Hey Thorne Fam!
Another week gone. That's so crazy! It seems like just yesterday that I emailed you. This week has been very difficult and very very busy. We had Monday-Memorial Day, Tuesday-P-day, Wednesday-work HARD, Thursday-District Meeting, Friday-The Funeral and Sister Training Conference, Saturday-Weekly Planning and Sunday-Church. Add on top of that our studies and daily training; Wow. There was a lot to do this week. Also, last week, we actually lost contact with nearly all of our investigators. None of them would answer phone calls or doors. We were very worried. But over the past weekend we were able to miraculously contact each of them again. I say miraculously because it was never planned. We would be driving down the road and see them walking down the side. We went to the park for a lesson and saw one of them sitting on a bench. It was never planned. But we were listening to the spirit and following it. Heavenly Father knows where His children are and if we listen to Him, we will be led to them. That has probably been my biggest lesson I learned this week.
As for our investigators:
I first want to talk about Tosha. She is amazing. She has a little 6 month old and she wants to get back into religion so that her daughter can grow up with it. She has had 3 miscarriages and has lost her grandfather and brother whom she was very close to. Every commitment we have given her she has kept. She prays and reads. She's excited for baptism. She doesn't smoke. She's awesome. There's only one problem. She was supposed to come to church Sunday (we had a ride worked out for her and everything) and the ride came to church and said when they went to the house, the father came out and said that Tosha was in the hospital! She is pregnant right now so we are hoping and praying it's not the baby. We haven't been able to contact her yet but we will be calling her again today.
The next ones I'd like to talk about are Dustin and Jennifer. They are engaged and as cute as can be. We found them contacting at the park. We have taught them 2 times and they are reading in the Book of Mormon. They're only hang up is that they get caught over the little things. Little questions that don't matter. We will have to address that as we go on. Our goal for them this week is to commit them to baptism.
Next is Tammy. We have discovered why she couldn't stop smoking! She doesn't understand the doctrine. Apparently she doesn't remember anything about the lessons she has been taught by previous missionaries. She didn't even remember that we don't believe in only Heaven and Hell! So we are reteaching her (and her 2 daughters) all the lessons. As we taught about the Celestial Kingdom and all it means to us and how it is there we can be with our families for forever and then talked about how we have to obey ALL of God's commandments to get there, you could see the wheels turning in her head. Hopefully as she better understands the doctrine, she will have a greater desire to quit smoking.
Finally is Emma and Joanna. We had the most miraculous lesson with them and especially for Joanna. We were going to talk about the Plan of Salvation but we went in and they hadn't done their Book of Mormon reading so, like the Zone Conference training had taught us, we dropped that lesson and read from the Book of Mormon and talked about how important it is to read from it and pray about it. Halfway through talking about that Joanna mentioned how she didn't like praying. We asked Why and she said it was because she didn't feel like she was important enough to talk to God. That just broke my heart. This 11 year old girl didn't feel like her Heavenly Father loved her. So we immediately, we all got down on our knees and had her ask God if He loved her. We stayed silent for a moment and then asked how Emma felt. She said good. We talked about how the Holy Ghost is a still small voice and suddenly Joanna said, Oh! So that's what that is! We asked her what she meant and she said that there was this voice repeating in her head, "Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!" She was very touched as were we all. We are doing a church tour with the two of them this afternoon. That was a huge testimony builder to me that God loves each of us individually and most especially His very precious daughters. Amazing.
As for you letter: Yes, Sister Junk left the recorder with me. She is so sweet! I don't know if you know, but she is actually in Oklahoma right now working. Thankfully, she is safe. She has been doing service all week, picking up from the tornadoes.
Sister Black and I actually talked about that this week. It's a good thing Heavenly Father knows I would have died if I had gone foreign! Bugs. Yuck. haha :)
The funeral did go well. It was very beautiful. I played the piano from 9-11 (yes, 2 entire hours. My butt hurt SO bad!) during the visitation before the funeral. Then I played the opening and closing song. It was a lot easier for me to handle because I had been to a little 2 yr old funeral before. Anna was very close on my mind during the entire thing. Many people have not though. We found out he died by asphyxiation. While he was napping, throw up got lodged in his throat and he stopped breathing. The Bland family are amazing and such a strength to me. Each of them bore their testimony yesterday and were such examples to do so. I can't even believe they actually came to church. I will strive for the rest of my life to have the quiet dignity and strength of Sister Amy Bland.
If you can, tell Malia and Nick hi and that I love them lots. :) I hope that all is going well for them and life is flowing smoothly. Yes, Cam is at the MTC. He sends me a little snip it weekly about how he is doing. Pray for him. He's struggling with the language. But he is doing amazingly. :)
Brit: (sung to the tune of Happy Birthday) CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU!! CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU!!! CONGRATULATIONS DEAR BRITNEY!!!! CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so proud of you my dear! Graduating is huge! I have thought of you especially this week and have prayed for you diligently. I hope that all these preparations are going well and that you are so excited and ready for the pageant. Never forget how much I love you and how I tell everyone out here about my gorgeous sister who is going to go on a mission and who I am so proud of. Love you!!! :)
Manda-Lou: *secret handshake* How's my girl doing?? I haven't heard from you in forever. Syd gives me an update on you whenever she gets one. Is school almost over? Are you excited? What's it like living in Zach's ward? I bet it's a blast! If I lived that close to a cousin so close to my age, he'd be like my best friend!!! I bet that's so cool. :) Lead with power and authority and most especially by example. I have learned the importance a leader can play in your life out here. Those girls will grow to love and respect you. Don't do anything to lose that precious trust. :)
Joshua: Don't you dare quit piano dude. Just saying. I am the only piano player in the Jasper Ward right now and I played for the funeral and I play for Primary or Relief Society on Sunday. Playing the piano is such a precious talent and you will use it on your mission. I can already imagine how amazing you play. I hope to hear you play a Beethoven for me by the time I get home okay? :) I love you so much and I think about you every single day. :)
Brandon: DUDIE! I hope you are doing okay! I love you so much! How are your adventures goin? Be good for mom and dad okay? I'm glad your hair looks good again. :)
Also this week I got a letter from Grandma Kathy. She said she sent it to the mission home but she actually sent it to Evansville. I think she thinks my Evansville address is the mission home address. Do you think you could clear that up for me? And thank her for the letter. It came just when I needed it. I can't even put into words how much it meant to me.
I think that's it for this week. I love you all so much! Pray for us extra this week. Transfer Saturday (June 8) is always really really hard and stressful. We'll see what happens and I'll email you next Monday. Be good! Make good choices!