Haggai! Haggai!

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Dear Parents, Mom and Dad/Dad and Mom,

It is pretty interesting working in a trio. We are able to have fun when it is appropriate and we are able to work hard. This week has been a good one. But before I get to that, just a couple of things.

I'll make sure to honor Sister Savannah Short's request (to hug her Mandarin Chinese Speaking brother serving in this mission).

I do like the apartment; it is big and spacious. It has a beautiful view of trees, which is a lot more beautiful than the ocean. I also found a book called "They Knew the Prophet." I found two names in it that we are related to: Daniel Duncan McArthur and Benjamin F. Johnson. They share their own personal contacts with the Prophet Joseph Smith. And I found out that we have ties as well to the Prophet Joseph Smith. One of the wives that Joseph Smith married was Almira Johnson, sister of Benjamin F. Johnson. When I send things off, I will definitely send that home.

Oh, and for Mother's Day, there is something I would like to mention, regarding family history.

This week, like I said, was good. We were able to work hard and nearly exhaust ourselves.

Monday, we explored downtown Staunton. There were a few places that were closed on Monday, but we were able to see a fair amount. A lot of it were some antique shops (I love antique shops) and other small shops. It was fun to walk around. Plus, we visited this graveyard for the fun of it. It was an interesting place. Not much else happened that night, despite our best efforts in finding. 

Tuesday, we had district meeting and we began looking through our area books. Yeah, for some odd reason, we discovered that we had not only one area book, but four. Plus, we found a really old record that dates B.P.M.G (Before Preach My Gospel). We talked to one of the Ms. Mary students, the one who is a bit dramatic (okay, Elder Todd is a guy and what guy truly understands girls). She was going away for a while, so we prepared her for the short time she would be gone. That night, we headed to Verona, a nearby dot on the map to try to find people there and to contact potentials and formers.

And Wednesday, we did service. We helped a man (a less active) who reminds me a bit of Uncle Joe [for your information: his first name is Joe] (Uncle Joe is Hispanic, a little scary but a very lovable guy); he has a lot of wisecrack comments, does not care what he says, and if you are offended, well, that's your own fault (that would be true of Uncle Joe). He is a character. He had a small yard for us to clean up; it was for his friend that gave him chain link fence. Well, now it involved raking. You may wonder (as he did) how I forgot, but I forgot I am not supposed to rake. In fact, it was not my first thought to not rake. As I was raking, I was like, "Oh yeah, I am not supposed to rake." (Side note: In fact, in Gayton, Greek lady called us to help her get her car unstuck from snow. Others were there to help before we showed up, but I nearly grabbed the snow shovel in an attempt to help.) But, I kept on raking until he asked for help lifting some bricks. I then told him that I had a herniated disc and he asked me, "How the hell can you forget that you are injured?" He, too, has an injured back. So, for the rest of the time of service, I just stood there. Now, I see why I am not supposed to rake, because I am still recovering. Now, I am resting from doing some raking; I still feel the effects. I have it under control (right).

We got home, changed, and saw one of our investigators
with a member. We shared a video with this investigator. She is mother of a child, though she does have the father there to help her. I know she felt the Spirit in that lesson. Yet, I am not sure how much she wanted to progress or change. This video was about a mother who wanted to visit her cousin, but she ended up helping a lot of people throughout her day. She ends up not being able to see her cousin and it is not until the family prayer that she realizes all the good that she had done. We related to her how our choices affect others; we related this to church attendance and how much a difference attending church will make in her life. We are not sure what else to do at this point with her.

Dinner was great that night for two out of three of us. You know, Mom's baked spaghetti? Well, we had something similar to that. It was delicious. Well, as we were leaving, Elder Day started to feel sick. We, fearing that he might throw up, gave him a code word to say if he needed to spew out what he needed to: "Haggai." As we were driving along and approaching a gas station, he started to yell out, "Haggai! Haggai!" Well, he-- and were pretty sure on this-- had food poisoning. At dinner, there were two pans of baked spaghetti. I ate from my pan while my companions had the other pan to eat from. Elder Hansen got the sides while Elder Day got the entire (and most likely, uncooked) middle; Elder Day probably spared everybody from illness. After him upchucking dinner, we had a lesson with the most recent convert of Ms. Mary, but Elder Day needed to go home after that.

Thursday, we needed to take it easy for Elder Day's sake. We did weekly planning. We had to give Elder Hansen to the Spanish Elders, because he was needed by them to help lift a wood stove. Yeah, no way could I do that. We went to a member's house for dinner. Poor Elder Day, he could only drink juice that day. 

Friday, we did the progress record. We organized our area book and called "formers." From that alone, we were able to set up lessons.

Saturday, our wisecracking less active needed some more help with cleaning a chicken coop. He had me sit down and rest, so that I would not injure myself or aggravate my back. Chickens, by the way, are hilarious. They are the most silliest of all creatures, or at least the ones that I know. We fed them bread; we helped fix the fence. As we were trying to fix the fence, Elder Hansen was holding a metal bracket. One of the chickens kept on trying to eat it and peck at it as if it was food. After that fun service, we helped give a blessing to somebody in the hospital. Then, we had more service. It involved bending, raking, shoveling, and gardening; things I could not do much of. I had fun sitting in the sun.

Sunday, we woke up exhausted. I was sore, I could not function at full capacity. We had a meeting at church at nine with the ward mission leader. After our meeting, we went over to the car and took a nap. Church was great; we had this one member come who lives in a nursing home. He is no longer senile(?); he is a bit crazy. He told some jokes during class and to us: "What did the crocodile do to you? Jaws!" "What is happening when you hear thunder? God is moving his furniture around." "Where was Moses when the lights turned off? In the dark." He is a character and he is great. After church, we talked to a few people, tried to go for a lesson, but things did not work out.

We had dinner, tried to contact a few people, and headed to a less active's home. From their mannerisms, it was evident that most of them did not care too much about the Church anymore.

We had a good week. Things went well and things are going well. We are pushing forward.

All is well! Tout va bien!


Elder S. Todd

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