Monday, May 27, 2013

Great Hard Week

Our friend in the ward Jesus Gutierrez

Wow, what a hard week but we still saw great things! We really need to focus on making our pool of investigators bigger! Finding!! :)

Familia Aleman- we had a great lesson with Hermana and she really opened up to us. We talked about the power of prayer and how it can give us comfort and direction. We are afraid Hermano has started drinking again so we are trying to figure out how we can best help there family. The kids want to come to church so bad but the parents are being lazy and starting to ignore us. The girls BEG us to come over, teach them and bring them to church. Hopefully we can get things rolling and help them gain the desire, even if it's just for the kids at first.

Wednesday we stopped by to visit Anna Mata (remember we used to teach her) because we were in the area. We found out she was moving and needs help. So we had the whole district come over and we loaded the truck and put things in storage. It was a lot of fun and she really appreciated the help. She wants to come to church now haha. So we will see, but it was a great opportunity to show our love and that we all care for her.

I want to tell you about one of my great friends Jesus Gutierrez! When I first got to the area he had not been to church in years (he was baptized about 2 years ago). We have been working with them and now he comes just about every week. He is the greatest! He is so funny but has a lot of self doubt and is hard on himself. His family lives in Mexico and is working to get money to go live with them again, (it's been 8 years). They talk on the phone or skype everyday. My heart aches that he is so far away from them. We hope he can go back soon and bring them the gospel! :)

We found Olga this week and she is awesome. She really enjoyed the restoration lesson and seems interested. We are going back to teach her tonight. Last lesson Hermana Sharp used more Spanish!! She is slowly getting a little more comfortable with the language, I am so proud of her!

We decided to not give up on Francisco and so we stopped by and invited him to an English baptism. He said sure and he came! The baptism was for James from the YSA ward. It was so awesome! Bu,t Francisco felt so uncomfortable and there was not a good spirit with him. It was so sad, the spirit was so strong. He left as soon as it was over and said he was feeling terrible. He is not living in harmony with God's commandments and it is really having an impact on his spirit and those around :( We will wait a while before we contact again. We know he felt the spirit but still wants to deny God. It is hard to watch.

We had correlation with the Bishop at his house this week because the ward mission leader will be gone for 2 months. It was so great to have the Bishop give us counsel and the names of members that can help. Just more ideas. We are starting to have the ward help us a lot more which will really helps the work to progress! :)

Funny stories. So remember how I hate oranges? Well that is how Hermana Sharp feels about mushrooms. So we went to a members house and sure enough there was mushroom soup. She was FREAKING OUT! Now, I don't really enjoy soup (you know that) but I ate mine, then when the member got up to get something from the kitchen we switched and I finished hers for her. I was SOO full. We were trying so hard not to laugh. It was great and Hermana Sharp was so grateful. Now, if only she can do that for me next time we get fed beans...haha. 

The Relief Society is singing in sacrament in a few weeks and I will admit, I am kind of nervous... haha. They like to have their own tune and "out sing each other" yesterday two hermanas were fighting over who sang louder and better during practices...haha. Hermana Sharp plays the piano and she can't even play along because it sounds so off.  It is so funny. An adventure for sure...haha. Relief Society is my favorite part of church sometimes.

Well I hope you had a great week!  Sorry this email was so scattered. We really need to find those seachers, keep us in your prayers! I love you so much! :)

Con Amor,
Hermana Thomas

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Lleno de Gratitud

Wow, what a week!! Sorry not to much time for details. Transfers happened and Hermana Sharp and I are staying together in east Sac to finish training!! Yahoo!! :) I am excited to continue our work and get people baptized. She is so great and it will be another fun transfer!

We had the most amazing experience with our investigator Isidro (the husband to Socorro). He told us all about his operations on his leg and how he has had eye sight problems. He has been getting injections in his eyes to help him see but they hurt a lot. We talked about the priesthood with him and he expressed his desire to receive a blessing. WOW! Hermano Garcia and Nunez came over and gave him a powerful blessings. The spirit filled my soul of gratitude for the priesthood. What a precious gift to have the priesthood on the earth. I don't know if I have ever felt so grateful for the priesthood before in my life. I am so grateful for the Hermanos for coming over and serving. They are both humble servants of our Heavenly Father. I love the Delt Norte Ward. They are always on the call to serve and love everyone. It's a great Spanish ward full of converts helping each other to learn the gospel. What a blessing. 

Leticia committed to be baptized June 30th!! We had an awesome lesson with her and she truly has a desire to learn and progress but has concerns. However, this week we haven't been able to get a hold of her. I think she is hiding from us..haha. It's so funny to me that people are scared of us. Her neighbors told her that one day we will come over with a "bill" for her to pay us for teaching her. She laughed and told them no, but I do know she cares a lot about what they all think. Hopefully she will let us in this week!

So ready for a funny story? Well Yesterday the Zone Leaders called us. They said "Hey sisters, we have some flyers for the Spanish fireside coming up and need to get them to you. Will you meet us in the Walmart parking lot?" so we headed over there. Once we got there we saw that a car sitting up a rock.  It was stuck! Hermana Sharp says, "WHAT!!!?? THAT IS THE ELDER'S CAR!" I'm thinking no way, who would do that? So we call them and say "hey Elders, where are you?" Elder Stone says "On a rock" hahahahahahaha. Sure enough, only the elders would drive up on a rock on accident. Apparently, there wasn't enough room to turn... haha how funny. It was the funniest thing of my life... wow. We got to talk to the cop about the gospel though and he was so cool and nice. He said "you people are really good people.Tthank you. We need more good people like you" so that was cool!  The elders both have one transfer left before they head home. Random people were walking by taking pictures of the car.

I love you all. My "joy is purpose" all explained in 2 Nephi 33:3.  "But, I Nephi, have written what I have written, and I esteem it as of great worth, and especially unto my people.  For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry".  I worry about and think of my investigators all day. I want to help them come unto Christ. Love you!  

 These pictures need no words.

Monday, May 13, 2013

My Birthday Week

WOW! How great was that to be able to Skype with all of you yesterday? I have the greatest family in the world and feel so blessed. It was such a fun surprise to see Grandpa and Grandma and Uncle John! You will have to tell everyone the things I told you!

Thank you for all the birthday letters and packages! I feel so loved and am so grateful. It was so fun to get letters from Bosco's, Sandstroms and Barkers. Kaylee's letter really helped me. Thank you! :) I had a great birthday! Hermana Sharp (the greatest companion ever) spoiled me with 21 gifts! President and Sister Lewis called me and wished me a Happy Birthday. Sister Schow invited us over for ice cream. The Bustos made a great dinner and gave me a huge, Little Mermaid cake.  They all wanted to dump my face in it like they do in Mexico haha. I am so loved and spoiled out here, that's for sure!

So I have a new favorite Book of Mormon profeta. Nefi, the son of Helaman. WOW. What a stud. He went out and declared the gospel with "unweariness."  That is my new goal. How great is that? He had the power of God with him. A great power and strength and he truly pondered the word of God to receive revelation. 

Mom and Dad, I told you a little about our miracle this past week, Manuela. We found her tracting and she told us we had a light in our eyes. There is something different about us and she wants the light and joy we have! We told her its the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. We are going to see her more this week and she is so excited to learn more!  

We had zone conference this week and it was a spiritual feast. We talked a lot about serving those we love, repentance, working with members  teaching for conversion and enabling a learning environment where revelation can occur. It was so powerful and I learned so much!!

Next week is transfers so I will email Tuesday. I should be staying in East Sac training Hermana Sharp (but then again, big surprises happen like last time) haha. I love you all so so much! You are in my prayers and I LOVE serving a mission!!

Con Amor,
Hermana Thomas
My twin and companion, Sister Sharp
21 Gifts from my companion

Monday, May 6, 2013

Hardest Week but full of Blessings

Thank you for your example and love. I am so blessed. 
I can say that this week has been the hardest week of my mission but I have learned soo much!

We were able to go to the new missionary meeting this week! It was fun to see Herman Pitcher and Hansen and all the other missionaries. I know Hermana Sharp had a great time seeing all missionaries she came out with as well. It was a great meeting and we were able to ask questions and get help from each other. President Lewis said something that is so true and simple but so powerful. "We (you missionaries) qualify to receive revelation." That is so true! We need to ask and pray and do our best to let Heavenly Father know we are willing to listen and obey.

We had a great zone training this week on extending compromisos. I really learned a lot and it helped me shape how I want to improve. We really are inviting people to change and repent. A great scripture we read to sum it up was Alma 38:12 "Boldness but not overbearance."  Invite with boldness and love!

We saw Carmen zipping by on her jazzy this week, It was so funny. Hermana Sharp's mouth just dropped and she said, "LOOK, LOOK". Yep, there goes Carmen zipping down the street. haha so funny. So they can get around... they are great and we love them but they are "the crazies". We sadly had to drop them this week because they won't come to church and progress. They are concerned about tithing and said, "If we had more money we would love to do that". Wouldn't we all? The blessings of paying tithing are innumerable but we have to put our faith in God first. I hope they can gain a desire to come unto Christ with their faith. Hopefully one day but at least the seed as been planted!

Saturday was the hardest day of my mission so far! We still had a lot of goals to finish for the week so we set some high goals. I knew it was going to be hard work so I went and said a prayer. I told the Lord that I had faith that we could accomplish them and I was so pumped! During the day though it was hard.  All our plans fell through. We had a temple tour lined up, so excited and our investigator bailed last minute. I was getting pretty discouraged and my faith was wavering. We tried to see everyone and having no luck at all. So we decided to go to Socorro and......... she wasn't home. But her husband Isidro was so we were able to teach him outside and it was such a powerful lesson! He said he doesn't know who God is exactly but he knows there is one and prayers so him and wants to believe. The spirit was so strong as we testified to him of his loving Heavenly Father and how he is a child of God. He wants to learn more and come to church! It was a great way to end the hard day and I know that prayers are always answered.

Yesterday was one of the best experiences  An 18 year old boy in the ward named Felipe Trujillo got his mission call. He waited to open it and decided to open up the call with the ward after church. After all the meetings, everyone came into the Relief Society Room. He told everyone that he was really excited and wanted to share this experience because he knows that some families don't ever get to watch the opening of a mission call. He is going to Africa! Madagascar. Everyone was so excited and freaking out (most of them didn't know where Africa was so funny). It was such a neat experience and all the primary kids were gleaming about it. They all started to talk about where they wanted to go and it was so cool to see them get excited for their own missions. It was a great example.

Thanks for the birthday wishes for Wednesday, we have a lot of great plans this week. For my birthday, we will be at the Doctors (yahoo, i love the doctors!!! but really). Hermana Sharp is pretty sick. She is still having headaches and delays from her concussion. We were at the doctors all last week and we have more appointments this week with blood work, CT Scans, etc. I hope she can start feeling better and get some answers. 

I love you all and hope you have a great week and Mothers Day! :)  I am really excited to Skype with all of you Sunday. LOVE YOU!!

Con Amor, 
Hermana Thomas

Meatball Surprise

Sister Taylor Thomas examining Sis. Sharp's MRI