Monday, January 30, 2017

Changes and a Baptism! 1/30/17

Our friend SM was thrilled to be baptized! This was the crowning jewel of the week.
L-R: Anziano Ridd, new member SM, and Anziano Allen

Rome West Zone Conference with President and Sister Pickerd

Hey family!!

This week was filled with cool stuff. 

Let's start with the zone conference. That went really solid and we learned a lot from the assistants about inviting people to do things. They liked to use the word "exhort," as they say in the scriptures. President and Sister Pickerd taught us about the Holy Ghost. It went really well and gave us a good spiritual kick-start.

Then we had the world-wide mission conference. We listened to the missionary council. Some of the speakers were Elder Oaks, Elder Anderson, Elder Bednar and Bishop Waddell. They talked about tons of things. Something that stood out the most to me is to teach more repentance. They also talked about how baptismal invites are best given when in the context of the Plan of Salvation. The biggest thing though was that the missionary schedule changed. We now plan in the morning and the day is more changeable, depending on our area. That means from 9-10:30 is more of a free time, but for us here in Italy it's actually dinnertime.

Another big change: P- day is now 2 hours longer. Oh man, that will help :). Also, changes to key indicators! Now there are only 4: baptisms, baptismal dates, investigators in church, and new investigators. That's super nice and will help more people focus on what's important. This also means doing numbers on Sunday night is a lot faster and I only have to stay up till 11:30 doing them instead of later...I will not disclose how late...

Anyways, that was super cool, but the crowning jewel of the week was SM's baptism. I have never seen someone so dang happy to hit the waters of Rome and be baptized. He had the biggest smile and kept laughing his laugh - hahahah. Anyways, all went well and I had the privilege of baptizing him. He was then confirmed Sunday and received the Holy Ghost. It was such an awesome experience!

Today we played football with the zone and it was so sick. AND this week we get to go to Malta and help out by doing a scambio. We are excited!

I love you all. Keep being cool!

Anziano Ridd
Enjoying a delicious meal ~ grazie!

Piazza del Popolo
Football on P-day. It was so sick!

Monday, January 23, 2017

I Scambi - 1/23/17

Anziano Ridd in Ostia, Italy
Anziano Misa and Anziano Ridd

Hey family! 
This week was really busy. We started the week out with a scambio with Anziano DaPonte and Anziano Stratton. Stratton and I went together and we did some solid finding in a few cool places. One is a big aqueduct park in our area. I love Anziano Stratton; he is a beast and it's cool that he and I have been in the same district since he was born - hahaha. 

After that we immediately went on another scambio with Anziani Perfili and Misa. I went to Ostia with Misa and we shredded it. He is probably one of the most easy-to-like guys ever. He is from Samoa and dresses so dang well...I'll send you a pic of us. 

Then I did a baptismal interview with G from Ostia. He is a beast, and his story is a bit weird. He actually was baptized in the past when he was young, but hasn't been active since then. He met the missionaries and it turns out his records are not there. So he will he baptized again because of this. But he has a good sense of humor and is okay with it. I have never met a more fit guy than that guy! 

We have zone conference tomorrow, so we are super busy! We hope all goes well for that. Then this week there is the world-wide missionary broadcast. It will be so sick (translation: awesome!).

My spiritual thought today is simple. You are given your life. You are in those particular circumstances, and the things you can change are your attitude and what you do. Take what you have - it’s unique - and love it. Love yours, because it's the only one you’ve got. For me, I love my mission, I love my life, and I love that I have ability to choose my attitude toward everything. 

I love y'all. Keep doing cool stuff at home! 

Anz Ridd

PS - We also had a sick zone calcio! (soccer).
We didn't feel the earthquakes, as we were on a shaky bus.
But I saw holes in the ground in Ostia. 

Zone Calcio on Pday

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Vatican - 1/16/17

St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter's Square, Vatican City

The Sistine Chapel
Hey family!
Not a ton happened this week, to be honest. But I'll give you the run-down real quick and nice. 

Our work is going well. S, one of our investigators who has a voice that sounds like Lil Wayne's, is going to be baptized on the 29th! This week he found himself a new apartment too. Then we met with a new investigator named A. He teaches English and is in his fifties. He wants to learn about the Book of Mormon, so I hope he reads it and has real intent, 'cause the conversion is gonna be big. We also met with our new convert, G, a couple of times. He is doing good and is progressing to receive the priesthood. 

On the metro this week, an African guy inappropriately exposed himself to all the other passengers. Luckily, he knew what he did was not good, so he ran off the metro with his pants at his knees singing and spilling his beer. Hahaha, fun stuff. 

Today for Pday we went to the Vatican and saw the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, and the Vatican museum. I have to admit - that was pretty cool. gosh there were a lot of naked statues. 

Anyways, it's good to know that our church is true. Nothing reinforces that like being at the heart of the other option. I love you all and hope you had a great week!

Anziano Ridd

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

"20" - 1/9/17

Happy birthday, Anziano Ridd!

Hey fam! 

This week was insane. I don't think I have had a week like it in the mission so far. It mostly was full of doing zone things. 

So first off, Rome is awesome. It's unlike any other city I have ever been to. The big difference is that there is so much space, and like 4 metro systems and buses. It's crazy to get around and stuff. An interesting thing is that our church building is a renovated jail. Super sick. They painted the bars yellow to make it happier. 

The members are great here and I am so excited for this week so I can work with them. As for investigators, we have a few. One is S. He is from Nigeria and has been coming to church for like 2 years. The dude can't wait to be baptized and we are planning on that happening this transfer. He just needs to meet with the bishop, who is out of town, and the mission president. Then we have J. She is the wife of P, who is a member who comes from the Philippines. She likes the church a ton, and her daughter is on a mission right now.  Those are a few and I'll fill in more the next week. 

This week was full, as I mentioned. We had MLC (mission leadership council) and ZLC (zone leadership council). In the latter, Anziano Allen and I did two trainings on different things. One was presenting a zone vision. I think it went really well and I am excited for the transfer. 

We also did a scambio with the Rome 1 Anziani, because Anziano Pesci is recovering from a surgery. This helped them do some of their own work. I spent some time with Anziano Pesci, who is a beast. He is so awesome and I hope one day we serve as companions. Anziani Martinez and Allen did some of their work, and the scambio finished well. It was cool to see that part of the city, but because of the time spent there - and how long I have been here - I feel like I still don't know Rome at all, hahaha. 

On my birthday, I bought a little cake and ate it. I can't say this birthday was much different than any other day in the mission.

Sadly, one of our investigators moved to Sweden, but he will totally be baptized there. His name is G, and I bought an African suit from him before he left. It is so awesome. 

Also, next week I give a talk in church and I am pumped. I hope it will be great and that the members and I become super close. They all are so great, so I am pumped to help out. 

Anyways, this week was awesome. A cool thing I have been studying recently is leadership. Jesus Christ taught a few things that have really helped me. One is that the best leaders are the best followers. Simply enough, we become leaders as we follow our loving Heavenly Father and the example of his son, Jesus Christ. As we follow His example, we become an example. The second is sadly sometimes forgotten. Jesus taught that leaders are the servants of those whom they lead. They need not to rise up above all others and puff themselves up to earn respect; rather, they need to sink below and serve, ensuring all whom they lead are doing well and finding success. To me, it seems so simple when the Master teaches these concepts. I attribute it to the simplicity of the gospel. I love it so much and I know it is true. 

I love you all! Sorry this is long.

Anziano Ridd
We went ice skating for Pday!
Top left - in front of the Rome LDS Temple, which is under construction
Top right & bottom left - new friends & new suit!

Bottom right - Anziano Allen & Anziano Ridd

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Rome Is Now Home - 1/2/17

Buon anno famiglia!!! 

I hope y'all had a great new year, because mine passed quite well. This week was one of the most eventful in my mission. 

I'll start with Monday. So, on Monday we received our transfer calls and once again I got a huge surprise. I thought I would be moving, but I figured it would be to a smaller city. Nope, I got called to serve in the Rome 3 area. It's a super cool area and I love it so far. Furthermore, I have a new assignment. I’m no longer a district leader; I am now a zone leader with Anziano Allen over the Rome west zone. 

I was so excited. That's to say the least. Not only was I going to Rome, but I get to serve with Anziano Allen. He is super cool, and is in his 10th transfer. He served in Napoli right before I came in and was in my zone for a while. We are already good friends. Anz Allen is from Logan, Utah and he was a linebacker. Besides that, Anziano Stratton from my district here will come with me and be in the other companionship that shares a house. 

The new area is kinda the bottom part of Rome and then a ton below Rome. My zone is the districts of Rome 3, Rome 1, Ladispoli/Ostia and Malta. So this transfer we may go to Malta to do a scambio. I think I'd like that very much. I am so excited to be here and serve. 

On Wednesday, EV baptized his son J. It was super awesome and the branch showed up to support them. The baptism went a little awry even though we practiced it with them a few times...EV accidentally bonked the snot out of J on a metal bar while was baptizing, so it was done twice. The good thing is, no matter how many times it takes, when it's done right it is valid in God's eyes. I am pleased that EV is a worthy priesthood holder to baptize his son. Also, I woke up pretty sick that morning, so that night I was pretty tired and pretty much downed all the Airborne. The next few days I was sick, but I recovered a ton during them. 

Anyway, I took a train and said goodbye to both Anziano Youngblood and Napoli on Friday. That night I got settled in Rome and the next day was New Year's Eve. It was super awesome, because that day we cleaned the whole house and then Anziano Allen and I ran a 5k called "We Run Rome." It was one of the coolest things because we got to run around some of the awesome sights here. That night we were cleaning at our house, and there were fireworks everywhere. It was a solid day. 

Sunday was also super cool. I got to meet the ward, and they seem super awesome. We ate a cool member's house and Anziano Allen and I planned for our zone. We are so excited for this transfer. It will be one to remember and we are ready to see tons of success in ROME!!!!

I love you all and am so grateful for the support! 2017 will be a super sick (awesome) year of being in Italy for 100% of the time. I'm super excited for it. 

Anziano Ridd