Monday, May 19, 2014

Spring is Here!


Spring is finally here in NYUM!
BAPTISM!!! Elder Richins, Whitney and Elder Koyle 



Mom,

How exciting it is to hear about all the things going on back home. I'm glad that you are all enjoying studying PMG. This week was an adventure. So, our phone broke, and it was hard. Elder Koyle and I quickly realized how much we use the phone to call investigators, less-actives, and members. So we had fewer lessons this week. Oh well. We just got our new phone today, and there are 19 voicemails on it. Which is crazy. Whitney did get baptized this week, which was awesome. It was my privilege to confirm her a member of the church. I was quite nervous, but just like all other priesthood blessings I have given since leaving on my mission, the words just came to me after I laid my hands on her head. It is such a testimony builder to me to see how real the authority and power of the priesthood is. That's exciting, and I hope she continues to grow in the gospel. Some more news...So last week with the email about the new district and everything, that's changed as of a few days ago. Last week after that email was sent, we were informed that Sisters are indeed coming back to the area today. So our district goes back to what it used to be. Elder Koyle and myself in Scotia, the new Sisters in Glenville, and Elder Summers and Tidd in Schenectady. We do get a car full time though. Elder Koyle and I are very happy about that. There are enough cars around that the sisters are coming back with their own car. It looks like spring is finally in full force here, and I will send pictures today. One thing that I learned this week in PMG is found in chapter 10 on teaching skills, Listening. As missionaries it is critical to listen to people, because when we listen to people, we show them that we truly care about them, and they are willing to open up and share their true feelings about the gospel with us. I also had a very cool experience teaching Marlene (Less-active lady we have been teaching who has now been coming regularly for at least 2 months, maybe more). We taught her the Word of Wisdom, and she smokes, but has a sincere desire to quit. She was told the day before by her Doctor that it would be good if she could quit for her upcoming operation on her back in a few weeks. She told us it is so weird how at this particular time, we chose to teach her the Word of Wisdom and encourage her to quit right after that Doctor appointment. She then said it was like we have "A sixth-sense, because you always teach me something that helps me with my situation and whatever is going on in my life at the time." It is so cool to see how much God loves his Children, and how real the spirit is in missionary work. Have a great week mom. I love you and I will talk to you next week!!

Ty

PS. Tell Jacob congratulations on his call!!


Dad,
Haha. Go Rangers!!! I'm glad that you and everyone had a great mother's day. And we have a key to the Sister's apartment, so we stayed there whenever we worked in Clifton Park. But Elder Koyle and I found out last week after I emailed you all that the sister's are coming back, so we are going back to covering our old area. Whitney's baptism went great. Elder Koyle and I boiled water in big metal pots before the service to warm the water up because the water doesn't stay hot very long for the building's baptismal font. Other than that, the service was awesome. She was so happy. I gave a talk Sunday in addition to confirming Whitney on the Book of Mormon. I got a lot of compliments on it. I told them about the time you and I went to the Sacred grove and how I just knew when visiting there that Joseph Smith is a prophet and the Book of Mormon is the word of God. Have a great week Dad!! Love you and I miss you and our family. Take care.

Ty

PS How Ironic would it be if the Rangers won the cup this year?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mother's Day

Mom, 
It was great to talk to you guys Yesterday!! And I'll always have time to email the family. This week has been great. Whitney Oliver's Baptism is this upcoming Saturday, so I'm way excited for that. We also found a few people tracting this week which was good too. So Transfers-I didn't go into detail yesterday. First thing is that a few more missionaries have gone home due to sickness, so even though we thought the Glenville Sisters would be coming back, they aren't yet, so Elder Koyle and I are staying together in Scotia and won't be working in the Schenectady ward at all, we just cover the whole Glenville ward and the Schenectady Elders will cover the whole Schenectady ward. So that's kind of new. So now we will be focusing our work in addition to Scotia, Schenectady (the part of Schenectady city that's in the Glenville ward boundaries) Glenville, and Rexford, we will also be working in Clifton Park, Waterford, Ballston Lake, Ballston Spa, and Charlton. We won't be working in Rotterdam anymore because that is Schenectady ward boundaries. Elder Koyle has been called to be the new District Leader. Elder Flaherty is leaving, which is weird because he was here when I got here. He will be going to Ithaca walk, right by Cornell. It's actually one of Elder Koyle's former areas. Elder Summers new companion will be one of Elder Koyle's former companion, Elder Tidd. We also have 2 other companionships in our district that weren't in it last transfer. Elder Stoddard and Pettit (Pettit is also one of Elder Koyle's former companions), and Elders Jeppsen and Hutchinson. Elder Jeppsen was in my MTC group, so it will be very cool to see him. Since the District Leader and his companion go on exchange with each set of Elders in their District, I'll be working with quite a few people in the next 6 weeks, and I'm excited for that. Everything is going great here. The leaves on the trees are great!! It's so green and beautiful here. We have a lot of investigators and less-actives we are working with right now. Unfortunately, all of our investigators other than Whitney aren't really progressing, but I'm sure we will be able to figure it out with the Lord's help. This truly is his work. I'm already at my 6 month mark, and I've been reflecting on the people I've worked with that have either been baptized or re-activated, and they were all prepared by the Lord. I was just lucky to be one of the Elder's there to help them start coming to church and becoming converted. The gospel truly does bless our lives so much. How's the study of Preach My Gospel going? I learn new things every week from Preach My Gospel. One thing that has stuck out to me is the Power and Authority of missionaries, and since every member is a missionary, everyone who is trying to share the gospel has that power. In Chapter 1 of Preach My Gospel under the Section "The Power and Authority of your calling" the list of bullet points shows us some of the evidence that the power and authority we have as we share the gospel is very real and is the power of God. I've seen it many times on my mission as I've talked with people how I have been able to say what I need to say to that person at that moment. I've also seen this power in Priesthood blessings. It is amazing how the spirit directs us. Whenever I talk to people about the gospel, the words just seem to come out. This truly is the Lord's work. I hope you guys are seeing missionary opportunities and are enjoying the presence of the spirit as you share the gospel with our brothers and sisters. I love you all so much. It was so great to see all your faces and the house Yesterday. Take care and have a great week.

Ty

Hope you all had a great time in Bicknell!!!


Oh I also loved the videos on Lds.org about moms for mother's day. They are great and show us how great our mom's are!! Love you Mom and hope you had a fanastic Mother's day. You're the best Mom a guy could ask for!!

5/5/14 Cardinals-Sweet Call

Dad,
Thanks so much for the playoff update. So I can either call for an hour or call for half an hour and skype. Either one works. If I plan just on calling, it will probably be in the afternoon sometime. What Elder Koyle and I are planning on doing is having the member we will be skyping with call our parent's to set it up.  I hope that's ok. Thanks for the playoff update. We knocked on a door yesterday and he was too busy to talk right then because the Rangers-Penguins game was about to start. We asked if we could come back at a later time, and he said sure, after June. This week was crazy. Watching over all of Glenville and part of Schenectady is pretty awesome. We have a baptism coming up with Whitney Oliver. It will be either on the 10th or the 17th. She is so prepared. It was way cool because we taught the law of chastity with her with a member couple, Brian and Andrea Smith (The same Smith's that lent me their computer to skype home on Christmas). It was so great to have them there, they really helped put some aspects of the law of chastity into perspective. I love teaching with members. They help bring the spirit and as it states in PMG "often concerns are more social than doctrinal. For example, investigators might fear opposition from family members if they join the Church. Or they might fear rejection from their friends at work. Whatever the concern may be, your investigators may have past experiences or other influences that are part of the concern that you do not understand. In many cases, members may be able to help you understand and help with their concerns." Members are such a great resource. I love the members here in Glenville and Schenectady. It's crazy, because when I call I might be telling you I'm leaving someplace or not. I hope I stay one more transfer. We had another investigator, Anna Mary, come to church as well. Unfortunately she didn't like the 3 hours, even though we told her, so she only stayed for the first hour of the Glenville ward which is Sunday School, and then left. We have quite a few investigators now who agree with everything we say and teach them, but they don't do anything about it. It's kind of frustrating. But we have some more less-actives who are wanting to come back to church, and we picked up a family of investigators right in Scotia this week. Hopefully the work keeps progressing. I haven't taught this family yet, because Elder Koyle picked them up with Elder Summers while I was on exchange with Elder Flaherty in Schenectady. It was so cool, he told me that I've progressed so much since I've gotten here (he was here when I got here), and that he can see how much I've improved. And I've seen it too. I'm much more comfortable now talking to people on the street than I used to be. A few weeks ago I even tried a new approach by saying "here's a card for a website with free stuff." It was amormon.org card and you can order bibles, book of mormons, and other LDS literature for free on it, so I wasn't lying!! We also have this couple, Vinnie and Mishawn we are teaching, which is very interesting. Vinnie has an unbelievable knowledge of the Bible, and he see's a lot of contradictions between the Bible and Book of Mormon. He doesn't believe the bible isn't perfect. It was funny, I suggested to Elder Koyle we read 2 Nephi 29 with them, and Elder Koyle was like, "we already did." (He and Elder Summers did that on exchange). They won't pray about the Book of Mormon which is very sad because you have to pray about it to gain a testimony of it. But they are very nice people, and offered to have us over for dinner. We are also teaching a guy named Eddie who says he want's to be baptized, but doesn't seem too reliable. He's already lost the first 2 Book of Mormons we have given him. But he's a great guy and loves the Lord!!The leaves are starting to come out on the trees.And the trees are beautiful here. I will have to send you the SD card home soon. It's really warming up here to, but it rains a lot. Another fun fact is there are a lot of Cardinals around here, and there really pretty and have a sweet call. It sounds kind of like a laser gun. I got one to call back to me the other day, which was fun. Anyways, love you all and I'll talk to you this Sunday!!! Have a great time in Bicknell!!

Ty