Monday, April 28, 2014

I Believe in Miracles!! April 23, 2014

Ciao tutti!!!

OK. So basically, this week has gone by super fast because we have been working super hard. We decided for this week, we were really going to "redouble our efforts" as D&C says, because our teaching pool is slowly turning stagnant, which is never good. We were basically super blessed this week and it's only Wednesday! We still have like 4 days left in this recording week.

First of all, I want to start by saying that I love the people here. I went on a scambio with Anz Valencia this week and we went to visit these super awesome new converts in their area. Adelio, the husband, is probably one of the funniest people I've ever met, because he just sits in his recliner chair, watches TV, and just says the funniest things. I wish I could describe him better. But anyway, so we went over to teach them and we decided to read a Book of Mormon story with them. We decided to read Helaman 9, where the prophet Nephi goes and predicts through revelation that the supreme judge has been killed, and who killed him, and what exactly the killer was going to say, so basically it's a super awesome story (I recommend you guys look at it again this week). The lesson started out like normal, Adelio watching the TV on mute and us reading with Gladys out loud. All of a sudden, Adelio turns off the TV and starts looking really intensely at us and is just totally soaking up the story. At they end he told us that he loved the story. He then gave some really good insight and told me that we were welcome at anytime to come back. haha. He's so awesome. So that just goes to show you, the Book of Mormon is better than a fight scene in a movie.

Next, we are teaching this African couple in Voghera, and they have this adorable almost 2 year old son, Paul. He always wants to play. He's crazy and so much fun. But the last time we went over, we walked in the door, he came running out of the room to see who was there and as soon as he saw us, we got this huge smile on his face and threw his hands up in the air for me to pick him up. He is so cute. Oh my gosh, I love Paul, and I love his parents. They are so awesome. I just love everyone here!!! I'm already sad to leave them. 2 years is not long enough!!!

OK, other miracles. So this past week we went and passed by some investigators and less actives and we struck out unfortunately. But we were walking to this one house and right as we turned on the street, we saw the bus go past...we missed it. So we walked to the next stop and right as we get there, another bus shows up. It was totally crazy, but we hopped on anyway. Now, I'm going to jump to another day, but it will make sense. I promise. So on Easter, we decided to go and sing in front of the castle with a picture of Gesù. Lucky us, it started pouring, but we didn't care. We kept on singing and kept on trying to stop people walking past. After an hour of getting soaked in the rain, we had to run over to see some new converts. Of course, with our luck, there were no buses, so we just walked and walked in the rain. We get to the same spot we saw the bus go past a few days before and I told Anz. Parker that if we make it to that stop, there will be a bus. Sure enough, as soon as we get to that bus stop, a bus comes right up behind us. MIRACLES!!!!!!! It was crazy and so awesome!!!! "Just another daily miracle", right Dad?

OK. But here is the coolest thing of all. This Sunday, we received a referral from our vescovo. This family went to Idaho because they want to move there, and while they were there, they met one of our vescovo's old collegas from the mission. We gave them a call, and they were super excited to met us. They invited us to come and see them whenever we want, and then later that night, they texted us telling us that they were at McDonald's in Pavia, so if we wanted to come to meet them and some of their friends, we were invited. We had just missed the bus to go and the next didn't come for 30 more minutes, so I told him that we probably wouldn't be able to make it. He then told us that he was on his way to pick us up. By the way, I had talked to him on the phone for probably 5 minutes or so. So we get picked up and we start talking about how they met Caleb (the member in Idaho), turns out that they needed a translator and they only talked to him from a few hours and they became immediately great friends. That night, we met Max, his wife Simona, and two of their three kids, Sofia and Matteo. We also met two of their really good friends, Riccardo and Catia and their son Abramo. So from one referral, we already got even more referrals. Then, Max, Sofia, Matteo, and another friend Diana, came to English class last night and loved it. They even brought dolce! At the end, Max offered to say the prayer and did an awesome job. It was the first time he has really done a prayer in a long time and in the prayer, he thanked God that he met us and that he really hopes to be part of this church soon. They are so prepared and elect. We are going over to see them on Thursday, and then they are going to come to Serata Familiare with us that night. That day, we really prayed to see a miracle and we sure got one. We worked super hard and actually got another new simp that morning after missing our bus home from District meeting. This week is going amazing and I'm so excited to keep on working really hard, so we can continue to find the Lord's elect.

So this week, in two days, we have gotten 5 new simps so far. It's only Wednesday. We still have like 4 more days. So basically, in a nutshell, we are super blessed and I love it! I'm so grateful for the blessings of the Lord. Without his help, we would still be walking on that street in the rain without people to teach. The Lord really does answer prayers. I know it. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to serve the Lord here in Italy and I'm going to be so sad when my time is up. I can't believe how fast the time has gone. Its almost May. That's nuts.

Well, now to the worldly things. Easter sounded awesome. 10 pound ham sounds AMAZINGGG!!!! I cooked our Easter meal of pasta with a panna/pesto sauce and salsiccia. It was pretty good, but its no ham. The next day though, we got fed a good meal with some lamb for pasquetta. I love food.

Best of luck Lizzy on AP's, that sucks and I'm glad I'm done with those, but you're going to do great! haha. Just keep studying and remember how much better it is after you're done.

As for continuing to study the language, don't worry dad. I'm doing a legitimate study of the New Testament every day in Italian. I just started Giovanni yesterday. The gift of tongues is real. Totally. I'm proof. Everyone gives me the "shocked shocked shocked!!!" face when I tell them that I've only been here for 11 months. Crazy. Did I mention that I was super blessed?

It's always so great to here from you all and I love you so much. I hope you have a great as week as we are having. In fact, I'm currently sitting about 5 minutes walk from beautiful Como Lago. It is gorgeous and a perfect day. Expect pictures when I can get the computer to cooperate.

Statemi bene tutti!
Anziano Langlois

The Miracle of the Flying Trashcan April 16, 2014

Ciao tutti!!!

OK, I know what you are all thinking, what does that title mean, well, I'll let you know. So here in Italy, when an appointment falls through, you say "ci ha dato un bidone" which literally means, they gave us a trashcan. Its kinda weird, but funny to think about. So basically, this week, we've gotten a lot of bidoni, which is never fun, but we've also seen a ton of miracles this week as a result.

The first one that comes to mind happened a few days ago. We had planned to bring one of our new converts to go teach another new convert's wife because their are friends, so we set up the time to pick her up and walk with her to the lesson near by. While coming back to Pavia from another lesson, we called to confirm the lesson and we found out that the husband was still in Lodi and would not be there, so we couldn't go over. We couldn't get a hold of our other member who was waiting for us, so we hopped on the bus to go tell her in person. The first bus was super crowded and we couldn't get on, so we started walking. We then caught another bus which was also pretty crowded. After a few stops, more and more people got on, so I decided to go stand next to this man. Turns out that man was one of our less actives and the husband of the member we were trying to go talk to. So we went with him to his house and got to teach them as a family for the first time in a few weeks. We're really trying to help them and its been hard, because they keep on cancelling on us, so this definitely was a miracle. I'm so grateful for the little tender mercies of the Lord. He really is putting us in the path to help his children.

Then yesterday, we set up this really good lesson with one of our eternal investigators to get him to see the church and to meet our vescovo (Bishop). We had it all planned, and we went to his house to pick him up and everything. And there is no answer. We sat there and suoned his citofono and called him for about 30 minutes. We then realized that the lesson wasn't going to happen, so we called up Vescovo, who was already at the church that we had to cancel. He then asked us if we could come and stop by the church anyway, so we did. He then gave us some really good advice on how to help our investigators progress through using the "chiave di volta" or "keystone" scriptures of each lesson. He then gave us some really good advice of how to get more success finding people. It was stuff I already knew I should be doing, but for some reason, as human beings, we don't really like change, so we're a little stubborn sometimes. But him telling me those things over again, really helped me realize how stupid it was of me to not change just the little things to improve our work. After saying goodbye to him, we taught 2 lessons on the bus coming home. Its about a 10 minute bus ride, if that, so that was just a further proof of the blessings that come, when we humble ourselves and submit to the will of the Father. Especially being out for almost a year, I realized just how much time we waste here and there. This time really is short, and we need to be using it wisely. This is our "4 minutes". We need to do all that we can. Don't be afraid to change. The Lord will always be there to help you.

Other miracles/stories. Last p-day, we were playing some Frisbee near the fiume, when all of a sudden, this German Shepard showed up and started chasing the Frisbee. Of course, we just turned it into a game and started messing around with the dog. It reminded me so much of playing with Jack. That goofball. Then we started talking to the owner and his friend, and we ended up getting their phone numbers and we actually taught one of them the other day. It was such an awesome miracle. Sport contacting. It works!!!

Then, one day we were in Voghera, and we walked all over the place. Got a bidone on one side of the city. No one was home for a pass by on the other side of the city, so after walking all day, we decided to try and use the bus which we had never used before. A bus showed up right as we thought that, so we thought it was inspiration....whoops. Turns out, this bus took us to another random part of the city where we had never been. So we got off, said a prayer, and started walking back towards centro (because we had a map, thank goodness). While walking for a while, we heard someone honk, and it was one of our members. So after Anz Parker hugged them for "saving us" (he was a little fuori di testa that day), they asked us what we were doing, and we told them what happened. They then offered to give us a ride back to the station. While driving there, Fratello told us that they usually don't take that road, but he felt that needed to and thank goodness he did. It was such a little but so awesome of a miracle. It fits perfectly with Dad's two miracles he shared with me this week. I know that if we are willing and LISTENING, the spirit will prompt us to go to the people who need help. Thank you so much Dad for being such a great example to me thousands of miles away. I'm really trying so hard to work on following the promptings of the spirit immediately when the come, and I know that if I keep on trying, I will be able to fine tune that skill.

In other funny news, we walked to the church this week because we barely missed the bus and then last night after English class, we missed it again, so all 6 missionaries walked back from the church. It was probably a funny sight. haha. Also, this week, we stopped by some members we had told that we were going to be in the area, and right as we walk in, they direct us immediately to the kitchen where they have the table already set for us. They made us some really good pasta that smelled amazing, but unfortunately, we were fasting that night, so they just made it anyway and gave it to us to take home. After running back to catch the train, that pasta smelled mighty good sitting there on the train. haha. It was really good. Gotta love the members here. They are so awesome and they feed us like crazy. Oh my gosh. So. Much. Food!!! I love it, its awesome. haha

Its getting pretty hot here right now, but luckily the mosquitoes or zanzare aren't out yet, so we are still alive for the moment. I wish I had a spring break. I'm so tired all the time and I just need a break. But like dad always says, "you can sleep when you're dead", so I just keep on going. I'm so sorry to hear that Jake died, please tell Terri that I'm sorry. I loved that dog. I remember when Patrick and I used to chase him around her front yard. 

As for Shellie's birthday, tell her that I say "Tanti auguri di buon cumpleanno! Spero che abbi tante buone cose e tanto felicità!"

It always puts a smile on my face when BYU soccer wins. Especially as much as they do. 4-0, that's the score line I like to hear. haha. I can't believe the Dodgers are in first. Hopefully, we can stay there for longer than we usually do.

Thank you for the notice about the birthday posts people left on my Facebook. It's so weird to see all those names. I just remember such happy times with all of those people and I can't wait to see them all again. As for the peanut butter bars, they were really fresh. So that worked, and now we have an extra tupperware. haha

As for tracting around the university, we don't do that a ton, but basically anywhere you go in Pavia, there are a ton of college students. We are usually out on the fiume, so that's where they are all sitting a studying on benches and what not.

And speaking of Bishop or should I say, Vescovo Hackney, I was actually thinking about him this week. I was thinking about how much fun we had in Priest's quorum and scouts with him. I still remember him being my advocate for my Eagle board. So Bishop, he is a very special shout out to you. Thank you so much for all you have done for me. You really have helped me become the man that I am today, and I'm so grateful for that. I know that every time I asked you how your day was, it was going to put a smile on my face, and it always did. I've even pulled your "is that tie felt?" joke a couple of times. Works every time. haha. I've always loved your positive attitude for everything and I know for a fact that today "è il giorno migliore della mia vita". Thank you for everything Bishop.

I love you all so much and I hope you all have a great week! Oh yeah, before I forget, I just opened my last bottle of clearcare, so I wanted to know what I should do. Should I just look around for some other type of cleaning solution or what? And what times would work best for you guys to Skype on mother's day? We're still figuring out that stuff, so I'll let you know.

Anziano Parker says hi and thanks for the chocolate.

State mi bene!
Anziano Langlois

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Spiritual Booster Shots April 9, 2014

Ciao tutti!!

So as you all may or may not know, this past weekend was General Conference, where we have the opportunity to listen to the Prophet and the 12 Apostles speak to us and give us counsel. I absolutely loved it this year. Holy cow, it was so good. If you didn't get to see it because of being a super awesome Dad and having to work all day, or maybe because you forgot about it, or maybe you didn't know about it, but regardless of what the reason was, I recommend you all to go to right now and watch some of it. It was incredible!!! I learned so very much from the modern day prophets we have. Everything from priesthood keys to having gratitude in our trials to defending your beliefs was discussed and I learned so much. I literally cannot tell you how much reading these talks or watching them again will bless you and your families lives. 

So this past Saturday and Sunday we went to conference in Milano. And then the next day, Monday, we went back to Milano to have a zone training, so we kinda learned what it is like to be a real Italian. Live in a small city, and then commute to the big city everyday for work. Boy, that would be exhausting. So for 3 days straight, we received some awesome spiritual booster shots as so cleverly thought of in about 2 seconds. haha. Every single time I learn more about the gospel or the scriptures or about how to be a better missionary or what not, I realize that I know so little. There is still so much to learn!!! I just want to sit and study all day long. haha

Anyway, so I got my birthday package finally! And let me just say, thank you soooo much everyone!! Lizzy, I absolutely loved your card. It cracked me up. "It had me cornered, like something you....corner!" hahaha. Thank you so much for the card Grandma. I love you so much! Thank you so much for the peanut butter fingers. They are soooooo good!!!! Thank you for the chocolates, and I can actually tell you thank you from another person for those as well. So we were waiting on the train to come back from zone training, and I opened my package and was looking inside, when a gypsy walked past and left a piece of paper next to us. T

hey do this all the time. It basically says how poor they are and that they have 42 children that are starving or other really sad stuff, so people will give them money. As missionaries, we're not allowed to give money, so I tried to explain that to him, but then he points at my package, so I pull out some chocolate and gave it to him. He then asked for some more, so I gave him another one. He then thanked me and went on his way. it was super funny. haha.

OK, so I don't remember how much I've told you about Anz. Parker, but his dad is a funeral director, and so Anz Parker also wants to do that after the mission. So besides the weird looks he gets when people ask him what he wants to be when he grows up, we make some good jokes about it too. But yesterday, we did a pass by and at the church right behind us, there was a funeral. He got really excited and took a picture of the hearse. We then went to see the really HUGE cemetery in Pavia because we were in the area, and he had way too much fun. He was making comments left and right. it cracked me up. But seriously. This cemetery was gigantic. Every family basically has a mausoleum and not a single one was the same. They all had big statues of Jesus, or the Madonna, or a stone cross. Or my favorite, an angel standing on the open grave saying "he is not here!". It was super cool, or at least I thought it was cool. Then we went down to the giant mausoleum that was underneath the ENTIRE cemetery. It was nuts!!! it was just lines and lines and hallways and hallways of grave after grave. It was crazy. There were literally hundreds of thousands of people buried there. Super cool. Then we happened to run into the funeral procession that we saw earlier, so Anz Parker wanted to go watch the person get buried. He's a funny kid. But yeah, that was our graveyard adventure. Super fun.

OK. Time for some spiritual stuff. So besides conference, this week has been kinda normal. Nothing super exciting or super boring, just average. but we did have a miracle. Like we always do. For the past few weeks, we've had this investigator, Nitsan, who is very hard to see because he has been really busy studying for his exams this past week. When we see him, it is usually for 15 minutes or so, so it's hard for us to teach him a lot. We've been trying to give him a Book of Mormon for a few weeks now and every time we try, something comes up where he has to leave suddenly or he doesn't take it for some reason. Yesterday, we got to sit down and talk to him because he just finished his exams and we finally got him a Book of Mormon. He told us that he would read it and he was really grateful that we gave him it. Just in time too, because on Friday he is going back to Israel for a week or two, so now he has something to read on the plane. Although it was small, that miracle was important to me and my faith. Just like Elder Ballard said, we need to be persistent and it will pay off. The next step is following up on his reading, which we will definitely do.

In worldly news, I can't believe Kentucky beat Wisconsin on ANOTHER clutch 3. Its just like Michigan did last year. Because of that, Anz Valencia's bracket won. Yes, the bracket that he decided by simply flipping a coin. Guess statistics beats sort of knowledge. haha. But, I would like to know, just for tie-breaking purposes, who won the Colorado v Pitt game, St Louis v NC State/Xavier, and Texas v ASU. If you could send me that Dad, that would be awesome.

OK, since time goes by super fast, we will be Skyping in about 4 weeks, which is nuts. So as it gets closer I will solidify the plan of when I will be doing it. When would be best for you guys? I kinda forget what time you have church. Also, I don't know if it's possible, but are we going to try and do something to include Peter, Linda, Erin, Dan, and Jason? If not, that's fine, but it's always fun to see them. haha. I have no clue how to do it, so don't ask me!

Oh yeah! Before I forget, we went to Lecco last week, and let me just tell you....oh my gosh, that was kinda gorgeous. I will send some pictures, but it was kinda a slightly hazy day, so the pictures don't reflect just how beautiful it was. We are planning to go back. Don't worry. haha

Thank you all so much for your love and emails. I wish you all the best this week and I hope you have a great Easter season!

Statemi bene!
Anziano Langlois
PS. Computer is being lame. Pics next week.
Celebrating the March Birthdays

Milan East Zone March 18,2014

Sunday, April 20, 2014

I'm Getting Old... April 2, 2014

Ciao tutti!!!

But seriously, I'm 20 now. I can't believe that. I'm so old. Every time I say that to the members though, they always give me a hard time. But I always have the ace in the hole, because then I just say, "look! my name tag even says that I'm Anziano!!". haha. They love it. And speaking of getting old, I'm going into my 7th transfer. WHAT?!?!?!? Where has the time gone? It's April now? WHAT?!?!?!? I literally cannot believe how fast time is flying by. Any who, since I mentioned transfers, nothing is changing in our little city here of Pavia. The Sorelle are the same and our apartment is going to be the same. We did however, pull a really good April Fool's joke on the other Anziani yesterday. Anz. Parker and I got the Capi to call us and literally talk about nothing and I pretended like I was getting transferred and no one else. They totally bought it. We were dying. It would have lasted all day, but then the Capi actually called with transfer info, and so the others figured it out. haha. Super funny. Good times here in Pavia.

OK! So this week. Let's see...well, our apartment has kinda been sick on and off this past week, so that's not very fun. But, I've been in scambio with Anz Valencia for 3 of the last 4 days or so, so that's always a blast. I love that kid. But, yesterday we had a small and simple miracle. So this past week or so (like I just said), between our two companionships here, we've been kinda on and off sick, so our work has been limited so we can recover. But yesterday morning, we were feeling great so we went and did some fiume for a couple of hours. I will admit, when you just have finding work planned, its not always that exciting, but I know its something we need to do so we can find more people to teach, so we went out and did it. The 3rd person we talked to, we ended teaching a lesson to. Then we said a prayer by ourselves to thank Heavenly Father for that lesson, and then we kept going. The very next person we talked to, we taught a lesson to and got her phone number so we could pass her to the sisters. Then we said another prayer of thanks. Then while walking past these two old men, one of them stopped me and asked me who we were. I was more than happy to tell him. So we taught him and his friend a lesson. It was crazy! Every time I say a prayer during finding work, I've seen a miracle. I know that what the Bible Dictionary says about prayer is true. The objective of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for yourself blessings that he is already willing to give to you, but are dependent upon you asking for them. I've seen this time and time again in my mission so far and I know that when we really utilize prayer in the correct manner, we will see amazing results. 

OK, now. Let's talk about my birthday. It was really weird to be honest. It didn't feel like my birthday at all because we just did what we do everyday. Preach the gospel. But we did some fun stuff. At one point, we went and got gelato and then came and sat on the river bank eating gelato watching the sunset through the bridge. Again, it was one of those "what am I doing here with YOU" moments. hahaha. The Sorelle also made me a cake for my birthday. It was super good. At church, a bunch of members told me "auguri" and our gospel principles class sang to me. Super funny because no one can pronounce my name. haha. Then the next day, a family called me and told me that they forgot to tell me something yesterday at church, and because I had already forgot that it had been my birthday 2 days earlier, I was super surprised when they started singing happy birthday to me on the phone. The members here are too awesome. I love them so much. Apparently to make up for forgetting, I have about 4 members making me a cake this week, so I guess it really be like Jason's "birthday-kah". haha.

Speaking about the members, we passed by one of our families this past week just to say hi, and they invited us in and told us that we weren't allowed to leave until we had eaten. So they made us dinner. Gosh, no wonder I'm getting a pancia. haha. Anziano Parker also told them that we will be by their house again tonight, so they told us that they will make us something. Goodness me. So Much Food. I love it, but that's the problem. I eat way to much of it. haha.

Well, Lizzy, that is an awesome story and I can totally see Dad doing that. I would have died laughing. He's so funny. And speaking of Dad, I've been telling some of his mission stories lately. In fact, last night, I told the story of "halan, halan, HALAN!!" to our English class. They died laughing. They thought it was so funny that they fell out of their seats when Craig said that. Gosh, I can't wait to tell you all of my mission stories. Warm up the campfire!! hahaha.

In other news, we're really excited for conference this weekend. Unfortunately because we already did day light savings over here, we will miss another session of conference, which is lame. Super lame. But oh well, I can always go read them later.

As always, thanks for the sports report dad. This is really some madness this year. I haven't had time to check how my bracket is doing, but I think its pretty bad. haha. I will definitely let you know how I do at the end of it all.

Oh yeah! I can't believe its already almost Mother's day. That's crazy! It seems like just yesterday I was Skyping you guys at Christmas. 

Sorry, my thoughts are just kind of jumping around right now, so I'm just typing what I think of when I think it. haha. So two nights ago, I got to talk to Anz Andersen from Prato and he was actually at the Pascuzzo's, so I got to talk to each one of them for a minute or so. Gosh, I miss that family so much and they miss me. We are definitely going to see them when we come back. Talking to them and Anz Andersen, I realized just how fast time has gone past. That was 6 weeks ago, but it only seems like maybe 6 days. I don't know if its passing as fast there for you guys, but I remember when Jason was on his mission that those 2 years seemed to fly past. Now I know what it's like to be on the other side of that. I don't want these 2 years to go so quickly! Sometimes I forget that I'm really in Italy, because it just feels like home here. This is where I live, eat, sleep, work, walk, talk, breathe; everything is Italian. Sono italiano ora!! It's going to be so crazy and weird to go home. Good thing that's still over a year a way. Not much more than a year (scary), but still got a good amount of time here. Meno male.

I really do love the people here so much. I miss everyone back home, but I know I'm going to miss everyone here. I already miss the people from my previous areas. Being a missionary is weird and its really hard, mostly because you get so close to these people for 2 years and then you're gone. Sad kind of. But oh well. that's the life of a missionary.

Any who, I love you all so much and I hope you all have a great week! Thank you for everything you do and are!

Vi voglio bene!
Anziano Langlois

1. The one and only Ponte Coperto with the duomo in the background
2. The milano duomo.'s kinda big
3. panzarotti at Luini's (super good)