Monday, September 28, 2015

A full week!

September 28, 15


This is what happened this week:

1) We put a grandma and her granddaughter on date for baptism! It was so cool. Apparently the granddaughter (S… S…) had met with the missionaries before and taken all of the lessons. She knew that it was true but didn't want to be baptized until her grandma did. Her grandma (T… S…) has had a lot of experiences that led her to the LDS church, the most notable of which is when she died in a dental chair. Obviously she didn't go to my dad (DR. Allan Thomas DMD General and cosmetic dentistry 2545 Parley's Way open 8am to 5pm) so her dentist gave her too much gas and she died in the chair for a couple of minutes. She said that she saw herself bowing down before Jesus Christ and she never looked up but he kept on saying "take your family to church, take your family to church”. Well they searched all sorts of church but never the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Finally, 20 years later she married a member of the church and is interested in what makes our church different. When we told her that she could be sealed to her husband forever she said she would do anything to get to the temple. Awesome! Her health has been failing her lately, but as soon as she's healthy enough to get to church, she and her granddaughter will be baptized!

2) We got chased down by two pit bulls. My companion was way nervous and ran behind the car. I was honestly too concerned about dropping my ipad that I didn't even move lol. Luckily it only barked at me and pawed at the ground until the owner came running out of the house and put a chain around its neck.

3) We tracted into a new investigator (j…). On the first lesson I asked her if she would be baptized if she came to know that the church was true, she was like "well yeah of course!" ha she seems pretty golden.

4) 4) We had a modern day scenario of Adam and Eve in our district
meeting. Here is it: We got to district meeting and all of the
Hermanas were talking about how they had downloaded ios 9 on their
APPLE ipads. Technically it was ok to download, but most people were
waiting for the go ahead from the technology coordinator. Well after
the Hermanas partook, ios 9 looked even more appetizing, so we all
downloaded the software after the meeting. Everyone else's ipad
functioned great and had some cool new features. Elder Thomas's ipad
however crashed and looked like it lost all of its pictures and
memory, etc. Finally after 12 hours, prayers, and a lot of phone calls
(trials and tribulations) the ipad was restored to the celestial
kingdom.    ...ok maybe that analogy was a bit of a stretch, but i had
to include some sort of gospel principle in my letter!

I hope you all have a great week and can find someone you can share a spiritual principle with!

~Elder Thomas

Monday, September 21, 2015

Taking Things Up a Notch

September 21, 2015

So as the title indicates this week things were kind of intense. First of all I got a new companion, Elder Davenport. He's a huge stud. He's from Layton Utah, he's a huge skier, he's 18 years old and he already has his associates degree! We get along really well and we even convinced each other to exercise one day this week ha.

Having transfers also means having transfer meeting, so we all had the opportunity to enjoy that. In transfer meeting President Taylor talked about baptism, and why it is so important. When Jesus visits the Americas in 3rd Nephi 11, the first thing he preaches to the people is baptism. In that first chapter he talks about how baptism is his doctrine like 7 times. Making and keeping covenants with God is not only good and a way for him to bless you - it is absolutely necessary. Without making covenants we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. That's another special thing about our faith; we are held accountable by covenants. A lot of other faiths preach good things like we do, but we are held accountable to act in the way that we are taught.

So another way this week was intense was that I had to learn a lot of things I relied on my trainer for. This week I...
1) relearned how to drive a car
2) learned how to count key indicators ...and learned what key indicators were.
3) learned that no matter what the ward boundaries say, some areas should be out of bounds after dark.
4) learned that you should poke some holes in a potato before you put it in a microwave.

This week is also titled "taking things up a notch" because the dreaded event has happened. My belt loop hole of preference has changed and not in a good way. Despite my fasting almost every week and 10 push-ups in the morning, the food has got to me arghh. Apparently the average weight gain in the mission is 30 pounds (I'm a third of the way there) but one elder 3 months ago shattered the record with a gain of 144 pounds! 

I pray that you all have a great week and enjoy your skinny skinny bodies!

~Elder Thomas

Elder Davenport and Elder Thomas

(Above is a pic of me with Russell Brown, a friend from Skyline)

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Blind Leading the Blind

September 14, 15

Hey fellas! it has been another crazy week here in Longview. To start off, we had a lot of appointments that fell through. three straight days with a total of 18 set lessons and only three of those eighteen were able to meet. So in other words we spent a lot of time knocking doors. On one of those days we had a cool experience finding a Russian family that's interested so I’m hopeful about them.

We also had an interesting experience on Saturday. We were having dinner with a member and her recent convert husband. It was a really good pot-roast and to top off the meal they brought out some fancy gelato. It looked like vanilla with chocolate so after we were all served up I started digging in. Well it tasted really gross so I asked to see the carton to see what kind it was. It turned out to be vanilla and coffee!  oh man. So my comp and I stopped eating it and the recent convert stopped too cause we stopped, but the member was insistent that we finish it cause there was "no possible way that there could be coffee in ice cream" haha we didn't end up eating it, but it was super awkward for the rest of the night!

I don't remember how much I have said about my ward here in Lake Sacajawea, but it is the best. Everyone is so involved in convert retention and less active work. On Sunday all the ward leadership i.e. the bishopric, primary presidency, young women presidency, ward mission leader, etc got together after church and had a potluck. Then members from the stake presidency and high council came and we got into groups of like 3-4. Then those groups visited like pretty much every promising less-active and recent convert in the ward boundaries. Yeah, my ward rocks.

Also this week was pretty crazy cause we got transfer letters. But let me back up before we get into that. Two weeks ago we had our interviews with the mission president. President Taylor said not to get too attached to my trainer since he would probably be opening up a zone in Vancouver. Then he said "I’m not going to make you train, but get ready because you might be swimming in some deep water soon". Well Saturday I got my letter and It said I'm going to be the senior companion and training a new Elder! haha WHAT?!? I hardly know how to use the area-book app. I’m pretty stoked though. I know, just like Nephi, that I can do whatever the Lord has commanded me.

I don't meet my trainee until Wednesday so I'll send those pics next week. Also we went on a hike today, so I’m sorry if I don't get to respond to everyone's emails. I hope you all have a great week!


~Elder Thomas

Monday, September 7, 2015

Ford or Chevy?

September 7, 15

Hey friends and fam! I hope all of you have had a great week. Over here in the WVM I’ve learned a lot more about humility. Yeah it's been one of those weeks. It has been good for me though. At the very least, all this rejection is preparing me for dating in college!

 I've noticed that a lot of people, missionaries included get stuck in ruts. The most common response we get when we knock on a door is "i'm not interested" or "we're fine, thanks though." Missionaries, myself included, start feeling ok when we don't reach the mission standard of excellence. We’re ok just getting an average number of members present at lessons or some other key indicator. People even get in ruts of asking the same questions over and over again. The question I get asked most often is "Ford or Chevy?" 

I guess my point is that we could accomplish so much more if we just expected more of ourselves - if we thought about and strived for what we could achieve if we put in our best effort. So my challenge this week is that for the next goal you set in your life, don't just try for a "Ford" or "Chevy" level goal, try for a Ferrari. 

Sorry if this isn't making too much sense, I have like 5 minutes to write but hopefully you get the gist. I hope you all have a great week!

~Elder Thomas