Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Patso Tranquillo

Salve Family and Friends,

Set the phasers to stun number one.

Anziano Larsen is my new collega. He's short, he likes scarves, he danced before the mission, hes from Provo Utah and was going to BYU. His eyes are a bit bouncy. He's not a mago or magician at the language as has been Anziano Lewis. We get along fine, and Ill try to start being more nice to him haha. 

The Investigator with the Ecuadorian wife is doing good. He's come to church for the last few weeks and we then teach him after church. We are hoping he gets baptized this month. He has a bit of smoking problem etc. He has lots and lots of auborn facial hair. He is kind of hyper you could say, but is pretty cool. Italians talk really fast, hence I feel the urge to speak pretty fast as well. In our lesson on Sunday he could tell I was struggling a little bit, and he was like Tranquillo. Letting me take my time. He's a really good guy and hopefully we can help him.

The other evening at about three in the morning, there was a car that honked It's horn for about twenty minutes. Yes it is true... I have arrived in Italy.

The other day a missionary that had been serving from our ward returned home. He had served in the Rome mission, and we had a ward party at the church to celebrate his return. I learned a few useful things from that day.

In life we have two choices... accept the way life is... or change it.
It's my job to teach those who are ready. 
I as a missionary should do things worthy of a return home party.

(Editor's addition)
I taught a lesson to an active family this week of some things about the Sons of Helaman. (Alma 56. 47/48/56 ... Alma 57. 21/26) I was reading about them on my own and kind of applied what I was reading to myself. I read about their mothers and how they did not doubt because their mothers knew it. I thought to myself. Well I know my mother knows it. The story took on a whole new meaning. They did not doubt, and were exactly obedient and they took on a whole new level of super saiyan. But yes I know my mother knows that the gospel is true.
(Editor's addition)

We played a game last P day that was pretty fun. It's the card game war... but it was the General Authorities fighting each other and they had special abilities based on last General Conference as well. Anziano Wilson and an old collega of his took like three months to make it a while back haha. So that was cool. 

Anziano Wilson will sometimes kind of quote starwars etc. When President Dibb let him know he was going to be senior Zone leader he said... Now Anziano Wilson I know you aren't going to abuse your new found power. Anziano Wilson said... Of course not President.... Then they both laughed. Anziano Wilson sometimes says Omnipotent Power... like Emperor Palpatine.

We met with a potential on the street this week. He smokes a lot... is around 60.. divorced and lives in a small appartment. He is sooo cool. He's basically your stereo type Italian. He uses his hands a lot and speaks Extremely loud. When we were teaching him after about three sentences he would stop us and say... Excuse me.. I have an experience I need to tell you.... He would then proceed to tell us a story for 10 minutes. The lesson lasted about two hours. We are going to try to have them not be that long from hear on out. He is a good guy and I hope we can help him.

With Anziano Larsen here I've had to step it up... because the first day when we tried to do finding etc. I knew we would have zero success unless I stepped it up. He's adjusted to this city, but I'm still stepping it up. Which is good. Anziano Larsen has been out about a year and half. But yeah Alto Gioco in practice you could say.

Some specific things I learned from General Conference talks that I liked etc. The biggest three regrets of people before they had died was.

  1. I wish I had spent more time with the people I love most. This speaks for itself but some regretted all the hours on the treadmill instead of doing better things. 
  2. I wish I had lived up to my potential.
  3. I wish I had let myself be happier. 

If you are too busy for the important things etc you then are too busy. Can you imagine Jesus being in a hurry all of the time etc> I don't.  He always gave the people he was with the gift of his time and wasn't in a huge hurry all the time.  If we labor as missionaries all of our days (not just on a full time mission) if we should bring save one soul unto Christ... how great would be our joy.

I have thought a lot about the gospel etc in my time. Sometimes to the point where it's not good.. where it just leaves me frustrated. Ezra Taft Benson said... Every person is eventually backed up to the wall of faith and there must make his stand. In some things all we really have is faith etc from what we do know. Jesus Christ has though invited all of us to come and see... Come and find out for yourself... to gain this faith. That's all we really do as missionaries. We want to help people find out for themselves.
Editor's note: A little gem of a pic I found on the mission blog.

I found out a hidden ring of power this week. I started reading General Conference talks picking and choosing the topics I liked reading about 20 plus the last two days and I realized that General Conference talks are sweet.. The scriptures are hard to apply to our lives now at times and sometimes are just stories. General Conference talks apply quite a bit etc. 

You have been told the secret of how to improve your life.
I challange you to read a conference talk this week.
That is all.
Punch it Chewie.
Oh no It's the Kobayashi Maru test of life.

With Love,
Anziano Gridley

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Finishing the Transfer With Alto Gioco (High Game)

Dear Family and Friends,
I have had the best pizza in Italy...

It's the end of the transfer and we had some pretty big changes here in Alessandria. Sorella Johnson is going to go be a Sister training person somewhere else leaving Sorella Albos to be trained by someone else, etc... which is unusual and Sorella Albos is pretty sad about it. Anziano Taylor is going to Milan to be the new Assistant. I told him that you know you are a pretty good missionary when you are a Zone leader and then an Assistant. He left on Sunday, hence making Anziano Lewis, Wilson and I in a three collega until thursday when my trainer arrives. Anziano Lewis is becoming the new Zone leader. Hence hes going to be Anziano Wilsons new collega and moving down stairs from where we live right now. It's not a super big deal since Ill still see him basically everyday. Which means Anziano Lewis in Genova is coming up tomorrow and is going to be finishing my Jedi training. I've met him before he seemed really nice. He's really short, really patient, and recently had a birthday. 

It's been pretty fun with Anziano Lewis and Anziano Wilson and me together. They are both really good guys. Anziano Wilson basically talks to everyone on the street con senza paura. They are both really good examples and I'm trying to learn from them. 

This last week and during a lot of my mission I've been pretty humbled. I won't go into super details here because some of the stories are kind of embarrassing, but yeah its all good now, but sometimes it's too the point where I get a little frustrated. Sometimes you have to take several steps backwords to make a lot of steps forwards I suppose. It's all good.

It's snowing today which is very unusual and I may never see it again on my mission. The snow flakes are huge due to the humidity, it doesn't snow a lot due to the humidity, and the snow won't stay due to the humidity. It's pretty great.

There is a member with his family that lives in a city about 20 minutes from Alessandria that is in our ward. He's kind of a more grande man with fantastic facial hair who owns and runs a pizzeria. His wife is perfect for him as well. Their kids are so cute haha. But we've gone out to him twice to eat free pizza and have a small lesson, and the other Anziani have said that his pizza is the best in Italy if not the world... and I tend to agree with them. It's pretty good.

We met this man who was a little crippled the other night. We met him on the street and Anziano Lewis talked to him a little bit. We then walked him to his appartment which was one minute away and taught him how our church is different outside his appartment on a bench. It was really touching to me because Anziano Lewis let the man take his arm and helped him. One of the more touching things I've seen in Italy for sure.

Another biker almost hit me while I was on my bike the other day. (He was going the wrong way on a one way street and turned a corner and was going extremely fast). It happened in about five seconds so I didn't have much time to react or anything. He basically almost hit me while I was riding on my bike, but we barely missed each other. It was kind of scary and could have been bad. Pretty nice to see a miracle like that, which will allow me to keep serving.

I learned about prayer this week that, we should pray like everything depended on him, and then act like everything depended on us. That we should pray for the strength to change things that need to be changed, or to do things that need to be done. Also if we really want to 100% do something, we can.

A scripture I liked this week was 1 Corinthians chapters 6 - 7. Which basically says that we shouldn't fight other people and if they want to do us wrong we should suffer it. I feel like that applies to basically everything. We should have a goal to be extremely long suffering. Seven times 70 you could say. =)

Language of the week. Alto Gioco means high game, con means with, senza = without, paura fear, also = anche, pace = peace, fuori = out/side.

I hope everyone is doing well. Things generally get better after you sleep it off. I challenge you to pray with the good attitude I told you about. (God helps those who helps themselves). I'm praying for you. 

Pace Fuori. (Peace out)

Today the snow flakes outside are almost the size of my face. 

With Love,
Anziano Gridley

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I have met Buster Baxter

Dear Family and Amici,

His power level is over 9000,

To answer Mom a bit, I'm glad you're pleased with these letters, normally I'm a bit more of a private person I suppose. Kind of how I've been molded. Even in my journal I'm writing in.  No one but me will understand too much what I'm writing haha, everything I write is sort of in code etc. These letters have a lot more details and what not than my journal. These letters are kind of like The large plates of the Book of Mormon, my journal is the words of Mormon, and there are smaller plates that I'm making as well.

We had a change for a day in comps, I was with Anziano Wilson. He is sooo funny, and he was really respectful to me which I appreciated. We had quite a bit of success. About six lessons in 24 hours and two new investigators which is really good. He did all of the talking really. I'd pray for us every little bit and we had a lot of success. In Italy people interrupt each other a lot. The older missionaries have adapted and know how to interrupt to say what they need to as needed and tactfully. I don't know how to do this yet. Literally one lesson with Anziano Wilson the whole time someone was always talking, they'd just interrupt each other hence zero silence. Hopefully I'll become a master of this skill.

Anziano Wilson and I had a really cool miracle together. We went to this other city where, there is this man who about a month ago was really excited to be baptized, he had a date, he was getting ready etc. But one day Anziano Taylor and his comp at the time couldn't get a hold of him again. They called about 1000 times etc, went by his house often, he was gone. We went by yesterday and we found his apartment, he wasn't there, we left a little note for him and were leaving to go teach on the street. We met him outside shortly after, he was carrying a bunch of suitcases. He had been in the Hospital in another city for over a month without his phone, and was just coming home from the train station when we met with him. Coincidence... I think not. Anziano Taylor thought we were lying at first because of how odd it was. We were all really happy.

We got a referral from the Sister Missionaries of this man named John. We met with him after a bit of trouble. We taught him and his sister in their home, with his brother in the other room. (They spoke English which at times was kind of hard to understand). They were so ready to listen and to understand. We left two Book of Mormons with them. We are hoping things work out with them. I have grown a love quickly of Africans. They are so great, generally very humble and kind. I care about them a lot and hence have big hopes. It does seem a lot easier to be kind to those who are kind to you, more than being kind to those who treat you terribly.

The church here in Alessandria just bought a table tennis table that got here last week. It's fun to spend time with the Gans (Single adults), Sunday night for their family home evening. I have a lot of passion for competitive things for some reason. Sometimes its not manifest in my life quite as much. Which I don't particularly like. Especially with the gospel etc here on my mission. Granted I have passion for it, I'm hoping to gain more and that it'll be more manifest though.

Which brings us to Language Of The Week. Instead of saying though or other words in certain scenarios, you say però, which roughly means however. It's a word used a lot.
We have met a man and taught him a few times, his name is Paul. Hes a Catholic who's a really good man, hes taking care of his mother right now, and he is thinking about joining this sort of Catholic monk group where basically they give away all they have, and spend their time helping disabled people. He was thinking of doing this, wasnt completely sure.... and then he met us=). Hopefully we can help him to make whatever the right decision is.

I noticed last week that kind of part of me hasn't been here the whole time on my mission. Sort of asleep you could say. I've made sure I'm all here and that seems to be helping.

Alberto (the man with the wife that is out of the country) has been coming to church the last two weeks. In church he made an observation in Priesthood saying, You know I've watched a lot of Dragon Ball Z and it seems to me that Goku goes and trains a whole lot, and then he becomes super strong, and eventually becomes a super Saiyan. I wonder/think about, if people work the same way, they train and master themselves and then they become super Saiyan. It was really funny haha.

Spiritual Thought I have been reading quite a bit from the old testament recently. I wanted to read all of the four books of scripture on my mission (I'm almost done), and hence I'm reading in the Old Testament.

2 Chronicles 28/29/32. Chapter 28: There Is a wicked king who like a lot of his fathers does wickedly and then dies. Chapter 29 his son becomes king, and for whatever reason he turns to the God of Israel despite his father and lots of other bad examples and helps his people turn to him as well. Chapter 32 A city that's important is surrounded by some of the philistines and it doesn't look super good for the Israelites. An angel comes and kills some of them (during the night). The philistines leave.

The huge point I've taken out of the Old Testament is... if you keep Gods commandments you will prosper and he will help you.. if you don't he will not. This happens over and over in the Old Testament with lots of bad and good examples. For me I want to be like the good kings. I'd invite those of you to try this out. As in follow what God wants you to do, keep his commandments and teachings etc, and he will bless you. Try it like this good righteous king. Another story you may like is 2 Chronicles 20 if you'd like to read it of another righteous king who is helped.

Things are pasta side up here in Italy, things are going good. Trying to improve myself as a missionary and person and hopefully I'll have more good news for y'all. Auguri... (best wishes). I am thankful for the good friends and family I have, I'm praying for y'all.

Can you hear me now............................................................ Good    =)

With Love,

Anziano Gridley

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Salute Per Tutti (Health for all)

(Cosi Cosi) Caro Family and Friends,
I'm afraid I've gone mad.

The Mediterranean Sea=)
​Genova the city a little bit.
It's been a great week. Sort of odd was that.... well the story is... Sorella Albos is from the Philippines and she did not know how to ride a bike before the mission and just barely learned how. Which was really cool and funny. Sadly She got hit last week by a car whose driver might have been a little drunk after New Years. She was fine except her ankle being a little scuffed up, and that she was in shock, then being taken to the hospital in an ambulance. and her bikes now ruined. She's fine now. Kind of gives a reality check of not being too crazy on the bike and that we shouldn't act like proud super heroes type of a deal. It's unusual for this to happen though.

​Genova. Italy kind of feels like
Europe's New York City,
slightly tropical jungle, type of a feel.
At a training a little over a week ago we got challenged to aim high with lesson count trying to get 21, President Dibb testifying of this. When the week before Anziano Lewis and I had gotten 7 or 8. Which seemed almost impossible to me at the time of getting 21 lessons, but this last week we were on the streets a lot more and I'm not exactly sure how but.... we got 21 lessons.=) Which was super exciting! We got a lot of new potential investigators, and I have hopes that some of these people we talked to will work out. We are having a decent amount of success though and it's nice to see. 
The outside of the Genova Church.
A little different than back at home.

We are on the streets a lot throughout the day, which is good and bad sometimes. I'm getting more into the swing of things, and I'm probably more officially level two on the language skill wise. When you answer the phone you say "Pronto" which means "ready" or if you are answering the telephone door bell which someone rings to get into your building, you can say "Chi è" which means "who is it". At the MTC we joked that we would say someone like Paura... which means fear kind of funny.

We had a conference in Genova on Monday which was really cool. I got to see the Mediterranean Sea, and we watched a little bit from Fiddler on the Roof, which brought back lots of good feelings from back in the day.

More of Genova.
There are quite a few Africans here in Italy, who mainly speak English, we got a lesson with one set up for Thursday and I'm really excited. They have a really great English accent like... How are you doing my brother. If you can use your imagination.

We met two people on the streets that stood out I guess. One was a drug addict who had been kicked out of his house and his family wants nothing to do with him even on Christmas day. He's now homeless and you could say a slave to his addictions. The other we call an assassin, then his name. He's awesome yet at the same time, disturbing. He loves his old girl friend a lot. If you can imagine we will see him and say hi, he will then come up to us and begin talking to us about 12 minutes about his old girl friend and what is the update with her. This has happened twice now. Kind of funny. But she broke up with him and started to date someone else, he still really likes her. He stayed two days outside of her apartment telling her that he loved her. She got him a restraining order. He likes her a lot to the point of rage a bit, so that's a bit scary. We try to help him do good things, like not kill people, but anyways.

It seems a lot of the time that the people who need the most help wont take it. (From a movie I cant take credit for the complete wisdom). I think that Heavenly Father loves us all equally though and he still wants to help all his children even those who wont take it, are we not all beggars, if we are the means of trying to help at times, and we don't accomplish too much really or are thrust out, I suppose we shouldn't take it too harshly. It does no good to complain about how things are in the world or in your situation. You can't control a lot of things but with what you can control you can do good and help yourself. 

One man was given 10 talents, another 5, another 1, they were then left to their own devices. Sometimes Heavenly Father isn't going to spoon feed you or even help too much with some things in your life, you are supposed to do it by your self and multiply your own talents you are borrowing not just sit there and mope about things. Just something I kind of put together for myself this week and maybe it'll help y'all. I hope you'll take the wisdom and it will help you. 

I challenge y'all to try to allow others to help you if you need it. Sometimes when you are in quick sand you need outside help to get out.

Do you want to know a secret? All the best people are.

With Love, 
Anziano Gridley

Editor's addition:  I noticed they posted pictures of the incoming missionaries from December on the Mission blog and am adding those of Anziano Gridley, shown here: