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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Miracles!

Hey family!

So this week was AWESOME. I am on missionary cloud nine right now!!
Here are the highlights from my week!

So Nathan...!!!!! AHHHH! Literally, he is perfect! So get this, we
were able to teach him all the lessons this past week and he IS
GETTING BAPTIZED THIS SATURDAY!! He was the one that just walked into
church two weeks ago and now he's getting baptized!!! MIRACLE!! Nathan
is literally like the coolest guy ever! So he is 34 and he's grown up
in Nor Cal. He is a retired BMX biker(won the World Cup in 2004 sooo
no big deal), and he is the most down to earth, humble guy ever. He
took us go carting today which was super fun! But yeah, he is getting
baptized this week and we are SO EXCITED!

So teaching Nathan took up most of our week, which was awesome! We
taught him in a few different members homes but one day we went to his
work and taught him there and it was so cool. So he works for a
multi-millionaire. He remodels her home for her and let me tell you,
it was the coolest house I've ever been in. The house is worth well
over 2.5 million dollars and Nathan gave us a tour of it before we
taught him. Oh man, that house was crazy. At one point he opened up a
closet which had six purses in it, he then told us that each purse was
worth over $5,000....it was crazy. Haha the lady that owns the house
even has a self portrait of herself like you see in all the movies. It
was great. Anyways, Nathan's lesson this week were AMAZING! He is so
prepared by the Lord!!

We also taught Lora this week! She is doing awesome! Love her to
death! And we taught the Pachecos a couple times and also did service
for them! I love the people here in Fairfield!

So other than that, we did a lot of service this week and had lots of
fun teaching the gospel! Sorry my email isn't very good this week,
didn't have much time to write today! But know that I am doing well
and so excited to have a baptism this week! I love you all!



Love always, Sister ThompsonšŸ



Go carting today!

Monday, July 18, 2016

In the Refiners Fire, But At Least I'll Come Out Polished ;)

July 17, 2016
Hey friends and family!

Things were still crazy at the beginning of this week, but things are
starting to calm down. As you can see from my email subject line,
these past few weeks have definitely been the refiners fire for me.
There's a song called "More" that I really like and I'm going to quote
part of the chorus because it fits in quite nicely with all of this.
"Could I be more faithful and devoted? Could I be more worthy of thy
name? Will you polish and refine me and make me stronger than before?
Through You I can become more." About a month ago, I asked Heavenly
Father for a trial. Something that would push me to be better. And He
definitely heard my prayer haha but because of it, I am more faithful
and devoted. I feel more worthy to hear His name. I feel like I'm
being polished and refined. I know that through Him, I have become
more.

So Monday last week, things with Sister Smith and Sister Day(the the
sisters living with us) were going good. For dinner that night we went
out with the Kellenbecks! It was such a fun dinner! Love that family!
Tuesday morning we had district meeting, lunch, a solid lesson with
Lora, and then service. Buuuuuuut, at service Sister Smith calls us in
tears. And to make a long story short, Sister Smith and Sister Day
just couldn't make things work. So Sister Smith came with Sister
Stromberg and I for the rest of the day and Sister Day went with
another companionship while President Wright prayed about an Emergency
Transfer. Luckily, the other exchange we had planned for that day got
moved so we were able to give all our attention to Sister Smith and
Sister Day. The APs called later that evening and let us know that
Sister Smith would be staying in the area and getting a new companion
and Sister Day would be leaving and going to a Novato.

Wednesday, we picked up Sister Day in the morning and brought her back
to our apartment so she could pack up everything. Let me tell you, the
tension in our apartment with Sister smith and Sister Day both there
was crazy high. Like spirit gone. So I think it was a good thing they
were separated. Anyways, Sister Stromberg went with Sister Day for the
day so she could say goodbye to everyone in her area and I was with
Sister Smith for the day, helping her pack up her things because she
and her new companion would be moving back into their apartment that
night. After dinner, we all meet back up and we drove down to Vallejo
where we met with the sisters that they would be transferring with.
The other sisters weren't too happy about the ET because they were
really good friends and didn't want the change. But the ET happened
and we drove back up to Fairfield with Sister Smith and her new
companion. And let me tell you, the spirit in the car was like night
and day difference from earlier. Sister Stromberg and I talked about
that later that evening after the sisters were gone. The spirit was
SOOO different in our apartment when it was sister smith and sister
day compared to sister smith with her new companion. It was definitely
a good thing they got ETed. After the sisters left our apartment
Wednesday night, Sister Stromberg and I just sat on the couch. Our
apartment was a mess, it was late, and we were tired.

Thursday, we helped Sister Cordova move out of her house. It was super
hot that day and we were moving all of her things into a storage shed,
so all of us missionaries were sweating so bad haha it was 101 that
day but inside the storage shed it felt ten degrees hotter. I had to
shower when we got home haha the rest of our day was good.

Friday, was a good day! We had another awesome lesson with Lora and an
awesome lesson later that night with Jason Kellenbeck! Lora is doing a
lot better this week. She said she prayed so hard last week and has
come to terms with the fact that it might be a while until she can be
baptized. Jason is also doing super well! He is progressing SO much!
It's awesome! We have a tight relationship with him which is great
because he use to not like sister missionaries at all!

Saturday was a great day! We tried visiting a YSA guy with the
Fairfield 3rd Ward elders because they had found him a couple weeks
ago and wanted to pass him off to us, but he wasn't home. So we went
to the church and updated our mormon.org profiles. Our mission is
really focusing on using mormon.org more and so they asked all of us
to update our profiles! They will be making all of us our very on
Mormon.org pass along cards, so that's pretty cool! I get to hand out
pass along cards with my picture on it! Haha we had a Pioneer Day Ward
party later that evening! It was super fun seeing the Ward! I love
this Ward a lot! Lora came to it so it was fun seeing her make new
friends! We left the party early so we could go visit the Pacheco's
and the murakamis! Both are doing good! Ally is in So Cal for the
whole month of July so we had a good visit with Sister Murakami! When
we got back to the apartment that night, I was in such a good mood.
There had been so much drama going down in the past couple of weeks
with other missionaries that it felt like I hadn't done actual
missionary work in ages. So going and visiting people that day was SO
nice.

Sunday was game day! We woke up, went to Ward council, then Cordelia
1st Ward! Lora came, sister Murakami came, and Shirley and Jessica
came! Shirley is still moving at the end of August and is still
working like crazy! But she wants to get baptized before she moves! So
hopefully that will happen soon! But get this, a guy walked into
church last week and stayed for all three hours, and he came again
this week! His name is Nathan and he is a 35 year old guy. He said he
use to date a Mormon girl a while back and she tried converting him
but he didn't want it. He said that that was the biggest mistake of
his life. Anyways, he is basically our new golden investigator and he
just walked into church! Like WHAT? Haha when does that happen?
Actually, that happened back in Petaluma with Steve! Haha he just
walked into church and he was baptized two month later! But we have
our first lesson with Nathan tonight! He is awesome and we are SO
excited to start teaching him! Hopefully he will be baptized within
this transfer! Miracles!! Anyways, YSA Ward was good! Then we went out
Less Active finding with the Cordelia 1st Ward relief society
president for the rest of the afternoon. Dinner at the Galtens with
the Thomas's, the Mixs, the Durhams, the Rices, and the Lords! It was
like another little Ward party at their house! Haha we all laughed and
had a great time! Then we drove to Vacaville for the meet and greet
with the stake presidency there! Only us and the ZLs and the Vacaville
missionaries go to that one. The stake presidency asked that only the
zone leadership comes to the meetings in Vacaville, so that's us!
Overall, it was a great Sunday!

The Ward party Saturday night!
With Lora and the Ward party!
This is Tanner! He is Sister Chambers little boy and he is the cutest
thing to ever walk this planet haha we love him!



We are getting back into the swing of things over here! The Lord is
sending miracle after miracle to us! I'm so thankful for all the
prayers and words of encouragement I received from all of you! I truly
felt strengthened by them! I love this work so much. I love this
gospel and know with out a doubt that it is true. I still have my
struggles, but it makes life fun :) How grateful I am for trials! I
love you all and hope you have an awesome week!

Love always, Sister ThompsonšŸ
Pics:
7/11 day!
Dinner with the Kellenbecks!
Some of us missionaries after Foodbank service!
Elder Scow(who is 6'6") and I with out Wildlife Wednesday shirts on!
We tried making a W with our hands haha

























Random pictures from downtown Fairfield:






Monday, July 11, 2016

What just Happened?

Hello family and friends!

Oh my goodness gracious...get ready for the most complicated email
ever. This past week has been C-R-A-Z-Y. Crazy. Like the most hectic,
dramatic week of my entire life. At one point I felt like giving up,
that's how bad it was. Oh the joys of being a busy STL. But don't
worry, I still love my mission and love being a missionary :)

Ok, so here's how my week went...and because of missionary leadership
confidentiality, I'm going to change the names in this email so you
won't know who I'm talking about but you will understand what happened
this week. So to start out, Tuesday morning was Zone Meeting. Sister
Stromberg needed to go down to Vallejo to teach in their zone meeting,
so we car pooled with some sister down there early in the morning,
dropped her off, and then drove back to Fairfield for our zone
meeting! Our zone meeting went super well! The zone leaders and us had
made some super funny videos the night before to help with each of our
segments. And in each of the videos, we used missionary's last names
as puns in the video. It was hilarious. Anyways, zone meeting was all
that and a bag of chips, then we met back up with my companion with
the sisters we would be exchanging with that day at our apartment,
Sister Smith and Sister Day(names have been changed). I went with
Sister Smith for the day and Sister Stromberg went with Sister Day.
These two sisters had been struggling a little bit last transfer, but
we all assumed that they worked it out. We all assumed wrong. Sister
Smith immediately opened up to me about EVERYTHING. Sister Smith and I
have a super close relationship, so she was able to finally just let
it all out. Sister Smith has struggled with anxiety and depression for
most of her life, and her companion was not helping it at all. It had
gotten so bad that Sister Smith was only getting about two hours of
sleep at night and she had lost quite a bit of weight in the last
couple of weeks. So as the exchange goes on, Sister Smith realizes
that she can't find her purse, which has her iPad and her wallet in
it. We spend a good two hours looking for it, retracing our steps,
trying to find her belongings. Turns out, it had been stolen. So after
dinner we get in the car and Sister Smiths anxiety kicks in. So while
I'm trying to calm her down, we drive to the church and have the zone
leaders help us locate her iPad. What ends up happening that night is
we can't find her iPad, but President and Sister Wright came to the
church and talked with Sister Smith and I for a long time. Sister
Smith opened up about everything to the Wrights. Sister Smith is
mentally and physically not stable at this point. Her medication she
has been taking isn't working very well anymore, so she has had a hard
past 8 weeks with her companion. The way her companion had been acting
around her was a trigger for her anxiety and Sister Smith is just he
nicest person in the world so she didn't have the heart to talk to her
companion about anything. So President and Sister Wright council with
me on what I think would be best in this situation. We came to the
conclusion that Sister Smith needs to regain her physical health
before she can talk to her companion about things. So we came up with
a few possibilities, but president wright wanted to pray about things
first. So I took Sister Smith back to our apartment and let her sleep.

The next day, Wednesday, was zone conference(that's where President
and Sister Wright and the assistants come and train us!) and us STLs
and zone leaders were asked to prepare a segment to teach. So we
exchanged back in the morning, and then drove to Vacaville to meet up
with the zone leaders to prepare for our segment that we were going to
teach. The whole time during zone conference, Sister Smith was shaking
and would look over at me like she was about to cry. The poor girl was
physically scared to be around her companion and it was taking the
biggest toll on her body. Anyways, zone conference was super good! The
zone leaders and us taught about gossip and slang words on the mission
and how we can stop it. We did super cool activities with it and now
all the missionaries are starting to clean up their language! It's
awesome! We are all holding each other accountable, so it's great!
After zone conference though, President Wright talked to Sister Smith,
Sister Day, and Sister Stromberg and me. He decided that he was going
to have Sister Smith and Sister Day move in with us for a little
while. So we helped them pack up a few things and moved them into our
apartment. Sister Stromberg and I had our stake correlation meeting
that night, so we went to that and discussed the missionaries and
members in our stake. Lots of meetings. When we got home, Sister Smith
told us that President had called and asked her to drive to Santa Rosa
the next day to meet with the mission counselor. President asked me to
drive Sister Smith there because Sister Smith has become attached to
me, like she feels at peace around me and her anxiety isn't as bad
with me around.

So Thursday morning, I drive Sister Smith to Santa Rosa for the
morning while my companion stayed in Fairfield with Sister Day. But
Sister Stromberg woke up super sick. So I was worried about her the
whole day. Anyways, Sister Smith had a two hour meeting with the
mission counselor. Turns out, things are a lot worse than we thought
with Sister Smith. When President found out the results for her two
hour meeting, he decided to have Sister Smith come and live with the
Wrights in the mission home for a few days. So we drove back to
Fairfield, packed up Sister Smiths things, and President and Sister
Wright came and picked her up. Meanwhile, my sweet companion had been
trying to push through her sickness, but needed to rest. So President
Wright put Sister Day with some other sisters while her companion
would be in Santa Rosa getting the help she needed. Later in the
evening, we had our YSA correlation meeting. More meetings. And then
we came home and discussed everything as a companionship. Then we
crashed.

Friday, was a rough day for me. We had PPIs with the zone leaders in
the morning where we discussed our transfer goals, but we mostly
discussed everything that has been going on. We were the last
companionship to have PPIs, so the zone leaders told us some of the
other companionships in our zone that were struggling at the moment
and needed our help. We talked with the zone leaders for a while, then
we had a lesson with Lora. This is where my heart couldn't take it
anymore. Lora told us that she received news that she wasn't going to
be able to marry the man she is currently living with, so that means
her baptism isn't going to happen in August like she wanted. Lora was
in tears as she explained the whole situation to us. Lora asked for a
priesthood blessing, so the elders came over and gave her one. My
heart was hurting so bad at this point. Not only were the missionaries
struggling that we are over, but our own investigator was struggling.
We went chalking with our district afterwards, and then we came back
to our apartment to start weekly planning. Before we could even start,
a couple more people called us with problems and struggles, asking us
to do this and that, and I just lost it. I literally had a mental
breakdown. I'm usually pretty good at handling stress, but my heart
couldn't take anymore and I just sat down and cried. I haven't cried
like that in a really really long time. But of course, right as all of
this is happening, President Wright calls. His timing is always
impeccable. I tried pulling myself together to talk to him on the
phone, but it didn't work. So now President knows I had an emotional
breakdown on Friday. Haha president joked around with me on the phone
saying "oh great, you know everything is really bad when one of your
top missionaries on the mission loses it." Haha I told him that that
statement wasn't true and that I'd be ok. Right after this happened,
the zone leaders called us and they needed us at the church for
something. And of course my eyes were red from crying, so right when I
walk in one of the elders says, "sister Thompson, what's wrong with
your face?" Classic elder move. Haha

Saturday, we had a zone blitz in the morning, lunch, and then Sister
Stromberg, who is still sick as a dog at this point, needed to rest so
we pretty much rested the whole day. Which was good for me, I needed
it also. Sunday, Sister Stromberg was still sick, so we stayed home
from church that day. Which ended up being a good thing because
President Wright called us in the morning and told us that Sister
Smith would be returning later that evening. He asked that the sister
still live with us and that we help them as much as we can. Sister
Smith is still emotionally attached to Sister Stromberg and I so we
are with them for emotional support and comical relief. President and
Sister Wright dropped off Sister Smith around 6 and they meet with all
four of us to discuss what needs to be done. Sister Smith is on a
strict diet and needs to sleep a lot, so we are her home nurses right
now. As for Sister Smith and Sister Day, while we were gone at another
meeting last night, Sister Smith opened up to Sister Day about
everything and just laid it down. So hopefully things will be
different in their companionship for the sake of Sister Smiths health.

So yeah. That was my week in a nutshell. So right now, Sister Smith
and Sister Day are living with us for the rest of the transfer and we
are to monitor them. But we still have other STL responsibilities that
we are trying to take care of right now. We have another companionship
that is struggling that we are going on exchanges with tomorrow, so we
will see how that goes!

Honestly, there were a couple times this week were I just wanted to
run away. I have never prayed so hard in my entire life. But Heavenly
Father has been with me every step of the way. From this past week I
have learned to truly rely on my Savior for strength. There's times on
your mission where you'll breakdown, you'll want to give up, where you
go into the bathroom and just cry, but I've learned how to "gird up my
loins" and rely on my Savior and get back to work. I am so grateful
for my mission and for all the things I have experienced, especially
in this past week. I love you all and I'd really appreciate extra
prayers this week! Things are still pretty crazy here, so the more
prayers, the better!


Love always, Sister ThompsonšŸ

Me with my daughter and granddaughter!





Monday, July 4, 2016

Proud to be an American!!

Happy 4th of July family and friends!!

Today, to celebrate Independence Day, a family in the Spanish branch
is throwing a BBQ for our zone at the park! I'm so excited! We'll be
enjoying good food, good company, and playing sports! What more could
you want? We also have a YSA BBQ we will be attending this evening,
and then we will most likely be heading over to the marina in Suisun
to watch fireworks over the water with Lora and her family! Should be
a great 4th of July! And of course, Sister Stromberg and I have killer
matching outfits for today! PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN.


My outfit today!










MLC!

The Pacheco's got a new puppy named Mouse! So cute!!




Matching the Zone Leaders just like last time!

This week was super good! I got sick, but it was still super good!
PDay was great as always. Our zone got together at the church to sign
journals and say goodbye to the missionaries that would be leaving!
One thing I've learned about myself on the mission, I don't like
goodbyes. Not at all. So I never really like the time of transfers.
I've made life long friends on my mission!
I accidentally forgot my church shoes at PDay so this was my outfit
for the night...we all make mistakes  sometimes haha

Making s'mores with the Pacheco's for family night!




Tuesday we had the most AMAZING lesson with Lora! So get this, last
time we meet with her she said that the bishop said she would have to
wait 6-9 months to be baptized. But Lora had another meeting with the
bishop last Sunday and they set a new baptismal date for AUGUST
30TH!!!! When she told us Sister Stromberg and I looked at each other
and we..."AHHHHHH!"(imagine a low pitch, back of the throat, guttural
scream. That's what we both did at the same time haha) I started
tearing up because I was so excited for Lora! So for right now, she is
preparing to get re baptized next month!!! SO EXCITING! After Lora's
lesson, we went to Rush Ranch and helped paint fences! It was super
hot out, like 98 degrees, so I think the paint was drying faster than
we could put it on! Haha but it was fun!

Wednesday, we helped Sister Cordova in the morning. She is in the
process of moving so we went over and helped move/tape boxes for her!
I love serving others! After that, we had a lesson with Jason! We met
at a the Cordelia Community Park and talked about how we can have the
spirit more in our lives! Jason has progressed so much! It's awesome!
But after Jason's lesson, I got sick...it was gross. So we spent the
rest of the day inside. But President Wright called us later that
evening and asked us to prepare to teach in MLC on Friday...that took
us by surprise. Usually it's just the assistants and president and
sister wright that teach at MLC! But President Wright asked us to
prepare a 30 minute section on improving our use of the Book of
Mormon. As soon as he said that, I was all in! I love the Book of
Mormon! So I was so excited to prepare to teach it!

Thursday, I got my act together and went to district meeting in the
morning. Super fun seeing all the new missionaries in the zone! It was
a good district meeting! Then a member took us out to eat, we stopped
at the store on the way home to get medicine, and then I crashed
again. Fever, chills, aches, sore throat, running nose....it was
awesome. So we spent the rest of the day inside, trying to get me
better so I could make it to MLC the next day! I was praying so hard
for the strength to overcome my sickness!

Friday, woke up and I decided that no matter what, I was going to MLC.
So I went. Haha luckily I felt A TON better that day! We car pooled
with the zone leaders to Santa Rosa and MLC was great! Our section
that we taught went super well and President and Sister Wright both
came up to us after MLC and told us that our section was the most
spiritual and best section of the day. That made us feel super good!
We didn't get back home until 7 or so, so we went to the church and
helped our district leaders get ready for their baptism the next day!

Saturday, we went and did yard work for an older lady in our Ward!
Then we went to a baptism after lunch, we had another awesome lesson
with Lora, then the rest of our Saturday was spent with the zone
leaders preparing for zone meeting and for our zone conference which
we have on Wednesday this week! President Wright asked all of us to
help teach at zone conference also, so we are preparing for a lot this
week!

Sunday was great! Went to Cordelia 1st Ward, then YSA Ward, then we
had Break the Fast in the YSA Ward! One of my favorite parts about
serving in a YSA Ward haha then we had dinner with the Thomas family!
Then we had a stake meet and greet with the stake president that
evening! It was all together a great Sunday!

Sister Stromberg and I get along so well! I am so grateful for her!
She has become my best friend and we tell each other everything. I
don't think I would have been able to survive this last transfer
without her. She is definitely needed here in this area, with me, at
this time! I love her to death!

I hope you all have a fabulous 4th of July! Im so grateful for this
country we have to live in which allows freedom of religion! Make sure
to eat lots of watermelon for me! I love you all!



Love always, Sister ThompsonšŸ