December 3, 2013

Through the Eye of the Storm (November 18, 2013)

Well, it finally came. The end of my 3 month training, and now I am a veteran missionary ready to go to work...just missing a little bit on the Spanish side of things, but that will come! My new companion is named Elder Osegueda and I will meet him tomorrow night in Piura, when all of Tumbes goes to Piura in preparation for Chiclayo. So, right now I am in a companionship with the Zone leader here...who is an American. Yes, it may be frowned upon here, but I have been having an English party for the past day and wow does it feel good to know exactly what your companion is saying! It will only be for a short time, but hey, I am counting every blessing I get! We are also getting an upgrade in our bus to Piura, going out for hamburgueses/hamburgers tonight with the zone, getting an hotel room tomorrow night, and we are getting 2 new companionships in our district! Super great stuff! 

Una historia por divertimiento. (A story for your enjoyment.) Last night, the whole district stayed in the zone leader’s room, and I decided to bring some of my food from the packages I have gotten from the states to share with the Latinos. i think I brought JIF peanut butter and the gummy worm industry to a new frontier. The Latinos went crazy for the two and we all made big sandwiches with PB, cocoa powder, gummy worms, (and for some, tuna), and just ate like a bunch of silly 20 year old missionaries. Good times indeed!

On a more spiritual note, we also had another baptism yesterday (we had to squeeze this one in before Elder Chavez left). I did not include the pictures this week because I didn´t want them to get confused with the baptism for Manuel, but anyways, we helped a young man of 17 years to be baptized into la Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días yesterday and it was quite the great experience! The young man, Jasmani, was a reference (a friend of a member who referred him to us as missionaries) of the bishop here and when we first met him 3 weeks ago, he said that he wanted to serve a mission. We looked at each other, speechless, and said "Bueno....(in Spanish) you kind of need to be a member of the church before you can be a missionary for it." It was quite funny, but in truth he has a fantastic testimony of the Gospel. His testimony is built on the knowledge that God lives and is our Father in Heaven, and Jasmani has said to us many times that he wants to serve God not because he has to, but because it is the only way he can think of to thank the very Father who blesses him everyday. What a testimony! It is testimonies like this that i wish I could share with the world. If people would just pray and wait for the still, small voice of the Spirit to enter their hearts (as it will for all of God’s children), they would know God lives and loves them. It is so easy, but as we learn from the story of Moses and the brass serpent on the staff, even with something so simple, without the faith to act people just won’t even bother. 

Anyways, that has been about it for the week. I look forward to my new companionship and to seeing a living Apostle of God (like Paul or Peter in the Bible) in just two days more! A super exciting week is ahead, and I hope to share some good stories with everyone! 

My prayers are with you all back home: family, friends, a los demás. I love you all very much, and I am sending you all lots of hot sun to enjoy so that I don’t have to anymore!! (Send some snow when it comes!) Thanks to everyone for reading and for checking out my pictures. I will keep them coming!!

Cuidese mucho!

Elder Dax Rich

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