Friday, May 29, 2015

Hark all Ye Nations/Lafayette

So this week was so exciting!!!! It was probably one of the most exciting weeks in the mission!!! We got a baptismal date with Jessica!!!! June 14!!!! It is barely in the next transfer so I hope they will keep us here!!!! I will be so sad!!! We were able to teach her and her husband Jordan the Plan of Salvation on Thursday, and then yesterday we taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She is so excited to be baptized!!! Her husband Jordan is a member but the lesson have been a good review for them. They both love to hunt so it is cool to have that in common. She has been reading the book of Mormon and reading the pamphlets!!! She knows so much!!!

We met with Zach's family last week also. We have been teaching him at a member's house that have been fellow shipping him. We met with his mom and his dad. His dad is a Muslim from Bangladesh India. He practices it still but he must not be hard core Muslim because he married a Christian. We had dinner with them and shared Helamen 10:5 and building your foundation on Christ. We were a little nervous because we didn't know if we would offend his dad, but his dad said we taught a principle in the  Koran. So that was good that we taught something that was on common ground. His mom told us that they would be at church on Sunday. Zach and his mom and sister came to church on Sunday. After we went to the Aubreys and had dinner with them and a lesson. His mom loved church and really appreciated that during sacrament they acknowledge people who served in the military and asked them to stand. She was able to stand because she served as a Chaplin in the military. We heard in Relief Society that she gave really awesome comments. During the visit at the Aubrey's with Zach and his family his mom told us that she was looking for a new church and would love to learn more about our church. After dinner Zach came to us and told us that he wants to discuss a baptismal date and his mom said she has loved seeing the change in Zach, and she fully supports him being baptized!!! Zach is an amazing person. We went with him to Teachers Quorum. I was so impressed with the answers he gave in teachers quorum. The lesson was about prayer and he talked about how he received answers to his prayer to know if the church was true. He is already in Alma!!! WOW!!! I just hope and pray that I am not transferred. Just this one transfer I have seen so many miracles that have come from serving here. Is there anything the Lord can't do? He will open the gates!!!!

We also visited Raphael and Virgina. They were unable to attend church this week because of work. The ward has been doing really well to fellowship them though. Even though they only speak spanish many members who speak spanish fellow ship them.

We were able to visit Carmen and Juan. She wants to go to church but he is a little hesitant. Carmen's sister Mary and her husband want to go but were out of town for memorial day. We taught them more about the Book of Mormon.

We were unable to find a ride down to Abbeville to see our spanish investigators that live down there. We have an appointment this friday to do Family Home Evening with a hispanic family who invites there friends to listen to the gospel. One of the less actives they invite came to church which was awesome.

The Lord is working miracles here in Lafayette!!! There is a lot more work here then there was in New Orleans. The people here are more prepared to hear the gospel. I have loved my first transfer here in Lafayette.

“The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.”

 There have been so many miracles here. I am so grateful to be a member of this church! I am grateful to see and witness so many miracles!!! I love this gospel!

Love Elder Richardson

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Lafayette, La

Things are going really well here in Lafayette. On monday after pday we had Etouffee. It was really good. We had interviews last week with our president. They went really well.

We also got to visit with Zach and we will be going over to his families house this week. Hopefully they will also want to learn more about the gospel. He came to church. He is continuing reading the book of Mormon and still wants to be baptized.

We also met with Carmen and Jose and taught them the plan of Salvation. They really enjoyed it. They said they wanted to get to the Celestial Kingdom but they couldn't come to church.

We had a wonderful miracle that happened. We were invited to a dinner appointment with a family. During the dinner they gave us a referral of a lady named Jessica who is married to a less active but who has becoming more active. They have been coming to church and everybody has thought that she has been a member. She lived in Utah since she was a freshman and loved the church. She has wanted to be baptized but didn't know how to. They invited her over and she was so excited to finally know what she had to do to be baptized!!! We were able to teach her the restoration and told us that every time she went to church she felt the spirit so strong. She told us she has been to many churches and she has only felt peace at the LDS church. She told us she knew the devil could not produce those feelings of peace. We extended the invitation of baptism. She accepted. She told us she wants to be sealed to her husband and children. We will go over on Wednesday to discuss a date and talk to her husband because she wanted her husband to baptize her. He may not be worthy so that may slow things down, but we are so excited to help a family become eternal! She will definitely be baptized!!! She is so golden!!!!

I can see the lord's hand here in Lafayette preparing people here to receive the gospel. I know that miracles happen and that the lord is preparing the elect to hear the gospel.

Come let us Anew/ transferred to Lafayette, LA April 18th 2015

Anyway I am sure yall want to know where I am at. I am in Lafayette. It is extremely different than New Orleans!!! It is so much nicer here!!! It is like Utah. I don't feel threatened every time I go out. There are not many black people either. I feel like the majority again!!! HOORAY!!! Elder Passey is my new companion. He is so much better than my last companion. My last companion was the worst ever. But I need to be nice. I served around Elder Passey in the West Bank and he is a really fun companion.

The Ward here is huge!!! I have been so used to branches. Priesthood meeting here is the size of the English branch. The sacrament congregation goes halfway into the gym. They pack you in like sardines in there. There are a little more people in the summer because ADT sends a bunch of salesmen here, but there are a ton of members in Lafayette. There is also quite a bit of Spanish here to.  We did have a spanish investigator at church named Raphael. If we have spanish investigators who come we do have people that can translate through headphones, but most usually know how to speak english or they choose not the translation.

We have a couple other investigators that usually come to church but they were unable to. We were able to see Raphael and his wife. They have been taught for a long time now. We talked about the fruits of the spirit with them. We also saw a guy named Larry who was completely drunk. I guess he is always drunk when the missionaries go over. So I don't know how much he will progress. We saw an old man named Patrick who is in a rest home. We saw another family Carmen and Jose. We taught them a little bit of the plan of Salvation.

A lot of the people that we usually see were not able to see us so I still have a long ways until I learn the area.

The members here are awesome. The first day I was here and older couple took us out to Longhorn steak house and got us Ribeyes!!!! I had not had steak in  like forever!!! I was so happy. Some members had us over for ribs on saturday and yesterday the ADT gang had their group steak bar-b-que that they invited us to. After, the bishop had us over for Cobler. This is cajun country so there is a lot of food!

Today for p-day we made hot dogs wrapped in hamburger and bacon. They were really good. Now we will be playing volley-ball.

I'll go where you want me to go

Anyway, Louisiana does not have any Mountains, The mountain here is the Levee but we were able to go to the Temple on Friday! That was a wonderful session! We went for the endowment of the Stancliffes daughter who is going on a mission. We went up with the Fossatis and they were able to be the witness couple which was really cool. We got to sit in the front row with President Fossati. Other people in the English branch were there also. The senior couple also went. It was so neat in the Celestial Room with so many people wonderful people from the branch. It reminded me when I received my endowment and there were so many wonderful people from the ward there in the celestial room. It was like being home. It was weird because I got to be the first person in the Celestial room. That was really cool. Plus a bonus they played my favorite film with the Saturn looking heaven. That one is probably my favorite. It so neat because every time I go I keep understanding more and more of the symbolism.

Last week we also had a zone conference. People from Salt Lake came to teach President and other randomly selected missionaries the new way we are to teach. It was really good to learn this new form. They completely changed how we are to teach. It used to be flood the earth with book of Mormons but it is not that way anymore. I noticed it on the mission they have been slowly wanting us not to hand out book of mormons out. Now Salt lake doesn't even want us to give the book of mormon out until the second lesson. It was interesting how they want us to do the lessons. We are to do the restoration in less than 7 minutes. WOW. It was really cool. It was done in a way that involves the investigator more and to get them learn for themselves. To read the pamphlet. The next day we are to come back and give them the book of mormon. And talk about the book of mormon more in depth. Then that saturday they want us to take them on a chapel tour. It used to be Plan of Salvation to be second. The plan of salvation lesson was a lot different how they wanted us to teach us. They want us to really focus on the Atonement and when we talk about each part in the plan of salvation to always link it to the atonement. It is a lot different but it will be really cool.

We tracted into a spanish guy last week and tried to do the lesson thing they wanted us to do. It is a little harder to do on the spanish then the english. A less active member named Carol had a friend named Cindy. She was a lady who had a lot of trials. We were able to teach her that God has a plan for her and that this life is to learn, to grow, to gain experience, but that we are here to be happy.

On Saturday the branches had there day of service. We helped out at a no kill animal shelter. We got to help build a fence, walk the dogs, and help clean the dogs. It brought back memories from work. There of course was the loud barking dogs, the extra large squidgy, the same soap, it was crazy! It was a great service project, but it was bad for the parents, because all of the kids were begging their parents to take home a pet. HAHA!!! There were a couple adoptions though. It was an awesome

Miracles in Gretna April 2015

Anyway the work is going fairly well here. Tuesday we got to do a missionary activity with the youth for mutual. That was really fun. The station a missionary and I got to do was we got to act like crazy people and they had to get them focus. It was really funny acting like people we have visited and see how the youth would get them to focus. It was really fun getting to help them and prepare them for their missions.

We had an appointment with an English less active on Saturday but I had a feeling to visit her on Thursday but I had no clue why. We went over there and there was a Hispanic family helping her out. We got to talk to them and share the restoration with them!

We got to visit that same less active on Saturday and she watched general conference at home. We were so excited that she did that!!! We also take the sacrament to a lady who is 90 years old who is blind and can't hear well. Her daughter is a less active and has some Buddhist beliefs. Before she left she volunteered to say the PRAYER!!! And she said in the prayer how she was grateful for the savior Jesus Christ!!!! THAT WAS SO AWESOME!!!

We also visited Sister Morino and talked about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and read Moroni's promise at the end of the Book of Mormon. We commited her to read the Book of Mormon. She said she would and talked about that she feels the spirit when she reads the Book of Mormon.

While at church on Sunday an Elder in the district and I got to help out in primary with the hand signals for the song Book of Mormon stories. Dad when I return from my mission I would like a calling in the primary. cough cough cough......  It was really fun. The children are crazy but it was fun trying to get them to pay attention and get to work with them.

During the Spanish sacrament service a lady bore her testimony and talked about how she was from Florida. It sounded like she was just visiting from Florida but I had a really strong impression to welcome her. When I was walking up her 9 year old son told his mom how he wanted to say hi to the missionary. The son came up and was talked to me telling me how he wanted to serve a mission in England. I was talking to him and his mom and she said they just moved here from Miami and I asked her where she lived and they lived in our area!!! I told her we would love to come over and she asked us to come over that night!!! She really wanted missionaries to ascosiated with her husband who is a less active but is ENDOWED!!! The spanish branch has very very few endowed priesthood holders. It is sad. There are way more women who are endowed than men in that branch. We got to visit them and they were an awesome family!!! They are so strong in the gospel. The father even said I need to go to church but just tired because he works a lot!!! After the lesson it was raining very hard and he wouldn't let us walk home and he gave us a ride. There names are the Hernandez family and they are really awesome that is strong in the gospel. They are going to be such a blessing to the spanish branch.

Another Miracle we had was Abinadi is out of town but Anna Garcia still came to church!!! It was awesome. She must be really interested. He will be coming back on Saturday and we have an appointment with them on Sunday next week. Sister Ortega was so nice to her also. She came to sit by her in the back and helped her take care of her 6 year old son while she had to take out her baby during the service!

The work is slowly progressing but it is so excited to see new people come. This is truly the work of salvation. I am so grateful to be apart of this work!!! I just looked out side and it looks like the sky is just pouring water!!! It has been raining like crazy here!!!

We Thank thee Oh God for a Prophet/April 12

Last week a lot of our plans fell through so we did a lot of tracting. We found one person who was a little interested but most people were not too interested. We did visit some of the less actives.

I think General Conference weekend is probably the best weekend of the mission. It is so relaxing and you are so spiritually filled. I noticed there was a lot on Family and marriage. The family is so important and satan is doing all he can to destroy it. I especially loved how they directed a lot of their talks to the young people. They even focused a lot of their talks to missionaries that were currently serving. It made me think of how I want to live my life when I come home. I especially enjoyed Henry B Eyrings on the importance of fasting. It made me committed to fast for a full 24 hours. I especially loved Dallin H Oaks talk. I really love his talks.

I also enjoyed the priesthood session. I made me think of how I honor my priesthood and how I live and made me realize the importance of the priesthood. I really enjoyed M Russel Ballards talk and President Monsons talk.

I love President Monsons talk in the morning about the temple and Easter. All that we do in the church point to the Lord and his holy House. I am so grateful for the temple and for the peace that we find within those holy walls. Every time I enter the Celestial Room it feels so peaceful. You feel God's love so strongly! I do dread the moment when you have to leave. I also love the talks on Easter. Neal L Anderson on the second coming was awesome.

I am so grateful that we have living Prophets and Apostles who the Lord has chosen to guide us through. By following and heading the words of the prophets we will be safe, protected, and be happy in our lives.

Improve the Shining moments /April 2015

Tuesday we had an emergency zone meeting. They ended up reorganizing the North and South Zone of New Orleans and created a Spanish New Orleans Zone and an English New Orleans Zone. Everything else basically stayed the same. On Tuesday President Fossatti gave us a referral of a family who came to church and had no idea who they were. We went and visited them and his name was Abinadi Garcia and his wife was named Anna and they had two young boys. He was a member and she is not. He wants to get more active and Anna wants her boys in the church but has not had a conviction that the church is true... Yet but she wants to learn more from us. We shared the Restoration lesson with them and Abinadi shared his testimony to her. Yesterday we were able to visit her with President Fossati because Abinadi works 3 weeks out of the state then stays home for another 3 weeks. President Fossati is going to have the Relief Society visit her also. Tuesday night we had Noche de Hogar with Elizabeth and the sister missionaries. It was really neat.

On Wednesday Brother Stancliffe asked if we could come over and help him with Family History. I went over and I helped him do descendency work with the Puzzilla and family search. We were able to find a family of names on census records on family search. He was really impressed and was really excited about doing it. He called us a couple of times during the week telling us what he had found on it was truly marvelous to see the spirit of Elijah in him. On Saturday night we recieved a call and word got out about helping Brother Stancliffe that I was asked to do the 5th Sunday lesson for the Branch yesterday. I talked from starting to sign in to an ancount all the way to doing your direct line and using census records and doing desendency work on puzzilla.

On Friday we were able to attend a Farewell Party for the Stancliffe's daughter who is going on a mission to Oaxaca Mexico.

On Saturday we visited a less active who told us that every time she gets really down or someone to talk to that we always arrive. That was really neat for us to hear that.

Sunday we went and took the Sacrament with the Senior couple to some of the shut ins and then we had branch coordination with the branch mission leader. And then we visited some people with President Fossatti.

Remember that Conference is this weekend!!!! Sessions are available 10 AM and 2 Pm Mountain Day light time!!! Come, listen to a prophet's voice, And hear the word of God, And in the way of truth rejoice, And sing for joy aloud. We've found the way the prophets went Who lived in days of yore. Another prophet now is sent This knowledge to restore!

Gretna in March

So we have p-day on Tuesday usually during transfer week.... Well.... We have to email on Monday because the library will be closed on St. Patrick's Day....  Louisiana finds any excuse to take a day off...... Anyway we will not recieve calls who is leaving and who is going until tonight..... But I will make sure to email all yall tomorrow if I do or don't. This week was a bitter sweet week. It was really fun and we did a lot but it was really sad because I am 99.9 percent sure i will be getting transfered and it was a little hard leaving a lot of the people because you knew that could be the last time you see them. It was especially difficult to say good bye to the Hoffmans. They did request me on facebook as friends so I was really happy about that.

We were also able to see Lorenzo's mom Crisitina. She was extremely friendly with us and she wants us to come over tonight to help her mow the lawn and feed us dinner. I think she is almost to point where she would like to learn about the gospel and learn what her son is teaching to others. She was showing us pictures of Lorenzo on the mission and he was doing very well!!! It made me so happy!!! 

Tuesday and Wednesday it rained a lot and we were under flood watch so we couldn't go out. Thursday we were able to go out, usually thrusdays we go out with Brother Stancliffe to see some single women in the branch. One of the Less actives really wants to come back. At church it was so awesome because 2 different spanish less actives that we visit came to church!!!!! One of them has been coming more recently now and he is bringing his daughter too!!! 

We also walked sister morinos dog and also had a little lesson with her. The sisters, the stancliffes, and us think that the way to get her back will be to get into to church building to have her feel that spirit. They are going to have an activity soon with sewing and they need her help with that so hopefully she will enjoy that. We will be at her house tonight to also mow her lawn.