From Brian D. Bertonneau: In 1970, when I was nine years old, my family moved to Milan. My Dad was working for an American company that was hired to do some work for the Italian government. We lived in Milan for 3 1/2 years, leaving in January 1974.
On our first Sunday, we found out where the church met and showed up unannounced. The missionaries just about died when an active family of five walked in on the meeting. I don't recall a lot of details, but the meeting place was a rented space in the back of some apartment building. In those days, there were probably 15 to 20 members at this location.
I remember giving some 2 1/2 minute talks in very broken Italian. I would write out my talk in English, and then a missionary would write the translation underneath each sentence. After a year or so I picked up the language and was able to give my own talks. A few years ago, my Mom found one of these old talks. I tried to read it, but my Italian is pretty much lost.
I also remember a lot of missionary dinners at our house. It was tough work in those days, and we had the elders over for frequent meals and moral support.
By 1971, enough American families had moved in (also with my Dad's company) that we had some meetings in English like Sunday School and Primary on Wednesdays. I also recall some bilingual Sacrament meetings. There were not a lot of us, but we were strong in spirit.
During our last year in Italy, my Dad served in the mission presidency. We would travel around Northern Italy to visit branches of the church. I recall Sacrament meetings in missionary apartments with four elders, our family and two older ladies. I trust things have changed since then.