Monday, January 23, 2017

Week 45: What a Time to Be Alive!

Hey Fam!

This week was SO GOOD. EVERYTHING IS SO GOOD. I have laughed more this past week than I have in my entire life. Eeee shamwari. The whole mission (including me) is wondering if mine and Sister Mpiyakhe's companionship is inspired because we have wayyy too much fun together. But better than that, the area is INCREDIBLE. It's just like Mabvuku meaning it's the best place in the world. We already have three investigators on date for baptism (!!!!!!!!) and hopefully will get 4 or 5 more this week. All we say all the time is "What a time to be alive!"

The area. Wow. So many miracles have happened this week! First off, as we were driving home from District Meeting on Tuesday, a tire on the car popped. At first we were like darn it seriously because we wanted to just get into the area. But no, it turned into such a tender mercy. A couple of people stopped by to help us change the wheel and one of them happened to be a ward missionary! What! So we immediately asked him to work with us the following day and he has been our saving grace! He was able to show us where so many members live, and even so many investigators and referrals. 

Funny for the week. So Nthando, the ward missionary we found when the car broke down, happens to be the funniest person alive, mostly because he doesn't realize how funny he is. Well we took him contacting with us, and he was really shy at first, but finally worked up the nerve to contact a group of teenage girls. He walks up to them and asks them their names and then says, "Well my name is Jesus. The Christ." And I just lost it. WHAT ARE YOU DOING NTHANDO YOU ARE NOT JESUS. And this group of girls just like looked at him and for like 10 seconds no one said anything. It was so uncomfortable. And then Nthando says, "That was a joke, but we're missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints." Oh. My. Gosh. Safe to say we weren't shocked when none of those girls showed up church. It's okay, we'll teach him a more effective way of contacting this week hahaha. 

We've had a cool experience of teaching a referral named Ishmael who is a Muslim. Sister Mpiyakhe and I studied in Preach My Gospel about ways to teach those who do not have a christian background. He doesn't really have a knowledge of Jesus Christ, and Preach My Gospel just keeps encouraging us to bear testimony over and over again. More important than the words we say will be the feeling we bring into each lesson. We're really excited to see how things will go!

Also as a companionship, we've been studying the Christlike attributes during companion study. This week was Faith in Jesus Christ, which was really great, because this week I restarted the Book of Mormon. Nephi is such an amazing example of faith and I really was just astounded as I read those first few passages. Faith is the first principle of the gospel, so of course the Book of Mormon would start of with an amazing story of faith. Nephi had so much faith that he not only did the will of the Lord, but he never even complained about it. And when he felt like complaining, he prayed to have an understanding of things so he wouldn't want to complain. What! How amazing is he? We tried to follow Nephi's example this week and not complain. This week was a wreck in terms of moving from house to house and not having utensils and electricity and just crazy stuff, but we really felt so much happiness and cheerfulness when we didn't complain that soon enough we didn't even notice that things were a little tough. Nephi you are so cool!

I love missionary work. I love Kwekwe. I love the Mbizo ward.  I love my companion. I JUST LOVE EVERYTHING. Have a great week everyone, and try not complaining and see how it will change your life!

Love, Sister Richards 

the marriage of this family was the happiest thing ever! they were baptized the same day. 

with charity.

 sister beckstead and i showed up in the same dress. powerful.

wuddup kwekwe i see you

sister mpiyakhe and i being happy doing missionary work

praising hallelujah because we have a chapel!!

seriously how lucky are we?!

does that bow hold put anyone else into cardiac arrest or is it just me

 did some shoveling service while contacting

typical dinner appointment. yes we can eat that all 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Week 44: Cray Cray in Kwekwe!

Hey Fam!

Crazy news for this week! I have about .2 seconds to email because we're about to catch the bus to *drum roll please* KWEKWE!! Hallelujah! Amen! The Lord has heard my prayers! So Kwekwe is about 3 hours away from Harare and we are the first sister missionaries EVER to proselyte there! My new companion is Sister Mpiyakhe from South Africa who I usually send the thug pics with. We'll both be serving as Sister Training Leaders and we are SO EXCITED! Ah! God is good! I'm so excited to be able to serve the people in kwekwe and to serve my fellow missionaries. This transfer is going to be amazing!

So this week we were able to witness the marriage and baptism of Terrance and Charity! We've been working with them since I got to Epworth, and finally this weekend they were legally married which means they could be baptized! It was so great. They just glowed with happiness. I couldn't have thought of a better way to end my time in Epworth.

We had a really incredible experience with an investigator named Hommey. He came to church a couple times, but then later struggled to come or keep any commitments. So we dropped him. Well this past week he showed up to church and we were like what the heck! So we went and visited him and we asked him what had changed that made him come back to church. Do you know what he said?? "Well, I read the whole Book of Mormon from the beginning to the end. And I knew that I needed to come back to church and to be baptized." WHAT! He read the whole Book of Mormon!!! That book has POWER and can chang even the most unwilling hearts. Wow. So incredible. 

This coming week will be really interesting. Our area in Kwekwe is called Mbizo and it hasn't been proselyted in for about two years so we are literally starting from square one. Meaning that we have a brand new area book that is empty! So this week will be full of faith and trying to find those whom the Lord has prepared to hear HIs message of the restored gospel. WHITE WASHING. I can't wait for this. 

I have a testimony that God hears and answers our prayers, and that the healing power of the Atonement is real. Jesus Christ is there to bind up the broken hearts and the aching souls of this world. If we rely on His Atonement we can do ALL things. 

Love you all!! Have a great week!!

Love, Sister Richards 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Week 43: It was ME!

Sup Fam!

This week was so rainy but so hot and full of so many fall throughs, but so many miracles. It was just a crazy week! As for pranks, it was our District Leader's birthday and he thought we made him a vanilla cake, but in all actuality I just poured a bottle of vanilla in a pot of sadza and covered in with chocolate frosting. Hahah it was awesome. The video of him taking his first bite is pretty great, too. But there was a real cake for him too so he wasn't mad for too long. 

This week we did a lot and a lot of service! Because we faced a lot of fall throughs, we resulted in doing service for everyone. We plowed fields of chibage (Mom I am so sorry for not helping weed more, but it is hard work), made dinners of sadza and veggies, started fires, and much more. It was awesome! Fall throughs reallllly kill the cheerful vibe of missionary work, but service picks it right back up. I was amazed by how much more love I felt for the people of Epworth, and came home every night feeling happy even though we had only seen three people the whole day. Service is AMAZING. I hadn't really realized the impact until this week, but it really worked miracles. 

So Brother Edward is a really hysterical old man that we're teaching right now who CANNOT wait for baptism. Oh my gosh he's like a child waiting for Christmas! He had had some negative experiences with his prior churches requiring money for everything they did. So as we taught him about the Book of Mormon, he looked at us and said, "alright, how much do I need to pay for this?" and we told him it was free. I thought he was going to DIE. He was so overjoyed! "This book! For me? You are giving this book to me?" he started laughing and clapping his hands! We read through the introduction and taught him about the importance of gaining a testimony and at the end he opened up the Book of Mormon and just GRINNED. "I cannot wait to read this book." Wow. It was such a nice reminder to me about how special the Book of Mormon is. Every day we go to read it we should have the same attitude as Edward and say, "I cannot wait to read this Book!" Edward is also reallly good at giving referrals. He said, "sisters, so many of my friends are going to come to the church and the church is going to be full and everyone is going to be saying 'who are you? who invited you' and I'll just stand up and say (with the biggest smile on his face) 'it was ME!'" Hahaha the guy's a hoot. 

Bro Lancelot got baptized this week and it was the greatest thing ever! He was a referral from a member and was just a golden investigator looking for the truth. After his baptism, he bore one of the most powerful testimonies I've ever heard. He has such a firm knowledge of the Book of Mormon and the Prophet Joseph, and it was just incredible to hear him. We're also teaching the son of a less active named Blessing, and he got up and bore his testimony in sacrament meeting and it was the cutest thing! He's only 12 and we've only taught him a couple times, but he bore testimony of the reality of the Holy Ghost and the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I wish all the twelve year olds in the world were like Blessing Dipura.

Missionary work is the best thing EVER! Have a great week and ENJOY THE SNOW. 

Love, Sister Richards 


making veggies, doing some service

aaand singed my hair off in the process

the yummiest things ever that i don't know what they're called

my companion enjoys picking them for me

when the sun is just too much

mai mangwende with her neighbors

fan club!

fan club again!

sugar beans and rice, compliments of sister talemwa

Lancelot who got baptized!

tichaona told me to bend my head so i didn't look so tall haha

amai looking beautiful as ever! she's getting baptized at the end of january!!

my very favorite family!

these clouds are second coming worthy

Monday, January 2, 2017


Sup fam!

This week was good. A lot of good things are happening this side and the rain is making everything interesting, as usual. We were able to witness the baptisms of Tichaona and Biggie this week and it was so awesome! They were so happy and so ready and it was all just so great. We had a couple investigators show up SO INCREDIBLY DRUNK to sacrament meeting yesterday (happy new year, amirite), we are preparing some really great people for baptism, and I got to go on exchanges to Mabvuku! (ALSO I go home this year, HAPPY 2017!)

Remember Brother David from Mabvuku, THE most hysterical person I have ever met that doesn't have front teeth? Well I got to see him this week and it was so great! I totally gave him fire about his word of wisdom deal again to which he said, "Sister Richards, please don't go away again. If I miss you, I'm missing a good friend because you always advise me not to smoke." I seriously almost cried. I LOVE THAT MAN. I hope he gets things figured out with the new missionaries. Missing a good friend wow thanks for making me cry, David. 

So I had a really nice experience in the area. This week, I've started praying specifically that I'll be able to use what I used in my personal study each morning in lessons every day. I've been seeing miracles! Every single day, investigators have asked me questions, and I've been able to open up to the passages that I have studied THAT morning. What! The spirit is so inspired and knows exactly what we need to study and exactly our investigators need. The missionary schedule is so inspired (although I'm pumped to not have to wake up at 6:30 every day forever) and if you follow it then you are seriously blessed! 

My New Year's resolution comes from a scripture in the New Testament found in the first book of James. "Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath." Let each of us choose to be a little bit more kind, lend more of a listening ear, be slow to complain, and think carefully about what we say to our brothers and sisters. Happy New Year!!!

Love, Sister Richards 


happy happy days

my companion and me getting completely lost in the area. the joys of white washing!!

went to a braii at the mangwendes for new years

fan club

same fan club, different angle.

me and my companion.

the duck was SO GOOD

beautiful zimbabwe