Friday, November 27, 2009

Sorelle Wilcox Says Good-bye to Milan♥

 So Kayla has been transferred. I enjoyed her letter so much that I just shared the whole thing with you! No pictures until next week I hope...

Ciao from Pordenone!

Well, I made it! It was quite the adventure too. But I have to start off with the night before. To be honest, when I got the call to go and open a new city, close to Venice and with a companion I already knew I was really excited. We went out and bought new shirts that are bike friendly and boots for Slla Simons. Then we went to the Cemetery and then we went to the church. That was where it got me that I was actually leaving. I walked in the gate for the church and saw Slla Savino and Irene and I asked them to put in their information so I could keep in touch. Then I walked in the church and saw Slla Grimaldi who started crying and came and hugged me and I couldnt contain myself. I started sobbing and she was too and I felt like my heart was breaking. Then, Sussanah, a young woman who I really worked with, started crying and I was so sad! Then Maria, our beautiful investigator came, sick, to say goodbye and I cried, she cried, but with her I felt pretty certain that I would see her again so it wasnt so hard to say goodbye. We had gone to the church to teach a lesson with Victoria, an INCREDIBLE woman from Peru, and so I was a mess, she was sad I was leaving and goodness I didnt know what to do. So, I pulled myself together and we went and taught a great lesson about the Plan of Salvation. Coincidently, that was the only thing that was really getting me through this transfer because I know that I will live with these people again if we live the way we should. It was beautiful and I really loved it.
Then Slla Fiorenza, her husband and their 2 children came. She came up to me, crying and just clung to me. I cried and told her how much I loved her and she told me thank you a million times for all that we did for her and how much she loved me too. We had gone to her house during a really hard moment for her and had an incredible lesson inspired from D&C section 25 (could be wrong, maybe 24?) when the Lord is talking to Emma Smith about being an elect lady. I saw the darkness lift from her eyes and saw them being filled with love. She is incredible and I want to stay incontact with her and her family forever! She gave me a purse that I had told her months ago that I thought was cute and she said that it was for me to always remember her.
Emily and her boys came to say goodbey too and they are so sweet. I loved doing service with them every week and Emily saved my summer when she got me my shoes! Im really glad she is from Utah and lives in Italy. Little does she know that Im moving back to Milano and paying 1/2 rent for a while!!
As hard as all this was, the hardest part of all was when I had to say goodbye to my sister, Valentina. It was the hardest part of all. She was upstairs making Christmas ornaments with  the Relief Society (she is Secretary!) She came downstairs to get me and then we went upstairs where Marco was playing the guitar and there were a lot of members around. She took me by the hand and let me over to where Marco was and gave me two presents. One was a little Hello Kitty stuffed kitten that I love and keep on my bed now and the other was the movie "Questo Piccolo Grande Amore" and the cd with the song that I love from the singer Claudio Baglioni. She then gave me the biggest hug and told me how much she would miss me, how much she loved me, how I am her sister and how grateful she was for me. I cried and cried and cried. My heart was truly broken and I clung to her, not wanting to ever let her go. If I could hug men, I would have hugged Marco too, but I couldnt. They are the biggest reason of why I love Milano so much. Every appointment with them I learned something that made me a better person. Her baptism was the most spiritually powerful baptisms I have ever been to. Their wedding was so incredible and there was a beautiful spirit of love and devotion there. They gave us a ride home from the church and Valentina held my hand the whole time. I loved sitting next to her in church because the spirit is always so strong wherever she is and the love she has for me and the love I have for her is so strong! I love her as a sister and she really is my sister! If all I ever got out of my mission was the chance to meet her, it would be enough. She and Marco are incredible, strong members and I know the church in Italy is much stronger thanks to them! Leaving them was just as hard as leaving you all back in America.
Well, I got home and couldnt stop crying. Slla Simons tried to be simpathetic, but to be honest, I was unconsoleable. Plus then I had to pack all of my stuff! AHH! But in the end, it was all taken care of and we got to go to bed fairly early!
The next day Slla Simons and I got ready and headed for the train station and oh my goodness my bags are SO HEAVY! I was really afraid for us because both Slla Doxey and I have been in our cities for 9 months and you collect a lot of stuff in that amount of time! But we managed it. I cried in the trainstation, not too much though because I got to see a lot of people I havent seen in a long time! Like Anz. Franklin (not since the MTC) and Anz. Bowman and Anz. Toronto! So exciting! Plus, all of the Sorelle were there except the ones in Genova and Bergamo. We had to wait at the trainstation from 9 something until 12:30 and then we almost missed our train! Ha! We would. We ran with all of our stuff, the Anziani helped thank goodness, and then we jumped on and settled in for a long ride. At the trainstation we talked to a girl on her way to France to visit her boyfriend and who would be interested in learning more and on the train from Milano to Verona we talked to another woman who wasnt too interested, but was really nice anyway!
We had to say goodbye to the sisters in Verona and switch trains to Mestre. Yes, we had to switch trains with all of our stuff! Ah!So heavy! But there were Anziani to help us. We ran to our train (again almost missing it) and realized that we had all of my stuff, but none of Slla Doxeys stuff and only one bag of one of the Anziani and the other Anziano had all of his stuff. Turns out, one of the Anziani got left with 4 bags and didnt catch the train in time! So he caught a EuroStar train (really fast) and beat us to Mestre. While there, we had to fight off gypsies and then got on the wrong train! Luckily, one of the Anziani realized this and blocked the door with his body while Slla Doxey and I climbed out and made it just in time! We all laughed, watched the preview for the New Moon movie (train stations have preview things, like tvs) and finally got our train for Pordenone.
We were all so tired! We got on the train and then made it just in time off the platform to meet Slla Durazzani who took us to our apartment. Oh my goodness, our apartment STINKS!!!!! 20 years of Anziani and it smells like a locker room. SICK! So, we drop off our stuff, have about 30 minutes and then we get picked up again by Slla Durazzani and her husband to go teach a lesson to our baptismal date Hilarios. We teach, half dazed, and get home in time to program. The couple at the millitary base here brought us some food because we didnt have a whole lot in our house and then we slept. We get up the next day, unpack and then the Martins (the couple) pick us up to go to the American base to eat TACO BELL!!!
So, we get there, eat Taco bell and Cinnabun and then we are on our way to go see the Commessary. I have to buy a bike, grrrrr, but we found one! We called President if it was ok if we bought it and he reminded us of the rule that we are not allowed to give people money to buy things from the American Base for us. So, since we arent allowed to actually buy it ourselves, we have to give the Martins money because they have id for the base, we dont get to buy it. They were all for letting us twink the rules, but we stood firm and decided that it was better to be honest and just wait for the Lord to provide a way. We are currently still waiting and doing A LOT of walking, but its going to be ok. We may go and buy a bike today at a store. That night we were picked up by the stake president (talk about nerves! I hadnt even showered yet because I didnt bring my towel but was just going to buy one here!) to go and teach Hilarious again. It was a great lesson on repentance and I fell in love with Slla Chieasurin and Pres. Chiesurin. They are incredible! There is always a family that is just YOUR FAMILY and I found mine! In Milano I had a couple and I think it will be the same here. Sunday came and we both just felt like we were in a whirlwind!
However, your prayers were COMPLETELY AND FULLY answered! The ward is absolutely in love with us! Everyone was so excited to see us and wanted us over to their house and everyone is feeding us! We are both afraid to gain weight! The ward leaders are incredible and so happy to be working with us and this ward is so full of unity and love! Everyone is so nice! It was the Primary program and the kids are so cute! I love Italian children who sing the primay songs! So adorable!
There is a big American ward here too and we are invited for Thanksgiving and they are ok with us bringing our incredible less-active almost reactivated member Orietta Giovenazzi. She is just beautiful and we are so happy to be working with her.
We do have a baptism this Saturday, yeah, I know right?! And he is incredible. His name is Hilarios, he is from Ghana and his wife is taught by the Martins. She, Diana, will be baptised in January. I will for sure send pictures!
Ready for some miracles??!!
Ok, so we offered to help our neighbor load groceries into her home and turns out they know a lot about missionaries. Sylvanna is 25 and a baker, Marilenna is her mom and works at home as a massage therapist and her daughter Katia is a high school student. We taught them a lesson Sunday and they are incredible! Got to help them quit smoking. I really hope for the best, especially Sylvanna.
Then, we were doing casa (knocking doors) by the church and we got into an apartment! They are the Artan family from Albania and they were so nice! They let us in, gave us water (wanted to give us tea or coffee) were mildly interested and said we could come back. They are muslim, but not really practicing. They have 2 sons and are truly so precious.
We have so many people we have met on the street or who have said to call them or anything really and its just a city of miracles! Not to mention absolutely adorable. Very 1950's feeling.
There is a great market here every Wednesday and Saturday and their town square is so precious! They have a two level carosel that lights up and plays every night. I really feel like Im in some sort of amazing dream. The work is growing, our members are incredible (model perfect) the city is so charming and we get along so well! What more can you ask for, except maybe a really strong candle. Our apartment is getting better, kind of. Stinky Anziani!
Anyway, this is my week so far! Its been quite the ride! But Im happy, really healthy, but still a little heartbroken for Milano. Its really hard at night. I miss it so much! But, like Slla Simons told me, its a part of the mission. I just have to work on feeling that way about Pordenone.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sorella Wilcox♥

Kayla is doing so well. I am going to share paragraphs from some of her latest emails. They might not  be in order, but they will give you enough information to see how well she is. What a missionary my Daughter is! I love her and we miss her so very much. Her release date is March 26th as of now. They have changed it once on us so we are being flexible with this one. We thought she would be home on Feb. 12, but they changed that one. She has been in the Milan 2 district for quite a while now, we will hear Wed. if she is getting a transfer, she feels like she just might be.  The mission home address is the safest address to use for writing her. I will put it at the end of this email again in case anyone wants it.. Cards and letters is all she wants for Christmas this year, which is a good thing because packages just don't get to her very often. Enjoy the reading!!!
Ciao Madre Mia!

This week sped right on by! It is so weird how time flies and personally I am not the biggest fan. Well, thats not true, but it is a little. I want to just stay in Milan forever! Plus Slla Simons is pretty much my best friend. She is so incredible! We both have some pretty rank garlic breath right now because we made some bruschetta con aglio, pomodorini, olio di oliva, mozzarella e un po di oregano e sale. We over did it on the aglio (garlic) and it was SPICY! I brushed my teeth, swished mouth wash and chewed gum and Im still rank! But it was scrumpcious. I wrote what we ate in Italian so you can be oh so impressed with the gift of tongues and plus it sounds better in Italian. Doesnt everything though?
 Dont you worry, I am taking notes and am prepared to cook away for you when I get home! Slla Kone, a member here in Milano, taught us how to make an incredible pasta when we went to her house yesterday for lunch and invited us over for Christmas! Im praying Im still here. She is so great. She married an American who served in Milano 2 and speaks incredible english. She is so fun and said she would come visit me in Utah when they go to America.

We have some really great investigators right now too. We invited one to baptism yesterday, Elizabetta. She is african, but has lived here since she was 5 or so. Here meaning Italy, the south in Puglia. She is incredible! She told us she had been praying about whether to introduce us to her family or not and she decided that she should and the spirit was just so strong! She said once she knew that everything was true and she felt confident in the decision to be baptised, she would do it. Im so excited! The work here is growing slowly but surely. I betcha I will be speaking at her baptism too! He he he. I prayed a lot about my talk for Isaiah and I got some great insights. It is going to be two talks. One in Italian and one in English. Lots of Emily (his mom)'s friends only speak English and so I get to do it bi lingually. It really gives me chills to see how incredible the gift of tongues is. I mean honestly, who would have thought that this was even possible! To speak fluently two languages and just go back and forth between the two? I love it!

This week Maria is doing so good! Her mom has noticed a great difference in her and now wants to come to church! Can you believe that? Her mom accepted a book of mormon, but didnt want much of anything else. But now thanks to the example of Maria, she wants to come to church. We are lights unto the world and they do see us. Especially in families.
Elizabetta, our other investigator, is doing incredibly well. She is having spiritual experience after the other and really loving learning about the gospel. She doesnt really understand the apostacy, but she believes all of it. Valentina bore such sweet testimony about the scriptures to her that had us all near tears. She is a powerhouse! Marco doesnt have to work Sundays anymore and will give his first talk in Sacrament Meeting the 18th!
These people are incredible. Marco and Valentina are buying a car and they said that they are going to name it Wilcox. Yep. They are so funny! Marco said that I have to stay in Milano at least until Christmas and I hope so!
We found a new investigator! Her name is Martha and she has 3 adorable children. Antonio 6, Carolina 2 and Diana 6mos. Her husband left her because he didnt want to have they third child and she wouldnt abort it. We found her on the street a week or so ago and turns out we are next door neighbors! We finally got to see her and she is doing great! She agreed to have us back over and her children are so calm and well behaved. This gospel will bless her life so much.

I love the Germans! We went to Diechmann's ( store a billion miles away or so it felt) and they had MY SIZE!!! So I got some really nice brown shoes that are just what my doctor ordered (at least 3cm heel) and firm sides to keep my foot in place. Then These KNEE HIGH BOOTS!! Arent they beautiful! I am so excited! A year of walking paid off! Well, more ways than one, but I am thrilled. What do you think? I love them. Slla Simons approved them so I wouldnt just buy for looks and they feel great.About the journey, we had to go to Monza, a province outside Milano, and we had no idea where to go. So, naturally we were asking everyone. NO ONE KNEW! Every person we asked told us a different answer. Very frustrating.  It took us a good 2 hours to get there, but it was well worth it. We ended up having to walk across a construction site that would be closed when we tried to get back, but we took it with faith and went for it. Then, on our way back we were lost and inbetween two major interstates so crossing the streets were out of the question. We called the Elders there and they were going to have to come get us, but luckily Heavenly Father took care of his helpless daughters and Slla Simons felt inspiried to walk towards a buiding. By doing so, a bus drove past us, we followed the direciton it came from and found our bus stop!!! It was a miracle! We also invited a beautiful mom named Lucia and her 2 year old to hear our message and they said ok! Well, the mom did. Maybe Sunday, but we will see. I also talked to a girl on the bus who had a pug! She was so cute and agreed to have us over on Friday! Unfortunately, she lives just outside our area so the Elders get her...:( but its ok! She was adorable, mid 20s named Federica.

All worth it for these gorgeous shoes! Heavenly Father loves me.

This week we were inside a lot. The flu caught Slla Simons off guard and we were inside Sat-Monday. That may not sound like much, but oh, it is! There are times when Im so tired and would give just about anything for a nap, even the flu, and then we get it and are inside and I realize how much better it is to just be working! No, it was fun though. I got to be very experimental with my baking and made those yummy treats! Plus, after sleeping all day Sunday, Slla Simons was a rock star and got dressed up really fast, we snapped some pics and then she passed out again! That girl goes through Camomille tea like its nobodies business! Im partial to blueberry and mixed fruits from Bolivia, but that is just me. Herbal tea rocks! And its really cheap so we are drinking hot things that are good for us!
However, Thursday I went to a reflexologist , Sorella Darwish who is our Gospel Principles teacher, and she worked on my feet. It was so nice to finally be relaxed! I didnt realize how much stress I was under until she pushed on parts of my feet and I wanted to cry! She got me spot on in a lot of things too, like how my life was pretty serene until my mission and I got thrown into an environment where I had no control and it was hard, to when I had some really tough times here and how Ive seen and heard things I havent wanted too and instead of letting them run out of me Ive tried to supress them. There is a lot of nasty pictures on billboards, lots of dirty things in general that are normal now, but that isnt good either. But, she gave me some great advice on how to work out in the morning, how to relax at night and what to do for my bruises. I have really fragile veins and need to eat blueberries and other berries. So, slowly Im learning how to take care of myself. Which is great because in my P.B. Im told to take the best care of my health! Im learning how to on my mission! I wonder a lot how I would be without my mission and it make me want to cry!
We had a door knocking miracle this week! I have been really struggling with faith in doing casa and believing it works because I see so much success outside of doing that. But last friday, Slla Simons and I decided to be completely obedient and stick to our schedule. As a part of that, we decided to go do casa for out morning finding before programming. We had picked a street, but it didnt look very promising, but we decided to go down it anyway. Slla SImons then got a stomache ache out of nowhere and we thought it would be best if we went home. Then, we saw this apartment door wide open on our way back and decided to go in and knock doors. So, we were doing it, starting on floor 5 down to floor 1 and everyone either said no or they werent home. It was the last door, we decided to introduce ourselves as disciples of Christ and sing I am a Child of God at the door. A very pregnant woman answered to door and let us do just that. She then invited us into  her gorgeous home for a drink of water. We talked a little, taught about the family proc and set an appointment for Monday! She is married, this is their first daughter and they are from Puglia. Her name was Patrizia. On Monday we went back and taught the Restoration, but she couldnt see the difference from us and the Catholics, even though our lesson was clear and she stated herself what was missing from the Catholic church. So, we are not going back for a while, maybe after her baby is born, but it was really sad. However, the faith is renewed that casa does work and people do let us in! That was just a little taste of what awaits later when the real people are ready! And who knows, maybe in a week or two when the baby comes they will be ready. Funny note, the baby kept kicking her during the lesson like MOM! Listen!

Fall leaves outside her window!

Her life is complete now,,,she's been to the Opera!!

New camera..outside her window.

 Just one photo of a dish she has perfected. Kayla cooking - - -Miracles are really happening!!hahaha.........

New boots she spoke about in her email.

On top of the Duomo!! How Italian is this picture !!!!

7th Grade Football..Go Kambren!!!!

Another year of football!! Kambren was the Center again this year, but they didn't have a number 54 jersey like last year. They had a large team, but not a very successful one..

The game against Beaver was their one and only win! It was so exciting!! 14-6 and our boys were very happy. 

Kambren is in the middle with a great offensive play, protecting his quarterback.
We just love watching Kambren play football. He just looks good out on that field. We hope his year next year will include more wins, but at least they had a good time. He did get to play defense a couple of times and he does like to tackle, but he was their only center, and he did his job really well!
This is the only sport that Kambren likes to do, so now he will spend the rest of the year traveling around with us pretending to really love girls basketball!!! haha...gotta support the Sister.

Jaisha's Sophmore Soccer Season!!

Jaisha had an amazing soccer season this year playing Goalie on the Varsity Team!! The Lady Eagles were undefeated in their Region! We had so much fun following the team to every game this year! Jay was totally into this season and took vacation to watch each game. Such dedication from such an awesome Dad. We even drove to Moab to watch them play, 31/2 hours one way....I'm thinking that's dedication! 
Jaisha had a 6 Shut Outs!!! Yep, six games where nobody scored on her. It seemed the only time someone could score on our defense was when there was a penalty kick, and stopping the ball from ten feet away is definitely a challenge. Just standing behind the net taking pictures scares me enough. I don't know how she does it!

One of the neatest things I witnessed our Ladies do was to link feet and fold their arms and offer a prayer before every game. I am so proud of our Team. Then after the prayer they  jump around in the circle and yell "Pump it Up, Pump that Eagle Spirit Up..... etc.. The crowd yells it with them and it really fires the team up.

State Semi-Finals we met St. Joseph, a private Catholic school. We made it to the bottom three teams, the other team being Waterford, another private school who took state in 3A last year and moved down to play in 2A this year. It seems Millard makes it every year to the finals with these two teams, or at least two private schools. Last year they took second place and we were proud of them. This year we held St Joseph scoreless until the last four minutes of the game. The other team was able to score and then three more followed rather quickly. It was heartbreaking, but we are so Proud of our Lady Eagles, and feel they played as a team and did their best.  Hugging them when it was over and seeing their tears was pretty tough, I'm not gonna lie....

Jaisha was chosen for the All State Second Team her Sophomore Year!!!! Yep, we're  proud!