A Companion from the Philippines

Hey Famiglia!

So it turns out that my new greenie is Anziano Rolen Castillo!!! He’s from the Philippines!!!  Haha.  It’s really funny because he’s the first native Filipino to serve here in the Italy Rome mission, and I get to train him!  He’s learning English and Italian, but he’s really smart so he’s doing well.  It’s funny because my other greenie was the first Mexican to serve here in Italy Rome.  President gave me all of the foreign ones for some reason.  He is from Pangasinan.  It’s so great.  He’s a really humble guy and really eager to learn and work.  His first day he told me, “I want to teach!” and so I replied,”Let’s go find some more people to teach!”

This week was absolutely insane…  It was super rainy and super cold for a couple days while we were hauling everyone’s bags everywhere because tons of people pass through Rome.  It was super tiring.  I got to run into Anziano Blair again though, because he got transfered over to Pescara.  We had to get up pretty stinking early a couple of days to get to the station and other places on time.  No fun!

We had a really cool experience this week because Elder Allen of the Fifth Quorum of the Seventy came to talk to us.  He is the head of the missionary department of the church and had a huge role in Preach My Gospel, and he was in charge of the District DVD’s and stuff.  He came to visit us for a few hours and give some cool insights and trainings.  It was really cool.  He was a pretty funny guy.  We talked about the baptismal invite and how to give it.

I walked into the office the other day to find out that Elder Mika received 3 super slick pairs of basketball shoes with other gear from the coaches at BYU.  I was pretty jealous.  Perks of being a Division 1 basketball player!

There’s a little bug going around among the missionaries… 5 of the 10 of my district were sick last week… I’m hoping really hard it doesn’t get me!  I’m surprised it hasn’t yet, to be honest.  Yuck.

This week I studied a bit about the roles of gratitude and humility and the effects they have on our spiritual growth.  They are really cool.  It’s amazing how fundamental and critical they are for us to grow!  President Uchtdorf describes gratitude as a catalyst for the other Christlike attributes.  True gratitude brings us to act and change!  I love his talk that he gave on it.  Humility also is super key for it all to really work.  We need to be humble enough to believe the word of God, to repent, and to follow His plan for us.

I’m loving the mission SO much right now.  I feel really blessed to be able to finish it this way training again.  I was looking back at my mission call letter the other day, and it mentions how the Lord would bless me for the goodness of my life.  I feel like He already has so much and in so many ways.  I wish I could describe how grateful I am to be able to be here on a mission!

Ciao!
Anziano Jones

This photo was taken just before the meeting with the visiting general authorities.  Craig and Anziano Line are sitting towards the back on the left.  Click photo for a larger view.

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Elder Stephen Allen, who Craig mentioned in his letter, is the man on the right.

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It looks like Craig and that sister missionary were part of a musical number, and the couple pictured below were singing.

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This is Craig’s new companion, Anziano Castillo, when he was at the mission home on Wednesday night.  He had just opened his golden envelope to find out which city he would be serving in and who his trainer would be.  I got this photo and all of the ones above it from Sister Waddoups’ blog.

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Craig with their investigator, Armando.

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A dish that Craig made for breakfast when he was really hungry.  It’s potatoes, cheese, bacon, onions, carrots, and celery all fried together.

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