Thursday, September 25, 2014

24 Sep 14

Well another transfer officially done. Im now with Anziano Mallari, who is going into his second to last transfer. He's a ballroom dancer, or as he just clarified "Competitive Social Dancing", cooker, Phillipino, and a student at the University of Utah. He's very energetic and loves to talk and sing. He reminds me how much I miss Kate singing all the time, so there's that memory from home! When we got to the apartment after I picked him up from the train station, I went and sat down on my bed. Ten seconds later, I hear this loud sound from the other room. I went in to see what was going on, and he had started re arranging how our desks and tables were set up. So I just looked at him and went back and laid on my bed. I thought it was pretty funny. At night, I wish someone could just document what our room is like. He listens to music and dances in the middle of our room and I sit on my bed and read the Bible. Im sure that our lives are documented on a missionary version of Drake and Josh for the angels who watch TV. 

Missionary work is going well! This morning we got a phone call from this professor we had talked to a few weeks ago. He wants us to go and teach his class about what we believe. So we'll be doing that on the 7th of October. 

We did some less active pass bys that we havent been able to get ahold of. We ran into an ex branch president who's been less active for awhile who was really nice, and then a Phillipino family let us in. Anz. Mallari worked his Phillipino stuff and spoke in Tagalog, and now were going back to see them for dinner! Its cool to see how transfer calls are inspired!

I say it every week, but we are SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO close with some of the investigators were working with. Last week I forgot to tell a story. We went to see a part member family for lunch. The wife is a member, but the husband isnt. He's a really great person and was close to baptism but got really busy during the summer with work. The member's mom was there, who also isnt a member, but she was kind of against the church. The husband, for lack of a better term, threw down. He was like "This Church is so flippin true, theyre all about following Jesus, and they pay way more tithing than the rest of the world and its awesome! This Church is so true!" We just kind of sat there in silence thinkin "Yeah, you gett'er Michele!" It was a really cool experience.

Those experiences sum up pretty well our week. Im really excited for General Conference! Mom, you wont believe this story. I bought a tie today, and it wasnt blue or black. Thats actually a lie, it is blue, but it has lots of red on it too. You'll like it a lot.  

I wish I had more to tell you all this week, but I really dont. So i'll get you a better letter next week! I love you all so much! Im glad things are going well, and am glad that Sophie has some motivation to go to math haha. The number one first thing im planning on doing when I get home is watch Kate's singing DVD thing. Boo ya! Anyways, have a good week! CTR!

Anziano Christian Fife McKinnon

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Donato, A. McKinnon, A. Jacob

17 Sep 14

Subject: Transfer 13 Week 6

Transfer news! I am staying in Piacenza!!!!! And Anziano Jacob is going south to Ancona. My new comp will be Anziano Mullari (sp?) who is one group ahead of me. We'll see how it goes! Im really really really excited to be here in Piacenza at least one more.

This week was pretty cool. Last weekend there was a European Market outside of our house, where vendors from all over europe came and sold food/other stuff from their countries. So we ate German bratwursts for lunch Friday and Saturday, and were very tempted to break the sabbath on Sunday (just kidding) (kinda). They were so good! I got some Christmas stuff for ya'll to, so get real excited.

It was our investigator's birthday this past Thursday. We went to a chinese store and got him a "police officer kit" and an "indian bow and knife kit" (dont tell him, but it was like 2 euro total). He was really excited. He said that he always wanted stuff like that when he was growing up, but never got it. So I guess we're just the answer to a little boy's prayer (30 years late). 

Sunday we had the ward lunch, Monday we ate at an old widows house, who got very mad at me for eating rice with a fork and for cutting my apple away from me instead of towards me. The Totem' chip carrying eagle scout inside of me wanted to tell her that according to the bear scout handbook, you should never cut towards yourself, and that I was already pushin my luck because she was in my "blood circle," but I decided not to. I just cut towards myself and prayed that the butter knife didnt slip, causing my untimely death. I am alive, and I have repented for breaking the scout law.

Tuesday we went and ate with our branch president, and today we went and ate with one of our other investigators. So pretty much we havent cooked in a week, which means no dishes (YES!!!). I still think im the most trunky when I look at a mountain of dirty dishes and think of my dear sweet dishwasher at home. This week I did make panzerotti, which are pretty much like scones with Italian stuff in it. It's what they sell at "Luini's," the resturaunt that Brad loves. I made a mistake with the ham ones and they got ruined, but the Nutella ones were so good. So good.

Missionary work goes on! We have some stressful moments sometimes, but we're handling it really well I think. Hopefully this week keeps on going well, and I hope that I like my new comp!

Sorry that this email is so short, today is the most insane p-day ever. We stacked wood all morning (literally 4 hours; I will never live on a farm), gave some blessings, saw some investigators, and weve got three more lessons tonight plus english class, consiglio, and we have to pick up some missionaries who are staying with us tonight to get to transfers tomorrow. So I get to see Anziano Lovett from my MTC group, so that'll be a good finish to the day. 

I love you all so much! Keep on being good people and reading the Book of Mormon! Its the best! CTR!!!!

Anziano Christian Fife McKinnon

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

10 Sep 14

Hey again! 

Big news this week was going to Verona for the conference! It was good to be back, but I feel like I was there just yesterday. I found out one of the investigators I was teaching there just got baptized, so that was really exciting! He'd been ready for a long time, and personal things ended up working out so he was able to get baptized. It was really good to hear about.

Anziano Richardson came to Piacenza and we did a scambio. It was a blast, weve become really good friends over these past couple transfers. We found this guy who wasnt very interested in what we had to say and explained his theory about Adam and Eve, which made me really thankful for modern revelation! He was a really nice guy, and it turns out he teaches a high school religion class and asked if we could go and teach some of his classes this November and explain what we believe in. Most teenagers in Piacenza know us as "The only people in all of Italy who wear helments while riding bikes," so im really excited to add on to the truth that they already have! Pun intended. It was a pun because we do that as missionaries with people of other beliefs, and because its true that we're the only ones who wear bike helments in all of Italy. Just in case somebody didnt get it. 

Transfers are coming up! We'll see what happens. Id be really sad to leave Piacenza, its been a really good few months here. I know I say this every week, but we are SO SO SO close with some people. We had a lesson with a really cool family that were working with who have been coming to church for a few months, and the lesson was so good! They had a question about Adam and Eve, so we read 2 Nephi 2 with them. Ive been reading the Book of Mormon really in depth these past few months, and when I was reading that chapter by myself, it took me literally a week to get through it all, just so I really undestood what was going on. After the week, I was feeling good, but I didnt know if I could explain it to someone else. So as we were turning to that chapter, I just said a little prayer "Dear Heavenly Father, please dont let me confuse the heck out of everyone." And it went really well! It was a seriously cool lesson, because we'd pause every few verses and talk about them, and as we'd talk about it, everything clicked about a billion times more than when I had read it by myself. It was a really cool lesson because Adam and Eve is one of those big differences in doctrine that we have with other churches, and they came out of it saying "Well yeah, of course the fall was necessary!" Ive had some really bad Adam and Eve lessons on my mission, so it was good to see progress, and all the help Heavenly Father gave us in there. I love the Book of Mormon!

Hopefully ill have more to report next week after we find out what's going on for transfers! Like I said, I really hope I get to stay because working in the branch has been so good! But we'll see what happens. Keep on being good people! Im so proud of you all for the good decisions youre making. Shout out to Sophie for being a chemistry tutor and for getting her braces off! Youre all just growin up so fast. Keep CTRing and pluggin along! I love you!

Anziano Christian Fife McKinnon

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

03 Sep 14

Hey again! Well we finished the week really well last week, even if it was weird with the move. We didnt have a lot of time to set things up so we ended up doing lots and lots and lots of finding work.

So this Sunday was exciting because President Dibb decided to come to Piacenza! Good thing Anziano Jacob and I were both giving talks, and Jacob was teaching Gospel Principles on the Second Coming. Pressure's on. Everything went really well though! It was exciting also because the girl in Muggio who got baptized came down to Piacenza and is staying here for a few weeks. It was good to see her again, she's doing really well! She also brought me a tie, which was really nice of her.

Lately we've had encounter after encounter with missionaries from other churches. There are some really good people that we meet, and unfortunately some silly people as well. For example, apparently we put Mormon over Jesus because the word "Mormon" is bigger than the word "Jesus" on the cover of the Book of Mormon. That comment rivals with the whole "I read on the internet that your church isn’t true" thing I heard in Muggio. We started talking about prophets. Here is how our conversation went:
"When Christopher Columbus went to America, he found a people there, right?"
"God loves all of His children, correct?"
"Yes, of course."
"Would God give His word to only some of His children?"
"No, the Word of God is for everyone."
"Perfect. God gives us His word through prophets, right?"
"Ok. So God, loving His children in the ancient Americas, would call prophets from that people as well, so that they could have the word of God, just like the people in Jerusalem. Correct?"
"No, because its not in the Bible."
We kept talking for a little bit longer and it ended with her saying "If I was speaking my native language I would make you understand. But you're too young to understand the word of God anyways" and stormed off with her comp. That has been the most frustrating thing for me out here. We're just asking you to try. If you wont give up cigarettes of alcohol, won't pay tithing, fine. I just want you to think for five seconds about what we're saying, because you'll see that it makes sense, and then try.  

Buuuut here's the good part about it. Like I said at Christmas, it's our job as missionaries to go out and do our best. We'll make mistakes, but nobody will be lost because of our mistakes. Having faith in Jesus Christ is realizing that even though I will make mistakes (and my comp brings testimony that I do 100x a day) these people are going to get a full chance to accept Him and His gospel. So I just need to go out and try and limit my mistakes and do my best to become like my Saviour. Which includes not getting frustrated, so 'I’ve still got a lot to work on.

Anyways, moving on. We were going door to door the other day, and we pushed the doorbell and the button got stuck. So it sat there and buzzed like an alarm clock for a minute before we could get it unstuck. We couldn’t hear what she was yelling at us because the buzz was so loud, but when it finally got unstuck she yelled "WHAT DO YOU WANT?" Being completely honest I almost said we were door-to-door salesmen trying to sell vacuums or something so she wouldn’t hate missionaries, but I told her the truth and said we were bringing a message about Jesus. She didn't let us in.

Other news, because there are no longer sisters in Piacenza, we went to Reggio Emilia for district meeting yesterday, where my MTC comp Anziano Burton is district leader. So we're hanging out with them until we have more missionaries in our district. Then, on Friday we have a big zone conference in Verona! So I get to go back and see Anziano Lopez who is still a ZL up there. I’m really excited to get back to Verona. Only problem is that Piacenza is in the middle of nowhere so we have to take 3 trains to get there, even though it’s not super far. So Thursday night we're going to stay with our Zone Leaders so we don’t have to catch a train at 6am.

As you know, BYU football started last Friday. Ill be honest, that was a sad day for me. Luckily for me though, I was sick that night and got to stay up laying in bed thinking all about the game! It started at 1am my time and thanks to the butterflies in my stomach I was awake then, and at 4 when the game probably ended. So its not like I missed anything at all! I was with ya'll in Spirit, even though I was half praying that I would die that night. But it’s all good now.

That’s all I’ve got for this week. I hope you all have a good week, and feel free to send whatever information you want about the BYU games (past and future). Keep on CTRing and making good choices! I love you!

Anziano Christian Fife McKinnon