Sunday, March 27, 2011

Three Two One Day

Well Dad, regarding the shoes... :P my left shoe has already ripped through the sole. I can make it work, but I'm guessing that $30 would get me a good pair until I can see if I can buy some boots with my mission card. I would have bought a pair of shoes already, but I absolutely needed a new bike seat. I'm just going to say that I wouldn't be in nearly as good shape as I'm in right now if I hadn't gotten it. So if you could get that to me I'd be grateful. My pants should hold up with this new seat, and especially now that it's in a comfortable position. Things are going good. 

I'm now companions with Elder Morrison. He's a great guy. He's going to die in missionary terms at the end of this transfer so I should be here for awhile. I'm adjusting to being on bike a lot more easily than I had imagined. The area is pretty small, and there's a lot of potential for Spanish work. So I'm excited. The ward is really strong, and missionary-minded so I'm excited to work with them. They are great about having the meals covered, and we actually have the less actives wanting to feed us too with our already filled calendar... we'll see what happens. I'm liking the area, but I've had the opportunity to ride in the wind and rain. Oh, and my allergies are acting up more than they have in my entire mission. So Dad if you could send some Benadryl or something for allergies that would be great too. Other than that things are flying by ridiculously fast! I'm amazed that the first week is already over. I wish I had more time to respond to the email, but my time is running out. If you guys can email me on Sunday night or something that would be great. I love you all!

Conference should rock! I still don't know if we're going to be watching it in a members home or not. It'd be nice. I do look forward to some of those techy- geek projects to work on with you Dad. Those will be fun. I need more experience with techy things again. I'm out of the loop. I wish you all with the best week ever!

Love your son and missionary,

Elder Richard Mackelprang

Pi Day, P-Day, Transfers!?

Dad asked me several questions:

  1. Did you get transferred?  You sounded like you were pretty certain it would happen.  Where are you headed out to?
    1. Yes I did. I'm off to Dixon. That's just a hair from Sacramento. I'll be in a "zebra" with an english missionary who's dying this next transfer. I'm also on bike! :P So my running in the morning ( which I have been doing regularly now), and the biking should slim me up again... although I do worry about how long my shoes will last. I'll see how this week turns out, and let you know more next week.
  2. Conference is coming up!  Where are you going to watch it?  Are you allowed to go to members homes, or do you have to go to the church?
    1. I have no clue where I'll watch conference. It really depends on the area. I have a feeling that I'll be able to watch it at a members home, but the church is always the fallback. I'll probably have a better idea as to that question's answer next week.

My new address is:

1225 Linford Ln. Apt #D3

Dixon, CA 95620

I’m really bummed the memory card I sent back to you is messed up... I wonder what could have happened to it?... :( I lost some good pictures on there. Hopefully the recovery software works...

I'm not surprised that Ben's going to Japan. :) I'm sure he's really stoked. :P I wish I had the chance to get a letter from him before he left, but now he's going to be busier than ever... *sigh* :) Hopefully Andrew is recovering from having ended his missionary labors. Since I'm going to be in a really small town I'll probably have a lot more time on my hands to write people. :P I really struggle to write. Anyone. So don't feel bad. So I have a big list of people to write, and hopefully I can make it happen.

Enjoy your birthday presents Jenna!

We should definitely have some good places to go out and eat when I get back. I'll forward to that. You guys will have a better idea of the great places to go see. So you guys can make a list of the top 5 to 10 restaurants that you want to visit with me.

Painting / Housework / Home Improvement Projects. They never end. :)

Sorry I didn’t’ write to you last week Dad. With the pictures I sent home last week, and sending emails to Jenna, and Josh, and especially Mom's took a lot more time than I thought. :P So I will focus on getting this letter out first. Have a great week.


Elder Richard Mackelprang

Extra Pictures

Hey Family!  The SD card from my camera is in the mail.  For now, I’m sending you a few pictures from people in my district.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Magic 21

<<Zone Conference Pictures from Sister Bunker’s Blog (Elder Mackelprang’s Mission Mom>>

DSC_0194 Elder Mackelprang and his companion.
DSC_0221 All birthdays in the Napa, San Rafael & Vallejo Zones.  Elder Mackelprang is in the middle.

Questions from Dad's Letter:

Q: I have some plans to make a “baby Watson” system.  Would you be interested in doing that together later this year?

A: intelligent computers. That sounds really cool! What kind of ?'s would you ask it? I'd like to work on that too.

Q: What are you and your companion doing for your birthday? Teaching lots of discussions? : -) I hope so.

A: We are going to be partially busy on my birthday, but we have a Zone conference that day so I'll get recognition for my birthday, and little song, and a cookie, and then I'll get to move on with working. I do know that a member is planning to make a birthday cake for me :) it should be a good day. We have an even busier day on Wednesday, so hopefully that all works out. I'm excited and looking forward to this week.

Q: How is the work going? Specifically Absolom? (Great name with a sad history by the way : -). I hope things are going well there.

A: The work is doing good. It's still funny to work in Petaluma, but it's nice. There are more people there, but they are weaker when it comes to making and keeping commitments. We weren't able to see Absalom this week. But We'll see him soon. You can't really set up appointments with him. Go figure. But everything is going great.

Q: You’re sounding a bit trunky in your most recent letters – is that a problem, or are you just thinking ahead to coming home? My advice is to lose yourself in the work and let time take care of itself. Thinking too much about home and what you’re going to do “afterwards” will only reduce your effectiveness in the hands of the Lord.

A: I'm not trunky, but I am thinking about how things are going to work out when I come back. I have had struggles, and am trying my best to lose myself in the work. During the week especially I am definitely lost in the work, but P-days just remind me of how little time I have left. It doesn't help when President Bunker asks me how long I've been out with each interview.

Q: Do you have any conferences or temple trips lined up anytime soon?

A: We actually just had the opportunity to go to the temple last Friday, that was enjoyable, and a good learning experience. Like I said earlier we have a zone conference tomorrow. That's all that I can think of right now.

Q: How often do you use your bike? Is it still holding up for you?

A: I don't have to use my bike that much, but it's definitely durable. So it's just fine. It just wears out my clothes, :P especially my shoes. I did learn that I can make my bike pedals shoe friendly by unscrewing the studs on the pedals. That's what I get for knowing nothing about bikes.

I've received everything from you guys but the birthday card. :) If people are going to mail me birthday cards they better do it soon. Transfers are coming up in about 2 weeks, and I'm sure that I'm getting transferred.

My shoes are doing ok. The in-sole died, but the sole of the rest of the shoe is fine. I appreciated Jenna's gift of insoles for Christmas, but those were for women's shoes, and were a little too small to work. I'm using them, and they are comfortable without the insole, so I'll do my best to make it last until I get home. I'll let you know how they are holing up.

Mom's Email

Birthday idea for Jenna’s 16th Birthday - Mom, do you remember when you took me, Eric Wells and John Anderson to that place that was like a theme park, but small? (like Golf 'n' Stuff in Tucson) Maybe you could invite a 2 or 3 of her closer friends, and take her there to go karting, (laser tag?), or some other fun activities. I think that would be a different type of birthday than just a house party like she gets almost every year. It would certainly be memorable. I still remember the karting part. That was fun.

I did tell the family that I'd love to see them all again when I came home. So I'm excited that some of them plan to come out this fall! :) Things are going to be fun when I get home! This may be the best year ever! I'd love to spend Christmas with everyone! I dunno if we can figure out a way that I can visit everyone else as  I'm going to BYU or not, but we'll see.

You might be surprised, but I'm not so excited about coming home to lots of house projects... :P but I'll help out anyway that I can.

I did get my hearts package. I thought it was really sweet, and make sure to tell the Ward Youth from mutual that I said thank you! I did get my pants, and they fit great! I'm looking for someone in the wards here to see if they can sew up the legs an inch (into a cuff) so that it isn't so long.

Turning 21- I really don't feel different. I still feel like I'm 19 turning 20. It's like a year of my life didn't happen. :P It's weird.

I promise to send you a copy of what I send to President next week, because I haven't written him still. But I love you all and I hope that all is well!

Your son,

Elder Richard Mackelprang 

Another P-Day Past and Gone

Hello All!

This week has actually flown by, as it tends to do nowadays. :P It just means that the end is going to hit me like a punch to the face. It'll be painful to leave this place, and these people, but I know that I'll see these blessed brothers and sisters again. I still have have time yet, so no need to get overly anxious about the end, but it's weird to think that my 6 month count-down begins really soon... Ok anyways. Stuff that happened this week. A couple of things did actually.

We've been having a lot of success with the less actives and helping them come back to church and keep going strong. It's been a blessing to see the change in them to see the light in their eyes from faith and hope, a complete and utter change from what they were before. The gospel, and the atonement really do work miracles, and I have begun to come closer to my Father in Heaven than I ever have before. It's amazing how much your prayers change when you can feel yourself putting your heart before your father in expressing the hopes, dreams, and desires of your soul. I have changed. I have grown. I still have a lot of work to do before I'm done, but I know path that I follow. I know in whom I have trusted. I know my Father. I know that He loves us with a immense, and also intense love. To the point that He looks out for our best interests even if we can't understand the why's of our pains, sorrows, and trials. He is always there to lift our burden if we come to Him.  Thanks Dad for the pants. They are greatly appreciated.  I look forward  to presents and packages you mentioned, and I'm excited to chow down on the present from Marsha! She cooked me 2 fresh loaves bread. It's been almost 2 years since I've had fresh homemade bread... *mouth waters* I'll make it last, don't worry. One loaf per week.

It's so weird that Jordan and Andrew, and the others are ending their missions so soon too.... :-S wow... it seems like yesterday that we had all just gone out... that we got our endowments together... time. is. weird.

Dad, that sounds really cool about the IBM robot <<Note from the editor – I sent Elder Mackelprang an article about the IBM Watson computer program that beat Ken Jennings in Jeopardy>> ... hmmm.... Did it have internet access? How did it write the final jeopardy? That just sounds awesome! I'm so excited to see what happens with the oncoming years how the future begins to change and take form.

Thanks for the spiritual thought as well -- this message seems to be a common one recently. Be of good cheer. If you have a few minutes you should read the letter by my mission president. His words and the talks that he refers to are great examples of how we can apply being of good cheer to our daily lives. 

Speaking of all the weird and crazy things that have happened, It won't be long until I'm 21! That's the weirdest thing of all... I have almost no memories of being 20 y.o. It's like that year of my life didn't exist... I'll just go along with everyone and claim I'm 21. :P

I feel that this is appropriate to share, it is one of the most spiritual things that have happened to me on my mission, and it does apply to something said to me in my patriarchal blessing. I think that I said something about Absalom last week, but I could be wrong. But I do feel that he is one of the people that I was sent here to help. He has had many amazing life experiences and done amazing things for the church, but for something that he can't explain (or someone that he can't forgive) he fell off the right path, and has been down a miserable road. He readily admits it, but somehow doesn't think that he can change. These past few lessons with him have been the most spiritual and bold lessons I've ever taught. The most guided that I've felt, and the most personal. I've cried from being so overcome with the spirit there, from how strongly I felt the spirit guiding and testifying to me, yet, he still hasn't changed. I was even prompted to share with him my struggles to get out on a mission, and the promise of my blessing that I would be sent here to find specific people, and again I was prompted to tell him specifically that I knew that he was one of those people that God wanted me to help. My heart is torn and cries for this man. I have that charity for him, and I know that I need that love that Christ-like charity for all of these people to effectively be who God desires me to be, yet that still is a struggle. I hesitate putting my heart on the table before I know the people I'm teaching. I fear that my heart will be torn apart and depreciated. I know that I'll always have the love of my sweetheart Kayla, and all of my family, but I that fear of rejection is something that I still need to overcome. It's one of the few things that hold me back from reaching my full potential. I know that I can do all things, and I know that my Lord and my God is with me. Just as I know that He walks beside each and every one of you. Go forth with faith, and put your heart and trust in God, and He will work mighty miracles in your life. That is my promise as a Personal Representative of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I promise that in the name of Jesus Christ.

I love you, and I pray that God watches over you, and keeps you safe. May you find happiness and peace in your lives as you live the gospel of Christ which gives us light.

Your missionary in California,

Elder Richard Mackelprang

Happy Valentines Day!

Hello all! Happy Valentine's Day!

Wow. This week has been insane. Going back and forth to Petaluma and Rohnert Park has been very tiring, but it's worth it. We have more investigators than we know what to do with, and we're rapidly running out of miles... hopefully they'll have the mile-limit redistributed soon, or we may be in trouble. It's funny how different areas that you cover changes the feel of the work in an area. How you feel about the work there, and seems it changes the psyche or perception as well. It's interesting. I love the people here and there, and I love how much easier it is to find and talk to people about the gospel there because all of the Latinos flock together. They're spread out here in Rohnert Park. So I'm still working with figuring out how to best work both areas because it's difficult to find the right balance of attention and resources for these areas. It'll come with time, planning, and listening to the Spirit. It seems that this week went by fast and slow at the same time. I guess it's just the feeling of  change from the general routine of our area. I dunno.

I've had a lot of cooking adventures! My ability to cook with random ingredients around the apartment has been greatly improved. I now know 101 different ways to cook pasta, with random ingredients, and still have it be really tasty. I also created my own  "Authentic" Mexican breakfast involving hotdogs, Spanish rice, and eggs. I realize that spices can really change how a meal works. I like it! I remember when I was younger and I tried to cook things from random ingredients in the cupboards for my siblings once... I'm sure if they remember that night they'll grimace, and or shudder. I like knowing that I can cook good food from cheap ingredients.

Other than that not much has happened. I had a interesting thought. I was reading in Jesus the Christ earlier this week, in chapter 6 when it was talking about the background of what was up with the Jews up to the time Christ was born. Reading that section made me realize just how much of hypocrites people are today. I can't find the right words to say what I mean here, but it's just like the Jews expected all of their preachers to tie what they taught to some great teacher or the law, just like people today expect you to tie everything back to the bible, or some notable doctorate holding person. You'd understand it better if you read the 6th chapter of Jesus the Christ yourself. Read it and think about the Jews, and their attitude to the attitude of people in the world today.

Well i love you all, I hope that you enjoy the special plans I'm sure you have. I'll do my best to find someone at home to talk to tonight. :P We'll brighten up the night of someone who doesn't have a date. May you all be well, and may God watch over you this week. I know that this church is true! I know that Jesus Christ stands as the living head of it. I know that Christ speaks and leads us through a prophet today! I know that we can avoid pain and sorrow if we heed his councils. We are here to have joy. I know that we can find the most joy by being obedient to God's commandments. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Your missionary,

Elder Richard Mackelprang

Feburary! V-Day Approaches

Ok. I'm kind of ticked off at technology for today.... or rather 60 minute library kick off rule... *sigh*

Hello all!

Thanks Dad for your email. I have learned those lessons and many more.

Mom, I appreciated your thoughts, and I do like hearing and feeling how much you love me. Thanks for the package!

The main body of when I was typing at the library got destroyed because I didn't send it before the timer went out...  so what I had written is lost. I'm sad. Because I had a lot of cool stuff there.

A few cool happenings from this week:

  • New Car!! (a '11 Ford Fusion sport.) ;-) gotta love it right? I love that new fresh smell.
  • We now cover part of Petaluma. The Spanish Elders that were there are now opening up a new area up North.
  • I'm happy and excited! New responsibilities, but facing the challenges with faith and courage.

I know this church is true! I know it with all of my heart! and I know that this knowledge I have can bless many lives. All who are willing to come unto Christ.


Your missionary,

Elder Richard Mackelprang

(Sent to you through Office Depot) :P

Have a great day!

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