Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Rudolph is Italian

Dear family and friends,

You see me mowin my back lawn.. They laugh and point cause I'm so white and nerdy.

Two days ago we ran into Christian near our apartment.. I recognized him and we talked for a few minutes.. He still really likes us.. His phone stopped working which he had and was the reason we hadn't been seeing him. He had gotten a new phone and we got his number.. We met with him again and he said he still wants to be baptized.. He was one of my best back in the day.. So hopefully he won't disappear again. If he does make it though.. That's probably one of the reasons I stayed here an extra 8 weeks.. So I could recognize him and help him finish the journey into the church. Or not haha.

We also met with frank again. He likes to go to his church.. But we had a really good lesson with him in a cellar.. So hopefully he is going to come to church and what not.. He is so cute.. I hope he chooses our church. He really wanted me to buy him a phone and we told him I couldn't last lesson haha.

We are going to the mccbrides today to play board games.. He is competitive, I'm competitive.. Blood will be drawn. Hopefully we don't play any weird games. I also did p 90 x this morning. I haven't felt this alive in a long time.

There will hopefully be two baptisms with Saturday for Sylvester and boyobo.. We are as ready as we can get with Africans.. We pray for the best.

Christmas was really good. We went to the Clarks for an American breakfast.. They also gave each of us a gift.. They gave me a really nice tie.. and a Russian nesting doll from Croatia.. It was super nice and kind of them. We then went to the mccolums for lunch.. Godwin Ek and Godspower came.. They are all doing really well. The mccolums house was pretty spectacular.. We then went to the mohrs to skype.. Christmas Eve we went to the greens and had a very nice dinner.. She is just about to have a baby.. We then went to the marianis.. The branch president.. His kids were a bit hyped up and crazy while we were there.. He is pretty fantastic.. His wife is nice.. It was pretty fun.. We played a fun bingo game thing.. I tied in winning.. What up.

We had Splits on Sunday. It went really good. I went with brother leach to the Clarks and the holladays. Both lessons went really good. Brother leach is awesome.. I learned about the commitment process that they focused more on back in his missionary days.. And going into lessons with a purpose.

We went to the mall yesterday with the larsons the senior couple.. Anziano Davis got Christmas ornaments for his mom.. I almost got this sweet 50% off jacket thing.. Saldi has started.. Embrace the darkness. 50% off is child's play during saldi.. So hopefully if I really want it I'll get it another time and it'll get cheaper.

I got some new gloves for myself.. Hint hint nod nod. I remember.

She said shut up and dance with me.

My boy you day nice,
Anziano Gridley

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

I'll Be Home In America For Christmas. See You Soon.

Dear family and friends,

What does it matter to you he's just a friend.
I don't have many friends.

Yesterday Anziano Davis slept in until 12.. He was sick. We did get to see Boyobo and Sylvester though afterward. They both should be baptized next Saturday next year. Very exciting for them. Hopefully, we will have fufu to celebrate. I just need to help them buy it and let them make it. Hopefully, I can learn as well.

We ate at the Mccavoys, they had a Christmas party. They brought a friend that works with brother Mccavoys. The food was super good. The lady made nacho nuoves that instead of a taco you used chips. And there was these toothpick chicken wrapped bacon. Bacon:). Man, it was good. We did a good job of becoming pretty good friends with brother ms friend. But we should have extended the invite at the end for him to learn more. Scrub mistake. It's good to show him the light. So he can go to it if he wants.

On Sunday, we had a choir in centro. The first thirty minutes of the two hours was terrible. We just waited for people which was a bit silly. But then we got singing and it was great. Just American members came so we sang in English. Which may have surprised the Italians. I took one for the team and handed out pass along cards. It was pretty fun. Neil made cookies and hot chocolate. Right after that, we went over to the Mohrs. We had a nice dinner with them and talked.

We went and saw a man we met on the street a couple weeks ago. His name is Paris. He makes glass things for the tourists in Venice. He is really smart.. He speaks about 6 languages. He works on a bit of land he owns because he has a lot of energy. He is looking for truths and good things. He is extremely nice. He gave the sister missionaries he had never met before two necklaces. We should be meeting him again tonight. He is fantastic. He has a parrot that talks. He lives alone without a tv and computer. He said that people are on a technology drug.

The sister missionaries started speaking only in Italian. I super like Italian.. So this was great for me to get a bit more practical practice... Some missionaries don't like to speak Italian with other missionaries which baffles my mind but yeah.

A lady started to talk to us as we were handing out Christmas pass along cards. Her name is Enjoy. She used to be a member of the church for a little bit of time. She has a daughter here in Italy and is a fireball. She sang Christmas carols with us last week. She is selling jewelry in the market in centro. She is pretty funny. She told the sisters that Anziano Davis and I are good looking guys and that they should totally get their game on. Not many people say that even if it's true haha.

Well, this is my first Christmas back in America. We will be with Americans all of Christmas. So might as well be in America. Missionaries become the members best friends at Christmas time.

I should skype y'all around maybe 5-8 my time so anywhere from 10ish to 1 for y'all. Be ready :p

That is a terrible thing for you to say to me.

I greet you,
Anziano Gridley>br/>

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

I know for a fact that you don't like to party.

Dear family and friends,

Welcome back to who wants to be a millionaire!

Austin looking wise.
One of the sisters was at the church doing emails while Anziano Davis was still emailing and the computer wasn't working or something so I having pity asked her, "Do you want to get on the computer?" She said yes. And using my computer hacking skills had the computer working for her within a couple minutes. She then later couldn't figure out how to make a smiley face. So I having pity asked her, "Do you want a smiley face?" She said yes. A minute later ora echo (now behold) there was a smiley face. Anziano Davis got her a question mark. I just thought it was funny.

Christian and Martin went to Germany. So that makes sense. Hopefully Christian will still get baptized etc seeing as he was one of the best. It's a good thing as they will hopefully find work.

Anziano Gridley with Dennis
Dennis came to the Christmas party. We had a lesson with him and then we rode our bikes to the church. It was really good cause Dennis and I are already pretty tight. I spent basically the party with him getting even more tight and he's already super legit. We had another lesson with him yesterday and he was excited for us to come back which is great (we didn't see him for a month a bit ago). So hopefully he'll keep going upwards.
Also at the Christmas party I was one of the three wise men. Anziano Davis, Dan (shirts guy), and me were wise men that handed out goody bags. We looked pretty good.

The other missionaries were teaching two main other people Boyobo and Charles. Boyobo is from Nigeria and is super cool. We are trying to help him learn how to read. He has a really really hard time memorizing things so we are still working on the letters haha. He is a sweet heart though and is auto-sufficient in coming to church on his own without us baby-sitting so that's nice. Really nice genuine guy. Charles has some not exactly good for you items that he likes to take like wine and cigarettes. We are trying to help him to quit those. He is tired all the time which these don't exactly help with. He has quit before and he knows that he should stop so I have pretty good confidence in him.

Anziano Davis took his bike, Jenny, off some sweet jumps. He had me film for him. And after an hour we had filmed a short film of jblades bike-a-thon. In the deleted scenes not seen. Anziano Davis has hit a pole thing and nailed himself really good where it counts. That was funny. I bike a bit and look back and he's trying to recover and I realize he somehow hit himself while he was on his bike. And then recently he crashed himself and an old man on his bike fell trying to dodge the wreckage. I got there wondering why Anziano Davis had hurt this old man. (Having not seen what had happened).

We went to Asiago with bishop call. Asiago is a city north of Schio. They are known for their cheeses. Also the mountains there were spectacular. Bishop call is super cool. He's probably the one guy I know that's Dad's age and can bench more than dad can.

We ate at the Rayneys again. They made.. Wait for it. Stroganoff. :) it was super good. She has nothing on mom. But it was a nice different version. Mom was an interesting cook back in the day and was pretty reliable with the interesting being a good interesting. But the stroganoff was not a dish to be messed with. Btw I see the picture you took about a month ago and everyone looks pretty different. I dig the hair Jacob. Oliver and Sam look way bigger. Jonas looks like he still has a 6 pack. Mom looks like she has been running lots of marathons. Dad has a nice grass head and still looks young. Lucy looks like she has a mane of hair. Which is not bad. Isaac is looking mighty fine. Sam isn't looking at the camera haha. Guess things change a bit in a year and two years no matter how you flip the hamburger.
I'm doing a ok mother bear. A Gridley cub trying to be a man of God has nothing to fear and only has things to really be grateful for.

We had dinner with Ringo. Who is half Samoan, half Tongan. He works for the military as a civilian. He is a member and we ate with him and two of his friends. Ringo was one of the nicest men I've met in a long time. Extremely nice. He was egging us on in eating more. Islanders can eat a lot. Unfortunately, I can't eat as much as when I was in my prime. But I made the Gridleys worthy of becoming islanders. It was a super nice good night.

I was sickish on Sunday my throat hurt real bad. I tried to borrow some chapstick from the school nurse, but it still hurt pretty good for about three days. The first day I woke up in the middle of the night cause I had a painful headache cause my throat hurt. I kept sleeping for about 2 minutes and I'd wake up and do it again about 4 times. I would try to get contact information of people who were interested in the gospel in these two-minute dreams and wouldn't be able to get their information before I woke up. It was a frustrating nightmare. I then stayed up for about an hour reading and then fell back asleep. I probably sneezed about 111 times in three days. I'm feeling better now. We thank the almighty.

I knew the answers.

My boy you day flex,
Anziano Gridley

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

How much you want to bet I can break into our own apartment. Back in 82 those were the days.

 Dear family and friends,

Where are you Christmas? Where can I find you?
In Italy silly.

Tonight it was so funny. We stopped this lady named Giovanna. She was really nice. At first, she talked about how she had never really felt gods love and how there are so many bad things in the world. We talked to her about this etc.. Very nice conversation. The topic of family is brought up and she had a daughter in Ireland that is a sheep herder. She tells us that we are both very handsome. She then tells us that her daughter is tall and pretty. She then says she wants strawberry blonde blue eyed grandchildren. She then asks Anziano Davis to marry her daughter. After fifteen minutes he had won her blessing for her daughters hand. I was egging her on supporting her in this marriage. We then in a bit said a prayer. Halfway through the prayer, she tells Anziano Davis she wants to call her daughter and for him to talk to her. After the prayer he talks to her daughter. They had a nice conversation. Her daughter was a bit embarrassed. She has a boyfriend named Stefano. After the phone call, she tells us that her daughter is faithful. So hopefully when her daughter comes to Italy in January Anziano Davis and her will become well acquainted for after the mission. It was super duper funny. We got her number and she wants a Book of Mormon. Went really good.

I got really frustrated Tuesday. Sylvester was supposed to get baptized this Friday... But now he isn't. And so all my boys have fallen along the way and are not baptized yet if they ever will... It's hard to swallow when I put a lot of heart out there for those guys. Beh I'd do it again. Also, I broke my bike chain which was my fault. I wasn't clutch. But anyways.

Today we are going to have lunch with some of our African guys. We are going to make American stuff for them. I'm making Dad's pancakes and corn dogs. We also need to clean our apartment a lot because tomorrow the senior couple will come to check out the damage which will be resolved today we hope. Anziano brooks left on Sunday. He went to the office. He is in copia. So it will just be the same sisters and us here. I'm pretty happy about it cause I like Vicenza.

Milano this next transfer. Anziano Pyper is going to Trieste. One of the cities I want to serve in. He will be with Anziano Conway. They are closing that

Yesterday was a Catholic holiday. I believe it's the day they believe Jesus was conceived in the womb of Mary. Beh. We went and saw happy who lives in Malo. Roland had work off due to the holiday so we got to see him. He was really cool just like happy. We got some pictures.

We went by the base for the first time a bit ago.. We met with a single soldier name Dan. He is super cool. He bought us dinner. He then got us peanut butter and corn dogs. He also got me two shirts I have been looking for my whole mission. I would have preferred to not have him do all that. But he insisted. I'm not sure if the Americans missionaries have this happen all the time, but here it's special. Anyways whenever I wear those shirts I will remember Dan and I'll be reminded to follow his example of being extra kind to missionaries.

I had an adventure breaking into our apartment yesterday. We took a video of it. Basically, it's fairly easy to break into our apartment which isn't the best way to look at it. I like to see it as we can get into our apartment if we forget the keys and need to get in without too many problems.

I'm glad grandpa Gridley is cancer free. I waited a few days for an email to let me know what happened.. And was fairly excited to know he was still alive when y'all let me know how it went. It is a great Christmas time.

A reward? You never mentioned a reward.

My guy you day gentle.
Anziano Gridley

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Lord of the Rats

Dear family and friends,

Some people say that missionaries are invincible. We are vincible.
We have feelings.

We played football thanksgiving morning with the Americans. It was really good. I can still catch a football. The best part was when I intercepted the football in our in our zone. And ran it back for a touchdown. It was two hand touch. The ground was very slippery so that was fun. I was kind of done after I made that touchdown. I was pretty tired.

We ate thanksgiving with the Rayneys. It was super nice. They had all the good foods. America is missed. Pasta = The Enemy. An Italian lady came to their house and we got to talk to her a little bit about the gospel. Later we got dropped off at the church. Anziano Davis forgot his iPad. So brother Rayney brought his iPad from his house back for him. The true test of brother Rayney was completed. He is awesome. We then went to the Rowleys. I got to eat some good food. I had an awesome talk with brother Rowley. A lot of these American guys I admire a Lot.

We are going to Padova today for p day. It's a pretty big city that isn't too far away.

Transfers are next week. It is happening two week early because of Christmas... I have a feeling I am leaving. But I don't want to say anything because I'll look like a fool if I stay. Anyways.. I've left my last two cities after two transfers so we'll see if the tradition continues. Vicenza is really great, though.

Anziano Davis bought an Orzo maker. Orzo is a drink made with barley.. (Barley is encouraged by the church).. It is pretty good. They really like it here in Italy. When we tell someone to lay off the coffee. Orzo is a great alternative. I got to try it last night. It's the best.

I melted our strainer... I started to steam vegetables in an effort to be healthy. It lasted a few steam sessions and then melted into oblivion. You can not steam veggies with a plastic strainer no matter how bad you want those delicious veggies. I have repented of this transgression and now use a metal one that is held up by a distorted hanger. If I recall from Glen. Steaming is the preferred way to cook veggies. At least health wise.

I am really trying to think of things to write about to make this email longer. Ok thought of something.. There was a dead rat on the side of the road that was run over by a car. It was there for several days and then last night it was cleaned up. I came up with a story of how it was not there anymore... Do you know the piper rat story where he plays his pipe and all the rats come? Anziano Pyper. Looks like this super-hero guy. And he is this guy who plays his pipe and he is the king of the rat. He saves the world with the rats that won the Great War. After the war, Anziano Pyper starts eating the rats. That's what he eats. It's fine no one cares until he eats a certain rat named Stuart little. The family of Stuart little tries to get Anziano Pyper thrown into prison for eating someone in their family. He tells them they should have adopted a cat like any other normal family. Anyways.. This is how the rat on the side of the road got cleaned up.. Anziano Pyper ate it.

Have you ever been told that you look like a Lama?

My boy, you may try.
Anziano Gridley

Monday, November 30, 2015

Thank you Nono

Dear family and friends,

Feed me woman.

Kingsley one of our investigators is doing really well. He is trying to learn Italian.. He is from Nigeria and has been here for a few months. He lives at a camp and the three ladies there love him. We came to see him and he invites us in where he is doing work on a computer for the ladies of the camp (they are in charge of the people there).. He is basically like Joseph of Egypt. He has become the favorite. He also has this Italian lady wanting to marry him. He is awesome.

Recently I guess we have been going quality over quantity. If we are having a street conversation with an African. I will invite them to do at least something.. But the goal is to invite them to be a great investigator and to get baptized.. I try to make sure they would like that so we don't waste their time and they don't waste ours. We found two guys this way. One is named frank. He is basically a sweet heart. He used to drive buses in Nigeria.. He is this smaller guy who just has a good heart. He is also trying to learn Italian. He collapsed on Saturday so he was in the hospital and didn't come to church. This guy is great though.. And then there is osaro. There were a group of six Africans talking.. We had some time as we were waiting for someone. So I picked the one I  could see getting baptized.. Osaro. Last night we invited him to baptism etc.. He told me he could tell from the first time we met the things I was telling him were true. Some moments are really incredible.

We met this guy named Robin at Parko Querini the bunny park. There was no one there that morning and I made a mental note to not go back because no one would be there cause it's too cold. We talked to about four people. The last person is this guy named robin. He is basically Italian. He is looking for work. His mom is from Morocco.. His dad is from Brazil. The first time we met him I asked him if he believed in God and Jesus Christ.. He said he was atheist. (He wasn't really super atheist).. This last lesson we invited him to be baptized.. He is going to prepare.. He told us after meeting with us a few times he has a bigger testimony of God and Jesus Christ in general. Win. Yes. He is super cool. Super accepting.. The word of wisdom may be difficult.. We hope for the best.

I am a firm believer that everyone needs the gospel.. There are obviously the elect already ready. But I do believe you can help someone basically become elect. Some of the guys we have been working with to one degree or another are definitely elect.. But there are problems with changing and becoming better which is natural. It's just awesome that we built a good relationship with a lot of them.. So they don't usually run away at the first sign of trouble. We can help them with the problems. But some do run off even when we are good friends. If there is a member friend, we are good friends, and they are super elect.. The odds of helping them with a long term good change goes drastically up... If you have a combination of the three it's a powerful force.

Christian is doing good. These last two weeks he hasn't come to church cause he didn't want to walk. He is either going to get a bike soon or Trek with us.. It's just hard cause if someone isn't willing to walk to church before baptism they won't be willing to after words.. And sometimes it's necessary. Christian will make it though. He is the best.

Merry birthday Grandpa Gridley, and Riah!

Merry birthday... Merry thanksgiving. Remember most things are not about you. Most of my people not coming to church.. It's not about me. Someone that does something that hurts you. It's not about you. You get In a car accident.. It's not about you. You don't want to do the dishes.. It's not about you. Let us be more thankful and less selfish this next year. Obviously there are balances in all things. But just cause something bad happens.. Or someone hurts us very deeply. It's not about you. We thank the almighty for the sunny days and the rainy ones. We thank him for the hard and the good times. Find a way to cope with the rainy days and then enjoy them with the sunny days. We are still human and this is easier to say, harder to live.. Feel your emotions, we are human.. But eventually you need to use your umbrella and stop drowning in the rain. The almighty is good to us.. We are made to have joy:).

Oh bob.. That was my favorite arm.

Vi saluto (to mom.. I have been saying farewells that African say.. But you can say I salute you in Italian.. But normally you say something else just like in American English..(if you still haven't picked a gift.. You should pick the Pokemon and the ds (for the children obviously) I tell you what the urge to play Pokemon is strong right now haha..also I'm going to send a picture of an American you can ship a package to if you want to send it in a safer easier less expensive way.. The American postal service)).

Anziano Gridley

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Too much now.

Dear family and friends,

If only tears were laughter. If only night was day. However they attack. Whatever they call us.. We'll find our own way back.

Isaacs birthday! Happy birthday Isaac:).. I'm pretty terrible aren't I? Finally mention it a few weeks late. I'll do better when I get home.. There is a funny balance for me in staying focused and working hard.. A lot of me is really focused here with just a bit at home. We will have to battle at this dart place when I get home.. You better practice up because I've got years of call of duty under my belt which is not easily defeated. Plus I take this stuff way too seriously haha.

I gave a talk on Sunday. It was on being humble and meek. Obviously I needed to give this talk haha. I talked about Ammon as my example.. And the teaching of Jesus. Ammon was pretty dang sick. He tries a different approach of being a servant to make a more natural missionary move. He was a prince and he became a servant.. Pretty humble and meek. I mentioned at the end how if we love Jesus we feed his sheep.. Do missionary work.. God wants us to do missionary work so if we are humble and meek we will do that.. I like to use a lot of scriptures in my talks..

It's weird with our investigators.. We had only one of the original 12 people preparing for baptism in church on Sunday... We had five new people come though.. It's weird because yes a few of the twelve dropped off the planet but most of them love us the missionaries.. So it's probably going to take more time with a lot of them.. But if things continue well hopefully they will make it. It was nice to see a good coincidence. I had 14 pieces of fruit.. To try to give our guys strength as they walked to church.. Turns out the seven guys who came couldn't have lunch and I had just enough fruit to give each of them two pieces. I don't really believe in coincidences.

Anziano Davis.. Is a really laid back guy.. I'm fine with this up to the point where it messes with the missionary work.. We will see how things go.. Anziano Davis is a really good guy. He's got spunk that's for sure.

We went to Bologna on Sunday so he could baptize one of his investigators from Ferrara. It went really well.. We were on trains all of Sunday. I love trains.. I tried to use the time well.. I met three more notable people which was funny. I met Godstime who lives in mestre.. Who met missionaries in Trento just a few days earlier.. So I just confirmed the experience he had with those missionaries. Really cool guy. I also met David who is from Nigeria.. He has four children and has lived in Italy for five years. Had a really good conversation with him.. And then I met Kenneth.. He was baptized almost twenty years ago in Germany. He then had to leave Germany and go back home.. Now he's here. I invited him to come back to church etc. he remembers the missionary who baptized him very well.. I hope missionaries in the future will take time to help my guys when they need help. It's important. Coincidences do not exist.

I can't deny what I believe I can't be what I'm not.

I salute you,
Anziano Gridley

Throwback Thursday video:

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I'm Batman

Dear family and friends,

I'm not the missionary Vicenza deserves, but I'm the missionary it gets.

Our investigators sucked it up. We had only two investigators come to church on Sunday.. This is after Anziano Keller and I had tried to keep the 9 we had brought the week before and bring a few new people to the best of our abilities.. It really was a blow. So we may not do as well this transfer as I was hoping.. But one thing is for sure.. We are working with The best of the best. I kind of wanted to give up on the investigators who had not lived up to their potential.. But we won't.. Most of them still love us and are still doing well.. We shall see what happens. We hope for the best.

Transfer information.. Anziano Keller is going to
Genova to be a zone leader.. Anziano Davis is coming from Ferrara to be my companion. Which is in this zone. He is a pretty outgoing guy.. I will send some pictures that I already had of him before I knew he was my companion.. He used to be a skateboarder with long red hair. It should be a blast. Hopefully his outgoing skills will help the American ward etc. He has been a missionary 6 weeks longer than I have which is a bit funky because I am getting a bit older in the mission.. Sorrela robinett is leaving Vicenza. Everyone else is the same.

Sometimes if things that I had thought were going to go well and don't.. Put me into a shock and limit my ability to keep the high road of traveling. Need to work on that.

I feel like the dark knight. I rose up just to get knocked down way harder and I got rise up again. Why do we fall Bruce? To picked ourselves up. I need to pick myself up.

Anziano brooks has read over 50 books of star wars.. So this week I picked his mind on the classic genera. Star Wars now makes more sense and is cooler. One idea that I really like is.. Jedi failing to do their job. Anikan was kind of meant to be the chosen one.. Kind of like Sampson.. Sampson was supposed to free the Jews in a way.. But mostly in all honestly failed.. Just like how Anikan failed. While on the other hand obiwan kenobee I kind of feel like rose above his potential and did exceptional. That he used the power he had and made a big difference with it... Tying it into myself and the gospel I ask myself and you... What kind of a Jedi or person am I. Am I capable powerful Jedi.. am I a powerful out of control Jedi.. Am I weak Jedi who is not rising to what I should be.. Or am I a decent Jedi who is maxing out his stats to try to make a big good difference. As people we are powerful, strong, and make a difference in different ways than jedis... But the idea is the same.. What kind of Jedi or person am I? And how can I improve?

This guy came and attacked me in church on Sunday.. I hadn't acted super well in Italian class the week before.. I didn't act super interested or super enthusiastic (part of the reason being it is kind of a waste of time).. And this guys wife told him she was not impressed.. He talked to me about it.. Trying to protect his wife and also trying to help me out kind of assuming this was a big problem for me. I really like this guy. He is a really cool guy and I was eating up all this stuff he was telling me.. He told personal stories of his mission and stuff.. Lesson learned of if something is dumb or a waste of time and you got to do it.. At least do it well and give it some effort cause you got to do it anyways.. That was a my bad moment.. And shows a bit of my weakness.. I was impressed with myself how well I took the reprimand.. He was really nice about it.. But I was taking it like a pro.

So I was talking to a man from Nigeria and I was speaking in the Nigerian slang that Nigerians use.. And he asked me if my father was from benign.. Asking me if I was half African. I started laughing and he told me it was a serious question.

We were talking to this guy and he saw our name badges. He asked us why we were both named Anziano. I told him we were brothers.. And then Anziano Keller said we were twins.. The mans mind was starting to blow up.. He said.. You both are Anziano. Which means Elder in English.. Which most of the time means an elderly person.. We told him right after it was a title for missionaries.. But it was really funny for the 3 seconds he was buying it. I try to treat people like a friend still even though we are strangers.. And luckily most of the time people can handle being friends with a stranger.

I was talking to this girl from Nigeria.. I told her my wife would make me fufu everyday (which is an African food)... She then said..You will marry an African woman? I told her straight up the truth.. That I will marry an American woman.. But she will make me fufu everyday.. Funny stuff.

It turns out when I want to I have a killer American accent. I turn off my normal American accent when I am teaching Africans and sometimes others if we are teaching in English.. So they will understand better. On the scambio with Anziano pyper we taught this really intelligent African who graduated from university etc.. He told me that Anziano pyper had an American accent and just talked in that accent all the time.. But I dumb it down when I am talking in English.. That I use African English. He really like American accents and wants to get one.

That's about all she wrote.  I love you so much!  It's already November, can you believe it??  I am supposed to write a 1/2 page about you for the ward newsletter and I have a some questions for you that I would like answered please...

1.  Where is your companion from?  How well are you getting along?  He is from Utah.. He is a saint so I'd have to try not to get along with him.. He's a great guy.

2.  Do you mostly ride bikes or the train/bus? We are on pod racing bikes all day in this city.. Three of the four cities I have been in have been bike cities and the one a bus city.

3.  How often are members feeding you? We have been fed once these last 6 weeks. 

4.  What are some of the main meals you eat? Pizza.. Pancakes.. Tortellini.. Bread. (For lunch).

5.  How challenging is the language for you now that you've been out of a year? What does ciao mean? ;) it's not a problem.. I'm no where near fluent.. But I don't worry about it.

6.  How do members help most with the missionary work?  The most they've done is offer rides for people who lived far from the church that needed it. Really useful.. Now I know this isn't very needed in Utah.. Another thing some have done is let us know they are completely willing to help as they can when they can making us feel comfortable to ask for help if we need it.. So you can do that.. I have yet to receive a referral so maybe you could change that for some other missionary haha.

7.  What is the most challenging aspect of your mission right now? We put in a lot of work in finding new investigators.. Also showing a lot of love for the members for me is difficult. I gained the ability to show love for investigators and strangers on the street.. But for members it's elusive.

8.  How do you explain the success you are having? We thank the almighty.

9.  In what ways have you seen yourself grow? Too many.. It's kind of a joke. I recommend a mission to those deciding if they should go. If you let it.. It will help you in too many ways.. You will laugh at the joke.

10.  What advice do you have for someone who may want to go on a mission? Gain the desire to serve a mission and preach the gospel.. Repent and gain this desire now so you don't have to later. (Everyone should repent and gain this desire).

11.  Is there a spiritual thought you'd like to share? There is no spoon.

Have a great week..

My father... was from Salt Lake City Utah, and was a great man.

You be the Jedi,
Anziano Gridley

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Sarah put down that handcart

Dear family and friends,

One eye one horn flying purple people eater. What a sight to see.

We had a Halloween party last Friday. It went extremely well. For our companionship we got eight investigators to come. Two members came as well with us. We marched at the head of our army for over two and a half miles. We then got them at the end shoved into one mini van of the first counselor to the Italian branch. It was extremely funny. They all got to eat good food and get to know the other investigators better. After dinner we had some time so we decided we would have a lesson with all of them. We read about the sons of Mosiah and alma.. How this small group of men had a very powerful effect on the world. At first a negative effect. So much so God sent an angel to stop them. They were doing a good job of leading people away from God. They then became some of the best missionaries of all time.. They basically converted a whole nation to God and Jesus. I told them how this small group of men shows how a small group of men can change the world powerfully for the negative.. They can change nothing.. Or change things powerfully in the positive. I invited them to help each other with brotherhood and that we should change the world for the positive. I then read the conclusion of when alma meets with the sons of Mosiah after 16 years and is happy to see them.. And happy that all of them were still brethren in God. I told them I probably wouldn't see them again until the next life.. And that I would be happy to see them but I would be a lot more happy if we were still brethren in God.. And invited them to prepare for that (basically). It was pretty dang fantastic.
We had all of these investigators come to church the next day with one other investigator. It was pretty insane. The branch isn't strong enough to support us with enough rides for now. So we are going to start seeing who is truly committed by walking with them more often to church.

We taught a drug dealer a few days ago. We wouldn't have.. But he's met with missionaries in the past and has lots of member friends. So we taught him. He is Catholic and talked about how he didn't want to be baptized again.. I told him at the beginning after he told me this.. In a while I am going to ask you to be baptized again.. Why do you think I'm going to ask you to do that? Blew his mind. We then watched the Wilford Woodruff short film about being baptized. (Italian ruined the small amount of spelling skills I had. We then talked about him.. I asked him the question again just saying I was going to ask him again in 2 minutes.. Why would I do that? He asked me to answer my own question. I did.. I invited him to prepare for baptism which involved changing his life. I told him we were having success and we didn't have time to waste.. We had time for him and for this if he had time for us and for this.. He is going to call us if he wants this. Beh if I'm going to have a lesson with a drug dealer I'd want it to go something like this.. Give them a way out if they'll take it.. A chance for a turning point if they take it.

I had a scambio yesterday with Anziano pyper. It was a little funky because Anziano pyper is still new and did not know on a scambio is supposed to be working for the copia is working with. So he was trying to get some potentials for his companionship etc instead of for the companionship that he was scambioing for. Which is not a thing pretty much ever. We found one extra cool guy who he started to talk to first. He and Anziano brooks will be teaching this guy from now on due to this one point despite lots of other points. Anyways.. If we can not have charity and love for those closest to us how can we be preaching about Jesus and love etc. Jesus taught that if someone asks for our cloak we should give him our coat also. I imagine this is one of those moments. We had a goal of finding a baptism that scambio.. We just found it for their copia.. I'll let it go.

Sometimes we get caught up in the moment and lose the good perspective that is necessary to make wise decisions.

It was the monster mash. The monster mash.

You done chop,
Anziano Gridley

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

It's been a short time

Dear family and friends,

We are talking about the greater good.
We are missionaries of the almighty. We are the greatest good you're ever gonna get.

We stayed in the apartment this p day and played some board games again. Every day besides p day is jammed packed filled with lessons. We don't have enough time in the day to do everything I would like. We are still preparing quite a few people for baptism next month for the 28th of November. Four investigators came to church on Sunday. Never had that happen before. Also Martin the Nigerian return missionary came. They all really liked church so that's a plus. We are hoping to get about eight people this next week. Last week was really high number wise. We met another member that is from Nigeria this last week. He should be coming to church this next week.

Tell me a story about a memorable lesson you taught. A funny lesson yesterday was when we taught Dennis. The really awesome guy from Ghana who is here with his mom. Super humble guy. We taught him with Godwin and Ek. Both are new converts who are awesome. (They are from Nigeria). On the way over I asked them if they would like to marry a woman from Nigeria. They basically said they would let God decide and then they would have no choice but to follow it. I related that to the lesson about 3 times during the lesson. How if God decides something for us. We follow it. It was pretty dang funny.

Beh.. I can't think of anything to write about.. Ask me questions if you'd like so these can be longer.. Sort of too tired to make up stuff on the spot. We got to go teach a lesson so I'll let you go. Also I feel like some of my victory stuff in email form is just bragging. So I'll keep it all to myself. Before I tear it all up and throw it away. Almost had you. (That's a good song).

That was totally wicked.

You are welcome,
Anziano Gridley

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Silver and Gold Have I Not. But Here's Some Bread and Please Here the Word of The Almighty.

Dear family and friends,

You are insane.
Good thing I was.. Or else this probably wouldn't work.

On Sunday we had one investigator come to church. Valentine... He is super awesome. He is from Nigeria. His family has lived in France for a few years. He lived in Morocco as a human rights representative there. Now he is here.. He looking for a new start. A very humble awesome guy. He remembers the missionaries from back in 96. We are hopefully going to see him tonight again.

In the bunny park there is a pull up bar. I saw a guy working out so I took off my jacket and put down my bag and did as many pull ups as I could. Only 6. I then started talking to him in a natural way. He is from Brazil.. Speaks English and Italian. We have an appointment later in the week. Sometimes ping pong / pull up finding is worth it.

On Saturday there were a lot of people in the centro of the city. So many we couldn't talk to all of them and it would only be so productive. We tried to talk to specific people. The big success of the night was when I went up to three Africans and started to talk to them in Italian talking to two of them. One has been in Italy for 13 years.. The other for 8 years.. All of them are from Ghana. One was going to college in Venice. I started to talk about the gospel. After a while Anziano Keller came up and started talking to the two. I started talking to the other guy. His name is Dennis. He told me he has been in italy about 8 months. He is here with his mother. He didn't understand the Italian I was saying. But said he was in the past if I hadn't talked to him go look it up when he got home. This guy is legit. We saw him yesterday with Godwin and Ek. Two African members. Dennis is extremely humble. We are going to see him on Friday. We got all three of their numbers. But we are most excited about Dennis.

Chris and rosemary are doing ok. Hopefully we are going to see them tomorrow. Chris helps the other Africans go to the Pentecostal church so he did not come to church on Sunday. He is still super cool and we talked about baptism with him.

We met two men from Nigeria Chris and Martin last week. Chris is like Valentine and Dennis. Super humble awesome guy... And Martin is a member from Nigeria.. Who served a mission. A complete stud. We are going to try to have him help us with quite a few of these people.

There is a hotel where a lot of the Africans are brought in to stay in Vicenza when they first come to Italy. We have a few people who live there. It's super funny because if we wait for someone outside so we can go sit somewhere and teach them. Usually within five minutes we have someone new to teach. I keep telling Anziano Keller we can't go out there cause it's a bad environment for me. Kind of a funny joke.

Friso did not come to church on Sunday. We called him that night and he said I have changed my ideas.. Anziano Keller told him he did not hear him well and asked him to say it again. But he hung up. Anziano Keller is super bummed. We are not giving up on him yet.. But these last few days we have tried to give him some space. We have no idea what is wrong.

We met with Tony a long time (2 months) investigator. We invited him to be baptized. He accepted.. He got really excited about the gift of the Holy Ghost. We will see what happens. He needs to come to church etc.

We are not just talking with Africans.. They are usually the ones humble enough to listen and who love God and Jesus Christ. Hopefully friso and a man named Rugero will work out.

Anyways we are working with a lot of these people which is fantastic.. I'm a little bummed we can't find as much but this is great. It's kind of what is going on right now so excuse me for talking about it.

The Dutchman must have a captain.

You go come church on Sunday with me?

Anziano Gridley Austin says "I have a gut"

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Scambio with Anziano Hansen

Ciao amici e la Mia famiglia,

How are you doing?
Does it hurt?

I had a scambio after zone conference. I got to go with Anziano Hansen. He is going to go home from his mission in a few weeks. It was nice to work with someone with lots of experience. We saw some people playing ping pong in the park.. They could play a bit.. We were going to just keep going.. But I figured it was one of the few things I was half way good at. So we went up and I got to play against this old guy. He beat me the first game 11-2.. Then I won 4 games as he won 2 more.. Anziano Hansen talked to the two young guys there while we played. I am sad at how I've lost the skills. Please help me after the mission Glen. All of my game is lost. At least I beat an old Italian man ~_~. We then tried to talk to more people etc.. We had gelato I than told him I was going to go hulk mode. We got a few people's numbers. It was a good time.

Anziano Keller and I were in a park on Sunday talking to some people I felt like things were off. So we sat down and did a short pop.. And said a prayer. We then had a lot of success.. Those kind of cool little things happen a lot. Jesus's recommendation for being strengthened for something is prayer.

Yesterday we did about an hour of "bus stop" finding.. Basically we sit at a bus stop talking to people for an hour as they leave and we stay.. And then at the end leave on our bikes. Incredibly funny. The point is to talk to people in a natural environment.. Unnaturally made.. It worked really well last night. I keep on chuckling to myself.. It's just so incredibly evil and funny. And the nice part is it works.. Finding on the streets works.. We just talk to everyone and have a bit of success from it.. People are a lot more willing to be rude to a complete stranger than to a semi stranger. Most people aren't mean.. They just don't know they are interested in God and what not till you show how it applies.. Or are just in a rush etc.. Hence street finding is a lot more tiring.. We circle through lots of people.. And it does hurt a bit to here no so often. So we are trying to switch it up.

Questora finding was good yesterday. I talked to this man from the benign republic. He is married to a woman from Nigeria.. They have two children have lived in Italy for two years etc.. He told me how he heavily believes in prayer.. How things have come easily to him because of prayer. He prayed for work.. It came easy enough. He prayed for a good wife.. He found one.. I taught a lesson specifically geared to him and at the end he told me that the things I was talking about was probably something he would be interested in. Perfect. He was a really cool guy.. And I meet lots of people like him.. With so much people like him.. Something has got to pan through.

We teach the Italian class for the ward once a week. No one comes. Our copia is a bit chipped when it comes to a few things. My goal is to leave this city with our copia with the cooler stuff haha.

We met a man on the street from Nigeria he is super cool. He brought his wife to an appointment we made with him. Which is interesting because most Africans come alone when they come to Italy by boat. So we have good hopes in them.. The lesson was a bit rocky.. But they were awesome enough that it didn't super matter. They came in the rain and they are African to hear gods word. We now know they are legit people.

Friso is doing ok. He was feeling sick so he did not come to church on Sunday. So his baptism will be pushed back. We are going to go see him tonight. Hopefully he is ok.

We are trying to read as a mission the Book of Mormon before Christmas. It's been pretty nice.

We are working pretty hard so I am decently tired. Nap time etc. risk took way too long today. I won.. It was arguably not worth it.

Swing home jack.

I greet you bros,
Anziano Gridley

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Pretty fly for a white guy

Dear family and friends,

What's this going to cost us? Huh. Cavallo.

I have arrived in the city of beauty.. And of sketchiness.. And of maleducato people. Finishing the time with Anziano Galli the train ride to Milano was good we both talked to some people.. He bought a bigger coat at the station.. Which was pretty funny.. Because it's kind of a big purchase and he just makes it very quickly and randomly.. He and Anziano Sanchez are doing good in vercelli.. Isabella and Godstime are still progressing well. I then got to ride a train more or less by myself to Verona.. Next to my home Trento. I talked to a lady that is involved in horses. She is Italian.. Lives in England... Believes in spiritual stuff.. She didn't go super in depth with me.. She was quite thin and over forty and not married.. We meet lots of different people. When I got in Verona talked to some people from Sydney Australia.. I have a feeling one of the members of our family served there I just can't remember who.. That's awkward. (Sto scherzando). They live near one of our churches.. Small world. Anyways..

We talked to a lady from Kiev Ukraine.. She is back in Ukraine now. She came to Venice to talk about conditions in Ukraine.. She was so sad. I felt really bad.. We tried to help her feel better.. I definitely felt sad afterwords for a little while. I guess things in Ukraine are really bad. Thought of grandma and grandpa low..

 I got to meet my new companions. Anziano Keller and Anziano Olsen. Anziano Keller is kind of like crimson chin if you've ever watched fairly odd parents. He's got glasses and an incredible double chin. He's like Anziano Thomas... He's way to nice of a guy. I will be find with him. Anziano Olsen is a new Anziano he just got finished being trained. He is a small guy. He stayed an extra day to get his permesso the next day. Ok to kind of explain this once so it's not just an under toning thing. I definitely got sick of being inside the apartment with Anziano Galli. I was probably only 30% here and giving a 20% effort with finding new people. These aren't solid numbers they fluctuated. Anyways right now I'm giving it 100%.. Trying to talk to lots of people.. And trying to make up for some lost time.. Going home is not a good thing. So I'm talking to lots of people.

Here in Vicenza.. They are a little more cold.. I ask them if they have interest in Jesus Christ... They walk away or say no.. We got to go at it at other angles or we will be trying that kind of an approach all day and get nothing done. Some things we have been trying. Finding on the street is a lot harder than when people are waiting for something.. A train.. A bus.. They are sitting on a bus.. They have time to talk to us.. So we try to find in those scenarios.. If on the street we ask a lot of groups of people if they are interested in English class.. I ask Africans in Italian if they know a man named Marcus.. (Marcus from vercelli) (I don't have Marcus's # right now..) They usually don't know him.. I then ask them where they are from etc. we have asked some people to be baptized by someone holding the proper authority. They usually stop for that one... That's right you be interested now and stop and listen to us. We tried questora finding yesterday.. A questora is where foreigners go for documents.. You have to wait forever.. We decided to just go sit down.. Or wait in line and talk to people.. (We don't need documents).. Worked pretty well.. We had a lesson with a guy and got his number.. Definitely extremely hilarious to me. Something different and funny. Anyways the guns are blazing.. Anziano Keller has been out almost a year and a half.. So we both know what we are doing and going hardcore.

We had one legit investigator when I got here. Two others who are semi legit who we have each met with once. Friso is an older man who is super love able and kind.. He liked to paint as a hobby and he bikes to nearby cities traveling long distances. He is retired and is super humble.. He should be baptized within a few weeks. We don't have a ton of investigators so we are changing that and making our own work.. Definitely what I wanted after being stuck inside for a while.

There is an American base here so there is an American ward. We ate with the Zitermans Thursday evening when I got here. They moved into a nicer Italian looking apartment recently. We helped them move some furniture. We had some pizza afterwords. Sister Z then interviewed me.. The one question I remember was she asked me what three things I wanted in my wife. I said spirituality.. A mutual unconditional love which included a willingness to adapt.. And chemistry. Mike the husband is not a member.. They said they have the missionaries often.. They had already heard about the story of Anziano Gallis legs so that's really funny. The legend of Anziano Galli continues.

At night Vicenza is decently sketchy.. We were stopped by a guy asking for money which we can't as missionaries give.. He pulled out a knife and told us he didn't want to use this on one someone that night.. I told him I'd bring him food the next day.. He didn't like that and walked off.. Some cookies are waiting in my backpack to save our lives. There are some parks with some drug deals going on.. Etc.

This city makes up for all of it with how beautiful it is.. This city is Italy.. I will send some pictures etc. We are having a ball. Having some extremely good success. The guns are out and there are no prisoners in custody.

We are trying our best and I like to think our best can do really good when we are talking to people.. That my best can do it. It's a nice thought.. Well dang my best can do that. A mentality like that might help ya out.

I really liked conference.. It's scary how every talk is so good. It could be a bad omen. Don't procrastinate your repentance.. If only for the bad omens sake. When I talk to people I try to bring up how we have our church.. The restoration etc. about James 1:5 if any of ye lack wisdom let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not and it shall be given unto him. If we have a question we should ask God and he will answer us. If we need something we can ask him. I try to leave people regardless of how they take the lesson with that promise. I would invite you this week if you got a question or you are having a hard time etc

Use the promise.. As emperor Palpatine says.. You could tap into OMNIPOTENT POWER.

Do not go calmly into the night.

I hailo,
Anziano Gridley

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Zero To Hero, Just Like That

Ciao tutti,

Siamo ateo.
Ma Come Mai voi non credete in Gesu Cristo.

Church was once again really great this week. I am translating a fair bit of the time so I got to really pay attention. Godstime and Marcus came to church.. Jonathan and Salvatore as well. I am really going to miss the people here in vercelli. There is a girl Eliza that is going to temple square for her mission. She lives in santhia near vercelli. She talked about how she will be making sacrifices but not really for the next year and a half. Anything that's worth anything takes a sort of sacrifice. Or it doesn't really have any worth.

We had another scambio on Sunday. We got back to Novara (with Anziano Taylor) ate some grilled cheeses and studied Italian. We then went out and taught little Angelo. After that we went finding. We tried to talk to maybe 6 people and 4 out of them we had a lesson with.. Novara/vercelli are magical in that way.. I hope it's sort of that way in Vicenza. Btw I am moving to Vicenza near padova tomorrow. There is an American army base there. To be honest I am extremely excited to leave. I can do lots of missionary work and get a new start.. I will miss the people here though. The next morning our train was an hour late so we talked to a few people.. Train finding is the best.. I really love the Book of Mormon so it's something easy I can talk about.. And the
restoration is how we have the Book of Mormon so it all works out. I got complimented by a man when I was testifying about the bom has helped my life.. And he said that he could tell. One of the nicest compliments. We then went to Milan for a doc appointment. Anziano Galli is better. I hope he steps up this next transfer.

Ali our new convert didn't get his documents. He was extremely sad about that. He said documents are the most important thing.. He is going to get a lawyer and keep trying.

Unselfishness is a tricky fun thing.

I have been trying to be a lot more obedient lately. You can't really break the commandments. In the end they just break you. There is a reason for all of them.. And I feel a lot better right now. You can receive quick pleasure by breaking a commandment and pay for it later with interest .. Or you can be patient pay for it first.. And then receive the promised blessings and be molded the way you should. It's important not to forget obedience junk.

On Sunday in the third hour they asked me if I had any final words.. I was taken a bit by surprise thought for a second.. I didn't have anything super pressing to say.. So I said no. I got to be quicker on my feet for those things. One thing I want to do better at is expressing gratitude.

Ma cosa dici?

Anziano Gridley

Austin saying "Five Golden Rings", Missionaries shopping in Torino, and Novaro Apartment.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Only He Can Save Your Soul

Dear family and friends,

When Jesus says yes nobody can say no.

During church this week I got to teach a cute youth class the second hour with brother candy. There were three youth with us. I got to teach about missionary work.. How they can do missionary work now as youth. I really liked the lesson because I got to teach kind of as if I was teaching me ten years ago what I know now.
I talked about..
Why we have missionary work..
Why we have the gospel..
How we can be strong in the gospel
Do we have a testimony..
I invited them to do better than me..
I gave each of them a pass along card and invited them to give it to one friend and explain a little bit about it.. Small missionary work adds up.

We had a Pride humility lesson in the third hour of church.. I really liked the lesson.. It was more of just for us and less of something else.. Some things I thought help us know how we are doing in being humble or we have more pride is..
Keep the commandments..
Changing our will for God..
Suffer all things we are asked..
If we don't suffer the pain for a moment.. All of the rest gets evilly tainted.
Humility put someone else before myself.. For me I'm pretty chill and somethings don't make no never mind to me.. But sometimes someone else can lose there bananas at some of these things.. For me I can feel I am extra humble when I take interest in something or help with something because it matters to someone else and hence becomes important to me.

You know Sunday during church was the best I felt all week.

It has been really nice seeing how much charity and love I have gained for our investigators.. I really care about them..

There was a talk given Sunday that talked about how peter was fine on the waters while he as looking unto Jesus but when he looked at the waves he started to sink.. He then invited us to look to Jesus and live.

Hold to the iron rod and you can not fall.

We are going to Torino today for p day.. Anziano Galli can walk a lot better now... We had zone training last week.. I got to talk to a Nigerian woman that has been in Italy for a few years.. She taught me some pigeon and I talked to her about our church..

Isabella, Godstime, and Salvatore are doing well... We are working on helping them be baptized.. Hopefully in October for all of them.. We hope for good things.. Our English class has been getting a lot bigger.. Which is nice.. We have been meeting with some people from English class outside of English class to teach them more English.. And Also to talk more about the gospel.. They are not super interested in the gospel part.. But piano piano.

He lives.. I know that he lives.. He died and then he rose again.. Rose Again.. He lives.

Peace be unto thy soul,
Anziano Gridley

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Say it Like You Mean It.

Dear Family and Friends,
Il Tempo Passa In Fretta.
We have had some good success this week. We found out that Marcus is less interested in the gospel and the Godstime is still interested. Godstime asks us quite a few questions.. one of his questions was about reincarnation. Which I guess some africans believe in. We told him it wasnt a Christian belief.. etc. It rained a lot on Sunday so only, of our investigators, Salvatore came to church. Which was a bit dissapointing. Moral of the story.. Africans really hate rain. We met with two other African men that I met a while ago on scambios.. once Anziano Galli can start walking more we should start to find quite a few more people.
Three new people have been coming to english class. They are all pretty young. I have been teaching them english.. which mostly just involves us having an hour conversation.. because they have taken english in school etc.. they just dont know how to speak or understand english as much as they need to. It is pretty fun. One of the highlights of the week.
We talked to Salvatore again about his baptism. He does not feel ready.. But he is... so we just had a conversation as missionaries and him.. and as friends. No use beating around the bush.. when baptism is screaming at your face. Hopefully he will feel ready soon and will be baptized. Lots of time has been put into helping him so hopefully it will pan out. He is a really sweet guy.
We went to Milan two times this last week to see doctors. I enjoyed the train rides.. I got to talk to quite a few people and got to practice learning Italian.
I challenge you to try to gain better self control this week. If you can control yourself.. and if you know what you want and what you should want. You are basically set. Challenging myself as well. 
Thank you for the emails. Congratz mom on qualifying. If I make it through this life correctly it will definitely be thanks to Mom and a few other select people. 

Time Passes Quickly.
Anziano Gridley

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Look Mom, No Legs!

Buon di tutti,

Hope is what your after.. I can't take it and turn it into rain.

This week has been pretty crazy. And I don't mean that I beat another missionary in a hot dog eating contest and won some pretty awesome shoes kind of crazy, though this did happen. (It gets really hard to swallow after a while without water, so the fact I beat him by a hot dog was impressive because every bite hurt).

On Saturday Anziano Galli was on our balcony the Novara missionaries were at our apartment for the night for church the next day. Anziano Taylor closed the door on Anziano Galli. There are two doors, so Anziano Galli thought that Anziano Taylor was going to shut the other door as well leaving him outside... He wasn't going to do that.. Anziano Galli hurried to the other door and tried to push it open.. He pushed on the glass of this big door.. Just on the glass. The glass broke. He then slipped onto the glass. And fell. I was sitting down waiting to brush my teeth because I thought Anziano Galli was going to take a shower. My first thought was Anziano Galli.. You broke the glass ya dumb. He then had two huge gashes in his legs.. And the next ten seconds were a bit of a blur. I was just sitting down I had not signed up for that and was pretty surprised. Anziano Galli had made a two second mistake. We got towels and tried to keep pressure on the cuts.. And Anziano Taylor got an ambulance to come. Anziano Galli is really tough.. He was really brave. They took him to the vercelli hospital.. Which isn't that good of a hospital so they took him to Milan on Sunday and he had his operation and has been here in vercelli again on Monday. President poured his frustration a bit I think into our apartment so I have been making things perfect here as he is mostly bed bound. I wasn't sicked out as Anziano Galli lost 23% of his blood.. So either I can handle that stuff or I was just surprised and wasn't thinking about that stuff. A paramedic lady was having a lot of trouble staying calm with the blood. She picked the wrong job haha.

The missionary work has slowed down this week because of this accident though.. We did have one lesson down stairs with Marcus Godstime and Paulo. It went really well. Paulo is our ward mission leader and he is fabulous. Anziano Galli will be fine. I was a bit shaken the next day but I am fine now.

Usually I feel better when I follow a mission rule or a commandment.. Then when I am not... I have made quite a few mistakes out here but I am hoping I have figured it out and will be improved by it all.. I'll feel better with time and change.

Anziano Galli and I are getting along better now.. We hadn't been getting along crazy crazy well before the accident.. And I apologized to him about that while we were waiting for an ambulance.. It is true.. Crazy experiences or just experiences bring people closer together. I have gotten a lot better at Italian recently. I have been trying to help Anziano Galli as I would hope.. Kyler Sparrow's companion would help him out if an accident happened. Or mom or something.. We are all connected. Another missionary did a hamburger challenge.. And this missionary had a condition where he was not supposed to eat a lot of meat.. And he tore his esophagus.. And was coughing up blood and almost died.. Anziano Galli's story is only slightly better. God has been very merciful to me.. The Holy Ghost has been very strong.

I got a haircut the other day.. My hair was too long. I tried to have Marcus give me a haircut.. (He is a barber).. But a fourth of the way through the clippers I had brought quit working.. Dang it. I had to go to a barber place and have it fixed... Anziano Galli got a huge kick out of it.. I found it less funny.

We had a conference with a member of the seventy in Milan a week ago. I really liked it. I got inspired by a lot of things, and hopefully I will be helped long term wise from this conference. A story he told was of this amazing missionary where he was a branch president in England. (Hard place for baptisms). He made the goal with the missionaries to double the size of the branch (30 people more) by the end of the year. The missionaries a week later asked him to pray about a name of street.. That they would go to that street the next day for all of the day.. And that a baptism would follow. The president prayed with his wife and got a sure answer.. These elders did find a baptism the next day. By the end of the year the branch had been doubled.

He told it much better than I did.. But it was a great conference.. He mentioned how two of the twelve died from ceaselessly working and how they are all working so hard to try to help people.. And how we should try to do better. He also told us to stop worrying.

You've been pushing on a pull door.

The invincible maid missionary power ranger,
Anziano Gridley

Ps: We have been inside for three days due to he can't walk.. So this is being sent a little later than normal.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Listen to your Mother, and to God

Dear family and friends,

Joseph's mother she was quite my favorite wife.

I am staying here in vercelli with Anziano Galli for another transfer.. Anziano Smoot is off to Rimini.. Anziano Taylor is training.

A few weeks ago we met a man named Marcus.. He is from Nigeria.. We met him and then we went to our church so he could see it. We then taught him the restoration.. He left his bike outside during the lesson. Mid way through the the lesson he tells us he wants to lock his bike.. So we all go outside.. And his bike has been stolen. He was a good sport about it.. He said something like.. It looks like we have some thieves in Vercelli. At the end of the lesson Anziano Galli gave him his old bike. So for about three weeks we have had only one bike.. When this is a biking city and could use another. But all the shops (for bikes) have been closed for Ferragosto. So we have been patient.

I keep telling Anziano Galli as a joke.. That I can only do two transfers with him.. Only two. I am only kind of kidding.:)

We lost Marcus as he did not have a phone and he missed an appointment we had made with him due to rain. So I would ask Africans if they knew Marcus.. We didn't find Marcus.. But it was a pretty good ice breaker for talking to new people. Marcus found us about a week and half later. I was so happy when he came in the church while we were teaching Isabella. We are still teaching him now with one of his friends named Godstime. We made bap calendars with them and are hoping for good things.

Anziano Smoot and I had a scambio a week and a half ago. It was very good. We met lots of new people.. And we did a lot of good. (The evening thing was special).

There was a huge storm here in vercelli. I locked one of the doors to our apartment and put all my weight on the door because it kept opening.. And then it opened again and water came rushing into our apartment. Anziano Galli video taped it laughing his head off as I was trying to fix the door again.

We went out to eat at this American burger place here in vercelli with the English class students (Anziano Gallis treat).. Alex and Mathew are really funny.

A new girl has been coming to English class. At the end of teaching her (I have been teaching her alone because she is more basic..) I have been teaching her about the gospel.. She is not super religious but she is really nice,, she brought me bread last class.

We ate with candy and his family.. His wife made really good pizza. She is an American. We also ate with Isabella's husband, mother in law, and her. It went really good. Her mother in law is a great chef.. And she came the next day to church for the first time in 3 years.

God gives lots of tender mercies to let us know he loves us. How we show we love him is by living good lives and following his commandments.

I never really loved another all my life.

I hail you,
Anziano Gridley

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Vercelli is more than a Garden of Eden

Dear family,

I am doing good.. I enjoyed your letters this past week. Some of the aunts did some recipes which was nice. I decided That I am going to be writing emails less often.. That I hope you'll forgive me for that, but there is a need. I am not sure when that will change I will let you know. I love you all I miss you a lot. I have been feeding some of our poor investigators lunch when we teach them so they have something to eat. This is a really nice thing. It takes more money for me to do that.. So if you could put more money on my card so I can keep doing that.. That would be great. Also Ali needs help with his bike.. So I would like to help him with that. I am doing fine... I will catch yall up later on what is happening.

Anziano Gridley

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Alps are screaming my name

Basic principles..
Know what you want.. And then do what you have to do get it. Any woman
can fall for any man. You just need the right broom.

I got this pretty cool but funny green camo coat jacket in
Alessandria... It is sort of nice.. And sort of not. Anziano Galli
really doesn't like it.. He tells me I won't get married with that
jacket.. And then offers me stuff to throw it away. It reminds me of a
coat I had as a kid.. A big puffy camo coat...

For lunch I fed Ali some peanut butter and jelly sandwitches.. They
don't have peanut butter here in Italy (I am guessing in Europe). He
said his mom used to make him peanut butter and jelly sandwitches all
the time.. I guess Africa is more advanced than Europe in that they
have peanut butter.

Anziano Galli is crazy.

After shopping for things here in Italy.. I don't recommend the place
we went to for buying my missionary stuff.. You can get nicer things
for cheaper.. Especially here in Italy.. I got some shoes half off for
about 60€ that are about as nice as the shoes we got at home for a lot
more.. Anyways for the next 5 sons.. I don't recommend those kind of

We have an investigator tell us about how he feels that he has not
repented about some things in his past.. That they are just sort of
there in the background... Which I sort of found personally completely
unnecessary. That from the bible and Book of Mormon we learn how
important it is to repent now.. Even if it is a bit hard. If we are
breaking a commandment.. The answer is to change ourselves and what we
are doing.. Not to excuse ourselves in whatever way we want and come
up with excuses. It is unnecessary to have old sin on us.. If we are
willing to change etc.

I like talking to strangers because a lot of the time.. They don't
talk to you at all etc.. I could tell them

I was going to do something
great for them and they would not care in the slightest.. But every
once just a while you run into someone who listens and talks to you
and you connect with and have a good conversation.. It isn't all the
time but it is nice when it happens.

This morning we are hiking some mountains near here.. A lady showed me
pictures last week.. It was pretty beautiful. I am excited.

Casle monferato is about 11 miles from vercelli.. Which is kind of
funny because I have been to casale about 10 times earlier in my

I don't know if these shoes are really me.
Listen to me right now. You bought the shoes. You look great in the
shoes. That's the kind of you I'm talking about right now.

Anziano Gridley

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Really good talk

A Heavenly Manifestation given to Heber Q. Hale, President of the
Boise Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as
related by him at the Genealogical Conference held in the auditorium
of the Bishops Building, Salt Lake City, Utah on October 1920,
requested by the Presidency of the Church of 1920.

"It is with a very humble and grateful spirit that I attempt to relate
on this occasion, by request, a personal experience which is very
sacred to me.  I must of necessity be brief.  Furthermore there were
certain things made known to me which I don't feel at liberty to
relate here.  Let me say by way of preface that between the hours of
12.00 and 7.30 on the night of January 20, 1920, while alone in a room
at the home of W. R. Rawson in Carey, Idaho, this glorious
manifestation was vouchsafed to me.  I was not conscious of anything
that transpired during the hours mentioned except what was experienced
in this manifestation. I did not turn over in bed nor was I disturbed
by any sound which indeed is unusual for me.  Whether it be called a
dream, an apparition, a vision, or a pilgrimage of my spirit into the
world of spirits, I know not.  I care not.  I know that I actually saw
and experienced the things related in this heavenly manifestation, and
they are as real to me as any experience of my life.  For me, at
least, this is sufficient.

Of all the doctrines and practices of the church, the principle of
vicarious work for the dead has been the most difficult for me to
comprehend and whole heartedly accept.  I consider this vision as the
Lord's answer to the prayer of my soul on this and certain other

I passed but a short distance from my body through a film into the
world of spirits.  This was my experience after going to sleep.  I
seemed to realize that I had passed through the change called death
and I so referred to it in my conversation with the immortal beings
with whom I immediately came in contact.  I readily observed their
displeasure at our use of the word death and the fear which we attach
to it.  They use there another word in reference to the transition
from mortality to immortality which word I do not recall, and I can
only approach its meaning and the impression which was left upon my
mind, by calling it the new birth.

My first visual impression was the nearness of the world of spirits to
the world of mortality.  The vastness of this heavenly sphere was
bewildering to the eyes of the spirit-novice.  Many enjoyed
unrestricted vision and unimpeded action, while many others were
visibly restricted as to both vision and action.  The vegetation and
landscape were beautiful beyond description, not all green as here,
but gold with varying shades of pink, orange, and lavender as the
rainbow, and sweet calmness pervaded everything.  The people I met
there I did not think of as spirits, but as men and women, self
thinking and self acting individuals, going about important business
in a most orderly manner.

There was perfect order there and everybody had something to do and
seemed to be about their business.  That the inhabitants of the spirit
world are classified according to their lives of purity and their
subservience to the Father's will was subsequently made apparent.
Particularly was it observed that the wicked and unrepentant are
confined to a certain district by themselves, the confines of which
are as definitely determined and impassable as the line marking the
division of the physical from the spirit world.  A mere film but
impassible until the person himself was changed.  The world of spirits
is the temporary abode of all spirits pending the resurrection from
the dead and the judgment.  There was much activity within the
different spheres, and appointed ministers of salvation were seen
coming from the higher to the lower spheres in pursuit of their
missionary appointments.

I had a very pronounced desire to meet certain of my kinsfolk and
friends but I was at once impressed with the fact that I had entered a
tremendously great and extensive world, even greater than our earth
and more numerously inhabited.  I could only be in one place at once,
could do only one thing at a time, could only look in one direction at
a time and accordingly it would require many, many years to search out
and converse with all those I had known and all those whom I desired
to meet unless they were especially summoned to receive me.  All men
and women are appointed to special and regular service under a well
organized plan of action directed principally towards preaching the
gospel to the unconverted, teaching those who seek for knowledge, and
establishing family relationships, and gathering genealogies for the
use and benefit of mortal survivors of their respective families, that
the work of baptism and the sealing of ordinances may be vicariously
performed for the departed in the Temples of God on the earth.

The authorized representatives of families in the world of spirits
have access to our temple records and are kept fully advised of the
work done therein, but the vicarious work done there does not become
automatically effective.  The recipients must first believe, repent
and accept baptism and confirmation, then certain consummating
ordinances are performed effectualising these saving principles in the
lives of these regenerated beings.  And so the great work is going
on...  They are doing work there which we cannot do here, and we a
work here that they cannot do there for the salvation of all God's
children who will be saved.

I was surprised to find that there were no babies in arms there.  I
met the infant son of Orson W. Rawlings, my first counselor.  I
immediately recognized him as the baby who died a few years ago, and
yet he seemed to have the intelligence, and in certain respects, the
appearance of an adult, and was engaged in matters pertaining to his
family and its genealogy.  My mind was quite contented upon the point
that mothers will again receive into their arms their children who
died in infancy and will be fully satisfied by the fact that entrance
into the world of spirits is not an inhibition to growth but the
greatest opportunity for development.  Babies are adult spirits in the
infant bodies.

I presently beheld a might multitude of men.  The largest I had ever
seen gathered in one place, who I immediately recognized as soldiers,
the millions who died, who had been slaughtered and rushed to the
spirit world during the first world war.  Among them moved calmly and
majestically a great general in supreme command.  As I drew nearer, I
received the kindly smile and generous welcome of a great, loving man,
General Richard V. Young.  Then came the positive conviction to my
soul that of all the men living or dead, there is no one who is more
perfectly fitted for the great mission unto which he had been called.
He commands immediately the attention and respect of all the soldiers,
he is at once a great general and a great High Priest of God.  No
earthly field of labour to which he could have been assigned, could
compare with it in importance and extent.  I passed from this scene to
return later when I found General Young and his vast army of men
completely organized with officers over successive divisions, and he
was preaching the gospel on great earnestness to them.  As I passed
forward, I soon met my beloved mother, she greeted me most
affectionately and expressed surprise at seeing me there, and reminded
me that I had not completed my allotted mission on earth.  She seemed
to be going somewhere and was in a hurry, and accordingly took her
leave saying that she would see me again soon.

I moved forward covering an appreciable distance and consuming
considerable time, viewing the wonderful sights of landscapes, parks,
trees, and flowers, and meeting people.  Some I knew, but many
thousands I did not recognize.  I presently approached a small group
of men standing in a path lined with spacious stretches of flowers,
grasses, and shrubs, all of gold and hue, marking the approach to a
beautiful building.  The group was engaged in earnest conversation.
One of their number parted from the rest and came walking down the
path.  I at once recognized my esteemed President Joseph F. Smith.  He
embraced me as a father would his son and after a few words of
greeting, quickly remarked "You have not come to stay."  This remark I
understood as a declaration and not an interrogation.

For the first time I became fully conscious of my uncompleted mission
on earth and as much as I would have liked to remain, I at once asked
President Smith if I might return.  "You have expressed a  righteous
desire," he replied "and I shall take the matter up with the
authorities and let you know later."  We then returned and he led me
toward the little group of men from whom he had just separated.  I
immediately recognized President Brigham Young and the Prophet Joseph
Smith.  I was surprised to find the former a shorter and heavier built
man than I had pictured him to be in my mind.  On the other hand I
found the latter to be taller than I expected to find him.  Both they
and the president were possessed of a calm and holy majesty which was
at once kind and friendly.  We then traced our steps and President
Smith took his leave, saying he would see me again.

From a certain point of vantage, I was permitted to view the earth and
what was going on there, there was no limitation of my vision and I
was astounded to this.  I saw my wife and my children at home, I saw
President J. Grant at the head of the great Church and Kingdom of God
and felt the divine power that radiates from God giving it light and
truth and guiding its destiny.  I beheld this nation founded as it is
upon correct principles and designed to endure, but beset by evil and
sinister forces that seek to lead man to thwart the purpose of God.  I
saw towns and cities, the sins and sickness of men and women.  I saw
vessels sailing the oceans and scanned the battle scarred fields of
France and Belgium.

In a word, I beheld the whole world, as if it were put a panorama
passing before my eyes, then there came to me the unmistakable
impression that this earth and scenes and persons upon it are open to
the vision of the spirits only when special permission is given or
when they are assigned to special service here.  This is particularly
true of the righteous who are busily engaged in the fields of activity
at the same time, the wicked and unrepentant have still, like the
rest, their free agency and applying themselves to no useful or
wholesome undertaking, seek pleasure, bout their old haunts, and exalt
in the sins and wickedness of degenerated humanity.

To this extent they are still tools of satan.  It is these idle
mischievous and deceptive spirits who appear as miserable counterfeits
at spiritualist seances, table dancing and ouija board operations.
The noble and great ones do not respond to the call of the mediums and
to every group of meddlesome enquirers, they would not do it in the
world of mortality.  These wicked and unrepentant spirits are allies
of satan and his host, operating through willing mediums in the flesh.

These three forces [Satan, his host, and the unrepentant spirits]
constitute an unholy trinity upon the earth and are responsible for
all the sin, wickedness, distress and misery among men and nations.

I moved forward feasting my eyes upon the beauty of everything about
me glorying in the indescribable peace and happiness that abound in
everybody and through everything.  The further that I went the more
glorious things appeared.  While standing at a certain vantage point I
beheld a short distance away, a wonderful beautiful temple, capped
with golden domes, from which emerged a small group of men dressed in
white robes who paused for a brief conversation.  They were in
uniforms, in this little group of holy men my eyes centered upon one
more splendorous and holy than the rest.  While I thus gazed,
President Joseph F. Smith parted from the others and came to my side.
"Do you know him?" he inquired.  I quickly answered "Yes I know him,
my eyes behold my Lord and Saviour."  "It is true" said President
Smith, and oh how my soul thrilled with rapture and unspeakable joy
filled my heart.

President Smith informed me that I had been given permission to return
and complete the mission on the earth which the Lord had appointed to
me to fulfill, and then with his hand upon my shoulder, uttered these
memorable and significant words.  "Brother Heber you have a great work
to do.  Go forward with a prayerful heart and thou shall be blessed in
thy ministry.  From this time on never doubt that God lives, that
Jesus Christ is the Son, the Saviour of the world, that the Holy Ghost
is God of spirit and the messenger of the Father and the Son.  Never
doubt the resurrection of the dead and immortality of the soul—that
the destiny of man is eternal progress.  Never again doubt that the
mission of the Latter-day Saints is for all mankind, both the living
and the dead and that the great work in the Holy Temples for the
living and the dead has only begun.  Know this, that Joseph Smith was
sent of God to usher in the gospel dispensation of the fullness of
times, which is the last unto mortals upon the earth.  His successors
have recognized and ordained head of the Church of Jesus Christ upon
the earth.  Give him your confidence and support.  Much you have seen
and heard you will not be permitted to repeat when you return.  Thus
saying he bade me good bye and God bless you."

I traveled quite a distance through various scenes and passing
innumerable people before I reached the spheres which I first entered.
On my way I was greeted by many friends and relatives certain of whom
sent word of greetings and counsel to their dear ones, my mother being
one of them.  One other I will mention, I met Brother John Adamson,
his wife and his son James and their daughter Isabelle, all of whom
were killed by a foul assassin in their home at Carey, Idaho in the
mortality and immediately said, "Tell the children that we are very
happy and very busy and they should not mourn at our departing, nor
worry their minds over the manner by which we were taken.  There is a
purpose in it, and we have work to do here which required our
collective efforts and which we could not do individually."  I was at
once made to know that the work referred to was that of Genealogy on
which they were working in England and Scotland.

One of the grandest and most sacred things of heaven is the family
relationship.  The establishment of the complete chain without any
broken links being a fullness of joy.  Links wholly bad will be
dropped out and either new links put in or the two adjoining links
welded together.  Men and women everywhere throughout the world are
being moved upon by their departed ancestors to gather genealogies.
These are the links for the chain.  The ordinances of Baptism,
Endowments, and Sealings performed in the Temples of God by the living
for the dead are the welding of the links.  Ordinances are performed
in the spirit world effectualizing the individual recipient for their
receiving the saving principles of the gospel vicariously performed

As I was approaching the place where I entered, my attention was
attracted towards a number of small groups of women, preparing what
appeared to be wearing apparel.  Observing my inquiring countenance
one of the women remarked, "We are preparing to receive Brother
Phillip Worthington very soon."  As I gasped his name in repetition I
was admonished, "If you knew the joy and the glorious mission that
awaits him here you would not ask to have him longer detained upon the
earth."  Then came flooding my consciousness this awful truth, that
the will of the Lord can be done on earth as it in is heaven, only
when we resign completely to His will and let His will be done in and
through us.  On account of the selfishness of many, persons who might
have otherwise been taken in innocence and peace, have been permitted
to live, and have lived to their own perils, man and the assertion of
the personal will as against the will of God.  Phillip Worthington
died January 22, 1920, for which I was advised by telegram, and
returning to Boise, preached his funeral sermon on January 25, 1920.

Men, women and children are often called to missions of great
importance on the other side, and some respond gladly while others
refuse to go and their loved ones will not give them up.  Also, many
die because they have not the faith to be healed.  Others yet live
among and pass out of the world of mortals without any special
manifestation of action of the divine will.  When a man is stricken
ill, the question of prime importance is not... is he going to live?
Or is he going to die?  What matter is not whether he lives or dies as
long as the will of the Father is done.

Surely we can trust him with God.  Herein lies the special duty and
privilege of administration by the right and authority of the Holy
Priesthood.  Namely, it is given to the Elders of the Church of Jesus
Christ to divine the will of the Father concerning the one upon whose
head their hands are laid.  If for any reason they are unable to
presage the Father's will, then they should continue to pray in faith
for the afflicted ones, humbly conceding supremacy to do the will of
God, that His will may be done in earth as it in done in heaven.

To the righteous person, birth into the world of spirits is a glorious
privilege and blessing.  The greatest spirits in the family of the
Father have not usually been permitted to tarry longer in the flesh
than to perform a certain mission; then they are called to the world
of spirits where the field is greater and the workers fewer.  This
earthly mission, may therefore, be long or short, as the Father wills.

I passed quietly out where I had entered the world of spirits and
immediately my body was quickened, and I was to ponder over and record
the many wonderful things I had seen and heard.

Let me here and now declare to the world that irrespective of the
opinion of others I do know of my own positive knowledge and from my
own personal experience, that God is the Father of the spirits of all
men, and that He lives, that Jesus Christ is His Son and the Savior of
the world, that the spirit of man does not die but survives the change
called death and goes to the world of spirits, that the world of
spirits is on or near this earth, that the principles of salvation are
now being taught to the spirits and the great work of joining the
Father's family among the living and the dead is now in progress, and
that but comparatively few will ultimately be lost, that spirits will
literally take up their bodies again in the resurrection, and that the
gospel of Jesus Christ has been established upon the earth with all of
its keys, powers, authority, and blessings through the instrumentality
of the Prophet Joseph Smith, that this is the power that will not only
save and exalt everyone who yields obedience to its principles, but
will ultimately save the world, that the burden of our mission is to
save souls unto God, and that the work for the salvation of the dead
is of no less importance than the work for the living.