Monday, October 3, 2016

Found, Lost, and Found Again - 10/3/16

Hey Family! 

Today we had a chill P-day and hung out for most of it. We have transfer calls tonight, and then this Thursday there will be transfers. It will be interesting to see what happens. 

This week was General Conference. What does this mean? It means we heard from the Prophet of God, Thomas S. Monson. Not only that - we heard from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. That is probably the coolest and most important thing that happened in the last 6 months! 

So this week was suspenseful and exciting, with all kinds of joy. P and F are both going to be baptized. Both of them have passed their baptismal interviews, even if getting them to the baptismal interviews was a rollercoaster. F's interview went just as scheduled, but P's car broke down, so she couldn't come the day it was planned. Finally, right before the Sunday morning session of conference, she made it here for her interview. Yay!!!! So this Saturday at 5 we will have a baptism! They are so excited, and we are happy for them. The most amazing thing is seeing the atonement change people. I know it has with both P and F, and it has happened with me during my time here. You give up the things you think you want and need, and put the Savior first. You put others first too, like He did. You want to follow Him in every word and action, and you find joy as you do it. How marvelous!

Second was that we had 4 investigators in church this week. P, F, G and K. I'll talk a bit about K. K is a German who is in his late 20's. He speaks English dang well, and Italian really well. He has lived in Italy for 2 years to teach people about Christ. Yes, he's a missionary who's Christian named K. Well, he's got an interesting story. He wants to live like Jesus did, so for most of his time here he has been homeless by choice, and he doesn't have a cell phone or anything. He has read the Bible about 27 times and whatnot and just is a great guy. He met Anziano Mercado when Mercado had just gotten to Napoli. His story is that he loves Christians in general and has no church. He visits a lot, and wants to learn about all of them. So when he met the missionaries, he was super excited to learn more about us. But through the course of a couple lessons, his big problem is that he gets "lost"…in the most literal sense. In the past they would miss an appointment with him for some reason, and not see him where they scheduled. Because he has no phone, we can't call him to reschedule. So he is "lost" until we find him again. His process has repeated a few times. So he was re-found this last week, and we invited him to General Conference. He came and watched all of conference, both days. He loved it. His one stumbling block about the church in the past was also not thinking there is ONE true church. I hope that changes, we have an appointment with him this week. 

Anyways, I loved General Conference. A couple of the things that came to me while I was watching were the following: 
1. Are we ambitiously coming to Christ? 
2. Do we get upset when someone succeeds? Even if they succeed over us? If we do, we can change that and praise them, and help to bring people up always. Success is good, and we can all achieve it. Why not help others to find it as we strive to as well? 
3. Strangely enough, I heard something Donald Trump said the other day. I take no side in politics, or how this was used, I just thought it was an interesting phrase. "Would we even take one Skittle from a Skittles bag if we knew that one was poisoned?" I had this pop into my head when thinking how our actions affect the Spirit. Would I listen to that song if I knew it had one word in it that would push the Spirit away? Would I watch that movie if I thought it might only have one scene that would remove the Spirit's guiding presence? In the end, I hope I will always choose no, I will not eat a Skittle from the bag, if I thought it might take the presence of the Holy Spirit away from me.

I have a testimony that this Church is the restored church of Jesus Christ on the earth today. I know that Jesus Christ lives, and He died for you, specifically. He knows your potential, and He will always try to lift and strengthen you to get to it. He has not abandoned us in these latter days. He has given us prophets and apostles on the earth to guide us. More than that, we have the Holy Spirit on the earth to confirm the truth and guide us every day. I know these things to be true for myself, and I invite you to discover it for yourself as well. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

I love you all and hope y'all have a great week!

Anziano Ridd
Photo credit & many thanks to L. Hyde

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