August 26, 2013
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
- the Orange Zone at District Conference (many of these branches have not seen any missionaries in years)