This week was great!

We were at the beach on tuesday for our zone activity and since my companion is MisterElderZoneLeader, we stayed much longer and  had more prep then everyone else. Not complaining though, since we got to go to the beach! Of course we didn't go swimming, and I wouldn't have gone in anyway. The water was freezing. But President Watkins actually approved it, and so we went. It was a good time: rugby, soccer, grilling, and general fraternizing with the zone. The zone here is really united with really strong missionaries. No trouble makers here.

We continue to do well on our goals. We saw real blessings from a zone fast we did last monday night. On Sunday one of the investigators from a part member family who had been kind of flaking our came to us and said she still wanted to wait on her baptism, but she wants her son to be baptized soon. His date is now February 25th. We are more confident that she will be baptized now. Among other things, the the fast was incredible. It helped a ton with the whole zone. The zone broken a mission record for lessons taught.

I know I talk about numbers a lot, but it isn't all about them. We have been really getting to know and love all of the families and individuals we teach. One of them is a less active by the name of Brother Mclarney. He was baptized about 35 years ago in Bishop, California, and was active for a little while but then stopped going. He has been religious his whole life and kept a decent testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon as his life has gone on. He is now coming back to church consistently and has asked us how he can get a temple reccomend. We are helping him set goals to get a patriarchal blessing, do baptisms in the temple, get the Melchezidek Priesthood, and then go to the temple for himself. Gina, our most recent convert, is moving forward nicely. She is still struggling with some word of wisdom/ addiction problems, but they seemed to be lessened as time goes on. The support from the ward is incredible and her testimony continues to grow. She will actually be sharing her conversion expirience and testimony at the next outgoing fireside, on February 12th, since Elder Curtis, the missionary that preceeded me here, and the missionary that started teaching her, is going home. She has also expressed a desire to get to the temple in 10 months, so we are helping her work towards that. There are always people behind the numbers, and for those of you that haven't been on missions yet, that is important to remember. If you care about the people first, then the numbers will come.

I can't believe I have been out 4 months already. At this pace I'll be home in about 12 days.

Love you all,

-Elder James Richards
We buried a Tongan. I promise I didn't actually step on their heads...

Most of the Elders in the zone.

Yo jugo futbol