Thursday, August 22, 2013

4 Weeks!

This week we were able to watch a video of Devon singing with the other missionaries in the Madrid MTC on YouTube. He didn't tell us about it, we found it in a very round about way but you can watch it here. He is on the top row on the left side and he is wearing his glasses (1:56). The camera pans by him twice - the second time you can see him smiling and talking to his neighbor (2:13). It was so great to catch a glimpse of him looking good! Some of those missionaries must have worked really hard to be able to sing that song in English! In his letter he mentions something about a blog as well so I will do a little digging and see if I can find that! In this e-mail he says a lot of stuff about Spanish- maybe it will make sense to some of you! :)

Hola Everyone!

I just want to start by saying thank you to everyone who emailed me this week. I loved all of the letters! :) Thank you Grandma and Grandpa Ridd for your letter - there is a kid here from Mountain View but he didn't know the kid that you were talking about but I definitely appreciated your letter! Thank you Sister Erekson for your letter too! It was very nice to hear from your family. Glad to hear that everyone is doing great back home! With Courtney's wisdom teeth, Alora's white trash party and Dad's birthday it sounds like you all had a busy week.

Ok, lots of stuff happened here this week too! We had a President's devotional on Sunday in the stake center right next to the CCM (MTC in Spanish?) and the temple. After the devotional 4 or 5 of us Elders were talking to President and Sister Sitterud. We were talking and Sister Sitterud start walking away to go somewhere and she tripped and fell and shattered her shoulder. There were just a couple of us Elders there and we all ran over there freaking out and seeing if we could do anything to help. We ended up giving her a blessing and it was so awesome to be able to participate in that. She went to the ER and got fixed up and now she is doing fine. I feel so much closer the President and his wife now, that's for sure.

I am the District Leader here again. I love it. My district is awesome. I have memorized the first vision, the Purpose of Missionaries from Preach my Gospel, the 4th section of the Doctrine and Covenants and Moroni 10:3-5 so far all in Spanish. There are some Elders here who have like 50 scriptures memorized in Spanish, it's crazy. Speaking of Spanish - let me clear up some myths about the Spanish in Spain for you guys... The theta is only used on C's that sound like S's and Z's. So it's not Ethpaña it's España. You can totally tell the different dialects from the different parts of Spain. In the south part of Spain like in Malaga and the Canary Islands, they don't really say S's at all and they don't finish the end of their words - it's crazy. So they would pretty much say, La Igleis de JesuCrito do lo Santo de lo Ultiom Dia - but super fast. In the North, they pronounce everything really well but their jota's or their J sounds that would be like an H sound in Mexico are super Frenchy here. It's like they have a loogie in their throat when they say Jesucristo. But other than that, it's the same Spanish here as anywhere else! It's not hard to understand the vosotros or anything, so it's wonderful. And don't worry, I won't come home sounding like a gay guy like everyone said - the theta is more manly than you think!

I am in the hotel once again because we got some more native missionaries! So I had to pack up all of my stuff for like the 5th time already on my mission... but it's all good! I know they keep picking on me because I am willing to move around! I love it here! I am so grateful for every one's prayers and wishes on my behalf. I love you all! The Church is true!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Birthday Letter for Dad

A special letter came yesterday addressed to Alan for his birthday and it came right on his birthday which was an extra special gift. It was dated 8/12/13 and arrived 8/19/13 so just a week later. I am not sending this out via e-mail or facebook - just putting it here on the blog so that we have a record of it and any of you that come here can read these sweet words. This letter made me happy and a little sad - it is more real than any previous letters and I see him struggling and learning and growing in these words.

Hola Padre! Estoy escribiendo a usted solamente porque su dia en cuol estaba nacer esta pronto! Y porque debo escribirle a usted tal vez a reces. Don't put that in google translate because I don't know if it will make sense. Just know that I'm writing you because its good to write you once in a while and I love you, and your birthday is coming up! Happy 42 or 43! I don't remember exactly which one it is, sorry. This whole mission thing kind of wipes your memory clean of non-missionary things ha!

I love it here. the Spain MTC is so spiritual and amazing and I'm so glad that I'm here. Today we had an early morning devotional and Brother Jose Texiera of the 70 came and talked to us! He is the area 70 for all of Europe. It was so cool to hear him speak. He talked all about his missionary experiences and what we can do to be the best missionaries. There are only like 80 missionaries here so it felt so personal as does every devotional that we have here.

We have a lot of converts come and talk to us from Spain so that we can learn a lot about the people here and how to teach them. It's so awesome being here in Spain. We have already learned so much about Madrid and it has been such an advantage to just be surrounded by the language.

I hope everything is going well with work and being a bishop! I pray for you guys every night and I can feel your prayers for me so thank you. I've been kind of sick the last couple of days, hence the snot dot on my paper haha but I'm fine.

There are a lot of awesome kids here but there are also some kids here who aren't really here for the right reasons and they talk about bad things, but I'm just trying to remember everything you told me about being exactly obedient. The teachers here are so awesome. They are all like 23 or 24, barely speak English, but they are such good friends and examples to us.

The temple is so amazing. It is so cool to just look out any window and see it right there. Honestly, its harder being a missionary than I thought it would be. I thought that once I became a missionary I would automatically be super spiritual and I would automatically be a scholar in the scriptures but its hard work! I love it though. Sometimes I miss you guys or I miss Alora but I wouldn't trade this for anything. I'm actually wearing your tie right now as I'm writing this!

Thanks for everything and making it possible for me to be out here serving a mission. Hopefully this gets to you by your birthday! Happy Birthday! Thanks for your emails to me too. Please keep sending them even if I don't reply. It means a lot when you do! Feliz Cumpleanos! Thats how say it in Spain!

Alright, I love you -
Elder Ridd

Thursday, August 15, 2013

MTC Week 3 The One Where He Gains Some Weight!

FYI - he is joking Alan is really only turning 42! :)

Bonjour! I have now been out on my mission for over 3 weeks! 

I´m sorry that you got sick mom. I hope you are doing ok and you will definitely be in my prayers. I´m glad everyone is having fun at school too! 

Its pretty crazy around here. I am learning so much and I had a lot of great experiences this week. I was super humbled as one of the lessons my companion and I were teaching this week kind of tanked. the investigator's brother walked in during the lesson and was having a life crisis and my Spanish isn't perfect so it was kind of rough. BUT I  learned about the spirit and how crucial it is in teaching and knowing what to do in  a situation. The next lesson with him went great and we followed the spirit. 

Its amazing here. Today we got to tour the entire Madrid temple and it was amazing. Believe it or not, I have actually gained about 7-8 pounds here so far... haha everyone here is such picky eaters and it bugs the heck out of me, so i just eat everyone else's food. Everybody here except for me has lost anywhere from 10 to 20 pounds.. I put peanut butter on everything and salsa mil islas (thousand island sauce) has enabled me to eat any sea creature that comes my way. 

Dad´s birthday is in a couple of days! Happy 51 to him! :) Thank you everyone who emailed me. It was so great to read them all. I love you all! Its so good to hear that Jacob is going to the temple. Good for him. the temple is a great place. I love that kid! How is Brad Beudens situation? Is he coming to this MTC? TIme is almost up! Hope everything is going well in the United States! Love you all! Talk to you later! I will try to get more letters out this week. 

Haz Lo Justo!
Love, Elder Ridd

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Spain MTC Week 2 Mission Week 3 or The One He Thinks He is Growing Gills

He sounds great! I still wish there was more information but that is just the mom in me. His physical address is at the bottom of the email - his email address is still and you can still use the feature - they charge you $1.10 to send the letters through them but he gets it the same day.
Hola familia!
Week two in the Spain MTC! All of the kids from France and Russia and Africa and Italy and Ukraine and Portugal just left... I am going to miss them so much. We had quite a language barrier but they were such good friends to everyone and we loved trying to learn each others languages! They will be missed. 
So I'm out of the hotel! I am now sleeping at the MTC! We just got 5 new elders from the Provo MTC who got their visas! Sooooo I got a new companion and we are sleeping here now. BUT, its the same companion I had in Provo!! So we already know each other! Its going to be fun, and I´m glad he has the opportunity to come here. 
In 30 minutes we are leaving to go to the Real Madrid Stadium! Last week we went to the Plaza Mayor and downtown Madrid and it was so awesome. I will be sending a CD of pictures home soon. 
I´m starting to grow gills because of how much fish we eat here. I have had sword fish, shark, octopus, you name it. It´s like Pete´s fish and chips here at the Spain MTC because we have french fries everyday too! 
My Spanish is coming a long great! I can carry on a conversation just fine. Sometimes I have to beat around the bush to get my point across but the language is great. I have sent some letters so hopefully they got to you guys soon! I can´t believe school already started! Holy smokes well have fun all you students out there. Thanks for all of the emails and support from you guys. 
hi!!!!! from Elder Harrop. Elder Harrop is awesome and he wanted to say hi to everyone!
Elder Devon Blaine Ridd
Spain Missionary Training Center
Spain Madrid Mission
4a. Planta
Calle del Templo No. 2
Madrid 28030
Everybody write me letters and Dear Elder me! Thanks for the emails everyone. I love reading them on my P day :) Even if I dont reply to you, I still read it and I loved it and appreciate it very much! I just don´t have very much time to write back! 

I love you all. Sleep well :) Haha

Love, Elder Ridd

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Spain Week 1

Well, his first p-day in Spain came and went. I still don't have a physical address for him but I am hoping we will get that next week. He will only be able to check his emails on Thursdays but any actual mail he gets he can open right away. His email address is

Hola familia y amigos!
I just got to do a session in the Madrid temple! It is so beautiful. The inside of it is the prettiest thing I have ever seen. It is so great having the temple on the same ground as the MTC. The spirit is so strong here because out of every window you can see the temple right there! 

I had a little bit of jet lag yesterday, and my head was kind of spinning but today I feel much better! The MTC president is great here and he loves to golf I guess! Haha the MTC here is not as strict as the one in Provo, you can actually leave and go places here! Today we are going to downtown Madrid! I am so excited and I will be sure to take lots of pictures. 

The food here at the MTC is wayyy different than the food in Provo. It is all authentic and it´s not unlimited... We actually have to wash our own dishes and stuff. There are only about 90 missionaries here so everybody knows everybody! The atmosphere is great. This building houses temple workers, institute and missionaries. So there is only room for about 75 missionaries here! So the MTC president has 15 missionaries that he trusts sleeping in a hotel about 10 minutes away. I am one of those missionaries! It´s weird sleeping in a hotel but I don´t mind it. 

It´s great to hear that everybody is doing so well back home! I have written letters to some of you guys but I think the mail takes about two weeks to get to you guys and its stinkin expensive. My companion just got a package from home that had candy and stuff in it and it was like 70 dollars to send it here! So mom I understand if you don´t send me anything. I love you all and thank you for the prayers on my behalf! I know I´m forgetting to say stuff but I will probably get better at this as time goes on. I love you all!

Love, Elder Ridd

He is washing dishes!! A mission really does bring miracles! :)