Monday, December 1, 2014

New area, new companion, new insights

Hello my party people. How are you all? Or as my super white companion would say, "What it is, my shizzie?" (I only claim him as mine sometimes)

Thanksgiving was definitely not the same. No turkey, but we ate this yummy thing called `Kuchen` for breakfast and each of us had our own pan of German pancakes for dinner. (Yes ladies, I did cook it all. #realmencook)

It is hard to be away during Christmas, especially in the middle of crazy challenges and difficulties of which we are never lacking. However, that being said, we are starting to gain progress. It is such a relief to have been pushing what seems like and impossibly heavy load uphill and to finally find traction to keep moving. It has been slow but we got a lot rolling this week. We committed a 23 young man to baptism and are so close with another lady. We also decided to kill it with contacting, or talking to people in the streets. To have 10 contacts in one day is killing it but by the end of the week I had averaged 18 on my own, not including Elder Holt`s. We just got the ball rolling...and now I am being transferred somewhere else and so is Elder Holt. It is hard to understand and even harder to just take with a smile. We have only been here for 5 weeks, starting without either of us knowing anything about the area, and all of the sudden we are getting yanked. So, So frustrating. I honestly felt I was going to have visible success, not just the feel good kind, for the first time in my mission and the next day we have to leave. I just wanted to cry honestly.

However, I opened the scriptures and read Alma 17:11 and have never been so comforted. I am in the exact same position as he was: confused, been kicked out of cities, and even just plain tired, yet the Lord lets it happen. They are examples and bear trials with bravery and, more importantly, a smile. I also ran into Elder Petrovelli in the city today and he told me my mission is abnormally hard like his has been. He has had a brother die, several experiences like our in Rio Negro (which is sooo abnormal), surgery, and just found out his mom has cancer. He said he admired me and told me that I am known in the mission for my crazy training. I dont say this to brag I say it so you can understand the influence our trials can have on others. Our strength strengthens others and you are my exemplar in this.

The biggest thing I have learned out here is just doing the right thing is not enough. Even if we are exactly obedient, it does no good if it isnt what we want or we hold back our hearts. It says in the scriptures we could give our body to be burned and lay down our life in the name of Christ, but if we do not do it with a sincere heart, it means nothing. I am not to sacrifice my will for the Lord`s, but to conform my will to be that of the Lord`s. To want what he wants so I can better serve him. To better understand this I have been studying many of Christ`s attributes and I realize how imperfect i am. I have work to do, and that is okay. As long as I commit to the grind and understand it is hard work, he will be the constant flow of energy that carries me.

I am doing my best to maintain a happy and humorous attitude and all of your prayers are helping. My new companion is named Elder Watson and apparently is super cool. Everyone freaks out when I say his name. Also, apparently where I am in Llanquihue, Puerto Varas, is one of the most beautiful areas in the mission. Not much complaint there.

I love you all so much.

Elder Aidan Rich

Adios Elder Holt and Entre Lagos.  Parting is such sweet sorrow.
A Parting shot of Vulcan Osorno.
Goodbye Familia Martinez - Branch President and Mamita.

You don’t understand the amount of work and convincing it took to get a silly photo out of them.
Goodbye Familia Santana - owners of the best cheese shop in Chile.
Goodbye Gustavo and Marcelo.
Elder Rich tries his hand at a native dish called Kuchen. He's really put his chef skills to work in Chile.
Elder Holt was pretty impressed with the kuchen.
Elder Rich enjoying a little tea and cake.

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