9 months out! Loving every bit of it!
'Hola hola hola,
I had the opportunity to stand in front of the primary class yesterday and tell them about me and my missionary experience. It really made me miss teaching the kids back at home. They are super sassy and ask the strangest questions. They thought we had to sleep in our suits. I love teaching!!! Sometimes i mess up and don't like it... but that happens sometimes. With these holidays coming up so quick it has really made me reflect on my progress and im really surprised how fast this has all been passing by... I don't want to miss a second of this amazing experience so im making sure I am staying very very focused. I've only got a limited time to do this and do it right.
So we had an AMAZING opportunity to listen to two General Authorities, shake there hands and get a quick picture... let me tell you, it didn't take long for me to know without a doubt that these are men of God. Their testimonies are written on there faces and everything they do. We were visited by Elder Massimo De Feo and Elder Randall K. Bennett and his wife Shelley Bennett. It was one of the highlights of... well... my entire life. I never thought loving correction would feel so good. I was so at peace when i left that day! But at the same time I was afraid that I would forget the things i felt. Because I know that my Spirit is more than willing to give everything to serve. But my flesh is so weak! We made some very good commitments that day and well it truly changed the course of my life. I hope we are able to show greater growth and progress after that experience. Im learning so much how to love others and teach this amazing gospel! It feels weird being in the same area for 7 months but there is gonna be changes for sure!
Oh yeah! I got to use my wood shop skills and i stained a table hahaha it brought back so many memories! The table looks amazing thanks to our companion unity staining skills. Missionaries stain more than white shirts and ties haha. We also helped an old lady move... all we had was a couple missionaries, an awesome Dominican and a small Toyota Tacoma. You'd be so surprised how much you can fit in a Tacoma with the help of a Dominican. He did some magic fitting everything in and tying it down! I learned some real good moving tips from that man haha he's the best! His name is Hno. Lembert, he has been a member for a long time and ward mission leader many times. He knows all the missionaries that have served in Lawrence. Including Elder Owens uncle!
I was super excited because the lady we moved had a fan that she didn't want so she said we could have it, but when we were packing up to go home a moving dolly got thrown on top of it and the stand broke in half! Haha first thing we did when we got home is grabbed the duck tape. It lasted half a day and fell off the stand and broke a little more haha it blew our papers everywhere!!!
I also got to use my Papa Murphy's skills and made some darn good pizzas! I was very proud of myself! We have interviews this week with President Blair. He is the greatest man ever! He is so funny and spiritually strong! He also has great respect for my father and so he gets extra cool points. Also right after that we get to enjoy GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!! The best and only tv we get to watch on the mission! Im so excited and want to invite you all to prepare!!! And watch all of it! With your eyes, ears, and hearts!
Remember this: Always remember who you are, but remember to forget yourself.
This little phrase has helped me so much in my mission! We always need to remember that we are children of our Heavenly Father. That we have Potential beyond measure and have the opportunity to become like him, and to live with the ones we love for eternity! Our purpose on this life is huge and we only have one shot! So lets make it count. But we also need to remember that we cannot do it alone. We need to forget ourselves and do everything we can to help others reach their potential because that's what this life is all about!! While in the act of serving others we will be reaching our potential without even knowing. I love you all so much and cant even begin to describe the love God has for you!
Thank you for all your support.
Love, your east coast missionary, Elder Richins '
Love In Food
'Welcome to the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Bolivia, México, Puerto Rico, Perú, Costa Rica, Argentina, Columbia, Italy, America and more! Our ward festival was so fun! Everyone in the ward represented their country. They had a sort of talent show as well, people sang, played instruments, danced. It was awesome. We also got to try food from all over the world.... but we get all that food everyday from members anyway, but it was still really good! I didn't get many pictures, i got some videos but they weren't too good. We were so exhausted when it was over, we had a hard time staying awake while planning.
Turns out i have the gift of prophecy or something! We were walking to a meal appointment with a member at his house and had some time to spare so i came up with the idea as a joke to just go sit in McDonald's and sync and send out a scripture of the day and wait for the member to just meet us at McDonald's and we would eat there. Elder Stephens shook his head a little and before he could say a word the phone rang, it was the member and he told us to head to the McDonald's and to wait for him there! Haha it was the funniest thing ever! My stupidity just made me look like a genius!
So really not much happened here... a miraculous week full of crazy things that are just boring unless you are a missionary but ill share them when i get home.
Elder Wasilchen left his little finger skateboard, so me and Elder Stephens have been working on our ollies haha we are also getting pretty creative in our meal times... because sometimes all that you are left with in the apartment when you get transferred is expired food that smells bad... so i cleaned that all up and got rid of all the fruit flies and gross things... now its sparkly... but also my shelves were empty haha but i went shopping today and filled it up good!!!
During the down times i cleaned my glasses and used up some old page markers so ill send some pictures of that. So it is raining today and it makes me really i love the rain! I also love this gospel. I have seen myself grow more than i ever thought i would. I have also seen some very special things happen that i hold very close to my heart. I wish i could explain the happiness this gospel brings... but that's exactly why we are to invite others to find out for themselves. If you have forgotten the happiness this gospel brings you know what you need to do... and those that have never known. I invite you to find out..
Thank you to all who have helped me in my life.
Love, your east coast missionary, Elder Richins'
Corn from El Salvador... not sure how i feel about it.
IM GOING HOME!!!
'Don't worry about the subject line. We received transfer calls and I'm
being sent back to the south... You know it's not a bad thing. My new
companion is Elder Stephens from Kaysville Utah. He's awesome. I've
served around him for a while.
On Saturday we had a little party haha we had pizza and received tons
of soda and cider from the food pantry we work at called Lazarus
house. We set up the cups and played dew pong... Obviously I won;) we
got a little crazy but we started out with a prayer so don't worry.
We threw some seeds out on the porch to attract the squirrel and it
did just that... The seeds were gone fast. We threw a shoe at the
window and the squirrel did a backflip haha we took a video but it is
too long to send lol.
I got all packed up this morning and everything fit in my suitcases so
I think I lost some things in this apartment. But elder Owens is the
new District Leader and also is receiving a new Spanish elder.
I've been making some really good smoothies in the morning, but I'm
running out of money on my support card because living the smoothie
life is expensive but worth it hahaha.
I got some really cool new ties from some other elders. I'm excited
for this next transfer.. I also found a Rubik's cube in the apartment
haha and I can still solve it! I feel like such a nerd but it keeps my
mind busy. I've been memorizing scriptures every day for a while now
and my mind is getting clearer... It's getting really easy to memorize
and with the program I'm using I'm promised to have a photographic
memory after doing it for too years... So I guess I'm excited for
Not much time to say much more but I love you all. Keep growing and
doing your best! Y'all are my life! Thanks for all you do.'
We got a funny drink called Elderflower haha it tasted weird.
Last week of the transfer.
'My companion and I are drunk people magnets! The other day we ran into
about 6 drunk people in a row... This lady started cussing us out from
across the street then crossed the street almost getting hit by a car,
she kept saying that we are different that we are Christians and that
she is Catholic so we aren't the same... I was so confused! She was
swearing so much! Usually I'd get offended but it was so funny! I was
holding back laughter the whole time! But as she was yelling at us
this guy crashes on his bullet bike behind her! We ran over and helped
him pick up his motorcycle, the lady started asking the guy if he ran
out of gas, he got back on, thanked us and went on his way. The lady
then started swearing at this guy on his bicycle, the guy was so
confused! Haha then she asked what we believed, we said Jesus Christ
and she started screaming "Siiilleeeenttt Niiiigghhhtt, Hooolllyyy
Niggghhhttt!!!" Then a police officer pulls up and asks if we are
okay. We kind of shrugged and so he just said to her "Mary... Calm
down" so after that we knew she was no stranger to the police, hahaha
we took the moment when she was distracted to escape! She kept trying
to touch our faces! That was really funny. We said a couple sidewalk
prayers holding hands in a circle with some other drunk people. Some
of them are really nice. We comforted another one that I met in the
south a long time ago, he didn't remember me but he told us a lot of
stories. It really makes the work interesting and it speeds up the
days. There are other people though that we meet that are struggling
so bad and I really wish I could help them...
Turns out that Lawrence is a popular spot to film movies! They started
filming one on the street right by where we live. We talked to the
film set director and his name was Jim, he has been in the business
for 40 something years! And he said in Forest Gump, where he jumps off
the boat and the boat crashes into a yard he said that is his front
yard and that he helped with that movie! That was an awesome
opportunity to meet him. I guess the movie they were filming was
supposed to be in 1967 Detroit so they had awesome old cars and the
movie is about Detroit Riots or something it doesn't have a name yet.
But the guy yelled "Hey Elders" he chased us down after we left and
bought us lunch! The man was so nice! I don't believe he was a
We have crazy spiritual experiences all the time... But one happened
last week was definitely a giant miracle. There was a less active that
none of the missionaries could ever get in with he was never present
during the lessons with his family but last week we stopped by, didn't
really even have anything planned but he was sitting outside. His
family was at mutual. He invited us inside after we asked if we could
share something with him... After saying a very heartfelt prayer
making sure the spirit was in the room we shared 3 Nephi 27: 13-14 I
honestly don't remember what we said but the spirit was there, all I
remember was silence, after a few minutes he lifted his head up and
his face was full of tears. After sharing things with us he gave in
and he just grabbed his phone apologized and called a member of the
bishopric.. He grabbed his keys and went straight to the church to
talk to him... We said a quick prayer with him and as we were walking
away from his house we were speechless... We weren't sure what
happened but the bishopric was definitely in shock... I can't tell you
how much joy you can feel from bringing one of Gods children back to
his church and the knowledge of how much God really loves us! We had
so much gratitude in our hearts as we finished up that night.
We put grip tape on the skateboard! So it is much safer now! We did a
little jump on my desk chair from the main room to the kitchen and it
broke the leg soooo now my Rollie chair doesn't roll sadly... You find
fun things to do when you are in an apartment with four young men.
On Saturday we struggled... We had a meal with a member and had a crab
clam salsa thing... It stuffed us so much! Then after we went to our
investigators and they gave us a giant plate of rice beans noodles and
meats... Ugghh... And if you don't eat it all they get offended and
think you don't like it. So I held back barfing a couple times because
there was nowhere left for the food to go! We made it back to the
apartment where we both just sat like beached whales for about 10
minutes until we could walk again hahaha that hadn't happened to me in
a long time!! We then started our fast hahahaha.
That's about all I got for this week. I love you all so much!'
A squirrel drinking from my cup on the balcony...I told you there were a lot of squirrels mom!!!!