Sunday, August 31, 2014

Monday August 25, 2014

Well, This week was good. Hopefully the work will continue to progress. Unfortunately, things aren't looking to good with Sierra. We haven't been meeting with her as much, and if things don't change soon, we will have to stop teaching her. However, there are some great opportunities coming up to help the work continue to hasten. We met with a lot of less-active and part-member families this week. One of those families, the McCormacks, are having their son get baptized this Saturday. Elder Jepsen and I were invited to be there as witnesses. The dad, who is a non-member, will be there. Elder Jepsen and I will also be inviting all of our investigators to it this week as well. Hopefully that will go well and we will be able to help those who are interested feel the spirit. Facebook proselyting is great. Although you guys aren't allowed to communicate with me over facebook, it is encouraged that you share my facebook posts so more people can see them. That would be a great missionary opportunity for anyone in the family back home. So I encourage anyone who is willing to do it to try it out. Also, we picked up an investigator named Earl this week. He is really cool. Elder Jepsen and I had a pretty good lesson with him. It was really funny at the end we were being silent after the prayer and his rotweiler farted. Elder Jepsen and I were trying so hard not to laugh. It was really high pitched, and I've never had to try harder to keep myself from laughing than I did then.  He has some interesting beliefs, but when he cancelled our return appointment because something came up, he immediately rescheduled because he really wants to talk with us. I will also be going on exchange this week to Hudson with Elder Gardner. He's a pretty new missionary. He's only on his 2nd transfer, which was like January/February for me. But he seems like a really great guy and I am excited to work with him. Elder Jepsen and I are still having a lot of fun together and working hard. We also had a really cool experience yesterday with Brother Roberts. Some Lady named Lynne called us up and needed help with her family situation. She never punished her son growing up and just spoiled him, so he doesn't accept the consequences for his actions now, and he has no respect for her. Like he cusses at her and everything. And he is fallen for this girl who apparently has stolen everything from him and gotten him into a lot of trouble. He's tried to commit suicide and is currently in Jail. And Lynne was telling us all of this and I had absolutely no idea what to say to her, but Brother Roberts who had come teaching with us to our previous lesson was there, and he has seen his kids and himself go through similar situations, so he was able to help give her advice. After that, he told us that we shouldn't try to meet with her, and we agreed, because she isn't interested in the gospel. She just wants someone to listen to all her drama. And that is exactly what it was. And as missionaries we aren't supposed to go through that and don't deserve to go through that. But It was really cool as I thought about it the fact that of all the people who we could have gotten to come teaching with us that day, it was Brother Roberts. And that was a miracle. Because there is no way Elder Jepsen and I could have said anything to help her, but Brother Roberts could. What are the odds?? Haha the Lord truly does watch over each and everyone of us. Also Elder Jepsen and I got to go spelunking today at Secret Caverns. It's in Howes Cave, a little town close to Cobleskill in our area. My camera died right after I took the last picture, so I will send you pictures next week. I love you mom and Dad. Thank you so much for being such awesome parents. Hope you both and the whole family have a fantastic week.

Elder Richins
PS. I got a GPS today.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tearing it Up!


First off sorry if you got scared at all yesterday. We have been having computer problems lately at the church, and since the library is closed on Monday, we have to wait if those computers don't work till tuesday to email. So that is why I am emailing today instead of yesterday. Anyways, this week was wonderful. We have been authorized to use facebook in our missionary efforts. I can get on 1 hour each day, and use it to contact investigators and members, teach lessons online through skype and facebook chat, and share uplifting mormon messages and other stuff. I cannot contact anyone back home in anyway over facebook without President Wirthlin's permission, although it is recommended that anyone back home befriend and fellowship those Elder Jepsen and I teach online. It is a great tool to hasten the work, and a great responsibility. I haven't gotten the package yet, but I look forward to it. Glad to hear you all had a great time at the reunion. Jacob already had his farewell? He leaves in October right?? If so, that is early. And he would reference BYU and U of U. Haha. In addition to facebook, we had a great zone training meeting last thursday. The trainings were on having the faith to find people to teach and what are true desires are as we serve each and every day.I learned that no matter how hard the situations may seem, we must remember this is the Lord's work, and every area has people that he has prepared to receive the gospel. We just need to have faith to find, and we will be led to those who will receive us. I've seen that countless times in my mission. How unexpected people come into your path that have been prepared by the Lord. It is such a blessing to know how actively engaged he is in his work. Also learned how important desire is. It all starts with desire. Desires lead to the choices we make and the people we become. Desire is everything. And we need to remember our desires as we hasten the work and bring souls to Christ. Also met a lot of great people this week. We got to have dinner with the sweetest couple, but they are atheist, so it was a little frustrating. They were willing to let us indoctrinate them a little bit, but they seemed very hostile and uncomfortable. But they love the missionaries and are willing to feed us again. We visited a lot of part-member families this week, and are hopefully going to be able to start teaching them. We also got to know the Pearson Family yesterday. It was sweet. They are so nice and cool. They also want to have us over for dinner. Elder Jepsen and I are still tearing it up. I didn't get a gps yet. I might wait for a better deal. President Wirthlin has officially announced the ipad minis will come in a few months, and I will be expected to purchase it. So he told us to make sure our parents are aware of that. Love you so much mom. Thank you for all that you do and the example that you are to me. Tell everyone back home that I love them. Have a great week.
Elder Richins

This is what my torn up jeans looked like!!!!!

This is Chuck!

Thank you for the attachments. Sounds like you have a fun week. Hope that you are enjoying summer life. When does school start, is this your last week of summer?? Haha. That sounds like a way fun hike in capital reef. We will have to do a lot of outdoor stuff as a family when I get home. Good thing mom was safe while she hitchhiked. I would be nervous to do that. Love you little brother. Have a great week.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Rural Schoharie!!!

Hey Family,
So mom I took over the area this week with Elder Jepsen, and realized how useful a GPS would be. So I'm planning on buying one today. That's crazy how much fun you and the family are having this summer. I miss our family vacations. Hopefully we can all come back and tour the mission when I get home. We haven't used online proselyting yet, but we will be starting it before we get the ipads on the computers we email from at the churches and library. So I am very excited to start that.  Anyways this week was fantastic. Elder Jepsen is sweet. We weren't companions in the MTC, just in the same district. But we have had a lot of fun together. We work hard and we have fun while doing it. Elder Jepsen is from Lehi, so he is my first companion from Utah, and we are tearing it up. We taught a part-member family this week named the Kargs for the first time. Sister Karg and her son are less-active, and Brother Karg isn't a member, but is way friendly and enjoys talking with us. They let us right in. They are sweet. They live on the top of this rural hill, and you can't see anything from their house. It is all trees. They say they would want to come back to church, but we will see what happens. They are sweet too. Also talked with this man named Chuck. Total Redneck. He told us all these stories about him growing up and living on the farm in New Jersey. He had a pet skunk, and whenever his wife had friends over and it was late and he wanted them to leave, he would just tell them skunks come out at this time on the farm, and then let the skunk run out and scare all of his wife's friends away. Elder Jepsen and I were laughing pretty hard. He also told us how he trained his giant german shepherd that weighs 150 lbs to guard. If someone breaks in, he doesn't bark, he just waits for them to come in then gets them. He apparently got a robber by the throat once. But he told us the most funny story. He was training winston (the german shepherd) and some Jehovah's witnesses showed up at his door. Winston was still in  the process of being trained, and he got out and started chasing him. And Chuck meant to say Winston, come back here, but he said Jehovah get back here instead. Haha. So these two 70 year old Jehovah Witness missionaries dropped their bibles and ran faster than chuck thought possible. It was so funny. We are going to be doing some service for him this week at his farm, so we will probably use that as a doorway to start teaching him more.  It's so cool to see how important it is to love the people we serve, as we love them and are their friends, it is natural to share the gospel with them and they receive it well. Elder Jepsen and I also picked up and investigator named Judy yesterday. She read the Restoration pamphlet we left with her and said her beliefs are very similar to ours. She also has a lot of the good moral values that the church teaches us to have, so it was awesome being able to teach her. She is interested in learning more about the book of mormon, and also invited us to a pig roast dinner her church is having in a few weeks. So we were pumped for that too. That was my week. The lord truly does help us find those ready to receive the gospel as we are friendly and reach out in love to those people who aren't members or less-active, and help them enjoy the blessings of becoming converted. I love you all so much. Have a great time at the surprise 50th anniversary party/reunion, and tell everyone I say hi. 


PS. Since schoharie county is known as the bread basket of the revolution, the british once came through and burned all the crops. The first battle I believe was right here in the county as well. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

August 2014

Mom and Dad,
Glad to hear you had a good week and a great time bike riding. Raining, haha, it rains a lot here in New York. Anyways, sorry about yesterday. Hope I didn't give you a heart attack. Elder Thompson and I went to the church library like normal, and we both tried everything we could to log on, but we couldn't, so we had to push email back to today. Anyways, this week has been great. The work is truly hastening. We know for sure that in the coming months, probably by the end of 2014 at the latest, we will have the ipads and this transfer it looks like we are going to start online proselyting, using computers to get on facebook to contact investigators and find people to teach. I'm so excited. So many people are out there, and the internet is a great way to come in contact with those ready to receive the gospel. Transfers are tomorrow, and I'm taking over the area. Elder Thomspon is going to Lake Placid, I was a little jealous. Haha. It's sad to see him leave, but I am very excited to start working with my new companion Elder Jepsen, who came out with me!! We were buddies in the MTC!!!! It's going to be so much fun. Unfortunately, Sierra isn't really progressing anymore. For the first time, she dropped appointments and wasn't able to come to church last Sunday. However, things are looking up here as we plan to contact 2 member referrals this week. I'm very excited for that, because member referrals are so solid. Both Hannah and Whitney were greatly influenced by members before I ever met either one of them. Also had a cool experience with tracting. For the first time on my mission, I was able to teach someone as soon as we talked to them. Most people want a return appointment or aren't interested. Had lots of sweet corn this week. Schoharie county is nicknamed the bread basket of the revolution, because most of the food that supported the colonial army was grown here. I'm excited for the upcoming transfer. With the new ward mission leader and bishop, and hopefully the use of technology, the work will truly begin to hasten. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be able to able to serve a mission. It's crazy to see how much the gospel blesses our lives. There are so many people who don't understand the purpose of life or who God really is. Love you all and hope you have a fantastic week.