Monday, May 4, 2015

March 30, 2015 HECTOR'S BAPTISM!

So this week was great. It's hard to believe how fast time flies the older you get, and I've heard that time doesn't slow down after the mission either. So that's crazy! Mom - I can't believe you are going to Mongolia though! You guys are all doing these way fun things while I am gone, and I just can't wait to spend time with the family and have more adventures with all of you guys. But that will be so soon. I still can't believe how long I've been out looking back. I don't feel like I have been out that long.  Anyways, this week has been great. I'll start off with the highlight of the week, Hector's baptism. It was so sweet. It was probably the most spiritual baptismal services I have been to on my mission! Elder Jolley gave a talk on baptism, and then we watched mormon messages on easter and the blessings of the atonement of Jesus Christ. I then gave a quick talk on the holy ghost, and Brother Shumway welcomed him to the Elders Quorum and Bishop Demming welcomed him to the ward. Hector is so sweet though. Like I have said before, he has such a good heart and great desires to do what is right. It's been a huge miracle seeing how he has improved and now can remember the commandments we have taught him and lives them. But he was solid with his commitments. He pretty much quit coffee cold turkey when we told him about the word of wisdom, and he wanted to donate money to the church before his baptism. He's on the right path. He has expressed that he might move, but he says no matter where he goes, he still wants to go to church! He really loves it. He loves the members of the church as well. How friendly they are. So it has been cool to see once again how important members are in missionary work! He's going to be such a good member. And his family is going to be so blessed, because now he is going to prepare for the temple and can do baptisms for his ancestors! So that will be sweet. I hope I will be able to keep in contact with him though. Since he is pretty poor, he only has a land line phone #, and if he moves, I won't have that. Hopefully he will move while either myself or Elder Kunzler is here so I can call him every once in awhile after the mission. I can't wait to introduce you guys to all the awesome people I have met on my mission. I've loved the investigators, less-actives, and recent converts I've taught, as well as the active members I've built relationships with as well. Stacey is doing really well too. She is one of the less-actives Elder Ricks and I taught. She's been re-activated, and now she's a ward missionary and she is on fire! She's really helping us out with missionary work! We also have started teaching Valorie again. Elder Ricks and I taught her for a little bit, but she always got really angry and contentious, so we had to stop. But she's really different now. She's started coming to the weekly institute we have each week, and she came to Hector's baptism as well. Brother Mercer came to church again to. That's the second week in a row and the second time since I've been here, and I've taught him the whole time I've been here. We were ready to drop him, because he had been saying he wants to come to church and quit smoking and be baptized, but he has never done it until now. So I'm excited about that. I did hear about Alex. Tell him hi for me and to keep being awesome! Esther is struggling right now with some family issues, so she didn't make it to church. But general conference is coming up, so that's good. I can't wait for her, Hector, the Brunos, and everyone else we are teaching to watch conference this upcoming weekend. We also got to teach Mike again! The one from Sri Lanka. He might be moving in May, and he has been out of town for the past six weeks, so Elder Kunzler and I were really excited about being able to start working with him again. Like Hector, he said once he moves, we can send the missionaries to him. He will get baptized. So will Gerri, although we weren't able to see her this week because of how sick she has been feeling. But Esther has talked with her on the phone and she is still reading the scriptures. It sure will be sweet to teach her again, hopefully this week. The movie night is going to be sweet to. We have visited almost all of the active members in our area and have given them the flyers we made for it to share with their friends and family. We already have a few members who have said they have friends/family who have committed to come. Also on the consecration, I think I am doing well. I've definitely learned a lot about becoming consecrated and submitting our will to the lord's on my mission, and have seen the wonderful refinements and blessings that come as we do so. But there is always room for improvement. But I am doing my best, and that's what matters. Also we had a fun experience finding this week. We knocked on the door of Bob who knows a lot about the church. He's Presbyterian but his ancestors were personal friends of Joseph Smith who were converted. But they later were excommunicated by Brigham Young because they didn't come back from the Mormon Battalion, so now they are presbyterian again. But he has some of the book of mormon, and has done a lot of family history and went out to the library in salt lake. But he makes atlatl's, and he let us check them out and even shoot a few of the darts! It was so fun!  Happy Easter to everyone back home! I am so grateful for the atonement of Jesus Christ, and all of the blessings that come from it. Everything is connected to the atonement. Without Christ, we couldn't receive the wonderful blessings that we know the restored gospel offers us. I love you Mom and love you all back home! Have an amazing week!

Elder Richins

 Here is the Atlatl!

Hector's Baptism!!!!

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