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Catania – Week 23

Ciao tutti!

I hope that everyone is doing well and you had a great week! This week flew by for us and we were super busy once again! We had some really special lessons with people this week and look forward to being able to teach some more lessons this week! One lesson that sticks out to me in particular was last Monday night we talked about recognizing answers from the Lord and seeing the Lord’s hand in all that we are doing. It was super cool and special to be able to discuss how we feel the spirit when the Lord is trying to speak to us. It is something that is very interesting since I feel personally it comes in different layers of levels. It is not always the same feeling. I am so very thankful though to practice the opportunity to feel the spirit more.

It definitely took some time for me to recognize how I felt it at times. I have learned so much in how he speaks to me and I realize that this will also be a life long feat to accomplish fully.

We learned a lot this week in the moments that we were able to have with all the other missionaries of the zone. We did a scambio in Messina Wednesday to Thursday and then in Reggio Calabria from Thursday to Friday. It was super fun and we were able to have a great time learning and doing missionary work with them. Some of the lessons that I learned that I loved was precisely on love towards others. I was able to observe the great love that Anziano Brandon has for everyone and that was something that I was super touched by in observing that with everyone that he interacts with especially his companion Anziano Moscon. It was something that shows his love for the Lord in the way that he treats others. I loved being able to work with Anziano Jackson in Reggio and seeing his intuitiveness and all the time he spends looking for small ways to improve and adjust so he can be the most effective missionary that he can be. We had a great week on the scambi and had to use some money to buy food while on the road, but we definitely ate well which was really nice hahaha. I love being able to spend time with the other missionaries and learn all that we can from one another, seeing and observing the different styles of work and how to things is great for all of us.

We had some other great lessons with some less actives at the end of the week that we are working with. It was super cool that we were able to see one of the less active families in church yesterday along with two of our investigators and one of their husbands who is a less active. It was super cool and a big miracle/blessing for us. I really enjoyed church this past Sunday and had the opportunity to bear my testimony there. I was super happy in being able to listen and feel the great spirit that we can always feel when people share their testimonies. I love how testimonies work and how they are so different, but yet so the same each time we bear it. I love that we can think of so many things that we want to share when in the process of bearing testimony. I love the fact that the spirit can just give us the words that we need to say each time whether for the benefit of others or ourselves. It is so special to be able to listen to and bear testimony. I know that as we bear testimony that is when we can gain a stronger testimony as well. I love this quote from President Boyd K. Packer.

“Oh, if I could teach you this one principle. A testimony is to be found in the bearing of it! Somewhere in your quest for spiritual knowledge, there is that ‘leap of faith,’ as the philosophers call it.

It is the moment when you have gone to the edge of the light and stepped into the darkness to discover that the way is lighted ahead for just a footstep or two. ‘The spirit of man,’ as the scripture says, indeed ‘is the candle of the Lord’ (Proverbs 20:27).

“It is one thing to receive a witness from what you have read or what another has said; and that is a necessary beginning. It is quite another to have the Spirit confirm to you in your bosom that what you have testified is true. Can you not see that it will be supplied as you share it? As you give that which you have, there is a replacement, with increase!”

I know that we can really come to find a great testimony as we bear witness of the things that we know and the things that the Holy Ghost has taught us and will yet teach us in those many moments. Our testimonies should be living and continuing to thrive with the nourishment that we give it by reading, praying, learning, having experiences, obeying gods commandments, etc., and simply also bearing that testimony and sharing it with others. I am grateful for my testimony and I hold it dear to my heart, and I hope to always make it thrive and grow consistently throughout my life. Hope you all have a great week and a wonderful time with everything that you have going on! Go Cubs!!


Anziano Garrett

Mission conference with Elder Russell M. Nelson, October, 2016, Rome, Italy

Mission conference with Elder Russell M. Nelson, October, 2016, Rome, Italy

Catania – Week 17

Ciao Tutti!

Thanks for all the birthday wishes! Feels like just yesterday I was in Rome on my birthday. Weird how another year passes by so fast! Sorry again I couldn’t get to every one last week! All of us Anziani were able to go and take a trip up to Etna with a member. It was a lot of fun and we had a really good time together. We got to hike a little bit and really enjoy all the scenery with him. It was really cool and we had a great day with our member. Had a nice and busy week again! We have been really staying busy throughout this whole week and we were able to see some really cool miracles.

We had a great week trying to see all the people that we have to see.

We were able to see a lot of new converts and less actives this past Tuesday and the lessons went super well. They were all really receptive to what we had planned for the and what we shared with them.

We have been doing our best to apply the counsel that was given to us at the President Kearon conference. For instance one of the families that we are working with we did our best to teach to their level and teach them and by doing so we can also at the same time catch the attention of the parents by doing so. It was really neat to see the receptiveness of the family as we taught them. It was also super neat to see them all make it out to church yesterday which was amazing.

We had a great District meeting this past week with an excellent addestramento by Anziano LaPray on love and charity which was super applicable to all of us to hear and learn from. I really enjoyed being able to talk about how that is the essence of the gospel. I am so thankful for the love that the Savior gives us and how we need to emulate that love to others. I love how it works as we serve others and pray continually for that charity we can be filled with the pure love of Christ that we can then offer to others. I am thankful that love is what can help fuel our desire to continue to do all that is right for our love for God. Something I really enjoyed learning was from this verse in the gospel of Matthew when Jesus Christ is asked which of all the commandments is the greatest.

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Here we may only think that two people are the ones we are showing love for, God and our neighbor, but Anziano LaPray underlined the fact that it states as thyself, meaning that we need to love ourselves. Of course not in a prideful or evil what, but in a way that really helps us remember that we are loved by others. This is really good for our own self esteem and was something that I really enjoyed.

That evening we were able to get over and visit a member at his house after a lesson outside of Catania and we had a good family home evening with them and they invited over some of their friends that the sisters used to meet with. It was cool to get an update on how they are doing and being able to share a little spiritual thought with them. It was a really cool spiritual evening with them all.

Thursday we went and did a scambio with Anziano Whitaker and Anziano Jackson in Reggio Calabria so we went to Messina and then crossed the straight to go and spend half of Thursday and Friday with them. The scambio went really well and we were able to see some really cool miracles from it. It was a lot of fun and a good time to get to know them better and work with them in their area. It was nice to get a little bit of finding in with them. We had a cool experience Friday morning where their investigator didn’t show up, and we finished up the scambio with some finding. The last couple that we ended up talking to were these moms on a bench in the park. It was super cool to see the progression of the conversation as we shared the restoration with them and then gave them a Book of Mormon and offered them to read it. After the Presdient Kearon conference I have been really trying to work on smiling  and being excited about leaving invites and it is really interesting to see how that is working. I think that when we know that the gospel has worked so much in our lives we need to be excited about all that we are doing and what we are inviting them to do. They were eager to read the Book of Mormon and also learn more. We got a return appointment and it was a really sick miracle.

That evening upon our return to Catania we had two lessons. We ended up sharing the same talk at both lessons. They really fit for each of them. We were able to explain to them a little of what General Conference is and why it is important and then share the last message that President Monson shared with the world. It was cool to see how this message applied to both groups personally. A lot as well with keeping commitments to read the Book of Mormon, pray, and come to church. I really enjoyed watching it with them. With the part member family that we are visiting the daughter was able to make a connection on how the message that he shared with the everyone ran in correlation with the chapter that she was reading in 1 Nephi 17. It was super cool to see her applying the things that she is learning and not just reading for curiosity, seeing how it works and can apply in our lives personally. I am so thankful for the converting power of the Book of Mormon and then help that it offers each and every one of us.

We were also able to visit some others over the weekend and we were able to see a baptismal service for one of the sisters’ investigators who is over 80 years old. It was wonderful to see him and how happy he was to be baptized and make this great covenant with the Lord. We are headed into our last week together for Anziano Nielsen and I. He will be headed up to Rome next Monday and head off home on Tuesday. It has been awesome to work with him and be able to learn all that I can from him. I am excited to see what we will be able to accomplish this week as well. It will be a lot of fun.

I am so ready for General Conference this week and being able to hear from the Prophet and all the other Apostles. It will be super special and I always get really pumped to hear the messages that they have prepared for us. I was studying a little bit about general conference in preparation for this weekend. I really love this quote from Elder Robert D. Hales.

These conferences are always under the direction of the Lord, guided by His Spirit. We are not assigned specific topics. Over weeks and months, often through sleepless nights, we wait upon the Lord. Through fasting, praying, studying, and pondering, we learn the message that He wants us to give.

Then a quote by Jeffery R. Holland

If we teach by the Spirit and you listen by the Spirit, some one of us will touch on your circumstance, sending a personal prophetic epistle just to you.

I know that if we prepare for General conference we will be able to listen to the messages and receive the answers we so seek to our questions and concerns. I invite you all to tune in to a session of general conference and search for the spiritual answers and comfort you are seeking or may just plainly enjoy. Here is the website with the information, times, and how to watch from the comfort of your home!

I love you all and am thankful for the love and support you give us all! Love you guys and have a great week!

Vi voglio un sacco di bene!

Anziano Garrett

This picture is from Anziano Scott's blog (far left). This is my comp, Anziano Nielsen (center) and 6 of the 7 companions he has had on his mission. Taken at the Mission Conference in Palermo.

This picture is from Anziano Scott’s blog (far left). This is my comp, Anziano Nielsen (center) and 6 of the 7 companions he has had on his mission. Taken at the Mission Conference in Palermo.