Friday, March 22, 2013

March's Here

March 3, 2013
Dear Mom and Dad,

Oh where do I start?  We had another baptism this weekend. It was for a girl named Nia. She is a 16 year old Tongan girl. The day before her baptism we were talking with her dad and found out that he got baptized like 35 years ago in Tonga. He just did it though because a group of friends all got baptized at the same time.. We found Nia while tracting! First person I have baptized that we found through our own efforts. That says a lot about how to be successful. She is making a big change in her life and it is awesome. She has always been kinda quiet but she is starting to gain more confidence in herself and in the Lord. She, a while ago while teaching her kinda asked some questions about missionary service. She was almost implying that she wanted to serve a mission one day. During her confirmation, our first counselor blessed her to one day serve a mission... now that's cool. She was baptized by one of our Priests named Ravine. He went through a rough patch in his life and turned it around too. I have seen him come back to church and get his priesthood. He goes to school with Nia and so it was cool to see both of them turn around and have this experience. That was by far my favorite thing this week. 

So today we finally get a real P-day.. it's been about 3 weeks......haha!
Sounds like our house is a major hub for fun stuff!  I think it always has been though. On my dilbert calendar I noticed that today is Australian labor day but they only recognize it in Western Australia. Those bacon donuts look really good but just donuts in general look really good! Their donuts here are just not the same :( I miss going to Bowmans. they have the best donuts.

I'm not really sure how little Timmy is doing,  (For those who don't know, Timmy is the doll used for their nativity pageant movie) I don't think anyone has fed him in a little while so... he might be severely malnourished. ;)  The idea for the movie was all Elder Smiler and Elder Flintoft the Maoris from New Zealand.. they are hilarious and always have crazy ideas!

I laughed pretty hard about Grants favorite train! I would've loved to be there, looked like it was a really fun thing. I'm guessing that there were probably about 50 yellow trains haha!! On a tradeoff once, there was this guy with a bunch of old train stuff in his yard.. he had actual trains and stuff. I was pretty excited to get some pictures with it but when we knocked on his door he just skuzzed us off and was really rude. What a mean guy.  He doesn't have the spirit of trains in him. 

I forgot to take pictures of the pants but I do remember one thing I need for my birthday. I need a new umbrella. I accidentally left mine at the chapel in Manly a while ago and then never saw it again. You can't get an umbrella like that anywhere. It has automatic retracting and also the double layers which protects against wind turninginsideoutification. It would be really valuable to have one of those for my birthday especially with the cold rainy season just ahead of that. 

Still don't know much about the mission split but that President Howes will be the Sydney North President and the South president will be a guy named Larry Lew from the states. The north HQ will still be at the temple grounds and the South HQ in Mortdale (which is my Zone) will be used again. that's all I know so far :) Still waiting to start Visa Papers but I'll get those taxes done in the mean time. No worries!

Have a great week and say Hi to everyone for me!

Love, Elder Thompson

February's Gone

February 24, 2013

Dear Mom and Dad,

Glad you got the package :) Full of a bunch of random stuff but it's all awesome! That video was really fun to make.  

This week has been a crazy one. For the past few months it seems as though Elder Bringhurst and I have only been teaching women. The 5 people we have with baptismal dates right now are  18, 17, 16, 13, and 9 year old girls, but guess what?? We finally got some BROS!!!!!  2 fijian brothers and their cousin; 19, 21, and 22 year old dudes.  These guys are really cool too. They remember their mom always letting missionaries in when they were little and now that they are older and on their own they figured they would do the same. The first lesson was amazing. They all understand the restoration and the purpose of the book of mormon and are really excited to read it. We'll teach them again tomorrow. Looking forward to it! The baptism of Chelsi was supposed to happen yesterday but didn't go through because of after 2 years of learning and looking forward to the day she turned 18 to get baptised.. she got sick the night before and was unable to even come to church.  There will be more news on this subject later but that's the basic situation right now. We'll have to postpone. ugh. 

Good to hear that Alysha is visiting. Tell her I say hi and happy birthday. I miss her and am jealous that she gets to go out in the snow.  We haven't had super hot weather lately just really humid and rainy and sticky, yuck. 

Do I need any clothes replaced.. Shoes are ok, socks are ok, shirts are ok, just got my suit dry cleaned and it's basically brand new again haha :) but I do need to replace 3 pairs of suit pants that got tears in the fabric not the stitching but it actually tore so I'll sent pictures to get them replaced. I only wear suit pants with my suit now. Elder Honeycutt when I got to bankstown gave me a pair of Dickies pants which we can wear so that's what I typically wear most days. For my birthday I have thought of two things I want so far. I just started using my last sonicare toothbrush head like 2 weeks ago which will last me a while but I could use one more new one after that to finish off the mission with. Also, I really want some graham crackers. They don't have those here at all. They don't even know what the heck they are! How am I supposed to make s'mores???? hahaha That's about it for now though. I'll keep thinking. 

Yeah we found out about the North mission last week. They told us before the church released it to everyone. President Howes made it really urgent that we read his email about it. Not sure why. We don't know exactly all the details of what will happen yet but President Hamula of the Area Presidency is doing a mission tour this week and will be presiding at the zone leader council so I think we will get more info today.  Our meeting starts early so our P-day is getting cut short by about 6 hours........ and last week P-day was cut short by about 4 hours for the temple... I'm really exhausted. I haven't heard anything about fires though.. had no idea haha I also did print out the taxes but haven't had time or energy to really look them over yet. Do I have to fill stuff out or just look for where I need to sign?

So I'll type up the thing for the newsletter right here. I don't have a good picture but you can attach one for them of what I've sent that you liked. I'll just finish up with this :)

Mosiah 21:5,7,8,11-15,19.

This story in the scriptures strengthened my testimony, but it mainly strengthened my conversion. The Lamanites in this story represent my trials, challenges, and mistakes.  They are all around me and seem overwhelming at times.  I used to be smitten and driven back every time I tried to go to battle with them. However, like the people of Limhi, it wasn't until I humbled myself before the Lord and sought help from his hand, that my burdens were eased.  What I had to feel is Godly Sorrow.  Godly Sorrow causes us to fix things in our life because we honestly feel remorse for disobeying Heavenly Father and hurting him. Not because we are afraid of temporal consequences.  I came across this story in a time of my life that I really needed it.  It also helped me learn how to liken the scriptures unto myself. King Limhi wouldn't leave the city walls without his guards to protect him from the Lamanites (verse 19).  I likewise have learned to not go anywhere or do anything without my guards (testimony, scriptures, prayer, Holy Ghost, church etc...) to protect me from falling into the hands of my enemies.  I love you all.  Save Souls!

Love, Elder Thompson

February's Letter

February 18, 2013

Dear Mom and Dad,

So the news on transfers...... nothing! still in Bankstown. It'll be my 6th transfer which will put me here for at least nearly 9 months. Thats a long time! I'm still with Elder Bringhurst too so that'll put us together for about 6 months! I'm pretty excited. Too much good news to share it all in detail but we currrently have 6 people with baptismal dates and probably will set another 3 this week! Crazy stuff. 

The next baptism will be Chelsi, she has been investigating the church for nearly two years now.  She has wanted to get baptized for ages but her parents wouldn't let her. This sunday is her 18th birthday so she's gonna go ahead and finally do it! I didn't think I would get to be here for it but I guess I will :) Pretty stoked!

For my visa situation things should be pretty smooth I think. This transfer is only going to be 5 weeks instead of 6 because we have to allign with the new 2 week MTC program so that puts my departure date at December 3, 2013. About 9 months away from now. Wow, fast!  Sister Hill is going to mail me the Visa papers to start working on this week or maybe next week. I have to go get a physical and some other stuff done first. Worth it though! 

The zoo we went to was just a Australian animal zoo. The big Zoo is Taronga zoo and I went there a while back with Elder Russell. That was awesome, it's right near the Harbour. They do celebrate Valentines day here but we totally forgot about it haha good thing though, keeping an eye single to the glory of God. 

Don't worry, I did send a package home, it's on it's way now. You will love the stuff in there :) This last Sunday was Stake Conference for us. It was pretty awesome, presiding at the meeting was President Thomas S. Monson via Satellite! Also accompanied by D. Todd Christofferson and a few other general Authorities. That was pretty cool to have that live broadcast as our stake conference. D. Todd Christofferson had my favorite talk, it was about 4 different levels of conversion and then he related each level to a scripture character. 

This morning we got to go to the temple :) that was nice, first time is about 5 or 6 months. And you know I like to go a lot more than just that! Are you guys making time for the temple? If not, you should :) 

Anyway, good to hear from you, hope everyone is doing well. I emailed Tia about the anniversary but will you wish her a happy one for me again? Thanks. 

Have a great week!!!

Love, Elder Thompson