Monday, November 25, 2013

Letter 11/25/1013

Family and Friends,

I hope you are all having a wonderful week, I had a wonderful week, and we are expecting another busy week coming up. We gave two investigators dates to be baptized, both of them the 21 of December. We also have another two people we want to set a date for baptism probably the 14 of december. Hopefully we can get that done this week as well. We had exchanges this week, that just means that my companion as District Leaders goes with one of the Zone Leaders, and the other Zone leaders comes to our area, and works with me for the day. It was a really wonderful experience, and I learned a lot. The two biggest things I learned was First: Silence, silence is a good, and beautiful thing. After asking a question, or during the right part in a lesson you can let the silence come, and let the person you are teaching think, at first it might seem a little awkward but it is after that silence that the person really shares what their heart is thinking. It is really a great experince. Second: Promise blessings, as a missionary, and a representative of the Lord, Jesus Christ, we have the power and the right to promise blessings, I have been doing that, and promising blessings to my investigators that if they obey the commandments, pray, or read the scriptures they will recieve blessings. But as a missionary, I learned, That we can promise powerful, direct, and specific blessings. (Based on the fact that I am promising blessings that I feel through the Holy Ghost are correct.) It sounds a bit strange, but it is something that missionarys, can and should do.
As I said it has been a wonderful week, but also a busy one. We have had many moments of, How are we going to get all of this done? We arrived late to more then one appointment because we just didnt have enough time in our schedules. But we are seeing the fruits of our efforts.
On a more temporal note I am not so sick anymore, I have gotten over the worst of the stomach sickness. But I also got bit by one of the spiders that I am pretty certain was looking for revenge from me killing his buddy with the torch, but it is pretty nasty. We have kindly named all of the spiders in our pench "guapo".
I hope you are all doing great. I love you all, and my prayers are with you.
Elder Mason Paul Reid

Monday, November 18, 2013

Letter 11/18/2103

What a wonderful week!!

Me and my Companion have been working really hard, and doing our best. We are having a good time while doing it. I am loving it more and more every day.
I read two talks that I read earlier in my mission, but I reread them this week, and they hit me pretty hard, and I have been doing my best to apply it in my life. The first is about Missionary work and The Atonement by Jeffrey R. Holland, The other is The Infinite Power of Hope by Dieter F. Uchtdorf. Both are such good talks. I re-learned that Before I can expect our investigators to be baptized they have to first find faith, and repent for their sins. Then they can be baptized. As a missionary, I have to make sure all my investigators understand the importance of those first two steps. The talk about hope was also very inspiring. It talked about the relationship between hope, faith, and charity. Hope is what keep us happy, what keeps us going even when times are rough.

As missionaries, we try to do our best, we try to teach the best we can, and we try to follow the spirit, but in the end we have to have hope that Christ is going to do the rest. And when we see that he has, we need to give thanks. The talk from Holland also talked about why conversion is so hard, it talked about the fact the conversion is so hard, because the gospel is not cheap. Christ payed his life for this gospel, and in order for us to be converted we will probably have to spend a little bit of our life in the garden of Gethsemane or on the road to Calvary. As a Missionary it is reassuring, that when we are having a hard time that we are just following in the footsteps of Christ.
On a less deep note, we have had a wonderful week. We had 120 People at church as opposed to the 80 that are normally there. The whole ward was pretty excited about that. It is so wonderful to see the change in people as they come to Christ. I went and bought a mosquito net for my Bed, which is SO wonderful. If anything I have learned to appreciate the little things. Like, having a mosquito net, so now I can sleep without worrying about getting destroyed by the mosquito's! We have had quite a few police in our area lately. They have really started to beef up the police presence here to try to combat the drugs, and the violence. Our bus got stopped on our way to lunch and got searched by two police men looking for someone. Me and my companion thought that was pretty funny, it was our first time experiencing that. I'm still feeling a little sick, but I think I have gotten through the worst of it.
All in all a really good week. We have worked a lot, and our schedule was full, we ended up running to appointments this week in order to make it to all of them. And this week looks like it might be just as busy. It really is a blessing to be in such a wonderful area. I hope all of you are doing well.
Elder Mason Paul Reid
Alma 7:24

You still can't get me off a motorcycle

Monday, November 11, 2013

Letter 11/11/2013

Family and Friends!

I hope you are all doing well this week, as for me I am doing wonderful. Me and Elder B. have been working our butts of, and walking our shoes off, but I am enjoying it. I have always been a strong believer in working hard, but it is a whole different story when you have Christ on your side, and he is helping you every step of the way. I know he is always there.

So I thought I would start out this letter talking a little bit about the random stuff. First things first. Me and my companion have both gotten stomach sick in a bad way, we are hoping we didn't drink or eat something that was bad for us. We have been eating a lot with members, and investigators, so we are hoping it is not anything our body's can't handle. A funny thing: In america, I am normal sized, maybe a little bit bigger, but here...well I am enormous  I am known as Elder Grande (big) or Elder Gigante (gigantic), They told me that usually they are worried about the missionaries walking the streets but they aren't so worried about me. Although I did have a member yell at me for wearing my watch, told me I would get robbed. It seems like every Elder ends up getting robbed at least once on their mission. But I guess a 6 foot, 200 pound person is less likely to be robbed. By the way all you people out there hoping I am fat (Mom, Dad, Koral, Yellie, etc) The 200 Pounds is actually not fat, we walk a bunch, and do exercises at the church! So your dream will not be coming true. I do love facturas, THEY ARE SO GOOD. One more random fact: So in Virginia I was told that I looked like Bill Clinton, Here I have been told I look like Emmet from Twilight (whoever the heck that is) and I also look like Clark Kent. I am liking the Clark Kent the most.

So in our companionship we have been trying to really balance our work, as much as we are working to find people to baptize, we do a lot of work with people who have been baptized, and have fallen away. I am a strong believer in bringing back those sheep that have strayed. I have made it one of my major personal focuses. We also have been doing a lot of contacts, trying to talk to as many people as we possibly can.
A funny story about that: So normally to contact someone we have to really try, and go out of our way to contact. But yesterday we had just finished eating lunch at a members, we were a little late getting out, and we had to hustle cause we had an appointment we had to get too. So we where fast walking down the street trying to get to our next appointment and two drunk guys yell at us and tell us to come over, we did our best to tell them that we would come back and talk, but we had to go. But we couldn't escape, so we talked and listened to the two drunk people as they laughed and staggered through a conversation. (they where so drunk) we finished and kept walking. So we continued on and just one more block we got stopped again, this person just wanted to know a little bit more, so we gave them our number and got there address, and tried to get out. That was 3 people that contacted US! That never happens! So we kept walking, and we hear ¡¡Chicos!! ¡Tengo una pregunta! I was amazed, that was 4 people, and we where already late, this just doesn't happen. So we stopped, and this guy was actually really a legitimate contact, he really wanted to know, We actually have a time set up to meet with him again. I am very excited. We ended up being late to our appointment, but it was worth it. We had a good laugh about the whole thing.

That is about it from Elder Reid for this week, I am doing wonderful and enjoying the work of the Lord.

I will also attach a photo of me killing a spider we named Guapo (Handsome) He was a very very big spider, we decided to kill him in a manner that made the other spiders think twice about living in our Pench. (By the Way the ceiling is cement)

Elder Mason Paul Reid
1 Corinthians 2:9

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

First week in Argentina 11/05/2013


Well I finally made it. I am here in Argentina, I am serving in Rosario, in a part called Villa Galvez. For those of you who don't know Villa stands for Ghetto. I am living in an apartment (Pench) of four. One of the Elders is being transferred out this transfer and he will be replaced by an Elder From Columbia. The other Elder is from Mexico. Neither one of them speak English, so its just me and my yankee Companion Elder B. Elder B. is such a good guy. We are starting to really get some work done. We made a vision for what we wanted to see happen in our area within this next transfer. We are heading in a good direction. I love it. 

Argentina: Well Argentina might be on the same earth as America, but it is a different World! There are so many things that are way different, and I have honestly had to do a lot of adjusting. It was a little difficult at first. I had to do quite a bit of praying. But God has answered my prayers and has helped me out so much with coming to love this new place.
Things that are different:
Wild Dogs are Everywhere
Motorcycles are as common as the wild dogs
No one knows how to drive, especially people on the motorcycles
Castellano is a lot different then spanish (even though it is spanish)
My Pench (apartment) I have to fill up the water I am going to use to shower in a bucket.
The thing to warm up said water is broken, COLD SHOWERS!
Before if we didnt unplug the water heater upper it would shock you!
I have 22 Mosquito bites
The houses that people live in are really poor, sometimes just made out of metal sheets.

Those are just some of the things that are different. If it sounds like I am complaining, I really am not. I love it!! I love the weirdness. I love the ghetto, I love Argentina. The people are wonderful. Everyone here knows us as "The elders" Even if they have never heard about the church. My Spanish is improving, but I have to adjust to the way people speak here. Even though my Companion is the only person who I could speak English to, we usually speak Spanish anyways.

I know this church is true, we have been working hard, and doing a lot of praying and have ran into a lot of people that we have high hopes for. The nice thing about not having a car is that you get the opportunity to talk to a lot more people. Although a lot of the people are very poor, and are so much different, it is amazing how unifying the church is. I can say that even from this side of the equator the church is still true. And I have the opportunity to share it with people.

This is not his area but it looks very similar to his area. 

 This is a picture of his house. They have 4 Elder's living there.

  This is what he showers with. They fill this up with water and then it's supposed to heat for warm showers. But, like Mason said before it broke so he is showering in cold showers. 

  Mason and his mission president and wife. The Giuliani's.

A few things Elder Reid wrote to me that he didn't include in his blog.

-He has learned to appreciate the little things and that so far being there has really put a lot of things into perspective.

-His apartment is considered average for the area. It's not really nice but it's not the worst either.

- For the most of the week he was still getting accustomed to everything and not doing a lot of tracting. He said that they didn't have very many investigators to start out with in this area, so they are now just trying to get contact people.

-They do a lot of street contacting, and they don't knock doors. Instead, they just clap outside peoples houses. Sometimes because their door is behind a fence, and other times just because that is what they do there.