Dear Friends and Family,
This week was interesting! Monday we mostly just hung out with the Bartlett sisters and then we got haircuts from Sister M. I continue to be so thankful for both of them. Sister M’s constant willingness to serve us is astonishing, and the friendship of the Bartlett sisters is a huge blessing. Sister B. and I in particular have grown very close, I admire her strength and ability and obedience so much. She is who I look to when I think about the sort of missionary I want to be.
Tuesday we spent a lot of time teaching with SB. We were trying to contact a less active named M. who is 16, he got baptized two years ago and was very active for the first year, but since then he has fallen out of activity almost completely. He weren’t able to see him, but we did teach a brief lesson with his sister, and she invited us back! We also saw J. while with SB. He had come home from work due to heat exhaustion. We brought him Gatorade and cookies and talked to him for a little while. He continues to be totally set on baptism, but his work schedule is making it difficult to set a date. His job is the worst! They treat him really poorly and he works all the time. Please pray that he will be able to set a date and also that he will be able to find a new job.
We also saw Sister W. that day post-surgery. She had her operation in the morning, but was back home by noon. Her voice is awesome now! You can totally hear her and she is so happy to have it back. She is in a lot of pain though. Her surgery involved them removing fat from her stomach and injecting it into her vocal cord, so her stomach has been in a lot of pain since Tuesday. She also has been experiencing a lot of soreness and has found herself having a hard time keeping food down. As the week has progressed though she has been feeling better and better each day. Because she had surgery this week and she lives alone we stopped by to visit her every day just to check up and make sure she was okay. We ended up running a lot of different errands for her like mailing bills, writing emails, and picking up her dentures from the dentist’s office! We also were able to just sit, talk with her, and share words of comfort. She is such an amazing lady and really fun to talk to!
Other significant events this week included Transfer Meeting, which happened Wednesday. We were not transferred, but we attended the meeting because it doubled as the 40th birthday party for the Arkansas Little Rock mission. It was a really fun meeting, but it was sad to see a lot of missionaries who I really enjoy, get transferred to far away areas. Such is the mission life I suppose. The great news is that my whole district is staying another transfer, so the Bartlett sisters will be with us for at least another 6 weeks! We also got cupcakes at the end of the meeting, so that was good.
We spent the 4th with our investigator, J. He had a block party and introduced us to all of his neighbors! It was really fun.
We also met three guys this week named J., A., and M., who we have seen and taught every single day since we met them on Thursday, how awesome is that? They are friends and all live on the same street. J. is a Baptist and has been exposed to a lot of anti-Mormon literature at some point, but told us he knows a lot of it isn’t true and that he wants to learn about us from the source. I am not sure A. has any strong religious beliefs, and M. is Messianic Jewish, and very solid on his beliefs, but they all want us to keep teaching them, and, they all came to church on Sunday!!!! And so did J.!!! And a less active member and his non-member wife!!!!! Gospel Principles was FULL that day. It felt so good to see so many people being led to the gospel. Heavenly Father is so amazing at blessing us with people who are prepared to hear the gospel.
It is such a blessing to be serving here and to be able to witness the Lord’s work being done. As I continue to strive to be a better missionary I have to continue to work on exact obedience. This week I did not do as well as I had hoped the week before, so I am recommitting myself to that, particularly in relation to exercise and bedtime. I also am working hard at personalizing my lessons to all those that we teach so that our planning session consists of more than “should we teach the restoration?” “Yeah sounds good”.
I hope that I am continuing to improve and I am working hard to do so. I love this church. I love this gospel. I love our general authorities and am deeply saddened at the loss of President Packer. I am so thankful for my opportunity to serve, and I love you all.
Sister Hannah Kathryn Thomas