Robert's Mission Call 12 03 2009

Friday, March 25, 2011


Hey Mom and Dad!

So maybe I might have given you guys they wrong impression about my companion. It's not that we don't get along cause we get along pretty well. I can get along with anyone that's not the hard part. We laugh and joke around and stuff but just when it's time to do missionary work he just turns off . Our mission is doing this teach to find program, and you need 2 people to do it so it's just hard. I'm still trying to be a good example and what not but I'm just getting a bit tired.... I'm just doing my best to stay up and not let it bring me down.

Yesterday was cool! We went and ate with Zio Nicola and family!!! Oh my heck it was the best food I've ever eaten!! Zia Graziella is an amazing cook! We had tortellini, lasagna, chicken, piadina and  mascarpone for dessert. It was so good!! I loved it!!! :) ha ha Dad, are you jealous!? ;) because you should be! haha Don't worry I took pictures. I think Silvia (cousin) took more but I took some too!

It really was cool to get to know them better! They think we are crazy because we don't have sex before marriage and that we don't drink a lot of stuff. It was very funny. We had some good conversations. I felt it wasn't the time or place to be "too religious" .... it was one my first time talking with them and getting to know them better. We did talk a bit about church but not a whole ton. They are super funny though, and I love them!

Of course right when I saw Zio Nicola he was smoking and at lunch they wanted us to try some wine and Silvia wanted us to go to some dance club with her and some friends ha ha! Of course we said no and explained what missionaries do here and how we have rules that need to be followed. It was cool because they respected all of it, and didn't judge us or anything! They are really good people and way fun!! Plus it was nice to just relax with them and take our minds off the work for a few minutes.

Wow! That's crazy about the calling changes, but you're right they are all going to do great. We have some really amazing people in our ward! We are so lucky to have all of them! 

Brian and dad are super lucky to go to Florida!! Good for them! I could totally use a little vacation like that! I guess I'll have to wait a year for that though...busy doing work right now. And mom you'll get some peace and girl time so that'll be good for everyone!! ha ha

Well ya things here are going well! Thanks for your emails they were nice! I'm just pushing along doing my best !

I love you guys thanks for everything!!! Take care and have a great week! :)

love anziano bona

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


We still haven't received Robert's email today because he spent his p-day in Forli' with family members. His Zio Nicola, Zia Graziella, and his cousin Silvia.
They had a wonderful time together talking about past trips, Robert's mission, family, etc. Graziella cooked some wonderful food....(julia child step aside!). They then took the boys around Forli' for a quick sight seeing trip.
Graziella said that Robert's Italian was as good as his mothers' (her words not mine) and that he was happy and laughing and healthy. She said he was doing fantastic.
How truly blessed we are to have family in Italy and that Robert has had the opportunity to spend time with them.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


A lot of people have asked for a copy of Robert's farewell talk, or to post it here on his blog. I had searched everywhere for it and was unable to locate it, until tonight! I was looking through some files on the laptop looking for something else, and actually came across it. So I am posting it now. I know it's a year late, but better late than never!

Good afternoon brothers and sister thank you so much for coming here today to support me. I am especially grateful to my family members and friends that are here today. I love you all and I hope that Spirit of Lord might continue to be here with us.

I would like to share some thoughts regarding the importance of spreading the gospel throughout the world and in our homes.

When Jesus was resurrected he gave to his apostles one special commandment and we can find that in Matthew 28:19 and it says, “Go ye there for and teach all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost”. When people read this scripture they normally just think it is for missionaries, however this invitation is for anyone who believes in Jesus Christ and in his church. Elder Bednar quotes that, “We are missionaries every day in our families, in our schools in our places of employment and in our communities. Regardless of our age, experience, or station in life, we are all missionaries”.

One way that we can all be missionaries is for all of us to be ready. We all need to be ready to feel the promptings of the spirit and to set a good example for those around us. Thankfully I have been blessed to always have good examples all round me throughout my life. I have had the best scout leaders, teachers, friends and of course a great family around me at all times. They have been such great missionaries in my life helping me to be a better person and to gain a testimony. In truth they all follow the invitation of Christ to share the gospel.

The life of my family has been greatly blessed from the result of missionaries sharing the gospel. Without it I wouldn’t even be here today. Many years ago two young men decided to serve a mission and be a tool in the Lords hands. These missionaries found my grandpa and my grandma and taught them the gospel and baptized them. The gospel changed my grandparents lives and their posterity. My grandfather is now one of the strongest members of the church that I know and is an amazing man. He is a living example of what it means to follow Christ. My grandma contributed to save many souls in her family by doing countless hours of genealogical and temple work. Later in his life, after grandma Martha passes away, my grandfather was blessed by continuing the genealogical work in the temple and met my new grandma Lorraine. She is also a living example of what happens when the Gospel is shared and lived.

My mother instead grew up in the church but like me was a bit rebellious at times. Eventually she completely turned her life around and served an honorable full time mission. She is such a great example to me and I am so thankful for that amazing choice she made. My uncle David served a mission in Japan as well. Notice one common fact: all of these events and changes were able to happen because of two young men’s choice to serve a mission and share the gospel.

A similar situation happened in my father’s life as well. In the cold winter of 1980 two young men “by accident” met my grandma Rosaria in Messina. Their faith and desire to serve the Lord started a process that would bless my father’s life and my family life forever. I am so thankful for Elder Moss and Elder Jenkins for the decision they made to share the gospel and to baptize my father and my Nonna Rosaria. I am sure at that time they had no idea how this would impact my future. I am here today ready to serve a mission in the Italy Milan mission also because of their faithful decision to share the gospel more than 30 years ago!

My mom served her mission in the Italy Catania mission and I am sure that she had no idea what the Lord had in store for her. One of the indirect blessings that came from her desire to spread the gospel was the opportunity to meet her future husband. From all of these events we can all see that sharing the gospel blesses not only the people who receive the teachings but also future generations and the ones who are doing the teaching as well.

Some of us might feel inadequate to share the gospel in some way. However the call to teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Ghost continues to be true in this dispensation.

In Doctrine and Covenants 90: 10-11 the prophet Joseph Smith received a revelation that said,
“and then cometh the day when the arm of the Lord should be revealed in power in convincing the nations, the heathen nations, the house of Joseph of the gospel of their salvation. For it shall come to pass that in that day that every man shall hear the fullness of the gospel in his own tongue and in his own language through those who are ordained unto this power by the administration of the comforter shed forth upon them for the revelation of Jesus Christ”.

When Heber C. Kimball received the commandment to go to England and be the first missionary called to serve out side North America he felt hesitant and inadequate. In his reaction he said, “o Lord I am a man of stammering tongue and altogether unfit for such a work; how can I go to preach in that land?” However all of these feelings did not stop him from serving a mission. In his own words he said, “ the moment I understood the will of my Heavenly father, I felt a determination to go at all hazards, believing that He would support me by His almighty power, and endow me with every qualification that I needed. I felt that the cause of the truth, the gospel of Christ, outweighed every other consideration.” He was humble and because of that was very successful in sharing the gospel in England. He fulfilled the prophecy given in 1835 to be “zealous to save souls…the Gospel must roll forth and it will until it fills the whole earth….You have a work to do that no other men can do; you must proclaim the Gospel in its simplicity and purity”. And also in D&C 112:5;19 and 21 there’s another example of the prophecy that has come to pass:
“Contend thou, therefore morning by morning; and day after day let thy warning voice go forth; and when the night cometh let not the inhabitants of the earth slumber because of thy speech…I will be with you; and in whatsoever place ye shall proclaim my name an effectual door shall be opened unto you; that they may receive my word”. “and again, I say unto you, that, whosoever ye shall send in my name, by the voice of your brethren, the Twelve, duly recommended and authorized by you, shall have the power to open the door of my kingdom unto any nation whithersoever ye shall send them”.

In 1 Timothy 4:12 it says “Be thou an example of the believers, in word in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” To be able to preach the gospel we need to be living the gospel in all places at home, school, work or even when your just hanging out with your friends. By living the gospel we can not only go on missions but become real missionaries.

In one of Elder Bednar’s talks he states that, “ the single most important thing you can do to prepare for a call to serve is to become a missionary long before you go on a mission. Please notice that in my answer I emphasized becoming rather then going…. The issue is not going to church; rather, the issue is worshipping and renewing covenants as we attend church. The issue in not going to or through the temple; rather the issue is having in our hearts the spirit, the covenants, and the ordinances of the Lord’s house. The issue in not going on a mission; rather the issue is becoming a missionary and serving throughout our entire life with all of our heart might mind and strength. It is possible for a young man to go on a mission and not become a missionary, and this is not what the Lord requires or what the church needs.”

At the same time it is also important to have a gospel sharing home as well. Formal discussions do not need to be held to share the gospel at home. The way our family acts and lives will cause a good spirit in the home and that is the best message you can share with anyone who comes in your home. This in turn will cause testimonies and faith of the parents and children to grow. Creating a gospel sharing home is the easiest and most effective way that we can share the gospel with others. These homes are not necessarily perfect from the world’s point of view. They might not be the cleanest homes or the children might not be the best behaved but they are a place in which family members clearly care and love each other and the spirit of the Lord is felt by those who visit. I am glad and very thankful for the effort of my family to help make our home a better gospel sharing home. It is not perfect by any means but I can certainly tell a major difference in it and I am so thankful for that. It makes my home such a more peaceful and overall better place to live.

One thing about a gospel sharing home is that the members of the family not only pray to bless all the missionaries for their safety and success but they also pray to be prepared so that when they face missionary opportunities they will be ready to act upon those impressions. Having faith is a key component because without that you wouldn’t be able to feel those promptings.

My parents were great examples of this. This past Christmas they just got the feeling that they needed to help out a homeless person. Our family didn’t have a lot of money this holiday season but they just knew that all would be OK and that this is what they needed to do. They went out and bought him new warm shoes and clothes. This was one small way of sharing the gospel without having an official or formal conversation. Just doing a small little act like that can be exactly what someone needs.

Like the Lord says in Matthew 25: 40, “verily I say unto you in as much ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”


Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Eliana and family
Fratello Carlo Malara
(he knew Anz Bona when we lived in Messina)


The Duomo di Milano at night

I'm on top of the world.
Not really...just at a park on the jungle gym

La Scala di Milano

I'm proud to be an American
What Graffiti they have in Italy


Happy times!

Mom's facebook friend Eleanora

The original
"Last Supper" by Leonardo DaVinci
(thank you to the Lisonbee's for taking us!)

Inside the Duomo di Milano

Which one should I ring?
Who will let us in tonight???

Anziano Bona and Anziano Strobelt

Arch built for Napoleon

Anz Bona and Strobelt atop the Duomo di Milano

Taking it all in!

View from atop the Duomo di Milano

Taking in some sun...working on the tan

Home boys!

GANS di Milano~Young Adults in Milano

District Meeting w/ a member

A room with a view

Anz Gallacher -comp from Alessandria (he was going home)

Elders from Milano 2


(This week's letter is actually pretty short because Robert and I actually "chatted" via emails-He sends his love to everyone and is doing well. He says that it is pouring rain today in Raveanna. He is very excited about his friends who have received mission calls in the past few weeks and those that are waiting for their "white envelopes". He has also decided that he wants a Mini Cooper when he comes home from his mission~I think he has forgotten what Utah winters are like~He was also glad that we got the pictures and liked them)

Dear Mom and Dad!

Thank you guys so much for your emails! How are you guys doing? I hope good! Hope work and what not is going alright! Ya' thanks for the little toy target gun it's fun! ha ha .

I'm glad you guys got the pics! I'm bummed some of the videos didn't come out that well! ha ha Ya' last transfer was hecka' super fun!!! We did good work and just had a blast too! That is how the mission is supposed to be like! ha ha (This transfer is a bit different ha) but ya' on my memory card here I got pics of Como and of the baptisms and stuff! I'll probably send it home in a week or two!

OK, so you guys said you wanna' know a bit about my comp... well his name is Anziano Craig. He is from Missouri, and he doesn't really like sports. He loves army stuff and wants to enroll the second he gets home. He wants to go home so bad. All he talks about is home and it makes me miss home so bad too!!! ha ha But it's OK, it happens.

So ya' the baptisms went through! It was really amazing!! Columbus baptized his wife Lucy and his daughter Joyce. It really is amazing because not to long ago she was totally against the church. Even I have seen a change in her in the short time I've been here. It was really amazing. The spirit is always super strong at baptisms!!

So we had to go fill up the font Saturday and it normally takes 5 hours or so to do it. So we set it up and what not, so I just read the Book of Mormon a bit. It was a long morning.

OK so like funny story!! Sunday we do the confirmation's right? So President Gresta confirmed Lucy. Then he was conferring Joyce and then Freedom (he is the little 4 year old son of Columbus and Lucy) runs up in the middle of the blessing and puts his hands on her head with all of us and just gets this huge smile on his face!!!! ahhahahaha Then one of the guys in the circle pushes his hands off and then some member runs up and carries him away! ha ha It was like so funny I almost busted up!!!!! Man those are the times that you will remember for forever!!! ha ha but ya it was a great weekend. Columbus was so so happy to have his family baptized. They are so great. That's what its all about. Helping families all get baptized! Now they are working on going to the temple!!!!! how cool huh!!!

Man I miss the temple! That is one thing I'm gonna love about being home! Just having so many to choose from!

Our district meeting on Monday was about enduring!! ha ha it was super funny! I think Anz Bos did it for both of us because he knows we need it!!! ha ha But it was good and helped me a lot to look at things with a different perspective. Enduring is definitely something I'm doing at the moment!!

I really have learned even more to love the Book of Mormon. I've had a lot of extra time to read it so it's been really nice. It actually does help too! It's weird that the gospel actually works! ha ha I guess what I'm doing out here really isn't that crazy! ;) and it does make a difference!

But ya' things out here are going OK! Now we are just gonna do our best to help Cristian and Francesca out. We just dropped one of our contacts named Bondi yesterday. He had a baptismal date but we just had to let him go. That's one of the hardest things to do! But at a certain point it's what ya gotta do! (There were situations that made us come to that decision)

I hope you guys have a great!! Take care of Brian, I love him!
Love you guys!!! Vi voglio bene!!!!!
Anziano Bona

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Dear Mom and Dad!

How are you guys doing? I hope all is well!

This week was pretty good. It wasn't my best week ever it's still a bit rough. The end of your mission is when your supposed to give it your all. One thing that I figured out is, they do finding work differently down in the Rome mission. Our way is more effective but it's also more hard core and takes a lot more out of you.

The work here is going OK. The baptisms didn't happen last weekend because Lucy got stuck in Nigeria for an extra day so she didn't make it. (They are both Nigerian Africans). But they are both now here and passed their baptismal interviews so all is a go for this weekend! We are so happy for them they are awesome! Africans are so so cool! They are way epic. They always have cool dreams about receiving answers to prayers, it's cool!

We have this other investigator named Christian. He is Italian and lives with his girlfriend Francesca. They are both super awesome and super open. They are super cool and we are working with both of them.

Monday night I had a neat experience. We went over to his house with our branch president, and this was my first lesson with them because last week I was in Rimini when we taught them. So we walked in and Christian was there by himself and was smoking and you could just smell alcohol everywhere. Soon as we walked in we sat down and he just started crying and told us about all these problems he was having and stuff. And then everything went into slow motion for me and I saw him for as he really was. I saw him as a child of God. Instantly I was overcome with this overwhelming love for him. I just felt so bad for him and wanted to help him so much. We taught him about hope and desire and it was just a super powerful lesson! President Gresca was a great companion, and it was great because the spirit was so super strong!!!

After that I realized something that I needed to change. I realize that I tend to judge people a bit. Not intentionally but, it just happens. It's terrible and it's something I need to change, big time!!! If I can see people for who they really are I know I could be such a better missionary! It's something I'll be working on! :)

Things are OK here! I really can't work as hard as I want, but we are trying to find a good medium point. It's just hard because it kinda brings me down too, but I'm keeping my head up and doing my best.

There is this sweet quote in our apartment that I love, that I read everyday that helps me out. It says something like... if you try to help someone out by being a good example your helping two people, but if you try to help someone by not being a good example you're not helping anyone. It's so true too! I love it.

I sent home the memory card so hopefully you guys get some pics sometime this week! And yes, I got my packages and stuff!!! ha ha Thank you so much!!

I love you guys so much and thanks for all you guys do! You guys are awesome!! I hope you guys have a great week!!! Keep your heads up and keep a smile on at all times! ;)

OK so my address is...

Via Massimo d'Azeglio 3
49100 Ravenna (RA)

Thanks for everything and have a great week!!! love you guys!!! :)
Anziano Bona

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


One year ago today we took Anziano Bona
aka Robert
to the MTC in Provo, Utah
We are so proud of all that he has done this past year.
We miss you Robert
but we wouldn't want you anywhere else,
doing anything else!