We'll Harvest this Field from Sunrise to Sunset!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Birthday, Easter, HAPPINESS!!!

Dear Family and Friends,

This week has been fantastic.

First off, we haven't had any lessons with the Pratt's this week. They
have been having a difficult time progressing because of all the
things they're dealing with. We're quite worried about them, keep them
in your prayers.

The week started off pretty well with an awesome exchange with Elder
Okerlund! He is such a great missionary and we worked really hard. The
highlight of the exchange was when we were able to stop in at State
Farm and check on Patty. Patty has been reading the Book of Mormon!
She had some questions about learning to understand the language, so
we told her the best way to learn to understand the language is to
pray for help and inspiration before she reads. She really liked this
idea and said she would give it a try.

The next morning exchanges ended. We volunteered at project hope
again. While we were there we ran into a cool little lady who lived in
Absarokee. She began asking us some questions as if we worked there,
but we told her we were volunteers. We then told her that we're always
doing service and asked her if she had any service we could do. She
said she did and that she would give us a call. We also gave her a
#hallelujah pass along card and told her to watch the Easter video.
We're hoping to stop by her place soon, she lives in a little hot pink
house, she calls it the Barbie house.

On Thursday we went down to Red Lodge to see how some of our in-store
investigators were doing. First we stopped by State Farm to talk to
Patty and Gail. A little backstory, for Christmas, the Linton family
sent me 4 copies of the Book of Mormon with their testimonies written
in them. I've been pondering and praying on who to give these to. This
last week after reading the two little boy's testimonies, Jeffrey and
Sam, I felt that I should give them to Patty and her daughter. Patty
doesn't just read the Book of Mormon by herself, she reads it with her
11 year old daughter. I presented the two copies of the Book of Mormon
to her, explaining what was significant about these books and showing
her a picture of me with my nephews! She absolutely loved them, and it
meant so much to her that I would give them to her. She loved reading
their testimonies. I am so glad that my family is helping me in my
missionary work! We also stopped in at the Village Shoppe which is
where we met a super cool Lutheran lady we love talking to. She always
asks what's been going on (in her sweet little southern accent:) so
this week we told her that we had just given a Book of Mormon to an
investigator and we were so excited! She immediately said, "Well I've
never read that! I want one!" Oh man, how cool is that? So we gave her
a Book of Mormon and read Moroni 10:3-5 with her. Her eyes got all big
and she kept saying, "Wow!" We can't wait to see her again!

The highlight of Friday was definitely the dinner. We had dinner with
the Greens, but they also had a non-member there. The non-members name
is Mitch Johnson. Mitch is married to an active woman, Carla, and he
is a very good man. He comes to church every week. We are not
currently teaching him because he hasn't wanted to meet yet. It was a
really good Easter dinner. The table was decorated beautifully and the
food was wonderful. The conversation was light and fun and we were all
kept laughing by Mitch. After dinner we had desert, but not before
singing happy birthday, for Mitch whose birthday was the week before,
and me who was the next day. After dinner we all made our way to the
living room for a spiritual thought. We started it off by sharing the
#hallelujah video and talking about the many meanings of "new life."
New life can mean that we change our lives through the atonement and
redeeming power of Christ. It can also meaning finding new life after
death, meaning resurrection, as Christ did on Easter! We talked about
how spring is the perfect time to celebrate Easter because of all the
new life rising from last years death. As we talked I felt prompted to
take the lesson in a little bit different direction than I planned, I
asked everyone in the room to bear their testimony, starting with me.
The spirit was so strong. Mitch even got a little emotional right at
the beginning, which is significant because he is your typical rough
n' tough, tall, oil mining, Montana cowboy. His testimony was
beautiful and simple. After testimonies, Sister Green presented Mitch
with his very own full set of scriptures. He loved them! We are so
excited for him and we hope and pray that he will start meeting with
us soon. He has offered to take us hiking sometime soon, which has me
totally stoked. I have missed hiking.

Saturday was MY BIRTHDAY!! Wow, such a happy day! I opened my presents
first thing in the morning! Elder Ross just covered his head with a
blanket and tried to sleep while I told him (to his annoyance) about
all the cool stuff I got! What a great way to start the day:) THANK
are all the best! I'm going to be fat with all this birthday food. We
spent a large portion of the day doing service with the Smith family
in the ward. We stacked a ton of wood, and when I say "ton," I mean
"ton." Ok, that's an exaggeration, it was about 3 cords. (Whatever
that means, right? Everyone here in Montana knows what that means, but
I sure don't.) Anyways, it was a lot. I wish I'd taken pictures! We
were hauling it back and forth in wheel barrows, throwing them all
over the place and stacking like crazy. It was good, hard work. The
Smith's are the family we want to fellowship Adam Watson and

Speaking of Adam and Christina, they have been gone all week, AGAIN!
Craziness. However, we're pretty much ok with this one, considering
that they went to UTAH and their Mormon friend took them on a tour of
TEMPLE SQUARE and they uploaded all of the photos on FACEBOOK and them
standing in front of the statue of Christ is now his PROFILE PICTURE!
What? They loved it. He sent us a text this week, sincerely
apologizing for not being able to come to church and he said he'd come
next week. We are going to need to explain the concept of conference
to them... Haha. Anyways, keep them in your prayers.

Easter Sunday was amazing! Especially sacrament meeting, it was
beautiful. I am running out of time so I just want to end by saying
that I love the Lord. He helps me out so much! He really watches over
us missionaries and blesses us more than we deserve. I am thankful for
the joy that the gospel brings and I am grateful to be here in
beautiful Montana! I love you all!

Elder Thomas

                                           Still snowing! Dang it. That's Elder Okerlund :)
The snow melted in a day...
Found a cool new setting on my camera! 
What's guiding your journey?
Book of Mormon Photoshoot for use in online proselyting.
So many presents!! Thank you everyone!!
So much food.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Happy Days :)

Dear Family and Friends,

Our miles have been cut down quite a bit because the winter is coming
to an end. Because of this we've had to stretch our miles as far as
they could go. We've been walking a lot and the weather has been
alright, but this last week we got pounded with snow randomly. Montana
weather is really weird. The next day it was warm and sunshiny again.

We had some super cool experiences this week! When we had dinner with
the Young's last week, Sister Young told us that she would like us to
come and share the new #Hallelujah video with her coworker, Patty. The
next day, Monday, we had the opportunity to visit their work and show
her the video. We have met Patty before and we love her! She is so
cool and kind, not to mention her curiosity about the church. We ended
up showing her about seven videos. At that point she began to ask
about the church. She had many questions, so we got to teach her the
restoration! She was so cool about it. We told her about the Book of
Mormon and she said she would love one. She wanted to give one to her
daughter so we told her we'd bring her another one. As we left she
told us that she would, "put it on her nightstand so she remembers to
read it every night!

We had exchanges with the the District Leader this week! I went to
Laurel with Elder Smith and his companion, Elder Baumer, came down
here. Elder Smith and I had a lot of fun together. He has only been
out a month longer than me, like Elder Ross. We were able to teach a
few lessons, one of my favorites being with a young 7 year old boy.
There are two boys in this family, the older one is 11 new the younger
one is 7. Their parents have decided they want to get back in the
church so the missionaries are teaching the boys. They tried teaching
them together but they fought to much. So they ended up teaching them
separate. We taught about choosing the right and even gave him a CTR
ring. For the lesson, we did different role play situations and asked
how we could choose the right in that situation. We all had a lot of
fun and he got really into it. It was a very good time. Elder Baumer
and Elder Ross had a really good exchange, including finding a new
investigator! Elder Baumer and Elder Ross were also able to visit
Patty and give her another Book of Mormon! We'll be going back 
tomorrow to see how things have been going with her.

The tourists were everywhere in Red Lodge this week. The tourists
aren't quite as kind as the locals. This week as we were walking Main
Street in Red Lodge a man from the other side of the street said
loudly, " oh no, are you Mormons??" We were both smiled at him and
almost in unison said, "yes!" Rather enthusiastically! That disarmed

Adam & Christina just got back from a trip but now they're headed out
again!! They're on their way to Utah. They will be there for two
weeks, so if you meet a man with a southern accent and a woman with a
Hispanic accent, it might just be my investigators! We stopped by and
were only able to visit on the porch for a minute because Adam was at
work, but Christina seemed really happy to see us and told us she was
very sorry they were traveling so much. We also found out that they
are getting married on April 6th!!! That will be happening in Oregon,
sounds like another trip haha. We are so excited for these amazing

We met with the Pratts again but only Kevin and Brother Pratt were
there again. We read the Book of Mormon again because not everyone was
there. It was a good lesson but the Pratts are struggling with some
very hard things right now. We love them very much and it is hard to
see them go through these hard things. Please pray for them.

Probably the craziest thing that happened this week was getting to SEE
FAMILY!!!!!! Last week when I got on my email I saw one from my dear
sister Jenni, letting me know that she had called my mission president
and received permission to COME VISIT ME! The idea was that we could
meet before church and talk for a little bit, then they could sit with
me during sacrament. Oh my goodness! As I'm sure all of you can
imagine, I was so totally stoked on our way to the church building in
Absarokee Sunday morning! As we drove, we ended up being behind a line
of cars, three trucks and a minivan. Now, a minivan is not a common
sighting in Montana, it's usually a truck or a Subaru. We both had the
same thought, "it's probably them!" We got close enough to the van to
see the NORTH DAKOTA license plates! This only made me more excited.
We followed them for about 14 miles till we got to the church
building, and pulled up right next to them! It was so surreal! It was
so cool to see such familiar faces. I wish I could describe every
second and how much fun it was. It was amazing just to hold my cute
nephews and to see my sister and brother-in-law when I'd look over. It
was fun to watch Jenni and Burkley with their kids and with each other
and to be reminded that this is the goal. The goal is that those we
teach will go through the temple. That those we teach will have that
amazing opportunity to be sealed to their family for time and
eternity! The goal that they will live the gospel in their families
and experience that love and joy! Families are forever. That's the way
it started with our father in heaven and that's the way it will always
be. I'm out here so others can find that joy as well.

I love each of you very much.

Elder Thomas

Healthy lunch in front of the Red Lodge Pizza fireplace. Jk, it's ice cream.
FAMILY. Wow, I love them.
The first part of my birthday package :) Thanks Mom!
Lookin' like a fancy cowboy on an old tractor.
It's a beautiful preparation day :)
Looks like spring to me! 

Monday, March 14, 2016


Dear Family and Friends,

We have been incredibly busy today so this letter is gonna be short.

We had a ton of meetings this week which means a lot of driving and sitting.

We had dinner with the Young's this week! It was a super good meal and
we showed them the knew video that came out for Easter. They loved it
and Sister Young asked if we could show it to her coworker today! We
obviously said yes. After dinner we went outside and helped them with
their Alpacas for a little bit. These animals are super weird. It was
a good time.

The lesson with the Pratt's was cool this week. Sister Pratt and
Kevin's friend, Ryan, both weren't able to make it, but we read the
scriptures with Kevin and Brother Pratt. As we talked about the Book
of Mormon and it's importance the spirit was very strong and Kevin was
listening very intently. You could tell Kevin was feeling something.
It was really cool.

Adam and Christina get back from their vacation this week! So excited
to get to teach them again.

Many other things happened but I just don't have time this week. I'm
sorry! Love you all.

Elder Thomas

                                                  Beautiful Red Lodge mountains
We got our blankies! 
After 9:30 in our apartment
A friend from junior high, Elder Kirk Garrard! It was windy. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

A quick li'l email

Dear Family and Friends,

It's been such a great week. Along with opportunities to teach, we
have had many opportunities to provide service as well. We have begun
regular service at a thrift store in Columbus, and we also got to do
service at the Billings temple! The thrift shop in Columbus is named
Project Hope. We love helping at Project Hope because of their mission
statement. They take donations of food and clothing from many
different places, most of which is very high quality. The store is
designed so you may simply take the items if you need to, trade in
something of yours for something in the store, or you can pay if you
have enough money. I love being able to help out a little bit with
this wonderful project. Service at the temple was amazing as well!
Both the Billings Zone and the Billings East Zone were able to
participate in this service activity. We spent the majority of our day
cleaning garden beds and cleaning up last years growth, while also
laying down new mulch for this years plants. There is always such an
amazing feeling when you get to work with these amazing people. We
worked hard and got a lot done, the head of gardening was very
thankful. I love providing service because I know it's what Christ
would've done! I love making people's day a little brighter and their
load a little lighter.

We met with the Pratt's again this week. After a lot of prayer and
discussion, we felt that we should focus on Kevin and his friend Ryan.
We reviewed the lessons with Kevin in the area book and felt that he
needed to hear the restoration again which was perfect because Ryan
hadn't really heard it! It was such a good lesson. The spirit was so
strong and we were able to teach simply. Ryan and Kevin both committed
to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it, as did Brother and
Sister Pratt. We found out the next day that the boys had read
together! We just love them. They all attended church this Sunday.

The most amazing experience this week was teaching Adam and Christina.
The first time we went over their, we only gave them an overview of
the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. This time, they invited us
over for dinner! We went over and the moment we walked into the door
you could feel the spirit. They were so excited to have us over and to
talk. We had a wonderful dinner and then they began asking questions.
They asked about missions, the Word of Wisdom and then they asked
about prophets. We started right into the Restoration because the
spirit was filling our mouths and they were accepting everything so
well. It was the most amazing lesson ever, and we could see all the
ways the Lord had prepared them to accept the gospel. The whole way
home we were laughing and rejoicing. I can't wait to see what happens
to these two.

Sorry I don't have much time today! This week was such a great week! I
know that we are doing the work of God, which is so amazing every time
I think about it. I love this work, this place, and these people.
Remember to do your best to be a member missionary! Love you all.

Elder Thomas

Sorry, not a ton of pictures this week.  
We got some Montana hats!
 Cowboy life :)
 Found another FJ 40!
 Beautiful sunset.