I Was Once Lost, But Now I am Found: Missionaries on Bikes

Runabout 8

Monday, January 13, 2014

Dear Parents, Mom and Dad/Dad and Mom

Well, this officially concludes an upside down week. It was good and great, but there are small things that I am like what in the world?. But, overall it was good. My car seems to be target practice for people. When I read that I was like, "Oh no. What's going on?!" I am laughing about it, because that car cannot get a break. If anything, that car will last me a good while. (Parents wrote: . . . All of a sudden the car in front suddenly stopped. Dad applied his brakes but they don't grab like his little car. He wasn't going fast because as he talked he kept slowing down. He was going less than 50 mph on highway 41. When he realized he couldn't stop in time, he did try to swerve to miss the car in front but clipped the guys right side rear bumper. It will have to be replaced. Your car could still drive but the left front headlights will need replacing about 100 dollars plus shipping. Plus there are some major dents and buckles to fix. With everything that has happened to that car you could say it came from Afghanistan and you got it dirt cheap. A terrorist attacked my car! . . . Sorry! )

The other two missionaries we live with have higher chances of locking the door while my companion refuses. His words, "Jesus will scare them off." (We have a picture of Jesus on the door.) And I am like, "It is safe to lock the door." So, I lock it, especially when I am the last one out. (Also, the serial killer you are referring to is the D.C. Sniper.) (Seth has talked about the lack on the part of his companions to lock the house door when they leave. His brother was in the same mission when the D.C. sniper traveled as far south as Richmond, VA)

I think Carter (just returned from serving in Perth, Australia) had a good mission. He must have learned a lot. Thanks for sharing that.
(Here is what was shared: Carter gave his talk in church today. He only baptized two people. There was one family he helped reactivate. He said it was hard in Australia because the people didn't care and were often mean and rude. He told of how he was a year into his mission when he started to question why he was even there so far away from home and family. One sleepless night, he got up to his study table and read Alma 38:5 which reads:

And now my son, Shiblon {here he inserted his own name, Carter}, I would that ye should remember, that as much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

He also told about how he and his companion were prompted to go down a certain road. They met an aborigine bearded man who had lost two grandchildren when a man stole their car with them in it and ran a red light causing an accident that killed the children. The man wanted to know why bad things happen to good people. Carter remembered reading and studying about that topic and was able to satisfy the man's question where the answer was not one he had heard before. 

Well, I can officially say, "I once was lost, but now I'm found." Why? Well, I am on a bike and my bike is honestly efficient for itself. That is until hills and then I am using every leg muscle I have to climb the hill. I can be fast until hills plus I do not know the area that well, so my companion has to lead. Well, one day, we were coming home and he went up and down a hill a lot faster than I. Needless to say, I lost him, went down a wrong turn, and got lost. I understand that principle of stay where you are, but I was not too sure on how to get back to the street I was on. I kept on biking and I prayed to Heavenly Father to lead me and guide me. I went down many streets, hearing, "Keep on going forward." When I was going to the wrong direction, I heard, "Turn around. Go back." So, I kept on getting turned around until I ended in familiar area. Finally, I felt prompted to talk to someone who was walking their dog. He got his phone and typed in the street. Lo and behold, it was just right around the corner. I felt pretty good and that everything would be alright. I ended up home and my companion, panicked, had sent out a search team to find me. So, I was able to get a hold of him through another member who is working on the basement of the house. Needless to say, the bishop (pastor) made sure the priesthood brethren knew what had happened. My companion is more embarrassed about it than I, it seems. Also, ever since he has been on a bike, he lost his companions, each time getting progressively worse.
We found some new people, even a former "Wicken." She is so awesome and she did not know why she opened the door for us. Her boyfriend is not too happy about us, but we are working on that. There are some great miracles that go on here. I am working hard knocking on doors.
And even more great news, more for me, but it is great news nonetheless. I am able to go to the temple now. I am so excited. I cannot wait to go the D.C. Temple after all this time. Pure excitement.

I am getting to know the area a lot better, especially after getting lost, and I am getting to know the members. There is one member who is studying forensic psychology, or at least wants to get into it, as well. I am so happy about that. There are many great members here and I am excited even more to work here. I am really enjoying myself. Things are, thankfully, turning around through the Lord.
I am happy about how things are going. I am getting close to finishing one portion of my topical guide study about law, order, justice and mercy. Law is one that is almost complete. What I have been doing with this is noting characteristics that I can apply to myself. In this way, I do feel as though I am learning who Heavenly Father wants me to be. It is really exciting.

I can guess you can say, "Thus begins Chapter 2," or whatever. Honestly, the past six months have been great and I have been steadily improving. Amidst all of it, I also hit my lowest point. But do not fret, for as a good show says, "When we hit our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change." With everything that is going, I have realized the worst. Now I am starting to see the best. As it says in 1 Peter, "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." I am learning a lot here and I am starting to see a lot more. I think the secret to life is to always improve.

All is well. Excited for the temple. (To learn more about temples go to Mormon.org or www.facebook.com/eldersethtodd )
Elder S. Todd