Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Ballin at the Colosseum - 2/27/17

Playing basketball ("ballin") plus hanging on the rim - in front of the Colosseum

Hey family! 

This week was interesting and I felt that I learned a lot - hahahah. 

So first off we had a scambio with the Assistants this week. It was cool, and I went with Anziano Battaglia, who is just an awesome guy. I don't wanna say he is a "perfect" missionary, but dang, that guy is pretty close. He was a convert 3 years ago and came right out on the mission. I guess the only way to describe him is…after the scambio, we were talking about things to improve on, and I was grasping at straws to find something good that he could improve on, hahaha. But that was really fun, because he is a good and really genuine guy. 

The other really cool thing was a fireside for the stake that we had Saturday night. It was by far the best stake fireside I have ever been at in my life, sorry American stake. It takes the cake because of all the preparation that was put into it, and also because the focus was crystal clear: missionary work. Of the things that were talked about, there was a focus on reading “Preach My Gospel;” understanding that as members, we shouldn't pray for the missionaries to find someone to teach - we should pray to find someone ourselves for the missionaries to teach; and finally, about the new stake plan to do missionary work. The plan is wonderful because it is simple. Every single active member of the stake will receive a Book of Mormon. Then during family night, they will write their testimonies on the inside of the book. During the year they will all look for the opportunity to share the Book of Mormon with a friend…not just give it away, but set up a first discussion with the missionaries and with this friend. At the end of the year, if each member did this, there would be 530 Books of Mormon distributed to friends of members, and 530 first discussions with member-present referrals. This will have remarkable success. For those of you who are or were missionaries, I'm sure you can see how this is how missionary work should ALWAYS work, hahah. Anyways, the talks given at this fireside were filled with the Spirit and it was THE BEST. 

I love all y'all and miss you too! 
Anziano Ridd

PS -  We balled in front of the Colosseum today for Pday. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

P>Pday - 2/20/17

Anziano Ridd - in front of San Giovanni Basilica in Rome 
(Archbasilica of St. John Lateran) 

Climbing the Scala Sancta (The Holy Staircase) on our knees

Anziano Allen & Anziano Ridd

Preparation day > Presidents' Day. Thanks Mama for the Pday puns! ;)

Hey fam,

We did a lot of work this week and learned a ton. So it went well. I'll give a quick rundown.

Like always, the Lord will bless up if we work hard and do His will. So we saw some sick blessings. We taught a few new referrals this week from a less active family and it was super amazing. I love seeing members help their friends to understand the joy of the restored Gospel.

Other than that, Anziano Allen and I did a Zone Leadership Meeting. We trained in the meeting about using our agency to better the work, and having a vision in the mission. Occasionally we get lost in the daily grind, and forget to enjoy what we are really doing. Work is a thing that some people love and some people hate. The trick is our attitude and vision of what we are doing. If we are working only to get paid, or only to put "numbers" down on paper, we will forget quickly. If we are working for a higher goal such as building the kingdom of God, we realize how great and rewarding work can be. It becomes fun and a pleasure. It becomes our desire to do our best, rather than do the minimum. Sometime it takes extra help to change, but we can get that from prayer.

Anyways that's kinda my spiritual thought there as well. For me, when I re-read Alma 5, it always helps me out. (To read Alma 5, click here). 

For some fun stuff...today Anziano Allen and I went to San Giovanni Basilica, aka the Old Vatican. It was super amazing. (Click here or here to learn more about San Giovanni Basilica). They have big statues of the 12 apostles that are just fantastic.  They all have so much detail and allusions to history that it was sick. Then we walked across the street and climbed the sacred steps - on our knees, of course. (They were taken from Jerusalem and supposedly Jesus climbed them while he was carrying the cross) but we didn't have a ton of time so we did it pretty fast...(most people take a long time) and we passed everyone up on the stairs, hahaha (More info on Scala Sancta here). Then we got picked up by a member who is awesome and saw a sick scene of Rome. They work at a prosciutteria  (hamery) so we ate there afterward. It was super cool, and a really fun Pday.

I love Rome and Italy and love y'all as well! Till next time!

Anziano Ridd

Anziano Ridd & Anziano Allen

Monday, February 13, 2017

Survived the Transfers - 2/13/17

Mission Leadership Council (MLC) in Rome

Hey fam!

This week was ccccrrraaaaazzzzyyyyy. We had transfers, and here in Rome that means we coordinate/make sure everyone is where they need to be. So because of that, all of Thursday we were at the train station. To add to the craziness, we had a mission leadership council here in Rome with all the ZLs and STLs. So we had a meeting Thursday and Friday for that. In the end it all went well, but I guess I'll say we "survived."

Then this week we found a few new investigators, so that was cool. SM is doing great and we are happy about him. We also have GD who is doing great. So our new converts are doing good. We are really pushing to find an Italian family this transfer. That's is my dream, to find and baptize a whole Italian family!

Anyways - honestly, transfers took up the big part of this week. The leadership council was good and edifying. I am staying in Rome 3 with Anziano Allen for another transfer, and we now have Anziano LaRussa in our house. He is a beast and a wrestler. We have the biggest dudes in the mission in the same house (excluding me...I'm the weak link). So hopefully I'll be inspired by them and improve a lot, hahah.

Zone calcio was today. We SLAYED IT. I think it may have been the best one yet. I got to be reunited with my son, Anziano Youngblood, because he is now in Rome too!!!

Anyways I love all y'all,

Anziano Ridd
Zone Calcio - best one yet!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Il-knisja ta 'Kristu Ġesù tal-qaddisin Tal-aħħar Jiem


Tislijiet minn Malta!!!!  (Translation: Greetings from Malta!!!!)

So this week was insanely awesome. You might guess that by my ability to speak another language. Or...kinda try to. We went to Malta Tuesday morning to do a scambio with the Elders down there. Oh my word, are we blessed to be able to go to that beautiful country! I think I could go on for days praising the people and culture and things, but for the lack of time I'll stop now.

Malta is an awesome island where we have a branch of the church and 4 missionaries (plus a senior couple). When we arrived, I went on a scambio with Anziano Cannon. We had some great success as we found and taught lessons. We taught a new investigator named HP and she was awesome. She wants to come to church. Then we had some cool success doing house (knocking on doors?). We taught a lesson to a mother and son, and it was amazing. We had a member with us (who will be going on a mission soon) and it was interesting. It was half in Maltese and half in English. But the Spirit was there and you could see the happiness in their eyes as we testified of our message.

All in all, the Malta scambio is something I will never forget...so amazing.

Then, right when we got back, we got a surprise! We now have a car!!!!! Well...kinda. It's a shared car between us and the other Roman missionaries. Most of the time we don't need it, but occasionally we need to go far for member appointments and investigators, so it helps out a ton. I gotta admit...driving in Rome is...thrilling to say the least - hahaha.

I'll close with my testimony of the Book of Mormon. I have seen in my mission and know that this is true, that anyone who reads the Book of Mormon every day and tries to apply principles taught in that book will have an improved life. It will always bless and bring joy to anyone that reads it. That is simply because it is true.

I love all y'all!

Anziano Ridd