We were able to Skype with Elder Ridd on Christmas Day - it was so great! He looks and sounds awesome. A sweet family in his ward in Tübingen let him Skype us and they also had the missionaries to dinner. We are so appreciative of their love and support of the missionaries!
Here are a few things we learned from Skyping with Mitchell~
- He and his companion live on the 1st floor of their apartment building.
- Peanut butter sold in Germany is not the same as US peanut butter. The jar we sent for Christmas is almost gone! (and "Mom, please send more!")
- Elder Ridd is still getting used to the German spoken there. It's a different accent/dialect than Standard German - and is called Swabian German. Click on the following link for a description of Swabian German from the expert, Wikipedia. Swabian German
- Lately, it hasn't been all that cold in Germany - Elder Ridd has heard that generally at Christmas-time it is a bit warmer - and that it gets colder both before and after Christmas. He's bought himself a nice warm coat, so he's all ready for the cold! (He loves cold weather. Really? A Houstonian?).
- The missionaries take the bus and train as their main methods of transport, and they use a pass that covers this...except for the longer train rides.
- The ward is really nice to the missionaries.
- We learned from Elder Stilger that Mom's maiden name, Daminger, would usually be pronounced "Dah-min-gher," with a hard G, in Germany....not "Dam-in-jer," as we pronounce it here in the States.
- Mitch still has his fun sense of humor.
- The living conditions for Mitchell are much more comfortable than the living conditions that his big bro, Parker, experienced in Mexico City....times 100! Lucky Elder Mitchell Ridd! (Sorry Parker - but it builds character, ¿sí?).
- The missionaries rely heavily on the members for referrals - tracting/knocking on doors is not very effective.
- Elders Ridd & Stilger are staying in good shape; they work out each day and eat healthy.
Frohe Weihnachten! Merry Christmas!