We'll Harvest this Field from Sunrise to Sunset!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Picturing the Atoning Sacrifice of Jesus Christ

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was busy, but busy is good. To start off though, transfer
news. Elder Chamberlain and I are both staying, but he goes home in
the middle of this transfer so we are getting a third companion, and
it's going to be AWESOME! Our third companion will be ELDER CAMERON
EMMS! He and I have served around each other already, so we're both
pretty stoked to be companions! Anyway, we are going to be the best
trio EVER.

We met with Aaron again and tried to keep him focused on prophets and
stuff, and he actually did pretty good this week! The spirit has
impressed us not to drop him yet, if ever, so we are excited to see
what else the Lord has in store for him! Missionary work is like an
awesome mystery novel.

Tuesday was INDEPENDENCE DAY!! It was so much fun. We had some boring
administrative stuff during the morning, but that afternoon we were
able to find one of our favorite investigators at home, Pete! Pete is
probably the kindest man I have ever met. He always compliments our
ties and anything else we wear or do. I just love kind people. We had
a wonderful conversation with him about books and literature and
worked in the Book of Mormon haha.

Later that evening we went to a big dinner... party... thing at the
Spears home, and there were a lot of people. The food was good, the
people were awesome, the fireworks were... eventful. Highlights of the
evening were the food, the spiritual conversations with some REALLY
cool people (one guy even knew what the observation effect experiment
was!! I thought I was the only one. Nobody knew what we were talking
about haha.) Other highlights included getting our spiritual thought about
freedom and the Book of Mormon livestreamed on to instagram by Sister
Angel, and the big aerial fireworks, especially when one of them tipped
over and shot at us and scared everyone half to death, but no one was hurt,
thank goodness. 😂 We were allowed to be out till 10:30 that night, and let
me tell ya, we were TIRED the next day.

Wednesday a car kinda ran into the mission home... an elderly lady was
pulling out of a neighborhood across the street from the mission home
when she had a heart attack. Miracle #1: the poor woman drove across
the mission home lawn and barely missed a flag pole on one side and a
tree on the other, about as far apart as a parking space. She then
went up on a rock in the flower bed and the front of the vehicle
entered the mission home, without the airbags even going off. Miracle
#2: the doctors told her husband, who stopped by the mission home a
little later, that the jolt of going over the curb and the rock
apparently started her heart again. Miracle #3: Nobody was hurt at
all. Not even a scratch.

Thursday morning there was apparently an earthquake in Montana. We did
not feel it because it was 12:30 AM and I was as asleep as I'm sure I
could be. Kinda crazy though. It was a 5 point something. After the
disastrous earthquake we ran to West Highschool and set up tons of
chairs for something called relay for life (a cancer awareness
run/festival/dinner thing that we volunteered for). It was hot and we
worked hard. If you want chairs set up, just call the Mormons. We have
practice. After that we had an excellent spirit led district meeting.
It was lovely. The rest of Thursday was just as busy. We had some
administrative stuff to do, had to drive some missionaries around, and
finally got to do the studies we missed out on that morning. We had
dinner with Bishop Hall. That guy is hilarious. Bishops are just
always funny, is that a requirement or something? After dinner we did
Bishopric splits. I had to run down to Laurel and do a district
meeting, so one member came with me and bishop went with Elder
Chamberlain to work in our area. Splits are so nice.

On Friday we finally got some Weekly Planning done since we couldn't
do it on Thursday. After weekly planning we did some more service for
the relay for life, directing traffic in 100 degrees... it was great,
and sweaty, but mostly great. We then had to run to dinner, and then
back to help the relay for life to take down 200 large wooden tables,
and about 3200 chairs. It was so much fun to just work my head off.
They really appreciated our help and gave us t-shirts and four giant
boxes of girl scout cookies with about 20 little boxes in each box. So,
lots of girl scout cookies.

Saturday evening we got to have a dinner lesson with the Anthony's! We
had some great food and a very spiritual lesson, but these dear people
really need prayers right now. They aren't quite yet seeing why it
would be important for them to look into actually joining the church.
Pray that they will have revelatory experiences, and that we will know
how to help them better.

Sunday was perfect. We had the lesson in Gospel Principles thrown on
by us last minute and had to teach by the spirit, and boy were we
blessed. The participation was spectacular, the spirit was almost
tangible, and the insights were glorious. What a fun meeting that was
for us. We spent the rest of the day with lunch, studies (because we
don't get to do them in the morning with 8:30 church), and finding
till we had to head off to dinner with the Jorden family. Now a little
back story with the Jordens, their daughter, Emilee (hope I spelled that
right!) married my cousin David Barry! So they are pretty much family
and it was an absolute BLAST having dinner with them last night. They
are now some of my favorite in the entire world. Sister Peterson,
their neighbor, was there and she is an absolute riot as well! After
that amazing dinner and conversation, we ran off to Sister Beadling's
and had a fun lesson with her. It was such a great day!

Yesterday as we taught Gospel Principles, the spirit impressed us to
give the class members an experience that would touch their hearts. We
invited them to do their best to picture the Savior, having finished
eating and singing with the apostles, walking to the Garden of
Gethsemane, the realization of the responsibility resting on His
shoulders. We had them visualize Him kneeling on the hard ground and
asking his Father in Heaven if this cup might pass from Him. They
imagined in their minds watching as their dear, loving brother bled
and suffered for them, for sins he had never committed, and they felt
their hearts cry out, "no! He didn't do it. It wasn't Him! It was
me..." But it had to be so, Christ had to suffer for our sins. We knew
that, and we knew that He knew that, and the spirit testified to us of
that. My invitation to each of you today is to picture the atonement.
Try to put yourself in His shoes. Imagine how hard it would have been
to watch. Realize what this means for you, and what He means to you.
Realize what you mean to him. Make it real, picture the atoning
sacrifice of Christ.

I love you all!

Elder Thomas

We made matching ties for Fourth of July!
My Fourth of July picture
The car that hit the mission home 
Been pretty hot but not too bad!
the district

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