Monday, April 18, 2011

Birthdays Everywhere! 3 Transfers Remain…

Hello Family!

So you've all been asking for a cool spiritual experience lately, so I'll share something special that happened yesterday. So we were out contacting a few people that the ward wanted us to go see, and while we were out walking, I decided to cut through the park to save on time. So as we're cutting across I see a Latino family a little ways off, and they're all playing soccer, and having a blast as a family. I smiled, but didn't think anything of it. As we get across and are walking up the side walk passing by the family, one of the women calls out to us "!Hermanos!" Oh! I thought, they must be members if they recognize us like that, so I waved. She called again, "!Hermanos!" Then I realized with my very dense head that she wanted to talk to us. So we walk over, and I start talking to her since I'm the lone Spanish missionary in my companionship. I didn't recognize her, or her family at first, but as we started talking I began to realize that this was a family that I had taught periodically while I was in Fairfield! One of the family members lived out in the fields here in Dixon, and the rest of the family lived on a Ranch between Rio Vista, and Fairfield where there are tons of windmills! Apparently the missionaries had stopped visiting them after I had left and they hadn't been visited in almost a year! They both wanted missionaries over again, and so I was happy to oblige. It was like a little sign from the Lord that yes, I was supposed to be here in Dixon, even though things are slow right now, and that yes, He has a work for me to do. It was inspiring, since it's been difficult to have a super strong faith in the work here with things going so slowly with our investigators in Dixon right now. A inspiring and gentle rebuke that the Lord is in control, and that I need to have more faith in Him, and rely more on Him to accomplish what He would have me do. I know that He lives, and that He leads us and guides, even on a daily basis, if we will be humble, ask for direction, then LISTEN. That can be the hardest part sometimes. :P  May we all have the ability to move forward, and follow the example of our Savior Jesus Christ, and change. Whatever is holding us back let us change. Our ultimate desire is freedom, and we truly can become free as we master our feelings, appetites, and whatever may push us towards sorrow and misery. Be the master, be the captain of your soul. For that is your unalienable right. This is the test of life.  

Congrats on your Cary High “Green Tie Gala” concert Jenna! I wish I could have been there!

Happy 13th Birthday to my little Brother Josh! I know he had a blast at his party.

Also Happy 24th Birthday to my cousin Robert! Hopefully he got my letter that I sent off to Leah...

I hope that everyone is OK. Tornados, huh? I'd have never thought we would have problems with those.

You guys seem to really like Bahama Grill. We'll have to go there. Have you made a list of the top 5 places you want to take me to when I get back? :) I like good food.

So Ben's over here near the West Coast now, huh? That's funny. He's probably in SLC right now. It'll be weird that I wont get to see him for a long time. I hope that he had a chance to write, or that he will have a chance to write at some point. We'll see what happens.

Hey Jenna, How do you like driving on your own? :) I'm sure it's fun.

Have fun camping at Jordan Lake!

Dad's Questions

  1. <<We got an email from a family you met who knows another family here in the Apex Stake.  Tell us about that>>  The Wadell family is a family here in the ward. Sis Wadell apparently grew up with and/ or college roommates with Sister Garner (in Cary 1st ward?). We stopped by because her son was part of the focus 15, and they both happened to be there, and when I mentioned that I was from around Raleigh she talked about Sis Garner being from Cary. I smiled, and told her that's where I was from. Being here in California I haven't found very many people at all who have heard of it. So it's cool to see how small the world is sometimes.
  2. <<Have you sung or spoken in Church recently?  Is your ward all English, or is there a Spanish Branch in Dixon?>>  I haven't spoken or sung in church recently, Although I'm part of the ward choir at the members request. We'll be singing this next Sunday, "This is the Christ" I love that song! I remember singing that with our ward choir back home. Oh how I miss it! I am working on building a Spanish branch in Dixon. But for right now it's just an English ward.
  3. <<How are your clothes holding out?>> My clothes are holding out. Everything is flat here, so the biking isn't super strenuous, nor straining on my clothing, and since I'm slimming down, my clothes are fitting better. Things should be fine. I'll let you know if there are any problems.
  4. <<When are transfers?  Do you think you’ll stay in Dixon, or do you think you’ll move this time?>>  Transfers are next week. Although I'm 99% sure that I'll still be here, so I'm not worried. It's the last 2 transfers after that will keep me guessing. wow... I only have a total of 3 transfers left. 4.5 months... WEIRD and funky, but not quite trippy :-P.

Mom’s Email

I figured that I was going to get asked to speak in the Branch anyway. :) So go ahead and tell them to expect me Smile. I impress everyone out here with my Spanish. I look forward to seeing what they will think of my Spanish now -- I still remember them teasing me about my Spanish before I left.

I hope that the Wells are getting along well. I still need to write Erik back... I wonder if you can ask Sis Wells about his address. Speaking about addresses, have anyone been able to get Uncle Kenny's and Jenny Jump's addresses yet? I have the letters for them written up, but I can;t send them because I still need their current addresses.

:P I sent Leah a letter to her new address already, hopefully she can get it. Have her ask about it, I hope they wont re-send it back before she gets there. I sent it off last week, so it should be there. Hopefully Rob can find it, and the letter I included in Leah's letter for him.

On the school / college front -- I do plan on taking a few courses at Wake Tech or something, but I am going to shoot for working with the Geek Squad at the Best Buy near home, or whatever is available, and I will look for things that will keep me busy. I know that I need to keep moving in order to get back to college, and schooling etc. I should be back in time to be able to schedule stuff myself for BYU, since I _will_ be going there in the Winter Semester 2012. So hopefully I can get started with some art classes and some computing classes since I have a better idea of what I want to shoot for at BYU (their "animation" major check it out at

I love you all! Have a fantastic week! I will write back to people who send me letters! I've gotten a couple of straight weeks of air-boxes. It's kind of depressing, more so since I'm trying to write absolutely everyone now. :P Anyways, Keep it real!

Elder Richard Mackelprang

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Joshua’s Birthday Approaches…

WOW!! That's cool that Andrew is getting sealed to the Everett family. That just seems so perfect, and right. Wow... I'm sad that I wont be there to see that.

HEY! I need Jenny Jump's and Uncle Kenny's addresses! Please let me know soon.

Dad's Questions (starting with last weeks)

  1. Dixon is a small town along the highway, about 17,000 people. We can bike across it in about 20 minutes. So it can be difficult to plan a full day if everyone isn't home. We do cover area outside the immediate city limits, but it goes out for quite a few miles in many directions, but it's all farming fields, ranches etc. Very sparse population.
  2. We easily ride 10 - 20 miles a day. for the most part. It can vary depending on how we're inspired, and how much we feel like walking instead. But I definitely get my exercise in during the day, and I'm working on getting my exercise at 6:30 in as well, though my legs scream at me for it Smile The bike is doing great. No problems there.
  3. We do have a handful of Spanish people that I'm working with, and we're slowly finding more English people as well. It's getting better as we go along, but the progress is slow here, even though as a zone, and a mission we're still accomplishing miracles, and growing amazingly rapidly! This week found a lady named Karen who is a friend of a less active sister here (out in the boonies). She's just moving in, but we should see her tomorrow! I'm excited to see her. We also found a Spanish guy named Antonio. He was slightly drunk and so he was kinda out of it. But he wants to stop drinking and invited us over to see him again. That will be interesting. I hope that I can catch him early enough so that he's not drunk when we teach him.
  4. For my next package, a couple of cookie mixes would be nice, but other than that whatever you guys feel is good. I like letters, so if you could get letters from Ben or Jordan or anyone that I know there it would be cool. If I have any special requests I'll let you know. (The $20 I had is now gone, because I lent it to a man who had an accident so that he could get his car towed to a shop.) So if I could get $10-20 that would be nice.
  5. Conference rocked, I took a lot of notes, and so I liked parts of all of them. But since we went over Elder Christoffersons talk yesterday in church I've been thinking more about that. It was good. Receiving chastisement. Something we could all learn something from. 
  6. At the moment we have about 6 investigators that we see off and on. They are really hard to find sometimes. But we have lots of potentials that we'll be seeing and finding this week, so that number should grow.
  7. Elder Morrison and I get along very well. He is trunky, but he has a strong desire to work hard and accomplish stuff to strengthen the area as he leaves, so no worries there either. I'm slightly affected by his trunky-ness, but I'm focusing on the work here. I don't know if President Bunker will ask me to train, but there's always a chance with these last 3 transfers that I have.
  8. I've been feeling good. Changing is a struggle. It always has, and it always will. I'm making progress as I try to make the best use of my time, and I don't always succeed, but I move forward, and I know that as I continue to strive, and inch my way forward, that I'll make it there. It reminds me of a story, when our young men's group went on the 50 mile canoeing trip. There was a point in the river where we stopped and made camp. It was late afternoon going towards the evening, and we went swimming, because we were all hot and tired from rowing all day. The river currant ran downstream at about 3 miles an hour, so we had a competition to see who could make it to the tower about 150 yards upstream. There were about 13 of us who jumped from the pier and started swimming. about 5 were swept back from the get go, and they gave up just as they began, the strongest swimmers made it there with little to no difficulty, but I think that I was one of the ones in the water the longest, because I just kept swimming against the currant, only inching my way up the river, it was so slow that Bro Wells our young men's president told me to give up. I told in in short breaths to forget it, and that I would make it. I was the last one out of 5 maybe 6 people who made it. So even though I was tired, even though it was difficult, I did it. If you put your mind to it, believe and have faith, and put your actions where your mouth is, then we can make miraculous things happen. I know that there are still blessings in store for me that I need to grow more to achieve, but I'm working hard, and making my way there.

So yeah. I'm doing well, and I'm happy with where I'm at and how I'm doing. I wish you all the best wishes, and pray that God will continue to watch over you and protect you.

Your Missionary,

Elder Richard Mackelprang

Conference Time!

General Conference was amazing! I practiced sketching the speakers heads with varying results of success, and ironically it helped me focus on the core theme and points of the talk, rather than writing every other amazing line that the speaker spoke. There is a good chance that I'll be coming home before the next general conference, which would be funny, and awesome at the same time. I would have only had 3 conferences on the mission, and that means that this will have been the last one.  I feel that coming home early will help me be a little more prepared to get ready for BYU, get a job, and spend time with the family & friends. I'm pretty excited, but it means that I'm going to make these last few months the most dedicated, and hard working of my entire mission. :)

I know that Joshua is way excited for his 13th birthday coming up, that should be a great time for him to celebrate. He always makes it a big bash.

It's crazy to hear that all of my best buds are coming off their missions already (Jordan, Andrew), and It just underlines the fact that my own time is limited.

I hope Leah has enjoyed her experience at BYU-I and I know that she'll absolutely love BYU-Provo. I know that BYU-I is great, but I know that Provo rocks! :)

I've been writing a whole lot more people recently, and the trend will continue for the next few months that I'm here. So if you want to write me, you'll definitely get a reply back!

I loved President Uchtdorf’s talks in Priesthood, and Sunday Morning. They were fantastic. He's a very awesomely spiritual man. Definitely one of my favorite speakers.

Things here in Dixon have been a little slow, but this week has a lot of promise with a few part-member families, and several member referrals! So I'm pumped to see what blessings the Lord has in store for me this week.

I want to thank the people that have sent me letters so far, it's a great blessing to hear from you all. I hope that the Lord will bless you and watch over you.

I know that my Redeemer lives, I know that He died for me, and that because of His love that we have a living prophet to speak His word to us. I know that the Book of Mormon is the words of Christ. I know that if we live according to it's precepts we'll come closer to God for it, I know that we have a bright future ahead of us, and that even though these last days may be terrible, they are and will continue to be great as well. I know that the words we have heard this past weekend are inspired words for each of us, and I challenge each and every one of you who reads this to read and ponder over their words, and set some goals on how you can improve in your goal to become more like our Savior Jesus Christ. I know that He loves us, and will bless us in our endeavors.

Your missionary,

Elder Richard Mackelprang

April Approaches…


Thanks for the joke about the shoe with the “holy soul” Mom. It really did fit my situation. It's funny how real situations from the mission can be so funny.


Congratulations on getting your license! I'll be getting to go through that experience again, since my license expired out here in CA... :P I'm not looking forward to it though... I hope you enjoy driving! You can go to the library anytime you want now! How cool is that?

I'm really looking forward to general conference. It looks like we'll be watching it from the chapel. That's just a personal preference of my companion. I don't have qualms with it, but we'll see what happens.

It'll be cool that the University Ward will be in the Cary building. I could be apart of the singles ward and still come to our building. Hopefully that will happen by the time I get home.

The painting sounds like yet more housework... I'll see how much has changed since I left in a few months.

I did get my shoes replaced, with a decent looking pair of shoes from Wal-Mart for about $20. If they go bad then I can use the other $20 you sent me for another pair. Thanks Mom.

What's funny about the Gila Valley Temple is that I have LOTS of missionary friends from the MTC who were apart of that in the mission there. So I always smile when I hear about that temple.


Congratulations Jenna on getting her driver's license!

I have sent out several letters today. I'll be a lot more diligent with letter-writing here, since there really is nothing else to do.

Ben's going to the temple to prep for his mission! Cool! 

We’re pretty busy here.  I do have plenty that I can do, especially since I'm the only Spanish speaker here in the Dixon area, so it's funny teaching solo. Finding solo, etc. It's not too bad. I'm working hard and doing everything I can to stay busy.


  1. Yes I did get the money and the allergy stuff, although the allergies have toned down quite a bit before I got it. I can be sparing with the allergy stuff. I might just take some before going to bed. The money was enough to get me some shoe from Wal-Mart, surprisingly $20. I didn't get the super-wides, but I did get 14W's. So I'm using them right now, and should they fail within a few months I'll keep the extra to buy another pair. I should be fine. Fortunately, biking here isn't too bad on shoes since it's almost completely flat. It's good.
  2. I'm in an official ward. An English ward. With an English companion. Visiting English members. I'm finding and teaching a lot of Spanish people, and thankfully there are a good handful of English people who have served Spanish speaking missions that they can help me.  It's a good-sized ward. I'm a little tired, but I'm adjusting to the work of being on bike. I'm slimming down really fast, so I'll be looking really good if I'm bike here for awhile. Like I said before it's a small town so there's one ward, and also it's not too far from the apartment. It's a flat plain. Rice patties.  No hills for a long long distance. This week has been filled with rain. So I've been a very wet missionary. This ward reminds me a lot of home, with understandable differences. The people are great, but you can't really talk about all the special people there or you'd never finish.

That's what's happening here. I love you all! I hope everything keeps being as good as it is right now.


Your missionary,

Elder Richard Mackelprang

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