WEEK SEVENTY-THREE: TENDER MERCIES AND BLESSINGS UPON BLESSINGS

Dear Family and Friends,

Hey y’all! This week has been such a good week! I feel like so much as happened. So sorry it’s gonna be a long email. Won’t be offended if you don’t read it all.

Monday: After our P-Day ended, we had FHE with the S’s, S (an older lady in the ward), and Sister D. What a party that was hahah! Little background on Sister D. When we go see her, she doesn’t let us leave until like 2 hours later. We just sit there and say nothing. Her train of thought absolutely makes no sense and it’s awesome. She will call us and leave 2-3 min voicemails. She is hilarious. So during the entire FHE, the only person who really talked was Sister D. No one else said like one word 😂. It was fun though!

Tuesday through Thursday we had exchanges, which were fun, but I really missed Sister G. I was with Sister D here in Jonesboro. It was kind of strange being on the non-STL side of exchanges, but I really learned a lot. I am so thankful for the council we are all able to receive from our leaders.

Friday: Miracles, tender mercies, blessings upon blessings. The Lord is so good. So we didn’t have a car for the weekend because President wants us to have bike week every other 2 weeks which kind of sucks but it’s ok. The Elders just don’t need the car because they have Freddy week, so they never walk. So we were kind of bitter about that, but put a smile on our faces and tried being positive haha. After personal study, the member that was supposed to go with us at 10 to go teach Y, our adorable new Japanese investigator, bailed on us. Y lives up on campus at ASU so we were like “umm how are we going to get there…” So we walked to the Elder’s apartment to get the car, then went to ASU to teach Y. When we asked her how her prayer went she responded “when I pray, I never want to open my eyes. It just feels so good and comfortable.” I expressed to her how we can always have a prayer in our heart and that we can always talk to Heavenly Father. She got so excited when I told her this. We then talked a little about Jesus Christ’s ministry and how he established his church. We talked about the Apostasy and Joseph Smith. At the end of the lesson, we asked her to be baptized. Her eyes got wide and she looked at us with a lot of concern. We asked her if she was ok and she responds “I don’t know what baptism is or what I’m supposed to do.” We forgot that she didn’t even know who Jesus Christ was, she didn’t know about the Bible or Book of Mormon, she didn’t know what Christianity was. We all just kind of laughed and we explained to her what it looks like and what it means. She then got so excited and responded “Oh yes. Yes, yes, yes.” We asked her to say the closing prayer and it was the most powerful, sincere, and sweetest prayer. Some things she said was “I’m so grateful you sent these amazing friends to me. I really hope that my relationship with them will last forever. Heavenly Father, I want our relationship to last forever. I always want to have you in my life. I’m grateful for what I am learning.” Sister G and I were so touched by the Spirit and started crying. We expressed to her how strongly she invites the Spirit through her prayers and actions. We expressed how much we loved her and how much our Savior loves her. As we were walking back to our car, we cried and talked about how much we love Yuri. We then drove the car back to the Elders apartment and walked back to our apartment.

Shortly after, Sister Gr came and picked us up so we could go meet with M and H. We were planning on teaching the Word of Wisdom, but it didn’t feel quite right. We knew it wasn’t right when we left the pamphlets at the apartment. So instead we chatted for a bit and then read from the Book of Mormon. Maxine has been reading the Book of Mormon religiously. H on the other hand struggles with it. We invited them to read together and continue to pray together and they both agreed. We talked about how they really, really want to get married, but just don’t know how it’s going to work with the SSI.

After M and H, Ta came and picked us up for dinner. We felt bad because she lives out in Brookland but she was our dinner appointment tonight and she really wanted us to come. During dinner it was small talk and not much happening. She has been struggling this entire week and hasn’t let anyone come and see her. She was supposed to feed the Spanish Elders on Wednesday and the English Elders on Thursday and she canceled both. So when she told us that she wanted us to still come we were kind of surprised. After dinner, we went to the living room and Ta told us everything that was going on. So since she joined the church her dad disowned her, her boyfriend left her, her kids don’t talk to her, and most of her “friends” stopped talking to her. She was close to giving up the church, but she knew that she didn’t want to. Everyone judged her for so call “choosing” this church over her own children. She has tried reaching out to her children, but they want nothing to do with her just because she joined the church. She has been struggling with this for a while. She was doing better until Wednesday. So little background now on her boyfriend. His name is To. They dated and lived together for about 7 years. When Ta wanted to be baptized after taking the lessons, she told To that she wanted to start living the Law of Chastity. To was extremely upset so he left for about 3.5 months. He came back and slowing started moving out without telling her. He got mad one day and punched her in the face and gave her a big shiner. He then told Ta he was done and moved out. So Ta has had to deal with that, her family disowning her, and her kids not talking to her. She hadn’t seen To for a while until Wednesday at Walmart. When she saw him, he was with one of her “close friends of 16 years”. She told Ta how they were getting married and how excited they were. Ta got baptized in April. To left in June. Ta had no words when they told her this. She told us how her heart just dropped and she just wanted to start crying. She then went home and looked on Facebook and realized that they have been having an affair for years. I started to cry as Ta was telling us all of this. My heart was breaking and it still breaks for her. We looked at her and said “Ta I am so sorry.” That’s all we could say. After a minute of silence, we asked Ta if we could show her a video. We felt very prompted to show her mountains to climb. The Spirit was so strong in that room. We all cried has we bore testimony of that powerful message. She then asked me to show her where she could watch that again and read more about that talk. We then shared our favorite Bible and Book of Mormon scriptures. It was about 9:00 and she was like “oh no! I got to still take you home!” We laughed the entire way back. After she got home she texted us and said “I don’t think you sisters realize how much I needed that. Thank you and love you very much!” I love Ta.

Saturday: Ok so funny story. We went to go visit Sister D. She is an old lady and widow that’s in the ward. She is hilarious. She showed us her house, her bathroom that she is working on, and sewing room for over an hour. On my mission I have learned that old people are really lonely and love company. It is good reminder to always visit those we love. She then had us sit down for cookies and milk. I ate about 2 and sister G ate 5 hahah. Sister D then remembered that she really needed help with her tablet. So I helped her figure out the camera, took some selfies of me and sister G and then selfies of all of us, she somehow made her solitaire cards background be a selfie she took (like the accidental kind that’s just her forehead), and then Facebook. Oh my goodness I couldn’t stop laughing. She had no profile picture or cover picture or anything. So I found a cute picture of her and her husband and took a picture of it and made it her profile picture. She just kept saying “aw J would love it. Aw J would love this.” It was sweet. Then she didn’t understand what a cover photo was, so we went to my Facebook page so she could see. She then added me as a friend and added sister G as well. She wanted to just make her cover photo either sister G or I and we got her to veto that idea but then she was set on making her cover photo the selfie Sister G and I took. So we are her cover photo 😂😂😂 it is hilarious. I was honestly dying of laughter but she just loves it and is so excited for people to see her profile and cover photo. She is darling. I sure love her!

Then Ta came around 4:30 and picked us up. She took us to Sonic for ice cream cones and we talked more about how she was doing. She is doing better and just expressed to us how much she loves us and how she views us as her children since her kids won’t talk to her. It breaks my heart thinking about her situation, but I’m grateful that we are able to bring her some company and joy. We went to the S’s for dinner. Sister G and I had lots of energy so dinner was eventful.

Sunday: Y came to church! She is adorable. The second hour we went to Gospel Principles and left 10 min early to go to Brother B’s class to bear our testimony on blessings we receive when obedient. After church S, an 8-year-old girl in the Ward, ran up to me and said “Sister Thomas! I have a pamphlet and temple card that I am going to give to my friend this week. I’m also going to invite her to Activity Days like you said I should!” This made me so extremely happy. I sure love that girl. Her mom stopped me in the hall and said “thank you so much. S says you’re her new best friend and that she loves you a lot.” It made me so happy.

We started to go see M and H, but M is sick, so they told us to come back tomorrow. Then we tried a less active named J but she didn’t answer. We started driving over to a neighborhood when Ta texted us. We felt the Spirit prompt us to go over there. She lives very far. She is about a 20 min drive. When we got there, she wasn’t expecting us but was so happy to see us. She was having a hard day. Just not motivated to leave the house or see anyone. She said she fell asleep crying last night and just felt too sad to do anything. So we talked with her for a bit and I acted stupid and she made fun of me and laughed. I’m glad I was able to make her laugh. 🙂 Sister G was being a dork with me as well. That’s what Ta needed though. Just some laughter and a reminder of how much we love her and how much our Savior loves her. I kept saying things like ” the Elders keep asking if they’re your favorite, but I already know I am your favorite, so I don’t need to ask.” Then she would get all sassy with me. It’s great 🙂 We then had dinner at the R’s, aka a mansion and nicest people ever! I love Sister R! She picked Sister G and I up from training trainees meeting and brought us to Jonesboro. We had a fun talk and talked about Romans 13:12 which has become one of my favorite scriptures. It’s all about the armor of light, and we talked a lot about what a beautiful analogy “the armor of light” is. It’s so interesting that our testimonies, and the light of Christ that is in each of us cannot be hidden to other people, it is visible if we have it.

I love the gospel, and I love my mission!!

Loves,

Sister Thomas

 

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Selfies! The second one is the one at became Sister D’s cover photo hahah!

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The little Asian is Y! She is so cute!!

 

 

 

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