As They Walked and Walked and Walked . . .

Monday,  January 27, 2014

Dear Parents, Mom and Dad/Dad and Mom,

Thanks for the those crime stories. (Two young girls were kidnapped from a meetinghouse in this area, molested, and left stranded, Also, near Seth's home town, a bishop was shot and killed in the meetinghouse. Surely there were pictures of Jesus on the walls.of both buildings) I honestly could use them. Why? Well, it turns out that I am the only one that likes the door locked as well as the windows. It frustrates them, but it frustrates me even more that they do not realize how un-invincible they are. I keep on locking the door, especially when it is night and when we leave. They can deal with it for all that I care. Why? Like you pointed out, a picture of Jesus is not going to do anything. And it keeps us safe and the house protected. Criminals, unless they are really after our stuff, are not going to break a window or bust down a locked door, because they do not want to get caught. But, I can only point out facts and do wish I could share some more facts on safety. But, that is that. I am stubborn, a little bull-headed at times, but I know when something is right. I am hanging in there.

I am glad to hear that you received my testimony of Jesus Christ. I still have to send some out to other family members. For Christmas, in Fredericksburg, I used a copy of my testimony plus a plate of cookies and sweets to give to certain members. It was nice to give that to them. 

I am also glad you understand about my views of criminal justice. I have been warned by people, especially you two, about the risks of the job and, by my companion, the risks of psychology. To me, I am, as I am realizing, about law, justice, order, and mercy. I know what God wants me to do in life as in career. I know who God wants me to be. I will listen to what people have to say, but I will always have to remember what God wants me to do. And you mentioned conversion. For the nearly 7 months I have been out, I have been trying to focus on the people and how to help them. But, in a way, with my studies and with what I have been learning, I honestly having been learning about- forgive me, Dad- being converted and consecrating myself to God. I am accepting what God wants me to do, but some areas I could improve. Such is life and I have the next fleeting 17 months to learn some more. I may not change my interests, but I think my character will change. I honestly feel as though the first six months were battles against the adversary and what I am now expecting for who knows how long (well, except God) that my character will be tried.

This week was ouch. Yeah, we had snow, but it was downhill from there. I am keeping optimistic and keep on improving. At times in life, we have those weeks that are seriously downhill. This is definitely one of those weeks. The back tire on my bike is flat again and I basically said to my companion, "I will get a new tube." So, today, I get to buy myself a tube as well as a much needed crescent wrench in order to get the back wheel off. I am just hoping my bike does not need a special tube, which I do not think it does. We will see. I am only hoping, because my companion currently hates my bike and is tired of walking. First few days, walking in the snow, yeah, it was rough, but I got used to it. I know he will not be happy if I have to order a tube. 

When it snowed, it was great, because for a few hours, we got snow shovels and shoveled people's driveways. (Oh, the life of a missionary!) It was mostly in secret. Mostly. Some people came out and said thanks. Or they wanted to pay us, which we refused. Sometimes, we helped someone that was doing their driveway. One of them wanted to take us to the recruiter's office. It was so much fun to do that. 

We have been tracting a lot. Appointments have fallen through due to illnesses and such. To top off our week, two investigators dropped us. One due to disinterest, though he was honestly seeking a church and God. Another due to her boyfriend who caused havoc for her when she talked about the Mormons. It was probably best for her to drop us, because she does not work and she has a child with him.

And then, as we were tracting, we got a call to help someone from one of the members. These members are honestly kind and I really like them. But, it was a waste of time. They let us in, fed us, and, oh, we were not needed. Still, I do thank them for their kindness. 

Oh and one of my pockets on one of my shirts nearly fell off. It was my only shirt for today, so I spent time sewing it. It went okay. My stitiching or whatever looks okay, but, uh, the white thread is apparently magical. I used the sewing kit that I got from home and used- and I know I did use it- white thread. Well, it magically turned pink on my shirt, so I have a pink string that slightly bled. Time to do laundry.

Also, we had interviews with President Wilson this past weekend. My interview was short, but he told me something that put a dent in my New Testament study. I cannot use the institute manual, not even for reference. (Even though the manual is published by the church, the reading material is restricted to what they are called to teach.) Now, mind you, I do not have the manual, but I was looking at it online for the scriptural references to put everything in chronological order. Well, no more. I definitely cannot infringe on people's agency who say things, "Oh, did you read about such and such event in Christ's life found in such and such gospel and also this gospel, in these chapters and verses? Also, then Christ did this, in such and such gospels, chapter, and verses," and I definitely do not know where they got such material. Now, I do understand there is the harmony of the gospels, but I am having a hard time correlating it with how far in my study I am in and I cannot just undo what I have done. Something is not matching up and I got so far as the marriage in Cana and a bit after that. So, I am a bit stuck there and I cannot progress. (As his dad, I will help him in my letters as my letters are not restricted.)

No word on the iPads that so many people are waiting for here. I bring up, because my companion told me that a girl he knows that is serving in Arizona has iPads and they are strictly iPads which means no paper scriptures at all; especially, for personal study. I hope that does not happen here, because then that will not be fun, especially with how much effort I have put into my paper scriptures. Who knows? I will wait for that time. (I doubt that he will have to forfeit his paper scriptures as some people do not take to reading electronic devices.)

Plus, have you watched the Bible Videos, the Life of Jesus Christ? They are so amazing. I recommend them, plus they chose a really good person to portray the Savior. I hope they keep on producing them. I especially like the Resurrected Jesus, because they did so excellent. My companion keeps on saying that this Jesus is better than the Finding Faith in Christ, Jesus. But, I really think they did an excellent job. (

All is well.


Elder S. Todd