Ashley Nef is going on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the Italy Rome Mission from March 2013 - September 2014. This blog gives updates and stories from her mission. Run by her family.
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Last Week in MTC and Buongiorno Italy
April 25, 2013 Buongiorno Everyone! I'm on my last week in the Missionary Training Center in Provo, which means I am leaving in less than a week to go into the wide field of the Rome Italy Mission. I leave for Rome on Tuesday, April 31st, going by way of Chicago, and then London into Italy. Life in the MTC is great, but I am very very excited to finally be reaching my destination. Being here is an interesting experience at the present time because of just how many missionaries they are cramming into this place. The normal capacity of the MTC is around 3,000 and we are pushing something along the lines of 6,000 or more (with still many more to come). You can tell! Trying to get a meal in the cafeteria is like fighting in a war! One of the overwhelming things (in a good way) is the great increase in the number of sister missionaries. There are hundreds of pictures lining the walls of the buildings here, and looking at pictures of the MTC from not too long ago, you can see far fewer sisters than there are now being trained here. The Relief Society meeting on Sunday used to be just a hundred sisters or so - now we are in the thousands.
My wonderful MTC District
Sisters in my MTC Zone
Some more fun facts about the change in number of missionaries doing the Lord's work in Italy: the Italian districts used to be only about 4-6 people in size, and there would only be a couple of districts (making the total number of missionaries a couple dozen altogether). In my zone alone, there are 5 districts composed of 10 or more missionaries/district (52 missionaries all told - almost double what it used to be). We are the second Italian zone of this size and 5 more follow us, ranging in size from 40-60 missionaries per group. And these are only the Italian missions - there are hundreds more going to Russia, Brazil, Mexico, the States, Canada, Germany, Argentina, France, Japan, the Philippines and just about everywhere else you can imagine. And yet for all this, I can't help but feel that the Lord needs still more laborers in the vineyard - missionaries and members alike. There is so much to do, and so many lives to bless! I couldn't be more excited to be going to Italy and teaching the great message of this gospel. The Lord's love is powerful, and His spirit is strong. There is so much good to bring to the world, and I feel blessed to be a part of this effort. I know that Christ atoned for each of us, meaning He stepped forward and fought our battles for us so that sin, heartache, pain and misery would all be defeated. We have the opportunity to experience the overwhelming goodness and light of God in our lives if we will but turn to Him and follow His words. Christ lives and loves, and there isn't a better message to tell people than that. I hope you are all well, and I thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Arrivederci! Sorella Ashley Nef (Sorella is Italian for Sister) May 2, 2013 Buongiorno Everyone! After a few plane flights via Chicago and London (and being sick as a dog with motion sickness and jet lag - blugh!), I finally arrived in Rome May 1st and met my Mission President and his lovely wife (being sick doesn't prove for a favorable first impression - oh well). They will end their mission in a month or so and a new Mission President will enter the field come June/July.
President and Sister Kelly
My first area is Cagliari, the capital city, on the very southernmost part of the Province of Sardegna (Sardinia).
My trainer is French, Sister Cojan (editor's note: Ashley is fluent in both French and Italian, so she will be able to speak both languages with her new companion). My companionship is made up of three, so along with Sister Cojan, I will be with Sister O'Connor, the sister of one of the girls in my MTC District! Sardegna is a 45 minute plane ride from the mainland. The large city of Cagliari, nestled in its own gulf, is like a beautiful beach resort. Everything is so picturesque - but what else would you expect. Raining currently - so beautiful. Birds chirping (uccelli in Italian - pronounced oo-chell-ee). I look forward to the work. Hey, if anyone wants to drop me a note, here is the mission office address: