Melatonin, A Phone Call, Miracle, Drunk Love

The Strange Life of a Mormon Missionary

Monday, February 9, 2015

Dear Parents, Mom and Dad/Dad and Mom,

I have no idea exactly what is wrong with my companion. I asked why he stays up, which he says, "I cannot fall asleep." Okay... I understand that you cannot fall asleep, but you take Melatonin. "I use it to fall asleep." Okay, I understand that and I asked him then, "Why do you engage in activities [e.g. working out, having lights on] that are contrary to a person trying to fall asleep?" He simply stated, "I tend to start waking up at night, particularly at this time [9:30]. It naturally happens." Naturally? Okay, I understand that. I also understand if you use Melatonin to sleep, then use it to sleep. I wanted to repeat what I said in my letter that I wrote to him. If the Lord has commanded us to go to bed early and then to rise up early, he will help us with that, even if it seems contrary to our "natural" sleep cycles. I know that there is power to change. By the time that I go through this in my entire mind, I realize the commonality of the sleeping problem and the planning problem. Attitude. I believe he has the "Eeyore" attitude, the "whatever" attitude. If this is the case, there is little, if anything, that I can do, other than "love him." 

What I then have to do is to ensure that I do something productive, other than study and lunch, between the hours of ten to two. (I have thought of doing the area book, but I can only go so far. I can plan for people, but I cannot do it everyday.) I cannot accuse him of any attitude problems until I am more sure that this is the case. Yet the more I press, the more he is going to distance himself from me. This is where I am at now, the fourth week of the transfer. I realize that I am between a rock and a hard place.  No I have not contacted Missionary Medical. If he has depression or needs any psychological help, that has to be talked with the mission president.

Monday, we got haircuts from our Greek member, because she had offered and my companion needed it. I got one, to get mine trimmed a bit. She mainly cut the sides, but did not really touch the top of my head, only a touch. She gave us cake; she always offers food when we arrive and we have dinner with her soon. We had zone P-day and I took my usual spot on the stage. Well, there was another person there who could not play sports either. Well, we talked and apparently I have been talked about. He had heard that I liked Les Miserables, which earlier that day, in my email, I quoted to you. We talked for the duration that he was there and it was quite nice. We had dinner with ourselves and from there we tried to contact some people we have not seen. One was a less active man, but on this day we were not able to get in. The other was a recent convert and his returning-to-activity wife and sister-in-law. It was good to finally talk to them, officially meet them, and begin to figure out how to help them progress. They have a desire to go to the temple and with the bishop's challenge (to get one family name to the temple by the next ward temple trip in April), it is a big help.

Tuesday, we were able to contact our Persian family and gave them the Persian Book of Mormon. Yes, Persian is still an existing language, even if the country does not exist (Okay so Dad was a bit wrong but they do have ties to Iran and may prefer people to know them as Persians.). It is also called Farsi. Another member of the family talked to us rather than the mother and son. She stated that she and the family were Muslims, but were open to learn more about our beliefs to gain knowledge. It was an interesting visit, because there was no progress and with that mindset, she made it difficult. Later that night, we went to Goochland to contact a referral, who was not home. This referral is a member and needs a ride to church. We were unable to obtain a ride, but we discussed this in ward council, enabling a movement to get a ride from a Goochland member to take him to the church. 

Wednesday, we again went to Goochland, but for an appointment with a lady in a trailer park. She makes clay dolls and she was sculpting one as we were there. I am not sure she was even paying attention to what we were saying, because occasionally, we had to repeat what we said. She did not understand why we asked about baptism, though we talked about it several times in the lesson.

Thursday, we had zone workshop. We did a lot of role playing. We had a refocus on the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and what was actually restored. I had thought about that, but I was glad to hear it reemphasized. It truly is a restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it helps put Christ in the focus of the lesson and our message. We were recorded like the previous zone workshop. Later that day, we contacted a referral. We had not gone to the computers to see what information was given about this person. We talked with her, though she had no idea why she was referred. We left a bit confused. We are able to return. (As it turns out, there is no information given on the referral, but she referred her self apparently.) 

Friday, we went to one of the houses where we read the Book of Mormon with some of the people there. This is the house where the two people we read the Book of Mormon with are recent converts. From what we read (1 Nephi 11), we had a wonderful discussion on pride and overcoming it. That night, we yet again went to Goochland for a dinner appointment. In the meanwhile, as it was later told to me, there was a birthday party in Richmond where a certain woman attended as well as an elderly man, who is a member of the ward that I am in. Keep that in mind. It is important. Towards the end of the dinner, we received a call from a number that I did not recognize, so I ignored it. As we left the house, I called the person back. Lo and behold, it was the Tappahannock elders. They called, because there was a baptism in Tappahannock for the man who had a lot of medical problems, who was ready to be baptized; however, he was in the hospital when I left and was unable at that time to be baptized. He was getting baptized the next day at seven. Well, it is very, very hard to try to obtain a ride the very next day. I prayed that a way would be provided, because I really, really wanted to go. 

I talked with my companion about who to call. In the meanwhile, at the birthday party, this certain woman approached this elderly man and they proceeded to have a conversation. My companion told me some people to try and at last, we determined to call the elderly man. The elderly man answered his phone and I stated who I was. He could not hear me, so he handed the phone to this certain woman. She apologized that he could not hear and asked who I was. I stated my name and she was like, "Elder Todd? Is this the Elder Todd who served in Tappahannock?" This certain woman was one of the daughters, of the members upstairs from Tappahannock, who has lots of crazy stories to tell. I was quite surprised and stated why I had called. The elderly man could not do it and the woman said she could tonight, but it was impossible to do so. I wrote down her number and sent a text with our number. I did not realize then that this was the way. 

From this conversation, we went to another trailer to talk to this lady. She was drunk and was complimenting me in particular, or in other words, she was hitting on me. She was extremely drunk; she hated my tabs on the scriptures, stated several times that our spirits are going to heaven, and told me that I did not need those tabs or the scriptures. She even prayed that we would understand that there was no point to bury our body. I could have said several things at this point and I was not too happy as well, not because of the tabs, but because of my own love for the scriptures. We immediately left.

We went home. I got permission to go to the baptism. The member from Tappahannock called and she said that she could arrange a ride for me through another member who Elder Henstrom and I helped drag a deer out of the woods with. He was going to pick up Elder Henstrom. He called me and it was arranged. Truly, the Lord knows our circumstances, know us individually, and does indeed answer our prayers.

Saturday, we took care of our progress record and we visited the family who usually takes three hours for dinner. Luckily, we were not there for dinner. We taught her nine year old who does want to be baptized, but does not like Primary nor does he like to sit still. We read out of the Book of Mormon. We had dinner and then we went to Tappahannock. The person who was being baptized was not the only one for there was another man, taught by the sisters, that also was being baptized. Wow, it was really amazing. I was so happy and the man who I was there for was also happy that I came. I was allowed to be one of the witnesses. I told him congratulations and wrote him a note in a small book that I was supposed to sign. A lot of people were there. As the branch president stated, it truly has been a miracle for Tappahannock. In these past three years, a lot of men have been baptized, which means more priesthood holders. The branch is being strengthened and is growing. Truly, the Lord is hastening His work. Tappahannock is a testimony of that. I learned that our single mother investigator's son is going to be baptized in about two weeks. I am going back to Tappahannock again. While we were there, we saw the members upstairs. She had finished Christmas decorating in January after we left. It was really great to see everybody again.

We arrived home late (about 11:00 that night), so Sunday when we had to get up at six for an early morning meeting before Church, it was difficult. We had Church, then we had lunch with the members who sent you that picture. I bore testimony of prayer from the miracle that just occurred. I was really happy about all that occurred. I had a miracle and I had seen somebody enter into the waters of baptism, I wanted to share that happiness. It was a big meal. 

Afterwards, we went to see that less active man, who is a single father going through a rough time. He laughs at his ironic state; his ancestor is Martin Harris and here he is less active. I remembered that there is an excellent talk about single fathers by, I believe, Elder Baxter. I would love to give it to him, but I am not sure how he would take it. After we left him, we had a dinner with the bishop. From there, we tried this less active woman who plans on returning to activity and is making some necessary steps. At this current point, she is not coming to church. She is recovering from an accident that she was in. From talking to her, there were a lot of things reaffirmed in my own mind about things we have previously talked about and things I have stressed.

The future looks positive. Miracles will occur. Ways will be provided.

Alles wohl! Tout va bien!


Elder S. Todd


Jared Jones said...

You are awesome Elder Todd! Keep up the good work!

Jared Jones said...

You are awesome Elder Todd!