1 week ago
Saturday, December 19, 2015
Sorry I haven't posted any of Jared's letters the last few months. He is finishing strong in Valpo Indiana as a zone leader. His release date is the 31st and his homecoming talk will be January 10th at 11 am at 3511 North 180 East. Hope you can come!
Thursday, May 7, 2015
So, transfer calls just happened, and I found out I will be training a new missionary again. Elder Lewis will be serving up in Buffalo Grove. I'll miss him a lot - he was a great companion and really helped me make the transition into the city more smooth than I could have asked for! I can't wait to see him later on in the mission in the other areas he serves in. As for training, I'm excited and nervous to do it once again! But I know the Lord will help us out. Also, we'll have a car once again starting Tuesday, so that will be a blessing for sure. ;) Elder Lewis and I saw some great miracles this week, and I think I know why. He and I have started a "40 day fast", where we fast from little things that may poke at the Spirit. Each night we report to God how we did on our list of things, and each morning we ask for His help in fasting from those things that day. It has really helped us slowly become more consecrated and change our desires, and I'm so grateful for the blessings we've seen from it. This week we did our contacting activity, which was a lemonade stand at the "L" Train Roosevelt stop. It wasn't as warm out as we were hoping, but we did manage to talk to a number of people who took materials or signed our "We will pray for you" poster. To generate attention I also drew out the Plan of Salvation with chalk next to our stand. Overall it was a great experience, and even though we didn't see as many people as we had hoped, we still learned from the activity and got to send off a few referrals. In other news, Alijiah got baptized! Her entire inactive/part member family attended, and it was a great service. Even though it was a ward baptism and not an investigator baptism, I'm still grateful to have been a part of it and also to be the one to confirm her. After it was over her grandmother told me she wants to start coming back to church eventually, so that was also cool to hear. :) I hope everyone's doing okay at home! Let me know if there are any specific things I can pray and fast for this Sunday, as I ask you to do the same for me. Love, -Elder Jared Richardson image1.JPG image2.JPG image3.JPG image4.JPG image5.JPG
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
A miracle Elder Lewis and I had this week was finding the Tupayachis, a less active/part member family that are basically the equivalent of the Robles family from "the District". They are so ready to come back and are already agreeing to having us come to dinner weekly, which is a huge privilege and blessing. I'm so surprised that the Lord would bless us out of no where with such a wonderful family to help bring closer to Christ! The wife had a bad experience with the Hyde Park Ward in the past, but she's agreed to give it one more chance this week on Sunday. I think she enjoyed it! We'll be cooking breakfast for them Saturday morning and watching conference with them on Saturday. :) The church has released a new Easter Video called "Because he Lives" which we hope to use creatively this week. The other night on the CTA train I asked someone if I could share it with him. He surprisingly agreed and later thing to me for showing it to him and for having the courage to talk to a stranger. I'm so grateful that the spirit helped me share the Gospel in creative ways, just like how Elder Perry wants us to. -Elder Jared Richardson
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
This week was a lot harder than I anticipated! While Tuesday mainly consisted of moving things from our old apartment into our new one, and on Friday we cleaned out the old apartment with help from our district, we had very little in the way of appointments this week. Because of the boundary changes and the new area we've taken over, we really don't know anyone around here, including a few investigators the last Elders left us with. To count my blessings though, I have a car now, a much nicer apartment, and some new responsibilities as District Leader. Despite being "whitewashed" (missionary slang for being transferred into an area that both you and your companion haven't been in) I'm excited to work here in addition to most of my old area. Instead of just covering the sketchier black neighborhoods in the Hyde Park Ward, we also now cover many Hispanic neighborhoods, which are full of potential as well. :) Running District Meeting went decently. I actually covered the wrong lesson from Preach My Gospel for the week, but I still did my best to teach by the Spirit. If nothing else, we had an excellent roleplay at the end, where I had each companionship teach the Restoration. Each missionary was only allowed to say one sentence at a time before their companion could speak. The other two companionships in our district both have a new companion, so I think this exercise helped them get to know each other a little better, and I think everyone enjoyed it! Thanks to everyone who prayed for John (a member I mentioned last week). We still haven't been able to meet with him but from what I understand his situation will be getting a lot better soon. :) I'm really grateful that the Lord has trusted me with this area, companion, and responsibility to look after the other missionaries in my district. I'm also really grateful for the trials I've experienced thus far on my mission that help me grow and uproot my complacency. Love you! Hope things are well. -Elder Jared Richardson P.s. It's snowing like crazy again. 0_0 Guess I better break out the boots again.
Monday, March 16, 2015
Well, looks like I'm in a car again. The big news of this week is that the West Elders will be leaving while Elder Lewis and I move into their apartment. We'll be taking over their area and continuing to work in ours, with the boundaries slightly changed. I'll be taking the role as district leader as well. I'm excited for the change but also really sad to lose two great missionaries, Elder Sami and Elder Sharman. The work is going to be a lot different having a car instead of walking! Jamie's baptism went excellently. He was baptized and confirmed by the Bishop of our ward, and all the Elder missionaries got to stand in the circle for it. At the end of the service Jamie stood and bore his testimony of all the little blessings he's noticed since making the difficult lifestyle changes to qualify for baptism. Being able to be here and witness his baptism has been such a privilege, just as all the baptisms I've seen have been. Jamie's a great example to me; I can't wait to see him serving in the church later in life. He'll be a great leader. As I mentioned last week, we had the wonderful opportunity to hear from Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the 12 apostles on Saturday, as well as Elder Rhodes of the Seventy. It was a very spiritual experience, getting to hear from a prophet, seer, and revelator. He was so energetic and animated in instructing us about missionary work! What stood out to me the most is him telling us to be more creative and vigorous in our work, that the Lord trusts us with these iPads and these areas. I left the meeting feeling so uplifted and pumped to be a missionary! I don't think I'll ever look back and say to myself that serving a mission was easy, but I'll definitely treasure the time I've gotten to spend here. Hebron, Lake Villa, and Chicago have been radically different from each other, but they're all special in individual ways. This work is true. The Spirit testifies to me so strongly so often of how the Lord is involved in His church. He leads it, and those who are willing to humble themselves will experience so many blessings from it. I'm so grateful and blessed to be a representative of Jesus Christ, even when failures come and difficulties arise. I love you all and wish you could participate with me in this work - would you all be willing to pray with me this week that this ward's transition works out? Also for Debbie Jordan and John Hicks, who are going through some hard family issues but we can't reach out to right now. Thank you so much. My love goes out to all of you. :) Have a great week! -Elder Jared Richardson
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
The main highlight of this week was hearing from Elder W. Craig Zwick (of the 70) as well as Brother Hemingway (the director of online proselyting in the Church). They came and spake to us as a mission on the trust that the leaders of the church have placed in us, as well as the new guidelines concerning using our iPads. This week we'll be receiving our new ones, and we'll basically be doing a restart on training and learning how to use them in the field. We'll also be off Facebook for a while, just as a heads-up. Hearing from a servant of the Lord was such a great experience. He gave us some wonderful counsel and things that I hope to directly apply to the work down here in Hyde Park. And, we've just been informed, L. Tom Perry of the 12 will be coming to our mission to speak to us this Saturday! We will be fasting and praying to spiritually prepare to learn from what he has to say to us. I'm excited, to say the least. This Saturday will also be Jamie's baptism, which I'm also trying to prepare for with much anticipation. He has progressed so well and is qualified to enter into the church as a fully-fledged member. I'll be sure to report on how it goes next week! I love having so many Elder missionaries in this Ward to work with. Granted, it does make it more of a temptation to want to merely hang out when we gather together, but I love having so many friends close by and working together for the same purpose. This week I had a wonderful "exchange" with our district leader, Elder Sami (who came out at the same time as me). My day with him mostly consisted of tracting, but we found a couple of awesome potential investigators, and I feel we learned from each other as we worked in his area. As an added bonus, things are finally starting to warm up and all the snow and ice we've trudged through these past 5 weeks are melting a bit! We're surrounded by worldliness down here in southside. I've never felt in danger physically yet, but some of the things we've seen and heard while proselyting are hard to witness. But as I once quoted in a Facebook post: Even though I accept that darkness exists, I choose not to dwell there. There's still a lot of good in the world, and we should do everything we can go continue sharing goodness and inviting the Spirit into our lives. I hope this was long enough of a letter for you all to swallow, haha! Thank you for your prayers, as always. You are all in mine every night. I promise to make you all Chicago dogs when I get home one day. :) Love, - Elder Jared Richardson
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Despite being a little sick on Tuesday I'm happy to say that we worked hard this week! I'm still astounded at just how much walking we do here compared to my past areas. I enjoy the little things of living in the city however, such as seeing the Chicago skyline in the distance, walking around the White Sox stadium often, and wondering just how many people live in a square mile radius here. We eat out a lot more often as well, but we try our best to avoid it. As I've mentioned before, a lot of our time is spent stopping by less active addresses and seeing if the listed members still live there or not. Sometimes it's a little monotonous knocking on doors that no one answers, but this week we had the miracle of meeting Lisa, a member who let us in! Right after ringing her doorbell and climbing up her stairs we heard her yell, "Is that Elders? It's been over seven years and I've never had Elders find me here!" After chatting for a while she said she'd be willing to come to church next Sunday! I'm so glad to have met her out here after many fruitless stop-bys. Yesterday we had Stake Conference at the Rockefeller Chapel, which really is more like a cathedral than a church building. Elder James B. Martino of the Seventy came and called a new Chicago Stake President. It was a great service! On Tuesday we will be having another mission-wide conference where Elder W. Craig Zwick of the Seventy will be coming to speak to us, and we will also be learning more about online proselyting and be receiving our new iPads. I've been fasting to have an open heart and learn a lot from this meeting, and I'm really looking forward to it! - Elder Jared Richardson