Monday, September 14, 2015

Auf Wiedersehen, Alpine German-Speaking Mission! 9/14/15

We stopped in Liechtenstein for lunch last week, on the way to our exchanges in
Austria & Switzerland
Hey Mom and Dad!

Well, it was the weirdest thing for me to type the subject of this email, ha ("Last real week on a mission"). It’s weird to think that it’s already the last week and that I’ve been to Church for my last time as a real missionary already. This week will fly by and I will see you both on Friday! That sounds pretty unbelievable. Haha – it’ll be cool!

This week was a good one. On Monday, we had district meeting and interviews with President, which took a big chunk out of our Pday. It was good though. I talked with President about many different things. It was the first time that he mentioned my going home soon. It’ll be interesting because I have another interview with him this week. After we did all the training, we did emails and stuff, so that was our Pday last week.

We had zone training with the Munich zone on Tuesday. The big topics were extending commitments and working with members. It was pretty weird, because it was my last zone training, so they had me give my “dying testimony.” I was the only one heading home, so yeah – it was just me, haha. It went well; it’s strange to be the oldest one out. Perspective changes a lot. I remember watching people give their dying testimonies as I was a golden. Giving it is a lot different! After we had zone training, Elder Rozan and I headed off on our last road trip. We made our way to Dornbirn, Austria to spend the night, on our way to Bonstetten, Switzerland to exchange with the Zone Leaders of the St. Gallen zone. On the way there, we stopped in Liechtenstein and ate the lunch that we brought with us. It was pretty sweet. No worries, Mom – I took some pics.

When we woke up on Wednesday, we did some studies and then made the trip to Zurich. The Zone Leaders there are Elder Apel and Elder Jakobi, two Germans. They are both way funny and great missionaries. I worked with Elder Apel; we had tons of fun and did some good work. We had around 3 lessons and found some really cool people on the street as well. It was a pretty good exchange to end the mission with.

On Thursday, we finished our exchange with some studies and then made the trip back to good old Munich. We had ward missionary meeting with Brother Miller and the sisters, which also went well, and afterwards we met with K. He is doing pretty good; he is the guy who needs a little push so that he starts doing stuff, so we read (Scriptures) with him and stressed the importance of reading alone. He committed to doing it, so I guess we’ll see if he read alone! We also did some finding on Thursday.

I went to the Munich office on Friday, to deregister from living here. That usually takes forever because of the line, but we got through fairly quickly, haha – it took 2 hours, so that wasn’t too bad. After, we came back from the office, had a little bit of studies, ate lunch, and then headed on the streets. We found a lot of people on Friday, which was cool. We also had an eating appointment with the R family. It was a fun time for sure; we ate something called Brotzeit. The literal translation is “bread time,” but basically what it is, is that you make your own sandwich with cheese, butter and meat. It was for sure a good eating appointment!

On Saturday we had transfer calls, so everyone found out what’s going on with them. Elder Rozan and I did our studies, ate and then went and worked a lot on the streets again and were able to find a lot of people. We went by on C again, but sadly, he wasn’t there. We aren’t sure why, but I wasn’t able to say goodbye to him. But I’ve got some contact info, so that’s good After, we headed on the street again and found more.

Sunday was good. We had two people at church – a Russian guy that Elder Rozan is able to talk to, as well as Frau X, a mom of a member. She isn’t a member, but she comes occasionally. She thinks she is too old to be baptized, haha. But we can change that! It was a good Sunday. I bore my testimony in Sacrament meeting. There were some visitors, which was cool, and I found out that one of them knows Alex Snelson from his mission. Alex actually trained him. I can’t remember his name, but he’s blonde, 23 and from California and said he still had some contact with Alex. Small world! After church we met with F, headed to do some dooring, and had some good success. We had two lessons with people we found by dooring, so that was also good. And yeah, that was basically the week!

Now this last week will fly - Pday today, Tuesday is district meeting and an eating appointment. On Wednesday we pick up the Goldens and do their training, and Thursday is transfer day where I am basically done, and get interviewed again with the other “dying” missionaries. Then there you both are on Friday. Crazy! It will be a cool week, a pretty unreal one, but cool! I’m excited to see you both. I hope you have a great time in Italy and I’ll see you Friday!

My mission was the best decision of my life, for sure. I've grown so much and have learned so many different things that will help me forever. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be a missionary, and I will miss it a ton. I've already seen many of the blessings from serving a mission. 

Thanks for all the support you’ve given me on the mission and the wonderful examples both of you are to us! You are the best, and I’ll see you on Friday!

Elder Ridd

Monday, September 7, 2015

I'll See You Next Week! 9/7/15

Schloss Linderhof's last visit.
Elder Rozan, Elders Croft & Hadfield (Munich's Zone Leaders) and Elder Ridd
Schloss Nymphenburg - a few weeks ago.
Zone Leaders and Sisters Abram &  Berry
Elder Ridd and Elder Rozan in Salzburg, Austria
Hey Mom and Dad!

Hope all is going well for you two. Things are going great here in the best mission in the world. It has been another packed but excellent week.

On Monday we went down to Linderhof again, which was good. We went with the Zone leaders, Elder Croft and Elder Hadfield. They are really cool guys, so it was a lot of fun going down there with them. In the evening we headed over to visit a brother in the ward, who was sick, and did his yard work with another member. That was cool; we haven't done a ton of service recently, so it was good to do something again. Afterwards, the brother with whom we did the work for invited us over to McDonald's - haha - so we went over there and ate and chatted with him. It was cool. He is an American and is here for work. Really great family.

We had District meeting  on Wednesday morning, and afterwards we headed down to Stuttgart to do an exchange with the elders there. I worked with Elder Killpack. It was really cool to be back in Stuttgart, working there for probably the last time on my mission. But yeah, it was a good experience; we met with some new people they are teaching there.

On Wednesday, we finished our exchange and than headed back on the road to Munich. We got home around dinnertime, so we ate dinner and then went to sleep.

We had our studies on Thursday morning, then prepared for MLC a little, and then met with F. He is doing okay; he still hasn't been to church, but he hasn't really been trying. After we went by Brother X, to see how he has been doing. And he is still the same, sadly. We had a good talk to him and then headed off to mission correlation meeting with the sisters and Brother Miller, our ward mission leader. It was a good meeting, and as usual, Brother Miller is always way funny. When we were done there we grabbed a bite to eat at home and than headed off to MLC. All the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders were bussed and trained in, so it's always a good meeting. That evening we watched a MTC devotional from Elder Holland, and than we walked to the hostel, where we slept.

Friday is when the real meeting for MLC started. We began the day with a soccer game for our sport, and than got ready for the day and headed to church. In the meeting we talked about leadership a lot and how the level of the mission will never raise above the level of our leaders. Elder Rozan and I gave a training on leadership and practical things we can do to lift others. We had a focus on exchanges and how we can make them most effective. It went pretty well. Sister Kohler also did a part on leadership and the qualities of a leader, and President talked about the leadership pattern (Christ-like leadership). It was a really good meeting. At the end of the day, Elder Rozan and I headed over to an area to do some finding. We found some amazing people, especially a really cool 21-year old girl, with whom we shared a video about Jesus Christ. She felt the Spirit and we set up an appointment when we could come back later. It was a cool day.

On Saturday we had apartment inspections, and that went well - we passed, haha. We also went down to see C and taught him plus his friends M and U again. So that was a pretty solid day.

Sunday was really cool - after church we were invited to President’s to have a meeting with Elder Leimer, of the Seventy. So we met with him and he asked us all about the mission and the work, and how we do different things. It was really cool to talk with him. Afterwards we drove him to the airport so that he could catch his flight to Frankfurt. Pretty cool! Then we went back and ate with the Kohlers and worked on transfers.

We have interviews today, as well as transfer finalization, so we won't really get a Pday. But I am still excited for this week. It will be a busy one for sure. Thanks so much for all that you do. I love you tons. And I'll see you next week! Weird!

Elder Ridd

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Life Moves Pretty Fast! 8/31/15

We're visiting Schloss Linderhof today for Pday
Schloss Linderhof
Schloss Linderhof (Linderhof Palace)
Hey Mom and Dad!
This week has been another good one, and of course a fast one. We have had some really cool experiences and have been meeting a lot of awesome people.

Well, I’ll start off with last Monday. Monday was our Pday, and it was a fun one. We went to Nymphenburg, as you know, and it was a really good time. It is a really big castle that was owned by the same king (King Ludwig II of Bavaria) who owned Neuschwanstein and Linderhof. It was a really good Pday and we got some great pictures. 

We had District meeting on Tuesday. Elder Rozan and I were given the topic to talk about using the Book of Mormon to answer the questions of the soul. So we talked a little about that and did some activities on finding different passages that help us to do so. The focus in the mission right now is the Book of Mormon, so we talked a lot about that in District meeting. Afterwards we went down to Klagenfurt to do some finding and to work with the elders there. I worked with Elder McKendrick and we found a lot of cool people. It was pretty rainy and nasty weather, but we were still able to find some awesome people with interest, so that was good.

On Wednesday we drove to Salzburg and did our exchange there with the Zone Leaders. I worked with Elder Mourick. It was also a good exchange – we had a few lessons and a member appointment. The members there are really, really cool. Another thing that was great was the weather while we were in Salzburg. It was cool, with blue skies and a little sun, so it was a lot better than Klagenfurt the day beforehand.

We finished the exchange on Thursday. Elder Rozan and I went and found some more people in Salzburg and then we headed on the road to Ingolstadt, which is in Munich’s zone. We headed there and did some finding with the missionaries there. I worked with Elder Harvey, which is always fun. He was in Stuttgart International the whole time I was there, so we had a good time as well as found some people. Ingolstadt is a pretty cool city. It’s also where the Audi headquarters are located. It ended up being another good experience. Afterwards we drove back to Munich and slept at our place.

On Friday we were able to work in our area. We did our studies and then headed off to do some finding. We went finding in the areas where M.E. lives, and found a lot more people. We actually had a few spontaneous lessons as well. We taught a kid from Greece named K about the Book of Mormon, and we gave him one in Greek. He is really cool and we are going to go by again this week and teach him. We also were let in by another guy, and we explained the Book of Mormon to him and also explained what we do as missionaries. He said that we should also come back and talk to his brother as well, so that was incredibly cool. After we did some finding, we headed down to Brother X’s place. He was there this time and let us in. We had a good lesson with him. He has been struggling to understand some scriptures and we talked a lot about them. We also shared some motivational quotes that can help him overcome his problems. It went really well. We hope it helps him!

We had a great day on Saturday. We got in contact with MO again, and met with him in the morning before he headed off to work. His schedule has been very busy, so it’s hard to get him back to church. We had a good chat, and he met Elder Rozan. After, we had lunch and then met up with President about MLC this next week – for the little time he has been in town this transfer. He is currently doing interviews, so he has been going everywhere in the mission. I don’t know how he does it; President is a workhorse. We had a good chat and discussed what we wanted to talk about at MLC, and took a look at the upcoming weeks of both his and our schedules. We kind of planned out when we need to do what. Right after this, he headed back out on the road for Wien, where he will be until mid-week. After we met with him, we traveled down to see C, who had talked to more friends about the Gospel, so we headed over to them and taught them. These friends were really cool – their names are C, L and M. C and M are from Sierra Leone, like C, and M is from Nigeria. We had a good lesson and committed them all to baptism. C is a great missionary! After, we headed to K’s and taught the guys there. We also taught a new guy named G, who is super cool. His German is great and he makes and repairs boats for his job. We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and made an appointment for next week as well. Another really good day!

On Sunday, we had church! It was a good service, and the coolest thing probably is that C got the Aaronic Priesthood afterwards. He’s doing amazing. We also had an eating appointment at the Sommers family. C was also invited so that was a really cool experience. They are a really great family, and really mission-oriented. Their son just returned from his mission last week, from the France Lyon mission, and he is really great and wants to keep doing missionary work. After, we helped the sisters out by being a joint teach. We taught a guy named S from Mali. It was also a pretty good lesson. He speaks English and French, so Elder Rozan could help a lot with his French there.

And that was basically the week! It was another good one for sure, and we have another busy one planned with an exchange in Stuttgart. MLC and transfers will be finalized Monday. Keeping busy, haha. We are heading to Linderhof Palace today (Schoss Linderhof).  

Anyways, thanks for all you do. Hope you’ve had a great week! Love you tons and see you in a few weeks!
Elder Ridd