Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mykaela didn't have enough time this week to write a group email. But a good friend of hers from the Young Single Adult Ward that she serves in sent me some great pictures of her. I'm so grateful for the great people in Mesa that feed her and watch over her, and for the wonderful friends that she has made there.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hello Everybody!

Hello everybody!

It's crazy to hear about all the snow and how cold it is at home when it's 75 degrees here. It doesn't even feel like November. I can't believe that Thanksgiving is next week.

This week was really good. Our mission tour with Elder Lawrence was really really good. The mission has some new expectations and rules that are going to help us create a better mission culture! We're always striving to be more obedient and focused missionaries! 

This week we found out that Benjamin moved to Milwaukee which is a major bummer. I hope we helped plant a seed and that we can get his new address to send missionaries to him there! We have 2 new investigators that are pretty solid that we hope we can help start progressing! 

We were able to do a lot of service this week. Service is such a great opportunity to soften hearts and help people be open to our message! 

We were able to watch the Phoenix Temple Cultural Celebration and the Dedication. President Monson and President Uchtdorf came. Watching the youth made me think of the incredible experience that I had in the Boise temple celebration. It's so exciting to have another temple here in this area! 

During this holiday season I hope we all remember how much we have to be grateful for and reach out to those in need. 

With love,

Sister Richards

We love our Church! 

​I saw Elder Clegg at the Mesa temple Visitor's Center!!!

there's dutch in AZ!!!! 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Crazy in Scottsdale!

​Hello family and friends,
This past week was crazy and pretty hard and disappointing. First off- I had four 24 hour exchanges in seven days where I was with Sister Thomas while our companions evaluated and trained the other sisters. This made for interesting days because she doesn't know her area very well since she just got there and in my huge area we didn't have the car so we walked and were bums looking for rides.
The awesome potential, Benjamin, that I wrote about last week hasn't been home, and hasn't returned our responded to any of our calls or texts. I don't know what his situation is but hopefully we can teach him sometime. Another one of our investigators moved and he doesn't have a phone so we can't contact him and don't know where he is so he's basically dropped. Our investigator teaching pool is depleted. It's time to involve the members and do some serious finding! Young single adults are so unpredictable and unstable. They move around a lot and many don't have phones so it makes things interesting and more difficult.
Our success this week was in less actives. We had 3 come to church this week! Two of them came for the first time in a long time. One of them we are helping to overcome addictions and another we did some service for and have been teaching the lessons as practice.
Some other fun things that happened this week:
I made and baked an apple pie from scratch at a Relief Society Activity
I planted a garden
We had two meals paid for by some very kind members when we were out to eat
Some upcoming things:
Tomorrow Elder Lawrence is coming to give us some training
This coming Sunday is the Phoenix Temple Dedication! 

I'm so grateful to be a missionary! I know the message that I share is true! Thank you all so much for the love, support and encouragement.
Have a great week!
Sister Richards

Sister Thomas and I on exchanges!

​my friend Jenny who was my next door neighbor at BYU :)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Jabari is a missionary too!

Hey everybody!
Hope you all had a fun and safe Halloween! The missionaries here all had an awesome evening! We were busy in the temple all evening. I think that going to the temple on Halloween is a really good tradition! It's much better than just staying inside.
On Thursday we were finally able to meet up with a potential investigator named Benjamin. We found him when we were tracting in our assigned complex. It was quite the miracle to find a YSA potential while tracting! We met him at the church for a tour and our plan was to teach about the Book of Mormon and prayer. He was really surprised by the differences in our church compared to others. He was looking for crosses and stained glass.. He has a Catholic background, he's from Chicago and has basically no knowledge of the church other than many of the typical misconceptions. We had invited to him to come to the Visitor's Center the night before with some other people we're working with to watch a movie and he thought we were going to brainwash him like some missionaries were doing on the Simpsons or something. It was pretty funny. His interest was sparked in Mormons because of the basketball player JABARI PARKER, he's a big fan of his. This had me ecstatic! He said "I didn't know Mormons could be black". Everyone has to know how cool of an experience this was for me. He asked so many really good questions. He even asked how he could join, if there would be a church if he happens to move, he asked about missions and if he would have to serve one. We were able to clear up a lot of things for him. We taught a little bit about the Restoration but mainly focused on the Book of Mormon. We invited him to read and pray about it and invited him to close our lesson with a prayer. It was such a sincere prayer, it almost had me in tears. We asked him how he felt and he said he felt really good and we testified of the spirit and taught him how the Holy Ghost gives us good feelings when things are good, right and true. He feels he really moved here for a reason and that God has brought us to him. He's so prepared! I'm so excited to continue teaching him!
I hope you all have a good week!
With love,
Sister Richards
Happy Halloween from Sis Andrus and I!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Happy Halloween

I can't believe I've already finished my first 6 weeks. Time really does fly! My transfer news is that I'm staying here in Mesa with my companion! I'm super excited about this because I love working in YSA and the weather is going to continue getting nicer and nicer. It's still in the high 80s and 90s right now and feel really hot!

This week was really good. We had many good lessons and we made it to the temple open house again! I also was able to go to do baptisms in the temple with our recent convert Crystal. It was a really good experience. Lately it has been temple, temple temple around here and I love it! For Halloween us missionaries get to go do temple work all evening cause they don't want us out. I'm so excited!

This past week I've really realized how hard this life can be and how blessed I have been. We're working with and have many members in our ward experiencing some really hard times. One convert's dad passed away this week and her mom is also sick in the hospital, another convert has cancer herself and has a few years to live and one of our member's mom's has cancer and I can't even imagine
​ what they're going through. It breaks my heart. I'm so grateful to know that there is someone who know what they're going through. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered for all pains and afflictions that we would experience in this life. He is the only person who knows exactly what we're going through and will help us through it. I know that we can rely on Him and our faith in Him will strengthen us to overcome anything that we experience.

I hope you all have a happy and safe Halloween!

With love,
Sister Richards