6/17/2015 (week 33/104)

É già passata un altro settimana! Ma cosa?

This week was what we call a progressing week. As of right now we have three investigators who wish to be baptized. One Italian, one Moroccan, and one from Mali. Whatever you guys are saying in your prayers lately, I think it’s working hahaha. One thing I have learned is that we cannot take credit for a single piece of success out here because we are led to the places we need to go, then to the people (who were prepared by Him), and then led in what we say, and they are led in their learning of the gospel and development of their personal testimonies and conversions. We’re just here to have the honor of seeing it happen. 

Also, our Muslim friend came to church this Sunday too! He was so shy the poor dude, he spoke very little, very quiet, and had a hard time looking anyone in the face. He’s just a really tender guy, and very timid. He said though after the service that he felt really happy, and so that was a blessing and we affirmed to him that this was the Spirit confirming the truth of the things he heard and felt.

Also, here’s a fun story from the week: there is this man in Varese that we call Moses Marley because he walks around town with his stupidly out of tune guitar playing random notes and singing (or rather yelling) about religious things. Recently we heard him singing about the Black Jesus Christ. He’s a character. He also looks like a Rasta.

Cultural bit: you CANNOT mix different types of pasta. You CANNOT……. I found out.

Spiritual bit: I wish to speak on a a matter of convenience. Literally. May I begin with a question aimed at drilling into your soul? Where in the scriptures does it say that following Jesus Christ would be convenient? What apostle spoke on that in General Conference? Or perhaps, what revelation to Joseph Smith entailed the given contents? My memory, though a mite foggy, does does not recall such phrases, but a few different ones in reality. Phrases such as “he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver” or “after much tribulation come the blessings.” Convenience was never a part of the plan. Even the very Son of God did not try convenience. I guarantee you suffering for the sins of all mankind, scorn and ridicule, being beaten, tortured, mocked, and hated, or caring the very cross that you would allow your persecutors to nail you to and then forgiving them in the very act was not a “convenient” task. Convenience is an excuse; it’s is a scapegoat for pride.

Part of the test, indeed the whole test itself, is whether or not we will choose God in times that are not convenient. It is too easy to choose when no opposition is present. There would be no way for God to truly tell where our alliances lie from those actions, not to mention we would never grow or progress in any given mode or manner. These inconvenient times are our chances to show God what is truly important to us. They are opportunities given to us by Him. And, if we choose wisely and endure it well, we are promised “to be exalted on high” and will inherit “all at the Father hath.”

The choices at the present times will be difficult. They need to be. But when you look at the grand eternal scale of things, this life and all the hardships we go through are actually quite minuscule. What is a financially difficult situation or a disease in the long run when we can receive perfect immortal bodies and mansions with streets paved with gold? What is the opinion of those watching when you can make that all powerful creator of the universe proud of you. What is one choice when your entire eternity hangs in the balance?

I promise these things are difficult but they will be soooooo worth it. I have felt what I believe to be a millionth part of the happiness God intends for us, and it is indescribable. The world we live in is so much smaller than we think on the grander scale of things and I promise that if you swim against the current of convenience and always search to do the right thing, you will grow exponentially in happiness and lay claim to all the blessings that the Father hath in store. Remember your purpose here, and sacrifice convenience now for an eternity of happiness and love later.

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
 Until next week folks,

Anziano Squire

 A random African dude who wanted to take a picture with me. His name was Dibu. 

Malnate, a city in our area.

Anziano Reese, doin Reese.

6/10/2015 (week 32/104) 

Biongiorno cari amici!     This week was a bit of a tough one, I’ll be honest, but we are still alive! And also the town’s crazies haven’t kidnapped us yet, so there’s a point for the home team.

     What did we do this week? Loads of finding haha.

     It’s crazy though to look at the work now versus when I got here. When I first arrived in Varese and had a correlation with the branch mission leader we told him that we got a new simp (someone wanting to take the missionary lessons) that week. He was floored. Someone had just flipped the table on his expectancy of the work here. Work was pretty slow here from what I’ve heard, but especially from the expectancy of the members that I have seen who don’t expect anything new to happen. Now, we are averaging 2 new simps a week and I think more for the Sorelle, we have all set a few baptism dates, and the work is going. I’m happy with that. Quite a bit actually.

What else do you all want me to put in these things? Email me! squire.jacob@myldsmail.net 

     Honestly though, I’m pretty happy here and it seems that I am learning a ton. I know that this is the best experience I can be having right now, and I’m glad I can help some others out at the same time!

Cultural bit: never underestimate how much pasta Italians actually eat. I watch my Italian comp consistently put down five bowls every day at lunch.

Spiritual bit: Something Anziano Savage said to me a while back has a stuck with me for quite some time. He said that going into his second city he thought he needed to work with humility and working with others. He said, however, that not too much time into that he realized that he was good at those. At the end of the experience herealized that the Lord had actually wanted him to develop patience, and without him knowing it helped him to do it. 

     “My ways are not thy ways, neither are my thoughts your thoughts”. Isaiah’s words have true meaning and significance. I wish to share a metaphor, if I may. A child and his family decide to go on a roadtrip. This roadtrip will be long but that’s ok. The child brings a rubix cube in the car with him to work on, and routinely asks his father for help with it. Focused and determined, he works and works on it with the help of his father and finally finishes the cube. Upon looking out the window he then sees that they had actually arrived at their destination. 

     We are the kid with the rubix cube. We think that the main point sometimes is to finish the puzzle that we made out for ourselves. We need to be more loving, we need to be more active, etc. We think we know what we need to do at every step of this life, but honestly, there is a lot that we will not realize. We may get done with that puzzle and look up to realize that the Lord had a different, much grander vision in place for us. Whereas, we spend our time fixing many tiny details, he takes us to the destination and makes sure we get there. Often times though, if we are too focused on the cube, we won’t see the true journey that he is taking us on. 

     Coming here to Varese I thought I had to work on humility, turns out I actually need to work on my patience, and that I’m on the right track right now for humility. Reading through my journals too I realize that the Lord has been taking me on a much grander journey than I ever imagined, and I haven’t even noticed it. 

     A lot of the time you won’t know where He is taking you, but I can at least promise that if we stay in the car (keep the commandments, and our covenants) that the Lord will make sure we get to where we need. Trust Him, because I have a secret: the all knowing being knows what He is doing. Do what He says and you won’t have to worry. I testify He loves us and is more than willing to help us change. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

Anziano Squire

6/3/2015 (week 31/104)

Cheers everyone!

Having a good week? If not, then make it happen! It’s a choice you know!

Things are good out here in our little town of Varese, and my new comp and I seem to have no problem speaking Italian and English to each other, so dodged a bullet there!

As for the work, it’s moving along at slug pace this week! Our African bruthus keep canceling on us which is sad but on he other hand, we found a super cool old Italian guy! This was our conversation when we stopped him on the street:

“Do you believe in Jesus Christ?”

(…while walking away) “Yeah, but not same one you do! You’re Jehovah’s witnesses!” (Everyone thinks we are J dubs)

“Actually, no we arent!”

(He stops and walks back) “Wait, really?”

Then, after a bit of conversation he says, “Sorry, I have to right now, but here’s my address! Come visit me!” 

WHAT? Just about nobody ever freely offers info. EVER. Miracle!!!!!! Anyways, we saw him and he is an old guy who lives alone, but wants to come to church with us on Sunday, so we have members to hook him up with! Good week overall!

Cultural bit: There’s some styles here for girls that are just starting to die off (thank heavens) from last year that include mom jeans and overalls. It’s pretty much the worst. Che skifezza! (What filth!)

Spiritual bit: I want to talk about being realistic. Don’t be.
Many people will tell you never to believe in your dreams or your hopes because the realistic thing is that they will never come true. Rather than open up their hearts to the possibility of something greater, they close both heart and mind to avoid the inevitable fall of their good spirits and the even more terrible crash of an open heart. They say it is safer to not hope, not love, not desire for those greater things so that way you don’t get hurt.

However, anybody that wants to experience, learn, or progress knows that realism cannot be an option.

I proclaim that it is better to hope and fail, to love and to lose, to try to fly and get shot down. When you block out the possibility of the bad, you also block out the possibility of the good too. Even Adam and Eve knew this, and so they ate of the fruit so way progression could be introduced into the world.

We are here on earth to experience things. To feel the wind caress your cheek; awe at the everlasting landscapes of this beautiful earth; feel the butterflies of a realized love; to hope and strive for something better. Emotional, physical, and spiritual sensation is a true gift from God and when we block them out we also reject the love of the Father. God did not have to make the flowers bright and sky blue. But He did. What an opportunity we have to feel and experience, to weep and to laugh, to hurt and to heal. I proclaim that even the bad is a blessing because it provides yet another avenue of sensation and allows for a growing profundity of the beautiful things in life. My family and I had a company in the past and we were happy, but not nearly as happy as we are now after losing that company and going broke and then rising a new one from the ashes. Even something as simple as a cookie is not as good without the salt. What a blessing the bad can be.

You must hope and never give into the deceptive trap of realism. Hope for a better life; hope for a better day; hope for happiness. Your hopes can be realized!

And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise. (Moroni 7:41)

We all have something that we can hope for, that CAN come true. This is possible, and it is all because of Him.

I testify that He lives and loves us each individually. He cares about you, laughs when you laugh, and cries when you cry. He gave His life so that we might not have to, and He will stick by you until the very end.

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Until next week, 

Tante belle cose

Anziano Squire

5/27/2015 (week 30/104)

Buongiorno tutti!

TRANSFERS. I’m staying in Varese as predicted but Anziano Reese is dying tomorrow and I am getting a new Italian companion named Anziano Mastino! We’ll see how far along my Italian really is! I wish to say a word about Anziano Reese for a moment, though. I heard a lot of different things about him, but my lasting impression of him is his focus. He worked hard this transfer and he wasn’t distracted by his time left. I truly wish to be like him at the end of my mission and have that focus. My favorite memory of him was that he baked a cake for me as a surprise on my birthday. WHO DOES THAT? Seriously it made my whole birthday, transfer, and beyond. Reese is a good missionary, and I hope all of you know that now! 

This week was grand though because we got to visit great members, got two new simps (investigators), and remember that Muslim guy from last week? He accepted a baptism date. He can’t read, yet he has his friend read him everything, he is learning too so that he can read the pamphlets and books. He is so incredible and we love him! Also, met a fine Benin City boy from Nigeria who is SUPER excited about the gospel and has already told us he knows it is true. WE LOVE OUR SIMPS. Not to mention, our Sri Lankan is making some good progress! He has a heart of gold!

Not much else new though! Good week beyond all!!! MIRACLESSSS.

Cultural Bit: Some big music out here right now is Tiziano Ferro, Eros, Fedez, and a few others.

Spiritual Bit: I LOVE this quote from Elder Henry B. Eyring:

This story is about his father, the great scientist Henry Eyring, who served on the Bonneville Stake High Council. He was responsible for the welfare farm, which included a field of onions that needed to be weeded. At that time, he was nearly 80 and suffering from painful bone cancer. He assigned himself to do weeding even though the pain was so great that he pulled himself along on his stomach with his elbows. The pain was too great for him to kneel. Yet he smiled, laughed, and talked happily with the others who were there that day weeding that field of onions. I now quote what Elder Eyring said of this incident:

” ‘After all the work was finished and the onions were all weeded, someone [said to] him, “Henry, good heavens! You didn’t pull those weeds, did you? Those weeds were sprayed two days ago, and they were going to die anyway.”


” ‘Dad just roared. He thought that was the funniest thing. He thought it was a great joke on himself. He had worked through the day in the wrong weeds. They had been sprayed and would have died anyway.

” ‘. . . I [asked] him, “Dad how could you make a joke out of that?” . . . 


” ‘He said something to me that I will never forget. . . . He said, “Hal, I wasn’t there for the weeds.’ “

Why do we serve others? Why do we serve the Lord? I think this displays one of the most important lessons that we can learn as humans. We serve because we love Him, and the things we do aren’t necessarily for what we think. They might just happen to strengthen us and might not seem to have a point, but they do. They are a way we show Him we love Him.

I know that I am not out here for the weeds, and the moment I figured that out was the moment I realized what it really meant to love the Lord. Is your eye single to His glory? Single to Him? Or is your focus distracted in the minutiae of life? Keep Him at the core of all you do, and you will guaranteedly become the person with divine nature that you are meant to. You will love Him more, and feel more of His love. 
So, ask yourselves this week, are you here for the weeds?

Con Amore,
Anziano Squire

   Anziano Reese, Sunil, our simpatizzante (investigator) from Sri Lanka, and me.

  Varese

  Varese

Anziano Reese and I, with Anziano Gomez and Mortezezadeh, Sorella Hogan and Russell from Busto Arsizio, and Sorella Warren and Besco from here in Varese.  

 The sign says, “NO DISCOUNTS ON SANDWICHES FOR ITALIANS.” Ha ha  ha