Monday, July 25, 2011

Hello Everyone!

Thanks for the emails! It's good to hear that more missionaries are departing for this awesome journey!

Things here are still going well. Because of the new church policy I can't give too much info. on the people in this area.

We just invited a long-time inactive member of 15 years to take a tour of the church and they were really stoked to come and enjoy the spirit. They had one big question about how prayers are answered and we told them that they are answered more abundantly by being an answer to someone else's prayer - quoted by the 1st Presidency.

Last night we were teaching a family of 5 in The Book of Mormon in 3 Nephi 11 and also talked about the temple and Once they saw the pictures of the temple they asked where and how do they get to go inside. I answered that they have to first be baptized. We almost got their commitment to be baptized. It's really frustrating because they are so close and still haven't chosen to make the commitment.

Things are going okay. I'm still trying to get my companion to speak more in lessons. I told him how I feel about companionship unity and how important it is and that I just can't lead all by myself in lessons. I feel that if he had talked more and lead last night that we would have gotten 5 baptism dates set. I'll keep trying. I think what I'll do is when I'm done speaking in a lesson I'll just wait till he says something and let him go from there. We are enjoying the time we have together and all the fun we're having.

The apartment is still as boring as always, I stay in 1 hour a day to ice my ankle and treat it, which is really boring! I'm hoping to find a solution soon. I am really begging to do some service here - so I'm just hoping something awesome will happen soon!

The work is AWESOME and we're loving it! We joke around and try to keep the stress to a minimum!

So anyway, I love y'all and I hope to hear from you soon.

Elder Richards

3 Nephi 26:9-12

9"And when they shall have received this, which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them.

10"And if it so be that they will not believe these things, then shall the greater things be withheld from them, unto their condemnation.

11Behold, I was about to write them, all which were engraven upon the plates of Nephi, but the Lord forbade it, saying: I will try the faith of my people.

12Therefore I, Mormon, do write the things which have been commanded me of the Lord. And now I, Mormon, make an end of my sayings, and proceed to write the things which have been commanded me."

Hello from the South!

Hey Everyone!                                                      July 18, 2011

I thought I'd let you know that I'm well and my heart is still beating - haha! Actually, Lawrenceville is an awesome place. My companion E. Zollinger is awesome. He's this really big guy - went to state I think for wrestling and coached it too. He was also a major football player getting a scholorship to college. He's awesome. He loves the people and has an innocent attitude about him which is really nice seeing as how I've been trying to return to that mindset and to be more humble lately.

I'm sorry for not writing any hand written letters lately. I've got a lot of stuff on my hands. Apparently E. Zollinger's trainer didn't do all he could so I'm having to work with more on my plate. Actually, I'm just trying to get him to talk and have his own set of opinions - so I understand where he's coming from.

I'm trying to give him the chance to make his own choices and I'm going to be on the side to help correct and supervise. It's all because of all of you (my whole family), some good parents who have that rock solid faith and sisters who have incredible work ethics. I have been lacking as to the work ethic part of life so I've been really looking towards you sisters for your awesome examples. Y'all are awesome! Any advice and correction would be great from any of you. I LOVE YOU ALL!

My callings in the single's branch also helped me learn to manage and administrate in my surroundings and how to work with people. That's also really something that has helped me open up since I used to deal with depression and anxiety. Being on my mission with all of those experiences has helped me learn to cope without any meds.

As far as where I'm at now, things are going well. This last Sunday, we were suppose to have Elder Bednar speak at our branch but he got called to do some official business in my first area of Midlothian. We've also been helping members recently with cleaning out their house, so it's been an adventure.

Lately, I took my companion to the Projects of our area and he was truly terrified! I kept a cool attitude and told him I was there for him and that we would be fine. Yeah, it's a sketchy place sometimes but there are usually the best conversations in the Projects amongst those that are truly humbled. Not to mention I got a hug from a little kid for giving him a "Jesus card" and plus we've got a lot of potential in the Projects with some who are reading the Book of Mormon and who also have computers I'll fix for nothing! So I'm putting the skills to use that I can at the moment and I'm also training my 'step-boy' how to understand ethnics (sp????) so it's a blast!

Our branch is really great too! It's small but feels more like home because it has that same architecture as the rest of the Church - so it's sweet! All of the active members are great! They give us food when we need it and always love to hear from us.

We do tend to stand out here a bit. We're the only white "Jesus boys" in town and where we reside. So it's fun and interesting at the same time - especially when I wink at some people and they get this weird look on their face.....but it's all good......because we've got the tags on and carry all sorts of religious stuff! haha!

Recently, we chased down an investigator and gave him a church tour and he loved it! He wants to get baptized really soon and "change his life" so things are going really well. We hope to have some baptisms here really soon.

I'm so glad to hear that everyone is doing so well and that Amanda (yes you!) are doing great! I hope to get some personal letters out to everyone soon - but I have a ton on my plate for now but I will try to get to it.

I hope to hear from everyone soon and just FYI memorizing scripture really helps with taking up space instead of bad thoughts and helps my mood. Deuteronomy 31:6 is really good for support!

I love you all and remember...I LOOK TO ALL OF YOU and my Savior.

E. Richards

July 11, 2011

Well hello!                                                            

It's so nice to hear that you all enjoyed your 4th of July! That's so much fun to see all the awesome fireworks. We just stayed in and talked all evening - yay for the 4th! I sure miss your cooked food on the grill Dad. I sure hope we do that when I get home.

So Lawrenceville is AWESOME! I'm still learning the area and the system the missionaries used. I can't give any specifics due to the church's new rules on information on the internet, but before we came into this area the numbers were pretty much rock bottom and now we're hitting some really good areas and finding people with high potential for baptism.

Also, I've redone our areabook so that it's more organized and it's easier to use. This area is really opening up in opportunities and we're getting ready for something big.

The AP's called out of the blue and asked how we were doing and said that President Perry is really pleased with our efforts. He gave us 50 extra miles for the month; which is AWESOME! It really helps us out and makes getting around much easier in our huge area.

The more prayers for us to have opportunities and to be more unified and to be excited for the work, the better things are; so thanks for all the good prayers - they really help a ton.

Lately, I've been trying to get E. Zollinger to talk more and pass out items from the church, but he's not used to it. I'm trying to work on him to UP his confidence and help him know that I'm not perfect either. The other day we gave a blessing and I messed up on the oil part and tried again. I hope that his confidence opens up more and that things get better; because this week will be AWESOME! We're going to teach WAY MORE people this week!

Thanks for being a great example to me Mom and Dad, for being there when I needed you and for helping me along the way. I'm very grateful that I have all of you as my family - you two and all the girls....for being great examples of faith and love and diligent hard work. So thank you for being AWESOME!

Hope you enjoy these pictures!

I love you all and can't wait to hear from you soon!

Your son,
E. Richards