Monday, March 25, 2013

March 25, 2013

(We've been instructed to change names, so know that the names below are made up.)

I have had the most incredible week. I'm so glad you got to hear from Sister Woodbury! She is really really awesome and already a mother figure for me. Sister Earl is my trainer and I love her SO much! I hear that apparently Phil Johnson knows her family? What a small world! Sister Earl is very fun and energetic. She's optimistic but very spiritual and a superb teacher and trainer. She teaches me something new nearly every minute. Her goal is that by the end of this transfer she will have me ready to train if needs be because we have 60 new sisters coming in in the next 2 transfers. That's double our number now so I will most likely be training in a few months! So crazy!

My area is in Evansville North, Indiana. Evansville is the 4th largest city in Indiana but it's still pretty small. I love it! Our area is a car area so I didn't need to get a bike or helmet. Sister Earl (who's been out 14 months) said that she has never been in a bike area and has never needed to get one. She been in two areas: Salem, Indiana and Corbin, Kentucky. (Corbin is the most hill billy of the areas in the mission. She's told me many an interesting story)

Our apartment is wonderful and the President has asked that all mail go to the apartment and not the mission home. Anyway, my apartment is super nice and clean. It's got a beautiful bathroom and separate room shower/toilet. A nice big room for us both, a complete kitchen and then a big living room for study and exercise in the morning.

We eat really well. We have $260/month (combined) to pay for food, personal supplies, etc. Plus we have a Wal-mart nearby so we can get everything pretty cheap. The members haven't fed us this week because none of them knew we were here! But we have 3 dinner appointments and 1 lunch this week.

Energy-wise, I have been doing awesome! I sleep well, all through the night. I wake up refreshed. I go throughout my day with a smile on my face and the spirit in my heart. I can't believe how much the Lord has blessed me these past 3 weeks. He truly loves His missionaries.

I have a pretty decent amount of time on the computers every Monday so don't worry about limiting your writing. I want to hear everything! I love hearing from y'all back home.

Some other rules. As for music, I can listen to Hymns, hymn arrangements and efy. That includes Motab but nothing like Jessie or Alex Boye or such (unless it's on an efy cd). If you could send me some Motab and I believe Jessie is one efy cd that would be awesome! It's so sad to not have music in my ear 24/7! Also a thing to send that would make me love you very much is snack food. We have enough to get enough for dinners and lunches but not much extra. Snack's like chips and granola bars and delicousness would be much appreciated.

It sounds like your life has been so crazy! I'm so happy you had such a great time in Cali. I bet the weather was beautiful and wonderful. What did Dad and the kids do back home while you were gone? I loved the pictures! I can't wait to hear from y'all next week.

As for my life, oh wow. I've had my first lesson with a recent convert, with a less-active, with a progressing investigator and with a new investigator. I also made my first street contact all by myself! That was terrifying but also really fun.

We have three baptismal dates set right now. That's the Moon girls. Their mom is a less active member becoming more active. They had the date set before we came and we finally got to meet them this past week.

I also met Saundra who is a super sweet older woman. She joined the church in her teenage years but hasn't gone since. We will visit her and see what miracles the spirit can work in her life.

There is also Blaine. He's 17 and was baptized last year. He has the light of Christ in his eyes. He loves the gospel and even though his parents aren't part of it, he will never doubt what he knows. It shows met that there is hope for everyone and that the gospel truly can bless every aspect of our lives if we will let it. We're hoping to get him on a mission.

Finally there is Trina. The Elders contacted into her two nights ago as we were meeting with the Moore girls. She was very receptive and they referred her to us seeing as she was in our area. We met with her for the first time today and she blew me away. I think that this is one of the people the Lord has been preparing for me personally to meet. She kept mentioning how she already felt a connection with me and she wanted the radiance she could see in my face. I was in awe with her. She has had an extremely hard life, terribly hard. But she still trusts God in all she does. She knows He has a plan for her, though she doesn't know what it is she trust He will get her to where she needs to be. She felt a deep connection with the gospel and we are meeting with her again tomorrow. I am really really excited.

I think that is all the adventures I have had this week. Oh! I made my first street contact. In Sister Earl's words "We talk to everyone." So she gave me a purple card and said "Go talk to and give this to that old woman in the car." I was terrified. I was just like, you want me to do what?? She smiled and said it was easy and she knew I could do it. Mission standards are that you talk to and contact 10 people/day/missionary. So I went up, introduced myself, told her a little about the church and invited her to go to this website to learn a little bit more about us. She said okay and I left. It was all of 3 minutes and I walked away with a smile on my face. I was excited to do it again! I know that Britney would be a natural at it. So I will try to be more like her and talk to everyone. That's my goal this next week.

I think that pretty much cover everything! All I can say is that everyone should write me! I know that sounds selfish and all but I'm truly realizing how awesome it feels to open that mailbox and have a little white lettar addressed to you sitting there. I never truly understood that before this past week. So ya... :)

I'm happy y'all are doing well! I can't wait to hear from you next week! I hope Mandy had a great birthday and that she got my journal. I saw it at the MTC and knew that it needed to be in her hands. Be good! Talk to you soon!

The Church is true!
Love always,
Sister Thorne 

P.S. Oh! Sorry... again... but yes, I received all of the pictures just fine. I have a ton to send to you, but I forgot to bring my camera. So I will make sure to get those to you next week. Sound good? kk? I think that's all.... Love you!!!

 My very first meal in Evansville. Dominos pizza!

Planning and making a map. Essential if neither companion has ever been to the area.
Our room. GO UTES!!!

The cover of our dishwasher fell off... it's was really weird. We just kind of slid it back in place.
Funny story. Last p-day there was a man who wouldn't take his laundry out of the dryer. So we just had to string it up all over the apartment in order for it to be dry the next day. This inluded sheets. Quite the adventure.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

March 21, 2013

Letter from Sister Woodbury, the Mission President's wife.

Dear Brother and Sister Thorne,

            Thank you for your wonderful letter about your wonderful daughter. She is every bit what you described and more. 

            Sister Thorne arrived safe and sound Monday evening, part of the first wave of the surge that resulted from the October announcement in General Conference; to us it felt quite historic. Her group came in three separate flights so it took some coordinating to get them to the Mission Home, but we somehow we managed. President Woodbury got started with interviews right after the first group got settled in, and I started orientation after the last group arrived. We had dinner together and a wonderful Testimony Meeting before interviews resumed and those who had been interviewed previously went off to bed for the night. 

            In the morning I served a hot breakfast after which the Assistants led Companionship Study and Elder Bolliger from the Mission Office gave instructions on finances. Individual and group pictures were taken, then bags were once again loaded into the MIssion trailer, and our entourage moved over to the church next to the Mission Office, 2 1/2 miles away. During Transfer Meeting, the new missionaries met their Trainers and then attended a meeting which introduced the Church's 12-Week Training Program. After lunch, companionship pictures were taken with President Woodbury and I in front of the Mission Office, then they were off, to their first areas and their first day as real missionaries. 

            Sister Thorne's Trainer is Sister Earl, a bright, positive, hard-working, dedicated missionary who will provide a great start to her mission. It appeared as if they instantly hit it off.

        Their address is: 5221 Normandy Plaza, Evansville, IN 47715

        You can send mail to this address or to the Mission Office at 1325 Eastern Parkway to be forwarded the next day.  Packages sent to the office by UPS or Fed-X cannot be forwarded so they will have to wait to be given to your missionary as soon as someone from the District or Zone comes in to the office.

         For your information Preparation Day in our mission is on Monday, which is when you should hear from your missionary by e-mail. When Monday is a holiday then P-Day will be the day following when libraries are again open. Instant Messages, emails going back and forth on the same day, and texting, are not allowed.

         It is probably safe to send mail directly to the missionary apartment, except as it gets close to Transfers, which are every six weeks.  Sisters and Elders can be transferred at any time, though generally they are in an area two to four Transfers, but can be there more or less than that number. It is difficult to get mail forwarded after a missionary leaves an area since it costs additional postage and the new resident doesn’t know where the former missionary was sent. So, to be safe, send mail to the office when it is getting close to Transfer time.

         President Woodbury and I thank you so much for sending your precious daughter to us. We already love her and are looking forward to great things with and through her as she serves in this choice corner of the Lord’s vineyard.
With love,

Sister Woodbury

Sister Woodbury, me, President Woodbury

Sister Woodbury, my companion Sister Earl, me, President Woodbury.
 Where I slept at the missionary home. It is literally 6 sets of bunkbeds. It felt like living in the Brady Bunch.

The Missionary Home living room. It's HUGE!

Friday, March 15, 2013

March 15, 2013

Hey Fam!  

I can't even believe how much I've grown this week. I am a completely new person already. The Lord has molded me into the servant He needs me to be and I am completely astounded.

To answer everyone's various letters (first thanks for those! They all make my day a billion times better! I feel your love and it makes me smile). First, Mandy, I hope you are getting better! I ask a special blessing on you every single night. Britney, I am so glad you had that experience with dedicating the house. I am mostly proud that you were able to recognize when the spirit was not there and when it entered the room. That is one of the best qualities of a successful missionary. It can be very hard to hear the spirit's voice and you have been able to discern it. Congrats! Mom, thanks for your letter! I was really wondering how the moving went and you were able to answer all of my questions! I got your package this week and you made me cry. I hope you know that. I can't believe you went to all that work to get all of the dates of the birthdays of all my friends. That meant more to me than words can express. Tell Jackie Richardson that I said Hi as well and I really appreciate her sweet spirit. :) I will write Sheryl as soon as I have the time. All my roomies and I love the candy and Sister Baldwin was so touched by the snickerdoodles. Thanks!!! Josh, thanks so much for the letter dudie! I totally brightened my day! I loved it! I want to here all about how the play goes okay? I love that you do that with the picture of Christ! Don't ever forget to ask yourself that question. What would your older brother have you do? He loves you so much. I know it. I have actually memorized D&C 4 but we don't use it at all. The really important thing to have memorized is the Missionary Purpose. Ask Britney about it. It's actually really cool when you think about it. What article of faith does it sound like? My favorite scripture is still Proverbs 3:5-6. Something new about that scripture stands out to me every time I read it. Mom, please make sure to thank Theron, Tylin, Keilee, Hill, Deborah, Jim, James H, Grandma Kathy, Sarah, Aubrey and especially Stephen for the letters! I am working on writing them back as soon as I can.

As for adventures this past week. There have been so many! And I only have 17 minutes left to type this up. So I would like to take this time and give some advice on the MTC. The biggest piece of advice I can give is to keep an open mind. "Keep your head up, let your hair down." Things can get really stressful and hard at times. Things go wrong, things get too busy, you're late, you don't do as well as you would have liked, etc. But I promise that if you keep an open mind and understand that "all of these things will be for your good" then everything will get better. Next piece of advice, NEVER EVER stop praying. Seriously. Talk to Him about everything. Tell Him every time you have a worry and ask Him for help.Thank Him every time you notice a blessing. Never ever stop. You will more adequately have the spirit with you and you will feel strong and be more optimistic about everything. Next, don't take a single second for granted. I don't care if you're at the MTC for 12 days or 9 weeks, never take a second for granted. Realize that at every single second, He is trying to teach you something. Look for that. Also, bring some notetaking materials. I have probably taken about 100 pages of notes since I've gotten here. Bring highlighters, pens (yes multiple), notebooks, etc. You'll need it. Next, bring a piece of string, you will need it to attach your residency key to your campus card. Finally, pray for charity. Learn to love your investigator and pray to be able to see them through Christ's eyes.

I have 12 minutes so I can input some cool stories. First, I HAVE THE BEST DISTRICT EVER!!! I'm not kidding. Tuesday night, we started a District fast. We opened with a prayer and we were all praying for a couple things. Then, each of us girls asked each of the boys for a blessing. I was very blessed to get my blessing from Elder Carmichael (our District leader). It was his first blessing and I promise you that the words were from God. Each of us girls wrote down the others' blessings so I read mine whenever I get stressed. (btw, there are 6 elders and 6 sisters in my district, 4 sisters and 3 elders are going to San Antonio, Texas and 2 sisters (Me and Sister Baldwin) and 3 elders are going to Kentucky). Back to the blessing. There were things that Elder Carmichael had said that he could not have known. The Lord was speaking through him. I am so very grateful for the priesthood. There aren't words to express my gratitude. Josh and Brandon, I want you to know that this is the kind of power you can have if you live worthy to have it. One day you will be an elder. Never take this power for granted. It is miraculous. So after that, I've gotten lots better.

The next cool thing happened today. I got to go through the Provo temple, my first and only time. I knew that today was Grammy's birthday and I prayed that I would be able to feel her beside me sometime today. I got to the celestial room and sat back. I really prayed to somehow feel her. I couldn't. Then, I closed my eyes and breathed deeply. I immediately felt chills all up and down the right side of my body. I know that she was there sitting next to me. She told my heart how proud she was of me and that she would be here for me every step of the way. Then I opened my eyes and she was gone. I want to testify that the Plan of Redemption is real. There are people beyond the veil who look out and protect us. I know that there are guardian angels protecting all of you right now because I pray for them every night. I love you all.

Times about up. Real quick, I can now email anyone. Rules just changed this week. So please mom, could you collect everyone's emails for me and get them to me? That would be wonderful! Also, I am leaving for Kentucky at 4 in the morning Monday, March 18th. I am going to try and call  you guys that morning or afternoon. Look for it please! Also, by the time everyone gets the letters I am mailing today and tomorrow, they won't be able to DearElder me. If they want to respond to those letters or write to me after March 17th, have them write my Kentucky address. Thanks! I'm out of time! I'll write to you next time when I'm in Kentucky! Wish me luck! Write me soon! Love you!

Love eternally,

Sister Thorne
Sister Baldwin and I being awesome!
All the missionaries heading to the temple walk. There were seriously thousands of them!
Our district's "Family Home Evening". We all brought snacks we had gotten from home and shared. It was great. The hipster looking elder in the hat and gray jacket was Elder Carmichael. He's the one who gave me my MTC priesthood blessing.

Sister Baldwin and I matching!
Apparently, there is this tradition that whenever the Russion missionaries leave, they are challenged to eat every bit of cereal in the cafeteria before they go. Well guess what, they did it! Every last piece of cereal was eaten.

Elder Hathaway, me, Elder Rasmussen, Sister Baldwin and Elder Carter being crazy.

My District! Top row: Elder Hathaway, Elder Rasmussen and Elder Moss. Second row: Elder Carter, Brother Lyons, Elder Carmichael and Elder Hughes. Third row: Sister Simonsen, Me!, and Sister Legge. Bottom Row: Sister Iverson, Sister McGill (our other teacher), Sister Baldwin and Sister Elliott.
 Our district "pointing" to the places we are going. It was either Louisville or San Antonio, Texas.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

March 9, 2013


Hey fam!!!

So I did get an opportunity to email you guys! It's not technically p-day but we had some laundry time and our teachers said we could email during that time if we did it wisely. I just wanted to take a second and update you guys on life! I'm assuming you got my letter by now, hopefully. :P That tells you a lot of my adventures from the first day. The second day, Thursday, was really difficult. It was our first full day and being up and working from 6 in the morning to 10:30 at night is completely exhausting. By the end of the day I felt really heavy and down. I was sitting in my bed wondering how I could fix this because I couldn't let this happen for the rest of my mission, that's now what this is about. I have so many reasons to be happy! I just needed to figure out how to get more optimism and energy so I could last. As I was sitting thinking through this I suddenly had a duh moment. I nearly slapped my forehead. I KNEW without a shadow of a doubt that this feeling was Satan trying to take away my ability to feel the spirit. This was his only way to try and dampen my time at the MTC. He was using his very last tool. I know this because it is so easy to feel the spirit here. It is literally here 24/7. Not only that, we have been promised that there are angels guarding us and every window and wall of the MTC. I know that Grammy is here. I have felt her many times. I was being so well protected that Satan was SO frustrated and he was using a last ditch attempt to get at me and so far, he was succeeding. That was unacceptable. I immediately got down on my knees and prayed. The best word I can use to describe it is fervently. I apologized to my Heavenly Father for letting Satan get to me and for taking so long to kneel down and come to him. I promised that it wouldn't take that long again. I felt a feeling of peace and love. It was so strong. Satan's power was suddenly washed away. I know that we can do this at any point in our day or lives. If we are ever feeling heavy or not as happy as we could be, turn to him IMMEDIATELY. He wants to here from you and He wants to help you, but you must exhibit that act of faith.
After that, I have prayed any time I feel tired, down, sad, lonely, or anything else. And He has come for me every single time. Always.
The next thing I want to tell you about is Sister Baldwin and mine's Progressive Investigator. His name is Qian (pronounced Chin) and he is actually our teacher Brother Lyon (pronounce lion) but it isn't him at the same time. He becomes Qian. He acts as our investigator and we teach him. Qian is from China and he is on a student exchange for school in America right now. He has been here for 6 months and left the rest of his family in China. He's never had religion in his life and has heard of God but doesn't really believe there is one. Sister Baldwin and I taught him for the first time yesterday. It was really difficult. We both strongly felt that we needed to completely change our lesson plan about 20-30 minutes before the lesson. So we weren't extremely prepared and the spirit wasn't really there. But we did do okay and we set a foundation. Today was our second time teaching him. We did 300% better. Our lesson focused on him knowing that there was a god and not only that that He was Qian's Heavenly Father and that Qian could pray to him at any time and that his Father in Heaven would listen and answer him. We were also challenged by our teacher to have the courage to challenge our progressive investigator to baptism by the end of it. We said a prayer together before we knocked on his door and immediately the spirit was stronger. We talked to him about prayer and he then agreed to kneel down and pray with us and to ask if God was there and if He was listening to Qian. That prayer was literally the strongest time I have ever felt the spirit. I was moved to tears by Qian's simply prayer. It was not complicated nor was it long. He just asked what we told him to. Then he got quiet and got chocked up. The Holy Ghost was testifying to his soul that he had a Heavenly Father who loved him. We finished and got back up and asked him about what he was feeling. He said peace. We then asked him if he would like to be able to feel that peace all the time. He said yes. We then extended the invitation to be baptized and explained that by taking this step he would be following his Savior's example and would be blessed with this peace and happiness whenever he wanted it. HE SAID YES!!!!!!! Sister Baldwin and I calmly expressed our gratitude of him for making this decision and then committed him to going to church this Sunday, reading from the Book of Mormon (Alma 18 and 19) and then praying to his Father more. He said yes to them all. We then left him and immediately got outside and we both did a little happy dance. We couldn't even contain our joy! I have never been so happy!
So that is my little stories for now. I am doing wonderfully and I hope the same for all of you. I know that this church is true. I know that Heavenly Father will answer your prayers. He is always there for  you. You just need to learn how to recognize His answer. I know that hope can always be found in him. He is the living water, the spring of hope. I know that this is where I am supposed to be and I couldn't be happier. :)
Oh! and real quick. My companion is Sister (Lauren) Baldwin, I told you a little about her in the letter. I was going to send pics but I left my camera up in our classroom so I will send them with my email next week. Promise.
I love you all! Be good! Write me soon!!! I love every single letter I can get!

Eternally yours,
Sister Thorne

P.S. Real quick! My black watch shattered. Like literally. So I don't have really any hope for this white watch for lasting long. If you could send me a new watch or two (maybe better quality) that would be a life saver!!! Please as soon as possible!!! Like seriously soon. I will die without a watch.
P.P.S. We are watching Music and the Spoken Word tomorrow morning so I'll get to see Dad! I look forward to it more than anything! I'll see you then Daddy! Sing well! Be good kids! I think that's all. Loves!

Friday, March 8, 2013

March 8, 2013

(mailed letter, written evening of March 6th)
My Dearest Family,
Oh my goodness! This is so much fun and a billion times more amazing than I could have ever imagined! I hope you guys are doing as well as I am. I have been going nonstop since I left you at the curb. I ran around to get all my information and had a small tour. Then we went directly to class. I was in the classroom within 15 min of my getting here. My teachers are Sister McGill and Brother Lyons. They are both amazing, super knowledgeable and really cool. We were in class for about an hour or two and then we went to a welcome fireside. The MTC presidency and all their wives spoke to us. They gave some really great advice.

                After that, we went to dinner. Now make sure and tell Hillary this next part. There is a special little room for people with allergies. My companion, sister Baldwin is Celiac and so she gets her food from there and I get my food from the normal line and everyone is happy! Dinner was delicious. They had pineapple and yummy grapes! Plus Jello! Yay Utah!!! After dinner we had our first teaching experience. It was about 40-50 of us missionaries talking to one investigator. We did this with 3 different people. They were actors but they were incredible. I learned so much and made notes about it all. After we finished our teaching experiences, we went back to our classroom (our home, we only sleep in our residence rooms, everything else is in the classroom) and met our Zone Leaders. We’ll meet our DL’s tomorrow so yes Dad, there are both. Our ZL’s rock and they have only been here a week! They’re awesome. Sister Maetoga is our coordinating sister. She’s also only been here a week but she’s basically our mom. She will answer all our questions, help us around and she’s there to help us with everything. She reminds me so much of Sarah. It’s crazy.
                So now we’re back in our rooms. I’ve unpacked everything and I’m about to read your letters. Merida is keeping me company.
                Sister Baldwin is my companion. The spirit really does play a part in picking our companion because she is perfect for me. She’s kind, loving, a little introverted, has a big family and we just clicked! I love her so much. She’s 19, she’ll turn 20 in May and she is a spiritual giant. She’s also going to Kentucky so maybe we’ll get to be companions again. I really hope so!
It looks like these next 11 days are going to be packed. It’s going to be a giant roller coaster but it’s going to be the adventure of a lifetime.
                By the way, tell Keilee and Hillary that I met Whitney Porter here! She is Spanish speaking going to Oklahoma. It was great to see her smiling face again. Hermana Porter.
                So real quick, I should apologize. I lied. I’m so so so sorry. So my mailbox is #134. So sorry! Could you put that on fb Brit?
It’s looking like I only have 1 P-day and that is Friday, the 15th. I don’t know if I’ll have access to computers before then. I’ll find out…
                I think that is everything for now. Oh! My estimated departure date is March 18th.
                So… ya… :p
                I love you all so so so much! I miss you even more! But I don’t regret anything at all. This is exactly where I am supposed to be and the spirit is incredible! It is literally here 24/7. I’ve never felt anything like it. Brit, you have to do this. I wish you were here with me so badly. Anyway, don’t cry! I’m having the time of my life! Make good choices!
                                                                                Love/Sister Thorne
P.S. I just checked with Sister Maetoga and she said that yes, I will only get to email you guys once. So she said the best route is to, after you get my email, write me on ASAP and then I’ll actually get it before I leave. That way I at least get something. So use that. Love y’all!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Want to write Shannah? Here's how:

If you would like to write and actually mail a letter to Shannah while she is at the MTC, this is her address: (Please note that she will be flying out to her mission around March 18th)
Sister Shannah Thorne
MTC Mailbox #134
KY-Lou 0318
2005 N. 900 E.
Provo, UT 84064-1793
The best way to write her is on They will actually print your letter, put it in an envelope and deliver it to her the next day for free! Just enter her mailbox number #134 and her mission code KY-Lou 0318. Let's send her some love!

Saying Goodbye :(

March 6th, 2013
Today was such a wonderful day. The boys were home because they were off track and Dad checked Britney and Mandy out of school arount 10am. Then we left for a late brunch at Denny's in Layton. We saw another missionary there with his family. He was also on his way to the MTC. Funny!
The food was yummy and it was just fun to be together as a family. When all the food on the table was consumed and the bill was paid we headed down to Provo. We were all wired at first, but as the drive seemed to drag on and on the car got pretty quiet.
As we got close to the MTC you could see a line of cars waiting to enter as others dropped off their loved ones at the curb and then created a line of cars exiting. It was pretty exciting to watch what we'd be doing in just a few minutes. We decided to stop at the park just below the Provo temple to take pictures. There were several families who had the same idea.

As we entered the MTC drop off area we could see lines of missionaries lining the curb getting ready to escort their new greenies into the building as soon as they stepped out of their cars to say their quick 2 minute goodbyes to their loved ones.
Elder Merrill was Shannah's escort. He was so kind. We found out after the fact that our friends Jamie Spackman and Becca Berry knew him because he belonged to their student ward at Snow College. Such a small world! He prompty grabbed her luggage and as soon as everyone got their hug he asked if Shannah had her immunization information. She replied that she did. Then he said, "Don't be offended, but I have to ask this next question. Do you have any keys or a cell phone?" Shannah laughed and said no and then he said, "Let's go!" Shannah turned around to wave her last goodbye to her family who loved her so much and wouldn't see her again for 18 months..
"Now go change some lives!"

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Departure

It's here! I get set apart in an hour and 40 minutes! It's been quite a journey and I can't believe I have finally made it to this moment. Really quickly before I forget, the last thing I compiled for missionaries is a list of 53 quick easy recipes that don't need very many ingredients. Here they are.
Mac ‘n Cheese (Stovetop Version)

1½ lbs elbow macaroni
1 lb medium cheddar cheese (shredded)
1 lb Monterey jack cheese (shredded)
3 tbs butter
3 tbs flour
2 c milk
Cook pasta thoroughly. Drain. While pasta is in strainer, melt butter, add flour and whisk. When thoroughly combined, add milk and whisk until smooth and slightly thickened. Add cheese and mix to combine. Add macaroni to cheese mixture, heat through.
(If you have 2 large pans, you can cook pasta while you are making cheese sauce.)
Baked Potato Toppings
Cook Hamburger and Onion- mix with salsa or sour cream or both
Cheese topping:
¼ lb butter, softened
2 c grated cheddar cheese
1 c sour cream
Mix together

English Muffin Pizzas
1 can Pizza/Spaghetti Sauce
Ham/Cooked Hamburger
Other toppings
Top English Muffins with ingredients. Bake in 450 degree oven for 10 minutes.
Olive Garden Fettuccine Alfredo

½ c milk
8 oz fettuccini-
cooked and drained
8 oz cream cheese-cut into bits
¾ c Parmesan cheese-shredded
1½ c butter
In large saucepan combine cream cheese, parmesan, butter and milk, stirring constantly - until smooth. Toss pasta lightly with sauce, coating well.
Best 1st day, if reheating, add a little milk before microwaving.

Pizza Dough Recipe

1 tsp sugar
2 Tbl oil
1 c warm water
2-3 cups flour
1 Tbl yeast
1 tsp salt
Mix dry ingredients well (using only 2 cups of flour). Add oil and water and mix well. Knead for five minutes, adding enough flour to mak a soft dough. Roll out on a greased pizza pan (or cookie sheet etc.). Add sauce, cheese, and desired toppings. Bake at 425 degrees F for 12 - 18 minutes, depending on the thickness of the crust.

1 slice toasted bread
1 slice ham
1 slice cheese
You take a slice of bread (French bread, or any other bread or bun) lightly toasted.
Then add a slice of ham (or pastrami or any other cold cut). Some of our kids also like to add a slice of tomato (optional). Top with a slice of cheese (my favorite is swiss, but any kind of cheese will do).
Boil for a minute or two until the cheese has melted.
Tater-Tot Casserole

2 cans cream of chicken soup

1 lb ground meat
1 small onion, chopped
1 pkg tater tots
In skillet cook onion, add ground meat and brown thoroughly. Add cream of chicken soup. Heat through. Put in 11X13 baking dish. Put tater tots on top. Bake at 350 until tater tots are browned and crispy.

Banana Boats

1 banana per person
1/8 c chocolate chips per banana
1/8 c marshmallows per banana
Split banana all the way down, but don't cut it in two. Ease banana open and place chocolate chips and marshmallows inside. Wrap in foil and heat until warm.
Orange Chicken and Rice

2-3 chicken breasts
1 c rice
2 c orange juice
In a frying pan, brown the chicken. Add rice and orange juice. Cover and let it cook til the juice is all absorbed by the rice. The rice will have little indents. It takes about 15-20 minutes. You can substitute other sauces for the orange juice for a variety of flavors. Just make sure you have two cups of liquid. For example, sesame dressing, BBQ sauce or Italian dressing diluted with some water.
Italian Fried Chicken

1/3 c milk
4 chicken breast halves
1 c flour
1 (.7 oz) package Italian salad dressing mix (dry)
Combine flour and salad dressing mix until blended. Dip chicken in milk and coat completely with flour mixture. In deep skillet pour in oil to a depth of 1 inch. Heat oil then add chicken and brown over medium heat. Continue cooking, turning several times until chicken is done, about 20 minutes. Makes four servings.


Spaghetti Noodles
1½ lb ground beef
1 can tomato sauce
1 pkg spaghetti seasoning mix
Brown hamburger and add seasoning mix and sauce. Let simmer for a few minutes while you cook some spaghetti noodles. Get a pan of water boiling then add the spaghetti. Cook until tender. Drain and serve with sauce.
French Toasted Cheese Sandwich

1½ c milk
1 slice cheese/sandwich

1 slice bacon/sandwich
2 slices bread/sandwich
1 egg
Mix egg into milk and stir until well mixed. Add 1 tsp of sugar. Cook bacon, then dip one side of bread in milk and egg mixture and place on top of bacon. Put cheese and then put other slice of cheese with the outside dipped in egg mixture. Cook then turn on other side. Serve with jam or syrup.

Tex-Mex Chops

Salt and pepper to taste
2 boneless Pork Chops
1 Tbl vegetable oil
1 c salsa
Season pork chops with salt and pepper. In Skillet brown both sides or pork chops in oil. Add salsa and lower heat. Simmer for 30 minutes or until chops are completely cooked through.
Hot Dog Stew
1 pkg hot dogs cut into 1½ inch pieces
3 medium potatoes, peeled and dices

1½ c water
2 Tbl flour
Brown hot dogs in ungreased skillet. Add diced potatoes. Mix flour and water until smooth. Pour over hot dog and potatoes. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer. Serves 4.
Hawaiin Pork Chops

4 slices pineapple canned
(reserve 1/3 c juice)
4 loin pork chops
¼ c flour
2 Tbl oil
Cover pork chops in flour. Brown in skillet with oil. Top each chop with a ring of pineapple. Add pineapple juice. Cover and cook slowly. Remove meat and pineapple to platter. Pour the remaining juice over chops. Serves 4
Ants on a Log
Peanut Butter
Wash celery and pat dry. Add peanut butter in the middle and then place the ants or raisons down the center.
Weiner Ramen
1 pkg any flavor ramen noodles
A couple hot dogs
Cook noodles and drain, Add seasoning packet. Cook hot dogs (boil) Add noodles.
Omelets with Ramen

1½ c ham chopped
¼ c onion chopped
¼ c green peppers, chopped
1 pkg ramen noodles
1 Tbl margarine
3 eggs beaten
Cook noodles and drain. Add seasoning packet. Melt margarine in skillet and add beaten eggs. Fold in other ingredients. Cook until lightly browned.

Bacon Cheddar Ramen
1 pkg ramen noodles
1 c cheddar cheese, shredded
¼ c bacon, chopped
Cook noodles and drain. Add cheddar cheese and bacon while still hot.
Favorite Sausage Rolls
3 c bisquick
1 lb hot sausage
10 oz shar cheddar cheese grated
Mix all 3 ingredients together and roll into 1 inch balls. Place on cookie sheet and Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until brown.
Cookies the Way You Like ‘Em
1 18.25 oz box cake mix
2 eggs
½ c vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine cake mix, eggs and oil. Mix well, then add the optional ingredients and blend in. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 9 to 12 minutes.
Mix or match following additional ingredients: 6 oz mini chocolate chips, 6 oz butterscotch chips, 6 oz peanut butter chips
Fruit Filled Oatmeal Bars

¼ tsp baking soda
1½ c butter
1 10oz jar of jam

1 c flour
1 c quick cooking rolled oats
2/3 c brown sugar
In a mixing bowl combine flour, oats, brown sugar and baking soda. Cut in margarine or butter till mixture resembles course crumbs. Reserve 1 1/2 cup of flour mixture. Press remaining flour mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 9x9x2 baking pan. Spread with desired filled. Sprinkle with reserved flour mixture. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until the top is golden. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Makes 25
Breakfast Bake

6 eggs
1 lb shredded cheddar cheese
1½ c milk
1 can cheddar soup

8 slices white bread
1 lb sausage browned
1 tsp salt
¾ tsp dry mustard
2¼ c milk
Cube bread. Line greased 9x13 glass dish with bread cubes, then cheese, then sausage. Beat eggs, milk, salt, mustard, together and pour over bread. Let stand over night in refrigerator, covered. Next day, before baking mix soup and 1 1/2 cup milk together and pour over dish. Bake uncovered for 325 for one hour.
German Waffles

Pinch of salt
½ cube butter

6 eggs
1 c flour
1 c milk
Melt butter in 9 x 12 pan in 400 degree oven. Meanwhile mix first four ingredients together with a wire whisk till well blended. When butter is melted pour egg mixture in pan and place back in oven. Cook 20 minutes. Mixture will puff up and then fall back down after it is taken out of the over. Serve with syrup or powdered sugar.
Buttermilk Syrup
2 c sugar
1 c buttermilk
2 cube butter
2 Tbl light corn syrup
Bring to boil for 1 minute then add:
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
Fresh Lemonade
6 c cold water
¾ c sugar
1 Tbl grated lemon peel
½ c lemon juice
Chex Muddy Buddies

¼ c butter
1 tsp vanilla
Powder Sugar
9 c Chex
1 c chocolate chips
½ c peanut butter
Melt chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter on high for 1 ½ minutes. Stir in vanilla. Pour over chex mix. Put mix into plastic baggie and shake in powder sugar.

I think that's everything! I will say goodbye for now. My mom will be putting up my weekly emails on this site so that you guys can continue to hear about my amazing journey, but this is it for me! 
I will end with one final thing. It's worth it. I promise that nothing in this life can compare to going on a mission and fulfilling the purpose that the Lord has for you. I could not be more terrified at this moment, but deep down, I am completely at peace. I know that I am on the path that the Savior wants me to be. I know that He loves me and that I am in His Hands. He will keep me safe. 
I know that this church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. It is the one church on this earth that has the fullness of Christ's teachings, untwisted from centuries of retelling. It was restored by Joseph Smith Jr who was a prophet. He was led by an angel, even Moroni, to find the plates and, by the will and power of God, he translated that ancient Egyptian into what we now call the Book of Mormon. It is a true book. It teaches how to return to Christ and how to become like Him. It teaches truth. I know that this church is a continuation of Christ's and that President Thomas S. Monson runs in His place today. He speaks under His power and also only wants our happiness. I know that all of this and so much more is true. I challenge you to, if you have not, read the Book of Mormon. If you will put forth the effort to read it and honestly give it a chance and then get down on your knees and sincerely ask if it is true, your loving Heavenly Father will answer you. He will speak to your heart that it is true. He loves you. I say these things in the name of my Lord and Savior, even Jesus Christ, Amen.