Making Friends:

Simone Millo of Florence, Italy

By DeAnne Walker

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    When you first meet Simone Millo, 10, of Florence, Italy, he seems to be shy. His dark brown eyes sparkle with friendship, but his manner is very quiet. But give him his bicycle, put a helmet on his head, let him dress in his brightly-colored bicycle racing outfit, and he becomes all smiles and full of excitement. Almost all children have favorite things that they like to do, and Simone loves cycling! He belongs to a cycling club called Itala. The club meets three times a week; and because Florence is such a large city with a lot of traffic, they usually ride on the cycling circuit in the park.

    Simone has other favorites, too. He loves animals and had always wanted to have a pet of his own. Not long ago, his dream came true! “My brother and I got two dogs!” Simone said with a smile. “We named them Birba and Quinzia.” Birba (which means “naughty”) is a small basset hound, and 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 me with other chores around the house,” she adds, “and because I work outside the home, that is very important to me.”

    The Millo family lives quite a distance from the church—it takes them about twenty minutes to drive there. 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 members of the Church. Simone tries to set a good example for them by remembering the things he learns at church 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.

    Simone’s father, Daniel, works with the Boy Scout troop in the Florence Branch, and his brother, 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 not a Cub Scout program in this branch for the younger boys, but Simone hopes that will happen soon.

    “I want to go on a mission when I am old enough,” says Simone. 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.

    Simone Millo loves his dogs, his family, and the gospel—though not necessarily in that order. Far left, Simone with his pet Quinzia; left, dressed and ready to go to his cycling club; above, top to bottom, Simone with his brother, Emanuele; Simone and Emanuele reading the Book of Mormon; the brothers with their mother, Christina Millo. (Photography by Alfred W. Walker.)