A Redhead, A Brunette, and A Blonde . . .

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. -Albert Einstein

Monday, April 27, 2015

Dear Parents, Mom and Dad/Dad and Mom,

God has a sense of humor; it is something than one of my companions pointed out this past week. Remember those old jokes, "A redhead, a brunette, and a blonde ..." Here we are as a trio and we realized that we are that joke.  Elder Hansen is the redhead, Elder Day is the blonde, and I am the brunette.

Anyway, I hope that Sean received my card before his birthday. It is good to hear that he is doing well. It sounds like he had a good birthday.

I have been doing well. From stake (similar to a diocese) conference, I learned a lot, particularly some personal revelation. I feel calm as a summer's day about what will happen next. I have no idea what will happen after I return, but I feel trust and faith in God and His plan. For now, I am going to continue to push forward. One of my companions has been down trodden and the other is a bit tired, but we will help each other along.

This week we pushed really hard and seen some good things. It has been truly good.

Monday, we had dinner with the recent convert and his family; the recent convert is the man who was baptized when I had arrived. We started the new member lessons with him. Not much else happened that night. 

Tuesday, we went out with a member who is helping us to visit less actives that are inaccessible due to our
mileage limitation. We took him to a lesson with a man who has cancer. He loves to talk and talk. We were able to get to know him and what he needed. We talked about faith, hope, and charity. We are sure that it helped him out. We saw some other people; one person was experiencing divorce and had been offended by members. The member spoke to her-- he also being offended by members-- and pleaded with her to return. It was obvious that she was touched. I hope that she remembers that. After going about various places in our boundaries, we met up with one of the Ms. Mary students, the one whom I have mentioned before. She recently went back to her home and we asked her how that went (since she is a Mormon while her family is not). She is still strong and pushing forward. Later that night, we visited with this woman who lives in a health center. She, also a recent convert, talked to us about different things in her life. It was good to know her a bit more.

Wednesday rolled around. We finished off the area book and completed separating all of the records. We had to go to Wal-Mart, because Elder Day has been suffering from allergies. That has been going on plus plenty of illness. I feel a bit sick this morning, but I will get better. My allergies have not been kicking in as last year when I wanted to be rid of my eyes. I think my body adapted to the climate and pollen. Hopefully. We had an appointment with a less active man; he had forgotten about it and wanted to meet another time. Another
appointment we had fell through. We checked up on this referral from a couple of weeks ago. This referral is an elderly man (in his 90s); we had helped his daughter move some furniture from his place. We visited him and afterwards, we felt that he was prepared. It is matter of easing him into the idea of investigating. He has not expressed interest in learning more, but he has not declined. The things he said indicated preparedness to hear the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Later that night, we checked up on a referral and scheduled for the morning on Saturday.

Thursday, we had district meeting. The zone leaders were there and they wanted to go on exchanges (for two hours) with us. Hmm... I wonder why. Possibly because one of the zone leaders, Elder Denning, wanted to come with me to be my companion again, just as he "prophesied." (He said that we would be companions in the end and said that these exchanges fulfilled that. I guess we can go with that as consideration of fulfillment.) So, after district meeting, I went with Elder Denning to go finding. First door we knock on we are let in. We talked to this lady, who seemed a bit off. She is Christian and knows things in the Bible, though she depends on what other people say. She explained all the strange things that have been happening to her. I knew where we needed to go with her; we set up for an appointment for tomorrow to talk about those things. She took up our time for these exchanges. 

We had dinner that night with a mother and her young daughter; the young daughter is our investigator who expressed interest in baptism. We went over to not only have dinner, but to teach her. She was not willing to listen, despite our attempts, and eventually quit altogether. We taught the principles, but it did not go too well. Perhaps we need to change things for her. Later that night, we checked up on a family who is always busy to come to church. We reminded them of their baptismal covenants and encouraged them to come to church. They realize it; they realize where they want their family. Some members of their family have desires to be baptized. It is a matter of being motivated.

Friday, we went to our appointment with our strange lady. She expressed that she was not interested, because she was going to have her own Bible study with somebody else. We talked to her about the Atonement and our trials in life-- something she needed-- but she was not willing to listen. The Spirit was not there, despite our efforts. We went home, had lunch, and weekly planned. We had our appointment with the less active man of Wednesday change to earlier and so we went off to visit him at his mother's apartment. He had some questions on his mind, which involved his situation. All I can say is this: He at one point had the Spirit with him, but he began to doubt and came to Satan's trap. His testimony nearly withered away, even nearly casting away the idea of a God. We began to help him, so he could come back to the point. He had not been to church in a long while, but was moving forward until his situation occurred. We are going to help him progress by helping him to feel the Spirit once more.

That night we had a lesson with a Ms. Mary student, who is another recent convert. She is moving to Texas soon. We taught her a few principles before it was time for us to go. Well, we were stuck in the place we were meeting, because a swarm of elderly people came in. I had no idea where they came from, so I was like, "Where did all these elderly people come from? Did they crawl out of the sewers?" My companions laughed. (Perhaps too much Super Mario?)

Saturday, we had a lesson with the referral contacted on Wednesday. He wanted his kids taught, so we taught the Restoration simply. It was good. By the end, the father, who we had talked to and was the original referral, had said that he and his family needed to get back into church. He definitely expressed interest. We are excited to meet with this family again. We had lunch with some members. We did the progress record. (And be thankful that it is not raining, because the Internet was down when it rained on Saturday.) Then, we had a lesson with the mother, who has a kid, and needed to get to church. SHE PROGRESSED! She had changed her job, which, with her shift, will enable her to come to at least sacrament meeting. She stated that she knew the Book of Mormon was true and she bore testimony of God. Now, she needs to come to church and get married. One step at a time. We had to visit the one woman in the health center, because she needed to be updated on her ride. We also visited our crazy man who told jokes during church.

Sunday, we had the stake conference broadcast. It was great and I will get to that. For the rest of the day, we went out and tried to find people. Not much happened in the day, except a lesson with the elderly man who has an 8 year old son. He expressed that he was not going to change.

So, stake conference broadcast, Elder Larry S. Kacher talked; he spoke about being truly converted to the gospel. He even told of a Muslim man who went to a district in that part of the world and was baptized, despite knowing the costs. Elder Kacher shared some parts of his letter. Sister Linda Reeves spoke about repentance and being truly clean. Elder Neil L. Andersen spoke about being a witness of Christ. Elder Robert D. Hales spoke about faith and strengthening our family. He repeated this counsel, "Never shut the door of your heart to any of your children."

I loved it. I realize the need to have balance in my life, wherein I can be a faithful member. Spirituality is a characteristic that I find that is most important in my life. I love having a relationship with God. I plan on living my faith and acting and applying on what I believe. People have their agency and I respect that. At USC, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, "He who once was our enemy can become our friend." It is important for me to understand people and accept them for who they are.

My questions that I pose (as given by Elder Kacher) are: What does it mean to be truly converted? Do you cherish the things of the gospel?

All is well! Tout va bien!


Elder S. Todd

No comments: