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