Main Menu

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

Speak Your Mind