Monday, January 26, 2015

Six Months a Missionary!

We started the week off right by finding a group of women outside smoking and blasting music. We stopped to talk and they went and got us chairs and water (because it is so hot) and we just started to talk. Chileans are just like that. Love to talk and unplanned visits from strangers are welcome.

So we just talked about their kids who were running around and their lives, and all of the sudden, one of them started to cry. Her name was Susana. She told us about how her husband and son had died in an accident just four months ago and she was trying to get over it. We visited again two days later to teach the restoration and she asked us to come back and teach her about eternal families. She is such a cool lady and has a lot of potential.

The only other thing of note is the dogs. Oh my gosh, these things are of the devil. They are crazy here and have one purpose which is to bite. Usually you can just throw big rocks at them and after you crack their head open, they leave. But a couple have absolutely zero fear of rocks and that is where you learn to bob and weave and use the backpack as a shield.

Other than that everything is great. The air is fresh. The weather is warm. And I get my daily share of hill climb exercises.

I love you all,

Elder Rich

Coyhaique, Chile
The Andes Mountains in Coyhaique, Chile.
Elder Rich said it reminds him of the mountains in Northern Utah.
Blurry bathroom selfie.
Elder Sosa, Elder Nielsen (ALSO FROM ST. GEORGE, UTAH!), Elder Rich, and Elder ? 
Elder Rich and Elder Sosa. (Photo taken by a member in Coyhaique.)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

I need to learn to just love to switch sectors and leave companions because that is pretty much all I do.

Coyhaique. This place is beautiful and in the middle of nowhere in the Andes Mountains. Super green and mountainous and ghetto. The sector I work in is all hills and dirt roads, and by hills I mean straight up and down. It is actually good because I am more in shape, so I can’t complain.

Not much happened other than me trying to get to know this crazy confusing sector. Oh and my companion is from Argentina so I speak completely and totally in Spanish.

The only thing kind of funny about the week is I had a melt down. Four of us live in one house and the house is absolutely terrible. It hadn’t been cleaned for a very long time and the only thing keeping God from smiting that place was one kid (who is also from St. George) who had his corner of the house clean. I finally had had it and made them take the fridge, microwave, cabinets and anything else outside and we scrubbed EVERYTHING. We cleaned the floors and the appliances and all the dishes, and anything we weren’t going to use, we threw away.

Now we live in cleanliness and I can sleep at night. Gotta love the mission.

Elder Rich

(This cleaning maniac is the same child I begged to clean his room everyday?!? Oh, the irony.)

Last days in Llanquihue, Chile with the Angel Familia.
Elder Rich playing with Greis (pronounced Grace)
Greis always stole my gum. She is just too cute.
Familia Angel
Elder Rich with Hermana Angel and Mateo
The flight to Coyhaique.
Aerial shot of the Andes Mountains on the flight to Coyhaique.
Welcome to Coyhaique, Chile. 
Elder Rich has a new companion, Elder Sosa from Argentina.
The "before" photo of the kitchen that was almost smitten from heaven for filth. 
I'm pretty sure something died in the fridge.
I just set this new towel on the counter and this is the grease print that came off.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

On the Road...Again

So this week was crazy. Ramón and Jovita are almost ready for baptism. They are progressing rapidly and Ramón is overcoming his smoking addiction like a champ. I have no doubt in my mind they will reach all their goals and succeed in the church.

A drunk stopped us in the street the other day and told us he had a friend who had just recently overcome a drinking problem and gotten baptized into the LDS church. He said he wanted to change his life and was prepared to do anything. His name is Raul and he is progressing rapidly now and has chosen the date he wants to be baptized.

The work is advancing so quickly here, but it is no longer my work. I just found out I am being moved to Coyhaique (I think that is how it is spelled) which is very far south and one of, if not the, most ghetto part of the mission. I have been told it will be quite the experience so here we go.

I am kind of bummed for having to leave all of my work and tired of moving around this much, which is so abnormal by the way, but hey, the Lord knows best right?

I read Isaiah 58:10-14 and it made me feel so good about being a missionary and the blessings of following the Spirit. You should all read it and use it this week.

I love you all and feel your prayers.

Elder Rich

Isaiah 58:10-14
And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: 

And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. 

And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. 

If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord , honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: 

Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. 

Elder Rich has gotten good at saying good bye to good people much sooner than he planned.
This is Mateo, he is the baby of the greatest family in Llanquihue.  He is SOOOOO fat and cute.
This is Greis (sounds like Grace).  She is Mateo's big sister.
He will also say good-bye to Elder Watson whom he has loved as a companion.
These fabulous socks and tie are a parting gift from Elder Watson. Until we meet again, dear friend!
Super cool Chilean flowers
Farewell beautiful Llanquihue!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Ringing in the New Year Chilean Style

Before the mission, I absolutely lived for holidays. Anything and everything. Even Labor Day. I would find a way to fit some type of party in. But in the mission it just means lots of walking around empty streets and getting denied at doors you feel guilty for knocking on in the first place because your interrupting family time.

That is literally all we did all week. Our only major lessons were with Ramón and Jovita. The bad news is their baptismal goal is going to fall because they are not quite ready. The good news is they both love the gospel and are progressing, just not as fast as we had hoped. They are going to get baptized for sure, it is just a matter of when. But as long as they are progressing, I am content.

The funny story of the week is just a slide show compilation of all the drunks walking around and being drunk. Some would stop us and ask for money to buy more alcohol, barely being able to stand as it was. Some would yell at us, some would be trying to get up without success, and some were just passed out in gutters, behind trash cans, the entrance of stores, or random places in big fields. My favorite was a guy collecting empty cans and bottles to trade in for more alcohol. The only thing was he could barely walk, had a bloody nose from an obvious face plant on the asphalt, and had at one point needed a bathroom but used his pants instead (or at least what was left of his pants because the entire backside was gone.) I don’t know how or why but his belt was basically holding up jean chaps with nothing underneath. Classic Chile.

I love you all. I hope you have enjoyed the holidays with family and remembered what we are celebrating.


Elder Aidan Rich

Elder Rich and Elder Watson "post study selfie"
One of Elder Rich's favorite photos - Lake Llanquihue and Vulcan Cabuco
Local fisherman out on Lake Llanquihue

Llanquihue, Chile
We rearranged the furniture for optimal nerf court play (best Christmas present). We lucked out and got two couches and chairs in our apartment in Llanquihue.
More of our apartment.  We study and look over the city. Nice view.