Monday, September 29, 2014

Leaving Palo Cedro

Hello Family and Friends,


Well I am typing this as Sister Gibbons and I drive down to Antelope to drop her off at the mission office. She will get on the plane in the morning and head home. She has been a great companion and we have made it through the rough spots. 

As for me....
I am headed to Auburn 1st Ward and will be a Sister Training Leader (STL), which is Sister Zone Leaders. I am very excited for this new challenge and opportunity to grow. My new companion is from Finland and has 2 transfers left. Send another sister home?? Why not:) I have no idea about my new area but it will be good.


As for Palo Cedro, the Sisters are taken out. It's sad to see because of how many sisters need them but....God knows what he is doing. I guess Sister Brewster, Sister Gibbons, and I did what needed to be done. President Marston called me last night and said "you WILL be going to J's Baptism and will be teaching her with Anderson
Sisters through Skype. I am sad to leave her this close to her baptism but she will be fine. Elder Van Kammen will be taking over the area with a new companion. He was pretty nervous this morning when I handed him a huge pile of papers....but he will be fine as well!


Last night I went and said goodbye...or see Ya later...to a bunch of people. It was very hard. I made it through most of the day without crying until I got to the S family and cried a little, the H family even worse, and then Sister L.....I tear up even thinking about it! It is amazing how much you come to love someone in a short amount of time.


I officially made it through a Redding, CA summer. I told Heavenly Father I would leave after I saw it rain in Palo Cedro....and He let it happen.

Thank you for all your amazing examples! I love you all and hope you have a great week! Next week will be calmer and I can get a good email out.


Love,
Sister Reber

Monday, September 22, 2014

It's a good day!

Good Morning Family & Friends,

According to the dictionary a commandment = a command = an order or direction. President  Monson once said "Commandments aren't suggestions- they are commandments!" God gives us commandments for our benefit. They are instructions from a loving Father in Heaven to help us have happy lives. He also gives us agency, or the ability and opportunity to choose between good and evil. When we obey God, we follow the influence of the spirit and choose to conform to His will. Obedience to the commandments brings us peace in this life and eternal
life in the world to come. Obedience shows our love for God. Heavenly Father knows our weakness and is patient with us. (But as President Marston says "God will not let us use our weaknesses as an excuse!") As we keep His commandments He is able to bless us.

In 1 Nephi 3, Nephi and his brothers are commanded to go get the Brass plates from Laban, in verse 7 it says "And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." I love this scripture! The Lord doesn't give us any commandment that we can't accomplish!

"The Lord commanded His followers to preach the gospel in all the world, giving every person the opportunity to accept or reject it. When we are baptized, we make a covenant to always stand as witnesses of God. We are commanded to share the gospel with those who have not yet received it. As we live the gospel faithfully, we should set an example, showing our family members and friends the great blessings that come from living the gospel. We should also take advantage of opportunities to answer questions, share printed or audiovisual
materials, and invite others to learn more about the message of the restored gospel. We should pray for those who are not members of the Church. We should pray for missionary opportunities--to serve those who are not of our faith and share what we believe. The Lord promises to help members know what to say and do as they share the gospel."

President Ezra Taft Benson taught: “We are commanded by God to take this gospel to all the world. That is the cause that must unite us today. Only the gospel will save the world from the calamity of its own self-destruction. Only the gospel will unite men of all races and nationalities in peace. Only the gospel will bring joy, happiness, and salvation to the human family” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [1988], 167).

In this world today there are so many warning signs but, there are people out there ready to change, trying to find what they are missing, and spiritually hold "help wanted" signs. Linda K. Burton, the General Relief Society President said "Imagine with me some of the possible spiritual “help wanted” signs related to the work of salvation:
• Help wanted: parents to bring up their children in light and truth
• Help wanted: daughters and sons, sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents, and true friends to serve as mentors and offer helping hands along the covenant path
• Help wanted: those who listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost and act on impressions received
• Help wanted: those who live the gospel daily in small and simple ways
• Help wanted: family history and temple workers to link families eternally
• Help wanted: missionaries and members to spread the “good news”--the gospel of Jesus Christ
• Help wanted: covenant keepers to stand firm for truth and right
• Help wanted: true disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ
• Help wanted: rescuers to find those who have lost their way" *2

Many of you have participated in treks to experience and appreciate the dramatic rescue of the Wille and Martin handcart companies.

" In October 1856, during a general conference, President Young learned that two handcart companies, the Martin company and the Willie company, were traveling late in the season and would face harsh winter weather on the plains of the western United States. He stood at the pulpit as a prophet of God and declared: “Many of our brethren and sisters are on the plains with hand-carts, …and they must be brought here, we must send assistance to them. … This community is to send for them and bring them in. …“That is my religion; that is the dictation of the Holy Ghost that I possess, it is to save the people. …“I will tell you all that your faith, religion, and profession of religion, will never save one soul of you in the celestial kingdom of our God, unless you carry out just such principles as I am now teaching you. Go and bring in those people now on the plains.”
As a result of President Young’s call to action, wagons with teams of mules, men to drive them, and flour and other supplies were immediately sent to rescue the people stranded on the plains." *3
Elder M. Russell Ballard said " Today we are not called to pull handcarts through the snow-swept plains of Wyoming. However, we are called to live, foster, and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is our privilege to invest our means and our time to bless others. Each one of us must do all we can to preserve our Latter-day Saint way of life. A vital part of this preservation is a willingness to set aside personal desires and replace them with unselfish sacrifice for others."
Family and friends, the Prophet still calls and commands us to sign-up for the rescue party. There are still lives to brighten, hearts to touch, and souls to save.

I am so thankful to be serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Chirst of Latter-day Saints. It is truly a blessing to be here in California with these amazing people. Here are a few highlights from my week.

~A...craziest lady I've probably ever meet. We went to her house this week for a lesson and she said, when we sat down to the table, "So if you see a little critter running aroud, my cat dragged it in and I havent found it yet." Sister Gibbons held her feet up the entire lesson. Sure enough there ran "the thing". We thought it was a little squirrel then....it was black and white....and had a rat looking face. Critter for sure! It sat in her cat dish and ate the entire lesson. She didn't even care.
~We did alot of service this week.
~I never realized the impact I have made on the people here until I said goodbye to one of the less-actives here (just in case I do get transferred). As I said goodbye she broke into tears. It was such an uplifting experience for me. 
“Seek to bring forth and establish my Zion. Keep my commandments in all things.
“And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.” D&C 14:6-7
I love you all! Thank you for your support!
Love,
Sister Elli Reber




Monday, September 15, 2014

READ ME!

Family & Friends,
Good Afternoon on this beautiful Wednesday. It has thrown me off having p-day on a different day this week but....it has been a GREAT week. That also doesn't mean that I didn't have trials or that there was rough spots. 

We were able to meet Elder Brent H. Nielson, a member of the quorum of the seventy, this past Monday. What a great experience! He asked us all, "how many of you didn't know how hard a mission was going to be until you came out on your mission and found out.... That It's not as "perfect" as those returned missionaries make
it sound in their homecoming talks?" Everyone of us raised our hands. I just want to tell you all right now...A MISSION IS NOT EASY! If you are thinking about going on a mission...I'm not going to trick you....It's hard. As Elder Nielson said it, "Welcome to the work, it's going to be difficult." We are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and "In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we do hard things"(Elder Nielson) BUT....a mission will change you for the better, will teach you things that no one or anything could teach you, and WILL BE THE TRAINING CENTER FOR LIFE. Every ounce of blood, sweat, and tears(and of course the mental strain) will be WORTH IT! I am SO thankful for the opportunity to be on a mission.

Monday we had our Zone Conference, which was when Elder Brent H. Nielson and his wife, Sister Nielson, toured the Mission. If I had time to type all day long I would tell you everything that I learned but due to time...and being obedient I'll share a couple and save the others for another day. Before the conference started the sister missionaries had a special meeting with Sister Nielson. All the sisters were expecting....modesty....inappropriate relationships with elders....or something along those lines as the topic! Surprise....the topic was trials and marriage! It was one of the BEST talks to sisters that I have ever heard. First she started talking out about the struggles and hard times sisters have on their missions; not feeling their testimony is strong enough, hard times, etc,(what elders go through as well). She said " If you are having a rougher harder time then you thought.....you are normal!" She then went on to talking about how we can find the Holiness in everyday. She referred to a book called "The holiness of everyday life". In the book it talks about the things mothers get bogged down by, for example, a messy house. She had us think of a living room, kids clothes all over the couch needing to be folded, crumbs on floor, toys all over, your recent art project. She said "one day this was me...I walked into that and I was so irritated and mad!" So Sister Nielson went outside, grabbed a rake, and came inside and raked everything to the middle of the floor! She decided to time herself when putting everything away....5 minutes. She learned a great lesson from this book. What if we looked at the clothes on the couch as: the wonderful opportunity God has given us to have children and families, that those kids are enjoying life and getting their clothes dirty. What is we looked at crumbs on the floor as: I'm so grateful I have a husband that can provide for our family and we have
jobs. What if we looked at that art project as: I am so grateful God has given me a talent I enjoy so much! What if we looked at the Holiness in everyday life! Parents, husband and wife, are the "creator of a home". So how does this relate to a mission? Well you cannot understand "holiness" without opposition! "If a mission isn't anything
else....it's practice" said Sister Nielson. It's practice for marriage, it's practice for raising a family, it's practice for life!

It is such an amazing time to be a Sister Missionary. She talked about the age change of sisters and some reasons why they did it. As we all know, we are in the last day, and times are going to get worse. We will be raising kids in this world and we need strong women that know the gospel to raise strong young men into worthy Priesthood holders. She also gave us some advice she said "don't marry a project! Marry someone as equally yoked." As I thought of that, the kind of guy I want to marry: someone strong in the gospel, a worthy Priesthood
holder" I have to be equally as yoked! A mission does that. She ended with a quote " you are on a mission and He(Our Heavenly Father) will help you change into something worthy of His divine Sons."


The theme of the Zone Conference was "The Enabling and Redeeming Power of the Atonement". Before my mission I thought of the Atonement as "what Jesus Christ preformed for us so we can be forgiven of our sins,
that we can repent and be forgiven." But that's only part of it...the Redeeming power. " I am not suggesting that the redeeming and enabling powers of the Atonement are separate and discrete. Rather, these two dimensions of the Atonement are connected and complementary; they both need to be operational during all phases of the journey of life. And it is eternally important for all of us to recognize that both of these essential elements of the journey of mortality--both putting off the natural man and becoming a saint, both overcoming bad and becoming
good--are accomplished through the power of the Atonement. Individual willpower, personal determination and motivation, effective planning and goal setting are necessary but ultimately insufficient for us to
triumphantly complete this mortal journey. Truly, we must come to rely upon “the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah”" (2 Nephi 2:8). "Nephi is an example of one who knew, understood, and relied upon the enabling power of the Savior. Recall that the sons of Lehi had returned to Jerusalem to enlist Ishmael and his household in their cause. Laman and others in the party traveling with Nephi from Jerusalem back to the wilderness rebelled, and Nephi exhorted his brethren to have faith in the Lord. It was at this point in their
journey that Nephi’s brothers bound him with cords and planned his destruction. Please note Nephi’s prayer: “O Lord, according to my faith which is in thee, wilt thou deliver me from the hands of my brethren; yea, even give me strength that I may burst these bands with which I am bound” (1 Nephi 7:17; emphasis added). Do you know what I likely would have prayed for if I had been tied up by my brothers? “Please get me out of this mess NOW!” It is especially interesting to me that Nephi did not pray to have his circumstances changed. Rather, he prayed for the strength to change his circumstances. And I believe he prayed in this manner precisely because he knew, understood, and had experienced the enabling power of the Atonement. As you and I come to understand and employ the enabling power of the Atonement in our personal lives, we will pray and seek for strength to change our circumstances rather than praying for our circumstances to be changed. We will become agents who
act rather than objects that are acted upon (see 2 Nephi 2:14). The enabling power of the Atonement of Christ strengthens us to do things we could never do on our own. Sometimes I wonder if in our latter-day world of ease--in our world of microwave ovens and cell phones and air-conditioned cars and comfortable homes--we ever learn to acknowledge our daily dependence upon the enabling power of the Atonement.


There is no physical pain, no anguish of soul, no suffering of spirit, no infirmity or weakness that you or I ever experience during our mortal journey that the Savior did not experience first. You and I in a moment of weakness may cry out, “No one understands. No one knows.” No human being, perhaps, knows. But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He felt and bore our burdens before we ever did. And because He paid the ultimate price and bore that burden, He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy in so many
phases of our life. He can reach out, touch, succor--literally run to us--and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be and help us to do that which we could never do through relying upon only our own power."
The Atonement and the Journey of Mortality
http://www.lds.org/ensign/2012/04/the-atonement-and-the-journey-of-mortality?lang=eng
(If you have never read this talk.....PLEASE read it! Amazing!)


The last week and a half has been good. J is doing great. C well, she has a lot to think about. J is doing great, still wants to be baptized and be a member even if no one in her family wants to. We were teaching her and we have hit her with the Word of Wisdom. Chastity, and tithing pretty quickly, and she had a lot of concerns. But talking to her, she was feeling the Spirit and she said, "why would I let something like that get in the way of me getting baptized? I know I want to be baptized and all the little things will make sense eventually. I just know this church is awesome." She still is trying to quit coffee and smoking, but only smoked one time this whole week! She has a testimony and she will be fine! She is such an amazing example!


Family and friends I am so thankful for this gospel in my life, for the miracles I see everyday, for you my family and friends, for this amazing opportunity to be on a mission, for Our Savior Jesus Christ, and Our Loving Heavenly Father! I am so thankful for trials! "If you don't have trials, God's plan isn't working for you."(Elder Nielson) I am so thankful for the changes in my life, through Jesus Christ, and the enabling power of the atonement, that makes me a better person. The most important thing you can do on a mission is change....and
that's the hardest thing to do.
You Heavenly Father loves you!
Love,
Sister Reber

Modeling with "T"

Monday, September 8, 2014

This Week!

Hey Family and Friends,
No big weekly email this week! I'll get one next week! This week has been very good with a lot of miracles! Success in the work! Last night I said goodbye to some awesome people. Brother and Sister O moved are this morning, last night we celebrated with dinner and dominoes at Sister L's.
Have a good week everyone! Love ya!
Sister Reber
"It is the celestial glory which we seek. It is in the presence of God we desire to dwell. It is a forever family in which we want membership. Such blessings are earned through a lifetime of striving, seeking, repenting, and finally succeeding."
The Race of Life


Monday, September 1, 2014

September 1st - One year to Go!

Good Morning Family and Friends,

As I have been praying and asking Heavenly Father what to share with you today, I have decided not to focus on one thing/topic but to share a bunch of little things I've learned this week. I hope that you find something that helps you this week. Here is a little bit about my week.

Monday-P-day! This week was Sister Gibbons birthday so we went with the Cottonwood sisters and got pedicures, then of course we went to the missionaries favorite, Razzlious for frozen yogurt. Pretty fun day.

Tuesday - I made Sister Gibbons a birthday banner...in 5 minutes....I'm such a good companionšŸ˜‰. We had lunch with Sister Little and a big Birthday dinner at the Easts. Navajo tacos and birthday cake, then came home and Sister Nordstroms made her a cookie cake....and then we had to have her tradition of cheesecake.....gained 5 lbs...maybe!

Wednesday- Awesome spiritual day! District Meeting was just what I needed this week. We sat around a table and discussed and read Moroni 6, how we need to run our meetings, how we need to be with recent converts, etc. Basically how the church should be ran and our role as missionaries in it. Then for practice teach I played as a less-active for our Zone Leaders. Can I just say, I have never felt the spirit so strong, when someone has bore their testimony. I said a prayer in my heart before we started that I could act as if I was the person I was acting as and that I could say what he would say. My prayer was answered. As they taught me, the spirit was so strong, I learned so much about Our Savior and myself. It was awesome! At the end of the practice we all just looked at each other, I won't lie a I got a little chocked up, and we had realized that we weren't the ones talking, we are just tools for Our Heavenly Father. What a blessing it is to be a missionary!

Thursday- We did a lot of teaching but one story I would like to share with you. We had some members move into the ward not too long ago and we wanted to go get to know them better. He told us a personal story that made me think.

When he was 19 he started thinking about a mission, the Bishop called him in and told him they same thing he had been thinking about. A few days later he got a call from a racing company and they asked him to come drive their race car. He accepted the job and forgot about the mission. He started racing and did awesome! He was racing with the professional "big dogs", won a bunch of races, has a bunch of trophies, pictures in newspapers and magazines, he had it made. Then a couple years later his boss called him into his office and told him he was selling the business. He has the option to go sell car parts but wasn't going to race anymore. He was driving home that day and the spirit said "do you know what today is?". He thought through birthdays, holidays, etc. and then the spirit said "two years". It had been exactly 2 years from the time he could have left on his mission. He said "I looked back at those 2 years and said yes they were good but, what do I have to show for it? Some trophies, newspapers, and magazines. Nothing compared to what a return missionary has to show. "
If you are contemplating or doubting going on a mission....GO! End of discussion!

Friday-Sunday- Sister Gibbons has been sick so we have been home. Pretty boring for me but, I have got a lot of reading and pondering in. Church was great.

"Don't be afraid of the testing and trials of life. Sometimes when you are going through the most severe tests, you will be nearer to God than you have any idea, for like the experience of the Master himself in the temptation on the mount, in the Garden of Gethsemane, and on the cross at Calvary, the scriptures record, 'And, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.' (Matthew 4:11) Sometimes that may happen to you in the midst of your trials." - President Harold B. Lee
Pray More. Worry Less.
Love,
Sister Reber


 In Shingletown!
 Palo Cedro District