“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Ciao a tutti

I was reading in Doctrine and Covenants this week and in section 64 verse 2 it reads “For verily I say unto you, I will that ye should overcome the world; wherefore I will have compassion upon you. The blessings that come from overcoming the world are beautiful and can be found in Revelation chapters 2 and 3 and also D&C 76:64. But what does overcoming the world really mean? To me it means putting off the natural man, setting aside the worldly things that are innate in our mortal state, it means to truly become as our Saviour.

Elder Neal A. Andersen said this in his most recent talk at General Conference “Overcoming the world is not one defining moment in a lifetime, but a lifetime of moments that define an eternity.” The process by which we overcome the world is repentance, or change. A change in our hearts that inspires us to do good, and then to actually do good! “Overcoming the world is not a global invasion but a private, personal battle, requiring hand-to-hand combat with our own internal foes. Overcoming the world means treasuring the greatest commandment: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.”…Overcoming the world is keeping our promises to God–our baptismal and temple covenants and our oath of faithfulness to our eternal companion. Overcoming the world leads us humbly to the sacrament table each week, asking for forgiveness and pledging to “remember him and keep his commandments,” that we “may always have his Spirit to be with [us].”…Overcoming the world is remembering, even when we are discouraged, the times we have felt the love and light of the Savior. Elder Neal A. Maxwell explained one of these experiences this way: “I had been blessed, and I knew that God knew that I knew I had been blessed.” Although we may temporarily feel forgotten, we do not forget.” I know that as we keep the Saviour as our centre and hold true to our covenants, throughout our life on earth we can overcome the world.

The verse in D&C tells us who’s on our side. He wants us to overcome the world, and therefore we will overcome the world with his help, but we must ask for it and then use it. We must truly yearn for that divine guidance and aid. We are not alone in our mortal mission, he is there “Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.

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So now, transfer calls came and went a week ago, and as I suspected I left my beloved Siracusa and in fact the beautiful island of Sicilia… I got on a plane Thursday morning (because the mission is pretty big and consists of the mainland and 3 islands!) and headed to Rome and then to Cagliari which is on the island of SARDEGNA! Was not the call I was expecting! But I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to serve on this island! Not only did I island hop but I got blown in, or in other missions it’s called white washed? So that’s been interesting… but we haven’t seemed to get too lost #googlemapssaveslives.

My new companion is called Sorella Lalonde and she’s from Kingston, Canada! She’s really sweet, and she’s almost been out 6 months. Yesterday was wonderful, I already love this ward!!

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Today we went to this castle on a hill and saw a pretty sweet view of the city, then we went and had Mexican food, I forgot how much I missed chimichangas!!!

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So I’m still a sister training leader, the only one on the island! I once heard of an Anziano saying that the Sardegna Zone Leaders must be the most stressed in the whole mission because they’re the zone leaders of the entire island, so that must make me the most stressed STL! Hahaha!

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Due to being transferred I had to say goodbye to home, or at least that’s what it felt like! In fact, I left some thing in Siracusa and said “oh I must’ve left it at home…” weird how you can feel so settled and at home when you get to live in a city for 6 months. Saying goodbye was hard, especially to Sorella Ferre! I wish I could take her with me! I have so much love for that girl and I know she will make sure Siracusa is well, and I know Siracusa will continue to love her like I do! Ahhh, Siracusa was the best! Can’t wait to return! So as I was leaving Sicily I had to learn to make one of the most Sicilian things there is: ARANCINI!!!!! Ahhhh it was the BEST!!!!

Had a little miracle since being here though, we were finding on Saturday night because we didn’t really know what else to do on such sort notice! We were wandering down this street and there’s literally one person on it, so we talk to her and she’s actually interested in the church! Hopefully we can see her soon, speriamo bene!!

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We have Zone Conference this Friday and just got the agenda so I hope all can be sorted in such short notice:/. But we had an inspection today with the Guercios! Oh I miss them, can’t wait to see them in UT next year!

Until next weeeek

Sorella Tacchi xxx

Saying goodbye to friends in Siracusa

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Our last district gelato

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Cagliari, Sardegna

The Cagliari Sorelle

I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go

Heya

This week in particular I have been using True to the Faith and it’s truly becoming one of my favourite resources. I was studying about prayer for our spiritual thought at family home evening, and this line really stood out to me. “If you do not feel like praying, pray until you do feel like praying.”  True to the Faith, Prayer. It sounds almost trivial but praying can be hard sometimes, but I know that if Satan can convince us to not pray, we allow him to sever our most intimate tie with our Father in Heaven when we need Him most. The discussion during FHE caused me to thing about the difference between ‘timbre’ and ‘pair’, they both mean ‘dear’ in English but I though it was interesting to notice the difference. Timore is contrite respect and awe, so it helps us to be humble when we face God in our prayers but if we have paura we are more repulsed at the the thought of God. Languages are interesting.

I was then studying about gratitude, and I really liked this quote: “Let a spirit of thanksgiving guide and bless your days and nights. Work at being grateful. You will find that it yields wonderful results.” True to the Faith, Gratitude. Gratitude is so important. “…live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you.” Alma 34:38
“Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving , and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” Psalm 100:3-4
“Humility and gratitude are truly the twin characteristics of happiness” Bishop Richard C. Edgley. I couldn’t agree with this more! How can we be unhappy when we realise how truly blessed we are!? And humility helps us realise where those blessings truly come from.

This week was a little here there and everywhere. We had two exchanges, which meant a lot of running around and a lot of gelato, 5 to be exact. It was really fun and I learnt so much from these wonderful sisters!!!

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In fact 2 of the youth came out and did street contacting with us in the heat; I’m just so excited for the future of Siracusa! We had a really wonderful pranzo with our new convert, her aunt and her friend yesterday! G and S in fact both said that they wanted to serve missions, I’ve really seen a beautiful change in them during my time here and I hope they know how much I love them!

Shout out to my companion Sorella Ferre who had an impression to bring an English copy of the Book of Mormon with her last night because we found this lady who’s from South Africa and it was just the most beautiful conversation, the spirit was the best.

Transfer calls are tonight and I just feel like I’m leaving Siracusa, which obviously I’m incredibly sad about, but I know it’s my time to go and someone else can have the blessings of serving here! I love this place so much, and I love the people even more! I’m just so grateful for this time to serve, it’s been the biggest blessing to my life.  “By reclaiming an erring brother, we save both him and ourselves. Our sins are hidden (remitted) because we ministered for the salvation and blessing of another member of the kingdom. In principle this special reward for Christ’s ministers applies also to those who preach the gospel and bring souls into the kingdom. The minister is rewarded with salvation and, of necessity, in the process, is freed from his own sins.” Elder Bruce R. McConkie and D&C 62:4.

I’ll let you know next week!

Love Sorella Tacchi xxx

“When the Lord measures an individual…He measures the heart as an indicator of the person’s capacity and potential to bless others” Marvin J. Aston

Ciao a tutti,

During studies this week Moroni decided to break my boxes (literal translation of an Italian phrase that means to set someone straight) at the end of Mormon when he talks to the people of our day, and I came across a talk given by Elder Ballard at BYU in March 2001 found in the April 2002 Ensign, called ‘Women of Righteousness’, and it was really good. There was one particular part that applies to both genders when he says:
“I have been drawn to an interchange between God the Father and His eldest and Only Begotten Son, who is the ultimate example of living up to one’s premortal promises. When God asked who would come to earth to prepare a way for all mankind to be saved and strengthened and blessed, it was Jesus Christ who said, simply, “Here am I, send me” (Abr. 3:27).
Just as the Savior stepped forward to fulfil His divine responsibilities, we have the challenge and responsibility to do likewise. If you are wondering if you make a difference to the Lord, imagine the impact when you make commitments such as the following:
“Father, if You need a woman to rear children in righteousness, here am I, send me.
“If You need a woman who will shun vulgarity and dress modestly and speak with dignity and show the world how joyous it is to keep the commandments, here am I, send me.”
“If You need a woman who can resist the alluring temptations of the world by keeping her eyes fixed on eternity, here am I, send me.
“If You need a woman of faithful steadiness, here am I, send me.
Between now and the day the Lord comes again, He needs women in every family, in every ward, in every community, in every nation who will step forward in righteousness and say by their words and their actions, “Here am I, send me.”
My question is, “Will you be one of those women? And will you men who hold the priesthood answer the same call?”
Now, I know most of you want to. But how will you do it? How, in a world filled with deceptive messages about women and the family–and the significance of both to the Lord–will you perpetually respond to the Lord, “Here am I, send me”?
For those who really want to live up to who you are, for those who at all costs want to repent if necessary and who want to see through Satan’s deceptions, I have two suggestions: First, listen to and follow those whom we sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators. Second, learn to hear the voice of the Spirit, or the voice of the Lord as communicated by the power of the Holy Ghost.”

I wonder when or if in the pre-mortal existence Heavenly Father asked for specific tasks to be completed and one by one we committed ourselves to our life’s course by saying “here am I, send me”. We each have a part to play in this life, but are we as committed now as we were when we accepted our mortal path? Are we still as determined to return to our Heavenly Father and receive all that he wants to bless us with? I’d like to echo the words of Elder Ballard in achieving our desires, we “First, [need to] listen to and follow those whom we sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators. Second, [we must] learn to hear the voice of the Spirit, or the voice of the Lord as communicated by the power of the Holy Ghost.”

Elder Ballard suggested 5 ways in which we can heed spiritual promptings, and I must admit I still struggle acting on promptings of the spirit even almost 15 months into my mission and over 12 years since I received the gift of the Holy Ghost.

“First is fasting and prayer. When the sons of Mosiah were united with Alma the Younger, they rejoiced in their reunion and acknowledged that because “they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting,” they had been gifted with the spirit of prophecy and revelation, “and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God” (Alma 17:3).
Second is immersing yourself in the scriptures. The word of God “will tell you all things what ye should do” (2 Ne. 32:3). The scriptures are a conduit for personal revelation. Young adults, your generation is much more versed in holy writ than was mine at your age. You have been taught to read and study the scriptures. I urge you to intensify your study of them. I promise that your ability to hear the voice of the Lord as communicated through the Holy Ghost will increase and improve.
Third is preparing to spend time in the house of the Lord. When the time appropriately comes for us to go to the temple, we leave the temple “armed with … power” (D&C 109:22) and with the promise that as we “grow up” in our knowledge of the Lord, we will “receive a fulness of the Holy Ghost” (D&C 109:15). The temple is a place of personal revelation. If you are endowed, visit the temple regularly. If you are not, prepare yourself to enter, for inside the doors of the temple rests the power that will fortify you against the vicissitudes of life.
Fourth is listening to the counsel of your father and mother and your spouse. They are wise and experienced. Share with them your fears and concerns. Seek blessings from your father. If for some reason he is not worthy or able, go to your bishop or your stake president. They love you and will count it a privilege to bless your life. If you have not already done so, you should also receive your patriarchal blessing.
Fifth is obedience and repentance. There are certain things you simply cannot do if you want to have the Holy Ghost with you. It is not possible to listen to vulgar lyrics, watch movies filled with sexual innuendo, tamper with pornography on the Internet (or anywhere else, for that matter), take the name of the Lord in vain, wear revealing clothing, compromise in any way the law of chastity, or disregard the values of true manhood and womanhood and expect the Holy Ghost to remain with you. Whenever anyone participates in those kinds of activities, it should not be a surprise if feelings of loneliness, discouragement, and unworthiness follow. Do not make the choice to go it alone rather than have the Spirit of the Lord to guide, to protect, to prompt, to warn, and to fill you with peace. Repent if you need to so you can enjoy the companionship of the Spirit.” 
“More than ever before we need women of faith, virtue, vision, and charity, as the Relief Society declaration proclaims. We need women who can hear and who will respond to the voice of the Lord, women who at all costs will defend and protect the family. We don’t need women who want to be like men, sound like men, dress like men, drive like some men drive, or act like men. We do need women who rejoice in their womanhood and have a spiritual confirmation of their identity, their value, and their eternal destiny. Above all, we need women who will stand up for truth and righteousness and decry evil at every turn and simply say, “Lord, here am I, send me.”” 

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During sacrament meeting yesterday I came across these words to one of the sacrament hymns that I never truly appreciated before. Our Saviour loves us so much, and I’m so grateful for him, and all that he does for me, he truly does live.

At the throne I intercede;
For thee ever do I plead.
I have loved thee as thy friend,
With a love that cannot end.
Be obedient, I implore,
Prayerful, watchful evermore,
And be constant unto me,
That thy Savior I may be.

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This week felt a little all over the place with having Zone Conference at the beginning and then it seemed like an endless string of bidoni and random service projects, then to end with an almost scambio with Sorella Pickerd.  Wednesday afternoon we helped one of the young men with his scout project of deep cleaning the church, which involved us scrubbing the font, attempting to remove the mystery stains from the seats, again attempting to remove marks in the floor, then to end with sanding down a wall.

We then went out to dinner with our beloved E and J for the last time as they returned back to the UK. I’m sure going to miss them! Thursday was interesting, we tried to do some finding but came across this huge paint party and so we decided to venture in and try not to get covered in paint as we invited people to English course, we managed to come out clean. Later we had a surprise service project of helping someone move in, which was fun! Then that night after English course we were walking home and discovered a party in a field, hearing the loud music just made me and Sorella Ferre really want to go dancing, and for those who knew me before the mission know how I like to dance! We were SO tempted and so had to walk home faster as to not give in!

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Friday was weekly planning and we met up with this girl we met in Catania, which was cool, she’s pretty open minded philosophical wise but she said that she’d be happy to share ideas in the future. Saturday the Pickerds came to visit, and they took us out for lunch where I had one of the best lasagne I’ve ever eaten. It wasn’t your typical lasagne because it had no tomatoes but was more white in colour and had aubergines too. Then they inspected our apartment; our toilet is constantly filling and I’ve tried to fix it but it started to flood our bathroom… so President and I attempted to fix it again. Well it’s still broken but he taught me everything he knew about toilets in the mean time.

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That night we had a lesson with our new convert G about the Europe Area Plan (bring a friend, be spiritually and temporally self reliant, find an ancestor), it was probably the best lesson we’ve ever had with her! It was great! She’s so sweet! Sunday was good too, and at our weekly Sunday night gesso we met this lady who wanted to come to English course and decided to take us to her shop, we’re thinking of returning today! We’re managing to make friends with all the people who work in stores, because we know they’ll be here for the summer! I love Siracusa, but I’m oh so terrified for transfer calls next Monday!

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Hope you all have a great week! Love you! My heart goes out to those affected by the recent terrorist attacks in London and Manchester, its hard to tell people that we have hope when they talk of all the destruction in the world.

Love Sorella Tacchi xxx

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“Io so chi io sono”

Hello,

This week consisted of a lot of preparation for my part of the Addestramento (I don’t really know what it’s called in English speaking missions, but the part where the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders teach) during Zone Conference. We were focusing on our identity in 3 categories: as children of God, as masters of agency, and as disciples of Christ. My part was on discipleship and I really enjoyed studying it. It made me think about how not only can I use my talents and gifts to develop on my path of discipleship and help others along the way, but I have been given a unique set of weaknesses to help others too. “Exaltation is our goal; discipleship is our journey. As you exercise a little faith and begin your walk as a peaceable follower of our Lord Jesus Christ, your heart will change. Your whole being will be filled with light. God will help you become something greater than you ever thought possible. And you will discover that the gospel of Jesus Christ is indeed working in your life. It works.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

I really enjoyed reading ‘Becoming a Disciple of Our Lord Jesus Christ’ by Elder Hales as preparation too. He helped me think about Christ’s characteristics and how they’re all interwoven together. He uses wonderful imagery of our lives as tapestries made up of interweaving threads of his attributes. When we strive to develop or enhance a certain characteristic, other characteristics are developed along with it too. There’s a line in a song called ‘Tapestry’ by Hillsong United which says “our life’s a tapestry of faith your hands have weaved together”. Christ takes us and develops us into these beautiful and unique tapestry woven by his hands. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to become more like him everyday, to follow him more diligently, and to love him more devotedly.

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I was reading in section 59 of the Doctrine and Covenants and in verse 23 it reads “But learn that he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.” But we must be willing to give our all in order to receive more than all we can imagine. If we want to follow him, we have to be willing to go where he went, to do what he did, holding nothing back. “There can be no such reservation. We must be willing to sacrifice everything. Through self-discipline and devotion we must demonstrate to the Lord that we are willing to serve him under all circumstances. When we have done this, we shall receive an assurance that we shall have eternal life in the world to come. Then we shall have peace in this world. …
“Let us each day in solemn honesty confront ourselves with the rich man’s question, ‘What lack I yet?’ And thus, with utter frankness, discovering our own limitations, let us conquer them one by one until we obtain peace in this world through an assurance that we shall have eternal life in the world to come.” Marion G. Romney. I love the idea of his peace, not the worlds. We can have his peace amidst the turmoil we find ourselves in in this life. I’m so grateful for a loving Redeemer, who made pure joy possible to find in this life.

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This week was jam-packed. It started with an exchange with the Catania sisters. It was a lot of fun, even if nothing seemed to go to plan. I guess I had to keep my 2015 New Year’s resolution of spontaneity! But I really do love being with sisters, it’s a little overwhelming sometimes and reminds me of school being with lots of girls, but it can still be fun! We ended up laughing so so much!! Wednesday and Thursday were a little less exciting, but consisted of Zone Conference prep and our last dinner at the Walsh’s home before they head back to the UK. Friday was pretty exciting because G GOT BAPTISED!

The day was a little stressful, we didn’t know how long it would take to fill up the font, and I had to go into the underground passage under the church to check that the hot water was on.  All was well, the young women sang a beautiful musical number and the whole thing was magical. Another daughter of god is on her way back home.

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On Friday also we finally got our NEW WASHING MACHINE! And we haven’t stopped doing laundry, I will never ever take a washing machine for granted, ever again. Ever. Hahah. Saturday I came down with a cold… and then Sunday was Stake Conference with all the members in Sicily in Catania. We rented out a conference suite in a hotel so it was weird! A British member of the Seventy came, I could immediately tell that he was from North London. It always weird to hear British accents! That afternoon we had interviews with President in which he told me that I will not be staying with Sorella Ferre for a 4th transfer… but he gave no hints as to whom is leaving Siracusa. I guess we’ll just have to wait 2 weeks until transfer calls. That night we all did a gesso together and Sorella Ferre and I were talking to a newly wed couple from Rochester NY and they, living close to some church history sites, had a lot of deep doctrine questions. It was pretty intense, but it was really cool to just bear testimony on how I received my answer that the Book of Mormon is true, the spirit was just incredible and I had to hold back the tears. Rochester Missionaries, a referral is coming your way!

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Monday was Zone Conference, which was fun. Being on the teaching end was fun too, I love being united as a zone. After conference we were all waiting for a bus but realised that they decided to have a strike despite taking the bus in the morning. So we had to walk, and I was wearing my more Sunday like shoes which have no support and I had my backpack contained my quad, my Italian scriptures, my study journal, my gratitude journal, and my camera. It was a struggle let’s just say, especially in the heat.

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That night we had yet another gesso, and as I was stopping people who were walking past, I saw this one girl and in the corner of my eye I see this other girl and I remember distinctly thinking, wait talk to that other girl and I’m so glad I did because she was from Siracusa and we got her phone number and we’re going to see her this week!

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Last night I laughed so hard, seriously the girls in my zone crack me up! Today was pretty fun, despite my cold getting worse, we played ultimate frisbee again and it was so much fun! Feeling like I’m about to die now though, so early night for me!

Have the best week! Love you!

Sorella Tacchi xxx

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Here is the handout I made for Zone Conference, and the take home sheet to help the missionaries learn more about their identity and photos from the week.

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““La pienezza del sacerdozio contenuta nelle sacre ordinanze della Casa del Signore può essere ricevuta soltanto da un uomo e una donna insieme” Sheri L. Dew

I’ve been reading some articles in the Liahona for language study this week and I’ve really enjoyed a couple of them. The first one is the visiting teaching message about the oath and covenant of the priesthood, it’s really interesting; the more I study the priesthood the greater I respect it and the more blessings I realise come from it. When I was younger I heard the priesthood was like the light of the sun and that a priesthood holder was like a window. It wasn’t the source of light itself but it’s able to bless a room with light as long as he is worthy to do so. I also really liked another article which contained this quote by Joseph Smith “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.” I love my Saviour and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Ultimately He is the reason I’m here, not just on a mission but on this earth, living my life the way I am.

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This week was a little here, there and everywhere. It started with a free pizza; we bumped into an ex missionary and her mom and they bought us dinner, it was really sweet!

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Then on Tuesday we went to say hi to one of our dear friends for her birthday and she was so happy to see us! Wednesday we headed to Palermo to get Sorella Ferre’s visa, it was pretty painless although it took 7 hours… but we may have got froyo and the gelato in the space of 2 hours! It was fun to run around a new city!

Then Thursday we came back and tried to get back to business but just got stood up a bunch of times; but it’s all good because we bought a new washing machine

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Sunday was FULL of miracles. One of our less actives came to church after years. We didn’t have time to chat afterwards but this week we’ll find out why! These two American exchange students walked in with the Elder’s investigator and his friend (one of the Americans is a member), and so I translated for her and hopefully we can see her again. I had to do quite a bit of translating yesterday which is honestly really good for me. I feel like I’m at the stage with the language where I feel like I’m trying everything to improve but I don’t see much progress. But having to translate is really good to have that instant need to get across something in another language.

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This week I conduct my first exchange, have Stake Conference and then Zone Conference on Monday so next week pday will be on Tuesday.

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I just love my life so much, it’s stressful and there are hard times, but there’s nowhere else I’d rather be; choosing to serve a mission is the best decision I’ve made to date.

Have the best weeeeek!  Love Sorella Tacchi xxx

 

I’m known as the floral missionary.

“La religione senza azione è come il sapone che resta chiusa nella confezione” Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Hellooooo

I had some really interesting insights this week. Whilst doing language study I was reading the first presidency message in the April Liahona from President Uchtdorf, it was about how the world has need for faith because without it we can’t better ourselves or the world. But it also got me thinking about the difference between religion and faith. Faith is like the disinfectant in the soap, its the substance that makes soap soap but it’s not soap by itself. Religion is the the bar of soap, without faith, like soap with out the cleansing element, it doesn’t serve its purpose. We have religion because it helps us put our faith into action, just like the soap puts the cleaning into action.

I was also pondering about forgiveness this week, especially as I read the line “I, the Lord, remember them no more.” in D&C 58:42. If he promises to not remember our sins, and we feel this is true because of the lightening effect, the rejoicing, and the hope that comes from forgiveness then why later down the road we remember the sin and feel the godly sorrow all over again? If we remember, surely he does too? The adversary wants you to believe that. He wants you to not continue in hope. We remember our sins and the pain we feel because we need to remember why we shouldn’t do it again. Remember the pain but let it fuel your hope in the sense that you don’t have the desire to feel that way again so you press forward.

“ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” 2 Corinthians 6:16

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This week was really goooood. Well, apart from the usual ups and downs that come with missionary life and everything else!   Wednesday we went to one of our favourite family’s home for pranzo where we had squid! It was actually not that bad, I would eat it again. It was a little weird to eat food that was black though.

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Friday we went to see a Book of Mormon referral from Salt Lake, we had to plan it out in advance though as she lived in a town about a 40 minute train ride and a mile walk away. After the train delay, and the really hot walk in a black dress (I’m the most clever person to exist) we arrive somewhat sweaty! But this lesson was an absolute dream. The spirit was there in abundance and she accepted everything, she said that everything just made sense. It was glorious. I just have a strong testimony that success is not earned, it’s given (Alma 26:22). Our investigator had her baptism interview and all seems to be in place for her baptism. It’s been somewhat of a struggle, my time here in Siracusa, as it’s been a struggle to have work but I just know that when we work as hard as we can God doesn’t have an excuse not to give us success.

“Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come.” Jeffrey R. Holland

Saturday night gesso was fun, I really hope that we reap the benefits in English course on Tuesday!

And then yesterday ended really well as I got to Skype home for the 3rd and final time. I can’t believe it’s been 15 months since I left home.

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Also yesterday in church two Italian RMs came to visit, one who finished her mission a year ago and the other who finished her mission 35 years ago. It bought chills to my soul as I realised that I can do that. I can’t imagine being in my mid-50s and seeing all the people I love here in Italy 35 years older. What a wonderful gift it is to serve a mission.

love Sorella Tacchi xxx

“Holy Moly, a lot has happened.”

Mamma mia è stata una settimana pienissima!

I’ll start of my weekly email with the spiritual study stuff like always. I’ve been reflecting a lot on the sacrament this week and really feel a need to make it a more sacred experience. I was reading in 3 Nephi 18 this week, when the Saviour instituted the Sacrament. In Italian two different verbs are used for ‘remember’, in verse 7 ‘ricordarsi’ is used. “E se vi ricordate sempre di me, avrete il mio Spirito che sarà con voi.” Which means to report to the mind the remembrance of someone. It has roots to the word ‘cuore’ or ‘heart’, so we remember Christ with our hearts as we remember his physical suffering. In the sacrament prayers it mentions that we are willing to take upon ourselves his name and to keep his commandments. These are things we physically do and we must do them with heart. In verse 11 it uses the verb ‘rammentarsi’. “E se vi rammentate sempre di me, avrete il mio Spirito che sarà con voi.” Which means to recall to the mind and recall the remembrance of someone. It’s roots relate to the word ‘mente’ or ‘mind’, so now we remember Christ with our minds too as we remember his spiritual suffering. In both sacrament prayers it mentions that all things are done in remembrance of Him, both in heart and mind, both physically and spiritually, so we can always have his spirit to be with us.

Monday night we wait until after 10 to receive our call. Well it wasn’t the APs like usual, it was President. Both him and Sorella Pickerd we calling, so they started out by telling me that I was staying in Siracusa for a 4th transfer. Then that I was staying with Sorella Ferre for a 3rd transfer. It was just what I wanted but then they told me that the reason they were calling is that they wanted me to be a Sister Training Leader for my Zone! Ahhh I’m so excited but that meant that I had to travel up to Rome for the Mission Leadership Conference on a 12 hour train… it was an adventure that’s for sure. And the Napoli missionaries greeted us with PIZZA when we stopped at Napoli!!!!

It was so weird to be back in Rome! When we arrived at the mission home, I got to see some of my most favourite people! I got the most perfect gift of being able to be with and have a sleep over with my best friend Sorella Ensign. It was absolutely perfect! It was emotional to say goodbye come Friday afternoon, she’s finishing her mission next month so the next time I’ll see her will be after our missions!

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The conference was really good, I just love these missionaries and I’m so excited to serve them more and help them become the best they can be. I just love my mission and those few days have to be some of my most favourite days of my mission!

Due to the 12 hour train ride we had an extra half day in Rome. So me, Sorella Gleave (the other STL in Catania with me), her greenie Sorella Overson, and Sorella Groll (the STL in the other zone in Sicily), we only had one phone between us so we all just ran around Rome doing finding together, we went to the YSA centre and I got to see my beloved Sorella Thacker!!!!!! My goodness it was good to see her too!

Then we went to Piazza del Popolo and Spanish Steps! So much fun, then all of us Sicilian missionaries hung out with the APs, President and Sorella Pickerd! We all knelt down in prayer and it felt like we were a family! Hahah! Sad that I couldn’t see anyone else though, but still it was so much fun!

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Then on the way home I was in a trio with my zone leaders! We ended up talking to this girl for about 7 hours talking about everything! She’s called Lucilla, and she’s really cute!

We said goodbye to Anziano Moscon and hello to my son!!!! That’s right, I’m not barren anymore;) ahahah!! Anziano Payne is being trained by Anziano Young and because I’m the oldest serving sister in the district, I’m his Mom! Missionary stuff is weird! Hahaha, I love being a missionary!

Today we went to a cute city called Noto, the birth place of Sicilian Baroque! It was really pretty, I’ll never get bored of Italian Architecture! Oh and the tan lines are coming out!!!! Siracusa’s apparently the hottest place in the mission!!!

Hope you all have a wonderful week my lovelies!

Love Sorella Tacchi x

“For after much tribulation come the blessings” D&C 58:4

Ciao tutti,

Prepare yourselves (or if you just like to look at the photos, you’ll probably be scrolling for a while…) it’s a fairly long one!

With one of our new investigators we planned to teach the Restoration but felt strongly to focus on God’s love and that she’s a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father. There’s a talk by M. Russell Ballard from 1988 that just illustrates God’s love for us. There’s a story in it that illustrates how God helps us.
“God expresses his love for us by providing the guidance we need to progress and reach our potential. Perhaps a simple story will illustrate this point. Recently, a young man purchased a used computer but could not get it to work properly. Soon he became discouraged. His temper grew short and he threatened the inanimate object with painful destruction unless its performance improved. A wise father intervened and took his son to a local vendor, where they obtained an instruction manual. After all, who would know more about a complex computer than the person or company that created it? Who would know most about its capacity and potential? Who would better know the safeguards required to avoid damaging or ruining this fine instrument? Soon the boy enjoyed the full potential of his computer by working within the guidelines given in the instruction book provided by its creator.
Likewise in our lives, he who knows most about us, our potential, and our eternal possibilities has given us divine counsel and commandments in his instruction manuals–the holy scriptures. When we understand and follow these instructions, our lives have purpose and meaning. We learn that our Maker loves us and desires our happiness. In an incomparable manifestation of this divine love for us, he sent his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.” M. Russell Ballard.

How beautiful is this? We have a loving Heavenly Father who knows us perfectly, he has provided the means and guidance to live in order to return to him. We just need to learn to trust him. Which reminds me of another talk I was reading by D. Todd Christofferson about aligning our will with the Godhead. “At times I tremble to consider what may be required, but I know that it is only in this perfect union that a fulness of joy can be found.” D. Todd Christofferson
To unite our will with that of the Godhead is a tremendous sacrifice on our part, to completely abandon the desires of the flesh and curiosities of the human mind. But in doing so we are gaining a direction and influence more profound and rewarding than can ever be imagined. It requires complete trust and unwavering faith. It requires a life time of practice, humility, and diligence. It starts with prayer and asking “what lack I yet?” Matthew 19:20. I’m just in awe that an apostle says he trembles at the thought of what’s required to be united with the will of those who love us most.

In 2 Corinthians 3:1-2 it talks about how the church is judged on our actions and the student manual for the New Testament really helped me out this week in getting more out of my bible study! It contained these two quotes:
“In the ultimate sense, the gospel is not written on tablets of stone or in books of scripture, but in the bodies of faithful and obedient persons; the saints are, thus, living epistles of the truth, the books of whose lives are open for all to read” Bruce R. McConkie

“The only things that can ever embarrass this work are acts of disobedience to its doctrine and standards by those of its membership. That places upon each of us a tremendous responsibility. This work will be judged by what the world sees of our behavior. God give us the will to walk with faith, the discipline to do what is right at all times and in all circumstances, the resolution to make of our lives a declaration of this cause before all who see us” Gordon B. Hinckley
We do have a great responsibility and it’s hard when you’re trying to teach someone a principle and if they have members friends who don’t do/keep it, it’s hard to expect them to likewise. We, as missionaries, probably have it harder. After all it’s pretty obvious who we are thanks to the tag, but it helps us to always be aware of who we represent so we can continue to do it after the mission.

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I was also reading about trials (hence the title) in the doctrine and covenants and 2 Corinthians 4:17, which says “For our light affliction , which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;”. It’s hard to see the wood through the trees in the midst of trials, but if we really try I know we can develop the perspective that the eternal blessings will far out weigh the pain of mortality.
“All intelligent beings who are crowned with crowns of glory, immortality, and eternal lives must pass through every ordeal appointed for intelligent beings to pass through, to gain their glory and exaltation. … If we obtain the glory that Abraham obtained, we must do so by the same means that he did. If we are ever prepared to enjoy the society of Enoch, Noah, Melchizedek, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, or of their faithful children, and of the faithful Prophets and Apostles, we must pass through the same experience, and gain the knowledge, intelligence, and endowments that will prepare us to enter into the celestial kingdom of our Father and God. … Every trial and experience you have passed through is necessary for your salvation” Brigham Young. Everything we experience in this life builds us, prepares us and makes us stronger for the eternities and the later experiences of mortality. Keep the faith.

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Saturday was Anziano Young’s 19th birthday so they came round with our ward mission leader (to fix our washing machine, by the way we have to get a new one and have been going old school and washing our clothes in the bath for the past 3 weeks…) and we surprised him with an Oreo birthday cake! Then we went out with their investigator and friend for pizza!!! Was so so yummmmmy, I’ll never get tired of the pizza here!

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We made about a billion cookies for our potentials in the hopes of them loving us a little more and becoming actual investigators… didn’t work, but oh well! We keep trying! But it’s okay because a new ice cream shop opened up in Ortigia so we got free gelato!

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Yesterday we had pranzo with some of my favourite members and they always just have me cracking up! We had the BEST food as usual, including pasta tricolore and it was sooooo good!

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Life’s pretty goooood, it’s transfer call day and I’m freaking out. But today it’s another Italian festa (they have a day off work to celebrate the day of the workers… seems logical) and so we’re having a BBQ with some friends of the Elder’s investigators.

Hope you all have a fab week, can’t believe it’s May: HAPPY MAY DAY! Love you! Sorella Tacchi x

“I believe in Christ, like I believe in the sun. Not because I can see it, but by it I can see everything else” C. S. Lewis

Hello!
This week we’ve been studying on a question every morning that we get asked. And the theme of faith kept cropping up. Also we taught the gospel principles lesson on faith in Jesus Christ! I really liked this quote from M. Russell Ballard “Brothers and sisters, this matter, like many others, comes down to our faith. Do we believe that this is the Lord’s Church? Do we believe that He has organized it according to His purposes and wisdom? Do we believe that His wisdom far exceeds ours? Do we believe that He has organized His Church in a manner that would be the greatest possible blessing to all of His children, both His sons and His daughters?” 

Faith is believing, believing in things that necessarily be proven or disproven. There is uncertainty. But we have our own experiences that we must cling on to in times of need. I love the gospel and I am so grateful for my ever growing testimony, and for this time in Italy I get to share it with everyone.

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This week was just full of miracles. If we didn’t ask President to allow us to change our interview times last Monday we wouldn’t have been so blessed! After weeks of struggling we have just been given success and I’m so grateful to be able to struggle, because it really makes you appreciate the simple things. I just have such a testimony of being in the right place at the time!

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Sunday night English Group finding was interesting, ended up talking to a belly dancer and Mickey Mouse! Last Monday we had a wonderful ward activity consisting of volley ball, eating, and karaoke!! ‘Twas quite the event! Then we had a great Zone Conference, just full of great things! Loved focusing on the Book of Mormon and getting to be with missionaries that I love!

Ahhh life’s good and next week’s transfer calls and I really don’t want to leave Siracusa!

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Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Love Sorella Tacchi xxx

Buona Pasqua / Meat and Marriage

Auguri!!!! Spero che tutti voi abbiate trascorso una buona Pasqua!
This week was a pretty wonderful one!
But I’ll explain a little of my studies first as I know that’s your favourite part…

I was contemplating the Saviour’s experience in Gethsemane on Friday morning and read the wonderful account in Matthew, and some words that have been constantly on my mind for the past month are “thy will be done” Matthew 26:42. So I spent most of my personal study thinking about that and linking it to a talk given by Elder Holland that I’ve most definitely quoted before. “I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary…You have reason to stand tall and be grateful that the Living Son of the Living God knows all about your sorrows and afflictions. The only way to salvation is through Gethsemane and on to Calvary. The only way to eternity is through Him–the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” 
If we want to call ourselves disciples of Christ we have to be willing to go where he went and to do the things he did. Therefore I have to be willing to do the Father’s will because I know his plan is perfect, and can be temporarily painful but has will always be the best thing in the end. There’s a really beautiful song in the most recent EFY soundtrack called thy will be done and I just wanted to share the lyrics:

1. Thy will be done, O Lord, not mine
Whether in brightest day or darkest night
And give me strength to carry on
Whatever comes
Thy will be done
2. And though I walk on paths unknown
And pass through fire or wear a crown of thorns
I know I’ll never be alone
This is my song
Thy will be done
Though I don’t always understand
What thou hast willed, what thou hast planned
I’ll leave it all inside thy hands
And trust thy will until we meet again
3. Thy will be done, O Lord, not mine
Though tears may fall and loved ones say goodbye
Thou seest so much more than I
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
Though I don’t always understand
What thou hast willed, what thou hast planned
I’ll leave it all inside thy hands
And trust thy will until we meet again
4. Thy will be done, O Lord, not mine
Whether in brightest day or darkest night
And give me strength to carry on
Whatever comes
Thy will be done

To explain the title of the email, I was doing my daily reading of the doctrine and covenants and was reading section 49. It was very interesting, as verse 15 says “And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man.” And then in verse 18 “And whoso forbiddeth to abstain from meats, that man should not eat the same, is not ordained of God;” It was just very odd to have those two topics combined in one section. It’s a good job I’m not opposed to eating meat and getting married!

On Wednesday we had an activity with the youth and we planned to do our spiritual thought on missionary work and inviting them to bring their friends but when we showed up there were more nonmembers than members! So we had to quickly change our spiritual thought! It was a lot of fun!

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Do you remember our semi broken washing machine? Well now it’s fully broken… we tried to do some laundry on Friday and it wouldn’t spin… so whilst we wait for the Easter season to pass so someone can fix it, we have to go old school and wash our clothes in the bath tub…!! Friday night we had a wonderful Easter fireside and I got to listen to my favourite: Handel’s Messiah! Ahhh it’s glorious! Saturday we ate some peanut butter chicken and rice (that was so, so, so yummy!!!) and then the Elders had a baptism! He’s such a cute old man!!! It was a very sweet baptism and I sang a solo as the musical number, I’ve never sung a solo in front of people before as I’ve always been too nervous. Anyway it went well, I think. Haha.

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Sunday was good too, we had a lovely sacrament service and then we ate with the family of the 8 year old girl we’re helping prepare for baptism!

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Then we passed by one of our beloved less actives! Ahhh she’s my favourite! Then today we’re having a huge ward party for Pasquetta! Tomorrow we have Zone Conference so I’m sure that will be good!

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Hope you are all well and happy! Vi voglio un sacco di bene!

Love Sorella Tacchi xxx

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Memories of home – Easter breakfast

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