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

No comments:

Post a Comment