Friday, March 26, 2010

Last Letter From Italy

This is the last letter from Kayla as her mission comes to a close. I am so impressed how she worked right up to the end. I'm thinking she would like an extension but thankfully she either didn't ask or they said no! Enjoy!

Wow, this week everyone was like YOU'RE COMING HOME!!! Yikes. I freaked out a  little. Did I tell you it still hasn't sunk in? I asked Sorella Pitkin on email if she felt like staying and opening up our own city and just keep working and she said I can if I want, but she is going home. Why am I the weird one? AHHHH! Mom, I love you and the family so much, but I'm just not ready to plunge back into life in the States. Anyway, that's my freak out moment. I had to bear my last testimony at interviews, got my new recommend from President (all in Italian!) and had my last district meeting. I love my district! They are seriously family. I can't get enough of them. Wait till you see all the pictures and videos. LOVE IT!
OK, back to responding to your email. I'm really glad you liked my last email! But guess what, the miracles haven't stopped yet! Sunday was the biggest one of them all. Ok, here is what happened! We were on our way to an appointment, but they stood us up and so we decided to head to where we had planned to go and knock doors. As we start on this street, we get to an apartment building who lets us in. The elevator said it only worked with a key, but seeing as how we had 0 desire to climb a billion flight of stairs, we prayed in our hearts that it would work anyway and it did! We got all the way to the top floor and started working. The first door, no. The next door a man opened up and said, come on in. We were all smiles and said, ok! Is there a woman? His countenance completely changed and he told me in English, this is not ok. You do not trust men. I let you in, having no preconceptions and you have the nerve to ask me if there is women. I am sorry, you are finished with me, go, in the other room are the women, we are done. I am not open anymore. You messed up, I am through. I tried to explain how it was a rule, but he continued to say it is a horrible rule and that it is rude. I was near tears and said a million times to his wife and daughter how sorry I was and that I wasn't trying to be rude. His wife was sweet and said Libero, come on, they are nice, listen to their message. His daughter and wife were very sweet and after a bit he came back in reluclantly. So, we decided to watch a little film, the same one I talked about the other time. It didn't work on their computer or laptop and finally after some trying it worked on their dvd player. At the end we asked if they have asked some of the questions in the film and they said yes, but they have found more or less their answers. Then he said he is a heretic and doesn't believe in certain things and asked me for answers. I don't know why I didn't just answer them, but I said, I'm going to write these down and we will talk about them the next time we come over. His wife teaches religion and he is an english professor. He believes that God is not loving and leaves some of his children behind sometimes and I got to bear strong testimony, in a loving way, in english about how I know that God is loving and He never leaves anyone behind. I was teary, he was teary and we scheduled our next appointment. He gave me a wink in a friendly way and we said a prayer. As we were teaching, I felt very strongly that one day he will bear his testimony in sacrament meeting about how the sister missionaries knocked on his door and he got mad, but in the end he felt the spirit and was converted. Sorella Ranieri said afterwards that she felt the same thing! He is going to be a strong member! He and his wife expressed in words how much they love one another and how they complimented each other in their lives. It was incredible! You don't see marriages like that anywhere these days! It was beautiful. Afterwards, we tried to use the elevator and it didn't work. The doors didn't close, nothing. As we walked down countless stairs, we realized we had witnessed a miracle and we immediately called President Dunaway and told him everything! Mom! Miracles exisit! They really do! We only had so much time, we taught with the spirit and I feel really strongly that I was sent to talk to him. Me! OH, it was AWESOME! I was crying and thanking Heavenly Father as we ran to our next meeting!
But the story doesn't stop there! Yesterday, after again being stood up for 3 appointments, we started knocking doors on this same street. After awhile, this tiny, frail little old lady with sparkly eyes opened the door and let us in. Usually they say no, but she didn't she let us in, listened to our message about prayer and then when we asked to come back she said, ok, here is my telephone number, call and confirm and I'm going to bring my friend. Then Sorella Ranieri asked if she was related to Libero, the man from the previous experience, and she said yes, he is my son in law and he talked to me about you! Mom!!!! Can you believe it???!!! How incredible is that??!! He already talked about is in an obviously positive way, to his FAMILY!!! AHH!!! We are so excited! Her name is Layla. Sound familiar? Yep, its one letter off from my name.
The miracles are just coming on in and we are loving every minute! We have done a lot of finding work, been stood up a lot, but we are happy and just loving every moment.
Well, despite everything, I'm still not trunky. In fact I had a dream that I paid someone else to pack my bags because I didn't want to! But honestly, I'm happy. We're completely booked with appointments, still working for getting baptisms and just loving every minute. Today we are going to make lasagna! Calabrese style...mmmm!  

I love you so much mom and dad! Thanks for being so supportive and loving!
Ti mando un baccio di cioccolato e un abbraccio di aceto di balsalmico!!!
Sorella Wilcox


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Continuing the Work!

Sorry for the delay...But this letter is so worth it! I'm thinking the drama of it is awesome! I am so going to miss these letters...I keep telling Jarom his need to be as long and  detailed as these...he laughed! Enjoy :)

(Missionaries on the train!)

Last wednesday we were supposed to have an appointment about 3 or 4 kilometers outside of Modena. We had heard from a less active there is a bike path and so we decided to take it! We got lost a couple of times, but miraculously we found it! I was so happy. So, we go on this path and it has lights, sometimes. So, we are going and we wonder where we are supposed to turn or if we are supposed to keep following this path. The less active said this bike path takes you straight to her house, so we just kept following it. We come to this place where there is an old villa (big house) and I see a family of GIANT RATS!!! I screamed and then sorella Ranieri screamed and stopped suddenly and her shoe fell off. One of the rats tried to steal it!! Im not joking!!! Oh my goodness, what a riot! Luckily, after much screaming the rat ran off. We kept following this cursed path for about an hour and thinking, when are we going to get to our appointment? Keep in mind we already late and have no idea where we are. So, the path ends, in the middle of nowhere and we ask some random man going to his home where we are and he says you are in CastelVetro. We are like, ok, how do we get to San Damaso? He shows us where to go and says its about 7 or 8 kilometers. We follow his directions, ask another person and said, oh you took the bike path, ok, you should just get back on it because the road to San Damaso is deadly for bikes. We are like, WHAT?? Where are we?? So, we try to find the cursed path again and get lost and after many pleading prayers find it again and go home, barely making it on time. We look at the map and realize we took about a 20 mile detour!
But, are we wise? No. So what do we do the next day when we have an appointment in San Damaso? Try the bike path again. Granted, we both felt like we should, but honestly, I had no idea what we were doing. So, we go, decided to turn at a point where we MIGHT get to San Damaso and run into the Gypsy Camp!!! Yes, a giant trailer park where all the Gypsies live. Oh my goodness! We pedalled so fast and got out of there quick! Luckily, nothing happened. So, we got to San Damaso, finally, after taking the regular road (for cars) and after talking to the same less active, she showed us how to get back to the bike path that really does take us right to her house. So, know we know how to get there and it's faster than taking the bus. What a bike adventure!
We have been feeling for some time to focus our finding work on Via Cilea (where we keep falling/getting hit, etc.) because obviously Satan doesn't want us alive there. And he has reason! We found Dora, a gospel reggae singer with an incredible testimony of Christ; Felicia, a gorgeous student from Africa who is very interested; Gulianna, a South American who is looking for something more; and the Rotoli family, a husband and wife who for the last 11 years the wife has suffered from a brain tumor that has hindered her walking and speach. Crazy!!! We have been finding, working hard and just loving all the blessings from Heavenly Father! These people are so precious and I know that we were sent for them!
But, I've saved the best story for last. Do you remember the Barros family? They are from Brazil, less active and so incredible?  Well, Guillianne has been coming to church every Sunday this year. Her sister Jeane no. We have had incredible, spiritual lessons and she has felt the spirit and agreed to come to church, but never does. Well, we got stood up for an appointment and decided to go to their house. I had felt earlier that day to bring The Testements. We decided to watch it. There was an incredible spirit in the room and really I was just so...torn. I know they know it's true, but I also knew that we can only do so much. Their agency can't be taken from them. But at the same time I love them so much! It breaks my heart to see Jeane suffer so much. I just want to take her by the hand and make her do all the right things and come back to church, but I can't. Anyway, at the end of the movie, Sorella Ranieri bore such beautiful testimony and I was silently praying the whole time to know exactly what the Lord wanted me to say. When I spoke, I spoke clearly, slowly and had the words put into my mind to know how to say them. I was crying because I love her so much and it hurts to see her like this and also because the Spirit was so strong as I was given what I was supposed to say that I was overwhelmed with gratitude at the same time. Basically it ended up me saying that we love her, we know this is the church of Christ and that we want to help her, but there is only so much we can do. And then invited her to church. She said she would come. We hugged at the end, and my heart was just breaking! I felt like it was the worst breakup ever! I told Sorella Ranieri that after the mission I can handle any breakup because it will never hurt as bad as the heartbreaks I've had in the mission!
But, that's when the miracle comes in!!!!
This Sunday, we tried everything we could to get people in church. I mean EVERYTHING, but only 1 investigator came. Then, just as Sacrament was about to start, in walked Giullianne and JEANE!!!!! Oh my goodness! I felt like I was going to explode I was so happy! I gave her a hug and she said, ok, don't make me cry! But she was smiling too. She stayed the whole time and we are seeing her again this Sunday!
So, the worst heartbreak to the most joy all in roughly 20 hours. Gotta love it!