I am almost done with training!!!! I'm gonna be a real missionary soon hahaha.
This email is going to be kinda short... Sorry. But this week went by
I am growing so much physically! Haha I've gained 20 pounds!! But I am
still a twig! It's so strange. I feel like I'm going to look so
different when I get home. Don't worry though it's healthy weight! I
think... My thighs have doubled from walking everyday and I am
actually eating food and working out. Wow... Working out in the
morning really gets you pumped to go throughout the day. If you guys
are looking for energy I have tons that you can have!!
So we didn't have very much crazy stuff happen this week other than an
investigator read all of the introduction and all the witnesses and we
only asked her to read the introduction... And no one ever reads so
it's a huge miracle!! Also we are getting sisters here (in) Lawrence
and so we are probably getting a car! Well the sisters are. So we
won't have to walk to meetings and stuff as often! That's sad but
By the time I get home I'll be able to dunk a basketball...that is my
goal. Someone hold me too it!! We are starting to invite less actives
to join us on Pdays so we can get them coming to church again!! That's
exciting!! Wow Mother's Day is coming up quick. Be at my house if you
wanna see my face hahaha.
We had exchanges with the zone leaders and we met a man named Greg. He
was such a nice man and he had everything going well for him and he
lost it all... I felt so bad. He had lost hope for everything but he
was incredibly smart... So always keep hope! Never lose hope and don't
give up! Keep the gospel close to you!
Me and Elder Miskin had a random pillow war. It ended with me on the
couch and him throwing his mattress at me. It was some good fun!! We
are getting along well but I am getting the feeling he isn't going to
stay much longer. Transfers are coming up and he has been in this area
for a while! We will see what happens.
Sorry I don't have much to say this week. My Spanish is getting better
and I am comfortable talking to people. Keep on keeping on!!!
You all are amazing!
Love, Elder Richins your east coast missionary.
Gonna teach you all how to sobrevivir on a mission.
First thing I want to teach you all is to not reach over an open
stove!! I was lighting a candle and my arm hair started on fire... You
can't tell now, luckily, but it was pretty strange.
Second! If a homeless man starts getting mad at you, tell him you are
a Christian, he will then grab your hand and come in close to you, he
will then offer a beautiful prayer. You will then offer him a pass
along card and he will almost start to cry when he sees the picture of
Jesus. He will then give the picture a big kiss and then inform you
that he is an alcoholic. You will then have a long conversation and be
invited to go fishing in the Merrimack river. They will then see a
firetruck and feel the need to go talk to the firemen. You will then
continue on with the work and continue loving every single person in
this wonderful city!!!!
Third! Take every second you can and learn to love those around you!
One of my favorite elders just got emergency transferred out of my
area and it happened in 2 days. I loved playing basketball with him. I
guess I will have to spend my PDAY learning to play piano or
something... Either way you make great friends on the mission.
Fourth! Let your companion cut his own hair before he cuts yours so
you can see how he will do. He did a pretty good job today, but it was
time I had to cut the top so that was a little sad having to semi buzz
my head because we don't know how to cut hair. It doesn't look as bad
as it sounds! Also, fun fact there are 120 barbershops in Lawrence...
And one in our apartment;)
Fifth! Don't put root beer in a Snapple bottle... It leaks.
Sixth! Don't remind your companion that it is week 11 in 12 week or he
will give you the phone... And make you lead out in everything.
Seventh! Tell your investigators it is fast Sunday or they will
prepare a meal for you and it will be really awkward... Also learn to
cook because sometimes you go weeks without meal appointments. I will
attach a photo of a meal we cooked as a testimony of how it makes
missionaries happy. Also take notice of the fruit in the corner of the
picture... Because we are healthy... Haha.
Eighth! Love your family, because in return they will love you and
send you things like snacks, an iPod, and new ties because that's the
only thing that changes in your wardrobe... Also, don't trust Mr. Mac
with your sewing... He sucks at sewing. So learn to sew or hope
someone else can.
Ninth! Learn your area... Or you will accidentally walk in circles on
exchanges and get lost because your iPad died so you don't have a map
and your companion has no idea where you are. But he is technically
the trainer while you are technically the senior companion, so just
learn your area and your language and you will be Golden!!
Tenth! Love the work. ¡Oh, sed prudentes! ¿Qué más puedo decir? Jacob
6:12 and memorize scriptures. It will help you focus and take away the
trunkiness, and homesickness, and normal sickness, also negative
thoughts. It really really helps.
I love you all and hope you are all doing well! I miss y'all and hope
you are surviving life!! Take care of my family and friends. Also be
humble. Humility is the key to a happy life. Forgive EVERYONE. Love
EVERYONE. All the afflictions and problems in this life are only in
this life and it's not worth your worries.
Thank you for all your support. I'm sorry if I don't write all of you
enough or individually, and sorry for not taking more pictures. Oh and
by the way... You will not recognize me in 2 years... I am changing so
Miss you. Love you,
Your east coast missionary, Elder Richins
Día ciento algo, miss y'all.
'Hola, ¿cómo están ustedes? Decidí escribir un parte de mi mensaje en
español, si está bien con ustedes? Qué terrible! No voy a esperar por
sus respuestas. No tengo tiempo para eso.
Tenía muchas milagros y experiencias buenas esta semana pasada. Cada
vez enseñamos algunas personas ellos siempre dicen que estoy
aprendiendo con rapidez! Ellos están muy pero muy asombrado cuando yo
les digo que yo solamente tengo tres meses aprendiendo español. Y yo
también. Estoy aprendiendo muchas cosas y no quiero nada más en mi
vida ahora. Tengo dificultades por seguro, pero con el conocimiento
que tengo un salvador y un amigo de amigos in los cielos. Yo puedo ser
feliz y tener esperanza mediante mis aflicciones. Sé que esto puede
ser sus vidas también.
Entonces, mis hermanos y hermanas... Les amo muchísimo y espero que
pueden perdonarme por escribiendo en español, especialmente porque es
un tipo de spanglish. Estudiando las gramáticas difíciles son un
proceso frustrante... Necesito sus oraciones. Sin esos no voy tener
una mente sano después mis estudios.
Estoy agradecido por ustedes y todo que hacen para que yo sepa cómo
debo trabajar en esta obra. Y como puedo mejorar y crecer en mi
testimonio. Gracias. Gracias. Gracias. Les amo mucho.
Ahora bien!! I'll put a little English in here for all of you that
don't feel like translating anything...
How are you all doing? Thank you for all you do and all the emails I
get from you all! So we had stake conference and that was amazing at
all but I am itching to take the sacrament! It was a really good
conference! We found a ton of new potential investigators that we are
going to try. We also found a couple new investigators and we are
looking at extending 6 baptismal dates so that's exciting!!!
Now that there is General Conference on Gospel Library my study times
are never ever boring!!! Go study those!!!
Wow I have no stories. I had a ton of prayers answered and miracles
but they are very personal... So I'm not sure what to write about.
I went grocery shopping and I bought some vegetables if that makes any
of you proud. I am learning to plan for meals instead of pop tarts,
rice, and cereal... It's getting better hahaha I'm having some nice
healthy pasta tonight!
Well I'm sorry I don't have much else to write... I would like to
thank my parents from the bottom of my heart for sending me that IPod
and the speaker... And the towel and everything else!! It is the
best!! Thank you both so much for everything and don't worry, the
songs are very much approved! Although I couldn't be out dirt biking
in Moab with y'all don't worry I was having fun getting calluses on my
knuckles and getting rid of the ones on my heart. I'm so happy here
and as much as I LOVE dirt biking. There is nothing else that has
lifted me and made me this happy than missionary service. I am so
happy and learning so much.
I am sincerely touched by all of your stories. All of you. Thank you
for all your letters love prayers and testimonies. I love and miss you
all. I am praying for all my friends and family back home. Stay humble
My companion baptized another person! Haha I love my companion. Well I
wanna go play soccer or something. Just gonna say I miss playing the
guitar... If you find the time would you pray that I will find one
hiding somewhere in my apartment... Or a skateboard. There's one in
the other apartment but it has no griptape hahahaha oh man I love my
mission!! Zone interviews are on Wednesday!!! Wish me luck;)
LOVE, Elder Richins, your east coast missionary.
Look how cute! My plaque is no longer white hahaha'
Elder Richins keeping in touch with his best friend Elder Thompson.
Day ninety something...
'Helloooooo to all my amazing friends and family all across the country
and some across the world. Thank you for all you do.
So I want to start with a story. We were headed to visit a member who
had some groceries for us when we past a very elderly woman. We
decided to stop and talk with her. We learned a lot about her and she
was very sweet. She started off asking a bunch of questions about us
and she told us how nicely we were dressed. She then asked us where we
came from and what the weather was like. You could tell how old she
was because she asked me where I was from and if it was snowing there
about 4 times throughout the conversation. She told us of how she
loves all people but she made it very very clear that she was not
prejudice but she was a devote catholic and doesn't ever want to
change. We gave her a card with a website on it and she said that she
wasn't going to watch the video on the website but that she thought
the card was pretty and thanked us a lot! She told us all about how
she was going to go watch her favorite TV program the price is right.
And that made me think of my mom haha, love you mom. But we helped her
stand up to go inside and she grabbed my hand and stopped to tell a
story. She held onto my hand for at least 5 minutes, it was only a
little awkward. She walked super duper slowly she shuffled to the door
and I handed her hand off to Elder Miskins. I only share this because
it was such a humbling experience for me. I don't know why but I
definitely felt Gods love during the entire time I talked to her. But
yeah that's all.
I have received many emails that touched my heart... I spent a good 13
minutes shedding tears of joy over most of your emails. Thank you for
all that take the time to email me and share your testimonies and all
that is going on in your lives. You are all miracles to me. Every
single one of you. Even if you don't write me;)
So General Conference was the past 2 days... I really really hope you
guys payed attention to it because... Wow!!!!! I learned SO much! The
spirit was so strong and I am so so so glad that we have prophets to
lead and guide this church. It broke my heart to see President Monson
struggling and not being able to speak that much. Until the man that
we just baptized said. He didn't speak much... But he said a lot! Wow
I love that man. I love the prophet and if you didn't watch conference
go online and watch all 10 hours right now!!! Take notes and act on
what you learn. I know the spirit will guide you because it is guiding
me. The talks on marriage were a little too exciting and all the
missionaries were struggling but it made me so sad to know the last
few conferences I was too enveloped in my cell phone and talking to
friends to learn anything. There was a couple kids in the back of the
chapel just laughing and engrossed in their phones... It made me so so
so sad that they were missing out on thee most amazing opportunity. It
is literally modern day scripture. It is the words of the prophets
which is exactly what scripture is. Study the talks given this year
and in the years in the past. Get to know those who serve the Lord.
Study, not read, study what you learned and never allow yourselves to
be idle, there is always opportunities to improve and grow. I only say
these things because I love you all so much and because I have so so
so many regrets. I should have been a better friend, a better son, and
a better child of God. But I can find comfort knowing that no matter
what. God loves me and even with God knowing every single thing that I
have done wrong. He still loves me with all his heart might mind and
strength. We learned that in conference and I'll be restudying
everything I learned. Thank you for keeping your patience with me. I
love all of you!!!
Uhhh I don't know what else to say other than it is snowing right now
a ton... And it was kinda way hot a couple days ago... Oh and during
Easter the Dominicans have a tradition of making habichuelas con dulce
which roughly translates to "A strange drink containing beans,
cinnamon, raisins, water, and potatoes........" It's like a Nasty hot
chocolate. We are practically living in a tiny piece of the Dominican
Republic. Also we eat something called Sancoche which is a soup with
just meat and rice and noodles it's like chicken noodle soup but they
just throw in the bones and everything... It is hard to eat around it
sometimes but it is good. Also la bandera which is just rice meat and
beans. That's all I eat here..... With the occasional pop tart and
bowl of cereal. Hahaha I love it here so much. I am so so happy.
Everyone wish my mother a happy birthday, Her birthday was yesterday!
She is the greatest woman in the world! Also say hi to my dad because
he's the best Father out there! Thank you two for everything. Also,
say hi to my cousin that is headed to Lima, Peru this year on his
mission. He is an awesome cousin! Also my sister might need some help
moving if any of you are willing to help her out and receive blessings
through service;) Thank you for all your support.
God loves you, I love you. Also I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior
and my best friend. God is my loving Heavenly Father who knows me and
what is best for me. He knows all of you as well and I invite all of
you to always strive to become more like your brother Christ. He is
the ultimate example for all fathers and sons and saints.
Love you with all my Heart, Might, Mind, and Soul. Be good
Love, Elder Richins
Oh yeah and also... This is what my companion had to say about April
"I didn't have the most time for shenanigans but I waited to
strike until night time after planning for the next day. I went in and
put honey on one handle of the bathroom door and hair gel on the other
side. I then put it on the light switch because elder Richins is
usually turns it off. Well he was convinced I did more than that
because I told him he had something on his shorts and so for the next
10 minutes he was checking everything for pranks and ripping apart his
bed. Nothing. So he put it all back together and turned off the light.
Haha. So there went another 5 minutes of him freaking out with this
time nothing being left. Meanwhile we pranked one of the
companionships in the district (LAWRENCE 4) saying another Elder in
our district that came out with them was going home because of health
(it was way believable because he just had surgery, we told him to
play along). Well I told L4 that I would have transfer plans for them
tomorrow and all night they were freaking out and all morning as
well. At 9AM Saturday they asked if I knew what is going to happen and
I told them, oh you didn't get my text last night? No they said. Look
what the calendar says from yesterday. They told me their whole
schedule of what they did yesterday and so I finally told them that it
was the first, April fools day. I sent you a text last night saying
April fools. It was in Spanish that we were talking and they finally
got it and were so mad but took it like champs haha got em so good! I
love shenanigans." -Elder Miskin