'Twas the Week Before the Bird Died . . .

November 25, 2013

Dear Parents, Mom and Dad/Dad and Mom,

I got your Thanksgiving card. Thank you for it. I much appreciate it. I did enjoy the humor of today as well as last week. 

We have two to three places to go, which means on Thursday (Thanksgiving) I have three set meals. Lunch, snack, and dinner. I am excited for Thanksgiving, though this week and the upcoming weeks we plan on tracting a lot. I will go into that a bit later. I hope Bria has a safe flight (his sister was flying for the first time with one layover); I know she is scared and I pray for her safety. Have fun on Thanksgiving!

It is frustrating for me that I cannot go to the temple, especially with it so close! But, that would require me to cross two missions (D.C. South and North) to get to the temple. Plus, you have D.C. traffic, which is bumper to bumper even at so many miles away. It is hard especially with the big excitement of the Festival of Lights and performances that go on from December 6th on towards January 1st at the Washington, D.C. temple. We cannot go at all. The mission president made that clear. 

I am glad to hear things go well in Lemoore with missionary work. Keep on working hard.

So, this week was a crazy week. We went out to eat with our district on Tuesday and then, we had a surprise appointment (in which we gave a church tour). The appointment was a surprise, because we had thought we were just calling to set up an appointment. Instead, the investigator told us, "I am on my way." Oh, and we were trying to finish laundry at another missionary's apartment, seeing as we do not have access to one in our basement apartment. So, it was a good appointment; the investigator likes to ask deep, deep questions. 

While we were waiting for him to arrive, we noticed that something was different about our car. Somebody hit the bumper and did not leave a note, so we have a nice dent on our car. Wednesday, we had to fill out a form, figure out where to go, and set up an appointment for an estimate. Thursday, we had the estimate done and then, we mailed it off. It was a fun form to fill out, "What is the driver's information?, What is their VIN number?, etc." We had no idea. 

A progressing investigator of the church dropped us, saying that her doctor said to limit contact with others, us. That was heartbreaking. 

I fell down stairs twice. First time, I was carrying my laundry and it was dark. I thought I come to the bottom of the stairs and took a step. Apparantly, there was another step before the end. So, I fell and landed on my knees and hit my elbow on the railing. My companion asked me if I was okay. I told him that it felt like I had prayed for a long time. Second time, I was holding onto the railing when my hold slipped and I knocked off a post (which was attachable still) and cut my finger.

This week had its good moments. We had some good appointments. I got to watch Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration with the man I baptized. We had some great meals with members. It was a good time. Now is the time to refocus our efforts in finding people to teach.

Since you sent some funny things this week and the past, I will tell you some funny things. With the Primary Program, the bishop at the end, talked a bit, and then turned around and said, "Children, I want you to know that you are children of God." Then, a kid piped up, "We already know that bishop!"

There are plenty of historical markers here in Virginia. One of them read "General Hooker's Headquarters." I read it to my companion and he said, not realizing, jokingly, "We should go there for P-day. Haha, just kidding!" I looked at him and said, "It is a historical site." He replied, "Oh." I guess he had thought it was literal. A fascinating fact if I had not shared, the word hooker comes from General Hooker who had women following his army. That is enough of that fact.

There was a time when one of the sister missionaries needed a blessing. I was with my companion and another male member. The sister missionary has an accent, so it can be hard to understand sometimes. She received a blessing before for a cold that she had. Well, it was different this time. My companion was wondering what was wrong, seeing if it was the same problem as before. She replied with cramps, but my companion thought she said Chromes. He thought she had Crohn's disease and wanted her to go to the hospital. Her companion replied, "No, stomach pains." My companion finally understood, but then, the male member said, "Oh, is the Virginian food getting to you?" That left an awkward silence for a while and the male member understood why after it. I always tease my companion, saying, "Crohns." I really do like my companion; he is a good missionary and he can be funny. I can also be stubborn at times, but that is besides the point. He looks after me. I set up a dinner appointment with a member on December 7th (that's Seth's 19th birthday). I had absolute no intentions of saying what day that was, but my companion told the member anyway.

So, I hope you had a good laugh. I hope that you are sending my week to my siblings, because I do have limited time here, especially today. Do you mind sending this to Grandma as well?

I knew I would be getting packages soon. I was kind of hoping, seeing as I was nearing the end of my Book of Mormon studies, to obtain my New Testament Institute manual. I understand if you do not want to send it.

All is well. Have a good week.


Elder S. Todd

P.S. I made sure to wish my mission president, in these exact words, "a Happy Dead Bird Day." May you also have a Happy Dead Bird Day!