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

More News from Wakefield, Virginia

Hey Mom and Dad!                                            28 Mar. 2011

I'm doing well here in Wakefield. We are getting nervous about transfer calls coming next week!

I hope that the girls are doing well. I've been praying for them every day, hoping that they would receive a witness of the gospel and the Savior. I've spent some good times in prayer with tears and hope that all is well with y'all.

I've been studying about the authority of Jesus Christ and His ministry and the example he set. I've also been reading about church history from my mission library. It reminds me of Temple Square and the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City and the more I study the more I would love to live in Utah. Reading about church history that is approved really strengthens my testimony and witness I've already had in my life.

My companion (Elder Christensen) and I have been talking and we both think it's a good idea to not watch TV or get on the computer on Sunday. We have felt that by not doing those things on the sabbath will help us to improve our family unity and strengthen our relationships. We should do our Home Teaching and take the opportunities to visit those in need. I know that the more we give of our time and effort doing service and living the gospel that we will see blessings for the things that we do. The more we ACT on it the better and faster we will progress. It's often in that time when we don't want to do it that our Spirit says to ACT on it  - is when we will be blessed for those actions.

Here are some needs:

a HUG and a KISS....LOL!

Well, I hope that all is well and that nobody goes crazy - ha! ha! How's my challenge going that I extended y'all from Preach My Gospel about living a missionary schedule? I hope the lessons learned are being applied and that y'all enjoy them. I know that if we continue to build a strong foundation that we will always come out strong!.....but only if our foundation stays strong!

Next time y'all go to Utah, go to the Conference Center and take a tour, as I did. Pray before you go for an answer to a special question and for the Spirit. Look at some of the history in Salt Lake City at the Visitor Centers. I promise your testimonies will grow stronger and the more we act on these things the more our example will shine.

Thanks for all the e-mails and letters. Keep'em up - it's great to hear from y'all and also anyone in the 4th ward. Be sure to tell them hey and that I hope everything is going well.

Congrats to those young men and sister for choosing to serve missions. I will be writing soon.

Your son,

Elder Nicholas D. Richards