Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Vedrai Miracoli!!! Se Crederai!

Hey Famiglia!

(Title translation: "You will see miracles ~ if you believe!")

So this week was pretty great. Napoli is huge and beautiful and delicious and loving and a whole bunch of other stuff. To say the least, I love this place. Every time I think about the city, I feel a surge of energy jump through my veins. This city is ready. My gosh, this city is so ready to be harvested. The work is just about to blow up, and all it takes is a little faith - which includes hope and elbow grease.

I am going to jump right into the work that we have been doing recently and then explain how it's gonna blow up in a bit. So first I want to introduce our “very much in love with America” new investigator, C. He was a contact we had in the phone and we gave him a call. He answered and we set up an appointment. WHAT A MIRACLE. He was SO excited to talk with Americans, but also about Mormons. We had an amazing first lesson and he came to church on Sunday. Then we have F. She is the bomb. We had a few lessons with her. She is about 50 and she is SO ready to be baptized. Usually we have a lot more investigators, but next week they get back from vacation. So we are pumped to teach everyone.

The zone leaders, Anziano Gay and Anziano Anderson, had a baptism this week. S (from Nigeria) is now a member of the church. We are so excited for him. Also, I gave a tiny talk in sacrament meeting this week. It was on the family, and thank goodness I have some awesome parents that I used in the talk. It went well, but we were low on time so I kept it brief. 
The ward is super nice. I love them already, but I am still getting to know them. 

So, I am on the final lap of the Book of Mormon (everything after Alma), and I was really liking 3 Nephi (Click to read). Jesus comes and establishes a higher law among the Nephites, just like He did in Jerusalem. I had been thinking about this a lot, and decided that I really wanted to make the effort to live by a higher law. So I set some goals, and Anziano Mercado is on board with it, too. We are going to live by the highest law that we can, and watch the blessings and miracles that the Lord will provide. I can't wait.

I love you all. Forza Napoli!

Anz Ridd

Answers to a few questions from Mom & Dad:

• The earthquake didn't affect us at all in Naples. I hear all about it, though. I have heard some people here claim that they felt it, but you can bet that I was 100% asleep at 3am when it happened. I get so tired that I sleep all I can until I wake up at 6.  As for impact, these Italians are sad for the people there (we all are), but they complain more that it was the government’s fault. Lol.

• Napoli is great. It’s been pretty windy and nice while I have been here, so I like it. The branch here is pretty sweet. Our mission leader is a guy from New Zealand named S and he is super sick. I like the city a lot, but I still am learning it a ton of the city - like what is the best path to take to find the most people, and - in general, where members and things are. So it's a lot of relying on my comp to kinda help me out there.

• We do teach English courses. We do that across the mission, and it is also one of the best ways to get solid investigators.

• So I am going on a healthy diet right now - so I hopefully will eat healthy for the next bit. We have good stores near our house in which we can shop.  But I eat pizza. That's allowed. It's magical here, Mom. It is MAGIC.

• The ward is super nice. I love them already, but I am still getting to know them.
 It's amazing to be working as the Lord's servant full-time. I will do all I can! 
We found a random rooster in the road! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Forza Napoli! 8/22/16

Napoli (Naples)

Hey fam! 

So I write you today from the beautiful city of Napoli (Naples). I am SO happy to be here and to serve the people here. It was pretty rough leaving Palermo, though.

Ok, so Palermo was definitely sick (amazing). I felt really good about leaving though, because I feel like I fulfilled the things the Lord wanted me to do there. Transfers were crazy. I got to Napoli by plane at midnight because it was delayed…but I am here!

The branch here is super sick! It’s got like 80 people and then the Pozzuoli Ward is in our building right now because theirs is under construction. So we had a lot of people, even some Americans from the Navy base in Pozzuoli. We had 11 missionaries in the church on Sunday. It was insane. Hahahah. Anyways, I love the branch already!

I am so excited to be here in Napoli, and my new companion – Anziano Mercado - and I are gonna do amazing things this transfer. We get along great, so I am excited.

I love all y’all!
Anziano Ridd

BTW – the pizza here is amazing!
And man, I am blessed. I went from one best city to the other best city!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Ferragosto!!! 8/15/16

Anziano Ridd & Anziano Cowden eating Brioche

Note: This is late because of no internet service yesterday. (I have permission).

*By the way, I go to Napoli (Naples) with Anziano Mercado!

Hey Family!

Today is Ferragosto! (An Italian holiday). Because of this, there is almost no one in the city. And because of that, we all do deep cleaning today – so I spent today cleaning the house. It is amazingly clean now. So, yay for that – but it also kinda stinks because nobody works today. Literally everything is closed. We can’t go shopping today for groceries.

BUT this week they changed when transfer calls are. They were not on Saturday morning; they will be tonight. So I don’t know if I am going or staying. If I go, transfers are on Thursday (but I would probably go Friday, due to my permesso). So yeah - it will probably be an eventful week.

This week was kind of slow. Lots of people were gone because of the time of year, and I got really sick Wednesday night. Let’s just say it must have been food poisoning or something. On Thursday I felt really bad, so I slept the whole day and was better by Friday.

Besides that, we met with a couple of potentials. Mostly crossed off people not interested though. And we found some new potentials. One I’m excited about is a young family. I hope we can meet with them this week.

DM has been coming and going because apparently he is just in the country for most of the time. So I met with him and taught him a bit. We also taught P a couple of times and he was showing good progress until he didn’t come to church on Sunday. Kinda sad. But let’s hope for next week.

This week I had a lot of mission pride for some reason. I spent the whole week thinking about how this mission is definitely the best mission in the world.At least for me. But probably just in general the best in the world. :)  I mean – Paul was serving in this mission! How sick (awesome) is that!? I really do love serving as a missionary. When you talk to just about everyone on the street, it really gives you the feeling that you are in the culture and it creates a love for the people. Even when the conversation often never starts.

The scripture I want to share is Corinthians 13. (Click here to read this chapter). I've read it and watched the Bible video this week on Charity. I pretty much love this scripture and have been studying it pretty hard. I encourage all to study Charity this week. Without charity, we are nothing. (View this 3-minute video on Charity here). 

I love all y’all! Keep being amazing!

Anziano Ridd
Pile of burned stuff...? I'm thinking that used to be a car!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Mi Piace Americano Ma Sono Siciliano - 8/8/16

Hey family!!!

This week was figo (cool).

So the first thing was that I went to the questura another time...sadly I still don't have my permesso. So on transfer day I will go back. Oh well.

Ok then - we had zone conference. It was soooo good. My biggest take-away from zone conference is how our mission is going to be consecrated, and we will walk with the Lord. One of my favorite parts is the zone vision: “Many are called but few are chosen.” Everyone is in their area to find someone there. There are people prepared, otherwise we wouldn't be in our area. This is big, because in my zone there are a lot of small areas where missionaries lose some hope. I think this is a big help.

This week we did a scambio with the zone leaders. They are awesome. I went with Anziano McKenna this time and he is fantastic. He has the language down SO well. He also has a great work ethic and a way with people. He taught me a lot while I was on the scambio with him, so it was really fun.

Our investigators are okay. We are mostly trying to find a lot of new ones that are solid. DM is reading everyday. P didn't come to church. F came to church! So yeah, that's about it, hahah. Also, I have a really good feeling about our investigator, R. I hope this week we will find a ton of amazing new people. We have a lot of potential investigators we will hopefully meet this week, as well as finding new people this week. Honestly the biggest spiritual thing is when I focus on repentance. It is such an important thing to always change and focus on becoming better.

Oh - random, but we have some interesting potentials. We found out one guy was homeless when he called us from the hospital with a broken femur...he got hit by a car and wanted to live with us.

Today we had zone calico (football/soccer). It was sick. We played for like 3 hours. So yeah, that was pretty legit. That's about all that we did today. I feel like these weeks are flying by. Next Saturday is already transfer calls.

Well, it was another amazing week in Palermo. Hope y'all are all loving life in your respective areas!

Anz Ridd
"I like American but I'm Sicilian!"

Monday, August 1, 2016

Happy Birthday, Jim - 8/1/16

Hey family!

Ok so today was Anz McKenna's birthday, so that's why I dedicate the email title to him. Go Jim!

So this week was pretty crazy. So I'll start with investigators. First is DM. He had a baptism date on the 13th but is leaving on vacation in a few days and will be gone for a month. Our lessons will pick up with him again after that...and hopefully a baptism soon after, too. Then A. She successfully lowered the amount she smokes, but still smokes. She's kind of unwilling to stop completely right now, so we will be working with her a bit less. She needs to develop a testimony first…so she needs to have the desire. Then P, who is now progressing. He has been meeting with us more often, and has started reading! Yay P. We have 2 1/2 new investigators. One is a half because he is a referral we taught - but he couldn't make a sure date to meet again. But yeah, on Saturday we found a great guy at the park named RA and he has a desire to learn. We also met a guy at a gesso who had met with missionaries in the past and wants to bring to his brother to the next lesson. So that's exciting.

On Wednesday and Thursday we went to Trapani and shredded the work with them. Anziano DeFeo and I taught a new investigator, and then found 4 potentials. I learned a ton during that. If you really want to find people to teach, you can! In any city, even the "harder" ones. The key is to have faith and go talk to everyone. Sadly for Trapani, their best investigator dropped them recently. She was super cool, but just isn't ready right now.

This transfer seems to be flying by. It's crazy to think that when this transfer is over, I will have been gone just shy of 6 months. It's feels like nothing. Makes me realize how precious every day I have here is. I need make it all count and always be doing all I can.

I love the mission. It is the greatest blessing I have had in my life, and seeing others come to Christ is beautiful. I love and miss all of you and hope y'all have a great week.

I have the best mission.

Anz Ridd
Photo Credit: Laura & Brooke Roberts
PC: Laura & Brooke Roberts
PC: Laura & Brooke Roberts