Sunday, January 6, 2013

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

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