Newark has risen.

Well, this week in Newark was great. We taught the mission standard of 20 lessons. We lead the zone, as far as lessons are concerned. We also had an investigator in church, and he brought his nephew along as well, which was cool. We have lots of great things happening this week too. Later today we have an appointment with a girl that is a referral from a member. The member has his mission call to Vancouver Canada, and so all his friends are curious. He said he has been working on getting us a few more referrals too. That is exciting, since we are in desperate need of new investigators. The two we have are doing well, but we need to find some more people to teach. With a few potentials, we seem to be doing well.

Elder Howard and I are doing great. It's been easy since we already knew each other, we didn't have to have the hesitant period when companions don't know each other. I'm really trying to learn the area, but I still get lost. The roads aren't as confusing as Salinas though! That city was built on a circle...

The struggle here now lies in helping my district to be more obedient.  Fremont has never had a history of being very obedient. It started when the stake switched into our mission from the Oakland mission in about '09. The Oakland mission president put the dregs of the mission in Fremont, and the Zone's missionary efforts have been struggling ever since. In Salinas, and really the whole Monterey zone, obedience was easy because all the missionaries did it. I never knew anything else. But up here, I have to really work at it, and be a good example for others. If this district can just be tighter about the rules, they can do really well.

We're still working hard. Hopefully, this week will be even better than the last week.
Thanks for all the letters are well. 

Do work this week.

-Elder James Richards

A good week.

So this week was pretty good, except for the fact that it incredibly hot. It cooled way down now, so all is well.
This week was one of, if not the best, this area has ever seen. Our work went way up. One reason that it was so down was because I replaced a missionary that went home, and he was very trunkie. Trunkie missionaries are always lazy and smug. It is wisdom that I haven't been placed with one because I would probably just end up making fun of him...

Anyway, we just got out of a lesson with one of our investigators, Brian. He's a cool guy, he just has somethings that he doesn't want to give up. We are working with him to get him reading and praying everyday, and coming to church weekly. Usually if they do those things, they only have to work out commandment keeping things for themselves. We are also going to try to use the temple, since we are only 20 minutes away.

One of the focuses now will be on finding. It will be a challenge in this area to find people to teach, but we'll work for it. Fun fact, I went from the highest baptizing stake in the mission to the lowest.

When we are done with it, it won't be the lowest. Lots of work to be done, but it should be good.
Not much more to report, but I'll have more good news next week.
Have a good week.

-Elder James Richards

New address:
Elder Richards
36802 Cherry Street apt # k202
Newark, CA 94560

 send much mail.

Moving out.

Well this was a good last week in Salinas. We had a lot of success for our last week and taught a lot of people. All four of the recent converts were in church on Sunday as well. They all come pretty consistently, but it always seems like there is one missing for one reason for another. Not this week, so that is nice to see. Two of them now have callings, all have home teachers and visiting teachers, and the ward is welcoming them wholeheartedly. It will be tough to leave all the people that I have been working with here, but I know that I am leaving them in incredibly capable hands.

Big news this week is that the HSBC (not sure what it stands for), who was bought out by capital one, facility here in Salinas is getting shut down. Aside from agriculture, it is the largest employer in Salinas with close to 900 employees. Many from our ward, including our Bishop and first counselor, worked there and are affected by the closures. It reminds me of all the Motorola uncertainty. There is a lot less industry here then there is in the Ft Lauderdale area though. It will be interesting to come back and visit the ward, it will probably look totally different.

Another big thing that happened this week was that I got called up to the new leader meeting. Next transfer, in my new area, I'll be a district leader. Pretty young to be a DL, but at least he didn't do anything crazy like make me a ZL or something. There are some very young Zone Leaders right now. I am excited for it. It will be a good experience to be able to start fresh in a new area, with a new district. The majority of places aren't as built up as this area is, so I'll probably be working really hard to get the area going. It's a new adventure.

Have a good week. Now I go to pack...

-Elder James Richards

Me and Thor! The greatest dog. 

Everyone that came from Salinas, up for Elder Miller's outgoing fireside.

Normal District Photo

Elder Carter, Myself, and Elder Howard. The missionaries from Delta 21 (my mtc district) in San Jose

The District grilling.