Monday, December 30, 2013

Snippets from the letters this week :)

"We got to go caroling at a baptist old folks home this past monday. I totally embarrassed myself while doing it, because I started singing the 2nd verse of a song when we were only singing one verse."

Ty and his companion bought a bomber hat.
"Yeah the bomber hat is nice and warm, and Christmas was wonderful. Elder Johnson liked you guys because of the presents you have been giving us, as well as the fact that you said you wanted to see him, and when he came and said hi, you all were silent. He is very cool. He's a great guitar player and he knows so much about the gospel. He's helped me learn so much. The Lord truly is blessing me."

"Glad to hear you had a good christmas though. Christmas here was way fun. I might actually get to cook this month. We aren't getting fed everyday. Haha. Love you so much dad. I miss you and the family a lot, but I also am loving the work out here. Take care for this week!!"

The slacks did come in the mail last week. So I have them now. And the letter I sent Landon got mailed back to me, so I was hoping you could find out his address for me. And how many stamps are going to have to be on those sd card folders to mail them? Tell Mema I am getting her letters, and I'm loving them. Anyway this week was great. Hannah passed her baptismal interview, and Elder Johnson and I are going to be the witnesses, and she asked me to be in the confirmation circle. Elder Johnson is confirming her, which he definitely deserves since he was teaching her before I got here. But Hannah has told me I'm a great missionary and have really helped her, which is all that matters. We got to play Apples to Apples Christmas night with the Smiths (family who let us skype) and Hannah and her Dad. It was really fun. It's weird to think Jayden is home. I hope he loved his mission, I'm loving it out here. The only bad part about this week was how hard it was to get appointments (with Christmas and everything). Transfer calls are this Saturday. I hope I stay here. It snowed the other day, and it was weird because the snow was so wet. It was like slush falling to the ground. I love you so much mom and I miss you a lot, but not enough that I want to come home. I know there is nothing better I could be doing right now. It's getting cold this week. It's dropped to the 20s, but later this week there is going to be two days where they predicted a high of 10 and a low of 5. Take care and don't get too crazy at home!!!

Elder Tyler Richins
 Show message history

Monday, December 23, 2013


Elder Burns and Elder Richins at the Provo Temple before leaving for New York.

                       In New York.

  Elder Ty's Apartment Complex his first day in New York Scotia Area. 

Elder Johnson, Flaherty and Gittins - Burning of the tie!

Elder Flaherty and Ty



               We get to do service at a 
          dog shelter every week!

 My First New York Snow Storm

Had to dig the car out of our parking place!

Got stuck on the way to our dinner appointment.

Cool Bumper Sticker

Elder Johnson



      The Mohawk River is 
     already freezing over!  
     Wish I had my skates!!!!!

Merry Christmas!                                                                          

Moving truck we rode in the back of!
Elder Flaherty squished in the back of the truck.
First class travel!!
Elder Flaherty not squished

Elder Gittins and Elder Johnson (Union hoodie) in the back of the moving van

Are we there yet?! 



This week was so cool. Albany was great, although we just drove by downtown, we actually stayed in a suburb of downtown. But Elder Lords told me that the purpose of the exchange was to learn that Heavenly Father does hear and answer our prayers. We had two cool experiences that reminded me of this gospel truth. The first one was when Elder Lords (The zone leader in Albany I went on exchange with), got our van stuck in the snow as he backed out. Things just kept getting worse and worse. The car actually started sliding towards the members house we were eating dinner with. So we finally decided to pray. As soon as we did, new ideas came into our head and we got out in like 5 minutes. The other experience was when Elder Lords and I couldn't find the keys to the car and his apartment that morning. We looked through like the entire apartment so we decided to pray. After that, We decided to go look outside, when Elder Lords realized the keys had to be in the apartment since we got in last night. So he looked in the doorknob, and there they were. Haha. It's cool to see how even though I already had a testimony that God answers our prayers, I was still able to have those cool experiences that reminded me of that fact. We also helped someone move into our ward this week. A mother and daughter, and it was great because both are less-active members. The mother also has another daughter who isn't a member that was at school when we moved them. We were able to get to know them and we hope we will be able to start teaching them soon. But the funnest part was that since the dad wasn't around and our ride had to leave for his doctor's appointment, we drove to her new house in Scotia in the back of the moving van with all the furniture and other belongings. Elder Gittins jokingly yelled "help" every time we stopped or slowed down. Anyway, I love you all and hope you have a very nice Christmas break. I'll talk to you all in two days!!!

Elder Richins

Friday, December 20, 2013

Excerpts from Elder Richins

To Dad - "I now know why you prefer to be off.  Working all day is hard, and I've definitely had some of those days.  But missionaries are truly blessed, and I love it, even though it's hard."

To Mom - "Things are great here.  We have a car we share with another companionship, so the weeks we don't have a car we either walk, get rides with members who come teaching with us, or take the bus...Take care and don't stress.  I'm loving New York."

To Emily - "It's kind of impossible to tell you everything.  Look up the missionary schedule.  That's about it.  Get up at 6:30, work all day, and go to bed at 10:30.  You're constantly changing plans and stuff.  You pray alot (at least 7 times a day and that's a minimum)."

To Sarah - "President Wirthlin tells me whenever I see him - "If I get up and say it's going to be a good day, it will be a good day."  If I try to be positive and pray, I will be happier.  I've noticed that so many times already on my mission."

To Nate - "Trust me, you don't want to gain 10 pounds the way I have..."

To Mike - "The river is already frozen over, and I bet I could play hockey on the pond right by our apartment right now."

To Nick - "I did get two Thanksgiving dinners.  New York is great, it's cold and the Mohawk River is already freezing over.  I don't think I'm allowed to throw a river party though...which is a bummer. (Newhart reference HaHaHa).  Elder Johnson is wonderful.  He is very nice and supportive.  He wants me to be the best missionary I can be, and is truly a  wonderful example.  President and Sister Wirthlin are amazing.  They love pizza and I had probably the best pizza and wings I've ever had."

Monday, December 16, 2013


Our whole MTC district
Sister Stanley, Sister Allen, Sister Leatham, Sister McKee, Elder Lloyd,  Elder Wing, Me, Elder  Burns, Elder Adam, Elder Jeppson.
All the Elders are going to NYUM and Sisters are going to Columbia South Carolina Mission

In class at the MTC!

We had a great time learning more about the gospel.

My MTC District

And how to be great

Heading to the Provo Temple

Loving My MTC Experience!

December 16,2013


This week flew by. I went on my first exchange with Elder Flaherty. He's a great guy, and I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to serve with him. He has a great attitude about missionary work. I also had a tender mercy from the Lord, as when we were walking around, I noticed my name tag was missing. I was hesitant on walking back and looking for it, but Elder Flaherty said it was fine. We walked back, and we found it after retracing our steps for only a minute or two, even though we had walked miles that day. I knew that I noticed it was gone before we walked too far because the Lord truly does watch out for us. I love my district. I'm learning a lot from Elder Johnson, he's a great missionary. Sorry I haven't told you sooner, but we actually have an investigator named Hannah who is getting baptized on January 4th. She already had a baptismal date when I arrived, but her testimony of the gospel has grown so much in the little time I have been here. She struggled a lot with living prophets and apostles, but she got a testimony of that when we watched the movie, Joseph Smith, the prophet of the restoration, with her. The spirit was so strong. It was by far one of the best lessons I've been involved in, and she even cried. Anyway, since my companion is the district leader, I get to go on another exchange this week to Albany with one of our zone leaders. I sent everyone home letters just barely. Hope everything is going well at home. Sorry my letter is short this week, but Elder Gittins is showing me how to email pictures home. We had a snowstorm the other day, and the amount of snow we had was at least a foot. We had to shovel around our cars in order to be able to back them out. I took a picture of our car before the shoveling. And I'm in one of the warmest areas. The snow belt of our mission, which includes places like Syracuse, Osweigo, and Lake Placid gets way more snow and I kind of want to serve there in a winter to see how much snow there is, but I feel like that feeling would die quickly. Osweigo got 50 inches the other day, so it's crazy how cold it can get here. Love you all so much.

Elder Tyler Richins 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Phineas and Ferb ReMix!!!

You may google my address, but please DO NOT SEND HANDWRITTEN LETTERS THERE!! The mission rule is to have all letters sent the the PO Box address you already have. Anyways, I believe our address is 49 Mohawk Avenue, We stay in an apartment complex known as the Scotia Manor. It's wonderful to hear that everything has been going well at home. I want to hear about Nate and Mike's great hockey tournament in Ogden, so have them write me if they haven't already. I miss you all and first want to tell you of something funny I found out when looking through the very first of the letters you sent me. Nick nick started out his letter by saying he wouldn't tell me his name since I could figure it out from the drawing of the map on the other side of the paper. What I found was funny is he ended it with love, Nickolas David Richins. I got a chuckle out of that. Anyway,  It's been another great week. It was my privilege to give a blessing of comfort and counsel to Sister Johnson. It is so cool how the spirit speaks through you. I remember after I ended the blessing, I had no idea where the words I said came from, they just came. The spirit is so real, and it is cool to be able to use your priesthood to serve others. I also had the privilege of going to the Stevens this week, a less active family that the Glenville sisters teach. The Dad was actually paired up with me for splits without knowing it, so I just went back to their house and taught them a lesson. The spirit was so strong. They told me of their son who was struggling since he has two friends who don't live his standards. I then told them to pray for him and trust in the Lord, and then told them about my experiences growing up on the hockey team, where some of my teammates didn't have the same standards. They were touched, and the mother told me if I didn't do anything the rest of my mission, I would be a good elder in her eyes because of what I had told them that night. The Dad also told me that even though he had no idea he was signed up for splits, after what I taught them, he said it was meant to be. He came to sacrament meeting yesterday. I am so privileged to be here. It is so cool to see how the Lord reaches out to people and blesses their lives through me and my personal experiences and personality. Although missionary work is hard, it is definitely worth it. The blessings are so great. May the Lord bless each of you. I love you all and miss you more than you could imagine. And since the kids love Phineas and Ferb, I'm going to try to make a song similar to the theme song for them. Anyways talk to you next week.

Elder Richins

Phineas and Ferb ReMix

There's 104 weeks to be a missionary, so I got no time to waste. So the annual problem of my day is finding the best way to spend maybe
building up testimonies or fighting the devil or climbing up investigators stairways 
discovering new ways to share the gospel, or giving someone a shower (of gospel love)
finding an investigator, painting someone's fence for them, or driving my companion insane.
As you can see there's a whole lot of stuff to do before I come back home. So stick to the task cuz Elder Richins is gonna do it all. So stick to the task cuz Elder Richins is going to do it allllllll!!!!

Monday, December 2, 2013


Hey family,

First off, forgive me for not calling in Detroit, there just wasn't time. Second, I never got my charcoal slacks in the MTC and still haven't gotten them as of today. And if you haven't sent chess, don't send it, apparently it's not allowed in the mission field anymore. Now after I'm finished emailing today since we only get an hour and a half, I'll write home on paper too so I can make sure I answer all of your questions. I'd like to start off by answering all the questions I didn't answer from the dear elder letters I got each day at the MTC, I miss those now that I am in the field. But for Emily, New York is great. It's much colder here though. The humidity makes it worse. The average temperature the last couple of days has been around 30 or 35 degrees. Elder Burns is also going to the New York Utica Mission, and I couldn't smell the tree because it was fenced off to "grow".   Now Sarah, there are a lot of spiritual things I do. I have given a blessing of healing, and have participated in a few other blessings as well, although I wasn't the one speaking. I also had a wonderful spiritual experience on Sunday November 24th. In sacrament meeting in the MTC, they call on two missionaries to speak. Now the subject was the book of mormon, and I just quickly wrote down how I gained a testimony of the book of mormon and Joseph Smith when dad and I visited the Sacred Grove on our hockey trip a few years ago. As the 1st counselor in the branch presidency, (he was conducting), got up, I immediately knew that I was going to talk. Sure enough, as soon as he got to the microphone, he said "We will first hear from Elder Richins." What was interesting is that I knew it was the spirit and not me just being anxious because my companion Elder Burns who also talked said he had the same impression, and usually an elder and a sister talks. But we both did. It's amazing how the spirit works and will tell you such things if you listen to it. Now I'll move on to New York. Mom if you can give me one more week for the Christmas thought, I'll put it in my email next week. I was so tired and slept through both of our flights. I only got a half hour of sleep the night before. We arrived just fine and President and sister Wirthlin were waiting for us. They are both so great and awesome. They took us out for good old pizza and wings. We spent a night at the the mission home in Utica, then I had an interview.  After the interview, I met my trainer, Elder Johnson. He's great. He's enthuisastic for the work and we are very open with each other. I pray I don't get fat, I got sent to the Scotia area, the most generous area in the mission when it comes to people feeding the elders dinner. If no dinner appointments for this month get cancelled, I'll have to cook dinner for myself 7 times, in the whole month of December. So i'm eating very little at lunch and breakfast, cause I don't want to gain more than the 10 pounds I already gained in the MTC.  We cover parts of Scotia, Schenectady, and Glenville. Missionary work is great. Just last saturday (two days ago), I got to witness the miracle of conversion. We went to teach one of the less-actives we teach (less-actives are a big focus in our mission) and it was amazing. As me and Elder Johnson went in, Melanie proudly announced to us that she had given up smoking and was going to try her hardest to start coming to church every Sunday. She then showed her amazing faith in the power of the atonement and the priesthood by asking us for a blessing of comfort and guidance to help her give up coffee and figure out her finances so she can start paying her tithing. And then she bore her testimony yesterday. What a wonderful blessing it is, to see people embrace the healing power of the atonement and become happier as they make those changes to live the gospel. I miss you all, and love each one of you. But always remember that the Lord is blessing us as I serve a mission and you all continue to live the gospel. Take care, don't cry too much, and I'll hand write you later today. 


Elder Tyler Richins

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Made it to NYUM!

Dear Parents,

I just wanted to let you know that your missionary arrived yesterday afternoon.  They were all very tired, as they had to get up at 2:30 in the morning, which is 12:30 East Coast Time.  We are excited to have them here.  President Wirthlin is interviewing each one and prayerfully seeking the Lord’s spirit to help him in assigning these missionaries to the trainer who will be the best for each one.  The trainers are carefully chosen, and your missionary will be in good hands. 

Because of their travel and change from the MTC, the missionaries will not be writing home until Monday, as Monday is their Preparation Day.  They are asked to write meaningful letters to their parents each week, and it is hoped that you will also write to them.  If you send “snail mail” to the missionary, or packages, please send to PO Box 149, Whitesboro, New York 13492.  If possible, packages should be sent via Priority Mail, First Class or Flat Rate.  We are not able to forward UPS or Fed-X packages, and those have to wait in the office until someone is going to the area where the missionary is serving.  We pick up the mail each morning, process it, and have it back to the post office the same day.  It has been found that with transfers and changes, this way is the best to keep all mail going to the right place.

We look forward to getting to know your missionary.  We are excited to have each one here in the New York Utica Mission.


Sister Cutler
NYUM Secretary

Friday, November 22, 2013

Letter 11/20/13

Hey Fam,

So glad to hear everything is going well at home.  My flight # from Salt Lake to Detroit is 974 and from Detroit to Syracuse is 6401.  And Mom, I am getting your letters.  My slacks still haven't gotten here, which isn't too surprising-haha.  I can't believe it's already been one week.  I forgot to thank in my last letter- Sarah for her poem, Emily for her word search, and Nick for his beautifully drawn map.
I'm so relieved yesterday was pday though.  Missionary work is awesome and spiritual, but it is very tiring as well.  It's cool to see how if you do your part, the Lord does His.  My first lesson to Andre (mock investigator) went great.  We were led by the Holy Ghost and the spirit was so strong.  But we had prepared for that lesson.  The next lesson we taught, we didn't prepare as well for, and we could tell.  After that experience, Elder Burns and I decided to always prepare our best, and every lesson since that one has been good.
One interesting thing about Elder Burns that I found out when we read a letter from his dad, who was reminding him to stick to their family's motto: Stick to the task til it sticks to you!
I love you all and may the Lord bless you.

Elder Richins

P.S. Elder Burns thinks he can beat me in Chess, so send me a game if possible. :)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November 19, 2013

Hey family, 

Wow the MTC is too sick. The spirit here in unbelievable!! As I've had the opportunity to teach our "mock" investigators, the spirit is so strong. There have been so many instances where my companion and I would prepare a lesson, and we I would be prompted to say a personal experience I've had with the gospel doctrine we are trying to teach or a certain scripture or something similar that fits perfectly with the investigator. It has been my blessing to give a blessing of healing and comfort to a sister missionary in our district, as well as being able to watch the sunday night devotional by Elder Bednar, The Character of Christ. That devotional was so inspirational and changed my whole perspective on missionary work and life in general. My companion Elder Burns is great. He has such a strong testimony and has so many personal experiences that help us relate with our investigators. I love missionary work. Hope you got my letter, if not let me know and i'll send you another one. Also give me the emails of both grandparents so I can email them on p day as well. I probably won't be able to email you till two more weeks from yesterday because next Tuesday I'm flying out to New York. I'll call you probably around 1 or 2 since that's when our layover is in Detroit. Let me know how everyone is doing. I miss you all so much, but the blessings of serving the lord and feeling the Holy Ghost so much is such a blessing, and even though it's going to get harder once I get out in the field, I know the blessings will be greater. Also if you haven't gotten my letter please forgive the fact that I couldn't reply to every letter individually, but missionary work is amazing. Oh and here's some fun facts. My branch president is President Willes, go figure. And my companion, as well as another missionary in my district love zelda. haha. I'll talk to you all later, and Elder Burns doesn't think I can beat him in chess, so you should send me a chess set as soon as possible. Love you all so much and may the lord bless you in all your endeavors.

With love,
Elder Richins

Monday, November 18, 2013

First Letter 11/15/13

Dear Family,
I wish I could write you all individually, but there simply isn't time.  I only have time to write at nightime after all the stuff we do, and I still need to fit in studying into that hour as well.  The MTC is wonderful.  After the drop off, there was no time to be wasted.  I got my MTC and missionary books, as well as a new Preach My Gospel, which has more notes in it now than the one I left at home has.  I was escorted to drop off my luggage at my room in the residence hall, and then it was off to work!!  My companion is Elder Daniel Burns, from Broker Arrow Oklahoma.  He is so great.  He's easy going, funny and excited to be here to teach.  We have already been assigned to teach Andre, our investigator teacher.  Even though it is roleplay, this is to prepare for the mission field, and the spirit is so strong as we prepare and teach Andre.  Today, while we were teaching Andre the first lesson, I was prompted by the spirit to teach Andre a part of the lesson before we had originally planned to bring it up.  It was also a point Elder Burns was supposed to teach.  However, because I followed that prompting, the lesson flowed much smoother, and Elder Burns was also able to bring up some personal stories about how hard it was to not associate with his nonmember friends as he grew up.  That completely related to Andre (who had the same influences that caused him to stop being active in his Christian religion).  I love teaching and the sweet spirit of the Holy Ghost that is constantly present here.
Now I'll try to answer all of your questions.  I have slept fine every night because I know I'm doing what I need to do.  It doesn't mean I'm not tired.  I'm still getting used to the sleeping schedule, and the hard work makes me more tired.  As for food, it's wonderful.  For breakfast there's always egg, some sausage, fruit, and any type of cereal.  For lunch and dinner, you can get lots of different things.  The best is the drink selection.  All types of juice and soda, and king of them all, the CHOCOLATE MILK!  It is made by the BYU Creamery and tastes so the liquid form of a Wendy's frostie.  I have a layover on my flight in Detroit.  We land there at 2:00, so I'll be able to call that afternoon.  I can't smell the tree, It's been fenced off (which is dumb).  I'll email you on my pday(Tuesday) and see you all in 2 years.
Love you all!
Elder Tyler Richins

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Here I Come!!

11/12/13 Spent the day before his mission fishing with his dad

November 13, 2013 "Here I come NYUM!"
Car ride to Provo
Provo Temple
So tired! It has been such a crazy week. 


 It was relaxing to spend some time walking around the temple before heading to the MTC.  We ate our picnic lunch on the grounds and just enjoyed being together one last time.

We will miss you Ty but are so proud of your decision to serve the Lord!  We know you will be an amazing missionary because you are an amazing young man!!

Is it time to go yet?

 When oh when will it be time to go?!

Yes!!! It is finally time to go to the MTC!


Checking his pockets to make sure he didn't have his phone or any keys :)

Mom and Dad holding up pretty well....

And he is off!  So excited to get there he didn't even look back!