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

Monday, February 24, 2014

Como Vi?! Thank you everyone for sending emails, i am sorry if i can´t respond. Just know that i cherish your words in my heart. I love hearing all your experiences and it helps me a ton in my mission. Thank you so much. 
I am an Uncle of a New Baby!!!! Megan! That's so Awesome!!! Grats!!!!!!!! :D
This week was very interesting. We continued to teach lessons and it was awesome. We had a lot of fun in sharing the gospel. On Wednesday we went out for dinner which was not normal. We usually don´t have dinner. It was good timing because that very night. at 8, i received a call from the assistants. They told me that i am leaving for Fortaleza at 6:00 A.M.. The next morning. So we finished up and went home. I packed my bags and we talked for a while. It ended up being a nice conversation. In the end as we went to bed. He left me with one scripture, knowing that because i was waking up at 4. A.M. I would not be able to talk with him then. He left me with Moroni 8:3. Probably one of the coolest things i have read as a goodbye note. 

But we left the house at 6:00 and began our journey to Fortaleza. Elder Gardner and I. The only other American. We passed many cities and spent much of the time just looking out the windows at Brazil. We finally fell fast asleep in the beds of the Support house of Fortaleza. At 11:15 at night. That's about 16-17 hours of Traveling. It was super fun. 

So i was emergency transferred to Pacajus. It is a large town 1 hour out of Fortaleza. Thing is. I am only here temporary, I will be transferred again this week. Not sure when. I am living off of 3 pairs of clothes. 

I am companions with Elder Smih and Live with two other missionaries. I love the people here. They are amazing. 

So about the language. While on the bus, i decided that i knew Portuguese. And so the second i arrived in Pacajus. I began speaking to and understanding everyone. I have no problem understanding anyone.( The Gift of Tongues is so Real) 
My companion is an american from North Carolina. He has a super strong southern Accent. Super funny. 

I ate chicken heart! Really good! 

So this is the lesson i learned this week. It comes from the August 2013 Ensign. 

#Sarcasm.  The Greek root word for Sarcasm is "Sarkazein" and signifies " To tear flesh like dogs". 
To give pain
to convey aggression or insult
to Dominate others or Belittle 
To Contempt Anger
And this one is the most important to me and super important for me on my mission. - To Make others think we are not serious about the words we choose to use-. 
That hit hard as i am a missionary. I want to make sure everyone knows that the words of Christ i share are words that i am serious about and that i use with my heart and not lightly. 
I learned that no use of sarcasm has ever made a person look wise or smarter.  So that's my goal this week. Think about everything i am going to say before i say it. Think about how it will affect others. Think about what feelings it will create. Because that's what matters. Not what you meant. But how the other person receives it. - That's why i believe it says in the white handbook- " Use clear, dignified language. To always be a representative of Christ. Also. Avoid all appearance of Evil." 

That's my lesson i learned this week. I love you all. Even if i don´t reply, Know. That i read every word of every single one of your emails. I promise. I cherish the words in my hearts. 

Thank you for everything. Love always.
-Elder Riches

-Eu Vou Voltar Com Honra!- Sempre Com Deus!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Como Foi Valentinas Day? Nos Não Temos V-Day im Brazil. I miss you all!
I love learning and growing in the Gospel and the Language. I am so grateful for this wonderful oppurtunity to serve the Wonderful people here in Brazil.
The Food and people here are crazy awesome! The Language is beautiful. I have gone a few days without using English. So much fun. I study the Gospel everyday. Learning the Gospel has enabled me to learn and grow in so much more. All the other Elders are Brazilians here except 3 in my Zone. (Foto)
It Doesn´t go below 70-80 here... ever. I have not used a blanket in 2 months.. This is probably the coolest experience of my life. What makes this such a better experience is probably the fact that i had so much preparation...
How to shop. Mom
How to take care of my belongings. College, mom, dad.
How to adjust to hard times. 9 brothers and sisters..
How to work and not complain. Dad. <3
How to study. Learning right now.
How to cook. Dad and Mom.. Thank you so much.
How to be proffessional. Dad
" When I first got here the missionaries were all scared of me because i was so serious about following the rules. I still am but they have warmed up to it a little better.
PMG. Mom dad and josh. Thank you so much.
How to budget. Mom. thank you.
( Probably the most important) How to be a mom. MOM.
Thank you so much Mother. The Brazillians here like to not do all the things they should even though they are amazing missionaries. So i cook and clean every day. And wake everyone up.
The names are super fun to try to pronounce haha. Also, to change this whole place from the USA. Everyone here and everything here is Catholic...
Its hard to explain everything right now with so little exprience, but as i learn and grow i will be able to say so much more.  I love you all!
Ate Logo!

Elder Riches

Monday, February 10, 2014

This is James and his district practicing Portuguese.  I think this was a while ago when they were first in the MTC.   I am sure they have improved. :-8
OK yea huge culture shock. First off. This computer does not speak English. 

What happened you may ask.. I will tell you! 

So we had a huge 15 hour in field training in the CTM it was in 100% Portuguese... 
Next! We get on a plane to Fortaleza and fly for 4 hours. super fun! I gave out a Livro De Mormon and taught my first lesson! :) 
We landed and suddenly.. there was sun.. i mean SUN. 
It was awesome. I met President Fusco and President Sousa of the Fortaleza Missao. They are amazing! 
I then had a training for 3 days and i was able to live by the beach at that time. Super fun.
I met my companion and my trainer. Elder Michelotti! He doesn´t speak English.. Only one person speaks English and that's another American in my Casa.
So my area... My new area is a little town in the middle of no-where called Araripina. 40 thousand people. 
We left on a bus Thursday night and drove 16 hours to Araripina... I have seen more of Brazil than i ever thought i would. 
Its so beautiful.. I could see for hundreds of miles. The people here are amazingly receptive. we have a small group of 25 or so members. We have 6 missionaries in the same house. 
No one speaks English and No one knows about the Gospel. Its amazing because i am challenged to learn faster. I have gone a few days now teaching lessons and talking to everyone on the street and everything. Its apparently weird for people in Brazil to say hello. I say hello to everyone!!! And i mean Everyone! My companions think i am nuts! But i love it and it makes people smile which makes my day. :) 
We ran out of water so we went 2 days without showers or other things... the food is so crazy/weird/good. I am getting used to it. :) 

So i am with a ton of people who don´t speak English. OR DO THEY!? Every Saturday night Elder Gardner and I teach English! Yea! Its sooo Cool! I love it and i love seeing people feel the Spirit. We have a Baptism set and we are trying to get Carlos and Joanna to commit to Baptism as well.. They will :).

I love it here!  i love the constant 90F weather. I love the Humidity. I love the People. I love my Companion. I love my opportunity to serve here. :) I thank God for helping me as many times as i can. Here are some pictures... These include some in Sao Paulo, on the way to Fortaleza, Fortaleza, on the way to Araripina, and in Araripina.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014