Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Work Harder :)

Last Friday afternoon, we had 20 couples get married and 15 as of right now, have a baptismal date!!!! One of those is Jess Ramos who we have been working with.

We were able to attend a few extra conference sessions with our investigators.

I don't think we're going to make our goal of 100 baptisms in Pucallpa, but we will get 50, with 15 families and that's really good.

Keep doing what you're doing and I'm praying for you all. Finish the book of Mormon, and when you finish it - start it over again. I love the Book of Mormon. I love you all and wish you all the best!!! Work harder!!! Because the time is running out!!!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Wonderful Weekend

"Well I will tell you what, this past weekend was great!!! We had our interviews with President Perez on Friday, and they went great!! All the zone is doing so well."

"On Saturday and Sunday we had the great time to be with Elder Steven E. Snow of the Presidency of the Seventy and his wife. They are from Saint George, Utah, and now live in Salt Lake City. I had the great privilege to be with Sister Snow for a long time because I was her translator. It was amazing. Let's just say it's the most English I have ever spoken in all my time in the mission. She is a great lady and loves the people, but sadly she doesn't speak one word of Spanish. It was really really neat. An experience I will never forget."

"President and Sister Perez were there also for the conferences, so it made it even better. (Note from mom: Elder Rich never mentioned if these were Stake or Ward conferences) I'm very grateful for the church and for the general authorities. I love them and I can't believe the spirit that was in some of these meetings, it was amazing!!!"

"We were able to take a few pics with Elder Snow, and I will be sending them soon. We didn't get to talk to him much, because he was always so busy running around and speaking in meetings."

"His wife is an angel. It's the first time in all my mission that I have been able to sit down and talk with someone that knows where I'm from and knows Utah very well. Sister Snow knows Morgan (our hometown), she and her husband have driven up there, and they know Levi Woolsey who served in their mission in California (California San Fernando Mission) in 94-97. It was great."

**Elder Snow spoke in the 2009 Sunday Morning Session of General conference - Read his talk here. He spoke about changes that happen in our lives, and apparently he spoke of some of the same things at this conference in Pucallpa. Elder Rich had this to say....

"The young single adult session of our conference really had me thinking about home, haha.... They talked alot about what returned missionaries should do, and it was all in English and translated into Spanish, so that made it even harder!!! Hearing English was way tough, haha. It was way trunky, haha."

Friday, May 22, 2009

Dear........ excerpts from letters to family and friends

"I have yet again a new friend. E' Austin Clarke from Kansas. He lives 30 minutes away from where D-Ross went to school. He is a great missionary. He is a mix between Mitch Clark (Biggness), and Mike Rose (Craziness)."

"Just talkin' on the phone for Mother's Day, I could finally tell that I'm a true Mormon Missionary - a little weird ;)"

"Thanks for your example you always were to me, and being my best friend. We will have even better times raising our families and serving in the church."

"I pray that you are all going to church and not forgetting "who" is making you happy and giving you all the blessings you have. Pray! Read! Go to Church! Three important things to always do ! I love you all !"

"I have grown more on this mission learning how to be a tool in the Lord's hands, than I ever could have dreamed. I have seen miracles, literally, the Book of Mormon changes lives, and the Lord Jesus Christ lives and spends every moment protecting his missionaries."

"Thank you for looking after my family while I have been gone. I only have 5 months left, and I will be working hard to finish them strong. I hope the ward is going good, and I want you to know that you can count on me when I get home. I'm ready to work and serve. I wouldn't even mind having a calling my first Sunday back - that's how it should be :)"

"I can't even start this letter without tears coming to my eyes. Thank you for all you have done for me. You looked after me, put up with me, and always helped me. The kids are growing from what I hear, and well, life is going. I didn't' think it would go by so fast ! I pray for you very often. I'm so proud of your sons, but I'm not surprised, because they have 2 great parents who guide them."

"I'm proud of you - You are making good decisions in your life. There are only two major ones left. Can you guess what they are??? 1. Go on a mission 2. Choose a wife - The two hardest, haha."

"I'm proud of you for your choices. You're a great person who will bless the lives of many people. Trust in the Lord in all your doings and he will bless you !!"

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Advice from Elder Rich

GET TO THE TEMPLE!!! I know maybe it's tough, but it's one of the best things you can do. It will bring peace to your life and you will be able to enjoy it!!!

The temple is the only place that families can be made sure to live with our Father in Heaven.

The Purpose of Temples

Temples around the world

Frequently asked Questions

Evelyn's day at the Lima Temple

Information about the new Oquirrh Mountain Temple

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Giving Thanks

MOM and DAD I LOVE YOU!!! Thanks for everything, I'm grateful for THIS time I have to live in this world in the time of the restored gospel. I love it and I love the Book of Mormon and what Joseph Smith did for us in this time...... I love this church and gospel!!!! I love speaking Spanish and it will be a great asset for me in the future. I'm thankful for everyone and for your work and prayers you're doing for me.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Baptisms, Hot Weather, and Love

This week has been good. We had 2 baptisms. I baptized Marianella Diaz Dominguez and my companion baptized Robert Montes. Marianella is a young girl, 18 years old, who is from Trujillo Peru, but is living with her aunt here in Pucallpa. Robert is a young man 20 years old, the church is going to help him and his testimony will grow stronger and stronger.

The weather here is really good, it's warm and I sweat all the time, but I'm loving it. The love I have for the people here is amazing. I was on a work visit with Elder Elison, and he pointed that out. I hadn't really thought anything about it, but it is true. He asked me how I got that attribute, and I thought about it and well, I think I have always had it. God has given me that gift from the get go. I'm very thankful for it, and will use it always.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

¡Feliz día de las madres, mamá!

Today we get to talk to Elder Rich - best Mother's Day present ever :)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Pre-Call Surprise

Well surprise surprise - Roger and I, we are getting to be old we went to bed at about 9:15 last night(Friday). Well, the phone rings about 9:30, and it's Elder Rich from Pucallpa !!

How exciting !! He sounded so good and happy. The connection was so, was hard to catch every word. It wasn't cutting out, but it sounded like he was talking in a tunnel or something.

He had more of an accent than I have ever heard before, and sounded a little sing songy (Jungle Spanish).

He said he's back safe in Pucallpa, from the zone leader meetings. I told him that Evelyn said that one of her friends saw him, and talked to him, and told her that he was speaking JUNGLE Spanish. He laughed and laughed.

He said that President Steven Snow from the 70, will be coming to Pucallpa on the 23rd and 24th of this month. He was SO excited for that.

He said their zone has 53 fechas (dates for baptism) planned for May. He said they will most definitely hit 505 (the mission goal). He started lapsing into Spanish intermixed with English, and it was so fast and loud, and with the connection, we missed alot of what he was saying, but the gist was, that he is so very happy.

He is going to call about 8pm (our time) on Sunday evening, so everyone is invited. We will be having homemade Chicken Noodle soup and rolls. Come on over :)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Consejo de Lideres

Elder Rich and Elder Figueroa flew into Lima yesterday, and will be attending Zone Leader Conference. This will be a great uplifting and learning day for them today. They will fly back to Pucallpa later this evening.

I was chatting with my friend/daughter in Peru, Evelyn this morning. She said that one of her friends that works near the PLNM offices saw Elder Rich yesterday and spoke to him. She said that he speaks with a "jungle" accent now. We can hardly wait to hear from him on Sunday !

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Like a sauna..........

"It sounds like you're getting along well and that the weather well, is mas o menos (more or less) haha.....

Soon it will be summer and you will be enjoying it. Here it's starting to get hot, and when I say hot,I mean HOT!

There are houses down here that have tin roofs, right? Well, it's like a sauna going in there haha...."

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I am grateful.........

"I'm very grateful for the time I have here in Pucallpa. It's a great work and I love the people."

"For this next change, we're only losing two missionaries. Elder Fig and I were looking last night at the changes, and our zone is going to be POWERFUL!! The new elders that will be coming to Pucallpa are Elder Wayt from Sandy, Utah, and Elder Atkinson from Utah also."

"I'm very blessed, I know I don't have a lot of time to write all of you letters or drop you a line, but just know I think of you and I love you and pray for you."

"There isn't much to write, just to say that I'm good and that I love what I'm doing. What a blessing... I love the Book of Mormon and I love studying it and the Ensign."

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Poder Tie

Every Missionary should have one, right?
Poder = To be able

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Apartment change

Our first apartment in Pucallpa was right across the street from the big futbol stadium.

It was okay.............

"We changed apartments 2 weeks into the second change because we had rats!!! Big ones, you should see the rats here in Pucallpa, they are HUGE, bigger than some house cats."

Our new apartment is just down the street to a place that is amazing.
It is the house of a member, where we're treated like kings.. It's great!!!!!

Elder Rich's desk - What really matters !

Friday, May 1, 2009

Getting the Brass Plates from Laban

In the Book of Mormon, there is the story of Nephi and his brothers. They were in the wilderness, and went back to Jerusalem to get the history of their forefathers which was written on Brass Plates.

The missionaries from Pucallpa put on a play for ward members. Elder Rich had this to say, "The play was a reenactment of Nephi, Laman, Lemuel, and Sam, going to get the plates from Laban. We did four different scenes. One normal, one in dancing, one in fighting, and one in talking like they do in the jungle (singing)."

This particular video (sorry no sound), shows the brothers bringing all of their gold and silver to trade for the plates. My guess is that Elder Rich is Zoram (Laban's servant), Elder Soto is Laban (dressed in the robe with the green towel on his head, and the brothers are Elder Cope, Elder Layton, Elder Vasquez, and Elder Morton.

This next video shows Laban and his servants keeping their gold, and chasing the brothers out of his house without giving them the plates.

To see more pictures of this event, click here.