Sunday, April 4, 2010


Here’s the (very late) letter from Richard last week.  I actually got this email on Monday, but didn’t make time to get it posted until today, so the title is very appropriate :-)  We did receive a paper letter from Elder Mackelprang this week, and it has some stories in it.  We’ll try to get some of them posted with his next email.  <<Mark>>


     Hello family!

     Thanks Leah! I appreciate that you still find time with your crazy High school schedule to write to your brother. I understand what you feel about the High school being a spiritually dead place. It can be pretty sad to see everyone else's bad example, and not feel sorry for them, and how they ridicule others. It's tough. But you'll remember the good times, and good friends and things that happened there.

     Wow! I'm always touched by Elder Holland's talk about the solitary journey of the Savior and how He is the only one who could have shouldered that burden totally alone. That understanding of how necessary that was was increased through my reading in Jesus the Christ which I have been devouring ever since I bought it from the visitors center when the Sonoma District and I went to the Temple last Wednesday. I've seen so many things that I've never even imagined to the significance of things that I have "known" but perhaps never fully "understood". It's like there are levels to understanding that I can't even begin to comprehend, and it's breathtaking as it is daunting, that there is so much more for us to learn to follow more in the Savior's footsteps, but wherefore need we fear? He is with us through our journey,and I know that He always will be, and that we are here doing His work, and share His love and light with our Brothers and Sisters here!

     The temple was amazing! I love being able to take the majority of the day to rest, study, and ponder the messages we receive in the Lord's holy house. Like I stated above there is so much for us to learn that it is prideful to try to say, "I've heard it all already." Opening our spiritual ears takes a lot more focus, effort, and humility than people imagine, because we need to listen. It truly is amazing, and yet I can't express in words that can truly explain to others how I feel, what I understand about what I've come to understand... the desire to share it with others, but it doesn't reach them at times. A message so simple in truth, that people take as too good to be true, or too simple to actually be the answer. The Savior says it best that we need to be like little children, children who listen, who ponder, and ask sincerely for truth. It begins to become clearer and clearer to me how amazing this Gospel is and why it is that we need to share it! I love my mission!! I want to see that fire and light in my brother's eyes as they come to know and understand the plan that our Savior has for them! The joy on their faces as they come up from the water with a pure conscience free from sin and guilt. The love they feel from their Heavenly Father and their Savior and friend Jesus Christ.

     The work here has been going well. We're still working with Mike Guzman who is ready to be baptized, we just need to set a date with him. We also have Sara Perez who has clicked with the Book of Mormon and understands what a precious gift it is, and is gaining a testimony of the Church and the Restoration, and should also have a baptismal date soon. Anastacio and Maria Sanchez who are still struggling to make it out to church, but are slowly gaining the understand of the things we are teaching, and gaining the testimony of these things. We're working with Erika whose still learning. She understands things little by little, but we are focusing on getting her to pray so that she receives the understanding.  We are still working with Velia and Armando and their doubts, but they too are beginning to understand bits and pieces of the Gospel that we're teaching. We also have two new investigators this week: Marta, and Maria Turcios. Marta is a total former investigator from almost 15 years ago by her estimate. We shared with her the Restoration and the need for it, a modern prophet, and the Book of Mormon. She likes it, and we believe that she'll progress very well. Maria Turcios is the Catholic wife of a Less Active Rigoberto Turcios. Even though he's less active he is firm in his testimony and studies from the BoM with his children and his wife. His work prevents him from going to church very often, but we're working with his wife to get more steam and more fire built in the family and make it a team effort to get to church, and to help the rest of the family understand the Gospel. The work with the Spanish Branch is coming along slowly, but we have the Bishop working with one of the Recent Converts of about 6 months to get the Melchizedec priesthood, we're excited for him and he's excited to be able to more fully bless his family, and his fellow brethren.

     I got carried away writing to Pres this week, so I ended up running out of time to write about all of my stories that I had prepared... I'll write a letter home with all of the fun stories and then Dad can put them up on the blog or something like that. Stories, funny comments, funny happenings, lots of good stuff. (Your questions will be addressed there too.)

     I miss you all, and I hope that you guys love conference! It's really great stuff!

     Your Son, and Brother,

     Elder Mackelprang

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