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Monday, April 24, 2017

Time for a wedding


So mom, this just wouldn't be real life if I didn't irritate you in little ways like giving you vague emails. But we both know I have never been good at sharing my feelings ;)

This week has been all over for me. All the way from happiness to my heart dropping to the bottom of my stomach. But its always good to start with the good stuff that happens so that is where we will begin. I had an opportunity this week to go to a wedding reception which is a little different here than back home. I guess the biggest difference is it is just so loud from all the partying that is going on. Which no complaints here, the bigger the party, the more people to OYM. Filipinos know how to cook though. It seems like the food, more like the rice is endless. It was a great time.

As for the stressful part of the week. I was called by President Bertin last night and he asked me if I would become his new AP. So that is kind of exciting but as soon as the words left his mouth, my heart dropped 5 feet. I couldn't even put words together to give an understandable response. If you want to know my emotions at the current momen I am full of feeling unqualified. I am worried no one will respect me, but that is alright. I can only do all I can and trust the Lord and Pres. Bertin. I am only a little sad to be leaving my area. Since I haven't been here too long, I haven't bonded with the ward too much. So it makes leaving a little easier. As for my new comps, they will be Elder Gumban and Elder Estoque. But more to come on them. I don't know them too well besides that they are great missionaries who know what they are doing. 

So I was able to get my drivers license last week and it was probably the weirdest thing that has ever happened to me. I always thought that I was going to have to do some tests and maybe a test drive, but no. All they did was look at my eye, make sure I had 2 feet and handed me my license.... I was at a loss for words also. But hey, watch out people of the Philippines ;)

I miss everyone back home and hope that everyone is having a more than great week. 

Namimiss kita (missing you all)
Ingat kayo (take care)


Elder Richards

Finally a picture of Elder Neilsen

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter #heisrisen

Hey All!

First, did you get my videos??? Hopefully that makes up for the past few weeks of no pictures.

Man I sure do miss spending weeks at at Mimi's house. And I thought we made a deal that you would send me some snicker doodles right? ;) And you know Kevin is clutch with the movies. Good to hear that some things never change.

As for me I am doing alright. I am still alive and kicking which is always a positive. One thing I really enjoyed this week was that I was able to go exchanges with the AP's this week. But that wasn't the cool part. The cool part was that Jordy was there and we pretty much had a sleep over at the AP's house. It was so funny because we were laughing all night and just being goof balls. I sure do love that guy. I hope that one day we can be comps. 

Outside of that it was actually a really stressful week. We had a few big things happen in our zone which caused some of the missionaries to get ET's. Or emergency transferred. So I had to deal with all the pressure that comes from that but its all okay now. Elder Nielsen and I have been doing great together. We seem to just be laughing at everything. We have found a way to find the fun and good in every little thing which is good when you do the same things everyday. 

This week we have been so busy on exchanges and running all over the mission we haven't had much time to work in our own area which is hard when you are trying to get progression. But a cool experience we had this week was we got done with a meeting around 7:30 and were thinking, should we go back to work or just go home and what not because we hadn't eaten or anything. Well we decided to go to work and as we were walking to our area I thought to myself, "father, please don't let us waste our time". And within 5 minutes of tracing we had found a family that was way receptive and so sweet to us. SO it showed me that when you do all you can do, Heavenly Father answers prayers and is wanting to help you.

Sadly I have not been able to go to the temple since the MTC but hopefully it will be soon. Fingers are crossed.

Outside of that not much happened. I miss you guys and hope you are having a great week.  

Elder Richards

Monday, April 10, 2017

Watching Conference

Well... I can't believe it is already Monday. I feel like I was just at this same computer shop doing the exact same thing I am doing right now.

I guess first I will update you on the journal challenge. I do have to admit I did miss 1 day also, but I was good all the other nights. The biggest thing I realized from it is all the little blessings and things that are happening to me. In life it feels that all we look for sometimes is the big miracles the happen. The things that change lives, but as I finally took time to reexamine my day, I realized all the little things that Heavenly Father is giving me. It makes you grateful for each single day, and not just the days when miracles happen. Each day is a blessing in a different way. We just need to look at the bigger picture to understand that. 

Conference was really good. There wasn't a talk that was life changing to me but a lot of just great talks that allowed the Spirit to be present. I would say that Holland and Bednar gave some of the best talk to me. Every time they speak, especially Holland, I feel like he is right in front of my face speaking to me in person. One part that really stuck out to me was when Elder Bednar said, "Be worthy, stay worthy". The reason this hit me so deep is because there are so many little things we do in life that aren't in tune with God. And it is the little things that add up and then make it feel like there is a burden on our back that we just can't seem to bear. But the word worthy means you are clean in every aspect of your life. With worthiness comes no added weight, but more of a feeling of peace adn love that helps you stand back up. 

I was able to get your package and thank you so much. The pictures were so funny to look back on and remember all the memories. I can assure you, the Biscoff was gone with in 12 hours lol. 

My favorite fruit is mangoes for sure. 

A moment I really enjoyed this week was visiting an RC named Charity. This lady's story breaks my heart, because after 10 years of being married, adn with 2 kids, she found out that her husband had been cheating on her. She has been devastated and been moving around non stop for a few months now because in the Philippines the laws are different and the husband doesn't have to pay her money or anything. So she is literally broke and still taking care of 2 children. But as we were finally able to meet with her the other day, she said something that stuck out to me. "Pinagpapala ako ng Diyos" (God is blessing in me). And as I looked around, while sitting in a house made of scrap metal, I felt nothing but heartache and love for this woman. A woman who literally has nothing to her name, but two daughters and her faith. But to see the look of happiness in her eyes, brought me to almost tears.

I miss and love you all so much!

Elder Richards 

Monday, April 3, 2017

A whole Family to church!

This week has been pretty good. We had a family come to church this week that we are teaching but the hard part is no one else seemed to go. My goal is to get over 10 people in church, and I thought that last week was the week it was going to happen, but somethings happened and we didn't reach the goal. It is all ok, but just a little disappointing. But its time to wipe that off and get back to work.

My comp is doing great. He is actually a stud of a teacher and just a great guy. People seem to love him so it is making the work load easier and not putting so much stress on me. I would say I am still struggling with the language a little because I am speaking English so much. Thats really my biggest problem I have. 
Our teaching pool is doing great. We have a lot of receptive potential people, but then again potential is the worst word ever. We are really right now trying to get that potential in the baptismal font. 
This work is amazing. By far the hardest and most stressful thing I have ever done, but such an amazing blessing that I am thankful to be a part of. 

Who influenced me the most this week was Jacob, the brother of Nephi. Something about reading when he is preaching to the people really touched me. The part that hit me the hardest was when he was speaking of father letting their children and wives down. Something about how life is coming so fast and before I know it I will have a family of my own just hit me. 

The best thing that happened for me this week was we were finally able to get a whole family to church this week. It was the first time I have had that my whole mission. So heart touching for me.

I don't watch conference until next week. I am really looking forward too it.

Elder Nielsen and I have kicked our efforts up to 6th gear. And it is amazing the things and miracles you see when you are giving everything you can. Chicky asked me a question, and the question was how many houses did I visit this week. As I sat here pondering it, I probably visited over 200 houses this week. And that is 200 more houses that have heard the gospel. Very cool when when you think about it and even more cool when it all works out.

I love you all. I miss you like crazy!

Elder Richards