Write to Elder Reiley

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

Monday, September 1, 2014


Dear Family,
Happy Labor Day!

I'll answer all of your questions first. We have not met with the Convey's grandson yet. He works a lot so I don't know if we will ever work something out. We will keep trying to get him. There are abut 20 missionaries in a zone and there are 10 zones so there are about 200 missionaries in the mission. Zone conference lasted from about 9-3. I don't have warm socks, but I don't think I need any for a while. Supposedly, the rainy season doesn't start until late November or early December. It is weird because a lot of people here refer to winter as the months between December and June and summer is from July to November. So I might need some warm stuff around then. It is really nice for right now. I don't think I need anything specific now. If I think of something I will let you know. That is cool that the Bingham's daughter is right here. Logan Nelson is out of our zone, so I can't go see him. I messaged him on Facebook to see if we can meet somewhere, but I don't think e uses it very often. I don't know if it would be weird if we sent other missionaries over there, especially because they are moving soon. I wish that I was right in Vancouver, but I am just a few miles east of Vancouver.

I bet your classes will be pretty big this year. There is a huge freshman and sophomore class this year, right? Is anybody else teaching freshman or sophomore English?

I remember Armondo! I will friend him first haha. I twas crazy, I asked about 10 people to be friends with me (I kno... that sounds so stupid) who are less-active or not members. I twas like Elio, Schultz, Zach, Morgan, Sydnee, Adonis, D.Amoado, Tate H., RJ and Gerardo I think. Anyway, about 70 more people have "friended" me. So how did the game go anyway? I can't imagine Jackson being that great. Who is on the schedule for Homecoming this year?

Kimball would have been 36, right? Thanks for sharing the story about him helping Rachelle shovel her driveway. I don't know exactly why he was needed on the other side, but I bet one of the reasons is to hep his nephews out on their missions. I know that he is looking out for Jourdon and me now.  

Speaking of Jourdon... I't about time he went to Brazil! 14 months! I am so excited for him. We had two missionaries get their visas to go to Brazil this week as well. They will probably be int he MTC with Jourdon. They leave tomorrow.

The Putnams do sound awesome. I actually read President Uchtdorf's tlk this morning (Be Grateful in Any Circumstance). Something that seemed to be a theme this week was not focusing on yourselves, but others. This helps so much when you are going through trials. It is so easy to just get into a poor me attitude. That is exactly what Satan wants. When we commit to ourselves that the harder things are, the more we will serve, the happier we will be. I like how President Uchtdorf said how we are eternal beings, so we don't like it when things end. When we have that eternal perspective and that things actually won't end, we will be much better off and trials will be easier. If anybody has a grasp on that, it is President Kunz. Speaking of, do you have any pictures of me and Colt I think that I would like some if you have any. If not, that's okay. When is the one year mark? October 9th? That next day at school is something I will never forget.

The Putnam's talk in Sacrament meeting kind of reminded me of a family that talked in our ward last week. They also just moved into the ward. They also have three little kids. The dad talked about eternal families. He shared a really cool experience. He said that he came home one day from work and it was a long and stressful day. He sat down to watch a basketball game and just relax for a little bit Hes three year old son came up to him and wanted to play Candyland He told him maybe later because he just didn't want to play right then. His wife gently explained that he had been waiting all day for him to get home so they could play together and it crushed him when he said that he couldn't. So they started playing the game and he said that they both had a great tine. They talked about all kinds of things and it is one of his favorite memories. It turns out that that was their last night together. He never said how, but his little boy passed away the next day. I think everybody with little kids was crying. He talked about having that eternal perspective and how that has helped him. I'm glad that he made the decision to play with that night, because I can't imagine the regret he would've had otherwise. 

So we put two people on date this week. Ise is getting  baptized on October 19th and Nick is getting baptized on October 11th. Nick is totally set on getting baptized. It is awesome because he is a huge sports fan and he especially loves basketball. We taught the restoration on his outdoor basketball court while playing HORSE except it was CHURCH. It was pretty cool. I am a little more skeptical about lse. 
We are learning more about her. Her mom died two years ago and then Ise got into a bunch of drugs and bad stuff. She goes to an alternative school. Her dad and her step-mom are already divorced. She said that all of her family are different religions and she is just looking for the right one. We have to get her parents' permission to get baptized so that could be an issue. She lives with her stepmom and she is a Jehovah's Witness. She must not be active or else she would put a stop to our lessons. Hopefully it will work out. 

So there are three things that I didn't expect on a mission. There are several people that just use us for our service. They just pretend to be interested so they can get some free labor. As for right now, I don't think it's our place to judge whether that is the case or not so we will just keep doing our service. The other thing is ignorance. If people were more humble, we would have five times as many baptisms. If we are right, that means that they are wrong and most people will not accept that. So it's funny when people just refuse to read the Book of Mormon. If our church isn't true like they claim, then they shouldn't have a problem with reading it. I think that most people are just afraid that it might be true so they stay away from it. Another thing that I have had trouble getting used to is accepting niece offers. I always feel bad when people offer us extra food or offer us some CDs or something and I accept their offer. It sounds stupid , but I feel bad sometimes. I talked to Elder Kunz about it. He said he felt the same way when he came out, but every time somebody offers something and you decline, you deny them blessings. So I feel better about taking other people's stuff now! HaHa. 

So I went on exchanges with Elder C on Saturday. I feel bad for what I thought about him at first. He is just another missionary out here working hard and doing his best. I still struggle with some of the things he says and does, but he isn't the one that chose to be a zone leader. Heavenly Father still has a lot of work to do with me, but I think I learned my lesson. 

One more quick experience. WE had dinner last night with the C's. He is the first counselor and she is totally inactive. She loves feeding the missionaries, but Brother C told us not to push her. She was actually the one who opened up to us. She told us that she doesn't believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet and she doesn't believe the Book of Mormon is true. Then she said that she had never told missionaries that so that was interesting. We asked if she had ever read the Book of Mormon and it turns \out she used to be a seminary teacher so she has read it may times. I bet it is something like coffee or wine or something that has completely caused her to lose her testimony. Personally, I think she believes it is true. She just is afraid of what people will think if she comes back. It is not like she is the first inactive member of the church and she won't be the last. Maybe there is something there so we will keep working with her. 

My challenge to you is to pray for opportunities to serve and then pray that you will recognize and act on those opportunities. I read The Priesthood Man by President Eyring. He said to plead with Heavenly Father to give you chances to serve others. That is something that I will work on this week. Thanks so much for your prayers and love and support. Keep working hard and having that eternal perspective! 

Love: Elder Reiley

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