Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Missionary Journal Entries by Lavona Richardson

Lavona Richardson
January 8, 2017

October 11, 1955 – Tampico, Mexico       I was thrilled beyond words this morning as Brother Anthone R. Ivins laid his hands jupon my head and set me apart as a missionary in the Mexican Mission.  It was the realization that my lifelong dream had come true and I know it all came about only through the power of prayer.

October 16, 1955              President and Sister McKay were visitors at the Lamanite Conference at the Mezona today and what a spiritual feast. After the meeting Mother and Daddy and Leona and I got to shake hands with President McKay and talk to him for a few minutes.  He remembered staying in Daddy’s home.

October 17, 1955              Never have I heard the temple ceremonies explained so simply and yet so beautiful as they were this morning by President McKay in the chapel service at the temple.  I know his talk will stay with me forever.  His talk was mainly to not be blinded with the physical actions of the ceremonies and fail to grasp the spiritual symbols.

January 28, 1956               We had a total of eight visits for the day.  I gave the first lessons in Spanish today without a big of help from my companion.  I must have done okay because she understood and accepted. 

January 29, 1956               I came home tonight knowing that we are not alone in this great work.  This afternoon a lady asked us if we would start visiting her.  She had got a hold of one of our folletos and was very interested.

January 29, 1956`              My first baptismal service here in the mission field.  What a happy occasion.  After Sunday School the majority of the rama boarded busses and later the train for the Playa.  There they had a short meeting with the baptisms following.  The spirit of our Heavenly Father was certainly there in rich abundance.  I ‘m so happy for these six wonderful people who have now taken the necessary step of baptism.

February 2, 1956               I don’t think I’ll ever get warm again.  Last night and all day today it’s been just freezing.  Today has been the realization of another mile stone reached.  I gave the Apostasy lesson to my companion at noon and evidently passed the test because I gave it this afternoon without any help from her too.  Of course, I want to get it a lot better but it’s a start.  Each day feel more as part of this work as I learn so that I can help more. I’ve got to work and study harder to be able to serve Him better.

February 5,1956                Imagine my surprise when after the second song the counselor got up and said first we’ll hear from Hermana Flake.  I was scared stiff but I know I was blessed in having the words I wanted to stay. I talked on the responsibilities we have as members of the church and how the marvelous work did come forth quoting most of Section 4 in the Doctrine and Covenants.  I finished by bearing my testimony.  I felt so good when the members came up afterward and sincerely told me how well I had done.  I came home and thanked the Lord because it was only through His help that I was able to do it.

February 6, 1956                I gave four of the seven lessons today.  I know of a surety that the Lord is our companion here in this wonderful work if we but do our part.  It is only through His help that we are able to do these things.  Today has been one of those days that I wanted to tell everybody how happy am and my testimony of this work.

February 17, 1956            You sure find that every investigator r is different and must be taught the gospel in a different manner.  One of our investigators today had to show us all of her two little girls’ dresses before we could go on with the lesson. 

February 19, 1956            I think we’re doing a little bit of good in this wicked world.  At least things are really looking up.  We had eight investigators out to meetings today.  We walked out to Morelos this morning and showed another Senora the way to the capilla.  She tried lat Sunday and couldn’t find it.

February 23, 1956            We have more visits right now that we have time for.  We have been leaving earlier, taking a shorter noon break and still we haven’t made it to all the places where we have appointments.  The people seem ready to hear the gospel and it’s a real wonderful opportunity to be able to take it to them.

February 25, 1956            This morning when we visited the mother of Regina she was making tortillas so we pitched in and helped her.  The tortillas were so good.  I wouldn’t mind eating like that all the time. For Primary this afternoon the room where we usually meet was occupied so we had to meet in a separate room without any benches or chairs.  What a job to keep the 44 children ranging in age from two to twelve interested and quiet.

February 29, 1955            With my scrubbing board and bucket I washed and ironed all of my clothes and all of my companion’s clothes.  I am so tired tonight.

March 22, 1956`                It’s surprising the opportunities you have to preach the gospel if you are but looking of them.  We gave the first lesson and a tract of Joseph Smith to the place where we get out shoes fixed.  T he man seemed very interested.  We were commenting today on the friends we’ve made in the different professions of Tampico.

April 21, 195 6                    Rain, rain I’m so tired of it.  It’s rained all day and we’ve waded around in the mud.  We tracted here b the house this morning.  This afternoon we left early for Col Morelos to track for awhile before Primary.  We knocked on ten doors before we finally got in but it was a good visit so it was worth it. 

May 9, 1956                        Today when we told one of our investigators that the casa de oracion had been moved she said “you mean the other church isn’t the true church?”

June 15, 1956                     Conference was just wonderful and really gave me the desire to go forward striving harder to make a good missionary.  I know this work down here is the work of the Lord and that we are being blessed.   Early this morning we went to each house where we have been visiting and with pictures of the General Authorities reminded them of conference.  The conference for the district started at 7 in the evening.  I had just arrived at the church when I was met by Apostle Kimball and without introductions or anything he said that I looked like Sister Flake from Snowflake and that my sisters in Mexico sent their saludos.  He said that he remembered his stay in our home and to send his love to the folks.  Our investigators were arriving so I didn’t get to talk with him more at from that time on I was his personal aid and called on to translate for him and be his side.  ..I was so thrilled that so many of our investigators came out.  Just as the meeting was ready to begin President Bentley mentioned for me to come up to the stand and told me he was going to call on me to say a few words. I had never dreamed of being called on and was really surprised.  I was the first speaker and the building was packed.  The spirit of Heavenly Father was r ally with me and the only way I was able to say the things that were in my heart and express my testimony of the truthfulness of the work.  ..I could have listened to Apostle Kimball al night and not t ire.  It seemed like he talked for one minute and I was really surprised to find he talked for close to an hour. He gave a very good talk for investigators and almost half of the large group were investigators and a lot of them were ours.  Each member of the Novara family was out- eight in all.  The old couple that owns the store left the store open because it didn’t have a lock with enough faith that the Lord would watch over it for them if they both came out to her His servant.  I know they will be blessed for their faithfulness.   ..It was as thrill that I will never forget to translate for Elder Kimball and for our investigators and members as they had an opportunity to meet and talk with Elder Kimball.  I could hardly hold back the tears when they said that they knew he was an apostle of God and that this church was the real church.  Elder Kimball congratulate d me over and over again on the good work we are doing here and the numbers of investigators that came.  He said that President Yanez said that every time that Sister Flake came out she had more investigators that came.  I think about the most wonderful; blessing that I’ve heard was the blessing Elder Kimball gave a crippled member from Col. Valles. 

June 16, 1956     We were up bright and early this morning and all ready to be at the church at 8 o’clock.  The conference was in English for Elder Kimball and so I translated everything into Spanish for the other three sister missionaries.  I was kept real busy but I was thrilled to help others understand and was thrilled to be able to translate almost word perfect.  The only regret is that I didn’t get notes of the talks.  Elder Kimball started out the day giving a wonderful talk on the importance of meeting together and bearing our testimonies.  President Bentley also bore a strong testimony after which we all gave our reports and bore our testimonies.  I haven’t spoken much English for the 6 ½ months and also I was about the last one and had been translating into Spanish all morning.  I just couldn’t express myself in English and find the words in English to say what I wanted to say.  I felt almost worse that the first time I spoke in Spanish.  Elder Kimball said I spoke English like he spoke Spanish.  I felt real bad but President Bentley and Elder Kimball seemed pleased that I was so into the work.  Elder Kimball was pleased with my detailed report for 6 ½ months here and copied it to take to Salt Lake and commented on it to the other missionaries.  I am copying the report for my journal.  It seemed like all day I was called on to do everything- play the piano, help by being the investigator in the demonstrations and then translate for the interviews de mis companions. But it was a big thrill.  When Elder Kimball interviewed me he said he didn’t have to ask if I was happy because he knew I was by the kind of work I was doing.  President Bentley said the members had said to please not change Hna. Flake but that he needed me in the home.  So I will be there in the next week or so. 
At noon the mission served refrescos, sandwiches y ice cream. Then they had to leave to meet another schedule for conference in Victoria.  Hna. Villinuevos had never seen the ocean or playa so we went cut there for a little while.  They left on the bus at 9:30 pm

January 12, 1957- Monterrey , Mexico    I had dinner all ready when President and Sister Bentley arrived with Elder and Sister Mark Peterson at noon.  It was as real honor for me to cook dinner for an apostle.  They enjoyed it and commented on my homemade bread so I felt good.  I, along with all of the missionaries chose to fast until after our testimony meeting. I especially enjoyed the advice of Elder Peterson.  I could certainly feel the spirit of the Lord with us and I know his words were inspired.  It is a real experience to associate so closely with an apostle of the Lord.  He stressed many times the responsibility to give everyone an opportunity to hear the gospel to all who will accept.  Afterwards we had our testimony meeting during which I was called into the president’s office for a personal interview with Elder Peterson.  H congratulated me on the good work I was doing and encouraged me. 

January 30, 1957               We had a good visit with an investigator that we hadn’t met with for a long time.  I really felt inspired to give her an overall view of the gospel plan. 

Septembert11, 1957- Aguascalientes.-We were tracting out in Saint Marucs this morning when we had another experience to add to our growing list.  We finally got in one home and were giving the lesson when some people in another room started making fun of us and yelling in bad things.  The lady was interested though so we finished the lesson, bore our testimonies, gave her the tracts, and left .  We were up the street knocking on another door when I turned back just in time to see the tract flying back at us.  I went back to pick them up with a street full of Senoras watching me.

September 27, 1957-      I’m now a good missionary because I’ve had as pan of water thrown at me.  Missionaries  have always talked about it but until today it had never happened to me.  We went on tracting and got it he next door and had a good visit. 

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