Monday, October 27, 2014

So Long, Farewell, Auf Weidersehen, Goodbye! 10/27/14

Elder Ridd with part of the Familie Z - President Z, F and A
Elder Ridd with the Familie S
Familie G and Elder Ridd 
With Schwester B, the legend! 
Rocking the cardigan and Elder Albrecht's specs!
Hallo Mutter! 
Ich hoffe das du diese letze Woche schön gefunden hast! (I hope that this last week was nice!)

Sooo - I finally get to head over to the wonderful country of Austria! I am going to an area that is called Neumarkt am Wallersee. It has a car, and I will be serving with Elder Brian Evans from Tempe, Arizona. He is one transfer younger than I am. I heard that the ward is awesome, and I will be serving as DL again. But that isn't the best news...the best news is that Elder Cavin will be in my district in Salzburg, serving as the Zone Leader! That is so awesome. That means that I will see him once a week or maybe a little more, and that I get to call him all the time. We are both really excited about that. We will also get to tausch with one another! Elder Badders will be in the zone, as well as Elder Holm, who was my companion in the MTC. So I am excited to see them again! 

From Mom - here's some info on the area! 

This last week we were at member after member's homes, saying goodbye to everyone. As of now I have most of my things packed away. So that is good that I have time to say goodbye and do not have to stay up to 6 in the morning packing - haha. We leave tomorrow (Tuesday) morning at 7. On Wednesday I have my first District meeting with my new district, so I think I will be in Salzburg for that. I am pretty excited! I will be going on a train to Stuttgart with Elder Cavin, where we meet more missionaries there and take another train to Munich, meet more missionaries and then off to Salzburg, then off to Neumarkt. So I will be going on quite a ride tomorrow. 

Of course I will take tons of photos. Salzburg is a beautiful place. I've also heard that Adolf Hitler was born in my area, a little outside of Neumarkt - interesting stuff. And I guess it's where The Sound of Music was filmed. I will also send my address when I know it! And of course I will be careful driving. I can't wait to drive again! Elder Cavin goes home in May, so he has a good 7 months before he is gone. 

The missionary work is okay. There wasn't much of it this week due to appointments. We met with Bruder Z twice (two lessons); and Schwester B twice (two Neubekehrt lessons). Saying goodbye to Schwester B was hard! She gave us books on health and wrote in them to us, saying she will never forget us and she wants us to write every week. The members fed us lots this week; I feel like I gained 10 pounds this week alone.

On Monday we were at Familie SCH and played soccer. That was a ton of fun!
And then on Tuesday we had District meeting and it was also good. We ate lunch with the district and I talked about obedience. We met with Bruder Z as well as Schwester B on Wednesday. That was really great. Bruder Z asked us to come by once again during the week to say goodbye officially and he wanted to know where I was headed. So we went by on Friday as well. On Thursday we recieved transfer calls. That was pretty crazy news! We also were at J's (our new convert's) on Thursday and he made us curry. It was really good and he wasn't too happy that we are headed out to Austria. But he will be fine! Then on Friday we met with Bruder Z again and we were also at Familie S. They made us lunch, which was really good! 

We went to the Z family's home on Saturday. We ate lunch with them and talked a lot and is was great, as always. In the evening were were at Sister M's again and we ate Zwetsche Knödel. It was a ton of fun. 

On Sunday we had church. We watched the General Conference session that we missed, and Elder Cavin and I bore our testimonies. Afterwards we headed to the G family home, ate with them and said goodbye. Right after this, we headed to the Familie B and drank root beer floats - which are rare over here - and then we headed to a concert at a Catholic church that one of the boys of the SCH family was playing the harp for. It was really good, and the theme was Daniel and the Lion's Den. They also sang a Michael Jackson song at the end that was interesting. Something about healing the world - haha.

And then today we have a lot of final goodbyes to say - it's pretty crazy. Basically that's what's going on here, along with getting ready to head to a different country tomorrow! All is well. Thanks for everything. I hope you have a wonderful week!
Elder Ridd

Elder Ridd & Elder Albrecht
Elder Ridd is still attached to the onesie sleeper which Elder Stilger's folks gave him for Christmas last year! 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Train Strike Hinders Progress - 10/20/14

Elder Ridd - celebrating his 1-year mark! 
Liebe Mutter und Vater! 
Yay, it's Monday again! Yeah, it is pretty weird that I am over a year old now. I am now OLD! On the anniversary I burned a shirt and ate the cake, so it was a really good day! It tasted excellent - thanks so much. That was the coolest surprise ever! It was big enough for all of us to have multiple pieces. And I did put a candle in the cake - I will send you a picture. It was really fun. Hahaha, that is so awesome that you also celebrated my 1 year mark over there. Looks like some German food - haha. 

I had a great week. We had a lot of good experiences with members. We got to teach them a lot and create stronger bonds between the missionaries and the members. That was one of the things that we did the most this week which was really awesome. Today we are headed to the giant cuckoo clock in Triberg. Elder Cavin really wants to go to the clock before we get transferred. The weather is looking really nice today. Afterwards we have an eating/football appointment with the "S" family. They think Elder Cavin and I are leaving so we are booked on appointments with members this whole next week. Haha.

Alright, Mama! That is awesome that you went on a JT with the sister missionaries. Look at you! I am sure that you helped so much in that lesson. Having a member there is always amazing and can help so much. Thanks for helping the missionaries out! I am sure they are really grateful for you being there and sharing your testimony! Sounds like our sisters are trying to get something good going in The Woodlands! 

The work has been pretty good. This week we taught a lot of members. On Monday we were at family G and it was really good. They made chili that tasted amazing and we always have a laugh when we go over there. They made another appointment for the Sunday before transfers with us as well, so that will be fun to go over there this Sunday. 

On Tuesday we went to Rottweil and met with A. He is doing pretty well, still pretty hard with the language barrier but all is good with him. We also met with Schwester S and gave her a Preach My Gospel lesson. Wednesday was the birthday for twin brothers in our ward who live in Schwenningen and go to the Uni there. Schwester BK made them a cake and we brought it by and celebrated a little bit. It was good! It was great that we could go by and spend some time with them on their birthday.

We met with Bruder Z on Thursday! He is doing really well and he doesn't want us to get transferred. He said we would have to call him before we leave, but we told him we would come by for sure before one of us left, so we made another appointment with him. Then we had Ward Council on Thursday night which Elder Wilkins and I attended. It was good! We had weekly planning on Friday as well as met with Schwester BK again. She is doing really well and is sad that a few of us might be leaving. But we exchanged all our information and of course set up another appointment for this week.

There were a lot of train strikes this week and it was hard to travel around to appointments. So we met with a lot of members and did a decent amount of finding.  

I love you tons! Thanks for the quotes, pictures and the amazing letters! I hope you have a wonderful week.
Elder Ridd

PS - Just got an email. Transfer calls are now on Thursday morning, not Wednesday. So I guess it will be one extra day till I find out what happens.
Rocking the 'staches! Boy, some of them look quite German!
Elders Wilkins, Cavin, Albrecht &  Ridd 

Monday, October 13, 2014

HUMP DAY! 10/13/14

Elder Ridd will celebrate his 1-year mark of missionary service (aka HUMP DAY) on October 17!
He received a fun package from home. 

Rathous in Donaueschingen (City Hall)
Guten Morgen, Mom & Pops! 
I am doing great today! I hope you are doing good as well. This week was pretty fun and it flew past!

Thanks so much for the packages and Hump day wishes. You are the best ever. They totally made the week amazing and I am so grateful for such a wonderful family! And it is so weird to think that I have been away from the fam for a year now... Pretty nuts! You sure can't stop the time from flying by.

Everything worked out great with the packages. I came home from Zone Conference and there was a note in the mailbox saying that the neighbor got them. We went over and he gave us the packages and yeah. So all worked out perfectly. And everything in the package was awesome. The other elders send their thanks! 

Hahah, you and your connections....Yeah, I had a migraine last Tuesday. I slept for awhile and Frau B brought me all sorts of things so that I could get better faster. I felt better after I got some sleep, so that was good. I kinda forgot to tell you - haha - whoops.

That is pretty crazy that there is now a stake in The Woodlands! I don't know who the President or the first counselor is, but that is really cool about Pres. Sorensen! And that is awesome that President Tolman is still the SP over in Spring. Sounds like it was a pretty good Stake Conference. That is pretty weird that I will come home to a new stake!

The investigators are doing okay. We haven't actually had contact with R for the last week, which is kind of sad! But I got to teach a new investigator (for the other elders) this last week. I was on Tausch with Elder Albrecht in his area and we taught a guy named K and now he is investigating. So that was pretty cool. Elder Cavin and Elder Albrecht went back later and found out that he was illegal, so he can't get baptized. But he is working on getting citizenship and working, so maybe something will come out of it. Elder Wilkins and I taught an old investigator named A this week. He is cool but he has a hard time understanding German, so we have been using his phone as a translator, which has been interesting.

I actually have heard from Doctor S, which is awesome! He is doing well and is still meeting with the missionaries. He is still in Tübingen, but is planning on leaving for China at the end of this month. I told him I think I will get transferred and he remembered that I wanted to go to Austria eventually - haha - so he said he would pray that I will go to Austria. He is way awesome. He also said he can't wait for me to visit him sometime. He says all is well with himself and the family!

Zone Conference on Wednesday was really good. We went down to Winterthur, Switzerland and President talked to us about "who we are." As servants of the Lord and stems from the tribe of Israel, we have the responsibility to share this Gospel with the world. He related us to a cruise ship. We are the workers on the ship that sails from pre- mortal life to post-mortal, and sometimes we see the tourists and we want to join them as it looks appealing to us and also looks easier. But we need to always remember that we are the workers on the ship and that God has given us so many blessings. He reminded us as well that we are being paid for this work. The fact that we have the knowledge of the Gospel is the biggest blessing (payment). We need to always remember who we are and that we are in the service of our Lord and our fellow brothers and sisters on this earthly sojourn. It was a great meeting! President is inspired and for sure the man for the job. He also moved transfer calls to the 22nd of October. That is next Wednesday. The transfer day is the Tuesday afterward.

That is pretty cool and interesting about the Meet the Mormons movie. Sounds pretty good! That would be cool if they would allow us to watch it. 

The scripture study is going great. I am in Samuel in the Old Testament at the moment, and I am in Alma in the Book of Mormon. Elder Cavin gave me a district assignment on Obedience for tomorrow, so I have been preparing a small presentation about it for the meeting. I did also get your letter (the one sent separately from the package). Thanks a ton, Mama! I am going to write you back today :)

One of the quotes that has helped me from As A Man Thinketh is "Thoughts of doubt and fear never accomplish anything and never can. They always lead to failure. Purpose, energy, power to do, and all strong thoughts begin to cease when doubt and fear creep in."  Thanks for the book. You are my hero, Pops!

Thank you, Mama and Pops, for all that you do for us kids. Sometimes we don't always see why you make certain decisions or why we can't do certain things, but I see now that all the things that you do are only to protect us! You are the best! And I love you so much! I hope you have an amazing week! I know I will.
Love you tons,
Elder Ridd
The "Traditional" Ridd Hump Day Pillowcase creation!

Elders Albrecht, Wilkins, Ridd, Cavin, new member "J" & the Familie J

Monday, October 6, 2014

"We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet" - 10/6/14

On top of the world - Hohenwiel
Elders & Sisters
Guten Morgen meine Mutter!
I am doing great this week. And yeah, General Conference was amazing! I saw all of the sessions except for Sunday afternoon. I am not sure when or if I will get to see that one. I remember that in Tübingen I didn't get to see it, but I think that we might watch it here in the ward one day. I liked all of the talks tons. I really liked the talk by Elder Jörg Klebingat – it was really good. (Click here to watch/listen to his talk). I loved President Uchtdorf, as usual, and of course you have to love Elder Holland. He is such an amazing speaker. I also enjoyed Elder D. Todd Christofferson's talk a lot!

We watched Conference from our ward building. A lot of the ward members came, but there were also a lot that just watched at home. They broadcast it to a ton of church buildings. A 94-year old member in the ward, Schwester S, made us lunch. She is awesome! And yeah, it was really cool to think that you were also listening to the talks at the same time for some of the sessions. I listened to it in English.

We taught a decent amount this week. Not a ton; we were pretty busy on the schedule. Schwester B is the best new convert I have ever seen. She was at every conference session, she signed up to fast extra on a ward fasting list for a sick member, and she just does everything. She is way in with the ward and is just so awesome. Her testimony is so strong for such a new member! To think that she ever wasn’t a member!

R is also doing well. We met with him a few times this last week and he is still preparing for baptism. The sad thing though is that though he said he would come to General Conference, he wasn’t there. I couldn’t reach him over the phone. So that was sad, but still he is doing really good and taking the lessons!

And on A, he was in Freiburg for half of the week so we couldn’t set up an appointment -because he was free when we were busy, and we were free when he was gone, haha. So this week we will be meeting again. We taught Herr K as well. We had been praying that he would find a job and then he got 3 job offers. Pretty cool!

(In response to Mom’s question regarding soft pretzels...)  
There are tons of pretzels here. Literally you can buy them at every store. You would love it! A lot of people eat them with mustard, a lot of people don’t, haha. Pretzels are called Bretzel here!
Hohenwiel - District Photo
And - good questions. 2 transfers ago there were more 2-man apartments than 4- man, but there have been tons of new missionaries coming in that I think it is now more 4-man than 2-man. 

They haven’t really talked about the Meet the Mormons movie here, but I have heard of it on We have Zone Conference coming up on Wednesday in Winterthur, Switzerland, so I guess President Kohler might mention something about it. That is pretty interesting!

Elder W is doing really well. He is hilarious. The other two elders are also doing excellent. We all still get along great. We have all started buying food separately, so I have been getting to eat way healthy again - I am excited about that. I am eating mostly rice, chicken, broccoli, spinach, tuna and carrots. I am way happy about that. 

We had a ton of eating appointments this last week though so that has also been awesome. We were by the J family on Friday and the other elders brought JD, their new convert. We had a family home evening that was a BLAST. We ate Filipino food, had a spiritual thought, played games and sang karaoke, haha.

Then we were over at the S family again and it was also a ton of fun. We ate Späetzle and meat there along with a ton of other food. Afterwards we played football, or soccer, and that is always awesome. They have like 14 people in their family so that was like amazing. I am actually getting pretty good at soccer now, so that is also a plus!

I have been reading in the Old Testament; I am in Judges right now. I am also reading the Book of Mormon in German, which is also great. And something cool that I liked at Conference was how much that they stressed prophets. My testimony about living prophets strengthened a ton during this conference! General Conference was truly great; I just liked the whole thing. 

P-day last week was great at Hohenwiel. It's in Singen and takes around 45 minutes to get there. I'm sending some pics. Today is shopping and emails, and I'm getting a haircut. 

I love you tons! You the best! Thanks for all you do for me! 
Elder Ridd
A tunnel in Hohenwiel
Elders Ridd & Wilkins
Elder Ridd with the Familie J