Week 99 - Fill up the Font!

With Hermano Chavez
August 8, 2016
Howdy from the great state of Nevada!!

This week was the annual “Hot August Nights” event, where people come from all over the US and bring the antique autos to show off. So there was tons of traffic all over Reno and tons of sweet antique cars driving everywhere. It’s a fun vibe.

What do you get when you put a Mexican, a Peruvian, and an American together in a trio....? Straight MIRACLES! The life of a trio is nonstop fun. Although trios can kind of be hard at times to teach and take care of normal missionary tasks (such as putting three bikes on a bike rack vs. two bikes is a BIG difference...), they sure are a lot of fun. This week has been another week full of good things going on. 

Soooooo…the big news is that the entire Coto family will be baptized this Saturday at 1pm, including Hermano Coto!!!!! Our prayers and fasts have been answered. We went over to their house on Monday night for a lesson and they told us, "we have some exciting news for you!" And then Hermano Coto said, "All four of us are going to be baptized on August 13th as a family." My companions and I about jumped out of our pants!! We were pumped!! They came to an English baptism on Saturday night and then afterwards they all had their interviews. They are super excited. Thanks to everyone for all of your prayers for them, this truly has been a miracle.

Noche de Hogar (Family Night)
with the Coto and Castiblanco families
Everyone in the Spanish branch is super pumped.  They haven't had a whole family get baptized in forever, so the entire branch has been rallying around the family and supporting them super well. They are already part of the branch family…Hermana Coto went and helped clean the Bishop's storehouse the other day, and Hermano Coto went and played soccer with a bunch of the other men in the branch. The two girls love church so much they told us that they want everyday to be Sunday so they can go. They are on fire! Their cousin, Jose, will not be baptized with the family due to a few small hiccups, but he still loves the church and has been reading from the Book of Mormon. He told us in one of our lessons that this is what he has been looking for. 

We had a family home evening with the Coto's and Presidente Castiblanco and his family last night at the Castiblanco's home and it was a lot of fun. Doing gospel-related things with other people is just a total party. The Spirit was strong, and they commited to start doing FHE on their own. 

This past week I went on exchanges with Elder Lyman again, and I went with him to his area, which is the YSA ward in Reno. We went and did some street contacting on UNR campus again, and it was weird because in just a few weeks I will be on the other side of things. But we had a lot of fun together. Serving in YSA is awesome, because we are teaching people that are our age! So it is a lot easier to relate to them than someone who is 40 years older than you and grew up in Mexico. But that’s ok, the Spirit makes up the difference in those situations. 

My boy Arturo
Francisco is doing well. We still teach him regularly and he still tells us every lesson that he wants to get baptized, but he still works Sundays. It will probably be a little while before he is actually baptized, but maybe when he does get baptized that will give me a good excuse to go back to Reno and visit.

We are all set to have another FHE with Alicia and her family tomorrow with another family! She still comes to church and has been reading the Book of Mormon like crazy, but she still isn't comfortable with giving us her address! It is so funny because every Sunday she comes to church and asks us like a million questions and we always say to her, "Well we'd love to come by sometime this week and answer all of your questions and teach you more!" And she always says, "Ok let me talk with my husband and I'll call you." But she is really a great lady and has a great family. They will also be solid members in the future. 

Today I was studying the topic of charity, and what charity really means. Twice in the scriptures it tells us what charity is, in Moroni 7 and 1 Corinthians 13.

It tells us that, "...charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail." (Moroni 7:45-46.)

After reading this, I think it can really help us determine what we can get better at. I know for myself there are times when I envy a lot, or when I get puffed up and seek my own. However, when we struggle to have charity for someone or in general, in verse 48 it tells us what we need to do to get that charity, "pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ."

So when we lack that charity that we all want, we can pray to God and ask for it with real intent, and then we are told that we will be filled with more of Christ's love. I can certainly have more charity, and so this week I am going to strive to be more charitable and loving. Thankfully, Jesus Christ always loves us with His perfect, endless love. So even when we fall short, he still cares about us and wants us to succeed. 

I love you guys, and I know that this Gospel is true.


Elder Todd

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