Monday, November 25, 2013

Week 25

We had a baptism on Saturday! Oscar Andrés Bastías Vega made his first covenant with the Lord and for just a moment was made absolutely perfect in the atonement of Jesus Christ. He has the opportunity to continue to be made perfect in the atonement everyday as he strives to keep the covenants that he has made with God. That´s a promise that all of us have if we take upon us the name of Christ, always remember Him, and keep His commandments. That is was this work is about, giving that hope to those who lack it and helping them find the joy that this gospel brings. We had a talent show that same day, which included being forced to do ridiculously embarrassing things because missionaries don´t really have free agency when it comes to the members. A member made a video of the other 3 missionaries and I here in Coronel. I played a cowboy... obviously, because everyone from Texas still rides horses to work. Elder Hill was "The Pianist." Elder Carlson was Legolas, and Elder Baggs was Neo, from the Matrix. It´s pretty funny. He is going to put it up on YouTube, so when that is up I will send the link. This cambio ends on Tuesday and I think I will be moving to a different sector, but I´m not completely sure. I´ll update y´all on that this coming Monday. Happy Birthday to Mrs. Wright!!! I believe she turns 28 this week! Congratulations to Stephen and Juliana! Congratulations to LSU for beating A&M! Congratulations to Micaela Morgan Wright for being the most beautiful woman on the face of the Earth! I love you! I hope everyone has a great week!

Elder Reynolds

Here is the video Elder Reynolds was talking about! 
Elder Reynolds, Oscar, and Elder Hill

Monday, November 18, 2013

Week 24

This week went well. We found some new families to teach! It´s always great to find families. That´s what the gospel is all about. It´s about helping great families, broken families, all types of families become eternal families. I know and have seen how true that is. One of my good friends, a member here, named Victor Monsalve is leaving in a few days and I probably won´t see him again for a few years, so that´s disappointing, but I´m grateful for all that he has done for me, for the friend he has been and will continue to be, for all that he has done for the work here in Coronel, and for all the work he will do on his mission. We have been teaching a woman named Veronica Arraíz. She is a single mom and lives alone with her 1-year-old son. It´s really sad to see that. She really has the toughest job on Earth. I´m so grateful for what moms do. I´m especially grateful for my mom, who has always been there for me and always had faith in me. She has no idea the effect she has had on me. Mom´s truly make the difference. Behind every great man is a great mom. Anyway, Veronica is great! She understands everything! She´s basically a missionary´s dream. Not only does she understand everything, she is willing to do everything because she knows how important her relationship with Heavenly Father is. That´s rare. So many people have knowledge of the gospel, but lack understanding (i.e. they don´t apply it and live it). I really look forward to helping her and her son. We have another baptism this Saturday! His name is Oscar Bastías. He is a 17-year-old. He is so excited for his baptism. He is already trying to share the gospel with his mom! He looks like missionary material to me! I´ll be putting up pictures from the baptism next week! Happy birthday to my dad! He turns 25 this month ;)! I love you, dad! I also wanted to thank Mr. and Mrs. Wright for the birthday card I received from them and also for everthing they´ve done for me. They probably don´t realize it, but they have been and are great examples for me. The way they have raised their family in the gospel and the love they have for eachother is something I will never forget and will strive to apply in my family some day. I also want to thank them for raising the most wonderful, beautiful woman I have ever met! They really have no idea the effect they have had on my life. I will be forever grateful for that. I hope everyone has a great week!

Elder Reynolds 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Week 23

We had two baptisms this week! Victoria Valeria Irinea Mendez Bustos and her mom, Victoria Del Carmen Bustos Navarro have officially made the greatest decision of their lives! It really was an amazing experience. To see the power of the atonement in action like that and to see how much they glowed afterwards was incredible. I say it all the time, but it truly is humbling to be a tool in the Lord´s hands to bless the lives of His children. We are currently working with two other investigators who have baptismal dates for this month. One of them, Oscar, is actually already telling his family members, many of whom are members, that he is getting baptized, so I´m really excited about that! As we continue to work hard and be obedient, the Lord continues to bless us beyond belief. We played paintball today... on the beach... in abandoned, half destroyed buildings. It was pretty fun. The entire zone, except two hermanas, were there. I heard that Texas is still undefeated in the Big 12, so that is great news. Today, 10 months ago, I began an eternity with Micaela Morgan Wright!  She is the most amazing, beautiful, inspirational, supportive woman I know. I know that I already love her more than she loves me, and I will continue to love her more each and every day. I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Elder Reynolds
Victoria Mendez and her mother, Victoria Bustos with Elder Reynolds and Elder Hill on their baptismal date.

Paintball on the beach.

Paintball on the beach with another Elder from Peru.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Week 22

We will be having two baptisms here in Coronel this coming Sunday. Victoria Mendez and her mother, Victoria Bustos are going to be baptized! Elder Smith and I found them about 3 months ago knocking doors. I remember the first time we taught them, Victoria Mendez wouldn´t even let us teach. She basically interrogated us the entire lesson haha. The next lesson, she had spoken with a friend, who is a member. She listened attentively the entire lesson. That is a perfect example of the importance of members in the church. Her friend has been there for her the entire way and continues to be there for her. Without her, Victoria and her mom wouldn´t be where they are today. Victoria recently quit smoking to be baptized. She went from a pack a day to 0 in weeks. That´s the power of the atonement. I know that addictions are not easy to overcome, but I also know the power that we receive through Christ to overcome our weaknesses (Ether 12:27). I will be baptizing Victoria Mendez and Elder Hill, for his first baptism ever in his life, will be baptizing Victoria Bustos. The branch has really been a great help with them. They have constantly been there for them and, as a result, the Victorias have been active investigators. Active investigators make active converts. It has been amazing to watch them learn and grow together as a family and I know that the baptism will be one of the most gratifying moments of my life. To watch someone, especially a family, make those covenants with the Lord is something that words cannot explain. Elder Carlson spoke about how much his family means to him this past Sunday and I couldn´t help be be overwhelmed with gratitude for my family and for all the blessings and opportunities I´ve received through them. I love my family so much and miss them everyday, but I know they are being blessed for what is happening here. I´m also incredibly grateful for Micaela Morgan Wright, who is the love of my eternal life and I will always do all that I can to help her remember that. Have a great week!

Elder Reynolds