Fort Myers Tribal Zone and President Richardson!
GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS! Finally, I have the opportunity to serve in my first Spanish ward – hallelujah! I am currently covering Fort Myers and Lehigh Acres, FL in the Rio Vista ward – I’ve moved over to the West coast! Haha, a little bit different than the one I’m used to, but I LOVE IT. I was worried about finding a lot of spanish-speakers, just because ever since I’ve left Miami it has been scant, but I have been pleasantly surprised! We find many, we just have to turn up our radar. Our indicators are often satellite dishes with three prongs (Telemundo!), Christmas lights, and golden mini-vans/white pick-up trucks. It’s great! Right now I’m serving with Sis. McGrath from Alpine, UT! She’s AWESOME! We’ve actually had a few of the same old companions which is fun, but we really are enjoying ourselves but more importantly doing everything we can to find those Latinos!
You can send me stuff at:
11490 Villa Grand #220
Fort Myers, FL 33913
Our ward is a little small, but the members are strong! Everyone is super welcoming and we have many members willing to teach with us, but many more willing to feed us. I have learned that running every morning is definitely a requirement if I don’t want to gain 100 pounds.
Every fourth Sunday here has been deemed as “Missionary Sunday”. That happened to be yesterday! We (us, the elders, our wml and his esposa, and Hna. Andrade, a wonderful little old brasilera who speaks portunol (that’s just combo of portugese and espanol)) sang a lovely musical number called “Te Hallare Mi Amigo”. It’s a sweet little song that talks about those we promised in the pre-existance to find on earth and to bring the gospel. We also had a movie night on Saturday and watched Conozca a los Mormones (Meet the Mormons)! We called and called the members in our ward and visited many, encouraging them all to invite and bring non-member friends and committing many of them to do it. Well, long story short, the only non-member there was Isidro, our boss investigator, which was AWESOME, but the members kind of missed the point… Oh well, we keep moving forward! It was fairly well-attended by the ward at least, and hopefully it reinstilled the Missionary Spirit!
Isidro and Nanci are our power couple right now! Nanci is a returning member who is coming back super strong and bringing her boyfriend (now fiance) with her! He is a really humble man who is seeking truth and success for his family. This week we set them for a marriage date in September so that he can be baptized (and, you know, have an eternal family and stuff)! The date he selected is a liiiittle farther in the future than we were hoping for, but we are all (we, Nanci, and now the ward members) working towards bumping the date up! HE IS SO COOL! They loved the movie on Saturday and stayed for the full three hours of church for the first time.
During our Law of Chastity lesson with them, we started talking about his job – he works construction. He told us that they were currently working on building a race track. We both immediately said, “WOW!”, and started asking all sorts of questions about what races were going to happen there and were all sorts of excited. Then they informed us that it was a Racetrack gas station. Whoops.
We miraculously found Sandra yesterday who started crying before the prayer even began because the Spirit was working on her so well. She and her husband has literally just been praying and talking about needing to go back to church and had just turned on a Christian channel five minutes before we came. Heavenly Father really does answer prayers!! She’s committed to baptism, church, and meeting with us tonight. MIRACLES are happening!
On Sunday morning we went to round up our friend, Maria, for church. After four loud knocks, her roommate, Jose answered. In some lovely Christmas boxers. That’s all. He told us that he will definitely come to our church someday, but not that day because it was raining (*barely sprinkling). It was great moment.
One scripture I loved this week is found in D&C 63:9: “But, behold, faith cometh not by signs, but signs follow those that believe.” Signs follow those who exercise their faith! Oh, how I see the truth of this doctrine over and over again on a daily basis. Remember that He does not give us a sign to create our faith but to confirm it.
I also really loved studying in Alma 49 this week. The Lamanites try to attack a Nephite city that had once been a weak place only to see that it had become a strong fortress and “behold, how great was their disappointment”(4). God really does make our weaknesses become strengths when we do everything we can to serve and show our love for Him. Our strengths will develop as we strive to develop Christlike attirbutes, and when Satan tries to attack us in our former area of weakness, how great his disappointment will be too! Ha!
I LOVE YOU.
My mission granddaughter, Hermana Hatch. Herman Endemono is training her!
This is Julio! He was a fun OYM experience!