Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Getting ready for conference! September 26, 2011

Hey fam,
How`s everyone doing? Sounds like everything is normal in the Reid house (Well relatively.... when I left Josh definitely wasn`t going to homecoming dance`s, Adam wasn`t doing backflips on a wake-board, Justin wasn`t saying things like "kenady will look very nice, which is very nice for me", Brooke wasn`t taking casual weekend trips to park city and buying condos, oh yeah and Reese didn`t even exist!)

Everything is going well here, just getting geared up for General Conference! I`m excited to say the least. We already have two for sure baptismal dates for the 10th of October, Vilma and Edgardo. The zone is going to baptize a TON in October. Every area has people. Well I had a good experience the other day. When I was here before in Buena Vista, the whole six weeks we were visiting a family named Quinteros who were inactive for quite a while. The Dad served a mission here in El Salvador and the mom was even born into the church. For a lot of personal reasons, they had justified inactivating. Anyways, we went over there quite a bit and had some really good lessons with them and everytime thought that that week they would be going to church.. but never did. Very frustrating. Well when I came back, I found they there were active and going to church and activities and everything! We went over to their house and I said jokingly "How is it that I spend two months begging you guys to come to church, and then when I leave you start going?!" haha well the Dad explained that when I left ( I didn`t tell them that I was leaving) the family started saying hey why haven`t the missionaries been coming over? And I guess it started to bug them and really missed it. So he told me one day they were at home and the dad said "let`s go look for Elder Reid at the church". Well long story short they went to look for me to find out that I had left, but because they went to the church it ended up reactivating them. And now I`m back! So that was good to see and hear.

Well I now have a for sure date... November 25th.. the day after Thanksgiving. But at least we now know for sure! It`ll be good though, Thanksgiving day we will have interviews with president, we`ll go to the temple, and he`ll take us out to dinner. Well next Wednesday I`m turning 21! Pretty crazy. I`m starting to get a little stressed out about it all haha what am I gonna do?! Where do I work? What do I study? WHERE do I study? What do I do so I don`t freeze to death when I get home?

So how`s the ward doing? Justin says that the Besinger boy came home for New York, how did that all go for him? That is still pretty crazy to me. That`s sad about Kit`s friend... tell her I`m sorry. The other day our cook`s husband was watching footage and a little documentary about the war here... pretty brutal. Just a group of common men with machine guns fighting againts the military. The weirder part is that I recongnized a lot of the places and really nothing much has changed since then in terms of how the houses look and the streets and all that. I`ve never really known the story behind it all but I defintely want to read about it when I get home. It`s hard to gather information here from the people because half of them were on the side of the governement and the other half with the revolutionists.. so yeah they both have there side of the story haha.
Well other than that everything is good here. Still lots of rain! But still brutally hot. Love you all, thanks for everything, have a great week!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Great Multi Zone- September 19, 2011

Sister Glazier making pupusas

President and Sister Glazier

Hey guys, Well this week has been pretty good. On Tuesday we had the multi zone meeting with elder Martino, and it was really good. That guy`s a stud. He was coming down on everyone a bit for the lack of priesthood baptisms and ordinations to the Melchizedek priesthood, but they added on at the end that Zone Cuscatlán was actually doing pretty well in that category, so that was nice and made all of us in the zone feel pretty good haha. And then on Thursday we had a Zone leader Counsel meeting with Elder Martino as well. It was really cool because it was a lot more personal. Only about 14 missionaries, President and his wife, Elder Martino and his wife. We set some good goals for the mission and received a lot of good instruction. It was pretty funny/impressive to see Elder Martino`s wife there with him. They live in Guatemala and have for quite a while now, even though his wife barely speaks any Spanish at all. I can`t imagine having to be the wife of an authority of the church, who is assigned to Central America, following him around hearing nothing but Spanish all day (including whatever type of meeting or church meeting), and not understanding hardly anything or being able to chime in or express yourself. Now that`s a supportive wife! haha. Well general conference is coming up here soon. I`m way excited. When I get back we have to go to a live session of general conference in April! I love hearing those guys talk, and we`ve got them 15 minutes away! It`s pretty funny, whenever I tell members that I live close to Salt Lake, the first thing that they ask me is "have you ever been to a general conference?!" For a lot of them it is a life goal to see the Salt Lake temple and go to a general conference. Then a couple days later I turn 21... I liked your comment dad, "maybe you can splurge and have a coke". haha that wouldn't be too bad of a birthday present actually! But I guess I can`t wait a couple more months and enjoy it more on the plane haha. Speaking of which, they have been some difficulties in finding flights for the 24th... which I knew there would be... so it`s probable that I`ll come home a couple days earlier. But we`ll see, maybe they`ll just send me home a week later? I`ll keep you posted. I sent that card of today Mom, so let me know if you get it. Well everything is going well here, we should have a few baptisms coming up here in the next couple of weeks. We should be baptizing a man named Edgardo who is the husband of a less active member who we have recently activated. And a women named Vilma who about 4 weeks ago just showed up to church all by herself, and has gone every week since. She`s great. We had a mission activity in my ward on Thursday (independence day for El Salvador), and my stake president invited President Glazier. He actually showed up! haha him and his wife. Sister Glazier learned how to make pupusas, it was hilarious. She`s probably the nicest lady I have ever met! So yeah I`ll have to send you a picture of that. Other than that all is well en la tierra de El Salvador. Hope you all have a good week!!! love you. Nick

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Stake Conference, September 12, 2011

Dear Fam, Hey guys how`s everybody doing? Sounds like another normal week at the Reid house. This week went pretty well, yesterday was stake conference which was really good. All great speakers: The temple president and his wife, President Glazier and his wife, first counseler of the stake presidency, Elder Martino (the seventy) and the stake President Menjivar. He`s a stud, best stake president that I have had my whole mission, and really young too. He will without a doubt soon be a mission president. Elder Martino always does an awesome job and is good at knowing the needs of the people, motivating them, and telling them what they need to hear. We were able to take quite a few investigadors as well. We took a family named Peraza, whose dad does all the maintanance for all the church pianos in the whole country! He just happens to live in my area and I found him a couple weeks ago knocking doors. Really nice family, and pretty well off. So that was good that they showed up! Tomorrow we have the Multi Zone, and some elders and sisters from my zone will be singing "Nearer my God to Thee". There was a baptism on Saturday so to practice we all sang that song at the baptism. Right after the song a sister was assigned to give a talk and had to take about 5 minutes to compose herself so she could talk haha, she said "I don`t think there can be a dry eye in the croud hearing that song sung so beautifully by God`s angels". So that was nice. It just so happens that President Glazier and his wife went to the baptism as well, and they said they definitely approve the song for the Multi zone haha. Although I just found out that because of time conflicts with Elder Martino there will just be two multi zones for the whole mission, so that means we will be singing for half the mission! Freak!!!
So how has the weather been lately? I remember you guys telling me that it has been extremely hot.. has it calmed down at all? Starting to feel like fall at all? Fall and Spring are definitely the best times of the year. Hey so guess what I just found out? Dad operated on the Grandpa of a sister that is in my zone just a few weeks ago! Her last name is Jones. I don`t know if that is the last name of the man that dad operated on but I think so. She was the sister that went to buena vista when they took my out, and last transfer we had the same cook so we ate with them everyday. Small world huh?! I jokingly told her that she totally owes me because my dad saved her grandpas life haha.
This thursday we have a zone leaders meeting with Elder Martino.... and now that a lot of the zones only have one zone leader that means it`s going to be like 12 of us missionaries with president and Elder Martino... yikes. haha, no I'm excited though it`ll be awesome I`m sure. Well I have some cool pictures Im going to send to you guys so I better go. Love you all, thanks for all your support! Have a great week! Nick

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

September 5, last transfer!

How`s it going guys? Well another week flown by. As you know, we had changes on Wednesday, aaaaand once again President decided to throw me a curve ball. I got the call Tuesday night that my companion would be staying in the area to receive his new companion and that I was going to be moved back to Buena Vista. Can you believe it? One change and I`m back haha. I was excited though because I really like this ward and it will be good to end the mission here. Well they also told me that I would now be the only Zone Leader for the zone. They changed it so that now some of the zones only have one zone leader with a normal companion instead of a companionship of zone leaders. So I am now alone with 18 missionaries... fun huh! This has probably been one of the weirdest and busiest weeks of the mission having to do everything by myself and get into a new area and all of that. My companion is named Elder Orellana from San Pedro Sula, Honduras. He only has three months in mission. I think that is kind of the whole point of the whole one zone leader thing, helping train missionaries who President sees as future leaders. He`s a good kid and we get along pretty well. The reason that they changed me back to Buena Vista is that a hand full of members called President complaining to him saying the area is too dangerous to have sister missionaries and that they shouldn't be there. But it`s fine though I`m up for ending here with Elder Orellana, it`ll be good! We had a zone meeting on Friday which was good. There are two brand new missionaries in the zone now, including a sister from Hurricane Utah. Amy`s land! Well after the meeting she said she had a few questions for me so I was talking to her about some stuff and all of the sudden she started crying. She truly thinks she is never going to learn the language. She was saying "Elder I don`t understand a single word anybody is saying" (on top of that her trainer is from Guatemala and doesn`t speak a word of English). On top of that she is just absolutely in culture shock here. She was telling about how she thought some things were so weird or dangerous or dirty here (things that I felt were totally normal) ha but thinking about it I decided, hmmm... I guess that isn`t like that in the States is it? So just all in all she wants to go home.She said "I just don`t feel good, I just can`t stop dwelling on the fact that I have 16 more months of this." I thought about something Dad said in a tape in the first package that you guys sent me here in the country. He said things are probably pretty tough right now, but you just have to realize and remember that you are not going to feel like this the whole mission. This isn`t how the who mission is going to be. That is very true, so I told her that as well. So everybody is kinda looking after her right now and trying to help. We are all going to go to a pizza hut today to try and cheer her up. haha Believe me... it works.

Well this week one of the girls in my ward got married, and had the reception in the church. Guess who I saw? My cook from Soyapango! It was way good to see them, I took a picture so I`ll have to send it to you. When I was just about to leave from there she told me that she was pregnant, and now she is huuuuge and about to have the baby! So weird. Time flies. Well in about a week and a half we are going to have a multi zone meeting with Elder Martino, one of the area seventies. The assistants called me last night saying that President wanted me to pick 8 people in the zone to sing a special hymn in the meeting. So this week I have to pick 8, pick a hymn, practice it will everybody, and have it ready to sing for five zones and Elder Martino next week... freeeak.

Well other than that everything is going well, we have quite a few investigators here in the area, including quite a few people that I had left for the sisters that still haven`t been baptized, so I`m hoping to get a few of them dipped here pretty soon. Love you all hope you have a great week!!!!!!

August 29th, back to the grind

Hey fam,
Well another week flown by. Without a doubt this has been the fastest transfer of my whole mission. We have transfers on Wednesday. I already know that my companion is going to be leaving, which means I will very likely be staying in my area and probably finish my mission here. There are a lot of good people and we are having success so I would be fine with that it ends up happening. So it´s very probable that the companion that I receive on Wednesday will be the companion that I end the mission with... WEIRD. I´m still convinced that it isn´t going to end.

Well this weekend we baptized two future missionaries! On Saturday we baptized a kid named César, whose family is a recent convert of about a month and a half. They are all great and have progressed a ton in the church in the short time that they have been in the church. Anyways, it was cool because his dad was able to baptize him (although he had to do it three times) haha. The mom spoke at the baptism and said crying that if you would have told her a year ago that her whole family would be in the church doing what they are now doing and the changes they have made, she wouldn´t have believed it for a second. Pretty cool. And then the next day, Sunday, we baptized another young man named Mario Alexander, whose cousin is also a recent convert. He´s hilarious and a stud. He kinda pulled a fast one on us though.. he lives with his aunt and uncle and his mom is always working so I had actually never met her, just the aunt and uncle. Anyways we went to do the baptismal interview and to fill out his baptismal record; he passed and everything was good. He said that in that moment his mom wasn´t there to sign the record because is in under 18 years old. So I just left it with him and told him to give it to his mom when she had some free time. I came back and he had it signed and said that his mom is excited for him and totally fine. Well the morning of the baptism I called him to remind him we were going to come by to pick him up, and his cousin the recent convert answered and said "um Mario´s mom wants to talk to you guys, I don't think she wants him to get baptized." This was about two hours before his baptism. Supposedly Mario just had his uncle sign it and really hadn´t told his much about it at all... and when she found out she was not happy to say the least. So we went over to do some damage control and try and convince his mom to let him get baptized that day. When I walked in Mario´s cousin Rita just said "good luck", and I was like you just watch I promise you she is going to let us.... and Rita just laughed and said "you don´t know her like I do... I highly doubt it she lets it happen". Well we went in, worked some charm, through out a few scriptures, made her see the future of her son, told Mario in front of her that he needs to have better communication with his mom, and 25 minutes later we had the paper sign and the mom excited and willing to support him. I wish I could have taken a picture a picture of Rita´s face when I told her the baptism was still on, haha oh ye of little faith!!!!!! So I will send you a picture of the baptisms.

On a little bit of sadder note, my first Bishop in Porvenir was shot the other day. He was on his motorcycle with his son collecting money for the business he works for when I guy came out of nowhere and asked for all the money he had on him. He gave it to him without question (all the money of his work, have in mind), and then the guy asked for his cell phone. He said that he didn´t have it on him, and without thinking twice the guy pulled out his gun and shot him in the stomach. The bullet entered his stomach, came out the back of his leg, and grazed the leg of his son on the back. They just operated on him yesterday and looks like he´s gonna be alright. There are some evil people in this country. I don´t know if you guys had heard or if I had told you about it before, but here in my area they was a huge tragedy about a year ago. Look it up on the internet. Just try putting "Bus burned in Mejicanos El Salvador" and see if it comes up. If you can´t find it let me know and I´ll tell you about it. The worst thing that has happen while I've been here. Those people are just sick in head, they have to be. Satan has them completely dominated.

Well everything else is going well, just enjoy the time here. I had my buddy in the office confirm for me that President is going to send us home on Thanksgiving day, so that´s still on. Oh yeah I almost forgot! The other day I ran into Sister Zelada, remember her? My first cook in porvenir? Well she invited us to have lunch on Saturday cause my house is like five minutes away from hers. So we went! It was way cool to go back there and see a little bit of my first area and where I used to live and eat and all that. Her son has grown a ton!!!!!! Anyways so that was way fun, love that women.
Well that´s about it, I have quite a few pictures to send so I better go. Love you all thanks for everything! hope you have a great week!

August 22nd, Temple Dedication

August 22nd:
Well, I´ve got a whole lot that I could say this week so we´ll see if I can even scratch the surface of the experiences of this past weekend. On Friday, my mission along with the Santa Ana/Belize mission had a special meeting with President Eyring, and Elder Christofferson. There present as well were Elder Martino, Elder Amado, and Elder Falabella from the quorum of the seventy. I can´t even begin to describe how it felt to be in the same room as all of those men and see them interact. When we first got there, we had to wait a bit for the members of the seventy to arrive, and a bit longer for President Eyring and Elder Christofferson. While we were waiting for the latter two, Elder Martino and Elder Amado spoke to us. Elder Martino talked about how we always need to ask first to be able to receive. He made the example of the first vision, later with the revelation concerning baptism, and later the revelation concerning the kingdoms of glory. All cases in which they asked God before recieving. He applied that to us missionaries and our investigators. He then spoke of how can we expect our investigators to stop doing things so difficult like drinking, smoking, law of chastity ect. if we don´t complete with our responsibilities or if we aren't obedient ourselves. Elder Amado then spoke for a bit and said something I liked. He said "what is seen, touched, and heard doesn't count and doesn't matter. What matters is what is felt." He then spoke a bit about the organization and responsibilities that members of the 70, quorum of the 12, and first presidency hold. He spoke about how great a privilege it was that we were going to have the privilege of hearing from President Eyring. Well the moment arrived and President Eyring and Elder Christofferson arrived with their wives. Even their presence was very powerful, everyone was just watching them! A choir from the other mission sang "divina luz" or "lead kindly light". It was actually really good! Then Elder Eyring got up and spoke with the help of a translator. He started off commented that his ride on the way here was quite interesting, that "The people here are great, quite aggressive on the streets!" He said he had a police escort in front of them and that a few people decided to get out of the way, and others decided to get behind them and just join the parade haha. He then began saying he was with President Monson just a few hours earlier, and that he sends his love. he said "he really wanted to be here, and this weekend is his Birthday! That only comes around once a year and of all places he wanted to be here was with you. He sends his love." He said they were having to deal with some difficult things. That often members of the 12 will come to him in the weekly meetings that they hold with big problems, often very sad and complicated. He said President Monson will often listen respectfully, wait for them to finish and finally just say "things will work out" with a smile. He said that is the exact same attitude that President Hinckley had, and the same attitude we can have; we just need to have faith. And that for us as missionaries the faith that God truly called us. He went on to explain the process of assigning a missionary a mission call, and how it was different for every apostle. He explained how he receives revelation through a map, that´s what helps him. At the end of the process it is very clear where the missionary needs to go. He said through this process, he has been able to feel and understand how perfectly and personally god knows each and every one of us. He knows our fears, our weakness, our strengths, and most of all our potential. He said through this process he must not look at the picture of the missionary as how he seems or appears, but (choking back tears) how god sees him. He said, "he knows our name. He knows us perfectly. And that is manifest in your mission calling." He then asked Elder Walker (70 in charge of temples) and Elder Christofferson to bear their testimonies. Elder Walker made the comment that there could not be a better time to be a missionary in El Salvador than right now. That´s the truth!

Elder Christofferson then spoke (in really good Spanish) and said we often forget to express our thanks to those who serve us and to those whom we serve with, " So thank you". He said that sometimes he thinks of Peter and what he would say looking at our times. He said he would say something like, "man, if I had planes, cars, telephones, internet and TV I would have converted the whole world in 10 months!" haha. He said he feels good working with us missionaries side by side, and that he hopes with feel the same. He also aid,"It doesn´t matter what anybody else thinks or says... this is the truth."

President Eyring got up and spoke again. He said our greatest testimony must be that Jesus is the Christ, and that we should testify of that most often. He counseled us to go to the Book of Mormon often in profound and sincere prayer, and promised if we do that our testimonies of Christ will increase deeply and profoundly. He said "Be true witlessness of Jesus Christ. It is more than just saying it; it is feeling that as your are obedient, dedicate yourselves, and live the Gospel, you will notice you will begin to change. You will be a living witness that the atonement of Jesus Christ has the power to change even our very nature. That we will no longer desire to do evil, but to do good continually, and begin to reach our potential." What a humble man. I don´t know anyone like him. I wanted to write everything down that he was saying but I eventually just had to stop and listen to what he was saying and enjoy the spirit that was there. It was an experience I´ll never forget!

Then Saturday was the cultural event and we watched it at the stake center. Sitting next to me was a Sister missionary from my zone that is from here El Salvador. It was cool to see her get emotional and cry druing much of the presentation. All the young men and women participated in the culurtal even and every stake and a special segment where they danced a national dance. It was pretty sweet and everybody loved it.
Then finally yesterday was the temple dedication! There were 3 sessions, and we saw all 3 in the stake center. In each session there was a choir, 3 or 4 speakers, and the dedicatory prayer given by President Eyring. He spoke in the first and last sessions. He did great in both occasions despite the inconvenience of having a translator having to interrupt every sentence. I especially enjoyed his talk in the last session. He spoke of the blessing of the temple and a few personal experiences of grandchildren that had passed away as little children and the blessing they have in greeting the celestial kingdom thanks to the atonement. Many spoke of of how the members of the church used to have to travel to Arizona to go to the temple, then Mexico, then Guatemala, and now the long awaited day of having one in El Salvador.

Sylvia Allred who is from here spoke in the second session. She moved to the states when she was like 9, which is quite clear because she doesn´t have a accent from El Salvador at all haha. I can´t remember all that was said by President Eyring, but I do know that the spirit was strong and it was clear that he is a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator. In the dedicatory prayer, he specifically prayed for the missionaries and the work here. Hearing that and knowing it was specifically directed towards me was something very special and touching. I guarantee there will be a noticeable increase in success in the mission because of that prayer. He blessed the temple especially with protection from those who desire to do it harm, or evil ones you attempt to enter.. Much needed for this country! He prayed for peace and opportunity of the country. The whole country is going to be blessed because of the temple, no doubt about that. All in all it was a great end to a weekend that I´ll never forget!

My ears have gotten quite a bit better. It was funny I talked to the area doctor and was telling me how they wanted to give me IV´s and he was like. "Giving IV´s for an ear infection is like tossing an atomic bomb to kill ants. I don´t know what it is about Latin doctors, but they love to overdo everything. It´s how they sell themselves to the people." haha kind of a funny guy. Well I better go but love you all thanks for everything I hope you have a great week!
Love Nick