December 19, 2013

Elder Rich Got Run Over By a Reindeer (December 16, 2013)

Not really. It just sounded like a good title. But, it certainly did feel like I got hit by a train this past week! However, before that, let`s turn to the Christmas Scripture for the third week of December.

This week, I decided to share a little bit more about Jesus Christ in the Americas, but this time his actual visit to the Americas just a short time after his death and resurrection in the Holy Land. We read in Chapter 11 of the third book of Nephi in the Book of Mormon that Jesus Christ himself fulfilled ancient prophecies and came to the Americas to teach His Gospel to the people in this continent and bless them for their righteousness. However, He also demonstrated His unparalleled love for the world, as He demonstrates in verse 11: "he glorificado al Padre, tomando sobre mí los pecados del mundo." He indeed fulfilled His objective on this Earth and atoned for all of our sins. Yet, during His visit here, He also blessed and healed the sick, and blessed the little children. In Chapter 17 verse 21 we read: "Y cuando hubo dicho (Jesucristo) estas palabras, lloró, y la multitud dio testimonio de ello; y tomó a sus niños pequeños, uno por uno, y los bendijo, y rogó al Padre por ellos." What an example of love! One by one, our Savior took the little children and blessed them. I pray that we may all remember the example of the Lord both in the Bible and in the Book of Mormon and apply that same expression of love to all those around us; for indeed the Spirit of Christmas is the Love of Jesus Christ.

And speaking of love, what greater love is there than lots of stress right before Christmas? Yes indeed, a stressful week as last Monday night I received news that I would be having a transfer in one day. So, in that very short window, I tried to visit with as many investigators and members as I could to say my good-byes and, bueno... now I am in Capullanas in the zone, Piura Central! Oh, and also, I am a trainer. Yep, three weeks out of training and I got my first hijo: Elder Benitez. ¡Sorpresa! Also, I am now in the same district as Elder Moses, and he same zone as my trainer, Elder Chavez. So yeah, it is quite the change and quite the excitement here in the world of Elder Rich! 

But, with all of the fun changes, I have gotten to prove myself here as a new leader, a new missionary in an area, and as, well, a representative of Christ. Lots of different experiences in just one week, but I would like to share what was (in my opinion) the coolest experience this week for me. So, I got to do some door-knocking with my companion and a 15 year old member who is planning on serving a mission in a few years. We were having horrible luck with people who were just quite firmly set in not talking to us, no matter what. It was rather disappointing. We then ran into a man sitting on the side of the road, and so I said, what the heck, let`s try. We began talking to him and learned a bit about him, and then his drunken friend came over and began his drunk-rampage on Mormon-philosophy. We could not get a single word in for like 5 minutes and we were just getting bashed around. Finally, I gathered as much strength as I could, looked the man who was sitting on the side of the street in the eyes, and gave a powerful testimony that I knew that our message was true. The drunken man began to talk back, but I kept speaking and would not stop nor blink. The drunk man suddenly stopped, and didn’t say another word until I extended my hand and said that I knew these things would bless his life as well as his families. The man on the street then simply said: When can you come by my house? So, long story short, missionary beats drunk every time. 

Anyways, that`s been my week in a nutshell. I hope everyone is getting excited for Christmas! It really is the most wonderful time of the year. Remember to look for ways to serve others, and you will find that this Christmas will truly be memorable and enjoyable! My prayers are with you all always, and may we all remember the birth, life, and gift of Jesus Christ for all of us as Children of God. 

¡Cuídense mucho! (Take good care of yourselves!)

- Elder Dax Rich

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