Monday, October 19, 2015

Laramie is just awesome

There is a less active that we teach and she is the best. 
Our lessons with her are always so full of the Spirit. We send 
her talks and scriptures to read
throughout the week, and we asked her to read D&C 101: 7-9. She had a
questions about justice and mercy, she just didn't get it. I had no
idea how to explain it... And then a thought flashed in my head. We
watched a video once in seminary about this, and that' she first time
that I understood better this concept. The only word I could remember
was "Mediator" so I typed that in the gospel library search engine,
and lo and behold, this video popped up! We watched it, and after it
was over, she said "Okay. Makes sense." And that was that.(: Thank
you spirit!! That was such a cool experience. And it's true that he
will bring things to our remembrance.

Our recent convert is doing well! We started the new member lessons with her, and we
went on splits so I went with a member. She had some questions which
we helped answer, and we went into the Restoration more deeply. This
was the first time I'd taught a new member discussion, and I loved it!
She said she noticed just how different everything was after receiving
the Gift of the Holy Ghost, like she could feel it way stronger and
more often, and she could even like pay better attention in her
classes and stuff! Then I learned something new because she
said how God cares about everything we are doing, not just
spiritually. The Spirit can help us in our classes and tests and
studies too! Because the Spirit knows ALL truth, and if He is out
constant companion, He'll be there to help.(: So awesome!

This week was UW homecoming, which means the Homecoming Parade! And
the institute had a float, and so a certain select few missionaries
were able to be in the parade, including us!!(: It was SO fun! Between
us six missionaries, we probably handed out around 1,000 pass along
cards. We had this huge stack and ran out before the parade was over!
So that was pretty sweet.(: We gave out a couple of Book of Mormons
too, and I gave some moms a copy of The Family: Proclamation To the
World! Hopefully at least some of these people will reach out and
contact us!

I love being surrounded by all of these awesome people here.
Especially the leadersthey are always teasing us about "writing our boyfriends back at
home" and that he's going to set us up with someone in YSA here.
Yeahhhh probably not haha! He met his wife on his mission while he was
serving in England, so he's all about that. He's funny.(:

I love being here. I love these people, I've made so many friends and
I really really want to stay here! I cannot believe it is already the
last week of the transfer. We find out Saturday who is staying or
going, so we shall see. Pray that Sister Russell and I will both stay
here haha. I don't care how cold it gets in Laramie, Wyoming! Plus, I
can't abandon my daughter!! But, whatever the Lord has in store for us
is the right thing to do. I'll try and make the most of it while I'm
still here.(: My Ponderize scripture this week: Moroni 7:48. What's


Monday, October 12, 2015

Baptism and Guitar

Wow! This week was so wonderful/hectic/amazing!! Here's some highlights:

First of all, we got our Area Book app. So our area books are binders
full of notes and info from the past ten or so years of missionaries
and their lessons with investigators and less actives. Well, we have
spent I don't know how many hours this week manually putting in the
info from each lesson ever recorded into the app. Soooo that's been an
adventure!(; And we still have lots to add!

Zone Meeting on Wednesday! First time I've seen Elder Coleman since
we got to the field! He comes in the room and squeals "Sister
Thomaaaaaas!" Haha. I'm sad I didn't get a selfie with him. He also
brought out ze German accent (inside joke from the MTC). But anyways!
Zone mtg was so great because we had trainings of Finding. That's one
thing I've become more timid about, I'm not sure why.. But one of my
Zone Leaders, Elder Grossarth, gave an amazing training and we talked
about how if we just walk by people and don't share the gospel with
them, we are going to see them again in the next life. And they're
going to ask us, why? Why didn't you talk to me about the gospel? That
hit me hard. Everyone in our lives is placed in our path for a reason.
Open your mouths and they shall be filled! Then it was time for role
plays, but instead of "role play" it was "real play." We all went over
onto campus, all 18 of us missionaries, and talked to as many people
as we could in half an hour. Sister Russell and I taught a girl the
Restoration and invited her to institute activities.(: It was a great
experience and built up my faith!

Right after exchanges ended, I got a visitor! Chris Ann is from my
hometown and she and some friends were driving through Laramie on
Friday morning, and she brought me my winter clothes and stuff from
home! I was SO grateful!! It was so good to see her cute self(: Also,
thanks Mom for the cute scarves and my warm clothes, and also for all
of the snacks and treats!! I was like, my mom knows me so well haha
she knows I absolutely love candy! Not to mention her delicious
homemade chocolate chip cookies that came with the bag of stuff. Man,
I am spoiled! But so thankful!(:

Biggest event of the week: BAPTISM!! It was so fun to plan it
all out, get everything set up, but especially to see how happy she
was.(: I love that girl!! Her sister (who isn't a member) flew
up from Arizona to be there for her and support her. They fed us
dinner before the baptism, and we had a lesson about Joseph Smith and
the Restoration. Aaaaand her sister basically asked for a BOM, then
Sister Russell whipped one out haha. Becky wants to read it and learn
more, and hopefully sends us her address so we can refer her to the
missionaries there.(: The baptism was so special! So many ward members
came to support, and we even had some investigators come too! I played
the piano, Sister Russell lead the music, Bishop spoke on
baptism and a member spoke on the Holy Ghost, they played
guitar and sang a BEAUTIFUL rendition of Amazing Grace.(: Then the
baptism was performed by Elder Farnes and she bore her testimony after!
We had everyone write a note to her on a notecard, and put them in a
notebook for her and gave her a brand new Quad (Bible, Book of Mormon,
D&C and Pearl of Great Price). The spirit was so strong. I may have
cried. Oh, and her mom Skyped in on the song and baptism.(: I've never
felt such true happiness as I did that day!!

My heart is so full. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ, and my Father who
is in Heaven. I love this gospel, I love my family, and I'm so
grateful to be a part of this magnificent work! My Ponderize scripture
for this next week is the last half of Moroni 8:16(: What's yours?

Monday, October 5, 2015

General Conference

It's week 4 of this transfer! What?! Time is just flying right now...
It needs to slow down!! It's been a fantastic week full of lessons,
General Conference, and the spirit.

Funny story time: Sunday morning about 2:30am, Sister Russell woke me
up by saying "What?!" really loudly.. I said, "What?" I was groggy but
I was awake. She mumbled, "Which of our investigators need to be
protected?" I heard what she said, but I was so confused haha. I was
like, "Huh?" She was like "ugh" and then got really sassy and said
very loudly and slowly, "Which of our investigators need to be
protected?!" She was talking to me like I was stupid haha! I said,
"All of them!" And then she said "ugh" and fell back asleep. Haha it
was hilarious(:

Taught another investigator on Tuesday, she had questions about temples, such as
who can go there and what they are for, etc. I got the feeling that we
needed to start from the basics before talking about temples to help
her understand better. So, we taught her the Plan of Salvation and
wove in temples and their purposes. The spirit was so strong(: I asked
her how she felt after we bore testimony of temples, and she said she
felt very peaceful and happy! She had a big smile on her face, and I
pointed out that those feelings were the Holy Ghost testifying to her,
and that the Holy Ghost only testifies of truth. It just clicked in
her mind and she was so happy! I love the gospel and I love seeing the
joy that can come from knowing it and feeling the spirit! She still
has the goal in mind to be baptized the 24th of this month. Yay!

Yesterday we watched the afternoon session of conference at
Grandma's house, and then had a lesson with her about the Spirit 
So cool experience: earlier this week, Sister
Russell and I wanted to text a scripture to all of our investigators
and less actives. During my personal study, I wrote down a scripture
for each person, and then during companionship study I had Sister
Russell read the scripture and say who she thought it would help. On
almost all of them, we were inspired about the same person(: So we
sent BJ 2 Nephi 31: 15-21. She told us yesterday that that was the
first scripture the Elders had her read from the BOM four months ago,
and it was amazing to see the difference in herself from where she was
at then and where she's at now. So cool!! I love the Spirit!!

I had the most spiritual lesson of my life this week. It was with a
member who is active and everything. We felt like we needed to
have a lesson with her, but didn't know why. We wanted to also talk to
her about her nonmember roomie and see if she is interested. We
started off by talking about school and the stresses of life.. Then I
asked her how she was doing spiritually. And she is struggling.. She
has her highs and lows (who doesn't?) and just didn't feel that she
was worthy of repenting or even praying sometimes. We were super bold
with her, and she needed it. Because none of us are worthy! None of us
are perfect. That's why we have prayer, and the Atonement, and
commandments, and church. We don't utilize those things because we are
perfect or worthy, but we use them to become clean, pure, and whole.
She said, "If Jesus walked into this room right now, how would I
feel?" And in that instant, I just knew that He actually was right
there beside her and that He absolutely loved her. My heart about
burst, I started crying, I bore my testimony that He was there in that
very moment and He is never out of reach. Sister Russell spoke so
powerfully and boldly, and we all kneeled and she offered the most
fervent, heartfelt prayer I have ever heard. It was so incredible❤️

Really quick, thought on General Conference. Wow! It was soooooo
incredible, I don't even know where to begin. One thing I absolutely
loved and am going to do is "Ponderize" one scripture per week.(:
There was such a huge contrast from watching conference my whole life,
to watching it as a missionary with the Spirit. This was the first
time I was attentive the entire time and took pages of notes. I
absolutely loved conference! Just being here and living this life
right now, I realized just how distracted and unfocused I was before
my mission. It's like I was walking through fog, my mind was so
concerned about trivial worldly things, and now looking back, it
scares me how much of a hold Satan had on me and how foggy my mind
was. Because now, it' so clear. Everything is made clear to me, I have
this eternal perspective, and I never ever want to lose this! I've
written down so many goals I want to keep after my mission, and I have
a feeling it'll be a long list by the end of my mission.(:

I love you all! Have a great week!!