I'm sorry that my email last week wasn't too detailed! I was still trying to figure out everything so I didn't write in my journal too much, but I made it a goal to do it from here on out! Also, here's more info about my mission so far. My first area is the Santa Rosa north area and I'm serving in the brush creek ward along with the APs. The mission office and the mission home are in my ward boundaries! My companion is sister Lesser! She's from Brigham city Utah and has been out on the mission for a year! We get along so great and I couldn't have asked for a better trainer! Santa Rosa is beautiful! And the weather is perfect, all day, everyday! Mission life is THE life! So here are my journal entries from this past week! Oh and just a heads up! My PDay next week will be on Wednesday because we are going to the temple! I get to go to the Oakland temple next week and I am SO excited!!
5.4.15- PDay! Woke up at 6:15 to get our exercise clothes on, and then out the door at 6:30 to exercise for 30 minutes. Sister Alba is super big into fitness so she started a program called Shape Up Santa Rosa, where we go outside at 6:30, run for 15 minutes in one direction, turn around, and run back for 15 minutes. Then from 7-8 we eat breakfast and get ready. At 8 we have personal study, then at 9 we have companion study, and then for the greenies, from 10-11 we have 12 week training where we basically go over the basics of being a missionary for the first 12 weeks of your mission! Then on a normal day, we usually go contacting til lunch, eat lunch, more contacting, tracking, and lessons until 5 where we have dinner with a family in the ward with the APs. Then more lessons until 9pm. Then we come back, do nightly planning for 30 minutes, then get ready for bed and have to be in bed at 10:30. But today, since it's PDay, we got to go grocery shopping and we got to clean our car and apartment! We did that until 5 and then we had a dinner appointment at the bishops house! The Skabelunds are so nice and they live in a really wealthy part of town. Most people here serve us really healthy food haha we always have salads and fruits and veggies. After dinner, most of our appointments fell through, so we went finding! We had a hard time finding tonight. Everyone we talked to wasn't interested and some people were super rude about it. So we put up with a bunch of rejection for about two hours, and just to add the cherry on top of the night, the last door we knocked on, an older lady just went at us haha she told us what we were doing was a waste of our time and that God doesn't exist. She threw in a couple swear words here and there and then slammed then door. Right when she closed the door, a Nacho Libre quote came into my head. "And that is a crazy lady." I couldn't help but laugh all the way back to the car! Whenever we get rejected, yeah I'm sad they don't want to hear the good news of the gospel, but I know that every person we talk to, we are planting a seed. Maybe that mean lady will remember how rude she was to the missionaries that one time and feel bad and listen to what the next missionaries have to say. You never know!
5.5.15- Woke up, exercised, got ready, personal study, companion study, and then 12 week training! Then we ate lunch and then drove to the church to get wifi so we could update our area book on our iPads. We usually have to do that everyday so that both of our iPads are up to date with each other. Then we drove to Slater Street, parked, and started tracking and contacting! We knocked on doors and talked to people on the streets for almost two hours! It was awesome! I'm definitely getting a lot better at door approaches! Some people let us in, others just take a pamphlet, others just a pass along card, and some don't want anything to do with us haha its a pretty good time no matter what though! There we two men doing yard work in their front yard so we went and started talking to them. They pretty much just wanted to bash with us, but they were asking a lot of questions about the Book of Mormon. While one of the guys was saying all these crazy things about the Book of Mormon, my heart started pounding so hard! The spirit told me to testify of the truthfulness of the book. So I did. Haha I walked right up to the man, looked him straight in the eye, and bore the strongest testimony of the Book of Mormon and the gospel of Jesus Christ. He immediately changed his attitude towards us and accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon. It was awesome. I was so pumped afterwards! Around four we had a lesson with one of our investigators Mike. He's a 40 year old man living in a clean and sober home. We taught him about repentance and using the atonement. It was an awesome lesson and the spirit was definitely there! At the end, I asked him if he would be baptized and he SAID YES! We set a baptismal date for him on June 6th! Which for him is totally awesome because about a month ago when the missionaries first started teaching him, he wouldnt even pray or commit to anything, so this is so great! Then we went to dinner at Elder and sister Porters house! They are the senior couple over housing in our mission and I just love them! Such a sweet couple! After dinner, we were going to see a older lady living in an assisted living home, but we couldn't find her so we went and visited a sister in our ward named Chris. Turns out she is moving in two weeks and was having a hard time with it. We were prompted to ask her if she wanted a priesthood blessing and she said she had been wanting one for a while now! We told her we would call around to get someone over the next day to give a blessing. But as we were driving away from her house, the Spanish elders just happened to drive by! We called them and asked if they could give her a blessing tonight! So about 10 minutes after we left Chris's house, we were back with two elders to give a blessing! She said tonight was an answer to her prayers! God definitely works in mysterious ways and is mindful of all His children!
5.6.15- (HAPPY BIRTHDAY SEANZY!) Zone conference today! We heard from President and Sister Alba in the morning, had lunch(provided by the relief society. Made me think of mom:)), and then we broke off into groups and heard from each of the APs. I absolutely love the APs haha they serve in the same ward as sister Lesser and I so we have all of our dinner appointments together. There are all incredible missionaries! Elder Mulleneaux, Elder Wright, and Elder Morley are like three peas in a pod! Oh, also at zone conference, the y installed DAP into all of our cars. Driver Accountability Program. It's a little box that pretty much acts like the black box in a airplane. It reports everything we do haha. I feel like I'm taking my drivers test now every time I drive! DAP also tells us when we are going too fast, driving too aggressively, and pretty much everything else. You get strikes for every violation you commit, and once you hit 7 strikes, you loose driving privileges. Kinda scary, but I'm feel like I'm a good driver so I should be ok! After zone conference, Sis. Lesser and I went a visited a less active named Tammy. We talked to her about the importance of church attendance and she said she would keep trying but it's hard for her. She has a lot of mental and health issues. She's had a pretty rough life, and things just keep getting harder for her. Then we went to dinner at the McFairlands house! Delicious food and great company! The. We came back to our apartment to prepare for our next lesson. We were going to teach a less active named Terry. He's an older man who lives with his 90year old mom. He has a hard time remember to read his scriptures, so we decided to cut out pictures of the scriptures and of Christ from the Ensign to hang up all over his house! When we got there, we talked with him about the importance of the Book of Mormon and how you can know for yourself that it is true. His mom, we call her Grandma, and a member from the ward, Bro. Willis, were there and they helped us teach. Having a member present in a lesson is so helpful! Its awesome what they have to say and the input they bring! The spirit was so strong and Terry has a new desire to pray and read daily! I love the spirit so much! The spirit is what makes our investigators and less actives want to make that change in their lives!
5.7.15- What an awesome day! So in our mission we have the 20-3-1 goal(contact 20 people, teach 3 lessons, and invite one person to be baptized every day!), and today we got 27-5-1! It was awesome! After studies and lunch, our zone went to the food bank to volunteer! We go every Thursday usually and work for two hours! It's so fun being with all the elders and sisters just laughing and talking! After that, sister Lesser and I went contacting downtown for an hour. And we talked to everyone! It doesn't count as a contact though unless you state your purpose as a missionary to them. Whether it's saying you're a servant of Jesus Christ, or inviting them to learn more of Christ and come unto him, it counts as a contact. Around 4 we went over to mikes place and did a Book of Mormon reading lesson with him. That when we just read with him in the Book of Mormon and help him understand what's going on. We read about the tree of life vision so it was awesome to explain it to someone who was reading it for the first time! Mike has such a sweet spirit about him! We asked him to give the closing prayer, which he was very hesitant about, but he gave it and it was the most heart felt prayer I have ever heard! The spirit was so strong! After our lesson with Mike, we had dinner at the Wellisch family home! They're a younger couple with four little kids running around the house. Their oldest is 9 and the youngest is almost two! So I decided that with the dinner message I was going to play a game with them haha we played Simon says! It was so fun playing with the kids! We taught them how important it is to listen and obey the words of the prophets! We challenges them to read from the scriptures everyday as a family and I asked the kids to come up to me at church on Sunday and tell me what they learned from the scriptures this week! After dinner we met with a less active lady in the ward named Donna. She's having a hard time I life, she lives in a clean and sober home and can't hold a job. She tries to come to church but doesn't understand the importance of always working at building your testimony strong. It's hard to teach people that don't have any motivation to come closer to Christ! After that, we met with one of our investigators named Wally! Wally is an 68 year old attorney that took the missionaries lessons five years ago and decided about three months ago to start taking them again! He understands and loves everything about this gospel! It's awesome! We taught him the third lesson which is the gospel of Jesus Christ. We invited him to be baptized, but he said he wants more time to understand but that he is definitely leaning towards it! He really wants to and he said its going to happen sooner than later! Which is really exciting! After we met with Wally, we met with another less active in the ward. Her name is Chris and she is a single lady that is deaf. She went deaf in her 20s so she can still speak pretty well and she can read lips like a pro so we are able to teach her still! We went just to check up on her and it turns out she has been having a really rough time. She suffers from depression so it's hard for her to find motivation to do anything. Sister Lesser and I both bore strong testimonies of the importance of turning towards God and Christ in the hard times in life and how they can help you no matter what the problem. The spirit was so strong and it was definitely something she needed to hear! God definitely sends us to people right when they need it the most! It's amazing and I love it so much! Being a missionary is awesome!
5.8.15- Weekly planning day! So we did our exercising and studies in the morning and then from 12-4 we did weekly planning! Every Friday is weekly planning, it's where we go through our calendar and plan out the whole next week. What people we are going to teach and when, what we are going to teach them, and what goals we want to achieve in the week to come! It takes forever haha that's why it takes all day! At 4, we had a church tour with Wally! It was fun showing him around the church and what goes on in each room! Then at 5 we went out to dinner with the Heyers. Sis Heyer is a member but her husband is not. They took us out to a little diner in downtown Santa Rosa called Adels. It was really good! Good food and good company! After dinner we went back to the apartment and finished weekly planning and the we went a visited a less active, bro Holdway. He's a older man that is physically handicap so he has a hard time getting around. He has a strong belief in the gospel, but has a hard time making it to church. We go visit him just to help him out and to share a short message with him. He is such a sweet man and loves the missionaries! He has three cats and one of them, Coach, really likes me haha he's the one that jumps onto my shoulder! It's crazy!
5.9.15- Today we volunteered at a big community event called The Human Race! It's a big 10k that is put on by different companies from around town! All the missionaries in my zone went and helped out from 6:30am to 11:30! I was in charge of face painting for the little kids! Haha it was awesome! I got to paint anything from making someone look like a fox, to little rainbows and snakes and butterflies! It was so fun! When we got home, we got ready, ate lunch, and then I made gooey butter bars for the ward talent show tonight! After that, we went downtown and contacted! I absolutely adore downtown Santa rosa! And it's so fun talking to everyone we pass! Then we went and visited sister Peterson in the ward. She lives at a assisted living home and she's starting to get amnesia. Her daughter, who is the ward mission leaders wife in our ward, asked us sisters to go and visit her and just talk with her about her life. At 5 we had dinner with a less active family in the ward, the Hackwells. After that we went to the ward talent show for a little bit and then went and visited some more people! I know I say this a lot, but being a missionary is seriously the best!
5.10.15- happy Mother's Day!! Had an awesome time at church today! The talks and lessons were great! And then we had dinner with the McOmbers around 3:30! Bro. McOmber is the ward mission leader! He made us BBQ steaks, and they were so good! Then we got to skype home at 5! It was so fun talking with the family again! I feel like I haven't really left yet because I talked to my parents on the phone at the airport like two weeks ago, and now I got to skype home! But now it's time for the long stretch...I have to wait until Christmas now! But I'm sure the time will go by fast! After we skyped home, we went and visit Chris again. She is still having a hard time, so we asked if she wanted a priesthood blessing. She should be getting one in a couple days and I think it will really help! I love this gospel!
Love, Sister Thompson