Sunday, May 31, 2015

The people in Arizona are so nice!

From time to time I get texts from Arizona numbers that I don't know.  They usually have a picture of my sweet Sis Richards. These are a few that I have gotten lately.

Before her transfer. This is Sis Richards with the young single adult coed basketball team. The young man in the white shorts is an investigator that the Sisters brought.

The day after getting to her new area Sis. Richards got to go on a Pioneer Trek with the youth in her new area. Such a great opportunity for the missionaries.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

My first transfer..... I'M GOING TO THE MOUNTAINS!

My ideal mission dream is coming true.
I was in the Valley for the winter and it was beautiful. This month has actually been cooler than a typical May, so that's nice! And now I'm transferring up to Taylor for the summer! I'm so excited to go up to the mountains and escape the heat this summer! My new companion will be Sister Call. I've talked to her a few times and she seems awesome! We'll be driving up later today after transfer meeting and then tomorrow we will be going on the pioneer trek with the youth in the stake! I'm so excited!  
Sister Pazmino will be staying and covering the YSA ward as well as a Spanish ward in the stake. The two family wards we've been covering will be whitewashed by a pair of Elders. The Elders sure are lucky to be getting such great wards and we have lots of people for them to work with! It was sad for Sister Pazmino to say goodbye to them and the people we've been teaching. It's crazy after over 8 1/2 months to be leaving Mesa! I loved serving here and was so lucky to get to stay so long. The people here are amazing!

Sister Pazmino and I had a great last week! We finished reviewing the commandments with our YSA investigator Tony. He'll be getting baptized this Saturday. I'm super bummed to miss it but am so happy for him. He's been investigating the church for a long time now, a few years I think. He's had many baptism dates but they all fell through. This time he's very excited and can't wait. He also wants to serve a mission next year! :) 
The part-member family I've been trying to teach the entire 6 months I've been in the Riverview ward came to church for the first time on Sunday! It was so awesome! I was so happy! I hope the Elders can continue to teach them and help them accept the Gospel.
One of our investigators in 5th ward also came to church for the first time on Sunday! It was just such a great last Sunday in area. She requested Sundays off about a month ago and was finally able to come :) She really loved it and so did her little girls.

On Thursday we had a mission conference and we received our iPads! The training was so good. Now is the time for us as missionaries to become converted disciples of our Savior Jesus Christ. We have this great opportunity now to use this technology and learn how we can use our agency to show our love for our Heavenly Father by hastening His work. It's been so awesome to have the Gospel Library and LDS tools. We've been able to show Mormon Messages at lessons too.

I can't wait to tell you all about my new area and the trek next week! Until then find a way to serve someone and share your testimony :)

Love you all!
Sister Richards

​Our District Leader Elder Haney went home! This District was so much fun

This little girl Kayla is just so, so cute!

Going to miss Mer!!!

This is us at the Visitors' Center with Tony (next to Sister Pazmino) and some YSA friends

​I was able to see Sister Lyons at the mission conference! :)

​It was hard to say so many goodbyes!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

We're getting iPads!


This past week was so crazy! We were so busy and taught so many lessons, it was awesome! We also got carpet back in our rooms. I'm feeling really grateful for little things like that. We found a very large and well fed bed bug last night :( I hope we can get another treatment this week. Sounds like we need some heat!

We are going to receive training and our iPads this week! This is also the last week of the transfer so on Saturday we'll receive the news! I expect to be getting transferred and am excited to find out where! Next Wednesday will be our prep day.

Sorry this is so short, I'm out of time!

Have a great week!

Sister Richards

We hiked Camelback this morning! It was super hard, climbing uphill the whole way, but so much fun! I'm going to miss serving in this district with these Elders!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Happy Monday Everyone!

Happy Monday everyone!

Yesterday it was so great to Skype my family. I hope everyone let their mothers know how much they are appreciated! Sister Pazmino and I attended 3 great sacrament meetings where we heard some wonderful tributes and testimonies about moms.

During our time together Sister Pazmino and I have tried very hard to reach our mission standards of excellence and this week we finally did!

Last Monday night for family home evening we went to see Meet the Mormons with Joseph and the Smith family and Joseph really liked it. It really helped him understand that you can be a Mormon and still embrace your culture (he's the one with the Native background). At the end of the movie he said "All those people are baptized?" He told us that the movie gave him a lot to think about. I think that seeing this movie was perfect for him. I love this movie and the barriers it helps us break and the things people can learn about us by watching it. You can see people all over the country and world living the Gospel. It gives a larger perspective than what he sees at church in Mesa, AZ. Our follow up lesson with him we more thoroughly explained what baptism and confirmation mean- remission of sins, covenant with God, receiving the Holy Ghost, etc and we had a really good discussion. I'm not sure what Joseph thinks but it seems as though he thinks baptism is not achievable and he honestly believes he's a bad kid with no hope but we're trying to help him see that through faith in Christ and repentance he can have peace and happiness in his life. Yesterday he came to church by himself! We didn't have to go knock on his door and get him. He also sang the hymns and even took the sacrament. These things are all major progress!

Amada is one of our other progressing investigators. She came to all three hours of church yesterday! We taught the word of wisdom to her this week and she has committed to stop smoking and drinking coffee. She desires to quit smoking but not coffee because she doesn't see the harm and her doctor has prescribed it as good for her liver. We need to have a follow up with 'God's ways are higher than our ways'. She's also starting to make friends in the ward which is awesome!

Cindy dropped us. I felt like perhaps she wasn't progressing because we had given up on her and that it was our fault for not working harder to guide her but then she told us what we taught is wrong, that she saw an angel and that the Mormon church wasn't for her. She's no longer receptive but we boldly testified that the church is true and she didn't listen to us. She said she's going back to her old church and she asked us not to come back. She just wants to show up to church on Sunday listen to a good sermon and go home. She wouldn't make or keep commitments or the commandments. Living the Gospel isn't a Sunday thing, it's always. "Every day, every day, every day." It's sad because it really seemed she had received a witness that what we taught her was true.

Tabby is a young girl we just started teaching. She has been coming to church with a friend who watches her. She loves coming to church and she loves young womens. She is doing really well as far as keeping her commitments. She's reading all the Book of Mormon assignments and the pamphlets that we leave her. She has great questions. She seems to be understanding what we teach her and what she's reading in the Book of Mormon. Mer our recent convert came to one of our lessons with us and she shared why she decided to be baptized. The Elders in our district just baptized a 12 year old girl and are baptizing another 10 year old girl this week. It's so cool to see these youth accepting the Gospel. They are so prepared and just grasp onto it while their parents usually aren't too interested and not wanting to change.

I hope you all make it a great week! :)
Sister Richards

​Our little missionary Mer!

​During all of our flood craziness we didn't have a door on our bathroom for two days so we used the shower curtain for privacy... fun times. hahaha

​This is Elder and Sister Dale, they serve in our mission and are in the Riverview ward! They are so wonderful and do so much for us!

These past two weeks our complex ​was baptized by water and by fire. These 8 units right in front of our front door were destroyed by an attic fire that couldn't be contained. One of our YSA members lives in one of these and a lot of her stuff was smoke damaged.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

100 degree days are here!

It hit a 100 degrees on the last day of APRIL! This is craziness. It was so, so hot, about 100 for three days straight. Sister Pazmino and I were miserable and we have a car!!! Our poor fellow missionaries on bike... man I am so grateful. Everyone kept saying "Sisters, you have no idea this is just the beginning." Oh my goodness. I don't know how I'm going to survive the summer. 

So much happened on Thursday-

I was so down in the dumps and I really didn't know why. I tried to sleep off my funk at lunch but when I woke up wasn't feeling too much better. I prayed and decided that today was going to be a good day. We tried to visit some people with no luck and then we stopped to see Cindy. She told us she decided to start reading Alma from the beginning because she didn't like jumping around to read the assigned chapters we had given her to read that covered her questions about the plan of salvation. We said okay, let's read from where you left off. So we read Alma ch 2 where the Amlicites are going to battle against the Nephites and we discussed how important it was that the Nephites prepared themselves physically and spiritually for this battle, then prayed to the Lord for help and how they were able to defeat the Amlicites and the Lamanites as well. Cindy just had this awesome aha moment where she herself applied the scriptures to her own life. She said that she needed to put forth her own effort to quit smoking and not just pray to God for help. We asked her what "weapons" she could use to win her own battle against her smoking addiction and she was able to come up with some really good things. This lesson was such a break through for us. With Cindy there are so many ups and downs but Sister Pazmino and I walked away from this lesson just amazed. We said "who was that?! Cause it wasn't Cindy!". We had seen such a huge difference in her. She told us she has such a great desire to be baptized. It's just so frustrating for us because we feel that she could put forth more effort. One of the weapons she said was the Addiction Recovery Program that we've been inviting her to for months and she commited to go this weekend with us but then she didn't... 
From this lesson I reaffirmed my testimony of the power of the Book of Mormon. I know that we can apply the principles in it to our lives today! 

Then we visited a sister from one of our wards. She's 70 years old and was married for 48 years and then her husband just left and divorced her. She's been struggling a lot and having a really hard time but this week things had turned around for her. She testified to us of the healing power of the Savior's Atonement and she said that she knows that everything will be okay. She told us she knows that God will take care of her. She's found peace through studying the scriptures, going to the temple, attending church and reading conference talks. The spirit was so strong with this sister that Sister Pazmino and I just started crying. It was so good to see this sister in such good spirits and doing so well with a testimony so strong.

I know that the Savior knows exactly what we're going through. He's felt all our pains and our sorrows. Alma 7:11-12  11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictionsand temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
 12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loosethe bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
I know that the Savior can succor us and strengthen us and help us to heal and press forward in our lives. 

Then we got thrown another trial. We came home to grab some things for an object lesson because we were having a family home evening with our nonmember neighbors and as we walked in the house and down the hallway the floor was completely flooded and we turned on the light to see what was going on and their was water dripping out of the ceiling, the light fixtures, the fan in the bathroom and it flooded to the carpet in our bedrooms. It was so bad. We immediately ran upstairs and knocked on our neighbor's door and they had no idea what was going on. So we grabbed some buckets and bowls to catch the water and tried to mop up the mess. They later came down and said that their toilet had overflowed and flooded their bathroom so we had toilet water all over our house. We called the landlord and he had a water restoration company come out and they cut out the carpet and the ceiling and had fans running for two days. Sister Pazmino and I stayed at the Relief Society president's house in the YSA for a couple nights to get out of the noise and chaos. So bedbugs and now toilet water. It's been fun!!! Satan keeps trying to keep us from the work but we won't let him.
We worked really hard this week regardless of everything and set a record for our companionship  in lessons taught with a member present and total lessons taught!!! Which was awesome! We're definitely seeing the work progress.
We know we'll continue to see miracles as we diligently serve. 

I can't wait to talk to my family on Sunday! Happy Mother's Day to all of you moms! Make it a great week! 

With love, 
Sister Richards :)

​Here's us with some YSA ward missionaries and our ward mission leader who was just released