Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March is going going gone like a lamb.

Dear Mom and Dad, 

Hopefully I can finish this whole email without falling asleep!!! I'm soooooo tired right now! Elder Russell and I went to Toronga zoo today! We saw all sorts of cool animals! I wish I could send pictures right now but i forgot to bring my camera with me to email! I put brand new batteries in right before we left and my camera died on me, I took so many pictures. There was this really cool gondola thing that we rode and it had an awesome view of the Harbor and the bridge and the opera house!! There was a bird show and a seal show that we went to, it was really awesome :) 

Last week, the zone leaders organized a district leader council with the district leader from the other district in our zone and while they were doing that, the other Elder who wasn't a zone or district leader, and I went out on the streets where we had never been and started talking to people! I met this girl who was over here going to school from Chicago and she was a Packers fan! It was awesome. I also gave out a Book of Mormon to this really cool guy. That was pretty fun! There was one day this last week that was so crazy! things just kept getting moved and post ponied and rescheduled and everything! It was awesome, I took a picture of the page in my planner just because it was so hectic! 

The work is really picking up in this area right now. It's such a blessing! It takes a lot of hard work, perseverance, mental, spiritual, and physical effort.  I like it when things are busy, it is so so so tiring though, so I have to make sure that I don't ever get lazy. The nights sleep here is like a blink. It stinks so bad!!!!! Doesn't feel like I get any sleep at all! And I can't get any shut eye during lunch or anything because the birds are WAY too loud and annoying!! You don't realize it but Utah is so silent! It's like being in a library compared to here. I really don't know how I keep going. The Lord is my fuel. Sometimes it doesn't feel like I can keep going and then next minute it's already been a week and I don't even remember anything that happened! Yesterday was my 2 month mark! 22..ish? to go? I'm not really sure how it will work out when I come home haha 

Missionary work is really hard. But it is so worth it if you work your hardest. Results only come from hard work, and results are what keep the motor running. Tomorrow we get to go to the temple, I'm really excited, it's been forever since I have been! it'll be interesting to go to the Sydney temple too, I've heard it's really pretty! 

My birthday this year is on Easter! I'm not really sure what they do to celebrate Easter here, I guess I'll find out though. I'm expecting to get a lot of chocolate from people. I love chocolate!!! So we don't get to watch general conference live here.... :( We don't get to watch it til like the third week of April... such a bummer! I'm really excited for  General Conference this year, I just know that the Authorities are really going to lay it down strong! Something I really want: a big American flag. I was going to get one here but they are like $100.. no joke! Tonight we are going to a member's house to have some homemade real Italian lasagna made by a real Italian! I'm really excited! I'm already most like about 1/3 of the way done with this area! Missionaries usually stay in an area about 6 months and after this transfer I'll be halfway done! It'll be so hard to leave all these people that I can spent so much time getting to know. 

Hey Dad, something funny, I still have a distinct memory of when you asked me if I wanted to be in AM or PM kindergarten. We were riding in the suburban I think and I remember answering "AM" with confidence and not even knowing what you were talking about! Just a random thought. 

This week has been awesome and things are only going to get better! I love you both so much and miss you heaps! I'm so excited for Tage and getting the Melchizedek Priesthood! I sure could go for a Tony Burger right now! hahaha well! Til next time! Have fun in the promised land! 

Love, Elder Thompson

Monday, March 19, 2012

Change of Seasons

Dear Mom and Dad, 

Yes, this week has been super crazy! One of our Zone Leaders was on an extension for 6 weeks but his family called and asked If they could have him home a week early so he left one week before transfers. That means we only had one Zone leader for a week, Elder Fornaro, he is awesome! Since his companion was gone, Elder Russell, He, and I were in a trio. and we had to cover two areas for a week. It was super busy to say the least but really fun! We had a Zone Conference this last week too so I got to see President and Sis Simmons. That's why you got the picture of us with her. It was an amazing conference, the spirit was so strong and I got to see some people from the MTC! So it looks like Elder Russell and I will have this one last transfer together before I will be running the Manly area. That's scary to think but it will all be good! I am so excited to be here on a mission! It's weird to think that's its nearly April and I've been here since January. Doesn't feel that long at all. Probably because it really hasn't been very long. I have a LONG way to go still haha. 

I think I am getting my bearings as a missionary better and better. Hopefully one day I will have enough experience to know whats always going on. I think I know a lot more than I think i do though. I just always feel a little lost. but thats probably just part of being a missionary. It would be no fun if there was no uncertainty! That's what keeps it interesting! I have learned that I really love change! Things just get boring if they stay the same all the time. It's nice to change things up and challenge yourself every once in a while, if not frequently!  Set my first every baptismal date this week. 11 year old named Deacon! he is super cool!  Kids learn so easily, it's amazing! he is scheduled to get baptized April 21st because they are going to new Zealand for 3 weeks.  I'm really excited though! It's probably been like 7-9 months since there was a baptism in this area! This transfer we hope to get like at least 2!  It's so awesome to see a child of god enter the waters of baptism.  

Sounds like everything is running pretty smoothly at home! I miss everyone for sure! Sorry I'm a day late to reply. Transfers delay our p day. I look forward to getting pictures from home! I love you! 
Love, Elder Thompson

Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring is in the air, or is that fall for you?

Dear Mom and Dad,

I had no doubt that the package would be coming soon :) Thats awesome to hear that spring is coming around! The 60's is almost the perfect weather! The weather here is starting to cool dawn quite a bit, which is nice. Really really nice! Soon we'll be able to go out on the sand of the beaches and play rugby and stuff! Still won't be able to swim, but that's ok, ocean water tasted like salt anyway (thats how i defer myself from fantasizing about surfing). That dang wind storm ruined our pool cover?? Curses! 

Holy cow! Kolton is always winning stuff! What a lucky guy! I'm so jealous.. I don't know how the heck he wins so much stuff. Jazz season tickets, nascar tickets, pretty much can win anything he wants! I wonder whats next! hahaha I want some pictures of Tage and Alisons new house, thats so exiting! And also about tage being ordained an Elder, thats just so so so so awesome. I am so joyous about that! He'll be able to give his baby girl a blessing in a few months. :) 

Sounds like you are having a good weekend and a nice layed back sunday! Something I miss dearly, but not THAT much :) haha That's pretty crazy about the farewells today! I can't beleive they put that many people in one church building! maybe they should have moved it to the conference center! 

I email derek and ryan every week but I need to figure out some other friends email addresses. They are having such a great time! Africa sounds really comical! We haven't had daylight saving here yet, i think it's pretty soon though. I should probably find out though, hahah just one day I would randomly be an hour early for everything. The door handle into our flat still isn't fixed yet. We did get a new lounge though from a member while helping him move! It's so comfy! Our old couches were terrible! 

Things are going really well here! I don't feel like I've been here very long.. and I haven't. haha I look forward to the rest of my mission and all the things that I will accomplish witht the help of the Lord. I love the people here so much. The pictures of people I am with are the Wixom's who are american and just left to go live back in Dallas. They are so awesome! I think they added me on facebook so make sure their friend request gets accepted! The other guy in named Josh Fakai and he just left today on his mission. He is on his way to provo and will serve in the phillipines. He is super cool and looks just like will smith huh? Anyway, I'm about out of time. Keep up the fun at home for me! 

Love, Elder Thompson

Dear Makayla, 

I sure loved your pipe cleaner braid you made for me! Green Bay Packers colors. That's absolutely right! I have it on my desk and look at it every day and think about you! 

Love, Uncle Elder Thompson

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Marching On

Mom and Dad, 

I DID get the package from Tia! I LOVED IT!! The family pictures really turned out extremely well! I love them! Getting my artwork was awesome too! People like it :) Tell Makayla I like her bookmark too! Go packers! I have the calendar hanging up now too! Yes my nose is in the air in some pictures. and yes, it is because I am smelling flowers in the ocean breeze. I love it! The picture i sent of the drawing "where can I be baptized by proper authority" is about priesthood authority. The reason we want people to be baptized by us is because we hold that proper priesthood authority that has a direct link to Jesus Christ, the authority restored to Joseph smith in this dispensation. The little guy represents perhaps a "golden investigator" who is lost and is looking for a true church. Just a funny little doodle that I did on my study desk. 

I did get Aunt Carol's card. I have replied but I have to go to the post-office and pick up some stamps for places in Australia. I need to get some more stamps to the USA too.  Thats fun that you got to go play cards! We cant play cards here.. but then again we would never have time anyway hahah something we really want to get is RC boats that we can drive around in the lakes and stuff! That would be awesome!! 

It has been super rainy here. Apparently it was a pretty lousy summer but I wouldn't know. It's still winter for me so I can't complain! We never see a forecast either, so we have no idea what to expect weather wise. We just look at the sky, smell the air, and make sure our hips don't hurt before we decide  to leave behind the umbrellas. But then again, that approach doesn't work too well in Australia. We'll still get randomly soaked. When it rains, it doesn't rain strait down. It rains from every direction. Sometimes I think an umbrella is almost useless. It pretty much just keeps my hair dry.. which I don't really care about! Our water got shut off for a few hours one day and when I came back on the water was yellow-brownish and when I drained there was a pile of sand at the bottom of the sink.... eeek.  My birthday is soon! Pretty much all I can think of that I want is a new charger for my toothbrush, and a Utah Jazz shirt. 

I think broken door handles are a family curse. Getting back from shopping last week our door handle broke and we couldn't get in.. Elder Russell had to climb up the balconies and lift the milk and eggs up with a string. We then spent almost 2 hours getting the door off it's hinges. We still don't have a new door handle. Just a hole... and a dead lock so it's not too bad.  We do daylight savings here. I'm not sure if it's at the same time or not though.. I don't think it will really throw me off though. After all, I AM on the other side of the world anyway. Couldn't get a whole lot weirder than that! 

My favorite thing about my mission is..... being a missionary. Spending all day everyday doing gospel things is so fun! No matter how many kangaroos I see, however many cool weird things I get to eat, no matter what quirky things happen to me or things that I do with other missionaries for fun... nothing compares to sitting down with someone, opening with prayer, teaching a lesson, feeling the spirit, and closing with prayer. That's when being a missionary is the most rewarding. I know this church is true and that the happiness felt here is exponentially better than any pseudo-happiness that satan can temp us with. Til next week! 

Love, Elder Thompson