Mom and Dad,
This week has been good. I'm super stoked because of how the work is going. Before that though, I will update you on some of the sad things that happened this week. Katrina dropped us. Her mother in law and husband expressed their concerns to her about meeting with us, and she said she thought it was best that she didn't meet with us anymore. It was a real bummer, because she had some powerful spiritual experiences when we taught her. Hopefully she will accept the gospel down the road. Elder Kunzler and I didn't see it coming, especially since we thought Brett was warming up to us. We also had to drop another investigator, Bob Seymour as well. One of the things I've observed on my mission is how hard it is drop people. You really come to love them and begin to have a small understanding of how much God loves them! Now to the good stuff. We have a meet the mormons movie night coming up in April that Elder Kunzler, Myself, Sister Mayer, and Sister Collette, (the owego sisters) and Brother Cox, our ward mission leader are putting on. We are trying to get all of our investigators, less-actives, and recent converts that we work with there. We also are trying to get as many active members to come and prayerfully select a nonmember friend they could bring to it as well. We've made flyers, are going to get it in the newspaper and pennysaver, and are doing everything we can to advertise it. I'm really excited for it. We are hoping to get a lot of contacts and new people to teach from this event, and it's a great way to get the members involved as well. Members are crucial to success in missionary work! If members have the missionary mindset and help the missionaries serving in their ward/branch the best they can, the work just goes so much better! Hector is doing great. Teaching Hector has been a wonderful experience and I've learned a lot from it. He turned 80 yesterday, but I had no idea how much he could change when we first taught him. He never went to school, he can't read, and he has a really hard time remembering things. At first, he agreed to be baptized, but I wondered if he could ever get there. As the weeks have gone by he has changed so much. He's been coming to church all along, but I've wondered if he comes just because we invite him. (He's really lonely). But now he's praying on his own. I already told you how he said his first, non-recited prayer last week. But his prayers are improving and he can just about pass a baptismal interview now and will be baptized in a few weeks! The great thing I've really learned though is that the lord looks on the heart. Because Hector has probably the greatest heart of anyone I have worked with on my mission. It's also continuing to warm up! Which I am really excited for. We also had zone conference this week. The Assistants trained on consecration and President Wirthlin had the regional family history consultant come and they trained us on family history and how to use it as a finding tool. They even tried to convince us that family history isn't just the thing you do once you are retired! Haha. But I loved the assistants training. You really need to be consecrated to see true miracles and blessings come on the mission. As you do so, not only does the work go better, but you are also changed yourself. And I'm not going to lie and act like I'm a perfectly consecrated missionary or person, because no one is. But it is a process we all strive for. So I pondered on things I could do to become more consecrated for the rest of my mission. It was really good. Hopefully Esther is doing ok. She didn't come to church yesterday because she has been in the hospital with blood clots, we are seeing her tonight so hopefully she's doing better. Also Mike and Geri are actually getting back in town this week. (They've just been extending their time out of town again and again) but I'm excited to work with them again. The Mercer's didn't come to church :/. They need to actually keep their commitments. They are under a lot of stress right now because they are trying to find an apartment since they are being kicked out of their house in a few weeks and they still haven't found anything, so hopefully that will all work out. Love you all and have a great week!!
Love Elder Richins