Monday, November 21, 2016

The Scampia Bro Bacio - 11/21/2016

Castel Nuovo, better known locally as Maschio Angioino. Naples, Italy.
Hey Family, 
Happy Thanksgiving week!!!

This week was pretty sweet and was super busy because of transfers. 

So on Monday night we received transfer calls, and I got lucky and get to stay here with Anziano Youngblood to finish my training. I was kinda scared because recently some trainers had been split from their trainees. I am really excited about that, because it means we get to spend his birthday, Thanksgiving and Christmas together. And almost New Years and my birthday...but we will see about those. 

Then my trainer, Anziano Jensen, spent a night here and we got to do a mini scambio when he passed on his way to his last city, Argrigento. That was a cool thing. Interesting things about transfers - I'm still the DL, and the new ZL is Anziano Berger. He is from Michigan and is such a beast at missionary work…and swimming. He swims for BYU like my buddy Ryan Sorenswim. 

This week our work went pretty well. We are teaching a couple named “Mc” and “Mi.” Mi is pregnant, and they are super excited to become parents. They also accepted a baptismal date for the 30th of December. Then we are teaching a Ukrainian lady named “An.” She is superb. She has a huge desire to grow her faith in Christ, and find what is missing in her life. Sadly, none of them came to church. So we will see how things shake out. This week was super cool for finding potentials. Next week will tell if they are all good or bad. 

We also are now teaching a new convert named “Ev.” He and his wife are members that are from Togo. Their son is 9 and not baptized so we will be working with him to help him get there. They are an awesome family and I love them so much! 

Ok, my thought today is one of my favorite scriptures as of the last week. It's Moroni 8:16 which says, "Wo be unto them that shall pervert the ways of the Lord after this manner, for they shall perish except they repent. Behold, I speak with boldness, having authority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear." This verse is the bomb. It talks about all the things I love the most: Repentance, Boldness, Authority (Priesthood), and Love. But the part I will point out specifically is "perfect love casteth out all fear." When we have enough love of Christ, we will never fear to do what is right, even if it is hard. So next time we think of something nice to do for someone else, do it. Don't fear doing the right. Don't fear sharing the gospel of Christ. We do it out of love, and we do not fear men, or the rejection of men.  
Time for the funny story and the title explanation. Yesterday, we were on an escalator and there was a HUGE Italian behind us. I'm talking, 6'5" and built massively, and kinda scary-looking. So I turned toward him and we made eye contact. He immediately asks if we are English. We reply that we are American and he gets super happy. We talk for a bit and we learn he plays rugby. As we talk, I notice not only is he huge, but he is missing half of 2 fingers, so it adds to the huge scary dude look. He is from Scampia, which is in our area, and he loves Jesus. We talk for a bit longer, become bros or "fratime." We part ways after getting his number, and we bacio, the normal Italian 2 cheek style. Normal stuff; I kiss people on the cheeks all the time. But he tells me in Scampia they bacio (kiss) differently because they are heart brothers. So he shows me with his buddy. They kiss each other on the cheek, then on the lips...I never expected that from a huge guy like when we go teach him I guess we will see what happens (Please note - I have not kissed a man on the lips...yet.) 

Anyways, one can see that my week and life are great. Anziano Youngblood and I are slaying it, and our house is super clean and pretty! We are prepping for Christmas. Thanks, Mom!!!

Love all y'all! 
Anziano Ridd

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