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Sciacca – Week 8
Transfer 16, Mission Week 97

Ciao Tutti!

So this week was really crazy! We were all over the place and we have been on some sort of transport for 50 hours this week which was really nuts and definitely the most I have ever done in a short amount of time within my whole life. We were definitely worn out by it all and it was a very fun travel at the same time. So we started out Monday night by heading to Palermo and we stayed the night there so we wouldn’t have to wake up super early on that Tuesday morning for travel to get to Palermo for our train and run the risk of being late for it or something like that. We headed out on that train at 9:30 and we were on that one for a good amount of time. We had a guy assigned to sit next to us and I am not really what sure what language he spoke because after he sat down for a second I asked him where he was headed in Italian and he didn’t acknowledge me so I am not totally sure haha.

He got off after a little bit and we eventually made it to Messina where we cross on the boat to get back over to the mainland. I have been on that thing a fair amount of times it seems like. We had a small expensive lunch on the boat and got back on the train.

We then had to endure this lady that was sitting in another little section play traditional Sicilian music out loud and at first it wasn’t that big of a deal, but it definitely started getting a little annoying after a while hahaha. We finally arrived at Salerno at 6:30 in the evening and had about an hour and half layover before we had to be on the train again. Just enough time for a pizza!! We were close enough to Napoli and we were logically starving at this point. We had a pizza place picked out that we wanted to check out also hoping it was a like a sister restaurant to Sorbillos in Napoli. Well that place was closed so we made our way to another one and sat down and stuffed our pizza down in about 15 minutes or so, which was super delicious as well! After contemplating for a total of 3 seconds we decided to head back to the original place since it was said to have been open by then and grab a pizza to go. Don’t know what was up, but it was still closed. There was another one that we passed by and we decided to check it out and it seemed to be a fast place. We ordered and then I started talking to the older man that took our order. I was asking if they were from Salerno and whether this was their Pizzeria. We were just starting the small talk and then the guy that was making my pizza who was younger stated in Italian that we weren’t from around here. We said that we were from the United States and then all of a sudden he asked in English if we had a tag. Mine was half way covered by the tip of my jacket and we were shocked at the question and the fluency of English. Then he said that he was mormon and asked where we were from.

Well we told him we were from Sciacca and he said that he served part of his mission there. We asked him his name and having heard it since being here as well as talking to the members about him we had a great little time talking to his family and his pizza was really good too!

We in fact have a cook book he made while he was on the mission and it was a pretty cool experience.

After chowing down that pizza we had a nice short little ride for the next leg of the trip. We were late taking off and then we also sat at a station for a while and I had a feeling we were going to miss the connection to get on the bus headed towards Foggia. I tried searching for someone and went down the train, but the door I knocked on no one answered, didn’t realize till after it was the door connecting to the carriage hahaha. When we got off we were rushing around and then we saw the Tren Italia worker getting off and we asked him about the fact that we missed the bus and two others had the same problem. Well thank goodness we asked him, because he offered all of us a ride to catch the bus. So we hurried in the car and headed to one of the towns about 40 kilometers away that the bus would stop and pick up more people. It was super funny and we were just laughing at the situation that we were in and everyone in the car was super nice and we got to talk to them for a good amount of time.

Making it to Foggia we had our ride up to Pescara and then sat in the station for 2 hours waiting for the next train and oh my goodness was it freezing in that station. It was so cold and we were tired hahaha.

That was definitly the most painful part of the trip as well as waiting in the Porto D’Ascoli station for the last train. We arrived in Ascoli around 7:00 in the morning and we were able to go and get some breakfast at the Anziani’s house, shower, and study before getting Anziano Campbell’s permesso. I got to try these really good fried olive type things in Ascoli which are famous there. We had a nice little short stay in Ascoli before heading back down to Rome and from there we were able to thankfully take a night train with beds on it so we knocked out really fast on that part and when we woke up, besides the few times along the way, we were arriving in Palermo. Took the bus back to Sciacca and were finally able to make it to our area.

We had a great few work days here in town and were able to accomplish a lot of great stuff. We were able to visit some members and we also had the chance to help some members move to a new house so that went really well!

Friday while we were planning there was snow coming down! It was crazy!! That rarely ever happens down here. It was sticking of course, but cool to see. That is also a holiday here in Italy called the il giorno dell’Befana it is where all the Christmas decorations are taken down and apparently this witch comes and leaves some gifts for the kids. It is a cool little cultural holiday. Well, needless to say there weren’t many people out with a combination of these things. We hopped in somewhere to grab something to eat in the evening and ended up sitting down from little bit. Upon exiting I turned around and Anziano Campbell was talking to this guy in English and we were all of sudden in full fledge conversation with someone that served in Sciacca as a missionary 20 years ago and was on a trip planning where he will take students on his trip this summer. It was super cool talking about members and the experiences that he had on his mission. It was super cool!

Well Saturday the whole branch, as well as our new convert, were going to head to Palermo to get to a conference where there would be a General Authority speaking. Well the bus was late for starters and then the next thing that we knew we got the slowest bus driver ever and it took like 3 and half hours to get all he way down there.

Thankfully everyone was a great sport about it and we had a potential there as well that is the husband of a member in our branch. Well we made it for the last 15 minutes or so, but it went super well! It was a nutty night, but we made it back safe. All went well and we had a great Sunday to the close of a super long and busy day! We were super happy about everything that happened and all that we were able to accomplish.

One thing that the experience in Salerno made me reflect on was a story that Elder Quentin L. Cook recounts in a devotional he gave some years ago about President David O. McKay.

When I was your age, President David O. McKay was the prophet.

President McKay served as President of the Church from 1951 until 1970, which was the year I turned 30. There is always something very special about the prophet who serves when you are a young adult. I loved and admired President McKay. He often related a true account that occurred while he was a missionary serving in Scotland. He was feeling homesick after being in the mission for just a short time and spent a few hours sightseeing at nearby Stirling Castle. When he and his companion returned from visiting the castle, they passed a building where the stone above the door had a carved inscription of a quotation usually attributed to Shakespeare, which read: What E’er Thou Art, Act Well Thy Part.

Recalling this experience in a talk given in 1957, President McKay explained: “I said to myself, or the Spirit within me, ‘You are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. More than that, you are here as a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. You accepted the responsibility as a representative of the Church.’ Then I thought [about] what we had done that forenoon. We had been sightseeing, we had gained historical instruction and information, it is true, and I was thrilled with it. … However, that was not missionary work. … I accepted the message given to me on that stone, and from that moment we tried to do our part as missionaries in Scotland.”

I love this quote a lot because it shows that we always have to be doing our part to be who we really are at all times. We didn’t have to start talking to the people at the pizzeria and often times in our lives we may find ourselves in situations where we can maybe be different than we normally are or whatever. I just really love the fact that wherever we are we should always be doing what we can to be who we know that we need to be. I really know that all actions have consequences and something I loved this week that I read in a talk from President Thomas S. Monson was how we are always affecting the lives of others by the way we live our lives whether that be for good or bad. I hope that we may all do what we can to be who we need to be always! Sorry for the length of the email this week it was super long!

Have a great week everyone!

Vi voglio bene!!

Anziano Garrett

Pizza in Salerno

Pizza in Salerno with an RM who worked in Sciacca while he was on his mission

It’s freezing cold in Sciacca

Sciacca – Week 5
Transfer 15, Mission Week 94

Ciao tutti!

I hope that everyone had a great week and that you are ready for Christmas this coming weekend! With the weather down here it still doesn’t feel like that Christmas season back home sometimes, but they got the lights going, the music, and all the festive decorations out.

We are excited how everything is going his Christmas season and we have been able to do a lot of great things with the Christmas initiate as well as trying some other new Christmas themed finding activities we thought of.  We had a lot of things go on this week that we were able to do!

Tuesday after DDM we started a scambio with Caltanisetta which went really well! I was able to go with Anziano Lancaster back to Sciacca and we were able to have a nice full afternoon together even though some of our plans fell through unfortunately. We adjusted well and had back plans ready so we started working on this right away and we were able to see some nice success with some English group publicity as well as trying to share the video with some people in stores and on the streets. I was able to learn some great lessons on the scambio from Anziano Lancaster and it was great to be able to get to know him better because I have known him for a while but have never been able to spend an extended period of time with him. It went super well and the work in Caltanisetta seemed to be going really well too!

We were able to go back to do the switch in Agrigento and Anziano Campbell and headed back to Sciacca. We had a great lesson with our investigator that was sick/had back pain earlier in the week. He was doing better and we had a super great lesson with him. He is really doing well and we are doing what we can to help him keep his commitments. He has been reading more in the Book of Mormon and we are hoping to see some big steps made this week with the lessons that we will be teaching. In the middle of the lesson when we’re talking about the gospel of Jesus Christ he made some comments on having many different friends from different religions and expounding upon the fact that whatever be true it’s good he is here with us. We explained that he can know for himself with surety that these things are true.

He just has to continue to search it out. As the lesson went on he stated the fact that he really loves the way that we think and believe in what we do, and that he sincerely hopes that he is able to really come that point to know it is true.

We had some other eventful things happen like walking in a thunderstorm without umbrellas so Anziano Campbell fashioned a trash hat panoche and then I put one around my bag. We were soaked by the end of it searching for some less active houses that we hadn’t been to yet. It all ended well! We had a really great branch Christmas party that went really well! There were more non-members than members so that was really great! It was just a simple party where we did what Italians love to do most on the holidays! Eat! It was really great and there was some great food and we had great opportunities interacting with everyone there. It was cool to see that everyone enjoyed it and our branch president gave a really powerful spiritual thought that was super well done. We saw a cool miracle from that where one lady from the party that lives in the same apartment complex, because the whole first floor of the apartment is our church, came to church for all two and a half hours! It was really cool and the lessons were given in a great manner as well as the talks being well done. We had a good time for sure and left that table like 5 pounds heavier at least.

It was a great week and we finished off our Sunday night with some house finding where we wrapped a Book of Mormon with a painting from a Liahona. We were telling people that we had a gift for them so we could gift them something that means so much to us. We had someone get mad at us and the very next door the lady opened up and she was really touched that we were offering this gift. It was super cool even though we weren’t able to get in or get a return appointment we really pray that they will read the book. The husband was very touched by it and he said that he would definitely read the book. I really hope that they read it and will feel the converting power that comes from the Book of Mormon.

I am thankful for this week to be able to celebrate another Christmas here in Italy. This is a great time as we should do always to reflect on the gift of our Savior Jesus Christ that our Heavenly Father out of pure divine love gave to us. I am very thankful that we have an older brother that voluntarily came into this world to atone for all of us.

One who was without sin or imperfections. He who gave all that he had to sacrifice Himself for each and everyone of us individually and personally. I am thankful for the time that we have to always be drawing closer and knowing Christ more personally each and everyday! I love this scripture from Isaiah 9.

6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of iPeace.

He truly was all this and more and I love how each name shows and describes a different characteristic that he had that made him so perfect and unique. I hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas this Sunday and are able to enjoy a wonderful time at church Sunday and then some great time with family and friends! I love you all and am thankful for all the support and help that you guys offer me!

Buon Natale e tanti auguri!!!!

Anziano Garrett

Catania – Week 21
Transfer 14, Mission Week 86

Ciao tutti!

This week was really awesome, but man it passed by super duper fast!

We were able to accomplish a lot of things that we needed to do and got it all done in a manageable amount of time. We had a family home evening last Monday evening that went really well with our part member family. We were able to address the questions that they all had and still teach what we felt was right for them in that moment. That is something that is so amazing about the gospel that it can be tailored, then taught, and applied to everyone initially. I really enjoy that we can be able to bring to the table exactly what the Lord knows will make people happy and live with joy in their lives.

We were able to visit a less active family at their house for lunch which also went really well. We had an interesting conversation about a dish of food found here in Sicily called parmigiana which is made with eggplant, tomatoes, cheese, and some other things that I am forgetting. It was interesting for the fact of the name and how we started talking about how much of a melting pot it is here in Sicily.

There is such a mix of cultures which makes it such an interesting and unique place. The food is a mix of certain dishes which causes even the cities in Sicily to have different dishes that are specially made in those places. For example when I was in Trapani they are famous for their cous-cous which comes from the country very close on the northern tip of Africa called Tunisia. Here in Catania there is a special dish called pasta alla’norma which is a ragu based pasta with melanzane and ricotta salata. It is super cool to me and I enjoy learning about all these things and being around it all. That is a little culture story for everyone! The lesson went really well though and we were able to talk about family councils which is something that Elder M. Russell Ballard talked about last April in general conference. It is where we can meet as a family and discuss situations and make goals as a family to continue to grow and progress in this life together. He explains how their are four different types of family councils and it is something I can’t wait to apply in my future family. Really something I want to do because it is something that is so special for the family. Here is the link if you are interested in reading more about it.

We had to wake up at 3:30 on Wednesday morning to make our way up to Rome. We got started nice and early and we made our way to Messina where you have to take the ferry across the strait with the car. It was a nice long drive and we were making good time and of course we had some stops for the restroom, gas and lunch. We stopped in Napoli on the way up for lunch and it was amazing to finally eat a pizza from Napoli. I will say expectations were high, but the pizza definitely lived up to what it was. I will put a picture in there. It was the best pizza I have definitely had. Not to say there isn’t good pizza out there, but it was awesome. We made it up to Rome and parked the car up at the mission office. Got on the Metro and headed down to the station to meet all the other Anzinai in the zone that had to travel up on the train. Unfortunately the train arrived late, and this caused us not to be able to make it to our Geso spot in Piazza Spagna. We were however able to make the best of our time and get down to a different spot where Anziano LaPray and I went finding for the brief 30 minutes that we had. The First Lady we saw ended up being a great conversation and we got her number which we really hope turns out to be a cool opportunity for the missionaries to teach her up in Rome.

We had another early morning in order to prepare for the conference and make our way down to the Rome 1 church. The conference was so amazing. Once they were all in the building we were able to go down the line and shake all their hands and meet them all. We had such a spiritually strong few hours with all the general authorities and their wives. We were able to here from every single one of them there.

It was super special and amazing to be able to hear and see some overall themes among them, but how they all each had some different things to take away form each individual talk/testimony. They all had so many great things said I don’t even know where to start. Time was a big theme that was talked about as well as just remembering how great and wonderful this calling is as missionaries. I will definitely keep close the things that the talked about and do my best to apply the things that I learned through the spirit. I loved that we were able to hear from them for so long. Sorella Nelson talked about a lot of great things and one thing that I really liked was if we were able to see a short 10 minute clip of who we were at any point in the pre mortal life that it would change the trajectory completely of our life on earth. We would know what are true purpose is and without a doubt would work with all our might, mind, and strength to accomplish what we know we need to accomplish. She also told a cool story about how once in Russia with members of the church she addressed a group and said she wanted to get to know them all a little better. She then asked the whole group to stand when she called out one of the 12 tribes of Israel. She found 11 different tribes that day! Every one except the tribe of Levi was there, but then the next day in their travels they were able to meet a missionary that was a Levite. Pretty cool stories.

President Russell M. Nelson was able to address us for about 45 or 50 minutes and his topic was very interesting, but applied so well to missionary work and who we are. One of the first things that he does though is the asks the whole room who had their paper scriptures with them. Most people didn’t since traveling with the iPad is more convenient and what not. He said that he likes and uses both, but said there is just something about the paper scriptures. He then told us how he just recently got that copy that he was holding. He then turned it in the inside where the date was written, May. He decided that he would read every word of the entire quad, in which he finished 2 weeks later. He talked about the 12 tribes of Israel and the Gathering of Israel which was amazing to see. We were so blessed to have him there and instruct us on something that we maybe didn’t know everything about, but something that was able to stick with us in such a way to open us up with a drive to find more. I am thankful that we were able to talk about this great gathering of Israel that is taking place and the Abrahamic covenant. We are able to participate in this great gathering in helping Heavenly Father’s children find the truth. I really loved all that we were able to learn from the conference and hope to retain the feelings and apply the knowledge that I have now.

It was nice to see and catch up with some people after the conference and talk to everyone I haven’t seen in a long time. It was definitely just an all around amazing conference and interesting how it differed from the last mission conference when it comes to the aspect of knowing a lot more people in the mission now. We had to switch out our car after the conference and made our back home, but since we weren’t going to make it all the way we had to stop in Cosenza and stay the night. That was weird to be back in that city as well. Was able to get a nice run in Cosenza that next morning which was awesome. We made our way back after that and have had some awesome few days back here in Catania. We were able to go and have another lesson with our part member family, have a special broadcasted conference to our stake, and found 3 new investigators this past Sunday.

One of the new investigators we were supposed to go over and teach a lesson to our investigator that came to church, but at the end she wasn’t able to come down for the lesson. We had a meal, which was super good by the way, with a less active daughter of the family. She made this pasta with a sauce that uses the inc sac of a squid. It was super good! Sorry those are my food rants, but we were able to teach her boyfriend the whole restoration and we will be headed back there next Sunday to teach them. That was a super cool miracle! The other two were found at the Geso while Anziano Parkinson and Anziano Ponce went off to make sure there weren’t too many missionaries concentrated a small area when we were stopping people. They both sounds awesome too!

It was a crazy past week with lots of fun, spiritual, and instructive moments. I am so happy to be here serving in Italy with all the fellow missionaries and laborers around me as well. This past week I was able to be in 3 of my 4 cities, which is something super strange. I have had a ton of thoughts and memories flooding back to my head about many different experiences over my mission so far. I am so thankful for the cities I have served in, the people I have been able to meet and serve to the best of my ability, the people I have served with, the miracles, the lessons, all the experiences, lessons learned, etc. It has been such an amazing experience and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I can’t wait for the lessons and all the things I will do today and the rest of my time here in Italy as a full time missionary of the Lord. This makes me think of a few scriptures in Alma 29.

10 And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me.

11 Yea, and I also remember the captivity of my fathers; for I surely do know that the Lord did deliver them out of bondage, and by this did establish his church; yea, the Lord God, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, did deliver them out of bondage.

12 Yea, I have always remembered the captivity of my fathers; and that same God who delivered them out of the hands of the Egyptians did deliver them out of bondage.

I will always remember the wonderful things that the Lord has done and hope to always cling to those feelings and memories so they will always stay close to me. I am thankful for the great times and the difficult ones as well. It all is for our benefit and helps us to draw closer the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you all again for all the prayers and help that you all offer me. I love you all and am so grateful to know that we all as missionaries have so many people supporting us.

Have a great week!

Vi voglio bene!

Anziano Garrett

With Anziano Spencer, my companion from Trapani, at the Mission Conference in Rome, October, 2016

With Anziano Spencer, my companion from Trapani, at the Mission Conference in Rome, October, 2016

With friends at the Mission Conference in Rome, October, 2016

With friends at the Mission Conference in Rome, October, 2016

Some friends at the Mission Conference in Rome, October, 2016

Some friends at the Mission Conference in Rome, October, 2016

We stopped in Napoli to enjoy world-class pizza on our journey to Rome for the Mission Conference, October, 2016

We stopped in Napoli to enjoy world-class pizza on our journey to Rome for the Mission Conference, October, 2016

Napoli pizza - pizza doesn't get any better than this

Napoli pizza – pizza doesn’t get any better than this

Catania – Week 20
Transfer 14, Mission Week 85

Ciao Tutti!

Hope that everyone is doing well and that you all had a great week!

This week was another busy one for us and we had a lot that we were able to accomplish this week. We had DDM this week on Tuesday and that went super well and we were able to have another really spiritual addestramento together about service and rendering service to others. We read some great things and something that touched me was reflecting on this verse.

8 And now my sons, behold I have somewhat more to desire of you, which desire is, that ye may not do these things that ye may boast, but that ye may do these things to lay up for yourselves a treasure in heaven, yea, which is eternal, and which fadeth not away; yea, that ye may have that precious gift of eternal life, which we have reason to suppose hath been given to our fathers.

We are laying up for ourselves treasures in heaven as we serve our fellow man and those around us with our full heart and for the welfare of them. I am so thankful that God offers all of us the opportunities to serve those around us. It is always a blessing to be able to help those in need around us. I know that service is such a wonderful thing that we can render towards others.

We were able to have a great evening making sure that things were ready for the zone conference in the church and gave a ride to the church to President and Sorella Pickerd. It all went well and we finished off the night with a scambio with the Assistants to the Presdient. It was a great scambio and I was able to work with Anziano Rosenberg and I learned a lot from his boldness and his excitement that he has about the work. It is amazing to see his dedication and love to the Lord. We had a good lesson together and were able to give one of our former investigators a baptismal date. It went super well! We shuffled some people around after their interviews to finish off the night and we were all able to get settled down in order to be ready for the zone conference.

Zone conference went super well and we were able to learn from so many wonderful leaders. Sorella Pickerd talked to us a lot about attacking the day and I enjoyed talking about improvements on prayer and study which is something that I have been trying to put into practice continually. I know that working on and adjusting the little things help so much to see the big miracles in the work that we are doing.

The assistants talked about two things that I really enjoyed about studying and taking strength form the Atonement. The other was about being the message and being those Angels for others. We can present the message to them with joy and happiness showing truly that this is something that does work for us as we put it into practice. I am thankful for that blessed opportunity to be one to present that message to others. We then talked about the successes and the stories of the past baptisms in the mission. They were truly amazing and inspiring to hear about and it was really neat to talk about them and get us all excited about having our own stories.

This week we had a service project at our part member family’s house and it was super awesome. We helped gather the olives from their vineyard. It was super cool to work out there with them all together with all the other missionaries. We had a good time with the family and we really feel that we helped them with the little things that we could do for them in gathering the olives. We had lunch out there together. They had us break the piñata that she was so kind to make for my birthday a few weeks ago and we got back to work. It was a long day and it takes a lot more time to accomplish than we had anticipated. It was super interesting work and I was shocked to think that it takes 25 kili [kilos] to make 1 liter of olive oil. We shared a message at the end of the night before heading home and closing the night out.

We had a good rest of the weekend with other various lessons and a great three hour block at church along with a wonderful Geso Sunday evening. The service that we were able to render though of course made me reflect on Jacob 5 in the Book of Mormon that talks about the allegory of the olive trees. It is something that made me think much about laboring in his vineyard over here in the Italy Rome Mission. I love these three verses that conclude the chapter.

75 And it came to pass that when the Lord of the vineyard saw that his fruit was good, and that his vineyard was no more corrupt, he called up his servants, and said unto them: Behold, for this last time have we nourished my vineyard; and thou beholdest that I have done according to my will; and I have preserved the natural fruit, that it is good, even like as it was in the beginning. And blessed art thou; for because ye have been diligent in laboring with me in my vineyard, and have kept my commandments, and have brought unto me again the natural fruit, that my vineyard is no more corrupted, and the bad is cast away, behold ye shall have joy with me because of the fruit of my vineyard.

76 For behold, for a long time will I lay up of the fruit of my vineyard unto mine own self against the season, which speedily cometh; and for the last time have I nourished my vineyard, and pruned it, and dug about it, and dunged it; wherefore I will lay up unto mine own self of the fruit, for a long time, according to that which I have spoken.

77 And when the time cometh that evil fruit shall again come into my vineyard, then will I cause the good and the bad to be gathered; and the good will I preserve unto myself, and the bad will I cast away into its own place. And then cometh the season and the end; and my vineyard will I cause to be burned with fire.

The Lord truly works and does his best to bring all his children to the truth to immensely bless their lives here and in the life to come.

I am thankful for this final hour that he has been working since the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ about 200 years ago. This work is truly a great and marvelous work. We all can partake of the blessing and be counted among his good fruit as we do all we can to learn of him, follow him, and then help by laboring beside him in this great work. It takes time and a lot of work and that is what he is willing to with each of us as it describes all the necessary steps stated in verse 77 for example. I am thankful to have found this gospel to be true and that it has truly changed me and who I am. I know it can do the same for all of you as well. I love you all very much and hope that you have a great week!

Vi voglio bene!

Anziano Garrett

Catania Zone Conference, October, 2016

Catania Zone Conference, October, 2016

The birthday pinata

The birthday pinata

Hitting the Pinata

Hitting the Pinata

The birthday pinata

The birthday pinata

Working Catania

Working Catania

Anziano Parkinson

Anziano Parkinson

Catania – Week 1
Transfer 11, Mission Week 66

Ciao Tutti!!

So this week went by super fast! We had a nice busy week, full of fun things going on over here! Monday, Tuesday, and Wedneday I was able to have a lot of lessons with people while saying goodbye to less actives, investigators, and members. It went really well and we were able to have a lot of spiritual lessons with people. I was pretty shocked for sure about recieving my transfer call so I had to say bye to a lot of people really fast. It was really nice though and I am thankful for the things that I learned in Cosenza and for what the experiences that I learned there really helped me to gain things that I needed and helped me grow more into who I need to continue to work on becoming.

I definitely made a lot of amazing friends over there in Cosenza.

So Thursday was the day of transfers and it was a pretty hectic day.  We got down to the station and everything with the help of some ward members that gave us a ride to the train station so that we didn’t have to walk. It was really nice and super awesome of them to do that.

We had to wait in the train station at Paola for a little bit and then my train came. So I knew that my greenie was going to be on the train and I happened to get a picture from my Grandpa [from Sister Waddoups’ blog] of the two new missionaries that had just come in. So I thought they knew I was going to be joining them on the train there. I get on to a cart, but I was supposed to be on cart number 5. Thinking that logically it would make sense that the first one started at the front, I made my way backwards on the train trying to get to number 5. I have three giant overweight bags with me as well. I remember that Presdient Waddoups asked me on my first transfer day if I have ever heard about preaching without purse and script but it seems that lesson has still not settled in for me quite yet. I made my way all the way to where I think 5 should be and I am squeezing past people. Well there comes a point when I can’t go any further and I run into a group of people that tell me I am now at number 2 and happened to actually get on the right one the first time.  But I hadn’t seen any missionaries there at all. So at the next stop I get off the train and race back up the platform with the help of the Crotone missionaries and the senior couple and manage to get on the train just fine, but still haven’t found anyone. I left my bags with a nice lady in my assigned box on the train and ventured off in search of my greenie. Finally managed to find 2 missionaries on the front of the train that were headed to Palermo, but that meant that the front part of that train would split off once we got down to Messina. So then I finally got the information (after a ton of time) that they were sitting in first class which happend to be the very last cart of the train. So needless to say I was finally able to find them and meet my companion who is Anziano Albello.

Anziano Albello is from the Philippines and is a super awesome guy!  He is a little quiet, but he is super cool!! He really has so many amazing Christlike qualities that I have been able to learn so much from all ready! I don’t know why he went to the MTC in Provo, because he lived in Milan for 6 years and then moved back to the Philippines 2 years ago. When he first started talking Italian to me I was super impressed and he told me that he had studied for a year. I didn’t find out until we got to Catania (from someone else) that he lived in Italy for 6 years. He is using grammar that I haven’t even been able to scratch the surface of hahaha. That helps out a ton when it comes to missionary work! He is going to do amazing things here with all the skills that he has. I am excited to be with him and get to know him better! He is from a family of 4 and likes movies, music, to travel, and guitar as well! He is going to be an awesome missionary and we have already been able to see some really cool miracles together! [Read more…]

Tràpani – Week 10
Transfer 6, Mission Week 40

Ciao Tutti!

I hope everyone had a wonderful week! We had to email in a cafe today because the Internet is out at the church. Hope everyone is enjoying the Christmas season back home! It is different here for sure. They have a festa tomorrow so a lot of the shops will be closed because that is the day that they put out their Christmas tree. It’s from the tradition that the Angel Gabriel visited Mary to announce that she would bear Jesus Christ. So tomorrow hopefully will be a good time for finding for us.

This week we were able to see 2 of our investigators and they have been reading in the Book of Mormon which is great. We want to help them progress and really be excited about how much blessings are in store for us as we embrace the gospel. I really know that with the gospel we will be able to have the most joy and happiness not only in this life, but in the life to come.

We were able to have some other really good lessons with some less actives as well as members. It is so nice and amazing to be able to follow promptings on spiritual thoughts and see that it was fit and really needed by the people that we share it with. I am thankful for the people I have the opportunity to know here and the friendships I have made with them. I hope that I will continue to get to meet amazing people and helping them to the best of my abilities.

We got our transfer calls this past Saturday and I will be staying here in Tràpani and Anziano LaPray will be heading up to Terni. It has been awesome to be able to work with him and I am thankful for all that I learned from him. He has showed wonderful examples of love, charity, awareness, and boldness. He is an awesome missionary and he speaks really awesome Italian. He is going to do amazing things. I look forward to being able to see him again later down the road in the mission. My new companion is going to be Anziano Spencer and he is coming down from Terni. We are just switching companions hahaha. It will be awesome though. Anziano Spencer is awesome and this will be his second city. Excited to start work with him Thursday! [Read more…]

Roma 1 – Week 4
Transfer 1, Mission Week 10


My first draft got deleted so I am trying again right now, so this might be shorter than the first one, unfortunately.

Last Tuesday we had a scambi [exchanges] and I went up north to Terni for the day and stayed the night up there one night.  We had two lessons on Tuesday and we taught this 8 year old, who is preparing to be baptized soon, and he just knew everything.  It was so awesome.  He was really educated and has a strong testimony.  I was happy to be able to teach him for sure.

We had another lesson that went well after that, but he talked a ton and so we had to go straight to English course.  It was a lot of fun and we taught the basic course about computers, but they knew so much that we just had a really complex conversation about technology.  It was a lot of fun and I had a blast on the scambi.

We did some finding the next day, Wednesday, and it’s crazy how many fewer people were walking the streets compared to Rome.  It was very different. [Read more…]