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!