Monday, September 22, 2014

Ci Vedre-e-em, Ci Vedre-em!!! September 17, 2014

Ciao tutti!!!

Well, it's happening. Anziano Salmon is going home and I'm leaving Pavia. I can't believe how fast the past 7 months have gone. I still feel like I just barely got here in Pavia. Now, I bet you're all anxious to know where the Lord is sending me next. Any guesses? No? You don't know the name of any of the cities? That's no excuse. haha. I'm just kidding. I'm going to Ravenna to serve as a Capo Zona (zone leader) with Anziano Polson. I've never met him before but I've heard about him and he sounds a lot like Anziano Andersen, so it should be fun. I will be capo over Forlì, Rimini, Pesaro, and Ancona. So basically the bottom right hand side of our mission. But the the coolest part is......I get a car!!!!!!! WHOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! So pumped. It's going to be great! I'm so excited. Not only for the car, but also for Ravenna. Anziano Salmon also served there, and so did Anziano Treadway, and Anziano Taylor, and both our AP's, so I've heard a lot about it, and I'm really excited. The funny thing is, even though I'm leaving Pavia, I'm bringing a part of it with me. Our vescovo here is from Ravenna and is actually moving there in the next few months. He works there during the week, so I will probably see him more than the missionaries here in Pavia! haha. 

I'm super grateful for the time I've spent here in Pavia. I've learned a lot and grown a lot as well. It feels like home here, so yeah, the past few days have been kinda hard. Saying goodbye is always difficult. 

Any who, my miracle from this week comes from the mostra we did this past Saturday in Centro with our members. We were there from 10-18 and we had the help of numerous members and it was great! They had such a great time. The members just started pairing off in two or asking one of the coppie to go with them so they could go talk to people. We passed out 600 volantini during those 8 hours. We will be having two more mostras over the next two weeks, so the members are excited. It really was a miracle to see the members and missionaries working so closely. I remember specifically that an older woman came up to us and a member who saw her first pushed me in her direction. I went and started talking to her, when all of a sudden the member was right at my side testifying to her. Then another member stepped in and began to bear her testimony. It was incredible. I literally said nothing. I just sat and watched our amazing members working their hardest to share the gospel that they love so much.

Some other little miracles: we went to visit a less active family in this paesino and because they don't have a car, we took the train to the middle of nowhere and walked on the road to their house (like we've done a couple of times before). Then after the lesson, we walked back. We got 5 of the 6 kilometers when a car stops in front of us on the road and we hear "Anziani, salite!!" (get in). Turns out it was this member couple who lives in the same paesino and they just happened to be going to the De Simone's bar for karaoke (butchered that), so they gave us a ride home! Crazy right! Miracles!!!!

Last miracle, I actually saw Pat and Cheri!!! We went to the train station at 1:45 and we waited....and waited....and waited. Soon an hour had gone past and we decided that their plane must have got delayed or they were in traffic and whatnot, so we started placing our pass along cards in very obvious places so they could see them and maybe call us from a pay phone. We did that, then decided to leave, because everyone comes right after you leave (especially buses). Any who, we saw a member, so we decided to follow him and after a minute or two, he turned around and asked us what we were doing. We told him how we were waiting for them, but we didn't know when they would show up. Then he said that we should go back and he would wait with us. Literally, we turn the corner and here come Pat and Cheri in their car, so they pulled over and we got to talk for a minute. It was absolutely crazy! I'm sure Pat will tell you the story as well, in his usual eloquent way. haha. It was really good to see them. They told me that you are all doing well, which makes me happy, especially to hear it from someone you know. Thank you for the box with goodies. I've been sharing it with my district and they all love you. However, I tried to make your cookies the other day, and they turned out horrible!!!! That's because there is no brown sugar here, so I tried to use cane sugar and mapleine. Let's just say that it tasted like pure sugar. It was kinda gross. haha. Oh well, I tried.

Speaking of my district, I'm going to miss them so much. I literally have been blessed with the best missionaries ever in my district. They are all so bravi and amazing. I'm going to miss them all so much, whether they are going home or just getting transferred, so even just staying there (because I'm moving). The Lord really does let us feel his love for people. My heart is so full of joy and love for these missionaries and these members here. Hardest thing about the mission. Leaving. I can't even imagine what it would feel like to be in Salmon's shoes right now. 

I've learned so much so far in my mission, and I know I'm just going to learn even more even faster. Crazy crazy stuff.

In other random news, I've said two prayers in Spanish in the past week. Oh boy....that's hard stuff. But the members said I did a great job. It was pretty much like praying for the BYU sports teams. haha.

Lizzy, all I have to say is....hang in there, and enjoy it. I kinda miss high school and wish I had been better at being a missionary to my friends. Keep being the great example that I know you are and don't be afraid to share your testimony with those you friends with. You never know who the Lord is preparing to receive the gospel. College apps are hard, I know. But just keep working on them, one by one, and you'll be able to do it easily. You are such an awesome sister and I brag about you all the time. And I know how random it is, but please send me a picture of you NOT smiling. Thanks. Love you so much! Keep being awesome!

I love you all so much family and friends. I'm so grateful to be serving a mission right now. This is where I need to be. I know it. The Lord needs me in Ravenna and I'm so excited to go forth and serve him with all that I've got. I figure I've only got one city left after Ravenna, so I need to make this time count!

Have the best week ever everyone!!!!
Anziano Langlois

All the way to Italy to Home Teach!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

It's A Crazy Roller Coaster Ride September 10, 2014

Ciao tutti!!!

This week has been pretty crazy. My head has been everywhere and back again. Basically, we had some really hard trials this week, but we were blessed with tons of miracles, so it kinda balances out.

I'll start with the hardships and end with the good stuff, we the email ends happy. Basically, work's been hard right now in Pavia and this week, one of our new converts told us that he won't be coming to church anymore and it literally broke my heart. I thought there was hope when I called him later in the week, but the second time we even worse. It's really hard. My heart has been hurting a lot this week because I love this person so much. It's really sad and I just want to help him all I can, but I can't do anything because we can't even see him.

But, we had some really good miracles to help us through the week. One day when we went to pass by this new convert, we got stopped twice in a matter of 10 minutes, which doesn't really happen. The first guy started talking to me on the bus and after we finished talking, turns out that he got on the wrong bus. Miracle!!!!

Then, I got to teach Elder's quorum with the other Anziani in front of the Stake president. No biggie. We talked a lot about how members and missionaries should be working together and how to better use PMG (Preach My Gospel) in their lives. The Stake president came up after and thanked me. Then another member gave me a piece of paper with his contact info that said "You're welcome in Italy". It was so sweet. I really do love these members here in Pavia. With transfers right around the corner, time is going too fast. I'm going to miss them. I've been here so long, so it's like home. It will be weird to leave. I technically don't know if I'm leaving or not yet, but the AP's kinda told me that I was leaving. Besides, I've been here for 7 months already. I'm kinda ready to leave. But we'll see.

Miracle time. 

One night this week, we were planning what to do the next day, specifically for a 30 minute period of free time we had. We thought about what to do and we decided to search for "the one" on the fiume near our house. After finishing 12 week, I stood up and looked out the window. I immediately saw this man sitting by himself on a bench, so I turned to Anz Johnson and told him that man was "the one" and we needed to talk to him. We went and talked to him and ended up teaching him a quick lesson. We got his number and address and a return appointment for the next day to meet his family. We went to his house the next day and taught his wife and youngest daughter the Restoration. They gladly listened to us and accepted the challenge to read the LdM (Book of Mormon). Then we came by a few days later because we were in the area and we met the other two daughters. This family is from Santo Domingo and amazing. It was such a blessing to see the Lord place someone in our path to fulfill our plans for the day. 

Yesterday, we had Zone conference with Milano Ovest and I was able to see Anz Windley after 7 months. It was so great to see him. We started laughing and joking around again, just like in Prato. A Sorella in my district commented how we were basically the best of friends, which we are. I missed him so much. It was so great to see him. I really hope we get to serve together again (at least in the same district or city). I also got to see Sorella Carter from my MTC district, so that was awesome. I love zone conferences. They are so much fun. Something that President Dibb asked us to do is talk to at least 3 people for every 15 minutes we are on public transport. I've been trying to work on talking to more people on public transportation and last night when we were coming home from English class, I started talking to this man near by, and turns out that HE wanted us to come and meet him again. I love it when that happens. So, I'm really trying to become a better disciple of Christ everyday.

Then, on a silly note. We had a FHE with one of the Sorelle's simps who is in the hospital and we wanted to cheer her up and give her something special, so we decided to sing the dwarf song from the Hobbit. Yes, but it doesn't stop there. We also make beards out of yarn and wore them why we sang. It's pretty darn funny. I will try and send you the video next week. It's pretty funny. She loved it and it really helped lift her spirits. I love making people happy.

I will be at the station tomorrow, so I'm sure you'll hear about it from Pat and Cheri first. I'm excited to see them.

Dad, I'm super pumped to hear that we killed Texas AGAIN!!!!! WHOOO!!!!!! BYU BYU BYU BYU!!!!!!!! I don't know why we can't beat the easy teams then. haha. Oh BYU. Gotta love them. Bad sports and all.

Well, I hope you all have had a good week. Keep working hard, and keep on sharing the gospel with everyone!!!! I love you all so much!

Anziano Langlois

Italy In A Nutshell September 3, 2014

Ciao tutti!!!

Well, this has been a fun week. Lots of things to do and lots of very Italian things. Let me explain. There are a couple of things that really define Italy. Public transportation that just implodes whenever there is a minor problem, cool old Catholic churches, and just straight up crazy experiences. I had them all this week, so it was very Italian. 

This week on a scambio, Anz Salmon and I were walking past this cool old sandstone church, when we heard the organ playing inside. We had a minute to spare, so we hopped inside and listened to this awesome church organ. The music/setting was kinda creepy, but the acoustics were amazing!!! It was really really cool.

Then, this past Saturday, we went to our Ward mission leader's house to do some service. He told me on the phone that we just had to pull some weeds from his garden. Oh boy.....he was wrong. We literally deforested this garden. The weeds were at least a meter tall and I literally had to use a falche (sickle) to cut it down. I literally reenacted D&C 4. haha. I was so sweaty and gross and it really made me appreciate learning how to weed a garden properly all my life. Because if you don't take care of it, the weeds attack!!! So thank you Dad. I always complained about weeding, but it payed off, because our member didn't really know what he was doing. Oh well. haha. So that was a pretty fun day.

This week was also District Leader appreciation day at district meeting, so they made me a card and all signed it and told me something that they appreciate about me. It was really nice and super unexpected. Its always nice to feel loved.

We also had a Prato throw back this week, where we went out and sung hymns in Centro. It was super fun. And then we tried a new finding technique, where we went to stores and asked to leave some pamphlets on there counters. Almost everyone said yes, so it was super awesome! Hopefully people actually take them and call us. Gotta try weird things to get results. Learned that from Anz Salmon alright. haha 

This miracle comes from my letter to President Dibb this week: As you know already, we are working really hard with the De Simone's oldest son to prepare him for baptism. Well, a few weeks ago, we had a great lesson about the baptismal covenant and what it means with him and we left him a baptismal calender and invited him to pray and search for a date to be baptized. He told us that he would and every time we checked up with him on this, he hadn't received an answer yet, but was still searching and praying every night. Our entire district has been praying for him for the past few weeks. Yesterday, when I was on a scambio with Anz Taylor, all of our plans fell through. Unfortunately, one of our investigators dropped us because her husband doesn't want us to talk to her. So yesterday, we were pretty sad. At lunch, I was thinking about the day and I knew that the Lord had something in store for us that day to boost our spirits. We were able to set up a lesson with a member who is waiting for his mission call and we were able to testify very powerfully of the importance of the spirit in teaching and studying. After that great lesson, we went to English class where we read from the book of Enos (in English) and had a great time. At the end of class, the De Simone son and mom walked up to me and asked me whether or not a baptism must be on a Saturday. They were excited to hear that they could do it on a week day if that worked better for them. This question literally came out of the blue and gave me a ton of renewed hope for their son and his progression towards baptism. It really was a tender mercy of the Lord. My day had turned completely on its head, but the Lord still blessed us with a simple miracle that really lifted my spirits. 

This brings me to our public transportation fail of the week. While going to pass by a less active yesterday morning, we got stuck about 10 feet from the bus stop we needed to get off because someone got hit by a car. The bus driver refused to open the doors to let us off, so we sat there with all the looky-loos for about 10 minutes as we watched police at their finest. They aren't very good at directing traffic. haha. Out of nowhere a giant semi full of cars tried to turn onto the tiny street and there were cars trying to pass the bus, but had to back up for the truck and it was just a mess. Then finally when there was space to go forward, all the cars behind us just kept passing the bus and so we sat for another 3 minutes or so waiting to move forward. it was utterly ridiculous. Anz Taylor and I were literally shaking our heads and laughing about how ridiculous it was. There was no need for it to be that difficult. Oh well....I love this country. haha

As for the McDonald's, it will probably be easiest for them to meet at the station. We can easily be there at 2:00 to meet them. As for things to don't know. I don't know if I really need anything, but I do like surprises!!!

I don't know Sorella Ervin, but one of our sisters here in Pavia does, she finishes her mission in like 2 weeks with Salmon, Condie, and O'Connor. Crazy to think that they are done with their mission. I remember being trained by Salmon and seeing him hit his year mark. Now he's going home. Crazy how time flies. 

Life sounds crazy back home, which makes sense because life is always crazy. haha. 

That picture was taken on Lake Como in a small city named Varenna. Don't worry, I will take you there next year. haha. And speaking of that, what's the plan? How long are we planning on being here? I'm always looking into things to do and so we'll never have nothing to do. haha. But one request, would be to leave out of Rome. Because I really want to see Rome. Actually, I want to see all of southern Italy, but that might be too hard, so if we could at least hit up Rome that would be awesome.

Well, another week has gone by on the mission and as always, I love hearing from you all. I hope you have a  great week and I hope to hear from you all soon!

Vi voglio un sacco di bene!
Anziano Langlois

I Can See The End!!...Of The Summer August 27, 2014

Ciao tutti!!!!!

Don't worry, I'm not getting trunky. I'm just super happy that summer is pretty much over. YES!!!!!! The people are slowly coming back from vacation and the weather is getting cooler. It's actually been raining lately and everyone has given up hope on a sunny summer at this point. Apparently, we are in for the coldest winter in 50 years this year, so joy of joys. I'm probably going to be up to my head in snow in my next city. Wherever that is. haha.

Speaking of Lake Como (that's how you spell it), we went there today! We went and took a ferry ride to Bellagio, which is the point of the two parts of the lake that meet. It was really cool. I definitely felt like a tourist today. There was so much English everywhere and it was so weird!!!! I'm not used to it!!!! We did run into 2 members at McDonald's in Milano Centrale today and then we talked to two people while we were waiting for the ferry to come. Missionary work even on p-day! hahaha. I am so in love with Italia. It is so gorgeous. We have to come back and go kayaking on the lake. I wanted to do it today, but we're not allowed. Managia....that's OK though, Dad is always up for fun things like that! haha.

As for the friend requests, just leave them and I will accept them later. It's easier this way.

Please tell any of my friends that you see, especially Tyler and Jeffery, that I say hi and that they should write me!! haha. It's so crazy that school is starting, but what's crazier is the fact that when this year of school ends, so does my mission. How's that for literally no time!!!!! It's super crazy and weird. It only goes faster when you change cities which is bound to happen in about 3 weeks. So basically, life is going way too fast and I'm just trying to keep up! Speaking of keeping up, I loved all the pictures you guys sent me. Atticus is getting cuter every day. I'm curious to see just how much of Erin and Dan's smarts have transferred over. haha.

It's funny how the Lord works sometimes. He often prepares people and puts them in your path and you need to find them. This week, we went over to see an investigator that we haven't seen in a while. Every time we go over, he is busy, so we can never teach him, but he usually has some friends there too that we talk to for a few minutes. This past week was much of the same. We started talking to his friend and we were explaining the Book of Mormon when all of a sudden his neighbor, Marcella, came down and started listening to us from a few feet away. We quickly changed our focus on her and ended up teaching her and had a great conversation with her. She told us that she really wants to come to church, so she is going to call us Saturday and come to church Sunday morning. She said it about 30 times during this 15 minute period, so I think she's going to remember. haha. We also had a similar experience on our scambio with the Capi, where Anz Horrocks and I we're able to teach one of his friends and get his address and phone number. We couldn't set up a return appointment, but he wants us to come over and meet his wife. Crazy miracles happen all around us. You just got to make sure that you are looking for them and take advantage of them when they come.

I absolutely love my life right now. Yes, missionary work is hard, but it's worth it. Totally worth it. 

Lizzy time. I can't believe you're a senior!!!! That's propio nuts!!!!! You are totally still 12 years old in my mind and you always will be. I'm so glad you had a fun time at girls camp. You always loved those kind of things, and good job on the bulls eye. I'm super jealous of your vacation adventures. They always are so much fun with Dad. Also, congrats on finishing band camp. It's the worst, but you're done now! haha. That's cool that your section leader. You're going to kill it. Just be patient with the youngins. The clarinets have always been famous for trouble. haha. Who are the Drum Majors? Probably people I don't know. I don't know anyone anymore. I'm old. You're schedule sounds full, but fun. I love Novak. I'm sad that Btags retired, but Novak is super cool. AP gov/econ is a breeze so don't sweat it. If you could, you should got say hi to some teachers for me and maybe tell them about my blog. Mrs Harrison, Mrs Tompkins, Mr Patenaude, Mrs Waldinger, Mrs Ballard, Mr Korshavn, Mr Holloway, and yes, even the fantastic Mr Peter. He's a goof, but I love him anyway. Of course, tell G I say hi. Just hang in there and work hard!!! And remember, no boys until you get married. Good luck on applications! Tell me how it goes. I hope you can come to BYU, then I can mooch off your meal plan. haha. Thanks for the email and don't forget the picture! But your senior picture is gorgeous! You look amazing. That's my sister alright!!

Well, life is always crazy and there is never enough time. I love you all and I hope you all have a great week. This week's pro tip: if you see a pizza menu on the ground, LEAVE IT THERE!!!!!, it's there for a reason. We had a horrible pizza the other night from this random menu we found on the ground. Mistake. BIG mistake. Not a great night. haha. 

Vi voglio bene!
Anziano Langlois