Monday, January 28, 2013

January 28, 2013

Dear World,

Life in Drayton Valley is great! Every day is a new day and an eventful day that's for sure. Hmmm... I never know where to start. Let's start with last Monday. We had Family Home Evening with the Boehme family. They are a young family and they are so cute. Spending Monday Night with them made me super excited to have Family Home Evenings with my future family. The Family unit really is ordained of God. Dear Family- I LOVE YOU!!!

So last week I informed you about falling on the ice- well, it happened once again. This time a lot harder. To save on klicks (as missionaries we can only drive so many kilometers a month) we decided to walk one day. While walking by 7 Eleven we noticed a lady walking close by, my thought "Let's go talk to her." As we got closer, we heard her say to herself, 'Wow, it's pretty icy here.' Just then I totally ate it! I went down pretty hard. Boy did it hurt my leg and my pride. Since we were walking I had to walk the rest of the way home on a hurt ankle. I pushed myself though. I kept telling myself, "'The Pioneers walked hundreds of miles, the least I can do is 4 or 5 blocks.' I couldn't wait to get home and put some ice on it, then it occurred to me that we don't have a freezer which meant no ice. Sister Randall was unaware of this conversation I was having with myself in my head. Needless to say she got a pretty good laugh when suddenly I blurted out, "We have no ice!" Don't worry though, my ankle/ foot/ leg is doing a lot better today. We iced it the Canadian way. All you need is a Ziploc bag, some snow, and a scarf. Gotta love it! See attached picture ;) (I was trying to look really sad that I had fallen).

This week we stopped by a less active lady in the Branch. She wasn't home so we decided to shovel her porch/ steps/ sidewalk on our way out. The next day we stopped by again to see if she was home. She was outside and invited us in. We had a wonderful visit. She told us that she had just woken up from a nap when we knocked and didn't get to the door until we were just finishing and walking away. She was very grateful that we did that. I'm glad that we could take those little moments to serve. I invite everyone to take some time to slow down and look for random opportunities to serve those around you. It's a blessing for sure!

I am officially a missionary! I got bit by a dog on Tuesday. ;) We stopped by a lady in our Branch's house. She had a HUGE dog (can't remember the breed). Anyway her dog is super protective and so Sister Hutton comes to the gate to let us in and out so that her dog doesn't get us. Well, we followed Sister Hutton to the door single file, me at the caboose. Just as we got to the porch steps the dog bit me right in the rear and pulled at my skirt and jacket. That was more of a shock than anything. No worries, I came out alive and now have a story to tell. ;)

On Saturday our Relief Society had an activity about being Ambassadors for the Church. I loved it. It gave some great ideas on how we can do missionary work without being overbearing. I loved the following quote shared by Elder Ballard, "This isn't 1830... and there aren't just six of us anymore." This is so true!!!! Love it!!!!

Sunday we were able to be a part of a really neat experience. Cameron Nickle (a young man in our ward that just turned 12 years old. His Grandparents are in charge of our Housing as missionaries) received the Aaronic Priesthood. It was really cool to see his father, grandfather, and two uncles surround him and give him the Priesthood. I actually got emotional the spirit was so strong. It reminded me of this Mormon Message about the Power of God. I can't remember if I've attached it or not, but either way it's awesome!!!! :) Watch it:

Here is a scripture chain you can all check out. I love it and found it during one of my recent personal studies. :)
Alma 57:27 Why were their minds firm? Because they obeyed with exactness (Alma 57:21) Footnote for Firm= Jacob 3:2 Here we are told that we may feast upon His love if we are firm. So, how do we feast on His love? John 15:10 We keep the commandments which means we obey with exactness! :) Pretty cool hey? I loved it!

Well, my time has come to an end for the week. I love you all!!! Do something for someone else this week, pray harder, and share your testimony with someone new.

Love Always,
Sister Thompson

Monday, January 21, 2013

January 21, 2013

To the greatest people,

Life in Drayton Valley is anything but boring. We are teaching a lot people and having a lot of adventures. I'm loving it though! We are teaching the Welch Family. They are fantastic. We met with them earlier this week and invited their whole family to join. We taught them about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and used the "Egg/ Bottle demonstration" It turned out great and the Spirit was really felt. Brother Welch (Wade) asked us a question about the Resurrection and children who die as babies. The Spirit was so strong as we testified. I love lessons like that. It makes every hard day worth it.

We also had Zone Training Meeting on Wednesday and then Interviews with President Campbell on Thursday. It was weird, I only knew 4 or 5 missionaries in my Zone. Everyone in our zone is super young and the majority of Elders have only been out 8 months or less!!!! So weird. I feel so old! Sister Randall and I were definitely the oldest companionship. Interviews with President the next day were great!! I love meeting with him and Sister Campbell. Oh yeah and my "Trunky Call" came this week. Yep, it's official. The office called me to find out what airport I was flying home to. I told them Calgary. That way I can stay in Alberta and don't have to come home. :) Good idea hey? I thought so too.

Later this week we met with a sister (young mother) in the ward, Sister Phipps. She is the one who knows about Western Wats. Anyway, while visiting she got really dizzy and weak and her hands started shaking. She put her 4 month baby in a bouncer and we grabbed her some things to eat to get her blood sugar up. It reminded me of the times dad had low blood sugar, which made me grateful that I knew what to do. We kept her baby happy and kept her nourished until her husband came home about 45 minutes later. I so wished I could have held her baby. It's times like this that I wish I wasn't a missionary and could have just watched her kids while she went to the hospital. I'm grateful we were there to help in any way we could though.

This week was pretty warm until the Sunday. It got to -30 C with the windchill. Brrrrr!!!! No one showed up for our 830am missionary meeting so we shoveled all the sidewalks instead. The snow is so dry and light. I actually enjoy shoveling. :) Later that night while getting out of the car I totally ate it on the ice. Sister Randall was talking to me and then all of the sudden I was gone. ;) She couldn't see me so she ran to my side of the car and found me on the ground. She quickly ran to me and helped me up. It was funny because as she did the song "You raise me up" came to mind, but I changed it to be "You raise me up so I can stand on frozen water" instead. :) Gotta love it.

One last thing- So I spoke in Sacrament meeting my first Sunday hey? Well, One quote that I said was, "7 days without prayer make one weak." Good quote hey? Well, as we were driving through town and past our Branch President's car repair shop I saw that he put that quote on the markee sign. :) That made me super happy so of course I had to take a picture.

Love you all!!!

Love, Sister Thompson

Monday, January 14, 2013

January 14, 2013

Dearest Family and Friends,

Oh Boy! What a crazy crazy week! Seriously, if I've ever said that a week was crazy before this past week just trumped it. First, my last day in Millwoods YSA was a sad one. We were able to eat dinner with Chris and Jenn and then see Raj after. I love Recent Converts. They are amazing! I am really going to miss seeing them so often, but I know I will be staying in contact with them for sure. Transfer meeting Wednesday was fun. The Ellis' and Sister Quinton from Innisfail came to say goodbye to both Sister White (who I served with in Innisfail) and Sister Reece- both of which were going home. It was really fun to see them. They just put Elders in Innisfail so we got a picture of all of us Sisters there that served in Innisfail and the order that we were there. The only person missing that hadn't gone home yet was Sister Kuroki. After Transfer meeting and heading out of Edmonton we finally made it to Drayton Valley about and hour and a half drive. After our dinner appointment and mutual night we got to the apartment to settle in for the night.

The next day was a full day of stuff. We are on fire here in Drayton Valley. It's a branch, but we currently have 10 (almost 13) Investigators, 4 of which are on date for Baptism in February. :) Thursday we had a really neat experience. We went to lunch at Subway and as we we're waiting in line a guy in front of us said, "So, how long have you been on your missions?" This was a young guy we thought looked in his 20s. Turns out he is 18 and a less active member from BC who is working in the oil industry out here. He is super nice and offered to buy our lunch (first time that has ever happened to me as a missionary.) Anyway we talked to him at Subway for about an hour and he's thinking about coming back to church. He is amazing! I know we were meant to be there and run into him. It's great how much our Heavenly Father is in the details of our lives. We really connected with him and he really opened up to us. :) Random thing on Thursday, a lady in our ward that we met with knows about Western Wats. She is from the Philippines and knows lots of people that work there. That was a fun connection.

Our area is HUGE!!!! It takes us an hour and a half to drive to Wildwood where our Investigator Grace lives outside of. She is Native and super sweet. She has a really cool story. So her great grandfather was Cheif Yellowface. He had a dream that he would find the truth and it would come from a group of people that would be accepting of his people, something else (can't remember) and that they would have a book. We'll Chief Yellowface met members of the church in Southern Alberta and they were very accepting and the other one that I can't remember. Chief Yellowface told them this and said, "Too bad you don't have a book, I figured you were the ones who knew the truth." Then they said, "We do have a book!" They gave him a Book of Mormon and his whole tribe was baptized. Well, a couple generations later we meet Grace who was never baptized but wants to be. So cool hey?

My first Sunday in the Branch I was asked by the High Councilman to speak with him. That was super fun. I love speaking in Sacrament meeting. I spoke on prayer and used my Farewell talk since it was so last minute. Turned out awesome!!! I ended up speaking for 25 minutes. Whoops!!! ;) Oh well, it's a branch so the sacrament only took like 10 minutes totally so there was plenty of time for us. Anyway, I love this Branch! Everyone is so welcoming. It's a great area and I'm feel at home. I feel like I've already been here for months and Sister Randall and I are super excited about the work. We have a potential investigator named Travis who is 18 and really cool. He works with a couple members at The Max and we went and helped out there so we could visit with him. I'm so excited to start meeting with him this week. He loves coming to church!

So the place we live is kind of........ interesting. There is a long story, that I don't wish to repeat, as to why we are living where we are, but I'll spare you those details. Needless to say we are living in the basement apartment (if you could even call it that) of a old Baptist couple. I don't wish to worry you about our living conditions so I won't give details, but know that we do have roof over our heads and well, it's an adventure. (I'll explain more when I get home.) Well, we will be moving into a new apartment at the end of the month (SO EXCITED!!!) Anyway, last night when Sister Randall and I were starting to plan I felt kind of weird. She stopped and said, "I feel kind of weird. I don't feel very safe right now." We talked about and felt strongly that we should not stay at our house. So, we talked to our District Leader who told us to call President. I don't want to freak anyone out so needless to say, we stayed at a member's house last night and are safe. We haven't been to our apartment since leaving it last night at 10:30pm. Don't worry family!!!!! I'm okay and who knows if anything bad would have happened. We just knew we should follow that prompting and we're glad we did. Brother Curry from our ward gave us each a priesthood blessing last night too so we're all good. Oh the adventures of being a missionary!!! ;)

Well, I love you all so much! Oh to explain my subject line "You could say I'm in the middle..." I decided when i got transferred here not to tell anyone how long I've been out or when I go home. So, when people ask i say, "You could say I'm in the middle." It's funny because our Branch President announced that I was a new missionary ha ha. Brother Albers who taught Gospel Principles asked me, "are you really a new missionary? Cuz your talk didn't sound like you were." :) ha ha ha guess they will never really know until I pack my bags and go home.

Love you all!!!
Sister Thompson

Monday, January 7, 2013

January 7, 2013

Dearest People That I Love,
It's another Transfer Call day and Drayton Valley here I come!!!! I am going to the place where my trainer died (aka her last area before going home.) It's about an hour and a half west of Edmonton! It's where I went on my last exchange. Which I'm really excited about since I already met the Branch President and talked with some Non-members. (The Thompson's from Scotland and Viletta that I testified about life after death.) It's interesting because while I was there I had a feeling that I would be transferred there. :) I'm quite excited. It's also interesting because every time a transfer has happened it has also been with the area that I most recently exchanged with. :) (Exchanged with Kingsway- Sis White then went to Kingsway. Exchanged with Millwoods- I then went to Millwoods. Exchanged with Kingsway- Sis Roberts then went to Kingsway. Exchanged with Drayton Valley- I am now going to Drayton Valley!) Also, Sister Jones (my trainer) and I have now officially served in the same places. Beaumont, Innisfail, Millwoods and Drayton Valley. Pretty cool eh? So, my new companion is Sister Randall. :) Super excited. We went on Exchanges before and I think she is so wonderful. This is also her last transfer so, she'll go home this transfer and I'll go home next. Time to Endure to the End!!! :)
As for this last week- oh what a week. New year's Eve we had to be in our apartments by 6pm.We had dinner with the Ellerslie Sisters (Bunker and Nash) and then enjoyed the evening being goofy with them. We were allowed to count down to midnight, but by the time 11pm came around we were exhausted to so we counted down to 11pm. :) I can't believe it's now 2013!!! So crazy!!! Hmmm... what else to tell you about this week.
Friday evening we met with Ben Nicolson. He is so awesome!!! He has struggled with being active in the church since one of his best friends pasted away in the spring. I've been meeting with him almost every week since I've been here and it's been amazing to see him change. Well, on Friday we talked about setting goals (because of the new year). One of the quotes we read was by Elder Richard G. Scott "We become what we want to be, by consistently being what we want to become each day." I absolutely love this quote! Well, as Sister Williams read it to Ben, I realized that I had shared that quote with Ben before. After he said, "I really like that quote. I remember when you shared that quote with me before, Sister Thompson, it really got me thinking. It was after hearing that, that I became really reflective and started making more changes." It was almost like my mission had come full circle. That was awesome to hear. I know as missionaries that we are making a difference in people's lives, but it is really neat to see the fruits of our efforts. Sunday, Ben taught Gospel Principles (which is has been his calling for the past 10 months, but since he stopped attending for so long he hadn't taught it until now). He is amazing!!! I'm so grateful I've had the opportunity to help rescue one of God's children.
Since Sunday was Fast Sunday I took the opportunity to bear my testimony. I had a feeling I was getting transferred and so I didn't want to miss this opportunity. Well, once everyone kind of realized this would be my last Sunday in the ward I got a lot of people saying Goodbye. I am really going to miss Millwoods YSA. It has been a highlight of my mission for sure. I'm excited for what Drayton Valley has in store for me. I know that I am needed there and that it's going to be awesome.
Until next week, I love you all!!!
Sister Thompson and Ben Nicolson
Love, Sister Thompson