Wednesday, April 29, 2015

April 27, 2015 update

This week, Elder Reed shared some awesome photos - here you go! I loved his explanations for each photo, so I just copied them here. :)

"The last day that (in order) E. Arroyo, me, E. Vásconez, and E. Maxwell were together in Estaca Vitarte"
"Elder Horo, M., and I under the sign for the chapel"
"Us 3 and her family (HOW COOL WAS THAT TO HAVE THE FAMILY THERE???!!!)"
Elder Reed also shared part of his weekly letter to his Mission President, President Boswell. I thought I would just paste it here, as it is so powerful!

"Oh, Presidente Boswell,
I can't begin to tell you how happy I am that Elder Horo is my companion. He and I combined are relatively new in the Barrio Tilda ( with 2 months cumulative work) but I am UBER excited to tell you that we started the cambio off with a baptism and a confirmation. Both of us think that it is a really good way to start the transfer and I couldn't agree more!

We have been thinking of ways that we could work better with members and we finally came up with talking with the Bishop! Imagine that...l how simple could it be? The good thing is that he is a returned missionary himself. The better thing is that we as the missionaries of his ward have an incredible relationship! We do whatever he asks and he loves to listen to our opinions and ideas to better la Obra Misional en su barrio y en su consejo de barrio. :)

The fact that we even had a baptism this week is a miracle in itself. 1) we don't have a working phone, 2) we forgot to get the keys from a member of the ward for the baptismal interview, 3) we forgot to check to see if we had clothes for her to be baptized, and 4) we had never met her family before and they came to support her at her baptism!

During all this time I was saying in my head that "I will have faith in You [Heavenly Father]! I will just keep going and know that You have this all figured out even if I don´t! Please give me the tranquilidad to continue moving onward!" 

Everything fell into place like clockwork! I have never seen so many answers to one prayer all in a row like that in my mission or in my life! I know that prayers are answered! There isn't a doubt in my mind!

With love,
Elder Reed"

Elder Reed also said that he loves his new companion, E. Horo, and they both served before in close to the same area. Their areas shared the Los Sauces building. So, they came from a rich area to a not-so-rich area and the "LOVE IT! More than Inka Kola!" :) 

That is the update for this week. Remember to count your blessings, for there are always many of them, Heavenly Father is always there helping us! 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

April 13 & April 20, 2015 updates...

[I apologize for missing last week's update. By the time I realized it - as it was a very busy week - I figured it would be easier to update 2 weeks at once. Bonus!! :)  I appreciate everyone's patience! Thanks!]

The week of April 13th, Elder Reed sent a few pictures, one which made him very happy. He was able to eat a "real" hamburger and thoroughly enjoyed it! 

If that is all that was left at that point, that was one BIG hamburger! :)
Elder Reed also found a new card for the mission there - enjoy those photos also!
Mission card - information about the time spent serving

He stated that he goes "to bed every night and it is 80ºF and it feels so nice! I think I will freeze [when I get back home] because there is no real climate variation here!". :) 

His cousin has been serving in Accra Ghana [and comes home very soon - time FLIES by!] and they will both have quite a climate shock!

Elder Reed and I had talked a little about the power outage he'd experienced during his online time the previous week. He said that the Peruvians love their sole-per-hour internet, and the power outages don't happen very often. [Soles is the Peruvian form of money.]

During the last part of our conversation, I had asked him how his shoes were holding up. Apparently he had to send one pair in for repairs.... I had no idea! Then, he was gone for the day, so I wasn't able to hear more of that story until this week, which is continued below...

For the April 20th update, Elder Reed sent some more pictures. I must say, I was squeamish when he was telling me the story! First, some pictures....

From Elder Reed: "First off..... I killed a big rat that we found above our window IN our apartment! WOW it was hard to catch, but I eventually cornered it  (and stepped on it by accident!) to rid ourselves of it... It had been in our apartment for about 5 months, so releasing it out into the street wouldn't work and I already stepped on it, so I had no choice because it was already injured!" Oh, the adventures!

Elder Reed also sent some pictures of his shoes - WOW - I had no idea!

Related to his shoes being fixed, Elder Reed said: "What happened was that there is a member in my ward that owns a zapatería (shoe shop) except he actually makes the shoes. They are fakes, but they still look cool (DC and other brand name shoes)! I asked him if he would be willing to help us out because our shoes were a mess! really awful! When I got them back they had NO SMELL WHATSOEVER!" That's always good news! :)

Here are also some excerpts from Elder Reed's letter for this week: 

"20 Abril, 2015 - 3 days before 7-month mark [where does the time go?!] - Well, today is officially the end of this transfer, and I will probably be getting another companion. This week, missionaries from the CCM [training center] came to practice proselyting with us in the field as part of their learning process and I was given a companion: Elder Carr. My real companion also was assigned to help somebody else. We were given a list of people to try to meet and an area to do it in... Well everyone in my list was dead or they didn't live in the area, so we made some contacts. I was then able to see just how much I [had] progressed instead of seeing how far I had to go (that was really refreshing)!!!!

I sent those big Liahona walking shoes in for repairs last week because the fabric around my heel was deteriorating so badly you could've placed your entire fist in the hole it created. [See also above explanation.] I got them back this week and they look refortified and they didn't have a smell! It was HEAVENLY... :)

Spiritual thought: Do we really understand the scriptures? Do we understand how we can apply them to our lives or the lives of others? I'll admit I don't fully understand them; for example, Ether 12:27. ["And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."] What does it say: Well, for starters, if we humble ourselves that God will make weaknesses into strengths. Well. What does it actually say? God is saying that He gave us weaknesses and faith. With that faith, we are supposed to take our weaknesses to the Father of All in prayer, believing that He will help us; in this process, we will be humbled sufficiently to make those weak things become strong.

And with that I would like to say just how much I love you all . . . More love than fits in this letter, Elder Reed :) "

Until next time, remember the blessings all around, even if they show as a weakness which we can make a strength through
our Lord!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

April 6, 2015 update

This week, Elder Reed decided to send his letter home via SERPost (ie, snail mail), so there isn't much to tell at this point [I hope that we see the letter soon!]. There were also no pictures. He had to deal with a power outage during the time he usually emails. I'm not sure if that happens frequently there or not.

In any event, Elder Reed wanted to share a spiritual thought. "My thought would have to be to watch the first priesthood session talk given by M. Russell Ballard [during the LDS Church's annual General Conference - it is linked at the left]. Apply those questions to yourself and not as a missionary, if you aren't one, and then reflect on how you can improve!" 

Until next week - remember to count the many blessings in your life - they are there!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

March 30, 2015 update

This week, Elder Reed sent a lot of pictures, so we'll start with those. :)

Elder Reed and hermano [brother] after a service project - destroying and carrying away the garbage of an old brick building.

This is a picture of P. and his family, a member of Elder Reed's ward who was baptized after he turned 8 years old.

Elder Reed, his companion, P., the Ward Mission leader, a member of the ward and his daughter, and P´s Mom and, up front is P's hermano.

Elder Reed and Hermano Manuel - who Elder Reed says looks like his own brother. :)

Elder Reed's letter spoke of the service project they did with destroying and carrying away the garbage from an old brick building. He said that he is feeling a little ill from the dust, but that he had a blast helping with the project. :) He said that it reminded him of all the times he helped with various projects in the Piqua Ward [here in Ohio]. :)

Elder Reed said he's been teaching English classes for about a month now. He said that more people are slowly coming to the classes and that everyone wants to learn English there. He was told that, in order to be successful there in Peru, one has to know how to speak English. So, he's able to help with that!

Elder Reed included some Spanish - 

[My rough translation is the following, with some online translation help: And how are you? I feel sleepy every day, but I have, for some reason, the ability of getting up at 6:30 every morning. My clock is set for 6:25. At this time, I get up and pray. And from that moment, every day is different." ... I hope I am close!]

Elder Reed is looking forward to Mother's Day, when we will get to hear from him again [his Momma is especially excited!]. Time is moving by so quickly!

Elder Reed's spiritual thought this week comes from his experience with members who go with the missionaries to help teach and search for those brothers and sisters who would hear the message of the Lord - "There are some things that missionaries can't do or say that you as members can! Please support your local missionaries by going out with them to a meeting once in awhile!"

[And as my own addition to the spiritual thought this week, may you each have a blessed Easter, remembering that the Savior of the world LIVES! Until next time, remember the blessings all around you!]