Monday, April 28, 2014

Sugar Coma - 4/28/14

Flowers in Herrenberg
Chapel in Tübingen (photo credit to Sister Miles) 
Elder Badders is in a sugar coma from all the candy. Thanks - we love the package!
Today is rainy and it isn't a good day to do too much. But yeah, it is really weird how far I away I really am. But it is cool to see how we can email and correspond so fast and easily through email on my Pdays! And I did get the package -thank you very much! That was sooo nice. It was literally the best thing to get it, and yes, I did receive it on Friday. (Elder Ridd's Easter package took almost 3 weeks to reach him, so he received it 5 days after Easter. Most of our packages have reached Germany in approximately 1 week!).

I find out about transfers this Saturday! And yes, they will happen on May 8th. People rarely stay 5 transfers in one area, but hey you never know.  But, knowing that Elder Badders has 3 already here, I am most likely leaving. If I don't leave this transfer, then he will. Basically what happens on Transfer call day is that the zone leaders find out about all the people that will be staying in their zone, meaning companionships. So they start calling them all at 6:30 in the morning, and tell them, "Yayyyy, you will be staying in the zone! Woooh!" And then by 7:30 they are done. So when around 7:30 hits, the zone leaders send a text around saying every companionship that is staying together in the same area has been called. Then you are like, "Ohhh snap," if you haven't gotten a call. That means that President or the Assistants will be calling you within the next hour or two. If President calls, one of the people in your companionship is training or going Zone Leader. If the Assistants call, they will tell you where your new area is and where your new companion is. So it is pretty nuts! Can't wait to see what happens!

Church yesterday was really good. We did not have to teach this week! Surprise! After Sacrament meeting there was a sister that doesn't come much who needed a blessing. We gave her a blessing, which went really well and she felt a lot better afterwards! After church we ate with Family R, which was a ton of fun and we had some German noodles and a really good soup and salad. As well as dessert of course, haha. But it was a ton of fun and we left them with a spiritual thought on prayer. After, we headed to Reutlingen (the biggest town in our area) and we visited a member who is in a wheelchair and can't come to church. He is pretty old but really cool. The poor guy has been alone for a long time and is really lonely. So we told him that we would start coming by twice a week and visiting him, as well as teaching him a "Preach My Gospel" lesson. He was so excited that we will be coming by now! Soo cool! It will definitely help our teaching in German as well!

We didn't have any investigators at church today sadly! And yes, Dr. S is in China. So I met with him for the last time (most likely) last Monday. We are writing through email while he is in China, so I guess it isn't too bad! We talked a lot to Schwester A, and she said that Bruder A is going back to Austria for all of May! Sad!!! But the missionaries there are meeting with him, and who knows, maybe I will be transferred to the missionary companionship who is meeting with him over there. He really loves Austria, so he has been spending a ton of time over there. 

E, our investigator, is doing well! We want to meet with her on Friday, but we are not sure what her friend M will be doing, and we don't know if she will be working. We will find out when we make calls today, so I will be crossing my fingers! 

We had 1 eating appointment this last week, I think. It was really good though. And I ate wayyyy too much. Germans love feeding you till you are stuffed, haha. The Relief Society president called us about a sister in the ward who has been wayyy sick. She can't get up out of bed or go to work, and she needed and wanted a Priesthood blessing. So we dropped what we were doing that day and headed up to Herrenberg, where she lives. We met our RS president there and we gave the sister a blessing. She apologized for not having us to eat, and gave us a cake. The poor lady is soooo nice and it's sad that she is so sick! But she was way thankful for the blessing!

Let's see, what else happened this week.... We met with a recent convert who is also kind of less-active, because his in-laws are kinda against him coming. He was baptised last June and he is soooo cool. We are going to start meeting with him every Wednesday starting this week, which will be a ton of fun! As well as great for getting more lesson practice down!

We also helped move some furniture for one of the families that we helped move in a few weeks ago, which took up a big chunk of our Saturday. But it was really good and hey, it's just a little extra sport - right?

We also had an Aus tausch, where I was in Esslingen with our DL, Elder Evans. That went really well. We basically contacted the whole time and had a lesson with a guy who really has interest. The lesson went AMAZING: literally they will probably be able to baptise that guy, he is so golden. Lucky Esslingen! Haha.

But that is all that really happened this week! It has been a really good week and I am excited for this week as well! Tomorrow we have a few appointments with investigators, and Wednesday we have an appointment with a Neubekehrt, or new convert.  Wednesday we go to Esslingen to spend the night and the next day we go to München (Munich) for a Mission Tour.  Elder Timothy J. Dyches of the 70 is coming, and we combine with the Munich stake to hear him speak. We are also doing another big Finding Day in Munich afterwards, so we are way excited for that. Then on Friday, we have ward missionary correlation, and we'll try to meet with some investigators. 

Thanks for all you do! You are the best and I love you so much.
Mit Liebe,
Elder Ridd

Monday, April 21, 2014

Castle Visit, District Meeting & Interviews - 4/21/14

Castle Selfie
Hohenzollern Castle

Dr. S, at the castle

Hi Mom & Pops!
Thanks for the Easter wishes! I did have a great Easter, and I hope that you did, too!  We ate Easter dinner with Sister D. She is older, but way cool and we had a really good time with her. We had turkey, knödel (German dumplings), and potatoes. Oh as well as Rotkraut (Red cabbage). It was way good. Ummm- they do celebrate with a lot of chocolate as well. We got tons! And for the Easter activity we had an Easter Egg hunt, but it was run by the American families in our ward, so who knows if the Germans do it, too - haha.

Sounds like your lesson went well. We also taught Primary this week, haha. Oh and Elders Quorum! So we were pretty busy on Sunday. But it went really good. Of course we brought a little chocolate incentive for both classes, as it was Easter. We taught the Primary about the Resurrection, and we taught the Elders Quorum about Chapter 8 in the Joseph Fielding Smith manual, "Die Kirche ist das Reich Gottes auf der Erde." It went well!

We did get to visit Hohenzollern Castle on Wednesday! It was wayyyyy cool! (Click here for more info on the castle!). We met Dr. S at Hauptbahnhof, and he brought so much food! So we ate a lot at the caslte as well. We took a train to the Dwarf, and from there we took a bus to the castle parking lot. We then bought tickets there, and walked up a path to the castle. It was an awesome experience. The castle is way big and really beautiful! We also got a tour of the inside, but you are not allowed to take pictures, so all the pictures I have are of the castle from the outside and the view.

The investigators are doing well! We met with Dr. S twice, and he actually fed us on Friday too, besides bringing all that food and going to the castle with us on Wednesday. We ate more traditional Chinese food that was wayyyyy good. He cooks like a champ!

We did get to meet with E again, the teenage girl. We went down to Albstadt with M, the member from our ward, and taught her at his house. It went well, but we hadn't met with her for awhile so she had forgotten a lot. We taught the Restoration, and then committed her to pray and read in the Book of Mormon, and to ask God if it was true. It went really well.  M is going to be such a good missionary when he serves. After teaching E, we went by to see a lot of families in the area who have interest, according to M.  None were there, but we doored (knocked on doors) as well. We gave out 2 Books of Mormon, and also got let in to a house! That NEVER happens! But here's the sad part. They didn't have interest; they just let us in because we are American and they like Americans. Their daughter is in Salt Lake City, so we actually got to talk about the temple and stuff a little bit. But it was way cool that they were so nice. We couldn't stay too long because we were waiting for a train to go to the next town over - but it was way good!

The tausch was way good! I went to Esslingen on Thursday with Elder Spencer, and we mostly contacted a lot. They didn't have any lessons planned, but it was still a lot of fun. But the next day we had District Meeting, and interviews with President in Tübingen, so we took the train back over to Tü and then had DM and Interviews. It went really well! I love President and Sister Miles tons, they are so awesome!

But let's see - some other things that happened this week were...My six month mark! Which was pretty cool. It is a tradition to burn a tie on your 6 month mark, so I burned one. Don't kill me! No worries - it is one I didn't wear as much. Haha. Also, the sisters brought me a present - which was soooo nice! They were on Aus Tausch, so it was Sister Harmon and Sister Wunderli who were in Tübingen, and they brought me an "I Love Tübingen" shirt - haha.  They dropped it by the door and then ran. We totally caught them though, which was funny! Oh, and Bruder A is back in town! He was at church Sunday which was awesome! So we will try and get another lesson with them coming up..

Anyways it was a great week! I love you. Thanks for all you do for me. 
Elder Ridd

View from Castle

"Jesus House" - in Albstadt

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Hauling Concrete - 4/14/14

Elder Badders & Elder Ridd - moving concrete! 
This was empty at the start of their service project! Way to go, elders! 
Hey Mama!
I am having a pretty good Pday, although we are going to take most of our Pday on Wednesday and go to a castle with Dr. S! So we are mostly just emailing today! I am pretty excited for Wednesday, and I'm hoping that all goes well and that we actually do go! We did go food shopping already, which is a change from the norm, haha. And our fridge has been plenty big for just us two elders!

Cool about the farewell for that missionary! Really cool that he came back to the church after not being on the ball. Stories like that always remind me of Alma the Younger. Really cool about the missionaries asking him to give his testimony and him feeling the Spirit as well. Pretty cool change of heart! Alma the Younger helped a lot of people because he had some hard experiences in his past, and I bet this guy will have great success as well!

I have not gotten the package yet. I am thinking (and hoping - haha!) that it will come later today. Getting a package is like Christmas for us missionaries. I am sure E Badders will be super stoked that he has a basket in there. His mom sent us some candy! 

Investigators are almost all out of town, sadly. Actually Bruder A just got back in town, as we had an eating appointment with the Family C yesterday (we ate boar that the dad hunted, which was way good! Schwester C. works at Rittersport, so we got a lot of chocolate!) - and Schwester A came in and talked to us after being in Austria for so long! Cool! Dr. S is still here, which is awesome. We did get to meet with him and he is doing well! He will probably be going to China next week. We are planning on going to that castle this week with him, which will be a lot of fun!

Our Aus Tausch this week will be on Thursday, and I will be going to Esslingen to work wíth E Spencer. After the Tausch, we will have district Meeting in Tübingen and interviews with President Miles. He will be in Tübingen and Sister Miles will be in our District Meeting, which will be pretty cool!

Yeah, I know - I am hitting 6 months this week! Weird! Everyone is almost certain that I will be transferred after this one. People keep thinking I will go to Austria! That would be way cool! I am crossing my fingers for the Innsbrook area, which is one of the coolest areas in the mission - in the Alps. If I went there, I would also be able to Aus Taush with the elders in Brixen, the only Italy area in the mission. So - maybe! There are two openings there this transfer, so there is a decent chance!

Some highlights for the week were the moves! The coolest part was definitely the concrete one. So what happened was I got this call from a member in Frankfurt, asking if we could help with service this week. We said sure. He then said that this would be a move and stuff, so we were like, "Sweet!" His son, a less active member, bought this house and he would be moving there (this is what the dad said). We actually were hoping to get more service opportunities, and we got 4 this week - which is amazing! Sooo, we show up on Saturday after the ward Easter activity, and he has a yard full of concrete from ripping out walls in this house. So Elder Badders and I moved the concrete into a huge steel container for 3 hours. It was pretty cool! But the cool part was that the son (who is less active) has a wife who is not a member. The wife's mom was there and we got to share a Gospel message with her, as she asked who we were. Apparently, after we left, she went on talking about us for 3 hours and how she hasn't seen young men our age do anything like that. We figured this out because the member dad from Frankfurt came to our ward on Sunday (over 2 hours away) and bore his testimony about the service we did.  So that was pretty cool!

Another cool thing that happened this week was that we set a goal to get a ton of potentials (people who are potentially interested in the Gospel) this one day, and we were praying that we could reach this goal. When we came back home, we sadly had none . We had area bookwork on the schedule however, and we didn't think we would be able to get too many potentials. I started going through the area book and finding old numbers and calling them. Through doing this, I got 6 that night. We set up 3 appointments for this week through doing that, so that was a really cool experience to reach our goal,  even though we were so far away at the end of the day. It has been a pretty cool week!

Anyways, thanks so much for everything! You are the best and such a great example to me! I love you so very much and hope you have a wonderful week and a great Easter!
Elder Ridd
Easter Activity
Cool Ferrari and Lambo at a sweet car place we went by

Monday, April 7, 2014

Baby Calf & General Conference! 4/7/14

Bye-Bye, Sister Smith! We wore Austrian clothes (that E Badders bought when he was down there) to say goodbye, as they wear these clothes where she is going - Graz, Austria
Dr. S and Elder Ridd. There were a lot of people practicing paragliding off of the hill. It was pretty cool!
View from the hill we climbed to give our lesson.  

Hey Mama! This week was really good! And I really enjoyed General Conference! It is a lot different when you are on a mission! But it was really good and I took tons of notes. We still get to watch all of the sessions, but we watch most on Sunday, so yeah it was a really long day.  But it went really fast because conference was really good! I did listen to Uncle Randy's talk and he did wayyyy good! The talk was amazing and everyone here was like "Woah, he did an excellent job!!"

I liked a ton of the talks! I always love Elder Holland's talks, as he is such a powerful speaker and puts emphasis exactly where he needs to. But it is hard to choose a favorite. I really always love Elder Bednar's talks as well! And of course, President Uchtdorf! Randy's was the best! Haha.  (Note from Mom - click here to watch, listen or read any of the talks from this past weekend's General Conference). 

I don't know what we will be doing today for Pday! But we did do a lot of fun things this week to make up for it.  We will go to a castle or something next week for sure. The castles are closed for tours until Saturdays.... and it is hard to get approved for Pday on Saturdays sometimes, sooooooo we are waiting. But the investigators are okay! Only really taught Doctor S this week of our investigators! We taught him twice, and once hiked up a hill in Tübingen, where we studied and talked about scriptures on the top of the hill. It was wayyy cool! He is so cool! He might be going back to China to visit this week, so we will miss him if he does!
Our old district
Workouts are going okay, not as good as they once were, but I am trying still! I really wish that I could buy a pull up bar here, but the door frames are too weak. I am hoping that my next apartment can handle one! I am eating way good still.

Some other cool things that we did this week include: Teaching less-actives, in part- member families. We taught 2 less-actives lessons this last week and it was really cool! Of course we did that service in the garden (at the farm) for the older lady, and we watched a cow give birth. Weirdest thing! Then we had Zone Training, where we all met in Stuttgart and talked about business in the mission, as well as teaching. Then we also had General Conference. It was a pretty good week! This next week we have District Meeting, and we will find out when we will Aus Tausch this transfer. And have Finding Days. But that's basically all!

Dang, tell Lukas good luck on the ACT. That's always fun! Nottt!

Thanks so much for everything. I hope you have an excellent week and I love hearing from you. You are the best and thanks for the quotes!

Elder Ridd
This week, we did service on a farm which was about 2 hours away.  We got to watch this cow give birth - weird!! 

View from the farm

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Finding Day! 3/31/14

Finding Day in Stuttgart

 "Family Pic" - E Badders trained me, E Kelly trained E Badders, and E Root trained E Kelly.
This is me, E Badders, and E Root, so - me and "Dad" and "Great-Grandpa"
Hey Mama & Pops!
I am doing wonderful, and I am healthy - yay! We did lose our hour yesterday! But It was needed! It was dark at like 6 pm! (Germany had Daylight Savings Time this past week - about 3 weeks after the US!). And yeah, I had no idea until it happened - haha. But I have not been transferred and I will be staying at least one more transfer in Tübingen! Yay! Elder Badders is staying as well.  Our ward is awesome and it would be hard to leave. This will be a short transfer, however - it is the one 5-week transfer of the year. 

The Finding Day on Saturday was terrific! It was really cool seeing missionaries from the Freiburg Stake. I really didn't know any of them before, but now I know a lot more so that is really cool! Elder Badders and I handed out 4 Books of Mormon, and total with missionaries we handed out around 70, and we got around 80 or so potentials, or people with some interest! There were so many people on the Königstrasse in Stuttgart. Thousands! It was amazing. 

The Aus-Tausch with Elder Spencer went really well. He's really cool. We had a lot of fun and got to go home teaching with Bruder S. We went by to see Familie R - L and H and their two kids. The dad was working, but it was a really good visit! We talked about temple work and temples. I gave them the temple magazine that you sent me, as L only speaks English, and she really thought it was interesting! Then she made us some really good food so that was fun! We will watch General Conference on Saturday and Sunday. Pretty excited! 

Love you tons and thanks for everything!

Not too much for P-day today! Emailing is the best thing we do on Pdays :D
Elder Ridd
Me, Elder Horlacher (First ZL, now in Freiberg), Elder Hancey in Stuttgart on Finding Day
Me, Elder Hancey, Sister Harmon
Me and Elder Roberts (He was comps with Elder Stilger) 
Elder Mickelson and me. He is awesome. He trained Elder W. Smith from my MTC group.
Sweet Lotus on our street!