Tuesday, June 23, 2015

One Full Week Left!

 June 23, 2015
Oh man how fast time is flying by! It's such a bittersweet feeling. I'm so excited to see my family and friends and have the chance to attend the temple, etc...but I'm going to miss being a "full time" missionary so much. I'm going to miss Sister Verdejo very much! We've had so many good moments! I have with all my companions! We had a pretty good week this past week! 

Tuesday we went and helped "Way of Hope" with painting their newly bought building for a thrift store. Was a BLAST! Inline image 1 As you can see...Sister Verdejo and I had kind of a paint war with each other...and that's James, he's the owner of the store. His wife, Michelle is taking the picture. They invited us for dinner at a church. Saw Bernice and her neighbors there! Had a great time! Afterwards we went back to the original "way of Hope" building and they gave us some Italian Ice! YUM! They asked questions! oh the joys of service! Not forceful! YAY! It was an ALL day experience!  

Thursday - Our mission got I-pads. We're not an ipad mission though, they're just tools to help bring souls unto Christ! When we got back from the Zone Conference, softball got cancelled, so we went over to a member's house and he gave us some dinner. The thought came about a certain family, so I suggested we go and invite them to the pie night Friday. When we got there, all the kids were away swimming at their friends' house. The mom, Dory invited us inside (dad was working outside) and made us some herbal chamomile and peppermint tea. We started on a discussion, and suddenly as Dory was talking, the story President shared in Conference came to my mind about Peter on the water. They are big bible people! It turned out great! Was a wonderful evening! 

Friday - Had a blast at Pie night! Lots of people came, and Brother Peterson had me show off my piano skills. Was hilarious and fun! 

Sunday - Had a great day at church, the spirit was really strong! All the Relief Society sang in Sacrament meeting, "Love at Home" for father's day! Btw...HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! Also, HAPPY 20TH BIRTHDAY ELDER HOUGHTON! 

I'm very grateful for the Gospel. I know it is run by Christ and that if we follow the will of the Father, we can't go wrong!
Paint War with Sis. Verdejo

Helping to Paint "Way of Hope" a new thrift store owned by James and his wife

More paint wars, I think Sis. Verdejo is winning right now!

Mike came with shirts, hats, more pocket knives and treats, Yay, Mike!

A beautiful sunset

Our new i-pads, yay!

Me on the railroad
Also, please don't send me any mail after Wednesday, because I might not get it in time before I go home! I know there is still so much I can do here in this next upcoming week and a half! Looking forward to it all!

Sista T.
Please write! 710 N. Tellico st. #3 madisonville, TN 37354​

Monday, June 15, 2015

Oh my GOSH! It's happening AGAIN! 6-1-2015

Oh man....this week is....no words can express my feelings...................
I know the Lord has a plan for each and every one of us...who knew He'd make something we thought was a one time deal...a bazillion time deal?! If you don't want to read about everything else, I exhort you to read about my Sunday. Because...that's the day everything changed. 

      Well, lets start with Wednesday the 27th shall we?  during the day, Sis. Hansen (member) picked us up. Our appt fell thought, so we went to her house and taught her three kids and their friend, Trevor! (good name!) once the kids left for the lake, Sis. Hansen showed us around her farm / ranch. She had two pics (1 black - kept biting at Sis. Verdejo's toes - would let us pet him; and 1 white - skid-dish). 4 dogs (breeds them - has a huge gentle giant named king and one in labor somewhere in her five acres),  2 rabbits with cute baby bunnies, goats and chickens (along with some chicks). That was SO much fun! Got a lil' muddy - but nothing a good wash can't take off!
      Our last appt with Sis. Hansen was Sis. Porter. We got to her house...oh my GOODNESS! Huge GORGEOUS home! We had fun talking with her, then I played on my dream piano = a baby black grand! Oh mama that thing was beautiful! I played the piece I composed in Abingdon, VA; then I was asked to play another, so I played and sung my mom song, Endlessly. Of course, the whole time I'm singing, I'm thinking about my mom. Towards the end of the song, tears started forming in my eyes. I was able to finish - they loved it! 
      In the evening we taught the achievement day girl named Sapphire. The teacher and her daughter, Morgan were there too. We taught about sacrament. Eventually the elders joined in. 

      Thursday the 28th, we woke up at 5:30 am, left at 6:30 am and arrived at the church at 7:05 am. The Cleveland S. Elders (Byron and Brown) jumped into our backseat and we headed to Farragut, TN for the mission conference (all 150 missionaries) to train us on Ipads! I got to see Blau there and she LOVES sister Mulloy! That made me super happy! I had been praying so hard that she'd get a companion that she'd get along with! The meeting was long...but good! We got to have Elder Zwick of the seventy and another come and train us along with our mission president and wife. I got a package from my mom with my deep blue essential oil! whoop whoop! Thanks mom! (She REALLY takes care of me!)
      When we got back to the church, we had used 112 miles. In this area, we're only allotted 1150 miles and we have to drive more than Abingdon; in which we were allotted 1250! crazy! We were told we would be reimbursed for our miles - then we find out, we were only given 30 miles! WHAT?! Elder Houghton wasn't going to allow that. After much talking to the AP's we were finally given 80 miles! Thank goodness! We now have 17 miles a day until the new month! We ended up seeing Bernice (who we met Sunday) and finished teaching the Resto. She is GOLDEN! 

      Friday at 9 am we had our correlation with Bro and Sis. Peterson (Mission Leader) and the Elders at the church. When we got back we did our weekly planning. Good times. When we were done, we went and visited Jen and Joe. We re-taught them the POS. The spirit was REALLY strong! 


      Sunday....this is the day that my whole world got flipped around. It's happening again! OK, so I read all my blessings yesterday and felt really good about what I'm doing and I read the blessing I received from Elder Houghton (I record them then type them up) last week. It said I had a reason for being here - so I tried to list off some reasons. in the morning, I woke up and on the way to church (Peterson's were driving) anything anyone said would really annoy me. I was not in a good mood and I was tired.
      We got to church and went in to PEC (Priesthood Executive Council) - the whole time I was there, everyone annoyed me, I felt sick to my stomach and I felt like crying. I pushed it back cause I didn't know what was causing those feelings! I was so confused. I put on a smile and did my best to act as if nothing was wrong. My Mom always told me that even when I'm feeling down, put on a smile for the world to see, because you never know who your smile will influence. By the time PEC ended (Oh, BTW - I gave a spiritual thought on prayer!) I felt like bawling and throwing up. I was going to ask if we could go to the restroom, but RS (Relief Society) was starting. I knew Sis. Warren (Member) needed our assistance in the lesson, so I told myself to get over it, allow Heavenly Father to help you and be happy! I honestly had NO idea why I was feeling that way! So, RS happened - was a lot of fun! The feeling faded a lil' until the end. 
      Gospel Principals started and I noticed I could barely concentrate. I held back tears and I felt sick even more so to my stomach. During the lesson, I couldn't hold back anymore. I looked at Sis. Verdejo and said I needed to use the restroom. As I was saying this, tears started forming in my eyes and my lips started trembling. She asked if I was alright. I did my best to hide it, but it was starting to really show so I dashed out of the room into a stall in the bathroom. Lemme tell ya- it's hard to cry softly...especially in the bathroom! Any-who, eventually after everyone left (sure is a popular place) Sis. Verdejo asked, "Are you alright?" I came out of the stall and tried to convince her I was fine - but it's kind of hard to when they see you about to burst into tears! 
It ended up with both of us outside with me crying and telling her that I had no idea why I was sad. I felt sick to my stomach, I felt sad and I felt like I was missing something. It was kind of embarrassing, because members kept walking out. Sis. Warren gave me such a warm hearted hug! It was like I was hugging my mom! I was very grateful for that. Little did I know what was yet to come. 
      Elder Shaw gave a talk that mentioned word for word what I talked about with Sis. Verdejo (well, part of it). It wasn't his original talk either! Amazing! I was able to be a lil' happier the rest of church. Still had the sick feeling in my stomach, and my heart was racing - but I was better!
When we got home, I was so exhausted that I plopped on the couch and closed my eyes (lunch hour anyways). As I was laying there, my thoughts suddenly went to going home. I felt like I was only still on my mission for my siblings because I wanted to be the example as their oldest sibling that served faithfully her FULL time mission. Then, a feeling came that I NEVER felt before! I felt that I've completed my mission. "WHAT?! I STILL HAVE 7 MONTHS!!!" I tried to deny the idea. I continued rehearsing the blessings I've been given before how I was promised to have healing enough to do what the Lord had for me in this part of His vineyard. Not only that, but I have been doing great. Yes, I have struggled a little bit with my neck, but was planning on getting that worked out with massage therapy. I have talked to my parents about it through a letter, and members here have recommended some great suggestions. There was no way that my physical stuff was limiting me enough to make me think about going home. It just came out of NOWHERE! 
      Sis. Verdejo was eating at the table and asked, "You gonna eat?" I chuckled and put some salad in a bowl, and while I was eating started talking to her about my thoughts while I was lying down. She got so quiet and you could see it in her eyes there was something up. So, I asked. It was then that she looked at me square in the yes and said that when I said the words, "Go home," the spirit was REALLY strong. I swear my heart stopped for a full 2 seconds. I had to catch my breath! Eventually I asked her what she thought it meant. She shrugged and replied, "I don't know if it means that you need to go home, or stay on your mission." Her eyes widened. She then went on to explain that as soon as she said, "Stay here," the spirit went away.
      Tears started forming when I realized the reality of what was just said. I grabbed my now empty salad bowl, threw it in the sink while yelling, "IT CAN'T HAPPEN AGAIN!!!" I stormed off into the bedroom, slammed the door like a little toddler, looked at the picture of Christ on our wall and out loud (loudly) begged, "PLEASE don't send me home again! PLEASE tell me to stay! I'll do better! I PROMISE! I'll work harder~! I'll not complain as much! I'll be better I PROMISE! Just PLEASE don't send me home again!" The whole time I was crying and staring at the picture of Christ I was thinking, "You know how I feel! Please don't make me do this!" when I stopped crying and screaming, the thought came to me, "You need to go home."
     I reflected on ALL my past experiences and remembered my blessing which told me that through the scriptures I would know the will of God. I remembered that's how I got my answer before. I came back out determined to get an answer in the scriptures telling me to stay. I wasn't going to mess around. In my head I basically said, "You show me in one turn." I grabbed my Book of Mormon, and without thinking I just whipped open a page. I ended up in Alma 19:28 which reads, "And thus the contention began to be exceedingly sharp among them," (there had been contention in my heart all day). Then later on in the vs it stated, "She was exceedingly sorrowful, even unto tears." RIGHT next to that I had written a while back, "Knew the reason." My heart melted. I knew the reason I was crying at this point. I KNEW THE REASON!
     So of course, I started crying to Verdejo - then realized it was time to call my Mission President. I told him the whole story! Crying, sobbing, and everything! I told him I was scared! I didn't want to go home! After talking I read to him the scripture and what had happened. After more talking, he told me a scripture just popped up into his mind. We turned to it (Sis. Verdejo was with me): D&C 124:49. Whenever it said, "Sons of Men," I put in daughter since I'm a girl. "Verily, Verily, I say unto you, that when I give a commandment to any of the daughters of men to do a work unto my name..." (that's what I'm doing! I'm doing His work - missionary work - under His name (Pres. Griffin talked me through the verse)).  "...and those daughters of men go with all their might..." (I work with all my might every day!) "...and with all they have to perform that work..." (I give my all, all the time - or so I try). "...and cease not their diligence..." (I try not to) :...and their enemies come upon them..." (enemies could even include my physical pains he told me) "...and hinder them from performing that work..." (my physical pain has limited me and hindered me at times). "...it behooveth me to require that work no more at the hands of those daughters of men, but to accept of their offerings." As SOON as he read that last part, I started sobbing. He asked me what I felt that last part meant. I told him I didn't want to answer because I didn't want it to happen! (We talked and I was laughing and crying thought the conversation. He told me I was the first person he had ever met that cried and laughed at the same time! Was funny!) When I told him that, he replied how he thinks I just got my answer. I went on to tell him that I still had 7 months left. He brought up my mission call letter, how it states, "It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 8 months." He told me that the brethren knew it might not be 18 months. Also, that we can't put a time limit on God's work. 
      My thoughts were everywhere! As we were reading that last part of D&C, I believe the Holy Ghost brought to my remembrance what I told people before my missions, that I would extend my mission to two years if I could. It then dawned on me - with the time I've served as full time missionary and the year I was home (in which I was told in a blessing that Heavenly Father included my time home as part of my full time mission) this past 21st was my 2 year mark. There came a point while talking with President that my heart started to accept this call from God. I said, "President Griffin, all I ask is for two favors. One, that I can finish out the transfer." He agreed I could. "And two, YOU call my parents," he chuckled. He agreed he would. The reason I wanted him to make the phone call, is because I've made that phone call once before, and it broke my heart to tell my Mom I'm coming home early from my mission. All I want is my parent's to be proud of me. Now, this doesn't mean I don't think they are or will be of me...I just don't like breaking this kind of news to my loved ones...especially my wonderful mom who has done SO much for me! Also, I want to stay as focused as I can for the next 5 weeks - and I know that if I talk to my mom, my thoughts would be distracted from the work. I know that because this is the pathway the Lord wants me to follow, Heavenly Father will help my parents understand. 
     I got permission from President to allow the elders to come over to our apt and give me a blessing. When they came over, we all sat and and I told them the story. The EXACT same thing happened to me as it did to Sis. Verdejo earlier - as I said go home, the spirit was strong. As I said stay, the spirit went away. Was very interesting. As I was explaining the whole story, I felt this peaceful feeling, even as I do now in writing this. 
      As Sister Verdejo was saying a prayer before the blessing, I kept feeling like I should ask Elder Shaw to give me the blessing. Once the prayer ended, I did just that. He seemed surprised but willing. The Elders put their hands on my head and started the blessing by saying my full name and said they were acting under the Melchizedek Priesthood. Afterwards, he started addressing me throughout the whole blessing by my first name. I knew that he knew that I go by Sister Thomas right now - so that was one example of God telling me it was time to go home. After a little bit, he went on to say, "Heavenly Father knows that you know the right thing to do." Well...there's my 2nd example. THEN he went on to say later, "He blesses you that you'll have the opportunity to be a worthy mother and wife." There's my 3rd example - because I don't believe Heavenly Father would tell me that if I was staying and needed to focus on the work. He went on to talk about genealogy and that I still have a purpose. Then he said, "As you finish your time here in Tennessee, you will continue to feel His strength." FINISH?! Alright...my mind was made up. Heavenly Father wanted me to go home. As I just wrote that, my mind reflected loudly the scripture I read in Alma 10:7 - "Return to thine own house."
      Later on in the blessing, there was along pause. At first, I thought he was about to end it Then I said a prayer in my heart saying, "Heavenly Father, I feel now that I must go home. Is this the right decision?" (even now as I write this, the spirit is SO strong!) Almost immediately after I asked this (NOT out loud) Elder Shaw through the promptings of the Holy Ghost said, "He blesses you that you made the right decision." My jaw literally DROPPED! Yes, I knew the blessings were from God and that He heard me, but I've never had that kind of experience before. I've heard of my Mom's and other people's experiences; but it was really cool to experience it for myself. He went on to say the work I have and will give has been accepted. And that Heavenly Father believes and trusts in me! He said many other wonderful things that helped secure my answer. 
      I know what I must do now. President had wanted us both to pray and sleep on it then talk about it this morning. But now, I know without at doubt this is the plan that Heavenly Father has for me. Why? I don't know right now - but as I've learned in the past, that as I humbly and cheerfully submit my will to the Father's, I can't go wrong. 
     I am scared out of my wits about going home with school, work, dating, etc. I feel like I am very smart in the Gospel, but only semi-smart (because I know I'd get lectured if I said not smart) with everyone (most everything) else. What does Heavenly Father have in store for me going home "early"? Guess I'll find out!
      My testimony has not wavered at all! If anything ,it's grown immensely! 
      Last week, Elder Houghton said that he felt Sis. Verdejo was my companion to help me know where the line stands between taking care of myself vs pushing myself through my struggles. I feel she did just that as she was in tune with the spirit enough to help start my process in recognizing that it was my time. I am SO grateful for her and all that she has done for me! 
      I have talked with President this morning, and he's going to get the ball rolling. So for all of you that would like to meet me at the airport when I come home, it'll be July 2nd. Oh btw, transfer day is on July 1st. I was sent to the MS Jackson mission on July 1st, 2013. Crazy, right?! It's amazing to see God's plan shown to us piece by piece. 

I hope all of you can accept the decision I have made through the Lord. And if you are struggling with it, please pray to get the answer for yourself; because I know that since this is His plan for me, you too can know that this is the way I must go. 

I still have five fun filled weeks left and I plan on using them wisely and with every minute used! 

I love you all! I'll let you know more of the details the closer it gets .... and when  I find out! This will be my last 5 weeks as a full time missionary, until I decide to serve a mission with my husband later on in my life. 
Email me back!
Sister Verdejo and I and Great Pyrenees Named King

King and I

The Pig

Sister Verdejo and Sister Me

Us and the Athens Ward Missionaries out for Ice Cream at Dairy Barn

Elder Byron and Elder Brown

Sister Verdejo and little Marcus at church (our sweet friend who has Down Syndrome)
Sista T.
Please write! 710 N. Tellico st. #3 Madisonville, TN 37354​

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

My NEW Area!

HEY EVERYONE!!! Read below to find out where I was transferred to!

Btw, sorry this is a day late...libraries were closed yesterday for memorial day!
Last Monday - last pday with my district!  Had a great dinner at the Gestewitz's and a great lesson / goodbye with them and the Joyce's. The Joyce's ended up giving me a beautiful necklace as a goodbye gift! super sweet!
Tuesday - I went around saying goodbye to everyone. I'm surprised I didn't cry. Everyone had really sweet things to say! The elders called before bed to wish me a farewell and had really nice things to say.
Wednesday - TRANSFER DAY! On the way to transfers (Newtons took us - who also gave me a beautiful wolf necklace and some pretty jewelry and a small mumbo bear) I felt SUPER nervous to find out where I was going and who my new compnanion was going to be! Excited, but super nervous! I didn't know what to think! I knew I would REALLY miss Sis. Blau!
When we got to the transfer meeting, I got to see Sis. Gifford! That was awesome! During the meeting, to my surprise, there wasn't a musical number. During the departing missionaries' testimonies, I got really teary eyed, as I knew how much I was REALLY going to miss Sis. Blau! Sis. Blau ended up getting Sis. Mulloy (Sis. Wheelhouse's daughter). Good luck Sis. Blau! Keep me updated! love you!!! Send me pictures!  Then it came time for me. Pres. Griffin called my name and I stood up; and I guess my emotions were showing on my face (have never really been transferred before) 'cause Pres was like, "Don't look so nervous!" haha!
ATHENS NORTH, TN! The apt is actually in Madisonville, TN, but yeah!
Here's my new address: 710 N. Tellico st. #3 Madisonville, TN 37354​
What's funny is this is where Sis. Wheelhouse was trained! With SISTER VERDEJO! She was believe it or not in Sis. Blau's MTC district in the MTC! We were talking before the meeting even started! I even asked Sis. Blau what her name was! CRAZY! We sat next to each other and she was just trained, so I'll be trainer breaking her. She's 19, 1/32 Mexican (but doesn't know Spanish), super sweet and super beautiful!
After many pictures, hugs, and goodbyes we headed out to lunch with the Elders that were in our ward (Houghton and Shaw), Halie (Recent Convert - 3 months - also our ride), Trisha (RC) and Bro. Ward (who treated us all to lunch). It was a grand o'l time! loved it!
When we got to the apt we unloaded all my crazy / heavy stuff (I lifted some stuff I prob shouldn't have) then went straight to planning for our LA friend, Ellain. Halie was going with us! It went great! Super sweet lady!
Afterwards we went and met a woman named Krystal. She's in her 40's. Halie really connected with her! Was wonderful!
After Krystal  on our way home, we saw fireflies in a field. Halie was awesome enough to stop! We got out and tried to catch them in our water bottles! Sis. Verdejo is already AWESOME! I eventually caught one in my hands, but as I was trying to put it in my bottle, it got away!To watch the video, go to:
They are SO cool! I have never seen them before! If I don't help anyone here, at least I saw fireflies (they call them Lightnin' bugs here) JK! ....but seriously, they're awesome! They're like shooting stars in the fields!
Thurs - WEEKLY PLANNING! WHOOOO! It's really hard to help when you don't know ANYONE! haha! There's some really weird / different / fun names here! E.i - Bro. Ward, Sis. Moses, etc. LOTS of potentials! two with Baptismal dates! awesome!!!
We have seen a lot of awesome people the beginning of this transfer! Everyone here is super sweet! We've had the opportunity to get some new potentials and investigators!
Sunday finally rolled around  and I got to meet so many great members! It's a little backwards. Relief society is the first meeting, then Sunday School, then sacrament meeting. And guess what?! I GAVE A TALK! Yes I did! They asked me to introduce myself and then give a talk...FOR 20 MIN!!! That's the longest I've EVER done one! Read my other email to read what I talked about! I added more stuff when I actually gave the talk...but the email I sent is the gist of it. Everyone in the ward LOVES how I'm from the east / south coast! It's awesome! Had a great lesson with Tiffany and her member fiance, Mike on tithing!
Monday - my first pday here in TN! Was amazing! Went to a park with the elders THAT ARE IN MY WARD! (two sets of missionaries!) and with Mike and Tiffany. We hiked a small trail (mile long) and ate subway, then got treats at sonic. Happy Memorial Day! I absolutely LOVE it here!!! I do miss Sis. Blau SO much....and Abingdon...(it was like leaving my home ward)...but I do love it here! I can't wait to get to truly know everyone. Had a great lesson at Leanne's house (one with Baptism date) and she committed to live the W.O.W (word of wisdom) and chastity! whoop whoop!
Alright...well, there's my big news! Again, my address is always in my signature below in every email, but here it is again for ya: 710 N. Tellico st. #3 madisonville, TN 37354​
Thanks again love you all!!!

Sista T.
710 N. Tellico st #3
Madisonville, TN 37354
Sister Gifford and photo bombers

Last P-Day with district

Lunch after transfers

Sister Verdejo and Me on trail

Sister Carter's Dogs and Me

Sister Verdejo Sister Me and Sister Blau

Sister Malloy Sister Blau and Me

Day of Transfers

My Grandpa's Message GMM-Get More Mormons!

Sister Verdejo Elder Shaw and Elder Houghton

Monday, May 11, 2015

May the 4th Be With You! 5-4-2015

May the 4th be with you! It's deff been a better week! On Monday - Happy birthday Papa Don! 
Tuesday We visited the Delps. That was fun. We tried Compton and talked with her and helped her with some organizing. At Lina and Juans we watched Pres Uchtdorf's GC talk then read out of the BOM. 
Wednesday - We talked with Terry - Patrick wasn't there and she said that they weren't going to change religions, but they love having us over any time. They also haven't read any of the BOM yet either. We told her to give us a call when they have read it. And guess what? SHE SAID THE PRAYER! And in the prayer she said that if HF told her they needed to change she would! EEEEPPPP oh man...I wish we knew how to get Patrick in the same mindset she has. 
Shawn Phelps called and said he's cut way down on smoking!!! HE really wants his temple recommend back! I'm SO happy! He also said his friend Allison wants to take the discussions! 
Thursday - Had an appt every hour!! first was weekly planning, then lunch, then Juan Diaz, then the Salyers, then Allison then James Gobble, then so on. When we went to Shawn's house for Allison we were showed her three week old baby. After talking for a bit we started the lesson on the POS. We figured it would be good since she just had a baby. Shawn said a nice prayer then we begun. WE started with Christ and the atonement. We then talked about the pre earth life, and then about the Holy Ghost. She didn't really understand what the HG was. Once we explained it to her, you could see a light turn on in her eyes. We didn't finish the POS lesson - but we talked about what she needed. Guess what?! SHE SAID SHE'D COME TO CHURCH AAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNDDDDDD...... as she was talking, Sis Blau half looked at me and did the sign for baptism! I nodded with a good big smile. When Sis. Blau extended the invitation....SHE AGREED! SHE WANTS TO GET BAPTIZED! Blau and I did everything we could not to bounce in our seats and scream! So EXCITED! What a BLESSING! I KNEW there was a miracle around the corner from all that crazy week last week! When we got in the car to leave, as soon as the doors shut, we screamed and danced! 
Friday  - FIRST OF MAY! Can't believe it! we met a LA that wants to come back! 
Saturday - got some AMAZING news from a friend! She's taking the discussions with the missionaries!!! AAHHHH!
I have gained so much patience and so much love on my mission already. In the 6 1/2 months I've been back on my mission I feel I have grown a lot! I feel like a much better teacher, more mature, more confident. Yes, I still struggle with certain aspects, but I'm 10 times stronger! 

This has been an amazing week! I have about 2 1/2 weeks left in this area more than likely - at the end of this transfer I will have been in Abingdon for 7 months...wayyyy lot longer than anyone usually is. 6 is long. haha. So if you're planning on mailing me something, send it to 11320 station west drive suite 101 Farragut, TN 37934-1774 and it'll get to me wherever I am. 
Love ya!

Sista T.
Sister Blau, Scarlette and me

Sister Blau and me

District Meeting at Chesters

Sister Blau, Grace and me

Elder Wadsworth and Smith, Sister Blau and Sister Me

Oh, Whatta Week! 4-27-2015

So....last Tuesday on our pday we went and played disc golf. I remembered I needed to text sis griffin about the tests at the doc, so I texted her when we got to the park then pt the phone IN  MY POCKET! We pulled names for teams then had a really fun game! We went back to the church when the game was all over. We rechecked our emails then headed home. On the way home, I realized the phone was GONE! That was the BEGINNING of the phone catastrophe! The Marion Elders told the Dl hoping he could search his car and the church for us. 
When we got home we raced off to the Burlett's for dinner. We were going to teach Terry and Patrick that evening and even though we had a very detailed plan, we felt very unprepared. Thankfully, Brother Gestewitz was there. The lesson went alright. Terry is the only one that is truly open. Patrick's heart is hardened. WE don't know what to do next with them. 
After the lesson we called the DL from Bev's phone to see if they had found it. No luck. Not in church OR car. Maybe the disc golf field? We went to bed exhausted and stressed.

On Wednesday we went and had a blast at Feeding America, came home, had some lunch then went to the DL's apt. They took us to the disc golf field. WE searched for a few hours. No luck. No one had turned it in either. What was weird, was that I felt perfectly calm about the whole situation. As we're driving to the church to look again, Elder Dillard has me call Elder Collins in the mission office to let him know about our phone. I did and he told me to exhaust all the places one more time, then call him back the next day if we still couldn't find it. When we got to the church,  the Elders researched their car as we re searched the church. No luck.  At 5:30 we had dinner at Olive Garden with Kat and Dan & Kat. They are so awesome! 7pm we taught the YW how to make mormon.org profiles. I practiced the piano a little bit for Nikki's wedding before we went home and searched everywhere there for our phone. 

It was really hard to do our weekly planning on Thursday without a phone. You never know how much you need / use something until you lose it :p We drove ourselves afterwards to the disc golf course. Our GPS died so we had to use mapquest. I have one GPS that I was sent that leads you astray and is old and doesn't know how to work haha and then there's the one I got from the elders that was doing GREAT...and then decided to die and not recharge....ohz wellz. We searched as much as we could when we got there - I tried to recognize the Holy Ghost telling me where it was - no luck. Why? I don't know - but I did feel at peace still. We weren't able to find it by the time we left. WE ate at Bev's for dinner with Hunter. We used her phone whenever we needed to contact someone. WE called Elder Collins and he ordered us a new phone. At 6:15 Bro and Sis Gestewitz picked us up at our apt to take us to the Kingsport Stk Center for exchanges. On the way there, Bro. G told us about hte visit he and bro Salyers had with the Williams Wed evening. Hopefully things will work out. They talked for two hours straight. They went over the questions they had and explained how they shouldn't look to google for answers to their questions. Mormon.org and LDS.org are the places to look online. 
When we got to Kingsport I went with Sis. Smith and their Greenie, Sis. O'mera. Sis. Lundberg went to Abingdon with Sis. Blau. 45 min drive both ways. We went straight to a LA's house and talked with her. When we went to bed that night, I was VERY grateful neither of them snored! 

Friday the 24th at 9:30 we left to sing at the VA with the ZL's, Watauga Elders and Johnson City Sisters. It turns out the Elder I met at the temple is the Watauga Elder, Elder Johns. Was cool! I looked at him after he said he was from FL, "Did you go to the Orlando Temple?" He agreed he did for his endownments. I then asked if he met a girl there that was coming to this mission. He agreed he did. I told him I was that girl. He was surprised, "Well hello there!" he tuck out his hand and I shook it. SMALL WORLD! After singing there we went and visited some people, went home and had some lunch, went out again, met some really nice people - then went back and had dinner. 
So, I was thinking about why HF wouldn't allow us to find the phone. There was a lesson in there I believe. BOTH Sis. Blau and I were prompted during the Disc Golf game to check the phone - but did either one of us listen? Nope! Maybe next time we'll be smart enough to pay attention, listen and act! We exchanged back in the evening and went and saw Catherine Miller. 

That's pretty much the exciting stuff! Hope everything is going well!!! Keep me updated with pics! LOVE YA! 

pics - disc golf and car fun! 
Sista T.
helives.mormon.org - Easter Message

P-Day Fun Frisbee Golf

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Day behind because of ZTM!

Hey!!! Sorry - yesterday was our zone training meeting - so our Pday turned to today = Tuesday.
​ Last Tuesday - We tracted Lina and Juan's neighborhood. We got two potentials...kinda three - everyone was SUPER nice!  At 4 we saw Lina Rex and Juan with Sis. Bauserman. We found out they were in 2nd Nephi. We watched Pres. Monson's talk from GC with them. Super attentive! Afterwards we went over and met with Lori Price. She didn't read Moroni 10 again - but she had prayed about the BOM. No big answer, just the peace she has been feeling for the last 6 months once she turned her life back to Christ.  We watched Elder Clayton's talk from GC with her.
Wednesday - We had Feeding America this morning. Sis. Blau and I were just cracking jokes left and right! We had a GREAT morning! At 2pm Kelly picked us up and we went to Damascus. We saw Whilma with her neighbor Caroline who might be interested. Whilma was suddenly like, "Don't be scared, but I'm having a stroke." DON'T BE SCARED?!?!?!?! she started to shake a little then stopped. Repeated like three times. Kelly had her phone out ready to call 911 - though whilma didn't want us to. Eventually she was fine...but MY GOODNESS! Sheesh! Scary! We saw Nancy and the deans afterwards.
Frid - DM went great! Met someone that was in the same elementary school in UT - year behind .... but wow! He even had the same 1st grade teacher as I did! sweeeeet!
Sat - We did LOTS of tracting in 80 degree weather! We got to go to Chandler's high school performance of "Once Upon a Mattress." YES the SAME one that I was in during my high school career! He did GREAT! I loved it! We got permission to go! I was so happy! he was the Jester! ​
Sunday - HAPPY 19TH BIRTHDAY TREVOR! We had a good morning and got to church on time and so forth. During PEC Bro Atwood read to us a message he got from Kim Williams how they've done some "research" and they and Shasta don't want to be a part of the LDS church anymore. My heart BROKE! Tears starting forming in my eyes then Bro Atwood looked at me and said, "It's heart breaking, isn't it Sister Thomas?" That was the last straw - tears streamed out of my eyes so quickly. I didn't know what to do. Bro. Gestewitze tried going to see them with Bro. Granados, but they weren't home. They're going to try again Wednesday. we got to see the Delps in the evening! Great night!
Monday - Great ZTM (zone training meeting!)
Well, that's about it for this past week! I'm doing really good!
And as far as going through hard trials, i know I can make it. Watch this next video that really helped me: https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2010-07-027-an-elect-lady?lang=eng
I love you! Hope you have a great day!

Sista T.
Please write! 19440 midwest cir. #11 Abingdon, VA 24211
Chandler, Sister Me, Jada and drama teacher at Once Upon A Time performance
Keohane's at the Musical

Sister Blau and the McMurray's at the musical
On the way home from ZTM

P-Day Sister Blau Elders Milne and Dillard on Creeper Trail

Elders Milne and Dillard

Monday, April 20, 2015

One of the harder weeks 3-16-2015

Tuesday - we went and had a lesson with Ralph. Rusty wasn't there. We went over the POS. He was planning on coming to church Sunday, but then decided he'd rather just stay with his church :( After an early dinner with the Behymer's we went out with Bro. Gestewitz  and tried to see Terry and Patrick, a Jehovah Witness (forgot his name) Jodi and Brandon and Lori - which we weren't able to teach ANY of them. oh well! :p
I love being a missionary! I love being able to help people come closer to Christ! the spirit I feel on my mission is extraordinary! The members in this area are amazing! They really are! They take great care of us! My comp, Sis. Blau is cool too! I have really come to love and respect her!  General Conference was amazing! The talks were Awesome! There was at LEAST one talk per session that I loved! If you haven't had the chance to watch it, go to: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/sessions/2015/04?cid=HP_SU_4-5-2015_dPTH_fGC_xLIDyL1-B_&lang=eng
We have 2 return missionaries in our ward! (1 more recent than the other). Next month I get to be the pianist for a wedding AND we're getting Ipads May 28th! I have also been blessed with the Doctors in this area! And the tools I've been given! I also have my amazing family that takes such good care of me and loves me so much as I love them! I feel that all the time!!! I have SO much to be grateful for! I have SO much to be happy about!
I know that if I continue to follow the Lord, I will be blessed!
Friday - I went to the Cardiologist. Fun stuff. Time for more tests! :p
Great District Meeting! It was all about casting out fear! Loved it!
Saturday - We did service (Day of Service) at the 4H-Center. We painted. After lunch we went and helped clean a member's house. I felt kinda trunky during dinner time at the apt. I read some of the ensign then some of the emails my mom sent me. That really helped change my attitude around! Praying also really helped! I need to forget myself and get to work! I needed to get my thoughts and heart set back in the right direction. We went tracting with no luck - though we went singing at the rehab center. Each song we sang, spoke right to me:
  1. Hymn 237 - Do what is right - "Do what is right let the consequence follow" "With Stout hearts look ye forth till tomorrow. God will protect you - then do what is right." "be faithful and fearless. Onward press onward - the goal is in sight. eyes that are wet now ere long to be tearless. Blessings await you in doing what's right."
  2. # 239 - Chose the Right - "Choose the right when a choice is placed before you." "The Holy Spirit Guides" "Choose the right - and God will bless you evermore." "There is peace in righteous doing" "Choose the right in all labors you're pursuing. Let God and Heaven Be your goal."
  3. #241 - Count your blessings - " When you're discouraged thinking all is lost - count your many blessings name them one by one and it will surprise you what the Lord as done." "So amid the conflict" "don't be discouraged - God is over all" " Angels will attend - help and comfort give you to your journey's end."
  4. # 243 - Let us all press on - "Les us all press on in the work of the Lord" "Fear not though the enemy deride - courage for the Lord is on our side" "If we do what's right we have no need to fear for the Lord our helper will ever be near."
The Lord speaks to us through His scriptures and His hymns! Wonderful!
I felt much better yesterday - though I put my boiled egg (that was in the fridge) in the microwave....yeah - that made an explosion of egg...whoops! :p haha! We watched two talks from the Priesthood session of GC at the Gestewtiz's house. Really good! Loved the missionary talk! And Pres. Monson's talk was AWESOME!
I've had such a great time getting to know Sis. Blau! We have had so many times getting to know one another and laughing and joking. We even woke up this morning cracking jokes and talking! Best morning EVER!
The whole ward here is fasting for missionary opportunities! LOVE my ward here!!! By the end of this 6 weeks I will have been here in Abingdon for 7 1/2 months! Crazy stuff! I'm grateful for Abingdon - such a beautiful little area with such great people!!

Sista T.
Please write! 19440 midwest cir. #11 Abingdon, VA 24211
Sister Me and Sister Blau at the Newtons for Easter

Gorgeous Sky
Elder Hagans, Sorensen, and Sister Blau (last Pday for them before they went home)
Elder Sorensen with his new comp Elder Smith

View of the study area

A letter someone sent me in the shape of a tie!
Elder Smith
Elder Smith