We'll Harvest this Field from Sunrise to Sunset!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Transfer Return...

Dear Family and Friends,

Once again, this week has gone by way too fast. The longer I am on my
mission, the more I feel like it's just slipping through my fingers! I
want it to go a little slower, i am enjoying it so much.

We have a new investigator! His name is Ike Jessop and he referred
himself on Mormon.org. Ike is from the group and he is so ready to
learn more. He is from Pinesdale, but he has not attended up there for
quite a while. He has been attending the Christian church down the
road, but his daughter just recently turned 8 and he really wants her
to be baptized with the priesthood. It all went well, he and his cute
family are very humble. The hardest thing for him to get over so far
is the Adam-God doctrine. I won't go to deep into this, but it is
basically the belief that Adam is our God. This belief is complex,
detailed, and completely unscriptural. It's a toughy.

We visited Ben Williams and his family again this week. They are such
a fun family! We taught about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and little
Addie(11) answered all the questions! She is very good at that. After
the lesson with them we always make certain to remain for a little
while so we can connect with the children, so while I talked with the
older two about guitar and we played each other songs, Addie tied my
shoes together and her brother Johnny stole my iPad. I love kids haha.

We went and found BonnieJean again as well. BonnieJean was so happy to
see us when we stopped by. We gave her a bigger copy and talked to her
about her concerns in the near future. She really wants to move
forward but she is receiving a lot of pressure from her friends and
church. We talked a lot about basing our faith on God and not man.this
was kind of new to her and we had a long conversation about it. She
wants us to keep coming back because she says she is so confused and
conflicted and needs help. God truly prepares these souls for us.

On Friday we went and helped our investigators, Dan and Leslie, spread
decorative rock over their garden area. It is so much fun to just work
my head off moving rocks and sweating out in the sun. Though I love
missionary work, it feels good to give someone help with the physical
things as well!

This week the Chapman's moved from out in the prairie into the main
part of Corvallis! This means we'll be seeing a lot more of them, and
Mitchell Gold will probably move in with them! Because Mitchell grew
up in Pinesdale, he needs to move out before he is baptized, so this
enables him to do just that! Miracles are just happening everywhere.
We were able to help them with that Saturday morning.

On Saturday we went and had dinner with Clint and Martha because
transfers are this coming week and we wanted to see them in case one
of us got transferred. It was so much fun! It's amazing to see how
missionary work brings people together.

Missionary work in Montana gets really slow after 8:00 in the winter.
So, we prayed and moved forward in faith! God directed us to a street
that looked completely dead. No lights, no people. As we walked down
the street, we saw a light on inside the home of the Bumgarners home,
an elderly couple  in the ward, and felt a prompting to go inside and
talk with them. When we went in, Bob and Carson Selzler were there!
Bob is their son-in-law and Carson is their grandson. Bob is a member
but has not attended regularly for quite a while, and Carson is a
recent convert. It was so good to see them again! We shared a
spiritual thought and then left, but I know God led us there for a
reason. Hopefully we can help Bob come back to church.

After church on Sunday we taught Kennedy Gold again. Both of her
parents were there this time and they are very supportive of her
decision to take the discussions. They are also a good support during
the lessons, though sometimes they get sidetracked on some weird deep
doctrine theory. Our focus with Kennedy is simplicity, and how
everything ties into the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We feel, and the
spirit seems to accord, that a focus on Christ will keep her from
being distracted by theories of man and social pressures all around
her. She is a very strong young woman.

At this point on Sunday, we learned our transfer news. I had pretty
much accepted the fact that I was going to be transferred, because
I've been here for six months. Nope. Elder Peterson is headed to
Wright Wyoming to finish an elders training, and I am staying here to
begin another missionaries training! I might be here for 9 months!
Crazy. I never want to leave.

That night we taught Will and Kara for their first new member lesson!
It was so cool. Everybody in the room bore beautiful and sacred
testimony of the gospel and it's truthfulness. I love Will and Kara. I
love seeing their progress and desire to grow. This last lesson Kara
expressed that they feel filled every time they go to church, and that
she wasn't used to that. What joy the restored gospel brings! What
peace and fulfillment and strength! How God must love us to give us
this gift. Y'all better be sharing it haha. Elder Peterson is sad to
say bye to them, and we are sad to see him go.

Our last lesson was with Jacey! We taught the Plan of Salvation, which
is my favorite lesson to teach. We focused a lot on the atonement and
why it is so important. Jacey is really working hard to grasp the
concept of God and what Christ did for us and she says she feels the
spirit more and more. We are very excited for her!

I love you all! Be safe this Halloween!

Elder Thomas

Foggy week
Weirdos. Seriously.
The Chapman's!
The Chavez's!
Will and Kara
And my pumpkin. :)

Monday, October 24, 2016

Hello, It's Me Again

Dear Family and Friends,

Monday evening we had our usual two appointments with the Latu family
and Mitchell. My heart definitely goes out to the Latu's because they
seem to be stuck in a phase that I myself was stuck in for a very long
time. A phase when you want to do better but you just can't seem to
get over the stumbling block! Their desires are in the right place,
they just need practice. I love this family, they are very Christlike.
Quick funny story, Elder Peterson habitually hums when there is an
awkward silence around the table and he is completely unaware when he
does it. We always have a good laugh about it. However, this last week
at dinner with the Latu's, I was offering the prayer on the food and
he began humming!! He's never done that before. After the prayer, the
oldest daughter looked at him and said, "were you humming?" He
responded, "Me? No." Everyone busted up laughing. They will never let
him forget that one! Neither will I mwahaha.

Mitchell Gold continues to amaze us with his humility. This week we
went through the history of the AUB and where the break off. It is so
essential to those that come from this group to understand where the
priesthood was lost. They have seen many miracles by their faith in
God and often interpret that as the priesthood. This is such a hard
issue! I am extremely grateful this was not my trial to bear.

We got to meet with a man named Ben Williams this week! Ben Williams
comes to church every week he can. He is very sick and he has to go up
to Missoula 3-4 times a week to do dialysis. He really wants his
children to hear the lessons and join the church but his schedule has
been crazy. His first lesson was 6 months ago, and his schedule just
barely cleared up enough to have the second one. It was a wonderful
lesson, and his adorable daughter, Addie, answered all the questions!
His other two children that were present participated a little too. It
was a wonderful lesson and we think we'll be able to go up more
regularly now.

On Friday we went on exchanges. I got to go with Elder Rich to
Hamilton. The first highlight was going to a candy store during
dinner. So good. It was a wonderful exchange with many teaching
opportunities, we even set one of their investigators on date for
baptism! Later that night we went and played some two hand touch
football with a part-member family. They are such a good family, and I
enjoyed it thoroughly.

We got to help out a member family that we love very much, the
Chapman's. We helped them move some futons out of the attic down a
very small spiral staircase. It was a little sketchy, but nobody died.

Please keep the Walker family in your prayers. They need a little
spiritual push and they are very sick right now. Also please keep
Bonniejean England and Jacey Gordon in your prayers as well. Satan is
trying to stop them from progressing with his whole artillery.

I love you all! Keep striving. Keep working. HAVE HOPE.

Elder Thomas

Elder Rich and CANDY.
Yes, that is my name.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Paths Cross

Dear Family and Friends,

Bad days just don't happen here in Corvallis. Even when the work is
hard or we're rejected, it's still so much fun to be a missionary! It
may be hard for me to leave this area someday.

The prophets and apostles have been encouraging us to "go to the
rescue" lately, and it is so satisfying. There is a very dear Family
in our area by the name of Latu and they have been less-active for
quite a while now. Ever since I have been here, we have been stopping
in randomly and talking with them, and last week they came to church!
They are the Polynesian family that feeds us every Monday now! One of
the daughters works at the grocery store we shop at and she needed a
new tie so she gave me some fabric and I made her one! Last week when
we were there we shared a video about the sacrament and talked about
how important it was to partake of the sacrament weekly. What a
treasure it is to be a part of this family's life and see the good
changes they are making.

The hardest part about our lessons with Mitchell these days is not
getting completely sidetracked. We all just get along way too well, and
it doesn't help that Sister Chapman is always feeding me a sugary
dessert just before the lesson haha. This last week we went really deep
into priesthood and priesthood keys.

Last week we were sitting in Gospel Principles and a woman in the ward
came to the door and beckoned us outside. When we got out there, she
told us there was a woman on the phone that wanted to talk to the
missionaries. Nobody calls the church phone, ever. I pulled the cord
phone into a nearby room because the hallway was crowded and loud,
just like mom used to do when I was being loud and annoying and she
was on the phone. This woman told us that she was in need of some
help, both spiritual and physical. We set up an appointment for
Tuesday. Her name is Bonnie, and we had such a great lesson with her!
The spirit was strong and we were able to set a date for her baptism!
God guides us to those that are ready.

Last week as we were walking home late at night, Elder Peterson almost
got run over when he walked out in front of a car! I grabbed him and
they slowed down, but then they pulled into the nearby driveway. God
literally puts people in our path, but in this case we happened to be
in their path haha. We went and talked to him for a second. His name
was Troy, and he was extremely kind and invited us over next time we
were available! Tuesday night we saw that his vehicle was there so we
went and visited. His son Shane answered and Troy called out from the
background, "come in, do you want some meatloaf?" Luckily, we had felt
the prompting not to eat a lot during dinner that night, so we gladly
accepted! As we ate, his two daughters came home from work. They were
so kind and fun to be with! It was late when we got there so we
couldn't stay long, but before we left we shared a spiritual thought
about Christ from the book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 25:26. When we go back
we will teach the first lesson.

We got to teach Maeci again. She is such a fun, happy girl. Every time
I shake her hand her elbow pops, we can't figure out why, but it does
haha. She is not completely invested yet and her father is not forcing
her, but he is doing all he can to help her improve. He is a very
good, patient man.

Last night we taught Fred and Cara about keeping the sabbath day holy
and the Ten Commandments. This is one of my very favorite lessons to
teach. We use the "Sign Language of the Ten Commandments," hand signs
to remember each commandment. This always accompanied by some good

We didn't get to meet with Randy and his family this week because they
are all quite sick. Please pray for their healing.

Amy Weidow just had her LAST INTERVIEW!!!!! She and her two children
will be baptized on November 19th. So exciting:)

Elder Thomas

Not many pictures this week. Just more of beautiful Montana!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Started off with a bang!

Dear Family and Friends,

Started off last week with a bang! Right after preparation day we went
and had dinner with Clint, Audrey and Martha Weidow. I love this
family and all the kids! It was a crazy night with lots of kids, food
and talking. It kinda reminded me of family parties at home! I loved
it. We don't know if we will ever see the fruits of the work we do up
there, but I hope and pray there will be some good ones.

We then went and taught Mitchell gold again. Mitchell has reserved us
for every Monday night at 7:30, and we couldn't be more happy about
it. Mitchell still remains very strong and determined to make it out
of the mess he is involved in.

Tuesday night we had dinner with a member family, but right after we
had a lesson with a Polynesian less-active family! We just felt like
it would be rude to cancel either, so we did both! It was a fantastic
experience. We had dinner with the Latu's and then we shared a talk by
Bruce R. McConkie, his very last talk actually, the purifying power of
Gethsemane. If you have never watched that talk, watch it. It is powerful.

During our lesson with Maeci Thomas this week we were able to finish the Plan of Salvation lesson. Maeci is such a fun, happy girl! She loves books and learning things. She loves teasing her father and just talking. We love the opportunity to meet with this family.

On Friday we had a lesson with WILL AND KARA!!!!!! The whole lesson was focused on the baptism which would occur the next day!! They tried on their baptismal suits and we had our final lesson focused on baptism! It was amazing. The next day was baptism day!! It was so beautiful. Before the baptism we brought Will and Kara into a room to see a "special guest!" When they walked in they saw an iPad, with ELDER ANGLE on it!!! It was awesome, Kara started crying. He also got to talk to Joel and Marilyn:) It made us all very happy. I got to talk to him as well! The baptism was beautiful. Will was baptized by his younger brother, Zeb, and cried and gave him a huge hug as soon as he was out of the water. Kara was baptized by a very close friend of theirs, Jeff Jessop. After the baptisms I had the opportunity to give the talk on the Holy Ghost. Kara started crying and made me cry. I must cry a lot. The confirmations were powerful. I love this family a ton, and I love being a missionary!

Sorry, no more time!

Elder Thomas

Oh my...
Training outside, yes??

Monday, October 3, 2016

A WHOLE YEAR???? Well flip.

Dear Family and Friends,

Hello people of the earth, I am exhausted. That is all, love ya
bye.... But seriously. Missionary work demands every mental thought,
every last bit of energy, even sleep because you receive spiritual
revelation and manifestations in your sleep. The weird part is, I love
every second of it.

Conference was amazing. I wish I had time to relate all the things I
learned and felt but it sufficeth me to say that I learned much about
my role as a leader in the mission field, especially during Priesthood
Session. I will be looking for my Amuleks and trying to lift those not
yet confident in their own abilities. I am so excited to implement
this leadership advice and see those not yet confident in their own
abilities flourish as men and women of God.

My dear humans, it has been a WHOLE YEAR since I came out on my
mission. I can not tell you how much this fact breaks my heart. I am
past the halfway point, and everyone says the second half goes way
faster. Darny darn.

This week was super good. We had lesson after lesson and event after
event. We were very very busy.   We taught Randy again but he is
having a hard time making much progress. He is far too comfortable
where he is at and we don't think he quite sees why all of this is so
important yet.

We met with Sandro again. Sandro is a veteran and has many stories. He
is always very distracted and it is hard to keep him on subject. We
love him and he wants so very badly for us to keep meeting with him so
we will keep on doing so! However, if he doesn't start keeping
commitments we may have to drop him.

We got to teach Mitchell again. This time we got into a little bit of
the deeper stuff in regards to the group. You can't dive into the deep
stuff with members of the group right off the bat, you have to wait
until they have decided to move forward. Otherwise they will feel like
you are trying to feed them "anti-group" stuff. But Mitchell is ready!
We are so proud of him.

This week we were praying to find someone in our area book named
Stephany, but the only information we had was her first and last name.
The night before we were wondering who it was and felt a distinct
prompting to look her up on Facebook. As soon as we saw a picture, I
remembered meeting her at church once when she was there with a
friend! We added her as a friend and prayed we'd be able to find her.
The next day as we were headed home from Zone Training we saw an
investigator we had been trying to contact moving into a new place. We
pulled over and offered our help which she gladly accepted, and low
and behold, her son arrives with Stephany! Crazy. Prayers are answered
so fast sometimes. We talked for a little bit and got to know her a
little better. She has a lot of friends in the church, there is a lot
of potential here.

One more thing then I gotta go, WILL AND KARA GET BAPTIZED ON THE
EIGHTH!! I'll tell you all about that next week:)

Elder Thomas

Sunny Rain
Taking pictures to announce conference
The Zone