Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Letter dated October 21, 2013

Hello, Hello! :)
Oh man! what an awesome week! :) So I have to finish telling you the story from last week that I didn't get to finish! haha so anyways, last week toward the end of the week it rained like two days straight! it was POURING!!! it was so crazy! So anyways, we had a dinner appointment Marietta on Friday night at a members home and we got there nice and safe, and we parked on the road...this was a one way street, and so we were on the side opposite of Sister K's house and she came out on the porch and hollered at us and asked if we would move to the other side of the road because we had parked in someone's parking spot, so we quickly agreed.  Sister walborn and been grabbing her bag out of the back seat, and when she had hear Sister K she shut the back door to get back in the drivers seat....only problem was, the Keys were in her bag in the back seat.....of the locked car.  Oh, no! haha! so...we had to call the fleet coordinator Elder Bentley, and ask him what we should do...second problem, we get terrible service in Marietta! so the call kept dropping....We borrowed Sister K's phone and finally got into contact with Elder Bentley and he told us we had about three options, call the Chevrolet dealership in our area and see if they had a key and if they would drive over and unlock it for us, call the police and see if they could break in for us, or call a locksmith and pay out of pocket to have their service.  So obviously we tried the first two options.  We called the dealership and they said that they did in fact have a key, but there was no one working at the in-service that could do it for  us because they were closed to the public after 5pm.  so then we tried the police to see if they could break in for us...well, no bueno.  They just transferred my call to some locksmith that didn't even cover our area. then Sister K tried to break in for a while with a plunger and a coat hanger....but no go. Then she told us that she had a friend that she worked with that used to be able to break into cars, so she texted her, and she was we thought for sure we'd have to be calling a locksmith.  But, I had one last idea, the Jacobs live across the street from Sister K and so I thought I'd call over to see if brother Jacob knew how to break into cars, because he used to work at a prison and was in the military and cool stuff like that so it kinda just made sense in my mind.  haha well I could only imagine how strange Sister Jacob thought we were calling her when it was dark outside, asking her if she or her husband knew how to break into a car....this coming from the sister missionaries! haha after she found out that we had locked ourselves out she sent her husband over to try to help us here we are, all huddled around this car in the pouring rain trying to break into our car, doesn't look suspicious at all right? haha! Anyways, long story short, after several different attempts Brother Jacob remembered he could call AAA to come and get into our car for us for free, so he made the call. :) and then him and sweet sister K waited with us while we were waiting for them to get there to unlock the car. :) I can't tell you how blessed we are! the ward members really take care of us around here! and its kinda funny because Brother Jacob kinda reminds me of my daddy! A big sweet man who is so kind and loving and would do anything for us, including getting soaking wet trying to break into our car. :) one of my many tender mercies! :)
Anyways we finally got our car unlocked, and all was well...until we discovered that every road we knew to try to get home was flooded out and we couldn't drive our car through it.  haha we tried sooo many roads, and finally we had to call the zone leaders to ask what to do because we couldn't get home...they told us we'd have to call president and ask to get permission to stay at a ward members home...well one little old man came to our rescue and told us that he too had tried every road, but he had one more trick up his sleeve, and told us to follow him.  He kindly led us back to Elizabethtown! :) Safe and sound.  That was a huge blessing! Heavenly Father always pulls through! :) Needless to say, we had a night full of adventure! :)
This week though, we had a lot more success than we've had in the past couple weeks, which is always exciting! :) we had quite a few lessons, and I have to tell you about this one! oh my gosh, I think it was the coolest lesson I've had on my mission! I've kind of been having a hard time, and I was letting me get in the way of myself if that makes any sense.  I was so stressed and concerned about teaching with the spirit that I think it was hindering my ability to actually be teaching with the spirit.  haha, but I had a lesson with our one investigator Valerie, who the elders gave us, and it was the neatest lesson I've had! oh man! We got to talk to her about The Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. And when we got there she said she had been reading in Alma and really felt like Heavenly Father was bringing her to repentance.  We were so excited because that's what we had prepared to share with her that day! :) so she got to tell us all about her concerns and her challenges, and it was so awesome, because instead of the little promptings I feel during lessons, I felt calm and peaceful and I could feel the spirit stringing me along the entire lesson and guiding me to the things that should be said.  :) The spirit was so strong, and sister walborn was doing amazing too, as always, and it was just awesome.  We talked about baptism and Valerie was concerned about not making the date we had asked her to be set by and asked us to keep that date between us.  We said of course and reassured her that we would do everything we could to help her be prepared by then and overcome the addictions and stuggles that she was having.  She hesitantly accepted, and then I felt really strongly to take off my CTR ring and give it to her, so that in her moments of weakness she might be able to see the ring and it would help her remember how important it is to continually be progressing toward Heavenly Father and making sacred covenants with him.  She immediately burst into tears before I could finish my sentence and she had expressed to us that she has been praying for a long time that she would be able to find a ring.  She said that her and her councilor came up with the idea that she would write a letter to herself, forgiving herself of things that have happened in the past so that she can move forward, and after she was finished writing her letters she was going to burn them and she wanted a ring to celebrate the ceremony and represent everything that she has overcome! it was SOOOOO AMAZING!! oh man! it was so awesome! :) and then she continued to bare testimony to us that she knew in that moment that Heavenly Father was mindful of her, and that He did hear her prayers.  I was so overcome by the love that I could feel for Valerie and the love that our Heavenly Father has for her too. 
I know that Heavenly Father hears our prayers.  I know that he loves us so much and is very mindful of us and our needs.  Even though our prayers may not be answered like we want them to be answered, he is always there listening to every word, and doing what He knows is best for each of us! man guys, prayer is sooooo awesome! I can't tell you how much it has helped me on my mission!
We also had exchanges this week and I got to be the senior companion for a day, and that was fun! :) we did a lot of work and Sister Kirk came and worked with me in E-town and Sister Walborn went to work in Ephrata for the day.  It was really fun and I learned a lot! Sadly transfers are also this week...and Sister Walborn is leaving me. :( But man, I can't tell you how grateful I am for the opportunity that I had to have her train me! She is sooooooo awesome! and so knowledgeable and she has such a strong testimony! she just has such a drive to do what's right, and she seriously loves everybody! everyone is just drawn to her for how quick she is to just love everyone! hopefully one day I can be more like that! she I such a boss!! We've seriously had the best two transfers together and learned so much! I didn't know it was possible for me to love someone so quickly! she really has become on of my best friends and I hate to see her go...but she gets to go be a sister training leader!!! what what!! :) she's awesome! she's only been out for one transfer more than me and she's already a sister training leader! If that tells you how awesome she is! man, I can't wait until I get to see her again.  But I'm also looking forward to getting to know and love a new companion! More news on that next week, cause I don't even know who she is! haha I'll get to meet her tomorrow! :) and I get to stay in awesome E-town with an amazing ward!
I love you all so much! and I miss you tons! man, the holidays are coming up, and I can already feel how much I'm going to be missing you in those times.   But how awesome It is going to be to experience these holidays in the mission field! :) You all rock! Thanks for all of your love and support! and prayers! man, I can really truly feel the strength of your prayers! They give me additional strength when my own definitely is not enough. :) I love you, I love you, I love you!
Sister Thomas

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Letter Dated October 14, 2013

Okay! What an awesome week!!! :) :) haha it all started with last P-day, which was sooo much fun! We got so much done! aaannnd.....I box died my hair! hahaha and it actually turned out really well! :) Sister Walborn is a total boss and did it for me, and she did a great job! :) and then we got to go to Sister Greenways house at 4.  She invited us over to her house to learn how to make applesauce! It was sooooo much fun!! Sister Greenway always makes such yummy food, and she is so creative! so it was so fun to go into her home and see how she does things.  We had a lot of fun peeling the apples and cutting them up while we were having great conversations! and while we were waiting for them to finish boiling she taught us how to make a really yummy crisp desert! It is such an awesome thing to be able to go into all of these different members homes and see all the different ways they parent their children, and achieve different things in the home! I hope that one day I will be half the mom that these amazing ward members are. :) I've had so many wonderful examples in my life and I'm continually learning more. :)
Tuesday was a lot of work around town, trying to meet with former investigators and potential investigators, we got to talk to quite a few people but we didn't find tons of success.  We did get in contact with one referral that we have been trying to find forever! So that was a huge blessing! and then after a day of really hard work we got to go to Sister E's house! :) She's such a rock star! Her and her husband made us a really yummy dinner and we talked a lot about a lot of different things that are going on in their lives.  They are such a cute sweet couple! They both served missions and they taught us so much, and offered wonderful words of encouragement to help us continue in the work.  :) They just rock! I wish you all could have been there.  Sister E is such an example to me, she is so down to earth and soo willing to heed to Gods will.  She is so patient and kind, and she is such an amazing missionary! she's so willing to allow us to have lessons in her home, and come out with us when we are in need of a member at a lesson.  She is such an example of hastening the work.  She was asking us the names of our investigators so she could listen to the council given in general conference to pray for each of the investigators in our area by name, to help us with the work.  She is just awesome! I want to be like her when I grow up.  :)
Then, on Wednesday, we were soooooo blessed!!! We got to have an awesome day listening to Elder Mervyn B Arnold of the Seventy, and his wonderful wife! Oh my heavens!!! talk about a spiritual feast! I was so thankful for the uplifting words they spoke! They gave us so much guidance and council on how we can be doing a better job at working with our priesthood axillary leaders, and others to be hastening the work.  Sister Arnold did a meeting with all of the sisters to kick off the morning, and the words she spoke just sunk into my heart.  She was giving us so much council and scriptures that offer help in times of need...when we're struggling.  And she used an analogy that I loved...she said, "like the chicken in the egg...we cannot live without the struggle."  We have to have struggles and trials to learn and become who we need to become, and often times, its not until after our trials have passed that we are able to look back and see what we've learned. She told a story about a man who was hired to work...and the man that hired him told him to push this bolder with all of his might all day, and after a few days the worker became discouraged and went to his boss and told him, that he had just been trying his hardest, pushing and giving every last ounce of effort to push this rock and it just wasn't moving....and then the boss told him....I never told you to move the rock. I just told you to push it.  Holy cow did that hit me! I thought that was the coolest thing! It's so easy for me to get discouraged, because lets be real...I'm really impatient, so when I'm working my booty off trying my hardest, and I'm not seeing the effects right off, its easy for me to get down on myself.  But...that's not the point of our work.  the point is to work our hardest to "push" the work be obedient, and to be trying all that we can, talking to everyone, and being an example and ambassador of Christ at all times. That's the job.  Heavenly Father helps us take care of the rest.  And Elder Arnold gave us so much advice and council.  Ugh, I wish you all could have just been there to hear how amazing his words are! I took a lot of notes. :) The thing I think that would be most beneficial to share with all of you though, was how important members are in missionary work.  We can't do it without you! He promised us that the more you have members at your lessons...the more baptisms you'll see. We really need all the help we can get from members. :) You all rock! I wish I had more time to share more with should look him up on's got a few conference talks.  I'm sure they're extra awesome! I haven't gotten to read them yet, but you better believe that I'm going to read them in the near future! :)
Oh my heavens!!! I'm out of time...but remind me to tell you a funny story that involves locking the keys in the car....:)
I love you all so much! and I can't wait to hear from you!
Sister Thomas. :) 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Letter Dated October 7, 2013

Hello again! Oh my heavens, how did you all like General Conference?!?! Amazing right? I'd love to hear all of your favorite parts! I couldn't help but to feel the sincere love that our Heavenly Father has for all of  us as I listened to words of our holy prophets.  It was so uplifting and inspiring and I know that it was as if the Savior himself was speaking to us.  I know that our prophets are inspired men of God, who truly deliver the messages that we are in need of. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to watch conference in Members homes both on Saturday and on Sunday. :) Saturday we spent morning and afternoon sessions at the Jacobs home.  :) it was amazing! We had homemade chicken noodle soup for the first session, (since it starts at 12 out here) and the second session we had some yummy pizza! :) they took really good care of us! I felt really spoiled, and soo thankful that I had a comfy couch to watch conference on instead of the not as comfy benches at the church. ;) it was really neat! And the Sunday sessions we spent at the Campbells home! :) they are amazing as well! We got to watch both sessions at their house as well! :) The Zone Leaders (Elder Cooper and Elder Jones) also watched conference with us andon Sunday they brought one of their investigators. :) her name is Cat and she is the coolest person ever! oh my gosh, I wish you could all see her willpower and her drive to do what's right to become a member of this gospel! :) I'll tell you more about her later because we've got to go to a lot of her lessons even though she's not our investigator, and thank heavens because she's AMAZING!!! oh my gosh! anyways, we got to spend time there and have lunch/dinner between sessions at their home! and it was so yummy! I can't express how much it means to me as a missionary to be in an environment that feels homey and welcoming! It was so comfortable in their home, and they were so kind and made sure we were all feeling okay and such! Their home was beautiful. and Sister Campbell made the yummiest apple dumpling dessert! that was my first experience having that and it was TO DIE FOR!! it was really yummy!!
General Conference was an amazing way to end the week.  And I sure started it not on the brightest note.  Monday night I got soooo sick with the stomach flu! I felt so bad for Sister Walborn because she felt so helpless and didn't know how to help me as I made the bathroom floor my new friend. She called Sister Topham for me and then called the doctor.  She was so kind and helped me soo much.  After a while of not feeling any better she called our ward mission leader and him and his son came over to the apartment to give me a blessing! I was so thankful and felt so loved! I felt so comforted and I could truly feel the power as they placed their loving hands on my head and gave me a blessing with the most wonderful power, the priesthood. I cant express enough gratitude for their willingness and worthiness to come to my rescue! The next day they continued to take really good care of my by bringing me soup and Gatorade! :) I have such amazing ward members who take such good care of us! It's not hard to feel the love that everyone has for one another in the ward, it truly is an amazing ward family! I can't express how blessed I feel to be here serving in my current area with the most wonderful companion! I know we won't have the opportunity to serve together my whole mission....although that would be ideal! :) I love her very much! She has been the most wonderful trainer, and has been so patient, kind, loving, motivated, and so willing to teach me to help me become a better missionary, and eventually become the missionary that the Lord needs me to be.  I have been so blessed to have had her as an example of the companion that I want to be, and of how I can eventually become that missionary.  I wish you all could meet her! She rocks!! haha we have so much fun while we're working. :)
I love you all so much and thank you for helping me get here! I couldn't have done it without you all! I'm sorry this is such a short update. You all rock! try to reread the talks given in conference as they come out on the website and in the ensign, and see if you can get something new out of them as  you study them more in depth! I'm looking forward to printing them out and reading over them again! one of my favorite quotes though from President Uchtdorf, "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." :) he's such an awesome guy and always has something awesome to quote! haha I love you all! and I'll talk to you soon!
Sister Thomas!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Letter Dated September 30, 2013

Alright! Update for this week! :) Let me just start off by saying that fall here is the most amazing thing!! :) There are soo many trees in Pennsylvania and they are all changing at different times and the more days that pass, the more colorful Elizabethtown gets! :) Sister Walborn and I have been loving it, and really getting into the fall season! :) we bought a yummy fall smelling candle and a candle warmer (since we can't have open flame) and we got some baby pumpkins that sit on our study desks! We have been LOVING it! I wish you all could see it! I feel like this time of  year is making everyone happier! We've definitely noticed when we are talking with everyone, they bring up the upcoming holidays and the beautiful weather! Its cooling off, but its not too cold yet. :)  We're very grateful for the awesome whether, because our teaching pool has decreased.  :( Dalitza is moving to Lancaster, and Dale had dropped us a couple weeks ago, and Mikey told us that he wasn't interested at this point in his life...he feels he's just too busy and doesn't think  his life will slow down for at least four  years.  He was really sweet about it though! And then, Ken and Deb, seriously I love them sooooo much! but Ken is feeling very involved in his Methodist religion, and deb is really interested in our church, but the conflict is causing problems in their we're no longer having them as "investigators" investigating the church, but we're just going to be the best support we can for them and try our best to just help build their faith! We love them so much, seriously the other day Deb told Sister Walborn and I that she thought of us as her daughters! (I'm sorry if I already told you this....I forget what I've told  you and what I haven't) We really enjoy visiting them, last week we got to help Deb plant some succulents and a butterfly bush! It was so nice to be working outside in the beautiful weather! :) Even though our teaching pool has decreased, and its been hard for us to find people to have lessons with, its been so nice tracting in the cooler weather! The other day we were driving to go visit a Less-Active in our ward, and Sister Walborn and I have been trying really hard to find unplanned service opportunities, and there was the cutest old women outside across the street from us pulling some weeds along her white picket fence, and so we decided to stop and go ask her if she needed any help.  We started talking with her and she had said that she didn't need our help, that she had two of her daughters living with her that gave her all the help she needed (however they were both just sitting on the side porch...haha) so we sat and started chatting with her.  We had talked to her about a lot of different things, and got to know her a little bit better.  She said that she didn't believe that God hears her prayers, that she had been praying for a long time for her husband but he ended up dying of cancer and she truly believed that God had just abandoned her, and did not hear her prayers.  It was so heartbreaking to hear about her broken faith, she talked about how she doesn't believe that there is anything after this life, and just a lot of really sad things.  But Sister Walborn and I were able to talk to her about the church, and the happiness that it brings to our lives.  Anna had expressed to us that she really enjoyed reading Amish literature books, because they were easy for her to understand and they made her feel good, and peaceful.  She talked about how she really enjoyed reading, so Sister Walborn invited her to have a Book of Mormon, and to read it.  Anna said that she definitely wouldn't promise anything, but she started right then to open it, and skim through some of the verses in First Nephi, and the power from the scriptures was just tangible for me...and she accepted it, and said she'd put it with the other books that she was reading, and if she felt like it sometime, she'd pick it up to read it.  It was just a cool experience for me.  My strength definitely is not just randomly talking to people we see on the streets, but the thought that just came to me to stop and offer to help her, and then the feelings that I had while we were talking with her...It was just so amazing, I felt so sad, and so sorry that she had felt so bitter and negative towards our Heavenly Father, and I wanted so badly to share the light and knowledge that we had with her.  Sister Walborn and I definitely walked away from that experience feeling very hopeful for her...she was searching for hope, even if she didn't know it, there were just some things she was holding on to that that hope and faith can build on.  We  can't wait to get to see her again sometime soon.  :) There was also another super cool thing that happened! The Zone Leaders in our area have this really awesome investigator, her name is Valerie, and she is sooooo golden! Oh my heavens, they just met her on the street one day while she was walking home from the grocery store, and they just invited her to come to church, she accepted! and so the Elders arranged a ride for her, and there she was....sitting in church! :) (this was a few weeks ago.) Her first Sunday there she was so content and sat listening so closely to the lessons in all three meetings, and after church, she participated in the choir practice! That day in Relief Society they talked about the priesthood, and it wasn't very basic stuff, so I just leaned over and tried my best to describe what the priesthood was and kind of tried to keep her up to speed throughout the lesson, and afterwards, she said that she knew it was true, even though she isn't married and she doesn't have children, she knew that the power there was so important and that she could also benefit from the priesthood.  At the end of choir practice she volunteered to say the closing prayer, and she expressed in the prayer that she was thankful for the priesthood. What? She is AWESOME!!! the only problem the Elders had was that she is a single women and it made it hard for them to teach her, and she is right on the border between our mission boundaries, so guess what? they got permission form President Topham to hand her over to us! :) YAAY!!! :) We were so excited! she told us that she is so excited that we get to teach her, and we can't wait to have our first lesson with her! She is just a rock star! :) Sister Walborn and I had an amazing week, we worked hard, and had fun, and we can't wait to see what this next week has in store for us! I love you all so much and I can't wait to get to talk to you all again next Monday! :) Have fun watching General Conference! I can't tell you how excited I am about that! We get to watch the Saturday sessions at the Jacobs home! and I can't wait! Love you all!!
Sister Thomas

6 things :) Letter Dated September 16, 2013

Okay, so this week....kinda crazy! Thankfully no one in our district was transferred!! YAY!! :) I love them all so much!! But, we did get new sisters in the Lititz area, so we did get an addition to the area.  They seem super sweet! And one of them is a newbie! :) guess what that means, I'm not the youngest one anymore, (according to how long we've been out on our missions!) can you believe it, tomorrow will be my two month mark! I can't believe that I've already been out that long, sometimes it feels like I've been away from home for a long time....and then other times, I feel like I've only been out for two weeks! haha! I can't believe it! I have already learned so much and I am enjoying my time here sooo much!! I really love it here! We had a really good week! We decided to focus on less active work this week, and we had some really amazing things happen! There is a less active, part member Family that we just love here! They live up the street a ways from us, and we visit her every week.  She is the member, and she has a husband and three children, none of them are members. day she just asked if she could have us over for dinner, and set up a day where her husband could be home and there as well, so we set up for Friday, and ended up visiting her on Tuesday last week as well. Well, she has had a hard time with some people that meet at our building in a different ward, and every time she's tried to come to church they always give her a hard time, which is really sad! but her husband had expressed to her that he thinks that they need to start going to church....what the what?? He's not even a member! :) He has been expressing interest in the church for a little while now, but they want to move closer to her parents and all that good stuff, and she said that when they move that they were planning on going to church up there because they'll have a new start and everything.  Well, her husband just got his license back, and they're looking for a car, and he wants to take everyone to church because he feels that it will be beneficial for the family.  :) So on Friday when we went over for dinner, we were able to have a lesson with them about the importance of families, and he was really involved in the lesson we shared.  It was really awesome! We're very hopeful for that! :) but we also visited Grace, she's one of our regular less actives that we meet with each week, and I can't tell you how many times we have invited her to come to church, we always have a ride for her and someone to come pick her up, and she always says no...ALWAYS!! and she tells us all the time that Heavenly Father wants her to go to church....but she just wont come.  But we've been working really hard on trying to have her come to the conclusion that she needs to come to church, instead of us inviting her, and instead we're extending other commitments, like this week we asked her to read a story out of the ensign and she said of course she would....I think my jaw may have dropped! We've never had her agree to do anything! haha! and then we asked Vicky, (another less active) to call her and ask her if she wanted to come to church...well low and behold, while we're singing the opening hymn, I look over and in walks Vicky and GRACE!!!! ahhh!!! I was soooo excited!!!!! :) Sister Walborn started to tear up, and I was just so overcome with gratitude that Heavenly Father allowed the spirit to work in Grace, and for her to have that desire to come to church and ride with a women she had never met before! it was sooo amazing! :) I was so thankful! and Then, we also had Brother Brown at church....with his daughter! :) he also comes from a less active part member family.  He has been inactive since he had graduated High School, and Sister Walborn and I were able to go visit them for the first time ever! We were able to get into their home, and the wife was soooo sweet! I loved talking with her! She was a little bit stand offish at first and you could tell that she didn't want us to sit and talk with them, but her home was soooo cute! She had a lot of damask pattern everywhere, and I complimented her on it, because lets get real! I love damask!! and she invited us into the living room to see more of her home! It was sooo pretty! and we were able to talk with them for quite a while, and when we left she sent us off with some cake and tomatoes! it was so awesome! and then Brother Brown came with his daughter!!! We were sooo happy and so surprised!!! :) it was an amazing week for less actives at church! :) We also had two investigators at church.  We met with them last Monday night, (that wasn't our first time meeting with them) it was Ken and Deb, they were the ones that we met from helping Jen and Athena move. And they live just across the way from us. :) It was so sweet when we met with them because Deb because we got to talk to them to tell them kind of what to expect when they're attending our church, and before we left Deb made a comment about how much she loved us, and she said it was like they just got two new daughters! It was the sweetest thing ever! She is just sooo sweet! and I love her sooo much!  Her heart is so open and willing to learn, Ken's on the other had is not. He's sooo sweet and kind to us, but he is Methodist to the bone...And last sunday we went with Ken to his Methodist Sunday School! haha! it was definitely different, we didn't get to stay for the service though because it was the same time as ours, and so they came with us this Sunday to church, and it was awesome! :) we got to help them understand some of the differences, and they stayed with us for Sunday school, and actually participated in the discussions.  It was pretty neat! they didn't stay for the third hour, which was really sad because I think Deb would have loved relief society. :) But she seemed to like it a lot, we get to meet with her again tonight! Ken has a meeting of some sort, so he wont be able to be there, but we're excited to talk to deb. :) It was a good week! Not everything was hunky dory though, we got dropped by Dale, you know the one that was going to come to church, but then the ward member forgot to pick him up? yeah that one....That ward member came to a lesson with us and it was awesome! we talked about the Word of Wisdom, and the member that came with us was a convert so he testified to Dale that the Word of Wisdom is such an important thing and he told him how it had blessed his life....well Dale likes to drink occasionally and he likes to smoke....he didn't like that too much...he said he was trying to quit smoking, so sister Walborn and I told Dale to call us when he was having a hard time with wanting to smoke and we'd talk with him and come visit him, all that good stuff...well the next morning, Dale called  us.  He said that he had been thinking about it again, and he didn't remember anywhere in the bible it talking about coffee and tea, and that Mormon just wasn't for him.. :( it was sad.  But the good news is, we have planned on different ways that we can find more people to teach this week! So we're going to try our best.  I love every one of you! and I miss you all so much! :) thanks so much for the letters and emails! You have no idea how much they mean to me! I'm sorry I'm just terrible at getting back to all of you but, I promise I'm working hard on it.  and in case any of you forgot....which I know you haven't, but Heavenly Father is amazing! He loves us so much! and He gives us so much! And I know how much he loves us!!! He is always mindful of us and had provided so many tools for us to be able to return to him! The scriptures and prayer are definitely ways that He talks to me, and helps me realize the ways that I can be better, and how he lets me know how much He loves me, and blesses me.  I pray for you all! and I hope everything is going okay.  :)
a few quick things I wanted to share about Pennsylvania,
1. I swear....NO men EVER wear shirts here! Even the nasty old ones with big gross beards and their butt cracks hanging out.
2. Where I'm serving, it smells like brownies a lot of the time because of the chocolate factories that are around! it's amazing!! :) and really bad, because it makes me crave chocolate ALL the this rate I'm going to be 1000 pounds by the time I get home
3.  Everyone LOVES pork chops and saucer kraut smells disgusting. :) but When I eat it, I just smile away! haha!!
4. I saw the fattest cat I've ever seen in my whole life!!! hahah!!! it was awesome!! :) his name was boots and I don't know how his itty bitty legs supported his big fat body! haha!
and 5. They have yellow watermelon here! and it is sooo yummy! it's really sweet! maybe I've just been living under a rock my whole life and its really common everywhere...but the first time I had it was here...and its good! :)
oh, and 6. Pretty sure I have the best companion in the case you were all wondering! :)
The church is true!
love you all tons!
-Sister Thomas

Moldy biscuit they found in the fridge when they were cleaning it out  

In the Vineyard


Sister Thomas, Sister Walborn and Belen the ward missionary.