Monday, April 24, 2017

The Italian Talent - 4/24/17

The ward talent show
7 kilo porchetta (delicious Italian pork) 

Good morning fam!

This week was dang busy and super enjoyable.

We will start with the people highlights. MN, the Albanian investigator we have, is a gem. The guy is doing all he needs to right now, reading, praying, and coming to church whenever it is possible. He is learning well and willing to meet with us about twice a week. I love MN; he is such a great guy. Then there is MO; he is a new investigator that we met on a metro (like normal). He speaks perfect English and actually has been translating for his church from English to Italian. He was so excited to hear about the “restored gospel.” Then I met a guy that was literally searching for the truth. His name was RW and he is so excited to get a Book of Mormon. This week was awesome for meeting people on public transportation.

Then last Saturday we had a big talent show in church. It was super fun and the members loved it. Of course, at the end we had a ton of food, including a 7 kilo porchetta. Sooo delicious. My favorite talent was by one of the sisters in the ward. She went up there and taught us how to make a pasta. It's was one of those "Only in Italy" moments - hahaha.

Sunday was pretty good. I gave a talk this week on missionary work, but a based a ton of it off of a talk from Anziano Hales. It's the October 2012 talk called "Being A More Christian Christian." I recommend everyone to give that a good read; it is amazing. (To read or listen to this talk, click here). It was cool - in part of the talk I quoted our Mission President...and this week he was in our Sacrament meeting. That doesn't happen too often.

Today we played zone calcio. Turned out that Anziano Bourne and I were the only ones from our zone, and the rest were from Rome East. It was a ton of fun.

I love you all. Thanks for all the support!

Anziano Ridd

Anziano Ridd and Anziano Youngblood

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Buona Pasquetta!!? 4/17/17

Castel Sant'Angelo

Good morning and Happy little Easter!

Today in Italy it is a holiday called Pasquetta, which is just a continuation of the party on Easter. The young people put it like this: Pasqua is a day to be with family and party, but Pasquetta is a day to party with your friends. What a way to celebrate Jesus Christ's saving Atonement. (!!!).

Anyways, this week was pretty solid; it was so many things together so I'll keep it short and interesting.

On Wednesday morning, we had to do quite a few calls to set up appointments, when we randomly received a call. It was a potential we found the day before and it went like this: (literal Italian to English translation):

Anziano Bourne: "Ready, I am Elder Bourne."
MN: "Hey, I am at the church, where are you?"
Anziano Bourne: "What? We are close. We will be there in just a second."
MN: "Ok, I'll wait here."

The next 15 minutes we were in a dead sprint to get from our apartment to the church, which was not seconds away. But thank goodness we did, because MN came to another lesson and to church on Sunday. He is a 30 year old guy from Albania and has amazing faith in Jesus Christ.

Also right now it is strawberry season here. Oh my gosh, the strawberries are the best thing ever. As the Italians say, "The fruit and veggies in southern Italy taste as God intended them to taste." So the other day Anziano Bourne and I bought 2 boxes of strawberries (not just little boxes ~ BIG boxes) and went around handing them out to people. We originally bought them for us...but that was the most fun finding method I have done in awhile. I had a mile-wide smile on my face, hahaha.

One thing that was also awesome is that I went on a scambio with Anziano Dunn. He is the most energetic missionary ever; I have no doubt in my mind. He is a great guy from Utah and plays lacrosse. We had a great scambio and had the chance to find quite a few people. THE FINALE. We got invited to go to our Bishop's house for Pasqua (Easter). We went and he had invited about 30 other people too. So we had tons of food and grilled up tons of meat (yum). The Italian tradition is to eat lamb, so we had amazing lamb skewers. We also got a chance to talk a ton with some less active members there, and because of that, one is now progressing to become an active member. We are excited and hope that soon enough he will go on a mission. Also I got to talk to a member that is from Palermo, and oh man, do I miss that place. It was a great Easter for me this year.

I hope all of you take a bit to reflect on why we should believe in Jesus Christ. I know He is my Savior and He gives me guidance every day.

I love you all. Have a great Easter.

Anziano Ridd
Anziano Ridd with Johnny Di S from Palermo
Pasqua (Easter) BBQ 

Monday, April 10, 2017


We had the wonderful baptism of OS on Saturday.
Zone Conference, 4/2017
Ciao ragazzacci!

What. A. Week. We literally had so many things happen it was crazy. But I want to start my initial shout-out to Hades Ridd, who is going to the Thailand Bangkok mission. What a beast. Now we will just have to see who cooks noodles better after the mission. Love ya, Hades!

This week we had a sick zone conference. It was awesome because Anziano Spencer, one of my great friends on the mission, is now an Assistant to the President. He and Anziano Battaglia taught a truly inspired training on using the Book of Mormon. Now, I watched the talk from President Monson about the Book of Mormon just before this, and felt something click. Here in Rome, sometimes I have been pulling out a lot from the Bible - due to the fact that people often already believe in it - but I realized that I want to use the Book of Mormon to answer any question people have. So because of the advice from the prophet, and an amazing training on using the Book of Mormon, I have committed myself to read the Book of Mormon every day of my life, and know all I can about it. That's a big commitment, but it brings so much happiness in my life, and I know it can do the same for others.

Then Saturday we had the baptism of OS. That went well, even if I was hoping for a bigger turnout. He was really happy and showed up real early to get ready. It was a cool experience to see him progress toward Jesus Christ.
The Angel Moroni, being lifted via crane to the top of the Rome LDS Temple

Ok, avanti. This week started with a strange twist. The family of four Italians I talked about a couple weeks ago hadn't been able to meet with us for a while, because the mother was not doing well at all due to cancer. Then I decided to call them on Tuesday to see how they were doing. I talked to the father, and he told me realllllly sad news. The mother had passed away. So last Wednesday we attended the funeral, and I'm gonna be completely honest, it was so sad. It was held in a Catholic Church, and the people there were just all so heartbroken. The family was crying and so sad. I was also sad that she passed, even if I had known her only a month or so, but all I wanted to do is stand up and teach these people the Plan of Salvation. I know this week we will teach it to their family, but I feel so blessed to know that God has created a plan for us. Knowing this plan is not going to make death painless, and it's not going to stop us from missing loved ones, but I know that death is not the end. I know that we will see our loved ones again, and it gives me comfort to know that. I know our Heavenly Father exists, and His son Jesus Christ is our Savior.

This week we are playing B Ball next to the Colosseum for P-day. I love the Rome life.

Love you all!

Anziano Ridd
The Anziani at Zone Conference
The Sorelle
Note from Mom: I received texts this week from 2 different people 
(whom I don't know!) who were in Rome and saw Anziano Ridd!  
They were the sweetest ~ they took pics of him and texted them to me! 
He is at the train station in the pic above, and below (the next day) he is at the airport.

Monday, April 3, 2017

GC #3 Down, 1 more to go...Weird.

General Conference with friends
Anziano Ridd and Anziano Bourne
Anziano Ridd, with the Rome LDS Temple in the background.
Note the Angel Moroni atop the temple, which was just added last week.
Good morning, Family! 

I hope all of you had a great General Conference and loved listening to the prophet of God speak. This week was pretty dang fun. We did a lot of finding, but also saw a lot of great success and potential in the work. 

So this week was pretty packed with conferences, but also with food. We started with our mission leadership council on Tuesday. The mission is very focused on the youth and young single adults. It makes complete sense, because they are the best to work with. We are going to be spending a lot more time in and around university campuses to meet as many smart guys as possible.

Later in the week, we shared these messages with the district leaders of the zone in our zone leadership council. Along with that, we trained on how to have the largest effect possible on our district members with district meetings. There is a super cool video we shared about leadership that you can find in gospel library. It is called "Building Leadership Capability." After we had those meetings, we ate an obscene amount of food...and Anziano Boscan and I were reunited after a long time of being apart. :)

As for the work, OS is ready to be baptized this Saturday!!!! Which means this week will be very full with zone conference coming up. We also had a cool opportunity to teach a family from Buenos Aires, Argentina. They were a referral from Mormon tourists who spoke Spanish with them at a restaurant. They seem pretty interested in the gospel, and we are excited to see them next week. 

General Conference is definitely one of my favorite weekends of the year. I love being able to kick back and get inspiration from the prophets of God on the earth. But as a missionary, it's a bit different - hahaha. I got to see one full session - Priesthood session. The others were broken up into pieces and/or skipped because of appointments. BUT GUYS, DID YOU SEE PRIESTHOOD SESSION? How sick (great) are our leaders?! They blow my mind every time with the power that comes through their words and specific inspiration I receive from it. It's hard to choose a favorite, but as normal, President Uchtdorf really can hit it out of the park. (Click here to listen to President Uchtdorf's talk in Priesthood session).

Anyways, this week I have focused a part of my studies on baptism. In a world that fears commitment, baptism sometimes is feared...but here in Italy I have often found that the beauty of baptism is forgotten. Baptism has many purposes: a show of faith and obedience, to cleanse us from our sins, to allow us to enter the Kingdom of God, to strengthen our relationship with our Heavenly Father, etc... but I feel that people often only focus on the "membership" part. Recently, my companion and I have been teaching the simple truth and joy of baptism with just about everyone we meet, and often we see that people desire this sacred ordinance in their lives. I just hope we all can remember how much joy baptism brings and not be afraid to tell others about it. I know how much closer it brings us to Christ.

Well anyways, I hope I didn't go over my word limit. You guys are amazing, keep doing great things like serving missions or helping the missionaries out by giving everyone you know to them to teach.

Love you tons,

Anziano Ridd

PS - This Pday we went to the Bone Church (Note from Mom ~ I believe this is referencing the Capuchin crypt of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini; for more info, click here).
English (Google) translation: "The map of cheeses and salami."