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 fromTues, 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 himand we were supposed to have another one with him 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! We are so happy for them; they are cute.
Yoga with Sister Isoms bike
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 fast. Strengthen through love! All for love and nothing for reward!!
Happy Birthday to me!
I love you all!! Have a great week!
Love Hermanita Thompson
Love Hermanita Thompson