Porter flag

Porter flag

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The HEAT is on!

Hello everyone,

Well it has been another great week here in the Philippines. Just another week of working hard and sweating non stop. For everyone back home who still thinks it is pretty cold, I will switch you places ;) the heat kicks my butt at times.

Any who, Elder Neilsen and I had a baptism this week. Her name is Mary Rose, actually she is the sister of Meryl who we baptized 2 weeks ago. A cool thing about Mary Rose is we thought we were going to have to push back her baptism until April 1 because of a few things, but she literally sat Elder Nielsen and I down and begged us to be baptized last Saturday. It is so amazing to see the faith of people and the desires they have after feeling the Spirit.

One of my favorite people in my new ward is Sister Judeth. The reason she is one of my favorite is because she is one of the very few people who is not afraid to share the gospel with others. And the way she talks during lessons, its like she is a missionary herself. She has such a strong spirit to her. I have seen the joy and blessing that come from sharing the gospel at all times. She is definitely converted in the gospel. You can just feel it when you are around her.  

I am still eating lots of rice :)  For my day to day life, my breakfast comes from the tree outside our house. We just grab the fruit from it and eat that. Kinda of unsanitary.. but it's delicious. The lady below us still cooks us lunch, she is the greatest and we usually end up cooking our own dinner.

I was able to participate in a funeral for a member who passed away this week. Filippinos celebrate deaths different than in America. Basically we did a little singing and then just ate.... like ate and ate and ate. That is how Filipinos celebrate everything. From something good that happened to something bad. 

I miss you all and hope everyone has a great week. 

Inagt po kayo diyan (you guys take care over there)

Elder Richards

Fruit from the tree behind us!

Baptism for Mary Rose

Monday, March 20, 2017

8 Months down!

I can't believe it been 8 months. Were does time go ???
 Another transfer has come and gone and it looks like my comp, Elder Fackrell, is leaving me. My next comp is guess what... another American. His name is Elder Nielsen. He is the old AP so I am excited to see how hard working this guy is. I know we are going to get a lot of work done. I am going to miss the missionaries in this zone so much. I just love them so much. Like I can't put my love for these people into words. Just my heart is so full.

As for my health, I am doing better. I was bed ridden in the morning but then when it came time to work, we gave it all we had and pushed ourselves. Our investigators are doing great, we actually got my first family to church this week so I am beyond excited at the moment.

To answer your questions,
Filipinos love there Bench. I don't know if you are to familiar with that brand but it is big here.

The most inspirational person this week was Elder Uhler. He is the elder from Virginia who I get along great with. The reason why he influenced me so much is because I have seen him become converted in the gospel right before my eyes. This gospel changes people, and when you see it first hand, it makes it that much more personal.

We didn't get to do any service this week sadly besides just being nice to everyone on the street,
I miss and love ya momma. Do you have any more questions by chance??
And don't worry I will send you pictures.
Love you

Monday, March 13, 2017

Loving San Jose Del Monte.

Hey All, 
First to my momma, Good job for not killing either of the 2 little ones,  2 weeks is a longgg time with out dad. Dad going out of town was also some of my favorite times because it meant I could sleep in your comfy bed. LOL 

As for me a little bit. I haven't been feeling to hot lately. I think I have a little ear infection and a pretty good sore throat. But nothing to stop the work here from progressing. 

I do like my new apartment in some aspects but not in others. For example my apartment now is smaller than my old one and we have more missionaries in it. There are good and bad to having room mates (kabahay in tagalog). For example there is always someone to talk to. But that is also the bad because it is sometimes hard to go to bed on time. For the most part I really enjoy it.
My spiritual experience for this week came in my zone. Elder Fackrell and I set a zone goal for how many people we could find this week and share the gospel with. The goal we set was way way way high. Like almost double than the mission average. So we have been praying like crazy lately asking for help and strength. We are now are about half way through the activity and we are more ahead than we are supposed to be. So to me it shows the faith of missionaries and the determination to serve the Lord. So amazing to see everyone have their eye single to the glory and the miracles that come when that happens. 

Elder Fackrell and I had a baptism this week which is always breathe taking. The spirit that is present at baptisms is unreal. The girls name is Nalynn. She is an 18 year old girl with more faith than most adults. The mission president wanted to interview her for her baptism, we were thinking and told that it would probably have to be a 6 month wait for her to be baptized but after the interview we were informed that she had passed. She had shown enough faith that they did't want to hold her back. I fell so grateful for the chance to have witnessed this take place. 

Thanks for all your prayers and support, it truly does help! Have a great week.


Elder Richards

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

I can do it on my own!

Hey Y'all,

Hope everyone had a great week!

We had a really fun baptism this week. It is a 17 year old girl named Meryl. She is a sassy funny girl. She is so independent it cracks me up whenever we try and help her out, she just says "Don't you dare, I can do it on my own". LOL. She decided to be baptized even though her family aren't members. Not to worry, we are working on the family so cross you fingers for us :)

One of the biggest struggles for me and my comp is getting people to church at times. It is just difficult because I can't be at 2 places at once when going to pick people up. I guess we really just need to strengthen them more so then they will have a desire to keep a commitment. But holy cow it can be frustrating at times. 

One of the best feelings on my mission I have had though has been able to see the change that has happened in me personally. I have felt my self come closer to God and become a man of Christ. I never thought I would grow so much on my mission as I have.

To answer your questions. We do have a cell phone here but its a little different than back in the states because here you buy what they call "load". Its kind of difficult to explain.

My favorite moment this week was while I was doing a workshop. A workshop is basically teaching the other missionaries in my zone. But the reason why I loved it so much was because the spirit was so strong in the room. I can't even describe the love I have for each of these people. It is a different kind of love and is indescribable to put into words. I just will do anything for any of them in the blink of the eye. My heart feels like it is going to explode with all the love I have for them. 

Outside of that our area is going pretty well. We have some good progression that I am very excited about but we just need to keep bringing people to church. 

Thanks for all the emails and prayers. 

Love you all!

Elder Richards 

All the ZL's and Sister Leaders.