It's Not Always Easy To Be A Missionary - Struggles and Success

September 3, 2013

Dear Parents, Mom/Dad

Do not think that I am trying to worry you on purpose or that I am putting you guys second. Last week on Monday was an unusually busy day wherein we had to do service. Yesterday, was, of course, Labor Day. The reason I am typing an email out so late is for the fact that my companion is a district leader and he had a meeting to attend to. I was helping another missionary while my companion was away with this other missionary's companion. I am working on sending cards out. I know that I am late in sending Reagan's, but believe me, I am trying to do everything in due time and I plan on sending out a card as soon as possible. Believe me when I am trying to do everything in my own power and in the schedule of the things to work things out and do what is necessary.

With the new place, we have new furniture, so that means new mattresses. We both figured that to avoid the problem we would leave the plastic mattress coverings on the new mattresses. It has been working fine. Mattress pads are over the mattress and sheets are on top of it all. The backpack satchel is lasting for a long while. I am not bike still, though my companion would like to ride bikes for our exercise. We are slowly getting that started. Our new living arrangements are quite nice. It is much bigger than our previous apartment. That is major plus on top of other things. I have to wash dishes by hand (and I am the only one that washes dishes with soap; my companion rinses with water then puts it back) and I have to go to a laundromat or another elders' apartment in order to do laundry. So, it is all good. I make sure my clothes are not being taken; I keep an eye on them.

I feel sorry for the sisters and I hope that everything will work out for them. It is rather unfortunate what they have to deal with. (The sister missionaries in Lemoore live in an area that is not the best but finding housing is difficult when your renters can change. They have been broken in once. We, Elder Todd's parents bought and hung some shades on a kitchen window that could be seen through. We are going to cover another window that is missing a slat in its curtain.) Our housing person is extremely stressed as of now, seeing as so many people are coming in and he has to work on 22 apartments this week for people getting in. I am glad one of the elders (we took in a sick male missionary, see FB Elder Seth Todd) kept my dog in good company. I am sorry that it sounds like people are getting sick. Here, one of the elders had to go to the hospital, because he was coughing up blood. Cause? Bronchitis. 

I am happy to hear that Reagan had a good birthday. It sounds like she had fun and I am glad it went well. It so crazy how everyone is going grow up while I am gone. Glad to hear that LMCHS has extremely improved(API score 892, top five schools in the valley). That is amazing. And how did you hear about Mr. Whiting ( a former high school teacher who had a baby boy with his wife)? And if you can, tell him that I said congratulations! And I snickered at the thought of the Fortner family in a hotel with the dogs, but hopefully everything will work out for them. (They found a house with a beach view to rent, lucky).

So, everything seems to be getting busier by the minute. It seemed like the first week here was extremely slow, but it has been going so fast. This past week we have had two people on date (commitment to be baptized and confirmed a member), which is amazing. We may have another person on date as well, but we have to wait until the next visit to officially select a date. One person we have to push their date back, because he has yet to go to church and I do not think he went this week. He came back from Texas for a few days (he is engaged to the person who referred him on and then he bailed on us to go back to Texas to visit her. I hope that everything is okay, because he has not communicated much to us. We have been teaching a lot of people. 

The man from Trinidad is quite interesting; he was drunk one time while we were there and he was going off on that the leaders are seeking their own pay and that we needed more money, support, and praise (not sure who he is talking about, we have an unpaid lay ministry and the missionaries are not seeking praise.). Other than that, he still needs to work on a few things and do a few things before he is going to change. He does not read the Book of Mormon on his own and he attended church only once.

The charitable man is going to be baptized on the 15th (he is the other person who is officially on date). We have only taught the Restoration. Whenever we teach him, it ends him telling us all these amazing stories about how he is helping the homeless or some other awesome story. Eventually, we will teach him. He loves the Church and has a testimony. I am so happy that things are working out for him.

The woman and her daughter are still keeping at it (the woman is the person who wanted gas money). The daughter wants to be baptized and is excited to be baptized, though she wants to pray about the date. She also needs to attend church. The mother needs time and I am a bit afraid. She believes deeply that she already has, even after explaining the restored priesthood authority and giving her daughters priesthood blessings. She is quite proud of her baptism and showed us her certificate. The mother will have to come to the realization about the priesthood authority on her own Restoration of the Priesthood.

We unfortunately had to drop an investigator family. They seemed nice, excited. The man wanted to give a speech to the youth of the ward, but he needed to attend church. We invited and he did not show up. We call him, it rings, the man "picks up" says hello, then it drops exactly at 45 seconds every time. When we dropped by on a good night, the lights are on and we knocked. Their kid bangs on the door and then we can hear the door locking. It is rather unfortunate, but I believe they are afraid of commitment, (Most of us may have closed the blinds, refused to answer the door when someone is going door-to-door. We pretend not to be home. The answering machine at the Todd home even blocks numbers of annoying people who constantly call when told that we are not interested. However, in this case, which happens all to often to LDS missionaries, they had been invited in, the individuals seemed genuinely interested, then "Bam" this kind of response. Perhaps a paid minister from another church has "warned" them of Mormons, or they simply don't have an interest. In either case, it would be nice if people would answer their door and give an explanation. There is a lot of false information passed around about members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, sometimes some things are true but just need an explanation, and then, there are those who sincerely no longer have an interest. We get it. So please, if you invite missionaries in, please be courteous. If they seem too pushy tell them so. Talk to them honestly.)

That sums up my week.  I do not want you to worry. I am alive. I am working on things and it is crazy.


Elder S. Todd

P.S Thanks for the many quotes.

No comments: