Monday, March 9, 2015

Miracle Week!

What a wonderful week!
Last Monday evening we went to the Millers (neighbors) and taught the Restoration. I couldn't read their body language on how they felt or what they thought bc they were both very tired. Tony though said he wanted us to come back while what we taught is still fresh in their minds when we watch the resto DVD with them. AWESOME!
Tuesday after our studies and lunch we went tracting. YAY FOR TRACTING! I love it so much! We started on Oak Hill st which we came to find out was the st the library was on. Poor sis Blau was terrified of doing a door approach! We started way down on the end of the street. Was a good workout walking up and down those hills. Pretty much everyone we talked to wasn't interested. Finally the last house we went to, a woman opened the door. This was Sis. Blau's first door approach. The woman was really nice and talked to us for a little bit. Sis. Blau extended the invitation to come to church. I AM SO PROUD OF HER!!! She said she wouldn't mind visiting! She ended up letting us inside as we talked more. She told us she's on the waiting list for a liver transplant. It was then I noticed she had yellow eyes instead of white. She insisted she had never consumed alcohol - but that it was hereditary.  We ended up setting up an appt to come back and gave her our card with our number and our church address. Her name was Lori.

Wednesday - we taught an 8 yr old girl of a LA family - she's preparing to be baptized on April 11th! On our way to the Delps, Sis. Blau and I were talking and laughing a lot! We ended up talking about our personal lives. We had to wait for the Delps because they had to ru na ten min errand - so we chilled in the car and talked. We laughed SO much! We felt like...well, I felt like we were best friends already - only been one week to the day. I love Sis. blau SO much! My attitude towards training has changed extremely. I felt very inadequate in the beginning.  We taught Mia the Plan of Salvation.
Thursday - During our weekly planning, Sis Blau said she came to see me as a best friend so quickly! It made me so happy she felt the same way! After lunch we went tracting! YAY! We prayed about what street to go on, and we both came up with Milton Dr. after knocking on a couple of doors, we got on return appt with a man named Billy - then the third house a man named Rick let us in (his wife was home). We ended up teaching him the Resto. He asked throughout the whole lesson about only needing the Bible, why BOM? We tried so many different ways of sharing / answering. At one point, I stood up and leaned over the table to show him an object lesson. I kept talking while standing afterwards. Suddenly, Sis Blau came in with a soft voice. It was then that I realized m yoice was a little louder and firmer than it should have been. I was grateful she followed the Spirit. It was such a humbling experience. At the end of the lesson, Rick said, "It's just as if I were to force a slice of pizza down your throat when you don't like pizza." Sis. Blau, once again being in tune with the spirit replied, " Yes, but if I never had pizza, I would give it a try." YOU'RE SO AMAZING SIS BLAU!!! "True," was all he replied. there was a couple minutes of silence. He finally and I mean FINALLY (after two hours of trying) he said he would read the chapter we assigned him! YAY! WHAT A BLESSING!
We taught the POS (plan of Salvation) to Lina and Juan AND Rex (Lina's husband). I really struggle to know how to help them. Juan is SO ready! I know I've already said this, but it's so true! He just sucks it all in like a sponge! I wish his mom, Lina would be ready. I'm glad she is taking this seriously though! I think we got a little leeway with Rex (LA)! I don't know a TON because it was in Spanish. Sis. Bauserman explained some to us.
Kat and Dan (neighbors) dropped us. They still wanna be friends - but not interested in the Gospel. Sad day.
Friday - had a great time at District Meeting (DM). Afterwards we played basketball with the elders during lunch! Was a BLAST! I got hit in the eye....OUCH! No bruise tho YAY! Hurt for two days tho haha! What's a game without getting hurt tho right? Don't worry - I was still cautious about my back
Saturday - 9:30am the STL's (Sister Training Leaders) came over to do a power up. from 11-1 we went TRACTING!! WHOOO! Sis. Husted went with Sis. Blau and I went with Sis. Smith (new STL). We all stayed in Abingdon - aka power up! during this tracting we felt we should go to Ivey St. When we got there, we found out there was only one house on that st. But it connected to another st = Henry St. We tried the one house = not interested./ It was then that it dawned on me that Henry st was not on the lists of St's we were praying about. What if Heavenly Father sent us to Ivey St to get us to Henry st?  Four houses later on Henry st, we rang a doorbell. A woman opened the blinds of the window next to us, then slid open the window making only the thin screen between us. We said we were missionaries of the...she came in... "Y'all mormons?"  Excited yet cautious we agreed we were. she ended up telling us a full yet quick version of the POS. Pretty good! once her husband came home about 15 min later we were invited inside. She originally said she wasn't feeling good, but the more we talked with her, the more energetic and happy she became. I love what the gospel can do for other people! She talked a lot to us! she apparently a while back had elders come and talk with her! She bore a beautiful testimony of the Savior. She talked about how we need to go or stay - do whatever the Lord asks of us. The hymn, "I'll go wherever you want me to go" popped into my mind. I looked at Sis. Smith and asked if she liked to sing. She agreed she did. We ended up singing her and her husband (lula and Dale Greenman) 2 vs of that hymn. She was crying by the end. We talked for a while more. She had a guitar lying out, and found out that Sis Smith plays (also has a beautiful voice) - she performed How Great Thou Art which caused MORE tears. Lula ended up telling us she was struggling because she was really sick and prayed to God - she said she felt we were God sent! AWWWW! ( not interested in lessons tho).
After them, we went to go check up on Terry. I tracted into her when I was on exchanges with Sis crapo a long while back, and haven't had the chance to visit her again. When we knocked on the door and ran the door bell, no one was coming - yet I didn't feel rushed to leave or really even ... I don't even think it came to my mind. Eventually, Terry opened the door. She said we could come in for a few minutes, but her husband, Terri (yes, they both have the same name - haha) and her little son were sleeping (like 1:30pm - nap?) We started off with a prayer then began the Resto. We got to the part about prophets, then Christ with the priesthood. It then led in to How to Begin Teaching - how we were there for her and how the Gospel can help her. She then started crying. She talked to us about the struggles she was going through. In the end, she too said she felt we were God sent. That's two people in a row that have told us that! I asked for Miracles in my morning prayers since I knew we were going on a power up / exchange.... and miracles usually happen on Exchanges / power ups. That's two already. WHAT A BLESSING! We had to go, but she said we could go back towards the beginning of the following week! SO sweet!
After a delicious meal with the McMurrays, Sis. McMurray went with us to the Delps to teach Mia! mia had remembered SO much more of the POS than we had thought! The Spirit works in wondrous ways!
Around 7:30 Sis Blau and I went and sang at the Abingdon Health and Rehab Center. There was a woman that we sang How Great Thou Art. She ended up telling us that she always sang that song in her head when she was struggling, and guess what? She told us that she felt we were God sent! THAT'S THREE!!! Remember how God always works in threes in the scriptures? Yeah ... well.... THAT JUST HAPPENED IN REAL LIFE! WHAT A WONDERFUL BLESSING OF MIRACLES! I was so excited to share this day with y'all!
Sunday - Sis. Blau and I got to be the teachers for the 9-11 yr olds. Only 4 kids. Super fun! Taught about the Beatitudes. Was great! Had a GREAT day!
LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!! Hope to hear from you all this week!

Sister Thomas


Giant Fish Tank

Sister Blau and me

First Week of Training "My Daughter"

Hey Hey Heyyy!!! Can you believe it?! I'M TRAINING! I'M A MOM! It's crazy stuff! It's been a wonderful first week! 

Wednesday - Sis Wheelhouse ended up staying up all night packing. We got to Farragut, TN for my training meeting right at 9! perfect timing!  I was SO excited! Time finally came where we (trainers) went into the RS room where all the "greenies" are. We're actually asked not to call them greenies...sad face ;) Then, the time finally came where they were assigning the trainers to their companions! One Sister went - then the ALL Elders went. Finally, I saw a sister stand! .... not mine. :(  I then saw another sister stand, "Abingdon,VA" I jumped out of my seat all excited and almost knocked her over as I gave her a huge hug! I was ecstatic! I think I might have scared her a little bit haha! We (trainers) had to leave our newborns (tee-hee)  and head out to the chapel. Right before the meeting started (transfer meeting) Pres comes up to me, "Isn't she wonderful?!" SUPER cute! He loves all of us so much! He really thinks and prays about who to set us up with! I love it! Her name is Sis. Blau. (Like Blouse - but without the "se"). was a great meeting! There were 23 missionaries going home. The last of the big crowd since the age change! All the transfer calls were fun to listen to. When Pres called me and Sis. Blau as companions in front of everyone, he then paused, looked down at his paper, then back up at me, said I'm the driver, then added after another pause - except in snow. WAS HILARIOUS! On our way home with the Newtons, after our dinner stop at Arbey's, we both took a nice nap in the backseat. We finally made it home! after we chilled for like 5-10 min we went and visited Kat and Dan. It was really just a meet and greet for Sis. Blau.  After that, we went and got Beverly the butter she wanted from Food lion then went to her house for BOM study.  We got back to the apt about 8:20 so Sis. Blau could unpack. I showed her how we did our nightly planning. English missionaries are only in the MTC for 12 days. Compared to my Portuguese experience at the MTC of 6 weeks! They basically don't know anything! 

Thurs - Sis. Blau's 1st full day in the mission field! Bless her heart - it was a ridiculous day! We did our studies and then weekly planning. It's really hard to plan for people together when they have NO idea who the people are - or even how to teach. But that's TOTALLY fine - I COMPLETELY understand! haha! After studies, planning and lunch, we went and saw Sis. Songer at the bank. We got to set up our next din appt with her. After the bank, we drove up and visited the Delps. Their cat got SSOOOO much fur on me! It's crazy how much that tiny kitten sheds! :p We read Alma 7 (GREAT chapter - look it up!) with Sis. Delp - then we came to point where I felt hte spirit was prompting me to ask if Mia (Sis. Delp's 8 yr old daughter)  wanted the lessons so she could get baptized. They both readily agreed! Sis. Delp wanted Mia to understand the gospel before she gets baptized. AWESOME! We ended up starting to teach Mia the Resto out of the pamphlet. It turned out pretty good. I'm grateful I followed the promptings of the spirit! We only got half way through the lesson and planned on teaching it on Saturday. (ended up teaching it on Sunday)Mia was SO sweet and very attentive and said the closing prayer for us. To be honest, it reminds me a lot of when I was younger - 8 yrs old...mmm...maybe 7 actually - when the Elders came over and taught me the lessons so I could be prepared for baptism. After the lesson, and I got into our parked car to leave, I tried reversing it - but I was STUCK! With all the effort we gave, we could not get our car out of the snow. It was just on the side of the road. There was nowhere else to park, and I didn't think it was too's how much I know about snow. ;) Mia and Sis. Delp saw that we were stuck and yelled, "Ms. Florida driving in snow!" She busted up laughing! Then came and helped dig us out! WHAT A BLESSING! 
Our Next appt was at Lina and Juan's with Sis. and Kelly Bauserman. We taught a very short lesson on Fasting and prayer. We don't really know which direction to go with them at this point. 
Afterwards we went up to Meadowview to look for a LA that recently moved in...but ended up getting on a road that didn't have a good turn around. That's right, we got STUCK....AGAIN! Nothing was getting us out! I tried knocking on the door of the yard we were in. She said she had a bad back and couldn't help us = and wasn't interested in our message. We kept trying...yet we needed help. We decided we'd walk back the way we came from and knock on some doors to see if anyone could help! Towards the end of the road, we saw a man getting something out of his truck! We were able to get his attention and he ended up being willing to help us out! As we three walked towards our car, the fact came out that I was from FL (and I don't know how to drive in snow haha). He then asked what I was doing up here from FL. That led to a nice way of sharing that I'm a missionary! He ended up trying so many ways to get our car out - but NOTHING was working. He went back to his house; then came back with a woman (who we found out was his gf - Jodie) and his truck and rope. They ended up tying it to the end of our car and his truck. With me in revers and him pulling forward slowly, we were able to get the car unstuck. YAY! WHAT A BLESSING! We ended up talking with them a little bit and said they wouldn't mind hearing our message. We totally got two potentials from getting our car stuck in snow! (I think it's funny - cause I have never gotten the car stuck; then once pres says no driving in snow...I get stuck TWICE.... in ONE day.....he jinxed me ) We made it back in time for dinner with the Newtons at Moon Dogs = pizza place. 

Frid - Bishop's birthday! whoo! After our personal studies we had DM. We gave the white handbook training. Wasn't as exciting as last time...but Sis. Blau did a really good job! We ended up doing some role playing with the Elders. I could hear Sis. Blau from across the room when I really listened. She did good! After DM and lunch we tried to go find people in Lebnon on our ward roster. My gps doesn't know what it's doing. Or if it does, the only way to get to 3 ppl's houses is down a gravel and now VERY snowy road that would likely get us stuck. Thankfully, we didn't get stuck!! yay! 
Eventually after much driving, we made it to Main St in Lebanon and ended up tracting. Our lips and noses were frozen by the end and Sis. Blau said she didn't like tracting. haha! Hopefully one day she'll come to love it as much as I do. Yes, it's VERY awkward, but it's so fun and pretty successful! We got one potential too! 
When we got back we met up with Katheryn Miller. She talked for a while. She and her husband's been in two car crashes in the last 26 days! The poor things! 
At 6pm the Redder's brought us an ENORMOUS pizza! One slice filled us up! We brought the remainder to Tony and Katheryn. 
We did our comp study and training afterwards. It was a pretty good day.  We each counted five blessings of that day before bed. Was great! 

Sat  - Was one of the harder days to have a full schedule. I got lost SO many times. My gps led me on wild goose doesn't know where anything is haha! We were an hour late to our dinner appt bc of the gps. haha. Oh's a big help sometimes :p I'm grateful to have it vs having nothing! We got to see HG at the Greendale home (home for older Special needs ppl) and while we were talking to him at the table in the cafeteria, a woman (Brenda Head) walked up to us that was staying there, "Are y'all the Mormons?" I agreed we were. "I like you people. Y'all are good people." 
HEART MELTER! Super cute! She ended up sitting with us and listened to our BOM discussion. She said she wanted to come to church. We said she could come with HG when the Behymers came and got him on Sunday. We didn't really believe she'd come. 

Sunday - LO AND BEHOLD...there's Brenda coming into the chapel right as the meeting is starting! WHAT A BLESSING! She stayed for all three hours of church! I had to play the piano in primary - but between Sis. Blau and the ward, she was taken care of! Was wonderful! I also bore my testimony in sacrament meeting. Nothing fancy...just ... nice. haha. 
RIGHT after church we dashed off to the Delp's house and taught the rest of the restoration lesson. It was a pretty good lesson. Sis. Delp helped. Sis. Blau did REALLY good! We have been role playing it! She even extended the baptism invitation! I am SO proud of her! I really do love her! We get along GREAT! She is SO sweet, so beautiful and just overall wonderful! 
After the Delps we rushed home for Sis. Atwoods was there taking us to the Stone's (shasta) house for dinner! So sweet of her! The ward takes SUCH good care of us! Of course sis Atwood got to stay for dinner (Reminder - Shasta and her family is an hour away). 
After dinner, we're back and we went and did family mission plan with the Macbeth's. They gave me and Sis. Blau a free bottle of essential oils! WHAT A BLESSING! Mine was past tense for headaches. I don't remember hers...but it helps her be more alert during the day instead of being really sleepy. 
We got to see Lauren Cooper's 6 day old baby afterwards! ADORABLE!!!

It's truly been a great start to this transfer!I love being a mom (trainer)! 
Hope all is well!
Love you!!!

Sista T.

Sunday - HAPPY MARCH 1ST! 
Sister Thomas

Please write! 19440 midwest cir. #11 Abingdon, VA 24211

 New Companion Sister Blau "My Daughter"                                       

Sister Blau, Mike, Me


Guess What? Transfer Week!


Hey everyone!!!!! GREAT NEWS!!! I'M STAYING FOR TRANSFERS! Not only that...but...I'M TRAINING!!!! WHAAAT?! WHOOOOO! I'm getting a brand spankin' new missionary STRAIGHT out of the MTC!!! I GET A GREENIE! They actually call them Goldens here...but I still call them greenies! haha!!! SUPER stoked! that THAT'S outta the box, here's the week for ya:

As you saw for last Monday, it was snowing REALLY hard! 

Tuesday - It snowed ALL night the night before! The snow was piled up! before our studies we made snow angels and a tiny snowman. The snow was very flaky - hard to pack. Couldn't even make snowballs. We had a lot of fun! We had a good lesson with Lina and Juan with the Bauserman's (Sis. and Kelly Bauserman). 

Wednesday - 1/2 mission conference with Elder and Sister Christopherson and Suares! Me and Sister Wheelhouse were asked to sing. We were the very first ones on the program right after the opening prayer! It went PERFECT! All the talks were so wonderful! After the closing prayer Elder Christopherson (APOSTLE!) quickly got back up on the mic, looked straight at us and said, "Sister Thomas and Sister Wheelhouse I just want to again thank you for that beautiful musical number." He went on to say what his favorite line from it was (which ended up being Sis. Wheelhouse's fav line too!). It was truly amazing! The whole time Sis. Wheelhouse and I were just beaming from ear to ear! Everyone (lots of ppl) complimented us on our way out. 

Thursday - I was sick in bed all day. My companion is super sweet and when she went out with a member, she got me some pretzels and Gatorade. I love my companion = Sis. Wheelhouse!!! 

Friday - I woke up feeling SO much better! Was still gaining back some of my energy tho. :p Now Sis. Wheelhouse wasn't feeling the greatest. haha. We kind of switched days. haha! I had known for about 3 weeks that I was training, but Pres told me not to tell anyone. I was FINALLY able to tell Sis. Wheelhouse this day that i was training! WHAT A BLESSING! Had a pretty good evening. 

Saturday -  8 MONTH MARK! whoooooooo! During our personal studies Bro. Behymer called to inform us about the snow. He was going to come out with us for a lesson. We looked outside and it was snowing very much and HUGE flakes. In the end our appts cancelled. By the time we were done with both personal and comp study and done with with lunch we decided because our car was piled in with snow and we couldn't make our appts we'd do some creative finding...time to
We went out (I had five layers of pants and shirts on) and started trying to build one with boxes we made. The snow wasn't packing! We eventually got Dan to come with us outside to help us! Dan is our neighbor who is also an investigator with his Sister Kat who was snowed in at their parent's house. After a while of working on this one area, Charlie and Larry the maintenance guys show up with the tractor to push all the snow off the roads!  Now THAT'S what we needed = A TRACTOR! He helped by pushing snow into our spot and helped pack it down all with the tractor! I don't think the Igloo would have ever happened without it! WHATTA BLESSING! Throughout this building process we met a lot of our neighbors and passed out two of the pass along cards! Sweet! We got people taking picture of us! haha! Finally the pile of snow was sturdy enough to start digging our door and insides out! We used pitcher and ice shards and three steal bowls from the kitchen! With team work of three people (Sis. Wheelhouse mainly) we were able to scoop out the insides! It was SUPER cool / amazing! Great finding opportunity and time spent with an investigator! By the end we had followed up with Dan and the commitment we left him and gave him a new one after talking! Was wonderful!  I have to say though - we were all so exhausted by the time we were finished! Job well done! - If I say so myself!

Sunday - Sis. Wheelhouse and I were able to do sharing time and Singing time in Primary! Went GREAT! 

Been pretty good! Super excited for transfers! LOVE YOU ALL!!! 

all pics = me in snow!
Sister Thomas
Please write! 19440 midwest cir. #11 Abingdon, VA 24211



HEY EVERYONE! GUESS WHAT?! IT'S UBER SNOWING!! WHOOOOO! SCARY DRIVING EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!! HELP! Well...thankfully I have a companion who is from UT, so she's been helping me learn how to drive in snow! Happy Belated Valentines Day! Did you get the chance to watch the Pday is a Special Day Video I sent in my last email? Well, had a good time teaching the Thompsons. hoping for a church tour with them soon. Went tracting with Sis. Husted during exchanges and got 4 potentials! YIPPI!
We got to have a fun Family Home Evening (FHE) with the McMurrays! Their 11 yr old daughter taught the Plan of Salvation (POS)! Valentines Eve we had a ton of fun making little furbies at the Keohane's! So much fun! On Valentines Day we had fun doing our Mormon.Org hour and looking up really good inspirational videos. If you haven't gone to that website yet, I highly recommend it! 
That night it started snowing a lot .... we were already out.... after bishop's house, I was scared to death to drive... night time and snowy! eeek!
Sunday it was pretty snowy! At the church is was 9 degrees!!!!! WHAAAT?!  Crazy stuff!
The snow was pratically gone by night time
Now today...AAAHHHH! so much SNOW! SCARY! I slid a lil! Thankfully I have sister Wheelhouse to help me!
Well....that's basically it for today.
Bai all!
Sister Thomas
Please write! 19440 midwest cir. #11 Abingdon, VA 24211
Rex and Sister Wheelhouse
Rex's wife Lina and baby Rex
FHE at Sister McMurry's

Happy Valentines Day!
Snow Day!

Trade Off's

Beautiful flowers for Valentines Day from my sweet companion

Pday bowling Sister Wheelhouse and Elder Boore

Pday bowling Sister Burr and Gifford

Scarlett, Me and Juan
Me and Sister Wheelhouse

Happy Valentines Week!


Hey Hey Hey! Happy Valentines Week! 
Ok, So here's how the week turned out: 

Tuesday - We taught the Pentecostal, Robin...but it turns out she's not really interested, but still SUPER friendly! We love her! That evening we went and taught the Thompsons. We taught the Restoration. It turned out great! the spirit was really strong. We're going back again next Wednesday! They MIGHT come to church this next sunday! WHOOOO! 

Wed - Fun working at Feeding America (soup kitchen) then we got in to Lina (Juan was at school). We watched the Restoration video with her. Was great! We had a wonderful dinner at the Paffords- their son Cody was there too! He's going to marry nikki Blevins - the RM that went out with us a lot! I MIGHT BE HERE FOR THEIR WEDDING! WHOOO! Btw...HAPPY BIRTHDAY BEVERLY! 

Thurs - went out finding more members! ROAD TRIP!  Had an awesome Weekly planning! 

Frid - Had a great lesson with our neighbors, Kat and Dan! Helping them get back in the habit of praying! YAY FOR PRAYER! So, for our district Meeting, Elder Boore (District Leader) asked both my companion and I to do a white handbook training on PDAy (preperation day = Monday). But he asked us to not read out of the white handbook and to be creative. Yeah....we were TOTALLY creative! To Check it out, go to:
Here is the draft before we actually performed it:

Sat - ROAD TRIP TO DAMASCUS! Did some service and met up with some less actives

White Handbook Training

Beverly's Birthday
! We had a great time singing to the older folk at the Abingdon Health and Rehab center. I LOVE singing with Sis. Wheelhouse! Such harmony! Still can't wait to sing with her for Elder Christopherson! 

Sunday - We got to go on a great power up with Sis. Crapo (Crape-o) after church! We went out with Sis. Cooper to go and see people! Was wonderful! Then we had a great dinner at the Smith's! All the members here always make such delicious meals! So grateful! 

Can you believe it?! In two months I will have reached my 1/2 way mark! CRAZY STUFF! I have a feeling I'll be here in Abingdon for a good while more, so if you're sending any letters or can still send it to the address in my signature below!
Thank you so much all for all the letters and emails y'all have sent me and all the prayers for me and my comp! I appreciate them all so very much! 
Hope you all have a wonderful week! Give hugs to everyone for me! 
Sister Thomas
Please write! 19440 midwest cir. #11 Abingdon, VA 24211