November 25, 2014

Life As A Real Missionary...Part #68

Dear Family,

First I will report on what happened with that family of men that we were teaching. WE DROPPED THEM. Finally. It wasn't because of my concerns, however.  Hahaha...we took the Restoration video over to their home and watched it with them. Actually, it was a good lesson and the Spirit was really strong during the video. When we ended our lesson all the men were completely silent. It was kinda amazing, they were very reverent. Of course, Satan didn't like that reverent moment so he came in STRONG! The father of the men, became agitated and out of nowhere, started YELLING at us. He was freaking out saying stuff like "how can you claim to have all the authority?!" "What makes you so sure that this Joseph Smith isn't a liar?!" And...blah blah blah (the usual accusations). I just sat there and stared at him with a really smart-alec face (it wasn't very humble and missionary like). My poor companion tried to reason with the father, but he was beyond reason at this point. She literally had tears in her eyes. I knew we needed to stop the contention so I just stood up and told him to quit yelling at two young girls who were sharing a message from God.  I asked him to pray about Joseph Smith. He refused to pray.  I just said, "well then there is absolutely nothing anyone can do for you, old man." BOOM! Katniss moment round two! Hahahaha!  There is no need for me to be jealous about you guys seeing the new Hunger Games movie, I am living it!  I am shooting my arrows of gospel fire! (;

My companion and I left after my Katniss moment.  My companion was very discouraged.  I did all I could to reassure her that it was all their choice and we have to respect their agency.  I reminded her that the Spirit was testifying of the truthfulness of the Restoration and that we did our part. She cheered up. We are not going back there anymore, thank heavens.  I will have the Elders stop by in the future to check on them.

This week was really good!  My companion and I had a really good talk about everything.  She is sweet and has a great desire to serve.  She knows she lacks experience and we are beginning to understand each other better. It's nice. We have been SO BUSY this week! I think this is the busiest I have ever been my entire mission! We work from sun up until sun down, we don't even stop to eat. We go home at night, starving and pig out on junk food because we are too tired to cook. Hahahaha!  Living the dream.  However, this program is truly successful.  We are searching, teaching, and finding the elect.  So many we are teaching are prepared to receive the gospel.  Their hearts are already softened.  It is amazing!

Truly, the harder we work, the stronger the Spirit is. Especially when me, my companion, and God are working towards the same goal. It is amazing for me to watch as He literally places people in our path and fills our planners up with appointments while we diligently strive to find and fulfill our goals. We were so busy yesterday that we actually had to go on splits with the branch missionaries because we had so many appointments. I haven't had this many scheduled appointments in a day my whole mission! We added up our weekly totals last night and I could hardly believe how much we had accomplished in one week. The Lord truly blesses those who seek his help. I know this to be true.  It feels good to be exhausted at night and so BUSY during the day!

The baptisms happened! Hurrah!  Angie and Chris Jay were baptized! It was a beautiful service and we even got all the Priesthood who attended to dress in their white polos and ties! This was the first time ever that the Priesthood holders were in attendance in white polo shirts and ties. Our branch president baptized them and so it was all smooth and done well. Everyone could feel the Spirit.  Afterwards Angie and Chris Jay were both crying. I know it was the power of the Spirit touching their hearts, I felt it too!  The Holy Ghost testified of the truthfulness of the gospel as we all sang the "Spirit of God" really out of tune together!  It was beautiful and I couldn't help but cry. I just know these people are so special to our Heavenly Father. He loves them so much!  As do I!
During Sacrament meeting yesterday, I was a puddle of tears. I cried the entire meeting. While Chris was getting confirmed I saw this amazing vision of him on a mission converting hundreds of people with his powerful testimony! I was weeping as they blessed him with the ability to share his testimony with people ALL OVER THE WORLD. The kid is a total stud!

During the Sacrament a recent convert, Brother Jay passed the Sacrament for the first time. He has been saving money since his baptism (he was baptized the same time as Harold) for a white polo and tie. He finally saved enough and came dressed in his Sunday best yesterday so he could pass the Sacrament. I watched him pass the Sacrament and cried as I reflected back on who he was just a few months ago and who he has become today. I didn't teach him, but I have taught him follow up lessons after his baptism and I have talked with him many times.  He had made almost every bad choice on Satan's temptation list. But, through the gospel of Jesus Christ, he has changed. He is a worthy Priesthood holder and he can act in the name of Christ by passing the Sacrament.  I could hardly contain my joy. What a miracle!

There is so much to be happy and thankful for. This life is a gift and we can have the most wonderful experiences if we seek them out. I know we are so loved by a Father who has given us a plan of HAPPINESS. This week, I am so grateful for this plan. I am so grateful that we have families. I am grateful that my parents chose to stay worthy so they could be married in the temple and now my family is eternal. It makes the 18 month separation seem so much less difficult and so worth every sacrifice. Happy Thanksgiving!  The gospel is true!

I love you all and I hope you have the best Thanksgiving ever! Enjoy mom and Casey's delicious cooking.

I am not sure how I am feeling about this whole mission thing coming to an end.  I am full of mixed emotions.  I love this work.  I love these people.

I love Bowen and I can't wait to watch him play baseball! Did he make that super league team?  I can't wait to see his freckles!

I love Hannah so much and I can't wait to watch her perform and light up the stage in her performance in the "Grinch" and in next semester's musical and drama play. I also can't wait to have some "sister time."

I love my big sister Courtney and I can't wait to have late night talks with her. I can't wait to be with her as she moves forward with her life!

I love my mom and dad and can't wait to hug them both again.  I can wait to speak English, however, I am not good at it anymore.
All too soon.

Have a lovely week, and a delicious Thanksgiving! (:

Love,
Sister Thomas




The baptism of Angie and Chris Jay!
They are both amazing!

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