Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sept. 28, 2011

Dear Family and Friends;

I can't believe I head to Canada already. This is my last Pday before I head out at 4am Tuesday morning. Honestly, I can't wait and I'm so excited for what Canada holds in store for me. :)

So a very humbling experience this week. We have been teaching a woman named Lawanna. She is definitely a "spicy black woman." She has been so great to teach. Well, earlier this week Sister Lambert and I decided to teach her about the Plan of Salvation (Happiness) and through some of our classroom role plays it was suggested that we teach a little more by the lesson and go in the order given in preach my gospel. So, we prepared our lesson and went in ready to teach. As we were teaching she didn't seem very interested and honestly seemed bored. I paused and asked her if she had any questions or concerns about what we had mentioned so far and she said, "Nevermind, I don't want to be rude." We assured her that we wanted to here. She then said, " I don't know, I just think ya'll a skit. Like I'm seriously bored right now. You talk about this being the plan of happiness, but as ya'll teachin' it to me you just a skit. If this is supposed to make me happy I don't want it. What ya'll teach me is borin'. You say ya'll happy, but I don't see how." I was completely shocked. I was not expecting that response at all. I was blessed to have Sister Lambert right there, because if it was just me I probably would have just started to cry and left the room. Sister Lambert apologized and asked if we could start over. She agreed and I started by asking Lawanna if I could begin by telling her what makes me happy. She said she'd love to hear that and I began by speaking from my heart. "Lawanna, my family makes me happy. Going to church each week and partaking of the Sacrament makes me happy. Reading the Book of Mormon and getting answers to my prayers from it's pages makes me happy. My mother makes me happy. (At this point I began to cry). Knowing that through the Gospel of Jesus Christ my family is able to be sealed together forever and that I will get to see my mother again makes me so happy. Obeying the commandments and teachings of our prophet Thomas S. Monson and seeing the blessings from it makes me happy. Teaching others about the restored Gospel established once again on the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith makes me happy. Being baptized and knowing that the Savior died for you and for me so that we can return to our Heavenly Father one day makes me happy. Having the constant companion of the Holy Ghost makes me happy. Lawanna, I know you can have this happiness too. By excepting the message of the restored Gospel you can the same joy and peace I feel, but it only comes through the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ." My companion then brought up the hymn 136, I know that my redeemer lives. She read the first verse and I the last and we both bore a strong testimony that our Savior lives and that through Him we can receive true happiness. After we bore testimony we paused and waited for Lawanna to respond. She looked us in the eye and said, "Wow, I'm speechless. I can tell now, that you really are happy. I want to be happy like ya'll." We bought her, her own hymn book and put our testimonies in it. We gave it to her the last time we met and she loved it.

This experience really taught me about the fact that we aren't teaching lessons, we are teaching people. It is through the Holy Ghost that we can be led to say the right thing at the right time for each person we come in contact with.

On a funnier note, Elder Massey from my District (A convert of just over a year) was sitting with his companion outside one day. He turned to his companion after watching some sister missionaries walk by and said, "Elder Albretsen, do girls have foot garments?" "What?" "Do girls have foot garments, I see all the sisters with these little sock things on their feet. Are those special foot garments that only the girls have?" Elder Albretsen laughed and explained that those are just socks you can buy at the store for flat shoes. We all got a pretty good laugh out of that. ;)
Well, I love you all to Canada and back ;) I hope you have the best week ever! Advice; Pray without ceasing and study the Book of Mormon EVERY DAY!!!!

Love you with all my heart,

Sister Leanna Thompson

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sept. 21, 2011

P-Day couldn't come faster ;) (Actually it came quite fast now that I think of it. I can't believe I've already been here a week! One down, many to go, but don't worry, I'm not counting.)
So, my time is limited. We only have 30 minutes to be on the computer. I will try and type as much as I can.

First off, WOW!!!! The MTC is Awesome!  Our first night we were in workshops where we got to meet 3 different investigators. If we wanted we had the opportunity to talk with them in front of the group too. Arnold was our first investigator and he talked about how he was angry with God for taking his wife away from him. Well, my heart started pounding and I felt this overwhelming love and hurt for him. I couldn't contain it, so in front of about a hundred other missionaries I raised my hand and bore testimony that Arnold will see his wife again, that through our Savior Jesus Christ the bands of death have been broken and we can live with our family forever. He looked me in the eye and said, "I've met a lot of people in my life and I can tell when someone doesn't really believe what they are saying. You however, have this confidence in your eyes. I can tell that you honestly believe that to be true." And I do! I know that families can be together forever. That's why I'm out here. I want everyone to know this.

During our first District meeting we didn't have a whole lot of direction. A lot of the Elders were focused on the logistics of getting the investigators we were talking about home so we could meet with them. This went on for like 10 minutes and finally I spoke up and said, "That is all important, but let's focus on what we'll actually teach them." We tried to focus more, but still the Elders just weren't grasping it. So, I got up in front of the class and said, "I'm an investigator, teach me the Plan of Salvation." After this exercise I had everyone go over what went well and what we could improve. One Elder commented, "Too bad Sisters can't be the District Leader. You're an awesome teacher Sister Thompson." The Elders and Sisters continue to compliment me on how amazing I am. WHICH IS SUPER FRUSTRATING. I actually find it really annoying. I know I am not perfect and I have come to understand even in the past week that speaking Eloquently doesn't make you a good missionary. IT IS ABOUT TEACHING BY THE SPIRIT. I'm sure all of you know how much I love to talk and give my imput, well I have set a new goal. To talk less! It has been such a struggle. Especially since my Companion Sister Lambert is not confident in talking at all and continutes to tell me that I should just lead the lessons. What a blessing and challenge it has been to hold my tongue and all the other missionaries to say something so that ultimately they learn.

Elder Russell M. Nelson came to our Tuesday Devotional which was really neat. Sorry I don't have more time to tell you about it. I have to wrap things up. 

I love you all so much!!!! The Church is true, the Book of Mormon is the Word of God and we do have a living prophet today. Good Luck and I hope to hear from you all soon.

Love, Sister Leanna Thompson

Monday, September 19, 2011

First Letter Home!

:)My First Letter Home(:
Sept. 15, 2011
I did it! I'm here at the MTC. The joke with my companion and roommates is that I know everyone here :). I've already ran into at least 5 to 6 people I know personally and then today at immunizations I met pretty much every lady there. They all gave me a hug and told me how much I look like Mom and have her smile (Best compliment ever) plus they all spoke so highly of Mom and how much they love her. I got a couple of pictures with some of them. I can really tell that Mom left an impression. So the MTC is awesome. It's quite busy, but there is actually more downtime than expected (At least so far there has been). When I woke up this morning I was a little confused as to where I was. I guess I thought it was all a dream a dream at first , but no- it's reality and I love it!
The MTC is wonderful! I really do like it. It's great knowing where everything is and answering some of the missionaries questions :). I'm so glad I volunteered here. I feel like I'm a step ahead of everyone else a little.
So my Sister- I mean companion, Sister Lambert is going to the Utah, St. George Visitor Center Mission. She is really great. She really understands the basics. Which is great and keeps me focused.
Funny story- While in class, one Elder (Elder Atwood) pointed to the picture of Christ holding a lamb and said, "That's me". There was a short pause. We all looked at him a little shocked and confused and quickly (after realizing what he said) he said, "I meant the lamb- not Christ." We all laughed really hard because I guess we all thought he was saying he was Christ. We laughed for at least a minute about it and even after I find myself giggling a little when I think about it. :) Got to love MTC humor. I swear if we find something funny, everyone finds it really funny :) (we don't get out much :)).
Well I wish I can write more but since it's not Pday (Wednesday) I don't have any other time. I love you all- And the Church is true! Hope to hear from you soon.

Love Sister Leanna Thompson

P.S. Sorry if I repeat stories I say in emails and letters.
P.P.S. If you already wrote me- We haven't gotten the mail yet so I don't even know. Thank you if you did. I'll write soon (again).