Week 91 – One More Transfer in Reno!

With three of my closest friends in the mission...
Elder Krey, Elder Ash, and Elder Nieves
June 13, 2016

Well transfer calls came last night, and I get to stay here in the Sierra Branch for at least one more transfer. I also get to stay with Elder Torres. We are pumped! We are going to see tons of miracles, speak lots of Spanish, and eat a bunch of tacos. I can't ask for a better way to end the mission.

This week the weather chilled out a little bit...literally. The past 4 days have been perfect, 70s and sunny. Elder Torres and I have seen TONS of miracles this past week in finding new people to teach. We had a dry spell for two weeks without really finding many new investigators, but this past week we found 7! Which is exactly what we needed. 

The Luciano family is doing OK. We didn't teach them as much as we usually do in a week (we usually teach them 2 or 3 times, while this week we only taught them once.)  However, one of the biggest miracles of the week came yesterday, when Sister Luciano surprised us and walked around the corner into the CHAPEL!  She finally came to church!!  On Sunday morning, we talked to Mileishka and she told us that only she would be attending church from her family. We were kinda bummed, but at that point it was too late to try and get the parents and brother to come. So we were just standing at the doorway of the chapel greeting the members as they came in, and then she walked in!  After I picked up my jaw from off of the floor, we greeted her with BIG ole smiles and she was happy to be there, too.

The six of us serving in the Sierra Branch
After Sacrament meeting, a few of the young women's leaders came up to her and told her about what girls camp is, and she gave Mileishka permission to go with the stake this summer!! That was a huge miracle also because up until yesterday she didn't want her to go, but once she heard more about it from the leaders, she felt comfortable enough to say yes. She herself might even come for a day or two.

Francisco is still good old Francisco. It might be another month or so before he is baptized because his fiancé is going to be in Fiji for a while longer. But he is ready and excited. He loves the idea of the temple and he loves talking about it. It is truly exciting to see someone get so excited about the gospel. There is no doubt that before my mission I took the gospel for granted, and it is a great reminder to me when I see people get so excited about it that it really is a huge blessing.

In other news, Elder Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came to town this weekend, and the Sparks stake was split into two new stakes.  They also created a few new wards. So the Prater ward now no longer exists, because it was divided into three different wards. I wasn't there for any of the meetings, I just heard about it all. It is cool to see the Church grow, but at the same time it is sad, because the Prater ward is gone!  But it is more cool than sad because I know that this is a huge step for the church in this town.  There are now 5 stakes here in Washoe County!

Elder Torres and I at the Reno temple
This week I had the chance to attend the temple twice…once for a session with the whole Reno Zone, and another time we went with Mileishka around the temple grounds. Both times were lots of fun, and both times the Spirit was so strong – both inside and outside the temple.

I am so grateful that we have a temple close here in Reno, and I am also grateful to have a temple not too far from home in Virginia. One of the missionaries in the branch that serves here with us, Hermana Martinez, is from Puerto Rico, and they don't have a temple in Puerto Rico! Just being on the temple grounds you can feel of the power. I know that there is truly no place holier on this earth than in the temples of God.

I was reading this week in Doctrine and Covenants 127, which talks about temples and I really liked verse 4. "And again, verily thus saith the Lord: Let the work of my temple, and all the works which I have appointed unto you, be continued on and not cease; and let your diligence, and your perseverance, and patience, and your works be redoubled, and you shall in nowise lose your reward, saith the Lord of Hosts. And if they persecute you, so persecuted they the prophets and righteous men that were before you. For all this there is a reward in heaven." (you can also replace the word "temple" at the beginning with the word "missionary work" and it is still a great scripture!)

Even though we are not asked to go and build a temple like the early saints were, we still need to go and perform temple work in those temples that have already been built. Having temples here on earth is such a great blessing, but they don't do a lot of good if we don't use them! When President Hermansen left last summer, he gave us some advice. One of his words of advice was to regularly attend the temple. This is wise advice.

There is great power that I have felt as I have attended the temple, and I know that the same power can come to all who attend. I know that this church is the only church that has the priesthood authority to seal things on earth and in heaven. This is the same power that Christ gave to Peter (Matthew 16:19), and that Peter gave to Joseph Smith. I know that being married in a temple is the only place on earth that ensures us that we can live with our families forever. 

I love you guys!


Elder Todd

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