“During these times it can be hard having to do school online, not being able to hang out with friends, or not being able to play the sports we love. But even when times like this come, I always try and remember that God is in control and that he has a plan for me,” said Andy Richardson, who leaves August 12 to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Manchester, New Hampshire. He continued, “God knew that this coronavirus would come and affect millions, but he also knew that we could handle it. Knowing this, I am not worried about going to serve amid this virus. I know that God planned for me to go on a mission, and I know that there are people waiting in the New England area who will be blessed because of the service I will render there.”
Richardson will actually begin his mission at home on July 1 to do his missionary training online. In August he will travel to New Hampshire where he will serve for two years teaching the gospel in French. Andy’s father, Brad Richardson, who served a French speaking mission in Switzerland, is already helping Andy learn the language.
Richardson stated that ever since he was young, he wanted to serve a mission. He heard mission stories from his dad and his Grandpa, Dennis Richardson, who served in the South Australian Mission. His two older brothers also served missions, one in Spokane, Washington, and the other in Rancagua, Chile. The real reason Richardson says he wants to serve a mission is “to show my Savior that I love Him. I will do this by serving the people of New England, as well as helping individuals come unto Jesus Christ by sharing His gospel and [by sharing] our Father in Heaven’s perfect plan for each of us.”
With the recent Arizona stay-at-home order keeping everyone home, Richardson has felt these past few months have been amazing for his family. “In my home I have had the opportunity to study the scriptures daily both individually and with my family. During our daily family scripture study, each individual is able to share personal insights that they found in their studies. I have learned something from each member of my family during [our] study times. I would say that there could have been no better way for me to prepare for my mission than the way I did in the walls of my own home.”
Richardson was home schooled and attended Cochise College at the same time that he was in high school.
He graduated from Cochise College with an associate degree in physics last year. He is one of eight children. His mother, Darci spoke for all of them when she said, “We are so excited for Andy! He is going to be a fantastic missionary, and we will miss him so much, but we know that there are so many blessings that come from having a full-time missionary serving God. All his siblings have always been close to Andy, and we are pleased that he is setting a good example of service for his younger siblings. We hope that they will follow in the footsteps of their older brothers, Denny, Travis and Andy and someday serve a full-time mission.”
Submitted by Bonnie Holyoak