Hey There Er'body,
So, as mom has probably announced all over FB multiple times, I am not being transferred and I get a new companion! I am so excited because I wasn't ready to go. I was really sad at even the thought of leaving Reggio and now I get to prepare myself for another 6 weeks!!! Holy moly I am so happy! Reggio is MY CITY and I have loved every moment of being here. Granted, I have had many rough patches and I have needed to push through them fairly hard, but that has made me a stronger person right...it's like people say ,"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger right?" Well, anyway, I am here for another 6 weeks and I am going to make them memorable because I am about 99.99% sure that this may be my last one (transfer) here:(! That is a sad thought, but change is good right? I am just really glad that the Lord trusts me in this city and has let me stay here for as long as I have! I have a work to do and boy am I going to do it with my new guy!!!
Mmmmmm....Pizza in Reggio
I don't have a new comp yet. I get him tomorrow. I only know his name (Anziano Stevens), where he is coming from (Bari Zone), where he is from (Holiday, UT?) and that he was my trainers companion in the MTC. Let's hope that I can make these last 6 weeks totally sweet huh:)!?
Probably the biggest news I have to report is that Anziano Roby and I gave out 29 copies of the Book of Momon this transfer alone! We have been keeping a count since we have been together and we reached 56 copies in total!!!! Not too shabby if you ask me! It is quite crazy how many people are interested in the Book of Mormon and as we all know, it is the proof of EVERYTHING the we are as a church!!! Once they read the Book of Mormon and pray to know the truth, surely they are going to find the answer. There is no doubt in my mind that when these people of whom we have left these copies read it (maybe even family members) they are going to feel something different because I do every single time and I grew up in the church! I love the Book of Mormon!
A strange story happened to us last week that I thought was worth sharing. Last week, we were teaching ______________ (who is a total boss and is SO ready to hear the gospel) and this guy comes up to us and starts speaking to us in English. This guy looked as if he was from the Middle-East, so Pops, if you would like to do your best Middle-Eastern accent as you read this, go for it, it would add to the story;). He said"Hey, do you guys have a Bible in English that I could have?" I responded with, "Not the Bible, but we do have another book that is sacred to us, as a particular Christian faith that we can give to you if you would like to meet with us soon." He said, "I would enjoy that a lot. Can we meet tomorrow?" I thought that it was really weird that an Iranian man would approach us about our Christian faith when he was obviously not Christian, but I said, "Sure, meet here tomorrow at 9:30." "Perfect," he said and walked off to go home. The next day he showed up and we had a huge discussion about the differences of our faiths and what we believed as the Mormon faith. After about 2 hours of talking he begins to tell us about why he was in Italy. He is a refugee from Iran because things are getting insane there! He said he escaped just in the nick of time before things got too out of hand where he was. He then caught a boat to Italy where he was found to be guilty of illegal immigration and was sent to jail for 3 years! He had been out of jail for 3 months that day. After this story he saw one of his friends who had escaped with him on the same boat but was from Afghanistan. He brought him over and said, "This is my friend.... He works out." I laughed really hard because:
1) That is quite the introduction
2) It was OBVIOUS that he works out...the dude was HUGE
I came to find out the he was Mr. Afghanistan from 1997 and I am pretty sure that he could have been Mr. Aghanistan now! He was a LARGE man (muscle wise) and he was a personal trainer now. He told us his story also and it was pretty insane too. He was also a personal trainer in Afghanistan and he was training a woman. After about 3 weeks of traning her, he received a message at his doorstep that said something to the effect of, "If you keep training this woman, we will kill you." It turns out that message was from the Taliban and they meant business! He went on to explain how he left and escaped to here and he pulled out his phone. "I need to show you something that I woke up to today on Facebook that made me really sad," he said as he solemnly pulled out his phone. He finds the picture and shows us. It was a man who had been brutally executed! Maybe a little disgusting to write in a letter, but I can't stop thinking about how crazy the world has become!
This has got me thinking a lot...I cannot wait for the 2nd coming of Christ! The people in this world are getting down-right weird, scary, grusome, disgusting, power-hungry, etc... So many people here say that when they see the news come on the tv they turn the tv off because they don't want to hear about anything else horrible in the world! That is why we are here in this world as missionaries for this church. If people changed their lives and lived the teachings of which we preach, there would be no wars, there would be no ambiguity, there would be no, intense fighting or litigation. We would be living as the brothers and sisters that we are! I love this church, this world is beautiful when you look at it the right way. I am grateful for the outlook that I have in my life! I love my family and that we are all so close! I love my friends that surprise me with letters and messages! I have a beautiful life and I am so happy to have this gospel that brings massive amounts of peace and joy in my life! I love you all and I pray for you often! Keep the smiles on. The world is turning. The seasons are changing. The birds are continually singing (and actually, that is a serene sound that I absolutely love and I have been missing it because Italy is an extremely busy, noisy place!!!!!!!!!) Make sure to take time for yourselves. Take time for the family. Make memories because out time is limited here in this life! Be happy even during the hard times. Love those that fight against you. Don't be discouraged if things don't go your way. We may not always get what we want, but if we are faithful, we will always be blessed with what we need!!!!!
I love you all and I want to leave you with something that ____________ said to us during that lesson we had with him: "There are people who went to sleep last night that did not wake up today. There are people who woke up today that won't live until tonight. Make the most of now and you will be ready for anything!" I testify that this is true!
Again, I love you all!!!
Anziano Dallin Layton
I will need to send pics next week. Forgot the hook-up for the comp.