Thursday, December 31, 2015

When we come down the mountain we are going to roll...

I hope that everyone had a great Christmas! 

Sister Ylisaari and I were so spoiled by the members and our family. I wish that we could have taken a picture of all the treats that were given to us but we tried to just take a nibble and then pass it on to someone else. If we had kept it all it would cover our whole counter! Those typical New Year's resolutions will be mine and my companion's so that we don't roll down the mountain haha Sister Ylisaari received so much Finnish chocolate and it was so good. She also received many variations of this salty black licorice and she loves it but it's disgusting. I had to spit it out. I told her I'll just stick to eating the chocolate. 

It was a rough week for proselyting because people were so busy, out of town and with their families but it was still a really good week. We had some good lessons with the Furbush family. They, especially Amelia were really looking forward to the 6th of January for their baptism but we still need to cover some things and really make sure they are ready. Right now we're talking about the 16th and think they'll be ready by then :) In one of our recent lesson Chris said "I think it would be really cool if one day Amelia is a missionary" that was so sweet!

This week we visited with the family that is returning twice and had good lessons. Their son who is almost 9 is so smart and we've really enjoyed teaching him and the family the gospel. They've been coming to church and reading scriptures and all that good stuff.  We're so happy for them. 

Tuesday night we performed in the community live nativity again and on Christmas Eve we went caroling with our district to our less actives and investigators. That was so much fun. The night of Christmas we went to a retirement home to play bingo. We had such a great time this Christmas! It's so fun to see different family traditions and spend time with different families. I love Christmas and I know that we always can have the spirit of Christmas if we strive to come unto Christ. I found this poem in the December ensign and really liked it 
Christmas is not a day or a season, but a condition of heart and mind.
If we love our neighbors as ourselves; 
if in our riches we are poor in spirit and in our poverty we are rich in grace;
if our charity vaunteth not itself, but suffereth long and is kind;
if when our brother asks for a loaf, we give ourselves instead;
if each day dawns in opportunity and sets in achievement, however small--
then every day is Christ’s day and Christmas is always near.
James Wallingford 

The most important goals we can set for 2016 are goals to become more like our Savior Jesus Christ. I hope you all will reflect on what you can do this upcoming year! 

With love,
Sister Richards 

Christmas morning!

Baking with the missionaries on Christmas Eve!

My gingerbread house :)

Christmas Eve we went caroling with the Elders and Sisters and we stopped at Amelia's family's house! :) 

We did the live nativity in the community again on Tuesday night!

Christmas morning!

We had a sleepover with the sisters in Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!
Our focus in the mission lately has been talking to everyone and this
week we had a really cool experience sharing the gospel. We had gotten
some notices on our door about being surveyed for a community census
and we needed to call to set an appt with this woman named Carol or do
the survey online. I considered online but thought I'm sure this lady
isn't a member because if she was she would know that we weren't good
candidates for a community census. After getting fedex'd another
notice from the government I thought ok, ok we need to take care of
this. So we called Carol and made an appt for her to come by. While
she was surveying us we had a really good conversation and she told us
that she lost her husband and some other things. She is very active in
another faith but we testified of the temple and how families can be
together forever and we taught her about the Book of Mormon and she
accepted one! It was such an awesome experience. I know she came to
survey is for a reason! I hope she reads the Book of Mormon.

Miracles: Jenny is home from the hospital and her kidneys are working!
We had such a powerful lesson with the Furbushs Thursday night about
faith through our trials and Sister Ylisaari bore a powerful testimony
of how faith strengthened her family through her mom's physical trials
and I testified to them of the truthfulness of the gospel and the love
the Savior has for them. The spirit was so strong. I can't even
describe it. It was one of those lessons I'll never forget. They
surprised us yesterday and even with Jenny's weak condition they
stayed all three hours yesterday. I just have so much love for them. I
can't wait to see them sealed in the temple one day.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christ centered Christmas. Jesus
Christ is the the reason for the season. He is central to our Heavenly
Father's plan. He was born to save us and redeem us from spiritual and
physical death. How grateful I am for Him. I know He lives and loves
us and is there to help us through this life. I hope you take a moment
to ponder what the Savior means to you this week.

I love you all and Merry Christmas! 🌲❤😊
Sister Richards

Sent from my iPad

Mykaela Richards

Dec 21 (10 days ago)

Transfer #6 in Taylor has begun!

Good afternoon! 

Transfers brought no changes for us! Sister Ylisaari and I 
are back together for another transfer and this one will be 7 weeks long. I'm super grateful to still be here in Taylor, you all know how much I love it here. It snowed a bit last week Saturday and on Monday. It's been so cold and we've both caught colds. It hasn't been fun to be sick all week but we've been well taken care of. The members have given us Vitamin C, medicine, cough drops, everything. We're so blessed!

This past week was so awesome. Last Wednesday was Natalie and Koen's baptism. It was such a spiritual experience. I am so happy for them and their decision to follow Jesus Christ. On Thursday night I was able to take a trip down to Mesa and witness Tabby's baptism. It was so nice. I am so grateful I was able to see these special people that I've taught enter into this important covenant with our Heavenly Father. They have all come so far and grown in the gospel so much! 

On Friday we contacted this family that the bishopric told us to visit. I had visited them with Sister Call this summer and they had no interest in coming back to church but things have really changed in their lives the last few months and their hearts have softened. They told us that their goal is the temple, they want to be sealed, their one son needs to be ordained a deacon and their other son baptized. It's so neat for me to be in the area this long to see some people make changes in their lives. I know that God prepares them and works on them and that we never know when they'll be ready. This family came to church on Sunday! I really hope they'll stick to their goal and start living the gospel more fully. I'm grateful for the opportunity to help them! 

We had a really good family home evening with Chris and Amelia in a member's home. They are doing really well and we visited Jenny in the hospital this week and she's going to come home today! We're going to teach them tonight. We're so happy that Jenny is coming home but she still isn't fully recovered and needs our prayers. 

We sure are enjoying the Christmas season and I hope you all are too! :) I know that a Savior was born to save us all. I'm grateful for all that is possible for me and all of us because of Him. I love the opportunities that I have every day to help others strengthen their faith in Jesus Christ.

I love you all! 

-Sister Richards :) 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Patience 505

                                                                                                                                           Dec 9th 2015
Good morning!!! 

I'll just have to start off with saying that I really hate trying to recap these long weeks. It seems that during these longs weeks the craziest stuff always happens! 

We are having preparation day today because Elder Lynn G Robbins came to the mission on Monday. It was so neat to be able to meet him and be instructed by him. A lot of you will be surprised to know that a huge part of his training was on parenting and how parenting principles relate to teaching investigators. He also taught a lot about how we are here for a reason, the Lord knows who we are going to interact with, who we are going to teach and He prepares these people to meet us, He puts them in our path. I saw that this week. He shared many amazing stories in his instruction. It was a really powerful meeting! I was so amazed that so much applied to experiences I've been having lately. He did say how hard missionary work is and that a mission is the Lord's University for life and we're taking the hardest courses: Diligence 505, Obedience 505, Patience 505 and so on. This week definitely was the hardest test I've taken in the course Patience 505. 

Our exchange was bumped back a week so it was actually last week on Tuesday. The Sister Training Leaders serve in many small towns in the middle of nowhere in eastern Arizona and New Mexico. Their area covers 1/3 of our entire mission. Well it took a long time to finally get out there because of the drive to the area after studies and a doctors trip for a sister with asthma who lost her inhalers. We had some set appts but nothing worked out. We tried to confirm but didn't hear from them and we don't have phone service in their area like at all so we would drive 10ish miles off the road to a cancelled appt... The worst was when we tried to find dinner and we got so lost in the middle of no where for a couple hours trying to follow the directions given to us that were like go to mile marker 49 and go past the white cattle guard, left at the blue fence, and so on. It was frustrating. We couldn't call because of no service and when we did see people we stopped to ask for help with directions and those didn't even help haha We tried to come up with as many positive things about the day as we drove around. We finally just had to get on the highway and head back to Show Low where we were going to exchange back. We made it to Eagar at about 7:30 and got some dinner there. I was so hungry! We had had lunch at 11. I was the only one who packed water or a snack. I feel so bad for those sisters, their typical day is full of lots of driving! I told them they need to have water and food and blankets in there because they get lost quite a bit! 
So we made it to Show Low and I had quite the story to tell Sister Ylisaari and we went to go back to Taylor and our car started making the most horrific screeching noise as we drove, braked, everything. We figured it was probably a rock stuck somewhere but we couldn't get it out. Our vehicle coordinator said we had to stay in Taylor so the Senior couple came to drive us back to the sisters apt to stay the night there and take the car to the Ford dealer in the morning. Since our exchange was just a day I didn't have anything packed and neither did Sister Ylisaari so we borrowed clothes from the sisters, got the worst night's sleep on their couch and chair and got up the next morning, put back on our previous day's clothes and went to the Ford dealer. We had district meeting at 10:00 and didn't know if we would make it or not. On the way to the Ford dealer the rock fell out but the car got looked at anyway. I know that God knew I would be in the middle of nowhere in Quemado on exchanges and that my car would break down and we would be stuck in Show Low and that we would go to the Ford dealership even though the noise was gone because I needed to talk to this man there, who was from Quemado and I was able to tell him I was just there the day before and we got lost and he gave me exact directions where he lived and then he said my wife is LDS and wow, what do you know? I found a part member family reference to give to the sisters!! Even though that whole experience was so frustrating I realized something important. God is in the details! I know He is. Everything happens for a reason. 
We made it back to Taylor just in time for district meeting and then I got a shower and brushed my teeth after 24 hours and got a nap at lunch and life was good again. 

Monday night Sister Ylisaari and I got the news that we were being emergency transferred, just like last transfer. I'm with Sister Lyons right now, which is quite crazy because exactly a year ago we became companions! We'll have an interesting week until transfers next Tuesday! 

Exciting news: Tonight Velda (Katy's sister who lost her baby a couple months ago) is bringing up her family and her kids are getting BAPTIZED! Their lives have really turned around and it's been amazing to see. They're active in church, the kids were taught by the Elders down where they live and I've been in contact with Natalie and she's so excited to be baptized. I am so happy for them! 
Tomorrow Tabby who I taught in Mesa is getting baptized! I'm so excited! President is allowing me to go! :) 

I love you all! Thank you for your prayers! I hope you're enjoying this Christmas season!

Sister Richards

The scripture I'm ponderizing: 2 Corinthians 3:3 My mission is engraving the gospel of Jesus Christ in me so that I may always be an epistle of the Lord!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Good Morning!

Good morning family and friends!! 

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Sister Ylisaari and I had a great week. We had zone conference on Wednesday and it was a great meeting as it always is! For Thanksgiving we played some football with our zone and we visited some members who were lonely. We had a meal with the Hancock/Austin family and with Brent's family. We had many others to visit and had to decline many desserts! We got through the day with just two meals. It was a miracle. The weekend was kind of difficult for proselyting because so many were out of town or had family visiting. Yesterday we had the opportunity to speak in the 1st ward. It was Sister Ylisaari's first talk in English and she did so well! Our topic was member missionary work and in my talk I extended an invitation for everyone to invite someone to be taught by the missionaries by Christmas and many came up to us after the meeting and said they accepted the challenge! 

Yesterday the church launched the Christmas campaign so you all should check out and watch and share the video! I love being a missionary during the holidays, especially Christmas. It's such a great time to share the gospel! 

I hope you all have a great week! 

-Sister Richards

Everyone we've been visiting lately has had puppies!!! Sister Ylisaari
and I have had puppy fever. This one is our landlords and she brought
him over for us to see. Mom- I might be bringing one home, so be
prepared ;)

Us with Jeff on Thanksgiving

Our first meal-The Austin family! We sure love them.

Our second meal- the Davis'! 

I forgot to mention tonight there is a community event where a nativity will be performed and we were asked to be Angels!

Everyone commented on my cute socks lol

It's been soooo windy. We're praying that tonight it isn't too windy and we don't freeze at the nativity 


Love and miss you guys!

Monday, November 23, 2015

"It's not happy people who are grateful, it is grateful people who are happy"

I can't believe that the holidays are already here but I love this time of year! We have been so very busy this week! It's been great! We taught lots of lessons and had so many people come to church yesterday! I love when the people we teach follow through and all our hard work pays off. 

So our investigator Jenny has been very sick in ICU for almost a week and a half. We've been praying a lot for her and her family. The ward has been so supportive though and we've been so grateful for that. I am happy to report that she was doing so much better yesterday when we visited her in the hospital. Her kidneys still aren't functioning though so please keep her in your prayers! 
I forgot to tell you all that before Jenny got sick she said "Sisters, I need some more pamphlets and another Book of Mormon because I sent them to my friend back in New York" I was so excited to hear that she had started sharing the Gospel! :) Jenny and Chris told us they weren't sure if Chris' family would be too receptive but we sent the Snowflake Elders to their address to see if they needed any help moving in and the Elders told us last week that they started teaching them! YAY :) 
Yesterday I was so happy to see Chris and Amelia at church. I was surprised actually! I wasn't sure if they would come since Jenny was in the hospital but they did and they stayed all three hours. We can really see that they are gaining testimonies. I have been praying all week that this trial would strengthen and not weaken their faith.

We got one new investigator this week! We started teaching another youth- I really think it is my calling to teach kids and I love it! Ryland just turned 9 years old and we're going to teach him to prepare him for baptism! He is so cute and so funny. He really reminds me of Quin when he was that age. During our whole lesson he kept going to his room to show us his trophies and all his cool stuff.  He really impressed me because yesterday he biked to church and came all by himself. I haven't come across too many young kids to do that. I'm so glad we can teach him.

On Tuesday night we extended a 30 day Book of Mormon reading challenge to Mel and Katy and we're doing it too! Listening counts- otherwise there is no way we could do it. I hope we can all finish it! 

We're having exchanges tomorrow and I'm going to be going out of the area and maybe to Luna or Pie Town, New Mexico so that should be fun! Wednesday we're having Zone Conference and the vehicle coordinator is bringing up a truck so our car can get fixed in the valley. I'm excited to drive a truck! haha :)
We're very excited for Thanksgiving. We will be eating with members and visiting as many people as we can. It should be a very fun day! We have received so many invitations to dinner, everyone wants us at their house. We're so grateful that the members take such good care of us!

Bishop Burt in the Taylor 1st ward has been helping us out so much with missionary work. He has gotten really involved with teaching with us and we're having a lesson in his home tonight. Yesterday in Sacrament meeting he extended the calling of ward missionary to everyone in attendance! "Every member a missionary!" -David O McKay He asked Sister Ylisaari and I to speak next Sunday about member missionary work and setting a date and then praying for missionary opportunities. We have been extending a challenge at all dinner appointments for members to invite a nonmember or less active to meet with the missionaries by Christmas and I'm extended that challenge to all of you! I know that if you pray for and seek out opportunities to share the Gospel you will be given those opportunities. You need not fear or be nervous because the Lord promises that if we open our mouths they will be filled and I have such a testimony of that! This time of year is such a great time to share the Gospel. I know that we have so much to be grateful for, especially for the Gospel. 

I am so grateful for my calling as a full-time missionary. I am so thankful to be serving here in Taylor, AZ. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to be God's instrument in bringing His children unto Him! 

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! 
Sister Richards

We did some service at the Bishop's Storehouse! 

It's time to bundle!!! 

Another pic with the Borseth's puppies. I think I'm going to bring one home! 

A pretty sunset

Lunch at celebrations!
The lasagna soup was super good

Selfie with the cows

Was a beautiful day at the park with Jeff

That's Katy's dad. He has motors all over his yard and he was teaching us about them and helping us get them started. It was pretty cool! 

Being silly...

We heart attacked the Furbushs!