Monday, December 12, 2011

Dashing through the hood...on my bike in the rain Dec. 12

Dashing through the hood...on my bike in the rain

That is the delightful song a black homeless man started singing to me as we were waiting at a stoplight. I added the second line on my own.

Family, it has been quite a week. Since KT seems to like to take everyones thunder, what with announcing her pregnancy after I opened my mission call and having Ellie right before thanksgiving, I figured it was time to show her up. And here's my news for this week.....

It's a boy!!!!

This has been quite the transfers week. For those who haven't been on missions, I'm training this transfer! My new companion is elder Moore, he's not really a newbie, the way the new training is it takes 12 weeks. So he served one transfer already, and now I'm finishing his training. So he's really my stepson. It was really funny, he was in my zone at the MTC, and we used to joke that I would train him. And now I really am! It's crazy. I don't feel qualified at all, but with a little faith and a lot of help from the Lord, we've actually had a pretty incredible week. I'm in the same area, so by the time this transfer is over, i'll have been in this ward for at least 4 and a half months! It's really good to have a new companion. Me and Elder Goll had some good times together, but it's been really nice to switch it up. Me and elder moore are having a great time so far, and being senior companion has really, really helped me. I don't know what it was, maybe just a lack of confidence, but I always felt like I was doing something wrong with my trainers. And that really kind of hindered my ability to teach with the Spirit. Because this whole week, I've never felt more guided in my teaching. It's been amazing. I've had some of the best lessons of my whole mission this past 5 days. We had a great lesson with Y. on wednesday. When we were teaching, I felt like I should ask her to pray about which day she should be baptized. She wasn't ready for yesterday, so I asked her to pray about which day she should be baptized, 18th or the 25th. And we went back the next day, and she told us that she got an answer! She said she started crying, and felt really, really happy. And that's what we've been waiting for, is for her to really feel like she's gotten an answer. So guess who is going to have a white christmas? Elder Reichman! She wants to get baptized on December 25th! Which is also her birthday! and she wants me to baptize her! And then, thursday was such a good day. Right after our lesson with Y., we had a lesson with our investigator named S. And she's been progressing slowly, she's very hesitant, and we extended a kind of shaky baptismal date for the 25th for her, but she didn't seem very committed to it. But on thursday, we went by her house, and she told us she'd been thinking about it, and she really wants to get baptized on the 25th! So, if all goes well, and I'm not seeing an problems, we'll have a double baptism on christmas! And, the two kids of M, who I baptized my first transfer, should be getting baptized then too! It's been so cool. It's been an amazing week. And yesterday, I had the best lesson I've ever had, with N. It was so good, that lesson was completely guided, the Spirit was truly giving me what to say in the moment I needed it. Teaching was never easier than it was that lesson. It was amazing. She's not progressing, but I'm really hoping she'll start reading for real and get an answer after that lesson. After my best lessons with N, I always run into crazy men who drive the Spirit away. I always get out feeling a million bucks, and then run into crazy guys. It's really weird. (that cur did it again. The frequency of it is starting to make me doubt it's accidental nature). I feel like I'm living in the "can I have your number" video. I wish I could video tape my life here, I could have a few Youtube sensations by now. But anyway, it's been an awesome week. I've never felt more guided by the spirit than I have this week. And, I realize, the more success I get, how little I really do. Every single thing is given to me. I just try and show Heavenly Father that I want it. It's very humbling, and also relieving. It's been a really great week, and I'm really excited for this week too! We've got a lot of solid investigators, and I really think even more of them are going to start progressing. I love you all so much family, and I hope you enjoy the snowdogs at cornbird for me! Have a great week, and don't forget to read the Book of Mormon everyday!

Borsh! That stinks that Lily and Kola are both sick! That really stinks. My church is at 11 right now, and it switches to 9 soon. I'm fine with that, but I feel attendance will drop 50%. We have a hard enough time getting people to church as it is! I hope you can endure through school this next week, and have a great time at snowbird!

B-I always hated finals. I don't know who you are. That stinks there hasn't been any snow. We haven't had any either! It's started raining today, which is always interesting on a bike. Hopefully Snowbird will get some snow in time for you to ski!

M@- A penas recibio su playera? casi olivide sobre eso. Su playera dice "por eso tengo calor" verdad? Con Mario? Yo no puedo recordar. Yo probi arroz con leche. Usted tuvo eso mucho? no me gusto! yo no podia acabarlo. todos los personas aqui nos llamen hermanos. no elderes, solamente hermanos. y tambien, no hay a nadie que pueda decir mi apellido. voy a salir el barrio, y nadie va a recordarme. Porque, nadie saben mi nombre haha. Tenga una buena semana!

Amy-I've been wanting to make oreo truffles for so long. You have no idea. I remember when we ate all those truffles. That was awesome. I eat so much. Carne asada, sopes, papusas, mucho arroz, cosas asi. I do remember our Adele sing a long, that was awesome. Me and elder Moore have just been singing "dashing through the hood the past couple days". That's so crazy Anna and sarah are both getting married! I cant e'en b'lee dat. You need to tell them congrats for me. And Cary is finishing pilot training? What? that's really crazy. I can't wait to hear where you're going next! That's gonna be so interesting. That's really too bad you don't have good mexican food in Del Rio. I actually don't eat much mexican food. Mostly Salvadorean and guatemalan actually. I've only eaten with mexicans a few times, oddly enough.

Kt-Squee! ellie looks super adorable, albeit a tiny bit grumpy. There are tons of Christmas lights here, and as missionaries in the LA mission, we are incredibly lucky because we can go to the temple and the visitors center with our investigators! We went with yecenia on saturday night and looked at the lights, it was a really awesome experience. and she really loved it. I'm sure I'm going to get some tamales this Christmas! I'm excited. It's gonna be a great christmas.

Momma! The tree in a box was the best thing ever! Me and elder moore were stoked this morning when we put it together! I'll send some pictures. and I'm being obedient, and I haven't opened the brown box yet! aren't you proud of me? I am running out of time, but I sure love you and can't wait to talk to you soon! and I will probably end up calling in the afternoon, so it should all work out great!

Pops-I got sick this past week too! It's made this week more interesting. It makes church hard. That's great that bro D. got released, I know how excited he is about that. I think they need to call you to be bishop down here. I'm sure that you talking over the pulpit in your english/japanese would be great for them and help pull this ward into shape.

I'm all out of time, but I love you all, keep me in your prayers, and I'll always keep you in mine! I love you!

I have pins and needles I am sitting on - Dec 5

Hi Family!

Esta Semana tenemos traslados! No tengo ninguna idea de donde me voy. Creo que yo voy a permanecer en mi area, y creo que elder goll va a salir. el lleva 6 meses en esta area, y el quiere ir. Pero, tenemos mucho potencial y es mejor para tener una persona que conoce la area, entonces, creo q

I don't know why that sent so early. But anyway, transfers are this week! I have no idea whats going to happen. I am pretty sure Elder Goll is going to leave and I'm going to stay, but I have no idea what kind of companion I will end up having. I'm excited and not about that idea, we've got some great potential in our area, and I think we could have 3 baptisms, easy. But at the same time I want a new area. I think if I stay, I will begin to wage war against the cockroaches in my apartment. They're getting out of control. But everything is going good over here! Our investigator is doing really well, and I think she'll get baptized this sunday. But I won't know for sure til thursday when she has her interview. We have a few new investigators that I could see getting baptized this next transfer, and a couple others who are just so close, but something just isn't quite clicking. I went on exchanges with the zone leaders last saturday, and I had a really cool experience. I was with Elder Patten, the night was almost over, we were trying to decide which former investigator to visit, and he asked me to pick one. I picked one, and it ended up being one we'd already tried to visit earlier that day, but we decided to go anyway. We get there, and knock the door, and found out that he actually moved away. We started walking away, and I just started thinking, there has got to be a reason we're here. We saw a guy walking across the street, and we decided to go talk to him. We contact him, and found out he only speaks spanish, so I started talking to him. Elder Patten is an english elder and doesnt speak spanish at all, so I did all the talking and listening here. It was kind of scary. I gave him a Finding Faith in Christ card, and we were talking about how faith in Christ can help us. He started telling me, yeah I already know that, and then I asked him if he'd had any experiences that helped him to know that. He then told me that he had a dream two days ago where Christ talked to him and told him he needed to change his life, and that the picture on the card was the same picture he'd seen in his dream! It was a really cool experience, and it was amazing looking back and seeing the guidance of the Spirit even when I didn't recognize it in the moment. It was one of the coolest experiences I've had on my mission, and kind of amazing, because to be honest, I wasn't looking for it. I didn't feel particularly inspired, I was tired and not feeling well, and Heavenly Father just gave that to me out of the blue. It says in Preach my Gospel that you know the Lord is pleased with your efforts when you feel the Spirit working through you. And that was awesome. The spirit definitely worked with me there, and it's amazing how Heavenly Father is so merciful to give me that kind of experience, often when I don't feel like I'm even doing that much. That was probably the highlight of the week. Along with the Christmas devotional last night! That was awesome. I felt like President Uchtdorf and President Monson's talks were just for me. And I felt an urge to read the Christmas Carol, which is something that has never happened to me before. Maybe it's just because It's been so long since i've read anything other than scriptures. Something that President Monson talked about, and something I've been thinking about a lot, is how it's so important to remember why you're doing things. It's easy to do a lot of good things on a mission and forget why, kind of the same with all the Christmas stuff. The whole end point of all of it is to help others and point ourselves more towards the Savior. And when we do that, everything else just comes with it. Well, that is my week! I hope you've all had an awesome week, and you're as excited about christmas as I am! We read the Christmas story with a less active family in the ward, and by the end of it, the spirit was so strong, and the mom and daughter were crying. It's really a special time of year. I love it. They have lights at the temple here, and programs every night, it's really pretty and great for investigators. Sadly a lot of the best Christmas things are harder to do with people who speak spanish. But It's alright. Anyway, I love you all, and I hope you have a great week, and thank you for all your letters and prayers and support! completely honestly, I would not be here without it. Thank you for all you do!

Borsh- hey borsh! I hope your keeping the advent calendars up to date for me! I'm glad it sounds like everything is going well. Have you been playing with Kola and Lily in the snow a lot? I almost forget what snow is like, I probably won't see it til two years from now! We were biking on wednesday night, and the winds were crazy! They were almost blowing us off. I hope you had a great week bud!

Amy!- the past couple weeks, I've been hearing adele songs. and it's so hard to not just bust out my best Adele voice and serenade the people at the bus stops. But I'm resisting. And it always make me think of you! and our great jam sessions. and our Hey Soul Sister dance. You better practice and keep your skills sharp. I'm so glad that you ate enough for the both of us when you were home, that really means a lot to me. I have been eating a lot lately. I think i'm getting a tortilla belly. But it's so good! and I'm so hungry at dinner! also, i forgot to mention, I'm learning how to cook! A lady in the ward taught us how to make papusas! It was really fun, and now, I'm going to open a papuseria when I get home! And, speaking of cooking experiences, I cooked bacon the other day. and learned the grease can't be too hot if you're putting it in a plastic bottle. Because if it is, the plastic shrinks, and you're left holding a really tiny plastic bottle overflowing with scalding bacon grease! At least, that's what I heard. Anyway, I love talking about food with you too amy! I'm gonna have some awesome food stories for you by the end of my mission. Love you amy, say hi to cary for me!

B-Ah. Shred up snowbird for me B. That's so crazy that the semester is already coming to an N. I can't even b'lee dat! I can't say that I agree with your dating policy, because Christmas time is the best time for dates! although I understand the whole break thing, that gets awkward. But you have your own judgement. Also, I had a great brentism the other day, I think you'll like it. I was trying to say that our dinner cancelled. But I accidentally said our dancer kenelled. Luckily elder goll didn't catch it. Anyway, love you B!

Matt-! I've got some pretty good names here, I can't wait to compare names and stories someday. We're going to have a lot of similarities but a lot of differences too. I was very glad to hear you didn't have diarhea on your birthday, and also glad to hear your joke. Mango de mantillo? Now i'm ready if I hear that. Anyway, I'm running out of time, but love you Matt! and I love you too Lauren! Thanks for your email! and I'm so glad to hear your dad has a possible job!

Kt and Todd! Ah! KT, I am so proud of you for your decision to wear pants everyday this week. And I sympathize with todd that he has to do it everyday! It's rough doing it everyday. I'm kind of sick today, and all I want to wear is my footie pajamas. with a tie over them. But I have to wear real clothes too! It's so sad. I'm so glad Ellie is still adorable, and I can't wait to get more pictures! And I'm sure you'll rapidly be able to leave the house and get dressed. at least by the time I get home.

Mops-I love you! Also, if you wanted to send me another journal, I'd be alright with that. And I think I need a new credit and check card. I rode with my wallet in my pocket for my first couple weeks, and that took it's toll on them. I can almost fold them in half right now. Love you momma!

Pops- I can't believe you have so much snow. I wear a short sleeved shirt pretty much everyday. It gets a little chilly, and everyone here thinks its freezing, but it's really not too bad for me right now. Also, is Elder usevitch still in our ward? I found out this week that he was elder golls district leader in the MTC! It was kind of crazy. small world huh? I'm sad to hear that baby it's cold outside got voted down in high council, I think that would have gone over really well. I'm still playing piano in our ward, and I played our first christmas songs yesterday! that was fun.

Anyway, I am all out of time. I love you family!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I'm an aunt!


That is really unbelievable. I'm not old enough to missionary, and KT is definitely not old enough to be a momma. She's not a momma, she's nothing but a sister! Wow. She looks completely adorable, and what I wouldn't give for a thanksgiving onesie with turkeys on it like her. Squeeee! Wow. Typing is really just utterly inadequate to say what I want to, I want to see her so bad! I'm so happy for you Tatie and Kodd! And I'm glad Todd didn't faint during the whole thing. I had a lot to be grateful for this week, and I was very grateful that everything went so well with that.

You all are probably wondering why I didn't write last week. As for me, I was also wondering that last week. We finished the turkey bowl and started emailing down in the family history center right next to the mission home, and I wrote my letter to my mission president and was just opening my letters and looking at little Ellie and getting super excited and emotional when they told us the center was closing! So we left, and I didn't send a note because I figured we'd get home in time so I could finish my emailing. Unfortunately, traffic was really bad, and it took us an hour to get home. And let me tell you, reading about Katie having little Ellie made me all sorts of happy and emotional, and then having to leave like that, killed me. And then we got stuck in traffic, and by the time we got home we had to go to appointments. It killed me. I was one unhappy little Elder Reichman, and I am so sorry that I didn't get to write last week. But Kt, I hope you know how happy I am for you, even if I don't get to be there, and i'm so happy and grateful that everything went well and that Ellie is everything you hoped she would be! And I'm so proud of you! Reading about how amazing it was to have Ellie, and realizing that because of the gospel, you would be with her forever, really helped me realize how grateful I am for the gospel and what the joy of the gospel really is. I don't always do a very good job of telling/showing it, especially in my limited email time, but I hope you all realize how very much I love you and miss you. You all mean everything to you, and I can't tell you how grateful I am for all you do for me, with the packages, and emails, and prayers, and I could not do this without you. I love you all!


There has been a lot that has happened since I last wrote you. My Thanksgiving was very good, I ended up having two different thanksgiving dinners and at least 3 different desserts. I wanted to die when I got home, being so full of everything and then biking was a fun experience. I had a lot of turkey, and also some tamales for thanksgiving. It was definitely a little different! It was a little hard to focus this week, what with the news of Ellie and Thanksgiving and everything. But the people here are so nice to us, especially in the food department, and I really have a lot to be grateful for. A lot more than I realize. I have so much I want to write in this email that my thoughts are getting all scattered and I don't know what to say, so if this email gets all rambly and scattered, please forgive me! The work is going pretty well. We should hopefully have two people getting baptized this next month! This past week was really tough, we had tons of appointments but nobody was home and nobody seems to be progressing much right now. But this week will be better. Our first investigator will be getting baptized probably dec 11th, and she's going great and everything, she just doesnt have a very firm testimony of the Book of Mormon yet. and our other one is going well, we just only see her once a week so she's not progressing as fast as we'd like. It's been a really interesting week. Biking is still very exciting. I had another fall last week, it was good. I was trying to go over a curb and just didn't angle quite right and went flying over the handle bars. It was exciting. And fairly painful, and the black guys across the street laughed at me. But i didn't get injured, the only casualty was my front tire, it got bent a little bit. Brent, Matt and Pops, remember how I used to be afraid of mountain biking? I don't think I will be anymore. Biking here is like mountain biking where the boulders are trying to hit you. And after USc games, it's like mountain biking where drunk boulders are trying to hit you. And the streets are full of potholes, and if you ride on the sidewalks, the trees grow really close, and the routes push up the sidewalk and make random mountains in the middle of the sidewalks. It's exciting!

I don't have time to say all that I want, and I really just want to write some personal notes now! So here goes!

borsh!- That's so cool that you got modern warfare 3! It sounds really cool. all the buses around here have giant billboards on them, so I see ads for movies and video games all the times, and it always make me want to play them! Just tell me it's not very fun ok? Your letters are awesome Josh, they make me laugh all the time. Thanks for all you do for me buddy!

Kt and Todd!!!!!!!!! Congratulations! It's a girl! I'm so happy for you two! You're gonna be such great parents. I can't wait to hear even more about Ellie, and I've loved seeing the pictures! I want to type so much more, but I just don't have time! I just hope you know how happy I am for you, and how much I love you! And I got your package today, and it made me tear up a little bit! Thanks so much KT, I can't believe you sent me a package and had a baby! You're amazing! I'm loving my sweet beatz already, and I've already made a significant dent in my M&M's! I love you so much sister!

B- Happy Birthday B! You're an old fart now! One year older and one year closer to being a menace to society! Hooray! I hope you ate double for me at Thanksgiving.

Amy- Amy, Last week, I got a carton of ice cream. By the end of the week, it was gone. and I ate the whole thing. myself. out of the carton. with a spoon. I thought you'd be proud of me. also, Mops sent me a giant bag of peanut butter M&M's, and I ate the whole thing in 3 days. I can't believe how much you've been running lately, that's crazy!

Matt and Lauren- Happy Birthday Lauren! And I can't believe I forgot about Matt's birthday too! Please forgive me!

Mops and Pops-Thanks so much for the package Mops! I loved it! and I ate all the candy way too fast. The nativity is hanging on my fridge as we speak though! Thanks for all you do, and I'm so sorry that I didn't write last week, I felt terrible about it, and I hope you didn't worry too much!

Ah. Family, I'm sorry. I was so unhappy to not write last week, I'm trying not to think too much about it or else it will just make me sad again. and I'm sorry for this letter too. I feel very weird about it. I feel I haven't even written a hundreth part of what I want to, and you guys deserve a much better letter than this. But thank you, thank you, thank you, for all your do for me. I'm so very grateful for all of you and every letter and every prayer, and I don't deserve the half of it! This week made me realize how grateful I am for you, which made it hard to be away. I love you all so much, and I'm going to write a much better letter next week. Once again, I love you all so much, and I'm so grateful for each of you and what you do for me. Have a great week!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dia de pavo viene! Vamos a jugar futbol americano el proximo dia de preparacion por nuestro turkey bowl! Estoy muy animado por eso y nuestra zona va a ganar. Los latinos no tienen thanksgiving. Es un dia de festivo americano. pero, tuvimos una actividad del barrio por thanksgiving. o sea, dia de pavo. thanksgiving esta llamado dia de pavo en espanol. La actividad fue muy bien, tuvimos muchos investigadores y tambien encontramos nuevos! La conferencia de zona fue muy bien, y vamos a tener mucho exito esta proxima semana!

Matt’s translation:

Turkey Day comes! We are going to play American football the next P-day for our Turkey Bowl! I am very excited for this and our zone is going to win. The Latinos don't have thanksgiving. It's an American holiday. But we had a Thanksgiving ward activity, or Turkey Day. Thanksgiving is called Turkey Day in Spanish. The activity went very well, we had a lot of investigators and we also found some new ones! The zone conference was great, and we are going to have a lot of success this next week!

Hi family! Happy week before thanksgiving! I forget that it's already november. Probably because I haven't even seen any snow! I've done a little bit of bike riding in the rain, but I haven't seen snow yet. I probably won't either. Time is going by very weird. I feel like I just wrote you all! This week feels equally long and short. Can you believe it's already 4 months? That's weird. It still hits me sometimes. I'm just riding along, and I'm thinking. And I realize, I'm a little white boy. I'm riding a bike around los angeles teaching people in spanish. What the heck happened? It really hit me yesterday. They had a special latino fireside last night from salt lake. And at the end, I was like wow, I just listened and understood that entire fireside in spanish. And not only that, I enjoyed it and I learned from it! It's really pretty amazing when I think about it. I didn't know any spanish at all four months ago. Nada. And now I do! Lets see...what news from this week

This week has been good. Our zone conference was really good. I really enjoyed it. I'm meeting a lot of new people, because they changed the zones all around and all the people I know aren't around me anymore. But I really enjoyed it. We had a pretty cool experience this week. We did our weekly planning on thursday. And our zone goal is for every companionship to baptize this month. And as we were planning, we realized that we didn't have anybody who would be ready in time. And the month was already halfway over. But we prayed about it at the end, and then we went to contact a referral. Elder Goll had taught her before, she wasn't interested, but we got her information again. We went over there, and within the first two minutes of the lesson she straight up told us she wanted to be baptized. It was pretty amazing, the more I think back about it. I think she could be ready by the end of the month, which will be really cool. I'm realizing more and more how much sucess is given to us. We work for it, we do our best, but in the end, Heavenly Father just gives it to us. I also went on splits twice this week. Which was pretty fun. On friday, me and my district leader, street contacted for 5 hours! but we found 5 new investigators, so that was good! and then we had a ward activity too. I felt really weird, because towards the end they turned on the music and people started dancing. Which is apparently what they do at latino activities. I had a good few moments imagining dancing at our ward activities with Brother bush telling jokes in the background. But I felt very out of place. But it went well. We had a lot of investigators show up, and got some new ones, and it really helped our investigators fit in. The one who wants to get baptized - I think she found some friends in the ward. she's 18 and from El Salvador, and has only lived in the united states for 5 months. It was really good for her I think. And I really enjoyed it because I just got to talk to people for a few hours, and I really love the ward here. It's fairly dysfunctional, but I still love them, and there are some really great people here. And I'm still enjoying being the ward pianist! haha. I'm trying to get out of it, but it's hard. I played two songs I'd never played before in sacrament meeting this week. That was exciting. Well, That's about my week. I feel like I don't have too much to tell you, but it was a good week, and we worked hard. President Baker has challenged us all to read the book of mormon again before the new year, hilighting every mention of faith, repentence, baptism, the holy ghost and persevering to the end. I'm really enjoying it, it's helping me to learn a lot, and helps me look a little deeper. And I'm doing it in spanish! My insight from this week I found on the back of the conference Ensign. It's from President Monson. And he just says, "God is closer to us than we realize. We don't know how close he's willing to go and how far he's willing to go to help us." And I know that's true. I can look back throughout my life and see Heavenly Fathers hand, even when I couldn't then. And I know he's always watching over us, even when it's hard, and we can't always see it. I feel like Nephi this week. There's a lot of things I don't know, but I know He loves me. And I love you all too, and I hope you have an awesome week!

J-Borsh! Ah you're so close to thanksgiving break! I'm so jealous. You have to eat twice as much for me this year, since I won't be there. Those whale texts are awesome. You and Matt should feel lucky that I'm not there to compete, with all my artistic talent. And the x-men game thing is so cool. I'm really jealous about that. But I love you bud, and have a great week!

YAM- A half marathon?! what in the heck. i can't believe you're my sister. I can't even think about doing a half marathon. That's so cool! I'm so impressed. I mean, i've been running in the mornings too. It's kind of a big deal. I can't wait to get a package from you, that'll make me so happy! and hopefully the chocolate won't melt this time! Tell Cary hi, and I hope pilot training is going well!

B- I'm so glad you got the friendship application! I hope Morgan accepts it. Put in a good word for me. School sounds terrible. I'm glad I'm not doing that right now. Keep up the good work B!

M- oh man. I got your funnies this morning matt. it might have been your best batch yet. I laughed out loud numerous times. It was so good. Thanks mafew! I felt a great kinship with you this week. I was eating at a members house, and I ate a chile verde. At least that's what they told me it was called. and oh man. me pico mucho! It was so hot. I was crying, and just trying to eat and drink everything in front of me at the same time. But I loved it. I felt like a real missionary there. And also, turkey bowl is on monday for us. So in a week or so you'll see pictures from it! Anyway, tell Lauren I say hi, and I'll try and write her next week!

KT-AAAAHHHH!!!!!! You're going to be a mommy soon! and I'm going to be an uncle! that's so weird. And Todd is gonna be a dad. I think that's even weirder. reading your pillow story about Todd made me LOL and the other missionaries looked at me weird. Poor bundle D. all he wants to do is sleep. and don't worry KT, I wear my helmet all the time. It's a mission rule. and I have lights on the front and back at night. I can't believe Lola is coming soon! I'm gonna be so excited. And I want pictures ASAP! Good luck KT, I love you!

Mops and Pops! As for the voicemail, I'm not sure. We'll see. Lily does not like the cone of shame. I'm sure she doesnt! Poor Lily, speaking of which, I've still never seen pictures/videos of her! She sounds adorable, even if she's not quite housebroken (kind of like Brent, but you still keep him around). Thanks for all your help and letters, and I can't wait to hear from you next week! good luck with all the craziness!

Love you all!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Las cucurachas, las cucarachas, ya no pueden caminar, porque las mate, porque las mate, las cucarachas en mi casa!

Hola famila! como estan? todo esta bien aqui. Hemos tenido una buena semana y hemos econtrado muchas buenas investigadoras nuevas. Tengo mucha esperanza por esta area y este traslado tambien, creo que vamos a tener mucho exito este traslado. Hay cucarachas en mi apartamento! no me gustan. Yo he matado muchas. Muchas cucarachas en mi cocina. Pero, esta bien. tambien, tuve la oportunidad para asistir el templo y estoy muy agradecido por esta oportunidad. no tengo muchas historias por esta semana, entonces, esta carta va a ser un poco mas corto. Lo siento!

(Matt’s translation) Hello, family! How are you all? Everything is good here. We've had a good week and we've found a lot of good new investigators. I have a lot of hope for this area and this transfer as well, I think we're going to have a lot of success this transfer. There are cockroaches in my apartment! I don't like them. I have killed many. A lot of cockroaches in the kitchen. But, it's OK. Also, I had the opportunity to attend the temple and I'm very grateful for that opportunity. I don't have many stories this week, so this letter is going to be a bit shorter. Sorry!

Hi family! Greetings from LA! I just want everyone to know, the weather isn't always perfect. Me and Elder Goll had to ride in the rain at least for a couple hours this week. And it actually gets down to about 50 at night, which is a tiny bit chilly on a bike. I'm still enjoying being a bike elder, except my gears on my new bike don't shift quite right. But I got it fixed today, for free, so it's all good. But the exercise has been good for me, because I think i get even more food here. And elder goll loves to bake, so he makes cakes and stuff all the time. Sadly, with a disappointing lack of shrimp on the barbie. Although, they're called prawns in australia (austria). He's refusing to teach me how to speak in an australian accent, but hopefully I'll be able to pick up enough to fake it. His spanish is a little interesting, because he doesn't say r;s at all, let alone roll them. My spanish is actually a lot better than his, both with pronunciation and grammar. But he can still understand better than me. But I really don't have too much to report. I also had my first bike accident this week! I don't really know what happened. But I was cruising, and I hit something. Rolled over the handlebars and and hit the pavement pretty hard. I ripped my pants and put a couple little holes in my rain jacket, and scraped my knee, and I'm a little sore, but surprisingly I'm not hurt. Heavenly Father has definitely been watching over me this week. I've come really close to a lot of accidents, and I should have gotten hurt more from that accident. He's definitely protecting me. I feel like this week went by really fast, but nothing big happened. We've found some really cool new investigators, and hopefully they will continue to progress well. Me and Elder Goll got to go to the temple with a family from his first area, because they were getting sealed. It was a really cool experience, and definitely the highlight of my week. That's the real fruits of our work right there, and our goal with everyone we baptize. This mission has a real focus on the temple, and finding and baptizing the investigators that are going to get there. But it was really cool. I hope I have more to tell you about next week, but I'm running out of time, and I don't have too much left. By the way, I loved your letters this week! They were really great, and I LQTM'ed multiple times. Which is embarassing because I'm typing in the family history center underneath the visitors center. Also, I just ran into the two elders serving in Summers ward! They took a picture with me and promised to tell them I said hi, so that was cool. As for christmas music, it should bring the spirit and not be distracting. That's really our basic guideline for our mission. Anyway, I love you all, and I can't wait to hear from you again next week!

Josh-Hey buddy! you know something weird? I'm probably not going to see snow my whole mission. It rains here during the winter, but no snow. I can't believe it's already november, and you're getting snow! I hope you're getting ready to play in the turkey bowl, because I sure am! My mission has a turkey bowl, i'm really excited for it. Too bad about that snow day, hopefully you'll still get it!

B-oh man B. That picture is amazing. You look just like tobias. It's almost scary. Your paper on gravitational waves sounds as exciting as watching paint dry. I'm glad I don't have to do school for another two years! Anyway, I hope everything continues to go well, and I'll talk to you next week! And I hope you still have your white handbook so you can help the fambly pick out christmas music.

A-AH! Sarah is getting married? what the heck. I thought she was going to wait for me. But that's great. I'm happy for her, make sure you tell her to send me an invitation. I can't believe how much you're running. That's insane. Although, at the rate i'm going, I might just be able to match you. I'm getting legs of steel from my bike. I'm glad Cary is doing well, and not as stressed, and Abby is continuing to be adorable. Love you Yam!

M-Bien triste hermano. I hear that so much. But I can't believe how long your letter took! sad day. But thanks for, it was great. I hope you and Lauren are doing great, that's so cool you work so close to each other now. Oh man. Matt, I know about the timing differences. I played those two on sunday, and man, it is impossible to play with them. You should have heard our last song. It was so terrible. I've been appointed the offical ward pianist, and everyone thinks I can play everything. Which was bad yesterday, I played at a baptism, I'd never played it before, and I slaughtered it. Completely. And President Baker was there, and everything. Super embarassing. Luckily, they slaughtered it too. Tell Lauren I say hi, and i'll write her more next week!

K&T-AH! two weeks!??!?! how in the heck. You are not old enough to be a mommy. In the same way I am not old enough to be a missionary. That is so weird. But it's sounds like everything is going so well with you two, and I'm so excited to hear about Lola and see pictures! ah. I cant e'en b'lee dat.

Mops and Pops-once again, I am out of time. I'm sorry! As for a christmas list, I'd say my present desires are more short sleeved shirts, ties, and socks. And music. and candy. and bread. and stew. and a puppy. But that's really all I want. I love you two, and I will write you again next week!

Love you all!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Man. I think Halloween is the only holiday I don't know how to say in spanish. But hi family! I hope everything is going well. No tengo mucho tiempo hoy, porque yo quiero enviarles fotos! entonces, creo que no voy a escribir mucho en espanol, pero, todo esta bien, y mi espanol esta mejorando mucho! Esta semana fue loca. muy muy loca. Estaba muy ocupado. Tengo una buena noticia para Matt, yo comi mole! por mi primera vez esta semana pasada. Usted no va a creerme, pero, me gusto mucho! creo yo tuve un buen tipo. Pero, fue muy rico.

(Matt’s translation --- I don't have a lot of time today because I want to send you all photos! So I don't think I'm going to write much in Spanish, but all is well, and my Spanish is improving a lot! This week was crazy. Very, very crazy. I was very busy. I have good news for Matt — I ate mole! For my first time this past week. You aren't going to believe me, but I liked it a lot. I think I had a good kind. It was very tasty. Editor's note: Ryan needs to lock his heart. It's the Holy Ghost, not the flavor of the mole, that he is feeling. I've seen it a hundred times.)

Oh man. This week was crazy! Let me esplain. no, too long. let me summarize. So, first, transfers were crazy! This was a very, very different transfer. Because they made two new zones in my mission! So Elder Watkins left to go be the zone leader in one of the new zones, and then something very interesting happened to me. First, it's weird in the first place that i'm losing my trainer after one transfer, especially with the new training program they're doing. And second, they moved me to a new area too! I'm actually still in the same ward, i'm just one area over. Elder Watkins trained an elder before me, and his parents are columbian, and he went over to this area, but now he's back in Jefferson Park training and I'm with Elder Goll in his old area. It's all very mixed. So I still see most the people from my old area at church, i'm really just on the other side. It's interesting. Also, I'm now a bike elder! I bought a bike today, and surprisingly, I'm actually really enjoying riding my bike so far. It helps me to stay focused I think, plus it's easy to feel like you've worked hard all day when you get back to your area dead tired with your legs on fire. My area is really interesting. It's fairly similar to my old area, but USC is right in the middle of it! so there's this weird mix of latinos, black people and then lots of kids with very rich parents. Also, saturday night was a USC game, and they had a Halloween rave. We were trying to ride to an appointment, and the streets are just filled with cars, and drunk people, and all sorts of stuff. I don't think I've ever felt more out of place. Or enjoyed it more. Halloween is a very interesting day for us. It's really the only day we don't dress up and knock doors! We don't get to go out Halloween night, and I can see why now! So I get kind of a interesting p-day today, we have a teaching appointment during the middle of it, and then a zone activity tonight, and then time to do whatever. It's interesting. And also, my companions name is Elder Goll, he's 26 and he's from Australia! I included a picture of him on this email. We actually get along really well so far, and we've been doing well. We had a really cool finding experience this week, when we were planning I felt like we should go tract on Browning street. So we did, and then our second to last door, this girl opened. She just kind of looked at us for a second, and then invited us in. We couldn't stay long, but we just talked for a second and set up a return appt. I reached in my backpack and reached for a restoration pamphlet. And I was almost positive I had one. but then after I gave it to her, I looked in her hand and it was a plan of salvation pamphlet! I was really confused, but I just decided to let it be. And then as were walking out, we explained just a little bit about the plan of salvation, and she told us that she had just been to a funeral that morning and was thinking alot about what happens after we die. It was a pretty amazing experience. We were completely guided there, and we didn't really notice it until afterward. but that was my cool experience of the week! We have an appointment with her tomorrow, so I hope it turns out well! Also, you guys aren't e'en gonna b'lee dis. Sunday was a really crazy day. I confirmed the woman we baptized! in spanish! That was so scary. My heart was beating a mile a minute, I was so nervous, but it actually turned out really well. she's doing really well so far, and her son has started talking to the missionaries too! It's really cool. She's really sad that me and Elder Watkins are gone, and I'm sad too. It was unexpectedly hard to leave my area. I didn't realize how attached to it i'd gotten. But that's my week, and now time for personal notes! I'm scared to not write them now...haha. Also, if anybody was feeling especially creative/loving this week, I would love to get some Christmas CD's within the next couple weeks! I know KT has already started listening, but I can wait til after thanksgiving. And Amy asked me what I would like for packages, so I just figured i'd include this for everybody (i'm not saying you have to send me stuff i'm just saying it'd be nice....). Probably what I would want right now is just music and food. And I love all your letters, and it amazes me every week how inspired everyone is with their letters. It's almost as if you guys consulted together, but all the letters seem to tell me something I need to hear. I love you guys, and I can't wait to talk to you next week! Happy halloween!
Josh- hey buddy! ok, I got a deal for you. I love writing you personal notes, but you gotta give me more to work with here! What's going on? how's school, frisbee, lily, de todo! I'm still waiting for pictures by the way! I hope everything is going well with you, it's all good here!
B- oh man B. I can't wait to see pictures. That sounds amazing. I think you should wear that costume at least once when you're skiing. School sounds good, I am so glad that I don't have to take physics classes right now. Good luck with everything b!

amy- Amy, I know how you feel with choir! because you are now talking to the unoffical pianista del barrio por barrio sexto! My spanish ward here does not have a pianist! So i got to play on sunday, and I had to sightread two of the hymns! it actually went surprisingly well. I was just super nervous because of that and my confirmation. But all your treats sound really good! email me some! I know what you mean about the texting, I still sometimes find myself reaching in my pocket to text people. It's so weird. I hope Cary is doing good, and i'm glad he's not a pararescue person either.
Matt-Dishonor on you, dishonor on your family, dishonor on your cow!
Lauren- Thanks for the email Lauren! I love getting emails from you, I hope everything is going well, and I hope Jeff is enjoying his time at BYU! Say to him for me too.
K&T-KT, I almost squeed myself to death here. Your super prego! and hilarious! your costume is amazing. What was todd? I can't believe i'll be an aunt i mean uncle soon! And even weirder, you'll be a mom! I still kind of feel like you're just babysitting Lola. In your tummy. for 9 months.
Mops-thanks for the letters mops! I got a little teary eyed reading it, I sure miss you! but I love you, and thanks for all you do! for me and for everyone else. I'm glad everything is going well. I love you!
Pops- thanks for the email pops! I can't believe it's already snowing there. It's not even close to snowing here. Weather is still perfect. It's only rained like 3 days too.
Well, I am all out of time now, but I love you all, and i'll write you all next week!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Yo nade

Yo nade

Pretend that there is an accent above that e in the title. And it means, I swam! Our baptism went really well! And man, I ended up being the one to baptize her! That was really cool, but it sure didn't help with the whole feeling stressed thing. The baptism went really well! It ended up being a double baptism, one of the other companionships in the ward was baptizing too. The guy Elder Watkins trained before me is in it, but his parents are from Colombia so he's already fluent in Spanish. Elder Watkins said it was weird training somebody who spoke way better spanish than him. But it was a double baptism, and the ward had some great support for us. We couldn't even talk to her after it, because the Relief Society was was surrounding her. That was so good to see. she's already made friends with the ward, she loves the Book of Mormon, and I think she's going to be such a blessing to the ward. Another fun fact about the baptismal service, I sang in spanish as part of a musical number for it! Me and two other elders sang "cuando me bautice". It could have been better, but mostly just because I got sick this week so my throats a little scratchy, and one of the other elders was super tone deaf, but I think that just helped us fit in with the music here. And then, I baptized her! I was really nervous, but it all went smoothly. Except I think I forgot to say amen at the end of baptismal prayer. But the bishopric and the witnesses said it was good, so I guess I'll trust them. But it went really well, and she seems really happy. I know that we've really made a difference in her life, and that's amazing. It still feels unreal to me though. I almost feel like I'm still practicing at the MTC. And then I remember that these are real people and it scares me. But it went really well. And one of the coolest parts about teaching her, is me and Elder Watkins taught her everything together. We found her together, taught her and baptized her together in one transfer! That's really cool. She was definitely prepared, and we were definitely guided to find her. The more I think about it the more I realize how much we've been guided in this process. It's amazing. Speaking of being guided, me and Elder Watkins had a really, really amazing experience this week. I think it was thursday, we were just out knocking doors, we were tired, and just not really accomplishing anything. So elder Watkins suggested we go back to the car, and say a prayer. We did, and as he was praying he said a name came into his head of a former investigator. I was devoid of revelation, my mind just had flies and bits of fluff, so we went with his suggestion. And as we were driving, we noticed a helicopter flying overhead, and then we started seeing police cars everywhere. We had to park about 3 streets away, because about 6 blocks were covered and barricaded with cop cars, there must have been at least 30 of them. And a helicopter flying super low, only a couple hundred feet above the palm trees. It was so crazy. Apparently there was a bank robbery or something and the suspects were somewhere in those 6 streets. We found out that the person elder watkins thought of lived right in the middle of what was going on. So we were just like, what the heck? There's no way we can get to her, we'll definitely get shot. As we were walking a guy shouted at us that we weren't in Utah anymore, which made Elder Watkins mad because he actually is from utah. I thought it was funny, so I started talking to him. And turns out he lived in Utah, and just moved here a few months ago, and he was waiting outside because he couldn't get back to his house. He seemed really interested, and said we could come back, so we asked for his address, and it was the same address of the lady we were looking for! He was her nephew! It was a miracle. It was incredible. There is no way we would have ever done that without the guidance of the Lord. It was amazing.
That's my cool stories for this week. It's been a really weird week. It's been tough. This is kind of a sad city. There are a lot of people who are just destroying themselves. And almost everyone lives with someone that they are not married to. It's sad, and it's hard to see. We had some really challenges come up for some of our investigators this week, and we haven't had a lot of outward success this week. But we've also had some truly incredible experiences. And some funny experiences. Elder Watkins had a brentism! It was awesome. He said he received a friend from a letter. And then I kept laughing and he thought it was weird that I thought it was so funny. Also, they have the coolest restaurant here. It's called Famous Louisiana Fried Chicken, Chinese food and donuts! It's so weird! I'm not even making it up! Sadly, they don't have a combo that includes all three of those.
Me and Elder Watkins ate there on saturday, and it was good, I took a picture of the sign and I'll be sending some pictures soon. Also, did I ever tell you you can see the Hollywood sign from my area? it's cool. Except on days when it's really smoggy. Also, I'll for sure not be with elder Watkins next transfer. I'm most likely staying here in Jefferson Park, and I don't know anything past that. I'll find out tomorrow!
One more cool experience: Last night, I was feeling stressed. It was a super stressful day with the baptism, and I was sick, and I just felt terrible all around. I went in the bathroom of our house, and I just got down and prayed on my knees for help. I went back, and I was sitting at my desk, and I just had this feeling I should get out my Book of Mormon and read Helaman 5. I've read Helaman 5 probably 20 times. It's a great chapter. But I just felt like it was written for me last night. It was amazing. God really does listen to prayers, and he helps. He will give us answers, especially in the scriptures. I'd say probably the most important thing I've learned on my mission is how important prayer and the Book of Mormon are. Almost all the problems I've seen with the people here are when they stop doing that, and they make bad decisions. and I know that it helps me more than I can say. Just make sure you never stop doing that! Anyway, my time is short, but it's been a really good week in a lot of ways, and thank you so much for all your letters! they lift me up so much, and everyone single one helps. Thank you for all you do for me! I love you all, the church is true, and the Book of Mormon is true, and Heavenly Father is aware of every single one of us. I know that. Have a great week, and I can't wait to hear from you next monday!
(P.s. I got my halloween package today! And I already ate half of it)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It's a major award!

Well I'm assuming since none of you mentioned it in your email, that you guys haven't checked the blog lately. If you check it real soon, you'll see that the one and only Elder Reichman was a runner up for the clean apartment awards this month! how do you like them apples? I bet you guys can't believe that. I can't believe it. Our apartment isn't messy, but it's not exactly pristine. I hear that there is a little bit of rigging going on in the awards, but it was still awesome. reward? glory. And Lunch with President and Sister Baker! It was really cool to have lunch with them and just get to talk to them. There were 8 elders there, including Elder Auna from my MTC district. It was really fun. And I got 3 candy bars! It was a good day. Anyway, keep your eye on the blog, and my mug should be up there soon.
And now....for the real news of the week!
Esta semana fue muy bien. tuvimos mucho exito esta semana. Encontramos diez investigadores nuevos! Es increible. Lo mal es muchos de los investigadors tienen que trabajar en domingos y solo podemos ensenarles mensual. No tuvimos un bautismo este domingo, pero, vamos a tener un bautismo este semana y un otro bautismo la proxima semana. Nuestra investigadora que va a ser bautizada esta semana es estupendo. Ella tiene un esposo moreno y dos hijos morenos y todos hablan espanol. Su famila no tiene interes. Pero, ella es muy fuerte, y a ella le gusta el evangelio mucho y tiene un testimonio fuerte. ya ella lee el libro de mormon durante su almuerzo! Fuimos al centro de visitantes ayer, y eso fue muy bien. El centro es increible! Tenemos que regresar despues mi mision. Esta bien? Yo llore un poco durante el video acerca de la familia. Les extrano, pero estoy haciendo la obra del senor. espero que ustedes tengan una buena semana! Les quiero!

Matt’s translation: This week went really well. We had a lot of success this week. We found 10 new investigators! It's incredible. The bad part was a lot of our investigators have to work on Sundays and we can only teach them once a month. We didn't have a baptism this Sunday, but we are going to have a baptism this week and another baptism the next week. Our investigator that is going to be baptized this week is stupendous. Her family isn't interested. But she is very strong and she likes the Gospel a lot and has a strong testimony. She already reads the Book of Mormon during breakfast. We went to the visitor's center yesterday and it went really well. The center is incredible. We have to return after my mission. Is that OK? A cried a little during the video about the family. I miss you all, but I'm doing the work of the Lord. I hope you all have a great week. I love you!

From Amy: Silly Matt, almuerzo means lunch, not breakfast!

From Matt: Whoops! Actually, at least in Puebla, it's used more like brunch. We called lunch "la comida" (the food). Not sure why.

This week has been interesting. It hasn't even been a full week since I wrote you last, but I feel like I've got tons to write you. It's been a good and a bad week. We've had some really good lessons and success, but personally I've been having a little trouble getting stressed. I was doing better, and then for a couple days I just got really, really stressed. But elder Watkins gave me a blessing, and that changed everything. I feel much better, i'm still feeling pretty stressed, but my mind feels like it's where it should be. My body just needs to get with the program. I'm very grateful for the power of the priesthood this week. First, with a blessing for myself. Second, me and elder Watkins got to give two blessings this week. I actually gave one, but I got to do it in English. It still terrifies me in English, I might pass out my first spanish one. I'm slowly learning how to do them in spanish. I'm feeling better about my ability to do that. I also got to help confer the melchizadek priesthood on one of the recent converts in this ward, that was pretty cool. Although I still feel like people are going to look up and be like, hey, what's that kid doing in the circle up there? Isn't there a microphone for him to be holding or something? It's a really weird feeling. Our week went really well. We had such a good lesson with our investigator. She's getting baptized this sunday, at least as long as nothing goes wrong. But we just have to teach her about tithing, and then she's all ready. She's so awesome. I contacted her my second day in the mission, and she's the lady I accidentally started speaking english too. It was very inspired that we just randomly contacted her. And her husband and family aren't very interested, so she's going solo right now. but she's doing so well. She has such a strong testimony, and she loves to read the book of mormon. she reads the bom and the bible side by side, and brings her book of mormon to work everyday to read during lunch. It was so cool. The really cool part, was she had an FHE with a family here. They were just recently baptized, and they mentioned how they had to give up coffee to be baptized. We were worrying about that, and we went to her house thursday to teach the Word of Wisdom. She likes her coffee, she drank about 5 cups a day. But we got there, and started teaching, and we hardly even had to teach her. she gave up coffee after the members just told her about it! It was so cool. She replaced it with green tea, which we then had to tell her wasn't very good either. But she's doing well. Our lesson on saturday went really well. We taught her in the church, and we kind of did a church tour as we were teaching her. We taught the gospel of jesus Christ, and it was really cool pointing out the aspects of it that we find in the church. It helped me find a lot more meaning in the weekly things we do at church. But she's so awesome. I'm so excited for her to get baptized. I know we made a difference in her life. She wasn't sad when we met her, but you can tell she's happier now, she laughs and smiles a lot during our lessons, and she's always so happy to see us. We didn't see her for a couple days, and she told us she missed us. She started crying during one of our lessons, and at least from what all I understand in spanish, this is making a big difference to her. It's so cool. This is what missionary work is all about. After our lesson on thursday night, I was so happy. Nothing makes you happier than a good lesson with a good investigator. It feels so good. We have another investigator who will be baptized next week, but she's been investigating for 10 years, I really didn't have much to do with that. And then another will be baptized as soon as she finds her husband in guatemala and gets divorced from him, and then another just has to wait to get off probation. We also found 10 new investigators this week! We were on a role. the only bad part is most of them only want to meet once a week, and a lot of them can't ever attend church because of work. So we'll see. We've had a lot of success here. But things are going to change a little next transfer. One of our zone leaders is leaving, and he pretty much told us that Elder Watkins is going to replace him. So I'm going to get a new companion in another week or so! So that will be interesting. It probably means I'll be staying here though, which is good, we've got a lot of potentials right here, a lot of potential in this area.
And that's my news for the week. And if you see a new Nike commercial anytime soon, and it happens to take place in a school in LA, they filmed that here. Me and Elder Havas were walking, and we just saw this helicopter flying super low over this high school, and we figured somebody got shot. But they were actually filming a commercial. But you see helicopters all the time, they're always flying over us looking for people. It's crazy. You all might not want to come back and visit haha. There's really not too much to see here. But anyway, that was my week, I love you all, and I can't wait to hear from you next week! have a great week! and I'll leave you with my favorite new scripture. It's 2nd Nephi 8:12-13. It pretty much says, you are a child of God. Why would you ever be afraid? It's really good. Anyway, I love you all! have a great day!
Josh-You got surpreichmoed! How does that feel? Remember when me and B did that to you a little while ago? that was awesome. Sounds like everything is going great for you bud, I hope you continue to enjoy everything and I'll talk to you next week! Can you throw a flick and a hammer yet?
Amy- Yay for running! sometimes me and elder watkins run in the mornings. i super hate it. It feels so terrible running that early. But at least the weather is always perfect here. That stinks that you never get to see Carebear. It's just like a sleepover! Except he's flying....but anyway. That's cool. I'm super jealous of your bluebell and brownies. I just ate at a korean barbecue. It was super delish. but I'm super full now. I ate way too much. Why is our conversation always about food?
B-I am glad you're doing physics and not me. I've decided i'm going to be a professional food taster. I'm getting good at it. That supreichmo sounds awesome. I'm so jealous. I hope the ladies continue to treat you well, and just remember. girls are like trolley cars, you miss one, you hop on the next-barth palmer/vader
Matt-Aguas! As soon as you typed me that phrase, somebody told me about it. So it actually does exist. Your surpreichmo sounds awesome. you got Josh so good. I love it. I can't believe that salesman. Has the same size mole as you. That just doesnt happen very often. Lauren! I hope you weren't too lonely while matt was gone. It was probably nice to not have somebody farting in your house for once. That might be the first time that's ever happened.
Kt-So bad news. I don't know if you guys got an email, but they want me to deactivate my facebook. So Sadly I'm going to have to ask you do that I think. If you could get the mission information for a few of my friends before you do, that'd be awesome. Notably, TJ melanson, Jacob Guest, Trevor Anderson, William higbee, Orion howard, that'd be great. I'm going to be an aunt in about a month! that's so crazy. You're way too young to have a baby. and I'm way too young to be on a mission. it's crazyness. And Todd, good luck. I'm glad to hear your work situation is getting closer to settling down, but I know whatever you do, you're going to do great. You can talk to anybody, and everybody loves you. you're good enough, you're smart enough, and doggone it, people like you.
Mops and pops-I love you guys! I can't wait to get my package this week, or next. I'm glad you had a good weekend, with lily and surpreichmos to keep you busy. although hopefully only the former peed on the rug. Thanks for all you do, and I will write you next week!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mmm..... Gallo

Hola Familia!
No puedo creer que yo olvide decirles que yo tuve un templo dia de preparacion esta semana. entonces, estoy escribiendoles ahora, y yo espero que ustedes puedan perdonarme. Me encanta sus cartas hoy! Me siento muy bien ahora, porque yo fui en el templo antes tambien yo tengo buenas cartas! Yo he hecho muchas cosas esta semana. Yo tengo muchas cosas la cual escribir. Y yo puedo escribir mejor en ingles.

Translation, says Matt... Hello family! I can't believe I forgot to tell you all that I had a temple day P-day this week. So I'm writing you now, and I hope you can forgive me (as if!). I love your letters today! I feel very good right now because I went to the temple before and also I have good letters. I have done a lot of things this week. I have a lot of things to writer. I can write better in English.
Hi family!
Man. I can't believe I forgot to tell you guys it was temple p-day this week. Temple p-day is the best. The Los Angeles temple is so beautiful. It's so pretty outside and inside, and definitely stands out from everywhere else. And we get an extra hour or two of pday, because we have to go super early, and then I get another pday monday! unfortunately it only comes every 3 months. Which as Brent could probably tell me is better than never. But it's so cool. It's so beautiful. Anyway, I feel like I haven't written in months, and I have so much to tell you, but because it's been so long I can't remember everything. First of all, patillas means sideburns. Not kneecaps. Although they are almost the same. And I did mean savila, not avila. I had savila juice, which is aloe juice. Which sounds really gross, and really weird, but is actually suprisingly good. Speaking of gross things, I hope you all are ready for this. Especially Matt. I talked to a few people this week, and they said they loved moronga! Not sure about the spelling on that, but gross. Sangre de puercos? no quiero probarlo. I think it is a Oaxaca thing. Everyone here is from El Salvador, guatemala or Oaxaca. I swear. but they said they liked it! They said you put chiles, and a bunch of other stuff and its really good. I couldn't believe it. Also, I felt a real kinship with Matt this week. I had rooster soup. It was really good, but I could just picture Matt perfectly sitting in some poor mexican house, eating rooster soup for the millionth time. Pretty much just soup and rice with a big rooster leg sitting in it. super interesting. also, have you guys heard/tried of papusas? I hadn't before I got here. I think it's an el salvador thing. but they're really good, almost like stuffed corn pancakes. but oh man. the people are trying to feed me to death here. It was fast sunday for us this past sunday, and then after that we ended up having two dinners! and then we almost had three dinners the next night but ended up with only two. The combination of fasting and having all that food gave me the worst case of date gut I've ever had. But it was good. I should be grateful that they love to feed us so much. And they do. If you ever give the slightest hint that you don't want to eat the food, it's like you insulted them and their families. And their dogs. which are also everywhere. And they all hate us. I've never been barked at so much in my life. Anyway, now on to my week. It was a really good week. It actually went by really fast. I also went on splits three times this week. Which was interesting. I got to be an english bike riding elder for two days, and then the other day I was alone in my area with an english elder! oh man. that was weird. He knows a little spanish, but I still had to do most the talking and understanding. Which was actually good for me. When I know that if I don't catch something, Elder Watkins will, I have a tendency to zone out. Which I think is most my problem with understanding people. I'm just a bad listener in general. But it was really good. It rained this week, and that was one of the days that I was riding a bike. riding my bike in the rain made me feel like a real missionary, it was really fun actually. And one of the guys I was with is straight from Tonga! He taught me how to say some cool stuff in tongan. He's really cool. Me and Elder Watkins have really been blessed this week. We found 9 new investigators this past week, and on monday, man, we were on fire. We were very blessed. We found 6 new investigators just on monday! And on monday, we had a really cool experience. We had dinner with some less actives, but we couldn't enter the house because there wasn't a man, so they had to bring everything out, and we ate, and it was a lot of work for them, and we felt bad, and it was kind of awkward and chaotic, and I made it even more awkward when I accidentally called the grandma a hermano, and it was just weird. We were grumbling a little (or a lot) about that rule, but we followed it. but then at another appointment later that night, the man was outside smoking, and they made him come in so we could teach him. And Heavenly Father blessed us so much. he came in, and was super grumpy at first, but when we started teaching, he got really interested, and just started asking questions, and then at the end, we asked him to pray, and he got down on his knees and started praying without hardly thinking about it. It was pretty amazing. He was definitely prepared for our message. And we would have missed that opportunity if we hadn't been obedient. It was a little chastening, because it was like Heavenly Father was talking just to us, saying, I made these rules for a reason, they come from me, and even if your attitude wasn't quite where it should have been, I'm going to bless you for being obedient anyway. It was really cool. I wish I had more time to tell you everything. but there's so much cool stuff that happens, I can't fit it all in. but we're doing really well, we're working hard, finding tons of new people, and we've got some investigators who are progressing really well. We should have two baptisms the sunday after this one! On the 23rd. And they are cool baptisms too. One of them has been 10 years in the making, and the other was a lady that me and Elder Watkins found, so it's really cool, because when she gets baptized i'll have been involved in her whole teaching process. I'm really excited. Hmmm. That's really all I can think of, It was a good week, and I hope this letter finds you all safe and happy! I love you all so much, and thanks for all you do for me, and for everyone around you. The whole church runs on the small efforts of everybody involved, i'm realizing that a lot. So never feel like you're doing nothing, every single one of your letters lifts me up, and just keeping doing the little things. Especially the Book of Mormon. I think of all I have learned here, I've learned how important daily reading of the book of mormon is. it makes such a difference. But anyway, have a great week, and i'll be writing you guys again on monday!
Josh- I'm glad Lily and Kola are doing well! And frisbee is going well. Everything is going so well here. Me and Elder Watkins are really learning to teach well together, and we get along just great and everything. Thanks so much for your letter this week buddy, it was an awesome letter, I sure love you, and your letters really mean a lot to me. have a good week, and I can't wait to hear from you next week!
Amy-Thanks for sacrificing to write me in your food coma, I really appreciate it. I think I'm going to end up in a permanent food coma after my mission. and need to be carried around in a chair. I hope Cary is still doing well, It sounds like you two had an awesome weekend together, full of tons of delicious things. I'm so jealous of your pumpkin chocolate chip bread. Anyway, have a good week amy and tell cary i say hi!
B- i was just thinking the other day how grateful I am to not be in school right now. I hope it's not dragging you down too much, sounds like you've still got plenty of time for dates and everything, and also how in the world are you the family and relations teacher in your ward? I think that's the best thing ever. Next thing I know you'll be relief society president! haha, have a good week B, good luck with those ladies.
Matt-I'm so jealous of mexico, that sounds awesome. Minus the chafing. And wreck. but still good! did you shout aguas when you got hit? You should have, I got your funnies letter this week, and I'm going to open it when I get home! Love you Matt! Lauren-Hi Lauren! I hope you had a good week, thanks for all the letters you've sent me, I really love them, and have a great week!
Kt-Usted esta embarazada! Man. You're super huge. and pregnant. I can't believe how close it's getting! Thats so weird. You're gonna have a baby soon! And Todd! Tell Todd i say hi, and clarence. jkhk. He'll understand that
Mops and Pops-I love you guys, thanks for all you do! I am out of time, but I will write you guys on monday! We're already almost there. Love you!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Me gusta sus patillas

I'll do some translating, since Matt is frolicking on the beach!
Title: I like your patillas??? I have no idea what patillas are. I'll leave that one for matt to figure out. (it's sideburns)
Conference was marvelous! I like conference a lot. I hope you guys were able to watch it. Hmmm. It was an interesting week. The ime on the mission is very strange. All of the days seem very long. But the weeks feel like days. They are very short. It's very interesting. I hope my Spanish is right, but I'm not sure. Matt can correct me.
And Matt's letter part- I'm in Mexico too. It's the same right? I tried avila (no idea what avila, i'm guessing he meant savila, which mean aloe?) juice last week. Have you tried it? It was really good. I hope you and Lauren are very happy on your trip, and that your work isn't too busy when you come back. I'll write you next week! I want you! (You say te quiero in spanish to say I love you, but literally it means I want you.)
And there ya go!

On Mon, Oct 3, 2011 at 4:05 PM, Ryan Reichman wrote:
Conferencia fue maravillosa! Me gusto la conferencia mucho. Yo espero que ustedes pudieran mirarlo. Hmmm. Fue una semana interesante. El tiempo en el mision es muy extrano. Todos los dias son muy largo. Pero, las semanas parecen como dias. Ellos son muy corto. Es muy interesante. Yo espero que mi espanol este correcto, pero, no estoy seguro. Matt puede arreglarme.
Hi Family!
Man. I hope you all had a chance to watch all that conference! It was so good! Oh man. I loved it. I think my two favorite talks were President Uchtdorfs and Elder Cooks. And Elder Hollands talk at the priesthood session made me really glad I was already on a mission and not preparing for one. but I loved it. We had a couple investigators that were able to come, and one of them was there during Elder Callisters talk on the BOM. Man, that one was awesome. And she seemed to really like conference, which was awesome because if all goes well she'll be getting baptized later this month! If she does get baptized, it'll be amazing. We really were led to her, and she's one of the first people I ever contacted. She's really awesome, she's really enjoying everything we're teaching her so far and she's been reading the Book of Mormon a lot. We've got very high hopes for her. And some hopes for her kids. Her husband is a black man from honduras, so her kids are black but speak spanish. It's interesting. I think they felt really awkward at the spanish church though. And conference was even better because we got to watch it in English! They have a projector set up in the chapel, but that's the spanish one. But they set up a TV in the relief society room for all the english elders pretty much. This church is a little on the poorer side, they don't have hymnbooks, and the TV we used wasn't quite what i'm used to. It looked like I was watching general conference out of the 80's. I love it. And due to my recent experiences in my area, and the fact that the color was a little faded, but the Motab has never looked whiter. Everytime they focused on the black guy in the Motab it made me feel a little more comfortable. So something interesting this week is that I went on splits for the first time! So I was actually an english elder on tuesday. And I rode a bike and everything. I actually really enjoyed it. It's been so long since i've been outside for that long. And we met some really interesting people. and I almost got hugged by a black lady. She went for it, and I stepped back, and she got super offended. I felt terrible, but once I explained it I think she felt better. Also, we watched a video by a general authority at a members house, and it was awesome. It's by F. enzio busche. He gave a BYU devotional a lot of years ago, and I would definitely recommend you all watch it. It's awesome. It's on Youtube. I wish I had more exciting news for you all. This week has been really interesting. It's gone by really fast it feels like. We've got a lot of potential in our area right now, but right now nothing is happening fast. We've got 3 investigators who are ready for baptism but can't right now for one reason or the other, and then 3 others with baptismal dates that we've found. Also, you all would be so proud of me. I've eaten spaghetti twice since I've got here. And I didn't even cry. and I'm actually starting to like beans and rice. Todd, I've had some really good beans and rice here. Now I just need to convince the hermanas to share the recipes with me. But I've had some delicious carne asada, I had the best tilapia with beans and rice i've ever had, and tons of other stuff. It's really good food here. I hardly eat anything besides dinner so I don't get fat. And I had In'n'out for the first time today since I got here. And we had a half hour conversation with a muslim man outside of it. It was really interesting. And a lady inside was taking pictures of us. So keep your eye out for pictures of me on the Web alright? But anyway, everything is going well for me. I hope i'll have some really good stuff to tell you next week. But the church is true. I can't watch General conference without knowing that. And the Book of Mormon is definitely true too. And mostly what I want to say, the Atonement is a real thing. The one thing about being a missionary with so many rules, it's a lot of opportunites for blessings, but it's also a lot of opportunites for repentence. And I've had some really great experiences with that this week, not great because I've messed up, but great because I know i've been forgiven even though I don't deserve it in the slightest. And that's really the amazing thing about the Atonement. Is that we don't deserve it at all. It's just a gift from our Brother who loves us more than we can imagine, and who died so that we can be like Him. And that's why i'm here, because there are a lot of people who need it here. LA is not kind to a lot of people. Anyway, I love you all so much. I loved to get your letters, and I can't wait to write you all next week! keep reading your scriptures and praying! And going to church! I love you!
Borsh-Borsh! That's so crazy that you played in a frisbee game. It seems like just yesterday I was doing that. I hope you made the Reichman name proud. Or at least brought it up from when I left there. How's Lily? I hope she's doing well, and you're not spending all your time playing video games and neglecting her. But you wouldn't do that. thanks for your great letter this week bud, it was great to hear from you. Keep on having fun at school, and I will talk to you soon! Love you buddy!
Amy-Amy. Our letters are going to be the same soon. We're just going to spend all our time comparing the things we ate during the week. If I get fat, you have to get fat with me, deal? I'm so glad Cary's checkride went well. he's been in my prayers here. I hope things calm down for you two soon, and that Abby stops licking your cinnamon rolls.
B-Oh B. I forgive for your lack of letter last week now. I'm sorry to hear about your interesting news on the girl front, but i'm sure it'll improve. I mean, i'm talking to the guy wearing the 5000 dollar suit! I got a little caesars during p-day last week, and it made me think for a second about all the little c's we got together. Good thing there are plenty more of those in our future. Anyway, I love you B! (and I thought you concentrated on calculus laast year)
Matt- Mexico! Soy en mexico tambien. es lo mismo si? Yo probe el jugo de avila semana pasada. usted ha probado eso? fue muy bien. yo espero que Usted y lauren esten muy feliz en su viaje, y su trabajo no es demasiado ocupado despues. Les escribire proxima semana! Les quiero!
P.S. I like what you said about spiritual snacking, not just feasting. It's easy to have feasts every now and then. But the real staying power is in the daily snacking there.
Kt- I am also of the opinion that Wesley could have peed on the rug. Let's not point the figure to Kola. Could have been Josh too. I'm so glad to hear of all your exciting baby stuff! That's so exciting. I can't wait to see pictures, and tell Todd not to be too jealous of all my beans and rice. Tell Lola hi for me!
Mops and Pops- Mops, you would be so proud of me. Last week, I sliced up a watermelon! all by myself! And yesterday, and I found a little george foreman in our apartment, and I made myself a delicious panini! just like mom used to make! thanks for teaching me all that stuff! and pops, I could open the video, but I really want to see it. I sure love you both, and thanks for all your do for our family.
I love you all so much, and I hope you have a wonderful week!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Placentero nos es trabajar!

Hola Familia! como esta? yo espero que ustedes estén bien. Mi semana fue interesante. Yo he aprendido mucho, sobre el evangelio y español y estoy progresando. No puedo entender a nadie! Todas las personas hablan demasiado rapido! Pero, esta bien. Por lo general, yo puedo entender mucho. El problema es yo necesito aprender escuchar mejor. En ingles y español tambien. Tambien, no me gusta cantar en español. Las personas en iglesia cantan muy mal. Pero, me gusta la himno 88, porque no tenemos este himno en ingles. yo escribire en ingles ahora.
Hola Familia!
I hope everything is going well at home! Everything is going pretty well here. I feel like Russell. Missions are hard. But I know this is definitely what i'm supposed to be doing, I really am learning a lot here, and i've had a few hard times but really overall it's pretty good. President Baker is awesome. He's pretty strict with the rules, we follow the handbook pretty closely. But he's really funny, and he definitely understands how to have fun but also work hard. Which is definitely something I need. I have a tendency to work hard and not have fun, but I've been realizing that it won't work. you can't testify of the gospel very convincingly, that the gospel is a gospel of joy, when you're not joyful yourself. I've been improving on that. I had a good talk with President Baker this week, and we talked a little bit about that. I'm getting better. I'm starting to enjoy a lot of the people here, even if I can't always understand them. But they're very nice, and they sure love to feed us. Speaking of having fun, Elder Watkins is so goofy. He's from Vernal, UT, and he's great. He works hard, and really tries to help his investigators, but we have a lot of fun too. He has 5 months left, so he's not trunky yet. But his spanish is good, which is a very good thing. And our living situation is interesting actually. We live next door to members, and there's like these two apartments things right next to their house. We live in one, and the english elders live in the other. I'm going to send some pictures today, so you'll be able to see soon for yourselves! But it's nice. It's a little small, and a little dirty, and we don't have beds, our mattresses are just on the floor, but it's just fine. We really don't need anything else. It's an interesting neighborhood. I often go to sleep to the song of the sirens (them sireens!). It's interesting. You almost always here fire trucks and ambulances going all over the place. And the other day, there was a helicopter flying all over looking for somebody. My whole area is pretty much central americans and black people. It makes tracting interesting. you never know which language to speak when people answer the door, especially because everyone has these thick metal doors with metal mesh over them, so you can talk but you can't see them. I'm still terrified of tracting. I don't know what to say in English or spanish. but I'm slowly improving. We give out pass-a-long cards like there's no tomorrow. Also, remember how last week I told you about the lady I started speaking english to? Very good news on that front. We got to come back and start teaching her, and she seems very interested. She even came to church yesterday with her kids! That was really exciting. Also side note, her husband is a black man from honduras. So her kids are black but speak spanish. They didn't seem super comfortable in the latino ward, but she seems really interested. We taught her the first lesson on saturday, and that was scary. I still can't understand everything they are saying, so I'm a little scared to teach, because I don't want to misunderstand their concern or anything. But it's coming. There's a lot of potential with her. We also had a really awesome lesson on friday. I think I mentioned her in my last letter, but she actually talked to us first, and later said that she didn't know why she talked to us. We went and taught her, and she's a single mom with two kids, and her cousin lives with her and helps her take care of her kids. She has it pretty tough, she lives in a rough part of town in a rough part of town. But we taught her and her cousin, in english, and it went really well. you could definitely tel they were feeling the Spirit, and you could tell what a difference the gospel could make to them. she said a couple different times, she's often scared to be in her house. but she said she felt good, she felt peace when she was with us. I definitely think the Spirit has been and is working with her, I have very high hopes for them. The only problem is she works every sunday. So i'm not really sure what to do about that yet. But hopefully that'll work out. We actually had a lot of investigators at church yesterday. I think we had 6. We have about 3 investigators that are pretty much members but haven't been able to be baptized yet. One is on probation, one is waiting to divorce a lost man in guatemala so that she can marry the man she's living with her, and the other is waiting for a birth certificate from Guatemala so she can get married. It's interesting. It's a very interesting ward. There are some really great, really strong members but also a lot of not so strong members. We have lots of less actives. It's really a pretty weak ward to be honest. But that's why we're here. I also learned this week that it is very hard to teach somebody who is stoned. they're not very receptive. We have a less active who is trying to overcome an addiction to crack, and the way he's doing that is by using a lot of marijuana. It's an interesting ward. And I'm realizing more and more, it really is the small things that determine that. When you talk to less actives, they are never reading and praying regularly. Because if you are reading and praying regularly, you will know you need to go to church and keep the commandments and everything else comes with it. The ensign this month is all about the Book of Mormon. I would definitely recommend you all read it. I read it the other day, and it's awesome. The more I learn and think about it, the more I realize what an incredible gift it is. It's what God wants us to know right now, and it's what he's given us. moral of the story is read the scriptures. You can't go wrong when you're reading and praying daily. church is super interesting her. first of all, they sing terrible. Amy and Brent might have torn their ears off. It's pretty bad. But it was good. Second, I can't understand them. Church is even harder to pay attention in when you can't understand what they're saying. Third, latinos in priesthood like to tell long stories even more than the other wards i've been in. and fourth, church is super stressful as a missionary. You spend all your time hoping and praying that your investigators will come, and then the rest of the time hoping nobody in the ward will offend them/hoping they will be nice to them. They had a baptism after for another companionship, that was cool. but it made me realize how baptism really is the gate. There's so many people who are baptized here, who have never made it farther. There's a lot of families who have never been to the temple, and that's really hard to see.
But anyway, i'm running out of time so I'll talk to every next week! I love you all! have a great week, and thanks so much for the letters and emails! they make it easier to shoulder the load. I love you all!
Borsh-I'll forgive you this week, but i'm expecting a longer letter next week Josh! you need to tell me all about your puppy! You spent all this time trying to get one, you better tell me more about her! And make sure you're helping take care of her too! how's school going? you need to tell me all about it! I know you've got lots of exciting things you can tell me, you're way too cool. good luck with everything. Love you bud!
B-no forgiveness. You kissed a girl, and I had to find out from someone else? no letter? disgraceful
Amy-I love your letters! They're so awesome. I LQTM'ed while I was reading it. and Katies. My sisters are so dang funny! And if you wanted to send me a package, I always like food, especially of the candy/chip/snack variety. I hope Care-Bear does better with pilot training, I'm praying for him! I can only imagine how frustrating and how stressful that must be. But Heavenly Father will take care of you guys. He always does. I realize more and more every day how Heavenly Father has guided my life without me even realizing it. It'll all work out. I love you!
Matt- I would say i'm jealous you're going to Mexico, but I'm pretty much already there. The only thing missing is the daquiris. I hope you and Lauren have a great time, I got a letter from you this week, and I'm guessing there are more funny pictures in there, and I can't wait to open it later! Stay safe and I'll hear from you soon! If you can't write me next week, I will understand. I already love you more than Brent anyway. Just jking. Love you!
KT-Oh man. hearing your stories about Clarence and Lola and Lily made me LOL in the mission office and the other missionaries looked at me. Thanks a lot. It sounds like everything is going very well with you guys, and I can't believe in less than two months I'll be an uncle! I love you guys!
Mops and pops-sorry you guys always get the short end of the stick. But I sure love you guys, and thanks for your constant support and everything. And for the 19 years of life and everything. Love you two!

Translations furnished by Matt:

Placentero Nos Es Trabajar = It Is Pleasing To Us to Work, hymn #88

Hi family! How are you? I hope you are all well. My week was very interesting. I have learned a lot about the Gospel and Spanish and I am progressing. I can't understand anybody! All the people talk too fast. But, it's OK. In general, I can understand a lot. The problem is I need to learn to listen better. In English and Spanish, too. Also, I don't like to sing in Spanish. The people in the church sing very bad. Also, I like hymn number 88 because we don't have that hymn in English. I will write in English now.

Sidenote I: When I first heard this hymn, I was like, "Well, no wonder they left it out of the English hymnal, it's terrible." But then it made me cry when they sang it on my last Sunday in Mexico.
Sidenote II: Ryan's Spanish is really coming along Hola Familia! como esta? yo espero que ustedes estén bien. Mi semana fue interesante. Yo he aprendido mucho, sobre el evangelio y español y estoy progresando. No puedo entender a nadie! Todas las personas hablan demasiado rapido! Pero, esta bien. Por lo general, yo puedo entender mucho. El problema es yo necesito aprender escuchar mejor. En ingles y español tambien. Tambien, no me gusta cantar en español. Las personas en iglesia cantan muy mal. Pero, me gusta la himno 88, porque no tenemos este himno en ingles. yo escribire en ingles ahora.