Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Visiting Apostles

Elder Madsen

Hey! Sorry I didn’t email yesterday! On Monday we got new schedules and we have started this Pilot program that the Church is going to do from now on. We have to teach in Italian a lot more now. Anyways that is why I didn’t email yesterday because my P-day is now on Wednesdays. So I hope you get this before next week. A lot is going on! We got the new Italian missionaries today, and that means we have only 3 weeks till we will be in Italy! Crazy! Our travel plans are supposed to come in soon so we will know what other cities we will be stopping in, and we are all excited for that! Last Tuesday after I emailed you we had our Tuesday night devotional and we had Elder Richard G. Scott come talk to us and then last night we had Elder Dallin H. Oaks come speak to us! We got to listen to 2 Apostles in 8 days! That was really cool! Both of their talks were powerful and I’ll share more in the letters!. It was really cool to see how quiet the room got after an Apostle entered the room. The Spirit was strong in the room. Elder Scott asked how many people in the room were learning a new language and he blessed us with his Apostolic keys with the gift of tongues! He then talked about how a broken heart and a contrite spirit are defining adjectives that allow the spirit to teach. My favorite thing he said was,"Don’t judge your own potential by the past. You must trust the Lord that he can make a powerful servant of you." Ever since that talk I have felt a lot better about the language and everything. Elder Oaks gave a talk on how to effectively use the preach my gospel. It was great too! There was so many good things that were said in both of them that you could barely look up from writing everything down. So as you can see Easter was really good here! I hope Easter was good back at home! Thank you so much for all of the treats! They were great! I have to leave early cause I guess some of the new Anziani need to use the computers but I will try to get my letter off to you soon! Love you tons! Bye! And Thanks!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"The Fellowship of the Unshamed"

Our District in the MTC

MTC District Presidency

Clowning around with the Sisters in my district
 Hey! This week has been really interesting, we all made a pack to stop speaking English completely unless it is needed to communicate with someone that isn't in our district. It has been pretty hard because you pretty much have to give up your personality for awhile until we learn the language. I bought this book at  the book store called 501 Italian verbs and my goal is to memorize them as soon as possible, by the end of the MTC for sure hopefully sooner. I asked my companion if he wanted to and he was willing but didn't seem very excited about it. Hopefully its not a bad thing to do. I just figured that if we are going to have to learn them eventually why not now?! So thats what I'm starting today! Hope it all works out. Oh yeah I forgot to tell you about our MTC President over our District. I was talking to him and he was telling me how he was from Spanish Fork and I told him that is where my Mom is from and how my grandparents live there and we were talking for awhile about that and I told him how I love Glades and asked him if he had ever been there and he laughed and told me his brother owns it! Crazy! He is such a nice guy! Oh yeah and I wanted to share this quote with you that Fratello Bulloch shared with us. Its by Henry B. Eyring and it is such a good one! " I am part of the fellowship of the unshamed. The dye has been cast, I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won't look back, let up, slow down or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I am finished and done with low living, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap living, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need pre-eminence, positions, or popularity. I dont have to be right, first, recognized, praised, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on his presence, walk with patience, am uplifted by prayer, and labor with power. My pace is set, my gate is fast, and my goal is Heaven. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, divided, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrafice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder in the pool of popularity or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won't give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, and paid up for the cause of Christ. I must go until he comes, give until I drop, preach all I know and work until He stops me. And when he returns for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me. My Banner is clear!" - Henry B. Eyring. That quote is awesome and I love it! Well I am out of time Love you tons!!!  TI AMO!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

He's Got the Look!

Anziano Anderson

Anziano Bradshaw

Anziano Cleveland

Anziano Gibson
 Hey! This week has been great! I got these little flash cards on a key chain to help me memorize words and it has helped me a ton! In our TRC this week we had this girl that is going to BYU that has lived in Italy her whole life! She was talking so fast and she was the nicest lady! We struggled at first and then we caught on and we both understood each other all right.  Fratello Bulloch told us a cool story this week about how his teacher at BYU, studies Old religious things and he got a tour through the  library in the Vatican and got to see the first King James version of the Bible that has always been held by the Catholic church. The guy that was showing it to him started showing him some pages in it and the guy accidentally flipped to a page that he wasn't supposed to and the Bible had ink marks all over it where things had been changed and rewritten! Thats pretty Crazy! So yeah... I guess that goes to show you another truth Joseph Smith preached about. Oh yeah speaking of Joseph Smith we watched that movie on him, on Sunday, which was great! The scene where he was in jail reminded me of Caleb Baldwin, so I went through my stuff and found the story about Caleb Baldwin. It was so cool to read! I forgot all of the things about him. Like how he was in Jail with Joseph Smith, how he was in the 70, and how he got his Patriarchal blessing from Joseph Smith Sr.! It was really fun to read and tell everyone in my district about. Thats about all that happened really, everything else was just learning stuff. Oh yeah we were talking about how bad we were going to stick out in Italy to Fratello Bulloch and he said that we would stick out pretty bad as Americans, except for me! He said I look extremely Italian. Haha I hope he wasn't just saying that to make me feel better about my horrible "Best Two Years" accent Haha. The new Italian group comes into the MTC 2 weeks from tomorrow! That will be alot of fun! I hope you all have a great Easter! Sorry I didn't send you the pictures and letter last week! It just took a long time to write down what each picture is, so I will send those off later today. I mailed Taylers letter earlier today so you will get hers first, I promise I'll get the other ones off today! If you could just send me the DS card back as fast as you can that would be great! Oh yeah, could you send me alot more pictures because I am going to have all of that space in those photo albums and I know that I'm not going to put any pictures in there. So if you could send some of Family and Friends I would love it! and maybe one of coco too! :) haha Well I have to go! Ti Amo, Love you!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Moving Beyond Caveman Italian

Sunday Temple Walk- Me and Elder Lloyd
Jordan Lloyd played football with me at Alta. He will be serving in Finland.
Our District

Missionaries who will be serving in Italy
Hey! Today and this week has gone by way too fast! I just got back from the temple with my district which was great! This week has been pretty much the same as all the others except for General Conference. My whole district almost started screaming when President Monson was talking about the Rome Temple! Everyone in the MTC knew where the Italian missionaries were sitting because we were all throwing our hands in the air (as reverantly as posible) haha i dont know if I spelled that right. I have had to apologize to a bunch of people that I have written to because my spelling and grammar have been so bad. The first day we got here our teacher told us that our spelling and grammar will be pretty bad after a few weeks here, and it has truely happened! We got to here some cool stories this week from Vai Sikahema at a fireside on sunday which was really good! He told some cool stories about how he is a news anchor at some station and how he got his job there. When he got the job he was just called to be a bishop and was stressed about being able to perform both jobs, and he felt prompted to invite his boss to the sacrament meeting and his setting a part. After his boss said that if in anyway he could tie his church to any news story he would let him air it on tv. So he has put tons of stories on about the LDS Chruch and trys to tie it to the news in crazy ways. He said that he throws Mormon Day at one of the proffesional baseball teams and that he tries to get the missionaries in the area to sing the national anthem at the begining of the game. His second time throwing this the missionaries were singing and usually the players go back into the locker room and get ready for the game but he said that one of the baseball players stayed and it was Sammie Sosa (I'm almost positive I spelled that wrong, not the biggest baseball fan). After the national anthem was done he ran on the field to shake every missionaries hand. Via ran on the field and talked to him and asked him why he did that and Sammie Sosa said that when he was little he remembers the missionaries would always come play baseball with him in Dominican Republic and he loved it. So I thought that was pretty cool and baseball has gained a few points in my book. Our Italian is getting alot better! It just takes some time to construct the sentence in your head. We used to be able to just speak Caveman or Ape Italian where the sentences are pretty much like," We eat" and "I go to Bathroom" Haha now we can actually say things that don't sound so stupid, so that's good news! Oh yeah the older Anziani and Sorelli left for Italy this morning! They were alot of fun and I can't wait to see some of them again. The new Italian missionaries are coming in 3 weeks I think, and I believe that there are 12 of them. So that will be good too! I have to go! I couldnt download the pictures on my usb drive from this computer, Im pretty sure it is just the computers problem. So I will just try to send my SD card! Love you bye!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Pledging a Heroic Effort

Me with my MTC teachers
Fratello Tate and Fratello Bulloch

Everyone has been so good to me here at the MTC.  I call this the candy stash.
Busy, Busy, Busy, all I can say.  We are continuing to learn so much, it feels that my brain might POP!  It is so good though.  The days are very long and the weeks (only 2) have gone by so fast it's crazy! 
When do you want me to send pics?  I don't have many because it is so hard to find time to take them.  But I can send some.
The spirit here is so strong!  My teachers are so great! They are so spiritual!  Fratello (brother) Bulloch showed us a talk by Jeffery R. Holland, my new favorite apostle, that was given at the MTC.  You should watch it if you can!  But he said that he thinks it's only available in the MTC.  It was called "The Miracle of a Mission"!  Show Colton it if you can, best talk ever!  If you can't find it it's about his mission and how it has impacted his life.  He was the first member in his family to serve a mission.  He said don't miss anything and, "Don't live with the regret of what could have been!"  "Every good thing, blessing and his family has came from a mission."  He said probably 5 times, "It has meant everything to me."  and that he can't recall a day of his life that he hasn't thought about his mission.  "Magnifiy and embrace every minute of it."  He called agency, the battle of eternity!  And my 2 favorite quotes in the talk. This referring to serving a mission>"This is the most important thing in the world, participating in the saving of a human soul"  And, "You can't pledge Heroic results but you can pledge a Heroic effort!!! WOW!!!  Those hit me!  I can't waste time!  I have to give my all!  He then talked about how the most sad people are the ones who came home from a mission and ended with how every time you complain, every time you mess around on your mission remember what the Savior did for you and how little has been asked of you!  It's so true!  2 years is nothing and just make the best of it.  The longer I have been here the more my problems melt away.  I don't need to worry about becoming a District leader, a zone leader or an AP.  It's about the people.  Nothing else, no matter where you go, nothing else is more important than the participation in saving a human soul.  That's what it's all about.  I can't promise Heroic results but I can pledge a Heroic effort.  Once I came to that conclusion,  that all that I am asked is to try my best, everything has been easier.  The language, Gospel study and relationships have grown stronger.   Fratello Bulloch is big into math and he drew this on the board for us to see.

     8 months-sleep/ 3 months-study/ 1 month-fitness/ 1 month p-days/ 3 months- meals & prep/ 1 month church & planning/ 1 month getting ready & other.
That is 7 months of work.  That is all that has been asked.  I wish I could have prepared better now.  Love you tons!  Hope all is well and hope to hear all about what's going on at home!  Hope to hear from you soon!  Love you!


P.S.  I did get the packages from Dede, Grandma and Grandpa and the Allens they are all so great! Thanks! Love you!