Monday, October 13, 2014

District Activity and Thatcher Park

Pumpkin patch!! 
District Activity!! 

                                                            Exchange in Albany!!
                                                                 With Elder Child!!

I took a legit bubble bath!!

We went to Thatcher Park today. Here are a lot of the pictures!!

First off. Thank you so much for the birthday package!! I actually got to have pumpkin pie today!! Haha. And I'm loving the experiences on my mission. It does have its challenges and hard times and attitude is everything, but the blessings are so real. I've changed so much. And fall colors out here are amazing. Better than anything I ever saw growing up. We need to visit the mission again, and it needs to be at this time of year. It's beautiful. So this week was amazing!! Elder Jepsen and I are still tearing it up. This week flew by!! I got to go on exchange with the zone leaders again. The albany zone leaders still have that amazing apartment, and after planning at night I took a legit bubble bath!! I also got to teach Sister Gies once. She is so prepared. She has already given up tea and coffee, and she is reading the book of mormon. She said the closing prayer at the end, it was pretty long, but very good. Also had lot of cool experiences with investigators and less-actives in my area too. We taught the Karg family a few times this week. Brother Karg isn't a member, and sister karg is less-active. They have really been progressing, but they haven't made it to church yet, and brother karg still isn't set with a baptismal date. They came to stake conference on Sunday!! In fact they drove us there!! It was so sweet. It was sweet!! Then we introduced them to President Wirthlin, and he invited him to be baptized right then and there!! It was so sweet. He's totally getting baptized. We are going to follow up with them on that. We also had a sweet experience with Sister Payne. She went less-active when I got here at the end of june, and she had been a member for only a couple of years. We heard she got hostile to the church. But she has always loved the missionaries. I messaged her on Facebook and she says that she would like us to start teaching her online again. And then she showed up at stake conference!! It was so sweet. Stake conference was legit. The was member missionary work and temple work!! Larry S. Kacher, who just spoke in this last October conference, was there and spoke both sessions on the importance of example. We also had the temple president there, who bore a powerful testimony of the temple. That's one of the things I miss the most. Haha. It was also great to see everyone from the glenville/schenectady wards again. We picked up Nancy as an investigator, and she is very prepared. I was in Albany when Elder Jepsen taught her the book of mormon, but she loves reading and is going to read it. We also have been sharing videos with Devan on facebook. She is an investigator we picked up last week. She loves it and we are going to meet with her this week. She even already asked where a church is in this area. The work here is truly hastening. And I'm so grateful to be a part of it. Schoharie is sweet. It's beautiful here. Have a great week mom!! Love you so much!!

Elder Richins

Monday, October 6, 2014

Fall 2014 Pics

Me and  a chinchilla

Here are a few fun 
Pics from the 
Fall in New York
Utica Mission!
Ed Sisson's pipes used to make maple syrup

Me holding a bird! (bird whisperer)

Beautiful Fall Here in 
New York!

The freaky cat museum in Catskill.

Most Awesome
Man Cave EVER!

Elder Neus and I in front of Rubbin Butts restaraunt (above). And Elder Jepsen and I (below) at Justine's with Ed and Karen Horhung for our birthday dinner!! His birthday is September 30th, so they met in the middle for both of us!!

Fisher of Men

Mom and Dad!! Dad thank You so much for keeping me updated on all the sports and such!! Elder Jepsen and I are both feeling a lot better!! This week was great!! Since I got sick last week we got to go to on two exchanges this week!! It was kind of weird being away so much from my normal companion, but I loved it!! First I got to go on exchange from wednesday morning to thursday morning with Elder Gardner. He came out to the field when I came to schoharie, late june! He's a boss!! We had a lot of fun together!! We taught 4 lessons, which was sweet. They have some way cool investigators and less-actives they are working with. Although it was kind of weird with this one less-active family they taught. There 26 year old daughter was flirting with me. She was hostile to our message but told me she would read the Book of Mormon if I wrote my testimony in it!! So I did. I won't ever see her again, but it was way weird. Especially since she was 7 years older then me. I don't think I have been more creeped out on my mission!! We also got to have dinner with the Receveurs and The Hudson Elders investigator family, the parents are named Mark and Mia!! President Receveur is sweet. He's been hunting all over the world, and has the sickest man cave I've ever been in. All the things he's shot, from moose to alligator to zebra to caribou in that room!! I'll send pictures. Don't know why Mark and Mia aren't getting baptized, they are so sweet and watch videos on mormon channel and are in Alma in the Book of Mormon. Unfortunately, I prayed for Mike and Mia instead of Mark and Mia, which was embarrassing. I hate when I do that. And it isn't the first time I've done it on my mission either.That was Hudson.Then on thursday, I came back to schoharie and worked with Elder Neus (who is in Greenville) for the day!! He is way fun and we had such a good time. We got to see David Philips, the sweet atheist guy who wants to believe in God. He and his family are so prepared for the gospel!! He also said he would teach me how to fly fish if we could get a day off or two!! Haha. But when we visit back, I'd love to take him up on that offer to teach me. He says he could have me casting in 20 minutes. He also gave me a sweet book called a river runs through it, which is about fly fishing. He said it's his favorite book and in the front he wrote "To Elder Richins, a fisher of men!" I was so excited!! He and his family are definitely getting dunked. Elder Neus and I also taught this girl named Devon, who we taught the 1st cornerstone to!! Her prayer at the end was so powerful. She just expressed she wanted answers to questions and strengthen her relationship with God. We met her about a week earlier. She yelled at us through her window when we were walking down the street and asked us if we were mormons, and when we said yes, she said she wanted to talk to us. The Lord truly does prepare people to receive the gospel. We didn't know she would be looking out her window at that time, but God did. He is hastening his work. There is so much potential here in Schoharie. The key is meeting frequently with people, and having short, frequent lessons. Also got to teach Bill Sherling a couple of times this week. The second time, his 2 year old daughter pooped her pants in the middle of the lesson. After he went up and cleaned her up and changed her, we resumed the lesson as normal. But she had a wedgie and pulled her pants and underwear down right as I started to testify about the sacrament. Elder Jepsen was trying not to laugh!! It was way awkward. Those awkward moments on the mission are good memories though. Haha. We also got to meet with the karg family this week. They didn't make it to church last week because brother karg slept in!! Ugh!! But he said he felt really bad, and they watched general conference!! General conference was amazing by the way!! So many great talks. And there was the theme of following the prophet and apostles!! I am so grateful we have the true gospel and living prophets and apostles to lead us and reveal God's will to us!! I hope you all have a great week! Love you all!! 

Elder Richins

PS. I lost my consecrated oil keyring this week, so If I could get a new one that would be sweet. Sorry I'm asking for so much stuff!! 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

September 29 2014

Mom and Dad,
This week was alright. It was kind of a bummer because Elder Jepsen and I both got sick. So we had to stay in for about 2 and a half days. We both cold fevers, really bad stuffy noses, and coughs. But the work here is really progressing. It's so awesome to be able to use facebook for proseltying purposes. We've really seen people progress as we have met with them for 30 minutes or less every other day. The Kargs are doing great. They didn't make it to church this week :/. But, the records says that before we ever met with them, they would never return phone calls, or set up return appointments, and they do that with us. Sister Karg even said she thinks it is Brother Kargs "time". She said he has been more interested in the lessons and involved than he ever has. Which is awesome, she's been a less-active member for years and he hasn't been baptized yet, and to get her reactivated and Brother Karg baptized would be so sweet!! We also have seen great progress with Bill Sherling who I bet will be reactivated. We also picked up a new investigator named Shawnya this week. She is really cool. She is the girlfriend of our investigator David Philips. Both of them are so sweet. David doesn't believe in God, but since he sees what we are doing and knows the values that mormons has, he wants to "make his kids mormon"!! Haha it's so sweet. Shawyna does have a belief in God, but doesn't go to any church, so that family is really prepared to hear the gospel. Elder Jepsen and I keep seeing miracles every week. We also had zone conference this week, which was really awesome!! There were trainings on facebook and how we can use it more effectively, which I really enjoyed. President Wirthlin also trained us a lot on faith. How faith is the beginning of everything, and we need faith to baptize people!! Can't believe It's already conference time again. Conference is the best!!! We also went to Howe's caves today, which was bigger and better than secret caverns, so I will be sending pictures home!! Also got some good pictures of the fall. It's supposed to be in full swing in a few weeks. Love you all so much and I'll talk to you soon!!

Elder Richins

PS. For my birthday, some nice, bright colored paisley ties would be nice. Paisley ties are the best!!

September 22 2014

This week was great!! I'm not too sure what the pumpkin patch is completely. I know that the Vandwerkens are in charge of it and it is a big event. There's apple cider donuts, and I think people purchase pumpkins, stuff like that. I will have to tell you when it actually happens. But Schoharie is so sweet!! The miracles keep on happening. My companion, Elder Jepsen is sweet. We have so much fun together. Since we came out at the same time, I never thought we would serve together, but we did, and we are having so much fun. We work hard, and have fun while doing it. You can't just work work work without enjoying yourself, otherwise I would die. But sharing the gospel with others is so awesome. It's all about the attitude. I can't believe It has already been a whole transfer with him. We didn't do more spelunking, but it is still sweet. The kargs are really progressing. Sister Karg has started to read in between visits, and she had some concerns about coming to church. She and her family haven't come yet, but she said yesterday as we taught her lesson 3 (the gospel of Jesus Christ) and talked about faith and repentance, she realized that she just needs to exercise her faith to come to church and not her concerns get in the way. We also taught Tom a couple of times this week. On Monday we introduced the Book of Mormon to him, and we went back on Wednesday to read with him and he was already through chapter 5 and explained it perfectly, like he was in the church already!! And then we texted him a few days ago, and he's up to chapter 11 or 12, I'm not sure on the exact chapter, but he is really progressing!! We also picked up a few new investigators this week as well. We picked up this one couple, Constance and Steve, and they are sweet. We just talked to them for a few minutes and shared a quick message with them and left them restoration pamphlets, and they asked us what makes our church different as we left. We are seeing them tonight!! We also met the Bloom family. They have gone less-active (I think recently to), so we stopped by them yesterday. They are sweet. They have this huge dog that was guarding there front door, and it was 8:00 so we were about to head in for dinner, and we had to knock on the back door, which they said startled them. But Brother Bloom and his son are really into fishing, so I was able to talk to them about that and get to know them. It's so cool to see how the lord prepares people to meet with the missionaries and accept the gospel. Whenever Elder Jepsen and I start visiting with someone, they have some interest or experience that really relates them to one of us. The computers in the library are fixed and that is were we are emailing today, so I will be able to send home pictures!! I'm also getting the hang of the facebook lessons, we are teaching more and more people on facebook. I love it. Being able to share videos from and for lessons is so sweet. There's a really sweet talk by Elder Bednar called "To Sweep the earth as with a flood" on that talks about the use of social media to hasten the work of salvation that is really good. Anyways, I don't really want anything for my birthday. Just save up money so we can buy the ipad and I can purchase ipad accessories (a case and screen protector). I also would like a sweater with long sleeves. I got one from a member that is a crew-neck, and President Wirthlin has asked us to only wear v-necks. So a v-neck long sleeved sweater. And did you get my question last week about the ties?? The one I really want is the pink one and black one with blue stripes across. The leaves are starting to change colors, so that is very exciting!! Love you so much mom and everyone!! Have a fantastic week!! 

Elder Richins