Tuesday, March 13, 2012

March 13, 2012

Dear Lovely people I love so much (YOU!)
Where to begin?... This week was an eventful one. That's for sure. This upcoming week aka Pie Day (3.14) is my 6 Month Mark!!!!! Crazy I'm a third done with my mission. It has gone by so quickly!!! I can't believe it! Also, I realized how small of a world it is this week. At the Darby's in our ward I saw a wedding announcement on their fridge and it was for Trevor Olsen (who was a grade older than me in High School). He is marrying the granddaughter of the Nagel's in our ward. Small World hey? Ha ha
Monday; we had Zone Pday. Everyone in our Zone got together at a church in Red Deer to visit, play basketball, ultimate Frisbee, etc. It was a lot of fun. It had started to snow while we were there and by the time we were to leave it was coming down like crazy. A whole foot of snow was already on the ground and it was still coming down. My District (outlying) was the last to leave and we couldn't decided what to do. We had many members calling us sisters and telling us to not be on the roads. Especially the Highway. We decided to kneel down as a district and say a prayer. Us Sisters felt like we should stay and the Rocky and Olds Elders felt like they should go. So that's what we did. We met up with the Red Deer Sisters to stay with them for the night. We didn't have any other clothes or a toothbrush ;( We hoped that the next day would be better for us to drive home. The next morning the other sisters had a doctor's appointment early and on their way out they got stuck in their driveway because of all the snow. So, Sister White and I had to push them out. The snow was up to my knees (granted I'm short, but still). We finally were able to push them out and push them down the alley. Success!!! Next was our turn. We made it slowly but surely to the highway were the roads were plowed and great. It was definitely an adventure. The sun was out and shining so driving home was great. We're glad we stayed. We had to get home, shower, change and pack to get back to Red Deer for interviews with President at 1pm (Tuesday). Interviews went so well. I was glad I got to meet with President. I asked him for a blessing and it was really neat. I really love all the insights he gives and the encouragement he gives. He asked each of us to set a goal and then he would follow up with it next interviews in June. After interviews we went on splits with the Red Deer Sisters and worked in their area. That was an adventure. Only got stuck once. ;) The Lacombe sisters came up that night to stay for Zone Conference the next day. It was a full house. Tons of fun though. We are the only zone with 6 sisters in it. Most only have 2 or 4.
Zone Conference was amazing! I loved it. I took 10 pages of notes. ;) President Campbell started off his training by asking, "Who were the first missionaries in this dispensation?" We thought about it... I couldn't think of anyone specifically. The answer, "Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith was seeking truth and the Father and the Son came to him and gave him truth." He then began to discuss how we needed to be like them. It was a great! We went over a lot of numbers (like how many first lessons we need to teach to get a baptism, how many Books of Mormon placed to get a first lesson etc. ) It was really cool to see the statistics. It also showed me that I need to work harder. No pressure right? We also had additional training from the office staff, Assistants, and the Zone Leaders. President Campbell closed by having us listen to a address that Elder Bednar gave at the MTC last June (while sister white was there). He talked about how to be Preach My Gospel Missionaries. 1. Understand that you represent Jesus Christ 2. Worthy 3. Treasure up the words of Eternal Life 4. Understand that the Holy Ghost is the Ultimate teacher and 5. Understand that teaching is much more than talking and telling. He gave a lot of good insights (that were on the overwhelming side). However, Elder Bednar closed by saying "YOU CAN DO THIS! You will have His help and strength." I've set a lot of goals and I've come to realize that Sister Thompson can be a goal accomplisher. President Campbell said, "If all you learn/ take from your mission is how to accomplish goals, it would be a success." So, here I go! Please pray that I will be able to accomplish my goals. :) At the end of Zone Conference Elder Hayward got to bear his testimony since he was going home the next day. I cried. I have come so close to the other missionaries in this mission. They are all dear friends and every time one goes home I am saying goodbye to a friend.
Although Sister White and I ended up not being in our Area for about 3 days we still reached our goal of getting 20 lessons each week this transfer. :) Today is the beginning of the last week of this transfer and so far we have gotten 20+ lessons each week. It's amazing!!!! Our first week together (Dec. 28-Jan 1) we only got 11 lessons. I love seeing that we have improved. I know a lot has to do with answers to prayer. I also have come to realize that if you want to achieve a goal, don't try, DO!!!! So, we've been doing. We don't have any investigators right now, but the work is progressing. We have seen a lot of miracles. One particular miracle happened on Saturday.

There is a sign by the cemetery here in Innisfail that I really like. So on our way to the library/ home we decided to stop and take a picture. Just as we were finishing an older gentleman pulled out of the cemetery. He stopped and rolled down his window to talk to us. As I came around the car to say hello he glanced at our name tags ans started to cry. We asked him if he was okay and if he was visiting a loved one's grave. He nodded his head, too choked up to talk. I ached for him. I knew that I had something that he didn't and I knew I had to share it with him. "You know, it is really hard to lose a loved one. I lost my mother just over a year ago. But through the Savior Jesus Christ I have found peace and I know that I'll see her again." He wiped away his tears and began to tell us his life story. He was born in Romania and has lived in Germany, Austria, and East Germany. He's seen a lot of really hard things and has lived under two dictators. He explained "I believe in Jesus Christ and I know he is the reason we can have joy but there are all these different churches. I wish there were just one." Sister White then spoke up. "In the bible it talks about how there is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism." He agreed, "Then why isn't there just one church." I took this moment to testify about the restoration of the gospel. "Well, that is exactly the question that a 14 year old boy had back in 1820....Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ came to him. They answered his prayer. Through him Christ's church was restored on the earth. There is one church on the earth today that is Christ's church. It is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It is this Gospel, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that gives me comfort and the knowledge that I will see my loved ones again." We talked to him for quite some time. During, we found out that he is catholic and his wife died a year ago in January. I asked him his name and he got choked up again, "Aschenbrenner" He motioned to where his wife's headstone was. We testified again and asked if we could share a message of Jesus Christ with him. He replied, tears in his eyes, "You have already given me so much. Thank you for talking with me." Sister White grabbed a pass along card and the Plan of Salvation pamphlet from the car for him. As she handed it to him she said, "Here is our phone number. Please give us a call. This pamphlet will explain how you can be with your wife again." He thanked us and as he did he grabbed each of our hands and gave them a squeeze, "God bless you." Although, he wouldn't give us his address or phone number I know that we made a difference in his life. After he drove away we went to his wife's grave. As we were there, we felt such a yearning to share the gospel with him. Sister White turned to me, " I felt like his wife was here. I can't explain it, but it was really cool." Now, we are praying that we can make contact with him again. I'm so grateful I had the opportunity to represent the Savior Jesus Christ, to wipe away some one's tears, to give them hope, and to testify of the Plan of Salvation.
Later this week we found a random phone in the snow. We put it in some rice to dry out and were able to get it back to the owner. Talk about creative finding ;) Now, they will remember that we are honest people. :) Also, I forgot to mention last week about Scottish Dancing. At one of the Old Folks' homes they had some Scottish Dancers come in. It was really cool. I know Dad would have really enjoyed it. I got some video of it and they asked me to participate in one dance. That was pretty cool. After, however I wondered (since being a missionary) if I was allowed to participate or not, so I asked President Campbell and he said it was fine. :) I have included a video for you to see. :)
video
video

For a spiritual thought this week I wanted to share something from Preach My Gospel that meant more to me after my experience with Fred Aschenbrenner. It is as follows:
"Now is the moment in the timetable of the Lord to carry the gospel farther than it has ever been carried before…. Many a person in this world is crying, knowingly and unknowingly, ‘Come over… and help us.’ He might be your neighbor. She might be your friend. He might be a relative. She might be someone you met only yesterday. But we have what they need. Let us take new courage from our studies and pray, as did Peter, ‘And now, Lord, … grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word’ (Acts 4:29)”
-President Spencer W. Kimball
It is so true. The time is NOW to share the gospel. Who are you letting pass you by with out testifying to them of the hope you have? Be bold! Do, don't try! This is Christ's church once again established on the earth. Share it with everyone you know!
I love you all! God be with you 'til we meet again.
Love, Eternally,
Sister Thompson
P.S. The pictures/ Video attached are as follows; 1. 1/3 Gone (Notice how a 1/3 of me is covered by the snow) ;) 2. Me by the Innisfail sign at the cemetery 3. Video of the Scottish Dancers 4. Video of me with the Scottish Dancers 5. My Zone at Zone Conference Enjoy!!!

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