Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hola Familia! Como estan? Por el registro, Yo se ano significa anus. I was just feeling lazy and didn't want to switch the keyboard and i forgot that those two words were so similar. So sorry Josh, and I really hope you didn't get that for your birthday.

Mi Semana fue bien y yo aprendi mucho durante esta semana. Yo aprendi mucho sobre espanol y la expiacion y el evangelio, y yo ha aprendido todos las grammatica en espanol! Puedo tener una woo woo! ( the whistles go woo woo....).

So this has been a great week. first of all, A couple items of business. I don't know what to do about a bike. Would it be possible for the parents to maybe contact the mission home and ask if they already have a bike I could buy, or figure out where to get me one? Cause I can't do much here, and I think my mission president will be sad if I'm not prepared with one when I get there. Second item of business, I've been thinking and realizing it might not be a super idea to have a bright red backpack in LA. So, I might need to think about getting a much blander one. Also, for those RM's out there, any tips for keeping ties clean? And once they are not clean, what can you do about it? I had a vicious battle with a grapefruit during breakfast this week, and now one of my ties has grapefruit stains all over it. Es muy triste. Anyway, now on to the exciting part of my email.

Brent said in his letter this week around now I'm in the I hate the MTC phase and pretty soon i will be in the oh heck I don't know spanish or the gospel and what in the world is a book of mormon phase. Thanks to an experience I had after writing last week, I can say i'm a little ahead of schedule. Last week, right after I wrote you, me and elder Harper were walking up to the temple. There was an older lady just laying in the grass, and Elder Harper just happened to say hi. Turns out she's from Honduras, only speaks spanish, lives in California but was in Utah right then and didn't know any people. At least I think that's what it is. It's possible she was speaking chinese. Because she started speaking, and I could not understand. I got a few words, but man it was tough. Luckily, Elder Harper was on the ball. Turns out she has a problem with her leg, and she didn't know many people here, so she came up to the temple to wait for spanish speaking elders so they could give her a blessing. At least that's what I think it was. I felt like a chicken with my head cut off, but Elder Harper was on it, and we got a couple more elders, and then he even gave the blessing in Spanish. Elder Harper is a pretty amazing guy, I got very lucky to have him as a companion. The longer it's been, the more I know he was supposed to be my companion here. I've learned a lot from him, it's incredible that he's even on a mission, and he's one of the strongest people I know. He's had some experiences that make me want to curl up in a ball and hide, but he doesn't. He's awesome. But that was a really cool experience. I'm glad Elder Harper was able to help her, even if I couldn't. On a better note, I've had the opportunity to speak with a lot of natives here, and a few have told me my spanish is really good. So that's reassuring. And, this week, we've completely finished all the grammar in spanish. So now, all I can do is learn more words and master the grammar. It's pretty cool. I can definitely tell how much my spanish is improving. This week at the TRC, there was a noticeable difference between last week. I could understand a lot more, even though our volunteer was from Spain (he lisped so much. I'm so glad I'm not going to Spain). And really now, when I'm teaching, I can say almost anything I want. It might not be great, but I can get my point across. And we had Elder Zivic of the quorum of the seventy speak this week, and my branch president pointed out something interesting. Him and his wife really don't speak very good english. But we could still understand them, and feel the Spirit and understand their message. And it can be the same for us. that was cool. Me and Elder Harpers teaching has gotten a lot better too. We're getting a lot better at teaching in unity. I've had a few cool experiences with that. A couple times, we've been teaching, and a question has just come into my head while Elder Harper is talking, and then a couple seconds later Elder Harper asked the same question. There are few things cooler than knowing that what you're teaching isn't really coming from you. It's an amazing feeling. We had a workshop this week, I don't know how to explain it but we were practicing teaching strangers about the Atonement. And we listened to sound clips of real people who have pretty terrible lives, and then the other person pretended to be that person. It was really good. It helped me realize how much the gospel has to offer people. How much it has to offer people who have lost hope, who want to change their lives but can't by themselves or who can't get over mistakes in the past. And I know that the Atonement has the power to help them in their lives, and I'm getting so excited to go to LA and share this with them. I've learned a lot about the power of the Atonement in my life, and mostly what I've learned recently is that Christ doesn't always take away our problems or our pains. He just gives us strength to bear them. I've had some days here where I've felt worse physically than I ever have. But It didn't matter, and I know I was helped to be happy and do what I needed to do. He says in Matthew, take my yoke upon you, for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. And I really have a testimony of that. I've had some tough problems here, but by looking to the Savior he has made my burdens easy. And I can't wait to share that with the people who need it.

Speaking of sharing, have you guys watched many mormon messages? Some of those are amazing. Just look for them on We get to watch them here, and some of them are truly amazing. They're pretty powerful. My favorites are Watch Your Step and Moments that Matter Most. I'd recommend them. And now for a couple funny things from this week. So during church, one of the branch presidents wives was talking, and she said "out of sound a heaven" I thought you guys would appreciate that. I was laughing. Another thing is, sometimes it's funny to tell the nuevos here wrong words in Spanish. Me gusta su corbatta significa "I like your tie." but if you add a different word, like, mano o algo, the nuevos are really just telling people that they like their hand. But we got yelled at by the zone leaders, so we can't do it anymore. Elder Harper likes to tell people that he likes their eyebrows, because very few people actually know that word. It's hilarious. I feel like more happened this week, especially in the funny department, but I'm running out of time, and I can't think of anything else. But I love you guys, and thanks for all your support and letters. Also, many of you have said sorry if your letter is boring or if I write you too much (mops). Please don't worry about it. I love hearing about and from you guys, and I'm gonna enjoy everything you send me.

Borsh-Happy Birthday! i can't believe you are getting a puppy. I want to hold it right now. You better send me pictures, and you are not allowed to love the new puppy more than Kola. I'm trusting you to take good care of Kola for me, so you can't let me down. I hope you had a great birthday, and I sure love you bud!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hola Familia! Yo espero todos las cosas estan bien. Yo extrano ustedes mucho, pero, esta bien. Estoy haciendo el obra del Senor y yo tuve una buena semana. Debo compartir?

Hola Familia!

I've had a great week over here at the good old CCM. It's been quite the week, a lot of really really good moments, a few not so good moments, and a lot of really funny moments. I hope you're ready. First of all, a week ago, after I finished writing you guys and my pday, me and Elder Harper taught the best lesson we've taught yet. It was so good. Unfortunately, I'm really not entirely positive why it was so good, it just was. We were teaching, and we were just doing a really good job at being interested in the life of the investigator, named Brittany. We've been teaching her since the second day. And we shared some personal stories, and the Spirit was just really strong. It was so good. And Brittany likes to use her phone during lessons sometimes, and it just hit me towards the end of the lesson that that was why she wasn't progressing the way we wanted her too. So we challenged her to not use her phone when she read scriptures, and to try and not have distractions so she can feel the Spirit more. It ended so well. And I really think she is progressing. Although our last meeting with her she said she didn't understand the 1st chapter of Nephi. We kind of wasted an entire lesson trying to explain things to her, and I think it was mostly just my teacher trying to teach us that we can't answer every question. Every man eventually is backed up to the wall of faith, and there he must make is stand. That's Preach my Gospel. I really love that book. The more I use it, the more I love it. It teaches everything so well, I don't even know why I'm teaching. I should just hand people copies of Preach my Gospel instead. It's so good. I've learned so much from using it, and man am I grateful I have a tool like that to use. It'd be a whole different missionary work without it. Our district is progressing well. Last week, our teacher told us that we're progressing incredibly fast. He said we're one of the best districts in the MTC. Our spanish is better than a lot of people who are about to leave, and we still have 4 weeks left. We are doing so well that they are probably going to start sending people in to watch our classes to see what it is we're doing. That was a very nice thing to hear. And also very humbling. Because I know how little I have to do with it. I'm working hard, and trying to speak as much Spanish as I can, but really I give all the credit to having really really great teachers and the Spirit. I'm sure there are people who are working harder than me who are not seeing the same success. But it's still really cool. And it definitely helped us feel good about how we're doing. I've really had a great week. I've had some great spiritual experiences. And I know Heavenly Father is watching over this work. And me. And the longer I've been here, the more I know the CLAM is the right mission for me. talking with other people about where they're going, i'm very grateful to be going where I am. It really is just perfect for me. You know something cool? I actually have a ministerial certificate. I was looking at it the other day, and I think it's really cool. It's very humbling realizing who and what I am really representing. Also, I met an Elder Stevens here. He's going to Hong Kong and he says he's the Bush's nephew. I thought that was interesting. It's a small world. I just happened to start talking to him while I was waiting for my toast to burn. Also, I broke a rule the other day. It says in the white handbook, that your socks and pants should always match. I looked down and realized I was wearing brown socks with blue pants. Yo fui muy embarazado. I talked to a german sister while I was waiting for a fireside, and man I can't remember my german now. I'm so totally immersed in spanish I can only remember german words I don't know in spanish yet. My english is going downhill too. It's getting to the point where I think of spanish words before some english words now. There's so many languages here I have a hard time remembering which one I speak. And when we watch movies, I kind of get annoyed that the people aren't even speaking any spanish, and then realize that it's because it's an english movie. Oh well. Esta bien. It was a funny week. Probably the highlight of the week was when we found out Elder Penrod in my district has thought that my companion, Elder Harper, has had AIDS since we got here. Oh man. We really don't know what happened. But I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. Luckily, Elder Harper does not have AIDS. Also, Elder Penrod was trying to say cheeto fingers, and instead said "chickle finers." We love him. He's one of the happiest funniest guys I know, he's really great. Also, me and Elder Harper were talking about the bubonic plague, and somehow one of us ended up saying mnemonic plague. We enjoyed imagining what that would entail. That would be an oyster carnival of epic proportions. But it's been a really great week, and thanks so much for your letters and packages. I got 3 packages and 5 letters yesterday, and man was I happy and man was everyone else in my district jealous. So thanks so much. although I'm gonna get fat from all the food. But that's alright. Thanks for all you do, I love you all, and I can't wait to write youy again next week!

Borsh-Feliz Cumpleanos! Yo no creo usted estara 14 anos. No es posible. I hope you have a great birthday buddy, and I hope High school is going well! I love you!

Amy-Shut the front door. Cary is not going to fly planes. no es posible. Also, I forgive you. And for packages, I will love and enjoy and cherish almost anything you send me. I hope work gets better, and I can't believe D-face is an old married fart now. I always thought she would wait for me. Triste dia.

B- I hope your septum is straightened now and that your nose looks less boogery than usual. And that your nose doesn't swell up from surgery or else you're gonna look like Matt

Matt-I'm expecting photos of your new place soon. I can't wait to see it. It's weird seeing the windmills out the window here and realizing that you're that close. But it's alright. Tell Lauren hi!

KT & Bundle D-I'm an aunt! I mean...congrats on lola bunny! I am gonna be suprised if you do have a baby bunny inside or outside your tummy when I get home. Not disappointed, just surprised. That's so exciting that she's moving around so much, what an athlete. You're super pregnant.

Mops & Pops- I actually have not gotten my picture book yet, but mail is a little screwy here sometimes. I'm sure I'll get it soon. Time is up, but I sure love you guys. Can't wait to hear from you! And thanks for all you do!

Love you!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hola Familia!

Ryan Reichman to ryansfamily, me
show details Aug 11 (3 days ago)
Hola Familia! como esta? Yo espero todos es bien con ustedes. todos los cosas estan bien aqui. Yo soy aprender mucho a cerca de Espiritu y el evangelio.
Hola family! It's this time of the week again. I've been in the MTC a month now. Can you believe that? I was sitting there thinking about it the other night, and it totally blew my mind. I can't believe it's already been a month since I was last at home. It's been a good week. It's always interesting here. Life here has so many ups and downs, it's really impossible to describe unless you've been here. I never understood that, but now i do. I have times I feel like I could convert the entire city of Los Angeles in one go, and other times when I feel like I've never heard of the Book of Mormon or Spanish. It's a rollercoaster. But it's good. It's been a fun week. It's hard to start, i feel i have so much to tell you. I've had some great experiences teaching. We taught one of our progressing investigators (for the record, that means we're teaching our teacher who is pretending to be someone they know really well) the law of chastity, and she's living with her boyfriend, and she really seemed to understand that it was important and she understand that what she was doing was wrong and she wanted to change. It was really cool, I could definitely tell the Spirit was guiding that lesson. We also do a lot of practice teaching each other in our district, and that's really cool. When we are investigators, we pretend to be somebody we know. And it's so cool, when you pretend to be somebody you know well, and really get into it, the Spirit will tell you what that person is really thinking and how you can help them. It's been really cool experiencing it. Another thing I've noticed is when I study for my investigators, and not for myself, but my focus is really on them, not only am I more prepared to teach them, but the Spirit will testify to me that what I'm trying to teach is true, and it makes me want to share it so much more when I realize what it truly means to me. An amazing thing also, is how well you guys are guided by the Spirit when you write me. So many times, I've been reading a letter, and what you've wrote has been exactly what i've needed to hear to motivate me and cheer me up. I don't know what I would do without the support of such an awesome family, it really makes a difference. Also, before I forget, the scripture I want for my plaque is D&C 6:33-36. It might be a little long, but if it's possible I'd like all of it. And if it's not possible, let me know and I can change it. This week was crazy because, wait for it....I LEFT THE MTC. It was crazy. Elder Harper got sick, and the health clinic is closed saturday, so we had to go to the BYU health center, and then to the pharmacy. I felt like a zoo animal let out of my cage. It felt super weird. I was standing and driving around the places I spent all year at, that was really weird. And I was standing in the pharmacy, and I was not sure what to do, who to talk to, what was ok to do in there, what language to speak, it was weird. It's gonna be even weirder in LA, but much better. Also, speaking of Elder Harper, I seem to have a streak of having roommates who sleep talk (or in the case of Josh, sleep fart). Elder Harper sleep talks. And it's hilarious. One night, he had a nightmare. And I thought he was possessed by the Devil. (or Santa, as Elder Harper accidentally said when we were teaching, instead of Satan). He started screaming, and crying for help, and it was so terrifying. I threw a pillow at him because I was afraid to get close to him. It's amazing how terrifying it is when you're almost asleep and your companion gets possessed. Also, one night, he said, Que? oh. como estas? It was really funny. My favorite is when he will start speaking spanish like the TALL program does. The people on there sound like robots. Our district always makes fun of it, and we can't take some words seriously. But he starts speaking like them, and it's really funny. Speaking of TALL, when you're using it you're supposed to always be speaking and practicing, so everybody is always talking and it's loud. I discovered it's very awkward to practice teaching the Law of Chastity lesson when you're in the TALL lab. And since I was wearing headphones, I was talking loud, and just randomyl saying homosexual and la relaciones sexuales, and people gave me very weird looks. But I learned it, so it was worth it. Also, my title has to do with something Elder Williams said. he was trying to say the members will feed us, but he accidentally said that instead. That the members will eat us. We didn't laugh at all. Also, I continue my streak of getting weird injuries in super lame ways. I was playing basketball monday, and I was posting up, and I somehow tripped over somebody's shoe. It was a nothing fall, and it didn't really hurt. But after a couple minutes, it still hurt a little, and I looked down and I had two kneecaps! It swelled up like crazy. It looked like somebody stuck a tennis ball underneath my knee. It was gross. And now it's mostly just super bruised around there. The guy at the gym said it's probably some bursitis, and it'll get better in a few days. It doesnt hurt that bad, it just looks gross. but that's my week, and I love you all! I wish I had more time to say all that i wanted to say. Also, I could use some more jeans. Apparently, we're not supposed to wear shorts around the MTC on pday, but it makes it so I have no opportunity to wash my pants without breaking a rule. But anyway. I love you all! And the Church is true. And I've come to know, more the past couple weeks, that the only way to really be happy and to have peace in this life is through the Savior. as I do my best to do what He would do if he was here, I can feel the blessings coming, and I know that He loves me. And I know He is the only way. And I want everybody and especially my family to know that.
Borsh!-haha josh, youre Elder brother joke killed me. That was good. It made me very proud. I can't believe you're getting two pars while playing golf and starting high school monday! what the heck! That's more pars in one game than I have period. I'm jealous. I can't believe you're old enough to be in high school, and i hope you're excited. You're gonna have a great time, and I can't wait to hear about it. high school really is what you make of it. If you want to have a good time, and have good friends, when you're living the gospel it will all come. I can promise you that. I love you bud, good luck!
i wish I had more time to talk to you all, you wrote great letters to me this week and have a lot I want to say back to you. I'll try and do better next time. I love you!

Monday, August 8, 2011

August 4, 2011

Hola Familia!

for some reason, this won't let me do a tab, and then it's randomly sending it. It's super weird. But how are you guys? I'm doing just great this week. I saw the doctor this week, and got some medicine and I think i'm all over my cold now. Now my stomach is deciding that it is it's turn to be upset, but it's alright. It was funny going to the doctor this week, because through a random chance it turned out to be the doctor I saw at the BYU health center a few times. He was covering for another doctor, who Uncle Howard was doing a surgery on that day. also, it's really nice having Howard for an uncle around doctors in Provo. They are all super nice to me because they all love him. That's really nice. It's weird typing this email, I feel like I can already feel my english grammar slipping. And after sunday, me and and my companion are going to do solamente espanol. So after sundee, we're just going to speak spanish to each other. it's gonna be tough, but It will definitely help the spanish come better. Also a weird thing about being on a mission is getting used to nobody calling me Ryan. I felt super weird about that at first, til I thought about it and realized that nobody actually calls me Ryan anyway. I don't think i've been consisently called by my first name since middle school. But anyway.

This week has been super busy, really good and a little crazy. Spanish is coming along, everything is going good. It's really sad because two elders in our district, Elder moss and elder boyd, left yesterday. So now our district is down to 7. It's a little sad, but we're getting used to it. They're gonna do great down in Bolivia. And good news is, before Elder moss left, I salted his chocolate milk. And his cantaloupe. And he didn't see either of them, and he ate them both, and his faces were hilarious. I laughed so hard. Also, some of the elders kept hiding alarm clocks in their room the week before they left, and that was also hilarious. We were just trying to get them ready to go. But it'll be sad, I don't have anyone to play basketball with anymore. Or wear my spongebob sweatbands! Muy triste. Another cool thing is, my district got to usher at the fireside sunday. That was kinda fun. Cause we got front row seats, and everything. That was fun. My teaching and spanish is really progressing, I can feel it coming. I'm learning a lot how to teach, and when we do it in English, it's so easy. And it feels so good. And then I know exactly what I want to say, but I can't always say it in Spanish. But it's definitely progressing, and I'm working on mastering the grammar right now, the present, imperfect, preterit, future, conditional, present progressive, it's really fun. I really enjoy being able to use them. And when me and Elder Harper go all spanish, I think i'll progress even more. So i'm feeling pretty good about everything there. Also, there is an elder here named Justin Beazer. We heard them call him over the intercom, and we couldn't even believe it. And I had to fight my innate desire to want to fight him. We also challenged our second progressing investigator to baptism, that was really cool. I was just sitting there thinking and listening to my companion teach, when all the sudden I saw perfectly how to commit her to baptism. I just thought of the questions I should ask, and it worked exactly as it did when it came into my mind. That was awesome, knowing that the Spirit really told me how to get her to commit. That was really cool. I've also gotten better at studying. For some reason on tuesdays, we start with gym at 6 o clock. And then during the day, we have 5 hours of personal study total, including a 3 hour block. usually, that's death. I've fallen asleep every week during it. But this week, I had the best study session of my life. I studied patience for two hours straight! I don't know if it was because the more I studied, the more I learned about patience and that helped me study that long or what. But it was great. I spent like an hour on 3 scriptures, and wrote like 7 pages. It was crazy. I never do that. There is a scripture in D&C that talks about how when we're learning and teaching by the spirit, we both understand and are edified and rejoice together. And I've really started to understand that this week. Me and Elder Harper taught the district meeting sunday, and I felt the spirit when I was teaching then, and when I was studying. And I was so happy about it. There really isn't a better word to describe it than rejoicing, like it says in the scripture. That was really cool.

also, thanks so much for all the letters and packages! You don't understand what a huge difference it makes here. It makes days so much better, and reading your letters always makes me so happy. Thank you so much. And I have enough candy and food in my room right now to get diabetes. Amy asked me what I wanted her to send me, and if you wanted to send me anything, what I really want is pictures. I don't have any pictures of anybody, and I'd like some. Also, I could use some more t-shirts. But I'm all out of time, I love you all, and I can't wait to talk to you again soon!