It's 4 son.

So, Elder Parker is off to the land of Vernal, Ut tomorrow (and he's not excited about vernal, or Utah haha), and I will be training a new missionary next transfer. This is son number 4. Elder Platt and Elder Bingham are also training so I'll have two new grandsons too. Hooray for posterity. 

Yesterday's broadcast was awesome. The internet and technology changes won't really affect me much, but it was a great instruction for ward councils and others. 

I'm past the 21 month mark now. I've still got a lot of work to make this area a producing one, but it will be do able. I'll hopefully have a companion with energy and our district will not have as many problems in it that I need to babysit. The Bishop really trusts us too. Things are going pretty good!

Have a good week.

-Elder Richards


Hello all.

This week has been good. It went by super fast. The Elder Echo Hawk tour was cool. 

Another cool thing happened on Thursday. My companion went to the temple with the other departing missionaries, and we went to go collect them from the mission office. We pull up and standing there is my trainer (Elder Miller). It was pretty cool to catch up with him and talk about good 'ol Salinas days. His job sends him out here sometimes for training and so he gets free mission tours. It's like the third time he's been here, but the first time I've seem him. He called Gina on his phone and I was able to talk to her for a few minutes which was cool. She sounds like she is doing great. It's amazing the changes people make. 

This week is Elder Parker's last week. We're going full steam. The ward likes us, and we are able contribute well in ward council. We have been able to connect with members and gain their trust. We are working with some less actives that are moving forward and we are having more success with investigators. 

This week I've reflected a lot on how the Gospel changes us. One of my favorite quotes in PMG (and dad also included it in his letter) is that "A study of the Gospel will change behavior quicker then a study of behavior will." So true. Both in my life and in the lives of others, I've seen those changes. When you understand the Atonement, you do things differently. You have a drive to better yourself.  You know that the mistakes you make aren't good, but they don't define you. You learn that through the Grace and Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can truly become better and happier people. 

This week was good. have a good one

-Elder Richards

Echo Hawk. Echo, echo, echo...

So yesterday was our mission tour with Elder Echo Hawk. Has been a seventy for less time then I have been on my mission. That was odd to think about. He talked a bit about his Quarterbacking days at BYU. He was also a secretary of Indian affairs in the Obama administration. His talk focused on how the Lord calls us to do things at sometimes in opportune times. It is up to us to answer the call. He also talked a lot about his conversion as a teenager.

This past week was good. One of our investigators is in HI for 4 weeks. She is getting so close. He husband is a member. He was less active until about 4 months ago. Now he's on fire. We invited her to be baptized and we really feel like she would have accepted if she wasn't leaving. We've still got a few concerns, but she's getting close. 

We've got a few potentials. Our bishop told us to look out for a mother and daughter that were coming to church. They were taught up in Redwood city, but moved down here. We didn't see them, so we're following up with our bishop this week. We also gave a blessing to a Less Active member that will be moving into our ward soon with her non-member husband and kids. She has cancer and talked about how she wanted to come back and that her husband was interested. 

Yesterday the Elder Echo Hawk meeting ended up being in Salinas. It was so weird to be back in that chapel over a year later. It felt like I was coming home. I could help but reflect on all the events that happened there. It was pretty cool to be back.

Week was good. 

-Elder James Richards


So this is being sent today due to a scheduling snafu involving us putting together some sister bikes for President and an ill-planned pday trip to Santa Cruz via bus yesterday. Pretty cool, a bus leaves from our area and it's pretty much nonstop. A fun day was had.

This week was a good week. We're really starting to gain the trust of our members, which is great. Since there has been a history of lackluster missionaries in the area, gaining the support of members seems to be a larger struggle then usual. It's going well though. Our ward mission leader and Bishop seem to be taking a sigh of relief. 

This week we had an interesting phone call from a woman wanting to be baptized. We talked to the 2nd counselor in the bishopric, who had talked to her, and he said she had contacted the bishopric about money. We still went to teach, we had our guards up though. In the lesson, she seemed very sincere and really did want to learn about the church. She has a sister that is a member in our ward. She's trying to get out of an abusive relationship now and get on her feet. She was pretty banged up. We set a pretty optimistic baptismal date, and left feeling good. She missed church though, and our appointment last night, so we're a little concerned. I'm so tired of getting the run around from people. We'll see how it goes.

We're working on finding some solid investigators. We have a pretty decent sized pool, but a few are getting close to being dropped. 

This Monday and Tuesday, Elder Echo Hawk will be conducting a mission tour. We'll be meeting with him on Monday, so next week's email will probably be on Tuesday as well. 

-Elder James Richards