Monday, July 27, 2015

Sticking to the Task!

Fun times with sisters at the lake! Didn't have time to send this one last week!

I wasn't too happy about this last Monday...

Mowing the Lawn!

Well, this week was pretty good. Elder Hammond and I are still just trying to pick the work up and see miracles. We actually did see more new people this week than last, so that was really good. One of the families we are teaching, the brewers are really sweet. They are all recent converts and love the missionaries and the gospel. However we definitely will need to review the lessons with them though. To see how much they remembered from the first 3 lessons, Elder Hammond and I played jeopardy with them. The questions were all based on the first 3 lessons in chapter 3 of PMG. John Brewer is really funny to. He always goes for the hardest questions and gets really into jeopardy. We also taught them about priorities and putting the gospel first in their lives. That went well. But they didn't make it to church because he had a job to do this Sunday and Louise and Jacob couldn't find a ride.  The Gates are doing alright. They didn't come to church this week because they were going to go camping, but they didn't. But we taught them the teabag object lesson (for the gospel of Jesus Christ) and went over the hand signals for the 10 commandments as well. They should be coming to church. Bridget definitely has the desire to. Hopefully they will get there. Ronnie isn't progressing at all. We had a really good lesson with him. He was really upset about how stressed he was with life and how people always come to him for help and stuff like that. We mostly just listened and shared some scriptures with him about overcoming trials and the atonement of Jesus Christ, and talked about the peace and happiness the gospel brings. It went really well and it looked like he was going to start keeping commitments, and then he didn't show up at church after he said he would be there. We might have to drop him this week. He's a nice guy, but he might need a break from the missionaries. We will figure it out. We also taught April again this week with brother Magee. We did the priorities lesson with the ping pong balls and rice again (like we did with the brewers). April should be active, but she just needs to get Sundays off work. But bro Magee was a boss teaching. His testimony and ability to relate to April reminded me of how much better appointments go if we get members to come with us. I've really gained a testimony on the importance of members in missionary work on my mission. We also saw the Clarks this week. Sister Clark is the one who doesn't come because she got offended. Her husband Dick is a non member. Very friendly though. We just got to know him since he wasn't there the first time we went over to their house and shared a quick message on the savior's love for all of us. They seem like they are having us over just to be nice, but they don't seem too interested. We are going to teach them the plan of salvation this week, hopefully that will go well and spark their interest. I also had a fun time at the stake event we had on Saturday. It was awesome because since I'm in the owego stake, I got to see the Larsons, Knudsens, Brunos, and Bishop Demming again. We also played two hand touch football with a bunch of missionaries and members which was way fun. It's weird though because these past few weeks when people have been asking me how long I have been out and I've said 20 months and they say "oh so you are almost done." It's so weird how fast it has gone by. But you have got to stick to the task til it sticks to you and finish strong. I can't wait to see what miracles and experiences await me these last few months of my mission. Love you all and hope you have a great week!
Elder Richins


 I forgot to mention this in my big email to the whole family, but we had dinner with the bontorno family, and brother bontorno is sick. He plays hockey. And we are going to go play indoor hockey today at the church. President approved it as long as we don't get hurt. Haha. So I am way stoked for that. Hopefully I will be able to shake off most of the rust. Love you dad and have a great week!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Working Hard!

Me and Sister Whitley!

Porkie and Louise! Great people in fulton!

The Warthens in Fulton! Love that family!

Me And elder Jackman!

Mormon lake!

Hey Everyone,
This week was quite interesting. Now that I have had a bit more time to be here in Elmira, I can tell you a bit more about the area. Elmira is sweet. The ward members here are so solid and supportive of the missionaries. It's been great. The teaching pool is slowly building up. Elder Hammond is pretty cool. He has only been out for 6 months or so, but he's got a desire to be out here. We both really just want to work hard, have fun, and get the area booming again since it was closed for the 6 weeks prior to us both being here. We teach some pretty cool people too. The Brewer family is doing awesome. They are all recent converts. They love having us over though, and Jacob and Louise both want to serve missions. Jacob also loves coming teaching with us, which is very helpful. Our only investigator right now is Ronnie, and he has been investigating for a long time! He says he wants to get baptized, but then he just doesn't keep the commitments. So we will see where it goes. We taught him the rat trap object lesson on faith to him this week, but we couldn't really meet with him otherwise. He had to reschedule. If he doesn't make some progress this week, we will drop him. The Gates are a less-active family we are working with. They are super cool. They should be active. They believe it's true and everything, but they need transportation to church. But we have a ride for them already set up, so there is no worries there. They weren't there yesterday though because some of the kids were sick. Those 3 families are the people Elder Hammond and I have been seeing since we got here, but this last week we were blessed to find some new people to teach as well. We got to teach a less-active named April for the first time. She is really sweet. She has a testimony of the gospel and everything, but she needs to work on sundays. So we are going to try to help her figure out how to get to church, because she wants to be there, she just can't right now. But the lord will provide a way as we all exercise our faith. But it will be sweet working with her. We also met another less-active, Sister Clark. She is interesting. She claims she still has a testimony of the gospel, and was very friendly to us and we definitely felt the spirit as we visited with her. But she was offended by someone, and hasn't been to church since. Which is really sad. So we will see where that goes. She and her husband (a non-member) go to some church (I think Methodist) and are very involved in it. So we will have to see where that goes. We also have been able to meet with quite a few members and have been able to get a few member referrals here as well. . We met quite a few other people who couldn't schedule appointments or cancelled them, but we will find those who are looking. But I know the work will continue to hasten here One sad thing that happened this week was that the horseheads sisters closed. One of the sisters had to go home and the other one went up to new Hartford. It stinks though. We were going to have such a fun transfers. We were involved in a harmless prank war with them. Don't worry, we made ground rules so it wouldn't interfere with the work at all, break any rules, or lose any members trust. But we had some sweet plans for the prank war this upcoming transfer. But now it's just us and the zone leaders in the ward. The zone leaders here are way cool, Elders Deka and Summers. But that was kind of sad. We went up to Mormon lake with the sisters though before they had to leave. We also had dinner with the Rodriguez's. They are sick. Brother Rodriguez is a huge runner, and runs half marathons and all that. Sister Rodriguez is a chiropractor who will adjust our backs for us, so that's going to be really nice. Another sweet member is Pammie. She is so fun! WE always have a blast when we go over and visit her for dinner or to do service. But that's it for this week. Love you all back home and have a great week!
Elder Richins

Monday, July 13, 2015


Well first off this week was pretty great. Although fishing with the warthens didn't work out. I was pretty bummed about that. But things came up I couldn't control and there will be other times to go fishing for huge trout and salmon, so I got over it pretty quickly. It was sad to leave the warthens though. They seriously are such a sweet family. I miss visiting them so much. They are so sweet, and they are what made Fulton! Anyways, Elmira is a sweet area. The members here are so cool. I'm in Elmira south which is all of the Elmira ward south of the river. Elmira's a city though. So far my Owego and Schoharie have been the rural areas, fulton was in the middle, and Elmira and Scotia are similar.  Happy is that bad? not even chasing mice and squirrels and such? She used to do that all the time. Well I'm glad to hear the triplets passed their AP test. Hope Sarah continues to get better!
But this week was really good. Elmira has a gym which I am stoked about. It's going to be sweet. We all go there in the morning (Elder Hammond, me, Elder Deka, and elder summers (Elmira zone leaders) and work out for the day. I'm way excited about that because I haven't had a gym my whole mission, and I've always wanted one to get back into the working out habit. So that's sweet. The members here in Elmira are great. Seriously. The ward reminds me a lot of how Schoharie ward was when I left in terms of member support. We have meals everyday, and members are looking out to help us go and teach people and find people for us to teach, ward council is effective, I'm just really impressed with the ward so far. President Rogers and Sister Rogers are pretty cool. They do have a different style of running the mission than the wirthlins, but President Rogers seems really funny. Sister Rogers seems really scared though about it. She's still getting used to it I think. But they have some good ideas and will keep the work moving forward. So since Elder Hammond and I opened the area, we don't have the largest teaching pool. The Elmira zone leaders and horseheads sisters split covering our area while it was closed this last transfer! The zone leaders were teaching Brother Brewer, who got baptized this last Saturday. His kids Jacob and Louise were baptized by elder kunzler when he served here. So they are all recent converts and we will be working with them. Our other investigator is R. He's interesting. He's been investigating the church forever, and had a baptismal date for august, but didn't live the word of wisdom over the 4th of July weekend, so we had to drop it. He says he still wants to read and learn and get baptized, but we will see if he starts keeping his commitments. We also met a few part member families and less-actives this week who weren't being taught due to the area being closed that we want to start working with. We met bridget this week. She's a less-active who still reads the book of Mormon and was baptized within the last 2 to 2 1/2 years, so we are going to work with her to get her back to church. The members here are sweet though. And I met a few of them when Elder Kunzler and I served in Owego together. The Reeders and Farnsworths are sweet. They had us over for dinner this last week. We are having dinner with a recently activated member Pam and her two daughters who recently got baptized. I like them a lot to, although Pam gives us "homework" and has some pretty interesting concerns. She defended why homosexuality isn't allowed even though it's now legal, and want us to prove her wrong using the book of Mormon. So that will be interesting. Well that's it about Elmira for now. I'm sure I'll have more info for you next week. Oh Mark Twain is buried in one of the cemeteries here though. Love you all and have a great week!
Elder Richins 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Changes Changes Changes

Ginger's Sale

Good Times with the Warthens

Good times with Whitley

Hello Everyone!

Sounds like you all had a great time canyonering and are having a lot of fun. It will be fun to go on adventures like that as a whole family again! But time flies, and I can't believe summer is already almost over. First off, this week has been quite the week! President and Sister Rogers have officially taken over the mission! Man it's so weird to see the Wirthlins gone, they are so sweet and I am going to miss them. But President and Sister Rogers seem nice and excited to continue to get the work going forward! He's pretty funny, and OBGYN doctor. They are from St. George, and have quite a large family. In addition to that change, transfer calls were this last saturday. I will be opening up Elmira South with Elder Hammond. I'm so excited for that though! Elder Kunzler served in Elmira South, and he loved it. I've also already been to Elmira on an exchange, and it was a sweet area. It's also weird to think with 3 transfers left it might be my last area on my mission! Also Elder Summers is going to Elmira as well to be the zone leader, and he was one of my close buddies in Scotia, so we are stoked to be in the same ward. Elder Jackman will be training a new missionary. But I'm ready for this new adventure. Elder Jackman is feeling better though, which is really good!

I'll definitely miss the Warthens though. They are such a sweet family, and definitely the highlight of Fulton. I'm going to miss them so much! We have done so many fun things together, and we are planning on going fishing before I leave, so I'll get you pictures. But the have progressed so much as I've been here, and we have had fun too. Which is what missionary work is all about. The whole family came to church yesterday, and that was a miracle. Ginger wouldn't even think about church when I got here, and she's opened up so much as we have visited with her over these last few weeks. Sebastian also has expressed his own desire to get baptized. They are the one that I came to fulton for. We had some great fun this week to! They took us to fireworks and we helped them out with another one of Ginger's extreme couponing sales. It's so cool to see her do that and make bank! We also went to flat rock, which is on the beach of lake ontario. They are definitely my favorite family. I will miss them so much! Other than that, the week has been good. Brother fuller came to church again this week, so he is doing really well! It's been cool working with him and seeing him change as well. Once he came to church, he never looked back! He has his own big copy of the triple combination, and he watches the church videos we have given him a lot! We also had dinner with Ryan & Amanda! They are so sweet! Ryan is so funny and told as all the cool stories he had from his mission. One time he and his companion where at dinner, and apparently the food was really bad. But the person they were visiting kept the windows spot clean, enough that they looked open. So when she went into the other room, Ryan's companion threw the food off his plate and it hit the window and splattered all over. That was really funny! He also told us a funny story (but it is stereotypical). He loved teaching african americans, and he was in one town where they were convinced there weren't any. But then they saw a chicken wing bone on the ground and said "they are here." Turns out they found that person and baptized her and her friend. Elder Jackman and I were laughing pretty hard at that one! They are sweet though! I'm also going to miss Sister Whitley! Going over for dinner every monday and playing some card games! We got pretty competitive sometimes! Haha. Fulton was good, but I'm still stoked for Elmira! The members there are sweet from what I've heard, they have a gym we go to in the mornings, so I'll get back into the habit of working out earlier than I expected, and were going to see miracles! 

Thank you all again for all of your support! I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week!

Elder Tyler Richins