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! :)