Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Baptismal Commitments and No Water

Yayayayayayayaya!!!!! you guys finally moved!!!!

Things are great here. we have three baptisms set for august 17, and these ones are for sure. i think i told you about Ricardo and his mom Maria and his brother Oscar. well, I thought "Ricardo" was "Carlos", ha but we misunderstood his name this whole flippin time. that is such an ali thing to do. ha but anywho, this family rocks. and their faith blows me away. we taught this family the word of wisdom last week. Ricardo smokes, and his mom drinks coffee at every meal. when we taught them the importance of the word of wisdom, they were like, yeah ok..if that's what God wants me to do, then I will stop that habit right now. and ever since last week, they haven't touched one cigarette or a cup of coffee. I am so proud of them. hmmm, what else can I talk about?

Nothing too new here...oh actually yeah there is one small thing. so the water in metapan has been shut off. we haven't had running water for 3 days now. but we have purified water in 5 gallon buckets that we use for our drinking water. we now use some of this water to shower. whoooo, let me tell yeah, I love this dip and pour method a lot better than what I had when I first got here. hahahaha ok, just joking, but you can tell grandma that my shower time has officially been cut down to 5 minutes.

We have changes in 3 weeks, and it will be my 3rd change in the mission. cant believe it is almost august!! anway, hermana chiquin thinks that she will be leaving and that I will be staying. the thing is, is that metapan is a training area for new missionaries. which means, I have a chance of being a trainer in 3 weeks. crazy to think about, but I think it is unlikely right now.

We continue to try and find new people here in metapan...a lot of our investigators that we think we have a good hold on, usually slip through our hands. I am so grateful for our few investigators we have that are committed to making a change in their lives.

Anyway, this letter is super short this week, but I love ya, God loves ya. have a great week, and thanks for all of the support back home. keep working hard, keep doing what you know is right and you will be blessed for your efforts!!

until next week,

Hermana Thomas :)

oh and ps, we get to go to the temple on august 6th with our investigators and members. so i am sorry for my lack of pictures the past few weeks, but I will make up for it in the next couple of weeks ok?? lots of love! MMMMWWWAAAHHHH!!

Monday, July 22, 2013

You are a Child of God

Dear Family and Friends,

Hey, well it is time to write you once again. How has your week been? How is work and everything? This week has been great! This mission work is so great, and I just love it so much. So if you remember me talking about family rivas, we have commited them to baptism in august. The spirit was so strong and I knew they would get baptized all along....it just took a little more time, but that is ok. Also this week hermana chiquin and I had a miracle. We had an investigator in my second week in the mission, hermano carlos. After week 3, he left to san salvador for work, and we never saw him again. We were so bummed because we had committed him to baptism and everything. I was so bummed because he was one of our best investigators. He was so ready to be baptized, to have a change in his life. And it touched me, because he was so excited to receive the priesthood too. Well guess who we found while we were walking down the street?? Hermano Carlos.  He returned to Metapan, and we never knew it. But we found him. Right then and there we had a lesson with him in his house. His mom and brother joined in on the lesson too. We recommitted him to baptism as well as his brother and mother. They are also getting baptized in august. Finally after being here for a change and a half, I am seeing the fruits of my work. It feels good bringing people to Christ, to share this happiness with them.

There are some people we have here that we teach, that sometimes decide to discontinue the discussions. We had hermano santos...I talked about him a little bit in my last letter. We were so sure he was going to get baptized. Well he has had problems with the word of wisdom and the law of chastity. We had been working with him really hard. Last appointment we had with him, we went to his door to find him drunk. We shared a message with him outside his door, and afterwards, my companion took his bottle of alcohol away. We thought that maybe he wouldn't remember us taking the bottle away from him our next appointment. Well next appointment we had with him, we knocked on his door. He opened it and started screaming at us. "You took my bottle away....how can I trust you again..you are not welcome in my house, and I am not getting baptized in your church, EVER."

With that we tried to convince him that we were only there to help him. We got a slammed door in our face. The feeling as you walk away from a person you worked so hard with....its hard to explain. Just devastating. Devastating because you want what is the best for him. And because you have the knowledge that he is a son of God, and he doesn't. To know that we need to follow God and do our best in this life to return to Him someday, and he doesn't have a willingness to do so.

This week we have a lot of people like this....they don't understand the happiness the gospel can bring to their lives. They feel alone and so sad, angry and confused. I sit there in the lessons awestruck. How do you not know that you are a child of a loving Heavenly Father? Do you not know of your worth and divinity? And to be without that knowledge in this world, that you are a Child Of God, is so sad. I cannot imagine how different my life would be, if I was without that knowledge. So I found a scripture I like....D&C 50:41. It says, " Fear not, little children, for you are mine, and I have overcome the world, and you are of them that my father hath given me."

Challenge for this week: "Remember you are a child of God Challenge". During your family home evening I want you to take a piece of paper. For every person in your family, write down a good quality that the person has. Then pass the paper around for everyone to write on until it gets back to you.(Everyone should have a piece of paper at the end with qualities specifically just for them.) After this, put this paper where you can see it. When you are having a bad or hard day, look at this paper and remember you have good qualities and are a child of God.

 :) Well, love ya tons...gotta go. But Remember, I love ya, God loves ya, and that is all that matters.

Until next week, Hermana Thomas

Monday, July 8, 2013


Good news family and friends.... I am staying in Metapan for another 6 weeks with Hermana Chiquin!! Whoooo!!!

Well this week has been pretty good. Because I was sick with dengue, me and my companion had to work twice as hard to get all of our work done, and we have sure been busy this week. I realize that I havent shared much information about my investigators with you, so this week I want to write about one specific family we are teaching. Their name is family pacheco. They are very special to me. This particular family is different from the other familys that we teach. They live on dirt floors, and honestly dont have much. There are 8 people in this family, all squished into one insy teensy little thing they call their home. They go to the river for their drinking water and to wash their clothes, and to shower. And I have to say that this place never ceases to humble me. This family has a daughter, Blanca. She is 11 years old, and is unable to walk. They also have a grandma who is 85, and she can hardly walk. She has cancer, but they dont have any money to pay for treatment, so she is in a lot of pain all the time. But the thing that is special about them is their special spirit. Despite all  of the trials they face, they are probably the happiest family I have ever met!! They take care of each other, and they are always serving others. We brought them to church this week. It took us about 20 minutes to walk there, because we were pushing Blanca and the grandma in wheelchairs. But when we got there, the spirit was incredibly strong. It was fast and testimoney meeting, so everyone got to bear their testimoneys. A lot of people talked about charity. I thought that, that specific topic was so fitting for that day. And I got to thinking how it is so important that we are always in the service of others. We talked of the story of the good samaritan, and how it is good to always serve our friends and neighbors.

I think sometimes in life we get caught up in the moment, we get caught up in school and work and other things. And sometimes we stop thinking of others. We dont recognize others needs because we are so caught up in ourselves. I have a goal for all of you this week. Look for someone to serve. In your neighborhoods, in your family, or maybe some random person on the street, or the homeless shelter...anything. It doesnt matter who, it just matters that you served someone. In the mission, we are always looking to serve someone...and before my mission, I didnt do that too often. But I learn that as you make it a specific goal to do so, I promise you that you will find someone. You will find lots of people. Always. I cant describe the special feeling I have after I have served someone. Just peace, and tranquility. It feels so good. I know that if you accept this challenge, you will be blessed for your efforts. We were put on this earth to help each other, right? There are people all around you that need you. They are just waiting for you to come to them. So next week, I want to hear your experiences of who you served, what you did to serve them. I promise as you make an effort to do this in your daily life, you will feel a change. I havent been in the mission long, but the people here have truly changed my life. This work has changed my life. I love this work, and I dont want to stop. It is so addicting.

I love you all!! Til next time,

Hermana Thomas
People in my zone...ZONA MOLINO!!!!!!

After my awesome experience in the hospital in san salvador, we got to pass by the temple. So of course I took pictures. I had fun playing with my camera. haha but really in all seriousness, isn't it so beautiful??

 These are pics from the hospital. The first hospital I went to was in Santa Ana, Centro Medico. But the nurses weren't too good there, so we transferred to a hospital in San Salvador. It was much better. haha

Love my area. It is beautiful. Wouldnt trade this experience for the world!!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The big "D" word

Hello to my dear family and friends!!!
First of all, I am so sorry for not writing last week. I actually was unable to write because believe it or not I was in the hospital. Lets just say, dengue is not a fun thing to have. I got it last Saturday, and was admitted into the hospital in San Salvador...because my platelets were extremely low. 83,000....KIm will know that is not good at all. I also had a fever and my whole body hurt. It feels like i got hit with a car. And I got absolutley no work done last week. I just got out of the hospital on Monday, and my companion and I have worked ten times as hard as we did before.I did not enjoy laying in a hospital bed doing nothing. And it made me really realize the importance of this mission. 18 months is nothing....and it just doesnt seem like enough time. But the important thing I have learned is that missionary work is not a temporary thing. This work to bring people to the church, and the temple, and to change their lives is a life long process. And we are here on this earth to help each other out so that we can ALL return to our Heavenly Father. And I want nothing more than to return to my Heavenly Father and to see all of your smiling faces there with me. 
This week we have taught on the importance of the priesthood. Without the authority of God on this earth, the church would not exist. There is no way we could feel the true happiness we feel, without the priesthood. The priesthood blesses families and everyone on the earth today. I am especially grateful for priesthood blessings. Last Sunday when I was sick with dengue, I asked one of our Elders to give me a blessing after church. It was all in Spanish, because elder velasquez is from Guatemala..and doesnt speak a word of spanish. But it doesnt matter who gives the blessing, where they give it, or what language it is in. I want to testify to you of the love that came pouring into my heart from Heavenly Father that day I got that blessing. I felt sooooo loved, and felt comfort that everything would be okay. For all of you worthy priesthood holders, I want to thank you for living worthy to hold this special authority. Never do something that could cause you to lose this special gift from God. Not only does it bless your lives, but everyones lives around you. And for all you women who do not have the priesthood....do not feel less of yourself because you cant hold the priesthood. We are here to support the priesthood, and to help them live worthy to use this power. And that is just as important for us women to do that, as it is for the men who have the priesthood. Us women are responsible to protect the priesthood from danger and evil . Always be a good example to the men in your life. Live worthy and stay away from questionable situations. Same goes for the men. As we work all together to do this, we can all remain happy. Thanks for your love back at home. Even though you are not physically here with me, I can feel you here with me spiritually...and that means just as much. 
One last thing...I found a scripture during my personal study while I was in the hospital. It talks about trials and tribulations, which was pretty appropriate for my situation, because that was one of the biggest trials I have had so far in my mission. Always remember that our trials happen to strengthen us, but when things get tough, remember the Lord is always with you. This scripture is in Alma 38:5. When you read it, put your name in place of the name that is there, ok? It makes it feel more personal. Im going to modify it just a tiny bit It says, " And now my daughter, Hermana Thomas, I would that ye should remember, that as much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions and ye shall be lifted up at the last day."
I love you all so much!! I did recieve some letters today..lots of letters from the Vance family, and from Grandma Kathy, and Mitch and Gina. Thanks so much!!! Happy birthday kyle and kylie, and also my friends nadia and lindsay. Oh and since today is the 4th of July...HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!! Count your blessings today that you live in a free country, you are truly blessed. Enjoy all the barbecues and fireworks for me ok?? And send me lots of pictures! Love ya!!!! ;)