Monday, April 17, 2017

4-17-17 Temples - Plan of Salvation

April 17, 2017

Happy Belated Easter everyone!!!,

This week was another round of crazy and awesome like always!

Monday: After District Meeting I went on exchanges with Elder Nelson (Spanish missionary serving in Coalinga!). It was lots of fun! We had both Elders come down and they worked our area for the exchange.

Tuesday: We continued through the exchange and Elder Nelson and I went to town! We didn't teach a single lesson together! But we sure did hit the streets and talked to people!! It was awesome! We even had a guy insult the Church, but then turned around and thanked us for what we do!! It was awesome!! Tuesday night, after exchanging back, we rushed over to an appointment that we were super late too and ended up picking up a man named Luis as a new investigator and invited him to be baptized on May 20th! Luis lost his wife 3 years ago and it's definitely hit him and his 2 kids pretty hard.

Wednesday: We had a lesson with another one of our investigators named Karisha! We also did service for her that morning. She’s REALLY COOL! She's 27 years old and has had a turnaround in her life from not living the gospel like she should to being an AMAZING Christian woman! She attends a Christian church here in Lemoore and that’s going to be our biggest setback with her because she really likes that church and is even getting into the children's ministry here! But to no avail! We have faith and she's reading from the Book of Mormon! We know she will do what she needs to do!

Thursday: We had another exchange with the Zone Leaders. This time, I went with Elder Kennick (a missionary that came out with me). We had a lot of fun. On our way to dinner though...I got a flat and we had to walk for a bit. We saw a guy though and asked him if he had a pump or anything and he helped us right away! It turned out to be a good contact and we set up an appointment to go see him (he flaked...). Haha unfortunately though, we didn't repair the tube as much as it needed so I was riding on a flat tire for a little bit again before eventually walking the rest of the way to dinner....we were almost 40 minutes late! But they forgave us! We had a member take us out for the rest of the night and we went to another lesson with Luis. His 8 year old daughter, Gabby, was there. She is so cute! We started talking about the Plan of Salvation and we could definitely tell that Gabby had a lot of hurt from her mother's passing as well. We invited her to meet with us and even invited her to say the closing prayer. She gave such a sweet and innocent prayer about her mother! I am truly so excited to help her come closer to our Father in heaven and to help her now that her mom IS OK!

Later on that evening we also went and saw a mom and her daughter. The mom isn't super interested but is open to letting her daughters listen. We ended up focusing the lesson around the mom though as we came to find that she doesn't have the best feelings towards our Father in heaven. She has some questions that she feels HE HAS to answer for her. Hopefully, she'll do the reading assignment we left her and want to meet with us with her 11 year old daughter. 

Friday: We went to the TEMPLE!!!! I absolutely love the temple and know that I am privileged to get to go there at least every 3 months! It’s awesome! After the temple, the member that took us there also took us to Cheesecake Factory (mind you, he brought us and the Zone Leaders!). It was SOOOOOO GOOOD!!!!!!!!! Anyways, during while we were there...I had a fun little experience with some waitresses...and if you truly want to know, you'll have to ask my parents about it. Teehee...

Saturday: We had Luis and a friend come to church and we ended up picking up his friend as an investigator and taught more of The Plan of Salvation to them! (Unfortunately, neither of them came to church though...)

Sunday: We were able to get 4 kids that we are teaching to church (out of a family of 6. The other and oldest son didn't come. We'll get the next week though!) 

Overall, a wonderful week! Love you all!! 
Elder Richardson

Here's a bunch of pictures from the temple trip on Friday
 

      
 
 
Cheesecake Factory!!




4-10-17 Day at the Snow - didn't write

April 10, 2017

Good Family in the ward took us missionaries to the snow on P-day!

4-3-17 Listen to Promptings

April 3, 2017

Hello Everyone!!!,
This week was absolutely awesome!!!

We went on exchanges Monday night to Tuesday evening. Elder Allen came to my area. We definitely had a miracle happen on that exchange. On the way back from service with one of our investigators, I felt prompted to back track a little bit and go down a street where another one of our investigators lived. We got in front of her house, still not knowing what exactly we were doing there, and went and knocked on her door. When she opened the door I was up front with her and told her we felt prompted to come knock on her door. She looked as if she was about to burst into tears. Come to find out, she was mourning the death of a friend who had just recently passed away. It was a very amazing experience and I am SO glad that I listened to that prompting!

General Conference was amazing!!!
Sorry this is so short! I love you all though and want you to know that I know this gospel is true with ALL my heart!!!

Love ya!,

Elder Richardson

3-27-17 They bring the Spirit with them

March 27, 2017

Hi EVERYONE!!

Elder Lopez and I were able to find 5 new investigators this week!

1. Roland is a guy that has met with missionaries before. He's having a hard time believing in God. We keep trying to get him to have a lesson at the church, but it hasn't worked out yet.

2. Elder Lopez and Elder Kennick (we were on exchanges for the night with the Zone Leaders) and they picked up a guy named Tony. Elder Lopez and I originally street contacted him and did service for him (we helped him wash his car. He has tried to meet missionaries in the past, but they never came by even after they scheduled a return appointment!

3. We street contacted a girl named Karisha that goes to South Valley (Christian church here in Lemoore). She is opened minded and is willing to meet with us! We also found out that she is friends with a less active that we know!!! Maybe we'll be able to bring the less active back into the gospel more fully while teaching her friend! 

4 and 5. Elder Lopez and I were super late to an appointment, but stopped by this Spanish dude and he said we could ask his wife if we could come back...what happened next was crazy. We walk in and the wife is balling her eyes out and then the husband just walks out while we're standing in the house!! They definitely needed missionaries when we came by. The husband came back in after a little bit and a lot of the atmosphere of the house changed. They speak Spanish (thank goodness for my companion knowing Spanish, but the wife knows English). But they want us to teach them instead of the Sisters just because of the experience we had. We're excited to go see them tomorrow!!

I love you all!! Have a great week!
Elder Richardson

Baptisms are so awesome!!

I sat in lipstick that some kid smudged on fireplace

      

3-20-17 Transfered to Lamoore

March 20, 2017

So this is going to be really short. I'm in Lemoore. My companion is AMAZING! His name is Elder Lopez and he's from Houston, Texas! Lemoore has a naval base here. It's a great place and I love it! Love you all!!


Elder Richardson

3-13-17 Good People Everywhere

March 13, 2017

BIG NEWS!

I'm getting transferred! I'm going to be transferred to a city called Lemoore, which is still in the southern part of my mission.

I'm sad to leave Elder Blume and the wonderful people of the Exeter Ward, but I am excited for the new opportunity I have to go serve and love the people in Lemoore.

On Monday we dropped a couple of investigators...in summary, they basically tried to hide from us and make us think that they weren't home...but hey completely failed and it was almost more sad… all the effort they put in to trying to hide from us rather than just telling us they weren't interested...oh well though! Just means that there is someone else that is prepared out there for us to go find!!!

On Thursday we went and saw a lady named Norma! She is a really kind Christian lady who definitely loves to help out those who don't always have the best of living circumstances. Unfortunately, because of this charity she has, she is basically getting kicked out of her home because her neighbors don't like the "riff raff" hanging around in their neighborhood. She really is just trying to help others though. But she will be moving probably to Visalia by the end of the month. As we taught her, she eventually told us she had a granddaughter who gave her a Book of Mormon! It's actually a nice triple combination! We committed her to read the introduction to The Book of Mormon and hope to go back soon and teach her how we got the Book of Mormon and that we have a living prophet here upon the earth today!

On Saturday we were on fire. We just were talking to people all throughout the day! We didn't really find too many people, but it just felt good to go talk to people and attempt to share the gospel with them!! 

I love you all!!!! Have a great week! Pray that I will have another Elder’s bike or just a bike in general for at least these next 2 weeks!! 

Elder Richardson


Elder Edwards and Elder Richardson



3-6-17 Testimony / Face2Face

March 6, 2017

Hello EVERYONE!!!!
This week’s email is going to be a little short because I spent a lot of time watching he LDS Face2Face with President Eyering and Elder Holland, as well as trying to find the new first vision video...I found it! It is awesome! If you haven't seen it already go to history.lds.org/firstvision

It is an incredible video that portrays the real event that happened and that I get to testify of almost daily when the opportunity arrives!!! I know it happened with all my heart, might, and mind and I know that Joseph Smith really was called to be the Prophet of the Restoration! How grateful I am that this single experience happened! It has changed my life and the life of many others...FOREVER! I know that because of the Restoration of the Gospel that the Priesthood was restored to the earth and that through it, I am able to be sealed to my family FOREVER. I cannot tell you how happy I am for that. I love my family and I love this gospel SOOOOO MUCH!

As for this week, we found 5 new investigators! We would have found 6...but turns out the person gave us a wrong address and a wrong phone number...bummer right? Sometimes I just wish people would just be honest and tell us that they aren't interested! But hey...it happens! 

Love you! Have a FANTASTIC WEEK! And don't forget to wish my little sister a Happy 7th Birthday his week!

HLUB NEJ, 
Elder Richardson


2-27-17 Tracting Late

February 27, 2017

Hello!

So unfortunately, the baptism we had scheduled for this week DID NOT go through with. Some concerns came up. We hopefully will be able to go back over and settle the concerns our investigator has!

This week was still pretty fun though! On Thursday I got to go on exchanges with Elder James (Spanish missionary serving in Visalia)! We had a pretty good time! Knocked doors and talked with lots of people! We had a fun experience right before we exchanged back though! It was probably like 8:47ish or so at night and we were going to be meeting the other Elders at a destination to exchange back a 9. SO instead of just going to our place pf meeting and waiting there for the last 10 or so minutes, we decided to go knock some doors! Now, usually, I don't think people appreciate their door being knocked on so late at night (especially from missionaries!), but we had fun doing it anyways! We prayed and asked God that with one of the doors we knocked on, the guy would be happy to see us. We went and knocked on his door, and Gus (the man's name) opened the door still in sleep mode! So he was all smiley and just told us to come back another time! It was awesome!! 

We also went on exchanges with the zone leaders (Elder Van Vleet and Elder Arrebalo) on Saturday. Elder Blume and Elder Van Vleet went to town in Farmersville!  Meanwhile, Elder Arrebalo and I had some learning experiences on our own. Overall, a FUN exchange! I also got to do a baptismal interview for the Zone Leaders 9 year old investigator that got baptized on Sunday! I was a really neat experience! 

Love you all!!! Have a great week!!
Elder Richardson 


2-20-17 Picked Weed / Bore Testimony / Baptized

February 20, 2017

A lot happened this last week! 

Monday: We went with Brother Rogers to an investigators house. This investigator had some sort of bong or contraption to smoke weed with on his front table in his living room. He apologized at first for having it there, but then said, "I figure if the government is ok with us smoking weed, then God must be ok with it too." Haha we've got some teaching to do! He's really cool though! A really nice guy as well that works a lot!

Tuesday: We had exchanges with the Visalia 6th Ward Elders (Elder Jensen and Elder Petit). I went with Elder Jensen. While on the exchange, we saw some guy pulling weeds, so we went and helped him! Come to find out, he thinks Mormons are "deceived". And after we helped him, he started egging on a Bible bash!! We didn't join though. We testified of truth and then left. Glad we got to help him at least!!! 

Wednesday: I went with another missionary to a meeting in Fresno and learned about how to be a better leader. Afterwards, I went on splits with my Ward Mission Leader to go see Ray and Sasha to follow up about how they did with the Stop Smoking Program. They didn't make it very long unfortunately. I ended up teaching them faith unto repentance and testified of prayer at the end. After the lesson, I asked my Ward Mission Leader how I did and he told me I "kindly rebuked" them...Which I feel kind of bad about. Bu later that night, Ray sent a ext saying that he and his family appreciate us!

Thursday: On Thursday, we went on exchanges with the Farmersville Elders (Elder Facer and Elder Gibson). Elder Gibson cam with me into my area. We found 3 NEW INVESTIGATORS that day!! It was pretty awesome! We were talking to people like crazy. We also went and saw Laura and went over her baptismal program and a couple of other things for her baptism!

Friday: We went and saw Jessica with Brother and Sister Peterson! At the end of the lesson, Jessica told us she wanted to be baptized in running water....or basically, a river. We have to get permission for that! But we'll see!!! At least they want to get baptized right!?!

Saturday: We had Laura's baptism!! It was AWESOME to see her get baptized!! After the baptism, we went with some members that took Laura and got pizza! 

Great things happening and GREAT things to come here in the Exeter Ward! I love you all!!! 

Elder Richardson 

 


2-13-17 Riding in the Rain

February 13, 2017 

Hello!

I just want to start off and say, that I know my Heavenly Father loves me and everyone around me. And I am grateful for it. This past week has been interesting to say the least. 

We got handed back Laura (an investigator who we handed off to the YSA Elders because she's pregnant) and now...we are baptizing her this weekend!!! It's incredible!! She is SOLID! She has already been doing missionary work by giving her friend a Book of Mormon! We are so excited to have her here in the Exeter Ward! 

This week I got to go on Exchanges with Elder Petit in the Visalia 6th Ward. It was raining and we were on bikes. SO what did we do? We rode our bikes in the rain of course!!! We also were riding by a high school that had just gotten out, and let me tell you..., parents are CRAZY!! WE had to avoid kids and cars alike! I got to see a couple of members that I had met in the ward back when I was in the Visalia 4th Ward. One of them is named Lee. He is a convert to the church that is going to be getting endowed on the 25th of March THIS YEAR!!!! And then...he is getting married to another convert in the ward a month or two after that!!! 

The next day we had a couple hours before President Interviews, so we went out and talked with people for a bit! We ended up going and trying a lady's door and taught her the Restoration at her front door! It was awesome! We ended up finding her as a new investigator for their area!! Later on, we knocked a guy's door and as we were talking, he burnt his sandwich that he was grilling! He wasn't very interested in what we had to share but he was nice about it. Right before he was about to close the door, I jokingly said, "Well if you aren't going to eat your burnt sandwich, I know 2 missionaries who wouldn't mind eating it." At first he thought I was kidding (which I'm not sure if I was or not either at this point), but then he went got the sandwich!! SCORE! It was turkey and pepper jack cheese. We split it in half and once you got the past the burnt part...it still wasn't very good. But it wasn't the worst thing I've ever eaten! 

That's about all for his week! Love you all!!

The gospel is true and it's changing my life and the life of others EVERYDAY!!!!


Elder Richardson

Monday, February 6, 2017

2-6-17 Give 1 away and Get 1

February 6, 2017

Hello!!

On Monday, we went over and had dinner with Jessica at a members home! She brought her kids and we taught her and her 8 year old daughter the message of the Restoration!! 

On Tuesday we had over 100 plus miles to use so we decided to spend the day in Three Rivers!! It was pretty and the river up there is just rushing along because of all the rain that we've been receiving here (it's raining today as well, by the way). Not super productive though! 

On Wednesday, we went and had a hand-off lesson with Laura with the YSA Elders...it was sad to hand her off! She's so solid!! But I know the YSA is where she will be able to grow in the gospel better with others her age.

On Thursday we went and taught Ray and Sasha the Word of Wisdom! They didn't commit to fully live it unfortunately though. But they did commit to trying out the Stop Smoking Program!!!

On Friday, I got to go on exchanges with Elder Facer (Spanish missionary). It was fun! I actually had a hand-off lesson him. They had some English people that they handed off to us. Cool family. They're names are Martin, Corina, Cecilia, and Marina. I only counted Martin as a new investigator for now though. He seems to be the most interested.

Unfortunately, we didn't have any investigators at church this week! Jessica's ids were sick and we actually had to take them to urgent care! We are going over in a little bit to give her kids a blessing. 

That's all for his week though!! Love you!!
Elder Richardson!


P.S. if any of you see a gorgeous blonde running around on Wednesday, it's probably my sister!! She's turning 17!!! Wish her a Happy Birthday!!! 

1-30-17 I'm staying in Exeter

January 30, 2017

Hey Hey Hey!!

Lots of exciting things happened this week!

So, unfortunately...our baptism fell through. We think the April's husband had something to do with it because now they want to get baptized on September 16th this year. Needless to say, they were dropped immediately. They still came to church though, so hopefully they'll stay strong till the 16th of September and afterwards! 

We did pick up the former investigator that came to church though! She now has a baptismal date for the 18th of February and were going to baptize her 8 year old daughter as well!! She is almost solid (just has to read when we ask her too!! Bu I'm sure she will!). She went to the Relief Society broadcast with sisters from our ward and then fed us the next night! She is on fire right now. And the cool thing is, her kids are what really brought her back. When she stopped investigating and her and her husband separated, she went to 3 other churches and prayed that her kids enjoy it more than they did the church! But they never did! They always had some sort of thing they found wrong with it! But she still didn't really want to come back because she was embarrassed that her and her ex separated and they were married by the church! She finally got up the courage to come back though a couple of weeks after we went and knocked on her door! She talked with her kids, and here she is! Elder Blume and I are so excited for her. 

We also had a another investigator named Laura come to church. She's 23 years old, so this week we're going to try to have a hand off lesson with the YSA Elders, if she wants to go of course! She has a date for February 18th and I think she said she loved church! SO we're excited to go see her again tomorrow at 3PM.

We had transfer calls AND.........I'm staying in Exeter with Elder Blume!!!!!! I'm actually very excited because I want to be here for the baptism of Jessica Rocha (lady mentioned previously)!!!

I love you all and I love my mission!
Elder Richardson




1-23-17 "The Hammer"

January 23, 2017

Hello from the rainy Exeter, California!!!

We had a pretty good week this week. It's been raining almost everyday this week! But does that stop the Exeter Elders? NO!!!!!

We found a new investigator named Delvon Blunson this week. When we first met him he was with his buddy named J-Peg AKA The Hammer walking on the sidewalk. The Hammer has lots of interesting views about the Bible and such was going on about a 10-15 minute monologue while it was raining on all of us! After a while The hammer said something about finding out the truth and how if you think something is true then lay it out on the table cause it's an option!!! At this point I had 2 copies of The Book of Mormon in my hand and I whipped them up and said, "Well that's exactly what we're doing! We're out here proclaiming the truth and that it's in this book and we want to give you both a copy so you can find out it's true for yourselves!!" J-Peg took the book and said he had to go. Afterwards we kept talking with Delvon and ended up teaching a really quick review of the Restoration! And 2 days later we invited him to be baptized on March 18th!! He said yes!!!

We are also going to be having a miracle baptism!! An eternigator named April has committed to be baptized on the 31st!!! We are very excited that she is finally making the decision to be baptized!

We also had a former investigator from a couple years ago randomly show up at church with her 3 kids and stayed the entire time! She's already been previously fellow shipped by the members and they love her. We are going to see her on Tuesday. Based off of her teaching record from the past she was very solid, but a separation between her and her ex-husband is what dropped them off the board for a while. We are excited to see where this goes though! 

That's about all for this week though!! Love you all!! 
Elder Richardson


1-16-17

January 16, 2017

Hi!,
Elder Blume and I found 4 new investigators this week! 1 of which we've never even met yet!!!!! Some other Elders found a guy named Chris for us! We're going to see him tomorrow at 1 so wish us luck!!! 
The other Investigators we found are named Deedra, Cheyenne, and Jennifer.

Deedra and Cheyenne are a mother and daughter that we found up in Woodlake last week. We went over with a member and taught them the first lesson and committed them for baptism on March 4th!!! They are really cool and really seemed like they are interested in going o church. The only problem is that Deedra works on Sundays early in the morning so she wouldn't be ab;e to come; and since her mom is at work, Cheyenne has no way of getting their!! So pray Deedra will be able to get Sundays off or just to be able to come into work at a later time. And hopefully we can work out a ride for Cheyenne to be able to come to church!

Jennifer is a woman hat we contacted in Farmersville a couple of weeks ago but, just haven't been able to catch at the right time! We finally were able to catch last Wednesday for like 15 minutes!! She has been through a rough last year...husband decided they shouldn't be together anymore, has to go into the work force now, is looking to move, etc...but she knows that her relationship with her Savior has definitely grown through the troubling times. We talked about how God has a purpose for each of us here on this earth and then committed her to be baptized on the 25th of February!!! We weren't able to meet with her on Saturday when we scheduled but we will hopefully be catching her this week sometime!!! 

On Saturday, we got to go to the Vineyard and help replace posts that were rotten and tighten wires so that they are nice and strong for this next grape harvest!! It was fun and I got to ride in a members Polaris! (He drives his vehicles like a 21 year old and he's like 60)

Love you all!!,

Elder RIchardson

Monday, January 9, 2017

My Testimony

January 9, 2017

Hello Hello and welcome to another segment of, "The Life of a Missionary in the Best Mission There Ever Was" (for those of you that don't know...it's the CALIFORNIA FRESNO MISSION!!!)

HAHA Hope everyone had a great week!!

This week Elder Blume and committed 5 people to baptismal dates!!! We do this because we "Fear NO Man!" (for those of you that have read the Riccardi letter, you understand that).

On Tuesday we found a new investigator named Isaac. He has a pretty interesting conversion to coming to Christ. He attends a satellite church to the Nazarene church in Visalia. He and his wife are youth teachers there. Anyways, the other day he started texting us and asking about things that we are pretty sure he got anti-ed about and hardly gave us a chance to respond before sending something else to us!! Eventually we had just enough space to send a couple messages off to him and now we are going to see him tomorrow. I'm not exactly sure how this is all going to go down; but I know he wants to Bible bash (mostly cause the told us to bring our books and to be ready....) I know I'm not going to Bible bash, but I'm still a little nervous I guess. I want to testify boldly with the Spirit of the truth and divinity of the Book of Mormon and the Restoration. And if he doesn't adhere or listen to the Spirit, then we'll leave. I don't think he understands that there is NO Spirit whatsoever in Bible bashing. So pray for me and Elder Fernandez (we're going on exchanges in my area tomorrow) that we will have the Spirit with us in that lesson with Isaac. All I really want is to help this man feel the Spirit and not believe the anti stuff he seems to now believe. We'll see how it goes!! 

We also got to meet with Edward and Elida twice this week. They are kind of slowly progressing. They didn't come to church this week (Elida was sick so last night we went over and gave her a blessing!!). Elida read from the Book of Mormon but Edward did not. They do feel the Sprit when we read together though!! So that's exciting! We talked about marriage with Edward and the mood changed a little. Haha he started firing questions at us and then we got to talking about temples! So we left them to pray about getting married and baptism on February 11! Before we left, Edward said something along the lines of, "If I'm going to get married again, I'm going to have a big one and go out with a bang!" I love him. He's so awesome! 

I love all our investigators!! This week we also found a guy named Ricky who we are hoping to go have lunch with at the pizza place he works at today after emailing! We set a date with Ricky for February 18th. He's lived a crazy life, a lot of the people we teach usually have. But he wants to give it to God. Something he struggles with, as I'm sure a lot of us do, is that he knows that God has forgiven him of his past, but he has a hard time forgetting them. I'm excited to keep working with Ricky.

The Exeter ward had their fast Sunday yesterday, and based on recent events (he experience with Isaac), I decided that I was going to bear my testimony (well...actually the Spirit told me I was going to go give my testimony...).


SIDE NOTE: For those of you who don't know, I have this super irrational fear about getting up behind the pulpit. I'll do almost any other kind of speaking event without too much stress, but behind the pulpit at church; I feel as though hands are never colder and my stomach has never been so scrambled. So the fact that I voluntarily went up there and bore testimony is HUGE!

Ok sorry about that!! SO I went up to the pulpit and....I froze and ran out of the ROOM! Haha just kidding, I was so overcome with the Spirit. I went up there and I very boldly testified of the Book of Mormon and the Restoration and I want to bear it to you guys too! 

I know the Book of Mormon is true with all my heart. I don' care what anyone tries to tell me, show me, etc... It's still true. You could give me physical evidence that the Book of Mormon is not true and I still wouldn't believe it. Because the Spirit DOES NOT LIE. GOD. DOES. NOT. LIE. 
I know without a shadow of a doubt that Joseph Smith acted out in pure, innocent faith when he prayed to god and asked which church was true. I know he saw God the Father and His Son, Our Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that because of that experience, my life has been changed forever. And if you don't know that this message is true, PRAY! Ask God, with REAL INTENT if it is true. I can promise you, that He will answer that prayer with a YES!! In one way, shape, or another, if we are humble and listening to our Father in Heaven, He WILL manifest the truth of the Book of Mormon and the Restoration to you by the power of the Holy Ghost.

And if you do know this message, it is our sacred duty as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to proclaim the truthfulness of this message to the world!! Or if we're worries about what the world has to say, which we shouldn't be, then at least tell your neighbors. As it says in D&C 88: 81, "...it hath been given every man that hath been warned, to warn his neighbor." We've all been warned. So we have an obligation to God to do something about it. 

I know that God lives, that He sent His Son to die for each and every single one of us so that we can and will live again. 

I love you all and hope you know that I know this church is true and that you know it to be true in your hearts too.

In the name of our Beloved Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.
Elder Richardson



Happy New Year - Work Hard

January 2, 2017

Happy New Year!! 
This week was fun (like always!!)

This past week Elder Blume and I committed 3 people to baptism! One of them is named Kim, she's a cool black lady that lives up in Woodlake. She basically already studies a little bit from the Book of Mormon every day from what we understand!! We committed her to be baptized on January 21st! She has mentioned that her doctor tells her she needs to drink a cup of coffee every day to lower her blood pressure...not sure how that works. But there are ways to go through and around!! If she has faith like Elder Blume and I do, she will prevail!!! 

The other 2 are named Edward and Elida. Edward and Elida are a couple hat have been meeting with missionaries for 2 PLUS years!! And they have only ever been to church like 1 or 2 times!!! They are a split family and have a total of 4 kids. Edward says the missionaries are "Good Luck" because whenever we start coming around; good things happen in his life. He has also said to our faces that he felt good reading out of the Book of Mormon. Elida grew up Catholic but never really felt she got to choose the religion. So she is searching to join a church for herself. We committed them to be baptized on February 11! BUTTTTTTT...we still need to get hem married! WOOHOO!

Unfortunately, none of them came to church on Sunday.

Also, we are teaching a woman named Sabrina ha we have committed to baptism as well! She's got 2 kids named JazMain (pronounced Jazz-Main, isn't it cool?!?! Mom is white, but daughter is half black) and Ricky. They are 5 and 3. We don't have a solid date for her yet but she has been reading the Book of Mormon!

And last but not least!! My companion’s birthday was on New Year’s Eve!!!!! He turned 20!!!!! On New Year’s Eve we proselyted till 5 and then got picked up for dinner (Our cars had to be parked by 6, but we were allowed to be out with members until 9). We went over to a member’s home and had breakfast for dinner and then just hung out with them until it was time to go home!! Then we planned and went to bed!! SO nothing too crazy!! But still fun!! 

Love you all!! Have a fantastic week!!! 

Elder Richardson

Christmas - God Blesses Every One

December 26, 2016

Merry LATE Christmas EVERYONE!!!!!
I hope you all had a very wonderful Christmas this week!!! I know I did!! We only found 2 New Investigators this week but boy almighty, let me tell you. I got to have lots of fun spreading joy this week. 

Elder Blume and I knocked some doors in the Farmersville (neighboring city we cover) Elders apartment. One of the doors we knocked we had knocked a day prior and talked to a woman named Brittany. We set a kind of appointment with her for 2PM and we were coming by to double check if it was still ok to come by. Instead, a woman named Lisa answered. At first, her intentions were to just tell us to leave Brittany alone and shut the door. We got her talking though and eventually she opened up the door and actually talked with us. She wasn't very interested in the message we had to share, but while talking we found out her family wasn't going to be getting a tree for Christmas, let alone presents for her 3 KIDS cause they couldn't afford it!! We said a prayer with her and she closed the door. Immediately, my mind was racing and I told Elder Blume and then the Farmersville wanted to contribute to the plan. We were going to make sure this family was going to have Christmas this year!!! We went to work, Elders Fernandez and Facer went and bought toys at Dollar Tree and Family Dollar, and then we all went to Save Mart and bought a tree and ornaments using a $50 gift card a member had given to us. We hurried back to Farmersville and wrapped and decorated the tree. You could definitely tell 4 Elders had put this tree and the presents together, but we still did it. We went and knocked on Lisa's door and she was speechless...and then started crying. I can't even begin to tell you President...how happy I was at that moment. To see the joy on this woman's face was incredible. It made my Christmas.
I love serving people every day. Although I don't always see the same joy on everybody's face like I did this woman's, I know that the gospel creates joy and happiness 10 fold what the woman probably felt. And that's why everyone needs to know it

Later on that night, we had dinner with the Rogers family. They're an older couple that have adopted 6 little girls (all from 6-8)!!! And one 9 year old boy. At dinner, Sister Rogers cam and asked us a favor. We were going to stay for a couple extra hours after the kids went to bed and then she wanted surprise the kids by waking them up and having the "catch Santa delivering their presents". I got to get dressed up in a Santa suit and my companion went up in the attic and after I "left" he pounded and pranced around making it sound like reindeer riding away off of the roof!! It was awesome!!! Those little girls will definitely NEVER FORGET THIS Christmas. And neither will I. I love you all and want you all to know...that long ago, a babe was born in a manger. And because of what that child did for you, me, and everyone, we can live with our Father in Heaven again. 
Love you all,
Elder Richardson

Operation Christmas For Our Neighbor

Christmas at Stake President's House

 

My failed mansion gingerbread house.                    From home! What is Christmas without a BALL!
 

Transferred to Exeter

December 19, 2016

Hello all you WONDERFUL PEOPLE!!!,

SO...this last week was crazy, insane, and wonderful all at the same time!!! I got transferred down to Exeter, back in the mighty Visalia ZONE!! And it's wonderful! My new companion's name is Elder Blume. He is AWESOME!! He and I are like 2 literal peas in a pod! He is super funny. We love to goof off (which is good and bad, but we're getting a handle on it). He's been out just a little longer than I have. He's from the Ogden, Utah area.  He turns 20 on New Years (mom you should send him a gift!). He's the 2nd out of 5 (I believe...he's not in the room right now so I can't reaffirm that). Overall, Elder Blume is a fun, hardworking, serviceable (he's the most service minded missionary I've ever met! ),and very humorous!

Exeter is pretty cool. I'm in a car!! After almost a year of biking, I finally made it back to a car area!! Woohoo!! We actually cover a few different cities besides Exeter. We cover Farmersville, Woodlake, Three Rivers, and a few other places. We even are allowed to go proselyte up in the Sequoia National park area (but we don't have the miles for that)! We have a good amount of investigators. But we are going to be cracking down this week on whose going to progress an who is not. 

We found 3 new investigators this week (well...they're all new to me). We found a Scottish family (William and Chelsea and their 7 year old daughter Tabitha). They are really cool and very bible versed. They are interested in how we believe that we have prophets here on the Earth today and that they are like prophets of old. We actually found out that earlier in William's life...he was baptized a member of our church!! It was crazy! 

The other two are named Ray and Sasha. They are a referral from one of the members of the stake presidency here. We went over to another members home and taught them the first lesson. It went very well. Sasha had questions bout why we need to be baptized an why we need to have the priesthood to do so as well.

I hope everyone is having a WONDERFUL HOLIDAY SEASON!! And if you haven't had the chance yet...go check out the Church's new Christmas video! It is AMAZING!! GO to Mormon.org and check it out!! 
Love you all,

Elder Richardson

District Pictures
 

Willing to do the Work = Blessings

December 5, 2016

Dear family and fiends!! ,

The work is progressing!!!! Elder Thornton and I had a GREAT WEEK!!!
We found 4 New investigators and set 2 baptismal dates!!! 
One of my all time favorite experiences this week goes as follows:
On Saturday there was a parade in Merced that we (missionaries) are allowed to go to (I went to it when I was in Merced last year). Up until this point, Elder Thornton and I had been out of area for a day and a half because of Zone Conference (which was wonderful) and a surprise exchange with the zone leaders in there area (also lots of fun!). We weren't going to be meeting our goals for the week if we went and wasted a couple hours there. SO we (we were the only ones in the entire zone that didn't go) decided to stay back in our area and work. We WERE NOT DISPLEASED!! Heavenly Father SHOWERED us with so many blessings throughout the day!!! We talked with so many people who said that we can come back this week!!! And then, we knocked on a potentials door name Randi. Randi's brother, Levi, opened the door and said Randi wasn't home. We asked him if we could share a message about Jesus Christ with him still and he said YES!!!! We went inside and taught him the Restoration and invited him to be baptized on the 24th of December...He said YES!!! HE then told us how he has felt that he needs to get back into church and we set up a return appointment to come teach his brothers (they're twins apparently, his brother are) on Tuesday!! We are so excited to go back and know that our Father in Heaven blessed us for not going ot that parade!!

I love you all and know that miracles ARE REAL and WILL HAPPEN as long as we are faithful and are KEEPING GOD'S COMMANDMENTS!! (BEING EXACTLY OBEDIENT!!!) 

Love you!!

Elder Richardson