My companion isn't a citizen...
'So my companion is Elder Villar he is from Santiago, Chile. He has been out for 20 months and is super cool. The area is awesome!!! It is a whaling town but it is really weird, It is cold since we are right next to the ocean. And I am driving for the first time in a year so the first time was scary!! My companion thought we were going to die! But we made it and I got used to driving so all is well again. I am the best driver here in Connecticut haha my companion is District Leader but doesn't have a licence so I have to drive.
Oh here is the address to my new apartment for your letters or packages if you feel like you want to send something... :)
12 Nob Hill Rd. Apt B1 New London, CT 06320
The people here are so awesome. I received such a warm welcome into this small spanish branch that meets in the primary room. I blessed the sacrament the first week and I have so many youth friends now haha. I already helped two families put up their christmas lights! They look good! I am getting excited!
I am so happy that Elder Miller is in my district haha I get to party(talk) with him all the time!!!
Thanksgiving? Yeah I only had 4 Meals!!! We had morning pie... then afternoon pie... then nightime pie... then dessert pie! haha I was sooo full! the members here are the best. Lots of Military people here. Mostly Navy/Coast Guard there are some bases down here. Next week on the 9th is my 1 year remaining mark so that is pretty crazy!
not much else really going on. Super excited for this transfer... now I just need Elder Villar to rub some of his chileanness on me... so I can speak spanish better. haha.
I love you all. stay happy. read your scriptures. say your prayers. do your home teaching/visiting teaching. keep it up.
Love, Elder Richins'
I made it out of Lawrence! Happy B-Day sister
Special shout out to my amazing sister Heather. She turned 23 and is my favorite sister out of all of them...
So there is so much to say, so much going on. We had our transfers and on Wednesday I will be heading to the opposite side of the mission. I am going to Quaker Hill, Connecticut it is in New London. soooo yeah that is weird. I will be in a branch with Elder Villar. and I am getting a car!!! haha I haven't been in the drivers seat of a car in about a year let alone in the snow... so wish me luck. Oh and it is right next to the ocean!! I am excited for that!
I am super excited, the only sad part is they don't give you travel plans like the other mission, so you have to figure out how to get there... luckily Elder Miller will be in my district! and apparently he doesn't live that far away.
So... we walked to the library and there was a note saying they were going to be delayed opening soo we were a little sad and walked all the way back to the apartment. so a little later we walked back and it said closed until thursday!!! because there is no heat in the building... so that is why this email will be short. we walked all the way to the other library on the opposite side of the city and they only let you be on the computers for an hour. so ya.
It is super cold out now. and It seems like it snowed for the first time everywhere! Here too! It was the saddest thing saying goodbye to everyone:( I am glad you got to see my early thanksgiving feast. We don't know if we will have anything in our next areas so we celebrated early haha.
I have had the most amazing experiences and I want to share them all.. It makes me so sad that I can't share them yet because I don't have much time. I really couldn't read any of your emails and I apologize! If I don't reply I still love you I promise! I came on to 32 unread messages and I was overwhelmed! I don't know if I will catch up next week but I will do my best haha.
We had the primary program on sunday and I lovvveeedd it! I knew all the songs in spanish haha. It really made me appreciate the kids everywhere... although we think they need to grow up like us sometimes... we need to realize that they are the closest thing to perfect that there is on this planet. and if they are under 8 years old they are the most perfect things on the planet! We need to look up to them and follow their examples of being loving humble and forgiving. obviously we need to be wise and not childlike but I honor children. I respect them. They were with God last. If you look closely they have a special light that is a light of innocence and love! I don't know how to put it into words but I am glad they can teach me a thing or two..
I love you all and have no more time but I do have pictures!!
Love, Elder Richins
The last supper.
'Well, here we are in the library, not much to say this week Nobody is outside anymore because it is getting cold!! and it gets dark at 4 p.m...
So I learn where I am headed this Friday so that should be fun! Not having an iPad turned into a blessing because now I have to know where scriptures are haha. I have been memorizing a scripture a day since june or something so that has helped me a lot!!
there are a ton of changes in Lawrence, they practically shut down the methuen missionaries and now Lawrence has a car for the first time in a looonng time... but I dont get to ride in it because it is in the north:( but that is okay. Not really a lot to say this week.
My testimony has grown a ton and I am learning so many new things... I have been marking like crazy this paperback Book of Mormon and there are so many things I didn't know. luckily I found a student guide to the book of mormon to help me get answers to my questions. I am starting to finally use my study books and really work in my mission scriptures. I didn't realize how amazing the scriptures were before my mission. I mean I knew they were important but I didn't know that you could get addicted to them! It is crazy the things you can dig up. It is like just a big history book... well it is. History and future. the best kind!
I know this church is true and that through faith all things are possible... just like Steph Curry would say Philippians 4:15 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
love you all,
Your East Coast Elder,
Elder Stephens made snowmen out of his gross potatoes.
I am a Boston Missionary!!!!!
I saw Boston for the first time in my life! We went to Cambridge and the church building was 3 stories tall and had an underground parking garage!!! what?!?! that was crazy! We met all of the missionaries in our new zone and got a text from every companionship in the mission... that was a lot of texts.
All is well here and I am loving the missionary life. I feel like a real missionary now without my iPad. I actually kinda like it. It was a crazy week and I wish I could copy and past(e) my memories because there is just so much and I don't know how to explain it all.
I don't have much time today, not sure if I will really ever have too much time but the work continues! I am so grateful for all of you that are in my life and the chance I have to serve the Lord. I want you to all know that I am happy! Happier than I have ever been. And the reason why is that I am so close to my Savior. I am learning everyday and through prayer and study I have come to know who I really am. It brings me so much joy that I could leave my family to help others be with theirs for eternity.
I hope you are all reading and praying and going to church because without that you will have to work really hard to feel that joy that comes from God. and I know, that is the only place it comes from.
I am still in Lawrence if you were wondering where I was... this will be about my ninth month here. quite a long time. but I should be getting out of here the day before thanksgiving to go explore the new mission.. there are so many languages here and I am going to learn so much! If you want me to hand write you some letters I do have more time now. if you are willing to write back. because that time is precious. all time is precious.
change is amazing and I want more of it. As everyone in my family knows. I like changing things. I move the furniture around in the apartment all the time so I can stay focused and keep things clean. so I think this change in my life will help me clean up my mind and my focus and will help me get the ball rolling on this consecrated Boston missionary thing. turns out I know a couple people in this mission too.
I am glad I can trust God and know that this is my path. and the path that will help me love those of you at home even more than I do now.
Remember. Mathew 10:39 "He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it."
Love you all, Your refurbished Boston missionary Elder Richins.
'So, it has been a weird transition... I finally got the new Boston approved iPad. It is frozen and super slow... so I don't even know what to do... I call it the iCardboard. Ill put a picture at the end.
So its been hard work putting in all the hundreds of potentials and investigators, taking them off the iPad and putting it on paper but luckily with the laziness of the past Elders we found some old records that didn't get shredded. So that saved us a lot of work!!
It has been a sad goodbye to all my good friends that I have made. Its super exciting though and I am ready to go!!! We had an amazing district meeting.. the zone leaders surprised us. Elder Miskin and Elder Wasilchen they came down and taught our meeting... it turned into all of us sharing golden truths. Our final testimonies. Everyone cried. It was a special day. I got to do a Blitz with Elder Miskin just like old times we kicked it into gear and after less than an hour came back with 5 Return Appointments.
I have been having the most powerful spiritual experiences and I am happier than I have ever been! Im glad I know the things I know and that I can be here.
I am learning so much from so many people. We cant go out on halloween so we will be deep cleaning the apartment.. shouldn't be too hard. Its already super clean, you would be proud of me mom.
I love you all and thank you so much for all of your examples to me.
Love, your east coast Boston missionary, Elder Richins'