Sunday, January 18, 2015

This Zone Is On Fire! January 14, 2015

Ciao tutti!!!!

First of all, sorry I've been kinda lame on sending pictures. haha. My bad. I keep forgetting. But I am taking them, so don't worry. Eventually you'll see what Ravenna looks like. 

As for Sorella Snow, yes. I do know her. She's been trained by two of my favorite missionaries, both named Sorella Carter ironically. haha. I guess when I see her next, I will tell her that somehow we know who she is. haha.

I did know about the big all of Italy fast on the 25th. Yeah, Italy is kinda lame sometimes and Satan is working really hard to stop this temple, so if you want to fast with the rest of Italy, you are welcome too. But I'm technically not suppose to ask you to partake in special fasts, so I'm not telling you to do it, I'm just telling you about it. haha.

That sounds like a weird new rule in the NFL dad. But I guess they need to get more precise. I figured Ohio state would win. Oregon kinda chokes a lot. Good news about BYU BB. Keep me updated. 

And since we are on the subject of worldly things, I got your package. The AP's surprised me with it when they came down to scambio us. Which was super fun by the way. When we were trying to rescambio, it was a huge mess. Anz Cardullo got the cops called on him and his comp, because they suoned the wrong house and this crazy guy lived there. Then we tried to meet up and the GPS took us to the middle of nowhere, so we had to change addresses and we ended up rescambioing in the middle of this field on the side of  this small road. It was pretty funny. haha. I love the mission.

Last thing, so what is the deal with my license renewal? Do I have to do something special for that? 

Also, I love when people send ME pictures, even though I'm lame at sending them. haha. 

Alright, now on to the stuff that actually matters. haha. 

 This past Sunday we were at church when all of a sudden one of our members came up to us and asked us if we could come to his house that night to dinner, because he had invited two nonmember families that he wanted us to meet. We went over and when we showed up, unfortunately, neither of the two families came. Our member apologized to us, but then a real miracle happened. Another member family that was invited brought a friend! His name is Giuseppe and after just starting a casual conversation before dinner, he started telling me about his religious life and ideas and how he was confused in his life. After dinner, we shared the story of Joseph Smith and then we gave him a LdM and plan of salvation pamphlet. He was very grateful for our gift to him and I tried to get his phone number, but he wouldn't give it to me, but told me that we could contact each other through the member family. The Lord still provided a way for us to get a new contact, even after the first one fell through. Looks like Heavenly Father makes backup plans too. haha

I wanted to give you a report on our zone right now. We were very concerned with our zone because in the month of Dicembre, we did not do so great. But calling around the zone this week, there have been so many miracles. This past week, our zone found 13 new investigators, which doesn't sound like much, but that was more than half the number of investigators we found last month. So that was a HUGE improvement. The Rimini Sorelle in particular are doing an amazing job. They found 4 new investigators last week and when I called them on Monday night to congratulate them, they blew me away by telling me that they had also found 2 MORE new investigators just that day. It was incredible. They are doing such a great work. They are continuing to get referrals from members and are really building their teaching pool. As you already know, the Ancona Anziani had 15 investigators in church this past week, which was a huge miracle for them. I am very happy with the zone right now. They are doing such a great job and are really pushing their limits and seeing miracles as a result.

I love this zone so much!!!!  They are so awesome! It is such a cool blessing to be able to travel around the zone and "rub shoulders" with the other missionaries as dad says. haha. I'm really going to miss being a zone leader. It's so much fun. 

Another cool little miracle happened last night when I was filling out our area book. While I was filling out the teaching record for one investigator, I remembered that I had given the daughter of that family a talk to read, and I wanted to check up if she had read it, because a week or so had gone past. So I texted her and she immediately texted us back telling us that she was reading it right at the very moment. It was crazy!!! I'm psychic!! She loved the talk, which was great, but I just thought it was so cool that I got that impression to text her right at that moment. Pretty cool, huh?

Well, there are always a ton of things to say and not enough time, but please know that I love you all and I thank you for your prayers and support!

Statemi bene!
Anziano Langlois

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Road Trip! January 7, 2015

Ciao tutti!!!

Well, its only the 7th of January and we have already used half our kilometers for the month. Yay! haha. In our defense, we had to go to consiglio (which was really good), and then we did two scambi this week. One in Rimini and one in Ancona, where we are now. So we've put on a few kilometers. The good thing is that after we get home, we only have one more scambio and it's in Forlì, so it's not that far. But looks like we will be on bikes more this week. However, I do need to fix my bike. I've had no time to do so. Oh well.

I love being zone leader. It's so much fun to get to know all the missionaries. I love my zone a ton. We had such a good zone training the other day. The spirit was so strong. I'm so grateful for this opportunity to serve the members of my zone. 

One thing I've really started to notice a lot more now on my mission is how great of friends I've made. I don't really notice until they start going home. I had to say goodbye to a really good friend at consiglio the other day, and it was hard. I know I will see them again, but it's hard to beat the great bond that the mission is for us. The other day, we drove up to consiglio with one coppia of anziani and we had a blast. Then we took a different coppia home and we had a blast there too! I love the mission so much. Everyday I realize how much I'm going to miss this time I have. It's going way too fast. I'm actually starting to get kinda emotional right now. This is weird. 

I'm so grateful for this time to serve the Lord. I apologize that this email is super short. I have a million things to say right now, but I just can't seem to find the words to say them. Everyone that has served a mission understands how I'm feeling right now. 

Thank you mom and dad for raising me in the gospel. I may have been a little bit of a headache in the past and I may have done some stupid things, but I want you to know that I love you so much and I'm so grateful for what you have given me. I wouldn't be the man that I am right now without you. I really just want to thank everyone that has helped me along in my life. I have the best friends ever and I love you all. My teachers and leaders have been such great examples to me and I love them just as much. Thank you everyone. I really feel a deep gratitude for you all right now. So thank you. I love you so much.

Statemi bene. Vi voglio bene,
Anziano Langlois

I'm Dreaming of a White New Years December 31, 2014

Ciao tutti!!!!

Well, I've still never had a white Christmas, but this is the closest that I've gotten. On Saturday, we were in the church and it was raining, but when we came outside, it was snowing! I literally started running around like a little boy. I was so excited! I've never seen snow in Italy before that. Lucky us got to drive out to the middle of nowhere to visit a member in the snow. It was so cool. Then it snowed all Sunday morning and we literally had like 20 people in church. haha. Two people who had talks didn't show up, so I had to give one on the spot. I talked about the importance of a personal testimony, because that is the only way that you will stay active in the church when you get offended, or you don't agree with leaders, or what not. Everyone really liked it. That's a good sign. I was just trying as hard as I could to bring the spirit. I guess it worked out.

Anyway, its snowed all last night and we woke up to a white Ravenna. Super cool. It's suppose to snow tonight and tomorrow, so we'll see what we're in for. This morning, I turned on the car to start defrosting the window and then without thinking hit the windshield wipers with the door still open and a ton of snow fell into the car. bad. haha. I'm not used to cars in the snow.

Anz Polson said that I would see snow, I didn't think so, but I was wrong. We've got lots of snow. It's awesome. I like it. It is cold though. Oh well.

Before I forget, I want a copy of Lizzy's talk!!! That sounds super interesting. Please send me it. Thanks!

Well, Christmas flew by. It was so great to see you guys. Best Christmas present ever. I can't believe we are about to be in 2015 though. That's crazy. I come home in 2015. Weird...

Well, I guess you were right Mom, my emails are getting shorter. haha. I guess things are less exciting now, or maybe because I just don't remember what happened. Every day seems the same to me. It's all kinda a blur. I forget when things happened or who I was with or where I was. It just kinda all blurs together in one big mess of fun. Oh man, I love the mission. I love Italy. This is so much fun to be a missionary. Dad was right. It is soooo much fun. I'm so happy I still have 5 months left. If I had to go home when my Sorelle did, I don't know what I would do. 18 months is so short!!! haha

Allora, I love you all and I wish you all the best in the new year. I'll see you next year (literally!!)

Tanti auguri!
Anziano Langlois

Buon Natale! December 24, 2014

Buon Natale tutti!!!!!!

Spero che questa stagione speciale vi trovi in un tempo bello e sereno.

I love Christmas so much. It is the best time of the year. What a beautiful country to be in as well for Christmas. I can't believe this is my second and last Christmas here in Italia. Time goes by way too fast.

Well, this letter won't be really long because we are going to Skype Tomorrow. The plan is at 8:00 your time.

We also have been baking cookies. Yesterday morning, we baked a ton of sugar cookies that we are going to give to members and investigators tonight when we go carol to them. It made us feel like we were at home again. haha.

It doesn't matter that my Christmas gift is late, I got a great gift last night. Anziano Windley came and spent the night in our apartment because his comp and to get his permesso. It was so great to see him again. We can't believe just how fast the last year has gone. I still remember Skyping HIS family in Prato last year! haha.

Speaking of caroling, we had some cool miracles the other night. The other night, we went out caroling with the Sorelle in Centro. We met near the big Christmas tree, but there was a problem. No one was there. Literally zero people were walking past. However, on a cold December night that close to natale, it was the best thing that we could do with our time, so we decided to sing anyway. After we started singing people starting coming out from literally nowhere. A young man started talking to us and then pulled out his phone and said, "can we exchange numbers?". Then a family walked past and asked us if they could give us some money, we told them no and gave them a "Egli è il dono" pass along card instead. I also started talking to man and after giving him a pass along card, he asked me if we could leave him with something more, so I gave him an opuscolo of the restauration. Then the biggest miracle of all was that one of our investigators who we had not seen for a long time walked past. He left today to go back to Spain and we really wanted to keep him in contact with the missionaries there, but we decide have his info. Luckily, we ran into him while we were singing and we were able to get the information that we need to pass him to the missionaries there. It really was a night full of Christmas miracles. This is such a great time to be serving the Lord here in Italia. I really have seen so many blessings every single day.

In other news, like I said last week, I was kinda sick. Well, we were going to go on a historical tour of Ravenna with this member, but we didn't because I was sick. Then he stopped by to say hi to us, but unfortunately we weren't home. Well, we called him this week to see him and he decided to take us out to lunch in the small city, Comacchio, which is a little Venezia, but it was too foggy, so we went somewhere else and I'm not joking, we literally went to five restaurants looking for one that was open. It was ridiculous. That's one of the problems of Italia, restaurants are closed at lunch! That doesn't make any sense. Oh well. We ended up going to an adventure with him, and during that we went on a ferry boat, and found a ton of yak statues. Yeah, I know, kinda weird. but he was so sweet. I love members. They are so great.

Now for worldly news. That's super awesome that BYU made it to the finals, but that stinks that they lost. That's cool that Hamsen got drafted. What team is she going to?

Well, I love you all so much and I can't wait to see you all tomorrow. I hope you have a great Christmas eve or vigiglia as they call it here.

I love you all!!!

Spero che tutti voi, chiunque sei, un amico, un parente, un fratello, un conoscente, o un straniero, abbiate un buon natale e capo d'anno!!!! Dio vi benedica.

Anziano Langlois

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas December 17, 2014

Ciao tutti!!!!!

Let's start with the most important info first. 3 times Dad. haha. Good news about BYU women's sports, less good news about the Men's though. haha. Dodgers are such losers. You remember how we used to always say, "who'd they trade him for this time? A box of donuts??" haha. They kill me. Good thing I can't follow it that easily from here. 

For Skype info, we will probably do what we did last year, at 8:00am your time. We don't have our appointment 100% with members, but we will confirm that today or tomorrow and by next week, you will know per forza. If we go where I think we're going to do Skype, you will have a lot of fun. This family is from Napoli and so they are exactly what you imagine when you  think of a stereotypical Italian family. haha

Sounds like its going to be lots of fun this upcoming week or so at home. I can't believe it's already Christmas. Time goes by so fast. It's ridiculous. 

So like I said last week, my new comp is Anz Cardullo. He's half Italian and from the factory (Provo). He is so much fun. He reminds me a lot of Jason. He's so funny. He also just came from Switzerland, so we literally have a mountain of chocolate that he always throws at me. haha. We have a brand new Sorella here, Sorella Taylor, also from Utah. She's really cool. We are so lucky to have them in our city. In the past two days, they have given us four referrals. They are so brave!!!

In Ravenna news, I'm kinda sick right now and it's super humid. Literally, my back started hurting the other day because its so cold. It's still well above freezing, but with the intense humidity, it literally chills you to the bone. Crazy. Meno male we have a car. haha

We have seen great success here in Ravenna from our English class. The Sorelle have been finding a lot of investigators from their class and the other night, we had a huge miracle. Because Sorella Curtis was training, they had to go up to Milano Wednesday night, so I covered their English class. It just started like any other English class, but then, they started asking questions like: "tell us about your church", "who was Joseph Smith?", "how do your church celebrate Christmas?". I couldn't believe my ears. So for English class, I taught the entire Restoration and at the end of class, I passed out two LdM's (Book of Mormon) to this family and got their phone number. It was incredible. This has been such a great success here in Ravenna.

I'm really looking forward to seeing you guys on Christmas. It will be lots of fun. As for my Christmas gift, I like peanut butter fingers. haha. I am going today to get mom and Linda a nativity, so I'll see what I can find.

I love you all so much and I love hearing from you all. I wish you the best of the best. Christmas is the best!!!! Remember!!!! #sharethegift

Alla prossima,
Anziano Langlois

Broken Toe and a Contrite Spirit December 10, 2014

Ciao tutti!!!

Well, first and foremost....the 9 year old kid got baptized!!!! It was awesome!! Last Saturday night. Super fun. I'm going to be honest, the actual service was really irreverent. People started clapping after the actual ordinance. Oh boy....gotta love Italians. Despite that, a lot of people felt the spirit. The couple that we are teaching are super excited to get baptized. If all goes well, they will be baptized within a month or so. Then another one of our baptism dates said that he really wants to be baptized too. He's less ready though. Then another investigator told us that he felt like he has to be baptized, so we set a baptismal date with him yesterday. On top of that, we got in contact with two new families that members brought. It was awesome!!!! Ravenna is on fire!!!! 

In sadder news, Anz Polson is leaving us. (He says hi back Mom.) I'm sad to see him go. He was a lot of fun. My new companion is Anz Cardullo. He was actually Anz Parker's MTC comp, so I've met him once or twice. He kinda reminds me of Jason. I'm excited to continue the work forward here in Ravenna. The Lord has high expectations for us here. 

Now, about the title. It was obviously a play on words on the scriptures, "broken heart and contrite spirit", found in D&C 20:37. The reason I said that is because Anz Polson wanted me to always remember him, so he broke my toe the other night. Don't worry. It wasn't on purpose and we weren't wrestling or anything. it was actually really dumb. I was standing at the bathroom door talking to him as he brushed his teeth and as he came out of the door he kicked my foot and snapped my pinky toe. It's kinda black and blue right now. It doesn't hurt anymore, but it's just annoying and I kinda limp right now. Oh well, pazienza.

We had a really fun bowling activity with our branch the other night that went really well. We had a ton of nonmembers show up. I won with a 120, which was really pathetic if you ask me, but oh well. It was really nice to just kinda relax and enjoy being with people for an hour or so, because this past week has been really stressful for many reasons. Basically, it's safe to say, that being a missionary is the most stressful thing that I've ever done, but  I love it so much. It is a blast.

Totally random question, but do you still have that pinata head, or did you throw it out? I hope you didn't. I thought about it the other day because that actor just died and one of our south American investigators was really sad.

Well, thanks for the sports report dad. I love this time of year. College bowl games are so much fun to watch. Let's hope BYU wins this year.

That church mosaic that Tim was talking about it sweet. I've seen it twice. It's super cool. I'll definitely take you guys there. As for looking at hotels, I haven't been doing that, but I'll start I guess. What if I can grab up a spot in someone's house? I know of a couple of members who offered to give us a place to stay if we came to visit. I don't know. I'll keep my eyes out. It will probably be easier for you dad to just look online because we never have time to go into hotels and get quotes. haha.

Please keep reminding me about BYU deadlines. Those are important. I'm trying to talk with my friends via email to get some ideas for housing when we get back, but they are usually slow to respond. 

Mom, I am currently on the lookout for a nativity for Linda, so I will get you one as well. I love Italy during the Christmas season. I wish you could see it. It is so beautiful. I don't think I need anything from America, but I still like gifts if you want to send something. It's not necessary. If I think of something, I will let you know.

Don't lose the faith. Keep on working hard. I love you all.

Anziano Langlois