“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:21

Ciao cari,

These past two transfers I’ve been more mindful of one of my mission goals which is to have “stronger faith and no more fear”, for some reason in this transfer it’s become somewhat more of a struggle. And so this week I’ve come to study more about fear and it’s relation to faith. But I read this verse in D&C 38:30 and at the end it says “…but if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” We need to just prepare ourselves and leave the rest up to God. Which reminds me of a talk by Joseph B. Wirthlin where he says “The simple secret is this: put your trust in the Lord, do your best, then leave the rest to Him.” We need to take our fears to the Lord, and ask for the strength to confront them. I know when we ask for opportunities to do so, I can promise you that when you act, your fear will diminish and your faith will grow. There is danger in delay, as Thomas S. Monson has said “There is no tomorrow to remember if we don’t do something today, and to live most fully today, we must do that which is of greatest importance. Let us not procrastinate those things which matter most…One day, each of us will run out of tomorrows. Let us not put off what is most important.” This talk in which he said this is called “In Search of Treasure”, from April 2003 General Conference. He said this “The Savior of the world spoke of treasure. In His Sermon on the Mount He declared:
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
“But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
The promised reward was not a treasure of ivory, gold, or silver. Neither did it consist of acres of land or a portfolio of stocks and bonds. The Master spoke of riches within the grasp of all–even joy unspeakable here and eternal happiness hereafter.
Today I have chosen to provide the three pieces of your treasure map to guide you to your eternal happiness. They are:
1 Learn from the past.
2 Prepare for the future.
3 Live in the present.”
I know that if we do these three things we will not have regrets in life, and I’ve tried to apply this to my mission. Yes, I’ve don’t some stupid things in my mission, but I’ve learnt from them; I’m trying to stay focused on the here and now, how the spirit is guiding me, and then I’m preparing for the immediate and more distant future so I don’t have to fear.

This week was good, Monday night we went for dinner at an old couple’s home in the country and the sunset was just so pretty on the drive home! Our Father in Heaven truly has created beautiful things for us to enjoy.

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Wednesday we had a scambio with the Sassari Sorelle and I was with Sorella Palmer! She’s really sweet and we had a really good scambio, that night we had dinner with the Bishop and his family. Then Thursday we saw one of our less actives and taught a good lesson on hope and how it links to faith and charity; Sorella Palmer found a good quote and it ended up being a really good discussion about how all the Christlike attributes work together so when we develop one, we develop them all.

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Friday we had MLC and it actually worked.  Anyway, it was good to see President and some of my cari! That night we did some good ole door to door because we had an hour and not enough time to go somewhere and get home in time for 9, some said we could come back; we rang on a door bell and there was no reply but there was this plant and in it was a head massager thing…

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Saturday was a bit crazy, and saw some miracles! This girl gave us her number, we passed by our investigator in her gelateria and I just feel that she really knows that we love her! Then to top it off we got a referral, and she picked up the phone and were going to see her on Wednesday #dontfearaugust. Then on the bus ride home this drunk man got on, and stood right by us and read my name tag for the whole bus to hear, then tried to sell us his watermelon for €10! Sunday was a goooood day, we had dinner with some members and they fed us Chinese food, didn’t expect to be given that in my mission. Today we took a trip to Oristano, and met some YSA and the other missionaries and played volleyball, ”twas fun!

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I hope you have a great week, I love you and happy ferragosto!  Sorella Tacchi xxx

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“We need to pray from our hearts. Polite recitations of past and upcoming activities, punctuated with some requests for blessings, cannot constitute the kind of communing with God that brings enduring power. Are you willing to pray to know how to pray for more power? The Lord will teach you.” Russell M. Nelson

Buon caldo…

As many of you know, I went to an all girls private school (think Harry Potter, but with twice the hormones and much less magic). It gave me a wonderful education and a bright future in the working world, but it made me want my chosen career more than anything else in the world. I believed I could do anything a man could, and was encouraged to go into a perhaps more male dominated field. These feminist tendencies and a desire to be an independent working woman, sometimes made it hard for me to trust others and respect men. In the church, men are called to bear the priesthood, and my intention is not to go on a rant about how women should hold the priesthood, but to tell you of my experience of coming to understand and appreciate the role I play, and will play, in having miracles and blessings wrought by the priesthood.
“In our Heavenly Father’s great priesthood-endowed plan, men have the unique responsibility to administer the priesthood, but they are not the priesthood. Men and women have different but equally valued roles. Just as a woman cannot conceive a child without a man, so a man cannot fully exercise the power of the priesthood to establish an eternal family without a woman. In other words, in the eternal perspective, both the procreative power and the priesthood power are shared by husband and wife. And as husband and wife, a man and a woman should strive to follow our Heavenly Father. The Christian virtues of love, humility, and patience should be their focus as they seek the blessings of the priesthood in their lives and for their family.” M. Russell Ballard
As a female member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have a responsibility to help and support those who bear the priesthood, and in order to do this I have to respect and understand this Holy office. The priesthood “is the very same power and authority through which God created this and numberless worlds, governs the heavens and the earth, and exalts His obedient children.” The fact that God has given his children this power shows his immense trust in us, he has given us power, his power, and it is the responsibility of not just those who bear it but those who’s lives are blessed by it to make sure it is not abused. I’m so grateful for a life that has been blessed by this great power, for a loving Heavenly Father who has given me men in my life who use it righteously, for coming to a knowledge of the power, and ultimately developing a respect for this gift. I invite you to read the talk ‘The Price of Priesthood Power’ by Russell M. Nelson from April 2016 General Conference, and to think about the role you play, or can play as one who is blessed by the restored Priesthood Power on earth. Sorry that I rambled for a bit, I hope it makes sense somewhat.

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Anyway, this week was kinda crazy (but most weeks in the mission seem that way). Tuesday we were supposed to have a Skype meeting for all the drivers in the mission, but we couldn’t connect and by the time we were put on speaker phone I guess it was the closing prayer because we heard an amen and then they hung up… still have no clue as to what they talked about… Wednesday was wild. It started with district meeting and then on our way to district pranzo we discovered that they shut down the main road in the centre due to a protest… the place we wanted to go to was closed so we ended up at this all you can eat Brazilian restaurant which sucked…

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Then we asked the zone leaders to give us a ride to our lesson which turned out to be quite the adventure as well! None of us knew how to avoid the road that was closed and ended up doing a big loop twice, almost ending up in a car accident but arriving all in one piece 10 minutes late. But all was well because it was the best lesson I’ve ever had with our investigator. Sorella Greer bore her testimony at the end and it had us all in tears, oh how I love the greenie power! The rest of the day we were blessed to arrive at the bus top just in time for our busses and were able to be everywhere else on time! This week has been full of miracles like that, just these little things tell me that the Lord is on our side.

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Thursday and Friday we good, then Saturday was a pretty crazy day. We went to a wedding! Which we sang at, it was different but a really lovely day.

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However the power cut off whilst we were eating food and so we were all suffering in the 40° heat… they’ve named this heat wave ‘Lucifero’… they’re right! The sweat is so bad that yesterday we left pretty much full body sweat marks on the couch… thank goodness we have air conditioning in our apartment.

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Yesterday during testimony meeting the theme seemed to be love; love from our Father in Heaven and Saviour Jesus Christ, and loving ourselves. I felt impressed to share my testimony on that too, I don’t know if my Italian made sense through the tears but I think that if we knew how much we are loved we would realise that we need nothing more, that nothing is missing from our lives.

I hope you’re all doing well and that you’re all happy and enjoying your summer! Love you!  Sorella Tacchi xxx

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“My Dying Wish”

Helloooooo

Before I talk about transfers and whatnot I want to share a talk that I found by accident and share some Elder Holland appreciation. For a lesson with a member I randomly (I say random but I know it wasn’t a coincidence because coincidence is just another word for divine intervention!) came across a talk called ‘Look to God and Live’ by Jeffrey R. Holland from October 1993 General Conference. It talks about God’s love and the angels he sends to us. There are a couple of parts I wanted to share:
“My testimony today is of the angels and ministers of grace who will always defend us if, as the prophet Alma commanded us, we “take care of … sacred things,” we “look to God and live” (Alma 37:47). More prayer and humility, more faith and forgiveness, more repentance and revelation and reinforcement from heaven–these are where we seek remedy and deliverance for “feverish and delirious humanity” (The Character of Jesus, p. 17).
“I testify this morning of God’s limitless love for his children, of his unquenchable desire to help us heal our wounds, individually and collectively. He is our Father, and Wordsworth wrote more than he knew when he said we came to earth “trailing clouds of glory … from God who is our home” (“Ode: Intimations of Immortality”). But in far too many cases we find no modern belief in a Heavenly Father, and when there is a belief, it is too often an erroneous one. God is not dead, and he is not an absentee landlord. God is not uncaring, or capricious, or cantankerous. Above all, he is not some sort of divine referee trying to tag us off third base…
“Angels and ministers of grace to defend us? They are all about us, and their holy sovereign, the Father of us all, is divinely anxious to bless us this very moment. Mercy is his mission, and love is his only labor. John Donne said once: “We ask our daily bread, and God never says, ‘You should have come yesterday.’ … [No, he says,] ‘Today if you will hear [my] voice, today I will hear yours.’ … If thou hast been benighted till now, wintered and frozen, clouded and eclipsed, damp and benumbed, smothered and stupefied till now, God yet comes to thee, not as in the dawning of the day, … but as the sun at [full] noon, to banish all shadows” (Collected Sermons).” 
I too add my testimony of God’s love and his ministering angels. There have been too many times in which he has comforted me, answered my prayers, and provided for me, for me to deny his existence. Unfortunately we meet a lot of atheists and it makes me sad because I just can’t wrap my head around a world, a life even, without a belief in a divine being who loves me. I promise each and everyone of you that can be bothered to read my ramblings that God lives, and He loves you, and if you pray sincerely to know these things are true He will answer your heartfelt prayer.

Another talk that I absolutely love is called ‘The Refiner’s Fire’ by James E. Faust from April 1979 GC. He shares a story that brought tears to my eyes, I encourage you all to read it! But towards the end he shares this quote by Orson F. Whitney “To whom do we look, in days of grief and disaster, for help and consolation? … They are men and women who have suffered, and out of their experience in suffering they bring forth the riches of their sympathy and condolences as a blessing to those now in need. Could they do this had they not suffered themselves?
“… Is not this God’s purpose in causing his children to suffer? He wants them to become more like himself. God has suffered far more than man ever did or ever will, and is therefore the great source of sympathy and consolation.” 
So when we ask God why we have to suffer, why there is heart break in the world, unfortunately if we want to follow our Saviour and be like our Heavenly Father, we have to go where Christ went and suffer as He did. It wasn’t fair for Him, the perfect living soul, and if life were fair, He wouldn’t have had to pay the price for our sins. So let’s rejoice that life isn’t fair, because it gives us the opportunity to return and receive.

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Well today marks the first day of transfer 12, or in other words, my final transfer. Last Monday I found out where I’d be and who I’d be with. So I’m staying in Cagliari on the beautiful island of Sardegna but I wasn’t told who my companion would be. And typically that happens on when you’re TRAINING!!! Yes, they trust me with a brand new missionary! Hahah! I feel kinda bad that we only get 1 transfer together and I hope I don’t make her trunky, because usually you do 2 transfers with your trainer. But I know this is the Lord’s will, and she’s awesome!

Her name is Sorella Greer and she’s from St. George UT, I really feel like I can be myself around her! We’re gonna have some fun! I’ve wanted to train for quite some time now, and when I found out last transfer that I wasn’t, I gave up on that dream and thought that maybe Heavenly Father didn’t think that was for me. So a couple of weeks ago when an Anziano in my district asked me what I’d like for my last transfer (like a dying wish) I told him I’d love to train but I didn’t think it would happen because I only had one transfer left, so when he saw me for district meeting on Tuesday he said “you got your dying wish!”. Just call me Sarah the mother of Isaac!

From Monday to Wednesday we were in a trio because Sorella Carver left, so we ran around saying goodbye. Oh another weird thing about transfers was that my previous companion Sorella Lalonde stayed in Cagliari too and is training also. So we still live together, but we’re not companions!

Sorella Fielding taught us some more of the city. Said goodbye to some people I love too, Sorella Cardullo, Sorella Fielding, and Anziano Ruiz!

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I forgot how unusual mission life is, and you realise that when you have to teach someone who has no clue!

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I hope you’re all well and happy! This week is gonna be a crazy one!

Love Sorella Tacchi xxx

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“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13

Hello,

I continued my study of the New Testament this week, and this verse stood out to me in particular. “I press toward the mark” Philippians 3:14. To press means to move or to cause to move into a position of contact something by exerting continuous physical force. So in order to press something we need to have resistance. When we talk about pressing forward or pressing toward we know that it won’t be easy because there will be someone or something pushing us back. It will be constant and therefore we must endure because it will only end once we finish.

Philippians turns out to be a really great book in the New Testament, and the last chapter is the best. Verses 6-7 basically just tells us to do our best, leave the rest up to the Lord, remembering to include Him in prayer and thanking Him, then His peace will guard our hearts. Then verse 8 is the verse the 13th article of faith is based on and the blessing that come from seeking these things, again is the peace of God. These verses go wonderfully with a talk by Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The word ‘seek’ means to go in search of, try to discover, try to acquire. It requires an active, assertive approach to life. … It is the opposite of passively waiting for something good to come to us, with no effort on our part.
“We can fill our lives with good, leaving no room for anything else. We have so much good from which to choose that we need never partake of evil. …
“If we seek things that are virtuous and lovely, we surely will find them. Conversely, if we seek for evil, we will find that also”. “Seeking the Good” April 1992.
Verse 13 is wonderful too, “We don’t seek out tests, trials, and tribulations. Our personal journey through life will provide just the right amount for our needs. Many trials are just a natural part of our mortal existence, but they play such an important role in our progress. …
“Sometimes we want to have growth without challenges and to develop strength without any struggle. But growth cannot come by taking the easy way. We clearly understand that an athlete who resists rigorous training will never become a world-class athlete. We must be careful that we don’t resent the very things that help us put on the divine nature.
“Not one of the trials and tribulations we face is beyond our limits, because we have access to help from the Lord. We can do all things through Christ, who strengthens us [see Philippians 4:13]”. “More Than Conquerors through Him That Loved Us” by Paul V. Johnson, April 2011. Christ is our strength, in fact we should never boast of ourselves because without Him we can do nothing and without His love we are nothing. Which relates to a talk that was given in sacrament meeting yesterday where a high councillor was talking about love and charity. He told us that he studies the bible in Greek and whenever charity or love is used in the bible, in Greek the word agape is used for both words. The charity and love used in the bible is the same love, His love.

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I read a really wonderful article in the May 1978 Ensign about welfare. I never fully realised the true importance of being self reliant until my mission. If we were all self reliant it would fix a lot of the problems we face in society, and we would be better able to build Zion. President Kimball suggest these 3 ways in which we can ‘bring about Zion’: “First, we must eliminate the individual tendency to selfishness that snares the soul, shrinks the heart, and darkens the mind…
“Second, we must cooperate completely and work in harmony one with the other. There must be unanimity in our decisions and unity in our actions…
“Third, we must lay on the altar and sacrifice whatever is required by the Lord. We begin by offering a “broken heart and a contrite spirit.” We follow this by giving our best effort in our assigned fields of labor and callings. We learn our duty and execute it fully. Finally we consecrate our time, talents and means as called upon by our file leaders and as prompted by the whisperings of the Spirit. In the Church, as in the Welfare system also, we can give expression to every ability, every righteous desire, every thoughtful impulse. Whether a volunteer, father, home teacher, bishop, or neighbour, whether a visiting teacher, mother, homemaker, or friend–there is ample opportunity to give our all. And as we give, we find that “sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven!” (Hymns, no. 147.) And in the end, we learn it was no sacrifice at all.” I love the last one. It hit me, particularly as a missionary because it’s pretty much the only opportunity you can live the law of consecration in its fullest. And I can say without a doubt that this mission is not a sacrifice at all. 

There was also another really good address given by President Kimball in the January 1975 Ensign called ‘Home: A Place to Save Society’, recommend reading it, it changed me.

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Anyway, this week was a here, there, and everywhere kinda week. It started with a scambio on Tuesday with the lovely Sorella Fielding and shout out to her because she knows Cagliari better than I do so we didn’t get lost.

Wish I could say the same for my scambio on Wednesday/Thursday with the lovely Sorella DeMann! Oh we had some fun, we trusted an Italian with which bus we should take… big mistake! But it was good, we made the most of it and had some laughs along the way. On Wednesday we visited with this investigator, we taught the restoration in the dark and up until the 1st Vision she didn’t even look at us!!!

Then we hopped the church fence and I became the impromptu choir pianist…

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Then we did a gesso (chalk drawing thing) with the Anziani in the centre of Sassari! Such a lovely city, right up in the north of the island. That night I broke the Sorelle’s bed… didn’t think I put on that much weight!!! Hahaha, but weirdly enough I’m the same weight I was at the beginning of my mission.

Friday we took a drive to see a less active and that night doing finding we were by the seafront and we look out at the water and see this ripple, it was what the heck is that? Then we realise that the ripples are in fact DOLPHINS!!! We literally jumped, it was so cool! Saturday we had a ward party! It was fun, we ate food and I did some skipping! ‘Twas all good until all my passalong cards fell out of my pocket!

I also made a lasagna: it will always be my favourite Italian specialty. Then yesterday was such a gooood day! It starts off with about 50 BYU students descending at church which made for some fun translating, especially in Relief Society as we didn’t have a spare translating microphone so we had to stand up at the front and translate what was being said when they paused (which was not very often).

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Then we had an FHE with at our investigator’s house and the other sisters’ investigator too, we then had cena (dinner) with them. I’m so glad that our investigator and the sisters’ investigator got on well and they really enjoyed the evening!

This morning at 5am we said good bye to sweet Sorella Carver who will be flying home tomorrow! As for pday we went to a few museums: one about all the history that’s been hidden under Cagliari, and the other about the typical opera costumes.

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We then ventured to a display of Christ’s life with the added catholic twists, and then popped into a Catholic Church: no pday is complete here in Italy without one!

My last ever transfer calls are tonight, and thus begins the transfer of lasts… I’m never stable on transfer call night, I just hope they call earlier rather than later and put me out of my misery! I’ll tell you all about it next week! Have a wonderful week, love you all!

Sorella Tacchi xxx

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Italian Gelato is good for you!

 

“A Broken Heart”

Happy Monday!

I read a talk this week which has become one of my favourites, it’s from October 2007 Conference by Bruce D. Porter entitled ‘A Broken Heart and a Contrite Spirit’, and it quickly became a theme for this week. I really loved this quote:
“When our hearts are broken, we are completely open to the Spirit of God and recognise our dependence on Him for all that we have and all that we are. The sacrifice so entailed is a sacrifice of pride in all its forms. Like malleable clay in the hands of a skilled potter, the brokenhearted can be moulded and shaped in the hands of the Master.” Bruce D. Porter

The heart before it is broken, is hard and therefore difficult for the spirit to affect it and change it into a repentant heart; it is empty. But when it’s broken there is nothing from keeping it closed, the spirit can encompass it and it can begin to be repaired with the balm of forgiveness and grace. Which reminds me of a picture I was sent which displays a Japanese concept called Kintsukuroi which means ‘to repair with gold’; the Japanese art of repairing pottery with gold or silver and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken. We become more beautiful children of God when we allow the Atonement of Christ to mould us to reach our divine potential. I also loved this quote:
“There is yet another dimension of a broken heart–namely, our deep gratitude for Christ’s suffering on our behalf. In Gethsemane, the Saviour “descended below all things” (D&C 88:6) as He bore the burden of sin for every human being. At Golgotha, He “poured out his soul unto death” (Isaiah 53:12), and His great heart literally broke with an all-encompassing love for the children of God. When we remember the Saviour and His suffering, our hearts too will break in gratitude for the Anointed One.” Bruce D. Porter

Oh how grateful I am for His sacrifice, which was the gospel principles lesson we had yesterday. And when I think about the law of sacrifice, it sounds harsh and a little too much, but why wouldn’t He want all of us and all that we are? He gave us everything and He can make our lives so much more worthwhile when we do this. However it doesn’t make it any easier. It reminds me of the quote from C. S. Lewis “Christ says, ‘Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. … Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked–the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours.”
I think this will always be my life’s goal.

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This week was a bit here and there. On the way home last Monday night I met this lady called S, I just started chatting to her and I was telling her about how much joy I find in giving, and it was a beautiful conversation, and she told me that she believes we met for a reason. Although nothing’s come of it yet, I know that’s what she needed that night. There was this other cute girl called E who I was talking to on the bus last night and it was lovely because we were laughing and the conversation just felt so natural and as she was getting off she’s says “ciao bella” made my night. Although the work is tough at the moment, at least you can find joy in planting seeds.

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A really cool talk was given yesterday in sacrament meeting about goals and trials, and he quoted Edison, who every time he thought he invented the lightbulb but failed, he saw his set backs as something positive by saying something along the lines of “I’ve just found another way in which you cannot make light.” I know our Father in Heaven gives us trials because he loves us and wants us to accomplish His purpose so we can become like Him and grow more capable.

This week I had a scambio with the lovely Sorella Carver, oh how I adore her! It was so much fun teaching and just being with her, I can’t believe she goes home in a week and she’s only 1 transfer ahead of me… it was fun, nothing crazy happened but we had a really good lesson on goals with our investigator.

I cracked some jokes in English class but they didn’t really get them… I think they’re funny so I’ll tell you:

Q: What do you call a three legged donkey? 
A: A wonkey

There were 2 girls headed to Disneyland, they came across a sign that said ‘Disneyland Left’. So they turned around and went home. 

The students weren’t that impressed nor the other missionaries. Hahah!

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We got a new fridge!!!!!! Ahhh it was glorious as our old one stopped working like a month ago…. oh how I love cold milk on my Weetabix.

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I discovered that my Italian skills are not competent enough for a dermatologist appointment… heck I don’t think my English skills are competent enough for a dermatologist appointment! But it was an experience nonetheless! And now I have about a billion prescriptions and a very strict regime and I learnt some new words too!

We did some finding and asked where this couple was from and she said “We’re from the ship”, not the answer I was looking for and eventually they told us  they were from Wales. A new cruise ship everyday always brings new adventures with tourists.

Sorry my week wasn’t that interesting for you and today we just wandered round the city and sat in a park for a picnic. I hope you all have a great weeeeek, much love!

Sorella Tacchi xxx

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“Faithful Christians will always be blessed to experience difficulties and disappointments” Robert D. Hales

Hello!

Well this week I finished the Book of Mormon in Italian! And so I’d like to share my testimony if it, I’m sorry if you don’t have access to google translate.

All’inizio era difficile di capire perché non conoscevo l’italiano molto bene, ma adesso posso sentirmi la potenza di ciò che è contenuta nelle parole del Libro di Mormon. Non voglio dimenticare la mia testimonianza di questo libro sacro, e quindi lo leggerò ogni giorno fino alla fine. È meraviglioso quanto misericordioso sia stato il Signore verso tutti noi perché Egli la Sua chiesa mediante il coraggio di un ragazzo di 14 anni. Oggi possiamo tenere la prova di questa storia e siamo capace di chiedere per noi stessi se queste cose siano vere. La conoscenza del Vangelo restaurato ha benedetto la mia vita più di quanto possibile di immaginare. Ha cambiato il mondo pure. Vi invito di leggere il Libro di Mormon continuamente affinché possiate sentirvi la validità per voi stessi. So che è vero, e rimarrò fedele alla pienezza del Vangelo per sempre. Vi lascio queste cose nel nome del nostro Redentore, Gesù Cristo, amen.

Faithful Christians will always be blessed to experience difficulties…

With the other Sisters in the ward we alternate going to Relief Society and Young Women’s, so yesterday it was our turn to go to Young Women’s. The president wasn’t there and so she asked one of the girls to teach the lesson and this lesson changed my life. It was about what it means to us to take upon ourselves the name of Christ. Hearing her testify of this made my heart swell and brought tears to my eyes. Obviously as missionaries we wear a name tag so we literally have Christ’s name on us, thus we’re more easily recognised as representatives of him. But that only lasts for 18 months/2 years (or less than 2 months now…) but we always have his name written on our hearts, so we need to be proud of him and conduct ourselves in a way that makes him proud of us. He took upon himself our sins so we could take upon ourselves his name. The only name by which we can be saved.

Faithful Christians will always be blessed to experience difficulties…

She invited us to read a talk called ‘Being More Christian Christians’ by Elder Hales from October 2012 and there was a line that struck me, “faithful Christians will always be blessed to experience difficulties and disappointments.” Why did he say that these things are blessings? Unfortunately it’s only in hindsight we can see the blessings. These are opportunities for growth, for accomplishing the purpose of this life. I guess when we face these periods we can take comfort in the fact that the faithful ones are blessed with these opportunities. And the fact that he will always give us these opportunities to become like his son. He will never limit our growth and development. He loves us so much, and I could testify of his love for eternity.

Speaking of love, the addiction recovery videos changed my life too. Watching them and hearing those people testify of God’s boundless love helped me realise how powerful it is. And recently for language study I’ve been reading the guide that the church has produced, its really good and I’ve just strengthened my testimony of the strength and healing that can be found when we use the divine gift of grace.

This week I had a scambio with my lovely Sorella Cardullo, she’s the best! I think I learnt more from her during those 24 hours than she did! It’s crazy how fast time flies because I met her on her first day in the field and here we are almost 9 months later and she has just grown into the most beautiful missionary. I just love serving these wonderful Sorelle, it’s such a privilege that I’ve been given to share a part of the journey of discipleship.

Faithful Christians will always be blessed to experience difficulties…

So I’ve gone all my life with the 4th day of July being a normal rainy summer day in the pleasant land but it’s not just a day in the summer for the majority of missionaries! So for district lunch we had food that you’d have typically in America on the 4th of July. It was fun and I made chilli and tried it with corn bread (there was me thinking it was actually like bread, but no it’s like cake and it was weird to eat it with something savoury!). We had hot dogs, watermelon and tiramisu (I know tiramisu isn’t American but the elders tried to make it look like an American flag and put ice cream on top). It was fun!

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We had quite the adventure with our ward mission leader who ended taking us to his house. Between April and October we’re not allowed to go on the beach, but it was pretty to see from afar and maybe one day in the future I can come back and enjoy it!

Faithful Christians will always be blessed to experience difficulties…

I’ve been getting some somewhat odd compliments recently, I’ve been told I could be a model, that I look like a princess, that I look like an angel, and then yesterday I got told I look like ex-Anziano Whiting… I mean he’s great but I didn’t know quite how to take it!

I hope you have a fantastic week, know that I love you!

Sorella Tacchi xxx

“Be not weary in well-doing…Out of small things proceedeth that which is great…Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind.” D&C 64:33-34

Buondì,

I was studying about sin and repentance this week, and in PMG there’s a little red box about sin that I’ve always appreciated as it draws attention to the fact that not everyone defines sin in the same manner. And to be honest before my mission I had a misconception of what sin was. For the most part sin isn’t this huge act committed that can cause harm and distress, something so horrifying that it requires lengthy discipline. Sin is just something we do that isn’t in complete harmony with our desire to be perfect. Weaknesses are not sins either. Sins are choices that we make, things that we choose to do, and it’s really not something that should destroy all hope. I love this quote from PMG that says “When we repent, we feel godly sorrow, then we stop doing things that are wrong and continue doing things that are right”. Just because we’re sinners doesn’t mean we’re doing everything wrong, for the most part we’re good people, sin is just something that stops us from being better. Which brings me to repentance, which is another word that made me feel uncomfortable. However, I’ve come to realise that it should simply mean change. An opportunity to be better, and to rejoice in the mercy of our Saviour. I like to think of repentance and sin in this analogy: A Child who is learning to walk, obviously falls, but the parent does not condemn the child for falling, but rather helps the child to its feet and encourage the child to try again. Sometimes the fall is more painful and sometimes the child is left to figure out how to get up physically by itself but all the while the parent is there encouraging the child not to give up. And so it is with our Father in Heaven. He doesn’t hold our sins or our stumbles against us, rather he is there to help us up and encourage us to try again.

This knowledge brings me peace, which is another topic I studied this week in a talk given by Thomas S. Monson called ‘The Path to Peace’, its worth a read! The God given peace that we can find and enjoy in this life is not as the world gives, but rather it knows no end and it can be more calming than that of the world. But we must do our part to obtain such a blessing, President Monson suggests 3 ways: Search inward, Reach outward, and Look heavenward. He quotes Richard L. Evans under the first subheading. “To find peace–the peace within, the peace that passeth understanding–men must live in honesty, honoring each other, honoring obligations, working willingly, loving and cherishing loved ones, serving and considering others, with patience, with virtue, with faith and forbearance, with the assurance that life is for learning, for serving, for repenting, and improving. And God be thanked for the blessed principle of repenting and improving, which is a way that is open to us all.”  We must create this atmosphere in the way in which we conduct our lives, it is through the conduct of daily tasks that we are able to have this peace. I know that peace is obtainable even in the most ridiculous turmoil of our lives, because we know of the promised blessings that await us as we endure faithfully and diligently to the days in which we will be in the arms of our Father in Heaven.

We of course had some adventures this week and it started with me trying a new fruit. That’s right world, Maja is trying to expand her horizons! Haha, well I only like this, what can only be described as a flat peach, when it’s hard and crunchy because I tried it when it was more ripe and I just about threw up because the texture was so gross. So there’s that.

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Sorella Lalonde this week had to go pick up her visa near Napoli so I was in a trio for 2 days. But to take her to the airport I had to drive. At 4am. With no street lights. It was kinda scary but we made it!! Haha! Oh adventures in the car!

My dreams have always been strange, and I can only recall one dream being in Italian, however this week I was teaching a lesson in my dream (I guess) as Sorella Lalonde told me that I asked the question “senti lo spirito?”, don’t remember what I was dreaming about but there we go. On Friday night we were coming back from an appointment when the bus driver informed us that the bus was going out of service and that we needed to get off at the next stop, we didn’t really know where we were… so google maps to the rescue again and we walked all the way home in the dark and of course knowing my luck it started to rain! We ended up walking most of the way on the side of the motorway, so that was fun!

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As a missionary lunch appointments are just the best. Words cannot describe how much they mean to me, hahaha, I sound so odd and not focused on the work. But they’re special. It came to the end of church and we were helping stacking the chairs, and along comes the news that someone wants us over for pranzo. Music to my ears and to be honest an answer to a prayer. And it was such a good pranzo too! A total of 6 delicious courses! 1: Antipasti of tuna mayo on top of a canned peach (I really liked it to be honest, and I don’t like peaches!!) with a little pizza and a mini sandwich. 2: pasta al forno with courgettes. 3: tender beef and salad. 4: fruit…. 5: typical Sardo dolce called Sebadas. 6: cake and gelato. Mmmmm.

Today we did some shopping in the sales! ”Twas fun and I bought some rings that are typically from Sardegna and they’re beautiful, we also ate out for Sorella Fielding’s birthday and ate Sard food! All in all a goooood day.

Have a great weeeeeek!  Love Sorella Tacchi xxx

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“We who wear wristwatches seek to counsel Him who oversees cosmic clocks and calendars.” Neal A. Maxwell

Cari miei,

At times, in fact a lot of times in my life, we seek to change the will of God. We do it because we like to be in control, or at least I do and I find it hard to accept that sometimes I don’t know best. For Zone Conference for our Addestramento (discussion thing/whatever it’s called in English) the Zone Leaders and I chose to look at diligence and faith, based on the talk ‘4th floor, last door’ by President Uchtdorf and the story of Abinadi and Alma the older. It was really interesting to study how faith cannot control the agency of others but we need to diligently do our part, accepting that whatever happens is part of the plan. We were watching the Christlike attribute youth message last night with some members, and there’s a part in the video where it shows the end of Christ’s mortal life and the attribute listed is submissive. It it just hit me how I need to be more submissive to the Lord. Unfortunately it’s easier said than done. Coincidently the musical number that we sang at Zone Conference was the youth song ‘Thy Will Be Done’, I shared the lyrics with you a while ago, that song means so much to me because I know he knows best but there are times I’m just so scared to put my trust in the unknown. I guess that will be one of my life’s challenges.

(Photo credits Anz Friedman)

I came across a scripture in 2 Peter chapter 1 verse 5 which says “...giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue…” and I thought how does being diligent help you to add virtue to your faith. Well I was brought back to what virtue means. The word is from the Latin virtus which means ‘valour, merit, moral perfection’. So when we are diligent servants of the Lord we work hard to stay true to the Lord’s will and we trust, or have faith, that what we are doing is not just right, but morally perfect and is of high worth to our Heavenly Father.

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So this week was a little crazy, with the tight turn around for Zone Conference after MLC! But I’d say it was a success! I got to see some beautiful faces of people that I love and haven’t seen in a while so that was a nice bonus considering I hardly knew anyone in my district! And I was a little sad to say goodbye, knowing that I might not see some again in the mission… but with the Assistants being here Sorella Lalonde and I had a driving test, and according to Anziano Friedman I’m a safe enough driver to be allowed to drive on the roads of Italy. And considering it’s been over 1 year and 3 months since I drove last, I was on the other side of the road, and I was driving an automatic, I think it went alright… even if I did snap at Anziano Friedman when I told him I knew that you can’t turn right on red…

What was weird too, was that we had our interviews with President in our house… but it was a good chat with President and then Sorella Pickerd, even if she did go over the plans and goals I need to make for when I finish my mission… weird.

On Thursday evening we split the zone in two and I had to lead a gesso. It was so much fun just to talk to people and ask them what gratitude means to them and what they’re grateful for. I believe that gratitude is the secret to happiness, because when we recognise our blessings, we can’t help but feel loved and happy that life really isn’t that bad! I had this one pretty profound conversation with this girl, we talked about Christ knowing us perfectly and the spirit was working the magic, that first conversation ended with me getting her number and giving her a Book of Mormon. About 10 minutes later she comes back and asks me to delete her number… I literally felt my heart break. But I just need to trust that she at least has a Book of Mormon and she knows that she can call us whenever she needs.

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As I mentioned, last night we were at a member’s house for a FHE, and her daughter has a learning disability and it was just so lovely to see how the mother is so patient with her, and the daughter is just so lovely too! It was such a lovely evening and I really enjoyed their presence, I just felt such a strong love for both of them and it just inspired me to be that little more patient.

I just wanted to tell you about our investigator who is amazing! She’s basically a member already and I just love her! Couldn’t ask for a more solid person, I can’t wait for her baptism so she can feel the redemptive power of the sacrament and the company of the spirit with her always.

Today we went on a hike and it was beautiful, but oh so HOT!!!!! It’s like 40°C, it’s crazy, I’m going to be so so cold when I get home!!!

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I know the Lord provides for those who are faithful and diligent. And I’m trying my best to be faithful and diligent.

Love Sorella Tacchi xxx

The views are amazing

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“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