Week Seven: Back in the States!!!

With my mission president and his wife:
President and Sister David Hermansen

November 3, 2014

Well guys, I made it!! I love it here!! It is so much fun. My companion is Elder Rivera. He is the man!!  He is from Peru, so his native language is Spanish, which is great. I actually think I speak more Spanish throughout the day here in Reno than when I was in Mexico. 

Traveling from Mexico City to Reno
(via LA and San Francisco)
But anyways, my first night was not very fun at all. We got in about 5 or 6 and went to the mission office, where we met the mission president and his wife. Because we got in late, we didn’t meet our trainers that night - they just assigned us to live with some random missionaries who lived in the areas right around the office. I was assigned to this apartment with three really cool elders, but I was STARVING and extremely tired because I hadn’t slept well in two nights straight. There was like no food in the apartment, and only two beds, so I was on the floor. I didn’t have all of my suitcases; I only pulled out a change of clothes and a towel so I had nothing to sleep with. It was freakin freezing and I had like no blanket except the towel i brought with me. That was my first taste of homesickness. All i could think about that night was how long two years was. 

New missionaries arriving in Reno on October 28th
(with our mission president and his wife)
But, as things always do, things got WAY better the next day. I went back to the mission office where we had orientation with the mission president and all of the mission leaders. They fed us a good lunch and all was well. They then announced who my trainer would be, and because he was still traveling to the mission home, I spent the rest of the evening with the two assistants. They had a dinner scheduled, so I was able to go to dinner with them which was fun (they served spaghetti - surprise surprise haha!)  But then that night my companion arrived and we met up and drove to our house. So we actually live in a members house!! It’s way cool and there are some things to be grateful for...we don’t have to go to a laundromat and pay for our laundry, nor do we have to pay for our laundry detergent, which is nice. And the neighborhood we live in is super nice. 

8 Spanish-speaking missionaries in the Vista Branch
So I am serving in the Vista Branch in Sparks, NV. It’s great. There are actually 8 of us Spanish missionaries here, which is a lot for one small branch. But apparently most of the Spanish-speaking elders in our mission spend most of their time in "zebra" land where they only teach like half of the lessons in Spanish, and the other half in English. So i am so glad to be where I am. Our branch mission leader is awesome. Hermano Verduzco is his name, and he is hilarious. He reminds me of grandpa because he is always joking around and stuff and likes to poke fun at everyone else. 

With my companion, Elder Rivera in our car
We have our own car, which is way nice because it is FREEZING here. The first three days here were beautiful, but then it got way cold all the sudden and now we are like freezing our butts off cuz I don’t have all of my warm clothes...so mom please send the long johns and everything else ASAP hahaa. Our area is actually brand new because they split an old area, so both my companion and me are starting from ground zero. We don’t have much to go off of now, because our area book was practically empty, so we have spent almost all of our time just street contacting people. We have had some success, and have been able to set up a few appointments for this week. We are just trying to get the ball rolling, slowly and steadily. The work is slow, but we are being patient. 

We get $125/month so one of the most stressful things for me so far is how to budget that with food and everything. That covers food, clothes, everything.  I'm gonna learn how to budget, thats for sure haha. But if you want to send me money, don’t send a check, because i have no way to cash it…just send cash or gift cards.

We are supposed to get iPads before the end of the year, which will be awesome!!! I think i will be able to talk to everyone more once that happens. I will be on Facebook and everything daily when that happens.

Love you all,
Elder Todd

Selfie with my awesome comp, Elder Rivera 
Chillin' in Nevada
Beautiful view from our street
The first thing I saw when I got off the plane...
Hangin' out with the two AP's on my first day in the mission field
(AP stands for Assistant to the President)

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