Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas Round 2 - 12/25/17

Caroling in the centro
Some massive studs in my district
The nativity scene
Skyping with the family on Christmas Day

Merry Christmas! 

I hope you all had a great week. This week we were pretty busy.

Zone conference happened and I really loved the messages. They talked a lot about being consecrated missionaries and doing the simple everyday things that make us better. I really like those themes, as I have seen how the small things are what make us great, not any big massive act of charity.

During zone conference we did a nativity skit. Pictures will be attached. I was a wise man. 

Then we also gave a blessing to A, the youngest daughter of the P family. Sadly, she has been really sick recently! (Even on Christmas Eve). So we are hoping and praying she gets better soon!

Anyways, the best part about Christmas as a missionary is that you get to realize that for the whole year you have been 100% focused on Christ. You also get to be his hands in places around the world to help others know about Him, and his plan to help us return. I love it. I hope we all try and do some small things each day to bring us closer to him. I recommend sincere prayers. 

Love you all!

Anziano Ridd


Zone elders
Perugia art. Toucans? 

Monday, December 18, 2017

Another Week, Another Italian Church Opened - 12/18/17

Anziano Ridd (left) and Anziano Hughes (right), with friends C & G

This week was super solid. It stated with the fact that we met with quite a few new investigators and less actives. 

We have a cool new investigator named WL. He is Peruvian and pretty excited to learn about the Book of Mormon. We will hopefully meet him again this week. 

Then we had some more fun and eventful parts, like on Saturday night. We finally got an appointment with an inactive member on Saturday. He invited us to go to a Christmas party that he was invited to. We said yes, and later that night an entourage of 5 cars came by our house. We were instructed to enter the Porsche Cayenne S in the front. We did gladly, and they proceeded to take us to one of the biggest Italian houses I have been to. It was filled with evangelical Christians and all together we sang songs about Christmas, made friends, and read scriptures. Anyways, it ended up being great, and we made a lot of cool contacts. Also, we met A (who is the less active member) and made an appointment to meet with him this week. 

On Sunday morning, we came to Terni and participated in the opening day of the Terni church building. It’s super nice and pretty much American. Anyways, it was wonderful to go and bring all the investigators to see where they will be baptized. We then had an open house at the end and it was a big success. We had nonmembers, less actives, and inactives come. I love these people.

Spiritual thought: The most happiness in our lives comes from our relationships with people. 

Love you all! 
Anziano Ridd

PS - Shout-out to Riley Dunkley who is awesome and just got called on a mission to Paris, France!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Perugia Gold - 12/11/17

Hey Guys!

This week was alright. Perugia is on fire and on the way to becoming a branch!!!

So I’ll hit the highlights. 

This week we have done great work here in Perugia keeping our great active members involved and making the inactive become more active. We had 2 priesthood holders in church that are now becoming active. 

As for that, we are doing very well. The members here are super awesome. Also our work has been okay. Despite difficulty of finding more investigators, we have nice investigators. They are mostly all progressing toward baptism and conversion. The big highlight for the week is that my good friends Anziani Osmond and Allred found gold. He is named SM. 

SM is like...18 years old and he is living on his own because he wants to be more independent as he grows up. He is super awesome and nice, and was interested when they invited him to come to English course. He speaks English perfectly and loves to learn. When he came, he soon learned about our church and was interested as he didn’t practice much of anything recently for religion. He looked up a ton of info on the church and studied it out himself. The last Sunday, he came to church on his own. Then during this week, the other Anziani met with him and he knew all of the lessons already. He totally understood everything, and was excited to accept a baptismal date in early January. He told us he always thought he was weird for having standards in high school, but now he knows that God guided him the whole time. He is so smart and fun. 

The Lord knows us perfectly. He also will guide us if we let him. He puts us in the lives of others to help them. Look around every once in awhile and try to figure out what God wants you to learn from or do to help those around you, and you will feel a higher purpose in life. I know it will also bring a lot more happiness as well. 

I love you all! Have a great week!

Anziano Ridd 

Monday, December 4, 2017

When We Accept That We Don’t Know, We Learn. If Not, We Never Progress - 12/4/17

Perugia, che bella sei tu!
Our Christmas tree
Hey Family,

So on Monday night we received our transfer calls. Not too much commotion here, all of us in Perugia are staying for another transfer. As for Terni, we still have the same sisters and Anziani Daniels and Huntsman, but we got Anziani Jensen and Becker. Pretty cool stuff, and I think we figured these changes would happen. 

With that out of the way, this week was interesting. I enjoyed a lot of it, but sadly many of our appointments fell through. That opened up our opportunity to start up our casa a casa (door to door) here. Hopefully this next week we will be able to meet with these people. 

We worked with Sorella P again this week. She is great, because she knows to ask us when she doesn’t know something. This week she told us, as we taught the Restoration, that she wants to understand scriptures more. So we taught her according to her needs. It was fun, and she is continuing to progress. 

Then on Sunday we had SN in church, along our new elder in the church. His name is BT, and he has been a member since 1999 in Nigeria. He is sweet. So that should help the church a ton. SN is on fire right now, and he is getting us new referrals and is doing all he can to serve others for the “Sii una Luce.” 

Anyways my small thought for the week is that we need to be humble. If we think we know something, we won’t search to know more. But if we are always questioning things, and if we are always humble, our progress is unlimited. I know that it’s been true for me here in the mission. Even when I have done something well 1000 times and it seems to work well, if I am humble and ask, “Is there a better way?” I can always find the answer is yes. Go search for the best way to do everything, especially in doing things for others. In doing so, our growth is unlimited. 

I love you all!

Anziano Ridd
My French toast this morning

Monday, November 27, 2017

Priceless Above All Things - 11/27/17

Anziano Hughes & Anziano Ridd with their new friend SN,
who was so grateful to be receiving his new Book of Mormon in Spanish
Thanksgiving celebration, complete with a turkey, to kick off the “Sii una Luce” or the “Light the World” initiative this December. Click here for ideas on how to help light the world this Christmas season. 
Hey guys!

This week was great. We worked a lot with members and less actives and the Lord blessed us because of it. 

To put this in some perspective, Perugia was opened to missionary service again 6 months ago after many years without elders. Before this, the members had to go to Terni (an hour or more away by car) if they wanted to go to church. So when Perugia was opened, we had a few super awesome members who were coming to church switch over and come here, and then a bunch of other people reactivated. Nowadays we usually have about 25 people (including us) that come to church each Sunday. With that being said, there are still plenty of less actives or inactive members in the area, because they don’t know where the church is (it’s so new). And right now, the obstacle we need to overcome is the fact that the missionaries are the only active priesthood holders here. We need a good 3-4 to open a branch. 

Ok, now y’all can see how Perugia is in a pioneer stage of its growth. Very exciting but very...delicate. As missionaries, it is our responsibility to edify and build the church where we are. Usually that is most effectively done by baptizing converts, but other times it’s about finding already baptized people and converting them by teaching repentance. This week, we did more of the latter, due to many of the investigators being very busy this week. 

As it turns out, the Lord wanted us to do the latter. We saw a ton of miracles.
I’ll dive into some quick numbers: 
Less actives known about before this week in Perugia - 7
Less actives known about after this week in Perugia - 14

Now I don’t actually know how accurate those numbers are, because the truth is we have more less-actives in the area; it’s just impossible to contact a lot of them. But of these people, I want to go off on a couple stories. First, a lot of these people found are men. Oh my gosh, I have never been more excited to meet with men in my life. We should meet with  two of them this week. On top of that, these two guys either live right next to where we meet for church, or are about to move there. 

It was perfect timing with one family that we saw. Two weeks earlier, their Mormon cousin moved in with them from Lima, Peru, and EL’s husband (not a fan of Mormons) was away. We brought them Books of Mormon and a message. IB, the cousin, came to church with us. But the coolest thing was when their 7-year old daughter came up to us and said how much she would like a Book of Mormon, but no one ever gave her one. We whipped one out and told her “Happy Thanksgiving” as we gave it to her. Her face just lit up. 

Now on to my favorite thing and maybe one of the biggest miracles Perugia has ever seen! Since being here I have been praying fervently to find men and people to build the church…to find the elect. (People who are truly ready to follow Christ, no matter what). This weekend we received one of the answers to these prayers. Saturday night, after a long day of finding and being stood up, we received a call from Indiana. I answered it, as it’s not a usual occurrence. Fully expecting to hear a nice American “Howdy” on the other end, I was taken aback when I was greeted by a girl speaking Italian. She said she was a sister missionary from that area and had a referral to send to us, but it was not working the usual way. And in the process, I learned that her parents taught her Italian even though she’s American. So moments later I received a text about SN. Now referrals are rare here, especially something like this one. I was beyond excited to see where it led. I called his number immediately, only to be once again talking to a woman in Italian, only this time she was from Modena (northern Italy...and no, she didn’t want to learn about Christ’s ministry in America). Disappointed that the number didn’t work, we made a plan to swing by the address we had on Sunday night. 

Sunday night shows up. We are traversing the cold (-1°C), windy, and twisted roads of the historical part of Perugia to find this address. After many wrong turns, we find his name on the buzzer. We ring it. We wait. We ring again. Then we hear a voice, “Chi รจ?” “Noi siamo i missionari morm-“ “SALITE! VENITE SU ELDERES!” So for those who don’t understand that, he was expecting us. We walk up the steep old Italian steps to his apartment and meet SN. SN was baptized when he was in his twenties, but since moved to many places and never went to church much. He still believes, and recently, his dear friends who are LDS from his country (Ecuador) just went through the temple and invited him to put God first as well. Well, this man has been prepared. He told us his story and how grateful he was to see us. The joy he expressed when he heard there was a church here was immense. He told us he wanted more than anything a fresh slate, a new start to his life completely dedicated to Christ. He then told us that his was sad, because all these years he hadn’t come to church and didn’t even have a Book of Mormon. Then something great happened. I pulled a Book of Mormon in Spanish from my bag and told him it was for him. This grown 45-year old man took the Book of Mormon, he hugged it and told us how important it was. He told us how he knows this is what he once had but was missing from his life - the full study of Christ’s ministry. Then he asked if we could take a picture of him with it. I obliged and I decided to take a selfie as well, to commemorate the miracle. To say the least, this man followed a spiritual prompting to contact missionaries and refer himself to us. He knows that following Jesus Christ is priceless above all things.

This week we also organized a Thanksgiving celebration on Wednesday for the members here to kick off “Sii una Luce” or the “Light the World” initiative this December. It went very well, and we even had some cool new friends I made in Terni come up! (Oh yeah, I did a scambio with Anziano Daniels in Terni). That event was great, because now our relationship with the ward and the Gans (YSA) is strong, and they are ready to help out in building the church here. Click here for ideas on how to light the world with service this special Christmas season. 

Anyways this is long. Oops.

Love you all! I hope you loved this week!

Anziano Ridd
Carving the turkey!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Thanksgiving - 11/20/17

Anziano Ridd in front of the Rome Temple
Hey! Happy Thanksgiving!

This was a pretty sweet week. I had some scambi with Anziano Osmond, and saw some cool success throughout.

So at the beginning of the week we had the scambio. I loved working with Anziano Osmond. He is a great missionary and a really hard worker. I saw his desire to serve the Lord and it was evident that he has been giving it his all. We got to teach a few great lessons together, during which we saw a lot of progress in our investigators. 

One of the awesome things we saw this week was in the P family. In their family right now, only the 2 older daughters are members, and the mom is taking the lessons. On the visit with Anziano Osmond, Sister P opened up and asked if the next time we came we could give a blessing in her home. Fast forward to the next time, the Spirit was super strong. We talked about how the Spirit really is our comforter because of his role to testify of Jesus Christ and lead us to His truth. When he does that, we receive comfort as we believe and gain the hope that comes through Jesus. I then got the opportunity to bless their house, and the Spirit was so strong, which was awesome because they also had their brother and sister there who were not as interested. I know that in that lesson we taught exactly what the Spirit gave to us in that moment. 

We picked up two cool new investigators this week, ZL and BL. They are married and have a new baby girl, G. They are seeking the truth and are so excited to have met with us and have found more of it. We are excited for them. 

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for so many things: the mission, my family, all my companions. But I think the one that sticks out to me the most right now is our ever constant companion, the Holy Ghost. Truly he guides us, and helps us know our true identities as children of God. He has so much patience when we don’t listen or understand his whispered promptings and will always be there to confirm the truth. This is definitely one of the greatest blessing of God to those whole are baptized into the church, and one I will always be grateful for.

I love you all! Have a great Thanksgiving!

Anziano Ridd
Anziano Ridd and companion, Anziano Hughes

Monday, November 13, 2017

Huntsman and Ridd, Still Working Together. 11/13/17

Perugia City in the clouds
Anziano Huntsman and me
Hey guys, it’s been another good week in Perugia,

This week was full, and we some some solid success. Especially with single women. Weird. 

Starting off the week at a good pace, Anziano Huntsman and I did a scambio here in Perugia. For those who don’t know, Anziano Huntsman and I are from the same home ward in The Woodlands, and we are good friends. To say the least, we were thrilled to get the opportunity to work together. Huntsmans and Ridds seems to work naturally well together, as we saw a bunch of success. And one can now assume that rings true whether it is in business or teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

The reference at the beginning to single ladies was a reference to our amazing two new investigators. Both of which were clearly prepared by God to receive us. There is RL, who is pretty young. She was super interested when we taught someone the Restoration on a bus, and wanted to know more. Then we have EL. She is sooo nice and friendly. She wanted to know if we could teach her private English lessons and we said we could - if we also teach the gospel. She said yes, and it turns out that her English is nearly perfect and she is more interested in the gospel. We are excited to continue teaching her. 

If that wasn’t cool enough, we have a couple sweet miracles of the weekend. Both have to due with some of my favorite people in Italy, G and C. First, C had a dream that her grandmother approved of the Mormons, and she is now making steps to follow the Word of Wisdom; and second, they both drove from Perugia to Roma (2 hours) to come to Stake Conference. There they met tons of their member friends, along with the stake patriarch, President Pickerd, and the full stake presidency. It was a fellowshipping miracle and they were the only 2 people from Perugia there. Go and fellowship someone this week. I’m sure if you ask the missionaries, they can put you to work. 

Missionary life is the best. Have a great week!

Anziano Ridd
Anziano Osmond and me at the Rome Temple

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Mission Family - 11/6/17

Posterity (left to right):
Anziano Hughes (new son), Anziano McConkie (fabulous middle son), me,
Anziano Youngblood (the first adventurous son), Anziano Imes (hilarious grandson)

Hey family!

As y’all can imagine, this week was weird and long. But now things should be a bit more consistent.

On Tuesday I received my new companion, Anziano Hughes. He is a good guy from Salt Lake City, Utah. He is a very musical person, and it seems as if I am meant to learn more about musical stuff/ musical theatre. Training again is strange, hahaha. 

Then on Thursday, we headed up to Rome to go to the Mission Tour. Elder Engbjerg of the Seventy came, who is from Denmark. It was great, as my favorite thing taught by him was “never give up.” He taught “don’t ever quit.” If it’s something that matters or that’s good, then it’s always worth hanging in there. There is joy in finishing what we set out to do and accomplishing. He then talked about his experience with his sons, riding their bikes from NYC to San Francisco. He said at a certain point, his son was in bad pain. They were so close to the end, but his knee kept locking up. It got so bad that they stopped, and Elder Engbjerg asked his son if he wanted to call a cab to take him the rest of the way. His response: “Are you crazy? I have come all this way, and you think I could take a cab the last bit?” I think whether we are at the beginning or toward the end of our goals, the only answer we need is if it is worth it for us. If our goals or pursuits make us better, and bring us closer to God - or they are something we want - don’t quit. Chase what is most important. 

That was also super cool because I got to see a ton of my friends here, and I got a full family pic of my sons/grandson in the mission. I’ll throw that in here too. 

We had some cool experiences when finding recently. One of my favorites is E. He is from China, and moved to Italy because he is a convert to Christianity. I talked to him on a bus, and he was so excited to hear about the gospel from us. 

G and C are still awesome. In fact, C got into my Italian genealogy, and because of her vast knowledge of law, she revealed to me that I am the last generation of my ancestors to be able to claim my Italian citizenship. So pretty soon I’m gonna hit up my Italian passport and become an Italian. Pretty cool huh? That means my kids can claim Italian citizenship too. Two thumbs up for C. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

This Sunday was fast Sunday, and President Pickerd came to our church. It was held in Terni, because right now that is where we do fast Sundays. It was cool, because after the meeting we had food and got to get to know some of the members here. G and C came and also got to go see the new chapel that will soon be done in Terni. They are excited because that is where they will be baptized. 

Anyways guys, don’t quit. Love you.

Anziano Ridd

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

One For the Books - 10/30/17

Hey fam!

This week was crazy, but next week will be crazier, I’m positive of it. I got to meet a ton of sick investigators that we have, and even found some in the process. In the madness of it we also had a sweet District Meeting, which felt really good because I got the whole district involved in it. I love being a District Leader with so many great missionaries here. I’ll give a quick overview of who we have. There is my companionship; then we have Anziani Osmond and Allred of Perugia B; the Zone Leaders in Terni - Anziani Farinotti and Daniels; Terni B - Anziani Bentley and Huntsman; and the SISTERS OF TERNI who just opened the area to Sisters - Sorella Taylor and Worth. All amazing missionaries. 

This week I got the amazing opportunity to meet with the R family, the F family, and G and C! The R family is a member family. Their daughter served a mission and is so cool. Right now we have been discussing the importance of faith with them.

The F family is one of the coolest Italian families I’ve met. They are investigating and in their family there are A, M, An, L, and J. They are super awesome and love to talk about Jesus. They live in Assisi, a city nearby which is famous because it is stunning. I’ll send some pics. Hopefully we can help them to get closer to Christ through the baptismal covenant. 

Oh boy, G and C. They are probably two of my favorite people on the planet. I met them about a month ago while on a scambio in Ascoli. They are almost completely converted already to the gospel. They are both lawyers and are so smart. I think I have never met two people more cultured than this couple. History: they know it; Art: they know it; Law: they know it; Science: they know it. Just completely fantastic. We hope to be able see them coming closer to Christ through the baptismal covenant as soon as the new Terni chapel opens!

Ok, I’ll let you in on some crazy. So this week, I’m going to get my new Greenie. Anziano Wijesundera is gonna go home and do his darndest to help his whole family accept the gospel (along with his army of friends that he left there). My new companion is Anziano Hughes, whom I don’t know yet, but will meet tomorrow. This means I have the largest posterity in the mission (in the sense of number of people trained by an Elder... crazy, right?). President just loves to mess with me, hahahha. The third son!

This week also will be the “mission tour,” which is sort of like a mission conference, except Sicily gets left out, hahha. So we have a sweet (Norwegian?) Seventy who will come and instruct us. That means I’ll have a full “Ridd family missionary tree” picture for next week. Get hype! And I get to see all my companions in the mission, hahaha. 

So this will be crazy! I am so excited to turn Perugia into a branch! President Pickerd and I have been working together a lot to make it happen and make it structured here. #makeperugiagreat

Love you all, 
Anziano Ridd

Monday, October 23, 2017

The 10 Euro Miracle - 10/23/17

Anziano Ridd with his new companion and apartment mates.
L-R: Anziano Osmond, Anziano Allred, Anziano Ridd and Anziano Wijesundera
New companions!
Anziano Wijesundera and Anziano Ridd in Perugia

Hey guys!

This week was soooo pack with stuff. I mean, PACKED. This email is a small attempt to explain what has been going on. 

Well the event of the week was definitely Elder Ballard coming. He is amazing and has such a powerful testimony in Jesus Christ. He talked to us a bunch about miracles and prayer. I loved that he invited us to seek the will of our Heavenly Father instead of try to command him around. He knows what’s best for us, we just need to ask him what we should do. Also he totally remembered Dad by name. 

So, the results of transfer calls on Monday surprised the masses of our house. The go like this. Anziano Waddell is going to work in the YSA in Rome, Anziano McConkie is going to be with Anziano Toronto and remain in Pescara. I have been sent away to serve in the most northern city in our mission, Perugia. So after many goodbyes, and much sadness, I am in the beautiful Perugia. Things are great though. I have a great companion, Anziano Wijesundera from Malibu, California, and the guys in the house up here are studs as well: Anziano Osmond from the land of Provo, and Anziano Allred from Williamsburg, Virginia. We make a great team to get the group here to become a branch. 

I came crashing down in Perugia is its most famous moment. Perugia was in mid-swing of its Eurochocolate - a massive European chocolate festival. It was so busy here. Surprising, I found myself broke due to all the travels and couldn’t buy much chocolate to fatten myself with. But if you wanna know, Perugia is a city of chocolate. When we wake up we smell chocolate in the air...also due to the fact that the Perugia chocolate factory is right next to our house.

Blessings on blessings, KL was baptized and confirmed last weekend. It was awesome to hear from him and he told me how great he felt. He even brought a friend who now wants to follow Jesus and be baptized. Go KL!

Now to the ten Euro miracle: so, I mentioned I was broke. That was true except for the 10 euro I had saved to buy groceries today. So, limiting myself to 10 euro, I bought a bunch of stuff and made sure it was under 10. As I checked out I saw that it was 10 items, and I got worried I spent too much. The cashier looks at me and says, that will be 10 euro. EXACTLY. that was the sickest thing ever. Miracles happen! Have faith.

Love you all! 
Anziano Ridd