Past, Present, Future in Powhatan, Virginia

 April 7, 2014

Dear Parents, Mom and Dad/Dad and Mom,
I asked my companion and he said sending packages to our apartment should be fine. He never had a problem. I really cannot say much. I do not have problems with the apartment, because you open one door and you are in a hall, then you can get to our apartment from there. (Side note: it smells like an old book.) I have no idea yet about Mother's Day. I just hope to see people. And yes, rent out my room. I mean, I am gone and will be gone for a while. Just leave my boxes wherever they may be or put them somewhere safe. No worries about replacing me. As for my dog, it sounds like she is terribly sad and thus, possessive. (If you really think about my dog, you will remember how many times people or animals have left her.) But, that is just me and my weird personality. As for the name of Powhatan, it is the name of Pocahontas' father.
I get up at 6 in the morning, thirty minutes before schedule to exercise. There were a few days before this that I did not exercise, because I was beat. It generally would be when you have a bit of time trying to get to sleep, then waking up at 5:20, 5:30, or 5:50. Luckily, today I was able to sleep in a bit.
I have heard about "Ordain Women," which I absolutely loved Dallin H. Oaks talk about the priesthood. I want to reread it again. It put everything right and it all made sense. I loved D. Todd Christofferson's talk about our Lord Jesus Christ, who is indeed resurrected. That was an excellent testimony builder. I plan on writing to you about my thoughts and feelings that I have felt. I will say these things. One, the mission will prepare me for my future. Well, thinking about this, yes, it is perhaps a "duh statement." However, in light of me withholding my studies, it made me realize what I need to say and do. I am not ashamed in the things that I have learned from the mission, especially from my studies. I have found my self and I have made improvements. Do I forego the people? Do I forget them? No. As I serve others, I learn more about myself, the more the Spirit teaches me about what I need to do. It is all in preparation for my future and the eternities. I also say that I know I must defend my faith and my beliefs. I have a more solemn witness of my Savior, Jesus Christ.

We told the youth of the ward mission plan. It did bring a lot of pain to myself, feeling regretful for not sharing the gospel in high school. It hurt a bit, because I feel as though I failed. But, I do feel that it will be made up in its own due time and I feel better. My concern about it has passed. For zone meeting on Friday, I was asked to give another spiritual thought on teaching with faith. I hope it went well, because I was prepared and I just followed the Spirit. People did thank me at the end. I just hope I made sense. Oh and I am so happy to be here in this area at this time. Why? On May 3rd and 4th, an apostle is coming here. I do not know which one, but I am excited.
I have been meeting, slowly, our investigators. I am just ready to get out there, but I have to remember that this is a different pace here. Two investigators are progressing. One towards baptism, wherein he has been slowly quitting smoking and has been coming. He watched General Conference with us on Sunday and watched two on Saturday. Another investigator who is really busy, but really wants to meet with us, progressed. He knows the Restoration is true. It is exciting and hopefully, we will be able to meet with him more often. Our less active leg man has been doing fairly well; it is evident that he is depressed. We are working with him a lot to not only help him physically, but also help him spiritually. There is much hope that this gospel can bring.
There is a lot to do in this area. We served and are serving in a coalition of churches food bank. That has been new of recent, though some time before I got here. I think of where I am now, not physically, but spiritually, and how far I have come. I know not where this journey will take me and I cannot see the road ahead, but I am excited for continual progression.
All is well!

Elder S. Todd