Thursday, January 30, 2014

Fa freddissimo!!! January 29, 2014

Ciao tutti!!!!

So basically, let me just start out by saying that humidity sucks, because when its cold, it just cuts right through you. So basically, we are now coming into the days of winter here in Prato that are super cold. They have a special name, but I kinda forgot it. Colpa mia. So it has just been brutally cold here for the past few days and its suppose to get colder. It was suppose to snow today, but there is just sunshine instead. Much better, especially because we want to play some basketball and calcio today. This weather kind of reminds me of Utah, because it looks like it is a gorgeous day, but then we go outside and it is just butt cold. Oh well, like I wittily said this week, "its always a day to share the gospel, it may not be a beautiful day, but it is a always a day".

Any who, so this week wasn't super exciting. Just another week. I don't really have any super cool stories to share, but I will talk about a few things.

So first matter of exciting business, my permesso is finally ready!!!!! It's been 6 months and I finally will not have to be an illegal immigrant anymore. I'm really excited to head back up to Genova for a day or so. We don't know when exactly we are going yet, but it will be within the next week. I just hope mine doesn't expire in April like Anz. Windley's, he just got his and already has to start renewing it. Fun!! I talked a little about this before, but the Questuras here make the DMV look like paradise. They are so disorganized here. Goodness me. Oh well. 

Next story, so like I mentioned last week, we have our old man friends in centro that we talk to every now and then. So this week, we were talking to them and then one of them took us to this little market they were having in piazza duomo and bought us a loaf of bread. It was so awesome. The reason he bought it was that a few nights before he had bought some and let us have a piece. We said we liked it, because it was good, so he went and bought us a loaf. They are so funny. We sat and talked for a few minutes about random things about America and how in their day, it was a "different time", where they would were short shorts and put a thermas with soup between their legs to keep them warm. These people are crazy! I love them so much. The Italian people really are amazing and super friendly. It is such a different culture here too, so that always gives me a good laugh.

OK, more spiritual matters now. So we have an investigator from El Salvador who is super bravo, but he kind of has a drinking problem. We are really trying to help him so he can be baptised. He has the desire to quit so he can be baptised, but he doesn't think he can physically do it. Sadly, he's kinda been out of work for a while, but luckily for us, that means that we see him a lot on the fiume, so we can talk to him almost every day. He is such a great person and we always joke around together. He told us the other day that he always feels something really good and different when he's with us. We told him that is was the spirit and that he could have it with him always after he gets baptized. I know he will get baptized. Not at this moment in time, but soon. His heart is really sincere. The Lord works in mysterious ways. Sometimes your investigator losing his job is a good thing, because now he can come to church and you can see him more. We never know how the Lord will bless us, but we just need to have faith and patience and trust that he WILL bless us. Another thing about him, I always try and speak my very broken Spanish to him, and its just embarrassing. I have literally forgotten everything. I remember certain words and I still understand it really well, but trying to speak it is almost impossible. I guess that's OK because I'm suppose to be speaking Italian, which I am by the way. I am studying everyday Dad and I am SYLing. (Speak Your Language)

Well, other matters of business, I would like your homemade mac'n'cheese recipe mom, thank you!! Also, since everything is on sale right now, and since my luggage is kind of broken, if I find a really good deal on new luggage, I might buy some. That's not for certain, but just a heads up. 

I'm pumped that Kylie got a lot of playing time against SFU, that's awesome. Its always a good day when BYU sports wins. haha. However, I am not surprised that the Kings and Lakers are kind of sucking it up. Its LA-itis as I call it. At least we have the Clippers.That's really cool if Jabari goes on a mission, you will need to let me know what happens with that. Also, Dakota is in the starting 5 at MIT? That's so awesome!!! But good for him for going on a mission. haha. Let me know about him too. Hoping the Dodgers don't be the Dodgers this season, but pick up from where they left off last year. That's so weird to think that the Olympics are going to be starting soon. Let me know how we do, because I will have no clue. USA gold for curling!!!! haha.

I'm praying for you back home that there will be rain. That's awesome that you will be doing a fast. There is power in fasting. I've seen it. Also, I've seen first hand here in Italy how important keeping the sabbath is. Like PMG says, when a country grows careless in their sabbath day practices, all aspects of life are affected. And who needs to watch the super bowl anyway, none of the teams we like are in there. The commercials are funny though. haha.

I'm always glad to hear about the work moving along back home. It's crazy to think that there are 80000 missionaries in countries all around the world doing exactly what I'm doing right now. SO COOL!!!

The pictures from Steven's wedding with the cutouts was hilarious. I had no idea that was at the church though. Holy cow!! Disneyland is too expensive like always and Jude is adorable like always. Happy late birthday Peter!!!! 

Thank you for your emails, I love you all. You are all in my prayers.

Vi voglio bene!
Anziano Langlois

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Miracles January 22,2014

Ciao tutti!

Wow! What a week it has been. We've been busy here in Prato and as Dad would say "aaaand loving it." This past week, President Dibb asked us all to redouble our efforts to start off the year right. We promptly accepted this challenge and set to work. We taught a bunch of lessons the first couple days. Then all of a sudden, we saw that our goals were not that far out of sight. So we really pushed the last few days to reach our goal of teaching 15 lessons, and we did it!!! Touch gold comes through again! We got some really good lessons with some members, got a really awesome new investigator and oh yeah, did I mention, taught 15 lessons???? That is the first time I've done that and it was awesome! I was looking back at my Genova days, where we taught 4, 5, maybe 6 lessons a week and I can't believe how much has changed and just how much I've grown. I'm really grateful for my time in Genova. It really taught me to rely on the Lord and to not get discouraged when the times are tough. 

So as I was saying, this week has been crazy. It has literally rained every single day this week. And one of the days, it poured ALL DAY LONG. No joke. It was ridiculous and we are just trying to not get completely soaked everyday. And on top of that, my bike has been broken all week, so that's super fun. My tires have been completely bald for a transfer or so, so I finally decided to get some new ones. But while installing them, we found out that about 10 spokes we're broken on my back wheel. So after popping a new tube in about 5 minutes (a new record I might add. Popped it without even riding it), we decided that we couldn't fix my wheel by ourselves, so I brought it to our bike guy who said he would fix it. Turns out, he couldn't fix it, so he sold me a used one that actually worked. The problem was that it was too wide and didn't fit on my bike, so I had to bring it back again and he fixed it for me (free of charge). After that, I tried putting it on yesterday and it wouldn't tighten. And when we thought it was tight, it wasn't and it slipped out of place before I even got to our gate to leave. So this morning, I re-tightened it, and it seems to be working now. Let's hope it doesn't break on me while I'm riding it. I really don't like bikes, but I kinda have to get used to it. And now I know how to basically build a bike because I've fixed so many things on mine.

Also, to add to all these trials this week, I got sick again. I'm done with being sick. But this time, I was throwing up in the middle of the night, so that's awesome. Meno male, that is past. It was just for that night, but it sucked. I think I am just permanently sick. I can't shake this cold thing. Oh well, It doesn't stop me from going out and preaching the word of God. So my spiritual message this week comes from this crazy week I've had. There was a challenge issued, and we tackled it head on. We were met with a ton of adversity: sickness, bikes, rain, bidone and yet, we didn't let that discourage us and we pushed on. In fact, despite all of this gunk that happened, we remained diligent and reached our goal. I know that this is the Lord's work and that he blesses his servants. I have seen the Lord's hand is this work so much this week. I'm so grateful for my savior and his help. He is so patient with me and I have seen so many blessings as a result of my sometimes slow diligence. I'm not perfect, but I know that through the savior's sacrifice I can slowly become more and more like him. Never give up, even though everything looks bleak, don't ever give up. The Lord will always provide.

OK, random comments now. So my tiramisu I made for new years, we gave to a member family here and when we visited them this week, they told me that it was amazing. They started asking me how I made it. I honestly have no clue how, except luck, lots of failed attempts, and of course, my Hawaiian shirt. So hopefully, I will have at least one thing mastered when I come back home. haha

So I got the Sudre's package this week, so thank you so much for that. I loved the cookies and the Reeses. I miss making Christmas cookies at their house....and then promptly eating them. haha.

I also found out this week something really cool. So in Italian, the day's of the week are Lunedi, Martedi, Mercoledi, etc. So lune means moon. Marte is Mars, Mercolerio or something like that is Mercury. I found out that is literally lines up with a planet each day. So cool right????? I don't know if that's kinda old news for some people, but it was super awesome for me.

Thank you so much for your letters this week. Thank you for the eulogy, I'm excited to read it. Also! Mom, Aunt Mary wrote me this week and she said that she couldn't find my blog, so could you help her out with that. Thanks. I really hope some of the rain we have here can get to you guys there. That drought sounds crazy!!! I guess it wasn't just a famine of hearing the word of God like Amos said. Keep me updated on that, and I want to know about the super bowl when it happens. I can't believe Peyton has still got it. That's awesome for being how old he is. 

Any who, thank you all again so much for your letters, love and support. I cant wait to hear from you all next week!

Speriamo per la pioggia!
Anziano Langlois

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Touch Gold! January 15, 2014

Ciao tutti!

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so happy my package came. I was worried that it wouldn't come. I'm glad you liked the tapestry mom. That is a picture of the duomo in Firenze. It's nothing compared to the real thing, but it will have to wait  until you can come and see the real one. I knew Lizzy would love that scarf. She starting to get harder to shop for, but she's still Lizzy, so a pink and purple scarf from Firenze is still right up her alley. I really hope everyone else likes their gifts! You'll have to let me know when they get them. You saw Grandma's gift right? It's kind of small, so it might have fallen down the side or something.

That's so weird still that finals are like 2 weeks after winter break in high school. I definitely do not miss that. haha. I didn't get to see Sean again, but I left them our bigliettino just in case they were free today to call us. Last night, we were all talking, when I got a call from a random number, so I answered it in Italian of course, and then it was Sean. I was kind of caught off guard because I forgot he was still here in Italy. Anyway, I got to talk to him for about 15 minutes which was really nice. It was so much fun to see him and talk to him.

I am fine with staying here in Prato. I like changing cities, because then I get to kind of like start over and see new places, but this is a beautiful area (Toscana), the members are awesome, and the work is starting to really pick up for our copia. I'm really excited to hang out with Anz Windley for another transfer, he's so cool. We are definitely going to party when we get back. And I love Anz Andersen. We have a ton of fun and we really get along. This may be the only time I serve with someone from my group, so I'm enjoying it while it lasts. Staying another transfer here after this one might be a little much, because the finding areas are kind of super tiring after we do them day after day after day, but we keep trying to find people so that's life. It is really not that cold here, which is really nice. There has been a lot of rain recently, so that’s not very fun. Especially when your bike breaks on your way home and you have to stand in the pouring rain trying to fix it. But more with that story later.

That's so awesome that Lincoln got his call to Taiwan! Which mission there? Taipei? or Taichun? I actually have a favor of you to ask mom, can you friend request my AP Euro teacher. Sean and I were talking about him and he told me that I need to friend request him, so if you could do that, that would be awesome.

Also, speaking of it being not very wintery at home. I keep hearing that it is like arctic temperatures in the east and around Chicago and crazy stuff like that. Is that true? We are kind of cut off from the world here, so I have no clue what's happening. Just what I hear on the street.

So the touch gold idea comes from that little gold paper we have on the door mom. I didn't remember where it came from, but I remembered  it being there. So I know it sounds silly, but it really works. Every single time we touch gold, we have a miracle. It's crazy! One day, we teach 2 lessons in an hour. Another we set a baptismal date. This is day 3 of the transfer and we have already taught 5 lessons, and we have 2 more set up for today. We are on fire right now!! We never miss a chance to touch gold. It is a guaranteed miracle.  But more about this baptism date. So my first transfer here, we met a man on the street named Angelo, who had met the missionaries before and wanted a Book of Mormon.  We met with him and taught him the restoration. We then tried to meet with him again and he was super busy.  I’ve been trying to meet with him for about a transfer or so.  I called him the other day and he said that he thought we had forgotten about him.  We set up another appointment and then we met with him yesterday.  He has a lot of questions, but the gospel perfectly answers all of them.  We taught him about the plan of salvation and he really liked how families could be together forever, because that was a big concern of his. The spirit was really strong and we bore powerful testimony.  At the end of the lesson, we invited him to be baptized on the 1st of March, and he accepted.  He is ready to do his part with reading and praying to find out if this is really true.  It’s still hard to see him, so that’s why we set the date a bit later than normal, but I am so excited.  I knew from the first time we met him that he was ready to have the gospel and its blessing in his life.  We are going to try to meet the rest of his family this week.  The Lord really does bless his missionaries every single day.  Every single day for the past week or so, Anz Andersen and I have seen little miracles in our work here. It is such a great time to be a missionary.  And on the way home from his house is when my bike broke in the rain and I got completely soaked.  When I got home, I took off the jacket I was wearing, which was one that a member gave me, and the dye had run off and stained my shirt.  It is literally blue.  I will send a picture. It was ridiculous.

So in other news, I finished the Book of Mormon  in Italian!!!  Now I’m reading in the D&C.  I’m in section 35 or something, so don’t worry Dad, I’m doing my language study. Ha-ha  It’s so cool that I can now understand the scriptures without much effort.  It’s so awesome!!! Then, I finished the journal that the Stake gave me, and it just happened to end on the last day of the transfer, so a new transfer, a new journal.  I may buy another journal from Firenze since I’m in the area and that way I don’t need to buy one later when I run out later in my mission.

So funny story time.  So there is this group of old men in centro that love talking to us when we walk past, and one time we were talking to one of them how I play the trombone.  Now every time he sees me, he tells me about the last opera, concerto or symphony that he’s listened to, and talks to me like I know everything about music.  It’s really funny and he always makes me smile.  Then we ran into him again with the rest of the old man gang and they asked about American cars and whether they were really that big or not.  It was so funny.  I really love Italians. They  LOVE to talk.  Oh my goodness. It’s impossible to get a word in, but oh well.  Succede.

I’m so happy to hear that Grandpa’s funeral went well.  From what Dad told me, it sounded amazing and  really spiritual and uplifting.  I love LDS funerals, they are so much happier.  I wish I could have been there, and I tried to read the eulogy but I couldn’t get it to open, so if you could copy and paste it into an email for me that would be awesome.

As always, thanks for the sports report Dad. I’m sad that chargers lost, but that’s a lot farther than I was expecting them to get. Ha-ha Thank you so much for your emails and support.  I always love hearing about life back home and I hope it’s the same for my emails. Sometimes I feel like I just kind of rant about nothing.  Oh well.

Just one final thought before I close.  I love teaching.  I love teaching the gospel so much.  Whether it’s in Italian, African English, American English, my terrible broken English-Italian, it’s always something that makes me so happy and feel the spirit.  I have such a great love for the people we teach and I try so hard to help them feel that love that I have for them and that their Father in Heaven has for them.  The Lord’s promises to people wanting to teach the gospel are true.  I have seen the blessings in my life and especially while I’ve been out here.  Non avete paura.  Don’t fear to share the gospel.  As Elder Holland said, an invitation extended with love, will never be seen as offensive.

I love you all so much and I pray for you all. Thank you so much for your love and support.

Ti voglio bene!
Anziano Langlois

PS  No pics this week.  My computer crashed.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

One of Those Books... January 8, 2014

Ciao tutti!!!

Well, I just got done spending an awesome day in Italy with Sean and Sylvia. It was so great to see them. I can't believe how lucky I am to have been able to see them. I got the gifts so thank you so much. Especially thank you to Erin, that scarf is awesome! My comp is super jealous.

Well, basically we met them at this train station in Firenze and then we went to San Gimignano which is this super awesome medieval town with these lord of the rings -esk towers. It was super fun. The city was almost deserted, so that was pretty weird, but that's because literally everyone was on holiday. The stores were all closed until February or March! That's Italy for you. Then we came back to Firenze and we went to this restaurant for lunch. It was super good. We got some really good pizza. Then we went to this really gorgeous city on the hill above Firenze called Fiesole, where Leonardo Da Vinci first tried his flying machine. The view was gorgeous, minus the layer of fog. Then they dropped us off and we might see them again next Wednesday before they leave on Thursday, but we'll see. It was so cool to see them. I was so happy and excited to just talk to them. Sylvia showed us where she grew up and went to high school. It was awesome. 

This week, we had an awesome miracle. So a few weeks ago a member told us that she wanted us to meet some of her friends. So we went to go meet them yesterday and it turns out that we got to meet someone else, their niece. We talked a little bit about giving some service for her aunts (the original referrals), and then the lady asked us who we were, what our church was, what the book of Mormon was, it was awesome! We gladly explained to her about the Restoration and she then asked us where she could get "one of those books". We eagerly handed her over one and she gratefully accepted it and told us that she wants to meet with us again! We couldn't believe what we were hearing! Then she asked us when church was. Our jaws hit the ground faster than Dad's when you play a good move in Rummi 500 or King's in the corner. "Shock shock shock!". haha. Then after that, she told us to come back every Tuesday morning and talk to other people just like her. So basically we found the gold mine! We really hope this grows our teaching pool a lot. It was such a miracle. And it's all thanks to our new comp motto: "touch gold". Every time we leave the room (which we rearranged) we touch the BYU women's soccer poster. Guaranteed miracle every time. 
It's amazing how the Lord blesses us in so many ways. I love it here in Prato. By the way, no one got transferred in our apartment, so we are exactly the same. I'm so grateful for the people we talk with everyday and for the miracles we see. The Lord has definitely taught me about patience while I've been here, and I'm so grateful.
Thanks for the super detailed sports report Dad. I'm bummed my package hasn't gotten there yet. I really hope it didn't get lost. That would stink, but oh well if it did. Let me know if it shows up.
I'm sad I can't be there at Grandpa's funeral, but I know he understands. I am so happy for the plan of salvation and for temples, that we can be sealed to our families for time and all eternity. I love Grandpa Fackrell so much and I know he's already back out to work in the spirit world. Send my love to Grandma and thank her again for her gift. You are the best Grandma!!! I love you so much!!!
Thank you so much for writing me everyone, and I love you all. This new year is such a great time for us to rededicate our lives to serving the Lord. I'm doing my part here and I know that you are all doing your part there. I love you all so much.
Vi voglio bene!
Anziano Langlois
PS: Mom, I bought a 32 gb flashdrive yesterday because I ran out of room on mine. So just a heads up.

Meal at Zone Conference

Recent Zone Conference in Florence

Friday, January 3, 2014

Capo D'anno! January 1, 2014

Ciao tutti!!!!

Well, I don't have a lot of time, but I will try to cram it all in. Today was kinda crazy. It's now 2014 and that weird. Even weirder is that fact that I will spend this entire year in Italy. What...

I'm really sad to hear about Grandpa, but I know he is in a better place. This week has really grown my testimony of the plan of salvation. The dad of one of our investigators passed away this week, so we've been really trying to help them. In fact, yesterday we gave her companion a blessing on a scambio with Anz Windley. I got the prompting during the lesson and it was just what he needed.

I made tiramisu again and it was actually not soup this time!! WHOO!!!!! It was the first thing we ate in 2014. New years was loud here and our neighbors kept yelling "auguri!" at us through the window. haha. Then today we went to a members house again for p-day and they stuffed us like crazy. I'm so full....

Also, I've been a little sick this week, so that doesn't really help. But oh well, I'm feeling better though.

It was so great to see and talk to you all last week. All of my comps love you guys and thing that Jason and Peter are super funny. (oh boy...)

I got your package the day after Christmas and it was awesome!!!!!! I loved all the gifts, the TO swag, and the COUNTER!!!!!!! It makes finding work so much better!!!!

I'm sad you didn't get my package yet. I hope it comes soon. Please let me know.

Anz Andersen and I climbed a mountain trying to find one of our less actives. We climbed literally straight up a mountain and couldn't find the house because it was getting dark. We are going to try again this week.

Again, I'm really sorry this is so short, but I don't have a lot of time. My English is terrible, and sorry. Next week should also be interesting because I get to see SEAN!!!!!! I'm so pumped!!!!! WHOO!!!!!

Thank you for your love and support and prayers, I love you all so much.

Buone feste!!
Anziano Langlois