August 20, 2014

La gente esta muy loca (August 18, 2014)

So, we had a pretty crazy, yet pretty normal week here in Pueblo Nuevo. Yes, that is to say that every single week is a pretty crazy week here. We generally say the name of the title of the entry every single day. In fact, to prove it, we made a video of knocking a door. It was quiiite funny. I would send you all a copy, but well...I can´t. Just gotta wait a year!

With all of the craziness, I had a lot of experiences worth sharing, but to keep it quick I will share two small ones and then a big one.

First off, I got sick after I ate a very humble dish of Ají de Atún. It is like my favorite dish Ají de Gallina, but it has tuna. It caused me to become so sick that I had to sleep with a THICK blanket, my sweater, jeans, and socks. I was ready to die belly-up in the oceans of Paita. But, I am better now! (ish)

We also had a cool experience with prayer, where I taught a single mother with her 3 little kids the importance of prayer. They had lost the keys to their house and were searching all afternoon until we came. I instantly said, "did you pray?" Obviously, they didn´t and so we prayed.  Literally 4 minutes later, we found the keys. And that is why we pray, folks.

And then...sacrament meeting. I almost blew a fuse. No one was in the casa capilla at 10 AM (when we start) and so I started calling members at home. One family said, "Oh, I am sorry. I DIDN´T KNOW THERE WAS A MEETING TODAY." I was like, "What the freak??" Then, another family came in WITH THEIR WORK CLOTHES AND GOODS TO SELL. What lack of respect. But that isn´t it. 2 of the 5 Elders (which is a position in the Priesthood, not only for missionaries but for Priesthood leaders) did not come because ONE WAS SLEEPING AND THE OTHER WAS DRINKING.

Ladies and gentlemen. If you thought Jeffery R. Holland knew how to burn people in English, then you should have seen how I burned these folks in Spanish. I spoke to the group about a story in the Book of Mormon of a fellow named Lehonti who ended up dying because he gave into a little temptation. I pointed (indirectly) out the people by using selling and buying on the Sabbath as a temptation, drinking with friends and family as another, and well just plain laziness. The commandments DO NOT change. I think I said that like three times. Anyways, let´s just say I was full of the Spirit in a righteous fury, and I ended my talk with a powerful scripture from the Bible with another fellow who was tempted to leave his high position to basically sin. In Nehemiah 6:3, Nehemiah said simply enough,

"I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?"

Amen, hermano. We do not have time to sin. We do not have time to work on the Sabbath day. We do not have time to be lazy and say, "well everyone else is doing it, therefore I can too." The Lord will come soon and we just do not have time to be dumb and take the commandments for granted.

Yes, it was a crazy week, but I am eternally grateful for being here in Pueblo Nuevo. It is a fantastic blessing and will provide me with a powerful testimony for when I come home.

I love you all and pray the best for everyone! ¡Cuídense mucho!

- Elder Dax Rich

Be Not Afraid (August 11, 2014)

So, this was another crazy week. Seriously, Pueblo Nuevo is like a constant learning experience. It tests everything I know about missionary work, and then some. It tests all of my leadership abilities, and puts loads of responsibility on my shoulders. If I grow at all on my mission, it will be because of the little town located 40 minutes from Paita, Peru. 

But, because I am left with 5 minutes, I will keep it short and just share an awesome thought that came to mind as I studied the story of my favorite person in the Book of Mormon: Captain Moroni (for full story on Captain Alma in the Book of Mormon, haha). In one part of his story in the huge war, Moroni sent a letter to his enemy asking for a few things, but also testifying that God was helping them win the war. It was interesting that he bore his testimony, because his enemy didn`t believe in God, and what`s more is that he was an old member of the church, but then left and completly denied God and all things related to it. Yet, Moroni was not afraid to testify of the truth of a living God. It was a lot like Paul in the Bible who said,

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth."

I truly believe that it is important to be firm in the faith and in our testimonies. There is a living God who loves all of His children and wants their salvation.

My love to all, and I pray for your success this week! ¡ Cuídense!

- Elder Dax Rich

¡Hasta la vista, hermanito! (August 4, 2014)

So, now there are 3 of the Richs out on the Lord`s errand. And we still haven`t found the 3 Nephites nor found out where the Garden of Eden is. Oh well, that just means I have goals for my last year, yohoho!

Lots of crazy, crazy things happened this week, but to keep it short: my companion is going to Lima this week, we have an awesome family who we are teaching...who probably will never come back to church because of a CRAZY testimony meeting, and we played missionary mafia. I have never learned so much about the culture of the mission in a 30 minute-block of time.

Admist all of the craziness, I did run into some great stories. I did intercambios with an awesome elder, Elder Benalcazar (who also wants a Book of Mormon in Japanese, just throwing that out there, Mom) who studied part of the story of Captain Moroni with me. Captain Moroni is one of my favorite leaders in the Book of Mormon who just seems to always be 2 steps ahead of the enemy. His story is crazy, crazy good, and I will leave you all to read it (from Chapters 43-60 in the book of Alma). However, I want to share one part from my study...when Captain Moroni raised the famous "Title of Liberty."

Captain Moroni saw that his great enemy was growing in strength, but also turning the hearts of Moroni`s friends against God and against the government. So, Moroni took action:

"And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—and he fastened it upon the end of a pole.

And he fastened on his head-plate, and his breastplate, and his shields, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of Christians remain to possess the land" 

Moroni decided that the best course of action was to change the vision of the people. They could only see the iniquity and the temporary pleasures of revolt and anarchy. However, Moroni knew that true happiness and freedom existed in the family, with God, and in trusting in the law of the land. Therefore he created a title to literally raise the vision of his people. I hope we can all see the Gospel as this title. The Gospel improves our eternal happiness through families, God, and obedience, and if we keep our vision fixed on this higher plane of existence, we will find a greater sense of joy, purpose, and faith.

The Book of Mormon is the best. I am so glad everyone in my family is serving the Lord in different ways and that we are all enjoying the miraculous power of the Book of Mormon. I pray that you all can come to "feast upon the words of Christ" for quite truly "(they) will tell you all things what ye should do." It is the best book in the world, and I am so grateful to be a member and a missionary for the church of God established nuevamente on the earth in these latter days.

I love you all and pray the best for everyone.

¡ Cuídense!

- Elder Dax Rich

August 1, 2014

Feliz Cumpleaños a: Aimee, Utah, y Perú! (July 28, 2014)

A week of birthdays! Two elders in my district, my own sister, the state I was born in, and the country in which I am serving my mission (although, only Peru´s birthday is today, so really just happy birthday to Peru).

Today also happens to be transfers, so as you can imagine, it has been a crazy week. I could tell you about all of the crazy adventures we had this week, but I will just leave it up to my pictures and your imaginations to imagine what happened. All I can say is that I have some great pictures to share with everyone when I get home.

Amidst all of the parties, travels, and gifts, I got my hands on the Liahona with the conference talks from April in English as well as the Doctrine and Covenants DVD box set in English, so I went on a studying spree in English this past week. Therefore, I do not have one scripture in particular to share with you this week nor one talk to share (because I read so many good ones) but I did want to share my testimony of the Restoration after all of the things I read.

That is the first missionary lesson: The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This message is why the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the (logically) only true church of God on earth. However, logic alone cannot sell the message to the world. For that reason, God called a boy named Joseph Smith to be a modern-day prophet and to later seal the testimony of the restoration with Joseph´s own blood. Later (as depicted in the movie "Legacy" in my lovely D and C box set DVD) God sent the "Mormons" to various states to not only build His kingdom but to suffer afflictions and abuse. Our story is sealed with the terrible opposition that was presented against us: just as was the case with the prophets of old and just as was the case with the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

I love that God does not just give us a testimony on a silver platter. That would be too easy. That wouldn´t let us have a testimony built of steel. There MUST be opposition in the face of the truth so that the truth can shine forth like a diamond on a piece of black cloth. I am also grateful for my testimony that has been forged (perhaps not through bloodshed or terrible abuse/opposition but rather) through the difficult trials presented to us in these Last Days. I know this church is true and I am so excited that next week the Rich family will have three of its members serving the Lord in his vineyard.

This truly is the work of salvation, and I have not a single doubt of it.

- Elder Dax Rich