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 95 - Miracles Keep Coming!
With Elder Lyman
July 11, 2016
This has been one of the most miracle-filled weeks of my whole
mission. The Lord is blessing us with lots of success and I know that it is all
coming from the Lord. It has been a really fun week, even the weather was
perfect...80s and sunny all week!!
But let me fill you in:
So La Familia Coto that I told you about last week is super
solid. They are the family of 4 that we found last weekend. We had a church
tour with them on Wednesday, and committed them to baptism on August 13th
(the whole family!) when we were standing in front of the baptismal font. It
was a powerful church tour. One of the biggest reasons that the church intrigued
the parents was for their 15-year-old daughter, who hated going to church in
the past and didn't believe in God. They wanted to help her. But she came to
church for the tour.She was kinda
skeptical and put on a "too cool for school attitude" but she
committed to baptism also. We went over to their house on Saturday and had a
lesson and taught the Restoration. It went great. The parents told us on
Saturday that their 15-year-old daughter had declined an invitation to hang out
with her friends so that she could go to church instead. And so they came
yesterday! They were like 5 minutes late
(which is really like 20 minutes late, but because of Hispanic time we always
start about 15 minutes late) so we were worried, but they arrived! Sister Coto cried for the entire sacrament
meeting. They stayed for the whole three hours and loved it. In fact, they
loved it so much that their 15-year old daughter decided to go to girls’ camp
with the stake this week. (They left this morning!) She came out with a big
grin on her face and came up to us and said, "I love church!!" The
parents loved it also, and the Mom commented to a member that she didn't know
why she was crying so much in all the classes but she couldn't stop! We are super stoked for this family. When we
have such big miracles like this it forces to stop and look back and think,
"Wow, God has to be real."
The Elders of the Rama Sierra
Jesus Mesias came to church again this week and liked it again.
We haven't been able to go and teach him much yet because he is so busy, but we
are hoping to go over tomorrow with an appointment that we have set up.
We have also gotten to know another family: Alicia came to
church with her two young daughters three weeks ago out of the blue. She didn't
know anybody, just saw the church and wanted to try it out, so she got online
and checked it out. We of course went up to her and introduced ourselves and
offered to come over and teach her, but she declined, said that she was just
looking. She came back the next week with her husband, and we again talked to
the family for a while. They are an awesome and super cool young family!
However, last week, once again, they declined our invitation to learn more in
their home. They came again yesterday and brought their 17 year old son, and he
actually knew some of the youth and he had a great time, also. We had a
"Noche de Hogar" with the whole branch last night, (which was way
fun) and they came also! They loved it and had tons of questions that the
Hermana missionaries answered. We still do not have their information to go and
teach them. They are slowing warm up, however.It is interesting, because
usually it is the opposite with investigators, we can't get them to church for
the life of us, but they love having us over. This certainly shows lots of real
intent and true interest, so we can't complain. We are praying and hoping that
we can start to teach them soon.
Hiking in Washoe Valley with Elder Hadley
I got to go on two exchanges this past week, one in the YSA area
with Elders Lyman and Ash, and another in Washoe Valley with Elder Hadley. Both
exchanges we had tons of fun and were able to find new people to teach, which
was huge because both areas have been struggling to find people to teach.
It is such an interesting concept that Heavenly Father has his
plans, and knows better than we do. So often we think that we know what would
be best for ourselves, and even sometimes we think we know what those around us
need. However, we do not. In Isaiah 55 we read:
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your
ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so
are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
This is a pretty famous scripture, but it teaches us a powerful
concept. So many times I have thought to myself, "This would be perfect
for me, this is exactly what needs to happen!" and so then I pray about it
and hope for it, but then the total opposite happens. At times when this
happens it can weaken our faith because we think, "What did I do
wrong?!" And no we didn't do anything wrong, but Heavenly Father just
knows better. He knows that we need hard times and trials to grow stronger. He
knows where we need to be in order to help other people out. I know that as we
do all that we can, and allow ourselves to follow his will with his timing, we
will find true happiness. Our human brains tend to only think short-term, but
our Loving Heavenly Father has a long-term perspective. I love Him and am grateful
for Him, even though at times it really stinks.