Hey Mom and Dad,
Thank you for the emails. It's also nice to hear from you after my MP3 player reset ALL of my content! So all my music and family and friends pictures are GONE! So the only ones I have are the few you sent me and the few that are in my camera. If you could get some pictures of everyone soon and send them to me. It really just downed my mood after I accidentally reset my zune. ;-(
I'm staying warm and the socks are doing great! Sorry I can't send pictures today but I'll remind myself for next week for pictures! As for the bike stuff, I don't need a helmet and any equipment other than a rear fender because when I was riding in the rain on a dirt trail I had a nice brown streak of mud in a certain place on my pants. I just joked around with it to the other missionaries....ha! ha!
As far as packages go....I feel like I'm going to get all my teeth ripped out really soon because EVERYBODY sends candy to their missionaries. We have candy circulating around the areas of the mission from all the missionaries because we can't eat all the candy. It was interesting to find a nice giant bowl of candy when I came to Wakefield...ha! ha!
Other than the drama at church (last Sunday)....we had a recent convert bear his testimony which was awesome! He said "when you are going through hard times and Jesus comes to help, because you need it, your not going to like it, oh no, your not going to like it....YOUR GOING TO LOVE IT!" It was a bit surprising to see/hear him yell in the microphone in such a small building but it was EPIC!! Some people here, when they say goodbye, they say 'y'all have a blessed day now" and sometimes they will say stuff like "THANK YOU JESUS".
Other interesting stuff that happened this week was when we were in a prayer circle; they (people) just brought us inside their house to have a random prayer circle and this woman, who was totally drunk, was like shaking my hand - almost like she was trying to yank my arm out of my socket. I have to say that the south is one interesting place!
Also the rain here is CRAZY! We had to run to our car (15 ft. away) from a house we were at and I LITERALLY took a shower! All I needed was a bar of soap and I would have been clean...ha!ha!
What a lot of churches do here - is that one preacher will own anywhere between 4-8 churches in the area (i.e. from Richmond to Wakefield) and what the preachers will do is meet at one location and discuss the financial income from all of the 8 churches. They will discuss whether to close a church down based on how much money the members give to the preacher of that church. Sometimes they will just preach a sermon to the congregation on how they need to give them (preacher)more money. The way I see it (just my opinion) it kind of looks like they are controlling people's money based on their belief in Jesus Christ - all for the sake of money. That's some crazy stuff to me. 1 Nephi 13 really puts it into place as to what he (Nephi) saw in the latter days - and this is only a little bit of what is going on - so the Book of Mormon is true!!!!!!
I hope everything is going well - I pray for y'all every day! I hope all the computer stuff is going well and that there are no problems with anything. I'll be looking forward to all your letters and emails from y'all and friends.
Elder Richards ;-)
P.S. Tell my friends that I'll send letters and email too, but it will take me some time. I'm trying, but we're busy! I haven't forgotten them. ;-)