Week 40 - Visiting an Old Folks Home


June 22, 2015
Howdy everyone!!!

So first things first, I just want to wish my Dad a Happy Father's Day!!! I am so grateful to have the best Dad in the world, who has given me the perfect example of how to be a great father, as well as be a worthy priesthood holder. I have so many fun memories with him, and I don't know who I would be without him!! (and also give a shout-out to all of the other fathers out there, you guys are the best!)  

Here's a video I sent to my dad for Father's Day:

video

How is the summer life for everyone? It is always an exciting time of year…not having to go to school!  And friends are graduating and people are going on missions, it seems like the summer is always full of exciting-ness, and maybe even too much exciting-ness haha!! (Right mom?!?)  But what are your plans for the summer? Obviously scout camps, and girls camps, but any EFY’s or any vacations?? And what are you guys doing for Youth Conference?? The local ward here just had their youth conference up at Lake Tahoe, and it sounded like a blast! And then this morning they left for High Adventure…they are going to the Grand Canyon to do some hiking and other fun things, and it reminded me of how much fun all of those trips were. I know that a lot of work goes into each one, not to mention money, but they were all worth it!!

Life in Sparks is just as busy and hot as usual. I don't have to worry about going to scout camp or youth conference or anything like that, but we are just swamped with work! Each day we are almost completely booked with appointments, and even though a lot of them fall through, we still have lots to do with our back-up plans. 

This upcoming week is going to be especially busy because we are planning for the next transfer, even though it is two weeks away. That’s because this is President Hermansen's LAST WEEK!!! I can't believe it, and neither can he. We have a brief meeting with him every P-day, and today he just kept saying "This is so weird!" He has officially said good-bye to all the missionaries...except for the 4 of us! So that is fun. President Chesnut arrives next Tuesday around noon.  This week we won't be doing very much proselyting, because each day after our morning studies, we will be at the office with President from 10am – 5pm planning for the next transfer. We are doing it a week earlier than usual because he wants to have it done before President Chesnut arrives. But that means that after our dinner appointment, we will only have from 6-9pm each night to go out and work. This week we  already have our evenings booked almost full of people to see. It should be a fun week, however, because planning is fun with President, and we really get to know him better. I will take pictures and send them next week of us planning, and maybe even the transfer board! We have 22 missionaries going home, and 17 coming in so it’s almost an even trade-off. The past few transfers we have sent 20+ home and only received 5-10 new missionaries, so we have closed a lot of areas. However, for August we are already scheduled to receive 10 more than we have leaving, so we will be re-opening some areas next transfer. 

This past week we were asked to go to this place that is essentially a daycare for old people, and spend about an hour just interacting with the people there. So the four of us went, and boy it was such a party!! (Although lets just say that I am grateful that I don't work there because it would get OLD (haha...get it...?) quick!) But we turned into a bunch of hams and had fun with it. We played this fun game where the old folks sit in front of this cardboard board with a bunch of holes in it that looks like a baseball diamond, and throw balls into it to play "baseball." It was hilariously fun. I was talking to this old Spanish dude who was really happy to see me, because no one else really spoke Spanish!  We talked about all sorts of stuff together. Then another older dude came up and sat down and meanwhile in the background a bunch of the other old folks were doing a sing-along. When the next song came on (It was our national anthem), this dude sat up and with wide eyes asked me, "What the HE** was going on?" I just about fell out of my chair laughing because it was so funny the way he said it and was so confused! And then even funnier about 15 seconds later he joined in singing! It is truly fun how we start off as babies, and then learn and grow, and then as we get old we forget and shrink and go back to being little kids...(some of those old folks were immature!!) But anyways, we had a blast chilling with the old fogeys. 

But like I mentioned earlier, the work is going great. We are going to have 2 baptisms this Saturday! Larry, who is a young black dude, and Jesse, who is a 12-year old boy. Both are awesome.

Happy Father's Day, Dad!!
This is a picture of me and my dad (aka Coach!)
after winning the CLBL Basketball Rec League
championship my senior year.
Lately, we have been finding lots of solid people it seems. In Cold Springs we found lots of families, but none of them panned out right away. Here in Sparks, we have found a bunch of people in the past 2 weeks that have already agreed to be baptized, and one family of 4 that we met last weekend came to church yesterday, and that was fun. (Though the mom said it was boring haha...but the kids loved it!)  

We also found another family of 5 that lives right by the church, and they seem solid, too. They are scheduled to be married August 22, so we scheduled a baptism for the week after with them, and they agreed! And we just started teaching them this past week, so that was exciting. One cool experience we had while teaching them is that we were teaching them about the restoration of the gospel, and their kids were like running all over the place, and causing all sorts of chaos. It was quite hard to focus, but it didn’t seem to bother the Dad that much, so we didn't say anything. Not to mention they had cartoons playing on their huge TV. Nevertheless, we started teaching and just plowed through it. We got to the part about the First Vision, and the kids seemed to get even louder right as I was about to start. I paused to let the kids settle down, and they did a little, but as soon as I started talking about Joseph Smith's experience in the Sacred Grove, and said his famous quote, "I saw a pillar of light..." the kids went silent immediately. It was amazing. It was so cool to see just how Moroni tells us in Moroni Chapter 10 of the Book of Mormon, that the Holy Ghost testifies of truth. The Holy Ghost testified of truth when I said those words to the kids, who went silent. My scripture of the week is Moroni 10:5 "And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may Know the truth of all things." I know that is true. I know that for anyone out there who has questions about any aspect of the gospel can come to know that they are true through the Holy Ghost.  

I am so grateful for the chance that I have to study the scriptures and Preach My Gospel for an hour every day!!!  PMG is truly an inspired book, and I recommend that everyone read it, especially before going on a mission. I am convinced that if every member read and studied PMG thoroughly, we would see many more convert baptisms. This is because the members would catch the spirit of missionary work, and would see the importance of sharing the gospel with others. And not only would they see the importance of it, but they would know HOW to share it as well!! So if you haven’t had the chance to read it all the way through, its never too late to start!

Well that's all the news for this week, I didn't take any pictures this past week, so I will make up for it this upcoming week!!! (Thanks to Isaac Zurita who took a few pics for me!) But I love you all and appreciate your support and prayers!!

Love,

Elder Todd

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