Monday, February 23, 2015

Transfers! 2/23/15

Huge church in Munich
Rittersport Chocolate Factory
(Haha - Elder Harvey and Elder Sharp!)
Elder Plumb and Elder Ridd (MLC)
Elder Ridd and Elder Cavin
Elder Ridd & Elder Killpack - on exchange
Elder Ridd and Elder J. Smith (MLC)
Hey Mama! 
I am doing great! This week was really good but also really busy. We had two exchanges back-to-back...and when I say back-to-back, I mean back-to-back - haha. I exchanged on Tuesday with Elder Killpack (by the way, Elder Killpack is from Oak Ridge, Texas! He was born there and then his family moved to Utah. They know the Manns really well! I don’t know if you know them); and then we exchanged back at 10am on Wednesday. Then right after this I exchanged with Elder Werner in Ludwigsburg at around 1, so Elder Sharp and I were together for 3 hours and then we went on another exchange. We also had transfer calls on Saturday, which was a ton of fun. I like calling people in the Zone and telling them what their fate is for the next 6 weeks - haha. Good stuff. (Elder Ridd is staying in Stuttgart with Elder Sharp). 

Today for Pday we were on the American base as well as at the Rittersport chocolate factory. It was a ton of fun and the whole district was there. We did teach a lot of people this week and we set two baptismal dates: one with JW, the body builder; and also a baptismal date with WS, who is another pretty new investigator of ours. So that was really good! We also found a lot of new people this week that could potentially turn into investigators. We are meeting with a really cool Chinese guy named G, who knows the church is true and will probably get baptised next transfer, so that is also way awesome! Lots of potential here in Stuttgart!

That is neat about Luke teaching Primary with you. I bet that is a lot better with the kids. Not that he is intimidating, but maybe his being there helps them behave! 

We saw JW's book in a bookstore as we walked by!
All the meetings were really awesome. There are definitely some people in the zone that are lacking optimism, so we are trying to really work on that. We are implementing it through the District Leaders; that is the key to get it to the whole Zone. We have District Leaders who are generally happy and positive guys, and we are trying to have them make an extra emphasis on being positive and happy, as well as maybe talking about it in a District Meeting. We are also brainstorming about what more we can do. And of course we are trying the best to be good examples of being positive and happy.  :)  If you have some good quotes on happiness or positivity I would love it if you sent them over.  :)

Sounds like a really cool trip to St. George. Thanks for the pictures! You two look great. I will send some pictures over this week. It has been hard to send - haha, sorry. I email at a different place almost every week, depending on where we are, and not all places have ports. 

The investigators are doing great! They are making progress so that is really cool to see. I don’t get to teach them all every week, as sometimes I am working in other areas in the Zone. It is really funny, because the investigators in our area get to see new missionaries all the time. Either I am gone or I'm here with a random missionary that the investigators don’t know, or Elder Sharp is gone or he's here with another missionary that our investigators don’t know. But it has been going really good! 

And yeah - transfers are interesting. We get an email with the transfers on it the Friday before transfer calls, and then we call everyone the next morning and let them know what is happening. The only people we don’t call are the missionaries going Zone Leader or Sister Training Leader. But there were no Zone Leader slots filled in Austria or Germany, so we called everyone this transfer. Next transfer I will be getting a new comp, since this is Elder Sharp’s last transfer.  Weird! But there are a lot of missionaries moving around. I couldn’t tell you the number off the top of my head. I would guess around 10 to 15 moves? 

Thanks for the great email! I love you tons and am thankful for all you do. Have an amazing week! 
Elder Ridd
Fasching (Click here for more info on Fasting or Carnival in Germany)
Carnival Stuttgart (Fasching)
Random street performers

Monday, February 16, 2015

Mission Tour and MLC - 2/16/15

All the Mission Leadership (ZLs or Assistants) and Office Elders (4)
MTC Group at Mission Tour
Good Morning!
Everything is going great today! This Pday we are just doing the usual, haha. I think that we will just be playing basketball and soccer at the church. But that is way fun! I am always excited to do that. 

The week was great. Mission Tour was a ton of fun and Elder Kearon is such an amazing dude. He is way cool and it was even cooler to be with him in a small setting the next day for Mission Leadership Council. He is such a loving and thankful guy. He told us that he was thankful for us about 100 times. The week was so good. I really loved the meetings and we are trying to create a sense of mission culture in the mission…”A Culture of Happiness and Optimism.” This is something that a lot of the missionaries are lacking, so we are really excited to try and create this culture in the mission. 

It was cool seeing Elder Plumb and Elder Cavin there and talking to them again. Elder Sharp and these two are such great friends of mine. 

That is really cool that you got to go to the temple and visit with the Cranes! I bet it was fun to catch up and see them in the House of the Lord. Sounds like a really good experience!

That is awesome about Kaisha's homecoming. Sounds like she enjoyed herself! The mission is for sure an awesome experience. That is cool that she had a lot of service opportunities. That is also really great that you made it to Connor's homecoming as well. That is interesting about the people not accepting service if they were asked, but cool that the missionaries served anyway when they saw the need. Service truly does create a good relationship. It shows people that we really don’t want anything in return and they can recognize us as disciples of Jesus Christ easier. Cool!

That is also great news that Zach is going to head on a mission. Good stuff! Costa Rica is an amazing place. He will have fun there! 

JW is okay. We didn’t teach him this week. We were gone for a lot of the week though, but we set up an appointment for tomorrow. Sadly I will be on exchange and will miss it! Oh well, at least we are meeting with him. 

A is doing good. We actually went to an appointment with Frau D, and he ended up being over at her place, so we taught both of them over there. We read Mosiah 24 with them and talked about how the people received strength from the Lord to carry their burdens, and the burdens were not immediately lifted. It went really well! (Click to read Mosiah 24:15)

S CAME TO CHURCH! Yay! We hadn’t had contact with him for awhile but he showed up to church. It was awesome. We also were invited to a member’s home with him after church and it went well. We gave him a Priesthood blessing and we will have a lot more contact with him. 

We met with a girl named C as well. She is cool but she is really busy with school and such until April, so hopefully we will pick everything up in April. We also taught a lot of less-actives this week. Plus, we taught the Family S and also helped them move a refrigerator. We also taught another guy, who we meet with often. He is doing well and still trying to give up smoking. 

It is still pretty cold here, but not too bad. Must be nice to have warm weather. 

I felt the Spirit strongly at MLC and Mission Tour this week. Those two are definitely the highlights of the week. The meetings were both just so good. It was also awesome to see my friends. I got to see the whole MTC group in those 2 days - all the Elders on the first day, and then Sister Gilmore on the second (she is a Sister Training Leader in Zürich). Good stuff! 

Elder Kearon’s talk is really good, isn't it! He is even more amazing in person. He really is in tune with the Spirit and loves God. (Note from Mom - click here to listen or watch Elder Patrick Kearon's talk from October 2010 General Conference, or here for a short 2-minute video version of the message!) 

Cool that Lukie will be helping you in teaching Primary! Man, he is old! He has a calling!

Love you! Thanks for the great email! Have an amazing week, and you are loved as well!
Elder Ridd
Photo credit: Sister Shelley Bushman. Thanks!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Teaching Up A Storm! aka The Miracle of the Rice Cooker - 2/9/15

AP Tausch - Stuttgart
L-R: Elder Nielson, Elder Sharp, Elder Kroes, Elder Ridd
Elder Ridd and Elder Kroes (from Germany), on exchange
Elder Ridd and Elder Kroes, along with the rice cooker they saved
Elder Ridd and Elder Pingel, on Tausch in Stuttgart (MTC friends)
My week has been really good and I am doing excellent. We taught 13 lessons this week, so that was pretty cool! Hahah, the Pdays keep coming. Time is actually going faster than ever - especially when we have been having 2 exchanges every week. I cannot believe that we are already almost to both the Mission Tour and the next transfer.....time sure does seem to fly. The busy week went really well. First I was on exchange with Elder Kroes, who was replacing one of the APs. Elder Kroes is a great missionary from Germany. We got along great and are now way good buddies. So we had a great exchange. Then I worked with Elder Pingel on Thursday to Friday and that was also really good. He is from my MTC group, so that was cool to work with him. 

Church was great. The B family came and we also met with them on Saturday. They are doing really good. Frau D is doing okay. Sadly, she cancelled twice on us, so we didn’t get to teach her this week. We have no idea how S is doing - we had an appointment but sadly, he cancelled as well.

JW is quite the dude, for sure. He and Arnold were training buddies back in the day. We are working on meeting with him again this week. A is also doing good. He had a ton of people over at his place when we taught, which distracted him a bit, but besides that he is pretty solid. 

The biggest thing that happened this week? Good question! So many cool things happen every week. I really loved the exchange I had with Elder Kroes. He is such a champ. A miracle that happened this week was that the Sisters were going on exchange, and Sister Bushman was working with Sister Erdensogt (a sister in Tübingen). They were coming back from the meeting point to Stuttgart, and got out of the train to buy a ticket. Sadly they forgot a bag on the train, containing the rice cooker from Sister Zaugg (Sister Z and her husband are the missionary couple in Stuttgart). The Sisters gave us a call and asked me if we were in the area from Bahnhof (Train Station) so maybe we could catch their train and find their bag. They said that the train would be there in about 15 minutes, haha. So we headed there and tried to find the right train. We got on the right one and found the rice cooker and got back off. So we saved Sister Zaugg's rice cooker! Haha, that was a pretty interesting little adventure and miracle. 

We also had a lot of cool lessons. We met with someone new named WS. He used to meet with the missionaries, and we gave him a call to see if he would have interest. He said yeah. He is pretty cool. 

We also met with a man from Cameroon named W. He is studying here and speaks pretty good German. He was a referral from Frankfurt. He's quite interested, but he is really busy until his semester is over, so we will resume meeting with him then.  

J is a new convert who was baptized in Brazil and moved here. So we go over "Duty to God" with him and we are working on teaching his parents, who aren’t members. So that was also a lot of fun! He lives about 20 or 30 minutes away from Stuttgart.

We will be meeting with Elder Patrick Kearon of the Seventy this week, so we are pretty excited about that.  

I hope you have a wonderful week! Thanks for the great email. Thanks for all that you do!
Love you tons,
Elder Ridd

Monday, February 2, 2015

Week of Exchanges - 2/2/15

Elder Ridd and Elder Guzzwell. Finding Day in Göppingen.
"It is his first transfer! He is still a baby! (On the mission)." 
Elder Ridd and Elder Weight - on exchange
Elder Ridd and Elder Georgiev - on exchange
The Boxer, with Elder Ridd and Elder Sharp
Liebe Mutti and Pops!
This week was really good and pretty dang busy. We were all over the place but it was still a really good week and we still got a lot done in our area. This next week we will also have some exchanges, but luckily I will be staying in Stuttgart for the exchanges and will have a little more time to work with our investigators.

Church went really well on Sunday. I translated during the second hour for an investigator family, the B family. They are from the Ivory Coast and we are hoping that they might be baptised in the next transfer.

We met with both the Boxer and the Bodybuilder this week. They are both doing okay. Frau D is also doing pretty good. Sadly, S didn’t answer his calls or his door this week, so we don’t know exactly how he is. But I hope he is doing fine!

The exchanges went really well. First we went down to Göppingen on Tuesday for their District Meeting, and then we had a Finding Day there - which means 2 hours of streeting and dooring. I was paired up with a Golden, Elder Guzzwell, and we found 5 people so that was awesome. He was way excited about it! Afterwards I took Elder Weight, the companion of the District leader in Göppingen, and went back to Stuttgart. We worked for that day and then met back in Göppingen. It went really well. Then on Thursday I worked with Elder Georgiev from Bulgaria in Ellwangen. We got some good lessons in and had a great member appointment. And after that we got to work in our area together on Saturday and Sunday so that was also awesome.

That is way cool about Luke giving a talk at his friend’s baptism. Good stuff! And that is also cool that Hayden will make it to EFY. That will be fun. 

That is cool that the Superbowl has already happened. Weird, I didn’t think it was already that time. Elder Caldwell was a big Pats fan; I am sure he is pretty stoked with the result of the game.

We are going to play sports this Pday again. We were going to go to Rittersport and then go to the American Base, but the member cancelled because of snow. So we are all going to play sports instead. It’s not even that snowy...We did get a decent amount of snow this last week. It was pretty nice, because it just kept falling and didn’t really stick. Looks like this week is going to be pretty chilly as well. 

This week we have an exchange with the Assistants tomorrow, and then we also have an exchange with Esslingen on Thursday. I will be working with Elder Pingel, from my MTC group, in Stuttgart on Thursday. He is the DL in Esslingen right now so that will be fun.
We had a baptism in the Zone, in Waiblingen this week, so that was way cool. Our Zone is doing really well. And then next half the mission meets in Munich, for Mission Tour. A member of the Seventy will be coming. After everyone heads back, except for the ZLs and the Sister Training Leaders. We will stay overnight in Munich and then have Mission Leadership Council with the member of the Seventy. So we are excited for that as well. Some rumors are going around that ipads will be coming to the mission, but I doubt it. I have heard those rumors from the beginning of the mission but I guess we will see. (Mission Tour is on the 12th, and MLC is on the 13th.)

Love you tons! Thanks for all the awesome support and all you do. Have a great week!
Elder Ridd
The Bodybuilder's Mr. Olympia medal
Elder Harvey and his root beer float, while on exchange

Lamborghini (while on exchange with Elder Harvey)
View from the Ellwangen apartment