Thursday, December 22, 2016

Merry Christmas from the South Pole

Just wanted to send you all my love this Christmas season. I am very grateful to have each and every one of you in my life and appreciate all of the support you give me. Let us remember our Savior and enjoy the small moments we have as friends, family and children of a loving and merciful Heavenly Father.
Kindest regards,

Elder Rich

Monday, December 19, 2016

Santa Photo for Mom

Mom, I actually did get you a Santa picture and it is such a funny story. So we did this big activity in a town called, Alerce, as a zone. We got all of the missionaries into one zone and did an open chapel with tours so people could come see what the Mormons are all about.

I got assigned to just walk the streets for four hours with invitations and invite people to go. I paired off with Elder Tilley my “grandson.” We had been walking for several hours and we were both sweaty and tired and were just wandering aimlessly. We walked past a small side street and I glanced down it and saw a huge birthday party for this little kid. There was a trampoline and a craft table; the whole show. I was about to keep walking when Santa comes walking out of a house and starts taking pictures with the kids. I stopped and looked at Tilley, and all he said was, “Are we about to crash a birthday party?” I didn´t even respond. I just headed back down the street.

We ended up taking pictures with Santa who was very cool about it. The best part is that one of the guys says to me, “You can only take a picture with him if you take one with my wife.” I figured they were being cool, so I would be too and just snap a quick pic.

After that HER mom, the grandma, asks for a picture. So I pose and smile and just before 3 on the picture count down, grandma grabbed a hand full of Elder Rich booty. She just giggled and shuffled away. Then the teenage daughters wanted pictures, then all the parents, then the kids. Literally two white missionaries crashing the party was the best thing that ever happened to them. I laughed for an hour straight afterwards. So I am sure Chilean social media is full of pictures of Elder Tilley and me, and one of them is of a very surprised Elder Rich being grandma groped. Priceless.

Love you,

Elder Rich

Elder Rich and Old St. Nick

Elder Tilley, Santa Claus, and an unnamed Chilean party goer.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Baptisms and Big News

We received travel itinerary for Elder Rich! He will be leaving Chile on Feb. 9 at 11:00 a.m. and arriving in St. George on Feb. 10 at 2:50 p.m. He only sent the short note below with some great photos of Puerto Montt and Alexis' baptism.

How heart-broken would you be if I got home without a suit? I gave away a suit in Punta Arenas to a kid that did not have one and one of the kids [Alexis] getting baptized here feels really bad because he doesn’t have a suit and is about to buy one that he can not afford. I am getting to be a little too big for my black suit but wanted to ask your permission before giving it away because that means I am getting home in stained slacks and a travelers jacket.

Also, did you know that I love you? Just checking.

Elder Rich

Puerto Montt, Chile, is in full summer bloom. 

Puerto Montt is beautiful between 8:00 and 9:30 at night. 

Puerto Montt at sunset.

Puerto Montt overlooks the Pacific Ocean. 

Elder Rich and Alexis coming out of the font at the baptismal service.

Brothers in the gospel.

Alexis and Elder Rich 

Alexis and his family with Elder Rich and Elder Ramer. Alexis received the Holy Ghost the same day his brother blessed the sacrament for the first time. The Spirit was very strong that sacrament meeting. 

I trained Elder Greenwood and am his ‘father’ here in the mission. He is training Elder Tilley and I am therefore his ‘grandpa.’ This is a family portrait of my posterity.

Three generations of posers

Monday, December 5, 2016

That Kid is Going Far

This is probably the only email I am going to get out today because I have to coordinate all of the interviews that president has with the missionaries in the zone. We had the baptism of Alexis this Saturday and it was so cool. He looked so good in his suit and the testimony that he gave afterwards was the cherry on top. He was so nervous and did so well. He told me right before we went into the water, "Thank you for being like an older brother. I needed one." That kid is going far and wants to serve a mission and I hope he does. He will help lots of people.
Love you,

Elder Rich

Elder Rich's parents received this photo from some another parents who were their to pick up their son.