Write to Elder Reiley

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

Monday, May 30, 2016


Dear Family,

Here is the quick version of my week this week...

Robert's life keeps getting worse and worse since he was baptized. He was living in his car when he was baptized. He called us on Wednesday evening and told us he had gotten pulled over and they towed his car away. We had no idea, but he doesn't have a license or insurance and the plates were switched and the car isn't even under his name. So we went to see him and all of his stuff was just out on the side of the road. It was quite a sight. So he is really homeless now. Then he borrowed a bike and it got stolen the next day. He has been pretty bad spirits this week and hi missed church on Sunday so we are a little worried about him, but he will come around. We say that trials make us stronger and that we learn from them, but it has been hard to tell Robert that. I guess this is his test and we will see what happens. 

I tried balut on Monday night. Balut is a Philippine delicacy. Some members got some for Elder Labis so I tried some. It is basically an egg, except that it is pre-formed and it is a duck. So basically a duck embryo. We boiled them and then put some salt and pepper on them and put them in vinegar. It looks disgusting, but it wasn't bad. I probably won't have any more, but I am glad I tried some to say that I did. 

The Redings have been sick and out of town a lot so we have not been able to meet with them, but we will this week. April and Donald came to our Book of Mormon class again. We asked Don if he would like to learn more, but he declined. He is just really apprehensive to try new things, but he will come around. April is trying to get Sunday off to come to church. 

I had a pretty bad Spanish flop that ended up really good. We stopped by a less-active member who was Hispanic and her mom, who is active answered. She was really happy to see us and just started rambling off Spanish stuff. It was pretty clear that she thought we were the Spanish missionaries. I faked it for as long as I could. We introduced ourselves and asked what her name was and talked for a little bit, but then she asked a question and I just had no idea what she said. So I broke down and told her we didn't speak Spanish. Haha. But... she let us in and her less-active daughter spoke pretty good English. She told us how she wants to start going back to church and that she has a 15 year old son who has never been baptized an that she wants to make that happen. So the Spanish elders will enjoy that.

Here are my thoughts on a new mission president. (I asked him if he was glad that he had the same mission president the whole two years). It would be a huge transition for a little while, but then things would settle down and the mission will pick up right where it left off. President Taylor did a great job starting this mission and getting it up and running an now it is President McAteeer's turn to take it to the next level. I am glad that I don't have to go through that transition, especially being with President Taylor for so long. President Ferrin was the one who replaced President Taylor when he was sick.

Elder Labis is doing much better. He has had a couple of bouts with homesickness, but he is good. His English is improving. He taught gospel principles yesterday and did well.

Thanks for the updates from home. Sports sounds like it is going well. Thanks for the pictures, too. I heard the Cavs made it to the finals. I am excited for them. The Thunder are on fire right now. That would be crazy if they beat Golden State tonight. No matter what happens it sould be a good Finals. That is cool about all the mission calls. I am still waiting for somebody to get called here to Vancouver!

I am glad everybody got to go to the cemetery yesterday. I told Austin in his letter that I think cemeteries are the coolest places. There are quite a few by where we live. I think they are so peaceful and there is a special spirit that is felt there. All of those people are in the spirit world and I'm sure they come back to visit often. I am so thankful for my ancestors. I know that they have help[ed me while I have been here, even though I have never met most of them! They will still have a huge impact on the work here. Joseph Smith said that we receive more help form the other side than we know. I am so thankful for them.

Elder Labis and I are staying for another transfer! It is my last one, so I have some weird feelings about that. Elder Stevens is getting transferred so I am bummed about that, but it's okay. I am looking forward to a successful six weeks. Thanks for the email and I love you all and I hope you have a good week. 

Love: Jaxon

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