Week 98 - The HEAT!

Look who arrived in the Reno Mission!!!
My homie from Tuscarora High School...Elder Noah Anderson
August 1, 2016
Hey everyone!

It sounds like across the country it was pretty hot last week, and it was no different here in Reno. But honestly we have kind of gotten used to it, we just throw on the sunscreen and take tons of water and hope for the best!

But as I always say, it seems the heat is proportional to the miracles! There has been no shortage of good things happening this week.

The Three Spanish-Speaking Musketeers!!
Elder Gonzalez, Elder Torres and me
So Elder Torres and I are now in a trio with Elder Gonzalez! He is fresh from the MTC and he comes from Dallas, Texas. His parents are from Mexico, and he has lots of family from Mexico, and so he considers himself Mexican. My two native companions and I have been ballin' out here in the Holy Deserts, and being in a trio is a total blast...until we all have to use the bathroom at once. But other than that it is really a lot of fun.

It has been fun to take Elder Gonzalez to all of our investigators and have them get to know each other. There is something so fun about seeing other people get excited about the gospel for the first time, and Elder Gonzalez has loved seeing our investigators make and keep commitments and progress!! 

With Hermana Puentes - a HILARIOUS member of the ward
The Coto family is doing well. We taught them a few times this past week and the daughters and the mother are still 100% on board for the 13th of August for baptism. The 15-year old shared with us her testimony about how she came to know that the church was true and it was really powerful. I love hearing converts talk about what they felt because that is really how one gains a testimony. She told us that she just felt so good at church and she wanted to have that feeling more and then when she went to girls’ camp she felt the spirit even more. She came back from girls’ camp a convert to the church. The whole family read a chapter of the Book of Mormon together this past week – which we were super pumped to hear. Having served for almost 2 years as a missionary, it is not very often that a family of investigators sits down and reads a chapter of the Book of Mormon together. We were ecstatic. The father is still moving forward for baptism and he still wants to do it with his family, but he has yet to receive a spiritual confirmation. He asks us tons of questions and 90% of them have to do with after baptism or the actual ordinance. Please keep them in your prayers…I know that Satan is working hard on them so that things fall apart before the 13th.

My boy HALIM
(President Castiblanco's son)
Last week I mentioned that the Coto Family brought their cousin, Jose, to church. Well, Jose came to church last week and LOVED it. He himself has been struggling to overcome some trials in his life, but on Saturday, in our lesson with the Coto Family, we had a super strong impression to invite him to be baptized on the 13th of August also, and he accepted. He said that the first night that we met him he just felt that we could help him and so he has kept coming back. Yesterday, he brought his 12-year old son to church for the first time, and he seemed to like it also. The gospel is spreading like wildfire in the Coto family.

Another miracle: Do you guys remember Jesus (pronounced “Hey-sus”) from a few weeks ago? He came to church and Presidente Castiblanco got up and spoke to him personally from the pulpit. He went incognito for a week and a half and we didn't hear much from him, but then yesterday morning he walked into church!! We were thrilled and we found out that he had been sent to Elko to work for the week, but was back and wanted to meet with us again. That was a fun surprise for us.

My boy Francisco is doing well. He is a total homie now. He stills works Sundays with the new job he got with Hermano Scott, but we have a lot of fun teaching him, and a few weeks ago he asked if we knew a mechanic who could come help him with his car. He has a car in the garage that doesn't work and he wanted to fix it and sell it. We asked in Elders Quorum if anyone could come help us, and Hermano Coto volunteered, so we had an investigator come and help an investigator this past week and we got to sit there and watch the fellowship happen! That was a neat experience.

Going to lunch with Elder Han and his
family at the end of his mission!
Because Hermano Coto is still waiting to receive an answer, I have been studying a lot about getting answers from the Holy Ghost. There are many examples in the scriptures of people who had to pray to receive a testimony. I really like the example that Nephi gives us. He had a desire to know if the prophecies of his father were true. I'm sure a part of him had to doubt because nobody wants to leave all of their gold, riches, friends and home just to go and walk in the desert because their dad said so. However, if that revelation was really from God, then Nephi understood that it was indeed worth it to leave everything behind and go live in a tent.

So, in 1 Nephi 2:16 he says, "And it came to pass that I, Nephi, being exceedingly young, nevertheless being large in stature, and also having great desires to know of the mysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me, and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father."  

Nephi received his answer from God. Once he received it, he was willing to act on it and so he didn't fight his father like his older brothers did. We all can do the same. Sometimes Heavenly Father asks us to do really hard things that at first glance don't make any sense. But when we pray and receive an answer from God through the Holy Ghost, then it makes perfect sense, and we are willing to do whatever it takes to follow that answer, even leave everything behind and go walk in the desert.

I love this Gospel. I know it is true. It brings families closer together and makes individuals stronger. I love to share it with others.

Have a great week. I love you all!!

Elder Todd

p.s. Shout-out to the Han family...on Wednesday after they picked up Elder Han from the mission office they took me and my two companions out to lunch. It was fun to see them and got me excited for BYU…(see photo uploaded).
Saying goodbye to Elder Han!! 
Saying hello to Elder Anderson!!

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