Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Happy valentines

February 10, 2013
Dear Makayla, It is so good to hear from you. I heard that you made gingerbread cookies. Yummy! I love gingerbread. So guess what? I got to pet and kangaroo and a koala bear and a dingo! I also saw some emus, wombats, wallaby's, talking cockatoos, tiny penguins, and also saw a sheep get shorn. It was a fun day. My favorite thing was being with the Dingo. I'm glad you enjoyed the Christmas presents. I sure enjoyed mine! Keep being good for grammie and papa! Have fun!
Love, Kayak

Dear Mom and Dad,

So yeah as I said to Makayla I got to pet way more than a koala bear! That place was really fun! The girl who came out to feed the tiny penguins afterward was talking to us and I was able to convince her to bring out the dingo for us. I couldn't believe it worked! The dingo is pretty much like a normal dog but is basically a wolf. It was friendly though and could jump really really really high. His name was Boof and he was the biggest one they have. I'll attach pictures.

That's crazy that Colton is home already!! That was so fast. Make sure you tell him hello for me and maybe even get a picture together. That's awesome. Yesterday Elder Bringhurst and I attended a broadcast of leadership training for ward council members from our area presidency. It was a really good fireside and I sure learned a lot! Things that I can apply right now as a missionary leader and also later when I get home and fulfill various callings. As a missionary I have learned that Home teaching is one of the most valuable things a priesthood holder could ever do! Not just to do it because we have to, but to magnify it and go above and beyond. I have learned a lot about the powers of fellowshipping as well. Lot's of good lessons to be learned in life that's for sure.

Last week wasn't too crazy, had a lot of success still though :) This week should be another good one. Last week of the transfer! I would say the chances of me staying in Bankstown are just as good and the chances of me leaving. and vice versa. Either way, I'll go where the Lord wants me to go.

Every time I hear about or read about the 116 lost pages, I always think back to the Martin Harris pageant. I've always enjoyed going there :) I learned a lot and it's always been something that's part of my testimony. Tia was in both the Martin Harris pageant and the Hill Cumorah pageant wasn't she? Anyway, it's good to hear from you all again. Hope you have a great week! Try not to freeze, but still enjoy the snow! hahaha it's way better than this humid nasty gross hotness, trust me! haha!

Love, Elder Thompson

Happy Ground Hog Day

February 3, 2013

Hey there! Ah, the Super Bowl, that makes sense that Dad wrote first, that would explain why his passage today was way longer than usual! :) real quick, 20 foot ice castle?? you HAVE to send pictures of that! This week has been pretty unusual.

We had zone leader council on Monday, special zone training on Wednesday, and then zone meeting on Friday, so we only had like 2-3 full proselyting days, we still managed to get a lot done though. So the story of Miriam is pretty dang cool. She found out about the church while she lived in Sierre Leone and then moved to Papa New Guinea because it was too dangerous to stay in Africa. I found out that her husband and both parents have died but I don't know the full story there. She has two sons, one is with her here, and the other one she is working to bring over from Africa. We found her one day when we were going to visit a less active member. We kinda got lost and realized we were walking down the wrong street so we started back to the car to try again. On the way back we saw this cool alley staircase thing that just went back through a narrow pass in the shops so we walked back there just to be curious. When we walked out on to a side street I saw Miriam walking a little way off and our paths were almost going to cross. I felt the impression that there was something special about her so I slowed down and said Hi and started to talk to her. We then found out her story and that she had been here for 3 years and couldn't find the church. When she saw us she immediately recognized that we were from the church. We later found out, that day she had gotten home from work, was about to fall asleep and then got the urge that she should go buy some bread. She thought that was weird because she didn't even need bread but the urge was strong enough that she just went and did it anyway and on her way back to her place, confused why she just went and bought bread, she looked up and saw missionaries! She was baptized 3 weeks later! What a miracle! The lord really does look out for his children and places them in the right place at the right time. She is so funny, I could recognize her laugh anywhere!

I do write in my journal. Before I came to Bankstown I wrote in it every night but since then I have been pretty bad. I'm just so busy and have so much stuff to do as a zone leader that my journal gets neglected. I have been writing in it like once a month but am making a go at doing it every day. I could probably spend like the first 10 minutes of each personal study doing it :)

So Australia day is kind of like Independence day except for the fact that nothing significant ever happened historically on that day. I guess they just decided that they had too big of a gap between holidays so they threw in a day called Australia day. It falls on the 26th of January, which last year was my second day in Australia. This year however it was on a Saturday, and seeing how that doesn't benefit them with a day off, the country decided to celebrate Australia Day on Saturday and then deem Monday the Australia Day Public Holiday so that they could actually put the holiday card to use, and not go to work. Basically it's a day where everyone goes to the beach or has a BBQ or plays footie or something. We used to do our emailing at the mall every week but then switched to the library because it was free and quiet, even though the computers are slower and have less features.

We got to have an experience with the Primary too! I knew they learned about Joseph Smith and the gold plates because one of the Primary teachers had us come in as special guests for a minute of the class and sing the first verse of Joseph Smith's first prayer for the 4 and 5 year olds. They were so cute and all waved and said goodbye when we left. So funny about the barrel of beans, I didn't even know about that and last week a little girl told me all about it. Apparently that's what sticks out to them hahaha!

Not sure who I want to win the superbowl. If I was watching, I would proabably just root for whoever is loosing at any given time. That way it's more back and forth and more exciting. I am probably hoping the 49'ers take it though. They deserve it. and that would also mean that the Packers lost only to the Superbowl champs again. Well, today we are going to the Koala park so I will probably get to hold a Koala bear and pet it and stuff. I'm pretty excited :) Alright, have a great week!

Love, Elder Thompson

PS I sent a package home with a few priceless things in it

January's heat and ice

January 27, 2013

Hey there! Sorry I can't send a huge email this week! It is a public holiday today and the library is closed :( so I am emailing at the shopping center and I only have about 25 minutes to get everything done and today is zone leader council and they are starting an hour earlier than usual so that means we only have about 2-3 hours of preparation day today which is lame!

We did have a baptism though, it was on my one year mark! :) her name is Miriam and she is the one from Sierre Leone. She has an awesome story and I think her batptism, even though she wanted it short and simple, was probably my most favorite one so far!

That ice rain stuff sounds crazy! It is just really rainy here lately. Their Australia day got rained out completely.. that really stinks for them. I have written some letters, just need to send them now and I looked ALL over my area for some Kangaroo scrotums to send but they don't have any around here as this area is definitely not a touristy area.

Good job on reading the scriptures! I love those student manuels, that is the best way to study. I am going throught the old testament right now with one and it is really awesome to learn all that stuff from it. Keep it up! :)

I am sooooooooo jealous of you getting to go to Tucano's!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We always talk about Tucanos in the flat and how good it is :)

So we have a flash drive that we listen to music and stuff in the car and last week I downloaded every single talk given by Jeffrey R. Holland in general conference since he was called as an apostle. There are 37 talks. I call it the Best of Jeff, haha! anyway.. I gotta get going! sorry! Time is short though :( I'll send letters and a big long email next week I promise!

Love, Elder Thompson

January News

January 20, 2013

Dear Mom and Dad, This week was a little unusual. We went on three exchanges with other missionaries, so we were hardly in our own area at all but still managed to have success and make a lot of progress with our own area. We spent almost all day down in a place called Sutherland "the shire" working with the Elders down there and then on Friday we went and worked with the Samoan Elders out in the heat. That day it got up to 116 degrees F or 47 C. We went tracting.... but luckily we tracted into a member from a different ward and they let us in, gave us KFC and a juice comparable to jamba juice! Tender mercies! When we ended the exchange it started pouring rain, & it had cooled down to about 45 C though... 113 F and 100% humidity.. fun fun fun! :)

This weekend will be Miriam's baptism. She doesn't want it to be a big shin dig so it will be more quiet and casual I guess. Just a few people there and what not. That makes it easier on us though because planning a baptism is really stressful! Anyway, that's a little bit about our week!

I would say that reading the Ensign counts, I love reading the Ensign! That is modern day revelation and just as helpful to us as the scriptures. I would encourage you to actually give a read to the scriptures as well. Couldn't hurt, I know they are hard to understand but a scripture helped me know how to understand those hard things. I think it's 1 Nephi 15:11, when Nephi tells his brothers how they can understand the vision that Lehi had, because they were complaining that it made no sense to them.

A kid told us a story of an activity they did at EFY this last week. He said their counselor told them to close their eyes and imagine they were on a plane to where they were going to serve their mission. They were not far away from the destination when the right wing starts to have a problem. Then a few moments later the left wing breaks and they find out they have about 5 minutes to live. In those last 5 minutes they are prompted to write their final testimony to their family and friends so that it can be preserved. All the kids were then given 5 minutes to write their testimony down and he said it was very spiritual. The counselor then gathered all the testimonies and continued the story. The plane after 5 minutes crashed and with it, their testimony was destroyed, it never made it to the family or anyone. The counselor then took all their papers and ripped them to shreds and the kids freaked out! He then explained that if we do not read the scriptures (which are the testimonies of those ancient prophets, words that they all died for) then we might as well rip up their testimonies as well, rip up the scriptures. Wow that was powerful listening to that. The kid told this story in sacrament meeting. I know there are messages in the scriptures to help us with what we need. We just need to 1 Nephi 15:11 in order to have it take it's affect on us.

We did watch movies last week. Lion King and Tangled. It was a blast! I haven't seen the Lion King in like 10 years!! and I have never seen Tangled so it was a blast. Tangled is one of the best movies I have ever seen.

I got the pictures last week right before my time ran out on the computer but I had more time today to look at them longer :) haha that is SO MUCH SNOW! cool picture of Duke too running through the snow. I noticed you had the yard stick backward on one of the pictures haha I confused for a sec because it said like 35" or something! Anyway It's time to go for me. Good luck with all righteous things this week! :) Hope everyone is doing well. I am really hungry.

Love, Elder Thompson

Saturday, February 2, 2013

January HOT or COLD?

January 13, 2013

Hey there! 

Wow, just reading your email makes me cold! Yeah it's crazy, last Tuesday it got up to 45 Degrees Celsius which is about 113 F.  It was HOT!  Luckily it was P-day so it wasn't too bad and it was dry heat so it didn't really even bother me that much: the next day though was only about 35 C which is about 95 F but it was really humid and was WAY worse! Temps have cooled down though so no worries! :)

This week has been a good one! Our next investigator to get baptised, Miriam from Africa has been wanting to read the Book of Mormon but can't because her eyesight is really bad from being tear gassed in third world countries. Sad. She does wear glasses but still can't read the small words. She had borrowed a magnifying glass from her friend but had to give it back and was unable to read the small words. Elder Bringhurst and I decided to take a few minutes on Saturday and go buy her a new magnifying glass. It took a while to find because it's an unusual thing to look for but we finally got it and drove to her place and surprised her with it.  She was SO EXCITED!!! We were at the door and she immediately went and grabbed her Book of Mormon, she knew we couldn't come in because there wasn't another man but she knew we could go out on the porch.  She immediately found her spot where she was reading the testimony of Joseph Smith and read a paragraph and looked up with a huge smile. The closest thing I could relate it to is the happiness I saw from Makayla when she got that stuffed snake for her birthday or Christmas, hahaha.  It really touched me at how blessed we are to have the scriptures, and not only that but the ability to read them! For blind people we have audio, for deaf people we have Book of Mormon on video in ASL. Sometimes we take those SMALL things like eyes that can read small words for granted.  Amazing! 

I still get email track updates from Coach Buhrley and saw that there was a lot of commotion with the snow for them trying to figure out how to bus all the kids to Logan for a track meet. They ended up not going because of the weather. That is crazy! That stinks the Packers lost :( Didn't even make it to the NFC championship. Oh well, I still wear my Green Bay Packers pennant on the inside of my suit! :)

Today we are going to go watch more movies in that home theater. Did I ever send pictures of that? We're probably going to watch the Lion King and Tangled. That is subject to change though. We have figured out that pretty much any movie that is animated, President Howes will approve it, especially if it is Disney, Pixar, or Dreamworks. 

The work is picking up! Being really really really really really busy is a normal thing now. We are constantly finding new people to teach, teaching them, baptizing them and all else. Miracles are everywhere. I see them every day. I love this work and I love the Lord.

Oh yeah! Are you guys still having family prayer and scripture reading and family home evening? If so, keep it up. If not, start it up. For a small sacrifice of time, you will know why Heavenly Father wants you to do it. I have learned that. I never realized that before but now I know there is nothing more important. 

Till next week!

Love, Elder Thompson

The Cougar

January 7, 2013

Oh yeah so I was thinking the other day about how one day I want to fix up my own car. My baby. I have always had thoughts of different cars and stuff I could do but it just HIT me! I really want that car to be the Cougar. If it is within your bounds of mercy.... PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not sell the cougar!!! I know it still has another life in it. A new life. A rebirth. I want to help the Cougar be born again. :) hahaha but seriously. I know one day I will have a car that will be my baby. Why not make it a car that we already have, instead of buying a new one? I love that car, and let's be honest, we ALL love that car! I will beg once more, from halfway across the world where maybe it doesn't matter what I say but.. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not get rid of the Cougar! 

Thanks :) haha

Some pictures

January 7, 2013

We discovered the long exposure feature on the camera and played around with a flashlight, laser pointer and some Christmas lights :) also a shot of us walking down an alley thing.

2013 Here We Come!

January 7, 2013
Dear Mom and Dad,

Glad to hear your New Year celebration was good! I completely forgot that was just last week. Feels like longer ago. I thought getting back into routine would be hard but it hasn't been too bad. It is actually nice to have it all over with, now people aren't so busy and we can teach them. We set 3 baptism dates this last week. One is a lady from West Africa who we ran into miraculously on the street. We called out and talked to her and found out she went to church in New Guinea. She never got baptised because no one had the priesthood there!  She has been here three years and never found the church and has been getting help from the Salvation Army. She came to church this week though and everyone thinks she is a member, in fact, she has called herself Latter-day Saint for the last few years! Her name is Miriam and she is awesome. The other one is Chelsi, she's been investigating for about a year and a half and her parents won't let her get baptised. She turns 18 next month so that's when it will happen. Her friend Geneva is starting to have the seed of faith grow in her heart as well. The other one to get baptised is a 16 year old Tongan girl named Nia that we tracted into. She has family in the church but also close family who are strong in another church. Her step mom is a less active member. She has always wondered which church is true and she knows now and is excited to come to church and get baptised! Good things are happening! 

So I am emailing late again because transfers were yesterday......... and I'm staying in Bankstown!! yay! Too many good things are happening, I would be so sad to go.  Elder Bringhurst and I  are staying so everything is all sweet! :)

There is a stray cat in our parking lot that is totally wild but is really beautiful. It had a baby kitten recently that we have seen a little bit. The mama cat will always run away and never let you pet her.  It usually hides with it's baby under the cars in the parking spaces. Today when we pulled out I said I hope there wasn't a baby cat under our car. (don't worry the kitty is fine, I didn't run it over) I looked in the rear view mirror and saw a TINY cat curled up in a ball on the ground where the car was parked. It can barely walk and the mother cat had to run away. We went and picked it up and petted it and took some pictures before clearing a spot where no cars can go and then the Mother cat came and got it a few minutes later. That was a nice experience this morning. :) 

Anyway, hope everyone is able to adjust back to working and the daily grind. Hope if you have made any New Years resolutions that you can stay diligent. I haven't made any yet. Probably won't. It's not that I don't need to make any, but that I already have a lot of them so I'll work on that for now :) haha 

I love you, have a great week! I'll hear from you soon!!

Love, Elder Thompson

Happy New Year

December 31, 2012

Dear Mom and Dad,

Great to hear from you again! :) This last week was really good! I enjoyed the phone call too! I expected it to be a lot harder to get back to work than it actually is. Right now I feel the most optimistic, pumped up, confident and ready for the rest of my mission. On the way down the hill I am going to continue to make every moment count. Transfer calls are this weekend. I have my fingers crossed that I stay here in Bankstown.  I love this area so much! If I stay then it will put me here for at least 7 1/2 months!! :) I could do longer too. I'm glad that Christmas was fun for you guys.  So tomorrow is New Year's  for you. I am already in 2013!! hahahaha yay! Didn't really do anything special.  Had to be back in the flat by 4:00 and then temple clean it. Went to bed at 10:30 but it was SO LOUD outside and in the unit below us.  At one point it was really loud and woke me up. I got up to go to the bathroom and the window was open and while I was standing there I heard "3, 2, 1... HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!" hahahaha perfect timing. Everywhere was just rumbling with fireworks. It was pretty cool. Then I tried to go back to sleep. 

Glad to hear you all liked the letters. That was a convenient way of writing to everyone :) Oh yeah I got Terry's package! Tell thank you and I love it. I will write her a letter back. I'll just use our home address. How is Frank doing?

I really love the mantle! Looks really good! Better than I imagined, and you know I have a really good imagination :) I also see you have new family pictures up on the wall. That's always good to update hahaha.  I am really jealous of all the snow that you are getting. I was talking to Elder Bringhurst this morning about all of our traditions and things. I am really going to miss out on rabbit hunting. I think it was 6 years ago Tage and I had our adventure and this is the first year that I will miss it. Tell Tage when he pees to make sure he spells E.T. in the snow for me.  That'll be a good enough ritual. haha 

I am really looking forward to working hard for the Lord this next year. I know the church is true and that we're on God's side. There's no way to lose! :)  Have a good week!

Love, Elder Thompson

Tis the week before christmas

December 16, 2012

Seasons Greeting!

This week I guess has been relatively uneventful but still awesome. Brave was amazing!!! We saw it in 3D. Oh crap I thought I didn't have any pictures to send but I forgot I took pictures of the theater. Oh well.   You know what is weird though is that after a year of being on a mission, movies seem SO SHORT!!! We all noticed it. Watching 2 movies felt like we watched 2 episodes of a 30 minute TV show or something. hahaha I can't even explain it. 

We did follow up with that guy, who's name is Saia. He wasn't home but his partner was. She is really really really nice and has a desire to come to church and get baptised and she said she knows it's what would be best for their family. They have a cute little girl :) He had been working extra hard for Christmas money for some people who had him in a private contract and when he went to pick up his pay they ambushed him and he got jumped by like 8 people. Cowards. We told him that the church is willing and happy to help his family out with anything they need, since they are obviously going without all that money. Pretty sick that people would do that! 

I'm still not quite sure what to do about the phone call yet. I will be able to get on this week and check email for a quick minute or two so that we can finalize everything. We are trying to find a place with two land lines that we could both call from. We are also trying to figure out when would be the best time to call. President Howes said something about giving you our mobile number to call instead? I'll have to ask him more about that. If that is the case, then that would work really well. Email me back soon and say when you will have everyone gathered. Hopefully it goes smooth. 

I don't think that I sound Australian yet but American accents are going to sound really weird to me. All of us American missionaries still sound American but it has definitely suppressed.  If I ever get an Aussie companion then I know it will rub off. 

Good to hear that you got my package! I'm not sure if mine is here yet, they are withholding all of our packages so that we can't open them until Christmas conference.  I'm sure it's here though. Still haven't gotten anything from Tia. If at all possible I think it would be awesome to get another one of those costco calendars! This year is almost over and I will need a new one soon :) 

Anyway, if there are any questions just email them to me soon> I will see them later on this week. Otherwise, I will look forward to calling home. I am really excited for it :) I think it will help me out a lot! Hope this week is awesome as well! 

Love, Elder Thompson

Dear Makayla,

I'm glad you went to Santa's Village. I love that place. When I get home we can go on lot's of fast trains and roller coasters. I liked the movie Brave. I saw it in 3D with lot's of other missionaries. What kind of things did you ask for, for Christmas? Guess what? I got a scripture case made out of Kangaroo fur. It is really really soft and fluffy. You can pet it and it feels just like a real Kangaroo. I bet that all your friends will be jealous that you have a cooler Uncle than them hahaha just joking! Good luck on your spelling bee. Hopefully they do not ask you how to spell pseudopneumonia or sesquicentennial. Have a Merry Christmas. I will talk to you soon!

Love, Elder Thompson

Jesus is the reason for the season

December 9, 2012
Hello again!
It's been another really good week! We had a baptism with an 11 year old girl named Crystal. She is Samoan and really awesome. This baptism was pretty smooth thanks to her Auntie who came down from Brisbane and helped us with the program and everything :)

My core experience with God this week, I would say was getting to give a talk on being Atonement Centered. We had a mini Zone conference and Elder Bringhurst and I were assigned talks. It was nice to remember all that the Lord has done for me and write it out. At times I would get emotional writing and thinking about the talk and take a second just to ponder and nearly weep. I'm glad that I had that opportunity.

This week in my studies I was reading in Exodus about the curses of Moses in Egypt and the hardness of Pharaoh's heart. I learned what kinds of things happen to someone who is prideful and how ridiculous is it for anyone to be like that. It really inspired me to heed the warning that the Lord sends and be more humble.
Something else crazy happened too, during the last block of classes, we were in the hall because they were doing ordinations in priesthood and too many people were in the classroom. We saw some sketchy looking Lebanese guys walk past the chapel in a big group and then they walked back the other way and then about 10 minutes later we saw them all running really fast down the sidewalk and got up to see what was going on.  We looked out the window and saw them all running into the church! What the heck! The guy in front (who we soon found out was being chased) was shirtless because it got ripped off. He ran straight to the chapel where the Elders Q was and immediately a bunch of HUGE tongan and samoan members chased out the hooligans. The guy being chased was alright but I took him to the bathroom to catch his breath and wash up and stuff. He had been jumped by those guys when he went to pick up his pay. As I was talking to him I found out that both of his parents are members and his dad lives in America. He is not a member though and there's a lot more to the story but it'll all continue to pan out. Pretty crazy day!  If I had more time I would go into more detail!
It's kinda weird here how Christmas is... it's warm and sunny mostly and shouldn't feel like Christmas but for some reason is does! I guess thats the spirit of Christmas! Sadly, hardly anyone has lots of Christmas decorations and lights on their house and stuff. The animals in the nativity are all the same.  The temple grounds are open every night for visitors and there are a few missionaries there to talk to people. We can't go though unless we bring our own investigator.
Wow, that's awesome about the Bishopric in the 8th ward! Beside Bishop Streeper, that's pretty young!  I miss those guys.
Oh yeah, found out about Christmas phone call, it'll be a 40 minute phone call and I'll probably do it the day after Christmas here so that it will be Christmas day for you guys. Got my pacakge off to home as well. Should be there before Christmas :)
Guess what I get to do today. Yeah I get to watch BRAVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
Alright, have a great week! :) I'm sure I will!
Love, Elder Thompson

First day of Christmas

December 2, 2012

Hey there, 

Hope everything is still going well at home, that's good to hear about Tammy going through the temple! I hope you are all prepared for Christmas! We went to see the lights at the Temple last night and it was pretty good! Nothing like Temple square but it was probably the best in Sydney!

This week for me has been awesome! My core experience with God this week was a huge answer to prayers. We had been getting the baptism ready to go and finding someone to baptize Kayla because we know that it's better to have fellowship baptize rather than a missionary who leaves in a few months. We had 4 different people fall through before it was time and we found someone last minute. We also had talks and other things cancel the day of the baptism and it was kinda frustrating to be honest. My patience was good all week, I was optimistic and knew that God would answer prayers that everything would work out okay. That Saturday morning I kinda cracked, I decided that despite my diet, I was so stressed out that I was going to eat McDonalds! hahaha (that's my cracking). My companion was able to talk me down to getting Subway though. It came time for the baptism and I never doubted that Heavenly Father would help everything work out and he did! The baptism was awesome!!! The spirit was strong, it presented as very organized, the amount of people, support and fellowship was a really good turn out. That adds to my testimony that God hears prayers and he especially hears desperate prayers, and then answers them. 

My studies on patience were more of a case study this week. I like to think that I'm a fairly patient person. I almost thought I had mastered patience, but then I found out this week that I'm not perfect. Ha ha!!! I never really got around to studying patience in the morning but I definitely learned a lot about it. I'm not saying that I was complaining, whining, worrying, and stressing all week, but I definitely learned more about this Christlike attribute. All in all, it's been another amazing set of days.
Got the newsletter, glad you included the part about Hostess :) haha I'll have to print that out because I won't have enough time to read it all now.
Tonight we have Zone Leader Council again so it will be a pretty busy night! I'll have to talk to Sister Hill there about the visa situation. We as zone leaders will probably make the policy tonight about phone calls/ skype so we'll see what happens.  I won't get the new retainer until Friday, I hope it fits because it's been like another two weeks since the mold was taken. I'll just pray that it all works out. 

We actually do get the Ensign magazine and it's funny that you say that now because in the last week Elder Bringhurst and I have gotten sucked in to them! An old old old old lady,  Sister Route always gives us old Ensigns every Sunday and we read those. The mission office also gives us the new issues so it's really awesome. I love reading them! 

Anyway, Hope all keeps going well and getting better. I will be sending off a package home today for everyone. Hope it gets there in time for Christmas. :)

Love, Elder Thompson

Turkey day left overs

November 26, 2012

Hello again!

First of all......... NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!..................................... I heard that Hostess went out of business. :( :( :( :( I am pretty sure the world will end before Christmas!!

Anyway, just had to get that off my chest.

It's been a really great week! Thanksgiving dinner was awesome! It wasn't the same as home but was pretty darn close! Sounds like you have had a good week too! I can't believe that black Friday starts on Thursday.. thats so dumb! 

My core experience with God this last week was getting to take Brother Havea, the most recent convert, to help us teach a lesson to a girl who is preparing to get baptized. She was having trouble attending church so we re-set the baptismal date with her for the new year. Brother Havea was one of the best member/fellowshipper/teachers that I have ever seen! His testimony is so strong and his knowledge of the gospel is growing so fast. He takes every moment he has to read the scriptures, church manuals, ensign magazines and anything he can get his hands on. He truly feasts upon the words of Christ and I think is a great example to me. He appreciates the gospel so much and it really touches me to see someone be so heavily influenced by God in his life. I know that all of us can have that kind of joy in the Gospel. 

Probably the greatest insight that I have learned about knowledge this week is that it gives an advantage after this life. We do get the opportunity to learn all things in the next life. We do not automatically know everything, but we are given the capacity to comprehend all things. We still have to use our agency to overcome our ignorance. I am having quite a good time expanding my knowledge. I am taking some time right now to read the Old testament and I am getting sucked in! It is really great to learn about the ancient prophets and things. I feel that my knowledge has expanded a lot! I have a goal to read the entire missionary library on my mission so I'd better pick up the pace!

That's good to know about the newsletter. I'll type my paragraphs at the end. As far as when I come home. I will definitely be home before Christmas next year. Exactly when I will come home, and where I will be at that time.. not sure. I will talk to Sister Hill when I see her next Monday. Oh I just realized that transfers were yesterday and that today is Tuesda and that you need my 2 paragraphs not by tomorrow but by today! I hope it gets there on time. Oh yeah and you can email Sister Hill that you sent the package.
The retainer situation is pretty much taken care of. I just went to get new molds taken and will get a new retainer. The mission will pay intitially but don't have insurance for that so they might send home the bill but insurance should take care of that, right?

ok here is my two paragraphs 
"Hello everyone! The Lord's vineyard in the down under is definitely being taken care of. And more than that, the vineyard is taking care of me! I am having such an amazing time serving the Lord here. There are too many great experiences to list them all, or to even really pick one to talk about, but I just want you all to know that miracles happen. They will continue to happen. This is the Lord's battle and he will not lose. It is touching to see lives change as the gospel influences them, and it humbles me to know that the Lord is using me in His hands to accomplish His work. 
I am still serving in my second area and am coming up on one year. This transfer will take me into the new year and I cannot believe how fast time is going. I have had four companions and have loved every single one of them and I know that every companion I get in the future, I will love them just as much. The Lord puts us together for a reason.  I hope you all continue to be steadfast, love the Lord and serve him with all your heart. Love, Elder Thompson"

That can apply to you guys as well :) anyway. Talk to you next week!

Love, Elder Thompson

Happy Thanksgiving

November 18, 2012

G'day Mates!

It's been a pretty sweet week! Time is continuing to fly by. I can't believe that in about 3 weeks I will hit what I think is my 1 year left mark. I think next Monday is transfers and the next transfer will take us all the way into the new year! 

Funny story about Air-Bud, just this last week I was tracting with Elder Lau, in the Cantonese program, and we ran into one house and the lady was a long lost less active member! Miracle! She was really nice and had this 3 year old son who was OBSESSED with basketball! They were on their way to go get a new dog too. She was telling us about his favorite movies. Basketball movies like Space Jam and stuff. We told her about Air-Bud and she had never heard of it so she was pretty excited that they could now watch a movie about a dog AND basketball. haha anyway just kinda random that Makayla watched that movie this week for the first time.
My core experience with God this week goes hand in hand with what I learned about virtue. Learning a lot about virtue, it is something that someone can not give to you, and something that no one else can control. It starts within yourself. In reading about and pondering about and praying about virtue, I have found myself being more sanctified in thoughts, words, actions, moods, appetites, passions, desires, and everything else! Virtue is the kind of thing that one must have in order to do things and be obedient because they WANT to versus because they HAVE to. I think to myself, if I was not accountable to anyone for the work I do as a missionary, if I were like the missionaries of old, who go to foreign countries alone with no companion, no rules or anything--- would I work like they did? Would I be diligent like them? Would I always remember that even if I am not accountable to any person, I am always accountable to God? My answer to these things is... I sure hope so. I may never find out, but I want to live so that if it ever came to something like that, I would hold my virtue and do righteous things because it is my desire and my passion. I am happy and thankful that Heavenly Father has helped me out with this realization and deeper change of heart. 

President Howes in his last email to us asked us all to read the first 15 pages of the Missionary handbook this week and report back to him what we learned. Reading the first 15 pages of the white handbook takes everything right back down to the basics. I thought back to when I first read that book and was amazed at how organized the church was with missionary work. They've thought of everything!! These basics are the foundation for all other decisions we make and for the way we conduct ourselves as missionaries. We can interpret, rationalize, justify and tweak just about anything in that book to satisfy our disobedience, but when taken back to the basics, all of these justifications are fraud. I hope that myself and everyone else can get into a habit of keeping in mind the spirit of the rules, and not just the words. This is something that applies not just to missionary work, but also to life. 

That's awesome to hear about Quinn getting his mission call! I am really excited for him. Peru will be an awesome place to serve. It's also great to hear about the mantle being put up, work's getting done!!

Today we went and got some genuine hand made kangaroo fur scriptures cases. It is so soft :) I probably wont use it till I get home though just to preserve it. We had to get them fast because the guy who sells them was going to stop doing it. I think next year for everyones birthday I will send them their very own Kangaroo scrotum! They are great for holding coins!! ;) hahahah anyway, have a wonderfull thanksgiving. I will miss everyone but try to have fun without me. :)

Love, Elder Thompson


Happy veterans day

Hello again! 

This week has definitely not been a boring one! Lot's of success personally and mission wise. So Dee DID get baptised on your birthday! What a way to celebrate. The baptism was packed and the spirit was strong.  Everything was organized so well and couldn't have gone any better! 

My core experience with God this week was from being able to perform my first ever live saving ordinance! A confirmation for Dee in sacrament. I have done heaps of baptisms and confirmations for the dead, but this is my first time ever for someone who is alive still. I prayed all week, and I fasted to have the spirit with me and when the time came, the spirit was strong and the confirmation was powerful. I am so grateful to have been involved in such a great work. When Dee was baptised, he said, "I feel light as a feather" and when he was confirmed he afterward said "I feel strong". I thought that was an interesting way and also very accurate way to describe what I could feel as well. This past week has been a huge huge experience and has helped me a lot.

I have learned charity and love this week in an interesting way.. The lady underneath our flat, in the morning, when she heard us make a thud on the ground from the chair, she thought we were dropping weights on the ground. She came up, threw open out door, walked right in and started screaming at us.... that was crazy. I guess long story short, we have done our best to show love to her even though she totally violated our privacy. Weird things do happen! I'm so jealous that you got snow!! It is fun here to be able to describe snow to people, they have no idea what it is like. Actually I am not very excited that summer is coming up because it is going to get ridiculously hot. When you always have to wear dress clothes, that is not a happy thing.  I actually like it when it rains because it cools off.. Oh and out air con is broken.. yay!! oh well, at least there is no hurricane. 

That experience with those people at Sams club is pretty funny. That just brings loads of memories back from the DI... 
"ok so you bought this giant entertainment center?" 
"ok well what are we loading it on to" 
"well.... I have my motorcycle?"   .............................................................
ok so maybe is was never that bad but sometimes pretty close! 

People here have no clue what thanksgiving is.. what a shame. No official mission thing happens for it but the Harpers (the senior couple in our zone) are having us all over for a turkey and ham dinner with home made pumpkin pie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YUMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My camera is doing fine now, I just put some lithium batteries in it and lowered the resolution. It is working like a champ now. Lithium batteries are much more expensive but don't be scared, they are 1,000,000,000% better. Do that and it should work fine :)

Nothing from Tia yet.. I don't know what to do about that. Did she send it to the mission office? 

Alright, well I'd better get going, I'll attach a few pictures real quick. Have a great week!! 

Love, Elder Thompson