Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Confirmation and another one coming up!

Heyyyy! This week was pretty bad work wise (people tell me that the area dies with the missionary) but Sunday was a really great day so it makes up for it! So get this: In our Gospel Principles class (the one for investigators) Isi taught the lesson. She just graduated from nursing school and has studied a lot about the process Christ went through physically from a medical point of view and made a PowerPoint and presented it to the whole class. It was really well done and she LOVED doing it. I´ve never heard so many details from that point of view. Then she got confirmed in sacrament meeting and the second she sat down they sustained her as secretary in the primary. I´ve never seen somebody so happy! She is seriously an astounding convert. She also brought one of her friends to church! She´s on fire. 

Cloti gets baptized this Saturday! It´s supposed to be a double baptism with one on the elder´s investigators, Ana, but she is rethinking it a little bit so we´ll see what happens but I think she´ll go through with it. Pray for them both this week! Cloti cracks us up every time we teach her. She says the funniest things sometimes haha. She is progressing rapidly and really well and accepts everything we teach her. 

This week has been a bit sad as well, a less active member the elders have been working with had cancer and passed away and we´ve been teaching his daughter and mother. It just reminds us of how short life is and how you can´t wait until the end to put everything right. But it also reminds us of the plan of salvation and that makes me happy :)

Well, Hna Johnson and the other half of my group went home this week but I´m glad I stayed and I know I have more things in store for me these 3 weeks that I have left! Love you all! The gospel is true!

Hermana Thompson

photos!

 

 

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 Hermana Johnson and I- last time together Sad smile

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 Isi teaching the class!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Isi´s Baptism!

Well all our plans fell through this week so we are a bit tired but the good news is is that Isi got baptized so it´s all worth it! Her baptism was yesterday night and is was a huge success! A tonnnn of people came, members from all over the stake, her family, and a lot of nonmember friends as well. The stake president- Pres. Morales baptized her and I among others bore a testimony. The member that first gave us her info as a referral gave a talk too it was a great service. Isi at the end bore her testimony and all her friends and family really enjoyed the whole program! 

I have really been extremely blessed to to not only meet Isi but to see her whole process and in the end to be able to see her baptism! We thought it might not happen so soon but the Lord works miracles and is able to change peoples weaknesses into strengths! Isi is honestly the best investigator I have ever seen during the mission. It´s incredible to see how some people have been being prepared since the beginning of their lives to accept the Gospel, she is one of them! 

Well, I don´t have much time left but yesterday was the official "I have a month left in the mission" mark. Crazy stuff. But we are gonna keep on working and soon Cloti should be getting baptized! Thanks for all your prayers! Love you all!

Hermana Thompson

Fotos!

Hna Volpe, Isi & me

Hna Volpe, me, Isi, Pres. Morales

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 Love the Happy Faces….

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 CADIZ AT NIGHT Smile

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Pizzas, pasta, and I´m a grandma!

Well this week has gone by fast! I freak out every now and then when I realize that that means one week less but let´s try not to think about those things. 

Hna Volpe my new comp has so far made us pasta twice and this morning made pizzas from scratch! Huzzah. This transfers gonna be great food wise. She is funny to every now and then Italian words slip out when she is talking and is always excited about everything. She is from Modena in northern Italy and is really excited to practice English with me. 

So Isi apparently is supposed to be getting baptized next Sunday. We have a lesson with her and the stake president today and so we will see what happens. She said she is willing to live all the commandments this week in preparation so we will see how everything plays out! Pray for her and for us!

What else? Well we started teaching a 25 year old less active girl named Mili this week. Her family is all being rescued little by little and she is the last one. Our lesson with her was the first time she had set foot in the church for about 5 years and then afterwards her mom sent us a message saying that when she got home it impacted her so that she cried. Her brothers and mother have been praying for the reactivation of her and her father for years and now it seems to be the time when they see there prayers answered. I love seeing miracles. And more than anything I love the Gospel and the happiness Christ brings into our lives. 

LOVE YOU ALL!

Hermana Thompson

ps- photos!

1. Me and my comp Hna Volpe

2. My daughter Hna Brown is training Hna Giler (from Ecuador). So that means I´m a grandma!

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Monday, August 4, 2014

New Transfer, New Comp!

Hello!

So I am staying here in Cádiz to die (aka tod in mission terms) and I will be getting a new comp for the last 6 weeks. Her name is Hermana Volpe, she´s been out only 2 transfers (so she just finished her training) and she is from ITALY! Cool huh? So don´t be surprised if I come home with some sick cooking skills. Hermana Fumero and her are swapping spots in Jaen so that is funny.

This week we set a baptismal date with a woman named Cloti! She has been coming to church for the last 4 months or so and just needs to get baptized already so we are praying for the 24th of August for her! The lesson was kinda funny because she always brings her recent convert friend Maricarmen who likes to say weird things and ruin the lessons but lucky for us this time we had Hna Rindlisbacher with us for a day so she talked to Maricarmen on the side while we set the date. Haha finally!

Everyone else is about the same, there aren´t many changes so this email is kind of boring, sorry all. But good news, there are cat pictures to follow! Hahaha. Love you all and have a good week!

Hermana Thompson

the cat´s name is Nelma

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 Some things never change Winking smile

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Us at church! members are Yoli and Ruth and then Isi our investigator

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Monday, July 28, 2014

The Ties That Bind….

Hello lovely people!

This week has been everything but normal, crazy ranging to surprising. First things first, we have another candidate for baptism (soon to be 2). Her name is Lola. She is one of our recently rescued member´s mother. Her teaching record is about 10 years old and since I have been here she hasn´t been too interested in listening (especially since she has a lot of medical problems) but we asked if we could seriously teach her the lessons again, she said yes, and know she has a goal to be baptized. Fun Stuff. 

We also met a 35 year old man named Jesús through the same member. He is super spiritual and has a lot of potential. He was asking us lots of questions and telling us a lot of his past experiences, many of which are pretty abnormal. And the weirdest part was that we believe him, he said it all with sincerity and we didn´t feel a bad spirit either. Here´s the deal, we aren´t sure how to respond to him so maybe you all can do some research and get back to me next week. He said has teleported- when he was little is was just with his spirit and recently without notice he said it was his body and spirit. He has also had experiences seeing spirits, almost dying, and hasn´t had anything to do with black magic. Without too many details we were wondering what you all think. Let us know!

What else? Oh we are working on family history a little bit more in our mission and we need to fill out our little booklets but on the family search website it doesn´t let me see info and dates for the people who are living so if someone (mom/dad) would like to send me dates and places for Gma/Gpa Wampler, and Gma Thompson that would be great. also heh heh i forgot some birth years of a few siblings so that would be good too. Thanks! Family history is actually really interesting now, funny how going on a mission changes certain things!

This week was another hard one but I know that God hears my prayers (and yours) and that our spirits can do hard things and that the Lord chastens us because he loves us. 

  • Mosiah 23:

    21 Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith.
    D&C 95
    1 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you whom I love, and whom I love I also chasten that their sins may be forgiven, for with I prepare a way for their deliverance in all things out of temptation, and I have loved you—
    Well there is one week left of this transfer and then I will get my next (and last) companion! One transfer left?? Crazy. Feel free to write me your last letters haha! You have 7 weeks.

  • Love you all!
    Hermana Thompson
    photos:
    plaza de España with elders Queirolo & Mercado in Cádiz

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 Also Kraft Mac & Cheese! America Rocks…

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Monday, July 21, 2014

16 months down, 2 to go!

Okay, reading that title freaks me out a little bit. I reached my 16th month mark this week which means I have a little under 2 months left until they kick me out. Every now and then I freak out when I think about it but then it goes away. "Real life" seems a little scary now. 

This week we had exchanges and I got to go to Jerez again and this time I was with Hermana Johnson, it was a lifesaver of an exchange and it will probably be the last time I get to serve with her before she goes home on Aug 22nd. 

Isi is going well we did the baptismal interview ourselves with her and she passed all the questions except one so we are gonna work with her on that until she completely understands and has a testimony of it. But she is progressing really well and her baptismal date is for the 16th of August, so pray for that! Chari also has a baptismal date still but is thinking about waiting until Sept so pray that she will be able to be ready beforehand if it´s the Lord´s will.

Not many other interesting things have happened this week...still just developing more love and patience. What´s going on with all of you? Sharing the gospel? Hope so! Love you all!

Hermana Thompson

ps-

photo of Hna Johnson and i in the train station in Jerez

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Love, the Essence of the Gospel

Hello lovely people!

We are now entering week 4 of this transfer, so that means that I have about 9 weeks left in the mission... :O / :( crazy stuff. So much to learn and do in so little time! But the Lord isn´t letting me get by that easy without a few learning experiences up His sleeve before I finish. 

First things first, Chari and Isi went to church on Sunday and are still progressing. Chari wants to put off the baptismal date until Sept but I´m almost 100% positive she will change her mind and just needs a little down time so that her life calms down a bit. She wasn´t going to go to church and then we explained that God needs to come first and in an instant she changed her mind and basically said Okay, God gives me everything so if that´s what God wants I´ll go. I love how the Lord changes peoples hearts in a split second! It´s my favorite. 

Here´s a small miracle. Remember my last comp Hna Crockett? Well her dad served here in the same mission and more specifically here in Cádiz. We were passing by inactives on Wednesday and met a family who is very offended and very bitter from past experiences with church leadership. We talked for a long time about the topic and the importance of forgiveness and my comp changed the subject and asked them about the missionaries that first taught them. He talked about them as if they were angels, with a smile on his face and a gleam in his eyes. Then she asked him their names, something I never would have thought to do. He said his favorite was Elder Crockett...I jumped on that and asked for more details. Allan Crockett, my last comps Dad was his missionary! Small world? No. God puts us where we need to be at the right time for his purposes. I got his email and now her dad will be a able to contact him and hopefully work with him. I love the plans of our Heavenly Father.

We got to see the Boullosa family again this week and gosh I love working with them! They are so ready to come back to the church! They are having some issues in the family and so in comes the youngest son (if you remember, Javi, 30+) and basically solves everything for us. He was quoting scriptures and citing prophets like an active church leader, amazing. At one point I asked him why he wasn´t wearing one of our nametags as a joke haha. He knows that he has to come back to church and says that over the past years he started to study science in depth and is convinced more than ever that God lives and that the church is true. He quoted someone saying "A small amount of knowledge bring us closer to science and a lot of knowledge brings us closer to God." I fully agree. His mom, Angelita went to church on Sunday and loved being back :)

The longer I am out in the world the more I see that almost everyone is depressed. Church members, non-church members, it´s how Satan is attacking people, making it so that they feel awful and don´t have the desire to do anything. But to that I would like to include a quote from our wonderful prophet from last conference "each person has within himself or herself the “power to increase the sum total of [the] world’s happiness … by giving a few words of sincere appreciation to someone who is lonely or discouraged.” Said he, “Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime.”

Like I mentioned earlier I am love God´s plan and I am learning a lot. This week, transfer, area, I have been here to learn about love. How to understand it, have it, and show it, even when you think you can´t or when you don´t want to. And I have come to realize, (at least for me) that in order to truly love God and others completely and fully we have to first learn patience, faith, humility, trust, and obedience. I had learned about the others from my past time spent and experiences had in the mission, and so lately I have been praying to understand and acquire love. All those of you who are married know exactly what I mean and this shouldn't be anything new to you but for me it is different when it is not only a theory or a topic of conversation, but something that has to be lived. 

Not only God, but others have to sincerely be more important to you than your pride, your opinion, your impatience, your fears, your doubts, and your weaknesses. But when you don´t feel that love, and want to feel it what do you do? You pray (Moroni 7:48), you work acts of righteousness (aka service), and you trust in the grace of God, the one thing that overcomes all and helps work miracles and masterpieces in us. And all of those traits that you have already developed become necessary, they become crucial. It takes all your humility, patience, and faith to trust that God will give you that type of love.

Moroni 7:

45 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

3 Nephi 12:

44 But behold I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you;

45 That ye may be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good.

48 Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect.

I think that become the hardest thing for us sometimes, the thing that stops some of us from that perfection we are seeking. Our thoughts, our words, and how we treat not only family and friends but also enemies. But when it becomes difficult I think of Christ and the words of Nephi in Ch 1:9

"And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men."

We suffer because he suffered for all of us that we may repent and be perfected in Him, because he loves us. So the words of a song from Moulin Rouge come to mind in that "Come what may I will love Him" no matter what trials I have and no matter what happens, and that kind of love takes faith, trust, and a humility to accept His will and plan for me and for others. 

I know that God lives. He cuts me down because he loves me. He sticks me in the fire so that I come out purer and more clean. He gives me trials so that through my perfection I later can be truly happy, forever. And so now more than ever I can say that I truly look for and accept His will because I know that it is the best thing for me. And because he loves me I can sincerely say that I love Him more than ever. 

And so I leave you with this last scripture,

D&C 122:

7 And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.

I LOVE ALL OF YOU! Thanks for your support and for taking this journey with me.

Hermana Thompson

ps- still waiting for people to send me photos so until next week i hope!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Happy 4th of JULY !


Hello fellow Americans and freedom-lovers! Gosh, America is the greatest place on the planet. Mark my words, I will kiss the ground when I get home (if I can bend that low haha). We celebrated 4th of July in Sevilla in a tri-zone conference with President Deere. The only American thing we did was sing the national anthem which was kinda disappointing (but better than nothing). God bless America. 

 

Tuesday we ate with the Boullosa Family (the inactives that we found by a miracle) and it went reallyyy well. Everyone was there including other nonmember relatives and we have an FHE with them all today. 

 

Chari is progressing really well still but we have moved her baptismal date forward since she couldn´t go to church yesterday and both her and Isi have dates for the 26th of July. My comp has been sick a few days so I went on splits with with a member, Inés, that had is a distant relative and they had known each other from before. It was a huge testimony builder for the both of them and the spirit was there really strong in the lesson. Chari has a huge desire to get baptized and Inés was recently rescued from being less active and now is just on fire! The elders gave Chari another blessing to quit smoking and we took some of her cigarettes away and threw them out haha. So pray for her that she will be able to quit! 

 

Jose, the homeless inactive man we met went to church out of the blue and one of the members is helping us out, but it just shows that the gospel is the best thing for everyone no matter what situation they are in. 

 

What else? Not much honestly. In the zone conference all of the missionaries going home 3 weeks early from my group (for school and stuff) bore their final testimonies. That includes my MTC comp Hna Johnson. It was surreal and I know that it´s coming up soon for me. I´ve been reflecting a lot on everything that has happened, especially since I sent some voice recordings to Audrey with stories and things, and I am so grateful for all I have learned and how I have changed so far and I know that there is much more to do and little time to do it! 

 

The church is true, and GOD LIVES, I know that now more than ever. Love you all! And share the gospel!

 

Hermana Thompson

 

photo from my bday!

thanks for all the cards and packages! you´re the best!