Light Versus the Dark: "We Are Winning the War"

November 4, 2013

Dear Parents, Mom and Dad/Dad and Mom,

Thanks for everything. A lot of this mission thus far seems to be personal struggles, trying to become a better person. 

Essentially, I know I will face the dark continually as a beacon of light, especially here out in the field and with my career choice. I understand that. Every day, I am learning more about trusting God and the Lord, which trust is hard for me to sometimes give. I pray, I should be now, openly, alone to commune aloud with God. 

I do admit that I do have personal struggles. All I know is that day by day it will get better and that fulfilling my mission goals will help with all my problems. I have been praying a lot on all things.  My mission goals seem to be inspired and the reason why I have goals is, because, seeing as interviews are coming up (November 7 with mission president), President Wilson wanted us to make goals.  I know what I need to do. I need to do whatever God wants me to do, so I can be the person he wants me to be. There are things that I need to do on my own; I just need your support in ways that are not advice or help that is specific in certain directions. If you feel inspired at all, go ahead, maybe I will see it that way. Thanks for everything.

There is one thing that I do need to do now. I struggle a lot with identity and so far, I feel as though I have split between a secular identity and gospel identity, that I am trying to merge. Again, do not give me advice on this or anything like that. I have things to figure out with God. But, just keep on reading. So, who am I? I could tell you my name, that I am a child of God (which I will inevitably do), and many other things, but regardless, the question still stands. What answers this question that I pose is what makes me, me. I am a man of study, of scholar. I read, I write, I study. The most fun, the enjoyment I get out of life is studying, is to read. I have a list that I carry with me of all things that I would like to learn. I am spending my life learning; it is one purpose to life. I am a man of psychology. I love the mind. It is a puzzle in itself. I love behavior, in why we do certain things as well as the abnormalities of the mind. I find the mind so fascinating; I find it as evidence of God. I am a man of law. I find the law interesting. I was reading the Book of Mormon and I read about law in Alma and some of the Nephite law and it was so interesting. That is why I want to be a forensic psychologist. I may not understand fully what I am about to do, but, hey, I am willing to do it. I like different cultures. I love the different languages; I do not care about their talent in singing, I just care about the tale behind the song and the beauty of a different language. I find it fascinating to know these things. I find Judaism, fascinating, because of the history of it in the Bible. I love musicals and operas. Music becomes the story. The different pitches, or whatever, help convey the emotion, the personality behind a character. I wish I would have known this earlier; listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and their CD, "Showtime," I am envious in the fact that I have not heard of some musical. I love a good story. I understand if this all seems a bit worldly, but what I just put is part of who I am. Another part is the gospel side. This 2 years is just time for me to be spiritual. This is a life long commitment. I want to dedicate my life in following Christ. I may be quiet, but I am great listener. I can listen with love. I can speak what testimony that I do have. I am a child of God and what hope and happiness that simple phrase brings. Every soul is worth something to God. He loves us. I am a Melchizedek Priesthood holder. I may not understand it at this current time, though I am a bit unsure exactly what I am seeking (that will come in time), but I know it is God's power, it is authority. I have been called to bear the priesthood and do all that it entails. I may not have realized it earlier, but I am starting to do so. I am a disciple of Christ. I will follow Him, for I know that He lives. I am a bearer, a beacon of light. I will not be hid.

So, this week was a good week, despite all our appointments falling through (well, most). A lot of service was performed. Lots of raking. But, fall is definitely here. It it getting a bit chillier. My electric blanket will have to suffice as my source of warmth, seeing as I do not have my dog with me. Oh, which reminds me I was really happy to see a boxer, yesterday. My companion was able to baptize someone that he taught in his previous area. That person was taught for a while, brought a friend along, and then, moved up here to go to school. And the mission split and Fredericksburg became part of the Virginia Richmond mission. My companion got transferred up here, they saw each other, and the person asked him to baptize them. It was great to see that. And the sisters here are getting people on date, which is really good. One of their investigators was sick and they were teaching her when one of the sister missionaries felt prompted to talk about the priesthood and priesthood blessings. We got a call a bit later from the sisters while doing service, because the investigator really wanted a blessing right then and now. My companion performed it and mentioned something that he did not know, but the sisters and the investigator earlier talked about. Plus, after the blessing, the investigator was happy as can be; she had a lot of energy and kept on chatting up a storm. This week was also Halloween and the ward's Trunk-or-Treat. My companion and I were the judges for the chili cook-off. So, after a while, chili starts to taste the same, so you have to remember which ones that stuck out the most. It was great. Plus, at the end, my companion and I brought tupperware, so we were able to snatch a few of the leftovers to last us a while. Plus, when members offer for us to take food home to eat, we gladly take, although I am a bit hesitant with the dessert. We seem to have a lot in the apartment, seeing as Halloween just came by.

All is well.

Elder S. Todd