Saturday, September 10, 2016

Sept. 5th, 2016 update

This week, Elder Reed sent the following in his email, which was titled "last time writing family from peru":


Elder Reed"

The time is really winding down quickly!

Elder Reed said that this week for him was super stressful. He said that there were a lot of negative things that happened in the week, but, as always, he's still here, and he learned something from those trials. 

Elder Reed shared that something really cool happened there - they have been contacting people who speak English! He found someone who had lived in Cleveland Ohio! He was SO excited to find someone who knows where Ohio is and has actually lived there - he was so excited that he gave him a hug! :) They talked for a little bit about Ohio, and football and baseball. He really enjoyed that.

For their preparation day, they moved some furniture around and then they ate and were able to watch The Testaments movie (a Church film) and then they were able to rest. That doesn't usually happen, but they were grateful. 

Elder Reed shared that they were also able to find quite a lot of people who, as the missionaries explained who they were and their message, that they were very positive about baptism. One man, in particular, after speaking with them at length, said that if he knew from God it was right, he would be baptized. God answers prayers!

The missionaries took some time and helped other missionaries in another district and had quite an experience - they had lots of doors slammed in their faces and very disagreeable encounters. It was difficult, but they made it through that experience.

Another super strange thing happened, that happened this week is that Elder Reed had a phone number show up on his cell phone that they use and it was from Ohio - definitely unexpected! He didn't answer it but it was definitely strange!

Until the next blog post, Elder Reed wants you all to know how much he appreciates the love and support! He couldn't have made this journey without you!

[The final post to this blog will be done by Elder Reed himself when he returns to the States... stay tuned!] 

Aug. 29th, 2016 update

(L to R) E. Gozalvez, E. Lopez, E. Hawks, E. Reed at the Lima Temple

Elder Reed said that this past week, he has been a little under the weather, but it was a busy week. They had a multi-zone conference that took the whole day and they loved it! He ended up giving a talk during the meeting, and he learned that we all need to be willing and ready to give up all we have to be able to see fruits of our labors. 

For example, a mission. Once you forget about yourself and you start worrying about the needs of others, and you don't realize how much time has passed, that's when you realize that you've done your work. 

This week, they also worked and worked a lot, and they found SO many cool people and were really grateful for the experiences. They found people ready to hear the Gospel and learn more about the Savior. This week, Elder Reed contacted one person from the Bronx (yes, New York, USA). He was so excited! Elder Reed was able to contact in English, for the first time in his whole mission. :) He loved talking to him! Then, a few days later, he found the guys' uncle! What a wonderful experience!

There were a lot of tests this week, but always remember that God is just and He will remember all that we have worked to do. Hebrews 6:10 - "For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister."

Until next week, remember to count the many blessings all around you!

August 23, 2016 update

This week, there were no photos from Elder Reed, but he shared in his weekly report that he really really loves playing futbol [soccer] now - he LOVES it. :)  

Elder Reed said that this week was quite a lesson on enduring to the end. He said that there was a situation that happened with an investigator. He said that in the Preach My Gospel book (one of the books the missionaries use to study and teach others), there is a part that talks about how you know you will have success if you are doing everything that you need to do, by feeling the Spirit, obeying the commandments, and go about the work, you will have assurance from the Lord that you are having success, even in spite of others and their actions. It may be difficult when others choose things that don't bring the Spirit, but the Lord knows your efforts, and their hearts, and He loves each of us very much. That never changes!

Elder Reed shared that, this week, they went on divisions and talked with people, seeing how ready they were for baptism, and Elder Reed was able to feel the Spirit - he is grateful for those moments of clarity. He said that there's no place like home - meaning, he was away from his regular area for 2 days, and he was very grateful when he went home to the place he's been used to. :)

Elder Reed shared that there were 2 drunk people that talked to them, and it was definitely an interesting experience for him. He pleads with us all not to drink and drive, and to do what it takes to be safe. There is safety in obeying the Lord's Word of Wisdom

Elder Reed wanted to finish by sharing his testimony: "Hard work pays off. If you keep your head level, and you keep going forward with all of your might, that 1) you won't notice the passing of time, and others are growing up too, 2) you will be so happy in the work of the Lord! I know that my Savior lives and Christ is the head of this Church, and we are His brothers and sisters! We are children of God, and as such, we can't afford not to let others know about that, to live it!"

Elder Reed asks you to talk to those around you, to work thru any issues you have with others, and to bring more love into the world -

Until next week, remember that love can make a huge difference and continues out in great waves, if we let it!

Aug. 15th, 2016 update

Elder Reed said in his letter that this past week was very busy, and that the next week will be busy too. He said that this week was stake conference [a regional meeting of several wards and branches of the Church] for the Central Stake (where he is located) and an area representative of the Church and it was very exciting for them. 

During the meeting, the mission president shared with the members about how the missionaries had shared with him (the mission president) how a 96 yr old man had been taught a lesson about the Gospel and, right as the lesson was done, this man knelt and asked God if the message was true! And God gave him an answer that it is true! God does answer prayers!

Elder Reed shared that another thing that happened this week that was really cool was that he went on divisions with an Elder in a different ward and they had a lot of success talking with people. They also appreciated the help that the ward members gave to them in their efforts to share the Gospel

Elder Reed shared that he wants everyone to know to keep working hard until the end. Just keep working hard. Something Elder Reed was told by his Aunt Bonnie is to keep working and stop saying how much time is left because, basically, once the time is gone, it's gone, so make the most of it! :) He appreciated that counsel, and from his Dad too. 

President Boswell told Elder Reed to just enjoy the last 6 or so weeks, it's where everything comes together. So to relax and enjoy the time serving.

Elder Reed said that this past week, they met a lot of resistance again too. He said that on Sundays especially, it seems that Satan works super hard to discourage, to distract, to keep the Spirit of the Lord away. Elder Reed said he doesn't really like living in a big city, as so much seems "anti-Spirit", but they made it through.

Elder Reed shared that he loves everyone and is grateful for the support and love. His spiritual message this week is short. Repent. Try to be better. Overcome pride and get on your knees and ask Father in Heaven for forgiveness and help to overcome. More blessings will come as you strive to repent and improve each day.

[No pictures this week, but hopefully next week! :)]

Aug. 8th, 2016 update

Elder Reed and his companion at weekly internet time :)
(Nice sweater, Elder Reed!)
Elder Reed shared that he's now in El Agustino area and he felt very welcomed into the new area by the members and he was very grateful. He also said that he has never seen so many people in one area, but he is excited to get to learn the area and the people there.

Elder Reed shared that there were many miracles. They met a 96 year old man (a very active 96-yr-old!) who wanted to learn about the Gospel and he was very ready to learn what they were sharing. This man's grandson is also so ready to hear the message of the Savior - it's a wonderful blessing!

Elder Reed said that he is still a District Leader over a smaller area geographically, and there are all Elders, no Sisters. He said that's a different situation that he's getting used to as they work to plan different things. He said being a leader is quite a challenge at times.

Elder Reed shared that his companion (E. Gozvalez) is very loved in this area and he enjoys seeing that. He and his companion get along very well. They also got to have fun playing "futbol" [soccer] on their preparation day with other Elders, and Elder Reed enjoys that activity a lot now.

This week was a short update, but Elder Reed shares his love with all of you!
Until next time, remember that there are blessings all around!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Aug 1, 2016 update

There were no pictures this week, but Elder Reed shared that this week was super crazy. The additional missionary was there for the week and he really fit in with the missionaries there. They enjoyed having him there. :)

This week, Elder Reed and his companion found many people to teach, which is wonderful news! However, they are closing the area that they are currently in (Huertos II) - that was pretty stressful. The Huertos area will now just be one large area and have just 2 missionaries instead of 4. Elder Reed also found out that he will be getting transferred.

Elder Reed will now be serving in the stake Central (Central Stake) in the mission, in the El Agustino area - his last area of his mission. He will be with a missionary who has just finished his 12-week training and Elder Reed will still be District leader. He is excited and nervous. :)

Elder Reed shared that whatever challenge you are going through, it's worth the anguish [if that is the right word - he couldn't tell for sure]. It's worth it. Whatever challenge you are going through, remember that God loves you. He wants you to be safe, and to love your neighbor. God knows what you are going through. 

Elder Reed said that everything that you will ever have to do that has to do with righteousness, all of the tests and trials you have to go through, it's worth it. It doesn't matter if you are weak or strong, black or white, from Asia or Peru, God blesses us for righteous actions. He smiles even bigger when we repent of our sins. 

Elder Reed also shared that it doesn't matter who we talk to, as long as we are trying to tell them how the Gospel can change their lives, we will be blessed for our actions. Always remember "I am a missionary" and always remember "I don't have to wear a missionary name tag" - there are innumerable blessings from serving the Lord!

Remember to see the blessings in your life - they are there!

July 25, 2016 update

[Elder Reed shared that this is Week 96 - time is flying by! The update this week was short, but it was good to hear from him.]

Here is a picture of a cool mountain he can see from his room -

Elder Reed wanted to let everyone know how much he loves you. He greatly appreciates the love and support from everyone.

Elder Reed received a call the previous night [that he made this recording] that there would be an additional companion there with them for a time. It's a Peruvian Elder that was serving in El Salvador, but had to come home for a little bit to have some medical stuff taken care of and then would be returning to his mission. Elder Reed was eager to help out and to meet someone new.

Elder Reed said that the message he wants to share with everyone this week is to "keep going". In spite of everything that happens, just keep going. Sometimes things get tough, but keep going! He shared again that he loves you all and hopes that you have an enjoyable week!

July 18, 2016 update

Week 95 for Elder Reed - He said he is feeling "old" now as a missionary. :)

There were no pictures this week, but Elder Reed shared that this week was another time of testing for him and his companion. He said that literally all their lessons fell thru this week - which is rare.  It was tough for Elder Reed and he hopes it doesn't happen that way again. 

The contacted a lot this week, hours and hours and hours of walking and talking with people. He said that everything has a purpose, even the times when you aren't sure what the purpose is. Elder Reed said that he and his companion worked more on helping people in a way that would help them smile. 

Elder Reed shared that he realized this week how much he loves teaching the plan of salvation. He said that it's the best! They were teaching a less-active family who were trying to re-activate themselves, and there was also a non-member there, and when teaching about the plan of salvation, Elder Reed felt the Spirit so strongly! He loved it!

Elder Reed also talked about a lesson they had in priesthood meeting in Church the previous day (Sunday). The lesson was about paying a debt for someone else, a debt that was owed. They were also talking about the temple. He remembered that there was a time (when he was younger) that our family had gone to a restaurant to eat - Mom and 5 kids. When it came time to pay the bill, we had found out that someone else had noticed the kids and how good they were, and was impressed with our little family, and they had paid for all our meals. That greatly impressed Elder Reed. There was one thing that the waiter said that Elder Reed has always remembered. He said, "The only thing the person [who paid the bill] asked is that you do something nice for someone else and he will be repaid." 

Elder Reed determined that was what he was going to do this week. Do something nice for someone else. You never know who would need that. Something that you may not understand, but that they need, because that is how Christ served - by loving and serving others in small and simple ways. Elder Reed gave a challenge to each of us to do the same thing. Do something nice for someone else. It doesn't have to be big, or even involve money. It may involve some time - even just the time it takes to give someone a smile. However, that can make a huge difference in someone's life, and can help them feel the Savior's love.

Remember, every effort for good counts in this world!

July 11, 2016 update

[Elder Reed's mission is nearly complete and I'm catching up on the blog - I'm grateful for his service to the Lord and I know that the Lord is well pleased as Elder Reed has come to love the people of Peru]

Elder Reed shared this picture from the morning of his birthday in Peru. He said that they worked really hard on his birthday, and it was like many other birthdays he had already experienced. :) He said that he met lots of different people that day and he was able to remember that he was there in Peru to serve the Lord and he is so grateful for this experience!

He also said there were some other birthdays, like the U.S. birthday (Independence Day) and his younger brother's birthday. Elder Reed gave a shout-out to all those having a birthday.

Elder Reed said that he and his companion were hoping to find more investigators and they also hoped that those they were teaching would choose to follow through on commitments and come to church, because that is how progress happens!

Elder Reed shared how grateful he is for the power of the priesthood and that it is active and on the earth today. He said that they also had people help with giving the missionaries rides to various appointments and that he was grateful for all the help. Elder Reed said that he is grateful for the members of the Gospel who are strong and supportive. 

During the week, Elder Reed shared that they met a couple people who were totally against any church other than their own (which was not the Latter-day Saint church). Of this experience, Elder Reed said that "it doesn't matter if they spit on us, if they tell us that we are absolutely wrong, that the Book of Mormon can't be true, that we have no idea what we're saying, or if they just make fun of us for who we are or for the way we speak, or whatever. God's watching us. He knows. We'll have our reward later. Maybe not in this life. Maybe we'll never see the fruits of our labors here in mortality. But later on, we will. That the only thing that our Father has ever asked us to do is obey His commandments. And when we obey His commandments, He gives us blessings, for which we are indebted. And then, when we give thanks and we keep obeying to show that we are grateful, He gives us more blessings! And we are eternally indebted to Him - and that's how I feel - eternally indebted! It doesn't matter what happens. As long as we are focused, miracles will happen!" [Elder Reed also thanked his Aunt Bonnie for that reminder :) ]

Elder Reed also said that they went up to a hill during the week and offered a prayer to dedicate the area they were working in, and it was a very powerful experience - Elder Reed shared how the Spirit of the Lord is very powerful when there is little sound around. 

Remember that Heavenly Father loves you and would love to hear from you - in any way you feel you can - talk to Him.