Sunday, June 19, 2016

June 14, 2016 update...

[This post will officially catch up Elder Reed's blog. Hopefully it will be updated more in real-time, as he only has a few months left. He is excited and sad for that at the same time - definitely mixed emotions, as he has grown to dearly love the people of Peru and the work he is doing!]

At the Lima Peru Temple
Elder Reed said that this week was very awesome, though quite a challenge. They reached a goal they had set with a lot of effort, yet it was reached. They wished that they had also had more help from the members this week, but they continued on and are grateful for the work they are doing for the Lord right now. The goal they had has taken many weeks, so it didn't come quickly, but working towards it slowly is the key.

Elder Reed didn't have a lot of time to share things in his letter, but he did say he'd been to the temple and loved it, and even had pizza, which he loved as well. :) Also, they got to see Elder Rasband and got to shake his hand. Elder Rasband shared how much the missionaries are loved by the Prophet, by the Apostles, and by the Lord. Elder Reed shared that he knows that these men are called by revelation, inspired by God. What a blessing!

Elder Reed shared his love and thanks and will share more next week!
Until then, remember to share a smile with others - it could be the very thing they need to help them keep going.

June 6, 2016 update...

There were no pictures this week [going to have to talk with Elder Reed about that - ha ha], but he did share many things in his letter. 

Elder Reed stated that he and Elder Mamani put forth a lot of effort and found great blessings for doing that - they have literally had people coming up to them to ask them about religion, about Jesus Christ, about being better people. It was a wonderful experience for them, strengthening their testimony of the work.

Elder Reed shared that the elections took place on June 5th, but that didn't decide the election, so they will have to have another election day in the future, which means no church for them on that day. 

Elder Reed shared that they walked a lot during the week. One night, they had walked a lot and was searching for someone to teach a lesson to, and found a man who was very interested in the Gospel, and when they left, they realized that they were running out of time before they had to be back to their room (before their curfew time), and they didn't see a bus anywhere. As it turned out, they said a prayer and a bus came along just then, they hopped on, and were able to make it back to their room in time - what a blessing!

Elder Reed talked about the English lesson he was able to teach during the week as well, and he enjoyed that. 

He also shared that sometimes, they are very straightforward in sharing the Gospel and the commandments, to not have fear of men. And when they do that, the Spirit can testify to the people who are ready and willing to hear and change and improve, to come closer to Christ and God. It's a beautiful miracle!

Elder Reed shared that the missionaries were looking forward to seeing Elder Rasband, and also to getting to go to church on Sunday. :)  He is also excited that they will get to go to the temple again next week, which is a huge blessing to them!

Elder Reed's message is that, if there is arguing and it doesn't matter in the long run, stop arguing. It's not worth it. He shares his love and gratitude with you all. He is grateful to be serving the Lord, and is focused on serving Him and the people of Peru.

Until next week, remember that blessings come in many forms, but all of them are able to be recognized if we are willing to do so.

May 30, 2016 update...

Elder Reed didn't send pictures this week, but started out with a spiritual thought. He shared that there were elections on Sunday, June 5th, in the country, so they wouldn't be able to have church on Sunday (due to government regulations). So, the missionaries fasted. And during church this past week, Elder Reed bore his testimony to the members and shared that, even when he may not know exactly what to say, he remembers someone telling him once to just speak the truth. So, he did. He shared the truths that he knows, and he was grateful for doing so. Elder Reed shared that, sometimes we need to just step back, take a breath, and move forward, not to get overly-upset about little things. Another thing he shared is not to judge, but to show love to others.

Elder Reed shared in his letter that time keeps flying by, and that this past week was a good one for learning. They decided to go to try to search out people, and came across a woman who had been contacted by missionaries many years ago, but it was good to meet with her. They also went out to just talk with people, and had some interesting experiences. Elder Reed learned that there are some people who do not want to talk to you about religion, but are willing to just talk, which is a great way to show how the Savior lived.

Elder Reed also did divisions with another set of missionaries, and he got to experience  a ward missionary night, which was awesome. On that night, there was a member of the Church who came in who was from another country, but was a political refugee now living in Peru. Elder Reed shared that it opened his eyes to that type of situation and how we all need to be mindful of that. He said that the man was very humble and willing to accept help from those in the ward there. What a blessing!

Elder Reed also shared that they have had some success in the southern part of their area, and he is praying that those they are teaching will choose to attend church as well. The missionaries also had some great help from the members, which is such a great thing!

Elder Reed hopes that everyone has a great week, and that they know he loves everyone - thanks for all you do to help and support this cause! :)

May 23, 2016 update...

Elder Reed shared a picture, but we will do the typing first this week...

Elder Reed said that, this week, they had a lot of members accompany them to lessons, which was a very exciting thing for them all! It helped the missionaries a lot too. Elder Reed shared that they had a lot of success with the members helping them. That can make such a huge difference!

Elder Reed has continued trying to write in Spanish, to help him be able to retain the language. He shared that it is fun to try to read the Spanish and translate to English for us in his weekly voice recording. He said that the days are passing very quickly too. He enjoys being able to help serve the people of Peru.

This week, they taught a lesson in English, and people came to hear it. He felt that was really cool. :)  Elder Reed shared also that the Bishop went with them to make visits to investigators and it was a great help to those they were teaching!

Elder Reed shared again that winter has finally arrived to his area, and it's cold in the mornings. He also said that he will have to break out the long sleeve shirts. [Ha ha] He said that it will probably be very difficult when he gets back home, as it gets MUCH colder than in Peru. :)

The spiritual thought for this week from Elder Reed is "keep going. When Life give you lemons, make lemonade, right? Because if you don't, the lemons will go bad, and then it will turn into pig swill." Ha ha! He continued to say, when the Lord gives you a job to do, do it, and you will be blessed! Be grateful for your parents, your children, and love them - that is what the Savior would do.

Until next week, remember to count the blessings! 

This is Elder Reed and his companions, picking at the rocks - What a job! :)

May 16, 2016 update . . .

Elder Reed shared that this week, they didn't have a lot of lessons scheduled, but found people to teach and they were so excited - definitely blessings from the Lord! :)

This week, they also had a zone meeting and they realized that he and two others are going to be the missionaries in their zone with the longest time out so far on their missions - about 21 months - wow! Time flies!

Elder Reed said there was a lot of walking this week, which helped him get lots of exercise, but he was tired too.

The spiritual thought for this week relates to some experiences he had awhile back. It deals with letting go of personal pride, and asking someone for forgiveness, even if you don't feel that you are to blame. If you do this, you show to God that you are more humble, willing to be teachable, to be like little children (which is different than being childish). You will be throwing off a huge spiritual weight, and just do it. It's difficult to do, and it might not happen quickly, but as you work at it and do it, there will be many blessings.

Elder Reed shared that something he learned this week in his scripture study is that, for every law given by God, there is more than one blessing. He doesn't want us to feel lonely or left out spiritually. It's not always easy to follow God's laws, but God loves us so much and wants to bless us. The efforts are worth it, as there are so many blessings that come!

Until next week, Elder Reed shared - remember to be obedient. He loves you all very much and is so grateful for all your love and support. 

May 9, 2016 update

This week's update is short [we had a great Skype call with Elder Reed on Mother's Day!] - there were also no pictures, but we did get to see him through the wonders of technology, which was a wonderful experience. :)

Elder Reed said that he isn't getting transferred from Huertos de Manchay, and he also will be with Elder Mamani as a companionship and he is SUPER excited! He said it's the third time that he's had a companion for more than 2 transfers, and he is so grateful for all the things he is learning from Elder Mamani. He also really loves his area and is eager to keep working there. :)

Until next week, keep smiling!

May 2, 2016 update

A crisp winter morning in Huertos
This week, Elder Reed shared the photo above, showing what a crisp winter morning in Huertos looks like.... It is not like winter mornings from his hometown. The winter temperatures are in the 50s and 60s instead of the 70s or 80s. :)

Elder Reed wanted to let everyone know how much he appreciates the love and support, the letters, and the prayers. They mean a great deal to him, more than you will ever know! Thank you!

For Elder Reed, this week was very quick and they have interviews with President (mission president) and it was such a wonderful experience! Elder Reed loves his mission president and knows that the mission president has a great love for all the missionaries. Time is flying by in his mission. President shared that, as a person seeks for good and follows God's will, that person will be blessed. How very true! It's not always in ways we can quickly see, but we are blessed by our obedience and sharing love with others.

The scripture Elder Reed wanted to share is in Alma 23:6, and talks of how those who were truly converted and stayed strong, they never did fall away from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Seeing miracles, being a miracle sometimes, it helps each of us to become more converted to the Lord.

This week, there wasn't much bus money, yet they were able to find rides with members to lessons, and were able to find more people to teach. It was a huge blessing!

And President helped Elder Reed to see what he was doing right - Elder Reed shared that sometimes we get bogged down by what our weaknesses, but we also need to remember to look at our strengths and to remember those things too.

Elder Reed shared that their service this week involved breaking stones and was a lot of effort. But they were grateful to be able to help. :)

Until next week - count your many blessings!

April 25, 2016 update...

First this week, a few photos :)
a picture of Cieneguilla Capilla

a morning view from their room

"me in the chacra... the farthest away part of Huertos!"
Elder Reed shared this week that it has been a great week. For the preparation day, they went to Cieneguilla, which is a ward just above where he is at. It's about a half hour bus trip, but they were able to meet with other missionaries in the district and enjoy playing frisbee. He also received a letter from home (which he always love letters!) - 

Elder Reed said that this week, they went to a hill (there are LOTS of hills in his current area of Huertos de Manchay). They went over to see if they could meet with some less-active members, but they weren't there. They had to climb a lot to get to the hill, and had to go to another hill farther away for their next appointment. They saw a path that led from one hill to the other, so they took that instead of going all the way back down, trekking over to the base of the next hill, and then going all the way up that one. It saved a lot of time for them. He said that the wind was cool too, it was whistling in his ears and he really enjoyed the scenery there. It was a great experience for him. :)

Then, they went over to another hill and could see all of their area and he thought that was awesome!

Elder Reed shared that, later that day, they could see Satan at work. They were talking with someone on the bus, sharing information about the gospel. They had to go, and as he was leaving, Elder Reed saw someone else sit by the man and tell him that these missionaries were "people of money" - and it was such a disappointment because of Satan's lies being told. Elder Reed said that Satan will do anything to spread doubt. It's what Satan does best.

Elder Reed shared that some of the service they did this week involved moving trash from a 2nd floor that was being built down to the ground level. They were using buckets and cable stuff (they didn't have rope), but were able to help a lot!

Elder Reed said that there were people who came to them asking if they could learn more about the gospel, which was an awesome thing! There are so many who are ready to hear more about Jesus Christ - what a blessing!

Elder Reed's spiritual thought for this week relates to temples. Elder Reed shared that he found a scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants 124:55, and it talks about the many blessings that come from the House of the Lord - and they are eternal!

Until next week, remember to see the blessings around you -