Sunday, December 14, 2008

More than emails from Italy!

How exciting is to receive a package fromKayla!? She sent chocolate and Jaisha's birthday present (pink Italian leather wallet) I just had to take a picture of it! But I must say the funnest thing to receive are the pictures! She looks great and she is in a really big city. I didn't realize just how big. I will share some of her letter and try to add pictures too. Just couldn't resist sharing the food comments!

there is NO ranch dressing, the ketchup is very sweet, no jello, no marshmellows, no cool whip, no cottage cheese (but they have a BILLION types of cheese!) the mayonaise is really different and is really good! They put it on fries mainly and meats. I really miss peanut butter, so if you could slip some my way, that would be awesome! Their yougurt is like a smoothie and is really good. Their milk comes in two ways, either in a box that can last for nearly a year on the shelf (i still can't figure that one out and choose to ignore it, they call it poo milk in the mission!) or really fresh and goes bad in a few days! I claim allergies with eggplant and found something new about that. Alot of the women here go balk and one theory is that the eggplant causes it! Yeah! so SOOOOO not eating it!!!!

Here is my big story for this week! Are you ready?? I went on what we call scambi (it means change, but its kinda slang, and its like exchanges) I went to GENOVA! Mom, if there is a place where we are all going to live someday, this is it!! Its beautiful! Truly! There is a port and a big duomo (catherdral) and it was just beautiful! Palm trees! I was there 2 days and then I came back to Torino. I was there with S. Harris and we taught this family and the Spirit was so strong! S. Harris said that it was finally a break through! She was worried that they would have to drop this family and focus on others because they weren't progressing, but then this happened and bam! We were going to go somewhere else, but we got a prompting not to and to go here instead and I'm so glad we did! Sorry if i'm not spelling right, but my hands are so cold! Its freezing here! We had Napoli Pizza with two investigators and the city had such a good feeling

Lessons with a member always goes better, so if the missionaries haven't asked you yet, ask them. I would just flat out PASS OUT with joy if a member did that! The spirit is so much stronger and the lessons go so much smoother with that one or two extra testimonies! We had a member lesson just a couple of days ago with Luz and she agreed to follow the word of wisdom and opened up alot more! Our member was davide, a return missionary and it was amazing! Our lesson this morning went smoother and she is trusting us and really working hard! Progress is sometimes slow, but it is progress and that is all that matters! She agreed to follow the law of chastity. I was a little worried about teaching that, but when I bore my testimony tears just flowed and it went so well and the Spirit was so strong! I knew with all my heart that this commandment is of God and that when we obey it our self worth sky rockets and the love we feel is limitless!

My Italian is coming along great! Thanks to my Heavenly Father He is so merciful! I don't remember if I told you or not, but every so often I meet someone who speaks Englis and I get to talk about the gospel that way! its such a tender mercy! We try to speak Italian all of the time, but sometimes I just miss English! That's when Heavenly Father helps me.

I could go on and on with the sharing, but I better quit. The pictures are of her companion who is from California and the statue of satan and his fallen angels.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Just a quick thought about this years Thanksgiving. This year was a special one for Grandma, and all but three grandkids were able to attend. Kayla of course being in Italy!! Three grandsons just couldn't make it:( It was so fun seeing everyone, because it had been a very long time and my children couldn't remember a couple of their cousins. Family is so precious that we really should try harder to get together at least once a year. Granny is going to be 89 in Feb. and she is really doing good. Funny thing about families, you love them so much, but life just seems to get in the way of really spending time together. Enjoy just a few pictures, believe me when I say there were SO many taken, Jay just laughed at my camera crazy family!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas for Kayla

Just in case anyone wants to send something to Kayla, I thought I better share this information from her Mission Pres.

All Christmas packages must be delivered to the mission office by December 1, to insure delivery to the missionary.

Due to customs regulations Christmas package delivery to missionaries can be expensive and complicated. Our recommendation is that instead of sending a large package, send something small and then put money into your missionary’s personal account so that he or she can purchase a gift here.

Beware that the Italian government often charges an import fee of 25% or more of the value of the package. You should be cautious when writing in the value and contents of anything you send. Packages are randomly stopped for inspection, but are targeted if they look suspicious. For example, if the value declared is too low compared with its list of contents. Italian customs will not accept zero as a value, so assign a reasonable value to letters, pictures, CD’s, etc. Our experience is that Italian customs will usually stop and inspect packages when “missionary supplies” is listed as the contents.
It is our experience that items sent in a padded envelope are seldom stopped or have a customs fee charged for them. When the phrase “dalla famiglia” is added at the end of the list of items, packages also are less likely to be stopped. This phrase means that the contents are “from the family” rather than having been purchased via mail order.

It is important to note that missionaries are required to pay from their own funds all duty and import fees for packages they receive. At times these fees can exceed the value of the package.

Send packages or hard copy mail to:

(Missionary’s FULL Name)
Missione Italiana di Milan
Via A. Gramsci 13/4
20090 Opera (MI) Italy

I guess the mail there is not real reliable so maybe any letters that are sent need to just go to the mission home and let them get them to her. Still no pictures to share with you! But will post more of her last letter next.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Twilight Midnight Premier!!!

Yes, we joined the crazy groupies and had a great time!! Jaisha and Melodie and I met up with everyone else,
stood in line at 9:30, took pictures and froze! (it really wasn't that cold) While waiting for the movie to begin we laughed, ate, laughed, visited, they had a drawing for prizes. Did I mention we laughed? When the movie started everyone screamed and then it was completely silent! Such fans, we didn't want to miss a word! lol The movie finished way toofast :( but we totally enjoyed it. Of course the book is better, but aren't they always? I'm sure the critcs won't like it. It was a fun and crazy night and we got home at 3:00 am, but Jaisha didn't mind and did just fine the next day at school. Kinda fun to be involved in something so foolish!!
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

First e-mail from Italy!!

I have put parts of Kayla's emails on to share with you. There is more, but this will give you a glimpse of what an amazing daughter I have! She did re-hurt her knee just a couple of days after she got there, but it is in a brace and I don't think it is going to slow her down mentally, it will when it comes to stairs for a little while, but she is going to be fine. That would be one of the trials she is facing right now. The rest of her news is just amazing. Hope you enjoy reading this as much or almost as much as I did. Tears shed??? definitely!!!!:)
I have been able to understand people quicker and have been able to speak really well too. The people tell me that I speak well! Although, funny thing, when they hear me speak, they all try to speak English or they speak lots faster (didnt know that was possible) weird! I havent figured out that one yet!
So, to tell you a little about my experiences here (you would die to be me!):
So, like S. Dunaway said, we went contacting at the Duomo. We were all just taking the metro like it was no big deal, we walk up some stairs and then BAM! There is the Duomo! Its so beautiful! I just gasped for a bit and then Anz. Bulloch said °Yep, there she is, the great abonimal church°! Can you believe that? Yeah, moment was diminished, but not really! So, they bought us pizza (AMAZING!) and we ate it while sitting on the steps outside the Duomo. We each had two pamplets to pass out and S. Pitkin and I talked to a Phillipino lady who knew English! How lucky, eh? Then we took a mini tour inside the Duomo and it is always under construction so it wasnt quiet. But it was still pretty, just really dark. I wasnt a fan. It felt empty. Pretty, but empty. I like the outside more! Such a missionary, I know! ;)
We ate lasagna and oh my here is incredible. Flat out incredible! I will learn, dont worry! I have more food stories coming up!
We stayed the night (S. Doxey, S. Pitkin and I and all the anziani ) at a really nice hotel with a balcony and wood floors ( I have pics!) and then the next day we met our trainers! My companion is Sorella Moreno. She is from California, 28, out for over a year and very nice. She has never had culture shock so she doesnt know quite what to do with me and my never ending supply of unwanted tears, but its ok. Shes going to toughen me up!Im not crying because Im sad or that I dont want to be here, its almost like I cant control it! I saw Pepsi and cried, I heard a song about Joseph Smith and cried I mean, I cry over ANYTHING!
The people in Torino are so sweet! On Sunday we decided to do Park. Which means we go to a park and talk to people. We gave out some pamphlets and invited people to church and then we saw this group of old men, 4 or 5, and we decided to go talk to them. Oh my goodness! It was just like out of Return to me! They all dressed with hats and vests and coats and spoke so fast and I didnt catch hardly anything, but they were the sweetest old men! I just loved being there! They all shook our hands and apparently they were flirting with me the whole time because S. Moreno told me Im kind of exotic here? Yeah, weird I know, but one man was from Calabrese and wanted to take me with him. Hes like 68!! It was really fun and they all took pamphlets! So, it was somewhat of a success! People here are so funny! They are sweet and nice, but rarely smile. You know why when they do. Teeth brushing isnt high on their lists of priorities! lol.
So, back to first day. We got here, dropped off my suitcases and off we went to English class. We teach english for free as a finding method. If you dont understand all the terms I use, just ask dad or me in another e-mail! I mentioned that I had a dessert in Milan and I couldnt remember what it was like exactly and the whole room went in an uproar! There were ten people blabbering off in half english half Italian asking me all sorts of questions and being very serious about what their opinions where! Oh my! I was shocked! It was really funny! Italians LOVE to argue!
My first sunday went well. I wasnt timid and talked, hugged, brached (kiss cheeks) everyone and was so excited all the time! I want them to love us so they give us referals so we can teach. In the process I found a big sister, an aunt (just like Denise I swear!) and maybe a grandma! It was very good. I had to translate Sunday school to one of our investigators and I was awful! I didnt undertand anything so I just told her what I thought was going on! Then I got to bear my testimony in Sacrament Meeting and kind of introduce myself. Everyone was very open and very nice and it was just what I needed! Our ward is great!
Last night we met a gentlemen (60s) who listened to our message in the park, bought us a rose and then walked with us to our tram stop for our next appointment. So sweet! I love the old men here! Some men are crocodiles (little iffy) but the majority are very sweet.
My companion is passing out right now because I told her Fillmore is an 1.5 hours from Walmart! Shes all like, how can people live like that?? She is so sweet and I love her! Shes patient and helpful and is being really supportive with my cultural shock craziness.
Heavenly Father is watching out for me right now and he will help me overcome whatever obstacle Satan throws in my way and vice versa! This is a very special time and it wont last forever (thank goodness! Im not living outside of the country ever again!) ;) But seriously, I love you. I pray for you and I thank Heavenly Father everyday for such a wonderful mother! Thank you for marrying the amazing man you did! My father is more than I deserve and Im so grateful.

The mail takes about 4-5 days to get there, so here is her address for anyone wishing to write!
Sorella Kayla Wilcox
Corso Grosseto 59
10147 Torino

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sorella Kayla Is In Milan!

Yesterday was a great day!!! The phone rang at 5:20 am and it was a collect call from Kayla!! No I wasn't awake, but answered the phone anyway! She left the MTC at 4 am so she had some time to call. By some time I mean we were on the phone until 7:00! It was so fun to talk to her. She caught Jay just before he was leaving for work and bore her testimony for him in Italian!! It was so amazing it just made us cry... Some of you might think she talks fast in should hear her speak Italian haha! She sounds just like a missionary, all happy and positive and excited to share the gospel. Wow, its fun to listen to her! She talked to her brothers and sister too, who were also asleep. When she landed in Chicago at the O'Hare airport she called me again for another hour and a half, yes my phone bill will be enormus!! but oh well. She was challenged to place three Books of Mormon during her trip, and she gave out one in SLC and one in Chicago! Kayla is excited to begin her work in Italy, wich they will do shortly after they arrive. They will go to a square of one of the famous Cathedrals and meet Italians for a couple of hours! I am sure the language will sound totally different over there, but she is so excited anyway. My phone rang at 12:10 am and she was in Germany and the flight was good. Then yes, one more time at 4:00 am she called from Italy!! Of course these two calls were maybe a min. long just to let Mom know she was safe and had two new stamps in her passport! It was about 11:00 am for her, but she was able to sleep some on the planes. So all is well, and safe. She is definitely a missionary and has such a powerful testimony and a desire to share it. A group of them, 23 at first before they split in Chicago, caused quite an interest at the airports. She thought the little black name tags were the cause, I think they helped, but seeing a group of such nicely dressed and clean young people with the spirit shining brightly through their eyes would be quite a sight!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Filthy but Fun!

So what did you do on your last day off? I can't even believe I am putting these pictures on, but Jay's sisters wanted to see them on my blog because they laughed at how dirty I was! Cutting firewood is a dirty job when we cut

down the already burned cedar trees. It takes Jay and I about three hours, he cuts and I load it in the truck (unless they are really big!). We have a wood stove in our home and completely heat our house with it. I love being so warm all winter! It's alot of work, but it feels good to get really dirty and tired once in a while! Since we are usually getting wood
when the kids are in school, they are the ones who get to unload the truck and fill the wood box. Kambren took almost two hours just unloading this one!! How cute is his dirty face?:) Our wood pile is only two trips worth... gotta go get a couple more!
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2nd at State!

This weekend was State Soccer and the weather was perfect and the girls played great!! Their first game was really tuff, they played the team that beat them last year in sudden death, so beating them 1-0 felt like sweet redemption!!!! The crowd went wild and the team was just a celebrating!! It was so fun watching them play, they are a great team. The next day they played long and hard but just couldn't beat the 1st ranked team. Yes that is a picture of my daughter playing in a state game as a freshman!! She was put in the game twice and she was just so excited!! After loosing 13 seniors last year, this team had a remarkable year, pulling off an undefeated season! We are so Proud of the team!!! Just think, in two weeks basketball starts...................
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Finally some pictures!!

Sorella Kayla has finally sent pictures home!
I knew everyone would love to see them! :)
These T-shirts are for gym day, and ya gotta love her pose.
She has grown to love all the sisters and they are so sad to say
good-by to the ones who go,
but when the new ones come in it doesn't take long
to love them too. I can't believe her time is almost over
in the MTC, she is looking forward to getting to
work in Milan and sharing the gospel, but isn't
sure if she will ever really be ready! You know
how that is. Her letters are so fun and
sometimes they make me cry, but only if I have
to read them out loud to her dad. He often
says, where's the Kayla we know? with a smile.
I loved the picture of her on the bench.
The one with the three
sisters (sorellas) is a moment of
relaxing. She says these moments are
few and far between because they are
always working so hard! But she doesn't
complain about the work,
she's just too excited. The sorella with the glasses
is her companion. The other one
is a sorella that she is close to.
Doesn't she just glow? Her flight to Italy
will be planned soon, and then she gets to
call home!! I can't wait to talk to her. Nov. 4th is
the day, and now we can say something really fun
is happening on that day since the election voting
is far from exciting this time.... just an opinion!:)
Maybe our next pictures for the blog will be of

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Region Champs!

The Soccer Team picture! This great team ended their season UNDEFEATED!! They have worked so hard and even loosing 12 seniors last year didn't slow them down! The girls really work well together and are alot of fun to watch. Jaisha has just stopped the ball with her chest! I tell ya she is an animal on the field and we love it.... They are playing on their home field this Saturday for quarter-finals. We all think they will definitely make it to state play-offs and are pretty excited about it!
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Homecoming this year was alot of fun. Jarom's date was a candidate so he escorted her during the assembly, doing the dance and and all of the fun stuff that goes along with it. Of course Mom was so happy! It was good for Jarom to get out of his comfort zone and have some fun.
I had a hard time with the lighting in the auditorium and just couldn't get the lighting right. Oh well, the girls were beautiful and and the assembly was fun. They didn't make it to the dance because Jarom and his young men had planned to go to the General Priesthood Session in Salt Lake City, so they made other plans. It's pretty tuff when things fall on the same night, but Jarom really wanted to go with his young men, and it turned out to be such a good choice. The ym who had graduated last year met them in Salt Lake and they went to lunch and were able to watch the second session in the Tabernacle. They were in the stand-by line for the priesthood meeting but ended up sitting 15 rows back from the pulpit! Elder D. Todd Christofferson came and shook hands with them and visited for a second. Jarom was pretty excited and sent pictures to my phone. I am still so happy that he chose this trip over the dance, and to see how the Lord blessed him with a trip he will always remember. The spirit was so strong when the men were singing, he loved it. When he came in that night after the all day trip the first thing he said was 'my fun meter is expired'! meaning they had so much fun and laughed so much that there just wasn't anything left!!! He has the most awesome YM Pres. and the love he feels for him is only matched by my appreciation for such a great leader!
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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Missionary Note!

I haven't posted anything about Kayla because for some reason I think I have to have a picture! Well, I haven't gotten one from Kayla yet so I guess I will just share a few lines from a couple of her letters. She is doing really well, loves being in the MTC and her companion. In her words, her testimony has become rock-hard. She is really growing personally and we just love her letters! Here is a couple of my favorites:

'I love the MTC. I am so happy and content here and my companion is so great! I am in Branch 33 (all the Italian missionaries) and in district B. So, my district is 5 companionship's of Anziani (elders) and 2 companionship's of Sorrelle (sisters). My district is by far the best! These boys who are becoming men are so wonderful! They remind me so much of the Stripling Warriors.'

One of her professors shared this with them when she could see some of them were struggling:

'this is the largest gathering of worthy young people about to bring the light and truth to those lost in the dark and how Satan is sending his best to try and get in. She said, "Ammon walks you to class, Nephi walks you back, Lehi and Abinidai guard the halls and Moroni? He's got the front gate!" or something like that anyway. I thought that was so amazing! So it doesn't really matter how hard things are because we have the Lord's best fighting with us!

Things like these really comfort the Mom! I couldn't want her anywhere else!!! :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Soccer Time!

Go Jaisha! Soccer is going Great for Jaisha this year. She is protecting her goal in this picture, and not afraid to take anyone on! (in green) When Jaisha plays, she plays to win. She plays sweeper, mid defender, and sometimes goalie. Last night they played Moab and she started varsity! She was so excited and played all the first half and most of the second plus she was put in some in the JV game. I am so glad she is having fun with it. Their team is undefeated so far this year!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Mighty Hunter!

Yes, Kambrens first Dove hunt was successful!! He just couldn't have been any happier. After his football game Saturday, Dad took him out and they only found this small dove, (can you see it against his camo?) but it was good enough. He hit it in the head with one shot, but as you can see he was very prepared:) Do you like how he layed out the weapons and his 'kill'? He had the breast cut out and the rest thrown away before we even new what he was doing. The next day he cooked it and shared a taste with his mom, which I am surprised to say it was very delicous. If we had to eat them to stay alive, it would take alot of doves! Kambren is the best kind of hunter/fisherman, he does all the preparation, catching/ shooting, cleaning and cooking and shares! Poor kid just wishes there was someone else in the family who thought all of this was as fun as he does.....Dad does a pretty good job!

So Thoughtful!

So it's the day after dropping off Kayla at the MTC and I am really sad, laying around in my housecoat thinking that maybe I shouldn't be so sad and then there was a nock at the door. (Not the first time I've gottem caught in my bathrobe at almost noon!) Kayla had arranged to have flowers delivered to me before she left with the sweetest note ever! I know the flower lady and she had such a sympathetic look on her face and said I bet you can guess who these are from.. Yes, I bawled!!! She told me not to in the note....ya right.. They were the most georgous daisies (my favorite) dark red lilies (because they were just too cool not to put in she said), and a red rose because it her favorite. Not to forget Dad she put on chocolate/caramel dipped pretzel sticks. How lucky am I to have her for a daughter?!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sister Wilcox is now in the MTC!! It was quite an emotional day with alot of tears but filled with love too. Definitely not fun though... Don't get me wrong, we are so happy with Kayla's decision to serve a mission and know Italy will love her. I have an updated address for her now, so just ignore the old one. She would love any letter, cards, or notes of encouragement for her stay in the MTC because Mom thinks she is going to be just a little homesick at first!
Sister Kayla Wilcox
MTC Mailbox #324
ITA-MIL 1104
2005 N. 900 E.
Provo, Utah 84604-1793

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

We had such a great time at Kayla's un-farewell sacrament talk! I don't quite know what to call it now that it's not a farewell. So much family showed up and surprised us! I wanted to share some of the pictures to show how much fun the day was. Unfortunately I was a little busy so I need to get copies of pictures from my sisters, obviously I missed a few family shots! Time seems to be going so fast, Kayla will be set apart tomorrow night and then its off to the MTC Wed. morning... as we were talking tonight, it might as well just happen because I don't think we will ever be ready. If anyone wants to send her a note or letter I will include the address, I'm sure she will LOVE mail! She will be there for nine weeks and fly out the first of November.
Sister Kayla Wilcox
Italy Milan Mission
Provo Missionary Training Center
2005 n 900 E
Provo, UT 84604

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Back to School!

The first day of school picture is such a tradition! It's so nice to have Jarom still in high school so Jaisha can have a ride every morning. I still can't believe she is in high school! When they came home I asked them about their day and Jarom said he was ready for the year to be over...Jaisha said it was ok but wasn't impressed by the language and public display of affection in the halls, but there were some cute guys. Kambren thought the day was soooo long, and all the bad kids are in his class, guess that's what happens when you get the man teacher. Our life style of up all night and sleeping in is pretty tuff on the kids, they were ready for bed much earlier tonight! It seemed to be a pretty good day all around though, and all the anxiety and nervousness is over so the routine of school life has started!

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Perfect Day!

What a special day! Kayla chose the Provo Temple to receive her endowments and the day was just perfect. I have often sat in the temple and thought about how neat it would be to have my children in the celestial room with me, but I never knew just how amazing and emotional it would be until I saw Kayla walk in! Everyone there asked her where she was going on her mission and when they heard Italy, they just sighed and said how wonderful, and she just smiles! Her sacrament talk will be on the 24th of August at 12:30 and a lunch right after that at our house, everyone is invited!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Our Chicago get-away Weekend!

We're on our way! Jay looked out the window the whole way, just like a kid! Of course our first priority was to eat some Giordano's Pizza!!! There is no pizza in the world like it! So of course we ate it more than once!!

One day we drove down to Nauvoo to do a session in the Temple and it was so worth the drive! Of course it was one of the most humid days of the summer.. Ephra just about died... James and Dayla were with us for the trip so the three missionaries all reminisced about their areas and apartments and all the fun times. Chicago is a beautiful city, and all the old buildings were so fun to take pictures of. I wish I could post them all, but I don't think you would want to look at almost 300 of them!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Fun at Lagoon!!

We decided to go to Lagoon as a family this year since we left Kayla out last year. (It wasn't ok even though she was in Alaska!) So we headed up and had a blast. Jaisha, Jarom, Jay and Kayla rode everything, and more than once. They have no fear...I rode wicked once and thought I was going to die!! So I stuck with Kambren and we had fun on the slower rides. His favorite of course was the bumber cars and the race cars. All of them drove the race cars and Jaisha dominated! Can you tell she is helping me right this?? Wish I had pictures of how wet we got on the Rattlesnake was hilarious! We spent the night with Rory and Judy's house so we could go see the movie The Dark Night, the new batman movie and we highly reccomend it! Of course we did some shopping, but not near enough for the girls! Family trips are so much fun!