Wednesday, April 1, 2015

March 24th

This week we saw more miracles. Elizabeth, Valentina, and Tommy all came to church. They have been twice now. Tommy smokes two packs a day, but he knows exactly what he wants. He says that he cannot find happiness in the world and knows that he can only find peace in living the teachings of Christ. He is willing and working to quit smoking so that he can be baptized on the 11th. We are working hard with him and know that, through Christ, all things are possible. God is a God of miracles. Elizabeth and Valentina are loving everything about church. We passed by last night with Hermano Pinar. We taught about the Book of Mormon, what it is and why it´s important. They felt that our words were true and, without us inviting them to, committed to read a chapter everyday as a family. They are excited for their baptism on the 11th and committed themselves to go to both sessions on Saturday. I have seen God work miracles every day of my mission. I know He lives. I know that He loves us. I know that He still works miracles in our lives, if we have faith and we fight through the trials. I know that faith brings us hope, that hope brings us charity, and that charity purifies us. I know that we will live again after this life, because Christ broke the bands of death. Through Him, we can do all things. I have seen how He has a plan for us. I have made plans and He has torn them down and built His own, and they are always better. He has done the same with me. I have built myself up, and He has torn me down in order to create the man that He needs me to be. I know that there is no other name by which we can be saved and experience true joy in this life. It is only possible throught the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the way, the only way. Through Him, all things were created and through Him we can do all things. I know these things are true. I have felt them. They have filled me. They lift me up every day and I have seen their power in the lives of others.

Elder Reynolds

March 17th

Like I said, last week was difficult, but it ended on a good note because I saw that the Lord was preparing us to receive many blessings as we strove through our difficulties and obstacles. At the end of last week, at random I found a scripture in Ezekiel 34:26 about how the rain will come in its own time and how that rain will be blessings. This week, we traveled to Angol and Temuco for zone conferences. They went really well and we were able to learn a lot and were able to work with a lot of missionaries and have great experiences with them. We got back to Los Ángeles on Saturday. We went to visit some of the people we are teaching in our sector. Yesterday, on Sunday, 4 of the people we are teaching came to church and they loved it. We went to go teach Elizabeth and her daughter Valentina, who went to church, and they told us about the peace they felt having gone to church. After we taught them, in her prayer, Elizabeth thanked God for leading her to His church and prayed for the strength necessary to continue strong. She and her daughter have a baptismal date for the 11th of April. The Lord blesses us as we strive to do our best, especially when it is difficult. He may not rain down miracles upon us immediately, but He will make it happen in His own due time. I know that is true, because I have experienced it time and time again. With the rain comes blessings. I´ll also mention that it rained on Friday for the first time in months. Have a wonderful week, everyone!

Elder Reynolds

March 10th

We had cambios this week. I´ll be staying with Elder Katschke again. I´m not sure what is going to happen to me during my last cambio. We will see! We worked in our sector after all the cambios. It was a rough week. We are working really hard in our sector, but many times we don´t see fruits immediately and sometimes we get down about it. We had one day this week that was really difficult and we were really sad when we got home. We got up early the next day and headed to Concepción for consejo. I read a talk by Elder Holland called "Nadie Estuvo con Él," which talks about how Christ was alone during His time here. He was rejected by so many, and when He was on the cross even the Spirit left Him so that He could feel what we feel when we lose the Spirit. He suffered so much, just so He could support us and lift us up during our times of difficulty. He knows us perfectly and loves us perfectly. I read that and it helped me to realize that I am not alone. I have the guide of prophets of the past and present. I have the Spirit. I have my companion. I have my mission president. I have so many people and things to support me through times of difficulty. I should never feel alone, because I never am. That goes for all of us. After that, Presidente Verdugo (ex seventy) spoke during the consejo and I felt like he was speaking directly to me. He spoke about character. Our true character is what we show when things are tough, when we are tired, when things seem dark. Christ´s character was that of pure love and sacrifice. Even in the most difficult times, He thought of us before Himself. Christ wants us to have that same type of character, and the only way to achieve it is by following in His footsteps, and I know that that isn´t easy. It wasn´t easy for Him, so how can we expect it to be easy for us. As we strive to live a life like He lived His, He will give us strength, He will go before us and send angels behind us to lift us up, and He will give us success. I know that is true. I have felt His presence. I have felt His love. I have seen His hand in my life. I know He lives. I know He loves each and every one of us, and I know that He will NEVER fail us. On Sunday, I chose to read a scripture at random. I landed on Ezekiel 34:26, which says I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing. I know that the blessings will come. God keeps his promises.

March 3rd

We had an awesome experience this week. Elder Katschke and I did all that we could this week in our sector (we only had 2 days because of all the travels). We worked really hard and planned to have at least 2 people who we are teaching in church. We committed them to go, we made arrangements to pick them up the day of and the first counseler was going to pick one family up in his car. We visited them the night before and re-committed them to go and we began to fast for them. Well, Sunday morning arrived and we called them all. The family didn´t answer (because the didn´t wake up) and another guy we are teaching answered to tell us that he had gone to his sister´s house and couldn´t go. Needless to say, we arrived at church feeling a little down. But, something amazing happend during the second hour. We were sitting in the classroom, waiting for the second our to start, when one of the sister missionaries came in with someone we had never seen before. He sat down next to us and Hermana Rosdahl, the sister missionary, told us that this man (named Luis) had come in off the street, not having talked to any missionary or member, and told them that he wanted to be baptized right then and there. In the class, Luis talked about how he felt the weight of the sins he had committed and how the only thing he wanted to do was to be baptized. I know that the atonement of Jesus Christ has the power to clean us of all sin. I know that it is the only way that we can be clean and start over new. I know that that man felt the Spirit, which testified to his soul that this things are true. We later found out that he lives within the boundaries of another ward. The missionaries in the other ward are incredible. They have worked so hard recently, but haven`t seen much success. Yesterday, God worked a miracle because of the work they had been doing. I know that God is a God of miracles. I know that He always has been and that He always will be. I know that as we do our part, He does His. That is a promise, and the Lord has never failed to keep His promises, and He won´t start now. Maybe we didn´t see that miracle in our ward, but we saw it. I know that God wanted to show my companion and I that, as we continue to work, so will He. 

Elder Reynolds

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Week 71

This week, we worked in Temuco, Carahue, Pitrufquén, and Freire. We saw miracles in every sector, but I want to tell you about some things that happened in Carahue. I was working with Elder Clay and Elder Tanke. They had been struggling to talk with people, so we started the day with the goal to talk to everyone! Well, we started talking with a lot of people and after a couple of hours, we talked to a lady in the street named Silvia. We asked her if we could share something and she said she was close to home, so we went in and taught her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She said that she has a friend that is a member of the church. That friend, Elder Clay later told me, is the wife of the branch president haha. After teaching her about the gospel, we invited her to be baptized and she accepted. She is amazing and is so desirous to learn about what the Lord has planned for her. After that, we taught a couple other lessons and continued to talk with everyone. At 9:30pm, it got really cold, but we kept knocking doors. Just before we had to go home, we knocked one last door. A woman answered the door and told us to come in immediately. We went inside and she was there with her daughter. We began to share with them and, after a few minutes, we invited them to be baptized. Without thinking about it for second, they said yes. This woman had listened to the missionaries in Vilcún and loved it, but had not talked to missionaries since. We just so happened to pass by that day when she needed to hear our message. I know that as we share the gospel with the Lord´s children, He blesses us and leads us to those who need it most. He loves each and every one of us and has a perfect plan. As we trust in Him, and as we are diligent in this work, He will work miracles in our lives. I know that God lives, that Christ is our Savior, that the Plan of Salvation is real, and I know that  I can put my trust in my God and that He will deliver me and never fail me. What we teach is true. I have no doubt. I have seen and experienced too much to doubt it. A fullness of joy is only found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Elder Reynolds

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Week 69

This was a very eventful week! Obviously it was New Year´s, so it wasn´t a normal week. For New Year´s, my companions and I played soccer in the office and then we watched fireworks from our apartment building. The following day, we had a zone activity, where we had tacos, horchata, and we played a ton of sports. I got really sunburned, but it was a ton of fun. A week ago, a lady approached us in the street and asked us to teach her... which never happens... ever. SO, we went by her yesterday and she told us about how she has a boyfriend who served a mission, who lives in Antafogasta (in northern Chile). She loves church and everything about it, but her parents are against it. She has to meet with us in secret. She has really strong desires to follow the gospel, but is afraid of how her parents will react. We shared Alma 36 with her. I love that chapter because Alma tells his son about all that he experienced as a result of following Christ. He lost many things. He was even run out of his hometown. But, he shares his testimony that, those who put their confidence in the Lord will always be delivered out of their trials and difficulties. I know that is true. Christ suffered all things and overcame all things. As we put our trust in Him, there is nothing that can stop us. I have felt His love and His power in my life. I shared my testimony with her that she will be capable of following the Lord as she puts her trust in Him. I have no doubt about that. The Lord has always and will always fulfill His promises, and He has promised us the company of His Angels to overcome the trials of our lives. May we always be willing to accept that help. I´m grateful for the gospel. I´m grateful for my God and His Son Jesus Christ. I´m thankful for my family. I´m thankful for this brand new year that I have to become better and to live the gospel. I invite everyone to strive to put God first this year. As you do, I know that you will be given all that you need to overcome your specific challenges and you will enjoy the constant companionship of the Spirit of God, which is the ONLY thing that can fill us with an everlasting joy.

Week 68

My companions and I have been teaching a woman named Vanessa for 3 months now. She has been to church 4 times and has a testimony of the gospel, but fears the reaction of her family if she is baptized. She has also said that she wants to be absolutely sure before being baptized. Well, this week, on Wednesday, we visited her. We decided to teach her about revelation. Halfway through the lesson, we started talking about what faith is. We shared the scripture from Ether that says that faith isn´t a perfect knowledge. By the time we finished, the Spirit was really strong and the thought came into my mind to invite her to be baptized on Friday of this week. She left for Puerto Montt yesterday (Friday). So, I invited her to be baptized on Friday. She looked at me and said "in two days?" I said "yes." Immediately, she began to cry and said "yes." Yesterday, she was baptized and received a remission of her sins. She is now a member of the church. We later found out that her parents, when they found out, threatened to disown her. She still chose to be baptized. That was one of the greatest experiences of my mission. She went into that lesson not understand what faith was and went home last night having put what she learned about faith in practice. She is a great example for me and I am so grateful for what she has taught me.