amazing how well the Lord knows us and answers our prayers, even the unspoken ones. I'm not even exactly sure what was said that touched me, but at that time it was exactly what I needed to hear.
I also did a musical number with my district. It was a beautiful accapella arrangement of "Beautiful Savior." I'll try to record it so you can hear it someday.

Playing the piano for the primary program went well enough. It definatly wasn't perfect, but I don't think all of my mistakes were too distracting. The program went great though and all the kids did great.

So, we play soccer every saturday with investigators, memebers, little kids from the neighborhood, etc. It's a really good and non-intimidating way for people to get to know the church. Usually there are some 9-10 year old boys that come to play and it keeps everyone a little less competitive and it's actually a really good thing. Last week we found out that the didn't come because they thought that Saturday was Friday and they were really sad they missed it. (They have school on Saturday here). Anyhow the game was not terribly intense still, but a little more, and Josy always likes to be the goalie. She does a really good job, too. But you have to understand that Josy is a ridiculously small person. She's probably 4'9" and weighs 80 lbs. Anyhow, someone kicked the ball a little harder than necessary and broke her wrist. She has a cast now that goes almost up to her shoulder so she can't even rotate her hand. Yuck! We were a little bit... not worried... but suspected that having been in the emergency room for 5 hours and breaking her arm, she might not come to church on Sunday. But she was there. It made me so so happy!

We also have had a little bit of a pest control problem in our companionship. Saturday night my companion was going to curl my hair in foam rollers, when it was unfortunately discovered that I had some visitors in my hair, in the form of lice. Yep... it's gross. It was like 10:00 and obviously no stores are open (everything closes at 8:00) and then the next day was sunday and nothing is open then either. So were were like, "what do we do?!?" We called Sister Acerson and she called someone else who has also recently had this problem and told us that we could use olive oil to suffocate them and then we have to pick out all the "nits." Holy cow!! Ridiculously painstaking. My wonderful companion has spent hours picking them out. I don't think they had been there really long because there weren't very many live lice, but lots and lots of eggs. Apparently they really liked my nice clean hair that I never put any hairspray in or blowdry. Anyhow, pretty much any spare moment has been spent oiling our hair, picking nits, and doing laundry. I can't imagine what our water and electricity usage will be this month. We have to keep up the routine for a few more days, but I think for the most part we have eliminated them. It's obnoxious, but thankfully not painful. Sorella Cheesman didn't have it too bad, but whats mine is hers and whats her's is mine, right? It would have been virtually impossible for me to have it and not her, but she blowdrys her hair and uses product and hairspray, so I think that detered them.

So... another week in the mission and another story to add to my collection.
Hope everyone has a wonderful wonderful week! Love you so so much!!!
Con tanto tanto affetto,
Sorella Leckie

Sister Cheesman with Sister Gadd yesterday Zone Conference.

Last P Day at the Terrazza. (When we went running)

Also last P Day. Sun bathing at the Terrazza. It was a good day.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Email from Sara 10/14/09

Happy Fall !!!!!!

WOW! It went from summer to fall in a hurry around here. One day it was hot, short sleeves and everything, and then BAM! Fall. But it is absolutely perfect! A little chilly at night, but that's how October is supposed to be. It's great.
Last week has been great.

Gil came to sacrament meeting, of his own free will and choice. When we were asking him he wouldnt say "yes" or "no", but he was like, "well, if I say 'no' and then come anyway, you'll be really surprised. But if I say 'yes' and don't come then I would have been a lier." So, we just said, "Just come." It was a great testimony meeting. It's great to hear the testimonies of some of the "pioneers" here in Italy.

We also were able to have an appointment with Veronica (a friend of Josy) this week. It went AMAZING. Josy bore her testimony of how she learned the Book of Mormon was true, which was a HUGE step for her, because when I first got here she wouldn't even say a prayer in front of her brother or friend. It's great to see them learning together and supporting each other in learning. At the end of the lesson we gave Veronica the choice of saying the prayer or choosing who said it, and she chose to say it and asked "how do I start, again?" It was such a sweet prayer and I really hope she can stick with learning and overcome the obstacles that satan will surely put in the way.

Stella, an inactive we've been working with, bore her testimony on Sunday. It was great to see her share her beliefs. We gave her son, Francesco, a Book of Mormon this past week and she said that he's been making her read wiht him almost every night. Hopefully he will be able to be baptized soon. He's 8 1/2, but the dad isn't a member and isn't so keen on the idea. Piano piano.

I've been playing the piano in primary lately and the primary program is on Sunday. Hopefully I won't mess up too terribly. I'm really nervous. For being the PRIMARY songs, they really aren't that easy. I guess it's a good growing experience for me, though.

Today for Pday we're going to go on a little run along the coast and then watch the last session of conference. I'm pretty excited about it. We're watching it at Sorella Eubanks house and she takes really good care of us. I'm really looking forward to it.

Okay, well, I'm gonna sign out now, but I hope that everyone has a wonderful week and that you do something good for someone else. Love you all!!!!
Sorella Leckie

Sorry, I really haven't been taking too many pictures lately. There have been some amazing sunsets over the ocean, but I haven't had my camera. Oh well. I'm sure you can imagine, right? :)

Gil rockin it up at soccer.

Between sessions of conference. We ate lots of gummy bears/worms.

My contortionist companion trying to pop her back...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Email from Sara 10/7/09

Low Key

It sounds like it's been a pretty low key week for everyone, and I guess to some extent it has also been that way here.
First things first, I will be staying here in Livorno with Sorella Cheesman so we will have at least 6 more weeks to learn and grow together. I'm excited. We've recently started working with Gil, Josy's brother and he came to conference on Sunday with us and Josy. It was good. He's softening, but right now he really doesn't understand why people need to believe. We've only had one appointment so far, so hopefully we can help him truly understand why the savior is so important in our lives now and eternally.

I also had some great news the other day. Michael Itala will be getting baptized this coming Saturday. I'm so excited for him and for the branch in Pistoia. Also, the Tuesday after I left, Francesca had their baby. Sorella Stephenson showed me some pictures at Zone conference and they are such a beautiful family. I might have already mentioned that but, it's still true. :)

There are some former investigators who were on vacation who have come back, so hopefully they will have a renewed desire to learn and we can help them come closer to Christ.

Conference was great. It was great to have Josy and Gil there. Josy actually came on Saturday and Sunday and even saw the Relief Society session on Saturday with us. She's great. We just have to be patient. When she want's to be baptized and pushes her parents a little more, it will happen. I think it might be a good thing for her to wait if it will help Gil, but I also think that her getting baptized might help him more... or they could just get baptized together. We'll just have to see. It's all in the hands of the Lord.

Yesterday was Sorella Cheesman's birthday. It is so tricky to try to do things for your companion without them knowing... being together 24/7 just presents some complications. Anyhow, I slid a cakemix (purchased at the base weeks and weeks ago) to the elders during DDM, and then I was hoping to use the cell phone to wake me up at some point during the night so I could blow up some balloons and such. No luck, sorella Cheesman uses the cell phone as an alarm clock so I actually prayed that I would wake up during the night so I could make a little sign and such. It worked! I woke up around 2 and made a little poster and blew up balloons, etc. It wasn't much, but options are a little limited in the mission. We had cake a couple times and when Sorella Cheesman was praying last night for dinner she said "... Ci dispiace che abbiamo mangiato tropo torte, per favore aiutarci." Directly translated: "... We're sorry we ate so much cake, please help us." It was really really funny but, oh, so true. It was a little out of hand. Not ridiculously, but a bit much.

Today we're having a pretty low-key p-day. We're gonna go have lunch here pretty soon with our district and some of the youth from the branch. It should be fun. One of the elders is getting transfered and the youth wanted to do something all together, so we're gonna do that.

Other than all those things, we're just keepin on keepin on. There are lots of other things that we do, lots of other people we talk with and work with, but to tell you about all of them would take way too long and my fingers are tired, so I'm going to sign off now with best wishes for everyone to have a wonderful week and keep the faith. Put in practice those things that we learned in conference from the apostles and prophets of God. What a blessing to have that direct guidance today.

Love you all so much!!
Sorella Leckie

Sorry no pictures this week. The computer is being stupid. There weren't really a whole lot anyway. Next week...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Email from Sara 9/30/09


Well, well, well, where to start...
It's been a good and very very fast week. Next week we will find out about transfers. I really can't believe that it's already october, and that the transfer is almost over. I've really enjoyed being here in Livorno, and am just starting to get to know the members, so I REALLY hope to stay here. It's not likely that I'll get transfered, but stranger things have happened. I hope Sorella Cheesman and I can stay together. We have a lot to learn from each other still.

Good news. Michael and Michael's baptism was great. They are both so excited about the gospel. Its amazing to see the changes that come into people's lives becasue of the gospel. Josy is also doing well. She came to the baptism and enjoyed it a lot. I think it definately doesn't hurt her desire to be baptized. She is also being a great influence on her family. Her brother accepts a little more every time we talk to him. He doesn't come to church and isnt even technically an investigator, but we will be watching "The Restoration" with him tomorrow and praying that not only does he feel a confirmation that it's true, but also feels the desire to ACT on that knowledge.
We have also been working quite a bit with some less actives. They are great. Stella has been to church the last two sundays and Olga wants to come to conference this weekend.

Aside from those things we are just carrying on. One thing that I need to be much better at is finding new investigators. It's hard for me. Not only to talk to people sometimes, but then to relate the conversation to the gospel and then set up a return appointment. I'm sure there are quite a few seeds that have been planted, but I need to be more diligent for those who may be ready NOW to hear the gospel.

It's been a good week, and I'm looking forward to another one. Hope everyone has a good week and enjoys conference. What an amazing opportunity we have to hear from a living prophet. I'm so excited!

I love you all and pray for your health and safety!
Sorella Leckie

Sorella Cheesman, Michael Israel, Michael Popolo, Me.

Josy and Me

We helped some members paint their house for service one day. It was really only one room and didn't take that long, but it was a lot of fun. (me, Anz Kelly, Annalisa Noè)