Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas you filthy animal December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas,
     We had our Christmas conference this week and it was very good. I thought it was just going to be the conference devotional but I was wrong. We had trainings but then after all of that, we played some games as zones. We played this game called Name that Tune. Apparently i'ts an older game but instead of describing it, I'll let you guys just look it up, haha. Moving on. It was a lot of fun.
     For some reason I thought because I was a missionary, I wouldn't really get much for Christmas, but I was wrong. We have had quite a few members come up to us and give us things. Nothing super, crazy, awesome but just nice little things. So it's nice to know that our Ward loves us.
     I love Larry's sweater, it reminds me of a member we have in our ward named Bro Moe. This dude has the most swag when it comes to these things. He has the sweater, Santa Clause suspenders and other things and they all look good... because he is wearing them haha, love that man. Sadly I don't have a picture of him to send right now but I will send you one next time. 
     Well, we finally have someone coming to Church and progressing. We have good hopes for him. His name is Bro Chapman. 
     I guess I will talk to you guys on Christmas and to be honest this week went by so fast I can't really remember what happened, haha, oh well.
 Merry Christmas 
Lots of Love 
Elder Richards

PS thank you for all the presents :)

lava lava December 14, 2015

Dear Family
     To start off, transfers happened and I'm staying in Cerritos with Elder Nuttall and not much changed.
Since it was the end of a transfer, there was, of course, a departure fireside for the leaving missionaries. For those, you are not allowed to go unless you have an investigator there.  There is one member of our ward who took in a homeless guy that we have been teaching lately. To be honest, the member has been teaching him more then we have ha. But anyway, he came to Church and that's when we asked him if he would like to go to the fireside with the member. He agreed. When we got there, we waited for a little bit outside waiting for those 2 to come. But what we didn't know is that the investigator, Eric, actually drove himself and was waiting for us. The member couldn't make it. After a little  waiting and then a few minutes a realization, we got in and he sat down with us. As we waited, he told us about how he has always had a struggle with religion. Even though he had everything you could possibly want before he was homeless, house, family, car, job, he still felt like there was something missing. He has watched the restoration video like 7 times, or maybe more, and he tells us that he really likes it because every time he watches he learns something new he said. When we first met him he didn't really think that he could learn from us but after the Spirit had softened him up a little , now he seems alot more open to us. I guess the reason I tell you about him is because he has been on my mind lately. Elder Nuttall and I have some good hopes for him. 
     Another experience with the Spirit softening people up was this guy Andrew. We knocked on his door and he didn't seem to interested but when we got in I asked if we could say a prayer. He shut me down. But after we shared a scripture and talked and testified about the atonement, he really seemed to focus a little more. At the end, I asked him if we could say a prayer again, and he was cool with it. The Spirit can really work with people to soften their hearts, and make them more receptive to our teaching. It's really cool. 
      This week we had the Ward Christmas party. The sisters wanted to sing so of course we got dragged into it. I could feel my face turning red as we sang, you know what I'm talking about. But apparently the mic that we used didn't really seem to work so people couldn't really hear us anyway, tender mercies haha. It was still cool and I didn't really mind it anyway. One of the sister missionaries dad made lava lava ties for us so it was totally worth it. We also got a picture with Santa, and his beard was real. yeah 
    (Editor's note: The following is in answer to a question we had sent about his Christmas tree)  I made the star out of note cards, then I ran a Christmas light up to the top and put the make shift star on top, like a boss.
     That was a little of my week.
Stay awesome and the Church is true.

Elder Richards

Monday, December 7, 2015

Testimony bears and monkey traps December 7, 2015

Dear family,
     This week was Stake Conference and we got a new Stake Presidency.  Since that happened, we actually had two General Authorities come. I don't remember their names but they were both pretty cool. One from Idaho or some where like that, talked about a testimony bear. It's like a teddy bear. He talked about how any 2 year old will tell you, when times get rough or scary, that's when you hold onto your teddy bear the tightest. The same is with your testimony. When times get rough or scary, that's when you hold onto your testimony the tightest, just ask any 2 year old.  I really liked it and the other guy from Zimbabwe who talked about monkey traps. Monkey traps are like raccoon traps, you reach into a hole and grab the nuts, or whatever food, but then you cant get your hand out unless you drop the nuts. He just said what are the nuts that we hold on to, that ultimately will trap us until we are caught by the devil, or something like that. It was really good.  I enjoyed it quite a bit.
   At the beginning of the month, I told my companion that we are going to get a Christmas tree. For some reason he didn't think we would. So I looked at him in the eyes and said,  "I find your lack of faith disturbing".  He shuddered as my gaze pierced his very soul. Maybe not that intense but, none the less, I was determined to get a Christmas tree. One day  we were asked to help take Christmas decorations out of someone's attic. After it was all taken down, lo and behold, there was a little 5 foot tall Christmas tree that they weren't going to use. So there we go, we have gotten our Christmas tree with decorations and lights as well. So I'm just here to tell all of you that yes, God does answer prayers.
      Yes it was a good week and we found some new investigators that are showing some potential, so that's awesome. Things here are going good. To be honest, I forget that it is winter all the time because it is December but it is 80 degrees outside. ha
      I love you all and may the may the Spirit be with you... always 
I made the star, just to let you know😎😏💪

Elder Richards