Tuesday, May 24, 2016

 So far this blog has been my mission letters sent to family, and a class assignment. I want to write a little more about myself and maybe help someone in some way. I've had a pretty great life, don't get me wrong, but I have had my struggles here and there, and I want everyone else like me to know that they're not alone. Sometimes I felt like I was the only person struggling with my weight, or the only one with no real talent. I felt like all my friends were great at so many things, and I was just average at a few things. I'm not special in any way. I am a regular girl, with a regular body, with a pretty average style, and normal talents. However, I think that most people are like me, and worry that they're abnormal, or that they're not special or good enough. It doesn't matter who you are or what you look like or what you're good at, you are special and you are important. You have no idea how much good you've done in your life. Maybe you didn't know, but someone else knows and has benefited from your existence. So, i'll try to write some new things on here as a journal to help me figure out who I am, but also has a reference for others to realize who they are too.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Hello! My name is Mary Ann Richardson Pratt. I grew up in California with 5 other fun and rambunctious siblings, and two wonderful parents. There I am in the middle of the first picture when I was a baby. Here we are at one of our many trips to Disneyland, I am the blonde on the left. 
This brings me to my life of magic. Growing up life seemed perfect, and I thought it was that way for everybody. Everything went by wonderfully, and there were many magical days of my childhood life. 
 However, I remember the first time in history class when we learned about the Spanish conquests to South America. I cried all day when I got home from school. I could not believe that so many awful things had happened to those innocent people. That day I wrote a letter to the President of the United States, proclaiming that love must be achieved throughout the world. 
As time went by, I forgot the circumstance and was soon living my life once again in my own little  happy world. However, this all changed again when I decided to serve a mission. I had always wanted to go, and once the age was changed, it was the perfect chance. I soon received my call to Antofagasta, Chile. 
My mission was hard. Really hard. I did not understand anything for so long, so I did not really know what people were going through. When I started to understand, I realized a lot of things about life that I never knew before. Life was rough, and really scary for most people. After a year and a half of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to many Chilean people, I came home and went back to school. Through many closed doors I discovered the Latin American Studies major. However, I still did not have a plan really, just getting through school so I could be a mom. 
Then, this past semester I went to a campaign about women in education. As the speaker laid out the benefits of education, I realized how much education affects societies and people. I realized that maybe that was a way that I could continue to help the people of South America, and in my own way, spread love throughout the world, like I had so wanted to do when I was younger. If I could help girls to have the same magical experiences that I myself had, I could change so many lives. I thought of so many girls I knew that could have a chance to receive higher education if prompted and helped in the right direction. 

There are so many women and girls I know who did not get an education just because it was not really what was done. I want to help more girls receive the benefits and blessings that education brings. If more women are educated, society will progress faster, families will be happier, and life will improve for all. I am still unsure of how I will accomplish this, but through my next years at BYU, I hope that I can learn how to make a small change for at least a few women to make their lives better. 

I'm home!

Well it has been a long time since I have posted on here, I'm thinking I might write some things occasionally more for a journalistic purpose. Sometimes I forget to write in my journal (or I just don't want to) because it takes too long and it hurts my hand. So, I'll try to be more consistent with writing on the blog. All thanks to my News Media project where I needed a web page, I revisited this and thought, well why not do my project, and then keep going with my blog? For posterity's sake. So, please enjoy my life story :)
 My last day in of the mission including going to Santiago and to the temple!
 The group of Elders and Sisters from my mission going of to many different countries.
 Here is me seeing my family for the first time :) Together at last.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

February 2, 2015

This week was so great! Well, almost every week is great, but this one was especially good.

We met with an old investigator Pablo, who was almost baptized a few years ago. After trying to meet with them for months, we finally taught him and his daughter the restoration yesterday, and the spirit was so strong. He commited to reading the Book of Mormon and we're so excited for them.

My companion received a prompting one day to stop by a member who we've been trying to meet with for a few weeks as she has some less active kids. It turns out our visit was just what she needed. She was having a really hard time with some things, and she said that God has sent us exactly when she needed it. Also, it turns out that only one of her kids is less active, and the other two aren't members, so we have a family home evening planned to meet them!

Another night we watched the testaments with Marcella, a lovely member that is coming to church more often with us now. She's had some hard things happen in her life, and we really just love being there for her. We love her so much! And the spirit was so strong during the video, and she told us that we have a tendency to 'punch' her with the spirit haha.

We also got to teach a youth sunday school class about the plan of salvation. We drew it out on the white board and asked them for answers before we explained the different steps and read scriptures. They surprised me, and knew most of the answers. Never doubt the good youth of the church! They're way awesome. 

We also made a few different people cry due to following the spirit and sharing perfect scriptures for people needing a much needed spiritual boost. It was such a rewarding week of work. I just felt so good and that I really am fulfilling my purpose as a missionary, inviting ALL people to come unto Christ. Which is also the purpose of all of us as members! Invite someone to come unto Christ today, it will do them good, and will do good to you in return.

Heavenly Father lives and loves us, and his love is manifest through his son Jesus Christ! I love the gospel! It's true!

Hermana Richardson

I love llamas!

February 9, 2015

Hello everyone!

We had another awesome week! And so many funny things happened so we just spent the week laughing and having fun. I'm trying not to worry too much about time (....) so I'm just working on enjoying everything.

We taught Gladys again, and she's reading the Book of Mormon! We were so excited to find out! We also taught the boyfriend of a less active who has been coming to church, and right away he accepted our invitation to be baptized! So we are going to be praying sooo much that their divorse papers will go through so that they can get married! 

We also have been visiting a recent convert Ermelinda who is having quite a lot of problems with her daughter, so if you could include her in your prayers it would be greatly appreciated.

We had an AMAZING noche de hogar with one of my favorite people who were are helping come back to activity. After we watched a faith inspiring movie, she explained her situation to us, but explained that she us okay, and is being healed. The gospel of Jesus Christ is real! The healing works! People's hearts and minds can  be changed and turned to Christ! The spirit was so strong and all I wanted to do was hug her tightly and tell her how amazing she was. So I did just that :)

I also went on an exchange to Origenes (my favorite sector of all time) and got to go visit Angenet! (one of my old investigators) She's doing great, but still with some obstacles of baptism. I shared with her a verse in Alma about being liberated from afflictions when we trust in the Lord. I learned so much about trust and faith this week. It is so important the we really show the faith that we have for God to really be able to work with us, because when we have no faith literally nothing happens, especially in missionary work. So just have faith, beleive that things will happen, and go to work! 

Some fun things of the week, we made completos, i learned how to make soy-mayo and soy milk,  we de-iced our freezer that had grown way huge, my companion's head randomly started bleeding, so I spent one night mopping it up, and  we had a chile argentina women's conference were sister Marriot of the young womens general presidency, and sister Burton of the Releif Society presidency taught us how to give high fives, and hug ourselves. But with awesome spiritual messages as well.

So, overall, life is good, I am happy, and am trying to enjoy everything! I love you all so much!

Hermana Richardson

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

April 21, 2014

It has been an amazing week. 

María has been in Bolivia this past week, and actually, a lot of people have been gone. Because of the earthquakes, Iquique has been a litle bit like a ghost town. But it's okay. We're having great success.

We've been working a little in H. Cordova's old sector, teaching the single women that the elders can't, giving us more opportunities to teach! We also taught Julio, an investigator that the other Hermanas were teaching, but we found he lives in our area. So, we had a very long but very good lesson with him. 

He's a little obsessed with gringos, and likes to ask me a lot of questions. But I always brought it back to the gospel. But he is interested and at one point asked how we balance religion and life. It seems like either one or the other has more time. He asked me how i would balance it after my mission. I explained that my religion isn't a part of my life, it is my life. This knowledge is what makes me who I am. What I do in my family, at school, all ties into my religion. When I spend time with my family, I am serving them, and service is pure religion. When I study I am following God's request to seek knowledge, expanding my mental capacities to further help and serve others. Everything ties back to the gospel.

After I answered he shook my hand. I challenged him to be baptized for May 3 with his son. He seemed a little warry, and I explained the importance of making goals, or it is hard to progress. He accepted it as a goal.

Easter Sunday was my favorite day by far. We heard a lot of cannon and gun shots. I think it has something to do with Semana Santa. The day before we made tons of little notes for the people we love, and basically anyone we talk to. We handed them out all day, telling everyone to have a ¡Feliz Pascua!. I just felt so much love that day, and so much love for my savior. 

One thing I loved from my Easter reading was in John 20,

11 ¶But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,
 12 And seeth two aangels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
 13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.
 14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and asawJesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
 15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
 16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, aMaster.
 17 Jesus saith unto her, aTouch me not; for I am not yetbascended to my cFather: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my dFather, and your Father; and to my God, and your God
Mary doesn't recognize Jesus until he says her name. One day he will say our name, and we will recognize him, and we will be filled with joy and amazment, just as Mary, to see our risen Lord. Then we will be able, through our faithfulness, to enter into the presence of our Father and our God, as well as Christ's. Becuase he is our brother. Our brother died for us, but He lives, meaning we will all live again. I know he lives.

Hermana Richardson

April 14, 2014

I'm back in Iquique! We traveled back on Wednesday.

It's a little weird being back, and my stomach is nervous, but other than that I am so happy. I absolutley love my new companion, Hermana Cordova. She's from Peru and we're almost like the same person. It's awesome. We get along so well, and work so well together. 

Conference was amazing. I have never felt so spiritually taken care of. I felt Heavenly Father's love and direction so strongly. He answered my questions and took care of my needs. The elders set up a room to watch it in English, so I could fully understand everything. 

I noticed how strongly the apostles are preparing us for hard times ahead. So many emphasized the importance of building our foundation on Christ, and heeding the counsels of Heleman 5:12. There were strong tesimonies of Jesus Christ, and how if we follow him and his gospel, we will not fall. I felt strongly they were testifying of hard times coming. When the saints will be persecuted more than we have known. Are you ready to defend your faith, to let your faith show? To be disciples of Christ in every moment, and then to be joyful and thankful in the midst of your trials? 

To prepare, they suggested to do the basics. Pray daily, study your scriptures AND Preach My Gospel, actively partake of the sacrament, daily repentance, and a daily change of heart and motivation to be more like the savior Jesus Christ. These small things are what bring the spirit into our day to day lives and that is what helps us stay true and faithful. If we are to survive in this world, we have to have Heavenly Father's help. We can't do it alone. We need the Holy Ghost to be with us always.

These are just a few things that I learned and now love. These teachings are from prophets, who speak with God. So, these teachings are what God wants us to hear. We are so important to him, and he gives us exactly what we need to accomplish our goals, to return and live with him. 

I love Jesus Christ and his gospel, and the Hold Ghost that bears witness of the truth of it all. Have a wonderful Easter! Rembember that truth that Jesus Christ died for us, but was resurrected, meaning we will all be ressurected, to be brought before our father once again, and have the chance to live with him, in a perfect state. How thankful I am to know that my Redeemer lives.

Hermana Richardson

p.s. I was blessed to find Peeps in a super market. My Easter will be extra joyful :)