Monday, August 3, 2015

Never Go Inactive!

Hey everyone!!!
Wow can't believe you are going to Mongolia without me!! It's going to be so much fun though! Have a blast!! It's going to be so much fun! This week has been great though up here in Elmira south. The work is continuing to hasten, and elder Hammond and I are just working hard and doing everything we can to build up the area. So with it being the end of the month and elder Hammond and I driving a little too much earlier in the month, we walked around a ton this last week. But we did see some success in finding new less-active families to teach and such. We met with Sister Ellsworth for the first time this last week. She's a nice sweet, older lady who was baptized years ago and it sounded like she was pretty active for quite a long time after she was baptized to. But never go inactive. I've learned that and had that knowledge confirmed many times on my mission. No matter how many spiritual experiences you had or how strong you think your testimony is. You lose knowledge and truths as you stop living the gospel. Many less-actives claim they have a testimony, and then they have these beliefs that are false. But Sister Ellsworth is a very sweet lady who agreed to start reading the book of Mormon, and that's the key first step. So it will be exciting to see where it goes with her. We also taught another sister, Sister Dennison this week as well. She also claims she still has a testimony, and she seems to still have a lot of the knowledge that your typical member would have. We just talked about the book of Mormon with her as well. I've really learned on my mission that reading the book of Mormon changes lives because it brings the spirit into our lives. So that's what we taught sister Dennison as well. We need to figure out why she is less-active though. We also met with Joe this week. He's sweet. He's another inactive member who has a wife and two daughters that are non-members. We went over and got to know him a little bit, and when we asked him if his family were members of the church he simply responded "they will be." So that was really cool. We taught him how the gospel blesses families and God's love for each of us, and committed him to study the restoration pamphlet so he could help us teach his family when we came back to teach the restoration (1st cornerstone) to his wife and kids later that week. Unfortunately they forgot or something because they weren't there for our return appointment. But he is sweet. His favorite NFL football team is the 49ers, so me and him related really well on that. He also gets free tickets to the Elmira Jackals (ECHL) games. When I told him I love hockey, he said when hockey season starts and he gets some tickets we would have to go to a game together if President approved it, which would be sweet! But I'm excited to work with Joe and his family. Hockey last Monday was awesome too! I loved being able to play again. It was me and brother Bontorno (the member who plays and has all the gear)  and me vs. Elders Hammond, Deka, and Summers. It was so fun. Even though we lost 2 out of the 3 games. We also taught April again this week, and her non member husband Philip sat in. We watched because of him and talked about the blessings of the atonement of Jesus Christ! It was great! He loves fishing, so I've talked a lot with him about that, and he's definitely opening up. Hopefully we will pick him up as an investigator soon. It is so cool to see him opening up though. I've seen that a lot on my mission as well. You relate to people and show them you are just a normal person out sharing these truths that you love and have changed your life, and they then take interest. We also visited the Gates family a few times this week. They are just hectic. Man those kids are the craziest peeps you will ever meet! It's so hard to keep them focused, and Bridget (their mom) is always trying to keep them under control and they just don't listen! They had a friend/possible relative over who sat in on the lesson and was just interesting. He tried to convince us of an angel appearing to people in California by showing us the fakest youtube clip ever! When I asked him where he heard about it and he said there was proof of it on youtube I just thought "oh boy hear we go." Haha. We also were walking this week and met John. It was an interesting experience. He has a hole in his throat, so he can't talk at all and was trying to communicate with us and I was trying so hard to understand him. But he was so nice and gave us some water and v8 vegetable juice. We were walking that day, so I was really grateful for that! He told us to come and visit him again to! So that's sweet. The brewers are doing good. They are a lot of fun. John is so funny! He just loves the missionaries and tells us how awesome as soon as he meets us. I love them! Also had some interesting experiences this week that reminded me of how long I've been out. We were at a dinner with the Gabrish's, and we asked them how they met and how they knew each other was "the one" they were going to marry and Sister Gabrish told us you just know. She then asked me how long I've been out and when I told her she said "oh so this conversation was really helpful since It will be you in a few months." That was really weird to hear her say that and kind of frightening. I'm going to take my sweet time when I get home though. No rushing it. Another experience was when I was on a split with Elder Summers and we taught kyle, a less-active. We watched two brothers two with him and the episode they were on was about the older brother getting used to life after the mission since he just got home. So yeah. The time has gone by so quick and I've got to treasure these last few months. Stick to the task til it sticks to you. Beginners are many, but enders are few. I've loved my mission so far, and can't wait for the experiences that lie ahead of me these last few transfers. Love you all and hope you have a great week!
Elder Richins

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