Week 61 - "Are You True?" (and a few confessions from my senior year!)

Making transfer calls with the Zone Leaders
November 16, 2015

It snowed the night before transfers - and caused the
power to go out at the mission office and church
It is definitely winter here in Nevada! The colder weather has settled in, and we’ve had 2 snowstorms already!! It's great…I love the snow!  And so does Elder Ash. He is from Canada,  so he loves it more than I do.  It’s fun when it is snowing, and everyone gets excited around here. What's the weather like back at home, any sign of winter yet there?

I want to give a special birthday shout-out to my wonderful mother, who is still very young and hip and awesome. But I am SO grateful for her and all that she has done for me. I wouldn't be here on my mission now without her. I am so grateful for the example that she gives me and to everyone around her of how to live a life centered around the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I can't imagine my life with out my Mother. I love you Mom!!

At the airport picking up the Greenies
Our first snow of the season happened to come on transfer night, so we woke up Tuesday morning (transfer day) with 3 or 4 inches of snow on the ground, and we had no power at the mission office or any of the surrounding church buildings. So of course everyone went into freak-out mode and we were about ready to move the whole transfer day to the other end of Reno. There were many prayers said that it would work out, and of course it did...while we were at the airport picking up the Greenies, we got word that the power was back on, and everything was good to go. So we witnessed a huge miracle with that one. 

Our vehicle temporarily
But other than that, transfers went very smooth!  It was a whirlwind – as it always is, and it seems like we are always out way late the day of transfers. This time, after the transfer meeting, we had to go and load up the trailer with a bunch of furniture to send to Elko on the usual van run.  So that took a while, but it was fun. We got to drive the van and trailer in the snow, and that that was lots of fun too!

All this snow reminds me...
I have a confession to make about a snowy night
when I was a senior in high school (hehehe!)
I have to pause and confess a small sin that I committed during winter of my senior year: One snow night we went over to Salar's house and I finally convinced Dad to let me take my little car to his house for the night as long as we didn't go anywhere but to his house and back. This was the case until later that night when we were invited to go sledding with some girls. It was the 5 of us guys and three girls that lived on the other side of Lansdowne. We decided to take my car and all 8 of us crammed into the tiny car to go sledding. It was a ton of fun, and we were sliding all over the place on the roads (no one else was on them) but I felt guilty after having agreed to NOT take the car anywhere. So anyways a night for me to remember, and hopefully this doesn't ruin the chances for MJ to take the car out into the snow...

Updating phones and computers
But back to missionary work: this week has been quite crazy like usual, with the finalizing of transfers and everything. We spent Wednesday and Thursday mostly in the office updating the computers and phones after the transfer. We also had an MLC meeting on Friday, and we invited all of the District Leaders to attend as well. It was a huge meeting, with about 50 of our leaders in the mission present. We had the whole mission presidency present as well, and it was a GREAT meeting.
Doing office work the day after transfers
For a portion of the time we split the
group up into Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders, and then the District Leaders. Elder Ash and I trained each group on what their responsibilities are. We have lots of new, young leaders and nobody ever received any training on what their
new role is. So we explained to them what is expected of them, and with each group we discussed the talk "Jesus: The Perfect Leader" with them (fantastic talk by the way..) but it was lots of fun. Then each member of the mission presidency took some time and trained us. President Chesnut trained us on a new theme he has kinda adopted of, "Are you true?" He heard the line from some talk a general authority gave, and he wants us all to be true to ourselves, our families, and most importantly the Gospel of Jesus Christ, including the covenants we make with God. It was a great training, and he had each of us dig into the scriptures to find an example of someone who is true...and of course, there are TONS of examples. It was a great discussion.

Elder Freeman and I teaching at MLC
President Perry, the 1st counselor in the Mission Presidency trained on faith. Sounds pretty basic, but he is a total scripture guru, and can take any scripture story or topic to the next level. He gave a powerful training on faith, and what it means to truly have faith, and how we can develop faith. He also talked about how and why it is that sometimes we think we have all the faith in the world, but things don't happen as we hope and then we get frustrated. This topic hit home for me because many times I have fasted for something, and then we go out and work our tail ends off, but nothing happens, and it can get frustrating at times. But President Perry told us his personal experience of losing his wife. About 11 years ago his wife developed a cold that wouldn't go away, and turned into bronchitis. Her health deteriorated and she went to the hospital. She was there for a few days, and it didn't improve. He began fasting for her health, and then eventually got their children and extended family fasting on behalf of his wife. Many priesthood blessings were given to her, and her name was on many temple prayer rolls. Yet 11 years ago Friday, (the day of MLC) she still passed away. It was very powerful, and many people were very emotional as he explained that he had all the faith in the world, combined with his family members and not to mention the temple prayer rolls...yet she still passed away. It was a great example to me of how we need to still press on, even when things don't happen the way we want them to, even when our desires are righteous and we want it with all of our heart – God still has his will. This life-changing event did not stop President Perry, however. He is a total stud and I am jealous of his gospel and scriptural knowledge. For many, an experience like this would weaken one's faith, and cause them to doubt and question everything they know, including their own testimony. But this was not the case with President Perry, this experience only made him stronger. It was a phenomenal training. 

Elder Freeman and I with the Bells - an office couple
who go home next month
Though I have learned a ton on my mission, I am still struggling with some of my weaknesses that I had before my mission...I still have a bad habit of leaving the milk out after I use it – haha! All of my companions have noticed it and it probably drives them crazy, but for some darn reason I can't figure out how to put it back when I am done. I am also still a champion for putting the cereal in the fridge and the milk in the cupboard. So I still have lots to learn, but thankfully I still have lots of time to improve!! 

Saying goodbye to Elder Freeman
This transfer we are jam-packed with transfers, transfer planning, zone conferences, MLCs, the Elder Snow mission tour, and exchanges with the Zone Leaders. We are so busy, in fact that we have to forego some p-days! So next Monday I will not be on my email, but our P-day was rescheduled to Wednesday. And the following week I won't really have a P-day, but I am hoping to send a quick email to everyone with a brief overview. Then the last week of the transfer I should be back on a normal schedule. Just FYI so no one freaks out when they don't get an email from me.

Tomorrow we start our zone conferences and I am so excited. We are doing them differently this transfer.  We are doubling up, so we will have 2 zones attending each conference. Tomorrow we have Carson City and Fallon, Wednesday we have Reno and Reno North, then Thursday we have Sparks and Quincy, and then next Monday we have Elko, Winnemucca and Ely all combined. So it should be lots of fun. We have lots of new greenies in our mission,  so we have decided to focus on Chapter 1 of Preach My Gospel, "My Purpose" – just getting down to the "why" of all that we do. It should be a good round of conferences. We are training on what it means to be a successful missionary, and how to teach and use our Power and Authority that we were given when we were set apart. 

Elder Ash says Hello.

Anyways, I am out of time, but I hope all is well back at home. I love being a missionary, and I love my companion Elder Ash. We are having a total blast together; I can't wait to train with him at these upcoming zone conferences and to work with him for the next little while. 

The Church is truer than ever!


Elder Todd

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