Monday, September 26, 2016

The Boys are Back in Town - 9/26/16

Hey Fam! 

So this week was pretty sick. For the sake of brevity, I’ll cut to the good stuff. 

P and F came to church this week!!!! Yay! So now they are both on track to be baptized on the 8th of October. We cannot wait! They are so ready and have changed so much! It's amazing to see. 

Sadly, we dropped some investigators because they were not responding to us. But we are finding a lot of people who are interested in the gospel. We are excited for them to come to Christ during the next couple weeks. 

Interesting story this week. We were walking along this week and then some random dude called to us from his balcony, and told us he needed us. So we went up into his apartment, where he told us he wanted his wife to get a blessing. So we gave a blessing to his wife, who has pancreatic cancer. And now they are now interested in the gospel. So, a note to the wise - when you are doing finding, and diligently trying your best, the Lord will have people find you. 

We meet in a church building that used to be a car dealership. It's pretty great; I like it a lot. 

Oh, Mama! I found out about Stromboli. It's 100% American. It's probably a creation of our Italian ancestors, when they came to America. So it was probably made in the Philadelphia area. Cool, huh? 

We did a scambio with Castellammare, and I was here in Napoli with Anziano Anderson. He is super cool and goes home in like 1 week. Hahaha. 

As missionaries, we are so excited for General Conference this coming weekend. It's gonna be great to hear from the prophet. (To watch or listen to inspired messages, this weekend is the LDS Church's General Conference on Saturday, October 1st and Sunday, October 2nd. Click here to watch it live, starting at 10am MDT).  

So here are some lessons I learned from studies, and things I am studying. One big lesson I’ve learned is that we don't have to worry. If we do what is right, and work hard at doing what is right, the Lord will take care of the rest. We just have to ask Him and believe. 

The other thing I have been thinking about quite a bit is choices. Last Conference, President Monson, the prophet, gave a great talk about choices. He said that if we don't know where we are trying to go - or what we are trying to obtain - it doesn't matter what we choose. But because we do know, and our goal is to return to our loving Father in heaven, we need to choose the "harder right." The truth is, most of the time, the right decision to make, or the one that will help us follow Christ, is usually going to be the harder choice. One thing I discovered is that the little decisions and choices we make each day tend to be the most important. If we recognize these choices, we can more easily make the "harder right." I know that from this little practice I have become a bit more like Christ and have learned a ton. Click here to read or listen to this amazing talk. 

Well, I love all of you, and hope y'all have a great conference week! 

I love the gospel of Jesus Christ and know it is true. I also know that through Joseph Smith, the Church that Jesus Christ established is restored on the earth today…The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Anziano Ridd
Anziano Ridd
photo credit: Linda Hyde

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Amalfi is Pretty - 9/19/16

Almafi Coast
Anziano Mercado & Anziano Ridd at the Amalfi Coast on P-Day

Dear Family, 

So real quick, this is the cool stuff. 

This week we had a Mission Conference in Rome with President Kearon (Elder Kearon is a General Authority Seventy and is currently serving as President of the European area for the LDS Church). It was awesome, because we learned a lot and I saw all my other friends there. Also, I found out that one of the investigators that I found and taught in Palermo got baptized last weekend. So I am amped about that! His name is C. That's super cool!

Ok then, the next super sick thing was today we hit the Amalfi coast. We went all the way there, and it was super cool. So beautiful. We stopped in Sorrento for a bit too. I loved that trip. 

P and F are doing well. Only F came to church, sadly. We will set their baptismal date for after General Conference, and I know that they will be ready. We have some other investigators, but they are not as close to baptism. 

My invite to everyone (inspired from conference) is to “attack the day.” Every day we have a choice - to have a good day and do good things, or to not. Make the choice the night before and wake up with a plan of how to attack the day. How will you accomplish as much as you can? How will you reach your goals? It's been said that the way you spend the first 3 hours of the morning will dictate the direction of your day. So - choose to do the best things you can in the first 3 hours of the morning. 

I love all of you! 

Have a great week! 

Anziano Ridd
Meeting up with friends at mission conference

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Mount Vesuvius - 9/12/16

Taken atop Mount Vesuvius
Anziano Andersen & Anziano Ridd
Hey family!

So this week was pretty sick. I’ve got to be brief; we kind of burned some time. So I'll start with investigators. This week we got a lot of bidoni. Sadly, some people just didn't show up. But we did have some good success.

One of those successes was that we met with the DeV family. They are super awesome, and they are a part-member family. So we gave them the goal and vision of the eternal family, and are going to get them there. Then P and F. They are super cool. We need to meet with them more so we can teach them the commandments and baptize them. They really want to be baptized soon, so we are trying for October 1st. Or even sooner, because F is ready.  We got in contact with a couple new investigators, and also some other investigators. So this week we hope to be meeting them.

This week was super cool. I received a lot more perspective for investigators. I now have a focus on teaching families whenever possible, and giving them the goal of an Eternal Family. I love this Ramo 

(Ramo = Branch, or small congregation) we have here, and it is great to be teaching part-member families.

A spiritual thought of the week is that to strengthen our faith, we really have to know our Savior. We do this through two ways. The first is we read of Him. His life and teachings are in the Bible. We learn even more of Him when he came to the people of America, as recorded in the Book of Mormon. We learn from prophets in the Book of Mormon and the Bible who He is. We learn of why He is so important for the world. The second thing we do to know Him is to act. To serve. As we serve the Lord, we will know Him. In Mosiah 5 (click here to read Mosiah 5) we read that if we are to recognize His voice when He calls, we must be serving Him and take upon ourselves His name. My challenge to anyone reading this is to take a bit of time and really learn about your Savior - who He is and why He is the Savior. I leave my testimony that He means the World can change and that He lives. I leave this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

I love y'all!

Anziano Ridd

PS - We went up to Vesuvius. It's pretty cool.
(Click here or here to read some some interesting facts about Mt. Vesuvius). 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Napola Bella :D - September 5, 2016

Dear Family,

Wow, Napoli is amazing! I feel like every day I get to serve here is a blessing. There is such a cool culture here.

Today for p-day we went to see a castle that overlooks Napoli. It was amazing to see the city. It's probably one of the most breathtaking cities I have ever seen.

So this week was pretty cool. Sadly, we didn't have as many of the appointments we were hoping for. This week we are making some changes to our priorities and we’re going to have a lot more appointments. This is possible because of all the contacts and new investigators we found during finding. We did a lot of finding last week.

We are excited though; the Italians are all returning from vacation. So we now have the opportunity to meet with all our investigators. In fact, this week I met one of our investigators, S. He is about 35 and owns a pizzeria right near the church. He is pretty ripped and has been taught all the lessons. We really just need to commit him to baptism, so that's what we plan on doing this week.

Our investigators are doing well, and we are excited to help them keep it up or start progressing. In church we had F and also C, a newer investigator. That was super cool. The Pozzuoli branch is now back in their building and it's just our branch with 4 missionaries. That's kinda nice though, because now I can meet and know who is in this branch. The branch seems super friendly and I can't wait to get to know them better.

I finished reading the Book of Mormon this week. It is always exciting to finish it again, but this time I'm a bit more excited because this time I'll be reading it in Italian. The coolest thing about the Book of Mormon is at the end, too. That would be the promise that Moroni makes. (Click here to read Moroni's promise). I have read that about 1000 times out here and have offered many people the challenge to pray to know if the book is true. When it says to ask the Lord with a sincere heart and real intent, it means to ask and to expect an answer, and to be ready to act on this answer. I bear my testimony that the Book of Mormon is the word of God; that through this book we have the fullness of the gospel in the modern days. I know that the Lord leads the church today through a prophet, Thomas S. Monson.  The only way I can know this is because I have received an answer to my humble prayer - the prayer to know if this book is true. I love this gospel and the blessings it brings. The Book of Mormon is true. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

I love serving in Napoli. I'll send some amazing pictures to show you how awesome it is.

I love you all!

Anziano Ridd (Rido)