SHARING GOD’S PLAN IN THE SOUTHLAND!

Dear Family & Friends,

Hey! So this was kind of a weird week…well it wasn’t even a week, it was more like 5 days haha. But it was a good five days! I’m so glad that P-Day is back on Monday where it belongs, Wednesday P-Day was weird as heck.

So I didn’t write about Tuesday last week, right? Well Tuesday started out with us attending another session of the meeting with Elder Arnold at the Bartlett Building. This time we got to attend the sisters meeting with Sister Arnold, which was great! We talked a lot about self-worth and our emotional state as sisters and it was an excellent discussion. I also had the opportunity to have a personal interview with Elder Arnold #PerksOfLeadership and it was so wonderful! It’s amazing to see how real the mantel of a General Authority is and feel the spiritual power that accompanies them.

After the meeting Tuesday we went and did some service for a less active lady in the Ward named D. We went over there to just visit with her, but when we got there she wasn’t home, so we decided to weed her flower beds…and let me tell you, that was a task! We managed to get the whole front yard done in about an hour, but at the end of that hour the weed pile was as big as me!

One really cool thing about this week has been F. She is our really cool new investigator lady from Turkey! I was pretty excited because I totally knew a bunch of Turkish people back in the day, so we got to connect over how legit Turkish food is. She is so cute and has never really been religious, but recently has really started wondering about the answers to life’s big questions like where we came from and why we’re here, etc. We met with her for the first time on Tuesday and we mostly answered some of her specific questions about our beliefs and about why religion is important in general. It went really well, and she was excited to meet with us again! We saw her for the second time on Saturday, and since she doesn’t have any background in Christianity, and because of the nature of her questions, we felt strongly impressed to teach the Plan of Salvation rather than the Restoration, which is normally what we start with. It was SO COOL! It was one of the best lessons I’ve taught on my mission so far, and she absolutely loved the Plan of Salvation.

We had another really cool experience teaching the Plan of Salvation this week which I will talk about later, but I want to take the time here to just bear my testimony of the perfection of Heavenly Father’s plan. It is absolutely flawless, there are no loopholes, no mistakes, it is perfect, and it is my favorite thing to teach people as a missionary because you can see them connect with it so strongly, and you know that it’s because they’re not learning it for the first time, their spirit is remembering truth they once knew. It is just the coolest thing!

We also had a great lesson with C this week, Sister W came with us and we mostly discussed C’s reading, and her feelings about her spiritual journey. She is progressing so well, she just needs to let go of her current church and the social aspect of it all. She has promised us that she will be at church this coming Sunday, and that is a big step for C, I hope she follows through!

We also had a couple good lessons with the L kids. We made them a board where they can write down the commitments we give them and check them off as they do them, and they absolutely love it! They got to decorate the board and ever since it went up they have been meticulous about doing their reading, they are so cute! The girls, D & Z, even came to church this week! They were a little nervous going into Primary, but they did great and afterwards their teachers said they even participated in the lesson!

So the other really cool experience we had with the Plan of Salvation this week was with A & T. They are dating, she is a returning member, and he is a Lutheran, but he’s investigating. He’s pretty new to religion in general, so we’ve had to take things slow with him, but when we taught the Plan of Salvation last night at the end of the lesson he got really quiet and he said “this was a really good lesson…it’s different, but it all makes a lot of sense.” He loved it!!!!! We left him with a chapter in the Book of Mormon to read that relates to the Plan of Salvation and he was so excited!! It was amazing!

Sorry that this was a short email this week, it was a short week! Next week’s will be better!

Happy Father’s Day to my own father, to all the men who have acted as fathers to me, and to all the men around the world who loving fulfill their priesthood duties as husbands and fathers, the whole world would be lost without you!

Love,

Sister Thomas

This is a picture of Sister S & I with a basket full of Easter candy that we only paid one dollar for. It was a miracle.

Hannah with Easter Candy.jpg

WEEK FIFTY-EIGHT: SPIRITUALLY FED

Dear Family and Friends,

Hello Hello!!

It feels so strange to be emailing on a Wednesday. I don’t know what to do with myself! This past week has been wonderful. I made it a goal to really dive into the area and not focus on what I left behind in Searcy and it has been amazing! I feel like I’ve been here forever! Memphis is the promised land.

This week started out slow. Monday night and all of Tuesday, basically every appointment we had fell through. It was not ideal. We were both getting kind of frustrated when person after person was cancelling, or just not answering their door. We prayed and asked for guidance about where we should be, but still ended up striking out. We were confused and frustrated about the fact that we couldn’t seem to catch anyone, and we didn’t know why.

Looking back now, I can see that the Lord was preparing us to learn a very different lesson, but more on that later. Wednesday was somewhat better. We had our first Book of Mormon class, which went very well, even though it was mostly just the missionaries in there! Haha. The teacher, Brother M, is great and very excited to be teaching the class. It was only the first week, so hopefully more people will come as it continues.

Thursday we had another slow frustrating day full of cancelled appointments! We had an appointment scheduled with C, our top investigator, but she texted a couple of hours before to let us know we couldn’t come over because she was sick. We decided to take some action and bake her cookies and bring them to her. She ended up being really thankful and promised us that she would not miss our next appointment!! Thursday evening was better. We had a member from the YSA branch come out with us and we tried to visit our YSA investigator, A, but instead we got her YSA age roommate, B. B is pretty weird and kind of out of it, but we were able to teach him a little bit and challenged him to read the Book of Mormon. He challenged us that if he read 22 verses we had to do 22 push ups…It was obviously a very spiritual interaction, but we agreed, haha.

After that experience, we went to teach the L family with Bishop P. It was a great lesson!! We reviewed what they remembered about the Plan of Salvation from last time, and they remembered a lot! The four kids are so cute, and their grandma T is wonderful! After we had reviewed and answered their questions, we read 1 Nephi 4 with them, and they loved the story about Nephi cutting off Laban’s head. One of the boys, JD, kept referring to it as a “game changer.” They are so funny! We really need to get them to church, but because the parents are only ever home on the weekends, they want to spend a bunch of time with the kids and aren’t that interested in going to church…so we have to work on that.

Friday we had weekly planning, which took 5ever. After that we took more cookies to one of our investigators, R. He is an old widower who has lived across the street from some members of the Ward for over 40 years, and is very good friends with them. He was appreciative, and said he had read the Living Christ and the Proclamation that we’d left him with last time. He’s actually Jewish, so we’ll see what happens. We also ate dinner with the B’s Friday night which was wonderful because they are the best and I have loved them for a long time! They are in the Bartlett 2nd Ward, but have two kids in the YSA (M, our Branch Mission Leader & S, our best friend). I have known them really well since I was in Lakeland, so they were definitely a plus about getting transferred to YSA. Their dad teaches the Book of Mormon class I started while I was in Lakeland. They are the funniest people, and we seriously just laughed our heads off all of dinner!!

Saturday we decided that what we really needed to do was just take a walk day and be like real missionaries without a car! We left our apartment at 10:00 am and we walked all day, non-stop, no rides or anything until 9:00 when we were going home and the B’s picked us up. Memphis is June is not ideal walking conditions, and it was HOT, but so worth it! We met so many people and got so many new potential investigators. We are so excited to go back and contact a lot of them this week! I managed to only get a light sunburn, which is an accomplishment for someone as pale as me! I did however, bruise my knuckles knocking doors! (see pic below). How cool of a missionary experience is that? Haha

We also had an amazing lesson with C Saturday afternoon. She is so prepared. She is still reading and really studying the information we give her. When we go over there we don’t even really teach. She asks questions and teaches herself! While we were over there she told us she is seriously considering getting baptized into the Mormon church, and when she told her daughter that her daughter said. “well mom if you become a Mormon, then I’m going to become a Mormon!” C still wants to be sure that this is the right path, but she is honestly seeking her answer, and she will get it sooner than she thinks.

We also got to visit R, this wonderful less-active old lady. She has the beginning stages of dementia and when we go visit her she always has a story about how certain people (people in the Ward, her neighbors, her daughter, anyone really) are out to get her, but she is just too smart for them! She is very cute.

Sunday was great. Six hours of church is a marathon, but it’s so so fun!!!! Sunday night we had dinner with The P family, a new young family who recently moved into the Ward, and they are amazing! They are both returned missionaries and their home and lives are so focused on the gospel, and bringing others to Christ! When we got there, we barely had any time to get to know them, because they had so many missionary experiences and people they’d met that they needed to tell us about! #LifeGoals

Monday we had the mission tour in Arkansas, (thus the reason we have p-day today), so we had to leave Memphis at 5:00 am… which was not ideal, haha. But it was SO worth it! Elder Arnold of the 70 (he gave the talk “To the Rescue” this most recent conference) came and spoke with us and it was so amazing! We started the day with an MLC for all the ZLs & STLs in the mission and it was so cool! The Spirit was so strong as we discussed the ways we could change and improve, to catch all the potential our mission has to offer. He truly made it a discussion and listened to and appreciated our input. He never could quite get our title right though. He kept calling us “Sister Leader Trainers” instead of “Sister Training Leaders,” Hahahaha. He talked a lot about getting out of the car and being out and about, which was exactly what Sister Sanders and I needed!

Sister Arnold was wonderful too. She is about my height, and he is at least 6’5 #TheDream.

I’ll write about Tuesday next week. It was wonderful too!!

I love y’all so much, and I am so thankful for all the support and love I receive daily. I know my Savior lives and I love Him!

Sister Thomas

 

A bunch of silly pictures of Sister S & I. I thought y’all should see her!

Hannah and Sister Sanders2Hannah and Sister Sanders3Hannah and Sister Sanders4Hannah and Sister Sanders

My bruised knuckle!!

Bruised knuckle

Us with the L family! #Squaddd

Hannah and the Lopez Family

Post walk day crazy wispy hair!

fly away hair.jpg

 

 

WEEK FIFTY-SEVEN: WALKIN’ IN MEMPHIS (Once Again!)

Dear Family and Friends,

Hello, Hello, Hello!

So everything changed this week, transfers happened and it was a whirlwind of a week! Monday evening, we had dinner with the B’s, one of my favorite families in Searcy. They have three kids and live out on a couple of acres in McRae with 2 peacocks, 2 pheasants, 3 puppies, 6 pigs, 4 sheep, about a million chickens, and 1 turkey. It rained out any chance of Memorial Day BBQ, so we had Memorial Day pancakes!! We ate and yelled and laughed and then Olivia (their 13-year-old daughter) played us her Ukulele. It was wonderful and sad because I knew I was getting transferred, and I REALLY didn’t want to get transferred! Tuesday we had exchanges with Jacksonville, and Sister A & I stayed in Searcy. The day resulted in a whirlwind of goodbyes and honestly, it was a really hard day. Thankfully Sister Arnold was very understanding and was happy to take a much needed Wendy’s Frosty break. The Searcy Ward is full of characters, and I am going to miss every single one of them, I LOVE Searcy!!!! I have lots of pictures from this day that will be included in the email.

Wednesday we spent the morning packing, and then exchanged back. Jacksonville was on bike week, so when we were done exchanging, we offered to give them a ride somewhere, and while we were driving it started POURING rain, like POURING. The poor Jacksonville sisters looked like wet rats as they knocked on the door of their appointment, who wasn’t there, so then we had to give them a ride somewhere else! Hahaha. Oh the joys of bike week!

Wednesday night was Book of Mormon class and another slew of goodbyes at the church. You know you love an area when you have multiple people offer you the chance to come back and live with them. Haha. I will miss these crazy folks.

Thursday I made my way back to the Memphis side, which is a miracle! As sad as I was to leave Searcy, and I WAS sad, I love Memphis and am so excited to be back! Driving over the bridge into Tennessee felt like coming home in a very real sense. I am a Memphis missionary. My new area is called Walnut Grove, and we cover two units, a large family Ward, and the Memphis YSA branch, which means six hours of church every Sunday! It’s kind of insane, but I like it. 🙂 The family Ward is huge, and that is really nice, lots of people = lots of dinners! Hahaha no, but I am excited to serve there. The YSA branch is a whole different animal, haha. I’m not 100% sure how I feel about it yet, but I think I am going to like it. It’s just a little weird being a missionary in a branch that is made up exclusively of people my age. Sunday meetings with them was a fascinating experience. because for the first time I realized just how far removed I have become from my peer group. I don’t feel like I’m different than I was, but watching the YSA’s at church yesterday, I can see that I most certainly am.

Two fun stories from this week that both involve bugs: Saturday morning we woke up and noticed a large thing by the door to our bedroom…IT WAS THE BIGGEST SPIDER I HAVE EVER SEEN IN A HOME. I will include a picture of our well laid out spider trap. Sister S was a valiant spider hunter. Then, later that day, we knocked on this door, but the people didn’t answer and we noticed this huge really cool moth by the door! So I took a picture, but I wanted a closer up one, so I tried to push my Book of Mormon under it to make it stand on the Book of Mormon, and it peed or something all over the book!! It was crazy and horrifying and I screamed! I will also include pictures of that, haha.

Well, that’s about all for this week, but I promise once I am settled in that my letters will be more detailed! I just want y’all to know that I know Christ lives, that He loves us, and that this is His church. I hope each of you has a great week, and I love y’all!

Sister Thomas

 

WEEK FIFTY-SIX: WEEK OF FAITH!!!

Dear Family and Friends,

The way to describe this week: humbling and miraculous! The Lord really helped us see the huge treasure Searcy contains as long as we diligently seek to dig it out through our efforts and, most importantly, following the Spirit. The miracles witnessed were nothing like raising the dead or anything…..though we did resurrect our phone after I accidentally threw the phone across the sidewalk after a June bug flew at my face….so scratch that, haha.

We decided to make this our “week of faith” where we go out with everything we’ve got, coupled with lots of faith and beginning with a fast. We desired to try to hit the standard of excellence (avg. goals in a mission of lessons and such to have in a week). There was and continues to be some serious power that comes from the Lord, because the miracles poured in. Faith brings blessings!

Miracle 1–So right now one of our investigators is G. She is on fire!! We met with her three times this week, twice with members. Two of the times we came over, we walked in to her reading the Book of Mormon!! Just the other day she read over 6 chapters and almost to 2nd Nephi. You can tell she is experiencing the thirsting and hungering after righteousness, and her desire is sincere. What a difference it is to see that in someone. During a comp study, I felt like we needed to teach her about fasting in order to help her progress in receiving her answer. We taught her on Friday with Sister R (more on her in a bit), a sister in the ward, and they connected soooo well! We had been praying to find the right member for her and the Lord answered that prayer!

Before we jumped into the lesson, G really opened up about her life being on a farm, working hard, being a CNA and nurse, and her love for people. It really helped us bring joy and a different, wonderful spirit into the lesson. We invited her to fast by being willing to study more (can’t go without food due to health) and begin with prayer. She readily accepted. She came to church yesterday and soo many of the ward members expressed how happy they were to see her, shaking her hand and hugging her. Sister R gave her the biggest hug when she walked in. I know G will be baptized and will receive her answer that this is the truth. I love her sooo much and desire greatly for her to feel the joy of this gospel!!

So sister R is probably one of my favorite members among the many I love here. She and her husband do the housing inspections in the mission but they are also in our ward. She and her husband always get in these little arguments and they’re freakin’ great. One day after one of them, she looked at us and said, “One day you girls will be married and I want you to know (looks annoyingly towards her husband)….choose VERY wisely!” Hahaha I love her! I love grumpy old people! We also saw two recent converts with her and she is so loving to everyone.

Miracle 2–On Tuesday, we felt like we needed to go by the B’s who are returning members. They have the cutest kids with really curly hair! We couldn’t see them right away due to things going on but said we could come a couple days later. When we came back, they welcomed us in and introduced us to their friend, K, who just moved in with them a couple days before (the day we tried to go see them!). She came from Missouri and is our age. We talked a little bit about S B’s conversion and how the Book of Mormon changed her life. We ended up showing this video called a Book of Mormon story, about this bishop from London who tells about the Book of Mormon and parts of it that changed his perspective. K stayed really focused on the video. Afterwards we offered her a Book of Mormon and Bible and she accepted. S B said we could come back Tuesday for a lesson with the both of them!!

Miracle 3–K has returned!! So she is super solid and wants to be baptized. The last lesson we had with her was when I first arrived here in Searcy. Right after that lesson, she disappeared off the face of the planet. She didn’t answer her door, texts, etc. So a few days ago, we dropped her. However, we were by her apartment complex, visiting a returning member, when I felt like we should knock on her door. We did and no one answered. Then the prompting came to call. The phone rang and rang and then she picked up. We both were caught off guard! She said we could come by Saturday. When we did, we walked up towards her apartment and this boy outside said she left with someone. Disappointed we walked back. A prompting came to wait for a few minutes. As we sat there contemplating what to do next, K drove up with her friend to her apartment. Turns out sicknesses and difficulties at work, prevented her from being home. She apologized several times for not responding. We got to have a lesson with her, and she told us a specific date she wanted to be done smoking by in July!!

Miracle 4–we reviewed our numbers for this week, having not looked at them all week. We saw we hit every single category but dates. We asked ourselves who we should set a date with. The first person that came to mind was K M. This was a huge surprise. A (11) and her mom are converts, but K is kind of grumpy and not interested. He did not see why the priesthood was necessary. He said he never received answers from God. However, over the past couple days, he has increased listening to the Book of Mormon in his truck–he is a truck driver. When we went to their house, we felt we needed to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ and invite him to be baptized. We had tried before going over baptism, but this time we made an emphasis on priesthood and the gift of the Holy Ghost. His heart is being softened. Right when we walked in, he opened the door for us, quickly turned off the TV, and sat ready to listen. This surprised us. We began the lesson and he participated in parts. When we talked about the Holy Ghost and his ability to have it with him always, his facial expression kind of softened. You could tell he was going through a humbling process. As we finished the lesson, we invited him to make a goal of baptism by July 2nd. He simply said, that would be fine. We were both like WHAT?! On the inside that is. He then opened up to express some of his concerns of the date, due to losing a son in July, and he did not understand what we had to do to get into heaven. So we will be teaching plan of salvation next time we come. Afterwards, his wife S walked us out. She said he had been reading and praying for his answers, even though has been kind of pride filled about it (giving up old ways). Once we got in the car, we both just burst into joy and excitement!! And we realized later that night, we hit above our standard of excellence:)

Miracle…..there is too many for this email. So I will just stop there or else I will be creating my own version of 17 Miracles. haha! But this really taught me the power of faith and relying on our Savior. The moment we would put our faith in His plans, the Spirit poured out and unexpected blessings came. Through our Savior and His Atonement, He helps us reach beyond our standards of excellence in this life. He doesn’t want us to live merely average, good lives, though they are good…..He wants us to reach potential beyond what we see. The one common denominator throughout all these miracles is the Book of Mormon.

In our district meeting Tuesday, Elder G instructed on using the Book of Mormon, especially the section of Preach My Gospel on how it helps people draw nearer to God. This quote I love is found in it– President Gordon B. Hinckley declared: “Those who have read [The Book of Mormon] prayerfully, be they rich or poor, learned or unlearned, have grown under its power. … Without reservation I promise you that if you will prayerfully read The Book of Mormon, regardless of how many times you previously have read it, there will come into your hearts … the Spirit of the Lord. There will come a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and there will come a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God” (“The Power of the Book of Mormon). I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God and will bring any man closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. The spirit will fill your life and guide you down the path of eternal life. We really had an amazing week! We did tons of service this week at thrift shops and they had TONS of donations so they kept us busy!! We tried on lots of weird stuff and took loads of pictures!! We became really close and our teaching and companionship became so unified.

Like one night a couple weeks ago, we both woke up and got down and said our personal prayers together. After we both finished, we looked at the clock and saw it was 2 in the morning!! We did not get lots of sleep this week but what is new, haha. Just as President Wakolo says, “Sleep is for the weak!” But like all good things must come to an end sadly. I just found out that I am getting transferred to the Memphis, Tennessee side to serve in Walnut Grove!!! We cover two units, a family Ward, and a YSA branch. I am so sad to leave Searcy. It’s hard for me to even explain, but this is going to be an amazing new adventure! I leave Searcy Thursday for Walnut Grove, so the next time y’all hear from me I’ll be in Memphis!

Other great things from the week:

-Mission Leadership Counsel in North Little Rock: Great instruction from AP’s and President! Our mission is amazing!!

-And then had a post dinner at Chuys: Tex Mex restaurant with K S. So other miracle: Her mom came with her to pick us up from MLC. She is not active and not super interested, but invited us over to lunch sometime this week.

-Great dinner with bishop W’s family! Their younger daughter is like a mini rock star and we totally jammed together. It was so cute and fun 🙂

-Did a musical number with Elder P (He is a famous Rock Star in the Philippines.) in sacrament meeting. We sang the song “Come unto Christ.” (A video of our practice the night before is attached.)

I hope all of you have an amazing week! The invitation we are giving to members here is to read all the Book of Mormon before General Conference. I love you all and I love this work!!

Love. Love, love,

Sister Thomas

Searcy District Pic

Searcy District

Chuy's

 Chuy’s Tex Mex!

Thrift Store service2

Service in a thrift store

Silly Pics with Fisher3

Silly Pictures with Sister F

WEEK FIFTY-FIVE: REFERRALS & FIREFLIES; THE LORD PROVIDES!!

Dear Family & Friends,

Hey!!

So this week was another busy one. I have pretty much resigned myself to the fact that for these last six months of my mission I will be exhausted all the time, and I’m okay with that! Missionary work is a great reason to be exhausted. Monday was very casual. Thank goodness for casual p-days. I think at this point I would literally die without them. We mostly hung out and enjoyed ourselves playing volleyball/napping at the church, so that was pretty great.

Tuesday we had specialized training for the whole zone in Batesville and we were instructing. We based our instructions around the phrase “What Happens Here Will Change the World” and talked about how each of us, through our personal diligence and obedience, have the ability to change the world. It fit in super well with our zone vision for 2016, which is to “Be the most effective stake in Zion” here in Searcy zone we make no small plans, after all “they have no magic to stir men’s souls”.

After specialized we went on exchanges and I spent time in Lonoke with Sister W. Sister W and I came out together, and we’re both from Texas so that was kind of fun. Lonoke is a very small Arkansas town where everybody knows everybody, and that can make it hard to break through to people sometimes, because everyone is so concerned about what the neighbors might think, but the sisters are doing a great job. We had an adventurous morning volunteering at a food bank, and while we were there this lady fell and split her lip open and was bleeding everywhere and we had to call an ambulance. Too bad there were no elders to offer a priesthood blessing, but we prayed for her! It was pretty scary, but it definitely woke me up a bit! After we were done with the Lonoke exchanges, we went and visited M, my deaf lady in Beebe. She is doing well 🙂 We had correlation at the WML’s house that night, and then dinner with the Bishop’s family. They have four young kids who are kind of crazy, and every time we go over, Sister W apologizes for her kids, but I love it!! It so reminds me of home 🙂

Thursday we had dinner with the F’s, my favorite wild family. They showed us the GoPro videos from our swing adventures, and we all ate Little Caesar’s on the couch while they told stories about their many years in the funeral business. They are just a hoot! They remind me of a family from a movie, I just love them.

Friday we traveled up to Batesville to weekly plan with them and go on exchanges. It was super fun to weekly plan with them, and after we were done we had dinner in this really cute restaurant called Bigs. They had chalkboard pieces all over the walls and people drew all sorts of cool pictures, it was so cute! After lunch I came back down to Searcy with Sister D, and we had a great time. She is a great sister, she knows what she’s doing and she doesn’t worry about anything else, I really liked being with her. We had dinner with a recent convert family, the D’s, that night and they gave us a referral for their friends! Sister D said that she felt like we really needed to go by and see them, so that’s exactly what we did. Saturday morning, we stopped by and from the moment we walked up A (the referral) was in tears. Her aunt had died late the night before and A was heartbroken. She said that right in that moment us showing up was exactly what she needed as a reminder that God loved her! It’s amazing the way the Spirit works sometimes. We were able to teach a brief lesson to her and her husband, leave them with a chapter in the Book of Mormon to read, and set a return appointment! We have really needed this miracle since our area has been struggling a little recently.

This week I have just been so thankful for the little tender mercies the Lord places in our path, because they truly are what sustain us through times of trial. One beautiful little tender mercy this week has been fireflies. Because Searcy is a more rural area, there are tons of roads that have open fields on either side, and now that it is warming up, when you drive at night those fields are full of thousands of fireflies. It is breathtaking, it literally looks like magic. The beauty of this earth is no accident! Our earth is beautiful because our Heavenly Father wants us to be happy! I am so thankful for my knowledge of His love, and His plan.

Love y’all!!

Sister Thomas

 

 

WEEK FIFTY-FOUR: SEARCY TO MOUNTAIN VIEW TO SEARCY…

Hello Hello!!

I hope y’all had a great week, Mine was great, but kind of insane crazy at the same time. 🙂 I absolutely adore being a Sister Training Leader, but sometimes it gets a little overwhelming, and this week was one of those weeks.

On Monday we went to A’s (our 11-year-old recent convert) softball game and it was so fun! It was very windy and there was lots of dirt blowing into my eyes, It reminded me so much of home. 🙂

We started the work week off with exchanges with the Mountain View sisters. We have a set of service missionaries in our Ward, the Reynolds, who are in charge of all the apartment inspections and stuff here in Searcy zone & they drove us up to Mountain View on Tuesday, because they were doing their apartment inspection that day. They also were stopping in Heber Springs to do the Quitman elders apartment inspection, so I had a pretty good time giving the elders a hard time about how not clean their apartment was. Mountain View’s tiny house (there are no apartment buildings in Mountain View) was great though and those girls are so cute. 🙂 I stayed here in Searcy with Sister K and we just had a grand ole’ time. On Tuesday my life changed because a member put two musicals on my USB and I about died. Sister K is a huge musical theatre kid too, so we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves riding around Searcy singing along to “Godspell” at the top of our lungs. Don’t worry though, we taught some lessons too!

We had a great lesson with G, who is wonderful, but still doesn’t understand the Spirit. We spent a long time talking about it with her and finally discovered that she doesn’t think she has ever received an answer to a prayer through feeling the Spirit. She has only received answers through physical happenings, so we are having a really hard time helping her recognize her answer about the Book of Mormon. We read the beginning of 3 Nephi 11 though and explained that, just like the people at Bountiful that day, each of us has to open ourselves up to the messages God is trying to send us if we want to understand what he is saying. We challenged her to spend 30 seconds after every prayer and every Book of Mormon study, just focusing on her feelings and trying to feel how God is communicating with her.

On Wednesday we switched back and then found out that one of our sisters (who I LOVE) was going home and we had to help out with that….it was awful! She has gotten really sick recently and they decided she had to go ahead and go home, but it was very hard for me because she has been one of my very favorite missionaries. I hope she makes a quick recovery, and I wish her all the best because she is wonderful. Another fun thing that happened on Wednesday is that Sister F forgot her wallet in Mountain View, so on Thursday we had to drive back up to Heber Springs to meet the Mountain View sisters halfway and get her wallet. Fun Fact: Heber Springs is an hour away, so Mountain View is two hours away. Searcy Zone is huge!!

Once we were back in our area on Thursday we went and visited L & A. L is so dang solid…I just wish they could get married!! Quick recap on their situation: A is a returning member, L is an investigator. They live together, but can’t get married because A is still married to her husband and is having a hard time getting divorced. It’s so sad though because L just understands the gospel! It’s so cool to see 🙂

On Friday we had exchanges with the Cabot sisters, but we headed up to Cabot early so that we could do their weekly planning with them. Right now they are in a trio, Sister M, Sister F, and Sister W. I stayed in Cabot with Sister M & Sister F and it was so much fun! We went out with several members there in Cabot and ate some cheesecake to finish off the night. Saturday we did some service and helped some members set up their son’s wedding reception in their back yard, and it was SO FUN because it was superhero themed! I loved it obviously, hahah. When it was time to switch back,the members invited us to stay and eat dinner at the reception, which we did. After that we headed to the F’s house because the office elders brought some couches for us to burn, so we had another huge bonfire! After which we played a game of hot potato with little burnt up pieces of wood and it was so fun, but very scary!

Hahah.

Sunday the S’s, the family who had signed up for dinner, asked if they could take us to Heber Springs to eat dinner with her non-member parents. The zone leaders said yes, and we had so much fun!! Their house was beautiful and the conversation was excellent. It was cool to see members so unafraid to introduce their family to missionaries, unfortunately they don’t live in our area, so we will have to tell the Heber Springs missionaries to stop by 🙂

I also gave a talk in church this Sunday, and it was all about the importance of commandments. I LOVED giving it because it was so cool to read and understand that all of the commandments are given because our Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to succeed!

I love y’all!!!

Sister Thomas

Superhero Wedding Reception
Superhero Reception

Super Hero ReceptionSuperhero Reception

Hannah's District Searcy
District meeting

Hannah Searcy

Chick-fil-A

Sister Thomas is tired
Dead on the floor