Dear Family & Friends,
Wow. I thought of that email title last night, well before I knew David Bowie had passed away. I am so upset. I know it’s kind of silly to cry about a celebrity, but I have been crying all morning. He was such a large part of my childhood and one of my favorite musical artists. So you know, judge me if you must.
But anyway, this week was good! The switch to ASL has definitely come with a different set of challenges, and there are still some bumps that need smoothing, but I am catching the hang of things. I am interpreting all the time now, and even though I’m still not the best interpreter of all time, I am determined to do a good job!
This week we had Zone Meeting on Wednesday and we set our zone goals for 2016. We also discussed the importance of following up and extending very specific invitations when we teach. One really cool thing our mission is doing is that we are doing away with the traditional “dinner thought” and instead, just having a discussion about the family and their missionary work. I LOVE this idea, and I think it is going to have an awesome impact on member missionary work.
I mentioned last week that one of my big goals going forward is to improve our relationship with the Ward, so one thing I have been trying to do this week is to thank everyone in the Ward for the different services they offer, (thanks Sister Reber) and I have also been looking for opportunities to serve them, and even though it is just the first week it has gone well! Hopefully things will continue to improve.
This week we also took a trip out to Hot Springs and Arkadelphia to visit our deaf investigators out there, and it was wonderful! Hot Springs is beautiful, and we were able to see all the deaf people we had driven out to see. In Arkadelphia we had an awesome lesson with K & J, our investigators out there. At the end of the lesson they asked about attending church! Since Arkadelphia is over an hour away, we will have to make the trip down there to interpret for their branch, but it should be fun.
Because of the craziness of having to travel 50 miles each way to teach some of our investigators, we have been talking with our leaders about some different solutions to the issue, and we are going to be trying some new and interesting things! One thing we are going to start doing is getting in contact with the Skype ASL missionaries in Salt Lake and we are hoping to have them teach our investigators when we can’t get to them. We also are going to start traveling to areas where we have investigators and spending a week there, so that we can see them three or four times, instead of just once a month.
I am really excited about all of this because I feel like things are changing and ASL work here on the Arkansas side is picking up! It’s super exciting and I have been really re-energized by all the different things that are happening. I believe it is so important for us to constantly be looking for ways that we can do the Lord’s work better, and assuming that all goes well, I think ASL work here in Arkansas will be going a lot better soon.
I am so thankful for the opportunity that I have to be here. I know it was divinely inspired. Heavenly Father has helped me so much since I have been here in my new area. I guess it’s not really the gift of tongues, since ASL doesn’t require your tongue, so let’s call it the gift of hands! Hahaha. The gift of hands is real 🙂
I know this gospel is true. It’s true in English, it’s true in Spanish, it’s true in ASL. Revelation is real, and Thomas S. Monson talks to God. I know that.
I love all of you, and I hope y’all have a great week!
Sister Hannah Kathryn Thomas
Pictures in Hot Springs, Arkansas