Monday, September 18, 2017

The Popstar of Pescara - 9/18/17

Our new church! 
Hey guys!!!

This week was a rollercoaster ride. But like any rollercoaster, there are ups and downs, but if you are a fan of the unexpected you definitely finished satisfied. And so...let's go for a ride.

At the beginning of this week, along with our investigators that we have been teaching for the past few weeks, we picked up a few new ones for whom I am very excited. On Tuesday night, we called up out buddy LU. We played some b ball, then taught him about the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was pretty dang interested and decided
to give it a try. When we met him at the church a few days later, he was a fireball. He had read and prayed and had some great questions. We taught him about how he can grow in faith and learn the truth using Alma 32 and it hit him. He said as he read the scriptures he felt at complete peace and all warm. He continued to describe and eventually said, "It is like someone took a needle and stabbed me in the heart... but it's not the pain part." The spirit of God like a big old needle. Did I mention that this guy is 17, speaks English, Japanese, Italian, and Spanish, he raps in Spanish and Italian, he beatboxes, he is a cook in cooking school, and is a professional magician? And we met this Cuban friend balling up at the park. What. A. Stud. (Click here to read Alma 32). 

We also have some sick other new people, like AL, but maybe I'll include more down the line for these guys.

So all week, I was straight up hyped for Friday. Friday was the day MK returned to Pescara. Or so we thought. As we were organizing appointments with MK, we realized that he was planning on coming to Pescara later... which meant some problems because he needed a
baptismal interview to be baptized next week. Well, as we talked with him and his father more, we learned that Mark had changed his decision. But thank goodness it was only his decision to live with his mom here in Pescara, not baptismal decision. He is getting residency in Rome, so he will be where I met him the first time, in Rome 1 and will be baptized there! I'm excited, but of course there's always that part of me that wishes to see him get baptized. He will be in Pescara this week though, so we will get to see him and show him the NEW CHURCH!

The new church is so amazing. Guys, there is a DRINKING FOUNTAIN in the church. That's some state of the art stuff right there. It's beautiful and I can't wait to fill it this Sunday!

What touched me the most this week was that three of our investigators had some of the most sincere prayers to find the truth. That's very important, because an eternal truth is that if you ask with real intent, and seek, then you will ALWAYS find. These investigators will always receive an answer to know that the Book of Mormon is true as long as they continue to pray with sincerity and read the Book of Mormon. I know that to be true, and to be true always.

I love y'all tons!!

Anziano Ridd

PS - My companion (an amazing singer) and our investigator (who is an amazing piano player) put on a mini impromptu show in the center piazza of Pescara. There was a large crowd and a great opportunity to share the gospel. He became the popstar of Pescara that night.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Modest is Hottest - 9/11/17

The church near our house
Hey fam!

Wow, these weeks go by pretty quick. This week was pretty awesome and full of success. Let's look forward a bit. MK gets home this Friday from Rome, where the other missionaries were teaching him, and is excited for his baptism the week afterward! This next Sunday is our last in the old chapel, and then we go to the new chapel.

This week we met with some great investigators, and even gave a few some baptismal dates. LA and KE are two guys from Africa who are making great progress toward Jesus Christ and membership in his church. They came to church and loved it too. We have a bunch of other investigators who are progressing well. We also gave a bunch of our
investigators to the sisters, because they are girls and they can teach them better than we can. :)

This week I was asked to give a talk. Often this happens and they just assume I'll talk about missionary work, but this time I was given an assignment to speak on MODESTY! So yeah...I talked about modesty while the other talks were about the Book of Mormon...I'm a little bit confused still, but - go modesty!

A sick miracle happened this week. AR, an investigator from the Philippines, moved into Pescara so it's now way easier to meet and come to church! It's so awesome, because he is searching hard for the truth.

That's all for this week! Love y'all!

Anziano Ridd

Below are some additional photos from last week - Ortona, the castle, and the church we vistited on Pday.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Goodbye Sisters!!!

The castle in Ortona
Hey family!

Today was the last day in Italy for my sisters (MTC group). That means that it's been 1 1/2 years since the MTC. Sometimes it's crazy to see how far we have come.

This week was cool. We taught a good amount and have been always doing work. I went on a scambio with Anziano Mayer this week. He is a stud from Missouri. We enjoyed our time together and the opportunity we had to work.

Today, for Pday, we went to a little town called Ortona. It was pretty dang awesome and we saw the castle there. It also has the church where the apostle Thomas was buried. So I'll attach a bunch of sweet pictures so y'all can see what I have been up to.

We taught the plan of salvation this week. I always had liked to divide the lesson up into three parts: Where did we come from, Why we are here, and Where we are going. Logical right? Anyways, this week I have been feeling that the plan of salvation can be taught in a different way. So this week, we taught the plan of salvation completely centered on Jesus Christ and his purpose. I learned a lot from it and it was very effective. One thing I learned is that many people don't know why Jesus Christ is our Savior. In fact, a lot of people don't know why we have need of a Savior. So, take some time this week and think - why do you have need of Jesus Christ? What did He do for you? I know that He saved us from inevitable death - of the physical and spiritual sort - and through Him we receive the strength to change and progress. Only through Him can we receive the power to overcome these things.

I love you guys! Have a great week!

Anziano Ridd

PS – Shout out to my amazing parents who have their anniversary this week!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Broken and Fixed...and More Things Broken

Hey family!

This week was short between Pdays, but oh man, it was good.

The theme of the last few days is that everything around me is breaking, faster than I can fix it. This week I had a clogged sink, broken bed, and shirts. I started to fix the problems - I fixed the pipes under the sink, readjusted the bed, fixed a shower, and bleached the shirts. Turns out the curse runs deeper, because the bed broke again in a different way, I ripped a pair of suit pants, broke plates, pots, and the buttons of everything I own are unsewing themselves (collar buttons are killing me).  Anyways, let's hope bodies don't get involved with the rampage and less things get broken the next week

So real quick, the work is going really well. We have had a sick miracle with a guy named IG. Here is his story. While finding, Anziano McConkie and I were on a bus. We saw guy around 20 years old, and we struck up a conversation. He was Brazilian and pretty nice. We didn't think anything of it, because he didn't seem that interested in religious things. The next day, we saw him again with one of his friends, who called us over to them and asked us to teach them and touch their hearts. We taught a few basic principles while testifying, but before getting their number, they had to run and catch a bus.

The following day, Anziano McConkie and I prayed to find IG again. As we went out to find that day, we talked to a small family on a bench, whom we made eye contact with. We asked their names, and the first thing that came out of the mouth of the 16 year-old boy was...IG. Not the same IG, a different one. Five minutes into the conversation, we knew the Lord had led us here to meet and teach this IG and his girlfriend. This boy has nothing but a hard life at this point, and has had massive trials in self-worth. As we talked, these people were pretty much begging us to teach them the good gospel standards. The next day, we met again to give them Books of Mormon and teach them a bit about the restaurazione. (The Restoration). 

God is our Father and He knows us. If we need help, like our friend IG, He will provide help for us. When we have a question, He will give an answer. Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you. (Please see the following scriptures for Anziano Ridd's inspiration: Matthew 7:7 and Doctrine and Covenants 88:63).

I hope you all have a great week!

Anziano Ridd

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

ZC and Ferragosto - 8/23/17

"Squad takes the Colosseum" - Zone Conference in Rome

Zone Conference

Hey fam!

This week was pretty lit. Once again, it was the week of the biggest Italian holidays, Ferragosto. As it works, everyone doesn't work for a solid couple weeks and goes on vacation. But here in Pescara, it honestly didn't faze us at all. Yeah, we had some of the investigators that couldn't meet us, but we had a solid week. Side note: Ferragosto is where Mary, the mother of Jesus, ascended into heaven. (Doctrinal side note: this is not our belief). 

The other big thing that happened this week is that we had zone conference in Rome. Strangely enough, this is the first time I have had to travel to get to a zone conference, because in the past it was always in my city. But we got to stay at the Villa with President Pickerd, and that was fun because he is amazing. Zone conference was on fire and we discussed a lot of finding. It got me super excited to keep improving.

We got to go into the new Pescara church this week and it was so nice. I can't wait till it opens in about 20 days. And this week we met with MK. He is going to be baptized in September, but right now he is in Rome. So he is being taught by my ex comp, Anziano Boscan. The lesson we had with him was amazing, because my companion asked a really great inspired question. This led to MK telling us about his experience receiving an answer to his prayers as to whether or not to be baptized. It was a very spiritual experience.

This week, John 15 was really inspiring me. I hope also you guys can find some joy in it. (Click here to read John 15 from the New Testament). 

Anyways I think that's it for this week. I love you all and I'll keep y'all posted for the next.

Anziano Ridd


Monday, August 14, 2017

Momentum - 8/14/17

Anziano Ridd and Anziano McConkie with their friend, GV
Hey family!

This week was super solid. Anziano McConkie is a stud. We worked our butts off and saw a lot of the fruits.

MK, our man as of Saturday, is now 18. He also has a date for baptism and came to church with us yesterday. He is working on a solid testimony and being self-sufficient. It takes a lot to be converted, but it definitely gives more than it takes. He has a vision of himself and his family being sealed in the Italy Rome temple. I hope to see that day.

Last week, we worked with our elders quorum president to help us out with the missionary work and to become close with him. He is soooo cool and is a convert of 5 years. He invited us back over this week to eat lamb skewers and to meet all his family who are mostly not Mormon, so we can teach them the Gospel. It was awesome. Imagine the difference we can make if we just have barbecues and the missionaries are there to become homies with our friends. Then when they want to ask us all the hard Qs about the Gospel, all we gotta do is say, "Elders, my friend has a question for you." Also, our elders quorum president’s wife is awesome.

The miracle of this week was definitely the P family. Let me tell you the story and how awesome they are. So we met them on the street near their home. When we met, it was the mother, TZ, and the father, PO. They expressed interest in learning about what we believe, and we - of course - expressed interest in teaching that to them. They then told us about their 16-year-old daughter and 23-year-old son. Awesome. So a few weeks later and we find ourselves at their house. We started out and PO had done a bit of research, but knew he could get the real answers from us. He asked us some good questions and trusted in the answers we gave. We taught about the Restaurazione (the Restoration), and the Spirit filled the room. The understanding was there, and TZ starts to tell us that she has seen a light in us she has not seen in anyone else. PO and TZ start to explain that they have had a hard life, but feel that maybe we have something they have been missing, and they have a desire for their whole family to become more faithful. We are so excited for our next opportunity to teach them. They are truly some of the people God has prepared us to meet.

I love this church and know it is true, and nothing will bring us as much joy as the Gospel. Not to mention, nowhere else can you find the authority to make a family eternal, the greatest blessing of all.

I love you all. Have a great week!!

Anziano Ridd
Anziano McConkie and the MASSIVE new church being built!