A selfie for mom!

A selfie for mom!

Monday, January 20, 2014

My Portuguese is improving a lot!

I think that´s all the homework I´ll need. I´ll let you know next week.
About care packages: remember to wrap it really obnoxiously. Also include lots of pictures of Christ.  Before I leave this area, I´ll make a CD with all of my pictures on it and send ya´ll a copy. I haven´t recieved those three packages yet (Rachel, meds, and YW). Who knows? Maybe I´ll get it soon. 
In case you are wondering about my Portuguese, I can tell you that I´m improving a lot. I´ve had members and investigators tell me that I´m getting a lot better! Here´s my letter to my mission president:

Boa tarde, Presidente!
Nossa! Esta semana teve sido uma semana de altos e baixos, com doente, tempestades, calor, e o constante ataques por Satanás. Mas também, tenho um companheiro bom de mais, ala bom de mais, pesquisadores bom de mais, lideres de zona, pizza, etc, etc. Tive Conferencia Multizona, qual era muito, muito, muito bom, meu reunião preferido de todo ate agora; Estamos quase terminado com Doze Semanas; Eu falei com meu amigo do CTM (Élder Sharp) durante Conferencia Multizona; Estou tendo divertido!; Meu portuguese é melhorando cada dia, e muitas pessoas falaram que eu falo bem; e acima de tudo, eu ajudava trés pessoas seguir o exemplo de Jesus Cristo, sendo batizado, recebendo o Espirito Santo, e (por um), recebendo o Sacerdócio Aarônico. Estou muito animado por esta semana. Vamos melhorar nos mesmos, tornando mais convertido e discípulos verdadeiros de nosso Salvador e Líder, Jesus Cristo, enquanto melhorando Jardim Mirna, membros, menos-ativos, recém-conversos, e non-membros. Estou muito animado! Só alegria aqui, em este parte da vinha do Senhor. Abrigado por todo você faz. 
Elder Richins

Now I´ll try to translate it (English is actually getting really hard now):

Good afternoon, President!
Wow! This week has been a week of ups and downs, with sickness, storms, heat, and the constant attack by Satan. But also, I have a really good companion, a really good ward, really good investigators, zone leaders, pizza, etc, etc. I´ve had the Multi-Zone Conference, which was really, really, really good, my favorite meeting yet! We are almost done with Twelve Weeks [the training program]. I got to talk to my friend from the MTC (Elder Sharp) during the Multi-Zone Conference. I´m having FUN! My Portuguese is improving every day, and a lot of people said that I speak well. And above all, I helped three people follow the example of Jesus Christ, being baptized, recieving the Holy Ghost, and (for one) recieving the Aaronic Priesthood. I´m really excited for this week. We will improve ourselves, becoming more converted and true disciples of our Savior and Leader, Jesus Christ, while improving Jardim Mirna [our ward], members, less actives, recent converts, and non members. I´m really excited! Only happiness here, in this part of the Lord´s vineyard. Thanks for everything you do.
Elder Richins. 

So I´m running out of time again. But I want you to know that the Church is true, that Jesus is the Christ, Joseph Smith was a prophet and Thomas S. Monson is now. God is our Loving Heavenly Father. I love you all so much. Stay true to the faith and keep up the work of salvation!

Elder Richins

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

We have two baptisms on Saturday!

Maddie is so cute!
This week was really hard, but I grew spiritually from it. Elder Almeida´s mom is really sick. She is going to have a surgery this month. Can you put her name in the temple for me? Raimunda Almeida. 
I made some really good goals for the new year that I can show you next week. 
How is you homework from me going?
We have two baptisms on Saturday, Paulo and Tassia. Vai ser bom de mais! 
We are also moving into a new house this week. It´s bigger, quieter, and cleaner, and it´ll just be Elder Almeida and I again. (Right now, we are living with the zone leaders, Elder Alonzo from Uruguay, and Elder Crosland from Salt Lake City.
Almoço is hard, because it´s our one sure opportunity to eat every day, so it makes up about 80% of our food intake. And since I physically can´t eat as much as I should according to custom, it´s complicated. But I´m finding a balance, and everyone says I´m getting skinnier, so I guess all´s well. When we arrive in the new house, I´ll be able to exercise more in the mornings. I am also going to give up soda, since juice and water are almost always available, também. 
So, I haven´t received the medicine (probably confiscated by officials in the post office) or Rachel´s present, or the YW´s present. But I got everything else (from Aunt Barb, the Thompsons, Pat Gilbert, the Primary, the Whites, and Lila Nokes.) 
My favorite section in the Doctrine and Covenants is the one addressed to Thomas B Marsh (It´s in the 30s). It´s really good and each verse is awesome. You gotta read it as a family!
Protein bars are expensive, but you could send me that next time, or slimfast mix. Eggs, mangos, and milk are not expensive, so protein shakes are possible. 
C S Lewis is one of my favorite authors!
Tell me all about your week!
I love hearing from you!
I love you so much!
Elder Richins

My favorite section in the Doctrine and Covenants

Section 31
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Thomas B. Marsh, September 1830. The occasion was immediately following a conference of the Church (see theheading to section 30). Thomas B. Marsh had been baptized earlier in the month and had been ordained an elder in the Church before this revelation was given.
1–6, Thomas B. Marsh is called to preach the gospel and is assured of his family’s well-being; 7–13, He is counseled to be patient, pray always, and follow the Comforter.
 aThomas, my son, blessed are you because of your faith in my work.
 Behold, you have had many afflictions because of your family; nevertheless, I will bless you and your afamily, yea, your little ones; and the day cometh that they will believe and know the truth and be one with you in my church.
 Lift up your heart and rejoice, for the hour of your mission is come; and your tongue shall be loosed, and you shall declare agladtidings of great joy unto this generation.
 You shall adeclare the things which have been revealed to my servant, Joseph Smith, Jun. You shall begin to preach from this time forth, yea, to reap in the field which is bwhite already to be burned.
 Therefore, athrust in your sickle with all your soul, and your sins are bforgiven you, and you shall be laden with csheaves upon your back, for the dlaborer is worthy of his hire. Wherefore, your family shall live.
 Behold, verily I say unto you, go from them only for a littleatime, and declare my word, and I will prepare a place for them.
 Yea, I will aopen the hearts of the people, and they will receive you. And I will establish a church by your hand;
 And you shall astrengthen them and prepare them against the time when they shall be gathered.
 Be apatient in bafflictionscrevile not against those that revile. Govern your dhouse in meekness, and be esteadfast.
 10 Behold, I say unto you that you shall be a physician unto the church, but not unto the world, for they will not receive you.
 11 Go your way whithersoever I will, and it shall be given you by the aComforter what you shall do and whither you shall go.
 12 aPray always, lest you enter into btemptation and lose yourcreward.
 13 Be afaithful unto the bend, and lo, I am cwith you. These words are not of man nor of men, but of me, even Jesus Christ, your Redeemer, by the dwill of the Father. Amen.


Elder Thomas Richins
Ala Jardim Mirna 
Estaca Grajaú

Monday, January 6, 2014

The most important thing we can do on this earth is preach the gospel.

Sister Silva is awesome! Her son, Thiago, was the translator. Yup, I bore my testimony, so did Elder Almeida and Sisters C. Santos and Küster. Yup. OUR WARD GOT SISTERS!!!! FINALLY! Our area was split and Elder Almeida is District Leader now. Elder Sharp, my DL in the MTC, arrived, too, and I got to see him and get a picture really quickly. I got letters from the Whites, the Thompsons, Sister Gilbert (Pat), and the Primary (the latter being my favorite Christmas present! Sorry, but it was awesome! I almost cried!) Supply of meds is good for now. Still waiting for that package and Rachel´s present. Retainers every night. 
So, I heard about Roxy. I´m not going to lie: I´m really sad about it. But I know that everything happens for a reason. I know that my loving Heavenly Father wants us to be happy. I know that, because of the Plan of Salvation, we can all be together again: mom, dad, children, and pets. I know that Christ lives, and that we will, too, someday. I know that the work I´m doing here is the work begun by Jesus Christ himself, and is the purpose and goal of our Father in Heaven: the exaltation and eternal life of mankind. I know that my purpose is true, to bring people unto Christ through faith, repentence, baptism, confirmation, covenants, and enduring to the end. I know that I have an all-powerful, all-knowing God protecting me and at my side as I strive to fulfill my purpose. These are the things I know, the things I have learned and felt and experienced. The most important thing we can do on this Earth is preach the gospel, to our neighbors, our brothers, our children, and ourselves. This work is great. It is very, very hard, but I am blessed more and more every day, as I follow the footsteps of my Older Brother, Jesus Christ. He is my foundation and He is my support. I represent Him. I love Him. I work with Him. And I trust in Him forever. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.