Monday, December 26, 2011

Dec. 26, 2011

Dear everyone,

It was wonderful to get to talk to all of the family yesterday. I'm super
excited to see you next week. Can you believe that? 18 months is up. Just like
that. Weird.

So for those of you not on the phone call, I'll give you a brief update of
the week. Stormy, our 15 year old investigator who was supposed to be baptized
on Saturday, spent most of this last week with her Grandma. While she was
there, the grandma, and uncles and aunts did a pretty good job of persuading her
not to get baptized, so she called us on Tuesday and told us that she wasn't
comfortable, and that she didn't really want to meet with us anymore. It was
really frustrating. I was pretty upset for a while. The agency of some people
really drives me crazy! Some day it'll come around to them. And I know that
Stormy will eventually get baptized. The other news we have is good. Our other
investigator, Brother Hamner, the one with the language issue, (I hope I told
you about that...) told us this last week that, after 40 years of investigating
the church, he's willing to be baptized. He won't set a date, but he asked us
to meet with him every day. he seems to be in a rush. Which I'm hoping means
that he's secretly planning on getting baptized on Saturday. that would be
pretty cool. If not, he'll be baptized soon after he I leave. He's progressing
soooo fast. It's amazing.

That pretty much sums it up for the news this week. This is my last real
P-day, so this is it, I guess.

The last 18 months have been amazing. And wonderful. And hard. And
incredible. And life changing. There's no way to really describe what I'm
feeling about this finally being over. I've learned so much about the
importance of the gospel, and the plan of salvation, and the Savior's role in
that Plan. I especially have an understanding of the Savior's role in my life.
I understand the Atonement as it applies to me. Not just as it applies to my
sins, but also as it applies to my life: the joy and sorrow as well as the sins
and forgiveness. It's something I don't think I could have learned as well or
as fast if I hadn't done this. My mission was a chance for me to share the
gospel, yes. But also a chance for me to know my savior in a way I never could
have if I hadn't come. And I know that most people go on their missions when
they're younger. But if I'd gone when I was 21, I wouldn't have been ready for
this. I have no regrets about why I'm here, when I came, or what I've done
here. I've worked hard. Taught hard. Cried hard. Prayed hard. And I've
learned who I am. I know that I still have much to learn. And a lot to
experience. Lots of good stuff and lots of hard stuff still. But, because of
my experiences on my mission, I know that I can make it through anything,
because I already have, and the Savior will be there with me through all of it,
because He already has.

I KNOW the gospel is true.

~Sister Reid

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Dec. 19, 2011

Hello everyone.

This week was great, and also not great. :)

We started out the week by visiting a ton of less actives in our ward.
We're trying to meet as many of them as we can, especially the families that
have non members in them. Tuesday we got A LOT of rejection. And it was
tough. It's always tough when people say no. But it's especially hard when you
get rejected by people who were once active members of the church. And when
they're rude, it just makes it that much harder. So Tuesday was a sad day for
us. And then Tuesday night I got a wammy of a head cold that kind of just came
on so fast. So Wednesday we stayed home and I slept for most of the day. It
was way nice, and it helped speed my recovery, I'm sure, because I was almost
completely better by friday. So Thursday and Friday we went out to work and had
a few great lessons with Stormy, Denise, and Rick. All of them are progressing
really well. Stormy is still moving towards getting baptized on the 31st, which
is awesome. We're planning on having Denise be ready for baptism in early
February, and Rick should be ready some time after that. He's dragging his
feet. He knows he needs to be baptized, and he knows it will happen, he's just
having a rough time committing to it. So we're continuing to work with him, and
he should be all set soon. :)

Saturday was the best day of my mission, maybe. I got to attend the temple
with Hieu Ngynn. She was one of my converts in Antelope, my first area. It was
like the perfect book end for my mission. I got to see Hieu making eternal
covenants that will help her enter the celestial kingdom. It was awesome. I
hope that I get to do it again - many more times. It'll be of course after I go
home, but I'll just have to deal with that, I guess. Lots of road trips to
northern cali! I'll be looking for navigators, if anyone wants to sign up?

So this is the second to last email that I'll send from my mission... I
don't have time today to tell you everything that I want to, but next week, look
for something epic. :)

I sure love you all. I'm so grateful for every prayer, thought, letter,
and package I've received. You're all the best! I can't wait to talk to you in
person again! It's going to be so great!

Love, Sister Reid

Dec. 12, 2011

Hiya! I hope you all had a fantastic week! Because I sure did. We did a
lot of work this week, although not much to show for it. We spent most of the
week trying to get to know more of the ward. We did a lot of service, which,
around here, means that the elders split a lot of wood. Everyone has
woodburning stoves and that's how they heat their houses. Most people won't let
Sister Tubbs and I near an axe... So we rake the leaves instead. Which there a
A LOT of them. With oak and cherry and pine trees EVERYWHERE, there's a lot of
raking to do. So we spent many hours this week doing that. It was a good
thing, though, because almost everyone we raked leaves for came to church. So
it was a succesful way to spend our time. We'll probably be doing much of the
same for the next several weeks... until it snows, that is. :)

We had a great success story with our youngest investigator, Stormy. I
don't remember how much I told you about her. Her entire family was baptized a
few months ago, except her, because she wasn't living with them at the time.
She's fifteen. We met with the family to get to know them, and the mom asked us
to spend some time with Stormy now that she's moved back home. She thought that
Stormy might bond better with us than with the Elders. So we did two weeks ago,
and picked her up as an investigator. We've met with her several times this
last week and on Tuesday, when we taught her the Plan of Salvation, we also
committed her to be baptized on December 31st, and she said yes! So one more
time, I get to participate in a baptism! Yay!

One other really interesting thing happened this week. I got a call from
President Weston on Friday night, informing me that one of my first converts,
Hieu Ngyn (pronounced Hew Winn), is going through the temple to recieve her
endowments. And she wants me to come. President asked me a few questions about
what we have planned that day, and then gave me permission to go. So this
saturday, I get to go to the temple to be there when one of my converts goes
through the temple. YAY!!! I'm so excited I can hardly stand it! It'll be a
super special occasion that I'll never forget, and I'm looking forward to being
able to tell you all about it next week.

That's pretty much it for this week. Just gearing up for christmas. We
have one week left of real work, and then it's the week of christmas, which is
pretty hard to work in, if I remember right from last year. Plus, next week, we
have Santa Run, and then Christmas Eve, and then the week after that is New
Year's Eve and then New Year's and then I'm coming home. We're super close!!!
So crazy!

Anyways, I've got to go! I love you all. I can't wait to talk to you next
week! YIKES!!!

Love, Sister Reid

Dec 5, 2011

Hello everybody! I hope you had a splendid week. Mine was pretty good. Not
much to complain about really. We had a few canceled appointments, and some
setbacks with a few of our investigators, but we also had some pretty good
success too. We were able to pick up three new investigators this last weekend,
which was way fun. It started on Friday with some service. The elders have
been doing service for a woman named Denise for months. We finally asked her on
friday how she met the church and what she knew about it. She opened up and
told us how much she loves the church and how much she likes what we teach. She
said that she'd even attended sacrament meeting a few times. So we asked her if
she'd ever met with missionaries before. When she said no, we asked her if
she'd like to meet with us and she got really excited about that. So we have an
appointment with her on Wednesday. We're really excited to see where this one
goes. :)
We also met with a part member recent convert family. The whole family
were all baptized a few months ago except the 15 year old daughter, Stormy. She
wasn't living with the family at the time. So we invited her to take the
lessons and she is really prepared and ready. She came to church yesterday and
really liked it. So things should progress pretty quickly with Stormy.
We also picked up an older man named Rick. His wife is an active member,
and Rick attends church with her fairly regularly. He knows that he needs to be
baptized, he just has been ready to make the commitment yet. But when he called
us and asked us for an appointment, we got pretty excited. At the actual
lesson, we talked a lot about faith and prayer. Rick had a pretty major stroke
about a year ago, so communicating with him is kind of hard. About 25% of the
words that he says, mostly nouns and verbs, are complete gibberish. But it
makes the lessons interesting. :)
That's pretty much it for the news of this week. Except that on Friday, in
the mail, I received my trunky papers... It's a packet of information about
going home, which is why it's called trunky papers, because they make you
trunky. There's lots of questions about goals and what your plans are after the
mission, that you're supposed to fill out and bring with you to your final
interview with the president. And it included my plane ticket. Yikes. My
mission is almost over! So crazy!
Anyway. That's about it for me. I can't wait till next week so I can hear
from all of you! Love you!!
~Sister Reid

Nov 28, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving! Okay, so I'm a little late. But I hope that you all
had a great weekend. Mine was pretty awesome. My new companion, Sister Tubbs,
and I moved up to Paradise on Tuesday afternoon. We met all the other sisters
that were transfering up to the north just before we left. It was really cool
because all of my ex-comps that are still in the mission were there. It was way
fun to see them all before we moved up to Paradise.

Originally, we were supposed to be living in the same apartment as the
Elders had been, but the missionaries realized that the house where they lived
was owned and shared by a single man. So on Monday night they did a lot of
scrambling. The district leader and his companion moved out of their house and
into the place where we were supposed to be. We took over the district leader's
place for a week and a half, until our new apartment is ready. So we've been
staying with a wonderful couple named the Reeves. The house is beautiful, just
like all of Paradise. And the room where we stay has two queen size beds. It's
pretty awesome. We love it a lot, and we'll be sad to move on Thursday. We'll
be moving in with a member of the stake presidency and his wife. We haven't met
them yet, because they live in a different ward, but it's not far from our ward
boundaries, so it should be cool. We heard that they're really excited to have
us living with them.

Now, as for the area itself. It's a beautiful little town, population
about 22,000. It's way up in the mountains, so there's lots of hills and curves
in the streets. The area is COVERED in TALLLLL pine trees. It honestly feels
like a really huge campground, except that instead of tents, it's million dollar
homes. And also lots of RV parks. :) There's no wallmart, but there is a
McDonalds and a Taco Bell. So we're not too far outside of civilazation. The
members are really cool, although they're mostly older. We do have a few
younger families in the ward. I think the Primary has 15 or so kids. We cover
about 1/3rd of Paradise and 1/2 of an even smaller town further north called
Magalia. Our district is part of the Chico zone, which is the big city about 30
minutes west of us. I feel like I'm back in Colusa, kind of. A small town in
the middle of nowhere, but this time, there are other missonaries around, so
things are better here. Plus the members are excited to do missionary work.

It was tough to do much work over the holiday weekend becuase so many
people were out of town, or they were here with tons of extra family around.
But we've met three of the investigators so far. One family, the Leroys, are
really ready. The mom is a reactivating member, and the dad, Chad, is the one
we're teaching. They have 3 kids, Riley who is nine, Malachi who is six, and
Lorelei who is 3. They're a way sweet family. Chad has been meeting with
missionaries for a few months now. He was really skeptical about having
sisters, but he warmed up to us right away. He's really close to committing to
being baptized, and when he does, so will his son Riley. The other investigator
we met is named Amanda. We didn't really get a chance to talk to her much, but
she's excited to be taught by sisters. The notes that elders left us said that
she was pretty close to committing too. So we're excited for all of that.

Most of this last week has been filled with trying to get everything
settled. But we did manage to visit a few of the members and set up some
appointments for the coming week. We have some excellent prospects of picking
up some new investigators who are part member families, and we have a lot of
people to visit that ward council has asked us to see this week. So it's going
to be great. I'm way excited to be here.

That's pretty much it for me. I can't wait to hear from all of you next
week. :)

Love, Sister Reid