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.

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