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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

April 29, 2015 Did someone say Ice Cream?

This week has been pretty good!
            Thursday was fun, we went to Fort Tyron park for our exercises, It was really pretty, the Cloisters are at the top of this hill that essentially is the park, Anyways It was really
pretty because all the flowers are starting to bloom, It is wonderful.
            Elder Ficklin is getting ready for football so he was running up the hills because the park is really all uphill so I just rode a penny board around it was really awesome! Its totally rad! So later that day we taught Paul Cabell again, he is really a interesting guy but he loves having the missionaries come over, and he is really nice so we stop in to see how he is doing and we brought him a candle we bought him for his birthday, so that’s rad. he seemed to enjoy it. Later that day we went and had Dinner with a rad member family. They lived on a boat for seven months and sailed from somewhere in the Caribbean to
New York just for fun they are really cool!
            Friday was pretty interesting, we got a referral so we went to look it up and it turned out to be a preacher at the Manhattan Bible Church he wasn't there but another preacher there told us to comeback again later to see if he is there. So that will be interesting. Later we went to our lesson with Jay he called us I think on Tuesday and said he had some concerns and he didn't know if he wanted to be baptized, Anyways we had a
member from the ward come with us and he Really helped we cleared up all his concerns and It was awesome, We will probably still move his baptismal date back but it doesn't really natter when he gets baptized he just needs to be ready! Anyways it was a really awesome lesson.
            Saturday was spent mostly tracting so that was all right. Sunday we had a regional broadcast from salt lake With Elder Anderson and Elder Hales speaking It was really good! Sisters Reeves from the Relief Society Presidency Threw down and Was spitting fire about how real repentance is it was totally awesome! It was a Rad stake/area conference. Later that night we went to dinner with our ward mission leader at his house and his neighbors down the hall are members too and we ran into them and it turns out that he was my junior high band class student teacher. And now he is a big shot on Broadway so that’s cool. Mormon connection.
            Monday was pretty good. We went to district meeting. And President Morgan Invited Elder Ficklin and I up to the mission home for dinner and him and elder Ficklin are working on a document together so we were looking forward to that but a sisters
appendix was wigging out so we got a rain check but its all cool.

            Tuesday we tracted a lot, the highlight of the day was the near by grocery stores freezers went out so they had a wicked deal on Ice Cream. But that’s been the week! Today is pretty busy! We are going to The Yankees Game so If you see to Mormons By the batter its us! Elder Ficklin got us hooked up with some screamin tickets! Also before the game we are going to cruise the parks a little It will be fun! Anyways, have a great week!

Elder Richards

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

April 22, 2015 Tracting, Tracting, Tracting, and more Tracting!

Week update!
   So this week has been pretty fun and crazy in Inwood! Lots has happened! So last Wednesday we went to the Cloisters it’s a museum in Inwood and its a branch of the met it was really cool it had a ton of medieval art! Then we took a subway down to central park and threw a Frisbee around down there. It was pretty cool. 
   Thursday was pretty good. We spent the morning in the financial district. We got the one Elder who lives in Kazakhstan, papers done. So that’s good! On the subway up we met a member who just moved into the city so that’s cool. She was freaking out. So we showed her the Temple/chapel. Then we bounced. After that we went to the clothing exchange and sorted a ton of donated stuff for pretty much the rest of the evening. 
   The next morning we had a huge line of random people waiting to get in to the gym for the clothing exchange. And we let them in and they went nuts. There was Elder Ficklin and I and the AP's. It was nuts they pretty much took anything of value. There was one lady who came and picked up a ton of stuff took it down the street and then started selling it on the street, it was weird. Anyways we then hauled the rest of the stuff to the AP's truck and took it to a good will. We had to make two trips, And while we were buzzing around Manhattan we stopped in at Taco Bell for lunch. It was really fun, after that we swept the gym and the Spanish and English wards had a combined party that no one really showed up too so it was a little awkward, The English missionaries destroyed the Spanish ward at Volleyball though. We were back to back champs 4 times then we had to leave for an appointment. But it was pretty cool regardless. 
   Sunday we went to church but none of our investigators  came to church. So that stunk but church was still really good. After church we did some tracting then we had a dinner appointment that was interesting. I ate some nasty yogurt that nobody warned me about and one of the AP's caught a picture of it. I will be sure to attach it. 
   Monday was pretty good we had District meeting which was pretty good our district is only 4 missionaries and so they are sometimes quiet but the sisters this week were chatty so it worked out well. After district meeting we went home made lunch then we bounced to do some tracting. After we did that we went to a dinner appointment it was pretty fun! They had chips and salsa and for some
reason when you are on the island of Manhattan Salsa prices double so I have been missing it! Anyways it was a treat. After dinner we went and looked up some less actives. 
   And yesterday we had an Area Proselyting Focus it was pretty interesting basically me and Elder Snieder our Zone leader were assigned by a set of sisters a certain bus to ride for two hours and talk to people. So we got on the bus and the only people on it were Jehovah’s Witness Missionaries, So we rode it and then just decided to go talk to people in a park so we did that. Later the evening we went to visit a less active, it was crazy! But really good too it was a good thing we went and visited them! 
   It's amazing as you bear your testimony, it's what touches people, you can teach doctrine all day but once we bear our personal testimony its when the spirit can really testify! It's really awesome! Tracting has been pretty fun, we are always meeting crazy people!
   Prophets are rad! That is a amazing experience! I've been learning so much about how wonderful it is that we actually have a prophet alive today! It's awesome! 
   On the way home we were walking though the park and we found a skunk! IN the middle of Manhattan! It was nuts! Anyways today we are going to the temple and that’s all we have really planned! 

Have a great week!

Elder Richards

Pulling a fast one on me, Bad Yogurt, me no likey!
Come rain or shine!

Skunk in the park, stand back!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

April 15, 2015 Free ice cream!

Week Update
So this week has been really crazy! We have had lots of fun though! So to start off Thursday was crazy! There was just this random old man in the hallway of our apartment with a circular saw cutting some edging. And he has this little dog running around. Anyways we talk to him for a bit and next thing I know he is giving us his dog to wash! We told him we give service, and he asked if we would wash his dog. So we did! I’m not going to lie it was nice to be able to work with a dog! I miss mine! Anyways later that night we went to a sport night the ward mission puts on. Pretty much a whole ton of hood rats showed up and played basketball it was really weird.
Friday we went and taught a member in the ward Paul, he is really interesting. He is super lonely so he has the missionaries teach him a lesson once a week. So we taught him and on our way out he remembered that we will go past his Laundromat on the way home! How convenient! Anyways he has us take his laundry for him. Anyways we went street contacting. It was pretty interesting. We went on this bike ride that was full of people, until we got on it! Then it was like a bone yard. It was weird anyways afterwards a Less Active called us and said he wanted to meet and he had a present for us! So we head over and let me tell you it was quite a surprise! It was a picture of an African American Jesus. I will attach a Picture its unique he said he got it at the chapel a couple of years ago. But I’ve never seen a picture like it at any chapel, but who knows I give him an “A” for effort, anyways we taught him and that was about the day.
Saturday we were woken up at 6 am by Paul. He wasn't feeling good so he needed us to pick up his laundry that day. I don’t know why he felt like he needed to wake us up early but he deemed it necessary so I’m like whatever. I was a little upset though. Anyways we spent most of the day doing service at this community service garden thing it was pretty good I just moved rocks around and pulled weeds and fixed some PVC sprinkler system it was pretty good, I enjoyed it, it reminded me of working at the barn. Anyways we got pizza out of it so that cool! Later that day we were tracting and we go to get inside a building and an orthodox Jew lets us in and we walk in and there are like 40 orthodox Jews chillin out in this lobby of the apartment building. So its way awkward because they all have the black robes and the curls and the cowboy hats on, And then there is me and Elder Ficklin in full proselyting clothes so we b line for the elevator to drop off blood drive flyers, And we get inside and see all the Hebrew and realize that we are in the Jewish Neighborhood! Then we realize that it’s Saturday their Sabbath! So we head back to the lobby walk past all the Jews and head out! It was way weird!
Sunday was a Fiasco! Sacrament was good for us at least, the sisters invited a woman to come to church Saturday night and she showed up but she was very drunk, she was pretty good until sacrament. Then she started yelling. She was calling the sisters Satan and she was yelling at the bishop that she wanted to talk to him because he looked peaceful and she wanted his peace. Anyways the second councilor came down and took her to the bishop’s office and they chatted from what I understand. The whole time we were sitting with our awesome investigator Jay, he missed all of it too because he was reading the Gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlet. It is cool he has a baptismal date for May 9th so we are looking forward to that! Also in gospel principles he made a comment about how the book of Mormon is kind of like the scriptures, how they guide us to God and never change. It was awesome! He has only met with us three times and he is just super prepared! It’s awesome!
Anyways Monday was mediocre We street contacted pretty much the whole day, we ate lunch on a bench and some random Mexican man came up to us gave us free Ice cream because we weren't Jehovah's witnesses then he preached to us about the apostasy and how the trinity is crap. Half of it was in Spanish it was way weird but I got free ice cream and he actually was teaching true doctrine so that was cool! And another highlight someone on the subway was blasting Africa by Toto so that was a tender mercy. Tuesday We went to the finical district to do some legal work for one of the missionaries it was pretty fun it was basically like a day at the DMV but it was whatever! But that’s been about the week! Inwood is nuts!
Today we are going to the cloisters! It’s a museum right by the chapel here in Inwood. It’s a branch of the Met so it will be pretty cool!
            Anyway it’s definitely been an adventure! I’ve been Praying for both sets of grandma’s and grandpas! I hope they are doing well! I’m still hitting the gym! I’ve been super sore lately but that’s good! We are having a clothing exchange on Saturday and I’m super excited to see what weird items people bring! I’m looking forward to it!
Anyways! Love you guys have a great week!

Elder Richards
The dog we got to wash!
Hey! How you doin?

Reminds me of Grandma Rieske!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

April 8, 2015 So week one in Inwood!

So week one in Inwood!
 It’s been wild! Wednesday night Elder Ficklin and I went and taught a lesson to a Asian man named Jay, and we got a baptismal date with him so that’s really awesome! He’s a cool guy we don't know a whole ton about him yet though! But he seems really interesting! Thursday we refigured the apartment, we have it set up now really cool. I like it! We have a really good ceiling fan! It keeps it cool at night! Thursday we were able to teach two lessons! One of which was to an investigator named Mark, he is really struggling with a coffee and smoking addiction. But we are working with him, Friday we met with two people in the ward, one is a really old guy named Paul he is really interesting he just called us and said he wanted a lesson. So we showed up and taught him one. He is a really interesting guy! Anyways after that we ended up teaching a lesson to a man named Fredrick, I don't think that he is fully there. He is really unique he just wanted to read the Book of Mormon with us and then see a video from the church, He is just really unique! Saturday and Sunday were general conference, I really enjoyed it! There were some great talks given! I’m really looking forward to studying them all! It is really cool to watch conference as a missionary. Monday was super interesting.
So Inwood is commonly referred to as “in hood”, it's pretty ghetto, anyways I have seen so much weird stuff since being here, there are hood rats who just sluff elementary school and crawl around the scaffolding outside our apartment, anyways Monday a member in the Spanish Ward wanted to take the whole zone out to breakfast. So we showed up, it was so weird the waitress could hardly speak English, anyways I had pretty much no clue about what was being said the whole time, I ordered a glass of milk sounds safe right? So I get it in a coffee cup and it’s a little bit creamy in color so I'm thinking something is up, I take a whiff of it and it smelt like fried cheese so at this point I'm starting to sweat a little, I stir it with my spoon and then blow off a spoonful to cool it off, I taste it and it's got a curd or something it and it like no Bueno, it tastes like fried rice, and weird creamy cheese, it's freaking weird. So I don't know what to do I have to finish it because this sweet old Spanish woman is getting it for me, so I just decided to bite the bullet and chug it, it was rough. I about lost it all over the table I started to cough and my comp was slapping my back, it was quite a scene, but I downed it right? It was weird. We legitimately think it was goat’s milk. Like all jokes set aside, we think it was goats milk. Anyways so many random things happened we got bowls of syrup and the zone is just weird it's a ton of Spanish missionaries who just do bizarre stuff.
            Anyways I'm in awe of how strange this is and all of a sudden the Spanish woman hobbles over to Elder Ficklin and I and randomly starts telling us in broken English about this time she tried calling some guy and she called him three times and he never called her back, and she just tells us this for five minutes then she just hobbles out of the restaurant, nobody has a clue where she went. And she is gone for like twenty minutes then she comes back with a picture of her in a barrel that says Niagara daredevil and it looks like it's going off of Niagara falls, and I am at this point completely speechless. I have absolutely no clue what is going on. There is a Spanish elder who can't figure out if the picture was real or photo shopped. It's obviously just a weird little photo booth thing. But he can't figure it out. Anyways our food gets to us finally and I get bread with pretty much raw egg yolks on it, I have absolutely no clue why. So I start trying to eat it and not puke up the goat’s milk. And the Spanish lady leaves again for about 10 minutes this time and then comes bag with a little bag from a bodega, and she points at me and has me pick a random number so I'm just like seven and she starts cheering and hands me the bag and it's got some Oreos and some slices of bread and cake, so I just start being like "whoooo baked goods yeah" trying to act like I know why I have been given these and why the number seven is such a good reason to cheer. Anyways it's fine ally time to go because everyone stands up and leaves so we are on the subway to the chapel and the only clarification I get is I won the sister Veracruz lottery she does every time she takes the zone to breakfast and that's why I won the goodies and bread. That still doesn't explain why she only had me pick a number though.
            Anyways that whole day was weird we went to a opera sing along that evening, it was way awkward about a 1/4 off all the people there were missionaries, nobody from the stake really showed up. It was weird nobody had a freaking clue how to sing opera either so it was a bunch of missionaries and old people with five or six opera singers singing for two hours... It was weird. I took a selfie during it I will attach. Anyways Tuesday was mediocre we tracked into a crazy woman she let us in and we started talking about the restoration and she started telling us about how she quit her job because the voices in her head were being mean, so we remembered we had to leave and on her way out we noticed there was a old pass along card on her fridge, so it's obviously not the first visit from the missionaries.

Anyways Inwood is really fun there really is never a dull moment from midgets driving motorcycles to a bunch of old catholic women hauling full size crosses up the Inwood hill, it's a party!

Elder Richards

Me with Elder Ficklin on the right.

Zone Opera Sing along!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April 1, 2015 New Companion, New Area, Same City!

Hey guys!
   This week has been a pretty interesting one! A lot has happened! Anyways to start off last Wednesday night I got a call from President Morgan! He was calling me to be a trainer for an Elder from the Philippines and also he wanted me to train him and open a new area! Its nuts! So I accept it, and go on about my evening. The next day, was pretty average we buzzed around Taught people nothing to crazy.
   Friday I headed up to Scarsdale for the train the trainer meeting. So to start off, President begins to talks about weird trainer situations. And so he has me look at Elder Driggs another Elder who is training and he asks Elder Driggs what happened to his trainee and he's like he went home after day one. So then Presidents like, "Elder Richards your trainee isn't coming either!" It turns out his visa got revoked and he is stuck in the Philippines right now. So there is a plot twist! I don't know if I will train him next cycle or what! Anyways, President wanted me to still open the area so he is having me do it with Elder Ficklin, he is going home soon and just got released from being a zone leader so I would say that’s good news! Also Friday night we said goodbye to Steven Pendergrass! He left for Tennessee then he is going to the MTC afterwards! He is a great guy!
   Saturday we went Contacting in Central Park! It was pretty good! It’s getting to be nice weather!
   Sunday was average; we had one of our new Investigators Jorge Cabillo come to fast and testimony meeting! It was pretty rad!
   Monday we had Zone meeting, it was petty good! It felt weird because they were planning goals and stuff for the zone but pretty much the whole Zone is getting moved around! Anyways Monday was average.
   And yesterday was spent the majority of the day packing! So that’s pretty cool! We also went to a member house for dinner and we invited Jorge to come with is and he did! We taught the plan of salvation and got a baptismal date! So that’s way rad! It just stinks I wont be here to see it! Anyways I’m headed to transfers now! Have a great week!

     So I’m at transfers! My new comp is Elder Ficklin! From Arizona he seems really cool! I’m opening the new area to! I don’t know a whole bunch about it. But yeah I’m just hanging out! I am still on Manhattan island and my area is 155th street north to the tip of the island. This is north of Harlem and its where a lot of people from the Dominican Republic live. It will be pretty fun I think! I’m looking forward to IT! so there were missionaries here a couple of cycles ago but they pulled them out and now they are opening it up again!

 Elder Richards 

Kicken it!