Friday, September 28, 2012

Kids Camp

G'day Mates,

Wow! I completely forgot about kids camp! That's awesome that Makayla got to go on her first one. Does it feel weird to be doing your own kids camp now? hahah I bet it does. Can't wait until my kids get to go too :) Oh, a couple things I forgot last week: They don't have labor day here, I think they might have something like it but it's at a different time of the year, AND last week was Australian fathers day! So happy Australian fathers day, dad! haha Did Makayla get her letter yet?  Thank you Makayla for your email telling me all about your baptism and kids camp, sounds like some fun times for you!

Thats a funny story about Polly hahah she's probably been looking at that trailer all summer wishing she could go in and explore it! Then she finally got the chance and took it! Just be glad she didn't sneak in there for the camping trip! haha

A little about my week! I had quite a subtle experience with God this week. We were teaching an investigator, Chelsie, who wants to get baptized but her parents won't let her. As of late, she has been pretty discouraged and during our lesson this week with her we really dug at her concerns to try and figure out why she was not progressing or even excited about the gospel. We eventually found out that she hasn't been praying for a long long time and that she has not read the scriptures in a while either. That would explain a lot about why she has been so down lately. We worked really hard to help her to pray right then and there but she would not. I don't know why, but I knew it would be helpful to her. They must be taught the doctrine by the spirit and then it's all up to them to act on it, Heavenly Fathers plan is about agency.   I was moved upon by the spirit to say to her something along the lines of "My companion and I have been specifically called by God, through a living prophet, to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and do everything in our power to help people come unto Him. The reason we are so pursuing in getting you to pray is because if we were to do anything less, then we would be failing God, and failing you. As representatives of Jesus Christ we are here to act in his name and do everything he would do, and I know that if Jesus were here right now, he would be teaching you exactly what we are telling you now." She still did not pray, but I know that the Holy Ghost testified to her of the truth. In saying that statement to her, the reality of my calling really hit me. The things I teach aren't just things from a manual, but they are the teachings of Jesus Christ himself, and when we teach these doctrines with the spirit of the Holy Ghost, it's just as good as if He were to be teaching it Himself. Wow. I am called of God.

A scripture that really touched me this week was I think Alma 34:17 "Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you." It prompted me to focus on having a lasting prayer in my heart all day. Something with a specific purpose. Obviously I can't be crying unto the Lord all day everyday. You can't get a whole lot done with your eyes closed, head bowed, and arms folded.... especially if you are driving! haha but this scripture reminded me to be prayerful in my heart all day long. I know this will help.

I'm gonna take some good pictures today. we organized a Zone p day at a place called KillaBurger!  They have these massive burgers that are 30 cm wide! I've only eaten there once before but I didn't have my camera but I will this time >:) Anyway! I'm having a great time here doing missionary work! Wouldn't change a thing! I love yous! Have a great week! I'm gonna go look at all the pictures you sent me now :)

Love, Elder Thompson

Labor Day

Hello again,

Holy cow! Sounds like life back in Deseret is pretty awesome! That's awesome to hear about Makayla's baptism and everything. I sent her a letter that I think she'll like :)  Thanks for the Absentee ballot form! I'll get that done soon. Yeah I've tried putting batteries in the camera but they always die really fast and when it does turn on sometimes randonly it says there is full battery. I think it might drain the batteries pretty fast though because of how big of pictures it takes so I will downsize it once I get new batteries.

Anyway, this week has been really good! My core experience with God this week, I would say, was on exchanges with Elder Menzie, one of the assistants to the president. We had scheduled to go see a less active member and teach the restoration that night. We got there and were greeted warmly. We got a little more aquainted with each other and then started to listen to the spirit and ask inspired questions. It soon became evident that the restoration wasn't going to be the most effective lesson to teach. I knew we should not begin teaching the restoration and instead teach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Just then, his neighbor rang the doorbell to drop off some little pizza things which was perfect because Elder Menzie and I were able to quickly talk to each other and found that both of us had been prompted to teach the same thing. The whole lesson was just so thick and so strong with the spirit.  I bet you could have probably even smelled the Holy Ghost! The miracle is just that this man had the chance to really feel the spirit and hear God speaking to him again. He knew exactly what was to be done and had the desire to do it. I'm thankful for that opportunity.

I grew from the Zone Leader Training in an interesting way. The night before the training I acknowledged once again to myself that I really don't know very much. I'm still a young missionary. How can I be the one teaching an entire zone of missionaries?? I then realized first of all that I am there to be learning from the missionaries that I will be teaching. Interesting how that works but it does. More than that, myself and the rest of them should be learning from the Holy Ghost. That's the real teacher in the situation. I've had the knowledge before that this should be the case, but this time, the spirit really helped me understand how I can step out of the way and let Him do all the teaching. I'm also very thankful for that revelation. I am a true believer of personal revelation.

My email is one day late again because we just had transfers. I'm still in the same area, but in the Zone 6 missionaries got transferred. That's half the zone! It should be fun getting stuff done but I think it will be good.  2 areas got shotgunned. (where both elders get transferred and two new ones come in). They will be training in their new areas too. Bright future for the Mortdale Zone!

Its been great to hear your testimonies and experiences. It is always great to hear about what kind of stuff is going on with all my loved ones back home. Heavenly Father is really blessing you guys. That is very comforting to me.

Anyway, we are going to try to go to costco today and get some american cheese! :)

Til next week! Love you!

Love, Kuyler

Some pictures

Sorry I haven't sent pictures in a while. My camera has been having problems turning on and staying on. I'm not sure what's wrong with it but I finally got a hold of a card reader so I can send some home. I haven't really taken a lot of pictures lately though. :/

zone p day at the beach

me at the beach

huge sand pile

the whole zone

me and my ward mission leader

Lauren, Gum, Tahi, Tiama, and Kalia

the Biddle family

the Sengchanh family

the Pukeroa and Stephens family

Feeling better

Hello again!

Yup so I'm definitely feeling better now. Sickness is pretty much gone. Just getting over the last of the cough and am starting to be able to sing again. :) Thats the worst part about being sick. You can't sing...
I will definitely be praying for Katie and Robert and family.
It's been another great, fast week for me! My core experience with God this week came in a lesson we had with an investigator who was referred by her best friend in Queensland. She has been really keen to meet up and learn and this last week we got to have our first real lesson with her. The lesson we taught was definitely not the usual restoration lesson that one would teach. It was all over the place. Our fellowshipping member helped out a lot too. Weird thing was, as thrown off as I was about not teaching a usual orderly lesson, the spirit was very strong! We didn't even share the story of the first vision with her and she ended up committing to be baptized on the 15th of September! It was amazing. She just knows how much the true gospel of Jesus Christ can do for her. She understands the peace and forgiveness behind repentance and baptism. She understands that she needs to be baptized by someone with authority. She understands that she can do work, right now, that will help her be with her loved ones, dead or alive, forever. It is so amazing to see someone receive so much light and hope and peace and joy from the gospel, even before she has partaken of everything it has to offer. This is truly a humbling experience for me and makes me realize what great gift God has given me. I never want to forget, or take for granted, the blessings and direction that I have in my life because of this wonderful gospel. This good news. I know that everything we share is true, and that it is all for the welfare of the souls of Heavenly Fathers children. He loves them and wants them back and I am grateful that he has chosen me to help do that work.

As a result of the mission conference, I have definitely been benefited by a revert to the basics of revelation. We learned so much just about the Holy Ghost and it's role in missionary work and also in future individual lives. I learned more about humility and faith. I was reminded about just how much help we need from Heavenly Father to do His work. This will come as a great benefit to me, and hopefully also as a benefit to the Zone. Elder Honeycutt and I have prayerfully seeked and received a lot of revelation of what we can do to help the zone. I trust that the Lord will lead us in our responsibilities as long as we humbly and prayerfully seek His guidance.

I'm excited for Makayla to get baptized. I have just one international stamp left for this month til I have new money to get more and I'll use that one to send her a letter. :) Tell Tia that I am still brushing and flossing twice a day. I have my floss sitting right on my study desk and sometimes floss my teeth just because I like to. haha

Let everyone know that I love them. I especially love you Mom and Dad. You have just done so much for me and made so much sacrifice for all 20 years of my life and even before that just so I could have a great life.  It really reflects the pure love of Christ and I wouldn't have it any other way. Love you so much. Take care til next week!

Love, Elder Thompson

Saturday, September 1, 2012

August News

Hey there!

Sounds like again you have had a very awesome week! My week has definitely had it's ups and downs. I caught a really bad flu on Wednesday and was in bed Thursday, Friday, and Saturday with a temp. sometimes as high as 102.8! I am feeling well now though so no worries. Still have a pretty bad cough and stuff but at least I can function without nearly passing out or falling over! I'm back to full working health now, finally, so I am very excited to keep on rolling and serving the Lord at a greater effectiveness. :)

Despite being really really sick for most of this last week. It has been a really good one still! The first part of the week was really sweet because when we showed up to teach one of our investigators at the chapel and upon arrival we discovered that she and her member friend brought 6 more of their friends to come learn as well! What a miracle! We gave them a tour of the chapel and then taught them all the restoration. It has been confirmed too, that they are coming again this week! That's awesome news.  We also had a great experience with one of our investigators being baptized on Saturday! Her name is Fane.  She is now the only member in her family, 27 years old she is really humble and loves coming to church! An investigator named Monty was at the baptism and said that he wants to be baptized in 3 weeks too so hopefully we can help him and make that happen!

The mission conference yesterday was really great as well! I got A LOT of notes and great revelation that will definitely help me immediately and for a very long term.  Elder Pearson and Elder Christensen are very inspired men and did a great job of helping our misson. Haven't taught Semu again, he is in a completely different area but hopefully he will still be getting baptized soon. There will be a lot of chanllenges for him but the Lord will provide... like always.

I really like the subject of the talk you gave, Dad. Using preach my gospel is the perfect reference!  I'm really glad that you mentioned member missionary work too. Hopefully it gets the rest of the ward pumped up to do some missionary work too.

I miss everyone and look forward to hearing about all the things going on next week! I love the pictures from camping. Looks so fun and  the kids look so cute!! hahah anyway, til next week!

Love, Elder Thompson

News for the week

Dear Mom and Dad,

I am SOOOOOOO glad that it is P-day today. It is very much needed. Going two/three weeks without a real preparation day really hinders the work for the rest of the week. Elder Honeycutt and I have had a harder time than usual focusing and stuff. We have still worked hard though. I'm just glad I can relax today. :) 

A few of the appointments that we set up fell through but miracles have not ceased to happen. We see them every day. I am very grateful for this past week. I have been able to truly grow as a servant of the Lord and really follow his example in missionary work. My core experience with God happened on Friday after Zone Training Meeting (or ZTM, which is a monthly meeting that we the Zone leaders conduct and instruct. It's meant to pump up the Zone and to set goals and make plans all together.)  During ZTM, Elder Honeycutt and I felt inspired to introduce a culture into the Zone based on the scripture 2 Timothy 1:8 "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;" Later that day while we were tracting, we came across a large group of Muslim people who began to follow us from house to house and tell us that they owned the houses we were knocking on and that no one lived there. A few houses later one of their friends walked up to us (followed by about 10 of his friends who had come out of their houses as well) and began to blaspheme to us. He tried to argue everything we believed in, all while trying to scientifically and logically prove to us that the Koran is true. We withstood everything he could throw at us. He would not stop talking. His friends chimed in on the conversation every once in a while but mostly just swarmed around us while laughing and mocking us and our beliefs. I felt like a Book of Mormon missionary or something! After almost an hour of this man talking at us, even his friends got bored and they had to leave. In one instant, they all just left. We carried on knocking on doors. The time came to start back up the other side and tract back toward where we would knock on those peoples doors again. We really didn't feel like doing that..... when all of a sudden I remembered 2 Timothy 1:8. I said out loud. "I am not ashamed of the tesitmony of our Lord." and Elder Honeycutt agreed. We starting knocking on doors toward them who would ridicule us. The next person who answered the door was a born again christian who let us in, let us teach him, accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon, and who we have a return appointment with. The Lord is preparing people for his restored gospel. We just have to not be ashamed to follow the promptings of the Spirit. That was my core experience with God this past week.

I'll be preparing for the upcoming mission conference with Elder Pearson and Elder Christensen by reviewing the notes that I got from the previous mission conference and comparing them and matching them up with references from the scriptures and Preach My Gospel. That way I can remember all of the valuable information and revelation that I receive and can look forward to receiving this time.

Anyway, sounds like you've had a great week as well! I should be able to get a letter sent home this week!

Til Next time!

Love, Elder Thompson

P.S. Oh yeah, we are at 49 jacobs street in Bankstown, NSW

Camping out


Wow I'm so jealous that you all get to be out camping! I really miss it! haha I hope to have some pictures sent to me pretty soon. I guess I'd better send some as well.. I have to go get batteries for my camera though.. woops!

I have had a really great and very fast week! I had one of the most amazing experiences in my mission and life this week. I got to share my core experience with God, with three other people at once. I was on trade offs in Sutherland. I was on trade offs with Elder Lee. We had planned to see a less-active member at night but we had to reschedule with her to a time earlier in the day. We had no guy to go with us so we figured we would just at least go have a door chat. When we got there, we found out that her little brother who is 18 was unexpectedly home at that time. So we got to go inside! Miracle #1. We shared a message with her but her brother just kinda sat at the computer and didn't really interact much or show interest. As we talked with the girl, Sah, she said that her little bro wasn't a member of the church. What a perfect opportunity. He didn't seem interested but it was worth a shot! We started to talk to him and inquire about his beliefs. He had been to our church before but didn't really like it because he was too confused as a kid and stuff. We told him that our job was to teach people that basic foundation of knowledge so that they aren't confused at church. After a few minutes of talking about helping him understand our purpose, his sister and us were able to convince him to hear the message of the restoration. He said ok and agreed to just turn around in his chair at the computer. To make a long story short, we began teaching and delivered the best lesson that I have ever taught. That's because the spirit was so strong. So strong!!! At the time of explaining the first vision, a little toddler was running around jumping and getting chased and making disruption but Semu (the one we were teaching) was locked on the picture of Joseph Smith in the grove. It was amazing. His sister Sah did an excellent job of helping him understand as well. By the end of the lesson the spirit pretty much forced me to invite him to be baptised and he accepted a date 3 weeks away. At the end of the lesson the only question he had was "Is it true that this will change my life?" We said yes and he was very comforted. He said he just wanted a better life and future. Before we left, he looked down and the Book of Mormon in his hand and said "Never thought I would have ever gotten into this... but.... ". He didn't know what the Holy Ghost was before but we clearly helped him understand that this feeling he had, which he had never felt before, was just that. God telling him that this was true, that he loved him, and that everything would be okay. This was one of the most amazing experiences that I have ever had. Really the first time I have met someone that was so open to the spirit and humble enough to change. The Sutherland area has REALLY struggled for new investigators lately and with the snap of a finger (Gods finger) they now have someone to baptize. I am so thankful that I could be a part of such a miracle.

I'll be looking forward to the mission conference next week so that I can become even more focused on my purpose as a missionary and be reaffirmed that the Lord in on my side. I wish to be humbled and learn new things that I can apply in my life as a missionary and also for the rest of my life. I hope that all these experiences help me grow and progress toward eternal life.

Love, Elder Thompson

PS- There is an Elder here who's name is Elder Smiler. He is from New Zealand haha. There is also and Elder Elder. hahaha

6 months down

Hey there!

Sorry I haven't been able to write any letters home yet. Things have been crazy.  The last two p-days have been zone p-day so we have done a lot of travel and activities and today we got to go to the temple. We had to ride the train so it took a few hours and tonight we have to cut our preparation off a little early because of appointments. So we have to email, wash the car and do our shopping.It's nearly 4 pm and I haven't even eaten anything yet.  That leaves me with 0 min of free time today but I promise I will find the post office next monday and send a package home. By that time I will have the funds to send it too. I have some cool things to send :) One letter per P day doesn't sound too bad. I think I can manage that :)

Sounds like you have all had a really great week! So many things going on I wish I could comment on all of it! The main thing I have to say though is that I miss everyone so much! All the holidays and things sound so fun. I love my family more than anything! Oh yeah... and since when have we celebrated christmas in July??? hahahaha I never even heard of that until a few weeks ago and now I find out my family does it! hahah oh well whatever gives the excuse to gather with loved ones.

My core experience with God this week has definitely been the strength and support that I have received from Him.  Prayer really is a two-way communication. It is interesting to be able to really seek and receive revelation from the spirit, for those that I am in a position to help. I am very excited and looking forward to the time that I have to serve as a Zone Leader. I long to stay humble, teachable, and committed. I am firm in my belief that I will learn wayyyyy more from the Elders that I serve around, than they will learn from me. The bottom line is, however, we can't teach each other anything. The spirit teaches us, through other people. It strengthens my faith in Christ when I observe other people's desire to obey and serve the Lord. When the Holy Ghost comes as the Holy Spirit of Promise, it confirms to us that we are doing the right thing. I know that it can also testify to us when others are doing the right thing, and I am so thankful for that gift that we have from Heavenly Father.

I received guidance from the verse in D&C 121 that talks about faithfulness being stronger than the chords of death. That just comforts me and encourages me to continue to develop the faith that is really stronger than the chords of death. I have been working more on exercising faith lately. Yesterday, Elder Honeycutt and I decided to make a goal for a number of return appointments we wanted to get during finding. We held up our fingers with our goals. I help up 3 fingers, Elder Honeycutt held up 7.  We decided that 7 would be our goal. We worked our hardest and exercised all of our faith. We saw heaps of miracles!! We ended up at the end of the day with 5 return appointments, right in between 3 and 7. I know that the Lord prepared each of those people to be ready to receive the restored gospel.  I am grateful that I could be the tool that He used at that time to be able to reach out to them.

I am excited for my first Zone Leader Training Meeting this week. Once a month the Zone leaders will gather the entire zone to train them. Kinda like a district meeting but bigger.  We also go on a 24 hour companion exchange with each companionship in our zone per month. We also organize district leader councils and work closely with President Howes to keep the mission running smooth. There are 14 missionaries in my Zone and I love them all. I will have lot's of fun. My new area is full of lebanese, muslim and asian people, they are all really nice. For my new mail address it would be best to send things to the mission office.

Elder Kuyler Thompson
Australia Sydney Mission
756 Pennant Hills Road
Carlingford, NSW, 2118

Anyway, It's so good to hear from you as always. Have fun camping for me! :)