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

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