Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Week 2

I dont actually eat that much beans and rice. They are in the serve yourself section and the core part of the meal that you dont serve is usually enough for me. Lunch and dinner both have two pieces of meat, usuallly of different types. Breakfast is my favorite meal, because I can just eat a weird kind of oatmeal that actually tastes pretty good. I eat a lot of bread. The fruit juice is awesome, so thats what I eat all the time.
The guy standing next to me isnt my campanion. I can't remember where he is in the photo, but the guy next to me is *Elder Hendrickson (the brazilians cant say his name at all).
Well, I have been having lots of fun lately. My greatest trait getting hurt is happening a lot out here. I have visited the doctor about 5 days in a row, with different symptoms every day. I had about a .5" blister on my leg from a bug bite. I TWISTED MY ANKLE! When the doctor told me that, I was wondering if he was kidding, because I do the least out of everyone in my group. I run the minimum amount of laps and then sit around all of gym time. So when everyone heard that, they lost it. But me and the doctor are cool now, we are on a last name basis, nbd.
I havent seen any colombians, they are like 10 haspanic elders and they are all from argentina, bolivia and chile.
I love my district. We got split but all of us are still really cool with each other. In my room we were about to go to sleep so I asked "everyone ready for lights out?" and one guy who was finishing reading the Missionary Handbook (the rule book) goes "hold on, one more page" I responded "a bit ironic to break the rules to finish reading the Missionary Handbook." Then the guys companion which I had never heard laugh before, started cracking up and probably didnt stop for about 5 minutes. It was awesome.
Portuguese is easy. Basically, I just speak spanish, but turn all the double Rs and Rs in the beginning of the sentence into a H. All the DI and TIs into CHE. The DE and TE at the end of words into CHE. The J makes the english J sound.
The MTC guys are so strict and they got mad at me for something.. i have no idea, so i had to move computers. But really I just speak spanish with a weird accent and I get by most of the time.
Something that is nice is we finally got a second sister in our group. The problem is all the guys are so respectful to the sister that if you only have one, she can walk all over the guys. So now we have a second one and they keep eachother in check, so now classes are slightly more sane. (sometimes the sister would make the lessons go in a very weird direction because she would wonder how to say a English idiom in portuguese)
The funniest part is to see all the american elders learn how terrible English is. They are learning what congujation is and what tenses are. And how teeth should be tooths. Its halirious. Or how read can be pronounced I read a book yesterday and Im going to read a book.
Well Im working hard and following all the rules, I would attach photos but they dont give us enough time. A minute of our time disappears into the loading screen of IE 0.5. 
Love you all!

Week 1

So a funny story from the very beginning was I was taking a shower my first day. As soon as I got in and turned on the water, I heard someone say ît says dont pee in the shower.. why would someone do that? AS SOON AS he said that I had to go pee sooooooooooo badly. I thought it was halirious.
I found out the two apostle that I shook hands with and then preceeded to fall asleep during their talks were Elder Ballard and Anderson. Everyone told us we were lucky to arrive in time, but I was so jet lagged and hadnt slept in 20+ hours that I didnt know why I was lucky.
We work so hard at the CTM, I mean Ive never worked so hard in my life.. its strangely good. From when we wake up to go to sleep, we are either practicing portuguese or talking about how to teach the gospel. thats like 16 hours of work. Unfortunately it dilates the time soo badly. So I feel like Ive been here for about 2 months... and it hasnt been a week. The best part about the CTM is that when we eat we sit next to Brazilians whose English is as bad as our Portuguese, if you wanna see something funny... thats the thing to watch. But we learn so fast because of it. Like I remember our first lesson we taught, I actually started cracking up because he answered the question how are you? and it was a simple reply about day to day stuff... and I didnt understand a word he said.
I love our teachers. They are the most sincere and loving people I have ever met. Their english is broken in random ways but it doesnt even matter, I love it when they talk!
Portuguese is sooooo close to Spanish, so whenever I speak portuguese and get stuck, I just speak spanish and 90% of the time I get it. Its awesome, sadly everything thinks I know what Im doing though. And mother you thought I wouldnt practice my spanish. There is a pack of haspanic elders down here and Ive been talking to them in Spanish and its been fun because I actually know what I am saying for once.
The group of people I am working with to learn portuguese with were all on the same plane from dallas to são paolo. It is super cool. Everyone is different so we have all the different personalities. Thankfully we have a guy that has a similar dry sarcasm that I do, so everytime he says something, I usually smile.
Last night, the toliets all backed up. So all 6 floors smelled.... terrible. Thankfully the smell wasnt in our room. On a related point, the food here kills your stomach! Two different meats every meal, if you dont speak portuguese, you have to take both because yuo dont know how to ask for only one of them.
But I am having fun and these have been some of the most spiritually fulfilling days! I need to learn this keyboard better! Next letter will be longer, but not enough time!
- Elder Reed
I miss and love you guys, mommy daddy amy dominic!

MTC Brazil

He arrived!!!!!

Elder Nicolas William Reed
Brazil Belem Mission
Brazil Missionary Training Center
Rua Padre Antonio D'Angelo, 121
Casa Verde
02516-040 Sao Paulo -SP

Dear Parents,

We are happy to send the good news that your missionary has arrived safely at the Brazil MTC.  What a great joy and privilege it is to greet each missionary as they come through the front door of the MTC for the first time. We promise to take good care of your missionary.

They now have companions and are settled into their rooms.  They are assigned to a district with capable and caring instructors for language and lesson study.  The branch presidents and their wives, will soon give them a second greeting.  These couples are rewarded in their callings through the love they always develop as they embrace and watch over the missionaries.

The MTC has a full time live-in physician to care for their health needs.  He is assisted by his able wife. We are also happy to report that the Cafeteria food is abundant and very good.                                                                                                     

Your missionary will be able to e-mail home on Preparation Day after a morning at the Temple.  This will be either Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on individual assignments.

Your very important young person is about to make an eternal difference in the lives of others.  We hope you will be encouraged and comforted by this quote by President Lorenzo Snow: “There is no mortal man that is so much interested in the success of an elder [sister] when he is preaching the gospel as the Lord that sent him to preach to the people who are the Lord’s children.”

Please accept our love,

President Ralph Degn and Sister Mary Ann Degn

ADDITIONAL  information . . .   
DO not send packages to the Brazil Missionary Training Center. All packages must be sent directly to the mission where your missionary will be serving not the MTC. If you have already mailed a package to the Brazil MTC and it arrives after your missionary has left for the field, please understand that the package can not be forwarded to his or her mission and will be returned to you.
WE Strongly eNCOURAGE sENDING HAND WRITTEN LETTERS. Please write your missionary´s first and last name. Your missionary will provide you with his district and box number. Also, please DO NOT SEND ANYTHING BY FEDEX, DHL, UPS, or other private carriers.  The cost to get this type of correspondence is exorbitant.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Leaving Home- January 24th 2012

Goodbye to his baby bro and sister

Nico said goodbye to Martin and started his missionary work already, he gave Martin a Book of Mormon and told him. "Dude, I am not going to the middle of the jungle for two years just for fun, this is real. Read the book"

a very nervous smile

Last call to the grandparents

one last text to his friend Martin
I love my boy!

a kiss from his mom and he lost it
I kissed him and reassured him that he is going to be OK!

Our poor boy, that was so hard to see!

heading to security i could see how nervous he was. He blew me kisses from really far!
Saying goodbye is never easy. Our Nico got up and said goodbye to Amy and Domino before they headed out to school. Ben gave  comfort blessings to each one of us, we prayed and hugged. It was so clear to see how difficult it is for Amy to see her brother go for two years, but how blessed we feel for his desire to serve the Lord.
"The day is here", that is all that kept going through my mind. But peace and stillness filled my heart since I woke up. The peace that he is going to be taken care of and that Heavenly Father will make him grow, learn and experience great things in Brazil and bring him back safe to us.
He called grandma and grandpa in Arizona for a quick goodbye and also to Tito and Tita in Chicago.
He texted his Bro at heart Martin, too. I think Martin decided at the last minute not to come to the airport with us because it was going to be really hard for him.
A really good friend of mine told me, Carolina, be strong and show him how happy you are for him to go as that last image of you is going to go with him. I did not cry, I DID NOT CRY and that was TOUGH!!!!!! I kissed him and hugged him and SMILED at him. Ben cried a bit, but soon held it together. Nico on the other hand, showed us a side of him we have never seen. His tender feelings were completely afloat as he said goodbye to us. He said, Mom, it is really hard to go away for two years!!! Tell me about it boy, I am dying inside but I am not letting you see that!
Heavenly Father, as my boy goes away a piece of my heart has been ripped. But the assurance that he is in YOUR hands makes all the difference today for me!


The Reed Family
With Grandma and Grandpa Reed
June, Amy, Nico and Martin

Nico, Dominic and Amy

A last awkward hug

Aunt Lori, Uncle Mike, Katie and Nathan

Uncle Sam and the boys

Amy, Martin and Nico

Our family, each so different but yet so especial
What an awesome weekend we just had!!!! We had the visit of most of the Reed family for Nico's farewell. We had a wonderful party to say goodbye to our boy, we called it " Brazilian Blowout"... we had the company of about 100 of our friends, lots and lots of food and some Brazilian music to get in the mood. On Sunday Nico and Ben spoke on Sacrament Meeting and what a great job they did. Their assigned topic was "charity". I could not help but cry through their talks. I am so blessed with such wonderful husband that is the perfect example of charity and love for others and my son that is about to give two years of his life to share the gospel to others in Brazil.

First Temple Trip

 Today was a really especial day for us. We got to take Nico to get his endowments at the temple in preparation to serve his mission. TWO MORE WEEKS!!! The clock is definitely ticking! The weather today in Oakland could not be more appropriate to what our hearts were feeling... warm, sunny and beautiful!
What a joyful day it was for us, how happy we are for all the choices that this boy is making in his life and the man that he is becoming. Heavenly Father, THANK YOU for letting us raise such wonderful kid!

Elder Reed

Nicolas William Reed was born in Chicago, Illinois. Little Nick showed determination since short age an example of it is that one day returning from a trip to Colombia he decided to change his name to Nico as family called him there . Even though he never attended preschool his desire to learn Math was very marked. He was taught Math at a pre-school group run my his mom and her friends. He knew how to add by the time he started kindergarten.
In Morgan Hill Nico became friends with two wonderful neighbor boys and have become practically brothers, Ryan and Martin Perez. These kids spent much time hanging around and playing their favorite thing video games.
Even though Scouts was not one of Nico's favorite things and he didn't always attended, some of the ill fated trips will be forever in his memory and those of his leaders. (He broke his arm once on a biking trip and got food poisoning on his first campout, not pretty!)
He attended seminary faithfully and graduated with perfect attendance, never missed a day even days he was sick as a dog he went, and his parents didn't have to make him attend. He was so excited to attend seminary one day that he woke up at 2 am (got the time wrong) so tired got in the shower, and went and sat in the church parking lot wondering why nobody was there. He realized the time when his parents called him a few minutes later to find out where he went.
Nico loves school, he attended his high school years in a special program through Gavilan College and when he graduated with his high school diploma he also had accumulated 2 years of junior college at the same time.
He attended BYU. He applied just "for his parents" not where he wanted to go. Even though he was accepted to his second (third, fourth and fifth) choice school, Berkley, he still thought the right thing was to go to BYU. There he did his junior and part of his senior year in Math.
Nico loves to work with computers and is good at it. This summer he worked as an intern in San Francisco for a computer company saving money for his mission.
His parents prayed hard for him to serve a Spanish speaking mission, but they are thrilled he is going to South America and learning a language that is almost Spanish.