Sunday, April 29, 2012


April 16, 2012

Hello Family!

Well, the strange things just keep coming.  It has been another week of challenges in the mission.  I'll get right to it.  Tuesday morning at 6:40 the Zone Leaders called us to tell us that we would be having yet another special transfer!!  Elder Reyes was heading out, and I was getting another new missionary.  I am now with Elder Cabrera, another missionary who is waiting for a visa to go to Mexico, and who has about 5 weeks in the mission now!  Needless to say, it has been another week of getting used to things!  It is pretty crazy to think that in the first 8-1/2 months of the mission I had 2 companions, and in the last 3 weeks I have had 3.  The members here are really confused as to why I show up with a new companion almost every day!  My new nickname in the mission is the Babysitter.

Yesterday I completed 10 months in the mission!  Pretty crazy to think about how 10 months ago we were saying goodbye.  Has it gone by fast for you guys?  It has FLOWN for me.  I really can't believe how fast it all has gone.  Every time I come up to a month mark I get to think about all the things that I have learned from the mission.  In ten months I have learned things that I couldn't learn in any other place or any other way.  The mission is truly amazing!  It has changed the way I think, the way I act, the way I live.  It has been the most challenging but most rewarding thing I have done in my life.  

This week has been interesting with another change, but we have seen some successes in the work!  We are working with two partial member families that are dominating most of our time.  One of them is a young couple, Maicol and Viviana.  They have 2 little girls, and they are awesome!  Maicol has been a member all his life, but Viviana has never joined the Church.  They are super poor and have to get married.  We put a date with them to get married the 11th of May, and if all goes according to plan, she will get baptized the 12th!  We are also working with Ramon.  Ramon's wife is a member, and he has been going to Church steadily for over a year, and he still hasn't been baptized!  He knows everything, but he just doesn't want to get wet!  We have been really working hard to find what his doubt or struggle is--still haven't figured it out.  While preparing something to share with him, I found something that really impacted me.  I was preparing a message based on Mosiah 18:10.  
7   And it came to pass after many days there were a goodly number gathered together at the place of Mormon, to hear the words of Alma. Yea, all were gathered together that believed on his word, to hear him. And he did teach them, and did preach unto them repentance, and redemption, and faith on the Lord.
8    And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another's burdens, that they may be light;
9   Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—
10   Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?
I have been reflecting on this all week.  You may be thinking, why?  You were baptized almost 12 years ago!  I began to apply this scripture to more than just baptism.  How often do we have the desire to be more Christlike?  Always.  But how often do we put in the effort to become more Christlike?  What have we against being more Christlike?  Why don't we take the actions necessary to obtain what we want?  How often do we sit in church on Sunday and think about all the things we want to do better--but when Monday morning rolls around, it's just too much work?  What have we against it?  
We live in a world of technology, (ha ha.  Yes, I put that first because it applies to me.) noise, corruption, and distractions.  Trust me, I know how it is to be distracted by the world.  It isn't easy to hear the promptings of the Spirit, or feel the presence of our Heavenly Father.  But I know and promise that if it truly is the desire of our heart, we can do it.  It is the desire of my heart that we always stay strong in the Church.  We are so blessed to have a family that is sealed together for time and Eternity.  That sealing power is only fulfilled when we all keep our covenants.  I hope and pray that we will always live righteously and worthy of the blessings of the Temple.  Never take for granted the blessing of a Temple close by.  Never take for granted the strength of the Church in Utah.  Never take for granted the blessings of the Church--and most importantly, always live worthy of the blessings of the Lord!  He is bound when we do what He says.  
I love you all so very much!  I am so grateful for your letters, your thoughts, and your prayers.  When things are tough I know I have two things unfailing.  My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and my family!  
Elder Riley Ted Reeder    

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