We'll Harvest this Field from Sunrise to Sunset!

Monday, July 25, 2016

What a Joyful Time

Dear Family and Friends,

I've got a teensy bit more time today! Last preparation day we went
hiking and we're going hiking again today. We went on the Blodgett
Canyon Lookout hike, one of my favorite I've ever done, and this week
we're hiking Lake Como again! These mountains are truly fascinating.

This Tuesday, we got to meet with a young man named Mitchell for the
first time. We met Mitchell at Subway, because he works there, and
invited him to take the lessons. Come to find out, a couple in the
ward had befriended him already! The Chapman's are some of the best
member missionaries I've ever met. We had dinner with them and
Mitchell last Sunday night. The message we shared after was on hope
because Mitchell had felt he wasn't even worth to meet with us. We
taught that no matter where you are, Christ suffered for our sins. It
was a powerful lesson. On Tuesday we taught the Restoration. Mitchell
is really sensitive to the spirit and he was so receptive to all the
information we gave him, he can't wait to read the Book of Mormon.
When we leave the Chapman's home, Mitchell stays. He is 24 and still
lives at home, however, he hates being at home because of certain
troubling family issues. He does everything to stay away from home.
The Chapman's home has become his home, and when he doesn't want to go
there he goes and watches a movie with them, reads the Book of Mormon
out in their hammock, or chats with them. They are such a blessing in
his life.

We have an investigator named Sandro that we've been meeting with for
quite a while. He hasn't really wanted to learn, he's just wanted to
do bible study. We don't have time for people who aren't progressing
right now, so we felt like we should drop him. We tried to drop him,
but he wouldn't let us! He wants us to keep coming back! His bargain
was that he wanted us to prove our message to him. We told him we
can't prove it to him, he must prove it to himself through prayer and
revelation. If he cannot understand this, we may have to drop him.
Missionary work is pointless if no one ever prays.

Amy Is doing very well! She is excited for baptism and striving to
prepare herself. This last week she and her husband, Cory, invited us
over for dinner. It was very fun, we love Amy and Cory and all the
children very much. Cory knows what he needs to do, he just has a hard
time doing it. This last time he admitted that when things get hard he
just hides from it, however, shortly after he also proclaimed that he
"will be baptized," but has some "murky water to work through first."
We're proud of him, now he needs to start coming to church.

We were guided by revelation this week and had many powerful lessons
by following the spirit in every footstep, I will write about these
individuals as soon as they start progressing. Probably my favorite
event this week was last night. After dinner last night we went up to
Pinesdale to have s'mores with Will and Kara, Joel and Marilyn, and
Kerry (the polygamist wife with all the questions. Also, she's the
best) and her husband D.J. We also brought Harry and Annie Lee, two of
our favorite members. An update with Kerry real fast, she comes to
church every week with all of her children. Her son Zeb is baptized,
Will is getting baptized, and Fred just started investigating. She
feels like she is where she needs to be right now, and surprisingly,
we have both received the same prompting. Anyways, there were a bunch
of other kids up there because it is a polygamist family, and I can't
remember their names. It was incredibly fun, we talked, roasted
s'mores and laughed. We were also able to set up Joel and Marilyn's
baptismal program! August 7th is the date! We are SO EXCITED. Will and
Kara are progressing and can't wait for their other interviews, it is
a happy time. Anyways, love you all!

Elder Thomas

Blodgett Canyon Hike! 
Elder Angle is probably the coolest person ever. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

July 18, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

THERE IS NEVER ENOUGH TIME ON PREPARATION DAY. I want to recite the whole week to each of you but there is just not enough time.

Had a wonderful exchange with Elder Christian Wells this week in Hamilton. He went to American Fork High School as well!! What a small world. It was a truly blessed exchange.

The main event I want to touch on this week is what we called the "Finding Blitz." The sisters in the Darby and Blodgett Canyon area have been having a hard time finding so we decided to devote an entire day to finding people for them to teach. The main principles we were relying on were fasting and prayer. We fasted all day but the finding blitz was only from 11:00-3:30. During that time we walked through the streets of Hamilton and talked to every single person we saw, knocking on doors when we felt impressed to do so. Every turn we came to, we relied on the spirit to tell us which way to go. It was incredible. In that short time we talked to a ton of people and even found three new promising investigators for the sisters. We also stopped and prayed after every person we talked to. One of the coolest learning experiences I have had on mission. Doing finding any other way is futile. This paragraph is especially for future missionaries. If you learn anything from this letter, learn this. Missionary work without prayer and listening to the spirit is like baptism without priesthood, basically pointless. Never forget this principle.

Sadly this is all I have time for, except to tell you that Joel and Marilyn had their LAST INTERVIEW with President Wadsworth! Now they will be having a baptism in the next two weeks. Will and Kara, and Amy Weidow all had their first interviews with President Wadsworth!

Elder Thomas

Ten Commandments, Montana style
Elder Wells!
A less-active's amazing property
So. Pretty.
An amazing cloud with a little lightning

Monday, July 11, 2016

No Greater Work

Dear Family and Friends,

Monday was preparation day, and then the Fourth of July. We had the
privilege of having a barbecue, s'mores and a small firework show with
Joel and Marilyn Jessop. It was one of the most peaceful and joyful
evenings of my life, what can be better than this?

This week we decided to try something called inspired tracting. The
way that works is we pray about a few options and ask where we need to
be, we ponder as the spirit speaks to us and then we discuss as a
companionship. Most often we feel prompted to go to the same place.
This week we received revelation to go to a certain street called
Whispering Willow Way, which had two investigators on it. We parked in
front of the investigators house and were about to go inside but Elder
Angle felt a prompting to walk around the block first and he shared
that with me. As we were walking, I felt a distinct prompting to stop
and knock at a house. When we knocked a young man answered the door.
We chatted with him for a while and found out he was a runner. We also
learned that his family was not religious at all. Right around that
time his mother walked out from the backyard and we got to speak with
her. She was not interested, but she was very kind. She said she
wouldn't read it but she would put it on the coffee table so her
children could read it if they wanted to. As we left, the spirit
confirmed to us that we had been right where we needed to be and done
what we needed to do. I tell this story to emphasize the importance of
two companions who are both listening to the spirit. If one of us
hadn't been listening, we would not have done what God needed us to
do. Joshua 3:5

Remember that family we helped, move in? Well we stopped by again this
week and had a wonderful experience with them. We had planned to teach
the restoration lesson but agreed to follow the spirit if it told us
not to. Well, after chatting with the father and his two sons for a
bit we began to teach. It was so cool because he was familiar with the
LDS church and let us know he was interested in joining! He had the
opportunity before but did not accept because he didn't have a
testimony yet. What a miracle! The Lord has truly been working in his
life. We hope and pray the wife will be as receptive when we get to
teach her. Please pray for the Walkers.

We had the best lesson with Andy and Michelle this week. We focused a
lot on prayer and revelation. Michelle is ready to go, but Andy has
some hard things he has to work through before he will be ready. He
feels that he has received spiritual confirmation of some things in
the group at are contrary to the LDS church. The spirit guided us in
saying two things we feel are very important for him. First we
explained that satan likes to keep us focused too much on the past and
the future, because we have control of he present and he wants to
distract us. How important this is! Based on this principal we gave
him an analogy called, "The Lego House." In our life we build our
"Lego House," in other words, our beliefs, and when we receive a new
piece of revelation, or a new Lego, we have to disassemble our Lego
house to fit it in, to make it better. Andy has a lot of faith and he
is working very hard. We are so proud of him.

We taught Clint, Martha, Audrey and their 20 kids this week. It was
such a great lesson! We taught the Plan of Salvation and all the
children were participating the whole time, asking questions and
answering them. It was really cool. After the lesson, the kids wanted
to play games while the members we brought with us, who had converted
from the AUB talked with the parents. We played red rover and
dodgeball. It was a really cool opportunity to grow closer to the
family and hopefully have a long lasting impact on the children.

The day after, we had a lesson with a woman named Amy. Amy has been
coming to church with her kids for a long time but hasn't wanted to be
baptized if her husband didn't come with her. However, this last week
she decided it was time for her to start the interviews. When we had
the lesson with her she told us she was having a "gut-wrenching"
feeling. She has been seeking revelation as to what this is. It was a
cool opportunity for me because I felt the spirit tell me to promise
her she would get an answer this Sunday during sacrament meeting. What
joy I felt when she found us afterward and told us she had received
her answer, she will, one forward without him and she feels he will
eventually follow. There is nothing sweeter than these kind of

Both Will & Kara and Joel and Marilyn are still progressing rapidly,
though I have not the time to tell you about their wonderful lessons
this week.

I love each of you, I hope you know that.

Elder Thomas

Dodgeball with the kids
Deer in a member's yard because it's Montana

Monday, July 4, 2016

I'm Just Happy

Dear Family and Friends,

I have a very many things I would like to say during this letter
and I am never able to say everything I want to, but I will say
that I love the Lord. We have seen his mercy and miracles this week.

If you will recall, a few weeks back we acted on a prompting to go to
an apartment complex and found a family moving in, the Walkers. This
last week we stopped in to see how they were doing and they invited us
right in! We had a really great conversation with them and we learned
that us helping them move in was a miracle because they had been
praying and they just didn't think they could have finished it
themselves! How cool is that! We invited them to a ward barbecue on
the seventeenth and they accepted and seemed excited to go!

Our lesson with Andy and Michelle was very revelatory this week. Andy
shared a very personal story to explain what his hesitancy was and we
also learned that Michelle just wants to come over to the church and
is just patiently waiting for her husband. When we first started
meeting with Andy and Michelle, she told us that she hated reading but
now she can't seem to get enough! It's so much fun to see these
wonderful people's lives change for the better.

We had a lesson with a new family this week, Bill and his wives
Annie and Margo. Yes, they're polygamists. We know Margo really
well because she works at a local fast food restaurant that we visit often
and we see her every time we go in. She always comes over and teases
us because she is part of the AUB so we were very surprised when she
came over last week, told us she wouldn't be baptized, but then asked
if her family could have he lessons anyway. We said yes, of course.
There were a lot of kids, about 11 or 12. Luckily for us, they were all
very well behaved and they participated in the lesson. After a good
restoration lesson, Bill sent the younger kids to go play and they
began asking their real questions. Bill and Annie want their
children to join the church, Margo would rather hers didn't. One of
Bill's older kids would like to serve a mission so we told them the
prerequisites. He must be at least eighteen if his parents are still
living polygamy. He must also have a testimony that polygamy is not to
be lived at this time. He must have a testimony that President Monson is
the ONLY man that holds priesthood keys on the earth, not one of the
AUB's beliefs. Bill had not known any of these prerequisites and it was
apparent that they bothered them a little. At that point, the member we
brought with us, counseled them to always stay true to their
convictions. So important! If one of their children joined the church
just to serve a mission they would be so confused. In the end it was a
good lesson and they were incredibly kind, considering we had told
them they were considered an apostate group. We love them.

The last thing I have time to write is about Joel and Marilyn. Joel
and Marilyn had their interview with a general authority this week!
They said it was one of the most spiritual experiences they have ever
had. Because the experience was so personal, I can't share all the
details, but they really received some wonderful revelation and
guidance. After the interview, they got to go meet my father and speak
with him in the tax division! I was extremely excited about that as well.
Both the Jessop's and my father report that it was a wonderful experience.
Is more joy than this possible?

I love being out here, my heart is filled with more joy every day as
I see these beautiful souls coming unto Christ. As I have said many
times, it'll take a lot of convincing to get me back home. I love you

Elder Thomas

Preparation day selfie
Our awesome zone!