Wednesday, July 29, 2015

July 27, 2015 update

Elder Reed at the Temple

"Me and my pizza box that shows I have super powers" - Ha ha :)

Elder Reed shared that he was able to go out and teach with one of the mission president's assistants, and he LOVED it! How awesome!!! :)

Here is Elder Reed's letter for this week:
"Dear Family and Friends,

This week I'll be writing specifically about the plan that our Father has proposed for each and every one of His children.

From the beginning we were spirits. We learned as spirits that we must come to an earth that would be prepared for us so that we could become like our Heavenly Father. He presented this plan by the which we might be perfect "even as [our] Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48) and there were many that jumped and shouted for joy at the prospect. God knew that we would make mistakes and thereby provided us with a Saviour, even Jesus Christ. Two individuals were chosen as our first earthly parents, ready and willing to give us the opportunity to obtain a body of flesh and bones whereby we might be tested in all things to prove to our Heavenly Parents that we are willing to accomplish all things which the Lord our God has commanded us.

When we reach the end of this mortal life we are called back to a waiting space, as spirits, and our aged or diseased body is left behind to wait for our awaited resurrection. Our living spirit continues to carry all of the traits that we acquired here in this life and enjoys a brief resting period called Paradise or a period of weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth [if we have not chose to follow the Saviour] because we have a perfect knowledge of everything we have done here in mortality and we won't have any chance to change that which we have done. From there, we will be judged and received our inheritance in a kingdom of Glory.

Death is not the end! Death is only the point in our eternal progression through which we must all pass. As the hymn "If You Could Hie to Kolob" says very articulately, and just how I would like to say it: "There is no end to glory. There is no end to life. There is no end to being. There is no death above."
There was a dear member that passed away this week in San Borja, but everyone now is more and more convinced and comforted, including me, of the plan we have from our Father to return to Him once more and "enter [...] into the joy of [our] Lord" (Matthew 25:23). This applies to all of us, but only "by obedience to [the] law upon which it is predicated (Doctrine & Covenants 130:21). 

I love you all and hope that you continue firm in the faith! Love, Elder Reed"

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

July 20th, 2015 update

This week, Elder Reed and I were "chatting" through email about the time it takes a letter to get there (snail mail, you know, the way mail used to always be delivered.... ha ha!) - Elder Reed said that it takes a letter between 3-6 weeks to get TO him from the U.S., but that it takes about 15 days for a letter to come FROM him to the U.S. and we are currently waiting to see if that's fairly accurate. We will know by next week. :)

Elder Reed again forgot to include his Mom on the general email sent out [*ahem*] and hopes he will remember next week. :)

One picture that was sent, showing a multizone picture of missionaries - this was apparently taken a couple of months ago:

From Elder Reed's letter this week: "For those in the States, how is the summer treating you? For those below the equator, how is the winter treating you? This week was pretty eventful as transfers were named / called, and I was told to stay in San Borja with Elder Cueva from Piura, Peru for another six weeks! With that notice, we received a call from the Zone Leaders on Friday, and we were told that President Boswell is going to accompany us for 4 hours this coming Thursday (my 10-month anniversary! :) )  I have mixed feelings as I know that having your mission president in 1 lesson is incredibly helpful and nerve-racking at the same time, but for 3-4 lessons! I look forward to seeing him.

This week I was able to witness the active power of the priesthood in the home no less than 2 times. I witnessed the father, the patriarch of the home, exercise righteously his priesthood authority to bless his family member. There is a scripture I like on the topic of Fatherhood and the incredible gift that is the priesthood: Matthew 7:11 - "If ye then, being evil" {I'm not saying you are evil! - it's just a part of the verse!} "know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father, which is in Heaven, give good things to him that ask him?"

Now I was very blessed to have been a witness to blessings before, but never before has a priesthood blessing affected me so much so. The recipients not only have a loving Father in Heaven, but are also blessed with a loving earthly father or husband that is worthy and willing to use their God-given gift for the benefit of the other sons and daughters of God. That is what the priesthood is all about: service to others and service to God. I am so very grateful that I am counted worthy to have the Higher Priesthood and can participate in the salvation of so many people all at once. Like a temple recommend, I exhort you all to be constantly worthy to participate in and/or exercise the power and authority of our Creator! The blessings will come! I guarantee it! 

I love you and wish you a great week! Love, Elder Reed"

[This catches up the updates for now - remember to count all your blessings - there are so many!]

July 13th, 2015 update

Elder Reed's update for this week was interesting, as he forgot to send it to his Mom [*ahem*], so she had no idea what was going on! :)

Elder Reed sent a handwritten letter home, but did email the following, with a few pictures:
"Well my week went by pretty fast as it was also my birthday! I am officially 20 years old now!

I just thought I would tell you that this week I didn't have time to write you a big letter... only this one: A...hahaha

Elder Reed"

[Oh, what a funny boy he is! :)  ]

Elder Reed and the birthday he got from his Mission President and his wife :)

July 6th, 2015 update

For the week of July 6th, 2015:
Elder Horo, Elder Gleason, E., Elder Cueva, Me
Elder Reed's family letter shared these thoughts: "This week was one of the strangest and most time-consuming weeks (event-wise) I've had in all my mission. But out of it, we had a baptism and confirmation of a convert to the Gospel. She was truly ready to be baptized. ... E. [names kept private of individuals] eagerly took hold of the lessons of the missionaries (Elder Horo, Elder Gleason, Elder Cueva, and I). . . Her baptism wasn't perfect... started and ended late, and she [had to be] submerged in freezing cold water 3 times [before everything was right], but all the missionaries that had ever taught her were able to attend her baptism! (See above)

Spiritual thought: Doctrine & Covenants 131:6 - If we want to reach our exaltation, serve a mission, or finish our Master's degree, we MUST STUDY. We must also be willing to make mistakes and learn from them. We cannot simply say that "I didn't know" and move on. God gave us our minds and a multitude of opportunities to use them. "A mind is a terrible thing to waste!"

Nonspiritual thought: If I have a bee in my hand and am showing it to others, what do I have? Answer: Beauty. Why? Because beauty is in the eye of the bee-holder.  HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA." Elder Reed then drew a little picture:

:)  Elder Reed's closing thoughts for this week:
"I would like to bear you my testimony of the fast and the spiritual strength we receive when we fast. That when the Lord said, "Prove me now herewith", He meant it! The blessings we receive from abstaining from food or drink for 24 hours every first Sunday of the month are real and real powerful! I don't think we can afford not to fast! With love, Elder Reed"

Friday, July 3, 2015

June 29th, 2015 update

Elder Reed's only picture this week, aside from the photo of the family letter, was this:

For any of you that know Elder Reed personally, this is his **favorite** food! :)  His own words about it: "We got to have Subway for lunch in the Multizona!!!! Even though we aren't allowed to eat lettuce it was the best sub i've ever had!!!" :)  [I guess once you go without something for awhile, it tastes even better, even when there isn't lettuce on it! Ha ha]

Elder Reed also shared this song that he had heard, "Have I Done Any Good?" - - It is an awesome song! Remember, every effort for good in this world DOES make a difference! :)

From Elder Reed's family letter this week: "Hey family! Got a great headline: New Bishop in San Borja! After 4 months without one to act as the head of this ward. Now we need to let him know we are willing and ready to work for him and help him!" Elder Reed went on to talk about cool news and experiences of the week. 

"We have a member here who reactivated himself back into the Church and is seriously preparing himself to enter the temple and serve a mission. He is at the age limit (25) and is in contact with [the mission president] to get himself ready." [How cool is that?!] Elder Reed said that they had a Multizona conference [several Zones of missionaries meet together] in which over 80 of the over 200 missionaries attended. He was able to speak with his mission president to see if there was anything else they could do to help this young man prepare to serve, and the mission president said (after Elder Reed's explanation of what they were currently doing), "He will be just fine. Keep doing what you're doing." :)

During the Multizona conference, Elder Reed shared some instruction they'd been given. "every night, we are to kneel and pray as a mission [at a specific time]. That way, we can be more united in our efforts of Salvation." Awesome! Elder Reed and the missionaries were also told that the mission president had read in his guidebook that missionaries should be in their respective wards serving for 6-8 months, and that hasn't always been happening there. [They were transferred more frequently than that.] Elder Reed then calculated that he could potentially only have 3 areas for the remainder of his mission. He has been out for over 9 months now - time surely flies by!!

Elder Reed's spiritual thought: "Read Doctrine & Covenants 60:1-5, 61:1-4 & 22, and 62:4-8. What is important to the Lord? What isn't? Remember that God gave us each a brain and enough juice to make our own decisions. The God of All won't always lead us along by the hand. Sometimes we need to make up our minds and just go! God wants us to be dependent on Him, but not dependent for everything. That is the reason we have working minds and prayer, to be wise servants of our Heavenly Father! :)  God loves you, and so do I, Elder Reed"

Until next time, remember that we have the agency of choice, and we can choose good! :)