Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dearest Family, 

Well, this really was one of the hardest, bitter-sweetest days of my life.  Today during Sacrament Meeting I felt pretty crazy.  I feel as if half of my body is crying and half is shouting for joy.  But, I will start out with my last week.  Well, it was pretty normal until fridayfriday I was enjoying my lunch when I received a phone call to be an ambulance once again- great way to finish the mission I though to myself!  In all honesty I was just a little bit frustrated- I just wanted one last peaceful day to work, but I received the notice that I wouldnt be able to do it.  But, while we were driving a thought came to my mind...."when we are in the service of our fellow man, we are only in the service of our God".  Well, it brought a lot of peace to my heart, I know that even though I have had a little bit of a different mission, I have served with all my heart, might, mind, and strength- and I know that in doing this I have served the very best mission that I could.  

On Saturday, we were able to go to the temple with Alberto and Aurelina to do baptisms for the dead.  I was able to baptize them in the temple, and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.  The spirit was so strong, and I felt such a great joy as I participated in ordinances in the temple.  They were able to take names from their families, and it was an amazing experience.  Inline image 1

Today was honestly one of the greatest days of my mission.  It was hard saying bye to Alberto andAurelina and their family, but it made it all worth it.  Yamie, the little girl, who is also probably my best friend in the whole world started crying really hard when I said I was leaving, she said, "no,esperete".  It was really sad, but I feel great because they are well on their way to being sealed.  There is nothing better for a missionary.   
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But after, we were able to do the best thing ever!  I was able to go back to Madre Vieja Norte, my first area, and all of my converts, and members that I love were in the chapel to meet me there!  I was so happy to be able to see them, and to know that every single one of our converts there are active, and all were in sacrament meeting today.  Seba and Felix didnt know that I was coming, and when they saw me Seba yelled, NO!!!!, and ran up and gave me a huge hug.  Mami, gave me a hug, and Betsy was doing really good, and amazingly everyone remembered my name.  It was such a great feeling. It was as if my Father was telling me, look at the people we could help.  Look at how happy they are from living the gospel.  It was such a satisfying end to the mission. 
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So happy, and yet so sad- what an interesting feeling.  But, I just want to share what I have been thinking recently.  I have been thinking about a scripture.. it says (in my translation from spanish toenglish), this is life eternal, to know thee, the one true God, and thy son, whom thou hast sent.  How can I get to know God?  How can I get to know his son Jesus Christ?  Will I recognize him when I return to his presence?  Well, I found the answer in another scripture.  Mosiah 5:13- For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart.   Well, being in the service of my God, and his son Jesus Christ has led me to know them.  Of all the things that I have learned, I have learned that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer.  I feel as if my thoughts and intents of my heart have been put more in line with those of him, and doing so has allowed me to know him.  I know he is always by my side, and I know that he is my savior and redeemer.  I love him, and I love his work.  I am so grateful that I have been able to serve him, and I will always look back on the mission with joy.  I enjoyed every minute.  I have no regrets, I served with all that I have.  I know that as I leave part of my heart here, I will also bring back something a little bit more special.  I will bring back a knowledge of my Father, and his son Jesus Christ.  

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


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Well, it is almost that time of the year.......

June 9, 2013

Dearest Family, 

I know its a little early for me to be writting you a letter, but I'm here in the office a little early (to welcome the new couple), and I have a little bit of spare time so I decided to write you a little somethin somethin.

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind.  So much to do--so little time to do it.  Everyday feels like I wake up..and boom its time to go to bed again!  I've been pondering a lot recently about all of this....the mission, life, all that good stuff, and its left me to realize a lot of things.  #1- Serving a mission has been the best decision I have taken up to this point in my life.  In no other place could I have learned the many lessons that I have learned here.  I would never trade my experience here in the mission for anything.  I'm extremely glad that when it came time to serve a mission- it wasnt a question.  I dont know when I oficially decided to go on a mission, because I dont think there was a specific moment- it was always part of the plan.  I owe a lot of that desire to Dad- the best example that there is.  I hope that someday I can be that example to my children. #2-  "it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things."  What?!  Why?!  That stinks!  I dont want opposition! - my attitude before the mission.  Now I know that opposition will make me stronger- and is an important part of Gods plan.  "we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all thing whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them."  #3  Living without a family for two years makes you realize that  you have to do everything possible to make sure your family will be eternal. Two years is hard- imagine an eternity.  The only place the family can be eternal is in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom- we better make sure we are all gettin there!  #4-  Going home is just as hard as leaving home- because I really will be leaving a home here in the D.R.  

Anyway, this week I'm just going to live up every moment!  I am so grateful that the Lord has allowed me to participate in his grand work.  I know that I will never be able to repay him for what he has done for me- and I am more thankful each and every day for his sacrifice.  I love him, I love my family, and I am grateful for the restored gospel in my life.  I testify of its truthfullness with all of my heart.  I love you all!

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


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An Exciting Week!

May 19, 2013

Well family,

This week was extremely exciting- not just because I was able to see all of your bright shining faces on skype (although that was quite pleasant), but this week was just full of crazy adventures!  Let me tell you about them...

So this week we received a special assignment from President. Get a queen size mattress and frame (I don't know why this house had a big mattress, but it did) from a missionaries house and take it to a needy member in an area clear out in the boonies--sounds easy enough right?  WRONG!  We got to the house, which is on the third story, and realized that after they put the bed in the house, they had done some remodeling, and it no longer fit down the stairs...Dilemma?  YES! Well, we are in the good ole' Dominican Republic, so anything is possible.  Well, a little bit of engineering and 75 feet of rope later--the queen size bed frame was swinging from the 3rd floor on its way down!  Oh you should have seen all the people in the streets watching losmormones repel a bed frame!  Well, all said and done it got down fine :)  It was quite the adventure...I have video proof.  

Adventure number 2.   Yesterday, the sisters in our branch had 2 baptisms!  Well, they are kinda green still and left the font it got really, really, really full..and our font has a problem so it takes like 4-5 days to the font was full right to the brim!  Well, when 2 great big old men got in there, it was hovering over the edge!  The prayer was said, and then the member baptizing literally thew him into the water...and the whole first row got a tidal wave of water thrown at them....(I was a witness so I got a little as well)...needless to say it was a very....unique....baptism!  Something I will never forget.

On Friday, we had a meeting for the district of Azua where we talked about missionary work, and all recent converts and reactivated members were invited.  Well, the District President asked Alberto to share his testimony, and although he was extremely nervous, I have never felt so happy in my entire life!  It was an extremely simple testimony, but the spirit testified of his words, and they penetrated to my heart.  He and Aurelina are working with the branch president to put a date to be able to go to the temple and be sealed.  It has been an experience full of ups and downs, but it really was the crowning moment to hear Alberto share his testimony!  Yesterday, we were teaching them about eternal marriage, and we studied a little bit of section 132 in Doctrine and Covenants.  I invite you all (all you married folk) to study that section again and again.  I really have never seen greater promises in all of the scriptures!  It is my hope and desire that we can all obey the covenants that we have made.  I know that I'm a little behind, and still have a few more to go, but I hope to be prepared to make them in the house of the Lord.  I have learned that although the ordinances allow us to receive blessings--it doesn't mean that we can do them and "eat drink and be marry".  We must "obey my ordinances" as the Lord teaches us.  The Lord is bound when we do what He says, but when we are disobedient--we have no promise.  In Spanish, the scripture says that The Lord is obligated when we obey the commandments.  When we are obedient to the commandments and the covenants that we have received, the Lord is obligated to bless and to fulfill his promises!  I hope that we can all reflect a little on that, and do a little more to be a little more obedient each and every day- because the Lord has promised us his greatest gift- that of eternal life.  I know with all my heart that this is true.  Families are eternal--when we live worthy of such a grand reward. 

I am grateful for this time that I have to be a representative of Jesus Christ.  I am grateful for Him, for His infinite atonement, for His charity, for His grace, and His example.  I hope that each and every day I can become a little more like Him, and that I can one day be worthy to be in His presence.  

Elder Riley Ted Reeder

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

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My Dearest Family

April 28, 2013

Hello, how are all of ya?  I hope that everyone is doing good!  Sorry I haven't written in a little while, I know that you are always waiting for my letters, but sometimes it really just isn't possible...I'm sorry!

So, in the last few weeks things have been a little crazy!  We have been working on distributing all the beds, desks, dressers, all of that stuff to the new areas!  We are receiving 34 missionaries, and only 3 are going home, so that means that we have to open about 15 areas- that equals 30 beds...30 desks....its quite a work!  The little Hilux is tired from hauling stuff all over the country!  But anyway, it has been a great couple of weeks!  

First off, Alberto and Aurelina are doing great!  They have now been to church 3 times in a row, and really are doing great- but its not without trials!  On Friday we had a huge rain storm, and their house filled up with about 30 centimeters of water, so we spent Saturday helping them out, and we cooked them lunch to try and help them out.  In the end they were all smiling and happy, and we had a great time with them!  I am amazed by their strength- and how even with something so difficult they could stay strong.  It really shows me that they know what is important- its not their house, or their possessions, but their family!  I'm very grateful that I have been able to work with such a special family.

Two weeks ago, we had interviews with President Rodriguez, and it was a really great experience.  We talked a lot about what I have learned in the mission, and the different things that have helped me progress as a missionary.  For some time I have been pondering, praying, and waiting to know what I needed to do after my mission.  Well, President, without knowing, quoted (in Spanish of course) a part of my Patriarchal Blessing, and helped me know what I need to do.  He said that I have been where I have been for so long, learning things that the Lord needs me to perfect, to use further on in my life.  Anyways, I am going to pursue a degree in Business Management with a minor in Spanish- not sure why, but that's what I feel like I need to do.

Well one day we had the idea to do an open house in our chapel, because our branch is a little bit...weak right now!  Well the idea kind of exploded, and now we are in charge of an open house for the district of Azua!  That's kind of consuming a lot of time, but its going to be really cool.  We have 6 Branch's inviting people, and we are thinking that we will have about 500 people.  That's a lot of references!  The missionaries from Azua are going to have more people to teach than they know what to do with!  They have submitted papers to make Azua a stake, but they need 12 more active tithing paying elders, so we are hoping that this activity can help us get over that hump and make Azua a stake!  Anyways, that is this Saturday!

Hmmm, I don't really know what else to tell you guys, just know that I love you all, but I also love my mission.  I am grateful that I have been able to serve here, and for all the things that I have learned.  I have grown more in 2 years than in any other part of my life, and I really have enjoyed everything, the struggles, the ups the downs, the middles, everything!  I hope that when I finish I can feel the words of my Savior, well done my good and faithful servant.  

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


Monday, April 8, 2013

General Conference

April 8, 2013

My dearest family, 

How are you this week?  I hope that everyone is doing great!  I'm doing good, feeling extremely uplifted for the chance that we had to hear our Prophet speak!  I think sometimes we take for granted the fact that we have a living prophet.  I really loved all the messages.  I feel blessed to be able to participate in one of the most exciting times in missionary work.  We really have seen how the Lord is hurrying his work.  It is amazing to see so many new missionaries so prepared and excited to serve the Lord.  I wish that I had known what they know, when I had entered the mission field.  I really feel grateful for the great spirit that I felt during the conference.  I feel as if many of the messages were perfect for me!  The future will be fine if we put our faith in the Lord and do our part!  

Obedience is extremely important.  We know that the Lord blesses us depending on our obedience.  I also loved Pres. Monson's talk about that God's commandments are to bless and protect us.  I really have a strong testimony of that.  I also know that God is obligated to give us blessings when we keep the commandments!  President Rodriguez says that God doesn't stay away with any of the blessings that we deserve, and I know that to be true!  I really hope that we can all be obedient in the small and  large things, so that the Lord will bless us.  

I have been pondering Perfection recently.  It has always seemed like such an intimidating word, but I have learned to realize that it is an achievable goal.  It might not be achievable in this life, but it will be in the next.  What do we have to do?  Push with all our heart might mind and strength in this life!  I really know that every day we can become more like our Father in Heaven and his son Jesus Christ.  I really hope that I can reflect his light in my countenance.  I really know that that is the true definition of success in this life.  I really hope that with whatever challenge we have, we can remember that our Heavenly Father knows our situation, and that He will bless us with everything that we need when we ask, and live worthy to receive the blessings!  I know with all my heart that this is true!  

This week, unfortunately, we didn't get to spend a whole lot of time in our area.  On Thursday, we came back to Santo Domingo to attend Zone Council, where all the Zone Leaders meet with Presidente and us and the Capital Assistants.  It was a really fun experience, and we got to teach a few fun things. 
On Friday, we went to Barahona in the morning, and then we had the emergency with Sister Gamez, and we converted our Hilux into the ambulance once more to come to Santo Domingo.  Saturday we spent all day running from place to place doing ultrasounds, x-rays, and all sorts of exams, but in the end everything was okay!  We also got to play a little basketball with President Rodriguez. 
I love you all very much!

Elder Reeder

Sunday, March 24, 2013


March 24, 2013

Dearest Family! 

How are you all?  I hope that everything is going good!  From the updates, it sounds like everyone is staying busy, some sheet rocking, some chasing dogs, some coaching soccer, some watching babies.   I'm glad to hear that you are all doing good! 

Well this week was that means we have been from here to there to farther there, and then back to here!  We went up about 20 missionaries this transfer, so we have been taking things from the capital to all parts getting ready for the increase!  Now there are 10 hermanas in the south. We went up from 4 to 10, so that 250% increase in sisters means a 1,000,000,000% increase in phone calls!!  Haha.

Anyway, this week was quite strange, we didn't really have much time to work in our area, but the little time that we did have was great!  We are working with our awesome less-active family, and they are doing great!  I even baked a cake for Hna. Aurelina's birthday!  Yeah, I baked a cake--it's not as amazing as that apple pie picture that dad just sent me, but it was pretty dang good! 

I was able to do an intercambio with the missionaries working in the area of Azua where I was with Elder Chinchilla, and remember the less-active member I told you about, I got to visit her again!  And her son is now getting baptized!  It is really fun to see the blessings that come.  Even though it is not "my" baptism, I'm grateful that I could have a part in it! 

My Christmas package was great!  Thanks for sending that!  It was really weird, it wasn't opened at all, and all of the chocolate and everything wasn't even melting!  I think it just came on the Pony/Dolphin Express to get here, but it came in good hands! 

Well, the transfers came, and it was the truth that I stayed here as Ayudante.  I'm disappointed, but after this much time it has become my life.  I can honestly say that I trust that everything happens for a reason, and that for some reason or another I need to be here.  I hope that I can take advantage of every moment and learn everything that I need to learn. 

It is pretty crazy that Spencer comes home this week.  Give him a hug for me.  I've always looked up to him, and not just because he's huge, but he's always just been an amazing example for me.  I owe a lot to the great friends that helped me stay on track to be able to serve a mission.

So, Friday we came in early because President invited us to do a P-Day with him on Saturday and go to the East Mission to visit the Colonial Zone.  It was really fun!  My first P-Day in 4 months was worth the wait!  It was pretty fun to see so much history, and I learned some good places to go visit when we come back (hint hint hint--that has been one blessing, I sure do know this country!)      
Also, there is a friend that I have from Bella Vista--Hno.Van Troi--who is pretty much the coolest guy I know!  He is an ambassador in Spain, and his company is the importer for all Motorola products in the Dominican Republic.  Basically, he is a well-off man, and he is heading to Utah on April 4th until April 20th, to go to General Conference and visit Utah.  Well, he would like to meet you guys.  He especially would love to go to Cabelas.  He wants to go hunting, shooting, basically anything that has to do with outdoors.  So, I think dad could probably help him out!  He reminds me of Craig Ludwig...but if you would be willing, that would be great! 

Anyways, I love you all!  I really am grateful for the chance to serve a mission.  As much as I miss you all, I'm loving it here, and want to keep enjoying my time as a full-time servant of the Lord!  I hope that this Easter week you can all ponder on the death and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and remember that he lives!  I love you all! 
Elder Reeder 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Excuse my failure to write.....

March 10, 2013

Dearest Family,

Well, I apologize for not writing quite as faithfully as I should, but its been pretty busy!  This week has been full of all sorts of experiences, but I want to start with a few things from last week.  Last week was a really interesting week, as we had the chance to give lots of blessings.  In two days we had the chance to give 4 different blessings.  It made me realize the importance of always being prepared, always having consecrated oil, always being worthy, and always having the Spirit to be able to pronounce a blessing from our Father in Heaven.  It is an amazing blessing to have the priesthood in our lives, and I have realized that we should be more prompt to use this sacred power. 

Last Friday, we were able to go to the Temple.  It is amazing how much you appreciate the temple when you don't have the chance to go whenever you want.  I hope that I can always maintain that desire to enter the house of the Lord for my whole life.  What a blessing it is to have the temple 10 minutes away from our house.  We, the zone of Azua, and San Cristobal, went to the temple together.  As we were waiting to enter the Temple, I found the missionaries that are currently in Madre Vieja Norte, and began to ask them how our converts were doing.  Agapito and Mami are doing great, and preparing to go to the temple!  (I'm going to call them tomorrow to see the date), and also Santo and Flor!  Seba and Feliz are both still active, and doing great!  My heart filled with joy as I heard that they were active and strong.

I then asked about Besy, and the response left me speechless.  The missionary told me, "Oh, you don't know what happened," with a concerned look on his face.  I immediately asked what had happened.  He then told me that the father of Ashley (Besy's little girl, that is in the baptism pictures), had poisoned and killed Ashley.  The missionaries explained that he was angry that Besy had separated from him, which she did to be able to be baptized, and for some reason he wanted to get back at her.  Tears swelled in my eyes, and a stream of emotions entered my heart.  Honestly, at first I just felt anger--how could anyone do that?  How could he take the life of such a precious little girl?  But it seemed to suddenly flow into peace, as the words of Mormon, in the book of Moroni, filled my mind.  I felt peace--peace and comfort--although my mind was struggling with such terrible news.  I entered the temple, somewhat in a whirlwind, but as I quickly found myself in the Chapel where I read the words....    "And I am filled with charity, which is everlasting love; wherefore, all children are alike unto me; wherefore, I love little children with a perfect love; and they are all alike and partakers of salvation.......For behold that all little children are alive in Christ. 

I found myself profoundly thinking about life, about family, about little Keagan, about struggles, but everything returned to Christ and His Atonement.  With whatever trial we face, we must return to the atonement.  What comfort it is to be able to participate in the power of the atonement.  In a way which we can't understand, He can comfort us.  In our most tragic moments, He can and He will comfort us.  I know that the peace I felt in the temple came from the Spirit, sent by a loving Heavenly Father to help me in that very moment.

An older member of our branch, Hermano Ortiz, has been a member for 27 years.  All of his children, and the majority of his grandchildren, have been baptized in the church, but only 3 are attending currently.  That leaves about 47 less active members in his immediate family.  Well, one day he gave us the "assignment" to rescue his family.  He told us that he was praying for them, fasting for them, and that he knew we would be able help them.  When we talked to the other members in the branch, they told us we were crazy.  "Everyone has visited them- ellos no estan en eso".  Well, repeatedly I thought of Alma, praying for his son.  Praying that he would stop trying to destroy the church and return!  I have repeatedly read this scripture...

"And again, the angel said: Behold, the Lord hath heard the prayers of his people, and also the prayers of his servant, Alma, who is thy father; for he has prayed with much faith concerning thee that thou mightest be brought to the knowledge of the truth; therefore, for this purpose have I come to convince thee of the power and authority of God, that the prayers of his servants might be answered according to their faith." 

I feel as if we have been entrusted with a similar responsibility.  Well, at first it seemed somewhat helpless.  But now, we have been able to share with each and every one of the families, and even many grandchildren that live in our ward boundaries--about 23 of them--and we have committed 10 of them to go to church.  Last night we shared a Family Home Evening with one family and Hno.  Ortiz about repentance.  It was a special experience to see his eyes fill with tears as they shared that they had been waiting for us to come, waiting for the invitation, and that they have made the decision to return to church.  I feel privileged to be able to watch as the Lord works miracles.  It humbles me to see His mercy, and His love for His children.  It feels me with joy to know that I have had the chance to work in His vineyard. 

I am grateful that I have been called to be a missionary and representative of Jesus Christ.  I am grateful for tender mercies of the Lord.  I am grateful that I was born into a family that lives the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I am grateful for challenges that allow us to grow.  I know without a doubt in my mind that Jesus Christ lives.  He sits at the right hand of our Father, and at the head of His restored church.  I know that one of the greatest truths is that we can become like Him.  Just as we studied today, as man is God once was, and as God is man can become.  It is my prayer that we all have the goal of becoming as our Father is.  I love you all! 

Elder Riley Ted Reeder   

Sunday, February 24, 2013

It's Been A While!

February 17, 2013

Dearest Family!

How are you?  How is everything going?  I hope that everything is going good!   Here in the mission everything is going just fine!  Last week was quite the week with transfers and everything, but we somehow got everything taken care of.  Monday was prepare transfer day, run lots of errands, just lots of craziness!  Tuesday, we actually had transfers, and I had to say goodbye to my buddies Elder Luzon and Elder Batista.  They really have become some of my best friends, and I loved the time that I had to serve with them!

I guess that's something that I really want to talk about today.  People.  I think that as time has gone on in the mission I have learned a lot about the importance of people.  As missionaries its really not that hard to run around and do "missionary work" to fill up a day, and report that you did a whole bunch of work.  But that is not really the point now is it?  As missionaries our purpose is invite others to come unto Christ, we focus on the person!

I was reading a talk that Elder Bryner shared with me that talks about leadership, and says that we should focus less on managing programs and be a lot more focused on people and ministering and helping people to learn and grow.  Wow, how great is that?  Its really easy to start "managing", with our families, our friends, in our callings, in just about every part of our life- whats important is focusing on the people.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to be able to get to know so many missionaries.   Sometimes I feel like they are my kids- they cause pain, but the joy I get from them is muy stronger!  I love being able to talk to them and do my best to help them out, and I feel as if I am the one who leaves learning something.

Guess what? I have become 100% Latin.  I feel more comfortable around Latins than Americans!  I guess that's what living with a Latin for the last year does for ya!  I'm extremely grateful for the companions that I have had in the mission.  I really feel like I have made life-long friends- especially my companions from the office.

Anyways, back to the week!  Wednesday we had Zone Council, and after we had to take a zone leader to get an ingrown toenail removed.  Don't worry, I already knocked on wood!  That always brings back good memories...NOT! 

Thursday it was back to the grind!  It felt really good to get back to work in our area after so long.  We really had a lot of success this week, and I felt great that we could get so much done in such little time!  I feel like the Lord just wants us to work just a little bit harder, and then a little bit harder, and then he's gonna open up the heavens and bless us!

A while back Elder Chinchilla and I were walking in the street when a guy on a scooter stopped us, and started asking us about the church.  He spoke really broken Spanish, but said he was a member and wanted to go to church.  We explained where is was, and the next week he came.  He came in jeans and a t-shirt, so I in justly thought to myself that he was a "church on Christmas and Easter" kind of member.  After the meeting, he asked me if I would be able to get him a triple and a bible, because he didn't have one, and I said that I would.  Well, today, he came again and I told him I had his books but I had left them in the house.  So, he said he would walk over with us after church to pick them up.  On the way over, I started asking about him.  I learned that he was a returned missionary, who served in TONGA, and finished 12 years ago.  He then explained that he had been extremely blessed and had the chance to baptize over 150 people.  He was zone leader, trainer, and an assistant.  When he finished, he returned to his country, studied medicine, and now is a Doctor.  His Dad was the first convert in an African country that I didnt understand, and his whole family is members.  He was also Bishop for 7 years.  All of this was shared in the most humble way, and with such gratitude to our father in heaven.  I was blown away.  He said he was here without any of his things, and for that he went to church dressed as he was, and that he couldnt work until he got his papers authorized.  It was a truly humbling experience.

Well, things are definitely a lot different with my new companion!  Its been quite the change, but I know that things are gonna be fine.  He is pretty new, so I gotta show him the ropes quick so next transfer I can get our there and work Elder Luzons tail off his last transfer in Pedernales! Hahah!

I love you guys, thanks for everything!  Mom, I know your packages never get here, but that's really not important.  Just having your support is enough.  I know that you and Dad have sacrificed lots so that I can be here, and I will be in debt eternally for that.  It is my hope that I have become the son and man that you want me to be.  Thanks for everything!

Elder Riley Ted Reeder    

Monday, February 18, 2013


February 9, 2013

Well, the news isn't exciting....I stay the same, just with a new companion.  Elder Chinchilla is now assistant in the capital, and I will be with a Elder Aguiñiga from Mexico as ayudante del sur!  Not much changing!!

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

Monday, February 4, 2013

Where's the Keys?


February, 3, 2013

I'm good...I have a sweet experience that happened yesterday.  So, wanna hear my crazy story?  Yesterday at like 7:45 we were walking and I felt in my pocket and I thought crap...where are the keys, because I always have the keys.  Well they weren't in my pocket, or my bag, or anything!  They just happened to have the car keys, the house keys, the office keys, and the church keys, so it was kinda a big deal!  Well, it also just so happened that the whole city of Azua was without electricity.  So, we went running to the sisters house to borrow their keys to the church to see if they fell out there (because we had been there earlier in the day)  Well, we got there and there was no sign of them.  So, we decided to kneel down and say a little prayer, because if we didn't find those keys we were basically SOL.  So, we went back to the house to see if we could see them from the window....and lo and behold there they were on the table...inside of the locked house...that has barred windows, and has a padlock, on a metal door, and a locked door behind that.  Impossible right?  Well, we decided to go looking for a stick to try and fish them out through the window.  Well, before we even got to the parking lot of our apartment building we saw a stick- but not just any stick, this stick happened to be a stick of curious workmanship, a 2X4 with a nice little nail sticking out of the end, perfect for fishing our keys!  Well, we decided to give it a try, so we went to the window, and lo and behold the stick was no joke exactly the 100% perfect length, and the little nail hooked up the keys and the night was saved.  The Lord answers our prayers in miraculous ways!!  It was a good reminder that the Lord really hears our prayers!  We gave the stick the name of the "palo de Efraim"  (the stick of Ephraim), and Elder Batista calls it the "Holy Wood".  But really, it was a HUGE GIGANTIC BLESSING!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Letter For The Week

January 28, 2013

Dearest Family,

How are you guys?!  I hope that everything is going good.  As for me, things are going really good!  We had a really good week, one of the best of the mission for me!  I wanted to start out with something that happened last Tuesday.  Tuesday we were leaving the Distribution Center (which is on the temple grounds), heading out to Azua when we saw something really interesting.   The temple was closed for cleaning, and they had scaffolding and everything up to clean the Angel Moroni, it was quite a sight.  But what really impacted me, was when I saw a couple of men down by the temple with all of the chairs from the celestial room, you know those big comfy ones that couldn't possibly get dirty?  Well one was hand sanding down all the wood, another was there with a paintbrush painting the white, and another with an even finer brush painting the gold accents.  It was amazing to see the concentration and careful work that each of these men was doing.  It also made me think about the things that are found within the temple--they are always perfect.   If there is a problem, it is fixed right away.  Even if something isn't visually damaged, proper maintenance work is done.  I think it is really a lot like us.  To enter the temple we need to be 100% ready.  If there is a problem...we have to fix it to be worthy to be in the house of the Lord.  If we need to "sand down our paint and put on a new coat", we need to do it!  The temple is to help us improve, but we always need to be worthy to enter such a sacred place.

Cool experience #2.  On Saturday a woman that Elder Chinchilla and I taught in our last Branch was baptized!  It was awesome to have been able to participate in that, and to see her be baptized!  The missionaries that are there asked us to go help them fill up the font, because the pump in their chapel burned up.  So we took our buckets and headed over to fill up a font with buckets.  When we got there, we decided to try and do some redneck engineering so that we could fill it up a little more efficiently than with buckets!  Well a roll of duct tape and a few plastic bags later, we were ready to try it out.  It was then that we decided to say a prayer asking our Father in Heaven to somehow allow our garden hose to accept the pressure of a huge water line.  We then opened the valve and poof....somehow it stayed together!  Some call it luck, others know it was a blessing from the Lord!  Anyways, the font filled up just fine, and we took advantage of the time to clean the chapel.

We have quite a few investigators that are really progressing now!  Marcial and Elena (Familia Guzman) continue progressing.  His only doubt is that he was baptized in another church and doesn't think he needs another baptism, but we are helping him understand the importance of being baptized by someone who has authority.  We are also teaching Cristobalina, an older woman whose husband was a member and died about 4 months ago.  She says she feels a "power" when she reads the book of Mormon and is really excited about how she feels!

I got called out to give a talk yesterday.  I'm getting pretty good at preparing talks on the spot, but keep that on the down low so that they don't think they can do that when I get home.  Remember, the church is true!  With the Lord we can do anything!

Hmmm, I think that's about it for now!!

I love you guys!  I hope that you have a great week!


Elder Reeder



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

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Another Week, Another Experience!

January 21, 2013

My Dearest Family,
Well family, there isn't too much news for this week!  This week we got the chance to do more house checks...not really that exciting!  But, we did get to go out all over the south, which is always an adventure.  I kinda feel like a truck driver, I feel like all I do is drive and drive and drive!  So I guess if I drop out of college, I could be a truck driver maybe?  We also moved a house of 4 elders in 2 trips with a Toyota truck...I guess I could also be a mover?  We moved 4 beds, 2 desks, a washing machine, a stove, 2 dressers, and 8 one trip!  When in La Republica Dominicana, do as the Dominicans do! 
We are teaching a way cool family right now, and they are progressing really well!  They are the family Guzman.  They have a son who is a returned missionary, but they never accepted the gospel.  The first time we invited them to church, they came, and they loved it!  (Of course they did, Elder Nelson spoke!)  They really want to follow God, and they are willing to do what He asks!  They have received the "seed" of a testimony, and feel as if the Book of Mormon is true, and that José Smith fue un profeta!  It is great to work with a family like them.

The conference that we had on Sunday for the Caribbean area really was an amazing experience.  I could feel that the messages were directed perfectly for the people, and for me, and it strengthened my testimony of the importance of living prophets.  Elder Zwick, President Beck, and Elder Nelson all talked, and it really was an amazing experience.

Today I feel like the Lord has answered my prayers.  These last 8 months have been quite exhausting, and today during our meeting with President, he said that at the end of this transfer (Middle of February) "it's possible" that I might get to "rest" from my labors here in the office and as ayudante!  It is not positive, but it is a possibility!  As much as I am grateful for my experiences and the countless things I have learned, I'm also ready to focus on an area, investigators, and my spiritual growth to finish things off.  But like always, I'll go where you want to me to go, Dear Lord.  Only time will tell!!

Well family, I'm grateful for you guys!  I'm grateful for your support, your love, and most of all that I got sent to such an awesome family!  I love you guys more than you can imagine, and I pray for you individually every single day.  I know Christ lives, I know that He is our Savior and Redeemer, and I know this is the only true church upon the face of the earth!  What more can I say?


Elder Reeder

Otra semana en la lucha! (Another Week in the Fight)

January 14, 2013

Dearest Family!

It was great to hear from you all!  I'm happy that you are all doing good.  Sorry that I didn't write last night, we got into Santo Domingo a little late, and we started working on numbers and things and the time went right out the window. 

Mom, you asked to tell you a little bit about what we do on Sunday!  Well, usually we get up, study a little and head out to look for investigators to take to church with us.  Then at church, we do whatever is needed!  If they need people to speak in sacrament meeting, the missionaries!  If they need a teacher in a class, the missionaries!  It is pretty sweet, we have the chance to learn all sorts of stuff!  Now, I'll be prepared if they ever call me out of the audience to speak at home, ha ha.

After church we usually run (almost literally) home to cook up some grub!  Elder Chinchilla and I have been experimenting with our cooking skills, and we invent some pretty good stuff!  You would be proud of all the food I like now-a-days!  Anyways, then we eat and prepare to take the numbers from the zones in the south.  We take all of their "key indicators" and their progressing investigators that have baptismal that takes a couple of hours.  Then we go running out the door to the visits that we have, then at 6:00 we have Branch Mission Meeting, and then its off to Santo Domingo!  When we get to Santo Domingo, we have to put all the info in the computer and send it to President and to Salt Lake...quite the process.  So that's a Sunday for us.  :) 

I just about died laughing at what you told me about Spencer (his red trousers)!  Who would have thought?  Well, I don't know what it is about the mission that does that, but I might have that same trend....ha ha.  I wear my clothes a little more snug now as well!  I'm still betting on a Marshall-Burt wedding, but I guess that only time will tell!!

Last week was a good week!  We checked some missionaries' houses, and we had interviews!  This transfer we have interviews with President, so we did that on Wednesday.  I was the last person for him to interview, so he did his normal questions and then we just took time to talk.  It was really fun to share some experiences with him, and to talk about my personal progress in the mission.  President shared an experience that was really special to me, he said "I know that I have put some heavy responsibility on your shoulders, but the Lord called you.  When I received the revelation to call you to the office, it was one of the most clear revelations I have received."  It really made me realize that even though sometimes I feel a little overwhelmed, the Lord never assigns us to do something that we aren't capable of doing.  He then told me that even though I couldn't see it now, that he was sure that my family was receiving the blessings right now, and that one day, I will see the blessings!  I know that he wouldn't have told me that if it wasn't true, and I am extremely grateful that the Lord is blessing you, and that makes it all worth it. 

Like I said last week, I really have been focusing on the attributes of Christ, and more specifically humility.  I had an interesting experience that taught me a powerful lesson.  I have always asked myself, how could Satan rebel against God?  How could he, being one of the chosen ones, living in the presence of his father, choose to rebel?  I knew it was because of his pride, and his desire to have the glory, but I still couldn't quite wrap my mind around it.  The experience I had is simple...Last week we were in the office when someone commented on a project that was done in the office, and another Elder said, "Thanks, I did that!"  Well, in truth, I had done it, and in that moment, I felt something extremely strange.  I felt a little bit frustrated that someone was taking credit for something that I had done.  In that moment someone turned the switch and DING--DING--DING.  I realized, that is how Satan fell.  It really made me think about myself and people in general.  The natural man is prideful.  The natural man wants all the glory.  The natural man wants the attention.  But, the natural man is el enemigo de Dios, y lo será siempre jamas!  (Sorry, I really don't know how to quote scriptures in English any more, but it's how that natural man is God's enemy, and will always be.)  What I learned is that it doesn't really matter if we receive the congratulations, the thanks, or the "glory".  What matters is that we do what our Father has commanded us.  I know that if we aren't humble, like a small child, we cannot be worthy to live in the presence of our Heavenly Father.  But at the same time, if we are humble, we will be able to further develop the attributes of Christ and we will be able to truly be His disciples!

That's my story for the week.  :)

Anyway, we have a few investigators that are progressing, and we feel good about their progress.  I'm loving life here in the mission!  I love my companion, my area, I just love that I still have time to serve the Lord and the great people here.  The church is true!!  Keep the commandments, and be happy!!


Elder Reeder

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

Please...Excuse My Tardiness

January 7, 2013

Dearest Family,

I write you this fine Monday morning from Santo Domingo....enjoying some cooler temperatures!  Wahoo!  Sorry for not writing last night, we didn't come into town until early this morning, and for that I am writing you all today! :)  This week has been very enjoyable--just like every week in the mission.  Last week we welcomed in the New Year singing (quite loudly--but still reverently), HYMNS!   So, Los Cacicazgos, and President Danilo, welcomed in the new year listening to the Elders sing hymns!  How exciting is that?  Well, we got back to Azua on New Year's day, and honestly, there wasn't too much to do, because everyone was hammered.  The scent of alcohol hung in the air.  It was interesting to see the "day after".  It made me happy that we can enjoy and celebrate things without the corruption of the world....Alma said it best, "Wickedness never was happiness."  

On Thursday, it was back to Santo Domingo again for Zone Council, where we and all the Zone Leaders meet with President to get trained and to talk about the goals and things for the month.  It was a good experience, even though I must admit my eyes were a little droopy after 9 hours there.

I was thinking a little bit this week about the mission, and I started to think about my personal progress.  I was thinking, gee whizz, I have basically 19 months out here.  Have I become what the Lord wants me to be?  Do I have His image in my countenance?  I really began to ponder on that, and I began to think about what I really want to be my focus for the last 6 months of the mission.  I came to the conclusion that I really want to take advantage of these last 6 months to become more Christlike.  It has become my goal to be able to develop the characteristics that Christ has, and to really become like him.  I know that that is the best thing that I can possibly take home from the mission.  I want to be a true representative of Christ, by becoming like Him.  It is not enough to just wear the badge.  I really have to be like Him. 

On Friday, we were able to head out to Barahona to go to their Zone Meeting and do an intercambio with the Zone Leaders.  We were able to share a little bit with them, and we really just wanted to help them understand the importance of being united.  United in everything that they do!  The scriptures say "si no sois unidos, no sois mios", and I really know that is true! 

I'm grateful for the chance to fast.  I have learned to love fasting on the mission.  It really is such a blessing, and helps us to be sensitive to the promptings of the Spirit. 

Well family, I think that's all for this week!  I'm thankful for everything that you do for me, and I pray for you each and every day!  I hope that 2013 starts out great and is a great year!  :) 


Elder Reeder

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Feliz Navidad, y año nuevo!

December 30, 2012


Well family, it was great getting to talk to you all last week!  I hope that the rest of your Christmas week was great!!  As for me, it was an interesting week.  I don't remember if I told you in the phone call, in the transfers, they changed us to a different Rama in Azua!  Everything stayed the same, they just sent us to a different branch.  I was disappointed, but I just sang "I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord".  So anyway, we got back to Azua, and had to go say goodbye to everyone!  It was crazy to realize how good of friends we had made with lots of people in such little time.  I don't know if I told you guys about the less active member that we were teaching.  If I didn't, I'll give a brief play by play.  One day we were contacting, we weren't having much luck, and honestly we were just kinda walking around looking for some inspiration!  Well, we ended up walking down a street, and ended up walking to a house.  At the house, we were greeted by "Elders!!", so we knew it was a member!  Well, we entered and right away we just got along good!  Well, she came back to church the first week...and we kept having really great lessons with her and her kids, and her parents!  Well, we went to visit her, and at the end we told her, well we are leaving!  At this moment she started crying as she thanked us for finding her, and helping her realize that she needed to get active again!  It was really an amazing experience to be able to see someone who really was waiting for us, and we could be an instrument in the Lords hands to help her come back to church.

Besides that, we started working our new area.  The branch needs lots of help, only about 12 were there when the meetings started today, but I'm sure that if we are obedient and work hard, the Lord will bless us!  We have found a few investigators, and we are faithful that they will continue to progress.

This week I just want to share my testimony of the Book of Mormon.  This week I have had lots of time to really just study and feast on the Book of Mormon.  I feel the Spirit so strongly as I read and apply the teachings of the ancient prophets! 

As for now,
I love you all! 
Enjoy the new year! 

Elder Reeder


Yeah, we just moved into the Brown's house and it is freaking sweet!!  IT'S LOADED!  :)  
We were just working on some stuff here in the office.  We have to go visit a zone that is giving us some we are planning that!  Guess what...a motorcycle ran into my brand new truck!!! WHAT A PUNK!!  Well I was driving in a roundabout, and I was in the roundabout, and he came flying in and caboom!!  It was quite the experience...I went before a judge!  And the dude had a lawyer and everything, they asked me who my representative was, and I said--Uh, I am!  Well, I won :)  hahahahaha  I was going like 10 kilometers an hour.  (The judge was just to resolve here is not required, but the church has it.)  Nothing happened to anyone, and it just left some rubber on our truck, and we scrubbed it off.  President just said, be careful!  Okay, the loaded apartment doesn't have air conditioning or warm water, nope, none of that....but it has pots and pans...and screens on the window....and all of the lights work!  :)

Dearest Family

December 25, 2012


My Family!

Well, I didn't write an e-mail this week, and after talking with you all, I was left with a few emotions, and things that I would like to share with you!  First of all, I love you all.  The most powerful thing I have learned as a missionary is really the love of a family.  As I have said before, I was never much of a 'say I love you' kind of guy before the mission, but I have learned the importance of those three little words.  I have felt a love for each and every one of you that I can't even describe.  I pray each and every day for your well being.  I want you to know that there is nothing in this world more important to me than our family.  The well repeated phrase that a missionary leaves his family for two years so that others can be with theirs for eternity has new meaning for me.  I ponder often on the importance of the covenants that we have made in the temple which allow us to return to the presence of God as a family.  I pray that we live worthy to receive all of the blessings that our Father in Heaven has in store for us. 

I invite you all to make a New Years resolution:  I know it is a little cliche, but hear me out.  #1. Never let a day go by without telling your family members that you love them.  Don't assume that they know you love them--tell them!  #2.  Show your love.  Take time to serve one another.  I was told that we never truly love someone until we serve them, and I have realized it is true!  Take time out to do something little for them--buy their favorite treat, help with the dishes or the wash, make breakfast, but find a way to serve them every single day.  #3.  Pray together.  A family that prays together stays together.  The Lord commanded us to pray together (3 Nephi 18:21).  Don't allow a day to pass by without praying as a family.  #4.  Look for the best in each other.  Its really easy to find faults in people.  We are all imperfect people who have faults.  Look for the good--the glass can be half empty or half full--we are who decides.  #5.  Study the scriptures together.  Scripture Power!!  I never understood the truth of that song until the mission.  Daily scripture study is vital!  #6.  Look forward with faith.  We live in a world filled with negativity.  It is hard to stay positive sometimes!  The economy is in the pits, people do bad things, where is the joy?  The joy is in Christ.  When we have true faith in Christ, we are able to look beyond the troubles and trials of this world, and into the peace and joy that comes from Christ. 

In a lesson a few days ago, I was teaching, but in turn I feel as if I was the recipient of the lesson.  We all have our challenges, weaknesses, but someday they will be our strong points, if we are humble.  My companion started talking about 2 Nephi 4.   From verse 15 on.....( I suggest reading it).  While he was reading that, I started thinking about how Nephi really humbled himself before the Lord, and was able to not only receive forgiveness, but also strength from the Lord!  And I thought of Ether 12:27-28, and how the Lord teaches us that if we are humble, He makes us strong!  And then, He teaches us about faith, hope, and charity!  Well, then I thought about Moroni 7:40-48.  I recommend studying those scriptures!  It is an interesting cycle to see how all of that hooks together and really teaches us an important lesson. 

I want you to know I am grateful for the opportunity to serve a mission.  Sometimes I look at myself and think, "Have I really become what the Lord wants me to be?"  The answer is no, but I have started down the path.  Each and every day as I study his words, I try to be a little more like Him.  To be a little more humble, a little more charitable, and a little more Christian, and I have the faith and hope that one day when I finish my mission here in the D.R., He will accept my service, and I will feel the sweet words, "well done my good and faithful servant". 


Elder Riley Ted Reeder

Dengue Survivor!

December 23, 2012

Hello Family!

Well, I'm here---alive and everything!  I officially survived dengue...and it really wasn't all too bad. 
Guess what?  I got over Dengue in 2 days....Hooray for Priesthood blessings.  Yep, I got a blessing from my companion on Sunday, and he told me that I would be better to be able to do what I needed to do, and I was.  It was amazing.  Hey guys, I'm planning on skyping!!  Wahoo!  I'm going to do it from the Schmidts' apartment, so it is going to work like a champ!  (I hope).  I think it will be in the early afternoon here...probably like 2 or 3?  I will need your information to skype, but I will call you when we get a little closer to get it all planned out.  Love you guys, and can't wait to talk to ya!  Look what I's awesome--unbelievable!!  


Dengue Fever

December 16, 2012

Hey Guys,

Well, it looks like I'm in the same boat as you guys!  I'm looks like the dreaded dengue has got me!  So....for that...I'm not gonna write a whole lot because I'm quite exhausted honestly.  Tomorrow is the Christmas Conference, so that's a little exciting!  Besides that, not much is new.  I'm honestly still not sure what we are going to do for the phone call/skype.  It all depends if we have to come back to the capital next Monday for our meeting.  If we don't have a meeting, we will stay in Azua, and I will just call.  If we come to the capital, I would like to try and Skype because I think that would be way fun.  I will let you know what the plan is after I talk to President.  Thanks for everything!

Well, for right now, I'm just chilling here in the mission home trying to stay hydrated.  There really isn't anything anyone can do, but thanks!  I was fine until yesterday at 11:30 in the night, and I got a fever out of nowhere, and it has just gotten higher and higher.  I'm gonna have to stay here because I'm not driving back to Azua like this...and my companion can't drive!  I have a fever of 102.7, and it (dengue) just gives you headache, diarrhea, and your whole body just hurts.  It really is quite pleasant :)  Well, I can't do anything about it, so it wouldn't do me much good to complain!  You really don't need to isn't that big of a deal!  Hna. Brown is taking good care of me--thank heaven for senior missionaries!


Elder Reeder

Just Some Pictures :)

December 9, 2012

These are the famous iguanas of the D.R.!  They only live out by this great big old lake in the south...the Browns took us out there to see them.  :)  I think a more fitting name would be dragon or triceratops...!   They are crazy!  This is me pretending to not be scared...but I really think it was about to eat me! 



La Primera segunda navidad!

December 2, 2012


Well, this was another great week out in the south!  I don't quite know where to start, but I will try!  So every weekend (Sunday), we come in to Santo Domingo, and then we head back to the south on Tuesday morning.  So last week, Monday and Tuesday were quite boring--just a bunch of meetings and driving!  It was fun to come back to the office and see Elder Batista and Elder Luzon, I really love those two.  On Wednesday, we headed out to Barahona again!  This time we went clear out in the boonies to Neyba, Duverge, and all of those places!  There is basically a whole lot of go to the boonies...then you pass it by 50 miles, and there you are!  I could hardly believe that we have missionaries in those cities, because they are just so far away!  It is also so hot there...that the sun starts! 

Thursday, we had a meeting with all of the Zone Leaders to go over some of their responsibilities and to help us get acquainted with them.  It was a really fun experience.  As we were preparing the meeting, I felt as if Elder Chinchilla and I really got a lot of help from the Lord.  At first I felt kinda overwhelmed because neither of us have ever even been zone leaders, and here we had to tell them what to do!  Well, we studied really hard, and we were able to find some really good things!  One of the things that we want to improve on is how the missionaries make goals.  We are seeing that lots of missionaries just throw out numbers for goals, but they don't really have any plan of what they are going to do!  We gave this as an example..      
"For behold, this is my work and my glory--to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."
This is Heavenly Fathers goal.  He wants all of His children to return and live with Him again.  Now, imagine if He hadn't made a plan to accomplish that!  What if He had just said...this is what I want...and left it at that?  It would have been kind of hard to accomplish it.  So, Heavenly Father designed a plan, the plan of salvation, so that He could accomplish His goal of living with all of His children again!  We are really hoping to make better goals..and really have a plan to how we are going to achieve them! 

After the meeting, we headed out to San Juan to do an intercambio with the Zone Leaders out there, Elders Boswell and Stewart.  I worked with them, and my companion with the other companionship that lives in that house.  It was awesome!  I really do love doing intercambios.  It has been a huge learning experience for me.  Every single missionary has a different way of teaching the gospel, and that is what I love most.  I realize even more the importance of really becoming the best missionary that I can be.  I don't need to be anyone else.  I need to be the very best me that I can be!  I know that the Lord has sent me to this mission, and to the area that I am now for a reason!  I hope that I am able to be an instrument in His hands to help people to come to His Church. 

Yesterday, we had an interesting experience.  We were contacting, and we decided to contact a road.  We just started walking...and both walked to the same the middle of the road.  Well, we started talking, and out came a woman calling, "ELDERES!"  Whenever we hear that we know that it is a member.  Well, it turned out that she is extremely less active.  Well, we were able to share with her, and she told us that we were the answer to her prayers, and that she really needed that visit.  We then received her parents as references, and have planned to go back this week.  I am so amazed in the way that the Lord inspires us.  It almost always is in such ways so simple, that if we aren't paying attention, we just might miss it. 

I am so grateful for everything that you have done for me!  I am grateful for all of my many blessings, but especially for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I am grateful for the Atonement and for the cleansing, purifying power.  I am grateful that I have been given a chance to serve a mission.  I know that it has been such a blessing in my life.  I get nervous that I have such little time left.  Sometimes I feel as if I haven't become what I need to be.  But, I hope that if I keep working, the Lord will help me to become what He desires. 

Love you guys!

Elder Riley Ted Reeder


November 25, 2012

Dearest Family,

I just have to start out saying that this week really has been one of the greatest weeks of my life!  I know that I will never be able to tell you everything that has happened this week, but I will try my best!  So, we had to help out with the transfers on Tuesday, and they went okay.  It was a little stressful. The Schmidts did the presentation to the new missionaries on the finances, and they did a great job! 

On Wednesday, we went to President's house to learn our responsibilities and to see what he wanted us to do.  We will be working with the zones in the south, so we help them with basically whatever!  We do intercambios with areas that are struggling, work with the zone leaders, all of that fun stuff, and the most exciting thing--we work in an area!  :)

So Wednesday, we met with President, and we were off to Azua!  We got there really late, got set up, planned and went to bed.  On Thursday, we headed off at 6:30 to Barahona to do an intercambio with some missionaries out there.  We had to take Elder and Sister Brown out to a place called Casa Bonita to meet up with President Glazier (the CCM President), to go on a little vacation!  Just look it was pretty dang sweet!  Anyway, then we went back to Barahona and did an intercambio.  I really like doing intercambios because every time I learn a ton from the missionaries!  It is amazing how every missionary has their own way of teaching, and I can always learn something from them! 

On Friday, we had THANKSGIVING!  Yes, the Browns cooked us turkey, mashed potatoes, pie, all of the vaina!  It was delicious--so yes, I enjoyed the Thanksgiving spirit!  And then, I got to leave and go visit San Juan, which is a beautiful city! 

Well, this week, I'm grateful for you guys.  Grateful for your love, your support, and everything that you do for me!  But, this week I am grateful for missionary work.  These past few days I have been on cloud 9 1/2.  I feel like even though I wasn't teaching much in the office, I learned to be a better missionary.  I have felt joy indescribable in these last few days, and I know that it is the joy of helping the children of God.  I know that the Lord loves each and every one of His children, and that we have the responsibility to share the gospel with each and every one of them!  I know that sometimes the Lord tests us, gives us challenges, but for our benefit!  I know that I will still have challenges, but I also know that the Lord can always give me the strength to overcome them! 


Elder Reeder


Answers For Mom:

Elder Chinchilla is a great missionary, he only has 10 months, but he is doing great.  We will work together extremely well!  Azua is great!  It is a straight up campo!  I love it...I feel more at home...less noise...humble is sweet!  Sorry, I don't have pictures because I let the Browns use my camera because theirs broke, and they are almost going home, so this week I will get on that!  We live with the zone leaders from Azua right now, but we will move into the Brown's house when they leave.  I didn't take my Hilux with me, but I brought an Isuzu DMAX.  Yeah, I drive a duramax...but its just a little duramax.  I have been walking a ton in my area, though, and it feels great...I also am getting tan again...I was a freaking whitie!  Yes, I have met all of the above...I have visited all of the zones, and it has been a great experience.  It has been weird to "preside" meetings.  We work with about 100 missionaries.  Yes, I will do splits with them...Elder Gatherum is in the for now I won't be able to work with him. 
Thanks for sending Elder Batista a will mean a lot to him!  He doesn't have a brother in this mission....I bet that he just flubbed up his English...he has two brothers who have served missions.  Thanks for going to Zayn's homecoming...He is a stud.  I'm sure he did great.  
I also don't have a the office we had a "P-Day", but now we don't have p-day...but I think I will write Sundays or Mondays.  Thanks for everything mom!  

Great News, and Great Baptism!

November 17, 2012


Hello Family,

Well, this is the short e-mail to tell you that the transfers came...and I have left the office!!!! WAHOO!!!!  I shall let you know what is going on....

I'm heading out to the campo!!!  I will be going out to Azua, to take over the work of a senior an "ayudante" 

I will be working with all the missionaries of the south, until the new couple comes, basically doing what I do now, in the south...and I will work full time in my area :) :)

Baptism today- I feel great :)

Love, Elder Reeder

Well family,

The news of today has been really exciting!  I'm extremely grateful for the things that I have learned here in the office, I know that it has helped me to be a better missionary, and more prepared for the rest of my life.  Now, I will head off to the south as an "ayudante".  It is a new position, so we are whitewashed!  We will be in charge of 5 zones, and it is going to be quite an experience!  Now I will get to know the rest of the mission--the campo!  We will come back to the capital every weekend to attend the office meetings, to get the mail for the missionaries out there, and to help the Schmidts with any questions they have.  My new companion will be Elder Chinchilla, (not a joke), who Elder Batista trained.  He is a great missionary, and I'm excited to be able to learn from our new companionship. 

Today the baptism was great.  We had a great turnout, including another investigator, and it was really a special experience.  Everyone was really excited for him, and we could really see that he was ready and excited to take such an important step in his life.  It is going to be hard to leave him, but I know that he will be in good hands with Elder Batista.  My replacement is Elder Bryner, he is from my group, and I'm sure he will learn fast and do a great job.  

Sorry this is quick.  We are really busy getting ready for transfers!  I'm really not sure when my P-Day will be, but it will be Saturday or Monday.  So if I don't write you on Saturday, I'm sorry...

Well family, 

I love you guys!  

Elder Reeder