Thursday, August 29, 2013


  The most Influential people in your life during high school... are your FRIENDS! I am blessed to have extremely amazing friends! Most of them have been with me, since the 8th grade but others i've had since pre-school. I remember meeting most of my best buds, all in one year at football practice. That year of football was the most enjoyable season of my life! Unfortunately, we didn't win one single game that year, but my new friends and I didn't care. We just loved playing the game and being together. It never mattered what we were doing, we always just had tons of fun. After that season, my dad bought me a football plague. That plague has sat on my dresser for the last 5 years. It reads...."football buddies are the best kind, no one messes with a buddy of mine." I read it everyday! I would do ANYTHING for my friends. Through those friends, I met some really amazing girls. They are also very important to me. Some of my fondest memories, are the ones of us in Courtney Shaeffer's backyard playing volleyball, making s'mores, playing basketball and just having a good time. I know in my heart, that i have the greatest friends on earth. They have helped me progress into the person i wanted to be and the one i am today. Some teenagers, aren't as lucky as I was. I have seen many great people, fall off the path because they hung around the wrong crowd. For those of you that are going into high school this year, choosing the right friends to hang around is the most important decision you will make. Good friends will build you up spiritually, I KNOW IT!! If I hadn't  had, the friends I did, I would not be standing here giving you this talk today. My choice was easy, but its not that way for everyone. Do not fall off the path because you didn't choose the right friends!!!! I'm so grateful that most of my friends have made the decision to serve a full-time mission. Some of their calls include, Albuquerque-New Mexico, Oslo-Norway, Birmingham-Alabama, Brisbane-Australia and Naga-Philippines... just to name a few. Those same friends, have influenced me to leave on a mission of my own. I leave for Melbourne-Australia on July 31st. I know that these missions are the most important thing for us to do right now. Thanks to my friends, I am worthy to leave on a mission. There has never been an instance with my friends, where I questioned, if what we were doing, was the righteous thing to do. It always was! We chose the right!! I know that my friends have made me into the person I am today and I love them all so much. I would do anything for them and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
-A talk given by Coop in 2013-

Sunday, August 25, 2013

week 2: australia style

through a missionaries eyes.......

letter #2
august 25, 2013

Heyyy!!! mum!!
  Well this week was pretty long for me!  I got pretty sick and had to stay in bed for a few days!  I had like the worst cold I have ever had in my life!  It was brutal!  My companion Elder Afele gave me a blessing, and it was the most powerful blessing I have ever received!  I love my companion!  He is a good mate! 
 Me and my companion had the opportunity to teach two less active families.   The Greens, and Cassandra.  The Greens are seriously the best!  They love the missionaries!!  They have dinner with us every Tuesday.  They have had some serious problems with members of the church before.  All we can do for the Greens right now, is just be their friends which is totes cool with me.  I can feel the lords love 4 them so strongly, he wants them to come back so bad, and I am praying my heart out for them, I love them!  Cassandra has a really tough time with the word of wisdom, and she hasn't been to church in 14 years.  She thinks that it is her body so she can do whatever she wants with it, which is true in a way because we all have our agency.  Heavenly Father gave us our bodies as a gift, so that we could perform our ministry on earth.  He expects us to treat our bodies like temples.  I bore my testimony of The Word of Wisdom to her, and said that I have seen what alcohol and drugs do to people, it doesn't allow them to make their own choices, the drug or whatever is doing it.  She agreed, and I told how happy and healthy I have been by keeping the Word of Wisdom, and I said "Cassandra, we all make mistakes, but if you honestly try to be better, the lord is going to help you overcome, any addiction you may have."  I started crying, and the spirit was so strong, and she realized she needed to stop what she was doing, and she said she wished that she could hug me because she was so happy haha!  We are continuing to work with her in the coming weeks, and try to get her back to church.  That is a miracle I have seen so far on my mission, I have seen someone's heart change right in front of my eyes.  I love Cassandra, and so does her father in heaven!!! 
  Im starting to settle into Australia, and I already have an accent haha!!  It really comes out when I sing haha!  That's what you get when you spend all day everyday with an Aussie.  My companion is from Cambrough, Australia and he is Samoan, and cool!  The Coopdawgydawg is still crushin it as usual!  Im doing fine, Im just busy being a thug in the streets of Wantirna South.  The peeps here cant handle me DOE!  hahahahahaha Im so white! 
I love you and miss you Mummy!!!!  Im doing fine, and most of the mission has cars, only a few companionships have bikes!  Me and my companion bought a rugby ball, and we have been playing with that a lot!  He is really interested in Gridiron though! (real football, not that lame Aussie kind), so I taught him how to play, and he always asks me about stories from football!  Haha we have a heck of a time!  He says damn, a lot its not a swear word here, and everyone says it even the missionaries from Australia!  Haha just a little fun fact!
I know that my redeemer lives!  He loves each and every one of us sooooooo much, he died for us on the cross!  I know that this gospel brings to pass miracles, I have seen it first hand!  It is amazing!  God wants the best for all of his children, and he is waiting for us to answer the call!!  I love this work is has made me so happy!  I know that this is the perfect church upon the earth today! I love it!
I love and miss you tons!! 
love, Elder Richins
Cooper and his companion

Mission: Australia Melbourne Mission
Entered the MTC on: July 31st 2013
Release Date: July 2015
Current Area: Wantirna South

With friends like this,
and these
and ones like this
and with family like these 2
and support like this. Good choices are easy.
So you get to do cool stuff like this.

july 31st, 2013
 provo MTC
one last hug
one last look
and off he went...
provo MTC 2013
 excerpt from letter in MTC- 
"I had my second lesson with our TRC investigator Gabby!! She is an awesome girl! She was raised Catholic, but she is investigating the church because her husband is LDS. We taught her about the Plan of Salvation, and we really connected with her! She was wondering, if she would ever see her brother again, after he died about a year ago. I bore her my testimony, that she would see her brother again through our Heavenly Father's Plan. At the end of the lesson me, my companion and Gabby were crying our eyes out. It was probably the most spiritual experience of my life. We committed her to baptism,  August 31st, after i'm in Australia…dang it! I love Gabby. She is such a strong girl. She is 26 and she had the faith, to test her faith in Christ, by going out of her comfort zone and meeting with the missionaries. She is amazing! I think it is awesome, that I get to do this work for the next 2 years of my life. I love it! I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for all of us and he knows each of us my name and he knows the nature of our hearts. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us and wants the BEST for us. If we have a calm mind and REALLY pray with power and vigor our prayers will ALWAYS be answered!"
he only spent 13 short days in the MTC

week 1:  australia selfie

first letter from australia.. 
august 18, 2013 
Well AUstralia is a pretty nice place!  It is so stinking cold Doe!!  Im wearing a scarf right now and it feels great!   Im in an area called Wantirna South!  It is one of the smallest areas in the mission!  But we have the biggest house in the mission as well! Tracting is the most frustrating things I have ever done. So far this week has been a real eye opener 4 me, I didn't expect this much disappointment in missionary work!  I have had some really rough days this week.  We have two progressing investigators right now one named Margot, and 2nd one named Veewon.  They are both very great ladies, but they both have something huge that is holding them back from getting baptized.  Margot has been living with her boyfriend for 47 years, and she cant get baptized until Bruce her husband marries her.  Bruce doesn't want to marry her though, so I have been praying my butt off so that Bruce's heart can be softened!  She is regularly going to church, reading, and praying and she is so much fun to be around!  She is pretty stinkin funny. Veewon situation is, that she hardly speaks English, and it is hard 4 her to understand us.  But her husband Ron suffers from Dementia, and Sundays are the only days that she gets to watch him, and  she loves taking care of him.  We invited her to be baptized and she accepted!  But she has to go to church, 3 weeks in a row to be dunked.  We are trying to create lasting conversions here, and it is hard for Veewon because she loves her husband, and he does not function well enough to go to church.  So that's pretty much my life right now.  The plane ride here was sooooooo long, and my body clock is still jacked up hahaha!!!  It is so good to hear back from home, I love you Mom!!!!!!!!!!!  I took some pictures of myself in honor of mirror pick Monday!  This computer I am on is quite slow, and it is having a hard time sending pics.  I will keep trying though!   He has a very thick Aussie accent and he has been teaching me the sayings, and I have kinda already developed an accent, because that is what we do in our free time hahah!   I love you and miss you MUM!!   cheers mate
I know that our heavenly father gives us trials so that we can grow into something amazing!  Jesus Christ died for us so that we can be forgiven of our sins!  I love this work!  It is so humbling to me.  Missionary work kinda opens your eyes a little bit.  Every one is different, but I can feel gods love for everyone I teach. Its amazing!

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