Monday, October 28, 2013

Bienvenidos a Chile!

Hello Beautiful family and friends! I am so excited to announce that I am safe and sound in Chile! What an awesome feeling. I am finally doing what I have been preparing for, for almost a year now. However, I could have never expected what I have just experienced this past week. I don't even know how to describe it.
Everything is different. The houses and shops are made for midgets, there are dogs everywhere, everyone kisses and hugs you all the time, everyone whistles at me because of my blonde hair, just the way things are done, it's all new. It's so hard to get accustomed to everything. Even the spanish is different. It's crazy fast and they drop endings off of words and add po to other words. I have no idea why.  But Hermana Vera is helping me. She is from Santiago, is 26, studying nursing, and is the best trainer I could ask for. She is so patient and loving, and doesn't mind when I get upset or frustrated, mostly from when I can't speak the language, or I get tired of people yelling at me that they love me or to marry them. I never want attention from men ever again. She is awesome, and everyone we come in contact with loves her. All the time people wave at her from all over the place and she can't remember who they are because she talks to so many people. However, she doesn't speak English, and I obviously don't speak Spanish, so we have an interesting time. It's fun. Most of the time I have not a clue what is happening. God has seemed to bless me with the gift of tongues, which is amazing, but I seem to be lacking in the gift of interpretation of tongues. I can't understand anybody ever. I can't even understand myself. It's a weird feeling. I'll just keep praying and hoping and trying and hopefully sometime soon someone will say something, I'll understand, and I'll fist pump and do a happy dance to myself. It'll be a great day.I just have to be patient, which is hard, but good, I'm learning. 
I really love teaching. I thought it would be awkward and weird, but I've come to find that the times that I am most tired are when I'm not teaching. When I talk to others about the gospel I get exhilerated and happy and want to tell them all about it and tell them to come be happy like me. Then when it's over and we're back outside walking the long dusty roads my legs start to hurt, the sun burns, and I feel exausted. So, I guess I just need to find more, teach more, and I'll be happy more! I still am tired, I've almost fallen asleep a few times while talking to people, but I'm working on it. I'll have awesome stamina soon. It'll be great. 
One lesson we had this week was with three men we met. One was a contact and we went to find him and teach him, and the other two were standing near us, and we invited them to come and listen. We taught in a member's house about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because I don't understand anything and can't help the lesson, I always give the baptismal challenge by memory when Hermana Vera looks at me a certain way. So, she looked at me and I challenged, looking especialy at Carlos, one of the men who had been looking intently at the picture of Christ and had not said much. The other two went on about how they were already baptized (a common response), But she specifically asked Carlos after all of that "Do you want to follow the way of the Lord and be baptized?" He said "yes, I think so yes" He looked so touched. The way his eyes brightened and his face was just a little softer, I could see that the spirit had reached him. He truley wanted forgiveness and direction in his life. He came with us to chruch yesterday and we have another lesson with him early this week. I am so excited for his progress! I am extactic that he wants to change his life and make it better. 
I can't wait to teach more people and find more people. Everyone we come in contact with we talk to, and it is so fun. I did my first bus contact today on the way to the market, and I actually understood a little of what he said! I think he was talking slower though to help me out. Everything is great. I'm learning, loving, and overall changing myself to be more like the Lord, or trying to. It's hard to allign your will with the Lord's when all you want to do is sleep or dream of your mansions above. If any one has any advice it would be gladly appreciated. But, I love this work, I love the savior, who gives me strength to carry on each day, and I love the Lord who loves all of his children so  very much. I've already seen a tiny glimpse of his love, and I hope I will be faithful enough to be able to see more. The gospel is true, it is real. In the words of Hermana Vera "don't worry, be happy"

Con Amor,
Hermana Richardson

ps. please excuse my many mistakes, the computer says all of my english words are wrong. Or maybe I just don't remember english any more. It could be that as well. 


After a very long two plane rides, a bus ride into Antofagasta, and another 7 hour ride into Copiapó, I am here! In Antofagasta I received my trainer Hermana Vera from Santiago. She is super nice and we are helping each other learn each other's languages. She is really good at contacting. Just today we have made about 5 contacts (maybe that's normal, I don't know) But everyone loves her and everyone keeps whistling at me. Super fun. But I'm excited to be here. I'm safe, I'm happy, and I'll write more on Monday. Love you all!

Hermana Richardson

Our soccer group

Our last day as companions.

Hermano Brown's awesome mexican sombrero and poncho.

My mission

Our Mission October 22, 2013

I leave for Chile on Wednesday! I am beyond excited and scared and nervous and extatic that I can barely think about anything else. It's a weird feeling. Both of my compaions have left for their respective missions already, so I am currently tagging along with a companionship with one hermana going to Chile the same day as me, but Concepcion sur. I had to move houses in the middle of the night after Hermana Baumgart left around two in the morning. It was quite the advernture. Saying goodbye was extremely hard, but I now that I will see everyone again.
One taste I got early of the mission field early this week was when Hermana Pineda got pretty sick and had to be taken to the Emergency Room (don't worry, she's fine now). We left around 11:30 p.m. for the hospital and didn't return until about 7 the next morning. It was a long night. However, somewhere around four o'clock, we started talking to one of the ladies that worked in the waiting area. We asked her about her family, her religion, and she asked about us. She was curious about what we were doing so we asked if she wanted to hear our message. She agreed! We taught the first lesson to the best of our ability, but she could not understand us. It was way early, and our spanish is fairly awful to begin with, so we were having a hard time connecting. However, at one point, We bore our testimonies after Hermana Baumgart recited the first vision, and I felt the spirit. It wasn't huge, but I felt a love for that woman that I could not understand how it came so fast. I could see just a tiny glimpse of what heavenly father must see her as. She agreed to talk to missionaries that would actually be able to talk to her, and we got her contact information.We gave it to our branch president, and I'm very much hoping that she will find the right path. All I can do now is pray for her.
Then sunday was beyond amazing. I still hadn't talked in church yet so I knew that I would most likely be giving my lección. It was on the life and mission of Joseph Smith. As I pondered about it sunday morning I wrote points about what I would like to address. I thought about other prophets and how Jospeh had been called in the same way, through humbling experiences. Such as Moses from prince to shepherd, Nephi from wealthy Jerusalem-ite to wandering in the wilderness, and even our Lord Jesus Christ, the first son of God, born from a mortal woman in a manger. For Jospeh, already extremely humble, had to admit to himself that he needed God to be able to know, and that he could not find the truth on his own. In the prophet pattern of being humbled and then asking God, he became one of the greatest prophets of all time. As I was thinking of this and writing, I was starting to realize all of the things that Joseph Smith had done for me. This whole church, God restored through Jospeh Smith. EVERYTHING I have, work for, love and cherish are because he was humble and great enough to establish the gospel on the earth again. All day I was thinking of new things the prophet had done and I could not stop talking about him or giving thanks for him. During my talk, as I testified of him, my face flushed red, my voice was a pretty animated and I started to cry as I listed the things that he had done for us. He is so wonderful! At the end, I quoted the standard of truth that I had learned at the Hill Cumorah Pageant so many years before. I saw elders silently quoting it with me and I was beyond excited. His mission is our mission. It is the same. We are working together to help bring all of our brothers and sisters back into the fold of God. It is our duty to proclaim this Gospel. Joseph gave his entire life and being to the gospel of Jesus Christ. The least I could do is give 18 months. The least every member can do is invite, love, serve, and help. We all need to be in this work. ALL of us. Jesus died for us. Joseph died for the work. The least we could do is give of ourselves to continue it. Continue the legacy of faith and commitment in the gospel as was started by Joseph Smith.
This is all I have for now, but thank you for being so wonderful! Pray for Angeles please! Pray for the missionaries! Pray for opportunities! Get lost in the work!
Hermana Richardson

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Another week has flown by! I can't believe it is my last week at the CCM. I don't feel like it is even possible to leave this place. It really has become my home and I don't know how my mission will be without it. But, I'm way stoked to go to Chile so it will be a good change. Nothing too interesting happened this week, just waking up, eating, soccer, studying, class, investigators, studying, planning, meetings, more eating, more studying, sleeping, and then all over again. Everything blurs together so It's hard to remember what you did just a day ago.
I do remember one instance during TALL time, which is a computer program to help us learn spanish. My companions and I were in the bathroom when suddenly they both ran out of the bathroom. I was confused and started to wash my hands untill I looked up and on the wall right next to my face was a moth the size my forehead (probably bigger). I whelped and ran out of the bathroom to the safety of the hallway. All of the elders around heard and ran to see what had happened. They made sure there weren't any hermanas in the bathroom and then tried to catch it. Worst night ever. My heart was pounding for about an hour afterwards.
In soccer I scored a goal by volley kicking it. I felt really cool and the one elder who is really good said me gusta to me. I felt very accomplished. Then later he bicicle back flip (I really can't even comprehend what he did) kicked it and scored so... yeah. However, I'm still proud of myself and the progress i've made soccer wise.
But I'm even more proud of what I've become spiritual wise (If I'm allowed to say such things). Thanks to a lot of very humbling hapenstances, I've really been working hard on changing myself. After conference and other things I had a very strong desire to change. I made some small goals to start, but I can already see progress and that makes me so thankful to God. He wants us to go through trials so that we can have a broken heart and a contrite spirit, so it will be easier for us to come unto him. At first I didn't want to change, but then I realized that this is what I am going to be asking my investigators to do. I will be asking them to change their entire life to follow the savior. The least I could do is change parts of myself to become more like Christ. It seems so selfish of me when I don't want to change the way I am, which gives me an even greater desire to become more like Him. I really had to let go of my pride these past few weeks, and I'm sure many know that that is something I really struggle with. I had to accept that I can't do it on my own, that I need help, and that I have a TON of changing to do. Which can be upsetting, unless you look at it like a growing opportunity! Every time I'm painfully reminded of how prideful I am, I just think 'God is helping me be better, this way I'll be a better missionary, and a better friend, a better wife, a better mother, and ultimetly a better daughter of God. Yay for better! So I get excited when I'm reminded because I get to gain more new attributes that are much better than the ones I had before.
 Spanish is fun and I can't wait to put my skills (or what I think are skills) to the test in just one week! I know it will be super hard, but God makes everything possible, and he will even help and random girl in Chile with spanish problems. Oh he is just so good. I love him. And I love all of you! Have a fantastic week and hopefully the next time I write I will be safe and sound in Chile!
con amor,
Hermana Richardson

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Our view walking home everyday.(except when it is raining)

The beautiful CCM campus

Elder Fuentes and Elder Gonzales, the elders we met in the clinic. Elder Gonzales is next to me, and the one who tried to say, may I go to the bathroom.


So Many Friends

Hello wonderful family and friends!
Another week has gone by, yet it has felt like an eternity. Nothing terribly exciting happened this week, but we did get two new 'investigators'. Both of our teachers became investigators and we teach one a day. One of my teachers is Hermano Brown. We were teaching him a lesson one day when he started to talk about his family. He asked if we wanted to see a picture, and of course we said yes. He showed us his phone which had two little kids on it wearing, guess what, Hill Cumorah Pageant t-shirts. I just about died. I had to control myself as we finished teaching. But after our lesson when he came back in our room, I excitedly asked him when his family had gone. They were there this summer, and he had been in Hannah's cast team. Craziness. We talked about Hannah and other fun pageant things before dinner. It was so nice to talk to someone about something close to home. The next day he told me that my sister had said hello, and that the Miller's (who were his mission presidents) told him to give me extra TLC. It absolutly made my day.
Also relating to knowing people, my companions have been making fun of me for how many people I know or find people I know in common with others. Every time someone mentions where their from and I get excited, they groan and say, why do you know so many people! I guess BYU and pageant just supplied me with endless amounts of people, which is awesome. I love seeing familiar faces or finding with someone that we are friends with the same person. I also re-met my old primary classmate this week from San Juan Capistrano, Spencer Manning. It was fun to talk about old people and places I haven't seen for a very long time. We said goodbye to all of our Mexican friends this week. A ton of them asked for our emails and pictures, two or three of them confessed their love for Hermana Baumgart, and one sent a friend to tell me I was pretty. We are really going to miss our very fun friends, who love to make fun of our spanish. I love that wherever you go, there will always be memebers of the church and you will always have the gospel in common. The gospel is all about friendship. How wonderful!
The food continues to be delicious, and the weather has been very sunny and warm, with an occational torrential downpour just for fun. We also got to use the earthquake circles once when the alarm went off. I thought it wouldn't ever happen. I got three bugs caught in my hair yesterday. The best was early in the morning, Hermana Baumgart started to play with my hair and told me not to freak out. I thought she was just brushing it untill I heard I very loud buzzing noise right next to my ear and I freaked out. My district looked at me like I was crazy as I inwardly sobbed and rapidly put my head down as I waited for her to get it out. I saw the huge moth fly around the room, that had been in my hair. Nasty. Soccer is coming along well, and I even found one of my BYU tennis club friends here, so we play tennis together sometimes when my companions dont feel like working out.
We had TRC this week which is just sitting in with natives and talking. We talked with one sister, who was very nice. I couldn't understand a thing she said, but I could feel her spirit as strongly as I ever have. I knew that God loved her. She told us her conversion story and asked us why she didn't get a lot of answers from God. We told her that we knew God loved her, she just needed to be patient, and maybe the answer she was looking for wasn't the right time or the right thing. Afterwards, I saw two little kids walking with the parents from the TRC lessons. One little boy looked like a Mexican version of Jeremiah, and one looked like a Mexican version of Lily. I broke down. I missed my family so much in that instant it was really hard to think or move. So, I thought of my testimony of eternal families, and I knew I would always be with my family. It was an amazing feeling.
I love you all, but I love what I'm doing, and I can not wait until I get to teach people that have been prepared for me in Antofagasta Chile. What a wonderful knowledge we have of this Gospel! We will always have family and friends and love.
So much love!
Hermana Richardson