A selfie for mom!

A selfie for mom!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

This is it: the last week for me to work as a full-time missionary.

This is it: the last week for me to work as a full time missionary. We have three baptisms for Sunday. Lucas (20), Julio (16), and Isaque (14) are excited to be baptized and they love the church. This week, I´m going to do everything I can to help them be ready. Also this week, I´ll be visiting everybody I can, exhorting them to endure to the end. I want to leave a legacy (as we learned in our meeting with the stake president yesterday) so that when the members think of me, they think of dedication to the kingdom of God. I want to dedicate my whole life to the edifying of the kingdom of God on the Earth. I know that this is the work of salvation, and that Christ is at it´s head, leading the way. I know that He lives and that He loves each and every one of us. I look forward to seeing all of you in days to come, but for now, I leave my testimony of these things in the name of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, amen. -- Élder Thomas Richins Ala Jardim Mirna Estaca Grajaú Missão Brasil São Paulo Interlagos

Monday, October 5, 2015

What does the Lord need me to do after the mission?

So, this week has been super busy. But I´m feeling great! I have three of my best friends (Elders N Castro, Ward, and Sharp) by my side! I got to watch general conference! And I am super pumped to baptize before I go! This conference, I heard two things that I was wanting to hear: 1) what does the Lord need me to do after the mission (and how to do it), and 2) how to better fulfill the promises in my patriarchal blessing. I´m making a lot of goals for how to finish my mission strong and how to keep improving after I get home. Sorry I don´t have much to say... It must have to do with the end coming so soon. But I love you all so much! I´m so happy to see all the blessings that come to my family while I have been out here. That is the number one thing that has helped me keep going. You guys are my motivation to keep pushing my handcart despite the figuratively freezing conditions. And on this journey, I have truly met my Heavenly Father and my Savior through my afflictions. I am eternally grateful for my mission, and for my Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Love, Elder Richins -- Élder Thomas Richins Ala Jardim Mirna Estaca Grajaú Missão Brasil São Paulo Interlagos

Monday, September 28, 2015

Super busy week!

Super busy week! But the good news is that the reflexology is working! I get less and less depressed! Plus my companion is the best! And Elder Ward is my district leader! And this ward continues to be awesome. We move forward with the daily activities. They are becoming more and more independent of the missionaries. By the time I leave, I want them to be done completely by the members themselves. We have a new ward mission leader, Luciano, who is super excited to help. Agora vai! And one of the young men in the ward received his mission call to go to Argentina! He´ll be the ward´s 6th missionary, the 2nd in his family, and the 2nd in the ward to go to Argentina. The other sister who is serving in Argentina is serving in Elder N. Castro´s mission, close to his house! Well, this week will be a lot less crazy! Less running around and more working! I´m really excited. I want to do my best and work as hard as I can before I come home. I love you all and hope you have a great week! -- Élder Thomas Richins Ala Jardim Mirna Estaca Grajaú Missão Brasil São Paulo Interlagos

Monday, August 31, 2015

Depression hit really hard

Depression hit really hard! But I got to do an exchange with a good friend, Elder N Castro and get out of my area for a day. Plus, I got to see the wedding and baptism of two investigators, Francisco and Andreá that I found more than a year and a half ago! And we got to have the baptism of a little girl, Rafaela, whose mom we are helping come back to activity. I just got done with an interview with President. He´s doing everything to help me end my mission happy and diligent! He gave me a book (in english) "Drawing on the Powers of Heaven". I´ve read it in Portuguese, but now I´ll get even more out of it! Plus I bought an anti-stress coloring book. Sounds kinda pathetic, but I´ve seen it work on Elder Mota, and I know it´ll help me when times get rough. I´m also writing well in my journal (I´ve been writing in English since mom´s birthday) so I´ve got lots of stories for you guys. We´ll be working towards helping my converts go to the temple! Elder Mota and I are doing great! I´ll keep Grandma Richins and Grandma Frei in my prayers! Love you all! -- Élder Thomas Richins Ala Jardim Mirna Estaca Grajaú Missão Brasil São Paulo Interlagos

Monday, August 24, 2015

I want to have a pure heart.

So. There´s not much that I can report this week. I have lots of stories that I could tell, but I´ve got just a little bit of time, so I´ll just ask for a lot of prayers! The depression is being really annoying. I´m going through a lot of trials this last week. It´s best that i not go into details, but I´m fine physically and I´m still smiling. The mission isn´t getting any easier! ;) Our meeting with Elder Andersen was AWESOME! He is officially my new favorite apostle. I want to be just like him! I want to have a pure heart! I also loved our meeting (yesterday) with Elder Aidukaitis (of the Seventy). An amazing weekend! I know that they are called of God. I testify that the Twelve Apostles are indeed Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, special witnesses of Him. He lives. I testify of Him in His holy name, Jesus Christ. amen. -- Élder Thomas Richins Ala Jardim Mirna Estaca Grajaú Missão Brasil São Paulo Interlagos

Monday, August 17, 2015

I love Him and rejoice to testify of Him.

This week is full of great meetings! Last Sunday was ward conference, tomorrow is a leadership meeting, and Wednesday is district meeting. Saturday is a special two-mission conference at the temple with Elder Aidukatis of the Seventy and Elder Anderson of the Twelve! And this Sunday, we have a special stake conference with Elder Aidukatis! Today, I'm at the foot doctor for a follow-up, and we plan on going with Sister Dalton to get my suit measurements. Tomorrow, we will have a showing of "17 Miracles" at the church. So, Elder Ward was transferred to São Marcos ward, in the Embú das Artes stake, in the city of Embú das Artes, which is a couple hours away. My new companion is Elder Mota, from Fortaleza, Ceará, the city of Elder Almeida and Elder Pinheiro (former companions) and many other missionaries in this mission. He's 22 and the only member in his family. As you could see in the facebook photo, he's a little short. But he's hilarious and, when he needs to be, super spiritual. He definitely has some spiritual gifts for teaching and speaking. We're already great friends! I am so happy to be a missionary and a member of this church! How glad I am to be born into such a wonderful family, safe within the gospel of Jesus Christ. I testify that He lives and that He is our Savior. He is the Only Begotten Son of our Heavenly Father. He is Almighty, All-knowing, and His mercy and grace know no end. I love Him and rejoice to testify of Him in His holy name, Jesus Christ. Amen! -- Élder Thomas Richins Ala Jardim Mirna Estaca Grajaú Missão Brasil São Paulo Interlagos

Monday, August 10, 2015

He loves us with an unimaginable love.

Well, I´m still here! And probably going to finish my mission here, too! Elder Ward gets transferred tomorrow! We´ve decided that we need to be separated anyway. We´re just having way too much fun. It´ll be good to get some young´ns to keep us old coots in line. Plus it was getting really trunkie. But I will miss his cakes and his "midnight blond" moments. We´ll definitely hang out after the mission (we may have even made plans already). So, the weekly activities in the ward are going great! They are being announced in church, and, last Sunday, schedules were handed out to all the members. The newly called Relief Society president and her husband talked about my Bible Study in both their talks last Sunday. I taught about the Fall of Adam and Eve. This week, I will teach about the ancient patriarchs, Abel, Seth, Enoque, Mathusalem, Noah, and Shem. It´ll be awesome! And in our movie night tomorrow night, we´ll be showing "Legacy". Lots of great stuff is happening. You´ll probably get pictures tonight and throughout the week from the members of the ward here. Can you believe that I will have 1 year serving in Jardim Mirna? I just love it here! I look forward to a wedding/baptism at the end of August, a visit from Elder Neil L. Anderson on the 22nd of August, the sealing of Vagner and Sueli, and many more wonderful things! This Sunday, I will perform with the ward choir at ward conference. I´m super excited! And I got the package! Thanks so much for the goodies! I loved the t-shirt and the mini-Captain Moroni. I´m reading through the Bible again. I´m going to start Job today. I am officially making a goal to finish the four standard works by the time I get home. Can you ask Bishop Belnap if I can do a special musical number at my homecoming? And if Mom could start practicing number 127 in the hymnal to accompany me that would be great! I´ll be singing this hymn: https://www.lds.org/music/library/hymns/does-the-journey-seem-long?lang=eng. I´d also like to give a talk if I could. I testify that Jesus Christ is our own personal Savior. He loves us with an unimaginable love. He is our King. I love Him. I testify of Him in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. -- Élder Thomas Richins