Friday, April 29, 2016

Made it to Rome, Italy! 4/26/16

Presidente and Sorella Waddoups with Anziano Ridd
 The new missionaries in Anziano Ridd's group arrived from the 
Missionary Training Centers in both Spain and Provo, Utah
Anziano Ridd is standing in front of the Rome Italy Temple, which is under construction.
We are praying for its speedy completion! 
At the Colosseum

"Hey Mama and family! Just a quick email to tell you I am alive and in Italy." 

We received this email from Lukas (Anziano Ridd) on Tuesday, April 26. On Monday morning, he and about 7 other missionaries flew out of Salt Lake City, then on to JFK in New York, and then on to Rome. (Let me tell you, it was so thrilling to receive the email and photos!! Plus to see the "borrowed" photos from the mission does a mom's heart good...)

In Rome, he met his new mission president and his wife, President and Sister Waddoups. The new missionaries were then whisked off to see many special places in Rome, including the Rome Italy temple site (under construction) and the Colosseum...amongst keep the missionaries awake and to get their jet lag under control. 

Anziano Ridd and the other new missionaries had special training and then received their new assignments and companions. They transfer to their new areas on Thursday, April 28. 

Anziano Ridd and Anziano Boscan
MTC companions
Anziano Ridd, opening his "golden envelope," which tells of his first mission area & trainer 
(photo credits to the Waddoups)

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Be a Llama - 4/21/16

Anziano Hansen and Anziano Ridd in front of the Provo Temple
Anziano Ridd and Anziano Boscan

Hey fam,

*This morning I woke the the smell of tri-tip steak and the sound of freshly popped bottles. I walked outside wearing my t-shirt (made in China) and saw a bald eagle perched on a tree. I felt the cool breeze of justice against my face, as I tasted true freedom...for one of my last mornings for...2 years. 

So, yeah...I got my travel plans this week. Here is the gist of it. I leave Utah at 8:35am on Monday morning, then get to NYC (JFK) at 3:10pm. I am there for 3 hours and leave at 6:05pm. Then I get to Rome at 8:40am on Tuesday. I will be at the SLC airport for awhile...I leave the MTC at 3:50am to get to the airport. 

Anziano Boscan and I did just great with lessons this week. We had an amazing Skype TRC with a guy in Milan. He was awesome, and his crisp northern Italian accent was incredibly easy to understand...BUT I'll be in the south and they all speak differently. I can't wait!

The language was super awesome this week. I feel like I learned the most this week and I love the language. This is good because I have to speak it all the time...BUT that will be really hard as well. I am really excited to see where my first area is. FORZA ROMA.

A couple days ago one of my teachers who was close to my heart left the MTC for good. Fratello "whale"den... you will be missed. I will send a pic probably.

We got new Italians in the MTC yesterday. That was super cool.

SO, the devotional this week was pretty great. It was a member of the Seventy. The best part was the devotional review however. In the devotional he talked about being sheep and being shepherds. Well, in the devotional review we were discussing how we can do this. Anziano Boscan is the mostly logic-minded person that you can ever meet. So he raised his hand and said, "We can't be sheep if we are supposed to be shepherds...and we can't be shepherds if we are supposed to be sheep. It is impossible to be both. So, which one do we be? The answer is llamas. Any good shepherd has llamas in his flock...but why? Because llamas look close enough to sheep that the sheep follow them. Now, there is one BIG difference between llamas and sheep. When wolves come, sheep run. But llamas - llamas CHARGE. And when the llamas charge, so does the whole flock of sheep that are following the llamas. So the wolves get hit by a tidal wave of wool." 

SO yeah. Be a Llama.

I love you all!

Anziano Ridd

*Evidently Anziano Hansen's dad sent him tri-tip steak and 2 dozen bottles of root beer this week...sounds like it was much-loved! 
Anziano Ridd (middle) with teachers Fratello Sloan (left) and Frat Whale (right).
They are great!
(l-r) Anziano Ridd, Elder Dugquem (going to Thailand) and Anziano Hansen

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Goats and Benches - 4/14/16

The Whole Zone!
Back Row: Sorella Perkins, Dustin, Crandell, Anziano Boscan, Ridd, Alexander, Hansen, 

  Sorella Mckenzie, Anderson, McCormick
Front Row: Sorella 
Jarnagin, Tacchi, Fife, Smedley, Lo Russo, Stevens

 Hey Family!

Wow, IT’S P-DAY again! So this week flew by...JUST like the first month of my mission. It is lots and lots of work, but I like that cause it keeps things going fast and makes me work hard. Thank goodness, because if I were not working hard I would totally not be improving. AND trust me when I say...I am improving in leaps and bounds...not only in the language but also spiritually. 

I will start off with my language progress. So, last Friday I went a whole day speaking Italian. I am pretty terrible. BUT, what matters is it was fun! I learned a lot of things to focus on when I am studying the language, and learned that, yes, I can speak enough that I can get simple things across to people. After that day I was like brain took a lot of stress on my brain to do it, so I am doing it a lot more now. On Wednesday I did it again, and I am doing it again on Friday. 

While I am talking about language - we did our first Skype TRC this week. We talked to a woman named Sorella Lufgreen. She actually lives in Arizona now. But it was HARD...dat accent. But I learned so much from it and can’t wait to do it again next week. I don’t like Skype much makes it hard for me to show the needed facial expressions and gestures to get my point across. 

NEXT WEEK WE GET NEW ITALIANS! So we get 5 new people: 3 Elders and 2 sisters. I can’t wait till that will make it super interesting for the last bit we are here in the MTC.

Genarro and Alessia, our investigators, both have baptismal dates and are working toward it. That’s super cool. I am getting pumped this week because I get to teach the Law of Chastity; and of course all the other commandments, but that one will be most interesting. Oh funny thing... Anziano Boscan and I sang to our investigator. I think it took away the Spirit...hahah not really, but it was funny. Lessons were learned. We also have been SO much better at preparing lessons inspired by the Spirit and to the investigators’ needs. Yay investigators.

Also, this week was amazingly spiritual. Last Sunday was Fast and Testimony meeting. I had the amazing opportunity to share my testimony at church. Thank goodness it was in English, because I can’t mess that language up too much. I bore my testimony on repentance, and it was a super awesome Sunday. Repentance is like the best thing here in the MTC. There is so much change I have been going through and it is only possible through the Atonement. The MTC may be kinda repetitive, BUT it is so amazing if you just work your 100% all the time. 

Our devotional on Tuesday was from Bishop Waddell of the Presiding Bishopric. He did awesome. He spoke on how to look through the eyes of Christ and see all the people the Lord puts in our way to help. All in all this week was simply awesome with all the personal revelation I received. 

Ok, I will put one actually interesting thing in this email. Italians have a love for tongue twisters. The title is inspired from this weird one.

“Sopra la panca la crapra campa. Sotto la panca la capra crepa.” 

It literally means, “On the bench the goat lives. Under the bench the goat dies.” So yeah - pretty cool.

Love all of you!
Anziano Ridd

PS - Here is an amazing talk:

Remember to be like Jesus and Turn Out.

Friday, April 8, 2016

WOOOAAHHH Living On a Prayer - 4/7/16

Elder Ridd & Elder Boscan - at the orthodontist's office in Provo
Ciao Family!

Okay, so this week was really busy...but I think that’s ‘cause all weeks here are. 

I'll start with the best part of the week. General Conference. Wow. Over the course of 2 days I have never sat on my butt longer for a good must have been at least 26 hours during those 2 days I was sitting. It was all worth it though. I think Priesthood session was magnificent and was my favorite. Elder Nelson gave an AMAZING talk. (Click here to read or listen to this talk!). All I have to say is thank you so much for being an amazing father, Dad! I couldn't be close to what I am and will be without you in my life. 

But it’s so hard to pick a favorite talk, because so many were great. It's kinda sad to see President Monson not looking too hot. Sunday night we had a devotional from Vocal Point which was actually pretty great...I have to admit, I gained a bit more respect for them and they can really sing “Nearer My God to Thee.”

On Tuesday night we had a very much-needed devotional for me - probably my favorite devotional so far. It was by Elder Ardern of the 70. He talked on how to be the best missionary we can be, and what we can do to ensure that. On a kinda funny the middle of his talk there was a bat that was flying around the room. Weird.

Some things that helped break up the MTC routine this week were: On Sunday I broke my permanent retainer again, so on Tuesday I went to the outside world to get my retainer glued back in. Not super exciting....BUT in my circumstances it was thrilling. Then on Wednesday we got to host the new missionaries again. That is always interesting. It was a beautiful day, so it was nice to be outside for some of it. I also had TRC that night which was fun. I realized even if I can’t say what I want to in Italian yet, the Spirit will do it for me if I try and get close. Part of my method of learning Italian (in addition to classes & study) is just guessing at random words in conversation. 50% of the time, it works every time. 

Tomorrow Anziano Boscan and I are speaking only Italian. It will be interesting - hahahha. I will have to tell y'all how that goes. I think we will do it a few more times next week. I am eager to go into the field and be a real missionary, BUT I see how important this time in the MTC is. Language is coming...I'm getting way better at basic sentence flow and such. This week we are going into a lot more grammar and that's super nice.

All in all the MTC is pretty great. (3 weeks down & 3 to go!).

So here is the interesting stuff that happened this week. 

About a week ago I saw the “wall sit” record for the MTC and said...I may not be the most athletic person, BUT I do have the willpower to sit on a wall for longer than anyone else. So last week I broke the wall sit record for guys, which is now 8:05 minutes. Now I can’t say much...the girls’ record is 15:00. 

This week, Anziano Alexander and Anziano Hansen were teaching our agnostic investigator Alessia. It was the first lesson they had with her. She has a boyfriend who has MS and it’s a big worry for her. 

Time for chapter 2 of Anziano Ridd's language confusion. During our 2nd lesson with Alessia, I was trying to tell her, "I am so excited you decided to turn to faith in this hard time." Well....I got my words mixed up...Chaos Ensued.

Thanks for the packages and letters! Mom, you are the real MVP! Chips and salsa were amazing! 

I hope y'all are all doing great! Love you all! 

Anziano Ridd

In bocca al lupo
Our teacher
Anziano Boscan

Friday, April 1, 2016

Arrivederci to a Good Friend...& Please Send Chips & Salsa - 3/31/16

Anziano Ridd is saying "Arrivederci" to his good friend, Cectra Middleton.
She flew out to Yekaterinburg, Russia on Easter Sunday to begin her
missionary work.
Hey Family!!

This week was pretty good. I feel like it went by quickly as I write this, but in the moment it seemed like a century. We are so busy all the time that it’s hard to tell. 

On Easter, Elder Ballard came and gave us an awesome devotional on Christ and shared a story of his grandfather, Melvin Ballard, seeing a vision of Jesus Christ in the temple. He gave the missionaries an awesome blessing as well.

Easter Sunday was also the departure date of Cectra Middleton from the MTC to Russia. She was so ready to go out and serve. I know she is gonna do amazing work out there and just love the people. It was kinda cool, ‘cause I got the opportunity to see her before she left to go there.\

So here is how Church works here in the MTC. (LOOK MAMA, I’M ANSWERING Q's). We have a branch presidency, which is like a bishopric. They lead and preside, and then the "members" are my zone. We have my district, and also the other district of Milan sisters. Of course 2 talks are picked randomly from the missionaries so that’s always super exciting. Together we have 15 missionaries total in the "ward" - a small but pretty awesome group of people. I’m super excited for General Conference here though. 
(Click here to watch & listen to inspirational messages from this weekend’s semi-annual General Conference, starting Saturday morning, April 2nd at 10am MDT - 11am Houston/CDT - through Sunday afternoon.

Well, it sounds like yall had a fun week! A trip over to Waco and all that jazz. 

Ok, I’m gonna do this once for Mutter's sake. Here is the MTC schedule pretty much. We have two 3-hour blocks of classes where we are taught by teachers every day; then we have about 3 hours of meals, 1½-ish hours of personal study, 1 hour of companion study, 1 1/2 hours of language study, and 1 hour of exercise time each day. It’s kind of lame being on the same schedule. But I make it fun by just...idk by just being myself and it’s fun... 

Last Tuesday we had a nice devotional from Elder Vinson of the 70. He talked on Christ and faith. He used a lot of Old Testament scriptures...and I realize I probably ought to study those more.

Okay, so Anziano Boscan and I have been flying in our Italian knowledge...that is - till about Monday. We decided yesterday that we need to do something so that we keep progressing. So this week we are going to step up our game. We plan to do a day of only Italian next Friday, and then speak our language 2x more. We also are going to start learning Italian grammar on our own so we can speak better....grammar is so important.

Okay, so funny stuff this week. On Monday we started to teach our new investigator, Gennaro. We were giving a commitment to read the Book of Mormon. I was telling him that to understand what it can do for him and what it is about, starting with the intro is the best thing to do. I mixed up the word “start” with “cook,” and I pretty much told him the Book of Mormon is a great cookbook. YAY. 

Yesterday we hosted new missionaries and that was super cool! 

I’ll end with my spiritual note for the week...

I had an impression while I was chatting with Elder Hanson one night before sleeping. Pretty much these words just popped in my head, "Who am I to get in the way of the Lord's Work?" I thought about this for a bit and realized...WOW, this is true. All the Lord wants me to do is give my 100% to Him. Not more. If I give Him that, He will do all the rest. The only thing I can do to stop the work for now would be not giving my all to Him. Being discouraged is kinda a problem with some of the members of my district, so this was super amazing that I could share this with them.

Anyways, I love yall!

Anziano Ridd

Nel bocca al lupo

BTW - if you wanna send me a package the best thing to send is chips and salsa or queso. <3 
Studies & selfies in the classroom!  :)