Monday, December 28, 2015

Missionary Minecraft

So we had a conference with President Obeso [mission president] yesterday and it was an answer to my prayers. He just helped us remember how important our callings were in a very special way. Not that I had forgotten, but 3 straight months of knocking doors in the pouring rain with zero baptisms can kind of put a damper on one's desire to leave the house and keep going with a big smile on my face. I started a fast and told God I didn't care how long it took or how hard it rained, I was going to find someone who needed us. That someone turned out to be a 25 year-old less active single mom named Patricia. We passed by to see her just because no one else in the area was home, and we had the impression to visit her. We shared a simple lesson and it had such a surprisingly strong effect on her that I didn't know what to say. She told us through her tears that she felt so good she wanted all her friends to feel that feeling, and we left the house to get to know all her friends. It was like that moment in minesweeper where we were clicking a bunch of little squares and all of the sudden a big section of the map opens up and things get easier. #nerdyreference #tellmeicant #toomuchtimealonewithmen

After meeting a bunch of people, we went back to her house and were drinking a little coffee [like American Pero] when I turned around to see her dad viciously murdering a lamb out back. I looked at Patricia horrified and she said simply, ¨dinner¨. It was insane. So much blood.

I love you all.
Elder Aidan Rich

Elder Rich told us a similar "lamb" story on Christmas except it was little kids with butcher knives in the front yard. They were just stabbing a lamb with smiles on their faces getting things ready for their holiday dinner. 

Our Christmas miracle. Skyping with Elder Rich on Christmas Day. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Feliz Navidad!

This past week has been LOOONG. Lots of goodbyes and lots and lots of traveling. Elder Frausto and I had a good time packing my bags and eating sugar cookies and talking about all the fun times we have had. We also got to visit all of the members one last time and it was surprising to me how much it hurt to leave them and also how much they loved me right back. Most of them cried as I walked out the door for the last time and it made me feel I had fulfilled my calling to love the people.

We had one last ward activity and the Lord kind of just showed me all of my success. We didn’t think anyone was going to show but, not only did people come, all of our investigators came and several less active families. It was amazing!!

I got on a bus Wednesday morning and traveled from Osorno to a big city call Puerto Montt. From there, I got onto another bus which got onto a ferry which took us to Chiloé where we drove the rest of the way to Ancud. Like I said, lots of traveling.

I live with the other Elders, my companion Elder Cluff, and two Latinos. Elder Cluff is like 6 foot 5 inches and such a goof ball. We hit it right off and are already seeing success. There are a few people who are going to get baptized without a doubt; we just have to finish teaching them.

Ancud is absolutely gorgeous and the little branch here is very strong. I look forward to serving here and helping more people.

Merry Christmas everyone and remember, Él es la Dádiva verdadera.


Elder Aidan Rich

Saying goodbye to Ovejeria.
We had one final ward party and almost half of the people in the picture are an investigator or less active member. It’s hard to be leaving because we have worked so hard, and are just about to have so much success, but I feel I have done my part.

Chiloe (pronounced Chee-low-way) is an island off the west coast of Chile. 

Ancud, Chile

This place is INSANELY beautiful. The people are super nice and we already have some great prospects for baptism.

Ancud, Chile

Monday, December 14, 2015

Island Life...Here I Come


So I have a pretty good excuse for being pretty lazy about writing good letters. My companion has been pretty sick on and off for the last couple weeks and in the hospital for the last couple days. I was never in my area of Overjeria and have actually been doing lots of work in the office of the mission. So...yeah sorry.

Being with the office Elders is kind of a trip. They are both such good guys and one of them is Elder Davis who was in one of the pictures in an older blog. I lived in their house this week while Elder Frausto stayed in our house getting better with another Elder who has a broken leg. The assistants of the President live in that house too and it has honestly been a blast. Such good people.

I just barely received my cambio and I am getting shipped out to the island of Chiloè where I am pretty much guaranteed to be for the next couple months because the kid who will be my new companion, Elder Cluff, is finishing his mission this next cambio that comes. (Just so you all know cambio means transfer). So I only have one cambio to learn everything about Ancud, Chiloè while I am there then I have to run the area.

Having been in the office a lot, I don’t have much exciting to say, but I was grateful for the experience.

I love you all so much.
Elder Aidan Rich

A sweet story about Elder Frausto. He comes from very humble circumstances in Mexico. He has taught us not just about what it means to be a disciple of Christ, but how fortunate we are to live in such prosperous conditions. As other missionaries received packages from home, he just watched knowing that his family would not have the means to send him anything. One day as he was busy making phone calls for his duties as a district leader, Elder Rich quietly opened a package sent to him by his grandparents. He wrote Elder Frausto's name on many of the packages, and then resealed the package. Later, they sat down to open it together. When Elder Rich handed him the packages with his name on it, he didn't know what to do. He had never received a wrapped present. Elder Rich said he opened them with such care because he didn't want to ruin the wrapping paper. What a wonderful example these young men are of the true spirit of Christmas.

I had to say goodbye to my awesome companion, Elder Frausto, and also my favorite family, La familia Pinuer, who we helped to reactivate, and they are now working to be sealed as a family in the temple.   

Santa (Branch President) and Elder Rich