Monday, September 14, 2015

Auf Wiedersehen, Alpine German-Speaking Mission! 9/14/15

We stopped in Liechtenstein for lunch last week, on the way to our exchanges in
Austria & Switzerland
Hey Mom and Dad!

Well, it was the weirdest thing for me to type the subject of this email, ha ("Last real week on a mission"). It’s weird to think that it’s already the last week and that I’ve been to Church for my last time as a real missionary already. This week will fly by and I will see you both on Friday! That sounds pretty unbelievable. Haha – it’ll be cool!

This week was a good one. On Monday, we had district meeting and interviews with President, which took a big chunk out of our Pday. It was good though. I talked with President about many different things. It was the first time that he mentioned my going home soon. It’ll be interesting because I have another interview with him this week. After we did all the training, we did emails and stuff, so that was our Pday last week.

We had zone training with the Munich zone on Tuesday. The big topics were extending commitments and working with members. It was pretty weird, because it was my last zone training, so they had me give my “dying testimony.” I was the only one heading home, so yeah – it was just me, haha. It went well; it’s strange to be the oldest one out. Perspective changes a lot. I remember watching people give their dying testimonies as I was a golden. Giving it is a lot different! After we had zone training, Elder Rozan and I headed off on our last road trip. We made our way to Dornbirn, Austria to spend the night, on our way to Bonstetten, Switzerland to exchange with the Zone Leaders of the St. Gallen zone. On the way there, we stopped in Liechtenstein and ate the lunch that we brought with us. It was pretty sweet. No worries, Mom – I took some pics.

When we woke up on Wednesday, we did some studies and then made the trip to Zurich. The Zone Leaders there are Elder Apel and Elder Jakobi, two Germans. They are both way funny and great missionaries. I worked with Elder Apel; we had tons of fun and did some good work. We had around 3 lessons and found some really cool people on the street as well. It was a pretty good exchange to end the mission with.

On Thursday, we finished our exchange with some studies and then made the trip back to good old Munich. We had ward missionary meeting with Brother Miller and the sisters, which also went well, and afterwards we met with K. He is doing pretty good; he is the guy who needs a little push so that he starts doing stuff, so we read (Scriptures) with him and stressed the importance of reading alone. He committed to doing it, so I guess we’ll see if he read alone! We also did some finding on Thursday.

I went to the Munich office on Friday, to deregister from living here. That usually takes forever because of the line, but we got through fairly quickly, haha – it took 2 hours, so that wasn’t too bad. After, we came back from the office, had a little bit of studies, ate lunch, and then headed on the streets. We found a lot of people on Friday, which was cool. We also had an eating appointment with the R family. It was a fun time for sure; we ate something called Brotzeit. The literal translation is “bread time,” but basically what it is, is that you make your own sandwich with cheese, butter and meat. It was for sure a good eating appointment!

On Saturday we had transfer calls, so everyone found out what’s going on with them. Elder Rozan and I did our studies, ate and then went and worked a lot on the streets again and were able to find a lot of people. We went by on C again, but sadly, he wasn’t there. We aren’t sure why, but I wasn’t able to say goodbye to him. But I’ve got some contact info, so that’s good After, we headed on the street again and found more.

Sunday was good. We had two people at church – a Russian guy that Elder Rozan is able to talk to, as well as Frau X, a mom of a member. She isn’t a member, but she comes occasionally. She thinks she is too old to be baptized, haha. But we can change that! It was a good Sunday. I bore my testimony in Sacrament meeting. There were some visitors, which was cool, and I found out that one of them knows Alex Snelson from his mission. Alex actually trained him. I can’t remember his name, but he’s blonde, 23 and from California and said he still had some contact with Alex. Small world! After church we met with F, headed to do some dooring, and had some good success. We had two lessons with people we found by dooring, so that was also good. And yeah, that was basically the week!

Now this last week will fly - Pday today, Tuesday is district meeting and an eating appointment. On Wednesday we pick up the Goldens and do their training, and Thursday is transfer day where I am basically done, and get interviewed again with the other “dying” missionaries. Then there you both are on Friday. Crazy! It will be a cool week, a pretty unreal one, but cool! I’m excited to see you both. I hope you have a great time in Italy and I’ll see you Friday!

My mission was the best decision of my life, for sure. I've grown so much and have learned so many different things that will help me forever. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be a missionary, and I will miss it a ton. I've already seen many of the blessings from serving a mission. 

Thanks for all the support you’ve given me on the mission and the wonderful examples both of you are to us! You are the best, and I’ll see you on Friday!

Elder Ridd

Monday, September 7, 2015

I'll See You Next Week! 9/7/15

Schloss Linderhof's last visit.
Elder Rozan, Elders Croft & Hadfield (Munich's Zone Leaders) and Elder Ridd
Schloss Nymphenburg - a few weeks ago.
Zone Leaders and Sisters Abram &  Berry
Elder Ridd and Elder Rozan in Salzburg, Austria
Hey Mom and Dad!

Hope all is going well for you two. Things are going great here in the best mission in the world. It has been another packed but excellent week.

On Monday we went down to Linderhof again, which was good. We went with the Zone leaders, Elder Croft and Elder Hadfield. They are really cool guys, so it was a lot of fun going down there with them. In the evening we headed over to visit a brother in the ward, who was sick, and did his yard work with another member. That was cool; we haven't done a ton of service recently, so it was good to do something again. Afterwards, the brother with whom we did the work for invited us over to McDonald's - haha - so we went over there and ate and chatted with him. It was cool. He is an American and is here for work. Really great family.

We had District meeting  on Wednesday morning, and afterwards we headed down to Stuttgart to do an exchange with the elders there. I worked with Elder Killpack. It was really cool to be back in Stuttgart, working there for probably the last time on my mission. But yeah, it was a good experience; we met with some new people they are teaching there.

On Wednesday, we finished our exchange and than headed back on the road to Munich. We got home around dinnertime, so we ate dinner and then went to sleep.

We had our studies on Thursday morning, then prepared for MLC a little, and then met with F. He is doing okay; he still hasn't been to church, but he hasn't really been trying. After we went by Brother X, to see how he has been doing. And he is still the same, sadly. We had a good talk to him and then headed off to mission correlation meeting with the sisters and Brother Miller, our ward mission leader. It was a good meeting, and as usual, Brother Miller is always way funny. When we were done there we grabbed a bite to eat at home and than headed off to MLC. All the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders were bussed and trained in, so it's always a good meeting. That evening we watched a MTC devotional from Elder Holland, and than we walked to the hostel, where we slept.

Friday is when the real meeting for MLC started. We began the day with a soccer game for our sport, and than got ready for the day and headed to church. In the meeting we talked about leadership a lot and how the level of the mission will never raise above the level of our leaders. Elder Rozan and I gave a training on leadership and practical things we can do to lift others. We had a focus on exchanges and how we can make them most effective. It went pretty well. Sister Kohler also did a part on leadership and the qualities of a leader, and President talked about the leadership pattern (Christ-like leadership). It was a really good meeting. At the end of the day, Elder Rozan and I headed over to an area to do some finding. We found some amazing people, especially a really cool 21-year old girl, with whom we shared a video about Jesus Christ. She felt the Spirit and we set up an appointment when we could come back later. It was a cool day.

On Saturday we had apartment inspections, and that went well - we passed, haha. We also went down to see C and taught him plus his friends M and U again. So that was a pretty solid day.

Sunday was really cool - after church we were invited to President’s to have a meeting with Elder Leimer, of the Seventy. So we met with him and he asked us all about the mission and the work, and how we do different things. It was really cool to talk with him. Afterwards we drove him to the airport so that he could catch his flight to Frankfurt. Pretty cool! Then we went back and ate with the Kohlers and worked on transfers.

We have interviews today, as well as transfer finalization, so we won't really get a Pday. But I am still excited for this week. It will be a busy one for sure. Thanks so much for all that you do. I love you tons. And I'll see you next week! Weird!

Elder Ridd

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Life Moves Pretty Fast! 8/31/15

We're visiting Schloss Linderhof today for Pday
Schloss Linderhof
Schloss Linderhof (Linderhof Palace)
Hey Mom and Dad!
This week has been another good one, and of course a fast one. We have had some really cool experiences and have been meeting a lot of awesome people.

Well, I’ll start off with last Monday. Monday was our Pday, and it was a fun one. We went to Nymphenburg, as you know, and it was a really good time. It is a really big castle that was owned by the same king (King Ludwig II of Bavaria) who owned Neuschwanstein and Linderhof. It was a really good Pday and we got some great pictures. 

We had District meeting on Tuesday. Elder Rozan and I were given the topic to talk about using the Book of Mormon to answer the questions of the soul. So we talked a little about that and did some activities on finding different passages that help us to do so. The focus in the mission right now is the Book of Mormon, so we talked a lot about that in District meeting. Afterwards we went down to Klagenfurt to do some finding and to work with the elders there. I worked with Elder McKendrick and we found a lot of cool people. It was pretty rainy and nasty weather, but we were still able to find some awesome people with interest, so that was good.

On Wednesday we drove to Salzburg and did our exchange there with the Zone Leaders. I worked with Elder Mourick. It was also a good exchange – we had a few lessons and a member appointment. The members there are really, really cool. Another thing that was great was the weather while we were in Salzburg. It was cool, with blue skies and a little sun, so it was a lot better than Klagenfurt the day beforehand.

We finished the exchange on Thursday. Elder Rozan and I went and found some more people in Salzburg and then we headed on the road to Ingolstadt, which is in Munich’s zone. We headed there and did some finding with the missionaries there. I worked with Elder Harvey, which is always fun. He was in Stuttgart International the whole time I was there, so we had a good time as well as found some people. Ingolstadt is a pretty cool city. It’s also where the Audi headquarters are located. It ended up being another good experience. Afterwards we drove back to Munich and slept at our place.

On Friday we were able to work in our area. We did our studies and then headed off to do some finding. We went finding in the areas where M.E. lives, and found a lot more people. We actually had a few spontaneous lessons as well. We taught a kid from Greece named K about the Book of Mormon, and we gave him one in Greek. He is really cool and we are going to go by again this week and teach him. We also were let in by another guy, and we explained the Book of Mormon to him and also explained what we do as missionaries. He said that we should also come back and talk to his brother as well, so that was incredibly cool. After we did some finding, we headed down to Brother X’s place. He was there this time and let us in. We had a good lesson with him. He has been struggling to understand some scriptures and we talked a lot about them. We also shared some motivational quotes that can help him overcome his problems. It went really well. We hope it helps him!

We had a great day on Saturday. We got in contact with MO again, and met with him in the morning before he headed off to work. His schedule has been very busy, so it’s hard to get him back to church. We had a good chat, and he met Elder Rozan. After, we had lunch and then met up with President about MLC this next week – for the little time he has been in town this transfer. He is currently doing interviews, so he has been going everywhere in the mission. I don’t know how he does it; President is a workhorse. We had a good chat and discussed what we wanted to talk about at MLC, and took a look at the upcoming weeks of both his and our schedules. We kind of planned out when we need to do what. Right after this, he headed back out on the road for Wien, where he will be until mid-week. After we met with him, we traveled down to see C, who had talked to more friends about the Gospel, so we headed over to them and taught them. These friends were really cool – their names are C, L and M. C and M are from Sierra Leone, like C, and M is from Nigeria. We had a good lesson and committed them all to baptism. C is a great missionary! After, we headed to K’s and taught the guys there. We also taught a new guy named G, who is super cool. His German is great and he makes and repairs boats for his job. We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and made an appointment for next week as well. Another really good day!

On Sunday, we had church! It was a good service, and the coolest thing probably is that C got the Aaronic Priesthood afterwards. He’s doing amazing. We also had an eating appointment at the Sommers family. C was also invited so that was a really cool experience. They are a really great family, and really mission-oriented. Their son just returned from his mission last week, from the France Lyon mission, and he is really great and wants to keep doing missionary work. After, we helped the sisters out by being a joint teach. We taught a guy named S from Mali. It was also a pretty good lesson. He speaks English and French, so Elder Rozan could help a lot with his French there.

And that was basically the week! It was another good one for sure, and we have another busy one planned with an exchange in Stuttgart. MLC and transfers will be finalized Monday. Keeping busy, haha. We are heading to Linderhof Palace today (Schoss Linderhof).  

Anyways, thanks for all you do. Hope you’ve had a great week! Love you tons and see you in a few weeks!
Elder Ridd 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Schloss Nymphenburg - 8/24/15

Schloss Nymphenburg -
We visited this castle in Munich for P-day today
Elder Rozan and Elder Ridd
Schloss Nymphenburg

Hey Mom and Dad!
Hope you are doing great! This week has been another great one, as well as another fast one. I can’t believe it’s Monday again. But Mondays are always good so I can’t complain!

Last Monday we went to Allianz Arena, where the Munich football (soccer) team plays. It was pretty cool. We took a little tour of it and checked it out. It’s one of those things that I guess you have to see if you are in Munich, as they are one of the best teams in the world (if not the best!). It was pretty fun, even though I’m not a huge football fan, haha.

On Tuesday we had zone training, so we were able to see the whole Munich zone and watch that meeting. It was really good. The Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders talked a lot about using the Book of Mormon and flooding the earth with it. We all committed to trying to always have a Book of Mormon in our hand when we are heading anywhere, which is one of my favorite methods of finding people. So that will be good! After zone training we started our travels! This week we had to head down to Graz, Austria to drop the elders there a washing machine. So we headed down to Graz and gave them a washing machine, as well as spent the night. We had a good time down there, and got the washing machine up to the top floor of the apartment without an elevator. Haha. Fun stuff.

We had an exchange with the Zone Leaders in Wien (Vienna) on Wednesday, so we headed up to Wien from Graz. I worked with Elder Dallin Albrecht, who is one of my really good buddies. He was in Stuttgart zone when I was there; he’s really cool and a great missionary. It was a really good exchange and we were able to teach a few people. Yeah, it was a really good exchange.

On Thursday we finished the exchange and then we picked up the office elders, who were also on a mission in Wien. They had driven down there that morning to drop off a car to sell it, so they needed a ride back, and that was us! So we picked them up from the outskirts of Wien and headed back for our trip. We got hungry through the trip, so of course the only logical thing to do is stop in Salzburg and get something to eat, haha. It was a really good road trip, kinda rainy but we made it okay.

We were back in Munich on Friday! We were supposed to have inspections, but then it got re-scheduled. So instead we went and met with K, and he is doing well. We have been trying to give him over to the international elders for a long time now, we just need to do it. It’s hard because K is the kind of guy that makes spontaneous appointments, and the other guys are usually busy when we talk to him, but he’s good. He really wants to get baptized so we will see when that happens. We also tried to go by on Bruder X, without success.

On Saturday we went down to C’s, because he had some friends he wanted us to teach. He’s so awesome. So we went over to a friend of his and he was having a big party. So we met his friends, but then left, because drunk people partying doesn’t always invite the Spirit – but we will go by again when they are sober. C is awesome. He was calling his friends in front of us and asking them if we could come by and share the word of God for 30 minutes. It was so cool to see him do missionary work like that. Afterwards we went by KI’s and taught one of his friends there. It was really cool, and C bore really great testimony!

Church was really good on Sunday. C talked to the bishop about the Priesthood, which was great. He may get it next Sunday. We taught the Primary (children’s group) about the Sacrament. There were two missionary homecoming talks, so that was also cool. After, we went home, ate and then headed to a city to work. We met with a new German guy who is pretty old and smart/crazy. His name is Herr H. He has some interesting views, haha. But yeah, that was basically the week! It was a good one and we are excited for another one.

This next week we are heading down to Salzburg! So we are excited to work with the Zone Leaders there.

Thanks for all you do! I love you tons.

Elder Ridd

More Schloss Nymphenburg

Monday, August 17, 2015

Busy Benches - 8/17/15

 Bern Switzerland Temple at night

Elder Ridd and Elder Rozan at the Bern Temple
Photo credit: D. Schroeder, of Bountiful, Utah
Bern, Switzerland
Shönen guten Morgen liebe Eltern!

I hope you’ve had a good week. Mine was really good! Let’s see, what happened this week...

We did the reports on Monday morning. I went through them pretty slow so I could show Elder Rozan how to do them. As we finished, we talked to President and his family a little bit and said goodbye to Tosha. It’s a pretty crazy month right now for the Kohlers; Tosha just left for BYU and Tanner is leaving this week to go to MTC Provo for his mission in Moldova. So they are losing two kids, and Erika will be the only one home. So that’s a pretty crazy, eventful month for them! But yeah, after we did that, we finished up some work there at the office, and then we headed off for our exchange in Bern, CH (Switzerland), so we didn’t have a Pday. But it was still a good day! We ended up sleeping in Zollikofen and not in Bern that night (Zollikofen is around 10 minutes from Bern; it’s where the temple is). Oh yeah, I also got my haircut before we left Munich.

On Tuesday, we woke up, got ready for the day, and then headed to the 8:00am temple session. It was really good, and was my last time on my mission at the temple. So I took a lot of pictures. When we were done there, we headed down to Bern and then went on exchange with the zone leaders, Elder Dooreman and Elder Vasicek. I worked with Elder Vasicek. It was a really good exchange, and we taught a few people and found some really cool people. We actually found two girls around age 25 on the street and taught them on a bench for around 1 hour and 30 minutes about the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation, so that was cool! We also were able to set up some other appointments with people.

We did studies on Wednesday morning and then went finding for our last bit of the exchange in Bern. Then we headed off on the trip back to Munich. We had to make a few stops on the way back, as there were a few things we needed to drop off to missionaries in Switzerland, so we made a stop in Zurich and dropped off a suitcase for a missionary. We also stopped off in Winterthur. We eventually made it back to Munich and then did a little work in our area, and then the day was already gone!

On Thursday, we went to the city hall to get Elder Rozan registered in Germany. That always takes forever, even longer than the DMV in Texas! Haha. So we grabbed our number and went out on a bench and did some studies. Turns up we ended up having 3 or 4 really good conversations with people. We greeted one guy on the street, and he muttered something about church, so we talked to him for a bit and he wants to come to church. That was cool. We swapped numbers and talked a little about the Book of Mormon. After him, we ran into another guy who had seen missionaries before. We sat down on a bench with him and taught him who we are, what we do and how our message can help him. And of course we introduced the Book of Mormon and gave him one. We will be meeting again with him this next week, so that was also a great experience. After we met these people, we walked back to the city hall to see how we were doing with the line in front of us. We weren’t close to being next, but we waited for a bit and then sparked up a conversation with the security guard there. We talked about God and basketball – haha – and then got his number as well. We will meet with him sometime in the near future. So it was a pretty great experience near city hall! After we were finished we met with K, who is doing alright; and then also with M and his family. They were also good lessons. Our van ran out of engine oil, so we borrowed another mission vehicle from the office. We have an inspection on our car next Friday.

We did some studies on Friday, as well as planned for our next week. We had an interesting experience with a person who invited us over, but sometimes we meet funny people out here, haha.

On Saturday we had some good lessons. We met with a new guy named TH. He is from Macedonia and played pro soccer, but now is here in Germany. He is around 25 and is a really cool guy. So that was another awesome find, and we are excited to meet with him more. We also met with C, who is doing well! We read in the Book of Mormon with him and then headed to K’s place and taught his friends along with C. It was a good lesson and we had around 10 people listening in! So it was also a good Saturday!

On Sunday we had church, which was great. I translated for some American visitors. Sometimes we got a lot of American visitors in the German ward. Probably because we meet in the morning and that’s easier for them to make. They were good meetings. We also went finding on Sunday and doored a really cool family. They let us in and we taught them a little about who we are, about Jesus Christ and also the Book of Mormon. So that was another good find!

The week was really good and pretty busy. Haha, nothing new! We are heading down to Graz this week, and also to Wien (Vienna) to do exchanges. We will have zone training here on Tuesday, so it will be a good, well-packed week!

Love you tons! Have an amazing week!
Elder Ridd

Bodensee view from Dornbirn, Austria

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Final Transfer! 8/10/15

Elder Rozan and Elder Ridd at Starnberg See, which is in their area (Munich, Germany)

Hey family!

Hope you’ve had a solid week. Mine has been another great one. Lots of change and being pretty busy as usual! Well, I’m officially in my last transfer of the mission (FYI from Mom - this means Elder Ridd has only 6 weeks left on the mission, but who's counting? Haha!).  That’s weird to say, and of course it hasn’t sunken in yet. I won’t really let it sink in until the last few days. Mission life is pretty weird and a lot of the time it feels like it never ends. But now, having sent home two companions, I guess it does come to a close. But I’ve still got a good stretch to go, so I’m excited for the remaining adventures and work to be done.

This week on Monday, we had Elder Dewey’s last Pday. We had staff meeting in the middle of the day, so we did not get to do much. We ended up walking around Olympia Park, where the Olympics were held here awhile back. It was pretty cool, and we also went and grabbed some ice cream. Afterwards, we had an eating appointment with Sister D, Bruder X and the sisters. It was good! At the beginning of the week we had quite a few eating appointments.

On Tuesday morning we set up the trainer conference call at the office, which consists of us making sure everyone is connected that needs to be and then President training the new trainers. That went really well! It’s always exciting to hear the trainers and then the next day to meet their Goldens and see the differences, and all the excitement. Later that day we had the last District meeting of the transfer, and following that we were invited to go to a garden with some older members of the ward. After, I finally stopped by the doctor’s for my ear and got some medicine. It’s starting to feel a lot better. In the evening we had another eating appointment with two of the sisters’ investigators, T and T. It was also way good and we had some chili and some wraps.

The transfer really started on Wednesday. Golden pickup day! So in the morning we hopped on the train and headed down to the airport to meet the Goldens as they came out of their gate. It’s one of my favorite things to do, because I remember how it was for me. It’s pretty weird showing up in Germany after hearing about the mission for the last 6 weeks in the MTC, trying to learn whatever German possible. But it’s always fun to see them, and then tell them that we are going to go train contacting on the way to the office. This group consisted of 6 sisters and 1 elder - all of which are from America, which was cool (because they needed to learn German). Last transfer all of the Goldens already spoke German, so they weren’t as nervous in the train. But this group did really good in the train, especially with the language barrier. So we were proud of them! They all talked to people and a few gave out Books of Mormon. We then got to the office, ate some lunch, all the Goldens got their iPads, we did some training on the mission, and then it was already dinnertime and we headed over to the mission home. We had pizza for dinner, and after we had a testimony meeting where they found out where and with whom they would be working. That’s always a highlight as well. After, we headed home and prepared for the transfer day. (Elder Dewey still needed to start packing).

We had transfers on Thursday. We had some training with the Goldens first, and then went to the train station. There I picked up Elder Rozan and left Elder Dewey. Elder Rozan and I were at the station for awhile, and then in the evening we went finding. We found a lot of people, so that was really good. We also had a few appointments fall out. (Random facts about Elder Rozan, from Elder Ridd: Elder Rozan is great; he's an amazing missionary and we get along really good. He's from Spain, has a master's degree in Engineering, speaks 5 languages and is 25 years old).

On Friday we were able to go to the airport and say goodbye to all the missionaries heading home. It was cool to say bye to Elder Dewey and everyone else again. It was a weird feeling, knowing that next transfer I’d be in their shoes, kind of (as Mom and Dad will be here - haha). But yeah, that was good, and then we did some planning for the transfer. We set up a lot of exchanges, and also talked about everyone that we are working with here in the area. We will actually be exchanging in Bern, Switzerland tomorrow, so that will be cool.

We did a lot of work in our area on Saturday. We visited a less-active, and then went into town to find. We went by on ME and he was there, so we met with him and his family. We then went over to see Bruder X, and sadly he is struggling. Oh well, I guess we all start over again, right? He also had a friend there and we taught him about the Book of Mormon and will start meeting with him as well. So it was a good day, minus Bruder X and his health.

Sunday was also good. We had church, ate lunch, and went to visit C. Sadly, he wasn’t there, so we taught another guy who lives at his place named MD. It was good.

And that was the week. We are heading off to Bern today, so that will be fun. I will also get a haircut. I’m pretty excited for a great week, with lots of adventure.

Thanks so much for all you do! Love you so much!

Elder Ridd

Monday, August 3, 2015

Broken Finger! 8/3/15

Innsbruck, Austria - Elder Ridd and Elder Dewey
Innsbruck, Austria
Innsbruck and the famous Golden Roof
Cloudy Innsbruck
Hey Mama and Daddio,

This week has been pretty crazy! A lot has been packed into a few days, which is always fun. Kind of weird with my last changes coming up this week. (Note from Mom – Elder Ridd completes his mission on the next transfer, September 18th!). But here we go - I'll start with Monday.

Monday was probably the least eventful day this week. We emailed, finalized transfers and did some finding. So we really didn't have a Pday. But it was okay because we saved it for Saturday!

On Tuesday we had district meeting. Elder Dewey and I talked about relying on the Spirit, so that was fun. Afterwards we ate with the district, and then Elder Dewey and I headed out for our journey to Wien (Vienna, Austria). We arrived that evening and slept over with the ZLs, Elder Ward and Elder Albrecht, and then started our exchange the next day.

We started our exchange on Wednesday; Elder Ward and I worked together. It was really cool, because I had worked with him when I was in Stuttgart when he was a district leader. So we were across the mission, working together in a different country. It was a good exchange and we did a lot of finding. We did end up finding a decent amount of people so it turned out good. That evening, Elder Albrecht was hitting his year mark and they reserved us an awesome dinner in something called the Donauturm, which is a spinning tower in Wien, overlooking the city. It was wayyyy awesome. So that was something cool for sure!

On Thursday we headed to Innsbruck, Austria to work with Elder Killpack and Elder Erickson. We got there around 3 and worked with them the whole evening. That was also cool, getting to work with Elder Killpack again; he was also in Stuttgart. We found some really cool people that they can potentially teach! So that was also a success.

Brixen, Italy
In front of a big church in Brixen
We went down to Brixen, Italy on Friday and did some finding there. It wasn't too far from Innsbruck, so we had an excuse to head down there, haha. We found a lot of really cool people there as well! And of course we got some Italian ice cream, so that was also cool! We headed back after that, and had an eating appointment with MJ and J, and ate foo foo. It was really great; I like African food, haha.

On Saturday morning I woke up and went to do our normal sport, rugby. I jammed my finger on the ball near the beginning and realized it was out of place and backwards, so we headed to the hospital and found out it was broken. So we headed to another place that deals with hands and there they gave me some massive needles in my finger to numb it. Pretty crazy – biggest and baddest needles I've ever seen, haha. But than the doctor set my finger, which includes him yanking on it until it looks right again. I couldn't feel it at all because he gave me those elephant tranquilizers before, so that was good. But then he wrapped it up, said something about “possible operation” and said to call and make an appointment for next week. So yeah, we will see what happens this week if I find time for an appointment. Anyways, after that fiasco we went to the park for our Pday with a family in the ward. It was fun.
Rugby injury - broken finger 
Poor Elder Ridd and his broken pinky finger
We went to church on Sunday, which was good, and afterwards met with Bruder K. He is doing great! We are way excited about that. We also went over to the Sneddons for dinner and had a great time with them. It is really fun to go over there as they have a bunch of kids and are American, haha, so that was amazing. We got a call from a cool guy who wanted to meet while we were there and we ended up meeting him that night. His name is T. He is a 26 year-old German who is a good guy and is going through a hard time right now. He talked with missionaries years ago and remembered to call us. We had a great lesson with him, and he wants to learn more and feel comfort in life, so we are really excited to meet further with him. So that was an awesome miracle this week!

Oh yeah, Saturday was also transfer calls, and I get Elder Rozan (from Spain)! He is a great missionary and cool guy, so I'm excited. Big changes! This week we've got transfers! So we will bring the goldens in on Wednesday, transfers on Thursday, and drop off the dying ones on  Friday. Pretty intense! Lots of change coming my way this week, it'll
be good though. I feel ready, so we will see how it goes!

That was my week! I hope you're doing well! Love you tons and hope you have a great week!

Elder Ridd

Donauturm in Vienna, Austria
Elder Ward and Elder Ridd at the tower (Donauturm)
View from Donauturm
View of Wien. The tower rotated so we got all sides as well!

Monday, July 27, 2015

No Voice! 7/27/15

Luzern, Switzerland
Hey Mom and Dad!

This week was a good one. I'll give you an overview of what happened this week.

On Monday we really didn't do much besides shop and email. We kind of got a rest day so I guess that was good. We had been doing a lot of cool things on the last few Pdays, so not too big of a disappointment.

We had district meeting on Tuesday! It has been awhile since we've made it to district meeting, so it was cool that we were able to make it this week. We had a part on area books, so we presented that as well. Afterwards, we started our journey to Pforzheim, which is not too far off from Stuttgart. We headed there to help them out with finding a bit, before we exchanged with the Stuttgart zone leaders. I worked with Elder Bates in Pforzheim and we had a blast. We were good friends when we were in the zone, so it was good to work with him again. We also ended up finding a lot of people that they can start teaching. It was a pretty successful little visit. We stayed the night there as well.

On Wednesday I woke up and felt really sick. I had a sore throat, popped and hurting ears, a stuffy nose and no voice. So that's always fun, haha. We studied in Pforzheim, then headed off to Stuttgart and worked with the zone leaders there, Elder Hunt and Elder Ringger. I worked with Elder Ringger, although I was pretty much dying, haha. It was pretty hard for me to speak German with half a voice, but we made it work. We ended up being on the street in the city center, talking to people the whole time, but I survived and we found a ton of people there as well! Also a miracle.

We finished our exchange on Thursday and headed back to Munich. My voice was still partially gone, but I was feeling a bit better. I had some painkillers in me, so that helped. When we arrived in Munich, we got ready for our missionary correlation meeting but it fell out - so we went over to President’s and worked on the transfers a bit with him. Sister Kohler also gave us some food to eat.  :)  It was a fun time, even without a voice, haha.

On Friday we went on exchange with the Munich zone leaders. Elder Dickson worked with Elder Dewey in our area, and I worked with Elder Croft in his area. It was a really great exchange, and I had a lot of fun with Elder Croft. He is a way cool guy and a great missionary. He is from Salt Lake City, and one of his best friends is James Parkin (a nephew of Dave Parkin's), so that's kinda cool! But it was a really good exchange, where we taught a few lessons and found a ton of people as well.

Saturday we exchanged back, and then met with a new lady we found in our phone named H. It was an interesting lesson, and we weren't sure she gets it all, so we are not sure how much we will end up meeting with her. Her neighbor was also over, and she asked a lot of questions so there may be some potential there! We will see. Afterwards we went down and met with C; he is doing really good. He might be moving to Munich, which would be really good for him - more work opportunities and easier to get to church. So we will see how that pans out.

Sunday was also pretty good. We went to church; nothing eventful really happened. In Sacrament meeting we had a lot of talks on charity, and then we were asked last minute to give a Primary lesson on Priesthood and Priesthood keys to the 6-7 year olds. That was interesting; I don't know how well they can really grasp the concept of Priesthood keys at that age, but hey! Why not?! It was actually pretty good. We then had Priesthood meeting, and I translated for C. The lesson was about keeping the Sabbath day holy. Also a great lesson.

But yeah, the week was really good! We have another really busy one planned, with transfers being finalized tomorrow morning, staff meeting, an exchange in Wien, transfer calls, and a few other things. We will actually be taking our Pday on Saturday.

Anyways, thanks for everything. I love you so much. Pretty crazy that my last transfer starts next week. Dang, time flies!

I love you tons thanks so much for all you do! Have a great week!

Elder Ridd

Monday, July 20, 2015

Teaching via Skype - 7/20/15

Luzernnnn! Way pretty. You will love it when we tour around together.
More Luzern!
Elder Ridd in Luzern, Switzerland
Hey Dad & Mom! 

This week was good! And of course, adventurous! Things have been great in the mission. This week we were in Zürich, CH for their Zone Meeting, which was a really good experience. The Zone isn’t way big there, but it was a solid meeting. Afterwards, we headed down to Luzern to do some finding there, as they needed a little finding push, and we found a good amount of people in a few hours. We then slept overnight with the Elders there. In the morning we headed to Zürich to exchange with the Zone Leaders there. I worked with Elder Timm, from Hamburg, Germany. He is an awesome missionary and is really cool, and is doing good things with the Zone! We ended up finding a lot of people on our exchange. After, we headed to Stuttgart and were at their Zone Training. We will be heading back to Stuttgart tomorrow to exchange with the Zone Leaders. We will find with Pforzheim for the night and then on Wednesday head down to my hometown of Stuttgart and exchange. I will be with my old companion, Elder Ringger! That will be cool to work with him again. Then we drive back on Thursday. Always on the road! Haha. So we are already pretty busy. We will also work with President on the transfers sometime later this week. Fun stuff!  

Brother X is still doing great. It's excellent to see his progress!

We had a pretty cool experience this week. We went by to see this less-active member, and he said that his family in Iran wanted to ask us a few questions over Skype. So we answered their questions and at the end they were like, “Where can we get baptised!?” We told them the closest place was probably Turkey, and they said they were willing to do it. So we might be teaching them at their relative’s place over Skype, preparing them for baptism. That was so awesome! 

That is cool that you are all in Midway together and that you get to see Grandma and Grandpop.  That is interesting how Pioneer Day is such a big day in Utah. There is such a Mormon culture there, haha, it's so different from the rest of the world. But that is also pretty neat that Dad got to see some old friends in Grandma's ward, including his old stake president.

Looks like an interesting week for the weather. I am feeling really good though and the package was great. Thanks so much; you're the best! I love everything in it. The toys you put in there were funny. But no, I cannot believe how fast the weeks go. Unbelievable. 

Random fact: I am liking the sport Rugby a lot recently! I keep playing and getting companions who love it (Elder Sharp - Australian and Elder Dewey - English). So that’s cool. Maybe I’ll go out for the Utah team. 

Not sure what is going on for Pday; nothing really crazy planned. We will decide transfers before the end of the week, so that will be interesting to see who my last companion is! Thanks for all you do. I love you tons!

Elder Ridd
Luzern, Switzerland