Baptism, Testimony and Making Pizza!

Baptism of  Yennifer.  Seeing my first convert baptism.  Now, her whole family is coming to church.

Hey guys,

How is life in the snow? Well, here it has been a little warm. I don't really like that because when you are walking all day its nice when it is cool. Well I will start with the quote. This one I love. This is my theory in the mission field. "When the time to prepare has come, then it is to late to prepare." This is what life is all about - preparing. When its time to prepare for a mission then its too late. You should have been preparing long before. Lots of elders in the mission are not prepared and some of them think I am crazy when I want to be prepared but a couple of times I have save us some trouble by being prepared. 

We made some fat pizzas!  Ham and cheese, but not a lot of
cheese because it is really expensive!
 Also, I am sure you have heard of the new mission in Guatemala. Yes my mission is going to change. Now this could be a small change or a big change for me. I don't know. They are going to make a mission - Coban. It is going to be right next to us and they are going to steal two of our zones. They are going to take Quiche and Totonicipan. I don't really know what to think about it. We are also going to receive more zones but more towards the coast. We are going to get San Marcos and rumor is possibly go all the way to the coast, but I don't know what this means for me. Maybe I will go to Coban and change my calling, or I will stay in Quetzaltenango. I don't know how it is going to work, but we will see. So my leg, my leg is doing okay. It is slowly gaining strength and I am going to leave the office this change which is on the 5th of I am almost out of here. Now I just wonder where I am going to go, but I will find out soon. I am willing to go wherever the Lord wants me and where the mission needs me.

So this week we had the baptism of Yennifer and it was great to witness my first 'in field' baptism. She is such a good example for her family that now her whole family is interested and coming to church. We just showed up to their door and they were all ready for church. We were like, "Okay, let's go then." It was great. Also, we are working with 2 other families that both look positive and we are excited to teach them this week. It seems like every time the baptisms are looking positive I leave. It happened in Huehue too. But the mission goes on and that is one thing you have to get used to because you move a lot in the mission.

Me at  member's house with a parrot.
I want you guys to know that I am so grateful for all the support that I have so that I can be out here helping the people of Guatemala and also learning the things that I need to learn for the rest of my life. I know with every fiber in my body that this is the true gospel and nobody on this earth is leading this church. I know that He is at the head of this work or we would not be able to have thousands of missionaries just in Guatemala. I can't wait for the day that I can be with my family in the kingdom knowing that I fulfilled, and helped others fulfill, their premortal callings. But, the gate is narrow and is hard to reach and the majority will not find that gate. That is why I am here for two years of my life calling all to come unto Christ. This is the truth, this priesthood is the most elect group of men I believe to walk this earth. When you are baptized you make a covenant with God that you will take upon yourself His name and be a representative of Christ. This means your knees better be sore and the Book of Mormon you read every night should be falling apart at the seams because that is what you promised you would do and that is what you are obligated to do as a member of this church. We have to make sacrifices. Do you think the pioneers said, "Oh yeah, let's move to Utah. It looks nice and green and we can call a taxi to take us there." No, it was a barren desert and they left footprints of blood and bodies of loved ones along the way. There is no possible way this gospel is not true. People put their lives on the line time and time again for this church. Don't put it off. If you need to, change your heart now and find the desire to pray to your Heavenly Father. He is waiting. Find your purpose in life and run with it. Know that His hand is always stretched out and He will never, never withdraw that offer. Look for the missionaries, give them references, and go with them to visits. That is the only way that we baptize in the field. 

I love you guys so much and want you guys to know that this 2 years is only a small slice of my mission and the changes that I will make in the mission are much more valuable thatn the mission itself. I love you guys and I love my Savior. I will have one more email before I head out to the field and I was with President the other day and he said they have a place for me, and that makes me scared that they have one this early. I may probably get put with a troubled elder or a hard comp but, I gotta do what I got ta do, so I am going to go back into the field with a head of steam and do work. Love you guys and keep up the work...and yes my knees are sore and it is not from only the praying. Talk to you next week.

Elder Reinhold

Note: Jakob receieved a package we sent in around two weeks.  No problems.  Please write to him with Dear Elder if you haven't.  If it is too confusing, email it to me and I'll do it for you!  The deadline for Tuesday delivery is Sunday night - midnight.  

Errands, baptism...Cafe Rio?? :)

Hey family! How is it going? Life here is good. It is still cold sometimes and the office is like being an errand boy. We will get a call and they'll say, "Can you guys leave now to go to Patalup?" That happened this week so I had the opportunity to go see the sticks of the mission. The Elders have to walk an hour to get to where they can contact anyone and when they get there they have like three houses then they have to walk more. Man at that point you are praying for a every house because they all count. But, once my leg is better I really do want to go somewhere like that and I will have the chance one day.

This is what Momostenango looks like.  While we were driving out there we could see only the tops of the mountains and hills with our chapels on them.  Really cool experience to see the Church growth.
Well, the quote for this week is one that I have told myself many times on the mission when I want to complain about something that I don't like or about how something is hard. "People complaining about the size of peanuts while soaring through air." -Dieter F. Uchtdorf.  I love this quote because at times I say, "Man what I would do for a Cafe Rio burrito or a hot shower and this is a once in a lifetime chance to walk with the Lamanite people with a badge saying you are a representative of our Savior. No other time in my life will I get to see first hand the hand of the Lord touching and changing the hearts of people one by one, and get to see the miracles of God.

The good news is we have a baptism this week - as in today we are baptizing a 19 year old named Yennifer. We have been working with her for a couple of weeks. I now technically have been involved with 2 baptisms but I didn't teach them start to finish. Sorry, I feel like I am just dropping that news on you guys. I will be better at writing about the work because now I can actually kind of do the work. I am excited to see my first convert baptism. Also, last night we were contacting and found a really good family. They were very interested and we asked if we could come back another day because it is getting a little late and he asked, "Can you guys come in for 5 minutes now?" Of course, we were like "Sure." We are going to start teaching that family.

On a road trip to Patalup.
This week I also started driving the truck. Yes, I know - a Central American driver. It is definitely a little bit different. You pass on the right side. All the streets going one way have the right of way, and all going the other way have to stop. So what do you do when you have a diagonal street? I am still trying to figure that out. haha. I hopped on the scale again and I broke the 200 mark. I think the last time I was under 200 was in 8th grade. I am seriose. (I can't tell if that is Spanish or a typo.) It is weird. Man, when this leg is better I should be able to 360 dunk the basketball, as if I could dunk it before. Ha ha.

Some creepy tree in Momos.
We also had the opportunity to go to the temple to try to find clothes for our baptism. You would be surprised how sometimes it is difficult to find baptism clothes. For heaven sakes, we are in a mission. But this week I have realized that I need to rely on the Lord more for my leg and humble myself and realize I can't do it myself. I received a Priesthood blessing this week for my leg from Elder Little. In the blessing he said that it's only if I rely on the Lord and grow closer to the Lord that I am promised to witness a miracle with my leg. Also, he said that I have been given talents for the mission that I need to use more often. I think that it is the ability to help other struggling missionaries, but sometimes I don't want to open my mouth and tell them what to do, but I need to help my companions fulfill a worthy work.

I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to be here in Guatemala and that I can wear this badge that has been worn some of the choicest of our fathers children. This tag means a lot more than Elder Reinhold. Remember that this life is only a slice of eternity and we need to be ready and purified to take away the sting of death. The most simple, skipped over thing in the Church is reading your scriptures and praying. I promise that if you are reading and praying there is no way for the adversary to bring you down. Only after you stop feasting on the words of Christ and seeking inspiration through prayer can the chains of death and the temptations of the adversary take hold in your life. Stay strong, study the atonement and what it really means. Not many of us truly understand it spiritually. I definitely did not before the mission. Love you guys and never pass up the opportunity to share the gospel or to represent Christ.
This guy is called Jake the Snake
 - a long time nickname of mine,
so I had to take a picture.

With Love,
Elder Reinhold

From Jakob's mom:  He thinks he may be transferred out the office here soon!

Kind of crazy week...

Hi friends and family,

First, the quote of the week. "Nice guys only appear to finish last, actually they are running a different race." - Unknown. Nice guys might look like they finished last, but what is the goal of the race? The nice guys have an eternal perspective and know what is really important and that is not necessarily worldly things, but the eternal things.

Wow! This week has been crazy. First of all, Elder de Lora's new missionary arrived so he is gone. He went to a little pueblo in San Bartolo. He is out in the sticks but he has been in Momos most of his mission so he is used to it. I was very sad to see him go because we had a lot of fun together and it was a really fun couple of weeks. You have good comps and you have not so good comps. Two Elders I knew were sent home for breaking the rules this week. That was unfortunate.

My new name tag with spelling they can pronounce.
So one night Elder L-- and I were out working and we were talking to a member for a couple of minutes. Then we went to knock the door next to their house and in the 30 seconds we were gone 2 guys on a motorcycle with masks came up to the member who is about 16 years old and said, "We are going to kill you and your brothers." When we went back to talk to her she was shaking and asked us if we could walk her to her grandma's house. We did, only because there was a guy walking towards us with a shotgun.  Don't get me wrong, but lots of people have shotguns here - mostly guards.  This was at like 8:30 at night on this tiny street. We left and the guy with the shotgun stopped at the tienda like 10 feet from their door and was talking with the tienda owner.  We had to walk her back because she didn't lock all the doors and some of her family was still there. We talked with the grandma and she believed they have the intention to do it. There have been some big family problems and this is the result.

Cool scripture covers they make here.
Dad you would like it here in the office because there is this electronic store right next to the offices and they play the power ballads station ALL day. We close all the windows and everything and we can still hear it. 

Also, this is for anybody who is going on a mission. The best shoes in my opinion and in most peoples opinion are the Hush Puppies. They are waterproof and some missionaries still have them at like a year and they are still in decent shape. I love mine. Well, I am not feeling so hot. I am a bit sick so I cannot write a lot, but this week I should have a appointment for my leg again and we will see what is up. Well, love you guys and remember what our Savior did for every one of us and always give thanks to Him. Talk to you next week!

Elder Reinhold

Two hour ride to Huehue.

The countryside is so beautiful.

Conferences and being lead by the Spirit...

Hey guys!

How is the freezing cold there in the States? I have heard it is freezing in Utah! I did see snow on the top of the volcano but the temp is always very nice. People around here say that Huehue has the best climate in the world. My leg is doing well. I am just being patient because Doctor D-- said it should be no less than 6 weeks. I am in good shape. I just need to keep being obedient and praying for the strength to overcome my trials.

Okay, so the quote for this week is a good one, especially for missionaries.   "You can often gauge a man's ambition by whether he hates his alarm clock or considers it his best friend."
-Thomas Edison

This week was absolutely crazy with all the conferences. We were really busy all the time. We had the opportunity to hear from Elder James Martino. He was incredible. He is a Seventy, is from Texas but he speaks incredible Spanish and is truly a disciple of Christ. He did make one rule for all of the Elders in the mission. We all have to speak 2 hours of English every day. He said that non English speakers have to know English when they go home. He said that in El Salvador Latinos will make an average of $1200 dollars a year more if they know English and here in Guatemala it is $800, but that is a lot because they do not make a lot down here in the first place. He asked how many of us listened to the Prophet this past general conference. All the Latino Elders raised their hands and he said something like, "No you didn't. You listened to a translator who does not have the same emotion." He was pretty bold about it, but we are going to have a problem. They are withdrawing the amount of gringos in this mission. It was 50/50 when I got here, but the past two groups have been 10 gringos and 40 Latinos, so English will be a great opportunity for them.

Right now my favorite talk that I am listening to is, "From Leaders to Managers: The Fatal Shift," by Hugh Nibley given at BYU Commencement in 1983.  

This week I had a great experience. I was able to see myself being used as the Lord's hand and I was so grateful for that experience. This week Elder S---, the Latino Assistant to the President, told me to get in the truck - that we were going to a meeting. This was the first division I have been on with one of the APs. We drove to the other side of Xela and went to a chapel. He told me we were there for a meeting with the Elders in that area and the ward mission leader because they have some contention and we were going to check it out. So we walked in and the mission leader was surprised that we were there. He was talking to us like we were the big men on campus and so Elder S--- introduced us. He said, "I am the assistant to the president and this is one of his secretaries." At this time, the ward mission leader thinks I have probably a year or so in the mission. We were ready to start the meeting and he asked Elder S--- to offer the first prayer. He said the prayer and then I was asked if I would share a spiritual thought. I was like, "Oh dang." I have been in the office and my Spanish is a little rusty, but I decided I would do what the scriptures say to do which is to open your mouth and it shall be filled. 

So, I went up there and started opening up to a scripture. Later I wondered how I chose that scripture and I realized there was no logical thinking involved in selecting it. It was pure Spirit. I opened to D & C 121: 7-8. "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes." Classic scriptures. I had Elder S--- read them and I explained that we all have trials for a reason and we are all going to have trials in our lives and how we overcome them is what is important. I explained that my leg problem has been hard but I have looked at what it has taught me and I have grown so much. I explained that in times of trouble you need to have sore knees resulting from the prayers you offer because that is the only thing you can do. We should not pray to make our circumstances better, we should pray to have the strength to overcome our trials and learn from them. We need to meet trials head on with an eternal perspective and we will learn a lot more from our challenges. I then sat down and looked at the ward mission leader and he was staring at me with tears rolling down his cheeks with a face of gratitude and he told me that that was what he had been looking for for weeks. He had been having a lot of trials and he said I was an answer to his prayers. He said, "Your few words had such power." Then he thanked me. He then took a minute to gather himself and we continued on with the meeting. He asked me after the meeting how much time I had been out and I told him almost 2 months in the field. I'm still a newbie. I learned right there that Spanish is secondary to the Spirit and you never know when the Lord needs you as a tool and you better be ready to do it. I look back on it now and think, "Why was I there with Elder S---? And why did I just happen to have my scriptures?" I was prepared to represent the Lord by being obedient and staying focused on the work. God works in mysterious ways, and I will never forget that experience. I am so grateful for all the support from my family and friends. Love you guys so much. Well, talk to you next week.
Con Amor,
Elder Reinhold