Friday, August 22, 2014

08/14/2014 - Wow

Things have been the same old here..... Nothing much to talk about except that the CCM has a case of the Noro Virus going around... I think everyone has had it just in different degrees. I have been going poop like seven times a day..... Other missionaries have been vommiting up a storm. Anyway I still have been having explosive diaherra but I dont feel sick. Yesterday I had to go and then the toliet overflowed. There was water everywhere in the bathroom. Thank goodness it was not in our Casa but in one of the public restrooms.

We start orientations tomorrow for us leaving on Tuesday. Most people leave Monday including my companion so I dont know what I am going to do that day. My flight American Airlines flight 1066 from Mexico City leaves at 6:05 and arrives in Dallas at 8:40. We have to be at the reception office at 2 in the morning so there is no point in sleeping that night. My flight to Baton Rouge leaves at 12:35 and arrives at 1:55. I am so ready to get to Baton Rouge. These last couple of days have felt so unproductive. I can´t wait to have real investigators and not have to sit in a classroom for over 12 hours. Three things that everyone is excited for in America is Good Food, Carpet, and actual toliet paper. The ground in the class room is bricks and it is starting to really hurt the knees. I took a nap this morning after breakfast and it felt so good!!!! I am so excited to be able to attend the temple next wednesday in Baton Rouge. I can´t believe this is my last P-day in the CCM HALLELUJAH!!!

We had two devotionals this week. The Sunday one was a broadcast of David A Bednar. He talked about being like Christ and when bad things happen we need to turn outward instead of inward like the Natural Man. He called it the Cookie Monster effect as the natural Man. He talked how the natural man wants things now and when he has it he devours it. He talked about how we shouldn´t want baptisms. Rather we should want to help people be happier. He gave an example of a christ like women who lost her daughter in a car accident and was worried about the two other girls who were seriously injured. She also was chewed out by a member of the ward because she had forgotten to bring soup over to sick member of the ward during the funeral but did not complain.

Sunday night we watched How rare a possesion. I love that movie especially the part when the sicilian man finds a copy of the Book of Mormon without not knowing its name and was not able to get baptized for 40 years because the cover was missing and he couldnt find the church it belonged to.

Tuesday we had a devotional by a Mexican Area Seventy whose name I cannot spell but he talked about how our testimonies are the spark that lights conversion. He talked about how we need to remember the Holly Ghost does the conversion not us and we should teach our lessons in ways that invite the spirit.

Con Amor
Elder Richardson

08/07/2014 - Two More Weeks

Sorry I am emailing late today. We went to the Mexico City Temple today. I tell you about in the latter part of this letter. By the way sorry if I respond to last weeks previous letter because our district leader only lets us take pictures of our letters so we cant read them really in the computer lab but since today was busy everyone wanted to go on their own time so I was able to read the letters. THANK GOODNESS

So this week was about the same as last week. My spanish has been improving. This was the first week we have not heard any drive by shootings. Our Sunday devotional was given by a  man named Brother Steiner. He was one of the creators of Preach my Gospel. He told us how much work went into creating it by the brethren. It was really neat how Gordon B Hinckly knew that the memorized discussions were not going to do has much good as if the missionaries teach from the heart and with the spirit. Tuesdays devotional was by an area seventy that I am not going to try and spell because it was a long name. Anyway he talked about gaining a testimony of Christ and that we need to teach others with love in us with Christ and for the investigator. The weeks have been going by fast, but I am so ready to get into the field. I am so excited for the 19th so I can get to Louisiana.

The temple was really neat. I wished that the Mexico City Temple was not under renovation because I really have been craving doing a session this week. Their renovating the foundation to prevent it from sinking like other buildings have in Mexico City. I am so excited to get to Baton Rouge so I can do a session. Anyway the visitors center was really neat. They had the Christus like other temples do. We watched a really neat video about families. It made me appreciate you guys more and for the sealing that are performed in the temples so that families can be together forever. The temple exterior was really neat. They were telling us that the design is an Aztec inspired design. In the visitors center they had pictures of the interior. They were really neat. I am excited that the Ogden Temple will be rededicated soon. I was able to see pictures of it. It is weird that the Celestial room does not have a main chandler but a dome instead.

The drive to an from the temple was interesting. The drive was about 40 miniutes but the who way we were not going to fast. There are speed bumps everywhere in Mexico City and people drive over those things really fast including the bus driver. I am glad that the CCM has their own busses because the other buses that I saw on the road were jammed pack with people sitting down and standing up. I think that would be illegal in America. A lot of the cars are jammed pack with people. It was really humbling to see how blessed we are, The only nice buildings we saw were LDS chapels and the temple. There must be a lot of LDS people that live down here because I saw 6 LDS Chapels. 3 Catholic Cathedrals and 1 Baptist church. The promises are cominig to pass that this gospel shall be preached to every Nation Kindred Tongue and People. On the drive also there were a bunch of stop signs but we did not stop for any of them. I was holding on to dear life as people were honking everywhere and about ready to T Bone. But fortunately we were safe. The only time that I felt really threatened was when we were stopped in Traffic and there was a clown that was going to different cars doing something. Anyway when the clown was by the by the bus so everyone on the bus took a picture of the clown. He got really angry an came to the bus and was yelling at us and banging on the bus. I went into a fettle position praying he was not going to kill us. But we were able to drive away just as he started banging.

Elder Richardson

07/31/2014 - Halfway There

Well I can´t believe that I am halfway through the CCM. I am so ready to get to the field even though I know very little spanish. So it was an interesing week. Friday I got really Sick. I had the frog croak voice, soar throat and coughing and sneezing 24/7. Then on Sunday I was called up to speak in Sacrament meeting. The whole time I was coughing and sneezing and the frog voice. The entire time I was saying lo siento. I finally got really sick of being sick that I went to the doctor that day with Elder Raney who was also sick. We both had some Mexican Virus that has been going around the CCM. We got some medicine and were ordered to go straight to the Casa to rest but our district leader only let us go back at 830. It was so nice to get that extra hour of rest after being sick and working really hard. Monday my frog voice was gone and on Tuesday I felt better, but Elder Raney is still very sick and he his companions with the district leader who won´t even let hime go back to the casa to get more tissues. I am so grateful I had those hankies that mom bought me.

Anyway other than that it has actually been a very good week. My companion and I have been able to give our lessons without a written out lesson in spanish. We know enough words that we can give it with a little note card with a couple of phrases we dont know. We found out our first investigator was our second teacher we have in the afternoon, Hermano Hernandez. Now we teach both teachers everyday and they act out a person. The other day I got to be an investigator and had to act out someone. It is really fun to teach them especially when they say the most off color thing during the lesson. Hermano Hernadez is a very fun teacher. He jokes with us all the time so it is a fun class. His birthday is saturday so he said he would bring us Krispy Kreames. REAL AMERICAN FOOD!!!!! I have been dying for som of Mom´s food. Hermano Hernandez is a really smart for only being 23. He has chapters in both the Book of Mormon and Bible memorized. Or district decided that he would be a good American and would contribute greatly to our economy so we are trying to convert him to be an American. One of the Elders in our district has an American Flag so right when Hermano Hernadez started class, we stood upp and recited the Pledge of Alligence. It really freaked him out because he didn´t know what it was and he thought we were maki8ng some kind of blood oath with our hand over our heart. Then for our opening hymn he though we were going to sing Que firmes Cientos but we ended up singing the Star Spangle Banner. Now he nows that at the start of class we say the pledge of Alligencew and a patriotic hymn but he his still a little freaked out about the hand over the heart. We must be close to converting him to American because he talks about how corrupt the government is here. He says the cartel has some control over the government and that the president is illiterate and has never read a book. Mexico reminds me of the Hunger Games because when we flew in, we flew right by the downtown area and I have never seen such great architecture. The buildings were different shapes and sizes with all kinds of different colors, however, when you get out of the downtown area the buildings are nothing but slabs of concrete. I am so grateful for living in American and for the opportunity we have to do an be what we want to be no matter what circumstances we come from.

Nothing to major has happened this week. We only have heard two drive-bys so nothing to biggy. It usually is sunny all day and rains in the evening. However yesterday it rained really really hard. I have never seen anything like it. The streets were flooded. Everyone was wishing they had a tube to go tubing. Our class room is just a little uphill from the raod to the pathway was like a water slide so we kept sliding on our feet down it. It took off my shoes but my companion didn´t so his shoes were full of water. One picture we toook was just me and 2 of the hermanas, we were just smiling and then lighting struck and crack,le of thunder and we screamed right as the picture was being taken. It was so cool. It was thundering every second during the storm and as you looked up you would see lighting in the clouds the whole time. It was amazing. It has been really nice not knowing the news. However yesterday a rumor was going around that Kobe Bryant was shot so everyone was really freaking out especially the Californians but then we heard it wasn´t true.

Now on to the spiritual experiences. I save the best for last. I have really seen the Lords hand as I have learned the language: Now that my companion and I can teach a lesson without nots, I can really feel the spirit more. I have learned that it doesnt matter how well you teach because I am sure we have4 been using broken Spanish but it only matters if they can feel the spirit and know that God loves them and is with them everystep of the way and that Jesus Christ is the son of God and that he suffered for their pains afllictions and sins so that though him they may walk back to the presence of the almighty Father to recieve eternal like and exaltation and be with their families forever. It is wonderful to give them that knowlege. It is extremly important that they know the Book of Mormon is true and if they k now that then they know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of the living God and that God still speaks. Mi objectivo es a invitar a las personas a venir a cristo a ayudarlas a que reciban el evangelio resaurdo mediante la Fe en Jesucristo y su expacion, el arrepenimento, el bautismo, el reception del don del espiritu Santo y el preservera hast el fin. I have been able to memorize the first vision, mose 1 39, the bautismal comittment, and James 1 5 in spanish.

On Sunday we watched a broadcast devotional by Jeffery R Holland. He talked about how we have to be the best missionaries the church has ever had and that we cannot teach without the spirit with 21st century problems. He also said that Moroni, Jeremiah, and all the apostles knew they would fail but knew they could go on because we would succeed. He talked how to many missionaries come home thinking there mission is done after they come home, but he said it should never be done. He talked about how we need to at least have one convert and that convert better be us. It made me rally grateful through the atonement we can be better missionaries. On Tuesday Elder Miguel Reyes of the 4th quorum of the seventy spoke to us how we are representatives of  Jesus Christ and the greatness of our calling. I am so greatful for this opportunity to be a missionary and serve the almighty God and Jesus Christ.

One of the hermanas in my district was telling me that she worked in the San Diego Temple for a month before she left on her mission. She was telling me about the amazing experiences she had. I though you had to be old to do that. She was telling me they are very flexible with the hours. As she was telling me this I recieved a prompting that is what I needed to do when I get home from my mission. I hope I will be able to find the time to serve in the Ogden Temple. I am so excited that it will be dedicated soon and the role you have in it.

Love Elder Richardson