Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Hello, Stuttgart! 1/19/15

New companions - Elder Ridd and Elder Sharp
Goodbye, Elder Caldwell!
Cool church in Stuttgart
Hey Mama and Pops!
I am doing well and flourishing in Stuttgart. Things went great this week and it has been pretty fun getting to know the new area and the Zone. It wasn’t too hard to pack. (I love how you wrote “Was it hard to pack everything up and nicely shove it into your luggage?” – haha). There were 12 missionaries that rode on the train with me to Munich, and then 14 to Stuttgart. It took around 4 and a half hours in total, with both rides. Not too bad!

Elder Sharp and I get along great and we are way good friends already! But yeah, Elder Sharp is 6 foot 5 and his (Aussie) accent is way cool. We did have a lot of appointments before I left Neumarkt. I will miss that ward for sure, but I am sure that Stuttgart ward will also be amazing!

I am in the German Stuttgart ward. We are there along with the Sisters, and the missionary couple kind of goes where they want to go. They were not in our ward on Sunday, but yes, Sisters Bushman and Threlkeld are in our ward. There are 5 districts in the Zone, but I think it is 9 areas. Some areas are included in one district. We have more people in our Zone than any other Zone - there are 38 missionaries in our Zone. I think Munich Zone is also a similar size. But it is really cool being with people from all over. You sure learn more about culture. I do love this area a ton. It is cool because I will be visiting areas everywhere in the Zone. We will have a ton of exchanges every transfer so that will be fun - almost 2 every week. And we have a leadership meeting every month in Munich. It is the first week of February and a member of the 70 will be there. I am not sure which one. 

Church was really good and I gave my testimony on Sunday. I also said the closing prayer. The ward is decently big, not Neumarkt big, but still a good size. There are a decent amount of kids as well, so that is fun. We had an investigator family show up today too, so that was great. We have a decent amount of investigators, new members and less-actives that we are working with. We ate with family S on Sunday after church and they are a really cool family!

We are working with a really awesome new convert, S. He is around our age and is a really cool guy. He is going through a hard time right now as he was diagnosed with diabetes and currently doesn't have a lot of energy. But he’s still awesome!

We are also working with a woman named Frau D. She is really cool and we are working on setting a baptismal date with her. We are also working with her friend, A, who used to be a boxer!

That is cool that Luke got accepted at the U. He hasn’t told me, haha, so thanks!

Thanks for the great emails! Stuttgart is going really well and I am really excited to get everything down. The city is pretty big and there are about 700,000 people who live here. That doesn’t seem a lot for America, but for Europe that is a really big city! But all is well, and I am loving it. 

I hope you have a great week! Thanks for all that you do for me.
Elder Ridd

Elder Ridd and Elder Caldwell with good friends (brothers) from Austria. Photo credit to JL.
Elder Hancey was transferred to Schwenningen, so I got to ride with him on the train
from Salzburg to Stuttgart. 
This photo is from an Austrian news article on the celebration of 150 years of missionary work in Austria!
Back Row: Elder Caldwell, Elder Plumb, Elder & Sister Smith, Elder Kingery, Elder Lyman
Front Row: Sister Winters, Sister Wilkes, Elder Ridd, Elder Cavin
Click here to read the article and watch the video! 

(The missionaries are also featured on the video at the bottom of the page).

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