Write to Elder Reiley

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

Monday, November 23, 2015


Dear Family,
Here are some answers to those questions: (from Marilyn... Since Jaxon is meeting with lots of missionaries throughout the mission, I asked some questions about what Jaxon has observed)
Most missionaries are pretty happy about their family and they grew up in a good home. A couple, however, couldn't wait to get out here to get away from their family. Most come from active families, but almost all of them have some sort of conversion story to how they made it on a mission. It is pretty cool. Everybody's goals are a little different and everyone's commitment is a little different, but it all falls under the same umbrella. Everyone wants to baptize and see success and gain their own testimonies as well. The biggest struggle I have seen is rejection. We all think we can take rejection until it comes day after day after day and in different ways. I think we all had the expectation that appointments would magically be set up and that we would just be teaching and helping people resolve concerns all day every day. that is not what it is like at all. It happens every so often,but there is a lot more rejection on a mission than I think most of us thought. We are still pushing through and that rejection makes the good times so much better.
I have a couple of points of advice for people getting ready to serve a mission. These are just a couple that come to mind first, but there are more. First, treat your leaders (church leaders, school teachers, coaches, parents, etc.) with respect and respect their decisions. If you have respect for your mission president and your mission president trusts you, you will have a great mission. Sometimes you will have a companion you don't want to be with. Sometimes you get transferred when you don't want to. Don't ever blame the mission president. It starts with sustaining those at home.
(Insert from the the letter from Jaxon to Austin regarding Austin making the varsity basketball team):
Austin, here comes varsity basketball! It will be pretty intense, but it will be a big growing experience. Obviously Coach Wade trusts you enough to put you in this spot. It reminds me somewhat of a mission. I know I didn't want to be a zone leader, but President Taylor called me to be one. At first, I just longed to be a district leader again and it held me back a little bit. When I decided that I wanted to be there and I was going to make the best of it is when I started to take off. So maybe that applies to you. You might not want to be there because of limited playing time, but it will be best to just accept it and make the best of it. It will help you step up and be a leader for next year.
(Back to the family letter...)
We had a great week this week! We had a few exchanges in Vancouver, one in Portland, and a couple in Longview. The best part of this calling is seeing Heavenly Father bless the missionaries. There was one missionary that I went with who was struggling. I prayed so hard asking that we would have a successful day. It was awesome. We found so many people to teach by Heavenly Father leading us there. I could tell how happy this missionary was and I know it gave him a good boost. Also, transfers are coming in a couple of weeks. Two weeks from Wednesday. I am excited because I get to be involved in helping President Taylor with the transfer board. I get to report on our exchanges and offer suggestions which has been a lot of fun. We have a huge group going home in a couple weeks. I think it is 15. We only have four coming out so we will take a hit there, but we have a lot of great new missionaries coming up.
Thanks for the sports update. I remember hearing that basketball will be good this year and going to state was possible so that will be great. I'm so glad Carson won the district wrestling tournament! That is so awesome! All those beatings in sixth grade finally paid off!
I'm not surprised about Doug being called as mission president, but that is crazy! I feel like that came out of nowhere! What a huge life-changing event for their family. Let me know what mission he ends up in when he finds out. We have a meeting with President Taylor every Monday morning so I didn't see that email from you until after our meeting. I read it and wanted to ask President Taylor what he thought and any advice for Doug and his family but he had to go to another meeting. We left by the time he was out so I never got to talk to him. I will definitely ask him any advice that he has and I will relay the information. President Taylor has been serving for almost 2 1/2 years so he is almost done. He goes home four days before I do. It will be interesting to see what he says.
Elder Johnson of the seventy came this week for our zone conference. It was pretty stressful for everybody, but it was good. He taught a lot of good information and it was good overall.
I want to share one scripture. Read Moroni 7:48 when you get a chance. How often do we pray with all the energy of our heart for charity? ti gets even harder when we start praying for people that we can't stand! I didn't pray for any charity for Lebron James and I didn't get any. Also, when we do pray to have charity for specific people that we struggle with, it always seems like it gets worse for me! HaHa. That is what happened to me this week with a certain missionary. I knew it was coming. So instead of getting upset, I fasted on Sunday for charity for this missionary. Slowly but surely I am coming along. Thanks for all the love and support. I love you all and I hope you have a great week.

Love Jaxon
PS Don't worry about me on Thanksgiving. Some of the great members here in Vancouver heard that we don't have a ward so they invited us over so we have a couple of dinners set up. And anything I want for Christmas... President Taylor loves Christmas music so anything is a go there... If I could get a Kenny G and a Bing Crosby CD before Christmas that would be awesome! Then maybe just a couple of ties and another pair of pants.


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