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!!!!!!
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