Tuesday, May 31, 2016

2 Conferences and No Food - 5/31/16

Zone Conference with Presidente & Sorella Waddoups
(photo credit to Waddoups' Rome Italy Mission Blog -  grazie!)
Anziano Ridd, sharing his "beginning" testimony in Zone Conference
(photo credit to Waddoups' Rome Italy Mission Blog)
Anziano Ridd with his friend, FL (aka Santa)
Anziano Moraes, Anziano Jensen, Anziano Bellows & Anziano Ridd
Ciao Family!

Wow, it's been a very busy week! So pretty much it was taken over by meetings and things.

We got the opportunity to do some good finding early in the week and have 3 new investigators. One is more promising than the others, because 2 are from Bangladesh and we are not sure how much they actually understand. But hopefully they can keep trying to understand. Then on Thursday we had interviews with President Waddoups. The next day we had Zone Conference. On Saturday we had 2 meetings for Stake Conference, and on Sunday we had Stake Conference again. So the week was really packed full of meetings.

With how the week went we didn't get to teach DM this week, but we were able to see him at English course. He does have a baptismal date, but that's going be pushed back a week or 2 - but I think he really wants to be baptized. His friend didn't come to English course so next week we will see him.

I really loved Zone Conference. Specifically, we went over the first lesson and finding. So that was super awesome. I also got to give my birth testimony and Anziano Bellows gave his death testimony. My biggest take-away from it was probably that of goals and planning. It's so important to have goals that we work for at all times so we can improve and reach these goals. The way we do that is to make a plan to achieve these things every day.

“I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don’t set goals in our life and learn how to master the techniques of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential. When one learns to master the principles of setting a goal, he will then be able to make a great difference in the results he attains in this life.”
 –Elder M. Russell Ballard

Ok, so Anziano Bellows left on Friday, and that means Anziano Moraes, Jensen and I are in a legendary tripanionship with a ZL, a DL and a Verdino (ZL = Zone Leader, DL =  District Leader & Verdino = Greenie!). So yeah, we love it so much. That Saturday we had few interesting appointments in the tripanionship. Anziano Ray will replace Bellows.

Then on Saturday and Sunday we had Stake Conference. That was super awesome. We had a Seventy from Costa Rica come and teach us about the theme of the conference, Self-Reliance. It was a really good conference and I think it is exactly what the Stake needed. Sadly, since it was a Stake Conference it was at a location that was further away, so we didn't end up getting any investigators to church this week.  But this next week will be amazing. We are gonna get all of our investigators pumped about baptism and find whomever the Lord has prepared for us.
It has been a great week and I am excited to see how I can help the people of Italy come to Christ this upcoming week and transfer. 

Today I am sitting in the questura, waiting for Anziano Jensen to get his fingerprinting done…sad Pday. Oh well, it is what it is. It's still fun to sit and talk to some great friends.

But now we are going to go buy food because of all the missionaries that ate our food over the conference weekend. Yay!!!

I love you all. Keep your head up and realize how blessed you are.

Anziano Ridd

"Decide where you are going to go and walk in that direction.”         
-Elder Obando Vindas
We ate a big burger! 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Scambio in Trap town - 5/23/16

We went to Monreale for P-day and saw the Cathedral of Monreale

Hey family!

So this week was cool. Every week is though, hahahah. Always so busy and amazing how fast they go.

Ok, I'll go through the best stuff…and interesting stuff.

So first off, I had a bunch of permesso stuff at the beginning of the week so I was at the questura (police office) more than I would have liked to have been. But I don't have to do that again till next month when I have an Italian "culture" class. So yay. Interesting Monday. We had a decent lesson with S. He just really doesn't like the thought of praying because of things that have happened in his past.

On Tuesday and Wednesday I went to Trapani to do a scambio (an exchange) with Anziano Spencer. He's an awesome guy also from Texas. So we get to say "Noi siamo Texani" (We are Texans) when we are together! Lol. We had an awesome experience together. He felt prompted to swing by a potential’s house, who had never let missionaries in before. We got there and she let us right in. It was amazing. The Lord had softened her heart with some things that had happened that morning. Also the next day we visited a less active member who had yelled at Anziano Spencer the night before and said that if we were late, he would never talk to the church again. Well things happened and buses were missed and we ended up running across Trapani to get there on time. We got there soaked in sweat but it was worth it. Great lesson.

We had some good lessons with our investigators this week. We got a hold of DA this week. He really like to bash with what he thinks the Bible means... So yeah, kinda hard but he is a good guy. Then we met with S. He's awesome and progressing slowly. He is really skeptical of all religion though. And DM had a bunch of good lessons with us this week. He has a baptism day set for June 19 and I hope he can make it. He definitely is progressing and doing awesome, but sadly he didn't come to church because something came up. If we can get him to come, he will be on fire. I love him; he's so fun.

Then we went to a baptism with DM, his friend, P (who we teach this week), and M. They really liked it and are excited to work toward baptism. That was so awesome for everyone there.

Sadly we didn't meet with C or L this week. Next week.

To answer your questions, Mamma mia –
  • I have a very small shower that has warm water. I can't complain too much, hahaha.
  • We have all of those (stove, oven, microwave). YAY. So we cook and make food a lot. And our fridge is pretty normal, but small for 4 elders - hahaha. Still not bad. The freezer is pretty small however…
  • We have a washer, so that's nice, but we air dry all our stuff (no dryer).
  • I eat too much. Members feed us maybe 2 times a week and that's always TOO MUCH, but delicious. We also make really good food for ourselves for lunches and such. I like granola or eggs in the morning, but that's my thing.
  • We have A/C...but not like full A/C. It's good though. Not every place has A/C and it's really hot here right now, so it will just keep getting better. I'll look tan after this summer - hahaha. It's a lot like Texas heat. Very humid, but the shade helps us sweat a bit less.
I have been loving personal study and have read lots of talks, plus the Book of Mormon and Jesus the Christ. One talk I loved this week wasHonesty - A Moral Compass” by James E. Faust. Check it out of you get the chance. (Click here to read or listen to this talk)

Today we went to Monreale and saw a pretty sick cathedral, and then went "shopping" with Anziano Bellows because he dies (completes his mission) this week. Fun day.

Ok, I'll finish with some interesting stuff. So here in Italy there is a thing called "Culpa d'aria." This is the belief that all Italians swear by, that if you walk under an air conditioner and get the cold air blown on you, you will get sick. It's just funny that they all believe this.

And our less active, FL (he looks like Santa Claus), gave us some advice this week. He said, "Boys, it's getting hot outside. If you look, there are always 2 sides of the street. If you are hot, walk on the shady side. But if you like the sun, walk on the sunny side." Then he stopped. We thought there would be more...but that was it. Wise advice though; we heed his words every day.

Anyways, I love all of you! Thanks for the love and support y'all give me. I can't wait for this next week. Have a great week!

Anziano Ridd

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Battesimo di Carne - 5/16/16

Mondello. We went on a hike here for P-day.
Hey Family!

This week was good…in an interesting way.

I'll start off with our new investigator, D. He's a great guy who has come to English Course for a few weeks, who is also interested in the Book of Mormon and what we believe. So, we got the chance to teach him the first 2 lessons this week. Sadly, he couldn't come to church this week because he was out of town. We have been teaching him lessons with his friend M, who is an investigator of the other Anziani (Anziani = Elders). Kind of a strange situation, but it's been working well. Anyway, he is an awesome guy and he really loves family.

We had a good lesson with our other investigator S too. He really studies the Book of Mormon, and comes to the lessons with notes on what he's read and lots of questions. That's really good, and he has good questions also. The big thing with him is that he needs to pray, which is something he is not super fond of. I hope that he will be a lot more into it during this next week. I guess we will see how much of a desire he has to know.

Sadly, this week we couldn't meet with L, who has a baptismal date. Maybe this next week he will be a bit less busy.

Saturday was the day of the battesimo di carne. Pretty much some of the coolest ward member take us out to eat Sicilian and Palermitano foods. Btw - that's not really that amazing...because it's not real meat that Americans eat. So here is what I ate and I'll add pics. Cow cheek, cow intestine lining, cow stomach, “other” intestine, colon of veal, lamb colon, bone meat, spleen crudo and other unspeakable parts of a cow...yeah, not really tasty things...but now I can enter heaven, haha. Baptism of meat is required, right? Hahaha.

Anyway, Sunday was cool. I loved church, and after church we had lunch at a member's house. I ate soooooooo much food. Then after this, we were fed by another new member. I felt so big and full…lol. It was a good day though. I got to have raw oyster too. That was interesting.

Ok, now for today. We went to Mondello and went for a hike. It was super sick (awesome). There is an old man that lives in the lighthouse at the top. It's super pretty and really interesting. There are a lot of stories, but that's for a different time. I have like no time right now.

I love all of you!

Anziano Ridd

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Festa Della Mamma (Mother's Day) - 5/9/16

P-day Calcio (Soccer) with the Zone

I believe this is the homemade pizza that Anziano Ridd and his comp made this week.
Check out the creativity on this weight set...water bottle weights!
Hey Family!

This will be short because I don’t have a lot of time.

Pretty much this week was sweet and action-packed. I worked really hard with my comp and got a decent amount done. Sadly lots of our investigators bailed out on us…hopefully next week will be better for that, but we did a lot of good finding. This next week will be awesome, because we will be able to meet a lot of the people we found!!! Yay!

Ok, the language is super interesting because half of the time I have no idea what people are saying, but then I realize it is Sicilian – hahaha. So I’m gonna just learn my Italian better, then start on that.

So yesterday was the best to Skype y’all. I mean…I haven’t been in the field for even 2 weeks and I got to talk to y’all. Super fun. I hope you had a wonderful day, Mama!

We had a busy P-day today. We all met up and played zone calcio (soccer). It was super fun and it took like 3 hours, so that’s probably why I don’t have a ton of time. But then we went to the “tie cave,” which is some guy’s garage, pretty much. He sells tons of ties for super cheap, so – he and the elders have a really tight bond, hahaha.

Anyway, my favorite scriptures this week were these:
Alma 36:24
Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

1 Peter 3:15
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

Ether 12:4
Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.

Anyways, I loved this week. I love all of you! Have a great week!!!

Anziano Ridd

Note from the Mamma - 
We had a great Skype call on Mother's Day from Anziano Ridd! It was so fun to talk with him! Here are a few highlights from our call ~

*When traveling to Sicily by train, the train is transported on a ferry across the Straits of Messina before being split into two parts and continuing on the rail tracks in Sicily. So, Anziano Ridd rode on both a train and a boat at the very same time to arrive in Palermo, Sicily! 

*Anziano Ridd mostly walks, or takes a bus or tram, around Palermo. Palermo is a city of approximately 655,000. 

*Anziano Ridd assists in teaching English lessons (discussions) with people who want to learn English. He and the other missionaries teach twice a week, and there are 3 levels of classes (discussions) offered. They have great attendance at these lessons. 

*His blonde hair seems to draw people in to help him with whatever he needs (directions, Italian pronunciation, etc). 

*Anziano Ridd really loves eating both cannoli and gelato (he's loved every flavor of gelato so far, especially the peach). He and his companion had 2 eating appointments for lunch last week. (Grazie!)

*Most shops shut down between 1:00 and 4:00pm (13:00 - 16:00) for pranzo (lunch). It's hard to find people out and about at this time. This is when most Italians eat their main meal. 

*There are lots of stray dogs and cats everywhere (unneutered).

*He enjoys living in their 4-man apartment! They are on floor 6 and there are no elevators. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Green is My Favorite Color & Welcome to Palermo, Sicily! 5/2/16

Entrance to Messina Harbor with statue of Madonnina Port Protectress. Sicily.

Anziano Ridd & his trainer/District Leader, Anziano Jensen
Palermo, Sicily
Cathedral of Palermo
Hey family!

Okay, so I am a greenie.

Now that it's out of the way, I can get into this crazy long week of travel and more travel and travel documents.

Ok, I'm gonna start on Tuesday ‘cause that's when I arrived in Rome. So I got to Rome. That day the APs took us out to check out some of the cool sights in Rome to keep us awake...so like 28 hours of no sleep. That was cool. The next day we woke up and spent the day doing training. Speaking of which - we do have iPads so that's super legit. After we got trained on stuff in the mission office we got to open our "golden envelopes" with our first areas and companions. That was pretty cool. I opened mine and I got Palermo as my first area. SO FREAKING AWESOME. My companion's name is Anziano Jenson.

So on Thursday I spent the whole day (15 hours) on a train going to Palermo (it's on Sicily). Yeah that was a long ride, hahahah. But I got there and met my comp and ate a cannoli. So life wasn't so bad. We get along great and I don't speak Italian right now so it's nice to have a companion who does. We haven't taught anyone yet, but we have done quite a bit of finding. That's cool because the people in Palermo are nice and love to talk for the most part.

Fun note, my first night I ate a cow kidney sandwich. Not bad.

That was pretty much what we did Friday and Saturday except we started to do all the stuff for an Italian permesso, which is pretty much my real passport. That takes a bit of running around.

Sunday was cool. I finally got to meet the ward. It is a legit ward and has like 80 people in it. Since it was fast and testimony meeting, I got to bear my testimony. It went okay, and I kept it short to be sure.

Italy is amazing and beautiful. Much of that comes from the people; they are so awesome. The buildings also look terrific and have so much history.

We live in a 4-man house. I am a greenie (“new”), my comp is the DL and the other 2 are the ZLs. It is so much fun. I think we have the best house in the mission. The other elders are Bellows (on his death transfer) and Moraes (Brazilian). So yeah, we love it, except the apartment is on the 6th floor of a very high building so our legs will be ripped.

P-day. Today was p-day. It was really fun. We went to the catacombs and then to the Cathedral of Palermo. After that I had my first Aranchine. It was soooooo good. Not healthy but delicious. So it was a cool day. So excited to start this first full week.


Anz Ridd

P-day in Palermo, Sicily with the missionaries!