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