Saturday, September 28, 2013

Life in the Mish September 26, 2013

Ciao tutti!

First of all, I did not get shanghaied by pirates Dad. We had interviews with President Dibb yesterday, so our P-day got moved to today! First of all, tell Brother Lemmon that President Dibb says hi and wants to know when he is coming out on a mission. Also, Sorella Dibb told me that one of their sons served under Elder Hamilton when he was mission president, so they say hi to Elder Hamilton and the Hamilton family in general. Next, is there any update on my people counter mom? I've also decided that for Christmas, you should send me a letter with pictures from my life. I don't really care what they are, I just want more pictures than the two I have. Also! I forgot the past few weeks to send you my address just in case someone wanted to write me. Its as follows:
Via Alfredo Catalani 4/12
Genova 16154 IT

So, this week has been crazy! We've been both not busy at all, and super busy. The beginning of this week was pretty slow. We really didn't have any success with anything and it was hard, but the second half of the week has been great! We now have two solid investigators, both are referrals from a really cool member in our ward. We taught them both this week together and the lesson was awesome. The spirit was super strong and they both committed to read the Book of Mormon to really know, for themselves, if it true or not. When we invited them to baptism, they almost accepted. They want to be more sure first, which makes total sense, because this is a really important thing and it should be taken seriously. We are hopefully going to see them tomorrow or Saturday, and they both said they would come to church so that is super awesome! One of them came last week too. I know I talked about church tours a bit last time, but i want to talk more about it. It is so awesome! It is way more fun than normal strata and it's way more productive. We gave two tours this week and we got a phone number of a lady and her husband who live in our area. She said she would come to church this week, so let's see what happens! While trying to get people to come to the tours, I talked to this old man who had a bright red Mohawk. I'm not kidding you, he literally looked like a troll doll. I then had a 30 minute conversation with him about how the godhead really are separate people, and while he was arguing his point, he disproved himself, but refused to recognize it. It was a little frustrating, but also pretty funny. It turns out that he is a dancer at the discotecas here. I will send you a picture of his business card. It's pretty funny. I would say go look him up on YouTube, but I'm not entirely sure how appropriate it is. haha 

So, I finally got my fingerprints done for my permesso to stay in the country. The post office never sent my or Anziano Erickson's information over to the Questura, so we had to come back a different time than originally planned to get it done. Now I just have to watch a film on how to enroll my kids in school and stuff that really isn't that important to know as a missionary, and then when its ready, I go and pick it up. So that's good. I can stay in the country.

You asked about pesto, and let me tell you about it. I got a pesto pizza from our favorite pizza place and it was incredible. All the other Anziani tried some and they all liked it too. It's really good pesto here, because the best pesto comes from PrĂ , where I go almost everyday. So I am quite lucky. Also, I've decided that Lizzy shouldn't be allowed to come here, because there are literally a million stores for literally everything and she would just have a hay-day. haha. And speaking of shopping, its actually strange, because now I like shopping. I think its because i know I can't buy any of this stuff because I'm a missionary. but everything here is so cool!!! The fashion really is pretty awesome here. Another random thing I learned this week. Genovese, which basically only really old people speak, is essentially Portuguese. So I'm going to try and pick up a little bit, so I can talk to Andy and Seth easier! haha.

Thank you for the super detailed sports report Dad! I'm so pumped that the Dodgers clinched!! I hope they keep it up, I want a world series!!! Keep me updated on the playoffs and I know you will. As for women's soccer, I'm super proud for their comeback win over Oklahoma, and sad about their loss. But oh well, they are still doing great for how many new players they have. I'm sorry to here about Mike getting sick, and I hope he gets better. Please send my love to them and Peggy and the Bowers. I'm so grateful for my testimony of the plan of salvation. It has been such a blessing in my life and I try every day to share the knowledge with the people who are suffering the same things here. the power of a testimony is crazy. Always share your testimony with everyone. It's a great and easy way for people to feel the spirit. That was a cool little history of Thousand Oaks, I kinda wish I could have gone to that. It would have been interesting. Oh yeah! I also heard that in the Holy War we got two touchdowns taken back from the refs, so it sounds like we kinda got gyped. 

Lizzy, hang in there. you can do this. Junior year isn't that hard. hahaha. Just make sure you do you're homework on time. Don't procrastinate!!! I'm glad that Jack is clean now, and tell him Happy Birthday for me. I miss him a lot, because there are German Sheppards everywhere here. None are white, but still. Patrick still needs to write me, so please kindly pass that word on.

I love you all and love hearing from you. My p-day will be back to normal next week, so I will hear from you all then. I wish you the best this week!

Vi voglio bene!!
Anziano Langlois 

PS. I'm going by Langwah now. haha.
PPS. The other pictures are from this city at the edge of our area called Arenzano. That city you see in the background across the bay is Genova. its super long!!!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Successo! September 18, 2013

Ciao tutti!!

So this week has been great actually! The work has been hard, but we've actually had a lot of success this week. We went over to this family's house for lunch and we taught their nonmember son and gave him a Book of Mormon. We were on the train with him coming home and when we got off, he was reading it!! So we are super excited about that. Also, his brother who is a member, said that he had a friend who was interested in hearing about our church so we met with him and gave him a Book of Mormon too! He also excepted a soft baptismal invite. ie. when he knows its true, he will get baptized. We didn't set a date yet, but its still really exciting!! The awesome thing was that we got both of those referrals just by teaching the members. We taught them and asked if they had any referrals and we found two new investigators! We also were doing a passby of a meno activo this week, who we had passed by a few times before, but he had never been there. We suoned twice and then Anziano Salmon told to try one last time, so I did, and he answered! He let us in and we taught him a lesson. It was such a miracle for us and for him, because he's been inactive for a long time and he's having a really hard time of his life right now, so I know that the gospel will be able to help him. We are going to see him tonight with a member of consiglio, so I'm excited for that. Yesterday, we were doing church tours because we set up a weekly time to do them, and we had a table in front of the church with a giant whiteboard with the Plan of Salvation drawn out on it, and I must have talked to 50 people in about an hour. We ended up giving one tour and got an appointment for tomorrow! Then when we were doing area book, we set up 2 appointments, which we have never done before, so we have really been blessed this week. Thank you all for your prayers, I know it has played a part in our success. I'm really excited, and I know that if we keep working hard the Lord will continue to bless us.

Lizzy and Dad, so you want to know about food. Well this past week we ate twice at members houses and lets just say, if I ate like that everyday, I would need some new pants. haha. One of the families was from Ecuador, so we had really good rice, beans, and this fried meat. It was so good!! And because I told them that Jason served in Ecuador, they kept telling me all about it and it got me excited, because it sounded awesome! haha Then the next day for lunch we ate with the family that I already mentioned above and we had this really good pasta. Oh man...then these sausages and gelato. I love eating with members, but I'm going to get fat if I keep eating like that. haha. There just isn't enough time in the morning to get full work out. Any tips on a quick work out routine? I'm still trying to figure one out. We have pizza about once a week and it is so good. Everything here is just better. Except hamburgers, America has got Italy beat there. haha. And berries. Our garden kicks Italy's butt.

There are so many things I want to say, but there's not enough time. haha. I'm so excited to hear about everything that's happening back home. Keep those missionaries busy! It's really important to invite people over when you have them over because then its a lot less threatening for the other people. Thank you for sending me President's Snow's words. Its so true. Just reading the words of the Prophets testifies to me of their divine calling. I know that they are called of God and really are his mouthpiece on the Earth.

A sad week in sports. Oh well, I'm used to it. haha. thank you for the report and keep it up! But tell Patrick again to write me!!! I can't wait to see everyone at Christmas, but I know I have a lot of time ahead of me, so I will focus on that. I just want to share a quick analogy that I learned this week:

We are like a radio. We keep on tuning our lives to find the right channel (gospel truth). There is a lot of static and its hard to find the right channel. but as we keep on trying to do the right thing, we will eventually start to hear the channel. The words will be soft at first and you won't hear understand everything, but as you get closer and closer to the right channel, you will hear more and more of the words spoken until you finally have the right channel and you will hear the truth perfectly. 

I hope that made sense. It made sense in my head. And as Erin pointed out to me this week in her letter, my English is pretty bad, so I apologize. haha

I love you all and love hearing from you! Have a great week everyone and keep keeping me updated!

Vi voglio tanto bene!
Anziano Langlois

Friday, September 13, 2013

Staying in Genova September 11, 2013

Ciao tutti!!

Ok, first I want to start by talking about sports, I'm sorry, but wow!!! The Dodgers are bums, so I'm not surprised. I just hope they don't blow it. They are actually doing well! BYU beat Texas, that is crazy. I only wish I could have been there, I would have been going nuts. That was a game I really wanted to go to. I really hope Hill gets his passing better, because we can only run so much. But with him and Baby J, that is a dangerous combo. I'm super excited and not surprised that the soccer team beat Utah. So proud of them. But the thing I want to talk to the most about is the USA men's team. Holy cow!!!! That is crazy!!!! 2-0. That is so awesome. We are officially into the World Cup and Mexico is looking bad right now. I really hope we go far in the World Cup next year. I will be cheering them on here from enemy territory, but I don't care. I'm proud of them!! I need to get a USA jersey when I get back. Also, if they win their next game, don't they break the record for most consecutive international wins?

Anyway, back to missionary work. So this week was hard. We worked really really hard and didn't see a lot of success, but I refuse to lose faith! I know that the only reason Heavenly Father gives us trials is to help us grow and become stronger. My testimony has definitely grown this past week. Last night we were doing some casa and this lady just full on starts yelling at us from her window. Then she gets on the citofono and starts yelling at us there. We had already finished suoning the palazzo, so we just left. Then we were walking down the street and we started talking to this girl. She immediately said she wasn't interested because she was atea, but we kept talking to her anyway. She said that she didn't believe in God anymore because she has prayed and prayed and never received an answer. It was just then when I realized that we were an answer. Heavenly Father heard her prayers and put her in our path so that we could talk to her. I tried to explain that to her, but she just called it a coincidence. I know that the Lord puts specific people in our path so that we can talk to them and present them with the answer to their prayers. A lot of people won't recognize this right away, but if we don't talk to them, then they never will. I'm so grateful for the people that we talk to everyday, even if they don't seem interested, I know that we are helping them come closer to Christ.

This week, we went and visited the Bishop and his family. They are so awesome. They are one of my favorite families here. They have these 3 adorable little kids, and the youngest, is just adorable. He's like Jude with a blonde fro. Anziano Salmon said it the best, you just can't be sad when you're around him. Yesterday, we visited the Ward/Stake mission leader and his wife. They are really awesome and great people. I love teaching members so much because the spirit is always so strong. Every time I bear my testimony, I can feel the spirit. Whenever we meet with someone, even if its on the street, I try and listen to the spirit so that I know their needs and I can say the things that Heavenly Father wants them to hear. That's the beautiful thing of this gospel, it can help literally everyone with any problem in their life. You just have to find the piece of the gospel that fits.

Since today is 9-11, I just wanted to share a little spiritual thought about this. In D&C 64:9-11 it says:
9  Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin.
10  I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.
11  And ye ought to say in your hearts let God judge between me and thee, and reward thee according to thy deeds.
This is a powerful passage. There are a lot of bad and evil things in the world, and its really easy to not forgive someone for something they did, but this is not what the Lord commanded of us. He told us to forgive all men, so that we are not found more guilty at the last day. I love this scripture and I apply it every day in my life. Like when that lady yelled at us, I immediately forgave her. There is no good reason to stay angry, and to harbor those feelings. They only bring us down and further us from the correct path. The other little cool thing about this is that the date that this revelation was given to Joseph Smith was September 11 1831.

Mom and Dad, you both brought up Lorenzo Snow's experience here in Italy. I did actually know about it. In fact, apparently he came here to Genova and he wrote about it in his Journal of Discourses, but my Zone Leader told me to wait until I was transferred to read it. I'm pretty sure I already know what it says, but that doesn't discourage me. These people need to hear the gospel and I will do all that I can to help them find the joy that I can because of this gospel.

Ok, so a couple funny things now. So everyone here in Italy wants to come to California. When people ask me where I'm from, and they find out that I'm from CA, they freak out and tell him how beautiful it is, even though no one here has been there. Everyone also wears California stuff. Like Dodgers gear, LA Kings gear, and just shirts that say California, but no one has actually been there. The weirdest thing was that yesterday I saw this ragazza (girl) on the bus and her shirt said "California Beach Party, Zuma Beach, Malibu, CA". I was so excited, so I course I talked to her. She had no idea where that was, and of course wanted to go there. I think its also really funny how everyone in America wants to go to Italy. Every time someone has California stuff, it makes me smile.

Ok, so I cut my hair this week......and lets just say that its probably the shortest that its ever been before. I tried to keep it longer, but I failed so I just kinda cut the rest off. As you can see by the picture I absolutely hate it and I think I look super young, but on the up side, I don't have to cut my hair for a long time! Does anyone have any tips for cutting my own hair? I'm not paying 15 euro for a haircut. Also, we opened my moldable plastic this week. I've decided that I'm going to make little keepsakes for each of my companions to remember me by. I'm making a fish for Anziano Salmon of course! But the other Anziani love it and are making things out of it. haha

I actually really like the name Elenor Kay Hamilton. I think its really cute. I will probably just call her Ellie. I'm glad to hear that Linda and her are doing well. Mom, that video of Jude is adorable. he is so cute!! And he's so big! I can't believe it! Mom, yes we do have a washing machine in our kitchen, but the dryer are clothes racks! I'm too scared to hang them outside because I feel like they are going to fly away! It's so windy here! Anziano Salmon went out when he was 19 and he hits his year mark this week.

Lizzy, hang in there. Junior year is hard, but you can do it. I'm glad you like all your classes. Mrs. Boyd is super high energy, but is really cool. I'm really jealous of your extra lunch time. you need to tell my old teachers hi, especially Joe. I love Joe. Also, you need to ask Brian about the jazz CD. I don't care if it's not getting published, I want a copy!!!! I love all those songs and I don't care if its rough, I want it. Please keep me updated on the show and tell Madz to email me! I want to know how she's doing. And tell Patrick to EMAIL ME BACK!!!!! Thanks. haha

I'm so glad to hear that everything is going well back home. I thank you so much for all of your support and prayers. I pray for you all every day and I miss you a lot! Please tell Peter that I'm so happy he's home from his mission and I can't wait to see him in two years (unless he happens to be there for Christmas one time.ahaha). I love you all and wish you the best this week!

Vi voglio tanto bene!!!
Anziano Langlois
No caption needed :)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Transfers!!!! September 4, 2013

Ciao tutti!!!!

As you all know, this week is transfers and guess where I'm going!!!.........That's right! I'm staying here in Genova with Anziano Salmon! haha. In fact, our whole apartment is staying exactly the same. We have one new sister in our District, and we lost the 2 Anziani from La Spezia, because now they have 4 instead of 2 in that city and now they are in the District with Genova 1. We will miss them, but we will still see them from time to time. I'm excited to spend another transfer here. There is a lot of work to be done in our area and I'm ready to do it. It is not going to be easy by any means, but like Anziano Holland (as we call him here) once said, "missionary work is not easy, because salvation was NEVER easy. Why should it be easy for us, when it was never easy for Him (the Savior)". It's so true. This is not easy work, but it is rewarding to help  these people when they listen. This past week has been hard. And I've felt discouraged a few times, but every time I feel like quiting, the words from D&C 122:7-8 come to mind:  And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.  

The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?

Those are powerful words and it always reminds me that we are never alone. The Savior experienced all of these things for us, so that as Alma 7 says, "he will know how to succor his people in their infirmities". If I have one word of advice for everyone back home, it would be this. When the hard times come, turn to the Lord. He is there to help you always. He knows our pains, and our sufferings. I have learned so much about this in my 6 weeks here.

So my miracle this week comes from a few night ago. We had an unsuccessful day of passbys and finding work and we were tired, we were heading back to the apartment and right as we were about to turn onto our street, Anziano Salmon stopped, and said that we needed to go back and talk to this family. I didn't even see the family at first, but we went back and started talking to them. It turns out that the husband's parents both died and he wanted to see them again after this life. So I talked to them about the Plan of Salvation and the happiness that we can feel from knowing what comes after this life. We got their phone numbers and will hopefully be able to see them this Sunday. Every miracle ever, always comes from that last effort you put in. We have a saying here that if you only put 90% of the work in, you only get 10% of the blessings. Its when you put in that last 10% when you receive the rest of the blessings.

Dad, I've been trying to study Gospel Principles, but I don't fully understand everything yet, so I will keep trying. We currently only have 1 investigator and we are teaching a few less actives, and we keep trying to see a bunch of members, but unfortunately, they don't really want to see us that much. Sadly, we've had a lot of members cancel on us, but we keep trying to teach them as much as we can. This week, they are all in Switzerland at the temple, but we will try again next week. And speaking of the members, we helped this one family move apartments, and the one thing you should understand about helping people move in Italy is that it is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT that moving in America. Everyone here lives in a palazzo, so there are a ton of stairs, and this family happened to be moving from the 4th floor (really the 5th) to the 4th floor of their new building. So we all stood on a different floor and passed the stuff down to each other. I would carry it down a floor then another person would do the next floor and so on. We did this up the stairs in the other building too. Then we went back for a 2nd trip. By the end, I was so hot, thirsty, exhausted, and just overall dead. It took us 6 and a half hours, but we finished. And it actually was a really good missionary opportunity, because we brought a less active and there were a few non members. I'm really don't like stairs, but I kinda have to get used to them here. haha.

So I bought jerseys for one of the soccer teams here, Sampdoria. It was 20 euro, so I'm pretty excited. And today I bought a cook book for 5 euro that I will probably use for the rest of my life. And speaking of food, Dad, you wanted to know what we eat here in Italy? The answer is kebabs. They are everywhere!! I still don't know why, but they are, and they are pretty good sometimes. All the missionaries eat them. But besides that, there are a ton of pizza places here. I always thought that was a stereotype, but its true. Italians eat a lot of pizza. And its really good here. As for the pesto, I've only had one thing here so far, because one of the Anziani in our apartment is allergic to the nuts in it, so I don't get it a lot, but I will try some more this transfer. We also buy a lot of focaccia. It is sooooooo good!!!!!! besides that, we just make whatever we want. usually a lot of pasta because its easy to make. haha. And speaking of recipes, Mom, can you tell me how to make those chicken pockets things with the cream cheese and stuff? 

I can't believe that Peter comes home today from his mission! That's crazy!!! I know he was an amazing missionary and I can't wait to see him when I get back home. Also, Hooray!!!!!!!!!!!!! Linda had her baby!!! I would say she is cute, but newborns are kinda creepy looking. But if shes anything like Jude, she will be the cutest baby ever!!!! please keep me updated, and I will keep Linda and the baby in my prayers. I am so excited that the Dodgers are doing so well right now. I saw a man with a Dodgers hat today and it made me really happy. I'm also really glad that they are killing the Giants right now, because Anziano Treadway is a huge Giants fan. haha. Thank you for the BYU Women's Soccer update Dad, I love it!!! I'm so proud of them, but I wish I could be there cheering them on! I'm glad you enjoy my pictures so much. Today we went and saw Christopher Columbus's house!!! It's really tiny actually. haha. It was pretty anticlimactic, but I love this city. It is gorgeous. I hope you enjoy the pictures this week!

 Soccer jerseys :)

 Electrical Storms


 Domo in Genova

 Christopher Columbus' Home

As always, I love hearing from you all and I wish you the best in this coming week! Keep writing me and keeping me in your prayers, I can always use the support and help. I love you all and wish you all could be here with me.

Vi voglio tantissimo bene!!!!!
Anziano Langlois