Sunday, June 28, 2015

June 22, 2015

Mom,

 Yeah snapping turtles are around here, but those are the only two I have seen on my mission! Today for pday we are go up to lake ontario. I just realized I never have told you about Ginger and her exteme couponing! So Ginger and her sister do it together. They get a ton of coupons and know all the ins and outs of getting the best deals, and end up making money or paying only a dollar for 50 items and then she sells it at her yard sale for the half price of walmart and makes bank. She has a facebook page with like 6,000 people. She has all sorts of stuff though. Shampoos, laundry soaps, hygiene supplies, and all sorts of stuff. I'll have to take pictures when we help her with the next sale. It will be this saturday, she does them every other saturday! It's sweet though. I need to learn how to do it so I can save a ton of money!

This week was pretty good though. The Warthens are still awesome! And Ginger is making huge progress. When I first got here, she had no opposition to the rest of the family having lessons and learning more about the church, but she wasn't at all interested. So we have focused on getting Bro Warthen and Ana re-activated rather than getting her to think about baptism. But now she is looking into the church again. She will still take some time for baptism, but Elder Jackman gave her some talks about how prophets and apostles are chosen (that was one of her big questions) and she gets that now and wants to know more about Joseph Smith and why he was called to be the prophet! So that is really exciting. She had surgery on her neck this past week, and we gave her and Sebastian priesthood blessings as well. Unfortunately, her surgery didn't go to well and they had to stop halfway through due to her blood pressure dropping so low. Her neck was way swollen so the surgeons tried going through her shoulder and hit the jugular vein, so they couldn't finish the surgery. They didn't come to church this week unfortunately but they are still making big progress. Another miracle was Brother Warthen asked how old Sebastian had to be to be baptized. When we said 8, he and Ginger immediately said we should start teaching him lessons. They asked Sebastian if that's what he wants and he said yes! It's awesome to see the progress that whole family has been making! I love them so much! You will have to meet them when we visit the mission after I get home. They are the coolest family ever. Seriously. You guys will love them.  Our other less-actives are interesting right now. Bro Fuller came to church again. He's sweet and doing really well. But other than him, a lot of the less-actives we have been teaching seem to be getting stagnant and not really progressing. We will have to figure that out. Because if people don't progress, you have to be bold with them so they do progress or you stop going over there. Time is short and we are out to find the elect. Also had my second to last zone conference this last week. What's even crazier is that it was President and Sister Wirthlin's last zone conference and probably the last time I will see them on the mission. They go home July 2nd, in 11 days! Crazy! I'm going to miss them so much. They are so awesome. Best mission president and wife I could have asked for the majority of my mission. But I have heard good things about President and Sister Rogers, and it will be interesting to see what changes they make to the mission. The zone conference was really good. We focused a lot on the restored teaching method (how to teach PMG) and how there are various applications (how we teach the gospel and the restored teaching method) for the same principles of the gospel. It was really good and really helped me see how much we can adapt our teaching to the needs of those we serve. Which I've learned is crucial to helping people have spiritual experiences. There are so many different gospel truths you can teach and ways you can teach them using the pictures of the restoration pamphlet and the other missionary pamphlets of the church. We practiced with the restoration pamphlet. So it was a really good zone conference. We also had some interesting experiences this week trying a lot of people to build up the teaching pool! We met quite a few former investigators this week. Erin was one of them. She's...interesting. We went over there on saturday to introduce ourselves, and she said she was open to being taught. So yesterday we went over there to teach her the restoration. Boy what an experience that was. She just said the weirdest things and I felt like she wasn't even listening to what we were saying. When I asked her what a prophet was, she went off on some tangent about how its the energy between the mother and child when the mother gives birth and the energy of the community and social interactions that make it a positive experience (or something like that). I was flabbergasted. I honestly had no idea what to say when she said that. She went of on that tangent and all other sorts of things. We probably won't go back. We also visited another former named linda who is a die hard catholic, but is open to learning about the church. I don't get why she says she is die hard catholic though. She doesn't go to church, probably doesn't read the bible, and all that stuff. I don't know if I have told you this before, but people are generally weird in New York. But I love them. Anyways, love you all and have a great week!!

Elder Richins

 Dad I am so sorry, but happy belated father's day! Thanks for being the best dad ever. Yeah the bolts sound like they looked good though and will be good for quite some time. 

Fishing is sweet. Haha.  Fishing is awesome, I miss it and can't wait to fish with you again. But speaking of fishing, This week the Warthens are taking us up to fly fish on the salmon river in pulaski. They are good friends with a world renowned fly fisherman who is a guide and a millionaire. Ginger says she has never seen someone fish without one being huge. They own property that they let him fish on and vice versa, and he also owns property in alaska. Were going to fish the part of the river were the salmon spawn. It isn't salmon season, but ginger said the guide caught a 40 pound trout the other day. She said we would get huge fish, at least 15 to 20 pounds if not bigger. And that he will provide the gear and teach us the tricks and get us catching those big ones in no time. And then for dinner he will fillet them and we will have a good old time. They already set it up with skeeter (that's the guides name) and everything. He has security on his property to, so it will be just us on the river. It will be nice. I'll send you pictures of what we catch! Love you dad. 

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