My name is Elder Richie Todd and I am from Leesburg, VA! I graduated from high school in June of 2014 and was accepted to attend Brigham Young University. However, I deferred my acceptance and have chosen to serve a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I have been called to serve in Reno, Nevada, Spanish speaking! I am grateful for the opportunity that I have to go and serve our Lord. Please feel free to reach out to me, I would love to hear from you!
Week 92 – Happy Father’s Day!
June 20, 2016
Buenas tardes a todos!!
Aqui estoy en Reno muy feliz con todo. Y feliz dia de los padres
por todos que son padres!!! Happy Fathers Day to all of the Fathers out there!!
You guys are my heroes, really!
Today I want to give a special shout-out to my own father, who
truly is a great role model for me in every sense of the word. I am so grateful
for him and all that he has done for me. He has been a teacher, a mentor, a
counselor, and a friend to me. I look up to him more than anybody else that I
know, and that is because of his great example. I have always been proud
to claim my dad as my father. I remember on one occasion in high school, I was
with some friends and their parents, and one of the parents referred to my dad
as a "a spiritual stalwart." I can echo the words of Elder
Christofferson when he said in his most recent talk, "My young boy
heart swelled with pride in my father. It gave me confidence and a desire to
follow in his footsteps. He was not perfect—no one is—but he was upright and
good and an aspirational example for a son." I love you, Dad.
In other news, this week has been a lot of fun. We had
transfers, but like I mentioned last week, Elder Torres and I will be remaining
together here in Downtown Reno. I am looking forward to this next transfer.
Our investigators are doing well. BOTH of the Luciano parents
came to church this week for the first time with their daughter, and it was
awesome! They seemed to enjoy it and are slowly warming up to the church. They
both have openly admitted that they want to be baptized, but there are a few
things that need to happen before they are baptized, including getting married!
So we will continue to work with them.
Francisco also came to church yesterday and loved it. A member
in the branch has lined him up with a new job at the place where he works, but
if he gets the job then that will mean that he will have to work on Sundays for
a while until the other shift frees up. So it is more of a long-term investment
for Francisco. We hope that it works out good for him in the long run, because
right now he is progressing well, we are just waiting for his fiancé.
Two of our investigators are on the "Wall of Fathers"
for Father's Day!
One miracle that happened this week was on Saturday morning. We
had a branch Fathers Day activity put on by the Relief Society, and we invited
a handful of people, trying to get some of our investigators to come, but it
seemed like nobody was going to come. Friday evening we had run into this
family named the Hernandez Family, (they have 6 kids also!! the only difference
is that they are all living in a two-bedroom apartment...!) and we really had
never taught them before. We had one short lesson in the parking lot for 30
minutes one day, but they didn't seem too terribly interested. However, we ran
into them on Friday, so we stopped and talked with them like we do with
everyone. We invited them to the activity, and they gave us a hesitant yes. We
didn't think much of it, but then Saturday morning we felt prompted to stop by
their house on the way to the activity, so we did. They had just started
cooking breakfast for themselves when we showed up, but when we asked if they
were going to come to the activity they said, 'Sure!" The father was kinda
hesitant, but the mom was like, "No, lets go, we will just turn off the
stove and finish when we get home!" So the parents and 4 of the kids
jumped in their van and followed us to the activity. They had a fun time
getting to know a few of the members and we had a delicious lunch. The kids
literally ran wild during the activity haha. After everyone ate, the relief
society put on a little program talking about the importance of fathers, and it
turns out that it was exactly what Bro. Hernandez needed. Apparently they had
been going through some struggles, and coming to the party and hearing the
message was perfect for him. After the program, we gave them a tour of our
church building and they loved it. They committed to come to church the next
day and everything, but of course the next day the wife woke up sick and so
they didn't end up coming. But nevertheless, we were able to build a good
relationship with this family and now they invited us back to them home to
teach more. We are pumped about them.
I love being a missionary, because I KNOW that this gospel can
help anyone and everyone. I am gaining a testimony day by day out here, and the
stronger my testimony grows, the stronger my desire grows to share it. I know
that the Book of Mormon is the truest book on the face of this earth. It helps
us grow closer to God because it teaches us about the nature and atonement of
our Savior Jesus Christ. It is also "Satan's playbook" and we can
learn from this book how the adversary has attacked people in the past, so that
we can avoid those same deceiving ways. I am so grateful for the knowledge that
we have of the Book of Mormon. I know that it is true. It can and will bless
anyone who is willing to crack it open and read it with an open heart.
As it says in the last chapter of the book, we can know if it is
true by reading it and then praying about it, to ask God himself if it is true.
Moroni 10:3-5 "I would exhort you that when ye shall read these
things...hat ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if
these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real
intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by
the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the
truth of all things."
I have done exactly as this prophet asked us to do, and I have
received an answer. I know that the Book of Mormon is true by the power of God.
And because the book is true, so is everything else.