Thursday, December 25, 2014

December 15, 2014

Mom and Dad,
Yes we will definitely get to talk on Christmas. It will be my third call home. That is so crazy!! Anyways shoot hope Nick gets feeling better real soon!! This week was sweet though. We had some sweet experiences. We picked up a lot of new investigators this week. The work is really picking up!! Elder Ricks and I picked up quite a few new investigators this week. I had the most spiritual experience ever tracting this week. Even with the "8 step door approach" tracting isn't the most effective finding method, it's probably one of the worst and what we do as missionaries when their is absolutely nothing else to do. But you do hear stories about people who were tracted into and got baptized. So Elder Ricks and I were tracting, and we talked to this guy named Mike. We did the survey with him and he told us now wasn't a good time, but set up a time we could come back. He also gives us a coke. So Elder Ricks and I go back, and teach him the restoration. The lesson seemed like it was going ok. He was very robotic, asked us a few questions like if we were from utah and such. He knows the church headquarters are there. So we get through the lesson and I honestly couldn't tell if it was going good or bad, there was no reading this guy. But we invited him to pray to know if it was true, and as soon as he addressed Heavenly Father BOOM!! I felt the spirit so strongly. The strongest I have felt it in probably a few months. It was such a powerful spiritual experience. Elder Ricks felt it too. We actually looked up at each other as he prayed. After the prayer when we talked about what we felt, he simply said "I know Joseph Smith is a prophet of God." Turns out he got a book of Mormon from his friend 19 years ago. I was so stoked. I was certain we would set him with a baptismal date. He even initiated the baptismal commitment. He said "Guys it's a big commitment. And I know now you are going to say well if you know it is true, why won't you commit to it?" (Which was exactly what I thought of saying when he said that). He then told us he and his whole family is Catholic. And interesting thing is that he wants to meet with us in the afternoon, not the evening. Which I think might be because he doesn't want us coming over when his wife is home. (But that's my speculation). But we are going to keep reading with him. He says he doesn't have his book of mormon anymore, so we will go back and teach him the second experience. And as he reads the book of mormon, he will get baptized in his own time. No doubt. He's so sweet. He's from Sri Lanka and grew up with pet leopards and has ridden his friends pet elephants. I was a little jealous when we found that out. But what are the odds that we decided to tract that street? It's so cool being on a mission and seeing miracles like that happen so much! We also picked up  TJ this week. He is really cool. He doesn't believe in God, but is very open to the idea of God and says he will believe if the evidence (like missionaries and the book of mormon) present itself. He also has a very good fried who just got off his mission. So those were two cool experiences to see how much God is involved in his work. We also picked up another family of 9 this week named Ashley and Brandon. Don't know where that will go yet. They both said they would get baptized, but it was with a "why not, we can do it again" attitude. They will also need a ride to church. We also picked up a former pastor this week named Chad. Don't know where he will go. He is open to learning more and doesn't bash, so that is really good. We also had an interesting experience this week with bashers. They invited us in. We asked them what they thought about the Christmas message we shared with them. The first thing they asked us was "how can you believe in the Godhead?" Completely changed the subject and tried to prove to us that the Trinity exists. Haha. It's always fun to have those experiences with the people who try to teach you rather than you teach them. The weather has been really mild here. It was around 37 today. It's a lot warmer than last winter. Love you all so much and hope you all have a fantastic week.

Elder Richins

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