Adapting to Change: Mind, Body and Spirit

For verily the voice of the Lord is unto all men, and there is none to escapeand there is no eye that shall not see, neither ear that shall not hear, neither heart  that shall not be penetrated. 
-Doctrine and Covenants Chapter 1

Monday, April 13, 2015

Dear Parents, Mom and Dad/Dad and Mom,

And yes, I do know of an Elder Short. Since he is a Mandarin Chinese elder, he is serving in Charlottesville. That is where all four Mandarin Chinese elders serve... for the entire two years. I want to say his companion is Chinese, or at least he is Asian. If we have a zone conference, I will make sure to say hi. We are bound to have one soon.

I am glad that my card was sent. It was big and I was not sure if multiple stamps were needed. Really, really glad they were sent. And really, really glad that Dad got it in time for his birthday. Sean must have gotten his, too.

 Where am I? Who am I with? What has happened in this past week? Stay tuned and keep on reading. This week has been a fun one, because of my companions. Oh yes, I said companions.

Monday, after email, we decided to meet up with some other missionaries in our district. Elder Jensen wanted to play soccer with them. As it usually happens, I was talking to the one missionary who talked to me a while back about musicals and such. We were talking this time about general conference and transfers. He, too, was being transferred. I wished him luck with his next companion and with his next area. After our P-day, we went out to Goochland, so I could say good bye to the Bible Study host. He absolutely unloaded on the problems out in Goochland; I so wished I could do more, but I know that I did all that I could. Good luck to Elder Jensen. (And please for anyone out there: love one another; look for the down trodden and love them.)

Tuesday, Elder Jensen and I said good byes. We went to transfer meetings. There was a special musical number played, which should not have been played. This elder decided to play "God Be With You 'Til We Meet Again." That is one song that should never be played in transfer meeting. It was funny; as soon as the people going home recognized it, they just put their heads down. The sisters were crying, though. Then, the
announcement came. So, I am in Staunton (pronounced as Stan-ton) in the Waynesboro Stake, bordering Franklin, West Virginia. Who am I with? Well, the missionary that I told good luck to is my companion, or at least one of them. His name is Elder Day; since he has only been out for under a six months, he still is fresh and eager to work. He is motivated, nice, and happy. He really does talk to everybody. The other elder is Elder Hansen. He has been out for ten months. He was companions with my old companion, Elder Avison, but that took him down a bit. He is a hard worker. I am trying to help him out, if anything, because I care. Our district leader's companion is my old companion Elder Taylor; it is awkward, because he does not talk to me and I try to (sort of). Part of me just wants to ask what happened, why did you do all that you did. It is difficult.  I do not see him too often.

In other news, I found some good news and some bad news. I found that the recent convert in Appomattox was anti-ed by her family; now she is less active. It is unfortunate to hear, but I have a feeling that she will turn around. I am not overly devastated or upset. Not sure why; you would think I would be.

The good news is that my other convert in White Oak [Tim Hartley; missed out on his baptism] is going to the temple. I may be able to go, because that looks like the same day I might go to the temple. I will have to talk to President about that. 

After a long ride up to Staunton and trying to help elders get their companions, we had dinner with some members and an investigator. He was going to be baptized this past Saturday. We shared "Because He Lives."

Wednesday. Now, please do not panic or call Sister Hendrickson. Buckle up your seatbelts and be still. I am alright. By this point, you already are panicking and are probably ready to lunge to the phone. The morning was good. I got up (didn't exercise due to a lack of a properly equipped gym and having to revert to non-gym exercises) and had a nice breakfast. Since I could not have usual Greek yogurt, I settled for a bowl of cereal, having a knock of "Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cereal" and "Honey Combs." That was what we had for cereal (please note it was very, very sugary); I had that about 7 or 7:30. After studies, we decided to go to Wal-Mart to pick up food for us to eat. All was good. I bought my items first and I waited for my other two companions to pay for the food. All of a sudden, I turned pale, my heart rate increased, my breathing increased, and I had lost strength. I held on to the cart, because I was not feeling that good. Plus, all of my symptoms. I had bought croutons and as soon as I got in the car, I began to eat, thinking my body needed some kind of sustenance to fight off what was going on. In fact, I thought diabetes and I needed that food. Elder Day wanted to go to the Dollar General, so we did and I bought orange juice for that reason. I called the mission nurse and she said that I either had an anxiety attack (due to the stress of transfers) or I am hypoglycemic. I noted the fact of the sugary cereal that I had; plus, I noted that when I eat (for example) breakfast and skip lunch, I start to get shaky. (You do remember that, right? You wanted to prick my finger and I absolutely refused. I stopped saying I was shaky, because I knew I would be pricked.) Signs are more pointing to hypoglycemia. I have to cut back on sugar, which is alright with me; in fact, I am cutting it out altogether and getting it from the good foods to eat (e.g. fruit). To put me back in balance, I had to eat protein, which I did. So, again, please do not panic and please do not call Sister Hendrickson. If you have any issues, please talk to me and if anything, I will talk to the mission nurse. I am alive, although sugar nearly killed me. (Okay, I had to add that exaggeration in there, because of its truthfulness).

After this circumstance, we talked to a less active who we were given to by the assistants. Not sure about this man's full story, but we will get there soon.

Now, a brief break, to talk to you about Staunton. Staunton has old buildings, but not like Petersburg where things are falling apart and there are scary neighborhoods around each corner. No, Staunton is old, but it is beautiful. It is green; it is amazingly beautiful. And I can see the hills... I mean, mountains from our balcony. Plus, there are a lot of hills here in Staunton. Thank goodness we are in a car. Plus, we have a big area, some of which we cannot access due to miles. There are farms with green grass. BEAUTIFUL. And there is the Mary Baldwin College, which is an all girls college. I have to keep my two companions focused. We have some recent converts that are students in the Mary Baldwin College. One of them, we met with on Wednesday. She is dramatic, but a nice, spirited person. She is crazy (figuratively), but she is still learning.

Thursday, we weekly planned. We had lunch, we tried contacting people, and then we had a lesson with an investigator. She is a young mother and is into anime. My two companions can get along with her; I have a hard time relating with the anime stuff. I never was too much into the comics and anime, except for Batman and that one show. We talked about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and its importance. I believe the lesson went well. She seemed to have understanding of it and was able to grasp the concepts. After dinner, we had two baptismal interviews that our district leader had to perform. Two people got baptized this past Saturday. Both passed their interviews. We picked up their baptism suits and dropped them off to the respective persons. 

Friday, we accomplished our progress record, which has not been done in quite a long time here in this area. Not much else happened on Friday that is noteworthy. 

Saturday, we helped move some furniture and got a referral from the people that we helped. Then, chaos splattered upon us. Ms. Mary [for your information: that is what I will deem the college here] decided to put a roadblock into our path; the students had to pick their dorms at different times that were assigned to them. One of the people being baptized that day is a student of Ms. Mary, so her time was the same time as the baptism. Through much prayer, we were able to push it to four and get people to come to it to support her. But, it meant filling the font sooner than thought. So, we did that, got her baptized, and the other person baptized. It all worked out, despite the stress that was placed.

Sunday, we nearly were late to church, because we decided to pick up the now dried baptismal suits. You see, the Staunton Ward goes to the Waynesboro Ward building, but they have baptisms at the Staunton Branch building. I thought we could do it and be on time, but we were slightly late. My fault. We had church, which, for us, was all over the place. In fact, one of the more dramatic moments, I wish to tell you, but not at this time. We had a lesson with an elderly man; I was with a member while my other two companions went finding. I taught the entire lesson, because the poor member wasn't adequately prepared. We contacted a less active and shared some spiritual thoughts.

It has been a crazy, wonderful week. I love the area. It is amazing!

All is well! Tout va bien! Alles wohl!


Elder S. Todd

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