[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!