Discover the Up's and Down's, the Hopes and Dreams, the Joy and Sorrow

Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth.-2 Nephi 2:6

June 1, 2015

Dear Parents, Mom and Dad/Dad and Mom,
I will be working with the bike today and ship it next week. I need to take the pedals off and work on the handlebars; by that, it will be possible for me to work on the bike. However, I will have to get tools to do that. Included with that will be a tape measure device, so I can measure the box that I have to send it. It is a process in a half. By next week, I will send it. (I obtained a box last preparation day to get things ready. It was free; hooray for bike shops. Also, it had packaging materials in it to put on the bike. Thank goodness.)

I got my "going home" papers from President Wilson this past week. It merely contained some instructions. I need a doctor's appointment set up, so that I can get a TB test. Not looking forward to a doctor's appointment. But, I learned what is going to occur in the coming days. On Thursday, June 25th, I will have to get up early and head over to the mission office (I have to be there at seven in the morning). I get to go to the temple that day and I am excited. Reason number one: I get to go to the temple! Reason number two: Even though I will not be with Tim, who is getting his endowments that day (Tim is the man who got baptized in White Oak, that I did not get to see baptized), I will hopefully see him. This is what I was hoping and expecting would. Exciting! Now I can officially tell him that I will not be with him, but I will be at the temple. I hope to see him there.
Then, at the end of transfer meeting, I will be headed to the mission home.

The student that did not make it to church had conflicts with her family.
She had waited a month to tell her parents (now I had withheld that from you). So, she has not exactly told her entire family.
There is a lot of corrections to be made with our family history; it is a matter of inputting information and synchronizing information also with Ancestry. Still working on inputting data from FamilySearch to Ancestry and Ancestry to FamilySearch, on top of finding information based off of hints. It is a work on progress that I cannot fully do at this time.
I have a lot of letters to write; I need to write to all the converts that I can (such as Tim), the people I lived with in Tappahannock, the Fuseliers, the Lemoore Ward Primary (with this, Zachary Conwell, who I believe was baptized; he wrote a personalized note with the Pictures; I need somebody's address for the Primary), the Ward Family, the Obersts, Veronica, the Scholarship people, the lady who has sent these packages (I want to say the address was quite familiar, I want to say it was Trevor's mom, whom I cannot remember names or addresses and that address is closely linked with the Ward Family), and President Wilson. A lot to write to. Working on one letter at a time, but I need addresses for those of whom I do not have access to (the ones from home; like the Obersts or Veronica).
Looking at that list brings back to what a busy week it was and how much occurred in one day. It is a good week.

Tuesday, our preparation day due to holiday. We visited a book store that usually is closed on Mondays. Some good books in there; some I noted. We rested and prepared. We had dinner with the Gospel Principles teachers and we discussed some of our investigators that we had. And I began my goal of taking pictures of everybody we have dinner with. (With the Spanish elders no longer around, we have been having many dinners and many dinners to come this month). They referred us to somebody and we checked up on that person. That person said they would give us a call. We arrived home, not knowing what to do when we received a phone call from Buena Vista to go give a blessing to somebody in the hospital near us. We arrived and they said the person did not exist. Odd... 

So, Wednesday, after contacting another referral (who was less than enthused to see us), we checked up on the person again that we were supposed to see. They still did not exist. We called the people who originally called us, who were surprised. They called the person and as it turned out, he was released before we ever even got there. We checked up on the people who were from Alabama (who are returning to church); we helped them to set goals to progress to the temple. We called the lady who does not live in the area, but works here. We need to update the missionaries that are where she lives and inform them of what is going on. Well, she again ranted and chatted and we were there for a while. It helps her to do that and we are able to know how to help her. She has been hurt in some ways from the Church, not necessarily by the Church. She is trying to make a few steps forward. We had dinner, then we checked up on the people at the health center. We then checked up on the man who reminds me of my brother, he was not too readily available to talk with us.

Thursday, we planned; it took a while, appointments cancelled, we moved and trekked forward. Other than planning and appointments cancelling, we had a lesson with our new investigator and his family (who needs to center their lives on the gospel). We realize he has a hard time relaying information, so we are figuring out ways to help him. I talked to the parents and encouraged to move forward. We will have to follow up with them.

Friday was the day of meetings. We had an especially long meeting with Elder Zwick of the First Quorum of the Seventy and Elder Hemmingway, the Director of Proselyting. Before I dive into the meeting, let me explain a rather awkward situation I kind of had. Elder Day needed water, so we got up to get water. We ended up talking to some missionaries that I had not seen in a while. Well, President Wilson and Elder Zwick came down the hall and shook our hands. Then, he continued his walk down the hall. Well, we got seated. After debating on moving, we stayed in our seats. Elder Zwick comes by and shakes our hands and realizes who we were. "Oh, I remember you two." If that was not enough, the entire mission was asked to stand up and shake his hand. What we were supposed to do? Rather than look disobedient, we got in line and shook his hand, yet a third time. He commented to us, "Third times a charm." Yeah, it was rather odd for me.
The meeting was about personally purifying ourselves and being worthy. Elder Zwick mainly talked about this. He mentioned how he served, I believe, in Argentina had one of the apostles (then not an apostle, so one of the ones we have today) as his mission president. He was asked (with his new companion who was cowboy) to board a train, buy some horses, ride those horses through a river into Bolivia, convert the people in the nearby village, and build a chapel. He talked about when building the chapel, he took many donkeys up a mountain to take the lumber needed down, and how one of the donkeys misstepped and fell to its death (which easily could have been him). Elder Hemmingway talked of how the gospel was originally spread (from individual to family to friends to family to friends to family to individuals to families etc.) and how he was asked to start online proselyting as a mission president (something that was hard for him, because he was against Facebook). There are some filters on the iPads, the mission president will know what we will be doing, and we will be going under extensive training.
Elder Day and Elder Todd - Elder Day excited about iPads,
Elder Todd prefers his paper scriptures.
Each weekly planning session there will be an auditing portion where the companions exchange iPads and look at each others posts, etc. The best filter we have is our personal testimony and the Holy Ghost. We have little booklets (that are drafts) that teach us some principles and safeguards.
They will be owned by the Church, though a fee is to be paid to use it. (Because I am leaving in so many weeks, I will be using a loaner device.) Later, they can buy it (or something to that effect). There is an app that will be used for the planner and area book (which the mission president has access to); it will produce a consistent, updated progress record for stake and ward leaders to view.
I believe it is well worth the money, even if the risk seems so high to one's own salvation. I do believe it will help prepare the next generation and make them better than the one previous. It will help sift the wheat from the tares. It will cause young men and young women to rise above. It is matter of personal training at the home; something that I look forward to when I have a family. It is a matter of the family preparing their children now to be personally worthy and to use technology wisely. It is a matter of having that missionary mindset and having a personal testimony. The time to prepare is now; prepare your children, prepare your grandchildren. Be an example daily; live the gospel. And watch how much will change. It is going to be worth it and the work of the Lord will progress more than ever.

Friday, after the meeting, we visited a less active who had poisoned his testimony with anti, which destroyed him. (He needs to be referred to It is quite sad to see. We had a meeting with the ward mission leader and the bishop. Things look like they are beginning to move forward. Saturday, we did the progress record and we checked up on the man who has pain. He was really happy, which was a contrast to Monday. It was great to see him. We had a lesson with our investigator whose son was blessed and has been coming to church. We again emphasized the Book of Mormon and we set her on date. I pray that she will continue to be encouraged. After dinner, we checked up on the people in the health center.

the day of insanity. And the Sabbath day, the day to rest. Morning and beyond church: we studied briefly and went to go wake up the man who is in pain. Well, he was awake and ready to go. We went to church with him, because we had a meeting. He read the Book of Mormon meanwhile. We had our meeting and then we learned there is a potluck. After the meeting, we had to put some of the potluck food in the refrigerator. We had to get some information from the district leader, which in turn we had to talk to the bishop. We were able to get that squared away. We learned that Elder L. Tom Perry passed away, which was sad. People started to come. Our investigator on date came to church, we introduced the bishop to her. People said hello to her. Get a series of texts during sacrament meeting; after sacrament meeting, we have to run to the outside to get materials to deliver to bishop. Deliver materials. Go to class; it was very spiritual and our investigator has good support in the class. We head into the chapel for third hour; Dan wants to sit with us (he had been wanting us all day). Unfortunately for Daniel and us and fortunately for us, we had to meet with the youth and get to know them. After that, we set up tables for the potluck. Dan wants us to sit by him. Elder Day needs a drink of water, we get involved in delivering paperwork, then stuck in a line for food. Poor Dan was done with his food by the time we arrived. Talked to people; lots of good things occurred in that potluck. Friends were made. Potluck is over; put down tables and chairs. Go outside, try some honeysuckle; honeysuckle is non-existent. Take man who is pain home, go home to change, and rest for a moment. Church was exhausting. I will have to make sure to sit by Dan the next church meetings.
We checked up on a series of people, including this country girl (who is a less active) and her non-member boyfriend. We had not seen them in forever. He was happy to see us again. Definitely coming back to her place to help them both.

Busy week. Busy Sabbath. Oh, and I learned in the Gayton Ward (congregation)
, the ten year old investigator got baptized. And another investigator, who found the Book of Mormon dark, is getting baptized. I thought she would be a long time, but the Spirit works miracles. 

All is well.

Elder S. Todd


No comments: