Tuesday, March 28, 2017


Lots of food because it was Father's Day in Italy last Sunday

Hello everyone and happy SPRING!! I have been waiting for this day for a while. I love spring for tons of reasons. Mainly because it means that the cold is over.

 Well this week was definitely one of the most hectic weeks of my mission. We got to pick up the new arriving missionaries from the airport! That is always such a blast to see the new missionaries that are about to start the best adventure of their lives. We also woke up very early to take the finishing missionaries to the airport. That is sad for me because I say goodbye to some good friends that I have made in the mission. In the mix off all the craziness, Anziano Simmons and I were still able to escape and meet with some people in Lodi. We finally got our order of 5000 english flyers and we and handed tons out! Our goal is to make our english class humungous, because it is so much fun and we find lots of great people through it.

Office glasses day

 A couple weeks ago we met a 74 year old man named Angelo. He has been inviting us over ever since because he wants to learn more about the church. He is such a nice old man, but he can barely walk and he lives on the 3rd floor of his building. We love meeting with him and helping him walk up his stairs when we can. It is pretty awesome how although we only have a few hours each day to do our meeting and teaching, we still manage to find time to help people learn and come to church. Its not an easy feat but we are definitely blessed to have found and teach the people we teach.

Trying to be studious

 There is amazing talk by Elder Nelson called "Joy and Spiritual Survival". After reading it and sharing it with a few people, I have reflected a lot at the fact that it really is possible to be happy and
have joy in even the most difficult of times. He explained that it all comes down to what we make our focus in life. 'Joy is powerful, and focusing on joy brings God's power into our lives. As in all things, Jesus Christ is our ultimate exemplar, '"Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross .'" Think of that! In order for Him to endure the most excruciating experience ever on the earth, our Savior focused on the joy!' If we focus on Jesus Christ, and in the positives in all things, we can always have joy.

 I love you all! Have an awesome week.

A car that says "Laguna" on it!!

March 18, 2017

Hello everyone!

I hope you all had an awesome week! For us, this week was super great because we had 2 baptisms. Choice and Charles were baptized last Thursday night and everything went really well. These two guys are like brothers and it was so cool to see them grow as much as they have. It is pretty hard to juggle office work and missionary work but Anziano Simmons and I have been able to as much as possible. This is the first baptism for Lodi since more than a year so we are super happy. Great news is that we should have another baptisms in April for a 9 year old boy named Presley. We are honestly so grateful to have missionary work to do because when office life gets you feeling down, you have appointments with amazing people to look forward to.

P-day Bowling

 This week in the office was great as usual. I have been able to design new stickers and other things to order for the mission. Each day is full of helping out missionaries and taking care of business. I made a massive order of the new 2017 Easter pass along cards which look super cool! We prepared for the new transfers this week which is always fun because we get to find out where everyone is going a few days before the mission knows. Serving with President and Sorella Allen, along with the other people in the office is probably one of the most enjoyable things about my mission. They are such happy, fun, loving, people that always try to lift you up.

Amazing Peruvian Food!

 Yesterday we taught a really nice 21 year old who hasn't been to church in a pretty long time. We ended up talking for a really long time about receiving answers and gaining a testimony of the truth. At one point, he looked at me and Anziano Simmons and asked why we are members of the church. It was a question that people don't ask me as much as I expect them to. I looked at him and told him exactly why I am a member of the church.  I was able to tell him with such a strong conviction because I really did know the reason why. I am so glad that I know why I am serving a mission, why I am dedicating such an important time of my life to this work, and why I continue to be a faithful member despite all the opposition. I know this church is true. In no other place or time of my life have I been happier.

Baptism for Choice and Charles!

I love you all. I hope you have a great week!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Many Cats and Great Things...

Hey everyone!

Arancini with President and Sister Allen

 I am writing this while Anziano Simmons drives us along Lake Lecco to the famous small town of Bellagio. It's a pretty sketchy drive, and I'll be driving on the way back! I'm always so impressed at how many beautiful places Italy is full of.

Where Lake Como and Lecco meet


 This week we held down the fort in the office while president and the others were at conferences. We did an exchange on Tuesday and I went to Pavia which is a super traditional Italian town, a lot like Lodi where work. There is a member who lives there that sells cats and she owns about 20...Yes, we visited her and I got to play with more cats than I would ever imagine. She hasn't been to church in a while but she seemed to really open up. It was so cool because it seemed like she would listen to me very carefully because she appreciated the fact that I loved cats too haha.

Thursday night Anziano Simmons and I went to Crema to do some finding which at first wasn't going too great until the very last person we contacted. He was super legit and wanted to meet with us again but unfortunately the number he gave us wasn't active. We really hope he gives us a call!


On Friday we went to Lodi with President and Sorella Allen to talk to Choice and Charles who are getting baptized this Thursday! They are such awesome people who have very interesting stories and strong testimonies of the church. Afterwards, we got lunch with President and Sister Allen! We were in the car with them for a while and it was such an awesome experience to talk to them about tons of interesting things.

 Last week I watched the face to face session with President Eyring and Elder Holland which was mostly about prayer and receiving answers to our prayers. At the very end, President Eyring gave a very powerful testimony about the fact the we have a living, and loving Heavenly Father. His testimony hit me very hard. I really felt in my heart that everything he said was 100% true. I was very grateful for that experience. When we listen intently with an open heart, the spirit really can testify to us the truth of all things. Most importantly, we need to pray; because a real, loving Heavenly Father is on the other side ready to hear us. We can know if we just ask. I love you all so insanely much!

Have an awesome week!


Sunday, March 5, 2017

March Madness

Hello fam friends and peeps out there!

Root Beer and Gelato:  yessssssss

 Im trying to think of email openings other than "this week was super crazy and busy!" But its just so hard not to say that because it's always true.

My Boggi purchases

 We went into Milano last Pday and last Tuesday for a Zone Conference which was really awesome and spiritual.

Our Zone

 Most of this week I have been just doing my normal mission office duties along with the awesome opportunities we still have to go out and do missionary work. It's funny because with my job I get talk to the Church Mission offices in Salt Lake every few days about new Apps and issues of tablets, IPads, etc. This week we sent in a request to the Area Presidency for some things that in our opinion would open up a new door to missionary work in Italy. I love doing this kind of work and Its such a blessing to be able to do it as a missionary.

The Ruiz Diaz family.  The last family I saw before I went home last year.  Cool right?
 This was the first week in my entire mission that I was fed 5 days in a row by members. I LOVE the Lodi ward and the people here. There is a member named Lilly who we just decided to give a box of Books of Mormon to because she always gives them out.

 We are now teaching a young 9 year old who wants to get baptized. He is such a stud and is super excited to come to church and be a good example to his family. He is the son of a member who just recently started coming back to church. Honestly we have seen some pretty great things recently that have been a blessing to the work.

A random city in our area with a super awesome church

 I've been listening to lots of conference talks this week and it seems like I've come across lots of talks about the importance of the scriptures. In a talk from Elder Scott he says, "Scriptures are like
packets of light that illuminate our minds and give place to guidance and inspiration from on high. They can become the key to open the channel to communion with our Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ." The scriptures were written for us and for our benefit. Without them I'd honestly be lost and so would the world. I know that the scriptures are one of our main sources of answers to our prayers.

Carnivale festa!
Papa a la huancaina!
 Thanks for your support and love. Have a awesome week. Don't forget to pick up and read the scriptures!

 Love, Willy