Thursday, August 27, 2015

Patricia's August 24, 2015

             Well, I have survived another week and it was awesome! Let me start off with telling the story of Patricia's. Patricia's is a restaurant that I really wanted to go to here every since Elder Showers described what it was to me. He said that it's this little Mexican place with really good food.  I said, "OK, what's so special about it?" Then he said, " Let me put it this way, it's the best tasting laxatives you will every have" hahaha--so I had to have it. The Bishop's wife asked us where we wanted to go for dinner :)  I was like Patricia's haha so that's where we went.  Wont lie, it was some good Mexican food, and as a plus the owner of it is getting lessons from the missionaries right now so we got a nice discount. But, oh man, after a little it just hit me like a train. Nothing happened, I just felt so bad afterwards haha but totally worth it though. 
             I won't lie, there are a lot of different kinds of people here--like there are Samoans, Tongans, Chinese, Filipino, Mexican, black, white, and Cambodian. It's just kinda a big pot of people. I got to go a Tongan baptism the other day and it was pretty neat. I couldn't understand anything when they talked in Tongan but it was still awesome because you could still feel the Spirit. Oh, on the subject of baptism, this one chica finally got baptized and confirmed this week! It was awesome! She was really happy and excited about it so it's been good.
           You know what's pretty funny? Everyone that goes into our apartment seems to notice one thing about my desk, the little missionary guys I have posted everywhere haha. I figured since I have them I might as well put them up.  Everyone just thinks they are pretty interesting. I just think it's funny that that's the one thing they notice haha.
            Thanks for all the pictures and all the letters. It's awesome. Hopefully my pictures go through so you can see my posterity line haha.  It's from my great grandfather, my grandfather, my father and me ha. If you are wondering what that means, it just means that Elder Albretch trained Elder Adams and he trained Elder Anderson and Elder Anderson is training me. So yeah, it's been awesome and I love you guys, may the force be with you... always. And the Church is true.
Sunburn 2nd Day in Field
Love, Elder Richards

Friday, August 21, 2015

August 19, 2015...from the Mission Home

Dear Brother and Sister Richards,
                At long last here are photos of your son;  so sorry for the delay.   Elder Richards arrived safely (but somewhat tired!) in the California Long Beach Mission around 10 am August 11.  He spent most of the day here in the Mission Office learning mission policies and procedures, having lunch and meeting his new companion/trainer, Elder Anderson.  They them left to begin their missionary work together in their area:  Long beach 4th Ward, Bixby District of the Long Beach West Zone.  Elder Anderson is a wonderful missionary and will give your son a good start.  He cooks!!
                Thank you for sending Elder Richards to serve the Lord with us here in California.  This is a very special and wonderful mission.  President and Sister Tew are loving and inspired leaders, who do a great job.  We love them so much.  Thank you also for your love and support.
                If you ever feel a need to call or email us concerns or question, please feel welcome to do so.   We will do our best to help.

With best wishes,

Sister Grossnickle,
Mission Secretary

California Long Beach Mission

August 17, 2015

Hey Family,

That's awesome, that carousel was pretty neat, too bad for Luke though ha. But, yeah, I did get all the pictures, thanks.
So I'm finally in Long Beach and so far it has been pretty good. My companion is pretty cool, Elder Anderson, he likes to spit a bunch of quotes from stuff too and, apparently I'm like the only one that gets most of them haha but, he likes to read books so that's where some of his stuff comes from. But its still fun. He's only been out for 4 months and he's already a trainer but he's got his stuff down so I'm happy with my companion. He also has a pun or some joke or something for everything so it's always interesting to see what he will say next, ha. 
                  The morning that we had to leave to get to the flight, we left the MTC at like 3:00 in the morning so that was fun. When we actually got to Long Beach, I couldn't really hear anything, haha. The flight did something to my ear and everything that was said was muffled. It was a struggle but it went away after the first day. On our first day they were like "well since you got up at 3 in the morning we aren't going to have a training because we know that you will just fall asleep", which is true. So we are just going to get right to it and you guys are going to go street contacting".  It started out good for me but after a little I just didn't know what to say so it was a little awkward, haha ( and plus i couldn't hear what some of the people were saying because of my ears ha) but it was nice. After that we got our companions and our areas and we were off. I'm in the Long Beach west area right now. It's got some interesting people in it. We used to have a car but then apparently the zone leaders wanted it so they took ours, so we are on bikes now. Lame but I will have nice nice looking legs by the end of this. We also went to our fist dinner and it was at a Chinese buffet. So the members were like "go on, keep eating, the food never ends, come on". We were like "but we're full", so they said "ah, ok, so I will get you guys some more food anyway". Haha, they like to feed us so no worries there Mom, ha.
                 I already had exchanges with the District Leader Elder Showers, He's a fun guy too. So it was really nice because he has a car and the day we did exchanges it got up to like 100 degrees and the other Elder, Elder Larsen had to bike in the heat instead of me, haha. But we have to do some service so we were out in the heat anyway so didn't really escape it, but still haha. It was funny when it was over because it was late, and dark out right before we retire for bed. I was wearing my flip flops to get my stuff from Elder Showers after the exchange and Elder Anderson stepped on one of my flipflops.  For some reason, I just let out this huge scream hahaha. I don't know why I yelled or anything but it was too late. Everyone that was outside was looking around trying to find the origins of the noise and Elder Anderson and I are just laughing. Elder Showers was just like, "What was that! did something just happen?" I was just laughing and he was so confused, haha. I think that everyone might have thought that someone got hurt or shot or something. Who knows but it was kinda funny.  
                 On my second day in the mission field it happened... I got sunburned. What a surprise, right? I got sunburned all up and down my arms and got a nice watch tan from it. I brought all that sunscreen but still got sunburned. I guess it works better when I actually put it on, haha. Oh well, it was not that bad. It was just on my arms, I just thought it was petty funny actually. It's been hotter than usually every one tells me. It apparently is supposed to cool down and get back to its normal temp soon (which just means it will be in the 80s to 90s instead of the 100s haha)  That's all good, I can take the heat.
               I've had an awesome time so far. We have been doing alright in the teaching area and we have 2 baptismal dates for the next couple of weeks already. I'm excited and sure that it will be a good time serving the Lord in Long Beach. Well, I love you guys and may the force be with you... always
  Love Elder Richards 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Goodbye MTC August 10, 2015

So guess who showed up for a Tuesday devotional at the MTC. It was President Nelson, President of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles! Won't lie, it was awesome. I was actually close enough to see the wrinkles on his face, in real life not even on camera, ha ha. It was a really cool devotional and it taught some great things about being disciples of the Lord. It was super cool.

You know, some Elders told me when we first got here that days feel like weeks and weeks feel like days, and that is soooo true. After the first Sunday, the days felt long but the week went by super fast to me. Now its my last day at the MTC and I'm so excited to actually get out to Long Beach. Today at the MTC we decided to practice street contacting people. I went on splits with this one missionary, Elder Bischoffs, and so we were walking around just talking to random people. After the first couple people and sharing an uplifting thought, we saw this one guy walking towards us. We were like lets talk to this guy. So we get to him and say hey and he's just like "sorry, I don't have time" and then literally starts running away from us. We just sat there and watched him shrink into the distance. It was just salty because he ran away before we could even say anything, haha, good one. One of the teachers that was supervising us at this little shindig actually went to Long Beach for her mission. She was telling us about some people in the mission and about the areas that we will be serving in--except Compton because the Sisters aren't allowed in that area. I wonder why... haha, psych. That makes sense but it was good to hear more about it. 

We had a Sister in our zone that was going to this random set of islands and their language was the most fun this to try and read. It was like having really bad English and you don't learn it in the MTC. You have to go and learn it in the field. The Book of Mormon was super fun to read in her language.  Everything you say sounds like you have a Jamaican accent. Bok Blong Mormon is how you say Book of Mormon. It was great. 
Just to let you know, I won't be able to get those cookies you sent me which is actually super upsetting. I didn't get it today and I won't have time to get it when I wake up because I have to wake up and get ready to leave by 3:35 in the morning to go to Long Beach. That is going to be interesting but, like I said, I'm super pumped to go. 

Love you guys and thanks for everything. May the Spirit be with you.
PS Alma 29:9 an instrument in the Lords hand to bring some soul unto repentance and this is my glory.

 Love Elder Richards  

First Week August 4, 2015

Yeah, I got your message the day after she left but don't worry, we took the picture of the three of us before she left. I saw Luke and Ellen on my first day. Luke caught me before I left lunch and then at dinner I was sneaky and caught Ellen by surprise, ha ha, she ended up freaking out and then crying. Oh well, it was all out of love.

I've been in the MTC for a week now and it's been a lot of hard work but it has also been really good. My companion and I get along quite awesomely and I feel lucky to have Elder Oniki as my companion. I also have a pretty awesome district. It's awesome to see that we all come from different backgrounds but we are all here for the same purpose. I have had a lot of Spiritual and awesome experiences here at the MTC. They keep us busy all the time. Mostly we are in class or trying to come up with lessons for our investigators but its all good. I just hope I can remember most of  the stuff they are teaching us. Now I'm settled in but I'm only going to be here for another week. I am excited to actually get in the mission field and serve the people of Long Beach.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm jealous that I can't be there for the Color Run but I'm kinda busy you know, ha ha. I hope you guys have an awesome time there and I know that it will be fun. We get a short amount of time to exercise or gym time and we have decided to play sand volley ball. It is awesome! Love me some sand volleyball!

Yes, my p-day is on Tuesdays.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The people I room with are also pretty awesome. They are all finally starting to get used to the idea of a "Pover*",  ha ha. They all thought it was super weird and didn't make sense at first but now they are starting to acccept the Pover! ha ha      (*"Pover" is short for Party Sleep Over)
Well, it's nice to know that you guys got Moo back, ha ha. That cat has low key problems.(and if you do not understand what low key means, please ask bet or Ryan, Joe and Tanner) Hopefully the cat doesn't poop everywhere or tear everything up like he used to do. And it's nice that you saved moving Beth in so i didn't have to have to move any boxes or bed for her, just kidding. It's nice to hear that everything going well at home and just know that I love all of you guys