12/23/2015 (week 60/104)

Oh man, I am doing poorly at this whole blog thing! I apologize to each one of you that reads this!

So, Christmas time encroaches upon us and at this moment we can revel in the joy and hope of a better life to come. For the spiritual message today I wish to pronounce my knowledge of the fact that we can each receive beauty in this life in the place of the calamity, strength in place of weakness, and tears of joy in place of tears of sorrow. Now is the time to change life and make a better day, because our dear Brother suffered so that we might. Let your joy fill where the sorrow has carved you and feel the “song of redeeming love”. Now is the time to celebrate and give thanks, for love has truly birthed a new future for us. It was this love that brought Christ to the earth for us; this love that brought Him to minister to us; this love that made Him weep from happiness and pain for us; this love that brought Him to His knees and up to the cross for us. This love was focused on others. May we seek this love and seek to have it for each other, for it will be given to us if we but ask with a sincere heart! (Moroni 7) And what does He ask? That we love Him, and that we follow Him. In this there is happiness, so what are we running from?

The most important thing I wish to express, however, is the vital fact that we don’t forget about Him after this season, for as He was born for us, He yet lives this day. Let’s love Him, dear brothers and sisters, and show Him our appreciation for the way He lived, by the way we live. Sacrifice, and you will show love. Let us not answer negatively to the ever so gentle question that He asks each one of us, “will ye also go away? (John 6:67)”. I pray that we continue our journey with Him, and grow in the love that He so freely offers us.

Comunque, these past two weeks have been very good and we have been doing a lot of really solid work!!!! The only downside is that Renzo practically dropped himself in a tired exclamation saying that he was not ready to fill the deep void inside of him with the gospel yet. It kills me to see. He is a very depressed individual, and I understand that sometimes it is easier to stay in the sorrow where you are habituated to the cold, than try to make a leap out in faith. Truly, I know how that feels. But, I know how good that joy is when you finally do take that leap and feel the joy of life again, and this gospel is how he is to do it. He knows it too, but just wants time….

Other than that, we had another lesson with our new miracle girl, Ariana, which was quite exciting really, but I kind of forgot how to talk to girls younger than 40 it seems. so it reached a fun little level of awkward until we got to the spiritual aspect of the lesson. Luckily, we had a stellar member who just came back from her mission in Australia and she was able to give us some assistance, and a helping hand to Ariana in giving her a friend in this city! When she gets back from Tuscany in January from vacation, we will continue the teaching with her, but it is going very well!!

Then, last night we attended a Christmas party held by our investigator Wilfred, and there were about 10 people crowded in his little shop! There was hardly the space, but we (as the Africans would say) “clapped our hands and praised God together!” I have really grown to love African parties because it’s all centered around God, the joy in life, and being a brother to one another. Good stuff, and we will be visiting the apartment of about 6 of them next week, so that is wonderful!!

Lastly, we know that our relationship with the members is growing to quite a strong point because they gave us about 40 pounds of food this last Sunday, and we were so happy we nearly cried. Ok, it was just me that nearly cried BUT STILL!! This is incredible, considering they did not like the missionaries when I first showed up. We can now launch a full scale, multiple tier member missionary plan that Anziano Allred and I have been planning and setting up for months. I am so excited.The project we are basing this off of had unreal success in Como. FILL UP THE FONT BOYS.

Cheers everyone, and I wish you all a wonderful holiday season!!!

Anziano Squire

   
 Need a letter to make it really bad? Just post some Italian security on it!!!

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12/9/2015 (week 58/104)

Ciao tutti!!!!

MIRACLES THIS WEEK. Allred and I have been going for a 21 lesson week, as part of a challenge from our President and it has been going incredibly!!!!!!! We have so far found about four new people, one a professor for international law, and another a Tuscan girl who is also very interested!!! We have been just trying to trust the Lord more on the finding and thanking Him every step of the way, and we are really seeing growth. Let me tell you all about the girl though!!!! We found her 30 min walk outside of our normal tracking area just sitting on a

bench and we decided to just give her a card for the new Christmas video of the church. When we gave it to her we saw that she had been crying and so we asked if she was ok! Floodgates. Big ones. Wrong question…..or, actually the right one. We talked for a good long while with her about life, and other things and she really began to cheer up. After the friendly conversation, we went into a Christmas lesson and bore an incredibly powerful testimony to her where all three of us where crying at the end. After that, we said a prayer for her and her family and at the end she was so happy and emotional she gave me a hug. FREAKED THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS OUT OF ME. Was not expecting that one!!! We were able to get her contact info though, and she wants to meet again so we will bring a member with us that is also around the same age and we think that we will be able to make amazing progress with her, she is so ready!!!!!

Good week y’all. Don’t have time for the other parts but know that I wish you all a wonderful week!!!

Anziano Squire

  Anziano Allred took this photo in a Vatican owned church here in Padova that apparently he couldn’t take. He didn’t know, hahaha.

Prato della Valle in Winter. (Prato della Valle is a 90,000 square meter elliptical square in Padova, Italy. It is the largest square in Italy, and one of the largest in Europe.)

12/2/2015 (week 57/104)

I don’t have much time for a blog post this week, but I will share with you a cool experience I had. The other day at church I was asked to dispose of the sacrament after church and I just thought, alright sure….the priests should be doing this, but I’d be glad to!! When I was taking it down, I was just dumping the leftover cups in the sink and all of the sudden it hit me. These were people who couldn’t take the sacrament today. There were about 20 cups that had been blessed but not partaken. Christ suffered for these 20 people and they weren’t there. It could be anyone to take those, but they went unused. It hit me that Christ truly did suffer for everyone whether they choose to take advantage of it or not, and this was a real live example of his precious blood being spilt as the water into the sink; spilt and wasted. The symbolism was so strong and it made me feel. I felt as I watched that precious blood go down the drain. Don’t let His blood be spilt in vain. Please. Use this gift He has given us.

   Me and the guys in our apartment eating our Thanksgiving feast.

  
 The Tomb of Saint Luke
  Padova

  My favorite cheese