Fire Nation Attack: or the Midlothian Switch

May 12, 2014

Dear Parents, Mom and Dad/Dad and Mom,
I do not know how to say this, that rule for forty minutes for us is try to stay under an hour. We did try, but regardless, it was great talking to everyone. I hope Mom enjoyed her Mother's Day card; I meant to ask her about that. What I wrote was to remind all of the good times we had. It has been a long time, so I tried to remember what I could. There were other things that I forgot to mention, which you helped remind just now. So, remember that golden investigator, the one I was privileged to baptize? Well, I was able to get an update on him recently. His fiance dumped him and she was the one that introduced him to the church. While he was sad over that, he is still attending the church and has recently received the Melchizedek Priesthood. That was really good to hear.

It sounds like everything is busy over on the "Left Coast." Keep on doing what is right and press forward. And remember the eternal perspective. While it is hard in this life, things will turn out for the better.

So, I guess I will proceed to tell you of my week. Monday, we had zone P-day, where we headed to the stake center to have fun as a zone. This was with the Midlothian West Zone. I got to say good bye to people that were leaving, but did not really say good bye to others, thinking that we were safe. We never received any calls, so we, the people who were still there, were excited to be together for another transfer. We had played basketball, soccer, and it was a lot of fun. Tuesday, we cleaned, for it was that time of month, and tracted. We also helped with the food bank that day. It was a fairly well week thus far.

Well, everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked (another reference to Avatar: the Last Airbender, just to bug his parents). So, Wednesday, it was starting off good. We just got done with studies and were about to have lunch. Then, we got the call that started the week wrong. It was zone leaders of the Midlothian East Zone. They had called a couple weeks previous for a question about a member of the Powhatan ward, so I picked up, thinking it was follow up. No, not at all. We were being welcomed to the Midlothian East Zone; I put the phone on speaker, so my companion could believe this. We were both confused and it was a blindside. We called our previous district leader, who called the zone leaders. We went about our way, hoping the situation would be resolved. When the zone leaders of the Midlothian East Zone called, I promptly told them my issues with this, thinking that they were confused. Our district leader and zone leaders of the Midlothian West Zone had no idea either. So, the East called the West and there was nothing West could do. We are now part of the Midlothian East Zone. Well, I was extremely agitated at that point. Do not worry I put a smile on my face.

While, yes, there is nothing really I can do, but smile, and accept it, I still have feelings about it. Couldn't we have a little more warning? We just had zone P-day and we did not get to say goodbye to anyone, really. I felt like I had actually found friends and was included. It is bit hard being ripped from friends without warning. My other zones I really did not get out much; that, and I did not feel that included. So, it was hard, but hey, I will make some new friends. I know it is a bit selfish to feel that way, but I made friends. Major accomplishment on my part. And Powhatan is in the middle of the Midlothian West Zone; it literally splits the zone. But, hey, I know it does not make sense, yet President is inspired. What takes the cake for me is that I have fears of not being included and the area not understood. I came into this area with the idea to tract and find new. However, six weeks later, I realize this area needs to focus on the less active members; this will be a major boost for the area. It is what it needs. Yes, we still will go out and try to find people. I am not at all giving up on baptizing people and trying to help them. I just see that this area is more geared to less active work at this current moment. If we baptize someone, my fear is that the people will want another; after all, it has been four years since they had a baptism. It is an odd fear, I know. But, this area needs to gradually build itself up, which can be accomplished through less active work. Having a sudden peak through baptism will only ensure a quick and faster descent that will hinder the work. I prayed about this and felt right about it. This area needs time; while yes, we have two investigators who are potential for baptism, they need more time. I have that fear about the zone and it is hard not knowing what is going to happen, because it is not just two people in a new zone, it is an entire area. It just is a bit frustrating to know this and having no one else know. It does not help when you receive nearly daily texts about people being put on date. We are trying and we rejoice in people's success, but as I have learned in the MTC that can really get on people and actually burden them. Another fear is for whoever comes in. Is it odd for me to feel this way? I do not think so. I have seen what this area is like and know now what this area needs. I feel right about it.  And we had basketball that night and I have been doing a bit better with defense.

Thursday, we worked extra hard and nothing came about. We received anti-Mormon material, which was a bunch of garbage.

Friday, we talked with an investigator who has been investigating for three years. We finally got down to the meat of the issue. She had a problem at first with the priesthood, but Dallin H. Oak's talk helped clarify that. Now, she has an issue with tea. She also feels more included in her church that she has been going to for the sake of her mother. At first, it was an obligation, now it is her actually taking a liking.

Saturday, we talked to our investigator who has been having issues with the Word of Wisdom, who wants to be baptized, but just actually wants a clean slate. We saw our less active who is in a nursing home. It was so awesome to see him; his brother came to get him and they and us spent time at the less active's house. We celebrated his birthday, which was back in April. (We weren't able to celebrate in April, because he went to the hospital.) And Sunday, we talked for a while. It was good day. So, our week was okay, up and down, Satan trying to get at me. I woke up this morning feeling good and ready to overcome.

And the checks.... So, I went to Well's Fargo, in the hopes I could cash them. Nope. Why? I did not have an account with them neither did Grandma. So, I looked at where the nearest Bank of America is. Three words: out of area. Which means required permission, miles, etc. I looked at Fredericksburg; also, out of my area at that time when I received the checks. Woodbridge, very dependent on members. So, it may be a while if I can see if they can be cashed. I will update you. I get to be out of the area this coming week for district meeting.
So, I am good. Happy now. I just had a lot of feelings to get out. It was great to see and talk to you. I was glad to see Joy and Bailey as well. I was glad to see Carly, Coda, and Buddy. And more importantly, Mom and Dad, it was great to see you. It was nice to talk. Things will definitely have to be done with the Spirit. Thanks for the chronology. I am almost to the epistles; Paul has yet to go on his third missionary tour.

All is well.


Elder S. Todd

P.S. Love the quotes, especially Sister Hinckley's. And do not worry over the zone issue, it is not bugging me, it is nothing that you should worry about, it will be what it is.