In Christ Alone

Dear Parents, Mom and Dad/Dad and Mom,

It is not getting too cold, though it is definitely cooling down. The mornings are a bit chilly, but I have my electric blanket and portable heaters to help.

We should be getting a phone upgrade quite soon, so perhaps phone reception will improve. I can only hope, because there are a lot of phone calls that need to be made and it can be a hassle just to drive to a more receptive area, especially with restricted miles. But, I am learning to deal with it. It is definitely a hassle.

That is an interesting strategy to teach people about the action of prayer. I never would have thought to do that, but I will definitely keep that in mind. Thank you for the tip. 
(Turn the tables and ask if you wanted a Muslim to pray about the Bible how would you want them to pray? Would you want them to humble themselves, clear their mind of distractions, find a quiet place, read through the Bible and ponder what they read, etc? Then maybe the same should be done when asked to pray about another testament of Christ?)

I am still in the ward (congregation) that I was in before I moved to the basement apartment, the White Oak Ward. I really do love the people here. There are so many nice things about the ward and the people. Despite the imperfections, it is an excellent ward. I do love the area, seeing how green it is and how there is a lack of sidewalks (for the most part). I love the environment and definitely do not miss the environment in California. It was too much concrete and not a lot of green. And I am sorry for making a missionary homesick. (there is a missionary in Lemoore, CA who knows Seth is in Virginia where he is from)

Glad to hear all that Mom is doing. It sounds like she is doing a lot. I am glad that she is doing a lot for the sister missionaries. I am glad to hear visiting teaching and home teaching is going well. It sounds like Joy and Tim had a successful birthday party for Avery (his niece turned one). The joys of parenting? And keep on fighting Dad(reference on taking on the administration and school board  where  his dad works over the loss of his dad's bilingual stipend, Sacramento is backing him up) 

I know that talking about forensics is not normal, but it definitely felt normal and I felt as though somebody related to me. It was great. That was a major highlight of my week of last.(see his previous post)

I have heard the soundtrack to Schindler's List and I absolutely love it. It is power in the violin. I missed out on the Ensigns. They are so great and I wished I knew how much good they were as I do now. And thank you for keeping my music bookmarks. You are always welcome to play one when you miss me (especially the opera, ha, ha).(His mother couldn't stand it when he played opera music when she was in the room!)

So, what an up and down week, but a good week as well. I am doing fine personally and that is much as that goes. Biking on last Monday went well, except my back tire went flat and it was difficult going up hills with such a tire and not knowing it was flat. But, the area we biked in was gorgeous. I will get pictures up as soon as I can. 

I went on a day-long exchange with the zone leaders and it was great. (Zone leaders are young missionaries as well but usually have spent more time serving in the mission. They oversee other missionaries in a given area.) It was very uplifting. I was able to cook dinner for a family that was in need. I was going to cook spaghetti and the family had everything, but they used it up. Instead of cooking spaghetti, I cooked sausage and minced cilantro and garlic. Once the sausage was cooked, I rolled it in the cilantro and garlic. It was very delicious and everybody liked it. As my companion said, "At first, you could taste the cilantro, then the garlic, and then the sausage." So, I know how to cook sausage, grilled cheese, and spaghetti. I am slowly learning. I am also learning about spices and herbs. Members having been feeding us a lot, which is great. 

One visit we were talking to this part-member family, specifically the member mother, and she was telling us about how she makes certain food from scratch and how to use herbs as medicine. She does not trust doctors and tries to avoid them. She likes to use herbs and such to cure sickness and when she cannot get rid of it, she goes to the doctor. She knows how to diagnose, so she just needs to get a prescription when she goes to the doctor. It is definitely a skill I would love to learn. 

This past Saturday was the Virginia Day to Serve. The stake put on a 5k run for food and I got to control traffic again. I love controlling traffic for whatever reason. It is absolutely fun. Then, I did "river" clean up. I am not sure if we did the correct area, but supposedly it was. And we definitely did not do the river. We cleaned the side of the road. I found pieces of a tire, some metal thing, and other trash. 

Yesterday, we taught a family that I was really unsure that was ready for the gospel. Luckily, I did not oppose my companion on going to visit that family , because they were definitely ready. Then, as we were leaving another new investigator's place, we ran into another person, who was moderately receptive. It was good, excellent even.

All is well. Enjoy conference! (He is referring to a church-wide conference held Saturday and Sunday, October 5th and 6th, in five different sessions where we hear from our prophet, twelve apostles, and other general leaders over the church.)


Elder S. Todd

Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence. 
-Vince Lombardi

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