Monday, February 24, 2014

Week 38

This week was great! Although not all of the members of the Ramos Family were able to be baptized, the kids (Katy, who is 21, and Heber, who is 13) were baptized on Wednesday and confirmed on Sunday! That was an amazing experience. That family is so amazing and they will be unbelievably blessed for their decision to be baptized. Olga and Pablo, the parents, are in the process of getting married. Once they are married, they have plans to be baptized! I found out today that my "son," Elder Hill, will be taking my place here in Renaico! That means that he will be here when the parents are baptized and we will both be instruments in the Lord´s hands to bless the Ramos Family. I was so excited when I heard about that. I will be going to La Branza, which is a sector in Temuco. I will be with Elder Hanson, who I met when I first got here to Chile. I will be a Zone Leader, along with Elder Hanson. I´ve heard really good things about the Temuco Cautín Zone and am really excited to be there. I know it will be an amazing opportunity to learn and to grow. Oh, I also found out that I´m getting a "brother"! Elder Smith, my trainer, will be training in Boca Sur, which is up by Concepción. I really enjoyed my time here in Renaico and for the people that I met here. I´ve seen the branch here continually improve and I know that it will continue to do so. I also want to take all the home teachers/visiting teachers that do their job. They have no idea how necessary and important that calling is. That was the difference here in Renaico. When people do their visits, people go to church. I´ve seen that bless the lives of the people here in Renaico, and my family members at home. The most important thing is that people feel the love of Christ. That alone can change everything. Sometimes we overthink things and we don´t realize that being an example and showing the love that we feel from Christ is the most effective solution. The gospel isn´t complicated until we make it that way. I´m so grateful for this church and for this gospel and for what it has done for me, for my family, and for everyone else that has had the opportunity to participate in it. We should never hesitate to share it with others. I love you, Micaela Morgan Wright! You´re the greatest example I could ask for and you´ll never know how much you motivate me to be better each day. Have a great week, everyone!

Elder Reynolds

Monday, February 17, 2014

Week 37

This week was full of miracles and extremely tiring. The first miracle didn´t happen here in Renaico. I went to Angol to work with some hermanas there who are teaching a man who can be baptized this Saturday. We taught him, answered some of his doubts, and shared our testimonies. Towards the end, I felt impressed to promise him something really specific. So, I promised him that, if he kept reading in praying, that the Lord would answer his prayers in less than two days. The very next day (yesterday), he walked up to the hermanas and told them that he needed to be baptized! I´ve learned that, when the Lord prompts us to do something, no matter how difficult or unlikely it seems, we should do it. The Lord always follows through. If we do our part, He does His. The Ramos Family wasn´t baptized this past week. But, we met with them yesterday. We talked about baptism the entire time. One by one, they named their doubts and problems and, one by one, we systematically answered their doubts with scriptures and testimonies. I have never been apart of a lesson like that one. I literally felt like I wasn´t the one talking. God was talking to this family through us. We didn´t do anything. At the end, we set a baptismal date for this Wednesday, because the dad leaves on Thursday to work out of town for 18 days. At the end, we found out that they actually aren´t married. We chose not to say anything about that in the lesson. We walked out and I felt terrible. They can´t get baptized if they aren´t married and are living together. We walked for a while and realized that Pablo was not going to be in the house for the next 18 days. That would give Olga enough time to get divorced from her first husband. Then, because they´ve been living together for over 10 years, under Chilean law, all they have to do is sign a paper and they´re married. I realized that God had planned all of this from the beginning. We promised them that they could get baptized on Wednesday and we felt no doubt when we promised them that. The Lord has already prepared the way for it to happen. They will be getting baptized this Wednesday. That night, Pablo will stay with his mom (who we coincedintely found while knocking doors a few days ago) that night. He will leave the following day. During those 18 days, Olga will get divorced. And, the day Pablo gets back, they will be married. God is a great planner. Miracles exist and they happen everyday. We just have to notice them. I love you, Micaela Morgan Wright! 

Elder Reynolds

Monday, February 10, 2014

Week 36

This week was really long. We did a lot of searching for new people to teach. We found 27 new investigators! It was incredible, but I´m dead tired. It definitely strengthened my testimony of the fact that, when we work diligently and do all that we can, God does the rest. We are working with the Ramos family still (Pablo, Olga, Heber, and Katy). They are doing great and progressing everyday! It´s an amazing experience to watch them grow as a family. They have a baptismal date for this coming Saturday and, if it happens, it will be in the river! That´ll be amazing. Please keep them in your prayers! Happy Valentine´s Day and Happy 13-month anniversary to the beautiful Micaela Morgan Wright. We may not be together for this one, but I know that we will have an eternity of them together after I get home. I also want to say thank you too all of my family members that wrote me. I received the package this week and loved all the letters I got. I´m extremely lucky to have the family that I´ve been blessed with. Y´all are always in my prayers and I love y´all very much. Thank you for everything. I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Elder Reynolds   

Monday, February 3, 2014

Week 35

This week was really tiring. We had a lot of service and some things didn´t go according to plan. But, in the end, Pegro Juan Betancourt Cisterna was baptized! He is now part of a complete family and in one year they will be able to go to the temple together! We are teaching a family of 4 right now: The Ramos family. They have baptismal dates for the 15th of this month. They are doing great! We ate lunch with them on Saturday, the kids went to the baptism, and all 4 went to church on Sunday and had a really spiritual experience! It´s amazing what loving people can do. We can do all we want, but if we don´t love them, we won´t accomplish anything. God works through the Spirit and the Spirit is love. If we fill our hearts with hate, regret, jealousy, and other negative feelings, He can´t use us to bless others and we definitely won´t help them feel the love the Savior has for them. I have been thinking about how much Heavenly Father loves us all. I spent 21 years of my life doing whatever I wanted. I spent a good amount of that time doubting His existence and even denying it for a while. I hurt others, I threw away opportunities, I disobeyed God almost every opportunity I had, I denyed love to those who loved me most, and took for granted all that I was given. What did God do in return? He loved me more than I will ever understand. He blessed me more. He gave me more opportunities, He put more people in my life that loved me, He blessed me with more and more and more. And finally, one day I realized that. It took a lot for me to wake up, but He did it. There is no greater gift than this gospel. In the darkest part of my life, when I least cared about God, He blessed me with the brightest thing the world has ever know: His gospel. I know that He loves us. I know that He feels the same about everyone. I´m convinced that if we all realized that, we wouldn´t wait one second to share this with others. The greatest gift we can give is the gospel. Share it and I promise you that you will recognize your true potential as a child of God. That´s a promise to everyone. Oh hey, I love Micaela Morgan Wright. She´s the second greatest thing the world has ever known!
Elder Reynolds