Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Man Down Red Hawk Twelve

Editor's note:  Gotta love Austin and his cryptic subject lines!  Makes one feel pretty dumb.

Dear Family and Friends,

Are we there yet...

Today we are going to Alessandria for some of my document stuff... which means we are on trains for more than ten hours... Which should be pretty fun.. (I finished the New Testament this morning)... but I have only a bit of time to email today..

The conference was amazing. Elder Bednar is the most spiritual man I have ever met.. (He also used Intelligence things to explain Spiritual things).. He was really funny and charming during the conference.. and made it a conversation with the missionaries... No we do not have Ipads yet... The Holy Ghost was very strong during the conference.. Elder Bednar said the main thing he wanted us to get out of the conference.. is that we dont need an Apostle to come give a conference to recieve strong revelation through The Holy Ghost. I got lots of things out of the conference and I am going to try to apply as I can in my life.

My toe is doing good.. it doesnt hurt.. but is infected. I am trying to do what the doctor said and take care of it.. but it is a little hard to do as a missionary and with the end of this crazy month.

We are teaching lots of people and doing really good in Trento.. 

I ate for the first time this week kebab.. it is kind of this sandwich thing with some kind of meat.. lettuce.. tomatoes.. ranch... it is pretty dang good.. (not incredibly healthy.. which along with I am a poor wayfaring man of grief who can't afford little delights such as this is why it has taken me so long to try it)... They have tons and tons of Kebab places here.. 

I am going to cut this more short so I can send pics... I am doing good.. keeping the head up.

Happiness.... a tear drop away.

With Love, 
Anziano Gridley

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Execute order 66

What am I fighting for.. there must be something more.. for all these words I type do you read anything.

I have arrived in the land of Misty Mountains. There are mountains completely surrounding (curses) Trento. It is reminds me a lot of Utah.. it is extremely beautiful.. I will send pics next week. We hiked a mountain today.. 7 killometers up 7 down.. it was pretty dang fun. I almost climbed up this super high tree to the top.. but then.. didnt. If I get home from my mission and I am 25 and single and what not.. I am totally going to do fun dangerous things darn it. Death is a natural part of life. The least we can do is have a sense of humor about it.

Anziano Santiago is pretty much the coolest guy ever. He played basketball and football before his mission.. he is the oldest of 8 children... he keeps his hair great.. he ran two businesses before his mission and worked.. and yeah.. he is super easy to get along with and we are having a great time. He is really good at talking to random strangers... it is really funny watching him try to start up a normal non awkward conversation... I want to try to get those talking skills to strangers. He is really into photography.. I don't feel I am super photogenic so I am a little less into it.. 

The work missionary wise here is booming hard hard core. Anziano Santiago kind of started the work up here from scratch (space transfers haha) and yeah.. He is in his 6th transfer... so about 3 more months than me. He speaks quite a bit better.. so that is good.. though I can get by generally. I thought Alessandria was starting to boom.. here it is on steroids.

Anziano Young, and Bingham live with us.. which is super fun except for the fact.. there is one bathroom. (You get the picture). Anziano Young is a skinny guy who liked league of legends before his mission... he also has swag though.. he basically is married to this one girl.. and has gained twenty pounds on his mission in muscle... He is in Anziano Santiagos group.. Anziano Bingham is super funny and great.. I started to talk to him a few days ago.. and he just started to tell me these funny girl stories.. he is really good at telling stories... It has been really great here.. one thing Anziano Delgado got me thinking about that I have applied and really like.. is asking the other missionaries more questions.. about anything... it has been really nice to make good friends here. 

On Monday, Elder Bednar will be in Milan for a conference with all the missionaries.. we will be getting Ipads.. and get to hear him... (Considering he may very well be a future prophet etc.. I am super excited).. But yeah we will have ipads here in Milan Italy so that is pretty fun...

Anziano Santiago pretty much is fluent in the way Africans speak english... how fa now.. you done chop... I great you brother... I'm fine I'm fine.. He is a bros.. Hopefully I can pick up on it.. because it makes you pretty much an automatic friend with a lot of Africans... Which is fun and good for missionary work. They and other people really know how to pray with soul.. which has been really nice to see... and hopefully I can have that rub off on me a bit.

 I am giving a talk on Sunday... I should probably pick a topic...

Spiritual thought... I have been reading the New Testament again recently... I really have liked this time.. all of pauls letters. Last time I read the New Testament.. I liked them less.. this time I have really liked them... He answers a lot of questions about the gospel of Jesus Christ and what not... For example... he makes the Godhead fairly easy to understand and makes it pretty clear what is up.. He is basically the Elder Holland of that time.. He singes your eye brows a bit with love. I would maybe invite y'all to read when you would like.. Ephesians... This book is especially powerful..

It is a good life.. Try to find happiness and to enjoy it now and be prepared to meet God.

I am at an internet point trying to email home.. all of my change I have spent on yall. If happy ever afters did exist.......

With Love
Anziano Gridley

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

You want to make da pizza

Dear Family and Friends,

Saying Swhat Swhat Sway.

Jonas... Happy Birthday a little bit ago=).. did you get any cool presents... You are pretty much officially a teenager... Congratulations. I hope you are doing good buddy.

I am getting transferred to a new city tomorrow. I am leaving Alessandria to go to Trento.. It is a little North West of Milan Italy. I hear that it is a city surrounded by mountains and is a bit cooler.. and is much more beautiful than Alessandria... I am pretty excited. My new collega is going to be Anziano Santiago.

I recently have gotten a battle wound of depth and volume of the book of Alma. I got an ingrown toe nail a few weeks ago.. It has been getting worse over time and hasn't gotten better yet. (Click here for the very graphic and disturbing photo.  Be warned it's fairly disturbing)  Walking a lot does not help.. but on the bright side.. I am not afraid to amputate.. (I probably won't)... and a doctor is checking it tomorrow... As Boromir though.. it would take three arrows to start to kill me... so it shouldn't be a problem.. but I might get surgery on it.. I don't know.

Anziano Delgado and I had a talk recently that really helped me out... it was really nice to see good changes after that night taking place over the next two days.. I have gotten along with Anziano Delgado really well.. He is a really great guy.. and I am grateful for the time I have had to work with him.

Thank you for the Birthday Package=). The calendar is golden.. and I appreciated the nuts.. beef jerky and other things. The forearm clencher tool thing I am going to be using a fair bit.. it is super cool thanks.
Thank yall=)..

Yesterday we went to Casale Monferrato... (A different city). In the recent past we had some pretty good
investigators there... Less so more recently... We were going to go so Andrea (pizza wizard) in a different city then go to Casale Menferato.. Anziano Delgado did not want to go to both cities.. especially when we did not have a huge lots recent success in Casale... which I understood.. but we hadn't gone in a while.. and I wanted to see if there was anything left in Casale for Anziano Delgado and his next collega.. (I was pretty stubborn with him)... Anyways.. we went.. and we eventually after a while were able to jump through some hoops and found an investigator who had lost his phone and we were not able to see for a while.. He is more prime than I knew.. is super cool.. and we set a bap date with him.. He is muslim.. but we made it clear what baptisim is.. and he is very willing to change.. He has read the book of Mormon a lot and has compared it to the Quoran.. and says he feels the Book of Mormon has more truth to it and really loves the Book of Mormon.. Alex (his name).. went to University for five years.. loves to learn.. he is reading some of the book of Mormon in English (which he speaks less well.. (he speaks 7 languages)).. while reading it also in Arabic.. he is super smart.. yet super humble.. I am excited for the work here when I leave.. Hopefully they have four baptisms next month.. or at least a few.

With that story I am just really grateful.. I believe I was guided by the spirit to go to Casale with my collega.. and refind him. It would have been very possible that he would have fallen through the cracks. I have felt the Holy Ghost.. and I know that it is a real thing. 

I am short on time.. Not my fault.. but what can you do...
I am thankful for what yall do for me.. and I hope you have a great April time=)

With Love, 
Anziano Gridley

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

99 Red Balloons Go By... As your Super Soldier Smiles Slyly

Dear Family and Friends,

Updates on the three muskateer bap dates:
  • Elisabetta is good.. I think. She has been sick the last two weeks.. and hence have not been able to see her yet. She is an amazing woman however.. and we are not super worried yet. Hopefully she gets better soon.. so we can meet with her.
  • William is doing good. We have met with him quite a bit.. and he came to three of the four sessions of General Conference at the church. We talked to him about the Word of Wisdom.. which he has a bit of a problem with. The lesson Anziano Delgado and I agreed was maybe a little too easy. We have high hopes and he is progressing.. Time will tell.
  • Tino is a bit awol. We called him a bit ago.. and he told us he is super super busy.. and that he will call us when he is less busy. Which is not what we wanted to hear... hopefully he gets less busy so we can meet with him.

Anziano Delgado and I are doing really good though. We are doing some new things for finding a bit.. that have been working pretty good. To explain how we work well together... Imagine that every missionary copia.. is a lightsaber.. God is the Jedi Master... Anziano Delgado and I are a curved lightsaber. God is a Jedi Master... he knows how to use curved lightsabers.. and will bring about his own work and glory.

Anziano Delgado and I are done with chess.. at least for the moment. 

We technically won against the Italians last week. They were all about 14/15.. so its not like a huge accomplishment.. but it was cool cause.. even though I was taking it a little easy.. because I was starting to get an ingrown toenail... I could run pretty much endlessly.. while even not trying overly. 
I am not patient enough for soccer. I learned that you are not allowed to kick other peoples legs in soccer.... Like If someone is going to move the ball out of where it was.. and I kick your leg where the ball was.. I figure we are even... anyways. I kicked Anziano Delgado's feet trying to get the ball.. and kicked his feet out from under him and made him fly in the air a bit... He was ok. I don't have the patience for soccer.. and don't care enough about it to be any kind of passionate about it.. but it was fun playing against some of the youth.
what the heck.. lame rule.  

General Conference was sooo good. Almost every talk in this last Conferance was what I call... A High Light Talk. Which means it is a really good talk... probably one talk each session was not a High Light Talk.. but every other talk was.. which is really good. I invite you to go watch it if you haven't. As missionaries here with the ward.. we watched one session.. and three  I need to watch the last session sometime when I can. 
Some people like to watch General Conference and do other things by going into it with a question.. or look for specific things that will change them.. for me this session.. (piu o meno) I just tried to let the talks become a part of me.. To change who I was... it is a bit hard to explain.. 
but if I were to watch it trying to get some stuff out of it.... Goodness they talked a lot about marriage and family. Which is important good things... but it brings up the topic of Super Saiyans (soldiers).

The church and God wants Super Soldiers.. as members and missionaries. To get married young if you can.. while at the same time.. don't get divorced later or mess up too bad etc. Not exactly easy to do.. and is a fine line. They want us to be in the world.. but not to become of the world.. or become defiled by the world. As missionaries we are kind of our like firefighters... going proprio into the fire at times and trying to pull people out.. while trying not to get burned. The church wants Super Soldiers.. which I am fine with and I love trying to become a better one. If you want to become a much better person and to become a Super Soldier.. if you live it right.. the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is for you.

Elder Holland gave a talk that I liked. (Normally he hits home runs with his talks (only heard one talk of his that wasnt super good)). Focusing on a specific part.. there was a boy who was on a rock cliff that didn't have safety equipment.. that needed to jump at the last part for safety. If he didn't jump he would die.. and if wasn't clutch.. he would die. He jumped up high.. caught himself for a moment and would have slipped off and died.. but his younger brother grabbed his arms and saved his life. Elder Holland related it to life.. asking the question.. In life are we just meant to jump as high as we can and then fall to our death? 

If there is one thing we can learn from that.. even if you don't proprio believe in the church.. If you are going to jump (and you should).. make sure you try to jump as high as you can. If you get saved by your brother great.. if you fall to your death.. well at least you jumped high (I highly recommend looking long term and letting Jesus Christ save you). God most of the time or outside forces (Job) (example.. job.. or the guy that gets cancer) is not going to stop you from living a happy life.. a life of doing wonderful things... of jumping as high as you can. If you are going to live a certain way.. at least be smart about it.

Find your happiness.. jump high... have a good life. As I said.. I recommend the gospel that will bless your life now and later.. but at least we should all try to jump high as high as we can. 
I invite you to jump as high as you can this week.

A great movie that I really like is The Edge of Tomorrow. Basically this guy is in a war.. (On a heavily heavily losing side) and every time he dies.. he wakes up at a certain time.. the day before. Hence.. giving him time to learn and to become a better soldier and help his side win the war. Through out this movie.. it is implied that he probably dies.. over a million times.. but every time he wakes up and can try again. I feel as Latter Day Saints with us trying to become Super Soldiers we in a way have this tool. We have the Atonement. That Jesus Christ suffered for our sins so that we can repent. That every week we can repent of our sins and become clean.. to start over. No matter how badly we die.. or how often. We can always restart and come unto God.. to repent. With Easter.. I would invite you to think of the Atonement and to use this valuable gift from Jesus Christ. It might help you win the war ;).

Life is good and bad.. In the end it is a little bit of what you make it... Make it good. I hope y'all had a good Easter and that you are able to find your purpose a little more during this Easter time.. 

Lets start over.

With Love,
Anziano Gridley

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Steps to control your frustrations

Dear Family and Friends,
"At least give me a soldiers death."
We got two more bap dates this week. Which is kind of unheard of to us. (I have set two bap dates.. before this week.. my whole mission). The missionary work seems to really be booming right now.. which is great. Anziano Delgado is a really great guy and we get along really good. We have developed a missionary style which is working pretty good. We have things to improve.. but we are doing pretty good.

We have been meeting this really cool guy named William.. who is a little robust.. cares about what people think about him.. and really wants to prosper financially in the world. He really likes cars and what not. He really likes doing lessons with us though.. so we have met him four times in a week and a half.. and are meeting with him
pretty often.  He came to church last Sunday.. but hasn't been reading the BOM yet. We have big hopes for him.

We also set a bap date with this man who is over 80 (Tino) . (Which is really rare type of a deal.. People may think they will repent or whatever when they are older.. but basically every old person here is like ehhh I am dying soon.. I can't change... obviously there are exceptions case and point here). He is really open and at first we thought it might not go to well.. because he started by asking us about our stance on people who are gay.. and other controversial topics... but we answered all his questions and taught him the plan of salvation and he basically agreed with everything we said. We then showed him John 3: 5. (Which is a really good scripture to use.. it is
really funny when they like a verse so much they read the next verse or two for fun haha). Yeah we are excited. We have not met with him a lot because he is busy with whatever.. so I hope we can overcome that

Yesterday we had dinner with Stephano and his non member family. It was really good. They were really nice. We ate a lot of really good food. I got to try legit french cheese. Which took me about ten minutes to eat a decently small slice. It was good.. but I think if I ate more of it.. I would appreciate it more.

What do you do medically if you have a cough / are starting to get an ingrown toe nail. How do you treat these ailments?  (Editor's note: Here's some good tips)

We are going to play soccer with some young men youth here today. It should be a battle to be remembered. It is
really funny when an Italian loses at Foosball.

I started to get lost a bit in the abyss of my mind.. but I faced myself and got out again. If you are feeling frustrated or angry etc.. I suggest you try these few things to healthily handle the situation or just feel better.

The Seven challenge:
  1. Pray to God... He always eventually answers.. Be honest and real with him.
  2. Let your soul be still. Go listen to that song.. and let your self calm down.. don't try to be a negative emotion... if you need to forgive someone.. let yourself forgive them.
  3. Read the Book of Mormon.
  4. Go exercise...
  5. Be Grateful
  6. Go sleep (I usually always feel better after I sleep).
  7. Change your situation a little bit everyday.. try to make the next days situation and your self a little better each day.

In the end one person does not have a lot of control on the world (generally). You have no control over a lot of things (especially things other people do). I consider it wisdom to control yourself and not get angry about what others are doing. If Sam wont mow the lawn.. it is more of a him thing and not a you thing.. and you have a few options of how you want to handle it... Generally getting angry or yelling or something like that is not very good. (If Jesus is our perfect example he did rebuke and get angry at times.. but more often he was merciful.. calm.. etc). Try to find some happiness.

If you are having a problem with Tithing.. and that is your only problem with this church... I will just say this... It is a pretty stupid reason not to be in God's church and secure your salvation type of a deal.

This last Saturday we had a talent show. The other Anziani sang a song together... (They sounded good when they sang together). Nick sang can you feel the love tonight and got everyone into it.. it was pretty funny. Davedee danced really really well. Olga and Nina sang a Ukrainian piece that was really gorgeous. Anziano Delgado played the piano while I improv danced.

Take the seven challenge. Be happy.. eat healthy. Have a good week. I hope y'all have a good life.

With Love,

Anziano Gridley