Tuesday, April 26, 2016


 April 26, 2016

One last walk to the river
ANOTHER ONE AND DONE!! This is my 4th area in 4 transfers. I've almost been in every zone of the mission! I am excited to be here in Brownsville but I was NOT ready to leave Laredo. I left on Wednesday and missed our baptism of Berenice that was on Sunday:( and I'll be missing Roberts in two weeks. I loved that area so so much! God has other plans for me here and I'm trying to have a good attitude about it. I feel just as homesick leaving Laredo as I did when I went to the MTC. We have been really busy here and so that's been a big help. 

My zone in Laredo
Saying bye to Robert
Our investigator, Ysenia, and her boyfriend, Diego, who is a member.  She will get baptized soon too.
I had to get a picture with Bere since I wouldn't be there for her Baptism.  She is so cute.  I guess at the Baptism the whole family was crying and it was a spiritual moment for the family.  The whole family has been less-active and they were all there and so it is amazing to see that even the youngest can be the example :)

Our new apartment is super ghetto. We live across from a gay bar. That's where we spend our after 9 p.m. hours of the day. Haha just kidding. But on the reals, I found a cockroach in my bed the other night. This morning there was also one on my desk that ran under some books. I just left him under there because I didn't want to lift the books up to have it come running at me. We had a good study this morning that cockroach and I. We are getting a new apartment in a week or so which is awesome. I haven't even unpacked anything haha so I will get the address of our new apartment to you next week. For now send everything to the mission office and I will get it. 

 I am in the Casa Linda Branch. It is Spanish speaking. I haven't been in a Spanish ward in 6 months.  I am literally the only white person. My companion is Sister Guzman she is from Mexico and she is the sweetest person ever. All the cute little Mexicans, when they meet us, they turn to her and ask her if I speak Spanish. It makes me laugh. I got to see my converts, the Montez family from San Benito, the other night at a Stake activity. Timmy the little boy told me I looked different and that I got fat. It was such a joyous moment! We are having an exchange with the San Benito sisters tonight and so we will be having dinner with the Montez family right before.
So that's all of what's going on for now. Now for the real news. Guess who came to visit our mission!!!! I have been dying to say this for weeks but had to wait until after. 

Elder Holland!!! The whole mission got together in McAllen and he came and talked with us! Before the meeting we got to take a picture with him! While we were waiting they had us all go in the gym by height and I am the tallest sister in the mission! Not important.

All the missionaries in my mission with Elder Holland
Anyways, I got to shake is hand and he looked me straight into my eyes. Literally pierced my soul! Haha. His eyes are so blue! He later said that he did that with all of us and said it was to interview us. I didn't get struck down by lightning so I guess I passed! It was by far one of the most spiritual experiences of my entire life to be in that chapel listening to an Apostle of God talk to the missionaries. I was sitting on the front row which made it even better. He walked around the chapel and talked with us about the Spirit and prayer. At one point he and I locked eyes and he said, "You can have anything you want in this life. It is yours, if you do it the Lord's way." It was as if he were talking directly to me at that moment. Everyone in the room disappeared and it was him and me. He talked of the importance it is to invite the Spirit in all that we do. He said that Jesus is not here with us physically and neither is God but the Spirit is and he IS a God. I had never thought of it that way. He told us that we are God's investigators. That the things we are out there begging our investigators to do are the things that God wants us to be doing and magnifying. I cant even put into words how amazing yesterday was. My life will never be the same. It was as if everything I had been trying to do and learn and be, I was able to see truly from God's perspective. God opened my eyes and let me see the plans he has for myself and for each and every person I come to meet. 

Elder Holland, President & Sister Fredes, and Elder Robbins
I am grateful for my mission. It scares me to think of how close I was to not serving one and oh how my life would be so different. I am grateful for second chances and for the ability to grow and serve God's children here in South Texas. There are miracles and trials I have been a part of that will remain deep within my being forever and I am eternally grateful for the Atonement and the Grace of God. 

I love you all. You are important to me and have played a large part in me being where I am today. I thank God daily for my love and support. 
Love Hermana Thompson  

Monday, April 18, 2016

Mail from Miss Thomas

April 18, 2016

Que Honda?

We have transfers again tomorrow! The time seriously is going by so so fast. I feel like I just got here! My guess is that I am staying here but we never know. We are always surprised by transfers. 

Well this week was a great one! We had interviews with our mission president. Mine was the longest one! Probably because I have so much to work on! Laredo North and Laredo South zones all meet in the chapel and we sit there and listen to messages and stuff while president does interviews. We don't get to leave until they are all done. It took about 7 hours. Although I learned a ton I was ready to get out of there by the end of it!  It was great though.

Robert is doing awesome. We always laugh so hard while we are there and the spirit is so strong when we teach him. There were many days this transfer where I wanted to give up but it was Robert that kept me going. I have never felt so much love for one of God's children than I do for Robert. He is the most teachable and humble person I have ever met. It makes my heart hurt to see him struggle to overcome smoking. I would do anything to see him happy. On Thursday night we had taught him about 3 Nephi 11 when Christ visits the people in the Americas. Robert was excited that he could inherit a piece of God's kingdom. I asked Robert if I could put my "Piece of kingdom next to his piece of kingdom." He was hesitant but then agreed that I could:) During the lesson he got so excited and was like "Baptize me girls!!!" We set up a date for May 8th. So we are helping him to achieve that goal. During the lesson there is a another verse where it says, that their 'hearts burned.' (something like that). We talked to him about it and explained the Holy Ghost and how he works. So on Sunday he came to church and during the Sacrament service a new convert was getting the gift of the Holy Ghost. Robert leans over to me and whispers really loud, "Girls my heart is on fire!!" We had a laugh about that. We also had a member come with us earlier in the week to help fellowship Robert and help teach him. After the lesson we were outside of the gate ready to leave and I said to the member, "Thanks for coming Mario you're the best!" Robert overheard me say that and he was like, "Miss Thomas you said I was the best! Do you tell that to everybody?!" Then he stormed off haha! 

The Elder who took this picture said, "How many Sisters does it take to tell an Elder how to put a bike on the rack?"
The answer is 4.
We have been teaching a lot of people lately. I wish I had more time to tell about them all! There is a part member family who we have been working with. Bere is not a member. We had a spiritual lesson with her on Saturday as well and she is going to be baptized this Sunday! We are excited for her! She is going to be the example that her family needs to come back to church. 

I hope this story makes sense. We have been teaching this guy named Charlie. He is our age. Charlie has a brother named Joey who is still in high school. Last week I went over to their house with another sister because we were on exchanges. We were knocking on the door when Joey and his girlfriend Karissa came walking up. We talked to them for a little bit and then they let us in and went into another room and we taught Charlie. A few times since then when we went by to teach Charlie he would always tell us its okay to come in the house because his brothers girlfriend was there and that we were able to enter the house. Although we never taught them I knew who they were from meeting them that one time. Last Sunday the Elders brought a family to church that they had randomly found through a member. Sister Moore and I taught in young women's that Sunday and the girl from the family was in young women's with us. I got to talking to her and we made the connection that she is Joey's girlfriend who I met for a brief moment that one day and that she was always there inside Charlie's house when we taught him lessons! So our investigator is dating the Elders' investigator! Its cool because we both just kind of found the two families separately. Karissa has helped us a lot to get Joey to come to church and it was a tender mercy from God! 

This week has been a miracle-filled one. We have found so many cool people and we had a lot come to church yesterday as well. I pray that I will get to stay another one here with Sister Moore. The work is hard and we always have a lot to do but I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm grateful for the opportunity to be here doing the Lord's work. My Padre wrote me a letter this week with a quote in it that says, "God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called." I know that to be true will all of my heart. I wouldn't be out here if He called the qualified! I'm grateful for the many souls who have changed my life and I'm grateful to be a part of miracles and changing theirs too. 

I love you all and I thank you for your love and support. Have a great week!!

                                                                             Hermanita ThOmAs.

Monday, April 11, 2016

I live in Texico

April 11, 2016

This week was nuts! Sister Moore and I worked together for a total of one day. We had lots of exchanges. It was fun though. I learn a lot from the other sisters. They are all so awesome! 

Sister Stanfil and me.
 I always take the sisters to the river on exchanges because only our area touches the border.
They love it!
Sister Hortel and me. We came out together.
She is the STLT (Sister AP)
Two pals sneakin' into Mexico
Throwing rocks across to Mexico
On Saturday, we stopped by Robert's house. Usually when we teach him it's outside on the porch. He has some little rocking chairs that we always sit in. Anyway, when we got there the chairs were further down on their patio. We sat down and started talking to him. I noticed behind him, leaned up against the house, was a Santisimo Muerte statue (death saint). We had never seen it until then because we were always sitting in a different spot. I talked to him about it and we talked about the Holy Ghost and the Trinity. I asked him if we could take it from him because it's not good. It's basically devil worship although they don't see it that way. It looks like the grim reaper and she is supposed to take your soul to God. And if you disrespect her or something she will kill you. To get rid of it you cant throw it away, you have to leave it somewhere or gift it to someone. Anyway Robert was like, "I'll make a deal with you, the next time you guys ride bikes and no dogs chase you or bite you, you can take it." I told him that we were actually going to drive down to Rio Bravo and bike there after we left his house. We made the deal with him and told him that we would come back at the end of the night to let him know what happens. I was a little worried because Rio has stray dogs all over that place! I had never said so many prayers in my life for dogs to not chase us. We went through the entire day without any dogs chasing us. It was cool because we would bike past some and I thought for sure they would and they didn't! It was literally a Christmas miracle. Anyway, we went back later that night to Robert's and tell him the good news and to fork over the statue. When we walked over to where it had been sitting it was moved from up off of the ground onto one of the chairs we had been sitting on earlier. Robert was a little freaked out because he asked his whole family who moved it and none of them did. He was super afraid that if I destroyed it that it would come harvest my soul. I told him that God wouldn't let that happen. Robert's little nephew who is 2 years old kept walking over to where the statue had been sitting on the ground and he kept saying "Cucui" which means "Ghost" in Spanish. Long story short I took the statue and smashed it against a wall later that night. 

Robert wanted a picture with his Santisimo Muerte statue before I took it.
Robert's marijuana plant.

Robert made us tripas, which is cow intestines.  I watched him clean the poop out of them.

We have tons of people we are teaching right now. Our area is awesome. I love Laredo. The other day while we were at the river we talked with a border patrol guy named Victor while he was in his truck. We asked him questions and we taught him the restoration. It was the coolest thing ever. He also gave us a whole bag of grape gum. We talked with him for like 45 minutes, I'm pretty sure some Mexicans snuck across during that time! haha sorry not sorry. After we left I told Sister Smith that he was going to get baptized someday. Then a few days later we were on another exchange and we were in Rio Bravo, which is a little town that we cover. We were walking down to the river when a border patrol pulls up to us and it was Victor!! I guess he was talking to one of his coworkers and told him that he knew us and had to come talk to us. He walked down to the river with us too! Then he was like, "Want some snacks?" Of course I said, "yes!" He gave us jerky and capri suns. It was not a coincidence that we saw him again in another city on the day he was working. The Lord has a sense of humor and has been good to us.

Every Friday we go with the Elders to a look-out over Mexico and eat potatoes for lunch.
This is our district on "Potato Friday."  I don't participate because the potatoes
aren't from Idaho.
My companion and the sisters we live with.
                                 Hipster Missionaries

I love my mission and I am growing and learning everyday. It's amazing to see God's plan unfold right before our eyes and to see how much He cares about us, even the little things. Although that doesn't mean that it is going to be easy but as long as we are trying He will make up the rest. I love preaching the Gospel. I love the people. Thank you for your continual support and love y'all have shown towards me. I am grateful for this opportunity to not only change my own life but the lives of many others and that has been the most rewarding part. I love y'all. 
Hermanita Thompson

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

A word from the Editor...

I'm Sara Oblad, Abbie's oldest sibling, favorite sister, and the Chief Editor of her blog.  She asked me to include the following story that I shared with her this week in my weekly email to her:

*names have been changed to protect private lives
**sorry for so much detail included- you'll understand why if you get through the whole thing!

I am the Relief Society President in our Ward here in North Dallas in a little state called Texas!  As anyone with a leadership calling would know, there usually is a long list of members who are inactive and not easy to find.  About a year ago, I was going through this list trying to find inactive members on Facebook because they either didn't have a phone number listed or didn't have a current address.  I came across a woman's name, *Andrea York.  I looked her up on Facebook, found a woman who looked to be about her age with that name and sent her a message.  She responded 4 days later and said she was a member but hadn't been to church in years.  She mentioned her daughter who used to go to the church in the next town over.  She was very sweet and we messaged back and forth for a few minutes.  Andrea said she had moved from the address I had listed and gave me a new address of where she was currently living.  I sent her new address to the Membership Clerk and he sent her records to the ward she was supposed to be in.  I thought I probably wouldn't hear from her again.

Nearly one year later, just a couple of months ago, our ward received the records for an Andrea York again with the same address as before in our town.  I sent her a message again asking if she had moved back to Little Elm where we live.  She said she had not moved and was still at the address she had given me last year.  I thought that was odd so I apologized for bothering her again and sent the info once again to our Membership Clerk who sent the records out again and didn't think much more about the situation.

Last week, I was tagged in a post on Facebook in a group called "Ladies of Little Elm," which has 6,000 members from my town and neighboring towns on it.  I went to the post where I was tagged.  A woman named *Sharon was asking if anyone in the group belonged to the Little Elm 1st Ward.  A friend of mine who used to be in my ward responded and tagged me in her post.  Sharon said she was trying to get in contact with the missionaries and wanted to start attending the Little Elm 1st Ward.  Sharon then thanked my friend, Michelle, for tagging me because I had contacted her mother awhile ago but Sharon wasn't able to get a hold of me. A bunch of other sisters in my ward responded to her post as well introducing themselves.  I sent Sharon a private message, thinking she was a member who had just moved to the area and was wondering about our ward.  I found out her mom was Andrea and that Sharon was not a member!  We talked for a bit and Sharon said she was planning on moving in with her mom soon so I figured out which ward her mom was in with the new address Andrea had given me.  I contacted our missionaries to find out the contact info for the missionaries in her mom's ward.  Our ward's missionaries said that Andrea's ward, Frisco 1st Ward's missionary was staying with them until he got a new companion!  It was so random because Frisco 1st Ward is in another Stake!  So I gave them Sharon's number and asked the Frisco 1st Ward's missionary to contact her as soon as he could!  I was wondering how to get a hold of the Relief Society President for Frisco 1st Ward because they are in a different Stake and I didn't have that information as readily available.

In the meantime, Sharon posted on that same Facebook post saying that she actually wasn't in Little Elm 1st Ward but would be going to Frisco 1st Ward instead.  Not long after she had posted that, another woman said she had just moved from that ward and had loved it so much and was sad to leave.  I then sent her a message and asked her for the Relief Society President's information so I could tell her about Andrea and Sharon.  Within minutes I had her information and was texting with her about these wonderful ladies that were in her ward.  She said she had received Andrea's records that week and was planning on visiting her!

I made plans with Sharon to meet me and some other sisters from church at the park the next day with her 2 year old son (this was just yesterday- Abbie's P-day).  After talking with her for a bit, she opened up and said that she was separated from her husband at the moment.  She said he had been in the Navy and was put in prison for 2 years for some misconduct and was released in January.  He was now living in Corpus Christi while he was on probation until September.  She and her son went down over Easter weekend to be with him.  She suggested they go to a church while she was there.  During their whole relationship he has been atheist or agnostic but found God while serving his prison sentence  When she suggested church he said he had been going to a church for a few months but didn't want to tell her the name.  He said it was a different kind of church.  He said they meet for 3 hours.  He finally told her it was the Mormon Church!  She was shocked because as a teenager she had studied with the missionaries and was wanting to get baptized but never went through with it.  She told him that and he was surprised by it too.  As she was telling me the details of her story, I began wondering if there was somehow a connection with Abbie.  I asked what her husband's name was and which ward he was attending.  She said *Drew attending the Robstown Ward, which is very near to Corpus Christi.  I logged that in my brain and planned to email Abbie about him.  We had a great visit and made plans to see each other again.

I got home from the park and emailed Abbie right away.  She hadn't emailed for the day yet so I was hoping we could email back and forth for a few minutes.  She emailed me back within just a few minutes of my email and said SHE KNEW HIM!  She said that Robstown Ward was the ward she had just come from (I must have missed that detail in previous emails- ha ha!) and that Drew's missionaries were Sister Eggett and Sister Stanfil with whom Abbie was roommates and good friends!  Abbie had been to his house for dinner and he had come with them for teaching appointments.  She said he was wanting to be baptized but had to wait until his probation is over in September.  We emailed back and forth about it for a few minutes and she asked me to include this story on her blog.  Stay tuned to how this story may end....

I have been so touched as to the way the Lord is in the details of our lives.  I have been praying and fasting for missionary opportunities and being an instrument in His hands and he is using me!  It brings so much joy to be a part of someone's life as they accept the Gospel and are eager to embrace it.  I feel so lucky to have been able to make this extremely random connection between myself and my little sister serving a mission.  What a privilege!

Monday, April 4, 2016


April 4, 2016

Hello family! 

Giving Sister Smith a bowl cut
I don't have much to say this week! So I'll keep this one nice and short. 
Robert is doing really well. He came to 3 of the 4 sessions of Conference! He loved it. He bought us Chick Fil A between sessions yesterday. It was delightful. 

Happy Easter!!
I'm trying to think of anything cool that happened. We had some meetings in McAllen- that was fun. We drove with the Elders in the mini van and had a good chat on the way. 

The Elders put a massager in our mailbox for my hurt shoulder
The work is going great. my favorite talk this week was Elder Holland's. That one touched home and I loved it. 

Random chickens running around
The gospel is true! I love being a missionary! Things are busy and going great down here. The weather is nice!:) 

Sister Moore has my back!

Thanks for the love and support! 
Sister Thompson