Monday, April 28, 2014

April 28, 2014

Hey Thorne Fam!

Another week has flown by and boy have we worked hard! It has been such a crazy roller coaster week but as we sat Sunday night and reflected on all that we accomplished this past week, we realized how many miracles we have seen. We haven't been perfect, but we've been progressing and because of that, the Lord has blessed us. What an amazing testimony to be gaining and experience to be living! I love being a missionary!

So this week we were blessed to find 5 new investigators! We went tracting many an hour and they are very precious indeed to us. The first is Whitney Coats. We found her 3 weeks ago by contacting in a neighborhood and she told us to give her a call after Easter to schedule a meeting so we did! We taught L1 with Sister Brown last Tuesday and it went amazingly! She was so receptive and Sister Brown was the perfect match for her. They got along amazingly and we will be meeting with them again this Thursday as well as meeting with Whitney's husband, Buren so that he can be involved. They have 3 adorable kids ages 5, 3 and 1.

Then we picked up Jennifer again! Her and her husband, Andrew have been taught for quite a while, but they just don't seem to want to commit nor is it easy to meet with them because of their crazy schedule's but we will be meeting with them tomorrow and Sister Mumford should be coming with us.

Next we had a very interesting experience with Drew's family. We met Drew a week or two ago and dropped in on him again and met his parents, little brother and sister's fiancé. Apparently they are all very Baptist and his dad, Andy tried to bible bash with us. But we just kept bringing it back to our personal testimony and them reading the Book of Mormon. It was very very spirit led and the fiancé, Josh, seems really interested. He had a lot of really good questions and has had a lot of Mormon friends. So we will be dropping by on them again after derby!

Then yesterday, we were tracting and found Steve! We began with the prayer approach and then moved into giving a brief L1. He committed to reading the Book of Mormon intro and testimonies and then we will meet with him next week to discuss it and start teaching his wife, Bridget as well! I love the prayer approach. :)

Also for this week, we got 3 LA's to church! Sister Summers was so very kind and came to church for the first time in years and really loved it. She met with bishop and is on her way to becoming active again! She is so sweet! Then, Bro Pentinga came, but Carole (Non member wife) slept in sadly. But he still came on his own! And he stayed for all 3 hours for the first time and really enjoyed it too. :) Finally, the Azondoga girls came. They haven't been to church since Christmas because of Sis Azondoga's work schedule. But she didn't work Saturday night so they came Sunday! They got there late and had to leave early, but it was a step. :) Also, we met a new PM family that no one knew on the roster, the Youngs. They couldn't talk to us then but told us to come back next Sunday to talk more and they were super nice! Then Rachel is active in her new callings as Ward Missionary and Gospel Essentials teacher! She is absolutely amazing and progressing rapidly. :)

Finally, we got back in contact with Mikaela and Gail and have an appointment with them next week! Mikaela's will be in the Grave's home and Gail will be at her own house. What a miracle to be able to finally get down and talk to them both again. :)

As for your email:
1) We still haven't gotten in contact with Jenny again, but we are going to drop by her house. Sheryl isn't progressing right now and really just needs friend so we are just going to drop by and see her every other week. Carole and Sophia we met with on Sunday with Bro Pentinga and the Storms and had a great lesson with them on 1 Nephi 2. Sis Summers is divorced. It's her sister's husband that is interested. I know confusing. :P
2) I did get the package and I LOVE the skirts! So... funny story about sending home the Christmas skirt. It was like my most favorite skirt to wear and then the STL's did a training on how our skirts need to be long enough to cover our knees because that is handbook rules and we will receive blessings as we obey that. As I was pondering, I found myself trying to justify keeping those 2 skirts that I sent home and realized that that justification right there meant that they needed to be sent home. So I did. I look forward to going home and being able to wear the 2 that I sent. They're cute! haha But the 2 you sent me are long and perfect! I love them so much! I also got the flash drive. I'll be sending you the one I have within the next week or two. :)
3) Sister Smith and I also helped with a theatrical performance this week! We volunteered at Stopher Elementary to help them with costumes and set up for their play Aladdin. We got to meet a lot of the PTA moms who go to SouthEast Christian and later, Sister Clifford (the one who invited us to help out) said that the moms are still talking about how awesome it was that we were willing to help. Then on Saturday, we tracted into one of the moms, Robin! And she said that now wasn't a good time but that we could come back later to pray with her! I'm sure it's because her heart was softened by our service. Serve like Christ! Full of love!
4) Sounds like everyone else is doing great! I love you all so much! Have a fantastic week!

Spiritual thought: Mosiah 2:17

Love always,

Sister Thorne
 A cardinal sitting in the branches of a dogwood tree. I love Kentucky in the spring. :)
 2 weeks before derby they have a hot air balloon race as the sun sets. Derby is so awesome! And there is so much more to it than just the actual race. I had no idea. Speaking of, Derby will be this Saturday and Oaks (the race for Phillies instead of the actual horses) will be Friday. It should be a crazy week! All the kids have school off Friday, it really is like a holiday to the people round here.
 My easter outfit! Thanks so much mum! I love it! And of course, me being my crazy self. :)
Please send this pic to Grandpa Ralph. That barn made me think of him and I really wanted to sit down and draw it. But I didn't have time of course, so I took a picture and would like to draw it when I get home.

Monday, April 21, 2014

April 21, 2014

Hey Thorne Fam!

So... this week has been a really big one for me. Very very very long story short. I had a lot of repenting that I needed to do that I wasn't really even aware of. But thankfully I got to talk to President Woodbury Wednesday during interviews and he was very loving and helped me through everything. Since then, I have set a new standard for myself in exact obedience and in humility and complete honesty with the Lord and myself. Repentence is not something to be ashamed of, it is a blessing we receive because our Savior paid the price. I am working on my relationship with the Lord and am slowing being built up as a new Sister Thorne. I really do feel all new. Especially since taking the sacrament yesterday. My testimony of repentance, church attendance and the Atonement have deepened in ways I thought I would never understand. As well as, of course, my testimony of exact obedience. :)

Since Wednesday and my new resolution to be exactly obedient, we have seen at least a miracle a day! Wednesday evening, we met a new investigator named Drew who we started talking to and essentially taught the entire L1 to, gave a book of Mormon and committed him to read it. He wouldn't give us a number or return appointment specifically, but he said we could drop by again! Then on Thursday, we had a busy day, worked out a ton during weekly planning (more on that later) and then had our service at the forum. We got back at 8:30 that night to finally get a bite to eat, but something wasn't right. I felt so strongly that we had missed someone. There was someone that Heavenly Father still needed us to find. But we weren't going out tracting again so I got on my knees and asked Him and felt very strongly that it was a mom. So I got our potentials out and started calling. 4 pages later, I met Jenny. She is so amazing and a single mom of 2. She was so stressed right then and I said a prayer with her and promised that God knew her by name. We are calling her again this next Thursday to meet with her soon. The spirit was so strong. Saturday we went to go meet Sheryl and she couldn't meet but gave us a referral to her neighbor, Diana who we then taught L1 and set a bap date with! Miracle! Then yesterday we went to Easter with an investigator who is SUPER involved in his church and would only agree to pray about reading the Book of Mormon. As we talked with him, he said that he had prayed about it and he was going to start reading it this week! Miracle! Then also on Sunday, we met with a LA Bro Pentinga and his cute girlfriend Carole and her daughter Sophia. Carole and Sophia aren't members, but we had an awesome lesson on the Introduction to the Book of Mormon and committed them all to read it together each day. Miracle! Then, over the weekend, we had a LA that had started ignoring us contact us again and ask if she could meet with us. She is going through a really hard time and needs help. We met with her this morning and she is coming to church this Sunday! And her sister (who she is living with and is also LA) said she works this Sunday but would like to try and come back next Sunday. And her sister's husband (non-member) said that if people of our church are so willing to so quickly come to Sister Summers aid then we "just might have a convert on our hands." AH! Miracle! There are so many miracles yet to come. :D

So one thing I am doing daily right now (and Brit, I would GREATLY encourage you and all of your missionary friends to start doing this) is to get a white handbook and start reading it. Read it again and again and again and again. I'm reading it every morning. Then commit yourself today to be exactly obedient and to never bend on any of those rules. Even if you can't understand why that rule is important or can't see what might be the problem if you broke it, I promise it will not only affect you, but everyone around you and others will be kept from the gospel because of you. I KNOW that exact obedience brings miracles. So please please please, any missionary or future missionary who reads this, please do that. It will save you so much heartache. 

Anyway, as of right now, we don't have any progressing investigators, but as you can see, we have a lot happening. A lot of seeds beginning to grow. I have no doubt that we will continue to see more miracles as this week goes on. :)

As for your email:
1) I love you Manda-loo! From, Sister Thorne (Mom, don't delete this.) ;)
2) You didn't have to send me an Easter package mom! Aw! Thanks! :D The family picture looks SO cute and I feel honored to be included. :) That's my eternal family!
3) Chris is no longer getting baptized May 10th because we lost contact with him this week and haven't taught him the Word of Wisdom yet. But it will all work out!
4) I didn't know about Gma Kathy and the derby! I would love to hear that story!
5) hint hint to grandparents!!! Calling all grandparents! Sister Thorne needs conversion stories of ancestors! haha :) Love you!
6) Sounds like everyone had a crazy busy fun week! I love you all so much! More to come next week!

Love always,
Sister Thorne
 Because of an increase of meetings downtown this month, Sis Smith and I have needed to start conserving on miles. So.... we started taking the bus!!!! Louisville has an awesome bus system called Tarc (Transit Authority of River City). We have already met some very interesting people on there and every time we get on I get flashbacks of heading to the U for a day of classes. Super weird. But really fun! So this was our first bus ride together. :)
 We bought each other Easter gifts. heehee we're adorable. :) So here's us about to open them!
My Easter gifts from my dearest Sister Smith. She also got me the bracelet with the heart and horseshoe charm. She spoils me. :) I'll just have to up my workouts. :P

Monday, April 14, 2014

April 14, 2014

Hey Thorne Fam!

I feel like I've lived a lifetime in this past week. This week has gone fast, just like weeks past, but it has also contained so much information and ups and downs, I thought I would soon get a headache if things continued. But hopefully things are leveling out. Haha. Like they ever would in missionary work! XD So this week I'm going to start something a little different. To really get everything in about all the miracles that happened, I want to do a little synopsis day by day of what occurred.

Monday: We had an active member lesson with the Storm's. (Adorable family!) and then were supposed to teach Gail, but she canceled. So instead we went and helped another member with some sanity. :) The night ended by me having a little breakdown because one of our very few new investigators called us and explained that she no longer wanted to meet with us due to family issues. "Now just isn't the time to learn about your church." I was very very frustrated and wondering why the Lord would let this happen to her family when she was our only solid new investigator. I called the STL's and got some sanity myself.

Tuesday: Sister Smith's knee got really really bad. We went out tracting for 2 hours in the morning and when we got in for lunch, she couldn't walk. So we stayed inside for most of the rest of the day while she rested. That night we had dinner with a member, but when we got home, it was Sister Smith's turn for a breakdown. We were both very worried about her health and unsure of what we could do to continue to be effective until her Dr's appointment April 21. We also had several other things fall through and it was basically just a huge mess. So we called Sister Woodbury and Sister Smith talked to her for a while and then we called our District Leader to get a blessing.

Wednesday: We got a blessing from Elder Moon and Elder Forrest and something very peculiar happened. As we sat talking afterward, Elder Moon (our DL) looked us both in the eye and said, "I feel the spirit telling me very strongly right now that there is someone Sister Smith and Sister Thorne will find who WILL enter the waters of baptism. It will be you two." We sat there not sure what to think. We left and went to our appointment with Chris. He's a guy in his 20's we met last week who ran up to us and asked us if he could go to church with us. We were kind of on the fence with him because we weren't sure if it's because he felt the spirit or we were two cute girls. But we followed through with the appointment we set. Here's where the miracle happened. We had the most powerful Restoration lesson I've had in months and at the end set a baptismal date with Chris for May 10th, committed him to come to church and a return appointment for Saturday. AAAHHH!!!!! We called Elder Moon right afterward and basically just squealed. Less than an hour after our blessing, the Lord was fulfilling His promise. We ended the day with an awesome Gospel of JC lesson with our RC Rachel and Sister Brooksher and a great lesson with the Azondoga's.

Thursday: We got to finally meet Bro Pentinga (a super LA coming back) and he talked to us about what our game plan was to get his wife baptized because he so wants to be sealed to her. AWESOME! Then we had the RS bday party with all our wonderful ward women.

Friday: We volunteered at the Forum (a nursing home) for the first time and it was awesome! We really got the name of the church out to family members visiting their elders and we are already making some amazing new friends. :) We also found 2 really awesome potentials, Buren and Whitney. A couple with 3 kids who would like to learn more about the Plan of Salvation but can't meet until after Easter so we're calling them then!

Saturday: Had another awesome lesson with Chris! Sister Sparke came with us and we talked about the different parts of church and why all 3 hours are essential. We prepared him to listen for the spirit during sacrament and then arranged so Sister Sparke gave him a ride! Then... *drumroll please* we got to see Thunder over Louisville!!!!!!! It was so amazing! It's said to be the 2nd biggest fireworks show in the world and after watching it, I have no doubt! They had a finale for their finale and the finale finale was so loud, you could feel the thunder shake through your body. Wow! I will definitely be sending pictures. I also took some videos, but you'll have to see them when I send home the USB because their too big to email. They said there were about 800,000 people there and boy was it crazy! The Elders surrounded us 4 sisters and took extra care of us because it's really really dangerous to be in downtown Louisville, especially in such a big crowd. They are such awesome Elders! We then got stuck in traffic trying to get out and didn't get home until midnight. (The fireworks show was from 9:30 to 10 and then we got back to our car at about 10:30). We then woke up at 6:30 as per missionary schedule and GUESS WHAT?! Well... I guess that's Sunday. I'll tell you in the next paragraph.

Sunday: So I woke up and guess what?!?!?! I felt something crawling ON MY FACE!!!!! I completely flipped and flung a disgusting stink bug off my bed and into the wall. GROSS! I almost died! Needless to say, it wasn't a great morning. Both Sister Smith and I were so exhausted but Chris came to church and afterward told both the Elders and us that he already knows Joseph Smith was a prophet and that he is excited to come back. Say what?!?! AWESOME! We then had an amazing lesson with the Azondoga's where we were very bold about them about coming to church. We explained how essential it was. Sis Azondoga hasn't been coming because she works Saturday night 8pm to 8am as a nurse. Then church starts at 9am. But she's interviewing for a new position today that only works her Monday through Friday and she said if she gets it, she would start coming to church! We also had dinner with some investigators that seemed to be becoming internigators but then we taught L1 and gave them a Book of Mormon and the super Christian father said he would pray about reading it and when we left he was already looking at the title page. Curiosity saved the cats soul! :D

So that was our amazing week!

As for your email:
1) I'll try and get a letter to grandparents. Thanks Mom! :)
2) I don't have my picture for your wall this week because I talked to Kassi Clifford and she said that she would take the picture for me! And she's a professional photographer so she looked and all of the family's pictures and we are going to the park and she's going to take it so that the picture fits in with everyone else's! She also helped me with my outfit so it's going to be awesome! She just couldn't do it this weekend so we are taking them this week and then either she or I will get them to you.
3) Christina Albiston is getting married in the temple?!?! AH! I just got the invite this past week! Please tell her congratulations for me!
4) HAPPY BDAY JOSH AND BRANDON! I am so proud of my two amazing boys! You are both so incredible and I love you more than I could ever say. I miss you so much but guess what??? I'll be there with you for your next birthday!!! :D I can't wait! Love you! Hope you both enjoy your day!

I love your thought on the Savior mom. We are actually having an exchange with the STL's tomorrow and we will be focusing on Christlike attributes and how to be a more Christlike missionary. We did a little quiz to see which attribute we need to work on and my #1 (be far) is patience. Surprise surprise. :P I can't wait to be able to focus on this and becoming more Christlike in my teaching this week and your thought goes hand in hand with that! Thanks!!!

The church is true! The Book is Blue! And Moroni is on the ball!

Love eternally,
Sister Thorne

Monday, April 7, 2014

April 7, 2014

Hey Thorne Fam!

I LOVE GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!!! Oh my goodness! It was so amazing and I received so many different spiritual insights. I think my favorite was Elder Holland, Pres Uchtdorf and Elder Anderson. I love the idea of having an attitude of gratitude and of making sure that we stand strong and courageous, albeit gracefully, for our standards and values. So much learned. Although it was also a very frustrating weekend for us as well. We had 3 different investigators planned to watch it, 2 in separate members homes and all 3 canceled. One of them watched some the day before, but when it came to Sunday, everything fell apart. I was very frustrated. But then as I listened to the talks, I was reminded that we need to trust in the Lord. I am trying to be exactly obedient. I am putting in my part. I am working hard all day every day. I just need to trust in Him and He will fulfill His promises. A good reminder. :)

As for investigators: we have one progressing, Sheryl. She's a cute old lady (in her 60's) who Sister Smith and Peterson found in the Walmart parking lot. We got her to watch a part of conference but she told us that 2 hours was too much for her to commit to and she wasn't that invested yet. Grarg........ but she will come around. Tracy and Mikaela both backed out on us for conference. Mikaela is apparently moving out of her boyfriends house. We don't really know why. She never texted us back. So we're not really sure what's going on. We did find 4 new investigators!!!! Heather (mom of 3 boys found contacting), Christopher (came up to us at Sheryl's apartment and asked if he could come to church), Christian (found prayer approach tracting), and Gail (a referral we received Saturday from a member). Things are starting!

1) Brit! I have some specific things for you that I learned at GC. There are 2 specific things we were told to look for in the temple and since I can't go, I wanted to tell you to look for them 2 different times when you go! First, Elder Anderson told us to look for the different patterns of life we are given from Adam and Eve. Second, Elder Bednar talked about looking for the symbols of the Atonement in the temple. Hope those provide some good insights!
2) Elder Walker talked about learning about the conversion stories of our ancestors so I was wondering if Mom and Dad could talk to grandparents and see if they could get a story or two they could send me so I could see what I could learn!
3) HAPPY EARLY BDAY JOSH AND BRANDON!!!!!! I'll tell you again next  week too. :P Did Josh get his hat for his bday? I sent it a bit ago. Love you both so much!
4) Mandy, you looked stunning! I am so proud of you for being modest. :) Modest truly is hottest and that rule is so easy to bend on for dances. But I know that as you make that effort to be modest now, you will be more ready for temple covenants later. :) That's my girl!!!
5) I would really like to read My Name used to be Muhammad when I get home :)
6) I GOT TO SEE MY DADDY! And this was the first conference where I didn't cry! :D You looked awesome Dad. It was so much fun to see you. :) And Petey got a decent close up too! I was bragging about yall to everyone we talked to. :) Love ya!

My favorite thoughts from conference:
1) "Take heart. Pure Christlike love can change the world." -Elder Holland
2) "Those who face their fears with faith have courage as well." -President Monson quoted by Elder Nelson
3) "Words that are firm in information can be soft in spirit." -Elder Zwick (he came spoke here in Kentucky so I have a particular love for him!)
4) Here's my challenge for everyone. Elder Ballard told each missionaries family (specifically, of course all are included) that they need to study PMG and then email their missionaries each week with something they learned from it. So I would like to invite you all to read parts of PMG and I would love to hear about what the spirit teaches you. :)
5) "The gospel is not weight. It is wings." -Sister Stevens
Favorite overall talks were first and foremost, Elder Hollands and Elder Anderson's. I loved the ideas of standing and being courageous. I have definitely felt as Elder Holland described. It has not been easy. But it has been worth it! Next was President Uchtodorf's. I just LOVED his talk. I need to focus more on a constant, sincere attitude of gratitude all the time, not just when it's easy. I loved Elder Bednar's about loads as well. I have always defined missionary work as when the load is light and things are happening as you would envision them. But that is not right, we must always have loads because they help us to grow. It's about knowing which loads are necessary and getting rid of those that are not. Finally, I love Elder Ballard's because as he was describing his thoughts of dating compared to missionary work, I just knew that that was totally going to be me. I'm totally going to be that weird missionary that can link anything to PMG when get home. Oh gosh.... I swore I would never get that weird. But it's kind of fun. :)

Gotta run! Love you all!

Love always,
Sister Thorne
 Just tracting on a blustery day in Kentucky. We have had some crazy weather this week! But I guess tornado season is upon us. :)
 I learned how to knit!!!!!! Yes, I feel like I've officially graduated to Old Grandma status. But I think it's legit. And I taught myself.
Guess who?!?! We were watching the World Report in between conferences with the Azondoga's and all the sudden I recognized some bright red dresses and a certain person conducting a certain choir. It took me a split second and then I completely flipped. It was fun to get to see my old choir! Welcome to world wide television U of U Institute Choir! 
Another you know your a missionary when joke. I saw this and said, "I didn't know the Law of Chastity had a direction." Sister Smith replied with, "Well maybe it's being broken in that direction." haha! It's totally fitting because we were in the one ghetto neighborhood of our whole area. Missionaries. :)v