Monday, December 29, 2014

Frohe Weihnachten! - 12/29/14

Elder Ridd on P-day ~ Geisberg, Austria

Snow! Photo taken from the L family's home
Christmas Eve District Photo
Back Row (Left to Right):  Elder, Elder Cavin, Elder Caldwell, Elder Ridd, Elder Plumb
Front Row: Sister Winters, Sister Wilkes, Elder Kingery
Liebe Mutti and Pops!
I did have a great rest of the week since we Skyped. That is really weird that it was only around 4 days ago. I really enjoy talking to you all as well. It was a ton of fun and I miss you all a lot! I hope you all had a great Christmas. After visiting the family D, we headed over to the B family's home and ate there. We ate a French toast casserole, which was really good and then we chatted until around 9:30 and then headed home. We celebrated the 24th with HT at the Z family's home.

On the 26th we went to the KD home, where we had Schnitzel - which was amazing! He read a story about Christmas, and then we chatted the rest of the time. Afterward we headed to the family L and had a great time with them. HT was also there with us.

There are some people off work during Christmas holidays, but some people are still working; it really just depends on where you work. That is pretty crazy that Park heads back to BYU on Sunday, and that Lukas has a birthday. Man, everyone is growing up so much! It is so weird to think that Luke is an adult, and that Hayden drives.... haha, crazy!

The people on the streets don't seem to want to talk a ton still - haha. I think the stress of the season gets to them as well. But it was really easy to spark up conversations because of the Christmas season. We were calling people last night and we set up around 5 appointments with new people, so this week we will be meeting with a lot of new people for the first time. The investigators are doing well; HY didn't make it to church again - sadly, but HT was there and was happy. He is doing amazing. L didn't make it; we think that she is on vacation in Vienna. 

Today for Pday we are not doing too much. I haven't had a Pday where I stayed in the apartment yet, and that is what we are going to do today - relaxing a little bit. We actually have been doing service today up until now, helping move chickens for a member and then we helped get a sick member some medicine, so we will just go home and hang out, sleep, study, or whatever. 

We do have another District meeting on Wednesday morning. New Year's Eve we will be with family L for a little bit, teaching P, and then we are headed to the family MM. On New Year's Day we have an invitation from the LR family to eat. And yeah - the time sure flies! I guess we find out next week what happens for transfers. I think we will both stay, but you never know! 

It did snow a lot - actually it is coming down pretty heavily right now. Since we have Skyped it has been snowing off and on, so that is pretty cool! I like the snow. And I am warm enough and have been using the hand and foot warmers.

Thanks for the email! I love you lots! It was great to Skype with you. Have a great week!
Elder Ridd
Skyping with the family on Christmas Day

Christmas Dinner - soooo good!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Baptism and Return of the Car - 12/22/14

Baptism photos!

Christmas market in Salzburg
Mondsee with fog
On the fortress
Haha Mama - dein Deutsch ist vollkommen! 
My week has been really good. And yeah, I did have a baptism yesterday. P was baptized and it went really well! It was a really cool experience. 

Church was really good. We got to sing in Sacrament meeting with the Ward Choir; somehow they wanted Elder Caldwell and me to join them. Haha, we are not the best singers but hey, why not?! And then there were really good talks about helping the poor and a few more musical numbers. And then, after the meetings there was the baptism of P. It went really well and was a really good meeting. 

District meeting on Tuesday went really great. It is hard to keep them limited to an hour and a half because there is so much that we like to discuss there, but it was really good. Elder Caldwell and I are still doing great, and the rest of the week was also good. I was on exchange with Elder Cavin on Tuesday so we could interview P. It was a really fun exchange, because Elder Cavin and I know each other so well. Today we will climb a mountain near Salzburg, so that will be a ton of fun. Tonight we have another member appointment with our former ward mission leader and his wife. They are awesome! So we are really excited for a great week ahead of us. 

The car is good. We got it back on Thursday evening, and we are really excited to have it again. It is pretty hard to travel around and meet with a ton of people in this area without a car. But hey, we got it back now and we are mobile, so all is well. 

The investigators are doing well. HY is doing okay; we talked with him more about tithing. We have a really good relationship with him. HT is also doing okay, but he dislocated his shoulder in his sleep this week, which really set him back. He had to go to the hospital, which was hard for him. But we gave him a priesthood blessing and will not give up on him. He is such a cool dude!

Sounds like you have been pretty busy making Christmas goodies! Good stuff. We have gotten a ton of Christmas goodies from the members here....I am going to get so fat. 

We did get to serve Frau L this week. We cleaned out her birdhouses for her. She was really concerned that we wouldn’t get to do it before the snow came, but we got it done. That entailed climbing up a huge ladder and cleaning them a little. 

Haha, Dad told me that yesterday was a good sport day. And I have 45 minutes to Skype you for Christmas. I am not too sure what time - probably anywhere from 7:30 to 9AM. But yeah, the week was great. We are excited for Christmas week and know it will be a really good week. We have a lot of member appointments, so we are really excited. 

Thanks for everything and for the great letter. I am glad that you had a good birthday!
Love you tons,
Elder Ridd

PS: Fröhliche Weihnachten! Alles Gute Zum Geburtstag! 
Elder Caldwell and Elder Ridd - from the fortress

The fortress that we visited

From the fortress

Mondsee (view from Familie L's place)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Conference & Preparing for a Baptism - 12/15/14

Almost the Schwenningen District again!
Elder Ridd, Sister Siems, Elder Pyle, Elder Cavin and Elder Plumb
Elder Smith, Elder Ridd, Elder Holm (MTC comp) and Elder Pyle
Liebe Mutti! Schönen Guten Tag! 
This week was really good and still flew by, even though we have been running around without a car, haha. We are making things work with public transport and stuff. Sunday was pretty good! Sadly HT couldn’t make it because he was having really bad pain, and HY slept in - dangit! But L, P and T were there so that was still good. We had two eating appointments with members, which were fun. After church we were at the Familie I. They are really cool! They have 3 boys who are 10, 8, and 6. We had really good vegetables and pork. Then later we were by Family L; they are older and their kids are all grown up. That was different for me, as I have been having eating appointments with tons of kids for the last transfer, haha. That was still really good and a ton of fun. Bischof Roth is way nice; we actually ate steak with him on Saturday, and he can grill pretty good!

Scarlett (our car) is still injured and in the shop. Sadly, nobody has taken responsibility for hitting it! It takes forever to get permission and then the dealership says it will take 5 days to repair. We are still waiting on the permission to give the go-ahead....sooo it might be awhile without the car. 

We have not helped Frau L in quite some time. We cannot really get to her place. And P is getting ready for his baptism next week. So that is good. We need to teach him the law of chastity and the Word of Wisdom before his interview on Tuesday.

We had our Christmas Conference with President Kohler on Thursday and it was a ton of fun. We had it in Salzburg with the Wien Zone, so there were around 80 missionaries there. I got to see a ton of missionaries I have not seen in awhile so that is always cool! I did get my Christmas presents! The package was great. I did not open the wrapped gifts, no worries, haha. But I did open the PJs and the stocking. Thanks! I always love everything in the package, Mama! We got to watch Meet the Mormons at the party which was wayyyy awesome. We had a white elephant, and I was really lazy and not feeling creative so I gave chocolate away (Haha - and so did half the mission). I got a sword in return, some random wooden sword that someone saw at a Christmas market. I looked pretty weird carrying it back in my suit. The singing went well. And Elder Plumb actually ended up doing a duet with Sister Siems. It was good! President Kohler spoke to us and also gave us a patch that says Alpineländische Mission on it. The Neumarkt ward cooked soup for all the missionaries there.

Today I received a package from our home ward in Texas! There were cards and lots of candy, and also socks and deodorant in it. It was really great - tell them I said thanks a ton! 

Pday last week was really good; we didn’t end up making it to the castle, but we went around Salzburg with the other guys so that is always fun. We are planning on the castle today. I think we can probably make it today. Something cool I did this past week was play basketball with the young Austrian parents in the ward. And let's just say they call me Michael Jordan now....haha! ;)

Elder Caldwell is doing great. He is a way cool guy and we are way good buddies. No new investigators this week; we are trying to prioritize the people we are meeting with, as it takes a lot longer to travel now. So of course, P is priority number one. We are trying to prepare him for baptism this next week as well as we can. 

We will Skype on the 25th, but I am not exactly sure on the time yet. Probably in the morning for you guys, no earlier than 7 for sure. Thanks for the great email! I love you tons! Have an amazing week!
Elder Ridd
Elder Badders and Elder Ridd
Elder Hancey and Elder Ridd
Mozart's Birth-house
Mondsee Schloss, featured in The Sound of Music.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

New Companion & Smashed New Car - 12/8/14

Our poor (new) car
"I am 16, Going on 17!"

I am doing great! How are you? That sounds like the Christmas devotional was really good. We have yet to see it, and I'm not sure If we will be able to see it. 

This week was really good. Transfers went smoothly. Elder Caldwell is awesome. He is an amazing missionary and a really cool guy. Driving to to Wiener Neustadt to pick up our new car was good (3 hours each way) and the new car is a ton better than the other one. The car is an Opel Meriva and it is automatic. Funny story about that though, haha. So we got the car and brought it back home on Friday. On Saturday morning we went out to go do service for Frau L, and someone had crashed into the car in the parking lot. The back right tire has a huge hole in it, and there are scrapes all over near the tire on the body of the car. Yeah, so that was interesting. No note either, so we went to the cops and had them check it out, and talked to the mission office a lot. We had to walk really far on Saturday to get everything done, and sadly, we had to cancel a lot of appointments. Now we are driving around with a "summer tire" along with the 3 winter tires, so that is interesting. We can't get it repaired today either because today is a holiday here. (Some Catholic holiday called Marias Empfängis). But yeah, it has been an adventure - that is for sure. 

P's baptism is on December 21. There are still some things we need to go over with him before than, so we are hoping we can meet with him a few times before then and finish everything up. All of our investigators are doing really well. HT, P, HY, and L were all in church yesterday, which was really cool. 

We had a decent amount of appointments before Elder Evans left. On Monday we were at F's where we ate a really good Italian rice that he made. HY was also there and we talked about the scriptures. We had district meeting on Tuesday, and than we went and met with Familie WD which was a ton of fun. 

On Wednesday we met with Bischof Roth for breakfast, and then we met with Schwester H for lunch, and then with Familie ZB for Dinner. After we went by on HT. So yeah, we ate a lot at members' homes. 

We took a lift overlooking Salzburg last Pday and it was really good. Today we want to visit the castle in Salzburg with the District. So we will see if we get there! Elder Caldwell came from an area in Austria, Bruck an der Mur. He is really awesome and hard-working. I am loving working with him, so that is really great!

We actually got to visit another market last Monday. I have not yet gotten my Christmas package; I get that on Thursday when we have Christmas Conference. Funny thing is, my district was chosen to sing "Sprachst Du Ein Gebet?" ("Did You Think To Pray?") at the conference. So that will be fun. We had to choose a soloist from our district, and Elder Plumb will do it, as he can sing really good. 

We have not gotten any snow yet. Haha, that wouldn't be too great, because of our tire situation. We have 1 summer tire on, haha. It has just been a pretty crazy week, with transfers, car issues and so on. But it has been good! I love you and hope you have a great week!
Elder Ridd
District Pic in Salzburg 

Elder Ridd & Elder Cavin
Christmas market in Salzburg
Family WD
The new ride - Scarlett is her name 
Only 19 KM hah! (Brand-new car!)
Elder Ridd & Elder Caldwell - New Companions
New District Picture!
Back Row: Elder Caldwell, Elder Plumb, Elder Kingery, Elder Lyman, Elder & Sister Smith
Front Row: Sister Winters, Sister Wilkes, Elder Ridd, Elder Cavin

Monday, December 1, 2014

New Companion & Old Friends - 12/1/14

HT and Elder Ridd
The District!
Elder Ridd and Elder Cavin
Hey Mama & Pops! 
Haha, the Austrian Ridd is doing well. Elder Evans is headed to the office in Munich, to work with the computers and tickets and so on. And I am going to get Elder Caldwell! He served in Esslingen when I was working in Tübingen. He is 1 transfer older than me which is pretty cool.  I am way excited and I think that it will be great. I will be remaining the DL here in the district. Something else cool - our new Zone Leader in Salzburg is.....Elder Plumb! Elder Cavin and I are way excited to have him in the District, as he was in the Schwenningen apartment with us. Not much other transfer news besides what I have already said. There are a ton of missionaries - especially sisters - headed home this transfer. They had to close 6 sister areas, so that's a lot.  

Church was really good. It was Elder Evans' last here in Neumarkt, so we have about 200 appointments up until he leaves. It will be a pretty busy week and will fly by. HT, P, and L were in church this week. Our investigators are doing really well. 

Frau B (from Schwenningen) emails me. She is doing really well and went to a temple trip this last week for Stake Conference. She said she loved it so I am so excited that she is still doing well and going to church and remaining very active. She is so cool. I need to send Dr. S another letter, but last I heard from him was the beginning of this last transfer. He is still in Tübingen, but will be leaving to China shortly. 

We did teach F this last week as well, and he does come to church. We will actually be meeting with him and HY tonite. We taught in second hour of church this week. F and HT were in our class, and our GML Elias Roth mainly taught the lesson, with our support. 

Thanksgiving was interesting. We got to Salzburg for the dinner. We knew that we wouldn’t have a ton of time to stay, but right when they said the prayer to bless the food we had to leave. So we missed it - haha. But Sister and Elder Smith, our Missionary couple, are awesome and brought us the food the next day for inspections. 

Interviews went well with President Kohler. It was weird to have interviews again; they come pretty fast! I think my interview was around 10 minutes.

I actually did a ton of service this week - but not in my area! I was on exchange with Elder Kingery and we did 2 moves while I was on exchange, then we exchanged back. That was really good!

For Pday today we are headed to Salzburg. We need to print out some pictures and then we are going to take a lift up on a mountain overlooking Salzburg. The weather isn’t great - it's rainy and foggy - but I think we are still going to do it anyway. We are planning on doing that with the current Salzburg elders. Something else cool this week is that I get to drive to Wiener Neustadt on Friday with my new comp, Elder Caldwell. It is a 3-hour drive and we are headed there to pick up a new car. So I get to pick up a new car and drive it off the lot -that will be fun. 

Thanks for the great email! I hope you have an excellent week. I love you tons!
Elder Ridd
Kinder punch with the elders in the district (Non-alkoholisch punsch)
Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market)
My desk, with the lights you sent