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