Dear Elder Richards, That sure sounds nice. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Bippert Clan.
I'm so excited for you. Sounds like all is going as expected...not easy, but worth it. I'm impressed that you knew the missionary purpose. Had to be a little scary saying it in front of all those missionaries. Good job!
Christmas is over and I'm kind of glad that things have settled down. No institute this week so not much going on at the branch. We did have a blast playing black light volleyball. Well, I just watched but, trust me, they had plenty to get the job done. President B and I had to get four double tube fixtures for it to work but it was well worth it. Big turn out and everyone seemed to have a good time. Chelsea and Jason cleaned the activities closet that they found and discovered the tubes so all we had to do was get the fixtures. We now have enough to really get the job done well.
We had another couple get engaged over the holiday so it looks like we will be attending one more wedding soon. Another Elder bites the dust and winds up sharing a bathroom and checkbook. Chris Bjornstad (doubt I spelled that right) got married last week. If this trend keeps going we will have to go and pull people off the streets to keep the branch going. Oh, Alan Adams is getting married tomorrow, January 1st. Should be exciting. Keep in mind that companions in the mission field prepare a man for marriage. Lucky for you that you get to choose a wife and not get assigned one by a mission president. Hopefully most will work out but every missionary has at least one dreadful companion that they have to endure and learn to love.
Your schedule is crazy. I can remember our boys telling us all that they did. No lazy time for you...you will be a mean lean working machine by the time that you get out of there. Our sons also mentioned how strongly you could feel the Spirit when they were at the MTC. The Lord is with you and will help you. Remember, to trust Him and never give up! You can do this really well. I believe in you and know that others are praying hard that you will be able to learn quickly and retain what you have studied. You have such a good heart. Every time you have spoken, I have felt the Spirit. That is such a gift. People will feel your love of the gospel and love of the Savior and that will help you so much. People are converted by the Spirit. Live so that the Spirit can walk with you. Trust me, that will happen as you immerse yourself in the work. Give it your all...NO REGRETS!
I have thought of you so many times. President Bippert and I will pray for your success. We are so proud and grateful that there are young men to serve that have strong testimonies. You're awesome...Don't forget it. Remember, discouragement is from the devil. I promise you it will get easier and these discussions that you are struggling with will just roll off your tongue someday. Maybe not tomorrow or the next day but you just keep working and praying and it will happen.
Take care, I'll write soon. Love, Pres. Bippert and Sister Bippert