Sunday, April 13, 2014

hey everybody!!!! 

it has been awhile since I have written you all in a group email....and it has been way to long since i have written a good email with details and everything. so here it goes.
i am still here in trebol, and i am now companions with hermana boror. Hermana acosta is still in trebol, but has recieved another companion, hermana brandaris. so now there are a total of 6 missionarys in trebol!!!!!! 
This week i had an interview with president cordon. it was good to talk to him, especially since he will be ending his mission in july. I always love the inpsiration that he recieves for each and every one of us, and i always feel a thousan times better leaving his office... :) 
well this week has been a crazy one. Some people say that the mission gets easier with the more time you have....and well, whoever made that up is so wrong. haha :) it gets a lot more fun, but really never gets easier. One day we were out working...and we were doing contacting in the street. We approached a man, and my companion said, "hello brother, how are you?" He turned his head and didnt say anything. This time she held out her hand and said, " hello brother, we are missionaries from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day saints." He turned his head, looked at my companions hand and said, " I am not your brother." And then walked away. And that was like a smack in the face. It wasnt the first time that this had happened, and it definiltey wont be the last, but i got to thinking a lot. 
When Jesus Chrsit was in His earthly ministry, He too was preaching the gospel, working miracles...visiting the people. When He might have held out His Hand, and might have said, "hello brother", how many people turned thier heads away or walked away and said, i am not your brother???? i am sure that happened on a daily basis. And after this earhtly ministry..He suffered in the Gethsamani....bled from every pore to the point that He was in absolute agony. Then after that, they took Him and put a crown of Thorns on His precious Head...and whipped His back. He was smit upon and smacked and after all that He was forced to carry His cross up the Hill. He then had nails placed in His feet and HIs Hands....and shortly after that, He died. He died for me...for you....for the whole world. He did this for all of our sins, and mistakes and errors. He did this for all of our pains, and anguish and sadness and deppresion that we may ever feel in this life. 
what would you have done if you had been there in that very moment that He had that huge cross upon His back?? Would you have helped Him carry that cross? Or what if you were there when they started to put the nails in His hands? what would you have done in that moment? If I had been there, I would have given all of the Roman soldiers a good knuckle sandwich. Maybe that sounds funny to you....but I am serious. What would we have done? He suffered all of this pain for us.
Now, as members of the are we in our callings? are we fulfilling them the best we can? are we going to all of our church meetings every sunday? are we treating our families well and serving others? and for all of us missionaries....are we doing what we need to do in our mission to fulfill our sacred calling to the maximum? If we are not doing this...if you are not doing is as if we were standing in that moment when Chrsit had the cross on His back, and not doing anything. Fulfill your callings, in the church, with your family, with the missionary work and with your work. If we are not doing what we need to....the Atonement was done in vain.
But i know it was not. I know it was done for me. I will do what i need to do to fulfill my calling as a missionary. The invitation for you is to do that as well.
I have a testimoney of the Atonement. I know it can relieve us of our mistakes and pains. Allow the atonement to penetrate your life. If you can do so, it will carry you. :) 
I love you all. I really do. Have a great week, and have a great conference weekend. :) 
Until next week....

Love, Hermana Thomas 

11 months

I am feeling pressure here in the mission like i have never felt before and the repentance proccess was hitting me way hard last week. our numbers sucked, i wasnt into the work. i was doing what we needed to do, but not because i wanted to do. yet again, this companionship has been a hard one, just like last time. i felt like i was insufficient, and ready to lay done, say I was done....and die. haha im serious. but I learned something. i am not here to fight with my companion, and i am not herefor her to beat me up and drag me down. i am not here to be deppressed or to be homesick, or to put myself down for stuff that are out of my control. I AM NOT HERE TO FAIL. I will do everything in my power as a representative of Jesus Christ, to bring people unto Him. I know the atonement changes thoroughly changed my life last week, and I feel unstoppable. Yes I have I am not perfect. Wil I continue to have hard times in the mission...yes. But it is all about the attitude. And I am not choosing to be miserable, I am choosing to be happy and to enjoy every single moment. before it disappears. These7 months I have a commitment with God and with myself to do everything I can to learn, apply, and teach the best I know how. Before anything..comes personal conversion. If i am not converted first to christ, how am I to help others? its not possible. I AM GOING TO BE THE MISSIONARY OF MY DREAMS. i am going to succeed in these next 7 months. i am going to baptize a family, and be the best friend of every single one of my companions....and be the example that I should be as a servant of the Lord. I know this gospel is true. I cannot deny it, and can never live wihtout it. So i will live it well. I have prayed with all my heart, and I know it is something that every child of God needs. I know that this Gospel was restored by Joseph Smith. I know that he was an uneducated man, and didnt have much....but he had the desire to serve God, and to know the truths of God. I know like him, I am maybe uneducated....I come from a hard background with many hardships. But I to have a desire to serve God, and to learn of Him. I know that God makes weak, meek men into the strongest of examples and teachers. I want to be like that, and I will be like that. 
I am here to benefit serve others....and through that, i know my family and friends will be blessed. I too will be blessed through obedience and dilignece.
El Salvador needs me, Trebol needs me. I will do everything in my power to strengthen and convert this area into one of the strongest wards El Salvador has ever seen.

i have:

7 months.
A desire.
A calling.
A responsibilty.

i am willing to do my part. With God, all is possible. I am not perfect, but I have faith. I am a convert to this Gospel... i was a member all my life, but didnt believe most of the time. Through a simple prayer, I gained a testimoney. I am hermana thomas, I am a convert, and a missionary of Jesus Christ. This is my testimoney, and I hope you can benefit from it.
Have a great week, and thank you for your love and support.

love, hermana thomas

hey, today I recieve a new companion in about an hour. They are opening up another area in trebol. but there are changes next week in the mission.....we dont know if this is permanent or temporary. So far i think i am staying. if not, i will let you know. as for now i have been with hermana boror, and with hermana amone (the mission nurse) this trio has been fun, and absolutley crazy!! But i have learned so much!!!! anyway...i think thats it. LOVE YOU ALL!!!!! 


hey family and friends....

this week has been another great one. We had a baptism last sunday of familia romero. It was very beautiful and everybody was crying. This family now has plans that be sealed in the temple next year. And they are just so cute. They have a son that reminds me of I always love going over to their house. :) 
This week we have been working hard to find new people to teach here in Trebol. A little bit difficult, but not impossible to do. It is because everybody is so busy here with their work and they all have a different church that they go to. So sometimes contacting people in the street is difficult. We did the math as a district and we decided that to find 2 new people to teach, we need to contact at least 20 people a day. Crazy right? But we know that as we work with diligence and faith, we will find these new people to teach. Noormally in our contacting in the street...we are saying the same old thing to people, like: " We are missionaries, and we are here to serve you....and your family can live together forever through this gospel and message that we have to share with there a day we can come back and visit you and your family?" Normally the response is negative. So we decided to change it up a little bit. Yesterday, we were in a passageway, it was dark, and we were trying to find someone to teach because we had an appointment fall through. Then we saw some little kids playing togetherin a doorway. And they saw us and were like, "can you teach us english????" haha so i was like, yeah of course. We arrived to the doorway, and some of the kids family members were inside of the house as well. We asked them if they would like to hear a song in english. Since my companion cannot speak much english, I had to sing by myself. I started to sing the first verse of, I am a Child of God. And it seemed as if my voice resonated throughout the passageway. The kids and their family members were captivated. And the other people in the passageway, started to open their doors and listen. Im sure it wasnt really my voice that they were captivated by....but more of the spirit that they felt. The spirit was so strong, and I was suprised that I even remembered the hymn in english. Needless to say, the form in the way we chnaged our contacting really worked. With every single one of these kids that we were singing to...we have a return appointment tommorow with their families. This was one of the coolest experiences I have had on my mission so far.
so what can i say? i am so happy. This gospel is amazing, and it truly is the foundation of my happiness. I cannot say that the mission has been super easy, but it has been super worth it. :) I know this gospel is true, and know that it is changing has especially chnaged mine.
I love you all so much, and hope that you all can know that this gospel is true. I know that if we are living worthily and trying our best to do the things that our right, we will recieve the blessings from this gospel. Always live worthy to feel of the spirit and to partake of the sacrament and attend the temple. I cannot express in words how happy it will make you when you can do this.
Have a great week. I love you all so much!!!! 

hermana thomas 

10 Months

hey family and friends!! 

this week has been great, and things are rocking in trebol!! we have a baptism on sunday, and we also have another date for baptism on march 2nd. We are really seeing the results of how the gospel can change the lives of people. And I love it!!!! 
last week, we had the chance to attend a baptism from Palmar. The special thing about it, is that the baptism was of some teenagers that I had been teaching when I was there in palmar. We walked into the church, and I got to see all the members from palmar...and then down the hall i saw these teenagers dressed in white, ready to make a covenant with God that would change the rest of their lives. The girl saw me, and we hugged each other. I feltl ike crying, I was just so happy!! I learned that day, that in the end, it doesnt matter who is baptizing the people, it just matters that we are opening our mouths and planting that gospel seed into the peoples hearts. I never baptized these kids...I could never count it as a "number" of baptisms I had in my mission.....but I just felt so happy that they were doing what was right. :) it was a very special moment. I will send pictures of the baptism.
There was also another baptism that we attended from palmar. We actually had a reunion that day when we walked in. But when we walked in, not one member was in this baptism. We felt so bad for the poor lady, that the whole entire zone attended the baptism. imagine that??? about 25 missionarys attending a baptism, and not one member. All of you members, please attend your ward baptisms. always. there is nothing more special in life, than to see someone change their lives through baptism. 
Oh and hey....guess what?? I have 10 months in the mission!!! cannot believe it!!! i am such a grandma in the mission! hahaha weird how time flys.....but yeah im good. We celebrated my 10 months, and my companions 5 months in the mission, by eating fruit popsicles. it was great!!! 
Things are great in the mission. Working hard, and never want to stop. For all of you that I havent written regularly, I apologize. But I think about all of you often. Know that you are always in my prayers, and 8 more months to go until I see you all again!!!! 
Have a great week!!!!! 

hermana thomas



After a long 2 months in Ahuachapan with hard hearted members and a really really tough companion...I finally have had a change. It sounds so bad....but I was so ready to leave. When the zone leaders called me to have a change, I just about cryed I was so happy. I packed up everything I had in about 30 minutes, and was ready to go. haha
So now I am in an area that is called Trebol, Santa Ana.
 It is about 10 minutes away from my old area..Palmar. My companion is hermana boror. She is from guatemala city, and she is one of the best companions I have ever had in the mission. The story is funny...because she was companions with hermana banuelos in the mtc (the sister that I trained in palmar) and the sister that trained hermana boror, was hermana peterson, my companion in the mtc. So all we kind of did was a switch. Its pretty much awesome. 
Well I am in the city more mountains, no more dirt paths, no more twenty foot drop off metal bridges....and no more jungle. :( in that aspect, I am sad, because I loved the area. But the thing is, is that i am no longer suffering any more. haha so yeah, I am pretty much in paradidse!!!!!!! 
This area here is great. The members are strong, but there are not that many. Supposedly the church we have here is not a church...its a house. We are trying to increase the attendance on sundays, and baptize more families and that we can build a church and have them attend a real church house.
We have a family who has a date for baptism in march. I dont know them yet, but the date was set before I got here. But I look forward to knowing everybody more this week.
Love you all!!!!! have a great week!!!! and remember to do an act of service for a family member or a friend everyday! 

love, hermana thomas 

Monday, January 20, 2014

This week has been great! We have been working hard and focusing on the less actives in the ward. From the visits that we had with the members and the less actives...we received 15 references, and have plans for this week to contact them all with members. So that means that we should have more new people to teach this week. 

We are really trying to build up the ward first before the baptisms can happen. We are working hard to reactivate the less actives. Then with more church attendance, and more positive members....we can continue to receive references, and start to have more lessons with members. Then we can start baptizing. It really is a long process. But this is our belief. We not have a lot of baptisms when we leave this area, but we will have a stronger ward. We are really just trying to prepare this area for the next missionary's whenever they come in. We really want them to be able to come into a strong positive ward.

As for hermano carmelo....he did not attend church yesterday. Which means that we have to baptize him again. We don't know if he just lost the desire, or if he is scared. When we see him on the street, or when the members see him on the street....we likes to ignore us and hide, like he is scared to talk to us. We will continue to try and work with him these next two weeks before changes. If he does not keep up with his commitments we will have to drop him.

As for hermano stewart..well we did have a date for baptism this month. But we could not figure out his age to confirm how many attendances he will need for baptism. He told us he was 19, then 20, then 17. He told us that he doesn't remember his age. He has a story that is really weird. So we had the zone leaders visit him, and then zone leaders called us that night and told us that hermano stewart was a little weird....and honestly we didn't know if he had a true desire at that point. We have also decided to drop him. Now our goal this week is to find new positive people to teach.

But I do have good news!!!!! Our investigator hermana lorena that I told you about. Well she decided to leave the companion that she was with, and she is now living with her mom. She wants to be baptized. We are going to wait it out a month before we set a date....just to make sure that she can be fully prepared. But we are so very happy for her, and her decision to leave this man. 

Like I said last week....things are progressing slowly, but we have patience and the faith that things will progress here shortly. All we need is for our bishop here in Nopal, to have a little bit more of a sincere desire to work with the members and missionary's....and a little less machete. 

But things are great. My companion and I are getting along. I am learning a lot from her. Together, we will make this area grow. I love this area....and dont ever want to leave it!!!!!! 

We are going to work more as a companionship, to be consistent with our companionship study, and practices. And we also are going to work on being consistent with our weekly planning session. 

But we are happy, and healthy and safe and our testimonies are being strengthened daily.

This message is a message that I wrote to president... I am going to start forwarding the message that I send to president to you guys as well, just because I don't have a lot of time to explain everything that I want to over and over again. But we are happy....haha kind of struggling in the area, but nothing is impossible. We are doing our best.  As for the day I come home...ha well I don't really want to think about that, but I know it is October. I think it is either the 14th or 17th of October. I can confirm that with you next week. Just to let you all know too....I HIT MY HALFWAY MARK!!!!! 9 MONTHS!!!!! ahhhhh I think I will just die, just absolutely flippin die. I cannot believe this beautiful experience is half over. It certainly makes me want to work harder, be better serve others, and just be the best missionary I can be in my last 9 months I have here. So I am pretty much going to go out there and kick some Satan butt. Really, I am going to work harder than I ever have in my life. :) 

Well, I am still here in Ahuachapan..but we have changes in two weeks. I will let you know in two weeks what will happen. 

But I gotta go, I will update you the best I can every week. Keep those letters and emails coming!!!!! They are so very inspiring for me!! And if I don't keep up with weekly letters, give me a chew out so I can keep up on that!!! have a great week, have fun be safe, and please drive safe in the snow up there!!! ;) haha


love, alicia


to all of you, please know that I am so sorry if I am not writing you all individual emails or letters. But I hope you can read these general emails, and feel of the love I have for all of you. :) 


Pictures of my nine month mark: Standing shoulder to shoulder with the best life I will ever know


Monday, January 13, 2014

Great week

this week has been great!!!! first, we have a date set to baptize hermano stewart on january 25th. secondly, we had a sister reunion last week. it was awesome, and we learned a lot. i got to see  my daughter, and I just about cried, I was just so happy to see her. Third, we have an awesome volcano erupting here in El Salvador right now...but thank goodness it is many miles away from me and my area. But please pray for the missionaries and people there....things are not going to well in that area right now. Fourth...later this month all three missions in el salvador are getting together to listen to Elder Cook....and apostle from the quorom of the 12 apostles. WHOOOOO!!!!  and another thing.....I will complete half of my mission on the 17th og january. Almost like my birthday haha except for I am way sad that half of it is over. :( That is what is up this week.
This week has been good. We are working harder as a companionship, and are working hard to set up dates for baptism for the next two months. The members are a little cold here..but we are working on building frienships with them. little by little....yes we have the faith things will continue to improve. We are happy and healthy and so pumped to work in the work of the Lord. I am trying to keep up with the weekly letters for you guys. Sorry if i cant get one out to you every week...but it is the effort that counts.
We also have changes in february...after a change of 8 weeks...we will see what will happen. I will let you know!!!!!!! hmmm what else??? oh yah!!!! so hermano carmelo, the man we just baptized not too long ago....he hasnt showed up to church to be confirmed. He has 2 more weeks to show up. and if he doesnt show up, we will have to have him be baptized again! CRAZY!!!!! ahhhhh!!!!!!!! haha 
But we have about 3 postive families that we are teaching right noe. They are young families, and have a desire to change. I am amazed how the Lord puts people in your path that are ready to change and learn. I just witness miracles every day. So much that I cannot tell every single one of them. There is a saying that we have n the mission. Obedience brings you blessings. Exact obedience brings you miracles. :) I am going to work on being more obedient. Help me out, and encourage me. Be odedient at home as well. Attend church, rea your book of mormon daily and with your family. serve and love others...and you will recieve blessing like you have never seen before!!! that is my mesage for this week. short and simple. but i love ya guys!!!! have a great week!!! i willl write more next week!! 

love hermana thomas