We had changes yesterday. President Crapo gave me a new assignment, so now I'm district leader. Two new elders are coming to my district tomorrow, so I don't have to take dats [information regarding the number of people met and taught during the day] for anyone else tonight, but tomorrow, I have to do it. I'm not exactly sure about what I am doing, but I know that the Lord will help me figure it out.
My district has only 4 people. They are:
-Me (Elder Reed)
-Elder Villar from Lima, Peru, 18 years old has been out for 6 weeks
-Elder Yama from Monterrey, Mexico (I don't know how old he is) has been out for 18 months
-the new kid that gets here tomorrow
We'll see what happens.
This week has also been a little stressful for me. The work is advancing very slowly here in my area, but we'll be able to see some changes soon.
Funny fact: 4 days ago I was talking about leadership with Elder Borjas, my old district leader. We were talking about how hard it would be to be leader, because you don't have to worry only about the salvation of the people who you work with, but the people of the other areas, and the missionaries who depend on you to lead them. But leadership as Jesus Christ defined it, is service. (So I've got to learn a little bit more about how to serve other people. I'll tell you guys how it goes.) But as Christ did not come to be served, or to exercise dominion over anyone, he came to serve. He came to lead us in the way to life eternal. He came to show us how to be better people. This is something I must do, as a leader now. President told me, "Elder Reed, this assignment was not given to you for your comfort." And it's completely true. Right now, I feel a little overwhelmed. But the Lord does not call people because of what they have done. Many times, He calls people in spite of what they have done. The Lord has a work to do through us, and this will happen if, and only if, we do it His way.
Elder Jeffrey Reed
Additionally, Jeff was recently asked what advice he would give to kids who are considering a mission after high school. Here is his reply:
Hola Hermana Stapley,
I have a couple answers to your questions.
Q) What do you wish you would have known about being a missionary before you left?
A) I wish I had known how HARD it is. The mission is the hardest, most mentally and spiritually exhausting thing that you can do, but also the most mentally and spiritually rewarding.
Q) What is your best advice for how to prepare for a mission (things you may have done or wish you would have done)?
A) Best advice for future missionaries:
a) MAKE SURE THE GOSPEL REALLY IS IMPORTANT TO YOU. If it's not, or if you're going because your parents want you to, or if you do not serious intentions in your heart to preach the gospel, DO NOT GO. Wait 6 months, and during these 6 months, gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and Jesus Christ.
b) Get out there and practice. There are plenty of missionaries in our wards at home who need help. Invite one of your friends to talk to the missionaries, and then go out to work with the missionaries.
Q) What is the funniest thing that has happened to you on your mission so far?
A) The funniest thing...
There's too much that happens on the mission to say that one funniest thing has happened. I don't know how to answer this question...
Q) What has surprised you the most about your mission?
A) What has surprised me the most is that a missionary is not always a spiritual giant. Missionaries are 18-21 year old kids that don't know too much about what they're doing. The mission is not a place to develop a testimony, it is the place to help others develop a testimony.
Q) What advice can you give on how to prepare for living with a companion?
A) Be humble. A companion can be an absolute pain in the neck or your best friend. I've had both of these, and the easiest way to get along with your companion is serve him, and focus on the good things that he does instead of getting annoyed with every little stupid wrong thing that he does.
Q) What is something that you've learned from serving as a missionary?
A) I have learned in my time out here that the Lord shows us our weaknesses to make us strong. Also, the Lord with never give us anything that is too hard to handle or too heavy to bear.