Making Friends:

Simone Millo of Florence, Italy

By DeAnne Walker

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    When you first meet Simone Millo (10), he seems to be shy. His dark brown eyes sparkle with friendship, yet his manner is very quiet. But give him his bicycle, put a helmet on his head, let him dress in his brightly-colored racing outfit, and he becomes all smiles and full of excitement.

    All children have favorite things to do, and Simone’s is cycling! He belongs to a cycling club called Itala, which meets three times a week. Because Florence is such a large city with a lot of traffic, the members usually ride on the cycling circuit in the park.

    Simone has other favorites too. He loves animals and always wanted to have a pet of his own. Not long ago, his dream came true! “My brother and I got two dogs!” he said with a smile. “We named them Birba and Quinzia.” Birba (which means “naughty”) is a small basset hound; Quinzia is a boxer.

    Simone and his brother, Emanuele, love to play with the dogs and take them for walks around their neighborhood. Of course, having pets also means taking care of them. But Simone’s mother, Christina, says that he is very willing to do that. “He also helps with other chores around the house,” she adds, “and because I work outside the home, that is very important to me.”

    It takes the Millo family about twenty minutes to drive to the church. Simone looks forward to Sundays and going to his Primary class. He loves to learn about the scriptures, and his favorite scripture story is about Nephi’s journey in the desert.

    There are three children in his Valiant class—two boys and one girl. But in his school, none of his friends are Church members. Simone tries to set a good example for them by remembering the things he learns at church and at home, and by doing the things he should.

    Simone’s eighth birthday was a very special day—he was baptized on his birthday! His family were members of the Church when he was born, so he had looked forward to this day for a long time.

    His father, Daniel, works with the Boy Scout troop in the Florence Branch, and Emanuele belongs to that troop. Simone looks forward to the time when he can participate in Scouting activities with them. At this time, there is no Cub Scout program in his branch, but Simone hopes it will get one soon.

    “I want to go on a mission when I am old enough,” he says. When asked if he had a place in mind where he would like to serve his mission, he replied, “My grandmother is German, so maybe it would be nice to go to Germany.” But Simone knows he will be happy to go wherever he is called. And wherever that is—just maybe he can ride a bicycle there too.

    Photos by Alfred W. Walker

    1. Simone with Quinzia

    2. Ready to go with his cycling club

    3. With his brother, Emanuele

    4. The brothers with their mother

    5. Reading the Book of Mormon