All About Helping People Change

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Dear Parents, Mom and Dad/Dad and Mom,

Well, there are rules with the good news of going to the temple.( For interested individuals, a rabbi tours the inside of a Mormon temple: ) 

 The rules:
"Missionaries are able to attend the temple under the following circumstances:

1- The endowment or sealing of a new or returning member when the missionary had a substantial role in the conversion. Only one companionship may attend, if invited by the member.
2- An end-of-mission visit with the mission president and his wife.

Missionaries who qualify above must also meet these standards:

1- Be able to depart and return on the same day and be back serving in their area by 6:00 p.m. No more than two hours one-way travel time is recommended.
2- Travel with a member and not use a mission vehicle.
3- Attend on their preparation day or switch their preparation day to accommodate the temple schedule.
4- Receive advance approval from the mission president."

So, it is a bit difficult, but at least some day I will go. Some day. But, still, despite the rules, I am excited. 

The drought is bad (in California). That does not sound good at all. The weather seems, to put it  metaphorically, bipolar. In the same way, Virginia is like that. One week it is warm, or at least the humidity makes it feel warm. Then, it goes cold by the next week. Take for example, this week it was warm. Last week, we had some days that were a bit chilly. Now, it is going way cold into the single digits with snow. It should snow by 11 this morning. I am waiting.

And yes, I am using the gears( read his previous letter home below). It still takes a while for me to get up the hills. I am exercising. Yeah, it will take me a while. But, it is going a bit quicker. I still am learning the area. It is quite simple. I have it nearly down. 

With this ward (congregation), we have an excellent ward mission leader, who wants us to communicate more effectively with the congregation as well as with him. I am trying to help out.  I am trying to be on top of things. Some things I cannot worry about; there are things I can do. 

Everyone (two sets of male missionaries) in the same house belongs to the same congregation. No sister missionaries in this congregation. All are biking, which I do not mind. There are pros and cons to both a car or a bike. One thing I do not have to worry about is miles which are restricted on cars, thankfully.

This week was a bit slow in the sense of work. I am working hard and I am knocking on doors a lot. I have seen people who are mildly interested, atheists, those who think I do not know anything, and those who like to point out their NO SOLICITORS sign. Yes, people are very much interesting. I do my best to change my approach at each door and to testify always. As I once put it, I like F.A.T door approaches: "Make your approaches FLOW, ADAPT to the situation, and TESTIFY always." It works for me and I try to look around me to enlighten myself about what this person might be like or if it is a family or whatever. Hey, what I am doing is planting a seed. It is what it is. 

The members here are very nice. I try to help them out, hopefully they will realize our efforts and what we are doing. It feels as though it is a political game sometimes, trying to demonstrate that we are doing work with or without their help. 

Oh, and yesterday, I sent letters of the same kind to family. (Some I am still working on.) Well, actually, I just put some in the mailbox and forgot that it was a federal holiday. So, some time, you will receive a letter.

I hope this week goes well. Things will be worked out. Always be obedient.

All is well.


Elder S. Todd

P.S. I have been locking the door and turning off the lights, much to the dismay and frustration of my companion. But, yes the Following! On Christmas, with the Hairs (the place where I was able to communicate with you), after my communication calls, Sister Hair brought up "The Following" and how Brother Hair got into it somewhat. I was a bit excited, because it has a good story-line as you know. She could see my emotions and said, "Wow, I have never seen you so excited." Then, a person who is a potential told of us when he moved here to Woodbridge that the Lorraina Bobbitt incident (if that is how spell her name) had just occurred. After hearing that and away from the potential investigator, I turned around to my companion and said, "Wow, there is so much history here!" And I told him about Lorraina Bobbitt and others that I know were around here. To which, he replied, "I do not know how you find it fascinating."

Yes, I know I am abnormal in that sense.  What honestly interests me is the question of why. What is the motivation. Then, there is the question of justice. Please understand that , because I am not crazy at all (we, as his parents do). I just like good revealing stories and criminal justice.

And I am always excited for the missionary work.

(Most members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have a sense of humor. Even the person we call the prophet or president of our church shares his humor so the following is an inside joke for my LDS readers playing on "the army of Helaman):