Monday, November 3, 2014

New Companion...Elder Ricks!





Susquehanna River





Me and my new companion
Elder Ricks!







Mom,
I love the Sissons!!!!! They are so funny and cool!! Elder Jepsen and I love them. I want to go hunting with him when I get off the mission. Did he show you pictures of his house, or talk about Ambit energy at all or the Brigham beard? Haha I miss them so much!! Leaving schoharie was bittersweet. Monday and Tuesday Elder Jepsen and I tore it up. We picked up a few new investigators and taught 9 lessons in those two todays, and monday is pday. Then I went to transfers in Utica. It was sweet because I got to get a picture with President Wirthlin and see a lot of good old friends. It's weird that Elder Lords, my zone leader who was 13 months into his mission when I came out went home. I miss Schoharie and Elder Jepsen a lot. We had so many adventures there. But Elder Ricks (my new companion) is really cool and I'm excited and confident for the new adventures that await me here in Owego!! So I will start with the apartment. It is actually part of the upstairs of Bishop and Sister Knudsen's house. They are awesome. We are located in Newark Valley and cover Newark Valley, Candor, Berkshire, and part of Owego. The Owego sisters cover most of Owego, Apalachin, and Nichols. We get to do laundry at their place and use their computer and ipad for facebook. I scared Sister Knudsen pretty badly today. Bishop and her both leave for work really early in the morning. Elder Ricks was loading laundry and I was by the fireplace, and Sister Knudsen came back in for something and didn't know we were there. I just said morning and she jumped pretty bad. I must admit I've had really nice apartments on my mission. I'll hit a year without ever having to use a laundromat. Anyways, the ward here is smaller than Schoharie. Only about 80 people attend each week. I also forgot what it was like to share a ward with another set of missionaries. I can't remember if I told you Elder Jepsen and I were the only two missionaries in the Schoharie ward or not, but we were. Now we share the ward with Sisters. So naturally we get fed a lot less here. But I'll live. Halloween was sweet. We got permission from President Wirthlin to watch the Saratov approach on halloween with the Knudsen's and the Owego Sisters. It was so fun!!! We aren't teaching a ton of people here, but that will change real soon. My testimony that there are people ready to receive the gospel was strengthened so much in Schoharie. I got there and we had one investigator and maybe one less-active we were teaching by my 2nd week there. And when I left we had gotten up to 15 investigators and 8-10 less-actives. And I look forward to doing the same thing here!!! And the few people we are teaching here are really awesome. We have an investigator named Brother Mercer, whose wife is a member who joined a couple of years ago. They are so sweet. We just need to get Brother Mercer confident enough to quit smoking, then He will be baptized. They have pretty bad health problems too, so it is hard for them to come to church. He used to love horseback riding though!! Elder Ricks and I decided to start over with the lessons for him, and he mentioned in the lesson how one 24 hour day to Heavenly Father is 1,000 years for us. I'm pretty sure he is the only investigator I have who will ever say something like that in the lesson and knows that much about the gospel. We are also teaching a lady named Valorie. She is interesting. She's sweet on her good days, but she has bad days too. When Elder Ricks and I went over there the first time, I was able to meet with her. We didn't have a male with us and she lives alone, so we thought we could meet with her real quick on her porch. Elder Ricks said that they had done that before in similar weather to what is was that day, but she didn't remember, because she wasn't too happy. So we rescheduled for the next day, and she was a completely different person. So we will see. I asked Elder Ricks if she is bipolar, and he said he wasn't sure, but he wouldn't be surprised. We are also teaching a sweet recent convert named Brandon Hill. I didn't realize before my mission how much some missionaries are involved in working with less-active members and recent converts. But he's way solid. His mom was also recently reactivated, and the rest of their family isn't active, yet. We also have these investigators, the Hoffmiers, who are farmers and taught me all about cows and the difference between a cow, 2nd heffer, and 1st heffer. We also milk their cows for them for service, so that will be sweet. It's getting chilly here. Snow can come anytime now. Also yesterday at dinner with the Richardson's I got to dish out everyone their chicken. We were starving since it was fast sunday, and I gave Elder Ricks the smallest piece. It was so funny!!  Love you all and hope you have a great week.
Elder Richins

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