Monday, September 29, 2014

A Day of Homecoming

There are many things that we do each day and at different points in our life. When we are young, we wake up, go to school, eat. We grow and begin to drive and date. Eventually, we leave home and decide what we will do with our life. Get married, go to college, find a job, start a family. As our life continues, we do more and more, always adding to the never ending list of to dos. But just as vital as what we do is who we are.
We can go through the motions of life and never let anything really change us. We can do Christian things, but not be a Christian. That is the fact of doing. But as we are doing, who are we becoming? Our Savior, Jesus Christ has said, “Behold I am the light; I have set an example for you.” (3 Nephi 18:16) The life the Savior led was one of humility, charity, strength and obedience. As we work to emulate Christ’s life, we will be able to become the amazing work of art that our Father sees us becoming. But we can’t become like the Savior if we don’t know who He is. The next question then would be, who was the man named Jesus of Nazareth?
Humble. 2000 years ago, a babe was born in a manger. He would come to be known as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, but on that night, none watched over but the stable animals and the local shepherds. He truly was humble.
Knowledgeable. As the babe grew, he increased in wisdom. When he was just a boy, his parents took him to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. As they left the feast, they looked to their company and realized the Boy was not with them. They frantically ran back to the city where they found Him in the temple among the rabbi’s and teachers who were both hearing and questioning the young Boy. And “all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.” (Luke 2:47) Mary and Joseph were stunned and, after gathering the Boy, headed back to their home town while Mary pondered all these things within her heart. As He grew, we are told that He “increased in wisdom and stature.” (Luke 2:52) He truly was knowledgeable.
Obedient. The Boy became a man and at the age of 30, he left into the wilderness in search of John the Baptist. As Jesus came to John, John looked to him in surprise. “I have need to be baptized of thee,” (Matthew 3:14) he said. John knew who this man was. He recognized in him one who was perfect, without sin or blemish. Why would a perfect person need to be baptized? Jesus responded, “Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.” (Matthew 3:15) The Savior understood the eternal significance of being obedient.
Hopeful. After His baptism, Jesus began his earthly ministry. One day, a ruler of the synagogue, came to the Savior pleading for His help. The man’s daughter was on her deathbed and she was but 12 years old. Jesus followed the man to his home, but as they went, they were stopped by a servant who told the ruler, “Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?” (Mark 3:35) Hearing this and knowing of the sorrow that must have filled the man’s heart, Jesus quickly said, “Be not afraid, only believe.” (Mark 3:36) They continued to the man’s house and as the Savior looked down on the still body he quietly says, “Talitha cumi” (Mark 5:41) meaning “Daughter, arise.” The young girl was healed and the man was filled with joy. Truly, the Savior was an emblem of hope.
Faithful.  As the Savior continued His ministry, another parent came to him. This man’s son had been afflicted with a devil from a young age. The father plead with Jesus saying, “If thou canst do anything, have compassion on us, and help us.” (Mark 9:22) Surely the Savior knew of the hardships of this man’s family. Constantly having to care and look after a boy who would throw himself into the fire, gnash at his teeth and tear at his own body. How exhausted the boy’s parents must have been. In response, the Savior says, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” (Mark 9:23) Straightway, the father cries, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” (Mark 9:24) With the seed of faith that this father held, the Savior healed his son. Even thou the man was still yet filled with unbelief, the Savior knew of his faith and yearned to help him build it. Truly the Savior knew the power of faith.
Charity. Though Jesus went about doing good, many were not happy with the way He taught. There were some who constantly tried to find new ways to condemn Him. One such group of people brought a woman to the Savior. With accusatory glances they described why this woman was at Jesus’s feet. “Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?” (John 8:4-5) Instead of looking at the accusers, the Savior looks at the ground and begins to write. His response was simple, “He that is without sin, let him cast the first stone.” (John 8:7) There was only one in the room without sin who had the authority to cast a stone at the adulterous woman and that was Jesus himself. Slowly, each of the accusers left the room, leaving Jesus and the woman alone. What does the Savior do to the woman now? Does He through the stone? No. He looked to the woman, eyes full of love and said, “Woman, where are those thine accusers?” (John 8:10) With a heart full of gratitude which only the forgiven can understand she said, “No man, Lord.” “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” Charity is so much more than an act of service or money given to an organization. It is the pure love of Christ. Truly, Christ was our perfect example of charity.
Courageous. The condemnation continued until the accusers could wait no more. They accused Jesus of their highest treason, blasphemy and condemned him to death. They bound Jesus in chords and took him to the governor, Pilate, to be judged. Standing before this great Roman authority, the Savior boldly proclaimed, “My kingdom is not of this world. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world.” (John 18:36-37) Even in His last moments, Jesus was courageous.
Trusting. Just before judgment, the Savior prophesied to His apostles of the hour that would soon come where they would each “be scattered, every man to his own” (John 16:32) and would leave the Savior alone. Nevertheless he said “He that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone” (John 8:29) As the Savior proceeded with the infinite and essential Atonement which only He could accomplish, the Father knew that for the Atonement to be complete, the Savior would need to finish this great act on His own. Thus, as the Savior hung on the cross, he cried “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” meaning “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” For a moment, the Eternal Father would need to withdraw His Spirit and the Savior would be left completely and utterly alone. Here was the ultimate test. Even though the Savior could not feel His Father around Him, would he still hold strong to the promises that had been made to Him? Would he completely and totally trust in His Father? Yes. Of all things, the Savior was always trusting in His Father.
Humble, knowledgeable, obedient, hopeful, faithful, charitable, courageous and trusting. It is essential that each of us develop these attributes in this life. But how? How can we possibly hope to attain a level of perfection and example that the Savior showed? The Book of Mormon gives us the answer. “Come unto Christ and be perfected in Him,” (Moroni 10:32) Through our Savior and His atonement, we truly can be perfected. We can develop each of these traits through earnest study, prayer and action.
I know that on my mission, I could have gone through the motions and done all of the things that missionaries do. But instead of doing missionary work, the Father needs each of us to be missionaries. There were very specific instances in which each of these attributes became important. Times where without them, I would have utterly failed.
I began my mission in Evansville, Indiana. I was so excited to be a missionary. But I quickly realized that I had a lot to learn. I was trained by one of the best sisters I’ve ever known, Sister Chelsey Earl. Yes, she taught me how to do missionary work; how to teach, make lesson plans, contact people on the street. But more than anything else, she taught me how to be a missionary. She was my example of someone who truly loved her mission. I could not have been more excited to continue to learn at her feet for the 12 weeks I would be trained by her. Then, 6 weeks into my mission, we got a call from our mission president. “Sister Thorne,” he said, “The Lord has a great calling for you. He needs you to open a new area in Jasper, Indiana and train one of our new sisters coming in. Will you answer the Lord’s call?” My heart sank. In shock I said, “I will go and do whatever the Lord needs me to.” He then asked to talk to Sister Earl so I handed the phone to her. Suddenly, the car was suffocating me. I couldn’t breathe. I looked to her and mouthed that I needed some air. I got out of the car and immediately, all my strength came crashing down. My shoulders shook with sobs and all I could do was pace behind the car and stare up at the heavens angrily. “How could you do this to me? I can’t do this! There’s no way you can expect me to do this. What on earth are you thinking?” After a minute, Sister Earl got out of the car and wrapped me in her arms. I calmed down and we headed into our appointment. Later that night, the zone leaders came and gave me a blessing. In the blessing, the Lord told me that He would give me the strength, the words, the gifts that I would need to accomplish what He had called me to do as long as I was willing to ask. He told me that I needed to never lose my hope, never lose my faith. Keep trusting in Him and everything would work out. As I left Evansville and went to Jasper with Sister Junk I prayed harder than I have ever done in my life and I faced many many hardships. The refiners fire was far from over. But through it all, I held strong to the hope that God had given me. Through prayer, I knew of the promises He had made to me. Hope truly is a power that can get us through anything.
Before my mission, I spent 11 days in the Provo MTC. It was a very overwhelming time. It felt like drinking from a fire hydrant. I specifically remember one day as we sat and the teacher, Sister McGill, told us that today we were going to learn about Charity. She started explaining that she had only felt true charity twice on her mission. Confusion came over my face. What? Charity was service you give to others. You go work at charities. Or you give money to them. How could she only have felt that twice on her mission? We then turned to Moroni 7:47 and read “Charity is the pure love of Christ.” Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Wait a minute. That was very different from the definition I grew up with. So immediately I set out to understand what Charity was. I spent many hours during those 11 days studying every scripture I could find that mentioned the word charity. Slowly, I understood that charity was truly the deepest love that could ever exist. It was the love that gave our Savior the strength and the reason to accomplish His great sacrifice. Because He loves us. I decided that that would be my mission goal. To develop true charity. It didn’t come all at once. I didn’t wake up one morning and say, “I have true charity for everyone!” It came gradually. So slowly, I didn’t even notice. But by the end of my mission, I realized that as I went through each day, as I talked to people on the street, I loved them. It didn’t matter what they looked like, who they were, or how they treated me. They were a son or daughter of our Heavenly Father. And He loved them eternally. So I did too. I have never felt so much happiness in my life. Understanding the love that God has for each of His children is truly miraculous.

Each of these attributes were goals that I had set for myself, things that I wanted to work on. But there is one trait more than any of the others that God worked within me without me even knowing. It is actually my ultimate spiritual weakness. That of trusting in God and His plan. I am the kind of person that always has my own plan. I always have steps set out to accomplish that plan and I know my limits so I know exactly what I can and can’t accomplish. I didn’t want to leave it up to God to accomplish my goals, because I didn’t know for certain that He would. I never truly trusted Him. That is why my favorite scripture is Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.” It is in reality my life goal. As my mission was coming to a close, I was filled with fear. What would happen next? Where would I go? What would I do? Would everything with school work out? I didn’t even want to begin to think about dating. There were so many what ifs that I had absolutely no control over. Each night, I fell to my knees asking for direction, answers, anything. But nothing happened. I remember one day, our plans started going terribly wrong. One of our investigators actually ended up in jail. Yep. Definitely not in the plan. Sister Brian came to me and asked, “What are we going to do? How is this going to work out?” Her eyes searched mine, begging that I would have some answer that would magically fix our problem. Without thinking about it, I said “I don’t know. But it’s going to be okay. Everything will be okay. God will make sure of it.” Sister Brian looked at me and asked, “How can you be so certain?” Suddenly, the Spirit was all around me. Tears filled my eyes and I said, “Because I trust Him.” In that moment, the Lord worked in me a mighty miracle. He showed me that through the course of 18 months, above all attributes, He had taught me how to trust Him. He had truly made my weakness into a strength. I knew that no matter what happened, either with our investigator, or once I got home, everything would be okay. It would all work out. Because I trusted my Father and I knew He was in charge.






Monday, September 15, 2014

September 15, 2014

Hey Thorne Fam!

Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. I can hardly fathom that this will be my final weekly letter to you. This is my last email as a full-time called representative of Jesus Christ. Time has flown by so quickly. More on that later.

So today is going to go in a different order and you'll see why in a second. First, your email:
1) Is there anything I can do to help the Swanson's and Kathy's family? Please tell them they are in my heart and in my prayers. How is the baby doing?
2) If it's alright with Brit, I think I will take her room. If just for the sake of having my hope chest with me. 
3) Congratulations Caleb! I hope you know that you and I will be having a talk before you leave. Don't be nervous. Well, be a little nervous. ;)
4) Guess what??? I'm all packed and weighed and under weight! Woot! I can't believe I just finished my final packing. C.R.A.Z.I.N.E.S.S.

This week was one of miracles!!! We were able to witness so many different miracles this week! It has built my testimony of Ether 12:6. Week 5 was our trial, but as we continued to trust in the Lord, He truly did fulfill His promises in His due time. Aka week 6! Here are a couple that we were able to be a part of:

We had a wonderful lesson with Kenny on Monday. We were able to follow the spirit and ask inspired questions to get a better understanding of where he is with his testimony at this time. He is not willing to make great changes yet, but we talked about how strength and courage comes from reading the scriptures. So we committed him to read the Book of Mormon and we will be reading with him each Monday night and then we can sit back, trust in the Lord and His promises and watch as the Book of Mormon brings a mighty change in Kenny's heart. :)

We met with Joe on Tuesday for the first time. He is athiest/agnostic/very less active Christian. So basically, he's just really confused. We talked with him about the nature of God and how we can only come to know if this message is trust through prayer and scripture study. We committed him to read Alma 32 and pray every night. He'll be a tough cookie, but he'll come. 

We stopped by Glenna's on Tuesday and also talked about prayer. Her heart is changing and we can see the light growing in her eyes every time we come by. She is starting to gain a hope through the resurrection of our Savior and it's an amazing process to watch. :) I am so grateful for the Light of Christ.

Also on Tuesday, we saw Kyle that night and talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We talked to him about baptism and why we need to be baptized. He said he's still praying about it. But.... *drum roll please* the biggest miracle was HIM SAYING THE CLOSING PRAYER! He totally was trying to back out of it too. But he didn't! He totally said a beautiful prayer! And know he can do it again. :) I am so proud of him!

Wednesday night we found new investigator Melissa. She is so adorable! And she lives close to our adorable member family the Lee's who will be perfect fellowship for her! She is working her way through UK's nursing program right now, has a deep belief in Jesus Christ and is curious to learn more about the Book of Mormon! It was a true testimony of contacting and talking to everyone. :)

Thursday night we had a quick doorstop lesson with our new investigator Sarah. She is so cute, has known Mormon's in the past and I just feel so very good about her. She has the glow about her and she wants so badly to be a good mom. She is very open, sincere and has a heart of gold. We haven't really gotten to know her yet, but she is reading the Book of Mormon and I firmly believe she will get baptized. 

Then on Friday we had a really neat lesson with Chris where we talked about what we need to do to receive revelation and how we can recognize the spirit speaking to us. Then he came to church on Sunday!!! It's the first time in 2 or 3 weeks. And not only did he come to church, but he commented in Gospel Principles and his comments were GOOD! They made all of us missionaries think! I think the Word of Wisdom scared him off for a couple weeks. But we backed down on that and he's coming a long again. Baby steps. :)

Saturday night we stopped by Pam's AND she came to church Sunday! She's only been 3 times since April but she did come! Only for sacrament meeting, but the ward was really good with letting her know she's been missed. Bluegrass is the best ward ever!

Sunday we had a really wonderful lesson with Mike and Dallas. We talked about the faith ladder aka how we can build faith. Faith begins at desire, then hope, belief, action, trial and then witness or knowledge. As we asked inspired questions, Mike told us that he has desire, but is not even at hope yet. So we talked about the things we need to do to grow faith. We committed him and Dallas to read the Book of Mormon each day (because neither are willing to pray. Period.) They said they would!

So as you can see, this week was amazing. I reflect now on my first week as a missionary. Back in Evansville, IN with my trainer Sister Earl. At that time, I thought I knew what it meant to love God. I thought I knew what charity was. I thought I knew about the Atonement, about who my Savior was, about the scriptures, prophets, Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon. I thought I had a testimony. But as I look back, I realized that I was still just on my faith ladder. I was acting, but didn't yet have a true witness. I feel like the past 18 months have been my biggest trial yet, but as such, they have produced the biggest witness. 

I know that this gospel is true. I know that my Heavenly Father knows me individually and loves me more than anything in this universe. Even though I may be small, my worth is great. I know that my Savior lives. I know that Jesus was not just a man, but truly the Redeemer of the world. I know He suffered for my sins, sorrows and pains and He understands just how to succor me. I know that He is truly my older brother. I know that through prayer, I can access all things which the Father has to offer me. I know what it means to trust Him. I know that the Priesthood is the power of God. It is how he works among us. It is how he speaks with us, blesses us, empowers each of us. I know that that priesthood was restored through a modern day prophet, even Joseph Smith. I know that I am eternally indebted for the great sacrifice he made to give us this gospel in it's fullness. I know that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon using the power of God. I truly know that we can grow nearer to our Father by delving into it's pages. I know how the Spirit speaks to me and I know what I must do to always have it with me and be able to recognize it. I know that trials and sacrifice will always come. But I also know that as we Trust in the Lord, He will fulfill His promises in His due time. I stand as a witness of my Savior and I would die for this gospel if that is what He asked of me. I will ALWAYS stand as His witness. I bear all these things as my personal testimony and do so in the name of my Redeemer, even Jesus Christ. Amen.

Love always,
Sister Thorne
 The amazing wonderful Stephens family! Bro Stephens is Josh Wright's cousin!!! He grew up in West Point and took drivers ed from Pop! Their kids are Bridger and Avery. I love them so much. :)
 Ashley DeVries and I. This girl is so awesome and I love her!
 Our awesome district!!!! Back row: Elder Watson, Elder Lowry, Elder Barker (ZL), Me, Sister Atkins, Sister Austin and Sister Brian. Front row: Elder Hansen, Elder Kidd (ZL), Elder Spaulding (DL). We are all such dorks. I just love us. GO BLUEGRASS FOREVER!
Me at the UK Commonwealth Stadium. Go Wildcats!!!! :D
Me as a bike missionary. I will sure miss these days. :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

September 8, 2014

Hey Thorne Fam!

This past week has been a very long, rough week. We had a lot of unexpected things happen and a lot of disappointments. But through it all, Sister Brian and I have set a goal that though we may get disappointed, we will never get discouraged. There is a big difference between those two words. Elder Holland teaches us in Preach My Gospel that we should definitely be disappointed when our investigators don't keep their commitments, but that we should never let that disappointment discourage us. It's so important to ever trust in the Lord. He will work everything out. :)

This week we have been putting a lot of our efforts into finding. We have tried to not only talk to everyone, but to do so in a way that our Savior would. To be sweetly bold in letting them fully understand the importance of the message we have. As we have done so this week, we have found 2 new investigators. One of which who has had a lot of contact with Latter-Day Saints in the past and is very curious in wanting to learn more! We know that she has been prepared for our message and we pray that we can be obedient and bind the Lord to fulfill His promises and help her enter the waters of baptism. 

My testimony this week is on a very interesting subject. Sister Brian and I prayed very fervently when we set our goals during weekly planning to know what the Lord's goal was for us this week. As we prayed the only words that came to my mind come from a song from Savior of the World. It says, "Trust in the Lord that He will fulfill His promises, in His due time." When I came out on my mission, my scripture for my missionary plague was Proverbs 3:5-6. Trusting God has always been something I have had a hard time with because 1) I like to be in control of the situation, 2) It's really hard for me to accept when things don't go the way I planned them and 3) I don't like to worry God with all of my problems. 2 and 3 have been solved pretty thoroughly as I have been out here on my mission, but I still struggle with 1. 

So this week, through every situation that occurs, Sister Brian and I have been letting go and putting it all in the Lord's hands. I have applied this principle to all aspects of things I have been worrying about. We have put our investigators in the Lord's hands and have trusted Him to change their hearts. I have also been very nervous for going home because I don't know what will happen and it is all in the Lord's hands. There's not much I can do or control. So it has been a very revelatory experience for me to apply this principle to every aspect of my life. When we learn to really let things go and trust in the Lord, all things will work out for our good. Whether in this life or the next. It will all be okay. Always. :)

As for your email:
1) Haha ditto on the timing Mum! I told Brit. Timing wise, 1/4 of your mission is in the MTC, 1/4 is the first 12 weeks, 1/4 is the last 6 weeks and 1/4 is all the rest! haha! 
2) Thanks for organizing everything! You have more to tell me next week?.... That makes me nervous.... Is any of it negative? XP
3) I agree with Mom on your letters Brit. They inspire me! You are such an amazing missionary! I told President Brough all about you and sent him part of your first email. He said he is also very impressed with you. You are doing amazing work sweetheart. :)
4) LOVE the cardboard cut outs! :D
5) Sounds like everyone had at least one fun thing to do this week! So glad that everyone is safe and creating adventures! I'm sure Josh and Mandy's choir sounds amazing! I can't wait to hear them! :D

Love you all so much!!!!

Love always,
Sister Thorne

PS Brit, I have still been sending you a letter a week. If you haven't been getting them, I am hoping they are at the mission office. If you get there and they aren't there, will you let me know? Thanks!
 A cookie in the shape of Kentucky!!! LOVE it!
 I think this is an alien. We found it on the road. I didn't think caterpillar's get this big so my vote is alien or parasite.
Kelly and Margaret (non members, but their daughter in New Hampshire is a member) took us out to Malone's to eat! Talk about fancy schmancy! I will probably never eat at a fancy restaurant like that ever again. It was so cool!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

September 2, 2014

Hey Thorne Fam! 

This week we've put a really big focus on recognizing and following the promptings of the Spirit. Also helping those we are teaching to recognize it and to get them to pray in Christ's name (following commitments we received from Elder Cardon at the mission conference last Monday).

To begin, the work this week has been a lot slower than weeks previous. So we decided to pray and follow the spirit in making some decisions to be more effective. We were spending a lot of time biking to investigators who we had lost contact with and dropping by to try and teach them again but we realized that the time taken to doing that was seriously decreasing our finding time. So we prayerfully went through the area book and dropped several of our least progressing investigators. From there we prayed about where in our area the Lord needs us and we will be spending more time finding those He has prepared to receive this gospel in those areas.

We also had an amazing lesson with Shymaila this week. She has been refusing to pray with us but this time we wanted to help her to pass that hump because we knew that it was only through prayer that she would be able to recognize the spirit and get her answers. We focused our lesson on prayer and why we pray in the name of Jesus Christ. We then told her that she was going to give the closing prayer, explained how (just as Elder Cardon did) and then got on our knees and.... SHE PRAYED! And on top of that, she prayed in the name of Jesus Christ! Which is HUGE for her! It was an amazing lesson. :)

Next we taught Billie. She is in the same situation as Shymaila. She wouldn't pray with us. She's agnostic and so that is a big step for her. But we taught a lesson on CPR (Church, Pray, Read) and the importance of doing all 3 in gaining our answers. She has been praying to know if God is real and she actually had something happen this week that give her something to pray for. But she said she didn't feel like she'd gotten any answers or direction. So we talked about different thoughts that have come to her and helped her to recognize that God was speaking to her and realize how the Spirit talks with her individually. The lesson ended with Elder Cardon's role play and SHE PRAYED TOO! So amazing!

The next day we taught Kyle. Now you have to know Kyle to understand this but praying in front of people is a HUGE step. Like almost as big as baptism. He's SUPER shy and doesn't understand why he has to pray out loud, what the difference is between that and praying individually. So we did the same role play but he wouldn't do it. He refused to budge. But we did get him to commit to pray in front of us at our lesson this week! I really hope he holds to that commitment. This is a huge step for him.

Then our miracle to top off our week. We found a new investigator, Dewana on Saturday and taught her for the first time Sunday. She has been so prepared! She completely accepted everything we taught her, the spirit was SO strong! She really connected with Joseph Smith's story and she committed to come to church next week, read and pray daily and then to be baptized September 27th if she came to know that these things were true! Finally, we came to the closing prayer. We knew how important it was for her to pray and begin to recognize the spirit answering her prayers. So we knelt down and though she was very nervous, she did it! And it was such a beautiful sincere prayer. :)

I know that it is only by praying that we can begin to recognize how the spirit talks to us. Sometimes it takes time and it takes quite a bit of courage, but He WILL answer us. And as we pay attention, we will be able to recognize that answer through the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost, we may know the truth of all things.

As for your email:
1) I can totally understand about the half marathon. Darn. But oh well! I will totally be the best cheerleader you've ever had! :D Go Mum and Brit! Woot! As for the homecoming talk, I think I'm with you on doing it September 28th. I would much rather do it sooner than later. And would that talk be in the Heritage Ward or in the Founders Park Ward? Whoa... I almost forgot the ward names! Haha!
2) Thanks for continued support Mum and Daddy. I have some amazing people here that could really use some of the things I've gained. I will probably be leaving a lot here. :)
3) Brit, you are an inspiration to me. Period. :)
4) I did get Grandma Great's letter the second week I was here in Lexington. So no worries there! Has she been getting my letters weekly? Tell her I love her and will see her soon!
5) Sounds like everyone in the family is doing wonderfully! Daddy, you look AWESOME on that bike! Woot! The Thorne(y) Biker Gang. Has a nice ring to it. :)

I love you all so very much! Have an amazing week! Work hard, have fun, be good, and love the people!

Love always,
Sister Thorne

P.S. I bought the shipping ticket for my bike today, it was $43. I will ship it September 15th and it should get to our house September 19th. So yay!

 We went to the Wildcat Warehouse yesterday and I got a sweatshirt, sweatpants and a t shirt ($75 value) for $10! So this is Hermana Bennett and I wearing our UK gear. GO UK!
 I think I found Snow White's cottage!!! New life dream, be a princess. Oh wait. I am! I love being the daughter of a king! ;D
We found this statue in front of a man's house and he said it's from Led Zepplin's Stairway to Heaven album but that it means whatever we'd like it to mean. One woman said it should be called "Looking for an honest man." I really like that. Either way, it was fun to take pictures by it. :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

August 26, 2014

Dear Thorne Fam,

This past week was seriously rough. We had 8 member presents fall through, one bap date fall apart and a couple experiences where we really felt the (as Nephi says) "fiery darts of the adversary." 

I do want to share one really cool experience this past week. Sunday night we went to go visit Hillary. She had gotten an apartment in downtown Lexington with some old family friends so that she could get out of the Salvation Army and focus more on getting a job. We had heard it was a pretty awful place, but we went with Sister Parkinson Sunday night to try and see her and lift her spirits. 

We got there and Hillary was 30 min late so we sat and had a great discussion with Sister Parkinson but there was a heaviness on my heart. As I looked around at the neighbors and their run down houses, I could see the beer bottles in their hands, the drug-induced far away stare, the awful blackness that seemed to hang over the entire area. I could not help but think of Nephi's vision in the last days when he said, "And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the whore of all the earth, and she sat upon many waters; and she had dominion over all the earth, among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people." 

We then went in to talk with Hillary and it was terrible. Here sat a woman who was trying so very hard to do what is right. She is reading the Book of Mormon every night, she is applying what she reads, she prays all the time. But because of her environment, she can't feel the spirit. The apartment she's in is awful. We saw a mouse running around while we were there and I can't even count how many cockroaches. There was so much despair over everything. We talked with her about her situation and she is talking to bishop tomorrow and may be moving in with the Parkinson's. This was all good news, but as I got home, but fell to my knees in prayer and just started crying. I felt like the devil had found my weakest link. Here were all these people in awful situations and I couldn't even help them. I couldn't make it all better. Every bone in my body wanted to lift them out of their deep pits, but one, they had to choose to work to do so and two, they weren't in my area. In that moment, I felt so hopeless. So dark. 

As I was praying, the Spirit told me to read the rest of the story that Nephi tells. So I got out my scriptures and continued to read 1 Nephi 14. It says, "And it came to pass that I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and its numbers were few, because of the wickedness and abominations of the whore who sat upon many waters; nevertheless, I beheld that the church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth were small, because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I saw. And it came to pass that I beheld that the great mother of abominations did gather together multitudes upon the face of all the earth, among all the nations of the Gentiles, to fight against the Lamb of God. And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory."

I know with all my heart that the covenants we have made at baptism and at the temple provide us with the power to fight the adversary. When we keep those covenants, we are literally arming ourselves with power and authority. Though our numbers may be few, we are the Hope of Israel. And we are a force to be reckoned with.

I am so grateful to be a part of this Army and I know that that call doesn't end when I take off the tag. That call began when I took on covenants at 8 years old and it continues until the enemy is defeated. So I will work every single day of my life to destroy his work and build up the Kingdom of God. 

As for your email:
1) There's totally a Versailles in Kentucky! It's a sister area too! Except here in Kentucky, you pronounce it Ver-sales. Yep. Sorry to make you wince Emma. ;)
2) I never taught this many people at one time in Louisville. Here in Lexinton, the people are so much more open to the gospel. I missed teaching so many people too. :)
4) I love your thought about never forgetting to pray so God doesn't forget to bless you! Hilarious!
5) Yes! I would love to start running with you! Do you think I could bike along side you for the half marathon? I know it's kind of last minute, but I would so love to be able to do that. :) If there's any way you could work that out, it would be awesome!
6) Yes, I am WAY less sore. Though my right knee is starting to hurt. I think I had my bike on too high of a gear this week so it was really hard on my knee. I'm turning it lower again so hopefully that should help and Sis Brian helped in Physical Therapy before she came out so she's going to give me some exercises. :)
7) Were you able to talk to Brit?
8) MI HERMANA ES EN URUGUAY!!!! :D Esa una chica! (That a girl!)
9) Dad, can I watch Merlin with you and Brandon when I get home????? And I got an update on Once Upon a Time from a member here so I totally have to get caught up on that too! :D
10) Question, do I need to bring my pillow home? Because if not, it would be way easier to just leave it. I was also going to leave my hangers, the purple sheets and the pink comforter I've inherited. Let me know if I need to bring any of those home.

Thank to you all! I love you so much!!! I'll talk to you next week! Go see miracles!

Love always,

Sister Thorne 
 My awesome sisters!!!! This is Hermana Barajas, Hermana Bennett, me and Sister Brian. I love these girls with all my heart!!!!
 Us wearing our awesome derby hats! We are SO cool! ;)
Sister Brian did my makeup one morning. She's such an artist with makeup! She said she's going to teach me! I'm excited! Cool huh? :) 
All the Sisters at the Elder Cardon conference. :) That was yesterday. That's why I'm emailing today. It was awesome!

Monday, August 18, 2014

August 18, 2014

Dear Thorne Fam, 

This week just FLEW by! I can't believe I am already emailing you again! I don't have a lot of time today, but I wanted to share a new testimony I've gained this week. Last Sunday (a week ago), all of sacrament meeting was on prayer. They specifically focused on Hymn #145 Prayer is the Soul's Sincere Desire. As I prayed during the sacrament, I decided that that was something I wanted to focus on this week. Not only my personal prayer, but helping people, through prayer, gain a better relationship with their Savior. 

A bit more background, before I came on my mission, I didn't ever really pray. I prayed with the family over dinner and whenever I was near a mental breakdown, but I definitely didn't pray daily. I thought I had a relationship with my Father, but out here, I realized that I really didn't. That realization came to me very powerfully about 4 months ago, so in last April. So I decided for the rest of my mission, that was something I was going to focus on. Since then, He has become my best friend, my most trusted confidant, my true Father. Whenever anything happens, He is the first one I want to tell. It has been such an amazing testimony to grow and this week I wanted to focus on helping others receive that testimony as well. 

From that focus, we have seen so many miracles happen!
As we were teaching Dallas, his atheist step father, Mike, actually came down from upstairs and sat in on the lesson AND agreed to meet with us again! We talked a lot about who God is and putting Him to the test to discover if He is real. Prayer. :)

Hillary got out of jail this week and has been really struggling, but as we talked with her about everything that has happened, we helped her to learn that this has been a great blessing because as she was in jail, she prayed more than she ever had before and was able to grow closer to her Father. She is realizing the relationship and peace that prayer brings.

Billie is an agnostic that has been praying to know if God is real, but she said that her prayers still just feel awkward and hallow. We were able to bear powerful testimony of Christ's deep love for her and His reality. She committed to continue to pray and not give up. I know that through prayer, she will gain her answer. 

Madelon brought a friend to her lesson and he has been going through a lot of serious problems. He told us that he hasn't prayed for 2 years because he realized his prayers had been all selfish. We showed him the power of gratitude prayers and helped him to realize that his relationship with his Father had been the reasoning for his loss of peace. He ended the lesson by offering his first prayer in years. :)

Chris has an amazing testimony of his Savior, but we weren't sure how to help him understand the restoration and the need he has to be baptized by the proper authority. After much prayer, we realized that we needed to focus on prayer and gaining his personal answer about the Book of Mormon. We read 3 Nephi 11 with him and talked about authority to be baptized. After this discussion, he committed to be baptized Sept 13th. Through prayer, I know that I will get to see him enter those waters before I go home. :)

Kenny was then also taught about the restoration, our first lesson with him. Sister Brian and I went on splits because we scheduled 2 appointments at the same time and I was very nervous to teach Kenny with Bro Webber and Sis Nikell. I prayed fervently for direction and realized that I need to listen and ask inspired questions. As I did so, the spirit was felt so strong and Kenny came to the conclusion that he needs to pray and ask if this is true, but more than that, once he gets his answer, he needs to act in faith and be baptized.

I know that prayer precedes hope, that hope precedes belief, that belief precedes faith, and that faith precedes miracles. As we pray with sincerity of heart, we WILL see miracles! I know that to be true!

As for y'alls email:
1) It actually hasn't been hot at all. We've had like 2 almost hot days, but it's been beautiful! The rain is much worse than the heat and we get our fair share of that. I'm glad I won't be here for the winter, because I think it's gonna be a brutal one. 
2) Such great shape.... right... hahaha.... I've only lost 1 lb so only 19 more to go! Thank goodness I'm going to start running when I get home! XP
3) We are living in an apartment. They are 3 story apartments and there's like 5 or 6 buildings in our complex. It's called the Regency apartments if you want to look them up. The people here are A LOT humbler than Middltown. And so much nicer! They actually let us say prayers with them! I will take pics of the apartment and send them next week. :)
4) We have no way to contact Benji as we don't have a phone number or address. So we will put that in the hands of God! And no new on Caleb. The Elders tried to meet with them, but he wouldn't answer the door. Oh well. We played our part.
5) I should get Grandma's letter this week. Sister Minson meets at the mission office for District meeting every Friday and can take any mail I get there and they will forward it to me. So no worries. I'll get it. :)
6) Mandy- looks like I'll have a lot of people to interview when I get home! Woot! This will be fun. >:) heehee
7) Josh and Brandon- HOLY MOLY YOU"RE GROWING UP! I hardly recognized you in the pictures! Stop growing silly boys!

haha love you all so much! It was a fantastic week and I can't wait for the one awaiting me. I love being a missionary!!!!!

Love always,
Sister Thorne

3243: Hermana Barajas, Me, Hermana Bennett, Sister Brian. We 4 sisters all get to live in the same apartment. I love these girls!!! We are family and we all look our for each other. :)

Monday, August 11, 2014

August 11, 2014

Hey Thorne Fam! 

So... I am in Lexington! Back in Eastern KY and for the first time ever, I am on a bike. I LOVE IT!!!!! I don't know why this secret has been kept from me for so long! Bike is definitely the way to go. We talk to so many different people and are out among God's children so much more than when we are in a car. It's the best!

This week we have already seen so many miracles. Let me go day by day. I think that would be best.

Tuesday: We had transfer meeting and then we traveled to Lexington! We got to the apartment and I unpacked everything. We then went out biking and contacting. We met several interesting people and everyone was so nice! We set a return appointment with Benji (someone we met) but it seemed super flaky. He wouldn't give us a phone number or address so we just agreed to meet at the church Friday afternoon.

Wednesday: The real work began. We had to make a stop at the Bike Store because I am finding my bike has a couple issues that make it a little scary. But we resolved some of them and are getting the rest fixed today. We then dropped by the Dyali's, Devi, and Shumylia. They are all from Nepal and speak little English. Dyali's and Devi weren't able to meet with us, but Shumylia was. It was such an interesting lesson. In Beckley, I have gotten very used to teaching to very smart life long Christians. Now I am back in an area where we need to help people have a relationship with God. So start at the VERY beginning. It's a completely different way of teaching and I'm having to go back to the way I taught in Morehead. It's an amazing experience to teach people, not lessons. We then went contacting and found Kenny! He has been taught by missionaries before and has a background in the gospel and was so open and nice! We are having our first lesson with him this Tuesday with Bro Webber. We then met with Chris who is living with Bro and Sis Cooke. He seems very curious and ended up coming to church Sunday! We are meeting with him again this week and we need to turn his curiosity into the beginnings of a testimony. :) We ended the night with dinner with Bro and Sis Stephens. 

Thursday: A lot of the day was spent Weekly Planning. We went through each investigator and Sis Brian told me the background on each one and then prayerfully assessed their needs and how to help them progress. After that, I feel like I have a much better handle on those we are teaching. We ended the day by visiting the Child's. A super adorable family who I already love dearly.

Friday: Friday was the day I gained part of my answer for why I am here in Bluegrass and a much deeper understanding of the Atonement. Friday began with a lesson with Aruna. She's Hindu and we are again trying to help her understand who Christ is. Same situation as Shumylia. We then biked to District Meeting (3 miles). After District meeting, we went to district lunch at Five Guys (3 miles) and then back to the church for Benji's appointment (another 3 miles). Here's where the story really starts. District meeting was all centered on having the faith to see miracles. So we specifically prayed to Heavenly Father and told Him that we had the faith that Benji would come to his appointment. We waited at the church, made phone calls, had mormon.org time and...... he never showed.... We were both kind of disappointed. So we decided to bike to our next appointment (about 7 miles away). We had an hour so we had plenty of time. We thought. Then while biking, Sis Brian saw Caleb, a former investigator. We passed him and then she decided we needed to go back and talk to him. We did and as soon as I saw his face, the Spirit told me something was VERY wrong. We made small talk and he wouldn't make eye contact. Within a couple minutes, he told us that everything was going wrong and he was on his way home to commit suicide. He has wanted to jump off the bridge, but decided that was too public so he was going back home to do it. At this point, I prayed that God would help me help His son. I honestly don't remember what I said. But I remember asking him to trust God enough to pray and ask if He was there. We all bowed our heads and he simply said, "Are you there?" We stayed silent for about a minute and then we looked at him. He face was shocked and he said, "I gotta go." We were just like, Wait what?? We ran after him and said, "Caleb, why do you have to go?" He said, "He's there." And turned to go again. Again we ran after him and asked what had happened. He told us that he looked up and saw his dad who had passed away from cancer 2 years ago. We followed him home and he told us that he was no longer planning on committing suicide and was willing to meet with the  YSA Elders again. So we called them and they headed over. 

But the story isn't over yet! After all that happened, we now had 15 min to make an hour bike ride to get to our appointment. All uphill. And I was already jelly legged from all the riding that morning. But I knew that through Christ I could do all things. So we went. I kept going and going. Pleading with God for strength. Over and over I repeated to myself Philippians 4:13. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. I knew that I could use the enabling power of my Savior's Atonement and He would get me there. I don't remember most of the bike ride. And we were only 10 min late. I KNOW that the Atonement is for more than just repentance. It is for daily strength. 

Another thing I learned that day? Every child of God is important. Every. Single. One. If I came to Bluegrass solely for Caleb. It was worth it. Because he is special and infinitely important in God's eyes. I know that I am here for more that that. But who knows? Maybe he is my August reason. :)

Saturday: We had a meeting with Sis Burton. We are going to start having an ESL class for all the immigrants we meet. She is a certified ESL teacher so we got some starting ideas from her. We are excited to start this class and help more of God's children! We also had a lesson with Pam Boyle (nonmember) and her daughter Hannah (member). We read 1 Nephi 1 and talked about the Atonement. I thought it went really well! Then we sat out the giant rain storm under a store awning and made phone calls to set up member presents for next week. We already have 6 confirmed! Woot! 

Sunday: Church at 11am and I love this ward! They are super involved with the missionaries and always here to help. It's also a pretty big ward! I will totally get a hold of this in 5 weeks. I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me. :)

As for your email:
1) My address is 2075 Regency Rd #72, Lexington, KY 40503. But continue sending everything to 1325 Eastern Pkwy because then nothing accidentally gets sent here when I head home, I can just pick it all up at the mission office. 
2) I was the most sore Thursday, but I stretch every morning and at least once during the day, so my muscles don't get too tight. It's just my butt. Ouch! Sitting on a bike seat HURTS! But that's getting better day by day too.
3) I got the cute pics of Kelsea and Stephen.Thanks!!!!
4) So Dad and Grandpa Thorne, I met someone you all know out here! His name is Jason Stephens. He grew up in West Point and took Drivers Ed from Gpa Thorne at Clearfield!!!! How crazy is that?!?! And it gets better. Do you remember Josh Wright? As in Madrigal Josh Wright? Yep, he's his cousin!!!!!! No flippin way right? And they totally look and act alike! Could I get Josh's email so I could tell him? That would be awesome! And I think he graduated with Kristie or Steve. He's younger. Crazy connections. :)
5) I am so sorry to hear about the tragedies. I wish there was more I could do or say. If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know. I would be more than happy. 
6) Just so you know Mom, I have thought and prayed about it a lot and I want to do Miss Syracuse again when I get home. I have a song idea and everything. It's a Chopin piece and it's amazing. :) 

Love you all so much!!!!!!

Love always,
Sister Thorne

Me being tired while Sis Brian makes phone calls.
 Sis Brian and I. Aren't we cute??? :)
Sis Brian and I at TGI Friday's 

Monday, August 4, 2014

August 4, 2014

Hey Thorne Fam!

First order of business, Sister Brough (new mission president's wife) has a new blog for our mission. Here's the new address! GKLMBrough.blogsspot.com

What a crazy crazy week we have had! In case anyone hadn't heard, I am being transferred!!! So I will spend the last 6 weeks of my mission in a different area. So crazy but unfortunately also very true. I leave tomorrow. I don't know where I will be going except that I know it is a bike area! Ah! I haven't been on a bike since February because my last 2 comps couldn't ride! I will probably come home on the plane sore. XP For this weeks email, I wanted to share a little more in depth of how the Lord has guided and comforted me this week because it has grown my testimony of trusting in the Lord and His plan.

So the beginning of this story actually starts a year and a half ago in a quaint town called Syracuse. When I originally filled out my mission papers, I set my availability date for December 26th, 2012. I was so very ready to leave. But then I didn't leave for the MTC until March 6th. And those couple months turned out to be very emotionally and spiritually hard for me and carried a lot of trial and questions in them. I often found myself on my knees asking God why He couldn't have sent me out on my mission sooner. Every time I prayed, the answer that quietly came to me was, "I have something very important for you to do in August." So I have known for a year and a half that there was something very important that God needed me to do this month.

Then, last Monday, I got a blessing from Elder Benham (our district leader). In the blessing, he talked about the places I would serve in my mission. As in, I would still have another area before I went home. I was stunned. I wasn't leaving Beckley! I was going to die here! Sister Minson and I had plans! I had plans! As I talked to Elder Benham later about those words in the blessing, he told me that he was not planning on saying that and it was completely Heavenly Father speaking to me. I was so taken aback from that. So I started praying.

I prayed and I prayed and I prayed. I would go into my room and just start crying. How could Heavenly Father want me to leave this are and these people I have grown to love? I LOVE this area. I LOVE my companion. It would be so hard to have to form this love for someone new and a new area in just 6 short weeks. I felt that I couldn't do it. But every time that I prayed the same quiet voice spoke the same quiet answer to me. "I have something very important for you to do in August. And it's not here."
The answer broke my heart. Finally, on Wednesday, I accepted that this was Heavenly Father's plan. And I needed to start trusting in Him more. From that point on, I prayed for strength to overcome my circumstances instead of for my circumstance to change. It was an amazing experience to completely submit my will to the Father's and say, "Father, THY will be done." Even now, I can feel the spirit encompass me with the sweetest comfort I have felt since I prayed after Grammy died.

Since then, I have continued to pray. Harder than I have in a long time. Whenever I start to think of the future and it overwhelms me, I want nothing more than to sink to my knees and tell my Heavenly Father about it. He has truly become my very best friend. I love Him so much. :) As I have prayed this week, I have had some very powerful manifestations of the spirit giving me comfort, peace and assurance.

I want each of you to know that I know that God is real. I know that He answers prayers. And more than anything else, I know that He has a plan for each of us and, if we are willing to trust Him, we will become something more than we ever imagined ourselves becoming.

As for your email:
1) Yep. I am getting transferred. :P I have been towing my bike around to each area throughout the mission, so I still have it! And it only costs about $50 to send it home and I definitely want to send it home because I have put a lot into that bike and it's worth more than $200. I have been trying to not spend money on anything else so I can have enough to send it home.
2) We went to the chiropractor again today. It was so wonderful! My neck continues to get better and the headaches less. Yay!!! Tender mercy. :)
3) The man raking his leaves is Jim. We were in the area looking for a LA but their address didn't even exist. So Jim was in the neighborhood just raking leaves outside his house so we decided to just go up and talk to him. That's how we met him. We still don't know how to find the LA.
4) Sounds like everyone had a really fun adventure filled week! It had better be written in everyone's journals! And the Ogden temple is BEAUTIFUL!!!!! Oh my goodness! It took my breath away. It doesn't even look like the same city! I can't wait to be able to go through! Hey Mom, maybe we could try for that instead of Marsh Lake. Could you call and see if there is anytime/openings they have for the first week or two where just me, you and Dad could go do a session? I would really love that. :)
5) STEPHEN HAS A DAUGHTER?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? What the flip??? I NEED PICTURES!!!! Is there anyway I could get any? And they are getting sealed! Oh my goodness! I couldn't be more proud of him. Please let him know that from me. :) AND KELSEA IS GETTING WHAT?!?!?!?!? I wish I could do a more shocked face over email. And she couldn't wait just a week more so I could be home and see it? Stinkpot. How dare she. ;D Love you Kels! Who is the lucky man?  Are they getting married in temple? How long have they been dating? I need details!!! Please? :)

Love you all so very much!!!! Have an amazing week!!!

Love always,
Sister Thorne
 Sister Minson, Judy and Me
 Elder Stohel's funeral. He's "dying" tomorrow and Elder Jergenson is holding the orphan sign because he's Elder Stohel's "son" and has only been trained for 6 weeks. So he will have to get a new dad now. Mission lingo! Gotta love it! Funeral idea inspired by Elder Cameron Waters. :)
 Elder Benham, Elder Hancock, Elder Butterfield, Elder Stohel, Elder Polson, Elder Casky, Elder Jergenson. Elder Davis is the little head below Elder Casky. Then Sister Galloway, Sister Black, Sister Thorne, Sister Minson.
We had an Arnold Palmer Picnic. Basically there is a road in our area where the median is big enough to fit a house. Kind of like they have a second front yard. So we figured we would have a picnic on the median. :) So much fun! We got White Castle and had a blast! :D

Monday, July 28, 2014

July 28, 2014

Hey Thorne Fam!

Guess what????? I went to a chiropractor today and now I feel like I'm a brand new person! Brother Harding is a member of the La Grange ward and is the brother in law of Sister Storms (one of my best friends here in this ward) and he helps missionaries out for free!!!! So we went today for the first time and we are going again next Monday. I have been getting this yucky headaches every day for the past couple of months because of my neck and today, they disappeared! It was miraculous! Amazing! Phenomenal! He was definitely a miracle sent to us. I am so grateful. :)

Now for this week, it was a bit of a rough week for me. I learned a very important lesson about the Atonement. As we went through our week, we had a lot of people cancel their appointments moments before we were planning to come over. The cherry of it all was when one of our 2 investigators canceled for church 2 hours before Sacrament Meeting and the other just decided not to show up. As sacrament began, I felt very frustrated inside and discouraged because of all the let downs we had had this past week. I specifically prayed that an answer would come to me during church about something I could do to help the situation. The answer was not what I was expecting.
As the talks proceeded and then through Gospel Principles and Relief Society, the message that kept standing out to me was that I could not take on others burdens as my own. These people had made this choice for themselves and it was not my responsibility to let those choices bring me down. As I stepped back, I realized that that was exactly what I had been doing. They were using their agency, though wrongly, and I was letting it discourage me when there was nothing more that I could do about it. So I decided to study the Atonement more. The Savior has already born all burdens. Every single one of them. If I will consciously choose to yoke myself with Him and work WITH Him, we will both come out together in the end. And I will be stronger than I ever have been before.
So Sister Minson and I went through our Area Book and prayed about each person we are teaching. We dropped over half of them as the spirit let us know that it wasn't the right time for them and then we could bring our focus to other miracles that the Lord had in store for us. We began going through our Formers and making calls. As we talked to people, I felt more clarity and direction. One of those we called gave us a return appointment for this Saturday. I don't know exactly what direction the Lord will be taking us, but I do know several things. I know that the gift of the Spirit and of Revelation is real. I know that the Atonement can get us through every day, it will carry us if we will let it. I know that our Savior loves us and I know that we will see miracles as we put His will above our own.

As for your email:
1) I am so sorry about the trials that have been placed in everyone's lives this week. I can't even imagine the sorrow and hurt that those involved are feeling. I wish there were words of comfort that could be offered, but I've learned from Charley that the only real comfort comes from the Spirit. That is why He is called The Comforter. I pray for all involved and that the Spirit will be able to bring peace to their souls.
2) The LA we were trying to see when we met Jim had an address that didn't exist. XP Is that the LA you are referencing?
3) Sounds like you all have had an amazing week full of a ton of adventures!!!! Mom, I was especially jealous of that jam. I didn't realize how precious your homemade jam was until I tried store bought. Ugh. Never again. Please save some for me for when I get home! Jam on bread... yum.... :)
4) Elisa, thank you for taking care of my family for me! Every picture I see of you you bring such light, joy and smiles to them all, especially Mandy. Thank you for helping them smile. I know I've never met you, but I really appreciate it. I will miss you! I pray you will fly home safely. If there's ever anything I can do to help you, please just ask. Love ya!

Well, I think that's all for this week! Love you all so much!!!!

Love always,
Sister Thorne
 This is mi Hermana. Love you Brit!!!!!!
This is our mailman's horse. Our mailman is named Brian and his mom lives in our area and she's keeps the land the horse is on so we go visit her and Star (the horse) each Tuesday. Star is quickly becoming a very good friend. I love her!!!!
 Guess what???? The PGA IS BEING HELD HERE IN MIDDLETOWN!!!! I know. Crazy right?! It starts next Monday and Tiger Woods will be less than a mile away from our apartment all week! That's so crazy. So if you watch the PGA you will get a look at our beautiful area and town of Middletown and get to see Kentucky in the summer. You won't ever see anything greener!
Crazy scary spider at a door we knocked on. I have no idea what kind it is but it's big and creepy.

Monday, July 21, 2014

July 21, 2014

Hey Thorne Fam!

What an amazing miraculous week we have had! We have truly seen so many miracles! 

So it began Monday night, I had been having a hard time with finding new investigators in this area and I was frustrated because it seemed that no one would even let us say a prayer with them! So this was my frustration and you know? God definitely has a sense of humor. Monday night we have dinner with a member and then are left with an hour of finding. A little back story, there's this one road, Oakhurst and for the past 3 weeks EVERY time we've prayed to know where we should go finding, that's the ONLY street that comes to mind. We had gone there at least 4-6 times. The last time we had gone there, we met the baptist preacher Aubrey. He was very kind, said a prayer with us and directed us to a member of his congregation, Pam, that was getting married soon that lived one street down and 2 maybe 3 houses in (gotta love Kentucky directions) and would probably love a prayer. So we went to that street and no one answered at the second house and the woman at the third house said she didn't know anyone by the name of Pam. So we left. Fast forward once again to Monday night. Once again, I felt we needed to go back to Oakhurst. So we decided to try the referral again. We knock on the second door in and a man answers. We say, "Hi! We are representatives of Jesus Christ and we've been sent to your home this evening to offer the Savior's peace and blessing through prayer. Could we say a prayer with you?" The man looks at us, puts his face in his hands and starts sobbing. We were both kind of taken aback. He looked up and said, "Girls, you don't know what you've just gotten yourselves into." He then proceeded to tell us that his 24 yr old daughter, Ryan was hit by a cement truck and killed a month ago. She's his only daughter. They have one son who is kind of holding the family together. The Mom is turning against God and the Dad was just hurt. We came in and talked for a while, said a prayer with him and offered to give him a Book of Mormon. He told us that his boss is actually Mormon and he had a copy of the Book of Mormon and had actually read a little in it! We set up to meet with him again on Thursday.

Next morning, we have an hour before our appointment so we pray about where God needs us and he directs us to try and find this LA that I hadn't heard of before. So we go to the street and... the address doesn't exist. "Grarg", I thought. So we are driving out of this circle and I see a man raking his leaves and think, "Talk to EVERYONE." So I stop that car and get out. Sister Minson said, "What are we doing?" "We're talking to that man." "What man? Oh... okay..." We go up and start talking, offer to say a prayer and he says, "Well, I actually have a really good friend who just lost his daughter, she was only 24 years old and was hit by a truck." Immediately Sister Minson and I look at each other like, No. Way. Sister Minson looks at him and says, "Is this Charley and Ryan?" "Yes... how did you know?" We told him the story of the night before and he collapsed in tears. We said a prayer with him and he told us how much he appreciated it.

Sister Minson and I discussed it later and decided that we were receiving Heavenly Referrals from Ryan herself. I'm sure that Ryan understand how much her parents and friends are hurting and she wants us to bring them comfort and the true Gospel of Christ. What an amazing miracle that we got to be a part of. I can't wait to meet her in heaven.

So we went to Charley's lesson on Thursday and it was SO spirit led. We all 3 cried and answered a lot of questions. Charley's biggest problem is his very catholic background. Because of those ideas, he wouldn't accept a specific return appointment but he did say that he would commit to continue the dialogue. I think it's hard for him to talk about everything that has happened. 

So yep! That was our miracle this past week! And this week, we already have 4 member presents set up and hopefully 2 will be in members homes. Miracles are happening! We just have to keep our eyes wide enough to see them and be worthy to play a part in them!

As for your email:
1) A TORNADO IN SYRACUSE?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! No flippin way! I haven't even seen a tornado like that! And I'm in Tornado valley! Not fair! I always miss the fun. XP I'm also sorry about the Japanese Fan. :(
2) Love the pics! Brit totally looks like Hermana Thorne. You can already see the difference in her eyes as she's walking away. The mantle and calling has been set. She is truly a representative of Christ. :)
3) Did you really cry all the way home when I left? I never got to hear what it was like for you all the rest of that day. Story time? :)
4) I'm so sorry to hear about Steve and Nat!!!! Oh my goodness! Is there anything I can do to help??? A letter maybe?

Looks like an amazing exciting week for everyone! I love you all so very much and hope you have just as miraculous of a week this week! Keep on keepin on! There are miracles everywhere!

Love always,
Sister Thorne

 This is Squeakette. She's insane. XP
Random pics just because!