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. :)