Monday, August 14, 2017

Momentum - 8/14/17

Anziano Ridd and Anziano McConkie with their friend, GV
Hey family!

This week was super solid. Anziano McConkie is a stud. We worked our butts off and saw a lot of the fruits.

MK, our man as of Saturday, is now 18. He also has a date for baptism and came to church with us yesterday. He is working on a solid testimony and being self-sufficient. It takes a lot to be converted, but it definitely gives more than it takes. He has a vision of himself and his family being sealed in the Italy Rome temple. I hope to see that day.

Last week, we worked with our elders quorum president to help us out with the missionary work and to become close with him. He is soooo cool and is a convert of 5 years. He invited us back over this week to eat lamb skewers and to meet all his family who are mostly not Mormon, so we can teach them the Gospel. It was awesome. Imagine the difference we can make if we just have barbecues and the missionaries are there to become homies with our friends. Then when they want to ask us all the hard Qs about the Gospel, all we gotta do is say, "Elders, my friend has a question for you." Also, our elders quorum president’s wife is awesome.

The miracle of this week was definitely the P family. Let me tell you the story and how awesome they are. So we met them on the street near their home. When we met, it was the mother, TZ, and the father, PO. They expressed interest in learning about what we believe, and we - of course - expressed interest in teaching that to them. They then told us about their 16-year-old daughter and 23-year-old son. Awesome. So a few weeks later and we find ourselves at their house. We started out and PO had done a bit of research, but knew he could get the real answers from us. He asked us some good questions and trusted in the answers we gave. We taught about the Restaurazione (the Restoration), and the Spirit filled the room. The understanding was there, and TZ starts to tell us that she has seen a light in us she has not seen in anyone else. PO and TZ start to explain that they have had a hard life, but feel that maybe we have something they have been missing, and they have a desire for their whole family to become more faithful. We are so excited for our next opportunity to teach them. They are truly some of the people God has prepared us to meet.

I love this church and know it is true, and nothing will bring us as much joy as the Gospel. Not to mention, nowhere else can you find the authority to make a family eternal, the greatest blessing of all.

I love you all. Have a great week!!

Anziano Ridd
Anziano McConkie and the MASSIVE new church being built! 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Dripping - 8/7/17

Hey fam,

This week's companionship adjective was “dripping.” Dripping with confidence, sarcasm, and sweat.

Honestly, it was a good week. Starting up a new companionship means you gotta start from ground 0. We worked hard finding and saw some small successes. I expect it will multiply in the next couple weeks. But we found a cool new investigator named GV. The guy is a Greek stud who is very knowledgeable about the Bible.

Sadly, we also had quite of few frustrating experiences - when we taught people that understood the truth, but then they didn't want to act. That was kind of sad, but on the other hand, when we are out teaching and finding, we always meet some interesting people.

That led us to meet HL. HL is quite interesting. When we met her, she told us it was the birthday of Texas. She further told us that she was born in the back of a car, in Washington, D.C., but it was a political thing. She also likes John the Baptist, conspiracy theories, and has "Welcome to London" as her catchphrase. We saw this same lady 3 times over the next 2 days.

Anyways, I guess meeting unique people is kind of common for me now. Training is great. I love Anziano McConkie. The whole house here in Pescara is full of great guys, and I'm sure they will all be leaders in the missions and church someday. It's amazing to see how awesome and prepared the missionaries are who are coming out to the field.

Also, this week was hot. We dripped sweat a lot while teaching the gospel to men walking around Pescara in Speedos. Oh, the joys of missionary work!

Love y'all,
Anziano Ridd

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Pescara: Second Son. 7/31/17

Pescara and me
The district gesso. Next to me is Anziano McConkie, and the tallest is Anziano Toronto.
Hey guys!

This week was super busy and crazy. I'll let you guys get a feel for what has been going on.

On Monday night, I received my transfer call, and it's pretty lit. I am opening a new companionship in Pescara and training!!!

So now my new son is Anziano McConkie, who is a straight-up stud. He sings like an angel, and in his own words he is "dripping majesty." I confirm my companion's witness. He aspires to perform on Broadway, and I'll put my money on him. Then in our house here, we also have Anziano Toronto as the district leader, and his new greenie, Anziano Waddell. They are both beasts, and you can easily see that it's going to be a killer 2 transfers.

Since we have been blown in, we don't have much work, but we do have one miracle investigator. MK, who is a nonmember son of a Filipino member of Rome 1, moved to Pescara. So I started teaching him in Rome and now I will teach him here. We also totally do not know the city at all, but it's super cool. Anziano Toronto has been a great help in guiding us to different things in the city. Also, we are about to start teaching a super sick pianist who performs in the city center, and Anziano McConkie has been singing with him, haha.

This week we went to the church and met all the members. They are so sick (cool) . And Pescara went from 2 Anziani and 2 Sorelle, to 4 Anziani and 4 Sorelle. All of us are training, haha. So there was a lot of excitement. The reason why we are all here is because they are about to finish a new HUGE church. It's right next to our apartment. So we are gonna fill up the church with people so Pescara can become a stake sometime! Anyways, this city is straight "on fire." I can feel the excitement in my blood and it also may be because Anziano McConkie is a straight beast who is prepared to bust his butt for the full 2 years. I feel like this new group of missionaries are the most prepared I have ever seen.

To top off the cake, this weekend was a holiday here in Pescara, and our sick neighbors invited us to eat arrosticini with them, which is skewered lamb. It was super cool. They had a big party, and half of the people were our neighbors; the other half was their Belgian family. We were super happy, hahahah.

Anyways, God puts us where people need us. Don't forget to reach out to others around you!

Anziano Ridd

Ps.  All the guys in my house are sick singers, so we are singing a lot this transfer.
Pps. All of the other Anziani are 6'1"- 6'6" - so I look freaking tiny.
The party from our house hahaha

Monday, July 24, 2017

Anziani ad Anzio - 7/24/17


Anziani in front of the Anziani Center (Elders in front of the Elderly Center)
Hey guys!

It was an interesting week, full of improvisation with our plans and work. Without further ado, I'll get into some key events of the week.

We got pretty dang blessed this week in the fact that we totally had some great meal appointments. One was with our cool investigator, RC. He was introduced to the church years back when his military friend was a Mormon. We ate a nice pasta romana with him. The interesting part is that after learning more about prophets, past and modern, and hearing the exhortations from Thomas S. Monson, RC has started to read the Book of Mormon on a daily basis. But what was super cool too was that we met his nephew. He is a massive rugby player, and apparently he has an uncle who plays in the NFL for the Browns. I can't remember a name, but it was pretty cool.

Later, we ate with a larger group of Peruvian members of our ward. We had some great arroz con pollo. Then Anziano Boscán blessed their Spanish :). Those are fun meal appointments, because I pretty much learn tons of new Spanish, haha.

Yesterday, Anziano Boscán and I treated our district, RC, and Martin (the COOLEST member) to lunch. Martin feeds the missionaries like...every Sunday, and it's such a great sacrifice for him. But because we love him, Anziano Boscán and I knew we needed to do something good for him. Luckily, Anziano Boscán is half South American and has been honing my cooking skills. We made Arepas, pollo deshebrado, and frijoles negros with a side of platanos. To say the least it was a big success in the missionary work sense, as well as the cooking.

Then to finish talking about food on a crazy note, we met with a contact and got a pizza with him. Turns out he is absolutely insane. We sat down and we're eating pizza and all seemed happened. A single bee came near him. (This is a 45 year old man without a bee allergy.) He stood up and started waving his hands as to fan the bee away. He then proceeded to do this same process for the next 30 minutes on and off. In the meantime, Anziano Boscán and I were left not reacting to the tiny bee that posed no real threat to anyone's safety. Pretty soon the Ukrainian waitress came over and saw how strange the situation was - and the scene this grown man was making - and she says, "In Ukraine we smash bee with a bare palm if bee bother us." So this scene, coupled with about 5 other things that happened the same night, ensured that we wouldn't be meeting with him again anytime soon.

CM, our Nigerian member, had surgery this week. We were asked by the elders quorum to go and administer unto him. We obliged, even though it was quite a last minute call to go. Seeing as CM lives kind of far outside of Rome, we consecrated our lunch and time to go and visit CM. We got to the Anzio hospital and found him laying on his cot, chilling. We gave him a blessing and talked for a while before leaving. As we left the city, we also took a couple pics.

This week at church we talked a lot about Jesus Christ and service. As I was thinking about some things that were said, an insanely gym-lad-like thing came into my head. Jesus is our spotter in life. For those of you who are not "gym lads," a spotter is a person who is nearby while you lift weights, so when you fail, he can help you. When thinking about grace, and the way that our Savior helps each of us, I realized Jesus has the same role. If I go to the gym and start benching 3 sets of 8 reps, the first set I'll probably not sweat too bad and can do it alone, piece of cake. The second, I'll probably be able to get all the eight reps out, but on the last few I may start to struggle quite a bit. When I push myself and do the third set, I know that I probably will not be able to do all the reps all alone, but I trust that my spotter will be there when I fail. So I give it all I've got, and on the third to last rep I can't quite get the bar all the way up; and my spotter, knowing I need a bit of help, will put two fingers under the bar to help me up. The second to last rep comes, and I can only get the bar halfway up, so my spotter once again pulls a little bit - as to help me get it up - but also give my full effort. Then the last rep, at this point, when the bar hits my chest, I cannot even get it off without help, my arms are tired and muscles shaking, but my spotter, knowing that I can do it with a little help, this time lifts a little more, taking maybe 20 pounds of the weight, so I can do the rest.

In the end, I finished the workout, but it definitely took help. But what part did I do? Not 100% of the workout, but I did 100% of my strength and effort. It surely hurt, but I know it's for my good, and after a day or so I'll be stronger and better for it. Apply this same thing and think of Jesus Christ being our spotter. So often I hear people tell me that they have not felt His help in their lives, or that He doesn't answer some of their prayers. I often try to help them understand that just like this example, if I didn't ask the spotter to come help me, I too would be alone. I explain that if I didn't do my 100% and my part, I cannot expect my spotter to lift it for me and do all the work, and if He did help me, I cannot expect to grow. In life, Jesus works just like a spotter. He will always help us, but we need to ask and give our 100%. If we do, we will see He does help us. It won't be easy, but we will grow from this. We need to remember that His work and glory is to perfect us, and that will never happen easily. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and that through Him we can all reach eternal joy and salvation. The way is simple but not easy.

In other news we went to an Etruscan Necropolis, but it was closed, so here are pics from Cerveteri.

Love you all,

Anziano Ridd

Visiting with our friend, CM, at the hospital in Anzio

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Rustling Them Jimmies - 7/17/17

Anziano Boscán and I being Italian

Anziano Boscán & his BYU Cougarette friend
Hey family!

This week was legit. We did a lot of preaching repentance.

We met with a good few of our investigators, and it was great to see their changes as they are coming to Christ. Especially PL -  sometimes you can just see the Spirit touch him and change him mid-lesson.

Then this week we also got to do a scambio with the Assistants. I went with Anziano Friedman, who is from Dallas. He is a stud, and a hard worker. We ended the scambio all getting "all you can eat wings" together at an American restaurant. #regret. I gotta say - the second half of that day I felt terrible. I hate overeating...

On Sunday we had a ton of tourists, as usual, but this time it was kind of interesting because we had all the BYU Cougarettes (BYU's college dance team). To add to the mixture, Anziano Boscán totally knew some from high school. But the gem of Sunday was that I was the keynote speaker. I talked for about 18 minutes about missionary work, and if I can say so myself, it was a humbling experience...for the ward. I called a lot of repentance, so to speak. In the end, the ward loved it, because they heard what they needed to hear.

Today we played another zone calcio. Here in Rome, that's the thing to do. It was really dang fun and I gotta admit, I can't get enough of sports.

I love you all. Stay good!

Anziano Ridd

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

President Euvrard - 7/10/17

Hey family!

This week was straight gold. 

Here is a quick summary of reasons it was interesting/gold: 
  •  President Pickerd and Sister Pickerd returned to America for health reasons and medical treatment. They should be returning soon. Because of this, we have a temporary Mission President, President Euvrard from France. We got to meet him and his wife on Sunday. They are really cool and I'm excited to work with them for the next bit. 
  • This week Anziano Rodriguez and I did a scambio. It was great, and I learned a lot from how he does missionary work. One thing I really liked was that he likes to use examples and "parables" all the time when he is teaching. I have really been doing my best to adopt the same usage, because I can see how it makes a lot of things easier to understand for others.
  • It's seems that whenever we do scambi, we see miracles. This time we got a call from a Filipino family of 4 that lives close to us. They wanted to invite us to lunch that Saturday! We went and it was amazing, and they are just great Christians. We are excited to meet and teach them again this week. 
  • During this week we also met RF at English course. He is from the Congo and is a lawyer, but needs to learn English. He is super into the Gospel and we are going to meet him this week. 
  • On Sunday we got introduced to MK. He is the son of a family in the ward from the Philippines, and just barely came over to Italy. Although his whole family are members of the church, he is not. He and his family really want to learn more and help him make some new friends in Italy, and we gladly obliged. 
  • Then to top off the the Sunday with a cherry, PL came to church and is ecstatically preparing for baptism in a a few weeks. He is such a good guy and can already see and feel the joy of the gospel. 
That's about it for this week. It was amazing and I loved every bit of it. 
Italia sta fiorendo!

I love you guys!

Anziano Ridd