Thursday, November 28, 2013

Arrival to Mission Home in Munich! 11/27/13

We received the following pictures and letter from Sister Miles, informing us of Elder Ridd's arrival to Munich.  We were so thrilled to get them!
Elder Ridd, with President & Sister Miles
Elder Ridd, meeting his new companion, Elder Stilger
Elder Ridd (r) and his trainer, Elder Stilger (l) - pointing to their area: Tübingen, Germany

Dear family of Elder Ridd-

We are delighted to tell you that Elder Ridd arrived safely in Munich this morning.  He is tucked away in bed now after a long day of orientation. 

We thought you might enjoy these pictures from this evening. His new companion is Elder Stilger, and they will be serving in Tübingen, Germany. 

We are thrilled that he is here and are very impressed with his preparation and enthusiasm.  He will be a great missionary.  Thank you for all you have done to help him become the fine young man he is today.  We love him already, and we will do all we can to help him grow as a missionary and have a successful mission.  Your son's preparation day is on Mondays and that is when he will be emailing you home each week. If you would like his apartment address where he will be serving - please email him before next Monday and ask him to give it to you in his first email next Monday.  If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.  May the Lord bless you and your family at this wonderful time of missionary service.

President and Sister Miles
Alpine German-speaking Mission

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Leaving the MTC Tomorrow! 11/26/13

MTC - 11/14/13
Hallo Meine Eltern,
It's so weird to think that I am leaving tomorrow.

You have no idea how excited I am for the field now. It is so weird that I will be speaking basically only German for the next 2 years. It's weird to think about how today is the last day that I will be in the MTC and at 3:30 AM I will be waking up to leave. Everyone here is so excited and cannot wait to finally move on. I think I will be able to call tomorrow, as long as the schedule goes according to plan and I can find a phone (sadly, Elder Ridd wasn't able to call, but we received a lovely email from the mission president's wife, telling us that he'd made it to Munich safe and sound).  So no worries there and I can't wait to talk to you guys and see how you have been.

Sounds like you guys are all having so much fun. Cool to see Parker again I bet. I heard the the new Hunger Games was pretty good through a "Fake Investigator."  So that's pretty nice.

Another sweet thing Is in the last lesson with this one investigator (our favorite teacher Brother Field), we told him it was our last visit and we wanted to do something different in this lesson. After talking with our investigator, we each bore our testimonies to him (the investigator is played by Brother Field) and the Spirit was way strong. It was definitely awesome to feel that and to go out of the MTC with a bang.

Oh and by the way, Elder Abel got switched over to be another elder's companion. It is now just me and Elder Holm in our companionship.

But today being the last day, we are all together with the English missionaries getting shipped off at the same time as us and are just going through some in field orientation. It is pretty cool, and just so surreal that we will actually be in Germany tomorrow at this time doing who knows what.

But I'm really excited. 

Love you guys tons.
Auf Wiedersehen,
Elder Ridd  

MTC - 10/17/13

MTC - 10/31/13

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Last Week in the MTC! 11/20/13

Elder Ridd, in front of the Preston England LDS Temple

Elder Abel & cool car
No problem for all the photos last week! I wish I could say I am sending the same amount this week, but I really didn't take many - sadly. I only have like 1 so far but I will take more and send some more later hopefully. The one I took today is of me in front of the temple. So I'll send that later.

And for Pday you nailed the schedule. Temple then fake Walmart, haha. I have not recieved my itinerary yet for Germany. But I know that I am flying out next Wednesday early in the morning. I will definitely try and give you guys a ring before I take off to Germany, so probably around 5-7AM my time - not too sure yet.

I did receive the package you sent me. Thanks so much, it was amazing! You guys are the best. I love all the pictures you send.

This week has been pretty good! A little stressful, but besides that it hasn't been horrible. I am super excited that we get to finally escape and start the real adventure next week. I seriously can't wait. 

That's cool that you are getting some more temple work done! And that the boys are going to the temple this week. Hayden's got to be a piano pro by now. That kid's gonna be so good by the time I get back.

Elder Abel's foot is doing well! Looks like he will have to wear the boot for 1 month, but after that I think that he will be fine. I will be sad to leave all my friends at the MTC, as I have made so many. The group of 12 I am with will definitely be hard to say goodbye to, but it is really cool that I will get to see them again, in Zone or Disrict meetings.  Haha. I have a lot of good friends here. I've especially gotten close to those from my first group, like Elder J. Smith,  Elder Abel and Elder Holm.  They are super cool and will be amazing missionaries. I will definitely miss these guys and the rest.

The way the time is going here, the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. It is definitely weird to think that I will actually be out in the field in a small amount of time, learning German in the most beautiful place in the world. Can't wait.

I am sure Pops did amazing in his talk, and you did great conducting Relief Society. Nice to have a break off while you travel to Utah. I did have to speak in church again. I spoke on Obedience purely in German. I went up there with a card with a talk on it, but I ended up making my whole talk up and didn't have to look at my card. It was way cool and I don't know how that happened. Especially because I can't even do that in English, and it happened in German...Weird.

That's way cool about Parker passing out of all of the Spanish credits. So what month is he graduating? December? Haha.

Workouts have been great. Elder Prows has been waking up with me now, along with a new missionary from Berlin who is pretty cool. His name is Elder Fischer. He is going to a different mission though, pretty sure it's English-speaking.

I think I am good on church books. I got a Book of Mormon in German from the MTC, but I might buy the entire set of missionary scriptures today. German is going great! 

So I will start on what happened this week.

Well it was a pretty fast week, I basically had the usual schedule: workout, eat, teach, learn, workout, eat, teach, learn, eat, learn, teach and then bed. We were teaching mostly 3 times a day this week so that was pretty fun. The lessons are becoming way easier as we get better at working with each other, and as our German progresses. So that is a good thing. Lessons no longer stress us out at all. With real investigators, I am sure they still will be a little more difficult and hard to teach. Just hoping I have an awesome trainer when I go out there. I think I might be with the first companion for 12 weeks. So I am crossing my fingers he will be cool. He most likely will be, but who knows. I now have no idea where I want to go first, as one of our teachers was showing us all these pictures of south Germany. They are incredible - as well as the Austrian photos. Wherever I go, I know I will be super excited to go there and serve. I think that when we land in Frankfurt, we will then take a train to Munich, and we'll be placing Books of Mormon on our way there. I heard the APs will be on the train with us to watch us, but that is pretty cool! Might be a bit scary at first, but I have decided I will just go up to people and start talking, so let's hope I will be able to.

So I heard after I get to Munich, we start street contacting - so right when we get there we get to it. We basically try and place Books of Mormon that whole day from what it sounds like. That will be cool, because at the end of the day, our trainers are assigned to us.

The more I type to you guys about it, the more excited I get.  It seems like it came fast, although it also seems like it took forever.

But basically not much else happened this week. If anything happens at the store I will let you guys know and will take some pictures as well. Love you guys so much and keep being awesome!
Elder Ridd

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Church History Tour - 11/13/13

Elder Ridd, on the Church history tour on P-day.
 The first LDS baptisms in England took place nearby.

Inside a "way cool" church

I think I will use this as my big email, and link Mom on it. Later I will go through her email again and answer all her Q's.

How are you doing? I am doing good!  These last 2 weeks went by way fast for me. It feels like we just got our new missionaries, yet they left this morning. The days have still been going slow, but when you look back on it it looks like it went by pretty dang fast. The missionaries that were here were all for English-speaking missions - meaning they were only here for two weeks and basically are going to places around the UK. We are getting 8 new Elders tomorrow, and 6 new sisters. There is one that is fluent in German, however they are all going to English-speaking missions as well. Sadly, my workout buddy just left me this morning, but I will still be working out pretty hard. I can tell I have gotten much more muscular in just 2 weeks with this guy. He hasn't really taught me how to box, sadly - haha. I have been getting up early still, yes.

That would be awesome about the Munich thing. I really am excited to go and see all the awesome culture in my mission. When my teacher talks about his mission, we just want to leave already. Oh, I aquired a cool huge Austrian flag this last week (Teacher gave it to me; Greg got a Swiss flag), so let's hope I go there first. Although, any part of my mission sounds pretty sweet. Oh and a little more information about the Mission home-- I talked to my teacher and he says that we will arrive in Munich in the morning. Then he thinks that we will go around Munich that day and try and place a Book of Mormon. After that, we will have a dinner with the Mission President and all of the trainers, and then we have a testimony meeting. After that, the President goes to the stand and starts announcing our missions and who our trainers will be, we sleep over there (at the mission home), and then disperse in the morning. When I found out about this I was super stoked. I just can't wait till I find out where I go and start my mission. Our teacher was like 99% sure Greg is going to Switzerland, so I think that's probably where he will be most of his mission.

Not sure when I am going to buy a coat though, I probably need one when I go over to Deutschland, as it is getting pretty chilly over here.

That's awesome about sharing the Gospel with people through my mission. I never thought I would be able to teach really well in German, but I think I have gotten it kind of down now. Our lessons have progressed so fast and we can almost go into a investigator without a lesson and just teach by the German we know. It is really cool.

So this week was pretty fun. Basically, my schedule stayed similar to the other weeks, besides me waking up at 5 and getting a workout in before everyone woke up, and then a second one during exercise time. Personally I really like it because It starts my day feeling good, and I have gotten to the point where I don't really get too sore. So it's a win-win. Kind of sad that my workout buddy (Elder Gore) just left though; we are keeping in touch which is nice. He is going to London.

But the German is coming really nicely. Teaching is not really stressfull anymore; we kind of just fit lessons to our investigator, depending on what they need, their learning style, and background. I like it a lot better than memorizing lessons like you had to do. We have been teaching around 2 times a day. Our (fake) investigators' backgrounds vary so much; for example, one is a Muslim who is hooked on drugs, but we committed him to baptism; and then one is a college student who likes to try and Bible bash us. It is cool - the opposite spectrums it shows us, basically to prepare us for the field.

So that's how most of the days are going, besides Sundays. This last Sunday we had our first Sacrament meeting in only German and it was way interesting. They called random people from the audience to talk and I wasn't called (which was nice). I am pretty sure that they will grab me next week though as we do not have very many elders and sisters here at the moment. It is back to our original 12 that we started with. It is nice but quiet once again and I don't have to fight for a computer which is really cool. There was a really cool talk from  the Apostle, Elder Jeffrey Holland, that we listened to. Definitely one of my favorite talks now. He is such a powerful speaker and it touched like all of the missionaries. He talked about Jesus calling to Peter after He was resurrected, and how Peter was fishing. Peter had not caught anything all night, and was really disappointed; however, the Lord told him to cast his net over the other side of the boat from the shore. Not knowing it was the Lord, Peter did so and caught a whole net of fish. After that had happened, Peter knew it was Jesus and swam to Him as fast as he could. Then Jesus gave his famous "Do you love me?" 3x to Peter. And He told Peter to feed His sheep. When Christ told Peter to give up his nets and to feed his sheep, He meant to keep feeding them and to not go back to fishing. I hope you can find the talk based off of that. If you can, it is a really amazing talk to listen to. It was one of the most spiritual experiences I probably had all week.
To read or listen to this inspiring talk, click on the following link: 
"The First Great Commandment" by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

But besides that, not much is going on. Oh, well besides today. We are going on a Church history tour in like 20 minutes which should be super cool. I am excited to get out of the MTC for a little and finally have some fresh air. I will be taking pictures and will send you guys a lot later on which will make the Mama happy.

I love you guys so much.  Keep being awesome!

Ich vermisse ihr und Ihr seid die am besten familie. Bis Bald. (I miss you all and you are the best family. 'Til later.)
Mit Liebe,
Elder Ridd

Elder Omer (from Italy),  Elder Gore & Elder Ridd
Elder Prows, Elder Gore & Elder Ridd
The Sisters are really obsessed with the swans in the pond outside the MTC -
that's why we're doing this weird sign. 
Elder Ridd & Elder Gore - workout buds
Elder Ridd & Elder Gore are picking up Elder Nunez (in back), from Brazil. Elder Nunez arrived at the MTC
knowing "0" English - he can understand us all now and he has gotten so great with English! 
This was the view outside our MTC classroom
one morning. 

We went to this really cool city called Downham,  It is way old!

This is a pic of the group, which Elder Ridd's mom "borrowed" from a
friendly missionary dad from the Alpine mission! 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Gospel, German & Lifting - 11/6/13

I am doing really well! Yeah it is nice that it’s Pday! Much needed rest from the rest of the days. It wasn’t too bad of a week at all though.

Basically, this week consisted of much of the usual, besides the fact that we have been starting to teach 2-3 investigators every day. This is replacing much of our language study, but we are still picking up the language pretty fast. We have been watching a lot of the Provo devotionals from the Quorum of the 12 which has been pretty cool to see. So we really don’t miss out on those too much. It would be nice to be there in person, however it still isn’t bad as we get the same message as the other MTCs. But it has been going well! We are now teaching once after breakfast, once after lunch, and once after dinner during the week. The first lesson is being recorded now, so we can come to the computer lab and watch ourselves try and teach in German. That has been pretty interesting - haha. It hasn’t been bad though as I can kind of make sure I am doing well comparatively to other elders. But besides that it basically has been the same routine.

Oh, something that hasn’t been that cool was the fact that they do not really let us go on runs anymore. We need a teacher to go with us now, and basically all the teachers do not want to go on runs. So - bummer for us. But if you read the email I sent to Dad, I have been lifting (weights) a lot with a new elder named Elder Gore. He is determined to have me gain like 10-15 pounds of muscle in the week that he is here. He’s a really cool guy and is a huge fitness buff.  We are now lifting twice a day.  Elder Gore was a boxer and is from York (England) - so like an hour from here, and is a super cool guy. All three of the new missionaries are pretty cool.  One of the other elders is from Utah, and one from another place in England. 

We have not yet gone to the store today; we are going in a little while. I am actually getting a haircut today so that will be interesting. I hope this lady does a good job. If not, I basically will go into hiding for the next week. (Not really, hah). But I have seen her work on some other Elders, so it should be fine. She is an actual hairdresser, so that’s good. We also have a member of the 70 coming here tonight to talk to us. His name is Elder Donaldson? I think he is supposed to be a really good speaker so I am pretty excited about that.

My companions are great! Elder Abel’s ankle is doing really well which is good. We went to the temple this morning as well. Forgot to tell ya. 

Well my time for now is almost up! Love you guys so much and keep chugging! Thanks for all the quotes - they are really cool!

Mit Liebe,
Elder Ridd