A Puzzle Piece is Missing: Are You Sitting On It?

Monday, February 2, 2015

Dear Parents, Mom and Dad/Dad and Mom,

You are right; I do not know what is going on with my companion. I have been persisting in trying to do the right things (In our letter to our son we suggested a number of reasons that might exist behind his companions behavior such as losing a loved one, parents who may have divorced while he was serving, or even a girlfriend who no longer has interest. When you are talking about young adults 18 - 25, reasons for not exhibiting the best missionary behavior can really vary.). I gave him that note (mentioned in a previous post) and I noticed that he withdrew a bit during that Sunday. However, he did not change and he got back into doing what he does. If anything, he has been more openly engaging in activities that are contrary to a person going to bed. I have not enjoyed it; I was slightly getting sadder. I have not given up, because I will not concede defeat. I try to understand what is his cause for behaving the way he does, but he avoids the topic like a plague. I asked him if he has any sleeping problems, which he only said that he has a hard time waking up. Later, I asked about the melatonin that he takes, which he says that he has a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep. Those things I can understand, but I am missing the big key to this puzzle. I am trying to figure out why then does he not go to bed. Once I find that out, I can proceed in determining the underlying issue. Last night, I planned to confront him and ask him these questions. He was shaving and he then proceeded to shower. I decided then to forego it for the night. If I am going to help him, I need to know how to best help him. I am trying open doors in order to help him. I tried small talk with him, but I am not the best at small talk. In summary, I am seeking answers and I am not going to give up. There are things going on here that I cannot even begin to explain, and I am not going anywhere until I can. 

The biggest success this week is we, for the first time this transfer, weekly planned. It was like, not trying to be negative here, pulling teeth or trying to lead a donkey. Ever since I began to weekly plan in depth, I have loved it, because it gives us a general idea of what we want to focus on and what general scriptures or questions we will use. To me, it shows that we are spiritually creating the lesson, so that we are prepared to enable the Spirit to draw something from us. It is a lot better than stating, "This person needs to be taught the Plan of Salvation... We need to follow up on... We need to invite him..." I will have to hold off on that for a while until I can first help my companion, because trying to do that was a headache. In due time, we will need to do that. Baby steps; that is how we will work. Big success here with weekly planning, though.

You are right. I am very enthusiastic about the work. I have been on this enthusiastic high about missionary work. The reason for this is because I know. From 19 months (and it is scary that it is nineteen months already), I have become more converted to the gospel. I know the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real, that by it each and every one of us is enabled to return to our Heavenly Father. By the Atonement, I have improved myself and closed the distance of my relationship with God. God is real, because He has become real in my life and I recognize the reality of the spiritual aspect of life. It is needed, because it is how we can be happy, not only for a temporal time, but for a lasting duration. My testimony is my fire. As I have learned in a recent meeting, "I light myself on fire, so that people can watch me burn." That testimony is my fuel that keeps me going and lights me on fire. It is both fuel and the igniting power.

A little interesting fact that I have discovered while doing family history this week. I was working on inputting information on Ancestry (as usual) and was correlating on FamilySearch (I was inputting information on the Todd line, which is easier to follow than most of the other names that I have branched off with) when I discovered that a sibling [Nellie Eva Todd, for your information] of Henry Matthew Todd had married John Whittaker Taylor, being one of his multiple wives. We have relations to John Taylor through this, which I thought was cool. Well, we have the institute manual of Church History in our apartment and I was looking through it. I came across John Whittaker Taylor, who during the Smoot hearings had to go into hiding (as well as another Apostle), because he had married more wives after the Manifesto was given. He later resigned from the apostleship and six years later, he was excommunicated for marrying another woman. After reading that, I now more fully realize that it is important to follow the prophet.

The highlights of this week. 

Monday, we had dinner with some members, who told us about this Greek woman who is a less active. We, after trying a few people, went to see her. She is an award winning hairstylist, who, as she had told us, won a competition, because she was able to cut hair really well in seven minutes. (And she will cut out hair for free) She has had some hard times due to the malicious intents of others. She has been asking about the Word of Wisdom and wine, coffee, and tea. This Greek woman is amazing. She is kind and, from what I can tell, is hard working, doing her work quickly and efficiently. We have addressed some of her concerns and answered any questions that she has had. 

Tuesday, we also contacted a man whose wife is a less active. He has a definite interest in the gospel (and he has been taught once by my current companion and my predecessor). We watched the Restoration video with him. He did not come to church this week. The wife was not there when we came by. That night, we had dinner with members who mentioned the press release that the Church had recently done. May I say that it is the most wonderful statement, not because I am a Mormon and not because I am a missionary, but because it calls for fairness for the religious community (in religious freedom laws and protection) and for the LGBT community (in basic human rights, such as housing). [I do hope that I understood the message clearly and conveyed it correctly.] If you have not watched it, I recommend it.  

Wednesday, we went to Cafe Rio, because some missionaries here wanted to go and somebody was leaving. It just opened and so we went. We got a free meal, because members were there and they gladly paid for us. Later that day, we contacted a few recent move ins who have not come to church. Some were excited to see us, others not so much. One person opened the door, we asked if the person was such and such name, and she asked how did you know. Well, may I add a note that her pants had the University of Utah logo on it with Utah near it. True, not all people in Utah are Latter-day Saints, but seeing as we were looking for a Latter-day Saint, it was a big sign saying, "Hey, I am such and such person." She told us we could come back, but she did not seem that excited to see us. Neither did some other people. 

Thursday, not much happened, unfortunately. 

Friday, we had a zone meeting. We talked about spiritually creating our baptisms, we talked about companionships, unity and ward council. Ever since I have come here, there have been a lot of talks and messages that I have applied to myself and my situation. There are some that I could easily look at my companion and say, "Listen," but I decided to take a look at myself. I love President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's "Lord, Is it I?" for it is so easy to look at someone else and say, "Oh, they need it." We are meant to improve and seeing we are imperfect, we should apply the messages to ourselves, even if we heard them multiple upon multiple times. I learned some things during this meeting. 

Saturday, we attempted to get our car serviced. The airbag light came on, which according to the manual, "The airbag may not deploy during a crash and may [in fact] deploy randomly." We found a place to get a diagnosis, which would cost ninety-nine dollars. We called the missionary in charge of the cars, who told us to hold off while he thinks about it. 

Side note, my nightmares have been changing. I used to have nightmares of school and my grades being below a B or even that of an A. I always felt like I was failing a class. Now, I had one dream where I was put into the hospital and I needed some sort of procedure, but before they could do anything, I stated, "Has this been approved by Missionary Medical?" Well, the obvious answer was no, because I was immediately ejected from the hospital. I had another dream/nightmare where I had a seizure and afterwards, I got up and was like, "I need to go to the hospital. I do not feel good." Then, I thought, "Oh, wait, I need to get it approved by Missionary Medical." I told my companion that I am surprised I have not had a nightmare about the cars and the processes with them. Then again, it is not too stressful, though it feels that it happens all too frequently.

Sunday, we had church and we weekly planned. We attempted to see people, but did not have success until that night. We were able to see a few people, despite it being the Super Bowl, the unofficial national holiday.

I do say that "All is Well!" At times, I do want to sing, "Do you hear the people sing, singing the song of angry men, of a people who will never be oppressed again...." but I refrain (partially because I am not entirely sure of how it goes) and it gets me riled up. I will not be oppressed in spirit. My goal for this week is not to give up. I am going to go upward, not downward.

Tout va bien! Alles wohl!


Elder S. Todd

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