April 20, 2015

Best Quote in a Market (April 20, 2015)

"You think about getting married, not about buying in a market!"

Elder Williams and I went to the market today because we have the same interests and therefore buy successfully together. While there, we ran into an awesome Mario piggybank and the guy there saw our interest and offered it to us for 10 soles. Elder Williams thought about it for a second, and the guy said the above phrase, which in itself was enough to win us over. So now we have a Mario piggybank and peruvian clothes from peruvian name brands that we bought afterwards. #Peruviangoodness

Anyways, it has been a good week. We ran into nine new people to teach, gave one of our investigators a Book of Mormon in English, took a selfie with the same one, and got a visit from the Mission President. President Rowley came to Negritos with his parents in-law to speak at our Branch Conference, and it was awesome because after a whole week of literally inviting everyone to come, we had four investigators there and a bunch of less actives. It was spiritually good. 

Then the highlight of the week came after a bacan lesson. Harold, the branch mission leader who was teaching with us, got a call from the Branch President asking him to come with us to the church. We went there and he expressed to us his great difficulties and his lack of hope in terms of things improving. I then felt impressed to ask if he wanted a blessing. It was weird because like....I´ve never blessed someone with a higher authority than myself. Nonetheless, after what seemed like a minute of pure silence he said yes. It was an amazing feeling and I can´t express it in words, but I felt a true power pass through me, and I have a even stronger testimony now that I possess the God-given authority of the Priesthood. 

That was pretty much my week in a nutshell. I hope you all have an awesome week and enjoy the end of this wonderful April season. ¡El fin se acerca! 

- Elder Dax Rich

It´s a Small World (April 13, 2015)

First Week in Negritos. I go out preaching with some young single adults in the ward. One of them tells me his uncle and his uncle´s family just got baptized in October. He then tells me his uncle lives in Pueblo Nuevo de Colán. *CD screech noise* I was like "WHHAAAT?? Who is your uncle?" Turns out it was the family I baptized when I was in Paita a while ago. I am now working on reactivating the other part of the family here in Negritos. Yeah, small world.

Things are going awesome with my new companion. He is pretty much my brother from another mother: video game expert, anime fanatic, user of excellent phrases, and a sage in terms of movie quotes. He might be the Aimee I have been missing for almost 2 years (he is 22 too so like, Aimee pues!) We are working well together and working hard to reactivate a ward that has been aflicted by trunky elders for a long time. It is hard, but I am excited.

Really, there are a lot of amazing things happening in my mission right now. I get up every morning, look outside at the ocean, and say, "Let´s get to work!" The weather is like Spring in the States, and the ocean is just so beautiful. The people are also so kind. For the first time in my whole mission, a complete stranger invited us into his house to use his telephone because we didnt have change to call with a public phone. No one does that!!! Seriously, there are amazing things about to happen.

I also gave a lesson this past week in Priesthood meeting on Sunday about Joseph Smith. It was full of doctrine, scriptures, and then testimonies of the members. Wow. It was good. It made me so proud to preach of a modern prophet. I ended with this favorite scripture of mine:

"Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of the Latter-day Saints, founded a great city, and left a fame and name that cannot be slain. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated!"

I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, that Thomas S. Monson is the living prophet today, and that the true church has been restored to the church today. May we all feel the flaming testimony that I feel in my heart, if not then a raging inferno!! 

Que tengan una semana buenaza!

- Elder Dax Rich

Welcome to the Celestial Kingdom (April 6, 2015)

The unthinkable happened. On my birthday, I opened up the email which had the transfers written, and the first name was "Elder Rich." We all were dumbfounded. My companion spent the whole week last week saying goodbye to the ward....and I was the one leaving. But, as we continued reading, we saw that I was getting sent to spend my last two transfers in the "Celestial Kingdom" of the mission: Negritos, Talara. It is called such because it is right on the beach, like Pueblo Nuevo, but more beach. A picture: http://mw2.google.com/mw-panoramio/photos/medium/20748613.jpg

Craziness.

But, in other news. Felix, our most intense investigator got his baptismal interview done yesterday and his baptism is set for Friday. Even though I won´t be there, it is sooooooo exciting!! I felt so happy for him. In the conference, I also received other tender mercies, as LOADS of the less actives who I have been teaching for my whole time in Tacalá came to the conference. I was humbled and grateful that my work made a difference in their lives. 

My birthday was spent getting egged, floured, and caked in the face. I ate BBQ, tacos, brownies, cake, french toast, pancakes, and drank lots and lots of Chocolate Milk. Sure, this took place in the course of three days, but boy oh boy do I need to exercise! I think I put on 20 lbs in one week!

And more about my transfer: I have stepped down as Zone Leader: well more like I got removed as Zone Leader, but received a very nice phone call from the President explaining to me that my new area is in trouble and needs a strong missionary, so he decided to send me here. I felt quite humbled. I am now with Elder Williams (my second Gringo companion) from Oregon. He is older than me, but has only four months in the field....so I will be doing some hardcore teaching. It should be fun.

I hope you all had a great Easter. I got to think a lot about Christ these past few days and am so grateful for His sacrifice. I love Him very, very much and want to share Him with the world. He is the Light and the Life of my world, and my Hope. I know families can be together forever, and that is the greatest motivation I have to continue forward. Have an awesome week.

Love,

Elder Dax Rich

The End of the 20th Century/Year (March 30, 2015)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZqTRSVA1YA    He Lives short video

Post this on Facebook, Twitter, whatever is popular now on the web. Do it. People will be blessed for this. Pretty cool deal, right?

Speaking of videos, today I finally got to see "Meet the Mormons." I agree with Mom. It is a nice movie and has a good message about the church but I feel like they missed something pretty critical #bookofmormon. I mean, it is the keystone of our religion for a reason, pues! Oh well....when I became a big, famous movie director I will make a "Meet the Mormons 2" and it will talk about Pure Doctrine!!! hahaha.

Anyways, it has a been a good week here in Tacalà, Piura, Perù. I saw Elder Rodas today. Our investigator who would not accept anything we taught has been reading the Book of Mormon and is now in Jacob. Because of his desire to read, he has changed a LOT and now put his own baptismal date for April 10th. He will be interviewed this Friday and be baptized the next. The couple who came to church two weeks ago saw the Joseph Smith movie and felt the Spirit really strong. They have been reading together every night and recently read 1 Nephi 13 and 14, and instantly understood what the "Church of the Devil" was. It was pretty amazing. They are planning to get married and later be baptized. They are really miracles in the vineyard of the Lord.

Well, it is my last email as a 20 year old churre. I think it is pretty funny: the 21st birthday is spent drinking in bars and I am going to be in the Stake Center listening to General Conference. #beingmormon. 

I hope you all get the chance to hear at least ONE talk this conference weekend, hopefully being one of the talks from the Prophet himself or from Richard G. Scott (my favorite Apostle). Happy Easter Weekend!

- Elder Dax Rich 

And Now Behold, Can Ye Dispute the Power of God? (March 23, 2015)

In my long quest to finish the Book of Mormon for the 4th time in my life before the end of my mission, I crossed upon the story of Alma the younger. This young lad was destroying the church, but saw an angel and became one of the most powerful prophets of the entire Book of Mormon. His change of heart story is so strong and I love to ponder on the story and apply parts of it to myself. As I read this time around, I was impacted by the words of the angel to Alma:

"And again, the angel said: Behold, the Lord hath heard the prayers of his people, and also the prayers of his servant, Alma, who is thy father; for he has prayed with much faith concerning thee that thou mightest be brought to the knowledge of the truth; therefore, for this purpose have I come to convince thee of the power and authority of God, that the prayers of his servants might be answered according to their faith.

And now behold, can ye dispute the power of God?"

Through faith, prayers, and fasting, we can help literally anyone come unto the faith of Jesus Christ. He has all power and loves us, so quite easily He can help someone change their heart (even if it is very hard) and come unto Him. But, we need to do our part. I am seeing lots of blessings in my mission due to faith, prayers, and fasting, and invite you all to do these 3 things as well to see the power of God in your personal lives.

It was a week full of meetings and a sketch that we put on to tell the story of Alma with his missionary companion Amulek. It was lots of fun and I got to act like a "pata" from Lima. If I find the video, I will send it to you. No worries.

I hope you all have an awesome week! Read the Book of Mormon. Do it. The church is true. God lives. Jesus Christ is His Son. Joseph Smith was a prophet. It is the greatest truth I know of. May we all come to know and feel these things for ourselves as well. ¡Cuídense mucho!

- Elder Dax Rich

Miracles Every Week (March 16, 2015)

First off, I included the music to the video I sent last week. I love this music and hope you all can enjoy it if you want to think about the Savior. (No worries, there aren`t words so people like me will be feliz).

As the title indicates, it was a good week this week. Like 3 weeks ago, we got a text message with a reference for a young-ish man who lives in our area. He was pretty interested, wanted a Book of Mormon in the first visit and (long story short) we lost contact with him a week later. It was pretty sad but we continued. Then, this week, we decided to contact a woman sitting outside of her house. When we shook her hand, she instantly said, "You guys finally came!" (In Spanish, of course yohoho.) We were pretty scared actually because usually that means the person is crazy, but it turns out that she was the wife of the guy we were visiting! We thus entered in her house, taught them both the Restoration, and the wife said she had wanted to read the Book of Mormon for years because of a co-worker who was such a great example to her. We left the book with her and invited her to read it and pray about it.

When we came back for the next lesson, I saw something that I have never seen in 20 months in my mission. The couple told us that they had been reading the Book of Mormon every night as a couple and personally, the husband understood everything he read (to the point that he began asking us questions at another level of comprehension), and the wife after praying about the book received a spiritual impression so strong that she began to cry. She told us that it was the most powerful prayer she had made in her life.

Elder Montero looked at me... I looked at him....and the Spirit hit us like a ton of bricks. Wooooow!

The family then said they would come to church on Sunday, which they did. And to even further prove their sincerity, for the first time in 8 years, there was a torrential rainstorm Sunday from 7 am to 10 am. Church starts at 9am. The roads were LITERALLY rivers. Yet, they got in a motortaxi with us and went to church with 50 other faithful members. Woooooooooooow!!

While they can`t be baptized because they aren`t married, they are literally the most prepared people I have ever met in my mission. I was truly humbled and testify that the Lord is preparing people everyday to learn about the Restored Gospel.

I will let you all know how things go with this family. I love you all very much and hope you have an awesome week. ¡Cuídense! 

- Elder Dax Rich

Personal Progress on the Road to Exaltation (March 9, 2015)

So, after a series of pretty-deep lessons with doctrine up to my neck, I got to thinking about the progress of all of us as human beings and realized that there are four levels on our progress as humans to return to God.

1) Recognize that there is a Supreme Being

2) Recognize that Jesus Christ is the Savior.

3) Recognize that there is a true church on the earth.

4) Endure to the end.

I realized that literally every person can be placed on one of these 4 levels, and the end would be to complete all 4 steps. Cool stuff, right?

Then came P-Day. It was quite bacán. The girl who recently got baptized invited us to her house in the farmlands outside of Piura to celebrate the birthday of a sister in our zone. So, our district, two members, and the sister who had her birthday and her companion went to the farmlands where Maracuyá grows abundantly, animals are crazy, and people cook like Boy Scouts. Amen y amen! We left super early to travel there and got back pretty late, but it was truly an adventure filled with charades, nerf guns, and lots and lots of pictures. I hope you all get to enjoy the pictures!
This past week, I saw this movie again, and I was reminded of how much I liked it. It depicts the Spirit World well and explains the atonement well. If you have interest, you are invited to watch it, even though it is kind of old. 

Anyways that was basically the week for me. I hope you all have an awesome week! ¡Cuídense mucho!

- Elder Dax Rich

March 9, 2015

Rapid Nigatsu (March 2, 2015)

#goingjapanese

So nigatsu (February) is gone and now we are in sangatsu (March). I am quite excited for this month as it is the beginning of my last 4 months in the mission Peru, Piura. There is still much to do, but the future is bright (as is the sun). 

This past week we had a baptism!! We baptized a girl with a rock-hard testimony, and even though the service itself was small, that investigator who is super hard in his heart and refutes everything we teach came and afterwards said he was desirous of being baptized but didn´t feel worthy. Can you say, "Locasasasasazo!"

Yesterday, the convert: Sister Judith Reusche, invited us to a HUGE lunch with the other elders and sisters. It was a 4 course meal to break the fast with amazingly delicious dishes from Piura: chicharrón de pescado, other dishes that I forgot how to say, and a pie of maracuyá. I was in heaven...until we left to preach. Almost died of stomach pains hahaha. Nonetheless, it was lots of fun.

Anyways, it was a great week, and I even ran into a scripture worthy of sharing. I read Omni this week where like 4 different guys write about their lives, and Omni himself writes only 3 verses about his entire life. To summarize his personal life he says:

"Wherefore, in my days, I would that ye should know that I fought much with the sword to preserve my people, the Nephites, from falling into the hands of their enemies, the Lamanites. But behold, I of myself am a wicked man, and I have not kept the statutes and the commandments of the Lord as I ought to have done."

I read that and thought for a good while. Why did he say that he was wicked to describe his life? Then I realized that it was to teach of the importance of repentance. Maybe we aren´t the best of people, but we don´t have to feel like at the end of our lives we will be condemned to stating that we are wicked people. If we repent, we can leave the past behind and start off with a clean slate. Omni taught one of the best principles of the Gospel in one verse. Right on, Omni.

I hope you all have an awesome week. My love to you all. ¡Cuídense mucho!

- Elder Dax Rich