Monday, May 29, 2017

When Freddy Mercury Comes to You in a Dream - 5/30/17

Wonderful family we are teaching
Zone Conference
Wearing companion ties...
Hey family!!

I hope you all had a great week! For me, it was interesting and BUSY.

So - jumping right to the beginning: In preparation for zone conference, we had Malta come up and do an exchange with us. It went pretty well, and I got the chance to serve with Anziano Bowers. While together, we taught a lesson to a lady and it was COMPLETELY STRANGE. She kept trying to tell us about her book that she wrote, and finally we gave in and let her explain it for a bit. While defacing Italian, she explained how Freddy Mercury came to her in a dream. He told her to go to Michael Jackson. She went and met him 2 times, but it wasn't until she met him the third time that they talked. After Michael's death, which has a conspiracy theory about it, she has been instructed to spread Michael Jackson's message to the world. And Freddy Mercury is the heavenly messenger chosen to tell her this. Yeah...fun stuff.  :)

Then Anziano Boscán and I put on zone conference with President and Sister Pickerd on Wednesday. Although the doctrine and inspiration of the conference was clear and well-executed, the missionaries attending had trouble paying attention and participating. That is probably due to the fact that they all had heat exhaustion…the church didn't have working AC and the inside of the church was like an oven. I don't blame our poor zone, but they are all doing amazing. 

And now, because I am kinda getting lazy and don't want to format the rest of this in a good way, I'll throw some bullet points of interesting things this week:
  •        CM, our Nigerian new convert here, sang and praised God for 10 minutes at the end of elders quorum. I liked it, but I don't think the Italians had any idea of what was going on. 
  •        Anziano Boscán and I got a great compliment that I wanna boast about this week. Our less active return missionary friend told us if we merged into one person we would be the best missionary ever.
  •        We walked into our church to find a ton of the leaders in Rome proofreading the translation of the Bible in Italian so they can publish it on Gospel Library. So that should be coming out soon.
  •        There was a guy who was a self-referral in church yesterday. His name is AN and his wife is Paraguayan. The sisters will be working with them, but I sat with him in church and I could tell he was golden and an amazing guy. I can't wait to see him change through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 
  •        Also a shout-out to one of the 3 Nephites who fed us lunch on Sunday. (Thanks, Martin). 


Okay, and now a thought about the work:
  •       OL- Our testimonies of the life-changing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ keeps growing as OL surprises us all the time. With a big desire to be baptized, and preferably in a river, OL is progressing. A noticeable change was the fact he came to church wearing a white shirt and tie after telling us that it wasn't necessary, because Jesus never wore a tie.
  •        CS- This father, hard worker, and soon to be convert is on track to be interviewed for baptism next Sunday. He is faithful to the T. And, of course, preparations for his marriage and baptism are under way. 
  •       MZ- Started from the bottom and now he is here. WITH his wife MN. We ate a great dinner with them and President and Sister Pickerd while we discussed the first lesson. Progress to come. 
  •        RC- This brand spankin’ new investigator had great potential. He has a friend who he has kept in contact with for 30 years who is Mormon. Because of his friend, he knows that Mormons are all-around great people. Go be an example to someone.
  •        Not SV and SN- sadly, they might fall off the radar for a bit. SV has a temporary job with which he works on Sundays. They are still bravi, but we can't see him for a bit. Baptism is likely to occur in the future. 
  •        RB- He is still as smart as ever. Although he did not make an appearance in church, he is reading the Book of Mormon and loving learning about the gospel. Due to the fact that he is a development psychologist, we can't wait to teach him the plan of salvation this week. 
  •        We get to do a scambio with the Assistants next week and I am pumped for it. 


Anyways, that's how it rolled this week. I can't wait for this next one. The Zone is on fire. 

Love y'all,
Anziano Ridd

PS - Please go do some missionary work; don't leave all the joy to the missionaries, because then you miss out on some and they miss out on more. PMG says: "The ideal situation is when members invite others to be taught and are present for the teaching. When members do this, more people are baptized and remain active in the Church."
Zone Conference - Anziani
Photo Credit: Pickerd's Rome Italy Blog
Zone Conference Lunch
PC: Pickerd's Rome Italy Blog
Zone Conference Lunch
PC: Pickerd's Rome Italy Blog

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Un Abbraccio da Bracciano - 5/22/17


Castello Orsini-Odescalchi, in Bracciano, Italy

Anziano Boscán and Anziano Ridd

Hey family!

This was a strange week.

The strangest thing was with our friend, OL. He is a Catholic/Orthodox/Pentecostal/Buddhist from Ukraine. He speaks Italian okay, but not the best. Because of his work schedule, we meet him at 9 on the morning - which throws us off a bit on our missionary schedule. Anyways, our lessons with OL consisted of him trying to prove to us that we couldn't possibly be saints like La Madonna and Padre Pio. Anyways, he came to church on Sunday and enjoyed it, I think...

So, then we taught a cool new investigator this week. I think he's cool 'cause he is totally following the Spirit, even if he is a psychologist who denies that it's the Spirit. He came to church and loves it. The exciting thing is that he has a ton of kids. 

In church, I taught about repentance in gospel principles class, which is always fun. Also, we affixed a marriage and baptismal date for our investigator CS. We are very excited to be the “Best Anziani” at the marriage.

We also had the great opportunity to do a scambio with the Anziani of Ladispoli. Oh boy, that was fun. I went with Anziano Maythem and we did tons of finding. It was extra fun because he is British, and British people use funny words. I'll send a selfie of us and the black sand beach.

Other than that, we did a bunch of preparation for zone conference in our studies. I am so excited for conference on Wednesday.

Love,
Anziano Ridd

PS - We totally went to Bracciano today for a district Pday and saw the lake and castle. #beautiful
Anziano Ridd and Anziano Maythem, on a scambio in Ladispoli.
(Here they are at the black sand beach).
More castle pics




Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Happy Mother's Day - 5/14/17

Delicious Cannelloni!
Birthday party for the Bishop's mother
Anziano Ridd & Anziano Boscan with their new friends, SV and SN.
Hey family,

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there! Especially mine; she is the best and I had a great time seeing her yesterday.

So for the weekly rundown: Rome 1 is awesome. The members are so ready to help all the time; a ton are returned missionaries, and they are totally cool people. Lucky for us missionaries, that means we get to do the best kind of missionary work - member work. That doesn't mean we get to go hang out with members - it means we get to help them invite their friends to come closer to Christ. That's the best.

With all that, we have some awesome investigators. CE is about to be married and baptized toward the end of the month. This guy is awesome, and has "future bishop" potential. He comes from Peru. Then we have AL, a man that is Romanian that we found while we were doing some calls. He is very interested, and is currently reading to find his answer if the Book of Mormon is true or not. Last but not least, there are SV and SN, his wife. They are as golden as they come. They have been taught the first 3 lessons, and during the process they have been completely changed. SV feels like he has more peace as he reads the Book of Mormon, and they are excited to follow the Word of Wisdom. Yes...EXCITED! That is what the gospel of Christ does to all that follow him; it makes us excited to follow the commandments and live a happy life.

Anyways, that's the coolest part of the week, aside from being able to Skype my family yesterday. I can't believe I only Skype home one more time. That's strange. Oh and we went to the birthday party of the Bishop's mother. It was rockin'.

Also, I bought a blender and played zone soccer today. Solid stuff.

Love you all!

Anziano Ridd
Photo by Holly Ensign/Sorella McKenna Ensign

We played zone soccer today for P-day.


We loved Skyping with Anziano Ridd! He's still his spunky and happy self!
We Skyped in from Texas, Oregon and Utah. It's the last time Lukas and Hayden will see each other for awhile.
(Hayden will be serving his mission in Thailand, and Lukas will still be in Italy).
It's always slightly crazy when all 4 brothers get together, even via Skype;
nevertheless it was so awesome!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Wait...my companion is who?! 5/8/17

Anziano Ridd & Anziano Boscán
New/old mission companions


"LUKA'S..."

Hey fam!

Well, we had some transfers this week. Oh boy, were they a surprise. So I got the call Monday night and it was President Pickerd (what a great guy). He told me I was going to be transferred to Rome 1 (the one with the Vatican City), still in the zone, and that I would still be a zone leader. Not only that, my new companion is going to be Anziano...wait for it.... Boscán!! Yes, my MTC companion. Yes, we are best friends already. So needless to say, I'm excited to be able to work with him in the mission field.

As for the new District, we have a group of studs. There are Anziano Boscán and I as joint Zone leaders and District leaders, then Sorelle Crandell (from my MTC group) and Wise; and then Sorelle Ensign and Erickson. It's gonna be a solid District, especially because we are all pretty seasoned missionaries by now.

We went to church this Sunday, and it was such an awesome ward. It's huge, first of all; and all the people speak Italian and most speak Spanish...so that is super sick (awesome). The members are all amazing and in gamba. There are a ton of returned missionaries in the ward, too. I'm amazingly excited for this transfer.

Anyways, last Friday we had a huge gathering of mission leaders in Rome. We had our mission leadership council and it went great. It was a cool opportunity to see Sorella Tacchi and Anziano Alexander from my MTC group. I got to see a ton of friends from the mission, too.

Next week is Mother's Day and I am pumped to get to talk to all y'all.

Love you a ton.

Anziano Ridd

PS - I went to the Vatican again.





Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Labor Day! 5/1/17

Failed gelato run

Ward BBQ at the park

Hey fam! 

Today is Liberation Day! It's also the day we get our transfer calls. Liberare in Italian mean "to rid!"  Today is also the day that Rome gets to see if they get rid of Anziano Ridd.***

With that being said, the week flew by like a bullet. We were so busy the whole time and saw a lot of cool things. Cool things meaning... new investigators and people who are awesome.

I'll jump into metro miracles for the week. For those who asked me, yes, we find 80% of the people on metros who are new investigators. So - JS. He is a great guy from Nigeria who was living in Pescara, a city on the east coast of Italy. We saw him on the metro and he told us he was a member. Wow, right? So we scheduled to meet with him, and when we did, we discovered he is NOT a member YET. He hasn't been baptized but assumed he is a member because he came to church for a long bit. He also said he needs to study it out to be sure he wants to join the church, because when he does he will never go back on his decision.

Then we met AL. He is the brother of MO from the other week. We found him alone on a metro, and as we were talking with him, we discovered he and MO had the same last name. What gave it away is when he spoke English with the same accent, hahaha. So we are planning on meeting him next week too.

Oh and I got to do a scambio on Saturday with my MTC companion, Anziano Boscán.

Sunday was pretty cool. There were three return missionaries that came back to visit:  Anziano Da Ponte, Anziano Blazzard, and Sorella Mika (used to be Gates). That was super cool because after church we had a "Linger Longer" and ate food with the whole ward. We also had two new investigators on church from Egypt. They are really cool and strong Christians.

This morning for Pday we tried to go to the Gelato Festival, but it opens at 2:00...and we have plans to get lunch with the ward at a park for Labor Day. So we said forget it.

Then I had one of my favorite Pdays ever, because we had a ward BBQ at the park. We ate, chatted, joked, and played games. It was so fun. I love these people with all my heart, and for their sake I need to declare that ROME 3 IS THE BEST WARD IN THE WORLD.  Si sta bene qua.

Anyways it was a great week. Next week I'll tell you where I am writing from!

Love,
Anziano Ridd

*** I totally thought it was Liberation Day today...apparently that
was last week and this week it’s Labor Day...but it was so clever I
didn't change it. Bear with me guys.



Monday, April 24, 2017

The Italian Talent - 4/24/17

The ward talent show
7 kilo porchetta (delicious Italian pork) 

Good morning fam!

This week was dang busy and super enjoyable.

We will start with the people highlights. MN, the Albanian investigator we have, is a gem. The guy is doing all he needs to right now, reading, praying, and coming to church whenever it is possible. He is learning well and willing to meet with us about twice a week. I love MN; he is such a great guy. Then there is MO; he is a new investigator that we met on a metro (like normal). He speaks perfect English and actually has been translating for his church from English to Italian. He was so excited to hear about the “restored gospel.” Then I met a guy that was literally searching for the truth. His name was RW and he is so excited to get a Book of Mormon. This week was awesome for meeting people on public transportation.

Then last Saturday we had a big talent show in church. It was super fun and the members loved it. Of course, at the end we had a ton of food, including a 7 kilo porchetta. Sooo delicious. My favorite talent was by one of the sisters in the ward. She went up there and taught us how to make a pasta. It's was one of those "Only in Italy" moments - hahaha.

Sunday was pretty good. I gave a talk this week on missionary work, but a based a ton of it off of a talk from Anziano Hales. It's the October 2012 talk called "Being A More Christian Christian." I recommend everyone to give that a good read; it is amazing. (To read or listen to this talk, click here). It was cool - in part of the talk I quoted our Mission President...and this week he was in our Sacrament meeting. That doesn't happen too often.

Today we played zone calcio. Turned out that Anziano Bourne and I were the only ones from our zone, and the rest were from Rome East. It was a ton of fun.

I love you all. Thanks for all the support!

Anziano Ridd

Anziano Ridd and Anziano Youngblood

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Buona Pasquetta!!? 4/17/17

Castel Sant'Angelo


Good morning and Happy little Easter!

Today in Italy it is a holiday called Pasquetta, which is just a continuation of the party on Easter. The young people put it like this: Pasqua is a day to be with family and party, but Pasquetta is a day to party with your friends. What a way to celebrate Jesus Christ's saving Atonement. (!!!).

Anyways, this week was pretty solid; it was so many things together so I'll keep it short and interesting.

On Wednesday morning, we had to do quite a few calls to set up appointments, when we randomly received a call. It was a potential we found the day before and it went like this: (literal Italian to English translation):

Anziano Bourne: "Ready, I am Elder Bourne."
MN: "Hey, I am at the church, where are you?"
Anziano Bourne: "What? We are close. We will be there in just a second."
MN: "Ok, I'll wait here."

The next 15 minutes we were in a dead sprint to get from our apartment to the church, which was not seconds away. But thank goodness we did, because MN came to another lesson and to church on Sunday. He is a 30 year old guy from Albania and has amazing faith in Jesus Christ.

Also right now it is strawberry season here. Oh my gosh, the strawberries are the best thing ever. As the Italians say, "The fruit and veggies in southern Italy taste as God intended them to taste." So the other day Anziano Bourne and I bought 2 boxes of strawberries (not just little boxes ~ BIG boxes) and went around handing them out to people. We originally bought them for us...but that was the most fun finding method I have done in awhile. I had a mile-wide smile on my face, hahaha.

One thing that was also awesome is that I went on a scambio with Anziano Dunn. He is the most energetic missionary ever; I have no doubt in my mind. He is a great guy from Utah and plays lacrosse. We had a great scambio and had the chance to find quite a few people. THE FINALE. We got invited to go to our Bishop's house for Pasqua (Easter). We went and he had invited about 30 other people too. So we had tons of food and grilled up tons of meat (yum). The Italian tradition is to eat lamb, so we had amazing lamb skewers. We also got a chance to talk a ton with some less active members there, and because of that, one is now progressing to become an active member. We are excited and hope that soon enough he will go on a mission. Also I got to talk to a member that is from Palermo, and oh man, do I miss that place. It was a great Easter for me this year.

I hope all of you take a bit to reflect on why we should believe in Jesus Christ. I know He is my Savior and He gives me guidance every day.

I love you all. Have a great Easter.

Anziano Ridd
Anziano Ridd with Johnny Di S from Palermo
Pasqua (Easter) BBQ