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


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

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

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