Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Words of Advice from Elder Boyd K. Packer

With his 85 years of experience, he was asked what advice would he give a young man if he had just a minute or two to counsel the youth.

President Packer was quick with his answer: "I would tell him to stay in harmony with the great plan of redemption, to live the gospel, to gain a testimony — not just an impression but a certain testimony — that the gospel is true and Jesus is the Christ, that the Atonement is a great healer. Spiritual development is really an individual effort. If you're conscious about that, you can ever be learning.

"I would tell him to keep a sense of humor. It's critically important. If you get wound up tight, you can't see the comical side of things. Like many other things, a sense of humor has to be cultivated.

"I would tell that young man to get the best education he could get — which does not always equate to the best schooling — to be always learning, to have a curiosity about him.

"I would tell him to develop a little courage. It would be sad to be afraid all the time. The doctrines of the gospel are powerful and sustaining principles so that you can live with assurance and without fear even in times of serious challenges.

"I would tell the young man, 'Don't be afraid of the future. Don't be afraid to marry, for instance. You can't have everything certain before you take that step. You take that step and everything works out.' "

He said that he would encourage the young man to move forward. "I've never been a very good veteran in looking back at things of the past. I've learned that you don't go back in life. You don't go back to the old town or the old way of life. The magic is gone, and you just move ahead." - Elder Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles

Monday, September 28, 2009

Email Treats

One of the great blessings of being a missionary mom, is meeting other parents either in person or online. It's always exciting to get emails mentioning "our" Elder.

From Elder Hudson, in an email to his family: "The new AP, Elder Rich my old ZL, complimented me on how much I have improved my Spanish at the interviews, so that is good."

From Elder Peterson, in an email to his family: "Yesterday Elder Rich called me and told me that this morning we were going to the CCM to be part of a capacitacion. It was sweet. Me and Elder Rich were the missionaries representing the Mission Norte. It really was an experience." (Capacitacion = Qualification)

From Hermana Compton's father: "Nearly two weeks ago my #2 daughter and I went to Lima to pick up our missionary daughter as she finished her mission. Of course, when we went to the mission office I made a point of meeting Elder Rich. He seemed as good in person as I had imagined him from the website. He seems healthy and happy."

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fernando's baptism

Fernando is an older man, who is one of the Lord’s chosen ones.

We contacted him in the street and he invited us in, and since that first day he said he would be baptized. We explained to him about the power and authority, it was a good experience, and ever since then we have just taught him.

He isn’t the richest in the world, and he lives with and takes care of his mom who has health problems. They live in a room that’s about 15 foot square. In that room they have 2 beds and a stove top. He has 4 daughters, 3 are in Germany and are married, and one daughter lives here in Peru. He is learning and wants to follow. He has a lot of knowledge of God and Jesus Christ. He is great!!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Pics from Peru

Elder Smith, Elder Flores, Elder Rich

Tarapoto - August
Elder Santiago, Diego (with his little girl), Elder Rich

Feliz Cumpleanos to Elder Quinn
His "family" came to wish him Happy Birthday !

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Picking up an accent :)

In every country where the people speak Spanish, every one speaks differently. With a different accent.

In America for example, a New Yorker, or someone from the South, are speaking English, but with an accent which is completely different.

It’s the same here in Latin-America. Some accents are stronger than others and many times you will see missionaries come home from their missions speaking with that same accent.

Well the Peruvian accent isn’t strong at all, that’s to say for me, I speak English with my normal accent, at least that’s what I think. What did you think in the phone calls?? (We thought the same thing – there appeared to be NO accent at all when he was speaking English)

The Uruguay accent is stronger than the Peruvian. It turns out that without me knowing, just by listening and speaking so much with President and his family, EVERYONE says “Hey, you don’t speak like a Gringo now, you speak like President”

At first I didn’t notice, but now that I’m paying attention I notice it big time, haha, and it’s strong!! It even comes out in my English!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Big meetings.........Great Leaders

On Sunday, September 20th, our Stake here Lima is getting divided, so we have a big Conference tomorrow with President Nash and it will be good.

Also, in October before I am released, Elder Christofferson, from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and a President of the Seventy, will be down here to speak to our mission and the Central mission.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

We ate SURI !!

It was gross !! It tasted just like fish bait smells, haha.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Welcome Home Elder Bagley

Remember this guy? Front and center? Well, he's been home for 1 week now. Elder Bagley finished one change before Elder Rich. They had served together in the office for a change or two last December/January, and again for a few days at the end of July.

We had the opportunity to travel to Moroni Utah to listen to his report in church. It was a wonderful day. The Bagley's are such a welcoming family, and we had plenty of time of talk and laugh and tell stories at the yummy luncheon held afterwards.

Words can't express how a parent feels when another missionary who has served with your son gives you a BIG hug and tells you how much he loves your son, and that you should be proud of him and his service to the Lord. Thanks Elder Bagley!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Then and Now..........

On Wednesday, September 9th, the Assistants travelled to the CCM to pick up the "newbies". They came back to President and Sister Perez' apartment for lunch. At this time, they took pictures which will be sent home to parents anxiously awaiting news.

This is the picture WE received those many months ago.....

It was December 28, 2007. A missionary looking excited, happy, and maybe a little nervous ?

I guess Elder Rich thought another picture at this time was appropriate. Much more comfortable, still happy (as usual), and with so much LOVE for these wonderful servants of God. They take SUCH good care of our missionaries. We are so grateful for their love and guidance.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Mission Commission

I am called of God. My authority is above that of the Kings of the Earth. By revelation, I have been selected as a personal representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my Master and He has chosen me to represent Him. To stand in His place, to say and do what He himself would say and do if He personally were ministering to the very people to whom He has sent me. My voice is His voice and my acts are His acts. My words are his words, and my doctrine is His doctrine. My commission is to do what he wants done, to say what He wants said, to be a living modern witness in word and deed of the divinity of His great and marvelous latter - day work. How great is my calling !

- Elder Bruce R. McConkie

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My Companions

This week marks the beginning of the end. Changes are today. Elder Rich will officially be in the OLDEST group in the mission. He will finish with Elder Santiago as his companion, and they are both very happy about this as they are the best of friends. 15 companions, over 24 months. What a great learning experience. (Click on the picture to enlarge)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Finally - they get to meet !

Last October, we were contacted by Preston Wheiler of Maple Valley, Washington. He had been called to Peru Lima North Mission, and had stumbled upon Elder Rich's blog. He left the following message:

"Sis. Rich,

I was just called to the Peru Lima North Mission. I report to the MTC in January, and am very nervous, thus I have been frantically searching the web for as much information about the mission as I can find. Most the stuff I found just made me nervous (I've traveled a lot but never to anywhere like Peru). I read things like about how poor it was and how different their food was and about the risk of disease. But when I found this blog, detailing your son's mission, it gave me a lot of hope. The mission looks great! (although the food will still be difficult for me, haha).

I am excited to keep searching your blog for more information, hope to hear from you, and am excited to meet Landon in the mission field and say "Hey, I've read your blog!"."

This past month, when Landon traveled to Tarapoto, they finally had the chance to meet. His mom sent this picture. Another tender mercy. This mission has been such a blessing.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Hey Elder ...........

"An end is come, the end is come: it watcheth for thee; behold, it is come." Ezekiel 7:6

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Not a coincidence......

We're doing great in the field, Elder Santiago and I. We have A LOT of investigators that are really good. The Lord is literally guiding us to them by all sorts of ways. Here is a story:

When I was Personal Secretary (August 2008 - February 2009), I always had to go to the bank to make payments. There was always a lady there who helped me always. I took down her direction (address) and at that time she lived a long way away from the office. I don’t know if the missionaries ever got to her house.

Here a year later, Elder Santiago and I are visiting a different investigator in an apartment building on the same block and very close to the offices. We were walking down the stairs and out she comes with her little daughter. We recognized each other immediately, and she said, "VISIT US!!" It was great!

We didn’t know if her husband would be receptive, but we visited them, and they are GREAT!! I feel something for this family. I don’t know why, but I know it’s a family that ´´I´´ am supposed to teach. Her husband works in Iquitos and is only here in Lima for 1 week every month, so it's going to be a little hard, but they are both really good!! I'm excited.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My Testimony

I want to express to you my love that I have for my Savior Jesus Christ. He lives!! He is our Savior and our Redeemer. As we repent, we are forgiven and can return to God; but only through His sacrifice.

I love Him, I'm grateful for Him and always will be for the rest of my life and for all eternity. We need to fight everyday to better our testimony of Him and to share it with those who don’t know Him.

We have to repent and do our best to be clean and pure. I'm not perfect, I make errors, I commit sins; all of us do, but we need to remember who we are. We are sons and daughters of God, and Jesus Christ is our Redeemer. I love Him and always will.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

September - Uno Mas

Our goal was for 400 baptisms here in the Mission North this past month of August, which is a good feat. We hit 404 in the month of May, and we're planning on going with it in September and October also.

Our motto for September is ´´ one more´´ or ´´uno mas´´. It's to say we should do even more than we did in August, and be even more obedient and even more diligent.

The Mission North is the best mission in Peru and the world. Many people may say that their mission was ´´the best in the world´´, but they never were a ´´norteño´´ The reputation lives and always will.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Elder Santiago and I are teaching various people in our area. We have the Family Barboza, the Family Billar. We have Igor and his mom Maria, and various other people that we just need to teach and we will be able to help them be baptized.

We are teaching another man who lives out of a truck. He doesn’t have a home and he has two kids that live with his mom. He lives about a block away from his kids. He is a drug addict and also an alcoholic, and we're helping him to get baptized and change his life. It's hard and it’s a process.

Working in the field is going great, I love teaching and I love working with Elder Santiago. I can't wait for September, because the new Bible in Spanish comes out, and I will for sure be getting it. And also we will have our Stake Conference where our Stake will be divided in two, and that’s a great thing because it means we're working hard.