Tuesday, December 29, 2009
I returned from the mission in September 1996 to continue studies at the University of California, Davis. In 1999, I moved to Seattle for graduate school at the University of Washington. No surprise: my professional life centers in music. I conduct three choirs and an opera company, sing in two professional choirs, and work as a freelancer, both guest-conducting and singing solos with local orchestras. Somehow I find time occasionally to make slow progress on my doctoral dissertation. More details are available at www.garydcannon.net, or at www.facebook.com/cannonesque.
On the personal side of things, I current live in Seattle with my wife and our two cats. Marnie and I were married three years ago, having already been together for seven years. She works in marketing for Infospace, an Internet company. We are currently excited to plan a trip back to Italy this summer.
Though I left the church several years ago, I nevertheless have so many fond memories of the mission... in Biella: laughing and learning the ropes... in Torino: exploring and teaching in the sketchier neighborhoods... playing Jeopardy with the English class... in Rho: teaching and baptizing... volunteering with the mentally handicapped... in Genova: trying to play the organ... keeping company a chain-smoking, ill-tempered man in need of a friend... Thanksgiving with the district... at the office: writing the Financial Secretary's manual... Presidente's constant example of kindness... playing desk-soccer and knocking down the board of keys... throughout the mission: learning Italian, and the fine art of simultaneous translation... learning to like (some) vegetables, thanks to Sorella's encouragement... learning to cook, even if it was consistently pasta... hours of quiet study and peaceful enlightenment... attending the ballet at La Scala... and, especially, so many companions, members, and investigators with such love in their hearts. Thanks to all for two splendid years!
I was able to attend the reunion this past summer and what a joy it was to see so many of the sisters I served with and to get a hug from the Cleggs.
Funny coincidence, my husband, Eric Blaser, lived in the same cul-de-sac as the Cleggs when he was growing up and Presidente was his scout master and their son Josh was his best friend.
We've been living in the Seattle area for almost 9 years, married for almost 11. We have 4 children: Ridge, age 9; Cannon, age 6; Laine, age 4; and Sommer, age 2. For my 30th birthday Eric surprised me with a trip to Italy. Our favorite part of our trip was staying with Massimo and Eva Meduri in their lovely home in Sicily. Massimo and I served in the same Milano area and I have fond memories of testing my Italian skills while conversing with him when we were supposed to be doing mostra. Eric became a convert to adoring Italy as much as I do and we are looking forward to going back again.
Other memories? Eating Anziano Rippa's bread pudding after an optimistic district meeting run by Anziano Killian in Alessandria; mostra with Sorella Russell in Alessandria -- once we were in front of a pastry shop and at the end of the day a lady came out of the shop and handed me a package of treats. I told her I had something for her too and I know she was expecting me to pull a Book of Mormon from my backpack but I actually had brownies wrapped up for the famiglia Costalioglia(?) that I handed her and we took the professionally made treats to that wonderful family instead. Our service in Torino, Sorella Baily and I got to help the nuns, amazing examples of Christ-like service, who worked with disabled women. Riding bikes in the rain through Monza with Sorella Davis; getting haircuts (that were way too short) from that sweet sister who just wanted to serve the missionaries. Taking long lunches in Alessandria (on accident) with Sorella Landro -- she made the best soup! And appreciating the cute southern Italian guy who came to play soccer, what was his name? Feeling helpless as Sorella Shaw navigated me through Milano for the first time. She was so capable with that map! District meeting with Anziano Clonts -- enough said. Parco with Sorella Gilette, she helped me speak up, and touring the Duomo together (with Anziani Buck and Meduri so I guess it was a double date). PDays in Milano at the park with lots of missionaries. Meeting Dario and Al with Sorella Stephanie Smith; actually going into one of the shops on Via Montenapoleone with her -- Ferragamo.
It's all about the people I served with. I feel like Heavenly Father gave me a gift by sending me to Italy where I got to meet such wonderful people who have enriched my life in so many ways. Vi voglio un sacco di bene!
Monday, December 28, 2009
I served from March 1995 - Oct 1996. Some of my favorite mission memories include visiting/ singing with Sorella Patronus(?) -what was her last name again - we all got our picture with her) in Torino, the weekly radio segment in Biella ("Speak Easy" with Young Missionaries on the Air), finding people by way of a "sondaggio" with Sorella Cox in the huge parco in Monza, waking up to Bon Jovi when we had to live with the Nicotra family for a few weeks before our apt. was ready, jogging with Sorelle Ryan & Olsen in Milano 1, weekly visits to the dentist to repair Sorella Romano's teeth that she broke while bicycling under my lead (perdonami Sorella), singing with Sorella Landro and the mega musical production in Biella, Corso d'Inglese pizza party (what a disaster! - why did 50 people show up out of nowhere?), service at the nursing home, long chats with all of my companions, Sorella Palmisano's tuna and hot dog pizzas, and the baptism of Tiziana Conto in Milano with Sorella Ryan (a true miracle).
Miracles have continued to touch my life because of the mission. Two years ago, I met a young guy in Omaha, NE from Biella visiting extended family for a few months (of all places). We were both part of the "Italian Language Meetup Group." Naturally, we became instant friends because of our Biella/ Italian connection. After a few months of friendship, a visit to AZ, CA, church, dinner at my in-laws, and the WQ Mormon Trail Center, he returned to Biella. I visited him later that year and invited him to church with me. I gave him a Book of Mormon. He came and never stopped coming. He hit it off with the missionaries and got baptized the summer of 2007. To date, this stands out as the most profound, natural, and enjoyable missionary experience of my life. I'm grateful that the Lord would allow me to take a small part in His work.
I currently live in Brooklyn, NY with my husband of 4.5 years, Peter Nelson, who is pursuing an oral surgery residency. We were in Omaha, NE for the past few years for his dental school, and we will probably return to my native AZ after residency. We both love being members of the church and for the truths of the gospel that bring light and joy to our lives. Ciao tutti!
Allison Reynolds Nelson
Hello President and Sister Clegg,
Recently I've had occassion to go to the BYU creamery and pass the MTC on my way and every time I think if only I could stop and go in and say hello. I love both of you so much. I am currently living in Cedar Hills, UT working for Omniture as an Account Executive. my wife and I also own and operate our own ballet studio called Barlow Arts Conservatory: www.barlowarts.com We've been married 7 years and have two boys Dash (4) and Hudson (2). One of my favorite memories from my mission was having 1997 Thanksgiving in Genova with all of the missionaries and tons of investigators. Also there was the time Anziano Buckner and I arrived in San Remo at night, no one was at the apartment and we didn't know how to get anywhere but we set out in search of Pizza for dinner. After about 20 minutes of wandering we finally found a pizzeria and it just happened to be the one underneath the church and the second counsellor in the Branck Presidency just happened to be ordering pizza there at the same time. All my love to the anziani and sisters I served with everywhere from the MTC to the last day.
I attached a picture of my family for you to view and post.
Anziano Blake Barlow
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
It's our Annual
Burnah Family Email
Here is what 2009 did to our family:
*brought 7 years of marriage
*put us through the 12th move in our 7 years together
*gave us our first new home! and hopefully the last move for a looong time!
*third times the charm and we had an absolutely charming baby girl, Haley, in May!
(she was one of 5 grand babies born on one side of the family this year!)
*several little vacations and one big one to beautiful Yosemite National Park
*two more state high points climbed for Phil
*Phil called to serve in the Young Men's organization at church
*Chelsy called to serve on the Activities Committee at church
*two little girls potty trained (pretty much!?)
*two better attitudes about potty training (*sigh*)
*finished reading 1/5 of the Book of Mormon with the little ones (at this rate, we might finish by 2020!)
*watched our oldest, Lydia, get on a bus for the first time to go to preschool (wow)
*spent good time with family on every occasion we could
*Disney Princesses on Ice with Belle (Lydia) and Snow White (Maddie)
*tickled, read lots of Dr. Suess, broke up arguments, wiped noses (and behinds), gave that one last drink of water for the billionth time, cleaned up another accident, buckled another seat belt, hauled a tantruming kid out the door..again, pulled out the childhood My Little Ponies to squeals of joy, cut down on diaper consumption by 2/3rds, watched a baby roll over for the first time, saw Jungle Book for the 100th time, gave that first bite of strained peas, saw our children comfort one another, taught a child to recognize her name in print, gave in to the Disney Princess obsession, received a big hug for the hundred-bazillionth time, heard those magic words "I love you sooo much!"...laughed cried yelled giggled worried joyed...loved it all...and...
*once again re-committed to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ daily as a family....
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
Love, Phil, Chelsy, Lydia, Madeline, & Haley Burnah
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Well Where do I start? I am married to my wonderful wife, Amy, I have two boys ages 1 Wade and 3 Ethan. We own a small house in Riverdale Ut. and have lived here for about 3 years. Life has been good to us. This past year has been one of Faith love and hope. February 3rd of '09 I was diagnosed with Cancer. I had a leiomyosarcoma tumor that took over my 2nd thoracic vertebral body. The tumor caused great back pain which I thought to be just a bad back after almost 10 years as a Stone mason. In the end of January I was lifting some stone at work and the vertebrae collapsed and pinched my spinal cord. I started loosing function of my legs and numbness was overtaking the lower half of my body. From about mid-chest down. After a few MRI and CT scans I went in on the 3rd of Feb and was told the diagnosis. I was admitted to the hospital right from the doctors office and didn't go home for almost half a month. I went through a 10.5 hr surgery that involved removing 95% of the tumor, the whole infected vertebrae and 2 discs, a spinal fusion, and introduction of lots of titanium into my upper back. We then went through neurological-rehab a few months of a back brace, and then started treatment on the remaining 5% of the tumor that was too risky and difficult to remove. This involved 6 rounds of inpatient chemotherapy at the Hunstman Cancer Hospital 4 days each followed by a 10 day "rest" at home then another cycle. Chemotherapy was extremely exhausting, frustrating, and at times painful (side effects). For about 5 months I had a Central access line sticking out of my chest. It was a long term I.V. type line that was plumbed into the main vein that returns to the heart allowing the chemo to be infused directly into my heart and mixed thoroughly before being sent out to the rest of the body. We made it though all of this due to the love of the Lord. I know for a fact that the Lord stands by you and is there to pull you through the toughest times in our lives. There were times that I felt His presence comforting me and taking away my fears. He gave me strength beyond what I can comprehend. There were times where the worst of it didn't seem bad at all. Others asked how we could handle it all, the only answer I have for them is the Lord made it possible.
The quote comes to mind, "If the Lord brings you to it, He will bring you through it, He will either lighten the load, or he will strengthen your back". In my case he did both, Literally (titanium!)
Check out our blog, and look back through the earlier months for pics and more info.
Thanks for keeping in touch,
Faith is connected to hope and hope means believing in spite
of the evidence and then watching the evidence change!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
My wife Suzanne and I have two boys--Lincoln (5 yrs) and Grayson (2 1/2 yrs). I've been working in sales and marketing for the past 5 years. Suzanne has been working in the medical field as a physician assistant. This past summer I was finally able to return to Italy. Suzanne and I visited London, Paris, and several cities in Italy. It was a wonderful experience we hope to return again soon.
I recently accepted the Dean of Admission position at Southern Virginia University, where I've been tasked with increasing both the quantity and quality of students here. Making this change was both exciting and challenging, but Suzanne and I both felt strongly that there is much good for us to do here at SVU.
It is great to hear from you; let's stay in touch. Please send Presidente our love.
Subject: Notizie da Anziano Ioanna
Carissimi Presidente e Sorella Clegg,
dopo più di 10 anni trascorsi dal mio ritorno a casa dalla missione, volevo fare una piccola relazione di come sta andando la mia vita.
Mi sento davvero tanto benedetto dal Signore per la Sua infinita misericordia verso di me e verso la mia famiglia.
Da quando sono tornati molte cose sono accadute:
- mio fratello minore si è battezzato, ha servito una missione a tempo pieno e si sta preparando per sposarsi al Tempio con una brava giovane anche lei ex missionaria;
- mia madre domo molti anni è stata riattivata e la scorsa settimana è andata al tempio per la sua propria investitura;
- Per quel che mi riguarda, dopo essermi sposato con la migliore figlia che il Padre Celeste aveva per me, abbiamo avuto la benedizioni di avere due splendidi figli (Melissa e Mattia);
- da quando sono tornato dalla missione sto lavorando e il mio lavoro mi gratifica molto e mi permette di mantenere me e la mia famiglia lasciando che mia moglie stia con i nostri figli;
- Potrei continuare ad elencare le tenere misericordie del Signore ma non ho il tempo e lo spazio per farlo, quindi mi limito a dirvi che sono felice.
Vi auguro il meglio, grazie per tutto quello che mi avete insegnato nel tempo che abbiamo avuto di servire insieme.
Vi voglio bene
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Ciao Sorella e Presidente!
Well, it's been a while. I wish I could have made the reunion last summer but couldn't. I now have 3 children, Amanda 8, Ethan 6, and Ivy 2. Ivy was born with a unilateral cleft lip and palate but after 3 surgeries is doing very well. I finally graduated from Washington State University Vancouver with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and am working for a company called LifePort Inc. We design, engineer and build advanced life support, patient loading, and other systems for aircraft, (fixed wing and helicopters.)
Jaymee and I are the activities committee chairs for our ward here in Vancouver, WA and love to attend the Portland, OR temple. I've attached a picture of the family.
Ciao tutti! I served in Torino Monterosa, Milano 2, and Genova Sestri. I was in Italy from November 1994 to March 1996. After finishing my mission, I went back to BYU and taught at the MTC. What a great way to come home--spending every day teaching and training others who were just as excited as I was about the church in Italy! I finished my BS in Psychology, moved home with the fam while I worked and took a few courses towards an MPA from the U of U, and eventually met my husband--Gavin.
We will celebrate ten years of marriage in March 2010. Crazy!! In honor of that, we went on a 10-day Mediterranean Cruise this summer--disembarking from Civitavecchia (Rome) exactly ten years from the day we first met (on a blind date). We spent a few days in Rome before the cruise, and travelled to Croatia, Greece, Turkey, and Sicily, then returned back to Rome. Before flying back to our kids, we also visited Pisa, Florence, and Venice. It was an amazing trip, and the second time I've been back to Italy since the mission. No matter how much my life changes, nothing takes the place of being in Italy. I love it there, and always will.
My husband is finishing up a radiology residency in the Army. We live in Washington, and he works at Madigan Army Medical Center (Fort Lewis). We'll be here until July 2011, then wherever the Army sends us. As of right now, there is not an Army radiologist in Italy--DARNIT! We have three children--Aubrey is 8, Lincoln is 5, and Jace is 2 1/2. I am blessed (and cursed some days--hee hee) to stay home with the kids.
I've run three marathons as well as multiple half-marathons and 10Ks over the years. I recently placed 2nd in my age division in a local triathlon. Staying active keeps me sane--both physically and with the gospel. I currently serve in my ward's Primary presidency as a counselor.
I hope everyone is doing well and staying strong. I am thankful for the Cleggs and everyone else who works so hard to keep us connected and keep the mission alive in our minds and in our hearts. Thank you!!
~Sarah Weiland Arnett
Friday, November 6, 2009
We look forward to our summer fly-fishing trips in Montana.
This is on the Big Horn River in Eastern Montana.
Hello Milan Italy missionaries! We are so sad we were not able to make it to the Mission Reunion with the Cleggs. You may remember Stephanie Smith… (How couldn’t you?) We will be attending her wedding in Whistler, BC Canada this weekend. We are very happy for her; she is marrying a nice guy named Sven Christensen.
As for us…we are living just outside of Seattle Washington in a sweet little town called Snoqualmie. Stephanie and Sven actually live less than a ½ mile away from us. We have lived in WA for the last 6.5 years and we have really enjoyed it.
James is working as a sales manager for a homebuilder, and I think he is a fabulous boss! He is great at seeing the big picture and keeping everyone calm and collected.
Paige teaches 9th grade physical science, and loves her job. She loves her kids and what she teaches, but she would be lying if she said she didn’t love having her summers off!
When Paige is not teaching school in the summertime, her full time job becomes planning time for "fun with Paige and James." Some of our favorite activities we do together include: Biking, Golfing, Walking our dog Stanley, Fishing, Traveling, Eating out, Dining in, Hiking, Camping, and Going to Movies.
Paige was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 and underwent surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. We thought it was gone, but in 2008 it metastasized into her bones. The good news is she is doing great and receives super care from her oncologist and medication, and she is managing life with cancer with minimal impact on her day-to-day life. James has been her biggest support and best friend. We feel fortunate and blessed to have each other. We plan on her living for a very long time, and are hopeful to try to start our family with a little help from LDS family services through adoption!
In this picture it’s me and my wife on our honeymoon in Venezuela, we got married this past May( YES I finally made it), so my new life has just begun!
It’s very hard to choose among the many memories I treasure in my heart about the mission, I find extremely hard to describe the feelings and the atmosphere during the zone conferences, I remember perfectly when in every conference around the mission, I was used to say to the missionaries that with their efforts and love for the Italian people they were building the future Italian Temple, and that one day they would have felt proud to be a brick of that Temple.
Time has finally come that the House of the Lord is going to be built in this marvellous land, and I must thank all of you for your hard work, prayers and dedication.
Michele, Rebecca, Giordan, & Christian
Sorella (Rebecca) Morgan left the missionary field in October 1997 and returned home to the rainy state of Washington. Anziano (Michele) Bressan left the mission field just a short time later in December of that same year to his home of Udine Italy. By the first of the next year Rebecca returned to Italy and worked as an Au Pair for a military family stationed at Aviano air base near Michele Bressan’s home. One thing led to another and by September 1998 the two were married for Time and all eternity at the Bern Switzerland temple.
A university education was a priority from the first and the economy in Italy proving difficult the couple weighed their options and made the decision to move to the Washington State. For the first year and a half Michele and Rebecca worked and built a base earning money and for Michele learning a new language (not to mention jumping through INS hoops and filing mountains of paperwork). By August of 2000 Rebecca and Michele were ready and enrolled fulltime at Washington State University in Pullman WA. For the next six years the university life dominated their existence. Rebecca eventually earned a Master’s degree in International Security.
By 2003 at the tail end of her studies the small family was expecting their first child, a boy they named Giordan, after Michele’s own father Giordano. In addition to having a baby and completing a master’s degree all in the same year Rebecca had a promising job offer from a important government agency. The chance to earn “real money with benefits” was tempting, Michele however was only half way through his program and after some serious reflection the couple decided to remain in Pullman.
In May of 2006 Michele graduated from the college of engineering with a degree in Civil Engineering and the family moved to Western Washington where Michele had accepted a job for the bridge and structures office with Washington DOT. So they packed a van and moved across the state, checked into a hotel while they waited to move into a house, Michele started his new job, and two days later baby boy number two Christian was born-three weeks ahead of schedule. It seems the family can’t welcome a new baby into the world without the addition of other life changing events. This may explain why there have been no other children since the traumatic experience of baby number two….Happily the family did manage to move into their new home-of course that was after Rebecca seriously strained a leg muscle and was on crutches for two weeks with a two and half year old toddler and new born baby in a small hotel room-Thank goodness for the willingness of family near by to lend a hand.
These days Michele works three jobs, bridge engineer for DOT, father extraordinaire (not to mention persecutor of back yard moles) and Elder’s Quorum President. Rebecca luckily puts her education to work everyday; honing her threat assessment, conflict resolution, and diplomacy skills each day as she manages and soothes the ceaseless demands for justice by two opposing parties. For those who mock the choice of a stay at home mom, Rebecca simply replies that everything you learn in college does have a practical application in the real world even when you least expect it to. The couple loves their post university life and is finding joy in new hobbies such as landscaping and gardening. If they were to say anything about their times as missionaries they would say that the mission brought not only temporal blessings to their life but eternal joy as well. Someday they hope to serve additional missions in the future and look to the example of their mission president and his family for inspiration. For now they are saving for their own future missionaries who are growing very fast. Their greatest desire is to obey the commandments and serve the Lord in what ever capacity that might be.
Till we meet again,
The Bressan Family.
Christine, Jacob (9), Langley (7), Joseph
We currently live in Texas, but are in the process of moving back to South Carolina. I am a mechanical engineer, and Chris is a schoolteacher. My kids enjoy school. Jacob is the athlete, Langley is the cheerleader and David is the clown.
It is hard to pick one favorite memory of my mission. Some of the greatest experiences during my mission were the opportunities that we had to sit down with someone and teach them about the Savior. I really enjoyed the openness of the Italian people, and their willingness to stop and talk at any time. I received great blessings by getting to know and understand the Italians and their culture. The food was great as well.
We currently live in Texas, but are in the process of moving back to South Carolina. I am a mechanical engineer, and Chris is a schoolteacher. My kids enjoy school. Jacob is the athlete, Langley is the cheerleader and David is the clown.
It is hard to pick one favorite memory of my mission. Some of the greatest experiences during my mission were the opportunities that we had to sit down with someone and teach them about the Savior. I really enjoyed the openness of the Italian people, and their willingness to stop and talk at any time. I received great blessings by getting to know and understand the Italians and their culture. The food was great as well.
Anziano Rich Oborn / September 1997 – September 1999
After completing my mission in September 1999, I went to school at the University of Utah to get a bachelors degree in Political Science. I married Melinda Lewis in December 2000 and we now have 3 kids: James (5), Charlie (3), and Isabella (1). We live in Bountiful, Utah. I graduated with a Masters in Public Administration from University of Utah in 2008. I work for the Utah Department of Commerce as a Bureau Manager.
Contact Info: Mailing Address: 910 E 75 N, Bountiful, UT 84010
Phone: (801) 643-8595
Favorite Story From My Mission: In October 1998, a severe rainstorm caused major flooding and damage to the city of San Remo where Anziano Aaron O’Farrell and I were companions at the time. Several streets in the downtown area were submerged in deep water and mud baths, cars were overturned, and three people died. Many stores in the downtown area were completely flooded. Anziano O’Farrell and I left our apartment the morning after the stormnrain hoping to be led to help where we could. We ended up at a piano bar of all places. The owners did not accept our help at first, but we stuck around and put ourselves to work in their basement where we spent the day carrying out buckets of water up from their basement. They called us “angeli” and invited us back to have free dinners anytime we wanted. Most importantly, we left a good impression with them about the church. Serving them led to an opportunity to share the gospel with several people that were genuinely interested in hearing more, some of whom came to our English class. This experience is memorable to me because it taught me how service of complete strangers breaks down barriers and creates in them a desire learn more about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
• Once I accidentally shaved a perfect square in the back of Anziano Festa's head while giving him a haircut. He didn't know about it until we went to an appointment and the investigator asked what the heck had happened. He was not happy.
• Anziano Horn and I perfected a strawberry ice cream pie using unbelievably cheap produce from Porta Palazza. We called it "Lucy in the Sky with Strawberries."
• Weisner cut off pieces of old tires and tacked them to the soles of his shoes.
• Clontz tried to convert every model he saw, or at least talk to them. He also bought all of his suits from DI (which is awesome) and some of them didn't have belt loops on the pants because they were from the 70s (totally awesome).
• The sister formerly known as Spencer permanently damaged the finger of the sister formerly known as Baird playing basketball. Baird had to wear this metal contraption on her finger to straighten it but it didn't work. Baird would point at something but we couldn't figure out where she wanted us to look
A little about my family. I have a terrific, lovely, marvelous, talented, intelligent..etc. wife (Angie) who actually puts up with me. We also have three little urchins, Brent (6), Emmaline (5), and Eliza (2). We have one more on the way which should be arriving via FedEx (Angie only wishes) the first week of October. However she has a history of delivering up to a month early so it could really be a Labor Day baby (if she sees this email she is going to hit me). I am currently the HR Manager at a Sherwin Williams aerosol manufacturing site, and my lovely wife carries on a far more important role staying home with the rug rats. It is a hard task to pick a favorite experience, there are so many...I remember when Elder Holland came and spoke to us, out of the blue, because he was prompted by the spirit to take a detour and visit us with a message he didn't know of until he stood and spoke to us. I have notes of this experience and the overarching theme, that which he opened and closed with was the love our Father in Heaven has for us. He stated "Nothing matters as much as to tell you you're loved." He then told us to give everything for the work and we are not the person we were before the mission, don't act like that person. Do everything you know how to do to keep the Spirit with you." and finally "Kick when you don't want to kick!" I remember the love and friendship of Sorella Angela Biundo and Dominico and Stephan in Monza. As well as many others, some of whom were ostracized because of their conviction and dedication to the Gospel. The choice experiences with members and non-members alike. Danielle and Giuseppe Vitagliano in Asti who are going to have a baby here in the States this fall, who continue to visit and are "dry Mormons" if I ever saw any.
I remember the love and unity we all shared together. The sweet and sacred experiences that bring tears to my eyes even as I type this. I wish with all my heart to be able to be there this Saturday with "all y'all".
Please give everyone my love and make fun of all my comps! I miss you guys!
Vi voglio un sacco di bene!
Anziano Eric Bowler, Angie, Brent, Emmaline, Eliza, and some unnamed creature.
Current Update: I am currently living in North Carolina, where I have my own business, Impact Driven Consulting, Inc., which provides leadership development, coaching, business process improvement and human capital management consulting services to industry-varied clients. I am blessed with rich relationships, opportunities to travel and learn about the world, and a Heavenly Father who is so generous in his mercy toward me.
Favorite Missionary Experience: It is difficult to select just one memory from my mission as “a favorite”, as each experience added meaning, depth, and greater clarity to my life. However, an unforgettable encounter on a street corner one rainy morning in Como will forever serve as a powerful witness to me that the Lord hears and answers our prayers. I remember it had been a tough streak of days as a missionary. It was one of those times when despite one’s best efforts, it does not seem that one’s work is having much of an impact—at least in any observable way. We had some great investigators we were teaching, but they had seemed to stall in their progress; the “missionary spirit” in our branch seemed to be a bit in decline; and to top it all off, the typically clear weather around Lake Como had been unseasonably gloomy.
On this particular day, my companion and I had awaken to a full schedule of teaching appointments, followed by a service project. But, nearly all at once, our phone started ringing, and every single engagement we had on our calendar for the day was cancelled for one reason or another in about a 15 minute period. Discouraged and frustrated, my companion and I got on our knees and offered a very simple prayer: “Father, we are on thy errand. We are at a loss about what to do with our time today. Wilt thou please guide us to find someone who needs us and needs thy message today.” As soon as we finished the prayer, we felt a very real sense of peace. We were unaware what the day would bring, but we knew the Lord would guide us to do what He needed us to do that day. We looked at each other and determined the Spirit would lead the way that day. As we left our apartment and entered the street below, we started walking, and felt prompted to turn at certain streets and cross particular corners. We could literally feel the Lord guiding our every move. About 10 minutes into our journey, heavy rains started to pour from the sky. The cold and wet part of us wanted to turn back to our apartment and seek shelter. But, the spiritual part of us felt prompted to continue. Press forward we did until we found ourselves stopped on a street corner by an elderly, white-haired gentleman—both he and us waiting for traffic to pass so we could cross the street. As we waited, the man struck up a conversation with us about the dreary weather. We were initially short in our response to him, thinking we were being guided to some warm, inviting place where an obvious soul was waiting for salvation! But, as we sat on that corner and continued to talk to the man—even after the traffic had passed—we felt prompted to share the gospel with him. Yes, right there in the rain! And, that was the beginning of a marvelous teaching experience—an opportunity to share the Gospel with one of God’s children, whom we may not have recognized as searching in other circumstances. But, because our hearts had been open as a result of the prayer we had offered that morning, we had been willing to follow His plan for the day, rather than ours, and do it His way. The Lord does hear and answer every and each kind of sincere prayer that we answer. Of that I am sure.
On November 13, 2009 Bradley Samuel Markham was born to a young mother who loved him very much but knew that she couldn’t give him the best life he could have. So she selected Melissa and me to raise him. On November 15, amidst much emotion, she placed him into our arms.
And that makes us… (fill in the blank) parents, sleep-deprived, very happy, learning to be comfortable with baby poop, covered in baby spit up, elated, extremely grateful, more familiar with wee hours of the morning than we ever wanted to be, the proud owners of numerous boxes of diapers and cans of baby formula, still trying to believe it finally happened, trying to give Phoebe (our dog) plenty of attention so she doesn’t become too jealous, madly in love with our little son, and/or all of the above.
Sammie’s ecstatic that he’ll be able to watch the next Super Bowl and World Cup with his son. Melissa made the rule that all stinky diapers that happen while watching sports are Sammie’s to change.
Thanks for all the prayers and good vibes sent our way-
memory -- Anziano Rob Smith subtly reminding me in the middle of a
discussion that we each had fake tattoos on our chests. A friend of mine
had put them in a care package and we thought, at the time, that it would be
funny to put them on our chests and see how long they would last. A couple
of days later, in the middle of a discussion with our best investigators,
Carlo and Laura, I looked over to my companion and he patted his chest to
remind me what was there. I have no idea how I managed to not let out a
laugh for the rest of the visit, but once we left their home we laughed
quite a bit. And continued to laugh about it for weeks more.
Unfortunately I could not be with you saturday. I almost made it, but with the construction of our house, the work, and church responsabilities, it was too much. But till few days ago, I thought I was coming on the US ground again.
For months now I imagined how it would be to be with you all again.
Great feelings came back to me, and a special feeling from the Holy Ghost too.
After years, all I can say is that being a missionary, in Italy, with the Clegg, was one of the most glorifying blessing in my life.
I kept going to Italy three or four times a year for several years after the mission.
I love this country so much !!! Just like you.
If you have the opportunity, tell the returned missionnaries, that even if it wasn't always fun to serve with the "frenchie", it has been a privilege and a eternal blessing for me to serve with them.
I'm truly grateful for all the experiences and memories I got from those days around all of you.
To tell you a little more about me, I'm married, as you know I guess. My wife has 2 children from a preceeding mariage.
I run my own insurance agency.
I'm first conselor in the bishopric of our ward, and still keeping the good counsels you gave me throughout the mission.
My english isn't what it used to be, but I hope to be able to work on it during a next trip to the States for the next mission reunion !!
I had the opportunity to meet a returned missionary of the Milan mission a year ago.
Things have changed over there. Branches were gathered, discricts created, and stakes as well.
If you're interested, I could get precise informations from members in Italy. But you might have these informations already.
Be sure, I would have loved to be with you. Thank you so much for these meetings, I will do my best to come to a "normal" reunion next year.
Be sure, that I love you, both of you are always in my heart.
A little update about me;
I have been married for 9 years to Katie and we have three beautiful children; McKenzie 8 years old, Cameron 6 years old and Abigail 2 years old. We currently live in Eagle Mountain, UT but are building a home in Saratoga Springs, UT. I am the Deacons quorum assistant advisor and the scout master. I have been employed at John Deere Landscapes since 2001 and am currently the branch manager in the Lindon location.
I have been trying to think of a mission memory and there are so many to choose from. I think probably the best memory I have from my mission is having the opportunity to hear Jeffrey R. Holland speak to the mission. I was going through a rough time in my mission and hearing him helped me to refocus and be a better missionary.
Sheyna (Smith) Axtell, Alessandria (Alex) 5 yrs., Samuel 3yrs., Shane Axtell
We are currently living in Northern VA (D.C. area) where Shane is working as a Computational Linguist for a software-development company. I am currently serving in the Relief Society Presidency and Shane is a counselor in the Bishopric. I am fortunate to be home with our children and I teach piano lessons on the side. Shane rides his bike 10 miles each way to work and back and is definitely in shape!
Sheyna’s favorite Mission Memories:
One of my favorite memories was the first day I arrived in Genova – my first area. We took the old, creaky ascensore up to our apartment and as I looked out over our balcony I could see a courtyard with children playing soccer, laundry hanging from old buildings, green rolling hills, and a bell tower that was echoing throughout the city. I knew at that point that I was definitely in Italy. My other favorite memory was one evening as I was sitting in my classroom at the M.T.C. All of our teachers entered our room singing Italian hymns. My heart literally burned within, stronger than I have ever felt the influence of the Spirit. Once again, the truthfulness of the Gospel was being testified to me and it was sweet.
Shane’s favorite Mission Memories:
When I think of my mission in Italy, my first thoughts are about the friends I love so much (the companions who helped shape my missionary life and the people we served). Although much of my mission was hard work, I look back on all of those moments with deep love and appreciation for all of the people I came in contact with. It was also during my missionary years that I really began to understand how the Savior speaks to me. I will never forget those lessons on feeling and recognizing the guidance of the Holy Ghost from President and Sister Clegg. This was one of the many important truths that they successfully instilled in my heart and mind. For that I am eternally grateful.
I have so many favorites memories... biking the streets of Allessandria with the smell of gas and the sight of mud lingering from the flood, visiting Mamma Renza, contacting people on the bus up and down Corsa Francia all the way up to Rivolli, creating a "Thanksgiving feast" thanks to the members of Milano 3, planning talks for zone conference just in case your name was called. The memory I chose as one of the stand outs for me was gathering all missionaries serving in the Milano area to sing at the Duomo for Christmas. For those of you that were there you will remember that it was a foggy night. We gathered with our INNI books and began singing Christmas hymns. Everyone was out that night shopping at Piazza del Duomo. People began gathering by the hundreds and after a few songs we had a very large group of people staying to hear or songs of Christ. I will always
remember adding to the spirit of the season for the Italian people.
I am currently living in Cottonwood Heights, UT. I am married and have 3 children. I am a stay at home mom and I love it! I have been back to Italy a few times since my mission and I keep in contact with a few of the people I met there. I will always be partially Italian at heart.
My family consists of my wife and I. I have attached a picture. Her name is Ligia (pronounced Lee Hee uh) and she is half scandinavian, half spanish from spain, but grew up in Florida. We are living in Phoenix, AZ and I just graduated with my International MBA from Thunderbird. I now speak Italian, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese and am working as a Financial Analyst with Citigroup. We attend church every week and I have been serving as a Gospel Doctrine teacher for almost 16 months now. We will most likely be moving to where I land my new job, but are in AZ for now.
Favorite Memory from the Mission:
This is a tough one. There are so many. One was Elder Holland coming out if his way to speak to us "a sacred meeting. Another was Elder Gene R. Cook. I felt the spirit as strong as I ever have when he called me up to role play with him. Another was when Anz. Deshazer and I reactivated Orazio Pappalardo and he came back and married Stefania in the temple and was called into the branch presidency. Another was Nonna Tilde in Piacenza and her teaching Anz. Plaisted and I to make Gnocchi. Then there was Pino Donato in Genova. He wanted to be baptized before he passed away and we faced so many obstacles. He wet his pants on the way to the Branch Prez. interview. Anziano Hansen and I prayed and a lady came out of no where and gave us a pair of pants. They fit Pino better than his old pants did. We missed the bus, but prayed again and another bus came by 4 minutes later. Impossible for Genova on Soccer night. He made it. He was baptized, and passed away shortly thereafter. Love you guys, Jeremiah Webb
Hello everyone, this is Anziano Fielosh. I have now been married for 10 years to my beautiful wife Maria. We have three children Jamison 9 , Tristan 7 and Lola 3. We recently moved to Greenville, South Carolina to start all over. We are very happy and love the south. We have been truly blessed! I am so thankful for Presidente and Sorella Clegg and all those I served with. The things I learned on my mission have helped and continue to help me. There is not a day that passes that I don't miss the mission and those I was with. I'm honored to of served in The Italy Milan Mission.
110 Cobb Hall Ct
Greenville, SC 29607
I have a favorite memory of the mission that always makes me laugh. I remember being very new to Italy and to being a missionary. I was companions with Sorella Ruiz. We were attending a big dinner with some investigators and the Anziani were there as well. We had all sat down to eat. Of course the meal was amazing and tasted so delicious. One of the Anziani who will remain nameless said to me, “ Sorella, you ought to compliment the hostess on the delicious meal that she has prepared. Do you know how to say that?” Of course I didn’t because I couldn’t speak much of anything. He said to tell her, “Sono incinta!” I told her and got some weird stares and laughter as my companion told me it meant I was pregnant.
I miss that intense spirit that comes when serving and the choice time to focus all of our efforts on missionary work. I loved the people I had a chance to serve. I still have little memories and glimpses of their faces. I loved watching people get truly converted and seeing the power manifest itself in their lives.
I am currently keeping up with my three girls, ages 7, 5 and 1. I am working occasionally as a nurse at Primary Children’s Medical Center. My husband is CEO of AlloCure Biosciences. I love to do any kind of race from triathlons to marathons. We always have some house project going on at our house anything that involves dirt and power tools. We are looking forward to a fun relaxing summer.
There was my first pizza, pesto, bus ride, train ride, district meeting, mostra, corso d’inglese, bike ride in a dress humming the wicked witch of the west song, killer lasagna, P Day a Parco di Monza, etc, the memories are wonderful and a plenty. But one memory that helped me learn to listen to the Spirit took place one ordinary day in Milano.
Slla. Legler and I had just finished a visit with a less active sister in Milano. While waiting for our bus to come another approached. I looked at the number and quickly checked in the bus book to make sure it would take us home. We jumped on the bus anxious to get home for lunch in our apartment, but the Lord had different ideas. As we stood on the crowded bus, a rider approached us and asked who we were and what we taught. As we gave a quick first discussion we were also approached by another. Our stop was coming up and we wrapped up the conversation and left them with appropriate material and jumped off the bus. As we got off the bus our friend that ran the nearby copy shop was there with his daughter and a friend. We had been BRTing with the copy man for some time at his shop. They invited us to lunch at a nearby restaurant. Over lunch we talked the entire time about our purpose as missionaries and about our basic beliefs. It was wonderful. Afterwards, the friend wanted to talk with us more about our message. We walked back to our apartment with the copy man and his daughter, all the while discussing our beliefs as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Unfortunely, there was not instant conversion to the gospel with those we encountered during that brief period of time, but it truly taught my collega and I the importance of listening to the Spirit at all times. You may never know how quickly we need to change plans.
I live in Litchfield Park, AZ (outside of Phoenix). I am married to Vern Wolfley and we are the proud parents of 5 wonderful children. Our oldest will be baptized in September and our youngest is almost 1. I get to stay home with my children while my husband works at a local school district. La vita e bella.
This is a tough one there really is not any one favorite memory. However some of the best times were being in the office in Opera and having the associations with the Cleggs and all of the missionaries in the office. We played tickle the Tongan one day after dinner at the Cleggs house that was very funny. I will also never forget singing Christmas carols in front of the Duomo in Milan. Or of trying to “test” gelato in every city that we went while I was in the Squarda Volante I remember a funny story that I never get tired of telling. I was in Monza my companion and I were preparing the font for Anziano Christensen and Anziano Fowler. I was dressed for the baptism, suit and tie and everything. When I reached in to shut the water off my foot slipped and I did sort of a little flip and landed in the font, drenched from head to toe.
I am living in Tremonton, Utah my wife and I have been taking in foster kids for around 6 years and we had the great blessing to adopt the two best kids in the whole world in 2007. I have recently returned to school majoring in Psychology. I work for the Malt-O-Meal company and I love it.
One of my favorite memories from my mission was that of Sorella Carattoni’s testimony of the Book of Mormon (not sure on spelling, Piacenza Branch, she is the mother of Sorella Noda). We were visiting with her one day when some of her friends of another religion were also visiting. The topic of the Book of Mormon came up. The friends of the other religion were trying to discuss how Mormonism was not correct and we mentioned to Sorella Carattoni that they believed that the Book of Mormon was not scripture. I remember distinctly Sorella Carattoni holding the Book of Mormon to her chest and saying “Il Libro di Mormon e’ la mia vita”. She then continued to explain how important the Book of Mormon was to her and gave the most beautiful and heartfelt testimony I have ever heard of the Book of Mormon. It is something that greatly touched my life and I will remember always the sweet testimony of that dear sister.
We live near Portland, Oregon. 3 kids (Two boys and one girl) and a baby on the way. Family Blog: www.lyonfamilypride.blogspot.com
As I have been trying to prepare a favorite memory, I have had some writers block. I'm afraid that I don't have any particular memory that stands out above the rest. There were some moments and experiences that helped to build my testimony, experiences that I hope to never forget such as seeing a contact make good on their promise to come to church meetings, or being part of a new convert baptism. People that I will always remember fondly and moments spent in their company. Adventures on P-days, trips to the beautiful castles, churches and even mountains. Even leadership moments gone awry, particularly that dreadful time when I was District Leader in Piacenza, are memories that I cherish and will always remember.
I am working to support my family as a Network Analyst for a company that provides a "Software as a Service" solution for call center companies so that they can have the features of a fancy fully-featured phone system without the capital expense. I am basically the 21st century version of the operator in the black and white movies that plugs the cable into the jacks so two people can talk to each other on the phone. We are living in an apartment in Murray, UT and are currently undertaking the painful process of trying to find the right home to purchase. I've got a wonderful wife and 3 beautiful daughters, the youngest was born with a cleft lip and palate, but is doing really well. Attached is a scan of our most recent family photo - from this past November. We don't pose for pictures often, and I don't have any digital pictures of the whole family, so I hope this will suffice.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Mitchell (2), Taeya (5), Ingrid, TK (7), Trent, Anders (4 months)
I am married to Trent Wells, and we have 4 crazy kids: TK, Taeya, Mitchell and Anders.
Over the last 10 years we have lived in Boston, Wasington, DC, Philadelphia, and are now moving to Boise. I rarely get to use my Italian, but my kids do use the phrases “che schiffo!” and “bravo/a” on occasion.
Favorite Mission Memories:
-Singing Italian Christmas carols while doing mostra in Monza
-Focaccia dolce in Alessandria
-praying while riding my bike in the rain
-10 amazing, talented, beautiful companions
It is difficult to choose a favorite memory from our mission. I look on the whole experience with tender feelings of great joy and appreciation for the opportunity to serve in such a select part of the Lord's vineyard and with such valiant companions.
As far a favorite memory, I would have to start at the beginning, my first month in the mission field. My MTC group and I arrived in Milan on December 21, 1994. I was fortunate enough to be assigned to Anziano Demartin, il mio babbo. We had long train ride from Milano to Genova, my first area. Upon arrival we went straight to the apartment and before I could even unpack we were on our way out the door to an appointment to teach a first discussion. I was extremely excited and nervous. With the language being a major struggle for me, so was that first discussion. Two things I had to rely on heavily were the Spirit and my testimony. Those two elements were my saving grace throughout my mission.
The next day was my first full day in Genova. My companion and I, with four other Anziani (Wooley and Webster, Jensen and Hutchings) made our way to a rest home where we sang Christmas carols (in Italian) to the elderly being cared for. It was a delight to see their eyes sparkle for a brief moment as they applauded and bellowed, "Bravo!" (I think for the effort). After some encouraging accolades, we just sat and visited with a few of our admiring fans, who were as sweet and precious as a grandmother, holding a hand or two as we sat and visited.
Later that evening, we took our caroling out on the streets in Genova, visiting a few homes of members along the way before retiring to our apartment. I was exhausted. Nevertheless, as I knelt in prayer beside my bed, I couldn't remember a time that I felt more alive and happy.
Today, I live in central Indiana, the heartland of America, with my wife, Stacey, and our two boys, Ethan (6) and Aidan (4). We own a vending business and work from home. In addition, I speak professionally as a corporate trainer.
Randy S. Adelman, Milan, Italy Mission, 1994 to 1996
17650 Sanibel Circle, Noblesville, IN 46062 (317) 690-2927 email@example.com
My wife Laura and I currently reside in Kaysville. We have a 7 year old daughter named Elisabeth, a 4 year old son named Christian, and we are expecting twins in November. Laura is serving in the Young Womens organization as a beehive advisor and I am serving as the first counselor in the bishopric. I am a vice president in the Asset Management Operations group at Goldman Sachs' Salt Lake City office.
One of my favorite mission memories was teaching discussions to a lady, that Elder Madsen and I later baptized, in the home of the Espinoza family in the Milano 3 Ward. They had such a wonderful Spirit in their small home and it was such an asset when teaching the gospel.
One of the highlights of my mission was having my mother as a companion/threesome for two weeks. It was a special, spiritual experience- one of which had many events, led by the hand of the Lord, that testified of his involvement in the work: how a friend offered unused round trip tickets to Milan, the fact that President felt impressed to let my mother come, the timing of the visit (I was sick with bronchitis and trip to Poschiavo), the fellowshipping and teaching mom was able to do, the return of her German and missionary skills, the ground that was broken in Poschiavo, Switzerland because of her maternal wisdom and German speaking abilities...........so many, many miracles that occurred during that time and so many seeds planted. Thank YOU, THANK YOU President for being so in tune with the spirit during that time.
This is an experience that my mother and I treasure. "Afterwards, Tuesday night (Christmas Eve), we went (with permission and encouragement) to the midnight Christmas mass at the Duomo. It was very BORING but VERY COOL! The music was beautiful. There were the boys voices and the boy soloists were great. Their music was probably the only spiritual thing. They had the cathedral lit with electrical lights which is very abnormal and above the manger they had a big star that they lit when Jesus was set in the manger. It was freezing. I had to keep my coat and gloves on. The whole mass was broadcasted on the radio and TV. In fact, I saw a man with his portable TV, in the Duomo, watching the mass. Outside all of this spiritual stuff there were "giochi di natale" or fireworks going on outside.
"During the mass Anziano Barratt leaned over and said, 'Think of the significance. You're sitting in the middle of Italy, Christmas Eve, in one of the biggest cathedrals in the world, watching a Christmas Mass!'
We live in Payson, Utah where Rustin works as a developmental scientist for NuSkin. Luckily, I am able to stay home with our three children: two lively boys (3 and 4), and one stubborn little girl (1). I teach voice and piano out of our home one day a week. Nothing too exciting except for the every day cuteness of the children that keep us on our toes.
Favorite memory: Oh so many! The first thing that comes to mind is when our district was given permission to go to the midnight Christmas Mass at the Duomo in Milan and Anziano Karpowitz picked up a vehicle. No kidding. I have a picture I need to scan and send with the story but I have to dig it and my journal out to give you the whole story. Then there's the recital we gave, the vomit story from the bus, sitting with the nuns, and having my mother as a companion (how could I forget that?). I'm going to have to think on this one a little.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
To be honest I don't really have one specific memory, I look back on the two years and miss it all. You couldn't ask for a better culture or better people to be surrounded by, I was very lucky to have been called to serve there. I'm living in Bountiful, UT now, working for a precast company as an engineer. Very blessed with a wonderful wife, hilarious son, and a daughter on the way.
Arrived in country February 1998
One of the best memories I have from my time serving with President Clegg was in my first city outside Torino: Monginevro. Every other week we would go to Sorella Petrone’s house and pick up her shopping list. She was a very elderly sister in the ward who we did the shopping for. We would have to go the butcher’s and then by a little grocers for everything else. She probably could have had her family do it, but I think she new it was good for us to be out doing service. It was a great excuse to talk to the butcher and whoever else we encountered on the way. They even started to recognize us and we developed some good contact. We would then return to Sorella Petrone’s house where she would give us a warm drink of milk, juice, or acqua frizzante along with some stale cake. In retrospect, I would like to culture some of the food she gave us, I am sure it was very expired, but it was a very meaningful gesture from her fixed income. One time she gave us something called Portuguese Custard that was almost unbearable, but you couldn’t help loving her and her food. She then made us sing How Great Thou Art every time. I was able to memorize it in Italian while I was still new in the mission. We would pray and the spirit was always very strong. It might have seemed like a burden sometimes, but it was actually a great experience every time. I am so glad she found the gospel and was such a good example for her family, the branch, and so many missionaries.
I am currently living in the state of Washington with my wife Amy and three kids: Olivia (6), Henry (4), and Tenison (4). I am in my last year of residency in Pathology. I went to medical school in Washington D.C. and joined the Army to pay for school. There are quite a few American military hospitals in Europe where I hope to end up, so that I can be closer to Italy.
Lee & Zee Hambly were married in the San Diego temple in November, 2007, and are still celebrating the arrival of their son Ewan last December. Lee works full time for Apple Inc., and is finishing his last semester of law school in San Diego, while his wife Zee is discovering new talents as a wife & mother at home. We are continuously blessed by our testimonies of the Gospel and involvement in our local ward.
It's tough to choose a favorite memory from the mission. How can I forget Anziano Conrad pretending to bang his head against a coat rack when he thought there was a good chance he was going to have to go back to the office. He accidentally hit his head one of the times and got a good cut right in the middle of his forehead. Since Italians aren't shy about staring, he spent the next week with everyone around town staring at the bandaid on his forehead. There were also all the fun rumors that I heard about myself after my two months with Anziano Wiesner (his last two months). What an experience that was! I'll never forget how much I loved San Remo and the people there. I also still remember one particular discussion I had with two young ladies who showed up to an English class party in Milano. One was from Germany and the other was going to school in Milano. I don't know that I have ever had a discussion about the gospel more filled with the Spirit. I still have contact with the Italian girl and I have never given up hope that one day she will come around.
As for my life now, I am your typical married Mormon who is busy with family, work, and church. My wife, Summer, and two kids, Kamryn 4 and Adam 2, live in Kaysville, UT where both my wife and I grew up. I work down town in Salt Lake City as a patent attorney at the law firm of TraskBritt.
I'm in the wife and mother stage of life and that takes up most of my time. I have 3 adorable and endearing kids, Emma age 6, Preston, age 3, and Cameron, age 1 1/2. I am married to Mike Miller who is one of the most kind and loving people I've ever known. I love our family and the life we've created together. I stay home full-time now, but hope to return to work when my kids are older as a preschool special education consultant, or I may go back to school and get my MSW. I want to help families who are blessed with children with disabilities, because of my educational background, and my experience as a mother of a child with Asperger Syndrome (Emma, who I adore).
There are too many to pick just one. So I'll mention a few briefly.
Laughing my guts out in the MTC with Sorella Spencer and Sorella Rainey. (Insalata ogni giorni)
Baptisms in Monza.
Every funny day with Sorella Robison, but what sticks in my memory is the cutie that kissed us on the bus after Sorella R. gave him a Book of Mormon. Also, the ice cream man who we visited frequently in Torino.
Singing with Sorella Reynolds (German songs and Italian hymns). We had quite the act going in Biella.
Bapisms and lots of teaching in Biella.
Falling asleep at a member's house at the end of our week of 100 hours., again with Robison.
Weekly radio program in Biella.
Long talks with Sorella Sommer. Also, giving a first discussion to a high school class in Alessandria.
9 fun companions, 5 great areas!
I married Paige Pratt following graduation in the DC temple and we moved East. I worked for Black & Decker for a couple of years in MD and FL, during which time our first son (Matthew) was born. We then headed to Boston to attend b-school at Harvard, where our second son (Brent) was born. After school we moved West to the Bay Area of California and have lived here for the past 3 years. During which time we've added a couple of girls to the mix (Emily & Margaret - 12 days old today). After 7 moves in 8 years of marriage, we're hoping to put roots down where we are in Los Altos. However, even that is subject to revision as we are far from family and interested in having grandparents and cousins influence the lives of our children. Stay tuned to see how/when/if resolution takes place.
I work in San Francisco for a real estate development firm and Paige stays at home with the kids.
We did have great missions and made wonderful bonds and memories serving together! A lot has happened in the intervening years. I've been married now for nearly 7 years, have 2 great little "girlies", Janae and Kiera, ages 4.5 and 1.5. About 3 years ago I took a job running the supply chain and logistics of Portland-based Schnitzer Steel Industries, we left Eugene, and settled down in the Portland area, eventually buying a home in Vancouver, WA. I also took an interest in the field of economics, and have been studying at Portland State University (PSU) for the last 2.5 years. I'm currently working on my M.Sci. in economics and have about 1 year left on that. At the same time I'm working on 2 M.Sci. programs in mathematics and statistics at PSU. I'm going to throw in some econ research, so I've got about 3 years to go and then I'll likely be doing a Ph.D. in econometrics/mathematical economics at MIT or Princeton.
Our family now resides in Lehi, Utah after almost 7 years of school in Kentucky. Mike is an orthodontist and has recently purchased a practice in Sandy. Stephanie is an RN and keeps up on her skills as a nurse. Our greatest joys have come from raising our beautiful children, Tanner (4) and Brynlee (1). It seems that each day we gain a deeper understanding of the love that our Heavenly Father must have for us, his children.
Since it is nearly impossible to think of only one favorite memory, I just want to thank my Heavenly Father for the privilege of having so many faith-promoting experiences all throughout my 2 years in Italy. The ups and downs of that short period are amazing: some days were definitely trying…. I would lose my keys in a sewer grate, get “mace” sprayed at me on the subway, or I would find myself in the back of an ambulance after my companion went over the handlebars and knocked teeth out (sorry Anziano Sommers!)
Yet other days I felt the most incredible feelings of peace…. participating in the baptisms of a family of six, learning from the example of wonderful leaders such as Pres. Clegg, Elder Castellani, etc and watching miracles unfold after giving Priesthood blessings of comfort or healing. I would not trade anything for experiences which taught me to recognize the Spirit and the understanding/testimony I gained of the simplicity and truthfulness of the Plan of Salvation. I still remember talking about the gospel for 6 hours straight to a kind lady on our plane to Milano, learning so much from each of my companions, and having wonderful zone conferences with leaders like Elder Gene R. Cook which taught me life-long lessons I treasure still today.
I’ll always cherish the heart-felt discussions I had with President Clegg in interviews, with those wonderful Italians who gave 100% in trying to live and keep sacred covenants, and many of you, my beloved colleagues, with whom I had the privilege of crossing paths and sharing the journey. Vi voglio bene