Tuesday, February 6, 2018

New Companion--Elder Price!

Elder Price and Elder Reynolds
Zone Leaders
Hello Everyone!
This week was a bit of a different week as I went to pretty hot to pretty cold haha I am back in Quito to a sector called Chillogallo. It is up on a mountain! Literally my sector is the whole mountain side so there isn't really flat parts. To be honest, I do not like Quito haha I loved Santo Domingo and the nice nights where it wasn't too hot. Its so weird saying this because I used to be a sucker for the cold! And now that I am in the cold it doesn't please me the same way haha But its all good. I am with my new companion and his name is Elder Price. He is so cool and from Utah. My 2nd gringo companion! haha It does scare me a little though because we always talk in English and sometimes I feel like my Spanish isn't getting any better...But we are working on that lol. So here in Quito the work is a bit different. For one, the people in the sierra are a bit more closed off. Don't get me wrong, they are still so humble and so accepting. They kind of just say the truth from the get go...So I guess its a bit of a good thing so that we don't waste too much time on people that are just wanting to be nice. And the other reason its a bit different is because my comp is a bit handicap lol He has tendonitis in his foot so we can only go to set citas (appointments). It's a bit different not working the whole day...But it gives us a ton of time to just study the scriptures!! Man every time I read the scriptures it is like I am reading a book sent from God.. Oh wait that's exactly what they are!!! 

This week we had a special zone activity called an invasion. Its where almost all the missionaries in the zone go to a certain sector that is struggling and contact as many people as possible in like an hour or so. It was a great turn out! At first it caught me off guard because of how different it was to contact people here than in Santo Domingo..But by a miracle, we actually found a person! So usually in these activities we just contact and take out citas (appointments) so the actual missionaries can teach them. But by a tender mercy, one of the contacts we had let us in and we started talking to him. He proceeded to tell us how he just had a baby 15 days ago and how he was super happy but super scared! Then randomly he was like "are you guys from Utah?" hahahaha We told him that Elder Price is from Utah but then he told us that he lived in Utah for 4 months and how you can just tell that the people there are...different.. And when he saw us he saw that difference. It was cool to hear that people can actually see the light of Christ in us! Across the world that light is the same. We were so glad to be able to find him and teach him a little bit about the Book of Mormon. Just in the 15 minutes that we found him, it seems we made a bond that will last beyond the mission. It is so awesome how things just work together for our good when we are doing what the Lord commands. 
I love this work. it is such a privilege to be apart of it. Especially when you have a good companion! haha Thank goodness Elder Price is into workouts because I have been getting pretty chubby! But now we are on a workout routine and a bit of a diet.. as much as you can be on one in the mission lol... Man life is great. Things are bad, but circumstances don't determine our happiness. I love the tender mercies of the Lord. We are in the truth! I promise! 
Elder Reynolds 

A few pictures of us! We didn't go out to work much so it was a little awkward to just take buddy pics lol

We are on a diet...but we made Chicken Alfredo!
Sooooo weird because it's not how I remember it in the states lol

Santo Domingo Zone
Notice there are no sisters...because this zone is a dangerous area :o
I love my companion!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Transferred and Called to be a Zone Leader!

Elder Reynolds and Elder Fillmore
Santo Domingo, Ecuador

Elder Reynolds didn't have time to email this week because he was being transferred to Chillogallo-Quito, Ecuador! He was also called to be a Zone Leader. His companion is Elder Price, another gringo!
"Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God" D&C 18:10
~Baptism of Katy~
W O W Z A ! ! ! !
M E M O R I E S that will last a lifetime!!
with Elder Fillmore
Elder Reynolds has learned much from Elder Fillmore. He is the most kind, happy, caring, humble, calm, loving missionary. He was an answer to Elder Reynolds prayers and came into his life when he needed him most. They will miss each other but continue to serve the Lord in different places there in Ecuador with all their heart, might, mind and strength!
Elder Reynolds called to be a ZONE LEADER
Matching socks and ties!
Their famous J E L L O ! ! ! !

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

A Baptism in Santo Domingo!!

Elder Fillmore and Elder Reynolds with some crabs before they were cooked for lunch!!

Hello everyone!
This week was an awesome week! We have a baptism this week!!!!! Finally after being here for what seems like forever we will have a baptism and her name is Katy. She is so awesome. I can't wait for it and am super excited because right after we write we have a noche de hogar (Family Home Evening) with her and it is pretty much going to be a pure testimony meeting and setting up all the things for her baptism. Gosh I love seeing people make covenants with God!
It is so crazy with my comp here in this huge sector. For those of you who don't know... I am still a bit irresponsible and lost my credit card here so I am bumming off of my comp a bit lol But he has the biggest heart and doesn't take much thought to all of it. It is so sad because we probably spend 20 to 50 dollars a week just solely on taxis and buses. We need more missionaries!!!!!! hahaha so anybody you know.. send them to Ecuador!!!! lol But the work here has been awesome. This lady, after meeting with the missionaries for over a year off and on, finally came to church this Sunday and man she loved it! What made all the difference were the member that befriended her. I absolutely love the Relief Society. Honestly I have no idea how it is in the US, but here in Ecuador, it is literally so cool to see them all rally together and just love each other. When someone comes to church that they don't know, there is like at least 3 women swarming her guiding her to her next class seeing where she is from and just purely loving her. The love of a woman is just mind blowing to me. Truly examples for me. To not just look at people with problems, but to look at people with love and pure charity. I love the verse in 1 Nephi I think 11 that talks about Mary with baby Jesus and how that is how the spirit wanted to depict the pure love of Christ. A mothers love for her baby. Men we better step up! haha
So in the house we are having some changes done.. we are having the whole house repainted because there is pretty crazy mold growing on the walls especially in the kitchen and bathroom.. Elder Fillmore and I just laugh because instead of fixing it, they just chip away at the mold and repaint over it. For a few days it actually worked! We didn't really know if they fixed it or not but the mold wasn't there anymore.. haha but we woke up this morning to find that the mold has started growing yet again!!! We were just like your kidding..... haha and of course as nerd missionaries we started talking about how it applies to the gospel... I know right.. I used to always make fun of the people who would apply everything to the gospel and here I am doing it!!! But as missionaries we always try to find what is an iceberg... how usually someone actually has something deeper but they only let you see a small part of it just like an iceberg. And how easy it is to just say a few prayers and give a few scriptures and boom fixed.. but what I love, thanks to Elder Fillmore, is he made me realize we are here to help people not just baptize people. So many people have icebergs and what I love is everyone one of them can be fixed with a principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We can either paint over it with some superficial prayer, or we can dig deep and let them fix it by applying the blood of our Savior Jesus Christ. And then paint over it lol What I am getting at is I just love digging deep. Elder Fillmore and I like to talk about deep stuff and we always can go deeper! haha so with the investigators we always try to find the root problem and it is so much better in the long run. It takes time but I love love the miracle of forgiveness. What a blessing we have to be forgiven and to forgive. I love every single one of you. One for making it this far into the email haha and two for your example! I love you all! have a great week. I hope my English hasn't gone too far astray and this makes sense!
Elder Reynolds
Classic Soccer Field
We have some renovations being done to our house! Here they are trying to fix the mold problem. As a result, we have gone to bed without a front door for like 3 nights. So we use our whiteboard as a replacement :o
Elder Fillmore is an answer to my prayers!
He is the BEST!!!!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Keep Moving Forward, Little by Little!

Still pressing on and fighting the good fight!!

Hello everyone!
With all the crazy stuff that has been going on this past couple weeks... I am still alive! Still pressing on and fighting the good fight. I have to say I am so grateful for my companion.. He is the nicest person and is so willing to serve anyone that is around him. He is such an example to me...I am so blessed to be surrounded with people that I am able to look up to and learn from. Its truly a privilege to be out here on the mission. I consider myself so lucky to be able to have this great opportunity to learn how the gospel works in lives instead of just reading it in the scriptures.

This week was such an amazing week to work. We of course have been struggling with having people actually progress to a baptism... Buuut as we know that God is in this with us. We have a baptism planned!!!! So so so exciting! She has probably been going to church for 6-9 months but hasn't been able to take that step of baptism due to financial problems. But with the help of the ward we are getting her married this week and she will be baptized either this week or the next! Man we are so stoked for her. It really rejuvenated our feelings. I love her conversion story though. We had a family home evening with her and all of her family along with the bishopric. It was pretty much just like a testimony meeting because the bishopric expressed their love for her and bore their testimony about how their lives haves changed thanks to the gospel. The testimony that really hit me was the one by her sister. She is the first convert of the whole family. She was expressing her great love for her sister and how she is going to be so blessed because of the decisions and sacrifices she is making in order to get baptized. She..the sister..has been a member for 12 years now. It was so amazing to hear her testimony on how God answers prayers. She was telling us that she has been praying for 12 years straight for her sister to get baptized in the church. It is so amazing that she realizes that God answers prayers. After 12 years.... That's a pretty long time!!! How easy would it be to just say that things happen according to the will of man.. And not recognize the work of God in these 12 years. It was just so amazing to hear the story and the events that took place in these 12 years to bring her, Katy, to the place that she is in right now. God surely does work in our behalf everyday. Although we may not see it now, today, tomorrow, next week, a year, 2 years, or even 12 years... God has a plan. It was a testimony builder to hear the story of Katy and how slowly and slowly God has been working in her life. And how grateful we are to be able to reap the seed that has been planted about 12 years before.
Man I love this gospel. I love the knowledge and the wisdom we are able to gain from the scriptures. There truly is wisdom in the scriptures. I love how the gospel of Jesus Christ just doesn't have to do with holy praises to the Almighty and religion and what not.. But it is a part of life. Everything is meshed together. My companion and I have long deep talks at night about science and philosophy.. It is so interesting to see that when you really get deep into science and or philosophy, and deep into the gospel... They actually compliment each other. For example,  a friend of Elder Fillmore brought up a point about how living forever actually scares him. Because if  you live forever , that means eventually you are going to have to experience everything.. meaning that you will experience the most pain but also the most happiness and everything in between. If we lived forever, that means you would eventually have to experience every single possibility there is out there... When we discussed it. It makes so much more sense talking about the atonement!!! The atonement is so mind blowing and even though I don't understand a fraction about it, i am so grateful for it. I am so grateful for the opportunity to look to someone that actually knows how I am feeling. I loooooove looooove that the mysteries of God are disponible (available) to each and every one of us. It is just a decision of how much work we put in in order to receive these magnificent answers. One of my favorite scriptures is 2 Nephi 28:30 "For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have."...it is all a process. little by little. I love you all. Keep moving forward, little by little. And I promise the questions, concerns, and just things in this life are all eventually going to make sense. Like 2 Nephi 2:24 says "But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things."
I love you all!!!!
Elder Reynolds

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

An Unexpected, Crazy Week!

Quito, Ecuador
Hello Everyone!
Wow this week was a crazy week that I did not expect to have. Both my comp and I got sick this week and had to stay in for a day and then we had to travel to Quito because of a medical appointment. It is funny how the last email I talked about how when we are young we can do whatever we want and run around like crazy...but when we are old we usually focus on the important things because we don't have the energy we used to have. We had a bit of that this week as we didn't have much time to do everything we liked. But it was interesting how when we really focused on what was most important, we had time to do it. Even though time seemed so short, we felt like we did what God wanted and it was awesome to see people lifted up!
It was sad to here about the passing of President Monson but it is so cool knowing that he is with his wife again. How happy they must be to reunite once again and to never be separated. The gospel brings so much joy and happiness to those who keep his commandments. I love taking steps back from life and viewing my own life from an aerial view if you will. How every problem I have had has always, always had two choices...to bring me closer to Jesus Christ or to turn me away from Him. It is crazy that really every situation and every choice is just like that! And how the heck did I end up here on the mission. Sometimes I feel like I stumbled into the mission and somehow I have about a year here but it is no accident. There was always a plan. There was always a reason to everything that has happened in my life. Even though we make our own decisions, it is possible to find a way back to happiness. There was never a moment where I made a decision and then my Father in Heaven was like woah I was not expecting that! haha Nope it never was like that, there was and is always a plan. I love teaching that principle in the plan of salvation. I love the role of the Savior and how He plays or really makes the plan of salvation possible. We are teaching someone that had an auto accident and now he cant walk very well and he basically cant use the left side of his body. We were super, super excited to talk to him about the plan of salvation. When we told him about the resurrection you could just tell how much excitement and joy filled his soul. I love how the gospel actually applies to us and isn't just something that we teach and read. I love that in the mission you realize that every single principle of the gospel is applicable to every single situation you may find yourself in. I am learning so much and will continue to learn so much. I love my Savior and all that He has done for me. I am sooo lucky! Well I love you all! Hope you all had a great week and this upcoming week is even better!
Elder Reynolds

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Mission is Exactly what I Needed in My Life!

English speaking investigators! I love the people of Ecuador!!!
Hello Everyone!
Wow it has been a while since I got time to email! And today isn't much different...New Years is basically like Christmas here.. Christmas we didn't really find a cyber to write at and then this week we had to bribe a person to let us get on for a little bit of time. Man New Years here is super crazy! Probably the majority of this email will just be describing what happened New Years. So they start the day at about mid day when people dress up as woman... I didn't quite get the concept of why they did that but it was something like all the dolls are male. But they all ask for money from every single person and if you don't give them money...well they..grope you haha.. So needless to say we spent a little bit of money on Sunday to prevent us from being groped lol And so when they burn the dolls at midnight everyone is left as widows.. haha weird I know. But these dolls represent the old people that they are leaving behind and burning every thing bad that happened in 2017. So literally you could not sleep through 11:59 to 12:00... it was the loudest commotion I have ever heard. It was a mixture of crazy noises and yells and it was just crazy. So we looked out our window and it was so crazy to see what was going on out there. It actually gave me a bit of the chills and goosebumps because it looked like the 2nd coming haha All these dolls were on fire in the middle of the road, on top of houses, the streets were covered with people lighting off fireworks and then there were TONS of fireworks that were going off at the same time. It was so exciting to see all of this! I absolutely love the traditions of culture in Ecuador. It is interesting to see the difference in each culture.  I love the people of Ecuador. They have nothing, yet they have everything. Their life is so simple and so lively. We get so caught up in everything that doesn't really matter... But when we get back to the basics, life is so simple and so easy. We were actually discussing how life is so crazy and how in the different stages in life are so different. How when we are young we can do everything and are running all over the place trying to get everything done that we need and want. But when we are old and we physically cant, we just focus on the most important because of the limited energy we do have. I hope in each one of our lives we can put all of our energy and focus on what is really important. Although people from 3rd world countries are obliged to, they are so much happier. Because they know what's most important despite the religion or way of life. I love the opportunity to learn from them. I feel the mission is exactly what I needed.. Definitely not what I wanted haha.. but what I needed. I just hope that I am doing everything that I can to help others. I love this gospel. It is so true. It is true in every single aspect down to the science. It is awesome being in the truth. I know it will all my heart. I love you all. Happy New Year.
Elder Reynolds

This is a doll they burn for New Years.
It represents everything bad that has happened in the year and a new fresh start in this New Year
I am soooo weak...

Merry Christmas!

Skype with Elder Reynolds

I get a phone call from him Saturday evening (12/23/17) to arrange the skype call and first thing he says is "Hi Mom!! You don't have to worry, we are safe from the earthquake. All the missionaries are safe. Did you hear about the earthquake?" My heart dropped and I responded with no, I didn't hear about it and then asked questions. He then said...just kidding. Yep this is Elder Reynolds, always joking around and making people laugh! I loved hearing his voice and he sounded SO very happy.

Here are some interesting things said on our skype call:
*He is serving in Santo Domingo and he said it is a dangerous area of the mission! We did not know this and he probably didn't tell us because he didn't want mom to worry!!! There are no sisters serving in this area. They have an early curfew. If they have an appointment past curfew they have to get a ride. He said one evening they had an appointment literally across the street and it was past curfew. They asked the zone leaders if they can just walk and they said no. They arranged a ride where they felt dumb because it was across the street. He said the driver was looking at us like we were some spoiled Americans.
*The weather in Santo Domingo is hot and humid. They don't have hot water in their apartment which is ok with them because it's hot! Their towel really never dries because of the humidity.
*The area he is serving in is huge. He said it's from like Farmington to Albuquerque and remember it's a walking mission! So they have to pay for buses and taxi's.
*His companion is Elder Fillmore from Utah. He is 3 months into his mission. He is learning the language so Elder Reynolds does most of the talking.
*Elder Fillmore is 6'6" and so they REALLY stand out!
*Elder Fillmore plays volleyball too!!
*In the beginning of his mission, he was doing his laundry as much as he could. Now he pretty much has to choose--do my laundry or eat since he doesn't have much money. They spend lots of money on transportation.
*Speaking of money, he lost his debit and credit card.
*They have about 80 investigators. They pray everyday on who they need to drop because there aren't able to keep all of them and this breaks his heart.
*He would rather read the scriptures than workout!!!
*Toilet paper is scarce so he has to look for creative ways for an alterative!
*He skyped from a members home so they were in the background. He introduced his "mom" and she kept reassuring us that she will take good care of him and we don't have to worry. She has a missionary serving in the mission field and so she was saying how she knows how it is to have her son away. She hopes others will take care of her son. She said many times "I will take care of your son, I love him." She was cooking a shrimp dinner and told us not to worry and she will make sure Elder Reynolds eats and is taken care of!
*The people there have nothing yet they are the most happy people.
*He couldn't remember English words so he had to keep asking his companion what the English words were!
*He bore his testimony in Spanish :) He wants to see us all living better lives through the gospel. The second coming is near and we don't have much time. Keep striving and get to the temple!! He loves you all :)

F E L I Z  N A V I D A D !!