We'll Harvest this Field from Sunrise to Sunset!

Monday, September 18, 2017

All is done in God's time.

Hallo!

This week did not turn out how we planned it at all, but it turned out
the way God planned it, and that's what matters!

Montana has been blessed with rain!! Tons and tons of rain. Also, from
Monday to Wednesday, the temperature dropped almost 55 degrees! In
some parts of Montana, it's been snowing. The weather this week has
certainly been weird. This is all an incredible miracle because it has
cleaned the air of smoke and aided, if not completely, in putting out
all the fires! Always pray for those things that you are in need of.
Heavenly Father desires to bless you!

Started exchanges with the Pioneer Park elders after preparation day
on Monday and went until Wednesday morning, (totally random thought;
why is Wednesday spelled that way??? Why not Wensday?? Every time I
write this day, I have to think in my head... wed-ness-day... ???)

Lately, our approach to teaching Pete has been to conduct frequent,
short visits encouraging him to read the Book of Mormon! So, we
started off the week with a short lesson at Pete's. We promised him
that if he would do the Lord's work first, like reading the Book of
Mormon, praying, and going to church, everything else would fall into
place! Did I mention he gives us a big Gatorade and king size Reese's
every time we go over there? This guy is so Christlike, I mean, it's
hard to get much better than that. (Another random rant; it's REESE's
not REESIE's... just sayin'...)

Had the GREATEST lesson with Sister O'Conner this week! We reviewed
the restoration story and the need for the restoration, and let me
tell ya, THE SPIRIT WAS SO STRONG!! The gospel is true, this story is
true! Read the Book of Mormon. IT'S ALL TRUE AND I LOVE IT!!

We had an open window of time so we did the most logical thing... and
made cookies! Pro Tip: Every once in a while you just gotta make
cookies for all the people you're teaching. If the cookies are good
enough, they might think you're sister missionaries and actually
listen to what you teach haha.

Then we got to see Halee Brubaker! Halee was an investigator of ours
in Columbus. And she was a vey dear friend. Well this week she shot me
a Facebook message and let me know that she was in the Billings
hospital because the smoke was affecting her. So Elder Wheeler and I
got to go visit her and bring her cookies! It was so good to see her
again after such a long time, reunions with old friends are the best:)

That night Mari and Yessi fed us and Sister Gray from the ward, some
of the best Mexican food I've ever had in my life and we briefly
discussed the gospel of Jesus Christ... then they helped us change the
flat tire we gained on the way over because someone stuck a razor
blade in it... strange. Mari almost knew more about changing tires
than we did, which was humbling, but hey just read Ether 12:27.

Wednesday was weekly planning and temporary exchanges with the
Sweetgrass Elders because they had too many appointments. Exchanges
were... interesting haha. I got to be with my MTC companion and dear
friend, Elder Parrish! Elder Parrish and I ran off to teach a lesson
in Czech, while Elder Emms and Elder Black went and taught Spanish.
Anyone notice the problem yet? Yeah I don't speak Czech, and neither
does Elder Parrish... well, we tried to use Google Translate the whole
time and it worked alright, and we think she got it because she said
"good" a lot... haha it was very unique. One thing we can know, the
spirit was there.

We taught Shaylee Leavitt again this week and she has set a Baptismal
date for the 14th of October! Brother Leavitt knows his kids so well,
and it is a joy to see him bear his testimony to his kids. I hope to
be able to know and teach my kids as well as he has.

I got to see Ron Venema this week! Ron is a very good friend of mine
from Corvallis, and he's kind of the coolest!

2nd lesson of the week with Pete was fantastic, we just told him our
favorite stories from the Book of Mormon, and now he is all excited to
read it!! We love him.

Had our 2nd meeting with Mari and Yessi, and Elder Emms was back for
this one! The lesson was on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and let me
tell yah, Yessi is so prepared. She is ready! She actively
participates, learns from the spirit and scriptures, makes
commitments, keeps those commitments... she is truly one of the elect!
The lesson went well, and they really clicked with Sister DeLapp, the
member we brought with us. She decided to set a goal to be baptized by
October 7th and told us she would pray to know that was the right day.
Quote of the night:
Yessi's Friend: "Basically your brain never stops."
Yessi: "Neither does my mouth!!"

Had a day of service Saturday morning! Our project cancelled, but we
did our best to serve anyways. If you haven't yet used the JustServe
app or gone to JustServe.org, do it! That is what they are using in
Texas, and all of us need to be aware of how this program works!

Elder Jon Christensen left us to go be normal this week. Elder Parrish
and I were both companions with him so we went and got to spend one
last lunch with him eating his favorite pita from pita pit. It was
nice, I'm going to miss him a ton, and his weekly emails, that little
goober. He served well and made us all proud.

Dinner Saturday night was awesome! We had dinner with the family whose
dog bit Elder Emms, and the dog was so nice! It just played catch with
me the whole time... I was still super scared of it though. The wife
in the family is a member but has never been active and she always had
the best questions! The spirit led the whole dinner lesson, and we
were able to answer every question to her understanding! She was led
to say, "I never heard it that way before. I like it!"

On Sunday Yessi and Mari came to church:) they loved church as usual,
but the unique event occurred as Yessi left the building that day. She
received an answer from the spirit as to when she would like to be
baptized! We got a text shortly after they left that she wanted to get
baptized on... THE 24TH!!! We are SO EXCITED!!! So, you'll be hearing
more about that next week!

Carlos was not home when we tried him Sunday evening, as we were
informed by his kids when we arrived. However, we did see his dogs
down by the river on our way up and we asked his kids if they were
supposed to be down there. Their kids seemed a little worried and
mentioned that they normally don't go that far! So, we said a prayer
and spent the next hour or so trying to find the dogs. We could not
find them anywhere, but we did talk to all the neighbors down there
and gave them Mormon.org cards with our number on it in case they
found something. These are all people we would have never talked to
otherwise, so that made us very happy. After all our efforts it was
dark and we had not found the dogs so we headed back to the house. As
we turned onto their long driveway, there they were!! Just chilling at
the end of the driveway haha. So I hopped out and walked the dogs back
into the gate. They came out and treated us like heroes despite our
protests and attempts to explain that they were just at the end of the
driveway haha. It was a crazy night to end a crazy week!

Next week I will be sending my last weekly email. Though I love you
all very much, I will probably not be sending personal emails next
week. I'll probably just spend my last Preparation day relaxing and
playing sports! I'll see y'all soon!

Read Alma 31:5 this week. This is what the world needs:)

Love,
Elder Thomas

This is Elder Muhlestein, he comes home with me. He's also a genius
This is Halee! She is getting a lot better. In the meantime, 
she can read the Book of Mormon, right??
Tire probs...
Same old picture with the same old district :)
Just Serve! We woke up early for this, can ya tell?
Our view while looking for those darn dogs... haha


Monday, September 11, 2017

Smoke's Bad, But God is Good

HALLO FAMILY!

This week was FANTASTIC. Lemme tell you about it.

The smoke is still bad here, but it's much worse other places in
Montana, so we still consider ourselves lucky.

Our Heavenly Father has seen fit to bless us and our investigators
this week, and it has made us very happy!

A long time ago, I wrote home about teaching a large group lesson to
multiple nonmembers with Elder Chamberlain. I do not expect you all to
remember, but it was a wonderful lesson! We committed everyone there
to be baptized. Present at the lesson was the King family. However,
the King family lived in the Billings East zone. Well this week we got
a call letting us know that they were getting baptized, and we were
invited to do a musical number at it. It was so cool to see this
family again. We got to teach them right at the beginning of their
journey to conversion and right at the end. The Elders there are
FANTASTIC and did so incredibly well teaching them. It all went
well... except when I forgot the words for a second haha, but the other
elder helped me recover real fast.

This week we had exchanges with the Laurel elders, and it was great! I
got to go to Laurel with Elder Muhlestein, and Elder Muhlestein's
trainee, Elder Jenkins, came to Blue Creek with Elder Emms. We all saw
a lot of miracles and success. I thank my Heavenly Father for
exchanges and the amazing miracles that are always seen during those.
Elder Emms and Elder Jenkins did GREAT work here in Blue Creek!

When we taught Pete this week, we spent pretty much the whole time
breaking down walls that are keeping him from progressing. We feel
strongly that his next step is to read the Book of Mormon! Anybody who
reads and prays about the Book of Mormon sincerely will gain a
testimony of its truthfulness! He has accepted the challenge and told
us he will read the Book of Mormon!

Our lesson with Mari and Yessi this week was so good! Sister Isakson,
a convert from the ward, came with us and it was so good to have her
there! Sister Isakson's testimony is so powerful. She testified of the
truthfulness of the gospel and invited Yessi not to hesitate, but to
accept the invitation to act and learn for herself. One of our
biggest encouragements for Yessi right now is to choose a day to be
baptized. It's not about the day she chooses, but about setting a goal
and trying to reach it. Yessi and Mari are amazing! They came to
church for the second time on Sunday and loved it!

We visited Pete the next day too, just to remind him to read the Book
of Mormon haha. He laughed and gave us candy (per usual. He won't let
us leave until we take some:).

This week, Sister Beadling's oven broke and she was in need of a new
one, so she asked us if we could keep an eye out for one. We posted on
the Facebook page, and by the next morning our members had located a
new oven and stove, and someone else had offered to pay for it! I LOVE
MORMONS! Where else in the world do you find a group of people like
this??

Saturday night we went out to teach Carlos and his family. It was WILD
haha. His kids are quite the crazy bunch, but they are also so cute.
Eventually his wife had to take the youngest out of the room because
she was showing off a little too much, but we still had a wonderful
lesson. Carlos has a spiritual sensitivity unlike anyone I've ever
known. He feels things strongly and acts on them. He came to church on
Sunday and unfortunately had to leave after the first hour, but he is
so excited to stay for all three hours next week.

At church on Sunday, I got to play GUITAR with the primary!! And it
was SUPER fun. The kids were singing super loud, so I had to play
pretty hard for anyone to hear me haha. Children are so innocent and
good. It makes me happy to be around such goodness. "No wonder Christ
sought the peaceful solitude of children..." -Jeffrey R. Holland

Yesterday, we began to teach Shaylee Leavitt. Shaylee is a young 9 yr.
old daughter of a member in our ward. Her dad is AJ Leavitt, who
actually served his mission here in Montana! We think AJ is pretty
cool, especially his huge beard. That's really cool. Shaylee is very
intelligent and picks up really well on the things we teach, she even
participates! Her father has taught her well.

Sorry this email is kinda boring haha. I will be home at the end of
this month, so you can ask me your questions then;)

Love,
Elder Thomas

OH, pictures. We have not been taking many pictures! We may try and do
better... who knows haha.

Sitting in Sister Kasper's seat in the mission office... things
around here are gonna run a little differently from now on ;)
Yay for district meeting!!
Smoke... blech.
TRUST HIM!


Monday, September 4, 2017

🔥🔥🔥MONTANA🔥🔥🔥

Dear Family and Friends,

Montana is burning! There is fire everywhere and the air quality is
terrible. Last I heard, there were about 70 wildfires across the
state. Please keep Montana in your prayers, we need rain and snow.

It's been very hard to breath this week, my friends. The smoke is
killing me! And the asthma isn't helping either. However, neither of
us are feeling quite as sick as we were last week, which is a huge
plus!

We had a super powerful lesson with Pete this week. Pete's biggest
hold up is that his parents baptized him as a Lutheran when he was a
young boy. He believes that the LDS church is the true church and that
it would bless his life, but he can't get past the feeling that it
would be a big disrespect to be baptized in another church than his
parents baptized him. Over the course of the lesson we realized there
is only one thing he will do, and that's read the Book of Mormon, so
from now on, that will be our focus! If it grows his faith, he will
make the choices and take the steps he needs to.

We also met with Yessica, Mari, and their cousin Edgar this week!
These three all live together up here in Montana, but Yessi and Mari's
mother lives in Vegas. In the past Edgar hasn't really been there for
everything, but this week he stayed! The lesson was fantastic. Tons of
participation, Yessi's member friend was there and she testified, the
spirit spoke to each of us... it was amazing. And now both Yessi and
Edgar are praying for a day to be baptized.

Another lesson with the Morrisons, and how we love them! When we were
walking up to their house this week, little Sariah was outside talking
to her young friend and her friend's mom, as well as her best friend
Bobby! Bobby is an elderly woman, but she and Sariah are as close as
friends get! They spend tons of time together, it's so cute. Bobby is
currently reading the Book of Mormon. As we walked up Sariah ran and
gave us hugs despite our protests and dragged us over to meet her
friend Nina and her Mom. They were both very kind. What a great
missionary Sariah will be! As we walked away, Nina looked at her mom
and said, "Mom, can I have them?" Hahaha that made our day! Sariah is
shooting to be baptized on the 23rd, and we hope Bobby, Nina and
nina's mom will all be there!

We went out to visit with Carlos this week and he was home, but he was
heading somewhere. We still ended up talking to him for about 45
minutes! This man has SO MUCH FAITH!! He has the biggest heart as
well. All he wants, ALL he wants is to serve other people. He just
gives stuff away because he loves people, and he's amazing. We have to
be careful what we tell him we like haha. He loves the few things he's
read in the Book of Mormon, and is extremely excited to read it with
his family. He's right up there with the most prepared people I've met
on my mission!

It's been a great week! I love this gospel. The people are amazing.
And I love you all!

Love,
Elder Thomas

The smoke picture I took
The smoke/fire pictures I did not take.
Getting shuttled to MLC IN Helena! We wake up at 3AM, 
and leave at 4AM for this.
We were each assigned a spirit animal by way of democracy on the way
up... this was mine haha
Zone Conference with the Zone! Best zone ever peeps :)