Tuesday, December 28, 2010

December 27 2010

<<Editor’s Note: We got to talk with Richard on Christmas Eve.  It was very nice to speak with him.  Richard’s comments about Hope was because she was in AZ attending her grandmother’s funeral.>>

photo Christmas Dinner

Elder Brickey, Elder Mackelprang, Brother Ravonsheed

Hello Y'all!

:P Dad, other than Leah's crazy pictures of everything, you're the only one to have written me this week. Talk about depressing. Today has been a very bad P-day. Since we have to take the English Elders to do their laundry, and do ours at the same time. It's just a plain time drain. It's irritating that all we managed to get done is shopping and finally emails, with the libraries being closed this week. :( So I really, really hope that we figure out some time saving ways to get our laundry done faster... because this is just ridiculous. We're still not done with laundry, and we're using a LOT of miles to get it done... *sigh* at least in Fairfield we were pretty much 1/2 way done with laundry by 8AM in the morning, but together we'll find a way to make everything pan out.

I've seen on news-clippings that the entire east coast got plastered with snow. I'm sure you've been enjoying it all. I hope Mom has been enjoying the the warm Arizona weather! :) She’ll enjoy getting some of the Arizona sunshine she misses during these winter months.

Leah must have sent me like 20 pictures today, I was kind of blown away when I saw her name dominating the screen when I opened up my email today, it was a nice change to the few emails I usually get each week. By the way, Sayonara Leah! Have fun in Idaho! :)

I'm sure Jenna is loving her kindle. I wonder if she'll ever prefer that over real books though.

I'm also sure that Joshua's ecstatic about getting a gecko. I feel that those would make awesome pets. :P

I'm not sure I can forgive you for buying an Ipad Dad... but we'll see what you do with it ;-).

Christmas. It was a fun morning. I slept in until 7:30AM; I know, I'm crazy right? Elder Brickey (my new comp) had been up a little while earlier and had already gone through all of his gifts. :) He had more of the Christmas spirit in him I guess. He got a lot of professional artwork from his brother in the form of pass-along cards / bookmarks. It's some pretty impressive stuff. I enjoyed all of the little snacks, and things I got from the Christmas package. It was really nice. I especially liked those Christmas Bark things. The new shirts fit like a charm. They are _SOOO_ nice! I love it! I've received several Christmas cards from the ward members back home, and from various relatives. So it's been nice, but I especially enjoyed a special letter from my waiting girlfriend Kayla Swesen. I got some pictures a good letter, with a humorous RM dating application. Words cannot do it justice to describe it, so... I'll leave it at that. Later that Christmas day we went to visit our investigators for tamales... but wouldn't you know it; we got dogged. On Christmas. So we went up to Santa Rosa and spent the majority of the day in Santa Rosa with a more "Americanized" Spanish family for most of the day. We came back to Rohnert park for an appointment later that afternoon, but we got dogged on that one too. We then had dinner with the Gaecominis family, who is an English family in the Rohnert Park 2nd ward along with the other Elders. It was a very nice dinner, with lots of laughs, and good food. So yeah. That's my Christmas for this year.

I love you all, and I hope that you enjoy your holidays and vacations as we look forward to this new year. In which I'm coming home. Weird thought isn't it?

I know this church is true, I know that Joseph Smith saw what he said he saw. He really saw God the Father, and Jesus Christ. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that we can come closer to Him by doing all the small little things that we say in Primary: Saying our prayers, Reading the scriptures, and going to church. the diligence we have to these steps will in great measure affect how our faith strengthens or weakens in the long run.

Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year,

Elder Mackelprang

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

‘Twas The Week Before Christmas...


:) Christmas is PDAY this week, so it's another wacky week for again. With transfers tomorrow too! I'm staying here. *sigh of relief* I'm getting a younger missionary named Elder Bricky. I hear he's solid and a hard worker, so we should have a good time and get some more stuff done.

Yesterday we finally managed to bring to pass the baptism of Antonio Murga, and his Sister Soladie. They have just been really hard to work with, since we've had trouble keeping contact with them, and getting everything arranged on-time. I'm glad we were finally able to make it happen. Other than that though, things have continued to be slow. It seems like the yearly winter Latino migration has begun, until the rain and chill runs off, and the vineyards open up work again. However, there are Latino families that are still here somewhere. So your prayers to help me find them would be greatly appreciated.

***Super Important*** I'll be making my phone call from a members phone on Christmas Eve at 5pm in Cali. So if I'm still up-to-date with the time change that would be about 7-8PM your time. That should give us an ~1.5hrs to talk. I'll probably be at that members house late since they're feeding us dinner, and all Latinos celebrate Christmas at midnight the 24th. We'll be back before then, but we'll enjoy ourselves with our members. 

I did get both packages, and a present from grandma and grandpa, and post cards from Pres. Maxwell, the Everetts, (yours), and Uncle Kenny's. So it's been nice having more mail than usual.

I really do miss the Neighborhood activity night of caroling it was always awesome to be able to go out and sing, and harmonize... it's really a lacking gift in the world...

Leah! Congratulations! Graduation! you definitely must be excited to be going to BYU-I! You'll be that much closer to Matthew in Colorado! ;-) Your mail will get to him faster that's for sure. 

The Weather here has finally gone to the wet and chilly side. It'll probably be that way for the next couple of months... :P At least in NC the sun came out a little more often between days of rain/sleet/ and snow.

That's about everything that's been going on, so I'll bring you up-to-date with what happens next week, next time.

I know that this church is true, and that my Savior lives! The Book of Mormon is the word of God, and will bless our lives if we read from it.


Your missionary,

Elder Mackelprang

Sunday, December 19, 2010




Funny how they happened to come at the same time, huh? Who'd a thought. I'm sure it's a double whammy for receiving cards and stuff. :P

Christmas time is here! I still don't know if I'll be here for Christmas. Since transfers happen on Dec 21st (I know it sucks). It may be that President will surprise me again and transfer me after one transfer here in Rohnert Park. Because of that I don't know when phone calls are going to be. I'll let you know next week as we figure out what's going on with transfers. I really hope that I get to stay. It's a lovely place here.

I hope you feel better Jenna! 

Ben Everett starting his mission papers -- I knew that this day would come, but I forgot that it would be this soon. I was just thinking a few days ago about when he'd do that. Keep me posted. I really want to write him, so hopefully I wont be spending all of my real P-day (temple trip p-day) this Friday on cleaning our apartment. You have no idea how hard I would laugh if Ben got called here, and to Spanish, and if I trained him... that really would be funny. We'd get to know each other a whole lot better.

You guys would be jealous of the weather here. It's a continuous  55-60 degree weather __All__Day__Long__.  I hope I don't get too soft from being out here.

Sounds like you need another pair of hands to finish your house projects again! :P I'll see what I can do about that. I'll think about it for another 10 months. ;-)    

The ward parties here have been fun, and many of them wouldn't have happened without our help. :P It's funny what we missionaries do in the background of things. 

Dad, I don't think I've ever been to Magianno's so maybe we'll go there someday.

Well, it's a short P-day today, but I'm really excited for the _ALL_ mission conference this Wednesday (yep Leah's birthday) :) that will be fun. The 1st all mission conference ever in my time here, and probably my last. I love you all and I hope you have a fantastic Christmas.


Your missionary,

Elder Mackelprang

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Season Has Begun!

We got two emails from Elder Mackelprang this week:

Hey Mom!

:) This week has been awesome! and to make you guys happier this week I have some surprise pictures! I wish I could send some of these as Christmas cards, but alas I have no extra money whatsoever :P. It really is tough to live off just a missionary budget. I'm really looking forward to watching movies, (and maybe some games) on the projector in the theater room!! That should be fun. I'm glad that you're feeling better. It's officially been a year since I've come out to California! Weird!! :S 10 months to go, you can count them on your hands!

Enjoy!! Have a fantastic Christmas! (Let me know about what traditions/ activities you guys are doing for Christmas!)

Love your son,


Hello All!

This week has continued to be slow, but it's slowly but surely improving. Hopefully, we can continue that trend through Christmas, but we'll see how it goes. This next week should be full and productive, but next week is FULL of stuff to do with the all-mission conference (1st one since I've been here) temple trip, and several baptisms on the weekend. It will be nice to have so many highlights before transfers that week.

I'm missing the snow, but I'm sure I'll get more than my fill when I go back to BYU during the winter semester, and it's crazy to see how much Josh has grown... :P 10 more months we'll see who's the stronger one right Josh?

We've helped several members move, and had a Christmas party this past Saturday! That was fun, we had 6 piñatas and LOTS of tamales. :) I was very happy. I did get a chance to swing at the piñatas, but the blindfold was too good this time. ;) I didn't break it.

The picture with the Santa clause is kind of funny because, we didn't realize until we tried getting our picture with him that he was drunk, _way_ drunk. He was still coherent, but it was also messing with his head a little bit. He was a nice guy being a Santa in front of his own house, so I give him props. 

Umm... I'm working on singing another song in sacrament meeting, but this time it'll be in Spanish, and it'll be a duet with one of the Spanish members. It should be fun! I hope that I also get a chance to be apart of the ward choir, even if we only sing one song.

The church is true! (by the way, Dad, for Gospel Studies each morning, we usually study something from Preach My Gospel)

I love you all and I'm glad things are going great back home!


Your missionary,

Elder Richard Mackelprang


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Last Thanksgiving

Hello again!

Thanksgiving has come and gone! My last one on the mission! :S Weird! It was a great day! But a terrible week for lessons! :(

We only got a grand total of 4 lessons this week! our usual is about 13. We had at least 9 people cancel on us... so we were happy to have a mid-week P-day! It was a day where I could write letters, and I did write some, and I got some sent off in the mail last Friday, so they should be coming soon. You guys will be getting the baptism picture soon. I'm not in it because I wasn't able to go... but oh well.

Some more of my investigators got baptized last Saturday! Not all 3 of them, but one of them did, and another one will this coming Saturday, and hopefully the last of them will get baptized soon. As for other activities, I got to play tackle football (yes, full tackle). That was fun, no one got hurt, but there were some pretty crazy hits. My knee started acting up while we were playing soccer a little while after, but it's improving quite a bit. We had quite a few missionaries in our apartment for Lunch, and then we had 2 Thanksgiving dinners, Mexicano-style! I love how they flavor their turkey, and meat! It's better than most turkeys I've ever had. So yeah, it was a LOT of food... :P I better start working out harder now. ;)

That's Thanksgiving in-a-nutshell. However, last Saturday, I got to attend my first Mexican Wedding... Oh man! :D Talk about wild, and awesome! It wasn't too bad since we were in the church building for the wedding, but I was really impressed at how good it was, and how cheap it was too. ~$1,500 for everything. We helped put up some decorations, and that's where our dinner was since the entire branch was there for the wedding. It was great, and a great motivator to me to get more into shape so that I can do some dancing when I get home! I think I have a waltz already waiting for me. ;-) So yeah... that's about it. Studying has been good. Nothing spectacularly mind-blowing, but it's funny how the simplest things are really the most sophisticated sometimes. We just recently got the Ensign, and I've been reading through it this week, and I'm reminded on how amazing some of those Conference talks were. I recommend you read them again.

Well I'm glad everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving, and I hope everyone continues to do well.

Love your Missionary,

Elder Richard Mackelprang

Thanksgiving Week

Well... There's not really anything to note about what's happened this week. It's starting to rain more and more frequently, and it's finally starting to turn chilly. It'll be nice once this weather finally starts moving on, and then I can probably send home my rain jacket about Mid-March. An umbrella should be able to take care of me from that point on. We have a baptism of a 12 year old kid this Sunday! We taught him all of the lessons in about 30 minutes. I wonder if that's a record? :) We also have another awesome investigator that we hope will be ready to be baptized in December. She just needs to sit down and talk with her family, which she's planning to do on Dec 4th (it's a big challenge for her) her name's Alex.

Yeah... this week should be more fun with Thanksgiving, and some other surprises. I'll let you know more in my letter this week, and next Monday.

So to answer your ?'s:

  1. Yep as you should be able to tell with the address I sent you guys last week I'm in an apartment. No new pictures yet, but I'll get some, it's nothing really excited though. Rohnert Park is an awesome area, it's a little lacking of Spanish people. They're very hard to find, and most of them speak perfect English anyways, so it's a work in progress.
  2. The chapel is about ~3 miles away from the apartment.
  3. I did get a copy of the picture from the baptism in my last area that I'm sending home to you guys of the baptism last week, I'll be sending it home to you guys here shortly.
  4. Thanksgiving is a P-day for us, so today is technically cut a little short. We'll be playing Soccer, and Football for the Turkey bowl, and we have several meals planned with members. So it should be a nice relaxing day. I would've enjoyed going to Aunt Marsha's house, but the plans for Thanksgiving were already laid down when I got here.
  5. There's not really much to say about Elder Coburn, he's a funny goofy guy. He loves the work and the area, and we're working hard. The area can be a tough nut to crack sometimes, but it's a good area. The members here have a very crazy sense of humor. They are probably more light-hearted than most of the other areas that I've been to.
  6. The pants and the shoes that you sent from the Missionary Mall work and fit perfectly. Thanks. If they need any hemming or changing, I know some members who will be willing to help out. She's rather good at sewing.

I love you all, and I hope everything's going well,

Happy Thanksgiving!

Elder Mackelprang

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mid November

Hey all! This week has been super fast, which us different for when you're coming into a new area, but I guess having lots of festivities with the ward and some of your investigators makes things fly by fast! I also want to shout out to my Grandpa and Grandma's on another happy birthday! Here's a rundown on Dad's ?'s:

  1. My comp's name is Elder Coburn, he's been out one more transfer than I have, He's from Utah (go figure), and he's an awesome guy. He's a little reserved at times when we're in the apartment, but he's out-going and lively with all of the branch members out here. We get along well, sometimes it's interesting to try to adjust to a new companion, especially after one that has been almost perfectly unified with you like Elder Zufelt and I.
  2. Rohnert park is surprisingly small. We're actually _just_ outside of the Santa Rosa zone, but we're allowed over there on P-days and what-not (Christmas will be ok). We live in an apartment, we still have a car, and we do actually use bikes occasionally. The Branch out here is supposed to be one of the closest to becoming a ward! So we'll see if I can help that along!
  3. YES! All 3 baptisms worked out last Saturday, and Elder Zufelt promised to send me pictures of it, so I'll get them to you when I get them. I wasn't able to be there with them though... new mission policy. However, what's awesome is that there are 3 more of my investigators that are getting baptized in 2 weeks! It makes me feel really good to know that my time and effort in Fairfield is already bearing fruit.
  4. The weather has been rather variable lately. Some days are Cool California Sunny Days, and others are chilly, cloudy and blustery. However, you can definitely tell or feel the change in the season. It's more mental than anything I can describe

(!!!) My new address is:

166 Santa Alicia Dr. Apt# 23

Rohnert Park, CA 94928

As much as I would want to go to Aunt Marsha's for Thanksgiving and Christmas it would seem that we already have plans for Thanksgiving. However, since Transfers are the 21st of Dec I'm positive that we can plan another Christmas meal (another breakfast would be absolutely amazing!) I'll figure out the details in the next few weeks.

I'm sad to hear that Great-Grandma Gardner is approaching the veil rather quickly... I might be hoping for a lot to see her before she goes, but the Lord knows the time. Whether that be sooner or later.

Thanks grandma for those quotes! I'll need to bring some change to print them out next week.

I miss the autumn leaves in NC, there's some of it here, but not nearly as much vibrancy of color, nor as many trees. I'm looking forward to coming home to that as well as going camping and the wonderful camping food! You really miss when you can't do anything outdoorsy very often.

One of these P-days soon we'll be going to see the redwoods again! I'll have my camera, and there will be pictures!

I'll be doing a quick reply with pictures!

I love y'all! Have a great week!

Elder Mackelprang


Nov2010HalfMissionConference1 Half-mission conference.  Elder Mackelprang is on the far right of the photo.
Nov2010HalfMissionConference2 Elder Mackelprang along with his district.
ElderMackelprangAndElderGolden Elder Mackelprang shaking hands with Elder Golden from the 70.
DSCN0708 Elder Mackelprang’s pumpkin.
DSCN0710 Elder Zufelt’s Pumpkin.
DSCN0693 Elder Zufelt with some investigators and members from the branch.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Happy P Day! (November 8 2010)

We had a mission conference this week with Elder Golden. Man... that was pretty intense! I'm always amazed at what your learn when a general authority starts speaking.

I had the opportunity to eat lunch with Aunt Marsha due to a series of unfortunate events that cancelled our planned temple trip for last week. I had asked Aunt Marsha for a ride, and invited her to come with us, but our District leader for solid reason didn't want to go, and so none of us could because he's the district leader. So yeah I was disappointed about that, but I invited Aunt Marsha out to lunch to make things up to her. :) It's hard to believe it's almost already been a year since I've last seen her. Time has flown by.

Stake Conference is always amazing, and it's funny for me to think and compare how it's so  similar to zone conferences out here on the mission! It's always uplifting, and you leave knowing where your focus needs to be next. That's something I hope to keep up after the mission.

Some questions for you:

Did you get your new shoes yet?  I know you wanted them for Christmas, but you'll have them early :-)

Yes I did, they are wonderful, and according to the chiropractic that we visit it's doing wonders for my back, and posture, dealing with strains, etc.

How many shirts do you think you want for Christmas?  I was planning on three of them, all long sleeve.  Let me know if that's different from what you really want.

Actually most of what I need are new short sleeves. I was thinking 3 short sleeves, and 1 long.

Do you have any "special" requests for your goodie package for Christmas?  Our plan is to do something similar to what we did last year, so if you have any special requests, let us know soon (we have to send it off pretty quickly).

I like it being a little surprising, but I will ask that you send me a little bit of money to go out to eat, since my mission budget doesn't allow me to do that next to never.

At the mission conference, try to get in several pictures if you can.  Try not to be in the back row also :-)  Almost all the zone/mission pictures I've seen of you have you in the back.

Sorry it's already over, but I know that Sis Bunker took a picture of me, Elder Zufelt, another companion ship we serve with, and also Elders Bittner and Knowles with whom I've previously served.

Well transfers are here!! I'm off to Rohnert Park! (a little south of Rosa.)

I don't have the address with me so I'll have to mail it to you with the letter to the ward I've been working on. (I might be able to have Thanksgiving with Aunt Marsha if things work out. She's pretty close to my new area.)

I love you all, and the best news is that we have 3 baptisms this Saturday! Anita, and her kids Alejandro and Ana are getting baptized. I love that family, and I'm happy that they've finally made all of the necessary steps to make it into the waters of baptism! Even if it is right as I leave. (It's alright, it seems to happen all the time, but now the rules are that missionaries leaving an area aren't supposed to come back to see the baptism just for the baptism. So I'll hope that Elder Zufelt takes good pictures.

I'm doing great, and I hope you all are doing the same!

Elder Mackelprang

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

P-Day! (Transfers NEXT Week)

Sorry mom, Transfers are next week. I'll know what happens next Sunday. From what I hear from my Zone Leaders, things may not be so crazy this transfer, but the next one. 2 days before Christmas.. :( that will be bad timing.

  • I was a chili judge for the trunk or treat here in Fairfield. I burnt my tongue and the roof of my mouth especially, but the chili was good, and I enjoyed mixing them up and throwing in some jalapenos!
  • As part of a stake activity there is a massive pumpkin carving at someone's house, and anybody and everybody is invited to carve pumpkins. So we went with our investigators, and carved some. I carved a Luigi pumpkin to be a companion to someone's Mario. They're lighting them up again tonight. I'll take a picture of it lit up, and send it to you guys.
  • Officially I've had 4 Spanish companions, during this year. I've been here in Fairfield for 6 months now.
  • I'm sure Dad wasn't liking the work or the extreme cold coming upon him up there in Canada.
  • It's funny how all of the parties seem to start right around Halloween and don't end until January. :P I'm enjoying being a part of more activities this Holiday season, compared to last year. I'll also enjoy leaving the mission next year before everything starts turning rainy, windy, and cold. Perfect timing.
  • You're right I would enjoy the mega-hot chili Brother Lete made. I eat habanero chilies. Ask any Spanish branch member about that. They might be impressed. I was actually one of the judges for the chili cook-off here in Fairfield. :'(  Burnt my mouth a few times... not from it being too spicy, but because they were too hot (temperature-wise). But It was a great activity. We had a lot of support from the branch too.
  • I don't remember Bunko, but if it's what I think it is that sounds like fun! I hope that we can get some fun times going on when I get home.
  • I miss being in the choir and singing. There really isn't enough of it out here... *sigh* I miss Cary 2nd Ward.
  • I have pictures of a pumpkin carving I did as an activity with my investigators. I'll send you the pictures on my technical P-Day this Thursday when I have a temple trip. (Hopefully if all goes well I can ask Aunt Marsha to take us down!)
  • That's cool that you were watching home videos. We had some funny ones. I really need to make to sure to take more pictures, or videos when I'm raising my family.

I can’t believe it’s November already!? Time is really flying.

That's crazy that Andrew (Elder Roberts) is almost done... I guess he can email me regularly and then I can start sending him little email notes on P-Days! I know who else he's going to be emailing as well! ;-)

Well I love you all, and I hope that things keep staying good at home. I know that this church is true, and I know it with all of my heart.

Be good!


Your Missionary,

Elder Mackelprang

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

P-Day! Fall Is Upon Us

<<Editors note – In this week’s email, Richard jumps right in and starts addressing points made in the several family emails he received this week.  Regarding the play Jenna was in – Midsummer Nights Dream from Shakespeare>>

Yeah, the plays end up taking a lot of crunch time the nights before the performances, but it's worth it most of the time. It was nicer being able to drive myself and not have to drive the family crazy with the play's whacked out schedule. I've heard that Toy Story 3 is pretty awesome, I hope you enjoy it.

<<Regarding Joshua’s working on the Cooking merit badge by cooking for the family for three straight days>>

Cooking just seems to run in our family ;-) it'll be interesting to see  what Josh and I can cook up together when I get back. I didn't like Family Life merit badge at all either. I didn't mind doing the chores, but having to keep track of it all was a pain. 

I don't doubt that Joshua's voice has been deepening like crazy. how much has he grown height-wise? A lot I can imagine.

<<Regarding Hope and Leah singing at the Ward Primary Program>>

We'll be joining the English ward next week for a primary performance ourselves. I'm looking forward to it. I doubt they're as good as Bro. Watkins though. I miss all of the musical talent of our ward... *sigh* I'll miss it a LOT since I'll only have a few months there at home before I'm off again too.

<<Regarding some of the ongoing renovations going on at our house>>

:P I know that most of the damage is done on wrecking the house. It's mostly inside repair jobs, and what-not, but I'm sure it'll feel completely different when I come home.

Mom, if you want to find a poem to send me, send one about being valiant, or courageous.

<<Regarding being halfway done with his mission>>

Yep, past the year mark. Every day is my last day of being a missionary on next calendar year!  

<<Regarding writing a letter to the ward to tell everyone how things are going>>

Yeah, I'll see what I can do to get a ward letter out this week. I should have some extra time, but this week is going to be filled with more excitement than many of my weeks past. We have lots of events going on with the ward, stake, and our investigators. I'm excited to be able to spend some more social time with them. I might even get a chance to carve a pumpkin this year! 

I still haven't heard from Jenna yet, to tell me how it's been going. I hope that she's been enjoying herself.

<<Regarding an upcoming business trip I’m taking to Canada>>

I hope you enjoy your first real hockey game Dad! Not to mention your working vacation (;-) in Canada.

  1. <<Are you moving?>>  I'm positive that I'm moving, but heaven knows where.
  2. <<Any investigator news?>> Nothing much has changed with my investigators. We have a few potentials that are looking good, but other than the usual encouraging our investigators to make the changes they need to (like getting married) before getting baptized. They all have some small roadblock that they need to work through. 
  3. <<Any pictures for us?>> I just sent you some pictures in my letter this week. Mom should have it by today. With the card and the stuff I promised last week.

Well, I'm running out of time... :P Sorry that this week's a little less meatier than usual, but I'll send the ward letter home this week, and that'll have some good stuff for y'all!

I'm happy to be out here, and I hope that you all find more ways to strengthen your faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Your Missionary,

Elder Mackelprang 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Week 55

Hey guys!

:P It's funny to me when you say that the 25 years you and Mom have been married seem so short, to me it seems like you guys have been together forever already, but time started slower for me, so I guess it all makes sense.

Going back to BYU for me should be pretty cheap especially if I nail an RA (Resident Assistant) job.  That would be a great job, and would really help pay for tuition and books. I was already planning on getting a job in one of their computer labs to assist people.  I heard they get paid about $13 an hour, which I think is pretty good. We'll see how that's changed when I actually get there. I am wanting to be an RA for an entire years worth of schooling until I can get good enough grades to get scholarships, but again we'll see how it goes.

:( It's sad that Leah wont be coming along to BYU- Provo... but I’m excited she’s getting to go to BYU – Idaho.  She’ll love it there.

Mom, I think that if you could make and send me some of your bread, it would be awesome, but I don't know how it'll survive shipping during this 6 month rainy-cloudy season, but it's worth a shot. I do miss your home cooked bread. 

I do hope to have the chance to see Jenna perform in concert chorus (and in a play). I'm glad that she enjoys it so much. I know that it will help her make good friends, and enjoy school more.

It's wild that Ben's already getting ready for his mission... :P He'll leave right as I have 6 months left for my mission. Just watch and see. Yep, same ol' Ben.

Yeah... Even though I’ll be coming home in October, I'm definitely not excited for fall raking.

Well this is the first time I've heard anything about missionary work and being on facebook... maybe that's what they'll be talking to us about at this next half-mission conference this November... (after checking out the mission blog) It seems interesting enough. That's something that I would enjoy doing as a missionary to blog my adventures, talk about my gospel questions and answer peoples questions about the Gospel. It sounds like something that my patriarchal blessing mentioned about other responsibilities beyond proselyting... but hey we'll see what happens and where it goes.  (FYI transfers are Nov 7th)

I will be sending a letter soon with a couple of pictures of me and Elder Zufelt, and the 1st talk I gave here on the mission. Which I gave yesterday, on missionary work. I enjoyed it, and it made me reflect on the last time I tried to give a talk in Spanish in the branch back home. It made me laugh inside. I hope you enjoy it.

Doing the crown molding in the living room using an air compressor must have been very noisy and irritating, but they sure do get the job done.

I did get your package, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I enjoyed Mom's little notes on everything. It was special. I thought that it was funny that she sent me out the EFY "thank you" notes that I got from my group. That was a funny little memory.

Well I hope that things are going good with the complete house reconstruction while I'm gone! ;-) It'll be weird to come back to when I come home.

Well as far as missionary work goes, Elder Z and I are doing great! Not a whole lot has changed. We're still working with Anita, and her 3 children who are steadily coming closer and closer to baptism, and also with Janet who should already be a member (she already studies from all of the standard works, and is loving Principles of the Gospel),  but has to work through to get a divorce from her first husband. We're increasing the effort we're putting into getting more members up and excited about missionary work, and I think that we helped a lot with our talks that we gave yesterday. (Mom will have fun trying to decipher it when she gets my letter) That's all for now, but we have some good looking prospects coming up on the horizon.

I know the church is true, and I know that the Book of Mormon is more of God's word for us, His children. Read It!

I love y'all!

Elder Mackelprang

10/10/10 Day

Oct2010FairfieldZoneConference_DSC_0118 Fairfield Zone

Zone Conference
Oct2010FairfieldZoneConference_DSC_0111 Lunch at Zone Conference

<<The pictures above were stolen from the Santa Rosa Mission Blog site.  This was a zone conference earlier this month in Fairfield.>>

Yesterday I was in Stake Conference, so these past 2 weeks have been jam packed and crazy schedule wise.

Things have been great, and I'm happy out here. I don't really have much to say about this week other than tat it's great to see the miraculous changes in my investigators and the tiny little miracles that I get to see everyday. Unfortunately, I have a very limited time window for emails today thanks to Columbus day, so I'll finish my letter to president, and let Elder Zufelt write. I hope you guys have a fantastic week!

I'm glad that everything is going well at home.

I know that the church is true, and I know that we have a living prophet among us, who leads and guides us in our days, if we only listen and follow his council we will find peace and happiness in our lives.

Love your son,

Elder Richard Mackelprang  

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Half-Way Home

You've said it! Time has flown by this entire month, and especially this past week! Conference was great, and I loved the things that I learned. For the most part I was at the Stake Center here in Fairfield, but on Sunday we got to stay with our member family with a waffle breakfast. That was highly enjoyable.

The weather here has been cooling off really well! I've been enjoying it, because it's just right, right on the cooler / cold side with a touch of wind. I hope the weather is good for when you guys go on your 5k run/walk! That sounds like fun! Good luck!

Oh! A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to go to the temple again! I also did a temple session in Spanish! I loved it! It's really cool in Spanish. Although having to remember some of the longer and more specific words they use can be difficult. It was nice for a change to be there with many of our branch members, and it was a very sweet experience. I hope to be able to do something like that again.

Thanks for the shoes and the pants, they'll come in handy, and I'll do my best to keep them in good shape, so that they last longer. I can do without some new shirts for awhile, but a few of my short sleeves are slowly dying. Good thing that it'll be mainly long sleeve season here pretty soon.

I haven't got the package you sent yet, but I'll be watching for it. Just a reminder, I'm living with a member in their home. It's a nice place. It's funny that you haven't changed the address in your book, Mom. That address was from 6 months ago (almost)! It's weird that it really has been that long. 

Have a wonderful week guys! i love you all!

Your son and brother,

Richard Mackelprang

PS Hey Leah! Way haven't you written me yet? ;-)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

P-DAY again!


Well, I'm still here in Fairfield, so there's no new address to worry about for another 6 weeks.

Use the shirt measurements that I sent you a few weeks back, not the shirt measurements from the Missionary Mall forward. It should be in the email from 2 weeks ago. The  measurements for the shoes is right on! So don't worry about that. It's been pretty hot out here too, and it will remain that way until the end of this week! :( I'm really thankful that I have a car! I'm glad that I'm still here for transfers, but were running into some obstacles with our investigators... *sigh* the two families are super solid, but Satan like always wants to break them down and stop them from coming to church and from listening to us. So we're still working with them, but we should have Ana and her family baptized on Oct 17th due to conference and stake meetings. I'm really excited for general conference, and the messages we'll receive! I'll probably be listening to it from the chapel here, but I'll still look to see if there's a member that wouldn't mind us coming over. It'll be weird knowing that it officially marks me as half done though... I'm glad that you guys had fun camping, I remember some really fun times that we had camping, like when we had an Everackelson trip to a relative of the Everett's cabin. That would be a cool spot to go to again.  

Yep, there's too many places to go to, and to see when I come home. I've been thinking about coming home a month or two early to see if I could prepare myself for going back to BYU, getting a part-time job, and going to Wake Tech for a couple of computer classes, or something... I'm still thinking about it, and if it'd be worth it to leave early or stay until next October. It'd be funny if I got transferred over to Santa Rosa again next transfer just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas! ;-) We'll see though. I don't imagine that I'd still be here after this next transfer. (next transfer will be Nov 9th)

I'm still here with Elder Z, and I've got a few new pictures, but I didn't bring my camera, so I may have to send the pictures later... I should get a few new ones today too.

Here's a cute little story about yesterday. The members  were asking who was going and staying, especially the kids of the ward mission leaders family. Since nothing was happening we decided to play a joke on the kids and say that Elder Z was leaving, but I was the one who was going to tell them. So I go up and tell them that one of the Elders is leaving. One the girls (a family of 4 girls) in particular, named Kimberly (8 years old), Stood frozen, and ever so slowly turned towards me with a really sad, heart-broken face and asked me if I was leaving, and I told her no and she was totally relieved. I told her about Elder Z, and she didn't really care. I guess there are some people here who are really attached to me! :P That was a cute little moment.

Well the works progressing well, and I'm glad everything's great on the home front. Keep up the good work, and enjoy your new fall weather. I'm not excited for all of the rain and wind that shall be falling my way shortly. But, it's only for a few months, then I'll be home free after next March. I'll probably send a package with my raincoats / jackets around that time next year. :) so I have less stuff to worry about packing. I love you guys! Have a great week!

Your missionary,

Elder Richard Mackelprang

P-day! Impending Transfers next week!

Hey y'all!

This week has flown by fast! This transfer has too! It'll be a new transfer next week, and it'll mark my year point and half-way mark of my mission... Man time has flown! You think it can't go faster then you look and say, "Wait... wasn't it P-day yesterday!?" :P Things are going great with the work here, and our investigators are progressing towards their baptismal dates. It's great to see the power of faith, and following the commandments, and reading the scriptures have on changing lives! I'm getting more and more attached to these people here, so it'll be hard if they do end up transferring me next week... so I'll let you know what's happening come this next Monday. P.S. *HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!*

In regards to your ?'s

<<Do you have electronic versions of the paper pictures you sent in your paper letter last week?>>  Nope, I don't have electronic copies. Those are pictures from Elder Knowles that he promised to send me.

I hope y'all enjoy camping. Is that where you're going to celebrate your birthday? (you might be getting something in the mail as well)

It makes me laugh when I hear that you're working on the house. I always tell other missionaries when we talk about home, that it wont be my house when I get back to it! You'll have done everything except condemn it, wreck it and rebuild it from scratch! Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, but not by much! ;)

I've seen that type of blender in action. One of our members has one, and I actually had to figure out how to work for them! :P So I'll know how to make shakes when I get home!

There are some members who own a amusement park around here, that said something about free laser tag for the missionaries today... we'll see if I can find some good picture moments from that! ;-) I still haven't heard from the other missionaries today, but we were excited to go as an entire zone for laser tag!

:P I still need to find more picture opportunities. Sometimes I feel like I'm just not inclined to find and take pictures. I need to work on that. I will find some pictures to take and send to you guys soon though.

I know that this is Christ's true church, and that The Bible and the Book of Mormon are the words of Christ for us in this day, and that studying from them can help us in whatever problem we may have. I know that my Savior lives, and that He loves each, and everyone of us. May you all have a fantastic week!

Your friend, and missionary,

Elder Richard Mackelprang

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Another P-Day!

IMG_2261 Elder Zufelt & Elder Mackelprang showing up for President interviews at the chapel.

11 months. Already!? Next month will be a year... it's gone by really super fast. My last Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas in the mission... weird indeed.  So yeah. I'm going to talk Elder Zufelt into going and finding some good picture taking spots so that I can send you guys some fun / cool pictures.

I did get the Cd's from the distribution center, it was the day that you sent me the copy of the receipt. It was pretty fast! Ana is loving the Cd's and is also trying to learn to read on her own as well. She's an awesome investigator.

Other than the picture above, I don't think there are any others. That was taken at President Interviews. Which were nice and interesting. He definitely supported my weight loss program idea, and he's going to follow up with me on how I'm doing, etc. I should be nice to have a little extra support from out here to help me. I don't believe there are any other pictures at this moment. See above about more pictures.

The only really cool thing that I can think of is that we had tons of investigators at church, and also a good amount of less actives as well! It really filled my heart to see them there, and happy with us. I did hear a cool experience from a sister missionary that came late to the intro to the mission at President's house that first night. She told me and Elder Zufelt that we stood out from among the other missionaries through our humility and respect for our calling, and she said that we glowed or radiated with it. It's always cool to hear how other people see/ are influenced by our examples especially when we are just being ourselves. I'll pay more attention to see what else would be a cool sharing experience for next week. Oh! This would make you smile Dad. We have an investigator and his friend (will be an investigator soon! ;-) who are going to seminary! (Ana's son Gonzalo and his friend Feernando) Yep! They're ready and willing to make a change in their lives and are going to seminary! They're even learning about the Doctrine and Covenants! how cool is that!? Gonzalo wants to be baptized soon, and we hope to follow suit with his friend.

It is weird that Lars is going home right about now, but it makes sense since he left right as I went to BYU. So we'll see what happens. Hopefully, I can get his new email address and figure out how to keep in touch with him since I flopped on sending him any letters :-S I'd like to go visit Germany one day.

The shirts are: Galleria, 65% cotton 35% poly, neck size 19, half sleeves, BIG. I'd like 3 short sleeves and 1 long sleeve if that's possible, maybe an extra one if it's within Grandma and Grandpa's budget. Thanks a lot!! Shoe sizes? I didn't get those down... for Sunday shoes or regular running shoes? I'd probably just go shopping for shoes myself since I want to make sure it's a good fit before I buy shoes. I'll let you know when I plan to go shopping for some.

We'll probably watch conference at a chapel somewhere, but I have watched from a members house before. So it will just depend I guess. I definitely enjoy conference as well. It's funny how they mark each of my 6 month marks in the mission.

I definitely enjoyed your scripture (see below), I hope to live up to that everyday.

13 Wherefore, I call upon the weak things of the world, those who are unlearned and despised, to thrash the nations by the power of my Spirit;

14 And their arm shall be my arm, and I will be their shield and their buckler; and I will gird up their loins, and they shall fight manfully for me; and their enemies shall be under their feet; and I will let fall the sword in their behalf, and by the fire of mine indignation will I preserve them.

15 And the poor and the meek shall have the gospel preached unto them, and they shall be looking forth for the time of my coming, for it is nigh at hand—

I love y'all and I hope things continue to be good and move forward! I know that this church is true! and that Christ lives!

Your missionary,

Elder Mackelprang

P-Day!!! Sept. 6 2010

Hello Y'all!

^^ This has been a good week albeit a really fast one! I don't have any new pictures for this email, but I promise I'll have more next week. :P I kinda feel bad because I feel like I have writers block right now... hmm....

Well things have been great here. Busy and going well! I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with a greeny named Elder Bacon ;-) I thought that was a funny name, but he's a great Elder. Diligent, and hardworking.  I do hope I get a chance to train someone... but we'll see if that's what the Lord has in store for me. It's great to get some quality pictures of you guys. I printed the black and white one, but Leah go cropped off... :(  Maybe you guys can send a copy of those pictures with the package in a week or two. Technically, I am the senior companion between me and Elder Zufelt, but it gets weird when you have the same amount of time in the mission, since they never specify whether you are the senior companion or not. So it's laid back between us, on what we do, and how we do it. I usually have to come up with the ideas of things to do since he's still adjusting to everything here, but he's learning fast and we work well as a team.

I spent a chunk of money on the debit card on the 31st because there was a clearance sale on all of the clothes in JC Penny's. So I got 2 shirts and 4 *quality* ties for about ~$50. I got the shirts a little small since I'm working on bringing my weight down again, but I would absolutely LOVE some new shirts from Mr. Mac if Grandpa and Grandma could stop by there on their way up to Salt Lake. I don't have the measurements with me at the moment, but if you remind me in my email next week, I'll have it in my planner.

I think it's great that Leah's finally thinking about going to BYU. (Even though I've mentioned to her a few times before I left that it would be a great idea!) I'm sure that she'll have fun planning it out, and figuring out what she wants to do. There's a lot of ways to choose from, and this is where the road starts to split in many different directions. I think the best advice is to figure out where you want to be in 5, or 10 years, and think about how each choice would affect that. Then you could also look at the more immediate aspects of friends and family in the vicinity, and whatever other attributes that are important to you.

Sis Bunker is sick right now, and has started treatment. From what we've heard she is recovering. We also hope and pray for her, and that this will be a quick healing process.

I've gotten several comments from people talking and asking me if I'm worried about all of these hurricanes coming so close to North Carolina and I just laugh. I know that the worst we get is a small downpour, and some strong winds, but nothing serious. So it was funnier when Mom told me that you guys didn't even really get any rain. :)  I don't worry about it.

I'm excited for Jenna, and that she's enjoying her extra-curricular activities. I'm sure she's loving it and will find high school more bearable with good friends and things to do besides the school work. You'll have to keep me updated with how she likes drama, and the club. I'm sure she'll do very well, and will have a lot of fun there. Keep up the good work Jenna!

Yep. We're still working with our investigators, and we are hoping to baptize Ana and the rest of her family on the 25th of this month! There'll be plenty of pictures if we manage to help them all be ready by that time. I really love that family.

Sorry that I can't share a whole lot about what's going on out here in the field, because I'm out of time. Know that I'm loving it, that I know this church is Christ's church. It is the one the He Himself established. I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and that it is a guide for us in our lives in our search for happiness. Thanks for your prayers and your support!

Your missionary,

Elder Richard Mackelprang

:( It's been awhile since I've gotten any letters... will someone write me?

Monday, September 6, 2010

September Cometh...

Well. it sounds like things are going well there at the ol' homestead. I'm glad that things are going by quickly, and that even though Leah and Jenna are facing the future of college selections, and not seeing their friends as often, that they will still find ways to enjoy themselves there at home.

I guess that there's still Facebook to keep track of everyone. Things have been flying by here too, even though we had some blazing hot days this week. I'm loving the chance I have right now to be with Elder Zufelt again. :) It's been fun telling each other our stories on what's happened, and what's changed since about a year ago when we first started the MTC. We've been working hard on finding and teaching, and helping the people who have baptismal dates move along in their progression. It's a lot of work, and we still have the typical problems of trying to find them at home, etc. It's still enjoyable though.This week has flown by so fast that I don't know exactly how to describe everything that's happened! :P Just know that things are going well and that the work is progressing, and that I'm still learning many great and wonderful things about the scriptures, the plan of happiness, and how it all fits together. 

Your ?'s

  1. <<More pictures???  We want more pictures.>> Yep coming right up. I'm attaching the video file of Elder Bittner (last comp) on the recliner chair, and some of the pictures of us with the tigers. I hope you enjoy them! (the car at the end of the video is the Zone Leaders pulling up for a meeting with us... talk about bad timing! :P )
  2. <<How has the CA weather been?  We’re still pretty toasty here in NC.>>  The weather here has been a little on the hotter side with Tues / Wed being at 110 degrees. Yeah, really hot. Fortunately it's not nearly as humid as NC. However, now we have nice breezes and are enjoying mid 80 degree weather with a few clouds. typical Nor California summer weather.
  3. <<What’s your current drive : bike : walk ratio?>>  Normally we drive on average of 30 miles a day. We cover the entire zone, and it covers a good chunk of this side of the mission. We actually are on the edge of the mission boundaries, but it's a good place. Running I'm starting some new things with my exercise routine. Rather than jogging 4 miles everyday, I'm trying some sprinting, and maintaining at least a jogging speed. It's pretty awesome, and it takes a lot less time. Elder Z watches me. :P He hates running.
  4. <<Are you getting tired of all the Chuck Norris jokes that Josh is sending you in his emails?  We’ve been telling them here at home, and some of them are pretty funny.>>  I think that it's funny that Joshua's sending me Chuck Norris jokes. It's a nice laugh on a P-Day morning. So yeah. Let keep doing it if he wants. It'll probably help him keep writing me more often.
  5. <<Have you had a chance to sing in church recently?>>  I as of yet have not had any opportunities to share my musical talents with the ward here. It's a little different since I'm in a Spanish branch again. I'll see if they'd be interested if Elder Zufelt and I sang a duet, or if they'd rather I sing a solo or something.
  6. <<How are shoes / clothes lasting for you?  Anything you need replaced soon?>>  I mentioned that I might need shoes in a few months. Maybe that can be a Christmas present that I buy myself or something. My shoes should hold out for a ways longer, but as I keep up this exercise regiment I think they'll start wearing out a little faster. You can check with Mom, but usually shoes in my size end up being around $50. :-(   That's the only complaint that I have about having big feet. Mighty expensive shoes.

Pictures From This Week (and a video as well):

Elder Bittner and the Robot
IMG_0252 With an albino tiger…
IMG_0664 The whole apartment
IMG_0672 At home

August Is Ending...

I'm glad that Leah's surgery went well. I'm sure that when Leah emailed that to Matthew that he freaked out a little bit like I did. (Surgery!? WHAT SURGERY!?! ;-) Jury duty sounds like fun. Not. :P I'm sure your glad that's over. Way to go Josh on your scouting achievements! Keep up the good work! 

It's been interesting to see how missionary work has changed to be a whole lot more focused on teaching by the spirit, and how it's completely changing how we teach our investigators. It's really cool! It's weird that school's already up and running again! It just goes to show that time is flying by way too fast! I'm glad Leah's enjoying her new job, and I hope that she enjoys her new budget. :-)

Yep. Everything has been going great! I'm loving the time I have to be with Elder Zufelt again. We just seem to get along better than most of my other companions. I guess I feel more of a connection with him, that started when we first met at the MTC. He's a photographer, so I should be more picture-taking conscious with these next few weeks that we're together as a companionship for sure. We're working hard with our investigators and with the 4 people who have baptismal dates right now.

  • Gerardo- He's got a baptismal date for this Saturday, but it'll probably be moved back a week or two. He's been busy with work this entire week so we didn't have any lessons with him. We've got an appointment for tomorrow, so we'll see what he  wants to do.
  • Janet- She's a neighbor to our ward mission leader. She loves the gospel and the scriptures, but we might have some trouble until we talk to her husband and see if he's on board with everything, but she is super excited to be baptized! Her date is set for Sept 11
  • Anita- She was a referral from another set of missionaries around Fairfield. She was worried about knowing enough, but we shared a scripture from Alma 8 that talked about the few and simple things that we need to desire/ do to be prepared to be baptized. Her date is set for Sept 18th.
  • Miguel- he's golden. He has a super solid testimony of the Book of Mormon, and he's really excited about his baptism too. His foot has some broken tendons... and he has surgery this Thursday, so we'll see if he'll be ok to be baptized by Sept 11 too.

We're working with a lot of amazing people, and I'm just growing more and more attached to this area. I love this work and I'm happy to be out here serving the Lord. You really can't find a better thing to do with your life. It's one the greatest sacrifices you can give, and it also has some of the greatest blessings that you can ever receive. I know I must say this all the time, but for those of you who haven't even considered going on a mission, thinking that it isn't for you, then think again. You have something that everyone in the world wants. It's something that sometimes they don't even understand that they were missing until they received it. The understanding of God's plan for all of us, and the happiness he desires for everyone, is unrivaled. Especially, when you talk about the story of the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith. Either God has showed forth His hand through a modern-day prophet, or that man is a blatant liar. Either Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon through the power of God, making it the most true and correct of any book in existence, or it's completely false. Evil cannot produce truth, and evil cannot come from a good man. So how do we know which is which? By ourselves, we can't. That's why God is there, because who can be a better witness of these things than God himself? That's our purpose as missionaries. We invite people to read, ponder, and pray on the message of the Book of Mormon, to find out if it's true. I know that God does answer us, because He loves us, and He wants what's best for us and our happiness. Our message is wonderful, and I would invite anyone who hasn't thought about talking to the missionaries to please think about it. I know that it's message will bless your lives, and that it will bless the lives of your families as well.

I bear my testimony again that this church is Christ's restored church, the same one that Christ himself established when he was on the Earth. I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and that God has answered my prayers, and I know He will answer yours if you are willing to ask Him, and listen for His answer.

May God bless you and watch over you,

Your missionary in California,

Elder Mackelprang  

Regarding your ?'s

  1. <<Tell us about your All Mission Conference I read about on your Mission Mom’s Blog>> Yeah, we had Elders Packard and Bowen of the 70 come and talk to us. They focused on how we can improve on our daily contacts and how it can make or break our missions out here. He also talked about how we always need to testify to everyone of our unique message about the Restoration. People will have to make a choice when they listen to that testimony, either it could be true, or it's completely ridiculous. So we just need to remember that when we do face those people who think that our message is ridiculous that they are rejecting Christ, and not ourselves. Because that's who we're out here for. We are here for Christ, and not for ourselves. It was some very hardcore teaching. They focused a LOT on Chapters 4 and 5 of PMG. (heads up for those of you preparing for missions, those are good chapters to know forwards and backwards to contact people on the street.) It was great. 
  2. <<You mentioned some upcoming baptisms.  How are they coming?>> Yes, we have 4 people with baptismal dates. We should be pretty busy come September. We will be getting lots of pictures, I promise. They are all on track, and it's blatantly obvious to see Satan working hard on them to slow them down, but they're making their way forward!
  3. <<How is the memory card reader I sent working for you?>> I appreciate the memory card reader, I have a regular SD card, but I'm sure that the different formats will be useful for transfering other peoples pictures that they take of me too. Thank you for that.
  4. <<Send more pictures of you, your companion, your house, etc.>> I will make sure to send some next week. I haven't taken some of everything just yet. I'll make sure to get some pictures of the house and car and stuff too. I like suggestions for pictures.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Transfer P-Day!

Here are some pictures Richard sent with today’s email:

DSCN0681 Oakland Temple
DSCN0683 Oakland Temple
DSCN0686 Oakland Temple
IMG_0654 Apartment Fun

Well here's the big news... (drum roll) I'm staying! Yep. I'm still here in Fairfield! Which is great since we have a lot of baptisms coming up! However, my companion, Elder Bittner is leaving for Vallejo. In return I'm getting Elder Zufelt. Does he sound familiar to you? He should, because he was my MTC companion! :-) So we will be having lots of fun, and working hard here in Fairfield! I'm sorry that this email's going to be a little short, but this P-Day is a little stranger than most, and Elder Bittner needs to pack, and he still wants to visit everyone before he leaves. So I wont be able to get letters out this week either! *sigh* I hope things will have calmed down this week though. Enjoy the pictures!

Things have been very good with our investigators! We've been finding new people, we've gone to the temple again! We have another Zone conference on Saturday! We're just busy busy busy this week! I hope you all are doing amazingly well!

Love your missionary,

Elder Mackelprang

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Happy August!


Part of the Fairfield Zone from the last zone conference (from Sis. Bunker’s blog).

Hello Y'all! :-)

This has been a superstar week! We got two investigators with a baptismal date, one of which was our first lesson with him! So yeah we're feeling the spiritual fire from the new teachings at Zone Conference, and in learning how to really teach. Things are moving up, and it's amazing to see the changes in how the work is progressing. But then again, just when you think that they scrapped the old system of doing things you realize that not much has changed, except for yourself. Things are truly done more and more by the spirit, and on the spot inspiration. It doesn't throw out planning, but it does make you more humble, and a better listener to make sure you know what your investigators need to hear.

I know I say this all the time, but it's true, Now is the best time to be out in the mission field! And it will continue to be even better as all the missions world-wide move towards the changes in teaching that they are implementing now! I'm grateful for the all the effort and sacrifice that I gave to be out here. It has and will continue to make the difference in my life for the rest of my life, and all eternity. Elder Holland said it all when he said, "Every good thing that has happened in my life, I can trace back to when I served a mission" (paraphrased, MTC conference) Missions can be tough work, but was anything that was ever worth it easy? Think about it.

I'm excited for Conference coming up! It feels like I'll have seen 5 general conferences by the time I'm through, even though I reported to the MTC 2-3 days after the Oct 2009 session. It's been amazing to me all of the powerful messages that we've heard, and the guidance that we've received. Move forward with open ears and hearts, and bring whatever questions that you want answered and you'll find them. :P I know that conference is still 2 months away, but it seems like time never stops speeding up on me... seems like a week ago I was stand in the conference center listening to our apostles inspired words.

Sounds like you guys are doing good, and having fun at home. I’m happy that things are looking up. Keep working hard, and find ways to think about Christ, and our Father in Heaven each day, even if it's only 5 minutes of scripture reading time. Pray always, and you'll find more happiness and strength throughout your days. I know that this church is true! I know that the Book of Mormon is another Testament of Jesus Christ, and that Joseph Smith was a true prophet called of God, and I know that God loves us and that He speaks to us today, to each of us individually, and through a living prophet today, named Thomas S. Monson. I love you all, and I pray that the Lord will bless you.

Your missionary,

Elder Mackelprang

Here's what's up on some of our investigators:

Miguel- we've been stopping by and trying to meet with him for awhile now, but we finally met with him last Wednesday. we had given him a BoM about 2 weeks earlier, and he had already read through the whole 1st book of Nephi while studying the underlying footnotes as well! We talked about the Restoration, about baptism, and about following the example of Jesus Christ. He wanted to get baptized, and so we set a date with him for Sept 11. We would have set a date closer, but he hurt his foot, and it may need surgery... so we're hoping that he'll be okay, and ready for his baptismal date on Sept 11th. He's really a cool and humble guy.

Gerardo- He has been taught before, but not for a long while. He was in a relationship with a less-active member, but long story short she left him. He's been wanting to get baptized for a long time, but I guess prior missionaries never followed through with it. So we set a date with him for the 28th of this month! We're excited for him, and I know that he'll find more peace and solace through his trials as accepts the gospel and gets baptized.  

Questions (From Dad), and Answers (From Elder Mackelprang):

  1. How are you and your companion getting along?  Elder Bittner and I get along good, it's just sometimes he gets grumpy, and then things are rough for hour or until we go into a lesson. We're similar in a lot of ways with hobbies, etc. But then again our personalities are just a tad bit different. "Enough to keep things interesting." as President Bunker would say ;-).
  2. When is transfer time coming up for you?  Have you heard any news about it recently?  Are you ready to move out of your area, or are you liking it there?  Sadly enough transfers are coming up a week from this Tuesday... I haven't heard the news yet... but come Sunday I'll know enough. Personally, I'd like to stay know that I know my way around the area, and especially now that we have quite a few baptisms! But, at the same time it feels like it's time to move on. I'll be happy with whatever President says.
  3. Do you live with members, or on your own?  If you're with members, tell us about the situation and how it works for you.  We still live with a Member, and she's a very sweet lady. Her husband died a few months ago, but she's been handling it well. She has a ton of cute grandkids that come and visit pretty regularly, so it's nice to see people, and have a nice house to come home to at night, rather than a small apartment. It's a really nice house, and the bathroom makes the master bathroom at home look really small. I'll have to send a picture or something, because I think it's really cool. Sometimes she feeds us when we have absolutely nothing going on, usually on Sundays when we can't go out. She's an avid supporter of helping us be self-sufficient, but she also loves to cook, so it's a funny balance. If we come to visit my mission as a family I'll have to introduce you to her. (her name is Sis. Hall)
  4. Any hope that you'll be riding your bike more (rather than driving) anytime soon?   So far we haven't been able to utilize our bikes as much, but that should be changing starting with this week. We're going to one of the outer areas of the zone that we cover to find more people and to teach the investigators we have out there. It takes a full days worth of miles to drive there and back so we'll be taking our bikes and doing some biking there for a full day once a week.
  5. You're approaching your hump day (well a month or two away).  Any ideas on what you'd like in a celebratory package?  Hmmm.... To celebrate my half-way mark? I dunno. I haven't thought about anything special that you could include in a package like that. Give me some time to ponder on that and I'll get back to you.

Monday, August 2, 2010


Here are the pictures Richard sent today.

FarfieldZoneConferenceJuly17DSC_0222 Fairfield Zone – From Sis. Bunker’s blog.  Richard is in the back row center.
DSCN0024 Baptism in Sonoma
DSCN0028 Baptism in Sonoma
DSCN0045 Richard lives near the Jelly Belly factory.  This was a PDay trip a few weeks ago.
DSCN0066 Feed my Lambs.

It Can't Be August Already

Hey Y'all!

*Whew* this week has been a great one, and it has flown by faster than I thought possible. I did get my package last Monday, ironically enough. So I did send some pictures today. I hope you enjoy them. I still need to take more pictures... but I'll work on that every week. I'll make a goal to take 1 picture a day or at least 7 pictures per week, so that I have more stuff to show about what I'm doing.

I'm enjoying being with Elder Bittner, even though our personalities rub each other the wrong way sometimes. We get along, and we work together well, so it's all that matters. We're good friends and we work things out. It's essential for any companionship.

Our work here in Fairfield has been improving more and more as we have put the new curriculum of teaching into practice. Our mission is reaching all-time highs and we're learning to find more joy and fun in the work. I know that the Lord is blessing us for learning to do things more on His way. We teach by the spirit and not our own ideas of what the investigators need.

I wish I could just tell you all everything that I've learned in these short 6 weeks... but, it would take me many hours, and I wouldn't be able to teach with as much clarity as if you had been there listening for yourselves. Those who are leaving now to serve missions, now is the time! This is missionary work at its best! We are a prepared generation, and are more prepared to do the work than ever before! The blessings that will come are innumerable and eternal. It changes your life. I paid a high price to come out here, but it will forever be worth it. Those of you who haven't thought about serving a mission, thinking that it isn't for you. Reconsider. You'll only get a chance like this once. Pray about it, and Go for it!

It sounds like things are going great there at home, even though Leah was sick for a little while. I hope things stay that way (going great that is :-).

So here's what's been going on with some of my investigators.

  • Ana- She's one of our newer investigators and she's the mother of 4, her husband was deported awhile ago. She's really interested in our message and in the Book of Mormon. She's come to church with 2 of her kids going to primary and they all liked it. I know that she'll set a date soon. Definitely in our next lesson, and I feel that she will be committed to that. Hopefully the families who live with her in her apartment will be a little more open to listening to what we have to share with them soon.
  • Lucio Mendez- He's our investigator with a date for baptism. However, it's been almost 2 weeks since we've been able to get in contact with him. We're still working hard to meet up with him again, and see where he's at, how he's doing, but we seem to always pass by at the wrong time. It doesn't help that he lives in a set of apartments that has a locked gate built on the entrance... So we can't get in unless someone lets us in. We'll keep praying for him, and for the inspiration on how to find him.
  • Jenny- She's one of the friends of Francisco. She's a very sweet lady who has had a very crummy life. She's been through a lot, and has talked to missionaries before. Now than ever I think that she needs the Gospel, and I know that we can help her find what she's looking for, but it gets difficult when you have different individuals that you're teaching at different points in progression and interest, all not related to each other and trying to receive inspiration for them all at the same time... I hope that Zone Conference tomorrow will help me know how I should take care of that.

I love you all, and I hope that the Lord will watch over you this week! I know that this church is true, and that it will bless your life as you diligently strive to follow after our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and His example.

Your missionary,

Elder Richard Mackelprang


Hello Y'all!

Leah's new job - congrats! I'm happy and excited for Leah, that sounds like a double win-win situation! I hope that it continues to be a great experience for you!

Youth conference was always one of my favorite times of the summer. It was cool seeing other peoples houses and meeting other people in the stake that you never see. it was also a very spiritual experience. I hope that everyone got something good out of it this year too.

It'll be weird to see the extended church building when I get home... I remember the times where the Young Men hung out on that back parking Lot and around the hillside area that they'll be extending... and it'll all be done right as I get home... weird.

I hear it's been Super hot in NC, I feel sorry for you guys. I know it's pretty terrible. Out here it's not so bad because it's dry and you almost always have 20 mph winds going somewhere. They do have trees growing sideways. It's pretty windy.

The package has not arrived yet, but I'll be expecting to see it soon if you guys sent it off last week. I'll be uploading pictures soon thereafter! There'll be some good ones! ;-) I hope you enjoy them.

Here's what's been going on with some of our investigators:

  • Anita and Patricia- They're relatively new within the past week and a half. Anita is progressing already, and feels the difference in her life by reading the Book of Mormon. It's kind of weird when you're set on committing one investigator to baptism and then you find another new investigator on the next visit... It kind threw me for a loop. I wasn't as sure whether to go full out and commit both of them... so it was interesting on this second visit with them. I should have at least committed Anita and given a softer commitment to Patricia, but I wasn't prepared for that situation. Elder Bittner and I will be more prepared as we role-play and practice giving baptismal invitations to our investigators.
  • Lucio Mendez- He's been really really hard to get a hold of. So we haven't heard from him this week. What makes it harder is that the apartment complex he lives in is completely locked up, and so unless someone opens it for you, you can't get in. And on top of that he doesn't have a voicemail box... (which is actually pretty common in the Mexican culture...)  We'll find a way to make communication easier, I know that he wants to find the truth, and we'll help him along the path to find it.

I know that this church is Christ's church that He established on the Earth. I know that He called Joseph Smith to be a prophet in these Latter-Days and that He has called Pres. Monson to lead and guide us in the way that we must go. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and can bring us the comfort and guidance that we need in all aspects of our lives. I love you all, and I hope that God will watch over you and bless you as you go about your days.

Your Missionary,
Elder Mackelprang

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summer Heat…


I'm sorry about the bad haircut. I'm not so proud to say that I did myself, but it was my first attempt with just hand scissors. Another lesson learned.

But the good news is that we'll be having another 2 Zone conferences this transfer! That will be awesome, and it'll mean more pictures for you until I get the SD card converter, or I fill up the SD card.

Things are changing out here in the mission, and now is the best time to serve! It'll be interesting since Devin and Rachel, Katherine, Ben and all of the others that leave to serve missions soon will be learning a completely different curriculum than when I was at the MTC just 8 months ago. It's truly amazing to see how the small changes have affected our mission, and now we're moving to the changes on how we teach. Which are even more focused on on the spot inspiration.

I had an experience with this method of teaching this week, and it was the most spiritually powerful lesson that I've ever been apart of. It should have ended with me inviting the investigator to baptism... but I'm still working on inviting everyone to be baptized in every lesson. This is how missionary work is meant to be! This is what makes missionary work worthwhile and even fun! Yeah, it's still work and it can be hard, and you don't always have success. But it takes what we have, and it moves it all to the next level!

I'm quickly coming up to my 1 year mark... it scares me how fast time has flown already. It seems like yesterday I was in the MTC, and the day before that that I was in Arizona visiting with family... I'm definitely going to make the best use of the time I have left to share what I can with everyone!

Another Big thing that happened this week: We have an investigator with a baptismal date! Lucio Mendez! We've only met with him twice, but he's felt the spirit, and he's committed to finding out the truth for himself, and to prepare to be baptized by Aug 21. We're really excited, and I know it wouldn't have happened if we haven't started to ramp up how we do things out here. He will find happiness, and we will have joy with him as does. I love being out on a mission!!! It's an amazing experience!

I love you all and I hope that everything goes well for you, and that God may be with you.

I know that this church is Christ's restored church on the Earth. I know that He has called a modern-day prophet to lead and guide us. I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and can bring us closer to God if we will just read it's pages.

Your missionary,

Elder Mackelprang

Note that this is a moderated blog - Elder Mackelprang neither reads or (directly) writes to this blog. This is done by his father.