Monday, July 18, 2016

In The Country Where He Prefers


Hey fam,

Its weird to be at another pday. My mission is quickly passing. I feel like i was at the mtc a week ago being forced to walk slowly with elder metcalfe haha hes still on the mission and doing great by the way!

Let me tell you about the week i had, it was straight power.

We taught an entire family on Tuesday about the plan of salvation. this was a straight answer to prayers because i been needing to teach a family. They were Hispanic so i said in Spanish "how do you say.. you stink?" so i could say it to my companion and they replied in Spanish thinking i could speak and i was like.. yo howd i do that? now i have to say something else! Ive never really been around Hispanics in my life! Gift of tongues? haha i wish. Anyway we had a sweet lesson. The mom who is the only member in the family was in tears and i started to get a little teary as i bore my testimony in this little cozy home with these people all around me. I asked myself during the lesson. Is the spirit here? and then i just listened and i felt an overwhelming sense on peace fill me right up. So the answer was yes. It was there and it was strong. We invited to family to church and then baptism. They said yes. I was shocked. And then we left the home a little while after and i sat in pondering while i was driving home at how lucky i am to be doing the lords work. This is what it really is all about. Words cannot convey the feelings of joy and love i have found in being here on a mission. 

Yes i get crap for being a utah mormon. But REPRESENT! 

Then later we visited our top investigator and she said these great words that were like music to my undersized ears "I have an announcement, I want to be baptized, next month on the 27th" ... We were shocked. This is a lady who was kinda rude and prideful when we first taught her and now she was glowing! I pointed out that ive seen a change in her for the better and she was all smiling and stuff. Her husband will be the one to baptize her. we just gotta get him active again. 

Well i gotta admit i broke the rules.. i drove a tractor.. we did service on a farm and the farmer asked me to drive his ole tractor to the field haha he said "reynolds can you drive this.. my neck hurts" i didnt even blink and said sure! and then he winked because he knew how bad i wanted to drive it. But i needed a reason to.. so i hopped in there and my companion sat on the step and we drove that thing and man i was real happy haha that was a highlight of my mission just dont tell president ok? Ok if you want to you can. I had a little chat with my companion, he hasnt been talking in the lessons at all so i have had to keep blabbing on, which is fine i love the feeling i get when my head rattles from so much jaw flapping. So after that talk i realized that i love this dude. hes shy and akward and real self-conscious. But i saw him as the savior does for a brief moment and i started to get a little sweat in my eyes as i bore my testimony to him of speaking by the power of the spirit. And that we have nothing to worry about when we are worthy to teach. I then challenged him to find out whats keeping him from that and then he opened up real good. That was a hard conversation but i prayed real good before i had it with him. so it was kosher. 

Then later in the week we were in a lesson and the spirit was really strong in this one too. I was bearing my testimony that i know that god has a plan for every single one of his children. While in the middle of a powerful message i look over at my companion after i heard him gasp and move his head really quickly. I thought nothing of it and then after as we were in the truck he asked kinda nervously "Do dragonflys have poison?" i said no why? he said that one tried to bite him in the middle of me testifying and he got real scared. and he said thats all he could think about during that time was the terror of these strange flying snakes... hes not from around here.. but i had a good laugh because that explains him.. while you think hes pondering deeply the words of life hes really just wonder if he can pet the dog thats in the corner haha hes a dog person.

D&C 64:33 says
"Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceed that which is great."
I love this.

I love this gospel. We are in a spiritual war. The smallest decisions to do whats right can and will have a great affect on those who it will see. This church is true and when i go to meet heavenly father, i will not know anymore then, than i do now that he lives, and is at the helm. He loves us.

ps the pictures.. A 1969 mustang at a less-active guys house.
me and another elder hanging another elder upside down over water (death)
and me wrestling a goat who likes to headbutt. 

Hey Fammm

i feel our ancestors pressing it on me to have work done. Get going. that story for when i get home from the mission. we are responsible all the way back to the 14 much work..

Thinking about my family. Are you filling your head with things that are conducive to the spirit? if not.  CHANGE IT. because if its not of god then who is it of? and do we think those influences of the adversary will lead us to do good?dont let yourself get surrounded  with the things of the world. they will only add confusion and eventually end up like I almost did. snapchat, instagram, facebook, vine. Not Good. I was firm in this before and now i reaffirm my past thoughts. They do not help us to feel good about ourselves and that is not what our father in heaven intends. You are all in my prayers. Is everyone reading scriptures everyday? are you? if not. listen to my plead and FIX IT. the pioneers did not go through all the pain and suffering just so the message of the gospel could be put off down the road.  tell yourself. Im going on a mission and nothing will stop me. convince yourselves to center your thoughts on doing the work of the lord. and if you want to serve you cant be lazy. we do not sit on the fence. remember.. "choose ye this day whom ye will serve" We are the church of jesus christ of LATTER DAY SAINTS its almost over, this life. if you read in the book of revalations. christ is at the door. the devil is working, in your home. Do not get prideful do not get relaxed. press forward with a steadfastness in christ. to press means that there WILL be opposition. We help families all over to get through these same things. i wont let my family at home buckle under pressure. You are my support group and how can you support if you arent strong?

I only allow myself to say these things because i feel like ive personally conquered them. i would be timid if i hadnt. 

This rant is mainly for my sisters.. i feel like elder holland or something.. haha well.. im off the soapbox. 
Please have everyone ponder and read and study and dissect alma 32. 

We had a good ole week here in elizabeth kalerahdoh.

We had 5!! Investigators at church this week WUT hah one is a family!! of 3 Work is going just fine. Except we got a screw in our tire so we have to sit at the tire shop for a while later today and lose our pday...sad face.

Our members that we live with have been out of town and been in utah and arizona and been out enjoying the retirment life.. so weve been house watching for them since we live with them and we accidentally let the flowers die and we accidentally lost the cat.. for 3 days.. then we found him this morning after i used my cat mating call. bought it at cabelas 13.99 if your interested... not really haha
Dont ask us to babysit.. we will abandon the cat to teach the gospel.

I was pondering deeply this morning just about the words of life which we hear about from prophets of old and new. I realized that nowhere in this world can we find such happiness and peace than from in the gospel.

So we taught this cool lesson the other night. what made it cool was that we were on the porch and all around us in a fence was cows! and the sun was setting and furthermore the spirit was there. Strong. Probably the strongest ive ever felt it during a lesson. We taught a recent convert about faith we just read from alma 32 and dissected it for her. She was in tears because she isnt married doesnt have a job.. because she got fired.. and she works for her dad..  she is just having a hard life right now. I felt such sympathy for her. i just wanted to give her a big ole hug.. but i didnt because im saving my hugs for my family when i get home. Anyway after the lesson elder haws and i were complete opposite. he was all meek and humble and i was all joyful and giddy. we all react to the spirit differently. those are all fruits of it though so i knew we were feelin it. 

Man the members out here are phenominal. Theyre like doing missionary work just like saying hey do you go to church? to people they know like im serious these people are on fire out here.  And a lady brought us peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to church because she said last time we looked super hungry.. which we were!! 9 hours of church every sunday is a LOT. I love the mission.

Ether 12 says
"..I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." verse 12 goes on to say "for if there be no faith among the children of men god can do no miracle among them; wherefore he showed not himself until after their faith.
Let us let god manifest himself to us. Let us be faithful. #nourishtheseed
We will see that heavenly father really does care and he wants us to KNOW him. I know him and i know that he loves us. I am a son of god. What more honorable thing can we say about ourselves? 

-Elder Reynolds

PS another transfer down.. im staying here in elizabeth to baptize these people out of love. and elder haws will remain my companion.

Hey fam,

It was a good week again. Im not sure that if i had a bad one that i would admit it. But this one was good.

We went on exchanges this week early on. I was with elder Brinkerhoff who was my zone leader at the very beginning of my mission Ive looked up to him the whole time. He served as an assistant to the president after he was one of my zone leaders. He knows what hes doing. Too bad he goes home in a week. I made sure to ask him for advice on what to do to enhance my mission. He said "Know who you're praying to" Simple but profound. Hes a good guy. It was a good day hes a good balance of fun and obedience. 

Our days were filled with service. Which means that since we were serving our fellow brethren we were in direct service of our god. What a great realization I had. Tuesday we did our regular service at the therapy horse ranch, and man thats a real fun time. Friday all morning we bucked hay. It was so neat i looked around as i stood in the rustic looking barn and thought, i wouldnt rather be anywhere else in the world right now but here. We were tossing those bales out the upstairs door of the barn like they were hot potatoes. It was a cool barn. 

Saturday we had a baptism! i know i havent talked too much about this one but its because i felt like we need no recognition for this anymore. It is our job. We bring people to christ. In the words of coach child at springville high school "Its just what we do" We were blessed to have sierra walk into our lives and we were blessed to be her spiritual guides as we took her on  the path that leads to our father in heaven. 

I had a good talk with elder Haws last night because ive noticed throughout our time together which might almost be over.. that he tends to beat himself up pretty harshly. Nothing wrong with that at all but i could tell it makes his days cloudy and those days turn to weeks. I talked to him and told him that the final result of the atonement is joy. We had a good talk and i mentioned some of the things that ive had to use the atonement for. He was pretty quiet, so i just told him that we are to find joy in our work and i challenged him to find whats keeping him from having that and then fix it. 

I think I finally understand just a little bit of what the savior faced as he served his mortal mission. It isnt easy. But its worth it. Alma 26:27 Says "Now when our hearts were depressed and we were about to turn back, behold the lord comforted us and said: Go amongst thy brethren the lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and i will give unto you success".

Love ya!

PS Yesterday we went on a hike instead of email.

hey fam!!

This week haha we did work!! i think that missions aren't necessarily for the people you find and teach but more for the personal growth that missionaries go through. It might sound selfish sure, but ill be honest i didnt think i was capable of loving the savior this much and his sacrifice. The proof i have to show for it is through my actions. Ive worked hard this transfer to not give in to fatigue or any other things that we face. its been real good. Studies are probably the best part of the day. seek not to declare my word ay? but first to obtain it. yas. i love reading the scriptures i feel like you know how when dogs havent seen their owners for a long time and they go all nuts when they finally do see em.. well thats kinda what its like when i sit down and read im all sorts of excited. My life has changed.

Well, we did some service on a cattle ranch. i think ive found my calling in life not gonna lie. It was real good, made me miss the ranch because it was only an appetizer. We were there for only a morning. For those of us who are interested, We freeze branded and castrated some calves. Everyone in the zone was jealous. I got money on the boots too so that was uplifting. The drive home was real nostalgic.

Then later in the week we went up to denver and spent a little bit of time in my last area. i felt weird because it was like going back to high school even though you graduated..  haha we went to go to my main man Adams baptism. i love those guys they sure do mean a lot to me. 

Then we finished the week with a busy Sunday, its real tiring covering two wards. two sacraments two ward councils and two ward correlations. every Sunday. Thats grit right there. Elder haws was fallin asleep in the second sacrament. But good news tis worth it! we have a baptism this weekend! if you want to come and see whats up then please do! 
weve been real lucky in this area. All the lessons weve taught to investigators have been in the homes of members. which is the ideal situation. 

I was reading in D&C section 50 this week and caught something real neat that the savior was saying to Joseph smith. It says

41 Fear not, little children for you are mine, and i have overcome the world, and you are of them that my father hath given me. 42 And none of them that my father hath given me shall be lost.

No matter how far gone we may feel, its never too late to repent and align our will with heavenly fathers. His arms are still outstretched, its up to us to turn around and accept the atonement. So will you?

Love ya! 
-Elder Reynolds

Ps my companion and i are doing real well together. Its because were not being selfish or anything were just putting in work.

Yo fam,

Ah yes another refreshing week of pure unadulterated, firm and supple peace with an unequaled amount of horses. 

Man i love my flippin mission. We put in work. enough to go through Another pair of proselytizing shoes. mom send money please...

On tuesday we did service all morning at a therapy horse ranch. i was in heaven really because i wish to be an equine professional someday maybe and also the handicapped kids, that we helped ride the horses, were real funny too.. My companion is a real shy akward so he did some real funny things with the horses because he was.. real shy and nervous.. haha

i got some glasses also.. i feel as though my eyes have been taken and upgraded with x ray vision super eagle-seers. instead of my regular old dark brown pursuaders.

I feel as though we are on top of the world because the wards were working with are flippin amazing everyone is so missionary minded and willing to help us out. so our job is like really fun. 

we only had one thing this week that was dumb. we were walking up a long driveway to knock on the door for the purpose of inquiring the names of those who dwelt within. As we approached, a great amount of courage swelled within my humble heart and we saw a big scary tattooed man walking towards us haha and i said hello to him and he told us to turn around and go back where we came from. So we did without arguing because i didnt wanna see my companion get beat up because im pretty sure if that were to happen ide run away to fast.. anyway he was real mean. that was honestly the only thing that dampened the week. other than that.. it was a sweet week. Lesson wise, we have quadrupled the amount taught in a week than the last companionship who was here from the CO springs mission.. I have pride for the mission i was called to. 

Well.. no rabbits this week 

oh last night we were driving to a preconceived destination and upon arrival we found that the person that we were trying to get ahold of did not live at this house, which was way in the middle of nowhere, and so it was another big scary guy that answered the door, we chatted for a little bit about farming which he did haha. after a minute  the spirit made my fanny pack feel like it was on fire because there was a book of mormon inside of it.. so i got the hint and said audibly "hey man sorry to bother ya so late in the evening, weve gotta go but can i leave something with you that has changed my life and blessed it as well". He said sure! i was like.. woah really? haha ok yeah sure uh huh here you go!! so hes said thanks and we went on our way.. i told my companion elder haws, That was meant to happen. Because we were so far away and no one ever seems so eager to take what we have to offer. and there was lightning so we took that as a sign that god was excited just like us about what we are doing. idk.. 
Its weird how the spirit works and guides us in our lives. Its my prayer that those i encounter will be able to feel the holy ghost confirm the truths that my mouth testifies of.

Love ya!
-Elder Reynolds

PS the picture attached is for my mother to see how strong i am becoming so she knows im eating healthy and so she can she my new glasses. also for real i need new shoes i tore those puppies up.. according to my fitbit i walked approximately a trillion steps in them shoes. 


Hey fam,

Well, not too much to say. if i could email my love for this area i would prefer to do that. we have 2 people we are baptizing here in a couple of weeks i guess. the cool thing is.. both of em ride horses in rodeos. 

Im still in love out here. the only thing that ruins it is the little computer thing they put in the window of the truck thatll yell at us when we speed stinkin church.. but for real its beautiful out here we wake up in the morning to gorgeous sun rises and birds chirping and we go to bed with big huge dark rolling thunder clouds with lighting crackin across the sky.  and all in between we make friends with the local cows!

Ive been learning so much of the stuff that god has to teach us. the cocept of unfolding has become real to me. i realize the more i learn when i study the gospel, the littler i know.  theres always so much that the spirit can teach us when we study the scriptures. i bore my testominy of the book of mormon to some guy workin on a tractor this week and i kinda got choked up a little because i love it so much. alma and amulek are my heroes. 

We did some good workouts this week and my companion elder haws took some of my pre workout supplements and he said the back of his head was starting to tingle which is caused by a mixture of beta alinine and caffiene.. i told him thats not good at all and we might have to go to the hospital because it means his brain is detatching and thats a side affect that will happen. he got really scared and almost started to cry and i just started laughing and told him not to be so gullible and then we started lifting haha. my companion is funny he is really akward and im not so we make a good team.

We had the chance this week to go hold down a family history booth at the local carnival slash fiesta days kinda thing in parker. my companion and two other elders and i had a cool moment. we were walking to find some dinner. we had two fine young daughters of god approacvh us and ask us why we were wearing ties.. that was.. random but we were smart and we took the conve straight into the message of the restoration.. my companion and one of the other elders didnt say much because they are akward to begin with and if you add some 18 year old girls in the mix they are stone faced haha.. anyway the one elder and i taught the message with impeccable clarity and even though we were in the middle of hundreds of people and rides and lights everywhere the spirit pricked their hearts and we could tell they felt the spirit real good. then haha we were walking beck to the car later and we passed the same two girls and they were reading the books of mormon we gave em. elder haws didnt stop talking about that all week haha.

Then yesterday i probably had the funniest dinner appointment on my mission. the son is a 14 year old down syndrome child. of course he doesnt mean to be funny but the whole family my companion and i were dying laughing we were falling off the chairs. he was telling us a story of how he was kidnapped by the democrats and the koreans threw him in the trash and he played games with himself in there haha.. idk you had to be there. 

Well yeah i love my mission i dont think im gonna come home ever. 
The members we live with love us. the granpa will just come down and talk to us for an hour and were like trying to study or plan and he just fills our ears with all sorts of goofy stories. i love it. 

We didnt have a dinner appointment this week so i killed me some rabbit. i love being out here in the country. one of the people we taught this week said theyre castrating this week and i got all excited because thats my favorite job. haha.. anyway..

Well the church is true, you can feel gods spirit in abundance in the church especially during sacrament. it hit me real hard when i looked up and saw this country man bishop with tears in his eyes. During the sacrament administartion. 

I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!! im stayin dont come get me momma


hey fam,

Im trying to keep my cool right now. Theres so much i have to write..

Well, lets start with the basics. we live with a family who is genuinely the best loving couple god placed on his good green earth. WE LOVE THEM.

Im out here in elizabeth CO, i cover two wards the running creek ward and elizabeth ward. my companion and i have the largest geographic area in the mission. I absolutely love it. it looks identical to mayfield utah. small little cozy town here in CO. I love it here. i woke up the first morning to deer right out back. man i loved it.
also all the neighbors have horses. in fact everyone has horses. and tractors. I might move back out here after the mission. 
Its polar opposite from my last area. in every aspect. 

I LOVE IT!!! my companions a good dude too.. hes not the most confident in himself but im helpin him. i have confidence to spare haha jk 

Church yesterday was great! we received a super warm welcome to the ward. even little deacons were coming up to us saying hey elders welcome to the ward! were so excited to get to work out here the bishops in both wards are super missionary minded and super willing to help. in fact both ward correlation meetings everyone in there gave us names to go teach i felt like we were being showered with blessings. this is a missionary's dream. theres even a couple people who are ready to be baptized!!! 

Well. i cant ask for anything else. I wouldnt rather serve in any other place in the worldexcept the salt lake city mission... maybe im just excited to be out of the city idk. but im serious i actually got a good nights rest these past few days. 

OH also!! we met with president on thursday he mentioned the town of elizabeth has a rodeo. so he said to my companion and myself to put our blue jeans and boots on and go out there. so we did. we went to an actual rodeo. that was a highlight of my mission. 

Also we ate dinner at some members home last week named the schmidts. brother schmidt said he served 7 months of his mission in gunnison ut and he baptized one of the bounds in fayette springs. yeah im not the best with names but hes in my ward and hes a real great guy. ill try and get a picture with him soon. small world. everyone here knows where gunnison even the bishops wife knows the redds down in southern utah. her last name is parmenter. anyway this is where my mission has really seemed close to home its kinda weird. if we have to drive anywhere it looks like the drive between gunnison and manti. 

Theres so much to talk about for example, we do service on a cattle ranch. maybe some calf wrestling will be involved that was my favorite job out on the ranch. wow, my country side is really coming out here. 

When we met with president he told our district time and time again that he sent the strength of the mission out to these new areas. i dont know if i consider myself worthy of being called strength but it was good to hear that president has confidence in us. He also mentioned that when he came out here to tour the area sister mendhall and him were wondering who they should send out here first to be the pioneers and sister mendenhall said right away "elder reynolds". ah yeah i love my president and his wife. Ive had a bunch of elders already express their envy towards us.

Anyway im reading in alma chapter 15 recently when alma and amulek go and baptize whole cities. now im not gonna get ahead of myself and say ill do that but boy this place sure has been prepared for us. just like the scriptures testify of. in fact we just had a lady come up to us 5 minutes ago and ask us to help her on her farm.. my goodness.. i dont know if its allowed to have this much fun on a mission. im hesitant to let myself enjoy it because i know itll be taken away from me soon enough and ill be back in an area like the ones up north.

I feel like im gonna like this area. its real different from downtown denver. But im motivated and ready to go to work and show these members and my president that im meant to be here and that the north mission has always been better than the springs mission. 

I love this place its pretty country.. if you havent already been able to tell.

Good week ahead. 

Love, Elder Reynolds