Sunday, May 8, 2016

April 18, 2016 update

There were no pictures this week. However, I got to "chat" through email. I'd asked Elder Reed how the weather was and if it was colder in the higher elevation - he said that it's "HOT AND SUNNY!!!!!!!!!! i feel like a roasting egg on an open fire!" :)  I asked him if they are heading into Winter at all now, and he said "yes, but I don't think that Huertos de Manchay knows that yet!" :)

From his recording for this week, Elder Reed said that the week was really fast this week. They had a normal working Monday because they had switched their preparation day to Tuesday so that they could go to the temple, which was an awesome experience for them! He met a missionary from Lima Central mission who was in an area close to where he served at his 10 month mark in his (Elder Reed's) mission. The Elder was finishing his mission and was going home this week - time is flying by!

Later, they had a multizona conference again, which will now happen every 2 months instead of every 3 months, and he loved it! They talked a lot about being diligent, about planning, etc. He learned "if you fail to plan, you plan to fail." True words of wisdom!

He shared more on the laws of the Peruvian elections - the law is that, if you don't vote, you pay a huge fine, which most Peruvians can't afford that, so they vote. Also, religious activities are prohibited on that day, so there were no church services anywhere. 

Elder Reed said that he went on divisions this week and learned more on the importance of families and how to better interact. He said he learned how to love more within families. He was able to speak more kindly to others and that can help with conveying the love that is intended.

They also got to help move things for someone, from the third floor to the first floor. He said that most of the houses are open more than in America, so they could move things from the 3rd floor to the 1st floor by using knots (yay for scouting knowledge) and moving the items outside the building with ropes. :)

Elder Reed also said that they found new investigators in an area that was farther out than they had gone before, because it's so far out in their area. They were able to find 8 new people to teach, and it is such a blessing! The Lord has prepared these people to hear the Gospel.

Elder Reed's spiritual thought this week is about the family, and about how it is of eternal importance. God doesn't want us to be sad, he wants us to be happy, and that's why He gave us the family. He gave us the family to be a place to learn, to grow, and to learn how to grow, and to learn how to love. God doesn't want us to hold resentment. Families like that don't exist in the celestial kingdom. The Spirit of the Lord can be so much stronger in a home where there is love and kindness. 

Elder Reed encouraged everyone to think about how their relationship is with their families. We should strive to fix things, to improve the family relationship. "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." (Ether 12:27) God will help us! He knows what's bothering us and He knows how we can get better. He knows that each one of us has strengths and weaknesses. But in the family, it's of eternal importance that we have good relationships with our family. 

Another scripture he shared, which is the promise of being faithful and searching for God's hand in all we do: "And thus, if ye are faithful ye shall be laden with many sheaves, and crowned with honor, and glory, and immortality, and eternal life." (Doctrine & Covenants 75:5). That has always been the promise - that if we are faithful, and try to fix what we can fix, God will help us. He will help us! He loves us so much! Everyone deserves a second chance, that's why Christ atoned for us - He loves us that much too!

Until next week - remember that you are loved very much! :)

April 12, 2016 update

Pictures first :)
"a long way to climb yet - this is a TINY, TINY, TINY portion of my area! This is what i go up and down all day long!"
"but we already climbed a TONNE"
Elder Reed, Elder M, and J, together on top of the large hill
Elder Reed shared many things in his recording this week. He said they are going to have another multizona conference, and they are going to be singing "Be Still My Soul". They were practicing the song, and Elder Reed felt that he was in the CCM again [the missionary training center he first started at in Lima]. He really enjoyed that.
Elder Reed said that he's been writing completely in Spanish in his journal for several months now, and it's helped him alot. 
Elder Reed also said that on Saturday, they woke very early (5am), and were able to go play soccer for a bit [he really loves the exercise]. He loves to play soccer (futbol) too. Then, they did 2 service projects, which were cool. :)
This past Sunday, there were elections in Peru for the Peruvian President. That meant there were no Sunday services at all, anywhere [per Peruvian law]. The Elders, not having Sunday meetings to go to, went around learning more about their area. They were able to see (by view only) other missions in Peru (as they are on the southern part of their mission now). He could see the beauty and joy of the area. He really is grateful for that opportunity to see the beauty, whether in the rich areas, or in the dirt-poor areas. 

Elder Reed said that, as they walked away from the bus stop, he was amazed at the quiet. The pressured quiet (they are higher up in elevation). He said he is used to noise - airplanes, cars, trains - yet when they were visiting this area, it was so quiet. He felt he could say a prayer to God and He would talk right back to him - he said it was a powerful experience, being there, seeing that and experiencing more of the beauty of this earth.

Elder Reed shared that, because of the elections, you have to go to vote where you are registered at. So, if you are registered in a different area, you must go there to vote. Elder Reed said that there was a miracle that happened. Because all the members were out voting, they didn't know who would help them with food for dinner, but they were able to call their District Leader, who just so happened to be talking with his ward mission leader. This ward mission leader invited them to dinner and it was such a huge blessing for them! They had enough food for all the extra people eating with them. Elder Reed realized, during the meal, just what a miracle it was. Not only was this ward mission leader feeding his own family (of 4), he was feeding his ward's missionaries (4) plus these elders who needed food at the last minute - 4 more. This family fed 12 people, and there was enough food for all. What a blessing! The Lord really does take care of those who serve for His sake! The Lord loves us all, each and every one of us!

That is the spiritual thought of the week. We are loved by God. Each and every one of us has special gifts and talents we have been given because our Heavenly Father loves us. He puts things in our lives that sometimes we take for granted, and He keeps on giving. Sometimes we accept it like it's nothing. Sometimes we are very grateful. Always remember to be grateful for everything you have - because it's a huge blessing!

Elder Reed also gave a shout-out to many people, he thanks you for the letters and prayers and support and love. Time is flying by for him, and he knows that his service to the Lord is a huge blessing to not only him, but to others. He is grateful for his companion and his mission president, and for all of you.

Until next week - remember to always be grateful for the many many blessings you have!

Apr. 4th, 2016 update

Hello from Huertos de Manchay! Elder Reed was transferred and is now serving in a new area. He is really enjoying it. From his emails and recordings this week, Elder Reed is enjoying Huertos de Manchay and his new companion, Elder Mamani. Some photos he shared:

During this week, the LDS Church had the semi-annual General Conference of the Church, where prophets, apostles, and leaders of the Church speak to the membership, instruct, edify, encourage, and uplift us all with God's words. During this time, President Thomas S. Monson announced that there would be a second temple in Lima Peru! (See here) When Elder Reed heard the news, he said that he and his companions were "SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO EXCITED!" :)  What a blessing for the people of the great land of Peru!

This week, Elder Reed got a lot of letters and packages and he really loved it. :)  His new companion knows 3 languages and is learning English. Elder Reed said that his new area is massive, which is quite a change for him. 

Elder Reed really likes being on his mission, and likes meeting people. He was realizing he is closer in time to coming home, and he was a little down about that, realizing he would be away from the people he has really grown to love. He also realized that Mother's Day is coming too, and he felt he will be in Huertos de Manchay for that.

Elder Reed said that the area he is in is super super sunny, super super windy, and super super hot! There is no shade, a lot of dirt and hills. 

Elder Reed has been praying for more opportunities to learn charity, love, and patience, and he felt that the Lord heard his prayers and sent him to a companion that is "the master of the application". He is grateful for that for sure! The Lord works in His own way, for our best good. 

Elder Reed stated that they walked a lot this past week, though they didn't get to teach a lot. He did get an idea of how willing the people are to listen to the Gospel. The church building is pretty far for them though, so that presents a challenge. He said it's about a 20-30 minute bus ride.

Elder Reed thanks you all for writing and for your support and love - it helps him so much! It can make such a difference when there is support and love. His spiritual thought for this week is this: "For those who are priesthood holders, be worthy to keep the priesthood, be worthy to bear the priesthood. "The rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness." That is my message for today. If you have the priesthood, have been given that responsibility, be worthy to hold it. If you are a female, my counsel is to help those around you to be worthy to hold the priesthood, because they need your help just as much."

Until next week, Elder Reed sends his love and thanks -

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Mar. 28th, 2016 update

Elder Reed sent the following photo this week:

The zone Campoy at the last district meeting of the Rare 7 Week Transfer!
Elder Reed said that there were some great miracles happening in Huachipa, and also that he is getting transferred to Huertos de Manchay. It is a huge area in the mission (one of the largest) and will take him farther away from Lima than he has been for the first time in his mission. He said there a lot of mountains there. He said he will see at least 3 of those boundaries of that area, but probably not the 4th, because it's so big. 

Elder Reed said that this week, while in Huachipa, they found another investigator who is so excited to hear the Gospel and is wanting to be baptized. He's so excited!

Elder Reed also shared that the weekly attendance at church in Huachipa has gone up and it's really exciting to see! He said they are seeing so many miracles and the growing spirit there in that area. Elder Reed said that he will miss that area, but he knows it is what the Lord wants, and that it will help him grow and learn more.

Elder Reed got to see some architecture and a huge library and he was amazed at the detail in the buildings and the old books that were there. He enjoyed getting to see those things.

Elder Reed's new companion will be Elder Mamani in Huertos de Manchay. He is excited to begin on the new adventure in a new place. He was working on packing up as he was making the recording, and he said that he hopes everyone has a successful week. 

Elder Reed shared his love with each of you!

March 21st, 2016 update

First some pictures from Elder Reed:
"this is a pic of LASAGNA I got for lunch this week!!!!! IT WAS AWESOME! almost 18 months without this food and I scarfed it down!"

Elder Reed, sweating in the heat. :)

The following are pictures of the super cool service they had during this week [well, cool is a relative term, because it looked really hot and dirty - haha]:

Elder Reed's letter this week shared some great and sad news at the same time. This week, his friend, Elder Sands, went home (unexpectedly, due to family things happening at home), and it was a challenge for Elder Reed. He wanted to let Elder Sands know how much he appreciated him and his service to the Lord. 

In other news, Elder Reed got to go on divisions with another Elder for 2 days. He got to do divisions with an Elder who is from Chile. Elder Reed said that he was helped to be a better missionary. His spiritual take-away from that is to "Be confident in your abilities, because the Lord has given you great talents. It doesn't matter who you are, you use what you have been given and you will be blessed. If you don't use those talents, you will lose them."

Elder Reed said that they found out this week that Huachipa (the area they are in) is huge. They found out that there is an area in their ward that missionaries haven't been in for more than 4 years because it is so far away. They are going to see if they can get there.

Elder Reed said that they found someone who is very eager to learn more about the Gospel. She has come for several weeks in a row to church (all 3 hours of the meetings) and it has been a wonderful experience teaching her, as the Spirit is very strong!

Elder Reed said that they did a great service project (see pictures above) - Elder Reed really enjoyed the manual labor. The other Elders were sore, but Elder Reed just enjoyed it. He appreciates the members in Ohio that helped him to learn manual labor, because it really has been a big help to him in Peru and he really enjoys that. :)

Elder Reed said that he has been working on developing Christlike attributes, specifically Charity and Love. He expressed his gratitude for his companion, his Mission President, and the Lord's help in all things. He has one more week in Huachipa, and then will be transferred out. 

His final spiritual thought this week: Someone who doesn't show their love, doesn't love. So, you gotta make sure that everyone knows that you care about them, and then the world will be a better place. Our sharing of love with others can simply be a smile. Then move to patience, faith, hope and charity. This will help the world around us. 

Until next week, remember to smile and share that with others - It will bring light and goodness into the world!

Mar. 14th, 2016 update

Elder Reed let me know that the weather there in Campoy (Huachipa) was in the 80s - a normal sweaty day for them. Whew! :)

Here are some photos of the area from the tops of the mountains...

Can you find the Lima, Peru Temple in this photo? Elder Reed says it's there...... :)

Panoramic view

Elder Reed & Elder Sands
This week, in Elder Reed's audio letter, he shared that this week was special because they were able to go up to the top of the mountains and could see the Temple. (See first picture above.) He said that you can see it by looking for three spires. 

Elder Reed shared that this week, the mission had a visit from Elder Lynn G. Robbins, of the Seventy. Elder Reed was super excited and they were edified by the Spirit that was there - it was a wonderful experience for them and they got to be with the Lima Peru Central and Lima Peru North missions also - what a great experience!!

Elder Reed realized this week that his birthday is coming closer and closer. :) [I'm not sure if he is eager to get older (ha ha).]

He shared that they had a weird experience trying to get home one evening. Part of their group had forgotten something and had to go back. Then, as they were on the bus, the bus broke down right in the middle of the street, so they had to wait for another bus to come and pick them up. They eventually made it home. He said, when walking, he doesn't enjoy so much the uphill parts, but he does enjoy coming downhill. :)

This week, they also got to meet with a family who, as Elder Reed puts it, almost doesn't speak Spanish. They speak Quechua [pronounced "keh-choo-ah"]. It is one of the very old languages spoken there in Peru, that mostly the people from outside Lima speak. Elder Reed said that he has Spanish down, but he really wants to learn Quechua also. And he also said he wants to learn to play the cello. :)  He doesn't know where he'll find time for all these things once he gets home, but he'd like to. 

Until next week, Elder Reed sends his love and thanks for all the support!