Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Embrace the darkness

Dear family and friends,

I don't think that we met today by chance. (Juliet)

Yesterday I talked to a girl on the train. I was very open and pretty blunt with her. As I could tell from her body language she could handle me doing that. She was really nice. She was going to take an exam where out of five hundred people who take the exam two people would get a job.

After we went to see Francesca who is the sister of a guy who got baptized a couple years ago as his girlfriend was a member. Francesca right now needs to gain a testimony so these things can become important to her and she can make the decisions especially since her mom isn't a member etc. Every other day I text a chapter for a few people to read so they can piano piano(slowly) build a testimony. When we met with Francesca that went really good. On the bus back I met a guy who speaks Croatian, Spanish, Italian, and English. He was super cool. He just isn't super religious. Which isn't uncommon. We gave him a pamphlet and an English class card and we got his number. When we asked for his number. He was like hey why not. Which is a great answer.

Then Anziano Diego talked to a guy from Russia who is a singer. They had a good talk. I talked to a girl who was sitting close by where I talked to the first girl on the train. She was super awesome. She was extremely open. And her parents aren't very religious but she started to read the bible with a friend and she started to really like it etc. Which is not common. We got her number. She was awesome. Kind of funny I technically ran into her twice that day. Maybe I was supposed to talk to her the first time and not the other girl who knows. And then I talked to a guy from Moldavia. He was awesome. He believes in God quite a bit but he doesn't super act on it. He told me haha that every night he prays and he asks for forgiveness for the same things he does every day haha. I could tell he had a good heart, though. And I let him know that. We'll hopefully see him again as we got his number. The thing would be more converting the belief he has into some actions.

Celestina was someone who met with the missionaries about a year ago. She was really awesome they said. But she worked a lot. Also, when we have church. But that in the future she'd make more progress. She went to Nigeria for more than three months (she is from Nigeria but is married to an Italian). We have met with her a hand full of times this last month. Her work is maybe about to finish so she will not have a reason to not come to church that would legitly stop her from being able to come. She mainly needs to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon and receive an answer to her prayers. I just got off the phone with her and she is still working and is busy right now. But hopefully, soon she will make the necessary progress. She is a very spiritual lady and is super nice to us. We have gone back to the cursed internet point with her to help her with her email after we teach her. She doesn't have the computer hacking skills. When we went we ran into Kennedy the last time.

Kennedy is my guitar playing Nigerian friend. I sent the video of him playing. I knew from that first time I saw him I wanted him to make progress and get baptized etc. We then saw him at the African concert. We then ran into him at the station and I talked to him for a while. He does not like the Book of Mormon because it's not in the bible. We are making small progress with him as we run into him and talk. We then ran into him on the bus last week and I just said hi as we had to get off. Then we ran into him at the Internet point last week. I talked to him for about an hour as Anziano Diego helped Celestina. Piano piano. We got his number this last time. And he's going to pray about the Book of Mormon. He's a really spiritual guy. He just has this block on his mind of the bible being the only possible scripture. I told him that it wasn't by chance we had run into him so many times. Normally we don't run into people this many times. And we don't go to Internet points that often. And I imagine he doesn't either. Anyways I'm supposed to call him soon to see if he got an answer to his prayers about the Book of Mormon. We'll see how it goes.

I met Kelly on the bus to Urbino. He lives about five minutes from us in Pesaro. He is from Nigeria. He was really reliable on Tuesday. Anziano Dohms and I met him at the coop and walked to his house where there is a park right next to his house. We met with him and about five of his friends. It went really pretty good. Hopefully, Vicenza will be repeated. Kelly was pretty impressive.

Cico is my sinigal friend (I spelt sinigal wrong). Most guys from sinigal are Muslim as is my friend. He sells books on the street here in Pesaro. He is super nice. Every time we see him we say hi. And one time we started talking to him. This guy is super open and we gave him a pamphlet and now he really wants a Book of Mormon. He specifically told me that he would like and wouldn't mind at all meeting with us talking about religion that we shouldn't worry about basically offending him. Telling us to bring in on in trying to see him. As a missionary, you should never be afraid to try what seems like a suicide no chance operation of a mission. Often first appearances can be overcome. Hopefully, good things will happen with Cico.

Shout out to Oliver and dad. Oliver is one year older and he's gained another foot. Dads one year older and the kids have given him a few more grey hairs. Eat lots of cake. Next birthday y'all celebrate we'll be celebrating right. Everybody will be dancing and be doing it right.

You are such a jimmy. (That's Anziano Dohms saying).

My day try,
Anziano Gridley

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

We found the gold captain

Dear family and friends,

We've got the fire who's got the matches take a look around at the sea of masks. Welcome to the masquerade.

I spent Monday morning trying to make the English class fliers the way they were done by Anziano Reyes but fix the time. I spent the whole morning figuring out that it wasn't reasonably possible to make with the quality wanted on the Pesaro computer hence they did it in Ancona. Also, Anziano Reyes didn't save the one he did before. He should have saved it haha. But I was getting decently frustrated. (Frustrated for me).

A. Time was wasted in an a worthy effort which wasn't exactly my fault. And I didn't even get the flier done.
B. Anziano D was doing things.. I realized after a bit of being frustrated. That I was stuck in that crumby situation and me being frustrated and acting less strong about it. Didn't change the situation and was silly like a child. So I tried to per-ken up. Sometimes there are weaknesses in the armor of patience that need to be fixed. Chinks in the armor. I told Anziano D the reason why I'm single is I have no computer hacking skills or bow staff skills. Etc. it was proven on Monday.

We went to the lady from Paraguay with her two children. They are some of the nicest people. They have had lots of problems and unfortunately it has furthered them from God. Hopefully, we are going to help them come closer to God. When we were having dinner we were about to eat a salad Martha was grabbing some utensils to dish out the  salad and Anziano D with a hand stretched out as if he was going to choke a big grizzly bear grabbed the salad from the bowl with his hand. Wow, that was funny. I guess he forgot we weren't just at our house. They were really nice to him about it.

There was a girl I talked to that sat by me on the bench at the beach. She was taking pictures on a nice camera so I asked her if she was from Pesaro. She was but she was taking pictures anyways. She was from the south but works in Pesaro. We had a nice conversation. She has had some hard trials in her life and I could see it while we were talking about God. She liked what was said about prayers that sometimes we pray and the problems remain exactly the same. But we are stronger to overcome them. I gave her a Book of Mormon and she was excited about it. One of those. Where before I say it's free or I offered her the book she asked me how much I wanted for it haha. Those kind of experiences are the priceless ones. The ones which make missions fun. This experience of talking with this girl in a whole.

I talked to three younger guys that went well. One was doing university in Urbino. He is distanced from God. Anyways we got his number and we'll hopefully see him another time. Another one was a younger kid that I met after I talked to a kid from Peru. This guy is Italian and goes to church almost every morning not to ask for help but to thank god. If you think this is not the norm in America.
Times that by a number higher than 6 and you understand about here in Italy. Not very normal. We're hopefully going to see this guy on Thursday. And then there is a guy who is the coach for the woman's volleyball team here in Pesaro. He is from Napoli and was super awesome. He is pretty busy but we got his number and we'll hopefully see him another time. People from the south are awesome.

Today for pday we are going to Urbino to see Urbino again. And then we are going to make pasta by hand with carmine from English class and will teach him afterwards. It should be pretty rad.

I went to Ancona to interview a man preparing to be baptized. Due to complications, he isn't ready right now. Which was pretty sad for me. Cause I didn't want to have him not be ready right now. He'll get baptized if he keeps up his progress but that was too bad. While in Ancona we just barely missed our train so we had time to find as the next train was in two hours. This last week at times I felt like I
came out of retirement from when I retired after being with Anziano Keller. So that was good. We found a few people while we waited and then we got home pretty late.

Michele is a guy who walked into the church while we were teaching Jesus. (Not the actual Jesus silly. Jesus would teach us). He said he is looking for the true church and that he really likes this stuff. Basically, he is someone prime and ready. We are outside trying to find this guy all day and he found us. He said he would come to church on Sunday and then he came. And then we saw him on Monday.
This is a guy who could get baptized. He is super awesome.

We stopped a guy and asked him about English class. He is from Sri Lanka the island under India. He speaks English and has been in Italy for eight years. He is Catholic. He had to go somewhere so we got his number and we saw him on Sunday with Albert after the missionary conference in Rimini. Go figure.

We went to an evangelical party. It was interesting. I personally don't like churches where they want me to stand the whole time. And they just sing. But that's ok. We stayed for thirty minutes. We gave the Book of Mormon to the guy we wanted to see outside the church. So it was completely bad. But if I'd known we were going to a church for that thing I wouldn't have gone. Interesting experiences.

I think about what you say. I think about what you do.

I hail you,
Anziano Gridley

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


Dear family and friends

But look elder. There are rules.

There was an older lady at the bus stop that thought I was the bees knees. She called me Bello (Beautiful) and called me a treasure. Haha Italians can be really cute.

There were two harder situations this week I was in. The first was a Boy who's younger brother died and for that and the bad things in the world he doesn't believe in God. I tried to help him. But that's a hard thing. Leaves me a little shaken.

Then there was a Man who's wife cheated on him. That morning he had signed the divorce papers losing his wife and two children. He was a really sweet guy. One of those kinds nice guys from the south. That man was really sad. He talked to a missionary for the first time, though. We had a really good conversation. And hopefully, it was a set up for him for the next time a missionary talks to him. Sometimes I think God sends people to help us. It was the time for me to talk to him. But for him to accept a Book of Mormon etc it wasn't. Or maybe I didn't do my job well enough who knows.

Last week we had a Five lesson day which was really good. Normally Anziano Reyes and I got six lessons a week (which is more of a sign of how much we did. We deserved that number). The first lesson was with Kurush and his friends. We went to Fano to see a guy who is studying in Ancona. But lives in Fano. We went to the library where all the kids hang out. We talked about the Book of Mormon and the restoration and got another guys number. I'm hoping we'll be able to see Kurush Saturday mornings. Then we saw Thania. And then Anziano D taught a prayer lesson. Then we met a guy named Francesco who was sitting a bench eating pizza. We started talking to him. He really likes Starcraft one of the few video games I used to play. Finally, video games did something useful for me. Scherzo(Joke). We gave him a Book of Mormon and got his number. Hopefully, things go well

We then ran into Francis who was waiting for his bus. He is from Ghana. He was trapped so we taught about the gospel of Jesus Christ. We left the invites of what he needed to do to gain a testimony etc. 1. Read the Book of Mormon as if the Book of Mormon is true and the church is the true church of God. 2. Pray to know if the Book of Mormon is true. So you really know. And pray to know about our church. Ask God to guide you. 3. Come to church. 4. Keep meeting with us. As he did not come to church the next day and slightly avoids our calls. I'm not sure if he'll make progress. I try to spell out very clearly what they need to do. So when they don't do it. That's their choice.

I talked to an Evangelical missionary for an hour. He was a really good guy just slightly miss guided. Two big things. Was how you have the authority. And the bigger problem he only believes scripture is in the bible. I hate that. I think it's the dumbest thing. A short essay on why that is dumb here we go.

  1. The bible was made after Jesus Christ. They put scripture together into one book the bible. Those scriptures were still scriptures before being put in the bible. The bible is special because there are scriptures in the bible. Not because the bible makes the writings scripture.
  2. Scripture definition is gods word revealed to man through prophets. There should be more revelation. and hence more scripture and hence does not end with the bible.
  3. There is the prophet Nathan. The prophet gad. Where are their prophecies and revelations. I see them mentioned. But not their books. They are missing from the bible. Or what about Abraham. Jacob. Etc you see their stories. But their writings are not in the bible. Are their writings not scripture? To say no just because it's not in the bible is. Flawed.
  4. The bible was written for the people in their day. It does talk about us and we can learn from it. But it does not talk about computers. Smoking. Etc. We need a modern day prophet to talk about modern day problems. If there were to be another flood. We wouldn't see that from the bible. We'd need more revelation. More scripture from a prophet to let us know that there will be another flood.
  5. There are references in the new testament sometimes by Jesus Christ himself referring to old testament scriptures that are not in the Old Testament. I hate this. I can't cross reference in the Old Testament because the Old Testament is missing those scriptures. Not only did Jesus Christ the only perfect man read those scriptures. Using the time of only thirty-three years precious time to read it. He used it to teach and quote. Making those scriptures important. And we don't have it in the Old Testament. Hence, the bible is missing scriptures.
  6. I can discuss with that kid about baptism and other doctrines and after an hour, neither of us won. If the bible was so clear. And we didn't need another book of scripture (the Book of Mormon) we would be able to come to a consensus. But the bible is not that strong and we left with no consensus. Showing the bible is not strong enough by itself.
  7. The old saints had all of the old scriptures more than just the bible. And they fell into apostasy. Not having the true church of God. If they had all of the scriptures and it wasn't enough. Wouldn't God want to give his restored church more so it won't fall. enough as we also lack old scriptures as we just have the bible. So he would give us the Book of Mormon. The old church fell and it had the bible. The bible is not enough by itself.
  8. There are no prophecies of the bible prophesying of itself. Unless you read a verse and interpret it that way. If the bible was so important. It would have prophesied of itself.
  9. The guy read a verse that said if there is another gospel written do not believe it. I read it and I understood another gospel as something that goes against what was already written as in a gospel that fights against the bible and the old scriptures. He understood it as there can be no more scripture written. The bible by itself creates confusion. This is one reason why there are so many churches today. God wants us to know the truth. He does not want us to be confused. There is confusion about the bible. Lots of translations etc. If you are not careful you are in trouble. 
  10. If God wants to give us more scripture. Who are we to limit God and tell him no. If God wants to give us more scripture he can. Jesus taught many things more than what is written in the bible. If some of those teachings were found. They would still be scripture even though they aren't in the bible. To say otherwise is nonsense. This is a topic I am a bit more heated about. I'm not here to tear down the bible but. It's ridiculous that this is even a topic. As even by pure intelligence it is proven completely flawed. If you add the spirit of God and prayer. It's a landslide. I was very respectful and I wasn't trying to go for the teeth as I was talking to this guy just out of respect and not wanting to argue. But maybe if I had and talked about the ten reasons here. Beh those people love their bible. I also like it. But for a few reasons I don't think it is and can only be. Scripture. I really like the bible. Some people don't like the bible very much or don't understand it. Don't get me wrong the bible is awesome. But to have the road block that the bible is and can only be the only scripture is too far.

We saw Mike last week and we were going to teach about how to gain a testimony. He had a friend over. Hillary. So we did an audible and taught about the restoration. And the Book of Mormon and how you can gain a testimony of it. Hopefully one of those guys will make some progress. I saw a South American guy with his son in his car. And normally I don't talk to people in their car. And I'll be honest I get a little excited about South Americans as they have the promise. I wanted to talk to this guy. Anziano D speaks Spanish. We had passed the car by 12 steps and I told Anziano D we needed to talk to the guy. If for anything I wanted to. I had him talk to him in Spanish. Which creates an instant bond. It's like you meet an American when you live in Germany and you talk in English. It's an instant bond. We got his number and we're going to see them hopefully Saturday.

Right after a testimony of Jehovah has couple talked to us. They were older and had experience on us. They spoke English. Spanish. And Italian. They started talking to us. And Anziano D brought up how he wants to join the military. J-dubs hate this. To quote. How can you be a Christian, and kill? They don't like this. Anziano D first answer is that the military can help him get through college. So he's going to go kill people so he can have an easier time with school. Was how he made himself look. He then brought up protecting Liberty etc. Then the guy said he had a Muslim brother who believes the same thing defending himself hence being an extreme Muslim and he said when it's going to end. Anyways we looked a bit bad because of his first answer. Anziano D knew they didn't like war and he brought the topic up to see what they would do. I told him if he's going to bring up something like that. A. Win. Show your side well. Don't let yourself look bad especially as a missionary as we represent our church. I also told him to bring up a less controversial topic that the other church still holds as important. War is a touchy subject. It's about death etc. Anyways you slice the orange you got to be careful. The couple were pretty cool with lots of life experiences. They also accepted our card which normally doesn't happen.

I'll never date a religious guy.
I greet you,
Anziano Gridley

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Broken Keys

Dear family and friends,

Come andiamo? (How are we?)

My comp has arrived. He is pretty wild. I like him cause he's willing to go outside with me. I can deal with a little wild. I can't force someone to do the good if they don't want to..But I have a feeling we'll get along pretty well. Hopefully I'll be able to help him get a little more tamed.. He is wanting to lose weight and hence wants to go out running with me etc.. We are on bikes quite a bit etc and I'm telling him what he needs to change is the diet. Quote from Anziano D "I work out so I can eat whatever I want.". Anyways it lowers my motivation to go run as I am not trying to lose any weight. We'll figure it out.

We got invited to an African concert this week and we went. I was hoping for something better. Something where we could talk to people etc. But it was a bit disappointing. Not effective as missionaries so we left after thirty minutes. The music was sooo loud. So loud I was uncomfortable. It was quite an experience and we met a referral who invited us. So I guess I wouldn't change it.

Yesterday was less productive in finding because of a few things. We lost the keys two days ago. Anziano D is in charge of them and we searched the train. The Ancona Anziani checked the church in Ancona. They are gone (for now) so we had brother Leon help us break our bike lock. And president di Nuzzo is letting us borrow his church key. I had an extra set of keys and now I hold on to our keys. We left our bikes in our small warehouse because we broke our bike lock. The next morning we were going to go out but a bike lock and go work. We got our bikes and then the warehouse door would not lock. I tried for ten minutes and a passing Italian could not open it. I called the land lord. And I didn't completely understand over the phone but he told me to take the look and he key to a key shop and for them to check it. After we went to get a lock I almost had enough money to buy the locks Anziano D had no money at all so we had to hurry home and I grabbed money. We got the locks. then someone called us and needed help so we went and then we checked the lock store. He said that it was broken. I called the land lord he told me we the mission should pay for it as missionaries have used this apartment  for more than twelve years. We payed for it. But he forgot to give me back the handle to the door as I left the old lock and handle with him so he could find a replacement and we left for a few hours. Also a pizzeria that is going to give me a free super cool shirt was closed randomly. Italy. They really do always have a holiday. I can't complain I'm getting a free shirt haha. But yesterday was less productive in a missionary work way as I hoped for.

Maurizio has made amazing progress for himself. Anziano D as I met with him for the first time after about twoish weeks of not seeing him (he wouldn't do what we told him to do and was not progressing) we were going to have to be in the church anyway for some reason so I figured Maurizio could come. Anziano D wants him to get baptized and asked him why not. Anziano D then broke one of his cigarettes. And then Maurizio said he wanted to quit and we broke all of the cigarettes. He hasn't smoked for three days. I'm kind of shocked. Maurizio is a bit messed up due to old drugs he took. But if he were to quit cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes. Coffee. He
technically could with time be baptized. I keep telling Maurizio he needs to pray and read the scriptures. Only with God will he really quit.. I still don't want to see Maurizio super often as we should use the time to give others the opportunity to meet with us. But we'll see how he does.

We have been doing quite a bit. The bigger success stories. One I talked to a really cool guy on a bench by the sea. He was super cool and is about to be a father with his girl friend. But he wouldn't take a Book of Mormon. It was a worthy conversation. During that time Anziano D found a woman generally interested in our church that is from Vicenza. He got his number and we sent it to the sisters.

I met two Africans on Sunday. It was raining and so I wanted to just stay at the station out of the rain. (That's not just me being weak. But also wise). One guy was waiting at the station for the rain to let up. I talked to him. And we saw him again yesterday and we started a lesson with him. But he had to go because his bus came. He said he's going to come to church though. So there was that guy. And then there was another guy who lives in montechio about 30-45 minutes from pesaro. He goes to church in Ancona. Which is another hour from pesaro. This African was legit. He travels far for church. It was impressive. I talked to him about our church and gave him a Book of Mormon. while he waits in pesaro for his bus we are going to teach him. He told me he'd go through the book. He was an impressive African. And then we had to go help in church.

We ate kebab in Ancona because we missed our train coming back. We did district meeting in Ancona and this is when we lost our keys. I started talking to the kebab worker. (Usually they are Arab or from the Middle East) this guy was from santo Domingo. South America. (Or at least they speak Spanish). He was working and so we didn't get to super go into things with him. But we got his number and gave it to Ancona and gave him an English class card as he spoke English pretty good. He is really busy but who knows.

Then on the train back. There were a few places where I was considering sitting to talk to someone. I said a quick prayer and I talked to someone who was the correct choice. He is a young guy studying religions in Ancona. He lives in fano. He is Catholic and really calm and pretty open. I gave him a Book of Mormon and got his number. He is pretty busy as he studies in college and also volunteers for the Catholic Church in loreto (a little bit away). Another simple lesson was to try to make sure to give someone a shot. I offered him the Book of Mormon and at first he said no. He didn't want to steal my book or maybe he thought I wanted money for it. But after the third time I asked him if he wanted it he said yes.. In some things we deserve more than one simple thoughtless chance for something important. Hopefully in the future this guy won't be too busy.

That's it for this week. Also carmine gave me a super sick backpack. Carmine's awesome. The ward here is great. Hopefully next week I'll take more about Teresa.

Tu diventerai un avocato. abiterai a Milano. In piazza duomo. (You will become a lawyer . dwell in Milan . In Piazza Duomo .)

I salute you,

Anziano Gridley