Wednesday, March 30, 2016

March 29, 2016

Hello Everyone,

Kim here!  Sorry it's taken me a little while to update the blog.  But it is now updated and so much has happened.  But I had to get it updated so that I could get the latest letter posted in the hopes that you might read it and find some comfort in her letter, especially to all of our family!  We love you all and even though the circumstances were sad, it was wonderful to be with our family this past week!


Hola Familia! Como estan? So this week has been very interesting to say the least. The perfect scripture to describe it is D & C 58:4 For after much tribulation come the blessings.  This week has been super difficult for me but also super rewarding as well. 

To start off the week I was in bed..all day everyday. My knee was just getting worse and worse no matter what I did. My circulation wasn't functioning properly and as a result my whole lower leg and foot was swollen. Super fun stuff right? I was talking to the mission nurse (who happens to be my new companion yay!) and the area medical advisor had already sent in a recommedation for a medical release. That entire night I just kept praying and praying because in all reality I needed a miracle. I could barely walk and my leg was enormous! The next morning I woke up super early and I just kept praying. I decided to try bending my knee during exercise and low and behold my knee went back into place! I instantly felt relief and my color started getting better. I called the nurse and told her what had happened and she immediately called president. President said ¨well that is good because I was going to send her home! That my friends is a miracle and the story of how I escaped mission death!! 

This also happened the day after I found out about the passing of my grandpa. This news was something that I knew would come during the mission but I did not imagine would come so soon. But another blessing the Lord has given me during my mission is the ability to stay calm and stable no matter what is going on around me. My mission has been anything but smooth so far but I have always been able to keep it together and this time was no different. Don't get me wrong I am super sad but then I came upon a scripture in Alma 28:12 and it talks about those who passed are in a state of never ending happiness. This shift in our family is not the easiest for anyone and I can only imagine that it has all hit us a little differently. But something that we all have in common is we have one person who knows EXACTLY what we are feeling. Christ not only came to this earth to atone for our sins but to bring us comfort during times of trials. Christ felt it all; the good, the bad, the heartache, the joy. Through him we receive all the blessings we need. But the time we have now we need to treat as a blessing as well. Now is the time we have to prepare to return to our Father in Heaven. We will be judged based on our good works. It is like we all have a book and every little thing we do is written down. Christ´s blood erases all the bad decisions or mistakes we make in this life. But if we don't do anything good while we are here we are going to have an empty book to present to Heavenly Father when that day comes. 

We have eternal bound covenants that we can make on this earth to keep our families together but all depends on how we live in this life. This is why we need to be doing all that we can to live in a lifestyle conducive to having the spirit with us to help make righteous choices. This life isn't easy and never will be but luckily we have been given all the tools we need to make it through this life and enjoy it while we are here too. 

I know that Christ lives and because He lives we will too one day. I know that The Book of Mormon is the word of God that truly testifies of Christ. I know that Jesus Christ is our savior and through his atoning sacrifice we can live with our families forever. I know th
at God has a plan specific for each and every one of us. I know that plan is perfect and for more better than the plan we have for ourselves. I know this gospel is true. I have seen the blessings that have come directly from reading the scriptures every day, praying to my Father in Heaven, and trying my best to live in a way that would make my Heavenly Father proud. I know that this is where I am supposed to be and even though Grandpa isn't here physically anymore we now have someone on the other side of the veil walking beside us and cheering us on every step of the way.

I love you all so much and I hope you will all take the time to prepare for general conference this week! Have a fantastic week and I will talk to you next week! 


Hermana Rich

dessert arroz con leche

Lopez Family

The distric

Ward Mission Leader, Hermana Mortensen and Rich

We will all miss Grandpa!

March 21, 2016

Hi everyone!! So this week threw me for a little bit of a loop! You guys already know I like to do things a little bit different! So I dislocated my knee and am on crutches, yay! I was sitting on the floor for personal study (I stay awake better that way) and I went to move my knee and it decided to be difficult. So I am in the house for two weeks and then we will go from there!  Alma 49:24 pretty much describes me life right now!! 

But I have learned a lot this week as well! I have to say that I know that the Lord places the exact people we need in our lives to help us. Not to brag, but I have the most AMAZING leaders in my zone. My district leader and his companion call us several times a day, visit our investigators, and stop by our house twice a day. The first day I hurt my knee they stopped by and dropped off ice cream for us. Then one night I was super frustrated and after I got off the phone from talking about our day and we got a text from Elder Delgado and Elder Lopez saying in five minutes someone was going to be dropping off a pizza for us. Then he called us and they sang us a song (so precious) and gave us uplifting scriptures haha! Then the viajantes have been coming and doing splits with Hermana Mortensen and I so Hermana Mortensen can work. Every time they always bring something fun to do and know just what to say to lift my spirits. I am may be super far from my family right now but the Lord has blessed me with the most amazing people to help me get through all of this.  

But I know that whatever the Lord throws our way is to help us learn and grow. My mission has definitely been far from smooth but it has been the most amazing journey so far and I have learned so much. I wouldn't change a single thing..excpet maybe sitting on the floor for personal study lol, but I love my mission and all that has happened! The good and the bad is what has made my mission! 

Sorry I don't have too much to say this week but I love you all and I hope you have a fantastic week!! 


Hermana Rich
Discoloration (from tan AND dislocated knee)

Ice cream from the zone leaders

Hermana Mortensen and Rich at the sisters conference


Pizza from zone leaders
Sister's zone conference

Dislocated kneecap

March 14, 2016

Hey everyone! 

So this week the majority of our charlas(lessons) fell through so it was a lot of walking...and walking...and more walking!! But that is okay! I really don't mind it! So this week during our correlation with our bishop he decided we are going to have an entire sacrament meeting totally dedicated to missionary work. Guess who gets to speak? I am actually more nervous about that than teaching lol but it will be good! He also asked us to prepare a musical number so I get to sing again! YAY! 

Right now we have three main investigators, Alejandra, her son Mauricio, and Alejandro! They are so fantastic! Alejandra has been off of drugs for about three weeks now and we are super proud of her! Alejandro is slowly but surely making progress! Right now he is trying to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon but he loves Joseph Smith! He is totally getting there!  

Funny story! Well it is funny..but I am not so proud of So once again we were walking by the house of the Rodriguez family. Well their like 9 year old son was in the street walking around with this huge chicken!! Well next thing I know he is putting the chicken in my face!! So naturally I got scared and ran away..well I ran into a corner in between his house and this fence and I couldn't get away so my companion had to come save me...I was so ashamed hahaha the next day when we were walking by he asked me if I wanted him to go get his chicken and I haven't lived it down since..I am a 19 year old girl currently being harassed by a 9 year old boy. Not my proudest moment but I don't have much else to say this week.  

This week though I have learned a TON about the fact that people are always watching us. Alejandros's biggest doubt about the church is the members. He knows so many people that are inactive or don't act as they should. He doesn't want to become like that. The Rodriguez family is the same way. They stopped going to church because of the members because they don't act Christ-like. We also have a new investigator Yanina who is the exact same as Alejandro. Granted, they need to be agents with their testimonies and keep strong and focus on show the gospel is perfect, not the members. But it just goes to show that people are always watching and we don't know what our decisions will do to other people. This is why we have to strive to live our lives according to the gospel! if you see someone at church you don't know or is sitting by themselves go over and talk to them, sit with them! Everyone needs a friend! You never know what people need! We had a member in our ward pass away yesterday and we were in a members house when they found out. This member was super close to the women who passed away. I know we were there to give this women a hug. Not to share anything except a hug. To be there for her and show her some Christ-like love!  

But I love you all and I hope you have a fantastic week! I know this gospel is true! I invite you all to be agents in your testimonies! Search, ponder, and pray! I love you all and I am so grateful for my mission, the gospel, my savior, and all of you! 


Hermana Rich 

Gross slug in the apartment!

We have these things called bicoches here and they are super good! This is one with dulce deleched from a panadaria called la fe (the faith) so naturally as missionaries we had to go right?

Brazilian food at the zone activity

Lunch with the zone

March 7, 2016

HI everyone! This week we didn't have too much going on. Hermana Mortensen was still sick so we were in the house all week except for yesterday and the Viajantes ( I think it is sister training leaders in english) came down so I could go work!

But don't worry I still have stories to tell! When we were out yesterday we were visiting people we hadn't seen in a while! Well there is one part pf our área that is pretty poor and we have a menos activo (less active) family that lives over there. They have one room and a bathroom for their house. They also have 9 kids with one more on the way. But they are so amazing! Well we were walking down the street and we saw some of their kids with the neighbors kids...well low and behold they were playing in the sewer. They are doing some construction down there and they didn't close up the drainage for the sewer. So Hermana Mortensen and I went over there and asked what they were doing. They had thrown these big, heavy, metal rings down into this drainage and they had to get them out. Keep in mind the Rodriquez daughter is in like a nice easter dress while all of this is happening. But they weren't strong enough to get them out with out all of them working together and that is why they were all down there. Well Hermana Mortensen, being the sweetheart she is, asked if they needed help. THANK GOODNESS they said no..I really would have learned alot about charity if they had said yes!! That is one thing I love about the misión! You never know what is going to happen and you learn in the craziest of ways!

This morning I was reading in third Nephi about when the people saw the sign of the Birth of Christ! It made me think because after a few years they didn't believe in the signs that they had seen. It made me think of this phrase, without faith even seeing is not enough. If we are not preparing everyday(Reading our scriptures, praying, going to church) when we recieve answers we might not think they are really answers. Or when trials come we won't have the faith suffecient to support us through those trials. I was also thinking about when the Gadianton robbers kept coming and attacking the Nephites. The nephites learned that they had to humble themselves and it was only through the strength of the Lord that they were able to defeat them. We need to realize that everything that we do and can do is thanks to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. We have so many talents that help us to be good at different things, now imagine if we prayed and asked for the Lord's help in all the different things we do? We would be even greater. I have been working alot on humility this week! Just some thoughts. Like always, I hope you are all reading and praying! I love you all and I hope you have a fantastic week!

p.s. here is a soccer field in el campo!


Hermana Rich
Hermana Rich and Mortensen
Hermana Rich and Manu

Hermana Mortensen, Hermana Rich and Manu

Soccer field in El Campo

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

February 29, 2016

Great letter this week!  Grateful for my faith and the peace that I always know Mackenzie is where she is supposed to be at this time in her life.  And grateful as always for her safety!  Love you all! Kim
Hi everyone! This week has been super fantastic and then not so fantastic haha! 

 We had the conference with Elder Bednar this week and it was super amazing! I really think I got so much out of the conference because I prepared really well for it. We can't go into something like that and expect to receive answers or advice that we are not spiritually prepared to receive! So for those of you who get the amazing opportunity to listen to him in these next few weeks I would highly recommend preparing! Read your scriptures and pray to have the spirit with you during the meeting! Elder Bednar and his wife are really just indescribable! They are super spiritual but they keep it fun and interesting as well!  Elder Bednar talked a lot about the Book of Mormon! He said if we will take the time to read, ponder, and pray about the Book of Mormon everyday he could promise we would never go inactive. He then went on to explain that the Book of Mormon is not an ancient record of the Nephites. It is a road map for what is coming and we are living in the pages of it. Crazy?! But it is so true and we hold in our hands a map to get through this life. How dumb would it be for us to not use it? I just love the Book of Mormon..and Elder Bednar! I also got to see Hermana Harpole and Hermana Cutler! Unfortunately I didn't get the chance to talk to Hermana Cutler so we just smiled and waved at each other! (Kim here...Hermana Cutler is a friend of Mackenzie's from home and she is serving in the Uruguay Montevideo West Mission.)

So we had to be in Montevideo a little before the conference because we had some stuff to do in Montevideo! So we went down on Thursday afternoon! This is where the adventure really starts! So we planned our day to be able to have lunch with a member and then head down to Montevideo right? Well we had just left the house and we were about two streets above the house when we heard our alarm going off. So we went back to the house and turned it off. Well the kitchen door was open..soo we had an unexpected guest haha. Yes, someone tried to break into our house, but the alarm scared them away. So we let our district leader know, locked everything up, reset the alarm, and went to lunch! After lunch we came back and everything was normal so we packed up and went to Montevideo!

Later that night we had to take another bus to get to the house of Hermanas in Carrasco. Well I heard something fall as I was walking off the bus. So I turned around and saw my wallet on the floor as the doors closed and the bus was driving I lost my wallet. But the next day the assistants to the mission President(kind of like the head missionaries) returned it to me! Someone had called the office and said they had found it! Yay! Of course all of the money was gone which was kind of a big bummer, but I accepted the fact that I was supposed to lose that money either way, whether it be from someone breaking into my house or losing it on the bus! Apparently someone else needed that money more than I did!

So Carrasco is right on the beach so I was able to go running on the beach for exercise that next morning and I have to say it was so amazing! Uruguay is sooo beautiful!

Well we got back from the conference around 12:30 at night so we had permission to sleep in until the next morning! Well when we woke up my poor companion was sick. We have been in the house ever since. But we should be able to leave the house tomorrow! Yay! But unfortunately we haven´t been able to work in our area for four days now and today will make five. So the elders from our zone are coming to work in our area for us! They are going to have charlas (lessons) with our investigators for us and meet with all the people we need to! It is such a big blessing because without them we would lose a lot of the progress we have made in our area! It just goes to show that it really is not about numbers out here! We are all doing the same thing and it doesn't matter where!

But on the bright side we had an investigator at church even though we couldn't be there! It was Alejandro! We were super excited to hear about that! We are still teaching him, Alejandra and her son Mauricio! We also started teaching her friend and two kids that are living with her! They are awesome! 

That is about all I have got for ya this week! The mission is definitely an adventure and you NEVER know what is going to happen! It keeps it fun! But I love my mission and everything about it! I know that this gospel is true and that because Heavenly Father loves us so much he gave us all the tools we would need to return to him! Those tools include church leaders, prayer, our families, and most importantly the Book of Mormon. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that if will take the time to read it, ponder it, and pray about it we can all know of the truthfulness of it! I know that Heavenly Father answers our prayers. It may not be in the time we want or how we want but He always answers them. I know that through the temple we can be sealed as families for the eterenities. I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ can bless and help every single person! That is why we need to take every opportunity to share the gospel. We don't go anywhere by coincidence and if you look there is an opportunity to share the gospel wherever we go! I love you all so much and I hope you have a great week!


 Hermana Rich
Beautiful moonlit sky
Hermana Rich & Mortensen saying hello!

February 23, 2016

Kim here again!  Well, I've been a little behind in getting Mackenzie's emails and pictures up but here is one week and I will try to get the other week up tonight as well.  She is loving her mission and is so grateful to all of you for your love and support and your interest in what she is doing in Uruguay!  We love you all!Hi everyone! This week has been really great! We have had a lot of rain and have seen a ton of progress in our investigators! Also, this week we have the conference with Elder Bednar! I am super excited about it!

So we have an investigator, Alejandra. She is 22 and has a 9 year old son and 7 year old daughter. Alejandra has been struggling with using drugs for a really long time now. But her and her family are so amazing. I seriously love them so much! This week her and her son committed to baptism! Yay! She also came to church this week! She has been receiving lessons from the missionaries for over six months and she has never been to church. This was a huge step for her! Also, she has been clean from drugs for a week now! She knows what she wants now in life and is working super hard to change it! It is so amazing to see the gospel working with others to improve their lives! It is such a testimony builder to me. Also, funny story. Yesterday we had a charla (lesson) with her and her kids and we were talking about how the gospel blesses our lives and some people can have really hard lives. Well Alejandra said oh yeah! I  learned about that when I was in prison last year! I got bored and stir crazy one day so I attacked a security guard! They put me in solitary confinement and it was the worst!! What? haha she is so funny! 

Plus right now, she has a friend and her two kids living with her! When we taught them yesterday her friend's son was with us. When we showed the picture of Christ being baptized he freaked out! He started yelling no!! Why are they trying to kill Jesús?! It was soo funny hahaha. We get random funny questions like that all the time!

We also have another investigator who we are teaching. His name is Alejandro! He also went to church this Sunday! He had taken the lessons two years ago and then his wife died. He didn't want anything to do with the church at that point. But he is coming back yay! He also has really bad knees and so he can barely walk. The bishop of our branch is a friend of his and so he came and gave him a blessing Saturday when we had our charla(lesson) with him. And when we talked to him yesterday he said he woke up that morning and it was like he forgot he had ever had pain in his knees!! What a miracle right? 

I am so grateful that we have the authority of God on the Earth today with things, like blessings for health and sealing families together for eternity! I am grateful for this gospel and the peace and comfort it brings to me! I know that we can have our families forever and we can always talk to our Father in Heaven wherever and whenever! I know we can receive answers to our prayers if we are putting in the work. If we don't care about receiving revelation we really won't get it. We have to put in the work and be spiritually prepared to receive answers! I also know that we have to have patience in the Lord's timing in receiving those answers! I was Reading In Jacob 5 with the parable of the Lord of the vineyard and the servant. We need to be like the servant and spare it a little longer (Jacob 5:2). We need to keep working and have patience. I love this gospel so much and the opportunity I have to be serving a mission! I love it so much. Everyone here is so relaxed. Last night was a really nice night out so everyone was outside their houses and my companion and I were walking home. There were a bunch of kids playing soccer in the street and they all yelled Hola Mormonas! haha You can just really feel the love the Lord has for the people here. I hope you all have a fantastic week! I love you all!


Hermana Rich

Blue house across the street from where Hermana Rich lives

Hermana Rich after walking 30 minutes to the church in the rain

Hermana Rich walking in the rain

Hermana Rich at an investigators house with a random horse in the front yard

Hermana Rich unsuccessfully setting up her mosquito net ( not a decoration, a necessity!)

Beautiful Uruguay sky

Hermana's Rich & Mortensen and a member who goes out with them to talk to people

Sister Abelo from the ward got the Valentine's gifts

Eating torta fritas after the rain.  It's like a huge scone!