Week 72 - To Reno I Go!!!

With the Mathews Family
February 1, 2016

Making transfer calls
Well, as the subject line suggests, I am getting transferred tomorrow!! I will be serving in downtown Reno in the Spanish Sierra Branch with my new companion, Elder Han!! It really is a bittersweet transfer, because I have spent the last 8 or 9 months here in the Prater ward, and I have loved serving with the ward members, and getting to know the investigators. Also, I have enjoyed and cherished the time I have had with President Chesnut.  He really is an inspired man. There will be lots that I miss, but I am excited to move onto my new assignment. 

I had the opportunity to speak in Sacrament yesterday about member missionary work, and it really was an answer to my prayers, because I was able to tell everyone thank you for all of their love and support. Brother Marchant, the man conducting the meeting, announced that I was getting transferred, and so it felt kinda like a farewell, everyone was saying good-byes and stuff. I love the Prater ward so much. It is like my home ward. 

It snowed all day yesterday, and it accumulated to about 4 inches. Although it is cold, there is something really fun about the snow. I am sure that you guys know what I am talking about, considering you have 4 FEET out there.

The Three Amigos: Me, Elder Ash, and Elder Nieves
This week was a TOTAL party. (Not really, because we did do lots of missionary work) but it was so much fun to be with Elder Ash and Elder Nieves for a week. They are two of my closest friends here in the mission, and it was a week filled with tons of laughter, jokes, and good times. We spent the week planning transfers with President Chesnut, and it was lots of fun as usual. Trios are so much fun. Elder Nieves is infamous for waking me up in the middle of the night, and yes, it did happen again this week. He got a cramp in his calf in the middle of the night a few days ago, and so he woke us all up with yelling and screaming…I was too tired to do much about it in the middle of the night, but it sure made for some laughs the next day.

I made Puff Pancakes!!!
So I finished reading the New Testament this week, and it has been so much fun reading it and learning from it. I feel like I still have tons to learn from the New Testament, but nevertheless I am grateful for the chance that I had to read it and study it. The book of Revelation was especially hard for me, with tons of symbolism and stuff I don't quite get, (and I am excited to dig into it after the mission, but its not so useful here in the mission field…) but there were a few scriptures that stood out to me. It seems like a topic of discussion recently between us and President has been judgment, and so it has been on my mind a lot. And as it has been on my mind a lot, two scriptures stood out to me this week. The first is Revelation 20:12

"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works."

and the other was 2 Nephi 9:14

"Wherefore, we shall have a perfect knowledge of all our guilt, and our uncleanness, and our nakedness; and the righteous shall have a perfect knowledge of their enjoyment, and their righteousness, being clothed with purity, yea, even with the robe of righteousness.”

With some of the priests (16-18 yr old boys) in the ward
President Chesnut told us the other day, that he sees it like we are standing in front of God and we have a big screen TV in front of us with Dolby surround sound, and our whole life playing on replay. (Not really, of course – but just as an analogy)  And he said that he is sad for some missionaries, because he knows that they aren't giving it their all…they are just going through the motions and not being obedient. He says that it will be a sad day for them when they have to give an accounting to the Lord of their missionary service. The same is true for all of us. From those scriptures we read that judgment day will come, and I don't want to be ashamed or feel guilty when I get there, because even the smallest little things that we've done thinking that no one knows about, will be there for everyone to see. Thankfully, we are able to repent and those mistakes we've made will be "skipped over.”  But true repentance only happens once we change our old ways and strive to never do them again. I am grateful for the ability that we have to repent and change. Repentance is not a bad thing, it truly is a blessing that we have, to be cleansed and forgiven.

With Jesse - who recently joined the church
I know that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real, and that it works. I have felt it in my life. I know that I want to stand before God one day, with "enjoyment and righteousness" and be confident.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is real and true.

I love you guys!!

Elder Todd

p.s. I LOVE to get pictures from you of what is going on back at home. I try my best to take and send as many pictures as possible, but I love to see the pictures that you guys all take!

My man Elder Nieves - haha! 

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