Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I am Alive and Well

Well hello family!  Yes, I am alive.  Alive, happy, and WAY better than last week.  Crazy to think this week was way better, cause this has been a crazy week.  So being a missionary, we don't really hear anything about storms and stuff unless it is really, really crazy.  Well we hadn't heard anything.  So last Wednesday, we woke up expecting just a normal day.  Boy were we wrong.  I woke up at about 3 AM to lightning that literally didn't stop.  It looked like it was light outside because the lightning just kept coming.  It was insane.  But I was an exhausted little Elder, so I went back to sleep.  We woke up, and it was raining super hard, so we threw on our proselyting clothes and went downstairs to ask the neighbor what was up.  He said the river had risen and that it was flooding Barrio Nuevo (the area we had been contacting and where some members live).  We hurried over there, and wow!  The river had risen over 30 feet and was running through the roads.  We ran to Agapito and Mami´s to see what we could do.  We grabbed their valuables and then trekked in our church clothes through waist deep water to get their things safe.  I fell in a pothole in the road that was underwater and ripped a hole in my pants....sorry about that.....and banged up my knee pretty good, but that's not what's important.  Picture this...2 white guys in shirts and ties walking through waist deep water carrying stuff on our heads and shoulders.  Pretty legit, right?  We then tried to go to the Ward Mission leader's house because we knew it was in danger.  We went to the end of the street, and we couldn't even get down it because the river was flowing down it and there were trees and debris floating down the street.  It honestly was the kinds of things you only see on the news.  I will send pictures, but they really don't do it justice at all.  We then ran to the church and started thinking.  We went and bought a bunch of food and supplies in case things got worse, we changed out of our proselyting clothes and got ready to work.  We went back up the river (used to be a road)  and tried to see what was going on.  The river had swallowed a whole row of houses (including a members)  and had gone up to the roofs of most neighborhoods, and the houses were full of mud.  Let the work begin.  Mom don't worry.  My life was only in danger like once, but it honestly was the last thing on my mind.  I have learned more in the last week than I'm pretty sure the rest of my life.  Last week I was feeling all bad for running hoo.  Then this happened.  I saw people who lost everything they owned, and who have no way of getting these things replaced.  My selfish complaints suddenly seemed like nothing.  I have never been so humbled in my life.  Anyway back to the story....that day we spent the day at Araujo´s house (ward mission leader)  helping him with his house.  He had about three feet of mud throughout his whole house, so that was a lot of 5 gallon buckets full of mud and a lot of shoveling.  But the most amazing part was this family.  They all had smiles on their faces.  They were happy.  In spite of all of this, they were happy.  Can you believe that?  I couldn't.  Absolutely amazing.  Not everyone was in this same mood.  We would be walking, covered in mud after helping people all day, and people would yell ridiculously rude things to us.  Here there are two extremes.  The extremely humble, and the extremely prideful.   I have realized it doesn't take money to have pride.  Interesting huh?  Anyway, next day.  More work in the mud.  The pictures will tell the stories.  I was covered head to toe in mud.  And yet I was the happiest I have been so far on the mission.  I had forgotten about myself and was serving the people.  It was exactly what I needed.  That night we helped a random man we saw on the street clean out his house.  He was so grateful.  He told us thank you over and over again.  Pretty much we just walked up and down the street ( now river)  and found people to serve.  It was amazing.  Then every night we would go wash our clothes and get ready for the next days.  E-mailing is really hard.  I just ramble.  Lo siento.  Anyway.....oh yeah the day of the storm it almost took out a was pretty intense.  Okay I believe we are on Friday.  Friday was, to day, the best day of the mission.  We started by cleaning out another house, a house of a single mother and children.  It was a pretty big ordeal.  All of their furniture and things were still in the house, so we had to clean all that out.  Remember when we were lifting Grandma and Grandpas fancy mattress into the cabin and it was stinking heavy and folded all over?  Well times that weight by about 1,000 and you have a mattress filled with mud and water.  It was the funniest thing in the world to watch us try so hard to move this mattress, and we couldn't even budge it.  It was crazy.  Anyway we got that all cleaned out and went to Araujo´s house, and this time they were all miserable.  We found out that they hadn't had water for two days..  Okay I will finish this in a while!  We gotta go help some people, but I will finish it today.  I love you guys!!

Elder Reeder

Sorry, the Obispo just called we had to go running!  The church is amazing.  We just finished unloading a truck load of supplies donated by the Church.  There were hundreds of 5 gallon buckets that had cooking supplies, utinsels, first aid kits, everything.  Then there were boxes and boxes of mattresses, clothes, blankets, you name it, the Church sent it.  The Church is amazing.  Okay, where I left off.  Friday being the most amazing day ever.  So that morning we ran to La Sirena (basically the Wal Mart of the DR) para comprar me some rubber boots!  (I was doing a number on my gym shoes)  Then we went and cleaned out another house, and went to Araujo´s.  When we got there the whole family just looked depressed and sad, which is extremely unusual for this family.  We asked what was up, and they said they had no water.  No water to drink, no water to wash, no water.  They hadn't had any since the time of the disaster, but were too busy helping other people to ask for help.  Elder Day and I decided this was a great opportunity to try and help.  We ran across town to the Stake Presidents house, got the phone number of a member with a truck, and within 5 minutes we had Pedro, his truck, and another member to help us out.  We went to our house and got our trusty tank from our shower that holds all of our water, got another huge tank from a member and headed to the church to fill them up.  We ended up getting about 8, 5 gallon tanks of drinking water as well, and loaded it all in the back of this trusty little Toyota Pickup.  Just as we were about to leave,  we realized that there was no way we were going to be able to make it there in this truck.  There was still a good 2 feet of mud in the road, and there was no way this was going to happen.  So we said a prayer.  Elder Day and I stopped right there, and each prayed our hearts out that there would be a way for us to get this water to these people, and then we headed over there.  Just as we got to the end of the road, giant front end loader cleared a path right in front of us that ended right at Araujo´s house.  The Lord answers prayers.  If I know anything, I know that the Lord answers prayers.  So, we were able to baja our little Toyota up this road and deliver the water.  It was an amazing experience.  We then went back, filled them up again, and took water to some other members.  It was awesome.  Then when we got back to the house we had more fun experiences!  We were out there hosing (is hosing a word?)  off our clothes and some kids walked by on the street below us.  We decided to attack.  I distracted them and Elder Day hid with the hose, jumped up and shot them with water and yelled Suckers!  They ran away screaming, and then came back for more!  They kept yelling Sookey and sticking out their tongues!  (sookey was their best attempt at saying sucker)  It was then time for us to get them.  While I distracted them with the hose, Elder Day ran down with a 5 gallon bucket full and got them pretty good.  Missionary work is a lot of work, but when you look for opportunities it is really fun as well.  The little kids are the best.  They always yell americano´s, or mormones, which is kind of annoying, but we have good ways to get around it.  Whenever they say americano to me, I always say, ¿donde estan los americanos?  Soy Argentinian!, or German, or something else.  It really confuses them.  Anyways, Saturday was more work, more mud, more joy.  Serving people really is the best.  I also will never forget the Spanish word for mud, because wow I have never seen so much mud in my life!!!  So in short,  pretty much a whole neighborhood got destroyed, it was bad enough that the President of the country came, I saw a river swallow houses, I saw people in conditions you would never believe, I worked harder than any other time in my life, and I had probably the best week of my life.  Missionaries at the other side of the zone said that people were talking about the 2 missionaries wading through the water with things, and how grateful the people were.  If anything,  I hope the people respect the church, and know that we are here to help, and we aren't just 2 white kids trying to convert them (although we kinda are)  Okay, um Sunday was sweet, we were in Elders Quorum and people were discussing if we should help on Sunday or if Sunday is a day of rest. We busted out Luke 14 verse 5 through I can't remember, and it went silent.  Then the 2nd councilor clapped his hands and said, where are we meeting?  We had a great turnout that night, people from all over San Cristobal came to help, and we all had Yellow vests that said La iglesia de jesucristo de los santos de los ultimos dias, and then manos mormonas que ayudan.  It was awesome to see this colony of Members out helping.  The Church gained a lot of respect this week, and I hope it is going to open the door for missionary work.  Wow....sorry that is really jumbled, crazy, and probably doesn't make sense.  I had a great week.  How about you guys?  Got any stories to match that?  Haha mom thanks for the update on my puppies, and the pictures, keep them coming!  They are the best.  Mom, the best way is to put money in my account, but as for now I´m doing fine.  I charged like 320 pesos or so on my visa for the rubber boots, so if you could transfer my money to pay that off that would be sweet.  Also, when I took my Johnston and Murphies wading through the water the insoles got kinda mad.  I think I can salvage them for now, but can you check with Mr. Mack and see how much new ones would cost?  They are size 9.  If they aren't too expensive it would probably be a good idea to have a couple extras if you could do that.  Thanks for the letters everyone, they really keep me going.  I pray for you all everyday and hope that all is well.  Let me know what is going on in your lives!  It's nice to hear what everyone is doing.   I´m safe, I´m happy, and I am so grateful for what this week has taught me!  Thanks for all the prayers and your concern.  If there is any questions you have, just ask me! I love you all so much!  I will send some pictures now.
Elder Reeder
AKA Riley

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

San Cristobal Zone / Madre Vieja Norte Area

Hola Familia,

          How are things back in good ole Utah?  I am now having my first experience in the sketchy little internet cafe sorta thing!  Everyone is on facebook....facebook is taking over the world!!  Anyway, as I'm sure you are now learning my P-Days are on Monday.  From now until eternity I believe.  This is why I haven't e-mailed for a while.  Sorry about that, but I had no choice.  Well, I have a lot to catch you up on.  

          Last Tuesday, we had to wake up at 4:00 to clean our room, pack, all sorts of stuff to get ready to leave the CCM.  Then we left there at 6 A.M.  It was pretty weird saying bye to all my friends there.  I had gotten really close to those people, and it kinda stunk saying goodbye.  Anyway, we drove to the capilla and threw all our luggage out and waited for our trainers to come.  My trainers name is.....drum roll......Elder Day!  From Santa Barbra California.  He has been out a year (well on the 26th of August).  He is awesome!  We get along really good, so I was really, really happy about that.  I was nervous, but we get along good, and he will be a good trainer.  

          I am serving in the San Cristobal Zone, and my area is Madre Vieja Norte.  It's about a 40 minute drive from the capital, so I can't see all the big buildings and things, and that makes me happy.  Anyway, my house's gonna take some getting used to!  I would put a little smiley face right there, but I'm on a stinking Spanish keyboard and it's all funky!  First of all, there are some bug issues, but we took care of most of them with some flammable hand sanitizer, some matches, and a heavy duty bug net to sleep in.  We have a shower, it just doesn't work, so we have a big bucket of water, and we use that to clean ourselves!  Fun, Huh?  It's a little difficult to get clean, but I get the job done.  We have electricity, from about midnight to 6:30 AM, and then from like 2 to 7.  So basically, whenever we aren't in the house, we have electricity!  Kinda frustrating because no electricity, no water.  But hey, I´m adjusting!  I won't send pictures, because well, Mom, quite frankly, you would freak out!  Anyway, the first day I went through some pretty intense 'oh crap--what am I doing?' moments.  

          The area I am working in is divided into pretty much 2 sections, Barrea Nuevo, and some other area I can't remember the name of right now.  Barrea Nuevo is a little sketchy, so we have to leave there at about 6 and go to the other area.  That makes contacting and stuff a little hard, but we make it work.  We are teaching quite a few people right now, and have a baptism set for this Saturday as long as everything goes good.  The man had to have an interview with President Rodriguez, and he had to go higher for approval, so hopefully that works out.  We had another person set to be baptized, but she didn't come to church yesterday, so we have to take care of that.  The people here are kinda flaky.  I love them, but they have a hard time making and keeping commitments.  We found some new families to teach, so hopefully all goes well with them.  Last week we contacted a lot and with some success.  
          There are a lot of really crazy churches around here like with rock music and 'praise the Lords' screaming all the time.  It's kinda funny.  We have a pretty nice capilla, and we are part of an actual ward.  The members are awesome!  They are super loving and friendly, the only problem is I have no clue what they are saying!  Out here lots of people don't have teeth, and that makes Spanish really, really hard to understand.  I´m working on that, but I know that it will come with time.  
          This nice little lady who we call Abuela cooks for us every day!  We eat bandera, rice, beans, and some sort of meat.  It's okay, and keeps me full, and that's the point, right?  She is an awesome little old lady.  Here, the only way lessons are counted is if we have a member present.  It's difficult, but Abuela is always willing to come with us!  She is awesome, I will send a picture sometime!  Speaking of which, Mom, the office called me and told me that my package got sent to Santiago for some reason, they were gonna get it, and it's gonna cost me 1300 I would recommend sending the other way.  But thanks so much for sending me a package!  Mail seriously is the best thing in the world for missionaries.  
          Hmmm what else....let me check my list!  Hey will you take the batteries out of my Beats Headphones?  I don't want them corroding them.  Wow--talk about a random thought I had.  Hmmmm about the area, everyone lives in what we would call a shed.  Tin roofs...when it rains it's pretty much raining in the houses as well, dirt roads, tons of motorcycles, and tons of colmados  (those little stores that sell random stuff and play ridiculously loud music).  It never stops, I´m thinking I might have to take Mom's approach to sleeping with some earplugs because it is loud!!  
          Anyway, I´m alive!  Just please pray for my safety, and health, cause yeah, just that would be nice (insert smiley here).  
          Hmmm what else do you want to know?  Just ask and I´ll tell.  Sorry it's super hard to remember things to say.  Today for P-Day, we had 4 other Elders come over to our house to hang out, and we played basketball at the capilla.  We played Dominican style, which is no backcourting, and if you touch them it's a foul.  Crazy, but fun!  How are things there?  Mom, you are about to go back to teaching aren't you?  How's the summer?  What are Ash and Sven up to?  How's Keagan?  Dad have you shot a monster bull yet?  I hope you find one!  I would love some pictures of what's going on!  
          All I can say is always be grateful for what we have.  We have so much and are so blessed.  If I have learned anything so far, I have learned to be grateful.  I hope you all are doing good, staying happy, and that life is good!  Anyways, I love you all.  So much.  The church is true.  This is definitely the hardest thing I have ever done, but the most rewarding as well.  I have learned so much.  I pray for you always. 


Elder Reeder

Monday, August 22, 2011


     We haven't heard from Riley for a while, since he has been out of the CCM.  We've kind of assumed that he has been assigned to serve in the "campo" because that is where the AP's took him on their "intercambios".  If we're right, this means he is very far away from the city, and that explains why he hasn't been able to e-mail.  Mom is trying hard not to panic. 

     The Hurricane joke that was so funny a few e-mails ago, suddenly isn't.  Now, with the news that Hurricane Irene is hitting the Dominican Republic, Mom is really starting to panic!  We don't know where Riley is, but wherever he is, I know that he would really appreciate your prayers right now!

     Please, pray for the safety of Elder Reeder and all of the Missionaries! 

Sunday, August 14, 2011


     Hello Family!  How is everyone doing?  Things in the Dominican Republic are as good as ever!  It is crazy to think that this is my last week here.  Mixed feelings, unlike most people I actually loved my CCM experience.  I have grown so much in the past two months, and am grateful for everything that I have learned....but I am way excited to get to the field.
     This week was a little bit interesting!  Last Friday I had my first real experience in the Mission Field.  We got to go on intercambios with the missionaries from the West mission and spend time with them out in the field.  About 20 of us packed into a mini van (this is not an exaggeration), and we headed off to the capilla where we would meet our "trainer" for the day.  When we got there, they called out all the Americans' names except mine, so I was a little nervous.  I went up and asked my AP's where I was going, and they said I would be going with them out to the "campo" that was about 45 minutes away.  So I got to have a nice chat with my future AP's for about 45 minutes.  They are awesome and will help make our mission successful. 
     I got to this little town and met the missionary I would be spending the day with, Elder Upshaw.  Elder Upshaw is the Zone Leader in that zone and is going home the day that I enter the field.  The AP's said that in their opinion he is the best missionary in the mission, and I agree.  I learned so much from him in the 3 hours that I was with him.  First of all, we were in one of the poorest parts of the entire country.  Houses were smaller than my room at home, had no windows, and were dirt floored.  For power they have a car battery outside of the house hooked to an inverter to power their TV's.  It was the most humbling experience of my life.
     The first thing we did was go to an appointment with an investigator that was set to be baptized the next day.  His name is Juan Miguel and is 16 years old.  My companion told me that we would be teaching about the Priesthood.  I figured I would just be bearing my testimony at the end.  Well in the middle of the lesson, he just turned his head and looked at me like 'your turn'.  I was like, uh......I began talking and words filled my mouth.  It was an amazing experience.  The gift of tongues is real.  If the Lord needs you to say something, He will provide a way for you to say it.  I don't know what I said, but I know that it was important to this young man at this time. 
     After this, we did some contacting.  Every single person we contacted accepted our invitation to return the next day.  It was amazing how humble and open the people are.  After this we went to visit a member who had just had surgery.  The family instantly gave us their only 2 chairs and demanded that we sat in them, while they sat on the floor.  Even though the chair was soft, I have never been so uncomfortable in my life.  I wanted nothing more than to sit on the floor and let this family that had absolutely nothing sit on their chairs.  But, they would have none of it.  My life will forever be changed by these experiences. 
     Needless to say, despite my first experience with Juan, I didn't have a clue what anyone was saying.  The Spanish here is mumbled, and they cut off their words.  I felt like I might as well have been listening to Chinese.  When I got back to the CCM I was frustrated, and for the first time in my mission I thought that I just couldn't do it.  I went through the rest of the night upset and doubting that I would ever be able to do this work.  I prayed that night that I would be strengthened. 
     The next morning during my personal study I came to 3 Nephi 27:13.  The words, "I came into the world to do the will of my father, because my Father sent me" were my answer and my strength.  I know that I am here to do the will of my Father in Heaven.  I know that I am here because through a Prophet, my Father in Heaven sent me here.  Through Him, I can do this.  I instantly was comforted and realized that, although this is hard, I am where I am supposed to be, doing what I am supposed to do.  It strengthened my testimony so much. 
     I am so grateful the Lord humbles us, and then when we turn to him, he always helps us.  If I had one word to describe the mission so far, it would be humbling.  It is just an amazing experience that you can't describe. 
     On Sunday our devotional was President Rodriguez (my Mission President).  He is an amazing man, and I love him already.  He always just has a huge smile on his face and is always friendly.  He gave an amazing talk (in Spanish and I understood :)  about how obedience will pay off for us.  Apparently, there are some big problems in the DR with missionaries not going to bed and getting up on time.  I don't really know where he was going with that...but yeah...I follow the rules, and I have seen the blessings, plus I'm stinking tired when 10:30 rolls around!  haha  
     Okay, now to answer the question that I know you are all wondering, whats with the Subject:  First Baptism Today! ?  Well, I got to Baptize 5 people today!  Okay, that's kinda deceiving, but I will explain.  This morning we got to go through a session, and then after, the 8 American Elders got to go do baptisms for the dead.  It was awesome.  I got to baptize Elder Richardson 5 times, he baptized me 5, and then we each did 5 confirmations.  It was awesome.  The font in this Temple is absolutely amazing!  We definitely need to come back here after I come home.  Anyways, it was an awesome experience to learn how to baptize and to have that opportunity.  I even got Elder Richardson all the way under!  It was awesome.  The temple is awesome.  It really is my favorite place in the world.  No where else can you feel the same peace and comfort as in the Temple. 
     The Church is true.  The Book of Mormon is the word of God and can help us with anything.  I promise that if you will read it everyday, it will change your life.  I know God hears and answers our prayers.  I have learned to rely on prayer, and I pray for each of you daily.  I love you so very much.  I'm grateful for everything each one of you has done for me.  I love the mission.  I am happy, healthy, a little hungry, but great!  I hope you all have a great week!  Next week I don't know when I will e-mail, because I will be a REAL missionary!  Wahoo!!!

Elder [Riley] Reeder

P.S.  Mom for the Newsletter---Well the Dominican Republic is awesome!  I will be leaving the CCM next week, and am excited to get in the field.  Spanish is......improving, but still a challenge.  The Dominican Republic CCM has been an awesome experience, there are only about 8 American elders here so you make really good friendships.  I can't wait to get out in the field and share this wonderful message.  I hope you all are doing awesome and thank you for your great examples and friendships.

Elder Reeder

Thursday, August 4, 2011


     I'm in the middle of a hurricane!!!  And its crazy!  The building next to us just blew over, and we are taking some pretty big hits here!!   Hopefully, we will make it through the eye of the storm!  We will be taking shelter in the Temple after I'm done writing this e-mail!  So, sorry this is so short, but I will write you later!!!
     Okay, so that was just a joke.  Mom, I know you are probably freaking out.  I'm sorry, but I couldn't resist.  I literally tried to not do it, but I couldn't.  Tropical Storm Emily hasn't brought much more than rain.  And when I say rain, I mean rain!  I walked from the CCM to the Temple today, and it was ridiculous--I was soaked--and I had an umbrella!  Good thing I have waterproof shoes!  
     Anyway how is everyone?  Sounds like Mom has found permanent residence in Cedar City, and Dad is now living alone!  Good thing you have Sami and Sage!  I never have the problem of being alone, good ole Elder Jensen is always right there with me!  
     Oh, how my life has changed in the last (almost) two months!  And every single thing has been for the better.  Sure it's hard, sure it's frustrating, sure it's hot here, sure it's a lot of things, but it for sure is the best thing that could ever happen to me.  I have learned more about myself and more about my Savior in this short time than the rest of my life.  It's amazing.  Being a missionary is amazing.  

Section 1:  Funny Events and Experiences of the Week

     The CCM is now packed.  We got about 40 new Latino Elders last Thursday, and it is now insane!!  We had the choice to move in with other Americans or to have Latinos move in with us, and we chose Latinos.  Now the fun begins.  Our roommates' names are Elder Majia and Elder C...something that is really long and I can never remember because I don't know how to pronounce it.  
     They are from Nicaragua.  Their Spanish pretty much sounds like Chinese.  So we pretty much just nod our heads and say yes.  That happens a lot around here.....kinda scary, I hope I haven't agreed to anything too crazy!  There are Elders from everywhere:   El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, The DR, pretty much everywhere!  Some of them speak crystal clear and some of them.....don't.  
     So the first thing I noticed was that they each had 5 bottles of cologne each.  The weird thing is they like to spray them all on our room pretty much smells like the part of Dillard's where all the cologne is. It's...uh... interesting, but hey it could be worse!
     Next thing, they don't flush their toilet paper, so our bathroom kinda stinks.  I have tried many things to try and solve this problem.  First attempt:  remove the garbage from the bathroom.  No success.  Second attempt:  demonstrate proper technique of putting the paper in the toilet, by putting a whole bunch in there!  Still no success.  I will continue to brainstorm ideas on this.  If anyone has ideas for this, let me know.  Mom, you should probably cut that toilet part out before you put it on the blog! Just saying..... 
     They also don't like to go to bed on time, and they don't like to wake up, but I have successfully solved both of these problems. 

Section 2: Cool Spiritual Experiences of the Week

     Well, last week was a little bit interesting, but contacting wasn't so exciting.  It was raining and pretty much everyone was hiding in the buildings, so nothing too exciting there.  
     On Tuesday, we had a devotional with Elder Cornish of the Sevenety, and it was amazing.  He talked about a lot of cool things, but the thing that really hit me was what he said about our personalities.  He talked about how we need to stay away from the desire to "be like" other missionaries.  He clarified that by saying it is okay to want to have the work ethic, or to do the good things that other Elders do, but we NEED to be ourselves.  We just need to be our BEST self.  He then continued by testifying that he knows a factor in determining where we are called is our personality.  
     I had never thought about that.  Maybe I am here because I have a certain personality trait that will allow me to be an instrument in the Lord's hand in helping someone receive the Gospel.  This hit me hard.  I need to be myself.  Not Elder Jensen, not Elder Smoot, not the highest baptizing missionary in the world.  I just need to be the very best Elder Reeder that I can be.  
     It also applies to those at home.  We don't need to be anything but ourselves, but we do need to be the very best self that we can possibly be.  Food for thought.
     Also, he discussed challenges that young people who have been in the church their entire lives have with knowing when they are feeling the Spirit.  Lots of time they are so used to having the Spirit, that they can't recognize its' influence.  He used the analogy of a fish who discovers everything around him, but the last thing the fish "discovers" is the water.  The fish never realized how important the water was or how much it affected his life, because it was always there. 
     I feel like that's how I was before my mission.  This has been one of my favorite experiences of the mission: having the Spirit be crystal clear.  It is an amazing experience that words can't describe.  Just another interesting thing to think about.  
     Next story could have possibly fallen under Section 1, but we were teaching so I chose to put it here.  We had the opportunity to teach a young women's and young men's group the importance of Church attendance and how it can bless their lives.  We had the chance to teach a 14-year-old girl.  Well, when we started the lesson, she said she wasn't a member of the Church.  We had been told that all of the people would be members, so we had prepared a lesson for a member.  When she said this, we looked at each other (me and Elder Jensen) and were like...uh...and ended up sharing a lesson on the Restoration.  Well, long story short, she was really a member and had just thought she was supposed to act like a non-member.  It was pretty funny.
     Anyway, time has expired!  I love you all.  I am doing great.  I love the mission.  It is an amazing experience that has changed me, and has made me realize what is important in life.  The Church is true.  All my letters need to say, is that--the Church is true.  That is the most important thing I could ever say.  The Temple truly is the House of God.  I hope you all attend at least once a week.  If you aren't, please start now.  I know it will be worth it.  I know the Book of Mormon is true.  I have developed such a love for it.  2 Nephi 31 is amazing.  That one chapter has so many special doctrines that we take for granted.  The Holy Ghost is real.  It is the most amazing gift we could ever recieve, and we all have it.  I love you all and pray for you daily. 

P.S. -  I am ready to leave the CCM.  I'm ready to be a "real missionary" and can't wait for the 16th!  Thanks for continuing to write to me, letters really are the best.  Sorry no pics this week, nothing exciting to take pictures of!
P.P.S.  If you have specific questions you want me to answer, put them at the end of your letter and number them 1-2-3-4, because that's the only way I will remember.
     Sorry if it seems like I don't respond to your e-mails, but if you do this, then I will be much more prone to do that!
TWO WEEKS till I'm a real missionary!!!

Love you Guys

Elder Riley Reeder