Monday, March 31, 2014

March 31, 2014

Hello Thorne Fam!

Hello from beautiful Kentucky where it's finally turning green and the sun has decided to show it's face! This week has been a long, difficult but really amazing week. The work has hit a bit of a bump, but it's soon to be overcome. :) General conference is going to be miraculous. I just know it. Things are going to work out. :)

As for me, I am doing fantastic! I got very sick on Thursday and it's still lingering, but it's slowly going away. Thank goodness! I am so grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord.

We don't currently have any progressing investigators. No Debbie has not come to church yet. Josh is Tracy's husband, they got married last August. Mikaela is someone Sis Peterson and Sis Smith found but they were never able to work out schedules and actually sit down to teach a lesson. She canceled this past week, but we are meeting with her this week and will get Sis Graves to come and are going to get her to watch conference in a members home. :) That brings me to our conference plans! It's going to be an amazing miraculous weekend! We have 2 different investigating families that we will watch 2 sessions with (one each in a different members home). We will also be watching a session with the Azondoga family (LA we're working with). The last session is the only one up for debate. It will either be at Debbie's house or at Sheryl's (new investigator) house. I am thinking it will most likely be at Sheryl's. So we have a ton of fun plans it it's all about staying on top of everything to make it all work out. :) Also, just so you know Daddy, everyone we're planning to watch conference with I have made sure to tell them that I WILL be pointing out my Daddy. :) They are all super excited to watch for you! I'll see you Saturday! Can't wait!!! :D This will be my last conference as a missionary and by far, the best. :)

As for your email:
1) CONGRATS MANDY!!!!!!!!! I'M SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!!! Good going girl! Enjoy your time in Madrigals. :) It was a year I will never forget! Make sure to take pics and tell me all about Prom!
2) Hey Brit! Sounds like you're doing great! How's the temple? :) Also as a sidenote, Manda-lou, I am very proud to say you are looking more and more like Brit every week I see a pic of you. Every single time I think Wow. She is absolutely stunning. That's my gorgeous girls! Keep rockin those pretty smiles and that incredibly Light of Christ that MUST draw everyone to you. :)
3) Congrats on the bikin Brandon! You go dudie! And love you so much Josh! Sounds like everyone is doing so well!!!
4) I also watched the General Women's Broadcast. I kept getting goosebumps. :) My main thought throughout the entire thing was, "How can anyone say that women are oppressed in our religion?" That has been a huge thing the past few months in my mission. I have met probably at least 5-10 women who have either left our church or who won't investigate anymore simply because we don't have the priesthood and are "lesser" than men. But as I sat in the stake center, I couldn't help but beam as I felt the power of being a women and part of such an amazing work. :)
5) Can't wait to see family pics! Hope you got my good side. ;)
6) Good job on all your reading Mom! I have indeed read Divergent and also the second (I believe it's insurgent?). I just found out about the movie this past week from the Azondoga girls and nearly had a heart attack! That had better be on my list when I get home! I hope they do a fantastic job with it! And I'll also have to read the third book. I've heard it's amazing!

To end, I would really like to try and include a spiritual thought. It may be a bit shorter, but I feel it's important. And this week, I realized that I never answered your question, Mom, about Matthew 9. I think you asked it a couple months ago. And I spent like 30 minutes studying it out this morning and I think I figured something out. You asked about the seeming inconsistency between Matthew 9: 14-17 and the JST Matt 9:18-21 and where the two pieces fit together. I enlisted Sister Smith and this is what we came up with. Take a look back at it and see if this makes sense. (Also if you want to read Jesus the Christ has some cool insights about this story it's pages 195-197 in my version) I think that first John the Baptist's disciples came up and asked their question about why they fast but Jesus's disciples didn't fast. I think Jesus then answered them in vs. 15 about fasting after the bridegroom leaves, not while he is currently with them. Then, the Pharisees (being their snide little selves and of course wanting to find any instance to find fault with Christ's teachings) asked Jesus why He didn't accept their baptism seeing that they keep the whole law (JST Matt 9:18) To which Jesus also replies in JST explaining that He is bringing about a new law to fulfill the old one. I then think that He, wanting to further explain this subject, decided to use 2 different parables about cloth and wine bottles. Basically because these 2 parables would answer both the Pharisee's and John's disciples' questions. The point of all of this is that Jesus came, not to try and repair what was lost or broken of the old law, but to fulfill and give a new and everlasting law. As I have studied Christ's teachings, I have realized that the law that He taught is higher, it is more difficult, but it provides the more blessings. What an incredibly opportunity we have to consecrate our lives and all that we have so that the Lord can make of us a beautiful work of art. :) I am so grateful for the high law of Christ and the incredible blessings that He so mercifully gives us with it. :) Does that make sense Mom?

Anyway, sorry it took me so long to answer that one. Love you all so much! Have a great week!!!

Love always,
Sister Thorne
 We went to Jill's house (a member) for dinner and that's where we ate the gigantic burrito's. She is such a sweetie and I consider her a big sister. I love her so much! This is me, Sister Smith and Jill.
 So.... I'm a complete blond and I walked behind the AP's car, holding a box and completely forgot that there is a bike rack attached to their car. Guess who has 2 thumbs, a huge bruise and biffed it head over heels over the bike rack? This sister! The bruise still hasn't left. :P
 Had this cool idea for a picture today. I wanted to take it in memory of Grammy. Turned out really cool. :)
We saw this car on the way to emailing and my first thought was JH, that MUST stand for Joseph and Hyrum. They must be Mormon! I feel like this should be a "you know you've been a missionary for too long when..." joke...

Monday, March 24, 2014

March 24, 2014

Dear Thorne Fam,

Wow! What an amazing week this has been! We have seen a multitude of miracles and touched so many people! We have been incredibly blessed and I know that this week is going to be even better. :) This week I have put a big stress on the importance of sincere prayer ALWAYS. Having that constant sincere communication channel open with my Heavenly Father so that I can be bold knowing that I am following His spirit. In doing this, we have found 2 new investigators! Our first 2 in almost 4 weeks! :D And I know there are still more miracles to come.

As for our investigators: we currently only have 2 progressing. 

Debbie is still doing well. Reading, learning and still hasn't picked up a cigarette. But we are coming to a point where we need to be bold with her. We are going to try and set a soft bap date with her and help her put the Lord and her faith to the test. We need her to act more. Hold us accountable to that and we'll give you a report next week.

The other is Tracy! We made contact with her yesterday and I was finally able to meet her!!!!! :D AND she has been reading the Book of Mormon! She is absolutely adorable and I feel so much potential and such a great spirit when in their home. Great things will come from them. Both her and Josh are working a lot lately so it's really hard to get them to sit down and have a lesson. But I have full confidence that they can be our April baptism. The Lord has promised that we can baptize monthly and He will provide a way. 

We also picked up 2 new investigators as mentioned above.  We had our first real lesson with them and Sister Perrero last night. It went well, but I think they are more into trying to convert us to SouthEast Christian than to  listening to our message unfortunately. But we will keep up with them and see what happens! :)

We also picked McKayla back up. An investigator we had lost contact with these past couple weeks. She is really cute. We are going to teach our first lesson with her this week. So  more things to come on that.

As for your email: Sounds like everyone is doing so well! Keep up the good work! I'm proud of y'all! 

The majority of this email I wanted to be dedicated to this spiritual thought. I have had a ton of different thoughts and impressions come to my mind this week that I've wanted to share and need to get written down so they aren't forgotten. I wanted to take this special time and thank each and every single one of you who read this email for the role you have played in my life. Even if I don't personally know you, I guarantee you have touched me or one of my family members (who in turn touch me) and have helped get me to where I am today. This week my heart, I feel, is overflowing in gratitude. As this week began, I was very determined to see miracles. I feel like we haven't done too much in this area these past 4 weeks and I had slacked off a great deal. I was so tired and I couldn't figure out why. Then we had this incredible Zone Meeting about the Power of Faith. I was lead to a talk about faith by Elder Gene R. Cook. As I read that, I realized that my faith had been lacking, not in my Savior, but in myself and my ability to accomplish the things He had promised we could accomplish. I headed in to this week with a determination to work harder than ever and have complete faith, especially in prayer. There was one day in which we contacted for 2 hours that morning and didn't talk to a single nice person. I was really frustrated. But I reminded myself of my promise to the Lord and we kept going. We then went to a very rich neighborhood and started tracting. We had one last house, the biggest on the street, and we thought it would be funny to walk up to the big double doors to get refused and walk all the way back down the huge driveway. Good story for the future kids. But when we got up there, we met Joe and Jan. Adorable old couple who were so very nice to us. We went back for our first sit down lesson with Sister Perrero yesterday. As we sat down, we realized (as stated above) that they are more interested in converting us than learning. But they were our first 2 new investigators in about 4 weeks. I had nearly given up hope. But God provided me with that small miracle to  help my faith to continue on. From that day, we have had a multitude of other miracles we couldn't have imagined. We have gotten back in contact with several lost investigators. We have been given smiles and energy to continue on each day. We have been able to feel God's love for so many of His children. Which truly is the greatest gift of all. And then.... as I opened this email and I saw my little sister, glowing with the power of the temple, endowed from on high to take over the world from Uruaguay to Paris and everything in between with 2 others whom I also consider my sisters. My cup overflows. Then to add on to that, seeing my other little sister, holding onto the righteous standards of her youth as she turns the ripe old age of 16. :) My cup overflows. Then thinking of my little brothers, holding true to the priesthood they either hold or living true to the priesthood they will hold. My cup overflows. Thinking of my parents. My Daddy and Mum. Who taught me the foundation of my faith that has gotten me to where I am today. My cup truly overflows. I am so grateful for a mighty Master and Savior who understands my potential, my weaknesses and the things I need to receive to continue each day. I am grateful for the multitude of blessings He has provided me in my life, for which I don't even begin to deserve. I am grateful for faith. For faith IS power. I Know that my Redeemer lives. What comfort this sweet sentence give. He lives to comfort me when faint. He lives to hear my souls complaint. I love each and every single one of you. Never give up on your faith.

Your sister in Christ eternally,
Sister Thorne
 Our exchange with Sister Baldwin and Sister Logan.
This.... is our healthy smoothie. That has brussel sprouts in it. Yes, I did eat it. Yes, it was disgusting. Yes. I will be going back to just fruit.

Monday, March 17, 2014

March 17, 2014

Hey Thorne Fam!

Hello! I hope you all had a fantastic week because here in Beckley we sure did! It went by so quickly and we see babysteps coming bit by bit. We did a lot of member work this week which was much needed for this ward. We've been visiting a lot of LA's and have seen multiple miracles with that, especially yesterday. We are getting there step by step. The stake here has set a new standard to get 10 member presents a week. We will get there! I love how missionary minded this stake and ward is!

As for investigators: 
First and foremost, GABE GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!! It was such a beautiful baptism and there were so many people there to support him! Sis Clifford even brought one of her nonmember friends who the Hurstbourne Elder then met with yesterday. Also, Logan (Gabe's older brother) recieved the priesthood yesterday. :) Double Yay!

The only other progressing is Debbie. We had a miracle with her yesterday. We had Bro Perrero and Bro Brooksher come over and give her a blessing as she had started the 15 step program on Saturday and then she also asked that they bless her house. They did so and she started crying both times. The blessing was so personal and beautiful and she said, "No offense to you girls, but there's something different with the men here. I feel it." :D :D :D And Bro Perrero then gave an AWESOME explanation of it all. You could see the puzzle pieces starting to come together. Hopefully we can get her to church soon!

As for your email:
1) Yes! I did get the package! It was so much fun!!!! Thank you so much! Happy St. Patty's day!
2) The other child didn't end up getting baptized with Gabe so it was all him! He so enjoyed it and his whole family was just glowing! :D
3) Tracy, Josh, Gabe and Debbie were all being taught when I got here. We haven't gotten any real hopeful new investigators. And Tracy and Josh aren't progressing anymore because we still haven't been able to get schedules lined up to meet with them. :\
4) Some quick tips for Brit: it's a little more expensive but get the missionary towels from Deseret book. The super thin ones. Amy got one for me for my bday. They are SO worth it and save a TON of space. Also, don't get any clothes that you think are "so cute" and you will "totally wear after the mission too." Cuz you won't. Get clothes that you want to wear out and then throw away after your mission and never wear again because you will be so sick of the same 8 skirts. Another thing to think of (and you can find out more from Janessa) find out what all you can buy down there and then just save the money so that you can save as much packing space as possible. I also know that (at least at the Provo MTC) you can buy a ton of stuff there for cheap. So maybe try and find a little more info on that. Other than that, keep on keepin on Brit!!!! :D I'll be thinking of you all day Saturday!!!! And my sweet Em and Jenn. Can't believe my girls are all grown up! :'D And CONGRATS SAR!!!
5) Looks like Mandy had a blast! I'm expecting a letter soon. :)
6) I also thought of Grammy all day Saturday. I miss her so much but I have never felt her more strongly than out here on my mission. Brit and Em, she will be your close guardian angel. At all times. That I can promise you.
7) I did get the TB test record. Thank you so much!!! :D Sister Smith and I are going to begin volunteering at a retirement center down the road. They require a TB test to volunteer there. We are looking for as many volunteer opportunities as possible right now because the Book of Mormon musical is coming to Louisville the end of May and it's going to rock this town to the core. Even President is worried. He has asked us all to do as many acts of service as possible and then have the members all post pics of them on facebook so we can publicize what REAL missionary work looks like. Any other ideas to help out?
8) Please accept Hannah! I love that girl! And let me know when she gets her call. She should have it by now, if not in the next couple weeks.

Love you all so much! I'll talk to you next week!!! :D

Love eternally,
Sister Thorne
 Me after a long exhausting weekly planning session. That's hard stuff.
part of our weekly service this week was putting together Rachel's TV and gadgets. Rachel is our RC. Love her! And she needed a techie to help her put all her wires behind her TV stand so viola! Sister Thorne and Smith to the rescue! It was a ton of fun. :)

Monday, March 10, 2014

March 10, 2014

(Her sister Britney opened her mission call on Friday night. She will serve in the Uruguay Montevideo mission reporting to the Argentina MTC on July 17th. A ward member from Shannah's mission texted me on Saturday evening to find out where Britney's call was because Shannah couldn't wait any longer!)

My dearest Thorne Fam,

Oh my goodness. I can't stop crying! Gosh darn you Britney!!! I want to begin by saying how grateful I am. I can't stop crying because I can't believe the miracles the Lord has been able to create in my life. Britney, I started my mission hoping and praying that you would go. A year ago today, I sat with Sister Earl and told her how I had no idea how the Lord would work it, but that I KNEW you were supposed to serve. I just knew it. But I didn't know what I could do about it because it had to be your decision. She said, and I will never forget, "Pray for her. Be an example. And she'll know what to do." From that day forward, every time the thought has entered into my head, "I just want to go home." (And it has entered multiple times) I have told myself, "Sister Shannah Thorne. If you expect your little sister to serve a mission. You had better by darn be able to do it too." So I would pick myself up and keep going. Britney, you have been my inspiration, my rock, my happy thought, and some days, my only reason to keep going. I love you. I hope you are able to feel the spirit testify to the depth of that love as you read that sentence because there is no way that I can convey it. I love you. I am going to miss you terribly my lil sis. But I KNOW just as well as you that you are going to change SO many people's lives. I am so so so very proud of you. You go girl. Knock their socks off. :)

As for my email: Is it seriously already week 4 of this transfer??? I can't believe that time has flown by so fast! I can hardly believe that it's already 1/3 of the way through March! Time truly is a fickle creature, but thankfully, the Lord is Master of it. :)

As for me: 
This week was both very good and very stressful. The week started out absolutely wonderful! We worked hard, didn't see much success, but we didn't let it get us down. We just kept on keepin on.

Then on Friday I started not feeling well. About half way through the day I got an awful migraine and upset stomach. It continued on through to Sunday night. So far, it hasn't surfaced today which is nice. So that made things difficult, but we kept on working and on Saturday we saw so many miracles! We were feeling a little discouraged because we have done so much tracting and finding and hadn't found a single new investigator. So on Saturday we decided to start visiting potentials. We began with that and 3 said they weren't available now but would love to talk and gave us return appointments!!! :D So we've decided to try and focus a bit more on that this week.

As for this area; we have 4 progressing. Gabe, Tracy & Josh, and Debbie.

Gabe's baptism is this Friday!!!! :D We have it all planned and good to go! We are meeting with them tonight to finalize everything. He had his interview this past week and passed. He's such an amazing, smart kid. And it's incredible to see that change happening in his family. Kassie (his mom) is so much happier. She is lighter and her and all the kids have such a brighter home. I love this gospel!!!!

Debbie we had an awesome lesson with this past week. She had some really good questions about the Plan of Salvation, especially about the Fall and angels. We weren't able to answer them adequately so we studied this past week and we are talking with her more about that tonight! I'm really excited about that because we had an awesome District Meeting on using the Book of Mormon in all we do (so I studied the Fall in the BoM and got some cool insights) and then Gospel Principles was all on the Fall so I got some awesome insights there! Can't wait to talk to her tonight!

 As for your email:
1) YOU HAD BETTER EMAIL OR WRITE ME SOON BRITNEY OR SO HELP YOU....... Anyways, I can't wait for you to go through the temple!!!!!!! I LOVE YOU! 
2) Brandon, I want to hear about your field trips! 
3) Josh, Good going all around! Keep at it on the piano. You'll be better than me by the time I get home! 
4) Manda-lou! YOU LOOK SO GORGEOUS!!! I can't even believe it! You are growing up so fast and I am so proud of the woman you are. Write me soon okay??? *secret handshake* 
5) The mural took my breath away! It's so pretty! 
6) Yes, Sister Baldwin is an STL. 
7) I don't recognize Logan Daynes.... could you send me a pic? 
I love you all so much! I wish I had more time! But there are hearts to change and souls to save!
Love always,

Sister Thorne
 Celebrating my 1 year mark with delicious ice cream!
Ready for bed after a fabulous day of celebrating 1 year of missionary service.
 Our main activity this week. But at least they are gorgeous doors!!! :D
 This is Rapunzel's house. And this is my adorable Rapunzel. Posing for her adorable house. :)
 Our apartment. Cozy but nice!
My reaction after hearing about my sister, Britney's, mission call to Uruguay!

Monday, March 3, 2014

March 3, 2014

Hello Thorne Fam!

This week went by so fast!!! Like faster than normal fast! It's already Monday can you believe it?! I feel like there just is never enough time to accomplish all that is needed.... But the Lord always provides a way!

I have been doing so wonderfully! The work is difficult here in Beckley, but for some reason, I haven't felt discouraged. It really is interesting because the rest of my mission, rejection and discouragement has been something I've always struggled with, but not here, in the hardest area I've ever been in. I just feel so happy, energetic and excited all the time! It's so amazing what the Atonement can do for us when we just let it. :)

As for investigators, we have 4 progressing: Gabe, Debbie, Tracy & Josh.
Gabe is doing well! We are struggling a little bit to make schedules all work out for his baptism. Kassie (his mom) really wants him to have his own baptism so that it's special to him, but Bishop wants to combine it with another 9 yr old being baptized that weekend. So we feel like the middle man trying to get everything to work out which is also causing a bit of stress. But we have put it all in the Lord's hands and we know that Gabe will enter the waters of baptism when the time is right. But for right now, his date is for Mar 14th.
Debbie had an awesome lesson last night! We talked to her a lot about the Apostasy and then a little bit about baptism for the dead and geneology. It was a SUPER spirit led lesson. She started out by saying, I don't believe that God would take his church off the earth and put it on the backs of us to redeem those people. I just don't believe that and you can't make me. But by the end, the spirit had completely resolved her concern and she was saying, "I just keep feeling these little impressions that this church is true." SO COOL! We are doing the 15-step program with her and a member this weekend to help Debbie quit smoking. 
Finally, we were supposed to have our lesson with Tracy and Josh at the Reasor's yesterday and they were supposed to come to church, but by 3am Sunday morning Josh was throwing up and terribly sick. So that all got canceled.... but they are still praying and reading and are super pumped for church and our next lesson. We really feel strongly about them. We are hoping to get another family more involved in their path of investigation so we are discussing that with Bro Brown.

As for your email:
1) I totally forgot to take pics of the apartment..... next week! And we have done a lot of renovation to the apartment and it looks so much better! We can actually use the dishwasher and stove, we have more cleaning supplies and the bugs have stopped! Woot! But we do need decorations.... Maybe y'all could think of something fun for St. Patrick's Day? ;)
2) I love the trees to Manda-lou! I just can't wait until they turn all green and beautiful! We got another huge snow storm last night, but everyone is saying that this should be our last one and Spring should be just around the corner! It's so close I can smell it! Well.... not smell... but I can feel it! :D
3) It is SOOOOOO nice to not train and just be a normal missionary. We both know what we're doing and we just get to focus on working hard! So much fun! Also, side not, we did an exchange with the STL's this past week and I got to spend the day with Sister Baldwin!!!!!! My old MTC comp! It's been nearly a year since we got to spend any time together and it was so amazing to see how we've both grown. It was a miraculous, super fun day. :)
4)AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just want to know Brit's call!!!!! And I have to wait until next Monday!!!! AH! I could just go absolutely insane! Take so many pictures! I want to know EVERYTHING! So will Mandy will still be home for the opening right? OH MY GOODNESS!!! I can barely breath! Deep breathes. Deep breathes. In. Out. In. Out. Can't wait!!!!!
5) Sounds like y'all had an amazingly awesome week! Can't wait to hear about the next. Tell Mandy she had better take a ton of pics of Cali and the sun!
6) Any cool thoughts you had from the fireside with Elder Nelson and his wife?
7) Accept both fb requests. :)

Love eternally,
Sister Thorne
Yes. Yes that is indeed a STEINWAY!!!! Sis Augason owns it. Cute adorable old lady who had us over for dinner this past week. And..... she let me play it! It sounded so beautiful! If there is anyway any of y'all could get this to Ben Saunders, I would really appreciate it. Steinway's are like his thing. 
 Sister Thorne being a punk because she is now the passenger for the first time in like forever and doesn't have to drive, ergo she gets bored while driving and has to be weird to entertain herself and Sister Smith.
Sister Smith being a really good focused driver no matter how hard I try to be distracting. Man. She's good.