Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Transfers & New Goldens - 6/29/15

Zugspitze - the tallest mountain in Germany
On the way up to Zugspitze
At the top, with the Bayern sign! 
Zugspitze with random statue - yes, it was cold! 
Elder Dewey and Elder Ridd at Neuschwanstein
Neuschwanstein Castle
Hey Mama and Daddio,

This week has been really good. Another really busy week doing some pretty cool things! We didn't have a P-day last Monday, because we had staff meeting and other appointments, so we took our P-day on Tuesday. On Tuesday after we had district meeting, Elder Dewey and I headed down to a place called Garmisch. It is a really southern part in our area almost bordering Austria, where all the German Alps are located. We went to a mountain called Zugspitze, which is the tallest mountain in Germany, where we were able to take a cable car up it. It was a pretty cool experience, but sadly it was a little cloudy at the top, so when the clouds went away we quick took pictures as fast as we could - haha. It was a pretty fun P-day, that's for sure.

The fun of transfers began on Wednesday. The new missionaries (or the goldens) arrived at the airport in Munich and we were able to pick them up with the Kohlers. It was a really fun experience to see missionaries start their missions, and it was kind of a blast from the past. This transfer, only 5 new missionaries came in, 3 of them being sisters. It was nice to have a small group, as we got to know them pretty well individually. After we threw their luggage into the van, Elder Dewey and I were privileged to take the train, contacting on the way to the office - a tradition that has been around for a long time in this mission. So I took the sisters, and Elder Dewey took the elders, and we separated in the train. I briefed the sisters and then told them to sit with someone and spark up a conversation, and they did great! Meanwhile I had my own conversations nearby, which were really good - we were able to find a lot of people. When we arrived at the office, we ate lunch and then they were briefed a little bit by some of the office couples and the missionary nurse, and then they went through iPad setup. When that was finally finished, it was time for Elder Dewey and I to do a little training, but everything else took so long we were only able to go over the mission map really quick, and then head to the mission home for dinner with the Kohlers. There we ate pizza, and afterwards President Kohler assigned the goldens to their trainers and their areas. We then had a testimony meeting. We were all able to bear our testimonies, and then we took the goldens to the hostel for the night. It was a really cool day!

We woke up on Thursday and got ready for the day, and then headed to the hostel to pick up the goldens and walk them over to the church, where they would receive further training from President. They were instructed more on how to be a missionary, and than it was off to the Munich Bahnhof (train station) to get them all to their areas. It was pretty cool to have a role bringing the new missionaries in, as well as having a big part in transfer day. We then helped with all the trains and made sure everyone got to where they needed to go. It was a pretty good day! After all the commotion at Bahnhof was finished, we helped get the missionaries finishing their missions to the church with their luggage. There were around 15 missionaries finishing, most having served in Switzerland. It was also pretty interesting to see how everything happens with them on the last night of the mission. We don't do as much with the “dying missionaries” as we do with the goldens.

But on Friday we were not supposed to help with dropping the dying missionaries off at the airport, as the office elders had it covered, but we received a call saying that we needed to get Sister Metzig to her train home. We went and picked her up, drove her to Bahnhof and got her on her train to her home in Hannover. So we did end up helping a little bit with the missionaries going home. After, we visited Brother X in the clinic and he is doing really well. He actually gets out of the clinic today.

That's the main stuff that has happened this week! We are heading off to Neuschwanstein for P-day. Thanks for the great emails!

Love you,
Elder Ridd

Elder Ridd and Elder Johnson
Another castle you can see from Neuschwanstein

Monday, June 22, 2015

"No Parking on Market Days" - 6/22/15

Good Morning, Mom and Dad!

Hope you both have had an excellent week. Mine has been pretty good. It is weird how fast the weeks fly by, but yet how much you can pack into one - haha. It's going really good though and we are excited for another transfer here together. (Yes, Mom, we are staying) :)

Let's see - what happened this week. On Monday we took the numbers from the Zone Leaders and wrote up our reports, and then we met with President Kohler to finalize transfer calls. Right after that we printed up the new transfer sheet and met with the office staff about them. We basically go through the list and read off what is happening and they take notes about where people are moving and what will be necessary so that they can stay in the country and so forth. They also need to get tickets for it all, so it isn't an easy job. In the evening we met with the G family and talked about the Plan of Salvation. They are a part-member family and two of the kids will be getting baptized soon (one is 8 the other is 9), so that is exciting. The lesson went really well! The dad also isn't a member but he has been participating a lot so we hope he feels something. On Tuesday evening, we visited Brother X in the hospital. He is doing great and we are excited about his progress once again.

Wednesday was our Zone Conference and the missionaries in Munich zone all got their iPads. So now officially the whole mission has iPads. Pretty crazy! We were there for the meeting but we didn't really need to be there, while it was basically about iPads. It was still cool to see everyone and hear training from Sister Kohler on The Book of Mormon! It was really great. She talked about how if we read The Book of Mormon every day that we would never ever fall away from the church. So true! After, we went and grabbed a quick lunch at Subway and went back to the church to meet Stuttgart zone as they arrived. It was cool to say hi and see them all again. We left as their meeting began and headed to a few appointments. We met with F and talked about church and the importance of it. After, we met with another less-active named M, and also talked about church (he talks a ton about random topics - haha). And in the evening we met with M, J and J. They are doing great; we shared a video with them and also ate waffles.

Thursday is where our road trip began. In the morning we met with K and that went okay. He is good, but we are probably going to give him to the International elders to teach. After that, we went over to Salzburg and exchanged with the Zone Leaders there. I was with Elder Mourik, and Elder Dewey worked with Elder Oviatt. It was a really good exchange, and we met with a good amount of people and found many interested people as well. We drove the elders to Neumarkt afterwards so that they could do a baptismal interview for HY - yeah, same the HY that I taught! He will be getting baptized on Tuesday, so that is really cool! I got to talk to him and he sounds like he is doing great and he’s excited for his baptism. After we were there we headed down to Klagenfurt (which is in the Austrian alps), where we stayed the night.

So here is the towing story. We woke up on Saturday and were going to go put some stuff in the car, and as we walked outside we noticed a marketplace where our car had been So of course we were like “Oh no!”  We ended up asking someone what company towed our car and figured that out, then walked to the church and googled the company. We gave them a call and asked them how much it was, and they said 300€. We walked there and paid it and picked up the car is the long story short. We felt really ripped off, because the only sign where we parked was "No Parking on Market Days." It didn't say which days were Market Days, and there were a ton of cars there when we parked for the night. So we told the towing lady and she said “Oh yeah, it doesn't say the days you can't park there; you kind of just have to know.” So that was that and we had to bite the bullet, dang it. But we still were able to do some finding in Klagenfurt and worked with two of the Goldens there. We took them to the middle of the city and went finding for the remainder of the time we had. It was really good and we found a lot of people. I got to work with Elder Chillcut, who is going into his 3rd transfer now. But it was a good time, and afterwards we headed back to Munich. Transfer calls also went out on Saturday.

On the way back we met with C and then took him on a joint teach, teaching some new people. That was really cool, especially because C has just been baptized. He is a stud!

On Sunday we woke up early, had ward council and church, and then after we ate with the W family. They are a really cool American family, so that is always fun! And now it's Monday! We have had a great week and are excited to have transfers this upcoming one. Today we will have to be at staff meeting and also have an eating appointment tonite, at Bishop Gerke’s house. So we won't have a big Pday, but we will figure out something that we can do.

Have an amazing time in Europe! Sounds like a good trip you have planned. I am sure Luke is excited. I'll try and shoot some pics and individual emails over. Have a great week!
Elder Ridd

Monday, June 15, 2015

Happy Birthday, Elder Ridd! 6/15/15

Elder Dewey & Elder Ridd in front of Schloss Linderhof

Hey Mom and Dad!
I have had a great birthday week. It has been kind of crazy and busy, but I guess that is almost every week. I actually did get to do something pretty cool for my birthday. We didn’t have any Pday time last Monday, so we took a little bit on Wednesday evening and visited a pretty cool castle called Schloss Linderhof. It is really cool, nestled between the German Alps in the southern part of our area. So that was sweet! Yeah the G7 Summit was way close, literally in our mission proselyting area, haha. The weeks are flying by; I cannot believe that it has already almost been a transfer since I have gotten here. That is just unbelievable. But yeah, I am having a blast.

MLC was also good. A lot of iPad stuff, plus we got to train a little bit on connecting with people and how it is important to do instead of being robots. Basically we taught people how to make friends and establish relationships. Some missionaries struggle with that. All the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders now have iPads.

That is awesome that Mom got to visit Grandma and Grandpa. Sounds like it was a good trip and really awesome that Parker could tag along. That is great that Grandpa is continually doing better and keeping the amazing attitude.

I am liking Munich a lot! It is a really nice place. Transfers are next week, and transfer calls are this Saturday.

The iPad is good! You need WiFi a lot, but that’s not a big problem for me because we live right next to the Office and have Wifi there. We moved into the Office Apartment on my birthday, so that has been crazy. We now have 8 Elders living there - the 4 in the office, the Zone Leaders, and us. So I have been living out of a suitcase for a few days now. Only the leadership has iPads right now, but the rest get them this week at Zone Conferences. We will not be attending them all, only Munich’s and Stuttgart’s. Both conferences will be in Munich on Wednesday.

MD is doing okay. He really doesn’t understand very well - there is a slight language barrier - but we are trying to teach him. 

Brother X is doing great. He has been been doing well since we dropped him off last Sunday at the clinic. We visited him once and will visit him again tomorrow, so that is really good news! 

Our new member, C, was in Church yesterday and was confirmed, which was great. He is way cool! 

Wow, our weather doesn’t look too nice this week. We will be in Salzburg on Thursday to Friday, so maybe that will be nicer - hopefully! 

Thanks for the great email. You are the best! I hope you have an excellent week!
Elder Ridd

Monday, June 8, 2015

Life is Good! 6/8/15

C's baptism! C is 2nd from right, in white, standing next to Elder Ridd.
On the drive from Munich to Graz
The Cavins, with Elder Dewey and Elder Ridd
Hey Mama and Daddio!

This week has been way solid! I am loving the work here in Munich. Here is a quick look into what we did this week.

On Monday, as you know, we were pretty busy. We didn't have a lot of time for our P-day, but it was still a great day. We had staff meeting, which is where the office staff and President and us get together and talk about things that will be coming up that we need to prepare for. We don't go every Monday, just when it is important and President asks us to. We talked a little about iPads rolling out, of course, and about MLC this week. After the meeting we went into President’s office and discussed mission business, which was cool. After, we didn't have a lot of time - we emailed and then met with a new investigator named M. He is a pretty cool guy with whom we met twice this week. He is in a wheelchair because he played so many video games his blood in his legs clotted and he can't walk anymore. But we are starting to talk about faith with him and he is a tad hesitant. He was raised atheist some are working on helping him increase his faith. He is a really cool middle-aged German guy, so we hope he will keep being so open. That evening we went back to the office, and the Elder Cavin showed up with his family from touring around. They took Elder Dewey and me out to dinner. It was really awesome to meet his family better and  to see him again. No worries, I got pictures :)

On Tuesday we drove down to Graz (Austria), to help with a Finding Day down there. That was a really great experience and I got to work with two goldens in a dritt, meaning all three of us were a companionship. We found a ton of people in a short amount of time, so that was awesome. I also got to work with Elder Packer, the Assistant I replaced, and we found a few people. Graz is a beautiful city, by the way. It is where Arnold Schwarzenegger was born and raised. It was a good experience for sure. After, we drove with the Vienna Zone Leaders to Vienna and went on exchange with them there. The Zone Leaders there are Elder Ward and Elder J. Smith, my buddy from the MTC. They are both amazing missionaries. I worked with Elder Ward when he was a District Leader in the Stuttgart zone. This time around I got to work with Elder Smith and we had an excellent exchange. We taught a really cool guy who will be setting a baptismal date next time they meet with him, and we found a lot of people in Vienna as well. That place is also amazing.

On Wednesday, we returned from our journey after we finished our exchange. The drive to Munich is around 4 hours and thirty minutes from Vienna .

We met with a new guy named MD on Thursday, who was a referral. We are not quite sure how we feel about him; at first he just wanted us to help his family come to Germany. Of course we told him we can't help with that at all, but we explained we can help him spiritually and he said okay. So we taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ and committed him to baptism on the 18th of July. We also invited him to church and explained the Book of Mormon. He came on Sunday but had a friend with him, and I think that distracted him a bit. So we will see what happens with him. After, we picked up Elder Evans, our District Leader, and went with him to C so he could do the baptismal interview. He passed the interview and he was baptized yesterday so that was amazing!

I got registered here in Munich on Friday. While we waited, we used some P-day time and grabbed haircuts, and still had to wait an hour to get registered. It is like the DMV in America. But I am now registered and my hair looks okay, so that was cool. We then met with a less-active named F, who we are trying to get to come back to church. He wants to come; we just need to get him there somehow. We met with M again (from Monday, the guy in the wheelchair), and explained the Book of Mormon and how it can help him, which went well. Then we had ward mission council with our ward mission leader, Brother Miller, who is amazing. He LOVES Texas! Everything about it! So I am him favorite missionary - haha. I gave him one of the Texas pens. He is a really great ward mission leader. After we planned a bit for the next week.

Saturday was also good. We helped Sister D move, which took around 4 hours . After, we met with MD, and it was an okay lesson. He didn't mention his family at all, which was good. He knows now that we can't help with bringing them into the country. And we can see he actually has some interest and that he isn't using us. We then met with C, figured out how we will get to him to his baptism, and then we went home and slept.

Sunday was crazy. We were doing a lot of prep for C’s baptism that morning - filling the font and cutting out the programs and such. We also attended ward council that morning. We had MD there with a friend in church, as well as C, of course. It was a good Sacrament meeting. And after church we had C’s baptism, which was really cool. There is a really cool new-ish member named K who got to baptism him. They are really good friends and it was the first time K has baptized someone. So it was an awesome experience for both of them. That was a sweet experience! After the baptism we went home and weekly planned. After, we went by on Brother X. He has a problem with alcohol and we were trying to convince him to go to a detox. Well, of course he was drunk when we showed up, and we tried to convince him to go and finally it worked. So we agreed to walk him over there. He was there around 5 weeks ago for the same reason, so we were hoping they would take him again after such a quick relapse. We walked in and it didn't look like the nurses were thrilled that we brought a drunk in, hah. But we waited in the waiting room for awhile while Brother X was laying flat on the floor and talking really loud. I am sure the nurses were wayyyyy confused at what we were doing with him, haha, but finally a nurse came out and said, “Okay, we will take him again.” At first they kind of said they wouldn't take him, but we kind of convinced them he needs it. So that was a pretty crazy end to the week, but we are happy that he is now in the hospital instead of getting drunk at home all day, every day.

A few things I forgot - the G7 Summit is going on in our area today and yesterday, in a place south of Munich called Garmish, which is kind of cool. We have been headed in that direction a few times and there are just thousands of cops roaming around there. We got stopped and check-pointed on the Autobahn a few times. They asked where we were headed and stuff, so that was fun.

I got your package this week! It was amazing as usual - thank you so much! Elder Dewey's mom also sent us ties over for the birthday so that was cool! I also love the ties you sent, thanks! You know what kind of ties I like! Weird to think that I turn 21 on Wednesday!

But yeah, that was the week. Thanks for everything and for all of the birthday wishes.

Love you tons,

Elder Ridd
Graz, Austria. Elder J. Smith is on the right
Palace in Wien
We slept on the roof of the Wien apartment - haha. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Swiss Temple Visit - 6/1/15

At the Bern Switzerland LDS Temple
Chur, Switzerland
Somewhere between Chur, Switzerland and Liechtenstein 
Chur, Switzerland 
Hey Mom and Dad!
My week has been really good. Yeah, it has been pretty busy but also really cool. Basel was a great place. There are a ton of international people there; a lot of people that don’t speak German. But it was still cool and we found some really good people. Bern and the temple were also great. Going to the temple again was a really good experience. We did get to teach some people this week. C is preparing for his baptism on Sunday, so we taught him as well as some other people. We were gone for awhile so we didn’t have a ton of time in our area, but we will have more time this week which we are way happy about. Church was good. It was Stake Conference and we had one guy there we are teaching named J. 

Tomorrow we are heading down to Wien (Vienna, Austria). It will be another long trip. We will start heading to Graz and help them there with a little finding, and then we will head up to Wien and do an exchange with the Zone leaders there. So we are also really excited for that. We are actually going to start talking about transfers a bit with President Kohler today so that will be interesting.

The weather looks good; it seems pretty clear and sunny. Sounds like the weather was awfully crazy in The Woodlands this last week. Poor Jack, haha, I can only imagine how he handled the storms. That poor dog. We have had a little bit of rain but nothing too bad - definitely not The Woodlands status. The weather has been warming up a lot and I have gotten quite the missionary forearm tan. Haha, it is pretty funny.

Yeah that is really sad about Elder L. Tom Perry’s passing. We also thought the same, that some of the other ones would head out before Perry. I wonder who the next Apostle will be.

I bet the boys are excited for the last bit of school. I know Lukas is probably so stoked that he is done with high school. It is a really weird feeling, that's for sure. 

Thanks for the great email. I always love to hear from you and see how you all are doing.
Love you tons!
Elder Ridd 
Chur, Switzerland
Liechtenstein - pretty neat little place!