Well the new things that I keep seeing and feeling here on the mission never stop coming!!! This week, I believe it was Thursday, we had an earthquake!!! At about 5:30 in the morning, I woke up to my bed wandering all over the place, and I felt like I was riding the waves at Bear Lake!! Then there was a big crack sound and it was all over. It lasted about 7 seconds. I'm pretty sure it was about a 5.4 or something like that, and centered in a city named Ocoa. (This is what I have heard....how true it is I'm not sure) Anyway, it was pretty much the weirdest thing I have ever felt. When it was over, I looked over at Elder Hall and was like...Was that an earthquake? He was like....uh I think! About 30 seconds later Elder Morgan called me from Madre Vieja Sur, and he was freaking out! They live on the 4th floor of an apartment, and it is super close to another building, and apparently the building was swaying so much that it hit the other one! He thought they were all dead. But, everything was okay. I haven't seen any real damage, a few cracks in houses, but nothing catastrophic, just another crazy experience for the mission!
Besides that, this week was pretty normal. We are just working hard and trying to find more investigators! We had to drop a few last week, because they just weren't doing their part. One extremely bright part of this week was yesterday in Church. We are teaching a woman named Suleki, and her Aunt Gladys. Suleki has 3 kids, all of them under 4. And she lives about as far away as possible from the church. We taught her on Saturday, and then we made plans to help her get to church on Sunday. We knew that if she was going to go to church it was going to be quite a sacrifice for her. We showed up to her house on Sunday morning at about 8:20, and she was 100 percent ready to go. She had all of her kids dressed up and was entirely ready. She said she had been up since 6:00 getting everyone ready, cooking breakfast, doing everything so that they could go to church. She then had to walk all the way to church with these three kids. Elder Hall and I each took one of the little girls, and she had the smallest boy, and we were off to church! It took us 30 minutes to get there, but we got there! I was so amazed by the sacrifice she made to go to church. I know that the Lord blessed her so much, and I was praying the whole meeting that she was feeling the Spirit.
It made me think about myself before the mission. I thought it was a sacrifice for me to roll out of bed at 8:30, take my smoking hot shower, jump in my car and get to church at 9. Boy was I wrong. Sometimes we have to make sacrifices to attend church. It is always worth it to go to church. When we are having a bad week, and we just don't feel like going, that's when we need it most. When we are just tired, that's when we need it most! The Lord will always bless us for going to church.
Another thing that really impacted me this week was something our Bishop said at Noche de Amistad this week. He was talking about having a love for the scriptures, and the great blessing that it is to live in this time that we have the fullness of the Gospel, which is found in the Book of Mormon. He then said that there are many members of the Church that aren't living with this blessing, because for many of us "the plates might as well still be in the Hill Cumorah because we aren't using them. They are just sitting on the shelf in our house." Its one thing to have a set of scriptures. Its another thing to read and study them everyday! I hope that we are all studying the scriptures every day. Especially the Book of Mormon. I have developed such a love for the Book of Mormon. I know without a doubt in my mind that it is true. I know it can change lives. It changed mine, and I know that it will change anyone's who reads it and follows its teachings.
One other thing I learned this week, I was reading in the Liahona from General Conference. I would encourage everyone to read the story that talks about Alma Sonne. I was reading that story and that name jumped out at me, and I remembered he is on my Priesthood Line of Authority. Pretty cool to find little things like that.
Most importantly, I love you all! I pray for you all every single day! I want you to know I'm happy! I love the mission. I love the experiences I am having, and I love my Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ. There is no greater happiness than the Gospel of Christ and our families. Never forget it!
Elder Riley Ted Reeder