Serving An 18 Month LDS Mission

In the LDS church, when a girl turns 21 she has the opportunity to choose to serve an 18 month, self-funded mission. I have wanted to go on a mission since I was a little girl. My parents both served a mission in Rome in the 1970's. In 2001-2002, my sister Letty served as a missionary in Hong Kong and my brother Algot in the Philippines. As soon as I turned 21 I submitted my papers. The Prophet and 12 Apostles determine through inspiration which of the more than 300 missions worldwide each missionary will be assigned. I was overjoyed when I opened my mission call and discovered that I was called to Rome, Italy! I feel immensely blessed and I feel that God has been preparing me to serve the Italian people. Each week, while I am on my mission, I will send my sister Letty an email and pictures to post on the blog. I won't see this blog till I come home, so I will be unable to directly respond to your comments until then. However, the sidebar will always have a current street address for me, and I promise I will respond to your letters! If you would rather write via email, just email your letter to my sister and she will print it out and send it me with her weekly snail mail!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Letter #17 from Bari, Italy

Dear family and friends,
I know that I will be skyping you tomorrow at 9am your time so today I wanted to attach a ton of pictures. I was all ready to go, but then my computer popped up with a virus warning and I don't want to plug anything into this computer!! So you have to wait a little longer until you get to see pictures of me! But I will send them!
Sorella Foster is loving Bari and I am loving showing it to her! And introducing her to all these wonderful people. We get a long very well. We are almost creepily the same person. We have differences, but we like the same books, the same TV shows, the same movies. We drive in the car belting out Guys and Dolls and Oliver. She knows so many musicals and she likes me to tell her all the plots of the ones she doesnt know!!! Or rather she humors me!! But I dont care!! We have so much fun! And we also get work done. She is very kind and very sincere. I love her simplicity and honesty! and it is really easy to make her laugh! In short, she is an agreeable person.
Marina, one of our investigators left for Ireland to pass the holidays with her daughter. But before she left she and her husband invited us to their home. It was the same day of transfers and it was crazy. I kept on wanting to cancel but when I called I never could!! So we ended up going at 8:50am and it was good that we did. Because without my knowing they had prepared tons of food for all 4 of us sisters! And if we had not come it would have really hurt their feelings. As it turned out we only had 20 minutes but I am glad we went. We were able to talk more with the husband, Onofrio. He is super kind and quiet like Marina and our goal is to teach them together! 
We have been visiting a lot of members, and this Sunday we helped the family we had lunch with form a family mission plan!! I got lots of ideas from an email I got from Letty a few months ago. And Sorella Foster thought of making a 3 week challenge. With a task they need to do every week. This week they are preparing and making a list together of who they want invite to come closer to Christ and to know our church better. The first week they need to bear their testimony about a simple thing to each person on the list. 2nd week they will invite them to their house to play games or eat cena and get to know their family. 3rd week they will invite them again and also invite the missionaries! I think this is going to work a lot of miracles. Because I have learned from my mission - the more specific the goal, the more God can use us as His instruments. He will put people in our path because we have chosen and specified which path we will take and we are committed to take this path! I know God can do anything, but when we make goals and act, it grows us and our testimonies. He could do it without us but He chooses to help others grow their faith and their commitment!
I will see you tomorrow!! I love you all so much! I am excited! :)
Sorella preston

Monday, December 16, 2013

Letter #16 from Bari, Italy

Dear Family and Friends,
You are never going to believe it! Sorella Mikesell has been transferred in the middle of the transfer to Palermo, right before Christmas. Both our minds are blown. I no longer have any idea of what to do and cannot think straight! President Waddoups did a normal transfer 2 weeks ago, and he felt good about where people were. But then he told us afterwards, God let him know that 8 people needed to be transferred before Christmas! Sorella Mikesell was one! She is excited because she always wanted to serve in Palermo and Napoli, but neither was open to sisters until 2 transfers ago when they opened Palermo!! Whoohoo! 
My new collega will be Sorella Foster from Albuquerque New Mexico! This is her 3rd Transfer. I've heard that she is super sweet! She does not know it yet, but she is going to have the best Christmas EVER! I want to help her feel comfortable and happy. Not only is she away from her family, but she just got surprised transferred away from her trainer and all of her member friends in Rome. But the members here in Bari are so loving and they are just going to love her to death!
Mikesell leaves Wednesday morning, so tomorrow we are going to have a mini-Christmas, and open presents and such!
I am only sad that I don't get to meet Sorella Mikesell's family on skype! For those of you who have served a mission you will understand that one of the highlights is being able to meet your companion's family!!! Oh well I am excited to meet Sorella Foster's parents even though they have NO IDEA who I am :)
Mom and Dad I have some notes for you
1) I GOT YOUR PACKAGE WITH THE CD! I love how you both know me soo well. You send me a  Natalie Cole christmas CD. She sings "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" And "The Christmas song" In tribute to her father and Andy Williams!! I have been loving it. I just got it today!
2) I asked about Irma Giacolli. I heard from Sorella Magno that she died 2 years ago. I am so sorry that I am the one who has to bear the bad news. Sono l'uccellino della Maledizione. She was inactive before her death so most members do not know who she is. But I am going to ask around and make sure she actually died.
3) Dad, Fratello vito Caricola wanted to ask you if you knew Anziano Michael Anderson. He served in Bari around the same time as you and baptized Fratello Caricola. He just wanted to know if you knew him.
Now back to relevant things such as Christmas and the miracles we saw this week.
I think one of the biggest miracles we saw this week was that we finally contacted one of our investigators after 2 weeks. She would not answer the phone but she finally did. She apologized for being busy and we tried to set up an appoinment. Purtroppo none of our times worked but she promised to come to church. We tried to call her Saturday and remind her but she did not answer. Then she miraculously came to church this sunday. She brought her husband and her son, a new convert of 4 months. They came for Gospel Principles and Sacrament Meeting!!! It was so wonderful!
Marina also came to church this sunday! she is progressing so much. She had a few questions about 1 Nefi 4 and why God would command to kill someone. But it gave us a great opportunity to talk about personal revelation and invite her to ask God herself. We have an appointment to go to her house and visit with her and her husband this week. I am so excited.
I feel so blessed to be here! Just the other day I was thinking about how cool missionary work is. I heard someone say this Sunday that if God wanted something done, He could just do it! He does not need us, but He allows us to be His hands. He allows us to grow and to serve others. By doing His will, we slowly become more like Him and develop Christ-like attributes. I have been trying to remind myself recently to think less of myself and to focus on "being his Hands."
Love you all so much,
Sorella Preston

Monday, December 9, 2013

Letter #15 and Pictures from Bari, Italy

Dear Family and friends,
This week we had zone conference and one of the kids in the ward got baptized. It was the best. The little boy's name is Christian and I was able to be here last year and see his older sister's baptism! They are a very cute family.
The Zone Conference this transfer was shorter because it was a specialized training meeting not a Zone Conference. We had some addestramenti on teaching skills. Which are so important to always study! I have been working my whole mission on listening, asking questions in lessons, and putting others first! It is hard to change human nature but that is why we serve missions. We have this brief time to put others completely before ourselves. I am grateful that God gives us this time to learn and start to form habits.
Then our mission president and his wife did a special addestramento, it being Christmas. They had us put on a Christmas pageant. It was like being in Primary again but it was just so much fun because everyone had fun with it. I have great pictures to send you! Sorella Mikesell was the virgin Mary! :) and I was the chorister. It was so much fun. 
I had a great experience this week. One of our members in the PF ward is from Honduras. Her husband is 1\2 Italian, 1\2 American who served his mission in Utah. He then went to BYU and they met in Spain! They have the craziest life but they are the sweetest couple. They just had a baby girl named Emma Natalia. We had heard that they needed a new Italian triple combination and that they wanted to frame "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" In italian and Spanish to put in the baby's room. Sorella Mikesell and I realized that these were all relatively easy things for missionaries to obtain, so we brought them as Christmas gifts Saturday.
Tesla was opening the triple; a combination of 3 volumes of scripture including the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price; and when she saw it she just started crying! Her husband told us that when they had flown to Italy from Honduras only 5 months earlier they had had to leave all of their scriptures except his quad in English. She had had to leave her scriptures behind. She was so overjoyed from what I would have considered a very humble gift. And with her new-born baby asleep in her arms she sat leafing through the pages. 
That moment was one of the best moments on my mission. Tesla taught me so much by her humility and how much she treasured the scriptures!! 
Last night the Libertà ward had their primary program. It was stellar!! They had all 5 kids come up and they were all missionaries :) A companionship of elders, and the sisters were in a trio. Then they did a Mostra. (Anyone who has served in Italy will know what THIS is!) I don't know if other missions do it. You go stand in a square and you have a big tripod stand up presentation or boards that talk about certain subjects. Then the missionaries spread out and go and talk to the people around. It is really fun!! And they do it a lot in Italy! 
The primary children had made big posterboards and put them on the stand. The primary presidency pretended to be people on the street who asked them questions like, "Who are you?" or "How can I be with my family forever?" "Why do I need to be baptized in your church?"  The children had scripted responses. They would read scriptures to respond. They had poster boards about the Plan of Salvation, Christ's Ministry, the Apostasy, the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ, and Families with the Temple!! 
They did so good! WHENEVER someone asked a question they would say, "To respond to this question let us sing, 'I am a child of God'." Or they would read a scripture. I was astounded! It was one of the best primary programs I have seen in my life! At the end all the children read their written out testimonies! The message was the need to prepare our children to be future missionaries and that we need to be missionaries all of us, and be the Savior's hands to bring others to Him.
There were many other things that happened this week but I cannot write them all. I ate Squid ink pasta for the 1st time on my mission! I have been wanting to eat it my whole mission. They cut open the squid and remove it's ink sack (I think that is what it is called?) and they make a sugo with ink, oil, and pieces of squid. The pasta they use for this dish is Spaghetti. It is called, "Gli spaghetti Neri" It dies your mouth and teeth black. Sorella Mikesell tried a noodle because she is intolerant to all fish and seafood.  I also ate raw squid, roasted fish, and roasted octupus tenticles. All at the same lunch appointment. They also served: A bean and pasta dish, sauages, antipasti of home-pickled tomatoes, artichokes, and melanzane (eggplant), prosciutto crudo, mozzarella balls, roasted chestnuts, and fresh fruit. And we even left before dessert!! Needless to say, I was stuffed and did not feel very well but it was worth it!  Fotos will be sent the next week!!! :) 
I love you all,
Sorella Preston

Monday, December 2, 2013

Letter #14 from Bari, Italy

Dear family and friends,
I hope that you are all doing well. Everything is being Chrismasified and I love it! We have had 3 days of non-stop rain, which is a bit dreary but people are staying home making it easier to contact our investigators. 
Just a quick question for mom: Can you send me the recipe for Grandmas's chrismas rolls. I want to make them for christmas time! Or at least try to :)
This week we were having a hard time seeing Cecilia because of the bad weather. But we asked if we could pass by her store Saturday morning and she said yes. We showed up that morning and saw 3 men at the remnants of a store. We asked for Cecilia and one of the men, her professed husband who has 3 wives, (WHAT HAD NO IDEA SHE WAS MARRIED WHOOPS - also we will figure out the whole 3 wife thing!) said she was across the street at her daughter's store. She and her family apparently have stores all along Via Napoli. We left the 3 men and went to her daughters store.
She sells vintage clothing. It had the feeling on an old wine cellar. Her daughter Angelita is just like Cecilia. She talks crazy fast and jumps between topics making it quite difficult to follow. Cecilia was not there either but we got to know Angelita and say a prayer with her. We had met one of her daughters that Cecilia brought to English course. We found out that Cecilia has 6 kids (we did know this) but I did not know all the names. So with a little snooping Angelita gave us the whole lowdown. Angelita was leaving for lunch and we were gonna call the morning good when we saw Cecilia walking down the street. 
Rocking her leopard print pants, apache shirt, weave and camo glasses!! I love her so much. She had gone to do some spesa. We sat in her daughters store and had a quick lesson. It was so good!! She is so intelligent but has some ADD, so we do quick lessons with her. We figured out the husband situation. They are separated. He left 10 years ago, and then just showed up wanting to get to know the kids. She said, "Fine, but you and me are done". I think they are like most couples here in Italy - they separate but never get an official divorce because they are expensive and against the Catholic church. We will have to figure more out about this in the future.
I love Cecilia. She has the best questions. And she listens so well. We planned to talk about the plan of salvation. We did do a quick overview. But we also explained the process of calling a new prophet when one dies, etc. We get this question often in Italy because they have the Conclave that meets to assign a new pope. 
I wish I could explain Cecilia better. You just have to meet her. She is trying to get all of her family to come to church with her and introduced us to 2 of her kids that were there and her granddaughter. She is just the best. We needed to push back her baptismal date because we have not been able to see her, but then she turned to us at the end of the lesson and said that she wants to be baptized the beginning of next year because she still has a lot to learn! I know she is going to do great things and is going to be a wonderful member. While we were there everyone kept coming in and saying hi. They are friends with everyone. Cecilia will love everyone no matter their race, their social skills, or their time in the church. She is awesome.
We also saw one of our investigators that has been studying with the missionaries for 2 years. He knows it is all true, but won't be baptized. He says his problem is the law of chastity. We planned to figure this out that night. As we explained it, he just acknowledged that he was not sure that it was from God. As we were talking I almost starting crying and I blurted out "I am so sad because you are losing so much just for sex!" He is a widow, and just got a new girlfriend. He stopped and looked at me and said - "I am confused, what will I lose?" I just started listing off, the Holy Ghost, an eternal family with your wife, salvation, baptism, ect. He just looked shocked. I don't think anyone had clearly explained to him that if we don't keep the commandments everything will not go well. As missionaries we focus a lot on the sunshine and roses and forget to explain that without making certain promises with God, they will not be with their spouse forever, they will not live with God, they will not have salvation. God has laws. He loves us but He will always be JUST! 
Don't mean to end on a justice note -but I do think we forget, I forget, all that we give up for just half-living the commandments and half-keeping our covenants! It is not worth it. Not worth sleeping in one day here on the mission, not reading our scriptures today, being too busy to go visit all of our VT\HT families. 
I love you all, and I am grateful for your example to me of setting good priorities and always improving. I love you all!
Sorella Preston

Monday, November 25, 2013

Letter #13 and Pictures from Bari, Italy

Dear Family and Friends,

This has been such a wonderful week and I am so excited for Christmas. It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Bari. This saturday I got my transfer call, and me and Sorella Mikesell are staying together in BARI :) I am so excited! I love a good Barese Christmas. We really wanted to stay together but I did not think it would happen. TADA! Dreams DO COME TRUE!  
Me and Mikesell along Lungomare in the rain with Città vecchia in the background
For those of you who know me, you will be well aware that I have been listening to Christmas music my whole mission and wanted to put up lights the beginning of November. Me and Mikesell are going to deck our halls :) 

I feel very blessed that I get to stay in Bari. But Sorella Mikesell has been planning some good things to keep our missionary fire. For those of you who have served missions you will know that it is easy to become complacent especially when you have been with the same companion or in the same city for a while. Every morning I have been praying that I will continue to feel gratitude for the miracles that happen and keep pushing myself to do better. 

Earlier in the week during Ward executive committee meeting, the 1st one with our new bishop, all of the fratelli expressed how much they would like to come to lessons. I realized that we had been slacking on getting members at our lessons. We put a new emphasis on calling them and inviting them to come. We had a lot more member present lessons this week. Some fell through, but I hope the members feel more involved. Their comments helped remind me that the Hastening of the Work is not just for the members to step up, but also the missionaries. We need to help the members come out of their comfort zones. I need to help them grow and strengthen their testimonies so that they will feel confident and prepared to share the gospel. We have had such great lessons this week BECAUSE the members came. It makes such a difference. WHY? Because missionaries are weird, and we don't speak Italian!

Just last night during gospel principles class, the teacher was able to help a new convert, Gaetano, so much more than I could have. This new convert asked me earlier that week a question in the Bible and my answer was very generic. The teacher was able to go in depth and find the root of his problem, which was he did not know if He should date non-members. The teacher was able to share personal stories of when he had the same problem. He had made a goal to be married in the temple and he went to YSA conferences all over Italy until he found a girl who he liked and was worthy. I never could have related to Gaetano's problem. I know this is an odd example, but while I was sitting in the class it really stood out to me.

This week we had scambis with the Foggia Sorelle in Foggia. Me and Sorella Mitsvotai had a really funny experience. We were going to go stop by one of their investigators, Luigi and his wife Anna Rita. When we were approaching the palazzo I saw a hurst and a priest all decked out in his finest robes. I thought it was strange. Then I walked over to the portone and they had Manifestos for the deceased, Anna Rita. I said, "Hey, Sorella Mitsvotai - wasn't that the name of your investigator's wife?" Indeed it was! She had died the day before and it was her funeral, hence the hurst! I know it was bad taste, but I had to stop myself from laughing!! What are the odds! Seriously, the same day we go to visit them is her funeral. I think it is really funny. We were going to talk about the Plan of Salvation and focus on the Resurrection. It was not by chance that we were there. We wanted to go and give our condolences, but there were a lot of people so we decided that the Sorelle will call him in a few days. 

Tomorrow we have an English Thanksgiving party and their graduation!! They are all bringing food and we are going to have a few Thanksgiving foods for them to try. I volunteered to make apple pies (note the title of the email) I bought all the ingredients today. And got to work. After the first pie baked I opened the cupboard and realized,... We only have 1 pie pan. How can I make 5 pies? I freaked out. All of my problem solving skills went out the window. I tried to put it in tall cake pan with a Frankenstein crust and this is when Sorella Mikesell arrived. She calmed me down, and explained that a deep dish apple pie will not work well. We decided on a 9x13 with double the recipe. I will have to do it later tonight! Thank goodness for Sorella Mikesell! 

I love you all so much and I am praying for you!

Love, Sorella Preston

Our district!! Left: Me, Slla Mikesell, Anziani Barrow, Line, Kunz, Juhasz, Carr, Peachey

Monday, November 18, 2013

Letter #12 and Pictures from Bari, Italy

Dear Family and Friends,


I hope last week was wonderful for you all because it was amazing for us :) Today we are celebrating Thanksgiving with the Foggia Sorelle! It is going to be great. We have mashed potatoes, apple pie, chicken, vegetables, home-made bread. It is going to be so wonderful!!  Next week expect pictures!

Thanksgiving, Sorella Mikesell, Sorella Mitsvotai, Sorella Rossell
We have been listening to tons of Christmas music.  Sorella Mikesell has a Barbara Streisand Christmas CD. It is so funny! I love it :) Mom and Dad, I got your package. I love the CD it is great. It has been so long since I have heard musicals so as soon as "The Impossible Dream" came on I freaked out :)

This week has been miraculously. I felt like exclaiming like Ammon and praising God.

"And now, these are the words of Ammon to his brethren, which say thus: My brothers and my brethren, behold I say unto you, how great reason have we to rejoice; for could we have supposed when we started from the land of Zarahemla that God would have granted unto us such great blessings?

"Blessed be the name of our God; let us sing to his praise, yea, let us give thanks to his holy name, for he doth work righteousness forever.

"I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God.

 "12 Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."

(Alma 26: 1,8, 11-12)

So many miracles have happened:

Last week I wrote you and I told you about all the miracles that Marina experienced. This week it just continued. We met with her last Tuesday. Not only does she keep her impegni, but she teaches us. We don’t teach her. We asked her to read 1 Nefi 3. She read it and came prepared. We asked her what she thought. Her answer was that "Each of us has a mission in this life, but God will help us. And He will send angels to protect us. Nothing is impossible with God."

Sorella Mikesell and I just sat flabbergasted! Eventually I responded and said "Exactly." She then explained how, when you read the scriptures, you must apply them or nothing will come of reading them. 

We asked her how she feels about the Book of Mormon. She feels that it is true. "Otherwise you would not be here in Italy telling me about it!" She wants to know more about Joseph smith and we asked her to pray about him and to read 1 nefi 1. 

Whenever I see Marina she glows now. She came to church again this Sunday and she loved it. After gospel principles she pulled me aside and said that she prayed and she wants to tell us her answer but there were too many people. So after sacrament meeting we went to one of the primary classrooms to talk. She said that she prayed and felt peace. She still will not accept a baptismal date but she knows that this is the right path for her.

She then took us outside and introduced us to her husband. He was super nice and clearly he knows she is meeting with us. We were worried about how he would react but he seems super chill. We want to teach them together! 

The miracles just kept coming this week. Another one of our investigators, Cecilia has a baptismal date and she came for 2 Sundays now, to all 3 hours of church. 

When I first saw her per strada I thought she was crazy. She was walking in a group with us with dread locks and bright yellow pants. But then something told me to go and talk with her and I really did not want to. But it would not go away, so as we were passing I smiled and said hello.  She immediately stopped us and explained that she has friends who are members of the church, a few of our African members. She wanted to talk with us, but did not know how to contact us. 

As we started teaching her, she started to introduce us to all of her friends and the Restoration just clicked. She told us this week that she had been looking for the way God wanted her to take. She prayed about Joseph smith and she felt this warmth and light! She wants to get baptized. She is so funny. And she has been one of the biggest surprises of my mission.

Another miracle was Marjana .The Poggiofranco Sorelle, before they left, met an ex-investigator again. We finally got a hold of her and went to go see her and now she has a baptismal date as well. She loves the Book of Mormon and the church. She has a sister who is a member in Albania, and she is from Macedonia (COOL!  AM I RIGHT!?) She is ex-military and works as port portral so she is very intense, but she means what she says. And she loves this message. 

These are just a few of the miracles. Not to mention all the investigators we finally contacted from the Poggiorfranco Sorelle. Including a new investigator who has a baptismal date for 4th of January, and many more. I know we still have a lot of work to do with these people, but Bari is exploding! I know that God is doing a great work here among these people! And it humbles me. But I am so excited for all of them. I love you all and I wish you a happy early Thanksgiving.

Sorella Preston

Monday, November 11, 2013

Letter #11 From Bari, Italy

Dear family and Friends,
I hope that you are all doing well and that your preparations for Thanksgiving are not too strenuous. I know that it is not Thanksgiving yet but I have seen so many miracles this week that I just wanted to express my gratitude by telling you all about them!

Miracle #1
Marina is one of our English Course students. When she started coming she seemed very serious and she was going to the class taught by Anziano Barrow. For weeks Sorella Mikesell just kept telling me, "I feel that I should teach intermediate! I want to teach Marina. I think we need to teach the class that Marina is in..." Well, finally we organized it for Sorella Mikesell to teach Intermediate and for Anz Barrow and Anz Carr to teach 2 basic classes.
Our first class together we talked about health. Sorella Mikesell and I took the opportunity to explain the Word of Wisdom and why we folllow this Law of Health from God. Afterwards, Marina came up to me beaming and she thanked us for everything we do ESPECIALLY the spiritual part at the end. I asked her if she would like to meet with us and she said yes. She then came to the Halloween Party and afterwards. We thought to invite her to come to Church 2 sundays ago. And she CAME! We then set up an appt to see her Tuesday. We just planned to have a lesson zero and get to know her and her relationship with God.
As we sat down together after some chatting and getting to know and after the prayer. Sorella Mikesell asked her, "Who is God for you in your life?" She answered that He is her father. And that is why she always prays to him. She went on to share with us how important prayer is for her and how she prays like we do. She said, "It does not matter whether I tell God foolish things, or if I share little boring things from the day, He wants to hear from me." After this comment Sorella Mikesell and I just turned to each other with the same thought - "Let's move on to the Restoration." We then went on to explain the Restoration lesson all based off of prayer. It was a different way I have ever explained it and when we got to the 1st vision, the spirit was so strong. I FELT THE Holy Ghost the strongest I have felt IN ANY RESTORATION LESSON before on my mission. And as I shared the 1st vision I had to fight back tears! It was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. Afterwards she accepted a Book of Mormon and agreed to read the introduction and pray about the book. 
When we saw her Thursday for class again. She told me that she had been reading and had read the intro and all the testimonies in the beginning. She especially liked the personal account by Joseph Smith about how he got the plates. She said that it is impossible for someone to know if Joseph smith was a prophet unless they read his words and understand his own experiences. I invited her to keep reading and start 1 nefi. 
She came to Sacrament meeting again this sunday. She is SOO READY it blows my mind. We are going to see her tomorrow and invite her to baptism. She is such a sweet soul. She is educated, kind, and already lives the gospel. We asked her what she thought the purpose of life is and her answer: to love and serve others! We don't teach her anything. She teaches me!! 
Miracle #2
The other day one of our members ran into our investigator that we had an appointment set for Friday. Afterwards, he called us and VOLUNTEERED to come to the lesson if we would like! I accepted quite eagerly! He was great in the lesson. He came to our lesson during his dinner break after working all day and afterwards he went back to work until 1 or 2 am. It amazed me the sacrifice he made to help missionary work. It was a wondeful miracle and a blessing to me.
Miracle #3
Another one of our investigators came to church this Sunday for the first time! Oh happy day! 
These are just a few of the miracles. Not to mention, one of our new converts brought a friend to church on Sunday, and one of our members invited us to come with him to visit the inactive family he home teaches. We found out he has been going for 25 years and they still do not want to come to church but he still goes. 
And this Sunday at Pranzo we were inspired to help a family catch the missionary fire. On our way there the thought came to me to share my Dad's conversion story. We arrived and we had great discussions during lunch about all that they are doing for their non-member relatives and their coworkers. Then the father asked us why it was so important for members to help. I was able to explain and their newly returned missionary daughter also explained.
I was also able to share some things that Letty emailed me about her and Richard's family mission plan. At their Stake Conference the mission president advised them not to ask themselves who is ready to take the lessons, but who can they help come closer to Christ and how. Maybe our friends are not ready to meet with the missionaries, but we can help them take a step closer to Christ. So that someday they will be ready. After lunch I shared my Dad's Conversion story and how because of his choices he has blessed hundreds of lives including mine. It was an amazing experience! 
I love you all so much and I miss you. 
P.S. I will not be sending Christmas presents because instead I am just going to bring them home with me. It saves postage and I can see your faces when you open them! 
Love you lots,
Sorella Preston