Thursday, December 19, 2013

18 Dec 13

Well I dont really know where this week went. Sorry in advance for all the typos im about to make, because im writing this letter in mittens. The internet place im in doesnt have heat, so yeah.

Monday was just one of the longest days ever. We weeded out a lot of our iffy investigators who like to bidone us (not show up to lessons), and were working with quality rather than quantity right now. Anyways, we did have any lessons set up for Monday, and there was a strike. So there were no buses, trains, or anything running. So we had 9 hours of walking around in the cold all day. Buuuut its all good now because the rest of the week is set up well.

We have a new guy who is taking courses to be baptized into the catholic church. He called us the other day and said, "Hey I think this (our) church is the true church." He's thinkin right, and hes gonna get baptized!

One of our other investigators (the one ive been talking about for the fast few months) is getting so baptized!!!! She has a bap date right now for 25 of January, but were going to talk to her about switching it to the 4th. Aka unless something crazy happens ill be able to see it!!! So im really really stoked about that.

I guess this turned into a report about all our investigators, so ill talk about the guy from Senegal. Hes Muslim, but at our last lesson he prayed for the first time with us! Best part is, it was IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST!!! So the three people we have are all making huge progress!

So things are getting crazy at home! Everyone is getting married...Whitney Palmer is getting married in two weeks, Kylee Arnold is married, Harrison Verdine is married... Guys, im not old enough to be married. Then again, I still dont feel old enough to be a missionary. But shout out to all of them, and hopefully everything goes well!

So as far as Skype. I have no idea when ill be able to call home. We have an appointment with members for Christmas, the only question is when. Itll probably be in the morning, but im not sure. Mom, this Christmas is the only time you should accept a friend request from someone you dont know.

I dont really have anything else to say that youd care about. Some missionaries are going home today from Anziano Fiorentino's group, and one of them is Anziano Moore (who was here with me in Muggio for two transfers). President gave them the choice to go home today, or after new years. Alot of them chose today so they could start school on time. But its weird, because im now older than more than half the mission. Still feel like I just got here. Anyways.

Thats it for this week! I hope you all have an awesome week! Happy Birthday to Dad on the 23rd! Hope its a good one! Everyone keep on CTRing and stuff! I love you all and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Anziano Christian Fife McKinnon

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

11 Dec 13

Crazy that two weeks from today is Christmas, right? Mom, you need to resend me your skype account stuff, so we can like totally skype.
Dad, ill start off by saying I know how you feel about spending lots of time with ward lists. Muggio has 500ish names on their list, but only like 180ish active members. So weve been going through it tracking everyone down and finding out if these people still exist or not. Its soooooooo fuuuuuuun.
We had a really awesome zone conference on Monday. The Dibbs made a Christmas dinner for everyone for lunch, with ham and potatoes. It was really good. Sister Dibb also made us all aprons for Christmas. Theyre the best!
After the zone conference, I did a scambio with Anziano Green and it was a blast. He was in my MTC group. Anyways we had an appointment with someone we found on the ward list, but he didnt show up. So we were outside his house, and I was calling/ringing the citofono trying to find out where he was. Anziano Green tried to talk to a guy outside of a bar, and I saw the guy say no and go inside. I was looking at the phone and stuff, then I look up, and all of a sudden Anziano Green is surrouned by 8 half sobber egyptians who werent really "in accord" with our message. That was pretty exciting getting out of that. But we both made it out, so its all good!
The next morning, we went to the train station to rescami. There were 9 minutes until our train left, so we decided to get a chocolate croissant. Long story short, due to some very innaccurate predictions about when they would be done, we missed the train by thaaaaat much. Next train wasnt for an hour. Sweet! So I was feeling really dumb about missing the train, but we went out and did some strada. Its all good though because we found THE COOLEST LADY! Shes from Ethyopia, and was like "Hey, you two should come to my house and teach me all about this!" And we said a prayer with her, and at the end she was crying and said "Jesus wanted us to meet today." MIRACLES ARE SO COOL. The only bummer is (which really isnt a bummer) that she lives just barely outside our area. Buuuut I got to pass her to Anziano Simcox, who was my roomy at the MTC.
Mom, I have recieved the Christmas package! I love all the scripture references. The Old Testament says some weird stuff sometimes, right?
Thats all ive got for you all this week. I love you all so much, and thanks for all the love and support. Thanks also for all the christmas cards from everyone! Youre all the best (every single one of you)!
Anziano Christian Fife McKinnon

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

4 Dec 13

Wellll its freezing here.

It snowed last week and has been really windy and cold. Today and yesterday werent horrible though, so thats good!

So news from this week....nothing really big. Im making Anziano Atwood speak only in Italian 24/7 so thats pretty exciting. I got some new gloves and a hat, and they are the best things ever.

Update on our investigator who looked at anti stuff then had a change of heart. We had a lesson with her yesterday, and she is SO GETTING BAPTIZED. We were talking about the progress she's made and the changes weve seen in her. She said "You know what made the change? Ive studied with pretty much every other church, and whenever we got to a "rought patch," theyve all ditched me and run off. But then we had that one lesson, and I thought for sure you guys wouldnt come to the lesson. But then you came back and I realized, ok maybe this really is Christ's church." Moral of the story is: "Dilligence" its in DC 4 for a reason, and NEVER GIVE UP!!!!

Funny story of the week (sorry if its not funny, but I think its hilarious) one of my zone leaders told a gypsie in a wheel chair that he couldnt give him money, so the gypsie punched him.... in the pass along cards? We'll say it like that. Feel free to sensor this more if needed. I about died laughing.

Lots of questions about what I did for thanksgiving. Italians celebrate Thanksgiving like they celebrate Halloween, unfortunately. So honestly, I didnt really do anything.

Christmas is coming! And apparently alot of people think that that's a good excuse to say no to us. "Can we come and teach your family?" "No, now isnt a good time, its almost Christmas." I didnt really understand the reasoning behind this, but I guess they just arent ready.

Thats all ive got for this week! Hopefully everybody has a good week this coming week, and you all choose the right! I love you all!

Anziano Christian Fife McKinnon

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

27 Nov 13

First off, happy anniversary Mom and Dad! Youre growing up so fast!
We'll get the good stuff outta the way. Transfer info....I was a little suprised, but im staying here in Muggio with Anziano Atwood. I thought for sure I was gone, but im back for round four! It could be interesting in a few weeks though, because there are some missionaries going home in the middle of the transfer for Christmas, so there could be some "space transfer" news. But as for now, im still in Muggio!
This week was a little exciting, one of the people in our district had to go to the hospital at 1am this past Monday, so we were there with them and our ward mission leader until 4. So im still tired from that, but still doin well.
We were going door to door (citofono to citofono? We dont knock on real doors very often) this week, and a lady said "You cant come in, we have gelatto." First time ive gotten that respone.
So remember that investigator who was reading anti material? Shes getting so baptized. Shes keeping all her comittments, and living all the "big" commandments. Its been awesome to see the change from the Book of Mormon/Holy Ghost in like a weeks time. The Church is so true!
I told you about that conference with President Osguthorpe and Elder Ridd on Saturday. Well, the next Sunday, Elder Ridd and President Dibb came to our ward. They told us the night before they were coming, and I was teasing Anziano Fiorentino because he had the lesson in Priesthood the next day. Pressure's on! Elder Ridd is super nice, it was cool to talk with him a little bit.
So I still havent missed a day writing in my journal. Brother Morgan should be proud!

And on that note, ill wrap up this letter! I hope you all have a happy thanksgiving and stuff (ing haha). I love you all so much!
Anziano Christian Fife McKinnon 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

20 Nov 13

So things have been crazy this week! Not exciting story crazy, but 20 minute lunch crazy because were running around taking buses and stuff.
Big news from our ward this week is that we had 27 investigators in church! Part of it was from the Primary program, but we were really excited to have a whole branch of non members with us.
Work is starting to really pick up. We set another baptismal date on Saturday, and were going to set three more this week. We'll see if im still around to see any of these, because we find out about transfers this coming Monday. Im pretty sure im getting transferred, but we'll see. Im hoping to go south, but ill probably go to Bolzano aka the Alps for the winter, but we'll see.
Thanks for all the birthday letters! Crazy that im going to be 20... That doesnt seem like real life, but hey. What are my big birthday plans? Today im buying some cereal called "Crave" thats these ball things with nutella inside. Its probably the best thing ever. And then im buying a can of Dr Pepper. Ive been trying really hard to eat healthy these past few weeks, and im probably ruining all the work ive put in, but I thought id get a little wild. There is also a conference on my birthday, where Elder Ridd of the Young Mens Presidency, President Osguthorpe from the Sunday School Presidency, and Elder Kearon from the area presidency. Itll be at Lampugnano, so hopefully I get to see some of my old ward. PS did I tell you Anziano Matauu is in Lampugnano now?
Not really any big exciting stories this week teaching wise. Weve been running around all over the place and every morning when I wake up I think "I have never been so tired in my entire life" and then I think the same thing the next day! So either im doing something right, or something very wrong. Im hoping im doing some things right.
Glad everything is going well at home! Good job Sophie for making the basketball team! Gresh is a goof ball, I was in his history class one year.
Fun note for ya'll, we had an "apartment council" this morning and decided that we would have pasta only 2 times this week so instead someone is making "potatoe tacos" so that'll be a nice change.
But yeah, things are going well here! Were just pluggin along and doin our best! I love you all so much, and thanks again for all the support im getting from you all! I love you!
Anziano Christian Fife McKinnon

13 Nov 13

We are getting things turned around here!
We had a pretty solid week last week, and this week is set up really well.
Cool miracle that happened. We have this investigator who has studied with every other church that uses the Bible, and knows it inside and out. Shes been asking lots of questions about deep doctrine, and searching on the internet alot. Weve emphasized that shes not going to find the truth on the internet. Last week, we found out she found some anti material. In the lesson, she told us all this stuff she had read. It was some of the nastiest things ever. After she finished telling us all these things she read, she said "Defend it." So I handed her the Book of Mormon and said "Were not going to touch any of that stuff. The only way youre going to know if this is true, is if your read and pray about this Book." She was pretty ticked, but we bore our testimonies and prayed. After the prayer she said "Things just got more serious, we need to meet more often." So last night we had another lesson, and she was a completely different person. She had prayed about the Book of Mormon, and recieved an answer. We set a bap date with her for 25 of January, and were super excited!
As im thinking about it, weve got some really interesting investigators. One guy is Muslim, and is the most elect person ever. It was weird though, we went to the last lesson with him, and he brought his preacher with him. Hes not exaclty a preacher, but hes over the Muslims in this area. So he brought him to this lesson, and what did we have planned to teach? The Gospel of Jesus Christ. That was an interesting moment, but we stuck with our guns, and our investigator comitted to baptism! We dont have a date yet, but hes super cool!
We a guy last week who speaks English! I can teach in Italian, but teaching in English is 100000x easier. I will never take the ability to say things exaclty how I want them said for granted ever again.
Things are going good over here! Its starting to get pretty cold. Nothing below freezing yet, but the humidity makes it worse. Im hoping I get transfered south, where its alot warmer, but I have a feeling im going to Trieste. Its one of the farthest north cities, and farthest east in the mission. The wind is so strong there, that have chains on all the sidewalks so that people can walk without being blown away. Just because I wrote this, I probably really am going there, but we'll see what happens!
Thats crazy that BYU basketball started already, and football is almost over. Time is flying!
Well thats it! Hopefully Sophie makes the basketball team and her shoulders hang in there (literally). I loved the photos from Israel, it looks awesome! Hope everthing else is going well, and you all choose the right!
Love, Anziano Christian Fife McKinnon

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

06 Nov 13

Well this week was different!
First off, it was Halloween this week. Its not as big over here. I think the only reason they celebrate it at all is because the day after is "Day of all the saints" or something like that, so nobody has work. But yeah, Halloween is zero fun over here. We did stop a guy who rejected us, but gave us each a fruit. So that was pretty exciting.

I did a scambio with Anziano Fiorentino this week. Hes 23 and graduated from University of Miami. It was a super fun scambio. They have bikes so I was riding a bike all day. How did I feel the next day? To use the words of Anziano Matau "My booty be hurtin, but were doin work!" Its been forever since ive really ridden a bike, so I felt it the next day.

Anziano Atwood has been sick for the past five days. So Saturday I was on scambio, Sunday we ate with the bishop and his family, then we split the area between us and the other two companionships. We split it up really well, and we no longer have to cover 23 cities! Blessing! Monday we went through the list and had figured out who was in our area and stuff. Yesterday I did a scambio with Anziano Benson, becasue Anziano Fiorentino was sick with Anziano Atwood. So I was on the bikes again (this time on the one without gears) and we were runnin all over the place. So its been a crazy week, with lots of time doing "office work."  Im feeling healthy, so nobody frett.

We ran into one of our ex investigators sons yesterday! We stopped him on the street. His mom thinks that shes a prophet, can stop the rain by drinking lots of water, and that George Bush has another prophet locked up in his secret underground prison. After meeting her son, it is safe to say that it runs in the family! Ill leave out the things he said because they didnt make a lot of sense, and the things I did understand were BEYOND weird.

A cry for help to all those reading this. I need recipes that are easy, cheap, and have nothing to do with potatoes or pasta. If you could send help, that would be much appreciated. I can only take pasta with red sauce, and what I call "Potatoe suprise" for so long.

Thats it for this week! Im glad Mom and Dad are home safe from Israel, and the girls survived! Im glad Scotti didnt bite anyone, sounds like hes making progress! I love you all so much! Have a great week.
Anziano Christian Fife McKinnon

30 Oct 13

Another week.

I dont really know what to say about this one. Ill just say work is rough right now and Ill leave it at that.

On a brighter note, one of the stores here started selling Dr Pepper! Its kinda expensive, but still! So ive got Dr Pepper and crunchy peanut butter. Life is good!

I got Cheryls birthday card! Tell her thanks so much and that I love her!

One cool experience from this week. We were doing strada, and not having a ton of success. Finally, one guy stopped. We went through three gospel principles with him, but he didnt care at all. So I was thinking "This is the only guy who has stopped all night, there is no way hes gettin away." So I tried a "teach to find" that they suggest we use, that ive been wanting to try for forever. I said "This book can answer any question you might have. Try it." And then I prayed he would ask a question that I could answer with a scripture. He said "Look man, all I want is health." So we jumped to Mosiah 2:41. He read it, and said "Hey, thats a good point." Annnnd long story short we have a return appointment with him tomorrow. Pray that it happens.

I dont have a lot to report, so ill answer some "commonly asked missionary questions." What is the question we get asked the most? Why do I have to be baptized again. Solid question. Second most common? How did we all come from Adam and Eve if they only had Cane and Able? Not as solid.

What do I miss most from home? Dryers and carpet. (other than my family and friends of course)

Sorry this is the lamest email yet, but thats whats goin on right now! Heres one more story that I forgot to tell from a few weeks ago.

We found this guy and set a return appointment with him. We go to the appointment, and he has us meet him in the garage. Its super creapy, and the thought comes into my mind "Youre supposed to stand in holy places. You arent doing that right now." He comes, and takes us into his cantina (storage shed thing.) In there, is set up a broken table, two folding chairs, and a crate with a single lightbulb hanging from a wire. The line from Les Mis "Look down, look down, youre standing in your grave" came into my mind. I can say a prayer! "Look down, look down, sweet Jesus hear my prayer!" "Look down, look down, sweet Jesus doesnt care." But here I am, a few weeks later, still alive.

Thats all! Hope Mom and Dad have fun in Israel. Were kind of neighbors right now! Keep on CTRing and reading the scriptures! I love you!

Anziano Christian Fife McKinnon

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

23 Oct 13

Were you worried I wasnt going to write today? Sorry im writing so late today. We had to pick up Anziano Atwoods permesso so hes legal. So thats pretty good.

Pretty uneventful week. We got sisters in our area, so we got (had) to give them all our single female investigators/less actives. We officially have three people total to teach! So looks like were doing lots more finding work!

I have done the impossible. I got kicked out of a church choir. So we went to the saturday session of stake conference, and someone asked if we could help sing. We said we could, and the director said "Tenors over here, and bass over here." I told him that I have no idea what im doing. "Are you a tenor or a bass?" No, you dont understand. I really have ZERO idea what im doing. He put me with the tenors. The next day we went early to practice. Oh wait, we were the only ones there! So the choir director had me practice with him. I told him again that I dont know what im doing. He told me to just sing the notes. My Italian was spot on, but he just didnt get it. I said ok, and so it was just me and him, singin along. At the end, he said "This is the first time youve sang before?" FINALLY YOU UNDERSTAND! "Were going to stick you with the basses." So me, him, and Anziano Atwood all practiced together. At the end of that, he said to Anziano Atwood "Well you know what youre doing." Then he looked at me, and said "Well if you really dont know what youre doing, you dont really need to come up and sing with us." So I took a hint and took a seat. For those who are worried about him hurting my musical self esteem, you cant hurt whats not there. No, in all honesty, I didnt sound bad (I thought at least) I just had no idea what notes to sing. You give me a simplified hymn book and ill show you how its done, but give me all those dots and lines and stuff, im as usefull as Michael Jordan in a baseball uniform.

My living condition right now is almost as good as it was in college.

Thats it for this week! Really nothing eventful happened. Im really sorry that this email is so lame, I cant think of any other stories or anything. Dad, you asked how often we eat pizza. We get it like once a week, and its really good. Most of the pizza places are owned by people from the middle east, but theyre still really good.

Thats funny you went to the Simpsons world thing. "Duff Beer" is a HUGE brand over here.

Ok for real thats it for this week. I finished Christmas shopping today, so expect a package from me in about 40 days! Im sending it by boat because its waaaay cheaper. So get excited about that! I love you tons! Keep being good people and CTRing!

Anziano Christian Fife McKinnon

Sunday, October 20, 2013

16 Oct 13

Well this was a very un-exciting week.
Weve had to kind of re start from scratch. Weve dropped a lot of those "eternal investigators" and maybe with time theyll be more willing to accept the gospel. Which means weve got a ton of finding work!
So we found out about transfers Monday. Im staying here with Anziano Atwood, Anziano Moore is going to train a new missionary, then "die" in Torino. He goes home Dec. 20th. Other fun news that you might care about. Anziano Matau is going to LAMPUGNANO! He is sooooo lucky. So im giving him tons of names he has to track down for me. Hes been training this past transfer as well. Sorella McCann is also super lucky and going to Firenze.
Im still district leader, and Muggio is adding two Sorelle missionaries. The Capi have been working with the office to get an apartment for them. Last night, Anziano Atwood and I went to help put it all together (in "normal" clothes. BEST THING EVER.) We got there, and there were some problems with the contract, so Anziano Moore had to stay there and translate. So I had to go with Anziano Benson to teach a lesson. Only problem is that I was wearing normal clothes. So Anziano Moore and I went into the bathroom and I put on his suit, and he put on my normal clothes and I went and taught the lesson. It went super well, and then we got to help with the apartment. Putting together IKEA furniture was super fun (im probably just going crazy), and we get to help tomorrow to.
Were still having problems with people fixing appointments with us, then us confirming the day of, and then they still dont show up. Thats getting beyond frustrating, but I guess thats life sometimes.
There arent really any fun stories this week. Weve spent a lot of time exploring our area and figuring out which ways are more efficient to get to places, so theres been lots of time on trains and buses. Weve got a good feel for it now, so were going to be kind of venturing out of our normal hunting grounds.
Hope everyone has fun in Orlando! Mom, that story about Scottie made me 
 laugh. You have to keep him at least until I get home!
Thats it from here! This will probably be the last six weeks I have in Muggio, so were going to hit it hard! I love you all so much, and thank you for all the support!
Anziano Christian Fife McKinnon