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!