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Catania – Week 19
Transfer 14, Mission Week 84

Ciao Tutti!

I hope that everyone had a great week and that all is well with everyone! We had a super week over here and we have just been all over the place. So to begin my email we received our transfer calls Monday night and I am staying in Catania for a fourth transfer! I have received Anziano Ponce from Lima, Peru. He is a great missionary and is super dedicated to the work and really gives it all that he has. I am super excited to be staying and able to work with everyone down here for another 6 weeks. We have a lot of great plans and good work going on that is starting to grow as well! We are excited to be here and look forward to working together and seeing a ton of miracles.

So this past week we had to take missionaries to the airport Monday and that went well! I received an email from Anziano Nielsen and he has safely made it back home to Salt Lake City. He was super fun to work with and really taught me a lot. I hope to be able to continue to apply all those things that I have learned from each of my respective companions here in the mission. We proceeded to play paintball with almost the whole zone after that and it was a ton of fun! We had some members there as well which was really nice. A lot of people came out with some bruises and welts, but I didn’t seem to get any for some odd reason. It was good though!

For half the week I was on scambio with Anziano Cox because Anziano Clasby also went home. We had a great time together and were able to have a really cool lesson with two of our investigators who accepted baptismal dates that we will continue to help them towards and all that they need to do in preparation for that. I am thankful for the sweet spirit that we feel with them and all that we can truly learn together as we are all edified during those lessons. They are super special and the daughter of this member is working hard at reading the Book of Mormon and praying. It is super awesome! We also had a some great less active work done as well.

Transfer day was crazy and started off super well with all the departures and what not! Sorella Gleave and Sorella McKenzie were in opposite companionships here in Catania and headed off to Cosenza. I thought that was such a super cool transfer call! I was able to make dedicas for all the members with photos that we had taken together. I was super excited for them to go there. We had some crazy traffic all day here in Catania so that didn’t help with getting everyone where they needed to go! Driving here is insane. It is just an organized mess if that makes sense. It is a good life skill though! We were able to eventually get everyone to where they needed to all go and help out everyone with all the bags and what not! It was super fun at the end of the day and we accomplished a lot!

Other things that we did this week were the fact that we were able to translate for a member with President Jarvis of Sigonella, the American military base. It was super fun to help out with that. We also had to go and find some spray for the cockroach infestation that the sisters have at their house. We were able to plan a lot and do all that we could to get ready for everything that we need to do. We have zone conference this week and it will be really great as well as the mission conference next week in Rome on the 20th! We will be driving up there so that we can switch out the cars. It will be a beautiful drive and will take roughly 9 hours. We will be headed to stay at the Villa that night so it will be great!

I had a great study this morning and it connected super well with everything that I was touching on. It was revolved around the atonement and I really love this quote from Bruce R. McConkie:

All things center in, revolve around, are anchored to, and are built upon the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no language given to men or angels to proclaim these truths with the power and verity and dignity that should attend them. Let it be blazoned in burning  fire  through all the sidereal heavens that salvation is in Christ and comes because of his atoning sacrifice.

I think that is so true and such a powerful statement on the Atonement. It is impossible to even imagine fully all that he did for us. I am so thankful for that sacrifice and that I have an older brother that did that for each and every one of us. I am so thankful for the knowledge of from the Book of Mormon and modern day revelation through prophets and apostles that continually testify of the divinity of Christ and his mission. It is something amazing to think that we have that. Those special witnesses just like in days of old. I love you all and hope that you all have an amazing week!

Anziano Garrett

Catania – Week 16
Transfer 13, Mission Week 81

Ciao tutti!

We have been really busy this past week! We had a lot of conferences that we had to go to and then all in between that we did our best to get over and visit all the people that we needed to visit. We had a lot of fun and we really learned a lot as well.

Monday night we went and searched for less actives that we are trying to find, people that we can help and go visit. Tuesday we were really busy in the morning with three appointments. It was really nice and we had a good time visiting them all. One was the new convert that we are teaching the commandments right now. She is doing really well and gave her first short talk in church this week so that was really cool! We then visited a member we haven’t been able to see for a while and that went really well too! He is so nice and is a real deep thinker so it is always fun to see what is on his mind and what the has to say. Went and then visited another less active family and were able to eat and share a simple message on the scriptures with them. It went really well and they seemed to really enjoy that simple spiritual thought.

That night we had to go get the car appraised for repairs and then made it over to a member’s house where we were able to watch a young woman open her mission call. It was really cool to see the excitement and remember how it was at my call opening as well. She is headed to the England Manchester mission this December! It’s super exciting and we are pumped for her!

Wednesday we headed to Palermo early in the morning. It was a really pretty drive through the center of Sicilia. It was only supposed to take 2 hours and 15 minutes, but we got stuck in traffic for over an hour and then we went to the Palermo 1 church instead of the Palermo 2 church which is on the other side of the city. Needless to say we were late to the conference hahaha. It was pretty crazy. The conference went so well! There were so many amazing insights that we were all able to take out of the conference. I definitely can’t write all the things that we talked about. Some things that really stuck out to me was having a pioneer mentality and how we as a church have been able to be as pioneers and not take the persecution that they received early in this dispensation. President Kearon then talked about how we are a resilient people who thrive on adversity. I thought that was a very interesting point that we can really put to practice in this life. We are all exposed to adversity and surely Satan tries his best to get us to be anything that God wants us to be. I am thankful for that quality of resilience that we can try to emulate in our life. He also really had many things that we discussed together.

At the conclusion of the conference we took the assistants to the airport and then headed back into Palermo to pick up Anziano LaPray and Anziano Parkinson. Picked up a brioche from Brioscia (best gelateria in Italy) and headed off home. We arrived at home to plan a little and get to bed. Thursday we did our weekly planning session and then picked up Sorella McKenzie and Sorella Pinnegar, who are sister training leaders, and headed to he airport. Our flight was supposed to leave at 5:30 so we got there about an hour in advance or so. Well we then got a delay on our flight which was no big deal, but then it turned into another and another and another. Our flight didn’t leave until 11:30 hahaha. We were there for a long time! They at least gave us a free meal which was really nice. We got picked up by Anziano Guercio, one of the senior couples, about 1:00 a.m.. We passed by the temple at night and the lights were on the inside so that was real neat! We got back to the villa at 2:00 a.m. and went to bed as fast as we could.

The conference was so great up in Rome too! We had a great time at that and there was a really special spirit. We were able to discuss insights and highlights that we felt like we had during he two conferences. We discussed them a little more in depth and President Pickerd went through with all of us and we were able to set goals as a mission to work towards. I am so excited about them, and really think they will help us all be able to reach where we need to be. I am very excited about it and know it will really help us reach our standard of excellence as a mission to have one convert baptism per transfer per companionship. I will go into more detail next week on those steps that we are taking and I sure hope to have some cool experiences as well to go along with that. President Kearon was amazing to have at the conference along with Anziano Sabin and his wife. We were able to gain so much from the insights and the stories they shared with us.

President Kearon shared a really tender and amazing experience when he was a branch president about two years into him being in the church. It was a beautiful experience where I felt there were many lessons to learn and much to just look forward for, have faith, and hope for all the best.

It’s been a great week and I really enjoyed my studies and everything that we were able to do and especially going and preaching the gospel as servants of the Lord. Last night we met an inactive member for the first time and as we listened to her we did our best to make sure that we were involved and engaged in what she was saying and the experiences she was sharing with us. I couldn’t think of something to share when I felt it was right to go for the scriptures. I struggled for a minute as just 2 ideas came into my head. As I offered a short silent prayer and pondered while Anziano Nielsen was talking one of my chapters in Mosiah came to mind from the Book of Mormon. Is is when Abinadi is teaching a wicked King Noah and reads from the book of Isaiah. He reads this to him.

1 Yea, even doth not Isaiah say: Who hath believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?

2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground; he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him there is no beauty that we should desire him.

3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

6 All we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquities of us all.

I know that the atonement is real and heals us. All that is unfair in life can be made right through the atonement. I am so grateful for this sacrifice and the love that the savior showed to put his life on the line for us. It is truly through the charity that he possess that he offered his life so we can be saved and clean. So he knows how to comfort us because he has suffered with us in a sense. He knows what you are feeling and you can draw on his love, healing, and strength always. Always. I know that is true. I love you all and am sorry I didn’t have time to get to everyone at all this week! I hope you all have a great week and enjoy yourselves!


Anziano Garrett


Here are a couple of pics from the Rome leadership conference (from Sis. Pickerd’s blog):


Mission leadership conference in Rome, September, 2016

Mission leadership conference in Rome, September, 2016

Mission leadership conference in Rome, September, 2016

Mission leadership conference in Rome, September, 2016

Catania – Week 8
Transfer 12, Mission Week 73

Ciao tutti!

Hope that everyone has had a great week! This week has been really good for sure and we really enjoyed it. We are still on the search for a lot of work right now, but we were able to go and see our really awesome investigator that has been reading the Book of Mormon. He was really impressed with the way that the Book of Mormon is so similar to the bible. It was really cool to get to meet with him again. It was really amazing to explain to him the plan of salvation and he had looked ahead at the pamphlet so he was able to understand really easy all that this plan that our Heavenly Father has prepared for us. We were also able to have a really special meeting with the family of the sisters’ investigator where the spirit was really manifested strongly in that meeting. Another awesome miracle that we were able to see was the effect and results of that lesson to the less active family that I shared last week while we were in the trio. The son of the family met the Anziani earlier in the week and he said that his dad wanted the Anziani to come back to their house again. He wanted to meet with us but not only that he said that the whole family was going to come to church! Yesterday the whole family was there! It was super awesome and was so good to see how the spirit really touched and changed his heart. We are really enjoying Catania and the increase of missionaries here will really help this ward continue to be excited about missionary work. We are excited to see in what ways we can help them and do our best to serve them in any way possible. We are doing our best to try to find people that are ready to listen to our message and act on the invites to see if it is true or not. That is something that is so nice about our message is that there is no middle ground to it.

It is either completely true or it is not. I know that God can confirm to each one of us that it is true. I know that the scriptures are ways for us to know the truth and especially reading, pondering, and praying about the Book of Mormon. At the beginning of the Book of Mormon there is a story of Lehi, this father and prophet, that is leading his family into the wilderness and they have a type of compass that works by faith for God to instruct them on where to journey to. I was reading how Alma, another Book of Mormon prophet, later counsels his son using this story as an analogy to the scriptures. He states

38 And now, my son, I have somewhat to say concerning the thing which our fathers call a ball, or director–or our fathers called it Liahona, which is, being interpreted, a compass; and the Lord prepared it.

39 And behold, there cannot any man work after the manner of so curious a workmanship. And behold, it was prepared to show unto our fathers the course which they should travel in the wilderness.

40 And it did work for them according to their faith in God; therefore, if they had faith to believe that God could cause that those spindles should point the way they should go, behold, it was done; therefore they had this miracle, and also many other miracles wrought by the power of God, day by day.

41 Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by small means it did show unto them marvelous works. They were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey;

42 Therefore, they tarried in the wilderness, or did not travel a direct course, and were afflicted with hunger and thirst, because of their transgressions.

43 And now, my son, I would that ye should understand that these things are not without a shadow; for as our fathers were slothful to give heed to this compass (now these things were temporal) they did not prosper; even so it is with things which are spiritual.

44 For behold, it is as easy to give heed to the word of Christ, which will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss, as it was for our fathers to give heed to this compass, which would point unto them a straight course to the promised land.

45 And now I say, is there not a type in this thing? For just as surely as this director did bring our fathers, by following its course, to the promised land, shall the words of Christ, if we follow their course, carry us beyond this vale of sorrow into a far better land of promise.

46 O my son, do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way; for so was it with our fathers; for so was it prepared for them, that if they would look they might live; even so it is with us. The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever.

47 And now, my son, see that ye take care of these sacred things, yea, see that ye look to God and live. Go unto this people and declare the word, and be sober. My son, farewell.

I love this profound teaching that shows that if we look to the scriptures we may live forever. It truly will lead us down the paths of life and help us become who God wants us to become. I know that if we take heed, study, and treasure up the word of God we will truly be lead “into a far better land of promise” after this life. I love you all and hope that you have an amazing week!

Anziano Garrett

Anziano Goode taking Catania District selfie

Anziano Goode taking Catania District selfie

At church with Anziano Albello and Sorella Bellomo.

At church with Anziano Albello and Sorella Bellomo.

4 of the 6 missionaries working in Catania before the last transfers.  There are 8 now.

4 of the 6 missionaries working in Catania before the last transfers. There are 8 now.

Housemates in Catania

Housemates in Catania

Catania District baptism

Catania District baptism

Anziano Goode's district selfie

Anziano Goode’s district selfie

Catania District before the last transfers

Catania District before the last transfers

Anziano Goode

Anziano Goode

Saying goodbye to Anziano Goode.  He's off to home.

Saying goodbye to Anziano Goode. He’s off to home.

District meal!

District meal!

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…]