Sunday, March 30, 2014

week 33: australia style

last p day,  elder richey and i at KFC

received some table tennis training this week

Gday mum!!
This week was probably one of the best that I have had on my mission!!  We saw so many miracles this week it was crazy!  So last P day Elder Richey and I were studying together and we were talking about some ways that we could test our faith during the week.  We both agreed that finding 40 new contacts would be a great way to test our faith.  Up to this point on my mission the most new contacts I have found is 21, and the standard of excellence is 12.  We knew that we would be able to do it though, so we did!  We found 40 new contacts this week!  We had some really cool experiences during the week trying to achieve this goal.  One experience I had yesterday was with a man named Dean.  Dean had just been kicked out of his house and he was living on the streets by himself, he was having a smoke outside by the bus mall.  I went up to him and just asked how he was doing and he told me he wasnt doing good at all.  Then I said "Is there anything that I can do for you to have a better day?"  He then said "I need God in my life."  So we continued to talk, and he really didnt see a purpose in life.  I talked to him about the Plan of Salvation and I started to cry, the spirit was so strong!  After all that, he really wanted for us to meet him at the library tomorrow to share more with him.  I am super excited!!  It was such a testimony builder for me, because he told me that he was going to kill himself before he talked to me, he was so grateful that we had, had that encounter with each other.  I truly know that God knows and cares about us, even if I never see Dean again, I know that the Lord put me in his path to help him know that he was loved.  I am so thankful for being a missionary, I love this work so much and I never want it to end.
We also saw some amazing progress in our investigator Gaylene, we had a lesson with her and taught her the Word of Wisdom.  When we first met Gaylene she told us that she would never give up alcohol.  So we taught her the WOW and asked her "if God told you to stop drinking would you?"  She said she would.  Then we both testified to her the blessings that come from obeying the WOW and she said "God wants me to do this."  I was about to blow up with excitement when she said that, it was so awesome!!  So Gaylene has been a week clean from coffee, alcohol and tea!!   She commited to get baptized this Saturday, so hopefully she continues to choose the right.  I am so happy for her!! 
We had another miracle this week, we had four people come to sacrament meeting.  Gaylene, Dominic, Mariana and Dani.  It was a huge suprise to see Dani there, but she continues to go every week even after we dropped her, we are hoping an interest in the Gospel sparks up again.  Dominic came for the first time and said he really enjoyed himself.  It is way cool because we are inviting Robert our recent convert to fellowship our lessons with Dominic and they both love video games so they both hit it off with eachother.  It was also cool to see Robert bear his testimony to Dominic, I just had to take time to admire Rob's testimony because he came such a long way.
This week was seriously so awesome!!  I love serving with Elder Richey, we have become really great friends.  I am so excited to see what miracles this upcoming week has!!  I know that we have a Loving Heavenly Father who loves us very much, no matter what we do.  I love this work.
Gday mum!!  How are you going??  This week was super awesome!  It sounds like you have had a busy week as well, I cant believe how big Olive is gettting, far out. she is growing like a weed!!  I got a letter from stin baby this week in the mail and that was a pleasant suprise, he is doing super awesome and being a great missionary.  I have a group email with all my buddies from back home, and it is just awesome to hear from them all, they sound like they are all doing way awesome!  It is still snowing over there hey??  That is crazy, hopefully it doesnt snow until May like in years past!  Mac told me that it was Spring Break this week, do you get spring break too???  Haha.  I saw that Go cart that is at curts, that thing is huge as!  I might have to take that for a joy ride when I get back!  I love the Chicks they are so awesome, I will definatley let them know you said thanks.  This ward is so awesome, I am going to really miss them when I leave.  I have become friends with so many great people here!  Something that I would eat when I get back, I would pretty much have a go at everything.  Hectors, Cafe Rio, In n out, Wendys, shivers shakes, etc.  Haha all in one meal!!  Wanna know a sad truth?  KFC is so delicious over in Australia.  Why is it so gross in the states??  That is my question!  Well annyways I am happy Dirk is back!  I love you so much mum!!  Thank you for all that you do!!  Have a great week!!  Cheers!
Love, Elder Richins

Sunday, March 23, 2014

week 32: australia style

waiting for the bus

sweet new bubble gum i found

realized that the bus wasn't coming for a long time, so we tried our luck at hitch hiking.
p.s. he told me he had no takers on the hitch hiking,  he said he was too scared to do it, when actual cars were coming. haha

Gday mum!

This week was pretty good!  We saw some serious growth in one of our investigators Gaylene.  We taught her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ this week.  We talked to her about the steps she needed to take to be baptized, and then to endure to the end after that.  It went really well and she accepted all of the commitments we gave, including the invitation to come to Stake Conference.  She said she loved it, she even started to cry because of the spirit she felt from the speakers at the meeting.  It was so cool to see her come and really enjoy herself. 
A suprise we had yesterday was, Dani!  She came to Stake Conference too!  That really suprised Elder Richey and I seeing that we dropped her last week haha.  She really enjoyed herself at the meeting as well, and she has developed a great friendship with some of the girls in the ward, they sure are taking her under their wing. 
I really enjoyed the Stake Conference yesterday, it was a very good meeting.  I loved hearing the choir sing, I felt the spirit so strong.  I found some things I could work on as a missionary too.  So all in all it was a good day yesterday.
As for the 21 new contacts we found last week, they all fell through except one.  So that was a little rough.  But we did manage to reschedule with quite a few of them.  We are really trying to get more into our teaching pool, not much luck at the moment but we will get there.  I do know that I am still in Rosny for a reason.
This week was a real testimony builder for me.  It was pretty frustrating to go to all the appointments we had with our new contacts, and have most of them fall through.  I know the Lord is preparing the hearts of the people here in Rosny area.  I am excited for the miracles/experiences that this upcoming week has in store.  I know that the Lord is watching over all of us and he loves us very much.
Gday mum!  I am sleeping better for the most part.  I am not as exhausted as last week haha.  Sister Fox is awesome, I am very thankful for the service she renders to Elder Richey and I.  It is a huge blessing to have someone in the ward that looks out for us.  Haha Janet Parkes told me she emailed you!  Meat cake was a bit intimidating, she was really proud of it.  Not bad though!  Not bad!  We are eating at their house again on Tuesday, so I am excited what she comes up with next!  Good news!  I didnt get any rocks thrown at me, so I guess that is a win for the week.  I also heard the Dodgers are 2-0 in Australia!  We heard heaps about it because we are American, not too many Americans in Tasmania.  Today for P day Elder Richey and I arent quite sure what to do, we will prolly just go home and cry because the Blowfields just called and canceled with us haha!  We will probably play basketball or something!  I am doing alright at the moment!  If you have any q's for me, I will be on email for another 45 minutes prolly!  Love you so much!  Thank you for all of your love and support mum!  Have a great week.  Cheers.
Love, Elder Richins
Aka: Coopdawgggg 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

week 31: australia style

the best ice cream i have ever had. it was like $10

found a dead wallaby

Gday mum!!!!
 To be honest this week was really tough!  We pretty much dropped all of our investigators and we are starting up a new teaching pool.  None of our investigators were keeping commitments, so we had a couple of drop lessons this week.  So this week was filled with finding and working with members.  We were blessed to find 21 new contacts this week though, so hopefully we will be able to turn those into new Investigators!  We saw heaps of miracles finding this week, definatley some potential in there so we are really excited for that.
One of our new investigators named Dominic accepted the invitation to be baptized on April 12th.  He was super keen on finding out for himself it was true.  He hasnt had that spiritual experience yet, but I know that God will answer his prayers as he keeps persisting!  He is a really nice guy, he is 19 years old and has gone through a bit of a tough time as of late.  I am really excited to meet with him again on Wednesday!
I am pretty exhausted Elder Richey and I worked so hard this week.  Although it was one of the toughest weeks of my mission, I learned so much about myself.  I know that we will be blessed as we continue to give it all we have.  I have faith!!  Faith points towards the future.
I had a bit of a funny experience this week though!  We were just going around tracting, then some punk kids started giving us a hard time.  So I pretended I couldnt speak English, so I was just saying random Spanish phrases like "mis pantelones es en fuego."  These kids were freaking out yelling at Elder Richey and I, then we walked away as they swore at us.  Then they started throwing rocks at us, but all of them missed except one hit me on the leg.  Didnt even hurt!!!  It must have been the spirit I reckon.  I just thought that was heaps funny so I had to share it.
I am so thankful for the strength that was given to me this week by my Heavenly Father.  I definatley would not have been able to do it without prayer this week.  I feel like I strengthened my relationship with my Heavenly Father this week.  I am very thankful for prayer in my life, it is such a blessing that our Heavenly Father has given us.  I love this work!
Gday mum!!  How are you going!?  Sounds like you have had an interesting week this week!  Heaps of needles in your arm...  Doesnt sound like the most enjoyable thing ever.  I am glad they found out you were alergic to dogs hahahahahahaha!!  You would have thunk it hey??  I hope you start to feel better!!  The weather this week in Taz has been pretty muggy and cold in the mornings and evenings!  I have been having some serious troubles sleeping though, feels like I havent had a good nights rest since nam.  But I feel alright today, kind of feel a bit groggy.  Today for P day we are going golfing, hopefully I play a little bit better than I did last time because that was kinda sad haha!  We are actually going to the Fox's for tea tonight.  We havent seen them for a while because we have been flat out as of late.  But we are excited to go over today, feels like it's been a while.  At the moment I think I am all goods.  Those pictures you sent me of the dogs made me laugh pretty hard, hopefully they get along soon haha.  I am glad to hear Mimsley's birthday went well, I wish I couldve been therre sounds like yous had a blast.  I hope you start to feel better mum, you are in my prayers daily.  Sick of being sick I reckon.  Well I love you so much!!  I hope you have an awesome week!!  Cheers cobba!
Love, Elder Richins
aka: Cmoneylove

Monday, March 10, 2014

week 30: australia style

Gday mum!!
This week was really good!  The birthday went very well!  The dinner at our Investigators (the Blowfields) went very well!  They have accepted to hear the discussions, I am so excited!!  It was so cool, we were sharing just a little spiritual message on faith because we were kind of hesitant to teach a discussion.  But after the spiritual message they asked heaps of questions about the gospel, and we just asked them if they wanted to learn more and they said they did!!  Best birthday present ever, if you ask me!!  We are going to see them again next Monday to teach them the first discussion.
Well I am staying in Rosny another 6 weeks!  When I first got the news I was pretty shocked because I have been here since nam.  I was also pretty suprised because my zone leaders were telling me before the transfer callout that I would most likely go up to the mainland and be a zone leader up there the upcoming transfer.  Haha that didnt happen, but I am super excited to be in Rosny another 6 weeks!!
We also had the oppurtunity to teach Dani this week.  We are at a crossroads with her...  She wont read or pray, so Elder Richey and I are giving her one last chance then we are going to drop her for a little while.  She just doesnt want to change at the moment, but I have faith that she will pick up the Book of Mormon at some point of her life and it will change her life.  Whether it be tomorrow or in 70 years, I have sincere faith that it will happen.  The awesome thing is, she loves coming to church, she actually came to church with her mother this past Sunday!  She just needs to read now.
We were blessed to find some solid new contacts this week, we are seeing a couple of them this afternoon.  Elder Richey and I made a goal to see at least 3 members a day though, to try and encourage the members in the ward to spread the Gospel!  I have faith that miracles will come from it!!
To be honest this was a pretty tough week, it seemed like nothing could go our way the second half of the week.  I know the mission isnt supposed to be easy, and I am thankful for the challenges that I have faced so far on my mission.  I know that as we call on the Lord daily, he will give us the strength to get through the daily demands of life. 
 MOSIAH 4:11:  And again say unto you as have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and haveatasted of his love, and have received bremission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so would that ye should remember, andalways retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own cnothingnessand his dgoodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humbleyourselves even in the depths of ehumilityfcalling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing gsteadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by themouth of the angel. 12: And behold, say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the alove of God, and always bretain a remission of yoursins; and ye shall grow in the cknowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true.  What a beautiful promise the Lord gives in this passage of scripture.  I hope I can always stand steadfastly in faith, even when the going gets tough!  This church is so true, I am so grateful for the happiness it brings to me. 

a big tree
adventure with the campbells
Hi mum!!!  How are you going??  For my birthday I got a new belt and a pretty sweet as watch!  Haha it was kind of hard to decide what to get, because I dont need much haha!  So we went into a surf shop and I looked at the watches, and I got a nixon watch that was half priced, and I love it!  I am starting up quite the watch collection now haha.  But the birthday was way good, we went to get pizza and then played basketball for ages it was awesome!  I am sorry to hear that you got sick again!  But that is exciting that you are going on trek haha!!!  You will love it! Life is going really well at the moment, Elder Richey and I are becoming really good friends.  I love that guy heaps!  ANOTHER 6 WEEKS BABY!!!  WOOOOOO HOOOOO!!!  Hahah!  That is also very exciting that I have a cousin that lands on my birthday!!  He is a cutey!  Tell them I say congrats!!  March 3rd just got a little bit better I reckon!!!  Well I love you so much mum!!  I hope you have an awesome week!!!  Cheers!
Love, Elder Richins

Sunday, March 2, 2014

week 29: australia style

GDAY MUM!!!!!!
This week was pretty good!  It seemed like it went by pretty slow, but we still saw heaps of miracles!  On a lesser note, we took a few steps back with Dani...  She has some issues with the commandments, and we havent even taught her about them yet.  She says she has definatley had a spiritual witness to know it is true but at the moment she isnt willing to change.  I have sincere faith that she will pull through though!!  A positive is that she came to church yesterday and really enjoyed it!  We are going to see her again on Thursday!
Robert is doing very well at the moment!  He is recieving the Priesthood next week, and he had his interview with Bishop yesterday!  I am super excited for him!  The YSA held a welcome night activity for Rob and he said he had heaps of fun!  Rob is going to make an excellent addition to the Rosny ward, the next step is getting him into a calling.  We are going to see him again on Wednesday and the William's family are going to teach him the Restoration in their home!  Really exciting things!
As for our Finnish Investigator Mariana, we taught her two lessons this week.  We taught her the Restoration, and left her ther commitment to read 3 Nephi 27.  Then we went over last night for a lesson, and she unfortunatley didnt have time to read the chapter we left her, but we just read it with her.  She is doing very well at the moment, and she also came to church yesterday and really enjoyed it!
This week we tried to focus on finding and we were blessed to find heaps of new contacts that we are excited to follow up with next week!  I love finding so much!  We had an awesome miracle, we recieved a call from a former investigator named Esther she is a 70 year old from the Philipines.  She wanted Elder Richey and I to come over for a meal, so we did and then we did like 2 hours of service for her.  The blessing is that we have a return appointment to come teach her next week!  It is amazing how God prepares his children!
I am so thankful to be a missionary, I am positive I have said that before, but such immense joy comes from serving my Heavenly Father!  I am so grateful that he continues to trust me to help his children come back to the fold.  Missionary work is the greatest!  Maybe more miracles will come that I am older and wiser now haha big 19!! 
 Hi Mum!!  Thank you for the birthday wishes!  It is really weird that it is my birthday, it doesnt feel much different haha!  But this morning we woke up heaps early and watched the sunrise on Mt. Wellington it was beautiful as, but it was also very cold!  Today we are going to all you can eat Pizza HUT!!!!  YESSIR!  We are also going to play some basketball and maybe go do some lazertagging!  It should be a fun as day!  Then to top the day off we are going to our Investigator's house for a birthday tea!

The bus stop picture has quite a funny story attached to it.  These punk teenagers came up to us and started giving us a hard time, then we started doing magic tricks for them that we use in lessons hahah!  They were freaking out at the magic tricks it was so funny!  After that they became our best friends and we gave them all pass along cards!  They then took pictures with us!  They also said if anyone gave us a hard time they would beat them up!  We have friends in high places I reckon!  Thank you so much for all the wonderful things you do for me!  Thank you for all the birthday wishes!  You are the best mum out there!!  I love you so much!!  I hope you have an aawesssooommmeee week!!  I got your valentines letter last week!  There are hearts everywhere now haha!  Cheers!
Love, Elder Richins