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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

August 31, 2016 College has started in New Paltz! Ton of new people to find!

Week Update.

Highlight #1
This last Sunday was a pretty wild one, Elder Essler was assigned to give a talk and we told our investigator Kenny about it and he was super pumped! So fast forward to Sunday and we arrange a ride for Kenny and all that good stuff, And Kenny comes and all of a sudden the stake presidency is here. And so sacrament meeting starts and It turns out we are getting a new Branch President! The guy who gave Kenny the ride to the chapel is the new Branch president! But anyways the stake president gets up and has All these people bear there testimonies then he says that Elder Essler doesn't have to give his talk! Elder Essler had much rejoicing. But Kenny and I were upset because we both really wanted to hear him speak! We are going to do a good job to remind the Branch presidency. 

Highlight #2
This last week we were able to have a good lesson with Jack. He has had a hard time reading the Book of Mormon and understanding faith. He really wants to have a big miracle happen that converts him. Which sort of stinks. But anyways we had a really good lesson with him about the book the Book of Mormon. And we got him to understand it a bit better. The major highlight that came from this lesson is when we left he was pretty pumped read the Book of Mormon which is what is best for him right now.

Highlight #3
College has started and there is a state university here in new Paltz which means there are a ton of new people to talk to which is great hopefully we can find some solid people to join the church! We are planning on trying to contact people at the campus, it think it should be really beneficial.

Highlight #4
Kenny used to be a really big hotshot tennis player and he runs a tennis management company. And he always told us these big stories which were wild and very big stories, so we were never sure if they were real or not. But we found out that he is going to be super busy these next couple of days because he is going down to the US open to sign some new players which is wild! It adds some depth to his stories! 

Those are all the major happenings this week! Hope you all have a good one! 

Elder Richards

Elder Richards and new companion during transfers

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

August 24, 2016 Kenny is progressing and visits with the President

Week Update

Yesterday I found out my. Returning group of missionaries is me and two sisters which is wild! It's got some potential to be pretty awkward but oh well. It doesn't really feel like I'm going home soon, It still feels like I will be out here for another couple of transfers. It's bizarre. I'm just making the most out of every day I have.
Elder Essler is up to his usual antics. That kid can chat. He is doing good though He is having fun. It seems bizarre to be realizing I'm not going to be a missionary forever. Missionary life is pretty neat. But there is a time and a season for all things. I was reflecting this week on how I've changed and I was thinking about my love and my relationship with Christ and how much He means to me. It's literally one of my most favorite things to do is to read about Him. It means so much that He suffered for me and that He did it just for me and just for everyone. I don't like to imagine His suffering. I don't like to think about it. But I know that He took it for me. That He stood in my place and felt what I will feel and also took my lickin for me. It hurts me to realize that I have caused Him that suffering and it makes me want to not cause Him anymore. And it also makes me want to help ease the suffering of others. Because as I do so, the Savior feels their ease. I am eternally grateful for my Savior, who bled and died for me and for everybody else. But I know He would have done it even it would have been just to save me, and I know that I'm not unique in that respect either. But that He would do it for anyone even if it would only save just them. His love is truly incomprehensible. I really love being a missionary. Best choice I could have made. The education I gained as a missionary is greater than any other education I could have gotten anywhere else in the world at this time of my life.

So let’s get going!

Update #1
The New Hartford Temple is nearing completion! So as missionaries we have been handing out all sorts of invitations for it which is pretty neat! Yesterday I was talking to President Smith about it. And he was saying that missionaries could get permission to leave the mission to go to it with an investigator or less active, granted they met certain requirements but it is really cool that the missionaries here will have that opportunity.

Update #2
I went on a split on Friday which was pretty neat. I went with our Zone leader Elder Paullen. He seems to be a pretty cool guy. We had a pretty good day, we met some interesting people tracting. We found an abandoned Italian resort that has been converted to a low income housing community, It seemed like it could be a scene of a horror movie it was wild. We met some pretty wild inhabitants there also. We met some Pagans which is always a treat.

Update #3
We have been talking to Kenny a lot about baptism and also baptisms for the dead, he found out he can be baptized for his father and it has really touched him. He has been really excited to be baptized and he has moved his baptismal date up a week to September 11. He also shared with us how he came to know the Book of Mormon was true which was something I had never actually heard from him. But he said he was praying one day and he asked if it was true, and he heard a voice tell him it was and then the same voice told him to get up and walk and he did. And Kenny was in a serious car accident a while back and so he struggles to get around and usually uses a walker but he said he was able to walk fine. Which is an amazing miracle and he has a stalwart testimony of the Book of Mormon which is super solid.

Update #4 
We got to build a rock wall with one of our investigators Jack, We were talking to him during it about classic cars and he said he is headed to a car show on Thursday and he has some friends he wants us to meet which is really rad!

Update #5
Yesterday I got to go to the returning missionary meeting with the Smiths it was pretty cool! We talked about college, work, dating, and marriage. It was a pretty cool meeting. The spirit was very strong and I could feel President and sister Smiths love for me. It was a great meeting and I got a ton of good advice! I took lots of notes! 

Anyways that's the latest for this week! I hope you all are having a good one! 

Elder Richards 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

August 17, 2016 Last transfer and its Elder Essler!

Week update

Things in new Paltz are going well, our investigators Kenny is doing pretty good, he has rescheduled his baptismal date which is good hopefully this one will work out. Our investigator Anush has disappeared which stinks, we haven't heard from him for a while which really stinks, the last thing we have heard from him is him asking if we were a Baptist church. Hopefully he didn't get into anything bad on the Internet. Our investigator Jack has some interesting theory's regarding church history, he was telling us that he thinks that Joseph Smiths visits from Moroni we extra terrestrial. It's weird. He was telling us about how there are a ton of gold records hidden in Kanab Utah which is another random story. He's got some weird ideas. Those are really our most progressing people. We did meet a lady whose arms and legs were gone, she told us she believes she a reincarnated Indian prince. Which is really weird all the people here seem to be a little crazy!

Week highlight #1
This week we got invited to a weird private Ward party with a few family members in the branch. A Jamaican couple brought some jerk chicken and I tried it and it was killer! They told me I need to learn English, because I'm a Jamaican. They are super funny people!

Week sort of highlight #2
Kenny had a scheduled baptism and he passed his baptismal interview, but he decided he wasn't ready for baptism which stunk. He came to church though which is a good thing and had a really good time at church and got to witness a baptism of a primary kid

Week Highlight #3
The baptism on Sunday was for a primary kid and it was nuts! The kid that was baptized was a wild man! After the baptism they wanted to confirm him but he was not down! He made a run for it and they had to catch him! Then they had to plop him down and his parents held him and they quickly gave him the Holy Ghost. It was a wild day.

Week highlight #4
We got transfer calls on Saturday night, Elder Matson got transferred to the city and I got Elder Essler! The honey bear! He's wild! This is the area he was trained in which is wild! I didn't expect it to happen or him either! We were both companions at the start of our missions now we are comps at the end of our missions!

Week highlight #5 this week started my last transfer which is wild!
It's weird! I don't really feel different though! So that is good!

This week has been sort of quiet but also crazy! Anyways have a good week!

Elder Richards
New Paltz

Elder Matson and I

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

August 10, 2016 Transfers next week.

Week Update

Highlight #1
            We had a pretty good lesson with one of our investigators named Anush. He is a referral from a member. He is straight from India but he is a really good guy. We talked a lot about what his views on God are. He has some weird ideas but we are working to get them sorted out soon. He is committed to pray to find out if there is a God, he has a Hindu background, which is pretty interesting. Its always a fun time to teach people with no Christian Background. We got to start from the foundational principles and work up.

Highlight #2
            We got to meet with our investigator Jack Klix on one of those days this week. He is doing well. He has investigated the church for a long time and I'm surprised at how little he knows. He has a very spotty knowledge of the gospel. As we talk we usually end up finding one or two principles he has never heard of and once we implement them he usually really likes the results in how it ties things together. We also found out he is a revolutionary war re-enactor. He couldn't come to church this week because he is the captain of the New York 18th militia or something.

Highlight #3
            We were at the Branch Mission leaders house for correlation and afterwards we got to resurface a road for the widow who lives across the road, then we stopped to go pick up the car at the Branch Mission leaders house and someone had put gas in his Kubota tractor so after a long discussion on tractors I ended up syphoning out the gas, and then filling it with diesel. Felt good to get to fiddle with tractors again though.

Highlight #4
            We got to help with the bishops storehouse yesterday which was pretty neat. They utilized our strong backs and weak minds. We ended up unloading the truck then sorting the food then filling the orders and then hauling them to people's cars. All in all a good time. The best part was that at the end they had some food that nobody took so they divided it out to the people helping. And I got my hand on a jar of cannery salsa, which is some of the best salsa out there.

Highlight #5
            After District meeting this week we destroyed a Chinese buffet, which is always a good time

Highlight #6
            Kenny our investigator has a baptismal date for this Sunday, which should be pretty good. We have been keeping daily contact with him to make sure that he is feeling ready and working towards his goal of baptism. I think things will work out. He is doing well so far. But he has missed a lot of his baptismal dates in the past

All in all a good week! Have a good one!

Elder Richards 

Monday, August 8, 2016

August 3, 2016 Zone Confrence and Splits!

Week Update
Highlight #1 

Thursday we had Zone Conference, We had a lot of different trainings which were all pretty neat, we had the guy in charge of all the church's fleet vehicles come out and check out all the cars we have in the mission and he gave us a training it turns out the mission spent some pretty big bucks on preventable repairs on the cars so he told us to be careful. We had a training on the Book of Mormon as well and all other sorts of goodies. All in all it was a good meeting. 

Highlight #2

Saturday I got to go on a split with Elder Frei, he is my Zone Leader up here. He is a really good guy. We had some crazy shenanigans happen while we were on a split so we ended up doing a lot of Zone leader stuff. It was one of the wildest splits on my mission but we had a good time. We had some good chats. 
Highlight #3

While on the split we had their ward correlation with Ray Smith, I don't know if I've talked about him before but he basically is like Santa for the missionaries, He travels around the mission and hooks up missionaries where ever they are. Anyways he is the ward mission leader in their ward so he took us to lunch at Red Robin which was pretty fun. I got a tasty hamburger and had great conversation.
Highlight #4

This week our mission got selected to be a test mission for a new style of nightly planning. Which is pretty neat! We aren't going out of preach my gospel but instead we basically have a glue in for a new style of planning. This new planning really emphasizes helping your investigators progress and seems to be less key indicator focused over all I really like it. We focus on one person at a time and discuss what they need. I think it should be really effective.
Highlight #5

We got to take the car in this week and we got some sweet new Bridgestone’s on it. During Car inspections at Zone Conference we got informed that we needed to get new tires an oil change and a new safety inspection. So a couple of days later we took it into the Firestone because the church has a fleet deal there. Anyways it took a while so elder Matson and I wandered around the area trying to talk to some people.
Highlight #6 

We had zone meeting on Monday and it was good it went super long which sort of stunk, It went for three hours when it's usually a hour and a half, it sort of stunk but it was whatever. 
All in all this was a pretty good week. Today we are probably headed to the county fair which should be pretty fun I think! Hope you all have a great week! 

Elder Richards