Week 41 - President Hermansen's Last Week!!

Larry got baptized!!

June 29, 2015
Hey guys!!!

Wearing the AP tie
Greetings from Sparks.  This past week was a great week, it was so much fun!!! It was hot as HECK all week long, but that didn't stop us!! Although it almost did...the other night we got home and it was the hottest day all week, like over 100 degree hot, and we get home and we have no A/C...and it was so freakin hot in our house. Usually with the A/C going upstairs and our fans it is like 80-85 degrees when we sleep and are in our house. We tried to find the problem, but it was dark, and we were tired, so we finally collapsed into bed around 10:30...and my alarm clock that has a thermometer read 92.2 degrees.....so needless to say it was a long night, and I woke up many times just drenched in sweat! We were grateful when we had power the next day. We just have one tiny A/C unit, which doesn't do much good under the best of conditions, but our appreciation for that sucker sky-rocketed after that night.

But on the brighter, cooler, side of things, we had two baptisms on Saturday, which were awesome! Then we were also able to spend the whole week planning for the next transfer, which was way fun. Buttttt, on the downside, today is President Hermansen's last day as a mission President! Technically tomorrow morning as well, but then he leaves! I can't believe it. We just left his office, and it’s all boxed up and everything! Tomorrow around noon President and Sister Chesnut will get here, and the Hermansen's are taking them out to lunch. We will have the chance to meet the Chesnuts, and briefly get to know them. Then President Hermansen will show the Chesnuts their house, hand over the keys and their phones, and then he takes off to Utah in a U-Haul truck! It will be an interesting week, that's for sure! Originally we were going to travel to the other side of the mission with President Chesnut, and give him a tour of the mission basically, but now it sounds like we won't be doing that this week, he will probably wait a few weeks to do that when we do Zone Conferences. But regardless, it will be an interesting week, and certainly an interesting time to be an Assistant to the President! 

Transfer planning meeting in the office
This past week was lots of fun, because we spent most of it in President's office planning for the next transfer. It took us 4 days, with all 4 of us working on different things to get ready. The first whole day we spent just choosing who is going where, and where they will live, and who their companions will be. And then the last 3 days we made the plans on how they are going to get there. We create every last detail, so that on transfer day everything goes smoothly. President was telling us about how at the beginning of his mission transfer day
was a nightmare because it was poorly planned, and nobody knew where they were going or anything! But 3 years later he has it down to a science, and it means more work for us, but it saves a lot of stress and chaos on Tuesday. I uploaded a picture of the transfer board, which was our best friend last week. It tells us what area everyone is in, what car they drive, who their companion is, where they live, and how long they have left on their mission...pretty cool stuff! (Because transfers aren't for another week that board is top secret, so don't show anyone hahaha!!!) 

All the names on the back of the AP tie
Today we gave President Hermansen the "AP Tie" which is a tie that his first two Assistants started three years ago, and all of the Assistants since then have signed it. He didn't know about it, so he thought it was a pretty cool keepsake! I attached a picture of it.

So on the missionary-work front of things, we had two baptisms on Saturday!! Larry, the black dude, and Jesse, the 12-year old boy! It was an awesome day. Jesse was baptized in the morning, and Larry at night, so our day was bookended by baptisms, how awesome is that!! Both of the services were awesome, and they both were so happy. Larry is a powerhouse...he immediately went up to the Stake President who was at his baptism, and asked, "When can I get a calling?" He is super solid.

No hot water in the font? No problem!
We'll just use these big salad bowls...haha!!
About an hour before Larry's baptism we went to the building and turned on the font, and a few minutes into it we noticed that there was no hot water coming out....just freezing tap water!! So we messed around with it, but finally concluded there was no hot water left. Elder White and I had to run home to get a towel, but when we came back, Elder Twitchell and Elder Freeman and our Ward Mission Leader were in the kitchen filling up these GIANT salad bowls with hot water from the sink, and then rolling them into the font, and dumping them in. They seemed to think
it was a great idea, and the only solution....buttttt the font needs a lot of water, and that system just wasn't cutting it, so we aborted that idea after a few minutes, and just let the font fill up cold. Elder Twitchell baptized Larry, and he said it was FREEZING but worth it, nonetheless. I sent a video of that whole scenario...we got a good laugh out of, because I think we all knew that it just wasn't a good solution. But oh well, when Satan gives us trials, what else is there to do but overcome them, right???

Funny video...trying to fill the font before the baptism:

I guess mail addressed to "Elder Richmandawg"
just isn't going to make it to me...haha
So Nathan sent me a letter last week addressed to "Elder Richmandawg" and one of the secretaries at the mission office who receives the mail each day looked at it and couldn't figure out who it was for, so then wrote "Not at address, return to sender" and stuck it in the outgoing mail stack. Thankfully I grabbed it before it left the office, otherwise it would've gone all the way home!! My companions and I thought it was hilarious!!!

So Dad asked the question of how we find most of our investigators, and to answer his question, we just talk to EVERYONE on the streets. Unless we are late for a set appointment, then anyone we see walking on the streets we stop and talk to. Most people have an idea of what we are up to, and some try to avoid us, but usually people are friendly and open to having a brief conversation with us. We try and start it off naturally (or as natural as it can be considering you are wearing slacks and a tie in 100 degree weather) and then slowly transition it into the Church and God and all that good stuff. Then we try and set up a time to come to their house and teach them, and go from there. 

A surprise visit from the Greene Family!!!
(They had dropped Holden off at BYU and were
headed to Lake Tahoe for a family vacation.)
The other day we were going out on splits, and we pulled into the parking lot of our church building, which is also the mission office parking lot, and lo and behold the Greene family is sitting in the parking lot!!! I was shocked!! I was just like, "Is that the Greene family??" and "What in the world are they doing here??" It was so fun to see them though, and the grapes were very appreciated!! And of course anyone who knows me knows that Jelly Bellys are my absolute favorite candy...(and the real test of knowing me is if you know my favorite flavors!!) But that was so fun to see them. 

Me and Verduzco
So for the Scripture of the Week I wanted to focus on our free agency that we have been blessed with. Yesterday our gospel principles class was about free agency, and how our life truly revolves around the ability that we have to choose for ourselves. I am very grateful for it, because it allows us to learn from our mistakes. We all can learn so much from our own mistakes, and it allows us to grow immensely. The scripture I want to share is Joshua 24:15 "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." I know that for my current house, and for my future house we will choose, with our free agency, to serve the Lord. Everything we do can be
viewed as serving the Lord, if everything we do is uplifting. There is no middle ground, as Joshua lays out here…it is either God or Satan. I know that as our life is centered on Jesus Christ, and we choose to serve him and our God, that we will truly be set free. I also know that when we choose not to follow the commandments of God, and go against what he has told us, we are put into bondage and we lose that ability to choose. I am grateful for two wonderful parents who taught me to choose the right, and I am grateful for the chance that I have now to teach other people that same principle. 

These truly are the best two years!!

I love you guys!!

Elder Todd
With my homie, Elder Han, who used to live in Ashburn, VA!
He is the Zone Leader of the Sparks Zone.

Troy - the guy who talked to Larry on the phone for
3 hours and 48 minutes and committed him to baptism!
Filling the font ghetto style

Names on the back of the AP tie

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