Monday, February 29, 2016

Prayer Sustains Me

I’m felling better and my impetigo is gone. Yes mom, I am doing fine. Those prayers have been received. I really don’t have anything to report. We are just working hard. We work so hard. I just finished my first year as a missionary and looking back there is so much I would change. I feel that I have accomplished much; I have more baptisms than lots of people have their entire missions here, but I don’t know, I just feel like I have been accepting limits and I am done. Looking back on my life I feel like I have always done that. I am naturally above average in a lot of things, but when it gets hard, when my all out effort is required, I slack or quit. Like piano or guitar or wrestling or school or contacting or knocking doors, and I just looked at myself in the mirror this morning and just decided to change. I want this fire or this desire to burn not only for this year but for the rest of my life. I think my mission is finally giving me an eternal perspective. I always “got it” but now I GET IT. I don’t know if that makes sense. Prayer is so real. It sustains me. It is what keeps me going. I want to work hard. My mom’s words before I left the second time rang in my mind this week, “Aidan, before I prayed that you would be okay and taken care of like my little boy. Now I expect more of you and pray that you work hard as a man.” I want to do that. I am on my way down the mountain in the mission and I want to show you that I am that person.

Love you all,

Elder Rich

Exploring the cliffs of Ancud with Elder Greenwood on P-Day

The beautiful city of Ancud, Chile 

Elder Greenwood enjoying his P-Day protein.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Sick Boy, Lame Email

This week was bitter sweet. I was pretty dang sick for most of the week and poor Elder Greenwood was trapped in the house along with me. Although it turned out to be pretty great because I got to know him a lot better and we studied until his brain spazzed. Or he might just naturally be a spaz. We laughed so dang hard that I woke up Thursday and my entire abdomen was sore.

As far as the work, we have started talking to literally EVERYONE. We found a couple of promising people and many people are progressing. Sorry for the lame email but hey, happens sometimes. Love you all.

Elder Rich

Monday, February 15, 2016

A New Family in the Kingdom

The Carrio Toro family is officially part of the family of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It was such a beautiful moment that I don’t feel the words I write could describe it. I got to witness Yolanda speaking at the baptism of her three children and stand at the pulpit for the first time. She bore a powerful testimony of the worth of the scriptures. She radiated the Spirit.
I had the privilege of baptizing Elizabeth. Greenwood baptized Constanza which was his first baptism after 8 days in the mission. Marco baptized his son Gabriel and participated in the confirmation of all three. He is now an active member and a worthy holder of the Higher Priesthood.

The Church is true. Enough said.


Elder Rich

Elder Greenwood, Elder Rich, Constanza, Gabriel, Elizabeth, and Marco on the big baptism day.

Constanza, Yolanda, and Elizabeth

Elder Rich leading Elizabeth into the waters of baptism.

Elder Rich and Elizabeth

Elder Cabrera, Elder Greenwood, and Elder Rich

Marco and Gabriel

Elder Rich and the Pacific Ocean

Elder Rich at an Old Spanish fort in Ancud, Chile.

Elder Greenwood

Elder Greenwood is locked and loaded.

Monday, February 8, 2016

The "Why" of Missionary Work

This week was pretty calm, not much to report. When have been preparing a couple people for baptism and it looks like we might have more baptisms than we had originally anticipated. Which is always a welcome surprise. We had some funny experiences, good laughs, and good lessons. Elder Greenwood is such a chill, low-key guy and I really like the way we do contacts. We don’t deny or go around the fact that we are missionaries and preach, but the contact itself is a lot less of a business presentation and more of a personal, human conversation if that makes sense.

One thing I have realized is that the gospel is a natural part of who we are, we are naturally spiritual beings. In my opinion, an amazing missionary is not someone who can present the gospel in an attractive way or use pretty words to explain our purpose, but someone who can start a conversation, analyze the need, and apply the gospel and atonement as the healing substance that it is. It is a million times more personal and makes them understand the ¨why¨ of missionary work.

I love you all.

Elder Aidan Rich

Taking a break to look over the Pacific Ocean.

Elder Greenwood (left) and Elder Rich (right) taking in the sights of the coast.

Sometimes the dogs win...but it's just a scratch. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Student Becomes the Teacher

I feel like any of the Book of Mormon prophets who experienced so many amazing and crazy things, and then had to sit down and try to pick the best two or three to write about for all to read. High five Nephi, I have a new respect for you.

So Elder Cluff has gone home and I am now training a new missionary which makes me a senior companion. Cluff and I left for Osorno on Tuesday so he could get on his plane and I could pick up my kid (My new missionary. I am his ¨Dad¨) We ended up getting the luck of the draw and staying the night with Elder Frausto in Ovejeria, my old stomping grounds. I got to run around and say hi to everyone and just tell them I love them.

The next morning I met my little boy Elder Greenwood from San Diego, California, and we got right on the bus for the long ride to ChiloĆ©. We have been working hard and seeing miracles. Yolanda´s daughter, Elizabeth, told us about a week ago she wants to get baptized and will be getting baptized next Saturday, but her other daughter, Constanza, wrote us a letter a couple weeks ago and said she will never get baptized. Cluff and I were pretty bummed out, and I was thinking about it on the bus ride to ChliloĆ© when I had an idea: Family home evening.

Greenwood and I taught Yolanda and Constanza Friday and we talked about family home evening and how the family is meant to progress and be together forever. It was such a simple topic but by the end Yolanda was weeping, which she NEVER does, and Constanza was very different. The next day we had a branch party and we were all hanging out and having a good time when Constanza pulled us aside and told us she wants to be baptized as soon as possible. Miracle.

Family can be together forever. Just the thought of it touches hearts of all people everywhere no matter the language, race, or location.

Elder Aidan Rich

Farewell party for Elder Cluff and Elder Jeria who are returning with honor!

Giving Elder Cluff gets some love as he completes his mission and returns home.

Some branch members and friends at the farewell party.

Elder Rich in the mission home to pick up his new companion. Welcome to Chile, Elder Greenwood! 

Brother and Sister Obeso with Elder Greenwood and Elder Rich in the mission home in Osorno, Chile. 

The Ancud Branch hosted an 80s Dance Party. Elder Greenwood with a sister from Chile.  

Yolanda, Marco, and Constanza in their 80s get-ups.

Elder Greenwood, Elder Rich, and an investigator from Ancud. 

Elder Rich with his new companion, Elder Greenwood in Ancud, Chile. Has there ever been a better name for a newbie missionary then Elder Greenwood?