Week 74 – Alex’s Baptism

February 15, 2016
Hello everyone!

My 2nd week in the Sierra branch was great. It went by so fast...I can't believe I am already sitting here typing again. But we had a lot of fun. We worked hard all week and were able to find lots of new people to teach...and the best part, they are all couples! Like of all the really solid people we are teaching, I would say 90% of them are couples or families. It is lots of fun. I am still trying to adjust to the language/culture difference, but it is fun nonetheless.

Alex with Presidente Castiblanco, the branch president

So Alex was baptized on Saturday, and it was great! The branch had a great turnout and it went very smoothly. Elder Han confirmed him on Sunday in Sacrament. He was pretty excited. It is fun to serve in Spanish again.  It’s definitely pushing me and stretching me to become better, because I thought I was finally figuring out how to do missionary work in my native language...and then I got transferred! But I know it will come with time.

Going to the temple with the Sparks Zone
We had the opportunity to attend the temple this past week as a zone, and it was very fun. I decided a few days before I went that I wanted to take a question to the temple and receive an answer while I was there. I had tried it before, but I didn't feel that I had received an answer. So I came up with a very specific and direct question that I needed help with, and as I studied it out in my mind during the temple session I received an answer. It was a testimony builder to me that 1) Heavenly Father does answer prayers, especially when they are specific, and 2) having a true desire and real intent (meaning that you are willing to act on an answer, whatever it might be) are important in finding an answer. It was a very spiritual experience that I am grateful for.

Exchanges with Elder Short!!
So I got to go on exchanges with Elder Short this past week!! It was so much fun because it was exactly a year ago that we were together in Sun Valley. He is now a district leader in the zone serving in the Skyline ward in English. We had a great day together, and it was fun to reminisce on the good times we had together. He is a great missionary who understands his purpose and truly wants to serve the Lord. He is also great and natural with talking to people in the streets and his Spanish has come a long way. I love Elder Short so much!

A quick update on the other two teenagers, Beba, and Jonathan that we are teaching:

So the other day, Beba told us that she no longer wants to be baptized because she is happy again and feels that being baptized is no longer necessary. We had a powerful lesson with her on Thursday when she told us that, and we discovered that since Church last Sunday, she hadn't read from the Book of Mormon or prayed much. So in other words, she went about 4 days without feeling the Spirit, which is all Satan needs to intervene and work on her. We pointed this out to her in the lesson, and she realized it and committed to read the scriptures regularly again. It is amazing how little time Satan needs before he can creep into our lives without us really even noticing what is going on. This is why it is so important to read the scriptures EVERY day!!

Elder Han and I helping Jonathan ask a girl out
Jonathan is solid as a rock. He taught the lesson in young men’s yesterday and did a good job. We love teaching him. He knows everything there is to teach an investigator and more! We are going to start teaching and studying Preach My Gospel with him. His parents still aren't all for it, but they are warming up to the idea. We are going to have dinner with his family this Thursday, and we are planning to talk about it with his Mom. His dad is anti any religion, and doesn't really care, but his Mom wants to see him change and make sure that he wants to do this. We will let you know how it goes next Monday! We also helped him ask a girl out yesterday after church. He went ALL out, and bought this girl tons of food and a BIG OL' Teddy Bear with all of these notes and stuff....it was great.

At the temple with Elders Short and Han
This week in my studies I have been reading through Jacob in the Book of Mormon. I really like Jacob 3:1

"But behold, I, Jacob, would speak unto you that are pure in heart. Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause, and send down justice upon those who seek your destruction."

I really like this because it is SO important that we do look unto God in all that we do, through steady prayer, scripture study, and church attendance. As we do those things, we put God on our team, and he is able to help us out with the other aspects of our lives. There is nothing that can or should take priority over those 3 basic things. If we don't have time for those three basic things, then we need to take a step back and reevaluate. I love the hour between 8 and 9 each morning, because I get a whole HOUR to study the scriptures. It is great. I know that as we do those things, God will bless us and guide us. I know that to be true.

Well that’s about all for this week! The address for the church that we meet at is 4751 Neil Rd, but we don't cover the area right around the church. We cover downtown Reno and around Plumb Ln. if you want to check it out on the map.

I love you guys, the Church is true!! 


Elder Todd

Our desks - where we study everyday
Our kitchen
Big map..you know me, I am the map nerd!
With Elder Han at the temple

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