Monday, May 25, 2015

May 18th and May 25th, 2015 updates

[Elder Reed's update from the 18th was short, so I figured I would wait until today's update and do two at once - bonus! No pictures either week though.]

From May 18th update: For the preparation day, the Elders got to play some monopoly. Then, the missionaries will be moving out of the place they were in, so they are going to be doing a lot of painting. From Elder Reed: "my not-so-spiritual thought is to take care of what you have. Make sure that it will survive to the next generation! That way lots more people can enjoy it! My spiritual thought for this week comes from 1 Nefi [Nephi] 6 (the entire chapter - it is 6 verses long). We need to keep our testimony of this book alive and strong (testimony of the Book of Mormon) or obtain our own testimony if we don't have one. There is nothing in this book that doesn't have meaning to us in our day. This promise is also in Jacob [a book in the Book of Mormon] and I will let you search it out, but the point is, are we really converted to this book? I have such a testimony that this book can answer just about any problem you have."  

In another email, Elder Reed said "Thanks for the things that you [Mom] taught me when I was home! I might not necessarily have listened to every one of them, but now I have the grand opportunity to apply them! They work wonders and I still don't know why I didn't listen earlier!!!" [Mom replied that these lessons usually come back once the young one has "flown the coop", as Elder Reed has done, and his Mom is grateful he's able to apply the lessons from his younger years, better late than never! :)]

From May 25th update: "Well, I and my fellow missionaries from the CCM [Peru mission training center] have hit and passed 8 months in the field. When I look back on this time, I find it difficult to imagine I've been here for this long! 

Una noticia: en esta semana tuvimos tres días con 2 lecciones o menos. Fue feo, pero no hay NADA que pude hacer. Recorde la frase de Papa "Mama always said there'd be days like this." Lo bueno es que caminamos por areas que nunca he visto antes. [Rough translation is "News: In this week we had three days with 2 lessons or less. It's ugly, but there was NOTHING I could do about it. I remember the phrase of Papa, "Mama always said there'd be days like this." The good thing is that we have walked to areas that I haven't been to before."]

The weather's changed here in Lima East. Last week the temperature and clouds were the same I'd seen for the last 6 months: hot [temperature] and barely there [clouds]! Then, all of a sudden, the clouds rolled in, the temp dropped about 10 degrees Fahrenheit, and started to sprinkle a hardly-visible-ice-cold-rain. WOW that was different! As long as we kept moving I was fine, but the instant I stopped, the "rain" felt super cold. 

My not-so-spiritual thought .... I remember telling Grandma Reed before the mission 2 things: "You can't find anybody rich enough that could pay me enough money to live in a big, crowded, polluted city" and "that if I had my choice, I wouldn't eat chicken. I'm just not a big fan of chicken." I believe that the God of Heaven & Earth heard this and said to Himself, "now where can I send him that he will be humbled by a large city that eats chicken for just about 95% of the meals?" Peru Lima East was the answer. With that: keep laughing; it makes your day much better!"

Elder Reed also included his spiritual thought in the letter to his Mission President, which he'd copied in his email home, and I don't think he would mind me sharing it here: "The good news is that I have been feeling a little down because there wasn't any real tangible evidence that I was helping the sons and daughters of The Most High here in Perú until Elder Loertscher sent me a pic of an investigator that Elder Moreyra and I started teaching, in baptismal clothing!!!!! It was then that I realized that I really am making some difference here even if I can't immediately see it! I also realized that our efforts aren't ever forgotten or dismissed. I felt so great after that!"

Also, Elder Reed shared that he is having some trouble with his knees and back with all the walking and the heavy bag he is carrying, so any prayers for him would be appreciated. Thanks so much for all your continued support! 

Friday, May 15, 2015

May 11, 2015 update

A "Mototaxi" there in Estaca Vitarte

Preparation day - bowling!

Elder Reed eating at a Burger King - expensive, but "IT WAS SOOOOO GOOD!" :)

Preparation day - cleaning the apartment! :)

Elder Reed said that he wished all Moms a Happy Mother's Day - the family had a great time speaking with him on Mother's Day [especially his Momma! :) ]. 

Here are a couple more pictures Elder Reed shared this week:
Elder Arroyo, me, Elder Horo, and Elder Wilding

Celebrating the success at having opened the accidentally-locked door to the bathroom! :)
Elder Reed shared that he is very grateful he was able to speak with his family in Ohio and Indiana on Mother's Day, as he missed hearing speakers from his "native land". :)  We (his family) learned that he'd twisted his ankle several months ago, but that it is healing nicely. We appreciate all the prayers in his behalf!

Elder Reed's spiritual thought for this week: "This week's spiritual thought comes from. . . the scriptures. :)  John 13:16. Read it & then think of your position wherever you are. Why do you think you are there? God knows you have the ability to do well in your area. He wants you now to use that position for "the perfecting of the saints" in your [sphere of influence]... and maybe even the future saints. Remember that God is no respecter of persons and that he holds everybody in the same respect. As should we!"

Until next time, Elder Reed wishes everyone a great week!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

May 4, 2015 update

Elder Reed & Elder Horo - after playing soccer :)
Elder Reed shared a picture of him and his companion after playing soccer on their preparation day. He said, "My team won! ... cough cough... uh, ok, my companion says it was a tough game and it was! Please enjoy your week and have a happy new year!... well when it comes!" [We all have a little ways until the new year, but we can practice counting our blessings each day!]

Here is some of Elder Reed's family letter from this week: "My companion and I have been working for the past 2 weeks without a phone and we are doing relatively well! We haven't yet reached perfection, but we are certainly trying! [Elder Reed then shared where all his companions have been from.] Elder Sands, from Florida USA; Elder Puma, from Arequipa, Peru; Elder Moreyra, from Iquitos, Peru; Elder Vasconez, from Ecuador; and Elder Horo, from Chimbote, Peru.

This week, I had several lessons in fellowshipping. Imagine [that] you have just been converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints by 2 young men or women and you feel a great desire to attend church and the meetings and activities, but there is something in the air that doesn't feel right. This something is a lack of fellowship on the member's part. They don't smile at you, wave, or include you in activities or classes and you don't know why. Sound familiar? Whether it is a recent convert or there has been a ward boundary change, it is the same. If we don't put forth our effort [as members of the Church] to show that we are truly members of The Church of Jesus Christ, they won't stay in our chapels for long. Make a noteworthy effort to include people foreign to the ward in all that we do and every aspect possible to build friendships and keep them interested!

That was my spiritual thought for the day, week, and for Sundays in particular. I sincerely hope that nobody was hurt by what I had to say! It is a real problem here and everywhere and I felt the need to pass it along. I also hope you all will do the same in your respective wards! It is a great way to help the work of salvation! Thanks!"

Elder Reed received letters and a package sent by his Mom :) and was really excited about that. [Related to his package, he said, "What joy my companionship has to see that white envelope of goodness..." - I laughed out loud!]

This week we will be able to talk to Elder Reed, and we are all every excited! Until the next update, take care and remember that you are loved by our Savior!