April 18, 2016


El Monte South


Elder Stoker

Temple Trip and Hard Work!

Well, we had a fantastic week as we shopped for clothing. My shirts are all in pretty bad condition. We had a great time as we spent a lot of good time finding good white shirts for me to wear. This might be somewhat repetitive as I may have talked about it last week. We then got to go test out some cologne as the Sisters Murdock and Escalante showed us some of their favorite men's colognes, which was nice. We then got shakes for them from the store and had a great P-day. Our night
was great as we had Hermano Serrano with us and we visited a family who went to a baptism that weekend of an eight year old girl. We were able to make headway even though they were busy that night. We set up a return appointment and their hearts were opened to us. It was cool as we then taught the family that had a baby recently they enjoy hearing our message and it is really peaceful when we teach them. You can definitely tell that the spirit is there.

Tuesday with the temple trip was a blast. I have never had so much fun and encouragement on my mission than ever before. We were able to talk about the success we are having in helping people come unto Christ. It was encouraging as even though we didn't get a baptism this last month we have hope for someone who is preparing himself for this month. His name is Juan and he is finally breaking free of his addictions and his life is becoming way better than it was before.

The temple was cool especially after seeing all my friends in white, what a fantastic experience. I have learned a lot from that experience that through our efforts we will be able to set others free. This area
is basically in slavery to sin and it is sickening, but it is
wonderful to know that we are going about doing our best to help everyone realize where they are at. It has been a wonderful experience overall and I cannot forget to keep my body full of light. I need not judge or complain when God gives me a trial, but I must learn to go forward with faith and do my best no matter the situation. If I do this God has promised me that I will be able to see where I need to go and he will keep me safe from harm or accident.

We also had an excellent zone meeting as we planned for it on Tuesday night and did it on Thursday. Our Wednesday was rough as we had food poisoning to a certain degree from a restaurant we ate at with a
member. We went to a great Ice Cream place afterwards. Their car just reminded me of the suburban's I have been in. More specifically it made me think of my grandparents as they were an older couple that took us out to eat and spoiled us. It was great, but I was pretty stuffed and being sick to the stomach the next morning wasn't so fun. Elder Stoker and I both felt the effects. I was able to have one of the biotic pills for the intestines. That really boosted my immune system so I was able to eat something. It made it difficult for zone meeting as we weren't feeling so up to the task of teaching. We were
able to receive strength and stand. We talked specifically about how Satan tries to attack us and how by strengthening our Christ-like attributes we can overcome him. We specifically used Elder Oak's talk from last conference and the scripture he used, which was 2 Nephi 28:20-22:
> 20 For behold, at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.
> 21 And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well--and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.
> 22 And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none--and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance.

It was a good moment to realize that if we are feeling one of these things Satan has power over us. If we want to see that he doesn't have power over us we must stop him at every track and accept things with good cheer. It brings me to the thought of Alma and his people and how
they pray to be relieved of their burdens. We can take the thought that we may be burdened down, but as we look forward with faith and act on that faith we will be blessed. It is something I have experienced with exercising this week; I haven't felt like I have needed to do it, but I did it and I feel so much better. It has been a
blessing I have experienced every morning except for Sundays 😆.

Friday and Saturday were good days to work. One of my favorite things is that we teach a scripture study class. We are using it to help reactivate some of the youth that aren't really active. I hope that Hugo will be able to help his parents come back to church and he himself will be able to serve a mission. It will be a great day when that happens. I am hoping we can do our best to help them out.

Saturday, I would describe it as being taken away in the spirit. It was really cool as we seemed to be in the right place, in the right time. We were able to help so many people we taught everything through the direction of the spirit as I didn't know what to say half of the time. The spirit was super strong and you can just sense the bubble of the spirit around us now. We just walk around and trust in each other and don't judge, but support each other in what we say. It really shows others that we are of one mind and heart.

Sunday was a heavy day as I felt chastised from the Lord a bit as we just didn't have a lot of good things happen. It was hard as I don't know what happened as we were trying our best. Then the spirit came and consoled my heart and mind. The day then repeated what happened on Saturday where we were just taken away in the spirit. We visited a lot of good people and found some good potentials in so many areas it was great. We had a blast as we then called the district leaders and helped them see where they need help. We are going to work more closely with each one of them to have better results happen. It is going to be a good transfer.

Today was brilliant as we spent sometime with Rosabla(who is Juan's wife) as she volunteered to wash our laundry, which was a blessing. We were able to eat lunch with her before we played frisbee and got Ice Cream. We have a lesson at five today so I don't have much time.

Love your Hermano, Hijo, y Amigo,
Elder Richards🐉🇺🇸🇲🇽


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