Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Chinese Whispers

Hello everyone!

Hope you've all had a good week. This is one of my favorite times of the year! The leaves change, the weather is usually nice, and Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which means there's good food coming our way. So I'm a pretty happy missionary right now, and I'm still on an emotional high from passing the driving test last week. Shoutout to Elder Phelps for passing his as well!

Another shoutout is needed to my awesome companion Elder Baum! I've never worked with anybody as hard working as this kid, he just wants to do what God wants. He truly is the Baum. As crazy as this sounds, we saw his family this week! Don't worry, it wasn't his immediate family. Some of his distant relatives are scattered across our zone, so this week we set some time aside to go visit them as they are all non-members. The first one answered the door and was about to shut it when she saw our badges, but then Elder Baum blurted out that he was family. So she did what any family member would do and let us in! It was a pretty cool experience for me, not to mention for Elder Baum. 

Exchanged with Elder Yang from Taiwan last week. That guy is a cooking legend! He literally can cook anything. So he taught me a couple tricks, and some Mandarin chinese at the same time. Ni Hao! We've got another Elder from China in the zone whose English isn't very good, so Elder Yang is able to translate for him a lot of the time. I guess you could call it Chinese whispers.

Our zone is starting to catch fire, and we've been able to do some baptismal interviews this week! Since President Gubler lives pretty close by, we coordinated with him to have the interview at his house, followed by dinner. Elder Yang cooked for us and he did not disappoint. 

So many other good things happened this week. We had MLC in Epsom. President Gubler recently returned from a training in Budapest with some great new tools for us to use! We're getting ready for the Christmas Initiative and we're going to be using baptismal calendars to help investigators get moving.

The Juerta family...we've been unable to contact them for the last few days, so we hope that they are still reading the Book of Mormon. Last we heard, the dad was taking it to work with him and had read quite a bit of it. But there's a division in the family regarding our message. Half believes it and half isn't interested yet. We'll try to teach them this week.

Dan has been busy with school, but we should be able to teach him this week.

On a more random note, this week we got locked out of our flat and had to be creative in getting back inside. I've gotten pretty good at that! 

I've learned that to each of us God has given unique talents and abilities, which we can and should use to help others. The Book of Mormon tells us that we are all given spiritual gifts so that we can be of benefit to our brothers and sisters. While others may have gifts that we do not have, we must be grateful for what we do have and strive to develop those gifts and talents. Sometimes it's hard to know how valuable something is until you lose it! For instance, this week we were knocking a road and we spoke to somebody who did not have a was interesting. So today I am grateful that I have a nose! Let's be grateful for what we do have...after all, it's almost Thanksgiving! 

Thanks for all your help, everyone. A lot of you have told me that you pray for me and for other missionaries. We really do need that strength, so thank you. I pray that you will find some lost sheep as well! Sure do love you all. 

Love, Elder Thomas


Dinner at President Gubler's house


Most of our group

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