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Wednesday, 20 June 2018

• Born in Canada • Made in Italy •

Allora, carissimi! This is it, isn't it! (Not quite but just in caso che next week I don't have time to write a real good email. Let's end on a clean note shall we.)
This week we saw so many little miracles. We started the week not having many appointments set which is always a little sad but we had faith and by the end of the week we had the chance to serve one member family and meet with three others! I am still amazed! We also made it through thundering and lightning and a hiccup with a phone not working! And to make it even more miraculous the lady we recently gave a book of Mormon to was able to make it to church! She actually surprised us And didn't really tell us she could for sure come! She also told us well I didn't come for you, salvation is a personal thing. Wiser words were never said. Salvation is up to each of us. That's I think a lesson of my mission. All we can do (and are asked to do) is to invite in the best way possible every one we meet to come unto Christ. And when we have invited it is up to them - it is up to us to choose if we want to. If we have a little courage, a little faith, a lot of Hope, and a prayer we can do anything. We can receive all the blessing our Father wishes to give us. All the expierence that will shape us into who we need to be.
I've loved every moment here. Every difficult moment, every tear, every rejection and rudeness, every hug and kiss of the cheek, every good conversation, (every gelato), every Sunday and meeting with the members, and every oppourtunity I have to stand as a witness Of my Savior, Redeemer and Older Brother, Jesus the Christ. I know He Lives. God is real and is our Father who loves me. And you! The church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints is Gods Kingdom on the earth today! He established it through the Prophet Joseph Smith. The only true church in the whole world! That's a big claim!
These last few weeks have been the hardest I think as I start to think of a future still a little foggy, but I know great thing wait ahead.
Though im excited to step into the fog so to say there are so many Little italian things I'll miss. You can find anything on the street (im not sure if this says more about the littering situation or my abilities in finding random stuff), groups of cute old Italian men, this beautiful language, taking walks dressed to the nines, the history!, shopping organized by colours, walking every where and being self sufficient in getting around a foreign country, all the yummy eating oppourtunities, all the tattoos, watching people roll their own cigarette, cornetti, the way fruit is eaten or meals in general-several plates-, fruit stands/stories organized by what the specifically sell (you never need to leave the neighbourhood!), kissing on the cheek instead of hugging(surprised I'll miss that?! Me too!).

But I will miss more the people who I have come to love. Who have loved me. Be it missionary or member. Ti voglio bene Italia.
Thanks to all who have made this possible.
For my missionaries : (hit me up with those weekly emails )

Sorella Lalonde
Missionary quote from Now Is the Time to Serve a Mission! By Richard G. Scott April 2006
" It was not easy. The Lord gave me many challenges that became stepping-stones to personal growth. There I gained my testimony that God the Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, did in fact visit Joseph Smith to begin a restoration of truth, priesthood authority, and the true Church on earth. I gained a witness that Joseph Smith is a singular prophet. I learned essential doctrines. I discovered what it meant to be led by the Spirit. Many a night I got up as my companion slept to pour my heart out to the Lord for guidance and direction. I pled for the ability to express effectively in Spanish my testimony and the truth I was learning to a people I had come to love. Those prayers were abundantly answered. At the same time, my future eternal companion, Jeanene, was being molded to become an exceptional wife and mother by her own mission.
Most important, all that I now hold dear in life began to mature in the mission field. Had I not been encouraged to be a missionary, I would not have the eternal companion or precious family I dearly love. I am confident that I would not have had the exceptional professional opportunities that stretched my every capacity. I am certain that I would not have received the sacred callings with opportunities to serve for which I will be eternally grateful. My life has been richly blessed beyond measure because I served a mission.
Now can you understand why I am so anxious to motivate every one of you young men to be a worthy missionary? Can you comprehend why I encourage you as a mature couple to plan, if health permits, to serve the Lord as missionaries? Can you see why I suggest that some of you young women, where there is a desire and it will not affect an impending marriage, seriously consider serving the Lord as a missionary? Our home has been greatly blessed by a wife and mother who chose to serve a full-time mission during my period of service."

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Still a little speechless.



scambio with my favourite canadian

Faith in every footstep

Random basilica = best basilica


So we had the best last zone conference a girl could wish for! It was all about faith and being happy and enduring and it was just so beautiful! As part of our mission the first zone conference you bear your testimony in your broken Italian and the last you bear in broken by tears and out of use English! Is was bitter sweet. And I sang the mission of Italy hymn for the last time with all the missionaries. Very bitter and very sweet. But I still got a solid 2 weeks left to kill this thing!

Also I did a companion exchange with the sorelle In Ladispoli and spent a full 24 hours reunited with my favourite sorella Cook! It was the best that girl keeps me in stitches! And we had an amazing time talking to everyone we met! The mission is a beautiful thing. Like in the book of Mormon reuniting with old friends who are still strong in their faith and beliefs, it's a special joy. I learned (and still do learn) a lot from her.

Another fun part of the week was the musical number at zone conference call faith in every footstep. It's such a moving song written about the pioneers and our work today I encourage if you haven't heard it a quick Google.

Today we were a little lost what to do but ended up going to see a basilica we pass very often Basilica of Saint Paul. It was .... I was speechless! It's huge and grand! One of my favourites! And I guess it's got Paul's tomb....? Who knows if it's real...........

Those were my favourite part of the week. It's getting hotter here and the people who live regular lives are evacuating to the beach! And you can't blame them!

Love you all thanks for your support and love!

...i can't think of anything more to say but maybe later :P

Sorella Lalonde

PS: I remembered! We had the best primary activity! We helped prepare all these woven hearts and went to the park and we talked about faith. Then the little kids 5 whose familss were actualky part of the church and 2 who were just friends put little cards that we missionaries use with pictures of Jesus, the temple, and little invites to church and then one of the kids said a prayer to help us give them all out and then we went around the park giving our our little hearts and planting seeds of faith. I was so inspired and floored (and speechless) to watch these kids run through the park giving away invites! It was the best missionary primary activity I've ever seen!

Sorella Lalonde

PPS: Okay last thing so sorry. I'm on Google maps! Out side the church in Cagliari!

Alfredo sauce is actually a roman thing!

The true way to do Alfredo: hot pasta mix with butter, egg yolk paste, and a whole lot of grated parmesan. Like carbonara. And personally I like the egg noodles too.

You don't find that anywhere but here!

I thought I'd just get the most important thing out of the way first.

Only kidding. Serving other is much more important. Maybe I can serve them pasta.... ;P

So this week we had some fun adventures including a little pasta fest. The pope visited Ostia yesterday. Yes the pope. The one and only. Came to Ostia. Just around the corner actually (but I didn't get to see him).

We had the aweseome oppourtunity of introducing pur new friend to the restored gospel of jesus christ. When we told her we have a living prophet just like moses and abraham she was a little taken a back, she replied I will have to study this and read and pray because I don't know these prophets (speaking of the book of mormon). We totally agreed. She's super aweseom and hopefully we can meet her again this week!

I also met someone who not only knew the name Madison but said they loved it! Usually when they ask my first name they regret it because they cannot pronounce it as it is not Maria.

We are trying our best to open our mouths and talk to all the people!

I must give a thank you to my grandmas who helped me learn how to craft! We were able to make a bunch of woven paper hearts perfect for the primary activity next week. Heavenly father uses your talents learned years ago in another country sometimes to help in little ways. By small things great things are accomplished they say.

Another thought I had Life is like a play eh? If so I think I'm a method actor cause the more I act the part the more I become it. It was hard to be a missionary but I could pretend to be one... And now I realize I've become one! Goes to show you can become what life asks of you. Fake it till you make it might have more fact than we give it credit!

Sunday was a Europa wide broadcast and we heard elder uchtdorf a member of the quorum of the twelve apostles talk! I am so thankful and have a testimony that those twelve men hold the same God given divine authority as di Peter, James, and John and the other apostles.

Today we had fun wandering a round Rome-only can say that a few more times as it is June. For those blissfully unaware this sorella will be finishing her mission this month! Ahhh! So I'm trying my best to do all I can and work till the end!

Love you all! Enjoy the pasta!

Sorella Lalonde

Sunny days are longer = the hair (and the socks) are shorter

Amici! Come state! This week summer busted through the door and set up camp. We have become it's slaves one could say. So sorella Evertsen graciously cut my hair. But it's better than snow:)

Many a miracles were seen this week. We did a companion exchange with the sorelle In Rome but they are in three so I came back to Ostia Wednesday afternoon with two new companions! It was super fun ! We were able to talk to so many people! I love these sisters! And also the members here who are such great examples! And super funny!

Tuesday night at English group one of the participants came bearing gifts of deliciousness: FRUIT!!! he had a coupon he had to spend before it ran out and had to spend the exact amount! So he bought us fruit! It was the best gift! So sweet and funny!

I saw a man with a parrot twice this week!

This week I had a really cool expierence with an answer to prayers. We had a rough day and so I woke up the following morning with more determination (that way you go to bed with satisfaction as they say) and I decided with faith I would pray and find someone who wanted to read the book of Mormon. We followed our feet and feelings (including hunger) to a pizza place a ways off and met the sweetest lady who was actually from Ostia and knew a member. She told us she saw we had good eyes that touched her heart as we listened to her and I was able to offer her a copy of the book of Mormon because That's why I am the way I am! That's why we have peace and joy in our eyes! It was a great thing and I know God answers prayers. Especially if we try our us hardest to get the work done too. Some could say well if you work harder obviously you'll get the work done and see results no need for God. But I have seen this week and in my life it all works out a lot nicer and easier when God's hand is welcomed or accepted to put the puzzle together. He knows where all the strange looking pieces fit and where the missing pieces went. And yea I could maybe do it alone but when eternal salvation is on the line I'd like a little heavenly help to get it right. So I chose to see the miracles and thank the Heavenly being who put them into place instead of proudly saying I figured it out on my own.

It all comes down to pride I suppose. As we accept His help he is able to offer more and more.

Well that was a long thought train I think I'll get off at this stop and take the other line!

Today we walked around the whole Colosseo! And say my other favourite Roman monument! Even when the weeks hard I'm in Italy! And it's beautiful!

Love you all!

Sorella Lalonde

Voui fare l'americano

Transfer Week! I will be finishing my mission here in Ostia and after a very long time sorella Scott said good bye to her first city and I said hello to my new companion sorella Evertsen! Super great!

So at the start of the week we found a new oppourtunity to serve the community at a little private retirement home . Sorella Scott found it and sorella Evertsen and I returned to spend time with this little group of elderly people during their music therapy session! It was great to sing all the old Italian songs with all these old Italian people. And no matter how many years you have we are all children of God!

That was the highlight of my week. And I spent Thursday in Rome with another companionship waiting for my companion to arrive from Sicily but we were able to give a book of Mormon to a lady who was at first confused I think what we were up to, but when we were able to bear testimony or our personal witness of the book of Mormon and God she was genuinely curious and able to see or feel our peace. So that was beautiful! A few other times this week the people came and talked to us! Miracles!

More little miracles were at the hands of our lovely neighbour Tina who made us yummy food!

And after not being able to find the church for a long time maybe even 11 years...but we ran into her on the metro our long lost sorella came to church! She super Brava and I'm glad I was able to help her find her way back!

I'm still so humbled to be here in Italy and serving people! It's been the hardest and the best thing in my life.

Love you all!

Its not just about going on a mission but to Become a missionary, it's all about become like Christ and helping our brothers along too!

Napoli pizza includes mozzarella and parmesan.

Sorella Lalonde

The beginning of the end.

6 more weeks folks.

This week we had a lot of appointments with the members to put in action the ward mission plan ! Super awesome! No referalls yet but we got them thinking! We had a really great lesson with a member who prefers to talk to us in English. We were thinking about how we could help her in her situation and a Mormon message came to my mind and it's only in English! And then sorella Scott found this talk we liked we went for it! And she told us just how inspired and perfect it was for her in her situation. It was really humbling to be able to serve her for the Lord. God loves his daughters!

The highlight of this week included sorella Scott s adventure. After two meal appointments in one day we were feeling full to say the least. In the end we stopped in a metro station bathroom (which looked like a space ship actually. As the doors closed she said see you in the future) and throwing up.

Our ward mission leader has decided to be more involved and did more finding with us today to be able to show the memebrs as we as members put forth the effort to invite others to come unto Him the Lord can and will help us overcome our struggles! He was really inspiring!

It was another successful and stressful week, we just got a little discouraged but "Satan don't kick no dead dog" (that should be said in a southern drawl). And we are hanging on with more faith! We saw lots of amazing miracles and lessons that you'd thinking it would be easy breezy. I have started reading about the pioneers though, and learened just when you think its going to get gets harder. All about the refining process I suppose. I had the really amazing oppourtunity to bear my testimony on the metro the other day to this lady who came and sat down at the metro stop to talk to us. Then on the metro we kept up the conversation and it turned more religious and the man on my other side also joined in. He was super curious about why we were here and what we were about. They both accepted a book of Mormon and as he works near the church and he called us last night! Miracle! And now he has an appointment with the elders tonight! And It all started with this lady noting how beautiful and pure we are. I'm grateful for the missionary standards! It was really cool to stand as a testimony in all times things and places. So little amazing tender mercy miracles keep us going with the stress and everything!

Tuesday we had an amazing district meeting about reflecting on our mission and how far we have come.


Ideas for new missionaries : Don't justify actions, just be obedient, be yourself...but your true potentials, don't feel a lone. Dont miss an oppourtunity to Love,forget your problems. Self pity never gets you anywhere. Every day is the best day of your mission, always work hard. Don't get too busy to not notice the spirit and have joy. Don't worry about rushing to places to other places while forgetting the people you are seeing . Excersise faith everyday.

Today we said goodbye to the "dying" missionaries and ate some super good Greek food mama Mia! I will be going back 100%

And of course the mothers day Skype! Love my family! Happy mothersday!

I'm so glad I have this opportunity to bear my living witness of a living Christ!

Find someone to serve this week!

Happy Monday!

Sorella Lalonde

Hey, what did you do this week?

Monday: 6 hours waiting in line. Why? The Vatican.  Was it worth it? Every second. Would you do it again? Yes.....but I'd probably just book a time slot ahead. 
Tuesday: Italian holiday primo maggio. Our ward organized an activity at a park a little ways away. Tuesday rolls around but so do the rain clouds and it turns out no one could really get a ride to this far off park anyhow. But the faithful sisters and elders made the trek even leaving early for the 2 hour metro/bus/walking journey. Maybe we should have turned back when the road turned into more of a highway but we were undeterred to  support our members. Was that worth it? Yes. With every fast car that drove by.  We had the Roman traditional fave beans (?) and goat cheese! 
Wednesday: awesome district meeting about teaching! I'm so glad I have this chance to learn how to tell others my beliefs. To speak and lift up my voice! We then met with our awesome ward mission leader and another member and had an awesome lesson in the woods about following the example of Joseph Smith. Worth every mosquito bite. 
Thursday: had the chance to serve a member here with her garden. She happens to also be a chef. The lawn was cut, gardens weeded, and Amazing homemade pizza was eaten! Sometimes life is too beautiful! Totally worth leaving home and school for 18 months. You get to know people and meet in their homes, share their stories. What have they struggled, how has the Lord helped them! 
Friday: planned for our upcoming week and met with the bishop! It's amazing to see him and his wife, two returned missionaries still living and putting into practice lessons they learned while serving their missions.  
Saturday: put our teaching skills into practice as we walked around and talked to people on the streets. I learned a lot about the importance of being kind. No matter our beliefs or whatever, we are all human. We all have feelings. Respect them. Treat others not just as the cashier at the store or the women j walking, but as a person with a story and worries just like you. That's a lesson that was worth every non ci interessa.   
Sunday: day of rest. It's hard or different to make Sundays a little different as I am used to because we do they same thing pretty well every day. But Sundays are the lords day and I notice a difference! 
Monday (today): spent the day in Ostia enjoying how beautiful the world is.i found myself thinking this week of how hard life is and dark the world can be and you know what....that line of thinking didn't get me very far. 
So overall this week I learned:
- The oranges are red because the ground is volcanic and contains iron that is absorbed by the tree!  in Sicily the food is better because of this volcanic ground! (Okay technically I just forgot to add this last week.)
- be kind
- be dependable
- be positive
- try again. And again. 
- the Savior is risen! That's cool! 
- God is real. And he is buono.  
- balance.