Friday, April 8, 2011

Conference Sunday!

Mom and Dad!                                              4 April 2011

I'm glad to hear that your all doing so well. I continually pray that things are going well and that y'all are blessed for it.

General Conference was awesome! I stayed awake the whole time (Saturday and Sunday) and took plenty of notes. If y'all would like to send me a copy of the Ensign that would be great!

Regarding transfers this coming week - I'm staying in Wakefield, VA and my companion Elder Christensen is being transferred to the bottom area of the mission in North Carolina. Our transfers happen on Sunday nights every six weeks and our transfers take place on the coming Thursday!

Some really cool things that I got out of conference was service. Service, as I have come to know is what helps with forgiveness, peace, and helps with any part of recovery in any area of our lives. I've also learned that even if nothing is wrong, we should still try to always have the desire to do service. Schedule a day during the week to go out to a library or a care home or to a park and to find many service opportunities that the Church can give. Especially in our Home Teaching and our Visiting Teaching. It is an invitation from Prophets and the Lord to improve our lives, understand the world around us and to be more unified. "And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures." D&C 89:19  I know that if you will both find time during the week to do local service together that you both will be blessed and be far more unified beyond what we already know from our understanding.

When we as missionaries study -- I, personally pray for the Holy Ghost to guide my study, and am still working on it. I think to myself, how can I strengthen my testimony beyond my current capacity and what can I learn that would help me do that? Lately I've been in the Bible Dictionary and I have been studying "light" with genealogy. It's been interesting to see how things were done around the time of Christ. Searching in the Bible Dictionary and the chronological order of events and the scripture chart in the Bible Dictionary has been something of interest to me.

It's also been great to see where I've come in my understanding of life, the world around me and even myself. Changing my character/personality for the better and enjoying every minute of it. Of course, that doesn't happen until we exercise our agency and willingly let the Father's will come into our lives - but that's been great too.

One other thing that has helped my study and my personal self is prayer - of which I'm still working on. After I pray and close, I take a minute (or however long it may take) to sit silent for a while and listen, ponder, meditate on the things of the Lord, the gospel and anything of the like and see what I can change in my life.

The people here are nice and sometimes full of drama and such. Since I'll be here a while longer I wonder if you wouldn't mind praying for our branch to get along and to have more unity. My new companion is Elder Carter; pray for us - that we will work well together.

I pray that things are alright back at home and in the 4th ward and in the 5th branch. Be sure to say hello to the young kids and the young adults.

I love y'all and hope to see some letters from y'all soon.

Elder Richards

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