The Best Two Years

Saying goodbye to my family at Dulles Airport
September 17, 2014
Dulles Airport once again...returning from my two-year mission!

September 17, 2016

Well, I can’t believe its over. Two years ago, I said goodbye to my family and stepped on a plane headed to Mexico City. I knew it would be hard, I knew it would be long, but I also knew it was the right decision. What I didn’t know was that it would be the best experience of my life thus far.

Serving a mission has changed my life forever. It has given me a foundation upon which I can build the rest of my life. I was blessed to go to the great state of Nevada and put the Savior’s name on my chest and serve him for two years.

A mission is really an incredible thing. The Lord takes all of us 18, 19, 20, and 21 year olds in arguably the time of our life when we are the most selfish. When we leave home we are very self-centered. Everything is about me, how can I benefit from this, how is this going to help me? He takes us in our selfish condition and accepts us how we are. He throws us into the mission and puts us in a position where we can think about anyone and everyone but ourselves. We have no room to even think twice about ourselves. We are asked to get up early and work hard all day, and do it day after day. And it’s all for others…the people of Nevada, the members of the church, our companions, and of course, Jesus Christ.

What does this do for us? Well it teaches us humility for sure…we learn quick that we can’t do this without God. I am the type of person who likes to work hard and see instant results. But in the mission field, you can work hard and knock on every single door in Reno and have very minimal success. But as soon as you involve the Lord through prayer, miracles happen…and you don’t need to knock on every single door in Nevada. The same is true for life out of the mission, as well. All of us can be more humble and rely on the Lord more. Whether it be with school and the many tests and projects we have, at work and the stress that comes from work, with our families and the many different trials that arise as a family, or anything else, we ALL need to rely on Him more.

I can sit here all day and list many things that I learned in the past two years, but when it comes down to it, it is all about Jesus Christ. This is HIS church and HIS gospel that we teach and practice. He loves us so incredibly much, and I know that He loves us. We all go through times in our lives when we want to give up and we think that we can’t do it. We fall to our knees and cry out in despair, and our loving Savior stands next to us with open arms and offers a helping hand. Christ wants us to lean on him and he asks us to do so. He invites us, “Follow me” and “come unto me” and he wants us to take those invitations seriously.

I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that he loves us. This is His gospel and He stands at the head of the church and directs it. I have gained this testimony through the power of the Holy Ghost. I know that we can know the truth of all things through the influence of the Holy Ghost. The Book of Mormon teaches us these truths and I have gained a spiritual confirmation that it is true. Because the Book of Mormon is true, I know that everything else is.

I am not perfect, and I did not serve a perfect mission, but I am grateful that the Lord accepted me in my weaknesses and allowed me to serve Him for the last two years. I wouldn’t trade the experiences I had for anything, and I pray that I can take what I’ve learned and move forward. Thank you all for following me and supporting me while I was away, I couldn’t do it without you. I hope and pray that each and every one of you can come to the same joy that I have found in living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Please feel free to reach out to me and say hello, my cell phone number is 571-420-7023.

I love you guys!


Richie Todd