Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Week 42 - Wildest Week Ever

All Right Guys, 
Ready to hear about this week?

Tuesday: The last time I had written you guys, we had just gotten back from a trip to the temple. I was REALLY tired. After that, we went to our mission correlation with our mission leaders.

Wednesday: Hermana Risely had her baptismal interview this day, so I went on divisions with Elder Edwards, and at about 4:00, it started to rain- HARD. This is one of the first times in my mission where I've had to work in real Guatemalan storm conditions, so I was excited. But people here in the cap aren't as friendly- NO ONE let us in this day, expect the people who we had appointments with. At one point, we were talking to a guy, and he told us, "No, i just don't have time for you guys." So I pointed to the sky and said, " Are you sure?" He started to laugh, and then said, "Look, I know you guys are giving your effort to your mission, but really, I don't have time for you guys." and he closed the door. #missionlife

Thursday: We finished divisions, and it was STILL raining, very hard. We experienced basically the same reaction that I saw the day before, and then we had our Brothership night. (We've been working to make them more dynamic, so that the members can become more unified in my ward) and NO ONE came because of the rain. :/ then we went to visit the members who had invited us to eat, and when we got there, they had forgotten, so I made mangu for them (a Dominican food, ask Dad if you want to know what it is)

Friday: We had our weekly planning, and EVERYONE in the zone was really stressed. 
We went and did our visits, and then at about 8:50, I realized that I had left the cell phone in the house of the member where we had taught the last investigator that day. To make things worse, we didn’t have the number of our district leaders, so we went to the other missionaries' house in Parroquia to report it. My Zone leaders weren't very happy with me... :/

I don’t have much time left, so to sum things up, we had our first baptism in this area on Saturday, and Sunday we taught in the police academy, which is growing VERY fast. This change ends this week! See you guys later! Love you all!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Week 41 - Email conversation with Dad

Jeff:  Right now, I'm really tired- any questions for me? Do you remember the "Chatting with Jacob" thing I did for one of my weekly letters? Let's do that.

Dad:  How's it going with your new comp and new area?

Jeff:  Things are going well right now. My new companion is named Elder Roque (Rocky) and he's from Honduras. He's been out on the mission for about a year. When he had 9 months on the mission, he destroyed his knee and had to go back home for 7 months, but now he's back and he's chilling with me. He's a goofball, so we get along pretty well. He also likes to work hard.  As for the area, it's very big, but only one side of the area has a lot of production right now. we have our first baptism in the area this week!

Dad: Who is the investigator, and what's his/her story?

Jeff:  The investigator is named Risely. She's a single mom who is 23 years old.  Her story: She had once talked with the missionaries, but their persistence in passing by every day bothered her, and so she stopped visiting with them. She continued with her normal life until a close friend of her died. This close friend had a lot of problems with drinking and smoking, and she realized she didn't want that kind of life for herself or for her 2-year old son. She knew a lot of Mormon people, so she told one of them one day: "Look, I want to meet the missionaries." This is where I come into the story. About a week into this change, Brother Edwing Hernandez told me, "I know someone that wants to talk to you." We had divisions with the members, and I went to go meet her. She was very open to us about what she expected. She told me that the Church of Jesus Christ had drawn her attention because (according to her, I don't know) in some churches they don't really teach virtues that you can apply to your life, and in other churches all they do is dance and shout scriptures at the top of their lungs. So I explained to her what the doctrine of Christ was: faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and how continually applying these principles helps us change and become better. I told her that as she met with us, she was gonna learn not only things that she could apply to her life, but also a message of the Gospel that she probably hadn't ever heard before in her life. She accepted a date to be baptized in that first visit, and now we've finally gotten to the week of her baptism.

Dad:  Wow!  That's pretty miraculous.  Brock will want to know if you've seen any huge bugs or snakes or anything like that.  Have you run into anything huge and creepy?

Jeff:  A TON of cockroaches, but that's about it. I'm in the city, so I don't really run into wild iguanas or snakes or things like that anymore.  Yeah, it's the projects, and it’s the most dangerous area in the zone, but it's still the city.  Where can we find fresh plantains in the states, Dad? Make mangu for the family.  Mangu, if you don't remember, is mashed plantain (like mashed potato) with eggs and salami on top.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Week 40 - Elder Alvarado

Hey Guys!

I'm gonna tell you guys a story. It is a sad story.

Before I got to the Roble, Elder Alvarado had a lot of problems with his back and knee. He had almost been sent home for being too unhealthy to work, but he told President he was going to endure the pain the last 6 weeks of his mission. The last time I wrote you guys a week ago, I was aware of these pains that he was having, but I thought he could bear it. Later that day, as we left to work and were going to a part of our area called Quintanal. About halfway there, he told me he was hurting really bad and needed a little bit of time to rest. I let him sit down on the street for about 5 minutes, and then we continued onward. We had almost gotten to the Quintanal when he asked me if we could stop again. I told him if he didn't have the strength to work this day, we could go back to the house and rest for tomorrow. This was the third day in a row that he struggled with his back pain. I took him back to the house, told him to rest, and tried to encourage him that he could endure the next 4 weeks if he was careful, but he couldn't bear the pain anymore. So he called President and told him what was going on. Then, President told him that they had already talked about what he could do, and they organized their last interview for the next day. We cried for about an hour after that call.

After that, I got a new companion on Wednesday. His name is Elder Roque, and he loves to work. He's also a real goofball. Also, I got to talk to my sister Jodi in Spanish, and the rest of my family in English.

Ill try to bring happier news the next week. Its been a little hard for me out here, but Ill be fine.  The work is good, we are opening an area that has been closed from the missionaries for a long time and we have four people scheduled for baptism this month.

I love all you guys! Keep writing!

Elder Jeffrey Reed

Week 39 - New Faces. New Challenges.

Hey Guys!!!

This week was an interesting week. We had quite a few challenges but we-ve been able to see blessings as well.

My companion almost went home this week. He suffers from a problem with his Sciatic nerve, which runs from his back to his knees, and it limits him in his ability to work. The problem can't be fixed in the mission, so he was going to go home for it, but he decided to grit through and bear it for this change. I'm happy that he's not going, and we'll see what comes of this change. 

To be honest, this week's been stressful for me. The whole issue with my companion has shot my nerves a little bit, and I'm really hoping that we can power through it together and not have any problems. It's been a trial for the both of us to see this happen, and it will continue to be a trial for the rest of this change.

Other than that, I'm really tired and a little stressed for the week that's coming. For everyone who has faith, I ask you to pray for me and for my companion, that we can push through the trial and finish this change the way we should: working as hard as we can and as fast as we can. I have a feeling I'm gonna learn from this change. I don't know what exactly, but whatever it is, I'm willing to face it.

Love you all! Thank you for everything!
Elder Jeffrey Reed