We'll Harvest this Field from Sunrise to Sunset!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving Week!

Dear Family and Friends,

It has been such a big week! Monday and Tuesday were transfer day. It
was an exhausting couple of days. It was all worth it though, because
I got to meet my new companion! My new companion is Elder Bird. He is
the best. We have gotten along so well and are working our heads off.

Thanksgiving day was super fun! We went to three houses that day...
THREE! Geez. So much food. My goodness, by the end of the day, I was
about ready to explode. I loved being with the members and being able
to get to know them a little better though, they really are wonderful
people. It's been a while since I've laughed so much :)

Saturday was probably the coolest day this week. We had the wonderful
opportunity to go to the Nelson's, an elderly couple in the ward, and
load up a bunch of their fire wood onto their porch so they had easier
access to it. Brother Pithan was there helping us and afterward he had
us over for a thanksgiving leftovers lunch. It was a really cool
morning. The drive was a little sketchy at times because it's been
snowing for three days straight, but we always say a prayer before we
drive, so we made it safe and sound.

The most exciting part of this week happened a little later Saturday
night, we had our second lesson with Ashton!! We were very excited
about this because people rarely keep their first appointment, let
alone their second! Currently, her baptismal date is January 2nd! The
lesson went so well and we were able to help resolve any and all
concerns she had. She has kept all her commitments, including her
commitment to read the Book of Mormon, pray about Joseph Smith and the
Book of Mormon, and keep her return appointment. She also kept her
commitment to come to church the next day, which she enjoyed, and she
said she would bring her sister to the next appointment if she would
come! We are so excited for Ashton because she is making such good
decisions. She is the coolest! Keep her in your prayers as she
progresses toward baptism.

I love and miss each of you very much, thank you for your prayers, we
have seen the blessings. Thank you for all the letters, they mean a

With love,
Elder Thomas


Elder Bird and I :) (We're super weird. We talk in British accents so much, I fear I'll come home and you'll think I served in England!)

Preparation day!

Preparation day with the Pithan's :)

Monday, November 23, 2015

One Transfer Already??

Hello my beloved friends and family,

I have already been out 1 transfer. Feels like no time at all! It's
not fair that when you're feeling joy, time feels like it goes by

What an eventful week. There is always too much to tell! We went to
Osage again to go tracting! How I love tracting! I love the random
conversations we have with people on their doorstep. It is such a joy
to see how much you can learn about each person in such a short amount
of time. This week we tracted into someone who was interested at the
first door. This was kind of a shock because it usually feels like
it's e last door you knock on that has the interested party. It was
obvious that it wasn't a good time but she seemed interested. We said
we'd come back soon. Two houses later, we ran into another person that
was interested! Two on one street?? Impossible. Never happens. We were
just walking on air. His name was Bill Barker and he said any other
day at this time would've worked better. He seemed sad that he didn't
have time and we can't wait to get back there. Two houses later,
another interested party!! At this point we were about to faint. The
man invited us in and was extremely friendly. We were stumbling around
in our own confusion at this point and weren't completely sure how to
react. When we asked if we could share a message with him, he looked
at us, confused, for a minute and then said, "oh we're members, we're
just less-active." Now it all made sense. We talked for a while and
got to know him a little better. We haven't met the rest of the family
yet but we can't wait! What a miracle street.

That night we taught Trent, our most recently baptized member. Trent
is the coolest young man, we love him. We taught him at a member home,
the Checketts, and it was such a powerful lesson. It was cool to have
that whole family of members there and to hear their testimonies. Even
the Children were participating and bearing their testimonies! At the
end Trent bore his testimony on the Plan of Salvation and Joseph
Smith. He has such a simple, strong testimony and it is beautiful to

Other news of the week, we decided to ride bikes this week. Why?
Because it was cold, so obviously the perfect time. We road down to
the church at about 4:00. It was pretty nice because the sun was still
out and everything was pretty warm. Because we are brilliant, we just
wore sweaters because it was pretty warm. Everything was going well
until I saw a bunny... The little boy in me said, "chase it!" So,
because guys just need to chase the local wildlife sometimes, I did.
But what was my surprise when I got a flat tire riding over these
sharp rocks while chasing this bunny?? Well this was perfect! A lovely
bike ride down to the church, followed by a leisurely stroll  back!
And, we had a dinner appointment to make! We did our stuff at the
church and left around 4:45 to walk home. It was super cold at this
point and our hands were numb, but we learned our lesson, don't chase
bunnies on bikes! In all honesty, it was really fun, even though our
hands and faces were frozen.

Random news of the week: Our district is pretty dang awesome, but with
transfers coming, this last week was our last District Meeting
together, so we had a photoshoot. I'm gonna miss these crazies. Also,
they shut me in a custodial closet during lunch, but instead of trying
to get out I thought it would be more fun to... Well it's hard to
explain. Haha. We finally had our first snow here! It was super wimpy.
That's ok with me though. :) probably one of the most exciting things
of the week, I got some herbal tea and tried it (it's best with a
little honey) and I love it! The most important part about it though
is to speak in a British accent while drinking it.

Sad news of the week: Transfers. My dear friends and family, my
beloved trainer is leaving me to go to Messoula Montana. I am going to
finish my training here in Newcastle. We are going to miss him
terribly here in Newcastle but we know he's on the Lord's errand! I'm
excited for him. My new companion is Elder Bird and he sounds like
such a cool guy! I'm excited to meet him!

Now the big news... Last night we met with a referral, her name is
Ashton. Last night we taught her the restoration. It was such a good
lesson! The spirit was so strong and it was so much fun to feel the
spirit speak through me. I love teaching! Elder Hatton and I have
become a pretty good team. While I was telling Joseph's account of the
first vision, the spirit was so strong in the room, I felt a very
strong impression to commit Ashton to baptism. She has accepted
January 2nd as her goal for a baptism and we'll be meeting with her
next week!! We had her friend Alex there last night, who referred her
and who is about to go on a mission, and he proved to be vital to the
lesson. Members always do! We are so excited for Ashton and hope she
continues to work as hard as she is.

Wow, such a good week. I look forward to having an even better one
next week!! I love this gospel and the joy, peace and answers people
can receive from following the guidelines in it. I know that I'm on
the Lord's errand and that he is helping me every step of the way. I
know we have a prophet on the earth today, and I love him.

I love each of you very much.

Elder Thomas

THE DISTRICT: Wow I look so mad
I don't even know. 




ME AND MY TRAINER: Epic. (Took this about 4 weeks ago...)

Elder Hatton's last breakfast with Dallas:

Monday, November 16, 2015

WEEK 5????

Dear family and friends,

I have been in the mission field for about 5 weeks now!! How time
flies. I wish that time would slow down a bit out here. I don't like
how quickly each day as a missionary passes by. Still so many people
to meet, so many people who need the gospel.

This has been a fabulous week! We had another exchange. This time,
Elder Tippetts from Sundance came to Newcastle. Elder Tippetts was
trained in Newcastle so he knows the area pretty well. We had a lot of
cool experiences. We got to teach Trent, our newly baptized member,
and we did a lot of Tracting. My area covers three little towns,
Upton, Osage, and Newcastle. Lately we've decided that we need to stop
focusing on Newcastle more than the other two cities. We don't have
too many members in Upton or in Osage so we do a lot of Tracting. This
last week we were Tracting in Osage and we walked past a house that we
had knocked on a few days before but no one had answered then and I
felt like I needed to knock again. As we walked down the street,
passing the house, we noticed that there was a large black dog sitting
on the porch where there had only been a cat before. It was barking
and bearing it's teeth but we both felt that we needed to go to that
house, but were both afraid to say so. We passed the house and moved
on, when we came back up the street on our way back I paused, looking
at the dog again, and said, "That's a good looking dog, but I don't
trust it," then continued to walk back to the truck. Elder Tippetts
stopped and jokingly said, "Do you trust God?" Not really expecting
anything to come out of it. I responded with a smile, "I will if you
do. Start walking, I'll follow." He laughed and then realized I was
being serious. We turned and slowly, apprehensively started walking
towards the gate. I stopped at the open gate looking at the nice
doggy... Big black thing with teeth and a loud bark. I knew we needed
to talk to these people. We stepped inside the gate, and the moment we
did, a shirtless man swung the door open. He looked at us both
critically for a second, laughed, said he'd go grab a shirt and shut
the door. We turned to each other and, in unison, said, "Faith!" While
he was gone, a woman reached outside and pulled the cute little (yeah
right) doggy inside. He came out to talk to us and was interested in
hearing our message. His name is Fabian. We gave him a brief summary
of the restoration, gave him a restoration pamphlet and bore our
testimony. He shared that he believed in God and that he loves us. He
also believes that Christ died for each one of us. Elder Tippetts felt
prompted to give him a Book of Mormon so he presented it to him and we
both bore our testimony on the Book of Mormon. The spirit was so
strong and Fabian was very solemn at the end. He said we could come
back but that it would have to be after this week because he was going
on a hunting trip. We are very excited to get back there.

Another amazing thing from this week was when we got to visit A
less-active member we have been teaching. He is a very good man and we
have really been trying to get him back to church. He knows he needs
to come but he hasn't had any motivation. This week our main goal was
to get to the bottom of his reasons for not coming. We knew we needed
to remain sensitive to the spirit if we wanted to get anywhere. We
basically abandoned our whole lesson. The spirit was so strong in
there and scriptures we never would have remembered on our own were
called to our memory. I think my favorite part of being a missionary
isn't only being able to help others come closer to Christ but it's
the opportunity to see them through his eyes. It's being able to feel
how much He loves them. He told us about someone in the church and how
they had wronged him and how being at the church brought that back to
his memory. I was able to testify to him that the same power that
allowed us to be forgiven of our sins would help us to forgive others.
That Christ didn't die for only us but for those that wronged us as
well. I gave him a promise, that as he actively attended church
weekly, that memory and those feelings would be completely wiped away.
That it would be as if it never happened. I cried, as usual haha. It
was a wonderful experience. He was there on Sunday. He gave a lot of
input in our gospel principles class. It was remarkable.

I love this gospel, I know it's true. I pray that you are all strong
in the faith, endure to the end. I love all of you.

Elder Thomas

When Elder Tippets steals your iPad. 

The kind of stuff we post on Facebook when online proselyting. 
Cool suit picture. :)

Beautiful light. I like to imagine that Christ is on the other side of
those trees.

Monday, November 9, 2015

November 9, 2015

Elder Thomas

Dear Family & Friends,

What a crazy week! Holy guacamole. We went on two different exchanges
this week! First I went down to Gillette Wyoming to work with Elder
Perez. Gillette is a pretty nice place and people actually answer
their door. WHOA. We got a lot of work done. We taught a lot of
lessons... well he taught a lot of lessons, you see, more than half of
his people speak spanish... Haha but that was fine. I just sat and
stared at a picture of a rose, or a fish tank, or a wall. The most
eventful place was a less-active family with very active children, and
not the religious type of activity. Their parents weren't home so we
just visited on the porch for a second. They all told me there names
and quizzed me about five times. Things started getting out of hand
when Elder Perez, teasingly, told the adorable little girl who had
been poking him with a spoon to stop. Immediately, it was a game.
Whacking the Elders with this metal spoon seemed to be the funnest
thing this girl had ever done. We then did everything we could to
leave the house of that adorable spoon-wielding menace. We left the
house with the boys still calling out their names and the young girl
laughing her head off waving her spoon in the air... whoa.

After that exchange, I went on an exchange with Elder Delimata, one of
the Zone Leaers, back here in Newcastle. Elder Hatton went with Elder
Hastings. We got to do weekly planning all day!! What an ordeal. He
had a lot of really good advice and ideas though which made it a lot
easier. That exchange was a lot less eventful unfortunately, not much
happens when you sit in the same room all day. Elder Delimata is so
cool though. He is super retro, he makes his own pomade, shaves with a
single blade safety razor, listens to records, uses film cameras and
polaroids. He is the coolest.

I'm also going on exchanges again tomorrow... geez.

This has been an eventful week when it comes to investigators. Elder
Hatton and I were finally both back and we could hit the road. In
these last few days, we were able to get a referral and set up an
appointment at the members house, meet a referral and the member who
referred her came with us, and find one new investigator from
tracting. We tracted into Dan while he was working on fixing up an old
trailer home. We talked to him a little bit and he seemed very
receptive. We invited him to church and he said he would come. It was
a very cool experience. He calls us 'The Brothers' and his views were
quite similar to ours. He had not showered in 4 days when we contacted
him because there was no running water in the trailer he was working
on. He was somehow able to get showered before Sunday though. He
really seemed to enjoy Sacrament Meeting. Ashton is the girl we met
with, referred to us by Alex Henkle, soon to be Elder Henkle. She was
kinda worried about meeting with us, the weird "church guys" but we
were able to have a really good conversation and she realized we
weren't crazy preachers, just two men that believe in something
greater. We didn't have much of an opportunity to share the first
lesson and every time either of us were about to, the spirit warned
us not to. It is probably good because we were in a restaurant. not the 
best place to feel the spirit. Alex said that it went perfectly and that she 
would be willing to meet with us again! We are gonna be setting that up 
tonight. We have not met with the other two new referrals yet, but we're 

My invitation to each of you today is to prayerfully think of someone
that needs the gospel, find the missionaries, and set up an
appointment at your home with that person and the missionaries. I
learned this week that for every 1000 doors a missionary knocks on, 1
person will be baptized. For every 3 people taught in a members home,
2 will be baptized. It seems to me, that members and missionaries
working together is definitely the most productive form of missionary
work. I'll keep you all in my prayers!

I love you all so much. The Lord is hastening his work and what a
wonderful opportunity it is for us to be able to be a part of this
work. The Lord lives, this is his church on the earth in the latter
days. There are people out there, lost sheep, just waiting for us to
reach out to them and guide them to the straight and narrow. LET'S GO
GET THEM!!!!!!!!! D&C 18:15 (Read it!)

Elder Thomas

Tracting!!!!! Haha

Monday, November 2, 2015

Happiest Week Ever

Dear Family and Friends,

I hope y'all is doin well! I ain't gon' lie to ya, this here week's
been hard, but so darn good at the same time as the other'n...

Jkjk i don't talk like that, well, not yet at least. This week was great!

We had a crazy experience this last Tuesday on our way from Sheridan
Wyoming to Worland Wyoming. As we made our way over this snow
mountain, we watched as a truck headed the opposite direction began to
lose control of their truck. I had been taking pictures of the
mountain that I thought looked kinda cool when this happened but when
her drift started, I was so surprised, I forgot to take pictures till
after. So you have the before picture (notice the headlights are not
pointing the right direction) and the after picture (all that snow is
her drift). My companion, Elder Hatton, is a very good driver and
steered us to the side of the road before she was even very close. We
heard a crash shortly after she passed us and we all jumped out of the
truck to go help. As we approached the truck, the front end had rammed
into a tree and the tailgate was completely detached. I was nervous
until I saw the woman get out of the truck and
walk around her truck angrily, swearing like Wyoming cowboy. We were
just so glad she was alright. She had almost done a 360 when she slid
off the road and hit her tail end on a tree. This took a lot of her
momentum away, which is good because she smacked into a tree with her
front end next, which could've been a lot worse if she had been at
full speed. We weren't the only helpers, two other truck full of men
pulled over and we all got to work, changing he tire, figuring out how
to lower the tire, and backing her out of the snow drift. It was. Cool
to have so many helping hands to help this woman out. Even the snow
plow, pulled over to help. She was very grateful and thanked everyone
multiple times. I am so thankful for the Lord. I am quite certain that
he was watching over this woman. Everything worked out with her crash
and with all those that stopped to help. His is a testimony builder to
me, at God doesn't take away our trials, he makes them easier to bear.

Next story with pictures, we have had a huge bunk bed in our room ever
since I got here. It is only useful as a place to hang my clothes when
I'm too lazy take them to my closet in the other room. The bunk bed
was used about two transfers ago when my companion was one of three
sleeping in that room. Well, this last week, they decided that they
had need of the bunk bed elsewhere in the mission. I think clear
across the mission. The plan was that we would disassemble the bed and
load it into our truck. Now, i know how to load a truck, but things
get really difficult when you don't have any tie down straps. All we
needed to do was get the truck down to the church and then we could
run across the street and get tie down straps. Well, needless to say,
our first packing job was a little bit bizarre... But it did it's job!
We got it down to the church! Personally, I attribute the success of
this mission to the fact that we tied it all together with my jacket
and some jump rope. The Zone Leaders showed up and for some reason
felt the need to "reorganize" it, can't imagine why. They did alright,
but we definitely win in the creativity category.

This Halloween was SO GREAT! We started off the morning with a service
project. We were helping some people move, and I love doing that. I
got to disconnect someone's washer and dryer for them, I knew this
last summer job would come in handy:) (shoutout to the Converses! Love
you guys!) we had to leave a little early because... We had to FILL
THE FONT for a BAPTISM! How exciting is that??? Trent Engle was
baptized this Halloween! Teaching Trent has been such a pleasant
experience because he is so humble and perceptive to the spirit. Trent
just wants to be good and he'll do whatever it takes to follow Christ.
His main concern during our last lesson was how long he had to wait
till he could go through the temple:) he has good things in store.

Next we went too he town trunk or treat activity. The people who
handed out candy were different groups or stores around town. We were
obviously the Mormon group! It was so cool to be there and be part of
the town. There were so many great costumes and the kids were
adorable. It made me miss my nieces and nephews. Y'all better send me
some good pictures!! Don't test me now... Haha.

We finished the trunk or treat at about 6. The order from the mission
president was that we be in our apartments or a members house from 6-9
that night. Proselyting, especially tracting, is a bad idea on
Halloween night. You'll get candy not converts. We had asked some of
our favorite people the week before if we could come stay at their
place that night, the Lequia's. The Lequia's are the best! They are a
young married couple in our ward and our really good friends. We spent
the night playing music, laughing and eating. I got to PLAY THE
GUITAR!! I've forgotten a lot of songs already because I didn't get to
play much before my mission either, but I remembered my favorites:)
Katie Lequia plays the Banjo and gave us some great songs on that,
Nick did his hilarious hick accent and made fun of banjo's, Elder
Hatton played creepy stuff on the piano, and I jammed on the guitar:)
we also decorated cookies. It was so great!

Sunday was super good as well! The highlight of Sunday was my first
lesson on online proselyting. Online proselyting is hard because you
never know what someone is gonna think about some random dude
messaging them on Facebook haha. I was talking to a young man named
David And when I asked him if he wanted to learn more about our church
he was super receptive. We had a super cool discussion and it was
amazing to feel the spirit guiding me in this style of teaching just
like it does in face to face teaching. David is coming to church with
us this Sunday! Please pray for him!

I love you all so much, pray night and day. Read always. Never stop!

Elder Thomas

Pictures of crash. Sorry I didn't get better ones, I just thought we
might die is all... 

The beautiful drive from Sheridan to Worland

Our cool packing job... 

Their boring one...  

Trent's Baptism!

Elder Hatton and the Feminine Skeleton 

Ran into my good buddy Elder (Stockton) Rentfro! Love this kid :) 

Because Preparation Day is the best