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!