Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Finding Joy in the Daily Grind

My diet and I got creative! I can only have liquids and protein. So I froze Gatorade and then blended it up and made ice cream! Pretty proud of myself!!

Hello everyone!
I am alive!! haha So for those of you who didn't know I was pretty sick last week. Sheesh I feel all my emails should be titled, the struggle is real... haha Missions are definitely not for the weak! I came out thinking this is going to be the best! No homework or no working everyday.... Pfff how wrong I was. Although the reward has been awesome. God blesses those He calls. In my opinion, almost never right away but through perseverance and patience God always comes through. He promises that. 

So yes this week was another struggle. It all started in the Afternoon of Martes (Tuesday). My companion had a pretty bad cold so we couldn't do much tracting. He had this wicked cough that wouldn't stop for about 5 minutes every time so we couldn't visit a lot of people either. So after lunch, we were resting for a bit in our house and all the sudden I felt it........ I felt like my insides wanted to be on the outside.... I thought I just had to go #2... again I was wrong. You know a great invention I should make? When you have whatever I had/have, they should make a toilet sitting across from a toilet. So you can do your business sitting down whichever way it comes out... No joke it was pretty bad. I would get done and then it would decide to come out the other side. Gosh that was so miserable. So for about 3 hours this went on... And this wasn't even the worst part! The worst part was the night! I was up all night sitting on the toilet or sitting up because I couldn't lay down without my stomach freaking out. I remember looking at the clock hoping it would be close to 6:00 so we could go get some more medicine, but it was barely 11:30... That right there was the saddest moment of my mission. But anyways, we called the nurses to tell them what was going on so they set up an appointment for me at the hospital but it wasn't till tomorrow afternoon. So that whole night I was thinking about Alma the younger and when he said, racked with eternal torment... Everyone just take my word, repent now so that you don't have to be racked with eternal torment.... haha Lesson learned! I still don't know what I have, the nurses or doctors don't know what I have either but I am on this diet now. But I am so so glad I can finally eat!!!!! For about 4 days I had nothing but a little water and Powerade. It was brutal. I am so sad because all my clothes fit loosely now...but I am doing better now. Still on a liquid diet pretty much but starting to incorporate a little bread. A little miracle though during all of this. I asked my companion to give me a blessing and it was really brief but really powerful. Simply it said you will be able to get through this, but this is a part of life and how we need to go through hard things in this life. At the time I wasn't too happy to hear that! But now thinking about that night, my relationship with God grew a ton! ha I relied on Him every second of that night. The rest of the week was pretty chill because we couldn't do much. We only went to appointments that we could set up through the phone and that were for sure and then contacted on the way there and on the way back. It was actually kind of impressive how we were able to set up our days and work around both of our sicknesses. God definitely played a role in that. And also thank you guys so much for your prayers. I really need and appreciate them. 

So changes were this week. Elder Jacobs and I are still stuck together. I feel sorry for the guy because he has been here for 6 months!! Not in a row but this is where he started his mission. Then he got changed out, and this is his 3rd change in a row here. Its good though because he relies a lot on me to get him motivated so we work good as a team. He talks to people and I tell him where to go. My Spanish is coming along still but this Sunday was really hard for me. So there are usually 4 elders in the ward but the other elders got moved out and President left us two in charge of the whole ward and also the other elders sector. So we are going to get in shape this change!! But this Sunday was hard because everyone was asking us to come over here and introduce ourselves to people and to give blessings and to set up appointments. Elder Jacobs is a champ for getting through that. So they would try to talk to me, then they would get frustrated and I would have to drag Elder Jacobs from his other conversation to communicate with the person I was talking to... Man this Spanish thing is hard!!! Everyone says at 6 months it will all be alright. It is going so slow right now hahah But I am trying to enjoy every moment and try to love the people in other ways than telling them and talking to them. I usually smile a lot and laugh even though I have no idea what they just said.. haha Yeah I promised myself I would never be that guy but here I am.... 

But one great thing did come out of this week! Even though we didn't visit a lot of people. We felt we needed to visit this one person who has been out of town for about a week and a half. He is one of our investigators. An investigator that has been through all the lessons about 5 times and is still meeting with missionaries. Its good but frustrating. But this time we talked about baptism and we just plain out said right after the prayer, What is keeping you from getting baptized? My comp said that and I was like ddaaaaang! But I knew it was from the spirit because he opened up finally and said that he hadn't been reading and he really didn't know in his heart if all these things were true. I didn't talk much but at the end of the lesson he agreed to read and pray everyday. I felt that we needed to ask him to prepare for a date and put him on date for Baptism. So in my broken Spanish I did that and reluctantly he said yes!!! So if all goes well, we will have a baptism in 2 weeks!! I was so excited!!!!! That is really what we needed because we both were getting down about how we didn't really have any success last change. The other lady has been cancelling on us (the one who my first baptismal invitation) But I'm not giving up on her! When you think about this as saving souls instead of just doing your job, it changes your whole perspective. I think that applies to life. to really why we are doing things and not just going through the motions. Enjoying that daily grind. I know, for me at least, I say I'll be happy when... But we really wont! We have to fall in love with the daily grind and work towards our goals. I think that is the key to enjoying life. Never being complacent, but loving every second. 
I love you guys!
Good luck this week! don't eat anything uncooked or that smells bad! haha 

Elder Reynolds

Elder Reynolds and one of the AP's, who is going home!

Elder Jacobs!!!! They are good for each other :)

These Elders are the ones who were in their ward but now are gone.
They became really good friends!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

We are Stronger than we Think!

We are Stronger than we Think!
The human body and mind can endure way more than we know!

Hello Everyone!
Man oh man was this a full week....! Lots of rescheduled appointments and lots of walking! So it was very physical and very stressful on an emotional, physical, and spiritual level but it felt good to get through it. It is weird how these type of weeks make you feel better than the great easy weeks. No doubt the other weeks make you feel good, but there is something about getting through a tough time coming off conqueror. Am I the only one? Probably, I am a little weird....Its all good though! The human body and the human mind is meant to be challenged. We are meant to go through tough times so we can adapt and become stronger. I have a background of sports and lifting weights...And the single lesson I learned from them is that the human body and mind can endure way more than we know. We are stronger than we think! And especially with Heavenly Father on our side, we can conquer anything. I have been trying this week to apply the discipline I had in football and eating healthy for lifting to my mission. I feel I haven't worked as hard as I could have these past weeks... Not that I have been slacking off majorly but paying attention to little details has helped so much. There is a popular quote on the mission, (I don't know who said it) but it goes something like this, "Obedience brings blessings....Exact obedience brings miracles." How great of a quote that is! And I am positive that doesn't apply just to a mission. I am sure that can apply to the real world and the commandments we all get to follow. There is always something we can work on, there is always something we can improve on. Find that something and do it! Make a goal and keep it! Honestly it is so weird to me still to have daily goals and to have weekly goals. But you get so much more done because you know exactly what you are working for. My dad always tried to hammer this into my brain and I guess he was right! ha Thank you dad! Write down Goals!! Make short term goals based off of a long term goal. Alright now that I got a little rant going I can tell you about my week haha

This week as stated above was another hard one. But we have 2 families so close to baptism!!! I honestly don't know why they are not accepting a baptismal date but it is great that they realize this is a huge choice and once they do it they will be under covenant for the rest of their lives. It is great they realize that! But they aren't willing to take that leap of faith... Ether 12;6 "...for ye receive no witness until after the trial of their faith." Sometimes we just have to jump and trust that God will catch us on the other side. Those appointments are always filled with the spirit and I love going there to teach. And also because the wife to one of the families is Peruvian and man does she know how to cook!! MMMM so good!!! To be honest, I am getting pretty tired of the soup but it hasn't killed me yet so it must have some nutritional content lol 

This next week is going to be interesting. Well actually, this last Sunday was interesting because we only had sacrament meeting! We got done with sacrament meeting and then we started to leave and I was like woah what the heck! My companion is going apostate! haha But then I realized it was election day and I guess you aren't even supposed to have church meetings on election day.. But as Mormons we run the world so we do what we want ;) Ha So elections are taken pretty seriously and it is mandatory that all citizens vote or they get fined. So we had to study almost the whole day because we were told not exactly to stay indoors, but to avoid going out too much unless you have a for sure appointment. So I got to just read the book of Mormon and man even if you just read the Book of Mormon for entertainment, it is a great book!! I am in the war chapters so my imagination goes a little crazy sometimes. Man I love that book for its uplifting nature and its entertaining side too! I definitely know it is true. For a 14 year old boy to write that,...impossible. Simply impossible without the help of God. So this week is going to be different because instead of changes being this next Monday we are having changes this Friday! I hope I get to stay in this sector because I am really starting to make connections with people but who knows! I'll go wherever. We have changes on Friday because they have the holiday called Carnival. I don't exactly know what it is celebrating but the whole city is a party for 2 whole days and already we have experienced the party nature of the holiday. People just randomly throw water on you or throw water balloons at you! We dodged everything so far! 

I hope you all have a great week this week! Be strong! We are stronger than we think! Being Mormon doesn't make life easy, it does make it easier though. Be proud of who you are! I love you all! I am rooting for you!!

Elder Reynolds

Quito, Ecuador at Night

Monday, February 13, 2017

First Baptismal invitation!

Genealogy line of Trainers!
Right to left: Kyle and his trainer, Elder Jacobs and his trainer and his trainer!

Another week in the books!! haha This week unfortunately wasn’t filled with a whole ton of missionary work... This is how the week went in a nutshell. Monday was obviously P-Day and had tons of fun! Didn’t get hurt at Mr. Joys so all is good. Then on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday we had meetings for Visa Information, Verifications for all new missionaries, and Zone /District meetings, respectively. All these meetings took the whole morning and into the afternoon. For the Visa's, we didn’t get back to our house till about 7:00!! Ugh so I am here to tell you that it is not just America that has problems with DMV paraphernalia...ha we walked into the government building and got our numbers. We looked at the screen and it was on number 13...We were number 74. Yeah that was a depressing moment haha. Man out here I am learning patience whether or not I want to! lol But it was good because other missionaries were there and I got to make some new friends and talk to someone other than my companion. Not that I don’t like my companion...but after talking to somebody for over 4 weeks you kinda run out of stuff to talk about. Ha So it was a nice breather.  Also on Thursday when we had verifications I got to see Elder Philpot again! So that was great! Still goofy as ever. When we get together we have a great time. I also got to take my first taxi!! Literally in the mornings the buses are so crowded that I don’t think even flat Stanley could fit in there. Our bus came and there were people hanging out the windows holding on for dear life. So we decided to pass on that and take a taxi. It is obviously more expensive to take a taxi. I now know why missionaries don’t usually take taxis haha But it was a good experience! We got a contact out of it too! 2 for one! I’ll take it!! So like I said not much missionary work this week because most of our appointments fall in the mornings so we had to call everyone that we had scheduled and tell them we couldn’t make it. It was kinda sad for me to do that because some of the people literally could only do it on those days so we couldn’t meet with them for a whole other week! Dangit!! Patience.... lol

So I had my first baptismal invitation this week!! That was so so exciting! We have been teaching her for 2 1/ 2 weeks now meeting about twice a week. The amazing thing about this woman was how she was Catholic and she was so confused at how many churches there are. So we explained the whole restoration with her and man if you could highlight my first change into one instance it would be her face when I was holding the picture of Joseph Smith and the First Vision and my comp was reciting it. Man if you could’ve seen her face when she heard that you would just feel so alive and so excited!! After that lesson she told us how beautiful our story was. lol that is kinda funny to me.. our story ... ha But then we invited her to pray and receive her own answer. She has been really struggling with that which is why it has taken so long to invite her to baptism. But finally this past week we were teaching her Lesson 3 and I was able to invite her to baptism!! Seguirá  el ejemplo de Jesucristo al ser bautizado por alguien que posea la autoridad del salcerdocio de Dios? (Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone that has the authority from God?) I was reciting that in my head that whole morning and when it came out. It actually came out correctly!!! And she said yes!! So her baptismal date is set for March 4, if everything works out just right...but she didn’t come to church this week so we have to push it back...dangit.. But man what a rush I got just from inviting someone to Baptism!! I can’t even imagine the feeling of actually seeing or doing the baptism of one of your investigators!

We also have another progressing investigator that is close to baptism. We didn’t find this guy,, almost all  the missionaries in our zone know who this guy is because he has taken all the lessons probably 10 times but still hasn’t committed. So as you all know I am not the greatest Spanish speaker but he wanted me to teach the next "class." Haha He calls the lessons "classes." So this "class" was on baptism!! I was pretty dang nervous for it. While I was preparing I was trying my hardest to follow the spirit so I could plan exactly what he needed. So the lesson plan was to read John 3:5 then discuss  D&C 20 for the baptism qualifications and then after that have a big long discussion about what he felt and is impeding him from baptism. Then share Helaman 12:1-2 and to put all of our trust in the Lord. So while we were planning, I just got this thought about how I was asking him the same thing Heavenly Father is asking me or us in general! How I am inviting the same thing that God has asked me to do my whole life. I don’t know if that makes sense but it really hit me how important it was to be obedient because how hypocritical would it be for me to ask him to change his job and I couldn’t even keep the rules of the mission. His problem is he sells religious Catholic things. Which is really popular here so he is actually really rich:) But it just hit me how important it was to have a testimony of everything I am teaching.

So lots of crazy stuff has happened outside of missionary work...I cut my finger this week. I was trying to shorten my jump rope and my knife slipped and sliced my finger. My knife is pretty dang sharp! I was pretty proud of how sharp it was and how clean the cut was haha But I went over into the sink and ran it under water and our sink doesn’t drain that well so it looked like I was butchering something! haha My comp wasn’t too happy because we had some dirty dishes in there so now we had to buy crazy disinfectant so we wouldn’t get whatever diseases I have.. haha which is hopefully none but who knows!

There was also a Valentine's dance that the ward put together that we stopped by for a little bit.. It was so funny! They were hyped in there!! Our ward isn’t that young but if you walked by the chapel that night you would’ve thought that it was pretty legit! lol It was so funny seeing the older generation dance to regatone or hip hop. But it was so great because they were just having the time of their lives just dancing the night away like they were teenagers again. Ecuadorians really know how to have fun! Oh my gosh and they take games seriously!! Every Sunday night there is FHE, noche de hogar, and we have a lesson then we have games! Everyone gets into them!! There is a really popular game where you each have say a fruit, like you are a banana, and he is an apple, and the other person is a kiwi. So there is someone in the middle that calls out a fruit and you have to change seats. So kinda like musical chairs. But everyone gets into it! Old or young it don’t matter. For example, there was this one 16 year old guy running for a chair right alongside was a probably 50 year old guy and no joke the 16 year old pushes the guy into the wall and he hits the wall and falls down. He hurt his shoulder but he kept playing! ha and just this last night this little kid lost his tooth because he fell and hit his mouth on the chair! haha and they just found the tooth, got some toilet paper for him and went on playing!! crazy right?!!! But the reason is because they have penintencias. or punishments for 3 people who lose 3 times! The best punishment was Elder Alanoca...they poured water down his pants from my comp Elder Jacobs!!! It was so funny because he got soaked! His whole pants were soaked. Man the wards here are crazy! So yes I fit right in! lol So those are the funny stories for this week.

For the lesson for noche de hogar (FHE) it was on la voluntad de dios. (The will of God) It was a video by Elder Christofferson about the gardener and how he pruned the tree so it would grow even bigger. But the bush didn’t know why but of course the gardener knew what he was doing. And how they applied it to us and how when we have setbacks in life, it is for our benefit. I love the section in D&C 121 and how it says our trials are for our good. Man it is so hard to trust the gardener but in reality he knows how to get to our fullest potential. And literally that is the only way to reach our fullest potential is doing the will of God. It is so not the easiest thing but if we want to reach our potential, we have to be humble enough to let God shape us. The video explains it so much better so just watch the video lol That’s why Elder Christofferson is an apostle and I am a missionary! Well that’s it folks! I hope your week was great and this coming week is filled with Love for Vday and happiness!!! I love you all!
Elder Reynolds   
Ward Valentine's Dance

Ecuadorians really know how to have fun!

An Active Volcano

Ouch :( Hope he remembers the Neosporin packed in his suitcase...somewhere!

Ecuadorian fruit called Achotillo

Kyle didn't say what kind of fruit this is, so I had to google it! It says it's Achotillo (Rambutan)
This little fruit has a sweet, slightly sour flavor in its clear-white gelatinous flesh. The spiny/leathery skin peels of quite easily, but inside there is a large pit to which the flesh clings very stubbornly, so you kind of have to gnaw at it.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Facing the Giants

Hello everyone!!!
Another week in the books! Pretty good week in Ecuador. Still no baptismal dates but we are finding and teaching a lot of people!! Contacting isn't that scary to me anymore.. Because usually it is the same response of either yes I want to hear more or no I am busy. So I just listen carefully for whether they say occupado or whether they say venga haha I still cant keep up a conversation but I am getting there. Whenever we go to a persons house to eat, I just listen to what they are saying to my companion and its almost like I am not there sometimes! lol Its not like they hate me its just they know I cant speak very good Spanish and they don't want to make it awkward for me.. We are still teaching the same people. I am learning much patience out here lol. It is so hard to just not drag them to the baptismal font and say, you will thank me later! ha But agency is what we fought for in the pre-existence. I am really starting to develop a love for the people. Even though I cant really communicate with them I just have the urge to help them in some way! I love the ward here. Everyone is so talkative and nice. I love the way they say American names too. It is really funny to me. That is probably how they feel about me! Hopefully they aren't too fed up with my gringo Spanish!

The food is good! I haven't really talked about the food but it is different but surprisingly good! I must say it doesn't look that appetizing but when you mix it all together it isn't too bad! For every meal, or almost every meal, it is soup and then it is sooooo much rice and usually chicken and if I am lucky I get some salad! I am trying to eat clean but it is hard because the members feed you so much rice and bread! What I had to get used to was that there isn't really dinner here. It is breakfast which is fruit, and then there is a big lunch and then if you want you can snack on bread or something for dinner. Pfff not for me!! Tuna is decently cheap here so I usually have that. Well if I am lucky enough to have time for dinner. That is usually when there is the most appointments. So I am surviving! haha It is hard for me though because I know I am losing weight and I can see it... NOOOO all that hard work gone. Lol The weirdest thing I have eaten so far is chicken feet and chicken spine. Not that weird but for now I am good with that... ha So I have to keep telling myself that I am not out here for me, it is solely for the people of Ecuador!

So I was doing good about forgetting about the Super Bowl.. Not many people talk about it here but we were sitting in church and one of the members say, The super bowl is today! And when he said that I was like noooooooo why did you tell me that!!! haha Forgive me, I thought a lot about football yesterday... I heard the Patriots won though!! My man Tom Brady always pulling through. It sucks that I didn't get to watch but one super bowl down only one to go! ha ¨The missionaries here count Christmases usually but I like to count Super Bowls. Only 2 on the mission and got one down! Someone will have to email me a detailed email of how the Super Bowl went haha So besides that the week was great!!

Spanish is continually coming and my companion and I are getting along, so all is well here in Quito! Still lots and lots of hills though.. What is kinda cool is I found out a very popular sport in Quito! Its called Ecua-volley. It is a really high net, 3 on 3, they use a soccer ball for a volleyball and they play volleyball! I really want to try that out! Everyone says your forearms are super red after you play but I want to try it! I've learned that you cant knock something until you try it. ¨That probably applies more to food but I want to try everything I can here! Today for a district activity we went to Mr. Joys. It is like an indoor slide place. It was actually really fun! I thought it was going to be more or less for little kids but they had some big kids stuff! ha I give props to Ecuador for that! 

So some funny thing that happened this week...hmm...Oh I don't know if this is funny but I was eating at a members house. The wife was for some reason really focusing on me. I guess she wanted to know if her food was good to me. It actually was pretty good! But as I could feel her staring through my soul I was biting a piece of meat off the drumstick and all the sudden the bone just snapped in half and half of it went into my mouth! I didn't want to spit it out because I thought that would be rude... So I had to drink sooo much water so that the bone would slide down my throat without me choking to death... Luckily it did!! I have no idea what to expect this next week when it digests and has to come out.. Kinda scared actually haha. Man the things you do to be polite? I have changed a lot... haha 

So the highlight of the week was a general authority came to visit on Friday! It was Elder Montoya. He is the area seventy. It was really cool to listen to him. Of course it was in Spanish so I really had to concentrate. I also got to see my MTC comp Elder Philpot! It was really good to see a familiar face again. We still don't know Spanish so I was relieved because I thought I was falling behind in my group or in general! ha But my favorite part from his discourse was he showed a you tube video of the death crawl from Facing The Giants!! So for those of you who don't know what that is it is a football movie that has such a great spiritual message. I would definitely recommend it!! So anyways there is a part in there where the coach blindfolds the player and they have to do a bear crawl thingy with a person on his back. Usually they do 10 yards and lots of people struggle with just 10 yards. But this time he wants the player to give him his very best and he doesn't want for him to see where he is at and base that off of his very best. So through a very emotional crawl he climbs much farther than what he ever thought he could! (I wont give away too much) But the lesson learned is that we put limitations on ourselves and we constantly compare ourselves to others. But really it is between us and God and only we know if we gave our very best. I also got out of it that before we came to earth I am almost positive we promised Heavenly Father that we would give our very best down here. I bet if we could remember for only a second how much we loved our Heavenly Father we would change things in our lives to align our will with His. But yes times get really tough. Life is tough! It isn't supposed to be easy. But we have to keep going. We have to endure to the end as we promised when we were baptized. If you watch that video you will definitely get more out of it than what I am telling you so pretty much just watch the video and don't read this email haha I love all of you guys. I am so happy to be out here serving the Lord. I hope these emails aren't too boring for you all! I try to make them entertaining. But I am not that funny so maybe my mom or dad can switch up a couple of words to make it sound better. I love you all! Have a fantastic week!!

Elder Reynolds

 Good thing he likes tuna!

 Grateful for those people feeding our missionary!
Weirdest thing that he has eaten: chicken feet and chicken spine

 Eating his greens!

3 on 3 and played with a soccer ball

Friday, February 3, 2017

Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel

It rains A LOT in Ecuador!!

Hello Everyone!!
So this week was one of those hard weeks that I think every person I talk to about a mission talks about... But I am alive and the gospel is still true! So esta bien! (it’s ok/fine) We have been having a lot of success on the streets with talking to people and setting up appointments. I think it is partially because the people feel bad for me cause I literally don’t know any Spanish haha. But I will take it! So I found out the easy part of missionary work is talking to people in the streets... I thought that was the hard part!! The hard part is getting people to keep their appointments! The phrase I hear most out here is, estoy occupado. Which means I am busy go away don’t bother me. But I have learned to have fun with it and instead of letting them go asking them why don’t they have time for Jesus? haha that seems to work a lot more than just saying we have a message to share with them and their family. I know it is only the second week but I am pretty tired of walking! ha We have the most hills in the whole mission I found out. Hopefully my calves can get big!! As you guys know I love working out.
It is a big stress reliever for me. So since we only have 30 minutes of it in the morning it has been a struggle. It’s okay though because all the walking has been keeping me in pretty good shape. We have like over 15 new investigators but it is hard to get 2nd lessons from them because of time slots.. But we are hoping we can get them all on baptismal dates! The thing that holds most of them back is marriage.. So hopefully we can become match makers and get them all married!!

We had a missionary conference this week, I think it is worldwide, anyways they jumbled up the missionary schedule a bit. The main thing is that they shortened the study time! When I heard that, (or when my companion told me because it was broadcasted in Spanish), I was devastated!! I love my personal study time! So now we get out of the house earlier so that is why the walking is killing me. And what doesn’t help is that this week has been pretty bad rain! It usually rains or sprinkles a little bit everyday but it has been raining pretty bad! My shoes are holding up pretty good but when I get home every night I am always a little damp. If you don’t know this about me it is that I hate being damp! ha I would rather be sopping wet than damp. It’s like the rain teases you just enough to bother you but not enough to pull out an umbrella. Lol all you can really do is laugh about it. When the times are tough and the circumstances aren’t quite what we want, sometimes you just got to laugh it out. So even though this week was majorly hard, I did laugh a lot with my companion. We are getting along pretty good now that I learned to not stress too much and to talk. It has been weird because for the past 2 weeks I have literally not been able to talk to anyone except my companion. It is a different kind of difficult now with Spanish. At first it was I couldn’t understand or talk. Now it is I can understand or get the gist of what they are saying but I can’t reply... Ugh so frustrating! But
everything in life that is worth something, there is a price to pay. I know Spanish will come, but I think Heavenly Father wants me to learn patience and diligence first before Spanish comes. The big guy upstairs is always looking out for what’s best for us. Life is difficult. Honestly when I came out on a mission I was psyched because I didn’t have to worry about anything! Or so I thought... No rent, no homework, no problem! But I learned it is sooooo not what I thought. It is hard work, like Elder Holland says, Salvation is not a cheap thing. (He says it more profoundly and more intelligently but that is basically what he means lol) We had meetings with President Christensen this week and I told him how I was struggling this week and he just smiled and said "Keep at it Elder Reynolds, you are doing the right thing." Then he proceeded to tell me about Jesus` Mission and how when He started His mission, He knew what the outcome would be... He knew that no matter how hard He worked and no matter how strictly obedient He was, the people were still going to reject Him and crucify Him... Man that made me stop in my tracks and stop thinking woe is me!! God loves us so much. He is always there for us. Always. Even when we sin. That is what is the most crazy to me!! That is the time He most wants us to come to Him!! When we are in the lowest of lows.. Because He knows
exactly how to get us back on our feet. How lucky are we  to have so many opportunities to try to be exalted.

Alright so funny story of the week! Not the funniest story but I work with what material I have.. So I have been trying to talk more Spanish each day. It really, really sucks when my companion has to go to the bathroom in a members house because then it is usually just silent between me and the members. So he was in the bathroom and I decided to strike up a conversation. Then all the sudden I heard a laugh from the bathroom from my companion and I guess it was because I said I had 2 tables in the mission not 2 months in the mission. haha that is why they looked at me like... ummm okay Elder that is great you have two tables in the mission.... pfff. Now every time they see me they treat me like I am a little kid haha. Also at ward night that is how I felt!! The whole ward...no joke was talking to me and I was the center of attention and they would ask me something and I would have this blank look on my face and they would just start laughing like there was no tomorrow. I kind of compare that experience to when you are all looking at a baby or puppy and just see how helpless it is and laugh. ha At least they like me!!

The food is alright. You always have soup and then rice and chicken. Man and cilantro! I hate cilantro!!! haha but oh well. We get fed once a day. I guess dinner isn't popular here so I have been starving. I bought some protein which was expensive but I need something because we leave at 12:00 and don't get back until 9:30. I don't want to eat unhealthy, and of course there are NO granola bars here!!! haha so I am struggling.

So yeah this week was kind of a downer but it was fun. This week is what makes the good weeks good. Today when we were coming to email it started hailing and the roads looked like rivers. We couldn’t use our umbrellas because they would break. So we had to run for about 5 minutes through hail! It must’ve been a pretty funny sight seeing 2 white guys laughing and running through the rain. But that was one of the moments where you just laugh like I said.  I hope we can all take a step back and just laugh!! The best therapy there is. I love you guys!! Have a great week!!!!!

Elder Reynolds


Hope he's using that ironing board!!!

His Apartment

There is no light in the shower, so he has to use his headlamp

Ba da ba ba ba I'm lovin' it

 When it rains, it pours!!!!!!!