Monday, March 25, 2013

Week 31: Sweetwater, TX (Transfer 6)

Transfer news!

Saturday night we got the calls and we are both staying in Sweetwater another 6 weeks. I'm pretty excited! But our car is going to a different area so now we are in bikes!! Which is no problem for me =) I had a feeling I'd stay here and I'm glad I am. We had a good week of missionary work. On Tuesday we were at a lesson outside of someone's apartment when suddenly 6 cop cars come storming into the complex and stop a guy that was casually walking away. So we're sitting there talking about the restoration of the church as police officers are  busting someone for drugs and fighting. Totally drove the Spirit away! Haha Anyway, just a funny experience. Our new recent convert Daniel is doing phenomenal! He came to church here yesterday then we went back to his place and barbecued some chicken and read from the Book of Mormon. There's just a special Spirit about this guy, he's going to do great things in the church. I call him Monkey or Monk because that was his nickname overseas. What a boss!
My goal for these next 6 weeks is to activate the less-active families!! Our attendance would literally double if like four more families came to church. It makes it harder for the people we teach to come to church and there's no one to fellowship them. I'm just going to hit 'em with Elder Holland's talk where he says, "If you're not active, GET ACTIVE." Think that'll work? Haha
We're having some good weather out here in the country of Texas. Sorry I haven't sent pictures lately, but being on bike now I'll have some more shots to take. I attatched some pictures I got from Daniel's phone. First picture is Elder Cosman, Daniel, and me. Second is me shooting an M4 Carbine. Keep it real, make this week great!! 

Love y'all,
Elder Ricardo Rios

1729 Hailey St #E53
Sweetwater, Tx 79556

Shooting a M4 Carbine.

Elder Cosman, Daniel, and me.

Week 30: Sweetwater, TX (Transfer 5)

Let the heat begin. 

It's been pretty warm all week and we've truly been working a sweat. The thing about Texas is that when it's cold, it gets really cold. When it's hot, ....welcome to hell. Haha jk Biking around is killer! This week was difficult also because the members decided to smother us with food so I've been eating like a pig. Or should I say I've been literally eating a pig... So much brisket and ribs. Haha Anyway, not that I'm counting down or anything but Friday I hit 7 months out. I guess the rule is once you're past 6 months you're not considered green (a greenie) anymore. Which is funny because I've been a District Leader since I was 3 months out. The mission is growing! We will be going from 152 missionaries to 204 and they're opening 29 new areas. That's cray!! Transfers are this next week so really anything can happen. I have a feeling they're gonna have me train two new elders at the same time, since President asked me how I would feel doing that last week at interviews. Saturday we did some service and washed a member's airplane. Pretty sweet! Takes a little longer than your average car. I talked to the guy that owns the airport about the church and hopefully we'll be able to come out and share more with him. I related the gospel to an airplane somehow. Haha Don't ask me how. Yesterday I got to conduct Sacrament meeting because our branch president was gone. I told y'all I do something every week at church. Haha I love it! The time is flying by, take advantage of each day. Live with PASSION and ENTHUSIASM. I promise you'll see the blessings right away. Make this week great! I'm just going to shoot this email out right now then I'll get back on to reply to individual emails after basketball. Peace, love, and blessings...

Elder Ríos

1729 Hailey St #E53

Sweetwater, Tx 79556

Monday, March 11, 2013

Week 29: Sweetwater, TX

Hey everyone,

What a swell week here in the Texas Lubbock Mission. I'll share a couple of highlights with y'all. Last Tuesday we met John. He's living with a less-active member Tabatha. We initially went over to have a study with Tabatha but John decided to sit in as well and I was so glad he did! He says he's been waiting for something that makes sense when it comes to the gospel. He had watched a video on Joseph Smith prior to us meeting and he already knew "it was REAL" (his words). So we invited him to be baptized and he said absolutely!! 23rd of March is his goal! Speaking of baptisms, Daniel was baptized on Saturday!! He is such a stud. I can't wait to see how he will grow in the gospel. Friday we had interviews with President Augustin, where we just have a one-on-one sit down with him so he can see how we're doing. I walked into his office and he said "Elder Rios tell me why I'm hearing so many good things about you. What is making these other missionaries like you so much?" I was like "Probably because I'm normal and not from Utah..." Hahaha he laughed. It is the greatest feeling knowing that you are an example to those around you. Occasionally you see or hear about some missionaries goofing off and giving in to worldly ways. There's no way I would do that because when I get home I want everything to literally feel as if it has been two years. That's easy to do in towns like Sweetwater and Pampa. Haha Yesterday I had the opportunity to teach the Gospel Doctrine class (I either teach a class or give a talk every week) and it went so well! I mean, being a missionary it was simple to teach, but the participation I got and the discussions we had were phenomenal! We talked about the Restoration which is something I teach every day. I am so grateful to the growth I am getting from being on this mission. This is where I am supposed to be and The Lord knew that. Keep pressing forward my friends!! Make this week GREAT! 

Love ya,Elder Ríos 

1729 Hailey St #E53
Sweetwater, Tx 79556

And for your viewing pleasure...

"Missionaries have certain powers that I can't explain...." -Elder Rios
(He's obviously the same old goofy, funny Ricardo)

Week 28: Sweetwater, TX (Transfer 5)

Happy Monday everyone!

It's been quite the exhausting week. Each day consisted of at least two hours knocking doors. We got a map of the city and just started crossing streets off. Our result of that is a huge list of potentials, or people who invited us to come back later. I've been going to bed every night just completely beat from working all day. This is vintage missionary work right here, straight tracting and finding. It's all we pretty much have to work with because the members here in this branch are all just burnt out and not willing to try anymore. Elder Cosman and I are trying to get the passion back into this area by just being examples and showing them how easy it is to share the gospel. Yesterday at testimony meeting I went up and spoke for a little while about gaining confidence to open your mouth and in return, we're promised that the Spirit will speak through us. I've been up each month of my mission to bear my testimony, haven't missed one yet! I encourage you all to get up there next month and just share the feelings of your heart. I promise there will be at least one person who will benefit from it. I have found myself up at the pulpit a lot throughout my mission. Haha I think I've given at least five talks so far. I love it! It gets easier each time. Today is a much needed P-day to recover from all of the walking last week annnnd Insanity workouts. That's right, P90X is done now I'm on to Insanity. It's a lot more intense I'll tell ya. I don't know where I find the energy to exercise so much. I guess it's a reward from the Lord for remaining obedient and diligent. Also, Cozzy (Elder Cosman) is teaching me to play the piano. He usually plays during Sacrament and I'm going to give it a shot in a couple of weeks. It's a lot easier to learn than I thought! I'm having the time of my life right now. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. It truly is an exciting time to be a missionary, a representative of Jesus Christ. I feel myself growing each and every day. I'm excited for all of my buddies back home who are preparing for their calls to serve. So proud of you guys! If you're one who is contemplating/praying on whether a mission is right for you, remember that the Lord needs every single soldier He can get. You are greatly needed. The Book of Mormon truly contains, as does the Bible, the fullness of the everlasting gospel. We indeed have a prophet leading the church on the earth assisting Christ who is at the helm. I have an unshakeable testimony of the Restoration of the gospel through Joseph Smith. It happened when it happened, because that is the only time that it could have survived on the earth again without being destroyed. Let us all help our lost brothers and sisters find the TRUTH. Make this week great, love you guys! Sorry the email is so late, been playing basketball alllll day =) 

Elder Ríos 

1729 Hailey St #E53
Sweetwater, Tx 79556 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Week 27: Sweetwater, TX (Transfer 5)

Howdy howdy,

It's snowing today!! and I'm wearing shorts and a tshirt. =) I reckon' this was a GREAT week. First off, thank you to my ward for sending me that banner!! So awesome. I'm staying in this area for another transfer and still District Leader. I'm feeling Zone Leader here pretty soon O_o.. New companion, Elder Cosman. First thing he told me is that he's a certain level of autistic.. I was a little surprised.. But it doesn't even seem like it! He's a cool guy! A big, tall guy! He hails from the land of Utah in South Jordan. He flies planes and a heck of a pianist!! Apparently, he had heard about me and was worried he wasn't "cool enough" to be with me.... I LOVE this guy and I'm so glad to be serving with him. I've had a root'n toot'n blast with Cozzy! We've been doing lots of knocking this week trying to find new people to teach. Not much luck.. But I say it was a great week because of how much I've felt the Spirit. We've had some good experiences with that! I can recall at least three times that I teared up during a lesson while testifying. That hasn't happened in a while! Yesterday just before church started, we were informed that we were giving talks in Sacrament...... So I had about 8 minutes to prepare my talk. Luckily, I was assigned to speak on the Restoration which is something I teach every single day. I don't remember half the things I said because the Spirit totally took over for the most part. I know I was able to deliver a powerful message because I was quoted multiple times in later classes. Felt so good! We're looking at another baptism scheduled for March 9th for Daniel. I'm really surprised at how prepared and ready this guy is. He might have a greater testimony of the Book of Mormon than me! Which is great! It truly is the greatest feeling in the world knowing I was a part of changing these people's lives. I've had the privilege of getting in the water and performing the actual ordinance a couple of times and man, what an experience!! No greater joy.What an exciting time to be a missionary. I know we have some more young men back home getting ready to head out to their various callings. As my mission president always says, "These are journal-entry days." Things are changing quickly and the Lord is strengthening his army of righteous soldiers. He is at the helm. He calls the shots. I'm honored to be a representative of the Savior and stand as a witness of Him. The blessings have been coming non-stop. I encourage y'all to read at least something from the Book of Mormon each day. I promise that whatever you read, it will be applied in your life that same day or week. Gosh, I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!! Make this week great! 

Much love from Téjas,
Elder Ríos

Address for the next month:
1729 Hailey St #E53
Sweetwater, Tx 79556

Week 26: Sweetwater, TX


Well another week here in the country of Texas. I'm loving it!! I always knew that the mission would be one of the greatest parts of my life. So much growing up has taken place. Haha It's been a good week here in the beautiful town of Sweetwater. The mission presidency has really upped the ante on the standards of our work. We're expected to have higher numbers and there are more categories to work on. We've been walking around a lot more than usual because if you're just going from appointment to appointment, imagine all the people you're just passing by on the streets! So we've been talking with lots of people around here and if this town didn't know who the missionaries were, I'm sure they do now. Haha We've extended four baptismal commitments this past week, for the end of February and beginning of March. Transfers are this next week so who knows if I'll even still be here! Our most legit investigator is Daniel. He's from San Antonio and working out here on the wind farms. He actually put in a missionary visit request on and we met up with him multiple times last week. Turns out he was being taught back home with his wife and he just needed to find the missionaries around here to continue the lessons. I don't know whether or not we'll get to baptize him because he's wanting to get baptized with his wife back home which is great! But he'll count in my book as someone I helped bring in to the fold of Christ. I am doing some dental work so I've been on pain medication all week. So in lessons I'll just be sitting there, completely loopy, and the person we're teaching asks, " your partner high or something?" Hahahaha It's the funniest thing ever. Great news! My suits and pants fit me very loose now.... Gotta go get them fitted, holluh!! Did y'all see me on the cover of Muscle Magazine? :P jk Haha It's been surprisingly easy to lose weight on the mission.. Anyway, hope all is good in y'alls lives. Make this week GREAT! Passion and enthusiasm people!!! Much love. 

Élder Ríos

Week 25: Sweetwater, TX


It's been quite a good week! So last week I received a call from the mission president and he told me I was being called to preach the gospel in Spanish. I got my Spanish tags in the mail a few days later. I had a feeling this would happen on my mission! Haha We have been working hard! After Zone Conference, we really wanted to get the work in Sweetwater going so we've been at it every day. We have set three baptismal dates for people. Erica is working to get baptized this Saturday on the 9th, Mary is an interesting situation because she's in a nursing home is basically immovable but she wants to be baptized, she's working towards the 16th, and Daniel is our most legit investigator. He lives in San Antonio but he works here in Sweetwater and he had already begun lessons back home so we're just picking up with him. He's excited to be baptized on the 16th, maybe back in San Antonio with his family, or possibly here with us. I found that we're being blessed by the Lord lately because of our obedience. When I would ask my Dad for something, like gas money, he would ask if I had mowed the lawn. If I hadn't, no gas money. It's basically the same with our Father in Heaven. If we do what he asks, he rewards us with blessings. IT's very simple, yet many people forget how it works. They expect to just mess around and still receive answers to their prayers. Not gonna work... Be obedient!! 
I've been spending lots of time on ranches and farms lately and I don't know why...Oh...because that's all there is out here in west Texas. Ha! Today we're in Abilene for Zone P-day, Plans include basketball, disc golf, lunch at Texas Roadhouse, and possibly the zoo. The weather has finally cleared up and we're enjoying some sunny/windy days, my favorite! Hope everyone is doing well, love you guys and thanks for those couple of letters in the mail last week, those are GOLD out here! Haha Make this week GREAT!! 

Elder Rios

Week 24: Sweetwater, TX

Dear ...everyone,

What a great week it's been! Monday-Wednesday was just finding, finding, finding. Gotta find new people to teach! Didn't have much luck. Couple of potentials. Thursday we had Zone Conference in Abilene and man, it was intense! President threw down on us, going over all the rules and rule changes. We were all a little surprised. BUT, it was seriously exactly what we all needed to hear. It put the focus back and put the fire back in our eyes. We were then instructed on various gospel and teaching topics. So, Friday we went to work. Morning finding, got on our bikes and rode around the town just talking to people that were outside. Placed a Book of Mormon and set a return appointment with a cowboy who was outside tanning hides. Later that day we were trying former investigators and were able to set return appointments with two of them. Then we found an elderly couple whom we taught the first lesson to, and invited them to church. Unfortunately they didn't show :( But in just two days, Friday and Saturday, we  now have 5 new legit investigators. It just goes to show when you're fully committed to something, with all intentions of doing God's will and not yours, He will bestow the blessings. I guess we weren't working as hard as we should've been, which meant we didn't deserve to be entrusted to the people that Heavenly Father has prepared to hear the restored gospel. After showing Him that we are but His servants, He decided to then reward us with people to bring in to the church.
I like to share interesting moments that happen to me each week, so here you go... We were knocking doors and we saw a guy out working in his shed so we walked up and started a conversation with him. Well, turns out he'd been taught by missionaries before and he's been to church and everything. But he had a huge problem that we "celebrate Christmas and Easter". He doesn't believe in that. Then he didn't like the fact that we have pictures of Jesus Christ everywhere, because we don't actually know what he looked like. So after literally going back and forth with this guy for about 20 minutes, it was obvious he just wanted to fight with us and get a rise. I started getting angry but I stayed quiet. He was yelling and being sarcastic and just being a jerk! I then felt something speak through me, and the words that BOLDY came out of my mouth were, "Sir, we are representatives of Jesus Christ. We have been called by a prophet of God to share the restored gospel with you. We are not here to fight, but rather our purpose is to give you the opportunity to be baptized by the priesthood. If you do not want to accept the gospel at this time, we will take our leave." Immediately, this man calmed down and accepted a Book of Mormon. Now, I don't know if we will get a chance to teach him, but I hope we planted a seed.
Well, that was pretty much my week. Thanks for the letters in the mail, I appreciate it! Love and miss you guys. Make this week great.

Elder Rios


Elder Ricardo Rios
1729 Hailey #E53
Sweetwater, Tx 79556

or mission office (mail is forwarded to me wherever I am)

Elder Ricardo Rios
6310 114th Street
Lubbock, Tx 79424

Baptism of Janice

My companion, Elder Weldon from Boise, ID

Elder Crompton, Elder Burns (AP [Assistant to President]), Me, Elder Ali'ifua (ignore the gang signs haha), Elder DeYoung

Elder Arredondo (current Zone Leader and my trainer), Me, Elder Ali'ifua (my boy from Oakland, Ca), Elder DeYoung (mi mejor amigo!)

Week 23: Sweetwater, TX

Howdy partners!!

Sorry for the delayed email, yesterday was a holiday so the library was closed and there's literally no where else to go for internet. It's been a rather slow week. I was sick for a couple of days last week and I was forced by the mission mom to stay in and rest. Haha BUT we had a baptism on Saturday!! Janice joined the fold of Christ with great joy as she is the most prepared person for the gospel I've met on the mission! Her brother was supposed to baptize her but he ended up getting stuck at work so she asked me to do it at the last second, way cool! I forgot my camera at home so I'll send pictures next week. Our teaching pool is pretty small but we're still teaching a girl who is working on getting her boyfriend divorced so she can marry him since they're living together. She's ready for baptism but needs to take care of that whole issue first. So we're hitting the pavement hard this week to look for new people to teach! I'm excited. I've grown a love for knocking doors. You do it to find the elect, but also gaining some funny experiences along the way. Haha Church was actually pretty good on Sunday, we had a whole 25 people there!!! That's a good turn out for this branch. My companion is doing good, we're getting along better and I'm pretty sure we'll be together for next transfer as well.. President Augustin made that kind of clear to me in an email.. Haha But I'm learning so many life lessons out here on the mission. I can't wait to see the man I've become in another year and a half. Shout out to my boy Brennen on his mission call, you're a stud!!! Better warm up buddy, it's cold up there ;) Well I hope all is well for each of you, thank you for the prayers. I feel them every day!! Make this week GREAT, savvy? Love you guys,

Elder Rios

Week 22: Sweetwater, TX

Hey fam,

Well it's been an interesting week. After 10 hours on the bus I got to my new area on Wednesday. I was greeted by Elder Weldon, who is finishing his last two transfers (three months). He looks like Jack Black with a buzz cut. It was pouring rain while I was trying to get all of my stuff into our car. Sweetwater is a very small town with a VERY small branch of the church. In Pampa, we had about 80 people in attendance each week. Here, it's a good week if 25 members show up. Obviously lots of work to do! I have been way humbled in the past couple of days... In my second day here in Sweetwater, I set a baptismal date with an investigator whom had been being taught for a while and Janice will be getting baptized this upcoming Saturday. Way excited and I barely know her. We're working with another young woman who is ready for baptism but her current boyfriend needs to get divorced from his wife so they can get married. It's an awkward situation. While knocking doors, I met THE weirdest guy ever. This elderly indian guy with long white hair answered the door and the first thing I noticed was that his tshirt said "Comforter: The Holy Ghost". So I asked him what his name was and he said "I am Emmanuel, the Spirit of God." At first I thought he was messing with us but he didn't break character. Haha I asked him where he was from and he said Heaven... He continued to tell me that everyone knows who he is; the police know him, the people of the town know him, and the President of the United States knows him. I was a little confused and I began to wonder if this was some sort of vision or angelic figure!!?? But then I saw marijuana on his table behind him and I gave him a card and left...Hahaha Just a funny experience I thought I'd share. My companion is a really good worker and a great example of the white handbook rules. I had heard lots of negative stuff about him but you know me, I am cool with everyone. I decided to try and be the nicest companion he's ever had since he told me most of his companions have made his mission miserable... We started of super good! But the past couple of days have come with some challenges.... Like on the verge of an ET. (Emergency transfer) We can't work with the Spirit if he continues to boss me around and have little temper outbursts... Any advice?? Anyway... make this week great.

Elder Rios

Week 21: Pampa to Sweetwater

I'm being transferred!!!! :( Dang it. So Saturday night we got transfer calls and I'm still training my greenie so I expected us to both just stay here in Pampa. Well, the assistants told me I'm going to Sweetwater (about an hour west of Abilene) and will be serving as DL there. Elder Staples ("Grapas" as I call him, which means staples in Spanish) will stay here and get a new companion. I was pretty upset! I felt as if I have unfinished work here! I was frustrated because we JUST found some great people to teach in Betty, a young man named Austin, Mike who is our downstairs neighbor, and a couple of potentials. Now I don't even get to teach them. But as I was praying that night I remembered: The LORD is at the helm, he knows where I need to be. I'm pretty much done packing and I'll be leaving tomorrow. My new companion there will be Elder Weldon, who is finishing his last transfer in the mish. At church yesterday it was fast & testimony meeting and I haven't missed a month yet of going up and bearing my testimony. A member of the ward Cecilia is leaving to the Airforce tomorrow and so she gave kind of a farewell. I proceeded to follow right after her and no one knew I was leaving yet. So I started off by saying "Well.. This will also be my last Sunday here." And you just hear a distinct *Gasp* from the congregation. I almost laughed. Haha but it's been hard saying bye to the ward and all the friends I've made here. Everyone has told me they cried leaving their first areas and I feel like I'm headed that way! But I've learned what I'm supposed to learn here and had great experiences. This is one place I definitely have to come back and visit... One good thing is my old companion and trainer Elder Arredondo will be my ZL in Abilene! I'll be seeing a lot :) And so I'm headed South for the Winter, Sweetwater here I come. They aren't ready for me!!! Make this week GREAT y'all. 

Elder Rios

P.s. Yes, Sweetwater has the sweetest water. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Week 20: Pampa, TX


It was about the best week I've had here on the mission so far! I got to Skype my family on Christmas, two days off of working (not that working is bad), plenty of snow, AND still got lots of teaching done. Plus it was my birthday yesterday, so I am now 20 years old! Pretty exciting. I got lots of gifts this last week so thank you all! My tie collection has tripled in value. Haha It was also a member of the ward's daughter's birthday so we had a little party last night and I got a princess cake...Haha!
The work here in Pampa continues! We are teaching a young woman named Angelica who is doing great! She's been taught by missionaries for over a year and hadn't progressed so we started over with her and she's getting everything now! Let's hope she continues toward baptism! On Thursday we were heading out of the apartment to start our day and a lady flagged us down and said she needed help with her car. She was stuck in about a foot of snow.. And she was late to a doctors appointment. So I lifted the car with one arm and problem solved. Just kidding. Elder Staples and I had to push her Toyota Camry out of the snow by rocking it back and forth and throwing some rocks under the tires. After we got her out she gave us her address so we could stop by and get some hot chocolate later that night. We're hoping to start teaching Pamela on our follow-up appointment this week. It was a great opportunity for service! It's pretty neat to see the Lord just put you in the path of those prepared to receive the gospel. Quite humbling.
Well Happy New Year to you all and let's make some ATTAINABLE and ACHIEVABLE goals for 2013!! Heard that in church yesterday...Haha Make this week GREAT!!! 

From Texas with love,
Elder Rios  

P.s. Yee-hawww

Week 19: Pampa, TX

¡Feliz Navidad! 

What a crazy week it's been! So we went on exchanges on Tuesday after district meeting, I went north to Perryton. I was supposed to come back Wednesday morning but there was a bad snow storm so they didn't let us drive long distances and I was stuck in Perryton. The same thing happened again the next day so I ended up being in Perryton for four days...nuts! I've never been so glad to be back in Pampa hahaha My companion got presents sent to him from his family a couple of weeks ago and I was like But just on Saturday I got four packages full of presents!! I'm so excited to open them. One package didn't even have a return address or card, secret Santa? Haha But thank you to those who sent me presents!! Definitely made my day! So today and tomorrow are basically days off. We're not supposed to go out and proselyte so we'll be doing a lot of basketball and disc golf with my district. Haha I'm way excited to call/Skype home tomorrow! Everyone should just head over to my house in the evening Haha jk Dad :P Well this is gonna be a short one so I have more time to write everyone back, Merry Christmas everyone! I'm gonna be 20 years old on Sunday O_o Nooooo! Hahaha 

Much love from Texas,
Elder Rios

Week 18: Pampa, TX (4 months down, 20 to go)

Howdy y'all 

      How are you guys enjoying the Christmas season? It's my favorite time of year! Because my birthday is just five days after Christmas..:) (That was a hint) Haha Everything is going good out here on the mish. Losing weight, learning Spanish, making lots of new friends, etc. Sounds pretty fun, right? Haha 

     Okay so there's this old lady (77 yrs old) who's grandson is a member but she refuses to get baptized. She LOVES the missionaries though, she has pictures of the Elders who have been here for the past two years. I'm her favorite cuz I'm from CALIFORNIA. Holler. Anyway, she is the sweetest/meanest lady ever. If she doesn't like you, she'll straight up tell you. And she doesn't care about her language she uses around us and she will not call us Elders..because we are not older than her. Hahaha We love her though! Okay, so Monday her grandson Joey came out teaching with us, he's 17. While we were out, the grandma called him and said she was calling 911 because she was having a real hard time breathing. Being on the other side of town, I pulled a Fast & Furious and got over there as quickly as I could. The ambulance arrived shortly after and took her to the hospital. We accompanied Joey there. While they were running tests on her we could hear her yelling at the doctors being ornery. Haha Turns out she was poisoned by some plant outside her house. It was a pretty crazy night! Just thought I'd tell you about it. Ha 

     Friday we had the ward Christmas party (I bet Paloma Valley ward's was bomb) and it was pretty sweet. Two former investigators showed up randomly! We had dropped them last month because they weren't keeping commitments and now they want to continue progressing towards baptism. What a miracle! The Spirit of love and charity is all around, perfect time to teach about Jesus Christ. Although the presents are great and all, let's remember who was brought into the world this Christmas time. He set the example for us and it is our obligation to try to be as he was, perfect. And through Him, we can do ALL things!! Phil 4:13 Make this week GREAT!!

Merry Christmas :)
Elder Rios

Week 17: Pampa, TX

Howdy partners!!
     Well.. It's officially freezing now. (For me anyways). This morning it was 8 degrees and some snow on the ground. It's not so much the temperature that makes it cold, it's the wind. But I'm still going out to play some disc golf in a little! :D Got some members to play with us. So my week was pretty normal.. I have been doing my best in training Elder Staples and showing him how it's done in the TLM (Texas Lubbock Mission). He's still quiet and awkward, but progressing. Literally everyone we talk to tells him to "loosen up". Hahaha We taught a lot of lessons last week, most to recent converts and less-active members. It felt so good seeing my greenie teaching, because he is a reflection of me and he's a pretty dang good missionary already! Just quiet. Ha I love Sundays here on the mission. You feel the Spirit so much stronger as a missionary and I'm all over the place too! Yesterday I taught the Sunday School lesson in Gospel Principles, gave the "missionary moment" in Primary, then translated a whole lesson into English in Priesthood. By the way, my Spanish is improving each week, I love it. Just extra powers of being an Elder. :) We're going to focus on finding new people to teach this week so lots of knocking..yayyy. Haha I'm also holding my first District meeting as District Leader tomorrow.. With my mission president in attendance. Haaa O_o They would do that to me! But I will just use my swagger and skills to impress ;) Love you all and thanks for the letters!! Keep 'em coming! And if you're not writing me, .. shame on you. Jk Here's my address again: 

1601 W Somerville St
Apt 714
Pampa, Texas 79065

Make this week GREAT!!!! 

Elder Rios

Week 16: Pampa, TX

So sorry I didn't email yesterday... We had a mission Christmas party in Lubbock so it was six hours driving round trip, and we were there all day. So today is our P-Day haha Everything is doing pretty good with training my greenie and being District Leader. My new companion is Elder Staples from Coalville, Utah. He's 21 and VERY shy. He just admits to having a not very social personality. You all know I'm the complete opposite of that...:) So it's a bit frustrating at times but I'm doing my best!! It feels so good being in control of my area. I call the shots and make the plans haha I took my companion knocking in the ghetto (had to break him in somehow), and I found him getting stuck a lot so we've got some work to do with him... I feel like a pro at tracting now. So just doing a lot of training this last week, nothing too exciting. We found a guy to teach named Dave, or as he prefers, "Drummer Dave" haha Hope that goes well. Seeing all of the Christmas lights and decorations is making me a little sad not being home..:( But I'm trying to stay busy and not think about how much fun you all are having enjoying the holiday season. Haha We've gotten some pretty cool presents already and we even got lights to put on our apartment! Plus a little Christmas tree. I'm coming up on four months out and I'm kinda glad it's really flying by. That just comes from making the most out of everyday and always making sure I have something to do. Becoming a trainer and District Leader I've seen so many more blessings in my life. My gospel knowledge has increased and I'm able to remember scriptures better and teach way better. My Spanish is pretty dang good now that I've been forced to speak it since my new comp doesn't know any. I've learned to trust in the Lord for whatever comes my way. He doesn't throw anything at you that you cannot handle. The question is, are you willing to rise to the occasion..? Hope you are all doing fantastic and make this week GREAT!!

Elder Rios

Isaac's Baptism

Some of the district in the Panhandle Zone

Thanksgiving dinner at home

Thanksgiving with the Alonzo's
My first "greenie" Elder Staples

Texas pride

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