Monday, December 29, 2014

Dec. 29th, 2014 update - Last update for this year! :)

This week, Elder Reed sent a LOT of pictures! :) So, I will add his update, then you can enjoy the photos! He is doing well, for which his Momma is especially grateful. :) (I know everyone else is as well!)  He got to speak to many family members on Christmas and thoroughly enjoyed it - technology can be such a wonderful tool!

From Elder Reed: "This week I took a picture of me and Elder Maxwell to prove that I have seen him! I also sent another picture-letter. Another blog that would be kinda cool is that of another member of my zone: Elder Brent Jones! I love that Elder! He is the best! I also would like to say that to all those that I couldn´t speak to, how much I love you and how much you mean to me! Don´t stop being in the Gospel! I would also like to recommend the movie Bah Hum Duck... a looney tunes christmas movie I saw a preview for when The whole mission watched the original Grinch with the President and his family for Christmas!

Elder Reed..."

Also from Elder Reed: "One thing I have noticed is that after no shave november truely is no shape december. I noticed a little bit of a bigger stomach...and a slightly smaller neck!"

Elder Reed & Elder Maxwell

Lima Peru Temple

Elder Reed visiting the Temple

Wonderful missionaries!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Dec. 22nd, 2014 - two weeks worth of updates

Hello everyone! Merry Christmas from the Reed family! I apologize for not posting last week's update until today - this has been a tremendously hectic time lately! I will add it today!

From the previous week, Elder Reed shared these thoughts: "My incredible load of mail came... no package, but I recieved 20 letters from the ones I LOVE!!!

This week marks the end of my first cambio/transfer cycle! I also have some questions to answer: to grandma- I dont know just how the water is pumped to all these people... i guess it is from the ocean, and yes, it smelled aweful here my first few days here, but I cant smell any of it anymore!

Aunt bonnie- All of my teachers and companions were great!!! I truely loved each and every one of them!

Mom- I cant remember if you had any questions...  [which I did, but that's ok! Lol!]

I would like to let you all know though that the Lord truely does answer your prayers and that He really does know what you want! (I wanted a pizza and chocolate here in the field and we had a buffett of pizza for my District Leader because he leaves tomorrow and my comp had chocolate sent to him from his parents to share!)

Know that the Lord LOVES you and hears and answers EVERY prayer! Most of all: LOVE those around you! they might not say it, but there is always somebody who needs your help!

Elder Reed

P.S. You can now officially continue to send mail the normal way if you wish! It will come eventually! (I recieved mail sent before my mission 86 days into my mission!!!!!)"

Yay for mail!! :)

From this week: "This, like all the other weeks went by really fast!

I met Elder Maxwell [an Elder serving in his mission - we have followed his blog as well] at a meeting for those in training and for their trainers... Elder Maxwell is a trainer (capacitador) and guess what. He is exactly the same height as I am! So those pictures of him towering over those Peruvians (Peruanas) is just about the right size for me to! 

I attached a letter I wrote this morning and a pic of the letter I recieved this week. THANKS Grandma! I ABSOLUTELY LOVE hearing about the mundane, normal stuff you guys do while I am here!

I have some info that you all would like to hear. There is a pretty safe way to send packages, but it is kinda expensive.   .   .   . You need to search the name "Venessa" followed by "Inca Envios" in google. It is a service provided to missionaries and their families that is more trustworthy than SERPost... which I dont have in my area... it is 2 ward boundary areas away! 

Elder Reed

This pics are of my pensionistos in their home, my apartment, which is the biggest in the mission (i believe), and one of me! Plus a letter I wrote this morning... which i hope you can all read! [There's] Elder Puma, me, Hmo. P. and Hma. P. (my pensionista!) SHE AND HER HUSBAND ARE INCREDIBLY FUNNY!...once I could understand more or less what was going on!"  :)

Enjoy and Happy Holidays! Feel free to write Elder Reed through, or at the address listed at the right. All missionaries are supported by our small efforts! :)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Dec. 8th, 2014 post - Ups and Downs of Missionary life

Here is Elder Reed's update for this week:

"This is my weekly report!

This week was possibly the fastest in human history! I cant even begin to express how quickly it passed!

This week though, we had to ax one menos activo, had the ONE INVESTIGATOR with a baptismal date back down (possibly until the new year... which by the way doesnt seem right because everything own here is so warm and sunny!), and we were informed that one of the members... and a personal friend of my companionship... decided to hand in a letter for his resignation from the church!!! Man, what a sad week! 

I will just say this for all... my mission president is the absolute best I could have asked for!!!

I would like to thank Aunt Bonnie, Tamara, and Grandma for their letters I recieved this week (from Nov. 15) and today I was told that a (metric) [HUGE] load ;) of letters has arrived for me this next Reunión de Distrito (tomorrow!). 

FHE is very important! I advise all my siblings to help Mom with making this a regular thing! 

Elder Reed... with a whole lotta love!!!"

He is VERY excited to get all the mail! :) Elder Reed shared a joke from his Pensionista as well: "after no shave november comes no shape december!" ;)  

He is excited about his service to the Lord! As a side note, he is entering Summer in Peru, so this will be quite a change from last year's winter-time weather! :)  He sent a few photos also (they are in Spanish - try your luck at translating!) --

This is the Spanish version of the Book of Mormon Chronology. :)

I am so grateful for Elder Reed and his service, even when things don't always go as we want them to. Heavenly Father is in charge of this great work! He loves each and every one of us!

Until next time, enjoy and remember the blessings all around you!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Dec. 1st, 2014 update - short and sweet

Michael sent a few pictures and says Hello to everyone! He thanks you for your continued support and prayers and is so excited to be serving the Lord in Peru! :)

The pictures are of Inca Kola - a soft drink created in Peru in 1935 and very popular. :) Elder Reed was impressed with the 3LITER bottles! :)

That's my boy... Lol :)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Nov. 24th update

Well, it looks like Elder Reed is beginning to sporadically receive snail mail - yay! :) Hopefully he will keep receiving things that have already been sent. I guess we are all learning patience with this little hiccup!

Elder Reed's update this week is short and sweet, with a few pictures of him and another Elder. He (Elder Reed) was telling me that Elder Derr looks like one of the actors on Studio C (Adam Berg) - which he does! Too funny! Elder Derr didn't believe him. :)

From Elder Reed: "This week... on the 18th I got [Mom's] first Dear Elder, a letter from Aunt Bonnie and my patriarchal blessing!!! I WAS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO EXCITED!!!!! Thanks for that... I now have 2 months... 9 weeks... in the field and have heard talks from Elder Waddell and Elder Uceda both of the [Quorum of the] 70 in my time here on a mission! They are great men of God.

The pensionista makes all our meals... and all of them are good!!!

Ive have a ton of opportunities to spread the gospel and I cant believe just how much time has passed.
Elder Reed"

Thanks to everyone for your continued support and prayers! Happy Thanksgiving! :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Nov. 17th update

I am going to post the pictures first, then the update below. I didn't get any information on the pictures, but it looks to be Elder Reed and his companion, Elder Puma. Enjoy the update!
Elder Reed & Elder Puma

From Elder Reed, in several emails: 
"I havent recieved any mail of any kind... sorry, but that is the truth for now. I have heard that if you are sending packages you might want to send it with Christian symbols on it. that way the people dont open the package and take anything before sending the package on, or just take the package by itself! Christian symbols: all over the box you might put crosses or scripture references that are cool that you have found this week!

on friday i was inside a building when a 5.8 earthquake hit... very scary!

Mom: remember those multicolored pipecleaners you had me put on my seminary scriptures for the minimission? well, they came in handy this week when my companion and I were in a lesson and there was a little boy who was just screaming his head off!!! i thought of those pipecleanersand I gave tham to him and there were no more problems from him for the rest of the night!

I have been struck by food enemy of north americans... the runs. Dont worry about it... the problem is being taken care of and the right people have been notified!

I did have some awesome food though, before my problem hit! I finally had something in the lobster family and some serious rice mounds! When I get home I want a pizza, milk, m&ms, and some sweedish fish (not actual fish, which I have eaten several times here and have liked!)

I was told that I should read, only after I get back, Miracle of Forgiveness and Doctrine of Salvation!

Los Souces is my area, ward, and I have no idea where it is on a map!

Elder Reed

I have some pics attatched and I am proud to say that I now have 2 months (8 weeks) under my belt as a missionary!"

"As it turns out, no missionary in Perù Lima East washes their clothing nor cooks their meals. We have what are called Pensionistas (os)... but generally pensionistas... that are paid out of the money we get every month to cook all our meals for us. For E[lder] Puma and I, we have another member who washes our clothes, but once we submit our ropa [clothes] we need to wait for 4-6 days!!! Yikes!

elder puma is from Arequipa, Peru

this is my goodbye this week!
E. Reed"

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Nov. 10th, 2014 update....

Here is Elder Reed's update for this week. It looks like the snail mail (postal system) is much less than desirable. He said he hasn't received any mail yet in that way, and I sent some letters before he even left. So, if you want to write him, please use the DearElder site he refers to (the DearElder website) - choose Peru Lima East Mission. This is free (through POUCH mail, when it is printed and sent with other mail going to the Mission from the Church), so it's the most likely way to get it there. Please know that this isn't necessarily a private way to send mail, as it will be printed by others and sent, but it is a way for him to receive mail.... and I think he is needing some mail. :) Enjoy and I hope to be able to post more pictures next week when I hear from Elder Reed. :) For now, here is his update: 

"Could you have everybody send letters using the DearElder site? that way i will definetly get the letters! 

[A] rather cool point though!... I was able to meet Elder Maxwell at the temple on my second day in the field, shake his hand, tell him that I had enjoyed his blog, and wish him success in his area!
The people here love to laugh and have a good time, but they know when it is time to work! 
I have yet to find a SERPost, but im looking ( and very new to the area!) Ive been able to see that going to church is a HUGE blessing, because all the people there believe the same thingand wont question you for what you say about believing!
There are sooooooooooooooo many dogs here in Los Sauces and they all poop and pee and sleep in the street. ive already stepped in two giant piles of poop!!! i aspire to be a millionare one day!!!
I think that next week im going to send pics, but only because i have like 4 minutes left!!! Please convey to everybody that missionary work is very very difficult, that it is exhausting, but that I have been able to see noticable improvements about my feelings towards others, about my spanish, and towards others.
Elder Reed
PS- callings are important and everyone needs you. When the bishop takes a chance and calls someone who might not be good for that calling, just think to yourself, "the Lord took a chance with me!" "

[For a little explanation, the Elder Maxwell he speaks of is another missionary in the field that has a blog here, and we were able to see a little about Peru before Michael left. :) 
Also, "SERPost" is apparently the Peruvian National Postal System.]

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Nov. 4th, 2014 update - in the field!

Elder Reed sent an email last night - he is officially in the field! It was a short, sweet email. :)

"I just thought i would tell you that I am safe here in Lima con Elder Puma (apperantly the best companion ever!!!) and I am in Los Sauces! I am humbled by the living conditions of those around me and I am very grateful I have the opportunity to live around them!

I would just like to remind you all again that I am very grateful for all your examples and that i cant wait to get to work! (In the taxi ride to my area, my compañero helped to spread the gospel to the driver and he was referred to missionaries in another area!

Hope you are all well, my next pday is ... en el campo. 
Nos vemos (google translate that...),
Elder Reed "

Looks like he is doing well! Los Sauces, from what I could find, seems to be in the southern part of the city of Lima. "Nos vemos" means, roughly translated, "I'll be seeing you!" So, until the next update, remember to count your blessings! They come in all sizes!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

October 30, 2014 update

Hello all - this is Sylvia (Momma) - this week's update is mostly pictures - YAY! :)  There were a few words from Elder Reed that I will post after the pictures - so enjoy! He leaves the CCM next week - time is flying by!

Name tags - it's real! :)

His district in the CCM.

The Lima Peru Temple

I love this note - it goes along with the picture below .....

This is their big rain in Peru! :)  I told him that it's not like when we got about 5 inches in 2 hours here in Tipp City - that's different for him!

Elder Reed and his District when they visited the Temple

For this picture, he had sent "Elders Sands, Van Uitert, and Mann - and I'm not sure who the one on the far right is...."  :)

Outside the Temple

Another view - this temple is very similar in design to the Chicago Temple. :)

It is a magnificent building!

"Holiness to the Lord - House of the Lord"

Elder Reed also tried to send a picture of Peruvian transportation (a chobi), but it didn't come through. However, he said this: "The small bus ... is called a combi. it fits anywhere from 2 to 45 people(depending on whether you like being a sardine and almost losing your hand because that is the only thing keeping your body from flying in the crazy driving of these peruvians!!!) I really like them!!!! and a ride only costs S/. .50 (.5 soles). search google for cramped peruvian combi! prepare to laugh!"  

He also said that his mission is entirely a walking mission, so no bike or driving. :) He also said, "i did however buy my first non-essential item today for 4.2 soles. a 3L bottle of granadilla, maracuyo, and mango fruit punch bottle! it is delicious!!!" - Soles is the currency of Peru - actually it is Nuevo Sol. Soles must be the plural? I know I (his Momma) have a lot of Spanish to learn! :)

Elder Reed said that he can't wait to get to the mission field, and it's coming so quickly! He also sent this message to all, "Also being here has taught me something else... please have everyone in our family make an effort to get to know the investigators that the missionaries bring to church! have them shake their hand, get to know them, show them around! most of the reason that they dont return is because they dont feel welcome! offer your help to the missionaries in that effort. you might need to directly say that you are willing to help with any new people that come to church, but the investigators need your help to!"
That's the update for this week - enjoy!

PS - He said he hasn't received any mail there yet - not sure how that's happened, so be aware that the mail system may be **very** bad. I know I sent a letter to him at the CCM before he left and it still hasn't gotten there. Hopefully he will receive items soon!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

October 23, 2014 update

[Well, this is the first post officially on the blog that no one has seen. I hope you enjoy these! I think this is the easiest way to share Michael's letters. Enjoy!]

[Michael's latest update, titled "1 month!!! Letter to family!" -]

Hey... Ive been here for one month today! Happy Birthday to Mom, Aunt Susan, and Abby today! 
I, along with my companion, Elder Sands, have been made a Zone Leader and we are scrambling to learn how to do our job in just the 2 weeks or so we have left!
I just want to say that I love you guys and that im able to have something of a conversation with the latinos here at the CCM [MTC ]! they know just about as much english as i know spanish!
 OHHH YEAH, ok so you all know how elder Sands and I were the only missionaries going to Lima East in the entire CCM? well now there are 9 others going! and 8 of them will be leaving with elder Sands and me. (They are in the two week program because they can already speak español). the other is a new, 6 week missionary from the USA!
 Edler Reed!

[When I asked him how he's doing, if he has been sick, if his allergies have been bothering him, etc.] "Ya ive been fine. the food hasnt once disagreed with me! Ive also got to liking pescado [fish]! its just a way to not eat only pollo [chicken]! ;) my allergies are fine, ive really gotten used to the air here (although pollution here is absolutely insane when im in the main part of the city!) and ive not been taking my pills. ¡yo no recuerdo que les tengo! [I don't remember that I have them!]"

[When I asked him how he is sleeping, and if he is sleepwalking at all] "i normally get into bed at 1030pm and am asleep within 3 minutes or less (usually less) and wake up at about 615... about 8 hours, but it will never be enough! i havent been sleepwalking" [but he said he has heard of some of the hermanas [Sister missionaries ] in his district have been sleep talking (and one in spanish!!!) he said he's so jealous! Lol!]

[So, he is doing well! Yay! Blessings!]

October 16, 2014 update

[Michael's Mission email update from this week - I have to say, it is a huge blessing having him on a mission and serving the Lord! :) ]

Thank you all for your support in my decision to come out here on a mission. i heard something this week that really struck me: every time we get a calling in this church, whether in the past, now, or in the future, all of them, were foreordained to happen. the callings were chosen in the Great Council in Heaven. And we accepted them there. food for thought!
im doing well. at the CCM here ive learned quite a few things: 1) every elder is different, but EVERY single one of them LOVES physical activity time here! 2)during my 3 weeeks here i have found out that im great at volleyball and even better as a goalie! 3) because of my physical activities i have acquired the nickname "Elder Ninja!" much an inprovement over "that guy" or "Mikey." 4)an elder in my dorm room (elder Van Uitert (van yewtert)) told me what constitutes a good listener and then complimented me on my listening skills!
i can honestly say that i havent had many problems adjusting to life away from the familiar... yet :) (not that i dont really miss you guys!). The only thing I really miss is being with my siblings all the time and all the opportunities i missed (although there again, my district pretty much, but not completely, covers the gap!
my spanish is progressing and ive been able to see that progression when i was listening to a pair of new elders give a lesson about the restoration. wow what a difference! I still want to be a lot better at comprehending and speaking though!!!
How is your spanish progression??? :) haha
With love,
Elder Reed
PS - on the last pday I was able to speak with someone who spoke english after the temple session I was in and it turned out that he was the president of the Lima Central mission and that his name was Presidente Borg! How awesome of a name is that?
[As a side note, my niece and her family know Presidente Borg - what a small world it is!]

October 9, 2014 update

I have now been here for 2 weeks and 2 days! Wow... every day feels like a month and every week feels like a day. i cant really put it into words! if this is to be what i´m to expect for the rest of my mission, i feel like ill be here for about 3 months!

[to his siblings, but applies to all of us!]: I would like to let you know that once you make up your mind you cant and shouldnt let anything or anybody get in your way of making that decision happen! once you have prayerfully considered your options, trust the feeling(s) you recieve and do all you can to follow through on them. in this short life that God has given us we cannot afford to be all wishy-washy in our decision making. we must act in the way that we feel is right for us!

I would also like to say that you shouldnt be daunted at what others say behind your back. if something is bothering you write it down and breathe with your stomach and not your chest. that way you are more relaxed.

As a final thing: feeling the spirit of the Lord comes in many forms. sometimes you get a quiet witness that you know what you need to do or a confirmation of a prayer recieved. othertimes you get a sign from nuestro Padre Celestial that you need to arrepentirse or something so massively in-your-face that you cant possibly miss it! Then there is the love the Lord that you feel for those you are with: nobody´s perfect and everybody has a distinct personality, but He still loves each and every one of you with a perfect love and He makes it VERY evident through those He calls as leaders. They really are there for those they serve! They laugh with you, wait for you, help you, and even cry for you (see 2 nephi 33:1-3 for my experience). Your leaders really want you to be the best you can be!

Thank you for all your support,
Elder Reed"

[Some more email info in other emails]
"appearently snail mail takes like 3 weeks to get here!... ugh!" [This is regular mail – so it seems that it takes awhile…]

"about [General ] conference... yeah i thought that was neat too. i was actually hoping to hear the native languages... not an english dub-over! Oh... and I bought a Peruvian fútbol jersey that i wont really wear until I get home because otherwise ill get it too dirty!" [We had been talking about the recent General Conference... ]

[We were talking about the Mentos candy he bought last week… and I asked him if he had things he wanted that they didn't have down there…] "the mentos were all i could find! im not sure they sell any other kinds of cheap candy... there M&Ms here are like 3.3 soles... and it seems a bit expensive, so i just go without! unlike every other missionary out here who blows away money on candy, inka kola, and casinos... a kind of good cookie. I can really say that. Down here!"

October 2, 2014 update

[This is Michael's first update to the family, and I will post it here. If there is anything in brackets, that's what we are inserting, not Michael's words... :) - To clarify, CCM is the Centro de Capacitacion Missional, which is the Missionary Training Center in Lima Peru.]

Dear Family,
In the week that ive been here i have been made a senoir companion (only for 3 weeks), made a Distric Leader (also for 3 weeks), given a priesthood blessing to one of the Hermanas in my District, cried a couple of times (because i felt the spirit and not because i miss home... although once i saw the pic of me, neil, and Megan I missed them!), eaten chicken (or some other kind of meat, but mostly chicken) for 2 out of every 3 meals ( the other 1 meal ALWAYS invovles an egg), found out that the District I preside over is possibly THE most talented group of singers in any MTC, CCM, or BYU campus... next to VocalPoint, and spent about 50 soles on my first pday. Although i wont be spending anywhere near that amount of dinero again. I just wondered just how many US dollars i spent. ( I got 2 sticks of mentos (2.20 soles), 1 sol for bus fare and spanish scriptures with cool LIMA, PERU covers (the rest of the soles).

Lo siento que yo no sé las palabras en Español por a escribir una buena carta, pero... im trying. im also enjoying the hour of recess they give us here at the CCM in return for sitting and eating, stugying, and listening for 13 hours!... Mis compañeros nombre es Elder Sands and im really glad that he is! There are 8 people in my district ( which makes it the smallest on campus (which is also really small)) and we have gotten along the best out of any group of missionaries you could ask for. Nobody feels left out.

Im still not yet sure about how to use pouch mail, but i still want to send letters!

Today i went to the temple and, it being in spanish, was still really cool.  :)

Thanks and I love you guys! I thank everyone else involved for mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally making my life in the mission field... CCM... possible.

Elder Reed

PS - actually i checked and there are only 2 elders going to the Perú Lima East Mission: elder Sands and myself... out of 130 missionaries!!!

PS [ again!] - those in my District:
Elderes: Me (Ohio), Elder Sands (Florida), Elder Wilson (California), and Elder Turner (California).
Hermanas: Hma. Stewart (Utah), Hma. Fairchild (Colorado), Hma. Walker (Utah), and Hma. Furness (Utah).

Welcome to the Mission Blog for Elder Reed!

This is where we (Michael's family) will post his weekly updates and any pictures. Please know that if there are specific family or friend messages, we will send those privately. :)

We have been so very blessed by Michael's service so far, and he is doing really well! He's been out for a month already - time is flying by!

Here is the picture of Michael right before he went through security at the airport and left for Lima, Peru -

It will be a few weeks before we have any pictures from Michael.
Enjoy the updates! :)