Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The highlights of Christmas week

December 26, 2016

Hey Fam and Friends!
It has been a dang good week this past week! Here are the highlights 
  1. On Christmas Eve my comp and I were late for caroling at Winco and so I said a quick prayer that the traffic would clear, and then we ended up hitting only Green lights for the entire way from our apartment which never happens! 14 Green lights in a row!
  2. I also went on splits with Oscar, a return missionary who served in the Las Vegas mission. For the entire split he was talking about the power of belief and not doubting. We tried it and got 4x as many people to church as usual! (This isn't too impressive, seeing as the usual is 1, but it sounded pretty good when I wrote it)
  3. We had a baptism on Christmas Eve!! Like 4 weeks ago Elder Fouts and I fasted to baptize on Christmas Eve. Then we put like 70 people on date for that day and it didn't work out for anyone. I seriously thought we had failed, then we got a call from Elder Flynn in Astoria. He said someone we taught 2 months ago was getting baptized on Christmas Eve, so he Invited me back for it! When Elder Flynn and I taught Damon (the man who got baptized), his mom was against it and we were in a time crunch because Damon was leaving for boot camp. When he got back from boot camp his mom's heart was softened and he still wanted to be baptized,
  4. Christmas Eve we went caroling at Winco and had a blast! The whole zone was there and we convinced some random pedestrians to sing along with us. We also caroled later that night at a senior living center.
  5. On Christmas we had a really great church service and Rhodes cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Later in the day FaceTime with the Fam was ok too. Jk jk it was so good to see everybody!
  6. Christmas night we had dinner with the Bowers, which was really fun and honestly just felt a ton like I was home! Then it turned out he Bower's were in cahoots with mi madre because they turned out all the lights after dinner and brought in a birthday cake and sang and somehow had all my birthday presents from home! Haha props to mom, I have no idea how she pulled that one off but it was fun!

The church is true folks! Jesus really was born. Obviously we know that from historical records. The really cool part is who Jesus actually was (is). He in fact changed the entire world influencing people to dramatically change their lives even 2016 years after his birth. Honestly the first step is always just to believe in him. I mean if little kids have such great belief in a jolly old being who may or may not exist - and that belief brings them gifts on Christmas - Then how much more will we receive wonderful gifts day after day for believing in someone that we know does exist! The church is true!

Love Elder Thomas

My gifts on Christmas! Jk jk they're for the whole apartment
 Damon's baptism
A cool bridge in Oregon

Monday, December 19, 2016

Here's a quick miracle

December 19, 2016

I know, I know, I know, I know my emails have become really short.
Sorry. Today will probs be the same. Especially since I'll see you on
Sunday for FaceTime! But this week we have seen sooo many miracles.
Here's a quick one :

Today we were grocery shopping at a store we never go to and for some
reason I felt prompted to choose a certain cash register. We went
there and the cashier started crying! Right there in the store she
started crying! She told us about how 20 years ago she had no money
and no resources and an entire zone of missionaries rented a U-Haul and
moved them all the way across town. She said she would never forget
it! ...and then her bagger was like "I have had a lot of death in my
family recently. Can you please come teach me about what actually
happens after death." Then she gave us all her contact info and I just
happened to have a Plan of Salvation pamphlet in my hand to give to

The church is true! Merry Christmas!

Elder Thomas

Winter Prom 2k16...jk jk setting up for the ward Christmas party

Good Question!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Mission-Wide Christmas party today.

Hey Fam!
Another great week here in the WVM. I had exchanges with Elder Petitta, found a bunch of new cool people to teach and had our mission wide Christmas party today! Life is good, Skype ya soon!

The sword is an exact replica from Lord of the Rings

First sunrise we've seen in a long time!

Floral day in my district

Elder Brown.  My compadre in a bowling class at Skyline

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

I'm loving missionary work more than ever

December 5, 2016

Life has been good this past week. Elder Fouts and I have been working hard on being EXACTLY obedient and we have seen a ton of miracles. We also had our ward Christmas party which was pretty fun. The members in this ward seriously are the best. I'm loving missionary work more than ever.

Definitely the coolest miracle this week came from on invitation by Elder Kopischke who visited our mission a while ago. He challenged us to wake up a few minutes early each day and envision who we were going to find and baptize. Wednesday morning I envisioned an African-American girl, about 17 years old who was like 5'6" and did gymnastics. Worked all day with no luck. Thursday no luck. Friday no luck. Saturday no luck. Sunday I woke up early again and envisioned a specific part of one apartment complex in our area. I didn't think we would have time to knock it because our evening was packed, but our whole evening fell through and we had 40 minutes to knock the complex. Things to remember 1) it had already been dark for like two hours and 2) We thought we would be inside all night so neither Elder Fouts nor I had coats with us.

So we parked in front of the complex I felt inspired about and started knocking. No luck. We moved to the next section and had no luck. That continued through the cold all the way until it was time to go home. As we walked to our car in front of the first complex, a car pulled into a parking spot right in front of us. Out of the car came Maya - A 17 year old Africa American girl about 5'6" With a gym bag in her hands. The church is true people!! God doesn't do random!

Funny: At the ward Christmas party they did a breakfast for dinner thing with eggs and funeral potatoes and French toast and cinnamon rolls. One of the ward members convinced me that he had put the extra cinnamon roll frosting in a Tupperware for me. I was super excited and put many layers of it on my French toast. I took one bite and realized that I had covered the surface of all my French toast with butter that looked like frosting!

Remember, but first and forever there was just a little family, without toys or trees or tinsel. With a baby - that's how Christmas Began.
~Elder Holland

S/O to my high school for being the setting for almost half of the "light the world" video.

Trust me. I probably know he Skyline scenery better than my own house!
Also S/O to Sister Neus, faithful blog reader and persuasive cactus advocate!   


Elder Paul Thomas

 glass hallway entrance
 Core English 10 Classroom
 Hallway by Mr. Buntings room
 steps leading to the glass hallway
Display case by choir room