Friday, August 21, 2015

August 17th, 2015 update

Elder Reed's update this week (letter first, then pictures, and thanks to Elder Reed's brother for transcribing this!):

"17 Agosto 2015
Dearest Family & Friend
This week I walked and walked and then when we couldn’t think of anything more fun to do we walked some more!  Nah, broma!  But all that walking wasn’t in vain because I get to give a 10-15 min talk yesterday and I was blessed to have an interesting conversation with someone here in San Borja who has been having some trouble with peer pressure/social pressure.
First off I gave the discourse on Missionary Work… what else?! Apparently it went great because I only said, “I thought my companion stole/used all of my material, but it is ok” and later “Amen.”
The second point I would like to address is a bit lengthier. The topic sentence, though, would be: “Who am I?” Then the world seems to be completely against us and we don’t seem to have any choice because we want to fit in and have friends or fun we need to remember these words: “who am I?”
I will give you an example. I, Elder Reed, am 20 years old, I was a student of [a high school] in Ohio, I am a person with green eyes and I am about 5’10” tall. What am I forgetting? There is a Children’s hymn with just the answer we need: “I am a child of God.” What does that mean?
First off, let’s start by looking at what God cannot do and what He can do… in that order: nothing and anything! God is Almighty, All Powerful, and All Loving. He wants us to succeed. He gives us trials so that we might one day return to live with Him, the Creator of our soul and body (Abraham 3:24-26). If He wants something done it will get done!
Secondly as His children, we can also do anything that we desire so long as it is within the commandments and will of Him who gives all. If He wants us to refrain from drinking, smoking, and chewing WE CAN DO IT. If He wants us to be sexually pure WE CAN DO IT. If He thinks it is wise to become an Eagle Scout WE CAN DO IT. There is nobody who can make you do anything that you don’t want to do. I know from sad experience that I have no more control over my neighbor than my neighbor had over me! If we succumb to the will of another it is only because we allow that person to control us. The same thing applies with Satan. He can’t make us do anything. He can whisper and shout in our ears the things he wants us to do until he’s blue in the face, but ultimately it is our choice! As a shining example of resistance I would reference you to my younger brother Adam! You are the best Adam; don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise! :)
In conclusion we are sons and daughters of a God and as such we are entitled to his love, guidance, help, and forgiveness if we mess up!
I testify that the words that I have written are true and that we should always be ready to respond “I am a child of God and He has sent me here to testify of truth and righteousness” and I so do it in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 
 Love,Elder Reed  "

The pictures Elder Reed sent:

Apparently, this is just a baby cucuracha [cockroach] - yikes!
For this week, Elder Reed said "Hope you have enjoyed your week and spent it wisely! Remember who you are!" Have a great week!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

August 10th, 2015 update

Time is flying by! It's been 10.5 months already!

Elder Reed sent the cover of a 2014 Ensign magazine, with the following information: "This is a pic of that issue... and I know who is in it and where it was taken!!!!!!!!!! the boy is the son of my pensionista and the girl is his cousin! They live in the same house I do!!!!!! WOW I FEEL SO COOL!" See below...

It is definitely a small world in the Gospel! :)

Elder Reed said: "This week was a bit trying with the drizzle and colder weather, but I can't believe that ANOTHER week has flown by!" Very different from the heat of the Ohio Valley right now. :)

Here are some excerpts from his weekly letter: 

"Dear Family y Amigo(a), I just want to write Happy Birthday to all of you out there who have recently, are, or will shortly be celebrating your birthday!

This week was a week of miracles. First off, we had interviews with President Boswell. I have never before in my life been more at ease with the prospect of an interview than I am with my very own mission president. Second, while we were there waiting in line for interviews, we received a training for the Church referral site... If you have a referral, try to use "Referral Manager"... if it doesn't work, talk to the missionaries in your area. 

The third item on my list is that these past 2 weeks have seen a dramatic increase in the number of priesthood holders willing to go out with us to teach lessons. I felt very blessed to be in a ward where the member response is very much alive!

The fourth and fifth items are people we've met that we have started teaching. They both are what we as missionaries would call "chosen ones" because of their willingness to accept the Gospel [with all its truths] and here again: members coming with missionaries to the appointments! If you can help, please please try to find time to help the missionaries in your area fulfill their calling as servants of the Lord... [there are needs all around for help like this!] You will be blessed [as you give of your time for the Lord], the missionaries and the other person will be blessed, and there will be an extraordinary opportunity for the investigator to be fellowshipped, and you will have found a new friend! :)

I hope you enjoy your week! Love, Elder Reed"

August 3rd, 2015 update

Elder Reed's update this week consisted of the family and friends letter, so I'll type it here for you all:

"3 Agosto, 2015
Dear Family and Friend,
  How have you all been lately? I have walked a lot every day this week in the hopes that we will find a lesson. This week has been the 4th of July for Peru (the 28th of July is when they celebrate Independence Day). Almost exactly like the school district [back home in Ohio], we got no break for the 3 days that there was ABSOLUTELY NOBODY in the streets or in their homes. We've contacted mostly, but the Creator of All hasn't said "when there is a holiday, thou shalt rest (if thou be-ist mine missionary)", so I guess we continue until we become sick, are released as missionaries, or both.

  This week was cool (other than the walking we did) because we met with a member whom we have never met before and is having troubles in his family and he prayed. He prayed that he could receive help. We weren't told this until after my companion shared Alma 8:14-15. Read it and then read this paragraph again. That lesson sure made my day much better! [We never know how the Lord will have us help others!]

  Many people say that missionaries are angels in the flesh. The question now is, what is an angel? An angel is simply a heavenly messenger. With that in mind, all missionaries have been called by a living prophet of the Living God. They are later set apart for a period of time as messengers of the restored gospel, a heavenly message. Now we put together the two pieces of information and we have divinely called men & women who carry a message from heaven: Angels. 

  I bear my testimonio to you all that if you are willing to put God before yourself, you will not only be benefiting yourself, but the lives of all those around you. This is what God wants. This is why He wants it this way; you and I and everyone can be real instruments of good in His hands.

  I love you and wish you a very good week filled with blessings from on high!  Sincerely, Elder Reed"