Mission Home Address:

Mission Home Address:
Elder James Eldon Riches
Brazil Fortaleza East Mission
Rua Republica da Armenia,765
Agua Fria
60821-760 Fortaleza-Ce

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

OI meu pessoas! Como Vi?!
So Some cool things happened this week. I am officially friends with every administrator in the CTM... Sounds like high school all over again. i know.

If any of you remember Matthew Peay or Nathaniel Peay, I met a brand new Elder Smittenaar Super cool Elder. Thing is Take matt and Nathaniel, put them together and you have excatly what you think. With views, physical shape, likes, what he likes to watch. Everything. Super cool. :) -For Sister Peay (miss you and the family)!

I have 5 days left in the CTM. I leave next tuesday morning some time around 4 AM to Forteleza it will be something aroudn a 5 hour flight. I went to the Temple this morning. Got some good pictures for you mom! :) I made letters for Kayla, Ben, Rachel, and Cory. I will send them to you today. It should be around 10-15 days before you see them. :/

So i can now read the Livro De Mormon in Portuguese. I have been practicing constantly and i am able to tell you what any scripture is talking about. I tested my ability.. (scariest moment of my life..) So we had a class on sunday with the Brand New President of the CTM, President Swensen. He was asking different people to read in my row and i was next. I only had my Portuguese Bom and Bible so i started to read the verse in my head over and over. When i was confident, he called on me. I read it. I was 2 words off.. He corrected me but it was so awesome to be able to do that. Yes i was shaking and maybe sweating. It was either that or the fact that it was 95 degrees out side.. :P

Its so amazing here. We have two of our Investagators confirmed and almost ready for baptism. One is depressed and she keeps complaining.. I want to show her a Holland Talk.. The other (Wallace) super cool guy. I love him. He is really excited about "Joining the church" (These are fake investagators, until you go to teach them.) As soon as we go into their room to teach them the whole place changes... It seems so real.

Its scary to think i will be in Forteleza in 5-6 days and have a companion that does not speak English and to be in a whole city that does not speak English. I also found out that in Brazil missionaries don't really have a Dinner. Tu Bom. its muito estranho. Mas i am very excited for the whole thing and i can't wait to show everyone pictures next week. :)

The more and more i study the Gospel the more i want to live it for the rest fo my life. I wish i would have done this kind of studying before my mission. MOM, you gave me a choice to study PMG. Don't give Ben and Cory a choice. It helps peoples lives to much. They need to study it.

Our new president is super cool. He speaks Fluent Spanish, Portuguese, and English. I love him. :)

I love The Lord and I love All of You. I wish the best for each and every single one of you. :)


Elder Riches

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Dear Everyone,

I leave in 12 days to Fortaleza! This is INSANE! Time is ticking down. I did an English Fast and went the entire day without speaking one word of English. Needless to say.. I did it! I know I know. You are all like.. Elder Riches speaks Portuguese? Sai Fora D'Aqui. Its so cool. I love this language! I see it as a rollercoaster ride. at first i was slowly climbing up but now i have began making up my own sentences and now i can carry on conversations from beginning till end. I also love singing in portuguese and spending time with Brazileros. I went prociliting for the first time and it was the scariest thing i have ever done. I can't wait to do it again!! There were these guys on some weird drugs or something. They were so fun to talk to, i gave one a book of mormon. He kept saying Carolina over and over. I hope he feels better later...

Life in Sau Paulo is great! It rains every other day and its about 80-100 degrees here at all times. Every single person i have met says that where i am going is super duper hot. I can't wait!
 I am coming home looking like a Mexican or an African i haven't decided yet. If i could show you pictures you could see how dark i am getting haha. This is awesome. I love the super weird food here and the wonderful friendly people.

 If you, any of you, would like to mail me. I have 12 days left here and i don't know how long it takes to get down here. BUT I will get it in Forteleza. You can google the Mission home in forteleza, for the Fortaleza East Mission. Send it there and they will hold it till i get there. Sorry i don't know it. (its on the top of his blog) 
That works for everyone else. Then put a sticker of Jesus or Saint Mary on it or it has a 30-50% Chance of never making it here. :/ Yea that happens. Alot.
I have heard it takes anywere from 4-24 days for mail to get here. I was sent a letter from my mom 4 weeks ago and still haven't recieved it.
Well My time is coming to a close. I love you all and will email you next week! I have 12 days until i leave.
Eu Amo Voces Sempre!

-Elder Riches

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wooo! This has been a crazy week! I have been dealing with some muito minor depression as all my known Brazilian Friends leave to their missions. :( BUT! I got a bunch of novo missionaries in the MTC today. I love seeing Greenies because it reminds me of the excitement and awe i felt as i entered the MTC. Such wonderful times, twas so long ago. Then... I realized i have literally only been on my mission for 4 weeks... i leave in 19 days to Fortaleza. I seriously need to buckle down. I have read through the PMG, I wish i could show you it. Its marked up sosossososos much. I tied it to the scriptures As Much As Possible. I am trying to read the entire Livro De Mormon before i leave. I can now read in Portuguese. I went to the Temple this morning and I could understand most of it. :) THE TEMPLE... SO MUCH BEAUTY. I honestly wish i could stay in the Temple all day long and just pray and read my scriptures. I have never found a place more spiritually uplifting or Amazing as a Temple. I love it there. I also love new people and learning new things about the gospel. :) Its so wonderful to know that i am going to change people's lives by giving them the restored gospel. I have been feeling the Spirit more and more as i pray and read. The information somehow comes to me. Like the promise in D&C If you treasure up the words of Christ in your hearts, the spirit will guide to to know what to say when you need it, ye even in the very second." Something like that. Either way! I know that that promise is so true. :)

So in other news! This Sunday i was made the District Leader again! This means i have had 3 companions and been District Leader TWICE In the first 4 weeks of my mission..... But the mission is going amazing, i am saying hello to everyone i can and in about 10 mins i get to go shopping on the streets and hang out outside the MTC for 3 hours. I have my BOM, gonna convert people! :) I go like serious Proselyting Friday. I get 3 BOMS and i get to go out and share the Gospel for real.. INSANE RIGHT!? I love it. My companion is a lot of fun and my district is coming together.

Craziest thing.. Working out?? It works.. I have been working out for 1 hour almost every day and i lost 8 pounds in 3-4 days. Finally i can do 100 sit ups without getting out of breathe.. I am working on my running so i can be fit to serve the Lord and the People in Fortaleza.

I love you all soooo much and i can't wait to hear back from you. :) Sorry if i don't respond directly back to your emails. I love reading them but i only have 30 mins to email. :( So i need to hurry.

I wish you all the best!
Elder Riches


Friday, January 10, 2014

Woot! I just went to the Sao Paulo Temple! It was soooo amazing! Very Beautiful and muito ligao! I have been going a few days speaking only Portuguese! Just Kidding.. :P I go about 80% of the day speaking pure Portuguese. I taught a 40 min lesson to a member with my third companion in 3 weeks we went the whole 40 without any pauses for the first time! I am growing so fast in the language i can do pretty much anything. I can do Sunday talks, read scriptures, sing all the Hinos, and i can have Start-To-Finish pure Portuguese Conversations!    Because i am progressing so fast in the language and study skills. I have turned every bit of my attention now to the Gospel. I am reading the Book Of Mormon in 29 days and i have a plan for it all written out so i can accomplish it.... Remember Kids. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail! -True Statement. So we had a 70 come speak to us and it was pretty awesome, he spoke Soul Portuguese but nevertheless. It was nice. :) We also saw a video by Jeffery R. Holland and man... Mom, You Sound Just Like Him. (Now I know where she got all her phrases). He said and i quote, "You Have NO RIGHT To Be Any Less Than What The LDS Children Believe A Missionary Should Be!!!" Needless to say. It hit home. Mom can you put together an envelope of what the kids think a Missionary should be? I remember my childhood view on a missionary, "Hero, Amazing, Epic, and many more words..." I have always wanted to be a missionary and now i am here. :) The Food is super super super good, (even though its very weird..) Rice and Beans every day. I sweat all night and all day. So yes, i have lost weight. Lol. I have never wanted to be out sharing the Gospel more than right now. I just imagine myself like a super excited Dog on a chain and the owners can barely hold onto me. The second I am released i am going to attack Forteleza with the Gospel. I have already given out a pass along card to some of my friends on the plane.(Yes, anyone within 5 seats knew who i was and what i was doing. I think i enjoyed it more than they did. I had a ton of fun talking to everyone and learning words.)                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So in other news! I just went shopping out in the lone world of Brazil. I said OI! to everyone.. I talked to a ton of people and bought a couple cool things with my reias! :) I love it here!                   Elder Oyston!!! You Lost your bag? Que Nao Bom! Desculpa! Qual Missao? Leste,Nordeste, Sou, o Weste? Eu nao sei. Eu saida o CTM em tres semanas!!!!!!! Serio! It would be so awesome to see you! So i was told that not only is my mission like.. Moito Quente. I also get moito moito Batizados! They said my arm would be super big by the time my mission is over. haha. Mom I am super glad all is well in Tennessee! Eu amo Portuguese. Eu sei que o Livro De Mormon e verdadero e igrecia e verdadero! Eu sei que Jesus Cristo is meu Salvador. :) I can't send pictures on these computers. Sorry I will take many and send them to you all! If you have any questions about what it is like, please ask! I love hearing from you all. It makes my week! :) Tell the kids i said Oi! Por Favor. Eu amo meu familia. :) I am looking forward to reading your emails and awesome questions next week! My next P-Day is on Wednesday because of a mix up. :) Tchau Tchau! 

Monday, January 6, 2014

In Brazil!!

I am in Brazil!!! I flew and waited for over 24 hours and spoke Portuguese the entire time! I made a ton of friends and I learned a ton of cool things. I spoke no English on the plane for the 11 hours or so because no one else beside the Sleeping missionaries down the lane were asleep. :P I am super thankful for that because it challenged my knowledge and i was able to come up with sentences that i didn't even know! i was super surprised how well I could speak and make conversations with people that I didn't even know.. Portuguese is such a beautiful language and i have no shortage of excitement to learn and grow within the language and the Gospel. :)

So i made it to Brazil and explained to everyone i met who our group was and what we were doing in Brazil. Everyone seemed generally happy to see us and a lot of them thanked us for what we, Mormon Missionaries, had been doing in their communities. It was an amazing experience to be able to talk with so many people about their life and that i could understand it all! :)

I was slightly confused when i went into this MTC for two reasons one, no one speaks English. Two, the first guy i talked to here is the head secretary and he told me i don´t speak Portuguese and i know hardly anything in French. I took it two ways immediately. First, learn better Portuguese. Second, that people in other countries told you how it was. I will have to get used to that. The life is great here! To be honest, i have never been more HOT in my life. The second i got off the plane the humidity hit and so did summer. It is beautiful here, but it is HOT!

So the MTC here is super unique, on P-days we get to travel on the streets, go to stores, meet people, etc... I can´t wait.

The Spirit here in this MTC is a peculiar one. When i got here it threw me off but now i am adjusting to it and i cannot wait to go to the Sao`Paulo Temple!
It is weird because no matter where i go, there is missionaries and none of them speak English except for our group of about 30 Americans out of 200 here at the MTC.

The Food....... Definitely a culture shock but nevertheless i am brave, I tried everything. We made a promise as a district to try everything and we have done well in keeping it. It tastes interesting, i don´t know how to describe it. :P
 I can´t believe that i will be in the mission field in less than 4 weeks and i don´t even have Preach My Gospel memorized!
Life is amazing here in Brazil and i thank God for giving me my Visa so i can preach and learn in this Beautiful Country. :)
I love you all and look forward to hearing back and emailing next week. Till next time!!!

Tchau! Tchau! Eu Che-Amo Tudo Mundo!!!
Elder Riches,

 Coming At You From Brazil!

Pictures from the Provo MTC

Dec 31, 2013

So This week has been amazing! 

I watched the Character of Christ. It changed my Life. It was Elder Bednar and I have never felt more impressed to change my life to God in my entire life.. 
I took so many notes and I have set many goals. I have been doing great. 

So yesterday my companion, Elder Gardner, and I taught a proxy lesson. (They are so real...) So we were taken by surprise. Our teacher came in, said, "You have 2 mins to prepare.", and left.. 
Instead of the usual, memorizing lines, studying a lesson, or writing things in our Scriptures to say. We simply prayed and went in with nothing prepared except for our Portuguese and our knowledge of the Gospel. 
So we went in and immediately started talking to him with no real goal. Within a min. we began going into the Gospel. We went through so many different points, i came up with so many different phrases, we got him to read the Book of Mormon and at the end we taught him how to pray and he said he didn't want to but we convinced him to! It was so much fun! The Spirit was undoubtedly there and if that was a real situation, he would be baptized within a couple weeks. :P

So that same day right after that, my companion and I were studying in the Room and all of a sudden the loud speaker comes on and says, "Is there any Elders in the room?". We both reply yes. "Is there an Elder James Riches and an Elder Grant Mcgaughy?". "Yes" Again.
"I have some good news for you." (Drum Roll...) "Your Visas Came In! Come Pick Up Your Travel Itinerary!". Needless to say.. We yelled. So my companion will have 3 seperate companions all within 2 weeks lol. That means within our Zone. Within the first 2.5 weeks. 10 Elders have received their Visas.. 
I leave Thursday the 2nd of January at 4:30 Am. My roommate Elder Mcgaughy leaves at 7. We both get in to Sao Paulo at 8:30 in the morning, on Friday! Over 24 hours of flying and waiting. Can't Wait! I will join my friends down in Brazil for the MTC! I am super excited. :)
I will keep you all notified of what happens! :) 

Elder Riches

Dec 24, 2013

Hey Everyone!!!! This is my first Email!
 First i want to say.... WOW! The Spirit here at the MTC and the love from my District is off the charts. I love this place!
I never thought that people had been telling the truth when they said " The second you get there you hit the ground running and you never stop."  Man was i wrong. It feels like i have been here for about a year and a half.  I guess the reason would be that I have never used every second of my day to do something before. Now coming here it is crazy because there is no rest. There is no break. Its constant work and study and learning. My testimony has grown exponentially. I cannot imagine a better place to be in the entire Earth rather than here in the MTC.  OK...Maybe the Sao Paulo MTC. ;)
 So the first day we got here was a rush, we went here then there I can't imagine how much of a greeny I looked like.. I was wide-eyed and smile faced the entire day. I met my companion, Elder Padilla. He is awesome. Then I met my District... They are amazing!!!!!!!!!
 Elders Rosado, West, Padilla, Gardner, Monk, Hackney, Mcgaughy, Spencer, Lawrence, and Elder Riches!!! So the next day we had a Branch Meeting. We all bore our testimonies and shared info about ourselves. Immediately after, Elder Baker in the other District, Sister Call in the other District, and myself  were all called out of the room. We were all given leadership over our Districts. So on the second day i was already District Leader! I am so thankful for this position because it helps me stay on track because i know people are looking up to me.
 Eu sei que o livro de mormon e egrasia a verdadero! Eu amor Nos Pai Celestial! Eu Grato por mei Companheiros em o evangelho!

I am working on my testimony and praying and speaking in general. My goals for our District are
1. No English in the apartment at the beginning of week 3.
2. We pray every morning and every night in Soul Portuguese. ( We already do that :D. )
3. We do exercise every morning and night, and go to bed at 10:29.

This is an amazing story which should strengthen your testimonies as it did mine.
As DL i get the mail for my District every day. Well on day 2, Thursday Dec.19, When i went to get the mail, Bam! One Visa In the Box! I found out later that the other District had gotten 3 Visas! So that's 4 Visas in one day. Now this may not sound like a lot but think of this. The other districts that have been here for 5 plus weeks have gotten 1 maybe 2-3 Visas during their entire time here. We, the 2 new Districts got 4 in one day. Which was unheard of. The Branch President, President Neilson, Was Astounded! Little did we know, when i went to check the mail box the next day. KaBoom!!! Three More Visas!!! So now a total of 7 members of our Branch out of 19 are leaving. 2 Sisters and 5 Elders. They are leaving to Sao Paulo on December the 26th at 4:30 A.M! Crazy Right? The Coolest part is. I predicted a couple of them. Truth is, i prayed that my District would receive their Visas if The Lord found that he needed them down in Sao Paulo. I am so thankful my prayer was answered. It was definitely a Testimony Builder.
 So that is the amazing Miracle that occurred here.
 I know that it was a miracle because i was told.

 Obedience brings Blessings. Exact obedience brings Miracles. I strive ever so much to be exact in my obedience to make sure that my District is the best it can possibly be.

 I wish you all a Merry Christmas! I will be able to email tomorrow and i can't wait to either! I love you all and pray that you will remember the true meaning of Christmas as we go through this season. I will be sending letters today. I hope you all get them quick. I will not be able to send to all. I hope this simple email will suffice. :) Again I love all of you so much. I Know The Gospel Is True And I Know That God Lives. I know that the Book of Mormon is True and that The Church is true.

 Elder Riches.