Sunday, January 4, 2015

Welcome Home Hermana Reid

Relying on the Lord and His Spirit

Homecoming Talk: Relying on the Lord and His Spirit

In my last area in Spain, I served about 10 minutes outside of Barcelona. It is a beautiful city known for its culture and traditions. One very well-known tradition is that of building human towers. A large group of people stands on the ground as a base in order to support the participants of the tower. One by one, the participants climb on the shoulders of one another to complete a second and third level of people until all are completed. Participants are to climb quickly and smoothly in order to maintain balance and to put minimal strain on the lower levels who naturally bear most of the weight. One by one the tower grows until they are 6 or sometimes even 7 levels high. Finally, the last to climb up is a small child that can’t be older than about 4 or 5. His goal is to climb up to the very top, as quickly as he can, and when he arrives at his position, he raises his arm, signaling that the tower is complete so that they can quickly disassemble. He then races down the other side, tightly holding on to his teammates as he slides down and all disassemble layer by layer. Being on a team like that takes lots of practice and coordination among participants. For the young boy climbing to the top, he relies heavily on his teammates. As he climbs up each level, he needs them to be completely firm so that he can swiftly make it to his own position. Any misstep or loss of balance within the group would make it much more difficult for the last participant to reach his position successfully. As he climbs, his dependency on his teammates is vital for their success.

In a very real sense, just like the small boy climbing to the top, each one of us is provided with that kind of support in our lives. Over two thousand years ago, our Heavenly Father gave all of His children the greatest gift in the history of the world, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. We are promised support and strength at all times in our lives through the guidance and protection of His spirit and the cleansing and healing power that comes from trusting in His Atonement.

However, sometimes we feel like we don’t get the kind of support that’s promised to us. We find ourselves in moments of despair, feeling as though no one understands us or is there to help us. We find ourselves searching for answers, yearning to feel that peace and comfort that seems to come so easily to those around us, and at times we even begin to question our faith. Throughout my mission I learned how to more fully rely on the Lord and how complete trust in Him can be a blessing to my life.

One way that we can rely on the Lord is through our obedience. In my first area, we began to teach an incredible family of four from Peru. The mom, Vicky had wanted to be baptized in her country years ago, but due to a lack of support from her husband she never did so. Years later, she moved to Spain with her family, got in touch with the missionaries, my companion and I, and we started to reteach the lessons to them. The family was very eager to be baptized. The only problem was that Vicky worked on Sundays, meaning she couldn’t attend church. Their family was very poor and the only income they had was the small amount they received from her working a few hours on the weekends. Vicky didn’t know what to do. She knew that in order to be baptized she would have to quit her job, but naturally as a mother, she feared how their family would pay for gas, lighting, and food if she quit. For weeks she went back and forth debating the decision. Together with their family, we fasted and prayed several times, hoping that God would see the desire of her heart and provide an opportunity for her to be baptized. A few weeks later, to our happy surprise, Vicky decided on her own that she would quit her job. To her, the blessings that would come from baptism were far greater than her job and she knew that it was something that her family so desperately needed. A year ago, next month it will have been a year since Vicky, Javier, and their two boys were all baptized together as a family. For me, Vicky’s example of obedience is incredible. She didn’t know what the outcome would be from quitting her job. She had no idea how she would provide for her family. She didn’t know if another job opportunity would come up, but she completely trusted in the Lord. She knew that He would help as she acted in faith. The incredible part is that she didn’t wait for God to provide her with another job before quitting. She didn’t wait for Him to solve the problem for her, instead she acted in faith and trusted that the Lord would bless her for it. She followed the obedient example of Nephi who as he went to get the plates from the house of Laban “was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which [he] should do”. Her reliance on the Lord has blessed her family in so many ways. The Lord asks us to act in faith and then always promises His help because as we know from James chapter two, faith, without works is dead. When we feel as though we lack the Lord’s help in our lives, it might be because of our lack of faith on our part to act.

Another way that we rely on the Lord is when we trust in the healing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I have always been taught that along with giving us a remission of our sins, the Atonement of our Savior can provide us with strength to support our trials and peace to overcome our afflictions. It is something that I never really understood until my mission. I remember shortly after being transferred to a new area, I was having a rough time. It was a new area for both my companion and I so it meant that we would spend lots of time in the streets talking to people. After many rejections while door knocking and contacting in the streets, I was exhausted in every sense of the word and began to feel discouraged about being able to see success in the area. I remember one morning before studying the scriptures, I got on my knees and poured my heart out to God. I told Him everything about how I was feeling and pleaded for His help. As I read the Book of Mormon after my prayer, the words were a direct answer to my prayer. But behold, I, Jacob, would speak unto you that are pure in heart. Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause, and send justice upon those who seek your destruction. O all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his love, for ye may, if your minds are firm, forever.
I remember feeling so much peace, feeling His love, and His arms wrapped around me. For me, it was a small tender mercy, reminding me that He was still there right by my side. It was a reminder to me of my Savior, who came into this world to suffer in all things that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities. In that moment, I felt my Savior lift me up so that I could bear my burdens with ease. He didn’t take away the trial, we didn’t necessarily see any giant miracles directly following, but He gave me the peace and assurance in my heart to know that as I pressed forward faithfully, relying on Him, that He would guide me every step of the way. As we fully rely on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, He lifts us in ways that we wouldn’t be capable of doing ourselves.

I love the story in the Book of Mormon found in Mosiah 24 when Alma and his people are put in bondage by Amulon and are persecuted for praying out loud. As we recall, the people began to cry mightily in their hearts to God for help and God answers them “saying: Lift, up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me, and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage. And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that ye cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.” Although in this life, we may pass through challenges and be forced to face hardships that we don’t understand, we can trust in the Atonement of our Savior. Even though He cannot take the burdens away from us, just as He has helped those in times of old, He can help us bear our burdens with ease.

One final way in which we can rely on the Lord is beautifully described in the New Testament. In Matthew 14 we read about the miracle of the loves and the fishes. As we recall, Jesus desired to feed the multitude but his disciples reminded him that they only had five loaves of bread and two fishes. Jesus responded saying, “Bring them hither to me, and he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to the heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled, and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.

The miracle is when Jesus says bring them hither to me. The Apostles obey, and Jesus multiplies it. The disciples trusted in the Lords ability to perform a miracle, and brought him everything that they had. It was only when they gave everything to the Lord that He then in return was able to make more of what they had. We rely on the Lord when we give Him everything. We are asked to give up bad habits, give of our time and our talents, to give our lives for the Lord. When we were baptized we promised Him that we would be witnesses of Him at all times and in all things and in all places and we show the Lord that we rely on Him when we fulfill our end of the promise.

In one of my areas, we taught two recent converts. They had been baptized only a few short months earlier when I got transferred to the area but from the moment I met them, I could see the light of Christ radiate from their faces. They were a young couple from Nigeria named Monday and Loveth. Loveth had recently given birth to their first son, Christian. I will never forget the first time that my companion took me to see them. We climbed a few flights of stairs all the way to the top.  Monday and Loveth lived in an abandoned apartment in the top of their building. They shared the apartment building with another couple, which forced Monday and Loveth to raise their child in a small room, with hardly enough space to fit a mattress. The couple had absolutely no money. They lived off of the money that Monday made cutting hair, sometimes receiving 2 euros or less a day. They literally had nothing. But every time we walked into that room, we were welcomed with the biggest, most heart-felt smiles. The love of Christ was in that room. Monday and Loveth had nothing, but they gave their heart and soul to the Lord. Every day they poured out their hearts in thanks for all of the blessings that they had. They believed in miracles. Their faith was unshakable. They relied on the Lord in every aspect of their lives, and were truly blessed because of it. They taught me the importance of giving everything to the Lord. They taught me that if we really trust in the Lord, we know that as we give Him our all, He will make more of it than we can. That is the promise that He gave to His apostles “for whosoever will save his life shall lose it, and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it”. We rely on the Lord when we willingly give ourselves to Him.

Just like the boy climbing the tower received support and strength from his teammates, we too can receive that kind of strength in our own lives as we choose to obediently live the gospel, apply His atoning sacrifice in our lives, and give our whole souls to Him. We all need and desire that kind of strength and support from our Savior and Redeemer. I know that as we seek to know our Savior on a personal level on a regular basis, we will feel more purpose and peace in our lives.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Badalona - Week Fourteen

Hey Family!

This week was THE BEST! I'll tell you about it on Thursday. We had a GREAT lesson with Marlyn this week. My comp invited her to be baptized and it was super great. I was really proud of her for being bold.

We also had a super great zone conference, an incredible concilio with Elder Kearon from the area presidency, and DAVID ARCHULETA came to do a fireside with us and our investigators, ANNND jessie (my recent convert from zaragoza) came on saturday to spend the day here and work with us. It was a killer week.

Well talk on Thursday! I'll send pics

Os quiero muchisimo! BON NADAL!

Hermana Reid

Badalona - Week Thirteen

Hi Family!

So this week I got stuck in an elevator...

I know you've never seen the elevators here but they comfortably fit about one person. Maybe two. I think ours is actually supposed to fit four, who knows. Anyway, us five Hermanas (Hermana Lopez is training a new so they are in a trio till H. Jarman leaves) were all in the elevator the other night at 10 when we ended the day, and we got to our floor, but the door didn't open. And literally we were all so close to each other. And then we were stuck. Luckily an investigator had given me some corn bread she made. You know us Reids, we have a fear of being hungry. So I was glad for the corn bread in a time of terror.

Anyway, we had to call the elevator-life-saving guy and he told us we just had to pull the doors apart and they would open. Who knew? It was really funny.

I'll keep it short this week cuz if I talk too much, we won't have anything to talk about on Christmas and we will just sit and stare at each other the whole time.

But I'll tell you a sweet miracle we had. Yesterday we went to see a menos activa woman (after we watched the first presidency Christmas devotional which was SO good) her name is Maria. She actually served a mission too a while back, but she has had lots of problems in her life and she's raising two kids by herself and little by little she has become inactive. Anyway, when we went to see her, we talked a lot about the Savior and Christmas and why we celebrate it and all that. I think it helped to remind her of her mission and all the good experiences she had. She told us how she has made a goal to read the Book of Mormon lately and how as she has read, she has really felt like God is telling her she needs to go back to church. She cried as she bore her testimony about how she knows the gospel is true and how she needs to change and make the effort to come back. She kept thanking us for coming and for helping her to realize how important the gospel really is. As I sat there, I felt like I saw a glimpse of what our Savior must feel for each of us. I felt so much love for her and wanted her to just know that God loves her no matter what, and He is always there with His arms outstretched. The spirit was so strong in the lesson. It was really a sweet visit.

ANNNNYYWYAAAYYY, I love you lots Fambam! Talk to you next week!

Hope you had a great birthday Nessa!!!!!

Hermana Reid

This is our friend Archie.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Badalona - Week Twelve

HI Family! 

First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY THIS WEEK NESSA! YAYAYAY! That's so fun! I hope you have a good one..

This week was good. To be honest I don't have much to say.. we had a really great day on Wednesday, we had zone conference , and President and Hermana Pace came for it and then we had three great lessons with Eduardo, Francis, and Marlyn. They are all reading in the Book of Mormon and are all progressing. We're hoping to be able to set baptismal dates with them soon, that would be the best. 

Nothing else is new really, just a good normal week. Except get this, the other day my comp was telling me how when she took the stress test (an online test in the mission to measure your stress) it told her the amount of stress she had.. I told her when I came into the mission, I had the same amount of stress she did and she goes ¨wow, you were stressed? I can't even imagine that, you're never stressed!¨ CAN  YOU BELIEVE THAT? I couldn't. So I made her say it again on camera for proof. Go me. Not stressed. 

Anyway, life is good. It's cold. But we're good. Love the mission. 

I hope you all have a good week this week! I love you lots! 

Hermana Reid 

Here's us four (we lived together in Zaragoza)

This is me and Hermana Ratliff on her first day!

I just wanted to see if i could fit in the suitcase.. its big

Me and my comp again

Us four that live together (h. jarman, lopez, ratliff, reid)

Cooking for Thanksgiving (personal progress points)

Our humble Thanksgiving

Hermana Vance!

Me and my comp


My chocolate package that i already opened.. haha

Haha... just tired.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Badalona - Week Eleven


Life is super good. We had a good week! And a super good Thanksgiving! I have lots of pics to send home, but my computer never lets me.. so it'll be a big surprise! I contributed the gravy to the Thanksgiving meal, and the green beans. I know, I'm progressing. We had mashed potatoes, chicken, fruit salad, and brownies too! It was super fun with us four in piso. A success for sure.

This week I also got to go see Hermana Woodbury in the islands to do an intercambio with her! It was way fun. We laughed our heads off the entire time reminiscing about San Se together. Actually, while I was in the airport, I saw Hermana Porter (I lived with her in Zaragoza, she's the best) and we were on the same flight to and from the islands cuz she did an intercambio with other Hermanas! It was super fun.

Yesterday, we had concilio, and it was incredible. We got to see that new Mormon message about Christs birth and it was SO GOOD. I cried. I cry a lot. Sensitive. The church has new cards they want us to give out for Christmas that promote the video. I love Christmas!

Also we found out that David Archuleta is coming here in 2 weeks to do a concert for us and our investigators! Haha it'll be sweet, we're super excited. I wonder if people here know who he is..

Also last night we went to see Francis, who we haven't seen a whole lot lately. When we got there, she hadn't read in the Book of Mormon so I told her we would read together, and she was super eager to read. She wanted to read the whole chapter and after we finished, she asked if we could keep reading. It was a super great visit! She's got such great desires to learn and to understand the Book of Mormon. It was the best.

Anyway, I'll keep it short this week. Transfers are this week too so I'll write again on Tuesday.

Love you lots!

Hermana Reid

OH P.S. my Christmas package came. I'll be honest, I saw the Munsons shaped boxes and couldn't help but opening them SORRY. haha. I'll probs open all of them today.. still love me though Mom! We have to enjoy all the candy the whooollleee month! :)

Badalona - Week Ten


So I think this week was one of the best weeks of my mission. On Thursday  we had specialized training with the Paces and our zone and the Barcelona  zone. That means nothing to you probably, but it meant that I got to see Hermana Findlay, so it made my life.

It was one of the most inspiring conferences I have ever been to on my mission. I think its because it was really focused on the Savior and how we are trying to be like Him. The spirit was really strong throughout the entire thing. It was really incredible.

Then I did an intercambio.. with Hermana Bastidas actually! Tell Paula that. It took me a while for it to click that she was the one I was supposed to look for. She said shes neighbors with Paula's parents? I didn't take a picture with her.. but she took one.. so ask her for it. I bet its cute. haha.

Then on Saturday  Elder Quinten L. Cook came to speak to us! Almost the entire mission was there, which was super fun because I got to see people I haven't seen my entire mission, including Hermana  WOODBURY who I love! I haven't seen her in 9 months. Crazy right? But I'm actually going to do an intercambio with her on Wednesday, (I get to fly out to the islands!) so that'll be so fun, especially since a year ago, we were put together as companions.

Anyway, the conference was incredible. We all got to shake his hand too. He let us ask him anything we wanted to. He talked a lot about prayer and a lot about faith. He told us about how the 12 apostles have a meeting in the temple every Thursday and he told us about how incredible it is when they get together to pray. Every time we would ask questions he would turn to the scriptures and just blow our minds. He talked about how about how sometimes were called to things and we don't feel prepared, or we feel like someone is better than we are at everything, and it's intimidating, he told us how even all of them feel like that sometimes too. He said Boyd K. Packer says that he still wonders why he got picked to be there, and he's been serving there for over 30 years or so now. So if you ever feel unqualified to fulfill a calling, you're not alone haha. I liked that.

The conference was just an incredible reminder for me of how grateful I am to be a missionary. I was thinking about that a lot this week because about two years ago around this time, the thought of a mission was just a thought. It's weird to me to even think that it was even just an option at one time, because now, I can't  picture my life without it. I am so grateful to be a missionary of my Savior, Jesus Christ. This is the opportunity of a lifetime. This is exactly where I am supposed to be.

Last night, we had a pretty open night, so we were passing by less actives and contacting people in the street. As we walked, I was praying really hard, asking God if he would help us find somebody to teach. Almost immediately afterwards, I decided we should pass by a reference that the elders had given us that we hadn't  been able to contact yet because he hadn't  been home. We entered the building and knocked on his door and he let us in. And there he was with his wife and his son. A FAMILY! I asked God to help us find one investigator and he blessed us with 3.. I wanted to cry. He is so merciful. He always answers our prayers. Wow, the mission is incredible.


Hermana Reeeeiiid