Making Friends:

Sonia Griffa of Torino, Italy

By Jeri Jeppson

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    “I Am a Child of God” is sung throughout the Church. However, Sonia Griffa (8) of Torino, Italy, knows it as “Sono un Figlio di Dio.” The Chiesa (Church) is relatively new in Sonia’s paese (country). President Lorenzo Snow dedicated the land for missionary work in 1850, but wars and other problems stopped the missionary effort until it was rededicated in 1966 by Elder Ezra Taft Benson, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. Since then the membership has increased greatly.

    Sonia is the only member of the Church in her scuola (school). She loves ballet and skating, and her favorite foods are her mother’s lasagna and cake. (Before Italians begin eating their meals, they say, “Buon appetito” [Good appetite].)

    Like most Italians, Sonia and her family don’t have a casa (house) with a yard but live in a large apartment building. Her madre (mother), Giusi, takes classes and runs the household, which includes caring for Valeria, Sonia’s three-year-old sorella (sister). Giusi does most of the grocery shopping daily at nearby shops and open markets so that the food is fresh. And when it’s bedtime, she says, “Buona notte, sogni d’oro” (Good night, sweet dreams) when she tucks Sonia and Valeria in.

    Sergio, Sonia’s padre (father), is an engineer. He joined the Church five years ago and now serves as branch president of one of four branches in Torino. A few years ago the branch had to rent part of a building to meet in, but now they have a beautiful chapel. Sonia likes to go there for Primary. She especially likes to sing Christmas songs and study the New Testament.

    Sonia enjoys reading from the illustrated scriptures at church as well as at home during serata famigliare (family home evening). The family sings, with Sergio accompanying them on the guitar, and they often spend time at their cabin in the nearby mountains, where they ski in the wintertime.

    The beautiful Alps surround Sonia’s city of Torino, which was once the capital of Italy and the home of many kings, as can be seen by the many castles, cathedrals, statues, and Roman ruins there. Torino is now an industrial city that manufactures many things, including cars.

    Sonia says ciao (hi) to her friends all over the world, and advises, “Sorride sempre” (Keep smiling).

    Photography by Jeri Jeppson

    In front of the meetinghouse

    Valeria with Sonia

    Off for school

    An old church

    Playing her organ

    Valeria and Sonia in the mountains

    Medieval village

    Speaking in church (Sonia’s father and mother are in the front row behind her.)

    Roman ruins