Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Take a Stand

Buona Salute e Vita Family and Friends,

"Your Father failed, because he failed to act."

We met this Indian man who is a Hindu recently. He was extremely patient and very kind despite all odds etc. (He had head phones etc). We met him on the street taught him about the restoration and the Book of Mormon. We met him again and gave him an Italian BoM and we are working on getting him one in his own language. He is very patient and I believe genuine. He came to church with us on Sunday to Testimony meeting. He is really cool and hopefully good things will happen.

The monk guy we met a while ago may or may not like other monks type of a thing, and long story short. We wont be meeting him again.

There is a Nonna (Grandma) here who feeds us every couple of weeks. She has special permission from an old president of the mission for us to visit her without a man in the home. She is really kind to us. PerĂ² (however) she prays that the evil people in the world and some people who aren't Christians be destroyed like the Book of Mormon again. I suppose we all have our faults as this isn't a particularly good thing to hope or pray for.. I just found it a bit odd.

We were finding and went around a corner and I had just seen a man... felt to talk to him.. did so.. he speaks English and is from another European country. He the day before had lost his licence and hence would no longer be able to work at his job.. and was feeling really low about that. We taught about the restoration and tried to offer comfort to him. He said that if God would show me a sign or let me know then I will do it. I told him this was the way that God could show him of the truth. We exchanged numbers and set up a time to meet with him again after a prayer with him, we haven't been able to see him or hear from him after this encounter, but I believe we were meant to meet with him if only to provide some comfort in this hard time in his life.

To address some normal (for me) things that you may not know.

We eat with members about two meals each week.

Food wise... I eat a lot of pasta. It's dang good. There is pesto which is a sauce pre-made you throw on pasta that you just made... that's really good. You just can't really have it as left overs. Gelato is really good here as well... but I'm trying to stay away from eating it... kebab.. and Nutella haha. Despite what the world tells you... those things aren't very good for you. I've had Filipino food quite a few times as well.

It is really gray and not exactly pretty here. Anziano Larson isn't super impressed. I do like it though. I'm not here to see a pretty country.

Italians take fooseball way serious. The older men as well. They have different ways that they hold the rod thing. Like a different grip of holding a lightsaber. or like penholder to standard. It's really funny to see them so crazy about this little soccer game. I'm the same way though haha.

A general conference talk I very much enjoyed was by Elder Holland a few years ago called the First Great Commandment. I particularly liked this because the Bible is not crazy descriptive and I appreciate him filling in some holes of some non scriptural but what he imagines probably went down.

He has great sympathy for the apostles. A few days after Jesus death he believes Peter said something like this to the other Apostles. Brethren, it has been a glorious three years. None of us could have imagined such a few short months ago the miracles we have seen and the divinity we have enjoyed. We have talked with the very Son of God Himself. We have walked with him and wept with Him, and on the night of that horrible ending, no one wept more bitterly than I. But that is over. He has finished his work, and He has risen from the tomb. He has worked out his salvation and ours. So you ask, What do we do now... I don't know more to tell you than to return to your former life, rejoicing. I intend to go a fishing.

And at least six of the ten other remaining apostles went with him. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately. But alas the fishing wasn't good. Their first night back on the lake, they caught nothing.. not a single fish. At first light they saw in the distance a figure who called out to them... Children, have you caught anything... Glumly these Apostles turned again fishermen gave the answer no fisherman wants to give. We have caught nothing they muttered, and to add insult to injury they were being called children.

"Cast the net on the right side of the ship and ye shall find." the stranger calls out and with those simple words, recognition begins to flood them. Just three years earlier these very men had been fishing on this very sea. On that occasion too they had toiled all the night and had taken nothing.
Now it was happening again. These children as they were rightly called eagerly lowered their net and they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. John said the obvious. It is the Lord. And over the edge of the boat, the irrespressible Peter leaped.

This next was a very important conversation. (and the background of this story Elder Holland gives helps explains why). He proceeds to ask Peter three distinct times if he loves him (Jesus). The third time Peter says "Lord thou knowest that I love thee." To which Jesus responded (in Elder Hollands words). Then Peter, why are you here.. Why are we back on this same shore, by these same nets, having this same conversation... Wasn't it obvious then and isn't it obvious now that if I want fish, I can get fish.. What I need, Peter, are disciples.. and I need them forever. I need someone to feed my sheep and save my lambs. I need some one to preach my gospel and defend my faith. I need someone who loves me, truly, truly loves me, and loves what our Father in Heaven has commissioned me to do. Ours is not a feeble message. It is not a fleeting task. It is not hapless.. it is not hopeless.. it is not to be consigned to the ash heap of history. It is the work of Almighty God, and it is to change the world. So, Peter, for the second and presumably the last time, I am asking you to leave all this and to go teach and testify, labor and serve loyally until the day in which they will do to you exactly what they did to me.

Kind of some background to the scriptures and an inspiring Jesus speech. To those of my fellow friends and family serving missions or are enlisting I applaud you and I'm happy for you. This is the work of God and it is a cause worth leaving the fish and living and dying for. This I know. I found this helpful to me as a pick me up.. and I hope it is helpful to you as read that story. (Here's the talk with video).

We meet and talk to a fair amount of Africans and Muslims as we go out and try to find people to teach. Normally they will at least hear us more, hence we talk with them more. One thing I believe should be a thing is this. Jesus Christ was either a liar... or the Son of God. As he claimed that he was that.. and hence would be a liar if this was not true... and to think you can take some middle ground to me is silly. Same thing with the Book of Mormon.. Our church.. The apostles of today are either men of God... or they are lying about a lot of things. After having examined a lot of these things. I believe that all of these are true good things and it has greatly helped my life... but to try to pretend some middle ground at least of the core of things is not wise and I invite you all to find out for yourselves what is true.

I try not to be overbearing to people and hence sometimes I just let Anziano Larson do the talking.

I invite you all to find out for yourselves to act. Do not procrastinate this. What really is important..
Anziano Gridley and his Grandma (also serving currently in
the Kiev, Ukraine Temple on a mission with Grandpa),
at the 2014 Low Reunion.
I'll tell you right now.. its not money. I bear my testimony that this is the way to find a sign from God if he exists and what is true in the world. Through reading and praying about the Book of Mormon.... Stand up and rise from the dust.

"That man had a gun."
"Would that stop you..."
"I've had training."
"The training is nothing. The will is everything. The will to act." - Ra's al Ghul

With Love,
Anziano Gridley

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