Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Stake Conference filled our little Chapel!

Hello everyone!
I am sorry but this one is going to be a short one! This week was a great week because we had Stake Conference and Zone Conference! Even though I love the work, I love when the leaders of the church get to talk to us and we get to listen. What a blessing! I love how here in Ecuador they put so much emphasis in the conferences! They make flyers and they talk about them for weeks and weeks in advance! It just showed me that it is all really about the mindset we have when we go into things. Talking about spiritual or about temporal things. When we know or are excited to experience this specific meeting or something like that, we will always get so much more out of it because of our mindset.. it is that simple!!

The topic of the conferences was mainly about obedience. But not about obedience for blessings, rather about obedience because we love our Heavenly Father. They were all telling stories about how when the kids are unusually nice it is because something they want or something happened.. haha how true that is!! It is the same with our Heavenly Father. No doubt there is always promised blessings that come when we obey an commandment. But that shouldn't be the sole purpose of following the commandments. Mas que todo (more than anything) it is because we love Him. Truly love Him. It was also a really crazy conference because we had over 800 people in our little chapel! haha crazy stuff! Because usually there is something like 100 people and it felt a little squished! But it was nice being a big group of saints being there because we love HIM!

Our investigators are doing good. Abraham didn't get confirmed a member of the church the last Sunday because of Stake Conference so he is going to get confirmed this next Sunday. He is super excited for it! It is amazing to see the change in his rostro (face). It is amazing to see first hand the power of the atonement in one's life. 

We visited an awesome volcano this Monday called quilotoa! It is a Laguna but it used to be a volcano!! WWAAAYYYY cool. We had to get up at 4:30 to goooo.. but it was well worth it!! Last Monday we went to a waterfall that is called pailon del diablo! Look it up on YouTube because pictures don't do the work to see the majesty of it!!!

The mission is going great. When we truly discover the why of all things, we see so much more and are motivated to not only resist temptation, but alejarnos (get away) from it too! As far away as we can get. This is an awesome work we are in. I love you!
Elder Reynolds

Doesn't he look so happy???!!!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Baptism of Abraham!

Ambato Zone Conference
"We will be The Lord's Missionaries to bring the world His truth"
~Army of Helaman
Hello everyone!!
this week was a great one! We had our first baptism as a companionship this change and we couldn't be happier! It is such a blessing to be a part of the conversion process of oneself. Abraham is such a great guy and has made some major changes in his life and it is simply amazing to see the progress and the testimony he has over these months that we have taught him. It just shows that anyone can change that is willing to change. We simply just need a desire to change and the Lord will help us. Obviously its not going to be easy but I know that if we are truly willing to do it all for the Lord, He will bless us with things that we didn't think were possible to accomplish. One of my most favorite things about a baptism of a convert is hearing their testimony afterwards. Abraham was telling us that he loves this gospel and he truly has felt a change in his life and he feels something different about himself. He said when he came up out of the water he really felt like a new man. I can testify that that is exactly the reason for baptism. The opportunity to start new again even though we may have many years under our belt. What an opportunity!!!! What a blessing it is!! And every week we have the same exact opportunity when we take the santa cena  (Holy dinner/sacrament). We are so underserving but surely our Heavenly Father loves us soooo much. I am so humbled to be apart of this great work. That really was the best thing ever to see Abraham make this covenant with our Heavenly Father. 

This week was also full of much more experiences. Unfortunately this week was also filled with heartache with other famileis (families).. It absolutely kills me to drop someone.. We are thinking about doing that because we don't see any progress and man that is the absolute worst!! Ugh... But I have felt more of a love for the people here. Seeing the change in others and in my life makes it hard to let people make their own decisions. But agency is what we fought for before this life! I feel like a parent having these feelings of letting people go do their own thing and just left with my companion to be sad together hahah I was telling my companion that and we just laughed because it is kind of true... I love all of you so much. Keep at it. Never give up! A testimony is so fragile. Never let temptation get the bet of us. I love you!
Elder Reynolds

P-day Adventures

Friday, September 8, 2017

Another great week...Another Baptism!!!

We are in the 4th Quarter!!! Give it all you got!
Hello everyone!
This week was another great week to be a missionary! Elder Mamani and I are finally getting better so we are having more desires to serve. Elder Mamani is such a great example to me. Even though he only has 3 months in the mission, he is so mature and so ready to serve with me! We are doing great. At times I find myself with a lot of pride, but the antidote to pride always is serving. It is sometimes hard to bite my tongue and just serve haha but it is always the best outcome.
Our investigators are doing just great! We are going to have another baptism this weekend!! His name is Abraham. He is doing awesome with all the things we have committed him with. I can testify of the importance of goals in our lives. As a missionary, we always center our lessons around the compromisos (commitments) that we are going to leave with the investigators. For example, we always ask the question, "What do we want from this visit?" "What do we want the investigators to do from this visit?" And then we plan from there. It is so effective when we plan this way because at times it is easy to just give a lesson. But I feel like we are really teaching people instead of lessons. We can feel a difference in our planning session now. The spirit truly directs us and it is quite clear what we are supposed to teach that day with that person. This was the case with Abraham. He wasn't keeping his compromisos (commitments) and we were thinking about dropping him but we started little with reading just a verse a day. And from there his conversion process started. And this week he is getting baptized!! Man how beautiful the spirit is when someone is willing to listen and submit him or herself to the promptings of the spirit. 

We had an activity from la obra misional (missionary work) this Saturday! We planned to have a presentation in a park near the church of the plan of salvation. it was kind of awfully planned haha because all of Friday we were preparing with our mission leader to get all the things done. I felt like I was in high school again! Scrambling to do everything last minute! ha But it was a great success. How beautiful it really was to explain the plan of salvation to those who didn't know. It was so awesome because the people would just go on a question rant and ask us "why" and I love that this gospel can answer every question!!! The true gospel has no secrets. I love how Heavenly Father wants us to ask questions because He wants us to know more and more !! It was funny because the members of the ward were acting as us as to find and invite people to come to the presentation. They were SO SO SO uncomfortable at the beginning, but by the end they were so excited!! They got bit by the missionary bug! 

This work is true. At times it is hard but like Elder Holland said "salvation is not a cheap experience!" I love you all! Keep at it. We are in the 4th quarter! Give it all you got!
Elder Reynolds

Elder Reynolds loving Ecuador!

Making it snow in Ecuador...with Styrofoam!

Love these missionaries of Ecuador!

Preparing for the Ward Missionary activity!!!!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Yearning for the Gift of Charity!

My little English student :)
Hello everyone!
This week was another struggle for us. I have no idea why, but it seems to be always my turn to be sick! Both my companion and I have been coping with a cold and a cough. It is a little funny because both of our voices are so deep. We feel like we are a little intimidating when contacting because of that haha This week was a good week. Unfortunately we didn't have many investigators that are attending church. We do have one that is attending church but due to things in his life he cant get baptized right now.. It is so heartbreaking to see him do all the things in the church and members and the bishop asking him are you baptized? And him replying "no".... Man if only he could make a few little decisions and sacrifices in his life he can enter in to the waters of baptism! He attends every Sunday and he is always so excited to learn a little bit more in our visits. We also have another investigator that is progressing but has a bit of a drinking problem... We have been working with him for 2 months and it is amazing the progress he has made! But unfortunately he went out with friends Sunday night and he may or may not still have a date for baptism... we will see... But these 2 investigators really mean so much to us. As a missionary, more than ever I think I see and feel a little bit how our Savior feels about us. When we don't do the things we are supposed to it truly hurts inside. Because we know what it feels like on the other side. On the other side meaning being a member. Even though it hurts to see people not make the sacrifices necessary, I am super humbled that I have the opportunity to see the people how Jesus Christ sees them. I have been praying for this gift of the Spirit and this week I have felt it more than ever. Serving people is hard! But we do it because we love them.

 I was reading in the Bible in the parable about the workers in the vineyard and how they all received the same wages. But it was interesting because I read it along with the help of "Jesus the Christ" and it brought a whole different light to the parable. The first workers it says in the scriptures actually say that the workers and the boss worked out an agreement saying that this is the amount they are going to receive... But the other workers without hesitation were called to the work and didn't barter on how much they were going to receive. It asked a question about the work of the Lord.. or missionary work. What are we working for? Are we working for our recompensa (reward) or blessings that we are going to receive or are we working because we actually love the work, the boss, and are so grateful that we have this work?? Every week my love is building for those I serve here in Ecuador. Sometimes it is hard but I know that this gospel can benefit them in a way that no other thing in this life can compare. It is truly amazing how simple the gospel is, yet how much blessings we receive if we only sacrifice a little bit.

I pray that we can all find a love for those we serve around us. I yearn for the gift of charity. What a beautiful gift it is. I pray that we can all have this gift so that when Jesus comes again, we will see each other as equals. (Sorry I don't know the scripture in English so that is a rough translation of it haha) I love you all! Have a superb week! 
Elder Reynolds 

A part in our sector that I feel is the real Ecuador!!


Every week my love is building for those I serve here in Ecuador!

Making Empanadas!

Developing cooking skills!

Our barber is pretty legit, but she cut my hair a little short!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Focusing on "The One"

 These awesome Elders have been really sick yet they still have a huge desire to work!

Hello Everyone!
This week was an awesome week! Elder Mamani is the bomb! We got to know each other a lot better this week and we are both so excited to work. He barely has been out 2 months in the mission so we are both pretty new to the mission! ha I don't know why but I think I will always feel that way. I guess that is a good thing to keep me humble. That is one thing I learned this week. That really it doesn't matter how many months you have in the mission or really in life, we can always learn something from someone. And in my case Elder Mamani! He is such a great teacher! I am really amazed at his teaching skills only having 2 months in the mission. 

Our investigators are doing just great. Although only one attended this week we are really excited for him. It keeps reminding us that as representatives of Jesus Christ we need to focus on the one. At times I find that really hard, especially this week. We had really great numbers this week, yet I asked myself if I could really relate to each one of these people. If we helped them in some little way to come to Christ. I felt sick to my stomach as I could not say yes to that question. We have a goal to focus more in the people we teach. It's true we can still hurry and run from lesson to lesson, but when we are with these people, LISTEN TO THEM! Dangit Elder Reynolds.... haha We went shopping today at a supermarket and I have a card there that gives us a discount and it has my real first name! As I looked at it and it felt so weird to say my name out loud! haha I think I will just change my name to Elder for the rest of my life. It seems way more comfortable.
Right now it is funny to see Elder Mamani and I. haha Elder Mamani has a pretty bad cold and is coughing like crazy and I am all bundled up in my jackets ha. We look like a bunch of hobos! lol When we left the house we laughed because of how we looked. The both of us have been sick for a few days now. That is one of the worst things to have to deal with in the mission...being sick. It's good, but we have to call the nurses in order to rest so we have been all work! This week was overall a good week! Even though we are sick, the work needs to progress and won't progress without...work! ha who knew right?? I love you all! Have a great week! 
Elder Reynolds 

After saying his full name out loud "Kyle Reynolds," he wants to change his name to "Elder" for the rest of his life, it seems way more comfortable!

Grocery Shopping! I wonder how far he has to carry his groceries each week??

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

New Companion and now a District Leader!

 His new companion, Elder Mamani from Bolivia!!
Hello everyone!
This week was a great week! haha it seems the last week of every change is great because you have something close to look forward too! ha It is kind of bad but it seems every missionary works harder the week before changes because they know it is going to be their last week in the sector. I really enjoyed this last week because we worked hard. Of course we don't see the fruits of our labors right now, but I know they will come.
I am with a new companion. His name is Elder Mamani. He is from Bolivia and he has been in the mission field for 3 months, fresh out of his training. He seems so happy and so willing to work. In this little time I have known him I know we are going to have a great change with a lot of success. Maybe not a lot of success in numbers, but I know Heavenly Father will see our hard work and bless us accordingly in whatever way He may. This work is so great! President Barlow invited us to ponder about the last change and what we can do better. I love the mission because it is similar to football. Its like watching film! haha In order to get better, we have to criticize our own selves. Not too much though. too much of anything is bad we all know that! But I really took his advice to heart and decided to do it..and man do I have sooo much to work on! haha But with the spirit, I feel the motivation to get better. It is interesting to look back on what change (if any) we had. Every change it seems like Heavenly Father is constantly trying to teach me about my pride..... Man... ha Like Elder Holland said, how frustrating it is for Heavenly Father to work with imperfect people! haha

Like I said, this past week was a good one! We passed by Aida and she is doing great. She is progressing just perfectly and wants to get more involved in church. She speaks up in classes now and has desires to go to the temple! She is constantly inviting people to come to church with her too. It is amazing to see the change in her. It is also so cool to reteach all the lessons to her! Because now she has the gift of the Holy Ghost, she can understand so much better! Makes it easier for us! haha We have other investigators that are progressing and are hoping they attend church with us. That is the hardest thing for investigators to do...attend church.
Being a missionary is pretty hard not going to lie but this week was a great experience just to see how little the time we have as missionaries. One missionary went home and before they go home they always give a last testimony in the last zone meeting. I always love listening to them. They are always centered around the Atonement and love of Jesus Christ. I have been studying charity this week and man how deep charity really is! haha I love one of the things Elder Holland said about charity and how it is more than just a feeling, it is un estado de ser (A state of being)...ha hopefully my mom will translate that because I have no idea what that means in English lol But really I love the concept of charity, the ability to see others as Christ and Heavenly Father sees them is so wonderful. I have had a few experiences with that and really how much more easier to is to be patient and work with them when we see them as He sees them. I Love you all! Keep on working in this great work! 
Elder Reynolds
~He doesn't mention it in his mass email, but he was called as a District Leader!! He is definitely humbled. He said being a District Leader is a little intimidating. Those of you that know Elder Reynolds, he's a natural leader!!!

Elder Reynolds is a District Leader!!!

Transfers August 14, 2017

Missionaries in Ambato Ecuador

Elder Reynolds and his past companion, Elder Marquez. He was transferred to Quito.
His home away from home, Ambato Ecuador

Chasing after our investigators hahaha! The people were rejecting us so we decided to contact the ducks!!

Trying Octopus!!!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Baptism of Aida!!!

 Elder Reynolds and Aida
Saturday, August 12, 2017 in Ambato Ecuador
Hello everyone!!
This week was an AMAZING week!!!! We had the baptism of Aida and man was it such a blessing to see her enter to the waters of baptism!! And of course...there is always a crazy story that comes with my baptisms!! haha So really the only worry Aida had of getting baptized was that the water would be cold. We kept assuring her throughout the weeks that she need not worry because the water would be nice and warm.... Yeah we already know where this is going! We go to the font to start filling it up and realize there is another baptism going from another ward! So we asked how the water is doing.... There was no gas to warm up the water so it is luke warm they said. We went and felt the water and it truly wasn't that cold but it wasn't hot either. We didn't think too much of it. So we arrive after they do their baptism and we start the ceremony and then its time for the baptism! I enter into the water first and.....holy cow it was freezing!!! It felt like the other ward put ice in the water! But obviously I couldn't make any gesture that it was cold because Aida was already a little worried ha She put her toe in and she DID NOT want to get baptized hahaha She was totally against it. But we had to encourage her and encourage her each step into the water. I felt so bad and guilty for her because if I was freezing......she must be miserable! ha We finally got down into the font and she was shivering like crazy. After the beautiful prayer I dipped her into the water and she resisted and so I had to do a little lovely push into the water and her feet slipped from under her and when she came back up she was bewildered!! haha But her countenance totally changed in that moment. I can't describe it but when she came up she was smiling and laughing and man she was just so beautiful in there. What an experience that was! She got confirmed the next day and you could just see the Light of Christ she had and man.... I can't testify of the power of the spirit. In her testimony, she said the reason she loves this church is because of the unity. She felt so lonely and prayed to God that somehow she could find somewhere where she felt loved. That's when we were introduced to her and ever since she has been so grateful!! I have always prayed to be an answer to a prayer and here it was!! 

The rest of the week doesn't seem to compare to the baptism we had haha. But we worked hard this week and have another investigator on baptism. He has had a rough past and wants to move on but doesn't know how... And that's when we came in again! The thing I love about the gospel is it can be applied to every situation in every life here on earth. I love one of the quotes from "Life is a football game" that we don't have to bribe people to come to the church! We don't have to lie or anything, it is all for our benefit. Everything God does is for our benefit. The trials, the deaths in the family, the heartaches...everything is a blessing to make us stronger. 

The mission is going absolutely great. We had another zone conference with President and it was so amazing. The spirit was so strong. We talked a lot about our purpose as missionaries and really as members of the church to invite people to Christ. When we stand before Him at judgement day, He isn't going to ask us how many baptisms we had or how many contacts or references... He is going to want to know how much we love Him... how much we INVITED others to come to Christ. How we fed His sheep. That brought so much comfort.
So this is the last week with Elder Marquez! Well maybe.... but changes are this Monday so we will see what happens! I love you all! Keep helping the missionaries find people! 
Elder Reynolds
We truly felt that Elder Reynolds was called to Ecuador to find and teach Aida :)

Miracles happen!!

~Ministering to Families one day at a time~

 Armor of God!

Missionaries in Ambato Ecuador