Monday, January 23, 2012

P-Day Golfing with friends in Roi Et.

Before Bud left Roi Et, he and Elder Wagstaff were invited to go golfing with friends on their P-day. The clubs were a little on the short side... and they had to wear their missionary shoes... but they still had a wonderful time! Yay for a day on the links in Thailand.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Good-bye Roi Et. Hello Thon Buri in the heart of Bangkok!

Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2012 11:42:47 +0700
Subject: Thon Buri

Hey Everybody!

So, I'm gone from Roi Et, and I'm in Thon Buri. It's right here in the heart of Bangkok.

But first I will talk a little more about Roi Et. On Tuesday, we had the opportunity to help a member cut down these HUGE bamboo trees. They must have been 50 feet tall and they were really thick around. Elder Wagstaff and I had a great time chopping those down. Then on Wednesday night, I taught my last lesson in Roi Et to Nawa and Meow. It was really sad to say good-bye to them and to everybody else. There were a lot of members at the bus station to send me off which was nice. I'm going to miss them a lot.

We got to Bangkok on Thursday moirning and headed to transfers meeting. President Smith called my name, I stood up and he said, "Bone up on your Lao, you're going to Thon Buri with Elder Inthavong."

So I am in Thon Buri with Elder Inthavong who is from Laos. It's different for sure. Everything. The apartment is small and easy to keep clean. The area, as president told me, is the most congested area in the mission. It's true. It takes us an hour in a taxi to travel what I could do in 15 minutes on a bike in Roi Et. The traffic is awful. There are so many people it's crazy!

One cool thing is that I'm no longer in a branch, I'm in a ward. But it's weird because the ward has about a quarter as many people as the Roi Et branch. That's not really that important. Every area is different, and that's what makes them special and great! The bishop is really nice, and so are the members. They all have really good hearts.

One thing that I have found interesting this week is in the thirteenth article of faith. I have found peace in the portion where it says "...we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things." In life, we face many trials and hardships. They are there for our experience. They are the refiner's fire. But if we have hope, we will endure them with optimism, and with a steadfast faith in Chirst. (read 2 Nephi 31:20). It's one of my favorite scriptures. So is 2 Nephi 32:8-9. "Don't forget to pray."

Sorry this is a little shorter, but I don't have a whole lot. I love you all lots. be safe! You're in my prayers.

Love you so much,
Elder Todd

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Faith is Power!

From: Bryan Todd
Date: January 15, 2012
Subject: Faith is Power!


As you can see from the subject line of this email, I know that Faith is power. It's something that I have always known, but haven't always realized. But, faith truly is power.

I was creating a lesson plan on the gospel of Jesus Christ this morning. After gathering some information on how it is through Jesus Christ and His atonement that we can be cleansed from sin, I moved on to Faith in Jesus Christ. As I studied some scriptures, I had thoughts come into my head about how all miracles are wrought by faith.
"And ye may know that he is, by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore I would exhort you that ye deny not the power of God; for he worketh by power, according to the faith of the children of men, the same today and tomorrow, and forever." (Moroni 10:7) God works accorsing to our faith. We are endowed with power according to our faith. And it is by that power that we will see tender mercies, miracles, or call them what you may. But it is by the power of faith, those experiences will occur in our lives.

Well, this week was pretty ordinary. It was a good week as usual here. It was actually a little hotter than it's been, and it even rained yesterday. I was told that usually doesn't happen in cold season. But things are great.

I had the chance to exchange with Elder Heap. It was really fun being with someone from my MTC group! We were able to work together well. And we're both at the point now where we don't have to guess what people are saying. We can actually understand what they are saying, and we can speak! It's so cool, and so much fun!

Our investigators are doing well too! We have this couple, a member (Brother Sutheep) referred to us. They are his neice and nephew-in-law. Hmeow and Nawa. They are doing so well! They are way fun to teach and really get it. Hmeow stopped saying her buddhist prayers and now she prays 10 or more times in a day! She has really found that the Lord will open when we knock.

Also, A is doing super well! He understands the commandments, and he is just pounding through the Book of Mormon! He understands that really well too! It's so much fun! I remember John said that I would be able to have fun on my mission, and still be obedient. I have learned that with Elder Wagstaff. Goofing off does not equate to fun. The most fun, most fullfilling times are when we see the miracles that are wrought in these poeples' lives. As we see them change. and come unto Christ. It's true happiness. It's true fullfillment.

My Father in Heaven is allowing me to taste of His work, and His glory, as a representative of Him, and of Jesus Christ. I am truly grateful for this. I know that this gospel is complete, and 100% true. If you doubt it, you should prayerfully read the Book of Mormon. If you do so, you will not be able to deny it's divinity.
I love you and pray that the Lord will bless and keep you.
Elder Todd

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Elder Todd--Busy in Roi Et and Loving it!

From: Bryan Todd []
Sent: Sun 1/8/2012 7:19 PM
Subject: I love being busy!


Before my mission, I remember always thinking that being super busy
was the worst. But I've changed. It's so much more fulfilling to be super busy and anxiously
engaged in a good cause!

This week Elder Wagstaff and I were really busy. We got a lot of good work done in our
area. We taught some really good lessons, worked a good amount with the members
and were going hard the entire week.

Being busy is great, but part of me is sad because we just don't have time to do all of the stuff that
needs to be done. We don't have the time to visit all the people who are
being referred to us, and still be able to focus on our investigators.

We had the blessing of some extra help this last week. On Tuesday there was a
specialized training meeting for zone leaders, district leaders and trainers for the Ubon and
Khon Kaen Zones. They held the meeting here in Roi Et because it is the heart of the
Isaan. (Northeast Thailand). I went on an exchange with Elder Banta from my MTC group while
Elder Wagstaff was in the training. We also had an extra companionship
working in our area. Then after the meeting, the Zone Leaders exchanged with
us and all four of us stayed in Roi Et. So, for two days, we had two
companionships working in our area instead of just one. It was really nice, and we were busy.
There used to be 4 elders here, and there is enough work that we could easily use four again.

Later, the assistants called Elder Wagstaff and told him that he needed to travel to
Bangkok to get his work permit on Friday morning. So, on Thursday, we left
Roi Et at about 9:30 pm and got to Bangkok at 4:30 in the morning. We took
a 45 minute taxi ride to the mission office, which wasn't open that early. So we
wandered around Pakkret looking for breakfast for about an hour. The only
place we could find that was open was 7-11.

One of the members who works at the office finally opened
it up at 6:30ish. What a blessing. Elder Wagstaff and I went in and
studied in the office for a while. Then, while Elder Wagstaff was getting
his work permit, I went with Elder Banta, Elder Price, and Elder Doria (all
from my MTC group) and Elder Staten and we set out for the Chaengwatana meeting
house to help Elder and Sister Hull (one of the senior couples). But since
none of us, besides Elder Banta, had ever served in Bangkok, we got lost.
It was kind of fun. We went the completely wrong direction for about 10 kilo's
before Elder Banta realized we had gone the wrong way. It was really fun
though, just getting lost in a HUGE city.

One thing that has been on my mind this week is something that Elder
Holland said last conference about having missionaries who will not
voluntarily bind their tongues. I thought of the promise in Doctrine and
Covenants 33:8. (I think that's the reference). It talks about how if we open
our mouths they will be filled, even as Nephi's. What a great promise that is.
If we will just open our mouths, the Lord promises He will give us the words to
say. And, we are also told that we can preach the gospel, even as Nephi!

Then, I thought of Elder Perry's talk "Perfect Love Casteth out all Fear." It's true, that
if we really love the Lord, we will open our mouths, and not voluntarilly bind our tongues.
We will witness that this church is the true church, that God is our loving
Father in heaven and that Jesus is the Christ, the very son of God.
Remember that--and share this gospel message with those whom you feel
prompted by the spirit, to share it with.

I love you, and pray for you.

Elder Todd

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year 2012!

From: Bryan Todd
Sent: Sun 1/1/2012 8:58 PM
Subject: Happy New Year!

Hey Famiglia!

How are you all doing? Well, it's a new year here! I hope you all had a
great new year there. It's a really really big deal here. Pretty much everyone
leaves their homes in Bangkok and comes back to their birthplaces. There
was a lot of traffic and a lot of people here in Roi Et because of that.

New Year's Day here was an interesting experience. We had to be in by 6:00 PM so
in the morning, we just went straight out of the House without studying. We did some service
for some of the members, but not a whole lot of work got done that day. It was
hard because a lot of people had just been partying and drinking and stuff
for the whole week.

There is this one referral we have who told us he had
been drunk for 5 days straight, and he was still just drinking. He actually
has some potential if he can overcome the Word of Wisdom problems. He really likes
us too. He found out that I like to golf, and next preparation day he wants
to take Elder Wagstaff and me golfing. So, if he remembers that, next week
we will probably be emailing you later than usual.

This week was still a good week though. We have this new investigator. His
name is A. He is a referral who came to church last Sunday. I taught him
after church and Elder Wagstaff taught him on Tuesday (I was on an exchange
is Mahasarakham). He didn't have any religious beliefs. He never really
went to the Buddhist temples. But he was interested in learning. He showed
up to church with long hair, and a crazy long thin, unkempt mustache.
People were kind of wondering who this guy was. But then on Friday, we had
a really special lesson with him. We got to his house, and he had gotten a
haircut, was clean shaven, and had on nicer clothes. I didn't even
recognize him at first. Then, as Elder Wagstaff and I pulled out our
scriptures, I look at the pictures we both have on our cases of the Savior
being baptized. I had the strong impression that today, he would commit to
baptism. So, we taught the lesson, including the first vision, and talked about
Joseph Smith. He believed. Then I committed him to baptism right there, and
he accepted. It was such an amazingly sweet experience. We hadn't planned
on him being baptized anytime soon, but he is ready. This experience built
my faith even more that wherever I go, the Lord is preparing His children
for the ordinances of salvation.

The Book of Mormon is such a powerful tool in this work. Preach My Gospel
says that, "The Book of Mormon combined with the spirit are the most
powerful tools of conversion." Its so true. That book, really is amazing.

I listened to Elder Hollands talk, "Safety for the Soul," and thought about it
as I concluded a reading of the Book of Mormon on Saturday night. Then, as I
started it again, I read the words of Nephi when he gives his testimony of the
divinity and truth of the Book of Mormon. Right in the third verse of the entire
book, he says, "And I know that the record which I make is true; and I make
it with mine own hand; and I make it according to my knowledge." (1 Nephi

I thought about that. Readers get a strong testimony that the book is true
right at the outset of reading it. Nephi tells you right off the bat. And that
is the mindset we must all read with. I know that if we read the Book of
Mormon, desiring to know if it is true, that we will know, by the power of
the Holy Ghost. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. It is correct. It
is the way that we will overcome trials, and hardships in life and come
nearer to God.

In 2 Timothy 3 the great missionary and apostle Paul tells
us, "This know also, that in the last days, perilous times shall
I promise that the way we can make it through these "perilous
times" is through obeying the commandments of God. We must be reading, and
treasuring up the words of eternal life EVERY DAY--Especially, the Book of

I love you all, and pray for you all daily. My the Lord bless and keep you,
and may you walk in the paths of His righteousness.

Elder Todd