Monday, August 31, 2015


Papi and Momma Thompson! (and everyone else)

This has been kind of a interesting week. We had a lot of meetings this week. We had Harli 3 day, which is a new thing they started for everyone in the Harlingen zone. We had a testimony meeting, role plays, and listened to a bunch of leaders. It was boring but good at the same time. During the testimony meeting it got like super quiet and spiritual (obviously) and my district leader Elder Thompson (we are 5th cousins) went up and was bearing his testimony. He is kind of a goofy/awkward guy. During his testimony we heard someone up in the attic and then all of a sudden one of the light fixtures popped out of the ceiling and you see this little Mexican man's face peeking through it and we hear him say "oopsie SoRRy" and it just made it funnier because out of all people, it happened to Elder Thompson during his testimony. He just kind of stood there and didn't know what to do! But the meetings were long. They went from 10 am to 4pm Tues, wed, and Thurs. We talked a lot about faith too, which was good. We had a question and answer with the zone leaders and one elder asked,  "How do we change and become better but still be ourselves?"  The zone leaders gave him advise about changing and I let them finish and then I rose my hand to comment and I told the elder "We aren't here to 'change' we are here to find out who we were before this life. You have to lose yourself by helping others in order to really find yourself and by serving a mission is like God letting you in on a secret." Then the zone leaders just stood there and one of them was like "....Whoa my mind is blown!" It was funny.

the wall mural has a slurpee too!! haha ;)

My Next Ride

This week we also had a service project at one of the members in the other ward. The whole zone went and we burned branches and pulled weeds. I called having the job of using the chain saw. It was AWESOME! They only had two chain saws so it was me and another elder who got to do it. We were laughing because he and I were like the two out of the zone that should be the least trusted with them (then we pretended to sword fight/ high five the chain saws). But we still have all of our limbs! I want a chain saw when I get home. Its a nice stress reliever ;)

a member had this at their house it made me smile and think of granny:)

Our area is starting to progress slowly but we have been able to see a lot of miracles this week. I guess the past few transfers have been kind of rocky in this area. They don't have a ward clerk or secretary or whatever it's called and so the ward list is a disaster. (last night our DL complimented us on our work and numbers because they have been the best he has seen in awhile) So the first miracle this week. Jose, the man that we invited to come to church last week, we had a lesson with him on Tuesday and we were supposed to have another one with him on Thursday but he didn't show up to the church. Jose didn't have a phone and we didn't know where he lived because he didn't know the address because he was living at his in-laws for a little bit and he didn't know their address. So we spent time and prayers looking for his house hoping to find him. We never found his house and he didn't show up to church yesterday morning (he had to work I guess). Then we get a phone call from Elder Thompson saying that Jose is at the church and that we need to get over there! So we hurry and bike over there and we taught him again:) He also just got a new phone so we made sure to get his number! But the chances that Jose were to show up at the church when the Elders were there are pretty slim. We were so excited that our prayers were answered and that we were able to find and teach Jose again!

my tie collection haha im going to make a patch quilt out of them and my mission clothes when I get home. the elders are jealous of some of the ties that I find;)

The other day we went to a members house and had dinner.  We were talking to them and asked them who we could go by and she told us that we could go by the lady across the street who is a less active member. So we went to go talk to this less active, Hermana Montes. She had been coming to church the past two weeks with her grand kids who she adopted. She has four grand kids that are legally hers I guess. They have Ram who is 12, Abigail who is 11, Angel 9 and Timmy is 6. None of them have been baptized. She was telling us that earlier that day she was talking to her friend (who is a different member from the one we had just ate at) and she told her that she wanted the missionaries to come by and teach the kids. She asked us if we had talked to this sister and wondered how we knew to come over! We told her we didn't! The spirit is great! So we are going by every day and teaching them. They are getting baptized this Sunday! We are so happy for them; they are cute.

Yoga with Sister Isoms bike

Our Area

It makes me happy that Bishop McCammon talked about fasting and strengthening the ward. Fasting is real. We have been learning a lot about goals, tools and visions. Fasting is a tool that the Lord gives us to help us accomplish our goals to reach our visions. And besides, the sacrament bread tastes better when you're fasting:)  I have a strong testimony on a strong ward. You are only as strong as your weakest link(or family). When I first got to this area I told my companion that my vision for this area before I leave it, is to gain a trust and help build these people so that I can trust them to take care of my recent converts. I want to be able trust the branch/ward as a missionary to take care of and fellowship them. It's sad as a missionary to see a branch or a ward where we cant trust the members to step in. The missionaries are here to help the members, its not the members are here to help us. I learned this fast on the mission and that is, gaining strength in peoples lives or in a ward or whatever it may be, we have to show that we care about the little things in their daily lives such as serving them or just listening. I used to feel bad for going in a home or talking to someone and not teaching much but I soon learned that is how we gain the trust and friendship of people. We ask them if we can serve them or ask something as simple as about their families. Anybody can go around preaching and telling people that their church is true, saying we need to be strengthened in this way or that they should be doing this and that. That's easy. As missionaries I've learned to make friends with people, be real with them, get on their level. I've learned to care for them in order to uplift and strengthen them. Only then am I able to truly share the message we have for them in order for them to truly listen. Once you serve somebody in one way or another that is how we become strengthened.

Why do all the Chihuahuas want to be my friend?

Lunch with the District

The other day we saw this little old lady walking around with a cart and I gave her a Jesus card. She said, "Oh, I have my church.  I'm Catholic and she wouldn't tell us where she lived. My companion started to testify and I could tell the lady was becoming more closed-minded as we talked.  I asked her what was in the cart and then she told me she sells tamales and so I bought some from her. I asked her about her family and her kids and just dropped the whole "missionary approach" for a second and just talked with her.  We went from, "No, I'm Catholic.... to getting her address and visiting her the next day. It turns out twp of her kids are missing in Mexico somewhere, one of them got her head chopped off, the other kid is in jail.  Her husband left her 20 years ago for another woman and she is now taking care of her daughters' orphaned kids. One of them can't talk and the other can't walk. She walks around all night selling tamales that she spends all day making.

Our Ward Library 

This week, in order to strengthen the ward, a member, a less active, a random person at work, or whoever, I want to encourage you all do something to surprise someone and yourself. Do something you normally don't do for someone else, whether it's listening to them or mowing their lawn, buying lunch for an elderly person. I don't care what it is! Just notice how you feel about them after and I want you to share it during testimony meeting this fastSunday. Strengthen through love! All for love and nothing for reward!!


Happy Birthday to me!

Stupid Tire

I love you all!! Have a great week!                   
Love Hermanita Thompson

Monday, August 24, 2015

6 Months! Time Sure Flies!!

WHAT!!!??? I cant believe that Paco got his mission call to Pocatello Idaho!!!!! I'm sitting here in the library and freaked out! I think I gave a few people a heart attack!! I KNEW that he would be called here! I told him that right before I left La Joya and he didn't take me seriously. How crazy! God is so mysterious in the way he works. I never have believed in coincidences. You guys will have to feed the missionaries more often now;) How funny. I'm still in shock and can hardly believe it!!!!

Paco and the Bishop
Displaying paco2.jpg

I forgot now all the things I was going to write;) jk but this week has been interesting. Earlier this week I popped my tire like a fatty doing a wheelie. The other two sisters we live with have been on exchanges all week with some of the STLs in the mission so they haven't been here. I was using Sister Isom's bike all week. We rode ALL the way to Walmart to get a new tire for my bike and I got the LAST one! I was like "Heck yeah! Tender mercies!" We got all the way home and somebody put a 20" tire in the 26" box! So I got Jewed.  A few days later we went all the way back to Walmart and got a new tire and got home and it was for a 3 speed bike!  It's too skinny for my bike.  We have to take it back today so that Sister Isom can have her bike back. Not to mention I crashed twice this week! The first time I was holding my camera and Sister Whitten stopped in front of me and so I braked super hard with the hand that I was steering with which just so happened to be the front brake!  I legit flew over my handle bars like a loony-toon cartoon! I haven't done that in years. My crotch hit the handle bars too and that didn't feel so good.  My camera was handy since I was holding it so Sister Whitten took a picture;)  The second time I broke my toe! (all of this happened on Sister Isoms bike)  We were going to go get food and of course I was hauling as fast as I could because I was "starvin-marvin' and I turned right but my right peddle was down (rookie move) and I smashed my foot between the curb and my peddle. I didn't even swear! I was pretty proud of that. I'm like 70% sure that my middle toe is broken. My companion made me get a blessing and then our District Leader made me call the nurse which was lame. I just told her it was fine the next day and to not worry about it. It's kind of hard to walk though but not like they can do anything for it anyway. That's a little taste of how much fun my bike area has been! Sweaty and hurtful. I guess it builds character.

In our area there are a lot of Resacas. Not really sure exactly what they are but basically they are like pond river things. A few days after I got here we met these two little kids along the pathway of the river and we taught them and helped them throw their nets into the river. One of the boys introduced us to his dad who was fishing further down and he wanted to know what church we were from so we went over there.  He is an older guy named Larry and lately we have been going by there to his fishing spot every now and then and fish with them and talk about Jesus. We have met all of his friends and we teach them all. It's a group of older guys. It's actually been really fun. My companion caught a catfish. That was cool.

Our church is also in a strip mall. It's kind of weird. It looks like the church on the inside though.  Yesterday my companion and I were standing inside the glass doors handing out programs as people came in and church was about to start but we just stood there anyway. I saw this guy walk by and he was holding some food and so I was like "HEY invite that guy to come in!" My comp kind of just stared at him and he got to the corner and so we both hurried and went out as he sat down on a bench and we were said, "Hey do you wanna come to church with us?"  He told us that he had never been to church but that he reads his Bible. He said that he would come though in five minutes after he ate.  We went back in the church and I just kind of creeped on him through the glass to make sure he came. I didn't creep too hard because he did! He is the most prepared person ever! His name is Jose and he is 28. Who knew that taking your breakfast on a Sunday morning to a park bench would change your life forever! Not a coincidence.  He is coming to the activity we are having tomorrow making cake and bread and he asked if he could come next week to church because he learned a lot. He accepted the Book Of Mormon really well too:)

This area is different but I'm not praying for new scenery I'm praying for new eyes to see. I'm here for a reason and so I'm slowly trying to find it. Faith, faith, faith! God hasn't let me down so far so I'm just being patient here. We see miracles and little tender mercies every day. Thank you for all the prayers and support! I love you all:)
Love, Hermanita Thompson

Monday, August 17, 2015

I'm LEAGAL!!!!!!

Thanks for all the birthday wishes, y'all are the best! With the new transfer I was planning on not telling anyone that it was my birthday yesterday because I just wanted to focus on others and have a normal day. Ya know? Just a day to myself. Kinda like when Harry Potter sits on the dirt floor by himself and blows in the dirt and says "Happy birthday Harry" (that reference was for you Landon) but the subject got brought up and so I tried to tell everybody that I didn't have a birthday but they were all bugging me about it and it was more distracting than actually telling them, so I finally told them. I actually forgot it was my birthday until half way through ward council my companion leaned over towards me like super wide eyed and stared at me, so I was like "What?" she whispers "Happy birthday!!" For my celebration we sat in a trailer park crunched in between two little trailer houses at a little homemade table covered in ants and ate tamales with my hands, accompanied by a 60 year old man who told me he wanted to wait for me after my mission so that he could be my boyfriend. Not what I was imagining for my 21st Birthday but basically as good. I got the flag and the package from Sara when we went to transfers:) Thank you so much! The drawings from the chillins were adorable! I hung some up:) But the others I haven't gotten yet! Probably sometime this week. Maybe. Who knows.
Enjoying lunch with the ants on the sidewalk 

Welp, as y'all know I got transferred. It still doesn't feel real. Yes, Paco actually cried when he said goodbye to me, I bet he didn't tell you that part;)  Norma was extremely sad when we told her as well. You could tell she was holding back tears. I promised that I would come back and visit her. So plan a trip to Texas next fall Madre:) We also had 9 investigators who had come to church at least 2 times each, some of them more. I was really,really hoping that they wouldn't white wash that area but I know it will be taken care of. I'm super hurt to leave all of those great people behind but I know I fulfilled what the Lord wanted me to do in La Joya. Right now I am in San Benito North. In the Harlingen Zone. We are over the Spanish branch. Our area is basically the hood. There are a lot of gangs in our area and most of the houses look like crack houses. Every body we talk to always asks us "Aren't you guys afraid of walking out here??" I always say "No? should we be?" then they always tell us that they don't know... it's really weird. It's funny because Sister Lance when we first became companions last transfer told me that she hopes that I go here because she thought that I would like it. Well, here I am! Crazy. Sister Lance became an STL in Brownsville. They also just started this new thing in the mission this transfer called STLTs. They are the trainers of the sister training leaders. So basically they are the Sister Assistants to the President. And guess who they live with!!!! ....Yep. Me and my comp. I jokingly told them that they put them to live with us so that they could keep an eye on us. They laughed and told us no it's because we are the only ones who could handle it! Maybe both are true;) So they are in charge of all the STLs and then.. me and my companion. ALSO!  We don't have a car.  We are in an all biking area. My legs are already getting so buff or I'm just getting fat one of the two. It's not biking that's hard, it's biking in 100 degree weather that's awful. Everyone and their mom is always like "It's really hot today, aren't you guys dying riding those bikes?" We are just standing there on their porch dripping in sweat. It's super gross. I stink all of the time. My new companion is Sister Whitten. She is from Blackfoot Idaho. So that's pretty cool. We get along really well.
my trainer and her trainer with her trainer

I was the lucky one crammed in the back with all the suitcases 

It's been kind of a hard adjustment because I don't know the area or the people and so I feel like I'm not really doing anything, but we have just got into it and we have already found some miracle people. I'll tell more about it next week when there is more to tell and because of time. Basically we found the most prepared guy I have ever talked to and we set baptismal dates for him and his three kids. I'm praying to know why I am in this area. I have some ideas but only time will tell. Things are going well though. Sorry this letter is super lame. I forgot my planner with all the cool stuff that happened. Thank you all for the birthday wishes and thoughts and prayers. I love you all have a good week!!

Hermanita Thompson

 the biggest spider of my life. no joke was the size of my hand. in our apartment!!!

Monday, August 10, 2015


This Transfer flew by! Gee wilikers!  We still haven't heard whether we are getting transfered or not.  I'm sure you will just call Paco anyway;) I really am hoping I get to stay in this area for one more. I could actually serve my whole mission here and be fine. Right now we have 9 investigators who have been to church. They all are amazing and all have their struggles we are trying to push through but then again who doesn't. It's been a privilege to be able to help them and bless their lives with the gospel. They are all so close to baptism too. I really would love to be here for those but I guess that's not my choice! I could literally see it going either way. I'm not going to be surprised by what happens. I am nervous to say the least.

Did the nurse ever call you mom? I think I am going in for an MRI on my shoulder sometime soon. No biggie but it still hurts and I want a second opinion on it. The other day I laid on my bed and cried for an hour because of it. (lame I know) I talked with one of our members who is a PA and he told me that even though the nerve is destroyed from the accident and it's not doing it's function it could still be signaling my brain that there is pain. They can go in and do steroid shots to make me buff jk or they can go in and do stuff with the nerve to make it stop. We just got a new mission nurse and she is being kind of dumb about it all but I don't think she realizes how much discomfort I'm in. I'd rather fix it out here or at least deal with it for a year and just know what it is through the MRI, if I have to, rather than have to come home or anything. It's hard to focus on others when you physically don't feel well.  I just want to be at my top notch potential and so I don't know what the nurse's deal is but she has to go through a bunch of people. I told her like a week ago.  I'm taking it day by day. I'm trying to handle it but I just wanted to let you know so you don't crap your khakis. I guess call her if you want to know anything else.

Enough about my silly problems. I had my first Spanish dream the other day. That was a really weird feeling! I can understand almost everything that people say but speaking it is another story. They get what I'm saying but I definitely sound like a white girl.

This week Sister Lance got a hair cut by one of the members (I told her it was a bad idea but she didn't listen!) I told her that I am going to let my hair grow my entire mission. Mostly because I only trust Lisa to cut my hair:) picky I know.  This lady cut layers in Sister Lance's hair and when I  say layers I mean one layer. I told her it looks like she got a bob and has a mullet at the same time! I call it the bullet hair style. She didn't think I was funny and cried about it. We can laugh now. (I think it's still a touchy subject)  The next day after her hair cut we parked our car and were talking for a minute about her hair. Usually we just pray and get out but as we were sitting there I noticed some dust kind of blowing but didn't think anything of it then Sister Lance was like, "Is that dust or smoke?"  I looked out my window and saw that it was smoke so I was like "Drive drive drive!!"  We hurried and pulled the car up and got out and because it was so hot outside and we were parked on some like dead hay/grass that was on the side of the road, it caught on fire!  If Sister Lance hadn't have gotten an awful hair cut we wouldn't have stayed in the car for a minute to talk/laugh about it and our car would have blown up!  We were definitely being watched over! I think that God has a sense of humor in the ways he helps us! Whether it's me falling through the roof the other week like a Loony Tune cartoon or whether it;s getting an awful hair cut, it all tends to work out. One of our members the other day had something bad happen. I wont go into detail because of time but basically she didn't listen to the Holy Ghost and had a scare with the police but they ended up letting her go.  I told her "I think sometimes God has to scare the crap out of us in order to allow us to learn and prepare for other/bigger trials!" It's so true! Sometimes I know I complain about dumb situations like "Why did that have to happen?" but it's really just God looking out for us. Once we recognize why, is the truly amazing part. I'm just glad it wasn't my hair this time;)

Norma is having some trials in her family. It's been really hard for me to see her go through them. She had her son-in--law and her daughter and their two kids living with her in her trailer. Her son-in-law is a monster; it took every fiber of my being to not kick the door down and punch his face in. One time he pushed Norma down in the rocks and the neighbors saw what happened and called the police but Norma lied to the police because she was worried that they would take her daughter too because her daughter saw what had happened and didn't do anything.  The other day they were sitting in the room watching TV and the son-in-law comes and and just starts spanking his daughter and wailing on her.  Norma freaked out and was like, "What are you doing that for?!" and he said it was because she was in watching TV with them and he didn't want her in there..... the little girl is about 3. She hadn't done anything wrong.

Norma also told us that he would push her husband down before he died. Even when he was sick with cancer and blind.  This is a little bit of how heart crushing her situation is. I told her that the police cannot do anything to her daughter in a situation like that and that I think she needs to call the police next time. The night I told her that her son-in-law pulled a machete on her son and so Norma called the police! They didn't arrest him which was stupid but they told him that he can't come back.  Norma's daughter decided to go with him and they took their kids too. We went over on Sunday after church because Sister Coronado told us what happened. Norma is really sad about everything mostly because of her grand kids and she is sick too. I think she has kidney stones and she is in a lot of pain. On top of that her daughter was the only one with a job. She would buy the food and pay the bills. Sometimes the son-in-law wouldn't let them eat (Norma and her 2 other sons that live there) and so she would go without food for who knows how long.
It destroys my heart to see her go through all of these trials. She is still so strong and especially in the Gospel! It's the hardest feeling in the world for me because I feel so powerless. I want to buy her food and an air conditioner. I want to give her everything!  Anything to make her life a little easier and a little less hellish. I may not be able to help her with her worldly problems but I hope I made a big enough difference to help her with her eternal happiness. Norma is why I want to stay here. She is the strongest lady I have ever met. And to see how happy the Gospel has made her, seeing and knowing every past event she has gone through in her life and how the Gospel can change a person has been a miracle. It shows how it doesn't matter what trial or events take place it's only through Christ where we can find true happiness. You can search forever and you wont find it any other way. Our trials will pass either way. They are a lot less heavy when you go through them the right way. Always look toward the light. That's where true happiness is.

I hope you all have a good week. I love you and you're in my prayers:)
Love, Hermana Thompson

Monday, August 3, 2015

Hola my Peeps

WHHHAATT UPPPPP GORDITAS!!!!  We just ate gorditas so I had to say that. 
Virgin Mary wall art

We are the hottest bikers out there

I have some crazy stories to share with y'all hoy.  And by stories I mean miracles of course. I always dislike writing them because I can't get in all the details I want because of time. Also I'm just a much better story teller in person; let's be honest.  Pretty much what I'm going to tell is just from one day. The rest of the week wasn't as cool.  On Tuesday we had our meetings and what not then we went over to a members house who was going to feed us lunch but she had to go to Mexico so she gave us a pan of rice and chicken with some tortillas to take.  We found a place to eat them; in a nice abandoned parking lot. It was so so hot! (this week was in the 100s the entire week no joke).  We also didn't have forks or spoons so we ate it with our hands; even the rice. I told my companion that we looked like well-dressed homeless people.  After we ate we had a bunch left over so we were like, "Hey, let's go give it to Norma and her family because they don't really have food. So we went up there and I handed her the pan and she was SO happy. She was telling us that her son literally was just complaining to her that he was hungry! My companion and I looked at each other like **dang not a coincidence (that look ya know?)** So we sit down on the porch as usual and we asked her how her day has been and how she has been since the baptism. She was telling us about her day and then she was like, "Yeah, I showered but I haven't washed my hair yet since the baptism because I wanted to let it(the water?) sit in (this is on Tuesday). It was the most adorable thing I had ever heard of. I  forgot to ask her how long she waited to wash her hair. I'll let you know next week. So we gave her props for that. I told her just to never wash it again.  Hopefully, she knew I was kidding;)

Norma and me. That's the chihuahua I kicked in the middle of the lesson like my first week here.  We finally
are friends although I'm pretty sure it still has pulga
I look nuts but Sister Thompson looks pretty cute

Norma tells us that after the baptism last week she was talking more with Sister Coronado about her husband and her daughter that have both passed away. She was asking her more about baptisms in the temple and things like that because we had just taught it to her. She told us that Miguel Coronado (the son of her member friend) wants to do the baptism for her husband.  Norma was like "Sisters, I don't know anybody who can do it for my daughter. Do you know anybody who can, on the same day or something?" We were kind of thinking and I realized that Miguel is up at BYUI right now!! So I told her that my mom would love to do the baptismal work for her daughter and that she could go meet up with Miguel and do the daughter and dad together!! So Mom, will you be a missionary for my converts daughter? ..... Okay thanks:) They will get in touch with you soon. The son of her best friend and the mom of her missionary! Just when I thought God's tender mercies were beaming on us, they were about to get better!

What we do

That sunset

We continued to talk and Norma tells us that the night of her baptism (Sunday night to Monday) her daughter had a dream. In her dream her dad (the man Miguel is going to be baptized for) appeared to her and said "Viridiana, I FINALLY found the light." Then he turned around and walked into a bright light and disappeared. We continued to talk to Norma and I had the thought, "Sing the song from the baptism." So I leaned over to my companion and I said, "Hey, let's sing for her".

**So a really quick back story before I finish that.  At the baptism the missionaries sang a song while Norma got dressed and ready.  When she came back in the conductor was kind of starting to close the meeting. My companion leaned over to me and says "We have to sing another song for Norma." I was like "Okay, which one?" She was like Divina Luz. And in my head I was thinking, "What the heck. That's random." We stopped who was conducting and told him we are singing again. So we sang that song for her "spontaneously"  **

We pull out our hymn books and open to the song that we sang at the baptism and it wasn't until that moment on the porch looking at the words to that song that it wasn't a coincidence that we sang it at the baptism and that we were about to sing it for her then. It's, "Lead kindly Light" in English. The words in Spanish are like talking about how the night is dark and how he didn't have faith for awhile but then he found the light and now he is going to have firm feet and make it back to his celestial home.  It was as if they were her husbands words to her in that moment after her baptism, the dream of him finding the light and again when we sang to her on the porch.

One side is America and the other is Mexico and in the middle is a giant Texas 

I don't think we realize how much help we are getting from the other side. especially from God. Each and every moment, good or bad has its purpose. It's up to us whether we recognize them, learn from them or just simply let them pass by. His hand is there. It's our choice whether we want to grab it or not. Whether we open the door to let Him in. It's simple things like listening to the spirit like in my story, just by singing a simple song or to recognize an answer from a dream. It's the primary answers and the little things that all add up to become a big miracle. You wont regret listening but you'll always regret not listening. Let him in and listen! He is there! He has been the whole time. HE LIVES! Look for him!!

I love you all. Have a good week. Don't forget to take a second and listen:)
Hermana Thompson

Our popsicles match our outfits

I caught a frog and brought him inside to study with me 

Our zone