Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Week 69 - Ralankil "Night of the Son" (Christmas in Q'eq'chi')

Chan xe'rin?
I'm learning another language!!! It's called Q'eq'chi' and it's SUPER hard to learn, but it's pretty cool. 

I don't have too much time to write this week, but it was pretty good. We had concilio, and we got a lot of new instructions to share with the zone.

Other than that, the week wasn't too interesting. But I want to tell you guys something I've been thinking about lately.

OK, so imagine missionaries stopping you on the street and talking to you, but the very instant that you talking to them, even in you're in a rush or in a hurry, a thought comes to your mind: "These people are servants of God." Even if you don't believe in God, you invite them to your home, and a couple days later, when they get there, when you hear the message, you feel the Spirit in your heart, you know it's true, and you want to learn more and read. You feel inspired to pray and to find out for yourself, and change your life.

For those who know what missionary work is like, wouldn't it be great to find people like that every day? That every single person who you talk to would be like that?

So I've been thinking. Why does it depend so much on the person? Normal people who don't have the gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives don't have the Spirit. They've never falt it before. So does it really depend on the "preparedness" of the person or does it depend on the spirit that the missionary brings? We should always be preparing, doing everything we can -members, too- so that when people see us, they know we're different. Do things that allow the Spirit to be with you, so that it can be your constant companion. Be Christ-like, and love everything around you. Cast out all negativity, cast out every angry thought, cast out all uncleanliness from your souls. Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord.

I'm teaching the missionaries here to do that. I'm not perfect, and I'm still in the process, but I believe that this is the secret

Speaking of being Christlike, all of you guys should watch this video and think about what you can do to serve others. www.mormon.org -- watch that video it is the best video I have seen in a long time

Elder Jeffrey Reed

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Week 68 - I Feel OLD

Hey Guys!

So, last week we had changes. My new companion is Elder Cabrera from Tegucigalpa. Honduras. I usually get along well with HondureƱos so I was pretty happy to hear that. Elder Cabrera is calm and he's a good worker. He likes to make sure that what he's doing is exactly for the salvation of the people here in Guatemala. He is 20 months into the mission, and is probably going to finish his mission here in Puerto Barrios.

We also opened up another area in Puerto Barrios! My old area was split in half again, and I was assigned to the farther and more dangerous part of the area. So I had to hand over all my old investigators to the hermanas.  I’m sure they’ll do a great job.  The good news is that we still have Entre Rios.

We've been focusing a lot with the members on an idea that we've had for Christmas. When Christ came into the world, he came to be the light of all, and we must remember that he also gave unto us to be the light of the world and to let our lights shine forth. Like the hymn says:

Brightly beams our Father's mercy from his lighthouse evermore,
but to us, he gives the keeping of the lights along the shore.

Dark the night of sin has settled, loud the angry billows roar;
eager eyes are watching, longing, for the lights along the shore.

Trim your feeble lamp, my brother; some poor sailor, tempest-tossed,
trying now to make the harbor in the darkness may be lost.

Let the lower lights be burning; send a gleam across the wave.
Some poor fainting, struggling seaman you may rescue, you may save.

Our Lord has entrusted us with His lights. What are we doing to let that light shine forth? Or have we been content to keep that light for ourselves, that only we benefit from its glow?
We need others to be able to see that light. But that others may see it, it has to be strong. Never stop feeding the fire of your testimony. There are two kinds of members in the Church: those who build a bonfire of a testimony or those who light a fire just big enough for their own needs and pleasures.

See "Patterns of Light" by David A. Bednar

Love you guys lots! See you next year! (for the family, Christmas!)

Elder Jeffrey Reed

Monday, November 14, 2016

Week 67 - Activity

Hey Guys!

SO, this letter is titled, "Activity" because those are exactly what I've been doing this week. When I first came to Puerto Barrios, the branch had not had an activity of any type in over a year, and the elders who were previously there complained that the branch president shut down all the activities. So I got to work on that. We gained the trust of the branch president, and instead of directly proposing activities to the president, we announced them in branch council so everyone could have an input, the first time we did it, the branch president was pretty unsure about the whole deal, but when he saw that it turned out well, he gave us more working space. Right now, we have prepared the branch to have 3 different activities every single week, in different parts of Puerto Barrios so that even the poorest members who live farthest from the chapel can participate. We've seen the attendance raise from 60-70 to 100-115 members who come every Sunday, and we expect to see more. 

Also, just thinking about activity in the church, and what gives people the drive to come to church to participate in worship every Sunday. Really, the reason should be that the members want to come to church so that they may learn of Jesus Christ and participate with their brothers and sisters in worship, but this is not always the driving force that makes people want to get up and go to church. But that's all right. God doesn't expect us to really know Him at first. He invites everyone, that they may FIRST come and SECOND drink of the water of eternal life. If God's intention is to invite everyone to come where He is, wouldn't it stand to reason that He wants everyone to feel welcome where He is? (2 Nephi 26:24-28).  One thing that you guys should do is go and make yourself feel welcome. And if you yourself don't feel welcome, remember that you are always welcome, and try to go make someone else feel welcome too.

Also, we’re having exchanges this week and I’m staying here in Puerto Barrios, but my companion is being transferred to another area.  My new companion is going to be a brand-new zone leader and I get to train him on how to do it!


Elder Jeffrey Reed

Monday, November 7, 2016

Week 66 - A week with the Assistants

Hey Guys!

Well I told the mission President about my idea of establish an official church group in the new area, and he said he was going to talk to the local district President about it, but he did say that it could be good to put a group there.   I still haven't heard about it since then, so I don't think it will happen during this change.

So I basically wasn't in my area at all this week: we had concilio, operations to get ingrown toenails taken out, etc. So for the majority of the week, I was in the Cap, with Elder Larsen and Elder Suman, the assistants to President. It was pretty cool to be with them, because they're both good friends of mine in the mission, and we started our missions together. They're both very good missionaries, and I enjoyed the opportunity we had to be able to work together.

Today for P-Day, we went to a place called the Castle of St. Philip, which was pretty cool. It was a prominent site of the Inquisition in the Americas. But our tour guide was super mean to us. I don't know why either, but whatever. It was pretty cool after we finished the official tour. Sorry I don't have any pictures, but my camera broke, so I don't have a way of getting any pictures. :( Maybe someone from the zone will be able to let us borrow his camera.

I finished Reading the Book of Mormon again! It's pretty cool to be able to start over again, and learn new things over and over again. Something I learned this week is found in 1

Nephi 2:1-2:
For Behold, it came to pass that the Lord spake unto my father, yea, even in a dream, and said unto him: Blessed art thou, Lehi, because of the things that thou hast done, and because thou hast been faithful and declared unto this people the things which I commanded thee, behold, they seek to take away thy life.
And it came to pass that the Lord commanded my father, even in a dream, that he should take his family and depart into the wilderness.

Well, the question is, what is there to learn from this scripture? What you can learn is this: The Lord does not give further instruction to those who cannot follow the first commandment. Those who can and do follow the first Word they receive from the Father are those who are BLESSED with the opportunity to receive further instruction from the Father.

Food for thought.

Love you guys!


Elder Jeffrey Reed