Monday, December 5, 2011

December 5, 2011

My Dearest Family and Friends that I love SO MUCH!!!!
I'm so glad you got my package :) I can't wait for you to open your presents on Christmas! I'm so grateful to the Laurie Family from my ward that dropped it off on their way to Arizona. They are a really cool family and Brother Laurie is a Ward Missionary. So the snow has stayed and the temperature is slowly dropping (but more at a steady rate) I've pretty much gotten used to not having any feeling in my toes. The sun doesn't rise until about 8am or so and it sets around 4:30pm!!! Crazy. Sometimes it makes me tired earlier because by the time 7pm comes around it feels like it's 10pm. So last week I know I mentioned that we aren't allowed to hold babies. Some people are wondering why. Well we're told in the White handbook that we aren't allowed "Because of increasing legal complexities, be extremely careful around children...Avoid any behavior that could be misunderstood or could appear to be inappropriate, including tickling, changing diapers, holding children, and allowing children to sit on your lap. Never babysit children." Super sad eh? In the last couple of weeks our ward has had 4 new babies born!!! They are adorable!!!!
The following story is not meant to worry or concern anyone, but to testify of the power of Priesthood Blessings. I was the personal recipient of a miracle last week. On Tuesday, during our lunch break, I was curling my hair. I somehow dropped the curling iron and quickly went to grab it. In the process I jabbed my extremely hot curling iron into my right eye. The pain was instant and very intense. Immediately I set my curling iron down and ran into the washroom to look in the mirror and see the damage. I couldn't open my eye and the pain was overwhelming. I immediately dropped to my knees and poured out my heart to my Father in Heaven asking that the pain go away and that I would be okay. I sat on the floor of the Bathroom sobbing for a few minutes. I knew I needed help from someone and I needed help now. I pulled myself off the floor and went towards the bedroom to get Sister Jones. "Sister Jones?..." I explained to her what happened and went back into the washroom. She ran to the kitchen to get me some ice. I sat on the floor sobbing, not finding any relief from the pain. Sister Jones knelt next to me feeling helpless. Finally I spoke up, "I need someone to help me." She asked if I wanted her to call Sister Campbell (our Mission President's wife in charge of medical) or Elder Graul (Our District Leader). I decided on Elder Graul. She left the bathroom and called him. We met up with them at the Chapel where Elder Stanke anointed and Elder Graul sealed the anointing. Part of that blessing went as follows; "... Your Heavenly Father is pleased with your Faith and that you'd seek help from the Priesthood first...You will be blessed as you continue to seek help... Your eye will be healed as you rely on the Holy Ghost and exercise Faith. Your Heavenly Father cares about you and wants you to continue to serve... You are a Stalwart Daughter..." While the four Elders had their hands on my head and were giving me a blessing I felt no pain. After the blessing I was able to open my eye just enough for Elder Stanke to look at it, "You definitely burned it. You can see the burn across your eyeball." We called our Mission President, President Campbell, and explained what happened. He told us to either call a member doctor or go to the emergency room. He asked, "Call your District Leader and ask for a blessing." "Already did, President." Sister Jones explained. "We did that before we called you." "That it great. Sisters are always good at calling on the priesthood first." Elder Stanke then called Brother Butts from his ward (He is a Eye Doctor) and we drove there for him to look at it. When Brother Butts looked at it he seemed very concerned, "You burned 2/3rds of your Cornea. I don't know if you will completely get sight back in that eye." I was a little heartbroken but I remembered the words of the blessing and I had no doubt that everything was going to be okay. He gave me some eye drops and asked me to come back then next day. We went back to our apartment, the pain still intense. I called Brother Butts and asked if their was something I could do for the pain and he got me a prescription. Finally by 10pm I was able to fall asleep with out pain. Before I did, I prayed and put all my trust in the Lord that I would wake up and be able to see in the morning. Morning came and my eyes opened without any hesitation. I could see!!!! The gray burn that had been across my eye and blocked my vision was gone and the pain was no more. We went back to see Brother Butts and he was amazed at how well I could see. I was seeing 20/40 the day after burning 2/3rds of my cornea! Elder Stanke and Elder Graul had dinner over at the Butts and Brother Butts told them that he honestly didn't think (medically speaking) that I would be able to see out of that eye again. He told them that a miracle took place. I'm so grateful for the power of the Priesthood and the blessing it is to have it in our lives. The following scripture means more to me now than it ever did before; 2 Corinthians 5:7 "For we walk by faith not by sight." Prayers are answered. Faith can move mountains. Miracles have not ceased. The Power of Priesthood Blessings is real! Psalms 146:8 "The Lord openeth the eyes of the blind...the Lord loveth the righteous." I feel so blessed! This whole experience has been a faith building one for sure. Thank you for your continued prayers. I'm so grateful to be a missionary serving at this time. The Lord is mindful of each of us. My prayers are with you all back home as well. God Bless!!!
I love you all so much,
Sister Leanna Thompson

November 28, 2011

My Dearest Family and Friends,
Hello Everyone!!! How was Thanksgiving? I hope everyone enjoyed their Holiday. Thanksgiving day was just like any normal Thursday for me. We had District Meeting and as a District went to Red Robin for a Thanksgiving Feast. We did service at St. Joseph's Hospital as usual and did teaching as normal. It was a good day. Canadians think Americans are crazy with their Black Friday sales. Everyone was asking Sister Jones and I if we were sad we were missing out on that (not that we weren't with family for Thanksgiving).
Our progressing investigators, Geno and Tolga, are progressing quite well. :) We taught them on Saturday and Tolga asks some really sincere questions. Tolga's Birthday was Friday and we bought him a candy bar. He was pretty excited about it. Also, one night Tolga texted us and asked, "What's it called again when you get a sign from God?" "Revelation or an Answer to your prayer" We explained. "Oh okay, I think I got one." He then texted us a story that is as follows, "I've been praying before I sleep. So one time I was watching a movie on my computer and it was working fine, but suddenly the computer broke and down and it went black. It wouldn't turn on for 30 minutes or so. I had the thought that I could pray and it would be fixed, so I started praying (I asked to fix my problem) when I was done it felt really warm around my body and the computer miraculously turned on. It was kind of scary, but cool. I don't know it that's a revelation though. It could have been coincidence." You can imagine how excited Sister Jones and I were to read the experience he had. We explained that our Heavenly Father cares about even the little things we think are important in our lives (there are no coincidences) and that the warm feeling he had was the Holy Ghost. Tolga responded, "Wow, that's pretty cool. Thank you!" He sent us one last text as we said Good Night, "Ok, I'm gonna pray then go to sleep. Good night :)" Tolga is such a great kid. It's been great to see both Geno and Tolga's progress and hear about the Holy Ghost testifying in their lives. Geno has told us that every morning before he starts his car he prays and after he is done praying he doesn't feel alone anymore. He said that he can feel someone in the car with him and it's very comforting. It's so wonderful to be a witness to the Gospel changing lives. I love being a missionary!
Sister Jones and I have a goal to visit every family in the ward before Christmas and send a Christmas message with them. I really love this ward and each day it feels more and more like home. It's sad to think that as missionaries we are kind of nomads. Picking up and moving about every six weeks or so when we get a phone call saying to do so. I joke with Sister Jones that we are not only nomads, but hunters and gatherers. We "hunt" them and then "gather" them into wards. :) I love this work! I love getting the youth more involved in missionary work and seeing their testimonies strengthen as they witness lives change. I love being able to teach Gospel Principles after being asked to teach as you are walking into the classroom (this has happened about 3 times now. It's a good think Sister Jones and I teach well together and know how to teach by the Spirit.) I think the hardest part about being a missionary is not being able to hold babies or children. The Beaumont ward has some of the cutest babies and I just want to hold them so much. Dear friends and family, someone better have a baby right before I come home or right after so that I can just hold them for hours. That's all I ask ;) Please make it happen!
Well I love each of you so much! Continue to put your trust in the Lord and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths! Make the most of the Christmas Season.
I love you all!!!
Sister Leanna Thompson