August 24, 2013

Last CCM email

Hey everyone,

So, I realized after I sent my email last week that I did not even write about my new position as District Leader of my district, so that is something worth sharing. Surprise everyone. Since this is the last week here at the CCM for me, I have been busy buying all of the Lima goods to prepare me for my mission. I got an awesome sauce hymnbook and case with the Lima temple on it, which I am sure will be the talk of the town in my mission. I got another lovely llama tie and a nice Peruvian satchel so I am now one of the natives.

Quick break for elders and Apostle talk: I tried to read the article about President Monson being in Hartford for the temple groundbreaking, but I didn’t get to, but I was super excited to read that he was there! I hope everyone got a chance to be a part of that and see the prophet somehow! Hopefully, I will be back in time for the dedication of the temple once it is built and I can go. Speaking of temples, I went to the temple for the last time for 2 years today and besides it being super spiritual with my whole district there, it was like I went through another farewell because I was saying goodbye to going to the house of the Lord for 2 years. It was sad, but I am so glad I got to go at least a few times while I have been out here. We are all super excited to see Elder Cook this Sunday and we are even personally inviting him to our district´s Navidad Fiesta that same day. Our plan is to get one of the guys to say the closing prayer and then as he goes up, he will announce that Elder Cook is exclusively invited to our party, and then he will say the prayer and sit down. It will work, trust me. Also, for our devotional this past Sunday we had a speaker from the Quorum of the 70 and when I finally realized who it was I started laughing and knew I had to tell the family that we had the honor of seeing C. Scott Grow at our CCM. He is a great guy and all, but his name will forever be funny to me, and after I explained it to my district they all laughed with me...while he was speaking and we were in the front row. This is obviously why we need hermanas (sisters) in our district, to keep us in line, but oh well. It was funny and I hope everyone else can appreciate this humor with me.

I finished Jesus the Christ today. 800 pages during two-three weeks of one of the craziest schedules any human should ever live in his/her life is quite the accomplishment in my book. I now recommend it two times as much as I did before and it has become one of the most interesting books I have read in all of my many days. I also recently learned that there are only two CCM´s that allow their missionaries to proselytize while at the CCM, and ours is one of those two, so I felt quite lucky. However, we are not actually going this week because of Elder Cook coming, but it is still cool that we got the chance to go.

Okay, back to sports. In case anyone wants to know, our district is 56/60 in terms of ultimate frisbee, so we are basically the very best like no one ever was. This guy packs quite a punch with his mad throwing and catching skills. I discovered that I suck at every sport so that I could be quite good at Frisbee. My life makes sense now.

With this last bit I want to share just some interesting experiences I have had recently here in the CCM. We have been having a lot of problems with missionaries in terms of their health emotionally and physically, and it has been especially evident in my district and with the elders in my room. Because of this I have had interesting experiences, the first being that I got to give a blessing with 8 other elders standing in on the blessing for an ill elder. I exercised my Priesthood power as I have in the past, but when I did it with 8 other elders with me, I felt more power in my words and I really felt the Spirit guiding me and helping me to bless this sick elder (who now said he feels totally fine). Power of the Priesthood right there. I have also seen the emotional health of missionaries here decline as one specifically has been thinking about going home, and in fact decided for sure that he was going home. He talked with the president and called home for a week straight, and two nights ago he decided for sure that the mission was not for him and that he was going home. Everyone was totally devastated to hear that, and so my room decided to come together in prayer for this elder. We all joined together in a long and powerful prayer, and we had Papa Prince (Elder Prince) go out and talk with this elder one-on-one. The next morning the elder came up to all of us with tears in his eyes and said he was staying. He had been cheering the night before when he finally got the "okay" to go home, but that next morning he said he had felt a huge change in his heart and knew he needed to be here, and just like that he decided that this is where he wanted to be. It may not have been as crazy as the night we saw the one elder fending off evil spirits, but it certainly was just as powerful. Satan works on every person here as hard as he can, but the power of the Priesthood, God’s authority, will always come off conqueror. I have such a stronger testimony of what a man with the Priesthood can do now, and I am so glad for that power on this earth. The biggest lesson that I have learned this week though was certainly these two words: "Trust God." He loves all of His children and He has a plan for all of them, we just need to trust that He will do what is best for all of us. We all want certain things from life and we want them in our time, but if we remember that God knows best and wants us to be happy then we will be more willing to turn to Him and trust that He will give us what is best for us when we truly need it, and not when we think we need it. Throughout this week those two words have been repeating in my head, and I want to share them with everyone back home, because they are that important. Trust Him, siempre (always).

In conclusion, my district is also awesome because we sing songs in Spanish. Our most commonly sung song is only two lines but we all join in whenever one person sings out the first line. When someone sings "qué quiere" (what do you want) we all sing back "bébe lo tengo" (drink what I have). We are that cool. Anyways, sorry if my English is slipping, but my Spanish is growing! It is a trade off, so it is all good.

 My next email will be from Piura, so stay tuned! I hope to hear from everyone soon and I hope all is well with everyone! God be with you until we meet again (or at least until my next post!).

-Elder Dax Rich

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