Well I'm still here... On my mission in Massachusetts
'So now I know I am definitely supposed to be here. Not only am I
serving in a city called "Lawrence" but last week we went tracting on
a "Tyler" street!!!! Just waiting to find a Richins river or
something! Oh wow the sun just came out I'm going to go outside for a
I'm back! So this week was awesome! It was hard though! We had one
lady feed us each about 8 pounds of rice I should have taken a
picture! It was far away from home too so we both made our way back to
the apartment trying not to fall over our stomachs hurt... But yeah
and we had a man call us out trying to tell us why we were serving
missions during a lesson and I wish you could have seen it. We bore
testimony like none other and the Spirit was so strong it was the most
sincere powerful testimonies I have ever given and that really
increased my desire to be here serving. I can't tell you how many
experiences I have had already there are so many!!
I'm feeling a little tired today and pretty hungry so it's hard to
think of things that happened... I just went shopping and a couple
people thought we were mall security that was pretty funny. Everyone
thinks we are rich. The people at the Apple Store were not slow to
help us out haha. The name tag is the only thing that throws them off.
I bought a bunch of food because last week I didn't get enough and
food is something that keeps me happy out here haha.
Oh one thing that was cool is my companions mom sent me a towel for my
mission and it is really cool!! Oh and my companion gave me a haircut.
I think he did an alright job! I'm going to learn to cut my own hair.
We are definitely learning to live cheap!! I think the hardest part of
my mission is P-Days and sleeping because I have dreams about people
at home and emailing although I love it makes me miss y'all so
much!!!! I can see so many good changes and things going on back at
I have learned so much about obstacles and struggles in life from my
mom and some meetings and studies and prayers and lessons! Just count
your blessings but also count your struggles. I know it sounds dumb
but we are lucky to struggle. We can't progress learn or grow without
struggling. So count your struggles and be grateful because when you
are struggling you know you are learning and Heavenly Father knows you
are strong enough to get through it and grow so much! Kind of like how
you are sore after you work out because you are growing from making
your muscles struggle. Although it may be hard sometimes it is
necessary and a gift. If we never had temptation or struggle we would
never learn or be able to help the people that go through those
things. The main thing I'm trying to get at is Jesus Christ suffered
and went through every single struggle that happened, is happening, or
that will happen to every single person to ever live. He didn't do
this so we can go through things on our own and live in misery. He did
this so he would know how to succor his people. But He can't help you
if you don't turn to him. Turn to the Savior for help. With ANYTHING
you are going through. He understands and he suffered and died for us
so we could turn to Him and He could help us through it. Use the gift
we were given!!! Christ's atonement gives hope, love, and support.
It's like if a father had a son who lost his leg. The father spent
years carving a prosthetic leg out of nice wood, he suffered and put
his heart and soul into it. He gives it to his son with love, the son
says thank you and sets it aside. Later in the week the father sees
the son sitting and complaining that he can't walk, that no one is
there to help him, that he needs a new leg and that no one cares about
his situation. Imagine how heartbroken that father would feel after
giving everything he had to help his child... Take the gift of the
atonement your Heavenly Father is there and he does love you. He does
care. And your brother Jesus Christ cares. He cared enough to suffer
the sins of the world and die for you to provide you with this special
gift. He loves you. I love you. You're never alone.
Well I don't have much to write about but I love all the support you
all give to me I am so blessed to have such amazing friends and such
an amazing family. I am so proud of all of you! Well they want me to
go play dodgeball so I need to wrap this up. Thank you all for the
letters you have sent me and all those that have sent me packages I
love them so so much. And mom, dad, thank you so much for the package
I don't know all who contributed but thank you so much!! That photo
album was the best thing in the world it is filled with everyone I
love and it is so great to have thank you so so so much!! For
everything!!! I miss all of you my family and my friends but you're
with me everyday in my heart and my prayers! Keep God in your heart
because he keeps you in his.
Elder t. Richins'
My desk because I have no pictures to send
'Dear all you far away friends and family,
There are so so many different kinds of Spanish out here. I am going
to come home with 8 different accents! Also some nice calves. We get
so much exercise we as a companionship work out twice a day and walk
everywhere the rest of the day. I am eating super good so you might
not recognize me next time you see me. I am so happy out here and I am
growing and changing so much. My companion is an amazing example to me
and obedience is key on this mission. I am adjusting well here and it
is warming up!
I got into my first bible bash situation with a Catholic women that
just walked in our discussion with an investigator and started yelling
at us like we were crazy people. We sat and listened patiently when it
became clear she wasn't going to stop to let us finish our lesson we
tried to get a word in but she wouldn't have it. She started getting
her arms waving and we didn't think things could get crazier until her
husband walked in... He was a pastor and we thought here we go!! I
started praying like crazy for a miracle but the lady stormed out like
we offended her so much by our existence. We said it was nice to meet
you. Have a great night. We then had a good rest of the lesson with
our investigator. Although I could barely understand him, I definitely
knew the spirit was there:)
All your support is keeping me strong! I can see so many miracles here
and back with you all! Everything you could want in life God is
waiting to give you. You can find endless joy in the gospel! A special
promise is really burning in my heart. It is by Given by President
Spencer W. Kimball and it is in the last conference in the talk "What
Lack I Yet?" And it says:
" If spiritual growth is not a priority in our lives, if we are
not on a course of steady improvement, we will miss out on the
important experiences that God wants to give us. Years ago I read
these words of President Spencer W. Kimball, which had a lasting
impact on me. He said: “I have learned that where there is a prayerful
heart, a hungering after righteousness, a forsaking of sins, and
obedience to the commandments of God, the Lord pours out more and more
light until there is finally power to pierce the heavenly veil. ... A
person of such righteousness has the priceless promise that one day he
shall see the Lord’s face and know that he is.”"
I love you guys with all my heart. Thanks again for all the birthday
wishes and the love. I love hearing from every single one of you! Miss
you all but God misses you more so remember to email God through your
prayers because he loves you and wants to hear from you! Keep enduring
Love from the East Coast, Elder Richins'
Tyler's email's will now be coming on Mondays. Looking forward to all the Missionary Monday's ahead.
'Hey everyone!!!! I made it! The flights worked out just fine two were
delayed but it worked out. I woke up at 1am Monday and got to New
Hampshire at around 6. We had dinner and met some of the missionaries.
I was the only Spanish Elder so it was a little different talking in
English with everyone. I found myself replying to people's questions
in Spanish that was pretty funny!
I was assigned to serve in Lawrence Massachusetts and I was meant to
be here because this town is literally my middle name! The population
here is 70% Spanish speaking and they are all Dominican and Guatemalan
but Lawrence Massachusetts is where 99.9% of Spanish speakers live...
Nowhere else in my mission speak Spanish so I will be spending most my
mission here. There are 8 Elders that serve here in Lawrence! My
companion is awesome. He is the District leader and is a great
example. He keeps me in line kinda. I am a little crazy. I am finding
my place here pretty quickly. It isn't hard to fit in.
The people here are so nice. We get so many unplanned meals. Every one
of our investigators wants to feed us their food. But good thing their
food is amazing and they are so very nice.
I have had so so so so many spiritual experiences here and I literally
just got here! I extended a baptismal date to one of my investigators
and if all goes well he is getting baptized in March!! The work is
hard and It turns out I am in one of the only areas that doesn't have
a car. We walk everywhere we go and it is FREEZING!! It was -15 the
other day with the wind. But I am good because I have a big coat. I
just need a thicker scarf.
I am gaining weight which is so good I am getting way healthy kinda...
But I left on my mission way underweight and not healthy at all. But
with all the food I am getting I feel happier healthier and more like
myself!! Plus I am forced to eat the food and all of it because that
is just the culture! I went on a cleaning spree because the apartments
are messy mostly because 19-20 yr old men live in them but now ours is
nice and clean so that is good.
Thank you all so so so much for all the many Birthday wishes and
emails! I have my IPad now so I can read your emails throughout the
week I just can't reply until Monday's. Oh and ya my Pdays are
Monday's now. Also I got my bday package from my family and I made the
cake they sent me and two other elders came over to help celebrate and
helped eat the cake. Luckily we had a gas stove to light the candles
because I don't think we are allowed to have lighters or matches but I
don't know. Also the other elders gave me some food as a present. We
are well taken care of here.
The city is nice. The Merrimack river runs right through the city and
it is real pretty. The people here don't give us too much trouble
because they all assume we are from the FBI or something because of
our business look and our big coats and big boots. But the people that
do know us stop us to chat and it is really nice. The community is
really close... Well between the missionaries and some people I mean.
I am having so much fun. Send me ties though.. there isn't much tie
exchanging going on with me because no one wants my ties!!! Haha just
kidding I am new ill give it time.
I miss you all and hope you are doing well!!! I am getting lots of
service opportunities! I even painted someone's house already. I don't
know what else to tell you guys. I will leave you with my testimony.
You can do anything with a testimony. Something I have been living by
for the last 7 weeks is "...but I have a testimony." Because whenever
I was scared or nervous about I flight or teaching an investigator it
was always okay, because I have a testimony and that is all you need.
If you have faith and a testimony all things are possible. Other than
the scriptures that is all the prophets of old even Jesus had and they
preformed many many miracles. Whenever I go into a lesson with someone
I find peace and comfort in knowing that I have a testimony. Even
though I don't know everything that my investigators say and the
language barrier is hard and I can't always say what I want to. I know
I have a testimony and through that testimony I can bring the Holy
Spirit unto the hearts of everyone I teach and If they accept the
spirit into their hearts the spirit will testify the truth of all
things and so I just do the best I can and learn everyday how to rely
on the spirit. I couldn't be where I am today without all of you back
at home. And thank you for all that read my emails. I love you guys
and thank you so much for everything you do.
Jesucristo y Dios les ama. El Espíritu puede guiarnos en todas
las cosas. Sé que por medio del espíritu podemos hacer cualquier cosa.
Y con el amor de Cristo su testimonio puede ayudar la gente en su
vida. Sé que mi misión es muy importante y todas personas en mi vida,
pueden encontrar el mano de Cristo y ver la bendiciones de la obra
Yo digo estas cosas, en el nombre de Jesucristo amén.
Les amo, y con amor,
Tyler's Birthday is coming up, start sending letters to the New Hampshire address. Here is the latest email.
'Alrighty, everything is flying by!! I got all my flight stuff figured out and it turns out I am leaving the MTC at 2:30am monday morning and I will be all by myself. So wish me luck I will be praying for myself because I am not experienced at flying on airplanes especially connecting flights so pray that I will find my way. I love it here but I am so ready to leave and I am the next person out of everyone here to hit the field!
I miss you guys a lot and love getting your letters! all of them!! you can start sending real letters to my actual mission! As far as spanish comes it is going okay. I can now teach the law of chastity in spanish pretty good. I had to teach it 4 times yesterday and I think I got it down;) It was cold here for a while but It has gotten very hot!!!
We got to celebrate our teachers 26th birthday last week and that was pretty exciting I will send you all a picture of us and the cake we made. He always wears a scarf to class and so we all wore our scarves that day but it was the one day that he didn´t wear his! It was a kinda cold day! He is a real great teacher and sent me friend requests so Heather you should accept them. Next week I will be celebrating my 19th birthday on thursday with my new companion out in the field! I am very excited!
I am really learning to know the scriptures so fast! Every scripture you read and open to, you can apply it to your life. I did an exercise with one of my "investigators" and I opened to a random scripture pointed to a verse and asked them to read it. As they read it I listened carefully. When they were finished I opened my mouth and the spirit did the rest. I was able to apply 3 different scriptures to this persons needs. And I was able to show them how the spirit works and how through faith we can find answers to all our questions. The spirit is honestly the greatest thing!! I have taught some amazing lessons but it was always the spirit talking, I always knew exactly what to say. But other times when I was not able to have the spirit with me because I was being lazy or in a bad mood I was not able to teach anything and I greatly struggled with my spanish. The Holy Spirit is so important. It is an amazing feeling when you know you are worthy and spiritually ready to teach through the spirit.
shout out to my awesome cousin Austin Richmond. Take care of the man!
My time is almost up. I love hearing from every single one of you! Take care of my amazing parents and my dog. Also make sure my sister gets a ton of love because she sure gives a ton of love. Read your scriptures and stay close to God. How can we expect to live side by side in heaven with the people who gave their lives so we can have the gospel, if we are just taking it for granted? Love the scriptures and give thanks everyday for the amazing gospel we have. Oh and keep yourselves worthy and healthy!
I am sending a couple pictures too. The first one is of my teacher on his birthday and the second is the grass behind my house and the view. if you look closely you can see me hugging the left palm tree at the bottom. :) :)
Love you all!!!!!!!!!!!
From your friendly East Coast Missionary,