Write to Elder Reiley

Washington Vancouver Mission
2223 NW 99th St.
Vancouver WA 98665

Monday, August 11, 2014


Dear Family,

So much has happened this past week I don't even know where to begin. So...I am no longer in the Sunnyside ward in Happy Valley (Portland). I got emergency transferred to the Fern Prairie ward in the Vancouver East Stake. Apparently, one of the elders I was working with had some sins that he didn't take care of before he came out, so the guilt finally got to him and he met with President Taylor. So ow there is only one companionship in Sunnyside and they had to move people around quite a bit. I was actually on an exchange with he district leader when I found out so I had no idea. I am glad that this elder made the right decision and hopefully he gets back out here, but it was bad timing. It only takes about two weeks to get attached to a ward, so it was tough to leave the people and investigators. Thankfully, everything is in the Lord's hand so all will work out. 

My companion is Elder Livingston from South Fork, Utah. He might be 5'4 but that is really generous! HaHa. We don't have a lot in common, but he is much more obedient and serious about he work than my former companion so that is what is most important. He has only been in this ward for two weeks and he was just made district leader and I am his first trainee so we are learning right along together. Like I said, God is in control and this is happening for a reason. I really like 1 Kings 19:11-12. Pretty much sums up this past month...the Holy Ghost is the peace and stillness amongst the fire and earthquake. 

We are living with the Gurneys. They are nice and rich! HaHa! President Taylor said that this ward is the richest ward in the area. There are some really nice houses here, but that also means that there are some really ignorant snobs here, too, so that makes the work hard. But, we have 7-8 solid investigators, basically they know that they need to get baptized, they are just afraid to make the leap. Hopefully it works out. 

I tried to keep Kimball in mind all day on Friday Nothing really crazy happened on that day, but it was nice knowing that he is available to help me in my trials. I can't believe that it has been nine years. we have all learned so much and have grown closer as a family and with God. 

That is cool that Taylor Lott got his mission call. I will be sure to keep him in my prayers so his health does ok. 

It seems like it always thunderstorms in the valley at his time of year. I'm glad the horse ride went ok. Surprisingly, it has been really nice here. It has only rained for two days, the first day I got here and the first day in Vancouver East!

I do remember Logan Nelson! I will keep an eye out for him. And B did the right thing by realizing his problem and coming straight home, you know, instead of pretending like he has the spirit for five months and then start training a new elder before he realized it. It might be a little awkward for him at first, but he did the right thing. I hope things go well for him. 

SoI have several experiences I had at church that I need to share. So we have this investigator named Nick. He is 18 years old and not baptized but his mom is less active. His grandma was also there so we sat by them. I sat by the grandma the whole time. After sacrament meeting, she was talking about how she does this Wyoming tour thing, but she grew up on the Idaho side. So I was like "Where did you grow up?" and she said, "In a city close to Rexburg," and I was like, "WHERE!!!???" and she said "Newdale." I told her that I am from Driggs and she said how much she loved Driggs and she just drove through there. I wanted to see how far this could go, so I asked her if she had ever heard of Felt. She almost passed out with astonishment! She was telling me how her dad and grandpa and great grandpa all lived in Felt and farmed there and had a huge farm, but then sold it and moved out to Newdale. Apparently they are all buried in Ashton. It is a crazy, crazy small world. So So ask grandpa, the Arnolds, and the Robsons if they know Max Stalker or Joseph Barnes Stalker. I took down her name and phone number and told her I would get back to her so let me know!

One more connection: our zone leader is Elder Kunz, so I asked him where he is from. He said Bear Lake, which I later learned Georgetown. He said he probably has relatives in Driggs. It turns out, his family is really good friends with the Lauridson. John works for Elder Kunz's dad and Elder Kunz is super good friends with Mitch and Max. I didn't catch his first name, but that will be interesting to know.

The other experience that I had came in Elder's quorum. this kid was teaching and he had his mission call so he was 18. He was talking about how to invite the spirit and he said that he invites the spirit thorough song. "Is it okay if I sing you my favorite hymn?" NO! N0! IT IS NOT OKAY! NOOOOOOO! Yeah, he starts busting out If You Could Hie to Kolob and he was off pitch and everything. It was bad. It concerned me because nobody else seemed to be feeling any pressure but me. I just ducked my head and tried not to melt into a puddle right there. 

So I came into this new area and I apparently replaced Elder Reusch, who had been her for about 7 months. He had a great impact on everybody here, it seems. Whenever i show up it seems to be "oh no, where is Elder Reusch?" So I have actually been thinking a lot about hte Sports Illustrated article I read before I left. (So while other missionaries here are getting their spiritual guidance from the Ensign and scriptures, I am remembering sports article, but whatever works). It was about the Oakland Athletics and Billy Beane. Everybody is just so amazed that he is able to be good yer after year, even after Moneyball and his team still has no money. He said that this year especially, he was focusing on one thing. A lot of teams (the Indians) take a prospect or player and try to change that player into what they want or what they want that player to be. Billy Beane just told his players to be themselves and just do their thing and they will place them accordingly. It is the same with missionaries. The Lord knows our strength and weaknesses, so He will place us accordingly. So I am focusing on being myself and trusting the Lord. 

It would be awesome for you to send some pictures to me and I don't need anything specific... just food. Actually, a calendar would be nice, and also a couple of CD's that I like...Lead Thou Me on by the BYU men's choir and also Low Light or Low Life or something like that...it is basically remixes of hymns and everybody seems to like them so just whenever you can that would be great... love you!

Elder Reiley

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