Week 60 - The Three Musketeers!!

The three of us...Elder Ash, Elder Freeman, and I
November 9, 2015
Hey guys!!

This has been a GREAT week. The cold weather is settling in, and the mountains all around us have snow on them, it is awesome!! I love snow-covered mountains, especially when I can go skiing on them!! (That will have to wait until next year.)  Tonight we are supposed to get a few inches of snow, so everyone in town here has been freaking out and stuff, it causes lots of excitement!

With my new companion, Elder Ash
(We will have Elder Freeman with us for just one week)
But the biggest news of the week is that I have a new companion, Elder Ash!! He arrived in from Elko on Wednesday, and helped us plan for the upcoming transfer. He is a total STUD. I love him to death already. He is so innovative and wants to be exactly obedient and work hard and love life and that's all I can ask for in a companion! He is from Cardston, Alberta, Canada and grew up on a 10,000 acre farm driving tractors and trailers all over the place, so we have the same passions. I can't wait to get to work with him and baptize the whole city of Sparks!!

Hot Cocoa on a snowy night
So all week, Elder Freeman and I were in a trio with Elder Ash, which has been way fun. Trios are sometimes a pain because when we go into lessons, it feels like we are bringing this huge crew, especially if we have another member or two with us. But it is also a ton of fun, especially when both of my companions are great missionaries. Tomorrow after the transfer meeting, Elder Freeman will go with his new companion, Elder Corry, to Carson City to be a Zone Leader there, and then Elder Ash and I will just be in a regular companionship. We are stoked for this upcoming transfer because we have Zone Conferences again, as well as the re-scheduled Elder Snow tour, so we will be doing lots of driving and traveling the mission.

Transfer planning in the office all week
This week of transfer planning has been lots of fun, as usual, but it has also been the hardest transfer for us. We made TONS of changes, and it will be the biggest transfer in a while. But we were completely stumped on some missionaries. It is always so tough, because we want to give every missionary in this mission a good, strong, companion who is obedient and has the desire to be a missionary, but it is just not possible. So we have to consider many different concerns, and look at things from many different
We were stumped!!
(Prayer is always the answer when you're stumped)
angles. This was the first time that we were really stumped, and all 4 of us (President, Elder Ash, Elder Freeman, and I) were just staring at the board for hours with three or four missionaries in mind. And then we would arrange it and then the next day we would come in and not feel comfortable with it and switch it all again. President Chestnut has really taught me how to listen to the Spirit for promptings when it comes to this kinda thing. We would often be stumped, so we get on our knees and pray and then we would all just sit and and "study it out in our minds" and then we would discuss the first things that popped into our heads.

Elder Ash and I with President Chestnut
It was really cool in one situation we had a missionary who has been struggling to find his purpose, and has off and on said that he wants to go home. So we were praying about where to put him, and we all prayed and afterwards President asked us what we thought, and the 3 of us young missionaries all had the exact same thought... to double transfer him with a great missionary who is a solo Zone Leader of a small zone. (A double transfer is when both missionaries are new to an area.  Usually, we keep at least one missionary in an area, so they are familiar with things.) President wasn't too fond of the idea at first, because he hates double transfers, but because all of three of us Elders had the same idea, we went with that idea. It’s cool to see the Holy Ghost work on all of us, and even though we might not all get the exact same idea in some cases, we would talk about possible ideas and that would prompt other ideas and so on until we feel comfortable with the situation. We always joke that we wish Heavenly Father would give us an audible "bing" when we put two missionaries together where they need to be... that would make our lives much easier! But he doesn't, so we have to learn to listen to the Spirit and to follow our first impressions and promptings when they come. It has been fun to work with President so much. He is really a funny guy and we have lots of fun together while we sit in his office all week.

Tomorrow is transfer day, and like I mentioned earlier we made a bunch of changes throughout the whole mission. Part of the reason we are doing that is so that next transfer, which will be a week before Christmas, we don't have to make so many changes. This transfer was actually made a week short, because we were originally scheduled to have a transfer on December 22nd, but Church headquarters changed it to a week before. So this transfer is 5 weeks, and next transfer will be 7 weeks. But I am excited for tomorrow, it is always an exciting day. We are only getting 9 new missionaries (the smallest since my first transfer as an Assistant) tomorrow, and sending only 2 home. So despite the small numbers coming in and going out, practically the whole mission is changing.

I mentioned a scripture earlier that has been on my mind a lot, the scripture is Doctrine and Covenants 9:8-9:

"But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right. But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be give you from me." 

Last few days with Elder Freeman
This scripture has been on my mind a lot with transfers and different things, and it really is great guidance the Lord gives us when we have any big decision to make…whether it be what school to go to, what to study, where to live, what job to accept, or who to marry. As we transfer plan we are choosing where these missionaries will spend the next 6 weeks of their life, and I don't want to mess it up! So I'm grateful for the guidance that the Lord has given us, because we spend LOTS of time studying out different scenarios in our mind.

After we get the transfer board arranged and we feel comfortable with it, then we begin creating the plans on how to get everyone to their new destination... and the whole time they must remain with another missionary, so no one can be by themselves. It would be nice if we could tell everyone to just drive or catch a cab to their new
area, but it doesn't quite work like that. We have the iMOS system, which is the mission office computer program that tells us everything we need to know about our missionaries, and it is connected with Salt Lake, so when we get another missionary assigned to our mission, they pop up in the iMOS system. It is pretty cool system, actually, because it simplifies a lot of the reports we create, and it is very handy when it comes to updating our cell phones after the transfer, and putting everyone's new phone number and address into our cell phones and President's cell phone. It has a transfer board online, too, so we first fix the physical transfer board in President's office, and then we go online and make them match. Then after we assign the greenies to their trainer, we hit finalize in iMOS and it begins the new transfer. It’s a pretty nifty system that the Church has come out with.

Anyways, that's all for this week! I love you guys! The Church is true, and it blesses lives each and everyday.

Have a great week!

Elder Todd

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