Monday, January 30, 2017

Mathew 7:7-8

This week was a good one. We had some really good lessons and saw miracles happen. There is a member here in the ward named Brother Graves. He is in the Bishopric and I have really come to create a good relationship with him. He comes up to me often and he'll ask a simple question. He asks, "How's the work going?" Each time I feel like I answer with a similar response. Something along the lines of "Well it's going pretty well. We have some good investigators and they should be on date this week and progressing soon." He'll look at me and say another simple phrase similar to this, "Well, that's what happens when you want to work hard and find success." Friends and family that is probably the greatest lesson that I have learned on my mission. That when we work hard, when we show our Father in Heaven how bad we want something, he will give it to us. The scripture found in Mathew 7:7-8 says,
7 ¶Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find;knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
This scripture is probably nothing new to most of you. And it isn't to me either. It's something that I've read a hundred times and I quote it often when out tracting. But the thing is it is a true principle. Jesus Christ himself taught us one of the most valuable lessons that I think we can learn. He doesn't say, "Sit around and beg and it shall be given you, walk around and you might find, knock and we might open the door." He says that as we ask, as we seek and search, and as we knock on the door and ask to be let in that it will be given to us to know and to be able to find success. I learned that in a great way this week.

We were knocking and a guy got very mad at us and our spirits honestly were low. Usually when someone gets mad we just kind of move on but not this time. This time it hurt for some reason. So the whole next 20 minutes it was really hard to focus and we weren't finding much success. I was looking forward to finding someone and as we knocked prayed that we could find a great new investigator. About 10 minutes later we did. She was very ready for us to come to her door and we are going to be able to teach her and help her to strengthen the faith that she already has. I am grateful for my Father in Heaven. I don't get discouraged often. I love this work, but when I do my Father in Heaven helps me to get out really fast and I love it. He'll do the same for you. (: I know that for sure.

Elder Reynolds

Monday, January 23, 2017

Member MTC

Hey Everyone!

This week was a good one. It started off from what I remember a little bit rainy. Nothing new for Washington but for whatever reason this year seems a lot more dry than last year. I remember every week walking around in the pouring rain and it never seemed to end. This year it only seems to rain once every couple weeks and snows a lot more than it used to. This year it even snowed a few times so that was just a plus.

DJ and Christina are continuing to make strides in the right direction. They came to church again this week and their 6 yr. old daughter Semira is enjoying it too! Last week DJ went to primary with her and this week Christina did, but Christina mentioned that even after one week of going that she is memorizing the songs and enjoying it. So awesome. They probably won't be getting married and baptized this weekend. But they are awesome. (: I love their family. They have told us that we are welcome at any time and will have us over almost every night. When we get the opportunity to meet with them that often then they tend to progress a lot faster because we allow for the spirit to be in their home more often.

I am learning more and more the importance of Member Missionary Work. This week we held a fireside that we did all of the planning for and we did what we call the Member MTC. It was a success. We didn't have a huge turnout but the number of people that attended was great. I hope to see an increased desire and effectiveness in the member work here in the area. We tend to see a lot of people think that sharing the gospel is hard. One thing that I focused on in the training that I gave was how simple and easy missionary work can be and how easy that it is. I know it is because doing missionary work can be as simple as talking to someone about their families.

We are beginning to see miracles here in the Tacoma South Stake and I hope that those will continue throughout the coming weeks and months. I love this gospel and I'm grateful for the blessings that I have.

Here is a short thought from my personal study this morning. In 1 Nephi 22:10-12 it says,

10 And I would, my brethren, that ye should know that all the kindreds of the earth cannot
be blessed unless he shall make bare his arm in the eyes of the nations.
11 Wherefore, the Lord God will proceed to make bare his arm in the eyes of all the nations,  in bringing about his covenants and his gospel unto those who are of the house of Israel.

 12 Wherefore, he will bring them again out of captivity,and they shall be gathered together to the  lands of their inheritance; and they shall be brought out of obscurity and out of darkness; and  they shall know that the Lord is their Savior and their Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel.

In a study guide that I have it shares that the arm is a symbol of power. So God will show forth his power to the children of men and then we will be able to understand and know that Christ is our Redeemer. I have seen the power of God here on this Earth, and I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior. I hope that you may all have that same opportunity!

Elder Reynolds

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

What are the odds?

Hey Everyone!

This week was awesome. We had the opportunity last Wednesday to attend the Seattle Temple as a mission. It was a great experience and we had a lot of fun. I know that it is such a sacred experience and it brought a lot of peace to some of the struggling missionaries here in the field. I know that my Father in Heaven lives and that he is individually a part of each of our lives. It's amazing to see that. This week I have been studying in preparation for a training that I will be giving tomorrow at a zone meeting. In studying for this I learned that we are a part of the Plan of Salvation and that the decisions and choices that we choose to make can and will affect others and their ability to follow Jesus Christ.

This week we also had some other fun experiences. Yesterday we were at Walmart and we were near the hair care section. We as missionaries play a game called "
What are the odds?" Many of you have probably heard of it or if not you'll understand. So I looked at one of my companions and said, "What are the odds that we die our hair black?" When he put the odds out there we both said the same number. So we did it. Kind of a unique mission experience but it was a lot of fun. I will attach pictures of our activities and what happened. So on the spur of a moment decision we purchased the hair die and all four members of our companionship died our hair black yesterday afternoon.

We taught some really awesome lessons this week. Elder Alvarez, about 2 weeks ago now, wanted to knock a street that I have knocked twice and he has knocked probably 10 times. I didn't want to knock it again but him and another one of my companions Elder Briggs went and knocked it. They found Christina. We then went back and taught her this week and her and her boyfriend DJ accepted a baptism date on the first lesson and they came and took a church tour, came to church, and are still planning on being baptized on the 29th of January. I am praying that they will have the desire and be ready to be married before then as well as quit smoking and drinking and whatever else they may struggle with. They are awesome. I am grateful for teaching opportunities such as this one where we get to see people change and find happiness in their life.

Have a great week! Love you all!

Elder Reynolds
Elders (Men in Black) hair

Monday, January 9, 2017

I am grateful to help others come unto Christ!

Hey Everyone!!

Sounds like all of Utah and really all over the United States has been having some pretty crazy weather. A friend mentioned of freezing rain in Atlanta, then I hear of snow all over anywhere north of that.

I hope that you all had a good week! I had a great week!

Anara was baptized this weekend. (: YAY! It was really cool. Good to see their family continue to take steps in the right direction. Really excited for them.

Another family that we are meeting with hasn't made too much progress and the rest of the people that we are working with didn't make too much progress this week. We are working on it though.

I really am grateful to help others come unto Christ. I love this mission and I love the gospel. I know that it is true and that through Jesus Christ we can do all things. Love you!

Elder Reynolds

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!! (: It's hard to believe that for the entire last year I was a missionary. The blackout year is over. I feel that I have done well with what I had and I've had a ton of fun doing what our Father in Heaven wants me to do here in Washington. I am grateful for the opportunity to be serving.

This week was a good one. We had the opportunity to teach quite a few lessons. One of the saddest things is that on New Years Eve and early on January 1st it snowed. So with 3/4 of an inch of snow on the grass and a few roads church was canceled in many places. My friends and family from Utah or anywhere where it snows often, you wouldn't even second guess driving or going anywhere with the amount of snow that we got, but some of church was canceled. That was WAY lame but I guess just a part of life. ahaha

Other than this week being the snowiest week of my mission and the new year, there wasn't a whole lot that went on. There are a lot of people who are busy and have things going on with kids off of school and things so there were many people at home.

I have had a really humbling experience as we have found a couple of pastors from 2 different churches who live together to teach. As we have approached preparing lessons our Greenie has taught us a lot. The three of us that have been out for over a year are really impatient and don't want to go teach them because we feel that it is a waste of time and that we aren't going to get anywhere with them. Elder Bingham is a great example of patience and being willing to teach everyone that he possibly can. So I learned from him to be patient and to be willing to teach and testify to anyone and everyone. Humility is a hard thing to learn sometimes.

Here in Tacoma we are fruitful at finding people to teach but we aren't able to find people who will progress quite as well. Hopefully over the next couple of weeks we will be able to find many people who will progress toward a date of being baptized and coming to know of the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Love you All!
Happy New Year!
Elder Reynolds (:

Snow in the WA-TAC (Tacoma)

Pic from the mission blog - maybe a zone activity

New Years Eve fun(1) - a little apple cider Martinellis
New Years Eve fun (2)

New Years Eve Fun (3)