Elder Reynolds Nametag

Elder Reynolds Nametag

Monday, August 15, 2016

And Now, After the Many Testimonies Which Have Been Given of Him...

First, the Statistical Report:

Total Companions: 16
Total Areas: 6
Total Zones: 5
Total Baptisms: 8
Total Lessons Taught: 584
Total New Investigators: 165
Total Estimated Street Conversations: 14,358
Hottest Temperature: 38 Celsius
Coldest Temperature: -20 Celsius
Starting Weight: 170 lbs.
Maximum Weight: 179 lbs.
Finishing Weight: 165 lbs.
Vehicles Owned and Operated: 10
Of those, Vehicles Nicer than Anything Else I'll Ever Own: 10
Pairs of Socks Ruined: 7
Poems Written: 27

Throughout this last transfer, I have sought to reflect upon and apply the endurance of Christ in His final week of His life. Having discussed my goals and plans with President Burt in my final interview on Saturday, I have found these last few days harder than ever before to keep focused and motivated. However, I now reflect upon Christ's agony on the cross. He had no time left for parables or sermons; prophecies had been fulfilled, the sacrament was instituted, Gethsemane was conquered. As the Son of God, He had complete control over His death. Why did He hang on the cross for three cruel hours?

He gave his all and suffered to the very end. He fulfilled every jot and tittle of His purpose. Today is P-Day, so I only have 3 hours of proselyting remaining. I will complete the work I am given.

I suppose there are many that will count these two years as a small matter. My mission will not be recorded in a text book or spoken of in any international broadcasts. My work may not be looked upon as anything special. But it is mine, and it means more to me than all the education and riches of the world. I know that my work has been accepted and is written in the books of heaven. I'm afraid that no tongue may speak nor keyboard type all that I have experienced and learned. I pray that in a coming day, my work may again be viewed by celestial eyes; until that day, I pray that how I live when I'm released may reflect upon how I served.

"And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!" (Doctrine and Covenants 76:22)

-Elder Shane D. Reynolds

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

"My work is only beginning."

"The nearer I approach the end, the plainer I hear around me the immortal symphonies of the worlds which invite me... For half a century I have been writing my thoughts in prose and verse; history... I have tried it all. But I feel I have not said a thousandth part of what is in me. When I go down to the grave, I can say, like so many others, "I have finished my day's work," but I can not say "I have finished my life." My day's work will begin again the next morning. The tomb is not a blind alley; it is a thoroughfare... My work is only beginning."

-Victor Hugo, as quoted in Tad R. Callister, Our Identity and Our Destiny

Just like Victor Hugo, I can't say that the things that I have written have summarized a thousandth part of the things that I have experienced and will yet experience in this coming week. I have faith in and a testimony of Jesus Christ as the Savior, and I trust in His promise that "I am with you alway."

ALSO our mission is going to begin a Book of Mormon challenge! From August 14th to December 25th, our goal is to do a complete read through the entire book! That's about 4 pages a day. You can do it! Will you take the challenge?

Elder Reynolds

Elder Asi

Elder Meline, my Companion-In-Law!

The District

Elder Frye, Elder Nielsen, Elder Walker; The Zone Leaders I Trained

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Third Verse

I'm trying to be like Jesus;
I'm following in His ways.
I'm trying to love as He did, in all that I do and say.
At times I am tempted to make a wrong choice,
But I try to listen as the still small voice whispers,
"Love one another as Jesus loves you.
Try to show kindness in all that you do.
Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought,
For these are the things Jesus taught."

I'm trying to love my neighbor;
I'm learning to serve my friends.
I watch for the day of gladness when Jesus will come again.
I try to remember the lessons He taught.
Then the Holy Spirit enters into my thoughts, saying:
"Love one another as Jesus loves you.
Try to show kindness in all that you do.
Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought,
For these are the things Jesus taught."

I'm trying to serve my Savior.
I'm sharing His gospel true.
I'm seeking the friends and family that once before life I knew.
And when I return and I take off my tag,
May I ever cherish the Canadian flag, singing:
Love, serve, obey wherever you may be.
Try to always be a missionary.
Remember Vancouver, your work to convert
With President and Sister Burt.

The first two verses were written by Janice Kapp Perry, and remains one of the most cherished children's songs in the church. The third verse I wrote this week. I was asked to coordinate the musical number for the departing missionary meeting, so I wrote this for the departing missionaries.

I've decided to pattern my final days as a missionary off of the final days of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was a missionary that was never homesick. He never allowed His work to be hindered by thoughts of the end. At the same time, He never tried to hide how much time He had left. He never tried to deny that His end was soon, nor did He ever feel awkward when talking about the little time He had left. He went about His Father's business until the very end. I find that to be a very fitting example to try to follow.

-Elder Reynolds

Pokemon GOne Too Far

When you live in Metrotown and you need a water Pokemon, there's only one place to go.

All of those people are playing Pokemon Go, believe it or not. And that pond is always busy! This is in downtown Burnaby, known as Metrotown.


I had planned to devote a large chunk of time to update you all on the great week that we've enjoyed in our service in the Canada Vancouver Mission!

Then I got a phone call from President Burt that we need to drive to the mission office to get a temple recommend interview. So... I must be brief.

This week, we drove up to the North Shore and West Vancouver. The missionaries have been taken out of the North Shore ward this transfer, so Elder Frye and I are covering that ward as well. West Vancouver is said to be the most expensive place in the world to live. Let me just say, I believe it! But there are some wonderful people that live there!

This week, we are closing two old apartments and opening two new apartments for future missionaries. That said, I have gained a firm testimony that when the Lord requires us to administer to temporal matters, He blesses us in our spiritual ministering.

-Elder Reynolds

Monday, July 18, 2016

GO Outside

I would like to take a second to personally thank the creators of the new game, Pokemon Go. I don't know much about it, but it seems to be a smartphone app game that connects to GPS. The game requires players to walk around outside to different locations throughout their community in order to achieve some desired result. This means that a lot more people are outside! We've met several people this week simply because they were playing Pokemon Go.

Lots of driving this week as transfers have come and gone! Lots of travelling, meeting new missionaries, and several stops at the mission office.

Sorry to keep it short, but there's still much to do! Spend some extra time outside this week!

-Elder Reynolds

An Elder of Two Cities

The transfer call has come and gone! Elder Ushio has been assigned to serve in Vancouver, and Elder Walker has been called to serve in the promised land of Prince George! I will be here in Burnaby for this final transfer, and my new companion will be Elder Frye! Elder Frye is from Las Vegas, and we served for two transfers in the same ward when I was in Surrey. This certainly going to be a busy and exciting transfer.

This past week, we were blessed with the opportunity to drive to Richmond and meet with President Burt and other phenomenal missionaries for our Council meeting, where we learned a lot about ministering, leadership, and of course missionary work. We then were able to relay that same Spirit and information to the Vancouver and Burnaby zones in a combined zone meeting. We also had a great meeting with the Vancouver Stake President as we align our efforts with his.

We've had some very powerful lessons this week. One that stands out was with a man named Shawn; he is originally from Iran, and he is extremely eager to learn more about the church! He has agreed to baptism in August, and we will be meeting with the rest of his family this week.

-Elder Reynolds

Wildfire in Delta

(no homes affected, just swamp land)

Elder Ushio and mission car

Home of the Brave, eh?

God keep our land
Glorious and free,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!

I am ashamed to say it, but I do not remember much else of the Canadian national anthem, "O Canada." On July 1st, we had the opportunity to attend a church BBQ in commemoration of Canada Day, and I was more than happy to help with the grilling. The turnout was great, and the weather was perfect.

The patriotic culture is different in Canada; the people here love their country, but it doesn't appear to be as die-hard as we are raised in America. I do not think there is a pledge of allegiance, and there aren't any patriotic songs that top the music charts. But here I am blasting the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's "Spirit of America" album out the window! I've often considered myself an American patriot, but serving in Canada has really brought out my American side.


That said, however, I've also never felt so patriotic to the cause of my God, who inspired these great nations! Missionary work is not easy, nor was it ever intended to be. But it is extremely fulfilling; I've never had so much fun working.


-Elder Reynolds

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

One Eternal Round

As much as I've loved setting time aside each week for creative writing and expression, I'm afraid I'll likely have to take a hiatus, at least for the next several weeks. Some events have occurred this week that will further remove any spare time I've seemed to scavenge.

Due to a medical emergency, one of our beloved Elders had to return home for surgery. He will return to the mission after a brief recovery, but for the remainder of the transfer my companion Elder Walker has been assigned to serve with this Elder's companion. This leaves Elder Ushio and I alone in Burnaby. It has been a lot of fun and a great opportunity, but it is not without its challenges. Elder Ushio is a very hard worker, but he is still learning English, so I've had to be a lot more thoughtful about the tasks that I delegate for the area. This also means that any business regarding the zone falls on me, because I cannot delegate to Elder Walker anymore. Between area book, phone calls, planning, and other important tasks, time has become an extremely rare possession.

Be aware that in no way am I begrudging my situation; just the opposite! God does not intend for me to coast through the rest of my mission, which I am grateful for. Being kept busier than ever is a great opportunity for repentance and growth. And I've enjoyed English study with Elder Ushio, because we get to roleplay and further hone our unity and teaching ability.

Looking back over all that has transpired these last few months, I cannot say that I have lived a perfect mission. But I can say that I have lived a repentant mission, and with that I can press forward without regrets.

We were blessed to attend zone conference this week with our beloved mission president and mission mom. I was reunited there with Elder Driscoll, my first companion in Prince George, and Elder Asi, my companion in the Surrey 1st Ward. There were also other Elders and Sisters there who I've known in previous zones, which gave for happy reunion. This Sunday, our sacrament meeting was attended by a great couple living in the Delta Ward and a woman living in the Salmon Arm ward! Many familiar faces this week, and of course many new faces that we get to meet every week.

Also, Canada Post is supposedly going on strike. I started my mission with a national teacher strike, and now the postal workers strike at the end of my mission! Surely the scriptures speak true when they say that God's course is one eternal round.

"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city." (Hebrews 11:13-16)

Or, in other words, "You can have what you want, or you can have something better."

-Elder Reynolds

The Young Geologist

There once was a young geologist who decided to become better acquainted with the creative arts. He took a stroll into a prominent art museum, where he discovered paintings and sculptures and in wide variety of styles, each portraying its own message to the observer. The geologist was pleasantly impressed with the artwork, but only upon entering the central foyer was he truly astonished. The centerpiece of the foyer was a large marble statue, masterfully carved into the shape of a fearsome warrior; being a man who based his trade in the study of earth, he was taken aback! He marveled at the statue's luster, its durability, its power. Surely, he thought, such a creation could not be possible with natural stone alone. The geologist was so bewildered, he determined to use his expertise to unlock the secret of the marble statue.

The geologist quickly acquired a slab of marble and shipped it to his laboratory, where he began to run the marble through a series of tests. With the most complicated instruments he knew, the geologist tested the marble for its density, brittleness, and chemical compounds. He contemplated acidic formulas to erode the marble into different shapes, subjected the marble to intense pressure and open conflagration, and even experimented with expertly angled radiation waves. Despite the geologist's advanced and scholarly efforts, he could not change the molecular composition of the marble to fit the form of the warrior that had so dazzled him before.

The young geologist hung his head low as he entered again into the museum. He stared into the fierce white eyes of the marble warrior, as if to open the windows of the marble's soul. Unsuccessful, discouraged, the man turned with a heavy sigh toward the blaring exit sign. He was stopped when a worn and weary hand landed upon his shoulder, and the geologist turned to look into the face of a tired marble craftsman. The young doctor surrendered dignity and buried his teary face in his hands. The sculptor led him to a nearby bench and patiently waited to speak.

When the geologist had silenced himself, the sculptor cleared his throat. "The beauty of marble," he began, "is not what man creates. To try and change the marble will only deface its strength. The role of a craftsman, then, is to see what nobody else can, and to reveal his vision to the world through with each patient, gentle chisel. The warrior before you was not created; he was found."

Throughout my mission, I've felt it my goal to return home as a completely different person; but this week I've come to learn that I should not try to change who I am at my core. Instead, it should be each of our goal to chisel away at anything that holds us back from being like the Savior. Eventually, we will come to find the divine potential contained within us, potential which only our Father in Heaven can see.

I know it's not a poem, but it's still original, so it counts. :)

-Elder Reynolds

Father's Day

"O my Father, thou that dwellest
In the high and glorious place,
When shall I regain thy presence
And again behold thy face?

In thy holy habitation,
Did my spirit once reside?
In my first primeval childhood
Was I nurtured near thy side?

For a wise and glorious purpose
Thou hast placed me here on earth
And withheld the recollection
Of my former friends and birth;

Yet oftimes a secret something
Whispered, 'You're a stranger here,'
And I felt that I had wandered
From a more exalted sphere."

-Eliza R. Snow

So, again, not an original piece. It's actually a really good hymn that I felt applicable for the upcoming Father's Day. I know I keep saying I'll send something original, but it's just been really difficult to find time to write. If I ever find time to write, it usually means there is something more productive that I could be doing!

Our apartment went through some renovations this week, so we had to use an old Elders' apartment; it hasn't been used in a while, but we still had the keys, so we used it as our back-up. Needless to say, I got to chase my first mouse!

Gotta go!

-Elder Reynolds

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

"I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here!"‏

Only got a few minutes today because there's a few extra things that need to be done. Our basement suite is undergoing some renovation, so it's been a bit of a different P-Day.

Life in Burnaby, the big city! Well, not THE big city; that's Vancouver. But Burnaby is the city right next door to Vancouver, and it's almost as big. Not to mention that we have the Metrotown Mall, the second largest mall in Canada!

Elder Walker and Elder Ushio have been a real treat to be companions with. Elder Ushio is from Japan, and he is so cool! His English is also coming along very well. Elder Walker comes from the sweet peaceful valleys of Lehi, Utah.

Love y'all!

On the Road Again!‏

"Come, come ye saints, no toil nor labor fear
But with joy wend your way
Though hard to you this journey may appear
Grace shall be as your day
'Tis better far for us to strive
Our useless cares from us to drive
Do this and joy your hearts will swell
All is well! All is well!"

The first verse of perhaps my favorite hymn. If I have trouble sleeping, I just think through the lyrics of the hymn and I'm asleep before the end of the final verse. When times get rough, a quick hum of a verse can get me through any day.

This week is transfer week. I'll be hopping on a plane tomorrow morning to get to a city named Burnaby, a large city across the river from Surrey. We have to pack, clean, and make travel plans for the zone. Next week, I'll update on the new area, new zone, and new companions!

-Elder Reynolds

At the Driving Range


I can't wait for Sunday nightIt makes me want to sing!
At 9 o'clock,
The planners come out,
The telephone rings,
What is it about?
It's time to account!

That was just a little children's song I threw together. Each Sunday night, we call our mission leaders to report our results for the week. It's an activity that I've been doing for some time now, so it was about time to pay a tribute to our Sunday nights.

What a week it has been! With Victoria Day this past weekend, there have been a lot of vacationers out in the local lakes. We've felt to dedicate some of our efforts more toward the outlying areas of Prince George. We've met a lot of people out in the middle of nowhere, many people that have never met missionaries. The people out there work on what we call "Caribou Time." That is, they don't have anything to do, so some people are willing to just sit down with you for hours. We can't spend hours per person, so we've been working to balance talking with as many people as possible and spending quality time with each person we meet.

On one of these old roads in an area we call "The Sticks," we meet a pretty friendly grizzly bear. Fortunately we were protected by our furry security guards; in the Sticks, everybody owns a dog, and nobody keeps them on a leash. So as we tracted, we would befriend these guard dogs so that we could meet the people there. Well, some dogs liked us too much, and by the end of it we had a posse of 5 large dogs following us. There was no fear of bears that day!

A picture of some of the dogs:

-Elder Reynolds

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Mother's Day Weekend‏

My dear mother, I must apologize.
I've not been keeping all of your advice.
I've talked to some strangers
Stayed up past eight,
Had sleepovers with friends
And never once had a date
The mission has a way of changing me
From everything that you raised me to be. :)

Sort of a tongue-in-cheek tribute to my mom, in response to the past Mother's Day.

This week we flew down to Richmond for a big missionary meeting. On the flight down, we were blessed to have the sassiest flight attendant I've ever met. It kept the flight interesting. The meeting itself was fantastic, and President Burt asked me to conduct the Accounting Session; it's a 20-minute portion in the meeting when each zone leader and sister training leader stands up to account for the work of their zone in the previous month. It was very humbling to stand before such wonderful missionaries to lead discussion on their work, offering praise where possible and correction when necessary.

This week, we will be preparing for zone meeting, which is always a great but busy endeavor. We need to convey not only the information that President Burt has given us, but also the great love and Spirit that he brings to each of the missionaries.

I'll let you know how it goes!

-Elder Reynolds

View from Teapot Mountai
Click for Options

From the Drive to Richmond‏

Click for Options


What are the odds
Out of trillions of stars
So very far,
We found the Sun?

What are the odds
That millions of codes
Lined up and showed
The poems that I've begun?

What are the odds
That among the whole Earth
The place of your birth
Was planned by someone?

What are the odds
And what are the chances
Of all circumstances
These things have been done?

What if I said
That there was a plan
For each woman and man
With a prize to be won?

What if part of that plan
Was to find rest
From Hell's evil test
Through the Holy Son?

What are the odds
Out of trillions of souls
With individual roles,
That He will forsake none?

No matter the odds,
The scriptures ring clear
To each ear that will hear:
God loves us, every one.

Welcome into the month of May! There's the poem, just as promised from last week!

This past week we made the drive out to Burns Lake for exchanges (about 3 hour drive), then had our very first Skype District Meeting. We will likely be doing more of those from now on, which is exciting! On the way back from Burns Lake, we had to stop in Vanderhoof to clear out an apartment that will no longer be used by missionaries. When we made it back to Prince George, we took my first trip to the dump; there's a special feeling with carelessly chucking large furniture into a large metal bin.

To relate a brief spiritual experience this week, we received a phone call from a less-active member who told us that his brother was in the hospice and about to pass away. Apparently it seemed that the brother had been fighting his passing for about a week, though the family and doctors were certain that he should have already died. We were asked to go and pray with the brother and his family.

We received another phone call that evening, and we were told that the brother had passed away just a few hours after our visit and prayer. It was wonderful to help this man at least feel comforted in his progression through the Plan of Salvation.

Until next week!


Another Transfer, Another Tripanionship‏

So... I had a poem this week, I promise. But I left it at the apartment today. Now I know that's one of the most common excuses not to turn in your homework, but I mean it this time.

Transfers have, as they've always done, come and gone! I remain here with my companions Elder Nielsen and Elder Dunn in beautiful Prince George.Elder Nielsen is from Logan, Utah, and Elder Dunn is from Ogden, Utah. It's been a while since I've had a Utah companion, so I get to catch up now by having 2.

Today, we went with the Elders in the other ward on a hike up to Teapot Mountain, which is officially the furthest north I've ever been. That's up on the 54th parallel (latitude). For reference, my church in Houston, Texas is on the 30th. Bad news is, I don't have the pictures with me...

Other bad news is we got back into town late, so we're running behind today, so gotta go! Expect pictures and poems next week!

-Elder Reynolds

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Three Nechakites‏

Making travel plans

No poem time on P-Day

Enjoy a haiku

As the above haiku states, transfers are upon us this week, and we are again given the charge to oversee the travel plans for the zone. We have a good chunk of our zone that has changed this month, so we got a lot to do! (Mom note: He will be staying in Prince George, and will be getting two new companions.)

In the meantime, here's a picture of the temple from our last trip to Richmond.

Elder Reynolds

"Romance with a Clock"

"Romance with a Clock"

Your beautiful face fills me with sorrow
As a constant reminder of a certain tomorrow.
You've no piece for passion, no capacity for care,
But your captivating face catches my stare.
Oh, that I had the key to your gears
To fully understand our time these 2 years.
Some say you heal wounds, others you harm,
Yet I'd love nothing more than you on my arm.
I wish that I could take your hand
To hold you still and make time stand.
Despite my plea, you've never lost a second,
Nor did you hasten whenever I beckoned.
And so my dear clock, my diligent friend,
Please don't remind me when all this will end.

I promised an original poem this week, and I was able to find time as we drove 9 hours to Richmond and 9 hours back! I feel that this piece pretty accurately describes my thoughts this week. Haha just make time stop!

It has been a very inspiring week. The 3 of us were asked to speak in sacrament fairly last second, but we were each able to put our talks together in about an hour. The topics primarily focused on the unity between missionary, family history, and temple work. It is all the same great and redemptive work!

Time is a little short today, as it sadly always seems to be. Suffice it to say that we will be preparing for our zone meeting this Friday, and on Saturday night we will receive a life-changing phone call... That's right, transfer calls! We'll see if we've got another month or so here in beautiful Prince George!

-Elder Reynolds

Come, listen to a Prophet's voice

"Come, listen to a Prophet's voice
And hear the word of God,
And in the way of truth rejoice
And sing for joy aloud.
We've found the way the prophets went
Who lived in days of yore.
Another prophet now is sent,
This knowledge to restore."
-Joseph S. Murdock

So... again, not an original poem. Today, we had to drive out to a small town called Vanderhoof to pack up a missionary apartment, and by the time we got back to Prince George we only had about 3 hours left for P-Day, and 2 of those hours are spent typing on a computer screen. So time for writing was very slim this week.

As many of you are aware, we had the privilege to attend General Conference this week; it was exhilarating, to say the least. I still need some time to digest the beautiful testimonies that were given, but I left each session with a desire to repent and become a better person. And of course, the angelic Mormon Tabernacle Choir did not cease to amaze. It is said that the Aaronic Priesthood holds "the keys to the ministering of angels," but I am convinced that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is a collection of angels that minister with their music.

We also had several unique opportunities this week to teach and testify of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Not only that, but we also had several opportunities to render service to others, including three independent service activities where we split wood with axes. It was a lot more enjoyable than you might think! It's just so satisfying to get a clean split in one swift strike.

As I have studied this week of the powerful witnesses born by Apostles like Peter and Paul, and as we've now been able to hear from the men that I sustain as Latter-Day prophets and apostles, I've thought about what it really means when somebody says they "bear their testimony."

To "bear" can be defined as "to support the burden of." When I speak of "bearing testimony," I recognize the burden that comes from having a testimony. The burden of all who have received a spiritual witness and a testimony of this gospel is the responsibility of sharing it with others. When I bear my testimony, I share my belief in fulfillment of my duty to share my belief. That is the difference between bearing testimony and testifying.

That said, I bear my testimony of the truthfulness of the restored gospel. I have received far too many witness from the Holy Spirit of God that the labor that I perform is the same labor of the Saints of old, and there is nothing that I would rather be doing. I bear the witness that I have received of the Book of Mormon, and as a result, the witness that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the Lord's kingdom once again established on the Earth, prepatory to the Second Coming of the Messiah. I bear testimony that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, the Lamb prepared from the foundation of the world. This is His work.

"The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear; till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done."

This I know of myself, independent of any other.

Until next week,
Elder Reynolds

Sunday, April 3, 2016



"Jesus climbed the hill to the garden still,
His steps were heavy and slow.
Love and a prayer took Him there
To the place only He could go.
Gethsemane. Jesus loves me.
So He went willingly to Gethsemane.

He felt all that was sad, wicked, or bad,
All the pain we would ever know.
While His friends were asleep, He fought to keep
His promise made long ago.
Gethsemane. Jesus loves me.
So he went willingly to Gethsemane.

The hardest thing that ever was done,
The greatest pain that ever was known,
The biggest battle that ever was won,
This was done by Jesus!
The fight was won by Jesus!

Gethsemane. Jesus loves me.
So He gave His gift to me
In Gethsemane.
Gethsemane. Jesus loves me.
So He gives His gift to me
From Gethsemane."

-Melanie Hoffman

This is a beautiful song that was given to me yesterday, and I feel that it summarizes this Easter weekend better than I could.

Here in Canada, we celebrate Easter Monday! It is, obviously, the Monday immediately following Easter Sunday. I'm pretty sure it's just another way to take a day off of work, but that meant that it was a great day to meet new people and find them while they were at home!

We also went on exchanges with the Elders out in Burns Lake. Burns Lake is a quaint village about 2.5 hours away from Prince George.

This upcoming weekend is General Conference!!! I may just be making assumptions here, but there's not really anything better you can do this weekend!

Love you all! Lots to do!

-Elder Reynolds

Monday, March 14, 2016

Pi Day

Pulled off the field,
Laid down to rest.
Work is honored,
Obedience is blessed.

This has been a very busy week, lots of ups and downs, but ultimately ending the week higher than when I started. We went on two exchanges this week, and we had an 8 hour zone conference (which, by the way, was phenomenal).

This past Friday, on my parents' 21 anniversary, I was caught sick! I say caught because Thursday night, I received a call from Sister Burt (she had known previously that I was sick), and she asked that I stay home to rest the following day. I'd never received such a call before, and I tried to play off the sickness with some humor, but Sister Burt saw right through it and wasn't going to let me off the hook. So Friday, I had to rest. That was a tough pill to swallow. 

I had to learn humility. As much as I wanted to fight it, to disobey, I had to humbly accept it. While stuck at home, I was determined to study, to learn, to minister to other missionaries, to work the area book, to clean the apartment, to write in the journal. I did not get very far into my to-do list before the Spirit told me that I just needed to sleep. The most productive thing that I could do was rest and obey my mission leaders. Not being able to work on Friday also showed to me how much I really wanted to work; I no longer worry about whether or not I have enough conviction. I just want to go out and get it done.

For the past 7 weeks, I've been riding around in a Chevy Silverado; this week, our Silverado was transferred to a small city named Vanderhoof. We now have a 2016 Nissan Rogue. Needless to say, President Burt has made very clear the time and attention we need to give to the new vehicle.

Until next week!

Elder Reynolds

The Spirit of Elijah

"I have to live with myself and so,
I want to be fit for myself to know
I want to be able as days go by
Always to look myself straight in the eye.
I don't want to stand with the setting sun,
And hate myself for the things I've done.

I don't want to keep on a closet shelf
A lot of secrets about myself,
And fool myself as I come and go
Into thinking that nobody else will know
The kind of person I really am.
I don't want to dress up myself in sham.

I want to go out with my head erect.
I want to deserve all men's respect.
But here in my struggle for fame and pelf,
I want to be able to like myself.
I don't want to look at myself and know
That I'm bluster and bluff and empty show.

I can never hide myself from me
I see what others may never see.
I know what others may never know
I never can fool myself, and so
Whatever happens I want to be
Self-respecting and conscious-free."

-Edgar A. Guest

Perhaps not an original poem this week, but it is one of Elder Whitley's favourites.

The Spirit of Elijah has seems to have descended in Prince George! Elder Whitley and I have felt that we should try to integrate family history more into our finding opportunities and in our teaching appointments with members, and we've been seeing a lot of success! Shortly after our shift in finding, we received a lesson in church about family history and how to search for records. Then Bishop announced that ward council this week will be focused on how to more effectively use the family history centre. Today, we just watched the new Easter video that the church will release next week, and the end of it has a bit of a family history shout-out.

Clearly, we need to keep the momentum going here.

This week, we have zone conference, as well as two exchanges with different companionships. I'm anticipating each of these events to be highly nature-changing. Don't be surprised if I have to change my name next week!

Do some family history this week! There's no reason not to! Familysearch.org. It's all free.


-Elder Reynolds

James 2:26

"The tumult and the shouting dies;
The captains and the kings depart.
Still stands thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget, lest we forget."
-Rudyard Kipling

Transfers have come and gone! I will be staying up here in Nechako for another transfer, though Elder Driscoll is going down to Vancouver. I will be joined by Elder Whitley! This is surely going to be a transfer to remember! We have zone conference coming up the second week in March, and General Conference to close the transfer.

The Sister missionaries that I started my mission with have all gone home. It's a sobering thought, and is a reflection of the brief time which I've yet to spend in the Canada Vancouver mission.

Arold and Erica, who were baptized last week, are the children of Mark and Jackie, who were baptized just three months ago! They've been just a pleasure to work with; it's so much fun to be with them all, and Jackie is a great cook, so we get fed every lesson!

This week, I've thought a lot about James 2:26- "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." Faith is compared to a body, and works are compared to a spirit. The body, without being filled with a soul, is lifeless. But what of the reverse?

Our spirits came to earth so that we could learn and progress. God wants us to learn from this mortal experience. If we weren't given this opportunity, our progression would have reached an eventual end and would have been halted. A halt in progression is sometimes referred to as damnation in the scriptures.

Thus, as the spirit without the body is damned, so works without faith are damned also. That is to say, if we work without faith, our work will not progress, and only in progression comes true and abiding joy.

That's just the doctrine of Elder Reynolds though.

Happy Leap Day!

-Elder Reynolds

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Arold and Erica‏

The Desert, part 7)

Then lo, how foreign a sound that engulfs the valley and rings in my ear,
'Tis the echo of rolling thunder; I can't help but shed a joyous tear.
But wait! That is not a tear that streams down my face;
The sky has let forth raindrops as welcome as heaven's embrace.

O, how joy fills the wilderness as we lift our voices in song!
Though once lost in a desert, we now happily usher our paradise along.
The oasis for which I desperately sought begins to appear
As the sand slides away and a garden springs up; has this always been here?

Perhaps, I then begin to wonder, we do not simply arrive at paradise;
It surrounds us while we lift our fellow's burdens, do service, and sometimes just be nice.
Confirming my thoughts, the heavenly voice speaks the moral unfurled:
"Your journey's not to reach an end; your journey is to change the world."
(The End)

Monday, February 15, 2016


(The Desert, part 6)

One of the strangers pulls out his pack and discovers bread for us four.
Thus we break bread, and just as we do, another cloud starts to soar.
Despite the empty wilderness, we keep meeting more and our party is starting to grow,
And so it was that for each new stranger we feed, a new cloud would suddenly show.
Soon the sky is filled with clouds foreboding and grey
But not one soul amidst the multitude can call it a sorrowful day,
For each new cloud brings comfort to echo the joy of a stranger's "Hosanna,"
Each act of rescue is witnessed from heaven, from whence comes the manna.
(Part 7, the conclusion, next week)

This week has been crazy! Exchanges, zone meeting, exchanges, regional broadcasts, and there was a recent baptism in the ward!

So, by the time I got to typing this up, I only had several minutes. To compensate for my short writing, here's a picture!

Throughout Prince George, there are statures of bears, and each one is painted in a Native-American style. This particular one is called "When the Spider Journeyed with the Spirit Bear," though I think it is better rendered as "Spider-Bear." Elder Driscoll is there for scale.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

John 11:35‏

(The Desert, part 5)
I pull the man back on his feet and wipe the sweat off my brow
Then turn my gaze heavenward and ask "What do we do now?"
I'm answered by a call from a pair of strangers in the distance;
My companion and I work toward them with renewed persistence.
By and by, we reach them, an odd group, the four of us.
United in our loneliness in a situation treacherous.
(Part 6 next week)

The goal is to finish the story within the next 3 weeks. Stay tuned!

What a fantastic week it has been in the service of my God! Due to time constraints, I relate only the most important highlights.

This past Friday, Elder Driscoll and I were privileged to attend MLC (Mission Leadership Council), where we received training from President and Sister Burt regarding the work in our mission. It was a blessing to again see Elder Kelly and Elder Asi, but the highlight of the meeting was undoubtedly the Spirit that we felt confirm to us that the things we discussed were inspired. There's a lot of changes that are coming to the mission, and we feel the pressure to convey all of these things to the Prince George zone this upcoming Friday in zone meeting. The Spirit that we felt in MLC can be second only to the Spirit of the temple, and I am not ashamed to say that I wept often in that meeting.

Later, Elder Driscoll and I were sitting at the airport terminal waiting for our plane to arrive. I got up to get a snack from the vending machine and silently prayed for a chance to share the gospel. As I purchased my snack, I heard a man behind me say the word "genealogy." It turns out there were two men talking about family history, so I turned around and walked up to them and asked "Are you talking about genealogy?" One of the men said "Yes we are! What's your interest in genealogy?" I sat with them, and we had a very pleasant chat about family history and why it's important in our church. At the end of the conversation, I gave one of the men a mormon.org card with "familysearch.org" written on the back. It's amazing how prayers to share the gospel are answered!

The long nights of travel and strong Spirit of this weekend left our bodies pretty drained, but on Saturday we exchanged with the some other Elders. I've gained a stronger testimony of the importance of exchanges, because I could literally feel the Lord giving me the strength and energy to work enthusiastically and diligently on the exchange; I could feel that the Lord needed this to be a nature-changing exchange. We worked hard as we parked our car; we talked with everybody, jogged down the streets to catch our appointments, and kept without our comfort zone. Throughout the exchange, the Elder I was with expressed to me his desire to increase his optimism and develop more Christ-like humility. As we discussed more during our exchange review, he opened up more and said he just has a lot of questions about what his place is and developing more self-esteem. I could feel the Spirit guide my words as I invited us to kneel together and have him pray to know if he was a son of God. So we knelt, and his prayer was filled with sincerity, intent, and faith, and the room was filled with such a strong Spirit, that I could not help but shed a tear. He had a testimony that God was his Father, but I witnessed his first steps of his conversion in knowing his identity.

Happy Birthday to my old man, who celebrates his birthday on February 12th! One year older and wiser too. Well... maybe just one year older.

-Elder Reynolds

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

February Fluff

(The Desert, part 4)
Defiant, but fearing the consequence which rebellion would bring me soon,
I clutch my burden and push towards him, my feet dragging against the dry desert dunes.
O, so unfortunate the circumstance that has brought to me a humble companion,
Two men entrenched in sand, hopeless and alone in this wide, arid canyon.
Despite my stomach's incessant cry, I give to the man my meager food,
And though it is not much, the service seems to have lightened the mood.
The man points his feeble finger at the sky and mutters something aloud;
His speech is lowly and weak, but with concerted effort he says the word "cloud."
My eyes follow his point to find that which now shades us from the sun above,
A lonely cloud in sky protects us, I know it must be the sign of Somebody's love.
(Part 5 next week)

It has now been a fun-filled week in the land of the North. We've had a bit more snow in the past few days, so we begin the month of February with some powdery pavement and fluffy roads.

Elder Driscoll, my companion, has been on his mission for about 18 months now. He's from a small town (population 3000) in the northwest panhandle of Florida, and he's just about as Southern as they come. He is also a great example of somebody that can recognize and follow the subtle promptings of the Spirit, and I've been able to learn much from him in the short week or so that I've been here.

We are currently working with a wonderful and diverse family. The husband, Mark, is First Nations; his wife, Jackie, is from the Philippines. Mark and Jackie were baptized into the church on Christmas Eve 2015. Mark and Jackie have 4 children, and two of them are working toward baptism near the end of February. Their first language is Tagalog, so the teaching hasn't been easy. However, I now know the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Tagalog, so I suppose it is a learning experience for each of us.

The Nechako ward is filled with some great members, and I'm hoping to stay here for a bit of time. It's pretty small for a ward, and we don't have a ward mission leader, but the Bishop is working hard to make up for the callings that have yet to be filled. This Bishop is also a mortgage broker and a pig farmer. We pray for him often.

-Elder Reynolds

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Capitol of the North‏

Capitol of the No

(The Desert, part 3)

Now curious, I battle exhaustion and lift the burden back up,
And inside it I notice a morsel of bread and a small water cup.
At last, there's relief for my insatiable hunger and unquenchable thirst,
When suddenly another voice penetrates dry air, different from the first.
It came not from the sky, nor was it my cry earlier today,
But it came from another solitary stranger who'd collapsed along his way.
Still frenzied with hunger, I thank the heavens for providing meat with my meal.
I am answered with a sharp rebuke, and hear from the sky, "You've a soul to heal."
(Part 4 next week!)

I apologize that progress has been slow on this poem. It's turning out to be a lot longer than I thought it would be, and the travelling this week made it difficult to find time to write any further.
Well, it has been nearly a week since I've been in Prince George. It's not too big of a city, though I don't suppose I've seen very much of it thus far. I can honestly say that I've never seen so much snow in my life. The locals find that statement to be pretty funny, because they say it's been abnormally warm for this time of year. Now, "abnormally warm" is a pretty relative term, because we've been sitting below freezing for quite some time now.

I'm up here with Elder Driscoll, who hails from a small town in the panhandle of Florida. So I guess somebody thought it would be funny idea to send up the southerners to the North. The South will rise again! To break in our southern reign, we decided to try a restaurant here named "Woody's Real Southern BBQ."

I also received a warm welcome from a wonderful, recently converted family. This family is from the Philippines, and they decided to treat us to a bit of a Filipino delicacy called balot. It's basically a boiled egg with a partially developed duck inside. It was actually pretty good. I'd recommend it.
We've also gotten into the habit of waving to every car and person that drives by, which is very helpful in smaller areas because people will remember you. Last night, we waved at a woman, and she stopped her truck to talk to us. After some discussion, she agreed to meet with missionaries! She lives in a small town named Vanderhoof, so we've passed on her information; miracles abound with simple waves!

-Elder Reynolds

Birthday Bowling


The Snow

Prince George Man!