May 5, 2014

¡Bienvenidos a Pueblo Nuevo! (May 5, 2014)

I am now in my 3rd area in the mission: Pueblo Nuevo, in the beaches of Paita. It is very, very, very different.

For starters, it is green. 

But more, I am now in something called a grupo familiar which is basically when the church has so few members that it can´t be a ward nor a branch. So, we have church services in the house of the missionaries...our house. There are 16 members in all of the town, and well let´s just say it is very new for me. I am the District Leader here, but Pueblo Nuevo is 40 minutes from the heart of Paita, so I am 40 minutes away from my district. There are lots of new experiences, challenges, and lessons that I am going to face here, and it is sure to be an exciting story to share with you all!

The last few days in Capullanas were excellent, yet also sad. Saying goodbye to good friends was very tough, but I got some very neat gifts and pictures that I want to share with you all (but I forgot my camera in the house, so I will send the huge wave of pictures the next week!. Until then, I will just let you all know that I am here in my new area and that all looks good. Thanks for keeping up with the blog and being a part of my adventures!!

¡Cuídense muchísimo!

.Elder Dax Rich

Oops (April 28, 2014)

Lo siento, I apologize but this week I will not be sending an email. Like the first time in 9 months, I know! Oh well, at least you can all enjoy the photos. I hope all is well with everyone and I hope to share lots of good things with everyone next week.....when I will probably be in my 3rd area in my mission. 


Amor a todos,

Elder Dax Rich

Even Missionaries Get Vacations (April 21, 2014)

So, I am going to Ecuador tomorrow. Bacan. I will take lots of great photos and get lots of stuff to remember the experience. It is kind of a strange story, but to keep it short, I will be going for the day and will return to good ol´ Piura in the night. Just a cool little piece of my life to share with everyone.

Yesterday ended la Semana Santa as we all celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ. What made last week even cooler was that VICTOR WAS BAPTIZED. Yeah, Bacan. He was baptized last Friday night, the day we remember the death of our Savior. ¡Que simbolismo! As Victor ended his old life and began a new life as a disciple of Jesus Christ. As said in the New Testament, when we are baptized, we are baptized by immersion to remember the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ: 

"Porque somos sepultados juntamente con él para muerte por medio del bautismo, a fin de que como Cristo resucitó de los muertos por la gloria del Padre, así también nosotros andemos en vida nueva." (Romans 6:4)

It was a powerful service and a wonderful reminder to me of the power I hold as an Elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood. It is the same power of Jesus Christ and it is given to all males of God´s church who strive to stay worthy of its immense power. I was humbled and touched by the baptismal service. I know this is the church of Jesus Christ, the same church as He established almost 2000 years ago. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God who saw God the Father and His son, Jesus Christ. I know the Priesthood is here on the earth and exclusively exists in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I hope you all had a great Easter and had time to remember Christ as well as your own families. Thank you all for your prayers and support. ¡Cuídense mucho!

- Elder Dax Rich

"I´m Still Here" (April 14, 2014)

The title is from a great song from the movie, "Treasure Planet" which I got to see a part of this past Sunday when we ate with members (the life of crazy missionaries in Piura). I tried to be obedient and not watch, but when I heard this song, and in SPANISH I just gave up. It is called "Estoy Aquí" in Spanish and it did give the English version a run for its money.

ANYWAYS, the real story of the week is how we met a lot of new investigators this week, but the one highlight especially was a 45 year-old man named "Juan." Juan came to church yesterday and came to my Gospel Doctrine class (I usually teach the class solo, so it has kind of changed from the class of the missionaries and ward mission leader to the class of Elder Rich). After the class, he came up to me and asked if I could visit him in his house later in the afternoon, to which I said yes and well yeah...we went to his house. As we talked with him, we learned of his past as an alcoholic, a partier, and well just not a good dad, and he told us that all of that changed when he heard about the "Mormon church." We talked for a while and he expressed to us his desires to be baptized to change his life and be a better father and example, and well we ended up giving him a Book of Mormon. He said "Nunca voy a olvidar este momento" (I am never going to forget this moment, something I have not ever heard on my mission, to be quite honest) and then told us how he wanted to make a deal with God that as he would read the Book of Mormon, God would help him in return to stop drinking, stop using drugs, and start being a real light to his family. The Spirit was indeed quite powerful and well, his story may end here for me because we will not be able to personally continue teaching him, but I can be very sure in saying that one day we will see this man as a greatly changed man: a good father, a good example, and a good follower of Jesus Christ. 

It is a moment like this one when I can just testify to the ends of the earth that this is the work of God. It doesn´t matter what people say or do against the work, because it will continue to spread to every tongue and every nation until it has penetrated in every ear of every person on earth. I know this is the true church of Jesus Christ and I know he wants all of us to return to live with him again. We just need to make the decision to exercise faith, repent of our sins, make covenants with him, and endure to the end of our lives continually abounding in good works.

Gracias a todos y ojala que todos vayan a sentir el amor de Dios en esta semana. ¡Cuídense mucho!

- Elder Dax Rich