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