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!