Write to Elder Reiley

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

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


Dear Family,

So will you all fast for President and Sister Taylor next Sunday? The whole mission and families (whoever wants to) are fasting that he will recover from his heart surgery and be able to finish his mission responsibilities. Thanks for being willing to respond to the call.

That's so great to hear about he article in the newspaper up here. Vancouver is growing really fast, with population and the church. currently, Ridgefield is the fastest growing city in Washington. I'm glad that people are noticing that. Heavenly Father is definitely hastening His work here. 

Having said that, the work is hastening here in Astoria, too! An entire Spanish family came to church on Sunday. There were five of them (a different family that I told you about last week). Plus the baptism is still happening. This place was ready to have Spanish missionaries. We also got in contact again with Beca. Bishop's dad passes away and Beca was able to meet him before he dies so we went over there and invited her to his funeral so that was cool. Also, remember the Kaup family? they found out from some members that we don't have a lot of money and that people feed us every night so they signed up on our dinner calendar! They are pumped. That will happen on Saturday, so I will let you know how that goes.

Here is the rundown on the Spanish work. I've noticed that it is really hard to study Spanish. I pretty much have to get out and talk to people. If I really focus, I can pretty much follow a conversation. I can also handle introducing ourselves in Spanish. Sometimes people ask us a simple question and I can generate somewhat of a response. I can read fairly well in Spanish, too, so whenever we read from the Book of Mormon, I can participate. Other than that, Elder Stevens pretty much handles it. I have learned a ton about the Hispanic culture, too. I would much rather do Spanish work than English work. At several points throughout our week, we seriously considered ditching all English work except referrals and less-actives and just doing Spanish work. The people are much more humble and nice and open and I have loved working with them, even though there is a language barrier. As far as starting a branch, we didn't receive much direction. Right now, there is not a single Spanish member, so it will take some time. Right now, we are just trying to get as many people to come to church as possible and we will worry about the branch later. Church is really interesting. Elder Stevens is the translator. He puts on some headphones and a microphone and sits in the relief society room and translates the meeting as he hears it over the speaker. The Spanish people all have headphones where they can hear Elder Stevens. So the sisters sit with all of the Spanish people and help them out. Meanwhile, I am usually in the foyer keeping an eye on Elder Stevens. It is a different experience, but it works for now.

Other than that, this week was pretty normal. It rained every single day and it rained and it rained hard. I don't know how this city doesn't eventually go under the water. I am staying dry, though, and my coat is good.

Thanks for the updates from home. I hope the basketball teams do well. I met somebody the other night from Rexburg that played basketball for Madison and he talked to me about the glory days of Lester Wade. His tradition is still there. I'm glad that Austin is having a positive attitude and that Carson is being a good team player. It's also great to hear that the Cavs are doing well. Hopefully everybody can stay healthy.

That's interesting what you said about sports and the negative stuff that can come from something that is really not important at all.  I kind of had the same thoughts, but but about something else. Elder Stevens and I were talking about the sheer horror of having a boy that didn't want to be involved in sports (haha... exaggeration of course). We were eating dinner with a family with a couple of teenagers. The 14-year old told us that he was quitting football because the coach yelled a lot and it was really intense. He wanted to just have fun. His parents looked so proud, too! It took everything in me not to explode. :-) I thought about it after and would I ever encourage my kids to do that? Not a chance. Would I ever live in a place where most people feel entitled to whatever they think they deserve? I would rather be homeless in Portland. BUT...could I give a little more respect for the people of the world that don't think the way I do? Absolutely. So it is something I will work on.

Thanks for the email! I'm not sure about what else I need to send in a package. I'm always good with junk food. Maybe one long-sleeved white shirt? I need one to go to the temple with because the rest of my shirts aren't so white anymore. Ha! But that should be good. I love you all a lot and I hope you have a great week.

Love: Jaxon

My surprise at a herd of
elk.. Only 1 spike

The McGlaughin family (I'll check spelling) with early valentine day

Vancouver to the left, look closely and Portland to the right

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