Monday, October 29, 2012

October 29, 2012

To the many people reading this,
The life of a missionary just keeps getting better. Training has definitely stretched myself, but I feel God's hand constantly supporting and guiding me. Sister Williams is so great! She is very teachable. Pretty much everything I say she writes it down (like off the movie The Best Two Years.) It makes me feel important, but don't worry, I'm not letting it get to my head. :) She is always open to feedback and she enjoys practicing (which makes my job easier). We get along great! As we continue to get to know one another I know we'll be great friends. There aren't a whole lot of specific stories from this week that are standing out to me to share. Winter is here! Snow on the ground, -3C, and falling. All I have to say, "Bring on the Canadian Winter!!!"
Saturday we were planning on stopping by a member who we felt we should see. Our plan was after dinner to head over there. I however, ended up on Auto pilot and got almost to the Whitemud Freeway when her name came to mind. "Michelle." "Oh no!" I thought, "We are already this far. She isn't even expecting us. What if we turn around, get all the way there and she's not even home?" I battled turning around for a minute when the thought came to mind, "You asked to be prompted more, here's a prompting." I concluded that I'd rather follow all the promptings I got then not and not have God trust me with more. So we turned around. We knocked on the door and her roommate Mallory answered, "Sorry, Michelle isn't here. Do you want to come in?" It dawned on me, we were here to see Mallory! So we went inside and had an amazing lesson with her. We shared the same scriptures we were planning on sharing with Michelle and it turns out one of them was her favorite. She never mentioned she was struggling or having a hard time, but I know that God knew we should see her. I'm glad I followed that prompting.
Sunday was a really neat day. Church was cancelled due to the Calgary Temple Dedication. We went to the 10am session. It was amazing! It was really cool to have Chris Keene (Recent Convert from August) there as well. He loved it and is super active. He is actually a ward missionary and loves everything about the Gospel. It was awesome to see him in a white shirt and tie, so excited to show us his white hanky with the Calgary Temple embroidered on it. The Dedication itself was amazing! President Monson gave the Dedicatory prayer. President Monson shared a story about a family friend. A young mother (of about 6 or so young kids) passed away. He attended the viewing the night before her funeral. As he walked in he saw one of the youngest daughters. Excited to see President Monson she ran to him, "Brother Monson Come see Mommy." She then directed him to the casket where her mother peacefully lay. "Isn't she pretty?" President Monson began to cry. The young girl looked up at him, "You shouldn't cry. Before Mommy died she said, 'Don't cry. We're a forever family." I couldn't hold back the tears as President Monson related this story. I know that my own mother wouldn't want me to cry. I know that we are a forever family. I know that Mom is happy and at peace, that she isn't experiencing pain, heartache, or temptation anymore. I know that she is still here with us. We are Forever Family! We will see our loved ones again! We have this hope because of the Savior. He broke the bands of death. He overcame our weaknesses. He is our Mediator and advocate with the father. I know this because I have had the Spirit witness this to me. I know this because I have a calm assurance that everything is going to be alright. Does that mean that I don't have hard days? No. But through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can be comforted.
I love you all! This church is True! I'm grateful the opportunity I have to be an instrument in God's hands at this time. It's going by way to quickly.
Sister Thompson

Monday, October 22, 2012

October 22, 2012

Dearest Family and Friends,
I hope this letter finds everyone doing well. Oh what a crazy week it has been. Seriously, one of the busiest of my mission. I met my new companion on Wednesday. Her name is Sister Williams. She is from Brigham City Utah and excited about missionary work. So far it has been really fun working with her. I'm excited about training. However, I didn't realize just how many questions there are to be asked or how many things I figured were common knowledge, but aren't. I forget that I have been doing this for more than a year now. I feel like I've always been a missionary. I feel like my brain is always on, thinking about what else I should explain, who we need to see, what we need to do, where we need to go, and how we should do things. You could say I'm slightly overwhelmed, but still excited and accepting of this new challenge that will continue to stretch me. It's been nice to really practice teaching the lessons again, to get back to the fundamentals of the Gospel, to be 100% obedient, to help Sister Williams learn and grow, to see her greenie fire and to pray more sincerely than I ever have before. I'm enjoying my new experience of course. If we didn't have experiences that made us stretch then we wouldn't improve or become better. I love Sister Williams! She is awesome. Ready to learn everything and practice. We had a new trainers meeting on Wednesday morning where President Campbell explained that what we do now with our new missionaries, how we train them, will set them up for the rest of their mission. No pressure hey? I was also sad to see all the departing missionaries bear their testimonies at transfer meeting. I served around most of them. Sister Jones (my trainer), Sister Coltrin, Elder Graul, Elder Pieper (were two of my district leaders), Elder Lane, Elder Gardner (two of my zone leaders), and Elder Blanton. It's really weird when people you know well start going home. I tell you, this mission thing goes by way too fast!
Sophie was baptized on Friday!!!! It was awesome. She asked me to give a talk on baptism. It was really neat to be able to do that. The Spirit in the room was so strong. The ordinance was performed in Chinese. Which was super cool. She was just beaming! I'm so grateful that I have had the opportunity to teach her. She also received the Holy Ghost on Sunday. :) Oh yeah, Tuesday we taught her about temple work and family history. She had gone to the Calgary Temple open house last Saturday and loved it so when we taught about temples she had a picture already in her head. We taught her about Baptisms for the dead and at first she thought that we actually unburied our dead and baptized their bodies. It was quite funny. We were able to clarify and she was so excited to call her mom and China and explain that it's not as weird as we thought. She's excited to do baptisms for her family now that she knows it's just proxy work. We also watched Finding Faith in Christ with her in Chinese. That was a neat experience too. Saturday morning Sophie took all us missionaries who taught her (Elder Wood and his new comp. Sister Roberts and her new comp. and me with my new comp.) To a Chinese Din Sum Restaurant. Din Sum is awesome! You could say it's Chinese food meets the eating style of Tacano's where they have servers who just come around and ask if you want different items. I loved it. It was more traditional Chinese food (nothing like panda express or even Hunan City). Din Sum! Yum! i will definitely go to that restaurant when I come back to visit. :)
We had stake conference yesterday and a special boundary change meeting right after. The Beaumont ward (my first area) is now a part of 3 Different wards. Crazy!!! It just goes to show how many people were in that ward. It was a huge ward!!! The boundaries don't really affect us in YSA since either way we cover all areas, but all the other missionaries will have to pass their investigators over to new missionaries. Not fun. Oh, speaking of new missionaries, so President Campbell was at a Mission president's seminar in Nauvoo the weekend after conference and they said that they did a survey with alot of the YSA in the Wasatch front and the average number of sisters who started their mission papers after the announcements were 12. One ward had 29 Sisters!!! So crazy!!! The work is progressing! No unhallowed hand can stop it! This will change the world!!! Also, they said that on average 2 countries come and tour temple square in any given year, but just since Mitt Romney's election they have had 30 Different countries tour temple square. Most of those countries don't yet have missionaries serving in them. That is so cool. The work is moving quicker and quicker. :) I'm glad that I get to be a part of it!!!
It's getting colder and colder every day. It's not supposed to get above 0 C this week. Burrrr!!! Thanks for everything! i love you all!
 Sister Thompson and her new born in the wilderness, Sister Williams
 A Three Generation Picture! Sister Jones who trained Sister Thompson who is training Sister Williams. :)
Sophie's Baptism! Sister Thompson, Sophie, and Sister Roberts
Love Sister Thompson

Monday, October 15, 2012

October 15, 2012

Dearest Loved Ones,
Transfer calls came this morning and as President Campbell told me on the phone, "All good things must come to an end." Sister Roberts and I will no longer be serving together. :( I have absolutely loved serving with her, so I'm really going to miss her. We have been super successful and I can honestly say that she has been my favorite companion. (Granted, I have had 3 other favorites). So, I have big news. Drumroll please....... I'm having a baby! That's right! I'm training! I felt like this was coming. I'm quite excited about it actually. It will be a chance for me to really grow. I don't know her name yet. We'll meet on Wednesday so stay tuned til next week to find out more. I've been reflecting a lot about where I am now and who I am as a missionary. I feel like I have grown so much! I actually feel older than I did before and I am relying on the spirit more and more each day. I have many ways that I can improve and I think this will be a great way to stretch myself. Wish me luck!
Oh! So funny thing. As Sister Roberts and I walked into the Library today there was a guy with a Utah Jazz jacket on. Pretty funny. Anyway, hmmm what's new in the Millwoods YSA. Well, Sophie is getting baptized this Friday!!! It's so exciting! She asked me to give the Talk on Baptism. That will be a new experience. I'm excited! Oh and Sister Roberts is being transferred to Kingsway YSA so she'll still be in the city. Which means that she'll get to come to Sophie's baptism. Yesterday was a very long Sunday. We were at the Whyte Ave Chapel from 9am to 6pm. (9 Hours!) We went to Millcreek YSA ward at 9am to help Sophie transition into that ward. Then we had Ward Council, met with a member before church and after, had our own ward at 1pm, met with the ward missionaries, Sophie had her baptismal interview at 4:30 at the church and then we met with her right after. We then had dinner and two other appointments that evening. Fun filled day! I prefer days like that though. It's always nice to stay busy.
Thursday we had Zone Meeting and I was asked to give a "Spiritual Snack" on Desire. The funny thing is since being in Millwoods I have been asked to give the Spiritual Thought almost every Thursday in District Meeting. Guess I just need a lot of practice. Speaking of Practice, we were able to role play with other missionaries about answering concerns using the Book of Mormon. The Zone leaders called it "Take it to the BOM!" I role played with Elder Edgel (an assistant). It was one of the coolest role plays ever. I really enjoyed it.
Something else that was pretty cool happened during Sacrament Meeting. We met with this RM Jimmy and went over the Ward Mission Plan on Saturday. He spoke in church and he brought us Sisters up. He said, "This ward has some great sisters. They came to my house yesterday and taught me the Ward Mission Plan. They also gave me a Spiritual Emergency Preparedness Kit." He then promoted giving the kit away to everyone! It was sweet! I love when people promote missionary work. :)
Well, I don't have lots of time today, have to prepare for my new arrival ;) I love you all! I also wanted to say Happy Birthday Mom! I will again be celebrating by letting a balloon go in her behalf. I hope today is good for everyone. I love you and miss you all. This just in! Elder Penrod and Elder Read from my MTC District are now Zone Leaders in the Ed North Stake. That's going to be a Gongshow!!! ha ha ha
Sister Thompson
P.S. Picture= "We're an Oreo! The Good stuffs in the middle." -Elder Scarlet, Sister Thompson, Elder Jules


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

October 9, 2012

To the ones I love,
What a week! I'm pretty sure I start every email that way these days. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY (No surprise there I'm sure.) This past week found me falling in love with serving a mission more and more. First off, General Conference. SISTERS CAN NOW SERVE MISSIONS AT 19!!!!!! This is crazy exciting news. There were about 8 sets of missionaries at the Stake Centre watching General Conference when that announcement was made. We were all completely shocked! This is definitely going to change the mission culture for the entire world. I still can't believe it. Sisters serving at 19! There are going to be a ton more Sister Missionaries (which is the best ever). :) It's crazy to think that if I was 3 years younger I could be going out on a mission the same time as all my guy friends. So weird. The Harvest is great, but the labourers are few. What a great way to get more missionaries! Also, this will mean that the boy/girl ratio at BYU and BYU-Idaho will be better. :) Definitely a plus.
Speaking of Harvesting, Sister Roberts and I went Harvesting this week. Our Ward Mission Leader taught us this finding technique that separates the wheat from the tares. We knock on the door and when someone answers we say our names and that, "We are representatives of the Savior Jesus Christ. He has sent us to your home to leave His peace and blessing. May we come in and leave this blessing?" It's awesome! More people let us in. In a half hour Sister Roberts and I were able to pray with three different people. The last one turned into an other lesson and they set up a return appointment with us. It is really neat. You are able to ask for every one's names and anything that their family is in need of at this time and include it in the prayer. It immediately brings the spirit into their home. In the prayer you also ask that they will be blessed to recognize truth as they hear and feel it. I love it! So neat!
Oh, to explain my subject line. We are teaching Sophie and it turns out she doesn't live in our area so she'll get baptized in Millcreek YSA. When we explained to her about boundaries and other missionaries she said, "You gave birth to me. Don't abandon your baby!" She is now a Sister's Request so we will continue to teach her until she is baptized but it does make things a little more difficult. Turns out she has attended Millcreek YSA before our ward and she didn't like it. Plus, she's chinese and Millcreek doesn't have any Chinese fellowshippers. It's been a slight headache, but the best thing is that she is getting baptized October 22nd :)That's all that really matters.
On Friday we met with Mike and Sheryl again. They are not actively investigating but have invited us over for dinner twice now. As we were talking with Mike he asked us some questions he had from the Book of Mormon. One of which came from the Alma 7:10. In that verse it explains that "He (Christ) will be born of Mary, at Jerusalem..." This concerned Mike. He explained that he thought this was a flaw. Christ was born in Bethlehem. Therefore, this proves that the Book of Mormon isn't true. Sister Roberts started to explain about what that could mean. As she did this thought came to me, "Alma is referring to Jerusalem as 'The Land of our forefathers.' He used the words 'at Jerusalem' so that the people of Gideon had a reference point." I had never heard of that before, but I felt impressed to say it. When I did, Mike dropped that concern. At the end of the lesson Sister Roberts asked Mike if he has prayed about if the Book of Mormon is true yet. He quickly replied, "Why would I?" As if the words were not my own, devastated that he hadn't yet, I replied, "Why would you not?" Sister Roberts and I both testified of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and once again invited Mike to pray. Later, Sister Roberts explained that she had just read about Alma 7:10 in the Book of Mormon student manual this morning and when Mike brought up that she couldn't remember what the manual had said about that. She was surprised to hear me say almost word for word exactly what it said in the manual. She asked me if I had read that before and I explained that I hadn't. Once home I looked it up and sure enough that was exactly the thought that came to my mind. It's really neat to see the Spirit work through you and to see why a companionship is so important. When both partners in a companionship are trying to teach by the spirit then both are edified and rejoice together. :)
Yesterday was Canadian Thanksgiving. It's not as big of a deal as it is in the States. We were invited by our Bishop and his family to join them. It was a good evening. Afterwards we were told not to proselyte and to not be a burden on members. Since we're YSA there was no one to meet with (everyone was with their family.) So, we and 3 other sets of Elders made Carmel apples at the church. It was really fun. I love the friendships I have gained with other missionaries. Also, for the first time I saw the Northern Lights!!!! My camera couldn't get a really good picture, but it was Awesome!!! :) So cool!
I wish I had time to write about General Conference in more detail, but sadly I do not. However, it was wonderful and I'm so grateful we have living prophets on the earth today. I encourage everyone to read and re-read the talks given. We are so blessed to have modern revelation. Don't take it for granted!
I love you all!!! Enjoy the warm weather (it's been around 11 C. Winter is coming).
Love Always,
Sister Thompson