Monday, April 29, 2013

Long and Great Week!

WOW!! What a long and hard week but also very rewarding. Last p-day we went over to Hermana Jimenez's house and learned how to make tamales. It was so much fun and I think she loved teaching us and having us over! We got a lot of great pics!

We had interviews with President and Sister Lewis this week which were great. He really helped me understand better "how we can become perfected in Christ." I have the best Mission President ever!

Omar- Ever since we taught him the word of wisdom he hasn't been drinking coffee (and he has had it every morning for over 40 years) so that was awesome to hear!! Omar and Marta have been reading the pamphlets together and answering the questions on the back and he is really searching the scriptures. He wants that spirit he feels at church always and for his whole family.  We just need to work on getting his divorce papers from his first wife, so he and Marta can get married. It is probably going to take some time, so I don't know if I will still be here for his baptism but I am so glad he is being truly converted. Light just radiates from him. They are moving this week but I think their place will still be in our area.

We had to drop Francisco last night and it was devastating. He finally got down on his knee's and prayed to God. He said he felt so good, goosebumps, tingles, etc. He said he would get baptized, he knew it was right. But then he asked God if he should go gamble. He had a feeling of "no," but he still went and lost everything. He is blaming God. He said he put his faith in him but he didn't follow through when he really just put his faith in money. He told us he is done and is giving up on God right now. All we could do was testify and invite him to continue to pray and he said he would. My heart just ached the whole time. He received his answer but didn't listen. Agency is so frustrating but I guess that is how God feels with all of us sometimes huh? We also had to drop Andrea because she said she doesn't want to be baptized anymore and doesn't know how she feels about the church anymore (her sister in law is a Testigo de Jehovah and has been staying with them so i think that really influenced all these "changes").

We are so blessed in our area. Every day we are having miracles and are zone as well. This week while tracting we knocked on a door and met Leticia. She is sooo great. She is Christian and let us in on the spot. We got talking with her and I just felt the spirit tell me, "YOU tell her I love her". So I testified to her of God's love for her and how is watching over her and wants her to be happy. She started just crying and was so happy. She works on Sunday but it looking for a new job then she can come to church! She is amazing and even came to English classes this week. She has a 15 year daughter and wants to hear more about Young Women's. It will be great!

We were able to participate in "Mormon Helping Hands" service activity this week at the Thomas Edison school as a Stake. It was SO much fun and the school looks so great now. We got to paint all the yellow fence bar things. I LOVE DOING SERVICE!! It brings everyone together and even la Familia Aleman came and had a great time!

I have learned a lot this week. The Lord is preparing hearts to receive the message of the restoration . Look up Alma 13:22, 16:16 and 32:6. The Lord truly is preparing hearts and minds to accept and desire this gospel especially here in Sac town! I feel so blessed to be able to share it. Also in Moroni 6 we talked about being nourished by the good word of God. Jesus (our less active friend) helped me to remember that through the atonement of Christ we can all be nourished and feel of his love. He knows everything we have felt and are currently feeling. I am so grateful!
We have been so blessed to find a lot of new people and have a big teaching pool right now.  We just need to work on getting them into the water :) haha. the hardest part. Why is it so hard for them to come to church? We had ward conference this week and President Hansen said something that really  stuck with me. "Senor te doy la vida mio." Right now I am giving my life to the Lord. All my needs to be focused and centered on him because really 18 months is not a lot of time. How can I go beyond and make sure I am giving my all? I love him and am so grateful to be his servant right now (and always).
Well I love you all and hope you have a great week! I LOVE being a missionary and I LOVE my life right now and have never been happier.

Con amor,
Hermana Thomas

Learning to make tamales at Hermana Jemeniz's

Sweet Hermana Jemeniz

Monday, April 22, 2013

What language was I asked to teach the gospel in again?

Mi Querida Familia,

How is everyone doing? I love reading all your letters. Thank you so much. This week has been very eventful! First I have been thinking a lot more about conference this week and one thing that stuck out to me was Sister Wixom's talk. If you only had 25 words or less to say to me, what would it be? I'm excited to hear all of your responses!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JARED!!! Sorry this is a little late but I hope you had a great birthday and a great week! :)

So you are going to be so proud of me. We had a district lunch this past week (before our district meeting) at Wei Wei's. It's like this little Chinese place that is really good and famous to all missionaries in East Sac. So I told everyone in my district I know Chinese (you know, those two lines that Tiff taught me). Well guess what!? I practiced it. I talked to the little Chinese man. He just laughed at me and said to keep trying but hey, I did it. Tri-Lingual? Yeah, maybe I am now haha.

This past week we had intercambios with Hermana Torro. It was a great day and we learned a lot from her. We were able to see so many miracles through simple acts. We had district meeting and we talked about contacting and sharing scriptures about families. So we went out and tried it and found 3 new people! One we just offered service to by carrying things to her apartment. She had kids and not enough hands. After she invited us in for some water and we taught her and she loved it and wants to learn more. Service really does capture hearts! Another day Hermana Sharp and I just were tracting and found Julia. We talked to her about families and the spirit was so strong. We just taught her out on her porch and she was so sweet and loved every word we said. After, we asked her if we could pray with her and she wanted to say it and it was one of the most powerful and humble prayers I have ever heard. WOW!

We had to teach a lesson in English this week.. I did not do well haha. A young couple in the ward that speaks English and Spanish invited us over for dinner and also invited their friends so we could teach them. The girl speaks Spanish and English but her boyfriend only English. I struggled so much... Spanish is so much easier and just flows better. Hermana Sharp was loving it and it was great to really see her gain confidence in her teaching. I am so grateful to be a SPANISH missionary haha. But the spirit was still strong and we made it through the lesson and all of their questions. The boyfriend seemed more interested and if so, we will pass them off to the English missionaries.

We taught Fransico more this week about the Book of Mormon. The spirit was so strong during the lesson and he has such a desire to know God and develop faith. Hermana Sharp extended her first baptismal invite and he said yes! He is praying about May 18th. We are so excited for him!! His desire just needs to follow with actions so I am excited to see how he progresses. Andrea is not so sure about the commandments anymore. She is afraid of accidentally breaking one (like drinking coffee) and says she just doesn't know. But she still comes to church and stuff. We are going to have a really strong lesson with her this week about following Christ and all the commandments and invite her to a date. We are probably going to have to drop her if she doesn't have the desire to continue to progress through baptism :( We had an awesome lesson with Omar and he is willing to live all the commandments but he inst married... so we might be having a wedding coming up before the baptism. We will work on details, licenses, papers, etc this week so that should be fun!

Well I love you all so much. I truly am humbled each day as I see the Lord's hand in the missionary work and as I have the privilege to be an instrument in his hands. I hope you have a great week y les quiero! :)

Con Amor,

Hermana Thomas

 Dinner at the Bishop's home with my new district in East Sacramento
Why did you love your mission today?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Trainee love!

Wow, what a week! So yes I am training! My new companion is Hermana Sharp! She just turned 20 and is from West Jordan Utah. She is so sweet and we are becoming great friends. She is excited to get to work. This is her first time learning Spanish so she knows un poquito but has a desire to learn. It was funny because on our first day she came out, right before a lesson she says, "So I can understand about everything but I can't speak". She was quiet during the whole lesson and then when we left. When we got outside she said "I didn't understand anything" haha. "Tell me what just happened!" haha. She is cute. 

We taught Omar and he has agreed to be baptized! The 27th of this month will be the date if he comes to church again this week so we are very excited. When we were teaching him the plan of Salvation I had to kneel down to use the table so we could use our picture cut outs. I knelt down and the carpet was wet but I couldn't do anything... come to find out their baby just peed there. So during our whole lesson I just knelt in the baby's pee haha. It was hilarious. Oh well, he agreed to be baptized on that date so it was worth the kneeling on the wet carpet.

WE GOT TO KEEP THE AREA WITH ALL THE INVESTIGATORS!! We live in the same area now in an apartment. It's mainly in East Sac and Carmichael and we got a part of the Elders area also.  Hermana White is training Hermana Cosby and they now have the farther area (Citrus heights, Orangevale, etc with one investigator but I know they are working hard and will make the area blossom with new potentials!)

Andrea is definitely making me worried. She has been listening a little bit to her sister-in-law who is a testigo de Jehova. She is saying she is confused. She feels good in our church but struggles when listens to her sister-in-law talks to her. She also hasn't been trying to stop drinking her coffee through out the week. She loved coming to church and she knows the gospel is true, and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God but she is confused and needs to think about things. Tonight we are having a Noche de Hogar with her and her little boy Ismael and the Rojas Bustos. We are going to talk about the Restoration and hopefully she will understand more about how we are the only true church. Yes there are good people out in other churches and they are have some truth, but La Iglesia De Jesu Cristo De Los Santos De Los Ultimos Dias contains the fullness of the gospel. It will be fun tonight!

So I have truly gained a deeper love for reading from the Book of Mormon daily. Every time I read I thirst for more knowledge.  It truly is the word of God and a powerful missionary tool. Everything we need to know, teach and learn is contained in that book. I love how everything in it truly testifies of Jesus Christ. 

We picked up a new investigator this week named Francisco! He is a searcher! He says that he hasn't seen the Lord in his life a lot because of all this trials and hard times but he wants to! He prayed with us for one of the first time in years and said, "I am willing to do anything to know you and feel of your love". It was one of the most powerful and humble prayers I have ever heard. I am so excited to watch him grow and feel that he is a son of God. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!! Seriously though, I get to invite people to come unto Christ all day. What could be better?? oh and during our lesson with Francisco his dog was sitting on Hermana Sharp's lap and just peed on her hahaha. True companionship, we both get pee on our skirts in the same week. You've just gotta laugh.

I feel so blessed to teach in Spanish. I truly love the language and am improving so much each day. I can't imagine coming out here to teach without already knowing some Spanish (it would be so hard). My goal is to sound like a "Mexicana" real soon. Especially by the time I get home. Hermana Bustos told us that we could come over to her house during language study and she would make our Spanish perfect. I am excited!

We met some crazy people (like really crazy). Carmen and Ricardo. They are 76 and 88. She said she has been praying for 6 months for someone to come by and teach her about God. She has had 4 heart attacks, is blind in one eye and has osteoporosis.  They are so sweet but crazy! They had all these weird ideas about our church and just grabbed our hands and started praying (and kissed us on the cheek). That was my first prayer circle.... not doing that again haha.  They both LOVE to talk, especially over one another. We taught them the about the restoration and they absolutely loved it. We invited them to be baptized in May and they said yes!! 

The work is truly moving along in our area and we are so blessed. I love you all so much and hope you have a great week! :)

Con amor,

Hermana Thomas

My new companion Sister Sharp

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Wow. What a week. So Transfer Tuesdays are SOO intense. It's like waiting to get your mission call all over again! You just go out and work all day and wait for President to call. So Last night we just got out of a lesson and were getting into the car and President Lewis calls. He starts by, "Hi Sister Thomas. How are you doing?" . I said "hi President. I'm great and you?" I wanted to say "Well, President I am nervous and feel like I'm going to throw up... haha". He said, "Sister Thomas. We have been fasting and praying a lot about you for next transfer. I know you haven't been out for very long but we are calling you to serve as a Trainer. Do you accept?" WHAT!!!?? So I said yes without hesitation. But what!??? I AM TRAINING!!!! There are Spanish sisters that have been here for months, even some who have been here for over a year that aren't going to train but The Lord and President thinks I can? Well its time to exercise the most faith I ever had and train a new sister. I am nervous beyond comprehension. But I am excited and putting my trust in the Lord. Do you think I can do it? haha. So I am staying in East Sac still. They are splitting our area though. I will be living in an apartment. I will still be in the same ward and zone but I am getting the area that was the farthest, that we never had miles to travel to (so starting fresh with like a few old potentials and no investigators). I will miss Andrea and Omar, but will still get to see them at church. I am going to work my hardest to make it the best area ever! I will still be in the same district as Hermana White but I will miss her as my companion. She has easily become one of my dear and life long friends!

Conference was amazing this week!! I hope everyone had the opportunity to watch it! We watched all the sessions in English and they had Spanish headset translators for our members and investigators. All the talks were amazing but Elder Cardon's talk on forgiveness was so powerful and really stood out to me. The Lord is willing to forgive us we just need to come to him and try our best to become like His son. Of course Elder Holland and Elder Bednar had powerhouse talks as well. I want to testify to what Elder Anderson said, it truly is "Missionary Fun" :). Elder Nelson's talk was great as well. We need everyone to catch the wave! The work is progressing and going forward and I am so glad I am a part of it out in the field but you are all apart of it as well!! We were able to watch the Sunday morning session with her. She really enjoyed it! We are going over tonight or Hermana White will be tomorrow to see what she felt. During our lesson with her last week I was able to promise her (through a prompting of the spirit) as a representative of Jesus Christ that she would feel the spirit and receive an answer to her prayers, questions and doubts about being baptized. I have never felt the spirit so strong in my life as when I made that promised. It's amazing how the Lord will fill your mouth and spirit with words to say. I can truly testify of that. We got to talk with her for a minute after conference and she loved it and said she has a lot to think about. She loved the talks about marriage and being a parent and she got to see President Monson for the first time! She loved his talk and I know she felt his love and that he is a true prophet of our living God.

Funny story. Last week we were over at Hermana De Mexico's talking about referencias and she has a big fat cat. It was hanging around me. Finally it came and stood right by me (inside I am dying, because you know, I hate cats). All of the sudden it comes and sits on my lap. This big fat cat. I wanted to kick it off but she says "Wow Hermana. He doesn't like anyone, he wont even do that with me. Do you like cats?" what am I supposed to do? Tell her I hate them? haha. no. So I was all, "yeah, cats are great". I was dying. Hermana White was dying of laughter haha.

Hermana White and I were able to go to the temple this morning. It was beautiful. I have been so stressed thinking about training but by going to the Lord's house I felt comforted. He is the only one who could/can give me that peace of mind and confidence. We are so blessed to have temples here on the earth. The Sacramento Temple is gorgeous!! love you all so much. I am excited to meet my new trainee tomorrow morning. It will sure be an adventure!! Les quiero con todo mi corazon!!!

Con Amor,

Hermana Thomas
P.s. I am going to miss Sister Schow so much! Luckily she had a blanket of a pic of her and her husband so I can always remember haha. Is this the greatest thing ever? haha. LOVE IT

Brother and Sister Schow Blanket

Sacramento Temple with companion Sister White

Monday, April 1, 2013

No Easter Feast for Us!

Wow, I can't believe its already Monday again. Time flies by! We had a great and interesting week here in East Sac! I hope you all had a great Easter and Happy April Fool's Day!! I bet you wished I was at home right now pulling my famous pranks on you! :)

Omar- Omar and his family took us out to dinner on Tuesday. It was really fun. We asked him about church and how he felt when he was there and he said, "I am so much happier. I want to be a better person now. I went to work on Monday and all my co workers told me I seemed different, happier. I want to be a member of your church!" It was like music to our ears when he said those last words. We invited him to be baptized and he said yes! He is praying about April 20th. He doesn't know a lot yet, but he knows the gospel is true and that is start! I am so happy and excited to see how he progresses and watch his testimony grow.

Andrea- She came to church again! She is so excited for General Conference. When we taught her about prophets she loved it and said that would be amazing. I think that once she will be able to see President Monson talking to the world, it will become real for her and she will gain her own testimony through his love and character. I am excited. We are still just waiting for her to chose a date. We brought a calender and said choose a day! She said, "What about October??" we said, "No way!!!" we talked to her about April so she is praying about the 20th of April.

Ana- Ana is progressing very slowly but she is still showing progress. She loved the chapel tour but was unable to make it to church Sunday. We watched the restoration with her and asked her if she believes that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. She said, "I don't know if he was a prophet but he definitely was called of God to share his beautiful message..." We are going to have a great lesson on prophets tonight to make sure she understands! 

Thank you so much for the Easter package! The clothes are so great and all the fun letters and toys from Joce and Kandace were perfect. We got some great pics and then gave the bunny glasses to the kids at the ward Easter activity at the park on Saturday. It was fun and we (the missionaries) got to hide all the eggs haha. We have a fun and crazy ward. The pic is of my district at the activity! Also, Hermana White's mom sent her and I our very own Easter baskets. That was so nice of her!

This past week we went to the new missionary meeting! I got to meet back up with all the missionaries that came out to the field with the same day as me. We got to ask the President questions and have a testimony meeting. It was amazing to see how much everyone had grown in just one month. I was so excited to see Hermana's Pitcher and Hanson from the MTC! :) Also, one of the questions we got answered is super important. We heard all these rumors about email change and guess what!? WE CAN NOW EMAIL EVERYONE!! FAMILY, FRIENDS, NEIGHBORS, ETC. He told us to limit our email with friends but we can now!! Everyone was like jumping for joy they were so excited haha.

They are going to open 13 new areas next transfer and they announced sisters will start using bikes! I hear it will be English Sisters first so we will see...! Also next week is transfers (since I'm training we should stay the same) but I will email Tuesday not Monday.

This week I have really learned more about the power of pondering scriptures. By pondering and meditating over scriptures throughout the day we can receive revelation. I was reading in Enos about how he prayed with his whole soul, "struggling with the spirit". If we pray and labor with all diligence we can receive answer. This is very important as a missionary. When I study I am studying for the needs of my investigators  Since I am thinking about them all day and how I can help them gain their own testimony, pondering what I read in the Book of Mormon can continually apply to them and help me know what to share to answer their prayers and questions. Que grandioso es my llamamiento! :)

I will leave you with a funny story. Hermana White and I went over to Herman Sanchez's house for Easter dinner. It was gross haha. I have never had something so yucky before in all my life but we had to eat it with a smile. I don't even remember what she called it but it was this huge fat meatball with an egg inside sitting in this grease soup stuff haha. We felt sick all night. But we just laughed about it after. I hope you had ham, potatoes and yummy stuff!

I am so grateful that Christ was resurrected so that we can return to live with God one day. I LOVE being a missionary and sharing this message with people. Most Hispanics believe in Christ so we just add onto their beliefs.  We had a hard time finding investigators last week, but we have some fun plans ahead. I love and miss you all! I am excited for Kevin and Morgan. The wedding pics look great and I bet it was fun to have the Meier's up from Texas. Love you!

Hermana Thomas

Happy Easter everyone.
Thank you Easton and Stratton for the Easter Bunny mask.

My district at the ward Easter party at the park.
Easter baskets for us?