July 15, 2014

Just Look! (July 7, 2014)

First off: MY BROTHER FROM PANAMÁ GOT CALLED AS A DISTRICT LEADER! Two thumbs up to my amigo: Elder Benitez. Super happy for him.

 Well in other news, I am closely approaching that one year mark! It was super weird on the 4th of July remembering what I was doing one year ago. Crazy where life takes us!

In the world of Elder Rich, I have been working like a fireball here in my little Pueblito Nuevito. We keep running into families who just are so prepared to hear this message of a restored Gospel. It is pretty humbling and awesome. We also have had lots of spiritual experiences, like with one brother who just went through a divorce and is trying to get over his alcohol addiction while at the same time win back his wife and 6 year old daughter. It is sad, but super cool to see how the Gospel is helping him become the man he wants to be. We talked about eternal families with him, and woooow was the Spirit strong. Not a dry tear in the house. It was an experience worthy of the journal. I certainly am thankful for the blessings we receive as we work on the Lord`s work of salvation. 

Now, as full of joy as I am for running into families, I also am quite frustrated, for you see we run into people, explain something SO important, SO revolutionary, SO impactful, and the people just go "meh" I have the Bible. I am saved already. As I studied the book of Alma this week, I found that I was in the same boat as Alma. You see, Alma said in chapter 29:

"I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy."

It truly is joy beyond words to be the means through which the children of God can find reconciliation with Him and therefore be brought to a higher level of being and happiness. It is something of which I too glory. However, when Alma ran into a group of hypocrites called the Zoramites, he talked of their state as one similar to the people in the time of Moses. Alma said that Jesus Christ was the symbol that Moses raised up in the wilderness (the serpent on the staff), and that just as the people wouldn’t look at the serpent, these Zormaties wouldn’t believe in Christ. Speaking of Christ, Alma said:

"Behold, he was spoken of by Moses; yea, and behold a type was raised up in the wilderness, that whosoever would look upon it might live. And many did look and live.

But few understood the meaning of those things, and this because of the hardness of their hearts. But there were many who were so hardened that they would not look, therefore they perished. Now the reason they would not look is because they did not believe that it would heal them."

I share Alma’s frustration but just a bit more fuerte: WHY WON`T YOU PEOPLE JUST LOOK? Literally it is as easy as let the missionaries come into your house, share a 30 minute message, and afterwards pray to God. Literally your entire life changes. It is sooo easy, but people are just like those in the times of Moses: "meh, I don’t wanna look." It drives me crazy, but hey that is partly why this work isn’t a cakewalk.

I am very grateful to be a missionary and to serve in Piura, Peru. I know this church is the true church of God: the same that His Son established a little under 2000 years ago. We have a living day prophet, 12 apostles, and the power and authority of God to do all that His Son did as recorded in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. The work is true, the people are great, and God just never ceases to amaze me.

Disfruten su semana y gracias por leer mis cartas. Mis oraciones están con todos de Ustedes. ¡ Cuídense mucho!  [Enjoy your week and thank you for reading my letters. My prayers are with all of you. Take care!]

- Elder Dax Rich

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