Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Of Pasta Shock and Interpretive Dancing

Dear Family and Friends,

Never trust a beautiful woman. Especially one who is interested in you.

Anziano Delgados birthday is today... and hence we had a victory nap this afternoon. It has been raining this P-day.. so we haven't been too interested in going to go do anything.

For my upcoming birthday... in missionary apartments (at least in the Elders ones in Italy) there is generally a lot of cool stuff.  Example... Anziano Delgado bought a brand new coat before he left on his mission. It was a little too big for him.. so he left it in his first city. Hence I kind of got some free nice, almost brand new gifts for myself this upcoming month. I fixed these shoes that are super sweet and sick and that fit me really good. The only problem was there was a bejewled 
Editor's addition.  Not Anziano Gridley's actual shoes.  :)
skull on the side of each of the shoes. I took off the jewels which took a while.. but they are pretty dang nice. I have this super nice green brown coat. It reminds me of the old camo coat I used to wear if any of you remember... but this is super nice.. and is going to be great for camping and what not when I come home. It looks a bit awkward when we are finding.. but I have patience. A silk tie.. and some funny looking suspenders. Some of this stuff I wouldnt buy. But it is really nice for being free. 

Moral of the story... Pay your tithing.. And serve a mission.

We have been where we have been needed often this last week. We have ran into members and investigators often on the street. We ran into Paulo Cibin three times this last week. It has been really nice to be able to feel the spirit strongly and often again. (Since the Mtc). I have a firm testimony of the holy ghost. It is a real thing. For those of you who have seen The District 2.. A missionary kind of movie thing. I am sort of becoming like Anziano Christianson.. (Italian is ruining my spelling life)... and it has been really nice to be doing what I can for people out here.

We found a woman on the street a few weeks ago. We finally met her in a formal lesson yesterday. There was a girl that was high on drugs that came to the church for a lesson with the other Anziani. but the other Anziani were not at the church.. while we were arriving with this woman..  Elisibetta. Anziano Delgado handled the situation while I was just talking to this really amazing woman. She was very patient. We taught her everything and she is basically one of those prime people ready for the gospel. She found it strange that people did not listen to use as missionaries more. We should be baptizing her May 9th.. unless something crazy happens.. but Anziano Delgado and I are very excited. She reminds me a bit of Aunt Becky. She has just a really good soul. She and her husband are seperated.. so we were going to have to give her to the sisters to teach... but we called the mission president.. because we knew we could teach her with a male member every lesson at the church etc.. and what not... and we got permission to keep teaching her. You may pray for her if you would like. We have a lot of hope for Elisibetta. 

I have kind of lost my appetite the last few days. Which may be a good thing I don't know. There are red oranges here in Italy.. that have so much juice they are red. Those are nice. There is pasta.. with amazing ragu.. chicken. There is not fast food here... not like America at least. The food here is kind of like America.. just a little bit different and better. Italians know how to eat.

Don't tell Grandpa and Grandma Low.. but I have gone a year without drinking soda... A pretty good decision I feel. 

I have finished the Old Testament, which was really good book to read. I have started to read the New Testament.. a bit slowly as I am checking the foot notes for good things as I go. I am really loving reading it right now. One thing that stuck out to me was..
24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.  
25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.  
26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the wholeworld, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

I can become as skilled at a lot of things.. have endless money.. lots of cars.. everything.. the world... but what good does it do in exchange for my soul. Hence we should follow the commandments.. even if something else may be good.. for example you go camping with your family every Sunday. It isn't bad and I am sure it is fun.. but it isn't worth exchanging that for your soul type of a thing.. but on a little less scale. Also note how Jesus doesn't care how well you take up your cross... that is never an issue. You could be the worst cross carrier ever and he still wants you to take up your cross. The point is to be trying to improve and to become better. 

Anyways I found this as a wake up call a few days ago.

Easter is coming is general conference. I would invite you to watch general conference this upcoming month. 
(Amos 3:7) Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
It isn't in the bible for laugh and giggles. Watch General Conference=).
Life is good.. I wish y'all the best and that all works out for ya. 

Buona Vita.  The best defense is a good offense.

With Love,Anziano Gridley

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

How you Fa?

"I'm not afraid.
You will be. You will be."

The ward mission leader is a twenty six year old named Martin. His family are the Lazartes. They are a really nice good family. They had us over for Christmas eariler last year. The mom and the daughter sophia are pretty funny. Martin brought a friend to the gans family home evening on Sunday which was pretty cool. The gans apparently dont know how to play risk or clue.....

You shake it up. And hoodily who.
Lard with Bacon bits.
Not Acceptable! 
We are going to teach them how to play some time soon.

Back on point. Last week Fratello (Brother) Lazarte and me went on a pass by to a family with a less active elder whose wife comes every week but isn't a member. We just talked and gave a small spiritual thought to these two ladies.(Sisters). They are from Ukraine. Fratello Lazarte and I had time to talk before the lesson and after. I took the liberty of asking him some questions finding out more about him etc. For instance when I asked him how he met his wife.. or why he married her. He said... She lived close to me...... HAHA. When I asked him how he found out about the church and why he joined he said... My Wife... haha.. He is a really good guy and him and I had a really good conversation in Italian that I felt a lot of peace with.
We went and ate with the Lazarte also this last week. 

I am having a blast right now. We went to Genova today to have some interviews with President. We got to see a fair bit of the city and I am sending pics. The mission is good, I am trying to use the time well.
I was a bit bothered that we would have to be on a train for some time with nothing to do. (It is a bit of train ride). So I brought a chess board and we played a few games. Anziano Delgado tries but he is the Annikan to my Obiwan.. which means he hasnt really beaten me.. even though at times they are close games. It's all good fun haha.

The apartment below us have been hammering their apartment..... All day... which isn't super enjoyable for us. We are hoping they stop soon. It is just annoying when it is two people hammering and demolishing the apartment below us all day. Kind of funny though.. and I probably wouldn't change the situation is just for the sake of the humor.

Anziano Andricks is an Anziano in my zone. He is a really cool guy that is super down to earth. He has a different style to missionary work that maybe not everyone would like or appreciate... but in the end we are here to do good.. and do what we can. I am thankful for good examples here. (and bad haha)

There was a stake priesthood meeting at a hotel this past week. We rode down with Fratello Zito which I really liked. He served a mission in England and pulls our legs a lot. I don't exactly love the Italian meetings like this. The stake kind of yelled at us at times etc.... but I felt the spirit really strong anyways. Which is a really sweet feeling. A feeling that I like... hence I decided even if the meetings in the future are.... interesting.. if you are in the right place and you are feeling the spirit it is a good meeting regardless.

A topic I have thought a bit about is expressing love. Some times people do not feel they are loved.. or that people care about what they care about. It is a really good thing to express love and care in good healthy ways. Maybe that someone is failing or not doing something good.. or like something that isn't the best thing.. we should still show love for the person. Hence one thing I try is.. if I don't care about something.. but someone else does.. or God does.. I try to do care about it. I invite y'all to show more love and to care more about other people. I am no where near a master at this.. but as the Africans would say. It is good. It is fine.

Wake up gird up my loins!

If you strike me down. I will become more powerful than you can imagine. (I really am a Jedi haha).

With Love
Anziano Gridley


Christopher Columbus is proprio from Genova


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

I want the Truth, You can't handle the Truth

Dear Family and Friends,
You are just jealous that I have been preaching the gospel... All day.
 Besides we all know that I am training to become a cage fighter.

Last Wednesday was really funny. I mentioned that we were going to go play basketball. We went and played, I did pretty good the first game, less good the second... because I got two big blood blisters on the balls of my feet (one to a foot). I thought something was in my shoe and hence was kind of irratated, by the friction on my feet. I have never had a blood blister before so I didn't know I was getting them, and nothing was wrong with my shoes in the MTC haha. I couldn't really put pressure on the blisters for the rest of that day and hence had to walk kind of funny. Which gave my legs a work out. They were a lot better the next day though. I see the irony of how mentioning in my last letter made this bound to happen.

Anziano Larson and I (my last collega), got offered some torta (pie) a little bit ago after a lesson. Anziano Larson thought it smelt a little funny so we checked the ingredients, and it seemed fine. The man also assured us that it was fine. We each had a slice of this cake. We found out later that the skim milk in this cake had alcohol in it. Terrible. I am not too happy about it and though it is a bit funny. I now dislike even more sugary goodies that kill you over time.

Anziano Delgado
Anziano Delgado has arrived. He is great. He is from Arizona, and really likes to sleep and work out. He loved video games before the mission. He went to BYU Idaho for a semester before his mission. I asked him if he knew Walker, and he probably doesn't. He kind of acts like Walker sometimes, which is really nice. He was super skinny about five months ago, but he has worked out for the last five months and now is definitely not skinny. He has been out here for about a year and nine months. He is also an Italian mago (wizard). He likes the card game "magic". He is trying to get me to buy some cards, but I told him.... no. He uses the black deck if anyone knows what that is haha. He is alright, there are some really cool things about him, and some less cool things about him, as with everyone I suppose.

Anziano Howel and a Sister (K) are in our district as well. Anziano Howel is super nice and cool. He is always nice to people, and whenever he speaks it feels like the spirit on a breeze on a beach. 

Can someone ask Katy what kind of shoes are the Italian shoes that she feels I should get... She seems like a pretty reliable source... and I might get some eventually (Anziano Delgado got two pair today). Some things in Italy are really cheap and some things are not. For instance with shoes. Fourty Euro for some pretty good shoes at a store in Alessandria. (Which is really good for Italy), and I think we got me some back home for one hundred fifty dollars each back home. You just got to use smart descretion when shopping. There was a sign in a store for a while that said. It is time to a shopping... us missionaries got a pretty big laugh at that.

(If you would like to not read this part you dont have to.. I just found it funny). Anziano brought a scale to our apartment... I had not weighed myself since I had left on my mission. I have been taking pretty good care of myself though so I wasnt super worried or anything... I have gained at least twenty pounds. Which is kind of strange to say the least. Maybe I am just a little freaked out because I am getting close to being as chunky as Dad. (Editors note: That wasn't a very Christlike comment!!!!)  Anyways I was a little bewildered, and have been being extra health conscious.

Anziano Delgado works out quite a bit and drinks protein whatevers. This is something I admire a lot about him, and kind of gave me a new push to go at it. Mom last email talked a bit about investing our time, and I will probably invest a bit in this endeavor. I feel that if you can self master your body, you can more easily have selfmastery over your spirit. It is healthy, and if our bodies truly are temples... we should probably take care of them. It has been really good... and we will see what happens. I still feel that being strong spiritually etc.. is more important than being strong physically... but if Miley Cyrus can have the best of both worlds.. why cant I.

Remember to follow the prophet. If he says to do something.. and you do the complete opposite of what he has said. You are asking for big trouble. (My source is the Bible).

I have been reading the Bible quite a bit, and there is quite a bit about how the Jews are going to be taken captive by Babylon etc. The Book of Mormon is really set up perfectly. If anyone is well versed in the Bible they should be able to see it. We dont talk about that part of how the Book of Mormon came to be so much on the streets due to the fact it is a bit complex... but if you are too lazy to read it.. know from me that the Book of Mormon is set up to be a true story based off the Bible.. and that I know that the Book of Mormon is true.

I am going to try to go Hulk Gridley this next little while. No one will like me when I am angry. Scherzo (I joke). But yeah.. trying to go Alto Gioco by becoming the Hulk would be awesome. I have high expectations for myself and I try to get closer to completing them over time. I just need to act in the end.

I have been thinking a bit this last while about what it means to be Tough. Not only Tough.. but to be Christian Tough. I think of the pioneers and how they had frostbite.. and other fun things.. but they kept on going. That is tough. Including myself I feel that sometimes us members and even missionaries could follow their example a little bit better. On point however... worldly tough of being a jerk to lots of people and getting even with people who you dont get along with is not the best type of tough. I have found the Christianity takes you to a whole new level of being tough. Our church teaches to be thankful always.. especially when things are going poorly. That is as tough as you get right there haha. To forgive others always.. to control your temper.. love your enemies.. serve others.. live a good life.. and the list goes on. Jesus taught to follow commandments.. and not only to keep the commandments.. but to not even think about breaking them.. and if you think of breaking a commandment (overly).. you have already broken it. It is not easy. It takes a tough person to be able to do that. I am saying that if you want a challenge... if you want to become a better person.. to reach your potential.. to leave behind the best legacy you can.. this church is for you. 

The LDS church will change and help you for the better. It will make you an uncanny tough that not even CharIzard can compete with. If you aren't that tough yet. Don't be discouraged.. you just have to evolve yourself like Pokemon to that level. It takes time etc. Know the God loves you.. and if you keep the commandments it will all work out. I am grateful for this great experience to become tougher by being a christian and a missionary.

Do you think anyone thinks I am a failure.. because I go home to stern at night? Forget about it! 

With Love,
Anziano Gridley

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Time is a valuable thing, watch it fly by as the pendulum swings

Ciao Family and Friends,

Why can't I change time?

It's transfer week here in Italy which means, Anziano Larson, Wilson, Kendricks, and Sorella Albos, are transferring to different cities. Anziano Delgado, is going to be my next collega, I am going to meet him tomorrow. He is the same age mission wise as Anziano Lewis, so a year and seven months give or take. Anziano Larson is kind of excited to leave. An Anziano from a different area came to Alessandria last week. Anziano Kendricks came for a little bit and is now leaving. He is funny and down to earth.

Anziano Wilson and I had a scambio(trade off) last week, in which, we had quite a bit of success in one day. He is a fireball finder. I watched him trying to observe how he was so successful. He is really kind and accepting of other missionaries, and is very funny. On the street though, it seemed a simple secret that worked extremely well, was he would just treat people as if they were already friends. Which makes sense to me, Anziano Larson and I needed to do that more and it was really nice to be shown how to do it really well. He's also really social etc, which helps. I really respect and like him though.

The language is coming along fine. A few weeks ago I just kind of stopped complaining and dealt with it. I have gotten a lot better and have been extremely blessed. I am really grateful. I am not worried about it anymore, though I am no where near fluent. I should be able to get by with my new collega.

I read a book called Our Heritage, extremely quickly earlier this week. It was really good. The start of the LDS church is truly remarkable. I know a lot of the basics of the church since I have been a member a long time, so its nice to read other things that have more things that not every member knows. I know that this church is true. 

We started trying to do genealogy finding last week. It's really easy to talk about families, and most people agree that the family is important. Knowing about where you come from the stories etc, is a free, fun, thing that the church does. We have been having some success this way and I'm hoping this next transfer we will be the Charizard of Pokemon to Missionaries to Missions. We will have to act though. It should be an adventure regardless.

We met with Paulo, the older man I mentioned several weeks ago. He talks extremely loud and is kind of the stereo type Italian you think of. We had a lesson with him last night, and it will probably be the most bizarre lesson of my mission. We brought Martin with us. Paulo would talk sooo much. He would interupt us, and when we would interupt him, he would interupt our interuption. It made the lesson really hard to do etc. He smoked a bit during the lesson as well. He would talk about all of these off topic things, even when we told him that this was the time we would talk about spiritual things. When we left he took Martin and Anziano Larson by the arm, and walked us to the car, and wouldn't let us leave for another three minutes. Martin told us he wouldnt do another lesson with Paulo. Its going to be a long road to baptism for him, We are going to try to have him walk to the church so he is tired, so he will talk less next time. He came to church last sunday though. If every soul is worth the same in the sight of God, I believe that if we have to spend extra time with Paulo (over a hour yesterday), that it is degno (worthy). I love him so much though. Some investigators make it easy to love them.

We are going to go play some basketball against some youth here after this. I am pretty excited.

Think of the ocean, and how deep it is. You will now be prepared to think of this deep spiritual thought.    
Jeremiah 14:8-10  Talks about how the Jews were failing and not doing so well because they would do whatever they wanted. Going after the lusts of their hearts or something along those lines. Which is really kind of a deep subject. The first sin was that Adam and Eve tried to have happiness without God, as if they could have knowledge to match Gods (type of a thing, its a bit hard for me to explain). When we put God on the back-burners, when we just do whatever we may want, we are going after the lusts of our hearts, and sort of acting like the Jews in the Bible time (most of the time not a compliment). It is not a wise thing to pit yourself against God. You will lose. If you aren't for him you are against him. This life is a time to prepare to meet God again, after this life. If it seems to hard to change, to repent, and to become better, ignorance wont just save you. If you walk off a cliff even if you don't know there is gravity. You still fall and die. 

I don't believe I am allowed to go around calling the people to repentance here, but I can at least in this email. Become what God would like you to become. Educate yourself. Find happiness. People act however that just because they are well off or want to do other things with their time, that they don't need God. This is not a true thing and will not bring true happiness.

 Anziano Ballard (I believe) talks about he was on a trip with a few millionaires and a billionaire. The billionaire had spent his life on wealth, and he enjoyed that. When he mentioned death and the life after this he said, Either there is no life after this.... or if there is.. I don't imagine all of my wealth will do me much good. Kind of a lose lose lose situation for him. 

I invite y'all to lay up treasure for yourself in Heaven, and maybe a little less so on earth. Keep perspective, awareness, and remember the things that truly are important.

I wish y'all the best in your endeavors.

With Love,
Anziano Gridley