Well, That was an awesome letter! I enjoyed that thoroughly;)! Thank you so much for all the information. I am so blessed to have family such as ours! I sat in this chair crying/laughing about your and Brittany's FB war:)! Hilarious!!!
Well, my letters are going to be boring for a while because it is summer and people just don't necessarily seem to want to listen (...even more so right now) A lot of Italians literally take the whole month of August off. With that being said though, because it has been so slow and sleepy here, I've really had some reflection time and I realized why this mission was so hard for me at the beginning. This is why:
I am a man of results. If I'm putting effort into it, I like seeing results....high numbers, changes in the things that are happening, people listening to what I have to say, making sure that everything is correct and on the right path, having control of situations, making a difference, etc... I love seeing what comes of hard work and I think that has partially come from my sports experience in life. If I work-out, I want to see results...myself getting better, myself running longer, myself getting stronger, etc... I have control of how hard I work and success of the end goal is usually the result of the hard work that I put in. I've realized that if I work hard here, those results may come also, but maybe they will only once I am done and gone? Maybe I won't necessarily see them EVER!
Dallin's pic in paper after Centennial beat Palo in Division game (1/2012)
I find it frustrating that most people here cannot remember the names of the previous missionaries that contacted them because usually the contact was only for about 5 mins and then the missionaries left with a , "Ciao!" rarely if ever, were those people contacted again, not knowing that they are cared for by those strangers.
I am trying really hard to change that here. I know 99% of the people do not want to hear about the gospel, but ALL people can recognize if the Spirit resides with someone just from the way that person lives his or her life. Most people need a helping hand or a sincere smile. I have been so aware of my actions and my words while being out here and I want the Italian people to know I love them and care about them.
This mission was very hard for me at the beginning because I could not see the results of my efforts, but I have now come to the TRUE realization that what I am doing here is, yes, for the people I am teaching, but it is also for the people that I've met and who will be contacted after I'm gone. I most likely will not have a baptism every transfer like I thought I would before the mission (I mean, I could, but more likely than not I won't). I just need to focus on putting in that hard work and TALKING WITH EVERYONE! I need to let the people of Italy I love them, I care about them and that I have a message that will make them happy. I need to keep that mindset with me all the time! If I do that, I WILL change lives, I WILL see the results, and I will have a great time doing it!!!!!!!!
I love you all so much! Don't forget that! I am so happy to be a member of this family!
Dallin "The Anziano" Layton;)