Dear Friends and Family,
Well, this week some big stuff happened. Monday was pretty casual, nothing too crazy, just some hecka good Japanese food for lunch. It really is such a blessing to have the Bartlett sisters so close to us and that we have the opportunity to be such good friends with them. We had Sister Mart try sushi for the first time and she was not a fan! That’s okay though, between us we had no problem finishing her meal for her.
Tuesday we got to meet the father of a less active family in our ward. They recently had a family tragedy where he and his 15 year old daughter were in an accident, and they both received 3rd degree burns. It has been really hard for them, but because of the tragedy, he told us he thinks he may be ready to try and get closer to God. We are really hoping to help this family see how the gospel can bless their lives on a daily basis through the small and simple things like prayer, scripture study, and church attendance. Tuesday night we also got to see Jacob at The Smith’s house. We played Phase 10 and then taught him about fasting. He agreed to fast to receive an answer about baptism, which he did this weekend… AND HE HAS MADE THE DECISION TO GET BAPTIZED!! He has asked our ward mission leader, Brother Martineau, to perform the baptism, and he is trying to get a full weekend off from work so that he can be baptized on a Saturday and confirmed on Sunday. I am just so excited for Jacob. He has been investigating the church for a long time, and he has gone through some really hard things, but I know that his decision to get baptized is going to change his whole life. What a miracle.
One of the other really cool things that happened this week is that we went over to Terravik & Tenia’s house to meet their mom since we are going to start teaching them this coming week, and she was super interested in what we had to say and agreed to start learning from us as well! And she is really hard of hearing and trying to learn sign language! I told her I could help her with that and she was so excited!! I was also VERY excited of course. While we were in her neighborhood we met a few other people and set up return appointments, so it’s really exciting to see the fruits of regular hard work. One of the women we have a return appointment with is named Gwen, and she grew up in Baytown! She was excited when she found out I grew up just down the road in Houston.
We continue to visit Sister Gonzales every week, but she and George did not come to church this Sunday like they said they would. (I was pretty sad not to see them because I know that she especially is so ready for the gospel to be in her life again ).
Sister Wilson goes in for surgery on her vocal cords tomorrow, so please keep her in your prayers. The good news is her shingles have cleared up really well, and she is right on track to go get her dog later this month.
The other HUGE miracle this week was on Saturday. That morning we got a text from Ron our neighbor asking us to pray for him. We asked him if he wanted us to come and pray with him, and he said yes and that he wanted “to learn about the book”. We were ecstatic because when we had our first lesson with their family they had not invited us back and we didn’t think they would. So we went over that night and talked to Ron about the Book of Mormon. He told us that he wanted to figure out what God wanted for him, and what he needed to do to please God, and he thought The Book of Mormon might have those answers. We told him it definitely did! We read the title page, the introduction, and 1 Nephi chapter one with him and he really liked it. After we finished reading we invited him to be baptized. He accepted our invitation and accepted a baptismal date of July 18th!! And then he made us crab legs!!! It was a wonderful, amazing night. It is going to be a challenge to have him ready by then, he has a lot he needs to change, but he is willing to do it! Now we just need to get Shenika in on the lessons and baptize both of them. The Lord is amazing. It is truly stunning what he can accomplish.
That is really it in terms of big events this week, I continue to work on my faithfulness, work ethic, and obedience daily. I have a long way to go to become the missionary I want to be, but I have already seen the blessings that come when you try to do t he Lord’s work consistently. The Ward continues to be excellent. The people are kind and charitable, and I love them.
I would ask y’all to please continue to pray for all of our investigators, especially Ron and; Jacob. Pray for Sister Wilson that her surgery will go well. Man I love that woman. She and I are already planning her trip up to Utah once I get off my mission. Her dream is to hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir live. Pray for Sister Gonzales and George, and The Mullins family as the y deal with the aftermath of their accident, and pray for me. I love all of you, and I can feel the strength of your prayers and belief in me , lifting me up when I am faint, so thank you.
Love, Love, Love,
Sister Hannah Kathryn Thomas