1/28/2015 (week 13/104)

Ciao di nuovo tutti!

This week flewwwwww by so quick, and quite honestly nothing really is new. The only new thing would have to be the new missionary that we got in our district since Anziano Mayberry left, and his name is Anziano Cortes. Cortes is one of the most driven missionaries I have ever seen. He had to give up a lot to come out here it sounds like, and you can truly tell by the amount of people he talks to, the way he talks about the Lord, and the way that he conducts himself in the field, that he truly has a desire to serve the Lord with all he has. He has no shame, he has no fear, and he will be a great addition to the district. Also, our two investigators with the baptism dates are still progressing but they do need prayers! Whenever you are about to experience something really good in life, like baptism, there is always a great deal of opposition beforehand, and I can see very clearly the oppostion against them.

Cultural bit: I bought my first Italian suit today, and if you don’t know, Italian suits are focused on slimming, and if you know me you know that I need realllllly slim clothing. I’m freaking small. The clothes in America are usually quite big on me and even flow out the sides a bit like sails. The clothes here, however, are perfect. Absolutely perfect. Thus, I broke down and bought a suit. Sue me.

Spiritual bit: Everything Christ did, was, and accepted, was for us. His very nature: born of an earthly Mother and a Heavenly Father, allowed for the possibility to complete the atonement. Only a Son of God could have completed the rigor of the suffering in the atonement, and only a mortal could’ve taken upon themselves the fallen state of man and be subject enough to sin to pay for it. Every moment of His life was to be an example for us to live, and miracles to strengthen our faith. Every action was out of kindness to others. Even on the cross, He did not focus on the nails in His hands and feet and His imminent death, but said, “Forgive [these people] Father, for they know not what they do.” Would you have the love and charity to forgive your executioners in the very act of committance and even plead to God for their salvation?
                  If there is one thing we can learn from Christ, it’s that we need to love others. This life is hard. Every person out there is going through, has gone through, or will go through something that will personally challenge them beyond their current level of capability. This life is a test, so these trials are guaranteed. Everyone has them, and if you think they don’t, then they are hiding it very well. I for myself have had many difficulties in my life from stress and depression, to difficulty with sin, but I want you all to know that it is possible to make it through. We can’t do it on our own though, and we need help from others, family, friends, leaders, and Christ. We are each in incredible positions to help each other out. So, reach out to a friend, make someone smile today! Give a compliment. Ask if you can help others. Be there for them, and open up to them. I promise that as you do this, you will feel God’s love for them, and you will be able to help them! We aren’t around the people we are around for no reason! Christ will always be the greatest example of this, and I am grateful every single day for His sacrifice for me and for everyone else. Have hope guys, because if we could see the future God had in store for us we would never fear for a single thing ever again.

Con Amore,
Anziano Squire

1/21/2015 (week 12/104)

Ciao Tutti!!!!

Alright, so we had big developments but not much else happened. First off, we had 5 investigators in church and 2 BAPTISMAL DATES. WOOOOOOOTTTTTTTTT. Oh man, I hope these people are ready for some happiness!!!!!!!! THis church is all about making people happy, and I am so excited that some people are accepting it!! Italy is more ready than you think guys!

Also, I had the opportunity to go on scambio this week (exchanges with other missionaries) and I was able to do a scambio with my district leader, Anziano Ostegar. Let it be known that this man has served well, and I am constantly impressed by the Spirit and effort he has in this work. You can tell just by looking at his eyes that he KNOWS why he is out here and he has let the Lord change him. What an incredible thing to witness. He goes home in a transfer but hey we still have him for a bit. We are a bit sad though because one of the Anziani, Mayberry, is leaving to Genova this transfer and we will truly miss him! He is such a funny dude and really adds a bright spirit to the work.

Funny language mess up of the week: John 21, If you love me feed me fish!

Cultural tidbit: people have a serious superstition here about feeling cold air on the back of your neck, so everyone wears scarves and pops their collars. Soooooo, you can probably imagine what I’ll be doing when I get home.

Spiritual tidbit: the greatest commandments are to love the Lord your God, but also to love thy neighbor and love thy enemy. Guys, a lot of people realllllllly don’t like us here but as we have shown love to others who like and hate us, I have seen the Spirit working in them, and they change. Always for the better. Always love your neighbor. You may not be your brother’s keeper, but you are your brother’s brother. Every person out there is a child of God and deserves to be loved. Every. Single. One. Go out and love, and I promise that as you do so with charity, that you will feel an increase of love for others, and feel an increased love from God to you. I love you all and wish you all a great week!!

Con Amore,
Anziano Squire

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Castello Sforzesco (Castle of Milan)

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Octopus anyone?

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Anziano Squire, Tolman, Ostergar, Mayberry, Sorella Burgess and Tokarski

1/14/2015 (week 11/104)

Ciao Tutti!

Allora, this week was a pretty dang slow one! HOWEVER, it was also a good one. The investigators to mention this week are Roberto, Silvia, and let’s say his name is Fabio, out of privacy! Ok, so Silvia and Roberto are progressing soooooo nicely and it has been incredible to see their countenances light up over the past few days as they have been reading their scriptures and coming to church. Mamma mia it is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen! I have watched as especially Roberto has gone from a sort of sad demeanor to a glowing and bright one now! He was smiling so big in church too, and he even leaned over and said “Man, I just love shaking people’s hands! This is the greatest!!!” Also, we had a baptism lesson in Gospel Principles and Silvia was sitting next to the Sorelle (sister missionaries) during that class. Anyways, Sorella Tokarski leaned over and said, “Hey would you like to be baptised in a month and a half?” to which Silvia replied, “I would really like that, yes!”

                             WHAT

Anyways, the third investigator, Fabio, is very interested in our message, and you can tell that he has really been searching for the truth. Throughout our recent lesson he just kept interupting and saying things like, “I don’t mean to offend you guys, but I actually believe that………….” and then he would say something that was completely in harmony with the gospel. This guy is gold. The only issue that might be presented is he might or might not have been a member of the mafia, and he did shoot a guy, (didn’t kill him, just shot him). Quindi, vediamo!

One fun thing was that we got to teach a high school religion class about our religion this week, and they were so respectful! I expected the worst, and it was a heck of a lot of fun! We shared about our basic beliefs, the purpose of life, eternal families, and the restoration of the church of Jesus Christ. The teacher asked us to come back too for a second lesson to the class. How did this work out so well? Bwop. ( this is kind of like the non-committal “I dunno or I unno” but for Italian.)

Fun story: for all of those that know me well, you know I have trypophobia. Trype, for those of you who don’t know is cow stomach/intestine. SOOOO, when I went to a member’s house and she served a piece of it in my soup I about had a heart attack. I COULD NOT EVEN. I was seriously wigging out so bad, and it must have been noticeable because after 15 minutes of trying to get Tolman to accept it discretely, she started laughing a bit and said, “You don’t have to eat the trype you know! We don’t care here, haha!” Such a relief. I made a pact with Tolman after that, that I would eat whatever fish he could get onto my plate secretly, if he ate any trype I got onto his. But dang, that texture……… mamma mia.

Spiritual thought: God loves you guys! Always and forever, and there is nothing that you can do to get away from that! You can NEVER go too far, NEVER do too much, and NEVER feel too lost to lose His love. He is ALWAYS there to accept us, and through repentance and baptism on Him we can gain a happiness that we can’t even comprehend. Through Him we can be perfected and infinitely loved. Let Him change you, and you won’t regret it. Alma 19:6

Cheers!
Anziano Squire

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Piazza Del Duomo

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Milan

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Gelatto

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Church Building

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Church Building

1/7/2015 (week 10/104)

Ciao Tutti!!

WOW. This week was daaaaaaang goood. First off, we got one of our investigators, Rosa, to accept to be baptized!! Tears filled her eyes after and it was just the coolest thing in the world. When doing this work, you can tangibly feel God’s love for these people and when they accept this message, it is indescribable! I am so happy for this family and I know that this gospel blesses lives! I have seen it and felt it! By their fruits you shall know them, right?

We also got 3 new investigators this week! Mauro is a man from Torino who has a bit of a rough past, but a sincere heart! This man has SUCH a desire to know the truth and I know that God will bless him for it! We taught him about the Restoration, so far, and he is excited about the gospel, so we are very happy ^.^ The next is a Romanian named Josep who only has one leg but is the sweetest man you will ever meet. The devotion that he has to God, and love thereon, is absolutely extraordinary. Because he doesn’t speak much Italian, we have been trying to learn some Romanian and also have been teaching solely out of Romanian pamphlets and scriptures haha. Last off is Silvia who is a friend of one of our investigators, Roberto. Silvia is a very animated person (as all Italians) and she loves to put herself right into the discussions and is not afraid to ask questions. THANK YOU. She is very excited as well about this gospel and she thinks it is very beautiful.

Cultural things from this week: if you have never been in Italy for New Years, I recommend you do it! But inside haha. SO MANY EXPLOSIVES. We also found bullet shells everywhere for a week so that’s interesting…. AND, they throw the old out the windows when the clock strikes twelve, so it is fairly normal to see washers, clothes, and old tv’s flying out windows on New Year’s.

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Bullets found after New Year’s Celebrations

Another thing is “Saldi”, which we took part in today. “Saldi” is a giant sale all throughout Europe every year where all the stores are getting rid of the last year’s fashions and are selling everyting 50-70% off. I am not ashamed of the money I spent today.

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“Boggi” Italian Menswear Store

Spiritual thought for the week: a quote by CS Lewis: “The job will not be completed in this life: but He means to get us as far as possible before death. That is why we must not be surprised if we are in for a rough time. When a man turns to Christ and seems to be getting along pretty well, he often feels that it would now be natural if things went fairly smoothly. When troubles come along, illnesses, money, new kinds of temptation, he is disappointed. These things he feels, might have been necessary to rouse him and make him repent in his bad old days; but why now? Because God is forcing him on, or up to a higher level: putting him into situations where he will have to be much braver, more patient, and more loving than he ever dreamed of being before. It seems to us all unnecessary: but that is because we have not yet had the slightest notion of the tremendous thing He means to make of us.”

Tutti, I know this life is difficult. It is supposed to be. Through these difficulties and trials we can be more, and we can become like our Savior. We are sad with trials because of the unhappiness that we experience during, but I ask that each one of you cast your eyes forward. There is an end to pain, and that end can only become glorious and splendorous happiness. Hold on. God is with you. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Con Amore,
Anziano Squire

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Fratello Guerrero, our Ward Mission Leader

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A Bidet

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Romanian Book of Mormon

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Romanian Book of Mormon with references to the Plan of Salvation

12/31/2014 (week 9/104)

Ciao Amici!

     Sorry I didn’t have time to write last week, but the past two week have been absolutely magical! Christmas in Italy is definitely an experience I will never forget! One of my favorite memories will be caroling at the Piazza del Duomo (Milan’s Cathedral Square) and contacting people there! The work is going well, and we are going to try to get 21 lessons this week so we’ll have to see how that goes! The highlight of the weeks would have to the people we got to visit, but also getting to watch our Gambian investigator experience snow for his first time! His eyes got so wide and he started swearing, just saying,”………that’s ice……from the sky……” we gave him a snow ball and told him to throw it and he looked like he was about to pass out. He just stopped for a second and said, “but…. will the cars move??” Anyways it was all a good time and I hope you are all doing well!!

Ciao,
Anziano Squire

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Welcome to Italy!

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Milan City Street

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Milan Cathedral (Duomo)

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Milan Cathedral (Duomo)

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Milan Cathedral (Duomo)

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Pandoro Christmas Bread Dessert