Elder Reynolds Nametag

Elder Reynolds Nametag

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