Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Elder Bednar's Visit - "Hastening the Work." 4/27/15

Elder Bednar speaking to the Alpine German-Speaking Mission
Photo credit: A. Motto
Liebe Mutti & Pops!
The conference with Elder Bednar was spectacular. Elder Bednar is definitely called of God and he inspired me for sure. He just asks questions and makes you really think, and then you get ideas from the Spirit. I knew he was an Apostle, but if I didn’t before, I certainly would now. He is such a champ. It was a really neat meeting. We didn’t get to shake his hand, as he had to leave quickly to the next Mission Tour. But still it was amazing and the whole mission was there. We have Mission Leadership Council not this week, but next week. So we will be in Munich again next week.

This weekend was really good. We will get iPads, but not yet. Apple is having shipping problems with 650 iPads for the German missions. You would think they are used to such bulk orders, haha. We went on Friday night to Munich and stayed over with the whole mission in a hostel, so that was cool. We all stayed there, except for Munich Zone of course; they could just come in the morning. We traveled home on Saturday, and made it to church on Sunday. 

Investigators are doing well. We got to teach a few times, mostly our friend D. Cool news this week is that the whole B family will be baptized on the 16th of May - all 4 of them. So we are way excited about that! I didn’t get to see JW, because we ended up being stuck in Göppingen longer because of a train strike this last week. So we had to cancel, but this week we will hopefully visit with him! 

The B family was at church this Sunday! We didn’t teach; well, we helped teach but we didn’t lead it. A Ward Missionary does that. Elder Ringger gave a really good talk in church on humility and charity.

Elder Ringger is doing well. We know each other a lot better and we are doing a lot of exchanges. We only had one last week, in Göppingen, but for the rest of the transfer we have 2 per week, along with 2 district meetings. So it will be way busy but good. We exchange with the Assistants this week, and we already have solid lessons planned for that. 

This week we have a decent amount going on. We visit the Esslingen District tomorrow, then we have a few appointments. Then on Wednesday we have District meeting for us and then an exchange with Esslingen. I will get to work in Stuttgart with a Golden, Elder Walker, so that will be fun! On Thursday we exchange back, and then we exchange with the Assistants that day in Stuttgart. They will go back to Munich on Friday and then we will just have a normal weekend - haha. So it will be a really fast-paced week as usual.

The Zone is doing really great and we had an exchange with Göppingen. I worked with Elder Martinez here in Stuttgart. It went really well and I like him a ton. We had around 3 lessons and found a lot of people as well, so we had another successful exchange.  :)

I am also way excited to Skype you for Mother’s Day! That will be awesome. I have no idea what time I will Skype. I am sure it will be after my church but I don’t think it will be later than 7pm here. I will let you know when it gets closer. 

I actually got a sore throat and allergies this week, but I seem to be on the mend. I feel a lot better now and have a voice now so that is good. I love you too. Thanks for all that you do for us. I feel the blessings of having a home where the Gospel was taught every day. Thanks so much for that! I am so blessed with the family that God gave me! 
Love you tons,
Elder Ridd

Monday, April 20, 2015

Muscles & Service - 4/20/15

Elder Ridd with Jusup Hercules Wilkosz -  "the man, the myth, the legend."

Jusup, in his prime
Zone training with a few missionaries! E. Wiberg, McKendrick and Clark
(Clark is McKendrick's Golden)
Hey Mama and Daddio!
The week went well. It was a little crazy but hey, I am living! Zone training was good. Everything ran smoothly - it was organized and it flowed. The Lord helped us for sure. So that was really cool to see how everything worked out. There are only 34 missionaries in our Zone now, so not as many as last time, but still that is a decent amount of missionaries! We talked about many different topics. Elder Ringger and I taught on “How to Begin Teaching.” I also gave a last transfer recap of what we accomplished and what our vision for the next transfer is.

Teaching went okay this week when we got the opportunity to teach. The parents in the B family (T and M) committed to baptism. We are still going to ask if the kids will get baptized as well. We went by on JW and I got a picture with him, and we talked and made an appointment for Wednesday. Not too much news on new people, except that we ate with 8 guys last night and one is pretty interested. We also had Zone Conference. It went well!

Elder Bednar comes on Saturday. We will ride a train up there on Friday and spend the night. The meeting has to do with technology for sure; President has been telling us to read the white handbook and see how it could apply to technology; so the ipads will be coming soon, if not Saturday. 

Yep, we did eat with the Ward Mission Leader. It went really well! We ate homemade pizza, which was so good. Then we played a few games. I had an exchange on Wednesday with Elder Young, the District Leader from the Ellwangen District in Stuttgart. It went really well; besides the fact that our appointments fell out, we found 17 people. That is definitely a record number of people found on an exchange, so that was awesome! The missionaries are doing awesome. The Goldens are doing great, and their German is already really, really good. One of them studied German for 9 years...man, that lucky guy! 

The service project was really good. I changed all the lights hanging down in the chapel and we also cleaned the gym. It was good to have American BBQ again. It is really cool how there is an American ward here. I get the benefits of American food and people, without losing my German in the ward I am in! Haha. Score! 

Church was good today. The only person that made it this week was someone new! Well, new to church. Z came, so that was cool. I think the ward is noticing all the different people we have brought to church and getting a little more excited. We have brought at least someone new for the last 5 weeks in a row! But our other investigators didn’t make it. :( Hopefully next week. 

Thanks for the ideas on some things we can do for Pday. We will go to Frühlingsfest (Spring Festival) today, which is a huge party, kinda. People wear traditional Austrian/German clothing and drink and eat and ride rides. So we are excited to check it out (Click here to learn about Frühlingsfest in Stuttgart!)

Thanks for the great email and all that you do for me! I love you tons. Thanks for being amazing parents and teaching us the gospel. It’s true! You two are my inspirations! I hope that you have an excellent week!
Elder Ridd
Elder Spencer & Elder Ridd
 "Elder Spencer is back in the Zone! We were in the same district at beginning of mission - he was in Esslingen and I was in Tübingen. He finishes his mission in 4 weeks." 
Elder Young!
"He came on exchange to me this week and we had a great exchange.
He finishes his mission in 4 weeks as well."

Monday, April 13, 2015

Mission = Experience. Growth. Repeat. 4/13/15

Elder Ridd, with the chick WG brought to their appointment
Elder Ridd and his new companion, Elder Ringger
Hey Mom and Dad!
I am doing well this week. It has been pretty busy - and a little stressful preparing for Zone training tomorrow. We've had a TON to prepare for it, but now we have the most of it prepared. Hopefully all goes well tomorrow. And yeah, it was also really hard to say goodbye to Elder Sharp. It is pretty cool that I have made some good friends from everywhere - places that you don’t even think of when you live in America, haha. This last transfer about 32 or so missionaries went home, so that was definitely crazy. But everything worked out fine; everyone arrived where they needed to be safely and with all their luggage as far as I know, so that is good! 

The new comp (Elder Ringger) is doing well. He is a great guy for sure. We are really good friends. He’s easy to get along with. E. Ringger was in Innsbruck before, which is like one of the coolest areas in the mission, and before that he was in Vienna. So this is his 3rd area now. He went to BYU before he came out and he is from Provo. He works hard. We have some solid things planned for this week, like tomorrow is Zone Training, then we will have a District Leader Meeting, then at night we will eat with our Ward Mission Leader. On Wednesday we have the first exchange of the transfer. We also have a ward service project on Saturday, where we will clean the church and then the Military Ward will barbeque for everyone. So that sounds fun! We will fill appointments in the remaining time.  

We did get to teach this week! So that was good. We taught WG….and it went okay. He brought along a baby chicken he found (to the lesson),which was interesting. We also taught a new 20-year old girl named C, and she also came to church on Sunday. We taught KD a few times, and we taught a few less-actives as well. The familie B doesn’t have a date yet, but I will call them tonight and make a date with them, haha. They were also in church on Sunday.

We had an eating appointment yesterday with the Bz family. I didn’t know them well before yesterday. But they are great and we ate soup and salad. It was really good! We also had several appointments last week - a few with D, WG, Frau D, C, S, A, and SB. 

We have been eating a lot of sandwiches, Muesli, and of course, eggs. But my favorite German foods are still Maultaschen and Spätzle, which I will have to get Elder Ringger to try this week, since he has only been in Austria until now. 

That is awesome about the missionaries coming home and reporting on their missions. That is so weird that both Malia and Michael H are back from their missions. That is awesome that they are both doing well and sounds like their missions were great. Which one sounds more Spanish? Haha.

That is awesome about the family you mentioned that just joined the church there in Texas! They read the Book of Mormon and then got baptized after reading it - that is such a cool conversion story! There is some good missionary work going on in The Woodlands right now - so awesome!

Yeah, I can’t believe how fast it is going. Especially that I am in transfer 13 out of 16 now. It is really weird to see all my mission friends going home. Everyone is younger than me now, haha. But I will definitely do my best out here and have all the experiences that I can. Thanks for being the best dad and hero ever. I love you so much and hope that you have an amazing week! Mom, I hope you have a wonderful week and know how much you mean to us kids! You are the die beste Mutter der Welt! I am so glad you’re my Mama! Have an amazing week!
Elder Ridd

Monday, April 6, 2015

Transfer Week: Auf Wiedersehen, Mate - 4/6/15

Elder Ridd, Elder Sharp and their investigator-friend
(Photo credit: D. Freimann)
Some of the elders at General Conference, in Stuttgart. Elder Ridd is on the bench;
Elder Wilkins is posing for the camera.
(Photo credit: D. Friemann)
The Pforzheim elders, Killpack and Bates; Elder Harvey, Elder Sharp and Elder Ridd
View of Stuttgart
Hey Mama and Pops!
I had a great week! I hope you did as well. My Easter was really good. I loved General Conference! It is always amazing and inspiring. We got to watch all day Saturday, including the Priesthood session, and also the Sunday morning session. 

The new comp is....Elder Ringger! I am way excited, but of course at the same time sad that Elder Sharp is headed out. I kinda know Elder Ringger from his first day in the field, as well as from Salzburg Zone. He was Elder Wilkins' MTC comp. He is a cool kid and I am excited to work with him! There are a few areas getting shut down in the Zone, so we are down-sizing a bit, but besides that it was pretty normal transfer calls. Oh yeah, 7 missionaries from the Zone are headed home so that’s pretty crazy. The Zone just got a lot younger - haha. I think there are around 15 goldens coming into the mission, but I am not sure. We are getting 2 new ones to join the ranks of our Zone! But yeah, I am staying put. 

I will stay here in Stuttgart for transfers. Haha, I don’t leave for transfers unless I am leaving, Mama. I need to organize everything here so everyone makes trains and so that no one gets lost. 

Elder Sharp is feeling good, yeah. It doesn’t really sink in until you leave, but he is happy that he gave it his all out here and that he can now start a new phase in life. We have been having a decent amount of eating appointments. We have a few today as well as in the next few days while he is still here. There are a few things that he would still like to get but we did find the most of what he needed last week. 

Sounds like a good week. We have also been doing a lot of cleaning and de-cluttering here. This apartment is a pretty hard one to keep clean, as almost every week we have a lot of elders sleeping over and coming in and out, but we are working on keeping it as clean as we can, haha. Sometimes it is hard!

That is cool that the boys are headed to the temple! That will be fun. I haven’t been to the temple in forever!

The weather here this last week was pretty dang rainy. I was on exchange in Ellwangen with Elder Georgiev and the weather was really, really bad there. Really windy and rainy – haha - and let me tell you that is the worst combination! But we survived. 

All the investigators are doing well. For Easter we basically just watched conference and we went to the Sisters' baptism! So that was really good. Conference was really great and we had a lot of investigators come: WG and his girlfriend, KD, and the whole B family. And a miracle happened...so the Familie B hasn’t really been progressing tons, because they were content with their other baptism (in a different church), but after General Conference they went up to a member and told him that they want to be baptized now. So we are going to set a date with them this week for the 4 of them to be baptized! So that was amazing!

We didn’t have enough time to meet with even half of the investigators this week, because we were just so busy with other things we had to do. It is kind of hard to actually do work in our area as Zone Leaders, but it is awesome that we have such a large teaching pool and are seeing a ton of success even though we are so busy with other things.

We actually have Zone Training on April 14th. President Kohler sent us a text and changed it, so I will have it with Elder Ringger on his first Tuesday here. We’ll have to organize everything really, really fast. 

I liked Elder Holland’s talk the best. He is just such a good speaker and his talks are always interesting and attention-grabbing. I knew you'd like his as well, Mama.  :)
Click here to listen to Elder Ridd's (and his mom's) favorite inspirational talk by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Thanks for the great email! I miss you too, but no worries, I’ll be back before you know it! I love you tons. Have an excellent week and we will be writing each other next Monday in no time!

You are the best. Love you!
Elder Ridd
Last week we ate Korean food with the sisters' investigator, S, who got baptized yesterday. 
Elder Sharp and I pretending to drive a member's car
Weird statue we found in Stuttgart
Random concert in the middle of Stuttgart. There were a few of these going on that day.