It's crazy to think that another week has passed by and that I am already e-mailing again. The weeks are really starting to fly by. This week we had a lot of things going on. First of all, we had our baptisms! Agapito and Sebastian were both baptized on Saturday. The baptisms really were the highlight of the week. It's always such an amazing experience to watch people enter into the waters of baptism. They were both so excited and ready to be baptized. I am constantly amazed by their desire to follow the Lord. It was an amazing experience to see the joy that baptism brought into their lives. Funny little experience with the baptism--Elder Day decided to baptize our phone también...but thanks to some investigators with a blow dryer, it is still functioning!
One of the most powerful experiences this week was saying goodbye to Elder Urry. Elder Urry is (was) our zone leader. He is the one we were always playing basketball with, talking to, he was just our good friend, but also an amazing missionary. He had fun, all while working hard, up to the day he left. We all went to eat with him on Saturday, because he left yesterday, as kind of a going away party. He was doing everything but party. He was sad. He has such a love for the people and the work that it was killing him to leave. He was just telling people how these are the best two years of your life, and to enjoy every minute of it.
It made me reevaluate my take on the mission. The mission is the only two years that I will get to dedicate 100% to the Lord. I need to take advantage of every minute, and of every day, and enjoy every moment. I have learned in the mission to appreciate everything. The good, and the bad, and the simple things. When times are hard, there is always something we can learn from it. When times are good--we need to enjoy them--and always be grateful. And the small things. It shouldn't take anything amazing to make us happy. We have every reason to be happy! We are children of God. We have an amazing family. We have the Gospel in our lives. These are the things that last forever. I have really learned to find the joy in these things. They are what bring true and eternal happiness.
Anyways, we received the transfer call last night! Elder Day is leaving. He is heading to Las Palmas to be a zone leader there. I know he will be awesome. He really has taught me everything that I know about the mission. He has taught me to find the balance between working hard and enjoying the mission. He has such a love for the Lord, and his desire to serve is amazing. He really has become such a good friend of mine, and it definitely is going to be hard to say goodbye. Trainers in the mission are called "fathers", and he has been my "father" out here. Just as dad taught me so many things at home, my "father" in the mission field has taught me so much. I will always be grateful for the example he has set for me.
As for me, I am now going to be a father. Yes.....you understood correctly. I am training. I will be training an Elder Hall, straight out of the CCM. Here is how the phone call went last night:
"Elder Day, Elder Reeder, you are never going to believe what's happening this transfer. Reeder's training!"
We all got a good laugh out of that, and then I said, "Alright Elder Morgan. Really, what's happening?"
"Reeder, you are training."
"Hahahaha. Enough jokes, Morgan. Who is my comp?"
"Dude, I'm not kidding man. You're training Elder Hall."
At this point I went pale and began to pace back and forth throughout the house. I have never felt so inadequate in my entire life. I felt sick to my stomach and was sure it was all a joke. So I called Torribio (the other Zone Leader), and he said it was true. Words cannot describe the thoughts and feelings that I had at that moment. I have never been so scared in my entire life. I am in a country that I don't know, where they speak a language that I don't know, and now I am going to be with a kid who is greener than me. And I am as green as grass.
But I have reason to rejoice. The Lord knows His people, and He knows Spanish, and He will help me through this. I know that this is going to be a great learning opportunity for me. I thought I learned a lot the last two transfers, but woah......BUCKLE UP! Anyways, I'm scared, scared, scared, nervous, scared, nervous, scared, and excited. I just pray that I can help Elder Hall in at least 1% of the ways Elder Day helped me. Oh, and I will be staying here in Madre Vieja Norte to train.
Well, that's about it. Thanks for everything guys! Some extra prayers for me and Elder Hall this week would be great. I love you all so much!
Elder Riley Reeder