We'll Harvest this Field from Sunrise to Sunset!

Monday, June 27, 2016

It's Been A Transfer In Corvalis Already????

Dear Family and Friends,

Today is going to have to be extra short unfortunately...

This week was awesome. We had Zone Conference in Helena on Tuesday
with Elder Wilford W. Andersen and his wife, it was amazing. We
learned so much and I wish I could just tell you all everything, but
I'll just cover up one of my favorite parts. We learned that we need
to focus on getting families to the temple through the gospel of Jesus
Christ. It's so exciting to imagine our investigators in temple

Speaking of families, Joel and Marilyn are still doing great! They are
going down to Utah this Tuesday to have their second interview, this
time with a general authority!!!! Mervin B. Arnold will be
interviewing them. This is a huge step, please pray for them.

So we don't have much time so I am going to write the next few
straight from the lesson reports.

Last week Brother and Sister Temple gave us a referral by the name of
Jim Neaves. We stopped by and his wife directed us to his shop behind
the house where he makes custom wooden bows. Jim was very friendly, he
let us in and showed us around his shop. He shared his beliefs with
us, and he started talking about his conviction on how the earth was
created in exactly six days. He started talking about The Flood,
Noah's Ark, Dinosaurs, and Adam. He is very knowledgable in the bible.
We shared a couple Book of Mormon scriptures with him from Alma 12 and
Helaman 5. We promised him blessings from reading the Book of Mormon,
even blessings for his family. We testified of the divinity of this
gospel and the restoration of it. We gave him a restoration pamphlet
and Book of Mormon, and invited him to read the introduction and
testimonies. He took it very well and demonstrated a willingness in
meeting with us again. Great guy!

We stopped in just to see if he would be interested in meeting with us
and he came out and had a conversation! We did a little fellowshipping
and then asked about his new baby. Both the baby and the mother are
doing well. We talked a little bit about the Plan of Salvation and how
that meant he could be with his newborn baby forever, that he would
never have to say goodbye. That seemed to touch him. We gave him and
pamphlet, invited him to pray and set up a time to come back. He
seemed so willing and interested.

And that's all the time I've got! Love you all!

Elder Thomas

Best district ever
It was a beautiful drive to Helena
The zone at Zone Conference! I love them.
Elder and Sister Andersen!
Did service for a member who has done some really weird hunting
Some more crazy animals!

Monday, June 20, 2016

God Does All the Hard Work

Dear Family and Friends,

I have gotten a few requests to tell about the miracles I see every
week. Pretty much everything that happens is a miracle. So, instead of
just mentioning what happens, I will also try to point out the

The first is Linda. Linda is a woman that has just moved in to
Corvallis and is trying to get settled. She lives in a little trailer
house and has the sweetest little shih-tzu. The issue with this is
that she has no fence and her little dog can't run around, so we've
been trying to find someone that can provide her with a fence. We made
a few inquiries his Sunday and found a member who had plenty of, and
was willing to donate, the supplies she needed! Heavenly Father has a
way of setting things up at the perfect time and place.

A week ago Sunday, we met a wonderful woman named Victoria. She shared
some amazing experiences with us, including one of the most precious
dreams I have ever heard. She told us that she shared those
experiences because it is her duty to share these special experiences
after she received them. We told her that's why we're here, to share
the amazing things we've experienced. She opened up pretty fast at
that point. We shared this story this week with a woman named Deb and
her boyfriend Patrick. We used this to explain why we wished to share
the message of the restoration with them. They opened up a lot more
after this and we were able to schedule a solid return appointment!
The miracle is that God places the words of eternal life in the mouths
of two 19 year old boys who are not eloquent or knowledgeable in any
shape or form. It's a miracle that God works through us.

Joel and Marilyn Jessop are still holding strong! Joel is a very good
man and he and I get along very well, which usually results in us
laughing at one of our jokes and everyone else being confused. He is a
good man and has sacrificed a lot of pride to be where he is now,
which is a hard thing to do as a man. Marilyn is fiery. She teases
often and loves being teased, though you need to be careful because
her comebacks are quick and sharp. She is full of faith and has really
pulled her family through this whole process. They have four little
girls, Rachel, Kloie, Molly and Olivia. Rachel is about 8 and she is
very shy, but has warmed up to us and now talks quite a bit. We taught
her the sign language of the Ten Commandments (hand signs to help us
remember) last time we were there and she had them memorized when we
came back! She is the sweetest little girl. Kloie is 6 and is very
inquisitive. She loves to draw and will often draw a picture of
whatever we are teaching about that day. She loves to tell us stories.
Molly is 4 and she is a talker. Her parents say she was born making
noise and she hasn't stopped since! She loves to act like she wants to
give me a high five but as soon as I go for it she moves her hand,
little stinker haha. Olivia is 2 and she is a bowling ball. She has
little scratches and bruises everywhere, she drives her mother crazy.
She also doesn't like it very much when the attention isn't on her.
She is the cutest and sometimes makes it very hard for me to focus on
the lesson. This family is a miracle in our lives. They bless us so
much and we absolutely love teaching them. They have each, especially
Joel and Marilyn, had so many miracles to bring them to this point.

One of the biggest miracles, this week was the Walkers! We felt a very
distinct prompting to go to a group of apartments here in Corvallis
called the Courtyard. We tried a few places and no one answered, then
we noticed the Uhaul truck. We could see a family moving stuff out of
the truck so we offered help. They were super thankful because the
father had some really bad back problems and he couldn't help them.
They thought it was cool because they had been praying for someone to
stop and help when we showed up. How much fun it is to be an answer to
someone's prayer! We gave them a pamphlet, bore our testimonies and
told them we would stop in again.

When we met with Will and Kara this week, something had changed. There
was just a light about them that hadn't been there before. They asked
a few questions and then they gave us the surprise, they were ready to
start the interview process. WHAT???? Neither of us saw this coming at
all. They had done their part and they received their answer. So, now
they need an interview with President Wadsworth. They're so ready.

We taught a great restoration lesson with a potential investigator
this week. We've been trying to get in this whole transfer and we were
finally able to get in. It was a super good lesson and he is searching
for truth. He wants us to come back and he is super excited about the
Book of Mormon. His name is John Reed. His kids were a little
distracting; whenever their dad says no, they come ask us. Kids are
cute and amazing and all, but sometimes they just want to be loud! If
any of you have any ideas of how to distract children or something,
please let me know. It was a good lesson though!

The last experience I want to relate was our dinner last night. At
church, the couple we were having dinner with approached us and told us
they were going to bring us to a family party in Pinesdale. Just so
you understand, Isaac Jessop, the one we were having dinner with, has
30 siblings. We weren't quite sure how we'd be received. We had barely
arrived when we were received with love and kindness! It was kind of
like an extended family reunion, except it was just one family. I
spent most of my time talking to Isaac's mother, she was a very cool
lady. I love the people of Pinesdale. They are wonderful. I was sad to
leave. Also, their fish is divine.

I love you all! Keep doing missionary work, someone is waiting for you
to touch their lives.

Elder Thomas

The Bitterroot Mountains 
The Lake Como hike was unrealistically beautiful
Photo-bombing Elder Kellogg's photoshoot
Just me in Montana.
Chillin' by the waterfall
Elder Kellogg, Elder Angle, and me!
The Zone
Soooo pretty
Pics on the way back

Monday, June 13, 2016

Still Busy? Yep.

Dear Family and Friends,

Today we go to see Lake Como here in the bitterroot mountains. I'm SO
TOTALLY STOKED because I haven't been hiking for EIGHT MONTHS. It's
about time.

So some of the super important things:

Andy and Michelle are doing really well. We taught them about temples
and ordinances this week, they were extremely receptive. Erica, the
little 9 year old, said she would like to go in the temple some day!
Usually at the end of the lesson Andy and Michelle ask their deeper
questions. This time they asked us what happens if we break our temple
covenants. We explained covenants and their significance, as well as
repenting of whatever transgression broke the covenant. To add some
context, when Members of the AUB go through their "endowment house" in
Utah, it's a very fearful experience for most of them, not joyful or
peaceful. It was interesting for Andy and Michelle to hear how
peaceful we felt when we got our endowments. They want that peace in
their life really bad! Andy also confessed to us that he had wanted to
call off the missionary discussions a few times but he knew in his
heart that would be the wrong thing to do. We love them! They're in
Utah this week, so we won't get to meet with them, but we sure will
pray for them!

Will and Kara are progressing as well. Will is completely ready to be
baptized, but Kara is having a harder time. We feel that she wants to
be baptized but there are some things that are just so ingrained into
her that she needs spiritual confirmation on those little things
before the bigger things. Her father was LaMoine Jensen, the late
leader of the AUB group and what they consider to be their prophet. So
as you can imagine, she has a lot of muck to work through. But, she is
patiently wading through and finding answers. We have faith that she
will one day get to the other side of this big mess, and her husband
Will is with her every step.

Joel and Marilyn had their first baptism interview! The way it works
with former members of the AUB is that they must meet with the mission
president, a general authority, and then the mission president again.
This process normally takes forever! So, on that note, Saturday night
we shot President Wadsworth a message, that we had some investigators
ready for him to interview, not an hour later, President Wadsworth
called us and told us that he just happened to be up in Kalispell and
that he could stop by Sunday afternoon to interview them. CRAZY!
Usually this step would take one to two weeks! So, yesterday Joel and
Marilyn had their first interview. Next step, a general authority! I
love this family and have become very attached to them. What a gift it
is to be a missionary and get to be a part of so many wonderful
people's lives!

That's all I've got time for. The miracles this week were everywhere,
as usual. It was amazing. I wish I could convey to each of you how
remarkable it is to be a missionary here, but I can't. Just know, it's
humbling to see how unimportant we are as missionaries because God
prepares them and the Holy Ghost teaches them. We're just a conduit
for the spirit, which is also extremely encouraging, because the work
is in God's hands! Then why should we fear? I'm so grateful to be
here, I think I'd just stay forever if I could!

Elder Thomas

Just wearing suits.. And our candy leis... In the middle of the woods... Haha jk, we went to a Polynesian members graduation celebration! 
MORE beautiful Montana.

I like how this picture turned out.

Monday, June 6, 2016


Dear Family and Friends,

I want to go in depth and tell you everything about all the lessons
that happened this week, but I can't. Just know that I have a
testimony of prayer and miracles and we have seen SO MANY this week!
Every day is just another miracle after another.

We had the incredible opportunity of meeting with Joel and Marilyn
twice this week. We asked about their testimonies right at the
beginning and learned that they all had a testimony of the basics of
the gospel. The lesson went smoothly and they received everything very
well. We asked if they had questions and concerns and Marilyn asked
about the "law of introduction," which is the idea that we are
unworthy to communicate with Heavenly Father without going through a
bishop or someone else like that. This doctrine is taught in the AUB
group. We explained that we can have a personal relationship with our
Heavenly Father and that he gives personal revelation to us. This
meant a lot to Marilyn. She bore her testimony on her search for truth
and that she knew this doctrine was true. It was very special and we
loved being a part of helping her find that truth. They all showed
increased faith and excitement and committed to read the talk we gave
them. They are making an incredible amount of progress.

We got to meet with the Allred's again! It was a cool lesson because
they have so much to look forward to. The lesson was mostly about
setting goals and looking forward. They have a goal to get to the
temple and be sealed, they also want to go and do baptisms for the
dead as soon as possible. Jean will be 12 in a few months and she is
so excited to be old enough to do baptisms for the dead. His brother
was there, Jeff Allred, and he had many questions. Jeff lives in
Riverton, Utah and he is still part of the AUB, however, he has been
having the missionaries down there visit him. Those poor elders, I
wouldn't be able to answer a single one of his questions if it weren't
for all the experience I had in this area. He seemed surprised that we
could answer his questions because apparently they had stumped the
other elders. It's easy to answer the questions when everyone in
Pinesdale asks about the exact same stuff.

The next time we taught Joel and Marilyn, we taught two couples at
once. Joel and Marilyn Jessop, as well as Will and Kara Jessop. Cary
Jessop, Will's mom, was also there (they have a lot of Jessop's in
Pinesdale). The lesson was held in the home of the members Bill and
Jennifer Jessop, Bill is a convert from the AUB group and Jennifer was
already a member. So in short, Elder Angle and I were surrounded by
Jessop's. We had planned to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ
discussion. The lesson was amazing! These good people are searching
for truth and they have so much faith. We definitely know that God's
hand was in it because they were all answering each other's questions
and the spirit was incredibly strong.

Elder Angle and I have made it a goal to talk to everyone, so when two
nice old ladies out on their front porch waved at us and smiled, we
pulled right over and asked for the directions we were in need of. We
had an awesome conversation with them and will be going back to see
them soon!

On Saturday we were headed back from a ward baptism and we felt
prompted to go visit an investigator named Debbie Herzog. Instead we
found her 19 year old son David at home. David was extremely excited
to see us because he had just been fighting the temptation to indulge
in an addiction he is fighting and he was going to call someone. He
invited us in and made us dinner. He kept mentioning how crazy it was
that we showed up, right when he needed someone. Throughout dinner we
chatted about missionary work and we mentioned the baptism we had just
come from. He asked about baptism and we told him about all the
amazing things it could do for him. He casually mentioned that it
sounded like something he needed. WHAT??? YES, WE ALL NEED IT!!! WE
CAN HELP YOU!!! We didn't say that, but we felt that. We talked about
his addiction and how a personal relationship with God and the
atonement are so necessary in breaking an addiction. We talked about
the Book of Mormon and why it is so important as well as the power of
the Book of Mormon and how it helps us fight against temptation.
Before we left we blessed his home with a constant presence of the
spirit and set a date for his baptism. He kept saying, "wow, I just
feel this overwhelming peace!" We are SO EXCITED FOR HIM!!!

Anyways, love you all!

Elder Thomas

All of us came out together
Idunno, this is just a fun picture.
More beautiful Montana