Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Week 2 - Preston MTC: Auf Wiedersehen, Missionaries! 10/30/13

Elder Ridd & Elder Prows
Hey Mütter! What's up?

Anyways where to start? Well, the member of the 70 that was here was Elder Herbertson (from Scotland) and his talk was really good. He spoke about his mission and some other experiences that he had had which were really neat. 

Well, other than that, the days are basically the same as the last week. Consisting of mostly studying German and the Gospel, eating, preparing lessons, then teaching lessons then repeat. Well, until it's a Wednesday or a Sunday; on Wednesdays we usually go to the temple in the morning and then get free time till 6. On Sundays we have church, then we have devotionals throughout the day, and it's nice to see all the other missionaries the whole day. Our district has started something called Deutschtag (German day) where we all have to speak German the whole day. Not one word of English. 

We have been teaching so much in German! This week we have started teaching 2 lessons a day in German.  It was pretty stressful at first, but now it isn't as bad. Yeah - talk about productive; I think I will be fluent in German by the end of my MTC sojourn, we are learning so fast. Sometimes I actually start thinking in German and start talking to non-German missionaries in it. That's how bad it's getting, haha. 

I think the German is coming really fast for me because of a few things. One reason is that I really want to learn it and I am way interested in it. Another reason would most definitely be the gift of tongues, as I feel like everything I learned in 3 years of German came back to me; however It came back a lot better than I had known it before.

Once you get over the first week at the MTC, you kind of get comfortable with it and it isn't as bad. I think the fact that Elder Prows is here makes it better as it feels I have a little part of home over here. But I miss you guys a ton and It is awesome to get your emails on Pday.  Like I said it does get better but I can't wait to get out into the mission field. I feel like German would come so much faster and the weeks wouldn't seem so sluggish. But besides that the Spirit is here like 24/7 which is awesome. It makes the days a lot better and makes teaching lessons to people easy as well. All of our lessons have gone pretty well. 

Unfortunately one of my companions, Elder Abel, rolled his ankle playing volleyball during excercise time. So we get to use the elevator instead of the stairs, which isn't bad. He has a really swollen ankle for the 2nd day now, but it seems like it has been getting better. Still have been running with Elder Prows for exercise time. It has started to get cold here, which is pretty nice. I really enjoy running here opposed to The Woodlands, or Utah, as it is a different culture so almost everything is cool to look at. The cool weather helps as well. 

And the store wasn't held up last week, I just think that there was a miniature fire. We went back to the store today, and I bought some notebooks, and some other supplies I needed.

ZUM GEBURTSTAG VIEL GLUCK to Hayden! That's crazy he's getting old! Tell him that I said Happy Bday and that he's awesome. It's weird how time goes on while I'm away, and he will be pretty old when I come back.

Speaking of birthdays, Sister Gilmour had her birthday on Saturday and we sang to her then which was pretty cool. Sadly we had all the English missionaries leave this morning and we had gotten pretty close with them. Last night at dinner we arranged to sing "God Be With You 'Til We Meet Again" and almost everyone was crying. It's weird how in 2 weeks how close you can get to the missionaries here; I can't imagine how hard it will be to say goodbye to all of the other missionaries that are going to the same mission as me. Oh, speaking of them - we are the only missionaries currently in the MTC right now, so there are only 13 here until tomorrow which is insane. It feels like there is no one here, as this MTC can hold up to around 110 elders. I hope the Provo MTC doesn't find out, so this MTC can stay the way it is - small.  

But basically everything is great here. The food is English food mostly - they had fish and chips the other day last week, which is their claim to fame. But the food is good and they change it up a lot which is really nice. They haven't really repeated meals yet besides breakfast, which is usually cold, but occasionally they will cook for us. The Belgian waffles are amazing. Seriously, why doesn't America have them like that?

My time has almost run out, so I am going to grab my camera and send you guys some pictures. 

Ich liebe euch so viel!
(I love you all so much!)
Elder Ridd
Preston England Temple

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Week 1: Preston England MTC - 10/23/13

Elder Ridd (right), with his companions, Elder Abel (left) and Elder Holm (middle)
Hallo Familie,
Sounds like you are all doing well besides the electrical issues with my room. Woops - my bad. And sounds like you got it fixed so that's good!

The MTC is pretty cool. We only have 22 missionaries in the whole MTC here at the moment, and 6 of them are sisters. I think that we get 13 more missionaries next week - 8 sisters and 6 elders, and we lose around the same amount. (The missionaries who are leaving are going to other English-speaking missions, such as Leeds, Manchester, Scotland, and such). All of the missionaries here going to Germany are from the States. I hear we get all the native speakers in the upcoming week. Every missionary here from the States is from Utah except for Elder Prows and me. But there are some missionaries here that are not going to Germany who are from some pretty cool places. We have 4 from France, 1 from Albania (he's really cool) and 1 sister from Germany (she is going to Scotland English-speaking ) as well as 1 from Brazil. So we do have a decent amount of diversity amongst us. Anyways, so far this last week was the longest week of my life. The first 3 days literally felt like months, but now that we are kind of getting into the swing of things, it is going at a pretty good pace.

Typical days consist of 6:30am wakeup  time, getting ready and breakfast at 7:00. Then we usually have personal study from 7:30-8:30'ish. Then we have classes till around 12 - a mix of German and Gospel study. At 12 we go to lunch, then at around 12:30 we go back to German and Gospel study till around 5, when we eat dinner. After dinner we have been teaching 'pseudo' investigators in German (role playing).  I can understand the German quite well. We have taught 3 lessons to two different (fake) investigators already in German, and they have to be 20-30 minutes so we are doing quite well.

So that schedule is basically what we do every day except for Sundays and Wednesdays. Sunday we had meetings with the whole MTC almost the whole day, and I was asked to give a talk on the Atonement. And I thought that my farewell talk would be the last one for at least a few weeks....guess I was wrong. Haha! But yeah that basically describes our Sundays. Our Wednesdays are awesome because they are P-days. So today we woke up at 6:30am still, got ready and ate breakfast, and then we went to the Preston Temple. The temple here is really cool - I like it even better than the Houston temple!  It is like a 2 minute walk away from the MTC.  I wish I had taken some pictures of it but I will send some next week. After that we had the opportunity to go into town and go shopping at a store called ASDA, which is basically a Walmart. While my group was there, they actually had some weird evacuation and we had to leave all of the stuff we were buying inside for like 10 minutes. I am still not quite sure what happened, but they told us to evacuate. I'm wondering if it is a regular thing or if it was just our luck.  I didn't buy too many things, just some pretty sweet slippers. The inside feels like silk so it's a win. Whenever we are getting driven anywhere here it is the weirdest thing because we are on the left side of the road so I keep thinking that we are going to die or something. It must be so hard to learn how to drive here if you have driven in the US. The roundabouts in the US are hard enough - imagine going around that baby the opposite way. Another cool thing about tonight is a member of the 70 is coming to speak to us in a devotional, so that's pretty cool. Besides that, that is all I have really done today.

I only have 3 people in my room - my companions and me - so it is super nice. Usually you have 6 in one room, but we lucked out.  I have extra room to store all my stuff. My companions are really cool too, so that is a plus.  I have 3 in my companionship - Elder Abel, Elder Holm and me.  They are both from Utah and are probably some of the coolest elders here, so I definitely lucked out. 

We finally are starting to get workout days, so I have been running and lifting in their limited lifting facility (No free weights, just a few machines) But it has been nice running here as the weather is super cool. 

The food here is really good. So no complaints there!

But that is basically what is going on here so far. Just going with the flow and wishing I already had enough German so I can get to the field already. Not that the MTC is bad, I just would like to start with the rest of my mission. Love you guys!
Mit Liebe,
Elder Ridd

The Preston MTC

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Eagle Has Landed!

Elder Ridd has made it to the Preston England MTC! We received a short   e-mail from him yesterday, in which he told us he's safe and sound.

Mitchell's P-day will be Wednesday while he's in the Missionary Training Center.  That's the day he will do his laundry, write letters home and have a chance to catch up on the week.  In the meantime, he will be very busy studying the Gospel and learning more of the German language.

More updates next week!

Elder Ridd (on the right; along with Elder Prows on the left)...Auf Wiedersehen, Elders!