We'll Harvest this Field from Sunrise to Sunset!

Monday, January 30, 2017

My Immune System Needs Help

Dear Family and Friends,

Monday was cookie night:) it was great fun! I absolutely love the
Boyce's, and Lori (their non-member grandma) is one of the kindest
women I have ever met in my life. They do their best to make us feel
at home, and they do pretty well.

I got sick, AGAIN. This time I think I have a cold, but my throat has
also been super sore and I have been super tired. I haven't been able
to talk very well all week, let alone sing. I hate not being able to
sing, singing makes me happy when I'm unhappy! So now I've been
listening to a lot of music.

Wednesday was the first day of transfers, and also the day after I got
sick. We didn't want me to get everyone else sick, so I got out of 10
hours of driving and instead stayed with two other elders waiting for
their companion. I unsuccessfully tried to get some sleep and then we
went and provided some service for a few hours. I mostly had to watch.

On Thursday I was doing a little better so I was able to go with Elder
Fleming and Elder Whiting to Missoula to pick up the new missionary he
is training, which is only about five hours of driving. I just slept
in the back the whole time haha.

The rest of the week was a lot of knocking doors and contacting
without much fruit, but we were happy the whole time!! Even though I
was sick and coughing. Oh well, the work goes on! I love this work.
Every time I take a step and my legs are tired or the cold air hurts
my face. Or maybe all I want to do is take a nap, I smile because I
know my Savior has felt that same pain, and he felt that pain for me,
and all the people I'm trying to find, and that's why I keep trying.
Nothing is hard compared to what he did for me. JUST KEEP GOING,
that's all that matters.

Now, a really cool change in missionary work, the missionary schedule
has changed. We will be going to MLC tomorrow, a meeting with all the
Zone Leaders, the assistants, and President Wadsworth, to discuss
exactly how our schedule will be in this mission. We have a new
preparation day schedule as well! We are super excited about this
inspired new change and what it will mean for missionary work. We have
inspired leaders. They get their direction from God, and if we follow
their counsel, we will never have to worry! I love you all dearly.
Thank you for your prayers and your well-wishing. God be with you till
we meet again!

Elder Thomas

Elder Fleming ripped open a football and put it on his head... I don't even know.
Example daily and preparation day schedules!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Faster and Faster...

Dear Family and Friends,

We got transfer news yesterday, and we're both staying!! HOW IS THIS
TRANSFER ALREADY OVER, WHAT ON EARTH??????? It kinda makes me sick how
fast time flies out here in the field. I need more time to make more
changes and become the missionary I want to be! And I'm not even close
haha, but I'll probably never be quite there, that's ok. Progress is
success, right?

We had an incredible week again, and because I never have enough time,
I will just give you all the best highlights.

First highlight was on Tuesday when we went on splits with our ward
mission leader and a ward missionary, Brother Burningham. Elder
Fleming and our ward mission leader went to contact a pair of
less-actives and Brother Burningham and I went to visit former
investigators that had just disappeared of the face of the earth. The
first house we stopped at was a family by the name of Shockley. He is
a less-active member, and she is a non-member. He wasn't home, but she
let us right in! We chatted for a bit and then we were able to share
one of my favorite Mormon Messages on my iPad, A Shower of Heavenly
Blessings. She was excited about the video and commented that the
church always has "the best videos." We emphasized that the individual
speaking in this video was an apostle of God.

After this fantastic lesson, we went to contact some former
investigators that hadn't been tried in a long time, the Hummers. When
we knocked, an elderly gentleman answered. He was kind but obviously
not interested. We thought that we were probably not going to be
allowed in but then his wife came to the top of the stairs, saw who it
was, and invited us right in! They were not too interested in hearing
about the gospel, but their eyes lit up when we talked about family
history! I was able to share my pedigree chart with them and a few
stories as well. It was a cool experience and the spirit was so

On Thursday we had our traditional "cookie night." Once a week we go
over to the Boyce's home, they are members, and have dinner and family
home evening with them. Brother and Sister Boyce are two of the
funniest people I've met. On Thursday I teased Sister Boyce about
diluting her soap (shoutout to my momma, it's like washing your hands
with water! Haha) and suddenly found myself in the middle of a
hilarious ongoing dispute between husband and wife haha. Payge is
their oldest at home right now and is always making fun of my "girly"
boots, telling me she'd wear them. Whatever. Paxton is the next oldest
and is one of my favorite people in the world. If I can ever be as
funny as him I will have made it in life. Payslee is the youngest and
always gets me laughing with her extremely random comments. Cookie
night usually happens on Mondays, but this last Monday they were
coming home from Utah after meeting our families and delivering
packages to them. It was so cool to see pictures of our families
together! Those connections are always so fun when you're on a
mission. We had a wonderful evening on Thursday filled with good food,
laughter and the spirit. I am so grateful to this family for bringing
us into their home and loving us, as I am all the wonderful people who
have loved me and been a support to me during this mission.

Another family I need to tell you all about is the Gardner family. We
live with the Gardner family and they treat us SO WELL. They make sure
we're fed, comfortable in our living quarters, and just happy in
general. Their son Eric is one of the funniest kids I have met and he
and the missionaries are always harassing each other. He makes fun of
us, we occasionally throw him in the snow or something;) it's good
fun! Brother and Sister Gardner are just fun to talk to and are so
helpful and kind. Sister Gardner isn't afraid to be motherly and have
us do chores either haha.

Anyways, I love it here. Last story, this week Elder Fleming and I
were having a nerf war with two little nerf guns his family sent him
for Christmas and one of them got me in the eye! You never think that
will do much until it happens! So at church on Sunday I had a very
poofy eye the whole day, oh well:)

I love you all!

Elder Thomas

Beautiful scene brought to you from Kalispell MT
Elder Fleming's family, the Boyce's, and my mom and sis :)
More beautiful Kalispell
The district
The zone

Monday, January 16, 2017


I got to see Elder Dabel again :)
And I got to see Elder Rich again too. It was a good day. :)
Moon was huge this week.
And Montana is still pretty!
Jumping in the snow cause we can ;)

Thought I sent this last week...

This is last week's email everyone, sorry!

Dear Family and Friends,

This week I gained a stronger testimony of fasting and prayer. It has been a difficult transition, moving from Corvallis to Kalispell. I hit a wall this week and I just felt that I was not strong enough to do all that is required of me. I felt very week and very small and almost wanted to curl up in the fetal position underneath the blankets all day. Luckily, this Sunday was fast Sunday. I started the day off with a prayer, simply asking my Heavenly Father for help. I honestly had no idea what I needed, all I knew was that I needed help and strength. Throughout the day, every talk seemed unrelated, even the talks that WE gave in church, but during every single talk I was flooded with strength, motivation and a desire to do more. It was amazing. At the end of a hard day of work, I went home and just felt the desire to clean the apartment and get back on top of things. When I went to bed last night, I felt completely satisfied. Our Heavenly Father knows us, he knows our hearts, we just got to do our best and reach out to him, and he WILL help us! He knows what is best for us, and this week I had to have a lot of patience, but He did come through. I love this gospel and this work, and I love you all very much.

Elder Thomas

P.S. We go to two wards now because of the time change. Kalispell Ward council starts at 7:30, church at 9:00, then the YSA branch council at 12:30, church at 1:30 (we both gave talks), dinner at 5:00, Mission prep at 6:00 and a little window of time for proselyting when that is done... busy day.

Monday, January 2, 2017


Dear Family and Friends,

Once again, thank you for all the love that has been sent my way these
last few weeks! You've made my holidays away from home very bright and

Last Monday we played an epic game of ultimate frisbee in snow that
came halfway up our shins. It was very cold, but so much fun! That
night we had two other elder's staying with us because we had
interviews with our mission president early the next morning and we
didn't want them having to drive while tired. One Elder came with me
and the other went with Elder we went with Elder Fleming. Elder
Whiting and I decided to do some tracting. It was a cool night because
we were having a hard time finding much success or really feeling like
we had any idea where we were supposed to be that night. After a
little prayer, we both a very distinct prompting to go to a house down
the street. As we approached the house we saw some people inside, and
then the woman came out and greeted us... she was excited to see us!
This never happens haha. She was a less-active member who has been
wanting to get back in the church. She had actually seen us at the
store earlier that day but chose not to talk to us, so God sent us to
them! Here is the cool part, they don't even live in that house, they
were just tending their grandkids at their daughters house! God always
puts us where we need to be if we're trying! We won't be the ones to
teach them because their real house isn't in our area, but it was
still cool to be an instrument in God's hands and their effort to come
back to church! Elder Fleming and Gutierrez had a great lesson with
the Barrows family that same night. We love this investigator family,
they have many trials and many challenges to overcome, but we know
they can do it! It just takes a little prayer and a little scripture
study every day.

It was a great day, everyone went to sleep and slept peacefully, till
early the next morning when Elder Fleming started throwing up. He
threw up six times that morning! We rushed through interviews with
President so we could get him home. He was sick for the rest of the
day and spent the next half of the day getting better. He had lost 10
pounds by the time he was better. We left the apartment to eat dinner
and go to missionary correlation meeting, and then my stomach started
hurting. I was awake all night throwing up. I missed my mom and dad
who were always so helpful and comforting when I was sick all night. I
slept the entire next day trying to feel better. It was rough. We
spent half the week being sick!

The next day we had a lesson with a recent convert named Tiffani.
Tiffani is an amazing missionary! Last week she had her cousin over
for the lesson and next week she plans on having her other cousin. The
gospel has touched her, and now she will help it touch those she
loves. We're excited to keep working with this amazing woman.

In the evening we had our second lesson that week with the Barrows.
The Barrows make such rapid progress when they put their minds to it!
It was such a spiritual lesson on the atonement. They have a
less-active friend staying with them right now and the spirit really
touched her heart during the lesson. That's one of the coolest things
to watch as a missionary, when the spirit touches someone's heart.

The next night was New Year's Eve! So we went to a member's house with
a bunch of other members and played walleyball in their racquetball
court all night! It was SO much fun.

That last lesson this week was with a less-active family, the Davis'
They always expect missionaries to eat tons of food, and I ate WAY too
much. I was in pain for the whole lesson. The issue is that the last
missionary to serve here left quite a reputation of eating a TON of
food and my belly just ISN'T big enough to live up to that. Goodness.
The lesson was super cool because they are coming to church more and
now they're trying to get their less-active parents, who were
visiting, to come back. It was an amazing lesson and our personal
stories and scriptures were helpful in resolving their concerns, they
have now decided to go back to church next week! I do want to talk
about their concern for a second though. It is hard for them to want
to go to church because the people in their ward are mean and separate
into cliques. Don't be mean! Look outside yourself and pick up the
hanging hands. Don't let your ward have the reputation of being
unaccepting, let's leave that in high school. Anyways, that's my rant!

I love you all very much!

Elder Thomas

Walleyball on New Years!
Forgot to mention this, we helped some members with demolition on 
their remodel, this is some of the wood paneling burning.
A beautiful morning.
Elder Fleming put us in a ditch... we got towed out though!