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, November 18, 2017

Did President Double Check With God?

Hey guys,
I got a lot of emails this week that I never thought I would have! 

I am learning a lot here and it is actually really funny to see how everyone reacts. I just hope that I can live up to what people and more so what God expects from me! 

I had my ¨Welcome to the office¨ interview with President Whitesides. I asked him a little more about why I am here. He explained to me that at one point in the mission the office was a place where the President put all the disobedient missionaries to keep an eye on them but then a Seventy told them that it is not ever supposed to be like that. He said that he thinks the office missionaries are the examples as to what a missionary should be like. That when other missionaries see the missionaries here that they should see servants of the Lord. 

So I guess somewhere along the line God told President that I was one of them. I actually asked President if he double checked with God to make sure it was me. He just laughed and said it was an undeniable feeling. 

As for this week. I have learned a lot about what I do. I have gone to immigration twice to deal with these things called cedulas. It is like the Colombian version of a drivers license/ID.

I have gone to the notary as well to get some passport papers stamped and signed and learned a lot of new words that I have never had to use in the last 8 months or really my whole life. 

I spend all my time in front of a computer or updating physical files that we have here in the office. 

This week I have to call all the families of the missionaries that are going home to make sure they are okay with everything. 

I was going through the list to see who I will have to call and I was reading their countries: Peru, USA, Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil.....BRAZIL. They speak PORTUGUESE. 

I am now taking little crash courses of Portuguese to be able to talk with Elder Costas family this week so wish me luck. 

The investigators are great. We have a baptismal date, His name is D. He has had a rough go at things as of late. 

He had problems with alcohol and his wife kicked him out and sent him on a potato truck to Cali from Pompayan which is about 3 hours. He got here with just the clothes on his back and an electrician background. He has stopped drinking and he just goes around asking people if they need help with their things and that is how he is earning money. 

We went to his house 2 days ago. It was the first time I had been there and it was about the size of a small classroom in a school. The floor is not even cement it is just rock. We sat down and he said ¨Hey can I buy you guys some bread and a coke?¨ We politely declined and he did it anyways. He took this 5000 peso bill and left. 

As we were talking we asked how his work was going. He said ¨I know that with time God will help me in the part of my life but I made 5000 today.¨ 

The bread and coke we had just drank got a lot heavier in our stomachs as we realized that everything he made that day he just spent on us. All of us had tears in our eyes as we realized how much he was willing to sacrifice just to know God. 

Now we have to wonder if we can do the same. 

Anyways, he should be baptized the December 2nd. I will keep you updated on that. 

Uncle Scott did email me and I am very grateful. Who knew that he still speaks Spanish huh? 

Love you guys! Have a great week!! 

Con Amor, 
Inline image 1
P.S. That goes on all my emails now. Please don't call the mission!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Lord Called You to be the Presidents New Secretary!

Surprise! I write on Saturdays now!

There are a few big changes now! I was District Leader for like 2 days so that was cool but now I am something much different! 

We did not have transfers this last Monday because of this Paro. Although, it ended Monday so we had transfers on Tuesday! I got a nice little call from the Presidents Assistant at 10 o'clock on Tuesday and he said ¨Elder Reese how are you?¨ Then he made small talk for 30 seconds and after he said ¨Elder Reese the Lord has called you to have a new assignment in the mission.¨ So I told him to lay it on me! He said ¨The Lord has called you to be the Presidents new Secretary!¨ 

What does that mean? I'll tell ya. It now means I am in Cali at the mission office everyday. I am the Presidents personal secretary. I handle every flight of all the missionaries going home and every passport/identification material of every missionary in the mission. I take all the new missionaries through migration when they get here. I work very closely with President Whitesides and schedule all of his meeting and flights as well. 

When I got here on Tuesday night I asked him why he choose me and he told me that he didn't choose me but God did. He said God only puts the missionaries in the Offices that he and President Whitesides can trust the most. 

We have a lot more responsibility but also more freedom. We have a higher level of trust. There are 3 other secretaries. One handles the finances of the whole mission, one handles all the materials like the houses and the packages, and one handles all the baptismal forms and references. 

I live in a huge house with all of them and they are all gringos except for 1 of them. My new companion or well companionS are Elder Eldredge from Texas and Elder Aragon from Utah. 

Elder Aragon is training me how to do my job because I can't mess up or a lot of things can go way wrong! He will be with me for this whole transfer helping me with anything I need to learn. 

Elder Eldredge will stay with me after that and we will be companions until one of us gets switched. 

There are perks though. We have a maid!!! She washes all our clothes and and cleans the whole house everyday and also cooks us food! It is great! We just throw our clothes by the washer and when we come home at night they are all hanging up ready to be used! 

The downside is that I am sitting behind a computer screen from 10 in the morning until 6 at night. We only get to proselyte for 3 hours every day and my P days are now on Saturday

We have already found like 4 investigators of gold since I have been here! Not to say I am the reason that we found them but they just got found! They are neighbors and they had a bunch of questions that we answered together. 

As missionaries, we try to avoid the coffee and alcohol question until later in the lessons because we need to explain that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that he received the revelation for the Word of Wisdom. But, sometimes it doesn't quite happen that way! 

We were teaching these awesome investigators on the street and they asked this question. Me and Elder Aragon had been teaching most of everything and Elder Eldredge hadn't said much. When they asked that question I whispered to Elder Aragon ¨On the count of three both of us just look at Elder Eldredge¨ So we did and he scrambled very fast and it was very funny because he wasn't paying a whole lot of attention but we worked it out! 

I also go to the airport to see missionaries off and when the new ones come in! So I sent home my first missionary on Thursday. Her name was Hermana Solorzano. She was from Ecuador and she had a twin sister in Bogota serving the mission. They both wanted to get home on the same flight so I had to call Elder Johnson who does my job there in Bogota. We coordinated very well to schedule everything perfectly! 

Wednesday the missionaries' mother kept calling President and she wouldn't pick up when I called but FINALLY she answered me and I talked her down and told her how everything was going to go. 

That is a great tip parents. One call to the mission president is okay but unless it is an emergency you shouldn't bother him. Call the office! I get to deal with the crazy parents now! 

Anyways, Hermana Solorzano called me and asked me a favor on Wednesday before she left. She wanted me to bug Bogota to call her sister to see if she was going to wear the outfit they had picked out together. I was blown away. That is one of the dumbest questions anyone has ever asked me. I politely told her it might not happen but that I would try.  (I don't think he tried)

Alright, you all have extra time to get your emails in for next Saturday! Love you all hope you are having fun! Stay strong! 

Con Amor,
Elder Reese

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

I Bought a Captain Jack Sparrow hat with Dreads and Everything

Hey guys!
This week was interesting! 

That family that we have been teaching didn't have time for us this week so we were a little bummed. Then we were going back to the house and the whole family was there at our door. This was a surprise because we don't tell people where we live. They had seen us earlier and figured that is where we lived. 

Turns out they wanted to play basketball with us because my companion told them that he would love to. We had no confirmed appointments so we did. I imagine I was a pretty big let down as a gringo that cant play basketball. It turned out to be really good to get a little closer with them!  

As for transfers. There is this thing in Colombia called paro (strike), which means that no buses are available for as long as it lasts because it doesn't have a set time! The last one was last year and it was three months long. How dumb right? Luckily it ended already. It really makes no sense. For now I am with stinky feet until they tell us otherwise. One thing they did tell me is that I am the new district leader so that is cool! 

Why did the whole family show up this weekend? Was there a special occasion?

Halloween was interesting! We spent some time with a new convert and his family that we are teaching! I bought a Captain Jack Sparrow hat with dreads and everything. It was pretty great! Didn't take pics though! Sorry. 

I should have a lot more students this week in my English class though! I am excited! 

Anyways, That is about it! Love you guys! Have fun at the coolest temple in Idaho that they couldn't build before I left!! 

Con Amor,
Elder Reese

Thursday, November 2, 2017

You Really Shouldn't Complain About the Stairs

Hey guys!
This week was great!! We had interviews with President and his wife! We also put 2 baptismal dates for this next transfer. I hope I stay just for that reason. I could handle another transfer with my companion to baptize some people. 
 
It sounds like the temple is going good! Mom you really shouldn't complain about flights of stairs unless you want to get made fun of. When Grandma and Grandpa Reese complain they have valid reasons. It makes you sound really old!! Just saying!!

That thing I wanted for Christmas is called an alpha smart and it would everything easier!! Also, I thought about somethings that I haven't got yet. There are these things called gardettos and they are really good. Do you remember that HUGE bag of chips I bought at winco? That is what they are and if you cant find them just ask Tanner he knows. Also, flamin hot munchies! 

I won fantasy my first year and that was it! I miss fantasy it was a good way to trash talk.

As for Jorge. He didn't have time this week but we should see him next week! We gave this family their Books of Mormon and I am excited to see what happens with them. Some of the daughters are a lot more interested than the family. We are going to keep working with them! 

Anyways, my interviews were way better this time. They were all amazed at how much my companion loves me. I didn't know he did. OH! President Whitesides was in charge of all the temples in Idaho so we figured out he knows Robert (This is Bill's brother)! He told me to tell you guys to tell him hi! I honestly have no idea if I am going or staying this transfer but if I don't email next week it is because I am on a bus! 

So, I don't know if you guys remember Elder Kelley, my companion from the MTC, but his younger brother gets to my mission this next transfer! I thought that was pretty cool! 

Anyways, not much more to report! I love you guys! See you soon!! 

Con Amor,
Elder Reese

Monday, October 23, 2017

I Haven't Fallen Asleep Once in Sacrament

Hey guys!
Well you finally got it all cleaned out (Still talking about the bonus room that is now clean with occupants)! We talked about it basically my whole life! I am surprised you got it done so fast!(It didn't feel fast!)

I haven't fallen asleep once in sacrament since I have been on my mission!(Someone fell asleep in our sacrament meeting this week.) It is not too easy either because my ward starts at 8!! It is terrible! We always get up at 6 30 but we usually can avoid people until like 10 or 11! 

This week was good! It was filled with good news! One of the divorces that need to happen will be finalized here pretty soon and that will be two baptisms! They have been investigators for 10 years and we are going over the lessons again! Turns out they forgot a lot of it so good thing we checked! 

We stopped by their house yesterday and she told me that her brother had lost his wife on Friday and we asked if he could come over so we could talk to him and he did. 

He is catholic and he said he felt guilty for some of things he has done and things he said and didn't say to wife while she was alive! 

We started sharing the plan of salvation and everything went great and he wanted us to come back to explain the rest! I really felt like he will be baptized. 

As for the moving in! (Gretchen and Kevin are staying with us for a couple weeks while they get their house ready to move into) Sad I missed it! I had to think really hard about who Matt Banning was but I figured it out! (Matt Banning was the assistant principal at Hunter's school for a year) Is he in there ward or something? That is cool! He knew me when I was like 11 or 12. That is a while ago! Did dad talk to him?

Just so you know Dad doesn't say all the details like you, Mom, so he has told me none of the stuff you tell me! I expect Duke to remember me! He didn't recognize Abby for a few days until she was home all day on the couch and then he remembered there was a girl that used to do that a year and a half ago! 

As for this family. We have another appointment with them tomorrow! We will see how that goes! We will be giving them all a Book of Mormon which will be 6 in total! They are super nice people! 

Also, my district leader got transferred today because he is going to be a secretary in the mission office! So we don't have a district leader! The zone leaders are going to be our district leaders for 2 weeks until President calls a new one! 

Anyways, that was my week! Hope everything goes well over there! Love you all! 

Con Amor,
Elder Reese


Monday, October 16, 2017

There Was No Toilet Paper

Hey guys!
Sounds like you have had a blast!! (We are still cleaning out the bonus room) The bonus room needed to be cleaned out. Did you guys know that the term we use for that room is like only in our family? No one else says bonus room! It is a storage room for everyone else. I have no idea how we started calling it that but yea! 

Duke seems to be doing better! (Duke is learning to listen to Bill since Hunter left) He is a good dog. There are tons of dogs here. They all just run wild in the streets and eat garbage. 

There is a new Elder here from Ecuador and he is being trained by Elder Sarnowski. He is white. Anyways, Elder Sarnowski told me that his companion is deathly afraid of dogs. He always offers to pay a taxi to avoid a street with dogs on it. He is also afraid of cows and horses. Elder Sarnowski started to make up stories about the horses and cows and now his companion hides behind Elder Sarnowski every time they are by one of the three animals! 

This week we went to Popayan for a zone conference. That means 12 hours in a bus. 6 there and 6 back. Two Elders got sick this time and Elder Castro couldn't hold it and took a dump (I'm not sure this is proper missionary terminology, so please excuse him)in the bus bathroom and it stunk up the WHOLE bus. The problem was that he didn't check to see if there was toilet paper. There wasn't. 

The poor guy sat there for 1 hour and a half on the toilet until we stopped to buy some paper.

I also learned something that I thought I knew differently. My companion has told me that he has a back problem and has permission to rest every three hours. I believed him. 

At the conference I was talking the Presidents wife. Turns out that problem doesn't exist. I told her not to talk with him and that we would take care of it together. 

We got back to Pasto Friday at 1 in the morning. We slept in an hour longer because we were given permission! Then from that point on and the last three days we have not gone back to the house or taken any kind of rest and my companion has almost died. He goes to bed as soon as we get home. 

He asked me why we don't take breaks anymore. I told him that WE never did and that we did it for his back. Then I told him that I am not upset that he lied to me I just am gonna work and he has no choice now! 

Since then we have found an amazing family to teach that I love to death and that are super ready to keep going. They only have 2 lessons but I cant wait to teach them more! They have the cutest little  baby as well! 

We met a dude that is part of a Christian church that doesn't believe Christ was perfect. So that is something. 

Anyways, sounds like everything is going good over there! Please tell Grandma Reese I am getting her letters because I got another one and she said that no one has told her that I have gotten any! Love you all! 

Con Amor,
Elder Reese

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

God Does Have A Sense of Humor

Hey guys!
My companions name is Elder Acosta! Or Stinky Feet as some have been calling him.  (I told Hunter I couldn't remember his new companion's name)

My week was good! We found some new investigators and one of the old ones made some progress in her divorce! As soon as she is divorced she will get married again and we will baptize her and her husband! 

My companion used an example this week that I wasn't a huge fan of! It wasn't bad it was just a little awkward! 

We were teaching the Plan of Salvation and I had just explained that Adam and Eve were like children in the garden and that they needed to fall for our sake. 

My companion thought that it would be a good idea to share a little more so he asked her to imagine that I was Adam and that she was Eve. Then asked her how we would make children together. 

She then turned bright red and gave us the right answer anyways. I later told him that maybe we shouldn't use us in the example if he is going to use it!!! 

Yes I used to only eat potato pearls and without gravy. (We are cleaning out our storage room and found some potato pearls and I told Hunter they reminded me of him) That was all I would eat! They are better with gravy! 

You know I always suggested that we clean out the bonus room and that I should live in there and you all just laughed at me and now you get to do it without my help and your sick!! God does have a sense of humor sometimes!! 

I would love Grandpa Luckey's email! 

You wanted a little list of things to put in that Christmas package! 
An alpha smart would be great! 
A Triple combination in English! 
Some good cologne! Get opinions from outside sources first....(Who has better taste than his mom!?!)

I will add to that the next week but just buy what you would get me for Christmas

I hope all is well! Good job for sharing your testimony! As missionaries we do every fast Sunday! It is good practice! 

Love you all! 

Con Amor,
Elder Reese

Monday, October 2, 2017

I Happened To Be Present For All Of Conference...

Hey guys!
I happened to be present for all of conference so I did happen to hear that Elder Hales died . 

Conference was super great but before I get to that I will talk about my week! 

My new companion from Peru got here on Monday and we have had no problems other than the fact that everyday he just wears these steal toed work boots to proselyte and at night I want to die. The big problem is that he wears THE SAME SOCKS EVERYDAY. 

Luckily and through revelation Elder Carrion left this pet spray when he left and when my companion goes upstairs or something I drench his shoes in it. Also the room.

He is also very smart but he has a very low tolerance for people that say something wrong and he knows what is right. He has four out of six years in college down of biochemical engineering. 

As for other sad news. Elder Acosta came from my old zone and informed me that Arley Martinez my old ward mission leader from a previous are and also the husband of Luceny who we almost baptized was shot in the head and killed 3 weeks ago over his motorcycle.

He fought back and they shot him in front of his 11 year old daughter and his wife.

Obviously this is terrible but faith in Christ, like explained in conference, isn't always faith that he will save us here on earth. Saving means that he can take whoever he wants to live with him once again. Faith in Christ signifies faith in his perfect plan as well. 

As for my package just more treats and some cool ties that aren't super fat!! Also, some more cool tie tacks would be cool! I have started a trend here! I put them on my back pack and everyone started doing it! I want more! I will make a list this week for more things! 

As for your lesson mom. If you would like something interesting to speak about just read the miracles of Christ and his attributes. Also, a good story is with Ammon and how all he did was serve King Lamoni. He wanted to just live there and King Lamoni offered Ammon one of his daughters and he declined and asked to be his servant instead. He continued to serve very faithfully up until the conversion of King Lamoni and his wife. 

You could use the talk of Elder Eyring this conference as well to help support that story. I believe it was the Sunday session. 

Anyways, just a suggestion! Love you all!!! 

Con Amor,
Elder Reese




Tuesday, September 26, 2017

It Wasn't Super Amazing, It Was Just Super Fun!

Hey guys,
So this week was interesting. 

First of all, about transfers. I am staying in the same area but a new companion is coming that I know from Palmira that has a really hard time getting along with anyone. He is famous, but not like George Washington. Which means that I have to show president again that I can deal with adversity.

Also, we had a talent show and the district of missionaries wanted to do a dance of a few mixed songs. We all voted on songs and picked them and then I somehow got around to choreographing the whole thing...

The thing is that it wasn't super amazing, it was just super fun! I will try and get the video for you guys.

We taught this lesson this week to a girl we contacted who was waiting for her sisters to get home because she didn't have keys. We talked to her and then came back the next day. We taught about the restoration and we usually take turns explaining different points of it. I got to the part about Joseph Smith and the first vision. I recited the first vision and explained.


After the first vision she couldn't take her eyes off the picture of Joseph Smith. We moved on with the lesson as usual but I felt the spirit so strong testifying to her. 

At the end I asked if she had questions. She then told us that she and her family are very catholic and that she believes in all that catholic stuff. She then started to talk about how strange the Joseph Smith stuff was and how she wanted to say it wasn't true. But, somehow she said she couldn't say it. She couldn't speak the words. In that moment she knew she couldn't deny it. 

This was an awesome experience. There are so many times as missionaries that you feel the spirit so strong and then people just deny it and you feel so upset. But these moments make up for all the bad ones. 

Anyways, I will update you guys about my first week with Elder Acosta!! 

I hope the Meridian Temple goes off without a hitch!! Love you all!! 

Con Amor,

Elder Reese

Monday, September 18, 2017

All The Gangsters Say Hi To Us

Hey guys!
The package has arrived in Cali so I just need to take it out! 

I have gained a huge testimony of the temple since I haven't been able to go back! There should be no excuses for those members at home to go at least once a month because there are people here that have to ride a bus for 15 hours just to go and they do it. It is the only vacation that some people ever get to take during the year but they are so excited to do it! 

First of all I told you that he got baptized. (I told him about a kid he went to school with who got baptized and I didn't remember that) Second of all YOU know him because he played lacrosse with me! Also, the other stories were super cool! (I told him some missionary stories I heard this week) Sometimes I just like to say little scriptures in my head to motivate me. 

One thing that I love to do is contact. I have now learned how to put my personality in Spanish. Before it was hard because I was scared that I wouldn't know and all that but now I can do it! So that means that almost everyone accepts a lesson from us because I don't take no for an answer. 

I don't have any baptisms still but we are starting to find new investigators and some are progressing! 

This week this dude named Fosoforo told us that we didn't have to worry because he had our back and now all the gangsters say hi to us on the street!

Anyways, I love you guys!! Stay strong!! Oh and transfers are next week I don't think I am going anywhere but if I don't email that is why!! 

Con Amor,
Elder Reese

Monday, September 11, 2017

Don't Come For My Birthday, Please


Hey guys!
This week was interesting. 

My companion turned 20 on Saturday! I bought him lunch today and that made his chubby self happy. 

Here is the crazy thing. This investigator we have is super nice and loves us to death and she wanted to have us over for his birthday. We told her we wanted bbq ribs so she gladly bought them. 

Thursday she told us that she had a surprise for us. I had no idea and neither did my companion. 

Saturday we headed to her house and as we got closer to her door my companion stopped and didn't want to go any further. I asked him why and he pointed at the man at the door and said because that is my Dad!!!! 

It turns out that his Mom, Dad and sister all came down to see him for his birthday!

He wasn't happy either but it all worked out. They aren't members by the way. They didn't know better. Don't come here for my birthday please. (RUDE!)

I had English classes to teach this week on Friday and just with my luck this huge storm just started about thirty minutes. We stopped by the house and I grabbed my umbrella and he (his companion) laughed at me because I had an umbrella. I walked outside and after about five seconds he started running and screaming for me to hurry up because he was getting drenched. So I walked slowly with my silly umbrella. It also took 30 minutes to find a taxi.

No one went to the classes so that was great...

I played guitar at a baptism for the other missionaries to sing along. 

Other than that this week was great. It is kind of a rough area. Elder Vernaza was here and he used to tell me how he knocked every door here and in 12 weeks he didn't even have a baptismal date. Yay!

Anyways, love you guys! 

Con Amor,
Elder Reese
 
This is what Hunter had to say about the photographs he sent this week:
 
So here in Colombia it is very common to throw eggs and flour at the birthday boy or girl and my district did it to my companion. It was way worse before the picture, but no taxi would accept us til we made him presentable. The other is him with his birthday cake and the other is my favorite dish in Colombia. It is called a Picada. It consists of a whole bunch of different meats and potatoes. It was delicious! Enjoy! 


Monday, September 4, 2017

Don't Ask Hunter to Try New Things

Hey Guys!
First things first. I ordered a hamburger last Monday and it came with a sauce that it never comes with. I decided to take the high road and try new things. It wasn't that bad. 

Tuesday waking up with a fever of 102 and the worst head and body ache was the bad part. From Tuesday until now  I have had deadly diarrhea. I have pooped over 60 times in 6 days. 

Moral of the story is Hunter doesn't try new things, so don't ask Hunter to try new things.

Now that we got that out of the way. This week has been one of the harder ones due to the dashing to the house every hour to poop. Also, we went to Popayan Wednesday to go to a zone conference on Thursday

I felt decent Wednesday but we had to sleep on these air mattresses and my companion was not happy because he said he was longer and wider than the beds. We had to blow them up with our mouths as well. The best part was watching my companion wake up at 3 laying on the ground blowing it back up like I told him would happen! 

Bad part is I didn't sleep at all. And I got sick again in the conference and they just let me sleep; it was terrible. 

Other than that we are starting English classes for people to come to. That should be fun! 

Other than that I have nothing to report! My companion is doing fine. I love you guys! Stay strong! 

Con AMor,
Elder Reese

Monday, August 28, 2017

6 Months Down

Hey guys!
My baptism went well. We had to improvise because the clothes didn't fit but everything else went well! 

Li's mom is a very dedicated member of another church and L. was very scared to tell her about her baptism. I shared with her all the little things that could go wrong but then all the amazing things that could go right. 

Her mom showed up at the baptism and after the ordinance she bore her testimony thanking my companion for everything he did and then continued to speak about other things. I didn't expect her to say much about me because we have only known each other for 2 weeks. but, she came back and said that she didn't know how but I came into her life at the perfect moment to help her make this decision. 

As she finished, she was crying, her mother gave her a huge hug and kiss and was crying as well so it obviously touched her. 

I didn't get to see the eclipse but oh well there will be plenty of like 3d videos of it. 

It is a lot easier now (I asked him if he was getting used to the altitude). Last week when we played soccer I almost died it was terrible. I love playing soccer for the first time in a new zone because I can always act like I don't play and then I wait for the right moment to stop pretending and I always sneak one in. 

I am jealous that you guys get to help with the Meridian temple. I miss the temple. I am closer to the one in Guyacil in Ecador here in Pasto. 

By the way I always read your emails first mom and I always write you guys first. 

I am glad your lesson went well! 

And you obviously fell asleep (when I needed to be awake). You always tell us that whole resting your eyes junk when we rent movies and then like 2 months later when you wanna see it for the ¨First time¨ we always try to explain how we all already watched it. 

Anyways, this week was cool everyone is nice to me and listens to me for some odd reason. Whenever we are together and our district leader leaves he always puts me in charge (Can you believe it?!?) hahaha. 

Anyways I love you guys! 6 months down!! It goes fast here! Stay strong!

Con amor,
Elder Reese

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Getting to Know the Area

Hey guys!
I was figuring out how to get a video of Karinyas (Hunter's really good friend got her mission call this weekend) call!! I didn't read moms email because she is unable to withhold information but I knew I could trust dad! (RUDE!!!!!)

(And, she's going to ...) Brazil!! That is so cool! Just when I caught up with the dang Spanish!! 

So this week was all about getting to know the area and my investigators. My companion and his companion before didn't do hardly anything! Everyone keeps asking us were we have been! We did manage to get a baptism set for this Saturday though! Her name is L. B. and she is awesome! 

My area is all set on a hill! It is very tiring because the altitude is just a tad bit higher than normal (The altitude in Pasto is at about 8,300 feet; Middleton is about 2,300 feet)

Me and the district leader are about the only rule following people in our district! The others are great and all but it is hard when they aren't focused!

Anyways, everyone here is talking about this Eclipse as well apparently I will be able to see it! (I'm not sure if he meant he wouldn't be able to see it)

As for the ward, it is great! I am in a stake here in Pasto! The people are nice and there are a couple of returned missionaries so it is always fun to talk to them.

Thank you for sending me a package!! I am very grateful! I was thinking that for Christmas to save on the package you could send me money so I could buy a new suit. Everyone tells me it is a good thing to have two and that would be a perfect gift and they are cheaper here! 

Anyways not much else to report! Love you guys! Stay strong!!

Con Amor,
Elder Reese

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

New Area: Pasto

Hey guys!
So, it s Tuesday and there is a reason I a writing on  Tuesday. I got transferred to a zone called Pasto. It is actually a city. It is huge. It is the furthest south the mission goes. I am about 3 hours away from Ecuador. 

The thing is it took my whole P day to get here .It was like 11 hours on a bus. It was all through the mountains. Any one of the Legg boys would have needed to overdose on anti nausea medicine. 

My new companion is named Elder Carrion. He is from Ecuador and he has almost a year in the mission. He is different, but I like him. I am the senior companion, which doesn't mean a whole lot but its a step up! 

I said goodbye to Elder Vallenas which was rough but we are good friends! I came here with my friend from my old zone, Elder Sarnauski. He is cool and that made me feel a lot better. It has been a little hard but I am doing it! 

It is actually cold here. The thing is the temperature isn't very low but its a humid cold so it just eats through all your clothes. 

(I asked Hunter for a story for my lesson on Sunday) As for my story, F. V. is my 3rd convert here in the mission. He had listened to the Missionaries for over 3 years He came to church every Sunday and came to activities and was basically a member that wouldn't get baptized! 

We asked him how his study of the Book of Mormon was going. He then confessed that he hadn't been reading it. That is when we started only reading the Book of Mormon with him. We did that for a while but he wouldn't read it on his own

Then we had a family home evening. We invited him to it and it was at a members house. We had planned to share a certain video but it wouldn't work. I decided to share a different one. It is a very powerful talk by Jeffrey R Holland that you should show if you have time. He describes the importance of the Book of Mormon. 

F. V. was asked to say the closing prayer and he did but he was overcome by the spirit and ended it early and couldn't get up! 

We stopped by his house 2 days later and his daughter who is a member asked us about the family home evening. We told her and then she told us that he had started to read the Book of Mormon!! 

About 3 weeks after that he was baptized. He did everything else he was supposed to but he couldnt find the Gospel without the Book of Mormon. He waited 3 years to do what the missionaries tolf him to do the first lesson. 

Also, mom the introduction is a great thing to share as well. The last 2 paragraphs are cash. As well as Moroni 10 3-5.

Anyways I love you guys I should have more next week! 

Con Amor,
Elder Reese


Monday, August 7, 2017

The Spirit Goes Home at 9:30 and So Do Missionaries (even Elder Reese!)

Hey Guys!
So this week was interesting to say the least and a little bit of a downer.

First off, yes the zone leaders are still living with us and my companion is pretty stressed out. Me and him talk and laugh all day though!

I have a pretty cool story. We were walking home Thursday night and we have to enter the house before 9 30! We weren't really pushing for time but we didn't have very much to lose! Fairly close to our house there was a concert in the park. My companion asked me if we should go check it out and just pass by! I first said yes. We started walking there and then I decided we didn't have time and told him that the Spirit goes home at 9 30 so we should probably follow it! He agreed without argument. 

We walked in the house and we were putting our stuff down when we heard gunshots and screaming. There was a gunfight at that same concert and 3 people died. I know for a fact that somehow we would have been right there had we not changed our minds. It was a very uplifting experience! 

As for the baptism....yea that didn't happen. 

She had a problem with one of the questions in her interview. She had to have an interview with someone with the keys to do it. We did that Wednesday and she was happy and ready and felt way better! 

Thursday night before the baptism we passed by and her husband (who is a member and our ward mission leader) and her were happy and ready. 

The day of the baptism I got a phone call from the President of the relief society. She told me that they called the baptism off. There was a misunderstanding between her and her husband, so needless to say are trying to fix it! 

I also invited you to hangouts!

I wouldn't be surprised if that chair gives him back problems. It is from a garage sale not Office Depot. Also, he is old. (Bill's work chair is one I got at a garage sale and is causing him some back problems)

The introduction to the Book of Mormon is what we use a lot. There are promises in the last 2 paragraphs. It talks about what you need to do and what will happen if you do it. You will recieve a testimony of the Book of Mormon if you read it with a open heart! 

Next Sunday I will know if I am staying or going and Monday I will do my staying or going! 

As for my package. I would love an alpha smart that I mentioned (I'm still not sure what this is). I believe now there is one with applications. Don't get me that one I can't have it. Just a normal one! Hot Cheetos,Takis, jerky any other things you would like to send me! A lot of snacks! Tie tacks are always accepted as well as ties! 

Anyways, I love you guys! I am going to have to finish my emails later because this internet is closing! 

Con Amor,
Elder Reese


Monday, July 31, 2017

5 Months and I'm Doing Great!

Hey guys!
Yep I guess another month has passed by! That makes 5 and I am doing great!
I will have a baptism this Friday. She has been investigating the church since her husband was baptized in December and finally wants to do it herself! It is on Friday because that is her husbands birthday!
This week once again was strange. We are still living with the zone leaders which has its ups and downs. The problem is that they are pigs (Can you believe HUNTER is saying that!). Like I am all about not cleaning as much possible. But they take it to a whole new level! I just have to point something out and they usually take care of it.
We did a talent show this week! Us, the zone leaders, the sister missionaries, and a few people from the ward did a little skit. It was about what would happen if the angel arrived late to a lot of important things in the scriptures. If Abraham killed Isaac, and Laman and Lemuel killed Nephi, and Moroni never showed up in Joseph Smith's room. Guess who was Joseph Smith? The only white guy for miles. That's me. It was really cool! They all loved it!
Sounds like you had a good birthday Mom! I need to shoot Adam an email for Austin!
Sounds like you guys are enjoying your time with Madelyn as well! 

Our combined lesson this Sunday was very strange. The teacher chooses weird topics! It was about every office of the priesthood.
Hey, I learned that we have hangouts with our LDS mail accounts and we are allowed to use them, so if I have the email attached to your hangout accounts I can instant chat with you guys!
Anyways this week was great! I hope you are all doing great! Love you!
Con Amor,
Elder Reese

Monday, July 24, 2017

I Am So Tired It Is Nuts!

Hey Guys!
This week was strange to say the least. 

The zone leaders have been staying with us this whole week. I am so tired it is nuts. We can't help but stay up and talk and joke and what not. The problem is everything is in Spanish and I have to think just a little more to talk. 

I had my interviews with President and Hermana Whitesides on Tuesday last week. It was really good. I went in first with Hermana Whitesides. She knows English but we talked in Spanish the whole time! She said that she was amazed at my Spanish and that she couldn't believe it. She is so cool and very nice. 

I then talked with Presidente Whitesides in Spanish for about 15 minutes and it was a whole lot better! He asked about my family and me and everything I could think of. He is a great guy! 

It is hot here. I am kind of used to it but the problem is that it is really humid as well. 

As missionaries it is our job to make our investigators feel welcome and pair them up with someone. It is a big part of the church and of conversion. I know you might not cook a whole lot but maybe you could invite the missionaries over for dinner! Please do them a favor and buy pizza (RUDE) but I think they could be your friends! Any member that bought me pizza would be my friend.

I believe one of two things will happen to me in transfers. The zone leaders told me that I am going to get an assignment in the next transfer but I don't know if that means here or somewhere else!

OH!! I need to talk to Abby about this but I think she knows a return missionary here in Palmira. His name is Samuel Beltran. He served in Fresno California the same time she did. I haven't got a chance to meet him but I will Saturday

Anyways, all is well here I love you guys and stay strong!

Con Amor,
Elder Reese

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Welcome to Colombia

Hey guys!!
I have been thinking about Addi all week! It sounds like she came on a Wednesday? I counted really fast so its possible that I'm wrong I couldn't take my shoes off to count my toes!  

As for this week it was fairly eventful! We had divisiones with the zone leaders. They came to our house Wednesday night and slept on our extra mattresses! There are different kinds of divisiones  and they chose to do this because Dominos delivers to our house and not theirs! The hard thing is that we had to divide our area in half and visit people on one half. It was not easy! I was with Elder Castillo. He is also from Peru! Closer to Lima. Elder Vallenas  is from Cuzco. It is right by Machu Pitchu! 

Anyways that was fun and its always a long day because both of you think you need to show each other how good of a missionary you are so you do everything insanley fast. Elder Castillo   is like 6` 2¨ and a little round, but boy he walks so fast and he didn't have a clue where we were going!! 

We taught this lady the word of wisdom because she asked about it and when we were done she told us she had a problem with some of it. We asked her which parts and she picked  up the  flower pot on the table and tipped the flowers upside down and 3 bags of cocaine fell on the table. That was new! So we took them and flushed them down the toilet with her permission! Needless say we won't eat or drink anything from her house!

Also, this week we were in a taxi and we got pulled over by the police. They made us get out and they patted us down  and asked for our papers! Then we just talked to them while they made sure we werent criminals! I thought it was cool!

A new sister missionary arrived in our district and the sisters are now a trio! We thought it was a joke at first but then it wasn't. She didn't have a mattress so the zone leaders took one of ours! We had extras but still! They just put  it on the roof of a taxi and held on to it from inside the car: Welcome to Colombia!  

They then returned  to sleep with us last night because someone  tried to break into the sisters apartment so they switched houses for now!         

I have a baptism 4 of August

I have interviews with President and Sister Whitesides tomorrow so that will be my time to talk to them! And yes I can print them off! Also, transfers aren't for another 3 weeks!

I love you guys I hope all is well and thank you for the pictures she is adorable! Stay strong!

Con Amor, 
Elder Reese

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

New Mission President!

Hey guys!
Sorry I didn't send any pictures last week! My adaptor thing didn't work for some reason but I bought a new one! 

This week was pretty great! 

Wednesday, we had a family home evening scheduled as well as another disembargo! This time it was in the area of the zone leaders! They had every companion take over a part of their area. Me and Elder Vallenas went to an area and he wasn't really up for talking too much so I did it all. I would walk up to people and just talk and he would say his name and I would do the rest. I'm not complaining though! I love my companion. 

The family home evening was the best part. We got there and it was more of a scripture study session! It was at the house of the V family. F is an investigator of 3 years. We all talked and afterwards he was asked to share. He started talking and he is funny and then he started talking about how he knows he needs to be baptized and so he set a date for that Saturday!! His daughter and me both started crying! She has been a member for as long as he has investigated! This man was my very first appointment in the mission field. For some reason he wanted to be baptized! 

Thursday, we got to meet President and Sister Whitesides! They are very nice and suave cito! Me and an Elder Tingey left to go get some breakfast before it started and they were there!! It was pretty funny! 

Sister Whitesides is from Cali Colombia. President Whitesides came back after his mission and then they started writing and got married. He was some sort of accountant for the church and lived 9 years in Bogota, 3 years in Russia, and 3 years in Guatemala! They are great. Hermana Whitesides is very funny and also very spiritual! 

Saturday we had the baptism and it was great! Everything went well! Sunday he was finally confirmed a member of the church! 

I also met a guy that lived in New York for like 24 years and he loves talking English with me but his English is SOOOO hard to understand. I learned that my brain is hardwired to Spanish as well because I answered in Spanish without really trying. Also, all my dreams are in Spanish as well! 

I hope everything is going good! OH! I got one of Grandmas letters finally! I am going to write her back! Anyways stay strong family I love you all and I hope everyone is doing okay!

Con Amor,
Elder Reese

Monday, July 3, 2017

Somehow Missionaries Have All the Answers!

Hey guys!!
This week was pretty good. It was also not too good and I will tell you why!! 

We have investigators that are only available at night like 6 until 8. This week Every night we had some form of activity! I felt so bad there were so many investigators that we didn't get to see!! 

We had a desembargo on Tuesday. That pretty much just means our whole zone goes to one area to find new investigators for the missionaries in that area! It was cool. My companion went with Elder Cadena to a little more dangerous area. I went with Elder Lopez. He is so funny and one of he nicest guys. He is from Guatemala. He is also about 5 feet tall so I knew if something went wrong I could outrun his short strides. 

We had something Wednesday but I don't remember what it was. Thursday we had a family home evening with a lot of people! The message was a video and it was ANCIENT. I think I saw one of the prophets from the old testament. It was 30 minutes long. You know that thing I would do when I had to talk about something I knew nothing about but I would just pull something about of my butt and it wouldn't stink? Yea I do that in Spanish now. They ask our thoughts and we have to answer because somehow missionaries have all the answers! 

Saturday....WE HAD A BAPTISM!! She asked me to do the ordinance so I did. It went fantastic. She was so great. Her husband and her daughters all came and I think her husband will follow her footsteps and be baptized in the coming weeks. All the women brought something to cook. It looked like they all cooked vegetables and accidentally threw a piece or two of chicken in with it. You want to believe I ate it. You would be wrong. 

Sunday she was confirmed a member of the Church. After that she was the first one to bear her testimony. She said that she has always been a member of some church searching for the truth but never found it. One day she got down to pray for help from God and when she said amen there was a knock at her door. On the other side were some handsome missionaries. Elder Reese and Elder Vernaza. She was skeptical to let us un so she let her husband decide thinking he would say no. For some reason he said yes and she was surprised. She then invited us back. 

We were sent to her door. As missionaries we are sent everywhere we go but people have agency. We always have to remember that good 'ol agency that we love using so much. 

As for my mission president I will meet him on Thursday. We have another zone conference. I think I will love him! 

Yes mom I am eating okay. Dominoes is really cheap here! I am pretty sure you can send me clothes. I will ask Elder Robinson he is in charge over all that. My camera works great. 

Wait, who is the new Colonel? I'm assuming its your other boss! 

As for Dad drawing on that hunt, I legit waited 6 years for us to draw on that hunt. If you don't kill something that is gonna be a bummer and for the rest of our lives I'm just gonna say that if I was there I could have killed something! We have a baptism scheduled for August 4th

I got sick this week and so did my companion. It was quite terrible. But we are alive right now so its all good.

Also, dad I used my card in various places today. I had to buy a ball pump, lunch ( you will never believe what I ate and it was delicious) I think that is it. 

I love you guys stay strong and I will always be praying for you guys!

Con Amor,
Elder Reese

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Someone's Gotta Watch Their Kids!

Hey guys!!
My birthday was great! I actually forgot it was my birthday until my companion said something!! 

I have pictures I will show you!! 

So this week the president of our branch called and said ¨hey you guys have a day of freedom on Monday right?¨ 

We said ¨yes¨ 

¨oh great that works out perfectly because we have an activity Monday and we need your help!¨

¨Fantastic. What can we do?¨ 

¨All the adults are coming to learn about how to store food so someones gotta watch their kids¨

¨Okay....how long is the activity?¨

¨10 until 4¨

So that was pretty much what my p day consisted of today. They also popped my soccer that I bought. I didn't really care. We tried our best to entertain them!! 

As for the other days of the week nothing too extraordinary happened!! The sister missionaries called me tuesday night because they had a baptism this Saturday and they wanted me to baptize her! I said of course! 

I met her wednesday and Elder Vallenas gave her an interview for a little while. After the interview the sisters asked her who she would like to baptize her. As soon as they said that I knew It was going to go another direction. The sisters said that almost positive she would choose me. She chose my companion! I really didnt care I just knew she was going to be baptized by someone with the authority anf that is all I cared about!! 

I learned something cool from a return missionary here. She said that theres these things called alpha smarts that we are allowed to have in the mission. it is literally just a keyboard and a tiny black and white screen. It stores what you type and you can download it onto a usb and send it. I would like one. She said they arent very expensive and that way I can write during the week. 

Yes my investigator came to church and she will be baptized this Saturday!! WOOHOO!! 

I hope all is well and I totally didn't realize I had hit four months! only a couple more!! The new mission president arrives this week!! 

I love you guys and I hope all is well!

Con Amor,
Elder Reese

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

I All of a Sudden Understand!

Hey everyone!!!
Thank you for the happy birthdays!! I am excited to pass that milestone! 

I did share with my companion! Both of them actually! I have some stuff left! Thank you so much once again! (I sent some stuff in his birthday package for his companion)

As for this week! It was interesting. I all of a sudden just understood everything people say. It just kind of clicked! It was great. Elder Vallenas is a little quiet but he talks when he needs to teach and he talks to me a lot in the house and and when I talk to him. 

Yes the camera works! I haven't taken very many pictures because I am not in the habit hahaha. 

Our baptismal date for June 24th got pushed up to July 1st! She couldn't attend church so we couldn't baptize her this week. 

We have another one for August 4th. She wants to get baptized on her husbands birthday. Which is cool and all but why couldn't he have been born tomorrow or something cool like that? 

We had a zone conference today in the morning. It was really cool because I understood all the things they said. It was more of a goodbye to President and Sister Pricoli because we probably won't see them again. They will leave in the next 10 days or so. 

My companion told me one day this week that when he was training another Elder that Sister Pricoli told them they could rest of they needed to because this other Elder was in training. I could tell he wanted to rest but I just looked at him and said I wasn't tired and that we don't need to rest. It was a great feeling knowing that I had the opportunity to do something seemingly harmless but I knew I would rather teach people. 

I had no idea that the stuff inside my package were from other people as well! Tell your friend from work that I'm very thankful for what she did!! I will email Grandma too!

Elder Robison told me that a lot of times letters take a long time to get here and its kinda lame but its true.

If at all possible I would appreciate my blue suit jacket and my other pants! Also I really loved that john Bytheway track! Those are really cool!

Thank you so much for the happy birthday I love you all and I will talk to you next week!

Con Amor,
Elder Reese

(He sent pictures and this is what he said about them)
One of those was a failed attempt by my zone leader to hurry and press all the buttons in time! I am currently the only gringo in my district! What a treat!

Monday, June 12, 2017

He Got HIs Package!

Hey guys!
So this week was a little strange. I did get my package though and everything was in it. My camera, mp3, speaker, 4 bags of hot cheetos, 2 bags of jerky, 1 bag of jerky sticks, 2 things of pixie stix, goldfish, zone bars, smarties, fruit roll ups, my ring and necklace, and the three boxes of candy. 

Thank you so much it made me so happy! I am trying to make them all last! 

As for my week...Elder Vernaza got sick Monday night and stayed sick until Saturday morning. He kept going out though! Except for Thursday and Friday. I got to study a lot. I love that John Bytheway track it is very cool. It is really fun studying your scriptures in depth as a missionary! You can always think about the situations that you could use the scriptures you have! 

As for my letters from grandma I haven't seen a single one! I will have to ask the office about that and see if there is something special we need to do. 

My baptismal date got moved up to Saturday the 24th of June. She went to see family this Sunday and didn't attend church so we cant baptize her until then. 

Not much happened this week because Elder Vernaza was sick but it was still a good week.

Now, about transfers. Elder Vernaza got transferred to an area called Popoyan. I stayed in Prado where I have been. My new companion is Elder Vallenas from Peru! He speaks Spanish like a gringo because he has had a lot of gringo companions. A big trial has come into my life with this cambio. Wannna hear it?

So he arrived in Palmira and I took us to the house and then I said I needed to cut my hair so we got ready and left. While the dude was cutting my hair he was talking about a lot of church stuff and his opinion on things and I was staying with him pretty well. Elder Vallenas didn't say a whole lot but i figured it was fine. He told me earlier he has like 1 year and 2 months in the mission. After the haircut we were talking and he told me that he still doesn't understand everything people say!!!! I was like are you kidding me!! We are like two deacons short of a quorum here. I know that this is God saying I am about to have to learn how to step up my game.

He is very nice and a little quiet but I can fix that! He plays the guitar beautifully! It was hard to say goodbye to Elder Vernaza but it is part of the mission. 

I hope everyone is healthy and strong and being good. There is not a temple in my mission. I now know what it feels like to enter the temple and I don't know why anyone would decide not to go there regularly. Please try and make it a goal to go at least once a month or more!! I just know it will bless you guys! I love you all so much! Stay strong!

Con Amor,
Elder Reese

Saturday, June 10, 2017

No Package Yet!

Hey guys!
This week was good. Not a whole lot happened but it was still good. Every week is what you make it!

As for my package...no. I should get it this week on Thursday possibly Wednesday

I haven't ran into a lot of mosquitoes while I have been awake but they sure visit me at night dirty turds. It is rainy season here so they aren't as lively I don't think. 

As for investigators. In South America you almost always have investigators. I have another baptism the 17th of June. She is amazing. Her Book of Mormon is marked better than most members. I have another investigtor who has taken the discussions for 3 years and his baptism is very close. He finally started reading the Book of Mormon which is the reason for his dramatic change. We have some others but they aren't keeping all of their commitments.

I have heard a lot of different things about the new mission president and when he gets here so I don't really know when he gets here for sure. 

As for Grandmas letters...I have yet to receive a single one. So you might want to check with her on what address she is using and things like that.
 
As for new friends, yes mom, I always make friends with whoever I can! All the Elders are my friends and all my investigators as well. (I asked him if he was making any new friends)

Bishop Black emailed me so I can email him back through that! 

There is a series called The District where camera crews followed around missionaries. I have to watch it as part of my training. One of the sister missionaries on there had 2 months in her mission when her brother died. She said something that caught my attention that I really like. She said that there comes a point in everyone's life where they have to have God because they have nothing else. In our lives at some point, we will be in a place that only one person can go with us. That is God. Always remember that. 

Other than that it was a basic week. We have transfers next Sunday. I think Elder Vernaza will leave and I will get a new companion. I don't think I will go but you never know. If I don't email on Monday it is because I got transferred and I have a 14 hour bus ride somewhere. 

Anyways I love you all and stay faithful!
Con Amor,
Elder Reese

Monday, May 29, 2017

Teaching the Gospel

Hey Guys,
I didn't get my package and I probably won't get it until the following week! You only receive packages during interviews, transfers, and when the zone leaders go to Cali every beginning of the month. So they go to Cali next Wednesday which means that is when I will probably get it. 

As for this week it was good. We had some pretty cool experiences. That family that we figured out wasn't married, we taught them the law of chastity. It was good. Last night they told us that they are probably going to get married. They have lived together for 17 years and they are going to get married because we taught them that it was right. That makes me pretty happy. 

H F V has been taking the lessons for more than three years and comes to church every Sunday and prays and has lessons with us but he wouldn't read his Book of Mormon. We decided that all our lessons we were just going to read the Book of Mormon with him. Well we read the introduction that says all the things you should do to know it is true. Then the testimony of the three and 8 witnesses and part of Joseph Smiths testimony. He really livened up during that lesson.
 
Later that week we had a FHE with some members and some investigators. The video we wanted to show wouldn't work so we showed one on the Book of Mormon. He said the closing prayer and he couldn't finish the prayer because he was overcome with the Spirit.

A few days later we had a lesson with him. I was talking to his daughter, a member of 3 years, and she told me that he started reading his Book of Mormon. During that lesson he said that his baptism is very close. So tomorrow we are going to ask him to be baptized on the 10th of June

I also had to give a talk in church yesterday. It was on missionary work. Not for missionaries for members. The 12 apostles said that the role of full time missionaries is to simply help the warm members with the missionary work. As members we can do so much. Always remember that. 

Anyways, other than that it was a pretty normal week. I hope all is going well and tell Katelyn congratulations for me!

I am doing good and staying obedient! Love you guys! Until next week!

Con Amor,
Elder Reese

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

First Baptism

Hey guys
This week was awesome! We had my first baptism which was awesome!! 

AGL was baptized on Saturday. Her ex-husband was supposed to do it but he got sick the morning before so he couldn't. We didn't learn this until lunch the day of the baptism. I was talking to her on the phone and I told her she could choose any member with the authority or any of us two. She asked if we had the authority and I said yes and then she said okay then I choose you Elder Reese!! WOOHOO!! I felt so good. 

The baptism was at six and I had to go get clothes and what not. We called her at 6 because she wasn't there and she said she was coming. We had a lot of people there and we just showed the restoration video because she didn't show up until almost 7!! Anyways we had all the hymns and the talks and then we got into the water which was freezing! I was so worried it was gonna be cold for her. 

I told her to come in and she did. I forgot to say her name so I started over. In Spanish this is what I said AGL habiendo sido comisianado por Jesuacristo yo te bautizo en el nombre del Padre, y del hijo, y del Espiritu Santo amen. I dunked her and when she came up out of the water her gown was pretty much transparent and she didn't wear what we told her to underneath. So that was interesting.

Anyways she bought a cake for Elder Vernaza because she didn't know if he would transfer or not and his birthday is the 26th of May. He didn't transfer by the way and neither did I. It was so sweet. 

He confirmed her a member of the church yesterday and gave a powerful blessing. 

Also, yesterday we taught this lady named L and she asked for a blessing for her back. We had just taught her about the word of wisdom and she had a little bit of problem with coffee but said she would do it. During the blessing the spirit told me in a way that she needed to know if she followed the word of wisdom that her back would be healed. As soon as I felt that Elder Vernaza said it in the blessing. It was very powerful. 

As for my package I didn't get it. I should have but I didn't and I don't know why. I will have to call the office. I am bummed because I really wanted it!

Other than that I don't really have anything to report. I love you guys and I pray for you everyday! We will have more baptisms here soon! Stay true!

Con Amor,
Elder Reese

Monday, May 15, 2017

Blessings of the Priesthood

Hey Guys!
Thank you so much for the Skype call, it was awesome. I enjoyed seeing everyone and having some laughs! I have a lot of them here as well though. Me and Elder Vernaza are always laughing and making jokes. 

I hope you guys enjoyed my call. I didn't really know what to say. It is weird because I don't think you guys knew either so I just started talking. Elder Vernaza said dad has a cool beard and that he looks a little scary. I just laughed and said he really isn't and that a lot of people that don't know him say that. 

Elder Vernaza is a good boy mom and an amazing missionary (I told Hunter I thought his companion looked like a good boy). And yes there really was an accident yesterday (It was very loud where Hunter was calling from and we heard a crash and apparently there was really a crash), but nobody was seriously hurt so it is all good. Yes it was a real building with walls and yes it is usually pretty hectic. As for the baptism she gets to choose and she has time to choose. It isn't important to me because as long as she gets in the water and is fully immersed she will be clean regardless of the missionary who dunks her. She was a reference from the zone leaders. I can print stuff off here yes.  (Hunter and his companion are going to baptize an investigator and I asked him who was going to baptize her)

Anyways, I wasn't super homesick after the Skype call I was relieved. I just wanted to go work and as soon as we hit end and payed we were off to an appointment. We found out last night that the boyfriend of the sister of one of the members here was hit and killed by a car yesterday. That was hard because she just shut everyone out.

Anyways, I love you all and I am keeping my guitar so I can learn hymns mom (He found someone who makes guitars and got one). I am doing great I don't think that me or my companion will transfer this time. I hope you all stay strong. 

Before I go, I have an experience I want to share. We have this family called the R family. D is 16 and she has been having stomach problems the last two weeks. Finally we told her that we had that authority we had been talking about called the Priesthood and with that we have the privilege to give blessings to help those who are sick or afflicted. She said immediatly that she wanted a blessing. Her whole family was there and I sealed the oil first and then Elder Vernaza gave the blessing. When he started the blessing, the spirit started to manifest itself. As he continued I couldn't hold my hands still and I almost couldn't stand. He ended the blessing and she stood up with this strange look on her face. She said thank you. She said she feels better and knows that she won't have problems with it anymore. The important thing about this story is that it wasn't the words Elder Vernaza said. It was the fact that we have the power and authority and the gift of the Holy Ghost. As members of this church solely through our actions the Holy Ghost will do amazing things.

I will pray for Todd. That is a good reason to go to the temple by the way! 

Con Amor,
Elder Reese

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Mother's Day Call

Hey guys!
Sounds like you had a fun weekend! My week was pretty good and normal. 

The missionary work is going good. Me and Elder Vernaza are always ready to work. This week there a was a moment he didn't want to go talk to this guy because he was a little rough looking but I told him everything would be alright. The man was very nice and invited us in. God watches out for his missionaries! 

Yes dad we get the Liahona! In Spanish. So...I don't read it much yet.

As to Mothers day. I get to Skype on Sunday! Elder Vernaza is going first and I have to sit by him and babysit him and then he has to do the same for me. He will go at 4 our time and I will allow him to go until 5 30 but he might end early so be ready at 5 15 please. That way we can talk as long as possible.

No Mom, I have not had a transfer. Transfers are every 6 weeks and this is the start of week 5. We had our interviews with President and Hermana Pricoli for transfers though. They both said I speak Spanish like I have been out for a year. I think they say that to everyone though. 

No, members can't feed us. It is dangerous to eat a lot of stuff unless it is properly prepared. And I am having the time of my life in my own way. It is very rewarding.

During fast and testimony meeting a little girl named Vanessa who is the daughter of one of our investigators shared her testimony. She said that the missionaries came to her house this week and shared a scripture with her family. She said that it really meant a lot to her because she just wants her mom to be baptized so she can be with her forever. She is 10 years old. I will never forget the feeling I had at the moment. 

After that, I bore my testimony. I said that I know the church is true because even though my house and my ward is on the other side of the world I feel the same spirit, I partake of the same sacrament, and the priesthood is just as powerful. I know that is true and I love you all.

I will see you Sunday!! Email me your Skype name this week so I know what to call! Love you!

Con Amor,
Elder Reese

Monday, May 1, 2017

A Man With a Knife and an Earthquake

Hello Family and Friends

To answer your questions, I am about an hour from the Mission home, transfers are every 6 weeks and this one ends on the 21st of May, I think me and Elder Vernaza will be together for at least one more transfer, oh and I GET TO SKYPE ON THE 14TH OF MAY!! ON SUNDAY!, So don't forget. We have a lot of investigators very close to being ready! We have to wait on a couple of them because they have some problems that require an interview. Yes I am eating good mom I had Dominos twice this week, hahahaha. 

Anyways, this week was full of adventures! The first was on Wednesday while me and Elder Vernaza were getting 7 ups in a Panaderia and we were talking with the lady behind the counter and she gasped really loud and we turned around and these guys were yelling at each other and one of them was chasing the other. One dude had a knife and the other guy made a run for it and he lunged and barely missed him! So he cut his losses and stole the dudes bike and left. This was in the middle of the day by the way. It was all very slow. So mom don't worry, I can speed walk faster than that.

On Friday night I had a cool experience!! In the middle of the night I woke up to a very loud crash and the room kinda felt funny. I asked Elder Vernaza what was up but he was out cold. IT WAS AN EARTHQUAKE!! Do you know how cool that is?? I was so pumped! Still don't know what the noise was but all our neighbors are still alive so all is well. 

And yes dad I bought some stuff and I will probably need more just to buy somethings I need so put just some more money in there please. 

My Spanish is getting better, but I have a hard time understanding people. I can speak but not understand. This is a little problematic, but I will figure it out. 

This week was good and I am excited to see who we can get in the water soon! We have a family that really likes to hear me speak English even though they don't understand it. I don't know why but it is what it is. 

Thank you for doing all that I asked! I love you guys and I will see you soon! I will let you know next week what time to expect the Skype call! Stay true! 

Con Amor,
Elder Reese

Monday, April 24, 2017

20 New Investigators...

Hola Familia,
This week has been a little rough but awesome at the same time! My companion is in fact awesome and we have zero problems together. He is very laid back and so am I, so it all works out. President Pricoli is very quiet. He doesn't talk hardly at all but he is a good guy. We get a new mission President in June. His name is President Whiteside and I think he is from California. That is definitely something to look forward to. 

Mom, I am a missionary. If I didn't contact a single person in a week I should come home because I am not doing my job. (In my last email I asked Hunter if he had been able to get out and teach anyone or make any good contacts and this was his answer!)There is an expression in Spanish and it means to break your area or your mission. And me and Elder Vernaza definitely did that this week because we got 20 NEW INVESTIGATORS!!!! That is breaking Palmira. 

The city I am in is very nice. We have a huge mall within five minutes of walking so that is nice. I bought new shoes today because mine were terrible. My p-day shoes not my church shoes. The people are very nice. They all usually listen until the end and then say no or yes or whatever. 

My Spanish is getting better but it is definitely not perfect. Today is p-day obviously and I got some very sad news. Elder Lawrence decided to go home. He was one of the elders I was in the MTC with. This was actually very hard for me because we were in the same zone and I looked forward to seeing him every week. I am okay though I just pray for him and hope the best for him.

I need you to scan a copy of my patriarchal blessing to me. I can print it out here. Also, if you could mom, please write your conversion story for me. The feelings you had when dad baptized you and all that stuff. I have an investigator who is just the sweetest lady named Luceney Martinez. Her husband is a convert and an awesome one at that. I think that your story could help her. Also, I know you probably already sent my package but if you could put some specific songs on a USB for me and send them I would love that. This group called Anthem Lights has 2 hymn mash ups and I would like those. Also any Josh Groban and David Archuleta that is churchy. Also, if you got me a camera let me know next week because if not I'll buy one. 

I love you guys and I am always thinking about you!! I am doing good and I won't be making that return trip home until I can say I did it. Not I tried. Stay true. 

Con Amor,
Elder Reese

Monday, April 17, 2017

It's Hotter Here Than There...

HELLO EVERYONE, THIS IS HUNTER'S MOM, LYNN. BELOW IS THIS WEEK'S EMAIL FROM HUNTER AND HE SOUNDS OKAY, BUT I THINK HE NEEDS OUR SUPPORT. IF YOU CAN, PLEASE KEEP HIM IN YOUR PRAYERS AND MAYBE EVEN EMAIL HIM SOME WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT! I KNOW HE WILL APPRECIATE HEARING FROM YOU ALL!  THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Hola Family,
You know that place in the scriptures that you don't want to go to after you die? Yea its hotter here than it is there. My trainer's name is Elder Vernaza from Equador and his English is decent and we communicate very well. He is awesome!! I am in a place called Palmira in the Prado District.

From the time I  got to email last a lot has  happpened. We had our interviews with the President and he is very quiet.  After that we went to his house for lunch and  it was meatballs and rice and vegetables. I bet your crossing your fingers hoping I ate them. I definitley did not. Elder Lawrence fell asleep at the table though so I am ahead of the game. After that we had a lot of presentations and went to this really cool place overlooking Cali. The assistants to the president are Elders Rodriguez and Elder Soto . They are  awesome. Elder Soto is very funny and outgoing. I was standing next to him and he told me that he knew from my eyes that I would be an asistant eventually. I told him he was wrong but he just shook his head.

We  got Dominos that night and then we slept in the mission home. The next day we met our trainers and  left in the same bus to the train station. Elder Fryman had to say goodbye to me and Elder Lawrence there because me and Elder Lawrence are in the same zone. We took the bus and after that we got off and  split ways. I got all my stuff into our surprisingly big apartment  and then we left to go teach an investogator. Everyone we have run into is surprised by my Spanish.  

I could lie to you guys and say that it is so easy and I have never thought about going home but that's a lie.  We wake up at  6 30 and don't leave  until 1. The morning consists of  a lot of different things but  after we leave the house and walk the streets of Colombia am totally fine. I can do this. 

We have a lady ready to be baptized already and  I am pumped about that. On May 6.

About my package  please put some pictures in there! And if you're gonna give me another camera don't make it super cheap beacuse nobody has those. Please put a lot of snacks in there too! And make sure Grandma  Reese is sending letters to the mission office! I am having fun and I love you guys!  

Con amor,
Elder Reese

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

He Made It to Cali

I dont really have time to read any emails this is soley to say that I am alive and that I am here. This is my mission. As soon as I landed I felt more at home than ever in the past six weeks. It is all so green. I am sorry Dad I figured something like that happened but in about a month we will talk face to face and it will all be worth it. These missionaries are so awesome I cant wait to be like them. My goal is that eventually people look at me and say the same thing. That missionary in sacrament was sent to you Mom. I have no doubt about it. Everyone that was at the airport to recieve us was so impressed with my spanish and I am so proud because somewhere along the way I learned to work hard. I love you all and today is the start of the dunk count for Elder Reese in Cali and we are talking four digits here. Stay safe and stay true. 
Con Amor,
Elder Reese

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Last Week In the MTC

Hey Parents!!
I miss you guys and yes I got to watch conference live with everyone else and it was amazing. A few of the things I picked up are 
1) One person said that you should never stop loving someone for anything. That includes in your actions. When someone does something dumb you have to realize you do dumb things to because we all do. 
2) Read your Book of Mormon. President Monson spoke 3 times total. Twice it was the importance of the Book of Mormon. The other time it was being honest and having integrity.
3) This lady got up her name was Joy D Jones and she talked about how this little boy kept a promise with his sister because he said he would. Life is as simple as that. When you say your gonna do something you do it. There is no excuse for not following through unless there were certain circumstances. 

I really like that 70s talk as well. His name was Elder Costa and he said that the missionary that finally got to him was new and had limited Spanish. That is me in a week and probably for a few months. That really empowered me and gave me more hope. 

For my birthday I would like a cheap ipod shuffle or something with all the songs you can get. There is a group called Anthem Lights and they have some cool church songs and I am sure Brittany and Abby can help you with what would be cool. With that I want like a bluetooth speaker that you can charge rather than uses batteries. Also, more of my hair gel because I am almost out. It is the Paul Mitchell reformer with a red lid. You might have to go to the sports clips by Costco. Then any snacks you can think of. If you have any other ideas than by all means go ahead!

I have no idea where I will be stationed yet and I wont have a clue until I arrive at the mission home next Tuesday. I have no idea when my flight is and President said he has no idea how or if we will be able to call. Mom and Dad I would love to be able to talk to both of you at the same time but if not I will make sure to call you both separately if I can call at all. I know I leave early in the morning on Tuesday and that's all I know. Keep your phones on ring and I will try and call!

This week was very tense. Someone decided to steal 260 dollars out of the room of a Peruvian missionary who had worked a lot to save up that money. We had a huge meeting about it and President said the sooner that person returns that money the sooner God will forgive them. He also said that if that person doesnt return the money we wont be going to the temple becasue he will not allow an unclean thing to enter the house of the lord. Long story short it was not returned and I didnt get to go to the temple for the last time. We made the best of what we could! It is just saddening knowing that someone just sold their salvation for 260 dollars. Obviously there is still time but the longer they wait the harder it is! 

This week was great. I have had to be a leader this week because I am the only person of any authority on my floor. I have to be the bad guy alot but so be it. Our zone leader Elder Haynes told me after conference that every time I speak he feels the spirit and he just wanted to thank me for always sharing things. I will try again to get you some pictures mom! 

Anyone who reads this and didn't get a chance to watch conference or slept the whole time go do it. Before hand pray for answers and I know for a fact you will receive them. I love all of you and there are so many people that have helped shape who I am today. Keep in your hearts and your minds the words spoken this weekend. I love you all!
Con Amor,
Elder Reese