Thursday, July 28, 2016

Kissing up to Mom is Always a Good Idea


This week flew by. I'm officially halfway done with my provo mtc experience! Yesterday 50 new missionaries joined our branch so there's alot of new missionaries to get to know. We are now the biggest branch in the mtc and will probably be the biggest branch they'll see all year!

I'd like to wish my mom a happy birthday the other day!! I'm going to tell you all a little bit about my mom real quick. She's the best! She is the most selfless person I've ever met and always looks to help others. She doesn't need anything except her family in order to be happy haha. She is super loving and would sit and talk to me about anything for hours. I would be such a loser without her haha! She's taught me to be thankful for all that I have and to enjoy the small things! Hope you had a good day mother.

So a few days ago was July 24th so we got to watch a movie about the pioneers! We've also had many discussions about them throughout the past week. I've always loved the pioneers and their stories but I've grown to be even more thankful for them lately. The trials they went through were insane. They stayed faithful even after deaths in the family, being driven out of their homes, walking for miles in the heat and snow, and even after Joseph Smith was killed. They were truly converted and knew that they would be worth it in the end! Our time here on Earth is so short and we need to make the most of it! We are all so blessed in our lives and many of our blessings come because of the sacrifice of those who lived before us. Hopefully we can take advantage of our situations and bring happiness to those around us!

On Tuesday Elder Carter and I had TRCs which is teaching members who volunteer to come to the mtc. We gave two lessons but one of them really stuck out. Since we teach all of our lessons in Tagalog, we still have to write down a few phrases and words but each lesson we know a little more and things go a little smoother. I'll admit it's pretty hard to not be able to express how you feel during a lesson haha! I can understand most things the investigator has to say but speaking and putting sentences together is pretty tough. But anyways, we went in to the lesson with a plan but after talking to the member for a few minutes we both put away our notes and just tried to teach to the needs of the member. It was super cool because the spirit was so strong and we both thought of good scriptures to use and spoke surprisingly well! It was a big testimony builder for me for sure! I'm so thankful we were able to have that experience because it truly taught us that the language hardly means anything. If we have faith and rely on the Holy Ghost that's when we will get our message across the best!

We also watched the Restoration video on sunday during a break time. It's seriously a solid movie and I'm pretty sure you can go watch it downtown for free! Go with your families and watch it! Joseph Smith was a total stud. I know that he was a true prophet of God and restored Jesus Christ's church for these last days. It's so cool to see how many miracles he was able to be apart of in his time here. I know that miracles still happen today just as much as when Joseph Smith lived and even when Christ lived. We just need to look for them!

Well that's about all I've got. I have tons of fun with my district and learn a ton from them every day! I'm loving it here and I'm excited to get to the Philippines. I love this gospel and the happiness it brings me every day here in the mtc! Hope you all have a good week!

Love Elder Reber

I just have to add that Parker also sent the fam an email. This is where we hear all of the crazy stuff that they are up to. There are numerous pranks- messed up OCD elder bedrooms, fake dear elders written, and experiences with weird flavored jelly belly's-- missionary moms those were a hit! I for one love to hear and see that Parker is doing so well with everything but also remembering to have a lot of fun along the way! What a great kid he is- super lucky to be his mom!!  
PS It's good to see that after a few weeks of being away from me, Park still knows how to get straight to his moms good side!


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Elder Bednar and Elder Kearon


Another solid week in the mtc! Days are starting to blend together and we have been working really hard. Every day we have six hours of class and four hours of study. But at the same time we feel like we don't have enough time to get things done haha! Yes, the food here is pretty solid. I'm pretty sure I weigh around 185 all muscle now!

The highlight this week was the Sunday night devotional! The main auditorium opened so it was my first time singing Called to Serve with the whole mtc! We have about 2600 missionaries here now so it was completely packed. It was cool to look around and see so many people goin out to help others be happy! So last week we watched a talk given by Elder Bednar called The Attributes of Christ. It's a super awesome. I encourage you guys to watch it if you want! It's super long but really cool. But anyways for the devotional they had us watch it again! After it finished the lights turned on and Elder Bednar himself walked in! Elder Kearon from the seventy also came which was cool because he was in my ward for a few years. But Elder Bednar just answered questions the whole time! He talked alot about turning outwards like Jesus Christ would instead of turning inward and just focusing on yourself. The natural man in each of us is always focused on if we are happy or if things are fair in our life. It's totally true! He said once we can learn to love others more than ourselves we will truly be happy! The spirit was super strong the whole time he was there and he gave tons of great advice!

The lang is getting better. I'm surprised at how much we know but at the same time feel like i've got a long ways to go haha! Our teacher told us something i really liked. It took the Saints 42 (check if this is right haha) years to build the Salt Lake Temple. If they were to walk past the temple site every day it would just look the exact same! But if they looked at it every few weeks they would notice a difference. Our language improvement is the same way. From day to day it hardly seems like we're hardly going anywhere haha. But taking a step back I've noticed it's amazing how much we know in just two weeks!

My companion and district are doing great and we're all having so much fun together! I'm so lucky to have the Elders with me I can tell we will be good friends for life! We're all soo different but each of them  have so many awesome qualities. I was able to teach my comp the dab the other day! He's a lucky man getting to learn from the best lols. I'm learning a ton from my district and comp that will hopefully make me a more effective missionary!


My favorite scripture i read this week was D&C 100 5-8. It says: 
Therefore, verily I say unto you, lift up your voices unto this people; speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, and you shall not be confounded before men;
 For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say.
 But a commandment I give unto you, that ye shall declare whatsoever thing ye declare in my name, in solemnity of heart, in the spirit of meekness, in all things.
And I give unto you this promise, that inasmuch as ye do this the Holy Ghost shall be shed forth in bearing record unto all things whatsoever ye shall say
This scripture is awesome!! It's perfect for me as a missionary. The Holy Ghost seems to be something that we talk about over and over again in the mtc! It's so much more powerful than I realized before i got here. If we will have faith to open our mouths, the Holy Ghost will help us know what to say! I know that the Holy Ghost is so important for my future investigators. He will soften the hearts of the people I will teach and help them become converted to the gospel!

Hope you guys all have a great week!

Elder Reber

ps. Yeah I've played the piano a few times. I played hymns for sacrament last sunday and played in a meeting. I'm also teaching Elder Carter during our 15 minutes of free time after lunch and dinner! Thanks for making me stick with it haha!

Thursday, July 14, 2016


Hello everyone!!

This first week has been awesome. The spirit is so strong here I can't really explain it! I have been doing well and having lots of fun! After I got dropped off they just threw me into things! I walked into a classroom with a teacher speaking full on Tagalog! By day three my companion and I were already giving a lesson to our investigator Anna in Tagalog haha!

My companion is named Elder Eli Carter and he is from Southwest Missouri. There are about 175 people in the town he is from! Haha he's pretty quiet but we are getting along really well. He enjoyed working at a scout camp, playing iPad, watching TV, and taking band through high school. He also really enjoys languages and wants to go to a language college one day. I asked him what state it was in and he wasn't quite sure haha! He took Spanish in high school and tries to speak it to anyone who speaks here. He's a great example and I love him so much! He's taught me alot. Fun fact he can haul down stairs faster than anyone I've ever seen! He turns sideways and next thing you know he's at the bottom of the stairs. I'm trying to learn his skills and become more like him haha!

The language is totally crazy! I seriously just start laughing in the middle of class when I hear how some things are said. Like for example, faith is pananampalataya and humbling is nakakapagpakumbaba! It's soo fun to learn though. Some days it's kinda confusing but we've been staying positive as a district! I can say I know for a fact the gift of tongues is real!! If we have faith we will be able to accomplish anything. Elder Carter and I have taught Anna five lessons and committed her to baptism yesterday! These lessons have been so awesome because we constantly surprise ourselves with our Tagalog! Each lesson we use less and less notes and it's totally crazy how fast we've learned! Everyone in our district can say full prayers and we can all testify of things pretty well. We still have lots to learn so we'll continue to work hard!

I found out I'll actually only be here in Provo for six and a half weeks. Then we will go to the Manila MTC for a week so seven and a half weeks total! Which is really nice because I know I'll be wanting to get in the field by then haha. But this week honestly flew by and they say the first week is usually the worst!

As a district we all get along really well!! Everyone here has a different background and has been raised differently so it's fun to see how different yet similar we all are! We've had tons of fun so far and find funny ways to have fun. Elder Bottema from St. George has a nerf hoop so we go crazy tryin to ball at night during free time haha! We've also had lots of some sweet rap battles and like to tell funny stories and stuff. For exercise time we've mostly played sand volleyball which is super fun. Life in the mtc is pretty great haha! We've had tons of fun.

Like I said before, the spirit here is soo strong!! I've seen so many small miracles each day. On the second night I had the opportunity to give my comp a blessing! It was so cool and strengthened my testimony of the Priesthood a ton! The next morning he was doing so much better and it was cool to see God do his work. Another cool tender mercy was one day after class I just decided to bring my camera to the cafeteria which I hadn't done before! Sure enough, I saw two of my best friends, Elder Cheney and Elder Lloyd, at the same time and was able to take a pic! That's the only time we've been together at the same time and I didn't realize that little miracle until later that day! My branch president told us miracles are the same today as they were during Joseph Smith's time, and even during Christ's time! That really struck me and I know I'll see that throughout my experience as a missionary!

I've learned more this week than I would normally learn in a few months I feel like. One thing I liked is was a quote I heard during one of the devotionals. A pioneer said, "We came to know God during our extremities. The price paid was a privelage to pay." I know that God is always watching over us during our hard times in life! We grow so much during these times. The reason we came to earth was to be tested right? I know that if we can endure to the end and always stay faithful, we will be blessed more than we know and it will all be totally worth it! Thanks everyone for your support! I'm so lucky to be blessed with the fam and friends i have. Have a good week!!

Elder Reber :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Sunday, July 3, 2016

And he's off....

It is hard to believe that the big day is fast approaching. I didn't even imagine this day when I bought Park a sign to hang up in his bedroom that stated "I Hope They Call Me On A Mission." He has had this hanging up where he could see it for at least the past 15 years.  Guess it's time to move it to Gradens room!  So super proud of Parker and the great man he has become.  We look forward to seeing him grow and progress even more over the next two years and will be counting the days until his return!!!