Another week in the mission! Once again, it wasn't easy, but boy am I learning a lot! This week we had the opportunity to have a zone conference and listen to President Rodriguez. He truly is an amazing man. He talked about the relation between the Atonement and missionary work. He told us that if we truly comprehend the Atonement, we will have a strong desire to share the Gospel with everyone that we see! I have thought about that a lot this week. Sometimes as missionaries we get into such a routine that we turn into robots, and our lessons turn into a heartless regurgitation of words.
I then think about prayer. How often are our prayers really just a collection of "vain repetitions"? One thing that I have loved to see in the mission is the people who say that they don't know how to pray shake their fear and pray. Those have been some of the most powerful moments of the mission for me. Someone who hasn't heard other people pray, doesn't know the common phrases that we use, really prays from their heart. Just something to think about.
Anyway, I have learned a lot this week studying about a topic extremely interesting. Pride. I have discovered that to have any sort of success in the mission, and in life, we need to try and get rid of every bit of pride in our lives. Just as with the Nephites, pride will lead to destruction, and in the case of today, spiritually. I have thought about the disagreements that I have had with my companion, and have thought about how different they would have been if I would have entered with a truly humble attitude. How often in life are we too prideful to admit we are wrong? How often are we too prideful to admit to ourselves that we are wrong? But pride is more than just thinking we are right. How often do we pass up an opportunity to serve someone, especially in our own families, because we are pridefully involved in our own activities? How often are we too prideful to fully live the commandments of God?
In the conference last week President Rodriguez said that "obedience brings blessings, exact obedience brings about miracles". I know that that is true, not only for a missionary, but for everyone! If we want to see milagros in our lives, we have to live the laws of God with EXACT obedience. More things to think about. (I don't want you to think I'm preaching to you, I have just been thinking a lot about this in my own life.)
Anyway, want to hear something cool? You will never guess who baptized my companion. Chad Champlin. Yes, that's right, the Chad Champlin who went to good olé Sky View High School, baptized my companion in Honduras. Talk about a small world.
Do you know what rocks about the D.R.? Fruit. I am going to die when I can't eat delicious fresh fruit every day. Every day I chase down this little truck loaded with fruit and buy a bunch. It's amazing! I can get a gigantic pineapple for 15 pesos. I ate a whole one today. Mmmmmm. Also, bananas here are amazing. And chinola, and lechosa, and zapote, and melon, but the apples just don't serve. You guys are going to die when you see how my food tastes have changed. I love beans now. Weird, I know.
Another thing I learned from this week. I have really great parents. Mom, Dad, I really truly just want to say thanks. I happened to come upon the story of the 2,000 stripling warriors this week in my study. I love the part that talks about how their Moms taught them to obey the commandments of the Lord. (I'm going to include Dads also) Then, in Zone Conference we sang the Armies of Helaman song. I about broke down in tears as I sang (in Spanish) "We have been born as Nephi of old, to goodly parents, who love the Lord. We have been taught, and we understand, that we must do as the Lord commands.....and we will be the Lord's missionaries to bring the world His truth." Well, now I am the Lord's missionary, and I have been taught, and I understand what I must do, because of amazing parents. I owe everything that I am to you guys.
In church on Sunday, in the gospel principles class, we were talking about responsibilities of the family. Someone made the comment that a Dad truly never gets to know his children because he is too busy doing other things. I sat there and just felt so sad that this person felt that way. Dad, thank you for everything. I know that you truly know me because you sacrificed time and effort to make sure you know me. That really doesn't make sense, but I hope you know what I mean. I just want to say thanks Mom and Dad, I am eternally grateful that I have parents who truly are my best friends in the world.
This week is conference! I don't think I am going to be able to go to any of the Saturday sessions. (We have to have an investigator to be able to go. If we don't, we can’t go.) So make sure and take good notes and let me know on Monday! I hope we all take advantage of the opportunity to listen to the Prophet of God. This is what separates us from everyone else! We have a living Prophet who was called of God! And this week we get to listen to him! I am extremely excited because I know that the messages are inspired and truly can change our lives!
I love you all, and thank you for everything!
Elder Riley Ted Reeder
Hey, the barrio where we are working right now is called Moscú. You should be able to find that in Google Earth! Also, you can find Madre Vieja Norte if you know where that monument is, there is a bridge right by it. This is the river that destroyed Barrio Nuevo. So across the bridge, and to the north, is MV Norte. You should be able to see it there. Also, we still haven't been able to play flag football, but it's in the planning stages! My comp's family hasn't abandoned him, but he is the only member. He seems to be fine, but I will investigate more and let you know. He is only barely starting to open up to me.
Sorry, short on time, the electricity came back way late today!
Love you Mom, Riley