Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Transfer 11!!

May 31, 2016

This watermelon is as big as me.  It legit weighed about 50 pounds.
What Sisters do in their off-time
So we have transfers today!! I am...... staying here in Brownsville! Sister Guzman left this morning. I'm just chilling here by myself in the library. Haha just kidding I'm with Sister Espinosa and we are waiting for our new companions to come. I have no idea who it is!

Random dinosaur
A pinata on P-day!
On Saturday we had a surprise leadership meeting. President Maluenda is finishing his mission on the end of June and he is preparing the mission for the new president. He had us all raise our hands if we were going to be going home in July or August. 90 percent of the leadership in the mission are and so the Zone Leaders and STLs are all going to be training new missionaries (greenies) or new leaders. And he has called younger missionaries to be the new Zone Leaders and STLs. I am the only STL that stayed! I don't know if he has kept any of the other STLs and is just putting them in another area or if I'm the only one that didn't go down to train. Either way it doesn't matter,  I'm just happy that I get to keep my calling. It keeps me on my toes and busy. I love going on exchanges with the other sisters and helping them. 

The checkpoint going into Mexico.  Too bad my passport is at home!
A pretty sunset
This week on Friday we were studying in the morning and during comp study sister Guzman looks at me and calmly says, " I have lice" I thought she was kidding but she had been saying for a week or so that her head itched. I realized she was serious and then I freaked out!! We called the other sisters to come over because we needed help with "something" they came over and sister Schickedanz stayed with sister guzman to go get lice shampoo and sister Edmonds came with me to meet Miguel at Taco Bell and teach him a lesson. When we got back we spent 5 hours getting lice out of her hair and putting the clothes in the dryers and cleaning. The OCD inside of me came right out! That was a day from Satan. It was so horrible. but I didn't get it!! 

This is Manuel, our investigator from Mexico.  He finished his song about the Book of Mormon.  It's SO good.  I want to try and record him singing it.  Hopefully he will let me.
My favorite sister, Sara, went to Corpus to visit her in-laws and ran into Sister Castro at the Corpus Ward where I served!
We had a ton of exchanges this week. I was with Sister Rivera on Tuesday. On Wednesday I was with Sister Edmonds. On Thursday I was with Sister Calero in port Isabel. And Friday I was with sister Edmonds again for part of the day. Then on Saturday we had that leadership meeting in McAllen which lasted most of the day. I was only in my area for one day. 

Exchanges with Sister Edmonds
Sister Rivera and I after mowing a member's lawn.  She saw a tarantula and I got bit by fire ants.

The Elders made us all matching skirts in the district and they made themselves ties too!  it was super cute.  Mine is really tiny and wouldn't fit over my butt so I had to put in on over my head.  Then we had an exchange after district meeting so I had to have one of the sisters get it off of me!! It was super funny and a little scary that I almost had to wear it forever because it was stuck!
Jennifer was supposed to be baptized on sunday but her mom "made" them all go to the beach and so she wasn't.:( we had a lesson with Jennifer this week to help her receive her answer because she wasn't really sure. I told her to pray right then and ask and she did. Then afterwards I handed her a book of Mormon and told her to randomly open it and she will find her answer. She did and her answer was there! It was the coolest thing ever! She knew that she needed to be baptized and she got her answer of yes. So we are going to work hard with her this week and make things happen. 

Our investigator's daughter and bunny rabbit.  This is Jennifer's little sister, Daffini.
Our investigators gave us a ride home and took us all to Whataburger (fast food place).  It was awesome!
We are teaching some really cool people right now. It will be interesting to see how this transfer is and who my new companion is. Usually I can tell what is going to happen with me and transfers but this transfer has been super crazy and so im a little nervous for the changes but its going to be great because ill learn a lot. 

I got to smash a cake in Elder Thunell's face for his Birthday.  It's one of my favorite Mexican traditions- that was fun!
Texas Pride!

I love you all. I hope you have a great week! Thank you for the love and support!
Love Hermana Thompson 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

15 MOnThS!!!!!!!!

 May 17, 2016

I would say that I've overcome my fear of horses but this picture says that I'm lying.
This week was a good one! So I always talk our district or the sisters into getting taco bell because taco bell is awesome. So earlier in the week we were there and I got my food and so I went and sat down with another sister. After I left, Sister Guzman was talking to some guy and she came and sat by us after and said that he had worked in Utah and Idaho and knew a little bit about Mormons. He lives in Mexico and comes here everyday to work. She got his information so that we could talk to him. Anyway a few days later I was on an exchange and I remembered we had Miguel's number and so I had the thought to call him. We did and he couldn't meet up with us that day so we said we would try again another day. Well a few days went by and we kind of forgot to call him again. We were out working and I was like "Let's get taco bell!!" I'm sure Sister Guzman is sick of taco bell but we went anyway. When I was at the soda fountain this man came up to me and asked where my friends were and I was like "quien?" Then I realized that he was Miguel, the guy that Sister Guzman talked to! So I had her come over and we sat down with him and we taught him about the restoration in the middle of taco bell. It was awesome. He writes and sings songs. He used to run marathons but can't now because he has arthritis. On the way out we gave him a Book of Mormon to read. 
The other day he texted us a song he wrote about the Book of Mormon! 
 "Los hermanos las hermanas por ti haran una oracion y el libro del Mormon se quedara en tu Corazon caminando caminando peladiando sin parar el mensaje lo llevamos por el mundo sin parar si quieres te visitamos para hacer una oracion y si la oracion te gusta nuestro padre celestial te iluminara por siempre con el libro del Mormon."

He texted us this morning and we met him here at the library because he wanted to learn more about the Book of Mormon. We had a super good lesson with him. He had questions written down about things he heard or read. It's super cool to see. It's one of those things that doesn't happen very often!! All because of my love for taco bell and God:) 

Just acting like 6 year olds again!

We have been teaching a transgender person too. She is a girl working on being a dude. We found her contacting on a street. She has come to our church for the past year but she goes in Rio which is like an hour away. She knows it's all true but can't get baptized because she is taking hormone shots and doesn't want to stop them. So that's been crazy to deal with. She is super cool and plays the guitar really well. We always have a good time when we go there to teach her. We went by the other night and she was at work so we talked to her mom. Her mom was out sitting on the driveway in a chair relaxing. She told us that she was about to mow the lawn so I got up and started mowing it! Hahaha I love doing that. Mexican people freak out when you try to help them. They are hard workers. She finally let me do it after some "arguing" . I told her I needed blessings. I guess she agreed;) 

Last week Dad wrote saying that he was getting the garden all ready and in my head I was thinking, "Well, that's dumb.  It's so hot already!"  It's HOT here! I forget that I'm going to die when I get home.  It was 109 the other day.
Jennifer is doing really well. She came to church yesterday with her cousins. She has changed a lot since we started meeting with her. She loves the church. Her mom doesn't like the idea of Joseph Smith being a prophet and so she kind of stopped coming. We are working hard with them. They are doing good. We are hoping she will be baptized next Sunday or the one after depending on the mom. 

Yesterday we went to a member's house to eat who is a single man so we ate on the front porch of his trailer.  He gave us soup.  Have you ever had soup when it's 100 degrees outside? I don't recommend it.  But it was amazing soup so I'll give him that!
The mission is going great. We get to be a part of a lot of awesome stuff and some not so awesome stuff too. 

We went digging for surprises at the Bodega!  I thought I was just digging for lice and fleas.
Thank you for all your love and support! I love you all a ton. Have a great week!
                                       Hermana Thompson

Monday, May 16, 2016

Hello from Brown Town

May 16, 2016

This was a possum playing dead in someone's yard.  It was super cool.  The tail wrapped around my finger!  We were sitting around having a lesson with these old people we saw outside and during the lesson the dog was trying to eat this possum.  I got up in the middle of the lesson and went over and picked up the possum to rescue it.  My companion that I was with told me later that the man said I was a good person for helping the possum and that I was going to heaven and they were going to hell for just sitting there and watching it.  ha ha!  Who knew saving a possum would set an example for somebody.
This week was a good one! We went down to McAllen for three days to have a training by our Mission President for all of the leaders. He also gave us all blessings and that was very powerful. I was a little nervous to get mine. Side story. Last week when I had an exchange with Sister Reynolds (STLT) I told her that I wasn't sure what I am supposed to be learning this transfer. She gave me the commitment to go through all of my areas and write down what I learned from each one and then see what is missing and that's what I need to work on. So I did that and I had a few ideas I had written down. When I got my blessing from President he blessed me with a few different gifts and they were all the things that I thought I was supposed to work on! I thought that was cool. I gained a testimony of following leaders and of the priesthood. He also quoted things from my Patriarchal Blessing. I learned a lot during the meetings too. I realized that I have so much to learn and do before I go home and It stresses me out. When I started my mission I got this idea in my head that I would come home an entirely different person. So much cooler and smarter and changed. Well I got the cooler part down;) Now that I have just a few months I have realized that a mission teaches you HOW to change and be happy and progress. It's not just going to stop after I get home but be a continual life long pursuit of changing and progressing. Anyway that's my little rant. 

Part of the group I came out with at the leader's meeting.

Some of the STLs
I got to work in McAllen for those days and we also got to see the Hernandez family which was super fun. We had a good time with them.

The Hernandez Family

So that giant spoon is full of Pepto Bismol.  My companion and investigators (yes, they are all Mexican) wanted to see how many jalapenos I could eat.  I had like 7.
Jennifer and Elizabeth are doing good. They came to an FHE with us on Monday night and they loved it. While we were gone, Jennifer went to mutual and they also went to another activity the church had. So that was awesome! They are doing super well so keep them in your prayers to continue to progress. 
I don't have too many stories this week since we weren't really here. I'm also out of time. Things are going great and I'm happy to be here! I love you all. Thank you for everything!
Hermana Thompson 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mail from Mexas!

May 9, 2016

Hello my loved ones!
So I don't have much to say this week since I got to talk to y'all yesterday! I remember thinking last time we skyped on Christmas that it would be five months until I saw y'all again and dang the time flew by so fast! Now It will be 3 months until I see you again... in person! Super weird. 

I found Kinzie!!!
This week we had a lot of exchanges. Sister Guzman and I were only together for a full day this entire week. We are still being blessed for our efforts. We had a family come to church yesterday. The mom's name is Elizabeth and she has 3 kids. We are working to get Elizabeth and Jennifer baptized at the end of this month. They are super cool. They have a pet rabbit named Olivia. They also feed us more than our members do so that's nice. They are cousins with some of the members in the branch and that's how we got into contact with them. Last night after skyping we went over there and we were teaching them The Gospel of Jesus Christ. We needed one more member present to hit our goal for the week but didn't have anything lined up. In the middle of the lesson there was a knock on the door and it was the member cousins! They helped us teach the lesson and it was awesome! I know we were blessed for keeping our Skype date on time;) Just like you guys said! 

                                    Not too long ago I was on another exchange with a sister in my area. I still don't know our area very well or even the members so I was a little worried if I could make up a whole day's worth of stuff to do! Haha I'm horrible but it's true. So we went by a lot of less-actives that day. We stopped by and met a lot of members. We still needed to receive and contact referrals so we went to a neighborhood that I just picked and started knocking on doors. The first lady was a little rude and wouldn't talk with us and I asked if we could visit her neighbor next door and she said yes. We walked over and it was an older lady.  I think her name was Maria (surprise). She said that she couldn't talk right now she was watching her nietos (grandchildren) and that her daughter was in the other room sick. I asked her if it would be okay that we said a prayer with her to help her daughter and she was a little hesitant at first and I insisted. She let us in and we had a nice little prayer with her and got to know her a little bit and left. Before we left we asked if she knew anybody on the street we could visit and she pointed out houses. We just kept following the chain. We finally got to this house and knocked on the door. This man opened up the door and he was overly excited to see us, which always catches me off guard because nobody is that excited to see us when we knock on their door. His name is Frank. We got talking to Frank about what we do as missionaries and he was like, "That's the craziest thing- my daughter just asked if we could pray over our food because we never pray so we did and then you guys just showed up!" He took it as a sign and was like "Come in come in! You must have something important to tell me!" We taught them and have set up a return appointment with them but I thought it was a great experience for all of us to see how much God cares about the very details of our lives. How important timing is and if we are doing what is right and we are trying our best even though we don't know what the heck we are doing sometimes that we will be blessed for our efforts!  

We went to the zoo last Monday.  That was fun.
I match the zebra
My companion and me

I love you all. You bring me so much joy. Thank you for all that you do! I hope you have a happy week!
                             Love Hermana Thompson

Monday, May 2, 2016

Happy Mother's Day!!

May 2, 2016

My companion and me
This week has been a crazy one! I don't have super great stories this week. I feel like I didn't have a second to even think or to internalize anything! Time is flying by so fast. I did get peed on by a turtle though. That was gross. I saw 3 tarantulas this week. One of them literally the size of my hand and that's not exaggerating. We are going to the zoo today for p day and I'm afraid because animals hate me. We will see how many bite me! haha wish I was kidding. 
Moving apartments
Riding in the back of a car
We had a few service projects too and a surprise trip to McAllen for an interview. Between those and moving apartments I am wiped! I feel like I am 90 years old. 

Service project
Love these sisters- they are awesome
I think I slept in my own bed 2 nights this week. We had exchanges all week with the sisters. We had an exchange with the STLTs. I went to Edinburg with sister Hortal. That was fun. We went to this less actives house and got talking to her. She has had a really hard life. Her father was a drunk. When she was 6 she watched her dad kill her mom. Her dad would abuse them physically and sexually. After 5 years she moved in with her aunt who made her a prostitute. She was doing all kinds of drugs and you name it she lived through it all. It made me cry while she was telling us all of this. She has come back to church and she has just finished a book of her testimony of all the times she has seen God in her life. Even though she has been to Hell and back she still has more than a books' worth of writing of how she has seen God in her life. It makes my heart hurt and full at the same time. How many of us look at our trials and say, "God was there for me then and He helped me through it all. Every single step of the way." or do we say "Why has this happened to me? Why do bad things happen to good people?" Don't we know that God is aware of everything? Through trials, weak things can be made strong. Have we been changed by Grace? That lady has no idea how much I have thought about her this week. We never know whose lives we are impacting even through our hardest times. That woman taught Sister Hortal and I through her trials and weaknesses because she applied Grace into her life. To change takes practice. It is to suffer. To sacrifice. To learn. To apply. They don't call it long suffering for nothing. She could have easily blamed God for her trials. She could have given up. She could still be doing drugs and blaming her father. She decided to use the Atonement to not only be cleansed but to be changed! 
I know that Grace is the presence of God's power. To help lift us up in even the hardest of times so that we too can become like Him. 

I love you all and I hope that you have a great week! 
Love sister Thompson 
This is from last transfer- Sister Moore and me
From last transfer- We look great!