Week 21 - Howdy!!

Hey Hokie friends!!! I found someone in
SPARKS, NEVADA who has siblings at Virginia Tech!

February 9, 2015
Hello everyone!!!

I have so much to talk about. Elder Short and I had a GREAT week. Last week we quadrupled our record for attendance at church, and this week we tripled the last record...we had 13 people (not including the kids under 8 yrs old) at church!!! It was amazing. Miracles are a real thing. Saturday night, we went by the Flores' house, and invited them to church.  They said no, but the two oldest boys said yes, so we offered to arrange a ride to pick them up. The parents agreed, and so we scheduled a ride and told them we would be back at 9:30 the next morning. We showed up the next morning, and walked in their house to find not just the two oldest boys dressed and ready, but the WHOLE family. They were like we decided that we should all just go and check it out! And we were like heck yeah you should! So they all came to English Sacrament, and then half of the family left after sacrament while some of the kids stayed for all three hours. It was a miracle.

Short and I with Walfer and Rosa
We also had Juan and Laura and Adrian - faithful as always, Walfer and Rosa, and Veronica and Oscar, and their three kids, who I haven’t told you about. They are another great little family with three kids - ages 13, 11, and 9 – and the kids are truly the ones pulling the parents into this. They are scheduled to be baptized on March 14th. When church started, Short and I were running all over the chapel taking everyone to their primary and Sunday school classes and such...thank heavens for the help of the members!!! We have great members in our group. Every time we bring someone new, they all go up and not only introduce themselves, but befriend them and invite them into their home for Family Home Evening and stuff. It is great. I have come to love the members of our little group (which hopefully won’t be little for long...!!!)

Selfies with Isaac, Walfer, and Rosa
I have a strong testimony of prayer.  On Saturday, we had dinner at the Noble’s house.  He is our group leader and she is the best ward missionary on the face of the earth. She is Mexican and he is American, and they have a great little family. But anyways we pulled up at 4:55 to their house, but Elder Short and I have really been trying to use our time effectively, so we decided that we were going to go try and find ONE person to talk to and have a "meaningful conversation" with, not just like a quick hello or anything. So we said a prayer and then got out of the car, walked around a corner, and there was a mom getting her baby out of her car, so we went up to her and struck up a conversation in English (she looked white.)  We were talking, and then her husband came out, and he looked white too, so we were talking, and then I asked them what their name was and his last name was "Barajas" and immediately when I heard that, I said "Oh hablan espanol?" and their faces lit up and they were like "Si!!!" and so we finished our conversation in Spanish, and said a prayer with them and left them with a plan of salvation pamphlet. They weren’t too interested, but it was so cool to see how that was an answer to me and Short’s prayers. And then we went back and had a delicious dinner with the Nobles.

Me and Elder Short
Elder Short is doing awesome. He really doesn’t need to be trained, He is a great teacher and has a powerful testimony. He reminds me so much of my friend, Anders - it is hilarious. He has a lot of the same sayings and mannerisms, sometimes it is crazy. Just skinnier and not quite as tall. We are working on our Spanish together, and tomorrow I challenged him to speak only Spanish.  If he speaks only Spanish for the whole day then I will buy him lunch, if he speaks any English then he has to buy me lunch. He was excited to do that, so we will see how it goes!

Hermano Verduzco is awesome. He is really like one of our best friends. We take him to teach with us two or three times a week, and there is no other way to describe him other than he is just freakin awesome! He gives us feedback about how we teach, and what the investigators need, and will take us out to dinner anytime we want. This Saturday, the 14th is his birthday, so I think we will try and take him to lunch or something

Rainbow = Rain = Answers to lots of prayers.
We've needed the rain...even though as missionaries
 we always pray for NO rain - haha!
Last Sunday the Sparks Stake fasted that they could receive some rain...and boy did we get some rain!  Us missionaries are severely outnumbered because we always pray for good missionary weather, like sun and warmth...and meanwhile, our own stake is trying to do us dirty. Haha no - its been a big joke, but it truly has been a big testimony builder for the whole stake, including our investigators that were there last week and heard about it, they all told us, wow that really worked!! And it is a testimony builder for me, I guess we need to be more specific in our fast next time...moisture in the mountains ONLY... haha!

We have been told by the first presidency that we should strive to talk to at least 10 people per day, and not just like "hey hello" but really make it a meaningful conversation. The ZLs started having each companionship in the zone report how many "MCs" (meaningful conversations) we have each day, and so we have been counting, and
Elder Short and I have been making that a focus for us.  Last I checked from the ZLs, Elder Short and I are leading the zone in MCs this past week! The ZLs gave a training about it a little while back, and they told a story about how one member was telling them how he loves when he sees missionaries talking to people on the streets and stuff, and the Elders asked him why that is, and he said "Because in my patriarchal blessing it told me that I would've converted to the gospel years earlier if the one missionary had stopped and talked to you." (He was a convert.) That story was so powerful to me, and really has motivated us to just talk to every single person we run into, because I don’t EVER want to be "that one elder" who didn’t stop and talk to someone.

Well that is about all for this week. I'm sorry there aren't more pictures, I lost my camera for a few days, but no worries, I found it.

I love you guys!!! You guys are the best and give me so much motivation to tear it up in the field. The Church is true!

Elder Todd

It was pouring rain last night, and we had a leak right above our furnace.
The water kept dripping down and sizzling...so we built our own water collector.
(Ahh....missionary life!!)
Our Valentines gift to ourselves
Livin the dream!

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