My name is Elder Richie Todd and I am from Leesburg, VA! I graduated from high school in June of 2014 and was accepted to attend Brigham Young University. However, I deferred my acceptance and have chosen to serve a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I have been called to serve in Reno, Nevada, Spanish speaking! I am grateful for the opportunity that I have to go and serve our Lord. Please feel free to reach out to me, I would love to hear from you!
Week 54 - Transfers Here We Go!
September 28, 2015
It sounds like you took care of the snakes, but you’ve moved
onto the other critters living in the BBQ.Dad was right in his letter to me that we should just open our own Zoo
in the backyard! We have it all. And Nathan's growing so tall he can step in
for the giraffes – haha.
Making transfer calls in the office
So another week of transfer planning in the books! We spent all
of last week in the office planning for this next 6 weeks. I can't believe it's
already that time again, time is FLYING. It’s crazy…but also exciting! I love transfers;
it is always lots of fun. We started out planning by fasting on Tuesday, and
our fasting certainly helped because like right off the bat we were able to
figure everything out and have all the areas/companionships/cars figured out.
But then one of our visa waiters got their visa on Thursday...so we went back
to the board and made a bunch of changes. We finalized all the plans and did
our final review with President on Friday afternoon, and it seemed like things
were ready to rock and roll, until President called us Saturday night and said “Elders
I'm not feeling too comfortable with a companionship we have together.We need to make some changes…lets meet
tomorrow at my office after church.” So yesterday we spent a few more hours in
the office deciding how best to place the missionaries we have. But we FINALLY
got it all figured out just in time to send everything out to the Zone Leaders
It is an interesting process to plan for the transfer, and there
are lots of things to consider. But I've learned that the Lord ALWAYS provides.
There have been a few times where we have like one or two missionaries to
place, and we are just stumped! But then we pray and the Lord helps us figure
out what is the best possible situation. And of course, we couldn’t' do it with
out our inspired President, President Chesnut! He is hilarious. As we work with
him more and more and get to know each other better, I can see his true
personality come out, it is great. He is a ton of fun to work with.
With Dan...this guy is hilarious!
This week we were at the home of a person who recently joined
the church, (his name is Dan), and we were teaching him about the temple,
because he has almost been a member a year, and this next month he is going to
be able to go through the temple for the first time. But he is a really funny
character, and he just randomly in the middle of our lesson said, "Man, I
just can't wait for the resurrection. But if you think you've waited in a long
line at Wal-mart before...you're in for a surprise!" Haha we got a good
laugh out of that.
Selfie with Isaac
We also had a really funny dinner with an older couple in our
ward...they are pretty old and they were just forgetting everything! They
couldn't find the rolls that the wife had prepared for us, and her husband
found them still in the freezer, frozen solid in a plastic bag! So he stuck
them in the microwave in the bag and we had plastic-flavored rolls for
dinner...hopefully no serious diseases come from that haha!! And then as we
were leaving she gave us a bag of cookies and said, "Here are some cookies
that I made just a few days ago!" and Elder Freeman asked, "What kind
of cookies are they?" and she said, "I think Chocolate chip!" I
opened the bag and took one whiff and realized they were peanut butter, and
there was no chocolate in them....and then I said, "I think they are
peanut butter!" And her response: "Well maybe, your guess is as good
as mine!" We got a kick out of that, too. I love old people, I am just
glad that I still have a few years before that is me...!
One thought that has been on my mind the past few weeks comes
from the Stake President of the Ely Nevada stake. He attended a portion of our
Zone Conference in Ely, and he spoke briefly on the concept of sacrifice. And
he made an interesting point that I had never thought of...that everything we
do in life we sacrifice. When we make a bad choice, we sacrifice the
blessings that would've come if we hadn't have chosen it. Take the Word of
Wisdom for example...if we choose to smoke cigarettes, we are sacrificing our
healthy body. The reverse is true, too, when we make a good choice, we have to
sacrifice something. Like studying the scriptures regularly....we give up a
little bit of our time, but we make that sacrifice because it is worth it, and
we know that the blessings that come from regular scripture study FAR out-weigh
the things we could get done in the short amount of time. One thing I have
learned on my mission is that the "Why" behind the things we do is so
important. If we invite someone to come to church, but don't explain WHY it is
so important, then they are never going to want to come and get out of bed
early and sit in a church for 3 hours. But when we explain the blessings we get
in return, anyone is crazy for NOT going to church.
The Lord has promised us that he WILL bless us when we do as he
"I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when
ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." - D&C 82:10.
So the decision weighs on us...are we willing to sacrifice the
little bit of time in order to receive a huge mountain of blessings? Or are we
going to sacrifice the blessings just to get our little bit of time back? If we "might" go to church,
or we “might” pay our tithing, or we "might" keep the
commandments, then we "might" receive a blessing. But if we
WILL go to church, and we WILL pay our tithing, and we WILL keep the
commandments, then we WILL receive a blessing. I know for me and my future
family, if we will keep the commandments, and we will be obedient to
everything, then I know for a fact that we WILL be blessed...that is the only
way to go!
I have attached two maps of our mission that I think are pretty
cool. One shows our mission and is broken down by wards and stakes; the other
is just a big overview of our western area. We have one of the biggest missions
in the US land-wise...I think it is the 5th biggest as of now. Of course, most
of our mission is nothing but sagebrush, but oh well, it's still the best
mission in the world!
Well, that's about it until next week. I am excited for transfer
day tomorrow, it is always an action-packed day that is lots of fun. Being a
missionary is the best calling ever! I am grateful for the time I have.