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

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Happy April! 4/6/2015

Hey!!! I can't believe it's already APRIL!  

Tuesday - we went where Evan and Gernie were with Bro. Gestewitz and Kelly Bauserman. EVan was at the hospital  but Gernie was there. As we were teaching the plan of salvation, Rusty walked out. At the end of the lesson we extended the baptism invitation. Gernie really wasn't up for it, but Rusty after hearing the importance of it and the blessings he agreed to the 25th of April!!!! WE GOT A BAPTISM DATE!!!!!! WHOOOOO!!!! We told him to pray about it to make sure for himself that's what God and he wanted. For dinner, we ate at Bev's. Hunter Osborne was home now from his Denver, CO mission for not even 24 hours. WE got to meet him and talk with hi throughout the night. I got to sing with Hunter for everyone. Was awesome!! We want to do a duet in Sacrament Meeting. The rule in this stake is only hymns. We'll see what we can come up with! 

Wednesday - APRIL FOOLS DAY! One year mark since I fooled my dad! That's a bragging right - right there! My dad is rarely EVER fooled! I fooled him into thinking I peed my pants on the way to my Nanny job last year! I can't believe it's already been a year since then! Crazy stuff! We were able to contact 2 referrals! Got one maybe! We got permission from our mission president to go to Jada's (LA) son's (Recent Convert / LA) musical in his HS to support him of....wait for it....ONCE UPON A MATTRESS!!!! That was the musical I played the piano for in my high school career...I think it was my jr year? Super stoked!!! 

Thurs - Had a nice visit with Terry and Patrick with Bro. Gestewitz. It was really great that he came with us! He was able to share his conversion story and have good insight! We have a ways to go with them, but we're on the right path! Patrick is really struggling with the BOM. 

Frid - Found out Girnie wasn't interested anymore, but Rusty was! Rusty had to leave early for an emergency but we talked with a LA there named Ralph. We went over the RESTO and a tiny bit of WOW - Word of Wisdom. 

Saturday  and Sunday were  AMAZING days of General Conference! Check out my other email for my notes on it! And just a heads up....just got watch / read Holland's talk...notes can't describe how amazing it was!!!!!! 

Attended a funeral for a member this morning. Was really sad. Sis. Blau and I got to be in the choir and sang God Be With You Till We Meet Again. I even started crying. I met her maybe 3 or 4 times. She was a sweet woman. 

Transfers are this Wednesday, but I'm staying. This will more than likely be my last 6 weeks here. Don't know tho. 
Love ya!!! 

Sista T.
Please write! 19440 midwest cir. #11 Abingdon, VA 24211
Me and the Sunset

Easter Surprises from mine and Sister Blau's families
Easter at the Newton's

Our District

Elders Sorensen and Wadsworth

Elder Hagans and Sister Blau

Elder Dillard attempting the challenge!

The Challenge "Mormon" burger (and yes, this is the legitimate name) Must eat all in 30 minutes!
In the end, it was the fries that killed him. Better luck next time Elder!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Happy Easter Week 3-30-2015

Happy Easter Week!!!!!
Tuesday - after ZTM we went on exchanges with the STL's. I was in Abingdon with Sis. Husted. We went to the Pafford's house afterwards. I'm going to be playing the piano for her son's wedding May 9th! Wooo! It's really frustrating when you can see a song you want to suggest, but you just can't think of the name. I can see the sheet music in my head, but nothing more...AAH! that's what happens when you've been away from the "real world" .... all the songs just leave your brain! :p It finally started warming up!! WHOOOOOOO!
Wed - Had a good day with Sis. Husted visiting people. On the way to exchange back, I got to a stop sign, and there was NO ONE THERE! Suddenly as I'm driving onward I hear a loud blaring of a car horn. I look in my mirror to see this car pulling behind me speedily. I  look in the car to see a woman freaking out using her hands. When we come to a stop light, I see her writing my license plate number down! REALLY?! I did NOTHING WRONG! Even Sis. Husted agreed! Psh...whatevs. An experience for the mission :p At night I only had 1/4 piece of my tranquil sleep left, and a half piece. As I was praying that night, I asked that HF would help the one I take act as a full pill. I felt inclined to take the 1/4 one.
Thurs - At night as I was praying, I felt inclined to eat all of the 1/2 one. I asked, "But what if I need some for tomorrow night?" thinking I would just bite that one in half and have a 1/4 for both nights. The thought came to that a bottle of Tranquil sleep would come "tomorrow" from my mom. Again, I felt I was told to take the whole 1/2 pill. So, I did.
Friday - At night I opened the mail box- LO AND BEHOLD there was a package with my TRANQUIL SLEEP! WHAT A BLESSING! I cannot express my gratitude for the Gospel! And the Holy Ghost! Everyone always asks me what my favorite part about the mission is. I always answer, "The mission Spirit (other than bringing souls to Christ of course!) I'M SO BLESSED!
Had a great lesson with Lori Price during the day! Sis. Burlett came with us! Taught the Plan of Salvation!
Sat - An 8 yr old boy in our ward got baptized with his friend in another ward! That was exciting! Then the Women's conference! Such an amazing session! If you want to watch it, go here: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/sessions/2015/04?cid=HP_SA_3-28-2015_dPTH_fGC_xLIDyL1-B_&lang=eng
It was all about families! I loved it SO much!!! Got some great notes out of it! It's only an hour long. I'd highly suggest watching it! Even you men out there!
Sunday - Fast Sunday!!! LOOOVED it! 4 INVESTIGATORS CAME TO CHURCH! INCLUDING JUAN!!! yippi!!!! They all left after sacrament...BUT WAS STILL AWESOME!!!
We went to look for a member in our church with our bishop, but the people at the apt told us he moved to Johnson city. So, we ended up teaching those guys there, and got two new investigators! SCORE! We also got to visit some members who were in the hospital with Bishop. Good experience. Had a delicious dinner at the Smith's.
Monday / Today - Got my heart monitor! whoooo! Annoying little thing. Hopefully it'll show what's going on :p Only have to wear it for 24 hours! YIPPI!
I'm deff blessed out here on my mission! More than words can express! I'm very grateful for this opportunity and the experience! I love it with all my heart! Transfers is the 8th, but I'll be staying! YIPPI!
Well, you know how when you start to relax and day dream - how you start day dreaming about lovely fun and crazy stuff? Well, my day dreaming was always about home life before my mission, or what I would do after my mission, college life, etc. I always tried to force myself to daydream about the mission life. About a week ago as a I was day dreaming, or waking up to thought, I realized they were ALL about my mission - about the people we're seeing and how I can best help them! I AM MORE THAN GRATEFUL! I love being a missionary! Heavenly Father has truly helped and blessed me!!! WHATTA BLESSING!
Well, that's all folks! And don't forget to watch General Conference this Weekend (4th and 5th) to hear and see the Prophets and Apostles talk!!! For people on the East coast, it's from 12-2, then 4-6 on both days!!! WATCH ALL SESSIONS! You won't regret it! You can watch it on either BYU tv, or LDS.org. And while you're at it, go check out the link in my signature below for the Easter 2 1/2 min clip!!! It's amazing!
Love ya! Tchau!
Sista T.
Please write! 19440 Midwest cir. #11 Abingdon, VA 24211
Sister Husted
Mike and Sister Blau
The Smith Family

Whatta Vunderful Week! 3/23/2015

Tuesday - HAPPY ST PATTIES DAY! Ended up having a fun trip to the ER for my rapid heart beat which was over 124 per min. Fun experience! All I can say, is I'm grateful for the priesthood in my life and such an amazing companion - aka - sis. Blau! ;)
Wednesday - I ended up sleeping most the day and emailing my mom-  rough night haha! 
Thurs - Had a fun day tracting, seeing some LA - was more of a chill day, but working at the same time haha! People like to cancel our appts :p
Friday - Had an AMAZING lesson with Lori Price! She is  SO golden! I love her SO much! So many good questions! Had fun doing some tracting. FIRST DAY OF SPRING! WHOOO!
Sat - HAPPY HALF WAY FOR ME! HUUUMP DAYYYY! 9 month mark! Got to help clean / organize someone's house - I LOOOOVE organizing, so was perfect! Went to Lina's baby (Rex)'s birthday party (1 yrs old). That was fun. Tried a potential, but wasn't home. Had fun singing at the Rehab.
Sunday - Struggled a little with my breathing and back pain, but Heavenly Father has surely and has always been there and helped me! Had a fun dinner at the Granados! Their kids are SO cute! Deff makes me excited to be a mom one day! 

So, as you can see, there's not a TON to report this week, but I do want to say that I am more than grateful for this gospel and for the priesthood! I love everyone around me, and I have been blessed so much! I have been struggling with a few health problems, but because of the Atonement of Christ and those around me and help from Heavenly Father, I am blessed and lifted up! Thank you so much for all your love and support! 

Sista T.
Sister Thomas
Please write! 19440 Midwest cir. #11 Abingdon, VA 24211

Halfway Journal Entry

Juan, Rex, Lina, Rex 4th, Me and Blau

Kelly Bauserman, Joey Bauserman, Bishop Bauserman, Sis. Bauserman, Lina, Rex, lil Rex, Scarlette with not her baby, then lots of friends, then me. Sitting down is Juan.

Sister Blau and Me St Patty's Day Sillies

Happy St. Patty's Week! 3/16/2015

Happy St. Patties Week! Can you believe it's already the mid of March? Craaazy how time flies!
Tuesday - We drove to Billy's house (someone we tracted into) at 10am = no answer at the door. We should have left a sticky Note....We tried calling and left a voice mail! We got back to the car. "Let's go try Rick!" (10 ft away). I was so nervous. Then i remembered the scripture I read in my personal studies in the book of Numbers in the old Testament.  It said, "Do not fear him; for i have delivered him into they hands." Hmmm..better have more faith!
We knocked on his door and he walked out holding the BOM in his hands, "Hey girls..." he started as he's walking out on the porch where we;'re standing. "I read that chapter you as kesd me to read, and I didn't get anything out of it."My heart started to sink. He tried to give it back to us, but we insisted that he could keep it. then it came to me, "Did you pray about it?" He admitted he didn't. I explained to him that even...when I don't pray before I read the bible OR the BOM, i don't get anything out of it. But when I do pray, I get so much more out of it! I told him that if he wants to know the truth, he needs to go to the source of all truth = God. He easily and readily accepted the new commitment!!! WHAAT?! My mind was BLOWN! In about five min vs two hours from the last visit, he accepted the new invitation! WHATTA MIRACLE! Now....time for me to start praying!
On our way to the library to do some studies, Terry came into my mind. I turned around and went to her house. She said she wasn't feeling too good, but she said we could come in for a lil bit. She explained how she was trying to do some cleaning - after a bit of happy excited persuasion, she allowed us to help! In the end, her husband AND her were thanking us SO much! he said he was impressed how we were helping. Brownie Points with husband! haha! He apparently looked at the Resto Pamphlet the night before too! SCORE! They wanted us back! WAHOOO! Our next appt cancelled but Shawn Phelps called and asked us to come over! After our lunch we went over. Was SO good to see him! Been a while. We talked for a while and made a family mission plan!
In the evening we decided to go to Mish's house (Bev's Aunt - non member with Dimensha) After Walking the wrong way and getting lost we finally found her house. (we were walking). Sweet and funny lady! Always has to give us a snack (I'm NOT complaining at ALL! I LOVE snacks!) She ended up giving us a cookie, water and ice cream. As soon as we both took a bite of the ice cream, we looked right at each other and lipped, "Coffee". haha! we looked at the tub to realize  there was some espresso syrup in it. Yeah....woops! ....
After we were in for the night, Sis. Blau and I had a TON of fun taking selfies together! I love her SOOO much!
Wednesday - While we were at feeding America one of the volunteers in there told me that the young man who was working the one that always came in and took out the trash, Justin - he told her he was a Mormon! I was determined to find out if this was true. Eventually he came in with one ear phone in. he took out the trash then came back in. Before he left I called out his name. I think I said I had a question for him. He walked over and I asked him if he attended a church. Phew was I blunt! He said he used to - hasn't been in a while. I asked what church; and he either said the Mormon church, or the LDS church...or both :p I needed up telling him we were the missionaries for this area. He seemed either relieved or interested. His countenance changed and got into a position standing up to chil and talk. I was washing dishes, so I talked as I did that. I found out he was 20 years old and will be going in the Army in Oct and will get out in 2018. He wants to then get into something like Patrol in Wyoming since that's where he's from. I invited him to church AND HE SAID HE'D COME!!! WHOOO! He lives off of Exit 5 though and the church is off of exit 7 = both in Bristol. Aka - have to give to Elders...WHAAAA! Oh well... at least we're trying to get him back to church. That's what counts! Stake Conference was coming up, so it was both wards anyways. I was done with the dishes while we were still talking. I said, "I'm going to get back to work." He agreed, pushed his ball cap forward and said he would too. It was funny, because Carol (the LA that's in charge of Feeding America = Soup Kitchen) was all like, "he was on the cute side, wasn't he?" I just gave her a smile.She then went on to tell me how he was doing community service, so he might had done something not good. I looked at her, "Carol, I'm not even looking right now." Haha! She replied, "I know!" As we were leaving, he looked up and said, "10 O'clock Sunday?" He followed up with us!!! SO perfect!
After Lunch, we went tracting! We decided to go to the big brick houses in the neighborhood not too far from our apt complex. We started walking there. Obviously I had some fun conversations with Sis. Blau since we get along SO amazing! It's like we're the same person, but not at the same time! We finally were at the tip of the nei8ghborhood street trying to figure out if we wanted to do the houses right before the neighborhood. As we were doing so, we saw a man at his truck pulling out some wood. I decided that if we're going to ask the Lord to give us people , we need to talk to the people we see - just in case they're outside when we are for a reason. He ended up agreeing to listen, for can't say no to a message about Jesus! Now, why can't EVERYONE feel that way?! His name was Tommy Castle. We ended up teaching How to Begin Teaching along with Resto. After all was said and done he agreed to pray about the BOM and Joseph Smith. He said he'd prob read the whole thing since he likes to read. COOL1 First house, and we already had an other lesson and a new investigator! WHAT A BLESSING! We didn't have much success the rest of tracting, but every one was SUPER nice!
After dinner, we had BOM class at Bev's. Bro. Gesteitz came AND Shawn Phelps with his friend Allison! WHOOO! It turned out to be a great discussion! We went over 2 Ne[hi with all the O's and Wo's. Bro Gestewitz had a blast talking with Sis. Blau (as I know she did with him) after Shawn and Allison left going into D&C scriptures! It was funny watching them go back and forth! 
Thurs - In the evening we had a Luau with the Relief Society of both the Abingdon and Bristol Wards. It turned out to be a GREAT night! I loved it so much! Good turnout! After dinner, we all did a speed dating with all the women to get to know one another. Was GREAT!
Friday - We had an appt with Lina, Rex and Juan. They confessed they weren't looking to get baptized anytime soon because they didn't want to give up certain things yet. They didn't want to be taught all the same lessons again either. So, we're just going to go over and talk with them and read out of the BOM with them. It's a good "start."
We got to go see Terry and her husband Patrick and taught the restoration. It was the best lesson Sis. Blau and I had taught together yet! Was wonderful! They accepted too to read and pray about the BOM and Joseph Smith! YAY! 

Saturday - had a delumpcious lunch with the coopers. Lauren Cooper has an ADORABLE newborn! I love him so much! Afterwards we did some tracting - got one return appt. We went on a team up after tracting with Kelly Bauserman (RM) and NONE of our appts held through....oh well. That's the missionary life for ya ;) Stake Conference Adult Session was AMAZING! They had some talks, then they had some pre chosen people come and give their testimonies of their conversion. Afterwards they opened up the congregation with a microphone going around to anyone that wanted to speak. It was to talk about what those testimonies meant to you and what popped out at you. Was really interesting.
Sunday - Had a great family Stake Conference. Justin Came! We introduced him to some people. He said he hadn't been to church in 2 years! I asked him if he was going to try and come again next week. He said he would. He said he would try to go to the Bristol Ward. YAY! He then asked if I was going to the Abingdon. I said I would. He said..."Well, I might try to come to that one." OH NO!!! Luckily the Elders got a hold of him after the meeting and we left. Phew. Don't convert to me Justin...convert to the Gospel! Thank goodness for the Elders!
After church we went and visited The Delps (sweet family) then had dinner at the Bauserman's. Afterwards we had a nice conversation with Bro. Lee. Was a good day!
Then there's today. we decided just to stay in Abingdon instead of going to the church for our PDay. We went and checked out the Martha which is a Motel and is very historically interesting and old. We walked around that and took some pictures. Then we went to an Oil and Vinagear tasting. I really want to take my parents to that after my mission when I revisit my mission and see what they think! Super good!
As we were walking back to our car to go to lunch, we see someone walking across the street that looked a LOT like Scarlette Long (memeber in our ward). suddenly she did a double take at us, so I wave...what do ya know...IT WAS HER! She was SOOO sweet and took us out to lunch! I love her! And now we're at the library emailing and won't be on as long as usual. Just about to get off actually. haha! 
Well, now that your eyes are tired of reading this long story, I hope you have a great day! And I can't wait to hear back from you! How's your life going? What's new? Anything exciting? What are your plans for patties' day? Love you!!!
pic 1 - RS Luau
Pic 2 - Sis. Williams and Sis. Blau at Luau
Pic 3 - Me and Lil Nowicki

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