Sunday, September 1, 2013

Las Aradas - Week 8

Hey fam!
Another week down in El Salvador. Thats pretty crazy to think schools already starting up. I guess time flies, but goes even faster when your on a mission.
Were taking investigators to the temple again on tuesday, but were not able to go inside the temple. Itll be good though to just go again and ill try to take some pictures and send them. I forgot my camera today, but ill try to send a lot of pictures last week.
This week was another just same old week of the mission. We have a baptism date with Fabian for not this sunday, but the sunday after. I think i might be able to baptize him, but if not ill take pictures haha. He said he can go to church this week, so this will be his third time in church. Im pretty sure he knows more about Christ then i do and he was pretty thrilled to get the book of mormon and learn more about Christ.
Also, since I dont speak spanish all that well ive started just playing with the little kids in families. They all think its pretty cool to have a missionary chill with them, and last sunday I literally had a crowd of little kids around me during sacrament meeting. Its tough to be reverant when you have like ten kids around you but im pretty sure the parents liked time away from their kids.
Thats fun to hear that theres a new temple movie. Im pretty sure theres a different movie for spanish and english, so i dont think ill see the new temple movie until I get home. The last one was kind of out of date though, but i heard it was like the premier of a movie when you went with a long line? haha
So are allison and guy in colorado? Is melissa back living at home for now or what is she up to? Is kyle nervous for Lone Peak?

Well love ya fam

Elder Richardson
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Las Aradas - Week 7

Hey Fam!
This week went by fast. We were able to talk to Fabian again, and he said he just cant go to church the next two weeks because of work, but he still has a pretty strong desire to be baptized. So were just trying to call him every week and see how his reading of the BOM is going. Were also teaching a lady named Esperanza, and a guy named Edwin. This missions just pretty tough because everybody here works 7 days a week. Because of this, its extremely tough to get people to church three times. Edwin, though, said he knows that the Book of Mormon is true, but that he just cant go to church because he has to work on Sundays. Espreranza is also a positive investigator, and has gone to church once, but has a problem with where we get sacerdocio (priesthood) from.

Also, pretty much every night we do noche misonales. Their pretty much just a family home evening with investigators. This week, we had a noche misional with an investigator of the Hermanas, and I gave the message. It was only like 5 minutes, but I just read Alma 32:21 and gave my thoughts on it. This scripture is pretty good for me right now because it is just about faith, and if there is anything I need right now in my life its faith.

Also, we have investigators in the area of the Hermanas now, because we cant be in our area past 7 o clock at night. I finally see what dad was saying about the bread in latin american countries haha. Theres seriously a place to buy bread at every corner of the Hermanas area, so lets just say ive been eating a lot the last week haha. The US needs this too.

Well love you fam!

Elder Richardson
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Mentions of Jason and his Area

I often read the blog of a Sister that serves in the same district and was in the MTC with are some excerpts from her blog where she either mentions Jason or describes the area he is serving in with much more detail then we have gotten from Jason...


Our ward has joined with the branch in Las Aradas, so we now have a whole new area to go visit full of members and less actives!  The first day we went to the other area to meet some of our new members Hna. Cardenas and I were practically crying of joy.  I'm not even exaggerating when I say this area was EXACTLY what me and my companion had dreamed the mission would be like, minus the fact that it's pretty dangerous so we can't go there without a priesthood holder and it has to be during the daylight.  But besides that it's GORGEOUS!  Literally the area of my dreams, it's pretty much just tropical farmland with wooden and mudhuts, and jungle.  I love it!  Every time were done tracting in that area my shoes are coated with mud but it's beyond worth it.  One day I will try to take a picture of where we are because it really is picturesque tropical farmland, with this breathtaking view of the mountains in the distance


I hope you all had a splendid fourth of July for me, full of lots of homemade bombs for you crazy pyro's out there, watermelon, bbqs, and all of that fun stuff.  I definitely completely forgot that it was the fourth yesterday until I showed up at the zone conference and saw all the gringo hermanas dressed in red white and blue.  Good thing I dressed somewhat patriotic so I could be in my awkward cheesing picture I'm about to send you as well :) I was a little disappointed to not see any fireworks in the sky, so Elder Richardson and I started singing the national anthem last night while imagining some huge fireworks going off in the sky.  Haha it was pretty funny, our companions thought we were a little loco.


This family has this fun prank/game for all of the new missionaries "bienvenidos," And apparently they were scared of me the first few weeks so they didn't do it to me until this week.  I couldn't help but think it was hilarious that this family was actually scared of me the first few weeks!! I guess I know things are really starting to get better for me because people are trusting me enough to tell me that they were scared of me the first few weeks apparently ;) Lizeth Romagoza played this game called "pippity pippity pow" with me and the other newby, Elder Richardson.  It's pretty much just a follow the leader game, but you're distracted with following what the leaders doing that you don't realize that someone just put a sopping wet rag on your seat to sit on.  Haha it was pretty funny and embarrassing, good thing I didn't have any other lessons to go to that night with this huge wet stain on my butt... embarrassing

Las Aradas - Week Six

Hey fam!

It sounds like the trek was quite an adventure. That was fun to read about your guys experiences.  Hard things definitely strengthen you, but they're tough when your doing it.  Ive already seen how a mission is strengthening me, but it would be a lot easier to just be at home in college.  The biggest thing im learning right now is the importance of praying daily.  A veces, (At times)I forget to pray, and it seems like those days where I dont pray in the morning are always more difficult, and my spanish doesnt seem to be as good.  Its pretty crazy. 

So our baptism date that we had didnt go through. Hes in San Salvador for this whole month, so we cant talk to him right now.  We have two investigators right now though that are really interested in the church.  One is a single lady thats like 60, and she has doubts but says she likes our church.  Shes been to church once.  The other is a guy named Edwin.  Hes probably like 30 or 35, and also really likes our church.  He works on Sundays though, so its tough to get him to church. Hes a great guy, and   Were just gonna try to call him every week.   Thats a tough situation for Allison and Guy, ill keep them in prayers.  Is it fun having them live with you guys?  

So I got a new companion.  Se llama Elder Solano, y es de Peru Trujillo.  El solo tiene un mas cambio de mi, pero es el lidre de districto y es un my bueno misionero.  (His name is Elder Solana and is from Trujillo Peru.  He has only been out on his mission for one more change than me but he is a District Leader dn a very good missionary)Im actually 13 days older then him haha.  Its an adventure because were both newbies, so we dont know what to do sometimes, but its an adventure.  I actually like having a new missionary, because I feel like I have to talk more then with my other comp.  En serio, el memoriza toda el libro de mormon.  (He has seriously memorized the whole Book of Mormon) His lessons are all just reading scriptures and explaining them, but his lessons esta muy bueno!  It was also an adventure because I stayed in my area, so I had to memorize my whole area, but I actually did pretty well.  Nosotros comimos pupusas cada noche, y pupusas esta muy bien!   (We eat Pupusa's each night and Pupusa's are very good!)

Jason and his new Companion

It looks like the reds are starting to fade.  5 games back?  Im just continuing to hope none of my teams win championships while im gone! 

Apparently a Cockroach infestation
Well have a good week fam.  Love you guys!

Elder Richardson

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Las Arada - Week 5

July 5, 2013
Hey fam,
Okay, I dont have that much time to write today, but i'll send a short email! Time here is starting to go fast. Its crazy when your working all day every day how fast time goes. Right now, its just a lot of tracting and studying, how a mission is supposed to be I guess. I'm also starting to talk more in lessons, and some people can understand me and some can't. Its no big deal though I feel i
I'm improving slowly haha. I'm just hanging in there right now, and hopefully after a year i'll find myself able to speak spanish. The only thing i'm really struggling with right now though is i'm really not a big talker, and on a mission you have to lead the conversation. Also, obedience is tough haha. Of course i get sent to the mission that has to wake up at 6 in the morning. I think this is because I slept through classes in college so i need to learn how to wake up haha. I can definitely feel this mission changing my life, with only a month in the field.
July 4th was definitely really weird here. We had zone meeting, so all of the gringos were talking to each other about the 4th of July, but it was weird for it to just be no big deal for everybody here. Independence day here is July 25th, and I hear its a big party just like the 4th is in the U.S. Being here and seeing some of the poverty here definitely makes me happy to be an American. Downtown detroit here would be like the nicest city here haha. 
We were supposed to have a baptism on Sunday, but it fell through. He had been to church twice, and needed to go one more time, but wasnt at church on Sunday. Its tough to have your mind set on a baptism, and then have your investigator not show up to church, but if hes at church this sunday we should be able to baptize him this sunday. Its just tough because he has to work a lot of sundays. He seems like he has a testimony about our church though, and hopefully well get lucky this sunday. 
Youll have to send me a lot of pictures when kelly has a baby. 4 months! Also, glad allison and guy found a house. Hopefully their move will go well, and theyll get the house they want! How was the 4th of July, and did you guys spend it with richardsons? Last night was the first night ive felt homesick, but this is where I need to be at this time in my life! Oh also, I got your packages like a week ago, but just forgot to tell you last week. You should put a ton of hi chews in the next one haha. Ill fast for allison and guys move to work out on sunday. I thought fasting was tough before, but now having to walk 5 miles a day while fasting, its a lot tougher! We pay fast offerings, but no tithing.
So you guys wanted to know what I do on p day. On pdays we wake up and have personal and companionship study, and then after that go to an internet shop? and write families. Its just a place with a ton of computers haha. After we just go to the supermarket, and clean up our house. Our pday ends an hour earlier then its supposed to so we really dont have all that much time. Its tough not having a dishwasher and washing everything by hand. For washing clothes, we just have a lady in the ward that does our laundry, but most areas you do your laundry yourself. We pay her like 15 bucks a month, which is a lot but its definitely worth it haha. Well love you guys! 
Elder RIchardson

Friday, July 12, 2013

Las Arada - Week 4

June 28
Dear Fam
So i don't have that much time to write today because I had to figure out how to send pictures.  I sent them to allison too in case it doesnt work sending them to you.  So missions are tough haha, though.I'm starting to adjust to mission life.  Waking up at 6 in the morning is starting to become easier, and im starting to get used to walking like  5 miles a day haha.  (Below is a picture of the roads he walks every day in his area, I'm assuming that that is his companion, Elder Salas and this is Jason's view for much of the day)  My spanish is also starting to become better and better.  During personal study, I read the book of mormon in spanish and english, so thats helping a lot.

About the missionary fireside last sunday, I did watch it, but i didnt understand most of it.  We listened in spanish at our stake center.  Im starting to be able to talk more and more with Elder Salas though, because spanish is starting to come along.  We started just buying papusas every night haha.  Their seriously one of my new favorite foods.

We have a baptism date for Sunday.  The guys name is Fabian Antonio.  Hes really interested in the church, and has no problem with anything.  He thought not having to drink coffee was different, but he stopped because he has a pretty strong testimony that our church is true.  Hes an older guy too, hes 73 years old.  Here, everybody lets you in for one lesson, but a lot of times they dont want you to come back.  Its different then a US mission though because everybody is outside, so they kind of have to talk to you haha.  Ill probably be able to send a picture next week after his baptism. 

Also, I think zack went to michigan, but not detroit.

El Salvador is rainy, but at least where I am it only rains at night.  It usually starts at like 730 or 8 at night, and we have to be in our house at 830, so it doesnt really affect us that much.  Theres no sprinkling here though, its definitely a downpour every night.  Im just waiting for an earthquake my companion said hes had like three since hes been here. 

I guess everybody has a difficult time their first couple months of missions.  I guess ive wished a
couple times that I was in an english speaking mission, but I also know that if this is where the Lord sent me, then this is where i need to be.  Spanish is a skill ill use for the rest of my life, so i guess i'm kind of glad too to be able to learn a new language.  Its definitely tough, but this is where I need to be.  Oh also, we switched buildings for church, so im inside now.  We were actually always a branch off of a different ward, so we are just in that ward now.  Its fun being able to talk english with Hermana Peterson every week now haha.  Well I gotta go but love ya fam.  Ill send pictures of my house and church next week.

Elder Richardson

Friday, June 28, 2013

Las Arada - Week 3

Dear Family,
Yeah it rains every night here.  It only downpours for a couple hours, but when I say downpour, its definitely the hardest rain ive seen in my life.  Our apartment is pretty nice, its two stories, and we have a microwave.  We dont have an oven though haha.  I guess ill be in this area for twelve weeks, at least.  It kinda depends how long your in an area, because some missionaries I talk to change areas every six weeks, but my companion Elder Salas has been in this area (Aradas), for 7 months of his mission.  I havent really been handing out the pictures we bought that much, but I am handing out the rings to little kids here.  They think their pretty cool.

 Im getting to know my companion a little better, but my spanish is still pretty bad, so not that much.  Hes a pretty cool guy though with a strong testimony.  His moms inactive, but the rest of his family is pretty strong in the church.  My shoes are fine.  I just wear them untied because I get blisters when their tied.  Its all good though.  Yeah I like where im at.  Its definitely really pretty, and we walk probably five miles a day here.  Im pretty sure im losing a ton of weight.  The people dont have a lot of money, but their pretty humble and everybody lets us in to talk about the Gospel.  A lot of them like what our church says about being able to live with your family forever. 
Im starting to like the food here a lot.  Papusas are really good and frijoles here arent even that bad either, their definitely better then they are in the US.  They dont really it that flower papusa thing either, so I guess thats good haha.  Every P day here we get wendys or pizza hut, so i get a taste of home every week. 
Apparently my ward right now is a branch off another ward.  Because of this, my branch only has like 20 people in it.  Its a lot like the... greenfield brach in ohio?  Our  first counselor just got back from his mission in Argentina like three months ago, so that kinda tells you how small our ward is haha. 

I need to send some pictures.  I was going to send some today, but I forgot my camera so ill try again next week.  Life here is going well.  At least for now, this is the hardest thing ive done in my life, but im just hoping it will improve.  Ive only been here for a month, but im learning spanish slower then a lot of missionaries.  Mission life is good though, and im just trying to make this the best I can.  Well love ya fam, ill try to send some pictures next week.