Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hello Everyone!

Hello Family!  

Sounds like this week has been quite eventful for you guys!  Moving, moving, and more moving!  Sorry to hear that.  But it also sounds like Ash and Sven's new house is a lot better!  I'm glad that you guys are a little bit further out of the city and have a little room to grow.  How does Keagan like it?  Is she just crawling all over?  I'd love to see some more pictures of the house and just of life in general.  
Mom, I think they just really don't want me to get that Christmas package!  Ha ha ha.  But don't worry about it, really I'm fine.  But....I could use some more vitamins...I'm out, and I went and looked here.  A pack of 45 of those vitamins I have costs 55 dollars here!  I don't know if they are that much at home or not?  If so, just buy me some Wal-Mart ones.  I don't need anything special.  

Well, this week was a lot more eventful than last week!  On Saturday, we got to go to the Capital and here from Elder Bednar, and President Walter F. Gonzalez (from the Presidency of the Seventy),  and Bishop McMullen (from the Presiding Bishopric).  We were able to spend 3 hours listening to them, and it was an extremely amazing experience.  First off, we were told that we are not supposed to share our notes, because they are only for our own "personal" use.  I don't know why, but I thought I would tell a few of the things that I learned.  
The first thing I learned, Elder Bednar has an amazing sense of humor.  Basically from the moment he stepped up to the pulpit, he had us laughing!  The form in that he talked to us was very fun.  He did more of like a question and answer session--sometimes he asked the questions, sometimes we did.  Basically, it was just an extremely personal setting with an Apostle.  (We were on about the 6th row.)  
One thing that he spoke to us quite a bit about was agency.  The first thing he said about agency was that it was more than an ability to choose.  I know that as a missionary trying to simplify my teachings, my definition of agency has always been:  the ability to choose.  And while that is true, it is so much more.  Because I don't know what I am allowed to say, I'll try to say what I learned without quoting him.  Agency allows us to be Agents and not Objects.  What's the difference?  Agents act.  Objects are acted upon.  That just leads to some profound, deep thinking, that sometimes leads to confusion!  
So that's what agency is, but how does that apply to us?  We all have agency.  A marvelous gift from our Father in Heaven.  It allows us to act, and not be acted upon.  In the world that we live in, things are always trying to "act" on us.  The media, our friends, neighbors, and Satan.  When we fully utilize our agency, we act, and leave the tendency to become objects.  Just some food for thought.  We specifically applied this to investigators, and that was really interesting.   
One thing that continues to influence me is that as we learn more and more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the more we go back to the basics.  The simple, fundamentals that we all learned as primary kids.   I guess that is my message today.  Focus on the simple things.  The first principles of the gospel are immensely important.  Faith:  without it, we are nothing.  But what is faith?  (More than just a little seed.)  Repentance:  the amazing opportunity to improve and become more and more like Christ.  All of these things are so "simple", but when we start to fully understand them, we gain an increased appreciation, and desire to improve. 
WHOA......Elder Reeder kind of went out of control there....Sorry, I didn't mean to preach to you guys.  I just hope that we all realize how important the Gospel is.  I know that before the mission, I knew the Gospel with my head, but not with my heart.  The mission has helped me move all the information that's in my head, down to my heart.  That has been one of the most amazing learning experiences I have had in my life.  I love you all so very much.  I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer.  I know that there are living prophets on the earth today.  I am so grateful for the chance that I had to listen to one of the Lord's chosen servants.  I am so grateful for the chance to be on this little island in the middle of the Caribbean serving the Lord and His children.  Thanks for all you do for me!  I love you!

Sorry, kind of quick today.  I'm gonna go try and make some empanadas!  


Elder Riley Ted Reeder  

I didn't get to see Colton or Mitch.  The meeting was only the West Mission, no one else.
Dad, have you not gotten my package yet?!?  Jeez, it should be there by now.  
Mom, I feel just fine!  After a few hours of kneeling in front of the toilet, I'm much improved.  Apparently, salami doesn't like me.  
Also Mom, don't worry about the news you told me.  I knew it was coming.  If she's happy, then I'm happy!    
Love you guys!  

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