Feliz Navidad Familia!

How is the Christmas season there? First of all let me just say that my leg is doing much better. Thank you for the fast. I know with assurity that it helped a ton. The nurses sent me crutches, but I said there is no way I will use those in the mountains of Guatemala.
 
 
These are my shoes with one day on them without cleaning.
 
Oh yeah, it was pretty cool to be here for the 13 Baktun. The Mayans didn't believe that the world was going to end, they were just celebrating the 13 Baktun which is that every 400 years it is a new era. We have big ruins here in Huehue callled Zaculeu. I'm sure if you look it up on google you can see the ruins and the rituals.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zaculeu?vm=r&s=1
 
Christmas here is pretty crazy especially for missionaries because you have tons of drunks. Missionaries and drunks do mix very well I have learned. This week we had experiences with drunk people. The first was we were talking to some investigators in the street and a guy came up and started yelling at us so we backed off and had nothing to do with him. He was saying he wanted to fight and stuff so we ran in the investigators house and locked the door. We watched him out the window and about 30 minutes later we went outside. There was this guy about 100 yards away waving his arms in the air making all these funny signs and saying, "Mormons!" Just yelling it and people are watching in the street. He came closer and closer saying, "You guys think you can change my life?!" He was calling us pansies and stuff. Let me just say that I am grateful that alcohol has the dissorientati├▒on effect because I know I have size on them and they are drunk so they are not all there.
 
A couple of times I was thinking there might come a time in my mission where a drunk is going to swing at me or try something else. It all worked out this time. We hid in a house again and then the funniest part was that the other guy returned and got in the other guy's face so he kicked him as hard as he could and it turned into a brawl. It was so funny. I was laughing so hard. My comp said that one of his other comps was attacked by a drunk and he was a Poly. The drunk guy swung and the missionary hit him 3 times and he was knocked out and my comp was like, "Holy cow! What just happened?" But, in 4 Nephi 1:29 it says that people will persecute the true church because of their humility, so I have to remember that we are representatives of Christ and would Christ knock some one out? I don't think so. One thing I did want to say to him when he was yelling, "Oh you are going to change my life?" I wanted to say that it says in the Bible that faith without works is nothing and have you tried to pray and ask if this Church is true? Well I have and that is why I am here on a mission for 2 years of my life. So, here is a Book of Mormon and a pamphlet on the restauracion. Try it. I know there is more I wanted to to write about but I cannot remember.
 
 
Ward Christmas Party.  We had a choir, but it was terrible!
Our Christmas tree.
Me using the canned snow.
(Any of you that saw the first Buddy the Elf photo, this is the second!)
 
Well, merry Christmas and remember the true reason for Christmas.
Love you guys and talk to you tomorrow!
Elder Reinhold
 
 
Me with my companion, an investagator named S--, and F-- who's a new convert.


No, Mom.  I didn't trade your favorite tie!


This is my diet -  basically every missionary's diet.  Tortrixes are good because they are only 1 quetzal which is like 12 cents in the States and Fruitadas are like 6 cents.  Tortrix are chips and Fruitada is like a juice.
 
My tan line.  I'll be Latino soon!

Teaching and trying to heal.

Hey guys,
 
Thank you so much for all the support and emails. By the way, the best way to write me is by email now and I have more time to email in the field, so it is way better. Well this week has been good and hard. First I will start with the hard. My leg has gotten worse and I think that what I have heard from the other missionaries is that I might spend time in the mission office which kind of stinks because I just want to work and do what missionaries are supposed to do, but now the one time in my life when I need my leg it decides to go bad on me. Today I am going to talk to the doctors and I will let you know, but don't worry it will all be fine and sorry if my English starts to get bad because I am getting to the point where I cannot remember some words in English. I am just continually thinking of my Savior and what He has done for me and it gives me strength. In my favorite video it says that we must be prepared to walk something of what the Savior walked. How do we expect to have a lasting and moving testimony if we have never shed one tear of sorrow like the Savior? Something along those lines, and I have shed a lot of tears since I have been here - good and bad tears. When I don't think of my leg I have the best times talking with people. I love it, and I know that this leg is just a trial and it says in the scriptures it isn't that you endure the trial its how you endure it. If you endure it well then we shall have the Spirit or something like that. I know that I have a lot to do before I can leave this place and I know that I have a part to do here. When I saw my president without knowing me he said I have the gift of discernment and "I can tell that you will contribute greatly to this work and that we need you." I have not fulfilled anything yet but we will see.
 
Anyways...to the good, I had a great experience with one of our investigadores his name is J---. He is a really tough investigador. He does not believe in the Bible, which down here is like a crime. When we taught him the first lesson he had questions about all the black eyes of the Church. It's like he had been a member his whole life and had questions. It was difficult, but for our second lesson we watched The Testament. It's about Jesus coming to the Americas and His miracles. At the end J--- was crying and the Spirit was so strong, so with my little Spanish I shared my testimony. I never cry when I share my testimony, but I did this time. I told him that I knew the Book of Mormon was true and that is why I am on a mission and he felt the Spirit even stronger and so did I. Then we asked him to read the Book of Mormon and he was highlighting what he was going to read. He took interest in it and I walked out of there and said a prayer and thanked God for that lesson. Lessons like those are what change people's lives. In that lesson I also learned that Spanish is secondary and the Spirit is first. We barely said any words and the Spirit did all the work. So this week we will follow up if I am not in the office ha ha. This week on Thursday our ward is having a Christmas party so we are inviting all the people we can. We are visiting a lot of less active members this week and it has gone well. One thing I have learned about this mission is that it is hard. The name of our zone is Zaculeu. Our theme is "Realizemos cosas dificiles." I don't know how to spell it, but it means we realize things are hard. It is true but it is a great experience. This mission is low baptizing. In our ward last year they had 8 baptisms. Five were by my companion and they did it in 1 1/2 months so only 3 before that, but it is good. I think they just needed some real Elders in there. Anyways, no matter what happens with my leg, I know that I have the Lord's help and that's all I need.
 
Next week we get to go to the ruins in our zone.
 
Love you guys and talk to you next week.
 
Elder Reinhold
 
P.S. The only thing that is keeping me sane here is in the MTC I bought Church history movies in English. I watch them every night.
 
Answers to Questions:
How is your bed? My bed is decent.
What do the Mayan people think about the whole Mayan Apocalypse? I don't really hear anything about the world ending. I think it is something that The States just made big.
Are you sick? No, I am not sick. I am healthy. I have lost weight but my leg is not too great. It's okay.  It just needs time to heal, but I love it here. It is pretty cool and cold haha.
 
Me with my companion riding in the back of a truck.  We ride a lot like this.

With F---.  He is a recent convert.  We were able to confirm and ordain him.

Recent convert!
 
The child of our investigator.
Look how cute he is!


Working.
 
My companion burning his tie for his 6 month mark.

 
Today my zone played football against another zone but I couldn't play.
We all got customized jerseys with our names.

 
The wall at Zumbas. We go there every p-day.
It is a restaurant that missionaries go to and only missionaires are allowed to write on the wall. 


My name on the wall.

 




Huehuetenango! I love it!

Hola familia!
 
 
Wow! This has been a good and interesting week. I have learned a lot and have grown a lot. First of all let me just say that I know I am where I am supposed to be because there are a lot of places that I don't think my leg could have handled. I am serving in the city of Huehuetenango. I love it! I am thankful that I am in a mission where you get the opportunity to work in the city and outside of the city.  My area is called Las Flores. It is a great area. I love it!  It is in the heart of Huehue.
 


 
 
 
The city is fun once you get the hang of it. My companion is Elder S---. He is from El Hefe de Mejico (Mexico City.) He is a great missionary! He tried to give me the "We are going to work harder than you gringo have ever worked in your life," but it didn't work. We get along great and he is great at teaching lessons. So, I am learning the Mexican ways. It might be good since there are a lot of Mexicans in the States. I am lucky too because he talks really clearly and not really fast. He is really good even though he teaches me like I have never heard of the Gospel. I am glad to have a Latino companion because they can help you in situations. During the week I wrote down all the experiences I had in just a few words each. After I will explain a few of them. Not going to lie. The first 2 days I wanted to leave because I could not eat because of nerves. Plus, people just don't eat here. I don't eat breakfast because the dishes in our place have not been washed in forever and we don't have soap yet. Then we have lunch at members' houses. We get good food there but then they don't eat dinner here. When I walked in to email, Elder Mauter was in here. He was my comp in Provo and he said he can tell I have lost a lot of weight. I think I have lost about 10 or 15 pounds in a week! We will see how this goes. Haha!
 
 
So the first day we needed a bus to get to the other side of the area and a minivan was going by and we hopped on but there had to be 15 people on this thing. My comp and I are standing in the doorway of the bus, I have 1 foot on the bottom and 1 hand on the roof rack and we are going like 45 or 50 miles and hour on the main road. My comp says to me, "Welcome to Huehue!" At that moment I decided that I just need to forget it and live like the people. We ride like that often. Yesterday we were looking for a service opportunity and we saw a man, he looked about 80 or 85 years old, standing over a well with a wheelbarrow. We went over and they were digging a well. They had it about 40 feet deep and I couldn't see because it was dark, but there was a guy down there digging. There was no rope only little holes for his feet. It is a dangerous thing. They dig all of their wells by hand. It's amazing! I have pictures.
 
 
 
 
The first day in the field our bathroom had a broken fitting, so the hose was sitting in the toilet so it wouldn't flood. We went out for the day and came back and we had 2 inches of water in our whole house, so I spent 2 hours sweeping water. All my stuff was wet so it was a good way to start out. Figured out that there are some people that hate gringos, but for the most part the people here are so nice. I love the people.
 
It is freezing here. I underestimated the cold. When we wake up in the morning it is so cold I just want to start a fire. It feels like when you are camping and you don't want to get out of your sleeping bag. During the day it is so nice though. KFC stinks. They have this fried chicked here that we have had a couple of times at members' houses that is so good. I love it. They have a burn Satan holiday. The other night we came out of a lesson and there was smoke everywhere and fires everywhere. I was like, "What is going on?" It's just a holiday where they burn dummies of Satan. Kind of interesting.
 
 
 
We had our first baptismal date this week. Her name is Sarah and she is from the Dominican Republic. She is so hard to understand, but I am working on it. And yes, I learned how to give a 15 minute talk in sacrament meeting in a language I don't know. It went well.
 
Teaching a Family
 
Also, it is kind of weird seeing drunk people just passed out in the middle of the road and last night they had this parade come through the city that was the equivalent of a Disney parade. They had music and the chipmunks and all sorts of characters. I am loving every moment of it now that I am in the groove. It stinks because we have to buy water and watch what we eat, but there is no way to never get sick because you eat at members' houses and they make juices with the water and stuff...but it's okay. I love it here! We get to do lots of fun things. Anyways, I will attach pictures because I am in the field now. Yay! Well, I love you guys, and also, here are the addresses for getting stuff to me. The first address is for letters and the second is for packages. If you already sent them they will get to me. It might take a while though.
 
Thanks for all the support!
Elder Reinhold
 

Letters:
Elder Jakob Reinhold
Mision Guatemala Quetzaltenango
5a Calle 14-35, Zona 3
09001 Apartado Postal 206
Quetzaltenango Guatemala

Packages:
Mision Guatemala Quetzaltenango
Elder Jakob Reinhold
5a calle 14-35 zona 3
Edificio Las Tapias, Oficina 105
09001 Apartado Postal 206
Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
Numero de Telefono (502) 7763-7471

Guatemala Mission MTC Photos!


 




Love This Kid...

Dear Family,

Let me just start out and say thank you guys for everything.  Thank you guys for getting me on a mission.  This whole mission experience so far has been the hardest and funnest experience I have had.  First, I want to express to you guys the increased desire that I have received .  All I want to do is increase my knowledge about Church books and the Book of Mormon.  My dream is to have a bookshelf full of Books of Mormon - each for studying a different topic of the gospel.  That is why I asked that you guys send me another one.  I hope and pray that I can maintain that desire throughout my whole life and I challenge you guys to awaken those desires in yourselves.  It is through this we can understand the mysteries of God, but it says in Alma that so great are the things that can be revealed that they are too sacred to share. 

I don't know if you had the chance to watch the video Missionary Work and the Atonement, but there are about 5 or 6 lines in there that are incredible.  President Eyring says somthing like, "Whenever I am tempted to rest after a priesthood service I give myself this rallying cry, 'Remember Him.' "  This hits me hard everytime because as missionaries we need this often.  I also love when Elder Holland says that he believes that missionary work and church membership and staying active is not easy and that it's supposed to requie something of our souls.  Then he goes on to say that we must be prepared to walk some part of what the Savior walked and felt because missionary work is not easy.  Please always turn to the Lord.  Always pray and never let your own desires distract you from the Lord.  That is one thing I need to work on and will always need to work on.  Stay strong and have faith.  Please start family prayer and scripture study.  I finally realize how important it is.

Done with the spiritual stuff for now.  Now that I am in Guatemala, I have heard nothing but good about Quetzaltenango.  One of my teachers wants to live there and there have been Latinos that have told us that that is where they were praying to go.  They say that it is very indigenous and it is cool because the people cook with wood and the women wear the traditional clothing.  Many Church historians or scholars believe that Quetzaltenango (Xela) is about where the City of Zarahemla was and that Guatemala City is where Nephi was.

We have a lot of missionaries come through the MTC.  One came because he fell at a bridge and broke a knee and had to get surgery on his other one.  Then we had two missionaries that were on their way home.  We have talked to natives in theTemple about it.  What I have heard about Quetzaltenango is that it is very beautiful and tranquil.  An analogy I heard was that you can go walking on the street at midnight and not get shot.  You can't do that in Guatemala City.  Most of them said that they eat some weird stuff that looked like meat but it is really stretchy like gum.  Also one of the missionaries said he was offered a tarantula and he just said that he was not going to eat, it which is offensive here.  Also, they eat a bird that is the equivalent of a crow in the States.   It is called a Cenate.  He said it is known for the ancient people and traditions.  One of the missionaries lost 42 pounds, one lost 30 pounds, and one lost 150 pounds!  We asked one from California about the mission and his attitude was a bit iffy, but he said you will love it if you like poverty and parasites.  He said he got 3 parasites in his first area. 

One thing I have realized is that it is very cold here.  In the mornings when we have gym it is like a November morning in Utah.  We can see our breath and I am not even in Quetzaltenango yet.  I am so excited to see who my trainer is.  I am just praying for a good trainer.  I have learned a lot about who I really am.  I am learning how to channel that higher level of thinking and the hyperdrive mode I have.  The one you guys saw a little of before my mission.  (Mom is smiling...that might be an understatement.)  It is very hard to control, but when I want to I can flip the switch to return to my normal state.  I don't believe that the normal state is heatlhy though.  I need to learn how to control my other state.  Trust me, if I can perfect the hyper state I could probably cure cancer.  This hyper state is a very high functioning level and it is healthy.  This state is how I win board games. Ha ha ha. This state raises everything including pride and self-confidence - which on the mission I need Lord confidence, so it goes off and on.  One thing I know is that when I shut it down, it is not healthy and I had to shut it down all through school.  I have been so blessed that at times it is hard to be humble, yet I know that all my blessings come from God.  Well, enough about this psychological inward thinking.  All I know is I have a lot to learn on my mission.  Also, I talked to the doctor here and he said the glucosamine is very expensive and chewable Airbornes.

Ethan - Love you!  Be a good boy.  Make sure to say your prayers.  When I get home, Christmas will be right around the corner.  Have a happy Christmas.  Feliz Navidad!!  Learn Spanish.

Keech - Love you so much.  I know that I am connected to you more than just in this world.  I love you so much you don't even know.  Keep it up and trust in the Lord.

Dad - Love ya.  Thanks for all your support.  It's pretty sketchy down here but think back to your mission and realize the blessings.  No tracting this week because 7 people were murdered less than 1 mile away this week alone.  The Church determined it was not safe.  Keep strong.  Bring the family together.  Love you.

Mom - Love you.  Basically all that section was for you.  Keep strong.  I am doing fine.  I love it down here.  It is beautiful.  We watched a video called Journey of Faith or Journey of Promised Land.  It was cool.  It could be because I am looking through MTC goggles.

Don't worry about me. I am so prepared for Central America compared to most because of my experiences in Mexico. People always look to me.

Love you guys so much!!!

Your Missionary,
Elder Reinhold

Last minute business....

Hola familia!
 
We get to email today because we might not get to the first week in the field. Well, it has been pretty uneventful since Saturday, so this letter will be more informal. This week has been good but kind of hard. I don't know if I told you but I hurt my hip the 2nd week in the CCM and it took about 5 or 6 weeks to be able to play sports again.  Dont worry.  We have an incredible doctor here.  He is the doctor for all of Central America, but it hurt really bad. Anyways, this week I was doing well and now my thigh muscle is swollen right above the knee and in the middle of the thigh and I am having trouble walking. It is a little scary because I go into the field tomorrow.   I am sure I will be just fine because it says so in my patriarchal blessing. The doctor said it was like a muscle contraction but I don't know why it is happening. Well keep me in your prayers...but I am fine. Worst comes to worst, I have to hobble around for a couple of days. Maybe this is my humbling experience. This is funny. Now that I have learned more and more about the gospel, the more I realize that I have not had my trial yet and that I am due just like the stories in the Book of Mormon.  They were always needing to be humbled, so wish me luck. Just kidding.

I have not recieved any of the packages here except for the postcard that Mom sent from New York. A couple of things that will help when you send it is make sure that it has stickers on it and make sure it says Elder.  If it does not say Elder they wait until you come pick it up and I can't. Also Dad, sorry. Here in the CCM they are very strict about email and there's no sending pictures.  I forgot to tell you on Saturday.   Also those charges on my card were correct. I withdrew 300 quetzales 2 times because I only have dollars, but once I get in the field I will be fine.

All I hear is good about my mission. All the people from Guatemala say that it is the best mission in the world and they are serious. Some of them prayed that they would go there. People say that it is cold, so dad I am glad I threw in that sweatshirt the night before I left because I use it here every morning. It is like 40 or 50 degrees in the mornings and I still have 3000 feet to go. Because my companion is going to the North Mission, I got a new companion today. His name is Elder S--.  He is from Yucatan Penninsula. I don't know if you remember when we went to Ek Balam to those ruins, but he lives about 30 minutes from there.

Well anyways, time is up. Love you guys so much! The church is true and tell Ethan to learn Spanish because he could learn it easily with his blood and his memory. Just kidding! :) I'm sure that's what he wants to do.
 
Love you all and don't worry about my leg. It's fine.
 
Elder Reinhold

Wrapping it up at the Guatemala MTC...

Hola familia,

¿Como estan? ¿Como fue su semana? Well I have been thinking of what to talk about this week in my email and I can't think of anything that was super eventful. This week we have had infield orientation so it has been (I'm not going to lie) pretty boring. It is 10 hours straight in a classroom talking about our purpose and practicing teaching and all sorts of stuff, but we are done now. I leave for Quetzaltenango at 8:30 in the morning on Tuesday. It is a 4 hour ride to get there. I heard that the bus ride is incredible because you gain 4000 feet and there is a series of lakes and mountains. All I have heard about Quetzaltenango is that it is amazing. The people are so humble and have no need for technology. I have gained a love for the people already and I want to serve them with all my heart.
 
I love you all and I want you guys to know that the Savior lives and that He wants nothing more than for all of us to return to Him. I know that as missionaries we are called of God to return to Him and bring as many people back with us. I know that He was perfect and still asked if the cup could pass Him. It was the will of The Father and we cannot let the opportunity to gain from that go to waste. One thing that I have found that has helped me be more Christ-like is every day or week I pick a Christ-like attribute to read about in the scriptures and strive to improve in my life. I know that we can live this life and know of God and believe in God and Christ and be just fine, but if we go the extra mile and be a constant representative of Jesus Christ the windows of heaven will be opened unto us. I want you guys to know that my desire to know and live the gospel has grown ten times since I left the life I once had.
 
Love you guys. Pray often and never forget who has given you the blessings in your lives. Next week I'm sure I will have much more to write about, but see you later.
 
Elder Reinhold