12/3/2014 (week 5/104)

ONE WEEK OUT

In a week from today we will be in country and I seriously can’t be more excited! Just the thought of all the people out there that we get to go help gets me all giddy! Sure, my Italian isn’t exactly understandable, but you don’t need words to show love for others. Also, I have learned that you can say practically anything with your hands.

The big thing that happened this week is that Elder Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came here and spoke to us and it was a fantastic experience in which the Spirit was almost tangible. What he did, instead of standing at the pulpit and lecturing, he handed out a few hundred cell phones to us and would have us text him questions to the ipad he had on the pulpit. He would then proceed to go through them and answer them for us! Although the meeting was not lacking in authority and power, the most powerful statement was his testimony in which he said, “I know Christ rose from the dead. He. Is. Alive.”

This message that we have to share is simply one of love. Christmas season is a stressful time for a lot of people, it has been for me as well, but it doesn’t have to be. Christ suffered for us so that we might not have to endure our pains, but that He might succor our infirmities and build us up in eternal strength and happiness. This is what I am grateful for this Holiday season and I wish to extend a commitment to all of you that as you go through this month, take at least ten minutes each day to thank God for what you have, and for the happiness that He is willingly extending to us. I promise that as you do this, you will be filled with His love and you can experience the true happiness of the season!

This MTC experience has been a blast, and I’m grateful for it and the people I’ve met. The food is so fake though, and it really does a number on your insides. This is only helped, of course, by the decision of one of the Anziani in our zone to buy 4 lbs. of those sugar free gummy bears to share with everyone. You know, the kind that REALLY do a number on your insides? Needless to say, this will be an interesting last week.

The next post I will send out will be from Italy, most likely in 2 weeks, so ciao everyone and keep on plowing through life!

-Anziano Squire

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Breakfast Area

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Italian Teacher Brother Gessell

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Brother Gessell’s favorite word is Allora!

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MTC Desk

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MTC Bedroom

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Thanksgiving Day at the MTC

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Jacob’s MTC Zone

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11/26/2014 (week 4/104)

Buon Giorno!

Wow, what a week!!! We had a devotional yesterday where one of the quorum of the twelve, Elder Oaks, spoke to us and I was able to learn HEAPS. The spiritual was practically tangible, but oddly enough was even stronger after the devotional when we (The MTC choir) sang Mac Wilberg’s version of Come Thou Fount. Mamma Mia, it was undeniable. I can feel my learning, testimony, language skill, and happiness increasing every day and I am quite grateful for it all!

Fun side note though! I had my first humorous language mess up the other day during a lesson with a real person (not an actor). Instead of saying, “”Through the atonement of Jesus Christ I have become better (miglio/migliore)” I actually said “Throught the Atonement of Jesus Christ I have become a wife (moglie). It was funny but there’s a special sense of embarrassment that ensues upon watching an investigator laughing at something you said wrong! Completely hilarious though!!

Honestly, things in the MTC are extremely routine so there isn’t much new to tell but things are fantastic here! I love these missionaries I am serving with and every minute I spend with them I just love them more! I know this church is true and I am happy to be a part of this grand work to bring others profound happiness!

P.S. Either the food is getting better or my expectations are getting lower.

Con Amore,
Anziano Squire

Who are you and where am I?
Who are you and where am I?

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Classroom whiteboard

11/19/2014 (Week 3/104)

Ciao!

This week! This past week seemed like a few hours, I cannot even describe the time paradox that we are in because it seems so utterly real. It’s as if we stepped out of the human time zone and into the Lord’s, where everything moves at a grander and more rapid pace. The hours turn to weeks, but the weeks are hours.

Things are progressing well, my testimony and the language are going swimmingly and I can’t wait to go out and share this happiness with others! I mean, how fantastic of a message is it that we can be with our families for eternity, that there is life after death, and that there is so much happiness that the Lord means for us to have. And I know this is true! We were able to teach 5 more lessons this week and commit two more faux investigators to baptism so at least we know we are learning the right stuff!

Funny side note, apparently in Italy people believe that cold air on the back of your neck is MOLTO MALE and they will not have it. That’s why they all wear scarves. Mamma mia my eyes were opened there and everything made sense.

One last thing, a beautiful thing happens at the MTC at 9:30 pm every night where the entire residency halls turn into a booming tie market with bargaining and haggling as far as you can see and hear! So many beautiful ties! So, the important part of this is that we have been trying all week to acquire a Donald Trump Special Collection tie that one of the Elders had, and we have had no luck. It’s a beautiful purple paisley with white accents. Anyways, the head of janitorial work here went above and beyond for us this week and took some matters about our maintence VERY personally for us because he wanted us to be as happy as we could be here. ALLORA, we decided to trade everything it took to get that DT tie and once we got it we presented it to him as a vote of thanks. It’s amazing how much more happiness abounds in serving others instead of yourself, and I am so happy that I get to do this for two more years!

Email me if you would like to chat and vi voglio bene!

Con Amore,
Anziano Squire

Anziano Holder isn't used to the weather in the US!Donald Trump TieSome guys from my MTC district

11/12/2014 (Week 2/104)

Ciao! Come state?

This week was absolutely fantastic! The food is still fake but the spirit we feel is not! We were able to teach 4-5 more lessons in Italiano, and it is really something to see the Lord helping us with this language and gospel. I am so grateful. The most special moment of the week would certainly have to be a lesson we taught with an investigator named Sandra in which she was just meeting with us to make her member brother happy, but after we shared our experiences and our testimonies with her she opened up and I could see happiness flow into her. There’s a certain glow you see when someone is feeling the spirit and recognizes the truth and it is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen!

You would all be proud to know that I tried that “working out” thing out here, every day actually, and now I can run 2-3 miles at Utah altitude. This is impressive if you realize I have zero athletic prowess to boast of. Either way, I seem to be one of the only people in the MTC that is not gaining weight.

Practical jokes are very covert here, but they can sometimes be the best thing to get you through. The funniest ones I’ve seen this week were an Anziano clearing all of his companion’s stuff out of their room/cabinets/etc while his comp was in Salt Lake getting a visa, and when he got back he just stood there and stared at the room for a good 10 seconds before saying anything. Also, just little things like Anziano Stroh putting those stick on googly eyes on random items such as the toilets, and pictures of other elders’ girlfriends. THings are good, and this place is a blast in all senses of the word. Although the German teacher across the hall scares the living crap oughtta me so there is that.

I hope you all have a fantastic week and are well!!

-Anziano Squire

11/5/2014 (Week 1/104)

Buon Giorno Amici!!

I am currently in the Missionary Training Center for six weeks and so much has happened!! First off, I got really lucky with my companion. He is an Australian Bodybuilder named Anziano Holder who’s been in the US for two weeks and has such an outgoing personality that really helps me to be more forward in my discourse!
In the MTC we have an average of twelve hours of class a day where we learn both Italiano and gospel topics. Anz. Holder and I have been able to teach 4 lessons so far using the skills we have learned from class, each in full Italian, each with no notes, and each ranging 20-25 minutes. It is SOO evident to us that God is helping us with this language! I even translated a verse of scripture nearly word for word on the third day, and spoke only Italian for half of the day yesterday!

Honestly, we don’t have a lot of time to write home today so I’m going to have to cut this short but I am so happy to be here and so excited to get out to Milan in 5 weeks and bring people happiness! This truly is a work and gospel of love, purpose, and happiness!

Ciao, con amore,
Anziano Squire

Letter 1: One Week Out

Well, I have exactly 7 days until I enter the Missionary Training Center where I will undergo 6 weeks of training in the Italian Language, gospel instruction, and teaching techniques. My mission assignment for the next two years will be to teach the people in the Milan mission the gospel of Jesus Christ, as taught by my church: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

I think it’s fair to say that I’m freaking out a bit, mostly just because I’m ¬†going to a completely foreign place where I don’t know the people, the culture, or the language! But hey, if you’re dreams don’t freak you out then they aren’t big enough, right? Needless to say I’m way stoked, and I’m about as ready as I’ll ever be to jump into something new!

-J

Italy Milan Mission