Monday, May 29, 2017

The Spirit and Change

Hey everyone!!

Me and cat motorcycling

I had some cool experiences this week. It was busy and stressful at times, but I am never ungrateful or unhappy about what I am doing. I picture what I do as somewhat of a perfect life. We work full time, unpaid, helping other people and missionaries, and at the end of the day we teach people about Jesus Christ and how they can better their lives by following Him. Life becomes a lot less selfless after the mission. I love focusing on other people without having to focus too much on myself. Anziano Wilson are getting along super well and we love our missions.

Anziano Terralavoro from Napoli who stayed with us for a day.  It was fun speaking Italian all day long.

Our awesome friend Jofel and his family are still coming to church and he is definitely going to be baptized in a few weeks! They have been one of the biggest miracles of my mission for sure. We continue to teach Michel who is also growing a ton and changing his life for the better. 

The Milano East Zone

Recently, we have been teaching a guy named Ambrose. This week he told us about his experience of reading the Book of Mormon for the first time. He said he had to put it down because he felt something that he had never experienced before in his life. He said it scared him at first because he didn't know what it was. We asked him to describe it and he said it was like somebody was guiding him in his spirit. He also said that it made him feel so good it was like as if he were on drugs. That part was pretty funny, but honesty it was super cool to hear of someones experience like this. We told him that he felt the spirit because the things he was reading were true. We told him that one of the purposes of the spirit is to testify to us of truth and guide us. 

Just being funny!

We also met with an Italian man this week who had the most sincere desire to turn his life around. We talked all about change and how it was necessary in order for us to walk in the right direction. He was amazed to hear our message about Jesus Christ and how He makes it possible for us to completely change and turn over a new leaf. For people that have fallen to the lowest of lows, change can be brutally difficult, yet it is required for us to turn our lives around.   The mission teaches me many things and it also reteaches and clears up things that I have already learned. It is so amazing to have all of these experiences in the most beautiful place in the world. I am grateful for what I do and who I represent. It is all true. Vi voglio bene. 


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Be Happy and Have a Gelato!

May 20, 2017

Ciao famiglia mia!

Another life in paradise. This week in particular I had a ton of appreciation for where I live and when I get to do everyday. I look back at all the places I have lived and the people I have been able to help and I couldn't help but thank Heavenly Father for this life changing experience. I was eating a gelato in Lodi the other day and I looked down the cobbled stoned street and literally almost cried at the fact that I cant stay here forever. I am so happy I am where I am and that I get to do what I do each day.

Ferrari and Gucci in one

 Jofel, the husband of the Philipino family has completely transformed into a new person. He is so much happier and has changed his life for the better so that he can be baptized in a couple weeks. We are so grateful.

My store!!! H O G A N....I asked them if I could get a deal because of my name and they said maybe! haha.

 I also noticed more of the funny things that happened this week. 1. Anziano Wilson broke the church broom while trying to wack the dust out of a rug. 2. The post office lady told us to come back the next day because she was tired.  3. We decided to sit by a statue in Milano and out of the thousands of people there we happened to sit by Anziano Brooks Aunt and Uncle who offered to buy us lunch. 4. We taught a new guy who wanted to start a new religion with us. And tons of other good moments.

Milano e Gelato.  Due cose che vanno insieme

 Life does have its downs but it is seriously so full of hilarious and positive things. Sometimes you just need to take a step back and have a gelato. Life is too short to waste it being upset. I know that this church is true, I know it more now than at any other moment in my life. Enjoy this life, serve someone, and be grateful for the little things as well as the big. Love you all! It was weird skyping you and seeing some of your faces. I was so happy to see you!
Have a great week.

May 13, 2017

Ayyee ciao a tutti!
Exchange.  Got some gelato

 This week was actually really good, but nothing super crazy happened. It was the first full week with anziano Wilson, my 3rd Canadian companion! We were in the same district back in November through January and we always thought it would be awesome to be companions.
My bed

 Well here it is, and we are having a great time and working super hard. I need to point out the fact that Heavenly Father has been blessing us so much lately. The ward we are working with has had some ups and downs with not any new members for about 18 months. As of recent we have been led to find a few new people that are all now solid active members who are helping us serve even more people. We live outside of our area and work there everyday until 5:30, yet we still see success with the 3 hours of work we get to do in Lodi each day. It's a miracle and a huge blessing that is very evident to us.

Anziano Wilson and me

 The members here treat us like their children- there is nothing more a missionary could ask for. We always tell our members. "Look! We know our mission assignment is a bit different from the other missionaries in the mission but we would still drop anything at any moment to come and serve you and teach the gospel to any friend of yours." It's true, we love the people here and this work is so important to us. I am so grateful for all the mothers out there in the world. Especially my mom. I know it's pretty cliché to say, but I honestly can't imagine what life would be like without her. The talk by Elder Holland "behold thy mother" is impossible to read or listen to without shedding some tears. A line that always hits me is "No love in mortality comes closer to approximating the pure love of Jesus Christ than the selfless love a devoted mother has for her child." Without mothers, there would be less selfless love in the world. Without mothers, this world would be much worse than it is now. A big part of who I've become is devoted to my mom. I'm so grateful for them!


Buona festa della mamma. Vi voglio un sacco di bene! Ciao!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Transfers, tears and smiles!

Family and friends!

We ran out in the hall!
The Waters

 What an interesting week, holy cow. Some tears were shed, lots of hugs given, along with lots of trips taken to the airport and train station. Anziano Simmons finished the mission this week and I got to see him run and hug his parents. It was a special moment to be apart of. I actually know his parents so it was awesome to spend time with them and talk more about our homeland. I think the most mind blowing experience of my mission was having dinner with Anz Simmons and his family at a members house, while Anziano Simmons was not a set apart missionary anymore. He was released that day over Skype. Together we ate arancini, which in my opinion is Italy's best food. My new companion now is awesome though so I know we will have a blast and work hard together.

On Wednesday we picked up the new missionaries from the airport- one of my favorite things to do. It is such a blast to see the energy and excitement from these new missionaries. The very next day we gather up the going home group who have served missions for 18 months to 2 years. The contrast we get to see between the new and finishing missionaries is pretty awesome. Its like the difference between a green banana and a perfectly ripe one. The new group is ready to take anything that comes, and the missionaries that have served till the end have become such a more experienced, wise, and spiritual person.

 On a super, super high note, we set a date for Jofel to be baptized in June! This family has come so far, it makes me so happy to see them progress as much as they are. Just 3 months ago we felt inspired to pass by them, and today they are all coming to church and the husband is going to be baptized. Honestly, I am so happy to be here. I never knew so much joy could be experienced in a mission. I know that joy comes from our Savior Jesus Christ. Its when we love and serve others as He loved, when we feel this joy. Italy is amazing, the food is unreal, the people treat you like family, and what we teach is true. I love you all.

Dream team district coming to an end
With Anziano Simmons and his parents

April 29, 2017

Hey everyone! I want the days to slow down because they are flying too fast! We had an awesome zone conference this week. We starred in the mission wide safety video so it was cool to watch it in front of the Milano zones and hear everyone laugh haha. Right now the mission is focusing on being creative to do missionary work instead of being old fashioned. I seriously love it. Even though we spend lots of time in the office, we still try to get our message out to people by doing creative things.

Short tie day

Tonight we played soccer with some members and their friends which was super intense because soccer is like a religion here. It was still cool to get out there and show that, although we are missionaries, we are normal people with talents like everyone else.

Exchange with Anziano Keller

  I got a new companion this week! Anziano Wilson from Vancouver Canada . My 3rd comp from Canada who also speaks French! He is here with me and Anziano Simmons so he can learn all of the office duties before Anz Simmons leaves. Earlier this week, a man named Michel from France called us and wanted to meet us in Lodi. How cool is that! Just two days after Anziano Wilson got here, this guy calls us. So we taught him the whole lesson in French and I was able to help out because I studied French throughout school. Michel has already learned almost everything from when he was in France and he wants to be baptized. It is very cool to see how things just work out in the way that they do. Easter was super great and we were able to spend it with some awesome people. We ate good traditional foods and talked a lot about the resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ. I know He is the Son of God and our Savior, even though I have never personally met or seen Him.

Famiglia Diaz!!

 I've had way too many special experience in my life and mission to ever deny it. The world asks, what is the source to all happiness? It is Jesus Christ, and everything I teach about Him. It is almost impossible to believe it unless you try and see for yourself.

Love you all!

Have a great week.