Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

The Senior missionaries spent Thanksgiving together with the Ghents and since we didn't think Annie would want to do that, we decided to have our own Thanksgiving with the Office Elders and had a great time!

We truly felt we had so much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving, especially being in the mission field with such fabulous and dear missionaries who we loved so much.  We missed Steven who was working hard in Chile and Matt who was having too much fun on a European trip to Italy, Spain, France, Switzerland...need I say more!!

The office elders try out the new bells, which we purchased to use during our Christmas program.

The office elders help us set up our Christmas tree and take some pictures, which we would use for our mission Christmas card.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Feliz Cumpleanos a Hermana Richardson

Feliz Cumpleanos a "mua!"  

I was royally spoiled on my birthday.  Brian took us to our favorite spot, Crepes and Waffles, with the office elders.  It truly was a treat.  Our office elders are like sons so it was like being with family.  We really missed having Matt and Steven with us physically, but they were definitely with us in our thoughts.

What made my day extra special were the 17 baptisms in two different zones, which we were able to attend.
Elders Romney, Cedeno, Saez, and Quiroa with their new converts

Hermanas Quishpe and Muir
To my surprise and delight, in both zones, the missionaries had planned a special birthday recognition for me.  In the first zone, after the 14 baptisms, the missionaries said they had a special number and for everyone to stay seated.  The 20+missionaries then went up and sang in English “Happy Birthday.”  It almost brought tears to my eyes.  They gave me a birthday cake with my name on it and all wanted to take their pictures with us.  Truly, it touched me to the core.

Elders Meriles, Granda, Quinaya, Araque, Damian, Walker, Chavez, Dearden, Rodriguez, Cantera, y Morton
Hermanas Harlos, Garcia, Ortiz, Muir, Quishpe, Palau, Chim, Cayama, y Elder Meriles

Hermanas Palau and Ortiz

We had to hurry from that baptism to get to the next baptismal service.  Again, at the end of a very sweet meeting, the missionaries in that zone asked for everyone to remain seated and again sang “Feliz Cumpleanos” to me and to our dear Hermana Bastidas, who shares my birthday.  They gave us each a shirt with all of the names of the Quito Zone, and our logo.  I, again, was moved to tears.  I don’t know how they knew it was my birthday, but I can’t begin to say how much love I felt from them. 
The Quito Zone makes cut out letters to recognize hermana Bastidas and sweet!
Hermana Bastidas, Norton and I hold up our new shirts!
September 28th birthday girls!  Hermana Bastidas and I

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Steven becomes Elder Richardson

Adios Elder Richardson

It was a sad night on Tuesday, July 30th when we had our goodbye dinner with Steven.  But we were blessed to be joined by Elders Rodriguez, Dearden, Morton and Cantera, the office elders.
Elders Cantera, Morton (Steven) Dearden and Rodriguez

They each take a minute to share something they appreciated about Steven.  They had some very kind things to say.  They mentioned that Steven was very approachable, genuine, fun, knew when to be serious and when to be funny, and that he would be everyone's favorite companion.

We celebrated his 19th birthday (August 16th) early and he opened several gifts, and we shared our thoughts and feelings for Steven. 

We take advantage of the moment for one last family picture before our early morning departure the next day.

Brian was given permission to set Steven apart so it was extra special to have not only his Dad set him apart as a missionary, but to have the office elders assist.

We didn't get much sleep because we went to bed at 1:30 a.m. and needed to leave for the Quito, Ecuador Airport at 3:30 a.m.
Two years seems like such a long time!
Red eyes in the morning
It was a tearful goodbye, but we knew where Steven was headed and that he was prepared to be a wonderful missionary.

This is a big step for Elder Richardson, but he has no hestiation! 
And Steven's off to the Chilean MTC in Santiago, Chile on Wednesday, July 31st.