Monday, November 24, 2014

Raining in Romagna November 19, 2014

Ciao tutti!!!

Well, it's been a very wet and cold week. Usually when it rains, its kinda warm, but not this week. It's been pretty darn cold and it's rained for about four days straight. Fun stuff. I would say that with the car it's not a big deal, but unfortunately because we have to go to Milano twice this month (the second time this Friday), and to Firenze yesterday for a zone conference with Elder Fingerle of the 70 (it was really cool), and we have a really long zone that stretches all the way down to Ancona 130 km away, we're easily going to go over our km limit this month, so we have been on bikes all week and it's just so much fun in the cold rain. We haven't got drenched yet, but who knows how long that will last.

Any who, despite a lot of rain and equally a lot of bidoni (does that make any sense to you? Probably not. It's when some one doesn't show up and flakes on you. we literally say, "ci ha dato un bidone", which means "he gave us a trash can/dumpster". Yeah, kinda weird, but it makes sense to me). It's been a tough week here in Ravenna. Unfortunately we've lost two of our baptism dates just because they are impossible to see and they won't be ready in time, but our other baptism dates are really going strong. We are currently fasting with one of them to help him quit smoking. The work is going well here. I'm happy. It's good.

Well, like I said, we went to Firenze yesterday. It was super fun. We took a slightly longer (time wise) path, so we could go through the beautiful Toscana hills. Totally worth it. We ended up bring the Sorelle with us, so it was pretty fun. Got some great pictures of the beautiful Italian country side. I love this country. In other news, Firenze is a stressful city to drive in. haha. It was much easier on train when I was in Prato. haha. I saw old friends at this conference like Anz Parker, Erickson, Johnson, and others. It was really great to see them again.

Anyway, about Elder Fingerle. He's from Germany and he's in the third quorum of the 70 I think. He is super into family history work. We talked about something he likes to call, "Facebook for the dead". It's the "memories" section of where you can upload pictures, stories, documents, audio and other stuff to kinda make like a "facebook page" for someone who has passed on. He invited us to invite you as well as our members and nonmembers to upload pictures and stories o four ancestors onto familysearch. Well, here it goes, I invite you to do that. haha. I've really felt the spirit of Elijah just talking about family history work. It is so interesting and cool. Just the other week, Linda sent me some stories and pictures of our ancestors from Mom's side of the family. It was really cool and I've been able to share some of those stories with people to help them get interested. So, will you do it? [Insert "yes!" here]

Well, in other random news, I'm sad to hear that BYU soccer is out. Peccato. Next season I'll be there to cheer them on in person. Whoa...that's weird. 

Before I forget again. HAPPY LATE BIRTHDAY ERIN!!!!!! I had it written on my calendar, but I totally forgot to write you last week. Sorry! I really hope it was a great day. I thought about you a lot and told everyone that it was your birthday. haha.

OK, random question. The other day I was thinking about friends I wanted to get in contact with and someone came to mind, so I'm going to ask you to do me a huge favor mom, or better yet, Lizzy because mom might forget (love you mom). Can you go on my facebook and find my friend "Jenny Sawyer"'s email? If it's not on her page, just send her a message explaining that you're my sister/mom and that I wanted to write her. In the random situation that you're actually reading this yourself Jenny, please, write me. haha.

OK, random thought done.

Well, I heard that a missionary from Anz Polson's ward, Elder Boyce, is now in good old TO. Lucky man. What a great city. TO3!!!! WHOO!!!! haha.

It's crazy that my friends that are girls are now finishing their missions. That's so weird. And I have some other friends back at BYU who are getting married. Even weirder! Life moves fast. I'm just trying to keep up.

I hope you all have a great week. I love you all so much!

Anziano Langlois

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Saluti Da San Francisco November 12, 2014

Ciao tutti!!!!!

Well, in case you were wondering, I'm not really in San Francisco, but I did just get back from Ancona which is basically an Italian and smaller version of it. This week has been crazy for me. On Monday morning, we drove down to Rimini for district meeting and then I went down to Pesaro with Anz Orso for a super fun scambio. Then the next morning, Anz Polson came and picked me up and we headed down to Ancona for their district meeting, followed by a blitz with the Anz down there. I was with Anz Pugsley. He's a cool guy. For lunch in Ancona we went to this place with giro pizza, which means that they just keep bringing it out until you tell them to stop. For 10 euro, it was payed off in a matter of a few pizzas. They brought out all different kinds and it was super good. they were kinda getting mad because we kept asking for more pizza. haha. 

Later that night, me and Pugsley basically got taught by this African preacher. That was pretty fun. He knew his bible very well and he was very excited about it. However, he didn't want to accept the Book of Mormon, even after I used the bible to prove it. Oh well, you can't win all of them. You were right dad. It's really important to know your bible. It really comes in handy sometimes. Especially with Africans who love their bible and are skeptical of anything else.

Funny story. Today we went down to the "docks" in Ancona and it reminded me so much of Northern California. It was beautiful. of course I had to climb on rocks and almost get splashed by the waves. haha. Too much fun. But then this random half naked old guy sun tanning started talking to me and when he found out I was from California, he got super excited and told me that we had to exchange emails. I did. Totally worth it. haha. I love Italians.

As for miracles this week, we set three baptismal dates!!! WHOO WHOO!!!!! If all goes well, we will have 6 baptisms in Dicembre. We are super pumped. We have been working so hard non stop and we are happy to finally see the fruits of our efforts.

On Sunday, we had to travel to Rimini to meet with our high councilman. We took the train and we had some great success talking to people on the way there and back. On the way back, we saw this couple that was very confused running around looking for their train to Ravenna. We helped them find the train and with their bags and we decided to sit next to them. They were a couple from Taranto and they were very happy to see giovani that were out doing good in the world and that spoke Italian. We talked to them the whole train ride and invited them to talk with the missionaries down in Taranto. We then helped them carry their bags to their hotel. They were very impressed by our willingness to help and we left them with a Restoration pamphlet to read on their trip. As we were leaving the train though, I noticed that a man was reading a book called "come leggere il vangelo e non perdere la fede" (how to read the gospel and not lose faith). Since I did not have the opportunity to talk to him during the trip, as we pulled into the station in Ravenna, I took my chance. He had been listening to our conversation with the couple from Taranto and was interested to learn more. We exchanged numbers and will be meeting with each other soon. Our President is really trying to get us to be more diligent on train finding which is hard for us because we rarely take trains, but when we do, we try our best. It's so awkward sometimes!!! haha. But that's the way missionary work it. We are awkward people! 

Well, I'm sad to hear that we lost the game, but I'm jealous that you guys got to go. I miss going to soccer games. 

As always, you guys are great missionaries and I love it! Every member needs to be like you guys!

That's crazy that Matt is finishing his mission. That must mean that Sam Cooley is getting pretty close too. I can't believe how fast time is flying by. Before we know it, it will be Christmas skyping time. Crazy!!

Lizzy, keep working on your college apps. I know they seem hard, but its worth it. BYU is the best!!!! As you know, I didn't want to go. But after I spent a year there, I can't see myself anywhere else. It is truly a unique atmosphere and I love it. Do the best you can on your apps and the Lord will do the rest. I know he's got a plan for you. So don't worry about it. Just do it! haha

Well, like always, I'm really bad at sending pictures. I promise that I'm taking them! My camera battery must be dying because it doesn't last anywhere near as long as it used to. Oh well.

Buona settimana a tutti e spero che sia piena di gioia e felicità!!!

Anziano Langlois

Wait...What Happened?? November 5, 2014

Ciao tutti!!!!

Alright, let me just start off by saying, a lot of things happen every day, but when I come to write my email, I don't remember any of them. I usually run over my journal before I come and write down notes about things to talk about, but today, I didn't have time because we went with our entire zone (minus the sorelle) to San Marino. It was super windy and kinda rainy, but still really fun. A bunch of the guys bought swords. Silly goofs. I don't have room for a samurai sword in my luggage. haha. We went to this fancy restaurant there because no one was there and it wasn't that expensive. After talking to the hostess for a couple of minutes, she complimented me on my Italian and was shocked to hear that I've only been here for a year and a half. Now, before you say anything dad, yes, I know. Never be satisfied. Don't worry. I'm studying my Language every single day (when we have time). It's so weird to think that I perfectly understand a differently Language that I never even studied until a year and a half ago. Talk about the gift of tongues. Speaking of that, I Always think about you dad when that man on your mission asked you if you believe in the gift of tongues. haha.

Well, this week has had a ton of miracles. We are working with this man from Kazakhstan who knew the Church and the missionaries there. This past Sunday, during the fast and testimony meeting, he kept on turning over to me to tell me that he really liked that testimony, or to share some positive comment. After Church, we taught him a lesson and he told us that he really liked fast and testimony meeting. After a great lesson talking about the Restoration, we answered some of his concerns about the Book of Mormon, and then he told us that he wants to be a member of this Church. Not only that, but a perfect member. He really has a great desire to gain a testimony for himself and he is really putting in his effort to read the book of Mormon and pray about the truthfulness of it.

This past Monday, we went up to Milano for consiglio (I drove both ways...boy that was tiring, but fun) and I got to see Anz Andersen and Windley who both just went capo. I love those guys so much. They are so much fun. They haven't changed a bit. But that's not the important part. So we Always have trainings from the AP's and Pres and what not, but this time, It was different. We were talking about Always finding people on buses and trains and whatnot, so what we did instead of a lecture, was they gave us each bus or metro tickets and assigned us to a metro or bus line and told us to not come back until lunch. It was awesome! Anz Polson and I have no idea where this bus route was, but after we found it we started talking to this lady standing at the stop. After she figured out that we were "Mormons" she asked us if we knew her cousin. No joke, I knew her. Her cousin is the Relief Society president in Pavia. Where I spent 7 months, if you don't remember, so I knew her super well. I immediately said a prayer of thanks in my heart and we started talking to her about her life and whatnot. We rode the bus together to the capolinea and got off and talked to her from about 20 minutes. At the end we invited her to Church and she said she would come! We got her contact info and passed it to the sorelle there in Milano, one of which, happens to be Sorella Carter from my Group (who is finished her mission this transfer.....super weird....I'm old), who also served in Pavia, so she knows this lady's cousin as well. It was literally the coolest miracle ever!!!! I was so pumped and it blew Slla Carter's mind. haha. I can testify that the Lord places people in our path. It was not by chance that we got assigned to that bus route and we chose that random bus stop.

In other news, I wanted to share a story with you from the New Testament. It's found in Matt 19. It's the story of the Young rich man who goes to Jesus and asks him how to get eternal life. Christ responds by telling him to keep the commandments, but after the Young rich man proudly tells him that he has Always kept those from his Youth up, he asks a very profound and soul searching question: "what lack I yet?". Perhaps the boy did not realize the depth of his honest question, but we can all learn something really important from this simple question. The Lord responds by telling him to sell his riches and give to the poor, but that is not the answer for all of us. In fact, the Lord was telling this specific man, the specific thing that he needed to change in his life. This question is linked with a personal commandment. I know that if we humbly ask the Lord this question in our lives, we will find a great opportunity to grow and become more like Christ. It won't be easy to change that one thing, just like how it wasn't easy for the rich man to sell all of his riches, but I can tell you, from the bottom of my heart, that it is Worth it. So this is my invite to you. I want you all to look deep down inside yourselves and humbly ask this question, "What lack I yet?" and then do all that you can to change that one aspect of your life and I promise you that you will see joy in your life that you didn't know was possible. You will find strength Beyond your own. I know, because I have seen that in my life. The atonement of Christ is real, and it is available to all of us. Never forget that.

I love you all so very much and I wish you the best of the best in this upcoming season of Christmas. Don't forget the spirit of giving and selfless service, because that is where the real joy and happiness comes from.

Con tanto amore,
Anziano Langlois

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Let's Go A Fishing October 29, 2014

Ciao tutti!!!!

Life is going good here in Ravenna. Busy as ever. This transfer flew by. I can't believe it's pretty much over. Anz Polson and I are staying together for his last transfer, so I finally get to "kill" someone in the mission. (companion will finish his mission and return home) WHOO!!! haha. I heard that Anz Johnson is going to Siena (lucky dog), so I'll get to see him again in a few weeks at zone conference. We are losing Sorella Yost, who's been here in Ravenna for the past 6 months and literally the branch is in tears to see her leave. She did some really great work here in Ravenna, and we are definitely going to miss her. But that is the life of a missionary. Oh well. haha

Crazy random note. The other day, we ran into the sorella in centro after getting a bidone, and so we were talking for a minute. Randomly this old man walks up to us and asks us if we are english, we told him we were americans and he asked us where we were from. I said California, and so he asked me from what part. I said Los Angeles, and then he said "oh, well I lived in Thousand Oaks for a couple months". WHAT!?!?!?!?!?! I was so caught of guard. He didn't believe me when I told him that I was from there. He is just this rich old man who travels across the world and a few years ago lived in good old TO. Represent!

Anyway, we've been running around like crazy this past week. We had two surprise baptismal interviews that we had to do in the zone. One in Pesaro and one in San Marino, so we lived in the car for a few days pretty much. haha. It's so nice to have a car. It makes traveling so much easier.

We had some sweet miracles this week. One miracle was a couple weeks in the making. My first week here, we started teaching this family that used to be investigators years ago. As we've gone over there the past few weeks, we have noticed their willingness to learn more about the gospel. After a hang-gliding accident, where the mother was seriously injured, the family has really started to change for the better. They are trying so hard to save their marriage and family, which before the accident, was crumbling quickly. Last Sunday, the wife came to church for all 3 hours, which is a huge deal because her back still causes her a lot of pain. On Monday, we went over to see them and we had an amazing lesson with our Branch Mission Leader. The spirit was really strong and after talking for a good 20 minutes about it, we set a baptismal date with the husband and wife (who claims to not believe in God). Then the father gave one of the most sincere prayers I've ever heard, where he pleaded for the Lord to show him the right path to follow to hold his family together. This family has literally made leaps and bounds in the past few weeks. Every time we go over to see them, they are so happy to have us and to feel the spirit. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to know this family. They are very close to our hearts and we are working so hard to bring them the joy of the gospel.

Then, we were able to meet with this super awesome investigator that the sorelle passed us. He's from Barcelona and is super awesome!!!1 Holy cow, talk about prepared. He just sat and listened with an amazing expression on his face as we taught him the Restoration. It was such a miracle how he got found. I don't remember if I already told you, but if not, the sorelle were talking to someone on the street in English one night and he happened to walk past and hear them. It was his 2nd night there in Ravenna and he had no idea why he accepted the job here in Ravenna. He is so cool! And he came to church this week! Not to mention, like two days after meeting the sorelle, he came to general conference and absolutely loved it! He still talks about it. There are so many cool people here in Ravenna!!!! WHOOO!!!!!!!!

Then yesterday, one of our members, who is hilarious, took us out to lunch at this seafood restaurant at the marina. Holy cow....I've never seen so much seafood on my plate at one time. It's kinda like that bucket of seafood you can get at Joe's Crab Shack. But it was mixed with homemade spaghetti and this amazing sauce. Holy cow. It was sooooo good. Then we ate even more fish after that. It was awesome! I love Italian food!!!!!

Basically, like every week, it's been crazy. I love it so much, but I'm so tired all the time. It's better this way though.

Thanks for the world series update dad. I bet the Giants win again. Man, they are so good these days.

Danielle's wedding sounds just like I would imagine it to be.  I'm really happy for her and Courtney.

Tell everyone back that I love them!

I hope you have a great week everyone!!!!!

Vi voglio bene!

Anziano Langlois


I Believe in Miracles!! October 22, 2014

Ciao tutti!!!!

I don't know how it's possible, but this city is literally the city of miracles. It's crazy. Every day brings at least one new miracle. It's so awesome! The Lord is definitely hastening his work here in this part of Italy.

Miracle time!
We have been working with this 9 year old boy in our branch here in Ravenna for a while now and every time we bring up baptism his mom gets really defensive and apprehensive. This past lesson we planned on talking to him alone right after the lesson. He said the closing prayer and then looked at us and said "I don't know why, but I feel that when I get home, I will know what day I need to get baptized". It literally shocked us that the spirit answered him that quickly and that clearly. We talked about the spirit and how he testifies of truth and then we set a baptismal date. He then went home and asked his dad for permission, which his mother was really worried about, and the father said yes, but he wants to push the date back a week or two. It was such an amazing miracle to see how Heavenly Father answers all of his children, even a 9 year old boy in Ravenna, Italy.

We also had some other amazing miracles this week. A random less active (that we didn't even know existed) called us yesterday at lunch asking to meet with us. Then on Sunday, a random man walked into church and after talking to him, we found out that he was studying here in Ravenna, but is from Khazikstan. He was an investigator there and he told us that he's pretty sure he will be baptized soon. He found the church here in Ravenna with the help of some of his friends from Idaho. It was such a blessing to just have this amazing person walk into the church and find you!

We also had a mostra in centro this weekend with our members. It was a great success, especially with the giovanni. We do not have a lot here in Ravenna, so the fact that we got the phone numbers of 5 or 6 giovanni during these 3 days was a real miracle.

Every day, I realize more and more why the Lord sent me here to Ravenna. It is so amazing to think how perfectly the Lord has guided my mission. It really is an honor to serve Him.

Another miracle was the fact that we got to go to Pavia this week to pick up my permesso, so I got to eat lunch with the De Simone family again. It was the best. They are so great. I love them so much. I love seeing them. I miss them a ton. On the downside, that cost a lot of money, so we are pretty much broke right now as we wait for our reimbursements to come in from the mission. haha. Good thing its not my turn to pay for gas. haha

Sports time! 

That's crazy that the Giants are in the world series AGAIN. Holy cow!!!! They are always good now a days. they are like the Yankees of olden times. Well, keep me updated please.

That stinks that BYU football is a lost cause now, but soccer is still going strong! Yes!!! I love it!

I'm excited to Skype you guys on Christmas. It will be cool to see everyone there again like last year. Especially because there will be two new faces. 

Keep up the good work with the missionaries dad. Member help is key!! You're always a great example to me.

Band time!

That sounds like an interesting show title. Sounds very BP. haha. OH well. They got new uniforms? You will have to send me a picture sometime. I'm curious what they look like. haha. Isn't that weird though that this is the last year of going to marching band shows? You never thought it would end did you? haha

Confession time!

OK dad. I know you tell me to study my language every day, but I have to be honest. We literally have no time to do language study during the day. We are always running around doing stuff. We are trying to SYL more. It's kinda hard in the car. You feel like you're at home and you kinda forget sometimes. haha. Whoops...but when I have time, I study my language and I speak it every day during lessons so that's good practice, right?

Thinking of Christmas, are there any special things you guys want from Italy this Christmas? I'm going to start getting gifts, so let me know.

I love this work. I love being ZL. It's super busy and super fun. Scambi for days!!! haha. We are always running around and I'm so tired at the end of the day. I never have time for me. OH well, pazienza. haha

Well, I love you all so much and wish you all a happy and joyful week!

Anziano Langlois

Explosion in Ravenna October 15, 2014

Ciao tutti!!!!

Don't worry, nothing bad happened. It's just a reference to the work here right now. It's going great!

First things first, CHRIS GOT MARRIED?!?!?!?!? That's nuts!!!!! I'm so pumped for him!! Freak. I was not expecting that one. haha. Sean falling asleep with his horsie to Tellitubbies, I can kinda expect that one. haha. I love you man. If you make it back here in Dicembre, I'm probably still going to be here in Ravenna, but who knows. I'll keep you updated.

Business first. Thank you again for sending that form to Sorella Harmer. I think that should be fine, but I'll let you know if they want a hard copy. I need to start thinking about classes soon. OH stuff. But as for housing, I've been talking to my buddies from BYU about that, and we are kind of organizing something. Basically, we know we want to live together, but we don't know where or how. haha. I just need someone to look at housing for me, because I can't really from here. I might be able to get permission from Pres, but I don't know. Bo...

Speaking of driving, it's still awesome. Driving in Italy is kinda like driving in LA, but slightly more crazy. You have to be super alert all the time. I don't have an Italian license because they are really hard to get, but my California one works according to the office. I know mine expires in March, which is fine. If we can renew it through that form, that would be great, so just let me know.

I don't have to buy gas with my own money, so that's really nice. I always like more money, but I'm really trying to not buy a ton of things. I have no idea how much money I have though. However, January will be my last saldi, so I will need money so I can buy lots of stuff for really cheap before I go home.

I'm really glad at least Sylvia reads my blog. haha. I hope people like it. Sometimes I feel like I just "ramble on" (Led Zepplin shout out). Sorry, I was just on a scambio with Anz Rutter from my MTC group. He also loves Led, so we talked a lot about it. haha. He's a totally rock star. He played me some of his music he's written on his guitar, and he's super talented. Some good stuff.

Before I forget, I want to give a shout out to Mom, Annie, and Jess for their birthday on Saturday. I hope it's an amazing day! You are all great!!!!

I haven't run into Anz West yet, but if I ever do, I bet I will forget how I kinda know him. haha.


In addition to the 26 lessons we taught this week, 12 being while on scambio with the AP's, our miracle is actually kind of the Sorelle's miracle. Don't worry, I'll explain. We were on our way to a lesson when a random number called us. It was a woman who had come to our English class last year and actually received a blessing from the Anziani a year ago. She saw one of our fliers and decided to call us. She told us that she would not be able to come to English class on Wednesday nights, but still wanted to practice her English, so we gave her number to the Sorelle right after the call, and they called her that day and set up an appointment for that evening. At the appointment, they taught her the Restoration and she accepted a baptismal date. It was a huge miracle for both of us. The Sorelle have been doing some amazing work lately and they've passed us a few investigators in the past few weeks and we really wanted to return the favor. Our prayer was answered, and we were able to pass back someone to the wonderful Sorelle who really deserve it.

Another great miracle is this family that we just re-picked up when I first got here. The wife just had a really bad accident where the doctors said that she might not walk ever again, but she has made a miraculous recovery and the husband is really opening up the gospel as a result of it. This family is amazing and they came to church this week and are coming again next week! We are so blessed to be there to help them. We came by just at the right time to help them get their lives back in order. I love missionary work.

Random comments time. The other day, we went with our members to pick chestnuts. I can honestly say that I've never even thought of doing that, but it was so much fun!!! Chestnuts however are covered in a spiky shell when they fall of the tree, so I got my hands stabbed a lot. But it was really fun to wonder through the beautiful Italian hills harvesting chestnuts. I'll send some pics. Also, Polson and I climbed to the top of the mountain and got an amazing view from the top. I also found an oak tree there, so I took a picture. TO pride!!!! haha

Then the other day when I went on scambio, we went for our scambio treat to this American restaurant called American Graffiti. Yes, just like the movie. It was so 50's diner. Dad, you would have loved it. I got an "Elvis Milk Shake" which had bananas, chocolate, and peanut butter. haha. It was awesome. Just like the good old times on road trips, stopping at all that "local color". haha.

Well, this week, just like all the rest is going by way to fast. I can't believe we are in week 4 already. It's crazy. Time is flying past.

I love you all and I hope you all have an amazing week!!

Hope to hear from you all soon!

Statemi bene,
 Anziano Langlois
This is from an earlier hospital visit in Pavia.  I believe it has something ti do with Lord of the Rings.