Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Feb 8th, 2016 update

Elder Sinuiri's last day! Well done, thou good and faithful servant of the Lord!
[Elder Reed also shared a picture of his feet/legs after climbing a hill/mountain for 90 minutes, then coming back down in under 15 minutes - but it wasn't pretty, so I didn't post it here. Ha ha! Let's just say, there was a LOT of dirt. :) ]

Elder Reed stated that this week was rough because his companion of many weeks, Elder Sinuiri, finished his mission, and that was tough. Elder Reed also talked about his trip up and down the hill/mountain, and how dirty he got. He said he was able to see the Pacific Ocean, the Temple, and other Zones from there. 

Elder Reed also shared that they got to visit a lot of families this week, and he didn't realize how important it was to do that simple thing, that by visiting, they were able to share an invitation to come to church, or to share thoughts with them that were just what they needed.

Elder Reed is still in Huachipa for the time being, and Elder Reed is not District Leader now, as someone else needed that opportunity. Elder Reed didn't want anyone to be surprised at that - he hasn't done anything wrong. :)  

Elder Reed was able to do divisions during the week and he said it was very hot there. He said that this year, it seems that the summer will be very hot. 

Elder Reed shared the thought that everything happens for a reason, and that he hopes everyone is doing well. Until next week!

Feb 1st, 2016 update

This week, I will convey Elder Reed's words first, then you can see the pictures. :)

Elder Reed said that this week was short. He said he is realizing more and more that time is not something in great supply, that there is less and less time in the day to complete the tasks needed. Elder Reed also got two packages (which took a couple of months to get there), and he really enjoyed that.

This week, for the p-day, they went to play futbol (soccer) with another zone and really enjoyed their time together. The Zone had matching shirts. :)  Elder Reed's number was the infinity sign, and Elder Meik's shirt had the same number. So, Elder Reed said "it is infinity to the infinity power". :)

Elder Reed said he really enjoyed playing futbol. He also said that, this week, they had to go up a huge hill to visit some members, and they were able to see his area (see below), and he could see several areas, as well also saw a dead scorpion [eww!]. He also said he's started reading the Book of Mormon again through, and he has set aside more time to read the scriptures and it has been a great help to him!

Elder Reed said that they were sitting at the side of the road at one point, and there was so much dust being thrown up by the trucks and traffic that they could only hear the trucks and see a dust cloud. Wow!

Elder Reed also shared that he has started writing in almost full Spanish, so to help him better his Spanish skills. He also said that this week was interview with President (Mission President) week. He really likes him because he cares, and he is very simple in what he says. It's fitted exactly to the situation that is going on, and Elder Reed shared how grateful he is that he is with President Boswell.

Elder Reed said that, this week, they got to each lunch with the Stake Patriarch, and they really enjoyed it. They talked about how patriarchs are called, what they do, and how their callings work, and what they feel during the time they are giving the blessings (patriarchal blessings). Elder Reed said that he really enjoyed learning more about that. 

Elder Reed shared his spiritual thought this week. It is centered in the fact that we are children of our Heavenly Father. But, He won't give us everything at once. That is against His policy. If we feel that we aren't good enough, we aren't. We aren't perfect. We aren't going to be perfect in this life. But, Father gave us the ability to progress. He gave us moral agency (not free agency, because it wasn't free - there was price paid by Jesus Christ, our Savior, which He was willing to do because He loves us each that much!) - we were all given moral agency to choose what we would do in this life. We can choose to better ourselves, and, line upon line, precept upon precept, we will be given what we need. In everything, we are progressing if we are faithful. Father will help us along the way! We all need to give thanks to our Father in Heaven for all we have. When we give thanks, we can see how much we have been given and how far we've come.

Until next time - give a prayer (or two or three) of thanks - there are so many blessings around us!

the futbol field
Zona Campoy

Elder Reed, the Lamanite
a view of the area
another view of the area
dead scorpion.... [ eww!!! ]

another view of the area - 
lots of infinity going on :)

[Sorry the pictures are out of order. Lovely technology. Haha]

Jan. 25th, 2016 update

Elder Reed shared pictures of his old shoes - that had lasted him from the beginning of his freshman year of high school until now (5 years!), had been to the shoe repair store 3 times in 2 different areas in Peru, but had finally kicked the last bucket. Definitely well-worn! :)

He also sent pictures of a couple of shirts he has for preparation day...

The audio recording came in two parts this week. One was labeled for last week (when he sent just some pictures) and the other was for this week. So, from last week's audio, Elder Reed shared an apology for not sending the letter last week :)

He said that they ate a lot of food on Sunday that they thought was guinea pig (a Peruvian food), but then they figured out a few days later that they'd been part of a practical joke and it wasn't guinea pig. :) He said it was still good though!

Elder Reed said there was a lot of traffic again, and they ended up walking between 2-3 kms from a member's house to the Church building, and it was solid traffic, lots of trucks and dirt, and it was "just crazy". 

Elder Reed shared that they were able to see the power of the Book of Mormon. As missionaries, they chose to utilize it more and they were excited by the change and power that came, and from the experiences learned by using it. They had some divisions this week and he enjoyed the companion he had at the time (Elder Meik [sp?]). 

This week, the missionaries fulfilled their goals - they were able to contact 50 people, they were able to ask 50 people for references, and invite at least 10 people to baptism - they actually invited 11, and were so excited to reach their goals for the week!

Elder Reed also shared that they were able to go to the store and get new shoes this week (it was a much-needed trip for Elder Reed - ha ha!). The shoes are a size 44 (in Europe and Peru). :)  

Elder Reed's spiritual thought for this week is that everyone who does the will of the Father, who puts in their effort diligently, will receive great blessings. They will feel good with what they have done, they will feel pleased with the efforts given. Elder Reed shared his love with everyone. 

For the second installment for this week, Elder Reed stated that the week went very quickly. They had a lot of meetings during the week. They were able to participate in a world-wide training broadcasted from Salt Lake City just for missionaries. They were able to listen to apostles and other leaders, and it was a great boon for them. 

Elder Reed also spent more time with divisions this week, which he enjoyed. He also learned that there will be interviews with the mission president, which Elder Reed also enjoys. :)

Elder Reed hopes that everyone is doing well. He also shared a scripture and his testimony - that we are promised by the Lord that, as we share our testimony in solemnity of mind and in prayer, we can be forgiven of our sins and we will come closer to the Lord.

Until next time - remember that each day is a blessing!

Jan. 18th, 2016 update

Here are some pictures of Elder Reed and his companion doing service work in Huachipa.

Elder Reed didn't send a voice message or letter this week, but there are two next week. :) Enjoy the pictures!

Jan. 11th, 2016 update

Elder Reed didn't have many pictures this week.

Elder Sinuiri
Elder Reed said that he got to go to the temple this past week and it was a very amazing experience - it's always a blessing to get to go there.

Elder Reed shared that he was so surprised that his sister was at college already, that he hadn't realized how quickly time was going by. He said, "They went and ... boom! I feel like that snuck up and threw a cat on my face! Man, that was scary!" :)

Elder Reed said he finally got a map of his area where he is at and it's really large compared to where he had been. Elder Reed also said he'd finally had a dream that was in both Spanish and English and he could tell the difference.

He stated that they've been able to visit with a lot of less-active members and he was grateful for that time with them. The Elders also had a really cool District meeting. He said they learned a lot and that was what can happen when you let the Holy Spirit teach the lesson. Then he shared how he'd heard Elder David Bednar once say something like "at a meeting, don't take notes on the stuff that's said, take notes on the stuff that's NOT said, and that will be what you need to learn".

Elder Reed shared that they got a visit from missionaries from the CCM, and he realized how much he has progressed from his first weeks there in the mission. He was very grateful for that realization. He also said there was a LOT of traffic this past week in his area and it slowed down the work they were able to do. [I'm not sure if they couldn't get to as many places or not, but Elder Reed stated that, when he returns home, he'll share that experience as he had written it in his journal.]

Elder Reed shared his testimony that the temple is the house of the Lord, that it is a place on the earth designated by God where we can make covenants with Him that will enable us to stride into eternity and live with Him again. All we need to do is be worthy to enter the temple, then we go through the temple, then we keep those covenants, be faithful to them, and to our Father, until the end of our days.

Elder Reed shared his love and hopes that each of us remembers to go back to the basics. Learn the basics, live the basics, smile always, and "come what may, and love it"[quote from Elder Joseph Wirthlin].  Laugh, smile, say Hi to others - someone is waiting for you to give them a chance to be happy forever.

Until next week -

Jan. 5, 2016 update

[Elder Reed sent a few pictures for this week's update, so we'll start with those.]
"traffic, traffic"  :)

"and more traffic! how exciting!!!" :)
Elders Ponce, Russell, Reed, and Sinuiri

Elder Reed sent another voice recording. This week, he didn't get to email on the regular day, but one day later, as they were going to go to the Lima Peru Temple - how exciting! He said that he was excited that the new year is here, and that he is amazed that he has spent all of 2015 in Peru - time has been going so quickly! He said that it seems like 2 days ago that he was in the airport leaving the States.

They had transfers this week and he has a new companion, Elder Sinuiri. He will be with Elder Sinuiri as he completes his mission there in Huachipa. 

Elder Reed talked about fasting and how grateful he is that Heavenly Father has given us all a way to be more spiritually closer to Him so that we all can have more strength. He shared that he never before understood the power that can come from fasting. 

Elder Reed shared that he figured out that there are 6 North American Elders that will be finishing their mission at the same time. He said the previous group had 20 finishing at the same time, and the group before that had another 20. Wow!

Elder Reed said that he is still learning a lot as a District Leader and that it's wild trying to communicate things when there is little or no time to do that. :)  He said that they were able to go last minute to a baptism and it was such a wonderful experience. 

Elder Reed shared his love for each of you, and thanked you for your help. He shared that he knows each of us will be blessed as we read our scriptures, pray daily, and helping the missionaries in whatever way possible. 

Until next week - remember to count the many blessings!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Dec. 28, 2015 update

[Lots of pictures this week :) We'll start with those! ]
Los Sauces after a year
Elder Sands and I after a year
Elder Sands, Cruz, Reed and Moreno after 1 year in the field

Zona Campoy eating at a buffet
Elder Garate and Elder Reed having some "air fun"
Hermana Boswell, Presidente Boswell, and Elder Reed
Elder Reed's voice recording shared that the week was very quick - he was still with the trio, and he also got to do divisions. He really liked that. He also got to speak with the family on Christmas day and REALLY enjoyed that. :)

Elder Reed said he loved getting to have a picture taken with the mission president as well. :)

Elder Reed shared his testimony that he knows we have our trials and tests for a reason - so we can learn. So we can grown in strength and in wisdom. He also shared that he knows those around us are here for a reason - we have things we can learn from them. He shared that he knows that what missionaries do is tough, but that it's worth it. He also said: "The things in life that we want more should be things that we work for. If we don't put any effort into it, it doesn't give us joy or satisfaction for very long. Just remember that!"

He then shared his testimony in Spanish, which the transcriber couldn't translate easily. :) Elder Reed did share his love, and said to have a good week! 

Dec 22, 2015 update

Elder Reed said "I want to let you all know that I very much wish you all a Merry Christmas/Feliz Navidad and a happy New Year/Feliz Año Nuevo!" :)

He also shared this miracle that happened: "My miracle this week comes from my experience as a District Leader. My companion and I were ending the day and I needed the info about what we were to do on Monday and Tuesday so we stopped at the edge of the signal range and started to make calls... but nobody answered! We decided to wait for 20 minutes, but nobody called back in that time either! We started heading back to the room, where there isn´t signal, when I got a call from the zone leaders. At the same time I got a call from the other area in my district. I finished with the zone leader´s call and started to call the other area when we went completely out of range. We decided to go to the 3rd floor of the church to find signal again AND IT WAS OPEN!!!! WOW that was cool! When we went up to the 3rd floor though, there still wasn´t a signal. I tried turning on and off the cell like normal and waiting a bit, but as 9pm was drawing nigh I was getting desperate and so I said a prayer asking for the signal to make just 1 call! I finished the prayer and looked up to see that we still didn´t have signal. I then remembered that faith requires action, that without action faith means nothing, and so I decided to try calling one more time. The cell wouldn´t let me call, but when it finished telling me so I had full signal strength! I am so glad I don´t need big miracles that slap me back and forth across the face to know that Father loves me, hears and answers my prayers!"

the District eating at a Chinese restaurant :)

Elder Reed tries his skills at creative photo taking.

Elder Reed shared that his companion finished his mission, so he (Elder Reed) was in a companionship of three for a few days. He said that was a little bit of a different experience because they have such a large area. He also got to go back to the CCM for a day to get a new companion. He said that he had to travel for a whole day and he didn't like feeling like he wasn't doing much at all. [I guess he's used to working hard!]

Elder Reed also said that his last interview with President Boswell went well and he really loves talking with him. [ They have regular interviews with the mission president. ] 

Again, he wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! :)

Dec 14, 2015 update

Elder Reed shared a letter in voice this week, and was excited that he would be able to communicate with family on Christmas. Elder Reed shared that he's had a good week. The Elders were able to go to the center of Lima and make some purchases. He spent 10 soles on ice cream (see below) and usually he only spends about 3 soles on ice cream, but he thoroughly enjoyed it!

There was a district meeting this week and he got to see some missionary friends (ie, other missionaries) that he'd been with about a year ago when he was in Surco - he got a picture too - they enjoyed seeing each other again! He was also so happy that, one day, a member was able to drive them to their appointments and they were so grateful! Elder Reed then recalled how, a few years ago, he was the member helping to drive the missionaries around - life comes full circle!

Elder Reed said they got stuck in traffic at one point and he realized how grateful he is for stoplights in America (who knew!) :)  He went on divisions with another Elder and they laughed a lot - :)  He also realized that, this week 3 years ago, Elder Reed received his Eagle Scout rank. This year, the missionaries cleaned their apartment. 

Elder Reed shared that he knows time goes by so quickly and we need to use it, do what we can now to share the Gospel because if we don't, the time is gone and we can't get it back. Elder Reed's testimony continued: "I know that my Savior lives and loves me - He cares for me. He hears my prayers, he hears everyone's prayers - every one of you. He knows our pains, and our sorrows. There's nothing that makes Him more happy than our obedience to His commandments and sharing the message with our brothers and sisters." He shared a scripture from the Doctrine and Covenants that talks about how, if we remain steadfast in solemnity and the spirit of prayer, and bearing of testimony, that we can receive a remission of sins - what a blessing! 

"This is the 10 sol ice cream I spoke of! 3 scoops  (1 each of ) chocolate, lúcuma, and mint) AAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH it was good!"
"Elder Meik, Rios, Reed, Jones, Hermana Ossola and Martinez in the same zone again 1 year later!!! Man it was cool to take this pic! >>>this is pic before we were all in the zone, but they were all there except elder Rios... I promise!"

"Elder Hualinga, Reed, Russell, and Taylor (the new crew of Huachipa)"
"a special edition Sprite... notice anything out of the usual?"

"The building in the center is our capilla... the one next to the catholic school ;)"

Until next time - remember your blessings!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Dec. 7th, 2015 update

Elder Reed didn't have a huge update this week. He did say that he hoped we didn't freeze with the cold, because he wasn't. :)  It is summer down in Peru at this time of year, and I think he was enjoying that!

He was asked how much gas costs in Peru. He said it's about 9-16 soles (pronounced "souls" - it's the Peruvian money) per litre for gas. With the conversion rate of approximately 3 soles per american dollar - that's expensive fuel! He also stated that he can have music from the website of the Church, or hymns to listen to, or classical music. 

Elder Reed also said that he was able to fast and shared how grateful he is for that tool and strength from Heavenly Father, and that it will help you if you put fasting together with prayer.

Elder Reed said that he is now buying his own breakfast (apparently, no pensionista now), and it was interesting taking care of that. This week, they played capture the flag, but they had socks filled with flour or something like that. If the person was hit with the sock, they had to go sit in the middle of the field for 30 seconds. His team lost. Several times. :) Ha ha

Elder Reed also said he got to throw around an American football, and he hadn't done that in a LONG time! I also forgot his tennis shoes and alarm clock in San Borja, so he had to play football americano (ha ha) and capture the flag with boat-type shoes. Ha ha. He did get them back though, so all is well now.

Elder Reed said that now being in December is amazing, as time is going by so quickly! The missionaries had a multizona conference this week, which he really enjoyed. :)  He enjoyed being with the other missionaries and hearing from his mission president. He encouraged the missionaries to write down their testimonies of Jesus Christ, so that they could read those and feel of that testimony later in life. Elder Reed encouraged each of us to do the same - write down your testimony of Jesus Christ.

Elder Reed stated his testimony: "I know that God loves me, and that Jesus Christ loves me. The Savior suffered and died to prove it. He's perfect. I'm not, and I can be. However, if I keep the Father's commandments and live Jesus' teachings, that's the only way.... He's God's son and He came to earth. He died so that I might live forever with the Creator of my soul. He loves me and I love him.... If men will repent and come until Him, they can be saved - they will be saved! Of this I testify, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

Elder Reed said thank you for the prayers - they are a great support for him - 
Until next week - Elder Reed

Nov. 30, 2015 update

We'll start with some pictures from this week's update:


My room before transfers (L-R Elder: Taylor, Hualinga, Tineo, Reed)

My district eating a very free, very large pday meal!

Elder Reed shared that time is going quickly, and the days are sort of melting together, but he loves what he is doing for the Lord. He said that the District got together on their preparation day (after the allowed time online for emails) and ate food from members at a restaurant (see picture above) and he enjoyed it so much! Very yummy food! After the other customers left, the members in the restaurant and the District were able to watch the "Meet the Mormons" video and have ice cream - he really enjoyed that!

Elder Reed was able to teach English to the kids of a less-active family and he was very grateful for that. He also got to see the moon (because it is so clear being away from Lima), and he said he got to see the face in the moon. :)  He said he's waited 20 years for that!

Elder Reed went on divisions (basically, that is where one missionary trades places and has a different companion for a day within the area), and it was a new experience for him as District Leader, but he is grateful for the learning opportunity. 

The missionaries went to the regional church building (called a stake center) and were practicing some songs for the multizona (multiple zone) meeting that is coming for them. He said the songs are coming along and he's grateful for music in his life. (Yay!)

Elder Reed stated that he is so grateful to be on his mission and that he doesn't know where he'd be without those experiences. He was able to bear his testimony in his new ward, and he is grateful for those opportunities. 

Until next week - Elder Reed 

Nov 23, 2015 update

[I know it has been a long time since the blog has been updated - there has been a LOT going on at our house, but my goal is to get things updated now, so, there will be several posts over the next few days. They may not be an exact transcription, as Elder Reed has been sending voice recordings now, but I will do my best. Thanks for your patience!

Also, Elder Reed wanted me to let everyone know how grateful he is for all the help as he has been on his mission - whether that is through helping with expenses, sending letters and/or packages, or simply praying for him, he says Thank You! He is forever grateful for his experiences in Peru and knows that is where our Heavenly Father wants him to be right now. Thank you!]

Elder Reed shared two photos this week of his previous pension [those who helped the Elders with food/laundry].

Beautiful family!

Elder Reed also stated that he is now in Huachipa, Campoy, "very very far from everything! BUT I LOVE IT!" :)

Elder Reed said that he's now been out 14 months and he has been transferred to the Campoy Stake and he loves the people, who are a humble and welcoming people. They are willing to listen to the Gospel. His new companion is from Iquitos Peru and will be finishing his mission soon. Elder Reed is also now a District Leader (he is responsible for several sets of missionaries in his area, and then there are several Districts in a Zone, and several Zones within a Mission... so, he is learning leadership skills now too - he says it feels something like what he would think parenting feels like, and it's not always easy). 

Elder Reed said that his ward is huge there in Huachipa, and that he isn't training a new missionary right now, and he is so busy that he's gone to pray at night and then fell asleep while praying. Oops - he's tired! But he is doing well and is stretching both physically and spiritually. 

Elder Reed said that it's really dusty in Huachipa, but it's also really sunny and he loves it. :)

The spiritual thought - it is about patriarchal blessings and the blessing that comes from hearing specifically from our Heavenly Father - it is a guide that He gives for us and that, if we do our part, we will be able to feel of those blessings and guidance. The Lord's work on the earth is hastened - and we need to do our part in keeping up.

Until next time - Elder Reed