It was so good to hear from you! I really needed a boost today. This week has been very difficult. First, Mom, did you send any letters after yours/Josh's? I didn't get any and I don't think I got one from Brit and I was really looking forward to that. Just wondering.
Well, this week has been hard. I can't believe that it's only been one week. I feel like I've lived a life time. I think back to last Monday when I emailed y'all. Sis Junk was still here, the bugs were really terrible. Things were hard but they were going. Now I am with a new companion, I lived in a different home all weekend and Sis Junk is back with her family. So much has happened. I can barely wrap my head around it.
This week has been really hard on me emotionally. I know that you and so many others have told me that I didn't fail, that I did my best, but I still can't bring myself to believing it. I feel like I failed Sis Junk, you all, Jasper and the Lord. I just keep thinking back to those first 2 and a half weeks and I keep thinking, "What could I have done better?" I know I shouldn't. I know I should trust in the Lord with all my heart, but my heart keeps betraying me. If that makes any sense. My head knows that her going home was logical and I did all I could or knew how to do at that time. My brain understands. But my heart feels torn in half. As you can imagine, it's been hard. But I am doing better. Sister Black, my new comp, is amazing. She is 19, from Ammon, Utah, plays the violin (amazingly Mandy!), has super tight naturally curly hair, has a quiet strong personality and I love her to death already. She has helped me through this week. The Lord has prepared her for amazing things and together we will go forth and work.
Like I mentioned before, I have been in a different home all weekend. The Braedon's (older couple, remind me a ton of Grandpa Thorne and Grandma Nancy. Bro Braedon is a bigger tease than dad and Sis Braedon is one of the sweetest little woman I have ever met) have taken us in under their wing. They have a basement apartment and they have let us live there for the weekend to de-stress and have a safe home for a while. Being in their home, I feel like I have a family again. They are so loving and supportive. They take complete care of us. Being in a home with the spirit so strong and the priesthood there 24/7 has completely recharged me. I love this couple to death and Bro Braedon is one of the best cooks I have ever met. I will be sad to go back to our apartment today.
As for investigators this week:Jason. We had a really awesome lesson with him on Tuesday. He was still stuck in his ways of the bible and his heart was very hard until Sis Junk said the closing prayer. She asked that the confusion be lifted from his mind that he may be able to discern the truth. After that prayer, he looked up and said, "Do you think my learning may be keeping me from the truth?" We could have shouted for joy! We quickly opened to 2 Nephi 9:28-29 and talked about how the devil can use learning to blind people. He was very quiet and thoughtful. We then extended the challenge to study only from the Book of Mormon for one week, not the bible. He agreed to do so and we are meeting with him tomorrow to see how that week long challenge went.
Next is Angela. AWESOME woman! We talked about the Plan of Salvation with her last Tuesday and it really touched her. She started the lesson by saying, "I believe in reincarnation." And then ended the lesson with, "I believe in everything you taught me. When can you come again?" Talk about amazing! We also set a bap date with her for June 22nd. We will meet with her again tonight. I am very excited to see how she is progressing.
Tammy. Tammy has been meeting with missionaries for about 2-3 years now. She has had several bap dates set but could never quit smoking so she never made any of them. On Friday, we taught her the 15 step program at a member's house (The Trusty's). They take Tammy to church and have been friends with her for years. She came to church on Sunday and so far is doing really well with the stop smoking program. She hasn't touched a cigarette since I think Wednesday or Thursday. Her bap date is set for July 6. But we are meeting with her tomorrow and we hope to move it up depending on how she is doing with the program.
Magenta and Nikita are our next 2 progressing. Their situation is hard. Nikita is 12 and Magenta is 11. We read from the Book of Mormon with them. We met them last Monday. They are amazing children. They are incredibly smart and they love reading from the Book of Mormon and they actually understand the scripture language. They feel the spirit and they want to get baptized. Really badly. But we talked to their parents and they said absolutely not..... :( Apparently they were baptized Methodist last year and their mom had a bad experience with Mormons in the past and will allow them to study with us but nothing more. Because of this and how young they are, we don't know if we should drop them or keep going. I don't know. I don't want to let down those kids, but the parents... Any advice?
Lastly is Tasha. She wasn't progressing until our awesome lesson last night. We were supposed to meet with her last week but she kept dodging us. Every time we would go to meet her she was "just heading somewhere" or she was "really busy". We went over at least 3 times this past week and still nothing. We were getting ready to drop her when we went last night with Sister Hughlett (a member). At first, she dodged us and said come back in an hour. So we did. This time around we came up and she said, "Now is really just not a good time with my mom and everything. Maybe you all should just leave." I was about to turn around and go when suddenly I kept talking! I don't know what I said but suddenly Tasha was crying. Next thing I knew, I was wrapping her in a hug as she was crying in my arms and I was saying, "We're here for you. What's going on? You can talk to us." She then went on to explain about her mother living with them. Apparently she verbally abuses Tasha's 5 kids all the time. Tasha is woken up by her yelling and she gets the kids dressed and refuses to go back into the house until it is time to go to bed that night. That's why she hadn't wanted to meet with us at her house. We listened to her for a long time and then agreed to meet at the park with her tomorrow. She was so relieved and is really excited to come talk to us more tomorrow. That was such a testimony builder to me that God knows each and every one of His children. He knows who we are, where we are and exactly what we need, when we need it. Tasha is one of His daughters and He cares for her infinitely. I can't wait to meet with her again and talk with her more.
As for your letter:
First, thanks for your words of inspiration Mum. They are exactly what I needed to hear. Something I've learned this past week is that the spirit is a confirmer of truth. That's why people in other churches can have spiritual experiences. When they hear of the truth, the spirit will whisper to them, "almost there" and they get excited thinking they've found something. Whenever we hear something that is true or right, the spirit will tell us so. As I was reading your paragraph to help lift me up, I felt that confirmation. I started crying actually. :P So thank you. I will try with all my soul to believe it. And yes, Sis Black was one of Sis Earl's companions.
Oh! We had a baptism this past weekend! The 5 _____ kids finally got baptized! Desirrae, the mom, was baptized like 2-3 months ago and on Saturday 5 of her 7 kids finally got baptized. I believe that Mandy is emailing Sydney, the oldest girl, who is 12 and also a directioner. Syd is seriously my pal out here. Other than Sis Black, she's like my best friend. I love that girl to death. She is going to grow up and do amazing things.
Thanks so much for the fb pics! Keep doing that! I love seeing my gorgeous friends and hearing a small bit about their lives. I miss them so darn stinkin much! Tell Kadi congrats. Again. Kaizi is stunning already. Tell Kei that I love the hair and it's super cute. Please? :)
And is it only 4 weeks left for Kendall already? Wow.... did you know that your b-day, the 18th was officially my 2 month mark? I have now been in the GKLM or out in the field for 2 months and 2 days. That's also the day the Ferrara kids got baptized! Quite the awesome day! So I am 1/9 done with my mission. Time is flying by SO quickly! People always said that but you don't really understand until you are out here.
Brit: LOVE THE PICTURES!!!! How on earth are you so beautifully stunning? I think that if the king saw you, Queen Esther would have some competition for the throne! (Hahaha! I'm so hilarious.... oh missionary puns.... :D ) And such a spiritual giant as well. I am so glad that everything is going well. Do you graduate this week? I hope I get pics!
Mandy: I'm glad to hear that you had a party with all your friends! I hope that everything went well! You are so gorgeous and don't you ever forget how much I love you. Syd reads your emails to me and she told me how excited you were to get a random pic. She talks about you all the time. Have fun with all these new friends! How is Mariah doing by the way?
Josh: Baptisms for the first time huh???? Wow, I am so very jealous.... Seriously, I miss the temple so bad. Enjoy every single minute you have in there. It is a precious sacred place. Don't ever take it for granted. Especially when the closest temple around here is Louisville and it’s 2 hours away. Then there is St. Louis that is 3. You have so many temples so close. Cherish them. I know that I took them for granted. Especially Salt Lake. A lot of people out here only get to go once, when they are married. Some don't even get that. That temple is very special and we are lucky enough to live so close.
Brandon: Congrats on the race dude! And I LOVE your haircut! You look adorable as always. You are growing up so fast! When did my little boy start looking so old? Stop it silly! haha I love you!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MMMMMMOOOOOOMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!! (I hope that the rest of the family sang it as you read it, if not, you should do it again. :) ) Happy birthday mom. I talked about you all day Saturday. I told everyone at the baptism how amazing of a Mom I have and last Mother's day I gave my testimony in sacrament that turned into an on the spot talk (one of the speakers got sick so I took her place). I told everyone how amazing of a mom I've got and that I wouldn't be here without her. Don't you ever forget how precious you are to me. Your example of dedication and hard work keeps me going every day. I love you.
Wow, this week was a long email! But that's because I didn't have a time limit. We're at the Braedon's instead of the library. I love you all so much! I can't wait to hear from you next week!
Word of the week: Hardee's. It's actually a restaurant. In Utah, they are known as Carl's Jr. but here they are Hardee's.
Advice of the week: Event by Event. This is some advice that Elder Tuttle gave me. It's really helped me to get through this week because sometimes even taking it Day by Day can be exhausting and overwhelming so just take it Event by Event and soon enough, you're already 2 months done with your mission. :)
Talk to you next week!
Loves forever, Sister Thorne
Don’t give up on Magenta and Nakita. And don’t give up on their parents. That mom needs to have a good experience with the church and that is going to be you and your companion. If you give up on them they will say that you only wanted another baptism. I think you should just be there for the whole family. Does that make sense?
That really makes sense actually. I think that may have been the advice we were looking for. Thank you so much mom! Things are starting to look up. We may be able to stay at the Braedon's until Zone Conference Friday and then get a new apartment instead of going back to that other one. Pray for us to get a new apartment please! I think they are trying to get out of the lease right now but are having a difficult time. We would really appreciate it. We have to go, but I love you! Never forget it!
Yes, yes we did tract that gigantuan house. That would be Sis Junk's idea. She wanted it to be the last house she ever tracted. No, they weren't interested.
BreAnna and I showing off our new necklaces. Mine has an S and hers has a B and Sis Junk's has a J. They were a gift.
Sis Black and I
Back row: Angel (14), Sis Black, Me, Sydney (12) Front row: Scott (8), Geanna (9) and Alex (10). This was the day of their baptism. After everything was over we went to Sis Hughlett's for ribs to celebrate. :) That was a fun night.