Thursday, December 29, 2016

Week 3: Mexico City Temple

We were able to talk to Kyle on the phone on Christmas! It was so good to hear his voice! We gathered around the phone and it was the best Christmas gift. He bore his testimony to us in Spanish and he sounded GREAT!! He didn't sound like a gringo haha. We sure enjoyed listening to him!!He's definitely committed to this great work.

This week wasn't the best week I have had but of course it was still awesome as ever!! It was a long one because I think the phone calls made me anxious!! haha That phone call was definitely what I needed as an extra motivation. I am so proud to be a missionary. It is really amazing to me that God has literally counted on me to go on a mission and to speak Spanish! It is unbelievable how much God is willing to help all of us if we but humble ourselves. So actually today we got to go to the temple! It was way different in Spanish! ha But it was such an amazing experience. As it always is. I know that God appreciates everything we are doing and every decision we make. It was also finally nice to get to see Mexico again! The CCM is about 1 hour away from the temple so we left at 830 and got back just barely. This wont be a long one because I have to do laundry and stuff... I know what the heck... hah just kidding. Thank you for the presents!! We had a hay day with them! No one else got them so we had to keep on switching off!! haha (We were able to pack his Christmas gifts in his luggage before he left the states. We gave him a pair of small nerf guns) My comp had a fun experience. So we were playing nerf war and if you get shot you're out.. obviously.. anyways, one of the guys we were playing with was out of darts and ran into a room. My comp decided to try and bust in and shoot him. So he was trying to get in and got his gun through and shot one bullet at the other guy but he missed. So while my comp was reloading and still trying to get in the door the other guy decides to pistol swipe him right on the forehead!! He was like duuuuude did you just do that!! hahah we were all laughing. And my comp gets up from the floor and he had a huge gash in his forehead! No lie he probably could've benefited from a stitch. But it was like 10:15 at night so he just put a bandaid on it. It was soooo funny. Needless to say... we kept on playing haha I am really sorry this is a short email but I gotta go! I will try to write more next week! 
Besides there isn't a lot that goes on within the walls of the CCM. It is hard to stay focused because the schedule is the same every single day. But 3 more weeks and I am off to a new adventure!!! See you guys later!! Love you!!
Elder Reynolds

Mexico City Temple

Elder Philpot and Elder Reynolds

He's so thankful there's a weight room!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Semana 2 (Week 2): Zone Leaders

Hello Everyone!!!
I feel kinda guilty because I wrote a masterpiece of an email last week and literally this week was the exact same haha. Here in the CCM we do the same exact things day in and day out. Pictures are going to have to get creative because we can't go outside of the walls. It kinda feels like Divergent.... But having the best district makes it all up. We have so much fun!! Soooooo I don't know what me and my companion are doing right but we got moved to Zone Leaders!! I know right?! We really don't know what we are doing.... ha Just checking up on our districts and reporting to our branch president. It is intimidating talking to our branch president because he speaks like a million miles an hour.... The cool thing about the Mexico CCM is that we have Latinos teaching us and they speak super fast! So its not like some gringo is talking to us super slow and then getting out in the mission field and being like Elder Calhoun saying "Elder, that isn't the language they taught me in the MTC." hahahaha So life is still good. I am still alive. Learning tons and tons of new material everyday. Me and my companion are having the time of our lives all the time. I love the mission. Just hanging out with dudes all day. My type of life haha But the great thing about it is we get to learn the gospel every single day!!!! I am pretty stoked to go teach the gospel in Ecuador. It was funny in our Sacrament meeting our branch president wasn't there and one of his counselors was gringo and decided to sing a couple hymns in English... No one has an English hymn book so we basically hummed the verses... Crazy thing is he didn't care! He had his phone and was singing away and we had no idea what we were doing haha. I look forward to gym time everyday because working out is super fun. It is hard though with the weights here cause there is a ton of people in there at times. But then we get to go play some type of sport for 30 more minutes. They say you are not supposed to get competitive.... but we are talking about a Reynolds here.... Sooooo its kinda hard to just play for fun. I am really trying to make this long and meaningful but it is hard because nothing that crazy happened haha. We tried to cook popcorn in the dryer because there are no microwaves... that didn't work out very well haha

Spiritual experience that happened is probably just seeing the progression of our investigators. Even though they aren't real it is so cool to see them open up and when I am in tune with the spirit I can understand them and receive the gift of tongues. I haven't learned a lot of new stuff in Spanish but I am starting to really really understand the Latinos. Sundays are always the best. They always have a different spirit about them. The devotionals are so great. In one of them they talked about how literally salvation is on the line... It is kinda scary to think about that! That the way I study and the way I apply myself can mean the world for someone who is searching for happiness in this life. That is what gets me up at 6:30 everyday is so I can be ready when the Lord calls for me. I want to be someone he can count on and someone he can surely know that I will get the job done and the preparation I have done is sufficient. I know Heavenly Father looks forward to hearing us every morning and night. Prayer has become so real to me. He is listening always. He is waiting to bless us in every aspect of our lives. I don't see this mission as a sacrifice...because of the crazy great blessings I get from it!! Man We are so blessed to be able to know the truth. Remember to FEED HIS SHEEP!!!

Elder Reynolds

This is definitely the Kyle we remember...using his imagination, finding ways to making people smile!!

 Rockin' the glasses

Zone Leaders Christmas card photo

Already helping people...making his comp look good!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Week 1: Life in the CCM

Elder Reynolds and his companion, Elder Philpot
District Leaders!!

So this week has been pretty crazy! There was no other missionaries on my flight..just my luck.. so I arrive in Mexico with my million pounds of jackets on and it is like 80 degrees. It is hot as heck! And everyone spoke Spanish. I know right!? Who knew.... So I get off the plane in Mexico and go through security and all no preblemos. Get my bags and go through customs and then through the doors awaits a bunch of Spanish people with signs... So Im like sweet probably one of them will say Elder Reynolds..... NOPE! I wander from end to end of the Mexico Airport having no idea where to go. 30 minutes later some guy in a suit is like Elder? Si? And I see his badge or whatever and its from the CCM so Im like phew! Finally! I start talking to him and of course.... no English. So I Am getting into this van looking thing with this guy who I just met who doesnt speak a lick of English.. But when I open the door to the van there are other missionaries crammed into the van so I just get in. haha The CCM is about an hour away and no joke.... They drive straight up´like the Bee movie! The part where everything is like perfectly sequenced so no one crashes? Yeah Mexicans are either crazy or really smart haha. So we get to the CCM and unload all our stuff have to do all the medical stuff and what not... Oh and may I see Mexico is beautiful!!! So that night we had a devotional and its all in Spanish of course so I didnt really get anything out of it... I come home to meet my companion and he is the chillest dude ever! We are the exact same. He plays volleyball, basketball, although he does play soccer.. But he is a straight athlete!! It was so awesome during our gym time we go to the gym first to lift weights, then go play basketball or volleyball and ball it up. He is way awesome. His name is Elder Philpot. The rest of my roomies are way cool too. We have a redhead in our group named Elder Duke and he is from Boise ID... Classic Boise Idaho person hahahah And then there is Elder Gerber (blonde) who is pretty cool too. We have a blast all the time. The CCM is a fiesta all the time! haha it sounds like it because I guess there is a Mexican holiday right around this time and they shoot fireworks no joke alllll night, then alll day and even in the morning!!! We get up at 630 and hear a firework and look at eachother like what in the world??!! haha So anyways the first day we have been warned by everyone is the worst day... That picture with me and my companion sums up pretty well what the CCM is doing.. Learning Spanish is like trying to drink that 5 gallon bottle. We show up to class and there is no English words.... It is the hardest thing ever. Our teacher Hermano Martinez is the coolest teacher around. Speaks extremely fast spanish though. He is way into bottle flips and dabbing so out of no where when we are studying or whatever he grabs someones water bottle and flips it and makes it then dabs and just walks out of the classroom. haha He is super funny. So yeah the first day is the roughest day in the entire world! We go to classes alllll day with no down time. And the thing is... The next day we teach the first lesson to an invetigator. SUUUUUPERRRR stressful. It is hard but good that the instructors speak strictly spanish. I am behind because literally everyone in my district took 2 years of Spanish... Freakin french... haha So funny story... Like the second lesson we taught our investigator we were talking about the atonement and my companion says... La ExpiaciĆ³n es Jesuscristo muerto para nos pescados.... Which means the atonement is Jesus Christ dying for our fishes!! hahahahah And then the very next lesson he says.... El EspĆ­ritu dar nos la pez..... Which pez is LIVE FISH... and what he meant to say is paz which is PEACE...! Oh man our investigator was just cracking up and my companion was like ooookay! How many ways is there to say fish in spanish!!!!!? He is a really funny guy. It is a blast here at the CCM. People say to just get to Sunday and then it will be good...... I say enjoy every single moment!!!!! I have been having so much fun here with the other Elders. Of course I miss home and all you guys but I love serving our Savior. Which brings me to spiritual stuff!! The most important stuff!
I just want to say first... THE GIFT OF TONGUES IS REAL!!  I am not bragging about myself... But I will boast of my God. I am not trying to pretend like I am fluent... but I can read Spanish now and can teach the first lesson really good and the other lessons I can kinda stumble through them. By day 4 me and my companion were writing our lessons in english and using our basic gringo accent and vocabulary able to teach a lesson. It is insane. I can understand the gist of what they are talking about and can answer questions. The gifts of the spirit are a real thing. I know that God qualifies who he calls. (1 Nefi 3 versiculo 7) Who knew that in 1 week Elder Reynolds could hold a conversation with a fluent Mexican and can teach them (not elaborate but just basics) of all the lessons in Preach My Gospel. I still cant believe it myself. My turnaround point was about on day 3 when I was studying all day and well into the night of the language of spanish... We have set times to do companion study and personal study and language study but those first 2 days were just all language study for me... They told us to learn the gospel more than learn the language... I was like yeah okay how is that supposed to help me teach cause you cant teach without knowing how to speak spanish!! So me and my companion decided to try it out and take time to study the Book of Mormon in English... no spanish. The next day I couldnt believe it.... I could understand the things people were saying and everything!! The book of mormon has power and I know it is true. It is the base of our religion and if thats true than everything else in our Church has to be true. I can read the Book of Mormon in spanish and understand the words.. Not just cause I know what it says in English because I read it alot... But i know the verbs and literally the direct meaning of the words... I am so blessed. I am so grateful to have the Lord on my side. There was a broadcast last night from the Provo MTC and Elder Holland was speaking and he told about after Jesus died and they asked Peter what should we do? Peter really didnt know what to do so he just said lets go back to fishing. So they went fishing and caught nada. Some person on the beach called out and said cast your nets on the other side... The apostles and Peter being very pessimistic but decided to and their nets were so full they could not pull them up... Peter realized who it was on the beach and exclamied ITS HIM!! So he jumped out of the boat saying to the other guys I dont know what you guys are gonna do either row or do whatever but I am going in now! So he got to the shore and sure enough it was Jesus. Jesus being so patient with Peter, said Peter do you love me? and of course Peter said Lord of course I do!! Jesus asks again Peter, do you love me? Peter kinda being like... um yes! I do love you! The Lord asks a third time and says Peter..... DO YOU LOVE ME??? And Peter is kind of confused and says again yes... Then Jesus says FEED MY SHEEP! I didnt call you and this church is not just for when I am on the earth! I need you to guide it and I need you to drop your nets and come follow me and feed my sheep! I need you Peter!! You cant go back to fishing... You can never go back.. I need you. He related that to us not just missionaries but to everyone.. Do you love me? Then feed my sheep. He needs us to help me. He needs us. And I know that the best way for me to do that was to drop my nets and go on on a mission. People are waiting... And the reason they dont have the gospel is because they know not where to find it.... No worries.. Elder Reynolds is here!!! I am fulfilling a prophecy as every person shall hear the gospel in their own tongue... How great of a privelege it is to be a missionary and to serve God. I am so thankful to be on his team and to be able to help this great cause. To save my brothers and sisters so that we may all have peace in this life and the next. Build your testimony always. Pray with all your might. RELY on him who has died for us. There is no way in heck I can learn this language in one week... But i am... What a miracle and blessing. 
I love you all. Feed his Sheep. 

Elder Reynolds

Oh and lol me and my companion are district leaders! Totally spaced that!

 Elder Duke from Boise, Idaho

 And may I say, Mexico is beautiful!!

My companion...chilliest dude ever! We are the exact same...straight up athletes!
During gym time, we lift weights and play volleyball and basketball!!!

Welcome to Mexico City!

This sums up pretty well what the CCM is doing.....Learning Spanish is like trying to drink this 5 gallon bottle!