Friday, January 7, 2011

Nick's Answer to the Bipperts - dated 6 Jan. 2011

Hey! It's nice to hear from you! That's great that you all had a great turn out for volleyball! Tell everyone I said "hi"....and the orange juice here really isn't that bad! LOL  Life here at the MTC is GREAT! We just got back from the temple a few hours ago and it was such a great feeling. Here at the MTC you can feel the Spirit all the time. It's just below the feeling at the temple. It's pretty great!

I'm sending pictures soon so be sure to show everyone! As I'm in the MTC it really highlights how important the work really is. Make sure to get those young men going on their missions soon, if they haven't already decided yet. It's really not anything negative - what everybody says! You get out of it what you put into it, and your life will be changed regardless. Spirit's will be touched and tears will fall, but it's GREAT!

I'm a little anxious about the field. We got delayed because they sent out two groups at the same time, so we're here till the 12th till 4 a.m. :-) But it's great! That just means more time to have all the good food. It's not the best, but it's way better than fast food; plus all the chocolate milk you want - who wouldn't want that!?! It's great!

Anyway, it blows not seeing anyone; all my friends - I miss you all! The whole branch, just my extended family - the experiences with you and with faith in the Lord Jesus Christ really all helped me prepare for the MTC and I thank you all for it!

Be sure to write all letters to my mission home in Virginia because this will be the last time I can check my email at the MTC. Be sure to use dear elder and write! I love and miss you all!

Hymn #97, #165

Joshua 1:9   D&C 121:49  i think

Elder Nicholas Richards

Letter to Nick - 30 Dec. 2010 from Pres. & Sis. Bippert

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 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

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Letter dated 31 December 2010

Hey Family!                                                                  31 December 2010

Thanks for all the letters! I'm sorry that I'm not writing much. Life here at the MTC is o.k. I'm sick, as is my companion (Elder Stanley). We've been getting medicine at the BYU Bookstore and have been trying to recover; but its kind of hard with 2,000 + missionaries on the same campus. Class is going well; but I find it really difficult to get something from a book memorized. It's really tough - but I'm slowly getting there. Our District has been the best District that our branch president has seen in a long time. We're trying to improve every day. Our studies are good; their having us look up some AWESOME things such as - where is the tree of life and how to analyze a scripture like crazy! It's really cool! I feel that the more I can get the lessons down the more I will like it here and the better it will get.

We have also been having some of the Quorum of 70's come and visit. We also had Elder Russell M. Nelson come and talk to us; who I was asked to be sort of a body guard/escort for. It was really AWESOME! (Can you tell he is like his mother and uses the word awesome a lot! tee! hee!)

It is kind of hard to get the food down because it's a fixed meal system here - but it's nice. (You have to realize that Nick is used to "grazing" whenever he wants something to being on a regular meal schedule is probably a bit hard for him at the moment!)

It's so nice to hear that things are going well. It's good that Dad got a promotion! I know Dad will make the right decision on it. I try to think that God gives us these trials that put us to our limit. Those kind of things define us as to who we are.

I'm glad that my work is an inspiration for you! It's challenging every day but I hope to get through it. Other than the Spirit, your letters are what help keep me going! Sometimes I cry when I read them knowing that you're all looking at what I'm doing.

I hope you all had an awesome Christmas. In the MTC it was good. We got to watch the "Joseph Smith" movie and "Legacy" which were both really touching. Some of the missionaries here felt the Spirit so strongly that one started to cry; so I came up to him, gave him a big hug and told him that I'm there for him and gave him one of my handkerchiefs and told him to keep it. We've got great missionaries in our District. It's nice to laugh, joke around and such; it really helps with the homesickness.

As for things I need, not really a whole lot....a _______ would be nice and an _______ (mine broke the first day I used it), more family photos would be awesome and some new __________ would be useful, but other than that it's all good here. Some good quotes and inspirational stories would be good too. If you could find me the Christmas story of "The Shoemaker" that would be great.

I love you all and I hope and pray that things will continue to bless your lives. I miss you all and I hope that you all had a great Christmas this year.

Your son and Missionary,

Elder Nicholas D. Richards