Thursday, 20 August 2015

Elder Reynolds gave a little bit more information about his companion (trainer).
Elder Whitehead is the second eldest in his family, he has an older brother who has got back from his mission. He loves to cook, he cooked for his family back home!

Elder Reynolds is the eldest of 5 siblings. Whilst he is away, life at home continues and so this year. Eliza left secondary school (She picked up her GCSE results today). She is going on to study at Ashton Sixth Form College. Kian, has finished primary school so we have just picked up his school uniform for secondary school. Malachi is now in the top class at school. Alisha has now moved up into class 4. One of his cousins has just got engaged and another is looking forward to a new arrival. 

In addition to that, his friends are also having significant events. One turned 18 last week and others have been picking up there GCSE results. 

Amazing to think we have had these things happen in such a short period of time.

"Yeah, I've had an interesting week! On Tuesday, I was on exchanges with Elder Belnap (zone leader) and it was amazing! 
We had an appointment at 7 and we had asked for assistance from a less active so he could help with translation. We got to the house, and the person we were going to teach wasn't in! So we decided to knock on some doors for a few minutes, no success! Then the member thought it would be good to stop by someone he knew (his mum's friend). We knocked on the door, she opened it, spoke to him for a couple of minutes in Portuguese and we walked in! We taught her the restoration, with the member playing the key role of translating and bearing testimony. She felt the spirit in that lesson, and so did all of us! It was an amazing lesson! We will be seeing her again this week!"

Elder Reynolds highlighted some of the things he has learnt. 
I have learnt a lot so far! I have learnt that we are the noble and great ones and that if we focus on Christ, we can do anything!
I find it difficult to start conversations with people on the street. I can often find it hard to teach. But when I can, I love doing it! We have learnt that if there is a lot of opposition, something great is about to happen!

Monday, 10 August 2015

Month 1 finished

 Well a month has been and gone. Elder Reynolds has completed 1/24 of his mission already. Time really is flying. He sent a few photographs this week of his flat. As you can see, it is very simply decorated, very few possessions to talk about. Having seen a number of missionary flats, this one looks really nice. Quite anxious about the light carpet though. Unless his appetite has changed, luckily Elder Reynolds is not one for squash or any other drinks that could stain the carpet :)

He looks to have a very organised study area with a few home comforts (CD player and Speakers).

Elder Reynolds explained the meaning of the post-it notes on this door.

He said that it is 'the miracle door'. Whenever, they have an experience that they consider to be a miracle, they make a note of this on a post it note and put it on the door as a reminder to them of what had happened.
So, quick story! Elder Whitehead and I were asked to pray over which Former Investigators that could be baptised in the coming weeks. One of them was an 11 year old. Her dad is a Less Active of the church. So we sent him a text that literally said: Hey B. Does your daughter want to be baptised? So, yes, very bold, very upfront! To our disappointment he replied with a 'no' and a 'thanks anyways'. 

We then thought that a good idea would be to start English Lessons, as we are teaching quite a few Portugese people that don't speak English too well. So we asked B if he knew of anyone that could benefit from English Lessons. Which he replied with: yes, I know many people who would benefit, including myself (he is from South America)! So we arranged to meet up with him and further discuss the lessons. He has his own businesses and one is for welfare, so he is all about helping people! He knows factories of people who don't speak English too well! Also his own family would benefit, at the time of the discussion, his wife and her parents were there (they are from Portugal), so we had 4 "Students" already as B put it! Haha! B had already got in contact with the council about a building we could use, we just told him that we could do it at the Church! 

He then said that even though it is benefiting the people, it will benefit us as missionaries, as we will be able to teach those people English and also teach them about the Gospel if they were interested! As we were coming to the end of the little meeting, B asked that we would give his wife a blessing, to which we gladly accepted! We were told that she hadn't been feeling too well, so it was a blessing concerning her health. Elder Whitehead gave the blessing, and there were a few tears from the family. Then B explained that in the last week, they had found out that his wife had cancer in her kidney, so the fight against cancer had started for them. B fully understood the power of the Priesthood. He then finished off the visit by telling us that his daughter, was on Holiday with her mum and if she would wanted to be baptised then he wouldn't stop her!

 A View into the Life of a Missionary:

06.30 Arise, pray, exercise (30 minutes) and prepare for the day.

07.30 Breakfast

08.00 Personal study: the Book of Mormon, Other scriptures, missionary library and Preach My Gospel. Emphasise the doctrines of the missionary lessons.

09.00 Companion study: share what you have learned during personal study, prepare to teach, practice teaching, study chapters from Preach My Gospel and confirm plans for the day.

10.00 Begin proselyting

You may take an hour for lunch and Dinner at times during the day that fit best with your proselyting time. Normally dinner should be finished no later than 18.00.

21.00 Return to living quarters (unless teaching a lesson; then return by 21.30), and plan for the next day's activities (30 Minutes). Write in your journal, prepare for bed, pray.

10.30 Retire to bed.

A page from Elder Reynolds' diary indicating plans for the week as well as goals in relation to teaching and personal and companionship goals.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Week 3

Elder Reynolds has been in his first area for just over a week now.

He has been away from home for 25 days.

In this very brief time, his mum and I have often been asked what it is like having him away from home? In truth it is a mixture of different things ... of course we miss him! ... of course we are concerned for him! ... but we are also incredibly proud of him. As alluded to by President Preston in the last Blog [a mission] 'is just where we want our son or daughter to be'. 

To put it into a bit of perspective, both his mother and I served missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Both served in exotic climes ... I served in the England Leeds Mission from 1992-1994 and his mother served in the Scotland Edinburgh Mission from 1992-1993. We both had a variety of experiences. We experienced highs and lows, successes and failures. We encountered all the climates the respective areas could throw at us (I think Steph (Elder Reynolds' mum) had the lions share of that one). We met some amazing people (companions/members/investigators/general public) and gained some amazing memories. Some of these memories and experiences have gone on to shape the rest of our life. So was it easy? ... No! I was shot at, had beer thrown over me and stones thrown at me. Steph was in the home of a really 'friendly' Scotsman who stated that 'he wouldn't think twice to slitting an English woman's throat' (she was grateful for the American accent she had adopted at this point). Not including the doors shut in our faces, rude comments and other disappointments. Nevertheless, I wouldn't have changed it for the world. 

From a very young age we talk in particular to our young men in relation to going on a mission. The call to serve is extended but the young man or young woman then applies to go on a mission. before a mission call is received they have medical and dental examinations to complete in order to ensure that they are physically able to undertake the call. In addition they are interviewed by their local Bishop and Stake President in order to ensure that they are worthy to represent the beliefs they are going to share and adequately mature enough to deal with the task in hand.

So, with all that in mind, here are some excerpts from his email home this week:

To the left is a photo of a Mexican wrap he had managed to cook from scratch. He was taught how to make these by his mum before he left for his mission. Mexican (in particular Mexican made by his mum) was his favourite food whilst at home

I've been very busy! Me and Elder Whitehead sorted through 70+ Potential Investigators, which was fun! We are hoping to have 2 baptisms by the end of this week! They are people that have been taught in the past and we are hoping to re-invigorate their love of the Gospel this week! We have been trying to talk to as many people as we can, on the streets, on buses and trains! I find it easier to talk to people on the bus and train, so needing to improve on talking to people on the streets! Haha! Also when knocking doors is interesting, Elder Whitehead does it best!

At church with it being the first Fast &Testimony meeting away from home, I was thinking about Ashton 1 quite a bit and all the amazing friends that I have back home! Just to let you know that my love for Ashton 1 ward has grown since leaving! Haha! What an amazing ward! Testimony meeting at Epsom was amazing! Felt the spirit throughout the meeting! It was amazing!

Below are perhaps some of the feelings of a loving mother epitomised by her closing remarks in her email:

I'd better sign off now!  Take care and have a great week :)

Work hard and keep smiling - I love seeing your photo's, it's great to see you looking so happy :)
Love you tonnes!
Mum :D

Ps Don't forget to keep your shoes shiny!