Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Good Week!

Well it's time for the weekly update from the Dominican Republic.  This week was a good one!  We had interviews with the President, and a Capacitación with Hmna. Rodriguez.  President Rodriguez is an amazing man, and he always makes me want to be better as a missionary.  He carries with him such an amazing spirit, and he has such a love for the missionaries and the work that it is amazing.  He talked a lot about how important obedience is, and how much it effects our effectiveness as missionaries.  He talked about how we need to have ¨the light¨ to be successful.

I´ve been thinking a lot about obedience and the Light of Christ, and how it applies to everyone.  I have heard the word obedience more on the mission than at any other time in my life.  Why?  Because it is everything.  When we are obedient to the commandments, we have the Light of Christ, and we are promised blessings!

Anyway, events of the week.  First of all, funny event.  The Evangelico  (I dunno what religion that is in English)  religion has--different beliefs than ours.  Last week, we were teaching an evangelico woman.  I told her that to start out the lesson I was going to offer a prayer.  I began to pray and about after the second sentence, she cut me off and began to pray.  It scared me to death!  I had no idea what to do.  Elder Day looked at me and apparently I just had a look of complete shock, because he just busted up laughing.  Anyway, the rest of her prayer was us trying not to giggle.  One of those you-had-to-be-there experiences, but it was funny.

We spent a lot of time looking for new investigators this week.  We have had to drop a few investigators because they just weren't doing their part.  It is so hard to see someone who just won't take the steps to find out if the Church is true.  As missionaries, we have 3 things that we want our investigators to do.  Read.  Pray.  And go to church.  Pretty simple things.  But they are also the same three things that every member of the Church needs to do!  They are the ¨seminary answers¨, but they truly are the most important things we can do!

If we are reading the Book of Mormon everyday, we will learn and grow closer to our Savior.  If we pray, we will develop a personal relationship with our Savior and be able to receive the blessings that He has waiting for us!  Then, if we go to Church, we have the opportunity to renew our covenants, and feel the Spirit even more.  These things are extremely simple, but maybe that's why at times they are hard to do.  Because they are so simple to do, they are simple to find reasons not to do them.  But by simple things, great things come to pass.  I believe that with all of my heart.  

Anyway, Saturday was a really good day.  We had the opportunity to go build a house!  A member from our ward is building a new house, and we got to go help them.  (Us being Me, Elder Day, Elder Morgan, and Elder Anderson)  In the D.R. the nicest houses are build out of cinder block and cement, and it just so happens that the part we would be working on that day was the cement.  Elder Morgan and I were helping this member form up areas to pour the concrete.  All I could think of was that the things I learned from my Eagle Project were suddenly coming into play.  I knew how to make the forms, I knew how to screed out the cement, and I even taught the guy the "hit the forms with the hammer trick" so that they wouldn't have the honeycomb in the cement!  He was really stoked about that because the other parts didn't look so good.

Anyway, Dad I want to say thanks for teaching me those things.  I never thought that knowledge would be needed on my mission to the D.R., but it was!  It was so much fun to be able to help out, even if my construction vocabulary was very, very limited. 

Today for P-Day we went and played softball.  Wow.  Talk about rusty.  I was terrible!  I could field a ball, but I couldn't throw or hit to save my life!  It definitely rekindled my love for baseball.  I am determined to get back into it when I get back.  We played with some Dominican kids and the rest of our zone, and jeez those kids know how to play!  There were 11-year-old kids turning double plays and throwing the ball harder than I could!  It was super fun.  

Anyway, I think that's all the news for now.  We are off to a Noche de Hogar with Ramon and some kids from the ward.  I don't know if I have told you about Ramon, but he might be my favorite man on this island.  He is hilarious, a Red Sox fan, and I´m pretty sure he and Grandpa Reeder are going to be best friends in the future.  I went over to his house the night the Red Sox got knocked out, and we mourned together.  I wish you guys could meet him.   I´m going to try and take a bunch of pictures with members and investigators this week and send them to you guys next week.  Anyway, that's all for today.  I love you guys all so much.  I pray for you every single day.  Thanks for the e-mails and the support.  

Elder Riley Reeder

P.S.  Responses To Mom's Questions

1.  His parents aren't members.  Elder Day doesn't want to try to teach them.  I am determined to teach them before I leave.  Escogidos literally means like chosen ones--basically people that are prepared to hear our message.  

2.  We were walking through the jungle!!  There was a trail, but it was just a foot trail through the jungle!  It's awesome.  It's a big city.  And we still haven't found any people that have seen missionaries before.  

3.  Yes, we get invited to eat with members--just last  week we had a few opportunities!  It depends--most of the members have enough to help us out, but the meals are always simple--rice, beans, and some juice!  It's amazing how the people are willing to give absolutely everything they have to us.  The members here really love the missionaries.  But anyway, about the food.  Rice, beans, and about twice a week a little meat!  It's amazing how my taste buds have changed.  I now can eat peas, carrots, beans.  I love orange juice, and I can eat just about everything that gets thrown on my plate.  I honestly prayed to be able to eat the food, and I´ve seen the results.  I still can't gag down avocado though.  

4.  I haven't taken as many pictures as I should...I´ll be better.

5.  Yes my pants are really light!  I have two other pairs that are getting made right now.  We have the best tailor in the whole country in our area, so I´m thinking about having him do a whole suit.....not for sure yet.  (He´s so good he does suits for the President).  Pants cost about 15 dollars a pair.  A whole 3-piece fitted suit of wool fabric is 120 dollars.  It's pretty dang cheap.  And yeah, they are awesome!!!

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