Thursday, September 18, 2014

Pics

Elder Colby Gardner and Elder Richins

Elder Richins and Elder Hunter Neus

Elder Richins and Elder Andrew McPherson

hissing cockroach from Madagascar




 Elder Richins and Elder Jepsen are working and playing hard!
Elder Richins, Elder Chris Klima and Elder Jacob Jepsen

Elder Jason Geminert and Elder Richins

Monday, September 15, 2014

Staying in Schoharie with Elder Jepsen!


Mom,
So glad to hear that your surgery went well. I will take pics of the fall colors for sure!! Right now the computers at the church are down, so I won't be able to send home some pictures until those get up and running again. The library we use for computers in Schoharie has some weird protocol that prevents me from uploading them. Anyways this week was great, just like last. We still taught a lot, and it is so cool to see how important it is that we maintain constant contact with the investigators, part-member families, and less-actives we teach. The new teaching method is really focused on short, frequent lessons, 30 minutes at the most, but oftentime, those visits can be only 15 or 20 minutes. And it's cool to see how much quicker the people progress in the gospel. We were able to meet a couple of times with the Kargs, they are so sweet. We taught them the plan of salvation, and they really enjoyed it. It is so cool to see the people you teach feel the spirit and help them see that that is the Holy Ghost testifying to them that what we are sharing is true and can truly bless their lives. Schoharie is really booming. The ward is starting to develop a ward mission plan, and it is cool to see how the members are getting excited about missionary work. We did have a few appointments cancel, but we got to meet with some really cool people too. We met with a less-active, Miranda Bender, who says she is never home, and it was a miracle that we were able to catch her and meet with her. And she says she is on Facebook all the time, so now we will be able to share the gospel with her. We got transfer calls this last Saturday. Elder Jepsen and I will be staying together another transfer, which we are way excited for. We will be together for both of our birthdays and the pumpkin patch, which is a huge event in Schoharie county that the Vanderwerken Family Hosts. We are excited for that because it will be a great opportunity to meet new people. We also get free food there (the vanderwerkens are members). We also got to teach this week with Brother Roberts, one of the funniest guys I've met on my mission. We always have a laugh with him!!! Love you mom and I love you all. Hope you all have a fantastic week.

Sincerely,
Elder Richins
PS.  I was wondering if you could send me out all of my ties that I left home?? As I reviewed my facebook profile, I noticed I left some sweet ties home, so that would be great.

Killer Week!


Mom,
This week has been fantastic. Full of miracles. Elder Jepsen and I had a killer week this week. Elder Jepsen and I got to go on exchange with the traveling elders in our mission. The traveling elders are Elders Watkins and Klima, and they go around the mission and split up and work with companionships. Elder Watkins went and worked with the Greenville elders, and Elder Klima came and worked with elder Jepsen and I. I learned so much on the exchange. I learned how important attitude is and how it is related to faith. My vision of missionary work and what I can truly accomplish has been changed. Elder Klima came and told us how if we simply have faith, the expectation that something is going to happen, and are positive about the work, miracles happen. And they did. And it was simply a change of attitude  and expecting we could truly accomplish more. I've taught more this week than I ever have in my mission. We tripled the amount of lessons per week we have been averaging, and we still had appointments cancel. We picked up 11 new investigators, and started teaching some sweet less-active and part-member families. Where to begin. First we picked up two sweet new investigators through member referrals. One of them is named Tom, who hasn't ever really had a religious background, but is dating the less-active daughter of the Scott family who referred us to him. It was a sweet lesson. We taught the restoration and are going back to teach him about the Book of Mormon tonight. He's a really good guy, and I can't wait to keep working with him. We also taught David, another member referral who doesn't believe in God, but after we taught him the restoration, he said the whole time we were teaching him, he felt this "spiritual high" throughout the entire lesson. He asked us to teach his 10 year old son, who believes in God and keeps asking him questions, and said we would be perfect to teach him. David himself said when I asked him that he would love to believe our message. He just needs to accept the reality of God and he will be there. He agreed to come with his son to church next Sunday, and the member who referred us to him is holding a family home evening tonight that we will attend with him and a few other people we are teaching. He wants to give up smoking and alcohol as well. He is so prepared. Him and his son will definitely be baptized soon. We also started teaching the Karg and Hellstrom families. Both of them are less-active and part-member families. Brother Hellstrom and Sister Karg are less-active members, and both of their spouses are non-members. Both families love the missionaries. Now with the new teaching method and short, frequent lessons, we will be able to visit with them more often and help them progress in the gospel as well. Also a less-active member named Bill Sherling Jr, who has been inactive for years, came to sacrament meeting yesterday, even though we hadn't even invited him. He doesn't seem to know too much about the gospel, but both times we have taught him he has loved it. We have taught him about the Book of Mormon and the restoration. He just showed up to church. Another guy named Bill (not Bill S.) who we haven't even taught yet also came to church, and we will start teaching him Tuesday. We were able to meet and teach a lot of members this week, including the two most recent converts in the ward, Lexi and Victor, and Victor brought his girlfriend to church. The work is truly hastening. And fall is in the air. The leaves are starting to change color. I love it out here in farm country!!! Fresh produce for days!! But there were so many miracles and it is so cool to see how if we just have faith and a positive attitude the Lord will work miracles in our lives. Haha. And Elder Klima is such a stud!! He loved it here in Schoharie. Elder Jepsen and I are convinced we are his favorite exchange. Elder Jepsen and I have a lot of fun. We work hard, but you have to enjoy yourself while doing it. And that is so cool to hear that you and the family are continuing to learn things from PMG. I love the introduction to the BOM, as well as the testimony of the witnesses.  I love you so much mom. Have a fantastic week.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Spelunking, Primary, Oysters and WHAT?! - Pineapple Iced Tea?!!


Mom and Dad,
Man can't believe how quickly time flies by!!! It's already September!! That is so crazy!!! This week was awesome!!! We got in contact with a lot of people this week!!! We taught Bill Sherling Jr, a man who is about 40 years old but has been inactive since he left the house!! The spirit was so strong. We taught the Restoration of the gospel, and he really seemed to be interested and sincere!!! He doesn't seem to know too much about the gospel, but he prayed out loud at the end of the lesson, and it was awesome. Elder Jepsen and I talked about the lesson after, and I thought it was really good!! I think it's the best lesson we have taught together, and probably the best one I have taught in quite awhile. Also got to go on exchange to Hudson this week!! It was way fun!! Elder Gardner is a boss!! We taught a less active lady who is starting to come back to church, and her cat was on Elder Gardner's lap the whole time, and during the lesson, it would outstretch its claws into his skin and he would make the funniest faces while he was in pain. Also met Jeremy. Jeremy told us all about the doctrine of resurrection!! How resurrection is all about oysters, cows, and leprechauns, and only a few people are resurrected because there is a shortage of oysters in the world. Haha. Elder Jepsen and I laughed so hard afterwards. You meet some people with very interesting beliefs as a missionary, because you talk with everyone!! Also had a crazy adventure teaching the 4 and 5 year olds for primary the other day!!  Elder Jepsen and I didn't know how to control them, and  we couldn't even teach. They would just start hitting each other or taking our stuff our lifting up chairs around. So for the last 30 minutes of class, Elder Jepsen and I just played the quiet game with them, and whoever won got a cheeze it. That seemed to work. Then we gave them some cheeze its at the end of church, and they put them on the ground and started eating them off the floor. I told them to stop because of how gross doing that is, then their grandpa came, and when I told him to control his grandkids he said "Yeah, you go pick that up with your tongue right now!" Haha I love the members here in Schoharie. They are so funny!! Elder Jepsen and I also met this crazy girl who thinks she can make it rain with her emotions and called us in the morning after being awake for 72 hours straight. She is crazy and Elder Jepsen and I were laughing so hard after we left. We are having so much fun together. Also we had an awesome district meeting. One of the elders in our district, wanted to get a haircut on thursday. So his companion, who is very funny, missed a spot so he had a mohawk. And what a coincidence, President Wirthlin decided to show up at that district meeting and cut this elders hair. We were laughing really hard. The leaves are starting to change. We also had dinner with a less-active/part member family yesterday, the Devitto's. They lived in Hurricane Utah, down south by St. George, and their house looked like that was where they are from!! The member of the house don't know (at least I don't think) too much about the church, because after I tasted my delicious drink, I asked what it was. It was half pineapple juice, half iced tea. So I had to excuse myself to go the bathroom to drink out of the water halfway through the meal, which ended up tasting like it had sulfur in it. It was awful. But they are such a sweet family, and very funny too. But I'm so excited for this month. We have more appointments scheduled this week than I have ever had here in Schoharie, the Lord truly is hastening his work. The leaves are just starting to change color. Love you Mom and Dad, and have a great week.

 Spelunking!!

The Alligator