Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Zone Conference in Milano

31 Jul 13

31 Jul 13

This week was pretty interesting. It was really long to. Ill explain why sometime, but before I forget, Mom I havent gotten the package yet, but we get mail at zone conferences. So dont fret cause im sure ill get it then. Its in week four of the transfer (in the middle of one right now) so well see.

So Muggio! Its different. The church is in Muggio, but we cover like thirteen little cities outside of MIlano. Its a big change. Its like going from Salt Lake (except like a real big city) to covering cities like HOlliday, Sandy, etc. (except like the size of Fillmore). Work is going really well. Weve got two bap dates that are solid, so we should be getting some baptisms this transfer! There are tons of people to work with to, theyre just ALL out of town. We called a lady the other day who said "Im in the mountains until October!" So weve been doing a lot of finding work in the park. THats why the week has been so long. At Lampungano we were going from appointment to appointment, or passby a less active. Here, the buses only go like every hour, so if our appointment falls through we kinda stuck in that city.

We live in four here! So fun! We live with our zone leaders, Anziano Moore and Ackerman. Anziano Ackerman is the exact mold of a Hutchins boy, so thats been fun, and I dont really know how to describe Anziano Moore. I like him aton though. Then theres my companion, Anziano HIllyard. Hes really really quiet, but I like him a lot. Hes starting to open up a lot though, and his personality is a lot like Jacob Loceys. So im surrounded by familiar faces!

Its been exciting being the senior companion. Anziano Hillyard is a transfer younger than me, so were relying on my Italian a little more. My Italian boosted a ton with Anziano Miller because we only spoke in Italian, so im making Anziano HIllyard do that outside the apartment. Its hard to do it inside the apartment in four, but oh well. Its been a huge confidence booster to see that I can do this work and dont have to rely on a senior companion to hold my hand.

Speaking of Anziano Miller though, im proud to say that the good habits I learned from him are sticking. I make my bed every morning military style (when I use the covers. We dont have AC and it doesnt drop below 30 in our apartment, so I dont use them very often) and my desk is spotless. Still clean all my dishes after I use them (dishwashers dont exist in Italy yet) and ive excercised well every morning! I still even go running with Anziano Hillyard every other day. Thats been my biggest accomplishment because I HATE running.

Weve met some interesting people here. The capi (zone leaders) taught a guy two days ago who believes hes the reincarnated Joseph Smith. He kept asking "So do I need to get baptized by you, or do you need to get baptized by me?" One of our investigators thinks that hes an Avatar. I havent met him yet, but im really excited to. Then, the other day we ran into some ladies the other day from a different church. They asked us to go talk to them, so we did. We started the lesson, and one of them said to me "Did you know your religion is classified as false?" And I said "Yeah, by who?" And she said "I read it on the internet." Its a good thing that A. Im becoming more Christ like and B. I dont know how to say "Youre an idiot" in Italian yet. I explained that she could know the truth through reading and praying about the Book of Mormon. We went on and (how it goes with all the people who try and Bible Bash with us) theyll argue points that we agree on (Satan is evil because he tempted CHrist after he fasted 40 days) and think that it proves us wrong. Then finally she said "I have to tell you, I got baptized into your church. I got a head ache afterwards, and so I stopped coming." Thats when we just ended and said "read the book of mormon, and when you want to talk about it, call us" and left. Im learning how to avoid people like this haha.

Sunday we got invited to eat at a members house. They live far away, so we had to take bikes. The problem is, Anziano Hillyard and I dont have bikes. So they capi have two, then theres one broken one. So we took the bikes, the capi rode double, and we got there. I really hope that im in a bike city next time because it was SO FUN! There werent any hills and we had to go kind of slow so the capi didnt, like, die, so it wasnt tiring. But I really liked it, so well see!

Thats pretty much it. Oh! Thats so cool that Brad saw Sorella MaCnamara (I think i spelled that wrong. Actually I know I spelled that wrong) (Mac nu my rah). Shes super cool, one of my favorite people ive served with!

But yeah, thats it! Glad everything is going well at home! Keep CTRing and reading your scriptures and stuff!

I love you all! Thanks for all the support!

Anziano Christian Fife McKinnon

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pics 7/24/13

Me, Gazzy, Luca, Anziano Miller, kids up front. I cant remember their names.

Me, Anziano Miller, Fratello Lauriola (our ward mission leader) and Sisters Durfee and Holloway.

Anz. Miller, Adelaide, Anz. McKinnon

Thursday, July 18, 2013

17 Jul 13

Well this week was officially the fastest of my mission.

Wednesday night after P day we werent feeling very well, so we did "area book" for the rest of the night. Thursday we were both sick with the flu, and the effects of it were with me until Sunday morning. Rought week, but all of a sudden its wednesday again. Crazy!

I bought my purse! I forgot to take a picture, but its taking some getting used to. I got it 40% off to, so thats good. The sisters in our ward say its good lookin. I dont know if that means I picked well, or I picked well if I was a girl. Oh well. Ive got a purse now. I bet the girls will love that!

Funny story. We were teaching a less active family this week about being good examples, cause their family situation is beyond crazy. Anyways I said "In my life, my two biggest examples have been my Mom and the Pope." Because pope is papa, and dad is papĂ . I put emphasise on the middle a and not the last. So they got a good kick outta that.

Cool story real fast, I guess Anziano Millers Mom knows Michelle Locey? Thats crazy!

Big week of firsts for me. I gave my first blessing in Italian, and gave my first talk (that I prepared for). The night before my talk, a mosquito bit me on the face. Literally the size of a nickel. Then I went to bed, and woke up, and it wasnt there. Miracles still happen folks.

Work is going well! We have two bap dates, one guy that wants to get baptized but is going to be gone all of August, and a new guy. Cool story with him. He just showed up to our FHE we do with the ward every tuesday. Hes got a friend from another ward who hes been driving to church for a year. We taught him last night, and he said he felt the spirit super strong at this friends baptism, and at church this past sunday. He said he read the Book of Mormon and it filled a hole that was missing in his life. Super elect! Super excited about him. Only problem...

We find out about transfers next Monday. Im thinking ill probably get transfered, but we'll see I guess. Im torn. I really want to stay because I LOVE my ward here, but I really havent been outside of Milano since I got here. Ill be happy and a little sad with either result I think. At the end of my talk I said thank you to my ward for helping me and helping us. Lots of people came up to me after and told me how sorry theyd be if I go. That really meant alot to me, cause for most of my time here I was kind of the quiet kid that cant speak Italian. Im not saying this to say "Look how many friends I have" but it was cool to have that haha.

Not a huge email this week, but ill send some pictures. I just realized BYU football is starting in about a month, and that made me a little sad, but what can you do. Oh, someone brought me some Dr Pepper last night, good to have that. It doesnt exist here it Italy, so that was pretty exciting for me. I know this paragraph is beyond random, but a Fratello Catalano was in our ward this Sunday. He was in the same district as Dylan when he served a mission, so he says hi.

I love you all! Keep doing good things and keep not doing bad things!
Anziano Christian Fife McKinnon

This is our District! Sorella Vareau, McNamyra, Durphee, Holloway, Santuro, Roth, Anziano Miller, Me, Rango, and Droghei. Rango and Droghei are our Zone Leaders.

I love this picture. The lady in the purple's name is Ritta. I met her in the MTC doing a thing called TRC, where you talk to people from the place you're going. I met her my first week in the MTC and didn't understand a word. Now we're good friends! And the lady in the middle just kind of hobbled over and wanted to be in the picture. So yeah. The end!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

 Graffiti in Christian's area at the Bonola metro stop.

MTC friends:  Sorella McCann, Lopez, Anziano Mata'u, McKinnon, Herrin.
Anziano Droghei (Christian's ZL) & Anziano McKinnon

10 Jul 13

Dear Family,

This week was different. We had really good numbers but it was really really rough. We taught 18 lessons last week, and set a baptism date, but things are kinda falling apart. Its really sad.
Our bap date for 3 Aug. sent us a text on Saturday and said his fiance wont let him get baptized, and we havent heard from him since.

We set a bap date with a guy from the middle east, but he just got a job and works every day from 10 to 10, so thats going to be really tough.

We tried to set a bap date with the guy who really needs the gospel, but he (like all other Italians) is going out of town for the entire month of August, and doesnt know when hes getting back. So were working with him.

The saddest thing for me, we had to drop this investigator who ive been working with for three months. Hes really old and catholic, and isnt really progressing. So we had to drop him yesterday, and I was so sad. So we are kind of starting from scratch again this week, so hopefully we can find some cool people!

I met some Phillipine Os named Val, George, and Tina. They know Dave Fife really well, so tell him that they say hello! They gave us lunch, and I think ive officially eaten as much Phillipino food as I have Italian food from members.

So they made a new rule for missionaries, we arent supposed to wear backpacks anymore. So I have to buy a "Satchel." I think thats what people who wear them call them, but in realitly, I have to buy a purse. So thatll be exciting, dont make fun of me.

Its saldi! So everything is on sale. Twice a year, everything is like 50%+ off, after summer and winter. So while I may have to buy a purse, itll be cheap.

I also need a new watch. Ive been wearing my only one literally for 5 months strait, and it is starting to smell bad. So I guess im accesorizing this week for P Day. Again, at least its Saldi.

We had a special zone training meeting this past monday with President Dibb. Hes really awesome, im excited to get to know him. Its going to be an exciting time. The mission is going to grow from 165 (from a year ago?) to around 250. He did interviews with us, and he told me that its going to be an exciting time in the mission, where everyone is going to be young. I think transfers will be exciting in two weeks.

The neet freak thing is working Mom! So thatll be good when im home. And im really excited for Jeff to!

Not a big letter this week, not really anything that exciting. It was rough, but im still workin hard! I love you all!

Anziano Christian Fife McKinnon
PS only one photo this week. Its of me and Anziano Droghei, my zone leader. Hes going home after this transfer.

03 Jul 13

Dylan wrote me while I was in the MTC and told me where he served. He said there is a Sister McKinnon is Genova, and I am happy to report she is alive and well. I didnt meet her, but one of the missionaries from Genova told me about her. So thats good news!
If anyone reading this ever goes to a lesson with the missionaries, I have a few rules. 1 Let the missionaries teach. 2 Dont teach false doctrine. (maybe dont put this first line of the paragraph in the blog) Me and Anziano Miller did a scambi, where I took one member and he took another to different lessons. I took an older Italian who loves missionary work. I love the effort, but it kinda went... not picture perfect. It was on the day of the martydom of Joseph Smith and this investigator is starting to look like an eternal investigator. Hes 71 years old, and said he believes everything we teach him is true, hes just scared to switch religions at the end of his life. hes also got lots of health problems. So were kinda preparing him so he can make the right decision after this life. Anyways I wanted to read DC 135 with him, and bear my testimony and talk about what he was reading in the Book of Mormon. Short sweet and simple. We were there for an hour and a half, and ended up explaining the pioneers expedition. Different version from what ive heard though. Hes the version that ended up being taught: George Washington (yes, good old George) sent the US army to kill the Mormons, they high tailed it to Utah, and when the armies got there the Mormons sent all their kids, dressed in white, to plead with the soldiers. The soldiers decided that the Mormons are the nicest people in the world and told George that they couldnt kill them. Then the eagles came and ate the crickets. I really am grateful that our member was willing to come with us, and really love his desire to share the gospel. I should have done a better job explaining what the lesson plan was, but thats why we can become better, right?
So heres what im learning from Anziano Miller. Hes really teaching me how this mission can help me out as well. Hes teaching me that this isnt just service to the Lord, but I can improve on things that arent necessary for my salvation. For one, hes teaching me how to cook. I told you Anziano Davis taught me how to cook, but Anziano Miller is teaching me how to COOK. Hes also teaching me how to clean. Or atleast hes helping me have a desire to be clean. So were turning me into a "neat freak." I told him that I want this to be my goal, and hes helping me. Ive done a pretty good job making my bed on my mission, but now im doing it military style. And my desk was maybe a little cluttered, but now its SPOTLESS. So im really trying to get into that habit. This ones for you Mom! Hes also teaching me, if I want to do something, go get it. I told when he first got here "Anziano, I want to teach 15 lessons." And he said "Ok, were going to work our tails off, and were going to get 15 lessons no matter what." And it worked! So im learning alot of stuff like that. Plus the whole excercies thing. So hopefully ill not only have grown spiritually in my mission, but other aspects as well!
I met President Dibb! Hes an awesome man, im really excited to get to know him over these next few years. I only really shook his hand, then we had to go, so ill have more info next week after interviews.
Exciting story that I cant really put on the internet at all. Ill tell you when I get home. Everythings fine and everything, this is just a reminder for myself when I get home. Sorry for the cliff hanger.
Dad, remember how we joked about how we should have lived in a tiny town and Utah, so I could be the star of a 1A High School? We should have moved to Italy so I could play basketball. Vernal could do some serious damage over here. "Basket" isnt really their thing here.
2 or 3 months ago, Anziano Davis and I met a guy in the park. We gave him a book of mormon a few days later, but he was sick so we couldnt teach him. We finally got an appointment with him yesterday, and he told us he doesnt feel worthy to come to church or anything. Im really excited to work with him, cause this isnt just a guy who is interested to hear what we have to say. This is a guy who NEEDS the gospel and the Atonement. Im seriously excited about him.
We have a baptismal date! And I legit one to! The only problem: His baptismal date is August 3rd, the first Saturday of next transfer. Considering ive been in Milano for 4.5 months after this transfer, im probably gonzo. Oh well, im still excited!
Speaking of time, its crazy how it flies! After this transfer, ill have been gone for 6 months. THATS INSANE. I remember like it was only yesterday when I couldnt speak Italian and stuff... actually that really was yesterday. No but im getting Italian. I dont worry about it any more. Im working on the harder tenses now, and really trying to master the easier stuff. I dont really know where to start now, because ive got the basic necessary stuff now. So ive been randomly opening 501 and learning those verbs. Like "to plunge" and "to meow." yeah, Italian has a verb "to meow." 
Thats really it for here. Mosquitos are EVERYWHERE. Seriously everywhere. They are attracted to my ankles. I dont know how they do it, but they bite me through my socks. Not cool.
Oh, one cool thing. Next week, a thing called "Saldi" is happening. Its like the clearance sale, where everything is 50% off. Im being good and not going to by anything, unless its something super cool. I cant make any promises for next year, but itll be cool to be in Milan Italy during this sale.
I love you all! I like Amandas new hair alot, she looks older now. Now people might thing shes my older sister. Oh wait, that already happens. Keep CTRing and reading the scriptures! Ill race you to the end of the Bible, deal? Youve got a head start cause im still pretty early in the Old Testament. Just finished Deuteronomy. Heres my comentary: The Old Testament isnt very fun to read. The end.
Love you!
Anziano Christian Fife McKinnon!

26 Jun 13

Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2013 13:18:59 +0200
Subject: Hello!
Hello family!
Thats really sad about Becky. She is an awesome girl, and ill be praying for their family for sure. It makes me think of how important it is that we have the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation.
As usual, my letter is going to be kind of random, but here goes:
Mom, can you do some detective work and get me Janessas email? I didnt do a good job of getting peoples contact information before I left. Thanks!
Italians are funny. They write their grafitti in English. Grafitti is EVERYWHERE here, because my area is the not as nice part of Milano. Theres a gang (or group or whatever they are) in an area we work a lot in called "Rude Boys." I got a kick out of that, just because that doesnt sound very intimidating to me.
Cool miracle from this week, we were at a park in "Rude Boys" territory, and it was FULL of old people. They just like to talk to talk about politics and then they kiss the pass-a-long cards we give them with pictures of Jesus on them. Then we saw a guy on a bench who was only about 35 so we went and talked to him. He said that me and Anziano Davis had talked to him before and he wasnt interested. We still kind of went with it and asked him what we talked about with him. He said we talked about the Book of Mormon. So then we bore testimony about how the Book of Mormon and the Bible are both the word of God. Then everything changed. He thought that the Book of Mormon was a replacement for the Bible, but when he found out we use both everything changed. We had a SUPER spiritual lesson with him, and then saw him again the next day and set a baptismal date with him. We are really excited about him.
I heard that they like cancelled church in Utah and Idaho and some other places one Sunday for a big announcement. What big announcement? Or is it just mission rumors?
The mission is sad. President and Sister Wolfgramm go home Saturday morning. Then on Tuesday we had district meeting at the same time a new missionary training thing was being held. So I saw Anziano Simcox, Anziano Loveitt, and lots of the sisters from my MTC group. It was sad though cause now I wont see them probably for another four or so months. Its sad cause we were with each other 24/7 for 6 weeks and now we barely see each other. Oh well!
Remember that kid that we dragged into watch conference with us? We made contact with him again and are teaching him now! Hes SUPER shy, so its going to take some time with him.
I found a progress record in our area book that was written by an Anziano Griffeth. I hope its Scott Griffeth, if so, that would be cool!
Brandon wrote a letter awhile ago about how hes grown a huge hate for drugs and alcohol while on the mission. Me to. First, because wine breath is the worst smell in the history of time. Second, as I said, we are kind of in the not as nice part of Milano. We were in a park the other day and we sat down and said a prayer, and when we finished, a homeless guy on another bench yelled "What'd you pray about!" So we went and talked to him. He was smoking a cigarette type thing. We talked to him a little, and we got to the point where Anziano Miller said that we could help him stop smoking. He said "No, you cant help me stop smoking. This cigarette is called "The drug of poverty."(more or less) All the people like me (homeless) use this drug. You cant help me stop because its literally all I have." It makes me sad to see stuff like this. We see this drug EVERYWHERE, and its ruined so many peoples lives. Were also working with a less active family whos trying to stop smoking. They are a super nice family, but they just cant stop. We just barely started working with them, and were going to help them stop, but its sad to see this stuff hurt people so bad. Especially because EVERYONE here smokes. Follow the Word of Wisdom!
Pictures! Picture 1 is from zone conference last week. Sorella McCann, Sorella Lopez, Anziano Matau, Me, and Anziano Herrin. I think I got that order right, if not im sorry. Picture 2 is one of the places we go a lot. Its a stop on the Metro called Bonola. One of our investigators live just behind here. A lot of homeless people and poor immigrants hang out here a lot. A really run down part of Milan, but I think the grafitti is cool.
The mission is changing me a lot. Not a lot a lot, but I can tell. One example is before I thought all the EFY music was a joke. Now, I love it. Just a heads up, when I get home im going to be a little Brady Bunch haha.
The work is really picking up here. We got 15 lessons again last week, even though it was a really tough week. With Anziano Miller im learning that if you really want to do something, and are willing to give everything youve got, anything is possible. This week started off really well, so hopefully we will be able to have another good week.
One funny/not funny story. Not this past sunday, but the one before, I had to give a "Hey Anziano McKinnon, our last speaker isnt here, can you give a ten minute talk as soon as this speaker is done" talk. He asked if I could speak on member missionary work. So I got up there and did my talk and bore my testimony and said "There are tons of people who are looking for the truth. There are so many people. You have all found the true Church of God on the Earth. Congratulations! But now, we have to make sure your friends find it to." I dont know why I threw in the "congratulations," and I dont think the members really cared. The other missionaries here always say "Auguri" to me now and love to tease me about it. But, one of the sisters investigators got a huge kick out of it, and now were really good friends. Shes this old lady, but shes super awesome. Thats my one "Why did I just say that" story for the week.
Thats pretty much it for this week. I bought peanut butter this past P Day and it was the best decision ive ever made. I realized that 1. Nutella isnt like healthy, and 2. Peanut Butter is about the same price as nutella. Plus I like it better, so win win. Its not really that expensive, and we found some arabic store that sells it for only 1,50 so thats good!
I love you all! Keep CTRing, and make sure you all give each other extra hugs for me. Continue praying for the Smart family, and let them know how much I love their family.
Love, Anziano Christian Fife McKinnon