Thursday, September 18, 2014


Last district meeting

Helping Hands Day of Service

The Patriarch and his wife.  I love how she is always having to bend
over so she doesn't tower of the cute Chilean people.

Hiking Cerro Renca

More bending!

September 15, 2014

This week is going to be so crazy.  Today we hiked Cerro Renca.  IT WAS AWESOMEEE!  Seriously.  Had a blast.  My poor companion and the sister we brought with us were nearly dying.  But they made it!  I half-dragged Sister Florcita up the mountain.  It was awesome.  She´s a grandma!  And she did it!  Tomorrow we have mission conference nearly all day.  Miercoles, I went to the temple. Jueves is the 18 of September... which MEANS PARTY!  Seriously.  The Chileans celebrate their fiestas patrias for like two whole weeks.  But we just got the news that we get to participate in the activities on the 18th.  Know what that means?  All of Chile is throwing me one heck of a going away party.  Looks like they liked me after all.  Friday and Saturday should be normal days unless I have to go to the doctor, but I think I´ll go in for last time on Miercoles.  Then Sunday I´ll give my testimony.  And Monday I will leave the most beautiful country in the whole wide world.  But you know what?  I´m tranquila ya.  I´m going to be ok.  And there´s actually a little tidbit of excitement deep down in there starting to surface.  I´m excited to put into practice everything I´ve taught in my own life.  Of course, it´s WAY easier to solve other people´s problems than to solve my own problems.  But I´m ready for it.
OSCAR CHARPINTIER de las isla se bautizooooooooo!!! YIPPPPEEEEEEE!  Gotta say that´s a real life miracle. 
I don´t even know what to say today.  I´m just so... pumped!  This week is going to be awesome!  And I know next week will be just as great.  Just in different ways.
You better believe I am enjoying every. single. second.  This week will undoubtedly be the VERY best week of my whole entire life.  Gonna run it to the end. 

Love you and see you soon,

Hermana Thomas

Monday, September 8, 2014

Still Don't Want to Come Home!

September 8, 2014 (15 more days)

What an incredible week this has been!
Last week, Marite was baptized who I was able to teach in my short time in CompaƱia and yesterday ANDRES SE BAUTIZOOOO!  It was maybe the greatest day of my life.  What´s more, Ricardo gave the talk!   I forgot to mention that we had a little mini sector change.  We decided with the elders to take a part of their area that had never seen hermanas before and they took a part of our super rich area plus the apartments where Andres lives.  And oh, has it worked out nicely!  We are finding so. many. people.  Anyway, they told us we could keep teaching Andres because he was SO CLOSE, but after a few days we decided  that just wasn´t the Lord´s way and that the elders would be able to help him progress quickly.  And so it was.  I´m guessing you´ve already seen pictures on Facebook. That´s why I hardly ever send pictures, because I know you´re more updated on my life than I AM.  It´s weird how that works out.  
This week was tough.  Mentally.   I just couldn´t grasp the fact that I have to leave all of this.  And I just REALLY didn´t want to.  Still don´t want to.  BUT,  I asked for a blessing from the elders and wow I´m like a new person.  I´ll be ok. My heart will break into a million little pieces, but that´s happened so many times before that I´m used to it.  And it´s ok when that happens, because it gives the Lord a chance to rebuild..  I like when He does that.  It hurts so bad at first.  But it just feels so wonderful after.  The more pain and sorrow we are subjected to, the more glory and joy we can come to have.  
So anyway, just living the dream, rejoicing in the great fun of being one of the Lord´s servants.  Watching blessings unfold in my family and in the families of those I meet.  Feeling like I am really doing my part to build up the church here in Jose Miguel Infante.  Loving the Atonement.  Wishing I could stay forever, but realizing  that simply cannot be.  And coming to know my Savior better and better each day.  I am so blessed that I didn´t have to go home in August.  I would have missed SO MUCH.  So much growth.  So much opportunity.  So many people.  I'd love to  go home in October..... of the year 2050.    It sounds like a joke.  But it´s really just not. (I'm trying not to take this personally!)
I´m going to the temple next wednesday.  I can hardly wait one second more.  I´m dying to get back there.

What plans do we have for that first week home?  Do I have an appointment with Dr. Primack?   Dentist? Hair? Chiropractor? 

How are the elders?  Am I allowed to accompany them or do I have to be a man?  If not, get ready dad.  Are there lots of less actives that need help?    I´m becoming an expert in gluten free cooking.  I´m still not gluten free, because people give me stuff and cry if I don´t eat it. But I experiment at home sometimes when we have like 30 seconds of downtime.  I´ve made some yummy stuff!  Today we are going to fly kites, which is a Chilean tradition in September, the windy month and the month of their fiestas patrias.  The 18th is their fiesta patria day, but it´s really the whole month.  It´s gonna be a SWEET last week.  Anyways, all is well in my world.  May the Lord bless you and may you open your mouths to bless those around you.

Sister Thomas

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I Don't Want To Come Home!

September 2, 2014 (She returns 3 weeks from today...but who's counting!!)

Well, this week has been sad.  It`s actually starting to set in that I soon have to leave my beloved Chile, my beloved Santiago.  Of course, it`s hardly mine.  The island taught me that.   It was always the Lord`s.  And what belongs to the Lord will always go forth.  His work will go forth.  Whether I am here or not. There will be new sisters, new elders, far better than I ever was or ever could have been.  There will be new mission Presidents with energy and fire.  There will be new bishops and stake presidents and new situations (like the recently occurring recession) to make people humble.  There will be rainy days.  But the sun will always come out tomorrow.  There may be wars and political turmoil and fights in the streets and protesting dentists (like the hundreds I saw today).  There may be racial disputes and religious hatred and social class ire.  But He will win.  He always has, always does, and always will.  The Master will return in glory and power.  I see Him do it every single day in the lives of those I teach.  Perhaps He doesn`t physically enter their homes... and perhaps He does.  But more often than not, He enters their hearts.  He opens their eyes.  And if they are willing, they are changed.  Then that majesty becomes a part of them.    
Today we went to Cerro San Cristobal, a giant hill in the middle of the city with a zoo and a virgen Mary on top.  As we hiked up to la virgen, we were able to see all of Santiago.   All of it.  And  I wanted to cry.  I wanted to just die inside because I couldn`t bare the thought of leaving all of it.  But I didn`t.  Instead, I got goosebumps, thinking of how hard I`ve worked and knowing that I can say that with confidence.  Of course not a day goes by in which I think about all of the ways I could have done things better, all the things I screwed up,  and all the ways I could have been a better instrument in the Lord`s hands.  But I suppose that`s the enemy`s way of trying to discourage me.  He`s pretty much always used the same approach.  You start to catch on after a while.  So I try to cast out such thoughts - doubt, discouragement, frustration, fear of the future.  And just try to think of the good I`ve done.  It`s certainly keeping me humble.  Mom asked  me to be honest.  If I want to come home.  I really just... don`t.  I`m sorry.  I love you all so much but... I know you`re ok.  You`re well.  You`re protected.  And even if you weren`t, you have the tools necessary to maintain a life of order and happiness.  You can have the confidence of knowing that even if I never returned, we would be reunited for eternity in a kingdom of celestial glory.  But these people?  They have no idea.  They suffer abuse in their homes and failures at work and secret depressions in their mind and inability to pay for bread on the table and divorces and deaths and incomplete joy.  And they don`t know how to make it better.  I know there are others that will come to take my place.  But that`s just it. I want my OWN place.  Of course, that place will continue on in Denver or in Provo or wherever life will take me.  But I love Chile.    
So I`m sad.  Devastated really.  And working harder than ever to finish the race running.  Don`t think I will slow down for even half a second.  My poor companion is nearly dying because we literally run all day everyday.
I love you all dearly and thank you for the  support you gave me to let me help these people find a fullness of joy.
Sister Thomas

August 25, 2014

August 25, 2014

 Welpt, apparently we`re down to less than month seeing as how everyone has taken great care to inform me.  Today I have little time because there were a few important letters that needed a little more attention.  Anyway.  This week has been fantastic.  It`s true what dad says.  There are lots of ups and downs... but in the end, it`s pretty much all just up.  Even in down moments it`s so crazy... like nothng can actually get me down.  And I HAVE A ROCKSTAR COMPANION.  Seriously.  This week, her second week in the mission, she did her 70 contacts.  WHO DOES THAT?!   It`s seriously so fun.  We run around all day laughing and preaching and just having a great time. Seriously, we have so much fun all day everyday.  It`s a blast.  I love that I get to finish here.  And I love that we get to finish together.  We work so hard!   Like I wonder how the missionaries that don`t work hard can possibly enjoy life?  I guess they don`t.  I guess wickedness never was happiness now was it?  Yesterday at church was the best church day ever.   Ricardo Ahumada blessed the sacrament!  And Cristian, one of our focus family less actives gave the closing prayer.  And Andres came.  And Ingrid, an investigator that we hadn`t seen for two weeks came out of the blue.  And I taught the tithing class.  And it was all just so awesome.  Can you believe it!  My sacrament was blessed by Ricardo!  Then Ricardo and his new wife accompanied us later on to teach Andres.  It`s just a tree of converts.  I love the work.  I love the Lord.  I love my tag.  No matter how much it may weigh.  I love my branch, my district, my zone, my city, my country.  I love my leaders, my President and his wife. I love the prophet and the apostles. I love you.  Each of you. Especially Cody-dog because he`s the only man I`ve got. (is he dead yet?)  And I love the Lord.  So much.  May He and His armies open the heavens to bless our home this week.  You know I pray daily for all of you.
Sister Thomas