A selfie for mom!

A selfie for mom!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Sweet act of service by Elder Richins' companion

First off: you can tell anyone about my depression. I´m going to overcome it, so I hope that at least I can inspire some people. Go ahead and share it. Second: With the violin, please don´t forget the tuner, rosin, etc! I don´t really need music because we have hymnals. Third: I love you guys so much! It´s really hard, but I´ve got a super team. Just to give you an idea of how great my companion is, for example, my new shoes gave me huge, painful open blisters. So, to break them in, he wore my shoes for a couple days to break them in a little more and he let me use his shoes. Turns out we are the same size. And I´ve got some good psycologists, and the four other missionaries in my district (among others who already know (I don´t broadcast it, but I have to be honest when they notice)) and President and Sister Dalton. I´ve got an interview with him today. We´ll get a lot worked out Fourth: We are working on getting at least two couples married. We are super close with one of them, Rogerio and Daniela. We will go mark their wedding this week and they are quitting smoking and drinking and are struggling a bit to read the Book of Mormon. Any suggestions?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Serving a mission is the best thing to ever happen to me

Wow! This week was really great (and really hard)! Despite the depression seeming to get worse, I´m getting better and better at controlling it. I got my violin! We had got to work with a traveling assistant (one of my good friends), and Isaura is still going to church! The best part of the week was our temple trip on Friday. It was a miracle. We got there and I realized that I had forgotten my temple recommend. The depression overcame me quickly and deeply. Both Elder Sharp and I really needed this session. We couldn´t get help from President Dalton because he was at a wedding and not answering his phone. I offered to sit in the waiting room while Elder Sharp does the session, but he did not want to leave me there. We were just about to go home devastated when Elder Sharp felt that we should stay. I wasn´t in condition to express any kind of opinion, so I just followed him. We ended up walking behind the temple and we ran into President Dalton! He should have left 10 minutes before, but he felt he needed to come back. He wasn´t even supposed to be there, there was a mistake and the wedding he would have attened was to be the next day. So President Dalton took us into the temple lobby, and talked with the temple president and got me a temporary recommend. In the end, I got to do the session. It wasn´t until a good 10 minutes into the session until my frightening, dark depression was suddenly lifted and I was able to enjoy one of the most spiritual experiences of my mission. Never have I learned so much from an endowment session since my very first one. And, to top it all off, as we were leaving the temple to return to our area after the session, we were chased down by a group of young men and women from Palmares, my last ward, including Adilson, who we taught the recent convert lessons and who we convinced to serve a mission, and Weverson, who we baptized. There was also Raquel, whose parents we also taught the recent convert lessons. I learned that Raquel´s parents would be sealed the next day (which was so satisfying to hear). Also, Weverson told me that he would be turning in his papers in the next month to serve a full-time mission. He was there about to do his SECOND round of baptisms for the dead. The joy I felt was so great! And, both Adilson and Weverson were wearing the ties I had given them! What a great day it was! I also found out that Paulo and Thassya, who Elder Almeida and I baptized, have finished their last Temple Prep class, and will mark their sealing. Sueli (who Elder Paiva and I reactivated) will be sealed to her husband (Vagner, who we baptized) this summer. Vagner is now a counsellor in the Elders Quorum Presidency. Their daughter, Pamela, is serving a mission in Argentina. Juvenal and Magda (who Elder J. Barker and I married and baptized) are active, happy, and serving in the church. Their daughter, Laura, has recently been baptized and their extended family is also accepting the gospel. They will be sealed in September or October of this year. I´m so glad to be a missionary. Serving a mission is the best thing to ever happen to me. What a privilege it is! I know that this gospel is true, and that Jesus Christ is the Lord God, and that He is our Savior and Redeemer. His power to heal is endless as He and our Father are Endless. I testify of them in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen. -- Élder Thomas Richins Ala Interlagos (antiga Cidade Dutra) Estaca Interlagos Missão Brasil São Paulo Interlagos

Monday, January 5, 2015

Feliz ano novo!

Feliz ano novo! I didn´t get transferred! I´ll be staying with Elder Sharp in Interlagos! Woo! We will be going to the center of São Paulo to try Western Union again. I have to look for shoes there because my feet are too big! I really hope i´ll have enough, since they are super expensive! I hate shoe shopping, y'all already know that... Isaura was confirmed yesterday! And Alessandra and Davi beared their first testimonies. Davi also recieved the Aaronic Priesthood. We are helping Isaura, Alessandra, and Davi to be ready to go to the temple this month to do baptisms for the dead. I´m pumped! I will get the privilege to see the sealing of Paulo and Thassya (from Jardim Mirna) this transfer! So templo! We also finally got invited to ward counsel! It was great! For New Years, we had the zone leaders over and we had a barbeque and watched the fireworks from the power tower! I´ll send you guys pictures! I´m sorry that this has to be another short email! But I love you guys so much and I want you to know that i´m hanging in, and that I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior, and that the Church is true. -- Élder Thomas Richins Ala Interlagos (antiga Cidade Dutra) Estaca Interlagos Missão Brasil São Paulo Interlagos
So, WE HAD A BAPTISM! It was so miraculous! I am so happy that it all worked out! She came to us, gave up smoking, got a testimony, and went to church all by herself. All we had to do was teach her a little more, and help her into the waters of baptism. It was so great. On Christmas day, we had the opportunity to visit Reinaldo, the blind but returning less active. I gave him a carefully wrapped copy of the Book of Mormon on CD. He said that it was the best Christmas present he ever received. We also dedicated his house. Since then, he said that he feels more hope and more closer to Heavenly Father. The depression continues, but Heavenly Father helps me to bear it. I´m happy to say that when i´m working, I´m always able to control it. And when we get home, Elder Sharp keeps me going. He´s such a great friend, and he´s helping me so much. Sorry the letter is so short! I promise I will have more to say next week! I love you all and I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior! -- Élder Thomas Richins Ala Interlagos (antiga Cidade Dutra) Estaca Interlagos Missão Brasil São Paulo Interlagos