Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Reflections & the Power of Faith

Hello once again, family and friends!

Wow...what a ride! It's hard to believe that I'm addressing you for the final time as a missionary. There have been thousands of emails sent back and forth during the last hundred or so weeks, but I guess this is the last one. Again, hard to believe! It's gone pretty quick, but it also hasn't. Every missionary who is currently serving knows that the days feel like weeks, and the weeks feel like days. And every returned missionary will understand what I mean when I say that the last 6 months of the mission go by in the blink of an eye. I never thought this day would come! As bitter as it's going to be to leave the people of Britain, I know that all things have an end and that God has wonderful things prepared for us all in the future. But I'm gonna cherish this last week!

Last week was nothing short of amazing. Just saying that we were blessed is an understatement!

As busy as President and Sister Gubler are right now with end-of-transfer stuff, they decided to pay us a visit out here on Jersey. It was such a privilege to be taught and instructed by our leaders! The weird thing about being far from the mission headquarters is not seeing the mission president very often--I was starting to have withdrawals! President Gubler ministered a lot to myself and the district, and we got to minister with him to our friend Allison, who is planning on coming to church for the first time this Sunday! We really hope she comes, it would be a miracle. It was also President's birthday on Sunday, so we threw him a party after church and it was da bomb. Knowing of President's love for chocolate chip cookies, I decided to be a bit cheeky and make him his own batch, and let me tell you they were good. If there's one thing I've learned on my mission, it's how to make a mean batch of chocolate chip cookies. My companions can testify, and so can the Gublers! He was one happy mission president...Mama Thomas's recipe always hits the sweetspot!

All joking aside, it was a huge blessing to have the Gublers over. We actually got to work with a lot of Christlike ministers this weekend, including the stake president, who also came over from Poole! The members here in Britain are something order to stay strong in a place like this where belief in God is falling and Atheism is rising, you have to have an unshakeable witness of Christ in order to remain rooted in the faith. That's just one of the reasons I admire the British saints so much--that are literally rooted in the gospel and the Savior is their shepherd. It's been such a privilege to be around and work with such valiant souls.

Time for a quick update on our investigators:

Goods: Abby and Ashley came to church again for the 2nd time in a row, this time all by themselves! They are feeling and recognizing the Spirit and are reading from the Book of Mormon and praying each day. We are so impressed with them! The rest of the family is a bit slower to progress, but they are planning on coming to church this Sunday as well. Gonna miss them!

Gary: Gary is struggling right now. Well, I guess what I mean is we are struggling with Gary right now! He bailed coming to church again on Sunday, so our plan is to have a heart to heart with him and help him to see the importance of the gospel. A bit concerned for Gary.

Paul: an emotional week with Paul! He was set to get baptized this coming weekend, but he let other things become a bigger priority than they should be which resulted in us not seeing him for most of the week. He has been resisting the Spirit lately, but we're beginning to teach him again and he's back on track for baptism, only this time for the 19 of August. We wont be here :/ but it's ok. Come on, Paul!

Lucia is still reading the Book of Mormon in Portuguese and plans to come to church this Sunday as well. We've got super high hopes for Lucia!

The biggest blessing of my mission has been having the opportunity to watch people's hearts change as they live the gospel. I've seen it many times, but it never gets old. Like King Benjamin's people, they have experienced a mighty change of heart. I have come to relate to this scripture on a personal level as well, for I too have felt that change in my own heart as I've served for and among these people. These have been "days never to be forgotten."

I've learned many things during my time as a missionary. Here's just a few:

First of all, I've learned how to have fun. Missionary work is supposed to be fun...If you're not having fun, then you're doing something wrong!

I've learned that there is nothing more powerful than the power of God. I've also learned how to access that power through faith in Jesus cool is it that we can have access to that kind of power simply by having and exercising faith!

I've learned about the magnitude of the influence that parents and leaders have on those they lead. With righteous leaders comes righteous followers, but the opposite can also be said! We see that all the time in the Book of Mormon--as soon as a wicked man is made king, destruction is soon to follow! Many children in this country lack that righteous upbringing, and it's really hard for them to find the right course later on. It's made me grateful for the upbringing that I've had, and it makes me want to help those who haven't been as privileged.

Last but certainly not least, I've learned that I have a Savior who loves me infinitely and personally. I've come to know Him more during my time in His service. I've come to know that He is the most loyal Friend that anybody could ever ask for because no matter how many times I let Him down, He never ever lets me down. I simply have no reason not to trust Him, and so I'll trust in Him forever. I know it's Him whom I serve. I know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ and that these are the latter days. I really do love Him!

I thank you all for supporting me so much, I really appreciate it! I'm excited to see you all again and look forward to sharing many of my experiences with you in the very near future. I thank my parents for being there for me 24/7 and I also thank my Heavenly Parents for doing the same.

Love you all! See you soon, friends and family and see you soon America!

Love, Elder Thomas


President and Sister Gubler


When wind and rain combine

After our lesson with the Goods and Amanda

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

GOODness Gracious and Prophets

Heya, you lot!

It's your favorite Jersey missionary! At least I better be. Back with more news and adventures from the best island in the channel! This place is on fire right now, both in terms of temperature and missionary work. I love writing these emails after an awesome week, but sometimes I get so excited as I type that I end up going too fast, which probably results in a lot of typos. Apologies if that's the case!

As most of you know, Elder Ferreira and I both finish 2 weeks from today. Those of you who have served missions will understand that the final stretch of the mission is a very interesting time! There's a lot of mixed feelings and a lot of emotions. We're both pretty sad that our missions are coming to an end, but if anything that is making us work harder and more effectively! We've really just tried to step up to the next level and figure out exactly what the Lord wants us to do in this area. As we've done that we've seen great changes in ourselves and in our area. I know the 4th of July has come and gone, but in the spirit of Independence Day God is giving us a grand finale! Our faith and the faith of our investigators is skyrocketing and things are just good.

Ripped another pair of trousers on the bike this week.

As of right now, we have 3 people on date for baptism. We taught Gary again last week and he is back on date, this time for September 9th. It brought peace to my mind to see him commit to a later date because I think it shows that he really is becoming converted to the gospel and not to us, as we won't be there.

Lucia is a beast. When our lesson began, she started asking questions about a vineyard. I grabbed her Book of Mormon and saw that she had read all the way up to Jacob 5 in 1 week's time...1 WEEK! Couldn't believe me ears! She felt the Spirit and accepted September 2nd as a date for baptism. She plans to come to church this Sunday.

Paul is also solid! He came to church for the first time last week and loved it. He's being interviewed for baptism this Saturday, coming to church on Sunday, and then getting baptized next Saturday. I really like Paul! We have serious lessons with him but we also joke around a lot. He was going to leave after sacrament, but agreed to stay another hour after I told him that the next meeting was held in the filled baptismal font. That didn't actually happen, but he did stay! Then in our lesson on Monday we taught him about tithing. After we stopped talking, he sat there for a moment to process what we had taught. We asked him how he felt, and he said, "hmm...that makes complete sense to me. It's cool to know that the church is a non-profit organization." Thinking he meant "non-prophet organization", I stopped him in his tracks and began to reteach about prophets and how the biggest difference between our church and others is that we actually do have living prophets. Elder Ferreira realized that we were on different pages and he then stopped me in my tracks. Eventually we both realized what had just happened. It lead to some hysterical laughing and an awesome memory with Paul! What a champion. Sure hope he takes the plunge.

Allison is a legend! She's reading the Book of Mormon everyday, praying, and recognizing the Spirit. We invited her to be baptized, and she said she'd pray about it. We will follow up this Saturday.

The Goods are so good you guys, I cannot emphasize that enough! We saw their car in the car park as we pulled into church on Sunday, and our hopes were confirmed when we walked in and took our seats next to them in the chapel. Man, it was a sight to behold! There's not many sights better for a missionary than seeing a family of investigators sat in church, ready to hear the word of the Lord. They really enjoyed church and want to come back next week. I actually can't believe they came, and I'm so happy about it! They will miss us when we go, and I'm really going to miss them. Hopefully the next elders will continue to teach them because they are good! Thank you so much for your prayers in their behalf. I'm here to tell you that the Lord is hearing and answering them. He is blessing us so much right now and I'm very grateful for that and for all of you. I love the people of Jersey so much!

You guys have an awesome week and we'll do our best to keep the fire burning here in Jersey! Love you loads!

Love, Elder Thomas


Dinner with the Faria family from Madeira!

More dinner with more members

District mini-golf

The Johns family, who left to England today for the British pageant

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Last Zone Conference and Change

Ola Amigos,

You guys, it's been a mind-blowing week. Ever since I first set foot on this island 4 months ago, I've honestly never ceased to be amazed and I can't wait to tell you what's happened this week :D it's been a week full of meetings, sunburns, and miracles. Here's the scoop:

-had our last zone conference
-last ward council
-did weekly planning outside and got absolutely fried. Sweet tan line though!
-had the greatest first lesson of my mission
-did loads of service
-spoke in sacrament meeting about service
-got my heart broken at sacrament meeting
-huge changes in our investigators

Summer has arrived in full swing here in Jersey, and so has our teaching pool! I've never actually had a teaching pool like this on my mission before, so I've been super grateful because it's really nice. Having people to teach is such a relief because it means we don't have to find all day, and it's the reason we're here...we were set apart to teach! After all, in the words of Preach my Gospel, "nothing happens in missionary work until you find people to teach." Amen to that! Here's a quick status update on our investigators:

Gary: We knew that in order for Gary to be ready for his baptismal date of July 22, he needed to make some serious changes, mostly concerning the law of chastity. So we taught him that lesson last week and he actually took it a lot better than we thought he would! He said he knew better than to let that obstacle weaken his faith which was really good to hear. At the same time, we could tell he was a bit discouraged at the thought of breaking the news to his girlfriend that he would need to move out. Got a text from him Saturday night where he said that he wasn't going to be able to make such a change in such a short amount of time and that he wouldn't be coming to church the following Sunday. Dang it! But he is still willing to be taught.

Allison: taught her the Plan of Salvation this week and taught her about her true identity. We showed her a powerful Mormon message called "our true identity" which is one of my personal favourites and it brought her to tears. She's changing a ton and she knows it! She says she's not quite ready to come to church, but she's cooking!

Paul: Paul is the man! He's really stepped up and decided that he needs to sort his life out, but he knows that means sorting things out with God first. He's confident that this is the oath he needs to take and is now on date for July 29, which would be our last week in the mission field. Talk about miracles! He too is identifying the Spirit as we teach him. Go Paul!

The Goods: the Goods did not make it to church last week, but we taught them on Monday with a member who knew Sarah from school so there was an instant connection there. We resolved some of their concerns with the help of the Book of Mormon and the member dropped a bomb of an church invitation on them, to which they said yes! We will be sitting with them at church this week :) the Goods are still good! I was also told that one of the daughters has a big crush on me, although it's pretty obvious...but hey if it gets her to listen to what we're saying then I guess it works, right?

Also had one bomb of a first lesson this week with our new friend, Lucy. We found her through a less active member who lives with her in a shared house. Whilst in a lesson, she cracked the door open to grab something. Even though I could only see her arm, I instantly recognized her Portuguese complexion and blurted "tudo bem?" That led to a conversation, which led to a return appointment and an awesome lesson. She explained that she was concerned as to why there are so many churches and which one is true. We said we know of a guy who had the same question and proceeded to teach her the Restoration. The member was there, the Spirit was there, and the invitation to get baptized was there. She said yes! All glory to God on that one.

So yeah, we've been blessed immensely! I'm so so grateful for this opportunity and privilege it is to serve the Savior and to literally take his name upon me each day. It just keeps getting better and better and these are days never to be forgotten. I'm gutted that it's coming to an end so quickly! Hopefully we can squeeze another baptism or two in before that day comes.

The boost that Elder Ferreira and I got this week came from zone conference. President Gubler taught us about our divine origin, that we were chosen, called, and prepared to be on earth at this time in this great work of saving souls. We learned that we are all "noble and great ones" and "choice spirits" who have been reserved for this last dispensation. That doesn't make us better than anybody else, but it does put a great responsibility on our shoulders to work diligently everyday to follow the Savior and bring others with us. It was good to hear these things again because that is largely what President focused on when I first arrived in the mission. So it was kind of a full-circle ending and definitely a good zone conference to end on!

Once again, thank you all for your love and support each week. I really do appreciate it and I'm grateful for each and every one of you. I know that the Savior is mindful of all of our needs and is eager to support us in every challenge we go through. I've got a testimony that He'll always be there for us because He's the best friend anyone could ask for.

Life is good!

Love, Elder Thomas


Action shot walking the streets of Jersey

Us and our zone leaders

Found this goat thing outside a shop.  They say riding it brings good luck.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Promises from Heaven

Hey my dear brothers and sisters, here's to another week!

Sweet butter krumpet it's been an awesome week! We've had great cause to rejoice because of the blessings of God, one of which being the 4th of July. Understandably, Independence Day isn't exactly the number 1 holiday in Britain but that didn't stop us from celebrating. I haven't properly celebrated the 4th of July for 6 years due to work, surgery, holiday, and the mission--I know, so unpatriotic--but I was determined to celebrate this year even if I was on my own. We couldn't find much American-ness here on the island, so we decided to play it safe by going to McDonald's... because you can't go wrong. Doesn't get much more American than a Big Mac and a crispy apple pie :) I'm also proud to say that I converted Elder Ferreira as well. Despite being called a "Yank" for the last 2 years, I'm still proud to be an American! Soon enough I'll be headed back to the promised land.

This week:
-hit mission vision again
-DA/lesson with the Goods
-golfing with less actives
-football match Portugal vs. World
-loads of service

We were able to hit the mission vision (which I described last week) and we are super chuffed about it. None of our investigators came to church, but the same guy that came last week came again this week to save the day...literally a buzzer beater! He's called Chris Cole and he always comes in clutch. And so does the Lord in answer to our prayers!

I'm beginning to see that all of our hard work is starting to pay off. We are seeing God's promises being fulfilled as we give all our heart and mind to the work, and He's blessed us with some solid people to teach! Here's a quick run-down of our teaching pool as of right now:

Gary was supposed to come to church, but once again didn't answer his phone on Sunday morning. After church we went into police dog mode and rode all over town trying to track him down, but he was too good for us that day. He got back to us today and we will continue teaching him, so hopefully I can bring you a good report next week! He's still on date for the 22nd, but big things need to happen between now and then if he's going to make it.

Not sure if I've mentioned this already, but over the last couple weeks we've been teaching a lady called Allison. She has a very troubled past that she desperately wants relief from and she's trying to find out her true identity. Her biggest question is the same question that most of us have probably asked during tough times in our lives. That question is "why me?" She is also determined not to come to church. Nevertheless, we are beginning to see small but significant changes in her as she keeps her commitments and reads from the Book of Mormon. We love her to bits and are praying that her heart will be softened enough to come to church!

The Lord has chucked us a bone this week by helping us to meet our friend Paul! Paul is also going through a tricky time of life. He's in between jobs and is just looking for purpose and truth to help him through his problems, and he's basically super prepared for the gospel. Well, we're your guys, Paul! We brought him to dinner with us to a members' house last night and he's committed to come to church this Sunday. Our intention is to meet with him every single day so we can baptize him before we head out.

Last but certainly not least is the Good family. We brought them some homemade cookies during the weekend and they snaffled those bad boys right up. Then they had us for dinner and a lesson on Monday. We taught them about repentance and baptism and they understood and accepted the concepts. Everybody, that is, except Andy. He's going to need some more time! But the rest of the family committed to continue reading the Book of Mormon, to pray, and also to come to church this Sunday! That's a huge change in them, because last month they wouldn't come. Not sure if it was the Spirit that changed their minds or Mama Thomas's winner chocolate chip cookie recipe, but hey if it gets them to church then it's fine by me :D great things happening in that family!

So that's the gist of our investigators right now. This week I've realized that although not all of our investigators are keeping every commitment we give them immediately, all of them are keeping the commitment to read from the Book of Mormon. And things are happening! Here's some responses from them regarding their reading of the Book of Mormon:
Gary: "I just feel happier when I read this book for some reason."
Allison: "I know exactly where this guy (Nephi) is coming from...I can relate to him!" She also described the Restoration as "familiar" and the First Vision as "powerful".
Abby Good: "As I was reading the Book of Mormon, I was really relaxed."
You guys can all probably relate to these comments. Yes, these comments are short and sound very simple, but each one of them is the birth of a testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Hearing those words are absolutely priceless to witness and it's music to my ears! Indeed, it is the song of redeeming love. This week has further built my testimony of the power of the Book of Mormon. Anybody who sincerely reads and prays about that book will receive a witness that is from God.

I was in charge of separating people into teams at our weekly ward football match last Saturday, so naturally I put all the Portuguese players on one team and everybody else on the other. It was an intense game and I'm sorry to say that Portugal came out on top. Elder Ferreira pulled a Cristiano Ronaldo to win by one :/

Went golfing with a less active man this week. I had a pretty good round, and now he's coming to church this Sunday :)

You guys, this work is awesome! God is good! The Book of Mormon is true! Christ lives! It's a privilege to be able to serve on this island during the final stretch of my mission. God bless Jersey, and God bless the USA!

Love, Elder Thomas



4th of July celebration

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Soap Fights and Mind-Blowing Miracles

Y'alright, mates?

Alright, well the beginning of this week marked the beginning of my very last transfer of the mission! People are so right when they say that time moves more and more quickly on a mission. But I'm excited to have these last few pages of this chapter of life. This week's been so sweet!

Right, I'm just going to cut to the chase with the Good family. We felt prompted to just do a Q and A with them in our lesson last Monday and it turned out to be just what they needed! A lot of their questions were about the message of the Restoration, and that allowed us to teach the bulk of it again which was good because the 2 older kids weren't there the first time we taught it. But something monumental happened in this lesson. I think a huge milestone in every investigator's journey is realising the potential value of the gospel and envisioning what it can do for them in their lives. We asked them what it would mean to them if everything we have shared thus far was true, and after a few moments of silent pondering the mother expressed that it would be good and that she really hopes it's true. Music to our ears! We invited them to act on those hopes to really find out if it's true. Guys, this family is going to get baptized. Might not be during my time here, but they will! They've also had their neighbor around for the last 2 lessons. Her name is Amanda and she too sees the importance in the gospel. She read 1 Nephi 1 on her own last week and is interested in coming to church. We are going over there next Monday for a lesson and also for dinner! Miracle.

Our sisters baptized their friend Ed last Wednesday. He asked Elder Ferreira to baptize him, so he got off the boat and into the font. It was great to witness and there's not many things better than the sound of the water after a baptism. I had the opportunity and privilege of acting as voice for his confirmation last Sunday. I'll tell you, confirmations are one of the most profound spiritual experiences ever. Seriously, the Spirit almost knocked us over. Miracle.

In the ELSM we have a mission wide goal to baptize 280 souls during the year of 2017, and to help us to get there we have a weekly goal to have 1 baptismal date, 1 investigator at church, and 2 new investigators. We call this the "mission vision" and it stands in front of every companionship, taunting them to do more. In the last few weeks we've been just out of reach because it's been a huge struggle for us to get somebody to church! We had a few people committed to come last week including Gary, but he bailed at the last minute and nobody else showed up. But while we were sitting there feeling sorry for ourselves, a member and her non-member husband who we've been visiting walked into church. Miracle! We were high on faith after that. After that, we just needed 1 more new investigator to lock up the mission vision for the week. We had 1 hour in the evening set apart for finding that one person, and we went out in faith determined to find them. As we were speaking to a lady called Anna, her friend joined in and offered to hear our message over fish 'n chips. We accepted her offer and taught them. Anna became that new investigator we were searching for! What's even more awesome is that I was fasting that day, and we didn't get home in time to have dinner so the Lord literally provided a meal for us. Absolute miracle. And that sealed the deal for the mission vision!

Elder Ferreira's been hungry this week too, but he hasn't always gotten what he wanted. One night I was washing the dishes. Elder Ferreira, being his sneaky Portuguese man he is, decided to sneak up on me and grab me from behind. My first instinct was to turn around and push whoever it was away from me, but I didn't have time to remember that I had a soapy sponge in my hands, which resulted in the sponge traveling with my hand to his face and partly into his mouth. Definitely not what either of us expected and not what Elder Ferreira deserved or desired. Of course he thought it was intentional, and so thus began the soap war! I escaped with only a few suds on me, but Elder Ferreira got a full cleanse!

So anyways, I have a testimony that the Lord does indeed provide for his servants down to the most minute detail. He knows our needs and is anxious to help and support us. As the scriptures say, "Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, even so will he clothe you, if ye are not of little faith." He just asks that we have faith and choose to believe, because "all things are possible to them that believe." I know from experience upon experience and witness upon witness that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live and love us. Their entire focus is to help us along our journey back to them. These things I know to be true!

Keep the faith, folks!

Love, Elder Thomas


Pics of Jersey from our boat tour last week

Ed's baptism

Post-baptism selfie

Throwing it back to Staines with Elder Christofferson and the mission

Celebrating Sister Gaston's birthday

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Transfers, and the Hands of the Lord & His Brethren

Bros and Sis's,

Don't know how it is where you are right now, but it is absolutely boiling here in Jersey! Just so you know, the heat here isn't the dry heat you get in Utah. Here the heat is humid and it literally beats you down and melts you like an ice cream cone. It's even hotter on the bikes! I think I like riding in the heat rather than the cold, but I guess it doesn't matter because either way we get soaked...but today we're escaping the heat because we're going on a public boat tour of the island! It's gonna be awesome!

What this week's consisted of:
-trip to England
-got to see the temple
-shook hands with Elder Christofferson
-good ministering done
-the Goods are progressing
-sisters baptized

If I had to use one word to describe this week, it would be the word ministering. That word could probably be used to describe each week of my mission, but ministering has been on my mind a lot this last week. And not just ministering, but Christlike ministering. Ministering in my definition is to meet someone where they're at and help them to another level. It's to help somebody from one level to the next. It's to lift where you stand. I've decided that ministering is my favorite thing to do. If you had asked me 2 years ago, I probably would have said eating ice cream or golfing or something like that. Although those things are still pretty high up on the list, ministering is at the top. My how things change! You guys, there is just no better feeling than helping somebody in need, and there are so many people around us who need help. It's taken me a while to realize that, but it's true! And fortunately, we've got the Savior to help us to know how to minister effectively.

So we ministered this week and as a result we saw mind blowing miracles! We taught our investigator Gary last week before we went to England, but he didn't respond to our reminder for church on Sunday morning. So no investigators at church again :*( but the Lord did not let us down! After church we were searching for an address on a street and the first door we knocked was Gary's house! He answered and we got to meet his girlfriend and go on a Sunday walk with them, teaching them as we went. If that's not a message from God to Gary then I don't know what is--what are the odds that the one door we knock happens to be the home of our investigator? On top of that, his girlfriend is a former investigator who has been taught back home in Madeira. We will be teaching them tomorrow. Gary is on date for July 22nd.

The Good family...more like the great family! I don't know what's been going on in that family, but they are changing a lot. In only 1 week's time we noticed a big difference in all of them. The oldest daughter Abby felt the Spirit as she read the Book of Mormon last week. The father Andy participated in the lesson, which he has never done before. The mother Sarah began to ask very thoughtful questions about church and baptism, so we were able to answer them. The best part of the lesson was when the son, 7 year old Archy, read from the Book of Mormon for the first time. It was by far the most powerful part of the lesson...I almost cried! It was just such a tender mercy to witness that, as simple as it was. I felt Heavenly Father's love for Archy, and the whole family for that matter. I believe that the Spirit has told me that they WILL get baptized. Maybe not in my time on this island, but their time will come. I firmly believe that...they are coming to the ward activity this Saturday and hopefully they'll come to church on Sunday! Please please please keep the Good family in your prayers. Thank you for already doing so!

Last Saturday I shook the hand of one of the Lord's anointed. I shook the hand of Elder D Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apotles. What an experience that was! Our whole mission assembled in the blessed land of Staines to sit at the feet of and receive instruction from Elder Christofferson. You can just feel the power of some individuals, and such was the case with that man. He just has to be an Apostle...anybody could have felt the Spirit! I was surprised when the entire meeting was a Q & A, but it was so good. That man is a good minister! He shared some experiences he had on his mission and shared a lot of wise words with us. My favorite thing he said was that "the hallmark of a saint is being willing to submit to the Holy Ghost." Thought that was really profound!  I can just share my testimony that Elder Christofferson, along with the other brethren who lead the church, are called of God. Their keys have been passed in an unbroken line from Jesus Christ himself, and Thomas S Monson is His prophet in the world today. I know this!

It's great to be a missionary, folks! I'm grateful to have been called to the work, I'm grateful to be serving in Jersey, and I'm grateful for Jersey ice cream, which I couldn't live without.

Love, Elder Thomas


Jersey from a Heavenly perspective

Bonjour, France!

With other missionaries in Staines

The London Temple

The Jersey war tunnels

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Racing to the Finish!

Hey fellow saints!

The weather today is absolutely perfecto, so Elder Ferreira and I are going with a less active member to a place called the Jersey War Tunnels. Don't know too much about it, but it seems pretty self explanatory. It sounds cool so it will probably be cool as well. On second thought, it seems kind of ironic that we're going to be spending this perfect day in some tunnels. Oh well! For that reason, this email's going to be super bold and to the point...that is what missionary's do best!

This week!
-taught the Good family
-had district meeting
-had a surprise district meeting
-absolutely pumped to see Elder Christopherson this week
-loads of biking
-loads of teaching
-also pretty sure we hold the record for most appointments flogged in one week.

If I had one word to describe this week, it would be this:  ministering! Man, mi amigo and me have ministered like mad and it's been magnificent. Don't know what was different about this week, but we just taught a lot. A couple of days our schedule wasn't filled with very many teaches, but at the end of the day we looked back to realize that we never really had a break from teaching. One thing that was different was one of the counsellor in the bishopric. He's taken it upon himself to visit every single less active member on the ward list within the next 6 months. So we've scheduled 2 hours each week to go out and minister with him, starting this week. It amazes me how many people are really in need. We just have to open our eyes and be aware of the people around us and then we notice that there are so many opportunities to serve that normally we would just miss! So that was the case this week, not only with less actives but with our investigators as well.

The Goods! Goodness gracious the Goods are doing fantastic, especially the kids! We taught them about faith in Christ last Monday and they loved it. To illustrate that faith without works is dead, we did the old mento-in-the-Pepsi experiment to show them that when we put the mento in the bottle (plant the seed) and shake it up (exercise faith), then awesome things happen and our faith literally blossoms and spurts to great heights. We put our white shirts on the line for that experiment, but we were protected. As you can imagine, we also read Alma 32 with them. They all committed to plant the seed by reading the Book of Mormon and to exercise their faith by asking God if it's true. It's such a good feeling to look them in the eyes and to testify from the heart that they'll get an answer! We will see them again next Monday and they want to come to the ward activity next Saturday. We are blessed!

Elder Ferreira and I are having a blast out here. A lot of our fun comes from racing our bikes. Even when our house is miles away from where we are and even when we're absolutely shattered, we always have enough gas in the tank to race home! The race begins at the top of the last hill before our house, which is still a good mile away. It serves as the perfect start to our race. The light turns green, we start pedaling, and the Mario Kart theme song begins to play in my head, giving me enough motivation to take the strong start! But my legs turn into jelly by the time we get to the final ascent towards our flat. At this point, I look over and Ferreira is usually right next to me, sweating his big Portuguese face off. But the awesome thing about our races is we don't have rules. So whenever he starts to pass me I grab his bag and use it to pull him back behind me and to give myself an extra boost. I'm proud to say I win 11 of every 10 races. I love finishing the day with that, even if it means I get into bed sweating like a hog. But hey, that's how I intend to finish my mission as well!

Keep riding, guys. Even when the trail is bumpy and the adversary keeps trying to pull you back, just know what awaits you at the finish line! Your Savior is always there pulling for you and with you as well  :)

Keep being awesome and have a great week!

Love, Elder Thomas


District meeting

Action shot

Preparing to teach


Throwing in back to zone conference in Poole