Mother's Day Phone Call and Testimony of Scripture Study.

Hey family and friends!

This week I don't have much to talk about. I kind of talked about everything when I had the chance to talk to my family on Saturday. This week was good.  We were a little bit sick so it was kind of unproductive. We were soaking wet from the rain then we rode in the back of a truck for like 15 minutes and it was freezing, so we got sick. I normally work when I am not feeling well but on Thursday I tried and thought I was going to pass out. But we are better now - back up and going.

The quote for this week is one of my favorites. "It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark." -Howard Ruff. Be ready when times of trouble come - not only physically but spiritually.

This week I figured out something in my own life. I do my personal study every morning but since I entered the field after the office, I have been focused on things like the lessons and Spanish...which yes you need to study those things, but I was neglecting to study the scriptures. Yesterday I read where I left off in the Book of Mormon and I was on a spiritual high. I felt great! If it has been a long time since you have read the Book of Mormon, dust it off and read. Its amazing what your daily scripture study does. Show me in our covenants where it says we can take the easy way out. Yes sometimes it is not convenient, sometimes we have to run so we are not late for work. When was it ever convenient for the Savior? Jeffrey R. Holland puts it best when he says, "There is no guarantee of convenience written into our Christian covenant." If you're not willing to make sacrifices you have to sacrifice becoming a disciple of Christ. After fasting 40 days Lucifer says to turn the stones to bread. How easy would it have been for Jesus to do it? He would have probably eaten in an hour when he got back to the city, but he did not fall into the trap of convenience. Our Savior was the ultimate example of diligence and obedience.

I want to share my testimony that I know that this is the true church and we will have to make sacrifices in this life but that we will learn eternal principles when we do it. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity that I have to be here serving the descendants of Lehi. If you are having trials in your life, take the time to read D&C 121, 122, and 123. They are my favorite sections.  I love 122:6 where it says that all things shall give you experience. Remember to give thanks to the Lord often and live in a way that you can stand at the judgment bar and say and tell Him that you truly loved Him and tried to be like Him, but not only when it was convenient.

I love you guys and pray for you guys all the time. Talk to you next week.

Con amor,
Elder Reinhold.

Hi everyone.  Jakob asked that we type up some of the things we talked about last Saturday on the phone.  

Leg:  He says he can't walk down the stairs normally yet.  He used to have to fling his leg to get it to move but can now hold it up a little.  The muscles on the inside and outside are still emaciated and he is looking for physical therapy type exercises if anyone knows of any.  He can't really look them up.  When we asked him when he thought it might be better based on how it has been healing, he said maybe 10 months!  Okay, so he wasn't kidding when he said it is healing really slowly.  He also mentioned that when they were ready to transfer him out of the office, the Church's area doctor suggested again that he go home and his mission president brought it up for the third time.  That is when Jake said they would have to send him home in a casket.

He also mentioned what a blessing the leg injury has been for him and for others he has talked to.  He said that because it came right down to going home he had to really decide how bad he wanted to be there.  He has had opportunities to share this experience and his determination to serve the Lord in Guatemala with other missionaries experiencing difficulties. He mentioned that there is an elder in his mission from Heber who is a zone leader.  He has cerebral palsy.  Jake can relate a little bit.

He referenced the song All Great Men.  (Lyric: Be strong enough to stand like all great men.) He talked about things that break you and said he is "truly, truly grateful" because it has helped him relate and teach and he's not worried about it.

Stomach:  As you all know, Central and Latin American missions can be rough on the stomach.  Yes, we are comforted by the fact that the Church de-worms you before you go home.....I think there is some comfort there.  He said that his stomach has been bad ever since he has been in this area.  He says that every Wednesday and Thursday they are both sick and attributes that to a place they are eating that they cannot avoid.  So, he is down 40 pounds so far.  We sent him with pants that were too small for the occasion and so he has some that fit perfectly.  

When we talked to him he thought he had strep throat.  He gets it once or twice a year.  He was going to wait a day to call the nurses, but said that the Church is great about doctors appointments and things so he should be feeling better by now.  

Jake's uncle was here when we were talking to him and he asked about his toenails.  I guess ingrown toenails are a big problem.  He was enlightened to the fact and the remedies before he left.  It is from the humidity, but mostly from walking so much.  Nobody worry...the toenails are fine!

Food:  Jakob said, "In Guatemala your food standard drops - McDonald's is a dream!!"  He says they have "restaurants" where it is a bike on the front and a restaurant on the back.  Hmm.  I might call that a food cart.    He says Taco Bell is super popular.  He says there are hundreds of people in line, but there isn't one on his side of the city now.  He said he's been advised by the locals to have 2 or 3 days worth of food for when it is raining.  He said the roads are like rivers and you can't get to the store.

He said in his first area they never ate breakfast but now he does.  He usually has eggs, but they take too much time, or cereal, but mostly oatmeal with bananas in it or something.  He says if he needs something extra he'll have a soup packet.  He says they eat lunch at 2 or 3 and the people rarely eat dinner.  If they do it is at 8 or 9pm.  He says their salads are onions and cucumbers and sometimes tomatoes with lime.  Sometimes for dinner they eat a fried egg, sausage, slice of cheese, in a tortilla. He says that the Mayan people don't eat any spice.  He also said that he can't eat anything without spice now.  He even puts chili peppers on his pizza.  He talked about a pepper called a chile pero that is the size of a pea.  He paid an elder 20 quetz to eat it.  He said he is learning tricks.  He has learned to make cakes in the microwave since they don't have an oven. 

Housing:  He said that his place right now is great. He also said his mission president made improvements with the water and power situation.  He said they can expect hot water and he doesn't have to take what they call a Momos shower.  This is the bucket with water heated on the stove.  He said that even the native people do not drink the tap water.  He said his rent is $100 per month with lights and power.  It is good sized.  They have another set of missionaries 5 or 6 houses down.  He says the landlord lives near them somewhere and she always feeds them, which is nice.  He said that the members are really good about taking care of the missionaries in his current area.  He looked on the old list before mission expenses were standardized and his mission was the least expensive or next to the least of all missions.  He also mentioned that when the power in the city goes out, they aren't allowed to be out.  He says even the dogs go crazy when the power is out.  He said he does use his dog whistle repeller and it works!  He also says that the dogs are trained to run if you act like you are going to pick up a rock.  He said the dogs have gang fights and that Toby would wag his tail and get wrecked.  He said that it is an insult to call a person anything animal related and that they learned this the hard way.

Jake says he doesn't even know his address.  People don't really have them they just have zones.

Mission: He said the mission president called and said he'd be training in that area in two weeks.  Which means with the 3 months he's been there he'll be there 6 months total since he will train for 3 months.  He says he assumes he will train a Latino companion which is best since they already speak the language.  Training a gringo would be much harder. 

He says in the mission right now they have 25 temporaries - missionaries waiting for visas I think.  He says that when they split the mission he'll stay because he isn't in the city that will go into the Coban mission and he assumes they will take the missionaries that are already there.  He said the growth has been amazing.  He mentioned again when he was helping in the office that they were going to get 25 new missionaries and then a few days before were told they would get 50.  They went to a bed factory and bought 30 beds and then to the market to buy 180 blankets.  They were working until midnight trying to get ready for so many missionaries.  He also mentioned that the Fairbornes are the best!!

He mentioned that of his first 4 companions 2 are home and one is close to needing to go home.  And then there was his own situation.  He also mentioned Elder Mauter who had to go home because of a rib injury.  He said Elder Mauter's family sent him a package, which was very cool!  He says his group in the mission right now is really solid.  While we are talking about friends he says he really wants to hear from Zach Willes.  He's calling him out!!  If you know Zach pass along the message please.  Apparently, he is missed!

Being a Missionary in Guatemala:  We asked him what surprised him.  He said he was surprised at how his ability to work doesn't just hinge on his desire to, that there are many things that contribute to that.  He was surprised by how many people have family working in the US legally on work visas.  He says there are unfinished houses down there from when the economy went bad.  He said the people are surprisingly religious.  He also said that the make up of the wards/congregations involve a lot of part member families and there is a struggle for leadership.  He also has been surprised by electrical boxes/transformers that just blow up.  Once it was right over children playing at a school and another when they were walking by.  People just do their own electrical work or illegally splice into the lines.  He said he was surprised by how mixed the culture is in Xela - they still teach Quiche in the schools.  

He says he loves getting letters and his favorite treat in packages is beef jerky because you can't get it down there.  He says they really only eat chicken.

Jakob sounded great and we were glad to hear from him and glad that he is choosing to stay.  We are really proud of him and love him dearly!  It is a long stretch to Christmas.....


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