Book of Mormon 3 Nephi 5: 13

Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.

Monday, March 19, 2018

When you read the book of Mormon your faith in Jesus Christ grows so much and I know that that is true because I have experienced it myself.

March 19, 2018 

  This week has been crazy and just flew! There is a huge fair thing going on here in Cosenza right now it's over a mile long. So there are a lot more people here than usual so that is pretty cool! Today we took a nice little drive down to Paola to pick up some missionaries for more permesso work. There were some awesome crashing waves. 

 We were in a trio with Anziano Bohn (who I know from the beginning of my mission) for almost half of the week and that was sweet but interesting to work in 3. His companion got stuck in a city doing permesso. Wednesday was pretty crazy we made our way over to Taranto for interviews but stopped half way through to have some lunch in a castle on a beach! We had some really good food. We made it to Taranto and that was good. It just happened to be that Anziano Parker (primo figlio) was there too because his companion had to pick up his permesso in Taranto. So it was really good to see him! Unfortunately we didn't get a picture. The next day we had a good  zone conference, we had 2 trainings to do so that was pretty stressful!

  After conference I did a scambio with Anziano Tucker who is in Anzaino Wagstaff's (second figlio) group.  That was fun, we had a sweet session with this guy names Mimo who has been investigating  the church for quite a while now. We read the book of Mormon together then had a lesson on how you receive power from the Book of Mormon. I always knew that there was power from the Book of Mormon but I never really fully understood how that was possible until the spirit was teaching through me, it was an awesome experience. All power comes from Jesus Christ, and we access that power by our faith in him. The reason why the book of Mormon gives such power is because it is a powerful testament of Jesus Christ. When you read the book of Mormon your faith in Jesus Christ grows so much and I know that that is true because I have experienced it myself. I know without a doubt that Jesus Christ lives, and I don't know if I would be able to say that if it wasn't for the Book of Mormon.

Vi vogliamo bene!

Love Anziano Ruiz

This is where we stopped to eat on the way to Taranto.

Big cheese!

Cosenza vecchia


Monday, March 12, 2018

Sometimes we mistakenly may believe that happiness is the absence of a load.

March 12, 2018 

  This been another fast week! I don't have much time at all to write. We had a lot of random travel to do this week. There have been couple of missionaries that have came through and stayed at our house because they had to do some document stuff in town.  So that was fun to see some more missionaries.

  We saw a pretty sweet miracle this week. We wanted to work on being lead more by the hand of the lord in our finding so we started calling more revelation on what to do and where to go and praying before we started a finding block. We decided to do some house to house again which is something you don't do a lot in this mission, anyway, we were driving and decided that we needed to stop there and find instead of where we had planned. So we stopped said a prayer and started finding. We knocked some apartment complexes then we were about to go back to the city to find there and we got let into this apartment where there were like 5 college students. At first they weren't really interested but at the end we had talked about the restoration and plan of salvation and they want to learn more! So that was super sweet they are really cool! I want to try to meet with them this week so that should be good! 

  I studied an awesome talk by Elder Bednar this week and because I don't have much time I'll just use his words "Each of us also carries a load. Our individual load is comprised of demands and opportunities, obligations and privileges, afflictions and blessings, and options and constraints...  Sometimes we mistakenly may believe that happiness is the absence of a load. But bearing a load is a necessary and essential part of the plan of happiness... the unique burdens in each of our lives help us to rely upon the merits, mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah." We can find true happiness as we rely on the atonement of the Lord and that is why trials are a necessary part of the plan of salvation. We are here to be happy and that is why we have trials, because God loves us. I know that Jesus Christ is our savior and that he lives and loves us! I hope you all have a. Great week!

Vi vogliamo bene!

Love Anziano Ruiz

Our neighbor randomly brought us this pie. 
It was pretty good, I love Italians!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Thanks to this knowledge, questions don't make me doubt my faith.

March 5, 2018 

Fast week! Happy birthday to my little brother Elijah!!

  It was pretty hard to meet with people this week so we were out on the street quite a bit. It also rained a lot this week and even snowed one night so that was great! But also meant that there weren't a lot of people on the street. We got the impression to do some house to house and originally thought of a place to go, but every time I thought of doing house to house I had a different place pop into my head. So we went there and it was great, we ended up talking to a lot of people on the street and  teaching the restoration to someone who was pretty interested.  It was awesome. We also ran into some one who knew the missionaries from a while ago. 

  Another time this week we started talking to this guy -who knew the missionaries from long time ago- in front of his pizzeria.  We sat down with him and talked and he introduced us to almost every one that passed by haha it was sweet! That same thing happened like 3 times this week haha. Then Sunday we met some guys on the street that then took us to their Gelato shop/Italian bar. They introduced us to everyone and we explained who we are and what we do and they all really liked it. We got offered gelato and drinks by like 3 different people but we told them no thank you because it was Sunday. After that Carlo (the one we ate with a couple of weeks back) came in with his wife and saluted us and then he offered us gelato! Haha We told him the same thing and that "We're good thank you"  then he said "you'll be better with a gelato!:)" Then insisted that we let him get us one. We lost and ended up eating a delicious gelato, it was super good! As we were leaving they made us take pastries home for the breakfast the next morning haha man I love Italians!

  We had a couple meal appointments this week one with Francesco (the one who is planning on meeting us in Utah) it was good he is awesome! He offered to take me snowboarding.. man that was tempting haha I wish! Then we are with Sorella Spadafora and man is was so good I'm getting a lot of recipes from her so I should be able to make some good food by the end of my time here.

  I found a scripture that I really liked this week 1 Nephi 11:17, talking about God. Nephi says "... I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things." I like this because it shows that even a Prophet of God walks with faith and doesn't have perfect knowledge. Lots of people ask us questions  because maybe they understand something or don't have the whole picture.  The best thing that we can do is understand that God loves us and that he has a perfect knowledge. I know that God loves us so much, I know that because he sent his son Jesus Christ and has given us a plan to return to him and to have joy in this life. I know that God loves me and all of you. Thanks to this knowledge, questions don't make me doubt my faith. I know that Jesus Christ is our savior that he lives and has restored his church on the earth today.

Vi vogliamo bene!

Love Anziano Ruiz

Monday, February 26, 2018

"[We] need to influence more than we are influenced."

February 26, 2018

  It's been a really rainy week but good though! Anziano Daniels and I are both staying here in Cosenza so we are excited about that! It should be a good transfer! This week was pretty dang fast. On Tuesday I had a Permesso appointment in Napoli so that was sweet! We woke up pretty early and made our way up to Napoli and were there for the most of the day then came back down. We got to eat a pizza which was super good! We also baught some super good Napolitani pastries. Man I miss the food in Napoli. 

  We had a couple of good meal appointments this week, one was with a Russian member from our branch and her friend. It was good. She just kept bringing out food it was crazy! We had some Borshch, I have no idea how to spell that but it made me think of my brother Cortez's mission. I can't imagine trying to learn Russian haha. 

  Italians don't really like the snow so that made the work pretty hard but we kept going till the end. Sunday night we saw some pretty cool miracles. We were able to bring a member in the hospital the Sacrament and give her a blessing which was a great experience. After that we had about an hour left of the night and it was still raining. We went out do to some finding and ended up teaching the restoration a number of times with people and finding 3 people that want to meet up again and learn some more. It was definitely a miracle. The lords hand is in his work!

  This week I've been reading in the the Book of Mormon where one man causes multiple cities to fall into wickedness because of his fraud and unrighteous dominion. It's pretty crazy to see what a cascade effect that wickedness can have on people who are not fortifying themselves against it. In church last week we were talking about how there is so much wickedness around us and there was a quote that was shared that said "[We] need to influence more than we are influenced." I like the scripture in Luke 12:35 "Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;" then in John 1:4 "In him was life; and the life was the light of men." As we protect ourselves from evil and let the light of our righteousness shine to the world the reality of a living Christ will shine brightly through all of us! We can see more miracles and a cascade effect of righteousness because of this. I know that Jesus Christ live and loves each and everyone of us. He wants to fill all of us with the life of his light. 

Vi vogliamo bene!

Love Anziano Ruiz

D&C 84:45 For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

Come una volta" - Anziano Daniels, Cosenza   
- The moments leading up to the purchase were filled with anticipation. We got our pizzas and opened up the boxes in the fresh (Garibaldi) air. A cloud of steam carrying the history of centuries of culinary tradition escapes and opens the pores of our faces. Though clogged from a cold, my nose tingles from the sensation.     I carefully fold the pizza to ensure maximum tomato soup. The first two bites were like the first time I had tried a Napoli pizza; steaming.. soupy.. like my mouth caught hold of the original pizza DNA, untouched by genetic modification.     I felt helplessly lost and alone in a sea of marinara soup with mozzarella cheese as my life raft and sausage as my flare gun; the crust on the horizon is my only salvation.     Two bites which last an eternity but don't last long enough.  🇮🇹 Anziano Daniels

Current view of the Rome Italy Temple
(not taken by Anziano Ruiz)

Monday, February 19, 2018

The greater faith we have in Jesus Christ, the more power we can receive from him.

February 19, 2018

  We had a pretty good week! It feels so long I can hardly remember what we did. Transfer calls are tonight and I'm pretty sure I'm staying. Anziano Daniels and I are doing some great work here together. I'm not sure if this transfer went super fast or slow haha. Anyway on Tuesday I did a scambio with Anziano Velardi, it was great I've done 3 scambios with him over my mission. He is an awesome missionary. After our scambio we drove back to Crotone and there was a ton on of snow it was great! We go to Crotone often and drive though a national park and its really pretty (Parco nazionale della Silla).
  We got to see Carlo a couple of times this week and that was super sweet. We just drive up to the castle and teach him, it's so cool haha. He is awesome, he really trusts us and is sincere about wanting to know if it's true. We also met a guy named Roberto this week who knew the missionaries from a while ago but never heard our message, he invited us right in his house, gave us something to drink and we taught him. He really liked it and we are going to be back this week. I love how loving and warm Italians are in the south! They are just awesome. 
  One day there were 3 different people who took us to a bar and got us little snacks like a cornetto and an orzo.
We made friends with this guy who sells flowers in our big main Piazza, Piazza Bilotti. Then he introduced us to some of his other friends and now we're just all friends and people know who the missionarys are. Anziano Daniels and I were talking the other day and we decided that when we get transferred that we want everyone to know who the Mormons are. We're taking to everyone and its awesome!
Saturday I turned 20 that was weird. It was good tho, we ended up running into some old friends and one of them had a birthday the previous day so that was pretty cool. We then drove over to Crotone for a baptism of the guy I interviewed last week and that was awesome, it was like the Lord's little birthday present to me.
Also on Saturday I was told I was giving a talk the next day in church, so that was fun news. Luckily I was able to chose my own topic and had been studying the power of the Book of Mormon that week. The central purpose of the Book or Mormon is to convince all people that Jesus is the Christ, in fact on the title page it says that the Book of Mormon is for "...the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations". The greater faith we have in Jesus Christ, the more power we can receive from him, "For he worketh by power, according to the faith of the children of men, the same today and tomorrow, and forever." I can't say enough; I know these things are true! I know that we can all develop that same testimony and find joy in Jesus Christ every day!

Vi vogliamo bene!
Love Anziano Ruiz

Anziano Velardi

Some good snow!

Shout out to my trainer Tanner Anderson and skating. This guy we met was in the X Games, his name is Diego Fiorese. He is pretty good at skating

February 17, 2018 - turned 20 today!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Carlo, Carlo and Carlo

February 12, 2018
  Another great week in Italy! This week flew by! We had 5 meal appointments it was awesome! The members here are pretty sweet even though we are pretty small in numbers! We meet with different people almost everyday and they always feed us haha. It's the best I love Italians!
  We met with three people named Carlo this week and that was pretty sweet. The first one we met on Pday when we were walking to the local neighborhood castle. Haha it turns out that he actually worked there so he told us to come back the next day because it's closed Monday. So on the way home from DDM we went up there to meet him and it was super cool! He gave us a free tour of the castle, then we got to the top and had an awesome view. We taught him the restoration and he was really into is. He told us that he was really passionate about out church. So we taught the restoration on the top of Castle this week. I need to start making a list of where I've taught the restoration, it gets pretty interesting in this mission!
  We also met with Carlo Napolitani this week and he's not from Napoli but we went out for a pizza anyway. He has known the missionaries for a like 9 years and we are hoping to help him out. For the last Carlo we had a nice pranzo with him, read some of the Book of Mormon and talked about salvation. It was pretty sweet, he has known the missionaries for like 20 years but hasn't seen them in a couple so he was happy to receive a call from us. We hope to be meeting with Carlo, Carlo and Carlo again soon!
  Also this week I had the chance to do a baptismal interview for a guy from the  other missionaries in my district. It was a super cool experience. It's crazy how much God uses his children to reach out to other children. I didn't even know this man and I felt the greatest love for him. Experiences like that help me remember how much God loves each and every one of us and how important it is to remember that it is our responsibility so show that love to those around us! Remember to never kick out a genuine thought!
  I have been studying charity a lot lately and I found a word that linked to it really well. That is compassion,  I looked it up in the dictionary for a clearer definition and it says that compassion is a "deep understanding of and sympathy for another suffering" and "the humane quality of understanding the suffering of others and wanting to do something about it". Reading that I thought immediately to the Atonement of Jesus Christ. His Atonement did not just give him a deep understanding of our suffering but it gave him a perfect understanding. He is the best help that we can receive in any affliction. I know he lives, that he loves us, and that he is waiting for us to reach out and receive his love and also show it to others.
Vi vogliamo bene!Buona settimanna!
Love Anziano Ruiz 

Carlo at the Castle.
Castello Normanno-Svevo

Monday, February 5, 2018

“Come what may, and love it"

February 5, 2018

  This week was good! We are working super hard and it's great and super tiring. Haha gotta love Italy. We have been meeting with a lot of new people and that has been sweet. This week we actually went to a Catholic church and were talking to these people there and some other people started showing up and supposedly they were meeting up for the choir practice. They invited us to sing with them and that was fun. We sang some songs then talked a bit with the priest and then went home. It was a cool experience.  We left a good impression about the Mormons for a lot of people.
  We have been meeting with this guy named Emilio and his fruit shop for a while. Nothing was really coming out of it for a time besides some really good fruit. Anyway this last like week and a half we have been meeting with him a lot and he is really interested to learn more and have us meet with his family. We showed him some general conference talks And he really liked those. But yeah we are excited to meet with his family this week and hope that it would go well.
  Our friend Francesco was sick this week but he likes us a lot and invited us over for pranzo. I called good'ol Sorella Spadafora up and asked her for one of her recipes then made an Italian style chicken noodle soup that was super good! I was actually really surprised it tasted just like the one she made. That was sweet, we talked about the Plan of Salvation and that was good.
  This week we got to meet with Salvatore -which means Savior in Italian so pretty sweet name- who Anziano Bellucci and I met a while go. He is going through a really hard time right now and thinks it's too late to receive help from God, we watched a Mormon message and then bore testimony about Jesus Christ being our Savior and it was super powerful. We invited him to church and he came! I feel like the testimonies that were given were just for him. I love how God can make things happen when they need to happen.
  This week was a week of really hard work and challenges. When I was studying the Book of Mormon one morning I had hymns playing in the background and I found myself listening to the hymn I believe in Christ. It said "I believe in Christ; so come what may" the spirit was really strong I was almost in tears. Because of Jesus Christ we don't have to fear what is to come or what has happened in the past. I love this quote from Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin “Come what may, and love it."  Adversity, if handled correctly, can be a blessing in our lives. We can learn to love it." This is all possible through Jesus Christ because of his atoning sacrifice. I know this that Jesus
Christ lives and he is truly our savior.
Vi vogliamo bene!
Love Anziano Ruiz 

A Ferrari
Members of a band that we ran into

This was a nice little lunch. Salami Milanese, mozzarella di bufala, Apple juce and  some bread.

 The rest are some pictures of Cosenza vecchia !

A nice snack