What Service?

So we picked up the coolest service ever this week. There is a nonprofit bike shop in our area that President Watkins got us in with. We fix low income and homeless people's on Saturday mornings. They have a big warehouse and they have tons of donated bikes and parts and such. They sell the donated bikes to fund the shop. They have every tool you could ever need. It's some good expirience too. I've learned a lot of fixing bike while I've been out here, so it's cool to be in a shop setting. I'm beginning to think that Elder Parker and I got put together so that we could fix everyone's bikes. President has 10 that he ordered that he wants us to assemble.... haha

This week was a good week for us in Cherry. We picked up two new investigators and got a ton of referrals. As much as previous missionaries shot this area in the foot, it's doing well. Elder Parker has done a good job building it, and the ward was excited when the missionary that I replaced left. We are teaching an older couple who's son joined the church a few years ago. They want to know why their son joined. They are a great family and are actually searching. We taught the plan of salvation last week.

Another one of our investigators come from a part member family. The husband was baptized when he was about 17 and fell away shortly after. Recently, he has started to come back and he's been on fire. They come as a family every week. She's still kind of searching, but she is so close. We just need to help her get there. 

This area is pretty neat. We have most of downtown San Jose. The downtown isn't really that big. It feels Ft lauderdale-esc. The city itself is huge because it just spreads out. It comes with a lot of crazys though. We taught a guy who smoked one to many joints in his younger days. It was amusing. We probably won't go back haha. Such is city life. 

-Elder James Richards


So I am sitting in the family history center of the Cherry Building right now Emailing you. I am in the Cherry Glen ward of the San Jose South stake.

My companion's name is Elder Parker. He has one transfer left and is from Georgia. He's been here for 3 months. We were both sent here to help clean up the area. There were some pretty bad things done here by previous missionaries, and it's killed a lot of the work. I can tell the ward was pretty excited to see that the Elder I replaced has been transferred. I'm a district leader here, and in my district, one of the other ward's was combined with Cherry Glen when the stupid stuff went down, and another ward that under performs. President pulled me in before transfers and talked to me about this assignment. We're doing pretty good. My companion is all about working and so we're doing great. Getting the other areas/missionaries motivated is the key and learning my area, since I only have 5 more weeks with Elder Parker before he goes home. I also have the Samoan sisters in my district, and they are great. They just had a baptism last night of a man who was in his 80s. On of the sisters that came in was the first sister called to speak Samoan in this mission. Up until now, President has had native Samoan speakers in the unit. Of course, while at the baptism, I saw a family that I know from Newark. Its a big small world with Polynesians. Elder Baldwin is my zone leader here so he'll be a good resource in helping clean up the district.

This week was crazy. We were moving into a brand new apartment this week. Wood floors and stainless steal appliances included. We live with the Elders from the Dry Creek ward. We share a car here and bike/ public transportation the rest of the week. We live right next to a light rail station, so it's super convenient. Our area is most of Downtown San Jose. It's a big change from any of my other areas. We are right in the heart of the city. It's pretty cool.

This area is actually more built up then my previous two when I came into them. We have a few people that are pretty close to baptism, we just have to push them over. We'll be inviting a lot of people to be baptized this week.

Now instead of being exiled to the south or the north like I usually am, I'm right in the middle. It's way different, but it'll be great. Have a good week.

-Elder James Richards

What goes here?

Well, seeing as yesterday was mother's day, I don't have too much to say, but in case you missed it, I am getting transferred. No idea where yet, don't know until Tuesday. 

The baptism went well on Saturday. One more step in helping the family get to the temple. Here's a picture.

Pleasanton has been good. It was really hard here at first, but I've really learned diligence. The work is rolling in this area, and I'm leaving it with an investigator that is all but baptized, and another solid one. I'm sad to go, but happy at the same time. New adventures for my last 4 months. 

-Elder James Richards


So this week was the baptism! Jennifer and Christina were baptized by their dad. It's the rescue in action. I was fretting a bit, since the service was sparsely attended. It didn't matter as I watched the girls be baptized and the spirit testified to me that this is it. This is baptism and the baptism that God wants for us. I was so happy for this family.

This coming week a 13 year old girl is getting baptized. The rest of her family are returning/ newly baptized members. I'll actually be the one baptizing her, so I'm pretty excited for that. This is one of the last steps in helping them get to the temple.

We did have some sad news this week. Silaa won't be able to be baptized until the end of summer. His Mother is worried about his level of commitment. She doesn't think he's all in. He is and has a strong testimony. It's a bummer, and this seems to be the trend in the stake. I can't understand for the life of me why these parents won't let their kids join. With EJ's mom in Newark, she saw the changes in him and absolutely loved it. She herself didn't necessarily want to join, be she saw the great impact it was having. It seems like everyone out here has a "my way" mentality and that really hurts these kids who are prepared for the Gospel. Silaa is taking it in stride and is willing to show his parents that he is committed. He still wants to be baptized and was in church yesterday after his mom told him about this. We're just so thankful that she didn't make him wait until he is 18. I hope his Mom keeps up her end because that would mean he will still be baptized before I go home.

Pleasanton is rolling. Have a good week.

-Elder James Richards