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, February 27, 2017

Not every moment of a missionaries week is filled with great experiences.

February 27, 2017
  This week was great and whoa it went by super-fast! We had some great experiences! We started out with district meeting Tuesday morning and it was really good. It was our first district meeting this transfer because we had zone meeting last week. So our district is almost half new which is sweet! We have some new very strong missionaries and we are all ready to help each other out in the work and build Zion! 

  So there are these two women that we see in the street every so often and they always say they're going to come to English course but they never do. But lately they have been telling us about this program that they work for at the Red Cross where they go and do activities and lessons with elderly men and women aged 60 and up just so they can have something to do after they retire. So they have been asking us if we can go over there and do some English translation services, maybe even do a mini English course. They have been waiting on word from their boss, but when we saw them on the street again they told us just to come. So later that day we went and just walked in on the middle of some presentation thing that the boss was doing and she looked at us then said "what the heck is this? who are you??" Then she had us walk up in front of all the people and introduce our selves to everyone and they were very excited to see two "tall and  beautiful"  Americans! Haha they were all making comments and it was awesome so see how much they liked us. So after that we had a little meeting with the boss and she told us that she wants us to come over again and teach an hour lesson about our church so we gladly accepted! It's gonna be awesome.  We’re going to teach a group of like 30-40 people at once and we are really excited to see what work comes out of it! So that was an awesome blessing this week. 

  We had some service this week with our friend Carolina, she's been meeting with us for about two weeks now. We went to her house and helped her move from floor 2 to floor 1. It was good. After the service we had a lesson on the plan of Salvation and it ended up going pretty long because she had so many questions and confusion. But after we would do an explanation on her questions she would have a huge smile on her face because she under stood! That is a great feeling. And the end of the lesson she said the prayer. She said that as she was reading the Bible the night before and she came across the verse; that says to drink from the cup that is good or something along those lines. She said that she knew it was from God and that she knew that He sent us, the missionaries, here to provide that cup and that she accepts. It was really cool to see someone that is being prepared from the lord. I can't wait to see what He has in store. 

  These were some great experiences of this week and there are a lot more, as there is every week. But not every moment of a missionaries week is filled with great experiences, I just usually like to be positive! So what helps me do that is first and foremost my testimony that God has a plan for everything in our life. Anything that happens whether it be good or bad is supposed to happen and is according to the plan that God has for you. With this knowledge I look at every situation that I'm in and ask myself "what can I learn from this situation?" in place of "why does this have to happen to me?". From having this mind set I am growing and I become grateful for the difficulty’s that God places in my life because I know they are given to me to grow, strengthen me and prepare me for what the future holds. I'm so happy to be out here growing every day I absolutely love this service! Thank you all for the prayers and love!! Have a great week!

Vi voglio bene!

Anziano Ruiz 
 also known as carnival or mardi gras, is celebrated in Italy and many places around the world 40 days before Easter, a final party before Ash Wednesday and the restrictions of Lent.
 Carnevale in Italy is a huge winter festival celebrated with parades, masquerade balls, entertainment, music, and parties. Children throw confetti at each other.
Mischief and pranks are also common during Carnevale, hence the saying A Carnevale Ogni Scherzo Vale, anything goes at carnival.

We had Fufu with Silvano! It's an African dish! Super good. He's awesome!

On top of Carolina's roof


Monday, February 20, 2017

Consecrate your days unto the Lord by starting it with a sincere prayer unto the Him.

February 20, 2017
  Well this week was awesome! I apologize in advance for a possibly short letter. We had an awesome Pday so that means I don't have a lot of time left to email! It was definitely worth it!
  So for Pday we planned on going to brother Fleming’s house and exploring around with him! He is Scottish and has lived all over the world. He just has a ton of awesome stories and every time we would pick up something from his house and ask him "what's the story?" He would start out "when I was in Saudi Arabia... when I was in Napoli... when I was in Africa..." he's lived in a lot of places and just has so many cool stories. So he lives in na awesome little villa about 35 kilometers outside of Ascoli. It's in the middle of the beautiful Italian country right outside Comunanza  next to some sweet cliffs. We went to his house and had an awesome lasagna for pronzo then he took us out for some sightseeing. We went to Monti Falconi in Appennino and words can't explain the view! Then we went to Smerillo and it was just so the same. They are both little cities on mountain/cliff tops it's so awesome! Probably the coolest day of my life haha.

  My birthday was this week and it was interesting haha I kinda forgot it was my birthday. We had zone conference and they sang to the missionaries who have birthdays this month so that was fun then we had a huge bacon burger and it felt like I was in America for a bit.  Anyway the conference was really good; we pretty much did a recap of last conference and looked at the results. It was cool to see what happens when you trust the chosen servants of the lord! 

  This week Anziano Parkinson and I had a lot of contacts to contact and some good lessons. It’s amazing to see the work here growing. The lord is really blessing Ascoli and we are ready to help build his kingdom here. For one lesson this week Andraya took us to a friend and we started sharing our message centered on Jesus Christ. Anz. Parkinson and I haven't taught to much together so the lesson wasn't really going as well as it usually does. We were also teaching in the lady's shop so there were quite a few of distractions from people coming in. During the visit I started praying that people would stop coming in and that we could teach more finely in tune with the spirit. After time the lesson seemed to take a turn. People stopped coming in the shop and we felt influenced to read a passage of the Book of Mormon. After we read, the spirit was so strong in the shop, and we were able to bear sincere testimony on what we read and the message. The lesson went really well. This was just another testimony builder on prayer for me. That when we pray with a sincere heart, the lord will answer. I love the verse in 2 Nephi 32 where it says after you pray "unto the Father in the name of Christ... he will consecrate your performance unto thee". In the mission I have been trying to consecrate my work unto the lord. And I've seen that by starting with a prayer I can see this blessing manifest. I know that this does not only apply to missionary work but that it can apply to everyday things in all of our lives. I invite all to consecrate your days unto the Lord by starting it with a sincere prayer unto the Him. I know and bear testimony that we can see the blessings in our life as we pray specifically and act. I really so love this gospel and love the opportunity I have to be a missionary. I find so much joy from setting apart my day for the Lord and I know you can too.

Thank you all as always for the love support and prayers! I hope you all have a great week!! 

Vi voglio bene 

-Anziano Ruiz 

The view while traveling to Rome for zone conference

The Rome East zone together in Rome for zone conference on my birthday February 17, 2017 

Saw Jomar while in Rome

Silvano wishing me a Happy Birthday!

Bridge over the Waterfall 

Anziano Parkinson, Brother Fleming, Anziano Ruiz

Montefalcone Appennino FM, Italy

Brother Fleming's house

The point where we were at

Monday, February 13, 2017

Learning about the gospel of Jesus Christ and applying it to your life is the fastest way to find lasting happiness!

February 13, 2017

  This week felt pretty fast! So I'm staying in Ascoli!! I have a new companion his name is Anziano Parkinson he's super sweet!  We were actually in the same MTC group so we've both been out just over 7 months. The cool thing is that my trainer Anziano Anderson was his follow up trainer so we have a lot of story's about him haha anyway we get along and work very well together!

  So my old companion Anziano Farinotti is training in Napoli right now so that's pretty exciting for him. I was really happy to serve with him for 3 months! I really learned a lot and we did some great work here together! I'll miss him, especially asking him how to say stuff in Italian correctly that was really nice haha. So when Anziano Farinotti left I made him some carbonara for one of the last meals and wow, I surprised myself, it was good! Anz. F said that it was one of the best carbonaras he's had in his life so coming from an Italian, I was pretty proud of myself! Some lucky friends will get some when I get home! So I'm happy that I'm learning how to make good food!

  The day before Anziano Farinotti left we pretty much stopped by all of our good friends that we have made here and it was super fun and good! The first person we met with was Francesca she was an investigator a while ago I've taught her only one time but I remember that she really felt the spirit while we taught her. She's in a difficult time in her life right now and wants more joy. She kinda stopped seeing us because she just had too much going on; but since Farinotti was leaving she came to say bye. So when she came we started talking about why she stopped seeing us and taught a little lesson. We told here we are here to help the people in her situation, meeting with us, learning about the gospel of Jesus Christ and applying it to your life is the fastest way to find lasting happiness! But it's all a choice, it's all her choice, we invited her to find her faith that she already had and to meet with us to find this happiness in her life! It was a very spiritual lesson and she agreed to do so. So we are really happy for her and to watch as the lord heals a wounded soul!

 With Anziano Parkinson and I being so young in the mission and serving together we have a lot of positive energy for the work! It is so sweet and we are seeing this energy impact the work here in Ascloi which is just awesome! So our first day here we had a good long weekly planning session to get him familiar with the work that we have here already. After that we had some appointments lined up for the evening but they all fell through. We were left with 4+ hours of street finding to do. So we went out and attacked the finding. The whole time we talked to every person we saw! If we weren't having a conversation then we'd stop someone and have one. And it was like that for just about the whole 4 hours strait. It was sweet and just in that one night we got about 10 new contacts which is probably more than we've gotten since I've been here! The next day we had a sweet service volunteering at a pharmacy, it was really cool and there were some other volunteers there also. We had a good conversation with them and got 5 new contacts then finding that night we got another 3-4 contacts! We are on fire finding right now and it's just sweet! One cool thing is one of the nights we were finding we ran into Francesca’s mom and little sister and started talking to them and the mom said that she's been wanting a spiritual uplift in her life so we said "We can do that for you that's why we're here!!". So me and Anziano Parkinson are working together so good and we are ready to blow up the work even more here in Ascoli!

  Another perk about being young in the mission and having an American companion is we actually do stuff other than email on pdays! So I'll have some more Pday adventures in Italy to tell! Today was super sweet we pretty much just went around the city and looked for some sweet pictures to take! It was a success! We tried getting to the bell tower of the building of the main Piazza here but it was closed off so we decided to ask the guy at the front desk if there was a way we could somehow get up there and he said no but was still excited to meet two Americans and actually ended up giving us a huge personal tour of the building! It was super sweet and we got to see "the key to the city" and everything. There is just so much detail in everything here its so beautiful! So we had a sweet Pday and are ready to attack another week! I'm so happy to be a serving here in Ascoli and with Anziano Parkinson. I love the missionaries and the miracles that we get to see every day, it's truly amazing!

I hope everyone has a great week! Thank you for the prayers and support! 

Vi voglio bene! 
Anziano Ruiz 

New companion Anziano Parkinson