Monday, October 16, 2017

Pescara’s Got Talent (and Baptisms) - 10/16/17

Anziano Ridd & Anziano McConkie with their good friend
Pescara missionaries with President Pickerd, at the first meetings of the new chapel
in Pescara a few weekends ago.
Photo credit: Pickerd's Italy Rome Mission blog

Hey family!

This week was pretty dang great. Besides seeing success in teaching a few new families, there were some awesome experiences I want to share. 

First thing, tonight is transfer calls, so this week I may leave or my dear son and life-long friend, Anziano McConkie, may leave. Either way, I most likely will have a new companion next week. Sad.

Then J, one of the sisters' investigators, was baptized! So we got the chance to witness that and congratulate her on following Jesus Christ. And right after, K passed his interview for baptism and next weekend he will also be making promises with God. We all are excited!

Following the baptism of J, we had a ward talent show. It was magnificent. Let’s just say that after every talent show, I feel so much love for the members and happiness to serve with them. They are so talented. 

So as an appetizer to our mission conference this week with Elder Ballard, he did a broadcast for the whole European area Sunday night, which was awesome. He is an apostle of Jesus Christ. Anyways, I wanted to share a bit from what he said because I loved it. 

Elder Ballard invited us to heed Jesus Christ’s advice to Joseph Smith to “be still and know that I am God.” (Doctrine and Covenants 101:16; see also Psalm 46:10). With that, he shared an experience he had when he sought to follow the will of God and was led to ask a blessing upon the land of Ethiopia. Because of that, the drought that was in the land was broken, and every day he was in Ethiopia it rained. He goes on to say that this had nothing to do to him; it had to do with his willingness to seek the will of God and believe in miracles. He then said something that I have realized here in the mission: The greatest miracle is the miracle of accepting the gospel of Jesus Christ. I realized that if we seek the will of God, He will always lead us to people who are ready to accept His word, and we will see the miracles in their lives. I hope we all choose to help someone accept the gospel this week, and help bring a fullness of joy into our lives and theirs. 

I love you all a ton! Believe in miracles, and take time to know the Lord and his will.

Anziano Ridd

Monday, October 9, 2017

Love the Lord, and Trust in Him Too - 10/9/17

Hey family!

This week was pretty good, and it was just full of hard work. Sometimes the work truly is just hard for a bit, but when you have a great companion like Anziano McConkie it’s always fun. 

Anyways, this week we made good progress with K. He is working on being baptized pretty soon, and is learning a ton every day as he is reading the Book of Mormon. Sadly, it seems we have been cursed during the last week with a lot of people who either broke their phones or lost them...that doesn’t help the work, to say the least.

But we trust in the Lord. For example, the curse also included us. Last P-day, at the end, we realized we had lost our phone. After a couple of minutes of searching at home, Anziano McConkie and I looked at each other and both received an answer to where it was at the same time...the beach. So we quickly left to go find it, and what do ya know,  it was on the beach, just where we imagined it. Thank goodness we trusted that quick prompting though, because a missionary is nearly powerless without a phone now days. 

Some experiences we have had recently have made me reflect on the thought - Trust in the Lord. I have seen in my life, when things don’t go as “planned” or the “way we wanted” we have 2 options. Show faith and go on with a good attitude and turn to the Lord for the answers we don’t have, or be miserable and stop progressing. As we trust in the Lord every day - in the little things - we see miracles. When you get stood up at a lesson, it’s easy to get upset or annoyed. The hard thing to do is trust He has a plan for you that hour...a plan that will bless your life or someone else's life. I’ve seen this so many times first-hand, so next time you feel things are not going right, look around. See if you can bless the life of someone else and trust in the Lord.

Love y’all!!

Anziano Ridd



Anziano Ridd and his friend MK

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Start the Flood - 10/3/17

Zone Conference

Hey Family!

This week was super sick due to General Conference. I'm writing late, because not only did we see conference, we also had zone conference yesterday.

So the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has decided we need to turn our presence on social media from a trickle - which it is right now - into a flood. This was a big topic of zone conference. We are now authorized to use Facebook and share the gospel through it. This is great because it will help so much here in Italy. The miracle of it though, is it has no bounds. It has the opportunity for limitless good and to connect and contact nearly 2 billion people with Facebook accounts. We also have no boundaries as a mission. If someone wants to know what I am doing out here, and wants to know what I am teaching, or would like to come closer to Christ, we can Skype and teach the first lesson to those people with our mission president's permission. I guess that's an invite for you! If you want to, send me a message, and we might be able to work something out.

I'm very excited for this, but General Conference is always my favorite weekend of the year. So I'm going to chat about that. First of all, we are led by a prophet today who receives revelation from Christ himself to guide us. Second, I know the Quorum of the 12 are true Apostles of the Lord, and speak 100% truth. And third, being true to my childhood nickname, "sunshine boy," I love light. President Uchtdorf talked about how the Light of Christ is always shining, but sometimes there are times of darkness. But like night, we don't just assume that the sun is no longer there; we know there is a shadow, and the sun will come out. I know that the light of Christ is always shining, and like the earth, we need to be in the right position to feel His warmth and love. To listen to this awesome talk, please click here.

I love you all! Have a great week! 

Anziano Ridd

Anziano Huntsman & Anziano Ridd - friends from The Woodlands, TX (aka "home!")

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Don't Play With Your Fufood - 9/25/17

Scambio in Ascoli Piceno
Anziano Ridd with his friend, L

Fufu, with soup on side

Hey Family!

This week was exciting with the opening of the first church building in Pescara.

Our awesome investigators made some good progress this week. One awesome thing that happened is L, the footballer from Liberia, totally did a five day fast to get his answer if the church is true. He is now running down the path to baptism.

Also the opening of the church happened this week. It was amazing. The members in this area have been faithful for so long and worked very hard, and are now seeing some of the fruit of the labor. With the opening, we had the full stake presidency there and also President Pickerd. Then we had a ton of investigators and non-members from the area show up. The chapel was full, and it was a great sight. Pescara sta crescendo!!

A highlight I had is that IG and B showed up. B looked like a Laurel, hahahah. She and IG stayed all 3 hours and loved it. The other youth were awesome in friendshipping them. All in all, it was a very wonderful and historical moment in Pescara.

This upcoming week is General Conference. It will be super cool, because right before, we have a zone conference. So I'm getting ready for some spiritual TNT. Go listen to the prophets speak this weekend!! Click here to listen or watch inspiring talks from General Conference, held this Saturday, 9/30 & Sunday, 10/1.

And finally, Sunday night we ended with fufu night with A, L, and F. For those who are not educated in African cuisine, fufu is a very famous African dish that consists of fufu (a dough made from pounded yam) and soup (depends on the style). We had okra soup and fufu made by the wonderful chef, F. It was delicious and an extremely interesting experience. I recommend it, if you ever get the chance.

Love you all!
Anziano Ridd
 Awesome full double rainbow

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Popstar of Pescara - 9/18/17

Our new church! 
Hey guys!!!

This week was a rollercoaster ride. But like any rollercoaster, there are ups and downs, but if you are a fan of the unexpected you definitely finished satisfied. And so...let's go for a ride.

At the beginning of this week, along with our investigators that we have been teaching for the past few weeks, we picked up a few new ones for whom I am very excited. On Tuesday night, we called up out buddy LU. We played some b ball, then taught him about the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was pretty dang interested and decided
to give it a try. When we met him at the church a few days later, he was a fireball. He had read and prayed and had some great questions. We taught him about how he can grow in faith and learn the truth using Alma 32 and it hit him. He said as he read the scriptures he felt at complete peace and all warm. He continued to describe and eventually said, "It is like someone took a needle and stabbed me in the heart... but it's not the pain part." The spirit of God like a big old needle. Did I mention that this guy is 17, speaks English, Japanese, Italian, and Spanish, he raps in Spanish and Italian, he beatboxes, he is a cook in cooking school, and is a professional magician? And we met this Cuban friend balling up at the park. What. A. Stud. (Click here to read Alma 32). 

We also have some sick other new people, like AL, but maybe I'll include more down the line for these guys.

So all week, I was straight up hyped for Friday. Friday was the day MK returned to Pescara. Or so we thought. As we were organizing appointments with MK, we realized that he was planning on coming to Pescara later... which meant some problems because he needed a
baptismal interview to be baptized next week. Well, as we talked with him and his father more, we learned that Mark had changed his decision. But thank goodness it was only his decision to live with his mom here in Pescara, not baptismal decision. He is getting residency in Rome, so he will be where I met him the first time, in Rome 1 and will be baptized there! I'm excited, but of course there's always that part of me that wishes to see him get baptized. He will be in Pescara this week though, so we will get to see him and show him the NEW CHURCH!

The new church is so amazing. Guys, there is a DRINKING FOUNTAIN in the church. That's some state of the art stuff right there. It's beautiful and I can't wait to fill it this Sunday!

What touched me the most this week was that three of our investigators had some of the most sincere prayers to find the truth. That's very important, because an eternal truth is that if you ask with real intent, and seek, then you will ALWAYS find. These investigators will always receive an answer to know that the Book of Mormon is true as long as they continue to pray with sincerity and read the Book of Mormon. I know that to be true, and to be true always.

I love y'all tons!!

Anziano Ridd

PS - My companion (an amazing singer) and our investigator (who is an amazing piano player) put on a mini impromptu show in the center piazza of Pescara. There was a large crowd and a great opportunity to share the gospel. He became the popstar of Pescara that night.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Modest is Hottest - 9/11/17

The church near our house
Hey fam!

Wow, these weeks go by pretty quick. This week was pretty awesome and full of success. Let's look forward a bit. MK gets home this Friday from Rome, where the other missionaries were teaching him, and is excited for his baptism the week afterward! This next Sunday is our last in the old chapel, and then we go to the new chapel.

This week we met with some great investigators, and even gave a few some baptismal dates. LA and KE are two guys from Africa who are making great progress toward Jesus Christ and membership in his church. They came to church and loved it too. We have a bunch of other investigators who are progressing well. We also gave a bunch of our
investigators to the sisters, because they are girls and they can teach them better than we can. :)

This week I was asked to give a talk. Often this happens and they just assume I'll talk about missionary work, but this time I was given an assignment to speak on MODESTY! So yeah...I talked about modesty while the other talks were about the Book of Mormon...I'm a little bit confused still, but - go modesty!

A sick miracle happened this week. AR, an investigator from the Philippines, moved into Pescara so it's now way easier to meet and come to church! It's so awesome, because he is searching hard for the truth.

That's all for this week! Love y'all!

Anziano Ridd

Below are some additional photos from last week - Ortona, the castle, and the church we vistited on Pday.