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

Monday, July 3, 2017

Unforeseen Zone Conference - 7/3/17

Zone Conference
Anziano Ridd - front row, 2nd from right. Anziano Boscán is on the front row, far right.
Anziano Youngblood is in the middle row, 4th from the right. 
Hey family!!

This week was great! We had some cool successes with investigators and then an unanticipated zone conference.

So this week we got a fat Bidone, or we got stood up hard. So we were kinda upset with ourselves, because our backup plan was unreasonable. We decided instead to go to the park nearby. As we walked in, there were some people on benches, but also some people walking. Usually people on benches are easier to teach because they are seated, but a guy who was walking in front of us looked at us and I felt a need to talk to him. I said "Ciao, what's your name?" He said it was PL, and asked us what we are up to here in Rome. I told him, and asked him if he had a sec to hear the message right then and he said ya. We taught him of the Restoration, and it clicked for him. We told him if he met us the next day we could give him a copy of the Book of Mormon. We met the next day for a great lesson about the Book of Mormon and finding the truth. He said, "Why in the world has no one told me about this? It's clear that it's true. It makes sense."  Then he came to church on Sunday and could not have been more uplifted. He said he was brought to tears, and he was "full of joy". It's amazing how the Lord guides us to those who are ready as we do His will.

Then we had a zone conference and it was one of the most spiritual I have had yet. I loved it and it really reinvigorated me as we talked about Preach My Gospel and the will of God…two things I love a ton. It was totally not foreseen, as was said previously, but it went really well in the end.

Anyways, I love you all. Sorry it's a short one.

Anziano Ridd