Monday, January 27, 2014

Scripture Hunt


How was your week?? Tell me everything about it. Can't wait to hear from you. I'm going to send you on a scripture hunt and see if you can find the reference (You only do this if you want to, but it sounds like something you, and maybe the whole family would want to do). But try to find a verse in the scriptures that mentions Boston, New York City, and Albany. I found it out the other day from a member here. Love you brother and have a great week.

Elder Richins

It's Cold!


That is so funny.  How did that old dog sneak up on you, She's pretty loud, haha.  Well idk if Elder Johnson or I will survive next transfers, we work really well together, but he has been in this area for about 8 months. The next transfer day is on Wednesday, February 19th, so we get transfer calls on Saturday, February 15th. There are 5 zones in our mission, Utica, Albany, Syracuse, Potsdam, and Oweago (don't know if I spelled that last one right) and it's really nice because the zone coorelate with the 4 stakes and 1 district in our mission - Utica stake, Albany Stake, Syracuse Stake, Oweago Stake, and the Potsdam district. I'm in the Albany zone and stake, so our zone conference was held at the Albany stake center, which I believe is actually in the town of Latham, not downtown Albany. What day do the Olympics start?? It's a shame you had to stay behind for work and didn't get to go to Casper for Nate and Mike's tournament.  This week has been good.  I got to place a Book of Mormon to a friend of a recent convert we have been visiting. He was so cool and funny, and very relatable to me. He loves puns, and his sense of humor is a lot like yours and mine. He sat in on our lesson, and accepted the book of mormon when I offered it to him. It's so great to be serving here as a missionary and helping others receive the great blessings of the gospel we sometimes take for granted. It's amazing how small the lds population is out here. It's about a 45 minute drive to the stake center, and a 20-30 minute drive to our church building, and the closest temple is 3 hours away. I'm not saying this as a bad thing, but It's made me realize how much growing up where I did and enjoying the blessings of the gospel is something we can all take for granted. Love you Dad, and have a great week!!!!

Elder Tyler Richins


How was Wyoming.  I forgot to tell Dad this in my letter to him, so I hope you will tell him. This week has been very different from last week in terms of weather, it has been cold all day. And as for the frost inside the windows, that's happened here to our car numerous times.  We will get the ice scraper and get out to scrape to find out it's the inside that's frozen.  
We went on a blitz with the Schenectady Elders. Since they have been struggling with getting people to teach, Elder Johnson and I went and we were companions for the day with one of the Schenectady elders and worked in their area for the day. We just knocked on doors of people that the missionaries had previous contact with who said they might be interested in a gospel message. So we walked around a lot that day, and it was about 8 degrees when we did this at 1:00 in the afternoon. Was it cold in Casper?? Anyways, it has been another good week. As for the flat tire - I'm glad you followed your impression. It's amazing what happens as we follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost. What time did you get in last night, because as of now, Michael is the only one who's written me a letter to reply to but you did get in very late. As for the guy, it was someone who drove up to us not this past week but 2 weeks ago who told us that we get our religion from a "bastardized text" and that Jesus's name is really "Yashuia". It was pretty eventful. You meet all sorts of interesting people here in New York.   I got to place a book of mormon to a friend of a recent convert we have been visiting. He was so cool and funny, and very relatable to me. He loves puns, and his sense of humor is a lot like mine and dads. He sat in on our lesson, and accepted the book of mormon when I offered it to him. It's so great to be serving here as a missionary and helping others receive the great blessings of the gospel we sometimes take for granted. It's amazing how small the lds population is out here. Our ward boundaries are the size of two stakes back at home. But it makes me realize how blessed I am to have been able to grow up where I did and enjoy such great blessings of the gospel. Love you mom, and have a great week.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Zone Conference

This week has been great. Sorry I didn't get to you yesterday (Martin Luther King day so libraries were closed). Anyway that is great. 
The plan of salvation; there is a great chapter on either the spirit world or resurrection somewhere in Alma 40-50 you could find it if you read the chapter headings. That's funny that Happy spends most of her time in my room. Anyway, we had zone conference this week, which was so amazing. We were taught by the zone leaders, assistants to the president, and President Wirthlin. The coolest story told was the one that one of the assistants told me. He told us the story of how his dad and brother were flying a plane (this happened a few months ago right before I came out) He's from Alaska, so his dad was flying one of those little 2 passenger planes that can land on water, and he said that the side that crashed into the ground was the side his dad was on. The assistant said that that experience taught him a very important lesson. Pilots are trained how to crash, and his dad turned the plane so his side would take the impact of the crash. He purposefully turned the plane so his son wouldn't be harmed. He said that experience of his dad dying so his son could live taught him how important the atonement of Jesus Christ is to each and everyone one of us. Just as his dad died so his son could live and be set free, so did the Savior die for each of us so we could live and be set free. The spirit I felt as he told us that was unbelievable, and it's important to remember that the Savior suffered individually for every single one of us, so he could understand us and know how to help us. I also learned some other cool analogies that taught how the Savior helps us. One was made with weight lifting, and how Christ is everyone's spotter. As we grow and build muscle, the Savior is there to help us once the weight (sin, disappointments, etc) become too great for us to bear alone. The other one was an analogy of how sometimes with our sins and mistakes we dig ourselves into a pit. Other people that love us will see us in the pit, and will try to help us. But the Savior was willing to come down into each of our personal "pits". Glad to hear everything is going well. I love each of you so much. 
      Sincerely, Elder Tyler Richins
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Monday, January 13, 2014

January Pics and Letters

Collins Lake by my apartment


I haven't even used the hand warmers yet actually because we have a car and I'm in one of the warmest areas of the mission. I'm saving the handwarmers if I get transferred in February to Potsdam or something. Collins Lake (the lake with the pictures) is about the size of willow pond and is right across the street from our apartment.  We had a few lessons this last week. We are teaching two part member families where the members in both families are inactive, so we are really excited about that. If we convert or re convert all of them, we will have 3 reactivations and 2 baptisms, which is what we are praying for. We are also teaching an inactive member who was once endowed but fell away, but she really wants to come back to church and get back to the temple this year. That's her new years resolution. We teach her about once a week on splits, and I taught her with Brother Brooksby this last week. It went really well and I invited her to pray and read her scriptures everyday, which she agreed to do. We are also probably going to pick up 2 or 3 new investigators this week. One is a referral we are teaching on Tuesday, and the other two have actually already been taught by the Schenectady elders since they are in Schenectady, but they are in the tiny part of Schenectady that is in our area. I'm still being trained by Elder Johnson, training lasts for new missionaries first 2 transfers, which is twelve weeks. Glad to know you got the SD cards safely, and only send the one 2 gb one back since the 1 gb is useless. As for your lesson, just remember that Jesus Christ is everything to us. We would have no hope without him, no forgivness, no chance of redemption. I have two scriptures that I really love about the Savior - One is where it is talking about his atonement, Alma 7:11-12. I also love St John 15:13-14 (I think) which tells us how we can be a friend to the Savior. The next transfers are on February 19th, so I'm in Scotia at least until then. 

Hope everything is going well at home. Hope the kids and dogs are doing well. Love you mom!!!

Elder Richins

Christmas with the Olsens!

 Me reading with President Wirthlin holding a mic at return and report, a special training in Utica that new missionaries and their trainers go to during their first transfer together. It was cool to see my MTC district again. 

So we have an investigator who has been keeping me up to date with all the football. Sounds like the SEC's reign is over for the moment. My niners are still in there too haha. Anyway, this week was great. I can't believe that today already marks 2 months since we parted. Time truly flies when one is having fun. It has been so cool to come out here and see how much Heavenly Father loves each of his children. With every investigator or less active member we teach, there's always something that either Elder Johnson or I have experienced that makes us able to relate to them and touch their hearts. I know that this area (Scotia/Schenectady), is where the Lord wants us right now. It was sad to see Elder Gittins leave, but the brand new missionary Elder Summers is way cool too. He's going to fit in just fine. As for this week, it's been more like Utah weather in how much it has changed. Last Monday thru Wednesday it probably didn't get above 25 degrees. Tuesday was the coldest, with a high of 9 and constant wind chill that made it feel like -20ish. And since that was the day before transfers, Elder Gittins got to do his tour (a missionary tour is where a missionary who is leaving for transfers goes all around his area and says good bye to all the people he has met and goes and sees all the sites he hasn't seen). Elder Gittins wanted to go walk out on Collins lake, which is right across the street from our apartment in Scotia. It was so cold with the wind and everything. The work is really picking up here though. We had 8 lessons last week, and we already have 7 planned for this week with 3 people we still haven't contacted yet. Anyway, I love you Dad. I'll talk to you next week. 

Elder Richins

Monday, January 6, 2014

New Year

Transfers were this last week on Wednesday, and we got the call Saturday, and the only change we had in our district is Elder Gittins is moving out Wednesday to Liverpool. Elder Flaherty is going to start training, so out of the 4 missionaries in the Scotia/Schenectady areas that share the car, two of them will be less than 3 transfers out (me and the new elder that will be Flaherty's companion). The baptism went great. Although the events leading up to it were funny. She pulled a prank on us by getting the zone leader who interviewed her to play along, and they acted like she wasn't worthy to be baptized. It was funny, but we joke around with her a bit too so it's all good. Because there were so many ward activities on Saturday, the baptism of Hannah Daignault was this last friday and the confirmation yesterday. It was so cool. I was a part of the confirmation circle, but after she got baptized, she immediately asked Elder Johnson and I when she could get a church calling!! It is so great to see the changes the gospel brings into people's lives. She's going to be such a great church member. Today I'm going to send two sd cards home the 2 gb and the 1 gb. I bought a 16gb, which will be plenty for the time between you getting them and sending them back. Our numbers were kind of down this week unfortunately because of planning the baptism and everything, but we already have 6 lessons planned for this week, and we haven't even gone out to contact all of our potentials yet. New Year's Eve was great. We visited with the Dalton's (inactive family) and had dinner with them. The best part was the burning of the Christmas tree. Every year they face their tree up and set it on fire, so the flames reach about 30 to 40 feet high. It's warm today, it got up to 47 degrees and it rained. Love you dad. Take care and I will talk to you again next week.

Elder Richins
New Year's Eve - SISTER POSE!!!!!!

Collins Lake- My Bomber Hat!
-3 degrees!  It gets cold here!
Collins Lake

Hannah's Baptism
Me, Nick Stuart, Hannah, Elder Johnson