May 11, 2014
Post from Elder Reinhold's mom:
As most of you know, we only get to speak to our missionaries on the phone or via Skype twice per year, on Christmas Day and Mother's Day. So, these holidays become even more special. So on Mother's Day we spoke to Jake and we talked about his mission, how everything is going, also, about what he is looking forward to when he comes home, etc.
He told us a story that really made me laugh because it is so Jakob. First I need to preface by telling you some stories about how smart he is. He is a really fast thinker. He was probably 2 1/2 years old when he pushed his baby brother, who was still crawling, down the stairs. He had done it before and had gotten in serious trouble. This time his dad was home and after he pushed Kyler, Jakob made a frantic mad dash for his room. When his dad rounded the corner, he found Jakob on his bed arms outstretched, head back like Quasimoto, yelling "Saaaannnctuarry!! Saaaaanctuarrryy!!" It worked. His dad burst into laughter, which definitely softened his punishment.
There are several stories about Jakob, the negotiator. When he was 3 we wanted him to trade his blanket for a bike. On the spot he countered our offer with "Two bikes." He didn't need two bikes but he wasn't just gonna take the deal we were giving him. Around the same age, he had a healthy Oedipal complex. He went on for weeks about marrying me. I kept explaining the situation and how life works. Finally one day, it was starting to sink in but he gave it one last try. "Mom, please marry me?" I explained it again and he replied with, "Okay, then how about a chocolate shake?"
He was always way too smart. We went on a trip the week after he turned 5. At one point, he had gotten in trouble and wasn't allowed to go into the store with his dad and little brother. He was throwing a tantrum. Then it was like a switch went off and he was cool as a cucumber and we had approximately the following conversation:
Jake: You know Mom, we should really go in there.
Me: We should. Why is that?
Jake: Dad might find another wife while he's in there.
Me. Oh, yeah? Why would he do that?
Jake: Ohhhh, he just might find someone prettier.
It didn't work, but it was a really good try. The other intersting thing about Jakob, who deals in goods, is that if he takes advantage of you or hurts you he will come back and try to give you something he owns to make up for it. He doesn't get attached to his things because he is always making money and then buying and selling things. It is just what he does. It was just last week when his brother brought this up while recalling an situation. Jakob had said something mean and then tried to give Kyler a stereo to make it all better....not to earn his trust, but because he honestly is sorry and he figures he'll just get a new one. It is easy for him.
All these skills contribute to him his ability to sell you on something. He is persuasive and I've been on numerous occasions, tenacious. He is such a strategic thinker it is hard for him to lose board games. You might recall, from an earlier blog post, the game of monopoly in the mission that caused his companions to think he had some extra spiritual gift. At one point on his mission when he wasn't feeling very successful teaching, he mentioned that he could use this ability to, in a sense, sell the gospel. He knew what a blessing the gospel, baptism, and church membership could be for people, but he knew deep down that he couldn't hard sell this message. He really wanted people to come to the realization on their own and to develop a testimony.
When we talked to Jakob on Mother's Day he told us how he bought some blue tooth device just because it was too good of a deal to pass up. Then he proceeded to sell it to his companion who would be going home soon. (Of course Jakob would be making a profit on his mission.) It wasn't much, but when he told us the story via Skype he had a sheepish grin because he knows...we all know. It brings him such satisfaction, but he kind of knew that he was lightheartdly busted. We all has this little laugh. He then told us how he felt so guilty that he gave him all sorts of free stuff. It makes me smile to type this because this is so the boy I know.
Well, his companion had an appreciation for the experience. He probably had to figure out what happened first. He didn't know what he was dealing with when he met Jake the Salesman. He was used to Jake the Missionary. Apparently his companion learned from his experience and tried to apply it to life in a talk he gave shortly after where he recommended that the other missionaries use Elder Reinhold's tactic of convincing those listening to the gospel message of all of the reasons why they need this in their lives and how they can't possibly live without it. They would be dumb not to accept it! Props for him for being introspective and making sense of things.
I just got a kick out of it because you know that your son or daughter will come back a different person. This was my reassurance that some things never change and it was this moment where I could put a stamp of authenticity on his mission experience. Yep, that's him. That's my boy. Miss him so much. This Mother's Day call was our last phone call before he will be home. I am soooo looking forward to October!
P.S. I have to add that Jakob is one of the most sincere, loving, and honest people I know.