Monday, August 25, 2014

I Had No Idea!

August 18, 2014

I hadn`t even the slightest clue that somebody could acheive such pure, complete, and unending JOY.  I am so inexplicably happy!  I don`t even know how!  It`s like nothing in the whole wide world can possibly get me down.  I pass every second of every day smiling and laughing and loving life and loving the people and loving my Maker.   I don`t know how to describe it.  I wish you could just see me in action here.  I wish  you could watch me walk down the streets and talk to people and teach repentance and love them and prepare them for salvation and to enter in the temple.  It`s just so much FUN!  I was thinking about it this morning.  It`s like Alma.  I had to suffer.  A lot.  Let`s be honest.  To get this point, I suffered in the mission. Even though I always thought I was happy, but now I feel TRUE JOY.  The depth of suffering leads to the greatness of joy.  It`s like this light that just jumps around inside of me all day everyday and makes me want to dance around and declare the restored gospel.  So thats pretty much exactly what I do.
Do you possibly know what kind of fun I am talking about?
I am sorry, but I am just SO NOT IN THE MOOD to come home.  Please pray for me to come home.  I know life has to go on, that I can`t be here forever.  But I would appreciate your prayers.
We have seen SO MANY MIRACLES THIS WEEK.  Things I`ve hoped and prayed for all my mission.  Like real live leaders of our branch out doing real live things to HELP US!!!  They actually invited our focus families, all of them, to a special dinner and to a temple tour that I organized and they are providing means to help them with their family history work.  We have been entering in houses where missionaries hadn`t entered in months and months.  And I TRULY feel like I am doing my part to edify and build up the church.  It`s JUST SO FUN!
I love you all. AND I LOVED SEEING YOUR PICTURES.  I HAVE SUCH A HOTTTTT FAMILY.  Seriously.  You`re so BEAUTIFUL. All of you.
Much love!
Sister Thomas

August 11, 2014

August 11, 2014

WELPT.  It was a nice week in Compañia.  In the end, it turned into a real change and I stayed until last night... when we had new real changes!  Haha it`s all so crazy!  I`m going to stay in RENCA for my last change!!!!  CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?  And I am going to train again - a nuevita.  I`m going to train where I was trained!!!!!!  It`s so nuts!  And so awesome!  But that`s not all.  The two people that were baptized on the island are here on the continente and Presidente gave permiso to Sister Pederson (she served there after me) and I to go visit them!  So one is driving in from Viña del Mar right this second and the other is in the centro.  And we are about going crazy nuts to see them.  Can you imagine the joy I felt when President Videla said YES?   I`m just so excited.  Like so unbelievably excited.  I can't even contain it.  But that`s not all!  My hija, Hermana Alonso is ALSO GOING TO TRAIN!   She`s got like 4 months!  Barely.  Rock. Star.  It was really cool this week because we had a training meeting for all trainers and the assistants asked that those who had experience  share ideas and testimonies.  Obviously, I`ve only trained once, and I`ve always felt like even though I did my best, I just really didn`t do enough or do it well or... I don`t know... so I wasn`t even about to raise my hand.  But guess who did raise her hand?  Sister Alonso.  She testified about how she just barely finished her training and will now be a trainer thanks to everything I taught her and the great example I was.  I WAS IN SHOCK.  She said that she didn`t know much about teaching such things to someone else, but that she was a product of an excellent teacher and ojala all trainees could have the same experience.  Seriously couldn`t believe it.  It was so... NEAT.

You asked about my health.
Mentally:  Better than I`ve ever been in all my life.
Spiritually:  Better than I ever imagined was even possible to achieve in this life.
Physically:  Just... hoping I don`t randomly shatter into pieces like when you put hot glass in cold water.  Nah.  It`s not that bad.  Honestly.  I went to the doctor this week.  Looks like I`ve got a small meniscal tear in my knee... nothing grave.  Like I can live with it for life or have a small surgery.  It`s weird like sometimes it feels like it`s gonna dislocate backwards.  But it hasn`t so far.  So that`s good.  My back looks forward to my bed at night.  So that`s good.  At least I can sleep.  I`m 90% sure I have celiac disease.  So that`s a test I would really like to have done.  My feat are hanging in there.   

I can`t believe that this is my last change!  It`s so weird.  This morning, all my MTC friends left.  All  15 of them.  It was sad and strange.  But I am so happy that I don`t have to leave with them.  Sorry.  I love you all.  A lot.  But I just am really not ready to come home yet.  I do prepare myself every once in a while.  Don`t worry.  I won`t be one of those miserable missionaries who comes home and hates their life.  The mission should be the happiest time of my life... up to this point.  And from there, every day should just get better and better.  I know things will be hard after,  but I will finally be able to put into practice everything I taught here to others in my own personal life.   I love to work, more than anything in the whole world.  It just makes me so happy.   

Tell Linds to have fun being married!

Sister Thomas

You'll Never Guess Where I Am!

August 4, 2014

You`ll never guess where I am!
We had changes.  Early.  Sort of.  Actually, it`s more like an extended interchange, but either way I`m assigned to Compañía now.  The most centro centro that you can get in Chile.  All the most central metro stations, the "white house of Chile" and everything else for that matter is right here. It has been my dream all my mission to work here.  

I tried to go gluten free until I got here.  It`s too complicated.  But I`ll be back (hopefully) in my sector in a few days anyway.  

Yesterday we taught two Haitian guys in French.  I don`t speak french, but as I prayed to have the interpretation of tongues, I understood nearly every word.  And they understood me.

Saturday we had a SWEET human fooseball activity.  We had invited the world and knew yes or yes that it was going to be awesome.  BUT when we got to the chapel, the lights had gone out in the whole area.  Remember, chapels in Chile are usually in really dangerous areas because they were built back in the day, and, well, anything back in the day becomes dangerous today.  We started to hear explosions and whatnot and got scared that nobody would come.  So we knelt, the three elders, sister Adamson, the leader misional, and I, and offered a humble prayer, pleading a miracle.  As we stood, we heard the voice of a sister arrive.  She asked "Isn`t anybody else here?"  I replied, "Well, we have a small problem, in the whole sector they have cut the _____________"  As I was about to say lights, suddenly the chapel lit up from within.  I couldn`t believe it.  Not 30 seconds had passed from our prayer.  And... LISTO!  It was cool.

I lived up to my name this week.  Thomas.  Doubting Thomas.  I doubted the schedule.  I ranted and raved.  But I obeyed.  Never have we seen more miracles.  The whole mission is teaching like never before.  The appointments don`t fail.  There are people in the streets. And we have time to not break our knees and hips.  

A few weeks ago I contacted a young man who said we could pass by one day.  I noted the direction and we passed by.  We found that he had given me a false direction (what`s new?) but the man knew the kid I was looking for and told me where he lived.  We passed by and nobody came out even though they were clearly home (what else is new).  A few days later, we passed by that same house.  Once.  I felt so strongly.  Knock it.  But I refused, knowing that I had already done that to no avail.  We passed by again.  Knock it.  Nah.  For what?  Passed by a third time.  Knock it.  Ok.  That was enough to make me get my behind over there and knock that door.  A woman poked her head out.  "YEAH?  Whaddayou want?"  (What ELSE is new  Hahaha). "Ma'am.  We felt that we needed to come to your home and offer our service.  How may we help you?"  She nearly began to cry.  She explained how her son is a drug addict and all her life story and how maybe just maybe WE really COULD help her.  We made an appointment to come by another day when all would be home.  When that day came, we testified with such spirit and the entire family knew without doubt that all we said was true.  It was cool.

Sister Thomas

Friday, August 1, 2014

New President, New Changes

July 28, 2014 

Well, this week I did not even try to go gluten free.  It was impossible because i couldn´t communicate myself wih the members well until Sunday.  But starting today, I am gluten free.  I´m in conact with the nurse and another sister who actually has celiac and we are going to just work it out and go hard.  Should be fun!  I´m excited for the challenge!

There have been some huge and unexpected changes around here.  First, Sister Ibarra is no longer with us.  A sister got sent home for knee pain and Sister Ibarra, with just two and a half weeks left, left to Catemu in Los Andes to replace her.   So, I am now Sister training leader 1 and Sister Adamson is number 2.  It´s weird without Sister Ibarra.   It was a good ride with her.  And now it´s a good ride with Sister Adamson.  It´s always a good ride.  

But wait.  There´s more. 

I now only have one hour for internet.
I now have an extra hour on p-day.  
I now have weekly planning after p-day for a hour.
I now wake up a 6:30 and study from 8-10 and work from 10 to 1, eat fom 1-2 and study from 2-3 and work from 3-6:30 and eat DINNER from 6:30 to 7:30 and work from 7:30 to 8:30 and sleep at 10:30.

 I know I need to trust in the revelation that my President has received.  But I won´t lie.  I´m devastated.  The hours we most teach and find are from 6 to 10.  At 10 in the morning?  HA!  With SUERTE they are even awake around here.  Or they´re working.  At 10 at night, the men are home.  They want us to build up the church with priesthood holders... but they tell us to work when single moms and grandmas are at home.  It is a serious test of my faith.  I have no idea how it´s going to work. They changed it because they are worried about our health.  Lots of sisters in particular are having mental breakdowns and their knees don´t work, their feet don't work, etc.  It is true.   My body hurts.  I keep working.  Everyone started to celebrate because they can now eat dinner.  I started to cry because we will now have no one to teach.  I´ll take the leap of faith. 
Ok. my rant is over.  Maybe a little inappropriate.  Or a lot.  But just trying to keep it real.  

It´s sure been fun working with Sister Adamson.  We work well together.  We´re going to see lots of miracles here!

Tell everybody sorrry I can´t respond.  The time is so limited from now on.
Love you all!  Keep up the good work!

Sister Thomas