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 The last one was kind of out of date though, but i heard it was like the premier of a movie when you went with a long line?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
Inline image 1

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
Inline image 1

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. 

Pictures...finally! :)

Guatemala MTC District.  The guy in the yellow vest was a guide at a large map of Guatemala that the MTC President takes missionaries to and discusses the Book of Mormon lands

Jason's MTC Companion hard at work?

Pupusa's for lunch

 Pupusa's with beans and rice is the standard meal..he seems to be enjoying them.  Clearly the clock and calendar is off on his camera since he wasn't there in 2012! His house doesnt look to bad, 2 stories and three bedrooms....
  Jason's Companion, Elder Salas, from the Domincan Republic

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Las Aradas - Week 2

Dear Fam, to answer some of your questions...
Companion    I have a latino companion, Elder Salas, as you guys know.  Hes collecting all the quarters, so do we have any of those quarter collection books lieing around.   It would be cool to give to him.  House is still pretty quiet since he doesnt speak any english.  I think thats one of the toughest things, just living in silence most of the time haha.
Shoes...  Those eccos we got... hurt.  My feet are all cut up from them, so today im just wearing them really loose.  Cant do anything about that though haha. 
We have a baptism date for the 29th of June.  Weve just given a guy two lessons, but he was definitely prepared, and attended church on Sunday and loved it! Here for baptism people have to go to church three times, and then they can be baptized. Elder Salas will baptize him, but it will be a great experience to be able to attend that.
Package... I havent gotten your guys package yet, but it will probably come soon!
Area... Yep I think thats right. Theres not that much in aradas other then dirt floor houses!  Theres a small neighborhood where the hermanas in my district proselyte.  Its a lot richer then where I am.   Its fun having a hermana from my district in the CCM in my district here. 
Temple...  We got to go to the San Salvador temple last saturday.  I should have taken pictures, but i forgot my camera!  I really dont have too many pictures right now of the mish.  Its a nice small temple though.  We took investigators up there, and just taught them about the temple.  All of the investigators we talked to about the temple loved being able to go up there and see it.  It was a great experience.
Food... Im not a big fan of the food here haha.  Papusas here are better then the ones we had, but i like them more with ketchup then the salsa.  Im just not a big fan of tortillas, and they eat tortillas here... for every meal.  They do have real milk here though, so i get to have cereal in the morning!  It makes me feel like im back at home.  Ive been sick for the last week though with big d. 
Serving here is really just two years of camping!  Were in the forest all day every day, so it really does feel like were just camping for two years.  Also, i guess its not really all that dangerous here.  Ive been talking with the elders who are about to go home, and none of them have ever seen anybody get shot.  I have faith that as long as I do what Im supposed to, I wont see anything like that either.

Ive just been praying every day for charity.  Im having a tough time caring a lot about the people here, but need to change my focus.  I guess Im kinda having a withdrawal from the Reds.  Who knew baseball could be an addiction! haha  Well fam one more week down, \but I guess im just not used to having to do hard stuff.  One thing an older elder here talked about was no regrets.  He just wakes up every day trying to make sure he doenst have any regrets at the end of his mission.  Im gonna try to take that motto too!  Well love you fam thanks for the support. Oh and... reds update??? haha

Monday, June 3, 2013

Mission Arrival Letter and Pictures

Dear Richardson Family,

            We are happy to announce that your son, Elder Richardson, has safely arrived to our mission. The night of his arrival, we enjoyed getting to know his in a dinner at the mission home, and we can tell that he is a great missionary. We are grateful for his sacrifices and your sacrifices to allow him to be here. We pray that our Lord Jesus Christ will pour out his blessings upon your family. We are very happy to have your son with us and we know he will bless the lives of many people here in the great country of El Salvador.

He has been assigned to the Las Aradas area in the Modelo Stake. His companion is Elder Salas from the Dominican Republic. We expect to see many miracles from this companionship.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

El Salvador Arrival

We heard from Jason that he arrived in Santa Ana, El Salvador safely today when we received the following brief email:

Hey family,
Couldnt read your email but i got to the mission house in El Salvador.  Gonna be an adventure.  I think my P day is on monday so ill write you next week.  Love you guys!

Elder Richardson
I have been following some other missionaries in Jason's district that traveled with him today and saw one of the sisters posted the following pictures of their arrival by bus at what looks like a church in Santa Ana.  I hope she doesnt mind me reposting them just to give you an idea of what his arrival looked like..I was hoping to see him in the background but no such luck...sigh...

I'm sure Jason is happy with a Subway lunch before he enters the world of rice and beans and beans and rice depending upon how close he is to the city of Santa Ana in his first area

His mission president is the tall man on the right...Jason let us know he is a Michigan graduate which he will make an attempt to ignore  :)

This is Jasons Mission Presidents wife with her back to us..

Jason's MTC district on the bus to El Salvador

Cant wait to hear next Monday about where Jason is assigned and his experiences from his first week in El Salvador (or I guess he still could be in Belize).  If I understand the process, the location of his first assignment will dictate which mission he will be assigned to for the rest of his mission...

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Guatemala MTC - Week 5

Hola mi familia,

Time at the CCM is starting to go faster and faster.  Its pretty crazy to think that i only have a little more then a week left.  Umm what happened this week?

I tried the hottest hot sauce in Guatemela.  I was the first in the cafeteria to do it, so I probably took way more then I should have.  Its called the devils blood, and lets just say I was a mess after I tried it, crying and all.  After I did it, all the elders and most of the hermanas in the cafeteria tried it to.  It was a pretty fun lunch.  Food here continues to be really good, we had burritos for lunch yesterday.  Im nervous for the field though and having to eat beans every day though haha. 

Remember how I said Quentin L Cook was coming?  I guess something came up and he cant come anymore, so were listening to a member of the quorm of the seventy tonight.  It will still be nice to hear from an apostle of the Lord.  We also went tracting on the street this week.  It was tough, and we couldnt really understand anything since they were talking so fast haha.  Im pretty sure one guy chastized my companion I for a while about how we wont go to heaven since were not catholic.  All in all it was a fun experience and we placed one libro de mormon.

Tomorrows my last pday in the CCM.  Its pretty crazy to think about that.  I continue to play a lot of volleyball though, and im getting pretty good!  We also got new latinos last week.  Their really cool guys.  I had a conversation with them last night for like an hour.  Im starting to realize ill be fine withought being able to roll my rs, but regardless its still tough to deal with.  We wanted to do a spanish session for the temple tomorrow, and go to the temple with a latino district, but I guess were not allowed. Im also reading Jesus the Christ right now.  Its actually a really good and interesting book. 

Umm funny story.  At the food court last week my companion and I were ordering, and we said "yo quiero un bebe".  We though that might be drink since the verbs beber, but apparently its "I want a baby".  It was pretty awkward because we were talking to a girl at pizza hut.  She just kinda stared at us and started laughing.  Last week I had pizza hut ( my companion paid for that) I paid for our mcdonalds, umm I had taco bell and burger king too.  It was great to be able to eat some american food! 

So travel plans for next week.  I think I leave on tuesday at like nine in the morning.  It should be a good time!  Its a four hour drive to El Salvador.  I still love my district, best district in the CCM.  We goof off a lot, but we get done what needs to be done.  Its pretty crazy ill have a new companion in a week!  I was talking to one of my maestros about that, and she said theres a good chance ill have a latino trainer.  I guess thats a good thing though.  Spanish is coming along right now, but we still speak a lot of english, so it should come faster when im in the field.  Oh another funny story.  Last week I talked with a latino (pretend invesigator)  whos my mission president cousin.  I guess my mission president went to the United States to go to michigan for college.  Ill  try to not think about that when I meet him haha.  His cousin was a really cool guy though.  His cousin  was on a bus here and his bus got mugged a few years ago.  Since he didnt have any money, the robbers shot him twice in the head.  he lost an eye, but its a miracle he survived.  He talked with my companion and I about how improtant obedience is on a mission, for safety and also just more blessing come when your obedient.  He also talked about his mission in Peru, and how much obedience blessed him on his mission.   It was good to hear, and since I was getting up at 635 occasionaly, hearing that made me starting getting up at 630 on the dot haha.

Good to hear about how the reds are starting to do better.  St Louis is just good every year, but hopefully we can finish on top in the division.  Theres still a ton of time left!  Umm I also noticed mom sent a blank email this week, probably an accident, but I just thought Id let you guys know.  Hope alls going well at home.  Oh if you guys havent sent a package yet, put some peanut butter and beef jerkey in it!  Peanut butter is crazy expensive here haha.  Oh one more thing.  I had someone this week come up to me that knows uncle dave!  I forget her name but she was a senior missionary, and Daves her stock broker.  I guess Uncle Dave wanted to check up on me haha.

Yo se que la iglesia es verdadero.  Se que Jose Smith fue una profeta y por medio de sacerdocio, Jose Smith fue poder? de restaurar el libro de mormon.  Missions are great glad I have this opportunity.

Con Amor,
Elder Richardson 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Guatemala MTC - Week 4

Hola familia!
Happy birthday Mom and Brayden!  Where are you guys going to dinner?  Its my companions birthday too so the hermanas in our district set up decorations and stuff for him.  It was pretty fun, but it made me think of you guys.  Times flying in the CCM.  Were still just sitting in class 16 hours a day and studying, but I guess thats the best way to pick up spanish!  I got a pretty cool district though so its all good.  We have to goof off sometimes right?  I dont know if I told you guys this yet but theres three elder companionships in our district and two companionships of hermanas.  Its pretty crazy, but right now like half of the ccm is from arizona! 
Those were pretty cool pictures you sent dad.  Yeah you can send pictures whenever.  Im glad Iron man was good, ill have a lot of movies to watch when I get back.  Also, about the reds, yeah our farm system is stacked so hopefully we have a lot of good problems like that this year.  Is aroldis chapman still closing?  Is votto still leading the league in walks?  Has Billy Hamilton been called up yet?  He will be a beast when he finally gets the opportunity to play.  Thats pretty cool too how the Bengals took reid fragel.  He was always a consistent player, but never amazing.  I hope he makes the team though itd be cool to get some ohio state players on our team.
Jason is on right end of row 2
This week not being able to roll my rs is really starting to bug me.  Other then that though, spanish is coming along well.  Our teachers pretend to be investigators, so my companion and I teach one teacher one day, and the other teacher the next day.  At first it was tough, but our lessons are starting to go a lot more smoothly.
Tomorrows p day so we get to go to a field and just play sports, and then were going to look at a chapel.  After that, were going to wal mart.  Itll be tough though because we only have a half an hour at wal mart.  I really just need to get some tide to go pens.  My companion has one, and i think ive used more of it then he has!  I think im gonna try to buy some pop too, and maybe a bib haha.
Oh remember how my watch broke?  My companion fixed it.  We just had to press the knob thing back in, so I cant change the time now, we cant get it back out.  Well time in the CCM is going well.  Spanish is coming but rolling rs arent.  Umm keep the letters coming! Its fun getting a letter every once in a while. 
Yo se que la iglesia de Jesucristo de los santos de los ultimos dias es verdedero.  Yo se que Jose Smith fue una profeta y Thomas S Monson es la profeta en la tierra hoy.  Yo se que leyiendo el libro de mormon traje?  bendiciones.  Okay im still not a pro at spanish but itll come.
Con Amor,
Elder Richardson
Editor's Comments:  Linda and I laughed at his comments about his watch because we thought maybe he just didnt know to push the button on the watch in...we are such smart parents and glad he has a companion that knows about wristwatches...we will still send him another though because he will need to change the time when he goes to El Salvador in another time zone...

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Guatemala MTC - Week 3

Hey family!

Three weeks down, three to go.  Spanish is starting to come a lot easier, but rolling r's still isn't coming.  I feel like all they do in Spanish is roll their r's,  haha, but im still hoping it will come. If it doesn't, do you think i'll be able to communicate with people without being able to roll my r's? Last tuesday we went to a large concrete relief map of Guatemela in a park and the MTC president explained to us how the Book of Mormon may have happened in Guatemela.  We then just went to a market, but we couldn't buy any food.  Were going to Wendys I guess on this coming Tuesday, and we're just going to a field and playing some sports.

We've been to the Guatemela temple twice so far.  It's a really small room, and theres only like twenty people in each session.  Its usually all missionaries, and some of the temple workers are the witness couple in it. They then bring more workers in to be in the prayer circle, since we aren't allowed to be part of it.  It's a small temple, and the celestial room is pretty small too, but its the highlight of the week to be able to go to the temple.  That five minutes I spent with dad just talking about the temple helped a lot, and its a lot less nerveracking now.  Yesterday was p day, and we just went to the temple in the morning, and came back and played volleyball all day.  Its fun being pretty good since we played so much in Cabo!  Oh there was a Southwick working at the Guatemela temple.  I didnt have time to talk to him, but do you guys know if he has any relation to stacy and mark?
How was Iron man?  I guess thats my first movie so far that i'll have to watch when I get back.  It will be fun to have a bunch of movies to watch in two years! Time is starting to fly by, and I've already realized i'll be home before I know it.  The spirit really is strong here.  We had another member of the seventy come yesterday to talk to us, he was latino but I guess hes given a couple talks in General conference.  It really is just great to be able to hear from apostles of the Lord almost every week.  He just talked about how we're all in our mission area for a reason, and even when we're discouraged, just remember were here for a reason.  That was a refresher for me because it it really tough to not be able to roll my rs!  Its just crazy to me how i'm the only person here that cant do it.

So did you and dad go to a Dbacks game?  Who did they play?  We def have to hit that stadium up when I get home since it will be the start of baseball season.  I really miss just chilling and watching baseball, but its nice to get away from everything in the world.  I got four new roommates last week.  The latinos dont talk that much, but the new nortes we got are pretty cool.  One of them is from Oregon, and ones from u
Utah.  They're into sports, so we talk about college football a lot.  They both go to BYU.

Umm my companions name is Elder Dickerman.  Hes from Cali, and hes a pretty funny guy.  We don't have very many of the same interests, but hes still a pretty cool guy. He told a story about running from the cops and he went 170 miles an hour, but got away.  Pretty crazy... haha.   He had glacoma when he was five and lost one of his eyes.  He pretty chill about it though, and we joke about it a lot!  My whole district calls me a Democrat since we lived in Ohio for so long, but I guess its just because ohio kinda decided the election.  Its all good. Umm my district has three sets of elders and two sets of sisters in it.  Its cool being in the MTC at this time because the sisters really are stepping it up and i think theres more sisters in the MTC right now then elders!  Everyone in my district is pretty chill though.  One thing I realized just by talking to some of the people in my district is just how blessed I am to be from a strong family.  Theres a few missionaires in my district that have had a lot tougher lives then I have.  A couple have dealt with things like being homeless, or abusive parents, and just really rough childhoods.  Its cool though to hear their stories of how they dealt with it, and how much stronger it made them.  Thanks for being such a cool fam!
Thats too bad Kelly got in a car accident.  Is her car totaled?  Guess i'm just happy to hear shes okay and all.  So i need both grandmas addresses and email addresses.  I think Ill put letters in the mail for them sometime.  Tell grandma peel happy birthday for me!  Do you  guys know how Ryan is liking his mission so far?  Umm the food here continues to be really good.  I think their trying to fatten us up for when we lose a ton of weight in the field!  Sundays after church we just have a lot of personal time and then we have a couple devotionals.  Usually we just watch a couple church movies.  How was kyles birthday?  Where'd you guys eat?  Whats happening in the NBA playoffs?  Thanks for all the sports updates to they're nice to get!

Oh dad I got you letter in the mail.  It was fun getting a box score and all that.  Oh also I guess we cant call for mothers day.  Kinda dissappointing, but its just too much of a hassle I guess to find phones for everyone here to use to call families.  Maybe ill call when I leave?  Not sure though.  Love you though Mom, have a good day!  Umm im not sure if ill write you again before your birthday so happy birthday to you and BB!  Umm I bore my testimony in church on sunday, my whole district did too though.  It was cool because not very many nortes bore testimonies.  All the Latinos went up and waited, so there wasnt too much time after they were all done.  It was in spanish so it was pretty basic, and i have no accent, which is tough.  I'm really just hoping it'll all be fine when i'm in the field.  Do you guys know the names of the elders whos blogs you found?  I wonder if i know them.  Well have a good week, happy mothers day, and enjoy Grandmas birthday!
Love you guys!


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Letter to Allison

Below is a letter that Jason sent to his older sister, Allison, it provides some more information regarding his companion...

April 28, 2013

Hey allison!
                                          Hows things in Colorado?
Thats pretty cool a BYU player went 5th in the draft! Hes supposed to
be pretty good!  Do you know who the Bengals chose?  Ty sounds a lot
like me when I played soccer, for my one game haha.  Ha fish is a
pretty good incentive though, i guess.  The boys are gonna be huge
when i come home!  Yeah dads keeping me up to date but I didnt get an
email from them this week.  I told them I write on wednesdays and then
this week Im writing on a monday! I guess it just depends on the week.
The teacher just said for people to write on Sundays.      Umm well
random thing but my companion has a fake eye!  It shocked me when he
took his eye out haha.  I guess he had glaucoma when he was like 5,
but hes a really good companion.  Hes into cars and told me how he
went 170 miles an hour running away from the cops one time.  Pretty
crazy haha.  Sadly, they took cameras the first day so they wouldnt
get stolen.  I kinda wish I had just kept it, but I guess their a
problem here with stuff getting stolen.  Umm I think we get our
cameras tomorrow though when we go to the market and wendys.  Itll be
a good day!  Btw thanks for making me that journal thing.  Its really
nice just having it to read every once in a while while im here.  Hows
BB doing with soccer?  Yeah with rolling rs I just kinda stopped
practicing.  If it comes it comes, but i mean people will still be
able to understand what im saying even if i cant roll them!  Well four
weeks until El Salvador.  Talk to you guys later!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Guatemala MTC - Week 2

Well, I guess we have time to write families on either mondays tuesdays
or wednesdays. This place has an a lot more flexible schedule then
Provo, haha. And the enter key isnt working so this'll just be a long
paragraph. Time in the CCM is starting to go a lot faster! In some
ways I wish I could just go to the field right now. I would pick the
spanish up, right? Spanish is actually starting to come along really
well. Our Latinos in our room are leaving tomorrow, which is kinda
sad since they teach us a lot of spanish. Pretty much every night
they teach us spanish and we teach them english. I think we get new
Nortes and Latinos on Wednesday, so I'm just hoping we get some good

The foods still really good at this place. We had lasanga last
night, I just wish we could get seconds! Umm ..tomorrow is P-day so we
get to go to the temple and some market. I think I am just gonna buy a
soccer jersey though. I am also excited to finally have an opportunity
to go to this temple. Oh yeah... and we go to Wendys! It will be nice
to be able to have a nice cold Dr Pepper!

Last night we watched some talk that Jeffrey R Holland gave to the
Provo MTC in January. In some ways I wish i was in the Provo MTC just since
they get more Apostles speaking there then we do. I think Hollands my
favorite apostle though, he makes his talks funny, but he definitely brings
the Spirit! He just talked about how if you convert nobody but yourself
on your mission, its a successful mission. I think one of the twelve
apostles is coming to speak in like three weeks here. That'll be fun, I just
still remember having Christopherson come speak when I was on my mini
mission. It was a great experience!

Umm... Sundays here are kind of intense. I haven't been
called up to give a talk yet, but you have to write a 5 minute talk in
Spanish and then for Sunday school prepare a ten minute lesson with
your companion in english. Its just random for who goes up to teach.
I pretty much just copy a section from Preach My Gospel,  though and then write a
paragraph of my own with the help of the Latinos.

All in all, im just ready to get out into the field!

Love you guys! Jason

Oh also, can I get both Grandmas email addresses? It would be fun to write
them sometime! When does Mark enter the MTC? Also, do you guys know
if Nathans started his papers yet? I can already tell a mission will
be a great experience, its kinda just nice to get away from the world
and focus on strengthening your testimony for two years! At least
thats how I feel two weeks in...haha. Sundays here kinda feel like EFY.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Guatemala MTC - Week 1

Hola mi familia,

The MTC is going great. Spanish is coming a lot faster then it ever came in school, probably because all we do here from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm is sit in class and estudio espanól. I actually have 5 roommates. My companions name is Elder Dickerman and then we have four latinos in our room. Its fun having four latinos in our room because they teach us more in an hour of talking to them then we learn in class. We teach them english, but they all know a lot since I guess they all listen to American music. It's actually kinda funny they're like two months behind on American music here then we are in America.

The food here continues to be muy excelente. Its like half american food and half native food, but some of the native food is actually really good. I'm definitely eating more fruit then I've ever eaten in my life haha. They have this fruit juice thats just in bottles but its seriously amazing. Sunday actually went fairly fast I was just happy to not have to speak. Sadly, I still cant roll my R´s but my patriarichal blessing says ill be able to so i have faith. I'm just worried that if I dont learn to roll my R's I wont be a very effective missionary. Thats cool to hear about Mark and Ryan's farewell. I wonder how Ryan is liking the Provo MTC so far? When does Mark enter the mtc again? I guess he has probably only been there a couple hours.

So my watch broke like the day after I got here to the CCM. Its been difficult not knowing the time but I'm getting pretty good at asking people que hora es haha. The other really tough thing about being here at the ccm is just having to sit in a chair all day. We really never leave the CCM. In some ways I wish I could just go in the field and learn spanish while I'm out there.
Jason is 7th from left on Second Row
Yesterday we had a member from the quorom of the seventy come and speak to the whole ccm. He focused on the story of Alma and Amuleck in Alma chapters eight through ten. It was a really good talk, and the spirit was really strong during it. Really, the spirit is really strong in the entire ccm. Yesterday my district went to the temple but unfortunately I had been up the night before with a case of the big d. I didnt want it to hit during a session, so I didnt go. I am excited to be able to go to the temple next tuesday though. P-days here are usually on tuesdays I think, but I guess we dont always write on p days. Tell Kyle the volleyball is still going strong, ha, I have a group here that I play volleyball every day with. They just have like a big concrete area with a volleyball net and a basketball hoop. I also tried playing soccer with some of the latinos, and lets just say their just a little bit better haha.

I never realized how tough it is to share the gospel. Currently, me and my companion are teaching an investigator, I'm not sure if it's for real or just role play, but its just difficult only teaching the basics. He wants his family to be happy, so we try to explain how the Gospel makes families happy. Were supposed to focus a lesson today on the law of chastity so it may be kinda awkward, but hopefully the Spirit will be there. My testimonies grown a lot in just one week here.

So yeah the toughest things about the CCM so far has been not being able to roll my R's ,everyone else in my district can, having to sit in a chair all day and waking up at 6:30. Thanks for the earplugs though theres a latino in my room and his snoring is seriously the loudest I've ever heard in my life haha. It's tough going to bed at 1030!

Well have a fun time in Phoenix parents and enjoy the sunshine! Who is Kyle staying with while you guys are gone?

Con amor,


Oh and... the bread at this place is amazing haha

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Leaving Utah and first letter from Guatemala

I will put pictures of the airport on here soon but wanted to get Jason's first letter posted after he got to the Guatemala MTC.  More to follow....

Hola Mi Familia!,
Just wanted to write to say I got to Guatemala.  Lets just say the bus ride over was crazy.  It was pretty much Mexico driving times 10, I dont know how we didnt get in an accident.  There were even more missionaries on the flight from LA, and half of the plane was missionaries  I seriously havent slept since monday night so Im pretty tired.  Dont worry though I havent dozed off in any classes yet.  The MTC president and his wife talked to us today and shared their testimonies.  Therir pretty impressive people!  The MTC president shared a story similar to the stake presidents about how its the little things you do on a mission that decide if you are an effective missionary. 
The food here is actually pretty good.  The best though so far has been spaghetti since its american food haha.  The MTC president told us theyll ease us in slowly.  I was actually able to put down some beans today too!  They wernt all that bad but I definitely would still not choose to eat them.  Also, I have a funny story.  Apparently all the new missionaries hair cuts are too long and a lot of us got dragged outside to get haircuts.  Kinda crazy though since I just had my hair cut last week!
Apparently I was supposed to bring the shot vaccination form that was filled out even though we filled it out online.  They told me to have you guys scan it to me so we are kind of in a pickle.  Do you guys still have it?  I dont know where it said to bring the yellow form but all the missionaries brought it but me. 
My district is filled with some pretty funny guys so it will be fun getting to know them.  I also have one american roommate so far whos from California and one native.  Their pretty cool! well talk to you guys later.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Days before departure

We spent the last few days before Jason left for his mission together as his family as Allison and her family came in from Denver and Melissa came down from Salt Lake City.  We had a great time together and below are some pictures of the things we were up to...

Allison made us a full size replica of Jason for us to have while he was gone, as you can see we had alot of fun with it and it looks remarkably like him.  Eddie dislikes it intensely and runs from it whenever it gets near him  :)  Under his face is the face of George W Bush, but we like Jasons face better!

Sometimes it is hard for some to believe that Jason is a full time missionary...

Jason played alot with his nephews who will change alot while he is gone...
We celebrated Kelly's birthday a few days early so Jason could be there for the bash...

We also played alot of Apples to Apples which seemed to be the game of choice that weekend, watched about every minute of family movies taken since the kids were little and Jason watched his last movie "42" which he has been looking forward to for a long time.

We will miss Jason but we made alot of good memories as a family and he is ready to go forth and serve!

Set Apart as a missionary

On  April 15, 2013 Jason was set apart by President Gottfredson as a full time missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  All his family gathered together including his Grandma Richardson. Jason received some wonderful counsel from the Stake President and was blessed with many things that will help him as he departs.  His final counsel to Jason consisted of two wise words....HAKUNA MATATA, very wise advice  :)

Pictures from the night he was set apart...



After this, President Gottfredson asked Jason to bear his testimony to his family.  We are proud of you, Elder Richardson!!

El Salvadoran Food

As all our family gathered the weekend before Jason left on his mission, we had heard of an El Salvadoran restaurant in Downtown Provo that served authentic El Salavadoran food.  Jason had heard alot from returned missionaries how great pupusa's were and so we all trekked down to this restaurant the Saturday before he left to see what kind of food he would be eating for the next two years.

As Linda walked in the restaurant she found out how authentic it was when the people only spoke Spanish.  We all ordered different kinds of pupusa's, with cheese, cheese and bean, pork, beef etc including one with cheese and loroco which is a kind of flower that tastes like a cross between broccoli and cauliflower that is indigenous to El Salvador.  A pupusa is a very thick tortilla that is stuffed with all kinds of different stuff.  You can kind of see them on Jason's plate in the picture below.   I also ordered beans and rice with thick tortillas which was pretty good.  I'm not sure everyone really enjoyed the food since it was so different from a spice and taste perspective but it wasn't horrible.  I think Jason thought he would love them and didnt particularly care for them.  The loroco was particularly bad so I hope he doesnt have alot of that down there. 

But I think once he gets down there, he will learn things he likes and will get used to the spices and taste of food after awhile.  You can see from the picture above that he doesnt look to thrilled with pupusa's!  :)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Missionary Farewell

 Jason had his missionary farewell in the Creekside Ward Sacrament Meeting on March 17, 2013.  Over 40 friends and family showed up to wish him well and then gathered after at our home to spend some more time with him before he leaves.  Jason isn't leaving until April 16 so this was kind of an early farewell for him but he has requested to attend "one last Cincinnati Reds game" before he leaves so we are taking him down to Phoenix for a Spring Training Game this weekend and after that, other missionaries have their farewells so we decided upon an early farewell.

This is Jason in the chapel after sacrament meeting, I think that might be a look of relief upon his face!  This was the first time I ever looked at him and thought, "Wow, he really DOES look like a missionary!"  Must be the Mr. Mac missionary suit, huh?  :)

This is the front cover of the Sacrament Meeting program and below is a copy of the talk he gave.  He did a GREAT job and had most of us in tears as he talked about his Grandpa's and how thankful he was for the atonement that will allow him to see them again.  For weeks before he spoke he said, "I just dont want to cry when I get up there" and he held it together until the very end when he spoke of his family and beat a hasty retreat from the podium forgetting to bear his testimony in order avoid a total meltdown.  But we all did the meltdown for him in the congregation.  He did a great job speaking though and we all were quite proud of him, of course!

Jason has 5 cousins (including two sets of twins) from Linda's side of the family that are all preparing to serve missions, two of which have been called to serve in Bogota, Columbia and Manchester, New Hampshire and the others will be submitting their papers soon.  In six months all these in the picture below will be out serving somewhere in the world (assuming they have room in the MTC's for them!) 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Temple Endowment

Jason received his endowments at the Mount Timpanogas Temple on March 2, 2013.  We had to be at the temple by 6:30 am so we were up early and out the door.  While it was early the temple was quiet and calm as we walked up to it as opposed to how busy it would be a few hours later with weddings, etc that are typical for a Saturday morning.  I was happy to have a few quiet moments with Jason in the car and walking up to the doors of temple before we entered.  I'm proud of the decision Jason has made to serve the Lord as a missionary and know he will be a great one...

Many family members attended with Jason including Kelly and her husband, JT along with Grandma Richardson and aunts and uncles on both sides of our family.  Thanks to all of them for making this event a special and memorable one for Jason. 

Only 42 days until he flies to Guatemala for six weeks in the Guatemala City Missionary Training Center.  We received his travel itinerary yesterday from the Church.  He leaves Salt Lake at 8 pm on April 16 with a flight to Los Angeles and then leaves Los Angeles around midnight for an overnight flight to Guatemala City.  He arrives there about 6 am and on to the MTC...sounds like an exhausting travel plan to me but I'm jealous for the experiences that await him...

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mission Map

This is a map of the El Salvador Santa Ana/Belize mission.  It did not copy so well and its an odd mission in that it is split into two areas separated by Guatemala.  You can see the country of Belize in the top middle of the map which is all in Jason's mission and then the small shaded part of El Salvador  (See bottom center) on the Western tip is also in his mission and where the City of Santa Ana is where the mission is headquartered

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Opening the Call

The day after Jason arrived home from BYU-Idaho we all gathered over at his Grandma Richardson's home for the official opening of the letter we had stared at for the past week.  Allison and her family participated by phone from Denver and the rest of the family gathered around excited to hear where Jason was to serve for the next two years.  This is the letter he shared with us after opening...

This is a video of him opening the letter....

 El Salvador Santa Ana/Belize Mission!!
Needless to say we were all pretty we just have to figure out exactly where El Salvador even is...let the research begin!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Receiving The Call

Jason's mission call arrived at our home on December 12, 2012 while Jason was still attending school at BYU-Idaho.  He asked us to open it up without looking at it, somehow place it on a fax machine and fax it to him, which he would then read over Skype in the same room with a lot of his friends at BYU-Idaho.  I don't think I could have opened the call without looking at it (yes, I have no will power, I admit it) and plus I wanted family to share that experience with him so we let the envelope sit in our home for a week unopened waiting for him to finish up his semester.  I think we all held the envelope up to the light a few times, discussed the weight of the envelope to figure out if foreign missions had heavier envelopes than stateside mission calls and discussed all manners of ways to open an envelope and reseal it without Jason knowing we did it.