Monday, October 3, 2016

Month 8!!!!!

October3rd

Hi hi hi,

What a WOOOOONDERFUL week. It's hard to describe missionary work in any other word. 
Lets get to it.

Miracle of the week:
We had the feeling to knock on a few doors in a certain area we were in before we had dinner with a family from the ward. I had never been to the area before so it was exciting for me and Sister Morgan. The first door we knocked on didn't seem to have anyone home, so we waited a little and then we started walking away. Just then the door flung open and this man comes out and starts asking us (in French) if we have the gospel. Of course, we ruuuuun back up the driveway and introduce ourselves, and he asks us what we have to give him, I was holding an English Book of Mormon in my hands, and we had just ran out of French copies the day before, and he kept saying "Nooo nooooo Fran├žais." We started testifying of what the Book of Mormon contained and told him we could get him one in French. Then he showed us the giant religious library he had in his home and he said, "I have EVERY religious book, and I've read them all, but I don't have the Mormon book." And as I was looking at his library I noticed some books he had were in a Middle Eastern language, I asked if it was Arabic, and he said "No no no, Persian." And I was like STOP THE PRESSES. We ran out of the house and to the car and grabbed him a copy of the Book of Mormon in Persian (the language spoken in Iran, also called Farsi). Which is, thankfully, one of the dozens of languages of the Book of Mormon we keep in our trunk (except for French but just because we ran out hehe). He was so happy and surprised that we had a book in his native language and he promised that he would start reading it. We'll probably be going back to visit him this week, so pray for Kashi and his family!

Follow ups: We had our first lesson with the Mandarin family from last week. The Zhangs. They're SO CUTE. And we brought the other returned missionary, Justin, with us to translate and it went really well. They really liked the Restoration and it was simple and clear because that's all that we could do, so yup it was perfect. Keep them in your prayers too. 

Sabina: She's doing wonderful. We went over yesterday, before the morning session of General Conference, and brought with us one of our most recently baptized members, Helen. They hit it off as they talked about their families and their interests and then the Spirit rested with our happy hearts as we shared a scripture from the Book of Mormon. Jacob 4:11: "Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works" (https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/jacob/4). 
Then we talked about the different ways the Lord gives us counsel. He gives us the scriptures, feelings and thoughts in our hearts, people around us to help us, and He also has given us a Prophet and Apostles in these days to guide us just as in times of old. We told her about General Conference, about how every 6 months, the modern day Prophet and the Apostles give us guidance and direction and counsel from the Lord. And it was perfect because then Helen bore testimony of the Spirit that is felt during General Conference, she said that watching last April it before she was baptized, gave her the answer that she should be baptized. Ohhhhh it was so cool. We set it up on Sabina's computer before we left and then Helen invited her to church for next week and even offered to come pick her up, and Sabina said "Yes! I reeaaaaally want to come." AHHHH PEOPLE YOU CAN'T COUNTERFEIT HOW MUCH HAPPINESS WE FELT. 

Now, addressing General Conference, it was wonderful, and I encourage all of you to watch and to study the messages that were given. It was beautiful to see how one of the themes of conference was the Plan of Salvation, or God's plan of Happiness for us. Several talks were given on it, but one specifically touched my heart. It was the first talk given on Saturday morning, I invite all of you to watch it and ponder it in your hearts. Here it is: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/media/session_1_talk_3/5150993228001?lang=eng

Okay, okay, this email will be long, sorry, but I wanted to include something was I thinking about this week. Today, October 3rd, marks me being a missionary for a full 8 months. And I made a quick list of 8 things I've learned in that time. 

1. The stereotypical "eh" and "about" sounds made by Canadians are COMPLETELY ACCURATE OH MAN. That's just the way things are here. People also say "PAST-a" not pas-ta. Go figure. 

Got my first ever "F'real" I guess it was a milkshake or something. It was delicious!

2. The day in the life of a missionary almost NEVER goes as we plan it.

3. That my hair actually curls naturally (a revelation that has completely changed my hair care and daily routine).

4. That after years of failed attempts at learning French in High School, I've learned that learning French is actually possible! And do-able with the help of Heavenly Father. (Not saying I'm anywhere close to being good at it, but learning it, yes, that's possible) 

5. That so so sooooo so many people are lacking lives filled with any kind of truth. Even the most basic truths. Truths like the fact that God loves us. People don't know that! How sad that is. Remember the scripture in 1 John 4: 19 "We love him, because he first loved us."

6. How absolutely beautiful and perfect the scriptures are. After the diligent and consistent studying of both the Book of Mormon and the Bible in these past 8 months, I've truly come to a greater knowledge and appreciation of them. They are beautiful and sacred gifts that God has given us, they're a way He guides us and directs us, a way He gives us comfort and reassurance, and a way to let us know the truth. I love the scriptures. 

7. That maybe going up to a random person and beginning to talk about the deepest feelings of their heart regarding religion, isn't the hardest thing in the world. But maybe it instead is a beautiful vehicle to have actually meaningful conversation. Conversation that sparks peoples thoughts and helps them to re-evaluate the priorities in their lives. Actually, it really is wonderful.

8. That I am engaged in the most important work in the world. Nothing is more important than letting the people around us know that there is actual, tangible, proved truth. Truth that answers all questions and calms all doubts. Truth that doesn't change or waver, but truth that comes from the only perfect source in the universe, God Himself. Truth that He wants to give His children, truth that is knowable, enlightening and freeing. That truth is what I share with people.

Now we have a lot of great stuff coming up for this week, and I'll be excited to share it with you next Monday. Please pray for us, that our appointments work out (and that everyone wont cancel on us) and that the people we teach will have open hearts to receive our glad message. Thank you in advance. :) 
 
we went to the local Eco-Museum and 
THEY HAD AN EAGEL THERE 
AHHHHHH AMERICA
 

 
The District


 The view off our balcony, FALLLLLLLLL

Love love love,
Sister Thomas
P.S.
 We were backing up into a parking spot and 
LOOK WHAT WAS ON THE CAMERA 
AHHHHH WE DIED IT WAS SO SCARY. 
I WENT AND SMASHED IT!!