Thoughts on Adversity...

This is half of Xela.

Hey family! How is it up in the states? Everything down here is good. But man, I didn't realize what they meant by rain when they said "rain." No, it has not rained yet but one of the members was describing it to us and had some pictures. No wonder it is called the land of the eternal spring. She showed us a picture of the street that we live on. It was like 4 feet deep raging water and there was one of those huge tourist buses trying to go upstream. The water was about halfway up the side of the bus. I thought that if I bought a good jacket and some good boots I could power through it, but needless to say I don't think that anything other than a raft will help us. It is supposed to start any day now so I am ready as I will ever be.
This week was kind of a bummer. You guys probably remember when I said that we were going to baptize an ex-pastor and they were really positive. Well the pastor of his church took president Hinkley's advice and gave him responsibility. President Hinkley said every new member needs a friend and a calling. Well the other pastor gave him a pulpit and helped him convert his one room house into a church. So we officially dropped them as investigators. It was very sad for us but it will not hold us back.
This week's quote is actually 2 quotes. "Adversity introduces a man to himself." -Unknown and "There is no education like adversity." -Disraeli. Why do we have adversity? Because it is what makes us great. The people who are most successful are successful because they have failed many times in their lives. But can we let it drag us down or do we need to stand back up and try again or not let it bug you you need to look at failure as an opportunity? For example, Thomas Edison said something like, "I have not failed. I've just found 10000 ways that won't work." I want to share another story about Thomas Edison.
"Thomas Edison devoted 10 years and all of his money to developing the nickle Alkaline storage battery at a time when he was almost penniless. Through that period of time his small film and record company was supporting the storage battery effort. Then one night the terrible cry of fire echoed throughout the film plant, spontaneous combustion had ignited some chemicals and within moments all of the packing compounds, the celluloid for the record film, and other flammable goods had gone up with a roar. Fire companies from 8 towns arrived but the fire and heat was so intense and the water pressure so low that hoses had no effect. Edison was 67 years old. That is no age to begin anew. His daughter was frantic wondering if he was safe, wondering if his spirits were broken, wondering how he would handle a crisis such as this at his age. She saw him running toward her. He spoke first. He said, "Where's your mother? Go get her. Tell her to get her friends. They'll never see another fire like this as long as they live." At 5:30 the next morning, with the fire barely under control, he called his employees together and announced, "We're rebuilding." One man was told to lease all the machine shops in the area, another to obtain a wrecking crane from the Eire railroad company. Then almost as an after thought he said, "Oh by the way, does anybody know where you can get some money?" Virtually everything you now recognize as a Thomas Edison contribution to your life came after that disaster. (Phonograph, carbon telephone, battery, light bulb.)" - Jeffery R. Holland.
I love the part it says at the end about how all great inventions came after this incident. So, how can we be resilient? In the mission I chose to write out a paragraph that helps me remember the Savior and that He is always with me. This is what I wrote. "My son, peace be unto thy soul: thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; Thou art not yet as Job. (D&C 121) And if thou be cast into the deep, if the billowing surge conspire against thee, if fierce winds become thine enemy, if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way, and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou my son, that all these things shall give thee experience and shall be for thy good. And then if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high, thou shalt triumph over all they foes. (D&C 122) ...Ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit. (Alma 13:28) shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that he may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls. (Alma 17:11) The Son of Man hath experienced, endured and descended below all things to sustain, support and carry us through all things. When the day comes that ye shall wet his feet with thy tears ye shall know that thine afflictions were consecrated for thy gain. Ye shall have an absolute knowledge that God lives for ye became acquainted with Him through thine extremities and that price ye paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay. (?)"
We are going to have trials. It is part of life but we need to have a plan for when they come. I have a testimony that trials are just a small part of our life and we need to focus on the other great parts. If you ever feel bad or like you have a hard life go and read D&C 122 about Joseph Smith and his trials. You will not feel bad for yourself anymore.
Sorry I didn't get to write that much today.
Love all of you guys,
Elder Reinhold

Happy Birthday in Chiqui!

Me in the corn field.  This looks like a lot of service to me....

Hole my comp burned in my shirt.
Had to take a picture.
 It was only the second plane I have seen.
Hey! Well my birthday so far has been really good. I have had a good day. First I want to tell everybody thank you for the letters that are coming to me. I cannot read them fast enough today. Since I don't have time to write all of them back personally I want to thank you guys so much and thank you so much for the packages!

This morning at 6:15am I woke up to the happy birthday song blaring in our house. It's a good thing too or else I probably would have forgotten that it was my birthday. I started to wash some of my shirts on the roof of our house and it is a tradition to do firecrackers for your birthday. So I am casually washing my clothes and a string of firecrackers started going off right behind me. I was like, "What the heck!" They were pretty close to me. My comp lit firecrackers and ran. The funny thing is that one of my shirts that was hanging up to dry got a hole blasted right through it. So we were laughing so hard. But good thing I received 2 shirts in the package I got today. Revelation or inspiration.

Then my comp was like, "Are you ready? We are going to breakfast." I was like okay. He took me to a really nice restaurant (by missionary standards) and the food was really good.

There was also a really cool doll place where they make dolls but they make them for every region of Guatemala with all the different cortes and all the different native stuff. I took some pictures. When I am done with the mission I want to buy dolls from all of my areas. That would be cool. After breakfast we went to the demo, which is the huge market and I bought a watch that is really cool. It was like the equivalent of 8 dollars. I like it a lot. That is the good thing about here in Central America - all the cheap markets.

Cool picture that is in the Mission home.
This was the bathroom I used.
The ceiling was about 4 feet tall.  It was tight!
Well this week was a bit frustrating. We were supposed to have a baptism but a pastor came and talked to our investigators and said you can't do this and we will keep working with them. The quote for this week is... 
"Success is doing the common things uncommonly well."
For example: planning. When Elder Martino was here, he promised that if you apply the planning taught in preach my gospel you will make 100,000 dollars more in your life. Soo... if you do the uncommon things with diligence you will be better off in more ways than one. This is with the gospel too. If you do the common things like read your scriptures and pray you cannot fall.

Well I am sorry I don't have a lot of time today but I will prepare something for next week's letter.

I love you guys so much and I will be talking with you guys in like 15 days or something. Thanks for all the support and my birthday was a once in a lifetime birthday here in Chiquilaja.

Con amor,
Elder Reinhold

On our p-day we made a campfire and had smores on our roof.  Fun! 

Staying in Chiqui and Zone Barbecue.

This is our church in Chiqui.

Hey family!

First of all I want to say, "Happy Birthday Ethan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love you so much and hope you had a good birthday."

This is where you buy meat and yes, there are just a bunch of carcasses hanging in the back.
This week was good. We have been busy making all the food for our zone BBQ. We did all the food and we were up late cooking last night, and no, that does not mean you can wake up later so I am pretty tired right now.

This is the food we cooked.  It was actually pretty good!
Well the quote for this week is one of my favorites. "Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyways." 
-John Wayne. 

This quote is cool. It really is just saying you might not have ideal situations in your life but just buckle up and buckle down and work through them.

For p-day we went to Baul for a BBQ.  This is a statue there that is cool.
Well this week was good, like I said. We did not get as much done with all the cooking and shopping. But this week we were able to talk to our investigator L-- and ask her why she does not want to be baptized. It is a bit frustrating for us because she wants to and she received an answer to her prayers, but it turns out the husband of the family that she is working with starting telling her why she should not get baptized, but we are explaining that it is a covenant between her and God not her and her family or her friends, so we will continue to work with her. With our other couple that wants to be baptized, we are not sure if we are going to do it this week or possible move it to the next week but I will keep you updated.

An investigator trying the violin.
Us in a canyon in Chiquilaja.
This week is change week (transfers) and neither my comp or I have changes, so I will be with Elder C-- for another change. I have a feeling we are going to do some good work. We laid out a plan for doing some serious work here in Chiquilaja. I just want you guys to know that good things come from adversity. That is one thing that I have a very strong testimony of. I want you guys to know that all missionaries are called by revelation and that if you are willing to put your time in the Lord's hands He is going to utilize you. One thing I have found is that there are a lot of average missionaries and not very many great missionaries. I was very surprised when I came to the field that lots of people don't want to be here and even will try to hurt themselves to go home honorably. I pleaded with my mission president to let me stay. I told some Elders the story about my leg today and I was crying because I was so grateful to be here. I want you guys to know if they are going to send me home, they are going to have to do it in a casket.

Elder Reinhold

Conference and conversions...

Laundry.  I am learning how to use the Pila.

Hey family!

Beautiful Sky.
How was your week? My week here was good. Conference was great, wasn't it? First of all, let me start out and say when they said, "Cedar City Temple" I was so happy. Everybody was probably like what the heck is this elder doing. It's because I have thought a lot about my 45 minute drive to go to the temple when I return from my mission. I want to try to go a couple times a week. That will be a great blessing to the people of Cedar City. And also, I can't tell you how much I love Holland as a speaker. All I want to do is listen to his words. His mix between having the Spirit and his education in literature and writing...he is such a moving speaker. Also, did you see Elder Falabella? He is from here in Guatemala and he was the general authority that came to this mission before the Elder Martino conference that we had. I have seen the notes from his conferences. He is amazing.

The quote for this week is, "The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary." -Vidal Sasson.  I love this quote because this is exactly how the mission is. If you want to have baptisms you stay out the whole day and work. When it's raining like a waterfall, you work and contact because you need to show the Lord your willingness to act in diligence. Then the blessings come. 

Burning my tie for the 6 month mark.
This week has been a manifestation of that quote. This week we have 3 baptismal dates with L--, and M--, his wife. He has been a registered pastor in the evangelical church for years and years. Yes, if all goes as we are hoping, we are going to baptize a pastor and his wife. They came to conference with us and after the conference said that they want to be part of our church and they want to come to church next week, so they are pretty positive. They are great people. Also L-- is still positive. She has been to church so we are going to work with her as well. 

Sorry guys, I don't have a lot of time this week, but love you guys. More importantly God loves you!

Elder Reinhold

We asked Jakob a couple of questions that he replied to separately.
We noticed a charge on his debit card to Wendy's and we didn't realize they had them down there. Jake said, "Um yes, there is a Wendy's there in Xela but it is expensive. Okay, it's the same price as it is in the States, which is expensive. It's really good though. Now that I am back in the field I am back to the usual. Ninety percent of our meals are pepian and jocom which are native Mayan dishes. It is rice with a sauce and if they can afford it with chicken. I would say that 60 percent of my diet is rice. But they are actually pretty good. You guys should make it there sometimes so you know what I eat. The difference between the two dishes is just the sauce. Jocom is like a green sauce and pepian is like a reddish brown sauce. When we eat in the house, I eat more variety. A couple here in our mission with experience said that they think that this mission for Americans is not so good as far as food getting sick, nutrients, etc.  But I am not picky. And yes, I have been sick. I managed to gain 10 pounds in the office with a lot of tortillas but I am back down because I have been sick the past like 3 days."

Jake is not a picky eater, but he was worried about having to eat one of probably three foods he really disliked - avocados.  It is a staple in their diet.  We asked him about that.  He said, "Yes they eat avacados, but I like them. I bought some the other day. The grass is greener where you water it!!!" Well, this is great news since his mom is from "the avocado capitol of the world."

He added, "This is not really related, but just found a group that I want to see when I get back home. Don't worry, it is mission appropriate. They sing all about the Church, but look them up - Nashville Tribute Band. They are really good." I think that when they finish mapping the human genome, they are going to find the gene for "country boy" because it is in his blood. A group that sings Church country music is something to be excited about especially since he can listen to it while on the mission.

Here are some songs by Nashville Tribute Band that are missionary related:

I Was Born

Children Go

Children Go - Lip sync by two funny missionaries.

Finding more people to teach in Chiqui.

My companion helping an older woman back to her house.  She set an appointment with us.

Hey Family! This week was crazy and a bit weird. First of all, I had no idea that it was Easter. Sad isn't it? Sometimes you are just focused on the work and you don't have time to stop and think what holiday is next, then an elder next to me just informed me that it is April fools too. I forgot. 

Catholic Procession.
This week was Santa Semana (Holy Week) and or course, everyone heads for the coast and visits family so nobody is in their house.  If they are they have family over. It was difficult to work so we did a lot of service and we contacted a lot. Surprisingly, we picked up a lot of investigators. We actually made it into the monthly mission newsletter as number one companionship for new investigators. So if all goes as planned, we should put out some serious baptisms!  Maybe, if we follow up well and work hard.

A cute house of some investigators.

This week we had to drop an investigator named B-- because she moved. She was really positive so that was a bit sad, but we have 7 progressing investigators. We have M--, she is progressing but her husband is not as positive as she is. He said that she is reading the Book of Mormon and praying and everything. They are just the nicest people I have ever met. Every time we pass by their house we knock and say, " Hola! Como estan?" (Hey! How are you?) They always with no hesitation say, "Come in." We also found a family that owns a tortillaria - a tortilla shop, and they are positive. They are progressing and want to come to church but both work on Sundays. They are a great family and speak mostly Quiche so we have learned a little bit. M-- and E-- are a couple that own our house and live right below us. They are great as well. She will bring us food sometimes and always gives us stuff for really cheap from her tienda. She is always there but her husband drives a bus here in Chiqui so sometimes we get free bus rides too. Also, we have another investigator named L--. She came to church this week and is really positive. She was hired by a member family to clean and do housework. She lives there but she is really shy. She is from a little aldeah in Momos named Pueblo Viejo. I have been there a couple of times from my experiences in the office, so I was able to relate to her a little bit. Those are the people we are working with and we have a bunch of new investigators so it is time to challenge them. 

This is the church in Chiquilaja.

This week the quote I want to share is a good one. Well they are always good. 
"Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out."
-John Wooden.
This quote is cool. Adapt to the hard times and make the best out of it.

This week I read in the book by the church, Our Heritage. This story really hit me hard about complaining in the church and murmuring. This story is just like Nephi and his brothers.

A man who crossed the plains in the Martin handcart company lived in Utah for many years. One day he was in a group of people who began sharply criticizing the Church leaders for ever allowing the Saints to cross the plains with no more supplies or protection than a handcart company provided. The old man listened until he could stand no more; then he arose and said with great emotion:

"I was in that company and my wife was in it....We suffered beyond anything you can imagine and many died of exposure and starvation, but did you ever hear a survivor of that company utter a word of criticism? [We] came through with the absolute knowledge that God lives for we became acquainted with him in our extremities.

I have pulled my handcart when I was so weak and weary from illness and lack of food that I could hardly put one foot ahead of the other. I have looked ahead and seen a patch of sand or a hill slope and I have said, I can go only that far and there I must give up, for I cannot pull the load through it....I have gone on to that sand and when I reached it, the cart began pushing me. I have looked back many times to see who was pushing my cart, but my eyes saw no one. I knew then that the angels of God were there.

Was I sorry that I chose to come by handcart? No. Neither then nor any minute of my life since. The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay, and I am thankful that I was privileged to come in the Martin Handcart Company."

Physical therapy in Guatemala.  Yes, I do use it often.
This man had a great attitude. These are the kind of people that this church is built on and that carry the Church. Well, the leg is doing well. It is healing, just slowly as ever. It might take a while, but it is going. I want all of you guys to know that I love each and every one of you and my mission is going by way too fast. I am sad that it is going by. In two days I will have 6 months in the mission. I don't want my mission to ever end and it won't. Listen to the talk by Holland. The First Great Commandment. Just because you take off your missionary badge, does not mean that you are not a missionary anymore or not a representative of Christ. Every member is a missionary.

Well got to go.

With love,
Elder Reinhold