Friday, September 2, 2016

Week Two in the MTC

A lot of things happened this here we go. To start it off I've been having problems with my jaw lately- locking up and giving me pain -  but lucky for me, one of the members of the branch presidency is a pediatric dentist! He took a look at me Sunday and after 5 seconds of analyzing he said, "Yup, your jaw's messed up," and looked at me with a straight face like it something serious... And here I am, with a look of confusion, not realizing that it's his sense of humor and personality to make missionaries scared. But he quickly reassured me that everything's alright and said that I could take a trip down to his office so he could fix me up. So Monday morning, my companion Elder Jenkins and I take a trip out of prison; and man we were free for almost 6 hours! Upon arrival Jenkins and I, the two missionaries, walk into an office full of little kids and let me just say that I never seen a room light up with so much excitement for visiting missionaries! I mean these kids gasped and looked at us like we were heroes... It put a big smile on my face... Brother Markham (the pediatric dentist) greeted us and went straight into fixing my jaw; he decided to mold a sleep guard for me to wear during the night. The paste they used to mold this thing tasted awful! But I wasn't complaining because anytime spent outside the MTC is precious haha! The assistants even made me balloon animals and gave me stickers to put on my name tag, I really felt 5 again! It was great, and to top it off we had lunch at his house, and dang his house is huge! Other than being a dentist, Markham likes creating non- alcoholic wine. He travels around the world to find the best grapes for his wine; he's even been to Paso Robles which is interesting since it seems like nobody knows where this little town is! He gave us a tour of his house, showing us his cellar and his vineyards, and we had lunch with some of his favorite wines he's made... I've never tasted so much flavor in my life- my taste buds melted, I loved it! But by that time Jenkins and I needed to head back,  so Markham sent me off with another bottle to keep. Before I left I asked how much the apointment would cost, usually it would be $350, but he told me, "This is my favor to you; don't worry about the cost. This is a service I'm more than happy to have done for you, because the service that you will give the people around the world is far greater than this little one." And those words right there, I'll never forget them, because I'm grateful for what he did for me and my jaw, but I've never looked at the work that I'm doing in the way he described it. It was left impressioned in my head for the rest of that day. My work for the next 2 years is so important and I always knew that, but I never really acknowledged it until now. Take what I am for example: the definition of a Missionary is a person who leaves their family for a short time, so that others can be with their families for eternity. It's a simple phrase but it's so full of truth and reassurance, and I can't wait until I get to do that service for someone. So that's Monday for you! Tuesday was our devotional and man, let me just say that singing is so much fun, and I think I'm actually getting better at it! I started playing the piano more too because I feel lost without my guitar so I have to fill in its shoes with the next best thing. Wednesday we did something called TRC, which is where we teach members of the church lessons, but in French of course, and the best thing happened to me... As I walked into the building of 18M, across from me was a missionary that had such a huge impact on my life. Sorry for this tangent, but about two years ago I had the opportunity to travel to Tahiti to play basketball for my uncle's team, and one of the nights there we were having dinner and some missionaries showed up, one of them being the same missionary standing right across from me, in the building of 18M. His name is Cody Rose and at the time in Tahiti his talk with us wasn't as significant as it is now. He started talking to the team, asking us if we were serving missions and telling us some of his experiences, and I remember telling him I didn't think I was going on a mission partly because of other things that were going on in my life at the time. But he told me he had similar feelings towards a mission, and he told me his story and told me what changed his mind and like I said it wasn't much of a significant factor in my life at the time like it is now. But the story he told us that night stayed in my mind for the rest of that trip. We befriended each other on Facebook and stayed in contact after his mission, and going back to the present day it was just an amazing experience to see this man again. I have no words for how I felt seeing my friend. I broke into tears and we exchanged a big hug- It reminded me of the devotional from Tuesday night: the speaker talked about how great the worth of one soul is in the sight of God and this man was definently of great worth, he touched my heart. I'll never forget that experience, how one missionary, one soul, can be so great, and can be the influence a person needs in their life. A lot has happened this week and I'm so happy that it's Friday and that I get to share my experience with you all, I can't wait for more experiences like this to happen so we can continue to share this journey together. Until next week! Au revoir.

Elder Todd

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