Runnin', Runnin',

So this transfer will be awesome. The goal for our zone is 36 baptisms. That will be big. We're adapting some things from other zones and setting our own goals. I think it's really attainable and it will be exciting for my last transfer. We're going to go at a ridiculous pace.

I got some exciting news from my last area. Bill (the 90 year old investigator that I taught) is getting baptized! I was super excited to hear that. One of my old companions, Elder Bingham, is up there and they're doing crazy things. It's so great to see all of the success all around the mission. The work is hastening. 

This past week we had an unexpected investigator show up in church. We hadn't even taught him that week and we went by to invite him to church. He wasn't home so we left a note. Then, I look back in sacrament meeting and he was there! I was thrilled. His name is Mario and he's the roommate of a fairly recent convert. He's from Mexico.

This week we're working hard to find new people to teach. In conjunction with our baptism goal, we're working for 4 new investigators every week. That's a lot, but it's doable in our area. This week is the last week of the current transfer, so it's setup week so that we can hit the ground running in the start of August.

-Elder James Richard

You did what?

So this week was great. We reached a lot of our goals. We taught a lot of investigator lessons and had some in church. There's a great energy in the mission right now. We have been improving, but we feel like we can do more. There is a stake right now that is shooting for 42 baptisms for the month. In FTL that sounds low, but 42 will be half of what that stake got last year. There are two zones in that stake, and one zone is doing it. They got about a third of the new investigators that the whole mission got in just their zone. My goal is to take some of their practices and adapt them to our district and our area. We're going to post up some big things before I go home. 

This week another person walked in to church. She was being taught up in Menlo Park, and recently moved here. We're meeting with her this week.

Sorry for the really short letter. This week was one of the most productive I've had in a long time and this coming week will be even better. The Lord is blessing us big time in our work. The work really is hastening. 

-Elder James Richards

veinte y uno

So I officially feel like an old fart.  I'm older than 40% of the sisters in my zone and almost all the Elders. Way older then everyone in the apartment. It's weird, I've never felt like the old one in my life. 

This week was great. We continued the finding blitz with 2 more new investigators. One of them walked into church on Sunday after church was over. We were actually on our way home and our WML called us. We went back and were able to talk to her about some different concepts. We're teaching her on Thursday. 

We have a ton of lessons already set up this week, which is a huge answer to prayers. We have lots of investigators, but some have been hard to get a hold of. We have appointments set up with most of them already. This should be a big week for us, assuming everyone doesn't decide to cancel on us. We've got so many people to teach it's incredible. If we could just teach all of them in the same week, we'd be on fire. We're also getting more investigators to church. Our goal this week is 5, which may be more then I've ever gotten in a single week. 

This week we also got a less active young man to church. Since our ward is so young, we have 2 active young men, and both are out of town. We went over and talked about how the priesthood needed this boy, and he came. It was pretty cool. 

We're are making great progress, and it is great to see Elder Son growing. He was like me when he was first out; shell shocked at the fact that he'd be here for 2 years. Now he's growing a lot and becoming more confident in his abilities. It's good to see and he's a great missionary. 

Thank you for all the birthday wishes,

-Elder Richards


So this past week, every day we were on a bike, it was over 100 degrees. This week, the high is 82 for the whole week. That's better.

This week was great. We taught a lady named Bernie on Saturday. It was our second lesson and we took a member that was perfect for her. They really hit it off and the member gave Bernie a ride to church on Sunday. It was great to have some investigators in Sacrament again. She's doing great and has questions, but has already had spiritual experiences and is searching. We're going to hopefully be setting a baptismal date on Wednesday. 

We continue to have tons of investigators. We decided to do the most patriotic thing ever on the 4th of July. Teach an African and a Mexican the gospel. So we did. There is a member here who is a refugee from the Congo. He set us up a lesson with his roommate and we were able to start teaching him. It is an exercise in listening, since the member speaks with a thick french/ African accent, and the investigator has a Mexican accent. We understand what they're saying... for the most part. 

This week we were also able to make a mini break through with an investigator we've been teaching for a while. She came to the 4th of July breakfast, so we were able to introduce her to Bishop and a few other members of the ward. We were also able to show her the chapel and commit her to come to church this coming week. She volunteers at an old folks home smack in the middle of our church time, so she'll be coming to the sacrament meeting of the ward after ours. It's tough, because volunteering is actually a mildly legitimate excuse. But she'll be there and we think church will help her a lot. 

We're doing good and working hard. Elder Son is doing great. He taught really well in our lesson with Bernie. It's amazing though that he graduated in 2013. I feel old in our apartment of an 18 year old, a barely 19 year old and a 19 year old. This is the first time I've felt old in my life. I was always the young one in school. It's different. 

Since Elder Parker left, I'm President's new bike fix it guy. I just picked up a fixie from the mission home that he wants me to fix. 

I'm going to get some clothing items today and a hat for my birthday gift to me. I have some cash, so I shouldn't dip into the card too much, if at all. I need some short sleeve white shirts. I fell on my bike the other day. I only got a 1 inch scratch on my hand as a result, but my handlebars ripped the pocket off of my shirt. I also need to conform to the new missionary dress and grooming standards. Note the Khakis and ditching of backpacks. We're hip now.

-Elder James Richards

My son.

So, my new companion's name is Elder Son. I've been having fun with that. My son Elder Son. He's from Indiana. I've had as many companions from Indiana as I have from Utah. Figure that one out...

We have a ton of work going on right now. We have 11 investigators, which is more then I've ever had at one time. It's almost becoming hard to stay on top of them all, but it's awesome when you look at the week and you already have 8-10 lessons planned out, not including dinner lessons. This week should be a real jump for us. We've set some big goals and are working hard to accomplish them. We're also believing in them. 

These two transfers are going to be the best of my mission. I'm working hard and trying new things and tightening other things up. It's going to be a wild ride.

My district this transfer is awesome. We actually have more sisters in the district then Elders, 5 to 4. It's pretty crazy. I went for my first 15 months without having any sisters in my district. They're a great district. We have the Elders we live, the Samoan sisters and one set of the Spanish sisters. We've got a lot going on in the district, so it's going to be a good transfer for the district as well. We lost all our problem missionaries, and traded a companionship of Elders for the Hermanas. Pretty good trade.

-Elder James Richards.