Monday, November 17, 2014

An American Apostle in Chile

We had the coolest experience this week. Elder Russell M. Nelson visited the mission and I got to shake his hand. It was such a relief to hear him because a lot of stuff has happened. We have been trying to prepare spiritually for his visit for weeks now, but Satan has also been working overtime to break us. We have had girls flirt with us, but they came on with desperation this week and made some offers that blew my mind. We have been rejected hard and the people have been...less than friendly. I have even had to resort to fists for pure protection because of the influence Satan can have on people and their hated for the missionaries. He spoke such powerful words of comfort and love to us and twice during the talk he looked right into my eyes and gave me an answer I have been praying for for months which made it all worth it. These are the answers he gave me:

1.  I often have dreams about my family. More of nightmares. The scary thing is back home these nightmares often came true, but I was there to protect my family and help them. It was almost like I knew it was going to happen because I did. But now in the field I cannot help them and it has been really hard for me. I almost never cry, my friends tease me that I don’t have tear ducts, but I found myself broke down like a baby during my interview with my mission president. He gave me comfort and all was well for a while. That was until the dreams started again, fifty times worse than before. Elder Nelson paused mid-sentence during his discourse and all of the sudden said, “I sense some of you are very worried about your families.” He opened to a promise in the Doctrine and Covenants for protection for the families of missionaries.”  He then looked right at me and said, “It is my apostolic promise they will be safe. Go and worry no more.”

2.  Ever since I got sick in the CCM my immune system has been crap. I have been sick on and off every week since then, but I was trying to just have faith and fight through it without telling my companion and being a tough guy about it. However, the day before the conference with Elder Nelson I found myself passed out on the bathroom floor not breathing. I puked until I had nothing left to puke, then kept puking. My companion and I prayed and I knew I had to be at that conference the next morning, but that meant I had to wake up at 3 in the morning to catch a bus to be there on time. I didn’t sleep because I spent the night in the bathroom then dragged myself out of bed at 3 to go see Elder Nelson. The bus ride was so miserable and hours long. At the very end on Elder Nelson´s address, he looked at me and said, "I call down a blessing of healing on all those who are sick and afflicted." I immediately felt better. I haven’t been sick ever since and even all of my old wrestling injuries don’t bug me anymore.

The priesthood is real. We really have a prophet today. These things really do happen.

President Obeso gave us a promise last week that when an Apostle of the Lord comes to an area, miracles of success follow. He was dead on. We usually average about 2 lessons a day plus service if we are lucky. Since Elder Nelson visited we have had about 4 lessons a day with service and people just stop us to talk to us in the streets every day.

Remember to read the scriptures and say your prayers. If we don’t spiritually prepare for things, not even a blessing from an apostle will help. Build yourself on the rock that is Jesus Christ.

With love for all of you,

Elder Aidan Rich 

Elder Rich is serving in a new area called Entre Lagos.
Cleaning beer as a service in Veronica's store...counts right?
I stole a photo of Elder Russell M. Nelson.  I will deny it under questioning.
I got to see Elder Germann at the conference [his CCM companion]. Kids been eating too many sopapias.
Reunited with Elder Petrovelli.  I miss that kid so much.
I got to play soccer with some little kids while waiting for an appointment.  The kids LOVE playing with the missionaries. 
Little Victor, who is only 4, made sure we were always ready. Such a cute kid. His mom invited us over for dinner when she saw how well we got along.
Elder Holt and I taught the kids how to play Speed.  We started out with 5 players and ended with about 30.  The parents came around to watch and laugh.

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