Monday, August 26, 2013

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!

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