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!
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!