Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Halloween

Halloween, as other occidental traditions, is celebrated in Peru like it is in the United States. Kids wear costumes and ask for candy in their neighborhoods. The main difference is that instead of saying “trick or treat” when asking for candy they say “Halloween, Halloween.”

“El Día de la Canción Criolla” is also celebrated today, the Peruvian "Day of Criolla Music". It started back in 1944, when the Peruvian government announced that on this day a special celebration of “Criolla” music, a Peruvian genre of music, which combines African, Spanish and other influences. The most popular style of musica criolla in Perú is the marinera, which is said to be the national dance of Perú.

Click here to carve a pumpkin

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bad Decision

One morning a week or two ago, I decided to work out. Not only work out, but I over did it, and I forgot I haven’t worked out like that in over a year!!! Needless to say, I could barely walk. It took a few days to get better..... Lesson learned.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Unexpected Phone Call

The other night, I received a phone call with an Arizona area code. When I answered, it was a woman who told me she had just returned from Peru, and she had met and spoken with Landon ! She then proceeded to tell me how HEALTHY he looked, and everything else a mom would want to know. It's one of those tender mercies that I have received as a mother of a missionary.

Sister Coombs also took a couple of pictures, that she mailed to me. This first one, is the street just outside of the mission home.........and the second one, is Elder Rich with another Elder.........not sure which one.

If I remember the conversation correctly, Sister Coombs was there with her husband, who had previously served a mission in Peru about 35 years ago. They were with another couple who work with our church's Perpetual Education Fund. They were meeting with North American missionaries who were soon to be going home after completing their missions. One thing that she said, sticks out in my mind. If these returning missionaries would set aside $5.00 per month, this $5.00 would "fund" one of their former companions, for one month, as they progressed through the PEF program. Just think of that !!

So many of these missionaries that our sons are serving with, have no prospects for an education, or bettering their lives after returning home from their missions. Our sons, who are so VERY blessed, can help to improve a life - by giving so very little. I tell you, it surely changed the way I personally look at the PEF program. It puts a "face" on it, so to speak. Thank you Sister Coombs !!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

So THAT'S what did it..........

Oh ya, haha.. I’m fine now. My health is a million times better than last Saturday. It was fruit that made me sick. Dang strawberries, haha. We all ate them, and we all felt a little sick, but I got the worst of it. I’m all better now.

And no, I didn’t burn a shirt (for his one year anniversary), because I couldn’t leave my bed, haha, Elder Herdt did though. I thought I would just save one, because I might need it later down the road, you never know.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Congratulations Leyla !

Leyla Rebbeca Gutirrez Sosa was baptized last night!!! (Friday, October 24, 2008) She has 10 years of age. Her cousin, Milagros, has a date for the 8th of November to get baptized. Leyla's parent's names are Rosa and Jonny.

It was such a good baptism, even though at first not many people were there, and we started a little late. She was so excited to get baptized. Here is the story: The water is cold here in the font. It’s not heated, and it wasn’t too bad, but for a little girl, she was cold. When we got in the font, she was all worried about being dunked and everything and she was like, “I can’t do it”, and she started to cry a little bit. Not because she didn’t want to be baptized, but she was just afraid because she didn’t know what to do, or to expect. You gotta know her, but it was hilarious. Once she got calmed down, she is like, “Ok, I’m ready”.

As soon as they were about to open the doors (in front of the font), she is like, “Wait!, I’m chewing gum!” I told her it’s okay to get baptized with gum in her mouth, but she didn’t want to, so I was like uhhhh.... “Ok, give it to me”, haha. I was like a mom, you know when the mom sticks out her hand and they spit it (the gum) into their hand? Well, that was me, haha. I put it into my front shirt pocket and she was baptized!!!! It was amazing.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Good Week

This week has been a pretty darn good week. I can’t complain. To start off, we had the amazing opportunity to go to the CCM last Wednesday, (October 22, 2008) and hear from President Costa from the 70 and Elder Christofferson of the 12!!!!!! Their talks were amazing.

President Costa talked about our study in the scriptures, about putting ourselves in the spots of Nephi and Noah and all the profetas of the olden times. He told us to think how easy or how hard it would be. It was really good.

Elder Christofferson talked about the Book of Mormon, using it as the main tool in our work, and blessing the lives of others with it. We also got to shake their hands, even though it was very fast. There were a lot of missionaries there, 600 or so at the CCM.

It was all around great, and what was amazing also, is that we saw all of our friends from other missions, especially ALL of our friends that went to Bolivia but got kicked out. (These would be Elders that they got to know really well in the CCM about a year ago) Elder Clark from Tooele, Utah, and all our Latin friends that we couldn’t talk to a year ago (because of the English/Spanish barrier) but now we can, and the teachers also. To be able to talk to them about our work, how we’re doing, how they’re doing, and it was just amazing. It was a great day.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

My Spanish Teacher

Our good friend Gabo, (who by the way...... has 18 more days before he leaves on his mission ! ) put this little icon with the missionaries and bikes together. I had asked him what it said........ and it is "I'm Mormon, and you?"

Gabo knows Spanish, English, Portuguese, and is studying Italian. He is very smart, and I think he should be a teacher. This is what he had to say........

Soy Mormón y ¿Vos? is Spanish, BUT I use vos "you singular". This pronoun is just used in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and some parts of Bolivia and Guatemala, we call it Rioplatence Spanish. In the rest of Latin America we use Tú "you singular", so that phrase would be, Soy Mormón y ¿Tú?

Here in Peru we use Amazonican Spanish (jungle), Peruvian Ribereño Spanish (coastal area), and Andino Spanish (mountain area), so our pronunciation and accent is different, even though we live in the same country.

In Latin America, every country has it's own accent and Spanish pronunciation. Spain has it's own accent and pronunciation too. But we understand each other

In Portuguese, it would be "Sou mórmon e você?", and in Italian it'd be Sono Mormon e tu?.

I hope this information is useful for you Sister Rich, bye!!

Thanks To 19 Year Olds

"First of all I would like to thank every missionary who has
ever labored in this transcendent latter-day undertaking we have been
given. The rolling forth of the restored gospel is a miracle in every
sense of the word, and not the least of the miracle is that a
significant portion of it rolls forward on the shoulders of
19-year-olds! As we have seen your sons and daughters, grandsons and
granddaughters, faithfully laboring ........, I have pictured the tens of thousands of others like them we have met all over the world. Clean, clear,
bright-eyed missionaries, laboring two-by-two, have become a living
symbol of this Church everywhere. They themselves are the first
gospel message their investigators encounter--and what a message that
is. Everyone knows who they are, and those of us who know them the
best, love them the most
." by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland (May 2004 Ensign)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Where in the world is................?

There have been some changes in the office. Elder Joshua Anderson (one of the AP’s) finished his mission and went home, and Elder Roldán was transfered to Yurimaguas in Tarapoto. So Elder Herdt has a new companion, Elder Sanchez, and Elder Ticona has a new companion, Elder Hirschi as the new AP.

Elder Hirschi is from Neola, UTAH, a place I didn’t even know existed, haha…. Neola, Utah. Do you know where that’s at?? I do now, but wow, I had no idea.

Also, did you know there is a place called Tropic, Utah?? Ya, that’s what I said......., we’re getting a new kid from there in January.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Scripture Study

"I am studying in 2 Nefi (2 Nephi) right now, and I love it. I forget how much there is about the Plan of Salvation in that part of the Book of Mormon. I want to invite everyone to study it. It is filled with the plan of God… the plan of salvation, it is amazing. It helps us know the will of God and His plan for us. I invite you to read it."

The Plan of Salvation - We are not left alone to wander through mortality without knowing of the master plan which the Lord has designed for His children. - Elder L. Tom Perry

You might notice that Landon spelled NEPHI, like they spell it or SAY it in Peru. I remember when Elder Lawson Bullock returned from the Peru Lima North Mission last December, in his mission homecoming report he referred to NEPHI many times, and each time, he pronounced it Neff-eee (with the emphasis on the Neff).

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Landon's Hump Day ........... (Let's not do THAT again !)

"So my Hump Day started out normal. Me and Elder Herdt called all of our comps in the mission and wished them happy one year mark. (Elder Wright, Elder Peterson, Elder Woolf, Elder Kay, and Elder Mills). We went to lunch, I ate all my food, and it was good. Got done with lunch, and it hit me!!!! I did not feel good AT ALL.

We left to go out into the field like normal, because we had appointments. We had a good lesson with Layla and Milagros, and we HAD one (planned) with Eduardo and Regina at 7:30pm, but I started getting a headache, and started getting the cold shivers, and I had to go to the bathroom. We were at a member’s house, and they bought us pizza and ice cream and all that, because it was my one year mark, but I couldn't eat ANY of it because I felt like crud.

They took care of me, and we went straight back to the offices where I took some medicine, took a hot shower, and got into bed at 8:30pm. At 9:30, Elder Herdt, Sanchez and Vargas gave me a blessing. (I guess Landon spent the rest of the evening, alternating between bed and bathroom)

In the morning, we called Hermana Perez, and my comps went and bought me more medicine and some crackers and Gatorade, and I didn't get out of bed until 10:30am (to write this email). I didn't have any strength, I didn't feel like doing anything, but all is well. What a great 1 YEAR mark - hahahaha. But really, all is well… no worries… After I write this (email), I will probably go get back into bed."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


"The visits with Eduardo and Regina have been going good, they say they want to put a date to get married in November, and then a date to get baptized. He is 36 an she is 31, and they have a 7 year old child.

We are also teaching Rubén and Gladys, a couple who are progressing, and also planning to get married.

Baptisms planned for this Saturday are, Layla (10 years)and her cousin Milagros, who lives with Layla's family, and Evelyn (16 years). Layla and Milagros were supposed to have been baptized last Saturday, but we decided we needed to teach and prepare them more, so they are set for this Saturday, with Evelyn.

The members in our area are great, and they help us out a lot. We attend the Independencia Ward, and it starts at 10am on Sunday mornings, with Sacrament meeting first."

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Year in Review

"4 areas (Comas, Villa Sol, Tarapoto, Independencia). 9 companions (Woolf, Jacobe, Ramos, Vargas, Villanueva, Evans, Flores, Gomez, Vargas). 29 converts, of which 19 of those I have seen enter into the water and be baptized. The others were baptized when I left the area, or I have heard through other missionaries that they got baptized, Guido Palomino being one of them!!!!!!! 7 Families, that could and will be sealed before I come home next year!!! I can only imagine what my second year will be filled with."

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My Testimony

"Everyday I am noticing more and more how true this church is, and how perfect our God is, and how Humble and Caring our Savior Jesus Christ was and IS. I know that Joseph Smith saw God the Father, and his Son Jesus Christ. Through him, they restored the true church that was lost in olden times. Now, in this day, we have the power and the authority to affect baptisms correctly, to give blessings, and to confer the Holy Ghost. I love my Savior and I know He lives and watches over me everyday, DyC 84:88. I know without a doubt this is the true church. I love my God and my Savior… and They LIVE."

Saturday, October 18, 2008

10 Things To Strive For

President Gordon B. Hinckley encouraged each missionary to develop these traits while serving a mission.

1- A testimony of the living reality of God, our Eternal Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ. (John 17:3).

2- A greatly enlarged understanding of the gospel (D&C 50:24).

3- A love for the people with whom you labor.

4- A greater love and appreciation for your parents.

5- An understanding of the meaning of hard work.

6- An enlarged understanding of the meaning and true worth and value of personal virtue (D&C 121:45).

7- Increased poise, the ability to meet people, to converse with them, to talk with them.

8- Courage to act.

9- The faith to do. The faith to try.

10- And finally, the humility to pray.

Friday, October 17, 2008

El Primer en año en la misión de Landon (Hump Day)

It's "Hump Day" on your mission.
There are lessons to be learned:
Evaluate the good times,
Let bad things "crash and burn".

Remember, as His servant,
There is much you still can do.
The past 12 months are over,
The next 12 months are new !!

This camel carries heavy loads,
But knows his master's hand
Will lift them at each long day's end,
And thus you'll understand....

Submit, as does the camel,
To your Lord, on bended knee,
He'll bless you with His Spirit's power;
He'll lift cares, and help you see

That missions can be challenges,
But place your trust in Him...
No matter what you're called to do,
With the Lord's help, you will win.

It's "Hump Day" on your mission
There is so much to be done;
Work life... there's little time;
The best is still to come !!

by V-Ann Ludlow

Thursday, October 16, 2008

So tell us what you think?

Now, about me completing one year?? Hmmm… I don’t know, it’s not really going to be that big of a deal here. The day before, the day of, and the day after, will all be the same, work work work.

I have a lot of things to make better, and such little time to do it. Times are going, people are growing, families are being made, and things are changing. I am grateful for my one year in the mission.

All is well down here and I am loving it. I’m glad I’m where I’m at, knowing what to do, and enjoying it. I love you all and thank you all for all you do. All your letters and emails, your prayers and help. I love you, take care.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I love my family

"I was thinking, these upcoming months are tough for missionaries, with all the holidays that we are missing with families and friends. But in a way, I have my family here. I will still miss being with you guys, but it’s good to hear everyone in the family is doing good."

"Manda and Cam, Zac and CJ and the boys, it will be one crazy thing to see all of them when I get home. I am so grateful for them and who they are. They are special and have their own special talents. I love every single one of them."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Ultimate Goal

"The times in our lives are vital. We have to do everything we can to be better everyday, because this life in this earth DOES end, and according to the things we did, depends on how happy we will be in the next life. We have the time of school, we have the time of work, we have time for everything. I hope we make the right decisions and end up in the kingdom of God together. That is what I want. That should be our ultimate goal in life, to make it back to the presence of our Heavenly Father with our families. This is my goal."

Monday, October 13, 2008


"I’m really focused on trying to be better, in everything, in the way I talk to my companions, in the way I do things, in everything. I read the scriptures EVERY day. Yes, it’s hard for me to read the scriptures everyday, not that I don’t want to or I don’t like it, but there isn’t much time. But as of a week I have been doing it, and I can see the difference and I love it."

This picture above is taken from a hill overlooking the Independencia Zone where Elder Rich is serving.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Changes went well

"The changes are done, all the meetings and trainings are over, and everyone is in their new areas and all is well."

"These changes passed a lot better than the last ones. I knew what was going on, and when it was going on."

"It was not tiring in the sense of no sleep, because I’m on schedule, and I get everything done and I get to sleep by 10 or 10:30. I’m tired in the sense of a lot of things went on. Alot of movement and thinking and decision making, but it was all good."

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Goodbye for a little while.....

Jimmy, Landon's good friend from Tarapoto, left on his mission last week.

He is Welinton and Mamita Teresa's son. Mamita Teresa was Landon's "pension" in Tarapoto. He will be serving in the Colombia Barranquilla Mission.

We received pics from Mamita Teresa yesterday, and have posted them here.

Glad to be of help

We received the nicest comment on Landon's guestbook, from Preston Wheiler, of Maple Valley, Washington. He will be entering the Peru Lima North Mission in January ! Congratulations !!

We are so glad this blog has been a help to others. What started off as a way to keep family and friends informed about Elder Rich, has blossomed into so much more. We have made so many friends along the way, both in the states and in Peru. We have always tried to make sure that the information we present is uplifting and positive, remembering always, who Elder Rich is representing.

The internet is really quite amazing. You can look up just about anything, and so when you "google" Peru Lima North Mission, this blog comes up. Blogging is contagious :) There are quite a few other PLN blogs available for review, Elder Layton, Elder Ridge, Elder Hyde, Elder Griffin, and Elder Morton.

Another GREAT resource is the Missionary Mom website. This is invaluable, and I would urge all prospective missionaries and their parents to sign up for it. There is NO CHARGE, and it is basically a "listserv" where questions are asked to the group (from Peru) and answered. We have all learned so very much ! If I can be of any other help, please email me (Elder Rich's mom) at sled4fun2 at hotmail dot com.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Conference Recap

"I loved conference. Once again, it was a great 10 hour experience, with great talks. I marvel at how much information and spirit and teachings they can put in to only a 10-15 minute talk. It was amazing. I loved it, and I hope you did too. I hope you got to watch alot of it. EVERY single talk was amazing and had something to help us in this life. I'm still in awe. Treasure in your mind always, the words of the prophets. I loved Elder Bednar's talk on prayer. I hope you heard it. If not, find it on internet and read it and use it."

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mistake? No possible way........

The best family of my mission as far as wanting to progress, and having the most challenges to do so, are Eduardo and Regina, with their son.

It was a "mistake" how we found them, but I know for a fact it was the hand of the Lord guiding us to them. We met a less active member in the street, got her address, and the next day we went looking for her. Well we mixed up the street name and got to the right number, but wrong street, and Eduardo answered. We talked a bit, and he says, ”You’re the Mormons right?” He says, “I have always been curious what you guys believe in, and I want to know more”.

We invited him to an activity the next day, and sure enough, the next day the whole family went to the church for the activity, and turns out they know a lot of the members, so it was great. They then invited us back to their house the next day, and we taught them about the restoration and they loved it. Monday we had a family night with them and wow, it’s just amazing. They read ALL the pamphlets we gave to them, The Book of Mormon, and everything. Eduardo wants to learn about the life of Joseph Smith and just everything. They are really smart. They just need to get married and they want to, but it’s kinda tough to get married down here in Peru. It costs a lot and they have to do a lot of paperwork, but they will get married. They haven’t come out and said it, but they were asking about baptism the other day, and man… It’s amazing how chosen they are.

I love it. I hope and pray all goes through well with them.

We need to find more families to teach! We are on the lookout everyday. I love working. I can’t wait everyday, to get out and work. I love it. I love teaching. I love this work.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Josê Gabriel Arévalo Arévalo turns 19 today !! He was baptized a year ago, and will be leaving on his mission to Bahia Blanca, Argentina next month. He has been such a good friend and helper to Landon and all of the missionaries in the Tarapoto area. We have been able to become good friends also, over the internet with instant messaging. He speaks English, so that's a big help to me. My favorite thing to hear (read) is "Good Morning Sister Rich". It just brightens up my day. We sure love you Gabo, and hope you have a wonderful day. Love, The Rich's

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Planned Baptisms

I absolutely love my area. We’re doing good. This week of changes will be a little tough, because we won’t get out much to visit our investigators.

We have 5 baptismal dates set for the 18th of October, for Daniel, Milagros Quispe, Milagros V., Manuel, and Layla. They are all young, 12, 14, 15, 19, and 10. They all have been assisting church or seminary for a long time. They are all doing really well.

Milagros V. (15) is changing and grasping this gospel and it’s beautiful and amazing what the gospel can do. She needs this. I’m happy for her and I’m thankful for her.

Milagros Q. (14) has been assisting seminary for 2 years and church for a year, but her parents won’t let her get baptized. We need to talk to her parents to find out the details, but she wants to. She is shy and timid, but a good young girl.

We’re teaching Manuel (19) and his mom now, and it’s amazing how willing she is to change, even though she says she won’t be baptized yet. She is fulfilling all of the commitments we have given her. It will be good for Manuel also.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Busy Busy Change Week

Hey! Well, how is everything going back there in good old Morgan??? I hope well. All here is well. The changes got approved, so I have a lot of work to do and not a lot of time to do it. Monday is the start of changes and another week of no sleep and lots of fun. There have been A LOT of changes, and a lot of flights to arrange. I think there will be more than 40 missionaries flying on the 8th of October. There is going to be a lot of movement and travel, but it will all go fine and I will love it.

It’s so tough to write letters down here in the offices. There is NO time, and I’m not just saying that. It’s so crazy and busy all the time, even on P-days, we’re always doing something. I love it. Thanks for all your prayers. I need them. I love you.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Did you hear it ?

I could hardly wait for conference to get over, so I could post this !!

Did you listen to Elder Eduardo Gavarret, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy? He spoke about Peru! Even though he didn't mention the Peru Lima North Mission specifically, that is exactly where the Puenta Piedra Stake is located. It was wonderful to hear about the "reactivation" efforts that are going on there. I can just picture all of our Elders listening, with smiles a MILE WIDE, can't you? And then to TOP IT OFF - Elder Nash, whom they had just met last week, and spoke with, and shook hands with - gave the closing prayer !!

I absolutely LOVED conference these past two days. It was so uplifting, and just what I needed to hear.

Another Missionary Mom Get-together......

Check it out here.

The Spirit of God

"I had a great 3 sessions of conference (Saturday), and loved every minute of it. The talks were amazing and the choirs too. I liked Elder Bednar’s talk on prayer also, and I liked Elder Holland’s talk on angels, and all the talks tonight at the Priesthood Session. It was good. Elder Richard G Scott had an interview with every single one of us. It was amazing."

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Come Listen to a Prophet's Voice

"So, did I mention how stoked I am to watch General Conference? Well I am, and it will be in English for me too. The spirit speaks to me in English."

Friday, October 3, 2008

Helpful Information - PLN Mission Zones

Click here for info on areas WITHIN the zones.

And now, after all of this.......What is always the CONSTANT?
You've got it - CHANGE !!

From Elder Rich's latest email:
"On October 8, 2008, when all is said and done with the changes, and with all of the new missionaries (including those from Bolivia), we will have over 200 missionaries!!!!!!!! and 16 zones!!!. I'm stoked.... It's going to be sweet... I hope it all goes well..."

"There is a new zone, called PRO. It is just the Puente Piedra zone, cut in half and named differently, and also the PALMERAS zone is the INDEPENDENCIA zone cut in half and named differently. The same areas, just different names and more leadership."

That much fun ?

"I bought a laser pen, and am using it to play with cats and dogs. Who would have known that a missionary could have that much fun? And also, it’s pretty helpful to keep the dogs away."

"I almost got bit today by the way... There are tons of small passage-ways here, with stairs going straight up a mountain, and there are dogs. Well, we got kind of trapped, and it was daytime, so I couldn’t use the laser pen, so we were there for a little bit until the owner came out and called them off."

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Vision and Possibilities

Sunday, we had three investigators at church. It was good. Bryan, Evelin and Regina came to church. It was a great meeting with testimonies, because our stake is doing the fast the next week after conference so ya.. my fast was good. After, we had a good lunch with the Ubyllus Family. They are a great and humble family, mom and dad and two daughters.

As of today, we have 4 baptism dates set for the 18th of October, and man, the vision and possibilities are great. This area was just waiting for two good elders to come in and just tear it apart. We have found 3 families to work with, and a ton of young people. It’s the best. I’m really excited. Tomorrow we have planned a family night with one of our investigator families.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Lift Up Your Voice

"And more blessed are you because you are called of me to preach my gospel---to lift up your voice as with the sound of a trump, both long and loud, and cry repentance unto a crooked and perverse generation, preparing the way of the Lord for his second coming." D y C 34: 5-6

I just love this picture of Elder Dallin Peterson and his companion. I sure hope Landon can get one taken like this.