Monday, December 12, 2016

12 December

It has been the greatest experience serving the people of Peru. I truly love them and love this culture. I can reflect back on my mission and see that the times I was truly the happiest is when I was helping others to feel of God's love for them and come unto Christ. I know that I have made eternal friends, and Ive learned things from them that have changed my life. I have seen that helping others to come unto Christ has helped me personally to appreciate the Savior in my life and recognize the need I have for Him each day. 

It says in a very well known scripture, "And if men will come unto me I will show unto them their weakness." Looking back at the beginning of my mission, I did not understand that phrase. I wondered "Why is this so hard if I am choosing to serve God?" I felt weak and so uncapable of so many things. There is a scripture that I have come to love on my mission in Jacob 4:7. "Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know that it is by his grace, and his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things." I know that because of the many weaknesses I have, I have been able to get to know my Savior and feel of His grace in my life as a missionary. I know that He is perfectly capable of making up for our shortcomings. I know that if we exercise faith in Him, he helps us to make our weaknesses strong. I know that Christ performed the Atonement because He loves us and wants us to be happy, and we are so lucky to have divine help that we can receive of each day if we seek it.

I look forward to new experiences ahead as I come home and have the chance to reflect on the things I've learned on my mission. Everyone always says that they dont go a day without thinking about their mission, and now I understand why. The lessons learned are lessons that will help me throughout the rest of my life.

YAYYY sounds like Ill be seeing everyone REAL SOON! :) Love you fam!

Hna Richan

Mission Christmas Party

Monday, December 5, 2016

5 December

Getting online today was the first time it hit me that i will be home NEXT WEEK. After the best year and a half I cant believe that my time as a missionary is just about up. Lots of up and down experiences that have helped me to grow closer to my Savior, and have a better understanding of how important it is to share the gospel at all times, even if it just by our simple example. I know that if we make Jesus Christ the center of our lives, we can do anything, overcome anything, and have a better understanding of God's plan for us. 

Just a short email today, but I'm grateful to have a week left to do as much as I can to serve these people in Tumbes! Love you fam, hope you are still keeping up with "Light the World." It will make Christmas time a lot happier! 

Hna Richan

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

28 November

Hola fam. Grateful for a lot of things this week. Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving, because I did!
This past week we got a surprise phone call that we were going to be traveling to Piura to have a leadership cousel with Elder Hugo Montoya of the Seventy. Tuesday we headed out and we got to stay with the sisters in Algarrobos (my old area) so it was awesome to see a few members from there. 
Wednesday morning was the leadership cousel. I loved it because we all went with questions and doubts that had to do with missionary work, but I felt like ALL of his answers came down to love and service. I realized that somethimes we complicate a lot of things, but everything comes down to being more like Christ. Loving everyone and serving as Christ would solve a lot more problems than we sometimes think.
We headed back to Tumbes, and Thursday morming Elder Montoya came up to speak to all of the missionaries. While he was teaching, he had all of the missionaries that were in their last transfer stand up. So i stood up, and he told us that we cant think to go back to how things used to be, we will never be the same. The change is permanent, and we should never look back.
Later he opened up the time for us to ask questions. I asked him for an example from his like when he had had a permanent change and learned from his past instead of returning to it. He went on tp explain that he was a rebellion teenager, but after he had come to know Christ on his mission he never looked back, and kept moving forward in the church with his callings, relying on Christ. 
At the end, two people were chosen to have interviews with him, and i was one! In the interview he asked me how I felt about the answer he gave me, and if I had anything else to ask him. So I asked him about HOW he came to know Christ on his mission. He went back to service. Through searching all of the little service opportunites that he could, he came to know his Savior and felt that He was helping him along the way. I know that is true. There is a reason they send kids out on missions, so they can come to know their Savior by serving in order to have a permanent change. Im so grateful that I have felt that change in my life as a missionary, and am excited to keep serving and getting to know my Savior. 
Which is why im SO excited about the new iniative in the church "Light the World" which gives us the chance to serve every day of December. I know that by serving as Christ did we will become more like him and we will share the light that we have as members of the church, and others will want to participate as well. So fam, i hope youre all participating!

Love the gospel and love the peace we find in knowing we have a loving Savior,

Hasta pronto
Hna Richan

Monday, November 21, 2016

21 November

News on Arturo and Jasmin... They have plans to get married this weekend! We went to their house to teach them, and invited Arturo to be baptized December 17. He gladly accepted, and understood that he would have to get married beforehand. He took the iniciative to plan to get married this saturday (so fast). Its always my favorite thing when people act for themselves, it shows their real desire to follow Christ. 

Alver has FINALLY told us that he wants to get baptized. After keeping it a secret for so long, he let us know. He asked his wife, Leydi, to help him out. To keep up on reading the scriptures and praying as a family. We took him to do family history in the church, and he loved it. He is feeling the spirit even more, and is just waiting to be more constant in doing the little things so that he can choose the day to be baptized. Love their family.

This week i was studying a little bit about Korihor. And how he wanted a sign that Christ existed. And Alma simply explained that isnt everything around you enough evidence? Everything shows us that there is a god. And it made me think about the times we dont see God's hand in our lives. But are we even looking? When we pray and expect an answer, are we doing whats necessary to receive it? Or are we looking for the tender mercies in our lives? Reminds me of when Alma is teaching his son, Helaman. The way is EASY. Just LOOK and you will be saved. We need to look towards Jesus Christ, follow Him, and it's easy. When we promise to always remember Him, we need to notice what He is doing for us each day, and LOOK for Him in our lives. And that is when we are the happiest and life is the easiest. 

Have a good thanksgiving, ill be eating mango pie. :) love you guys, see you soon!

Hna Richan
Hno Jose
 Family History with Carol in the cemetery

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

14 November

So hna pay and I, like i said last week, had been pretty frustrated. But after some changes we had the BEST week. A lot of miracles came our way and it was a good confirmation that he had made good changes in our area. 

First off... One day we were walking down the street and we hear "MISSIONARIES," and we look over and see this girl with a baby sitting down on the side of the road with her mom and sister. We went over to talk to her, and she told us that her name was Yasmine, and that she was a Mormon, and used to go to church with her grandma in Pampa Grande, but now she lives in our ward boundaries but has never gone to church. Then she told us her husband wasnt a member. so we made an appt to see them, and invited them to a ward mission night. And they showed up! Her husband, Aurthur, came, and was a super cool guy. With 2 cute little kids. The next day went to visit them, but Aurthur was working. On Sunday, they showed up to church and afterwards Yasmine asked us, "So how can my husband get baptized?" We looked over at him and he just shook his head like YES. It was awesome. Only problem is that they are not married... but nothing we cant do! And they are willing to work towards it.

Next, we were teaching a less active woman and her brother in law, Arnaldo, walked in with his kids. We asked him if he wanted to join in, and he said yes. And we taught him about the Restoration and invited him to be baptized, and him and his daughter were willing to. Later we went back to visit them, and turns out his wife, Mavi, really wants to come and learn more about the church. A really receptive family, what weve been looking for!

We received another referral from Hna Paola, the lady we live with. Her name is Esperanza, and she works with Paola. We went to visit her and her daughter Gabriela, THE BEST. Both of them have been to church before, and loved it. So we are excited to work with them, and it always helps having friends in the church.

We had a "Dia como Misionero" on Saturday. A bunch of youth came and we took them out to work with us, etc. It was a cool experience for them, a lot of people that are wanting to serve. I spoke in the fireside the next day. And i was thinking a lot about how i felt before the mission, and i can now look back at how much ive learned and i cant imagine how my life would be if i didnt come. So grateful that God knew better than i did what i needed to do with my life!

and... Im staying in Tumbes! with hna Pay! Super happy about it, best way to finish the mission. Its a little weird knowing that im finishing in a month, but im so grateful for the experiences i have had and things ive learned. wouldnt change it for anything. Love the gospel and know that its the best thing we have in our lives!

love you guys!

Hna Richan

Last District Meeting of the transfer
Mini Missionary Day with Companions Daniela and Priscila 

Monday, November 7, 2016

7 November

Hola Fam,

This week in Leadership Counsel we talked a lot about family history. And how important it is to do it with converts. This week we were helping out Leydi, Alver, and Carol with their family history and its amazing how much they love it. I think Alver's favorite part of the gospel is knowing that his family can be sealed, so we are trying to talk about temples a lot more with him, and he just seems more excited about the gospel. He has been coming to church so I think he just lacks a little bit of confidence, maybe doesnt feel like he is good enough to be baptized. He's great, almost there.

On Saturday we were heading out of our room where we live (the Guzmans' house) and Hno Guzman was working and introduced us to his friend, Alan. His parents are members but he isnt. So we were like "YEAH we wanna teach you!" And the next day, before we had taught him, he showed up at church with his parents. And both of his parents got up and bore their testimonies about how happy and grateful they were that their son was there.. Later that day was the lesson, and he said that 2 years ago he was just about to get baptized, and backed out. But now he is ready again and has a date December 17! We have been praying to find new people through members so God answers prayers. :)

We also have another super cool new person to teach. The elders had a baptism on Saturday, and her sister that lives in our area came that isnt a member. And we found out that her husband has been a member for years but is not active. The lady getting baptized bore her testimony and invited all her family members to listen to the missionaries because of how much the gospel has blessed her life, so we are excited to visit her sister, Patty. 

We saw a lot of miracles this week! We were kind of hitting a point in our area where we were a little frustrated, and we decided to make a lot of changes, and this week God blessed us a lot! Grateful for every chance i have to change and repent, and Im grateful for godly sorrow, and that God always helps us to recognize things we need to change so that we can come closer to Him. He loves us! Love you all, have a good week. :)

Hna Richan

Punta Sal

Punta Sal
 Punta Sal
 Punta Sal
 Punta Sal
 Punta Sal
 Lunch at the Sister Training
 Sister Training
  Sister Training
 Sister Training
 Peruvian lunch. Lomo Saltado, toilet paper napkins
 Leader Council
 Leader Council
 With the Cuenca Fam. <3

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

2 November

Dont have much time this week but a quick run down!!

This past week we had a Sister's Training in Piura, and i LOVED IT. It was really interesting, Hna Rasmussen talked about Eve and the two trees. And how Eve, by eating the fruit, allowed us to come into the world (like all women do), just like how Adam (through the priesthood), allows us to get back to God. It was interesting to look at it from that perspective. And then as i was reading "Believing Christ," it gave a really similar comparison. That Mary, by being human, made it possible for Christ to physically die, and God made it possible for Christ to overcome physical death. God's plan is so interesting and so perfect, love learning about it. Always awesome learning from Pres. and Hna. Rasmussen, theyre the best.

 Alver came to church YAY. He has changed a lot, and he keeps telling his wife, Leydi, that he wants to get baptized, but we wont tell us. So new goal: get Alver to tell us he wants to get baptized. We just keep praying for him, he will come around soon. :)

Paulo is also progressing really well. He isnt drinking anymore, he is reading the book of mormon. We are just trying to help him come to church which is hard when he works all night saturday night. But he is getting more comfortable around members of the church, so we are just moving little by little with him.

We met this new kid this week, Brian, and taught him about the Restoration. We asked him what a big doubt was that he had had all his life was, and he literally quoted Joseph Smith, "if there's only one God, why are there so many churches?" And we were like WE have the ANSWER. Always amazing teaching the Restoration to someone who has never heard it before. 

Love the mission, cant believe its November! Hope you all had a good halloween, i was Hna. Pay for halloween.. :) Love you all, have a good week! 

Hna Richan

Monday, October 24, 2016

24 Octubre

Hi fam. :)

Ive just been really happy lately. Life is good, im just happy doing what im doing and enjoying every minute! People are just the best here, love em. And nothing better than sharing the gospel. 

This week our ward went to the temple. It was cool to see converts go for the first time and here that they had an awesome experience. They are planning to go again in April, and it makes me realize HOW blessed we are that if we wanted, we could go EVERY day! These people do all they can to pay and have the chance to go to the temple. Its really a test of faith for them! But it makes them appreciate it so much more. They drove back Saturday night, so were pretty tired at church, but thats okay because my comp and I spoke in sacrament..:)

So Paulo is doing AWESOME. Daniela's nephew. He wants to change his life SO bad, has seen so many changes in his family's life. He told us that he is drinking way less, and now he is reading the Book of Mormon, and making little small changes. It is cool to see how before he was so not into in and all the sudden he is wanted to be a part of it. Everyone's time always comes. 

Interesting week. Like all of Tumbes either has the flu or chicken pox, and its SAINTS month! Which means that there are random saints being worshipped ALL OVER THE PLACE. Just makes things really interesting around here. This week there was a Señor de los Milagros fiesta right in front of our house, the whole street was decked out with banners and baloons. We actually had plans to visit a bunch of people around where we live this week, bad idea because when we went to visit them they were busy decorating. :) But its easy to spot out people who need the gospel! It is very interesting to see how things in the scriptures are in real life. 

Love God, love my Savior, know this church is true! Every day is just another testimony to me that we have the truth and we are so blessed! Helping people to understand the Atonement in their lives is one of my favorite things. Because it is the best thing we have, and my testimony is strengthened every time. Love you all, have the best weeeek!!

Hna Richan

Monday, October 17, 2016

17 Octubre

Hola fam!

This week we had a Multizone Conference here in Tumbes. It was my LAST one, which means I had to give my "last testimony." And i was SO SAD! Every "last" makes me sad. Love this place, and love all of the things that I have learned out here. But we talked about what it means to be a disciple of Christ. And we talked a lot about how the ordinances we do help us to come unto Christ, and know Him. Got me so excited to go back to the temple! I know that is where we can go to have added strength in our lives in order to be better disciples of Christ. 

On friday we had intercambios, and me tocó with Hna Spainhower! Good to catch up with her again and learn from her. ALWAYS learn from her. Shes the best example of charity for these people, so it was a good reminder that I need to love these people even more. Charity beats all, and thats when we see miracles here! 

We are still teaching Misael. He doesn't have a very good understanding of God, because recently he believes in Him. So we have been teaching very slowly, but he comes to church, and tells us how great he feels there. So we are going to start speeding things up, and see how he feels about baptism. 

Alver is starting to feel wishy washy with baptism again. Still awesome, he went from never praying to praying everyday and he is recognizing God's hand in his life. I think more than anything he is scared and feels like he isnt good enough, so we are hoping to help him gain a better understanding of Christ's role in his life. Because if he understand His role, we know that His grace is sufficient for ALL of us, and we can change!

Life has been a little bit CRAZY for us lately. But this is our first week FREE of a lot of things so we are excited to take advantage of the time we have to work. Hna Pay is great, life is good. Shes super diligent, understands her purpose. And Tumbes is still the best area. :) 

Today I loved studying about grace. D&C 93 talks about how we receive a little bit of God's grace at a time, and how it is given to us gradually as we strive to follow Him. So grateful to know of God's love for us!

Love you all, have a good fall break. :)

Hna Richan 

Cutest Kids
Multi Zone Conference 


Monday, October 10, 2016

10 Octubre

This week in Tumbes:

Alver is CHANGING. Before he seemed like he knew the church was true, but wasnt really willing to change. This week we were teaching him, and he told us that he had been thinking a lot more about baptism but just didnt feel prepared. So we got out of him that he hasnt been drinking for over a MONTH. But he sees all these less actives drinking all the time and he doesnt want that to be him. Which is awesome, he is taking this very seriously and wants to make sure he is converted before making the decision. but FINALLY he accepted to be baptized november 5. :)

Lil Aaron was baptized on Saturday. :) It was cool to see that he had a lot of family supporting him. His uncle is a bishop in Piura, and his great uncle is the pátriarch here in Tumbes. And his grandma takes him to church everyday here, even though his parents are very less active he has great support all around him! The smartest kid ive ever met. 

Its been kind of a crazy week with people here. LEAVING US. Katerine, coolest most receptive and independent investigator, moved to PIURA! She told us how much she loves the church and everything it teaches, and begged us for the missionaries' info in Piura so that she can keep learning and going to church there. So im a little sad about that, but obviously so happy for her and I know she will be a golden investigator in Piura! Also another golden investigator, that was a member referral, Luis, moved to Chiclayo! After giving him the Book of Mormon he read all of 1 Nephi and loved it, and then moved away. So two great investigators moved this week but in leadership counsel this week President gave us a cool promise, "If you send good referrals, you WILL receive good referrals." So we are banking on finding some cool people to teach this week. :)

Also Harold, convert, moved to Cusco this week. Love that guy, one of the most humble, sincere people I know. Hard saying bye to great people.

A lot of good things to come in Tumbes! I get more and more excited to share the gospel as I learn more about Christ and His atoning sacrifice. Ive been trying to be really diligent about studying the Atonement, and it amazes me more and more every day. I know that Christ justifies us because of his infinite perfection and infinite sacrifice. If we are on His side, We can overcome anything and do anything. 

Hasta la proxima semana, les amo!

hna richan

 Daniela and family
Aaron's Baptism
 Leadership Council
  Leadership Council

Monday, October 3, 2016

3 Octubre

well conference pretty much sums up the week. :)
more area updates next week, but our investigators are all progressing really well, and after teaching the cutest 11 year old boy (comes to live with his member grandparents on the weekends) he is getting baptized Saturday. Its gonna be a good transfer!

I loved conference! Of course I loved Elder Uceda's talk, peru mission shoutout. I went into conference with 2 questions.... A lot of times in the mission God has answered my prayers in the weirdest ways, and a lot of time hard things for me to accept. So I went into conference thinking about how I can accept God's will and do what He wants instead of what I want. And also how can i make prayer sincere and spiritual every time I pray. And I was thinking these were two questions that had nothing to do with each other, but finds out they have everything to do with each other! If we pray for things without real intent, it is going to be really hard for us to feel the power of prayer in our lives. And real intent IS being willing to accept the answers God gives us because we love Him, and want to do His will. I thought about how Elder Uceda denied the impression 3 times to turn back, just like I received 3 answers that i needed to serve a mission and it was STILL hard for me to accept. But i know that whatever answers God gives us they are for our benefit and we will be happier if he do His will. Just like I will be forever grateful for the impressions I received to serve a mission, it has changed my life in so many ways and i know that God sent me knowing I would be happier and be better off! Plus it is the best helping other people to be happier.

Had an awesome transfer with Hna Spainhower, learned SO much from her and I know a lot of the things I learned will help me for the rest of my life. Love her. Shes off to Zarumilla (super close) and im staying here with Hna Pay! Very sweet, diligent missionary from Laguna Niguel, Cali and im SO excited to work with her! Good things to come :) 

Love da fam! Hasta la proxima semana

Hna Richan

Peruvian Cemeteries

 Celeste is Engaged
 General Conference in English
 Saying goodbye to Hermana Spainhower and Elder Meier
 Monkeys with Flabia

Marilyn, my favorite member

Monday, September 26, 2016

September 26

Hola fam :) Just got back from the beach hehe, hope you had a good week in Utah. :) But the beach was not the best part of the week!

Daniela (the cutie in a lot of my pictures) is a convert of about 2 months. She had an INCREDIBLE conversion, after heavy drinking and partying, she changed completely. And her best friend, Sergio, basically stopped talking to her and didnt want anything to do with the church. Made fun of her for it. And my first week here, he decided to go to a ward activity with Daniela, really liked it, and came to church the next day. And since then we havent really pushed him into anything, we have just been his friend and he was warmed up A TON to the church, told us he wanted to stop drinking, and that he wants to get baptized at some point. And that was without telling him ANYTHING just being his friend and showing him that life can be fun without drinking. :) So it has been cool to see how much he has changed in just the little bit of time we have known him.

Last week, our pensionista (Hna Lazo), brought her nephew, Misael, to church. So this week i was in intercambios with Hna Rodriguez (from California), and we went to visit him. Turns out after a lot of family problems, even an attempt to kill his wife.... He has the greatest desire to change. He came to church again on Sunday and seems super happy. So we will see what happens!

Im not sure if ive mentioned Katerine before but.. She is AWESOME. She randomly just started coming to church and taking part in everything. Has a lot of doubts about the Catholic church, so that is what sparked her interest. She went to the general womens conference and baptism with us, and loved it all. I love her because she is very sincere, and tells things how they are so it is easier to answer her questions and help her understand the gospel. 

And YES Carol got baptized!! Shes the cutest. Her little grandpa is a member from a different ward, so we searched him down where he works to ask him in he could baptize her. He was so excited that he had found and were teaching her grand daughter, and was excited to baptize her. Sooo Saturday, at the baptism, we were waitinggg and waitinggg and he never showed up. It was supposed to start at 5:30, and we were gonna watch the womens conference at 7. And by 7 we were still waiting. We told Carol we could wait to do it on Sunday, or a missionary could baptize her. She was so excited and ready to be baptized, and decided that an elder could do it. So Elder Meier ended up doing it with pants that were like 5 sizes too big. After a few safety pins and paper clips, the pants fit and she got baptized. :) It all worked out well, she was so happy, and we finished with the last little bit of the womens conference. Happy day. :)

Love this place, always work to do! 
Tumbecina and lovin it.

Hna Richan

Peru Hot Pots

Banana Trees
Carol's Baptism
The Spain
This girl talks with her eyebrows, hence the eyebrow raising picture
Beachin' It
Hna Maria Lazo (pensionista)