The adventures of an LDS missionary serving in the

Italy Rome mission from June 2013- June 2015

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Rome 3!

Hello everyone!
   I am constantly amazed just how fast time flies. This week has been really good.  
Don't worry, I am writing in my journal, and I am trying to be specific. I miss days sometimes but I am doing pretty well. This week has been pretty busy. First off, we had a baptism! It was a wonderful service. There was a good turn out, the baptism went flawless, and I got to conduct!...And Sing! haha The musical number went great. We ended up doing it so it was just vocal and violin. It was fun. 
   So here is a cool experience I had this past week. Me and Anziano Bennett were going out to visit less actives one morning and as we were waiting for the bus to come. Anziano Bennett felt we should get on a different bus and go finding. He asked my opinion, and I agreed. So we got on a different bus and got off at a stop. We started talking to every person we came across. The whole time trying to figure out what we were doing there. We got to a spot where there was a split in the road, and no one was out. We decided to say a prayer to ask God to help us know why we were there and how to help his children in that area. We concluded our prayer and started walking. we came across a park with a man walking his dog, so we went and talked to him. He was nice but he was not interested. After talking with him, we saw another man back on the street. We started talking with him. We learned he did not believe in God or Christ. He had been abandoned by his parents when he was a baby and he had always wondered why God, would allow that to happen. He asked us to sit down in the park near by and we accepted. We talked with him for over an hour about our message, the restoration, the Book of Mormon, prayer and the Holy Ghost. At the end he still wasn't sure about all of it, but he allowed us to say a prayer at the end and we were good friends by the end of it all. As he was walking away, I received a strong impression that he was who we were there to see. Even though he did not believe in God. 
   I know that God loves each and every one of his children no matter their circumstances. Listening to the spirit, and being willing to follow it is so important. I am so grateful for this opportunity I have to be here. And thank you for all of your e-mails and letters. Every time I read them it makes me want to do better. And to work even harder so they can have an eternal family like I can. You know, the plan of salvation is one of the hardest principles to explain, and yet it is why we are here, and where we are going. It is the plan that tells us how we can be truly happy. I am getting better at it, but I just find it interesting how such a simple and important principle is so difficult to describe. 
   Allura (well), the work is going well. We are searching for some nuovi simpatizzanti (new investigators), and we are happy and safe. I love you all! And I will talk to you next week!

   Love Always, Anziano Rigby

Friday, August 23, 2013

Rome 3, take 2!

Hello Everyone!

   Thank you so so much for the E-mails and for the update on life!  First and foremost, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!! I know I am not there to celebrate with you, or give you a big hug, but I always keep you in my thoughts and prayers, and I give you a big hug and kiss every night before I go to bed.
   About the money, no I haven't received your letters or package yet.  (from a different email - I will just go and get them the next time we are there, it should be this week.  I can't wait to see what it is!)   I did however receive a wedding announcement for M'leigh, that was cool!  Anyway, I pulled it out (money) because we are supposed to have some emergency cash.  So don't worry.  I am thinking about getting a guitar though...

   So Hailey, the money here is called a Euro.  It is not much different than what you have there.  I do have a journal, but I have been kind of bad about writing in it the past week (I need to be better).  It really helps you remember what you did that day, and also it really helps you see the hand of the Lord in your life.  Don't be scared, we all get scared once in a while, but when we do we can pray for comfort and peace.  Heavenly Father will send angels to watch over you.

   Porter, good job for not jumping out the window (editing note - his younger brother attended another ward's Sunday School and half the class decided to jump out the classroom window and run around the outside of the church before the teacher got there). Sometimes there are temptations and people we want to be like that don't always do the right thing. It is important to keep our standards, (even if it is something little like that.). It will help you in the long run because you will already have the habit of being good.  How was the dog-sitting?  I bet it was pretty fun.  I like their dog a lot.  Have you driven my four-wheeler yet? Actually, it needs a new chain first.  Once you get a new chain on it, have Dad teach you how to drive it. :) 

   Dad, how is the Bronco running? I know you have been driving it more often. Has it seen any dirt since we took it out last?  I can hardly wait to go hiking with you again.  It will be really good.  I am excited to hear how it goes (editing note - the fathers/sons/cousins/brothers like to go on a yearly hiking trip together). The fishing sounds surreal!  Hailey could do it I think, but I might take her on some smaller hikes before then just to get her used to it, and to guage if she could.  But I have no doubt if I told her she couldn't make it she would prove me wrong.  She always has been stubborn that way (which is not always a bad thing, it just means she has more in herself than she thinks).

   I am glad to hear you are jogging, Ash! You will see a great improvement, trust me. A lot of people can't even go that far so you are doing good!  I haven't gone on a run since I was in the MTC.  I have run to get to the train a couple times, but that's it.  Every morning I do a whole bunch of sit-ups and push-up, and curls and what not. I meant it when I said I want to come back in better shape than when I left.  Keep up the good work!

   Alright, Mom!  The work is good!  Yes, that was one of our baptisms (editing note - We had seen a picture from another blog of a Nigerian man who was baptized on Sunday in Skyler's ward).  He is the coolest guy I have met!  He is always happy and always has something good to say.  He was so happy at his baptism.  It was great.  

  Ha, I got that music the other day because we have another baptism this Saturday for another one of our investigators.  She asked me to sing so I had to find a song and we all really like that one (editing note - the song is Savior, Redeemer of my Soul by Rob Gardner - go check it out, it is beautiful).  I would love to have more music! And English is as good as any language so I am perfectly happy with it.  We have another baptism this Saturday and that will be awesome! They are from the Philippines.  The dad is a member, but no one else in their family is. When the daughter accepted the invitation to be baptized, the dad could not stop saying how happy he was.  He says that he prays every day that his family will come to know the Gospel is true and one-by-one they are.  He is so strong in the faith, it is way cool.  The Filipinos are awesome here. They all know each other and they are always doing something together. And always inviting the missionaries and their friends.  If one knows something, they all know it.  If there is some activity going on, they all go.  They are the coolest people ever.

   I love that story you wrote about how you just never know who will accept your message.  It is always intimidating to go up to some people and ask them if they would like to know about our message, but you just never know who wants to hear it.  Like just last night, we talked to a guy who didn't think we knew what we were doing, and that we aren't helping anybody.  It is sad to see people like that who don't know the truth and that will not open up to find it, because I see this Gospel change people daily and I know I am helping people become happier.

   Well I better finish up so I can send some pics!  I love you all.  Have fun tomorrow and stay safe.  Keep up the good work and never stop pushing for your dreams. Talk to you later!

   Love always, Anziano Rigby

Elder Rigby's zone

 Elder Rigby with a new member

Someone doing laundry in Italy! They thought it was funny that it went smallest to biggest.

A random road in Rome

Castle of St Angelo

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Rome 3 and pictures!

Hello Everybody!
   This week went by really fast! I sure wish it keeps going like this because I miss you guys! But I am also really happy to be here.
  I did hear about the Venus fly trap! I sounds awesome! This summer has gone by pretty dang fast. And I haven't even had a chance to get a farmers tan because I was inside studying a language for the first half of it! (Which I still can't really speak) But I am getting better at understanding it...Slowly. Hailey you are right. Spiders are Creepy! Big ones are really creepy. But I'm sure he will have lots of fun in the garden.
   I am having a great time here! Like I said, I miss you guys everyday but I wouldn't have it any other way. Porter, I am glad you had such a great time edging the yard! I really miss working in the yard in the summer. I was kind of relaxing in a way. Because afterwards you could see what you had done and it looked really nice! And I kind of miss driving the tractor. But Enjoy it while it lasts. You learn a lot from working outside. Have you gotten the slack line out at all? If not, you and Hailey should. Its a shame to have it just sit there.
   Oh man, Zip lining would be so fun! I think you would like it! 
   I am sorry I haven't written any letters yet! I need to go get some stamps and I will try to get some out this next week. I have not seen any castles as of yet. But we are planning on going to one next Wednesday. I believe it is called the Castle of St Angelo. 
   The City is VERY busy. Especially around the Colosseum and such. But there are just a lot of people in general. We live farther outside of Rome on the east side near an area called subergusta? (not sure on the spelling.) 
   Okay, I have pictures! I will send them in a separate E-mail.
   We Have a couple new investigators we are starting to teach. and we have One getting baptized this week, and hopefully another the week after. They are so cool! You can really feel how much they love the gospel. Whenever I am around them I always feel happy.
   I have not had to teach in church yet which is good. I'm not sure if we do though. We do however translate for each meeting.
   Well I better get this sent off. Keep up the good work on the cars dad! Its never fun unless you have a couple unforeseen problems. Tell Chad congrats for me and send my love. 
   I love you all and Hope you are doing well. You are in my prayers daily. Have a good Week!
    Love always, Anziano Rigby    

Statues of Neptune and the East and West Winds at the Trevi Fountain in Rome

Thursday, August 8, 2013

An unexpected email from a thoughtful Missionary Mom

A thoughtful mother sent us an unexpected email today...! This is what it said...

"My son returned home from the Milan mission six weeks ago and we have been traveling through Italy the last few weeks and spent yesterday and today in Rome. We passed 4 elders yesterday in town and saw the same two today at the train station as they were waiting to meet an investigator, so we took their picture. I remembered your name (Rigby) from the missionary mom emails, so hopefully I am sending this picture to the correct mom from Idaho. If so, it seems these two are working hard and enjoying Rome!
It is always a highlight running into the missionaries.
Just thought you would enjoy a picture!

**As a side note, the "missionary mom emails" that she refers to is from a group email list for the moms with missionaries serving in the Italian area. This allows them to receive/provide support to each other while their missionaries are serving in Italy!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Ancient Roma

Hey sorry I didn't put anything in there about the ruins! I totally forgot! Haha I'm still new to this whole one e-mail a week thing. I forget a lot of things. The ruins are amazing. It is really hard to explain just how big and spectacular they are. I have a lot of pictures I will send when I remember to bring my cable!
   One of the coolest things is Because Rome was just added on to, all the ruins are still standing. So as you are walking, there are random buildings just kind of sitting there crumbling which have been there since Jesus walked the earth. The aquaducts are everywhere! There are parks here and all the aquaducts just run through the parks. People walk on them and play on them. They are just part of the city. Also, the wall that surrounded Rome Is still standing. And it is just called "the wall." We constantly pass through it. It is seriously crazy how much history there is here, just sitting there! I have seen the Spanish steps, part of the Roman Forum, multiple basilicas, the fountain with the statue of Neptune (I can't remember what it is called) and a couple more things. Just today! Some of the statues are just more than life. It is crazy. Also there is a huge building with a statue of Caesar on a horse in front of it and a couple other statues? We passed by today. Wow. It is mind blowing to think they built all of it!
   Alright, well I better go. I love you! 
Okay till next week. Arrivaderci!
    Love always, your brother Skyler 

Good morning Idaho!

Hello Everybody!

   Thank you for your letters. It is great to hear from you. I am so so sorry I haven't sent pictures! I keep forgetting to bring my cable to hook it up to the computer. (They don't have SD slots.) I promise I will get LOTS of pictures to you next week. Please forgive me.
   This week has gone by really fast. We have been teaching quite a few lessons to investigators and less actives. A lot of our investigators are Filipino and African. We also have some Romanians as well. Its crazy because Italy is a little bit of a melting pot. People come here from everywhere to find work. Africa, Romania, Bangladesh, Korea, Philippines you name it, they're here pretty much. So its pretty cool because we have copies of the Book of Mormon in tons of different languages. We live in an apartment in a big building kind of like a hotel... Pretty much everyone does though because that's the only way there would be enough room one can afford a house. People here are pretty poor. And a lot don't have Jobs. But those who really want a Job always seem to find one. 
   We take trams and buses everywhere we want to go. I never realized how big Rome is but it is HUGE. It seriously takes forever to travel across. On buses anyway.
   The food here is pretty dang good. We eat pasta pretty much everyday, and I am probably getting fat already because of it. Luckily, we don't eat gelato everyday or else I would be in big trouble. Gelato is incredible! They have so many flavors you can choose from you are bound to like something. My favorite is Blackberry with creme. Its great. You will definitely have to try some when you come! The pizza is also really good. The cheese that they use is really good. I wish I knew what kind it was. And the sauce id different. I don't really know how to explain it, but it is great!
   So my usual day goes like this. we study in the morning until 10 and then We either meet with an investigator, go finding, or whatever else until 1:00 Then we go back to the apartment because literally almost everyone goes home. The shops all close, the restaurants might stay open I'm not sure. But there is no one on the streets. So we go home, eat, and study some more until 4:00 when we go back out for the rest of the day. Usually if we are planning ahead we can have lessons all night with people which is great! But sometimes people cancel or don't show up so we do some finding. We focus a lot on trying to get referrals because it is so much more efficient. We also focus a lot on Language course (an English class the missionaries teach every week). We get a lot of investigators from that. We hold it every Wednesday and Thursday. It is way fun! We teach all kinds of people. And a lot of people show up. People with all kinds of languages. A lot of what I mentioned earlier, as well as Italians.
   Oh! Yes we play soccer! We play it once a week with less actives and investigators. Either on a Friday or Saturday. It is way cool. Most the time I can't understand what they are saying but we all have fun.
   So yesterday I had a cool experience, I gave my first blessing in Italian. It was to a less active member who moved here to find a job to support his family. His family stayed in his home country. He was having a hard time adjusting to the area, and he was also really worried for his family, along with missing them a lot. So me being the Verdino (the greeny), I was given the great opportunity to do the blessing. It was a great experience for me as I hope it was for him. It was not eloquent, of fast, and I'm sure he didn't understand all of it, (he speaks Spanish) But he said he could feel that It came from my heart. (Hopefully my heart is close to the same thing as the spirit.)
I love you all and it is great to hear about all the things you are doing. May God bless your lives and keep you out of harms way. I think about you everyday. I will see you soon.
   Love always, Anziano Rigby