Silence Can Be Deadly

Monday, March 23, 2013

Dear Mom and Dad/Dad and Mom,

If you could please send out the MTC backpack (the blue one), that would be great. I still have my regular scripture case; that did not break. It has survived. I am slightly tired of carrying my scriptures by hand, though it is not at all a big deal. It still works fine. Though, for your sake and mine, I would love to carry my camera with me. I hate to leave it in the car or carry it in my pockets.

I am glad that Elder Sopp called you. I was so happy to see them, because they are from Hanford. It is like seeing kinsfolk of a land that you have not seen in a very, very long time. Plus, I can actually tell somebody that I am from Lemoore and them asking me, "Where is that?" Yeah, we received a new car this past week that barely has been driven. It has about 5000 miles on it. My companion is absolutely happy that we have a new car, instead of the car we were driving.

I may be going to baptism tomorrow again in Tappahannock for the man who I was unsure whether or not he was ready. One, I need to get a ride and two, I need to get permission. And I found out yesterday of the baptism. I debated whether or not to go, because my companion does want to work. I decided to go. It really is a tough decision, because we got slammed to the ground this past week (figuratively). It has been a difficult week for the both of us, yet we pushed forward.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Monday, we had a great preparation day. We took care of the needs that we needed to and had a wonderful dinner with some awesome members. We saw our less active recent convert-- the one that did not seem ready for baptism and is going to another church at this current point due to his father-- and there was progress. He always talks of his other church, the one that he normally goes to. But, this time, it was different. I am never sure how we got on the topic of his going to church, but we did. He recognized that he needs to come to the Church, but he has difficulty of keeping the sabbath day holy and honoring his father and mother. We discussed this and told him that he should pray and fast on it. We told him that his spiritual progression is being halted by him not keeping the sabbath day holy. He does not yet have the priesthood nor has he gone to the temple. He wants that. We will need to follow up, so that we can help him even further.

Tuesday, we contacted potentials and received referrals. We helped the high priests that night with the "March Rescue" that is occurring here in the stake. I went with one high priest (he was one of the members that took us out to dinner the night previous). We checked up on our elderly member, who we happened upon last week. Unfortunately, he has yet to answer the door nor has anyone else answered the door. We tried a do not contact. I have to admit that she was the most friendliest of do not contacts; she politely talked to us. We have no idea why she is a do not contact. My companion and I will definitely will have to follow up. 

Wednesday, I learned the difference of areas that are okay to tract and the ones that do not want you. We had district meeting and we went on exchanges. I stayed in the area and I was with the district leader. We had some spare time before we needed to do something, so we decided to tract this one apartment complex (that, like many, if not all, complexes, had a do not solicit and do not trespass sign). We went to one building of this complex, which consists of eight doors. We knocked on each door and only one of eight was friendly. If they answered, they would say, "There's no soliciting here," and promptly close the door shut. By the end of our fifteen minutes and as we were heading to the car, the management came out and asked us to leave. We told her that we were not solicting, that we would leave, which she understood. Looks like we will not be coming back to that. On contrast, we went to another complex of duplexes. We were able to find a potential in this complex. But, as we were tracting, we met this woman who asked us if we saw the signs that said, "Do not trespass." She did not ask us to leave, but do not bother anybody else. We told her that we were proselyting, we told her thank you, and we moved on. Nothing was done to ensure our removal. It is something we will have to do or else the work would be hindered. I know that there is a difference between "Get out" and "Do not bother anybody else."

Later that night of Wednesday, we went to Goochland to see if there was Bible Study. There was not. But, we helped the host of Bible Study with some sheet rocking. I got to use a drill for a while. I am still not the best. I was so happy to do some kind of physical labor that will not threaten my back. We talked to the host and was again able to gain information from him about himself. 

Thursday, we got the new car, we exchanged back, and we went about doing all that we can. We helped with the health center and tried to contact referrals. After dinner, we helped the member, whose house is not dark, understand the Book of Mormon. 

Winston Churchill
Friday, we attempted to weekly plan. We still have not accomplished all of it, though we are trying when we can. We tried to find. We helped the less active recent converts, whose house is dim or not lit, to understand the Book of Mormon. One of them, who wanted to be taught as though she never heard of this before, is understanding. We tried more referrals.

Saturday, we had appointments with our ex-Marine and our Bible fundamentalist. Both cancelled. We took care of our progress record. I helped my companion with his family history, somewhat. He was exploring how far his line goes back, which I have to admit is quite interesting. The farther you go back, the harder it is to determine whether or not it is fact. I mean, certainly Jacob and Rachel did not give birth to Zeus. It does not seem rational to me.  After lunch, I felt prompted to help our Bible Study host again. I mean, his house is kind of in shambles and he has guests coming in about a week for his daughter's wedding. Plus, he has to take care of sewing the dresses, making the decorations, and so on and so forth. We helped with more sheet rocking, which was fun. There were a lot of mistakes made, but they were not entirely my fault. We could have done more, but we were running kind of late to get back for an appointment. We had an appointment with a different Muslim family, who is from Sudan. Not sure if it is going to go too far. They are interested in Christianity's similarities to Islam and our differences. (The one major one is Jesus Christ.) We plan to give them information and they plan to give us materials. That will be interesting.
We did teach our ten year old investigator, which, my companion is right, he is paying attention a bit more. That is great news for us. His mother is still wanting to wait until May. We have ideas to help.

Sunday, we prepared and made it to church early. I love it that we come to church early. I have to admit that this particular Sunday; I was exhausted, perhaps due to the physical labor. My back, despite a lot of physical work I had to do with sheet rocking, was not hurting. PROGRESS! Of course, I am being careful. After church and lunch, we tried a few people.

Then, we went to a birthday party for Mama. Her birthday is actually on Thursday, but she had her party on Sunday instead. A lot of people from church and a few from the health center came. It was great to see her happy. We had an appointment with a less active member. We were trying to talk to her about the Atonement, but she made us feel like we were trying to push her to come to church. A lot of her answers to deep thinking questions was about church attendance. We had an appointment scheduled with a part member family, the one who is already an investigator of ours, but had been sick for the past three weeks or so. We, apparently, did not knock loud enough, because nobody came to the door.

Well, despite the flops, it was good week. My back is making progress (I know I will not be stupid), Mama is happy, we helped the host of Bible Study, and we kept on going. This week will be good!
All is well! Tout va bien! Alles wohl!


Elder S. Todd

#Virginia Richmond Mission

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