We'll Harvest this Field from Sunrise to Sunset!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Change of Scenery


On Monday we went golfing, and I did TERRIBLE. Dad, we've got some
work to do. It was also super expensive because the members we went
with didn't pay for us haha. But, it was good to just have a relaxing
day out on the golf course!

That night for cookie night we were a little short on time so we just
played what is called "The Gospel Game." In the gospel game, everyone
writes a random object on a piece of paper and then we mix up the
papers and each person has to relate what is on their paper to the
gospel. Playing with the Boyce's was the hardest one I've ever done
because they did a bunch objects that were SUPER hard to relate to the
gospel, like bird poop, a septic tank lid and a hole in a screen. But
everyone did very well, Lori, our investigator, even had to help me
out on mine haha.

On Tuesday I finally stopped letting the water boil over every single
time we make pasta haha. Very much a good thing! It was also a super
nice day so we walked about five miles just talking to everyone and
knocking on doors when we felt prompted. I love summer in Montana
because people finally stop hiding in their homes and we can talk to

We also found some members out working on their yard so we went and
helped. I LOVE yard work. I swear it's been years since I got to mow a
lawn!! And my clumsy self boy knocked over one of their picnic tables
during the whole process, so it was a success... it's a long story...

Wednesday we got to go on splits with some ward missionaries. I got to
go with Brother Wehrli and see the Roots for the last time. Not sure
I've talked about the Roots before, but the Roots are a recent convert
Family we've visited off and on and I love them to death! Their kids
Callie and Johnny are some of my best friends in the world (3 & 7 yrs.
old haha).

Got to give a blessing to a sister in the ward that is trying to make
some hard decisions. I LOVE blessings because when you are giving the
blessing, the spirit just fills your mouth. When you are not the voice
for the blessing, you pray for the one that is giving the blessing the
whole time, praying that the spirit will fill their mouth. No matter
who you are in a blessing, you have a responsibility to be acting on.

Mucked out a barn for a nonmember lady and it was awesome. This may be
weird, but I love the stinky, sweaty, dirty farm work that I get to do
in Montana. It just makes my day every time. It was cool to do this
for our librarian friend because we got to teach her the whole time we
were doing it! Sneaky Mormons, eh?

Had our last lesson with Amanda before her baptism on Saturday! She is
SO prepared, and we are so proud of her. We went through the Ten
Commandments using the sign language of the Ten Commandments, and it
was hilarious. I love this way to remember the Ten Commandments, I
could never remember the order before!

The next morning, Amanda had her interview for baptism and passed
without any problem! She's basically already Mormon, we don't know how
but she just knows all the answers to all our questions already! She
answers the questions in gospel principles more correctly than half the
members! We are so lucky to have taught her.

On Friday we had 3 lessons in a row, and NO ONE CANCELLED!! It was a
miracle. That honestly never happens! They were all spirit filled and
Elder Christensen and I just taught so comfortably together. He is
such a good man and I am very grateful to have been his companion for
this long.

That night, the Raish family took us out for dinner at this super good
pizza place. It was a blast, and we sure love the Raish family!
Brother and Sister Raish have taught me SO MUCH about charity and
love, I love spending time with them because they are so good and kind
to us. Their son Noah is one of the best kids I have ever met and is
now serving a mission. I miss him and his example, but I know he is
doing the Lord's work. Brother Raish also gave me some awesome ideas
for helping wth my asthma (he's a naturopathic doctor). I'm going to
miss this family.

Saturday morning was service at the Stuart's! We just pulled some
weeds and talked, one little kid backhanded me with the cast on his
broken arm (don't think he realized how much that would hurt),
and we awkwardly watched a kid being disciplined for hitting... haha just a
regular day haha! We have learned quite a bit from them, they are
wonderful examples.

That night we taught Autumn and focused mostly on repentance. It was a
good lesson, and we offered a million prayers of gratitude to our
Heavenly Father for Autumn's fellowshipper, Allie, because there are
so many little questions she asks her throughout the week that are
resolved before we even get to the lesson!

After the lesson we had another awesome game night with the YSA.
Autumn had a blast! We love how the YSA has adopted her into the ward
and it gives us confidence that she will continue to pursue the

Sunday was pretty great. During third hour in the YSA we walked in to
priesthood and found out here was no teacher, so naturally the
responsibility fell on the elders... naturally. Well right then the
phone started ringing with transfer calls so he stepped out and it was
just me! Haha. The lesson was awesome though because of the incredible
participation! So grateful for that.

Transfer calls were interesting. I am getting transferred, which is
rough because I LOVE this area and my companion! I'm headed to
Billings to be a Zone Leader down there with Elder Chamberlain! It's
going to be awesome to be in Billings by the mission home, and pretty
close to Red Lodge and Columbus, my past area. Elder Chamberlain is a
really great guy, I can't wait to serve with him. A little nervous,
but trusting in the Lord!

Love you all!

Elder Thomas

"Spring has brought me such a nice surprise..."
District pictures
Zone picture
Making sure the pot doesn't boil over.
Amanda's interview! I'm the one glowing in the back.
Fell asleep getting a ride to church haha

Monday, May 22, 2017

"Heavenly Father... what do you think about?"

My Dearest Family and Friends,

Hola, y'all.

This week has been crazy! I am honestly a little more insane now than
I was last week, and that's saying something. Monday was the best as
usual, it was nice to have some relaxation time and not really do
anything crazy for preparation day. This week we're going to go
golfing with Eric Gardner (The Gardner's are the family we live with)
and Paxton Boyce (The family we do cookie night with)! It's going to
be sweet!

Tuesday was where all the craziness started. We had to drop off our
truck for an oil change that morning and then we walked five miles
back to the apartment. As we were walking up the Gardners long
driveway, Justin Gardner pulled up and asked if we needed a ride haha.
Good timing, right? Justin is the Gardners oldest son who came back
from college to visit for a week. I've been staying at the Gardners
for 6 months and never met him, so it was good to finally meet him
this week. It sufficeth me to stay that he is quite awesome. Justin
offered us a ride to go get our truck when we needed to, and invited
us to go to lunch with him and our bishop. Lunch was AMAZING. You
might be wondering why am wasting your time talking about a random
lunch, but people, I ordered a chicken teriyaki sandwich and it had
glazed pineapple on it!!! It was SO GOOD. I don't know why that blew
my mind and my tastebuds, but it just did.

ANYways, after lunch we were able to get our truck back and go get
ready to be gone all week! We left at about 6 that night and arrived
at the home we were staying at around 10 because we had to deliver all
the other missionaries to the members they were staying with. We
stayed up late that night because we were supposed to read the whole
missionary handbook by the next day and we hadn't had time, so we read
the whole thing again and underlined all the alwayses and nevers till
midnight. I was dead tired. The next morning we had our first meeting
with Elder Dyches and the top half of the mission. It was SO GOOD. I
absolutely love hearing direction from apostles of the Lord,
especially when it's in small little groups like this because it is
unscripted and they go completely by the spirit. You can FEEL the
spirit filling their mouths as they speak and it's like their words
instantly touch your heart.

One of the things that hit me the hardest from our first meeting with
Elder Dyches was the idea that we need to recite the things we
memorize and share with investigators a lot slower. We shouldn't rush
through the words in an attempt to get through everything and say it
right. We should say it slowly so that they can really feel the spirit
and not be so focused on trying to catch all the words you're saying.
If we do that, the spirit will bring all things to our remembrance and
we will be able to recite it well. It requires a little more trust and
a little more patience but it ought to really help us out.  There were
a million other things that I learned and loved, but there is not
enough time to share all of them.

After that meeting, the rest of our zone headed back to Kalispell and
we began our lonely trek to Billings. MY luggage was absolutely soaked
because of the rain so we had to throw some garbage bags over it. The
roads on the way to Billings were AWFUL haha. We drove through a
blizzard. WHAT?? It's may. YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO HAVE
BLIZZARDS IN MAY. Anyways, we made it safely to billings around
10:00, threw my stuff in the dryer at the assistants apartment and zonked.

The next day we had our second meeting with Elder Dyches and the
bottom half of the mission. This meeting was equally awesome and there
were a lot of new insights I received. One of the biggest during this
meeting was the comparing of mentoring and training. We want to make
certain that we are not just training them but mentoring them. Working
with them, leading by example, loving them! He also taught us that "It
is much easier to be critical than correct." I love that quote, it
makes you think twice.

After that meeting with Elder Dyches, all the Zone Leaders and Sister
Training Leaders had the incredible opportunity to go to the temple!
It was so nice to go after not being able to for a whole year!! As I
prayed in the temple, I felt like I was having a conversation with my
Heavenly Father, as I always do when I'm in the temple. I thought of a
quote Elder Dyches had shared from Albert Einstein: Somebody asked him
what he would ask God if he could ask him anything, and Albert
Einstein expressed that he would ask him what he thinks about. I was
pondering on that in the temple when I realized, "here I am talking to
God, wondering how he could answer this question I have. I could
simply ask him right now!" And so I asked, Heavenly Father... What do
you think about? Before I could really finish the question I heard the
clear and beautiful answer, "YOU."

If I could share only one thing with everyone I love, I would have
them know this, that God spends His time thinking about you, about me,
about everyone on this earth. We are His children, His pride and joy!
His work and His glory is to bring about our immortality and our
eternal life with Him and our families. That is what God wants for us.
I love this understanding I have gained.

I don't have much time, but MLC the next morning was awesome. We
learned a great deal and got pumped to go teach and lead. After MLC we
headed back toward Bozeman to stay the night. In Bozeman we stayed
with Elder's Pett and Baum. Elder Pett trained Elder Christensen at
the beginning of his mission, so their reunion was adorable. They ran
off to Belgrade Montana to see some of their Converts and Elder Baum
and I stayed and did work in Bozeman. We didn't see the other two till
later that night... and no one stopped talking till even later haha.

The next morning we drove the last 5-6 hours home after our morning
routine. I didn't eat dinner, I just went right to sleep, and woke up
after dinner to go contact some of our investigators. We were lucky
enough to find Mike Roberts at home! I was dead tired the whole
lesson, but it was good.

Sunday was ELDER CHRISTENSEN'S BIRTHDAY!! I was able to secure him a
Pita Pit gift card because he is absolutely obsessed with that place
haha. It was a super good day, full of singing the happy birthday song
to embarrass him, good food, gifts, and tracting!! haha

Anyways, I love you all:)

Elder Thomas

My trainees :) :)
MTC companions!
Elder Rich and Elder Porter - best Zone Leaders ever
Some of the temple crew
Bozeman sunset 👌
Eric and Paxton haha
It's finally spring in Kalispell!
One more sunset. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

E.T. Phone Home...

Hello Peoples,

Last week we went to Glacier again!! It was AMAZING. From pictures and
stories of others I know that it will only be prettier when the rest
of the park opens up, but for now we have been enjoying the hikes we
have access to.

That night we got to go to the Boyce's for cookie night, which is
always such a relief after a crazy Preparation Day. The lesson was on
the Book of Mormon and we were pretty proud missionaries because the
whole family, including Lori, kept their commitment to pray about
Joseph Smith and also committed to read the Book of Mormon. After the
lesson we had an activity and a treat. It was one of the funniest
nights of my life!

Tuesday was pretty cool because we got to have dinner with a
less-active/part-member family. The sister who is a member hasn't come
to church very much since she was baptized. She has a testimony but
loves to pursue the deep doctrine. Her husband is non-member and has
refused to be present whenever we have taught her, but this week he
came to dinner at Hu-Hot with us on the condition that we don't talk
about church stuff, and it was the best! He is an incredibly
intelligent man and he gave us some incredibly good advice on career
and success. He even revered the church and it's missionary program
for raising successful kids. This was a huge step in his progress.
Afterward they took us out to an ice cream place called Sweet Peaks,
and it was SO GOOD. There is honestly no better ice cream in the

After dinner we ran off to institute and had the most awkward
institute lesson EVER. It was us and two other YSA members and the
awkward silences were killer. However it was a good lesson and I got a
lot out of it so it was a success.

We got to teach Barb that night and we both agree that lessons with
her and her parents are some of our favorite on our mission. The
spirit is always so strong in that home. Brother and Sister Denna have
beautiful testimonies that just touch your heart.

Wednesday started off with a district meeting, which went very well
due to our amazing District Leader, Elder Emms. After District meeting
I went to Columbia falls with Elder Emms and Elder Wadsworth took my
place in Kalispell. I spent quite a bit of my time on that exchange
consoling  everyone and informing them that Elder Wadsworth hadn't
been transferred and he would be back haha. They sure love him there.
It was a wonderful exchange and we did a lot of biking, service and
teaching. On Wednesday we provided service at a thrift shop and they
gave me free new running shoes because I became friends with all the
old ladies haha. On Thursday we were on bikes the whole day, and I
mean the whole day. It was so much fun and it felt really really good.
Most missionaries don't like bikes because it messes up their hair. I
mean, how wimpy can you get?? Really. One of the highlights of the
trip was getting to sit by a lake and answer some questions that a
member had. I know God planned this exchange to happen because some of
his specific experiences were the same as experiences I had struggled
with and I was able to offer some insight that helped him out. It was
one of the more special moments of my mission.

Anyways, Friday morning I got to come back to my area, which is nice
because I hate leaving my area, but the exchange was very good for me.
We did a little weekly planning and then went tracting! There is a
little golden neighborhood in our area that is absolutely full of
prepared people, and as we tracted there on Friday a young father
answered the door and invited us right in to see the giant Hot Wheels
track he and his kids had made! He was so genuinely kind and friendly
and we were a little shocked to be invited in right away like that.
The track was very impressive, about ten feet tall and fifteen feet
long, and the kids were adorable! We were limited in time, but we did
share about the Book of Mormon a little bit and invited him to read it
and pray about it. He agreed to read it and took the Book of Mormon
gladly, inviting us back at the same time. Wow, God is so good to us.

That night we had a YSA game night, and Autumn and a less-active both
showed up! The work in the YSA branch is really progressing.

Saturday was insane because the state rugby tournament was being held
in Kalispell. Both Boyce kids, Payge and Paxton were in the rugby
tournament so we went to support them and to be seen and have the
opportunity to talk to people. It was awesome! Rugby is an incredible
sport and the Boyce kids are very talented. I always wanted to play
Rugby so it was cool to watch. Both men and women teams in Kalispell
took state! We also got to talk to a LOT of people and the exposure
was super good for us. One of my favorite moments of the day was when
some awesome members, the Duce's from Hamilton Montana gave us some
donuts and we gave the last to a bunch of random teenagers haha. I
love little things like that. The other highlight of the whole day was
seeing the Reynoso's, the Humphrey's, and the Lotts form the Corvallis
ward! I love these people, they are basically family. Especially the

That night we had a lesson with the Karrs and I didn't really say
anything the whole time, but Elder Christensen was just teaching by
the spirit and expounding doctrine. It was awesome. I have the coolest
companion EVER.

Sunday was MOTHERS DAY!!! It was super hard to focus during our 8
hours of church meeting because I was just excited to talk to my
MOMMA! But right after dinner we ran and delivered flowers to all the
missionary moms to thank them for their sacrifice. It was one of the
more special moments of my mission, getting to see these wonderful
moms who willingly let their son go for two years on the day they got
to talk to their sons.

But after that, I got to see my OWN MOM!!! And nothing is better than
that. I can not express how nice it is to talk to people that know me
and my story, that love me despite my faults, and really, truly,
completely care about me. I love that and that's part what makes
talking to family so much fun! I love my mom, I am INCREDIBLY grateful
she brought me into this world, raised me, loved me every second of
it... I love my Mom with all my heart.

Other good news: Amanda has decided on a date for baptism! She will be
baptized on June 3 and we are SO happy for her!!

Love you all!

Elder Thomas


Monday, May 8, 2017

"Heavenly Father, If I take care of Your work, will You take care of mine?"

My Dear Family and Friends,

In the subject line of this email I quoted a little prayer that I offered this fast Sunday. I was considering the mountainous task that awaits me upon my return home, of going to college, establishing a career, and getting married. As I pondered on these things and prayed for peace, I asked the question, "Heavenly Father, If I take care of Your work, will You take care of mine?" The answer came immediately and as clear as could be, "Yes!" So my testimony this week is that we need to lose ourselves in the service of God, and the other things will fall into place! I will serve with all I am for the remainder of my mission because I know my Heavenly Father will be there to help me with the rest!

For preparation day this Monday we got to go to Glacier national park! Only the lower parts of the park are open at this time, but it was still a blast. And we're actually going up again today too... haha.

That night we got to go to the Boyce's for cookie night! I absolutely love cookie night, it is truly the best thing. We had a great dinner, as always, and then we did family night with them. This lesson was particularly exciting because we showed the new first vision video that the church has put out and we talked about why it was so important. Lori is just a spiritual giant, and though she might not be totally ready right now, we are quite sure she will be some day:)

We got to have a lesson with our investigator named Noelle this week! Noelle is a wonderful woman and she has not had it easy in life, but she just keeps trying. She had a recent tragedy in her family so we gave her a little time and this last week we started meeting with her again! We just taught about the Book of Moromon and it's impact on each of us. Our goal is always to help investigators understand that reading the Book of Mormon literally CHANGES you. Now that is exciting. Noelle took the commitment to start reading every day!

Tuesday was institute with the YSA branch. We met a little early because Allie (Autumns fellowshipper) had bought us sandwiches at Great Harvest and Autumn had a few questions about priesthood blessings. We ended up bringing the most awkward human in the branch with us to that lesson and he just sat on his phone the whole time haha, but the lesson was awesome! They have also stopped teaching institute lessons at institute and are now teaching out of Gospel Principles for Autumn! I love this little branch, they are literally dropping everything to help our investigator out! I trust them quite a bit.

Wednesday was kinda crazy. We had a great district meeting because our District Leader Elder Emms is killing it and the spirit was so strong. After district meeting we all went to Hu Hot, hopping that someone would pay for us and ate way to much. No one payed for us, but the food was super good! Right after lunch we went and helped a referral of ours move into his new house. He's a really cool guy but he didn't have much of a desire to meet with us yet. Some day haha.

That night we had splits and we were able to contact a recent convert that we've been concerned about because her boss hasn't been letting her take Sunday's off! Just rude. But it turns out we don't have to be that concerned after all! She's been studying out of the scriptures and the gospel principles the whole time she hasn't been able to come, AND she's gonna quit:) God will take care of her for her faith.

The next day was weekly planning, which was a little rough, BUT, around 4:00 we went and got Sushi with Mike Roberts! I have never had sushi before, and it was GOOD. Which is not good because it's also very expensive. The best by far was the unagi (barbecue eel) but the salmon was pretty awesome too. And then we went to dinner with some members haha. Yay for two dinners!

We taught Amanda that same day, and it was AWESOME. Just so you all know how cool she is, we assigned her to read a chapter, and she has already read ALL OF FIRST NEPHI IN A WEEK!!! What??? We were shocked. Anyways, we taught the Plan of Salvation and she listened so well and participated a ton. How are we so lucky to get to teach this awesome woman??

We had a cool Cinco de Mayo dinner over at the Barney's house. The food was SO good. Elder Christensen and I were put in charge of filling the piñata and we kinda ended up breaking the poor donkeys neck... so we made it a neck brace out of tape. Needless to say, the piñata was kinda decapitated when it finally broke haha. There was also a husky/timber-wolf puppy and I was in love.

We provided some service on Saturday... which happened to be shoveling horse poop out of the back of a truck... and I was wearing shorts... and running shoes. It was a little gross. I definitely showered after that:)

On Saturday we had dinner with a YSA member, Grant. Grant is like our best friend and he took us to APPLEBEES!!! Like, what?? It was awesome. I got the bourbon street chicken and shrimp. It was amazing, go get it.

We had an awesome lesson with Autumn after dinner. It was the full restoration lesson and it just felt good to give her a solid testimony to start building her testimony on. The most essential part of all of his is definitely Autumns fellowshipper. Allie is so good for her. After every lesson they stay after and talk for a while. Allie is also a convert so it's easy for her to see where autumn is coming from.

After the lesson we had a game night which was the highest attended we have had for a while, and Autumn came and had a great time! I love seeing a ward or branch just adopt an investigator into the ward or branch family! This is the stuff of eternity. I'm getting little glimpses of Christlike love every day, and I love it.

I love you all!

Elder Thomas

Monday, May 1, 2017



Well, family and friends, this week was one of the greatest weeks ever. It really was.

First of all, I have the greatest companion ever. He is so hilarious and we have been laughing all week. He's also one of the weirdest people I  have ever met haha, but I'm pretty sure that's a mutual feeling. (He wanted me to say that he was one of the "weirdest majestic beasts" I have ever met haha)

 Last Monday we did just about nothing all day... It was really quite boring... But then we had cookie night which made the day a little better! We had to head out around 8:00 so that we could start our journey to MLC. We drove 2 hours down to Missoula that night and stayed with the Missoula Zone Leaders. Last time we went to MLC I had to wake up at 3AM, leave at 4AM and drive for 2 hours until 6AM to get to Missoula to carpool with the other elders and get to Helena by 8AM. So, driving down the night before definitely seemed like the better option to me! However, the morning was a little rough. Probably the most embarrassing part was that I forgot a belt so I had to go without a belt all day! It felt really weird.

MLC was super good! I really don't have time to try and convey all the incredible things I learned and awesome things we discussed, but I do want to mention how nice it is to go to meetings like this and receive some direction on how to face challenges and issues that may come up.

But because I have no time today I will hurry mention a couple highlights, and then we've got to run to Glacier National Park!! This week we got to teach Amanda, Brother Wehrli's soon to be daughter-in-law for the first time, and we committed her to baptism! She is so solid and we are so lucky to be teaching her. When we started she pulled out a notebook and said, "this is my book of questions! If I'm writing in it during the lesson, don't worry I'm listening, but I'm taking notes." What?? Coolest investigator ever.

We also made contact with Noelle, who has been kinda down and out after a tragedy in her family. She has two little puppies that she let us play with as well, so that was amazing! She is ready to start making some real progress again and try to work toward baptism. We are very proud of her for being so incredibly strong.

The other really cool thing about this week is that we had a less-active family, the Karr's show up at church as well as another less-active named Stephanie! It was awesome.

Elder Thomas

Elder Palmer, the one who replaced me in Corvallis :)
Elder Bozue. I just like this guy.
Got to play ukulele for a bit :)