Week 23 - We’re Gonna have a Baptism!

Visiting the Reno Temple with Juan and Laura

February 23, 2015
Hello everyone!!!

We've had AMAZING weather in Reno this winter...
can't tell if it's February or April!
Well we had another GREAT week here in Sun Valley, NV. The weather has been gorgeous...all the trees and greenery are starting to pop out, and I have been putting away most of my long-sleeve shirts!! Its been great. We also have been spending more time on our bikes, and less time in our car, which is SO much more fun. It gives us the chance to talk with EVERYONE we come across, which isn’t really possible when we are in the car..(Or it is, but we just become 100x more creepy...)

Juan and Laura in front of the Reno Temple...
they can be sealed there in one year + one week
So, like the subject line says, we are GOING TO HAVE A BAPTISM THIS SATURDAY. We are so excited. We had a great week with Juan and Laura, and we have seen them like 5 out of 7 days this week. We had another long lesson with them on Wednesday, and we had taught them everything possible, so now we are just reviewing the basics. We had Sister Noble with us, and she is a perfect ward missionary. She is a convert to the church, and so she was able to bear her testimony to them, which was super powerful. But at the end of the lesson, Juan was still uneasy about being baptized so soon. Back in January when we originally set the date of February 28th, they didn't tell us, but once we left, they were talking together and said, NO WAY would they get baptized on Feb. 28…MAYBE in like a year.  But then a few weeks later Laura was on board.  She wanted to wait until Juan was on board so they could get baptized as a couple. So we were basically waiting on Juan, and on Wednesday afternoon, he still didn’t feel ready.

In our lesson, I was pretty bold with him and told him to just forget his fears and his doubts, and just do it.  Hermana Noble did the same thing, and bore her testimony of how she overcame her fear and just did it. Juan and Laura invited us missionaries and the whole Noble family over for dinner, and our original dinner actually had canceled on us that day, so it worked out perfectly. We had dinner, but by the end, still nothing from Juan. We had planned to go to the temple with them the next day (Thursday), so we said good-bye and left for the rest of the evening. When I left that lesson, I was honestly having a little bit of doubt, thinking that maybe Juan wouldn't be ready and we would have to push the date back or something, which is something I desperately did not want to do. I decided that I needed to fast again for them (which we had done last Sunday also) so Thursday morning and afternoon I fasted for them.

At the temple with Juan and Elder Short
Thursday afternoon we met at their house to drive with them to the temple, so we showed up and hopped in the car, and Laura goes "So we have some good news" And I immediately knew what it was. And after a few minutes of joking around that they had maybe bought us a new car or something, Juan admitted that he knew that the 28 of February was the right day for him!!!! Elder Short and I were ecstatic!!!! I asked him how he came to know, and he said that Wednesday night he just couldn’t sleep, and all he was thinking about was the church, and baptism and everything. He said that he prayed a lot that night, and finally fell asleep at like 6:30 and woke up three hours later at 9:30. He said that when he woke up that morning, he knew without a doubt that it was right, and that the 28th of February was right for them. I couldn’t stop grinning in the back seat haha. I looked like an idiot, but I couldn’t be happier!! We spent the rest of the car ride planning the baptism service and everything. It was a great experience. We then had a great time walking around the grounds of the temple, which it turns out Juan actually helped pave when the temple was built, but the Spirit was so strong, and Laura was telling Juan that they need to buy a house closer to the temple so they can come EVERY day and walk to it haha.

The 4 of us in the Spanish "Groupito"
They passed their baptismal interview, so we announced their baptism yesterday in church, and I actually think that there will be a GREAT turnout. Everyone in the little group said they will come, along with lots of the English ward. Last night we had a little fireside in Spanish "Porque Creo yo" which means “Why I Believe.” We had a few members of the church go up and share their testimonies and their conversion experience. It was for all of the Spanish members in all of Reno, Sparks and Sun Valley. We had a great turnout, and the Spirit was SUPER strong. We had refreshments afterwards, and Juan and Laura got to mingling, and word got around that they were being baptized this Saturday, and so now we have a lot of the Sparks Spanish members coming, too!! Juan and Laura were so excited and so happy to hear that people were coming, but I love what Juan said: "We can invite people, but I don’t care if anyone comes, I am just ready to make this deal with Heavenly Father, and to become a member. That’s what is most important." I was like YES!  Exactly haha!! But we are excited. I can already see him becoming a Bishop of the ward here in Sun Valley. We are so excited for them.

With Elder Flake
So I had the opportunity to go on exchanges a few times this week, with Elder Flake, who is in my district and who is going home next week (this transfer is almost over...we get transfer calls next Sunday...I am hoping and praying that I can stay here in this area for at LEAST one more).  But we had a great day together. He is a great missionary. I also got to spend a day with Elder Freeman, who is one of our Zone Leaders. He is a lot of fun, and we had fun together. I learned so much from both of those Elders. I have really
With Elder Freeman
grown to love exchanges, because it gives us the chance to learn from other missionaries! Neither of them knew any Spanish, so they just basically sat there and listened during the lessons, but thankfully Hermano Verduzco was able to come out with us for a few of them, so it was me and him teaching the lessons, instead of me and my real missionary companion. Which actually works out good.  Even when I am with Elder Short, Verduzco is so solid, and gives great testimonies about any subject we are teaching. He is also very personable and gets along with anyone!

The whole awesome Todd family from a few years back...
we've added three cousins since then!
But this week in my scripture studies I was reading in the Book of Mormon - Helaman Chapter 5, and I came across verse 6 and I just thought I could relate it to myself! Cuz Helaman names his sons Nephi and Lehi, so that they can remember what great people "their first parents were" and use that to motivate them. I can relate that to myself because I wear the name "Todd" on my chest everyday. And I also represent the Cannon's too, and I am so blessed to have such a great, awesome family –
Cannon Family at my Uncle Chad and Aunt Sarah's 
wedding in 2012. We've added two cousins 
on this side of the family also.
both Cannon and Todd, and truly those names and those people motivate me. I want to live up to both the Cannons and the Todds, and when I think about the names and the people, and I see the pictures on my desk and on my family calendar, it truly motivates me to work harder, to strive to be the best missionary I can be. So thank you all for being such great examples to me.

I know that when we read the scriptures, and study them out in our minds, and then apply them to our lives, we can truly grow and become more Christ-like. But we have to actually apply them and do what they say, otherwise it’s just like if you grab the iron rod but don't walk forward....you can still be in the darkness.

I love you guys! Thanks for all your love and support.

Elder Todd

Me and Verduzco

Exchanges with Elder Katoa

Me and Elder Freeman

With Elder Choi and Verduzco

I thought this would be the perfect car for my little bro,
Nathan-Dawg...it has rubber duckies and figurines
super-glued all over it.

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