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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 5
Transfer 11, Mission Week 70

Ciao tutti!

Hope that everyone is doing well! This week was really awesome! We had a good week trying to get our work rolling and find those solid investigators that are willing to act on the message that we are bringing. I really hope that we will be able to do our best to really find those that are willing to choose for themselves to come unto Christ through the invites that God wants them to do.

One really cool miracle that I saw this week was when we were park finding. I was having a rough morning and the families hat really looked so sweet turned us down pretty fast when we went up to them, but it was cool to see that the lord puts us through trials for a reason and the last guy we stopped before going back in for lunch was willing to listen to us and was willing to act. He is a very intelligent man and is a sincere guy. He was really happy to meet us and I am so glad that we had he chance to get to know him. He will be coming back to town this Thursday and we will hopefully be able to see him at the end of the week. We really think that he will be keeping to our invites and be willing to search to find the truth. He said intellectually these things don’t sound crazy at all and could be true, but it has to be something done within his heart. Such a great guy though and it strengthens my testimony to know that God gives us little obstacles for our own good and to test us to see if we will continue to do the things he asks when it may be hard or tough.

Last week President and Sorella Pickerd arrived to the mission field and went to 4 different conferences around the mission in 4 days to introduce themselves to everyone. It was super fun to get to meet the, and feel the great love that they have for each one of us. We are all definitely looking forward to working with them and doing all we can to work hard here together in Italy. [Read more…]

Cosenza – Week 3
Transfer 9, Mission Week 57

Ciao Tutti!!!

Today we didn’t have much going on so we walked around down in centro and enjoyed the weather with some gelato too. We did get to go running this morning which we are planning on continuing to do all month. It was a nice 5.5 mile run, but we were in the middle of it and we heard these stray dogs start barking in the woods. They are common here and will sometimes hurt people. Never had any problems with them, but yeah we totally turned around and sprinted in the opposite direction hahaha. It was super funny and I am sure the look on my face was priceless.

This week went by super fast and we had a great time doing all that we could do this week. We had a lot on our plate this week, but it was really awesome and super fun. So we started off the week with the deep cleaning last Monday of course and then Tuesday morning we were planning on going to Taranto early so that we could do a scambio with Anziano Pingree and Anziano Pineu which ended up with us getting denied getting on the bus which was the first time according to Anziano Borner. The bus lines had no more spots free the rest of the whole day so we had to take a train and bus combo around mid day to get down there. We made it down and went to the church and were able to start the scambio. I was with Anziano Pineu who is in his second transfer and from Oklahoma. We were able to do a lesson together along with English course as well. It was really cool and went really well!

It was a good start to the scambio and I had fun working with him a lot. Got some pizza for dinner and headed back to the apartment. 4 missionaries live there and they have two greenies who are both awesome and they are super funny. Anziano Raimondi is from northern Italy and his companion is Anziano Haroldsen who is from California.

They are both super cool and are doing really well together. It was a lot of fun to be down there.

Wednesday we were able to have our specialized training and it went really well. We talked a lot about reaching new heights and it was really awesome to see that the addestramenti all flowed together. It was really cool. Sorella Valencia talked about the unity of companionship and the fact that we have to be one and work together in all that we do. We were able to really learn a lot from her and how we can work together to be more obedient and have our voices sound as one trump together. We talked about reaching new heights with self control, good attitude, and trusting in divine power. We based ours off a talk by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf called “On the Wings of Eagles.” It was super good and we were able to involve flying and the fact that we can truly meet these new heights with the spirit and the counsel that President Uchtdorf offers in this talk. Then President and Sorella Waddoups talked about finding new investigators. It all went super well and we really learned a lot and were able to come away with a lot of thing that we could do to improve and push the work. [Read more…]