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Monday, August 29, 2016

Whoa. What happened to August?

Hi Family!

This past week literally flew by. It's crazy! Time is moving faster
and faster and I trying to make it slow down! But we had a awesome
week over here in the Rincon Valley Ward! Here are some of the
highlights from my week!

We had an awesome family night with the Coons last week! We went and
got frozen yogurt together and then we had a super good lesson
afterwards! So Corey, the mom, is a recent convert so we usually go
over every Monday night to help her with family night. We taught the 6
year old McKenna how to pray. We played a cute prayer game with her
and tried explaining how to pray, but it was going no where haha. She
was just all over the place that night! So I decided to sing her a
song about how to pray, and it worked like a charm. Every time I would
start singing, she would immediately calm down and sit right next to
me and just listen. I taught her how to sing the song herself so she
can always remember how to pray! Music has a way to all hearts,
whether old or young! I love it!

Tuesday night was busy haha so busy that we had to go on splits with
members! We had been asked like three weeks ago to help out with a
mutual activity that night, and then one of our recent convert
families told us that Tuesday night was the only night available for
them for a lesson, so we split up and covered both! I was with Amie
Wright and we went to the mutual activity and Sister Porter went with
Sis. Bingham to the lesson! Both things turned out super well!

The tech elders were making an Office parody video, so obviously they
needed a stapler in jello! Haha by the end of the day it didn't look
to good anymore.

We did service at the Foodbank on Wednesday, which is always a good
time. We also had a super good lesson with John, the older Asian man
that is mentally handicap that was baptized last year! He is seriously
one of my favorite people ever haha he is just the sweetest guy! We
talked more bout the temple and doing baptisms for the dead! He is
super pumped to be able to go to the temple soon! Thursday we did
service at Meals on Wheels, which is probably my favorite service
ever. We go and help cook food for them to deliver to either
retirement homes, homeless shelters, or any other place that has
people that need food. We get to wear lab coats, aprons, hair nets,
and gloves as we cook the food so you can just imagine a group of
missionaries dressed like this, running around a giant kitchen/cooking
area, chopping, mixing, or cooking food! It's so great!

We had a lesson with Sister King this week. She is an older widow in
the Ward that we go over to once a week and read the Book of Mormon
with her. She hilarious haha we get along super great! We also had a
lesson with Mayson on Thursday night! So Mayson is a 17 year old kid
who was baptized earlier this year! He is such an awesome guy! We
drove up to his house with Sis. Van Cleave and had a really good
lesson with him about the importance of CPR(church, pray, read). He
lives about a 30 minute drive up a mountain so the view from his house
was incredible! I could have spent all day there just looking at the
view! I took a picture, but it doesn't do it justice. We had his
lesson out on his back porch so the picture I'm sending home is what
our view was while we were teaching him. So cool. I fall in love with
Nor Cal more and more everyday!

On the way up to Maysons house!

The view from his back porch!

Most of this week we spent inviting less actives to our Ward BBQ which
happened Friday night! And a lot of the people we invited actually
came! We had an awesome turn out for the BBQ! Even sis. Rowlands
nonmember husband came! Which was awesome! And Corey's nonmember 16
year old son came and brought a friend! Oh and get this! Bro. and Sis.
Koehle(an older German couple in our Ward) came up to me at the BBQ
and told me that they had just gotten back from a family reunion in
Utah last week and guess who else was there?? Grandma and grandpa
Thompson!! Sis. Koehle is Grandma Thompson's first cousin! So I'm
related to the Koehles! Haha we call each other cousin every time we
see each other now! Haha I'm just finding connections all of the place
in this Ward!

Elder Parker and Elder Solo

I was at MLC all day on Friday which I LOVE. I love hearing from
President and Sister Wright and the assistants! It's crazy how often I
see them now that I'm serving here in Santa Rosa! I also got to see
Sister Stromberg at MLC, it was a great reunion haha. I miss her a
lot! Overall, MLC was super good and now I am preparing a section to
teach at zone meeting on Tuesday! I'm super pumped for it because I'm
talking about the scriptures! Only my favorite books in the world!
Sister Wright really wants us to focus on memorizing scripture
references for each of the 42 principles in preach my gospel! So I
will be playing a bunch of game with the missionaries to help us
memorize scripture references! I'm pumped!

We had a super good lesson with David Rowland Saturday night! We
taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ but we made an activity out of
it so he could remember it better! I call it The Gospel Steps
activity. You basically have six piece of paper, one that says the
celestial kingdom, one says faith, another repentance, baptism, the
gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end. You have one person
stand on one side of the room and they hold the celestial kingdom
sign. David and I were on the other side of the room and we had to
make the necessary steps to get to the celestial kingdom! So with each
step, we explained what it was to him and them had him explain it back
to us, then we gave him the sign that corresponded with that step and
then he could take another step towards the celestial kingdom. We did
this until we got to the celestial kingdom and then we had him go back
and see if he could do and say all the steps on his own! It turned out
super well and he could do it on his own by the end!

Yesterday we had dinner with the Groesbeck family! I love them all to
death haha we were laughing so hard the whole time! We also had the
stake presidency meet and greet last night! It was fun getting to know
the stake presidency! Today for PDay the Coons are taking us to
Armstrong Woods! It's a redwood forest about 40 minutes away! I'm so
excited!

I am loving every second of being a missionary. Last night at the meet
and greet, the high councilman over missionary work said something
that I loved. He said, "Missionaries are promised by the Lord that if
you serve diligently and give it your all, you are promised all the
blessings of this life and in the eternities. All the blessings you
could ever need are yours if you serve faithfully to the end. So you
could serve and give a half effort to the work and receive only half
the blessings. Do you elders and sisters only want half the
blessings?" We all simultaneously said no. "Then don't serve with only
half of your heart in the work. Don't serve with only a 50% effort in
the day. Give it your all, all day every day and you will receive all
the blessings the Lord has promised to you. All the blessings of the
eternities."

I love that. So many blessings will come to those who serve faithfully
and diligently, so why would you not serve with all your heart, might,
mind, and strength? Who doesn't want the blessings of the eternities?
I know I do, so I will continue to serve with all my heart, might,
mind, and strength to the very end! I love you all so much! I feel
your prayers and the support you give to me! Have an amazing week!


Love always, Sister Thompson🍍

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

🎶"I love to see the temple, I went inside on Wednesday"🎶

Aug. 22, 2016
Hey family!

The past week went by crazy fast! We did a lot of stuff this week,
including going to the Oakland temple on Wednesday!! But here are the
highlights from my week!

Monday, we had half a PDay because we had a temple trip on Wednesday.
So sister Porter and I just cleaned, emailed, and grocery shopped in
the morning. During the afternoon we were out on the streets just
trying to talk to people. I feel like I'm really rusty at street
contacting because we never did it in Fairfield. Street contacting
wasn't very effective in Fairfield, that's why we never did it. Later
in the evening, we went over to the Coons to do family night. So
Corey, the mom, was just baptized about a month ago and the dad, Dave,
was a less active member. They have three kids, a 16 year old boy
named Zak, a 6 year old named McKenna, and a 3 year old named Scarlet.
They are seriously the cutest family ever. I love them! The son Zak
isn't a member so we are hoping to start teaching him!

Tuesday, we had district meeting in the morning but it went super long
because we had PPI's with our district leader afterward. And then we
had a zone lunch which is always super fun. After we got back, sister
Porter and I decided that we were going to walk everywhere the rest of
the day. So we did. Haha we even walked to dinner and then we walked
to the church right after for our scripture study class! After the
class, we started walking home, but we were so tired that we walked
back to the church and asked the bishop, who was there for a scout
meeting, to give us a ride home haha. Gotta love bishop Groesbeck!

I got my pink slip last week...it's basically like your death
certificate on the mission haha it just asks you about travel plans
for going home. All missionaries here take a picture with it when they
get it.

Wednesday, we got to go to the Oakland temple! So let me tell you how
much I love the Oakland temple...I love it. Like a lot. Haha I've had
the opportunity to go five times as a missionary and every time I go,
I fall more in love with it! I could spend all day there! I'll tell
you one of my favorite parts about going to that temple though. Inside
the celestial room, in the middle of the room, there's a giant bouquet
of white orchids. Back when I was serving in Petaluma, on my 20th
birthday and about 2 weeks before his baptism, Camilo gave me a vase
with a single white orchid plant in it. He told me that the white
orchids reminded him of me because of how pure they looked. For those
of you who don't know, Camilo was probably the biggest reason why I
got transferred to Petaluma. He was one of the people that I just
clicked with and I am so grateful for. Camilo is a dear friend to me
so the white orchids he gave me meant a lot to me. So every time I see
the giant bouquet of white orchids in the celestial room, I am
reminded of Camilo and of all the other people that I have been able
to meet on my mission. I always get a little teary eyed as I think of
all the people I've come in contact with in the past 16 months of my
life. I love each of them so dearly. The Oakland temple is and always
will be my favorite temple because of my mission.

After dinner that night, we went on splits with some of the members! I
was lucky enough to be with Jessi Groesbeck, the bishops daughter and
my super good friend! She had just gotten back from her mission when I
started mine, so I got to meet her last time I was serving in Santa
Rosa! I love her to death haha she is hilarious! She's only here until
Saturday because she is heading back to Provo for school, so I'm glad
I got to go on splits with her! We just went out finding for the night
and we had the funniest experiences, some really cool experiences, but
there was a lot of laughter that night! I loved it!

Thursday, we had interviews with President Wright in the morning! I
could talk to President Wright for hours haha we have a super tight
relationship. He makes fun of me all the time, especially in front of
other missionaries, so I do it right back to him haha. He is the
greatest! We did service in the afternoon, and then finding in the
evening!
Friday, we made flyers for our Ward BBQ this weekend in the morning,
and then we did planning. We went through and organized our area book
which took a lot longer than expected, but it was so worth it! We got
a new app about two months ago that allows us to open a map with dots
all over it. The dots represent either members, less actives, part
member families, potential investigators, formers, etc. And so it
makes finding SO nice. Because you can just open up the app and it
shows you if anyone is close to you! So we went through and made sure
all the info was correct in our area book so it would show up correct
on the area book map! I love having an iPad!

Saturday, we got to help out with the Food Rally at the Santa Rosa
Foodbank! It's where they distribute all the food to people. So we got
to stand at different stations and hand out food to people as the
walked by. It was actually super fun! Later in the evening we went
over to the Rowland's and we cooked dinner for them! Haha Sister
Rowland taught us how to make flautas! It was so good! After dinner we
had a lesson with their son David who is getting baptized soon! We
tried to get their nonmember dad to sit in on the lesson, but no luck
there. Next time haha.

Sunday, we taught the gospel principles class and we also taught a
primary class in the other Ward! Both went super well! The rest of the
Sunday we spent handing out flyers to the Ward BBQ to a bunch of less
actives. We were able to catch all of them at home which was awesome!
The highlight of the night was going to one of our investigators
houses. We had a feeling that we should stop by that night and invite
him to the BBQ also. His name is Chris and when we showed up, he was
in tears on his front porch. As we walked up, I could see cigarettes
everywhere and an alcoholic beverage in his cup. He was very very
drunk. His girlfriend was on her way out and she told us that we
couldn't have come at a more perfect time. She told us that Chris
really needed us right now. So we talked to Chris for a while. It was
my first time meeting him, but my heart just went out to him. Perks of
talking to some one who is drunk, they are very honest with you and
will tell you everything usually. So Chris opened up to us about what
was going on and his life is pretty rough at the moment. We said a
prayer with him and bore our testimonies to him and then left. He
knows that he shouldn't be drinking or smoking, but life got to him.
We are going to stop by again later this week to check up on him. I
love it when God places us exactly where we need to be.
Overall, we had a super good week! Still trying to find more people to
teach, but we are staying busy! I am so grateful for the opportunity I
had to go the temple this week. I know that what happens inside the
temple is true. I feel so close to the Lord when I am inside His
house. I look forward to the day when I can be sealed in the temple
and start my own eternal family. It brings me a lot of joy knowing
that it will all last for eternity. Families truly are forever. I love
you all so much and hope you have an amazing week!


Love always, Sister Thompson🍍


Monday, August 8, 2016

Going Back to My Roots


Hello Friends and Family!

Ok, so I got transfer information for you first! I am leaving
Fairfield :( my six months here has come to an end! Sister Stromberg
will be staying and is training a brand new missionary! Haha she has
been dreading training her whole mission and now it's finally
happening! I told her it's not that bad haha also, she and her new
companion will just be over the Cordelia 1st Ward now! They are
putting elders in the YSA Ward! The YSA Ward isn't too happy about it,
but we think it will be good to have just one set of missionaries in
each Ward. As for me, I will being going back to my roots! That's
right, I'm going back to SANTA ROSA, my greenie zone! I'm going to be
in the Rincon Valley Ward this time, but get this, I will be staying
in the same apartment that I started my mission in! The good old
mission mansion in Santa Rosa! So my address will be the same from the
beginning of my mission! 4663 Sonoma Hwy Santa Rosa, CA 95409! I'm
going to have so many flash backs...started out my mission here, and I
will most likely end my mission here. Today marks what we call
"reverse 12 week" for me. 12 week is the training program you are in
for the first 12 weeks of your mission, and now I'm in the last 12
weeks of my mission so I'm in "reverse 12 week". So I will probably
end my mission in Santa Rosa. Crazy. But I'm super pumped to go back
to Santa Rosa and to be in the Rincon Valley Ward! It's the Ward that
Michelle Ray's sister is in! So I already know the bishop and his
family super well! And my new companion will be Sister Porter! She's
been out for about 6 months. I've met her a couple times and she seems
super nice! I'm excited! But leaving this area is going to be
rough...once again, this area has become my home away from home, so I
feel like I'm starting my mission all over again! So many good
memories here and so many people I will miss! I've been taking a ton
of pictures with people here so get ready for a lot of pictures this
week!

Fairfield/Vacaville Zone
With the Mix’s, Cordelia 1st members that I adore!
With Zayna a recent convert in YSA ward
The Hatch’s and the Thomas’s-my all time two favorite families!



This week was kinda slow at times, but it was still a fun week! On
Monday, Shelia and Jason Kellenbeck took us to Marin and we hiked
Mount Tamalpais! We got a GORGEOUS view of the Bay Area when we
reached the top! Such a fun experience! Tuesday, I got dropped off in
Vallejo and I attended their zone meeting! I also got to teach a
segment which turned out super cool! I did a really cool activity for
it which turned out to be super spiritual...So I was teaching on the
basics of missionary work, which we call the 8 fundamentals of
missionary work. I really wanted to focus the whole segment on our
purpose as missionaries also and how the fundamentals help us do that.
So I got up and introduced my topic and then I told everyone we were
going in a time machine. During my segment we all traveled to three
different rooms in the church, each representing a different stage in
our missions and how the fundamentals of missionary work are still
important at the different stages and how we can apply them. I had set
up and decorated each of the rooms before hand to really help with the
time machine experience haha. So the first room we traveled to was the
"MTC". I had everyone play along and I asked them to act like they did
on the first day at the MTC. And let me tell you, that was hilarious
haha. I had them all play a "get to know you" activity first because I
have fond memories of that my first day at the MTC(shout out to my MTC
friends, you know who you are ;) ). One elder pretended he didnt know
any English, because he really didn't know any English his first day.
Another missionary was acting really nervous and shy...it was great
haha! I then pretended to be their MTC teacher and introduced the
fundamentals, what they are, and how they would be using them on their
missions. Then we time traveled to the next room which represented
their year mark on the mission. We discussed how we still use the
fundamentals. I had them do a lot of reflecting on past investigators
and lessons and how they've used the fundamentals. The Vallejo zone
members really opened up and shared stories and fond memories. It was
cool. Then we time traveled to the last room which represented the
stake presidents office back home. This is where I tied everything
back together with our purpose as missionaries and taking what we've
learned back home. That our purpose doesn't change, we still invite
others to come unto Christ whether we wear a name tag or not. And how
the basics of missionary work can make a basis for our lives. I had
everyone reflect on their missions and then I had everyone take off
their name tags, give them to me, and walk back to the meeting room.
Yes, I know that is so mean, but it really hit home for the
missionaries in that zone. Once we all got back to the room, I gave
everyone their tags back and bore my testimony. It was such a cool
experience teaching that day. I really went by the spirit on it while
I was preparing and the spirit worked wonders.

We taught Lora, Shirley, and the Pachecos this week! All of them are
doing well! It's hard saying goodbye to them though...I've made super
tight connections with all of them because I've been here since the
beginning for them. Shirley is moving to Idaho at the end of this
month though! She will be moving to the EAGLE IDAHO STAKE(for those of
you who don't know, my home stake)! She told us that she wants to wait
till she moves to Idaho to get baptized now, so I have dibs on calling
the missionaries in Eagle and telling them about this golden
investigator that is coming and is ready for baptism!! That will be
HUGE for them!! So excited for her to move to Eagle! The Pachecos are
also doing well. I was able to have a Facebook lesson with Susie this
week because I saw a post from her that was super depressing. So I
messaged her and ended up having a lesson with her. I love being a
Facebook missionary. Lora is doing amazing as always! She volunteers
once a week at the Bishops Storehouse in Concord now! Super cool! So
sad to be leaving her!

On Saturday, we had a service project in Rio Vista(a small town about
45 minutes East of Fairfield)! We actually got to help some members
build a house. That was a first for me haha I've never built a house
before. It was super fun actually!

I spent the majority of yesterday saying goodbye to everyone. That's
one downside of staying in an area for a long time...I've gotten
attached to a lot of people here! It's like leaving Petaluma all over
again! But I'm excited for this change. Fairfield has been a hard area
for me. I struggled a lot in this area. Not saying that hard is bad,
it's just hard. I have loved this area. I have learned so much here.
But the Lord needs me back in Santa Rosa now! I'll go wherever He
wants me to go! :) I love you all and I hope you have an amazing week!


Love always, Sister Thompson🍍

Sunday, August 7, 2016

HAPPY AUGUST!

Hello from Northern California!

So this week just flew by! We had an awesome week here in the
beautiful but oh so hot  Fairfield, California! Here are the
highlights from my week!

On Monday, Nathan took us and the zone leaders to an in door go
carting place....and it was SO fun! He's friends with the manager and
we got the track to ourselves and they turned up the speed on the go
carts! SO COOL. Haha Nathan is seriously the coolest. Tuesday I was in
the Cordelia 2nd area on exchanges with Sister Thurgood! Love her! We
had such a fun time working together! At one point we were at the
horse ranch that the zone goes to every Tuesday afternoon for service
and we were spreading mulch in 105 degree weather....it was so hot. We
were all dying haha. Later in the evening, all of our plans fell
through so I trained Sister Thurgood on how to use FaceBook
effectively! Facebook is such an awesome tool we have to use to help
hasten the work! It's so great for keeping in contact with
investigators, less actives, and members! And it's so cool being able
to post something that you know will help a certain investigator! I
love it!
Pic with Amie Wright

With Elder Rasmussen...he went home :(


Wednesday morning we exchanged back and then we went to a lesson with
Jason! It was a super cool lesson. We talked a lot about receiving
personal revelation and the topic of patriarchal blessings came up and
Jason told us that he had meet with the bishop just the day before and
has the okay to get his patriarchal blessing!! So Jason will be
getting his blessing soon! That is so exciting! He is doing so well!
Then we went out to lunch with a member in the YSA Ward! Later on that
day, we had a lesson with Nathan at the Thomas's home! We watched the
Restoration movie with him and he loved it! Thursday, at the moment,
is a blur. Haha all I can remember doing on Thursday is having another
awesome lesson with Nathan and Bro. Canning's home, our Ward mission
leader! We went over his baptismal program and talked more about
baptism with him! Friday, we had MLC is Santa Rosa all day! I love
MLC. I always feel so spiritual  uplifted and filled afterwards! But
also extremely tired haha but it's worth it. Friday night Nathan had
his baptismal interview and passed with flying colors!

Saturday morning we filled up the font, set up the room, and had a
BAPTISM!! It was sooooooo good! And a ton of members came which was
awesome! Elder Branson, Elder Matthews, Sister Stromberg, and I
preformed a special musical number at it and it turned out super well!
The spirit in the room was so strong! I love baptisms! Later that day
we went to help a new family move in to our Ward and guess who was
already there helping when we arrived? Nathan! Haha he is seriously
perfect! Yesterday at church Nathan was confirmed and also ordained to
the office of a priest! He is also working on getting his temple
recommend this week....he is literally the definition of a golden
investigator haha! We all love him!








We have an exciting week ahead of us! So today, Jason and his sister
Shelia are taking us on a hike in Marin! We are hiking Mt. Tamalpais
and when you get to the top, you can see the whole Bay Area! We are so
excited! Tomorrow, I will be going down to Vallejo and teaching in
their zone meeting! We have a couple mini exchanges we are going on
this week. And get this, this is my favorite part, we may or may not
be going to the temple this Saturday with Nathan to do baptisms with
him! We talked to President Wright yesterday about it and he is going
to get back to us today whether or not we are allowed to do that, but
still! Just being able to go to the temple with Nathan this week would
be amazing! I seriously love the Oakland Temple so much! I yearn to be
there all the time! Also, this week we find our transfer
information...and I think my time in Fairfield might be coming to an
end. President Wright told me at the beginning of the transfer that
unless Heavenly Father thinks differently, this would be my last
transfer in Fairfield....so I'm most likely leaving this area next
week. I only have two transfers left on the mission so I'll probably
be leaving to my last area. But who knows! Heavenly Father kept me in
Petaluma for 7 1/2 months so maybe He will keep me here for 7 1/2!

I love being a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day
Saints. I love being called Sister. I love putting on a skirt or dress
everyday. I love talking about the gospel to everyone. I love trying
to become more like my Savior. I love having weaknesses. I love the
hard days. I love the good days. I love the fact that I can have so
much love for someone right after meeting them. I love my Savior and
all the He does for me. I just love life :) Look for the things you
love throughout the week! It makes life so much more lovely! Haha love
you all!

Love always, Sister Thompson🍍
Pics from our hike today!























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