Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Baptism Plus Rice and Mayonnaise

November 28, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!!!! Hope everyone is now thinking about their new years resolution to lose some weight now because of how much they ate this last week! 

Haha this week was pretty great!!

We found a new investigator named Jeremiah this week! He's a pretty big guy that travels to Merced basically every day by bus!! We're going to go see him tomorrow and hopefully pick up some of his roommates as investigators too. 

Thanksgiving was great! For the Turkey Bowl we played Ultimate Frisbee. And not to sound too prideful or cocky... I kicked trash out there. Then again, I'm a try hard so I was probably playing harder than anybody else on the field. But it was still super fun! As the day went on we relaxed for about an hour or 2 with some other Elders at our apartment and then got ready and walked to the church (the People we ate with have to rent out the cultural hall for their thanksgiving because they are so big) cause we didn't have a ride. But the walk was well worth it! Their Thanksgiving was delicious!! Their was so much food! And I learned an ancient Polynesian secret. 
White Rice + Mayonnaise = DELICIOUSNESS!!! I know it sounds weird but don't knock it till you try it!! After we ate we talked for a bit with family members and what not and then we noticed some of them playing around with a volleyball so we joined them. It was pretty fun. And to finish off the night...we went back to the apartment and played Dungeons and Dragons with like 8 Elders total. Not gonna lie, it's fun. I was a little skeptical when they were first starting out but once you get into it it's pretty fun.

On Sunday we had Elizabeth's baptism!! It was super awesome!! We can't wait for her to get confirmed this next week! 

Love you all!!! 

Elder Richardson



P-Day Workout


Samoan Thanksgiving

November 21, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

Happy Early Thanksgiving!! 

This week was incredible! Elder Thornton and I were on fire!! We've been going through our ward list and seeing if people are living there or not and if they would like to have missionaries to come by. Basically we're updating the ward list for the ward so we can get them to trust us more. And while doing so we are finding new people to teach as well!! 

We found 5 new investigators!! One of my favorites that we found this week is named Mahesh Natarajan. He's a super cool Indian man that teaches yoga and is a massage therapist. We found him through his daughter Rea, who is friends with a girl in our ward named Abby Rogers. Abby told us to go see her friend and we did! Mahesh is super open to hearing about the gospel. He was raised Hindu but went to a Christian/ Catholic school, so he believes in a higher power. He was most interested to really start hearing our message when he found out that we sacrifice 2 years of our lives to go out and do missionary work!! We are excited to keep teaching him and start teaching his daughter as well 

And that's not even the least of it. We were surprised yesterday with something incredible. As of before Sunday, we had no solids for the month of November. Therefore we were not going to be able to help the mission reach the goal of the power of one!! But Sunday rolled around and our Bishop had us come into his office after church. As we walked into his office we saw one of our less active brothers in the ward sitting in the room. We sat down with him and Bishop and then was surprised with this wonderful thing: There daughter who is 8 right now wants to be baptized on her 9th birthday...which is on November 27th!!! We've already been teaching her in hopes of helping the family become more active and helping her get baptized. It's a miracle!! We just have to finish teaching her a few things (mostly tithing) and have her interview! Elder Thornton and I are so grateful. We know this is an answer to prayers of faith and hard work. But we also know that we can still work even harder and we are going to. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with Turkey and mashed potatoes! Haha I know I'm going to have a good time. I am going to a Samoan Thanksgiving this week. So you already know I'm going to be eating really well. And it's supposed to be a pretty big get together...so big that the family has rented out the cultural hall for Thanksgiving!! 

Love you all, 
Elder Richardson

Elder Thornton - TALL :)

November 14, 2016

Hey ya'll!, 
So my new companion's name is Elder Thornton. He's from North Carolina and has 7 siblings! He's 6 foot 5 and a half...yep, taller than I'll ever be...
And he was scouted to play at NC State and even practiced with the team for a week before switching college's and going to BYU-Idaho. He's super smart and is a hard worker! I'm super excited to be with Elder Thornton and know that we'll do great things together. 

This week we still didn't find any investigators but we definitely will this week 1 We found lots of potential 'couples' and we are even going to see a cool couple that we hope to start teaching tonight! 

Exciting things that happened this week...pretty much everyone that we talk too asks us who we voted for or if we've voted. All I say is I'm not registered (which is true)...and then they look at me weird. But to be real, it's not fair to ask me to vote! I don't even know what the heck is even going on out in the world! I don't know which side I want, so to have me vote isn't really fair! Haha oh well though. I'll make sure to register for the next one! 

The only other exciting thing that really happened this week is...my companion and I stepped in dog poop and got it in our bishops car! !Haha it was dark inside and couldn't really see (or smell) unti we got in the car! At least Bishop will never forget us!! 

That's really all the exciting that happened this week! Sorry this isn't very much guys! But be prepared...coming soon, Elder Thornton and I are going to show Atwater who the true Super heroes are in town.

Love you All!,

Elder Richardson


Transfer for Elder Witt 11-7-16

November 7, 2016

Hey ya'll,

So first and foremost...TRANSFER CALLS CAME!!! And...Elder Witt is getting transferred! He is going to one of the more southern regions in our mission into what we call a "zebra" area (English and Spanish)...

So I'm sad to see Elder Witt go. I won't lie, it's been a rough 3 months. But we've both grown. I definitely learned and started to have more growth in other aspects of what it means to be a missionary from him. Elder Witt definitely understands the responsibility in his calling as a missionary. He knows that he would never want to make the church look bad in any way shape or form. He has a very genuine heart for people. When they tell us about the tragedies that they have had in their life, you can tell that Elder Witt loves them and sometimes, as they are weeping, telling us their problems life has given them; he WEEPS with them. That's something that I want to be more like. Elder Witt definitely has a sense of Christlike love. I think back in the scriptures when it talks about how Jesus wept over the death of Lazarus (John 11). Elder Witt reminds me of that so much. Just the Christ-like love he shows towards others. I'm going to miss him and know that he will do well. He is going to do very well. 
I'm grateful for the opportunity that God  gave me to train Elder Witt. I'm thankful for my mission president and the fact that he's worthy of the Spirit of God that inspired him to call me as a trainer and that I should train him.

The only other really big thing that happened this week is one simple fact...WE HAVE 0 INVESTIGATORS!!! Haha literally none of them are progressing in the lessons that we have been called to share and aren't keeping any commitments..so we had to let them go ,unfortunately. But hey, that just means that God knows there are other prepared people for us to go find! 

Also, WE CAN LISTEN TO CHRISTMAS MUSIC NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'M SO BEYOND HAPPY!!! I HAVE SUCH A NEW FOUND LOVE FOR CHRISTMAS MUSIC!!! So if anybody really want sto make my day...I would love some Christmas CD's ASAP!!!!!! 

Love you all,
Elder Richardson 

P.S. My new comps name is Elder Thornton! I'll be going to get him tomorrow!! 



October 31, 2016

Dear family, friends, and random acquaintances I've met along the way, 

  This week we had a few miracles!

   So this WHOLE week we have gone over everyday to Mya and Robert's so that we could finish preparing them for baptism! It was really fun to go over there and finish teaching them all the lessons! 

  On Saturday, we had our baptism for Mya and Robert (he's a child of record)! It was awesome!! The Spirit was so strong! I'm so happy for Mya and Robert and this new step that they have taken in their lives. I know they will never regret! 

   And the next day at church we were sitting in gospel principles with the Hurtado family (returning less active family whose daughter and son we just baptized), and they said they're next goal is to get sealed in the temple as a family!!!!! That was so awesome to hear.

   We found an investigator through members this last week! Her name is Karen Jackezz (I think that's how it's spelled, it sounded weird when she first said it). She is a friend of the 15 yr old daughter in the family. We are so excited to start teaching her! Especially because the family is starting to become more active again. SO this is an amazing testimony builder to have them be able to testify to her about Christ's church! Karen definitely has some concerns and such about God, but we know that as we study for her, God will reveal to us what she needs to know. 

   Also, it finally rained this week!! It was only really bad on Friday, it poured for probably a good hour and a half or so. But it was wonderful to finally see some moisture here! That's all for this keek though!! 
   Hlub Nej,

Elder Richardson

Baptism - Mya and Robert

Mirror Selfie Pictures on Baptism day - Elder Witt didn't really want to take pictures with me.

We had a Rainy Day!

I Feel My Savior's Love

October 24, 2016

Arizona peeps,

On Tuesday we had zone conference...and...I sang at it!!! Elder Cummings, Sister Abboussou, Elder Witt, and myself sang, "I Feel MY Savior's Love". The first verse Elder Cummings sang in Hmong, Second verse was everyone, Third verse was just the 3 Elders, and 4 verse was Sister Abboussou. Every time at the chorus we all came in again. At the end of the 4th verse..the last 2 lines Elder Cummings and I sang in Hmong. It was really awesome. The Spirit was super strong and I very much enjoyed doing it (I know..the Elder Richardson enjoyed singing in front of a big group of people, crazy right?).

After zone conference, Elder Hopkins and I went on exchanges in my area. We had a great time. For the first night, we had 0 set appointments and found ourselves at 8 PM with nothing to do...but we prayed and went back at it again. As we were riding down the street, I felt a prompting to stop and see a potential that lived right where we were riding by. We stopped, knocked on the wrong door!! Haha they weren't interested. I had to look up the address in some of my old planners in my bag. I found her house, it was 2 houses away. As we were going to walk to her house, I felt another prompting to knock on the house that we were just walking by (mind you it's like 8:10-8:15 , and it looks like it's like 9 PM outside!! SO not everyone likes us knocking doors that late). We knocked and since Elder Hopkins is a Spanish missionary it was like we hit a gold mine cause they told us that they only spoke Spanish...Elder Hopkins looked the people in the eye, grinned, and said, "Esta bien" and then went to work!! Haha it was awesome. Hopefully the other Elders will be able to go teach them soon!! We finally went by the potential's home and she let us in with open arms!! Her name is Lestar and she is awesome!! It was a little late so we decided we'll come by another day but hopefully she comes to church this Sunday! 

On Thursday I got to carve my VERY FIRST PUMPKIN!!! We did it with the Hurtados. It was super fun!!  Haha I carved the heart eyes emoji cause I'm adorable like that! 

On Saturday I got to do something that every missionary loves doing (said in very sarcastic tone)..we got to teach the Law of Chastity to Mya and Robert (9 and 8 years old). We used Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes to explain it!! Haha SIster Hurtado said she'll explain more to them after we left! 

Steven came to stake conference on Sunday!! It was awesome!!

We have a baptism this Saturday with Mya and Robert at 9 AM. Love you all!!!

Elder Richardson

Temple trip.   I'm front & center, the camera loves me.



 Looking cute on top of an airplane

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Spirit Confirms Truth

October 17, 2016


On Monday we went over to the Hurtado's and finished teaching Mya(9) and Robert (almost 8) about the gospel of Jesus Christ and reviewed it again. At the end we set a soft date for October 29th for their baptism. On Thursday when we went over though, they solidified the date by asking, "Can we do the baptism at 9 AM cause we have football and soccer games that day?" (Like all their kids do youth sports). It was awesome!! We are so excited for the 29th of October!! 

On Tuesday I went on exchanges with a Spanish Elder (Edwards) in Winton. This is what he has to say of our exchange:

"So on Tuesday I got to spend the day with the Oh So Lovely Elder Richardson. We straight up killed the game out in Livingston. Actually all of our plans fell through so we just contacted like super hard, and got a ton of names!  Oh and also after we hit up Livingston, we hit up this local ice cream joint called Vanessa's. It is seriously so delicious."

Y'all remember Michael? Our investigator that just like straight up told us he wants to be baptized pronto? Well we had dinner, and a lesson with him. We taught the restoration (My favorite lesson). The spirit was like WICKED strong. Everyone was crying like a bunch of puppies with bowls of onions. After we delivered the message of Joseph Smith seeing God the Father and His son Jesus Christ, we continued to teach him about the Book of Mormon. He then told us he has already read the Book of Mormon up to Jacob, and believes it is true. He has so much faith. Well things started escalating, tears started shedding and then I asked him the question that changes lives. "Michael, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone who holds the proper priesthood authority of God?" He said "Yes." I said "Will you prepare yourself to be baptized on October the 29th?" He said "Yes. Absolutely. This is the answer to my prayers." The spirit was so strong and he is so prepared." 

HAha I loved going on exchanges with Elder Edwards, he's a good missionary and we shared a lot of tears of felt the Spirit a lot while we were together.

This week also we went over with Bishop to one of or investigator's houses that hasn't been keeping the commitment to read the Book of Mormon. We went over thinking we were going to have a new baptismal date or a dropped investigator. After we said the prayer he laid his concerns down for us right away. The Spirit was so strong while we answered his concerns to the best of our ability. We asked him if he had given the Book of Mormon an honest effort, he said no. We then asked him if he truly wanted to know if the Book of Mormon was true or not. He said yes and we re committed him to a read for at least 5 minutes everyday and to pray about it!! 

That's about all that happened this week. But be on the lookout cause your boi about to perform at a song at zone conference tomorrow!! 

Love you all!! 
Elder Richardson

I went on exchanges with Elder Edwards.

True Converts

October 10, 2016

Waz  Up,

So this week was slow...but no need to fear! This week will pick up again!!

On Tuesday we went and saw a recent convert that moved into the area pretty recently. We had a good review lesson of about the Word of Wisdom and what blessings come from living it! (we related the conference talk from President Monson in the priesthood session). Later on that night we took Brother Vezzani over to an investigators house (Kathy's her name). We had a great lesson and ended up committing her to be baptized on November 5th!! We're so excited!!

On Thursday we went over to the Wilcox's and had a member home dinner/ lesson with Terri and Michael Bray! We retaught The Restoration to Michael (it was Terri's first time hearing it). At the end we asked Terri if when she came the church was true if she would be baptized, she said yes but only at her pace though because she wants to understand it for herself. Which makes PERFECT sense right!? We don't want just anyone to jump into the font! We want TRUE CONVERTS to this church! People that truly want to hear and understand the gospel and then apply it to their own lives so that they can be happy! 

On Friday we went over to the Hurtados for dinner and taught Mya (9) and Robert (will be 8 on October 20th) about the Holy Ghost! It was a fun lesson and they all came to church on Sunday!!!! 

That's about all though! I love you all!! 

Elder Richardson

Conference and Wedding

October 3, 2016

Conference was AMAZING!!!!!!,
If you can't tell I loved Conference...
So this week not a lot happened..
Except a wedding!! On Saturday, Mariah Davis and Jose Hurtado finally got married after 8 years together!! They are both members but have a 9 yr old named Mya that we are teaching and a soon to be 8 yr old named Robert! The wedding was awesome! It was at 4 PM between the afternoon and priesthood sessions of conference. It was a good time and my companion and I ended up matching the wedding themes!! (black and pink. I had pink of course! And my comp had black)

We got Steven to come to the Saturday morning session of conference! I think he felt the Spirit and hope he enjoyed it! We'll follow up with him this week about it though!! 
That's really about all that happened this week though. 

One last note though...
Everyone needs to heed Elder Oaks conference talk and do missionary work!!! Everyone and Anyone can do it!! We just need to: 
1. Have a DESIRE
2. Pray and be willing to act on the answers to those prayers.
And I don't have my notes next to me so I can't remember the 3rd one. But that's a good reason to go back and listen to it for yourselves and then heed the counsel from it!!! 

Love you all!! 

Elder Richardson

I bought my first pair of joggers... they are really comfy on p-days! :) 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


September 27, 2016

Transfer Calls!!! I'm satisfying with Elder Witt in Atwater!!  Heck ya!

Tuesday: We were having dinner with the Wilcox's and their friends Michael (son) and Terri (mom) Bray (some non member friends of theirs that are going through a really rough time right now). After dinner we watched a video about the Plan of salvation and talked about it. At the end of the lesson we testified about how Christ loves us and wants us to succeed. Then we invited them to take the lessons....THEY SAID YES!!! We're going over tonight with them at the Wilcox's again to teach the Restoration!!! 

Wednesday" We went over and taught a lady named Kathy, she's taken the missionary lessons before and she can't seem to quit smoking...yet. We had a wonderful lesson that was really driven by the Spirit. Kathy was almost baptized before but she smoked the week of so she couldn't and that crushed her. She still badly wants the Holy Ghost in her life cause she has seen its affect on her children (daughter and son got baptized a couple years ago). We testified how Heavenly Father loves her and that she is a daughter of God and re-committed her to pray and become committed to being baptized! 

Saturday: SO on Saturday...My companion and I both got kissed

*pauses for dramatic effect*

by a guy!!!

It was pretty awkward. So Elder Witt and I were riding in Winton when all of a sudden a guy pulled up to us and shouted, "THE PEOPLE IN APARTMENT #34 NEED YOU!" and then drove off. We thought about what he said, and rode into the apartment complex that he just rode out of to apartment #34. We got in there (by the way, it was the single most ghetto apartments I've been in yet. We were getting some dirty looks from people too) and found the guy that he wanted us to see. As we were talking to him, the guy that originally pulled up next to us drove in and parked!! He was buddies with the guy that he had sent us to!!! After we all said hello, the original guy that had talked to us from the car started asking us about our church. We ended up talking about the Restoration and after a bit we had to go and asked if we could say a prayer with him. He held out and grabbed our hands and we prayed. After the prayer he said, "bring it in" and gave us a hug. As he did so I was the first victim of a gross, scratchy goatee kiss. And my companion soon followed suit. It was sincere...we think..but still gross. So turns out I'm getting quite some action out here on my mission ;) HA ha I'll never forget that experience. 

I love you all!! have a great week!! 

Elder Richardson

Goofy pictures on the airplane at the park on p-day service project.
Elder Witt doesn't like to be cute.   :) 

Elder Moderos in white shirt, me, Elder Hopkins in gray shirt, and Elder Witt in red.

Habenero sauce game.... "what are the odds" a game I lost!!  I don't think anyone really wins a game like this???

Elder Moderos and I.

Crazy eyes selfie!!

How Far can you go on $5?

September 19, 2016 

hiya mijos y mijas,

On Tuesday, Elder Hopkins and I went on exchanges in my area! We had loads of fun! We went and visited the Taccuba's (they came to church yesterday!!!!!!! Well, all of them except for the dad and the 2-3 yr old). We shared the Mormon message "Good things to Come" about Elder Holland and his early family life. Shared how times are going to be hard, no matter what. But if we push through and keep following the Savior's example, we WILL be blessed. As Elder Holland puts it, "Some blessing come soon, some come late, and some don't come till heaven. But they will come."  And that is so true for all of us. God WILL bless us as we turn to him in our times of need and as we endure to the end. Afterwards we went and saw a referral couple that we got from some Elders in Madera with Brother Vezzani (Ward Mission Leader). They're names are Angel and Ina and they are awesome!! They have such an amazing story. They moved down form Washington because a friend promised them jobs, came down and have never heard from their friend again. Wanted to go to church a couple Sundays ago so they typed in church in their google search bar and our church is the first one that popped up!! They went for all 3 hours! This was in Madera. Then the next week they had moved up to Atwater but still wanted to go to church. They only had $5 for gas but they still tried. They drove all the way to Madera and back for church round trip on the $5!!! Madera is like an hour away from Atwater so that is crazy!!! At this point, the missionaries down in Madera were like, "...uhh. there's a church in Atwater..." And gave them some Elders number in Merced and they relayed it back to us!! Anyways, they are SOOO prepared! They accepted baptism and have a date for October 8th (unfortunately they couldn't make it to church yesterday because of some housing issues). 

On Thursday Elder Witt and I were going around seeing potentials and knocked on a guy named Drew's house. He opened the door and told us that he used to meet with missionaries. We ended up starting to share a scripture about the Atonement of Jesus Christ when his cousin Ivan pulled up. Boy Ivan has a lot of view points. For the next 25 or so minutes he was just bagging on church and religion in general. Every comment Elder Witt and I made he had some sort of retort for it. It got to the point where I caught him slip and contradict his own beliefs and really wanted to point it out but didn't. The Spirit was barely there and I knew if I spoke out like that it would leave the lesson completely. But, Elder Witt came in clutch and bore a powerful testimony on something, can't really remember what but it was powerful enough to bring the Spirit back and shut Ivan up for basically the rest of the lesson. And then at the end, I backed up my companion and invited them to be baptized when they came to know that the Book of Mormon was true. And that if they did come to know it's true and did nothing about it, they will be held accountable for it at the last day, IT was awesome!! Drew flaked on our appointment that we had made for Saturday but we will try by him again!! 

On Sunday we had this cool Temple Activity that our ward put on. It was awesome cause they had a little girl talk about how she got sealed to her little brother Noah in the temple, it made me think of when I had the honor and privilege to get sealed to my little brother Adam. And then one of the members from the Temple Presidency and his wife spoke to us. My companion also sang at it. He did great!! 
Angel and Ina had told us they were gonna come, but 6 rolled around and they didn't show. But...I looked at the phone at 6:29 and basically gave up on them coming, but lo and behold all of a sudden I felt a tap on my shoulder and it was ANGEL AND INA!!!!!! And they brought they're 3 yr old daughter!!!  It was so good to have them there and can not wait to go over there tonight and talk about how they felt! 

That's all though!!! Love you all!! 

Elder Richardson

Monday, September 12, 2016

Fruits by efforts of exact obedience

September 12, 2016

So this week we had zone Conference and it was awesome!! Learned a lot about the book of John and how Christ is an amazing example of humility and his willingness to do the will of the father and how that's how we need to be as missionaries. We need to act in faith and trust that that if we do God's will HE will bless us!!!! 

On Saturday, Elder Witt and I taught one of our Investigators named Steven with Brother Boothe. We read Alma 32 with him and the Spirit was so strong the ENTIRE lesson!! We helped him understand the Spirit when we are here! We were able to discern his need through inspired questions and set a date for October 15th!!!!!! 
Elder Witt and I also received a miracle referral last night about 2 people form Madera that have already been to church twice!! We're hoping to meet with them tonight so that we can help them continue to progress towards baptism!! I really can't wait. I love you all!! Have an awesome week!

Elder Richardson

Elder Mederos (front), me, Elder Schmid, and Elder Witt (back).

The Lord's Vineyard

September 5, 2016

Wednesday- On Wednesday we went to Fresno for a trainer/ trainee meeting. It was really fun. Learned a lot about the Savior and the apostles and the experience they had in John 21. I think it's pretty interesting especially in Peter's case cause after his experience in specific he becomes one of the single most greatest prophets to walk the face of the earth after that! It's said that people would crave for the opportunity to be caught in Peter's shadow let alone to n bbe taught and ministered by him. 
Thursday- We went and saw our INV Makayla. Her boyfriend(fiance) joined us and we taught the message of the Restoration. The Spirit was SOOOOOO strong in that lesson and at the end we committed them both to baptism for October 15th!!!! Needless to say, they told us afterwards that their marriage isn't till November...haha so we'll have to move that back a bit. But that's ok!! 
Saturday- We got to go to the Vineyard!! It was awesome!!! Herein our mission we have a vineyard that makes a lot of grapes and raisins that are given to people that don't have a lot of food!! It's a really awesome program!! Anyways, we got up mat 4 in the morning and went and ran on the canal...not gonna lie, one Elder and I thought thAT SOME HOMELESS PEOPLE WERE GONNA HOP OUT AT ANY SECOND SO WE ran a lot faster than usual. We ended up running 2 miles in 19 minutes!! HAha it was exhausting. Anyways, we got picked up at 5 and was at the vineyard by 6. From 6-about 1 we picked, unloaded, etc...grapes. It was exhausting!!But lots of fun! That night we went to a party for two of our INV's kids!! It was a lot of fun!! We had a great time and got to play some volleyball in my proselyting clothes again!! 
Sunday- We went and visited our INV Steven, we followed up on if he read the BOM and prayed about it. He prayed but didn't read...so a little disappointing but at least he was 1 for 2!! Hopefully he does it this week though!! We're gonna go see him again on Saturday.
That's all for this week!!! Love you all!!! 

Elder Richardson

Kids Party

This vineyard belongs to the church.  I goes to feed many that cannot afford or otherwise down on their luck.  Really cool to get this opportunity to help in the vineyard.

Haha... Found some dinner on the road for tonight. :) 

My beautiful Companion.