Monday, October 26, 2015

My Family

Hey family!

Happy (early) Halloween! I am SO excited for Halloween this year! Do
you know why? Because it's CAMILO'S BAPTISM! That's right! Everything
is still set and ready to go for Camilo's baptism! It will be at 1 pm
in the Petaluma building for anyone who would like to come! ;) I am so
excited for Camilo and SO so so soooo grateful for him! Camilo has
changed his life so much in the past three months in order to come
closer to God and the teachings of Jesus Christ! I am so proud of him!
I will definitely consider him a close friend for the rest of my life!

This week was great! It had its ups and downs but it was still a great
week! Some highlights from the week were district meeting on
Tuesday(but I will tell you about it later on in this letter because
it was THAT good), I went on exchanges with Hermana Gonzalez on
Tuesday and we saw miracles(being able to contact people and have
lessons with people that we have been trying to see for a while!),
while on exchanges we had a lesson with Camilo and Camilo was telling
Hermana Gonzalez how much the gospel has changed his life and how he
can't thank the missionaries and the church enough for everything and
he starts telling her how great of a person I am and this is what he
says, "Sister Thompson is just incredible and amazing...she's Jesus!"
Hahaha we both died laughing! I was really flattered by the compliment
but I would have to say that it's the first time someone has told me
that I'm Jesus. Haha Camilo is great! Other highlights, WE FOUND A
FAMILY! And you know what the best part is, THEY ARE SAMOAN/TONGAN. It
was a miracle finding them! Sister Jordan and I were trying to find a
former investigator so we go to the house where the former is suppose
to live, and a Samoan lady answers the door. "Hi, are you Julia?" "No,
Julia doesn't live here anymore. She lives in Rohnert Park now." "Oh,
well do you have a phone number that we can reach her at?" "No, but
would you come back tomorrow and teach me and my 8 KIDS?" *insert the
biggest smiles you can imagine on me and sister Jordan's faces* "We
would love too!" Haha turns out, her sister is a member and has been
trying to get a hold of the bishop here to send missionaries over to
their house! The moms name is Uleta and we've only met a few of the
kids, but I am so excited to start teaching them! So we went back the
next day, and it was a bad time, so Uleta asked us to call and set up
a time to come over! We are going back tomorrow to teach them! They
seem awesome! #Ilovesamoans Some other highlights, we had stake
conference this weekend! The Saturday night adult session was here and
Petaluma and it was really good! And then the Sunday session was at
the stake center in San Rafael! So we got to go to San Rafi for the
day! San Rafael is GORGEOUS. Stake conference was INCREDIBLE. We heard
from president and sister Wright, president and sister Hill(Oakland
temple president and wife), and the stake presidency! Man, we are
blessed with great, spiritual speakers in this stake! Later that
evening we had a meet and greet with President Kurtz(1st counselor in
stake presidency). A meet and greet is something we do at the
beginning of every transfer to get the know the stake presidency and
for them to get to know us! President Kurtz is awesome. He talked to
us last night about becoming more like Christ and we read from John 20
and 17 and let me tell you, I have never been more spiritually filled
in one meeting than I did last night. There was a quiet, powerful
spirit in that room last night. It was incredible. So grateful for
Ok, to end my letter I want to tell you about the district meeting we
had on Tuesday. The topic was "God is our Loving Heavenly Father" and
"The Gospel Blesses Families". We discussed reflecting God like love
to those we meet and helping people realize who God is and how much He
cares for us. After that, our district leader had asked each of us to
share a story of how the gospel has blessed our family or what the
gospel has meant to you and your family. As each of us told our
stories, the spirit grew stronger and stronger in the room. By the
end, most of us were in tears. I want to share with you what I said to
my district about what the gospel has meant to me and my family:
"The first thing that comes to mind when someone says family, is the
temple. Family means everything to me and knowing that because of the
priesthood and temples, I can live with my family forever has brought
me the most joy in life. I come from a family of 8. Two loving
parents, three older brothers, and two little sisters that are adopted
for Samoa. When I was eight years old, we had the opportunity to go to
the temple as a family and have my sisters be sealed to us for time
and all eternity. To be honest, I can remember that day better than my
own baptism. I can remember being in the sealing room with my family
and I will never forget looking into the eternity mirrors and seeing
my families reflection going on forever. Knowing that my little
sisters are my sisters forever...means more to me than anything else
in this world. I know that the plan of salvation is true and that
families can be together after this life. One of my favorite memories
happened while I was going through the the temple to receive my own
endowments. Most of my family was able to be there with me, my
parents, my brothers and their wives, my grandparents, and my aunt. I
remember I was one of the first ones to enter the celestial room and I
watched as each one of my family members walked in. Along the way, my
grandpa had gotten lost. So my dad went back to find him. When my dad
came back with my grandpa, my grandpa raises his hands up and says,
"We made it!" We all laughed as we welcomed grandpa. But that one
phrase has always stuck with me. We made it. I can't wait for the day
when I will see my family in the celestial kingdom and say we made it.
The blessings of the temple are real. I know with all my heart that
families can be together forever. It brings me so much joy that I have
that knowledge and now I get to share that same knowledge with others!
It has brought me so much joy and I want others to come to feel that
same joy."

I love this gospel with all my heart. I love you all and know that I
am praying for you each day!

Love always, Sister Thompson 🌻

Steve and Amelia threw me a surprise birthday party Tuesday night!
They got me a cake and steve got me a cute little stuff animal!
San Rafael Stake missionaries with president and sister wright after
stake conference

 We had a sisters lunch in San Rafael after stake conference! So much fun!

Monday, October 19, 2015

20 Years Young...

Hello everyone!

Isn't life wonderful? :)

This week was incredible! Heavenly Father is truly blessing this area!
Sister Jordan and I did a lot of Tracting and finding this week and it
was awesome! We were able to get in contact with a lot of people!

So here are some of the highlights from the week! We had dinner with a
less active member named Larry on Wednesday night! He hadn't been to
church in a LONG time and we always have a hard time getting a hold of
him! But we had dinner with him Wednesday and it was great! We were
able to leave a short, powerful dinner message about the blessings
that come from keeping God's commandments, particularly coming to
church each Sunday! On Thursday, we went over to Nanna's house and did
yard work for her in the morning! Nanna is a 77 year old lady that
isn't a member of the church and she is probably one of the funniest
people I know! We all love her! Thursday night, we got to go to a
relief society activity! It was so fun! We had a "get to know the
sisters in the ward" night! We each had to bring a gift bag with here
items in it that explained kind of who we are or what we like! Then we
had to try and guess whose bag was whose! It was great getting to know
the sisters in our ward better! I feel right at home here in the
Petaluma 1st ward! We had district meeting on Friday! That was great!
We related the movie "Like Mike" to the gospel haha we changed it to
"Like Christ"! It was a great district meeting! Our new district
leader this transfer is Elder Branson! Later that night, we had dinner
with the Randall family and I tried lamb for the first time! Not too

But I think the biggest highlight this week was the weekend! So on
Saturday morning, we went a volunteered and a community event called
The Walk to End Alzheimer's! We were in charge on monitoring the
walkers and cheering them on! IT WAS SO MUCH FUN! We made up cheers
and songs to help motivate the walkers! Haha we had a great time! I'll
send pictures! Later that day, sister Jordan and I were tracting and
on our way back to the car we met a lady named Fran out on a walk!
Turns out she had just moved to Petaluma and it was her 91st birthday!
We both gave her huge hugs and told her how amazing she was and how
much God loves her. Fran started crying because she said she's been
having a rough time and our kindness and love meant so much to her! We
got her address and she told us to come over sometime! What a miracle!
I love it when God places certain people in our path that allows us to
help them in some way! Meeting Fran definitely made my day! And to top
off the great week, yesterday was a GREAT day! So we woke up and I
opened my birthday packages! My roommates all watched and made sound
effects as I opened it haha it was good! Thank you so much for the
gifts! I LOVED all of them! Then we went to church and the word got
out that it was my birthday, so members came up and wished me a happy
birthday. Some even got me a gift! I felt so loved! I seriously am so
blessed! I'm surrounded by so many great people! But guess who came to
church yesterday? LARRY! The less active we had dinner with on
Wednesday!! It was so incredible seeing him at church yesterday and
participating in class! BEST BIRTHDAY EVER. And our recent convert
Steve, received the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday too! BEST BIRTHDAY
EVER. After church, Camilo threw a birthday bbq for me! Camilo and his
whole family were there, the Schmidt family from the ward(who I
love!), and the Spanish and second ward elders came! We had authentic
Brazilian bbq! It was SOOO good! During the bbq, I stopped and sat
back and watched everyone around me. Everyone was smiling, laughing,
and just glowing. I couldn't help but feel so much love and gratitude
at that moment. I was surrounded by people that I loved, people I had
just met, but people that I loved so much. People that I couldn't
imagine my life without them. I said a quick little prayer at that
moment and thanked Heavenly Father for allowing me to be apart of
these people's lives. Camilo got me white orchids for my birthday and
I placed them on the kitchen table. Every time I see them, it reminds
me of how truly blessed I am and how grateful I am for the wonderful
people that surround me! Seriously, the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER.

I love being a missionary. I love my mission. I love the people. I
love this gospel. I love my savior. I just love life :) I hope you all
have a wonderful week as you try a see the blessings that Heavenly
Father is pouring out upon you each day! How blessed we are!

Love always, Sister Thompson 🌻

Monday, October 12, 2015

A Week of Milestones!

Hello everyone! :)

Man, what a great first week of October! To be honest, it doesn't feel
like fall. Mostly because the weather here is still in the 70s
everyday. And I'm not complaining, but I do miss the cooler weather
that fall brings and the beautiful colors!

So to start off, let me tell you what's happening with transfers!
Sister Jordan and I are staying together for another transfer here in
Petaluma!!! I am SO happy to being staying another transfer in this
area and with sister Jordan!! I absolutely love this area and the
Petaluma 1st ward! Also, our whole apartment is staying the same next
transfer! So both of the hermanas we live with are staying! I'm SO
happy!! This next transfer is going to be so great!

So let me tell you what's been going on here in the greatest mission
in the world! Sister Jordan and I have been working hard here in
Petaluma, California! Camilo is doing sooooo good! He has been
completely clean for the past two and a half weeks!!!! CAMILO IS
LIVING THE WORD OF WISDOM!! AHHHHH!!!! He has a new baptismal date for
October 31st and he is so excited for his baptism!! Camilo says hi by
the way haha he took sister Jordan and I out to lunch today! He wanted
me to tell you all hi! He is so great and I just love him so much! His
two kids, Anna Sophia and Antonio, are also doing good! Yesterday at
church, it was the primary program and Antonio performed with the
kids! He knew all of the songs too! When I saw him up there signing
all of the primary songs, my heart just melted! And Anna Sophia has
really taken an interest in learning! It's hard though, because Camilo
has dual custody of his kids, they are only in Petaluma on the
weekends. Which makes it hard to teach them because they are usually
out doing stuff with friends and family on the weekends, so we have
been trying to get over there as much as we can to teach them! That's
why we don't have a baptismal date for Anna and Antonio yet. But we
are working on it!

We met with our new investigator Brandi again last night! She has
started praying every day which is AMAZING! Brandi has no religious
background at all, so she doesn't really know who God or Jesus Christ
are. So last night we watched the movie "Finding Faith in Christ" with
her. The movie is only about 30 minutes long, but it does a great job
of showing Christs life and what he did for us! She really liked it
and she was amazed by all the good that Jesus Christ did while he was
here on the earth! Brandi also came to church yesterday for the first
time! That was awesome! She said she is really going to try to make it
to church every week now!

So some highlights from the week! Of course, teaching our
investigators, recent converts, and less actives! Camilo, Anna and
Antonio, Brandi, Paul, Marrianne and Sue, Amelia, Steve, Sister Oler,
Brother Rowley, Cynthia, Larry, Sister Jones, and Sister Tobias! We
also went to the beach on Monday last week! We went to Dilan Beach,
which is a 30 minute drive from Petaluma! It was beautiful and so fun!
We had zone meeting on Tuesday! That was really good! I love hearing
and learning from other missionaries! Sister Jordan's birthday was on
Wednesday! So we celebrated! We had cake and we decorated her room and
just tried to make it the best day for her! She turned 24! My son is
all grown up! Haha we went tracting a lot this week and we found a few
potentials so that is exciting! We helped spread mulch at the Petaluma
Bounty Garden and sister Jordan and I got to help bathe Camilo's dog
for him! Haha we had a fun time this week!

So this up coming week is a week of milestones for me! On Thursday I
hit my 6 month mark....that came way too fast. I can't believe I've
been out for 6 months! That's crazy! Time is moving too fast! I also
turn 20 this week and I don't know how I feel about that haha my life
is moving way too fast! I remember when the brothers were turning 20
on their missions and thinking "ew, they are so old." And now I'm
here. On a mission and turning 20. Haha but I wouldn't want to
celebrate my 20th birthday anywhere else! I love being a missionary
and I love this work! It's incredible being able to see people change
their lives and come closer to Jesus Christ. I have truly seen
miracles in the short 6 months I have been out, and I am so grateful
for them. Gods hand is in our lives everyday, we just have to
recognize it! I love you all and I hope you all have a great week!

Love always, Sister Thompson 🌻