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