Sunday, November 24, 2013

It's November!!!

November 12, 2013
Hey there!

Sorry about the delay of my messages. Things are crazy as ever! Starting to calm down though so that's good. Lot's of our missionaries have been on foot and riding buses and trains and stuff lately because we have enough cars for about 85 missionaries but we have 200 missionaries. We just got approval for 25 new cars though, which will get here next week. We'll have them out in the next transfer! It's better for missionaries to be walking around though, so they can talk to everyone. I hope they don't get too attached to their cars. Cars are good for transporting people to conferences and appointments and stuff, but when it comes down to it: It's better to have missionaries being walking billboards.

We just had a zone conference yesterday with 3 zones & there were 80 people involved. It was HUGE. Doing the training was pretty fun. My companions and I trained on revelation through the Book of Mormon. Specifically how investigators can receive revelation through the Book of Mormon. We all did role plays and it was pretty fun. Before everyone split off to go practice teaching in different rooms, we had one companionship come to the front and demonstrate teaching President and Sister Lew about the Book of Mormon. They took on the role of a young Buddhist couple. It was really interesting..

We had a cool experience this week on an exchange. We were going to be trading off with some Zone Leaders. When we got to the place they told us to meet them, we sat down on some chairs outside a house and there was 5 missionaries and a guy named Casper. Casper was their potential investigator. We didn't want it to be awkward to begin the trade off right there, and we didn't know what was going on so we all just began teaching him. He had been to church a few times already but this was Caspers first lesson. It was a little weird to teach as a companionship of 5 but it actually turned out really well and it was one of the best lessons I've ever been a part of. Not because our teaching was magnificent but because Casper was so humble and so prepared. We set a baptismal date with him, 3 minutes into the lesson.  He is really golden. He has had a really rough life. Full of drugs and alcohol and extreme violence etc.. He is completely ready to change and he was really comforted by the things he learned. He will be a terrific convert. 

That's just a few of the things that have happened lately :) 

I'm hanging in there, it's definitely a strange feeling to know that I'll be home soon. I'll be really sad to leave. Not sure what I'll do when I get home. I had a list of 3 things I wanted to do. 

1. Go to the dentist and get my teeth cleaned.
2. Spend a day at the spa. (massage, mud bath, sauna, etc..)
3. Get surgery on my toes.

I already got surgery on my toes though so now I just have a list of 2 things that I really want to do.
Have you gotten an email about when I arrive home or anything? If not, you could probably email the office and ask. 

Anyway, hope that you forgive me for being bad at writing lately. I'll see you soon anyway :)

Love, Elder Thompson

Happy Halloween

November 2, 2013
Hey!

Thanks for writing me, even though I've been really slack. We've been pretty flat out. our mission has over 190 missionaries now. We just got 35 new ones so we've been really busy. Furnishing all their flats has been the most time consuming thing. It's a real miracle. We have leased and furnished like 20 new flats in the last 3 months. Can you imagine that? I'm not going to tell you how much sleep I've been getting until I get home. I'm afraid you will storm over here and yell at me hahaha. Anyway, as normal I don't have a lot of time to write tonight but here we go.

 I am so happy for Tia and Daniel! There are so many babies now I can't believe it! Things sound really exciting at home. I can't believe I'll be coming home in dead winter though. The weather here now is AMAZING! My mind just thinks that when I get home I'll just celebrate by going swimming and stuff. Good thing I have some time before swimming season though because I have to lose a lot of weight!

Anyway, hope you all had a happy halloween. I'm excited and scared and nervous to come home. I'm hanging in here though. Not slacking off at all, so I will work hard until the end. 

Love you heaps!

Love, Elder Thompson

September is Gone

October 2, 2013 

Hey!

Sorry about last week. We were just on lots of trade offs and had a few zone conferences and stuff, we were hardly in the office. It's been super fun though! All the new missionaries that have come in have been incredible! Things have been pretty stressful but I'm learning to cope with it now. I continue to grow and develop every day. I am becoming a much better leader and learning to be more charitable, patient, loving, and many other things. Because of the position I am in, we don't teach many of our own investigators, we mainly train missionaries so basically the missionaries are our investigators and we need to love them. I do love them all, I have so much fun with all of them and will really miss them bad when I have to leave. 

On Wednesday we took President and Sister Lew to Killaburger, the place with the 30 cm burger! They each ate 1/8 of the burger while Elder Haeata, Elder Puriri and I ate the rest of it hahah It was really fun. President Lew loves unhealthy food and he never gets fat because he is a skinny chinese guy and Sister Lew is always hounding on being healthy. It's really funny to see! 

Tonight we just got back from a missionary flat where we had to do some correcting. Their flat had an inspection and failed miserably. Food all over the place, chocolate all over the floor, rubbish everywhere, clothes strewn all over, cockroaches etc... There are 8 missionaries there right now and 6 of them have been out less than 3 months. They don't know how to take care of themselves. They are great missionaries, they just needed a kick in the butt in terms of being clean. We were loving toward them and helped them clean a lot of it up tonight but they were definitely reproved. There was a lot of love felt between everyone though. It went really well. I think this might be good preparation for parenting.. just realized that hahahah yikes! 

I am very happy to hear about all the Book of Mormon reading going on! I really miss reading the Book of Mormon as a family. I always use our family as an example of how great family scripture study can be. We didn't always read it but when we did, it makes a huge difference. Mom calls everyone up to read and we all are sluggish, don't want to stop watching our tv show or get off the computer or whatever else it is. Sometimes it takes like an hour to get everyone together but once we read and say our prayer in our knee circle.. it never seemed like everyone quickly rushed back to whatever they were doing. Usually we would all just stay in the living room and enjoy each others company. The spirit was there and the family love was magnified. Even though it was always hard to get everyone gathered up, it was always well worth it. I always share this experience with people that I teach and they all agree with it and can relate. I'm glad for when we could spend those times together. I realize now, that there is nothing more important that I could do. Even if I was over at a friends house, spending that time with my family would make me more happy. And I could always just invite those friend to come read with us :) haha If I was hanging out with a big group of friends and one girl said "I need to leave, my family is going to have nightly scripture and prayer" I would ask her if I could come with. That would be the girl I could marry! :) hahahahah not that I've been thinking about it.. ok that's a lie. I'm not working any less hard but I can't lie that I'm super stoked to find my EC (eternal companion).
 

That sounds like a crazy thing that you went to, Dad. I probably would have been exhausted to do all that. Sounds like a great activity. Maybe we should make all our missionaries do that! haha just kidding bad idea, our missionaries are way too injury prone. I swear it drives me crazy! Oh well what can ya do? Make them drink a cup of cement and harden up! 

Anyway, this letter has definitely been longer than last week. Hope you all have another great week. Don't have too much fun without me :) haha

Love, Elder Thompson

We are all Children of God

September 29, 2013
HI!!! I just wanted to check in, let you know I'm still alive! :) haha I read the email and don't have heaps of time to write back tonight because we have heaps of stuff to prepare but I PROMISE a HUGE email this week!!!!
Love, Elder Thompson

September Morn

September 2, 2013

Dear Family,

Another great week!

So this week we spent a lot of time preparing for the mission tour with Elder Hamula. It was such a pleasure to have him here in our mission again. He is amazing! I love the way he teaches us, it's so clear and edifying to everyone. There were two zones of the mission that did not get to attend the meeting. Unfortunately it was only about a 3 hour meeting so it wasn't really worth it to bring in 35 missionaries from 4-6 hours away for a meeting that was less than half the driving time, let alone finding a place for them to stay the night before. I felt bad for them though because it was a great meeting. The day before the whole mission meeting we had Elder Hamula preside at our mission leadership counsil (MLC). Usually every set of zone leaders and sister leaders stands and gives an accounting for their zone that month. This time however, Elder Hamula only wanted the assistants to give a 20 minute accounting for the whole mission. That was scary... but it all worked out really well. After the mission conference Elder Hamula had to head straight to the airport but he had planned to spend a personal 15 minutes with me and Elder Haeata to compliment us but this didn't happen because of the hurry but he had President Lew tell us how impressed he was, so that was a nice "reward" for all the stress of the week :) 
Also, yesterday we had our second recent convert fireside as the Australia Sydney South Mission. It went REALLY well. It was fathers day here in Australia so the attendance wasn't as much as we hoped for but it was still a really good turnout. Probably had like 60 or 70 people there. Sister Lew took about 35 minutes and shared her conversion story, it is incredible the experiences she went through in Hong Kong so that she could be baptized. There were a few people in the congregation that couldn't stop crying. One cool thing is that we had our own investigator there as well. I think that's the first time the assistants have ever had their own investigator at the recent convert fireside. It was Gabby, the one I've been emailing about lately. I think it was a really good experience for her. Something funny, the night before, we realized we had no refreshments for after the fireside so we went to the store and got like $45 worth of cookies and stuff. It's good to have the refreshments because after the meeting the members and investigators can mingle and stuff which is really helpful. Well, we drove all the way to the chapel where we were having the fireside which is about 40 minute drive and realized we forgot ALL the refreshments.. luckily some other missionaries were able to pick them up and bring them later hahah we were about to be devastated!

Anyway, this week should be nice and busy. We have to do our transfer planning. Last transfer, 2 people went home and we gained 30. This transfer 2 people are going home and we are gaining 37, then next transfer we lose 4 and gain 54. We have to buy and furnish 4 houses this week and then another probably 15 houses in the next 6 weeks.  I don't know how we will do it but we need the Lord help DESPERATELY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! unless he wants his servants to be homeless... well, he was homeless when he was here so I guess that could answer the question haha.  Nah I think he wants his servants to have a place to sleep and bathe. We might just have to do it Africa style, get the bucket! Love you all and hope you have a great week too! The church is true!!

Love, Elder Thompson

PS Have you been to the temple lately? I have :) Ya just gotta go! 

Keep up the work!

September 10, 2013

Dear Mom and Dad,

Sorry I'm a day late. Things are pretty crazy like always! We had transfer meeting yesterday and today we had to go around and sort out a whole bunch of things with the missionaries living situation. It's all good though, we had about 25 minutes of P-day :)  don't worry about that statement though, we get plenty of time to take care of ourselves during the week, just these few days during transfers we are not sustained by food or water or sleep. It's purely by the help of the Lord. We'll catch up on sleep later on in the week. 

We planned the transfers for 33 missionaries to come in. Then only 16 were confirmed so we had to completely re-plan the transfer in one day. Then after all the transfer notifications were made and all the missionaries had officially been tranfered we got news that another missionary was coming. Then we switched stuff around and planned for it. Then we got news that another missionary was coming. Then we switched stuff around and planned for it. Then we got news that another missionary was coming. Then we switched stuff around and planned for it. Then we got news that another missionary was coming. Then we switched stuff around and planned for it.  It's been totally hectic. Hopefully tomorrow goes smooth. 20 missionaries are confirmed.  Which puts us at an expected 70+ in the next transfer :) 

Today I got to see  Elder Ng, my second companion, off at the airport. I really love him a lot. He is the one from Hong Kong. He will be going back to Utah though for school so I will just see him back there one day. 

President and Sister Lew are so funny. President Lew is really starting to get comfortable and switch into a Dad-like mode where he jokes around a lot with the missionaries and lovingly mocks them hahaha.  After transfer meeting we couldn't find President Lew and then a few minutes later we saw Sister Lew in the street wearing bright running shoes, filming President on her camera because he was carrying some groceries and she wanted to document it. She made him stand there so she could take pictures, they both had huge smiles on their faces, like little kids or something.  Everyone really loves them :)

A lot of the new missionaries coming in are 18 year old Elders and 19 year old Sisters and they are fantastic! They are very prepared and willing and ready to work! 

Here is a very depressing answer to your question Dad. They toilets here don't swirl at all! All the water just goes straight down the whole. No rotation whatsoever. When I first tried a toilet I wanted to see what happened and I was extremely let down when it went straight down. Thinking it was just that one toilet.. I tried on another toilet.... same thing... same thing... same thing... same thing... every toilet here does the same thing. Sad answer, but it's true :)  

Anyway, I hope this week is great! Thank you for your words of love and appreciation! It means so much.  

Love, Elder Thompson

August is almost gone

August 26, 2013

Dear Family,

It's always a challenge to express in words.. and even more so, in text, the feelings I have from the mission. It's something I have to do every week! This week was great. I got to go on exchanges with many of the Zone Leaders and we experienced lots of great things. We got to go to church in a place called Orange yesterday. It was the District Conference for the members in the Orange District. Presiding was Elder Walker of the 70. It was a neat experience to meet and interact with these members that live out in the Australian Outback. They are very faithful Saints and have a special spirit about them. 

One really cool experience I had this week was that I got to go back and work in Bankstown for the first time since I left. I was with the Zone Leader Elder Wan. On this day I got to go visit my recent convert Dee Havea. His family is still set to be sealed in the temple in November. Just a few weeks before I come home. Dee is an amazing man. He has been a member for less than 1 year but is one of the most converted people I have ever met. He is always helping in church activities and rescue nights and he fulfils his calling very well as 1st counselor in the young men's. He understands the significance of the priesthood and is always conscious of being worthy of it. He is also using it in every way to bless his family. He and his wife and 6 children begin each morning with prayer and scripture study but since they have been really sick lately they changed it up one morning and he gave each child a blessing. The night before he made sure he fasted and prayed to get the spirit, then woke up very early in the morning to shave and put on a suit so that he could give the blessings. I was really impressed by this.  I am very blessed to see the progression of Dee and how the gospel has blessed his family in such a short time. 

It's very sad to hear about all the deaths happening lately. It is always a rough thing to lose someone close to you. It is also such a blessing to have knowledge of the plan of salvation.  It may not answer every question that someone might have, but it does give answers to the questions that God knows we need the answers to. I am grateful for the Holy Ghost and it's power to teach. Not only teaching through me, but also teaching to me. There are many great and wonderful things that I have learned only because of the Holy Ghost. No amount of intellect or intelligence could gather from the scriptures or any other resource, the things that have been revealed to me by the Holy Ghost. It is an unbeatable gift.  If nothing else, the Spirit will always provide us with comfort and peace to help us get through whatever trial we have. 

To Makayla, I am so happy and so sad to hear that you are growing up so fast! It seems like just yesterday I could hold "Monkey" as a little baby but now you could probably lift me up! I am excited to hear that you are going to go to a new school and makes lots of new friends. You will never forget the people you have met through school and daycare so far. You will also have lots of fun in your new school.  Change can be a scary thing. It is scary for everyone because we don't know what to expect, or what will happen to us. However, change makes life exciting! I remember I was nervous to leave home and go on a mission but I knew how much I would learn and how much I would change so I just did my best to try anything new. I have learned a lot of new things and I am thankful for this experience of being a missionary. There are also lots of other new things I had to do before my mission but I am thankful for all of them because they helped me to be a better person and to learn more, and meet lots of cool new people. I'm sure that this new school will bring you lot of happiness, friends and good memories. You are such a good and kind girl I know that others will like you too.  I'm happy for you that you got to have a longer summer break & have fun at kids camp & swim with  Grant, Lydia and Lila.  To Mr.Grant, have fun at pre-school & take good care of Lydia and your mom.  I am looking forward to seeing Lydia as a little person, not just a tiny baby and to meet Lila. 

This week we have a mission tour with the Area President, Elder Hamula. I am very excited for that but also have to do a lot of work in preparation for it.  The days of sitting back and enjoying the show are over. I'm now the stage crew! 

Hope you all have a great week!

Love Elder Thompson


Pictures

- the Orange Zone at District Conference (many of these branches have not seen any missionaries in years)

 - watching the sun rise at Pambula Beach

Family Ties

August 18, 2013
 
Good day family! 

Yes, I did get to meet up with Aunt Carol! It was great. We were in Canberra and ended up with a little free time so we decided to drop by her place for a surprise visit but no one was home so we went to the car and called her but no answer. We had to make a few other calls so we just stayed in the car and took care of business. Then she pulled up next to us and caught us there waiting! haha it was funny. We then went to dinner and it was really nice. It was so funny to see another Sherman. Definitely felt like family. We went to the Parliament House which was real fun.  It's funny because for anyone else, spending 90 minutes in Canberra for leisure time wouldn't even be worth the breath but for us those 90 minutes felt like a 3 week vacation! haha! That's just how it goes. I'll send pictures later on.

This week showed lots of miracles as we went down through the south coast and up through Canberra. A highlight of my week was when Elder Tonga'onevai and I went tracting in some humble living circumstances. Apparently this block of units is named by the missionaries, the "Miracle Blocks". That it was. It is a government housing facility for many young families and students who struggle with money while they do their studies at the nearby univeristy. In 90 minutes we found 5 potential investigators, set up 1 return appointment, and were invited in by a young vietnamese family to teach them the gospel of Jesus Christ. I was shocked when the young mother named Nga simply said "Ok, come in, we will have you teach us." We had an excellent lesson. They are Buddhist in background, so it was interesting for me to teach them about our beliefs. I had the opportunity to bear my testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and I felt the spirit very strong. That was a blessing for me to have that experience. 
Our investigator named Gabriella showed up to church again as well. Last week we had a somewhat informal lesson with her, but this week we had our first scheduled meeting that went really well. After a long, very intense lesson of the restoration we stressed the importance of the Book of Mormon. Gabriella said that she feels like something is missing in her life but she doesn't know what. Her member friends seem to have a "rock" in their lives that really strengthens them and that's what she wants. At first we thought that the rock she was missing was commandment keeping but as she expressed how she doesn't drink or smoke or hook up with guys and stuff, we realized that all she is now missing is the ordinances of salvation. We read Helaman 5:12 with her (build your foundation on the rock of our Redeemer) and explained that the way we build our foundation of the rock of Jesus Christ is by being baptised. We then invited her to be baptised and she said yes!!!! However, she is very aware that before she is baptised she must gain faith and repentance and she said that she would be baptised on the condition that she knew it was true. We then assured her that there is no way we will let her get baptised without first developing faith and repenting. Wow that was a spiritually draining lesson. She is one of the most intense (intense is the best word I can think of) investigators that I have ever had. I am SO grateful to be able to teach her though, because it is forcing me to use every ounce of Spirit that I can feel. I am learning so much already from this teaching experience. It is very humbling. 

The Australia Sydney South Mission is definitely catching the wave of missionaries. When the mission split, our mission had a whopping 85 missionaries. By the end of the year, we will have 200. President Lew is very inspired, and under his direction we are having a lot of success. We are also baptising many more people and the missionaries are very happy. I know the Lord is Hastening his work!

By the way, I put that text in red. Everything that is red, you can just make that my 8th ward newsletter post. :)

I'm looking forward to this week! I hope you all have a great week as well!

Love, Elder Thompson

Friday, August 9, 2013

August is Here

August 5, 2013
 
Dear Mom and Dad

It's only been a few days since my last email huh? Time is flying so fast, every time I look at the date on my watch it is always 1 or 2 days ahead of where I though it should be. Tomorrow is August 6th. That blows my mind! Things are going well here, finally calmed down and everything. Lot's of miracles are happening. We are now working in the Hurstville ward when we have time, we had our first Sunday there yesterday. A random part member Columbian family showed up to sacrament and brought their japanese friend with them. Funny thing is that President was inspired to send a japanese Elder there even though it is a mostly chinese area. That elder was able to talk to her and get contact details so they can teach her. 

A really cool miracle though that has to do with your question, Dad, about whether we help pair up the missionaries. Yes, we are pretty involved with that process. My companion and I, President and Sister Lew, after listening to the testimonies of the new missionaries, go into presidents office and spent about 90 minutes pairing them all up, praying about it and stuff. It is a REALLY cool experience. That is one of my favorite things, I always look forward to it. But anyway, a few days after transfers I was talking to an Elder who was in an area called Camden. He met a member who was from Cowra, which is a small branch that is way out in the bush. This member in Cowra suspected that missionaries were coming soon because they had been helping us look for accomodation out there. They never got around to it, but they were going to request us to send a Filipino missionary out there because a part member recent convert Filipino family just moved into the branch. By this time, Elder Moyes who is training in Cowra had already arrived with his new trainee, who just happens to be Elder Abquina.. from the Philippines. He is a great missionary. I couldn't my believe ears when I heard that. It really sunk in, I know that these transfers are inspired by God. There are so many things factored in that we really have no control over, however, God knows what's going on and it is great to be able to rely on him. 

When the mission split, we had about 80 missionaries. By the end of the year (when I come home) there will be 198 missionaries in the Australia Sydney South Mission alone. WHOA! I feel bad for the person who has to organize all that chaos.. oh yeah.. I have to organize all that chaos. It's gonna be nuts! 

Elder Haeata and I had dinner in the mission home last night with President and Sister Lew. It was really fun, we just feel like really close friends. We talked about dating and how Preach My Gospel is great in the principles it teaches because most of the things can be applied to finding and maintaining a spouse. For example there is a section called "Teach when you find, find when you teach." and President Lew said in real life that is called "Date when you find, and find when you Date." (Finding is when you are looking for new investigators) hahaha anyway, it's been a fun week. This week we have 6 exchanges planned. We're gonna have heaps of fun! :)

Have a great week!

Love, Elder Thompson

Family Reunion

July 31, 2013
 
Dear Family,

Hey sorry it took a while to get this written again, things have been hectic as. We just had our first transfer as the Australia Sydney South Mission. New mission. New mission office. New mission president. New companion. and 29 new missionaries. Only 2 went home! Next transfer we have 29 more coming, then the next transfer we have 47 more coming. And over those 2 transfers we only have 6 people going home. That's totally insane. We created a new zone and opened up 14 areas. The logistics of this have been crazy. I "killed" (had my companion finish his mission) my first companion last week. It's a weird feeling because you know you won't see them at conferences and stuff. He is going back to Utah though so I will see him there one day. 
 
Anyway, things here are GREAT!!!! I'm loving every minute. Things have been crazier than I could have ever imagined but it's still a lot of fun. Hope you all have a great week! 

Love Elder Thompson

Happy Hot Pioneer Day

July 23, 2013

 
G'day

So the verdict is final. I got confirmation of my visa extension! I am now officially allowed to stay in Australia until 22 December 2013, so that means I will be coming home 3 December 2013. Looks like I'll be home for Christmas. Although I really wanted to extend, and that's what I decided to do, it never felt quite real. It looked possible but I never had that feeling that it was actually going to happen so now that I found out about this, it just confirms those feelings.  It's just good to know for sure what will happen. Friday night we got to help prepare food for the dinner with all the stake presidents and the member of the 70 and it was pretty fun. I had this waist down apron on and I really looked like a waiter. They all told me I looked really good as a waiter and that they would recommend me to anyone to work for them.  I think when I get home I will look for a job as a waiter, probably at the Outback Steakhouse, I will just use my Australian accent and entertain everyone hahaha my accent is acutally pretty dang good. 80% of people here don't even know that I am American. Heaps of people think that I am just an Aussie or from New Zealand it's sweet as. I reckon being a waiter would be fun and I could get heaps of tips and I might even meet my wife, who knows???  Anyway.. enough of this waiter business, it might just be a phase. I go through a lot of phases. Phases are fun, they keep life interesting :)

I'll share a cool experience from this weekend. We went to invite some people to church Sunday morning a family which the kids were baptised but not yet the parents. When we knocked, the young girl Sophie answered the door and immediately said, my friend Whitney is coming the church with us today, she slept over! It was pretty cool, and so because Whitney would be with strangers all day, Sophies mom Brook came to church as well. (She probably wouldn't have come if Whitney wasn't there).  At church, Brook was welcomed warmly. It's been a few weeks since she last came. In gospel principles, the lesson was on baptism and the members that were in the class were a mom and her daughter. The daughter was older and married now but they shared their conversion experience about how the kids were baptised first and then the mom later. I could go into more detail but the experience they shared related EXACTLY to Brook. I think it really hit her. I hope she has her eyes opened and gives commitment to the gospel so that her family can be blessed. 

Nothing I can really think of to say at the family reunion other than to follow the prophet. The most important thing we can do is follow the council of the prophets and the apostles and everything will be ok. You can also let everyone know that I am well and that I love my mission. :)

Well, I think that's all for this week. BUSY, BUSY, BUSY, BUSY, BUSY, BUSY, BUSY week ahead. Can't stress that enough! Transfers and Mission Leadership council. Then planning for a recent convert fireside the next week. All while I have a new companion and a new mission president.  This is the biggest intake the mission has ever seen by far. about 4 times as many missionaries as we have ever gotten. The wave has finally hit Sydney! We have 30 new missionaries coming in. Then in a few months we have 46 more coming. SPLASH! haha what a great thing to see! :) Bring it on!!!

Love, Elder Thompson

PS) Please pray especially hard for me, I need the Lord's help as much as possible! Can't do it without him :)

Happy Campers

July 18, 2013
 
Hello! Sorry it's late.

Well here's my decision. I decided to extend my mission to 14 January 2014...... however, by the time I had made this decision it was already too late and Sister Haynes had already did the travel request for 3 December... so that's the way it worked out. Right now, it's looking like I will be home for Christmas. I haven't had my personal interview with president Lew yet though so I will bring this up with him, let him know what my situation was and see if we can make an exception to my travel details, just cancel the itinerary that will come through and book new travel for January. We'll see what happens :) either way I will be satisfied with my mission. 

Anyway, that's not even exciting news... KANNON IS ENGAGED! WHOA!! Good on 'em. hahaha that blew my mind! Even though I could see it coming from a million miles away.. ok maybe not a million, but definitely a couple thousand miles away for sure. That means I'll be the only one left.  whoa... 
so still no details for it, will I be home for that do you think? Either way I don't want to be factored in too much. If they need to get married quick then they don't need to wait for me or anything haha but I do want to be there for sure.  It is also very good to hear about Corina and Trenton! Tell them congratulations for me! If you can give me their address that would be great, I would like to write them a letter if I get a few spare minutes. 

The email from president Lew I didn't know about, Elder Hoer is my companion though so it was probably a copy and paste or something. Not really sure. That's good you got the new address though. you could put it on facebook or something. See if anyone wants to send me a letter or something... I don't get a lot of letters hahaha, but then again.. I don't write a lot of letters! 

Anyway that's some news for the week, there's more but we are really busy still.  Tonight we are going to go set up for a dinner at the mission home. President Lew is having all the stake presidents over for dinner as well as the area 70. pretty intense! And also in August Elder Hamula is doing a mission tour. He is the President of the Pacific area. He is really cool and I should be able to talk to him quite a bit :) Looking forward to that. Well, I love you, have a great week! I'll hear from you on Monday!

Love, Elder Thompson

Happy 4th of July

July 8, 2013
 
Hello! 

Well, now that the mission is split there are a few things that are way different. Seeing that we only have half the mission to look after, we potentially have a lot more time to spend proselyting. However, President and Sister Lew are brand new to Australia and they need a lot of help figuring out how things work here, mission things, cultural things, logistical things, administrative things, driving especially haha! Lot's of things to show them how to do. President Lew is very on to it though. It hasn't been hard at all! This week, we have lot's of Zone conferences all over the mission. It will be pretty busy but fun at the same time. Last night we had our first recent convert fireside in the Sydney South Mission. We used to have them every first Sunday at the old mission office location but now we had one down south and it was really great. The recent converts who spoke were very good. Lot's of members, investigators and other recent converts showed up as well. It was a semi-stressful thing to plan out but it was all worth it. 

Today we actually had a pretty real P-day as well. President Lew is really supportive of us having a P-day because he know swe haven't had one in like 2 months so today was really nice :)

Crazy to know that Ryan is home now... I can't believe it. I am very proud of him and know he was a great missionary. Speaking of coming home, I have an interesting decision to make. See if you can make sense of this. My proposed release date is 25 December but that's Christmas day. We have been planning to send me home 3 December because it is the transfer right before the 25th.  I also found out that President Lew has the authority to send a missionary home up to 30 days before or after their original release date, visa situation permitting. A transfer is 42 days but since my release date is mid-transfer, I would be able to stay another transfer longer which would put me home about 14 January. So I have to decide. Do I want to come home 3 December, or 14 January? I have been praying about it alot. I  have to decide by tomorrow what I will do. I am very torn and would appreciate any input or information from you guys.  Will you email me back about this tomorrow?  I need to let Sister Haynes know by tomorrow whether or not she should book a plane ticket for me or not. 

Well, I have to send this off, but I look forward to hearing from you tomorrow! :)

Love, Elder Thompson

Happy Mission Split Time

July 3, 2013

 
Hello Hello

Yes ,I'm still alive and kicking! :) things are going really well. To make things clear, I am serving in the Australia Sydney South Mission now. It is a new mission. New mission president, new mission office, new mission home, new everything. The new mission president is President Lew from Lehi, Utah. He is chinese. President and Sister Lew are here and they are AWESOME! I know that they were meant to be my mission parents for sure. President Lew is very very loving and also very on top of things. I was amazed at how when he first got here he knew all the right questions to ask, like things about how the mission is organized and stuff. Things I wouldn't have thought to ask, but which are really important. I feel good because Elder Hoer and I are able to answer about 95% of his questions and have already made some big decisions in the mission. I can really feel the Holy Ghost help me as I perform this very hard task. I have prayed so much for the ability to take on this special assignment and I have definitely felt an in-human source of support. Every night I thank Heavenly Father for helping me do something that I otherwise would not be able to do without his help. It's incredible how much I have grown in just the past few days with all the responsibility. I have felt a new found sense of motivation since he has been here too. He is very fundamental in his teaching and in his vision which is exactly what I think the mission needs. His personality is very personal, he listens very intently and he is fun too. If I could try to describe his personality, the best way would be to compare him to Elder Bednar. That's kind of his style.  And sister Lew is really awesome!! She is very very very short! haha and she is also a marathon runner. She is really fun and loving and innocent and ALL the missionaries love her to death. She almost reminds me of Mary Lou Jewett. President and Sister Lew after our first Zone Conference yesterday took some time afterwards and went out for a few hours with the missionaries to do proselyting with them. That is something neither one of my old mission  Presidents ever did. I though that was really neat of them, they really enjoyed their time doing that too. 

That really freaked me out when you said you were having the Independence day party! It didn't even occur to me that that holiday was coming up. I just about screamed and looked at my watch in a panic! Time is going by so fast!!! If you wouldn't have said anything, I would have gone the rest of the year without realizing that holiday even happened. Wow! That's good to hear about the missionary mall clothes by the way.

Thanks for your comments on my future, means a lot that you support me in whatever I do. There are so many options it's ridiculous! Guess I can pray about it when the time is right and if I don't get a clear answer then I'll take a step down a path and see what he has to say about it :)

Yeah the new announcements on the Work of Salvation broadcast were really cool! Did they show that in your church meetings? Things like using facebook and iPads are being piloted in the states right now and will start going out to other areas.  Uisng facebook and stuff won't reach this mission anytime this year, so it looks like I will never see that stuff used in my mission life but it doesn't mean that I can't use it to share the gospel the minute I get home :) haha that's the great thing! 

Alright I love you guys! Til next week! 

Love, Elder Thompson
 
 
Elder Thompson is now serving in the Australian Sydney South Mission.

He has a new address:

Please send all letters to:
Elder Kuyler Thompson
Australian Sydney South Mission
PO Box 456
Mortdale, NSW 2223
Australia

Happy Winters Day

June 26, 2013
 
So as you know, my email didn't get to you last week until now, things have been great though. This week we are doing a couple of last zone conferences for all the south mission so that Pres. and Sis. Howes could say goodbye. President Howes is giving every missionary a blessing while Elder Hoer and I do a training. It's pretty cool. That takes a lot of energy. Pretty much everything is set to go for the mission split. We're just kinda playing the waiting game for Pres. Lew to get here so we can really take off. He should get here 30 June. Sunday morning. Then we will get really busy again. Right now we live almost an hour away from the mission office.. but when the split happens we will be able to use our new office which is only 5 minutes away from our place. I am really looking forward to the great things that are about to happen in the Australia Sydney South Mission. 

That's awesome to hear about Logan being home!  Derek emailed me and wondered if I would be keen to team up with him and go to USU and get housing together and stuff. We are working a few things out right now. Figuring out the realism of that happening. Praying about it and stuff. I know I won't have enough money to start school straight away though so I will need to work A LOT before I can get back in to studies. I also want to try and apply for federal aid and see what I can get. I'm still planning on studying art education as a major. I also am really thinking of doing photography as a minor and doing wedding photos and stuff on the side one day to make a little extra cash and also maybe make a career out of it or something. It would just give me more options and stuff. What do you think? 

Good luck on City Council! Am I able to vote for that one? I would like to if I can. I will be praying for you. I think it's about time you brought some brains into the City Circus. 

Haven't heard anything about the moon stuff but it really makes sense because last night the moon was HUGE!!! It lit up all the clouds and stuff and looked really cool. It was almost like a sunrise but way different haha 

Well, til next week I hope this thing actually gets to you! :) 

Love, Elder Thompson

How are you?

June 10, 2013
 
Hey there!

Sorry I didn't get an email off last week! :( we didn't get to email Monday night like we usually find time to do, like right now. Then we had zome conferences all week!  8 hr training to about 30-50 missionaries at a time. It was a great experience though. I got to meet ALL the missionaries, it was really exciting. Then the church websites haven't been working for some reason so that's been a little annoying. BUT... I am doing fantastic! Things are quickly heading toward the mission split. Things are getting pretty real and lots of progress is being made. The new mission office and home are all prepared and ready to go. This week we will be planning the upcoming transfers. This transfer will be a very important one because we have to create 3 new zones, decide who will be North and South, and also decide who will be all the new trainers and things like that. It's nearly mind blowing! hahah
We do a lot of driving. In the 5 weeks that I've been here We have probably driven about 6000 kilometers! that's no good for getting excercise :) hahaha 

Tonight we had leavers dinner for two missionaries from Tonga and Samoa who's visa's are expiring. They will stay with us tonight which will put 8 of us in one flat.  There's 3 assistants, 3 fleet missionaries(the ones who take care of temporal needs in the mission ex. cars, flats, vacuums etc..) and those 2. It should be a fun night :)

Lets see.. oh today was fun, we actually got a P-Day kinda! We brought a bunch of missionaries from a few zones into a central chapel and had a big basketball day! There was probably about 40ish people there so we had some good games going on! 

Fun fact, a missionary who served here, Elder Ford, was waiting for his visa to go to his actual mission which happens to be the Utah Ogden mission! He just left a few weeks ago and we saw him off. I got an email from Elder Russell and he said Elder Ford called him up and came over to his house. Apparently he is getting trained in our area! How crazy is that? hahaha If you see him you'll have to tell him that I say hi!

Things are great here! There is a lot of excitement and a buzz among the missionaries as we prepare for the split! I will be busy, busy, busy but I should be able to find time to email. No excuses:)

Til Next time!
Love, Elder Thompson

Memorial Day

May 27, 2013
 
Dear Mom and Dad

Yes you are right, it is a whole new world! haha The trip down the south coast was incredible. I never realized how beautiful Australia is.... it is amazing!!!! There are a lot of kangaroos down there.. just hopping around town and neighborhoods and stuff, silly creatures! 

We had the opportunity to go on a lot of exchanges with the Elders down there too, which was nice to get out there and do some teaching and finding and missionary work. I missed bearing my testimony to people and inviting them to change. The church really is everywhere, it's incredible, tiny little middle of no-where towns have a branch where people can worship! We took a lot of really awesome pictures too, they are on Elder Shim's camera though so I am going to have to steal them all some time :) Oh yeah and we got chased by a dog!! haha It was just like a scene out of a movie or something, funniest thing ever!!!  

Canberra was pretty cool! Really cold!!! like -5 degrees celcius! I wish we could have gone to visit Aunt Carol but I didn't have her address on me or phone number or anything. I will be going down there a fair bit now though so I should have more chances to visit her :)

That's great news about the temple work, I'm sure many more tears will freely flow when other ordinances are performed. I'm jealous that I'm missing out on all this temple action. My favorite!! 

So I did buy a GPS, I got it half off and spent about $125, it works well & I am satisfied. It has successfully and safely taken us on about 3,000 km worth of driving already so it's a good purchase. Oh and I'll have to send you a picture of a pair of my shoes, the inside part of my right one is falling apart so I'll need some new ones sent over, time is almost up! 

Have a great visit to Tanners yard tomorrow and to Grandma Sherman's grave.

Love, Elder Thompson

May flowers are blooming

May 20, 2013
 
Dear Mom and Dad

Glad I got this opportunity to have a few minutes to email tonight! I really enjoyed the call as well! I can't believe it's my last one! Glad everyone else enjoyed it too! Next time we talk it will be in person :) Wow Jordan Lee is home time flies, feels like just yesterday we both got our calls on the same day! Cool experience he had with the kid, I wonder if the kid realizes the significance of that. 

Being assistant to the president is a very very different thing. A lot of the mission rules don't really apply to us.. bed time, internet, driving, calling, area, schedule.. it's all different. we have a lot of privileges that help up to be able to do our work more effectively. We basically help make all the decisions in the mission, transfers, and policies and stuff. We are constantly driving to the airport to pick people up and drop others off.  We give trainings, go on exchanges with missionaries all over the mission, and who knows what else, the responsibilities are endless but so fun! I get to know every missionary pretty well and work with all sorts of people. Last week we went on a tour of the orange district which included areas called: Mudgee, Dubbo, Orange, Cowra, and Bathurst and other areas in between. Look some of those up on google maps, they are bush as! Cowra was my favorite place though.. I think I might request to finish my mission there :) This week, starting tomorrow morning to Friday night we are going on a tour of the south coast of NSW! We'll be going to areas like: Wollongong, Nowra, Ulladulla, Narooma, Merimbula and also Canberra. checking out the chapels and going on exchanges with the missionaries there.  

Today we got to go to a big zone P-day back at Dee Why beach in my old area Manly :) we played on the beach and stuff, it was really fun! After that we went to the family home evening in the City YSA branch, it was really fun. We had missionaries act out the plan of salvation and we also learned about the life of Sister Monson in wake of her passing away. After, we played charades and had pancakes and ice cream! I got to meet this girl named Gyin from Taiwan, she is getting baptized on 8 June and she doesn't think she is ready. Some missionaries were talking to her and encouraging her and I was there as well. I got the chance to talk to her one on one for like 20 minutes and went over some of the baptism interview questions with her and also taught her about the covenant of baptism very very simply because her english is not very great. I think her teaching process had somewhat lacked simplicity so she may seem overwhelmed. I invited her to make a few commitments that will help her reach baptism and afterward she thanked me with a big smile saying that she had been helped a lot by that conversation. I really felt the spirit as I talked with her and knew that it had brought comfort and peace to her heart and understanding to her mind. She said she is going to go ponder about it all. I know that as she ponders, her seed of faith is going to grow :) it's amazing how far a good ponder session can take you. I'm grateful for the spirit guiding me, helping me know what to say and do in order to help her tonight. I love teaching, it's my favorite thing about my mission. teaching, teaching, teaching! I love it! 

Hey, now that I think of it.. why don't you just include that little experience that I just shared as my part in the newsletter! :) That'll work quite nicely! And make my picture one of the ones with the waterfall! 

Anyway! If there's anything I missed, let me know! I gotta go for now. Love you guys!!! 

Love, Elder Thompson

May Day

May 7, 2013

Hey! Sorry I'm getting to you guys so late, just wanted to let you know what's up. I don't have time to read your whole email right now or write a long one back, unfortunately. Well, unexpectedly I got transfered after only 1 transfer in Penrith ZL. President Howes called me to be his assistant so I'm working in the office and stuff now. We are planning for all the new missionaries coming in tomorrow and it is really busy haha :) I love this new assignment though! For reference I can email you whenever I want (or have time to) so I'll get back with more details of what we can do for Mother's Day phone call! :) Love you all!!!!

Pictures from April 21 and 28th



 








Monday, May 20, 2013

April 28, 2013
 
Dear Makayla,
I'm glad you like Kannon's girlfriend, Randi Ann. If you approve then that means she is really great :) Make sure you make them play lot's of games with you! hahah I'll see what kind of kangaroo stuff I can bring home for you.
Love, Uncle Elder

Dear Mom and Dad,

This week was REALLY slow for the first part, lot's of cancelled appointments and rejection but it finished off strong. We ended up having a really solid week, set a baptismal date, added a few new investigators and did a lot of service for people! :) On Wednesday our whole zone went to the Blue mountains to do service for a disability center. It is a monthly thing. The next morning, because we had some extra kilometers that we could burn on the car this month, we woke up early and drove to the Blue mountains and hiked to a waterfall called Minni-ha-ha falls. It was really beautiful. The falls were probably about 30-40 meters tall and had this really nice pool at the bottom. We were pretty secluded and did our personal and companionship study right there at the base of the waterfall. Did it all in full pross clothes! We have really amazing pictures, I'll send some in another email! :) 

Recently a 23 year old guy named Meki moved in from New Zealand and lives with his cousin. He's only been a member about 2 years and is looking for a fresh start over here. Our goal is to get him on a mission. He wasn't too sure about that idea before, didn't think he knows enough about the gospel but we have been taking him out with us to fellowship and teach people. The ward has really taken him in and he loves it. He is already talking about places he could get sent on a mission if he were to go! I reckon he'll be wearing a name tag shortly :)

So I think I have everything I need for the visa now. Took passport photos and stuff so we're good to go!  I was right about everyone's birthdays and stuff! Just wasn't sure about where everyone was born. Layton is easy enough to remember though! I even knew where both of you guys were born! That's pretty good, I'm proud of myself!  So Dec. 3 as my realease date is just a way rough estimate that just got thrown out the window. We just found out that when the mission splits, the north mission will have a 4 week transfer which will send me home either like half way through November or just after Christmas.. that's if I stay in the north mission. If I go to the south then... I would GUESS maybe getting home 17 December because the new mission is formed on 1 July and if that is also the start of their transfer cycles then that's when I would end up going home, 4 transfers later. Its confusing but at least it makes my going home time a grey area that seems less like a finish line! 

I'm glad to hear the twins had a good homecoming, I got an email from Tanner:)  Thanks for the package number, it would be a bad thing if I got package 1052 or 1222. Yes everything survived really well! For the mother's day phone call I'm not sure about details yet. Maybe we'll talk about it today at zone leader council. I don't predict us getting to skype this time.. we'll see. 

Oh yeah.. Mom I need a favor. We have been asked to give a spiritual thought at the upcoming ward Mother's day party. I want to know what direction we should go with it if we really want to make it an impacting message! Just throw out some ideas and we'll see what we can do :) Thanks! Enjoy your sabbath!!! :)

Love, Elder Thompson
 

Keep on Keeping on

April 21, 2013
 
Dear Mom and Dad,

Sounds like a pretty eventfull week for you guys! That's good that Tanner got over. I didn't get his email though! It is so weird that they are home now. I am not looking forward to the day my name tag comes off..or at least not looking forward to the feeling. I can't remember when Aaron Hill left exactly. I think he might be home now or getting home in the next week or two. I've been thinking about that. I heard his family moved to Logan. That stinks :( I am starting to kinda get fat. It's just been a bad week though. Not all weeks are like this (food wise). We had KFC like 3 times plus a few other huge feeds. I should be able to lose it playing basketball though, I just turn into a sweat machine. 

That's great to hear about Tia and Daniels farm. Sounds like things are up and moving. I might have to go help out on the farm sometime just to give me something to do! Have they started to build the new house yet?  Yeah I did hear about the thing in Boston. That's really scary. The Syarcuse distance running coach and also a girl that was on my track team were both running in that marathon, Coach Buhrley sent an email saying that they were both ok. One of them was only about .3 miles away from the finish line when it happened. Good to hear they are ok. Hopefully things don't continue to build up there. I haven't heard anything about Korea in a while either, wonder what's going on there. Times are gettting crazy!

Had a few really cool things happen this week that I want to share. We had another baptism this weekend. A young man named Blake. He is 12 and his mom was less active. She was active younger then got pregnant with him at 18 and the guy she married turned out to be a total jerk and she ended up on the do not visit list for years and then they separated a while ago and now her new husband is supportive and really nice. He even came to the baptism.  The missionaries visited that name on the list and boom, she was really awesome. She got work off to come to Blakes confirmation yesterday. First time at church in probably about 13 years and she really enjoyed it! :) 
The other really cool thing was a visit we had with a less active family. They are Maori and the mom gets really nervous to meet new people and has pretty bad anxiety when it comes to social things. She just had dinner with our ward mission leader which was really great and was going to come to a missionary fireside last night but I think her husband had to work. Anyway the miracle was a few days before all of this we went to visit them and had a lesson where they opened up and committed to make some changes. We found out that the dad had been out of work for about 2 weeks and they were struggling. After the lesson we were playing with little a basket of baby kittens and I didn't notice but the dad got a call and went in the house to talk privately. Then as we were leaving they told us that phone call was for him to start work that coming monday (which I just realized is today! haha).  That's not coincidental! As we left we asked them if there was anything we could do and found out that they needed food. so we came back later that night with 3 huge bags of food and other things provided by the Lord. That's the best way I can explain it. 
There are miracles everywhere! There is nothing that can beat the feeling of helping someone. Nothing even comes close!!

I did get my birthday package! I only have a few graham crackers left :) put them with milk in a bowl and ate them! :) I have the card too so you can activate it. I also used my umbrella already to stand in the rain and watch Blakes footy game the morning before his baptism. Everything is used well, even the preserved Sunday comics wrapping paper!! hahaha Thanks heaps!  I look forward as well to the phone call home. My last one, just a few weeks! 

Glad to hear you are all doing well! Hope to hear more good news next week! 
'Til then
Love Elder Thompson!

April news from home

April 14, 2013

Dear Mom and Dad,

Hmm where to start?  This week started off pretty good then got really slow and then it was conference so we didn't get up to much and then we finished really strong Sunday night! I really liked conference though. I think my two favorite talks were President Monson's Sunday morning talk and also the talk by Elder Hales. I usually get put to sleep by him but this time it caught my attention! Thanks for the encouragement to be a zone leader. I really need that. I'm just starting to get melancholy and apathetic toward other missionaries but that helps me realize that I just need to do my best. Oh I figured my kangaroo case would get taken. I'll see if I can find another one maybe,  it will be all good as long as I get to pet it every once in a while. It is so soft :) Ha ha!!

I got to talk on the phone with Tanner (wow that's weird I haven't been able to call him that for the last more than a year!) the night before he left. He was pretty excited :)  thats understandable. I am trying not to get trunky! I have only 7 1/2 months left. Can you believe that? I prepared a few questions to be answered by conference and a few were about guidance for the future at home and I got answered on them, but I try not to think about it too much. The mothers day phone call is soon! That will be my last one! Which reminds me I still need to finish my visa papers. What I need you guys to do for me is scan my mission call and send me the digital copy of it. I need it for my visa extension. 

One thing I've always been impressed with you guys and the whole family is every week I hear about some kind of service that you give. That is so awesome! There is no other way to be more Christlike than serving others. Two of the best ways I think to strengthen a testimony of the Savior is to do missionary work and to serve the needs of other people. The good feeling you get from selflessly serving someone is irreplaceable by anything! I especially want to express my gratitude to you mom and dad for raising me and also providing for me to serve a mission. I am also grateful for Grandpa & Sheila for their sacrifice in helping support me on my mission.  Grandpa & Sheila are always helping others as is Uncle John.  I have heard about and seen the many people they serve and some of those people have been us.  Good on them! The people I help everyday are only being served because of your selflessness and the examples I have seen and heard about. That's a big deal. Thank you so much for what you do. Me, the Lord and his children are very thankful for it! 

I should be getting my package tomorrow at zone conference. I'm really looking forward to it :) Oh yeah we did do lazer tag last week and I smashed everyone! We are going today but to a different place where it is $15 for unlimited bowling and lazer tag! booyeah! Wish me luck!

Love, Elder Thompson

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Happy Easter

March 31, 2013
 
Dear Mom and Dad

Happy Easter to you too! This weekend has been a good Easter weekend. There was a special spirit at church as we focused on the ressurection of Jesus Christ. It was also a good first week at the Minchinbury ward! It feels like I have been here for ages!! It's just been a busy week because we were preparing for a baptism. We baptised a Korean girl named Olivia on Saturday. She is a friend of a member and just started coming to church at the beginning of the month. It was such an honor for me to be able to be part of all the final preparations for the baptism and being able to teach the last few important things. Back in Bankstown they also had 2 baptisms of African sisters from a part member family that we have been working with for a month or two. It is so funny that we get so excited over a couple of people getting baptised. Something that the rest of the world doesn't really even care about, but that means so much for the eternities. I just wish everyone had the same awareness of sacred things and hey.. thats what I'm trying to do anyway! haha :)

We had a nice dinner for Easter. They fed us a nice tuna casserole.. I haven't had a casserole in like a thousand years! It was really delicious. and yes we have way too much chocolate. I forgot how much chocolate I got last year but now I remember. I'll try to not eat so much and if I do then I'll do a few more situps or something haha!  I forgot April fools day was today until I flipped to the next page of my Dilbert calendar! We are trying to think of something we can do to our flat mates.. they are on bikes so we we're going to steal them or something. We are running out of time though.. P-day ends at 1:30 today because of zone leader council. We'll see what we can do! 

I like what that guy said about pride. I read the preview in the Ensign about the teachings of Lorenzo Snow book and have been craving to read it for a long time, I finally got my hands on one this week and read out of it for personal study in a chapter about leadership in the church. It really humbled me. 

I'll keep that in mind about the comet for Thanksgiving! I always say to people that I wish we had more moons. Think how cool it would be to look up and see a bunch of different size, different color moons all over the sky. It would feel like Star Wars or something! 

I am super excited for General Conference! We don't get it for another two weeks though so don't give things away!!!!!!!! That's like spoiling a great movie!!! Just please refrain!! :) 

I hope you all have fun doing Easter egg hunts! I wish I could see the excited look on their faces! haha they always get so excited to find some eggs :) Tell everyone I say hi and send my love! :)

Until Next week!
 
Love, Elder Thompson

Marching into new seasons

March 25, 2013
 
Dear Mom and Dad,

So transfers happened this week... and I am now in an area called Minchinbury! :) I got moved to be the Zone Leader in the Penrith zone. My companion is Elder Robinson. He used to be in the Mortdale zone with me. I have always thought it would be awesome to be his companion and now I am! I am also in the zone that I have always wanted to go to! It's the biggest zone in the mission. It covers an area probably a little smaller than Texas!  Most of it is the outback though and there's nothing out there! This zone borders with the Brisbane, Adelaide, and Melbourne missions! It also has the most remote area in the mission called Dubbo which is about 6 hours west of us here in Minchinbury which is about 1 1/2 hours west of the coast. It is awesome! I should be seeing a wild kangaroo soon :) I had an emotional experience in an accounting prayer I had with Heavenly Father the last night in Bankstown. I wept as I recounted all of the amazing experiences that I had and also for the experiences that I have had my whole life. It was really nice to feel His love and approval of the work that I have done for Him. I haven't cried in a long time! at least not like really crying. I am very, very excited to be here with Elder Robinson though. It is a new challenge andwe are ready to work hard and do everything we can, together.
Easter should be pretty good here. They have a huge easter celebration at the olympic park that goes for like 2 weeks, so this is a holiday they actually do good!

I've started working on the papers for the visa extention... there's ALOT of paperwork and a lot of stuff I have to fill out that I don't know so I will have to email those questions to you. I was going to do that today but with transfers and everything.. stuff is just hectic. I still haven't tried kangaroo! I will have to go buy some. I've heard it's really good though :)

Haven't seen a comet or anything.. haven't even heard about it! Sounds pretty cool, I don't know if I'll be able to see it though because we don't spend a lot of time outside during the night, speaking of which I think daylight saving is soon here. I'll have to check! 

Anyway, you can look up on the map how big my zone is, it's pretty crazy! :)
 
Talk to you next week! 

Love, Elder Thompson

Happy St Patricks Day

March 17, 2013
 
Good morning! for me :)

Yes it was St. Partrick's day and yes I made sure that I wore a green tie! Alot of people or rather everyone I talked to didn't even know that you are supposed to wear green on that day.  And in our flat, I didn't even hear the words "St. Patricks's Day" uttered by anyone! Oh well I guess it's my last one anyway! Oh yeah and nothing was green except for the grass and trees like always! I haven't even seen a picture of a four leaf clover anywhere! :(

So we got an interesting announcement this last week from President Howes, he said that he was told from higher up that we are allowed to email family AND friends now! I think this is a worldwide rule too because a missionary who just came from Milwaukee who was waiting for his visa, said that rule came out there while he was there for just a few weeks, interesting stuff! So if you want to put that on the blog or something with my email then people can just email me now! 

Two really cool things happened this week. Nia got her temple recommend and went with the youth to do baptisms for the dead and is going to get her patriarchal blessing soon! She is a total transformation! Also, Brother Havea who got baptized in November, recently received the Melchizedek priesthood and just baptized and confirmed his 8 year old son! When he did the baptism, especially while saying the words, the spirit was very very strong. It was like invisible lightning that went through the room and I know for certain that it electrocuted everyone who was present in two weeks we have two more baptism and then 3 more set for April! 

I'm glad to hear that what I typed in the newsletter touched someone. I hope that those boys in the 8th ward can be able to make the decision to serve. There's just no other satisfactory substitute. I hope when I get home I can be an instrument to be able to help lot's of people go on missions and just really be converted to the gospel.  

I've got the tax forms signed AND a picture of my pants. I'll be putting the letter in the box today and the picture of the pants in attached. I just have both pairs in one picture.
This Saturday is transfer calls again so we'll see what happens! To stay or not to stay! :) Let me know how Quinns farewell is and if you get this in time tell him I say hi and congratulations and also say.. time to work.

Til next week!
 
Love, Elder Thompson

As the seasons change

March 10, 2013
 
Dear Mom and Dad,

Well it's been another good fast week. Can't believe it's P-day again! We might train into the city today and look around.  It might rain though so we'll see. Things are going really well. We have 7 investigators with baptism dates so that keeps us busy.  The one for this weekend is going to be tricky. Her name is Debby and she just moved from New Zealand. She is 17 and is living with her sister and her sisters partner. She had gone to church before in NZ and wanted to get baptised but her dad is hardcore into this Samoan church and would not allow it. Since she was living here, her sister was her legal guardian and was going to sign for her baptism but her dad just moved here yesterday so we'll see what happens. We have to call her today. She is really awesome and knows the church is true without a doubt. We just have to hope that her fathers heart is softened so that he won't stop her from following her desires to go to heaven. I am amazed at how some parents will support their children if they get into criminal trouble but won't support them in their desires to follow Christ or things they feel are for their good. Hopefully everything works out! I still have hope!

Sounds like everything at home is going well though. Getting warmed up and flowers sprouting. I love all the seasons! There is something I absolutely love about all 4 of them. Speaking of which I have now been in Bankstown for all 4 seasons! I got about half of winter, all of spring, all of summer, and now we're just getting into autumn! This transfer is up in about 2 weeks though so I don't know what will happen. I would just send the package to the mission office again. That's the easiest way to do it.

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

I'm really glad to hear that you are still reading scriptures everyday! Keep it up! I LOVE the scriptures! My P. blessing predicted that and it is right! The scriptures are the thing that bring me the most truth out of anything I could ever study. I have also been reading my patriarchal blessing a lot and really thinking about it and I have had thoughts lately about maybe one day becoming a seminary teacher.... it just feels right and matches everything that is said in my blessing... I'll put more thought into it later but that's just a very deep impression that randomly hit me this week.  What do you think?

I hope you are able to get that flag pole! How tall is it? Could we put up a Layton Hills Mall flag?  That would be awesome hahah but probably improbable.  As for our shopping, we usually do all our shopping on P-day but if we really need something from the store we can use our hour of lunch time to do that. There's nothing that says we can't. :)  

Anyway, I've got my list of things to do written down and I'll get on it. I didn't take pictures of my clothes yet but I have looked at them! The taxes are on my desk, brought them in this morning and just need to sign them so everything is set to go! 

Hope you have a great week and that the weather gets warmer! I believe this week is St. Patricks day so don't forget to wear green!

Lov