Wednesday, September 4, 2013

September 3, 2013

ZDM Lunch
Rainbow over chapel in Biloxi

A Day At The Park
With Comps

Hey everyone!
 I can't believe it's already Sept! Crazy Stuff!
There's not a lot to report this week.
 We did have an investigator attend church this past Sunday! We had a great lesson with Lily and Carlos, and are in the middle of the second lesson with them (Plan of Salvation). 
Heavenly Father has really helped me with my back!
 Guess what? I FINISHED MY FIRST MISSIONARY JOURNAL!! I'm starting my second one now!  Hip hip hurray! 
 There was a family we met who are very sweet, and have been welcoming ever since the first time we met them, and have felt in their hearts what we were saying was true. I love those people! Just pray they stay strong till..well, forever! :) 
We've gone on a couple of different splits out here in MS!  It's fun, because you get to see how members react with different people; and you get to see people you probably wouldn't see unless you're with a member! 
I'm very grateful for everyone here, for they're all very kind and helpful! They all want to be a part of missionary work!  It's so wonderful! Now all they need to do is invite their friends to church as well!!!! I love serving a mission, because it's not just about numbers (how many are coming to church) no. It's about bringing people closer to Christ. That's what I'm out here to do. To share the word of God with everyone around me, and I have a license to do it!  Full time that is!
Yesterday for P-day, we hung out with the Biloxi, Spanish Elders. We went to Subway, then went to the park and had a picnic while playing curses. It was fun! 
 I was reading in the New Era, and I found my friend Seth under "Hearing with the Heart" in the May 2013 New Era! was really neat!
I would love to hear more from everyone and know how everyone is doing!
 I updated my profile. Just go to and search Sierra Thomas and you'll find me! :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

August 26, 2013

 Hey Ya'll! 
So things are somewhat movin' a long down here in MS! Our Golden Investigator read stuff online (don't you just love the wrong info people write online?) and has stopped reading. Our couple investigators are having relationship problems, but Lily is still gungho about the church and coming closer to God! Yippi! And we had to drop one investigator because her husband is very matismo.
I'm very grateful for Heavenly Father's help, because he has sure given me many resources for my back. I have a physical therapist who treats me for free and is in my ward, and my family and Mission Pres's wife has helped me find and set up an appt with an osteopath! I'm very grateful for my companions who have taken good care of me, and have helped me to become an even a better missionary! I love working with them!
BTW, I want to thank everyone who has sent me letters!!! I love getting them!  And if ya'll have any kind of sheet music that you think would be great for my mission, I would love any suggestions you might have, or if anyone has any extra copies? Thanks!
 I was reading in the Book of Ether about the brother of Jared. I read about how he made the clear stones and God made them light up, and he saw God and everything, but it JUST clicked to me today as I read:
Ether 3:24 - For behold, the language which ye shall write I have confounded; wherefore I will cause in my own due time that these stones shall magnify to the eyes of men these things which ye shall write." that the brother of Jared created the Urim and Thumin  SAY WHAT?!  Those are the stones that Joseph Smith used to translate the plates into the Book of Mormon! HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!  This whole chapter is prophecy about Joseph Smith! I thought it was pretty sweet! I just wonder what Joseph Smith was thinking while he was writing this! It was a pretty cool personal study this morning!
This past Thursday was a zone conference where a Quorum of the 70 visited. I forget his name, but he's in the 1st of the 70. Was pretty sweet. Saw my Comp Sis. Shaw from my companionship in the MTC. Was great to see her!  I got to play the piano for two missionaries as we performed "Beautiful Savior"at the zone conference where half the mission is there. It was really neat!
That's about all I have to share for this week! Things are getting there, and keep praying that our investigators will continue to come closer to Christ. Thanks for all your warm letters and comments.
Hope to hear more from ya'll soon!
TTFN ta ta for now!
Sista T.
From down under in Mississsippi,
Sister Thomas

August 19, 2013

 Things have been goin' swell! 
Transfer week last week was craaazzzy! Got some yummy pickles at Treasure Hunt.
Got some new Spanish Elders! One of them knows how to sign, and will be going home around the same time as me! He also has an amazing singing voice! His comp is fresh outta the MTC! GREENIE! They're both super sweet! We're gonna go hang with them after email!
Heavenly Father has truly been blessing me as far as health stuff goes! I'm truly blessed for my Mission President and his wife, and my parents and my comps! Also the ward members! Everyone has done so much to help me!!! Heavenly Father has truly blessed me with people who truly care about me!
Portuguese is going ok. It's going I think as well as it ever will down in Mississippi! The only way it'll really improve is when I get immersed in it in Brazil. :)
It's so much fun working on an Air Force base! I love it so much! We meet so many different people, and have the chance to learn more about military activities!
Yesterday we taught for the first time a man named Brian. He is 19 and is a referral from a member of the Branch on the Air Force. (his roommate). Brian is amazing, and is totally prepared to be taught! The spirit was very strong in the lesson, and practically knows the lesson of the Restoration without us even having to teach it! Was amazing how strong his testimony already is! He alreay knows Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and many other things. We will be meeting up with him today, and will see how he's doing as far as reading the Book of Mormon ( in which he's already read all the testimonies in the beginning and wants to read from cover to cover! He already knows it's the word of God!) and make sure he's ready to learn about the plan of salvation next time we meet. He wants to meet everyday this week! HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!
Here's some spiritual messages:
Faithful energetic service in the kingdom of god - we serve as ambassadors of Christ. Ambassadors = leaders, guiders, bridge between two things, authorized messenger / representative. We're messengers of the gospel; we're representatives of Jesus Christ. People are always watching you. Act in diligence and and be persistent. We are in a plague of pornography and temptations! It's poison! STAY AWAY FROM IT! Satan wants to tempt our emotions. Be humble; be willing to get on your knees and ask for help - and act on that help! You are God's chosen servant! A
world of opportunity lies ahead! Being clean, gives you the confidence you need to stand tall in this dark world. 
That's about 2/3 of what I learned Sunday! :)
That's really all the info I have for this week. 
Hope everything is going great!
Hope to hear from ya'll soon!
Sista T.

August 8, 2013

My district before transfers
Hey ya'll!
 Here's some bullet points on investigators and life:
  • Lily and Carlos - we have taught lily and Carlos twice now.she is always on top of everything we teach her! we showed her the restoration last, and talked about prophets. her baptismal date we are working towards is Aug 31st. within that time we need to teach her all the lessons and she needs to get married to Carlos, or is an inactive.
  • Jessica - catholic, taught her twice now. her oldest daughter, Juliett, likes sitting in on the lessons. she prayed about if our message and prophets are true and alive today. she got goosebumps and  a strange good freeling. we explained what that was, and talked about Jesus and prophets. Her baptimsal date is Sept 7th (MOM'S BIRTHDAY!!!!)
  • DeAndra - the day we tracted her house, she let us in, we talked about why there are so many churches and the Book of Mormon. I think she is Catholic. she wanted a Book of Mormon of her own. She even accepted a baptismal date for Aug 31st. We haven't gotten in contact with her since! :(
  • Shawn - we tracted into her. knocked on her door and introduced ourselves. she admitted she was Catholic, but that she could always come closer to Christ. she then let us in, and she really opened up to us the more we talked with her! it was really amazing to see how the Lord prepared her for us! She kept expressing how amazed she was that we knocked on her door. She admitted that if it was a month ago, she wouldn't have talked with us. She's not quite ready for the thought of baptism; but with the Lord's help anything is possible. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to get a hold of her since.
  • amber -  we've only had one lesson with her, and she wasn't quite up for baptism, but the spirit was very strong! we're waiting to get back in contact with her to set up a second appt.
  • Bobbie-Joe - she's a referral from the bishop. The first appt fell throughy, but we had one with her, and she really wants to get baptized! she wants to quit smoking. She's had all the lessons before, and wants to progress!
Here's some spiritual uplift:
 God sent us here with a purpose.  To ask with real intent, means you ask with real intentions to follow the divine revelation from God (an answer to your prayers) (John 14) = Holy Ghost

BOM - (1 Nephi 1:6) - Lehi saw fire on rock like Moses who saw fire on a bush (Exodus 3)
1 Nephi 1:14 vs 4:13
1 Nephi 2:7 - always be grateful from what you have. 2:9 - Lehi still had much faith in his sons. it's not our place to give up on someone. Continually run into the fountain of all righteousness; and be firm and steadfast and immovable in good works (18-19) put our faith in the Lord and try,  and and he will bless us. (3:21) how often do you need to be persuaded to follow the commandments of God?

Bible - Exodus 16:8 - when ye murmur about your fellow beings, ye murmur against God.
Ch 16 - murmur for hunger - received bread daily
ch 17 - murmurs for water, water comes out of a rock.
17:7 - is the Lord with us or not? Where is thy faith?

I didn't get transferred. Still here in Biloxi MS:
From down under in Mississsippi,
Sister Thomas

Monday, August 26, 2013

July 29, 2013

Hey ya'll!
 My Week has been great! Yes, we have gotten more contacts, and we're teaching two people right now. One is wanting to get baptized, the other one is slowly but surely on her way. Either way, we're planting the seed for both of them! Opening up a new area takes a LOT of patience! We have people written down from like 2005 or 2007! We are literally starting from scratch. New apt, no investigators, no advice...EVERYTHING is new. Including getting lost because we don't know where ANYTHING or ANYONE is. haha! But we have come a long ways and are doing great I think! 
  We do only get about three hours of Portuguese a week if we're lucky. It's SO busy here since we are opening, but we do have a guy here that served his mission in Portugal and is helping us once a week. Man...I feel like I've digressed a lot, because I could barely understand anything he said! I can talk better than I can understand! 
The weather here is AWESOME! It's hot a lot, but there's usually a nice breeze to go with it! And it's stormy a LOT!!! I LOVE it! It rains ALL the time! I LOVE it! I wish I could just go out and play in it! There was an AWESOME lightning storm. And there was one time that thunder hit, and it sounded like it was RIGHT on top of our apt! It felt like it shook the house! 
 I have to say I LOVE the Relief Society talk about charity and trusting God; but I also loved the Sacrament Meeting talk about loving each other, including members, less active, and investigators, and door approaching lessons (tracting lessons need to include a prayer, a principal taught and a commitment), we taught 19 lessons this past week! Which is our highest amount yet!  
 I FINISHED THE Book of Mormon!!!! It was exactly 2 months! May 24th - July 24th!!! How awesome is that? I'm mainly studying the bible now (with some BOM) and I started the 25th and I'm in Genesis 32 or 36 now...idr (I don't remember). Either way, their lives are SO interesting! We have an hour of personal study, then an hour of comp study where we read from the White Bible, then talk about what we studied during personal study, then do some other studies. It's very nice. We're usually at the apt doing planning and studies until 1pm.  I'm loving it out here in the field...AND I ONLY HAVE 16 MONTHS LEFT!!!! AHHH! I've already been on a mission for 2 months! how crazy is that?!
I got a Greenie package from home for all of us! We loved it!
 I started coming up with a cool version of We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet on the piano! During FHE we watched On Sacred Ground - about Joseph Smith...was SUPER interesting! The wind was so strong that night that it turned my umbrella inside-out. Luckily though, it came back to normal without any damage.
Well, Nykemia is out of the picture. I cried a lot. I have learned how to handle potential and progressing.
We went on splits with the Sister training leaders on Friday. Was cool. Saturday we fasted to find people. Here's what I wrote in my dairy later Saturday evening,
"Dear Diary,
OH MY GOSH! I just got out of a lesson with Amber!" (Amber is one of the investigators in the Airforce) "When we first went in, we got her perspective about the BOM. She didn't understand why she needed another book added to the bible. After a prayer and lots of talking and praying in our hearts, sis McElderry came up wit ha great explanation and had Sis Keyes do her dot analogy. THEN........ SHE GOT IT! She even came up with her own analogy! She then admitted the light bulb came on! The spirit was really strong there! She had to keep answering phone  calls. In the end, I extended the baptismal invite and she said she wasn't ale to answer us right then; but she did say she would pray about the BOM and the church! I cannot express how strong the spirit was! I was shaking! She has a busy week next week, but she said she would give us a call when she's free. I'm truly grateful for the opportunity we had to teach her; and I know she is very smart and very closer to the spirit!"
We taught another girl named Lily. Her boyfriend / baby's daddy and her are living together, and he has been baptized and has been wanting her to come into the church. They've been together since they were 16, and their little boy is 2. They are such a cute family! Anyway, we taught them a lesson last night...and she kept asking questions to help us transition into the next subject! she was on the BALL!!! Was great! The spirit was def there! It's amazing to see how the Lord has prepared people and how they are placed in our path!

I'm truly grateful for this opportunity to serve, and can't wait to get back out there and do some more!!! I lovin' the thunderstorms!!!! N LIGHTNING!! LOVE YA'LLS!!! Can't wait to hear from you all!

From down under in Mississsippi,
Sister Thomas

July 17, 2013

Hey everyone! 
The Mission field is AWWWWWSOME!  Thanks for all who have been emailing me! 
So here's the basics of people we've run into:
  •  woman at library - acted drunk. Told Sis Keyes not to preach to her. Cried to Sis McElderry her whole life sob story; loved how attentive we were.
  • taught first lesson to nykemia (na-keem-a) she read up to ch 5 in the Book of Mormon, then the next time we visited her, she read to Jacob! WHOA!!! Two days!!! We gave the rest of the lesson. She was in awe with the First Vision! At the end of the first lesson, she committed to baptism on Aug 3! In the second lesson, she committed to coming to church next Sunday!
  • Amber - one of my comps was having a rough day. I felt we should go onto Mercedes Rd to tract. I prayed that HF would give us one person for my comp. There was one Catholic woman that talked with us and accepted the BOM; but the last house we saw was a military woman working outside. She opened up to us like an open book and sucked us in. The spirit was very strong!
  • Angie - looking for an inactive, ran into Angie; accepted a BOM.
  • Brenna - Partially catholic, accepted BOM.
  • Wilma - doesn't want us to teach her, but brought us into her house to share a message with her. She got tears in her eyes when we talked about the atonement = strong baptist.
  • Rahul - hindu - very sweet, met at library with his son. Sis keyes talked with him. Plan on getting a BOM in his language!
  • Tony - A friend of a member. Humors the family by listening. Really awkward lesson! Did my best not to be shy!
  • Amy - met at dollar general. Accepted BOM.
What's really cool, is I've realized how close to the spirit I am. While we were in an apartment complex, we were knocking on a door that used to be (if not still) an inactive member's door. Well, I started getting a really sick feeling, and started to get scared. In the end, I felt really bad, and it just did NOT feel like a good idea to be there. My training leader was going to put our number on his door to contact us, and I told her not to, because of the feeling that I had. In the end, it almost brought tears to my eyes because of how bad I was feeling. I'm glad I acted on that prompting, because who knows what could have happened!
Another cool experience I had, was yesterday we decided to go into a neighborhood to tract. My heart was pounding really hard. We sat in the car trying to find out where our dinner appt. was. While we were sitting in there, I came to realize that there was SOMEONE down that neighborhood that was ready to hear our message. We knocked on a few doors. Either they weren't interested, or they weren't home. All I know, is that we need to go back. It was cool to have that feeling. I'm so excited to go back and check it out. Maybe they weren't exactly ready yesterday, but they'll be ready by the time we'll go back. Who knows!
So my goal is to talk to everyone!!! Two days ago when we were trying to find another inactives house, we were walking up to her house / apt. and a woman was coming up. Sis. Keyes asked if she might know if this woman still lived here, but she didn't. As we continued to walk, I saw Sis. Keyes put her hand in her bag like she was reaching for something to give the woman. But in the end, when she pulled her hand out, nothing was in her hand. The woman started getting further and further away. I then heard her say somethin to her kids about the heat. I took the chance and I said, "yeah, it's pretty hot today, isn't it?" She agreed with me. I then went further and said, "So, what was your name?" She turned around and told me it was Antionette. I went forth with my hand stretched forth and told her my name was Sis. Thomas, and how we're missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and what we do as missionaries. Sis. Keyes came up from behind me and we found out she is a Baptist. We started talking about the Bible and the BOM. In the end, she accepted one, and was excited to read it. GO ME FOR GETTING COURAGE TO TALK TO HER!!! BOOYA! lol!
That's all I have to share today!
Hope to talk to ya'll soon!
Sis. Sierra Thomas

July 8, 3013

Two Missions! Jackson, Mississippi and Sao Paulo, Brazil

 Hey ya'll!! Life here in Mississippi is GREAT!
 Here's how it all went down the morning I left the MTC:
     Monday morning everyone in my room (except Sis Morrill because she was leaving to CA on Tuesday ) Sister Shaw, Sirmans, McElderry and me grabbed our luggage and headed to the bus = 4:30am - woke up at 3:20am!  My luggage was 70 and 75lbs!  On the ride there, there was an Elder sitting in front of both me and Sis Shaw. He talked to her the whole ride to the airport. I took a nap. When we all got to the airport, I had the HARDEST time getting my luggage around; and everyone had to keep waiting on me. I had my heavy purse around my neck / shoulder, 2 70lb suitcases, 1 rolling computer bag filled with tons of books = heaving, my scriptures, and two pillows.  AH! I had SO much stuff!
     I had brought extra money specifically for that though, so I thought I was ok. As I pulled all my stuff up to the desk, (fingers ready to break, but trying to keep a smile on my face) I pre-warned her that I know they're about 70lbs. i pay for the first one - $160. I bring the other one up, $200...bc it was 4 lbs over 70. I wasn't able to do cash and card, so I had to have Sis. McElderry help me (after i took 4lbs off = shoes). I brought the weight down to 70.5 (so they gave it to me for 70. In the process of figuring out what to take out of my suitecase, the lady was like, "you don't need to take so much stuff. I know. served a mission. I served in Switzerland, and I didn't need all that stuff. Switzerland, or Brazil....Same thing." That made it hard on me. The tone of her voice, her facial expression, and her attitude was just my breaking point. When I realized I didn't have enough money and I needed to borrow, I worked really hard on holding my tears back. I then had to figure out what to do with all my shoes. I ended up getting another carry on bag = $20 cheaper than paying 200! and stuck my purse and shoes in it. Eventually after all of this was finally sorted out, we got through security and got to our gate. I wasn't planning on eating / buying any breakfast bc I brought snacks, but then at the wrap palace ( where others were buying) there was a Mormon couple, and bought us all breakfast!
     While we were sititing waiting  for the plane, we met a couple. He served in Brazil on his mission, and his wife is from Brazil.  So we all got some practice at portuguese.
     On the plane, I sat next to a man from Texas. I don't remember his name. Our conversation started out with me telling him how excited I was for jmy mission! I wasn't sure if he was Mormon or not because we were coming out of SLC. Eventually, it led into him asking what we do as missionaries - to talking about the difference between churches and temples - to the importance of the temples - to why wthere are so many churches on earth (the apostasy - restoration = 1st lesson) - to marraige and the importance and blessings of being sealed together forever - to the Plan of Salvation ( 2nd lesson!) Enventually, in so many words I asked hi mto read the BOM and pray about its truth. in the end, he said he would out of pure curiosity. He also believes that things happen for a reason; and that he believed that we were talking for a reason! My comp behind me gave me a card, so I handed it to him! It was really amazing! He asked me so many questions! HF really helped me!
     When we arrived at the Dallas airport, we found phones and called our families.. I first called home, Trevor hanswered. I could tell he was excited! I heard Julianna get super excited and yell my name in the background! She told me about how well her school was doing, and how much it's been storming there. I also found out that my mom was out and about. Sadly, our phone call was cut off.. I called my mom's cell. She was super happy to get a phone call from me! It was good talking to my mom! She said she sometimes sets 7 plates instead of 6 on the table! I told her about the MTC, what I've learned, and the plane ride!
     Eventually, I heard my mom say, "Hello? Hello?" and then was completely gone. I realized I didn't say, "I love you." but instead of almost crying, I made myself think about how I was glad I was able to hear her voice, and tell her about what's been going on. I love my family!
     While I was waiting for the Sisters (who were still on the phone) I stood by, and a man came up to me and asked about my name tag (which is in Portuguese). I translated it, then explained how I am eventually going to Brazil. I shared  a little bit with him, then he headed off to his plane.
     Our 2nd plane was TINY! one aisle - one side only, one seat behind each other, and the other side 2 seats behind each other. We then arrived in Jackson, Mississippi, and there was our Mission President and his wife and two Sis missionaries. They helped get our luggage, and we all headed out to the Brandon ward. I rode with the Mission Pres's wife. It was great! They are both so sweet and are always smiling!  There were a lot more new missionaries there! We ate some lunch, then all went into the chapel. After some talking, we all bore our testimonies....I always cry!
    Afterwards, we all headed off to the mission home. We all picked numbers for beds. I needed up on a top bunkbed = just like home!
     After dinner, some Sisters wanted to hear me play, so I played them music on the piano. We all had five minute interviews with the Mission Pres.
     On July 2nd (tues) we filled our some paperwork, then found out where we would be serving. I found out my companion would be Sis. McElderry (roommate at the MTC) and a Sister named Sis. Keyes. (eyes with a K).
     After pictures and goodbyes, we headed off to the transfer area. Sis Shaw and Sis Sirmans were comps and were staying in Jackson. When we got to the Stake Center, we marked our luggage, emailed, then around 1:30pm got into our vans and headed off. We got to Biloxi (our area) around 4pm.
     After a full day of traveling we finally got to our apartment. It's BEAUTIFUL!  Nice big kitchen, 3 desks, electic fireplace, nice shower / tub, etc.
     3rd- We jogged around a pond in our apt area for exercise, then the Spanish assigned Elders picked us up and brought us to the church for DDM - District Meeting. Sis. McElderry played the piano. Elders went up and discussed their investigators. Apparently one was getting married this past weekened and getting baptized this upcoming weekened. After all of that, we all went up and had a little get to know me 5 min each sessions. Afterwards, we all had cake and sang because it was the DL - district leader's bday.  Then we had lunch at Chick- Fil- a and we went back to the church and did some door approach role playing. Eventually  my comps and I went tracting. We met a guy named Dustin. He originally come out in a shirt and boxers, but put some pants, AWKWARD! He seemed pretty interested. We gave him a BOM and we'll call him tonight (Monday). 6:30 pm we met the Bishop of our Ward...interesting man.
4th - for lang study, sis McElderry and I named everything in our apt in Portuguese on sticky notes.
1:30 we met the RS Pres at McDonald's and she brought us on the airforce base (where part of our area is.) Many people in the Ward live on base. They were supposed to be having a party, but it was basically just two families at a house talking and eating.  Afterwards, we visited a member's home. I forget their last name, but they were the cutest! The mom was super skinny, and really cute hair, and just overall, their family looked a movie family! She looked like an artist! They adpoted a little girl from Russia, which is where her husband served (Siberia). We talked about my siblings for a short time who are also from Russia.
After we visted their family, we went tracting in their neighborhood. There was a man and a boy on their porch. They were both very polite, but definitely not interested.
Eventually, we found three people in their garage. One Older man, one in his late 20's, an early 30's man, and one woman. At first they were very,  "I'm not interested" but as time went on, the younger man, (Patrick) started asking some questions. We also found out that the woman (Patrick's girlfriend) has some friends who are Mormon. It eventually led to us telling our stories about how we gained our testimonies. In the end, they were alot more open to us than they were in the beginning. We gave him a BOM and when we asked for his number ,he rejected because his girlfriend was right there. We gave him our # and we stated that he could call us, and if he didn't want anything to do with us, we wouldn't bother him again, but we would love to come and teach / tell him more. His girlfriend spoke up, "well that seems fair." cool...but that was the only real luck we had. We're planning on visiting again later this week.
We've had so much luck this past week!
I don't have time to tell more, but there have been many times were we track so long, and it's the last house that we have success at. There have been two times where people have been praying for help, and we're their answer. It's really cool! I'm really grateful for this experience!
Hope all is well! LOVE YOU ALL!!!

July 2, 2013

Hey Ya'll!!! I'm in Mississippi!!!

 I arrived in Mississippi at 4:15 yesterday (Monday) and stayed at the Mission Home last night! My new companions are Sis. McElderry and Sis. Keye....I think that's her name. ! Sis.Keye is our training Sister, and Sis. McElderry was one of my roommates! So cool, right?! We're going REALLY south for our area. I forget the name, but it starts with a B, and has an X in it. ! I'M A REAL MISSIONARY NOW!  Hope all is going well!

Sorry, I don't have a lot of time to email right now, but I just wanted to let you all know I arrived safely, and I'm SUPER excited to get started!!!! 
It's a 3 hour drive until I get to my area!
And my comp and I are opening up a new area. It's an area that was split!
Btw, you can all email me now! I'll email my address when I get it! Thanks everyone love you all!
~Sis. Thomas

June 28, 2013

I am in the yellow shirt right in the middle! Missionary Broadcast

Dear Family and Friends,
"Dear Sister Thomas,
At this time, we have not received your visa to travel to your mission. You will be serving a temporary assignment in the Mississippi Jackson Mission until your visa arrives. You will be traveling with Sister McElderry and Sister Shaw." I will be using the American Airlines and it leaves SLC, UT at 8:35AM on July 1st 2013. I need to report to the Travel Offic at 4:30AM where I'll get all my tickets etc. My mission has been notified of my arrival info and will be awaiting to receive me.
 So overall...I'M GOING TO MISSISSIPPI!!!!!
    Here's what's been going on here: On the 21st (last pday) my comps and I went to put our laundry in the dryer. I put my colored clothes in; but when I went to get my whites, they weren't there. We eventually found out that an Elder must have thought they were his, and put it in with his whites. So, I had to open his dryer and pick out my clothes!!! AWK-WARD!!!!!!At least that Elder wasn't standing right here. It would be really funny if I forgot one, and he found a girl's clothing in his pile. LOL! In class we went to another TRC. This time, it was a Brazilian woman named Catherina. She was AWESOME! We said a prayer right before we went in, and when we were in with her, it went amazing! I was able to almost understand EVERYTHING she said and what my comps said! AND I  spoke Portuguese! I didn't have to think about how or what to say! It was really cool!
 As for the audition, I got a callback!!! I found out I would be singing Olive Tree and playing No ordinary man while Sis. Shaw sang on the same day in the same meeting!!!! It was really amazing to me! Right before the auditions, I begged God for help, because I really wanted to perform well and I had worked really hard! When we were done, after feeling sorry for myself, I stopped praying for myself, and realized that I haven't been called on this mission to perform; but to bring others closer to Christ, and serve the Lord. I then started praying that sister Shaw would get to perform. I believe that because I didn't focus on me, HF gave me the opportunity to perform! I was more than excited! I just really had to work on memorizing!
     On the 22nd - I wrote in my journal, "I'VE BEEN AT THE MTC EXACTLY A MONTH TODAY!" It was a pretty chill day.
     23rd - At 12:15 my comps and I were released from sacrament meeting and booked it to lunch, then booked it to the front gate (we really wanted good seats at the broadcast.) and ate lunch there. At 12:45 they opened the gate and we all literally RAN to the Marriott center. We ended up with some pretty good seats. The Choir was huge! I'm so grateful I was able to be in it! The broadcast started at 4pm UT time. It was super cool seeing the Apostles and a few of the 70. Elder Bednar and Elder Holland were there!
     24th - During class in the evening, we did contacting with another class. It was a lot of fun! I laughed a lot with the elders in there! In the class, we studied time and date in Portuguese, and I felt like my mind exploded! This language can be pretty ridiculous sometimes. But HF has REALLY been helping me!
     25th - I wrote in my journal, "Last night's devotional was amazing! Sis. Janice Kapp Perry and her husband came and talked! We had some funny things happen, and some really spiritual experiences! She had us all using a medley she put together of her primary songs she composed. It was so beautiful and the spirit was really strong! She then played for us and sang along a family song she made. Then at the end, we all sang the EFY medley ( and sisters sang the mission version of As Sister's in Zion)!!! I was on a spiritual high for the rest of the night!"
     26th - 1:00 my comps and I (after lunch) went over and my accompanist came and practiced with me. After we were done, he left with his comp and I practiced either two or three times with Sis. Shaw, then I just started playing hte piano. Afterwards, as I was leading onto another song, two elders walked up to me and asked me what song I was playing. I admitted that it was just something I was making up as I was going (lunch - in gym. Gym - where piano is.) The admitted they wanted to know what the song was because they wanted to pay it at their wedding. They had me start playing again,. I did a short preview. They loved it! So awesome! For the performance,(3:00_ (performed for all the new missionaries that had just arrived at the MTC) the prelude music we all sang was Called to Serve. Then, while the missionaries were stilling filing in, sis Shaw and I performed No Ordinary Man. Afterwards, we sang an opening hymn, Pres Nally and Sis nally talked, the Pres Roach talked, then it was my turn - 3:30.  the whole time I'm DYING to use the restroom! By the time I walked up to the mic, my hand were numb from being nervous, and was shaking! I also begged HF for help. It was a perfect performance! I sang one line twice, but no one could tell.
     Yesterday was in-field orientation! It was awesome! You know Elder Christianson from "The District"? He was there!!! I got to shake his hand, talk to him, and he taught my group!! It was AWESOME!!! I learned a LOT from In-field orientation. yesterday was amazing! the spirit was very strong, and I was happy all day! If there was something that bothered me, I pushed it aside; and whenever I had an unhappy attitude towards one of my comps, I apologized, and we all moved forward. It turned out to be a spectacular day!!!!
Here are some things I wrote down in my spiritual journal:
Preach the gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words. Forget yourself, and get to work! Learn the language of the lord! (D&C 88:18) Serve with your heart and a willing mind. Relax and be positive. Missionary work is the life-blood of the church. The Book of Mormon is the keystone to our religion. You can experience the most spiritual experiences during the most hardest and painful experiences. We will all go through Liberty Jail experiences spiritually (D&C 121-123) DON'T BE HARD ON YOURSELF! Christ walks with us today. Christ visits us with the guidance of the Holy Ghost. Exact obedience bring blessings. Find ways to serve each other. Fear not, let your heart be comforted. The more struggles you have, the more you're staying on the right path; because if you weren't, the adversary wouldn't care as much. "Just keep swimming" ~ Finding Nemo.  If you wake up during the night with an impression and / or vision, write it RIGHT then. Trust in the Lord to guide you. Set aside your own desire, and do what the Lord wants. Make a real splash by finishing the race. Don't compare yourself to others, because you are GREAT! Don't be fearful; but joyful! Perfect practice makes perfection. When we have a greater force, we can reach greater areas.How are you supposed to get guidance if you don't ask (pray) We are literal children of our HF! Faith + hard work + exact obedience = miracles! Open your mouth with courage! Simplify and intensify. You have a choice to fear; or strengthen your faith in Christ. You can have all the faith in the world, but without action, nothing can be accomplished.YOU CAN DO THIS! Remember who you are. 
What do you think when someone says, "Endure till the end?" Enduring till the end doesn't just mean endure till you die; but also endure to the end of the day; or to the end of the week; or even until the end of the MTC or work. You may feel like quitting, but you don't because you know you can make it. The Savior is always with us. We are in enemy's territory, and God has given us the weapons / tools we need to win this fight. Don't be scared; don't regret that this is where we live. Do everything you can to have the spirit! You will be able to change the world! Be exactly obedient! The Lord has great confidence in you! The Lord trusts us to magnify his work! Guard his trust! The Lord is pushing us harder than he has ever pushed us before! Jesus Christ lives! Have the faith to ask, and you will know him personally. Christ can bring so much out of your life than by yourself. Turn your life over to HF. 
Less than a year ago, Pres Monson made the new age announcement. Since then, last month, 70,274 missionaries have come in and out of the MTC and we have 173 new mission presidents! Our work begins on our knees.  Have all your actions motivated by love. God wants all his children to return to him and qualify for eternal life! Trust the scriptures and you will grow. The atonement is the mighty hearer. "Where 2 or 3 are gathered together in my name, I am there in the midst of them" HF will be with us, and be our active partner. Exercise your faith in him! We can only enter into that higher kingdom through the gate of baptism  (D&C 20:37) (D&C 29:29, 37) If you want to find out more about our religion, talk to a missionary, or hear even more testimonies, go to and / or Take the Lords work seriously. You cannot do it alone and well. (John 21:3,6) (Alma 37:6-7) The real power is when God is involved in all that you do (PMG 51) PMG=The Book of Mormon (Ether 12:14) (Alma 17:29) (3 Nephi 13) (D&C 130:20-21) There are laws, then there are blessings connect to those laws. Faith proceeds miracles. Do ALL that you can! NEVER give up! Fast and pray (exercise your faith ) and God will provide the way! There is a level of faith tha makes things happen when otherwise it would not happen. Use faith as a principal of power. You MUST believe!
Janice Kapp Perry night:
She lives by the MTC. Watches MTC gym time on the field. 78 years old. Met her husband at BYU. Told about a story where she was about to play a clarinet solo. He nudges her arm and says, "I think your lips were made for something better than playing the clarinet!" Right after she finished telling us this story, he walks up to her, grabs her face, and gives her a big kiss!!!! We all laughed and clapped. She then received a standing ovation! He did it a 2nd time~! Priceless! 
We all have someone we can call on.  The medley of primary songs we sang were of A Child's Prayer, I Love to see the Temple, I Belong to the Church of Jesus Christ, I'm Trying to be like Jesus, Army of Helamen, and Love is Spoken Here. She said "I know that man like a book, but I don't know what page he's on, but I do know hes a keeper!" SO CUTE! If you have never loved a pet, a part of your heart has never been opened. Who can I serve today? Missions are a time of cleansing. To sanctify yourself, you must serve others. God will teach through you.
Thanks to all (family!!!!!!) for all the goodies you have all sent me! I got them Wednesday. It has been a spectacular week with trials and blessings! LOVE AND MISS YOU ALL!!!
P.S. - I've seen Emma Lucy, Brooke Marra, Erin Cusik, and Morgan Potter!

June 21, 2013

Oi everyone! mission life at the MTC is going great!
Just a heads up, on June 23rd at 4:00pm UT time, the Work of Salvation will be on BYU TV, and I'LL BE IN THE you MIGHT see me! The 12 apostles are going to be there along with the first presidency! HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!

Como Vai?! Eu meuto feliz aqui!                                              
Minha coracao e plentitude! I cannot express my love and gratitude for my Savior!
After last Sunday night's devotional, we watched, 'The Testaments. If you have not yet seen it, find a way to, because it's such a testimony builder, and is amazing what these people go through! Throughout the movie I kept thinking to myself, "I want to see him! Why can't I see him?" (him = Christ) "Please Heavenly Father, let me see him!" At the end of the movie, my thoughts came to be, "I have seen him. I have!" I realized I had seen him in my life. I see his hands work throughout my days. I am very blessed! I'm grateful, and I know that as I continue to look towards what God has in store for me I'll continue to see his hands in my life. I'm not here on a mission for me. I'm here to serve the Lord, and I know that as I continue to do so, I will be able to help many people come closer to Christ. Because I wanted to see Christ so much, Heavenly Father helped me see how I have seen him, in my life.

Some things my comps and I do for comp study between 10pm-10:15 is:
  • 3 good things about our day
  • 1 good thing about each other (comps)
  • 1 good thing about yourself
  • Open communication time - just in case something was bothering someone - a small version of comp inventory
My comps and I hosted  the new missionaries coming in this past Wednesday. It was a lot of fun! There were a lot of hosts, so I only got to host 1 sister, but even just one is significant in the eyes of God. This sister was from Hawaii, and was very scared about coming to the MTC. She doesn't like being around a LOT of people. The more I talked to her, and showed her around, the less stressed she was. It was a lot of fun! We'll be doing it again this upcoming Wednesday.
During class two days ago, my comps and I taught Carla (teacher pretending to be investigator - resembling someone they taught on their missions). We got her to commit to baptism, and marriage! She's living with her BF, and is excited about temple sealings!
Three days ago, Sis Shaw (my companion) got called to the Travel Office because she got her visa!

During the District Meeting (DM) we talked about what we heard and learned from the devotional. (Given by Elder Gay - quorum of the 70). I spoke about  exact obedience, how he said it's not just doing things exactly obedient, but asking yourself, "Am I worthy?"I talked about how there have been times where I ask myself that question, and I think of all my mistakes I have made. I then explained how when we sincerely repent and use the atonement for what it has been given to us for, we ARE worthy, for we are forgiven.
Yesterday (Thurs), we auditioned for some musical numbers. I played the piano for Sis. Shaw as she sang No Ordinary Man. I found out right before we auditioned that I was not allowed to play AND sing. I held back tears, because I didn't know all the words to my song by heart. (in the order the lyrics were). They found me an accompanist, and I auditioned, (but pre-warned them what had happened), and I auditioned. For my circumstance, I think I did really well. But I still feel like I failed. I did get a yes, (and apparently they don't just give up yesses), but I feel like I failed compared to all others that had their whole song memorized. But, I was able to play for the two sisters (judges -Sis. Nally and another sister), and I played for them my Mom's song that I composed for her before I left on my mission.
Life has been going pretty good here. I'm  loving getting mail from my family and friends, and I believe I'm doing really good learning Portuguese! I'm really excited about serving this mission! I I feel the spirit SO strongly here!
Next week I'll get my reassignment (which will be somewhere in the states). I hope it's not Florida, Utah  or Arizona, because I want to go somewhere new. It would be fun and meaningful wherever I went, but those are my thoughts and wishes.  I know that wherever and whenever I go, it's where the Lord wants me to be.

I'm very grateful for this opportunity and I love my Heavenly Father very much! I can't wait to finally get out in the field and really start helping people! Though, I am nervous about getting out of the MTC, because if I mess up, it's real; but I know that if I stay close to the Lord by constantly praying, constantly reading my scriptures, and preparing in every possible way, the Lord will help me.
Eu sei o evanglho de Jesus Cristo e (with an accent on top) verdade. E eu sai que isso e (accent) de travelhor (idk how to spell) de Deus. eu tenho apprender como a (accent) fallar portuguese mueto bom. Eu meuto gratos por espirito santos eu sento por que com nao (accent) espirito, eu nao (accent) apprender portuguese. Eu sei O livro de Mormon e (accent) verdade! E eu sei que quando eu ler o livro de mormon, eu tenho o Meuto melho dia!
Well, that's my testimony in portuguese! I have an easier time speaking than I do writing and hearing or understanding it.

Hope all is well!
Sister Thomas