We'll Harvest this Field from Sunrise to Sunset!

Monday, December 28, 2015


Dear Family and Friends,

There is always so much to tell you all about my week and never enough
time to do it!

Started off the week with an exchange with the Zone Leaders in
Gillette. I went to Gillette with Elder Hastings and Elder Delimata
came to Newcastle with Elder Bird. It was an awesome exchange. Elder
Bird and Elder Delimata were able to get quite a bit done here in
Newcastle as well. They taught Pete, Ashton, and had a Christmas
party. Elder Bird says that each lesson went very well.

Pete is struggling to make much progress, and normally we'd have to
drop him but after praying and pondering, we feel that we need to keep
going. Elder Bird says that when they went, his nurse was there and
she sat in on the lesson:) Maybe that is why! Pray for Pete. He is in
a lot of pain.

Ashton is in a tight spot. She has had pretty much all the lessons now
but she is facing some adversity from her sister and mother. They
tease her about listening to the crazy Mormon's and such. We all feel
that she needs a little more time before she is baptized, so she is
not being baptized on January 2nd. Instead she will pray about it,
read the Book of Mormon and ponder, then she will tell us what she
thinks her new baptismal date should be tomorrow night. Keep her in
your prayers as well.

Christmas was this week!! Christmas Eve was super cool. We had dinner
with the Checketts. The Checketts are this really cool family who live
out in the middle of nowhere. Their property is beautiful and HUGE!
They have the craziest little kids. They're obsessed with monkey in
the middle and they are always making us laugh. Brother Checketts has
tons of cattle on his ranch which is absolutely humongous. The
perimeter is 90 miles. We are very grateful for this because that
means we got to eat some of the best stakes I've ever tasted in my
life. After dinner we sang Christmas carols and went through the
Christmas story. I love seeing children being raised in such a good
atmosphere. It reminded me of Christmas when I was a kid. The spirit
was so strong and the children were alive with the light of Christ. It
was magical.

Christmas was amazing as well! We got to have lunch with the
Willadsons. The Willadsons are both converts and they have the coolest
conversion stories. Brother Willadson just this last year had a crash
on his Motorcycle and had to get double bypass surgery. As soon as he
was recovered and cleared to work again, Brother and Sister Willadson
resumed their usual services of cleaning the church throughout the
week. They provide such wonderful service to our ward. It was
wonderful to be with them.

After that I got to talk to MY FAMILY :O That was so much fun! What a
wonderful thing to hear their voices. What a gift it is that we may be
with our families for ETERNITY! That's a long time. :)

After talking with our families we spent the rest of the night with
the Pithan's, just talking, eating and shooting pool! It was so cool
to have a real fire, in a warm house with some stellar people. They
were so kind to us and even gave us each a tie. It was such a perfect

This next week is the last week of the transfer! (So don't send any
letters or anything after like... Thursday? Otherwise I might not get
them. I'll let you guys know if I'm staying or going next Monday!) I
can't believe how fast time is going. My mission is gonna be over
before I know it.

I know this gospel is true. I KNOW IT AND I CAN NOT DOUBT IT. I
challenge each of you to find out for yourself if you feel you can't
say the same. Read the Book of Mormon. Pray about it. Ponder it. Act
on it. You will find out for yourself.

I love you all so much.

Elder Thomas

Fire on a Christmas night.

The Pithan's!

Everything freezes here. This is our car window.

Isaiah 1:18 "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as whate as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."

Monday, December 21, 2015

Weirdest Week Ever

Dear Family and Friends,

This has been the weirdest week so far on the mission. This week we
had Zone Conference in Billings, Montana! Billings is 6 hours away,
even longer when the roads are snowy, icy and windy. We were to drive
up Monday, stay the night in the mission home, go to Zone Conference 
Tuesday morning, and then head home to Newcastle that same afternoon.
The drive there was exciting because we saw snow, and the Southern
part of the mission hasn't gotten much snow. Most of the drive was
quite smooth. When our vehicle got to the mission home at 7:30 that
night, we all got out and began working to clear the parking area
behind the mission home. Elder Bird and I stayed out there for two
hours. We were both exhausted and we're happy to find pancakes and hot
chocolate inside. I think one of the most enjoyable things as a
missionary is being with a bunch of other missionaries. It is so much
fun to laugh together and tell stories. That was a happy night in the
mission home.

The next day we had Zone conference, and that was super fun. We were
each asked to prepare a three minute talk on the atonement. I knew
when I walked in there that day that I was gonna be called up. I was
thankful for that because it gave me time to get over my nervousness.
Sure enough, I was called up! Later during Zone Conference I had the
opportunity to sing a duet with my close friend, Elder Tippetts. It
was so much fun to be able to sing my heart out again with this
beautiful arrangement. It feels like a long time since I have been
able to do that. After all the beautiful talks and musical
performances we got to eat delicious food and mingle with all the
other missionaries for about an hour or so. It was awesome. Then began
the trek home.

I could tell as we started driving home that Elder Bird was exhausted
from driving and shoveling the walk the day before. We drove in the
caravan with the rest of the vehicles in our zone this time, which
made things quite a bit slower. We stopped and ate in Sheridan Wyoming
at about 7 and didn't get to Gillette until 9. To give some
perspective, Gillette is still an hour away from Newcastle. We ended
up staying the night in the Zone Leaders apartment in Gillette. There
are three beds and two couches in the apartment. There were six of us
sleeping in this apartment. They didn't have any blankets so Elder
Bills and I slept on the couches without them and Elder Bird slept on
the floor on a little pad. Elder Tippetts got the bed upstairs. I
slept pretty well, but when I woke up in the morning, Elder Bird was
curled up in a little ball and looked miserable.

On the way home I could tell Elder Bird was sick. When I asked, he
confirmed my suspicions and said he felt miserable. I felt so bad for
letting him take the floor! He was sick for the rest of the week and
we were ordered by the health supervisor to keep him inside all day.
We stayed inside for THREE DAYS! It was made better by listening to
Christmas music and decorating the house with the stuff Mom sent in
the Christmas package! It will be SO nice to get back to work again.
Despite his feeling miserable, we were still able to get in contact
with a less active named Mikey and teach a lesson to Trent before we
got our orders to keep him inside.

Mikey is the coolest! He is about 25 and has a little bit of a mental
handicap but he has so much faith in the gospel. He hasn't been active
for a little bit because some in his family didn't want him to be but
his mom has been able to get him back to church. The lesson was super
cool because we were able to answer his questions. We have also begun
reading the Book of Mormon with him because he has confessed he didn't
totally understand it. He is a great man.

We are a little worried about Ashton. She had to cancel this week and
she didn't come to church yesterday. She is not getting a lot of
support from her family which is super hard for her. I have a firm
testimony in the power of prayer and I know that she would be very
blessed to be included in all of your prayers.

I love this work! I know this is where I need to be, and I love it
here. I hope you all have a very VERY Merry Christmas!

Elder Thomas

Me being a balancing ninja because I can :)


The sun is out while it's snowing?

Christmas decorations! Thanks Mom :)

Monday, December 14, 2015

A little busy and very happy

Dear Family and Friends,

Wow, we are so busy lately! So many meetings to plan for and things to
prepare. On the 15th we have a zone conference with 3 or four zones in
Billings. Yay for road trips! This one will last for about two days. I
get to sing at this meeting with Elder Tippetts! So that ought to be
fun. I have missed all the singing I used to do.

This has been a pretty hard week with some surprises along the way.

We're still working with Pete, the old smoking man in diapers! He
wants to stop smoking because his daughter and granddaughter won't
move in if he doesn't. He loves his family very much and this is
important to him. Pete is old and in a lot of pain. Last time we were
there you could see how much he was hurting in his eyes. It made me
very sad. Keep him in your prayers.

On Saturday, Brother Pithan took us out to contact less-actives he's
been in touch with. Brother Pithan is such a good man and is
constantly serving people, especially us. Before we began our
contacting, he insisted that we buy a baker's dozen of donuts. Wow,
what a burden! He takes good care of us. We spent the day contacting
less-actives. It helped us answer questions and make connections. We
hope and pray we can bring some of them back to the fold. We love our

That night we had the opportunity to teach Ashton again. Ashton is
continuously amazing us. She is progressing very quickly and is
consistently keeping her commitments. We are so lucky to be teaching
her. Before the lesson, she sent us a text asking if she could bring a
friend with her. We were ecstatic. Her friend is named Alivia and we
already knew her a little bit because she had been our waitress at
Pizza Hut a few times. We were teaching the Word of Wisdom and neither
of them had any problem with it. She could feel the spirit, especially
in the chapel. She has agreed to let us teach her and we are very
excited. Keep them both in your prayers.

Sorry about the short letter, we are short on time today because we
have to drive all the way to Billings by about 8:00! Love you all!

Elder Thomas

When you move out, you get all the sugary cereal you want! (Sorry Mom haha)    

Our Christmas tree! From Elder Bird's ward :)

Wyoming has ugly days...

...and pretty sunsets.

Donuts! Brother Pithan is constantly spoiling us,

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Beauty of Creation

Dear Family and Friends,

We taught Ashton and Trent on the same day this week. It was so cool
to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, first to Trent and then to
Ashton. Trent is doing very well in the new member lessons. He knows
most the material. We had a fun lesson with him because at the last
lesson we had with him, we gave him a pamphlet and told him he was
teaching us. Along with me and Elder Bird, Tyler Wilkes, a young man
that got home from his mission a few days ago, sat in on the lesson
with us. We would ask Trent questions as if we were investigators and
he would answer them. When he didn't know the answer, he would "tag"
one of us and we would answer the question. He learned a lot, and I
learned stuff too! It was very funny sometimes as we pretended to be
our separate investigator characters.

We taught Ashton twice this week! The Gospel of Jesus Christ and then
the law of Chastity. The first time we taught Ashton, she had a lot of
good input and agreed with everything, as usual. She just kept saying,
"it makes sense." How cool it is to see someone have their questions
answered through the truthfulness of the gospel. I love having members
present, like there were in this lesson, because there testimonies are
so beautiful. It was amazing to hear personal conversion stories and
pure simple doctrine. Members are SO IMPORTANT. Ashton agreed to come
to church with us again, and the Christmas devotional. She liked them
both. We also arranged to teach her the Law of Chastity after the

The topic of creation has continuously come up this week. The creation
of this beautiful world, the creation of us and our bodies, and our
ability and gift to create. God has given us many gifts, desires and
abilities, but one of the deepest desires of our hearts is to create.
How special this is!

I love nature. LOVE it. The beauty of this world constantly astounds
me, even out here in Nowhere, Wyoming. This last week, we got some
beautiful snow. I love sitting by the window as I eat breakfast so I
can look at the clean, glinting blanket of snow. A fresh snowfall
reminds me of the future millennium, when the earth will be cleansed.
On a particular morning, our yard was more beautiful than I could
handle, so I ran out with my camera and took a million pictures. My
favorites are included.

Another amazing event with the beauty of God's creations happened
later in the week. We were out in the country talking to Brother
Pithan about who we would go visit when he came out with us this next
week. Brother Pithan visits all the "outlaws" in the ward and in his
constant helpfulness, he's offered to take us around to visit them
next week. After our meeting, we were headed home in the dark and I
looked up at the sky. In my entire life, I have not seen the stars
like this. They were EVERYWHERE. I felt as if I could reach out and
touch them because of the brightness and depth. The Milky Way seemed
like a glowing cloud stretched across the sky, a backdrop to millions
of stars. We stopped the car, turned off the lights and just stared
for a minute. How incredible are God's creations, including us.

The biggest event that helped me to see the beauty of God's creations
was the opportunity to teach the Law of Chastity to Ashton Sunday
night. Trent came and taught with us. He is a good teacher and we
really want him to serve a mission! Throughout our lessons with
Ashton, the significance and sacredness of our bodies has continuously
been brought up. God gave us these bodies so that we could progress
and grow forever. He created the world, all animals therein, and us.
He made us in his image, the God of all. He gave us the desire to
create. We taught that, He gave us the beautiful power to create life
and that, in it's sacredness, we must learn to use it the way he has
asked us to. We were also able to teach a little bit about the temple
and explain that going through and being sealed in the temple is the
ultimate goal. Being with your family forever is God's plan for us. We
can see Heavenly Father and our Savior again, and live in their
presence for eternity, with our families! How could there be any
greater reward?

Wow, this is a long one! I love you all very much, keep us and our
investigators in your prayers. We need them! I know this gospel is
true and I know that we must constantly strive to be better. It's
hard, but so worth it.

Elder Thomas

Our Beautiful Backyard