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

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Baptism this Weekend!!!

 Elder Reynolds and his ward family! ~Ambato Ecuador
They gather together as a ward to do Family Home Evening.
The missionaries sometimes teach the lessons and plan the activity. They are a competitive bunch!!

Hello everyone!! 
This week was a great week to be a missionary.... Aida is going to be baptized this weekend!!!!!!!!!! What a miracle!! In consejo de barrio (ward council) we were talking about all the details and the Bishop stopped and said this is a miracle. Remember when we first were introduced to Aida and she was a little hesitant but let us in and really all she wanted to do was talk and contend.... Now look at her. Giving up coffee, giving up anything the Lord asks to be baptized. This just shows that the gospel knows no age. It can change anyone. That really hit me because I was just thinking of how she is so ready to be baptized and I didn't really even think of how far she has come! It is true, the power of the Spirit changes lives. No matter how old or how long the traditions of your parents. We are so excited! We were actually really nervous because Friday the day before her interview we had a rough lesson where she didn't want to be baptized because of health issues. We had a long discussion of how faith is going to play a big role in this next week and how Satan is going to try everything to stop her from making this great covenant. By the end of the lesson we didn't know whether to call off the baptism or let it be. We said a prayer with her and after we felt we should let it be.. The next day we came to her house and she was so excited!! For some reason, as she said, "for some reason I am so excited for today! I feel so much better!" Wow the power of prayer is real. When we are willing to show our faith first, the miracles will come.
Not only Aida but we have lots other investigators that are progressing! We had a conference a while back with President Christensen...yes may he rest in peace.. haha No he's not dead its just a saying we have in the mission when someone goes home lol But he said something really interesting, that the reason people don't keep commandments is because they really don't understand them. We have lots of investigators not keeping commitments and commandments.....because they don't understand them!!! Although its our fault, we are having to retrace our steps and basically go over all the lessons again so that they understand the "why" of everything. I love that in the Book of Mormon the difference we see in Laman and Lemuel and then Nephi. Basically the only difference is Nephi had a desire to know the" why"! It wasn't that he was any better than Laman or Lemuel... It was just he asked! He was the one acting not the one being acted upon. Just like in football, you hit or you get hit! haha man I miss it.
We watched "Meet the Mormons" with an investigator to show that Mormons are normal! ha There is a part in there where it shows a football coach... man can you spell TRUNKY... haha my comp leaned over to me and was like "are you trunky??" I want to tell everyone that yes football is my passion. My love for the game is unreal. Do I regret the decision of coming on a mission? Not one bit. This work is so much more important There is not possibly one thing I could be doing that would please our Heavenly Father more than serving him in Ambato Ecuador. I testify this is the work of the Almighty God. He needs every single one of us with everything we got to give. Once we are in, NEVER LOOK BACK. I love you all!! Blessings to everyone!!
Elder Reynolds

One of his mom's birthdays!! Happy Birthday :)
Thanks for taking care of Elder Reynolds!!!

Elder Reynolds loves the people in Ecuador!