A Hug a Missionary Will Never Forget

Monday, May 11, 2015

Dear Parents, Mom and Dad/Dad and Mom,
Good morning. It was so good to Skype the two of you. I am glad that I am looking healthy. I will admit something here; I should have mentioned this yesterday, but it was not too important. I do have healthy meals. I have Greek yogurt for breakfast and salad for lunch. I have been doing that for a while now. I am able to get my protein in and follow the Word of Wisdom (reference to LDS guidance on diet) a bit more. I am still figuring how to follow the Word of Wisdom more fully and I am quite happy with doing this. Of course, one day, I will expand beyond salads. I realize there are more ways to eat meat sparingly. And no, I am not becoming a vegetarian.
I am quite happy that I am looking healthy and that most of my teeth are white. I feel happy about the
changes that have been made physically for me. I feel like I am eating a bit more healthy and I am getting back into exercising. I am so happy that I could run (which I will get to that story in a bit), which makes me want to run, though that will have to wait a bit. There are more steps that I am going to be working on, such as eliminating desserts and, eventually, snacks (though I will have some for emergencies). Please note a couple things here. I am not trying to prevent myself from becoming fat; I am not trying to be a health nut. I am trying to take care of my body and to do those things that will help me. I am trying to explore ways that I can more fully live the Word of Wisdom and it will take time. I am trying to do things better, trying to make good things become habits. The Word of Wisdom is a good start for me.
I hope this explanation makes sense. And that you will not panic. One day, I will add a bit more to my breakfast and add a bit more to my meals.

It has been a good week, quite enjoyable and definitely we had to work hard. Plus, lots of crazy little things happened.
Let us begin with Monday. Our P-day was of the normal kind. It was enjoyable. We decided to clean our car and try to fix our door. We did not do anything to the door, but the sensor is not working properly. It keeps on saying the door is ajar. We tried to figure it out and messed with another door... until the door would not shut. It is hard to explain over an email, but it had to deal with the latch to close the door until the time comes to reopen the door. We could not get the latch down, despite our attempts. We called Elder Sopp and we prayed. We called some members and while we called these members, a miracle occurred. As it so happened to be, God thankfully intervened. A returned missionary, who was visiting the Staunton area that he had served in, decided to stop by his old apartment. His father, who knew how to deal with the problem fixed the latch and we were able to go about our business. Thank you, Elder Beaton. (Fun fact: This Elder Beaton was the trainer to one of my old companions, Elder Frank.) And thus began our week.

Tuesday, we had one giant zone conference. And guess who I met? Elder Short. And guess what I did? I gave him a hug for his sister. Yes, my quest of hugging Elder Short for his sister is complete. He was a bit surprised, but I figure he was happy about that. The zone conference talked a lot about creating our own personal ministry. I like this idea, because there are people we minister to each day. There are the people in need and the people we are in contact with on a daily basis. I pondered this idea for quite a while. After returning home and enjoying dinner, we headed off to see the recent convert man who was baptized when I got here. We shared part of the Plan of Salvation and helped him to set goals, so that he could obtain the Aaronic Priesthood and go to the temple. We noted some things that he needed, so that he could have aid as he continued to progress in the gospel; some of these things were also discussed in zone conference. We realized we need to find member friends for our people and we needed to help them have assignments. We also saw a less active who usually sits all day and watches the television (due to some injuries that he is suffering through). We again applied our zone conference and it worked.
I realize even more that things work quite well when we have the Spirit more fully in our lives. As
somebody told me, "When we live the gospel harder, it becomes easier." Somebody had faulted me on that before on "the gospel becoming easier," but it means that when we have the gospel in our lives, we are able to withstand our trials even more. We do not despair; we come to know that these trials are for our gain.
Wednesday, we headed off to see the people in the health center. We went to find; then our dinner appointment called us and asked us to go visit somebody. Off to the hospital we went. We met the family and the person who we were asked to see was wheeled away for some reason. The family asked us to help in giving a blessing, but we needed to wait for the sister. The sister did not show up, and, unfortunately, we had to go. We gave them some oil (a drop of olive oil is used that has been consecrated) and headed off. We met a member of the bishopric to go to a lesson. We tried to see our elderly man investigator (whose family consists mainly of LDS), but he was not there. The bishopric member suggested that we go and try to see a recent move in. He, too, was not there. And speaking of rain, it poured while we were doing this. We met up with our dinner, who gave us money due to the fact they could not have us over for dinner. After dinner, we met up with one of the Ms. Mary students; we tried to help her to understand more about faith. After this short lesson, we headed over to the church to help with the priests' mutual activity involving the Preach My Gospel.
Thursday, we did our weekly planning session. We talked with our elderly man investigator, but not much happened in this visit. We finished off a street that we previously tracted, but nobody was home. We visited with the other Ms. Mary student, who is involved with drama. She, the next day, was going to get her patriarchal blessing... though she thought it was an interview for the blessing itself. She was surprised, nervous, because she had not realized that. We explained what occurs and the sacred nature of those blessings. She felt a bit better and even more after she had received that blessing. We had dinner with a new family that moved in. They are a wonderful young couple, very nerdy, but they are fantastic. They made some really good food. They have no furniture, so we sat on the floor, which I enjoyed a lot. Until, of course, I got up and had to hobble off. But, other than that, it was a good time. They later commented on how they loved our trio; they said we were personable and fun and we were able to bring in the Spirit. Later that night, we met with our investigator family to check up on them; the children still want to know more (they loved us) and the father is still interested. The mother, whom we never taught, is waning.
Friday, we completed our progress record. Mainly this day, we tried to contact a lot of people. Not much happened. 

Saturday, we updated the members who need rides that they have rides. Then began that 6 and a half hours of service that we did. We helped out this member who needed some items moved; she owns this shop and it has a lot of stuff. There is a back room that is one giant pile of clothes and other donated items. Luckily, there was some smaller items that I could move and lift. Somebody gave her a dog, so that she can find this dog a home. That dog tried to escape. The three of us went after it; and that is when I realized I could run. Yes! But, man I am sore after running. I had not run in a long, long time, because I was afraid that I would screw up my back even more. It did not though. Happy about that. After reclaiming the dog and returning it, we headed over to Staunton Post Office. There was a food drive going on that helps the Feed America thing going on and a food bank that is in the area somewhere. The postal service was used to make notice of this event and for the picking up of the food. Well, everybody was late. There were cans, glass, and dry goods, plus other random things. One bag of food was compiled of Cheez-its. There were marshmallows and random medicine. It was a great time, though some items were odd. We did not finish until seven-thirty.
Sunday, we had meetings and church; this time we did not lose our befuddled man. We had a quick lunch and then headed over to the people that allowed us to Skype at their place. Elder Day went first; his family was trying to figure out things, so he did not see them as much. Plus, the microphone was not working all that well. By the time I went, everything was figured out. Then, we had dinner and Elder Hansen talked to his family. Afterwards, we blessed a home.

And that is our week. Many appointments cancelled; many people were not home. But, it was great. Lots of service performed and good times.
All is well.
Elder S. Todd

#Virginia Richmond Mission

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