Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Two Months in the FIELD

Hola y'all!!! Como esta?!!

This week flew by!! We have so many people that we have been teaching I wish that we had more time in the day!! I also wish that people weren't so flaky either! I've never been let down so many times in my life, let alone in one week! I've been hung up on and had the door closed in my face but we just keep going!
I had the lovely opportunity to try cow tongue and octopus. They were both gross and I'll just leave it at that. While contacting, some boy answered the door butt naked and I'm scarred for life. We also teach a lot of drunk people so that's been fun. They are really honest! One house we went to the lady told us that she wasn't religious and didn't believe in anything and that she didn't believe in God. I asked her if this was her house and she gave me a weird look and said, " Yes?"  So I pointed to the address plate that was right next to her door; it had Jesus' head on it with a thorn crown and it said "God bless this house". I said "So you believe in God then?" I had to call her out -- I couldn't help it. The look on her face made my day. We also got a letter in the mail that said we were called to be sister training leaders. We were freaking out because I had just got here! It was a mistake! Hallelujah! I can't even keep track of myself most days let alone be a STL.

The biggest thing I learned this week is the second you start to forget about yourself is when life starts to become great. When I first got out here my mind was preoccupied with home and friends and school, my stomach problems coming back and feeling so malnourished everyday. I was tired and I smelled like a sweaty taco. Then it hit me. I'm not here for myself. Right then I knew I needed to change my focus. Yeah, I'm still tired and sweaty and never feel good and I still smell like a taco but I know that if I eat the food the people give me that they are going to be blessed for taking care of us. I know that the harder I work the better results we will have. I've been to 30+ states and 9 countries and wasn't so sure about serving in south Texas but I have never experienced anything like this. It's so different to be immersed in another culture and going into the homes and trailers that they live in. I have heard so many life stories that have blown my mind. The people are amazing and they would give you the shirt off their back. They are so welcoming and warm. At first I thought it was crazy that people would just let two complete strangers in their house to talk about Jesus. We exchange stories and talents. We sing with people and we cry with people and we have made friendships with people. You don't need to have a name tag over your heart to serve people. It is sometimes as easy as smiling or opening your mouth. It's just a matter of painting a name tag on your heart. When things are hard be a creator of circumstances not a creature of circumstances and most of all forget about yourself. You will be taken care of if you're taking care of others. Your weaknesses will become strengths and your worries will disappear. but most of all you can help someone who can never repay you, just the way Christ has done for you and what a wonderful feeling.

The other week we were contacting houses and a few boys came up to talk to us. We found out later that they dared each other to come say hi. We gave one of the boys a Book of Mormon. His name is Marcos. He is 12. I asked if he would be baptized and he said yes. We came back about a week later to see how he was doing and he had read like 236 pages of the book of Mormon! He is in Mosiah. I was so happy and so impressed!! He is such a great kid. We have a hard time finding rides for people to church and so he wasn't able to come this week. I was super butt hurt.

The other day one of the members was supposed to feed us but she texted us to not come because she had got home from work late. I heard our phone beep but didn't check the text because we were helping someone put up a fence. I forgot about the text and we went over to her house. She asked if we had received her message and we said no. She made us food anyway and we taught her a lesson. She told us her husband didn't like to go to church anymore because he likes to watch football. She said she was going to leave him if he didn't come but it was just an empty threat. She said she told him that like a year ago and nothing has happened since and he still doesn't go. My companion said she should get a divorce!! and I hurried and said "NOooo don't do that" (I had a nice chat with my comp. after for saying that) I told her that he will come around and that the best thing she can do is just to love him back into the gospel. She just had a baby and so I said that she should continue to go to church and teach her girls to go and to love the Lord and that things will work out for her. I read her the footprints in the sand poem and we shared a few scriptures. Before we left I apologized for not getting her text and she told me, "There is a reason you didn't get that text, thank you for coming."

This week has been filled with miracles and trials and I wish that I could share them all and others I'll keep dear to my heart. Always remember that the Lord makes weak things become strong. Have a good week everybody and serve others! Thank you for the prayers and love and support! I love y'all!

-Hermana Thompson

this is us eating an octopus today! it was gross:

we caught a rabbit too

Monday, April 20, 2015


 Hola everybody!!!

To sum up my week in a sentence-- I've been chased by 33 dogs, attacked by a goose, and peed on by a turtle after I risked my life running out in the road to save it! Turd...le;) There are so many dogs here it's nuts! I kicked one in the mouth because it wouldn't stop chasing me. It almost bit my foot but luckily I have fabulous kicking skills. Also, there was this giant German Shepard that was barking at us one day as we were riding past so I barked back because I thought it was chained up! He wasn't. That thing came at me so fast!!! I didn't know my feet could touch the handle bars! 

Last week after P-day we got done playing soccer and as we were walking into the church one of the elders said "Texas why are you so hot?!" and I turned to the elder and said "I told you my name is not Texas!!" So everybody in our district calls me Texas.
This week flew by. We have such a hard time getting people to church because they are afraid of border patrol. Our ward is literally 95 percent illegal. I wish that I had a giant bus to take everyone to church.  We find ourselves teaching a lot about faith and that they will be blessed for going back to church. It's awesome though because the one and only white guy that is in our ward works for border patrol, but when we are all in church none of that matters.  We all become the same and we are all trying to become better. We are all children of God. 

There are lots of things that I would say are hard about missions such as not talking to your loved ones whenever you want, feeling tired all of the time, getting mad diarrhea from the spicy food, being sweaty all of the time from the heat, but the hardest thing for me is not being sassy to people and finding nice ways to explain why I'm right. One member told us that he believed that Joseph Smith was resurrected. another guy told us that he believed we came from aliens and one lady yelled at us on her porch to not "worship Joseph Smith". It takes every fiber of my being to just tell them to have a good day and leave! I would love to just tell them that Hell is a lot hotter than south Texas!

Every time we go to a members house to eat they make us get seconds. Everyone makes me eat more because they say I'm "too skinny!" All the Mexican ladies like to try and fatten me up. The food hurts so good, if you catch my drift. 

Also, my Spanish is coming along. This week I was praying for the food and muerto means death and cuerpo means body.  I asked in my prayer that our food would blessed and strengthen our deaths. I also was teaching about the plan of salvation and I was teaching about showing God that we love him. Monstrar means to show and mensrar means menstrate. so I taught that we menstruate to God that we love him.

This week when we were tracking we were walking to a member's house when some little kids came up to us because their friends dared them to talk to us. It turns out one of the kids name Jose has been baptized but his friend Marcos who is 12 hasn't. We told them we were going to teach a member a lesson and that they should come with us. They did!  They were a little nervous about coming because they didn't know whose house it was so I reassured them and told them that I didn't know the member either.  During the lesson when my companion was teaching I leaned over and asked Marcos how he felt and he said really good.  He is such a smart kid and knows a lot about God. After the lesson we were walking back and I asked Marcos if he would like to be baptized by the same authority that Christ was baptized and he said yes! We came back a few days later to teach him and his 8 year old brother came out on the porch and listened and after I asked him if he would like to be baptized and he said yes too!  We are planning on May 17th. 

This week we also taught Daisy and Diana, the two sisters that own the convenience store.  We teach them behind the counter while they are selling beers and stuff but we still had the spirit while teaching them. They work a lot and so they don't get the chance to read a lot but our lessons have been really good with them.  We invited them to be baptized but they said they weren't ready. I told them they don't have to be perfect to be baptized.  I love that I have a past. I can sense things that my companion can't and I use my past to teach. It turns out she likes to drink. I told her that giving up those things that give only temporary happiness for the things that give us eternal happiness is hard but it's so much more worth it!!  We are working hard with them to get them to come unto Christ and I can only hope that they accept our message!! 

I  hope you have a great week! Thank you for all of the support, love, and prayers! They keep me going! I love you all. Luchemos en la cause celestial truinfal!! Te Amo!
Hermana Thompson 

Monday, April 13, 2015

The First Adventures in Texas

 Howdy doo dee!!!

This week has been awesome, rough, tiring, sad, happy and everything else! Where to start! I wish I had time to write every detail but I sadly don't. I always forget I am in America and then I see a sign with Texas on it and I remember. It is extremely ghetto here.

The very first house (trailer) I went in we were tracting an area and saw that the door was open so we went and knocked on the door. This lady answered and let us in and we talked to her for awhile. She was freakin nuts! They had this guinea pig they were playing with and she was telling us that she ate them! The Mexicans love to give us drinks; most of them are like a fruit drink that I have never heard of but I was drinking a weird drink that she had offered us and was afraid to finish it after she had said that! It was probably guinea  pig juice. I wish I had time to tell about all of the investigators but I'll tell about the good ones. All the people we are teaching we have pretty much found or met since I got here. We have roughly 7 new people/families that we are teaching as of now. One of the members in the ward is a mom that is baptized and the two sons who are 13 and 14 aren't. They go to church and seminary but they won't be baptized. We spent a little bit talking to them and trying to help them understand the importance. I probably would have had an easier time trying to baptize a cat.

Do you want to hear the worst day ever? On Friday when we started biking it wasn't raining but as we got a few miles it started to pour and I mean POUR. The roads turned into rivers.  We went to the trailer of an investigator that we had found earlier in the week. Her name is Claudia and we are teaching her and her 5 kids. At first we started teaching them standing on the doorstep while it's still pouring but then she finally let us inside. We taught them about prayer and Joseph Smith and the spirit was so strong. We had her 13 year old boy pray and things went really well. After that we started to bike home but we stopped off the side of the road and were deciding what we should do when this car stopped and said that they would feed us and we could teach them. (it wasn't a coincidence that we couldn't decide where to go) it turns out that the son Jose had just been baptized and that the rest of the family wasn't. We ate and taught them. They offered us a ride to our car (we parked at a members house then biked) because it was pouring rain and was dark but I insisted we ride our bikes but my companion said that they should give us a ride. When we got to the place where we had parked our car the guy who gave us a ride tried to back up to drop us off. He got his truck stuck in a ditch and had backed into the mailbox. We had the member come out and see if they could pull him out. The member's van got stuck too!! We got the van pushed out and then forever later we got the truck pulled out. The same guy who got the truck stuck jumped out of the truck to help push and nobody was in it to stop it, so it rolled on the other side of the road and got stuck on that side!! Then we realized our car was stuck too. The Zone Leaders finally came and pulled us out and we didn't get to bed until like midnight! Also, I got bit like by a million fire ants while this was all going on. I did catch a GIANT frog. We were able to find two new investigators that day so it all worked out.

While riding bikes I've been keeping tally marks on how many dogs chase us. It's really fun. I don't count how many times we get chased though because that's too many because the same dog will chase us several times!  This week we were chased by 12 dogs! I almost kicked one in the face because they try to bite my heels!! They never chase my companion either!

Also, my stomach problems are back! Every time we eat at someones house I almost poop my dress. My stomach is a fire ball but the food is so good. The little kids laugh at my Spanish and everyone loves to call on me to say the prayer. I've been getting really good at saying the same prayer. Some days are hard here but when we go out and teach the people I forget about my problems. We play pross ball which is when we are tracting and see someone playing we go play with them. We made a deal with some kids that if we won them in a basketball game we got to teach them about Jesus. Sadly, they won.

OH i almost forgot...there are ice cream trucks EVERYWHERE! We teach a lot on peoples' door steps or will be talking to people on the street and we will be in a serious spiritual moment like "I know that through Christ.." then in the middle of a sentence an ice cream truck comes by blaring some stupid kids' song super loud. It has happened so many times!

We taught two sisters who thought Moroni was an alien and they believe we came from aliens. That was a rough lesson. We taught them behind the counter of a convenience store they own. I don't have time to go into detail but it's hard to explain why angels aren't aliens in Spanish!

I hope you have a great week! I feel your prayers and thoughts all of the time! Thank you for the support!! love you!
                                                                   Hermana Thompson

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Howdy From TEXAS!!!!

Hola familia y amigos!!

Where to start!  I wasn't supposed to get a P day until next Monday but I guess the computers weren't working yesterday so I am able to write today so that is nice!!

We got up at the crack of dawn and said goodbye to everyone. Hermana Browning and I were on separate buses and that was hard. We said bye and I may have cried the whole bus ride to the train station. I felt like a loser.  When we got to the train to go to the airport we sat up on the top level. There were quite a few missionaries. At one of the stops this guy got on and came and sat by me and we talked for awhile. It turns out he works for the church and designs the pamphlets and stuff. He designed the Preach My Gospel book and he is a main editor for the Liahona magazine. He told me many missionary stories because he has missionaries write him for the magazine. He made me feel more calm about going to my mission. The first flight was okay. I sat next to a fat man who smelled like BO but I did get a good nap in. We had like 20 minutes to make our connection to McAllen and I turned into dad when we travel... the anxiety was for reals, but we made it on time. On that flight I sat next to this woman who was from Cuba. She moved here 35 years ago and she travels a lot for work. She told me that she hadn't been back to Cuba since she left and that all of her family is there. I asked her the places she traveled to for work and small talk. One of the places she told me was Utah. She showed me some pictures and one was actually a picture of one of the church buildings around temple square. She later asked me what I was going to Texas for and I told her that I was serving a mission for my church. She hadn't heard of the Church of Jesus Christ of ultimos dias. I asked if she had heard of the Mormons and she had!  I noticed several times that she would say little prayers on the flight during turbulence and so I asked if she went to church. She said when she lived in Cuba she was atheist but now she is Jewish.  She told me she was slowly working her way to believing. I told her we were christians and I gave her a pass along card with the Salt Lake Temple on it which was perfect because we talked about Utah a lot. I asked if she had seen the temple and she said no so I told her she could have the picture because she liked it so much. I also told her that if she wanted to know more about our church there was information on the back. It was my first real missionary experience and I hope I planted a seed in her heart! It's hard not knowing the end results of what will happen for her or if what I said affected her !

After our flight we went to the mission home and watched really cheesy videos about safety and such. Then we put together our bikes. After that we had dinner at the presidents house and his wife made the best mexican food ever!  I'm going to get fat. But I'll be the happiest fat person alive. We slept at some sisters apartment.
This morning we got up and went and had breakfast at the presidents house and found out where we are going. I am currently in the Mission Zone and I am in the city of La Joya. Our area is called Palm View.  It is extremely ghetto here and I love it! I guess a few months ago there was a shooting next door from the missionaries house so that's exciting. We are literally right on the border of Mexico. I guess it's not uncommon to see the border patrol chase down a group of illegals. I'm hoping I get to see that soon. It's super hot and humid here as well and it's going to get so much worse! Our apartment is decent. It's not very homie because its all tile but it's a place to sleep. My companion is Hermana Kingsford. She is from Logan Utah. She went to Utah State and studied wildlife management. She is kind of a hippie like me and I love it. We talk about hiking and chacos. She is really cool so that was a huge relief for me. Tonight we are going to teach like five different investigators which I'm a little nervous about because my spanish is.... not so good. I hope everyone has a great week! Thank you for the love and support!! My address is  200 W. La Vista Ave.     McAllen TX 78501

                                   Love Hermana Thompson

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Extra P Day

Como esta?! 

I guess I get to write home today since we won't have much time on Monday. I'll still be able to check my mail this Monday and write that I made it safe to Texas, but that's it. Its like 7 in the morning so I haven't woken up fully, obviously. So if my letter doesn't make sense sorry;  not sorry. And iI didn't know we were writing today. Things have been pretty decent here. Our district has been pretty down in spirits because nobody wants to leave. I'm ready to get out of this dump! Things are just too easy here and I don't feel like I'm progressing anymore so I'm ready to get out there. But I am pretty sad that we are all not in the same mission. Yesterday we said goodbye to all of our teachers, even my hot Spanish teacher so that was a little depressing. I did give him my email tho;)  I think this is the first conference I have been excited to watch and it will be the first conference that I've watched the whole thing! Pretty crazy. I'm not excited to sit in the hard chairs in the gym tho! Boooo. Also I'm getting pretty tired of wearing dresses everyday. Its like a little part of my soul died. I feel like I repeat myself so much in my emails home. I forget what and when things happen. I also thought today was like Thursday so that was weird. This morning we had a companion exchange because Hermana Browning and I are leaving on Monday so we have to do laundry and such. I love when we get to be companions. Anyway we were going to get breakfast and after breakfast we were walking here to the computer lab and were talking and Hermana Browning ran into a pole and smashed her sack breakfast into it too! I almost fell on the floor I was laughing so hard!! We also had our in field orientation on Thursday, which is basically a 9 hour meeting that could have been 2 hours.  It was like learning how to talk to people in the field and how to work with members of the ward. Stuff we already knew. That's 9 hours I could have used to learn Spanish.  Don't worry we have also had many spiritual experiences this week, some I wont share just because of time but it's definitely been an emotional roller coaster. Also as much as I hate to admit I kind of wish i would have stuck with piano lessons. I'm a little ashamed that I played for 8 years and can barely play. I've been practicing though. It's been a nice Easter season to spend out on a mission. Holidays become more meaningful. Everyone enjoy conference today and tomorrow. Conference is like reading the scriptures, if you don't have a question in mind before reading/watching you won't get as much out of it. So my challenge to you all is to have a question in your life that you would like help with or need an answer to and pray about it before you watch and I promise you that you will receive an answer and guidance. Don't forget what Easter is really about! Enjoy your weekend! I literally can't remember what happened this week so sorry for the vague letter. Can't wait to here from you all on Monday. Love you!! 
                                                                       -Hermana Thompson