Fredericksburg, VA, August 5th, 2013

Dear Parents (Mom and Dad/Dad and Mom),

I love that quote that you sent me. 

You ask what is happening to me and I will tell you. The Lord has blessed me with so many opportunities to grow. It is amazing. I was not too comfortable with talking on the phone and the Lord has blessed me with an opportunity to use the phone. To explain, there was a female recent convert that we had to teach and answer her questions, but we had a male (16 and above) member scheduled to come and he cancelled. (Missionaries like to have members present.) So, I had to use the phone (I was on exchanges with an Elder Braithwaite) and I was calling others at the last minute. Nobody could come. We got to the house of the recent convert and the member who cancelled on us called back at the last minute saying he could come. 

And there are so many opportunities of where I am growing. I am in the midst of writing in my journal about all of it and then sending a letter telling you my own personal conversion, but I am still stuck on the part of writing in my journal. Eventually, you will know. Also, what I have learned is that a conversion is not a checklist and that it is an ongoing process throughout life. 

Sounds like the blog is doing great. I am glad that it is providing opportunities to spread the gospel message. Service, which I am glad you two are doing, (his parents did some community service the night before for a children's garden and museum in a nearby town) is also another great opportunity. Before I got here, one of our potential investigators was found that way. Through service! It is amazing that what we do can help open doors to people to see the truth about us. We are a kind people who love to give service. 

I have been talking to Bria (his sister, in Utah) about her new friend. (His sister is currently dating a non-active duty marine who works at the same resort where she works. He is not a member of the church but is open to it.) I have been addressing things with her and I hope I can help her out through these weekly emails. It is amazing that she used a handgun (Her boyfriend taught her to shoot a Glock gen 4 .40 caliber handgun at a gun range.). Maybe someday I will watch the video of it.

So, this week has been amazing. We were tracting (knocking on doors) and we ran into this wonderful elderly lady. It was about 5:00 PM and we had no dinner plans. This lady feeds us dinner, which was wonderful, and dessert, which was even more wonderful! She listened to us and we will return to her house sometime this week with a member. 

Even more amazing, is this man who was found by a member. He has so many stories about how he helped the homeless. He accepted the baptismal invite, but we are going to wait a bit before we set up a date. He does not sleep much (he only sleeps for about 2 to 3 hours each night) and he was willing to read the Book of Mormon. Last time I checked, he was on Ether and I checked two days after we met with him. He was unable to go to church due to an unfortunate family event, but hopefully we will meet him soon. 

There was a really nice storm where there was lightning and torrents of rain. I got soaked, but before I went out into the storm, we were able to talk to a non-member. We talked to this non-member in his sun room and you could see the lake that he lived by. The other side of the lake soon disappeared and you saw some amazing lightning. 

Yesterday, I bore my testimony and that went well. I love bearing my testimony, because it helps me be a better speaker and it helps grow my own. Also, yesterday, I talked to an non-progressing investigator and he had a rude friend. His friend thought we were trying to force religion and force people to come to our church and all of this nonsense. All I could do was bear my testimony, which he called garbage and said I need to study other people's religions before I force others into ours. (Seth has written college papers on the churches of Christianity and Islam.) So, I said in my heart, "Let God judge between me and thee and reward thee according to thy deeds." It is all you can really do in that situation and I am not at all bothered by it. It is an opportunity to talk to others and bear testimony of the divinity of the work.

The same recent convert that I was talking about earlier, well, the day before she was telling us and the member that we were with a certain story that happened to her. All I will say is that she was a victim of a crime and what she said basically touched upon my personal values. I prayed to Heavenly Father about it and I can tell you that I remember comforting words. What they were, I cannot say what they were. I heard them in my head and then they were gone. But, it was so comforting. Spiritual moment of the week.

All is well. I hope to hear from you two soon. I love you.


Elder S. Todd

No comments: