LDS Male Missionaries Attend Tupperware Party, Visit Heart Patient, Not Allowed In State Mental Hospital

Monday, August 25, 2014

Dear Parents, Mom and Dad/Dad and Mom,

Well, I guess I look unhappy, despite being happy. (We've complained that are taken of him with others at missionary meetings he is not smiling. However, later as this blog continues to be published he does smile a mice smile.) Other than being on a roller coaster of emotions, I am happy. I may not smile as nearly enough as some people that I have met. Plus, whenever I am happy, I feel like I am smiling. Hilarious, I know. But, it is true. I cannot tell whether or not I am smiling. I just know I am happy. Yes, I do smile like you said, which I have consented to that in pictures. (His Dad is the same way.)

I have never seen "Birds" or any of Alfred Hitchcock, but I would honestly like to. Kind of how I would like to watch "Sound of Music," "Fiddler on the Roof," and others. And I heard you two talk about "Birds" before.

Do not worry about a carbon monoxide detector or at least, buying one. We probably do not have one, but we can access one from the mission. 

It is a very weird thought to think that both Connor Saari and Leo Millet were ordained elders. (Elder is an office in the priesthood. Missionaries are called Elders as well as most leaders who cover large areas. These two friends are preparing to serve as missionaries but have not been assigned yet.)) I felt a bit old at that thought. And then my niece is starting kindergarten today. I feel really old.

Personal note. I have said that I am on a roller coaster of emotions. Some days are better than others, but I am trying to remain positive. Some days I have success and others not so much. It has become a personal triumph to feel good; yesterday, to be honest, was not one of the best days. With the companion, things are slightly improving. I am just trying to make the best of the situation and trying to help this area. Things have progressed slightly, despite feeling my hands are tied. It has been a personal burden that I unfortunately let affect the emails, particularly with my complaints. Still keeping upward and onward. There are certain things that I am holding onto to help me go forward: (1) my testimony, (2) my faith, (3) religious freedom (something to keep my mind occupied), and (4) Jewish New Year (something to be excited about, other than the work). 

To start last week with a bang, we get out of the library. We received a call from a member's sister. At first, we thought it was this one member, who we talk to and was medically less active. [Personal note: His name is (name withheld), who has been coming to church more often.] We kept it in mind and we went to a member. This member wanted to come with us, not realizing it was P-day (even though we explained it to him). He accompanied us to the hospital, which the member later admitted himself to for blood sugar. We checked on the member who we thought it was, but came to find out it is a different member, with the same last name. He is the same member we generally watch videos with to help him to understand doctrine better. [Personal note: His name is (name withheld) a short, black recent convert, who as you will read on is about to go into heart surgery.] We found out that he was admitted for shortness of breath and was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism. He was "sedated," or unconscious, and had tubes down his throat and lots of wires and cables on him. After watching his blood get drawn and watching his monitors, we left the hospital, without the member who accompanied us. We later realized that the member had left a lot of his stuff in our car, so we had to go back to the hospital by which point he was ready to leave and wanted to talk to people about the gospel. We talked to one person and then another recent convert. 

Tuesday, we continued on our quest to find less actives and part member families. We stopped by a medical less active, who has been coming to church more recently. He offered to feed us the next day. That night for dinner at another member's house, we brought up the referral that we had received for Central State Hospital. They told us what I had figured: mental hospital, the social worker cannot give us information (and will not bother to call us back), and other things. At this point, Elder Young does not feel like going, so we decided to talk to President Wilson about it. 

Wednesday, we had lunch with the medical returning member and had a really good time. We had correlation with only the assistant ward mission leader. We talked about the work and how things were going. Well, from there, we went to a recent convert's house. They had told us that the wife was hosting a Tupperware party and invited us, just for the support. So, yes, I went to a Tupperware party, one of the many strange things that I have attended. It was quite interesting. We had good food, which we were allowed to take some home.

Thursday, we had to head to the church. There was a child of record who was being baptized that day and we were to be the ones to fill the font and be the witnesses. The Relief Society, as we were filling the font, were having a little get together and knitting. We did not participate in that, but we had to help out. I realized that I cannot set up tables, even if they are circular and you can roll them around. One started falling as I was going, so I naturally tried to stop, which caused a minor discomfort from my back. [The Relief Society offered us some of their lunch. I had the choice between deli turkey meat or tuna. I chose tuna; I still do not like tuna. ["Do you know what tuna is?" "Fish?" "IT'S FISH!"]] ( As a small child he would eat fish sticks. We would tell them they were made from fish. He would say they were meat. So when we would have Halibut for dinner he said he wouldn't eat it. We said you eat fish sticks. He would insist they were meat. Now, we think he eats fish because we told him lots of people in Virginia like to eat fish and not to offend them.) After the baptism, we checked on the member in the hospital. He was awake and doing okay. He is going to have heart surgery soon in a different hospital to fix a leaky valve.

Friday was a pretty interesting day and it involves something I forgot to mention. We had tri-zone conference with Elder Wilford Andersen of the Second Quorum of the Seventy. That morning did not start off well. One, I was not feeling good. Two, getting there, I realized I did not have a pen. I wanted to take notes, but I could not. It was a good conference. [The Powhatan elders were there. They are no longer seeing certain members. And Ruby dropped them, due to wanting to do things on her own with God's help and not listening to them.] We came home and had dinner with a member. Then, the elder's quorum president called us. He works for the railroad and his job usually is in the evening. That night he got annulled, so he was able to go visit people that night. He took us and his daughter along. We went up to see a less active member, who usually quizzes new missionaries that enter his home. He wanted to introduce us to his neighbor, who has become our newest investigator. She is pretty interested and is quick to believe. And she is living in Petersburg and is not going to move any time soon.

Saturday, not much happened. We did things, but nothing really happened. 

Sunday was not that great, unfortunately. As I was about to shave, I sneezed. I felt like I threw my back out. I was in slight pain, but regardless, I felt happy. Things were going up and quickly crashed for whatever reason. We taught the young men that day. We also taught our new investigator again. And I slipped on the concrete (my foot was on the edge and it slipped into the grass), which aggravated my back even more. I am going to get Icy Hot today, because my back is extremely stiff and is causing lots of pain. We had a wonderful dinner with the members who usually feed us, but had been gone to Maine. They found my Facebook page and blog. They were looking through my pictures as well. It was very strange for me, but it was cool. (With more detail the medical officer has determined from his description that he has a pinched nerve requiring more than just Icy Hot. On Facebook more than 600 people have been reached with his request for prayers for himself and his companion.)

Things are looking up. All is well.


Elder S. Todd

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