Saturday, September 10, 2011

There’s No Place Like Home…

Richard flew in from Santa Rosa California at about 8:40pm on Wednesday evening. Here are some photos of his return and his release…

175788_10150303024648409_540173408_8108006_1595104362_o Waiting for the passengers to disembark.
286434_10150303026613409_540173408_8108011_361601609_o Here he comes!!!
329208_10150303031178409_540173408_8108049_1591513515_o Josh was the first to run up and give Richard a hug. Followed closely by Hope and Jenna.
290198_10150303038943409_540173408_8108096_506820725_o Together again!
314434_10150303042763409_540173408_8108157_525479656_n Walking out to the parking lot.
291592_10150304617103409_540173408_8116657_202905720_o Just after Richard was released by President Maxwell, before he reported to the High Council.
330545_10150304617673409_540173408_8116658_1999666761_o A more natural view of the family Smile

We’re all very happy to have him safely home!!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I'm Coming Home!

Hello again.

I got special permission to write home today, so here’s a note from the last day of my mission.

I'm sending this right after my Zone Conference, and before I head to President's house for dinner, etc. It's been a very interesting day... We covered a lot of basics, and I know that the mission is in good hands.

It's still kind of a unbelievable and gradual thing to actually realize that I'm coming home... I wont be here in California soon... in just about 24 hours... I'll be home... I'm happy and excited, but it is saddening how difficult it will be to leave this place.

I know that I have done great good for the people here. I know that I have learned a lot, and I know that I can be true to myself, and I know how to do what the Lord has called me to do. I see many blessings being fulfilled in my life, and I know it is only the beginning. I fear the trials and hardships that lie ahead, because I feel that there will be many when I least expect it...

I fear what the future may hold, but I know that I can have faith and hope in the Lord to be my strength. I know that He loves me, and that He will sustain me if I will reach out and grab His out-stretched hand. He is always waiting for us, lovingly, longingly, for us to come home.

Why do we wander? Why do we wallow in sin, which only brings us unhappiness? Our joy is light, and our light comes from our Eternal Father. He gives us all the light that we can hold, but we need to cleave unto that light, or we become filled with darkness. Bitterness. Regret. Hatred. All these things are misery. The devil will laugh as he continues to instill these feelings into people everywhere as he reigns Babylon and her whimful pleasures.

We have been commanded from a prophet today to stand in holy places, and I would repeat that inspired council. Stand in the place that will not fall, where we CANNOT fall. Even to the temple, the House of Holiness, The House of our God. Go often. I speak to those who live in my home boundaries. We live Easily within 10 minutes of our Apex temple. 

I wont tell you how often you should attend, but re-evaluate your commitment to the Savior and what He has to teach you about His Gospel in His holy house. Follow the directions and inspiration that you receive.

In Zone Conference, I gave my departing testimony about change. I recounted my feelings, fears, etc. that I had before coming out to serve. I remembered missionaries talking about completely being changed. That they were no longer the same person. I feared that. I feared change. I liked who I was, I knew of things that I wanted to change, and needed to change, but I was afraid. That fear held me back. Since then I've learned that I can be who I am, and still change. I've learned that there is nothing to fear about change, because change is the only constant. Change will continue to be the only constant until we become even as our Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ.

I'm out of time, we're off to President's house now, but I thought you'd enjoy this taste of spiritual learning that I've had here in the mission, and in my Zone Conference.

I love you all, and I'll see you all in about 24 hours! 


Elder Richard Mackelprang

Monday, September 5, 2011

Well, It's Been Fun. So long NorCal!

Mom's email

:-) You made me laugh inside, and smile quite a few times. I didn't realize that I was supposed to count. I liked your snake story, or the "encounter of the scaly kind." ;-) We always have funny happenings at our house. And people wonder where I learned to laugh...  The Smoothies recipes you mentioned sound really good, and I'll enjoy going on the campout _this week_ with Joshua and his troop, and I'll talk to you alllllllll about this when I see you on Wednesday evening. I haven't seen Aunt Marsha yet, but we will soon. I'm alive, and I'm excited to come home. I love you MOM! You have a big hug waiting for you! ;-)  

Dad's Email

It will certainly be nice to spend some time with Aunt Marsha.  I’m glad I have permission to visit with her today (Labor Day). It's funny how I end up seeing her and the family on holidays. ;-)

It sounds like Seminary is going or will be going great!

Thanks for the heads up about the people who want me to talk in church.  I'm not too surprised that I'm getting asked to give several Church talks. I was expecting it.

I’m impressed with Joshua’s scouting! Finishing his Life award while he’s 13!!  Way to go!

Well I'm getting into shape again being on bike, and I'll be there in person soon enough! TTYL.

Love you all!

Your missionary,

Elder Richard Mackelprang

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Last Week of Coincidences

DSC_0365 Napa & Vallejo Zones with Napa Stake President Frye.  Elder Mackelprang is on the far right.  This was just before the move he mentions below.

So yeah. There was a big unexpected upset last Friday when I received a phone call from the Mission Office, and was told that I was going in a Zebra Trio (2 English, and me the Spanish)  for my last week of my mission. So to add to the irony that I'm dying in my Greenie area, I'm staying in the same apartment that was my first home as a greenie, where I first got trained, and had my first Christmas. Talk about returning to the land of my first inheritance (to die)! So I know that there's only 1 week left, but I would absolutely love someone to send me a letter this last week to break the myth that no one writes a missionary on their last week of their missions. I'd really appreciate it. 

DAD'S Email

That's wild that you guys had an earthquake. I actually have never noticed a single earthquake since I've been here. Maybe I'm not just paying attention, or I may just be a good luck charm. But I have had people ALL of this week telling me about how there was an earthquake back there, and how some buildings fell down, etc. Yeah, I was beginning to worry, but then I remembered how the media tends to sensationalize things, and how hurricanes leave nothing but rain at our house, and how the Lord is taking extra care in your welfare right now. So I'm glad that nothing happened.

I do like the idea of BBQing some ribs when I get home.

Jenna let me know that you made her seminary class president. I'm sure that you'll rock the seminary world. You seem to be a popular teacher.

I'm excited about coming home too, but I'm still focusing on being hard-working. I know that Andrew and I will have some fun, especially with Matthew getting home. Good times are ahead of us. 9 more days!


  • Do you want to run with us in the Greensboro 5K in October?  Yes, I'll be joining you for early morning jogs, etc. The more the merrier. I'll sell Joshua on the idea.
  • Do you want us to make any special arrangements or plans for the first few day’s you’re home?  I'll figure out exactly what I want to do the first few days home, but I REALLY would like to go to the DMV and get my license back. One that I wont have to worry about for 4 years! :-P But I'll let you know next week.  <<Editor’s Note: Elder Mackelprang’s driver’s license expired a few months ago, and NC won’t renew unless you’re on military leave, or renew in person>>
  • Are you going to need another memory card for pictures, or do you have room on it for this week?  I've been taking more and more pictures. My card still has room sufficient for these last few days. Don't worry about it. I'll be taking more.
  • You’re reporting to the High Council next Thursday.  Have you thought about your report?  I haven't thought about that report actually. I wasn't familiar with what they'd be asking me. So thanks for the heads up.

MOM'S Email

;-) No worries Mom. I'll write next week! I can't promise how long it'll be but I'll write, and tell you that I'm alive, and about any close calls with getting run over... oh yeah. I forgot to mention that I'm on bike again, up in Santa Rosa. Aunt Marsha may have told you, but I'm in Santa Rosa again for this last week, and I'm on bike. So I get to start losing weight again! I'll be more prepped for exercising with everyone when I get home. I may get the chance to see Aunt Marsha again; she said something about not having school on Labor Day, so it may be just 2 or 3 days before I come home. That made me laugh. But how can I say no?

I'm sure that I'll have plenty to do when I get home, and getting my license again will be very nice! I feel very locked up and constrained because I cannot drive. I still don't understand how some people still don't go get their licenses. It makes the world a lot easier. Better a busy calendar than a really blank one. I'm sure I'll have some time to rest and prep myself to go back to school, but I'll get it all done. I look forward to it. It's time for the next step, the next chapter of my life.

I've heard from MANY people that the East Coast felt a tremor. So, I figured that it's mostly over-excitement since I myself remembered how much our relatives would always over-react to hurricanes coming our way. I've had fun explaining that our area is too far in-land to be much of a hurricane hazard. I think people like to over-embellish the stories they hear on the media. I can imagine you with your umbrella just under the home depot entrance and fighting with your umbrella until you take the 20 steps to the door. :-) It made me smile.

It'll be interesting to see just how much my little Squash has grown. I'm sure I can't call him Squashy-Joshy anymore. He's probably big enough to actually try to tackle me. I'm sure that we will have some fun times ahead of us. We'll make some memories for sure.

I've heard about Dad losing weight, and I'm proud of him! I'll have to follow suit so that we are all going in the right direction. I agree with your philosophy, but there is a time where it's nice to know about the numbers. It can be a good impetus to get you started, which is the hardest part. 

I know that the Lord has blessed us greatly, and that this is only the beginning. I know that there may be trials in store ahead, but that I need to focus on today, and fight for today, and let tomorrow come. I'm grateful for all that I have seen and done here, and I'm grateful for the blessings and growth that I've experienced from having served here. I know that it is the beginning of many great things in my life. It really is a new beginning.

P.S. I will challenge you to keep writing weekly updates as a journal entry, and I will follow up with that when I get home! I've learned about inviting and helping other people make and keep goals, so you better watch out! ;-)

Yep, so I'm outta time. See y'all soon!

Love your son,

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.