Thursday, August 27, 2015

From the Mission Home August 25, 2015

Arrival at the Mission Home August 3, 2015 with President & Sister Mendenhall

#findingfordays August 24, 2015

Well sorry about the hashtags...can't avoid it anymore. I mainly just do it to make fun though...
Well this week has been better but it has also been harder. 
Tuesday was awesome though. So many miracles. We have been trying to have more effective planning and it really paid off for Tuesday. We were just trying to find less actives and every door that we went to, someone else was there so we just talked to them. They were all super nice actually listened to us.Then we went to go see this really old man, Ray, and it turns out that his sister and her son were there helping him out so we just taught all of them. It was really cool. The spirit was strong. It was a really interesting situation though. So we basically were just teaching Ray's sister cause Ray can't hear anything. We taught the Plan of Salvation and I think she really enjoyed it. Her son was there too but he wasn't really participating. So at the end of the lesson we asked if she would take a Book of Mormon and read it. She said she didn't have time and we should give it to someone else. So then I asked her son, Andrew, what he had heard about the church. He said that it was strict and people were rich. That made me laugh. But then I asked him if he wanted to read the Book of Mormon and he was a little iffy about it. So we just left the Book of Mormon and the pamphlets with our number on the table and they could take it if they wanted to. Andrew took them all, I noticed, and was looking through them so I was pretty excited for him. So we left and got in the car to go somewhere and the phone rang, and it was Andrew!!!! He wanted to know what chapter from the Book of Mormon we wanted him to read. WHAT?!?!! We were both so taken aback that we didn't know what to say. So we just gave him Alma 32 and told him to text us what he thought about it. We tried texting him on Sat. and the number didn't work so that was sad. But it was still so awesome. I had no idea how much he was paying attention and if I wouldn't have followed the prompting to ask him at the end, who knows what would have happened. AHHH we were so excited. I had to say a prayer of thanks immediately. Such a blessing. Then we went finding again and the same thing happened as before. So many different people were put into our path that we were not planning on but it was wonderful. Then we went to a members house, the Penningtons, to help them paint their house and have dinner and a lesson. The dinner was great. It's actually amazing all the different meals that I have had here. So much variety and so good. The lesson was so good too. The Spirit was strong and the discussion was great. And I learned something so that's a plus. We talked about the scripture in Mosiah 4:19 where it talks about how we are all beggars. We talked about Elder Holland's talk that he gave on it. It just was a really great lesson. Then we went to go see Chris and Stella. They are the best. They are recent converts and Stella is Chris' mom and she is just so funny. We love visiting with them. I feel like I can be myself and that makes me more open to talk so it's great. 
Wednesday we got to go to the Temple. It was great, except we had to wake up at 4 to get to the 7 AM session. Of course that didn't happen cause we didn't wake up to our alarms. We hurried as fast as we could to get to the 7:30 session. It was great. The Denver Temple is so small though. I felt a little claustrophobic. Sweet little Sister Gilson was so kind to take us so we could save on miles. She is the best. After that we had a district meeting. I love my district. Elder Bird is our district leader and so we call our district "The Birdcage". Hahahaha we thought it was pretty clever. But the meeting was great. We talked about patience in finding and it was just really good. The other Elders in my district are Elder Bluhm, Elder Porter, and Elder T.--don't even ask me to spell Elder T's name. But he is actually from Long Beach so I though that was pretty funny. We used to have Elder Pincock but he left because an emergency transfer. Sad. But they are all great. So after the meeting we were supposed to see Sean but he cancelled on us--three times this week and he didn't come to Church so that's disappointing. No longer progressing. Sad. But we had dinner with the Gilsons again so that was fun. We just spent all day with Sister Gilson. It was like a girls day out. Hahaha not that I don't have a companion with me 24/7. Hahaha but it was great. Oh but we went to go talk to this less active and her door was open and we could hear them all talking so we rang the doorbell and then it got quiet. And someone was like, who is at the door, and she shushed them. So we rang the bell again and silence. Salty. We left laughing actually. So funny. 
Thursday was a long day. We went to go paint Sister Penningtons house again and then we went to go help this non-member family pack up their house cause they had to move the next day. So that was actually fun. And very tiring. All the Elders from our district came too. I think they were very grateful for our help. And Sister Netherton got to mow her first lawn, under my direction of course. And it was the smallest lawn in the world but it made her happy. Hahaha. But we were so exhausted after that. But we had dinner and a lesson at the Bishop's house and that was super intimidating. I don't know why I was scared to teach in front of the Bishop but it was good. Also they had these things for dinner called chicken pillows. So good. Its like chicken pieces with cream cheese heaven breaded and delicious. YUM. But then we went on a mini-exchange again. It was really good. I got to actually drive since Sister Tracy was coming to my area. It was fun. She is awesome. And just so cool and spiritual... But the exchange was only for the night. We exchanged back on Friday morning. 
 Sister Netherton had a doctor's appointment so we were there forever. But we came home and finally did weekly planning. That took a long time. We had a lot to talk about and it was good. But it took a long time. And then we didn't have a dinner but the awesome ward mission leader brought us a pizza. My favorite. We had a little group therapy session with the Sister Training Leader. We got it all out on the table to try and get a fresh new start. It was good. And I'm excited to hopefully work better together with Sister Netherton. 
Saturday was my month mark. How has it already been a month. Like what?! But we had this little Sisters lunch with all the Sisters in our zone. It was so fun. So then we of course went finding for days. The first half of the day was terrible. We had zero luck. But then we had an hour of training to do. So we went home so frustrated but when we went back out to find, again, it was so much better. We didn't get to teach or anything but we talked to a lot of less actives that said we could come back. YAY!!! God is real. And then we had dinner with Chris and Stella and it was steak and potatoes aka DELICIOUS. It was great. After dinner we got to talk to a lot of people again. Oh and a little tender mercy. When we went to go finding after our training, our jam song came on and it was just so great. The song talks about how we need God and we can't do this on our own. It was so perfect. 
Sunday... That had to have been one of the worst days ever. Church was great and everything. But then after lunch everything just went downhill. We had dinner with a less active family and it was just really hard for me. They don't think that swearing is a bad thing... so that was interesting. But the thing that really bothered me was that we stayed way too late. We are only supposed to stay an hour at homes and we were there way past that. And because of that we missed a teaching appointment with another less active. I tried to get us out but it just didn't happen. I left that house feeling so terrible. It just didn't sit right with me. And I told Sister Netherton that I can't ever do that again. Ergo we ended up having a breakdown. It was really hard for me I can't even really explain it. And then we missed another appointment because of it. We were useless for the rest of the night,so we went home crying. I let Sister Netherton alone and just read my scriptures. And I just was instantly comforted. Yeah we messed up but we will just have to do better. It was and interesting experience but I don't want to leave. I'm seeing this thing through no matter how hard it gets. I have come to such a greater understanding of the gospel already that it boggles my mind. We are all brothers and sisters and we all need saving. There is not much else to say about what happened. Just that I came out of it with different eyes and a stronger relationship with Christ. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love this gospel. It is so wonderful. There are no words.
But that's about all for this week.
I have been missing you a lot this week but it's okay. I love you. Thanks for all you do!
Stay sweet!

Sister Richards       

Friday, August 21, 2015

I found Chunk!!!!! August 17, 2015

So Im not really sure if that is the original Chunk cause they all look the same so now they are all chunk! :)

Oh Boy August 17, 2015

Well mom, this week was interesting. It was really hard but very humbling and I definitely learned a lot.
But first I have realized that I have not really told you anything about my companion. She is from Las Vegas and has only been a member for a year and a half. How cool is that?! But yeah she is awesome. She has only been out for 3 months so we are kind of both learning together. She is pretty cool and super helpful in my struggle to adjust. So that's great. Yeah that's about it...
Tuesday was a rough day cause we were trying so hard to find people and every house we went to, nothing. So my companion kind of had a break down so we went on a mini-exchange for a couple of hours. That was actually really good for me. I actually got to talk to someone. I finally felt like a missionary. But it's kind of funny cause the other Sister that I was temporarily companions with, Sister Tracey, came out with me to the field. So we had both only been out for like a week but she is so cool. She is really good at this so it was just cool for me to see. 
Wednesday I finally broke down. We had this awesome meeting and I was super pumped but then stupid Satan got in my head. But it's okay, I got a blessing and that was super helpful. And just now I am realizing how much that was actually an answer to my prayers and how much God is in my life. That actually changed my outlook on this whole week. Man. God is real. But then we had dinner with this really awesome family, the Herman's. Sister Herman is seriously like my best friend. She is cool. But another reason why I love them is because they are huge baseball fans. They seriously know everything about every team. Also why didn't you tell me Cueto got traded?! What is our pitching going to do?! But Sister Herman also loves Drew Stubbs. Basically my favorite person ever. So they are my new favorites here. Oh and they have the cutest 6 yr old twins ever. We walked in and the first thing that one said was, "You're cute". That just melted my heart. It was so funny though. 
Thursday we went to the Jones family again and they are just the best. They are so sweet. And Sister Jones is a bomb cooker. Anyway her two youngest girls really wanted us to jump on the trampoline with them so we brought some pants and it was super fun. Anna, the youngest is so funny. She loves to sing and wanted to share with us her favorite song. Its One Jump Ahead from Aladdin. She was singing at the top of her lungs and it was so cute. She didn't stop singing till we left. Crazy girl. Oh but on our way to the Jones house we came across the funniest thing. There is a little cabinet thing that sits on the side of the road and its a little library. You can take a book or leave a book. It was so cool. So we left a Book of Mormon in it with our number. I really hope someone takes it and reads it. That would be so awesome.
But Friday was a good day. We finally got to meet with one of our investigators and he has a baptismal date set. Yeah, that is super exciting. But we also met with the Bugg family and they are just cool. Also we had the best meal of mac n' cheese and pork. It reminded me of our Grandma meat dinners. So yummy. But we also got to finally do service. It was so awesome. We helped them set up a trampoline and it felt so good to finally do some service. We have been trying to find service but are getting nothing back. But whatever.
Then we went on exchanges but this time it was the whole day for Saturday. That was where my eyes were opened. I was companions with Hermana King. She is a sister training leader and has been out for a year now so it was cool to see the difference in how she worked. But Saturday morning we had this Trainers meeting. So all of the people that came out on the same day as me were there and that was so fun. I was really glad to see some people from my district at the MTC. Anyway that meeting was so awesome. I learned so much. We talked about the spirit and prayer and it was exactly what I needed. But then President also talked about fear and how fear and faith cannot coexist together. And that was just awesome. He is such a cool dude. (Is that inappropriate to say?). But he just nailed it on the head and I really just cant even explain what it did for me. It was just awesome. And it kind of related to what I was learning about in my personal study that morning. I was reading in Helaman 5 where Nephi and Lehi get put into prison but God protected them. It just gave me the courage to continue on and to know that God will protect me. I also was learning about hope and that is just something I really needed that day. But the rest of the day Hermana King and I were just knocking doors and just trying to talk to someone but again nothing. We actually got some doors slammed in our face so that was cool. But we did finally talk to someone less active and it was just sad to see that he "just isn't feeling it anymore". But we shared a nice little scripture with him and invited him to church so hopefully he starts feeling it. Then we had dinner at Golden Corral and oh my heavens I ate so much food. I was literally waddling the rest of the night. But we had zero luck after dinner again but I still felt like I had done more than I have the past two weeks. We also had a little chat together since she is the Sister Training Leader and that was really helpful. She just helped me realize that God called me here and will give me the power I need to do his work. She is awesome. I learned a lot from her. And I came back from exchanges super pumped to do the work. Sister Netherton and I are trying a different approach and I am just super excited about it. I really think this week we be even better. They just keep getting better.
I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am for the struggles I have been through so that I can learn and grow. God is so real. I just love it. 
Yesterday I felt renewed. It was like I was a new person. I was just so excited to meet people and talk to people. We had dinner with the quietest family I have ever met. It was interesting. But they are super sweet. And then we went to the Gilson's and Sister Gilson is about the sweetest old lady EVER. And funny story. As we were driving to their house we were talking about how we really wanted dessert. And we are going to the Temple this week (super pumped) but we are running out of miles so we didn't know what we were going to do. But we got to the Gilson's and she gave us dessert after the lesson and offered to drive us to the Temple on Wednesday. We didn't even tell her we were going. GOD IS SO REAL!! What a miracle. He really does care about us and even our little desires. So blessed!  We got to teach the woman we are living with actually. It was super cool cause I understand more how to actually love these people. This is going to be great!
Its been amazing how I am finally starting to realize God's hand in my life and how miracles do happen. LOVE IT!!!

But thanks for the pictures mom. I love them. I was actually going to ask you to send me some pictures of the family. Love it. Also could you put me in the list to receive Brian and Luke's emails. I am super curious about how they are doing. Also is there anyway that you could make me some CD's with music on it? Maybe you could have Beth do it. But we aren't allowed to listen to Disney music so that's a bummer. It's just that Sister Netherton only has like 3 CD's and we are really tired of them now. If you can't, don't worry about it. We will survive. Um but that's about it I think.
Oh thanks Dad for the letter. And I'm loving the stamps! :)

I love ya and pray for the family all the time! 
Remember life is too short to be anything but happy!

Sister Richards

Sunday, August 16, 2015

#problemsofsweeping.....OHMYGOODNESSHI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! August 10, 2015

This week was seriously rough. My companion and I are sweeping our area, meaning we are coming in new and knowing nothing. Usually you go into a companionship where one has already been there and knows what's up with the area. We both came into this area new. And it is an eternal struggle boat. Okay, it's not that bad. The Sisters that were in this area before were both going home and did not leave a very good area book for us to work from. Sister Netherton and I are basically starting from scratch and building from nothing. I can't even really describe how ridiculous the situation is but something good has definitely come from it. Sister Netherton and I have become very close rather quickly because of how much we are in the car together trying to figure out our area. And we have learned to laugh about our situation instead of crying about it. I am actually surprised that I have not broken down in tears yet. 
So our first couple of days we couldn't do much cause we didn't know where everything was and who we were supposed to see. That was kind of frustrating cause I just want to get lost in the work and talk to everyone and teach the good word. But this is just part of it. We have to start at the beginning. So we have been driving around trying to figure out our boundaries and what is all in our area. Basically, there's nothing. But the sunsets are beautiful and there are always these wonderful clouds that just make me happy. Also there are bunny rabbits everywhere!!! It makes me happy. And I named one Chunk. He likes to sleep on the rocks by our house. And I almost got a picture with him but he keeps running away. One of these days I will find him (insert voice of Zod).
Wednesday we finally were able to meet with a recent convert named Paul. He is awesome. And his daughter is so cute and loves God so much, she can't wait to be baptized. She is 7. It just fills my heart with joy. That made me feel so much better actually being able to talk to someone other than my companion. But don't get me wrong, I love her. We got to meet with some members and get the scoop about what's going on in this Ward. It's been really helpful and we are excited to finally have some people to see. We have made so many appointments with the investigators and they all keep cancelling on us. It's so frustrating. But that's the life of a missionary, right? The members in our ward are all super friendly and they feed us way too much, I'm going to explode. But it's great.
We met with a member family on Friday and it just made me miss home. But at the same time, I felt like I was home. Everyone here is super nice and I just love being around the families. Makes me grateful that I have such an awesome one, forever.
Saturday was the worst. We had zero appointments and so we were just going to go knocking on doors. I was actually really excited. I just wanted to talk to everyone. But when we finally found an area we literally just walked around the block. Talked to no one and didn't even knock on a single door. I was going crazy and then just got super down cause I felt like we had wasted our day. And we had literally been driving in circles trying to find something to do. It was so terrible. By the end of it we were driving ourselves insane. Laughing at literally everything. But we made it to dinner with a family and from them on everything was golden. We got to talk to a bunch of other people after that. It truly is amazing how much better I feel after talking to people. By the time we got home I couldn't even remember that I was so upset earlier. God is real! 
Yesterday we had dinner and shared a message with a family and my companion actually let me start it. She is super nice but doesn't really let me talk much cause she thinks I'm scared or whatever. But I don't think she realizes that I am a fast learner and I got to do it to learn. It was great. We have fun together. She laughs at me all the time for some reason... I don't really know why... I'm not that funny. But I love it. Laughing soothes the soul.  
We also talked with Sister Mendenhall yesterday aka my Mission President's wife. She is so awesome. She made us feel so much better about what we are doing here. I mean it can only go up from here right? Things will get better. Not that there still won't be hard days but it will be okay.
For some reason my thoughts are super scattered today so I don't have much else to say. Sorry if this letter doesn't make sense. Hopefully this week we will be able to see more people and get settled on our feet. 
Oh and by the way, the mission is seriously obsessed with hashtags and I'm going insane. But I guess I will have to learn to love it.
But I'm loving it here and I can't wait to do more work.
As for the Moo situation, that seems to make sense to me. I don't know if I told you this but the people we live with have a cat. And he has THUMBS!!! I'm not even kidding. I will send you a picture. 
Thanks for getting all that figured out for me. You're the best. Hope the ceiling thing works out for you!
I'll send you some pictures from our adventures this week.
Love you!
Sister Richards

Made it to Denver August 4, 2014

So I made it to Denver. Our p-day is going to be Monday but they let us email today since we didn't get a chance to yesterday. Honestly I don't even know what to think right now. I don't really know what is going on so I feel kind of useless right now. But it'll be great. I got my new companion/trainer. Her name is Sister Netherton. She is super sweet. We seem to get along just fine. I'm still super new obviously so there is bound to be some awkwardness. But apparently the area that we are in is a good one. We both are new to the area so that is a little stressful for both of us but I think after this week everything will be much smoother. Also my companion has only been out for three months so we are both kind of in the same boat about some things. But I'm excited. I think I just need to get used to everything and then I will be able to feel better. My mission president and wife are really awesome. They are funny too so that's a bonus. The people we live with are super nice. They have this really cute cat that follows us everywhere and basically sits on our laps when we eat, its kind of adorable.

My last day at the MTC was really sad. I was so sad to leave my district. We all became such good friends! But I did see Luke and Brian and I started bawling like a little girl. But we said our goodbyes and it was so weird to be the first one to leave. 
But yeah, I don't really have much to say since I just emailed on Friday. I just hope that I hurry up and get used to this so I can feel useful. But its great!
 Also my new area is called Brighton. But these are the last pictures from the MTC.  I love you all!