Friday, November 16, 2012

Hello, Family!!

November 10, 2012

Well Family,

I know that last week was full of excitement, and I wish I could say the same about this week--but I just can't!  This week was quite unexciting, but that's not always a bad thing either!

This week we had the leadership conferences, which are always a great experience!  This time I had to prepare a message that had to do with the mission objective.  It was a pretty cool experience preparing the message.  While I was preparing, I was using Preach My Gospel to help me, and I found a reference I wanted to look up.  Well, I ended up going to the wrong chapter, and found exactly what I wanted to share.  I decided to base my message on the power that we are able to receive in and through the Atonement.  It is something that I have really been studying lately.  The Atonement isn't just to help us be cleaned of our sins, but also to give us power!!  There are many scriptures that show the power that we can receive through the Atonement...I would tell you them, but that would take away the opportunity to find them yourselves, which is much more fun.  :) 

Well, after the last minute weekend vacation, Manuel is back.  He is doing extremely well, and we are now working for next Saturday.  I have no doubt he is ready.  He had an extremely amazing experience that I will have to tell you about when I call here in a month or so.  It just doesn't do it justice to tell it through e-mail. 

Right now we are working on a giant project.  We have to change the contracts of every one of our 69 houses to a new church contract. is kind of a big deal.  We are working crazy hard with that, and with a few other projects.  This coming week is the last week of the transfer, so next Saturday I will know if I stay or if I go.  It is amazing how fast time passes.  I entered the office with less than a year, and now I have 17 months.  The time just goes faster and faster.  It is getting scary.

I am grateful that I still have lots of time to serve the Lord.  I know that I owe him more than I will ever be able to repay.  I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity to be a missionary.  It really has changed me in ways I never thought possible.  I know that if I allow Him too, the Lord will keep molding me into the person He wants me to be.  I feel as if I have been going through the refiner's fire, but I know that it truly will be for my benefit. 

The news of Elder Stott was shocking.  I'm extremely proud of him for doing what is right.  I know that he is and was a faithful servant of the Lord.  What his family said is so true--it is time to live the gospel--in its' fullness.  It is crazy to hear that all of those people are home now.  It seems like yesterday I was with them.  I'm sure they were all great missionaries, and I am excited to hear about their welcome homes. 

Well, that's about all folks.  I'll send some pictures to show our activities from today! 

Love ya all,

Elder Reeder 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Oh the adventures from this week.....

November 3, 2012


Well, ya know how I usually start out by saying I don't have anything to tell you about....well this week, I actually do!  But its really not the things I want to tell you about.  First off...our baptism fell.  Everything was one hundred percent ready to go until yesterday.  Yesterday, the uncle of Manuel (an extremely strong member, who Manuel lives with), called us and said that they had to leave this weekend to go to the campo.  It was an extremely big bummer to say the least.  It is so hard for me to see someone 100% ready to be baptized, and after everything has been prepared, to have it fall through.  In all honesty I was quite frustrated with Hno Dominguez (his uncle), at first--but I learned a lesson this week that helped me to handle it much better!  (story to come)  Anyway, if you could keep Manuel in your prayers that would be great. 

This week the Assistants were out in the southern part of the mission--so we were playing Assistants and Office Elders, so it wasn't too hard to stay busy!  On Tuesday, we received a phone call from Hna. Rodriguez, and we could tell she was extremely nervous.  She told us that a missionary had fallen off the roof of a 2-story house, and we needed to go get him right away.  We immediately called the missionaries to see what was going on.  It turns out he was fine, but we were going to get him just in case!  By now I'm sure you are did it happen?  I shall tell you...

One lovely Dominican day, on a hot and humid Tuesday morning, Elder Monegro (name has been changed) decided to do some exercise.  "What better place to do exercise than the roof of our house", thought Elder Monegro as he started up the stairs of the cinder block house.  "I think I will start by running in place, because there isn't too much room up here", he thought silently.  Elder Monegro then began running.  He started slow, then went faster, and faster, and faster, until he could hardly stand the burning in his legs!  He closed his eyes and pushed hard to finish up the workout...when he realized he was floating through a magical margin between sky and tin shed....and then he met the reality of the rusty tin shed.  He then crashed through the shed and landed square on his butt. 

The End. 

Well, after we realized that he was okay--we began to ask questions--and we got mas o menos the above mentioned story.  (I might have taken a little bit of writer's liberty).  I'm not gonna lie...I just about died laughing!!  He was running in place on his roof...closed his eyes....and boom!!  On a more serious is amazing how the Lord protects His missionaries.  A fall from that high could have easily killed him--and broken bones would be expected.  But he walked away without a scratch.  The Lord watches over and protects His missionaries. 

Story #2  9:17 P.M. Wednesday, October 31st, 2012.  Intersection of the 27th of February and Caonabo. 

" empanada sure sounds good after a long day of work", said Elder Batista to his companion Elder Reeder.  "Sure does--lets go!"   Ring Ring Ring Ring....cell phone.  "Hello President, how are you?" "Bad--We have two missionaries in jail--I need you two to meet me in the Torre Crystal right away".

Yeah, in that moment all that was going through my head was "what in the ??"  Anyway, we shot off like a stampede of turtles through peanut butter!  Okay, we actually took off pretty quick.  When we got there, we met up with President and Hna. Rodriguez, and some guy, who for the size of his head, I assumed to be extremely intelligent.  I then had to follow President, who I think secretly races NASCAR on the weekends, through Santo Domingo to the jail where they were holding them.  Along the way...we picked up a lawyer who appeared out of thin air. 

We finally arrived at the jail, and things began to clear up a little bit.  What was amazing to me, was watching and learning from the way that President handled the situation.  Before entering the building, he stopped, and said a prayer--putting the situation in the Lord's hands.  It turned out, that the two missionaries didn't have electricity in their house, so they decided they would try and play with the electrical meter.  Yeah, not a good idea!!  The police came right away and hauled them off to jail, and jail here isn't a pleasant place like it is in the States.  The bathroom is the floor...the rooms are the size of a dog carrier, and it is not the most uplifting atmosphere.  So, as you can imagine, President wasn't too excited about his missionaries being there.

Well, because it was late at night, they said the Elders would have to stay the night, and that the next morning, they would be let out to stand trial.  Well, then all the leaders of the Caribbean were notified, and plans began to be put in motion.  We then all came together, and offered a prayer that they would be granted the chance to not have to spend the night in prison.  We prayed, and it still seemed as if they were going to have to stay.  President then looked at me and my companion, and said, "They can't be here alone.  I need you and your companion to stay here with them to make sure they are okay."  I was hoping that he was talking to the other Elder Reeder in the room....but then I realized I was the only one.  Well, luckily, the miracle came.  The Police General came to the jail at 1:36 A.M---something absolutely unheard of---and allowed them to leave.  When he said this, President broke down in tears as he hugged the missionaries. 

The next day, I had the chance to spend some time talking to President about what happened, and he kept saying, "I know the Lord wants us to learn from this.  What can we learn from this experience?"  It was amazing to me to see how through it all, President knew to learn from the experience.  He knew the Lord wanted to teach us something from that.  I know personally I learned how to act in tough situations, and how to solve tough problems.  Put the Lord first.

So that leads me to the baptism.  This experience has helped me to have a different outlook on the problem with the baptism.  I can't think about my desires to see him baptized, but rather I have to put the Lord first.  I have to learn to put my confidence in Him, and allow Him to teach me through the experiences that I have each and every day.  I hope that we always can look for the good in all things.  I hope that we recognize the hand of the Lord in our day to day lives, and that we are always looking for the lessons that He teaches us through the experiences that we have! 

I hope that you guys all had a great week last week, and that this one is even better!


Elder Reeder

Bear Hunters?

October 20, 2012


Dad, you are hunting Bears?!  Mom, you are hunting?  I had a nice flashback to Bill Engvall......"psssstt what time are the deer coming?" ---"I dunno, they forgot to call back to confirm the appointment!" 

Well, this week has been a little bit better!  This week we started to do house checks!  We checked all the houses in the capital, about 45 or something!  Its quite a job...I think we logged in about 700 kilometers this week!  I know that doesn't sound like much but when you factor in Dominican drivers and roads, it equals about 4000 miles!  I got to go back to Madre Vieja and check the house, and while we were there, I ran into Santo (my first baptism).  He and his family are doing great!  I also got to see a few other people from there, so that was fun. 

This week was also President's birthday, so we got to surprise him with a homemade cake!  It was pretty funny, we talked to the Hermana and snuck into his house and were waiting downstairs with the candles lit and everything, but by the time he came down the candles all burned the cake tasted more like candle!  Ha ha!  We then got to stay and talk with them for a while, so that was fun! 

This week, we had a pretty cool experience!  Finally, we were able to go talk to one of our investigators about his experience in General Conference.  He told us that he entered just a little late, and President Monson was talking, and without anyone telling him, he instantly knew it was the Prophet.  He said he felt as if he was in a room alone with the prophet, and that he was talking directly to him.  It was amazing how strongly the spirit bore testimony to him about the prophet. 

This week I have been thinking a lot about what I am grateful for.  This week I realized how grateful I am for challenges.  I have realized that my experiences in the mission recently have been quite challenging, but I'm grateful for them.  I'm grateful as it says in Ether, that God gives us weaknesses so that we will be humble, and if we are humble the Lord will make our weaknesses strong!

Also, Dengue Fever (don't know how to spell it) is now an epidemic here!  There are a lot of sick missionaries, so that's occupying much of our time!  Don't worry, I'm a professional mosquito swatter so I'm still safe!  Sounds like Mom and Dad had quite the experience with the trailer...I'm glad everyone is safe.  That's what is important.  That's awesome to hear about the new Bishopric, look out deacons quorum leader...there's a trend!  I've been thinking about Spencer a lot is he doing?  Well, family I don't have a lot of time!  Thanks for everything!  I love you all! 

My Dearest Familia!

October 13, 2012


First of all, I'm sorry that I haven't written you a letter!  I'm a little bit behind in the world.  This week has been the busiest week of the mission.  I think we totaled out with about 18 hours of sleep from Saturday to Saturday---we are a little tired :(  But anyway, transfers are done...and no one died!  Ha ha ha  So as you can see...I'm still in the office...until at least the end of November.  Obviously, the Lord still has something that He wants me to learn.  This week was so busy....we weren't able to get to our area as far as that goes--this week was a bummer!!!  It is extremely hard for me to have so many investigators who are doing so good...and then for circumstances beyond our control, we aren't able to visit them.  I just have confidence that the Lord continues blessing them, and helping them as long as they are in my thoughts and prayers.  Tomorrow, if everything goes good, we will be in our area for the whole day!  I cant wait!!!

Friday we were able to go to the Temple in the morning.  Absolutely Amazing!!  I needed that, and it was great to feel the peace and comfort of the temple!  I know I've said it before--but I'll say it again.  Go to the temple!!!  Every single week!  Don't let a single week go by without going to the temple.  Test the Lord--see how He blesses you!  See how He pours out His Spirit and His blessings!  I have seen the people here sacrifice everything to attend the temple. It is in our background...please go there!!!

Here is one neat story from this week.  The missionaries who are going home always leave on Wednesday.  Well Tuesday at 10 PM, we received notice that one of the flights wasn't going to work out for a missionary from Chile.  He was only going to get to an airport that was 15 hours away from his house...and then he was stuck.  I was extremely overwhelmed to say the least.  I had to somehow find a way to get him home, and I didn't have a clue what to do.  Well, I knelt down and said a prayer that everything would work out.  After, I just felt calm and confident that everything would work out.  I started investigating the area, looking for the mission that corresponded to this area, to try and see if the Assistants from that mission would be able to pick him up and let him stay with them until we found him flights.  Anyway, it just so happened that the airport happened to be in the mission where Tom Essig's Dad is President!  Coincidence?  I don't think so!  Anyway, with some connections we were able to make adjustments, and we were able to help him get home on time!!  In the end we didn't even end up needing the help from the mission there, but it was comforting to know that option was there!  I don't know if that made any sense, because it was a big story really condensed.  Moral:  It's amazing how the Lord works.  Because the Lord sees past, present, and future, He does everything to bless us in many ways.  Did He call Tom's Dad to be mission President just to help me feel comforted that everything would work?  I don't think so.  But, I do think that He saw that situation, and knew that President Essig would be able to help!  All I know is that it was an answer to my prayer, extremely unexpected, but extremely powerful!

Story for the week :)   This week my interesting experiences include....driving a giant van to the airport....driving the Toyota Hilux Ambulance all around Santo Domingo at 2 o'clock in the morning, making a payment to a dueño in Florida, and learning to forget about myself.  The office has helped me to forget about myself.  Everything we do here is for other people, and it has really helped me to just not worry about myself!  It's amazing how when you are serving someone, your own needs and desires seem to disappear.  I feel like that is something I never fully understood in my life before.  I guess I lived a kind of me me me me life, and it should have been a everybody else kind of life!  I'm grateful that the Lord has given me a weakness, but is helping to make it a strength.

I love the mission.  I love the things that I learn.  I love my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and His Gospel.  I love the plainness and beauty of His divine plan!  I want you to know that I know this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ.  I am proud to bear what to me are the two most important names in the world.  The name of Jesucristo and the name of my father and family.  It is my daily goal to make sure that I live worthy to bear them.  Thanks for everything! 


Elder Reeder

Sunday, October 7, 2012

General Conference

Dearest Family,
Well this week has been a quite unforgettable week.  This week I have continued training the Schmidt's.  They are starting to get a hang of things!  In all honesty, this week can be summed up by one experience that really changed me!  This week we received a bunch of new rules at interviews, rules that to me were hard to understand the reasoning.  I just couldn't understand.  Well that day, President wasn't able to interview us or the assistants, so he said he would do it the following week.  That night he called us, and said he felt like he needed to interview us the next day.  He came the next day and dedicated the whole morning to interviewing and talking with us.  It was an interview that I will never forget.  In the last 8 weeks, I have felt overwhelmed to say the least.  Well, when I entered in that moment with President, I felt the confirmation that all of it was worth it.  President told me that I was called to come to this mission, in this time, to fulfill the work that the Lord had prepared me to do.  It was an experience that I don't think I will ever forget.  It was confirmed to me how inspired President is, and that everything he does is with love for the missionaries.
Oooops....I didn't mean to send that...I will continue!  

General Conference this morning was amazing!  We were all here in the office watching it, and when President Monson announced the changes in mission ages, we all jumped up and cheered!  I am extremely excited that they did that change, and I know that it was inspired!   I also loved the talk by Elder Nelson, because, well, I'm a missionary!  Ask the missionaries!  He put a lot of responsibility in our hands, and I hope that I can always be worthy and able to fulfill that responsibility!  I also loved the talk by President Uchtdorf.  It is so important that we take time to enjoy the things in life. I loved the analogy about music.  We don't listen to music waiting for the last note...but we enjoy the whole song!  I thought about the mission a lot during that.  I am here in the mission, and I shouldn't look towards the end.  I need to enjoy each and every moment.  

I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a missionary!  It is amazing to be able to serve here in the D.R.  I love each and every challenge and blessing that comes from the mission!  I know Christ lives, I know He loves us. I know this is the true church!!! 

We know transfers, and I am staying here in the office for at least one more.  I'm doing great, and I am very happy!  Elder Brimley stays.  Thank heaven.

I love you guys!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

You might be a Mormon if... you have ever used the phrase "with every fiber of my being."

Dear Family

This week has been one full of interesting experiences!  I am training again!  This time....its just a senor couple!  The Schmidts came on Monday, and this week has been quite full!  I am not only teaching them how to do the office work, but also how to turn on a computer, right click, copy and paste, print, all sorts of stuff!  I have gained lots and lots of patience on the mission!  They are an absolutely amazing couple, and its great to have a couple more grandparents here in the mission again- we needed that!  

My thoughts are quite jumbled like always, but I'll try to get them out.  This week Elder Brimely and I have been racking our brains with ideas to try and help out the mission.  We feel like the missionaries just aren't enjoying the work- and we just really want to help them work hard-but also enjoy it!  No one wants to listen to a message from a couple of people who with weary and sad faces say- "we have a message that can change your life..."  Who wants that kind of change?  Moral of the story, we need to work hard and be obedient- but this life also isn't merely to be endured, but enjoyed!  I'm making a template of a weekly newsletter- to put things for the missionaries.... of the week....etc, if you have suggestions that would be great!  

Yesterday I had a cool experience.  I went to show the Schmidts how to deposit money in the bank account of the mission.  Well we went, did the deposit and all was well.  Well, as we left, I realized that the cajero (don't remember the English word)  put 4,000 pesos less than it really was.  Well, when I noticed that it was wrong, we said a prayer that everything would be okay, and went back inside.  Well, I went and talked to the person that helped me, and she was sure that she did it right, but I was SURE that I had counted correctly.  Well, I then was able to tell her exactly how many of each bill and coin there was.  It was over 27,000 pesos, with all of the denominations, and somehow I was able to remember how many of each and every one there was.  They then came and counted the drawer, and realized that it indeed was over 4,000 pesos, and that she had made an error.  To me it is such a simple miracle.  By myself, I could never have remembered how many of each bill and coin was in a stack of money that I counted the day before, but the Lord was able to bring it back to my memory.  It is amazing how much the Lord blesses us when we are just willing to ask!  

Our investigators are doing great!  Manuel is progressing tons!  He just loves everything that we teach him, and I think in every lesson at least he throws up his hands and says "thank you!!!  I have thought that my whole life!"  It is amazing how the gospel truly does answer the "preguntas del alma".  I absolutely love every opportunity to preach the gospel.  I think that part of the reason the Lord sent me here was to help me realize the joy that is felt while teaching the gospel, because it really brings a joy that is indescribable!  

Mom, you asked a lot of here are the answers!  I honestly don't remember who is Lakuna Elite--that was forever ago!  Sorry, don't remember!  Also, I can't believe they sent my Preach My Gospels to the house!  I told them to sent them to me here in the good ole' D.R!  If you would like to send those to me...that would be great!  But if it costs a lot, dont worry about it!  But I think the other box with the wedding announcements should be there in a week....we just have to get the pictures taken...that's the only hard part!   Hahahahaha. Speaking of weddings....who else has gotten married?  Ummm I still haven't gotten any new pants...I went looking today...but I'm just too big of a tight wad to buy anything!  I'm just washing a lot :) 

Well family, sounds like you are all high tech and staying in communication!  I want you to all know how much I love you!  I really do have the most amazing family in the world...and I cant even begin to tell you how thankful I am for you!  I hope you are all happy and well, I pray for you always!  

I love you!

Elder Riley Ted Reeder

Elder Riley Ted Reeder
La Iglesia De Jesucristo De Los Santos De Los Últimos Días
La Misión Santo Domingo Oeste, República Dominicana 

Short On Time

September 22, 2012


Just like always, I'm a little bit short on time!  I'm sorry that my letters are a little bit shortish recently.  I think I'm just going to start writing hand letters or something!  Haha well sounds like you had quite the trip, and that it stunk leaving Ms. Keagan!  I'm sorry...I'm sure that wasn't easy!  This week we had the zone conferences for the mission with Elder Anderson (Caribbean Area President).  We also had the chance to have a meeting, the office and President and him, and he let us ask questions and stuff- its not every day you get that chance with a general authority so that was neat.  We have really been working on getting to the area earlier and being able to work more as "missionaries".  My companion and I put the goal to be in the Area every single day at 6 o'clock, and somehow or another we have been able to do it.  Elder Anderson told us, we could pay someone to do finances, or records, but we cant pay someone to preach the gospel- its just that important!  Its amazing that if we put faith in the Lord we really can do anything.  We have two amazing investigators right now that are progressing really good.  Alex, and Manuel, they both are really sincere, and have received answers about the truth fullness of the gospel.  Sad news of the week, they just banned pistol pocket pants (like all of mine are.....), so I have to get new could you let me know how much money I have in my account so I can try and take care of that little problem?  Sorry to be so short, I love you guys! Thanks for everything! 

Elder Riley Ted Reeder
La Iglesia De Jesucristo De Los Santos De Los Últimos Días
La Misión Santo Domingo Oeste, República Dominicana 


September 15, 2012

Hello Family!

This message is coming in a little bit late today....sorry about that!  First off, Mom and Dad, sounds like you guys have quite the road trip ahead of ya!  I hope that all goes well.  Even if they are building a house behind us....I'm not sure if I want to go home to Montana!  Hahaha.  Question....are the girls with you guys?  I'm glad you guys made it to Jon's welcome home.  I'm sure he did great!  That made me laugh way hard that he told that same joke to start out.  I remember like it was yesterday when he told that joke at his farewell!  This week has been pretty normal-lots of work!  Right now we are getting things ready for the Schmidts.  They are coming on the 24th, and we still have to get their house all ready!  I don't know too much about house contracts as it is, but in Spanish!  WOAH!  I'm learning lots of useful stuff in the mission!  

I just wanted to tell you the good news that the family that we were teaching in Independencia, all of them, got baptized!  They won't go down technically as our baptisms, but that isn't the point now is it!  I'm just extremely happy that they were able to make such an important decision to be baptized.  We have a new investigator, a reference from a member, named Manuel who is progressing really good!  The first couple of lessons he wasn't too interested, but we started asking a lot of questions, and it sparked his interest!  He is from Venezuela, and was raised in a family without religion, but he really understands!  Yesterday, in a visit, we were teaching him about the atonement and how it is important in the plan of salvation.  I decided to share from Alma 7- and invite him to be baptized. (after we read verse #14)  He responded saying he was scared, and that he wasn't sure if he could.  It was amazing how all we had to do was keep reading in verse 15 to find the words of the Lord to comfort him.  
  15  Sí, os digo, venid y no temáis, y desechad todo pecado, pecado que fácilmente osaenvuelve, que os liga hasta la destrucción; sí, venid y adelantaos, y manifestad a vuestro Dios que estáis dispuestos a arrepentiros de vuestros pecados y a concertar un convenio con él de guardar sus mandamientos, y testificádselo hoy, yendo a las aguas del bautismo. 

How amazing is that?  I know only Dad understands that, but you others can look it up!  Its amazing how the Book of Mormon answers questions.  It helps us know what we should do!  I especially love the part that says we must leave behind all sin, sin that wraps us up.  This week I was studying a talk that Jeffrey R. Holland gave, and he said when we are tempted, we must slam the door and run from it!  And, we can't leave a forwarding address!  How interesting is that?  We all have different temptations.  What tempts me, might not tempt you, and vice versa.  But, the solution is the same!  Leave it and run!!!!! I love the simplicity of the gospel.  I love that as a missionary, the more I learn, the more I return to the basics, and the more I understand, the more simply I teach.  (My grammar is going right down the tube, sorry.)  

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is what brings us happiness.  Keeping the commandments brings us happiness.  I love the talk in last conference that talks about the difference in being active in the church, and active in the gospel of Christ.  I think its good to sit back and think "am I really living the gospel of Christ, or do I just go to church every Sunday?"  I am so grateful for my Savior, Redeemer, and Friend, Jesus Christ.  I am grateful that He walked the lonely road, so that He knows how I feel when I feel alone, He walked alone, so that we don't have to.

I love my family.  I'm grateful for such wonderful parents and a great sister and brother-in-law, and a full of it niece!  I'm grateful for the examples in my life, from family and friends.  Estoy muy agradecido por todo que el Señor me ha dado, y especialmente por la opurtunidad de venir a la tierra.  

Today we went to Johnny Rockets to celebrate the big 15 months.  How weird is that? 

Other exciting things from this week.....cant think of any!  Thanks for the letters, love you guys!  

Elder Riley Ted Reeder
La Iglesia De Jesucristo De Los Santos De Los Últimos Días
La Misión Santo Domingo Oeste, República Dominicana 


August 4, 2012

Hello Family!

To start things off I've gotta tell you the news that has made me most happy this week!  Today I logged on to my e-mail and had a message from Brad Gonzalez.  He was just telling me a little bit of the news from the Best Buy gang, and at the end he threw in the tidbit of information that he is getting baptized next week!!!  He said he is getting baptized the 9th of August!  How awesome is that?!  I asked him to tell me at what time and where, and if you guys would be willing I would really appreciate it if you would go.  I will send you the information when I get it, but that would be great if you could go.  Anyways, that's part of the good news for this week!

This week in the mission has been a little stressful, but extremely good!  This week I took over the finances and exec. secretary work.  I have been extremely busy, but I am learning a ton!  But, the most rewarding part of this week happened yesterday.  Yesterday we had a second visit with a family that was absolutely amazing.  We were working as a trio with one of our Zone Leaders, and we showed up a little bit late to the visit.  As we were walking to the house, the husband was leaving.  He was absolutely furious and said he was done-he was leaving.  We mas o menos dragged him up the stairs to the house to share with him.  We started off by singing When There's Love At Home (maybe that's what its called in English...don't remember).  We then said the prayer, and immediately he started saying some pretty rude things to his wife.  We stopped him, and began to teach.  We started off by talking about the family. Why is it important?  What role does it have in Gods plan?  We then started applying the Gospel of Jesus Christ to this family.  It was amazing how us 3 missionaries who had hardly ever worked together just started clicking.  The lesson just flowed.  Towards the end, the husband said "I feel something I have never felt in my is a peace and comfort that I can't describe".  The member who was with us said..that's the spirit.  The spirit was so strong in that moment it was unbelievable.  We left them a bunch of "homework" to do as a family.  They are going to pray, read the scriptures, and have family home evening.  To end, we all knelt and the husband said a beautiful prayer, and we left.  Oh, and they now have a baptismal date for the 22nd of September.   :)

I share that not only because it was an amazing experience, but also because it made me think once again of the family.  I was thinking about all the times that I heard "say your family prayers, have family home evening, and read the scriptures together".  As I teenager lets be honest, that's the last thing I wanted to do with my free time.  Well, I now see the importance.  Those things are what keep a family together.  That's what turns a house into a home. That's what prepares a family to be eternal.  I encourage all to do those things!  Mom and Dad, I guess family home evening would be a little boring with just you two, maybe you can join an old people empty nester's club :)  Hahaha.  Just kidding :)

I want you to know that I know that the gospel of Christ is for the family!  It is central to the plan.  All that we do leads to the temple, but not just to the temple, more specifically to being sealed in the temple!  That's the most important thing we can do!  If we have done it, always keep those covenants. They are what bind us together as a family. 

I love you all!

Elder Reeder

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Challenges in Life Bring Blessings

Hello Family,

Well, it was good to hear once again that everything is going good!  I was surprised to read that Mom also had a tire blow out.  How was that?  I'm assuming everything is okay?  I sure hope so.  It's interesting that all of these things have been happening seemingly at the same time.  I was thinking of the why?  Why did the wreck happen?  Why do all these seemingly fluke things happen?  I received my response quite directly and quickly.  Monday mornings we have a meeting with President and Hermana Rodriguez, the senior couples, and the A.P's.  To start out this meeting we always have a devotional.  This week, the President was in charge of the devotional.  He started off by saying he had been thinking a lot about challenges in life.  Challenges for missionaries, for investigators and for everyone.  At this point I'm sitting up a little straighter in my  chair.  He then talked about how there are always challenges before the blessings.  Something I have heard more than once, but in this moment, it was exactly what I needed to hear.

We then read from Mormon 9, where it talks about miracles.  This part really stuck out to me.  27 "O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need.  Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him.  28 Be wise in the days of your probation; strip yourselves of all uncleanness; ask not, that ye may consume it on your lusts, but ask with a firmness unshaken, that ye will yield to no temptation, but that ye will serve the true and living God."

Be wise in the day of your probation.  Right now we are experiencing our probation!  Times are tough!  Ashley and Sven had a rough accident--and now have to move halfway across the country.  Dad is working like crazy.  Mom had a tire blow out.  These are our tests!  I hope that we will apply the guidance of this scripture--ask with a firmness unshaken, that we will yield to no temptation, but that we will serve the true and living God.  I know that these trials aren't easy, desired, or fun--but they are an opportunity to grow!  In the mission I have experienced trials, but the times I learned and grew the most were during these trials.  The Lord tests our faith.  He has to know that we will remain true and faithful, and then He opens up the windows of heaven, and we receive the blessings.  So many blessings there isn't room to receive them!  I know that the things that happen here in the earth have a purpose.  We can shake our heads and ask why, or we can hunker down and get stronger!  I pray that we always accept our challenges head on, and that we will learn and grow!

I love you all so much! 

Elder Riley Ted Reeder
La Iglesia De Jesucristo De Los Santos De Los Últimos Días
La Misión Santo Domingo Oeste, República Dominicana

Count Your Many Blessings!

July 22, 2012

Hey Guys,

Well, this weeks letter is going to be a little bit different.  First of all, Ashley, Sven, and Keagan--I can't say it enough how grateful I am that all of you are okay!  The way that I received the news was quite interesting.  It was a normal P-Day, and we were going to go bowling.  Well as we were getting ready to leave, I started feeling extremely weird, and I decided that I didn't want to go.  I ended up staying at the house with Elder Brimley, because I just felt weird.  Well, I then did something even stranger, and I went to check my e-mail at an extremely unusual time.  Well, I logged on just 5 minutes after Dad sent me the message.  As I read the message, I immediately knew why I had lost my desire to go bowling.  As I read the message, the words seemed extremely unreal and shocking, to say the least.  I was beyond relieved when I saw that everyone was okay.  I immediately got in touch with President who approved my using E-Mail to communicate with you guys.  When I explained the situation he said, "the Lord protects the families of His missionaries."

I am extremely grateful that in such a serious accident, everyone left fine!  It left me thinking about what really matters in life.  In one second I went from thinking everything was fine at knowing about a serious accident.  What I'm trying to say is--we never know what is going to happen.  In this moment no one was thinking about the Honda Element with the cholo wheels.  (Sorry Ash, I couldn't help but notice those wheels!) :) :).  What mattered was the safety of my and our family.

Today in church in Elders Quorum, our teacher shared a story from last conference.  I think in English it's called Life in the Fast Lane (by President Monson).  In this talk, he talks about the woman who never let people visit her house because she was scared it would get dirty.  She lived continually like this until the day she found out she was deathly ill.  She then, suddenly, didn't care about the cleanliness of her house, she cared about her family.

I just want you to know how grateful I am to have a family that has always cared more about each other...than objects.  I know that the Lord truly did protect Ashley, Sven, and Keagan, and I am extremely grateful that everything is okay.  Cars can be replaced.  Sven--do not take blame in any way.  It was an accident because of weather conditions and something you didn't have control over.  Everyone is fine--don't beat yourself up over it.  Move on, and be grateful that the Lord protected you and your family.  I want you to know how much I love you all!

Nothing is-and never will be-more important than my family!  I continually pray for your safety, health, and well being.  I hope that we always remember to do our part, as the Lord continues to do His.  The simple 3 things:  Church.  Scriptures.  Prayer.  Please don't forget the importance of these things.  I don't really know what to say, other than I'm so happy you are all okay!!

I love you so much!!

Elder Reeder 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Eventful Week and the Continuation

Hello Family!

How are you all?  From what I heard, it sounds like you guys had quite the....hmmm.....¿eventful? week!  Guess what, me too!!  Wanna know what happened?.............................I'm going to assume that you do.  Here's the story:  We got in a car wreck!!!!!  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!  Okay, Mom please stop screaming, don't call the mission office, and just keep reading.  Here's the highlights.  One peaceful Monday, July 9th, 2012, Elder Taveras and I were working away.  Well, part of our work was fixing up a house so that we could entregar (Sorry, I can't think of the English word--like when you give a rented house back to the owner) it.  Well we needed a few things from the hardware store so we headed to Ochoa.  (Closest thing to a Home Depot that there is here).  Well, we bought our stuff and were out.  Alright, now comes the part where you have to use your imagination real good.  Here's the circumstances.  4:30 P.M.  Sunny and Clear.  Road Conditions- Dry.  So the road we are talking about is one of those less intelligent roads that have the divider with cute little trees and stuff in the middle.  Anyway, I pull up, look to the left, look to the right too (cause we are talking about the D.R. here) and pull out.  I then do a very smooth head check, turn on my blinker, change lanes, and enter into the little space to give a U-turn.  All is good right?  Well, we sit there for a few seconds--completely parked--watching for a spot to pull in to go the other direction.  It is during this delightful little moment that we hear BOOM!!!!  I look at my comp and say, "What the heck was that?"  Well, then I look in my mirror and see two guys jumping around like crazy!  My mind then put 2 and 2 together and realized that we got slammed into by a motorcycle!!  We jumped out to make sure they were okay and to evaluate the damages.  First of all, they were fine.  In some pain, but fine.  But boy did they do some damage!!  Anyway, what happened, is they came around the corner going who knows how fast, lost control and slammed into my pretty little parked truck.  :( First off--it wasn't my fault!  The truck was 100% in the middle, and, well, I was parked!!  Anyway, they banged up the back driver's side door, the bed, and a little part of our tie-down bar!  Exciting story right?  Well anyway, right away we took it in to the body shop, left her there, and they started to fix it up.  Now, she is good as new :)   But during this time, we had to drive our gigantic white Hyundai H-1, 15 person van that Elder Brimley and I named Moby Dick.  I know that I'm going to get about 15,482 questions about this next week, so I'll just answer the questions instead of trying to explain everything.  But anyway, that was the highlight of my week!    

Sorry, I have to go be ambulance!  I'll write more later!!!  

Love you guys!

The Continuation........................

Well, I'm done being ambulance for the day!  I think.....anyway, I don't really remember where I I will answer/ask questions!  To answer Mom's questions, my family from San Cristobal is struggling a little bit.  They are going to church every week, but are struggling on getting married.  President wants to do a conference call with me and them to try and give them some animo.  Keep them in your prayers! 

Elder Brimley is from Sandy.  I don't know if you remember, but he was in Madre Vieja Sur when I first started.  He had about 8 months when I got to the field.  We had a lot of fun back then, and then we both got put in the office together, him as assistant and me as office elder.  He now has 18 months.  We have a ton of fun together!  My companion is a really great guy!  We have a lot of fun, and we get along just fine!  Its kinda stressful in the office, so I probably have more fun experiences with Brimley because we just talk and have fun in the calm moments. 

So Sven is getting recruited by the big dogs!!  Congratulations!  I'm gonna be honest....I am about 1,000 hours away from my niece right now, so she better be closer when I get home!  Speaking of which...I did get the DVD!  She might be the cutest thing I've ever seen!  But really, that's a great opportunity, I guess the only thing I can say is ask the Lord.  If I have learned anything from the mission, I have learned that the Lord answers prayers.  He is anxiously waiting to answer our prayers. 

The song that always comes to my mind when I'm feeling a little stressed, overwhelmed, anything, I think of the primary song, "Heavenly Father, are you really there?  And do you hear and answer every child's (or adult or missionary) prayer?"  The response is so clear and powerful that He is really there.  He really does hear and answer every child's prayer.  I don't remember if I have said this before, but something that really has changed my prayers is something extremely simple.  Lots of times I pictured praying to my Heavenly Father and Him being a long way away.  Well, I think that it is a lot better to think of Him as being right there by my side.  Every night I can just pour out my thoughts and feelings, and am lifted up by His strength.

Change of subject....guess what I did this week.  I sang in Sacrament Meeting....wait wait wait..........what?!?!  Yeah it wasn't by choice.  One day we were sitting in sacrament meeting and they said, and now we will have a special musical number from the Priesthood!  Well, us being priesthood, we went up. one decided to come with us!  Well, us, the 6 missionaries from our ward, ended up singing by ourselves!  Yeah, chalk that one up in the "firsts" column! 

Oh news.  President finished transfers, and I'm staying here with my same comp!  He now will be in his 7th transfer here in the office.  Looks like I just might spend the rest of my mission here, ha ha. 

I love you all so much! 

Elder Riley Ted Reeder
La Iglesia De Jesucristo De Los Santos De Los Últimos Días
La Misión Santo Domingo Oeste, República Dominicana

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Hello Family!

How are you guys?  Well first of all, I'm extremely sorry that I didn't write this week.  I sent pictures...I hope that was a little interesting!  First of all, the pictures of the beach--don't worry, we had permission!  I'm sure you were all freaking out--but, we had permission.  How is life back in the good, ole valley of cache?  Things here in the Mission Office are just as crazy as ever!  I honestly don't remember the things that happen in the week--so I'm going to apologize in advance.  My letters are probably more and more boring as the time goes on, but I really just don't remember things that happen in the week!  A good chunk of our time is spent pretty much running errands.  We have to buy things for houses, take care of sick missionaries, run errands for President and Hermana Rodriguez, and all of that stuff!

This week we didn't have hardly any time to work in our area, and the time we did have, we mostly spent contacting.  Contacting here in the capital is a lot different than in San Cristobal.  We do a lot of contacts by intercom.  My first contact by intercom had to have been one of the top 10 awkward moments of my life.  I really felt like a Greenie all over again.  I was like, "Uh uh uh uh, we're missionaries and we want to share a message with you!"  She said, "Okay, but in another moment."  So I said, "Can that other moment be tomorrow?"  She said no :(   Ha ha.  Anyway, life is just a lot different here in the office, but as I learn more about my responsibilities, and the more time I spend learning from President, the more I love it.  One of my favorite parts of being here is really getting to know President.  He is such an amazing man, and I really hope to become more like him. 

Yesterday I did an intercambio with Elder Mejia, one of the assistants, and we went to his area.  We were working literally right next to the temple, when we saw 2 guys with some sweet four-wheelers.  Elder Mejia asked me if I knew anything about four-wheelers, and if I wanted to talk to them.  I said sure thing.  We went over and we just started talking to them about four-wheelers and riding and all sorts of stuff.  Somehow or another the conversation changed to the church.  We asked them if they knew what that big building (the temple) was.  They told us that it was something with the Mormons.  We then started talking and explaining a few things about our beliefs, and why that building was so important to us.  It was an extremely powerful experience to view how the spirit worked within them, and they accepted a visit. As they roared down the street on their four wheelers they waved and yelled, "We'll see you!"  It just made me think of a saying that I always saw in Doyles' (yes Doyle soccer coach Doyle) classroom.  It says "They don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care."  This experience just confirmed the truth of that saying for me.  Had we entered and right away fired away with the gospel, it is possible that they would have told us to get out of there.  Elder Mejia encouraged me to talk about four wheelers, which at first seemed weird to me, but it's possible because we showed that we were interested in their interests, they listened to us. 

I have realized that as missionaries sometimes we are a little over zealous.  Yes, we want to share the gospel with the whole world, but it has to be the right time.  When we see someone struggling with their groceries, should we run over and say "Hey, we are missionaries, can we share a message?"  Or should we run over and say, "Hey, let me help you out?"  Obviously, the second.  The more we look into the real needs of the people, and look at them as children of God that we want to help, and not as someone "disguised as a baptismal statistic" (as Elder Holland says), the whole way that we work changes.  The joy of living the gospel is incredible.  The joy of sharing the gospel is something extremely special.  

On Sunday, we got to go to the CCM with President and the assistants to talk to the new missionaries, and to take a few pictures with President.  Well, we got to the CCM, took a few pictures--and BOOM emergency.  We then converted our truck into an ambulance and were off!  We spent the rest of the night shuttling people from hospital to hospital, doing x-rays, sonografias, all of that stuff.  Hospitals in the D.R. are not happy places. 

Monday, SUPER P-DAY!  Super P-Day was awesome because we got to go to Barahona!  Barahona is the furthest zone from the capital, so I got to see a lot of the country!  I drove through Bani, Azua, and a whole bunch of the country.  It was extremely weird to see mountains, and mostly just open country--some of it even somewhat resembled Utah.  It was something that made me realize just how much there really is in this little country. 

Well, here in the D.R. people don't obey any of the posted signs, even stoplights, so to keep people from speeding they use tons of speed bumps!  Well, speed bumps have a different name here--policia acostada--which translates to lying (as in lying down) policeman.   Well, as we were driving rather rapidly towards Barahona, on the FREEWAY Elder Brimley (who was in the truck in front of me) found one the hard way.  Hitting a speed bump at about 120 KM/H makes a little Toyota Hilux get some air!  I had to pull over I was laughing so hard after seeing the little Hilux go airborne.  Moral of the story:  Be careful driving in the D.R. because they just throw out a speed bump in the middle of the freeway!  Once at Super P-Day, we were in charge of a bunch of games, the food, and activities.  For us, it was more of a super work day, but it was still a lot of fun. 

Another exciting thing this week, THE 4TH of JULY!  Happy 4th of July!  The 4th of July was quite fun for us because we got to spend it with President's son.  He and his family were going to interviews in San Juan, but he had to get his cast off, so he came to spend the day with us!  It was an extremely fun day.  President's kids are awesome, and we had a lot of fun hauling him around the city. 

I'm sorry I haven't been the greatest writer, but I'm trying my best!  I want you all to know that I love you!  I'm so grateful for all that you do and the support you give me.  I hope you have a great week! 

Question:  I know I shouldn't worry about this....but I saw a billboard the other day advertising the new Batman.  Is that truth?  Please tell me that it isn't....

Problem:  My electric razor bit the dust this week.....but it has a 2 year warranty!  So, I'm going to send it back to you guys and if you would be so nice, you can replace it at Best Buy.  As for now, I'll hack at my face with the Gillette.  I think I need a lesson on shaving or something, ha ha.

Comment:  Mark and Lori sent me a package--please tell them thanks!  I'm going to try and write a letter, but time is a little short! 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Mission Electrician?

June 30, 2012


So....I was going to write you a letter when we got home today....and then we got home....and they turned off our electricity!!!!  (Yes, they "Cut" our light, because the financial secretary--forgot to pay the bill.)  Well, our generator didn't want to cooperate, but after some nifty Elder Reeder / Elder Brimley tag team generator work, we now have electricity again.  But, I'm now extremely tired.  What I'm trying to say is, I'm going to write to you tomorrow! :) 


July 1, 2012

Hello!  Well, mother, I am 90% sure I won't have time to write today either!  I am only on to send reports to President Rodriguez.  Tomorrow, I am going to Barahona!!!  Clear out in the a 3 hour ride.  I'm way excited.  I will write tomorrow! 


Sorry I Didn't Write.

June 23, 2012

Hey Guys,

Sorry about last week, and the fact that I didn't write a letter!  I'm sorry that I made you nervous Mom....just know that my letters come...when there is time!  I'm sorry, but that's the way it is here in the office!  

Mom, it was great to here that you got a letter from Elder Day.  He is a great guy, and someone that I will respect and remember my whole life.  Things from this week...I'm going to be honest..... I don't remember anything!  I'm glad to hear that the funeral for Sister Anderson was good.  I would love to read the letter that Sam wrote, and also if you could find his E-Mail address, I would like to e-mail him.  It sounds like Leslie is having a rough time.  I'm sorry to hear that.  I'll be sure to keep them in my prayers.   How is Spencer?  How is Tyler Lemon?  Doesn't Andrew come home this week? 

It sounds like you guys saw another tender mercy of the Lord with the graffiti incident.  It's amazing how much the Lord blesses us!  It's little things like that that remind us how interested in our well being He really is.  In a conference that we had, a senior missionary said something that really made me think.  She said, "I know you guys can't truly understand the love that a parent has for their children, but just imagine how much your parents do and think about you.  Every night when you go to bed your parents think about how much they love you.  Now think about how much our Father in Heaven loves us."  I think the love of our Heavenly Father is one of the sweetest gifts we have.  I know that our Father in Heaven loves us.  He wants to bless us.  He will bless us when we obey the commandments.  I have learned recently that living the gospel really is the easiest way to live.  Sometimes we think that it is hard, but it really is the easiest!  When we live correctly, we have the Lord's help, His Spirit, and His Guide!  I know that if we truly desire to have His help, He will give it to us! 

I just remembered something we did this week--We did a service in the Bishops Storehouse with the A.P.'s!  It was sweet.  Also, I got the package you sent, Mom!  Thanks!  Mail gets here super quick... :)   

Today, you get pictures! 

I love you all so much!

Elder Riley Ted Reeder

Answers to Mom's Questions (Cause I don't want to get chewed out ;) 

1- The golden family is doing great up to this point!  They are just working on papers to get married!
2- Not sure if I will get to go to the baptism, I think so.  President wants me to call them and talk to help give them more ánimo.
3-Every single baptism record passes through my hands. 
4- I have taught 2 lessons :)
5- We still haven't delivered mattresses yet....It's going to take a year.   Our pickup is just little!
6-I have pictures!!!

Excuse me.....The Office is a Little Busy!

June 17, 2012

Hello Family!!!

Well....this is the office for ya!  E-Mails that will come to you....when I can find time!  I have never been so busy in my entire life!!!  I thought senior year when I was working, and playing soccer I was busy....that was nothing compared to the office of the mission!  Well, I'll start off with the highlights.  I'm not a teenager anymore.  Weird.  I'm old.  And now in the office, I'm kinda nervous my hair isn't going to see 21!  Ha ha.  It is kinda stressful here. birthday was a weird but very cool experience!  We started off the day with a meeting with Presidente, Hermana Rodriguez, and the senior couples in the mission.  They started off by singing happy birthday--in English and Spanish!  That was kinda fun to have Presidente sing happy birthday, and in English!!  Ha ha ha.  Hermana Ford made an upside down pineapple cake, and it was delicious!  I'm sorry, but I haven't had time to make the cake you sent me yet...but thank you very much for the package...and the Texas Roadhouse gift card Dad.. I was hoping it was a scratch and sniff or something, so at least I could smell ribs and mashed potatoes, ha ha ha.  But, it was a good birthday!!  Grandma and Grandpa Thomson sent me Brownies...and wow!!!  They were amazing!!  Thank you!  Also, Grandma Reeder sent me some great candies!!  Thanks to everyone. 

This week has been a learning experience--in a different way than the rest of my mission. Now, I am learning to love the missionaries.  We are basically in charge of the temporal well being of the missionaries, and with 200 missionaries, there are quite a few things that come up!  Our phone is always ringing off the hook.  But, it really is a great experience to get to know lots of missionaries, and try to help them out in whatever way that I can. 

This letter is going to be a little bit different than almost all my others, I'm just going to tell you a few crazy things that happened this week! 

#1-  We were in the office, trying to figure out a problem with a contract for a house, when the intercom rang.  I picked up the phone and the guy told me, hey we have the mattresses you ordered.  I asked, how many are there?  40.  The next thing we knew, about 12 guys dropped 40 mattresses in the driveway of the mission home.  I just kind of sat there and thought....uh....what now?  Well, about 1 hour and a half and 1 liter of sweat later, we now have a house full of mattresses!  But the plus, I have a nice comfy new mattress.  Down's a lot harder to get out of bed at 6:30.

#2-  I saw a Lexus LFA.  Dad will be the only one who understands this one.  We took our Hilux to get the oil changed, and I glanced over and BOOM!  Lexus LFA.  I couldn't believe my eyes!  I left my companion in the dust as I went to check it out.  Wow.  Okay, I still love cars. 

#3- Saturday night, some Sister Missionaries called us and told us that they didn't have any water.  Not even one drop to bathe themselves or do it was office elders and assistants to the rescue!  We got about 200 gallons of water in tanks in the back of our trucks and headed to their house.  Well, as we were driving, an aguacero came!  (Basically a flood.)  Well, we then spent the next hour and pico hauling up 5 gallon buckets of water to the 4th floor, while it was raining!  :)  Service is great. 

#4- Saturday morning on P-Day, we played basketball at President's house with him.  He is dang good!  He dominated us in the paint!  He was throwing up no-looker hook shots, reverse layups, you name it--he did it.  We got schooled by our mission president at basketball.  Embarrassing?  I think we just have an awesome President!  Hermana Rodriguez then cooked us pancakes for breakfast.  mmmmmmm

#5- I went bowling!!!  Yes, that is a big deal!  I didn't think that there was a bowling alley in the D.R., but there is...and we went!

#6- I have survived over a week of driving in the D.R. 

#7- On Friday, to celebrate my year mark....we went to Johnny Rockets!!!  Yes....bacon cheeseburger with BBQ sauce.  (It was super expensive, can you look at my card to make sure it charged right?)  (Also, today I had to buy some medicine for a sister missionary because it was an emergency, and we didn't have the mission credit card....)

Well family, thanks for everything!  Your letters really keep me going when the weeks are long.  Please let the Anderson family know that they are in my prayers.  I just want you to know how grateful I am for the opportunity to share the gospel here in the Dominican Republic.  I am so grateful for the things I have learned, and the changes I have seen in my life.  I know that Jesus lives.  He is our Savior, Redeemer, and our best friend.  I know that The Book of Mormon is the word of God.  I have received comfort from the words of the Book of Mormon countless times in the mission.  I know that God has a plan for each and every one of us.  I know that if we are faithful to our covenants, we will be able to live as an eternal family!  

I love you all so much! 

Elder Reeder