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Monday, May 29, 2017

Temple Visit

Hey everyone!

I was able to go to the temple last week and it was just so uplifting. It was my first time in about a year, and now I wish I could go every week. The prompting and peace that comes to you in the temple goes deep.

My most influential person for the week is, Elder Ballard. This is because I read a talk by him that cut me deep. There was a part where he was a stake president and he was interviewing someone to go on a mission. And Elder Ballard asks if the young man knew if Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and the young man looked and said, well I am not a 100% but I feel good about it. Elder Ballard looks at the young man and says, let me give you a challenge, I will let you go on a mission as soon as you can bare testimony to me that you know that Joseph is the prophet of this last dispensation. This cut me deep because I realized that we need to always be developing our testimony in Joseph. If he is true, this church is true, if he is not, then everything we believe go with it. 
One of my comps did leave because he had to do a special assignment in another part of the mission.  

I have not received any packages sadly!!

Love you again!!!

Elder Richards

Monday, May 22, 2017

Hanging with the Legend

Hey All, Hope everyone had a great week

I am doing alright. Not to much has happened this week. I just have a few good stories/experiences that I would like to share.

1. Exchanges with the Legend... Elder Meyer. So I don't even know where to begin this besides saying that I just enjoy being with and working with Elder Meyer. Even though we have never been comps, we seemed to have a certain unity about us. (I believe its the cousin power) But each lesson we had was interesting to be apart of, and awesome to see and feel the spirit work among us. For how strong the spirit was the whole day I will not forget the last part of the day when it just started pouring cats and dogs outside. Its about 8 pm, pitch black and all you see are 2 big Americans just booking it down the side of the street with no umbrella, laughing at 1 another and getting drenched. 

2. So we were driving down the street the other day and all the sudden we saw this guy pull out a gun on another guy... as you can imagine I crapped my birches and turned down the next road!
As I was reading this week I came across apart in a talk by Elder Ballard, when Elder Ballard recalled a story when he was in the quorum of the 70 at the time, and was invited to join the nightly prayer of the first presidency and quorum of the 12. President Benson gave the prayer and at the end of it Elder Ballard goes on to say that the spirit was so strong that it brought him to tears. And the part that hit it so deeply is when Elder Benson said, "Father, we pray above everything else, that are labors for today have been acceptable unto thee." Can we pray each night and say something along the same lines? Or would we know we would be lying to ourselves because we held a part of ourselves back from doing what we should be. 

I love and miss you all,

Elder Richards

Best quote: "believe in miracles"
I love my mission. I can't even summon the words to say how this mission has changed my heart and I.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mothers day to all the Mothers out there. Bless each one of your hearts for helping us kids through out the years. I know it is hard for us to say it sometimes, but we love you all and appreciate all that is done for us!
To my mom, I am forever grateful for you in my life. I am not sure quite what I did to deserve a mother like you, but I sure am the luckiest. I still laugh whenever I am talking with members here and I show them a picture of the family, and they always say, you look just like your mom. It cracks me up and makes my day every time. Just so you know mom, no matter how much I deny it, I am basically your mini me. I have come to that realization. Thank you for your example mom. I wouldn't be who I am today without you. I love you so much mom and hope you have a great day. Make sure the other 2 munchkins take good care.

It has been a great week in Camarin. I had the opportunity to go on exchanges again this week twice. And may I first say that exchanges are some of my favorite things to do. Just so many opportunities to learn and get to know all the missionaries. Elder Nightingale (who is in the picture with me) was the high light of my week. He is this enthusiastic Elder from Australia, who grew up in Hong Kong, then moved to the Czech Republic before his mission and then will study at BYU. So this man has taken the term, been around the world, to a whole another level. But as we were on exchanges he showed me an attitude that has stuck with me for the week. No matter how many people wouldn't let us in, Elder Nightingale would always smile and just tell a joke. 
"Life is to short to not be happy. So smile and laugh more"   Words to live by.

We had a lesson this week with a member. Her husband had died a short while ago, then her son died not to long after. So this poor ladies life has been through the hardest of times. Well during the lesson about enduring to the end, the story of Derek Redmund was brought up. And for everyone who is not familiar with this story, look it up you tube. But this sweet lady compared herself to this Olympic runner. She said something along the lines of "I have been hit down almost to the point that I could not get up, but no matter what, I will finish". She touched my heart with her sweet spirit and motivation to finish strong.

I love and miss you all. Have a great week. 

Elder Richards 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Oh the food! (Nasty)

Hey all,

Another great week has come and gone!

Coolest thing about my week was Elder Uhler and I got done teaching a lesson today and the sweet old lady we just got done teaching said, i am going to by you 2 some treats. And of course, Elder Uhler and I had no complaints with that because usually treats consist of chips and bread and what not. Well this little lady came walking over with her plate of food and she set it down in front of us. And as soon as she did I about threw up... What was on the plate was dugo (cooked pigs blood), tenga (pigs ear), and pigs intestines... Elder Uhler and I looked at each other with nothing but terror in our eyes. And the things about the Philippines is you cant deny food or say you don't want it because it is very rude... So the only other option was to plug the nose, close the eyes, and just chew away!!!

One cool experience I had this week, or kind of a mind opening things, is the past week I have really struggled with my new comps, just because being in a 3 some is hard. And someone usually gets left out. And I am the person, which is okay. Also my comps have very very different personalities than me so the meshing at first was difficult. But I remember saying a prayer the other day and saying, Heavenly father, let me some how find love in my heart at this moment and not yell at my comps. And as soon as those words left my mouth, the thought of, "well what are you doing to build the unity" came to my mind. And I sat there with what I know was a blank look on my face. Like one of those faces you get when you know what you have been doing is wrong and the Spirit is right. So from that moment on I tried my best to see where they were coming from, and to serve them. And it has been such a learning experience for me again to realize how serving others, helps you love them. My comps are Filipino. One is from Bacalod and the other is from Mendinow. Elder Gumban has been in the field about 20 months and my other comp is about 15 or a little more. So they are pretty established in the mission. I do have a deeper connection and love with my new comps.

Thanks for all the prayers sent my way! Have a great week.

Elder Richards

Thursday, May 4, 2017

New Area!

Hey all,

I am sorry my email is going to be a little short this week. I am literally slammed packed all day and have very limited time to email!

But just a few thoughts from my week...

-AP life, not nearly as glorious as I thought it would be. Its not even that it's super stressful, I am just so exhausted 24/7. For example, usually you are supposed to leave at 1 pm and return at 9 pm. Well I am usually out the door at 8 am and don't get back till around 10 pm. Sooooo just exhausting. 

-I have seen the Lord comfort me this week. There have been so many times this week where I have asked myself, why am I here? Why am I doing this? I don't know how much longer I can hang in there? And each time one of those statements/questions has popped into my head, a certain phrase has always gone into my head...
"I am the gardener here, and I know what I want you to be" (little current bush). This phrase has given me hope that this is Gods plan. He sees and knows what I am facing. And he is always shoulder to shoulder with me even in the lowest times.

-My new area is straight city. And let me say that the city is a a lot more crowded and more ghetto than my previous areas. But thats ok, because I was raised in the ghetto right, Dad? ;)

I love you all and sorry for the lack of time to write an email.


Elder Richards