So things are going fine here in Berlin Maryland area. This last
Christmas week has been great and filled with love. We had several people
invite us over for dinner. I even got to go to this one nice older couples
house for brunch on Christmas and they gave us some grits and hamoney and
other southern food that i don't eat a lot or hardly ever in Washington.
So yeah that was cool. We also had dinner at a family named the
sanders, and they are really cool and have 3 little kids under 4 so the husband
was glad to have us over and have some young men around he can do stuff with
like play board games and kick a soccer ball around with.
So yeah life is good. I also got some killer suspenders and some
other cool stuff from home so I’m looking good these days except I think with
this car riding and candy eating I’ve picked up, my stomach is getting a little
bit bigger than it has been in the past, but that could be my imagination.
The work in this area is also growing. Because of my language
skills I’ve got 2 new investigators this week. One is because last Monday at
the library we were emailing and i was asked a word in Portuguese by one of my
companions and the lady in-between us lived in Brazil and speaks Portuguese. So
we will be visiting her hopefully this week. She seemed pretty excited to have
me come over. Also I went searching for this spanish speaking guys apartment i
met at Wal-Mart and he wasn't home so we talked to his bilingual neighbor in
Spanish and found out he speaks English also and said we can also visit him.
So that should be pretty good. Sometimes we don't have a lot of
people to teach near us so this can be great. We do a lot of service around
here and i like it.
Its always good to get out of our church clothes and get to do
some work and let some energy out. For this one guy we do a lot of splitting
wood big rounds with a hydraulic wood splitter for this guy who gets wood from
trees that other people give him that they don't want or that fall down. so
that is usually fun and we do stuff for a lot of other people.
Hey i also have some some what visa news. Not really news
for me but there are 2 more people from my MTC district who got their visas and
one of them is my old companion elder Smith who is in this mission and will be
leaving when the transfer is over. so I hope I might get my visa soon and can
be on the plane with him but I don't want to bank on it and not get my visa
before the transfer ends but its possible.
Man my Portuguese sucks these days. I’m starting to forget how
to say simple things when I do my personal prayers in Portuguese and i have to
look it up when I’m done.
However there is only me and 2 other people in the states
waiting now for a visa from my MTC district of 12 or 13 so things aren’t
looking to bad.
This week has
been great. Elder Bloomfield and me are tearing it up and I even got his name
memorized. That's a joke kind of because the first day we taught a lesson and I
went to introduce someone to him but I forgot his name and so now I still
sometimes pretend like I don't know his name.
Oh and I forgot
the day when I went to meet him at transfer meetings we drove past Valley Forge
were George Washington was so that was kind of cool. But not as cool as
the weather has been getting. I also heard from some people around here that we
might be getting some snow soon. So I am kind of excited but kind of not.
Lately I have been wearing my sweaters and my hat and a scarf
from elder Bloomfield and gloves and everything. So its cool and I have never
wore a scarf before until I came out here.
We have been meeting
a lot of new people and teaching some cool lessons. a couple of our
investigators were at church and have been going for a while. So I am excited
and the members are being great and helping them and are great friends so I am
excited. Yesterday and last night was pretty cool also.
We were looking at former
investigators and checking on some that we have never meet and we went to this
one sketchy run down apartment to see this one lady. Well the lady wasn't there
so we went to her neighbor to bug her and see if she knew the lady and if she spoke
Spanish and wanted to hear more and the questions we always ask people.
We asked the lady if she spoke Spanish and she
said she did a little like every other person here, but she said that she is
actually from Brazil. So I almost peed my pants with excitement and switched
over to My Brazilian mode and started saying what I could in Portuguese. Well
then elder Bloomfield being the Genius he is asked her if she could help us
with something. Lots of time people don't want to be helped but would love to
help others. Well he told her that I am forgetting my Portuguese and It has
been hurting a little then he told her that we teach lessons and it would be
great if I could practice teaching those lessons to her about our church in
Portuguese. Well she said yes and we are going to go back. So I am supper
excited and I can use the practice maybe this is why the lord sent me here. Well
I actually don't have much time, Love you much Elder Tyler Richardson
has been great. I have a new companion. His name is elder Bloomfield. He is
great. We are already tearing it up in this area. He also is pretty chill and
different than Elder Callister, which I don't mind they’re both cool but I like
elder Bloomfield I think more. He is from Arizona and has been out for 8 months.
So his Spanish is pretty good. The transfer meeting when I got
him was cool also. I also saw elder Smith my old companion and I got to talk to
him and do some catching up. Especially because we were waiting for some
sisters to give us a ride home because we don't have a car. And elder
smith had to wait there because they stuck him with an Australian elder who
also can't drive, so I don't know what happened to them because the meeting was
already over and people were leaving, and when I left they were still there.
I have been working hard
with Elder Bloomfield and we have been meeting all kinds of new people.
Last week we met someone whose name Bryan he is Dominican and he has had a tough
life. He is only 20 and has been to jail or prison twice. Also he has a drug
problem. But he has a strong desire to change. I’m excited he went to church
yesterday and he liked it a lot he felt the spirit and the love of the
people in the ward so that is great. We also have had some cool lessons with
other people and the work is going good.
Even days when all the lessons fall through are good because we
end up meeting people on the streets. Yesterday we were late to one of our
plans for this one meeting and I didn't even know what room number this guy
lived in and just knew the building but in order to get in you need a key. Well
we went there and followed this old lady in then we got in the elevator and
were going to the 4th floor because I thought that was the place we were
supposed to go to. However we started talking to a guy on the elevator and he
knew the guy who we were looking for and told us what room he was in was on the
7th floor, so I was way off. And we got there and his granddaughter was there
who is around 23 or something, and wanted to or is willing to meet with us
again which is cool. And her grandpa wasn't there but we got a new investigator
who is interested and she even knows someone who is a member of our
congregation. So it is cool seeing how the Lord helps us and causes thing to
I have also had some other cool adventures with elder
Bloomfield these last couple of days. Like yesterday at a Mexican family's
house I had cow stomach soup. It was called manoodle or something like that. It
was like this rubbery meat in kind of big chunks with like membrane intestine
fat tissue junk in a soup. Like I was telling Cory, I'm not too picky but this
stuff wasn't even like food. It was gross. I much rather eat the worms and
aunts I used to eat in my prime in boy scouts than eat another bowl of that. It
was like a greasy broth with chunks of cow stomach. And it was so rubbery it took
like literally 2 minutes or more per chunk to get the meat chewed enough before
I could gag it down.
My companion didn't like it so much so he didn't finish his or
try and the members asked him if he liked it and he said the truth nicely by
saying not really. But I like to finish my food on my plate so I just tried not
to make funny faces and I finished it. Elder Bloomfield was impressed he said
he couldn't do it and that it reminded him of the smell of killing cows. My
comp is kind of a country boy and his grandpa owns a big farm and he used to
have a class in school were you would kill a cow every day he said. So I
thought that was interesting that the soup brought back those memories for him.
Well everything is good and I am enjoying this mission life.
I actually did a tiny bit of trick or treating
it was just before 6 and we were supposed to be home by 6 and in the apartment
and I was waiting for the other elders to pick us up outside on a corner of a
street. There were the kids getting ready and out in their costumes and some
kid asked us what we were supposed to be, we said missionaries and he said cool
do you want some candy so we got a piece. That was right after we had a lesson
with this Domincan guy who gave us some juice that was rotten and maybe fermenting
and I drank it all. Gross.
I just wrote a master
piece of a letter to Josh that took a little bit of time so don't be to mad if
I skimp a little bit on this one. Hey how about our little brother wart dog,
not too shabby huh. What a stud. Sometimes I wonder if I was bringing him down
or a bad influence on him at home so now that I am gone he is spreading his
wings and soaring at almost everything. Or maybe it is because I am like the
jedi trainer and I taught the young padawan well and now he has passed me up.
Or also maybe it is because I am being a stud out here and working and enduring
so young wart is being blessed. Who knows? It sounds like things are
going good for you and I am glad to hear that. Well I think I might start with
the general email if that is cool.
Well this week has been for the most part great. Since our
numbers last week were so crappy this last week we were able to triple the # of
lessons we taught. So that was a good feeling. I also had some good lessons.
One I like was I taught the plan of salvation in Spanish and I think I did
pretty well I even invited the person to be baptized and she said that she
needs to ask her husband.
We also had some other good lessons. One thing that was also
cool and maybe even a small miracle happened yesterday. So we were contacting
people and going to houses that were on our less active list and we also
visited a house that the sister missionaries told us to visit. Well we did that
and no one was at the house. However since the houses here are like all row
homes and touching each other, the neighbor was like on the same porch.
Well she didn't seem so hyped up about talking to us so we just
asked her about her neighbor. Then I decided to talk to her a little more and I
asked her if she spoke Spanish and if she just said she was cold to her son in
Spanish. Then we talked a lot more in Spanish and she opened right up. Its
amazing how small talk and small talk in Spanish with Latino people in America
can go a long way. Because that lady told us all about her family and how she
got here to Reading and everything.
So that was cool and that might not have happened because we
were about to leave the house porch when I talked to her. Then while we were
talking more people came out of the other door, which was like a house split
into 2 apartments. Well a girl came out of the house and I recognized her and
we had talked to her my first week of being here in Reading. It was crazy.
Before when we talked to her and she told us she had a friend that was a member
and she herd about the church red the book of Mormon some and wouldn't mind hearing
more. Well we gave her as a referral to the other missionaries because she
speaks both Spanish and English but her friends are English speaking so she
would want to go to church and have the lessons in English.
Well anyway we never herd what happened from after that day but
I always wondered because we don't meet people like that often. Well so here on
the lady’s porch yesterday this girl came walking out and we had another
similar conversation and the missionary’s either didn't talk to her or weren't
able to so we talked to her more and she said she went to church before and again
wouldn't mind talking to the missionaries and hearing more. So it is really
cool seeing the way how God works and places people in your path.
This week we
had a ward culture night on Friday. That was a kickin party. At first no one
was there because I guess in Latino culture everyone is like half an hour late
and even one of the guys in the ward said it wouldn't be a real culture night
if it were on time. I made a poster of Washington and it had the Seattle Temple
on it and had some cool facts about Washington and junk like that. It was pretty
cool. Washington isn't actually that bad and I am almost a little proud of
saying I’m from there especially when the other people from my district are
from Arizona Utah and Idaho lame of what. And the parts they are from are all
full of Mormons and Have seminary as a class at school and junk like that. So
yeah compared to those places Washington is incredible. J
Well any how we all made posters and had a table with pass along
cards and behind us we had a ton of temple pictures and an American flag. The
other parts of the night were cool. There was a lot of good food and we had a
Mexican chef in our ward who made a lot, and a lot of Dominicans made some good
stuff. And I had food from El Salvador and Honduras and Ecuador and stuff so it
Also someone hired a bunch of Mexican dancer people who were
decked out in sombreros and stuff it was cool it made me want to dance with Cory
in our cowboy boots back home. Like we used to do.
And then I saw a lady in our ward from Uruguay and looked at her
pictures and then I thought about my mission in Puerto alegre Brazil and I
thought about that and even got a little sad I wasn't there. Also sometimes I
would watch a Mormon message thing or one of those Im a Mormon things on the Internet
with Brazilians and it makes me even more trunkie to go to Brazil.
So I have to admit I got a little depressed when I compare
Brazil to where I am now. Also when I thought about what I have heard about
people waiting for there visas for like 6 months in there re assigned area.
Well after feeling sorry for myself I did some praying and
scripture reading and thinking. And I realized feeling sorry for myself isn't
going to change what's happening with my visa and being happy is my choice and
I can choose how I look at speaking Spanish in the Ghetto as just as hard to do
mission work in Reading PA compared to speaking Portuguese In Brazil so that is
my only kind of low part about this week.
Things are also starting to cool down here
literally and riding my bike home at night gets cold. But it’s all good in the
Well I love you a lot and thanks for all that you do and for your prayers Love always
elder Tyler Richardson.