Monday, May 16, 2011

All Mission Conference

Hey All,

We had 4 members of the quorum of the 70 meet with us last Saturday, including Pres. Snow. We almost had Elder Andersen of the 12 come as well. We are a truly blessed mission. They said we're still #1 for the biggest increase of baptisms in the entire world. :) Yeah! It was a spiritual feast.

Patriarchal blessing! Woot! go Josh – I’m way proud of you!

Missionary week for both Jenna and Josh -- It's a great opportunity for learning. Try to set goals for yourself about what you want to learn from this experience. Whether it's something to help you to prepare for a mission, or some other goal in your life. It will help.

:( No Father and Sons campout getting cancelled because of rain... That's really sad. I always enjoyed those. Hopefully they'll postpone it until I get back! ;-)

Keep it up everyone! School's almost out!  Endure to the end!!

I'll be writing Ben today.

Hopefully you wont get swamped keeping my website up-to-date Dad.  <<Editor’s note – he guilted me into getting all these updates done Smile>>

Dad’s Questions:

  1. There's only me and my comp in my current apartment. Which I probably prefer.
  2. Our set of apartments is a gated community. We hardly see anyone, and it's pretty secure. The area round about is pretty nice considering that we're so close to the bay. It's refreshing. It's also very hilly. It's just slightly reminiscent of North Carolina.
  3. We have the car everyday, but we do some really good exercise at the church in the mornings with early morning basketball, etc. I'm keeping myself in shape.
  4. I don't have any interesting pictures, but I'll have some soon.
  5. I hear that there are scary things that happen on those streets, but I haven't seen or felt anything to make me worry. For the most part gangs don't trouble us anyway. I'm not worried, but I'm not going to do anything stupid.

Story of other missionaries:

Elder Ames and his companion were zone leaders here in Vallejo and they were walking around talking to people when a group of 10 year old kids come out of nowhere and surround them, and ask them what's in their backpacks. I don't remember if the kids were armed, but what Ames said was that he knew that someone was teaching these kids how to be gangsters, and it was probably older siblings. So even though they could have fought off those kids, he didn't want to have any really dangerous people after him. :) crazy huh?

I heard this quote at my last Zone Conference, it's pretty powerful. I love Elder Holland. I can see him being apart of the first presidency someday:

Elder Holland from an MTC Devotional Address on January 11, 2011.

“We can get better at this. We can do better at this. We can grow into this. But it is going to take a masterful, modern, twenty-first century, last and greatest of all dispensations, kind of missionary to do it. And I love you for accepting the call. I love you for believing and knowing that you can do it because this is God’s work, the Spirit of the Lord is the key, essential, ultimate, ingredient.

The Spirit of the Lord itself will pronounce that gift upon your head and endow that mantle of authority upon your shoulders, from the first day, from the very first day! If you are as honest as we are pleading with you to be, in a day when you have got to be the best missionaries this Church has ever had. That’s what you’ve got to be.

We have a world in trouble. If we understand these scriptures it’s not over yet. You are God’s answer. You’re the hope of Israel. You are the hope of Israel. And you’re nineteen years old, or twenty or twenty one or twenty two or whatever. I stand all amazed at what a missionary is in this Church! What God would somehow know and have the confidence to believe could be done with people like you and people like me. Its a marvelous work and a wonder.”

Well everything's going great! And I love Vallejo! I hope everyone's doing well!!

Love your missionary,

Elder Richard Mackelprang

Post Mother's Day P-Day!


That was sweet! I did enjoy that phone call! We're going so fast, and are doing so much that I'm loving it! The days are whizzing past me, but I'm not as concerned because I know I'm doing all I can to help the people here. A funny thing happened yesterday. I felt like I should call Aunt Marsha to wish her a happy Mother's Day as well, but ironically due to something weird happening I ended up talking to Robert first. That was fun to talk to both of them as well yesterday. I'm thinking that I'm going to take a road trip to California after the Winter Semester 2012... at least that's the idea at the moment. I still have no idea about the details, but I thought that that would be fun. I'd get to see my mission President before he gets released that July, and the other families that I taught, and members that I befriended.  I hope I can work it out.

Even though Vallejo is a “bad” part of the area, I'm not on foot enough to be really scared about getting held up, and I don't take my camera around enough with me to worry about it getting stolen either. I really just carry my scripture case and pass along cards. They'd have nothing to steal. Too bad for them.

:) It's too bad that I didn't get a chance to hear your Spanish when you spoke in the branch. You might be able to understand what I speak and say in the Branch when I give my homecoming talk. I'm thinking that I may just stick with the branch for awhile, just so I can adjust to my new life being home. But we'll see what happens.

I'm glad you had a fantastic Mother's Day / Week-end / etc.! I hope that we can have some fun together as a family when I get back. Have fun with your new gifts, and presents. :) I'll see y'all soon!

PS I'll be happily awaiting the stamps!


That's cool that you're helping me out with researching the career paths. I'm not just going for game design (although that would be cool too.) but I'm thinking about CGI stuff as well. Save a copy of what you've found and I'll dig through it when I get home. I'm sure that looking at the various fields that there are now would be helpful. I'm also considering learning mandarin / or Japanese to further my value as a worker, then you and I could have some secret conversations, or just laugh that everyone else doesn't understand. ;-)

I'll figure out the details when I get home. I have ideas, and plans, but they need to wait.

Zone conference this week was awesome, and it involved us taking another step up from where we were at to a higher plane. Teach short lessons (5 minutes or less, depending on time) to people who will talk to us on the streets, and invite them to act on our message. Even set baptismal dates with people if so inspired. It was intense. President Bunker also taught us some amazing things with the scriptures, and I learned a lot and was able to piece some things that I've been studying about the law of Justice, and Mercy into place. It's deep, but surprisingly simple at the same time.

I'll get to experience more humidity here in Vallejo since it's closer to the bay, but it's starting to warm up here too. :) We'll see just how much a change it is from home in 4 months.

Our Zone Conference was on 5 de Mayo. We went out to a Mexican restaurant to celebrate. Nothing super special though.

It's funny seeing the Latinos driving around with Mexican flags, and having parties, etc. Latinos party when they can find any excuse to party. :) And they party good!

The chapel address is:

110 Los Santos Ct

Well sorry this is so short. But we talked about almost everything yesterday. :-P So, I love you and I hope that you're doing well!

Love your son,

Elder Richard Mackelprang

Vallejo Week 2 Begins / Mother's Day Approaches

Dad's Email

It's crazy! I'm out of time to comment more about your email since I sent you pictures. I hope you like them. I'll write a letter to Kayla about what's all happened this week, and she can share it with you. You can see what's all happened.

  1. My companions name is Elder Glaus. He's only a transfer or 2 younger than me. He's awesome, tall, blonde and hard working. I sent you a picture of him in the other email. He's from Florida, but he's also from Las Vegas. He like Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream. I also served around him when I was in Sonoma. I was around when he was a greenie. He's a great kid.
  2. Vallejo Zone. Quite literally the ghetto. It's very poor, and as a consequence there is a lot of crime, gangs, etc. I don't have any personal experiences, but I've heard lots of stories from missionaries who have served here. I'll let you know what happens.
  3. I'm driving again. That's a surprise. I like the apartment. It's pretty nice, and It's not too big, and not too small. I have the biggest desk that I've ever had on the mission. I like it! :) Other than the small kitchen I don't have any complaints.
  4. I'm planning on calling you guys at 2pm your time. that should be 11am my time. I don't think that Skype is approved last I heard.
  5. Anything you want to send me is fine. I'm actually going to be needing new shoes again. So if you could include some shoe money I'd be grateful. (I know. again. I hate it. Stinking shoes.)
  6. I have sent you pictures. I'm keeping the card because of your advice.

Mom's Email

I have been thinking about how much Joshua has grown recently. It'll be a surprise to see how much he has grown.

I'm thinking that I'll be calling around 11am here, so that should be 2pm there, (I checked the schedule so that should work for you hopefully). Our meetings don't start until 1pm, and I don't think we'll have meetings that morning. It should be good.

I’m glad Leah likes BYU.  I’ve told her again and again that Provo is better. Now she sees for herself what I've been saying all along. :) It just rocks. I'm going back there. Leah is trying to help her roommates out everywhere. She tried to send me pictures, and have me write her roommate, but it didn't work out.

Vallejo is great! I'll tell you about it soon!

Lots of Love

Elder Mackelprang


Here's a generous handful of pictures that I've taken recently. I was going to send home the card, but I guess we don't want to risk damaging all of the pictures like last time.... that's such a bummer, I had lots of cool pictures on that SD card that got destroyed in the mail. Enjoy!


Happy Easter Surprise!!

Hey I'm at a new address. I got transferred. To Vallejo!

Things are good. I'm alive.

From DAD's email:

Go Ben! Woot! I'm sure he's loving his Japanese.

Happy Easter! I hope that everyone enjoyed it!

That's sad that the rainstorm killed your campout... I'm sure that the kids still had fun in the tent in the living room though.

:P I hope that Leah's letter is still there (BYUI) waiting for her. I sent it almost 2 weeks ago. Good luck at Provo!

Thanks for the help Dad. I'll find a job. Can you see if the Best Buy near our house is hiring? I'm still going to try to work for the Geek Squad, that would be fun.

The music at church went great! Still not as good as the Cary 2nd choir, but it was reminiscent. :) It's too bad I couldn't hear our choir sing it.

There is nothing to do in Dixon on a PDay. Absolutely nada. The other missionaries are too far out to want to do anything with us, so we're stuck with cleaning, drawing, and writing letters. I don't know what there is to do here in Vallejo, now that I'm here, but I'll get to know more as we move along.

We just went to the temple a few weeks ago. I forgot to mention it in my letter. since I'm in a new area that actually works for sending pictures I'll send pictures I took there in a moment.

We have an All-mission conference in about 2 weeks. The rumor is that Elder Neil L. Andersen of the quorum of the 12 apostles will be meeting with us. That should be interesting. I was in the Woodland zone in Dixon, and now I'm in the Vallejo zone, back in a Spanish branch with my people. Vallejo is supposed to be the ghetto of the mission. Lots of gangs, gangsters, and crime. Ironically, all the missionaries want to come here. :) Everything looks good so far.

From MOM's email:

Hey Mom! I did get your letter! I loved it, but surprise! I got transferred, so I may be behind some of those letters that just got sent :( I got letters from Grandma Johnson, Aunt Marsha, Robert, and Andrew, and a package from Kayla :). I don't know if there is more coming, but I left plenty of notes asking the new Elders in Dixon to forward my mail to me.

I think I already sent Kenny's letter to him, hopefully it got there before he moved, I don't know if I sent it to his new address. That's funny about losing your voice! Wow... We could have sung in harmony! :P I heard in Grandma's letter about Leah being asked out. It'd be great to hear how that went from her words. :)

Happy Birthday Sis Everett!! May it be a happy one! I don't have as much time to write today because of transfers, but I'll still be a writing machine!

Thanks for all of your love and support.

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.