Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Let me put this joy into perspective for you...

February 24, 2014

Bueno.  So, first of all, (shout out to Hermana Wong who has brainwashed me into starting everything with "first of all") we had an AMAZING Sunday. Two less active teenage members came to church or the FIRST TIME since I got transferred here! For all of you keeping track at home, that would be almost 7 months. AND they brought their not-very-enthusiastic-about-the-church-father who did not want to get baptized with the family. AND they sons stayed for all three hours. Second of all, a family of investigators came to church for the FIRST TIME since we started teaching them. Sorry for those same people keeping track at home because I don't know when it was, but a LONG time ago. AND they made a friend. Third of all, one of the investigators we're teaching decided that he wanted to set a date for baptism. WOO HOO! Just in case you aren't a missionary, let me try to put this into perspective for you.

If you are a..........                                It's like........
football fan                                          winning the super bowl
movie fanatic                                      winning an Oscar
fisherman                                            catching a 90 pound halibut (which my companion actually did!)            
social media addict                             getting 14 million followers
15 year old girl                                    having Justin Bieber call you on the phone
peaceful person                                  winning the Nobel peace prize
new mother of twins                            getting a full nights sleep
Harvard student                                   getting a 4.0
shopaholic                                          winning a trip to new York
husband of a shopaholic                    winning a trip to Oakley, Utah (population 500, stores: 1 grocery)

o.k. You get the picture. It was pretty great.

It's amazing to feel so much love for the people where I serve. One of the huge perks of being a missionary is that you automatically feel this overwhelming sense of love for everyone and a desire for their well-being. I never thought I would be so happy to see someone at sacrament meeting, but when they walked in I was on cloud 9. I'm sure that when we do small things that are hard for us, this is how our Heavenly Father feels. It might not seem like a big deal to anyone else, but I'm sure that He feels the love and joy of a supremely proud parent at any effort we make. He loves you so much!

And so do I BTW,

-Hermana Thomas
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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Oh just a grotesquely swollen eye, what's new with you?

(Letter delayed due to Presidents' Day)

January 19, 2014

Eye don't really know what eye should wr-eye-te about today. This week was pretty SWELL. literally. I woke up a few days ago with my eye swollen shut and hurting like eye can't even discr-eye-be. So eye went to the doctor and he said that eye'd been bitten l-eye-ke f-eye-ve or six t-eye-mes wh-eye-le eye was sleeping. N-eye-ce. So basically eye have looked l-eye-ke a pro-wrestler, or just a very mutated human (take your pick) for the last two or three days. eye carumba. 

But, other then that, We have had amazing things happen to us lately. More specifically, one of the investigators attending a different ward moved into our boundaries, and we have begun to teach her the lessons. Between a new job, moving in, and four of the most rambunctious albeit adorable kids I have ever met, it has been hard to talk to her for very long, but we have really come to know and love her and her family. She has been investigating the church for almost two years and her only concern is about baptism. She has a desire to be baptized, but wants to know "why now?" Why make the changes in her life and accept baptism now, rather than at some later time? She knows that she will eventually do it, but what's the rush?  

To her, and every other mother who has had an unbearably messy child, you know why it is important NOW. "Why do I have to clean my room now" a child might ask? "I'll clean it later but I want to go out and play. I want to do what I want to do, and I'll get around to cleaning it later." A wise mother knows that "later" will turn into "sometime next week" which will turn into "when I get around to it" which will turn into "I don't see why I have to clean my room at all. I'm perfectly happy living like this, and it's my room anyway." The importance of NOW is so under emphasized. 

Take it from the QUEEN of justification. Honestly. If there were employment for someone who could justify her way out of doing ANYTHING, I would be candidate numbero uno (If I ever got around to applying). But I have realized that procrastination and justification never bring happiness, because at the end of the day, you lose the blessings that you would have had, had you done the thing that you --bottom line-- didn't do. You are still living in a pig sty, or you still have a mountain of homework waiting for you, or you still have a poor relationship with a family member that you meant to have changed years ago, or -saddest of all- you still don't have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, and you still haven't taken the first step on your path to follow Christ. You still don't have the blessings. 

Sometimes I feel like Alma, the prophet when he wrote: 

“And now my bretheren, I wish from the inmost part of my heart, yea, with great anxiety even unto pain, that ye would hearken unto my words, and cast off your sins, and not procrastinate the day of your repentance…” 
Alma 13: 27 

This week I promise to do something that I have been putting off for a really really long time, and I challenge you to do the same. Here's a pre-view (...post-view?) of our Valentine’s Day service. eye love you! 

-Hermana Thomas 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Puns and acrostic poetry for your Valentine pleasure!

February 10, 2014

Here you are, I promised you a poem every holiday, and this holiday's edition is acrostic. Mostly because when I think of Valentine’s Day I think of second grade.

Half-used glue sticks left on the counter from pasting paper hearts on a cereal boxes; waaaaay too much glitter that ends up in every cranny of the classroom, and remains there until the end-of-the-year cleaning. Picking out a valentine for everyone in class from those pre-made $1.00 batman ones. ("You make me batty, Valentine" "You're a 'super' friend") That one secret crush whose valentine has TWO Twix bars, hoping that he'll get the hint. And, of course, writing acrostic poems about L O V E.

V is for Very very worn out shoes....which is pretty self explanatory
A is for Almost had a heart attack when I realized that I had hit my half-way mark
L is for Laughing. Which is how I get most of my ab workouts (I live with very funny roommates)
E is for Eating. My activity of choice, especially now that it's Mexican food!
N is for Not sure that they'll get me to go home without strapping me down and forcing me on a plane
T is for Tinkerbell because almost every house I enter has the Disney channel on the background
I is for Investigators because they are what I think about all day.
N is for Nighttime when 8 hours of sleep feels like 8 minutes
E is for Even though I miss you I think I'll stay here another 9 months or so  

Also, for all of those who are interested, I thought I'd give a few ideas of the perfect missionary valentine's gifts this year:

I don't need a rose this valentine's day, just rows of investigators at church. I don't need sweets, just people to hear the sweet words of the gospel. I don't need a fancy date, just people to accept a date for baptism. I don't need little decorations of red. I just want my investigators to have read the Book of Mormon. Rather than a box of conversation hearts, I’d rather have a great conversation about the gospel. I don't need a card written in a fancy font, just the sound of the baptismal font filling up.

I LOVE being a missionary and I LOVE you!

-Hermana Thomas

Monday, February 3, 2014

Bottom-less fries and things that I love!

February 3, 2014

The take away from this week was that I out-ate a Samoan!!!!!

just kidding (except not, because it's true and below is a picture to prove it.)

But that wasn't nearly the most important part of this week.

In all honesty, I wish that I could write more about my investigators and the members here, but I refrain from doing so only because I would never want to write anything that they wouldn't want publically known, so I tend to keep my blogs focused on other things....of which there are not many… because I'm a missionary!.....just in case you were wondering why there has been a significant lack of daily-life blogging.

This being the month of February and Valentines and all, I’d like to tell you things that I love:  I love being a missionary.  I love my companion and the other sisters in my apartment.  I love the ward I have the privilege of serving in for almost 7 months now.  I love the chance to tell willing listeners why I love the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and that fact that Jesus Christ is our living, loving Savior and friend!  I love the wonderful people I meet in all walks of life who teach me so much by their courage and goodness.  I love warm winter weather.  I love being able to share my thoughts in this blog.  I love surprises and weekday mail!  I love my family and all of you for taking the time to read what I’m thinking or experiencing.  I love, and am ever so grateful for this time to serve. 

This week I will pass the halfway mark in my mission.  In retrospect it has just flown by and I’m grateful for all I’ve learned and experienced and been able to share so far.  I love that I still have lots of time left to serve others, share the gospel and hopefully become a better person in the process.  If I knew who each of you were, I’d tell you what I love about you too. 

Please do that for me; please tell someone you love, exactly why you love him or her!

Much love from me to you,

Hermana Hope Thomas