Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Awesome Members & Another Baptismal Date Set! 11/24/14

Thanks for the package, Mom!

Elders Ridd & Evans - trying out their Santa hats
Hey Mama and Pops! 
I hope you had an excellent week! I am doing great. This last week has flown by, like all of the other weeks! Church was really good today. We had 4 investigators in church - P, L, HT, and Frau D. Sadly, HY didn't make it due to work. But everyone is doing really well. HT is doing a ton better, which is amazing. We set a baptismal date with HT for the 10th of January too! 

I did get my Thanksgiving package - it was amazing! Thanks so much. Hahaha - I think the Thanksgiving dinner will be great. We are actually going to be eating one in Salzburg for Institute as well, so we will get a double dose. And we will decorate for sure!

On Tuesday, we are meeting with one person from Finding day. I will actually be in Salzburg but E Evans will get to meet with her, which is really cool! 

The Austausch was really good. Elder Wasden is a way cool guy. We found the lady that E Evans will meet with on Tuesday as we were following up on the Finding Day, so that was cool. We also met with HT and with F, the Italian investigator. 

Yesterday we met with L and her family. It was a ton of fun and we ate with them. They are cool and the dad is really into frisbee so we can relate well. L is really cool. She is 16 and technically lives in Salzburg area with her grandma because she works through the week, but her parents live in our area and she loves our ward. We just need to strengthen her testimony and set a date and she will be baptised!

Sadly, we haven't had any snow yet. I am really wanting some snow! I think the area would be even more beautiful. 

Eating appointments this last week....Where do I start?!??! Haha, we had about 12. We started the week off eating with the S family (our former GML and his wife); we ate tacos and had an awesome family home evening. 

We had District meeting on Tuesday, and the Smiths, the missionary couple, fed us. It was way good Italian food! Then in the evening we were at F's home and he fed us more Italian food, as he is from Italy. So that was also really great! Afterwards we were at an appointment at HT's home.

After we tausched back on Wednesday, Elder Evans and I ate with the R family, who are way cool members. He was a mission president in Bulgaria, and also served in the 70. He said he knew Jon Huntsman a little, but Jon probably wouldn't remember him, haha. Afterwards we went over to the Romanian family's home and talked with them. 

On Thursday we were at a member's (Brother D's) for lunch, and we had Schnitzel. It was WAY good! Afterwards we had Mission Correlation meeting with our new GML (Ward Mission Leader) and ate there as well. His name is ER, and he is 19 and preparing for his mission. He is way cool and we had a really good meeting. After we went and played ping pong with investigators and members. The whole ward doesn't come but a decent amount do. (If the whole ward came that would be crazy! There were 190 people in church on Sunday).

On Friday we did service again for Frau L, and we cut down another huge pine tree so that she has another Christmas tree. They are both outside, but she wanted one out front and one out back, haha. Afterwards she fed us Zwetchgen bovesen again. Then we met with HY, we weekly planned, and then met with HT again. 

We met with Patrick and his family on Saturday in Mondsee. The lesson went really well. They love object lessons over there! Afterwards we went to Braunau and met with Sister F again, who is doing well! 

On Sunday we went to church and then after we met with Bischof and his family. They are really cool! We shared an activity about the Book of Mormon, and the kids paid really good attention. Then afterwards we went to L's house and visited with her family. It was a really good day!

Transfer calls are actually on Saturday, November 29th and transfer day is going to be Wednesday, December 3rd. Yeah they come really fast! 

P's baptism date is now the 21st of December. It works better for his family so we moved it one week later. We are also trying to meet with him twice a week. 

Today we are headed to Salzburg, and we will be checking out some Christmas markets as well as some cool things in Salzburg. 
Have a great week!
Elder Ridd

PS: Oh yeah, this week we are having interviews with President on Tuesday. That will be fun. I will be in Salzburg over half the week!
Elder Wasden on Tausch, grating cheese at F's home (F cooked us amazing Italian food!)
Authentic Italian food at F's home - SO GOOD! 
Schnitzel at Bruder D's 
Bischof mit der familie! (Bishop with his family!)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Baptismal Date Set! 11/17/14

Elder Evans and Elder Ridd 
Fortress in Salzburg
Hey Mama and Pops!
Everything is going great today! This week has been really good and has gone fast. HT,P and L came to church. Sadly HY was visiting his pregnant sister in the hospital, but he is coming next week. HT is not in the hospital anymore; we did get to visit him and he is doing well! The Romanian family is also doing great. They are amazing, and it is just hard for us to get them to progress, as half of them need to get married. The family is pretty big. It's hard to explain their situation through email. 

It is decently cold, but yeah I have all my winter gear so I am doing fine. Thanks! I did buy a suit last week. It is dark blue and it is really cool! 

We got to schedule a baptismal date with P! He will be baptised on the 14th of December. We are way excited for that! L is doing well! Her family is way cool, and they are Austrian.  

The Z family is awesome! The appointment with them was really cool. They have 2 kids, and something crazy is that she had cancer but was still really optimistic and trusted in the Lord. They found out last month that she is cancer free. They are such an amazing family, and way spiritually strong! And yeah we had a lot of appointments this last week, but we have even more this upcoming week. Something cool is that the members here are doing a ton of missionary work and inviting all their friends to come to church! 

On Monday we met with F and HY. We had a good lesson, and HY brought up tithing and asked F if it was hard for him to follow it. F said EXACTLY what HY needed. We will meet with him again on Tuesday, when Elder Wasden and I are on Austausch together. We also met with a random couple who has met with missionaries before. We talked a lot and they are way cool, but are also strong Catholics. Oh well, we will see what happens.

Zone Training was on Tuesday, which was really cool. I really enjoyed getting to see all my old mission friends, and seeing my MTC comp. Everyone is doing really great. Elder Badders is way happy that he is serving in Italy now.  Afterwards I went on Tausch in Salzburg with Elder Lyman, Elder Kingery's golden. It was a really good tausch, and he is already a way good missionary. 

On Wednesday we tausched back, and then we went and met with a less-active named Sister F in the town where Hitler was born, Braunau am Inn. Then afterwards we met with the Romanian family on the way home. 

We picked up my Austrian visa on Thursday (now I have both German and Austrian visas) and then we headed back home. We met with a member family that night, Familie S.R. (There are a lot of R families here so I need to specify with first names - haha). Afterwards we played ping pong with members and investigators in the church, which we do almost every Thursday. Then we met with HY, with Brother Z as our Joint Teach. It went really well!

On Friday we did service for the older lady, Frau L.  We helped build another fence and chopped down part of a Christmas tree so she could have it closer to her house. Then we played soccer with HY, and then met with Family L (Patrick's family) . 

Our Finding Day was on Saturday, in a city called Mattighofen. It was really good, and we handed out letters written by members. The letters basically explain what we, the missionaries, are doing here, and ask the people to give us some of their time. We will go back later and see if anyone has interest! I worked with Elder Wasden, the other Zone Leader, with whom I will work with again on Tuesday after District Meeting. 

Then on Sunday we had church where we taught L and HT, and then went to family M.D. house for lunch. (There are also a ton of family D, so I also have to specify) But it was really cool, they have 4 kids and they are a really awesome Austrian family! 

And that was the week! Our Lidl (grocery store) is not too small, but not too big. I wish we had things like Walmart here, haha. Europe is so different, it is hard to explain. It is kinda like a smaller Kroger...probably 1/4 the size. 

The transfer call is on the 28th of November. I am not exactly sure when transfer day is. That is pretty cool that you will be up in Midway next time you email! Send me some pics of the place! I can't wait to Skype as well! you will have to choose whether you want to do it on the 24, 25, or the 26th. We have a choice this year which is pretty cool! 

Thanks for everything! I hope you have a great week. I will send some pics on over!
Love you tons,
Elder Ridd
Familie M.D.
Comps! Elder Evans & Elder Ridd 
Elder Ridd & Elder Holm 
Elder Mourik, Elder Badders & Elder Ridd
Elder Badders, Elder Ridd & Elder Cavin
Elder Ridd and Sister Siems
Unser Auto! The car is an Opel Corsa.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Discovering Austria - 11/10/14

Eating a cinnamon roll walnut pastry that our investigators made for us
Elder Cavin in Austria!
Making calls
The son of our investigators!
Mama and Pops!
I am doing amazing! How are you? Yeah it is crazy, but another week is gone and in the books! My week was really good. We were really busy which made it fly by! Church was awesome today, and we taught our investigator class second hour, as HT came to all 3 hours. We had 3 investigators attend Sacrament: HT, P, and HY. So that was awesome! I feel way more settled than last week which is great. The first week is always a little foreign and weird, but once you get used to the new area and the new comp everything is great. I am getting to know a ton of the members. They are all so amazing. 

My companion is really cool! We are getting along more and more the more that we get to know each other so that is awesome. I am allowed to drive the car. Elder Cavin actually came down on exchange on Tuesday and I drove all Tuesday and Wednesday. They just made me a driver in the mission, so Elder Evans and I are both drivers now. The Zone is truly one of the most beautiful if not the most beautiful in the mission. It has Italy in it and the Austrian alps.

HY is doing well. We are planning on meeting with him on Thursday with a member. HT is doing okay. He was in the hospital last week, but he is making slow progress which is good. P is doing really well. We are working on a baptismal date with him and hopefully will have it this week. We taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ this last week! L is doing well. We ate dinner with her family last week, and they are all way amazing. Sadly they just don’t all believe in the gospel. We have taught a lot of people! But the other people that we have been teaching aren’t progressing as much as these folks.

We are teaching a Romanian family, which includes a mom and her two adult sons. They are interested, especially the mom and her married son. 

The weather isn’t too bad. It is a little chilly, but I am not freezing! I had an Austausch with Elder Cavin this past week in my area. That was a ton of fun. We were over at the Family Z and they are sooo cool. They made us tacos and we got to know them really well. Then they invited us over for Christmas. We now have 4 Christmas appointments. Here there isn’t really a specific day of Christmas, it is more like 2 weeks of Christmas - haha.

Today for Pday we are headed to Salzburg to shop! I want to finally buy a suit. And we built the fence last week for a non-member, Frau L. She is a 78-year old lady who is really cool! We served her again this week, and we helped her separate some wood! So that was also really fun and she made us that food again that's so awesome. It is called Zwetschgen bovesen (which is similar to French Toast in the USA - made with bread, eggs, plum jam, cinnamon and sugar). 

We had dinner a few times - once with the Z family, as I mentioned earlier. We also ate with family L, when we taught Patrick. That is his family. They live in the most beautiful place ever....it is on Mondsee, which is an awesome lake. We also ate dinner with our investigator L’s family. So we did get a decent amount of eating appointments. This next week is PACKED with eating appointments already!

This week will be pretty busy - with appointments and an Austausch. I am headed to Salzburg with Elder Lyman, and we have Zone training tomorrow. We also have a finding day in our area for our District on Saturday. I will be in Salzburg a lot this week! I am really excited for Zone Training, as I get to see Elder Badders, Elder Holm (my MTC comp), Elder Spencer (a really good friend from Tübingen District), and a few others that I haven’t seen in a blue moon. So this week will be tons of fun!

Shopping isn’t too bad. There is a Lidl right across the street. We have a mini fridge, but it is big enough for the two of us.  

Thanks for the great quotes and for all that you do for me! You are amazing and I miss you! I can’t wait till we can Skype on Christmas - it will be great! Hey, this is my last Christmas away! Weird!
I love you tons,
Elder Ridd
We made a cake on weekly planning day - hah!
The LDS cake!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Austria is Awesome! 11/3/14


Salzburg, Austria
Hey Mutter!
I am doing good! This week has been a ton of fun and a lot of getting to know new things - like the area, the members, and the investigators. But it has been blast and I am really liking it a ton! Yeah, the ride out here was pretty long, but it actually went really fast, as we get to see a ton of missionaries that we haven't seen in a long time and catch up. But yes, Tuesday was a very long day. We had an appointment with an investigator on Tuesday when I arrived, and we also ate with a member family afterwards. So I didn't get to unpack very much - haha. 

We are in a 2-man apartment, which is different. Elder Evans (from Arizona) is great! He's one transfer younger than me, and he is a really hard worker. It has been fun working with him so far! The first district meeting was really good! We talked about a district vision and how we are going to apply it to the mission vision - to have a baptism in every ward by the end of the year. So we are going to talk about that a little bit more next meeting as well. The missionaries in the district are great!  So there are Salzburg 1 ZLs, which are Elder Wasden and Elder Cavin; then there's Salzburg 2 - Elder Kingery and Elder Lyman; and then we have Salzburg Sisters, who are Sister Winters and Sister Wilkes; and then our missionary couple, the Smiths (who are way awesome and also in Salzburg!). I knew Sister Winters a little bit before, and also Elder Wasden (but not like I know Elder Cavin). I met Elder Kingery before - we picked up Goldens together when I got Elder Wilkins 3 transfers ago.

Our home is kind of off of a busy street. But it's not like way busy; we are not in a huge city. From our house we don't have a great view, but in the area there are wayyy beautiful mountains and lakes. The dialect is pretty crazy, but I can understand it. Strasswalchen is the town we live in. We actually live in Steindorf, but I guess the area region is Strasswalchen. We live in an apartment building, at the very bottom. We do have a dryer and a washing machine, plus all the things you asked about (stove, oven, microwave). Spoiled! Haha.

Church went really well! The ward is way big. There are about 180 members every week! The people were really nice and I did give my testimony yesterday. We also taught the youth class spontaneously, which went okay. Yes, we are the only two missionaries in the ward. 
View from Frau L's place
Fence we helped build at Frau L's home
Awesome food Frau L made for us
We have a lot of investigators! And we taught a ton of lessons. We have some investigators that are really close to baptism, which is really cool! We went dooring a little bit but we have had a lot of lessons, which is really awesome. We are meeting with a guy named HY a lot and he is about 28 and close to baptism. He was thinking of being baptised this week, so we shall see how it goes. We are also meeting with a guy named HT, who is really close to baptism. He is working hard. We are also meeting with someone named P. He is in a member family, and is 12 years old. He just needs all the lessons, then he will be baptised. We are trying to set a date this week, I think on Wednesday. We also have a ton of other people that we are working with, but those are the closest to the waters of baptism at the moment! Oh and also someone named L, who has had all the lessons, and we are just working on setting a date with her.

We drive an Opel Corsa, so that's basically a really weird European hatchback, but hey it's better than no car, right? We take trains on Pdays. We are only allowed to drive when it is missionary work, sadly. The train takes only around 20 minutes to Salzburg. So that is not too bad! 

For Pday we played soccer with the district in Salzburg. Originally we had planned to go to Königsee, but it really doesn't work out with our time. We would have to wake up at literally 4 in the morning and start studies if we wanted to do that. We do have daylight savings, but it was a few weeks ago. Tomorrow I will Austausch with Elder Cavin in Neumarkt, so that will be fun.

Thanks for the great email! I hope you have a great week and I love you a ton. You are the best! Thanks for all that you do for me.
Elder Ridd
Elder Ridd & Elder Evans
(Elder Evans' mom sent him a Despicable Me package)
Austrian Hedgehog!
The District, after soccer today!