Monday, February 29, 2016

Feb 29

This was one of my favorite weeks of the mission. It is cool to see that things dont always work out how we want them to, but God has a greater plan. I know there are great things to come here in Talara!

Maritza and Thomas told us on Monday that they felt it was way too soon to get baptized. So unfortunately, no they were not baptized this past Saturday, but we saw SO many miracles with them this week. They are one of those families that God has been preparing to receive the gospel, and every lesson I get so excited to see the miracles that God is sending them.

On Tuesday, we taught them about tithes and offerings. We were a little bit nervous, because they have been SO golden, and we were praying and hoping that they would accept this commandment. After the lesson, Maritza told us, "This morning I had the word 'tithing' pop into my head. And i knew that i needed to fulfill this commandment." We were so shocked/happy at her response, but it was just another reassurement that although they dont feel ready to be baptized, God is preparing them little by little. 

On Thursday, we did divisions with members, and I went to teach Maritza and Thomas with our branch president and his wife. President expained a little bit more about how they can pay their tithing, and explained that all of the money goes to the Lord, and that he didnt receive any of it. Maritza spoke up and said, "President, if you want to steal the tithing money, that is between you and God, but im gonna pay my tithing no matter what." THE BEST. We went on to teach about eternal marriage, temples, and family history. After the lesson Maritza told us that she had been praying all morning, and the thought came to her that she wanted to be more united with her husband, and this lesson told her how she could. And then she kept praying, and she thought about her dad who died 9 years ago, and she gained a huge desire to do something for him, but she didnt know how that was possible. Temple work was the answer for her. It is amazing to see how God isgiving her all of these testimony building experiences, and every lesson with them is another testimony to me that God knows us all individually, and this is the true church of Jesus Christ.

This week we found a new investigator, Tanya. She is 17 years old. In the first lesson, she accepted to be baptized March 26, and we invited her to pray about Joseph Smith. The next lesson, she told us that she felt something she had never felt before when she prayed! We gave her a BOM, and the next lesson she had already ready a few chapters (super rare for the people here).. This weekend we had a District Conference Sat/Sun and she came with us to both sessions. Another one of those chosen people ready to receive the gospel!

Friday we had a Multizone Meeting with Talara and Sullana. I got called on to give one of the talks, so I talked a little bit about the Atonement, and the importance of repentance for both investigators and missionaries. I also loved the talk that Hna. Rasmussen gave. She based it off of D&C 68, and how even Joseph Smith had fears, but he put his faith in the Lord. I know that God is capable of helping us overcome our fears through the Atonement and our own desires to change for the better. Im seeing little miracles in my own life every day as i use the Atonement and put my trust in God.

Vivo la Piura Vida, y la amo.
Disfruten su semana xoxo

Hna Richan

Monday, February 22, 2016

22 Feb

AMAZING WEEK --> All I can say is exact obedience brings blessings and miracles. We had a lot of activities going on this week, and less time for teaching, but we were able to do everything we needed to do and some AWESOME things happened. :)

This week with the Fam. Barrientos... Last week Hno. Thomas was unmotivated, didnt come to church, and didnt really want to listen to us anymore. But this week we were able to teach him again, and all is well! This week we had a lesson with them, and Hna Maritza told us that she knows the BOM is true. She told us that she feels like the prophets are speaking to her personally, and she loves it. We invited them to pray about Joseph Smith again, so they did. And that night she told us she had a dream that she needed to keep reading the BOM. I know that the BOM is pure evidence that Joseph Smith is a prophet, and she was able to realize that through reading. They both came to church, and are doing awesome. Hopefully everything goes well this week and they will be able to get baptized this Saturday. :)

We had a lesson this week with Hna Santos, and she started crying and told us that she felt the greatest peace and knew that Joseph Smith was a prophet. Now we just need to figure out this whole divorce and marriage thing, but she tells us every lesson that she wants to be baptized.

The mission lately has been really focusing on how we need to focus on 2 things. Teach repentance, and baptize converts. Today I was reading in Alma 62 and in verse 45 it says something like this (im translating from Spanish..): "Helaman and his brothers left and declared the word of God with much power, convincing many people of their iniquities, which made them repent of their sins and be baptized to their Lord their God." Our purpose is to help people understand that we are not perfect, we NEED a Savior. When people recognize their sins, they are able to make these changes in their lives by repenting and being baptized. As a missionary Im learning the importance of repentance in my own life, and how it is so necessary to recognize my sins and repent every day so that I can have the Spirit with me to teach these people.

This week we had a training for the sisters, and we were learning about how we need to be direct and establish our purpose in the first lesson. Hna Dorado and I put this into practice. We are focusing on REPENTANCE and BAPTISM as we teach the Restoration. We are seeing miracles by inviting everyone to be baptized as the understand the Restoration. Yesterday we had a lesson with a 17 year old girl named Tanya. She told us that she has wondered which church was true, and she was glad she had the opportunity to pray to God and find out after having this question for a long time. She accepted to be baptized March 26. God is sending us to the people that are ready to receive the gospel!

Love you alllll xoxox

Hna Richan

 Intercambios with Hermana Parks

 With my companions at Sisters Training

Monday, February 15, 2016

15 Feb

Lots of ups and downs this week, life is crazy! But things are good, we are working and lovin it. Always miracles and cool experiences everyday. 

Hna. Maritza is better than ever! Came to church, and she has been going to all the the relief society activities and getting to know all the members. She fits in super well, and is participating in the classes, etc. Hno. Thomas on the other hand, doesnt want the lessons anymore, and didnt come to church. He was doing SO GOOD, and we dont know what changed. We had a family home evening in a members house this week, and invited them, but Thomas didnt come. The member, Hno. Eche, was telling Maritza that his wife set him the example to be baptized. He wanted to keep learning more, but his wife made the act of faith, and so he followed her. It is the same situation, Thomas feels like he is not ready and wants to learn, but Hna. Maritza is setting a good example for him. It was a tender mercy that Hno. Eche was able to share with her his experience, hopefully the two of them can feel ready the 27th of Feb

Hna. Estefany told us that she no longer has permission from her parents to get baptized.. She told us she feels super ready, but her mom doesnt want her to go through with it. We have never met her mom, but we are hoping that we can talk with her and she will be okay with it. We are praying that she will be able to, but it is in God's timing!

On Friday, a kid named Cesar approached us and told us he has always wanted to go to church, but he was embarrassed to go alone. He told us he was super interested in the church, and has never been a part of any religion. On Saturday we had a lesson with him and his friend, Jesus, and they both read the pamphlet and knew all about Joseph Smith and all before we even started to talk about the Restoration. And then they came to church the next day for the full 3 hours! And turns out they knew another kid who was a member of the church. We invited them both to baptism and they agreed that if they gain a testimony they would be baptized. Always amazed to find people that God has prepared, la obra está avanzando! 

Amo a todos, y oro por ustedes diariamente! No hay nada más importante que la obra del Señor, me siento tan agradecida por estar aquí invitando a todos a experimentar la misericordia de Dios. Sigan fuerte, y sepan que les amoooo. Xoxo

Hna Richan

Monday, February 8, 2016

8 Feb

Alooo otra buena semana aca en Talara!
I dont have a lot of time this week, but here is a quick update on things!
We have been working with an hermana named Santos. She has all the right desires to be baptized, goes to church every week, but for right now she is working on getting divorced and married. We are gonna try and figure things out this week, but i know God provides the way for people to be baptized!
La Familia Barrientos, Maritza and Thomas, AMAZING. Came to church AGAIN, as a family. For the full 3 hours. They are so receptive, and i know they feel the Spirit and can tell a difference. They are still hesitant about baptism because they want to learn more. But they did tell us they want to be baptized, they just dont feel ready to set a date on it. But we are pushing for the 27th of Feb. :)
This week Hna. Estefany told us she feels 100 percent ready for baptism! Its a MIRACLE because she was having a lot of doubts with her family and friends, but now she is ready to take this step. She realized that if she puts God first, things will work out.
Awesome things are happening out here in Talaraaa and I love these people soo much. Hope everything is good en los estados unidosss. With Valentines day on sunday, want my fam to know that I LOVE THEM. :)
Have a gooood week xoxox
Hna Richan

Monday, February 1, 2016

1 Feb

I cannot believe its Feb! Time is flying, and I dont like it. A year ago this month i opened my mission call, CRAZY. But time flies when you are having fun, and honestly im loving every second of the work.

This week was the start of CARNIVAL! HAha all that means is for a straight month people throw water and paint at each other. Yes, we have been hit and had to enter a couple lessons drenched, but thats the life here. Love it. We also spent a night this week killing about a million spiders in our room, and a few cockroaches that I found IN my bed. I feel blessed that these things dont even phase me now HA.

The Familia Barrientos (Maritza and Thomas) came to church again, and this time for the full 3 hours. Afterwards we asked them how they liked it and they LOVED it. It is honestly a miracle because they have a son with a disability. And in the lessons he is always a little bit of a distraction, but when they are in the church he is so calm! He just sits with Thomas and is silent. It is so crazy to me, but I know it is the Spirit. Maritza never leaves her house because she has to take care of him, so it is pretty awesome that they are able to be in the church for 3 hours. Maritza has the baptismal date of Feb 27, and Thomas didnt accept the date still, but only because he wants to learn a little bit more. But he has told us he wants to be baptized, im confident that he will be more comfortable with the idea as that date comes up. They are the coolest family, and I love seeing the changes that the gospel makes in the lives of these people.

Estefany also came to church with us again, and is planning on getting baptized the 27th also. She is having a few doubts because she doesnt want to lose her friends, and her parents are not super supportive. But we are praying for her and hoping she can understand how important this decision is. 

I love being with Hna. Dorado. We work awesome together, and she motivates me to be better. I am learning so much and we are working hard! Talara can only go up from here! I have no doubt that God is preparing His people for Christ to come, I love love love being a part of this work.

Sounds like things are good at home! I pray for you and love you all! Xoxox

Hermana Richan