At the temple with Elder Rivera before he was transferred

January 19, 2015
Pic of my little brother, Spencer
after losing his first tooth
Hey guys!! How are you doing?? I got a LOT of letters this week, and I loved every single one of them!! Congrats to Spencer for losing his first tooth!!! I will write you guys back, but it might take time because I only can write letters home on Mondays!!

Elder Rivera and I had a great week together. We both got called to train new missionaries yesterday (we got a text from the Mission President). It was funny cuz Rivera got his text first, so we thought that I would be leaving the area, and he would be training someone.  But then like 10 minutes later we got another text that asked me to be a trainer and a District Leader too. We didn’t know who would be staying in the area and who would be getting Double Transferred into their new area. But then the Zone Leaders called us last night and let us know that I would be staying in this area with my new greenie and Rivera would be going to Sparks in the Vista Branch with his new greenie. I also got called to be a District Leader of the Sparks District, which includes three sets of sisters and two sets of Elders. So that means I have to go on exchanges with each individual Elder, as well as teach district meeting once a week. So we will see how it goes!!

At Red Robin with Isaac and Verduzco
So we finally got the chance to take Verduzco and Isaac out to dinner, we went to Red Robin. They loved it! Verduzco told me to tell you guys "muchisimas gracias" which means lots of thank you - haha. But we had a fun night. Those two guys are awesome. 

So finally the Lira family is all moved in, and you should see their house now! It looks and feels like a real home!!  But so we have been trying to start teaching them, and we decided to do the activity with the bowl of water and pepper and soap with them, the one that Elder Capt did 
The Lira's house now that they're all moved in
for our family a while ago (I don’t know if you remember) but we did that and talked about how that relates to Jesus Christ. We were talking about the importance of following His example and stuff, and the impression came to my mind to share with them the scripture 3 Nephi 18:21, which talks about family prayer. 

So I shared that with them, and invited them to have family prayer every night, which is something they had never done. Hermano Lira said that it was something that he wanted to start. So we knelt down with them, and asked him (Hermano Lira) to pray. He was hesitant, but we taught him how to pray, and he said he would do it. He then started to pray, and about half way through he paused, and after like 5 seconds or so of dead silence, he started to cry, and as he finished the rest of the prayer he had tears streaming down his cheeks. When he finished and we all opened our eyes and look around, all of us had wet eyes. It was one of the most, if not THE most powerful moments on my mission. I have a testimony that there is true power in prayer, and that this gospel is real. Our Father in Heaven is aware of each and every one of his children, and he truly wants each of them to have success. I am so incredibly grateful for the chance that I have to be a tool in His hands and help bring his children happiness. 

My favorite native speakers...
two of them go home tomorrow :(
We also had the chance to go and do a session at the Reno temple here this week!! We went as a Sparks zone, and it was so cool! It is super-de-duper tiny compared to the Washington DC temple back at home, but it is nonetheless beautiful!! It is placed up on a hill outside of Reno, it is so beautiful!! Especially at night, when it is all lit up on the hill. It was so cool to go through with the other missionaries that I have become close to. I hope sometime in the future I can do a session in Spanish (I have a long way to go) but that would be really cool. Maybe be a temple worker in Spanish or something.

Our shower curtain that looks like it was handed down from
Moses himself!!  (Missionary life...)
I absolutely love where I live!! “The Sparks Loft” as we call it is so fun. It is fun because missionaries have been living here for a while, so there are lots of dumb traditions...I think one of them is never clean the bathtub...but it is really a lot of fun. It is also fun to live with other missionaries that you can hangout with on p-days and help keep you obedient! But I am really grateful to live there, and it sounds like I will be living there for at least the next 6 weeks!!

Chillin with the Sparks Loft Homies...notice I'm wearing
Well that’s about all I have to say for this week! I love you guys!! The church is true!!

Love, Elder Todd

Doin our best to dress like the old guys at church
("high-priestin' it"...which means wear different color
jacket and slacks.) Don't worry...we didn't leave the apartment like this!!

Old Span-Am District
The cutest little Spanish girl Andrea and her bag of
popcorn "palomitas" that's bigger than her!
Service project...I was measuring, cutting, and laying sheet rock!
Who knew I would get work experience like this on my mission!
View of Reno from the temple
Ghetto swimming pool
Updated wall above my bed with all the wonderful
pictures and letters I get
Sad to see Elder Rivera packing

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