Monday, April 18, 2016

Proselyting Among the Penguins

I don't have much time this week so please forgive me.  So much happening at once! We had a conference with President Obeso [mission president] this week and I learned so much. He really went back to the basics and leaned into us in a healthy and productive way. He really focused on the Atonement and the ¨why¨ of missionary work. I was a little weirded out though because out of all the missionaries, he called on me so much. He would ask for general feedback, and then call on me by name and ask me for my opinion. I got the feeling he was testing me and wanted to see how I would respond.

He called me last night to let me know he had an assignment for me. I am getting on a plane to go to Punta Arenas in order to be a district leader. Punta Arenas is the southern-most inhabited part of the entire world and the most far-reaching area of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It's the farthest south you go on Earth without going to Antartica. It is apparently beautiful and I no longer have to freeze at night because the houses are gas powered. Thank goodness.

Honestly, I am pretty nervous. I don’t know if I can be humble and inspiring enough to lead other missionaries. I have seen how quickly a bad leader can hurt an area and the rhythm of the work. I am going to give it my all, I just don’t know if it will be enough.

I received the package you guys sent me and I loved it. I immediately gave one of the Book of Mormons to Carla and she loved it. I already finished the books you sent me and I really enjoyed both of them. I found especially interesting, “Screwtape Letters” and the part where Screwtape talks about how the devils have gotten us humans to look upon death with fear and hate so they can have more time to hurt us. How death is just a normal step and a part of the plan of God and should be more welcomed than shunned. I was able to share that with a woman in the streets this week and she cried and hugged me. Really cool insights. And I think it goes without saying that C.S. Lewis is an intellectual giant.

I love you,

Elder Rich

(Last week in a letter Elder Rich wrote to his dad about having his coat and winter clothes stolen from his apartment: Honestly, unless the winter gets a lot worse or if I get sent to Punta Arenas, I will be fine. I have a windbreaker that keeps me dry which is by far the most important thing. I still have a big wool sweater and some scarves. All is well in Zion. )

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