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

C'e Tanto Da Fare January 28, 2015

Ciao tutti!!!!! (the exclamation points are back. haha)

First of all, who was grateful for tri tip? Because I'm totally in agreement. (Eric was sent a picture of a Thanksgiving tree that Linda's family made.  Each leaf said something they were thankful for.) I miss American meat. It's soooo good. Italy has got some really good food, but meat is not their forte. Which doesn't make sense now that I know Italian, because "forte" means "strong", so it's close to being correct. They should say "forza" which means "strength", but oh well. haha. Speaking of that, I've kinda noticed that we use a lot of random Italian words incorrectly in English. Such as....I can't remember any right now....awkward. But trust me, there are some! haha

Thank you so much mom for doing housing for me. I already thanked the office elders, who is one of my friends from my group. I just had one question, I got this email directly from Campus Plaza, I will send it to you as well. It tells me to login and accept a roommate request or something. Boh...pensaci te. (You take care of it).

Still on the subject of school, when do I have to sign up for classes by? I need to know so I can get permission to go online and look at the classes list. Holy cow, I have to decide this stuff soon. That's weird. Time is going by really fast.

OK, super miracle time. I just got an email this week from Alessio De Simone (the son) telling me that he got baptized. I'm so pumped!!!!!! I knew it would happen, and now I'm so happy that their family is now united in the gospel. I literally cannot express my love and gratitude for that family. They are literally the miracle of my mission. I can't wait to see them get sealed in the temple. I know that the Lord placed me here in Italy to find families like theirs. I love the country and I love it's people. I know that the Lord has a lot in store for me in these last few month. I want to just work my brains out and try and catch all of the miracles as they literally pour out of heaven like the Guatemala rain. haha

Here in Ravenna, we are getting really close to a few baptisms. We have a couple investigators that were really progressing and are now kinda fading away, and our weaker investigators are now really progressing. It's a weird reversal of fortune. We are teaching this one young man from Kazakhstan, who is super cool. He told us that he wants to get baptized and move to Salt Lake, right by the temple. haha. Then we are really working hard with the father of a part member family and he is so close to baptism. I'm almost positive he will get baptized on the 14th, because the spirit really testified to me that was the correct date for him. It's such an exciting time to be a missionary!!!! I love it!!! I get so excited all the time! WHOOO!!!!! It's the best!! 

Yesterday, we went over to a less active member's house and we watched a Mormon message with him. He really enjoyed the video we watched ,so after teaching the lesson, we invited him to share it with his friends. We showed him right there how to share Mormon messages with his friends on Facebook. We invited it to one of his friends and then he asked if he could share it with another. Then he asked how he could share it with everyone. He was so excited to "hoist upon every tower" (Alma 46:36) the good news of the gospel and share it with his friends through social media. We told him that we would be back to check up on what his friends said, and he was eager to let us know. 

OK, random Italian fact time. So the other night we went over to a member's house to help him chip/sand old paint off his wall so they can repaint it. Let me just say that Italian paint is sooooo different than American paint. I can basically spit on the wall and it comes off in some parts and other parts, not even a belt sander can pull it off. It's ridiculous. You also have to put a ton of paint on the wall for it to stick. It's super weird. But it was fun. I love service.

Before I forget. Happy late birthday Peter!!!! I knew it was around January, but I couldn't remember when. 

I can't believe how old Lizzy looks. She's growing and it's weird. However, Anz Cardullo says that she's not allowed to wear those camo pants. haha. It's funny because that was Italian fashion last year. I guess America is kinda behind. haha. They are actually still popular right now, but that's not important.

I'm really sorry to hear that Linda's family is sick. That is no fun. Poor Judester.

Everyone here has been talking about that big blizzard. They told me that if you went outside in your car, you got a 600 dollar ticket or something like that. Weird. 

I loved the pictures! It is so great to see you all are doing well. Good to hear that my car still exists. I love that car. I miss it a lot. Our car here takes like 9 years to get up to speed. I feel like Fred Flintstone could beat us in a race. haha. 

Keep up the good work with less actives and inactives. The biggest thing they need is a friend in the church. That is what helps them come back to stay.

Thank you so much for your prayers on my behalf and on the behalf of the people here in Ravenna. They really need them. It is a hard time for a lot of people and Satan is working really hard on them. 

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

Anziano Langlois

Ravenna Round 4 January 21, 2015

Ciao tutti....the shift button doesn't work half the time on this keyboard, so no parenthesis or exclamation points. Sorry. 

Anywho, I'm staying here in Ravenna for a fourth. I'm happy to stay. I don't feel like my time here is done yet. I'm looking forward to a transfer full of miracles. Ravenna is the city of miracles afterall. haha.

Speaking of miracles, last Sunday was a super miracle day. It started just like any other Sunday, with church and everything. then, after lunch, we went with a member to go teach this family of referrals that we had received a month ago, they told us to wait until after the holidays to contact them. We drove all the way out there only to find out that the newborn child of their neighbor had passed away and they were very upset. I immediately started to talk about the plan of salvation, but he didn't want to hear any of it at that time. Whatever we tried to say, he rejected by saying that he was too tired to talk right now. He closed the door and that was it. So we were pretty upset and sad for this family. We ended up talking to the member about his family mission plan and talked about how he could help this family and their neighbor, who the member actually works with. After a good lesson, we drove to another appointment and before we got there, another referral we had been trying to contact called us to say hi to us. So now, we have his phone number. After our appointment, the mother of this family had a friend over and she started talking to her about meeting with us and the friend didn't want to hear it. But she persisted and bore a powerful testimony and the friend agreed to meet with us this week. Unfortunately, our member was sick and the lesson fell through, but we have our foot in the door with this new potential. We went and did some pass bys and while we were walking between houses, we were stopping people. Eventually, there was a mother and her daughter followed very closely by a single man. I normally would stop the family, but I felt like I needed to stop the man, so I did. Anz Cardullo thought I was crazy, but after talking for a little bit, we were able to teach this man right there on the street and get his address and a return appointment. It was such a cool miracle. We passed by the pizzeria owned by some of our potentials who Anz Cardullo and Miller found on a scambio. We taught them once, but we're not able to set up a return appointment. So we passed by and they were so happy to see us and we were able to set up a return appointment, so they both became new investigators as well. We got three new investigators in less than an hour and it was such a miracle. then while calling all the district leaders that night, I found out that the zone has been doing great too. They found 19 new investigators and set 6 new baptismal dates. It was such a great week. I'm so proud of them. I love this zone so much and I'm so happy to be here serving with these great missionaries.

Looks like dad has the same idea that I have. After this transfer, I figure President will send me off to who knows where to train and die. I'd be fine with that. training Anz Johnson was fun. I could do it again. But that's 6 weeks away, so no need to worry about that now. 

I can't believe the Packers blew it that bad. Anz Polson must be really mad, he's a Packers fan. In sports these days, it seems like it's always the same teams who win.  I guess it's always been like that. Oh well. 

Congrats on the two new callings dad. I know how much you love teaching, so you scored with that age group. Get them all ready for missions and college and whatnot. haha. I hope there isn't anything too seriously with your shoulder. Let me know what the doctors say.

Well, I apologize again that I'm not writing that much. A lot of stuff happens, I just can't always talk about it or I forget. Bo...don't worry though, I'm writing everything down in my journal. I haven't missed a day yet. I'm quite proud of that.

Well, I don't remember if I asked about this last week mom, but can you figure out what we need to do to renew my drivers license? It expires on my birthday, so we have some time, but it would be good to start getting informed about it.

If you guys could all remember the Felisatti family in your prayers, that would be really helpful. Satan is working really hard on this family and we are not giving up. 

I love you all a lot, so don't forget that. 

I'm going to try and send photos this week, let's see if it works.

Alla prossima,
Anziano Langlois

PS. I tried to be fancy and cook this special pasta yesterday. It took an hour and wasn't that great....ahh....pazienza. 

PPS. he first picture is where Dante's bones used to be....we don't know where they are now though...