Monday, July 29, 2013

First week with Hermana Norieg

Hey everyone!

Well after hearing that our cat comet died from getting hit by a car I am now sitting in the Internet cafe crying...but at least no one can really see me so that´s okay haha. So good news first? We have a baptism scheduled for this Saturday the 3rd. His name is Miguel, he´s 18, and he is the boyfriend of one of our recent converts in the branch. We finally committed him to the date yesterday :) we got approval for another baptism on the beach since he wants to get baptized where she did. And tomorrow we get to teach these two youth the law of chastity! yay! haha should be fun...and awkward. Anyway we are looking sooo forward to the baptism, so keep him in your prayers! 

So I am out here in Benidorm on my own, senior comp, training, and I haven´t died yet. I think I came a little close in the first few days from the stress and pressure but I am good now haha. Hermana Noriega is so great and I am lucky to be training her. And once she gets the hang of Spanish we´ll be golden. I love being a companionship of two again, it is so nice! But I will admit that I miss speaking Spanish 24/7 with Hermana Martín. I´m a bit of a softy with Hermana Noriega right now as far as Spanish goes but the first few days are stressful and rough enough so we´re easing into it. She is from Layton, Utah but grew up in Missouri, is studying Music Ed and loves Lord of the yeah we are doing just fine together. 

We went to a baby shower for Alejandra, the branch president´s wife and like 7 nonmembers came, many of which are our investigators so that was awesome and so fun. And they actually don´t have a word for baby shower here in Spanish so they just say it in English haha. And Sunday 6 investigators were at church! Miracles do happen. Miri our wonderful angel investigator that I always talk about brought her fiancé and she is also fellow shipping two other friends. Love her. Our recent converts are giving us a lot of new investigators too, it´s so great and truly a blessing since it´s so hard to find good people who will progress here. The last few days have been so crazy, there was a music festival here and so people have been out all night long which means it´s hard for us to get to sleep and there are bands I actually like here. Boo haha. 

This week has been stressful, demanding, and of course I have doubted myself and abilities many times, but to compensate I have also felt the love of the Lord to comfort me and to encourage me. I know I have said it before but missions truly are refining. It´s hard now, but I know it is for a purpose and that it is to help me reach my potential. Trials and challenges make us stretch and grow. The trick is not to let discouragement weaken our faith. It´s a difficult thing to balance but I´m learning as I go. Others are always asking me how I got this good at Spanish so fast and honestly it´s a miracle. It is manifestation of the Lord´s love and will. The missions of the world are changing and therefore we are having to change with it. Wish me luck and keep praying for missionary work. 

Love you all!

Hermana Thompson

ps pictures-
1. with part of my Provo district in the Malaga
 chapel (elder Turley and Hna Johnson)
2. part of the Madrid district in Málaga (Hnas Johnson, Nielsen, Elders Sharp and Webb)
reunited for a little bit and all of us are training!

3. Hermana Noriega and I in Benidorm. Don´t let the prettiness fool you, it is way hot. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

I´m training...AGAIN!

Buenas tardes!
Well hello everyone! As you can tell from the subject line I will be training a new sister this transfer. Hermana Martín is going to Jaén and Hermana Brown to Cartagena. Technically my training, if it all went according to schedule, would´ve finished right now haha. But I am destined to reuse the first six weeks of the training program over and over again and never get to week twelve so it seems. I´m headed to the mission home tomorrow to go pick her up. Crazy huh? I didn´t think I would be training again THIS SOON. And the thing is I think I will probably train again after this transfer because we have 20 new sisters coming in September. President has to work miracles to get all the missionaries in the right places. And now I will be the one directing everything...scary aspect, but I can do it. I am continually amazed by how much Spanish I can already speak. And you know what the best thing is? Hermana Martín told me I don´t have an American accent! I´m not bragging, I´m just very excited. I am always asking people from Spain about the language and how I can improve my accent and they never give me any advice ugh haha, but I guess that means I´m doing just fine. I´m definitely going to miss having a native with me to speak Spanish all the time :( It´s so incredibly useful but who knows I guess there is a chance my new comp will be a native.

This week was the bomb. We usually have a really hard time getting new investigators, especially ones that will progress. The mission standard is four new ones per week and this time we got 10! Literally a miracle. Which I am incredibly grateful for because it leaves me with work when both my companions leave. We also set another baptimal date with a woman named Carmen. She is the mother of one of the recent converts in our branch and she is 80 years old. She understands everything and still is doing well for her age. Her son, Vicente, gave her a Book of Mormon and she had been reading it the week before we went to visit her. In the first visit she told us the Book of Mormon was true and so we set a baptismal date for August 3rd, although we are going to have to do it a week from then since she hasn´t been to church yet. Our other baptismal date is Miri, I have mentioned her before but she is literally an angel. She basically teaches us when we visit with her. And she always picks us up in her car so we don´t have to walk for 45 mins in the sun :)) She goes to all the activities, reads Daughters in Our Kingdom (the relief society book) and she has such a strong testimony. She even had a dream about the what goes on inside the temple the other day (although she doesn´t know what it is and we can´t explain it haha so one day she´ll find out). It´s funny because Hermana Martín said she is the best investigator she´s ever had because normally the really spiritual ones are also a little crazy but Miri is completely normal and we know she will continue living in Spain. :)) That´s a goal for all of us, convert people who actually Spaniards, or who are going to stay in Spain. But she doesn´t get baptized til Oct 5th after her wedding, so unless I stay for two more transfers I won´t get to see it :(
This week was also a little crazy and some firsts too. Benidorm has a lot of weird buildings and skyscrapers. We went up in the elevator of the tallest building here and went up in this other building that is only made of circles and all the doors we knocked on were French-speaking people. (Sorry Dad, i forgot all my French couldn´t even communicate with them...). The recent convert I was talking about, Vicente, is officially our assistant and he adores us (a little too much sometimes). He shares the gospel with all the world and always is introducing us to people (including his mother who has accepted to be baptized). One of which was this strange woman who is lives in the middle of nowhere in a little rock hut thing with 20 cats, and his Jehovah Witness realtives who wouldn´t let me talk or testify. It´s always interesting with him, but he is one of my favorite people in our branch even if he is a bit crazy.
Well that´s all for now! Keep me in your prayers as I start training a new comp this week and look at the mission blog during the week to find out who she is because they will for sure put up pictures! Thanks for everything!
Love you all!

Hermana Thompson
ps- pictures:

1. Us with Miri :)) <3>
2. Us with the Branch President (Pres Mondol holding Samuel, the cutest child) and His wife, Alejandra. And photobombing is the EQ President Marco

1. Hna Brown and I where the crazy cat lady lives

2. Our district for this transfer (Hnas Camacho, Greenwood, Brown, Martín, and Elderes Dansie, Peña, Favero, and Tudela)

1. Vicente, our recent convert and assistant

2. Us on the tram afterhours since we missed ours :( haha (que jack!)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Last week of my 2nd transfer!

¡Hola, buenas tardes! 

So we definitely just went to a chocolate factory today in one of our pueblos called Villajoyosa and IT WAS SO COOL. The other two sisters from our district came down and one member came with us and they gave us a tour and free chocolate. All of the air surrounding the factory smells like chocolate, so basically heaven. I told my companions that all I needed was a kitten in that moment and I could die happy. And all of the little factory workers looked like a scene out of Willy Wonka. 

This week we had exchanges with the sister training leaders again so I got to learn some new things for a couple days and also run around trying not to miss buses and trains. It may be possible that I have sweat more here than in Thailand, but I´m still not sure yet. It is humid and SO HOT in our area right now, which means I´ve had the pleasure of seeing some people who apparently have no problem being nude in public, but again Benidorm is a bit crazy. I also have some tan lines that get more pronounced by the day and by tan lines I mean sunburn. Now to more spiritual things I suppose.

The beginning of this week started out great with a good number of lesson and hope for reaching all of our goals...and then it slowly went down hill from there- meaning full days with no lessons and no numbers because everyone stood us up or we couldn´t find anyone to teach. I believe I got to experience my own personal pride cycle this week that I ironically have been reading about in the Book of Mormon recently. Not to go into all the details or problems but we all know I am not the most patient or humble person in the world. But after fixing some companionship problems in our trio we ended the week really well. Yesterday was a record high for contacting numbers and I contacted like I never have before without hesitation or dread. Normally you can´t even get me to contact on the street but yesterday I had no problem doing it. And knocking doors, we actually got results when normally we only get angry people slamming doors in our faces. It really shows that when you have the spirit in your companionship and are willing to humble yourself you have more success and the Lord is more willing to lead you to the people who are being prepared. 

Speaking of being prepared, I am about to fly solo in a week. We are 99.9% sure that Hermana Martín is leaving after this transfer which means that I will be in the one in charge of almost everything seeing as my trainee still doesn´t speak much Spanish. And the closest missionaries are an hour and a half away so literally solo. One of my goals this week which I never thought I´d have to make is to speak more English. Yeah I said English. Normally we speak Spanish 24/7 but all of my leaders have been telling me I need to speak more English to Hermana Brown to help her more. Sometimes I get cocky about my progress with Spanish and then I remember a second later how much I still have to learn. Hey but I still have 14 months left to get better I suppose. So before our two failed baptisms the elders before us had two failed baptisms too. Apparently it is becoming a trend here in Benidorm. But we are going to break it. If Hermana Martín leaves here without a baptism then it will be her first area and first companionship where she didn´t have one, so she is determined to find a miracle this week. 

Oh and fun fact I have now tried Coca Cola for the first time. And not by choice either. I have been able to avoid it my whole life and the other day we went to visit a inactive wife of one of our members and she only put out coke. I normally ask for water but she had finally let us come so I didn´t want to say anything and drank it. It doesn´t taste good anyway and her husband told us we can never come back again so that was a pointless sacrifice haha.

Well love you all and keep praying for me!
Hermana Thompson

P.S.- photos
1. at the Valor Chocolate Factory with Hermanas Martín, Greenwood, Brown, and Camacho. 
2. houses in Villajoyosa
3. Hermanas Camacho and brown walking down one of the streets

Monday, July 8, 2013



So the beginning of this week I was sick again, but with the flu this time. Fever and a ton of pain in all of my body but I was better in time for the zone conference that we had on Thursday so that was good! (there´s a picture on the mission blog if you want to add that mom). Zone conference was also on the same day as the Fourth of July so at the very end we sang God Bless America and later that day I made my comps take me to a Burger King because I had been craving it all day. Goodness I love America. The conference was great, and again it confirms how much I love our mission president and wife, they are seriously the best. 

Did I mention it is hot here, because it is hot. And the funny thing is that my comp from Madrid (and all the natives) think that air conditioning is bad for you and she wouldn´t let me use it when I was sick or eat ice cream! But I sneaked and ate it anyway hahaha. Spanish is coming way naturally so nothing to complain about there but I need to remember to use more English with my trainee because I´m pretty sure she still doesn´t understand anything we say haha, so I was told to cut back on the Spanish. I have now watched that worldwide training video on missionary work three times, Spanish and English, and i learn something new every time. So i definitely encourage you all to watch it! And work with the missionaries in your ward too!

Anyway we don´t have much time, and I don´t really have much more to say anyway. But love you all keep me in your prayers. 

Hermana Thompson

ps- photos
1. us and sister Camacho from my district eating hamburgers on the 4th

Zone Conference- 4th of July

Monday, July 1, 2013



Well this week was a bit of a fiasco. In case you were wondering (like everyone we ever talk to ever) our baptism in the sea didn´t actually happen this weekend. And I will admit that I am more frustrated and indignant than sad. So this is the craziness that took place. While I was in Málaga picking up my residency card Felisa was supposed to get her baptismal interview. So the district leader traveled an hour and a half to do it and she didn´t show up because of a ¨misunderstanding¨. When I got back we setup another interview on Friday for her and the zone leader came down this time to do it. At this point I didn´t have much confidence that she would show up but eventually she did, 30 mins late and passed her interview and was excited for her baptism on Saturday. We were also fasting at the time because she was trying to get her papers worked out so she could stay in Spain and not be sent back to Africa before her baptism (which all worked out just fine too thankfully). We arranged everything with the members and did everything possible to prepare. The next morning she called us and told us she had to go out of town for an emergency but that she would be back and would call us. She never called. We called and called and called and called some more. She rarely ever picks up her phone. Eventually she called us back and said her bus would get in at 6 (her baptism was at 5 so we had to tell all the members that were already on their way that we needed to reschedule it to 8). When the bus got there she wasn´t on it and we couldn´t get a hold of her by phone or at her house. She also didn´t come to church on Sunday either which is very rare for her. So we wasted a whole day on Saturday and still we are not sure what happened. So now we are up to two investigators that passed baptismal interviews, had baptisms all arranged and then didn´t actually get baptized. What in the world. Benidorm is crazy. Anyway enough of the bad news.

So did I mention that we had a fast for finding more investigators? Well we have gotten a lot more! And we have one more investigator with a baptismal date. Her name is Miri and she is so great and is the type of responsible person that we know will keep her word, but the thing is that she isn´t getting married until Sept so her baptismal date is set for the 5th of there´s a almost 99% chance I won´t be here for it but her daughter will probably get baptized in August when she gets back from vacation so we are looking forward to that.

Tues and Wed I was at the mission home to pick up my card like I said and I got to watch the worldwide training broadcast in English which was nice (i actually watched it yesterday in Spanish and understood pretty much all of it so that was cool). We ate lots of food and got to talk to President and it was way nice but I am getting tired of the 8 hour bus ride each way haha. We are still a trio and probably will be until the end of the transfer in 3 weeks. We are moving to our new piso today which is SO NICE. 3 bathrooms, 3 bedrooms, and 3 balconies, and super clean. Ahhh I am so happy to be moving out of our own personal ghetto. I´ll put my new address at the bottom too. Oh and apparently all the missionaries know who Jacob is, our cousin. I was looking on our mission blog and there is a picture of him with a group of missionaries. Weird, eh? Anyway, thanks for all your prayers and support! Love you all!

Hermana Thompson

Hermana Andrea Thompson
Paseo de la Castellana
Nº46, 2ºA
03502 Benidorm, Alicante

ps- pictures
1. on some stairs waiting for an investigator (like always), sorry about the clarity
2. our ghetto mattress setup (with all of your photos and cards in the background!)
3. with Isabel the mother of one of our less actives, she isn´t a member but is too old to understand when we teach so we just let her talk. and she always resembles gollum when she speaks so it´s hard not to laugh.