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!