Thursday, April 13, 2017

Consistency Is The Key

27th March 2017

Hi everyone!

After trying to contact someone, we found this door that had "Thomas was here" etched into it.

Running short on time, so I think I'll just try to summarize this week up into a few bullet points.

  • We have been teaching this family from The Philippines, a mother and her son (we've been working a lot with her son, who has a very little background with God) who we love very much, and there was a baptism in the French congregation this last Saturday, and Leia and Syndey were able to come! It was so fun to see them there, and even though it was in a different language, they still understood the Spirit that was felt. The young man who was getting baptized was actually one of Sydney's friends from high school, so that was super cool for him to see a friend choose to come back to Christ. Afterwards we talked with Sydney about it, and in his own words, he said it was "AWESOME!" We were so happy. We are seeing them tonight.
  • We started getting one family to read the Book of Mormon before the end of the summer after I explained very simply to the husband that if you only read 3 pages of that sacred record of scripture a day, you are finished within 6 months. JUST 3 PAGES. And he was very surprised, like "really its that simple?!" and of course we were like, "yes, but the secret is consistency." I really have learned that to be the secret ingredient to true conversion in the gospel. We need to be consistent in our prayers, consistent in our scripture reading, and consistent with our deep reflection about the Savior. It's not easy, but I can say from experience, it has made the world of a difference for me. Consistency is truly the key. SO, everyone just THREE pages a day. Its possible, completely do-able. Lets do it. This year.
  • Yesterday we found this super cool woma
    n from Afghanistan, who has the cutest two kids, and who was extremely open, and who had some amazing questions. We were so happy to meet her, and to get to talk with her. She had honest, sincere questions about God's true nature and we were able to simple answer them, and frankly confirm previous thoughts she has had. It was super cool experience and we are meeting with her this week. People really are prepared by the Lord to receive light and truth.
  • ALSO, women's conference was SUPER AWESOME, there is not enough time today, but really we had revelatory experiences, it was incredible. And I can't wait for General Conference next week, don't forget to watch it! HERES THE LINK!
And thats about it, I know no one really reads my super long emails anyway, but I hope this little snip-it of our week will suffice until we meet next Monday. I love you all. I am very happy to be here. I'm just really happy. 

A member had some GIANT SCRIPTURES 

After knocking on this cute house and talking to a cute granddaughter, 
a cute grandmother gave a cute teddybear. 

Have a beautiful week,
Sister Thomas

The Savior and A Shovel

20th March 2017

Hellooooo friends and family,


here we meet again, after another week that has gone by like the blink of an eye. This week was pretty unique, seeing that we had the worst snow storm since 1972. Yeah you read that right. In ONE snowfall we had over 2 feet, with some seriously crazy wind to accompany it, and the best part was that this storm was after all the other snow had melted and we could see all the grass and the hint of spring that was starting to come. But Canada, bless its heart, has a way of crushing your spring-weather-dreams, by sending a tempest in the form of fluffy snowflakes. 
BUT, we made it out alive, and now, today, the sun is shining and the sky is blue. Go figure. Anyways, continuing on, this week we got to do a lot of what we call, "Service with a Shovel" (!!!) to try and help some people out of sticky situations the snow caused and it was actually a lot of fun and we met some fun people. We just carried a shovel around all day walking around looking for people who might need help, and sure enough, there were people who couldn't even see their car under the snow. Then we started talking, laughing about the craziness of the weather, then the conversations turned to a gospel topic and the rest was history. And either we will be meeting some of those people this next week,or the French missionaries will be meeting with them (because ya know, we find A LOT of French speakers, because we are in a French town, but every now and then we find a solid Anglophone and our hearts let out a little cheer of happiness). 

shoveling to our car! it took 20 minutes!!

This week I've also been able to focus my studies more on our Savior Jesus Christ and everything that He did for us, to save us, to give us a second chance, and then to ultimately give us the chance to receive exaltation. Throughout my whole mission, I really have been finding myself turning more toward Him, thinking about Him, and what He would want me to do, and over the process of time, I have come to know Him better, my faith in Him has increased as I have served and trusted in Him. I really do love my Savior. I know that He is my Redeemer, our Redeemer. That He is my Advocate with our Father, that He will plead my cause before Him, because He is the only one that really understand, because as Isaiah said, 

3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he wasbruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
(Isaiah 53: 3-6

He has borne our sorrows and griefs, He has felt everything we have felt, He really is the one we can turn to, so that we can find peace and rest for our souls. (

I love our Savior. I know He loves us too. 

Trying to contact an investigator like...

Have a great week,
Sister Thomas

Questions and Answers

13th March 2017

Hi everyone!

Okay I have 10 minutes before we have to get off to tell you about my week, it's possible right? 

We just got done having a super fun Asian feast at this authentic buffet in town with a family in the congregation. The couple lives an hour away, but they commute every week to come to church, and one thing we recently discovered is that the husband isn't even a member! That fascinated us, and we pondered and prayed beforehand about what we would share with them as we were eating. We decided one thing, but things changed as we got there and found that the wife's sister (who was a member) and her husband (who also wasn't a member) were going to be joining us as well. We had a lovely conversation, full of both of the husbands asking us questions, them both having met dozens and dozens of missionaries in the past, about why we decided to serve missions, about each of our family situations, and what we have learned since becoming missionaries. The conversation shifted as we began to talk more about the scriptures and how they felt about them. The husbands were both indifferent about the scriptures and talked about how they were hard to read, or about how they had lots of wars in them. But we tried to help the connect the dots as we taught about an overarching theme that is found in the Book of Mormon that being the promise, "that inasmuch as ye shall keep the commandments of God ye shall prosper in the land."
Its a phrase used by nearly every prophet in the Book of Mormon and it has been an attention of my studies ever since I've become a missionary. 

Just a simple phrase and promise. If we keep His commandments then we will be blessed. We talked and mulled over the principle together and discussed how God is bound to the promises He makes to us, and that He cannot and will not withhold blessings from us if we are faithful to Him. We testified to them of the blessings and the miracles we had seen in our own young lives as we have kept the commandments and left them with the assurance that it was not a principle only applicable and successful for our generation or in our young lives, but that it was a principle that universal for all of God's children. 

And then as we were leaving the restaurant, the wife's sister's non-member husband (jeez that was confusing sorry, it would have been easier to just use names, but its too late to go back now), who is from the ORIGINAL Jersey (the small island in between England and France) and who was leaving Montreal with his wife tonight to travel back there, he and I had a wonderful conversation and I invited him to read the Book of Mormon again, and to try to do so with new eyes. Giving it a shot so to speak. And he agreed. And he, being very acquainted with the church because of his wife and their family, also agreed to watch General Conference (which is coming up in a just a few weeks!!!!), and I invited him to ask questions in preparation, and to watch it and to see if his questions would be answered. I promised him that they would, because I had seen it happen in my own life when I watched conference last October. And I told him about how it was the coolest experience ever. Because I knew that Heavenly Father had answered my prayers, and it was at that moment that I was explaining it to him, that a little light-bulb went off in my head. And I guess its the principle I'm trying to relay in this now very long email. The principle that God answers our questions. First off, that He hears our questions, and then, in His own due time, He answers them. If proof is needed for that, then we can turn to the Restoration of the Gospel in these days. The Gospel was restored to the earth in its fullness and glory, all because a young boy, who was humble and had enough faith to receive an answer, asked a question. What happened in that now Sacred Grove is proof to me that God answers us. And that He is always there for us. And I guess that is what I'm trying to say in this now, even longer, email. Hope it made some sense, I mean I only had 10 minutes to do it. 

But I love all of you. We did a lot more than just that this week, and this wasn't what I was planning on sharing, but that's just how it worked out. Everything else is going really well. We are very happy and healthy. But also cold, but I've learned that's just a side-effect of living in Canada. 

Some Pictures:
we went and partied for a whole 3 seconds with a cute family from Argentina in the ward. 
We love them. They're teaching me Spanish, 
but mostly just because I make them speak to me in spanish all the time
She's canadian so I have to give her poutine. it's like fuel for these people!

 my attempt to make homemade bread last pday. we thought it looked like a brain.

Have a wonderful week.
Sister Thomas


Hope Is A Happy Thing

 6th March 2017

Hi everyone!

Me and Sister Barnes are brought together again! 
We were able to go on exchanges and she made me pancakes for my 13 month mark. 
(Her's is technically the day after mine because she entered the MTC Feb 4th 2016, 
but we love her anyway). Sooo sweet!

Hope all is well and that your March has kicked off splendidly! Montréal is Montréal. Cold and cute. And we've had a great week. So much as happened as we've tried to find people and strengthen our connections with the members who live in this beautiful area. 

We've visited a few members this week who have been struggling in a little in their faith and just needed a little re-boost. Specifically Jill, who had been a little overwhelmed with the difficulties of life both physically and spiritually. When we visited her we decided to talk about hope and to help her set some goals for the coming weeks and months to help her and her testimony. We shared the scripture in Romans 15: 4 which says, "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." We added emphasis of the importance of reading our scriptures when we want to grow and cling to our hope. And we read what we should hope for in the Book of Mormon when the Prophet Mormon said, "And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise." (Moroni 7:41 So, we are to hope for the joys of eternal life, gifts given to us by our Savior. But how are we to understand and be able to rejoice in those things? That joy is given through diligent and consistent studying of the word of God, known to us as the scriptures. Thus, hope comes as we understand God's plan for us and as we are uplifted by His Spirit, who teaches and helps us understand the His words. So with Jill, we set some goals for her to read the scriptures, specifically the Book of Mormon, and she was so excited! She expressed how she's been feeling that her fire was gone, that she felt empty and sad; but this goal excited her, it gave her something to do and by the time we were leaving she was walking on air. She had a purpose, she had something to work toward, she knew where she was going. Goals are for sure a powerful vehicle that can bring us increased motivation and increased hope. 

To follow up from last week, we saw Selena again, she is amazing. We really love her. We talked to her more about the Plan of Salvation, but then we talked more about the Book of Mormon, something she was already a little familiar with and heard about from friends in her past. But as we actually explained what it was, she realized she had been completely wrong. She had thought the book was just a book about Joseph Smith and what happened to him, but once she understood that it was actually an ancient record of a people who prophesied of and knew Christ, man, you should have seen her eyes. They were alive. They were excited, they were vibrant. She was ready to know more. We then then shared with her Moroni 10:3-5 which reads, 

3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things. 

She loved it. She "dog-earred" that page real quick and she expressed how much those verses meant.  We shared another scripture with her, which, of course, she dog-earred. We left her with the resolve to read and to ponder. It was a very successful lesson and we are excited to see her tomorrow. People are definitely prepared to hear about this message. 

Things are going great here. We love it and we know the Lord works with us. He works with you as well, His hand is always there. 

Me and Sister Barnes again! She is still the Sister Training Leader in the English speaking area (she's been there since before I left Kirkland, aka a long time) but  exchanges were so fun! 
Man if I could be half the missionary she is, I'd be set. Love her so much.

Have a great week!
Sister Thomas

Good Things to Come

27th February 2017

Hi everyone!

This week has been good. I'm sitting here reflecting and I'm always amazed about how fast it goes and all that happens in that one week. This week we have been contacting a lot of families in the ward, less active, and active, we have been finding a lot and knocking and street contacting and it has been fruitful. We are literally building our teaching pool and we are looking for ways to do it effectively, such as by really communicating with the members and finding through the resources we have been given. It has been going well. Everyone, I hope you know how much I love being a missionary. I really love it. It has become my life, it has become a part of me, the love of this work runs so deep and I feel my boldness and courage growing. I know that Heavenly Father has been there for us this week, we've contacted a lot of people and we still have so much work to do, but I know that He provides us with miracles.

There was a miracle just last night, we were out contacting and we went to place we had previously knocked to follow up with some people we had met. But, we were running really low on gas (like really low, I was a little concerned, and we didn't want to fill up because it was the Sabbath, but we had faith that Heavenly Father would help us make it) so we couldn't move from that place until we had decided to go home, so we decided to stay a little longer, to just walk around and try to find some people. But, on the streets there was no one, it was cold, dark, and windy and there was not a soul. So we started knocking a few doors on our way back to the car. And after knocking 3 or 4 we knocked into Selena and her son Lucas. Selena and her family are from Trinidad, but she is more Quebecois than anything, BUT she's an Anglophone (score!) and she is amazing. She is very open minded and actually had a few friends who were Mormon growing up. She has had a very interesting life, with a PhD in Anthropology and now working as a Yoga instructor, she is so open. And Lucas is only 3, and we talked about families, after a prompting from the Spirit, and she said that was something that she loved and was very important to her, and she voiced that she was very happy we talked about it and its importance. Then we talked about choices with her, and our ability to choose (after introducing our pre-earth life) and then she said, "I love that word, choose. I actually have that tattooed on my foot!" again, our conversation was completely guided by the Spirit because those things aren't usually the first things to come out of our mouth. Then we taught her a little bit more about that, about how that was a God-given gift to us, that we have that freedom, and she loved it. And then we had to lead to get home on time, so we left her with the Plan of Salvation pamphlet and with a firm appointment to meet again on Tuesday. We were so happy. Heavenly Father literally provided us with a miracle because we chose to stay where we were and to continue working. I'm happy that we have the ability to choose and act for ourselves, that God loves us enough to let us do that. It's such a sacred concept. I'm so grateful for it.

And that is just one miracle for this week there have been so many more. I'm so grateful for the Spirit and how it guides us, I'm grateful for Heavenly Father and His plan for us, I know He loves me and is working with me here.

Another thing I think I learned this week is the truthfulness of the principle - you never know how much good you do, something taught to us by President Hinckley (the former President of the church, from 1995 - 2008) . That is true. Two weeks ago at a meeting with some other missionaries, the Elders in another area were talking about their investigators, they mentioned one named Shatick, and my eyes got wide and my mouth dropped, I knew that name. Then I asked but how? I had forgotten. But then it all came back. Months and months ago, Sister Torres and I met Shatick on the metro and started teaching him, gave him a pamphlet, exchanged information and then sent off the contact to the missionaries who lived closer to him. I had completely forgotten about him. But the Elders started meeting with him, and he's come to church and now he has a baptismal date(!!!). The same story happened with the other Sisters in the area, but this time I hadn't forgotten about him at all, his name is Keith, who we had met just as he was taking out his trash last one Sunday night, and the Sisters started teaching him and now he has a baptismal date and now both are attending church. How amazing is that? Can you imagine how touched I felt to know that these people were being taught, that they were making and keeping commitments, that these people who I just happened to talk to had started progressing? There are not words. I almost started crying after I found out about Shatick. I was so happy. I had tasted of the fruit. I had done something good, and other missionaries were benefitting from it too, and best of all souls were coming back to the Savior. Oh, that was a sweet moment. And I'm so grateful for them. You really never know how much good you do.

So don't forget those principles, even though I'm explaining them in a missionary context, they are still true principles. That God is a God of miracles, and our good works never go unrewarded. Those are true and eternal principles all coming from our Perfect God, who is the source of all truth and knowledge. I love Him and I believe in Him. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful week, and know that I will as well, even though every moment might not be happy, that the weather every day might not be the best, and there will be people who don't care about a thing we say, but know that I will have a wonderful week because I'm in the service of the Lord.

Didn't take any pictures this week, so here's a picture I just took of Sister Bascom. She's so cute. :)
With great amounts of love,
Sister Thomas

New Things

20th February 2017

hi from the South Shore of Montreal,

President and Sister Phillips, our wonderful Mission President and his wife, Sister Bascom and I. Ohhhh so much love.

Wow wow, what a week, it was busy and crazy but oh so successful. It all started last Wednesday as the Mission President announced the trainers for each of the eleven new missionaries, he called my name and then said "you will be receiving Sister Bascom!" and after a big hug and initial laughs and giggles our grand adventure started. We were both new coming to this area, and lucky enough Sister Zobrist (who was just leaving this area) was at the mission office as well, so she was able to give us the low down on all the things that had been happening in the Greenfield Park Area for the past six months. She was such a big blessing. She wrote out copious notes for us and gave us a detailed ward list and all the necessary information we needed to get started. And then we left the city and started the 45 minute trip to our new area. Last week it had been snowing A TON here, like ridiculous amounts of snow, well over 2 feet at least, and I had to drive it in. Before leaving I joked with the Mission President that he was trying to kill me because I've told him how much I hate driving in the snow before, and he just laughed at me. But, we are happy to report that this week we have been A-okay, because the heat wave that's hit the past few days has mettled all the snow! Today was the first time since December I've worn my lighter jacket and man, we are just loving the sun. Montreal weather is so weird.

Sister Bascom is super great. A little bit about her, she is from Alberta, she comes from a big family and has two adopted siblings (of course we bonded over that), she played rugby and soccer so she's super sporty and fun, definitely a hard worker, and she loves the French language. Basically she came pre-trained, and I just get to help her adjust. We both entered this area with a lot of energy and looking for ways to serve and help these members and investigators. They are great, we already love them so much and we are optimistic for the next three months.

 Found Sister Hoffmann at the mission office right before she had her closing interview with the Mission President, now she is home :( but we got a generations picture before she left. 
Grandma, mom, and grand baby (it's just weird mission lingo)
This week we have been going finding crazy. Talking with as many people as we can, running after people to ask for directions (and then talking to them about the gospel of course), knocking doors, visiting members, making little goodies for them so they like us more, and asking them to help us find people to teach. And we've seen so many miracles of Heavenly Father leading us to people who are prepared, we've found a lot, and it's been so fun. Most of the people have been French speakers, because are area is primarily French, but this week we are on the search for Anglophones!

We have to get going soon, we have a teaching appointment in a little bit, so I hope everyone has a great week, next week I'll come more prepared to get int the specifics of things, but pray for us and for the hearts of the people we work with this week. We know Heavenly Father has miracles in store for us.

Took a picture of her shovelling snow because she's a pro. She taught me how to do it. 
I'm a proud mom :)

With our new friend Wilfred. He's basically the Guinean version of Morgan Freeman. 
He sounds just like him too, we love him.

Bonne semaine! 
Sister Thomas 

Saying goodbye to Sister Dinge :'( I miss my Frenchie.

Do I Even Remeber How to Speak English

February 13, 2017
Hi everyone!

happy birthday to me!!! Sister Dinge went nuts with the décorations, it was so fun :)

What a week, what a week! We ended the extended exchange with Sister Poulton last Monday evening so Sister Dinge and I were reunited and got to work together again and be together for my birthday! Sister Dinge was so sweet and we set up little decoration and ballons, and I blew out some candles and it was special. It`s weird to have birthdays, or big holidays on the mission, we wake up and the mornings feel the same, we remember and know why we are here and what we are supposed to do and rarely give anything else another thought, so when these big events come around it`s a little different. But nonetheless, it was really wonderful and and it was a day I won`t forget anytime soon.

Some of my favorite people ever took us out to eat for a birthday dinner, it was delicious!!
 I love them.
Continuing on... there will be some big changes this next week because... don don don don! I`m getting transferred! I will be leaving the beloved Ville Marie area and going to the South Shore of Montréal (which means I`m finally leaving the island of Montréal for the first time my whole mission, weird) and I will be in the Green Field Park ward. Which is, as you can guess by the name, English speaking!! And I will be receiving a new missionary and welcoming her into the mission field! 
 Flashback!!! Took Sister Hoffmann on her last exchange this week,
 we`ve been so blessed to be so close my entire mission 
and then we got to be together one last time before she goes home this week. 
She is the best!

I am honestly so excited to be training again, and in English too! Oh man, don`t get me wrong, I love French so much and have loved these past 3 transfers (or 6 week periods) serving in this beautiful language, but there is something special about sharing the gospel in your native tongue, and I`m excited for this new Sister to experience that. I just hope that I`ll be able to remember how to speak and teach in English, because even now I sometimes have troubles with mixing French words into my English conversations or saying English prayers, but Heavenly Father will help us.

Saying goodbye to members is the saddest thing ever,
 Sister Thelemaque has my whole heart :`(

Saying goodbye to the members yesterday was bittersweet, as goodbyes on the mission usually are, because we really grow to love everyone in the ward in a very special way; but I won`t be leaving the area until this Wednesday, so there is still time to see a lot of people, exchange hugs, handshakes, and testimonies, and really enjoy the company of the spirit. I will miss this area very much, but I know that Heavenly Father still has great things in store for me and my trainee in Green Field Park.

Frère Thelamaque, the Bishop, and our recent convert Simon, they are so fun!

Anyways, this week I promise we had lots of miracles, and I know the Lord is working with us, and helping us find people who are ready to receive Him. He does guide us and direct us, and I am infinitely grateful for that.

this is like the worst picture ever, but it`s just so funny so I have to send it. 
had a little party with Daniella after we read some of the Book of Mormon Stories book
 (it`s so cute it has pictures and little summaries of the stories of the Book of Mormon, she loved it)

Have a wonderful week!
Sister (yay, I can pull my English tags out again!) Thomas
 Took the other missionaries car for the day and tried to find parking in the city. with the crazy snow we`ve been having it was the biggest JOKE. it was like parking in antarctica.