July 31, 2014

That Awkward "After the 1 Year" Mark (July 21, 2014)

My one year was Thursday. And now here I am: a veteran in the mission. A lot has happened, and while I will save the good stuff for the homecoming: I will write about the biggest highlight of the week and well also one of the biggest of the mission: My return trip to Lima. 

Thursday, I got sent to Lima. So, I got to be in the exact same spot that I was literally one year ago. At 10 PM July 17, 2013 I entered the Lima, Peru airport....and at 10 PM July 17, 2014 I again entered the Lima, Peru airport. It was one for the journal. I also compared pictures from one year ago, and saw I have lost a lot of weight. #winner. But, what made the trip even better was that the next day I got to go back to the temple and do the entire service in Spanish (without help, whaaaat). It was insane. I received answers to one of the biggest problems/questions of my mission. I cannot tell you all because of the sacred nature of it, but man was it something I will never forget. 

To sum up a lot of my year, I decided to share parts of my personal study from this past week (it is crazy how everything I read in the Book of Mormon applies to my everyday life). I have been reading the words of the American prophet, Alma to his wild, rebel of a son Corianton. Alma talked to his son about the importance of missionary work and said:
" Behold, I say unto you, is not a soul at this time as precious unto God as a soul will be at the time of his coming?"

I thought about that and realized it really is how I feel too. I wish everyone could come to know God the way I know Him (if not, even more than I know Him)! God loves each and every one of His children, and wants to save them all. However, many people are kept from God only because they don´t know where to look, or just don´t want to. It is my prayer that all of my friends and loved ones can come to find God through prayer, scripture study, and binding covenants with Him. There is no greater joy than this.

However, Alma also cautioned his son with this one phrase that will forever be impactful to me:

"Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness."

The world justifies sin. God does not. God knows that ALL sin makes us sad... and maybe not in the moment, but on the eternal perspective it does. I see so much iniquity in the world, and the worst part is that people accept much of that iniquity to be part of life. They say that the alternative, namely choosing the right, is incorrect or even stupid. As a missionary, a representative of Jesus Christ, and as a child of God, it hurts me to see just how sick the world is. However, my joy is that Jesus Christ will come to earth again and cleanse the world in preperation for its exaltation. My only wish is that all those important to me can be on Christ´s side when that day comes.

That is why I will continue doing my best for one year: with the hope that I can help many people in Peru and in the United States (and maybe in other parts of the world, who knows) come unto Jesus Christ and find the perfect joy that I find everyday in Christ´s Gospel. I look forward to that homecoming talk and to waffles the first morning!

Mi amor a todos, y gracias.

- Elder Dax Rich

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