January 13, 2014

Elder Rico, ¡¿Donde Estas!? (January 6, 2014)

Like my title? Yeah, it won`t make sense unless you look at my pictures. 

Anyways, lots of neat stuff to share!

First off, a scripture to apply from my personal study. In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Mormon writes a bit about the final destruction of his people as well as the events that led up to it. Well, leading up to the destruction, the people asked Mormon to be a commander for their army to help them fight their enemies, the Lamanites. Well, Mormon refused this position of authority and power solely because he knew the people were not acting correctly. (Mormon 3:11). At times, we are offered positions of authority in our work, or a chance to get more money, respect, or influence among respected persons. However, if we know that the organization is not acting in ways that are in harmony with our beliefs, it is our responsibility (like Mormon) to refuse such positions and be examples of doing the right. It is hard, but the blessings are sure!

Also, something mind blowing to share that I learned this week. So, my companion is from Panama right? Also, there is a member in the ward here who just got back from his mission in Mexico. Well, after a night talking with both of them, they shared with me that in Panama, Peru, Mexico, Guatemala, and probably other countries in Middle and South America there are stories among the natives of a man coming from the heavens in the past who instructed the people to live lives of service, or love, or some other Christian-attribute. The story is a little different between every country, but the message is the same. And well....it is true!!! It is Jesus Christ, pues! He came to the Americas, instructed the people in His Gospel, and worked miracles here just like He did a little bit earlier in Jerusalem. It was mind blowing to hear this, but it just serves as another testament to me that the Book of Mormon is true!!

Ok, to end, I`d like to share an experience of my final lesson for the week from yesterday. We were about to go home, when a woman from the ward ran out into the street, asked us to come into her house, and then told us that her husband was about to die of cancer (like, that night). We went in, knelt down, and I offered a prayer as best I could to console the family and bring in the Spirit. Afterwards, I tried to think of a message to share, but could only think to sing. So, we sang a few hymns and then each of us bore our testimony. During one of the testimonies, I was literally shot back into a scene in the hospital about 6 months ago, to the side of my grandmother’s bed, the day before she died. Never have I felt the Spirit testify as powerfully as it did last night in that moment that I would see my dear Nona again, and never did I feel these reassuring words like I did in that moment: "This is the work of God." To better testify of what I mean, here is a 4 minute video from the living day prophet:


Families are forever. It is not just a nice little phrase that we say in the church to feel good. It is a promise from God to ALL who keep the commandments and endure faithfully to the end. Sí, lágrimas y todo, pero no hay un mejor verdad que esta: El Señor vive, y igual: todos van a vivir otra vez también.

That is about it for this week. Thanks to all for the love, support, prayers, and emails! My prayers are with you all!!

¡¡Cuídense mucho!!

- Elder Dax Rich

La Última Carta de 2013 (December 30, 2013)

Wow, how fast did 2013 go! One year ago I was taking finals at BYU and freezing to death, and now here I am starting a new round of transfers (still with Elder Benitez) and (as usual) melting to death! Oh how the time flies! Luckily, I certainly have grown over the year and lost some weight, so progress indeed! And just wait until next year! Ooo how much growth we all will see in each other! Lo creo! ( I believe it!) But anyways, I hope you all enjoyed Christmas and are all ready for the New Year with resolutions (that you probably won`t keep, but should try!) and with lots of fun plans! I will try to make some resolutions to keep (for real!). 

I will also try to keep this letter short, because I am sure everyone is busy this week. Thus, I will write about the baptism this week, along with the interesting story around it. So, we had a baptism for a girl named Maria on Saturday and on Friday she needed to be interviewed by the district leader to see if she was ready for baptism. So, we went to her house to bring her and her mother to the church to get the interview, and well we were surprised when we found out from the grandfather that they had left for the day and wouldn`t be back until 8 PM. We then found out that the District Leader also was not around and so we couldn't contact either one. So, with literally nowhere to turn, we went back to our room, closed the door, and began to pray. We prayed for like10 minutes that all would work out and that Maria (who has been preparing for 5 months to be baptized) could get her chance tomorrow. Long story short, that night at 8 PM, we felt we should go apologize to Maria and tell her she couldn't be baptized because she didn`t get the interview, and we ran into the grandfather again. He said, oh, she is with two other guys who look like you two in your church right now. We looked at each other, literally darted for the church, and found that Maria was indeed in her baptismal interview with the District Leader, who later told us that he felt a distinct impression to visit Maria at 8 PM in her house instead of attend to his appointment at the same hour. Thus, Maria had the interview, passed, and the next day was baptized by Elder Rich. En verdad, ¡un loco día! (In truth, a crazy day!) However, it was a powerful testimony to Elder Benitez and me of the power of pray. As Jesus Christ himself commanded, "Orar siempre(!)"  (that is to say, "Pray always(!)")

I love you all and pray that all of you will have a wonderful new year and will find lots of peace and joy, especially with your families! 

¡Cuidense! (Take care!)

- Elder Dax Rich