September 22, 2014

Family Style (September 22, 2014)

Well first off (since I don´t have the pictures of these) I will share with you that I ran into two super-awesome elders. 1) Elder Tunney: my pata from the CCM who I hadn´t seen in literally one year! He is now a DL also and so during the District Leader Training, he was killing everyone with his jokes and wonderful charisma. Two thumbs up. 2) Elder Farias: my pata from Tumbes! Yes, he was a young man of a family who lived in my first area in Pampa Grande and wasn´t sure about going on a mission. Well, I tried to excite him and get him working on his papers, and well one year later, here he is serving in his own mission! He is now a full-time missionary in the Piura, Perú mission!!! Needless to say, I was pretty excited.

Okay, now for the family information. Hermanos y hermanas: may it be known that for the first time in my mission, my companion and I baptized an entire family!!! The Coveñas Rodriguez family was baptized yesterday (along with an 8 year-old son of our pensionista) and it was a day none of us here in Paita will soon forget. We did the baptism in Paita (because obviously we don´t have a chapel in Pueblo Nuevo #grupofamiliar) and sooo many people attended! I even organized a musical number with two youth playing violin and piano while the district (in the other picture below) sang "I Need Thee Every Hour" in Spanish (watch out David Archuleta, Elder Rich is making his debut in Perú). Each of the three family members then bore their testimonios of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Each one spoke 15 minutes and I felt like I was in General Conference again...freaking hahaha. It was super spiritual and we were very happy and filled with the Spirit of the Lord. Now, to look for more families!

In our mission, our new emphasis is talking with EXCLUSIVELY couples in the street. It is super new and super hard for us...for many reasons...but it is exciting and we are running into very prepared people. 

I am super greatful for being here on a mission. I know this is the true church of God. There is no doubt in my heart. This is the truth and I pray with all the energy of my heart that everyone whom I love can one day come unto Christ and be baptized like this family was so that they too can be worthy to enter the Lord´s House and be sealed to their own families for all time and all eternity.

Thank you all for reading the blog and keeping up on the life of Elder Rich. ¡Les quiero y cuídense mucho!

-Elder Dax Rich
***pictures are posted under pages "pictures"

Fishing for Families (September 15, 2014)

As a mission, we are focusing hardcore on looking for families to establish the church in Piura, Perú. Every single letter, announcement, joke, call, etc. is centered on finding, teaching, and baptizing families. I also went fishing today. Hence the title, hahaha. I actually caught a little fish too, for the first time in my life. Good day.

Anyways, it has been a good week. We are doing lots of new things in Pueblo Nuevo, have lots of good people progressing and are pretty happy. My new companion is pretty stellar: Elder Rodas. We have a pretty good time, especially because his English is pretty good. We joke around a lot and work hard together to teach and find with the Spirit. 

It feels kind of weird to be in the zone now. All of my old mission pals have been transfered to other parts in Piura, and so I am kind of here on my own. It is kind of like I am old news. Oh well, I still get to enjoy the great weather! Seriously, we get COLD here! It is sooo nice. I will miss Paita when I leave next transfer.

Well, that is about it. Not too much for this week! Thanks to all y espero que tengan buena semana! ¡Cuídense mucho!

- Elder Dax Rich

Baptism, the First Ordinance of the Gospel (September 8, 2014)

Drum roll. I am....still here in Pueblo Nuevo! Yeah, that makes this my fourth transfer in the family group of Pueblo Nuevo. (6 months, ¡qué loco!) The cool thing is that I get to really take the helm know and work with all of the new investigators that we have run into. I hope to have lots of good news to report to everyone!

My new companion is named, Elder Rodas. He is from Bolivia and he has 9 months in the mission, so I am with someone with experience. (Yes!) He seems pretty great, so I look forward to this next transfer. 
This past week I attended two baptisms of two different families. It was pretty awesome. I also held this baptismal interviews two days before, so it was cool to interview them and then afterwards see them be baptized. They were also grateful that I left Pueblo Nuevo to see them on their big day. (Although, one of the little girls that I had to interview in the first family cried for like 20 minutes because she was scared of the "big, scary Gringo." Oh well, as my district would say to me, "sucks to suck, Elder Rich.") The baptisms were pretty crazy as there was no water in the town, so we had to fill the tank with buckets of water. Crazy stuff. However, the services themselves were very spiritual. I was invited to do another solo, and so for the first time since Tumbes, I sang a solo to "When I am Baptized" (in English!) with a sister from Utah playing the piano. It was quite the performance.

A lot has happened and I have seen a lot, too. Baptism really is only just the start to a new life as a follower of Jesus Christ. I see so many people falling away from Christ after their baptisms and I get so sad. The temple is the focus. It is my focus. I want to come home one day and get married in the temple to have an eternal family. That is the real goal. Baptism means nothing if we can´t enter in the kingdom of God with our families. I hope everyone can one day share my vision.

My love to you all, and I will try to send some pictures next week. Until then, ¡cuídense mucho!

- Elder Dax Rich

But, It's Not My Wallet (September 1, 2014)

Another good ol´ week here in Pueblito Nuevito. We went on exchanges this week and I was with elder Benalcázar, so obviously it was a fiesta. We ran into so many families,  it was bacanísimo. I also learned a great gospel analogy that is part of my title. I will get to  that in a second.
First off, the highlight of the week. For the first time in MY ENTIRE MISSION, i have an entire family with a baptismal date, and their kids who are married are now ALL listening to us with their families. In total, it is four families who are progressing and one with the baptismal date. Transfers are next week so I will probably leave before i see the baptisms, but what a miracle. This area has only seen 3 baptisms in over a year, and now it will be getting a ton more. I truly am greateful and amazed at the blessings of the Lord.
Now for the analogy. For those of you who have seen Spongebob, there is an episode when Spongebob and his friend patrick try to teach a villian, Manray how to be a good person. It has been more than a year since ive seen this, so  fforgive me for the incorrect quoting, but I would like to quote one part and then apply it to the Gospel and how Elder B. and I feel about missionary work.
Patrick intentionally drops his wallet and Manray has  to practice being a good person by returning it to Patrick. Manray picks up the wallet and  says to Patrick:
Manray: Sir, i believe you dropped your wallet.
patrick:  Nope, that isnt my wallet.
manray. What? But I saw you drop it.
patrick: nope, not mine.
manray: Inside this wallet is a liscense, and it has your name and your picture. It is your card, no?
Patrick: yes, it is mine.
manray. okay, well I found this inside of your wallet, so that must mean that this wallet is yours, right?
patrick: that makes sense to me.
manray. then take it.
patrick. but its not my wallet.
Yes, it is sadly just like us and the Gospel. Here:

Us: the bible says the true church of Jesus Christ was established with prophets, apostles, and the priethood.
Them: that´s true.
us: Okay, well our church has prophets, apostles, both called of God, and the priesthood restored through the laying on of hands as taught by christ. therefore, our church should be the true church, no?
Them: that makes sense to me.
Us: then be baptized.
Them: but I already go to another church.
Elder Benalcázar had a good laugh about this. Anyways, that was my story for the week. The church is true, the prophet is true, and I am quite positive I am in the work of the Lord. Next week I may be writing from another part in Piura.
Until then, Cuidense.
- Elder Dax Rich

El Perrito y el Gatito (August 25, 2014)

So, it is official. Bon Jovi has many songs in Spanish. I don`t know if a favorite artist can become a mega-favorite artist, but Bon Jovi just achieved that level. Two thumbs up to Bon Jovi.
It was a pretty stellar week, as for the first time in my whole time in Pueblo Nuevo, we had FAMILIES of investigators come to church. We had in total 10 investigators in church yesterday, and it even wasn`t a normal church meeting: it was a conference of all the branches in Paita. So, who else was there but my mission president. It was like going to a meeting with Paul from the New Testament. The Spirit just slayed like every person there. I may get transfered soon, but I am pretty sure Pueblo Nuevo will see A LOT of baptisms in the near future. I was pretty content.

During the conference, we heard lots of good talks, but the title of this entry was the best talk I heard. It´s called "the Dog and the Cat." The speaker explained that, as we know, when the owner walks into his house, his dog runs up to him, showering him with love and wet kisses. The dog runs in circles around the master, barks his approval and gratitude, and evens does flips for the owner. The dog sees the man as the one who feeds, clothes, protects, loves, and helps him. Therefore, the man to the dog is God. The cat on the other hand stays on the couch, sleeping. It may even take off for a few days and come back when it wants. It sees the man as the one who feeds, clothes, protects, loves, and helps it. Therefore, the cat to the man is God, because he gets all of these blessings without having to do anything in return.

The speaker then asked who we were. Do we show our love, appreciation, admiration, and loyalty to the God who "clothes the lillies of the field" or do we just lazily do whatever we want and expect God to shower us with blessings? We must be anxiously engaged in a righteous cause and run to our Master as we serve Him in church callings and other capacities.

I truly liked that and thought about being like Lucky and Sugar (my dogs) and demonstrate all of my love for God as often as I can. I hope we can all learn from Lucky and Sugar and be anxious engaged in a righteous cause!

My love to you all! I pray the best for everyone and I hope you all have a "bacán week!"

- Elder Dax Rich