April 11, 2016


El Monte South


Elder Stoker

Temple Trip!

We are excited for this week as we are going to the temple. It is
going to be a blast as we are going as a leadership council. It is a
lot different than doing it by ourselves on a Saturday. I will tell
you more about it next week as we are preparing to go this week.

It was a good week this week as we were able to talk to the members
about conference. We are excited about how we can help the members
come close together as a work. We have been trying to work with a man
called Juan. That has been an interesting adventure as he is working
hard to break free of old habits and is trying to get along with his
wife. We have been helping him and motivating him to make his
baptismal date for the 23rd of this month. We are hoping through his
diligence and creativity he will find a new way each day to beat his
addiction. We have been watching them struggle and we are growing
close to them and hopefully they can change. He has been struggling
with the bishop, but yesterday they hit it off pretty well. We are
looking forward with a brightness of hope as our little band of
missionaries is coming together to save the unfortunate and fight the
tides of evil.

I also have good news of being able to regain my driving privileges
back. I am so excited and I want the chance to be an able servant of
the lord. Something that I have kind of felt like is God has showed me
things I can have or may obtain this transfer. I have been looking
into the future and something I see is that if I follow the Lord and
improve myself he will grant me my hearts desire. I really have
reflected on something I learned the other week from Elder Flowers, he
showed me in the Joseph Smith papers how Joseph Smith nearly didn't
get the plates because of how he kept messing up and not living to his
standard. He was given an ultimatum that he has to get better and he
has to improve or he will suffer. I have really felt that I must
improve and I also feel that in the future that I will become an
assistant to president, because the Lord wants me to be doing my best.
I have no idea how I will qualify for such a call, but I am determined
to focus on the now and do the best I can so that I am ready when that
day comes. I am grateful for your wondrous examples and please
remember what God has done for you.

This week I feel like we have grown really close to the sister
training leaders, Sister Escalante and Murdock, as we first of all had
to take their car because ours wasn't working. We did that on Tuesday
and then on Wednesday we were able to pick ours back up. The story is
a long one as we had try to give them there car the night before on
Tuesday, but we couldn't get it to them. We had a lot of errands on
Wednesday as we were helping the office couples out as they were
getting a new mattress. It was an adventure as we had to go to three
different places to pick stuff up and put stuff away. We are happy to
say they got a new mattress. Afterwards we were called by Sister
Murdock and Escalante as they had an emergency. So we had to deliver
supplies and we needed to get our car at the same time we then called
Elder Allen our vehicle coordinator to get special permission so I
could drive a car. It was great! We then had to speed back down to the
sisters to give them their car. We drove different cars and were
following each other. It has been a long time since I drove a car it
made me realize how I need to focus when I drive as it seems to be
hard for me. It was a good refresher.

On Thursday we had a fantastic district meeting as we were all able to
practice a bit with teaching the plan of salvation. I have been
improving greatly this week, but something I have noticed is that I
have come to know all of my little faults and problems and sometimes
it is really hard to take it all in. I have been very moody this week
as Elder Stoker has noticed it. I feel like I am very aware of where I
want to improve and how I want to do it. It has also come as I have
seen the Sisters examples and have learn more about what they do. One
of the biggest things I have been pushing myself to try and get better
at is exercising as I know how much good it does for me. I have come
to know the blessings of being healthy and fit or at least to the
extent of he air quality that is here. It has been a good week though

Friday was about as great as Thursday we didn't see any miracles
during the day and it was quite frustrating. We had to work hard to
keep going as it is sometimes tiring to get the same results again and
again. When the night came the attitude of the people changed and we
were able to teach a really cool lesson with someone until they
dropped us yesterday. That was a painful conversation with them. I
feel like I know how it is to see ones potential and watching them
choose the wrong path isn't easy, but you can't do anything about it.
We believe we might have came in and pushed to hard so they weren't
ready, which is sad. I hope that they will be willing to open up again
one day to let the missionaries back in.

Saturday was ridiculous! I have had good times on my mission, but that
was one of my favorites. It was great to run around and collect
donations from members for DI with Elder Stoker, Sister, Escalante,
and Sister Murdock. We talked about a wide variety of topics and were
able to enjoy the time we had together. One point we had to wait to
get the code for the lock on the trailer and that was boring. We were
so bored we started making horse noises by blowing air out of our
mouths and that was fun. We then had some tortas, which are basically
Mexican sandwiches on special roles/buns. While we were doing all this
we had some storm showers and stuff happen. Then my companion slammed
the car door on my hand, while I was trying to hand him the keys. That
hurt.... It was fine though. We later came back and prepared for a
baptism that the Ward was having. It was good as we were able to fill
the font, but we had to kill a giant coach-roach now that was an
adventure. We then found investigators that came to the baptism, which
was spectacular. We had a good night as well when we did our scripture
study class with some youth. They had some good questions and we were
able to answer them, which was great and we keep want to doing it. We
decided it would be good for them and we might be able to get more
youth involved to help them become more active in the church.

Sunday was amazing as we had a surprise as and old member from San
Gabriel walked in. That was quite a shocker. We also had to teach the
Gospel Principles class, which was great. We were also able to bear
our testimonies as it was fast Sunday. I talked about how we hardly
have had a glimpse of what we can become as I am starting to realize
that more and more as I work harder and grow in faith and confidence
in the Lord. We were able to then break the fast which was great and
go out and work. We found some people and were able to teach others.
It is kind of hard to do it everyday, which is why I am glad that I
today is P-day.

Today has been a great day as we got to go to Jcpenny's with the
Sisters and do some shopping. I had received three gift cards from
Sister Villanueva and a note, which read go buy yourself some white
shirts. Now in my last area I had bleached my shirts and they are
disgusting as they are basically grey. We actually had Rosabla, Juan's
wife, do something to them today so hopefully they are better. Anyways
we basically did a shopping trip to the mall with the sisters. We
bought some new clothes and then the sisters showed us some shops with
body cologne. I don't actually have any at the moment and I realized
why because at bath and body wash and other places the cologne is
super expensive. I smell super good right now as I have different
colognes on it is nice. I also used some stress lotion at bath and
body wash shop and I feel pretty stress free. Today has been great!

I basically have a debit card where I receive $160 a month and get to
learn how to spend it wisely. It is very simple as they refill it
every month and we get to buy the food we need and maybe cleaning or
bathing supplies. You can't by much with $160 in California, unless
you are a very good shopper, which I am working on.

Your servant and friend in work,
Elder Richards🐉🇺🇸🇲🇽


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