Monday, October 26, 2015

(week 37)

hey everyone!!

well, what can i say. i guess first off sorry about not having an
email last week, i was too busy and lazy so i just made a video
instead haha. perks of an ipad ;) but anyway, this week has been a
great one again.
we get cancellations pretty's italy. people are just
different here haha, but yeah it's pretty common, and we got several
this week, no surprise. but there was one day we got like 4 in a row
and i was kinda mad because it messed up our schedule. i mean of
course we have backup plans, but we missed out on 4 lessons that we
coulda taught to help our investigators out. anyway, in spite of all
those, we had some solid lessons this week and met some cool people.
many missionaries are afraid to drop investigators that arent ready
because they dont want to let them go and dont wanna give up on them.
but honestly i'm a huge believer in the fact that if it's not their
time, drop them, and you will be blessed. ever since i got here to
foggia, we've dropped a ton of investigators, but somehow
"miraculously" we would balance it out and find one right after. long
story short, i've learned that we are rewarded for our righteous
sacrifices and faith along with it. i get very discouraged when i find
someone so cool but they just arent open or prepared enough to accept
the Gospel yet. it's a tough thing to deal with when thats the only
thing you do all day, but i'm starting to realize that everyone will
have their time and their fair chance to accept the Gospel, whether it
be now, or in the Spirit World. i find people that are prepared here
more than i ever have. i have so many experiences i would love to
sshare, but not enough time, as well as the fact that i cant share
most of them due to confidentiality. its amazing how these people
we've known for just a few weeks or less, trust us enough to open up
and tell us everything about their life, even the deep deep stuff you
only tell loved ones. it's awesome, but definitely a responsibility.
we had a couple people accept baptismal invites this week, so thats
awesome. hhowever, one is leaving for england on saturday so she cant
get baptized til december when she gets back. but honestly our best
and most solid investigators arent quick to baptize, which  stinks
kinda, but i know when they do get baptized, they'll be firm in the
faith, and thats awesome. i've been reading and thinking this past
week on how to improve my teaching and i'm looking forward to trying
new things this week. the mission is awesome and im lovin it. helping
others for a living is a unique and humbling experience. we got a lot
to do this week, and some pretty heavy problems to try and work out
between some people this week. i feel like im a guidance and marriage
counselor half the time which is funny sincee im an unmarried 20 year
old kid, i should be the last one for the job. eh, oh well haha. funny
story this week--we went on a random bus to do finding on the bus,
and turns out the bus we went on  goes hecka far away and basically
we almost got lost but an hour later we found our way back. had to be
there  haha. alright guys  sorry i stink at writing, maybe i'll write
better next  week :) love you all


Anziano Carter Blaise

(week 36)

Carter sent a video this week instead of a letter due to lack of time.  I'm unable to download the video to post.

say cheese!

Ward member's home for one of our dinners


notes from talk yesterday

notes from talk last Sunday in Sacrament meeting

Monday, October 5, 2015

(week 35) 7

Well guys, today marks the day...7 months in Italy so far! Crazy to think I arrived in this country 7 whole months ago, it feels more like 2, 3 at most. I'm fortunate enough to have enjoyed my second General Conference weekend in the mission already this past weekend. Gosh, guys I can't begin to tell you how awesome General Conference truly is. I was talking with my brother/friend Matt (Elder Moser) via email about 20 minutes ago about how neither of us took advantage of General Conference before the mission; we instead looked at it as an opportunity to take a day off from church and Sunday dress, and instead lounge at home with food and a couch with conference playing on the TV. As of April 2015, and even more so today, I can tell you that I was so dumb for doing that haha. I have a completely different view, opinion, and attitude about general conference than I did 18 months ago. 
As missionaries, I would venture to say that every single one of us looks forward to conference generally the same amount. When you immerse yourself in scripture study and things of the gospel every day of your life for 1, 2, even 3 hours a day, you begin to get hooked. It's like if you go your whole life drinking regular Mountain Dew because it's good and comfortable, then one day you try Mountain Dew Baja Blast and realize you've been missing out on this amazing new drink. Pretty soon you're hooked and can't go back. It's the same with your studies in the gospel. I'm at the point where it's addicting, and studying the scriptures and other teachings of the gospel is something I desire and hunger and thirst for, all because I made that initial "switch to Baja Blast." It is because of this that it has become a habit, thus making general conference another special type of Baja Blast that's only a limited time offer on April and October...dangit. But the good news is it's every year, twice a year, and you can even get free refills of it throughout the year (on gospel library you can listen and read past conference talks). Sorry for my weird analogy, but that's a way I can better describe why I'm so stoked off conference haha. Like I was saying with Matt, I can't wait to take these habits we learn here during the mission, and apply them and carry them on to after the mission. That's really what it's all about. Once the mission is over, your real mission has just begun--to apply all of that which you have learned, into the rest of eternity, and progress off of it.
Quick little thing about conference. It was awesome, and there were many messages and themes. But the first session, I totally thought was centered on the will of God. Maybe that's just me. But either way it's so important and a reminder we all need, maybe bi-annually. We must: 1) be humble enough to ask the Lord what He wants us to do, and 2) be humble enough to act upon the answer He gives us, regardless. The Lord will not answer us if we are not sincere in our asking, and truly willing to act upon our response. These characteristics and requirements are often referred to as a sincere heart, and real intent. I was reminded of D. Todd Christofferson's Conference address in April 2011, when he refers to Hebrews 12:6, and explains how the things that happen in our life are always in align with God's will. After all, He does have all power. But what he goes on to say is that we must be willing to submit ourselves to that of our God's will, in order to be happy throughout our toughest and most chastening trials. He then extends the bold invite to seek out God's love-inspired correction. Exactly like brother Lawrence invited us to do in conference--ask God sincerely, "what do I need to change?" And you will get your answer, if you have a sincere heart and real intent. I know this is true because it's happened to me, more than once. It's awesome. God loves us enough to chasten us, and to help us change our weaknesses into strengths. I wish I had time to talk forever about conference because I loved it so much, but I can't :/ however one quick thing--Holland's talk on the Messianic role of motherhood was amazing, and with pin-point accuracy. I don't know where I would be today without my mother and the love she, and her mom have for me. I probably would not be in Italy right now of it wasn't for her. I love you all and miss you all. I promise you all, who haven't seen conference, you will LOVE conference if you watch/listen/read the talks. So inspired. We have the opportunity to hear the testimonies of Apostles of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. They are special witnesses of Him and His divinity. I know that. I feel it when they speak. May God bless all of you. Ciao bellissimi 😘

Madfredonia, Italy
Manfredonia, Italy

quick little passaggio rn

Brazillian soda sooo great!

General Conference squad
more General Conference squad
I can't tell you how amazing this lasagna was that a member made for
A random castle..haha