Monday, June 29, 2015

Miracles on miracles on miracles!


I just love being a missionary! I know I say that a lot, but there really is something uniquely fantastic about being a servant of Jesus Christ 24/7. I have learned so much about myself, this gospel, and my savior in the past two months then ever before. I've come to realize so many weaknesses that I have....I have a lot. It's really hard to realize them, but what better time to work on them then on a mission! I am truly grateful for this opportunity to be on a mission and I am SO happy I made the decision to serve. 

So this week was FULL of miracles. So many miracles. My heart is full of gratitude for my father in heaven and all that He does each day. Both for sister Whimpey and I, and for the people we meet. I have such a strong testimony of gods timing. Literally everything that has happened to me this year has been perfectly timed. And everyday on the mission I can see gods hand in everything. It's the most wonderful thing being able to see that. God is real and He hears our prayers.

We had the all mission conference this week! SO GOOD. It was so fun seeing all the missionaries in the mission! Theres a total of 206 missionaries in this mission! A lot of unfamiliar faces because I'm still so new, but I was surprised on how many missionaries I did know! I feel like I've made life long friends already! But we started out with president and sister alba speaking to us. I love them. They are the greatest. Their examples to me of Christ like love and hard work have truly changed me. I needed them and their examples. Heavenly Father knew that and I'm pretty sure that's why I was able to have a little bit of time with the Albas before the president and sister wright come in. Speaking of that, the wrights come in today! And the Albas leave today :( but back to the mission conference. After they talked to us, we had lunch and while we were eating, each zone performed a skit. Our zone did a song/rap about the high expectations of getting the 20-3-1 everyday. Elder Johnson and I were the rappers. It was great. Haha everyone knows me as the rapping sister missionary now. After lunch, we had a testimony meeting. Missionaries, ex missionaries, and family members bore their testimonies. The spirit was so strong in the room. At the end, sister alba bore her testimony and then president alba. It was amazing. President alba said the closing prayer and left a blessing on us and the mission. There wasn't a dry eye in the room. I have felt so blessed being able to serve so close with president and sister alba and the assistants. I have loved every second of it. Sister Whimpey and I were able to help the Albas pack and move and we also got to have dinner with the Albas yesterday with the assistants, the ward mission leader and elder and sister porter. I am seriously going to miss the Albas so much! 

So I mentioned last week how sister Whimpey and I were struggling to find people to teach and that we were praying to strengthen our faith to find. Well, heavenly father heard and answered our prayers. We were able to pick up two new investigators this past week! A 24 year old black girl named Daisy and a 60 year old man named Todd. Daisy was found by the other sisters and handed off to us and we were able to meet with her this week! She definitely has a desire to learn and has a strong faith in Jesus Christ already! She's awesome and we love her! And Todd was found by way of miracle. We were trying to go and see a potential and Todd walked by us as we walked up to the door. We were both prompted to turn around and talk to hi rather than knock on the door. Turns out, Todd was being taught by the missionaries a year ago and had been to church a couple of times but his family gave him a hard time about it so he stopped meeting with the missionaries. As we talked with him, his heart slowly began to be softened and he asked us if we could start teaching him again. After talking with him, we went on knocked on the door and a different person than we were expecting opened the door. She was super funny and nice and ended up agreeing to let us come back again. When sister Whimpey and I went back to the car, we offered a prayer of gratitude to Heavenly Father. After a week of hard work and constant rejection, we were so thankful for those experiences. Throughout the rest of the week, we saw many more miracles. God placed people in our paths and allowed us to share the gospel with so many people! I have been humbled these past couple of weeks. I have learned to rely on prayer and the spirit and that everything I am or can do, is from God. We truly cannot do this work alone. Whether a missionary or member, we need to seek guidance and strength from our Heavenly Father to help us in our responsibility to share the gospel.
I love this work and I couldn't imagine being anywhere else right now! California Santa Rosa Mission, the greatest mission in the world! I love you all! 

Love always, Sister Thompson :)

Sister Whimpey and Sister Thompson

Sunset in Santa Rosa

Sister Kristina with Pres. and Sis. Alba

Monday, June 22, 2015

Week of Crazies!!

Hello family! :)

So this week....hahahahahaha I don't even know where to begin! Let's just say, it was a week of crazies.

On Tuesday we had exchanges and sister Whimpey is my STL so I get to go on exchanges every time she does! While sister Whimpey goes with the girl she's over, I get to go with her companion! But sister Whimpey is over sister Ngawharau and sister Pett(the sisters we live with), so it's not much of an exchange haha. But I got to spend the day with sister Pett on Tuesday! Sister Pett just got here! She has only been out in the field for two weeks so it was fun talking with her and helping her get more comfortable with the mission life. It feels like just yesterday that I was in her shoes! Time goes by so fast out here! 

So sister Whimpey and I decided that we wanted to get to know the members better, since we are both pretty new to the area and Ward! We went and visited a lot of members this week and taught them about missionary work. Each family or member we visited we left the same challenge. We invited them to pray for a week to find someone that they believe is ready to receive the gospel. And we told them that we were going to pray for them as well, that we might combine our faith to find people to teach. It was awesome going around to the members home! I feel like I'm getting to know the ward a lot better! That reminds me! We visited a family, the Toleafoas, and they are from American Samoa! They're a great family with 5 kids and they all speak Samoan :) I showed them pictures of Leah and Nikki and they got really excited. One of the kids is a 15 year old boy, sooo Leah ;) haha But I'm excited for this week because we get to follow up with all the members that we left the challenge with! Hopefully we will get some referrals that have been prepared by the lord to receive the gospel! We also met with our investigators Mike and Julia this week! Mike is doing great but has not made it to church yet...he usually works on Sunday and he needs the income so it's hard for him to make the decision to come to church, but this week will be the week! Hopefully! Haha Julia and her son Brady are doing great as well. She is also having a hard time making it to church, she has a hard time meeting new people and large crowds so church doesn't sound too great to her. But she has a strong desire to learn more and make a change in her life!

So the crazies of the week...I think we had the most crazy and fun contacts/lessons in the past 4 days than ever before. Haha it was a constant stream of crazy people! But I love it! Sister Whimpey and I have had a rough week, so I think God placed all these people in our paths to give us a good laugh. Which I am so grateful for! We have been working our tails off this week to find more people to teach, but we can't find anyone interested at the moment. So we have had a lot of rejection this week and a lot of let downs. I'm not gonna lie, it's definitely hard to keep going and working when you're not finding much success. I definitely had days this week were I just felt like I was doing everything wrong. I just have to remember that no effort is wasted. That I could be planting seeds right now for future missionaries. I'm really relying on faith at this point. Faith that God is preparing His elect children and that when they are ready, we will find them. It's just a matter of patience and pushing on! But having those crazy people placed in our path made the days a whole lot better! So to start out, we went and saw a less active and her family...and it was crazy. Haha they were all a little out there(word of wisdom problems that day) and so when we came, it was like they had a audience. So they turned The Jungle Book and she started dancing and acting out the monkeys dancing and singing part. Sister Whimpey and I were laughing so hard and we couldn't believe that something like this was actually happening. They are a very blunt and forward family. So there was a lot of threats going on and a few swear words...but they were all laughing and messing with each other. We shared(attempted) a lesson with them about reading the scriptures everyday as a family. They said they would, but we are not quite sure how much of the lesson they understood. Later that day, we went to dinner with a sister in our Ward and her husband and son aren't members. It was probably the most awkward dinner I've ever been to haha the mom is super nice and social, but her family is not. They were really quiet and the questions and conversations they brought up were the weird. Like awkward weird. Haha for example, the husband asks us if we ate pork. We said yes. He then went on to describe a baby pig to us and how he couldn't imagine how anyone could eat such cute animals. We didn't know what to say to him haha it was a good thing neither of us ordered pork at dinner. As the night went on, we just kept meeting crazy people on the streets. On Sunday, we had set a return appointment with someone we met on the streets named Barbara, a lady probably in her 60s. When we met with her, she showed up drunk. Very very drunk. She was very emotional about a scripture we shared and was slurring all her words. It was bad. But we loved it anyways! Haha we also had dinner with the Ward mission leader and his wife yesterday for Father's Day dinner and sister Whimpey and I recorded a song for him. I'll send it to you :) it's great. 

So overall, it was a crazy week, but I loved every second of it! This week is going to be fun too! We have the all mission conference this Wednesday because it's the Albas last week :( but a ton of people will be there and I'm rapping in front of everyone...I'll explain next week haha I love you all! :)

Love always, Sister Thompson :) 

 The APs helping us move a really heavy couch. Elder Wright by the
window, elder Morley under, and elder Olsen on the right
I was kicking over cones and sister Whimpey took a picture. Why not?

Sister Whimpey and I :)

Me with a fire breathing dragon in someone's front yard. It really
does breath fire

Monday, June 15, 2015

Laughs on laughs on laughs

Hello family!

This week was awesome! Such an amazing week! So my new companion....literally my best friend. Haha her name is Sister Whimpey and she is from Mesa, Arizona. She's been out 15 months so she only has this transfer and the next transfer left :( but I seriously love her so much! We laugh SO hard every single day! We are a lot alike so it's just a bunch of fun together! This transfer is going to be so great! She is a HARD worker so we have a lot of goals and challenges we are doing this transfer! I love it!
So this past week we had transfers and the mini mission experience for the stake! We had a cute little 16 year old girl stay with us for three days and it was the greatest way to start of the transfer! Her name was Sister Adams and she was awesome! Sister Whimpey and I LOVED having her with us! So since we live with two other sisters, they had a girl stay with them too, sister Wilson, so there were six of us girls staying in the same apartment and it was SO much fun!! We laughed so hard every single night! At the end of the three days we had a big testimony meeting were the mini missionaries could get up and bear their testimonies about their experiences. Sis. Wilson said the funniest thing about sister Whimpey and me. She was talking about sis Ngawharau and sis Pett and how they taught her all this spiritual stuff and then so goes, "and sister Thompson, you taught me how to be cool." Haha everyone started laughing so hard and then she said "and sister Whimpey, you taught me how to not be wimpy." We were all in tears by the end because we were laughing so hard! Sister Adams got up and bore her testimony also and she also cracked a few jokes about sister Whimpey and I haha everyone was coming up to us afterwards and asking us to teach them how to be cool and not wimpy. Overall, the mini mission experience was AMAZING and I wish we had something like that back home! It gets rid of the unknown about serving a mission! 
So we had transfers on Tuesday, and I got to see all the girls that came with me from the MTC at the transfer meeting! It was so fun seeing them again and talking about our experiences we've had! Sister Whimpey is my follow up trainer(my dad) and it was hard saying goodbye to sister lesser but sister Whimpey is awesome and we are literally like long lost best friends! We worked HARD this week and I love it! We are trying hard to work more with the members and get them more involved with missionary work! I'm so excited for this transfer! I have a good feeling about it! 
So the only down fall this week that I can think of right now is that none of our investigators of less actives came to church...but the meeting was amazing. President and sister Alba gave their farewell talk yesterday. I seriously love them so much. I feel so spoiled to be serving in their Ward and that I get to see them so often. Honestly, I am going to miss them so much! 
Well know that I am working hard and loving every second of it! I love this work with all my heart! Today is my 2 month mark which means I only have 16 months left....that is so depressing! Time is going by WAY too fast! I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Love Always, Sister Thompson :) 
1. Sister Lesser and I with our investigator Mike and less active Ken.
They smile, I promise haha
2. The reunion of my MTC district
3. Sister Whimpey and I :)
4,5. Us with our mini Sister Adams!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Transfers, Octopus, and 50 first lessons...

Last day of my first transfer....

Holy moly where did the time go?!? It's crazy, missionary time is so different. Weeks are days and days are weeks! It seems like just yesterday I was stepping off the plane, but at the same time, that feels like an eternity ago! 

So this week has been crazy. Literally so many ups and downs this week! Let's start out with what is happening with transfers tomorrow. So I'm staying here in Santa Rosa! Which I am so happy about! But sister lesser is being transferred to Vallejo.........I am so sad! I absolutely adore sister lesser and we have become such good friends! Since my mom(trainer) is leaving me, I get a dad now(follow up trainer)! Her name is Sister Whimpey! I've met her already! She came and stayed at our apartment last week for MLC(mission leadership conference). She is an STL so that why she stayed here(perks of living in the apartment closest to the mission office, we get tons of sisters staying here all the time!)! But she is super cute and fun so I'm excited to get to work with her! But I'm going to be leading out the area...pray for me! Haha I'm definitely still learning the area so this should be fun! For the other girls in my apartment, sister Poulter is going home tomorrow! I am so glad I got to know her before she leaves! She has been such a huge role model for me! Definitely going to miss her! And for sister Ngawharau, she is staying here but she's becoming a mom(trainer)!! So that means there's going to be another new greenie in the house! I'm excited! Sister Ngawharau and I have become really good friends! We mess around and play jokes on each other all the time. But she's huge and she beats me up...just kidding, but really though, she's huge haha she was a professional kick boxer back home in New Zealand and she's also part of the navy. But she's awesome and I love her! So happy that she's staying here! As for the rest of my district/zone, they pretty much scattered everyone! Which I'm sad about, but change is a good thing! I'm excited to meet new people and make more friends!

So once again this week has been so crazy! So I'll just tell you some of the stuff that happened this week! To start out, PDay last week was so fun! We were suppose to go to the beach, but plans were changed and we ended up just going to the stake center to play basketball, volleyball, and football! Man! I have missed playing sports! It was so great just to throw the football around again and to be in a gym! On Tuesday, I went on exchanges again with sister Reidhead! She came to my area this time, so I got to practice leading out the area! We ended up having an awesome day! We had a great lesson with our investigator Mike! By the end of the lesson, Mike agreed to come to a church tour!! THIS IS A HUGE STEP FOR HIM! I almost started to cry because I was so happy for him! He came on Thursday to the church tour, and we had two members with us. It was amazing. The spirit was so strong and Mike is progressing so well! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! Other things that happened this week, I had dinner with the Groesbeck family Wednesday night! Sis. Groesbeck is Michelle Rays sister! They are in the Rincon Valley Ward, but it was so fun getting to know them! Such an awesome family! She is a lot like Michelle haha I love it! Also, this week we had our second lesson with our new investigator Bruce...turns out he has short term memory loss. Haha so he had no idea who we were or who Christ was. So we had to explain to him what the bible was and who Christ is! We decided after that lesson that we probably shouldn't continue teaching him because it would end up like 50 First Dates haha or in our case 50 First Lessons! Haha sister lesser and I had a good laugh about it. We also went to a super sketchy Chinese restaurant this week with a member! Haha they had really weird food there, but we ate it anyways! Haha I'll send pictures :) and a video of me eating mini octopus haha kinda weird! 

Part of the downs this week included finding out transfers(because sister lesser is leaving ): ), and our investigator Wally. Wally called us early Saturday morning and told us that he no longer wanted to meet with us....dagger to the heart. He told us that he had written a letter to us explaining why he came to this decision and he wanted to give it to us that afternoon at the church. When we met him at the church, he told us that it was the hardest decision he has ever made and that he just felt uncomfortable pursuing the Mormon religion. Sister lesser and I are still really confused. Wally had come to church last week, his lessons were going well, and he had a baptismal date for the 20th of this month...Wally was progressing so well! He even said that he loved church and learning and ultimately he wanted to be baptized! So we don't know what happened! We told Wally to keep reading the Book of Mormon and to call us if he ever needs anything. But losing an investigator and a friend is so hard! Not a fun experience but we have to understand that everyone has their own agency. It's their choice to accept our message or not. But you just want the best for them because you grow to love them! 

So something really cool that is going to happen this week is the stake is putting on a MTC experience for the priests and laurels in the stake! So for three days, a laurel is going to be staying we us, eating with us, going to lessons with us, and just seeing what it's like to be a missionary! So cool huh? I wish our stake had something like this growing up! I think I would have been more inclined to go on a mission for sure if I knew what it was like! So we get a cute little mini missionary with us for three days this week! So excited! 

I love California, I love this gospel, I love this work, and most importantly I love my savior! I hope you all have a great week! I love you!

Love Always, Sister Thompson :) 

1. Sis. Ngawharau and sister lesser and I in coordinating colors :) not planned
2. Idaho Dr.!
3,4,5. My zone! Love all of them!!

1. Our reactions when we found out transfers....haha
2. Sister lesser and sister Ngawharau and I crashing on the floor

1. Pretty sunset. View from our front door
2. My plate at dinner at the Chinese restaurant. Mini lobster, mini
octopus, shrimp, half a crab, and a fried frog leg. YUM
3. Octopus
4. Lobster
5. Famous San Francisco sourdough bread bowl and tomato soup from
Boudins! So good!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Hello from Nor Cal :)

Happy PDay and happy June!!

I can't believe it's June already! May just flew by! So did this past
week! We've been staying pretty busy so the days have been starting to
blur together! I also want to say thank you for all the letters I've
been getting in the mail! Especially from the girls back home that are
all about to leave on missions this month! It means so much to me
getting letters and emails from you all!! To all the girl preparing to
serve, the only advice I have for you is to have courage. Don't be
afraid to dive right in and get to work. When you come out, be willing
and unafraid to try everything. The Lord is with you. ALWAYS. Remember
that and you'll never be afraid. You were all born to do this!

So this past week was awesome! Haha like every other week(just being a
missionary in general is awesome!). So I had the opportunity to teach
at district meeting this past week! Such a great experience, I loved
it! I thought it went really well! And we also had tech. training this
week too! We have tech. training once a transfer usually and it's just
the tech elders coming and talking to use about new rules and stuff to
know about the technology we use while on our missions! This week we
learned that we are getting Facebook back next transfer! They didn't
give us too much detail about it, but we are going to start
proselyting online again soon! I'll tell you more about it as soon as
I find out more about it haha.
Teaching our investigators this week was great! So we met with Mike
this week. He is still going strong but still has a hard time
committing to come to church. He has a hard time around crowds, but he
said he was getting some medication for it so he should be able to
come sometime in this next month! I really hope he can come! He is so
solid and has a great desire to learn and make a change in his life.
But our investigator Wally came to church yesterday for the first
time!!!!!!! It was awesome! They called a new bishopric yesterday so
Wally got to hear the testimonies of the old bishopric and the new!
Also, during sacrament meeting sis. Lesser, myself, sis. Poulter, and
sis. N sang! We sang a song called "Carried By Love". It turned out
really great! I sang the tenor/bass part up an octave :) Sis. Lesser
and I also had a few less actives make it to church yesterday! It
makes me SO happy seeing people make it to church! I told sis. Lesser
that there's two types of missionary work: welcoming into the fold
sheep who have never been there, and returning to the fold sheep who
were once apart of it but were lost. So having investigators AND less
actives come to church is so awesome!! We also picked up a couple new
investigators this week!! Julia, who is a lady with a 12 year old son
and lives by us, and Bruce, an older guy who lives in a clean and
sober house just wanting to learn! Julia is super interested and wants
her and her son to be baptized! But she is so hard to get a hold of!
And Bruce, we have only taught once but we have another appointment
with him this week so we will see how that goes! I LOVE MISSIONARY
WORK. Being on a mission makes me wish that I would have helped out
the missionaries back home a lot more. Working with the members is SO
helpful as a missionary! I wish I would have done more for them!

So dad, guess what? I had fish for the first time this week...and I
didn't die. Not as bad as I thought it would be haha but still a
little weird. You learn a lot on your mission ;) I absolutely love
having dinner with the members every night! I have gotten to know the
ward pretty well and I love it! I'm sad that I'm going to leave this
Ward someday! Speaking of that, transfer doctrine comes out this
Friday! Which means this is week 6 of this transfer! So next week on
Tuesday is when transfers actually happen, but we find out where
everyone is going this Friday. Most likely, I'm going to be staying
here. It's common for greenies to stay in their first area for at
least the first 12 weeks of their missions. But who knows what will
happen! The APs know me pretty well so they might think I can handle a
new area already or a new trainer or they might keep sis. Lesser and I
together for a little bit longer! I hoping for the last option haha I
love Sister Lesser! We work really well together and we work hard!
Plus, if I stay and she leaves, that would mean I would be leading out
the area. Which I'm not sure I'm ready to do that! But we will find
out soon enough!
I hope you all have a great first week of June and that you remember
to pray always! I love you!

Love always, Sister Thompson :)

1. Elder and Sister Seely are leaving today :( elder Seely was the
vehicle coordinator and sister Seely was the office secretary! Sad to
see them leave! They lived right next door to us!
2. A selfie with them :)
3.  The sisters of the mission mansion :) Sister Ngawharau, sis.
Poulter, me, and sister lesser

1. Some of the films that were shot here!
2. My district! Sis. Lesser, me, sis. Reidhead, sis. Titensor, elder
Blake, elder prince, elder Frodsham, elder Beeston!
3. There is golden state stuff everywhere here and I love it!!
4. Sis. Lesser and I :)
5. I matched the garage door so I took a picture haha