Thursday, May 28, 2015

Addio I'Italia May 27, 2015

Ciao tutti!!!

Well, this is it. This is my last email from the mission field. Honestly, I can't describe how I feel right now. On one hand, I'm super excited to come home. I can't wait to see everyone and continue life. But on the other hand, I'm super sad. I'm going to miss Italy so much. I'm going to miss the Italian people so much. I'm really going to miss being the Lord's personal representative. I never thought that it would be this hard to leave. It still hasn't completely hit me yet, but its getting there. Packing and running around saying goodbye to people is kinda freaking me out. So much to do. So little time.

It's really been such a great week. Last p-day, we hiked to this waterfall that turned out to be way bigger than we thought. It was super cool. And we only had to run for about half of it to catch the bus back home. haha. Saturday night while coming home, the elevator door opened up and our keys fell literally down the crack into the elevator shaft. So we had to walk over to the other Anziani's apartment and spent the night there. We then went to church in the same clothes (gross) and I gave my last talk. They turned the time over to me with 30 minutes left. I talked for 25 of them. I thought it was a really good talk. A lot of members like it, so that's a good sign. While getting pizza one night, we started talking to the people inside the restaurant and after telling them multiple times that I was from California, this old Italian man who had muttered "mormoni" as soon as we walked in, grabbed my arm, looked me in the eye and said "are you Italian?". I said no, and he then told me "No?!?! Well, complimenti, you speak Italian perfectly". I know I know. Don't worry, I didn't let it go to my head, but after 2 years of working hard to learn this language, it was such a blessing to hear that. I never would have expected it, and especially from that man. I love this language so much. I'm really going to miss not hearing it all around me. Guess I have to go find little Italy in LA! haha

After being locked out of our apartment all of Sunday, we spent the night with the other anziani again and we were able to get our keys retrieved by an elevator worker man on Monday morning. How grateful I was to be back in that apartment and to change clothes. haha.

Then yesterday, we had one of the craziest experiences ever. I love the mission. This might sound like a joke, but it seriously happened:
A Buddhist monk, a rogue Jew, a pseudo-atheist, and two Mormon missionaries walk into a church....chaos ensues. It was literally the weirdest hour of my life. Not joking, they talked about (because they pretty much wouldn't let us talk) binary Jesus, female donkeys, and other crazy stuff. You guys have to see the picture. It's so funny. I love the people you meet on the mission. This is way too much fun.

This week we had some really good lessons with our members and were able to get more names of their friends to work with. In fact, we were able to meet with one of these referrals in the home of their member friend and she told us that she's always wanted to "convince herself" that the church is true, but every time, something comes up and stops her. We testified of the Book of Mormon and its power to give her spiritual strength to overcome the adversities that there would be in her search for the truth and she committed to start reading the Book of Mormon again. Then yesterday, we went to visit a new convert and we had been trying to meet with his non member brother for weeks, but we had never been able to. Without knowing it, we ran into his brother outside his house and we were able to speak about the Book of Mormon and how important it was to receive a testimony of the Lord's restored church. The great news is that he told us that he has been praying to know if this church is true, and he wants it to be true so he can be united with his brother and mother who are both members. We then had a great restoration lesson with him at his brother's home and we committed him to read the Book of Mormon and because he lives outside of our area, he agreed to meet with the missionaries of Bergamo 1. It truly was a great week of member work.

I just want to leave you all with my testimony. I know the Jesus Christ lives. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is His restored church on the earth. I know that it is guided by a living prophet, Thomas S Monson. God is literally our father and He loves us. He listens and answers our prayers. I know this because He has answered mine, and He continues to speak to me through the scriptures. Especially the Book of Mormon. This book with bring any man closer to God than any other book. It teaches us how to find peace in this difficult life and eternal life in the world to come. I love my savior. I am so grateful for all that He has done for me. I don't have the words to describe how much I have loved to be His personal representative here in Italy. I know that this is His work and that His hand is in it. I love you all so very much.

Vi voglio un mondo di bene.
Ci vediamo presto,
Anziano Eric Langlois

It's The Final Countdown May 20, 2015

Ciao tutti!!!

Well, this is the second to last email home from the mission field. That's super weird. Literally everyday is going faster and faster and its becoming more and more real that I'm actually coming home, and I don't like it one bit. So let's not talk about that. haha

Tanti auguri a Erin for graduating in smart person stuff!!! Yay Ninanin!!! (She's going to kill me for putting that. haha). You guys are like travel experts right now. I hope you're having fun in New Jersey. I'm in the rain boat too. In fact, its suppose to rain every day until the day I leave. I think Italy is crying for me. haha.

I'm glad to hear about the invites being sent out for my homecoming, I hope that means you guys made a Facebook event and invited everyone.

So this past week I gave my "dying testimony" in front of my zone. It was way harder than I thought it would be! Holy cow. I think I'm literally going to have a heart attack next week when they tell me to get on that plane. I still can't believe how fast time has flown by. It literally blows my mind. 2 years is too short!

Miracle time. The other night, we were able to go give a blessing with a member to his daughter in the hospital, and it was such a tender experience. To hear a father bless his sick daughter and to be a part of that blessing was amazing. The spirit was really strong. I love the priesthood.

Then, here's our super miracle from this week:

Unfortunately we have been having a lot of lessons cancel on us recently and so we've had to really use our backup plans. yesterday, after almost all of our lessons cancelled, we were waiting for a potential to call us when he got back from his friend's house so we could see him. We decided to go out and just do some finding while we were waiting for his call. We didn't really have a set plan on where we would go, but we just picked a street and starting walking. Upon turning the corner, we ran into a member. We talked for a moment and then asked if we could share a quick scripture with her. (This has been my new genius idea. Because we run into a lot of members on the street here, we decided that when we do, we will share a quick spiritual thought with them to bring the spirit more into their day). So we sat down on a park bench and we read a scripture that I had found that morning in my studies (Mosiah 7:33). While she was reading it, she paused and looked up at us with tears in her eyes, and thanked us for sharing that scripture with her, it was exactly what she needed to hear. We then bore our testimonies about diligence and how when we put in all of our effort, the Lord will take care of the rest, according to his will and pleasure. After saying a quick prayer with her, we looked up and saw this couple sitting on a nearby bench. We immediately walked up to them and started up a conversation. As we talked about Jesus Christ and a living prophet, I brought up the Book of Mormon and the husband looked at me and said, "Give me this book now. I want to read it." I didn't have a copy with me, but we were able to set up a return appointment to go see them and their three children in their home next week to give them one. It was such a miracle. I know that we were inspired to go to that street to run into that member and lift her spiritually and then to be in the right place to find that couple. I know that when we are truly diligent, the Lord blesses us in ways that we can't even imagine.

As my time to serve the Lord here in Italy as his personal representative comes to a close, I'm humbled and so grateful for this opportunity to serve the Lord's people here in Italy.

Time is a crazy thing. I can't even begin to describe my feelings right now. I will see you all very soon. I love you all so much.

alla prossima,
Anziano Langlois

He Does Listen May 13, 2015

Ciao tutti!!!

Well, only a couple more of these emails left. That's pretty crazy. Time is really going fast. Before you know it, I will be home and life will be real. I don't know if I'm ready for that.

Anyway, it was a good week. The best part was being able to Skype you guys for mother's day. That was really fun. I'm excited to be able to see you all in person soon. Get ready to party. haha

Well, you'll never believe who I met on the bus the other day. That right....Joseph Smith. No, I'm not joking. He was from Ghana and when I asked him his name, he just started laughing and then told me. So, hopefully we will start teaching Joseph Smith this week. Speaking of that, did I ever tell you about how the missionaries in Ancona baptized someone named Joseph Smith? I guess it's a pretty common name. haha.

Besides that, the title of this email comes from our miracle yesterday. Well, now that we have control over the whole city, we have a lot more people to see and so we are a lot more busy. Unfortunately, literally all of our lessons yesterday cancelled and we went from a full day, to an empty day. Good thing for backup plans, right? So as we had planned, we went and did some pass bys of less active members, and literally no one was home. We went from one end of the city to the other and found no one. While on one of the buses, I started talking to this young man who was going to church. I spoke to him about eternal families and bore my testimony to him and I know he felt the spirit. He then gave me his number, but as soon as I tried to call it to see if it worked, it said it wasn't active. So it looks like he gave me a fake number. That is always sad, especially when they feel the spirit. So our morale was kinda low yesterday, but we kept on working and literally as we were crossing the street to go home, we got stopped by/we stopped a man (it was kinda both) who had met the missionaries in the past. He had tried to go to the old church before, but since we don't use it anymore, its always closed. We were able to give him the new church address and get his phone number. When I asked if we could meet him again, he said, "Why wait? I've got time right now". So we taught him a quick lesson right there and set up a return appointment. It was literally such a blessing. I knew that Heavenly Father was aware of our struggles that day. That He saw the effort we were putting in and he blessed us as a result. I know He listens to our prayers and answers them "after all we can do"(2 Nephi 25:23). We have to put the effort in first, and then the blessings come. 

Just like you dad, I'm currently studying 3rd Nephi and I love it so much. It is so crazy how much destruction there was. I never realized it. I still remember back a few years ago when we went on a trip with Uncle Leo and his family (I think it was when we went to Jedediah smith). We had just gone on the mail boats to the lunch point and we were looking at some broken rocks on the beach and Uncle Leo got our 3rd Nephi and read about the destruction of the land and how the rocks were broken up and whatnot. I don't know why, but that stuck in my head. 

I love the Book of Mormon so much. It is such an inspired book. It literally has changed my life. Every time I read from it, I learn something new. I know that it answers the questions of the soul, and I invite everyone to read it. To ponder about its message, try and put the teachings into practice, and then to ask God, if it is not true. And I promise you, just like Moroni of old and just like millions of faithful people before me, you will receive an answer. I know this to be true, because God answered my prayer. And he continues to answer them. 

So in conclusion. I've very excited to see you all soon, but don't worry. I'm still working hard. Being trunky won't be a problem. I know how important this time is. I only have 2 weeks left, so I need to make the most of it. Thank you for your prayers on our behalf. I love you all so much and I hope that you have a great week.

Anziano Langlois

Monday, May 11, 2015

3...4...5 May 6, 2015

Ciao tutti!!!

Basically, 3 is the magic number right now. I'm serving in Bergamo 3, we are in a trio, and there are only 3 more weeks left in my mission. Crazy stuff.

Well, first of all, we will not be in a trio after Friday. Anz Gibbons is getting transferred to Pistoia (the Prato ward) and Anz Lingardo and I will be holding down the fort here in Bergamo by ourselves. That's right. I started with 4, then went down to 3, and now I will be finishing with 2. It's been a crazy last transfer. haha. However, now that we have official control over all of Bergamo 3, we should have a lot more work. We have already seen some really good success this week.

For example:
On Monday, the 4th, (or May the 4th be with you), we got 4 new investigators. They were all people that we had taught before, but we finally got a return appointment, so they all became new simps on Monday. Then on Tuesday, the 5th, (or Cinco de Mayo or Revenge of the 5th), we taught 5 lessons. It was amazing!!! We are such great success yesterday and we even got a new investigator who is really cool. In fact, he called us today to just say hi to us and to tell us that he will be free tomorrow so he doesn't have to wait until Saturday to see us. Talk about elect. So yeah, we are pretty happy right now.
Thinking about my mission in general, I've realized the past few days that I am literally at the top of my "Missionary" game right now. All the things that used to scare me or make me feel awkward, don't bother me at all anymore. I may only have 3 weeks left, but I'm pretty sure they are going to be the three best weeks ever. I'm literally trying to teach Anz Lingardo at every turn and just leave as much as my knowledge as I can. I've very grateful to be here in Italy right now. This is a beautiful country and I love this people. I'm really going to miss it. It hasn't quite hit me yet, but I think it will be like a semi truck when I walk off that plane in LAX.

Am I ready to go home? No. I don't think so. I'm ready to start the rest of my life, but I'm not ready to leave all of this behind. It's become such a part of me. It's times like this when I feel like Moroni, weak in writing. haha

Life sounds to be really good for you all and I'm really happy to hear that.
Dodgers in 1st place is great news, and even better news that the Clippers beat the Spurs. (Cue dad "YES YES YES!!!!"). I'd like to go to a game before I head back to school if that's possible dad, but we have all summer to do that, so don't worry about it right away.

Speaking of giving talks, I was just assigned another talk for my last Sunday here in Italy. Guess what its called...."The last days in the mission". A fitting title, no? haha. What makes it even better is the fact that Anz Lingardo is speaking right before me on "The first days in the mission". Someone's got a sense of humor in the branch presidency.

OK, returning home stuff.  I love parties. I will definitely put together a slideshow for that, but I will wait until I'm home to do that. Speaking of my homecoming, did you make it a Facebook event yet? No? Then please do it :) And if yes, then thank you!

How many people are coming to pick me up??? haha. And I'm totally ok with El Cholo, because I MISS REAL MEXICAN FOOD!!!!! The Italian version has no spice. Now, before you all freak out, yes, I'm still Eric. I am a lot less picky now. I love food. It is such an enjoyment for me now to eat. I can't wait to make you guys some of my favorite dishes.

I would like to work in the office with you dad. Would I still be doing my runner job, or will there be more stuff to do? Either way, I'm in. And as for my gym membership, I actually would like one. I like working out now. haha. And I need to get rid of my pasta gut! haha

Please give me some info on that math refresher course, because I'm going to need it. Maybe I can also try and contact my old Calc teacher, Mr. Korshavn, to see if he could give me a little refresher course too. haha.

Well, I don't know what else to say. haha. I will see you on Skype in a few days, and then I will actually be seeing you in just a few weeks. Don't get trunky on me now ;) haha

I love you all and I'm very excited to see you all very soon.

Anziano Langlois

The Power Of 3 April 29, 2015

Ciao tutti!!!!

Well, I'm not going to lie, it's been a hard week. On Friday, we lost suddenly one of the missionaries in our apartment, who went home for some personal reasons. I really respect him. That wasn't an easy decision, but it had to be done. I'm very proud of him. Since then, we've been in a trio, which say the least. It's so awkward sometimes. We have yet to find out a good finding technique, because most people are intimidated by two people stopping them, figuriamoci three now! So, we've been trying to split up on opposite sides of the street, switching off between being in two or in one. That is super weird. Stopping someone by yourself. And then its harder to balance out lessons. I feel bad for Anziano Lingardo now, because I want him to be talking a lot more, but now that we have another older missionary (been out for a year), he kinda gets left behind. This is definitely messing up my training plan. I've been praying a lot to figure out what to do, so I know the Lord will help me out. We're still waiting to here from President to let us know what is happening, if we are just staying in a trio or getting a new comp or what. Who knows. Basically, it's been an eventful last transfer.

To answer your questions dad, we teach around 10 lessons a week here. We do not have any progressing investigators here. It's been kinda frustrating because we have some legit people, but we can never see them and the people we do see aren't super committed. We are not getting discouraged though. Anz Lingardo speaks the language well, but he has a hard time understanding what people say, but I'm trying to help him all that I can. I am finding success in making friends with the members. We have few that we see regularly, but we do our best to meet and make friends with the less actives.

Well, not everything this week was bad, in fact, we were able to listen to Elder Bednar on Monday in Milano. It was incredible! I learned so much. I can't even start to explain it all, but please ask me when I get home, because I want to share it all with you. That was a huge boost for our moral. And it was beyond amazing to see all of my old mission friends, even though I did not know more than 75% of the people there. I'm old. haha.

We also had some cool miracles this week.  As I just told you, when we that missionary went home, it was something hard to swallow. We were all shocked and just kinda left in the dust as he left and we found ourselves in a trio. This first day was very difficult. All of our appointments cancelled and we were just all out of it from the initial shock of him leaving so suddenly. We did however, have a huge miracle that came out of this. A few week prior, we received a referral from another coppia in Bergamo. We contacted this man and he was very busy, so we continued to call him and try to set something up. Eventually, we were able to set up an appointment for last Friday. We called him to confirm and he moved our lesson back to 9:00. However, a few hours later, he texted us and invited us to come over for dinner instead at 7:15, so we could meet his family. We gladly accepted and went to his house. Upon our arrival, we met a few of his children, and then they just kept coming. Turns out he and his wife have 7 children, all but one, above the age of 8. We could not believe our eyes. It was incredible. We instantly hit it off with the family and we taught them the restoration and answered their many questions. Upon leaving, we left them with a Book of Mormon and they gladly accepted it. We were not able to set up a return appointment, but we hope to be able to fix one soon in these next few days. It was such a great miracle for us, just went we needed it. Our spirits were low, and the Lord lifted us higher.

Then, earlier that week, we got a referral from one of our members. We went out to this city to meet her and we literally wandered around this small town for an hour lost. Finally, I found a pizzeria and asked them if we could use their map to find this street. hahaha. Smart, right? Well, we found it. Turns out we were super near to it before hand and we just didn't know it. But this lady who we taught in a park near her house is amazing. Her faith was incredible. We had a great lesson and unfortunately, because she lives outside of our area, we had to pass her, but I've learned that doesn't matter because we are all on the same team. So now the sorelle got a totally golden referral.

It's really weird how fast time is going. Thanks for the heads up on the post mission info. Do they have a specific topic for my homecoming? Did you guys make a Facebook event yet? Please do and invite all of my friends!!!

As for Skype, I don't know the plan yet. Because we are in a trio and all from California, it will be weird and a little difficult to work it out the times. I will give the precedence to the other two because I will see you guys soon enough. We will still do it, but it probably won't be for too long. Boh...I will figure it out this week and let you know.

Well, life goes on here in the mission. Things are starting to change. We are officially getting ipads. Don't know when, but they should be getting here soon. Weird. Doesn't really change anything for me, but it is exciting to see how the Lord is hastening his work through technology.

I love you all so very much and I appreciate your prayers in my behalf. Continue to pray for Bergamo 3. We love the support!

Ci vediamo prestissimo!
Anziano Langlois

It Makes A Difference April 22, 2015

Ciao tutti!!!!
It's crazy to think that I will only be writing about 5 more of these....super weird. Time has really flown by. Before I know it, I will be seeing you all in person. Crazy.
Anyway, the work keeps on truckin' forward here in Bergamo. We had some really cool miracles this week. But I just wanted to start by saying that because of Stake Conference and General Conference, we were not able to take the sacrament for almost 3 weeks, and I can tell you. I felt a difference. These past few weeks, I've felt really weird. Off and just tired. While taking the sacrament this past week, It literally just hit me how much of a difference it makes. I know that we literally NEED to take the sacrament each week. It is the recharge of our spiritual battery that we need every week. We can't afford to miss a single Sunday. Seriously. This week has been so much better than the last two, and I'm convinced the sacrament played a huge part.
OK. On to miracles! One of them started a few weeks ago when Anz Miles and I found this new investigator, Antoine, on our scambio. We were able to meet with him once after that and set up a return appointment, but he didn't show up and because his phone was broken, there was no way to contact him. I was very sad, but I felt like it wasn't the end with him. In fact, during studies one morning this week, I was thinking about passing by the park that we met him at to just see if he was there. I looked at our schedule and we didn't have time. Then, during companion study, I called our appointment for that morning to confirm, and he had to cancel. So I decided that we should just run by the park. At first, he wasn't there. Then after talking to this man for a few minutes, we were walking and we found Antoine laying on a bench. We sat down with him and taught a quick lesson and set up a return appointment. Then a few days later, we got a random text from him saying that his phone was working again. It was such a cool string a miracles! I know that God listened to my prayers because I really prayed hard to find him again and we were led to him yet again.
Another miracle came from a man we met on the street a few weeks ago. We were finally able to get a hold of him and set up a return appointment. We showed up for the lesson and he wasn't there. So we waited....and waited. After waiting, we decided to go finish our language study (which I am still doing by the way dad) and after that we were on our way to do some strada, when someone came up behind us and stopped us on his bike. It was our investigator! He found us! So we had a great lesson with him where we talked about the plan of salvation, which was really good for him because he had just lost his mother.
Then, later that night, we went and visited some members and they brought some of their nonmember friends over. We were able to teach the restoration and the spirit was totally there. One of the friends, immediately accepted the book of Mormon and is excited to learn more. It was incredible.
Then, yesterday, while doing some strada, I told Anz Lingardo, who was struggling a little with having the courage to stop people, that the next person we saw was going to stop and become a new investigator. And just like that, it totally happened!!! We stopped this very nice man and were able to set up a return appointment with him and his family tomorrow. It was such a testimony builder to me to see that God really does place people in our path that will accept us and the message that we bring.
In other random news, I gave a talk on Sunday. I was suppose to speak for 20 minutes, but one of the talks went super long, so I only spoke for about 7. It wasn't enough. haha. I had to pretty much cut out all of my talk. haha Oh well, you do what you can. The members said that they liked it, so I guess that's the important part.
Also, on Monday night, we were able to be interviewed by these journalists doing an online article on the church here in Bergamo. They interviewed us and some of the other Young Adults. It was really cool to see how all of the young adults were born into the church and almost all had served missions. It just hit me then that the church in Italy is strong. It's not going anywhere. That was really awesome to see.
About sports, super cool that the Dodgers are doing well. That's good news. We should totally go to a game when I get home dad!! haha. Keep me updated on the NBA. It looks like a tough road for the Clippers though against San Antonio. Who knows though. Sad to hear that the Kings didn't make the playoffs though.
Well, it's kinda weird thinking that I only have 5 weeks left. That's totally crazy. My Italian is doing really well, but I'm still trying every day to improve it. I've gotten more compliments here in Bergamo on my Italian than ever before, and all the young missionaries keep on asking me questions, so I think that means I'm doing pretty well. I'm on track to finish the old testament in Italian right now. I'm in Isaiah and loving it. I love this language so much. I'm going to miss it so much. I can already tell you that.
Well, I don't know if you know, but Elder Bednar is coming to our mission on Monday, so that should be pretty crazy. I'll tell you more about it next week. Everyone is excited for Ipads, but I already know that I will never see them and I'm fine with that. I don't really want one anyway.
Then a few weeks after that, it's Skype time for mother's day, the 10th right? and then I'll be home. That's so crazy! I'm kinda starting to freak out, but I also feel calm. I love this work and I love this country. I'm really going to miss it.
Until next week,
Anziano Langlois
PS: Guess where we went for Pday today dad? That's right. San Pellegrino Terme where they make your favorite sparkling water. haha. I drank from a sponsored drinking fountain. haha. It was gorgeous. I took pictures, but it seems like it never works out for me to send them home. Sorry. haha

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Langlois and Juliet April 15, 2015

Ciao tutti!!!!!!

This has been a tiring week. I don't know if its just me getting more and more tired ever day or the ever increasing heat, but I'm tired. My body is just kinda tired. It didn't help that this week, we had Stake Conference in Verona (finally got to see it!!!!) and to get there in time we had to wake up at 4:30 to catch the train. That kinda threw off my sleep schedule, but I'm surviving. Don't worry, I'm still enthusiastic for the work, even though its not going super great right now. I know that there are still people for me to find here in Bergamo. Anz Lingardo and I were talking about how we want to improve for this next transfer together, and we are going to work our butts off. This is my last one, so there is no time for screw-ups. I've only got 6 short weeks left and I want to make them count.

A miracle from yesterday. We had a lesson cancel during the morning, so on our way home to do 12 week, we stopped this man. After talking to him for a little bit, we found out that not only did he used to come to church, but he had also been to a baptism before here in Bergamo. He told us that he had a Book of Mormon, but he had lost it. When we told him that we could get him another copy, he was more than willing to exchange numbers and meet us again. We also found out that his sister also used to come to church and still lives here in Bergamo. We will hopefully be able to bring both of these siblings back into the gospel.

Like I mentioned earlier, we went to Stake Conference in Verona this past Sunday. It was so awesome. That city is gorgeous. It's just got such a cool feel to it. Super touristy, but I liked it. I got to see "Juliet's house", which was pretty cool. I think it would be worth a a quick stop by on our trip. But the best part of conference was the area 70, Elder Kearon, who came to speak to us. He is such a cool man. It was really weird to hear him speak in English and then have it translated into Italian. It's odd to hear the same thing is two different languages that you understand. haha

He gave some really powerful talks, especially his Saturday evening talk during the adult session. After the Sunday session, I had the opportunity to go and talk to him for just a few seconds, but he was very nice and grateful for us as missionaries.

In a more touristy sense, last p-day, Linghi (Anz Lingardo) and I went and hiked to the top of the mountain to the Bergamo cross (Canto Alto). It was a pretty hard hike. Got pretty slippery and steep in a couple spots, but nothing dangerous. The view from the top was amazing. Looking straight out into the snow covered alps. I love nature. I'll try and send some pictures.

I'm excited to see you all in a few weeks. That's totally crazy.

Well, I love you all so much and I wish you all the best in these next few weeks.

Sorry this email is kinda lame, I'm really tired right now. haha. I'm like falling asleep at the computer. haha

Anziano Langlois

Friday, April 10, 2015

I'm Running Out of Catchy Titles April 8, 2015

Ciao tutti!!!!!!
Just wanted to let you all know that I love you all! As many of you know, this past weekend was General Conference when we have the sacred opportunity to listen to the Lord's prophets and apostles speak to us. There was an underlying theme of the importance of the family, so I just wanted to let you all know that I love you a lot. I really appreciate everything you do for me and the support that you have given me these past 2 years while I've been out serving the Lord. I'm very grateful for all of you.

Well, what happened this week....

We had some cool miracles this week. One came from last week, like Thursday or something. Anz Lingardo and I had all of our lessons cancel on us and so we spent the whole day during finding work. We walked A LOT that day. We tried everything to find people to teach. We stopped people on the street, we did pass bys, phone calls, and nothing was working out. At around 7:30 we decided to suone this palazzo where a less active "lives". The first person let us in subito. Super cool. Turns out to be a really nice old lady who didn't want to listen to us, but just wanted to know who we were. So we went to the top floor and knocked all the doors on our way down this 6 story building. No real luck, until the 2nd floor. We heard a kid literally screaming his head off behind this door, so we knocked it. The father came to the door and invited us to come back the next day. We then looked at the clock and it was about 8:00 and we needed to start getting back home, but we decided to just finish the rest of the doors. Good thing we did. We then met this African man who let us in. We watched "Because He Lives" with him, bore our testimonies, and set up a return appointment for the next morning. We kept on going. The next door told us to come back when the husband was home on Saturday. It was super awesome! Even though we were tired and wanted to give up, we kept on pushing and the miracles came. When we called President Dibb to tell him about our miracle, he laughed and told us that he wants to know when we've baptized the whole building. haha.

Then another miracle came from a scambio I did with one of the missionaries in my district. He goes home next week, so we were a pretty experienced companionship. haha. That morning, we went out to this park and we found this man sitting on a bench. We just started a casual conversation with him and he told us that he met with the missionaries in Nigeria, but he had lost contact with the church when he moved to Italy and was searching for it again, but could never find it. We then sat down and taught a quick lesson and bore our testimonies about how God often answers prayers through other people and how us meeting on that bench was an answer to his prayers. We are going to see him again tomorrow, so we are excited.

Well, time keeps going by and we're still working hard. My body is kinda at its breaking point, but I think it will survive a few more weeks. haha

I love you all so much and I really appreciate all that you do for me. I'll see you all in a few short weeks, so behave yourselves. haha

Anziano Langlois

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Spring Time Is Finally Here April 1, 2015

Ciao tutti!!!
Pack away the sweaters and break out the short sleeves, because spring is officially here and its beautiful. I love spring in Italy and what a city to spend my last spring. Bergamo is gorgeous. With the mountains right behind the city and flowers everywhere, it's definitely the place to be. haha.
Wow. Lots of emails this week. haha. I guess that's what happens when you have a birthday on the mission. That's weird. I'm 21. Don't feel like it. Oh well. It is what it is. haha. It is weird to think that for the entire time I was 20, I was in Italy. That's pretty cool. I can't really complain. haha
Well, lots of stuff happened this week. We still don't have gas (it's been almost 2 weeks), but we should have it today. A guy is coming by to do something, so hopefully that means we will have gas today. I've also had a couple meetings this past week, so that's been kinda weird too.
Basically our situation here in Bergamo is that we have a lot of potentials, but none of them answer their phone, and we can never see any of our investigators, but we are still working hard. We are currently in the 21 lesson week challenge. We had a great first day, teaching 4 lessons, but yesterday was kind of slow and we only taught 2. We are still on track, so things are looking good for us. In fact, last night we did some less active pass bys because there are a ton here in Bergamo and we had two families tell us to come back when the mother was home later that night. We passed by later and got into the first house and found this part member family that is really cool!!! Then we stopped by the next house and set up an appointment with this other family. Super cool! That was really a blessing because its been hard to find people to teach regularly. A lot of lessons on the street and then we never see them again or stuff like that. Lame. haha. Oh well, people have their agency after all.
More miracles! We had two little miracles during a scambio. While doing some strada, we saw this young man sitting on a bench, we decided to put our teach to find that he had talked about that morning in district meeting to the test. While testifying to this man, I felt the spirit very strongly and he let us sit down next to him to talk more about the Book of Mormon. He was very interested and we invited him to come to General Conference this weekend. Then at the end of our scambio, we were on the funicolare coming down from Città Alta, and we started talking to the man who was on it with us. We started up a conversation and when we got to the bottom, he asked if we could walk together to where ever he was going. The whole time, we talked about the gospel. He asked about Joseph Smith and the commandments. About the temple and eternal families. We walked him all the way to his bus and then got on a rode it with him, because I was determined to get his contact information to give to the missionaries in Sardegna (where he lives). He gave us his business card willingly, but as soon as I asked him if I could pass his info to the missionaries there, he closed off and actually took the business card back. Weird. And sad. He was a cool guy. Oh well, not much we can do about that. We tried our best!
Mom, as you can probably tell, I made it up to Città Alta this week. It's beautiful!!!! I was going to send you pictures today, but the sorelle jacked the church computers and so we are at this sketchy internet point and I don't want a virus. Next week. Sorry!
In other random and cool news, while going to Milano for a meeting, I ran into randomly an old friend from Pavia. She was a student in our English class and she lives in Bergamo. I've been looking for her, but I kinda forgot about it and she found me on the train! Totally crazy right??? haha
Thank you so much for the birthday wishes everyone. I really appreciate it. I love you all so much. Thanks for the pictures mom and the cake that I didn't eat. haha. Don't worry, we went to a member's house for lunch on my birthday and they made me an awesome cake. Super good. I love members. They are the best.
OK, so I successfully registered for classes after a nightmare of running around and doing stuff. I got president to do my ecclesiastical endorsement the night before I had to register and then after waking up early to go register at the church, we got all the way there only to find out that we left the key at home. After getting the other anziani to meet us halfway with the key (in the rain, might I add), I found out that I had to wait for a "decision" on my acceptance. So I couldn't do anything. Today, I got an email saying I got accepted, so I signed up for my classes and everything is OK. For the most part. I wait listed one class, but signed up for another time for it too, so if I can get into the one I want I will take that, if not, I still have the class anyway, just not at the time I want. But I did find out that two of my classes have the same final time. Like literally the same day, same time. What do I do? Aiuto!!! haha If you could find out some info on that, that would be great.
As for our trip back to Italy. I will really think hard about it this week. I've already made a list of things I want to do and people to see (which is way more important to me). I'm leaning towards the counterclockwise path, but I will let you know for sure. Because, after really thinking about things, I really want to be in church at Ravenna. I miss that place more than I thought I would. There are a lot of people I want to see too and they kinda live outside of Ravenna, so seeing them in church would be the best thing ever. Speaking of places to buy a hotel. Definitely in Genova. I know for a fact that we have a place to stay in Ravenna. I'm pretty sure I have some members that want to house us in Pavia and Prato, but I will have to check on that somehow. Bergamo....I don't know yet. We will probably need a hotel here too. But like I said, I will let you know next week, the super details.
I miss you guys a lot. It's a really bittersweet time for me right now. Only like 8 more emails or something crazy like that. I'll keep working hard. Keep praying for us and I will see you soon enough. I hate the end of the mission. I'm turning into an emotional wreck. And as you know, I'm not much of a crier!!! hahaha
Well, thank you again for your love and support. I wish you all the best in this upcoming week of Easter. Happy General Conference. What a blessing to have a living prophet!!
Con tanta gratitudine,
Anziano Langlois
PS. "Buon compleanno" is how you say it in Italian dad. haha

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Back To The Stone Age March 24, 2015

Ciao tutti!!!!

Well, let's just start off by saying that this has been one of the weirdest weeks ever. Literally, life has been kinda crazy and as a result, I'm really tired. Let me explain.

So last Thursday, we came home at the end of the day and we discovered that we didn't have any gas in our apartment. It just magically disappeared. The next morning we called the mission office and basically they think the problem is that the gas company shut off the gas in the wrong apartment, because there is an old missionary apartment near by ours. So no hot water or use of the stove. But wait. It gets better. The next night, we get home at the end of the night to the other anziani standing in the dark with flashlights. Great. But there is also a fantastic smell of burnt plastic. So basically what happened is that the other anziani overloaded the circuit and normally, the breaker kicks off the power so nothing happens, but this time, that didn't happen. Instead the breaker just caught fire in the wall. So the other anziani ripped the box of the wall and put out the electrical fire. So now we are without gas or electricity. Good thing we live a 5 minute walk from the GANS center (pretty much like the institute building). So we spent the night there, because there was heating and hot water and a stove and everything. We looked pretty ridiculous walking across the street with our mattresses. haha. The best part is that this all happened at the start of the weekend, so we couldn't get any help until Monday. So we took showers in the GANS center and the other other anziani's apartment and we always have to go over to the GANS center to make lunch and its just a mess. At the point, we got our power fixed yesterday, but we still have no gas. So no hot water or cooking food. It sucks to say the least. I could've sworn that I went on my mission to Italy, not south America. Oh well. Its been kinda fun. Crazy, but fun.


Adding to the weirdness, yesterday we had to go to the questura (police station) to get Anziano Lingardo's fingerprints done for his permesso........I hate the questura. It is like the DMV, but a million times worse. We had an appointment at 11:11, so we were there about 40 minutes early. We got out at 3:30. We were there for 5 hours. Literally just waiting there, surrounded by people from all of the world. The building was way too small and disorganized for how many people there were. But, we did get it done. It was a nightmare. We had to skip lunch, which is the worst. My body is so used to big lunches. 

Then, on top of all of that, I've been worrying about classes. Speaking of that, I need to register on Thursday. I decided that I am just going to do it from here mom, so don't worry about it. My schedule is looking good. About 15 credits and adequate spacing between classes. I'm happy with it. Let's just hope I can get all of my classes. 

Another weird thing. Today is Tuesday and its pday. Super weird. And then both tomorrow and Thursday, I have to go to Milano for meetings, so it's going to still be a weird week.

We are following march madness right now and its crazy. The entire right side of my bracket is destroyed. Everything is riding on Wisconsin to win it all. C'mon badgers!!! haha. We decided that the winner in our apartment gets a tub of gelato from our favorite place payed by the other 3. haha. I really hope I win. I want that gelato!

Since I'm already talking about worldly stuff, I'll just keep going. You remember how a long time ago I asked for family pictures of like grandpa and grandma and great grandma and what not? Yeah, well I would still like those. haha. If you would also like to send me any stories you remember from them, that would be really cool. I love family history stories. They are so awesome!

It's really cool that Lizzy loved SDSU. That's going to be a great and fun time for her. It sounds like you had a lot of fun with the grand kids this week. I'm jealous. I want to see them!! They are actually fun now. haha. Random question, do you guys know when I'm giving my homecoming talk? Because I want you guys to make a Facebook group for it and invite all of my friends.  Another question, do you know when mother's day is? I have no clue. I just know its in May.

Anyway, time for a cool miracle!

This past week, we set up an appointment with a less active. Then literally 30 minutes before the appointment, I called to confirm and he said that he would be there. We show up and suone his palazzo and he answers, but as soon as I told him who we were, he said he wasn't interested and hung up. I was super puzzled. So then I called him, but he didn't answer. So we checked around to make sure it was the right was. So we went back and suoned again and this time his mother answered. I asked if he was home and she said, let me check. After a minute she came back and told me that he wasn't home and that he had just left. Since we had been standing right there and I recognized his voice the first time, I was a little upset. However, here comes the miracle. The next day in church, we are sitting in Sunday School, when a member tells me that some random person showed up. I went out and there was this less active and his non member mom. We then went down to gospel principles with them and during the lesson, the non member mother said that she felt really good here in church and wanted to come back. Then she said that she was looking for the truth and maybe what she had been taught as a child wasn't the truth and she said that what we were talking about sure sounded like the truth, because "it just sounded right". We set up an appointment to go and see them tonight and we are very excited to be able to help this reactivate this less active member and at the same time, bring his mother into the fold of the gospel. God really does work in mysterious ways. Maybe it took the guilt they felt giving us a bidone to restart their lives in the gospel. I don't know what prompted them to come to church, but I'm very happy they did and we are looking forward to helping the family grow in the gospel.

Like I say every time, I love being a missionary. I'm really so lucky to be here in the most beautiful country ever serving the amazing Italian people in the most beautiful language ever!!!! I love Italian so much. I'm really going to miss it.

Keep being strong everyone. I love you all and I wish you all the best. Thank you for your prayers and support. Next week will hopefully be more normal, but knowing my luck, it wont be. haha. It's OK. All in the service of the Lord.

Anziano Langlois

Anyone Want to Go Skiing? March 18, 2015

Ciao tutti!!!!

Well, long story short. Today has been kinda weird, hence why I'm writing you so late. Life is good, just not a lot of time to talk about it

Today we went up into the mountains around Bergamo and went up this funivia (a giant ski lift). It was sooo cool!!!! It was super smoggy out today so we couldn't see very far, but it was still cool. And there was still snow on the side of the mountains. Super high ski resorts up there. it was awesome. I love Italy.

Another thing. I'm probably going to have p-day next week on TUESDAY because of a meeting I have to go to in Milano on Wednesday. Its not confirmed, but just plan on it.

Well, Anz Lingardo is a great kid, but he does have a special power (besides falling into the stream today. haha). He brings bidoni (or appointments that cancel or don't show up). YAY!!!! We love it. We've had so many bidoni this past week. We are still working really hard, but its kinda frustrating. Oh well. We'll keep on going. Stay positive right?

Well, as you mentioned in your emails this week mom and dad, I will not need a car here, because I'm in a bus city. We never use our bikes. So I started in a bus city and I'm ending in one. haha. But its really fun. I love bus contacting. 

In fact, yesterday while going to Brescia to rescambio with Lingardo and one of the capi zona, me and my scambio comp sat down next to this nice African man on the train and started talking to him. After a few minutes we started to teach him the Restoration and after teaching a super power lesson there on the train, we set a baptismal date with him. Yeah, right there on the train. WHAT UP!!!!! It was super legit! Total miracle. I loved it! Now, the capi are teaching him and will be trying to meet his wife. Just another daily miracle. haha

Well, unfortunately that's all I have time for right now. Sorry!!! More to come next week

Yes mom, I've been to città alta, but no I have not taken the funicolare yet. But I will. Probably next week. I'll send pictures next week! 

I love you all and I hope you all have a great week!!!

Scritto in fretta,
Anziano Langlois

Greenie Magic March 11, 2015

Ciao tutti!!!!!
First of all, thank you dad for your email. I really appreciated what you said. I love you. Its funny, because I always heard your mission stories and loved them, and now they have more meaning to me, because I actually understand now. I didn't know that Elder Fry was your trainer though, or that you completely opened El Estor. That is so awesome.
It's definitely been a fun last few days here in Bergamo. Like I mentioned last week, there are three units here and we are in the only branch, and it's pretty small. Last week, we only had like 15 people in church. However, they are some powerful people. When I got to bear my testimony, I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed with how much the Lord loves this branch. I know that I need to be here. I also know that President Dibb is counting on me to help this branch and my new comp, Anz Lingardo. Now, a little about him. He's from Encintas, CA and he's a convert of about three years. He is the first and only member in his family. His father is 100% Italian, but born here in America so he's pretty much American. Anz Lingardo is a funny kid. He's actually kinda like me in a lot of ways. Mostly in the way he talks. He says a lot of the same things as me. haha. He's super goofy and fun to be around. It's pretty weird to have a second trainee, because I can kinda do a comparison with Anz Johnson to see how I'm doing. I definitely learned a lot training Anz Johnson (who I saw at transfers), and as a zone leader. This kid is going to be a super missionary. He's definitely got the desire and the greenie magic.

We're quickly learning the city after getting lost the first few days. haha. Unfortunately, we have not had a lot of luck teaching our investigators because they are busy, or don't answer, or don't show up. However, we have seen a lot of success in finding work these past few days. We have received multiple phone numbers each day and so we have some potentials in the work. We are also seeing success is working with members. We went and visited a less active family and after having a great lesson on the plan of salvation, we asked for referrals and without hesitation, they gave us five or six names. We are going to their house next week to meet some of these people.

Last night, on our way to an appointment, I was on the phone so we walked father than we should have. When I got off the phone, we turned around and starting walking back. In the distance, I saw a man walking towards us. We were running a little late, but I felt like I needed to talk to him, so I did. We had a great conversation there on the street, said a prayer, got his phone number, and set up a return appointment. It was so cool! We are definitely seeing many miracles here in Bergamo.

I'm excited to work with our branch and help reactivate a lot of our less active members to grow our small branch, because there are a lot of less active members. I actually found an old email you sent to me dad at the beginning of my mission. You talked about teaching gospel principles to less actives and them naturally giving us referrals. I've always remembered that email, but I'm pretty sure it is specifically for our branch here in Bergamo. Anz Lingardo is doing well. He is a little shy to talk to people, but as I encourage him, he fearlessly tries to stop each person that walks by. We are also seeing success from bus contacting, which is something that I really wanted to get better at.
So, a little more about Bergamo. We are literally the city center and that's it. That is our area. haha. It's way bigger than I expected. It takes a while to get places because the bus routes are really windy. There is a very high Bolivian population here in Bergamo, so that is really fun. I love south Americans. They are so elect! The city is divided into a lower and upper half. Città alta (the upper half) is the old city that was built on the top of a hill to protect it from being invaded. It's super cool. This morning we went up to watch the sunset (too smoggy today though) with the other anziani and it was really cool to look out over the city. I will take more pictures and send them to you guys. There are also a lot of missionaries here in Bergamo, so referrals get passed around a lot. Pretty much every other day we get a referral from another coppia. It's awesome.

In other news, since i don't think there will be a lot of chances for me to get mail from the mission home in these last few months, just send it directly here to Bergamo.

Eric Langlois
Via Vittorio Alfieri 6
24122 Bergamo

Thanks for the tips on stuff. I've already started to throw out/donate a couple things. Space is kinda tight and my suitcases get more and more broken every transfer. I think I will get at least one piece of good luggage. I will have to check prices.
Things are starting to warm up here in Bergamo. It's still pretty cold in the morning and at night, but in the sun its nice. I'm excited for spring. Back to our super bright short sleeve white shirts! haha
Well, if you have any more questions about Bergamo or whatever, just let me know.
I love you all so much and I really appreciate your support and prayers. I'm looking forward to seeing you all soon, but I've got a couple baptisms to do before that.
Pray that we can find the people that I know the Lord is preparing.
Sempre avanti!!!
Anziano Langlois

Ye Elders of Israel March 4, 2015

...come join now with me...we're going to the mountains of Bergamo to dwell"

 Ciao tutti!!!!

Well, its official. I'm leaving the sea shores of Ravenna for the mountains of Bergamo. It's east of Milano so it fits perfectly into our giro of Italy when we come back. I'm going to whitewash Bergamo 3 with a brand new missionary. Yep, I'm training again. There are 3 units in Bergamo, two wards and a branch. Guess where I'm going? Yeah, that's right. The branch. haha. I'm excited to go. It will be a fun way to end my mission. I really hope this kid is ready to work because I'm going to go crazy in these last few months. I leave early tomorrow morning to go pick him up, then we are off together to find an apartment in a city that we've both never been in. haha. It's just like the beginning of my mission with Anz Salmon. It will be fun. I'm excited. Oh yeah, I'm also going to be district leader. Yay!!! I loved being DL.

I'm going to miss Ravenna, but its time for me to move. The Lord has need of me else where. 

Well, the great news is that they got baptized!!!!! Both of them pulled it out. As you know, for the past 6 months that I've been here in Ravenna, we've been working with this family. It's been a long and rocky 6 months for this family, full of trials and heartaches. But we kept with them the entire time and our branch really came alive in helping support them in their time of need. Even in the week leading up to their baptism, satan was working really hard on them. An unknown problem with tithing came up literally the day after the baptismal interview. We helped the wife the best we could and then told her to go to the Lord for help. Every day that week, we were in close contact with them and finally on Friday, She told us that she received an answer about tithing and that she would pay it. The next day, we were able to see this husband and wife enter into the waters of baptism together. It was so beautiful and they have already changed so much since that day. It was such a great blessing to be able to not only see their baptism, but be the one to perform it. This literally was the biggest miracle for us and for me. To see this family who had years ago been left aside and forgotten about, dressed in white with literal joy in their faces, made all of the problems we had to face together with them worth it. I will really miss them, but I know that they are in good hands. Our branch here in Ravenna is really making the necessary steps to be the ward that the Lord needs it to be.

I'm so grateful for the time I've spent in Ravenna. Saying goodbye to the members these past few days has been hard. I really love the people of this city. In this city, I've learned what it really means to have charity. That is literally essential in missionary work. I love Ravenna!!!! It's so great!!!! I'm excited to show you around in June. Our branch president here told me to tell you, mom and dad, "thank you". He is very excited to meet you when we come to visit.

Well, despite all this great stuff happening, I've been sick for the past 3 weeks or so. This week, I've had a horrible cough that hasn't gone all away. Poor greenie, he's going to get a literally dying father. haha.

OK, well I've discovered while packing that my luggage is kinda small. I can fit all of the stuff, but I'm leaving some stuff here in Ravenna. Should I try and buy new luggage here in Italy or just wait until I'm home? Luggage here is kinda expensive. Also, unless you let me know, I'm going to be leaving a lot of the stuff I brought here in Italy. Today while packing I realized how destroyed some of my pants or shirts are, so I don't feel like it would be worth it to bring home. But I don't want to waste money, so let me know what you guys think.
In worldly news, WOOOHOOO!!!!!!!! Way to go BYU!!!!!! Upsetting Gonzaga is huge!!!! That's so awesome. Way to go Cougars. haha. They did it away too. Complimenti.

Congrats Lizzy on getting in to SDSU!!! That is going to be awesome! San Diego is such a pretty city. I'm so happy for you!! However, when BYU and SDSU play against each other, all bets are off. You guys are going down!!!! hahaha. I love sports. haha

Thank you so much for all of your support. I've definitely felt of your love and prayers in these past few weeks/months. I love you all so much and I pray for you as well.

I hope you feel better Linda! Thanks for the cool info on our distant relatives. That was super cool!!!

The next time I write you, I will have more info on Bergamo and my new comp. I just hope he got here to Italy safely today. haha

Oh yeah! As for our trip. I've already had multiple members here in Ravenna tell me that they want us to stay at their house when we come, so you don't need to buy a hotel for that part of the trip. I'm still working on the other parts. I'll let you know as soon as I do. 

Vi voglio tanto bene!!!!

Anziano Langlois

PS. I'm going to miss the car :'( haha


Time Is Short, Literally!!! February 25, 2015

Ciao tutti!!!

Well, sorry, but this email is kinda rushed because we just got back from our scambio in Ancona and we have an appointment in an hour to hopefully 100% confirm our baptisms for this Saturday. That's right. BaptismS!!! A family that we've been working with finally set a solid date and passed their interviews. However, there are some doubts that we are going to clear up tonight with our branch president. So, we should have two baptisms this Saturday. What a way to go out of Ravenna!!!! I still don't know if I'm leaving, but I'm pretty sure. I will also know on Saturday about that. Crazy. Life is moving fast.

Well, yesterday, I was on a scambio in Ancona. It literally was full of miracles. During the first hour of finding work we had, we taught 3 lessons and got 2 new investigators. Then after lunch, we were able to teach 3 more lessons and receive the contact information of 6 people. We saw firsthand the power of teach to find in action. The District Leader I was with was shocked to see how much success we had and he asked me how it was possible. I told him that it is all about attitude and teach to find. It really does work. Yesterday, we were able to teach 12 lessons combined with Anz Cardullo and the District Leader's comp. It was probably one of the best scambi that I have ever been on. I'm so happy that I had that opportunity to show my fellow missionary the power of teach to find. It really does work.

Thanks for the recap on the MTC seminar. That was really cool. I am totally in agreement with what they said, especially about smiling!! It makes such a difference.

That's so awesome about your talks in the Spanish branch. Way to go Lizzy!!!!! Gift of tongues!!

Speaking of awesome, that is so cool is Paige really got baptized!!!!! I'm so happy for her! You need to find out more and let me know.

As for registering for classes, I will send you my email info in a separate email, but I think I will just try and sign up for them. We'll see what day I need to do it and whatnot, but I really need to start thinking about that. Weird.

Let me know about Lizzy and her schools. I hope to hear good news next week!

Well, in other random news, we had Cardullo's birthday last Thursday and it was so much fun. We went and visited some of our friends who have a pizzeria and an Indian couple who I translated for at the same pizzeria a few days earlier bought us pizza for his birthday. They were so nice!!!! Then we went to some members house and had a really good dinner. I love Italians. Oh yeah! And this family said we could stay at their house when we come back. 

OK, well, sorry again this was so short. I love you all and will write more next week!!!

Pregate per Ravenna!!!!
Anziano Langlois

Just Another Week In The Mission February 18, 2015

Ciao tutti!!!!!

Well, life is just great. Time still goes by too quickly, but I just have to accept that now. I had an interview with President Dibb the other day for my temple recommend, which I now have in Italian. It's super cool. haha. Anyway, in the interview, he basically hinted that I'm leaving Ravenna in a few weeks, so it's been kinda weird, because I'm still here, but I want to make sure and say goodbye to everyone, so I'm trying to take a lot of pictures. Even though I've been here for 6 months almost now, I'm kinda sad to leave. I love Ravenna. It's super stressful sometimes, and I'm pretty sure my life got about 6 years shorter while being here, but it feels like home. All of my cities have felt like home. I miss Italy already. I love this country so much. It doesn't help that I'm now at that point where everyone asks me when I finish my mission and then when I tell them in about 3 months, they all talk about how I'm at the end and ask me if I'm excited to go home and what not. I swear, sometimes its the members fault that missionaries get trunky! All they want to talk about is home and what I'm going to do when I get  back. haha. But don't' worry. I'm not trunky. I love this work too much.

Anyway, first things first. Mom, do you remember how you told me about the Celya's cousin, Anz West? Well....after 3 weeks into the transfer, I just realized that he is my district leader. haha. I know! I'm horrible! He actually brought it up. haha. There you go. Small world.

Well, if you remember, last week I sent a picture of a snowman I made in San Marino. Well, that night after English class, we were talking to the Sorelle and they started talking about this snowman that they saw in San Marino that same day, in fact, they took pictures! When I told them that I made it they freaked out, but not as much as the member that took them there. She is from Peru and is literally like a cartoon. She squealed when I told her that I made that snowman. haha. 

Then, this past week, we had zone conference and we got to watch Meet the Mormons. It was awesome!!!! I don't know if you've seen it, but its really good. I miss movies. haha. It has such a good message about being tolerant of other religions. It's OK to be Mormon, and it's OK if you're not. We can all live together in harmony. Of course, if you want to become Mormon, better yet! hahaha. 

OK, so yesterday we had a Martedì Grasso (Fat Tuesday) party in church. Naturally as missionaries, we can't really dress up super crazy, but we did what we could. I was a fat American tourist, of course with my Hawaiian shirt, and Anz Cardullo was "Cesare Cardullus". haha. I will try and send of picture of us and the Sorelle who were a hippy and Elsa. Everyone is crazy about Frozen here! It was really fun to see all of our crazy members all dressed up. I love Italians. They are so much fun.


Besides all this fun, I've been pretty sick this week. Not like stay at home sick, but I feel like I'm going to keel over and die while doing our missionary work sick. haha. Like dad always says, "you can sleep when you're dead!". Now I'm feeling better, so don't worry about me. 

Miracle time!
So in my interview with President, he gave me the challenge to teach 15 lessons each of the few weeks that I'm still here in Ravenna. On Thursday evening after zone conference, we made a lot of phone calls and set up 10 lessons for the next two days. We were excited. However, when we set up lessons, that doesn't always mean that we will teach them. In fact, 7 of those 10 original lessons cancelled. We were devastated, but we were able to find some more lessons. I  didn't give up on teaching 15 lessons, but I had no idea how were were going to do it. Because of scheduling, we had a few hours open on Sunday afternoon to do some finding work. To be honest, I wasn't super excited to go out and do straight finding work, but while we were biking to centro, I decided that I needed to change my attitude or it would be a miserable experience. So I prayed silently as we biked to our finding destination. We started and immediately we stopped a young man who was interested to listen to us, but wouldn't give us his contact info. So we kept on going and we stopped some more people who were yet again, willing to stop and listen to us, but wouldn't give us their contact info. We looked at each other and just laughed. We were trying so hard, but we weren't going to give up so easily. We kept on working hard and we were blessed. We taught three prayer lessons during this time and received two phone numbers, one of them is now a new investigator. We couldn't believe our eyes!  Not only that, but when we were tallying up numbers Sunday night, we found out that we had made it to 15 lessons! I was so excited!!! The lord blessed us for our efforts. 

It's great to hear that everything is going well back on the home front. Sorry that Obama keeps on causing traffic for you dad. haha. It's funny you mentioned Gharidellli's, because I was just thinking about that today. haha. That sounds like quite the dinner you had for Valentine's day. Just wait until you come to Italy dad. The food is literally out of this world. And, just to show you that I was sent to this mission to learn how to cook, I made some pasta yesterday and Anz Cardullo said it was super good. So...hai visto?? I've picked up some Italian skills by being here. haha.

That's pretty cool that all three of you will be speaking in the Spanish branch. Will Lizzy speak in Spanish??? She better. I need to remember my Spanish. It's pretty useful in America. 

Well, it's been a good week, and I'm happy. Tired, but happy. 

Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support. I love you all so much and I wish you all the best!

Con affetto,
Anziano Langlois

Sunday, February 15, 2015

There's A First Time For Everything February 11, 2015

Ciao tutti!!!!

Well, as I get older and older, I think the best word to describe how I feel is.....tired. Super super tired. Not tired as in I'm tired of being a missionary, because I love it, just tired in the fact that I crash in about 5 minutes if I ever sit down and stop moving, (I guess I got that from Dad) my brain is exhausted at the end of the day and I struggle to make coherent sentences, and just...well....yeah. haha. I hope that makes sense. We had a long and weird week.

I will start with the miracle, then go on to our super exciting adventure story.

This week we were able to see one of our investigators and she has a great desire to be baptized. That is a great miracle, because just a few days earlier, she had told Anz Cardullo that she didn't feel ready because of all the medication she is taking. She has a great desire to be baptized and is currently talking to all of her friends about the church. She has already given out two BoM's to her friends, and she is showing her desire to follow Christ through her works. After a good lesson, I felt prompted to read Mosiah 18:8-10 with her and ask her what she had against being baptized. She then told us that she was really sad she did not make her earlier date, but is really excited to make this decision. It was then her that asked about a date. As you already know, we are going to try and see the husband tonight to talk about his thoughts on baptism. I really hope we can figure this situation out soon. So if you could please send some prayers our way for this family (la famiglia Felisatti), it would be greatly appreciated.

Sorry, it switched colors on me. I can't figure out how to reverse it. Anyway...story time.

OK, so this past week we had consiglio in Milano. No big deal. We call the Bologna capi the night before to confirm that we were going to pick them up. They told us that it had been snowing all day and was suppose to snow until noon the next day. No big deal. We left around 6:30 to get in Milano around 9:45, not a super long trip.....or so we thought. About 15 minutes into our trip, we try to get on the autostrada (cioe the toll road) and it is completely blocked. No cars are being allowed on. We sit in the pouring rain for about 30 minutes, after which a car turns around and tells us that everything is blocked, so we should take a different road. So we took all the backstreets in the middle of nowhere. We got to Bologna an hour late and it was completely shut down. Cars were buried in snow. Luckily the streets were clear enough to get through. So we pick them up and leave Bologna. We get to the autostrada entrance and we get stuck again. This time for 45 minutes. After watching a snow plow hopelessly drive away from "clearing" the on ramp, a man told us that it was all clear, but the police put up a barricade and were not letting people on. So we left and took a different road. This is where my first snow driving experience starts. We took completely frozen roads for about 30 minutes trying to find the next on ramp, hoping it would be open. Sure enough, it was, so we got on. Then we were going pretty slow, but then we hit Parma and we entered into a blizzard. It was super snowy and we were down to one lane going pretty slow. At the end of all this, we finally got to 1:30.......7. HOURS. Ridiculous. Then after missing half of consiglio, we left Milano at 5:00 and there was no snow. Thank goodness, but that didn't stop the traffic. We were literally stuck, completely stopped in the fast lane for an hour. And then later for about 30 more minutes. We finally got into Bologna at 10:00, so we just spent the night there and came back the next morning. In total, this trip took 26 hours. 13 of which were spent in the car. I could have driven from home to BYU in that time!!!! Instead, we only traveled 624 km.....moral of this story, when it snows, all of Italy shuts down. That really threw me off for the rest of the week. I'm so exhausted because I had to drive the whole thing, because Cardullo's license got stolen. It was a nightmare. But, I survived it and now I can drive in the snow! haha

Speaking of driving, I'm glad to see my car is still alive. I miss it. 

Thank you for the heads up on BYU info. I'm pretty sure I fall under the March 27 date, but I will send you my lo-gin info in a different email, so you can check for sure.

As for the new ATM card. Please don't activate it. I need my card right now. haha. I'm pretty sure it's under my phone number, but I'm not sure really.

That's so awesome that Lizzy already got into 2 of her schools!!! Way to go!!!! Let me about the others when you find out. 

That's really cool that you got to go to that concert at Disney Concert Hall. I love that place. It's got amazing acoustics. It was also pretty fun to watch the conductor. They are usually pretty animated.

Italy is amazing and I love every minute of being here. I miss it already. My time here in Ravenna is creeping to a close and it's weird. But nothing is set in stone yet, so we will see what happens. As for what Pat said, I can still remember his exact face and tone of voice as he said it to me. I will never forget that. I will not come home with regrets. I'm leaving it all out here, because this is where my heart is and the thought of leaving, tears me apart.

I know that this is the Lord's work and I love being part of it. It's the best!!!!

Thank you for your love and your support.

Vi voglio un saccone di bene!!!
Anziano Langlois

PS. I'm trying to carry on the Langlois family mustache! haha 

PPS. "do you wanna build a snowman??"

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Spirit Bombs February 4, 2015

Ciao tutti!!!

I'm tired. This week has been really tiring, but a good kind of tiring. I've now learned first hand, that which Moses, Joseph Smith, and Others learned when they were super overpowered by the spirit during their heavenly visions. Now, before anyone jumps to conclusions (The Phantom Tollbooth....such a good book), I did not have any heavenly visions this week. Magari...but this has been a really spiritual week and so I'm exhausted. I never realize how much the spirit just takes out of you. We have 5 people here in Ravenna who should be already baptized and so are therefore really close and we are pushing soooooooo hard to get them baptized in February. We've been fasting and praying like no other and the spirit has not let us down. We were literally throwing spirit bombs on our investigators this week, but unfortunately, people have their agency, and so all of our work is not really going anywhere. but we are NOT giving up. I've put too much into this city to just give up now. We WILL see miracles. I know it. Please remember us and this city in general in your prayers this week. We really have need of it.

Before we get into spiritual matters, I wanted to share this experience we had the other week. We had a branch Elder's Quorum outing and we went to this restaurant. At this bruschetteria (as its called) you order bruschetta (or toasted bread with a ton of stuff on it) that is 40, 80, or 120 cm long. It was ridiculous. These  things were huge!!!! And super good. It totally felt like America. Go big or go home right? haha. Then we went and played air hockey and I kicked butt. Thank you mom and dad for buying that little air hockey thing for us when we were younger. The practice payed off. haha

Now about camping. YES! I want to go. I miss camping a lot. However, we need to remember that my move in date for my housing in the 24th of August...I think. But that's OK. We still have time to figure that out.

As for our trip to Italy. OK, thanks for the skeleton dad. I will really start thinking about it and get you the info ASAP.

Please continue to pray for the Rome temple, so families can enjoy the eternal blessings that come from it in their own nation. I'm so happy to hear about the Rockwoods. That is such great and happy news. I can't imagine their joy right now, but I bet its full.

OK, so time to tell you about some sweet miracles.

On Sunday, we had this less-active family that hasn't come to Church in practically two years finally came to sacrament meeting this week!!! I've been over there a couple times to visit them and the Lord has definitely spoken through me to them. I never would have said the things that I said if the spirit didn't prompt me to say them. They promised me they would come to church, but because of health reasons, they didn't come on the week they said the would, but they came this past week and the spirit was sooo strong during testimony meeting. Our members really stepped it up this past week. It was awesome. They said that they are going to start coming more often now. It's still a work in progress, but we're making progress at least!

Then, we called this old potential in our phone the other week and set up an appointment. To be honest, he sounded like he was totally going to flake on us, but we confirmed a few hours before and we were there on time. We waiting for 30 minutes inside the station, and he wasn't there. So we called him and he told us that he was right outside the station and had been waiting there for 20 minutes!! We ran outside and found him. He actually stayed which was awesome! Then we had a super powerful Restoration lesson with him in the waiting room of the station. Not only that, but he accepted a baptismal date too!!! It was such an awesome miracle and it really helped boost our morale.

Then on Monday, I went on a scambio with Anz Blazzard in Forlì. We had just arrived in centro to do a bit of finding work before an appointment, when we were walking to a bench to sit down and say a prayer to start our finding. While walking to the bench, I saw a family with two strollers walking perpendicular to us so I knew we were going to run into them. I knew that I needed to talk to them, but I couldn't think of how to start the conversation, so as we got closer, I just smiled and them and the father told his little daughter to say "hola!" to me. I immediately used all of the Spanish skills that I remember to start the conversation (dad would be proud. haha). Luckily, they both spoke Italian. We started talking to them and found that they were from Cuba and looking for the truth in their lives. They said they had met "Americans" like us before a few years ago, but they didn't really know anything about our church. We talked about the Book of Mormon for a little bit and the father wanted a copy right there. We were able to get their phone number and even though, we did not set up a return appointment, they are willing and eager to meet us again to learn more about the church. This was such a huge miracle for Forlì. I really had the desire to find some people for them to teach on this scambio and the Lord heard my prayer.

It's been a good week. Tiring, but good. I'm really happy to still be here. This is the Lord's work, and I'm so happy to be doing it here in this blessed and sacred land. The Lord is aware of Italy. I can testify of that will all of my heart. I've seen his hand every day in this miraculous work.

I love you all so much and I hope you all have a great week. I share what you said dad, I think the best way to stay active and HAPPY in the Church is to read the scriptures everyday, pray every day, and go to Church and really search to learn something. And Family Home Evening is essential to binding a family together in the gospel. If we do these 4 things, we can become spiritually self-sufficient. I know that to be true, because I've seen it work in my life and in the lives of Others.

Un abbraccio forte,
Anziano Langlois