Tuesday, December 30, 2008

P-day at the beach

"We went to the beach (12/27/08), and man was it good. The ride there, playing fulbito on the beach!!! Chillin', and taking some great pics."

Back Row standing: Elder Sandoval (taking Elder Vargas' place), Elder Rich, Elder Ticona
Middle Row: Elder Sanchez, Elder Hirschi, Elder Herdt, Elder Bagley (taking Elder Herdt's place)
Front: Elder Vargas

Monday, December 29, 2008

Elder Herdt and the unknown missionary.......

Thanks to Elder Herdt for the latest pics.

I'm guessing it's been a little TOO long since we've seen Elder Rich.......... We both skimmed RIGHT OVER this picture, and it didn't even register that this was OUR SON with Elder Herdt !!

Let's see - was it the 1980's suit that is 4 sizes too big? The glasses? The look of extreme seriousness and concentration, and not the usual smile?

It wasn't until I noticed the caption on the jpeg (Executives Rich and Herdt) that I did a double take and just about fell out of my chair. Later this evening, after Roger had read Elder Herdt's latest email and looked at the attached pics, I asked him if he had recognized his son with Elder Herdt. He looked at me kind of funny, like "What are you talking about?" It was then that I realized the he had NO CLUE EITHER !! Too funny.....

We rushed back to the computer, had another look, and had a good laugh too. Are we getting older where we need glasses - or what? I actually think he looks kind of like that Kirby Heywood in "The Singles Ward" - don't you think?

Wondering about the suits? Landon told me they "found them". Where? I have no idea. He said he was going to have his altered to fit, and wear it for his "Homecoming" talk in October :0

Saturday, December 27, 2008

News on Christmas Day

It was great to hear from Elder Rich on Christmas Day. He reported that the office Elders had a nice dinner with Presidente Perez and his family on Christmas Eve, and then with members on Christmas Day. Elder Sandoval arrived at the offices on the day after Christmas. Elder Vargas will train him, and then on January 7th, he will be Landon's companion, and Elder Vargas will head back out into the field. Today, they will have two baptisms !!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

He sounds GREAT !

Elder Rich made his "pre-call" yesterday. I think most missionaries do this (with their mission president's permission) in order to make sure their calling cards are working correctly, and also to coordinate any time difference issues. He sure sounded good. We only talked for a couple of minutes. I was content to just listen to his beautiful voice. I think I better get some questions put together for the Christmas phone call, or I'll just be sitting there in silence listening to him talk. I don't detect an accent, although he said that Elder Gubler's parents (who were down to pick their missionary up the other day) said that he had one. Maybe I'll change my mind after listening to him talk for longer on Christmas day. One thing though, he had trouble remembering the English words for things. He was trying to get the word "Nativity" out, and couldn't remember it until I supplied it for him :) Too funny! He'll be calling at 6pm on Christmas Day, so any of you who live close to us, and would like to stop by to wish him a Merry Christmas - please do so !! We'd love to have you.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Change in the Changes

There are usually 6 weeks between changes, and the next one was scheduled for December 31st. It has been postponed for ONE WEEK, until January 7th, in order to avoid any New Year's celebration.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

This week - Mucho Better :)

Well, everything is better here this week. Like I said, it’s crazy how fast things can go from bad to good and good to bad and worst to best and so forth.

I mentioned in my weekly letter to President Perez, about the death of Paul, and he let me call them and express my feelings. It was good to talk to them and help them, and share my favorite scripture with them, Alma 40:12, and it just so happens to be about what happens after death.

Mom, thanks so much for the talk and everything you sent me. I think it would be great for you to send a letter to Pedro & Giovanna. Their younger son’s name is Alen.

Hey Dad, thanks for your words. They really helped me out with everything that’s going on with Paul. Thank you for your prayers and everything you do for me.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

"Teaching is going great"

"We have had one baptism for this month of December, remember Estrella? We have 2 other dates scheduled for the 27th. These are two young men who are the sons of members. They weren’t baptized when they turned 8. We have another date with Xiomara, the niece of Eduardo and Regina. She is progressing really well and wants to get baptized fast. It’s great."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Futbol or Fulbito ?

I asked Landon what the difference was........

"Futbol is on a huge grass field played with 11 players on each team, basically soccer."

"Fulbito is on a little cement field with smaller goals and only 5 on a team. I love it, it's like playing on like a basketball size field."

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Letter to Dad

Hey Dad, How ya doing? All is well here, well kinda....... Kinda a rough week with a few things, but you know how we are, we take care of business and we make things work. Sounds like you're working hard too, sounds good, it's better that way sometimes. It's HOT down here, maybe not too high on the degrees, but it is hot and it's not even summer yet, not officially till the 21st of December, so we will see how that is. I'm good down here, just going. This next week will be better, less trials and better news I hope. Take care and I love ya.... Work hard and pray!!!! Chou

Monday, December 15, 2008

Roller Coaster

This mission is an emotional roller coaster. It just hurt so bad to hear about Paul. I love them, and now he is gone. This has been a hard week for me, very hard. It has been tough and I have learned alot of patience, humility, and gratefulness for the plan of salvation. It's important to remember why I’m here and all the lives we are blessing, and the people we're helping, and the joy we can have in the gospel.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Heartbreak in Tarapoto (and MPLN office)

We received a note from Elder Wright’s mom in Chubbock, Idaho this past week. She passed along part of her son's email. He is in Tarapoto, where Landon was before he was assigned to the office. This is what he had to say:

“This morning we are all sad. We had a 15 year old boy from the ward who was found drowned this morning in the river. This boy and his family are newly converts of about six months. Elder Rich baptized them when he was here. He was a great kid. This kid was baptized first, and then following his example, his family was later baptized. It’s just kinda sad that a kid so young had this happen. It really makes ya think about the plan of salvation. We went to give a blessing to the mother this morning. I just can’t imagine how hard that would be. Everyone here in the ward is pretty upset. I just can’t imagine how a family who doesn’t know about the Plan of Salvation, can stand to go through this. It’s hard enough when we do know. It makes me want to share the gospel even more.”

We passed this information along to Elder Rich. He read the email yesterday. He is heartbroken.

Landon’s letter: "As I opened the email this morning, I knew right who it was, without even seeing or reading any names. I ran right to the phone and called the missionaries in Tarapoto. It’s Paul, mom. The oldest son of Giovanna and Pedro, the family that I baptized. He got caught under a log and drowned. I feel horrible and tears still come to my eyes every time I think about it. I miss them, and they are going through so many problems. I will call them tonight to talk with them. I feel horrible and there is nothing I can do but pray and hope they come around and realize this life is not the end."

"How can this be, mom? People so great, who accepted everything and now this….. Only God knows why!! I feel horrible. Pray for them. Thankfully, I was able to go to the temple today and was able to put their names in the temple and pray for them there."

Please join with our family in praying for Pedro and Giovanna and their youngest son - and for Elder Rich, as they mourn for their son, brother and friend.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

New Temple in Peru !!

The First Presidency made this announcement today !

Trujillo (True-hee-oh) is located to the north of Lima. There are seven missions in Peru, and the Trujillo mission is one of them. How excited we are. I can hardly wait to get Landon's email today, to get HIS reaction.

Busy Busy Week - Working and Teaching

We had a good lesson with a lady named Amanda. Her kids are members, and we taught her the first lesson.

We had dinner, and a lesson with Estrella, who was baptized 12/5/08.

We had another lesson with a less active that wants to go on a mission. Juan is 21 years old he has been to church before, and listened to the lessons before, but now he has a baptism date for December 27th, and he is ready to go. I love this work and I’m happy I’m here. I’m learning so much.

We’re teaching this family, Benites. Silvia is a single mom with 3 daughters, Jackie at 17, Karla at 15, and a sweetie, I can’t remember her name, at 4 (years). They are amazing. I love them. Jackie is really into it, reading the Book of Mormon and asking lots of questions. I am going to pray really really hard for them tonight!

We had another good lesson with Xiomara, the niece of Eduardo. We taught about Chastity and Word of Wisdom. Everything was great and she accepted everything. She is ready to go. She wants to get baptized.

We finished the night off with a lesson with the Family Echevarria. Their dad isn’t a member, and their mom died. She was a member, and they are 3 daughters and 2 sons. They are great, really strong in the gospel for being alone and young. We taught two of their friends, Ruth and Jackie. I love teaching, and I can’t wait to pray tonight, to help them from my part.

Well, it’s time to get upstairs and to get ready to go to bed early again to get going with the spirit. I love you all.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Working through sickness

I have been a little sick lately, just with a cough and a stuffed nose and a sore throat, but that stuff is for babies, haha. Last night I prayed to the Lord that He would help me get over my sickness, or at least give the strength to work through it and not be tired when I woke up, and that’s how it was. I really poured my heart out to God, my Father, and that’s how it should be. I love it. My day went really well, I got alot done in the offices. There isn’t much to do this change, because there are only 6 (missionaries) entering (the field), so not much to do. I’m caught up on everything up till the changes.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Last Friday (12/5/08) was my comp's (Elder Vargas) birthday in the mission. It was a good day. I don’t have my guitar anymore. I gave it to my comp!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! He loves music, the flute, zampoña, and all that good stuff. He is great - I love him.

I also went to Serpost (the Post Office), and shopping with Presidente, just me and him. It was hilarious. I loved it. He is such an amazing guy, really just like President Fisher, but Latin. It was good to spend some time with him and just chat, not really about the work, but just his family, the 500 baptisms and ya…

Then we came back, ordered some pizza, and sat and ate Doritos, pop, and watched the funeral of Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin. It was really good and some of the stuff President Monson said at the end - I was like wow!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

One Month - One Goal

In the Multi-conference meeting last month, Presidente Perez felt impressed to tell us the Lord has a goal for us. 500 baptisms for the month of December. It is a Big Deal. 500 – WOW. It works out to be at least 5 baptisms per companionship. We have only been baptizing about 200 a month, IF that, but already we have over 300 dates scheduled for December, and it’s just the start. We’re working on it.

Presidente says it was revelation straight from the Lord, and that we’re going to have a ´´White Christmas´´ this year with 500 baptisms. It’s the goal for our mission, in every stake in our mission, and with all the members also.

It’s almost Christmas, and I love this season. There is no snow here in Peru, but it’s all good. I really am gaining a testimony of my Savior Jesus Christ!! He is my Lord, my Savior and with Him, anything is possible. He is everything, without Him we are nothing. It ALL depends on Him!!! I love Him and I love you too, thanks for everything!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Baptism Day

12/05/08 - Estrella was baptized!!!! She is 13 years old and just amazing. We passed by her house a little earlier in the day, and she was down and sad because her mom wasn’t going to be able to be at her baptism. Something had happened with the food and inviting people, so we had to talk to her a little. We said a prayer with her, and needless to say, everything turned out great. Even though there were problems, the Lord helps everything go good.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Ready for Christmas

As you can see, the office Elders have their Christmas tree all decorated and ready to go! I was so tickled to see some of the little wooden elf ornaments that I had sent - all colored (with FACE pictures inserted) and on the tree. (Click on the picture, and zoom in to get a better look). One of them has been made over into a little missionary :) I didn't know they would be such a hit, but Landon got his Christmas package, and this is what he had to say about it.

"So first off, I would like to thank you for the packages I got. The shoes are AMAZING!!!! I absolutely love them. At first I thought they were too small, but they fit perfectly and I love them. And the rest of the stuff? - WOW how creative are you?!?!?!"

"The citrus air-fresheners are going to be great for presents (for our families), and the wooden ornaments? That’s just what we needed, because our tree is bare!!! All of it was perfect, I won’t lie. So creative - and I will give away a lot of it, to make other people’s days, but really it is you making their days. Thank Thank Thank you so so so much for everything."

Friday, December 5, 2008

Teaching the Gospel

Eduardo and Regina are good, except we can’t get her birth certificate from Trujillo, Peru, and they can’t get married without it, so we are working on that, but they are great.

Yesterday (Friday, 11/28) was our best day of the week. We had 6 lessons and 6 people presented to us by members, and all six of these people have the potential to get baptized.

All our investigators are good. We have a sister called Estrella, that will be getting baptized next week. She is ready and willing to learn and she is 14 years old.

We are finding new people everyday and we will see what goes down, but as of right now its Estrella, Eduardo and Regina, and their niece Xiomara.

We have a lot of dates tonight and tomorrow with new people that will receive the first lesson, so there is a lot of hope and work to do these next few weeks.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Park of the Legends

"We went to the zoo today (Saturday, 11/29) and I forgot to put on sun block. I'm a little red, but I'm good. Here are some pics."

*Zoological Park of the Legends

This park offers countless numbers of mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and amphibians. The animals are divided by their natural region of Peru: coast, mountains and jungle.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

All is well !

All is well with me, I’m doing good and just working. I guess that’s what I always say, but really that’s how it is, almost always the same thing, just with different people.

That’s what I love about this gospel and the plan God has for us. It will never change, and it doesn’t matter who is involved. It will always have the same results: Eternal Life!!

My studying is going good and I love the Book of Enos. Just one chapter is full of important things that we all need to do and learn and put into practice. I love you all, and thank you for all you do.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


This past week was filled with great lessons, spiritual experiences, a great exercise - early morning soccer, burying a dog, and ya.....

Sunday after church, we went to a member’s house and their dog had died while at church. They started to dig a hole for it, and it was taking a long time, so I took over and they’re like “Wow, this white guy can work!” haha… I am grateful that I have had parents and siblings show me, and at times, made me work when I didn’t want to. I made great habits, and well, I know how to work a shovel at least.

Monday, December 1, 2008

New Photos !!

Check out this older post, where I have posted A LINK to pictures of the day at the temple, and also the fountains.

To see what Elder Rich's area looks like, Click Here.

Love Love LOVE to see pictures of the families who help to take care of our missionaries.

P-day futbol is always fun.

Some candid pics of Elder Rich in the office.

To view ALL of the pics, including ones you may have missed previously, Click here.

Looks like the Elders are getting in the Christmas spirit in the Peru Lima Norte Offices.