Forks In The Road

And it shall come to pass, that if the Gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks -1 Nephi 14

Monday, March 30, 2015

Dear Parents, Mom and Dad/Dad and Mom,

Happy Easter (#BecauseHeLives)! Happy Passover!

Believe me, I try to not be late to anything. One thing that always stresses me is time. I make sure that we are early to church, seeing as I am the designated driver. The hard thing though is Elder Jensen has a faulty memory and I forget from time to time. We have not forgotten anything too majorly important, but it is something that I try to catch before we forget. Writing things down definitely helps. But, I am not perfect. (Elder Todd's parents work with missionaries in California and recently two sister missionaries were 35 minutes late to a dinner appointment to which they were reminded that they have cell phones for when they know they are late)

Yes, I remember the youth in Tappahannock. (Two young women from the recently created Tappahannock Ward requested to be "friends" on Facebook. His parents monitor his Facebook until he returns home.)

And the elders were not informed? Yeah, that happens. I have heard stories and I have seen it happen. President Wilson reads off some names and one person stands up, his or her companion missing. Then, somebody who knows the person being transferred is like, "Uh, they were not informed that they were being transferred." I pray that I am not one of these people that are not informed. With transfers coming up, it is going to be interesting to see what happens. (Two missionaries found out the day before transfers that they had been on the list but were not informed.)

Does my dog wake you up when she hops in bed with you? Or do you wake up in the morning to her close to one of you? (His parents have four Boxers and his jumps up on their beds in the wee hours of the morning.)

It has been a good week. I do enjoy my companion and I strive to continue my efforts in treating him nicely. He is a really happy, energetic soul. He is eager to do the work.

Monday, after P-day, we had dinner with members who are service missionaries (Service missionaries can be assigned to teach, work with military families, work in prison ministries, hold addiction recovery programs, humanitarian service, etc.). They talked to us all about it and the organization that goes on behind the scenes. It is a lot to recount. Well, we decided to share our thought after we ate, which we did. My companion spoke and I bore testimony. I did not say much, because that chance was gone as soon as I spoke. The husband went off on a random tangent that I have no idea how it connects to our thought about missionary work. He was going on and on about where the Book of Mormon actually is (the actual engravings on metal sheets). According to some people's diligent efforts, they claim the Book of Mormon is here in North America. [For Dad: They talked about how they found Hebrew writing, the Hopewell culture, etc.] It was just an odd tangent, but he was really willing to share. So, we listened. (Probably reminded him of his father who likes to tell stories.)

Tuesday, I finally got permission to go to the baptism for the man in Tappahannock. The bad thing was I did not have a ride; the person that has taken me in the past would not be able to do what he has done. He could take me back. I concluded that there would be no possible way for me to do get a ride, seeing as I had found Sunday and did not have permission until Tuesday. President suggested two names of senior missionaries nearby that might help, one of them being the Sopps. I did not feel like bothering these people and press upon them for my wants and desires. After an internal conflict, I called the Sopps, who more than happily took me there and back. The baptism was great. The man was ever so happy to be baptized. He bore his testimony, which he essentially told everyone to prepare to meet God. The person who baptized him had to do it three to four times to get it done correctly. He kept on saying the prayer wrong and then, the man's hand did not go down all the way. Elder Sopp, when the prayer was not said correctly and he was baptized, said, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." It was great, nonetheless. I am really thankful for the Sopps to be able to take me, especially at last minute. Oh, and there may be one more baptism yet to come.

Also, on Tuesday, we taught a nice lady who is very open-minded, despite the two certificates she has from one of the local Baptist churches. She liked what we said and thought about coming to church. Yet, she did not. We will meet with her soon.

Wednesday, we had district meeting and I was asked to give a training. It was nice. During it, we received a referral. Well, it needed a Urim and Thummim to translate. There were squares and all sorts of symbols. So, we headed to the next best thing, seeing as we did not have a Urim nor a Thummim, which was the computer. We contacted the referral. 

We taught our part member family that "cancelled" on us the previous Sunday. We had members with us and it went well. It was a good lesson the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have a feeling that we need to help the investigator, who is the husband of the family, be more centered on Christ. Plus, we need to go over the lessons again, except the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

We taught our less active recent convert who is trying to figure out which of the two commandments ("keep the Sabbath day holy" and "honor thy father") to obey. He has yet to pray nor has he fasted. We again encouraged to keep on praying. We also told him that if he keeps the Sabbath day hold and progresses in the gospel, his father will be impressed by the changes that he will make. It is interesting that still calls the Church "your [referring to us] church" and his father's church "his [referring to himself] church." Yet, he is conflicted about keeping the Sabbath day holy. Perhaps, there is something deeper here.

Thursday, it was supposed to be thunderstorms and hot. It turned about to be sunny, hot, and 80 degrees. It made Mama happy, because it was her birthday and it was what she prayed for. We helped with Bingo when the fire alarm went off. We stayed there in the room until the sound went off. Once the sound went off, they kept on playing bingo, despite the lights still flashing. Eventually, the alarm died down. 

In other good news of the day, we finally got in contact with the referral from Woodbridge for the recent convert who has moved down here. We finally made contact after nearly two transfers. It has been great progress. 

Friday, it dropped down to the low 40s and even dipped into the high 30s. It was raining and did rain some slush. We taught a Catholic woman, who did not express too much interest, and even expressed during the lesson, "I am not interested in changing religions." My companion still gave the baptismal invite, which in some ways is good. We also taught a man from Iraq along with his friend. The man went off on us in trying to expand our views. He himself was not a strict Muslim. The reason, he said, that most of these people from Iraq come to the United States for is peace. He talked a lot about peace. He talked about culture and other things. He is an excellent man and it was good to hear that.

Saturday, a lot of our plans fell through. We helped out with the ongoing "March Rescue." We helped the woman who wants to be taught as "a Gentile," or one who never has heard what we have taught. It was interesting. We tried to explain things simply and she added all these variables. We used analogies and scriptures, but she added her view in it. As her mother put it, "You took them over the river and through the woods to get to Grandma's house when Grandma's house was across the street!" We only got a fraction through the lesson on the plan of salvation.  Later that night, we also went over to see the other woman who needs help in understanding the Book of Mormon.

Sunday, we helped Mama with understanding her tablet to do family history. The ward should be involved with that soon. We taught the investigator who, when invited to baptism, always says that he already has been baptized twice and will not change. We read the Book of Mormon with him, talked about Christ, talked about priesthood authority, and invited him. He said those things, but he changed a bit by saying that if he came to know, then he would. He has made good progress.

We did teach our ten year old investigator, but little progress has been made.

Definitely, a good week. It should be interesting to see what will happen coming up.

All is well! Tout va bien!


Elder S. Todd

No comments: