November 24, 2014

Untitled (November 17, 2014)

Oh, what a week! 

First off: Trivia: Did you know that every 15 minutes, someone gets baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the northeast area of South America? Or perhaps did you know that the first branch of the Church organized in South America was in Lima, Peru? Yeah, neither did I until yesterday. Bacán!

This week Elder Evans of the Quorum of the 70 came. I could not believe it...he was hilarious!!! He doesn`t speak a lick of Spanish, so he talked in English and made sooo many Gringo jokes that literally only we understood. I felt bad for the Latins...but it was la muerte!!!! hahaha. At one point he said something and the translator translated his phrase as: "no pasa nada." The whole mission burst out laughing and Elder Evans asked why, and a Gringo yelled at, "it means "it sucks"!" The whole mission went dead quite, Elder Evans looked at President Rowley, and then after a pause said.....wellllll let`s try to keep this language appropriate for an old guy like me. We died again. I also seemed to be his favorite, because out of the 220 missionaries, he called me out personally several times: to be his partner in an example, to call me a "flirter" and make me an example of what NOT to do when saying hello to sister missionaries, and then to call me "fat" for eating too many Krispie Kream doughnuts. Like I said, this guy was la muerte!!! But, it was also super spiritual and I learned a whole bunch.
But, if that wasn`t enough fun, last night we were on the phone with some district leaders and we got a knock at our door. We opened it to find a young couple standing there who then proceeded to ask if we could teach them English in their house across the street. Elder Eddington and I looked at each other and instantly thought of the part in "The Best Two Years" movie when the elders look up at the heavens in answer to their prayers and the Hallelujah Choir plays in the background. It was pretty excellent.
There was also a load of other stuff, but I will suffice myself by saying that it was a good week. I look forward to Christmas and to talking with many of you in person! I hope you all have a great week and enjoy the pictures!!! ¡Cuídense mucho!
Elder Dax Rich

Adventures in Piura Central (November 10, 2014)

The adventures here never end. I am currently with Elder Eddington and ANOTHER Gringo, Elder Palmer while his companion is in Lima. 3 Gringos = Trouble. We also have a mission-wide meeting this Saturday so I will see EVERYONE from the mission in one meeting. It will be stellar! We will be listening to Elder Evans of the Missionary Board or something like that,.and I will get to conduct the music #drummajorstyle. We have a whole lot of adventures in store this week.

This past Sunday we also got to see something really special. A brother who we visited in the hospital last week came to church. He then asked to speak and told the whole ward that he had been diagnosed with an illness in which only 1 out of every 100 lived. He and his family hadn`t told anyone because of the seriousness of the illness, and he was sure he was dead. Nevertheless, he survived, and he testified to us that it was because of the blessing we gave him and the calling in the church that he had recently received that kept him alive. He told us he knew that the Lord had a job for him to do and that He saved his life so that he could fulfil his calling. Talk about a testimony on callings! 

Anyways, Elder Eddington and I have been doing great. We have a fangroup of 20 6-12 year old girls who follow us everywhere, even to church! We also got gold medals for our last acting pèrformance at a church event last week, so we are the coolest Gringo companionship around! 

I hope everyone is doing well and that you are all feeling the Savior`s love. May we all come unto Him in prayer and faith.

¡Cuídense mucho!

- Elder Dax Rich

Selfless Service (November 3, 2014)

To be to the point with this email, I can honestly say that one thing I have truly learned on my mission is that no matter how hard we may have it, there is ALWAYS someone with life FAR worse. Even today, as I was talking with another missionary, I found out that his parents gave him up as a little kid and want nothing to do with him and his adoptive parents aren`t members. Yet, he is here. I have met so many people who come from homes where their parents say the church is full of crazies and condemn their only child for wanting to serve the Lord on a 18 month to 2 year mission. I have met so many others that leave and find out that their mom, their sister, their baby brother, or even multiple members of their families have died while they have been out on a mission.
And those are just missionaries.
The members sacrifice even more. Last Sunday for example a 90 year old woman with cancer struggled up to the pulpit to testify of Jesus Christ and then say that she knew her end was near. I have seen other members who chose to be baptized at the threat of being kicked out of home as a single mother...and they chose to fear God more than man and were then baptized and kicked out of home. I see people who pay their tithing and have nothing. They have water and rice for food and sometimes fast.
I came on the mission saying I had it hard. A lot of tough stuff happened for me when I left on a mission, but I quickly learned that the secret is to love others and make their needs more important than your own. That is why this mission is the greatest two years. It is a time to forget oneself and serve others with all of your heart, might, mind, and strength. I testify as a 12 year member of this church, a 15 month missionary, and a child of our Heavenly Father that I am in the work of the Lord and that this is the only true church. Salvation cannot come by any other mean.
I hope you all have a great week. Pray sincerely and you will know that what I say is true.
- Elder Dax Rich

Going Gringo (October 27, 2014)

Well, I hate to say it, but it may just be better to have a Gringo companion...or it might just be that I have an awesome Gringo companion. Either way, I am quite, quite happy. It is awesome to have someone who gets my jokes and bursts out singing music from "Frozen" at random moments. 
"Do you want to build a snowman?" 
"Go away Elder Rich."
"Okay, bye."
Anyways, I am also loving my area. It is a ward but there is a lot of drama. So, who do you call when there is a "drama" problem? This guy. Good times. I feel like being Maxwell Smart again and solving all of the problems with my shoe phone.
Today, as a highlight, we went to the Miguel Grau Museum. If you want to know who he was, go on Wikipedia, but a summary: he is the navel super hero of Peru. He blew up some ships and died in ship warfare, but he also sailed around the world and visited NYC, so I gave him my respects. I have some pictures, but the "computer shuffle" as I like to call it (looking for computers in random internet cafes) made it impossible to find a computer that had a USB drive. Sorry!
Anyways, more adventures are to be had. I hope you all have a stellar week and lots of happiness. ¡Cuídense mucho!

- Elder Dax Rich