Not in Kansas Anymore...

Hey Fam!!!

Wow!  This week has been great. They are really strict on time on the computers, so I will see how much I can write. This week has been really fun. We got off the airplane and we all loaded up on this bus.  It was pretty beater.  I was really disappointed that we got in when it was dark, but we got to see some of the city.  This city is so big.  It is so cool because it is big but it is in the mountains.

Unfortunately, I had to switch comps, so I do miss Elder Mauter very much but my new comp is great.  He is from Firth, Idaho.  He is a farm boy.  You know what they say about them Idaho farm boys.  I always get put with the biggest companions.  Nobody knows why.  He is about my same size, so we are huge compared to some of the Latinos.  His name is Elder Suiter. Our room sleeps 6.  We have 4 Latino roommates and none of them speak any English.  Three are from Mexico and one is from North Guatemala -  right next to Tikal. 

The weather here is perfect all the time.  It is a beautiful city. It is a very dangerous city as well.  All day we hear sirens up and down the street.  So yesterday was our first day out of the CCM and it was interesting.  We were just walking to the temple which is like a half a block away but there is a gas station in between here and the temple.  We walked out of the gate and there was like a 1970s Toyota mini truck with around 4 guys in the back with machine guns.  We are like, "what the heck."  Then we turned the other way and there is some guy sitting in the gas station parking lot with a semi automatic shot gun.  We didn't know what was going on.  And the temple probably has 20 guards with guns around it at all times.  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that the night before everybody woke up to gunshots really close. 

This CCM is a lot more relaxed.  The CCM president lives in Draper, but it is across the freeway.  Good story.  Yesterday we were in the cafeteria and we were just eating when the chef brought out a little bowl with this sauce that looked like death.  He was saying it was really spicy and he had a toothpick and was putting dots of it on missionaries fingers so they could try it.  So I decided it was time for me to test my spicy tolerance.  I got a drop on my finger and wooooooooow!  This was like what the states dream of.  It was instant pain.  All the missionaries were rushing to the milk because that was the only way they could make it feel better.  So I drank maybe 3 cartons and could not get enough.  Some of the other missionaries drank so much they were out on the grass puking up all the milk.  Luckily, I was able to hold it down but my mouth was numb for like and hour. It was so hot! 

It is very interesting trying to talk to the natives because they talk so fast and they pronounce stuff differently.  Yesterday I had a chance to meet my mission president.  He and his wife were the nicest people I have met.  I am so excited to get in the field.  Whenever I tell missionaries that I'm serving in the Quetzaltenango mission, they tell me it is very hard but I am prepared for the worst...and the best.  It is so cool here.  The teachers are great.  The food is like 5 star.  I'm not even kidding.  I love it.  Everybody does.  They told us that once a week we will go on splits with missionaries from the Central Mission.  I am so excited to do that.  Also, in three weeks we get to go to the market in the city.  All the missionaries always come back with huge machetes with cool cases.  One thing that is cool is in this small MTC we have 4 Alta students.  We basically run the place. :)  Well love all of you!  Thank you for the support and I will have many more stories I'm sure.


Elder Reinhold

MTC PHOTOS & SCHEDULE October 24, 2012

The views from the Missionary Training Center and temple.

Their Classroom 

A Devotional

District Photos 

Elder Reinhold at the Infamous MTC World Map.

MTC Schedule

Arrived!! October 24, 2012

They gave us 10 minutes to write real quick to let our families know we arrived safely. It is great here.  The CCM is way more laid back than the Provo MTC so I am way excited. We are right by the temple.  It is so beautiful. The view out of our window is the temple and then a mountain behind it filled with jungle and fevelas. Its is so cool here. The temperature is perfect.  Now, it is similar to Utah. (He probably means before this mornings dusting of snow.)  I have seen some indigenous Indian people that have barely reached my belly button.  Some are very tiny.  The MTC is very nice.  It is way better than the Provo MTC.  The food is great.  The food we have had so far has been awesome.  It is a change to not be able to drink any of the water or brush your teeth in the sinks.  I am still amazed at how big the city was when we flew over it.  I just never realized what 12 million people looked like.  I love you guys so much and just wanted to thank you for getting me to this point.  The church here is amazing.  My p-days are on Saturdays so that's when you will receive another letter.
Elder Reinhold

(The view he describes is likely similar to the photo backdrop on his blog.)


Airport Phone Call! October 23, 2012

Hello family and friends,

Jakob is officially on his way to Guatemala City!  For those of you unfamiliar with this process, we only get to talk on the phone to our missionaries two times per year - on Mother's Day and at Christmas.  They don't take cell phones on missions as they are asked to "leave behind all personal affairs."  We bought a disposable phone and mailed it to him last night because often when missionaries are at the Salt Lake Airport and attempt to make calls home to their families, they are tied up by all the other missionaries.  These are not quick phone calls.

Jakob called us both from Salt Lake and during his layover in Texas. He sounded good. He will be in the Guatemala City MTC by 7 or 8 tonight.  I will write you some of the things he mentioned on the phone today:

First, it is worth mentioning that they made their phone calls after they went to Cafe Rio at the airport for their last meal in the US.  Good choice!  I am sure Jake had barbecued pork enchiladas smothered with green sauce.

He said there are 8 in his travel group going to Guatemala City and around forty total that will arrive with him today.  He sat by an LDS professor at the University of Utah on the way to Texas who spoke of the book he is writing about the connection between spiritual and physical health.  Jake said he took it as an opportunity to learn rather than to share.  These missionaries are all on fire!

He said that at the MTC this week they switched to 'winter rules' which means you have to wear your suit coat all day long.  He said, "I am so glad I am out of there!"  (In actuality, he loved it there.)  As far as what he will wear in Guatemala,  he won't be in a suit coat everyday.  He was only asked to bring one suit, 2 sweater vests, and 9 or 10 white shirts.  His mission has a lot of jungle areas so they were also asked to bring a pair of polishable boots.  We sent Jake with extra shoes because with 13 EE feet, there is no way he will find shoes in Guatemala.  They are hard enough to find here.  There is a rainy season where everything stays muddy.  He heard that he should buy his umbrella down there because it needs to be big....big enough to swat the stray dogs away.  Hmmm...

This is for those of you who know Jake well.  He's a shopper and has been confined to the MTC for 3 weeks.  He asked us to send 2 watches.  He loved the ones we sent, but bought another one in the MTC.  His comp said that he had a watch at home that they saw for sale there.  Because everything is at cost it was only $40 for a $200 watch.  He said, "I had to find something to spend my money on!"

He told us that he has gained some weight.  Except for 50 minutes of basketball each day, they are sitting most of the time.  He also mentioned that last night when he was packing he called down the hall to the other missionaries because he had so much food left he couldn't eat it by himself or take it with him.  Thanks to everyone who sent care packages!!  That weight will be drastically falling off soon.  Before he left he heard from a friend serving in Central America.  He had only been out a little over a month and was already down 25 lbs.  We talked about the mix of native food and American food that he will have at the Guatemalan MTC.  We thought it's a good idea to ease the missionaries in to a native diet and wondered if they introduce the parasites early as well. :)

He says he is struggling with the Spanish.  There are a couple of guys in his district who were really good with language and were picking it up easily and he is learning how to not compare himself.  So, then later I asked how his companion was doing with the language and he said that he is about at the same level as he is.  With all that said, they were told that their district was performing significantly above the average.  So, everything should be fine!  I have heard from so many people that somewhere around the 3 or 4 month mark, it will just happen.  It's apparently like a switch goes on.  It will be interesting to see if he experiences that.

When I asked what one of the hardest thing was about the MTC he said not having personal time.  He mentioned that he did have a rough weekend at one point where he was discouraged.  Mary Schmidt, if you read this blog, thank you for your advice and sense of humor.  He said, "I remember what Mary said about truck day."  This is the inevitable day when you wish you could get hit by a truck so you can go home without being a quitter.  Maybe he was experiencing bike day.  The day you get hit by a bike and just get to rest a little.  He is already benefiting from your words of wisdom, so thank you! :)

He said it was emotional saying goodbye to his trainer.  Apparently, the district had a lot of respect for him.  He had to come home early from his mission because of a disease of the spine where could only stand for 5 minutes at time without severe pain.  He taught them on his feet for 2 weeks before telling them how difficult it was for him.  He was a good example of pushing yourself beyond what you think you can do and of being committed to what you believe in.

He said that he is blown away by the hermanas (sister missionaries).  He said they outperform in every way.  He said, "The sisters are so much stronger.  They are incredible.  They are just solid!"  He said that as they were busy checking in at the airport one of these zealous sisters struck up a conversation with someone in line.  He said, "She was preaching mad gospel." :)  While the hunters were focused on getting through security, the gatherers were scouting around and multi-tasking.

This leads me to his comment about slang.  He said it is so hard to rid his vocab of certain words like "dude!"  It's especially a problem when addressing the sisters.  Okay, it could be a lot worse, but he is having to more formally address people and it is taking some getting used to.

I think that is all for now.  He sounded well.  I asked if he was nervous at all and he said he is just excited.  We anticipate we'll get an email that he has arrived safely, but might not hear from him until next week.

Thanks for all of your support!
Elder Reinhold's Mom

Leavin' the CCM!!! October 22, 2012

Hola familia y amigos.  ?Como esta ustedes?

That's about the extent of my Espanol.  Just kidding.  This week has been great but very sad at the same time. Let's start out with the great.  We were sitting in a computer lab doing TALL - one of the many computer labs in the MTC.  Luckily we were working diligently and the MTC president walks in with the ambassador from Spain.  He was not LDS, but was coming to see what the missionaries were about.  He was sent by 'the boss' in Spain. 
It was cool.  He asked us how long we have been at the MTC and was quite impressed with our Espanol for the amount of training we'd had.  He was a cool guy, but man did he sound different.  In Spain, they of course have their lisps, but he was swallowing his s's too.  It was weird.

This week we also had a meeting to give us a rundown of the Guatemala CCM.  It was cool.  It is going to be very different.  When we arrive tomorrow - which is weird to think I'm in Guatemala tomorrow - but, when we get there we will be assigned a latino elder.  We will essentially have two companions.  We will be with our gringo comp in the MTC and a latino comp out of the MTC.  This MTC is a bit different.  It has a max capacity of 112 missionaries. You do get to go on splits and once a week you go out into the city and to preach the gospel.  The food is a mix of native food and food from the States.  Almost all the missionaries that go there say that the food is better than at the Provo MTC.   The thing is, nobody speaks English so my emails are going to get a little weird.  Even sometimes right now I have to translate from Spanish to English or I can't remember the word in English. 

The bad news is that it is really sad that we are leaving our district.  We have the best district in the world.  I am going to miss them a ton.  Also, unfortunately the quality of mail and packages will get worse.  We have had a lot of great experiences here at the MTC but its time for us to go. They warned us that when we get there we are not in Provo anymore. You can't go and knock on any given door within a two mile radius and find members. They said to be careful when you are on the streets.  The temple is like a little over a block away so you have to walk through town to get there.  He said the Church is trying to buy that land but no one will sell it.

He did mention one huge advantage of the Guatemala MTC.  We don't have to do our own laundry.  Also, they have some sweet basketball courts and I'm gettin' ready to ball.  I am excited for the weather, too.  He said it stays about 65-75 all year.  I love it.  Well, I'm sure next week's email will be a lot different.  My emails here are sort of lame because there is not much going on in the MTC.  Well, I love everybody!!!  Keep it up.  The Church is true and Jesucristo lives.


Elder Reinhold

Adding a couple things from letters to Mom and Dad:

....You asked what I had to do as the district leader.  I was like a psycologist, example, fight breaker upper, and meeting conductor. My job was to show compassion to other missionaries.

....I just wanted to tell you that I will not trade your ties.  Skinny paisleys are the hottest thing on the market.  I'm serious.  I could probably get 6 or 7 decent ties for them each.

(I love the 'decent' ties comment!)

Letter in the Mailbox! October 18, 2012

From a letter today:

He started with 7 sentences in Spanish!
He wants us to send all of his ties now, because he can upgrade them through the MTC tie trading market.  If you know Jakob, you know he will and can.  He even asked for his dad's "old school" ties.  So if you have ridiculous ties and have a same day MTC delivery service and are inclined, you should send them to Jake ASAP.  I know he is dying that he doesn't have more to trade with!

He shared what he said was a funny experience.  They had a fireside and the speaker invited his son to come up.  He very obviously had Down Syndrome.   This man asked his son if he was going to go on a mission someday.  He answered, "Heck yes I'm going on a mission!"  Elder --- in his district leaned over to Jake and said, "Man, when I was 12 I remember being a lot more developed and mature."  Jake then told this Elder who was feeling quite good about himself that the speaker's son was Downs.  (Jake has a cute Downs cousin.  Hyatt, we hope you serve a mission someday, too!)  We send these boys across the world.  This is maybe why we pray so much!  He said it was a really funny moment.

He will be sending a package home soon with his SD card. That will be fun to get. Stay tuned!

There's a Bird in There! October 16, 2012

Hola Familia,

This week has been a hard one.  Man I never thought learning Spanish would be so hard, but it's ok.  We are making progress.  We have taught 5 lessons in Spanish now and we will just say there has been a lot of silence and a lot of my companion and I conversing in English, but we are working hard and we know that if we continue to work hard and pray for the Spirit that we will be fluent someday.
Its weird to think that we leave for Guatemala in 6 days!!!  Its scary, but good thing our travel leader is good in Spanish.  For our devotional last week we had the opportunity to hear from Elder David Bednar.  It was an incredible experience.  I sat about 30 Feet away from an Apostle of Christ.  Wow!  As soon as he walked in the spirit was incredible.
Our district is great.  I can't express how much love I have for all of them.  I was able to attach pictures this time.  The picture of all the Elders folding their arms is great.  That is most of our district.

The one with a lot of people in front of the temple with the hermanas (sisters) is our whole district.

The one with 4 elders in normal clothes, those were our first roommates.  They are now in the Dominican Republic MTC.  

(I am going to assume this is his companion, Elder Mauter from Arizona.)

(Elder Reinhold happily studying!)

This week I have had a couple funny stories.  One day we were sitting outside our residence halls on a picnic table waiting for the rest of our district.  As I was sitting there I heard something that was stuck in the rain gutter next to me.  When the rest of the Elders came out I said that I knew there was a bird in there.  They were all like, "Elder Reinhold, you're crazy."  I told them to go lift it up a couple of inches and see.  One Elder took me up on my offer.   He went over and lifted it up and sure enough a bird flew out.  They were all puzzled.  About an hour later one of the Elders asked me (as if it was bugging him) how I knew there was a bird in there.  I just told him that I was listening to the Spirit.  They still are puzzled.
Life here at the MTC is great but at the same time I am so excited to get to Guatemala.  WE LEAVE IN 6 DAYS!!!  WOW!  I have a lot of work to do.  Anyways, thank you so much for all the support and hope you enjoy the pictures.  Also, tell Kyler and Ashton to study Preach My Gospel.  Especially chapter 3 and 10 or just all of it.  I want you guys to know that I have learned a lot - not just Spanish. This has been one of the toughest and best times of my life.  It's easy to get discouraged but you just have to remember who is on your side.  Remember "many are called but few are chosen" and that the Lord qualifies those whom He calls.  I know that to be true.  Please read your scriptures daily and pray always.  It is so great.  Also watch Joseph Smith movie if you can it is incredible.  I know that the church is the true church of Jesus Christ.  I know that this work is aided by the Spirit and that we all have the opportunity to feel it. En el nombre de Jesucristo, amen. Love You All!!!
Elder Reinhold

Message from the blog editor also known as Jake's mom: I wanted to share an experience I had before traveling to a foreign country where I was hoping to care for a people I love.  I didn't have much time to learn and couldn't have language lessons everyday and when I did study, it wasn't sticking.  One day though, when I was studying it seemed effortless.  My mind was clear and I was retaining a lot more of it.  I was trying to figure out what the difference was, then I wondered if my tutor was praying for me.  He was a former missionary to Russia, a religious person, and very invested in my desire to learn at least some of this language as he had taught missionaries Russian in the MTC and it was an experience very dear to his heart.  Later that night at my lesson with him he said that he was in the temple that morning praying for me and trying to figure out the best way to teach me to speak some Russian. (That is when you know it is near hopeless, when your teacher starts praying!)  It never was that effortless again.  So it turns out that in my experience, the best way for someone to learn a language is when prayer is involved.  I can hear in Jake's letters that the language is his struggle.  Nine weeks to learn a foreign language is a lot to ask of anyone...and they are all feeling that pressure.  So, I am asking that you include these missionaries in your prayers.  Specifically please pray that they will be blessed to learn quickly.  That is all from me. 


Post Mail Letter Sent Oct. 12, 2012

October 12, 2012

Dear Familia,

Wow, sorry I have not sent letters very often.  Here at the MTC they have every minute of your day planned.  It is a lot of fun here, but it is very frustrating at the same time.  It is crazy for me to think as I am writing this letter that I have 11 days until I’m going to Guatemala.  I don’t even know what the word Espanol means.  It’s pretty scary.  For real though, the Spanish is so hard and they do not go easy on you.  We had to start teaching an investigator as soon as we got here.  Do you know how much Spanish I knew?  Zero!!!  Talk about awkward silences.

Our district had a rough start too because our teacher has been sick a lot and we had Confrencia General so I think we are a little behind.  All the Spanish speaking missionaries are always jealous of the English speaking missionaries because every time we get to speak in English we can feel the Spirit and we feel peaceful.

We had our last lesson with Aurora (our first investigator) last night.  We tried hard for her to accept baptism.  By the way, she is Catholic so when we invited her to be baptized she said she had already been baptized by the Catholic Church.  So, with my limited Spanish I offended her pretty good.  After she said she had already been baptized.  I looked at my companero and I knew I was not going to be able to say this nicely.  I said, “Iglesia de Catolic tiene no poder de Dios.”  That’s not good.  It means, “The Catholic Church does not have the power of God.”  Anyway, she got mad but luckily we were able to smooth that over.  After that, the lesson went pretty well.

Also, I wanted to talk about District Leaders.  In the MTC it doesn’t mean too much.  All I do is conduct meetings, get mail 2 times a day, interview senior companions, make temporary companion changes and be an example.  It has been good for me because it keeps me in line, because even here at the MTC there are temptations.  Like during TALL time, which is a computer program for learning the language, some missionaries just go on YouTube and watch Mormon Messages.  It is tempting.  You are allowed to, but they do it at the wrong times.  But I do listen to Come Thou Fount over and over on  (Jakob's favorite hymn: I really was blessed with an obedient district.

I have had some rough times though because often I don’t think I’m good enough.  I have learned that sometimes I go too hard on myself.  So, I just don’t pay attention anymore and I’m doing great.  My companion is great.  His name is Elder Mauter.  He is from Arizona.  He is swoll as they would say.  Swoll means buff/ripped.  He wrestled in school.  He is quiet, but he is a great Elder.    By the way, they have arm wrestling champs and there was an Elder that was the champ.  His name was Elder Moser.  Funny, huh?  But, he is about 5’2” or 5’3”, but last night Elder Mauter smoked him.

I can’t begin to explain to you what the residence halls are like after we are done for the days.  It is mayhem crazy.  Everyone has been in a really small classroom all day and they let it all out.  They set up tie marker and they are yelling and fighting but it is so funny!  We have an Elder in our district named Elder Barrett.  He is so funny.  He always lifts our spirits.

Our district is made up of 4 Elders going to Antofagasta Chile, 4 Elders going to Quetzaltenango, 2 Sisters going to Chile, and 2 Sisters going to Costa Rica.  We have so much fun.

Thanks so much for the package!!!  It was great.  (Package talk….)

I would love it if you sent me inspirational things and parts from that book, Mom.  Also, oh yeah, I didn’t tell you guys.  The first week we had Elder Bednar for my first speaker.  It was cool.  If you get the chance try to look up his talk named, “The Character of Christ.”  Oh my gosh.  It’s incredible.  It might be hard to find because it was given in the MTC on Christmas.  It is the coolest thing I have ever heard.  I am going to try to get it here.   ( I think this is it.  I already forwarded to him.)

Tell everyone I love them.  Tell Peeps I love him and I miss him.  Tell Keech to keep it up and stay strong.  And Mom and Dad…love you guys so much.  Thanks for everything.

Elder Reinhold



President Jeffrey R. Holland's talk that Jakob mentioned in his letter.

First Email! October 9th

Hola Familia,
How is it going?  Wow this first week has been a real eye opener.  Sorry if my typing is bad.  They do not give us a lot of time to write so I am going as fast as I can.  Things here are crazy.  You are busy every second and every second has a purpose.  You are learning or studying, sleeping or eating.  My companero is Elder Mauter. He is from Gilbert Arizona and he is a great kid. He is a little quiet sometimes but he is warming up.  We get along very well although it is weird to be with someone all the time, but I know the Lord has His purpose.  The first day I entered the MTC we went straight to class and our teacher was there.  His name is Hermano Law.  He didn't speak any English the whole 3 hours.  All I was saying to myself was, "I hope none of that was important."  He continued to teach the lesson but I didn't get any of it.  After that day I was like, "What am I getting myself into?"  To add to all of that, they told us we were teaching our first lesson on Friday.  I was freaking out.  I don't know any Espanol.  Anyways,we went back to our room and saw our roommates.  They are really cool.  Their names are Elder Bell and Elder Jenkins.  They are headed for the Dominican Republic on Thursday, so we will miss them.   Anyways, so our first lesson came around and I didn't know how to say anything.  Let's just say we got butchered.  It was bad.  We didn't even knock, and she was yelling at us in I know what that's like!!!  We sat down and tried to get to know her.  It didn't really work.  I thought I was asking, "How many people do you have in your family?"  But I was asking, "How many we are in family?"  It didn't work out very well.  They didn't teach us how to testify or how to pray, so I did say my testimony and it went really well. After that, all the Elders in the district had the mutual feeling of depression mixed with motivation.  You feel so crappy because you can't verbalize your thoughts, and have motivation because you want to study to be able to verbalize your thoughts.  We all just wanted to cry.  By the way, this 'investigator' is our future teacher.  The investigators here are great.  I am convinced sometimes they are real.  We were teaching this Italian and I saw during the closing prayer he was praying like a Catholic. I was puzzled to say the least. What about General Confrencia?  Thought it was great.  Holland always blows my mind.  He is my new favorite speaker. Right now I don't know what to think about the language.  It is so hard but we are working hard to conquer it.  Yesterday we taught our second lesson to the same investigator whose name is Aurora. So we knocked this time - that was good, but we didn't start with a prayer. It's hard to remembers stuff when you are trying to speak Espanol.  She is going to read the Book of Mormon but she would not pray with us.  I am doing well and I really do love it here at the MTC.  We have a lot of fun.  I am grateful for the opportunity to be called as the district leader.  It is teaching me to lead by example and how to work extra hard.  Also if you can write me through because I get them 2 times a day and I get emails once a week. My box is 254. I really do love our district.  They are the best.  We have some way funny elders.  Love you guys and will talk to you next week.  Also when you send me a Dear Elder please include your address so I can write back.  Sorry about the typing:)  Love everyone.  The Gospel is true and stay strong.
Elder Reinhold