Sister Rebekah Anderson

Sister Rebekah Anderson

Thursday, 10 August 2017

"Pray Always"

Highlights of the week: 

1. We had interviews with President! They went well! I love interview time!  

2. We had a mostra! It was so cool! We set up a gazebo at the market and we handed out so many English class flyers! We had a lot of support from members and so that was awesome. There was a cute 7 year old girl named Emma and she loved handing out flyers with us. I told her she was an awesome missionary and her response was looking up at me, gently brushing my arm, "you are too!" It melted my heart. She's adorable! We also handed out 5 Books of Mormons! 

3. We had a multi-Ward/branch activity in Rimini that we went to. It was a summer activity so there were lots of water games with a barbecue at the end. It was so much fun. I think Sorella Hernandez and I got the most wet trying to fill up all the water balloons in the church bathroom. I had water shoot up at my face and up my nose and she dropped one in the bathroom. We couldn't stop laughing. It was so funny. The balloons were later launched to us from the church balcony it was our job to catch them in a towel. We had different obstacle courses and a slip n slide. There was a super fun game where you have a partner that you sit across from and you are both blind folded. Then you have to feed you partner pudding. It was a super fun day and there was a pretty good turnout. Overall a success!  

4. We learned how to make arancini with Marcella! She was so nice to teach us! I'm excited to hopefully start teaching her more about what we believe because she says she's been looking for her faith but hasn't found it yet. I know how much the gospel in her life would bless her!  

5. We met with Favour and we taught him the Restoration. He is our new investigator and I love teaching him. He has a lot of faith and just looks to follow Christ. He's from Nigeria but has been living in Italy for over 10 years. He asks a lot of questions so that helps us a lot to know how to help him!  

6. Sunday was really good because we were fasting and it was amazing to see how the Lord was guiding us in our work. We prayed to be guided to know where to go and while we were doing finding we ran into a less active young woman who stopped us. We also were able to meet a man who wanted a Book of Mormon. Kenny, a man we had invited to church, stopped us to say sorry he hadn't come to church but he is willing to meet with us this next week with his wife. And not only that, but an investigator that the sorelle used to meet with a long time ago came to church! 

7. We have joined the branch choir and so we sing with them at practice every week and we sang a song in sacrament meeting last Sunday. It was beautiful. The branch is trying to incorporate more music into the meetings to invite the Spirit.  

It's been a really great week! It's not always easy but seeing the Lord behind us in the work gives me the strength and confidence I need to keep pushing. I know that He is with us with all that we do. Prayer is such a huge part of being able to access His help. I know that if we had not prayed we would not have been in a position to receive an answer where exactly we should go which led us to where we needed to meet the people who were placed in our path. In 3 Nephi 18:18 the Lord commands us that we should always pray. 

“What does the Master mean when He warns us to ‘pray always’?

“I am not wise enough to know all of His purposes in giving us a covenant to always remember Him and in His warning us to pray always lest we be overcome. But I know one. It is because He knows perfectly the powerful forces that influence us and also what it means to be human. …

“… He knows what it is like to have the cares of life press in upon us. … And He knows how our human powers to cope are not constant. …

“… As the forces around us increase in intensity, whatever spiritual strength was once sufficient will not be enough. And whatever growth in spiritual strength we once thought was possible, greater growth will be made available to us. Both the need for spiritual strength and the opportunity to acquire it will increase at rates which we underestimate at our peril. …

“Start with remembering Him. You will remember what you know and what you love. …

“The Lord hears the prayers of your heart. The feelings of your heart, of love for our Heavenly Father and for His Beloved Son, can be so constant that your prayers will ascend always”

I know that prayer offers us guidance. It offers us strength. It offers us comfort. It offers us the answers that we need in this life. It's the telephone line between us and our Heavenly Father. We have a continual and daily need of the blessings of prayer. 

I love you all and hope you have a good week!

View from our balcony. I could sit on our balcony all night!

Marcella and the Arancini

Thursday, 3 August 2017


Ravenna is basically a hidden treasure in all forms. For those of you who don't know, Ravenna was the capital of Italy before the Roman Empire. It's filled with really old churches and mosaics. They are beautiful! And on any given day it's at least 80% humidity.

Sorella Hernandez is my amazing sweetheart companion. She's from the Philippines but has been living in Italy for about 4 years. She's a convert of about 4 years as well. I love her and she does lots of little things to help me out like bringing my fan into my room at night, etc.

The members here are amazing! I'm so impressed with them. Before we came they had been fasting for missionary work. They are a high-functioning branch and are so close to becoming a ward. Sunday was a surprise for them that we were there and they were so excited!

We both arrived here on Thursday but we didn't travel together for some reason. Traveling by yourself with all your bags in the heat is exhausting. I'm just grateful that I didn't have to change trains as much as Sorella Hernandez had to. One of my wheels started going a little funny so I was grateful when Emanuele (who knew the missionaries in the past) helped us get to our apartment. Haha. It's only a ten minute walk from the station but with heavy bags it becomes a half hour. I'm so grateful for him even if he didn't fully understand what he was getting into when he offered to help. The next few days we spent getting settled into the apartment, buying a fan, searching for bikes, etc. but at least by Saturday morning we were able to find some used bikes that are in good condition. It's so much better than walking! And I missed bikes so it's nice to be back to them. They help so much!

We have been doing some finding and have found 4 new potentials. One of them is Marcella from English class. Next week she will be teaching us how to make arancini at her house. We are super excited for her! On Tuesday, she felt really good about the message we shared and the Book of Mormon we gave her. She had been asking a few questions about the church so we are very excited for this opportunity. The other three we have found doing finding in centro. It's amazing what goal setting does. We set a goal one evening to find 3 new potentials and we found them all in a piazza.

Monday we spent the day preparing with Mauro for a little stand we will be doing at the market on Saturday. In Italian, a mostra. Mauro is awesome! He's our go to man if we have any questions about the branch. He's a convert of about 4 years and is super strong in the church. He's very enthusiastic about missionary work and is a big help to us. That night he put together a serata familiare on the spot and half were non-members.

Tuesday we went to Rimini for a combined district meeting. It went well and I got to see Sorella Orr and Sorella Smedley! It was so nice to see them and catch up with them!

That's about it. We are starting from ground zero here but we are slowly starting to build the work with the help of the members, anziani, and with finding. We love Ravenna so much already! I feel so grateful to be here.

Something I read this week that I really liked was Helaman chapter 12. It talks about the Nephites and how blessed they were but they forgot their God and fell into wickedness. There was a quote that went along with it that says:

“… We need the Spirit daily to help us remember daily. Otherwise memory lapses will occur when we are most vulnerable. It is not natural to the natural man to remember yesterday’s blessings gratefully, especially when today’s needs of the flesh press steadily upon him”

Sometimes we can be in a middle of a trial, looking at a big mountain we need to climb, going through some hard things. It is in these moments that our heart can tend to be hardened or maybe our hearts tend to be hardened when all is well. Whichever the case might be, the importance of remembering all the blessings of the Lord remains the same. When we live in a way that we can have the Spirit with us, we are in a position to remember everything that the Lord has done for us. For me, that helps me to remain happy and to face trials with peace. I can look around and see exactly how blessed I am and have been. I know the Spirit helps me to open my eyes and helps me remember things that I may have put in the back of my mind.

I love you all so much and I miss you!

Ravenna and Sorella Hernandez

Last of Cimiano

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Ciao Cimiano

We got transfer news this week! It was so nerve racking. Usually you get transfer calls on Saturday but this time President called us on Friday. We missed it and he didn't call us back for 3 hours! It was the most nerve racking 3 hours of my life! Well it turns out I will be going to Ravenna! I will be going with Sorella Hernandez. She is from my group but she is from Rome and so she will be going home a transfer after me because she didn't have to spend the time in the MTC. I'm super excited! The sisters haven't been there for about 6 months so it will be fun to get to know the city with Sorella Hernandez.

That being said, this week was full of goodbyes. It is really hard to say goodbye to these people I've spent 6 months with. I feel like I'm leaving home. They have shown me so much love and I have learned so much from them. Cimiano is such a special place and I feel like I put my whole heart into this area. I know that Ravenna will be amazing and that I'm needed there but it doesn't make it any less hard to leave.

We had lunch with Aydee and she made probably my favorite classic Venezuelan food.

We saw Giuseppe and Rosella. Haha, they crack me up. They are the most Italian people I have ever met. Rosella has a heart of gold too.

We had dinner with Tina and Mahesh. I am going to miss Tina so much. She has done so much for me and she always takes care of us. She would fit right in at home. Even when you say you're stuffed she scoops extra food on your plate. I love helping her cook. She is so humble and is always looking for more she can do. She knows how to love everyone around her even when they may be difficult to deal with and she stands up for them.

We said goodbye to Mama on Saturday. The girls weren't there but at least I was able to see them Sunday. I'm going to miss them so much. We sang some karaoke for good times sake and we had fun visiting with her. I will miss the way she says "Sister..(add a sentence to fit the occasion here) .."

Tuesday we had a karaoke night for Family Home Evening. It was a lot of fun and people had a good time! Gabriele and Patrick came. It was good to see some of the other people that I hadn't said goodbye to yet. I was really hard to say goodbye. I love these people here so much. I wish I could describe how much Cimiano and the people here mean to me but it just wouldn't do it justice. I really feel like I'm leaving home.

Two amazing miracles happened on Tuesday though! We saw Chiara and she said that she was feeling good about the church but hadn't felt like she had received an answer yet. We decided to teach about following the prophet and watched the conference talk "Choices" by our prophet Thomas S. Monson. (Ironically she was thinking of naming the baby Thomas.) But while we were watching the talk, she received an answer and a strong confirmation that getting baptized is the right thing to do. She felt like she needed to put Christ first and follow him. It was such an amazing experience and so we set a baptismal date for September 23rd. She will be leaving for all of August so this will give her time after she gets back to keep preparing herself and it also meaning that she will be receiving the Holy Ghost on her birthday September 24th. The Spirit is everything. I'm so grateful that she was able to recognize the confirmation and receive an answer to her prayer. Then, later that night at FHE, we were talking to the investigator of the Anziani and as we got to talking he expressed a very strong desire to take the steps necessary to be baptized and he wants to bring his children to church as well. He would love for his children to join the church with him. They are 14 and 18. I'm so excited and I feel so immensely blessed to see all these miracles.

Sorella Allen shared a story with us this week about when she and President Allen signed up to be foster parents for a baby for a time period. They were assigned to take care of a preemie. They would take turns going to the hospital and staying with her and showing her love and when it was time for her to leave the hospital they took her everywhere with them. She barely ever opened her eyes. They gave so much to this little baby. The time came when it was time for them to give this little baby to the adopting family. They were so grateful that she had a loving family to go to but after Sorella Allen cried. She went on to ask do we love because we serve or do we serve because we love? In the end it doesn't matter so much because they go hand in hand. I'm so grateful for the time I have had in Cimiano to love and to serve. I know I will cherish these people that I met here forever and I will be leaving a piece of my heart with them.

"We grow to love those whom we serve. And because serving others is serving God, we grow to love Him and our brothers and sisters more deeply. Such love is a manifestation of the spiritual gift of charity, even the pure love of Christ.​​"-Elder David A. Bednar

I love you all and I hope you have an amazing week!

Mama, Jasmine, and Christine. I love them so much! 

Chiara and Rosella

Me and Tina!

Gomez family

Guerrero family. Old ward mission leader. Emmy was so tired.

Anga-Angan family. He was our new Ward Mission Leader this transfer

Picture with Tatiana. Perfectly describes us