Week 39 - It's Summer!

Picture right before we got into a crash
(just kidding...we didn't get into a crash!!)
June 15, 2015 
Hey everyone!!!!

It sounds like all is well back at home, and that everyone is ready for summer!! School got out here in Sparks on Friday, so there is certainly a summer buzz in the air...not to mention it is stinkin’ HOT lately. But there’s no summer or any breaks for missionary work!!! But that's ok, because the work is going great!

Owen and me on his baptism day
 (September 2014)
I want to give a shout-out to my friend Owen Salyer and congratulate him on getting his mission call to Anaheim, California!! That will be great, and I am excited to have more East-Coast support out west here. He will make a great missionary.

So, no more middle-of-the-night prayers this past week – haha.  But we have had fun telling that story at like every dinner appointment...everyone gets a kick out of it!! I think it goes right along with the time Elder Nieves woke us all up at 4 a.m. and started doing dishes. Also the time a long time ago when I went into my parents’ bathroom at 2 a.m. and asked where everyone was, and then walked right into the wall. 

I can't believe that I am saying this, but President Hermansen is going home soon!! He told us that he basically has to move out today, because during the next two weeks, they are coming to deep-clean the house and do some touch-up work.  So most of his stuff is in storage, and they are living out of suitcases for his last 2 weeks.  This past week he started saying his goodbyes to the missionaries here on the west side of the mission.  It was pretty sad, honestly...each missionary got a hug from both President and Sister Hermansen.  Luckily, we will spend all of next week with President as we plan for the next transfer, but that's not the case for the rest of the missionaries.  This week he is traveling east to say goodbye to everyone out there.  Most of the missionaries were in tears as they got their hugs and said goodbye.  It's pretty crazy.

With my son, Elder Short!!
I feel like there is a common theme going on in my life...I have started and "opened" a lot of "new" things. Like back when our ward split in 2010…we stayed in the Goose Creek ward, but  we basically had to start from ground zero within the Young Men’s program. I felt like I kinda started that over, and was a part of the program as it grew to how it is now. Then I opened up a brand new high school (Tuscarora), and was part of the class that really "ruled" the school for 4 years. As part of the new school, I was on the football team and dressed for every Varsity game all 4 years. Now here I am on a mission and I feel like I am starting a new mission, with the new mission president coming. I know there will be lots of changes with the new president, because he won't know any of the previous missionaries that have served here. So once again, I feel like I am starting something new. I am not saying this to boast in myself, but it just seems to be a common theme. It is also not a bad thing, because it’s fun to be a part of something from the beginning and be a part of shaping who and what it becomes. It makes me wonder what other new things I will open or start in the future!

So this week, I have learned that Satan is real. He is all around us, and he is working HARD to stop the Lord's work. I can talk all day about small little examples of how Satan is trying hard to stop people from joining the church. And the fact that Satan is working so hard is just another testimony builder for me that this is the true Church of Christ. No other church faces as much opposition as this church, nor do the members of other churches face as much opposition as the members of our church, so it must be true.  

I got to see Juan and Laura again!
But despite all that, the work is moving forward here. We found 29 new investigators last week, it was crazy!! Most of them aren't necessarily golden, but we found a Filipino family last night that I am really excited about. We are planning to have at least 2 baptisms on June 27th, with one more up in the air.  We also had a great lesson with another couple.  We read a conference talk with them, and during the lesson, the wife started tearing up.  She broke down and was like, “This is exactly what I need. I have missed going to church, I need to start going again.”  So yesterday they came to Stake Conference and loved it. Which by the way, was a great conference!! We had Elder Corbridge, who is a member of the Quorum of the Seventy, as well as Elder Palmer, who is also in one of the Quorums of the Seventy. They gave great talks. Also, Troy, the one who was recently baptized, was asked to come up and share his testimony in front of everyone with NO NOTICE!!!! He was baptized THREE weeks ago, and Elder Corbridge just felt prompted to call him up. He gave a great testimony that was truly from the heart because he had NO preparation at all. I will send a picture of Troy next week, but man he is AWESOME!

Going on splits with one of the
priests from our ward
We are staying super busy – even with 4 of us in one area. The other night we had so many appointments that we went on a 4-way split…each one of us took one of the youth from the ward to go and see all the appointments. It is crazy how busy we are!!  When Elder Freeman and I take over the area, we are certainly going to have our hands full! But it’s good, I have never been so busy before!

We had the chance to go to the temple this past week and do a session, and it was wonderful!! It was a beautiful day, and it was a great experience. I am excited to be able to go more frequently when I get home, because each time I go I learn something new. I am also grateful for two parents who go to the temple, and who have set the example to me from day one of the importance of going to the temple.

Going to the temple!
Lately, our mission has been focusing on Chapter 1 of Preach My Gospel, which is titled "My Purpose". It has really been helpful, because we have been focusing on the "Why" behind all that we do. Obviously as missionaries, we have been focusing on the "Why" in our missionary work, but the same principle can apply to everyone. There is a reason behind all that we do, from brushing our teeth, to going to church regularly. We have been trying to help the other missionaries understand the purpose behind all that we do, because when people understand the "Why," the "What” and the "How" become irrelevant. A great example is why we attend church each week. Do we go just because the Lord wants to bore us to death for 3 hours a week? Or does he ask us to go because we need to renew our covenants with him, and learn and grow? To someone who doesn't understand the "why" of going to church, of course it seems unnecessary and weird. Its like when you pull up to a stoplight and the dude next to you is jamming out and dancing like an antic, if you can't hear their music then it looks ridiculous! But if you hear the music then it all makes sense. (I pulled that from the talk "Music of the Gospel" by Elder Wilford Anderson).

With my man, Verduzco!
For my scripture of the week, I want to use Alma 34:32…”For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the time for men to preform their labors.” In that scripture, Amulek tells us that our purpose for coming here to this life is to prepare to meet God! The "how" and the "what" of accomplishing that purpose includes things such as going to church, paying tithing, reading the scriptures, helping others, and so on. Truly if that is our purpose then we should be able to completely consecrate ourselves and give all we have to prepare to meet God, as well as help others to meet him as well! I know that as we do the basics, such as go to church, read the scriptures, pray, etc, then we will be prepared to meet God. I hope that I can be ready for whenever that day comes!

I love you guys!! Thanks for all that you do. Have a great week and Happy Summer!!!


Elder Todd

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