Sunday, June 27, 2010

It's the Eye of the Tiger......

Hello all!

Thanks for the e-mails Mom and Dad!  And thanks for sending some pics!!  That was way super fun to see them! Looks like everything was way pretty and it looks like it was a gorgeous day for a wedding!!  I loved all the pictures, but I laughed out loud when I saw the one of Shon and Dayton.  Haha.... I MISS YOU!!

This week was eventful!  We had a great Zone Conference with lots of insights and good reminders.  We talked a lot about giving commitments and following up on them.  Also, the Assistants talked a lot about inviting people to baptism.  We should not be afraid to mention baptism early in lessons, and extending the commitment.  The important thing is that baptism is the gate to eternal life, and these people are Heavenly Father's children and He wants them to return to live with Him.  We, as missionaries, can help them prepare to enter into this covenant with God and head on their way to eternal life with Him.  It powered me up and got me excited to go out there and do it!

We had a meeting set up with Maria (the one who's husband died) that day, and I just felt like we needed to invite her to be baptized.  We planned out a powerful lesson, and when we went to meet with her, she was not home!  But we called her and set up an appt for the next day.  We gave her the lesson and she soaked it all in.  We talked about baptism throughout.  She was already baptized in the Provoslavic Church, so she didn't understand why she needed to be baptized again.  We again explained that baptism needs to be by the right authority, and she started to understand.  She told us that she knows the Book of Mormon is true!  She commited to praying to know whether she needs to get baptized again... whether it's necessary or not.  She will find out when God answers.  That is the only way we can know these eternal truths; through prayer and asking our Heavenly Father if they are true.

We have been helping this woman fix up her new apartment that she just bought.  We have already torn wallpaper off of walls, scraped walls, and measured and applied new wallpaper.  I can tell you that when you are stressed, tearing wallpaper off of walls will do the trick.  Anything minorly destructive..haha.  So it's been fun to help her.  Sadly, while we were there, her cat peed on my bag.  I noticed when I lifted the handle and it was drenched and stenched.  hah.  That's what I get for leaving it on the floor.  :)

I was also a "nursery mommy" this past Sunday.  :)  We taught the primary kids because we had ward conference.  It was crazy, but way fun.  There are the CUTEST kids in the branch... once I get a camera, I'll take some pics.  :)  I played "airplane" with this little boy.  To play, you stand behind the fan while it's going.  haha.  And that means you're in a plane.  We were actually going to Egypt.  :)

Dad- you should just talk to those guys from the Czech Republic with a british accent.  Hahahahaha.  That would be cool for them, and fun for you!  :)  But yeah, for those who haven't been around Americans, it is hard for them to adjust to the accent, I've noticed.  The people I teach there (at English Club) have been going so long that they have an American accent already, but I have come in contact with some who speak with a british accent... it's pretty funny.  :)
That's way cool that you're doing a family history class!  I want to do that when I get home.. I finally woke up and really saw the importance of it once I've been here.  People here want to do it, but it's hard because that site is all in English.  I wonder if there's a way to get it in Russian.  But good job!  Way to go!
Thanks for the verse.  That is a really good reminder.  And it's amazing to me to think of how specific you can be when you pray.  I think that it shows faith when we ask for more things and more things in specific.  Kinds shows that we know that God can do anything.
I hope you have a WONDERFUL week! I love you very much!!  :)

Mom- I'm glad that Grandpa Harr is recovering well!  That's great news!  I think of them every time I show their picture to someone from my album. :)
Wow Mom I can totally relate to you with the judging thing.  I have the same problem!  We're human and it's so hard to be perfectly charitable and think that everyone has the best intentions and no one would ever do anything wrong... or wrong towards us.  The one thing I've noticed since being here on a mission is that a mission = a time that Heavenly Father shows you how much you stink.  hah.  But in a different sense too.  A mission = a time that Heavenly Father shows you how much you can be closer and more like Him.  But I think that's possible even not on a mission.  I can tell you that I have come to know God and Jesus Christ so much more as I've read the scriptures and seen how they act.  How God acts with His children in love and in teaching.  How Christ is our ultimate example of love and charity.  I think that one of the best ways to learn how to be more like them (and that's our goal, right?) is to read the scriptures, just like you are doing.  And then when we read those things, we have a responsibility to follow through and apply it in our lives.  How would Christ act in a situation from what we've read about Him?  Prayer is a powerful tool too when we are trying to overcome anything.  I KNOW that God answers our prayers.  He knows what we are struggling with, and when we have righteous desires, He is always willing to help us accomplish them.  I don't know if that helps, but I love you and I know that you are amazing.  I hope you are feeling better- I still haven't heard anything.....?

I love you all very much and I hope you all stay happy!  Thank you for your love and support- it means everything!!
Smiles and laughter are contagious!  Try to spread it and brighten someone else up. :) :)

Sister Reed  :)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Jesus Wants me for a Sunbeam!

Hello my Lovely Family!!

Thanks so much for the letters!!  Man, I got a LOT this time around again....!!  That's so cool because I heard that after a certain time on your mission people start to forget you...and you get less letters.  Haha!  Makes sense, but I'm glad it's not happening yet!

I really appreciate all your prayers for me... this week started off hard, but ended out super great.  Heavenly Father blessed me with peace and I know it's from your prayers.  :)  Thank you.

So this half-week was pretty good.  Just doing work and living life here!  Nothing too new has happened since I wrote on Sat.  English Club has been fun, but it's hard!  These people have a bigger vocab than I do sometimes!  It's an English lesson for me as well when I'm trying to explain what a word means, like the difference between "mood" and "attitude."  Haha.  But it's cool.  I have to be really creative.  Yesterday we talked about the difference between careers in Russia and America.  I actually told them about your job, Dad, and they were pretty impressed.  A job in the field of law is very prestigious here.  And it's pretty dang sweet in America, too!  You know something weird?  In Russia being a doctor is a really CRUMMY job.  You don't barely get paid at all.  They don't have to go to school for very long either to be a doctor, so that could be part of the reason.  But I think that's funny.  And also they were telling me that if you did bad in school and you just want to quit, you can buy an insta-diploma.  Crazy, huh??  I was amazed at that.

Well besides that, not much is new.  It is still sooooo hot.  But I hear it's getting hot too there!  Fun fun!!

Mom- Go you!  You are so great- I'm excited to hear how your programs are going.  Keep me updated on that, ok?  By the way, how is your arm/neck/head?  Getting any better?  I hope so!  I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!  P.s.- I will print out that article and read it.  That's pretty awesome!!  p.p.s.- Remember that one show with the people doing stupid stuff?  Whiteout of splashout or something?  Funny!

Dad- Way to go in being a squirrel-rescuer!  Thanks for the pic of the squirrel, BTW.  Hehe.  Awesome.  Keep up the great work.. you are awesome!  I LOVE YOU TONS!!!

Well have a super wonderful week!!  I love you all very much!  Stay happy!!!  :)

The church is true!  :)

Sister Reed

Sunday, June 13, 2010

It's More than a feelin'.......

Hello!  I was SO glad to receive e-mails from everyone today!!!  I love you all so much!

It sounds like you all had a fun week!  Happy Birthday to Joslyn!  The pictures look like it was fun, and she looks super cute!  She's getting really big!  And looks like a lot of people came!
OH, and I got my Birthday package!!!!  THANK YOU!!!!!  I LOVED it!  You know me so well, and just what to send me!  :)  I loved all the cards from everyone, too.  Thanks so much for all of that!  You're the best!!!

I'm sorry this is so late in the week- we went to Novo on P-Day this week.  I'll tell you the story.  It has been a bitter-sweet week.

So on Tuesday we went to Novosibirsk because Elder Richard G Scott from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came to speak to church members!  Members from surrounding cities came to see him speak!  Unfortunentely the members from Irkutsk and Ulan-Ude couldn't make it because it's so far away.  :(  But it was really neat, and a really cool experience for the members.  He did a question-answer sort of thing with them.  And we were part of a choir that performed for everyone which was cool.  Then on Wed, we had our own seperate meeting with him!  At the beginning of our meeting, we all got to go up and shake his hand and tell him our names.  That was so super cool!  It was a great experience.  During the meeting, he talked a lot about us staying strong and active in the church after our missions.  He told us to make the choice right now to do that.  It was interesting how strongly he inforced it.  President Paul- the Area President came and spoke too.  He spoke a lot about not giving up on our investigators, and what to do when they reject a commitment invitation.  It was good to hear with us because of Svetlana.  We had a new strength to continue working hard with her.

It was also really cool because I got to see almost all the sisters from our mission there- including my trainer Sis Gorlova!  She only has one transfer left which is crazy.  And all the other sisters are great fun and it was cool talking to them.

So it was a pretty good time in Novo.  That Birthday package was my tender mercy. I also got a couple beautiful wedding announcements- one from Shon and Kimberlee :)  and one from Blayre!  So that was cool!

Mom- I'm so proud of you.  You're always doing things to try to be better.  And I really hope this works out for you.  I think you're amazing, and I pray for you that you will find the answers and help you are looking for!  I love you!!  Thanks for the insights, by the way.  That thing is pretty much gone.  :)  Thank you so much for your prayers.  They do work!  I know when God gives me peace, that it is from you :)

Dad- Sounds like you had an ...interesting time at the over-night camp thingy!  I bet he really appreciated that you were there.  You are so great.  Always trying to do things for other people.  You're a wonderful example of that.  Thank you so much for your love and support and prayers.  I do feel them in my life.  And they help so much.  :)  I love you!!

Have a wonderful week everyone!!  Tell G-ma thanks for the beautiful cards, I loved them.  :)  And tell G-ma Reed Hello!  :)

Pray for me, please, ok?  Thank you.  :)

I love you!!!!!

Sister Reed

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeealing Waters Wooooooah (haha)

Hello everyone!!  It's interesting to hear that it's been rainy there.  It has here too a bit.  It's kind of nice though because one day (don't remember which) it was super hot outside.  Then it rained for a bit and I got cooled off.  Then the sun came out and dried me off.  Haha.  It was super nice! 

Well this week was pretty cool.  A couple of really cool stories! 
First, we went looking for this inactive woman on Sunday.  Her name is Nonna.  We found her and she let us in.  We talked for a bit and she said that she's been a member for about 5 years, but inactive for about 2.  She said that she has depression and you can tell.  The energy really does get sucked out in her apt. and her presence.  It was pretty bad, and you could tell that she was just having a really hard time.  We talked some more and she said that she didn't want to come to church because she couldn't/wouldn't pay tithing and didn't want to take the sacrament unworthily.  She didn't want anyone to look at her and judge her.  After some more discussing, I got his prompting to share 1 Nephi 3:7 with her.  I explained how God doesn't ask us to do things without giving us a way to fulfill it- like paying tithing or keeping the sabbath day by coming to sacrament.  She stared at her scriptures for a long time and was just really thinking about it.  The spirit was really strong in the room.  It was a very neat experience and I know that our meeting helped her at least a little.  We will be working with her and trying to help her become active again.  I could feel God's love for her, and I have faith that if we follow the spirit, we can do what it takes to help her.

Second story: We had a first meeting with this lady yesterday and we had planned to talk about the plan of salvation with her.  Her husband died a few months ago, and she had started to drink.  But I know that she was sober when we talked with her.  She LOVED the things we talked to her about.  And she loved when we read from the Book of Mormon.  She is so ready and excited to hear more.  She enjoyed when we talked about how she and her husband could be together not only until death, but for eternity.  Heavenly Father had prepared her in her life to be ready to listen to and accept the restored gospel.  I feel that the death of her husband was sort of the topping- she is yearning for spiritual truth and upliftment to help her through this time.  It was such a cool expereince!  I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father is using us as His instruments to help His children come back to Him!

So I'm sorry I didn't answer all of your questions, but I love you all and am so happy that you're a part of my life!  :)

Dad- You're awesome and I love you!  I hope that I can get to know more about what you do at work and become familiar with that part of your life.  And I hope that you have the opportunity to ride your motorcycle soon!  :)

Mom- You are the best!!  Thanks for all you do and I hope you feel better so so soon!  I pray that you and the doctors can figure out what needs to be done to help you feel better!  :)  And I pray that you will keep your neck and not get it cut off!  :) :)

Aunt Barbara- Thanks so so much for your e-mail!  I'll be writing you soon!  I love you!!

Have a great week!  I love you!!  :)

Sister Reed :)