Contact Elder Reese

Email: hreese@myldsmail.net

Mail Letters and Packages To:

Elder Hunter Reese
Colombia Cali Mission
Avenida 2, Oeste # 10-130, Edif Tempo
Oficina 201, Barrio Santa Rita
Cali Valle del Cauca
Colombia 760045


Saturday, January 20, 2018

I Taught Them Black Magic

Hey Family and Friends,
                Weeks are just flying by! You always hear missionaries talking about how the time just flies while you're on a mission and then you get there and you feel very deceived. Then you start feeling it a bit too and you realize that time does go by super fast.
         
       We had our interviews this week with President and Sister Whitesides. It is different in the office. We are around each other all the time so they know everything that goes on.

                The interview is more like just getting to know each other better and making sure we don’t have any issues. We usually laugh a lot in my interview and just take a couple minutes to relax.

                I had to ask if there was a way that I could do my job better and he said no and said that he feels bad because when there is a problem that comes up it always lands in my hands. I get phone calls all the time from people that say they just talked to President about something and that he gave them my number to call.

                I have been reading a lot in Heleman lately. Heleman is all about the changes in the judgement seat and the Gadianton robbers. It is also the book where the Nephites start to be really wicked. One thing I noticed was that it mentions how God blessed them with all their riches and they still became prideful and turned away from him.

                Never think that you ever earned anything alone. Nothing we have in life is ONLY through our own merits. God helps us in every step we take but he never makes us take the first one he just is always there to help up us with the last one.

                We had 2 family home evenings this week. The first was great. We taught at a members house and they invited some neighbors over. It was a total of 3 neighbors and one was from Venezuela which is always a good sign.

                We shared a quick message about the importance of always moving forward (2 Nephi 31:20) If you are moving forward then Christ is with you. If you aren’t doing anything with your life he is not. It is that simple. We played a game called white magic that I will show you guys when I get home. They all loved it.  Then we had English classes and that was good. Only 2 people came this week.

                Then we had another family home evening with the Bishop and his family. No investigators came but it was a good chance to get to know the members and gain their trust. They knew the white magic game, so I showed them our black magic game. They loved it a ton. They had never seen it before so they were super frustrated they couldn’t figure it out.

                So Tyson is coming home on Monday? I didn’t know the date had come up so 
soon. That is really crazy.

                As for my companions and the office staff we are all still the same. There is a chance that one of them might leave at transfers though but we won't know until then. I had to deal with a huge itinerary problem this week. A sister wanted to go home to a country she didn’t have documents to because her parents are there but I am not allowed to send a missionary I am in charge of to a country that they can't stay in so her family is like super stressing and talking to me every five minutes. 

                Anyways that was my week. Love you guys!

Con Amor,
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Saturday, January 13, 2018

I Am Not Going Anywhere

Well hi family,
This week has been interesting!

Sunday night we found a couple walking uphill very slowly and we stopped and talked to them. The husband had an accident about 6 months ago when he fell off a 3 story building doing construction. He is now able to walk very slowly but with breaks as he does so.

As we walked with them we learned that they were moving the next day just down the road from where they currently lived.

Before even thinking I offered to help them move. They declined at first saying that it embarrassed them to have us help them. I continued insisting on it and they accepted. We walked them back to their house to know where it was and wrote down their information for the next day.

The problem was that every Monday we have an office meeting to talk about what we are going to do that week and what needs to get done and Presidente and Sister Whitesides always set special time aside.

I called the Bishop to help me and he never got back to me so the next morning I called my district leader and he went to help them on his Pday which was very nice of him. So far we have not gotten a visit with them but we will soon.

This week was a little crazy. One Elder from El Salvador went home on Thursday but with honor. I prepared all of his things to leave and he had all of his stuff ready Wednesday night.

When missionaries go home they are given an envelope which contains certain things about their mission and what not for their stake president. It is basically how they are released as missionaries.

We had to be at the airport at 2:30am. His flight left at 5:30 and it was international.
I always make a smaller envelope for them to use with their identification and health papers while they are traveling.

After we checked his bag we were walking to the door and I handed him that envelope. Upon seeing that smaller envelope his eyes got big and he said ¨Elder Reese I have bad news.¨

I asked him what he forgot. He said he had forgotten the other envelope which I had given him the night before for his checked baggage.

At this point it was 3am and the gate to his flight closed at 4:25. We were about 40 minutes away from the house one way. There was no way we could go get it. We ended up calling other missionaries to bring it from the house. He made it home but it was not what I wanted to be doing at 3am.

A couple hours later that same day I had to send off an Elder that was going home early. It was the first one I have home like that. It was hard to watch a good missionary get on his plane before time was up. I don’t want to do that again.

Needless to say Thursday made me tired for the rest of the week. I try to go to bed early but it never works.

Dario is really progressing again. He has a new baptismal date for February 17th. I really hope the Lord shows us what we need to do better this time to help him. 

I got my glasses. I will try and take a picture if I can. It was cool to see better. It was a bit tiring on my eyes the first couple of days.

I hope Duke is getting better. I hope that dork learned a lesson.It sounds like grandma got to spend time at our house. Remember that Mom. When I ask you to come help me when I don’t have time to like watch my dog or my kids you gotta come swooping in like Grandma Wanda.

I did get to watch President Monson´s funeral. We watched it together here in the office. It was a very good ceremony. His daughter is an interesting speaker. I noticed that every speaker gave thanks to everyone before they started their talk. They all thanked anyone and everyone that they felt they need to before doing anything else. I thought that was really cool.

My Pdays have been like this for a while though mom. I don’t know how much longer you are going to need to get used to it but it is going to be like this for a while.  (I told him that I was having a hard time getting used to his Pday on Saturday)

As for transfers, they are on the 28th of January. I have to prepare lots of stuff. It will be boring for everyone if I explained it all but just know I have stuff to do.

Elder Alcorta will be leaving the office this transfer. He is the Elder from Argentina. Elder Stucki as well. I don’t know yet if my companion will be leaving but there is a chance. I know for a fact that I am not going anywhere though so that is news.

Anyways, have a good week everybody!! Love you all!
Con amor,
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Saturday, January 6, 2018

I Love Going to English Class

Hey family,
So this week has been going good so far. I am writing this on Tuesday night. 

So we had no money in the office for the last like 2 weeks because it is the end of the year and we have to close the accounts. Needless to say it is hard to run an office without money. We have all been avoiding doing any errands and it is really slowing things down.We have money now though so it is all turning around. 

I still have some hot cheetos and some gardettos and the littler snacks Santa gave me. 

Me and Elder Wright went out on Monday and all of our appointments fell through by like 7 o{clock. It also just so happened to be pouring rain. Which is perfect for contacting. When you are all wet from the rain it is a lot easier to get sympathy points. 

We contacted a whole bunch of people and Elder Wright had just turned to me and said his is some of the best contacting that I have ever done, right as we knocked on a door. The guy came up to the window and asked us who we were and I went to shake his hand and he just laughed and said "No les creo," which means I don't believe you. He then proceeded to walk away and ignore us. Elder Wright really jinxed us.

We have hit week 3 of this transfer which means that I am about to be calling families again. It got a little hectic trying to request flights and get them at the times we want. 

These last couple of days I have really seen how God chooses his leaders. 

President Whitesides never forgets ANYTHING. There are 4 secretaries in the office and he reminds all of us of things we had forgotten about in our one and only job. I don't believe there is any other way for someone to do that unless it be through God.  
 
This morning President Whitesides sent us a text to let us know that our beloved Prophet Thomas Spencer Monson had passed away the night before at 10 PM in his home.  I remember very little of President Gordon B. Hinkley and a little about the day he died. With President Monson it is different. He was the prophet that signed my mission call to send me here.  Do you guys remember the last words he personally gave to us in April?  It was about the Book of Mormon. That the time for strong testimonies in the Book of Mormon is now. If you don't have a strong testimony in the Book of Mormon now is the time to get one. 

God preserves his leaders until they can fulfill the divine nature of their calling. It is a sad day to see him go but it is also a sign that Thomas S. Monson served the Lord with everything he had and he gave us everything the Lord needed him to. There is no doubt in my mind that he is somewhere with his wife that he loved so much in a much better place.

Hey fun fact. I need glasses. I took an eye exam for free because Elder Pizarro had to go and do  some stuff so I went with him. After the test the dude explained to me that my eye sight is good but it is still failing me. He said that glasses will definitely make me see better and they will start to balance out my bad eyesight and make it perfect so that I wont need glasses when I am older. The mission doesn't cover that though so that is something we need to talk about.

We found drunk D again but this time he told us that he had a dream that God told him he needed to learn more about the Book of Mormon. He was drunk though so I don't know how much we can weigh on that. 

We had record attendance to our English classes though. There were 11 people. Elder Whiting had the class this time and he is a funny guy. He was from the first group I received at the office which means he has like less than 2 transfers in the mission. He is super happy and a good teacher he just lacked a little confidence that I made up for.  There is this little boy and his sister that always come to classes and their dad owns a pizza place and after the class he always gives us a free big pizza! I love going to English classes. 

Also, this week I have used a lot of taxis because I did a lot of errands this week.  I had a great experience though. Me and Elder Pizarro were in a taxi coming back from somewhere and he started talking to the taxi driver but he wasn't very talkative. He just answered questions very briefly. I figured I might as well make him laugh and get to know him so I started to talk to him and he started to open up a little bit more.  It turns out he is from Venezuela. He has been here a little over a year but his family is still in Venezuela. His two daughters and his wife. There are a lot of Venezuelan immigrants here in Colombia and they are usually some of the best investigators. 

We were getting close to the office so Elder Pizarro asked him a question. He said ¨If God and Christ were right in front of you here on the Earth and you had one question to ask what would it be?¨ He thought about it and replied ¨Why is there so many bad things in this world and why does he let it happen?¨ 

Immediately I thought of a scripture in Alma 14 when Alma and Amulek couldn't save all the people from being killed because it wasn't Gods will. I pulled out a Book of Mormon that I had ironically placed in my bag right before leaving for this errand. It was actually the first time I had taken my bag with us. 

As we pulled up to the office I gave it to him explaining what it was just a little and he seemed somewhat interested but then I told him that it was a gift and it was free. I will never forget the way his face lit up as I said that. He just couldn't stop looking through his new gift. He thanked us so sincerely. As we entered our building he was already reading the chapter I had left for him.
I don't know what has happened with him or what will but I know God put us in that taxi. 

So we went to the zoo today and I didn't take my camera so oops. Elder Sarnowski did though so I will send from his camera. 

Anyways that was my week! I love you guys! 

Con Amor, 
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Sunday, December 31, 2017

I Can Buy Coke Now!


Hey family!
So I just opened my gifts and I loved them!  I am trying out my alpha smart to see how it works! I hope that I can write longer letters to you guys every week now as well as other people.  My companions all wondered what this thing was.

So the day ended. I am currently writing on this keyboard thingy.

We went and sang hymns at this place in the center of Cali and we wrapped up Books of Mormon and were going it give them to people. We did that but it just happened to be POURING rain. So it was a little hard to aqui estuvo Elder Pizarro. (That was Elder Pizarro. Needless to say my companions like to mess with this as well.) Singing in the rain with our hymn books and also trying to hand out Books of Mormon is not easy. You can’t put anything on the ground because it gets ruined. Nobody really wants to stop for too long so you have to grab them while they are listening! It wasn’t easy but it was so much fun. You see all these people drinking or alone or only looking for other things but the few hymns we sang over and over got some people’s attention.

As for the skype call. It was great to see all of you that I got to see!!! This call was a lot easier than last time. The last one I had a lot less time in the mission and was still learning how to love it. Now, I know how much I can and do enjoy it so it just means we will talk in May and I will be having a great time until then. I got to talk to Brittany and Ty for a little bit which was great. Reese was super busy, but when I did my Scooby Doo laugh and my ruh’ro shaggy voice he definitely heard me!
Kameron also seemed to remember me which was nice. He recognized my voice I think. He got wayyyyy to big though. He is like huge.

I want to thank everyone as well for all the things they did for me this Christmas regardless if it was a gift or a prayer. I am super grateful for everyone and this time we had to help people remember Christ a little bit more.
Shoutout to my pregnant sister and cousins. I am super excited for you guys. I doubt that all of you can hold your babies in for a few extra months but give it a shot.

So we met D in the street on Tuesday and he was very drunk. He started apologizing to us for everything and wanted to just talk to us. He kept putting himself down and talking about how he went to one of the best schools in Cali and now he basically has nothing. I stood and watched my companions talk to him and just tried to listen. I didn’t really know what for but I just didn’t feel like talking at the moment. As Elder Wright was talking, me and D made eye contact and I just couldn’t help but love him so much in that moment regardless of the mistakes and lies he had told us. I gave him a smile and he put his hand out and gave me a hug and told me that there was something different about me. I took that as my sign to talk. I then told him how I had told all of you guys about him and how awesome I thought he was and how great he was. I told him how my Mom would ask about him every week to see how he was and how he was progressing. He couldn’t hold the tears back to hear that. He agreed to let us walk him back to his apartment and we cooked him agua panela (which is a sweet drink here) and I just kept talking to him. We said a prayer and ate bread and this drink. It was a moment I will never forget. Looking around and seeing four missionaries sitting in this tiny house, not teaching, not preaching, but just being there. I remember we took his shoes off and laid him into bed and tucked him in and we shut the lights off and he was already asleep. I don’t know how this story sounds to you guys but it was one of the most powerful moments of my life.
To know that God had sent me there to specifically help him. I can promise you that Elder Wright and Elder Alcorta and Elder Eldredge are all better missionaries than me. For some reason however, God allowed me to be what he needed.

Anyways, this week was good. We had an end of year conference which was super fancy. It was on the 15th floor of this super nice hotel. It had two levels and there were servers there all day to help us with whatever we needed. They gave us a three course meal. I liked half of it. You could tell it was super expensive because the appetizer had gross weeds on it. We watched Meet the Mormons which I had not seen (he has seen it, he just doesn't remember). It is a good movie. Now I know the Mormons. We played Jeopardy and since the office made the questions we were judges for all the zones. My zone did not win.  We had a great time and there was something amazing that President Whitesides changed this conference….WE CAN BUY COKE NOW!! For those of you that are wondering which coke because I am in Colombia I mean Coca’cola.

 Also, Elder Alcorta and Elder Pizarro would like a CTR ring like the one I have. Here in South America they cant go to Desseret Book and buy one. Please if you could I would appreciate it. A size 8 and a size 9.5!! 

That was pretty much my week! Love you guys!! Stay strong!

Con Amor,
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Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas A Todos

Hey Merry Christmas a todos! 
I obviously didn't have transfers and I won't for a little while. The thing is that they are very stressful here in the office. 

As President's secretary I am in charge of planning the whole 3 days of it. We call it plan de ataque. I have to schedule all the interviews for the missionaries that are going home and their flights and and all the transports. 

I have to schedule a lot of transports for the new missionaries to go to all sorts of different places. I was actually stressed for the first time in my whole mission. The things I handle are very delicate and I knew that. 

I knelt down before I left on Tuesday morning to do all these things and said a prayer and just thanked God for everything and begged him to just let things work. 

As we got to the airport we said goodbye to the old missionaries and rushed to the entrance to greet the new ones. I had scheduled two buses for the airport and knew they were coming. Then I saw some guy holding up a little whiteboard with my name on it. It actually freaked me out a little but it turned out that he had a taxi for two people. 

My stomach just dropped because there were 22 people and 40 bags that needed to go to different places. It turned out that he was just to take the assistants to the house with the bags. 

Then in the notary when I asked for everyone's passports one elder started searching everywhere and he confessed that he had left it ON THE PLANE. I did not freak out or anything I just said hold on a second everything will be okay. I totally lied. I thought we were done for. 

Luckily I made some calls and they had it there at the airport. Everything worked out alright there. 

Later, we had to take more people to the airport and the lady at the airport would not accept the paper I had to pay for there bags. It had worked in the morning but this time it didn't. I was freaking out. 

We ended up paying  for them with the mission card and it will just be reimbursed. 

Then as I was looking at the passports a sister from Mexico didn't have her visa. Which meant that she had a very limited amount of time to legally be in this country. 

Turns out that they had just realized that and were taking care of it and sent me an electronic copy through email. 

Then we had to send them all off to their areas with their trainers. I had not scheduled a transport. I didn't know we needed one. We just ended up calling A LOT of taxis. Then everyone got out and everything was fine. 

At the end of all the craziness I had just gotten home Wednesday night and was laying in my bed and it hit me. 

There were problems but they were overcome. There were times I had to work more than I had planned but it worked out. 

God didn't make it easy but I didn't ask him to. I told him to allow everything to work out and it did. I got down on my knees and thanked him for everything. 

It may not seem like he is helping out but he may just be requiring a little bit more faith.

Anyways, that was my update for now! I will see you guys tomorrow I think! 

Love you all!! 

Con amor,
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Grandchildren Get More Spoiled Than Children

Hey guys!
Sounds like a lot of stuff is going on! 

Sounds like you will be having a lot of fun in Oregon with Brittany and Ty this week so that will be great. You should take some pictures of your adventures for me! I have never once made a gingerbread house with you. Grandchildren get more spoiled than children. 

I hope Duke gets better. Is he still going on walks with Dad or does he not want to? Do you think he got sick at grandmas house and that is why he is acting weird? 

It sounds like you enjoy working at the temple. I miss being in the temple. Working there was something very special. 

Something interesting that we talked about this week with President and Sister Whitesides was saying prayers every now and again without asking for anything. God knows what we need regardless of what we say. He, just like any other parent, needs to here us say thank you for everything he does for us. Through doing such a simple act we can feel his love through our gratitude and maybe receive such simple answers that we couldn't find before. 

My investigators are doing alright. This week has been rough though. Elder Falabella, who is a seventy here, came to our mission and the office had to prepare so many things. Also, transfers are coming up this Monday so I have to prepare a lot of stuff for so many things and I don't have any time to go out to the area and it is hard. Sometimes you feel like you aren't fulfilling your purpose as a missionary when you aren't out teaching. I think of the people that need me but I don't have time for sometimes and just pray that they will wait for me. 

D has come back and has been very busy. We have had to move his baptismal date a couple times but we are getting there. 

This week I was in charge of getting the chapel ready for the conference with Elder Falabella. When we got there the night before the stake center had a total of 3 tables in it and we had to seat 110 people. I was not a happy camper. But, we hadn't been beaten yet. 

We knelt down and said a prayer for a little help and then made a phone call. The guy in charge of that stuff said he would try and get them there before lunch so that we could eat. That was our only hope really. 

So we cleaned it and prepared what we could and went home.

We woke up the next day and went there early to control the other missionaries and when we got there all of the tables were there. They were all set up with table cloths and everything. I still don't know who did it but someone did. I was so relieved. 

I got a letter from someone this week. Her name is Liliana Cartagena. She was my second baptism in the mission. She gave me a printed letter telling me how grateful she is and that it is so hard for her to know I am so close but we cant see each other. She said that her doors are always open to any Reese's so lets take advantage!

Let Adams dad know I miss him! It sounds like they have a lot of work now.

Anyways, I love you guys!! Have a good week! 

Con amor,
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Saturday, December 9, 2017

I Have No Fear

Hey guys!
So this week was good! 

We had another Elder in the office because he has a bad foot so he was with us all week. He is a cool guy. He is from Utah and has one transfer less than me. 

We also had interviews this week. President and me had a good talk. I had to ask him if he thought I needed to be more professional because everyone says I am always joking. He told me that he has no problem with anything I have ever done and believes that he never will. Which means I am just a lot more fun than everyone else obviously!! 

I had a two day training session this week too. The guy that is in charge of all the immigration stuff in every mission in Colombia came to Cali to teach me a few things. 

He said that when he received this position in 2014 that there were 800+ missionaries serving illegally in there missions. Almost all of them got send home to serve. His biggest worry was teaching me how to keep everyone's' archives in order. It was interesting. 

He actually told me a story that I loved a lot. At one point he had to welcome and help Elder Christofferson when he came to Barranquilla which is at the North Coast of Colombia. He said that when it rains the roads just flood and it can carry cars and buses with it so when it happens it is better to stay inside. 

As it happened to start raining he was waiting outside Elder Christoffersons room for anything he might need and just staring out the window thinking. He then felt a hand on his shoulder telling him that no matter what happens everything was going to okay. As he turned it was Elder Christofferson. He just nodded and thanked him even though he had no idea what he really meant. 

Then they left to go pick up Elder Holland at the airport. As they had already got him he was walking behind the two Apostles and Elder Holland stopped and turned around and gave Hermano R. (the guy that trained me) a huge bear hug and lifted him off the ground telling him that he loved him. 

After these two interesting events he continued with the event they had come to Barranquilla for and it all turned out okay. After it was over he got a call from his wife. The call was to inform him that his son was in the hospital for the first out of 4 suicide attempts that he would try to do in his life. Luckily he has never been successful and is now in a much better state. 

The relationship the leaders of the church have with the Holy Ghost is stronger than we can imagine. We may not always get the hand of a servant of the Lord on our shoulder with comforting words or a bear hug from another Apostle. But, there is always a way the Lord helps us. 

He has sent people here to help us in times of need. Nevertheless, there are sometimes in our lives where we have to go so far into the dark that there is only one person that can come with us. 

Hermano R. told us that the amount of strength he took from the counsel of these Apostles was everything he needed to help overcome these problems. 

As for working in the office. It is hard some days to find drive to keep doing what the Lord has asked of me. I came here to teach and preach the Gospel. President told me that everyone here in the office has been called because God knows that they can do both. 

I wouldn't say that the office is safer it is just less probable that things happen because we are out less amount of time. My area is actually really cool and pretty sketchy but I love it all the same. 

As for the campaign here it is great. I love having such an easy excuse to talk to people. I have no fear when it comes to talking to people. One of my companions is not super confident when it comes to contacting so I create scenarios where he has to talk. I hand cards to people in a group and then tell them my companion is going to explain what it is and he has no choice. 

What kind of car did Courtney (Hunter's Sister) buy? 

I hope you get better Mom. We all got colds here like 3 weeks ago and still have side affects but it is all good. 

I will pull my package out Monday! I spent some money today but a lot of it was paid back to me in cash as I bought things at once for everyone. 

I love you guys!! Have a great week! 

Con Amor,
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