When Strangers Help

Monday, June 9, 2014

Dear Parents, Mom and Dad/Dad and Mom,
A bit of a humorous email you have sent. You should send a picture of Mom's new hair! I would totally love to see it! As much as what occurred is bad, it makes for an interesting story. And geez! What happened exactly to Dad's car? (a giant farm forklift backed into his car at a stop sign) Is it still drive-able? Did the kid not see? That is a crazy story! Oh man! It sounds like it has been quite a week! It has been a week over here as well, particularly the weekend!
Monday, not much happened after emailing and that fabulous lesson we had with our special investigator. I was feeling a bit sick myself, but I felt better by the next day.
Tuesday, we worked at the food bank and it was fun. I love working at the food bank. I love interfaith work. We cleaned our car as well that day. We helped an elderly British woman who was very nice. She is a potential and we attempted to talk about religion. She avoids it with us. And she loves to feed us and give us food that is near expiration date. She does not like any food wasted. Any food

Wednesday, we had zone conference from nine to about 6. It was in reality nine to four, but President wanted to talk to me after. I had emailed President about someone I am concerned about and, two, a summarized version about some of the paragraphs I wrote to you. So, he asked me about how I was doing and if there was anything he could do. I told him what I felt and briefly what I know to be true. Zone conference was interesting. It went over the case study that we had recently had to read. We talked about family history as well. President also addressed key indicators and their purpose.

Thursday, we helped the bishop with a few people. I got the chance to talk with him. He asked me about my interests, which we had discussed before. What did we ended up talking about? Forensic science and serial killers. The bishop watches Forensic Files to get to sleep. After helping him and eating lunch, we did some cleaning that needed to be done. We had little space in between when we got done with bishop and dinner. One of our investigators that has been sick over the past two transfers I have been in Powhatan was there. She requested a blessing, so we taught her and gave her blessing. She was really thankful.

Friday, we planned, helped somebody's yard (a less active), and got to see our knee replacement less active who is now home. He wants to improve so bad and wants to walk. He wants to walk to the podium and bear his own testimony of everything. We had dinner with one of the members. The wife, who, mind you, is pregnant, told us that she went over to our special investigator's place (the day before the service project that we had organized) and cut some of the grass. She told us what challenges would probably await us.
Saturday was the big day. We had organized a service project for our special investigator at nine. We made sure it happened and it happened. 20 people showed up; we had four riding lawnmowers (one was our investigator's), five weed eaters, and several different tools. She was so impressed and filled with joy. As she told us, "This blows my mind out of proportion!" In two hours, we cut five acres of grass that had grown from a size varying from 1 and a half to three feet tall, weeded, cut down bushes, and took care of the overgrowth. The yard looked absolutely beautiful. She was so thankful. Afterward, we talked about church and she was happy to go. Her great-granddaughters came out and helped a bit. Oh, and by the way, I am pretty sure if you look in the dictionary and look at the word awkward, you will see a picture of two LDS missionaries. One of the great-granddaughters, after signing her service project hours, wanted to give us a hug. I was in front of my companion. Time slowed, my mind went blank. All I could do was put out my hand and say, "Handshake?" It was the most awkward thing ever and my companion backed me up and explained that we were missionaries. He was happy it was not him that went through that awkward moment.

Also, on Saturday, an old investigator that I had taught in Fredericksburg was baptized. Last I knew, he was not willing to give up coffee and be baptized. I heard that he had a change of heart. Oh, how I tried to get up there, but I did not. As sad as it was, I really did try, but I found out at the last minute. I obtained permission and I was calling people in hope on Saturday morning of going without rhyme or reason. That went out of my comfort zone, instilled confidence, and made me learn from the Lord. It just seems to me that the Lord puts me in the most stressful situations to let me learn. Well, I definitely got a big confidence boost, despite it not turning out. But, I did call and wish him a wonderful baptism and congratulations.
Sunday, we had church as always. Best church meeting ever. We had ward council in the morning. Remember how I told you of the bishop's conversation with me? Well, he has a book for me to read. Of course, when he had walked into the room for ward council, he goes up to me first. He does not shake anyone's hands first, but just goes to me. He tells me the name of a book of which he recommends for me. As funny as it was, one person asked how that related to missionary work, to which the bishop told them my interests. (By the way, if you still have my bookmarks, I would be more than happy if you could bookmark this book for me. Yes, I have a bookmark for books; I use it as a way to note what books I love to read. What I do is go on Barnes and Nobles, look up the book, click on the link, and bookmark it. Like I said, it is a way to make a list of books I would like to read without losing that list. It is called "Gangland" by Howard Blum.)

Our special investigator came to church and loved it. The talks were excellent; the hymns were perfect. She loves "The Spirit of God," hymn number 2. Absolutely, beautiful. Sunday school, we taught the Plan of Salvation and all she said, "I am pondering about it." We taught the young men and talked of the Book of Mormon. We did it the way Elder Bednar did in our meeting with him. It went excellent. After that, we said goodbye to our investigator. The Relief Society sisters came up to us and told us she bore her testimony. She talked of how thankful she is for the service project. She told that she only met with us twice and we set up a project for her and complete strangers took time to help another complete stranger. She was astonished. The whole ward loves her and is excited for her.

The rest of Sunday flew by as well. We saw our two car accident people. Yes, two people this week got in car accidents and I now can add Dad on that list, making it three. One person got rear ended by a person going 40 miles per hour and is thankfully okay. His car is totaled and it just added for more of a bad week after losing his dog. The other person was coming out of a intersection, thinking it was clear, and got t-boned on the driver's side. He was flown to the hospital by helicopter. He has a broken neck and broken back. Thankfully, he is alive. And the other people, too. One person got cuts and the other person broke their thumb. Today, we set up for an appointment with our special investigator, but that fell through. She has been having issues with her family.

It has been a week for both of us. It has been crazy. I cannot believe how fast it went, though. Lots of stuff has occurred. A few more thoughts. I am nearing the end of the New Testament, which has been sad. It is reading a really good book and you know what happens. I started 1 Peter and it is beautiful. I am ever more sure that an apostasy from the early church did occur. As I have been nearing the end, there is a lot of warning to the saints in those days about those who have departed from the truth. Reading it in order definitely shows that.

Despite not being able to go to that baptism, I am still happy. It is good to see, despite how much it does not seem to pay off, how it does indeed pay off in time. I am excited for his journey in life. God speed to him.

I think the hardest lessons that I have learned so far is learning when I cannot help. I love to help people, but there are times when you cannot help. It hurts me, but I have to do what is best for that person. This Saturday is transfer calls. Who knows what will happen.
Elder S. Todd

P.S. Thank you to our 87 year old "special investigator" for letting us serve you as we serve the Lord.