Monday, January 4, 2010

She got baptized! and Corned Beef?

the Marañons got baptized!!! It was sooo cool. Elder Velàzquez came down with special permision to be able to baptize Sister Marañon and I baptized Brother Marañon. and it was sweet! The spirit was so strong there and the next Sunday there were 3 confirmations in the reunion of the sacrament and it was super powerful, cus after that everyone got up and just shared not stories or anecdotes or things like that but there straight up testimony of the church and the gospel of our Savior. They were short powerful testimonies that added so much to the was great.
after the baptism on Saturday the Marañons had us all come over for lunch, there were 6 missionaries there (the 4 from here and Velàzques and his comp) and we ate a ton and shared stories and all that and then had a lesson afterwards, it was a sweet lesson and Sister Marañon was just so happy the whole time.
It is the very best feeling to be able to see not only the atonement affect the life of someone else but to be able to be a part of a perfect act being an imperfect person and being able to help someone apply the atonement in there life...maybe that doesn’t make a lot of sense for some of you but I am no good at explaining just how it feels to be in such a great work...its sooo humbling of the natural man and uplifting of the spirit.
and the work doesn’t stop there, Brother Marañon is going to be going on exchanges with us to go and teach his dad who lives in Hermatage...he is a heavy drinker and for that is separated from his mom and he wants so much that his dad has the gospel in his life...
also we are keep teaching a bunch of ppl. a half member family the Hernandezes and Viki Bescerril and her family and a bunch of ppl...

but I did want to share with you because you always want to hear about life here. corned beef? I never knew that was a poly thing... Elder Ika got sent to him corned beef from New Zealand and he decided to make a original Tongan meal for the Ortegas (we haven’t seen them all week due to the fact that lil Abraham had pneumonia and Sister Ortega didn’t want anything to slow down the "cosecha de mormones" or the mormon harvest ...haha) but we went and had yuka in coconut milk and corned beef and rice dinner with the Ortegas...but when Elder Ika was cooking the corned beef I had the most strongest reminder of being in Grandma and Grandpa Richardson’s house and eating that there...haha it was sweet...then I remembered that Grandpa and Grandma Gordon helped build the New Zealand Temple, right? and that Uncle Lance used to do the haka from New Zealand...and I think I made the connection...because I haven’t eaten corned beef in any other house than mine...haha.
Anway it was a good week, the new year was fun, we got together as a zone and watched Chicken Little and played volleyball and soccer, and ate good food. It was fun.
I love you guys tons I hope that you all have a wonderful week.
-Elder Richardson

Monday, December 28, 2009

She's gonna do it!!!

She's gonna do it! Hermana Marañon decided that the 2nd that she wants to get baptized! And Brother Marañon is down for whenever! Your prayers are so strong. Yesterday after church they had the interview and we tried on clothes for them to wear for the baptism! And even cooler is that Elder Velàzquez is going to be commin too because Hermana Marañon said that she wants him to baptize her! It’s soooo sweet! And there soo happy about it. We went over to there house and they also gave us a Christmas present of chocolate which was sweet!(literally)
The whole branch is stoked about it and going to be going. And Sister Ortega said she is going to be making a cake for everyone to munch on afterwards.
it was sweet to talk with you guys on la Navidad and hear how things are going over there, I hope you all have a sweet new years! Our mission president wants that we be in the appt at 4pm on that day so we might do some extra studies and we might see if we can get the other elders to come over to play some risk or something later on... Elder Ika said he is going to be making cheese cake and his cheese cake is super delicious! He also makes teriyaki chicken and other delicious foods! so we are going to be having a great new years(after we finish planning anyways...)
tell all the family that I love them and I hope that they have good new years , and I am sorry its not a long letter but there isn’t much to tell, other than the super good news of the Marañon family!
Please keep them in your prayers though.
I love you all
Elder Richardson

PS I got the package and it was delicious, I shared the jerky with a bunch of ppl and they all wanted more but I then told them no cus the rest is mine! haha, jk...but not really...haha.
one of the bags of jerky went bad got moldy and so that sucks...but the other 2 bags were good.
also thank you for the underarmor and the cd's...but I am not going to lie the Andy Mckee cd only had like 40 seconds of every song on it and Elder Goodman and I were listening to it and it was sooo good and then it would cut...that was tourture! haha.
and also thank you Grandma and Grandpa Robinson for the shirt, everyone at church calls me a rich boy because it was a fitted shirt and it has 2 buttons on the cuff and no chest pocket and so they all said that it was a rich mans shirt hahaha. but it fit good and is really nice, thank you for that and for the money, I love you guys, thank you so much.
I hope you all have a great new years!
-Elder Richardson

Monday, December 21, 2009

I'm not allowed to dance ...

I was able to get on for a lil bit more but seeing as we have not a p day today because of Christmas we have some appts and so I cant write you all a whole lot about the week but i can say it went fast!
Elder Ika is from Tonga, its tight, he is a good guy and has a heart of gold, he grew up in Tonga but has lived in the US for a few years and he lives in Oakland Califorina! (anyone remember the riots? was because the Tongans ate all the food that there was...haha jk) but yes it is true that Elder Ika eats more than Elder Velàzquez eats...that is a feat! but his parents are in Tonga for the holidays so that is why I still am not sure when I am going to be calling you because we don’t know how or when he is going to be calling his family over there.
It was a good week...saturday we had a Christmas party and it was sweet...and like hispanics always do after the dinner they had a dance and it was sweet cus we got the marañons to go and dance(Brother Marañon doesn’t like to dance but Ella does...) and so we pushed his shortness right out there in the middle of everyone and they ended up having a good time...there were a few people who asked me to dance (investigators) but I told her that we cant dance as missionaries...and Elder Ika came up to me telling me that they went to ask him if I could to make sure I wasn’t lying...haha...
The Ortega family brought 7 investigators to the Christmas dinner and it was sweet because one of the families they brought asked a bunch of questions...and were going to be planning with the Ortegas today to do a Secret Santa to one of the families because they’re in need (don’t send more money its already taken care of). Brother Marañon wants to get baptized the 26th but Sister Marañon isn’t sure she is here and there with the whole idea...she straight up confuses me...but I think its just the fact that she has been catholic for years and years and is a lil bit scared to change from that...but she loves church, she has learned a ton and is always the one who is reading...there studs. but that leap of faith is kickin her butt right now...but Brother Ortega has a plan! least he says he does...I don’t know what it is though...haha.
We’re workin hard and well talk to you soon but I g2g because we have an appt here in a few min. ill give you a call on your cell in the morning and let you know when were going to call. I love you guys tons and pray for you all.
tell Grandma Richardson I love her and grandpa too and that they have a merry Navidad!
Elder Richardson

Monday, December 7, 2009

One surprise and then another ...

Well...what I usually try to do is look through my planner at the last week and try to remember all the things that just happened...its kinda sucky beacuse I don’t have my planner right now...we got surprised this morning when Elder Goodman told us he needed a ride to the ZL's appt and that Elder Randall was going to be with us for the day,...the surprise didn’t end there because al come to the ZL's appt I found a certain Spaniard named Elder Santos there waiting for his companions for the
After a gianormous hug that about broke me in 2 we took off for the day...we started today at 530 in the morning! It’s pretty sweet to see this big ole lug Elder Santos again. We actually just have not really done a lot today but that is fine...its been relaxing.
Last week was a good week, we had an exchange with Elder Randall and I and Elder Goodman and Elder Valazquez went to Cumberland and for 2 days Randall and I knocked doors...and I realized how crappy it is sometimes to have 2 krackers knockin one answered...
idk if it was the fact that it was a unlucky day but all of a sudden I realized that I couldn’t do like we usually do which is put Elder Velazquez in front of the peep hole and me out of sight and when the hispanic person opens I jump out when they have already opened the door...haha that tricks them! but its fine cus were not immigration anyways...
so...2 days knocking and we had 2 return appts...(I don’t think it helped that Elder Randall had a big black coat on that made him look like secret service) it was cold and all we wanted was that someone would answer.
That is the bad news, but later we found out that Goodman and Velazquez didn’t have much better I don’t know what went on...
Anways, the Maranons are doing good...were still workin with them but they just have to act now...there ready and they know it but I dont think its completely hit them yet that they are ready...idk...sometimes at this point I just don’t know what to do, so we have just brought over a few members and had them share there testimonies...Brother Maranon just have a few doubts about himself he doesn’t have much spiritual confidence but he says that every time we go over he feels more and more like he can do it and go foreward...they have come such a long way! Thank you for your prayers.
Thank you for you letters too!... I am not going to lie, seeing Anne all preggie and whatnot is just kinda weird...maybe not weird because she is a cute prego lady but...idk how to describe ill just leave it with kinda weird. haha
I pray for Grandma and Grandpa and their health all the time...just tell them that for a small period of time there going to have to cut back for a lil while and then one day they’ll have new bodies that will do all the work they want!
I was thinking about it one day while we were tracting, God gives us a huge variety of life...energetic and powerful and spiritual we in this probation experience everything. Grandma and Grandpa right now should not get discouraged... I know grandma and I know that even with all the vim and vigor that my Grammie has sometimes life just does that to us and we get down about things. I know that I am no one to be giving advice and I am sure it’s not new but mainly a reminder that there is something to be learned in all states of life. Discouragement just distracts our mind from the lesson at hand. I love them a ton! But be careful please and don’t get discouraged, come what may, and love it!
That includes you dad, talk about hard worker...we know you totally are like grandpa and you work you tail end off always but don’t get down when your doing it...I love it and I can think of many times when its like the very crappist situ. ever and you get frustrated and then all of a sudden you just smile...that smile is KING! I thought of those times and how I need to do that more this last week when I was out tracting and it was cold and we were frozen and I just decided to smile.
I love you guys Tennessee is a great place year-round. Your prayers are felt and I appreciate them and need them. I pray for you all too because we all need that helping hand.
I hope you have a sweet week,
Elder Richardson

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving ...

Pues como estan familia mia?
Feliz navidad! Or at least that is commin up soon! Yeaaaaaaa!
I love Christmas time more than any other time…its sooo happy and even the church of Christ ppl don’t hate us as much in this wonderful time of the world!
I kinda already talked to you for a bit but this is the stuff I didn’t cover at all.
Anyways for thanksgiving we had a turkey bowl estilo latino! Which means we went and played soccer. It was colder than I ever expected and the wind was blowin a ton…now I think it was about 38 degrees out but I am not going to lie the cold that comes here in the south is a whole different beast to that of Idaho or Washington…the humidity is killer and everyone played in sweaters and thermals but the hispanos around here make true sacrifices for futbol…if only it was the same way for church…jaja. Anyways we played in the freezing cold and even with that the tempers got a lil heated at times, but all in all it was sweet. Brother Maranon drove us down there to Brentwood and we played at a park over there and the whole time it was 98% overcast….soooo cold. After that we just went home and cleaned up a bit (the house, we didn’t even sweat at all because of the frio) and later that night we went and had a classic thanksgiving dinner at the Ruiz family house and it was sweet it reminded me soooo much of our thanksgivings with Grandma and Grandpa Richardson because the whole family came together there were more than 20 ppl there and there was a ton of food and they also had about a gazillion kids there (all cousins) runnin around doing there different things and it was awesome…the only bad part was that the MP wanted that we would be in the house at 7 o clock and we had to cut the night short…but oh well…
As for the Maraon family there doing good, still truckin along the Sister Maranon had a tough time with tithing but only because money is tight for them right now. But we talked about it and when they learned that nobody is paid in the church for there callings and that tithing is basically just a giant leap of faith and relying on the lord it cleared up a bunch of doubt…but they just still need to make that leap of faith. But other than that they are doing super awesome. She doesn’t drink coffee jamas and he hasn’t smoked for over 2 weeks. And they tell us about there spiritual experiences that they have and there sweet…idk what it is with a lot of Hispanic ppl but they are very open to dreams and receiving their answers in dreams… Brother Maranon is like that and its pretty sweet. The spirit is workin hard on them.
An for the rest of the stuff going on around here the last week went by super fast, I don’t like that tooo much, I am not gonna lie that is kinda sucky but I deal…
As for this week its going to be super busy as well, the sisters in Madison called me and told me that one of the ppl that I know up there and that plays soccer with us is going to get baptized and he wants me to do it. That was a awesome call to get, his name is Ciro and he is about 17 and he told me that he is super nervous so if you could keep him in your prayers too along with the Maranon family and that they can not be nervous and not doubt. We had a great lesson with them last night and Brother Alduenda and Brother Alduenda shared his story and his conversion and it was really powerful and then we talked about actions of faith.
God makes us do challenging things so that we know more clearly and without a doubt that he was the reason we received a blessing, that is why there written in the scriptures. We see the promises and the challenge and after completing it we see the blessing and the testimony comes. Keep making those great leaps of faith, not the easy ones but the hard ones…
I love you all and hope you all had a super fantasticle thanksgiving day.
Elder Richardson(nide haizi)

Monday, November 23, 2009

The best man ... and a family needs your help

there is always way to much stuff to write and not enought time to do it...crud but what iam going to do is try...haha
ill start off withthe fact that last week i was the best man in the nortons wedding. in case you forgot there a family from cookville and john norton called and got special permission frm the president to be able to take me over there and when i got there he told me that i was going to be the best man... that was sweet. i didnt know what best men do so i just kinda stood arround and smiled and looked eagerly at the food and then told john that i was decided that if he decided to run that i would go to and beacuse of my spanish speaking abilty we could get arround pretty good...haha. it was a good wedding...there going to be going to the temple in april and getting sealed then and so you might be able to meet them then...but a few other questions i had asked to ask you all are if you might be able to send a post card from the differnt states (idaho washinngton, oregon if you go) beacuse a member is doing a project and needs internacional help. and jsut send them to my address of to
alduenda familia
1809 barnwell ct
hermatage tn
also we had a super sweet lession with the maranon family last week...we had a plan to teach a lesson that we planned out in the morning but as we came up to there door the only thing that i could think about was watchin the movie "together forever"...well we started the lesson and for some reason elder velazquez asked me what we were going to be doing and i jsut said that movie beacuse it was super strong in my mind and i hadent remebered the other lesson that we planned it and in the middle of the movie i remebered that we had todally planned a completely differnt lession and so we started it and after starting it i remebered the other lesson and thought...crap...what happened there...
well after the movie i was thinking about what to say when jose just started talkin, he started saying how that movie was really good and how there was one of thoes stories that was alot like him and then expressed many things and told us that he and marisol were on the point of gettig a divorce when we started commin arround and how thing after thing that happnded that they did and learned that they felt themselvs growing closer to there hevenly father and to eachother and havent argued and faught scince that time and in tears(and you dont see mexican men cry ever) he told us how it saved his marrage and the tear in the family and somany things have changed for them. it was sooo super awsome...the spirit was so strong and it wsa a super good lesson. we are going to be preparing them for the 28th of november to get baptized, there so happy and such good ppl and right now need your prayers so that they can take this first step...they understand it really good and want to do it. its sweet. the week was much happened and i really cant tell it all but we had a sweet lesson with a venesualian who owns a store arround here and that guy is a baller, super straight foreward and open and funny too. and we dont have p day but were writing beacuse thursday the libaray will be closed. and also beacuse thursday in the morning were going to be having a turky bowl latino style...Soccer! and i wouldent have time to write even if the libaray was open...hahaha jk.
i love you guys tons
-elder richardson

Monday, November 2, 2009

Baptism got delayed

Man, I swear that the very first letter I sent had my new address in it... I know I had sent it but oh well...the address here is
1404 crystal springs ln
hermatage TN
ya ya la teneis
well, you dad totally hit that one on the head when you said that p days were for rest or something like that...crud...about sunday night at 4 or 5 pm I am sooo done and we still have a few more hours left so I do a quick flashback of some Gladiator or Braveheart or Rocky scene and look at my planer that has GOTTAWANNA on the front and kick the last few hours butt. haha. but honestly when we get numbers in and planning done, I give a loud shout to Elder Valazquez and say "P DAY EVE!!!!" ...(he still asks why its called "eve" but I can't really translate that...but he gets what it refers to good enough) haha.
bad news but good news the Ortega family didn't get baptized on sunday, they just weren't ready, and there was a few other things holding them back, good news now there way ready and we are planning for there baptism on saturday and this time even
Sister Ortega is rite ready...i cant really explain everything but please keep them in your prayers, especially the Hermana Ortega.
yesterday we had another family go to church the Maranon family from Jalisco MX and la hermana ortega couldn't cus she got a huge bad bad migraine and they went to the hospital(she is back to 100%) and we also had another kid come named Aslan(if your thinkin lion witch and the wardrobe you got the right aslan) he is a stud but super shy and so while elder valazquez was with the maranon family i went to his class (he has 13-14 years) and byron vasquez was the teacher and it was a hecka fun class. byron is the ward clerk (one of many callings) and a stud he is from south Guatamala, everyone has nicknames around here and elder velazquez is trofeo(which means trophy but byron usually emfasized the "feo" part haha) and so we call byron la pulga(the flea) or patachucu(stinky feet) or frodo(the hobbit) haha...anyways it was a sweet day yesterday because the patriarch brother rose from madison came down to talk and it was sweet to see him again...
the maranon family really liked church...well the girl ingrid and the mom marisol more than the dad...he didn't really say much but we have a appt to go back and teach them on tuesday.
we also went by to see a guy named carlos last night, he is a joven from Gurrerro MX (actually not to far from where veronica and fransisco are from, the ones who are in clarksville) and it was kinda funny yesterday he started talking in a bunch of slang to elder valazquez trying to make it so i didn't understand but i started talking to him back and he got super surpised that i knew what he was saying and then got kinda embarassed (because it wasn't very good stuff) and elder valazquez was lost the whole time haha...we laughed but it was kinda sweet because it lead up to a good lesson, it totally was kinda sweet because when he was talking about the stuff he was there was no spirit there but then when we started to teach and talk with him the spirit came super strong and it was a hardcore contrast that everyone felt...and then kinda at the end of the lesson carlos got distracted with something and was about to start talkin about some stuff again and then realized what happened and said" wait...i better not talk about that now because were in the word of god and all and see how satan is trying to mess this up haha..." and it was super sweet because the spirit was straight up talkin to him because right after that he started putting a ton of things together and the gears started clicking and it was ballin.

anyways life is still good here, I am basically just loving the heck out of all of this...elder valazquez is like a brother, the kid is such a stud. but bad news is that transfers are commin up and no one want us to change...
well...not alot of time left and i have to write my MP
oh and tell brock that i haven't met even one uruguyian in my whole mission but for some reason everyone says that i talk like an uruguysian...which is weird because I don't try to and I don't even know how one talks but....oh well...
anyways i love you all bubba keep kickin butt at football and brie, you do the same with soccer everyone thinks its cool that you play and that your sooo good....bubba, sorry hispanics just don't understand they think that's cool too but ...then again they really don't..haha. but i think its ballin!!!!
love you all
mom be good and just remember come what may and love it! if the house looks like a pumpkin will be really easy to give someone directions to! haha
-elder richardson