Monday, July 22, 2013



 District birthday lunch for Elder Gallego. Its missing the South Sisters cause they had to leave early. And its super blury, but ah well.

Activity at a park, the daughter of one of our investigators. She's so dang funny.

My favorite family.

4th of July Fireworks.

My companions.

My last district.

Another cool guy, named Hmo Cacho and his wife Hma Cacho.

My district!

Elder Teuller leaving. He was my first district leader. He was awesome. He's home now too.
Heyo! So yeah, there wasn't a lot that happened this week. Things are still going alright. Here's the highlights:
Exchanges: I went on exchanges again. Elder Contreras loves doing them. But this time I had to sleep on the floor! That was like the longest night ever. I barely, if ever, got to sleep. Then the next day took forever long to because of that.
Church: We got 4 investigators and church last week and 5 this week. So things are going well here! People are so prepared and they are progressing!
Clueless members: So there's some members in an English ward that can barely if even be considered fluent. They are members of the church but are so dang clueless its amazing. They have been through the temple and sealed and the other day they asked us, "So what exactly is it that you all do in temples"... We almost died. She had a notebook in hand and everything. It was the strangest thing.. Haha turns out they don't understand like anything. So we are trying to get them to come to a spanish ward so they will actually understand whats going on.
Genealogy: So I've got some homework for you all. There are a lot of missionaries out here that are related to like Brigham Young, Parley P. Pratt, Isacc Morley, those types of names. But I am wondering who/if I am related to anyone. I know there was a Willard Richards with Joseph Smith at his Marterdom and I remember Grandpa saying going up on his side we have someone that was baptized in 1830.. I'm just wondering who, what's their names, stories.. stuff like that. I also remember dad saying that we had like a letter or something from someone crossing the plains with the Pioneers? I'm just super curious about all that? Could you do some research and let me know?? Thanks!
No seat: So I gave Elder Afu my super comfy seat until he got or gets a new bike or bike seat. He hates being on bike as it is and is way bigger than me so I'm using this tiny uncomfortable seat right now.. haha its something. I'm getting used to it again, but I really miss my old seat. He's not keeping it, but just for a while here. Haha
 Sunday was crazy! There was like a riot or something at the town/city hall thingy. We were walking that day cause Elder Contreras bike is busted. So we were walking and we walked right by this like riot going on about the Police and killing people and stuff. It was so weird. Were not supposed to even be near that stuff so we didn't stay long. But there were policed lined up everywhere just making sure nothing got violent. A couple of them were members apparently and waved to us and asked us how everything was going. It was funny.
So yeah that's the gyst of it today. Sounds good. I'll send pics here!
Elder Richards

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

4th Transfer

Heyo, decent amount happened this week but at the same time not a lot... Here's the highlights:
Transfers: I have finished another transfer. So I have no finished 4 transfers and am in my 5th. I am currently still with Elder Contreras and Elder Afu (VISA waiting for Argentina) and I am still in the same area. Actually, my district did not change much surprisingly. Our APs love to mess with things but they left a lot of our district the same. Only Hermana Rollins is leaving. Which sucks, shes awesome. We are getting Hermana Corona and the West Hermanas are training another VISA waiter. So we are officially the largest district in the mission with 4 companionship's and 11 missionaries. 3 trios and 1 duo. We had to go to Transfers so I got to see all of the missionaries leaving or getting transferred. So I got pictures with a bunch of them that I liked. I'm excited about that. I got to see my first district leader before he went home, my Zone leader before he bailed, the Hermana in my district that's leaving and the one about to go home. So that was good, now I'll be able to remember them and have pictures of them.
Car/Bike: My companionship was in a car for 3 weeks this last transfer however because of the ET, we were in a car for 3 weeks. Now the mission needs the car back however. So we will be in a bike again. We are a trio on a bike. Haha this should be fun. I don't mind it, I'm actually stoked to be on a bike, its so much better than a car. However Contreras and Afu are freaking mad about it. They were like calling the Zone Leaders and the APs to get us on a bike, but they all said there are no free cars in the entire mission and that is a bike area, so that's how its gonna be. I'm fine, actually quite content about it. Ha it will help me exercise and not gain weight. So yeah, my watch tan line is coming back. :)
Exchanges: With Elder Contreras being the District Leader I go on exchanges with the Zone Leaders about every other week. So I went on some with Elder Arjona last week. The guy is obedient with exactness and pretty much a Saint. I don't think he has ever insulted anyone in his entire life. He just loves and cares about everyone. He is awesome. He only has one transfer left and for this last transfer he got changed to the English Program. So he is no longer our Zone Leader. I'm gonna miss him.
Elder Tidwell: Elder Tidwell showed up at church on Sunday. He came back with all of his family and visited his four wards during 8 days of being down here, going to Disneyland, the beach, visiting old members, stuff like that. So that was cool to be able to see him. I talked to him a little bit but he had to go to a different ward so not to much. He said "real life" is so-so and that the "real life" is on the mission. Ha, his entire family has been so lost every time they go to church cause they don't speak a lick of Spanish. I feel like that will be you guys when going back to visit. Except maybe Parker, he still might know more Spanish than me, who knows.
Over all -  still doing alright. This week kinda plateaued.  I don't have anything to complain about though and I'm not. Spanish continues to come. Poco a poco. I've heard that phrase enough. I'll try to send pictures soon. I've actually got a lot to send now. I'll see if I can get an adapter. Alrighty then. Adios!
Elder Richards

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

4th of July Week!

So... yeah quite a bit happened this week. Here's the gist..
Exchanges: Me and Elder Gallego went on exchanges July 4th. President Bowen told us not to knock doors and to "be creative" so we went around and visited members and did service for them. Cleaned some crazy rich English members house and he gave us some referrals so that's awesome. We didn't make or buy a single meal. The ward had a big ward party for breakfast, a member invited our entire district over for lunch and we got fed dinner by a less active family. So it was all good. Towards the end of the night even the members that we went to visit were like "really!? Its the fourth of July!?" So we called it a night at like 8 and just went up to Anaheim Hills and Villa Park and looked at the massive houses then watched the fireworks going off in the valley. So that was cool so see!
Temple: So I went to the Temple today! That's why I'm emailing Tuesday. As usual it was awesome. We're about to go eat at the Elderly couples house as a Zone so that should be fun!
Food: I finally bought some good (healthy) food to eat for lunches! It has a lot of vegetables and fruits so that's going well!
Hma Signor (Lopez): So there's this "investigator" in the ward that is active (she comes to church every week but can't get baptized cause she's not married) who just the other day asked us if we can come over to teach her cause she, her 'husband", and Bishop talked it over and she's kicking her husband out and she wants to get baptized! Sad but good.. ha so that's really interesting. We'll see how things go with that!
Power outage: So Sunday we are in our apartment doing studies when Elder Contreras decides to call an investigator that came to church to come to a baptism that night. She says yes and its in an hour so we had to hurry to get ready. Right as he hangs up the phone (literally). All power goes out in our apartment. So we go downstairs and we can't get to our car cause the gate won't open. So we have no ride and our investigator is going to a baptism.. So we make like 5 calls and finally some English Zone Leaders said they had someone they could call. So some random missionaries come and pick us up JUST in time. We showed up right as our investigator showed up and everything. So everything went well with that. Once we got back from the Baptism we still couldn't get to our car or in the apartment cause power was still out so we spent the rest of the night tracting. Finally at like 9 we get back to the apartment and as we are walking up to it all the power comes back on and we are able to get it. Haha that was such a crazy experience.
So yeah that's more or less the big stuff! Still all is going well. I'm in the Car at least for this last week of the transfer and then we'll find out what happens after that! No complaints. All is well that ends well!
Elder Richards

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Another Companion!

So this week was wild. Good but wild.
We Monday night we were biking to our investigators house and we get a text from the Presidents Assistants (the bosses practically.) saying "call us ASAP we need you at the office at 9" We were freaking out and had no clue what we did wrong. Turns out another missionary pretty much screwed up, broke a bunch of rules so his VISA waiter, Elder Afu from Sandy heading to Argentina, was getting transferred to us. It was 3 weeks into the transfer and so its called and Emergency Transfer (ET) which pretty much only happens if someone makes a big mistake. He did nothing wrong it was his trainer. Hes not done with his training so I am officially co-training him with Elder Contreras. Because he's waiting for a VISA he doesn't have a bike so for these 3 weeks minimum we got put in a car. Yeah I'm gaining that weight back and fast. So we are now in a trio, in a car and training again. Nothing to complain about other than the Car. But Elder Afu is sweet. He's half Tongan and half Samoan.
We went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders last week. I learned a ton from Elder Arjona. He's straight from Spain and only has 1 transfer left so he knows how to do missionary work. The guy is fantastic and I learned a bunch from him. He always has a positive attitude and I'm not sure if he has ever insulted someone in his life. On accident or in anyway shape or form. He's going to be a General Authority one day. Hes obedient with EXACTNESS. Man the guy is awesome. So yeah I learned a lot from that. I GOT TO DRIVE! Ha on exchanges I was the actual driver cause he had to make a bunch of phone calls and coordinating. Ha driving for the first time in 5 months and on the California free ways and streets was an adventure to say the least. But All was well, it felt so good to drive again. I actually miss that quite a bit.
Um.. yeah.. haha that's pretty much it. Those two things took up a bunch of the week cause all there really was "staging" for the ET, like getting all of Afu's stuff to our apartment complex and getting all his food, getting the car, all that. So we actually didn't "work" a ton this week because of that. Still all is good though. No complaints. I weigh 175 or so... So I'm determined not to gain anymore unless its muscle. Especially now that I'm in a car. I'm going to be working hard every morning and eating properly. I'm forced to do that now... So yeah...
Keep up the emails and all. Its awesome to hear how everyone is. Pictures to come soon! I'm probably going to buy an adapter so I can actually send some of these instead of trying to coordinate it with the East elders to use theirs. so yeah... Thanks..
Elder Richards

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

5 Month Mark

Hey all,

This week was good again too. Zero complaints. OK actually one complaint. I... am not a fan of the weather here. I know I'm in southern California and next to the beach and all but I just miss Utah's changing weather. I have really in the 4 months being here almost only been in ONE kinda rain storm.. Even then we were inside doing studies for that so I didn't even get to feel the rain. Every single day its just the same like 80 degrees out. Ha so that's my biggest complaint which shouldn't even be a complaint.

Other than that all is well! Ha we have 6 investigators with a baptismal date. That will have to change soon but one of them, Yamile, 10 years old, is ready for baptism she just needs to finish moving. So we'll get that figured out soon enough! 

Well, here's the updates:

Pday Activity: I figured out about this sweet game we played on Pday as a zone this past week called scatter ball. Its pretty much free for all war ball. Its so much fun but it gets you so sore. The Sisters in my district said they couldn't even walk down the stairs the next day.

Exchanges: We went on exchanges today cause my comp is the district leader. So I lead out my area. No issues. All went well we did a lot of work. 

Dinners: We were supposed to be fed by this member one night, but she was late and we were in a meeting with a member in the ward. We got out and she wasn't answering her phone. So the member we were with took us out to dinner. We just sat down and ordered when she called and said she had our food. So we ran outside and told her where we were and she came to us. We went to like a neighbor hood and said thanks and all. Then we took our time and walked a different way then went back to our dinner that we had just sat down at. Ha so the whole night we were avoiding the situation. And lets just say that doesn't help my weight issue. 

President Interviews: We had interviews with president this week. That was cool hes such an awesome mission president. He talked about how awesome we were doing and stuff and said he has given me two of his best missionaries and is excited to see what I become later in my mission. So that was cool. 

Yeah that's mainly it. Good solid week, we've got people getting closer to baptisms... this announcement will change a lot eventually. Still doing awesome and don't have any complaints. Love you all!

Elder Richards

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Awesome Week!

{Last District}
{Disneyland Fireworks}

{Bowling for P-Day }
Alrighty. Today we had a sweet week. Honestly I'm going to get straight to the stories cause we've got a couple big ones,
Food: I actually started eating oatmeal. Haha I just decided to try it and I loved it.
Hair: I cut my own hair these past two times. Don't worry it turned out not completely hideous.
Stud: Hma. Garcia, So we knocked into this lady and we shared the restoration and she immediately let us come back. She said her husband was going to be there so we invited a member that didn't work at that time named Hma Garcia. I had never seen her before, I had no idea who she was or anything. But we met her at the investigators (Ana y Melito) house. They let us in and we had a pretty good lesson. At the end of everything we bore out testimonies and Hma. Garcia, out of no where (really no where, we were not talking about this in the slightest) bears her testimony and brings up baptisms for the dead. The husband instantly lights up. He apparently for years had been wondering what he could for for his dead relatives. He had always felt he should be able to help them out in some way but had never found or heard anything that told him he could. So he made up his mind he should be able to and since then didn't join any churches because of that. When we explained what that was him and his wife Anna were so excited! 100% inspired. They accepted baptismal dates. And they are pretty solid now. I'm excited about that.
Stud (2): So we show up for a dinner appointment with a less active family. They tell us that we are going to have to wait a little bit cause they invited a friend (less active) and his girl friend (non-member) over to dinner. This was at 7, by the time the friends showed up it was 8, by the time we finished eating it was 845 or so. So we explained to the friends what we do as missionaries and asked if we could share a message. They said sure. The guy, Alex, explained that he was baptised in to the church at age 8 and then that he quickly grew out of it. We shared the restoration with him and his girlfriend. He then explained to us at the end of the lesson, fighting back tears, and explained that we reminded him of everything he used to know, he explained that he is now remember things that his grandma taught him who has since passed away and explained that he wanted to change and come back again. We then explained to the wife some more and talked about the Book of Mormon. We read Moroni 10:3-5 with them. As we then talked about that Alex again explained to us, that his first day at work with the people we were having dinner with, he talked to Ricardo Herrera, our dinner appointment, and Ricardo said that he would somehow get Alex a Book of Mormon. Alex had at that point laughed and brushed it off. But when we handed him the Book of Mormon to read Moroni he remembered that moment. As he explained this to us he gave up fighting back the tears. He was so excited and grateful to his friend Ricardo for inviting them over. Everything was so awesome! Bad part, we stayed out in that lesson until 9:50... VERY AGAINST the rules. Ha we are supposed to be back home by 9:30 at the LATEST, ha we still had to bike back home. So we didn't get back home until like 10:05 or something like that. There was no clock in the room and we just lost track of time. It was all worth it though. He said he would come to church next week without a doubt. He couldn't come this week because of something big but promised us he'd come next week with his girlfriend. It was amazing. So worth every bit of work we've done so far.
So yeah that's mainly it for this week. The time really keeps flying by. I'm never ceased to be amazed at the time and weeks just flying by. Sounds like all is well back home, so that's good. No problems here. The music I got in that package made me anti-trunky. I have a lot of what I was missing before so whats the point of going home? None. Ha it was nice to hear all that. Anyway, Adios.
Elder Richards

Monday, June 10, 2013

New Companion!

Hey, first things first all is awesome here, ha here's the highlights,
Stud: Elder Contreras. My new comp. He is such a stud. He gained 40 pounds right when he came out on his mission and since then he has been working freaking hard to lose it and be healthy. We get up every day at 6 and go running for 45 minutes! Hahaha I'm even loosing weight. I think part of his trick though is he also eats like almost nothing when I'm still hungry all the time so I eat a bunch so I'm not losing as much weight as he is. He has taught me a lot these past couple days. We get a long so well. Hes... Hm I don't know how to describe him.. Hes sweet I'll leave it at that. And he's influencing me to eat healthier even still.
Language: I lead out the area and all the lessons we had and all the leads for working with the members this week. So I had to take some serious initiative with the language and stuff and its going good. I  am not perfect obviously but the people understand I'm learning and they understand the point I am trying to get across and then Elder Contreras always has my back so all is well.
Bike issues: We had 3 flat tires, a ruptured outer tread part on the tire, busted breaks and tune ups needed all within 3 days. These all happened during the middle of the day when we were out riding and didn't have the tools with us to fix it on the spot so we had to change appointments call members that knew how to work on bikes and walk back. Haha it was so funny. So our lessons this week were not the best. :( but all is well now! We are carrying the tools with us and everything from now on. Haha man it was a fiasco. Were just waiting for that blessing that comes from working through all that. Haha man it was funny.
Knocking: So Elder Contreras really likes knocking doors rather than begging and pleading for an investigator to read for once. So we knocked a lot this week and I actually like it too! Everyone has a different story, different interests, different struggles. And when the ones that accept the Gospel realize that the Gospel can bless some aspect of their life is just amazing to see. I'm stoked to find some solid new investigators from this.
Yeah that's the gyst of it. Over all all is well. Elder Contreras is sweet, I'm getting healthier again, we have gotten 6 investigators to church in the past 2 weeks so we made a lot of progress with them too. I'm loving this. So yeah. Love to hear from all of you! Sounds like everything is well with people. Hopefully it stays that way!
Elder Richards