ay pues aqui estoy! I never thought this moment would come, writing my last email as a full time missionary. It has been quite the roller coaster. As I look back on the time that the Lord has granted me to serve Him I am filled with emotions of gratitude and humility. It has honestly been a blessing to be here, a blessing I definitely didn't earn or deserve, but that my loving Heavenly Father allowed me to have. In these past weeks, our prophet President Thomas S Monson passed away and as a mission we were reflecting on His life and ways he effected our lives, and I recognized that without the things that he did I wouldn't be here today as a full time missionary. I am grateful for servants of the Lord who have helped me gain a testimony of the reality of this revelatory work.
I could share experiences for years about things the Lord has taught me on the mission and conversions I've witnessed take place, but in this final letter I just want to share a bit of my own mission conversion, and this week in reading in 1 Nefi 8 I learned a lot about the road the Lord has let me travel.
In 1 Ne 8 Lehi is describing a vision that the Lord gives him. He starts by being invited by an angel to follow him.
7 And it came to pass that as I followed him I beheld myself that I was in a dark and dreary waste.
At the beginning of my mission it was really hard. There were a lot of things I didn't know, i.e. Spanish and the gospel and it wasn't exactly easy the process of coming on the mission, and I was confused about why it was so hard. I was doing the right thing, right? I was following Jesus Christ and trying to help others follow him too, why was it so hard? Why did I feel like I was in the dark still?
8 And after I had traveled for the space of many hours in darkness, I began to pray unto the Lord that he would have mercy on me, according to the multitude of his tender mercies.
It wasn't until I lost myself in the work that I began to understand a little bit of why I felt so in the dark. Once I started praying because I really needed Him, or studying because I knew I lacked knowledge, and praying for others because I loved them and wanted them to find peace, and really forgetting about all the hard things and just trusting in Him and the Atoning power of Jesus Christ, was I able to find relief and peace as a servant of the Lord.
9 And it came to pass after I had prayed unto the Lord I beheld a large and spacious field.
And then I could see the vision. I could see why I was here. I could see the joy that comes from living the gospel of Jesus Christ as never before. I could see the bigger picture.
10 And it came to pass that I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy.
11 And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted. Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen.
12 And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit.
I had tasted the fruit, and I had the desire that my family, this family of mine here in Washington Federal Way, did partake of it. That's what happens when we understand the gospel of Jesus Christ, we can not be content with having it for ourselves. I had experienced the cleansing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I had experienced how He lifted me and loved me and comforted me. I experienced what it's like to finally feel loved and accepted by a Heavenly Father who had been loving me and accepting me the whole time I just didn't quite realize it. It was something that others needed to know about. That's when my mission really changed. I was excited going out the door and talking to everyone and when people slammed the door because it just put me that much closer to the next person who would accept it. It was a Joy.
13 And as I cast my eyes round about, that perhaps I might discover my family also, I beheld a river of water; and it ran along, and it was near the tree of which I was partaking the fruit.
14 And I looked to behold from whence it came; and I saw the head thereof a little way off; and at the head thereof I beheld your mother Sariah, and Sam, and Nephi; and they stood as if they knew not whither they should go.
15 And it came to pass that I beckoned unto them; and I also did say unto them with a loud voice that they should come unto me, and partake of the fruit, which was desirable above all other fruit.
J I beheld Petra, and Esmy and Graeme and Nazaret and Joey and Vicente and alllll the incredible people that I have been able to meet and teach and love in my short time here as a missionary. I saw them and beckoned unto them. I prayed for them and loved them and in doing so I was changed. Me, isn't that crazy? How in helping others the Lord has changed me.
I feel so many emotions this week, but I am so happy that I have come to learn just a little of why the Lord sent me here on my mission and why the Lord wanted me to serve a mission. It has changed my heart. I have come to sing the song of redeeming love and crave to feel the spirit of the Lord in my daily life. I love to testify of Christ and His love perfect that He has for us because it really is so perfect. He heals us. He can heal everything as we just come unto Him. I know that He knows and cares for us and is just praying that we all do what we need to do to come home to Him. I could probably write for hours, but i will end today by telling you all that I love my Savior. I love this church because it is His. I love the Book of Mormon because it teaches me how to be more like my Savior Jesus Christ and how to use the sacrifice He did for me and every one of us. I love the priesthood because it allows us to be closer to heaven now and to be able to enter into the Celestial Kingdom someday with our Father. I love the mission because it's the first time I've understood in my life how much God really cares for every one of us on a personal level and how much he hurts when we choose not to follow the things He's left to bless us. I will forever be grateful He allowed me to feel just a little bit of the hurt He feels too, but the joy that He feels as we turn to Him for everything. We can't do anything without Him. I know and testify of these things with all my heart and soul as Jesus Christ's representative. I love Him.
Hermana Reed IV
Another great week in my favorite city of Enumclaw. We are seeing lots of miracles and people are progressing slowly but surely! Miracles of the week: we saw Andrea again!! She is still struggling a lot with her family drama but we had a really special experience with her. We were able to talk to her about the Book of Mormon and how it can bring her peace in her life. At first, she wasn't really into it because it is written by male prophets, but we helped her realize it is for her. I felt so strongly that she needs to not only take the bad out of her life, which is what she's doing, but fill it with good or else she's going to just feel the void and go back to bad things. We had her place her name in the first verse of first Nephi, and I was able to just watch the gospel click for her as she realized these prophets are just sharing their experiences, their stories, and theyre things I can learn from. She said she felt God's love and man I could've jumped out of my seat I was so happy for her. She is seriously such a special person.
We also had a lesson with Adan Vasquez, a part member family we've been working with and he accepted a baptismal date! It's a bit far out, March 3rd, but he knows he has a couple hurdles to get over still but he has such pure desires and it was really good to help him set a goal and have a vision. That's one big thing I've learned on my mission is how to have a vision for your life and then once you have a vision you can involve God in your vision and He will help you accomplish the goals you have because more often than not theyre the same goals that He has too. He is such a great Father.
On Sunday we had two new investigators come to church, and we literally couldn't even talk to them because the members just took them under their wings and were talking to them and showing them everything about the hymn books and the sacrament and our investigators, Teresa and kevin, were just smiling from ear to ear they really loved it!! It was a miracle. The members in this branch are so special and have a fire for missionary work and it's the best thing EVER.
Best part of all was this week I had an exchange with hermana facer in good ol' Federal Way and we had dinner with a family I worked with a lot while we were there, the daughter of Petra so I got to see Petra too. Nothing hits me in the feels more than talking with Petra and seeing how much her testimony has grown since I was with her just a few months back. She is growing so strong and sharing the gospel and is an inspiration to me. The focus of the exchange was working better with members so we decided to visit one of the branch missionaries the next morning and it was so inspired because she was just kinda feeling down about life but we helped her realize the power and authority of her calling and the power of her testimony and how it can bless her friends. That's really the purpose of the gospel, to share it with your friends. I hope all of you can think of people that God has placed in your life with whom you can share the gospel. There are people all around us prepared for this message!!
I also had my last MLC this week, and it was the first time it really hit me that my time on the mission might be ending. President asked me to share my testimony and as I stood there looking at leaders of mine and leaders I've worked with and just soaked in the reality of the work that we are called to do I was just filled with an incredible emotion of gratitude. A loving God, whom we are in debt for for our daily breath, allowed me to come here and get to know Him by inviting others to know Him more and He blessed me by letting me just be a witness to His incredible power. It was humbling and I just... I just can't thank Him enough for letting me be His missionary. My times not up yet though people! There is so much He still has left for me to do. I love this work and I love this gospel. I know it is the way, the truth, and the light of Jesus Christ in my daily life and in the lives of everyone. Thanks for all the prayers!
1hermana unguez-just got back from her mission and she served with Christian!! She's awesome.
2 final exchange with las hermanas de Federal Way
3 feliz dia de los magos- celebrams con una rosca
4 i love hermana facer
5 final MLC thug pic ):
6 winter prepped with hna livs
feliz ano nuevo!!! raise your hand if you celebrated by going to bed at 10:30!!!!! proud of you all.
This week was a big of a struggle time because hermana livingston and i both got hit with a wack disease that we are still unsure of what it was. Something like a cold/flu/mad cow disease but it hit us hard, but that didn't keep us from seeing some miracles!!
So quick run-down on Enumclaw. You'll be in a small town for like 5 min and then all of a sudden youre in a bunch of farm land and then all of a sudden youre in a forest/jungle atmosphere and you really never know where you are. BUT we went to go contact a potential that we met from the clothes drive a few weeks ago, and her mom was home and wasn't super nice she actually said that her religion doesn't allow her to talk to people of other religions, BUT before she slammed the door we asked if she knew if anyone along her street spoke spanish and she directed us to this lil farm house at the end of the road. So we went and this farm house turned into a jungle real fast and there were all these turkeys running around (ps lives turkeys are disgusting i'll stick with Thanksgiving). but there we met Sandra. Sandra is super prepared for the gospel because not a few days earlier she had been pondering about if there really even is a God because of all the bad things that had been happening to her. It made my heart hurt for her, but it was comforted as I was able to testify that God does have a plan. yes, we live in a fallen world with lots of pain and heartache, but we also all have a Savior, Jesus Christ. It was a surreal moment testifying of that great truth and listening to turkeys gobble in the jungle. :) Nothing like it.
We also had a great couple of lessons this week with brother Vasquez, I'm not sure if I've written about him before. He is a part member family we're working with. He's not a member but his wife/girlfriend figure is and she has such a strong testimony. This week we had a really amazing lesson where they told us about how last week after a lesson with them they had received a phone call from brother vasquez' ex girlfriend saying he could come pick up their daughter and that she could stay the night with him and his now wife/girlfriend thats the member. Apparently, this lady had sworn she would never let the daughter stay with brother vasquez over night, but out of the blue it happened right after our lesson. He said he knew that that was a sign that he was doing the right thing in learning from us. As we were teaching, we taught about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the doctrines of faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the holy ghost, and enduring to the end. We were talking about repentance and i received this super strong impression, one of the most clear i've received in a lesson before that just said to me "El tiene culpa". meaning he has guilt. I could feel that he just was sad with the things he had done and he wanted to fix his family. I testified that Christ can take away the guilt from us, but only as we let him and we ask for forgiveness and we start fresh and are baptized in His name. It was such a powerful moment for me and I felt it touch Him. He's a really special guy, definitely getting baptized someday.
A lot of our other investigators were out of town this week, but Andrea is good and got through her nasty court case with her ex husband and the kids are still with her so thats good. We finally saw Hugo this week and convinced him to go to the Renton branch ( FINALLY!!!!) and he did he went for all 3 hours and everyone accepted him and he's progressing so much. I am happy he's there, it's where he can progress and stay active in the future. Our christmas eve miracle from last week is staying strong too and reading the book of mormon now! can you believe all this happened and we only went out 5 days this week?
I'm grateful for a loving Savior that comforts us when we're sick, when we're feeling guilty, when we're confused and when we're just happy. I know He knows and loves every one of us. Start this year out right and make some goals on how youre going to include Him more in every step of your life this year. I know He has a plan. I know He will bless you.
con mucho amor,
hermana reed IV
1 ano nuevo
2 here's all the bacas who stare at us whenever we drive by hahahaha
4 the jungle behind sandra's house
Family and friends, feliz navidad, or merry Christmas. Thanks for persevering through that skype call with me, sorry it was crazy but it was great to see you all and hear just a little bit :) This Christmas was a Christmas I will never forget.
So for hispanics, real Christmas is celebrated la Noche Buena, or Christmas eve. that's when we have the big dinner and the presents opened at midnight and the tamales and the whole 9 yards, So i was more nervous about finding and teaching on Christmas eve than I really was for Christmas day but I knew that the Lord would guide us to people who needed us, who were maybe lonely or sad for different reasons, and the Lord definitely provided. The first miracle was we had so many investigators at church on Sunday. We had a great meeting and it really started the day off right. The Quezadas, david and sarai, both came and were EARLY and were so happy. Earlier in the week the branch presidency had paid them a visit and talked about their concerns about joining the church and they expressed doubts about the word of wisdom, so we went by saturday and taught the doctrine of the word of wisdom and why we live it and it all clicked for them and they committed to live it right there. we even role played it with him i said hermano what about tomorrow when your brother comes up and says take a beer its christmas! and he just said "eso es facil. dire "o tengo que manejar no gracias'" meaning i have to drive, no thanks. ADDA BOY. They are progressing a lot which makes me really happy. They should be getting baptized here soon they just gotta take that step of faith, please pray for them!
Then later that night was our campfire miracle. This was seriously a dream people. We were contacting and looking for people who needed us and it was snowing and cold and we go to contact this lady we met at our clothes drive last week named Heidi. We go to the house and nobody answered. They lived on a lecheria and we had seen some cars out back.. so we go around and we see some people far away by a camp fire and decide well we can at least talk to them. Turns out it was Heidi and her husband Zeek. They only had one of their 4 sons with them for Christmas and were feeling a little bit down. We asked them if we could play a song for them that we wrote. Rewind: earlier that week we wrote a song about the restoration to the tune of lil drummer boy and had tried to learn it on the guitar. so back to present time, we get our guitar and we sing them a song on the guitar, about the restoration of the gospel of jesus christ, by the fire, in the snow, on christmas eve. HAS THE DAY OF MIRACLES CEASED I SAY UNTO YOU NAY. It was such a powerful moment and the spirit was just so strong and I just wanted to shout for joy but we're going back to see them again tonight actually so that was definitely a tender mercy.
Another miracle from the week, Andrea is doing so so well. She is seriously incredible and my love for her has just quadrupled this week. On Tuesday she texted us and said "hermanas i'm back in my house you can come visit me tomorrow" so we did and she just explained all this tragic drama that has happened with her husband and the abuse and the kids and the pain and how she had to get a restraining order and so many things and she just cried to us and cried and then the only thing we could thing of to do to help her was to clean her house. So we said, hermana we know that life is really hard right now. Can we clean your house? and she looked at us amazed and we said we came here to clean your house and she just started crying and hugging us. WE cleaned her house for about 2 hours and it was work thats for sure but by the end it was clean and she asked us to help her put up her christmas tree, because up to that point she hadn't felt like celebrating Christmas. It was a tender spirit in her home that day and we watched the video "he is the gift" on mormon.org. I would suggest it for all who haven't seen it. But she felt loved that day. We went and saw her again on Christmas evening and brought some presents for the kids (thanks mom for the help with that) and watched the nativity and she said hermanas. ever since you cleaned my house my house has glowed. but its not because it has been clean. it glows because of you. you just glow. I know that it really isn't us that glows, but the spirit and the light of Christ that she is starting to recognize. I was so grateful that I could serve the Lord by loving her and man she is just so special.
Okay i realize i'm writing a lot this week. But I just want to share my testimony of the significance of having a Savior. Have you ever stopped to think about what life would be like without a Savior? How would you comfort your friend who's sibling died? How would you feel after you said something rude to someone in the store? How would you feel to look back and realize the mistakes you've made? Life without a Savior would be a life without Joy and peace and forgiveness. I am so grateful that we DO have a Savior. He is Jesus Christ. "The Son of the Living God. He is the great king Emmanuel, who stands today at the right hand of His Father." I am grateful for Him. I am grateful to know Him. I am grateful to continue knowing Him. And I am grateful to serve Him. Listening to a talk this week someone said "if your self worth is dependent on anything other than your relationship with Jesus Christ, well youre in big trouble". He is everything and He is the only reason we can be anything. I love Him. This is His church. This is His way.
1 christmas dinner with la familia becerril
2 andrea y yo
3 our groupies aka future missionaries camila y carlitos
4 found a baby kittie
5 last exchange ever with hermana lambert!!
Ho ho hello from Enum-clause.
This week was SO CRAZY. SO CRAZY. I could probably write a million pages about everything that has happened, but i'll try to be concise. Hermana Livingston is so great. We are having a great time together and get along so well and teach really well in unity. It's probably the first time in my whole mission I haven't had to really leave a lot of time for my other companion to speak, she just speaks just like me and we work so well and have a goal for every lesson and it's just been going so well. Her first night here was crazy. We had a lot of set appointments, but all of them fell through. We knew that God had another plan for the night but we weren't sure what it was. We prayed and decided to call one of our investigators, when she answered she was screaming on the phone. Turns out she was having an ulcer and her husband had taken her kids and gotten a restraining order and she was running around safeway trying to get the medication the doctors prescribed her. welcome to Enumclaw hermana livingston! It was actually really incredible, we went and found her and brought our member and were able to give her a blessing. She has been through so much in her life that honestly breaks my heart, but she felt the peace of the presence of the priesthood of God and she shared later that when we read her the Book of Mormon she didn't have as much pain.
On Thursday we had our mission Christmas devotional and it was as amazing as ever. Our zone sang a mash up of Silent Night and Jesus Once of Humble Birth that I came up with a few weeks ago (okay I had a dream about it and when I woke up I put them together and it sounded really cool. I'll have to show it to you all sometime) but it helped us feel the Christmas spirit. My favorite part was when one of the mission leaders, Elder Holiday, talked to us about why the angel appeared to the shepherds. There's a lot of symbolism there, of course how Christ is the great Shepherd and todo but then He talked about the passover and how the shepherds were trusted to know which of the sheep was the chosen sheep. The clean and first born lamb. People trusted the shepherds words, because they were there when the sheep was born. The shepherds witnessed Christ's birth, and went forth declaring the good news joyously. As missionaries, that's what we're doing too. Even though we didn't witness Christ's birth, we witnessed His life in the inn of our hearts as we chose to follow Him and felt His spirit and presence in our lives. I loved that. Remember that this Christmas, we can all be witnesses to His birth.
On Saturday we had our festival of finding(the first annual- our first one was last December 17th) which is the day the whole mission goes out and goes finding. Last week I had this idea to involve Light the World, and Day 16 was "I was naked and ye clothed me". So all this week we've been trying to gather donated clothes from our members and we weren't finding a ton but on Friday night we came home to like tooons of bags of clothes on our doorstep! It was a miracle. Saturday we went out and put a table out on Cole st, the main street in town, outside the food bank where the firefighters were handing out toys to families. People then came by the table and picked out clothes they needed for them and their families, and while there we had some ipads from the members and we showed them the light the world video. it was CRAZY successful and we had so many people invite us to come teach them in their home. It was a miracle. And a tender experience as we could help people, serve them, and then teach them about the reason for the season.
Last of all, miracle of miracles, a birthday miracle was that Hugo came to church on Sunday, but he didn't just come to church, he came to church IN A SUIT. YEAAAAAH. We were so excited to see him walk in. He made me take a picture of him and said i need to remember it forever. Oh Hugo, you know I will. My brithday was pretty great, the branch council sang me happy birthday as the opening song and I couldn't have asked for anything more. I'm so grateful to be a missionary this time of year, and every time of year, and to be a special witness that Jesus is the Christ, the great shepherd and just wants us all to come home. next week the libraries will be closed so I won't be able to write, but merry christmas to all and happy new year. Don't forget to put mas Christ in your christmas this year :) Check our mormon.org for ideas on how to serve!
1- hna livs
2 this is me being a tree and she is a wise man
3 las hermanas
4-5 light the world clothes drive
6 that's a fancy miracle
7 feliz cumpleanos!
Feliz mes del nacimiento de Jesucristo :) desafortunadamente, muchos en el mundo se enfoquen en alguien que no es Jesucristo... pero esta semana, aprendimos que podemos enfocarnos en los dos :)
We had a great week this week. So one of the things we do as missionaries is we track a lot of numbers to help us learn if we are working the most efficiently we can. One of the numbers we track is how many lessons we teach with members present, because we know it is easier for people to learn about the gospel and understand when there are members there that can be their friends better than we can. This week, we had a really great member come out with us 3 nights in a row!! His name was Santa Claus, more commonly reffered to amount our people as Papa Noel. He is such a strong member of the church people! We visited a lot of part member families with him and people that used to learn and we had 12 new people invite us to come back to learn more about our message. It was a miracle!! Santa is the best member present ever, and it was really great to help people realize when we sing "oh come let us adore him" we're talking about Jesus Christ. jesus Christ is the center of Christmas. He is the reason we celebrate Christmas. We celebrate him, his perfect life, his humble birth, and the things we can do ONLY because of him. I love that Christmas eve is a Sunday this year, and it gives us a perfect opportunity to show him he really is the center of our christmas. We are excited to keep spreading this joyful word this holiday season. Oh speaking of which, hermana debry got transferred and my new and final companion with be hermana livingston!! We have been on some exchanges together and she came out with hermana short but is a seriously great missionary and we are so excited to be in the claw together. (the claw = enumclaw hahaha classic). Don't have much more to write about this week, but I'm entering into my last transfer as a full time representative of Jesus Christ. Please pray I can continue to be led to the people who need me in these last 6 weeks and that I can do everything the Lord has in store for me here! I love you all! Also, don't forget to check out mormon.org with the daily ideas of service to serve like Jesus Christ did! I promise it will Light up your LIFE and light up your holiday season! My favorite thing is just walking around in the freezing cold here in Enumclaw with no lights but sharing this video with people on their doorstep in the middle of the trailer parks. The spirit is so strong and he is there with us. I love this work and I know it is guided by HIM!
1 branch christmas foto
2 never too old for santa
3 grandpa blad bought us 2 REAL CHRISTMAS TREES I WAS OVER COME WITH JOY JEJEJE
4-6 visits with santa claus! night 1 was with the young women, night 2 was with the branch council, and night 3 was with the young men
7 pumpkin empanadas. youre welcome.
8 el districto
9-10 sisters of the MLC is the greatest squad I've ever been apart of
Not sure how its been another week but here we are again.
Life in Enumclaw is as good as ever. We are so busy and running around all over the place but seeing miracles everywhere we look! The biggest miracle this week was with Hugo. He told us about some addictions he's been going through but mostly how much he just wants to change and he doesn't want to be like this anymore. After talking through it a lot he said he wanted to go to the ARP classes, Addiction recover classes that the church has. so we went and we were there just to help him feel comfortable and go in and then we stayed outside and Lastenia was there so we had the chance to talk to her a little bit too. She has seen a huge change in Hugo and it is helping her recognize the power of the Atonement. They are so ready to get baptized!! I am so grateful to my heavenly father that he is allowing me to see the change the Atonement of Christ can really make on a person. It's incredible. 180 degrees different. And then he wasn't able to come to church yesterday because of some family drama, but it all got resolved and we were on the phone with him and he was just talking about all these things he's been doing and all the changes he wants to make still and the spirit was really strong and we felt like we should invite him to baptism right there on the phone. so we did! and he said "yeah. I want to be baptized. I'm ready and haven't smoked for a week." So we invited him for January 13th and he said yes. He actually then yelled to Lastenia and said "Lastenia we are getting baptized on January 13th." It was so cool!! He seriously has so much motivation and desire right now. he's doing all the right things and has finally started praying consistently. I think that's been the biggest difference, he is forming a relationship with God and that gives him the strength to change. It's been a miracle. I am so grateful for Jesus Christ and how he can mold us into the people we can become, but only through him.
We've been working with another family, Sarai and David Quezada. Theyve been taught for a long time, they almost got baptized a year ago and they have such a strong testimony of Christ and the Book of Mormon and the restoration. So you may be wondering whats missing? Same I have no clue. So this week we made a plan with them about reading every night together and then praying with the question on whether this was the place they were supposed to be and if they need to be baptized. So we literally have been there every night and read with them everynight and the spirit has been so strong and I just knew they were going to recognize thier answer and then Sunday comes along and they don't come to church. What?! We went over that night and my heart was just sad because really we can't expect God to answer us if we haven't done everything we can do, and going to church is part of doing everything we can do. its his commandment and it's how we show Jesus Christ we truly always remember him. And it reminded me of a story of a friend of mine's on the mission, she saw this homeless lady walking on the street and her shoes were completely destroyed and falling apart and so she looked at her shoes and knew she needed to give them to this lady. So they pulled over and she said here take my shoes theyre new I dont need them and the lady said "no thanks, I'm okay." what? she said no no its okay theyre for you please take them and the lady said "it's fine I can get my own shoes tomorrow i'll be fine". She literally didn't take the shoes. So my friend she left the shoes on the street in front of her, in case she had felt uncomfortable taking them or something and they drove back 5 min later and the lady had literally not taken the shoes. Why? Sometimes, we think we're okay. Jesus Christ comes to us with these brand new shoes, a new life through his sacrifice and Atonement and yet we say "no, I'm okay. I can get my own shoes". I testify with all my heart that we simply can not do it. We are not capable on our own. it is impossible without him. So people, JUST TAKE THE SHOES. He wants us to, he's begging us to. Just take the sacrifice and find peace and joy through the Atonement of Christ.
On that note, I encourage everyone to go to mormon.org and check out the new light the world video and the 25 ways we can serve people this holiday season. Allow yourselves to change someone elses life this year. I love my Savior, and am so grateful he was born. and that he lives.
1 Hugo and I at the Christmas activity
2 they made me dress up as mary and hermana debry was the angel. no regrets.
3 this is hermana torres but she got shy last second I LOVE HER
4 yo con las bacas
5 exchanges in Federal Way when we contacted on the beach feat hermana facer
FELIZ DIA DE ACCION DE GRACIAS MIS QUERIDOS FAMILIARES Y AMIGOS!!!!!
I love the holidays as a missionary. It is such a tender mercy as the Lord guides us to people who just need some love on Thanksgiving. I really felt guided to people on Thanksgiving and it helped me realize that there are a lot of people that don't have what we have, they don't have family here or anything to do to celebrate, but I was grateful to bring the light of Christ into some of these peoples lives this Thanskgiving day.
Our Thanksgiving festivities started out with a big reunion of the south zones in the mission, about 70 missionaries there I think and we just played sports for like 3 hours. Get this, we were playing Volleyball, and president rasmussen walks in in his suit and tennis shoes hahha and guess whos team he chooses to be on? OURS. I PLAYED VOLLEYBALL WITH PRESIDENT RASMUSSEN it was the greatest day. the elders were definitely beating up on him though but he did good. and then all the sisters wouldnt play knockout but I did and did preeeeeetty good but it wasnt as fun with all the elders, theyre awkward. so then i tried to get the sisters to do something, so i taught them 3 round charades and they loved it! we did gospel version, i kid you not we had sisters acting out moses parting the red sea and nephi slaying laban. Greatest idea i have ever had. Then we started the dinners... Our first dinner was with an investigator named Teresa, she dropped us like a week ago because she said she doesnt wanna learn more, then called us the day before Thanksgiving and just said "so you can come over tomorrow." hahaha okay! She fed us well and we were able to teach them why we actually celebrate thanksgiving! most the people we teach literally had no idea. So that was a tender mercy. We then ate with a member his name is Grandpa and he is seriously the sweetest soul on the planet. He speaks no spanish, but has been coming to the branch for years because he just loves the people. Their thanksgiving reminded me of our thanksgivings at home, LOTS of family and LOTS of food. Then we had our 3rd thanksgiving in true hispanic style - TAMALES. It was a great day, all along the way being guided to different people celebrating alone. We ended up giving up all our pie to different people so its probably the first year in my life i didn't eat any pie on thanksgiving... i hope my fam still accepts me when I get home.
Another tender mercy this week, so Hugo kinda dropped off the planet for a while, but we got in contact with him late in the week and set up a lesson at the church and when we get there he is accompanied by some of my favorite people in the world: Lastenia, Esmy, and FABIOLA. I was so so happy to see them again. Hugo might be getting back together with Lastenia, which presents some interesting events, but he is really wanting to change and be better and be better for her so I see miracles in the future there.
We also taught a couple times this week a man named daniel. He just moved here from Mexico and has never been to a church before. whaaaat how is that possible but its true! He's living with a less active member so we've been teaching them and helping them both and this sunday he came to church!!! he was so cute he came in his white shirt and dress pants and with his book of mormon he was so excited to learn so that was a serious tender mercy to see what its like for someone to come to church for the first time in their life.
This week, we were also led to a lot of people who have lost their faith in God because of different things that have happened to them. Whether its been their sins, the sins of others, or just things that happen to us in life it has made them feel like God has abandoned them. I know that God NEVER abandones his children. Part of this life is having trials and overcoming them with our faith in Christ and our trust in God and I know that He truly does love us. I am so grateful for the chance i have to share that sliver of hope with people and watch how our lives can completely turn around as we embrace Christ and God's plan that they have for us. This is His work, we are His hands.
I love you fam and am so grateful for you!! Watch out, next thanksgiving its ON for the pie eating contest. ps HAPPY BDAY LOTTIE :)
hermana reed IV
1-went on a hike last pday and it was GLORIOUS
2- these are our good friends at the food bank i love them
3 - sisters on tday
4- this is grandpa and grandma :)
5 - teresa with the pavo, these were her words "dont touch the pavo" hahahaha
6- surprise visit from my favorite people
7- one more selfie with fabi for the road
8- las hermanas are Enumclaw Proud
9- more hike pics
10- best volleyball team at the whole conference
I think the mission has been such an amazing experience because it is seriously allowing me to feel emotions I have never felt before. So much love and heart break and nostalgia all wrapped up in one lil week it is crazy. But we were blessed with miracles this week, that's for sure.
Hugo is doing really well. We taught him the word of wisdom this week, and it was great how the adversary prepared him for the lesson because he actually came to the lesson after he had been smoking cigars. Nice!!!!! But it was a good way to help him realize that in a state like that it was hard to feel the spirit of the Lord, so we're working on helping him quit his addictions and he's really improving a lot and changing. It's funny to talk to other missionaries who have met him when he was in a different place and they say like "WAIT HE CAME TO CHURCH?!?" Christ really does have the power to change people, and it's been a blessing to be a part of.
The heartbreak of the week was we have been teaching Rafael and he has been doing so so good but Satan has really been beating him up and he asked for a break so he could find himself before studying more. It was really really sad, and these are the feelings im talking about because this man is like 62 and I've known him for 3 weeks but friends I LOVE HIM. he is so incredible and so full of faith and it makes me sad when Satan beats people up spiritually and they fall a little bit, but I know that he'll be back soon. He'll come back to the good Shepard, we all do.
Miracle of the week: it had been full of ups and downs asi and we really needed to find new investigators. Finding hispanics here is a serious treasure hunt, but the Lord always has a plan for us. We were contacting in a neighborhood where people had told us they though hispanics lived and serious goose eggs we couldnt find anyone who spoke spanish so we stopped and asked eachother do you think we're in the right place? We both felt like yes, but something was off so we decided to ask for a specific thing so that the Lord could provide us with a specific answer. When I said this out loud, hermana debry immediately said "someone who's looking for a Book of Mormon". There it is. So we prayed and we asked the Lord to help guide us to someone who is looking for a book of mormon and could become a new investigator for the branch. Pretty specific. So we went out and we were driving around to pick a place to go and we saw a house and we felt like we should knock it. As we got closer, we saw a mexican flag caught up in the bushes (pic attached). FAITH INCREASED. We knocked the door and met Andrea, she's actually from Bolivia, who has 4 kids and a smoking problem and liver failure and has felt like god has abandoned her in the past. We shared with her a quick plan of salvation about how God does have a plan for us and that he's reaching out to her right now, which she felt so strongly too. we set an appointment to come back and she was a new investigator and we had given her a plan of salvation pamphlet and she was looking in the back which has a bunch of questions and citations to the book of mormon and the bible and she asks whats this part? and we said oh thats FAQs and citations to the Book of Mormon and the Bible and she says, and I quote, "entonces me lo prestas tu libro de mormon?" meaning "oh okay so you can give me your book of mormon?" FAITH INCREASED. It was incredible. I know that as we act in faith with the desire to do what the Lord wants, that he always always provides. Always. He is guiding us every day and will guide us in every aspect of our lives. Sometimes, the work can be harder, but the mission is not hard. The mission will never be hard because it is the work of Salvation and it is glorious. I love the Book of Mormon, that book changed me and continues to change me every day. I'm so grateful for it. Family have the best Thanksgiving ever! I expect Reed reigning champs in all the pie eating contests and lots of happy stomachs.
Con mucho amor,
1 hermanas take a hispanic style foto
2 when you only get 30 min for lunch so you gotta take your sausage in the car... happy 6 months hermana debry
3 the mexican flag miracle
4 had exchanges this week in graham and nazareth came to lessons with us :) recent convert dreams
well, my week was super great. It was no vacation in Israel, but who does that anyways... ;) Just kidding family hope you had the best week ever and you bought me an I <3 Jesus t shirt because its true, I love Jesus Christ.
This week was alllll about steps of faith. All of us come to the point in our lives where we have to take steps of faith, often into the darkness, and we definitely have to step first before our path is iluminated by the Savior. As Ether 12:6 teaches, we recieve no witness until after the trial of our faith. So that was this week, for hermana debry and me and our investigators. We have been working a lot with Hugo and he is taking so many steps. We taught him the restoration this past week and invited him to be baptized and he accepted! We were all like wait what. hahah his actual words were "por lo mejor" meaning like probably hahha but its been great this week watching him take steps of repentance. We learned about the plan of salvation with him and he was the one that said "so the door to the celestial kingdom is baptism thats what I need to do next" why yes Hugo that is a great insight. He is incredible. We also had a lesson about recognizing the spirit and at the end of the lesson he said "before I get baptized I need to forgive. I've never forgiven anyone in my life, but I can't have that burden if i'm going to be baptized. I'm going to try to forgive". He has a lot of pain from his breakup with Lastenia because it ended pretty bad, but he wants to forgive her. Its seriously incredible to watch how the spirit teaches people what the Lord wants them to change in their lives. Hermana DeBry and I were just there, we were just instruments as the spirit came and taught him the ways he can come unto Christ. Such a step of faith and such a miracle.
We have been working a lot with a man named Rafael Zepeda as well. i dont know if i've written about him so i'll explain he's from Mexico and there he was an electrical engineer and this man is seriously intelligent, but unfortunately here his talents can't be completely used for lots of sad reasons so he's working construction but he is so humble and a true seeker of truth. He has a baptisimal date for later this month and this week we taught him about the word of wisdom. The word of wisdom is a law of health that helps us know what we should and shouldnt partake of. The things we shouldnt partake of are alchohol, tobacco, tea, coffee, and harmful/illegal drugs. So we talked with Rafael and he is like what no coffee?!?! So we were talking about coffee for a while and we just asked, are there any other of these substances that will be difficult to give up? and he said no so we were like cool focus on coffee and we committed him to give up coffee and he was all for it. So then he came to church on Sunday and we asked him how its going with the Word of Wisdom and he says "hermanas, i cleaned my coffee maker, packed it up, and put it away." *insert wooooooo from las hermanas* but then he goes "but hermanas, coffee isnt my problem. Its the darn cigars!' *insert booooo from las hermanas*. but THEN he continues "but i haven't smoked in the 2 days since we had the lesson on the word of wisdom. I feel strange, but I'm quitting!" *insert WOOOOOOO from las hermanas!* This man of huge faith took a step into the dark, didn't even tell us about said step, but is making the changes the Lord wants him to make. Man I love brother Zepeda. He's the best.
Anyways, lots of finding, lots of teaching, lots of testifying this week, and we also had a branch activity to celebrate the mexican revolution (ps all the hispanics in enumclaw are from mexico. And theyre also like all from nyarit. interesting) and it was a huge hit! We had 6 investigators come which is like a new record and I ate carne asada out the roof. We were in charge of the photo booth so enjoy our costumes. I know this is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I know He lives, and so does our Heavenly Father. He guides this work and leads us and is still leading us to His children ready to accept the gospel. I'm so grateful to be used in His glorious work.
1 this comes from the day i had to wear 4 layers of tights because it was so cold and i took them off and they were literal legs still in form
2 Brenna embraces her mexican culture
4 LAS HERMANAS
5 Hugo and the hermanas eating quesadillas bigger than our faces. Are you sure I'm not serving in Mexico??
Hermana Fallyn Reed
Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the Federal Way, Washington Mission. July 2016 - January 2018.