Monday, March 31, 2014

New Transfer! Bapstims! (and allergic reactions)

Hello everyone! Today is the start of my 9th transfer (there are 12 in total)! Scary right? Hna Cerna will be leaving to Sevilla on Wednesday morning and my new comp will be Hna Crockett! She is actually comps with my old comp Hna Andrew right now in Almeria, and I got to meet her in Granada at the Christmas concert :) I´ll give you all more details about it next week! 

Remember that I told you we found that part-member family by a small miracle last week? Well we went to the first appt on Tuesday and the mom practically asked us to be baptized! Before only her 11 year old daughter could be baptized because she was living with her boyfriend. Now she has got her own place and got off work on Sundays and is all ready to be baptized! Cool how that works out right? The sisters before had worked with that family a lot and we are seeing the fruits of it. We had been fasting for a person that was prepared, and here she is! There are a lot of family problems with the oldest daughter but Mari (the mom) and Selena (the convert daughter) have strong testimonies and are willing to sacrifice to receive blessings. 

So now all of the funny(ish) stuff haha. I´m having bad luck with my health lately. Doesn´t sound funny but just wait. So I started off the week with what I think was the flu, that later turned into the cold, and so that irritates my nose. While I was getting a massage from the physical therapist in the ward for my back my nose started bleeding haha. Fun right? Anyway, at Mari and Selena´s house (the one with goats and animals in the middle of nowhere) during our second visit this week, before sitting down I brushed off the couch. Now I´m not sure if something got in my eye or I touched it afterwards but I got something in there and it bothered me the whole lesson and started to get really red. I never could get it out. Later we went to another FHE and it just got worse and worse- swollen and eye goo blurring my vision. By the end my right eye could barely open and felt like it was one fire. Everyone kept saying that I looked Chinese hahaha. Our Bishop´s family was there so they took me to the pharmacy so get something to flush out my eye and drops to get rid of the allergy or infection or whatever it was. Remember Will Smith in the movie Hitch when he eats seafood? Well that was me minus the swollen lips hahaha. (okay okay his looked more dramatic). Sparing all the gross details my eye got better over a few days and now it´s back to normal! If that was allergies I don´t know how the heck that happened, but my body does not respond well to mission life apparently haha.

So going back to that FHE we had, it was also a small miracle! I had the idea to have a member, Paula (she the missionary mom here in Murcia basically) invite one of our investigators to the FHE that night last minute. She is the most loving person ever so he said yes to our surprise. His name is Francisco Javier (Paco) and is from Spain. We found him as a former investigator from about 2+ years ago. When we knocked his door he was super nice (rare!) and told us we could come back, so we did with Paula. We didn´t even get to the real lesson because we were discussing faith with him. He had been out of work for 2 years and had a hard time providing for his son and that gave him doubts in relation to his personal faith. The next week we ran into him on the street and he told us he had finally found a job! Miracle! So anyway he comes to the FHE with Paula and her husband Enrique, and guess who shows up right before him? Bishop Tómas and his family! They had passed by to do a favor really quick and had no idea about the FHE. They stayed and the lesson went SO well. We saw a huge change in Francisco from the first lesson, and after everyone talking about their conversions he wanted to experience it too by the end! The Lord´s timing and plan never cease to amaze me. He didn´t come to church on Sunday but I´ll keep you updated on his progress.

Saturday the Elders Baker and Antezana had a baptism and two primary children were being baptized. It´s funny because Jose, one of the 8 year olds being baptized, before wanted to wait to be baptized until one of the elders from the ward came home to do it. We told the ward counsel about it and they did a primary activity where in the end you only get to the Celestial Kingdom unless you are baptized and he was left out so he changed his mind and decided to be baptized hahaha he´s a funny kid. Tons of people showed up for the tri-baptism including one of our investigators, Mirtha, and her daughter.

Yesterday night we had another FHE with the bishop and Mari Carmen and Juan. If you all remember they are the couple that are waiting to get married! Well they announced that the finally were given a date by the city for the 24th of April! So they will finally get to be baptized! We are o excited for their family! They have been waiting for this a longgg time and have been through a lot of missionaries. 

Well that´s all from this week! Keep these people in your prayers and keep sharing the Gospel! Enjoy conference for me because I´m pretty sure I won´t get to see all for sessions :/

Love you all!

Hermana Thompson

photo of us with some YW that came to the baptism the one in between us went on a mini mission before I got here


Monday, March 24, 2014


Okay everyone don´t freak out but I hit my year mark last Thursday on the 20th! Remember when I went into the MTC, was nervous out of my mind, and didn´t speak barely any Spanish? Well I do! I´m a long ways away from that person I was a year ago in many ways and I lot of things have happened. It´s definitely been the hardest year of my life but in change I have learned a lot and grown much much more spiritually. Has it gone by fast for you all? I guess looking back it has gone by quickly, and now that I only have less than 6 months (4 transfers) it scares me! In the beginning I didn´t understand that feeling, but now I get nervous thinking that I only have a short time left to completely dedicate myself to the Lord. After all I will never get to do it again in the same way. 

We celebrate better than I did for my actual birthday last summer. Gladis (Valeria´s mom-the YSA that is preparing for a mission now), a member in one of our pueblos (towns) made me a cake and after dinner they all sang to me I blew out one white candle. It was fun. Earlier that day we ate we a less active Venezuelan member, Viky, for mediodía and she made us the best Italian food. I was dying. She is one of the few people I´ve met here that actually knows how to cook Italian food (since she lived there). By the end of the day I didn´t want to eat anything for a really long time.

Oh good news! MariCarmen and Juan, the parents of a part-member family we are teaching are about to get married soon! Carmen, their 9 year old already got baptized and they have been waiting almost a year to get their marriage papers. So I will keep you all updated on that, I hope I get to see their baptism while I am here! I´m sure I will. This is the last week of the transfer and Hna Cerna is outta here for sure, and I´ll probably be around 1 or two more transfers after that. 

On Friday we had a zone conference with Pres and Sis Deere. It was a good one too and probably my biggest. The mission has grown a lot since I started. It was nice because I got to see the sisters that are in Benidorm right now and catch up on everything that is happening over there right now. Vicente is doing well but still no contact from Miri or Itzayana unfortunately. 

That night we stopped by an address in the middle of nowhere for a part-member family we had been trying to contact for a long time and when we finally found the rundown house no one was there so we left a note. As we were walking back to the inner parts of the small town we saw a few people turn a corner with a bike, and I can´t remember who said what first but it was them! Coincidence? No! We set up a return appointment and got their real phone number. I love small little miracles! It shows how aware God is of us and how everything has a plan.

Tons of plans fell through this week and right now I think I have the flu, but Luis Antonio, our Adventist investigator, came to church. We had a lesson with him and Cecilia yesterday night and they still don´t get the whole authority thing. They are fixed on Saturday being the only true Sabbath day. Also last Monday it was Elder Antezana´s bday (an elder from my district) so we went out to a Bolivian restaurant and threw him a bday party afterwards. I´ll attach photos!

Have a good week and love you all!

Hermana Thompson

1. the party throwers: Hna Cerna, elder baker, and me

2. Gladis and Mirian who were the cooks at my 1 year bday dinner

3. our district: Elder Johnson, Hna Cerna, elder baker, me, Elder Adams, Elder Antezana




jose and alejandra, mirian´s grandkids

me, hna noriega and the sisters in benidorm right now- hnas roan and lionetti- at the zone conf





Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

This week we had exchanges with the sister training leaders and I got to be with my MTC comp Hermana Johnson! It was fun :) I thought it would be weird teaching with her a year later since we have a lot more experience with the language and teaching but I was surprised that it felt normal and like nothing had changed. Of course we have both changed and grown a lot but I think I only noticed the difference in that we are both more bold and confident. I´m sure you will all see the difference in me when I get back more than I can. I love doing exchanges mostly because there are always weird things that happen and we always see more miracles. Changes in the mission also bring miracles and new things. You find people at home that are never there, new investigators are present in lessons that you weren´t expecting, and people contact you in the street.
Recently we have been working with a less active YSA, she is 22, from Ecuador, and her name is Valeria. We were teaching her and her mother before and they would say they´d come to church but then would never come. A few lessons ago we committed Valeria more strongly and she said that she would come for sure this time. It´s been a few weeks and she´s been coming every Sunday and helped as a flight attendant in our ward mission activity. Last week she told us she now wants to serve a mission! She broke up with her boyfriend, got an interview with the bishop, and is now in temple prep classes. We eat with her every week and talk about the mission and Preach  My Gospel. Yesterday she accompanied us for the evening to our appts but sadly all the plans fell through and we lost the phone, but luckily we called it and the man who found it met us and gave it back to us haha but even though he had met with missionaries before he wasn´t interested in hearing more. Anyway we are super excited for Valeria and this next week she will get a calling and be considered rescued! My first rescue in the mission so far :)

And now for the most interesting part of the week...we attended the 7th Day Adventist Church Saturday morning! It was pretty chill actually but also three hours and I had a really hard time keeping myself awake during the last hour sermon...whoops. Bible classes and songs and power point presentations on their finances. Everything they said was bible proof and wasn´t against doctrine but I didn´t feel the spirit once during the whole experience. It was an affirmation that our church has the fullness of the Gospel. They have truth (they even have a font basically identical to ours) but they don´t have all of it and they most importantly don´t have they priesthood. I have come to really appreciate how important the priesthood is on the mission. 

As we were teaching them (Luis Antonio and Cecilia) yesterday something they said really struck me. Luis more or less said, "I can´t say that my church is the TRUE church, lots of people say that about their church." I thought that was sad. Why go then? Our lesson was way more intense than usual yesterday and I felt good about how I used the spirit to testify of what we do know. The gospel is true everyone! And I love it. 

Love you all,
Hermana Thompson

Last week we hiked up to Monteagudo- a Christ statue that looks over Murcia. It had a great view, here are some pics, I´ll send more later!
got to see my old comps Hna. Johnson and Noriega in the bus station!

District photo (top) Elder Johnson, me, Hna. Cerna, Elder Adams, Baker & Antezana


Monday, March 10, 2014

The Plan of Salvation

This week was fun and painful but we´ll talk about the fun part first. Saturday night we had a ward mission activity about the Plan of Salvation. It was a simulated flight to Hawaii where the plane crashes, everyone dies, and then angels take the people on tours of the 3 kingdoms of glory. It was actually pretty legit because the sacrament room was turned into the inside of a plane with flight attendants and flight sounds over the sound system and everything. Each set of missionaries was given charge over a kingdom of glory. There were two elders in Celestial (the room draped in white paper) with a family, everyone dressed in white, 2 giant white tigers, an elder playing hymns on a white guitar and marshmallows to eat. The 2 elders in Terrestrial had a room of green walls and a blue ceiling, plants, and something sweet to eat. There were dressed in white shirts, black pants and no ties. We had the Telestial room. It was completely covered in black garbage bags so if smelled awful and you could barely see anything. We had a disco ball with colored lights, rap music, and on the wall it said "eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die" in Spanish and we were dressed in all black. I made brownies but added salt instead of sugar and had everyone try them hahaha, it was way funny. At the end they met the Bishop who was the judge and later were told it was all a dream.

It was interesting because while we were explaining our kingdom multiple times I felt the spirit but in a way that confirmed that what we were explaining was a sadly real place. I felt so bad talking about it. Every time I said that those people were to be there forever with out hope, without their families, and without an exit it just broke my heart. We shared examples of peoples lives and why they ended up there. And the worst part is that there are so many people like that in the world right now. I wanted to be able to visit the other rooms but there never was enough time. It was funny to because in one of the groups an investigating woman kept saying "this is so extreme! there´s a balance you know!" I kept trying to explain it to her but she hadn´t been to the other kingdoms yet haha. I think the activity had an impact on people that made them reflect on their lives and the people they know and what they are doing with their lives and where they would go if they were to die right now. It was a success but I have no photos as of yet, I´ll send them when I get a hold of some.

In other news I am officially an old woman back-wise, but I´ll be fine. I blame it all on the Bible. I carried it to teach our 7th Day Adventist investigators and it kinda destroyed my back. But it´s ironic because we were supposed to go to their church on Saturday and because of my back we had to call in sick haha. Don´t worry about me though but I won´t tell you not to pray ;) I got a blessing and I know it will be healed so it´s just a matter of resting and patience.

Well have a good week, and thanks for all your support! Love you all!

Hermana Thompson


                                                   photo of Hna Cerna and I in the Murcia cathedral last pday

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ambulances, Family Visits, and Understanding Faith

This week has literally been full of crazy surprises. Last weekend my comp had been throwing up little by little anything she ate. She was really weak on Tuesday so we went to their version of the emergency room that afternoon. They gave her an IV and started running tests to see what was wrong. They decided that we had better go over to the hospital so they took us over in an ambulance! Crazy, right? So after like a year and lots of tests and waiting they told her that she had kidneys stones and gave her medicine. We got home around 1am and were at home all Wednesday and Thursday. We started working again Friday afternoon. Which means I had lots and lots of study time. I´ll tell you what I learned at the end of the email. 

Saturday morning after doing our morning exercise (so about 7:30am) we hear the doorbell ring. Hna Cerna went and answered the intercom thingy (I don´t know what it´s called in English, sorry) and it was her father. Now if you remember my comp has only been a member for 2 years and her parents are members and don´t support her being on a mission. We let him in the building and I called Pres Deere while he came up the elevator. It was a really hard situation and we weren´t sure why he was there or what we were supposed to do. Finally we got ahold of Pres and he gave a permission to talk to him and if he mentioned it got eat breakfast since he came all that way. We got dressed and went down with him and found out that her stepmom, stepbrother, and half sister and her father´s friend were down there. They had heard that she was sick and drove over night from Madrid to come see her. We still don´t know how it all happened but the family was told that she was fine so it was really weird that they came. We ate breakfast and then she said goodbye to them all. She didn´t get distracted from the visit and looking back on it all it feels like it never happened. But I hope now at least her parents will start to write her and open more up to the gospel.

So if you have been following my emails since the beginning you´ll know that I have always had a hard time understanding faith or at least understanding what faith was for me and how to develop it. This week it all came together. From last week you´ll remember that I spoke of how God answers prayers and testifies to us again and again, well this is related. To make a long story short the last week I got the chance to watch many church history videos and read about the teachings of the prophets. And that´s when it all hit me. I was watching a clip on Zion´s Camp lead by Joseph Smith that went to fight in vain. They were saved by a storm from the opposing troops but many died on the journey. They returned home when nothing to show for it (or so people said). But out of the men who went and had that experience many were later chosen to be apostles and 70s. 

Throughout my whole mission I have been learning patience. Every trial I have had, every experience was to teach me that one principle that has always been the hardest for me. I could never completely understand why I wasn´t seeing the fruits from my obedience, diligence, and hard work. I new everything depended on the timing and will of the Lord but I didn´t truly understand it.

From an accumulation of everything I realized that faith for me is being patient. Truly excepting the Lord´s timing and will, and understanding that there is a plan in everything we do, that everything has a purpose and a reason. I had to learn patience before I could learn faith. As much as I would love to baptize hundreds of people and see lots of success that isn´t what the Lord had in my plan so far. I am here to learn and to be perfected into what God would have me be, not only to help people here in Spain right now but to help my family and others for this life and the eternities to come. If we give ourselves over to God he will make much more of us than we can ever make of ourselves- he is making masterpieces, he is making Gods. For each one of us, just like the men in Zion´s Camp, God has a plan for us and knows who he wants us to become. In the moment we don´t know why we have the trials that we have but he does, so we have to trust him and trust that everything that happens is a part of the great plan in order for us to become more perfected through our Savior Jesus Christ. 

D&C 58:

3 Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation.
4 For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand.
5 Remember this, which I tell you before, that you may lay it to heart, and receive that which is to follow.
6 Behold, verily I say unto you, for this cause I have sent you—that you might be obedient, and that your hearts might be prepared to bear testimony of the things which are to come;

God knows the design of our lives, faith is trusting in that design and if the results from our faith don´t come in the way we want we still believe in the Lord and trust that that is what is needed for us (or others) in that moment. 

Daniel 3:

15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made;well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.

17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand,O king.

18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast setup.

God can and will but if not it will be okay. 

D&C 100

15 Therefore, let your hearts be comforted; for all things shall work together for good to them that walk uprightly, and to the sanctification of the church.

Well love you all and be comforted because all things will work together for your good. I love this gospel and I know that it is true. Have a good week!

Hermana Thompson