Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Super Cool Miracle...

We are just rolling along here in rennes. I can't believe that it is December. It snuck up on me. Everything is going pretty well here. We werent able to find very many new people this week but we had a super cool miracle. Ill tell you about it later.

Edward is doing well. We think that he is actually just a little odd haha. Not exactly crazy. He is super smart... we think haha. He is studying biochemical engineering apparently. Thats what he says. We just think he is lacking in the social departement. But we taught him about the restoration and the book of mormon and he understood very well. He has been praying more and more and his prayers are getting pretty good. Its cool to see his progression.
We havent been able to see liz this week but will see her tomorrow night. We havent been able to see the family either with the little boy. Bummer. Marko is doing super well though. We taught him about the priesthood this saturday and he grasped it super well and is excited to prepare to recieve it! He was there at church too and had a good day. Then we went to a members house with him that night to eat.It went super well! He is just progressing so much and is just a happier guy. So cool.
Once again we had a ton of lessons fall through. Its a fun time haha. We visited a few members. They are all so great.

This last sunday was fast sunday so i took advantage and bore my testimony for the last time on my mission. All the members loved it and were surprised to learn i am leaving so soon. I dont tell people when i will finish haha. Ive been in denial :) SO a ton of them invited us over this week to eat and visit them. Sweet!

ON thursday we had our zone turkey day. It was s o good. We all pulled togtether a really good meal. We each had to bring our own "meat" and then we were each assigned a dish. We brought the gravy and drinks haha. And for our meat we made bbq pulled pork because we happened to find a crock pot in the appartment... thank you sisters!! haha. It was really good. We played games together for a long time. I bought this french card game called loups garous. It is the funnest game ever. We will definitely play it when i get back!! you can play with up to 28 people so we will play with all the extended fam! woot!
That night we saw the castro family. Thats the family witht the dad who is not a member. We invited him to be baptized. But he declined. He said he doesnt see the need and doesnt believe in the book of mormon. SO we challenged him to read it sincerely with his wife because he never hasd and to pray about it. He will do it. So we will see what happens there. We went and did service for a non member family who is rebuilding their second story. That was fun. He works for the metro service and offered us a tour of the metro headquarters so we went on saturday. That was actually really cool.

So now for the miracle! Tuesday night we went porting.. tracting... in an area we had bneen planning on hitting for a while. We could just never get out there. We finally did and started. The first house we talked to a man and he wasnt interested. So i asked if he knew anyone of his friends or someone in the neighborhood who would be. And he told us there was a street with an apt building and there is a house in front of it with a family who believes in god. So we left adn went to find that house. We started porting that street across from the apt building and a few doors down a girl answered. We recognized her as the daughter of the second counselor! It was there house haha. We didnt know that they lived there. She let us in and told us that her dad was really sick. We went into the living room and he was lying on the couch looking like death. Seriously he didnt look well at all. He said he had a fever and hurt all over. Was hot and cold. And could barely walk or see straight. He said that he was just thinking about who he could call to give him a blessing. And then we showed up. So i gave him a blessing and then his wife came home. She invited us to stay for dinner and said that it would be cool becazuse they have a nonmember staying with them from lille. SO we went porting for a bit more and then came back and ate with them. The man christophe was really cool and the best part is that at the end of the meal the dad was so much better. He was up walking around and seemed almost normal. Amazing. Then on sunday the friend christophe came to church and lovied it. And we are going to go to their house this week to eat and teach him! SO cool! It was amazing how we were led to their home that night when he was in need.
And thats about it for this week! It soudns like you guys had a super good week. Cant wait to see you all! I hope you have a great week and i will talk to you soon! And then see you a few days later! Crazy! Love you.

Elder Thomas

My beautiful Zone...

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The only catch is, he might be slightly crazy...

Rennes is doing just splendid this week haha. It is sunny right now which is a nice change. Getting pretty cold though. I used to love the cold! But arizona has changed me it seems.
Marko is doing super well. He was sick this sunday so he couldnt come but we are going to lunch at a members house with him on wednesday. We read the talk by prez monson where he talks about seeing others as they can become. He loved it. Haha i figured you had pictured him looking different. We found and taught a new family this week with three kids. They are hilarious. The one and a half year old loves us. 
The family that lives far away... the mom is named florian the 20 yr old daughter is liz and the 18yr old son is named Farelle. Florian the mom is kind of a bum haha. farelle listens sometimes. But Liz is super cool. We had two great lessons with her this week. She is really looking for acceptance from god and believes that she has made too many mistakes in her life and that gopd shouldnt forgive her. We were able to really testify of the atonement and its power. The spirit was so strong. I felt that i was able to relate to her personally. She told us that she is the biggest sinner... which i highly doubt. So i pulled out alma 36 and read about almas conversion with her. She was like wow he was a big sinner haha. But it really touched her and she said she understood and now knows that god loves her and wants to forgive her. She kissed the book of mormon she was so happy. It was great :) 
We found a man named edward who when we talked to him in the street told us that he was completely atheist and that he only believes in science. We taught him the next day and i asked if he had ever believed in god. He said he does now and i asked since when?! and he said since yesterday when i talked to you guys. So that was pretty cool. But the only catch is that he might be slightly crazy... we will see. Lets hope not. I was able to give one of the sisters a blessing this week because she was pretty sick. SO that was cool. She is all better now :) 

Thats about all for this week. 

On Thursday, We are getting together as a zone here in rennes to play games and stuff. Should be fun. I hope you guys are doing well and getting excited for the trip back!!! Its going to be so fun!!! Love you guys so much. I cant believe that i only have two weeks left... so crazy. Love you tons. Hope you have a great week. Talk to you soon and see you soon too!  
Elder Thomas 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Marko's Baptism...

So first of all....... Marko was baptized!!!!!!!!!! It was so amazing. It was so great to finally see him be able to make this big step in his life. The baptism was great. There was a special spirit there in the chapel and all of the members said that they could feel it. He also asked me to baptize him which was so cool. I was very honored that he asked me to do it. I tried to get him to pick a member but he wouldnt haha. He told me that in yugoslavia the person who baptizes you is basically family and you have to respect them for the rest of your life. But the baptism was great. He just kept thanking us for helping him to become clean. He has seen so much bad in his life. He really is a changed man. Its amazing to see how powerful the atonement of christ is. That it could completely change him and turn his life around. It was just a wonderful day.

 The exchanges in lorient went pretty well. It is a city on the coast more west than rennes. It is like an hour and a half train ride away. We werent able to see the far away family but will on wednesday. Also we saw the other family with the two girls with the muslim dad. We had a good lesson about the plan of salvation but then he told us that it wasnt logical and that he needed to be able to know that it was true by logic. He said that it didnt make sense that we can pray to get an answer that it is true. He also refused to just try and pray and ask. Because it would be against his religion. They have to say every day that muhammed is the last prophet and they dont recognize christ as the son of god so i guess if he prayed then he said he would be denying his faith and that would be a bad sin for him. SO i told him that he is basically trapped and cant learn or grow and he really reflected when i said that. But in the end he said he will never pray to ask. It was really sad because i know that if he would just pray and ask he would know that this is the truth and he would be so blessed. But i feel comforted knowing that i was able to testify and do all that i could to help him find the truth. But its sad to see someone just reject it. When i know how simple it is to just pray and ask! 

We dont have a lot of investigators right now but we just keep trucking along looking for them. I know they are there! Im just trying to do my best to stay focused and keep working hard. Hope you have a great week. Talk to you soon! 
Elder Thomas 

Marko's  Baptism...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

My "Dying" Testimony...

Hey!  Thanks for all of the bday wishes. I had a great bday week! The pkg was so awesome! I was able to open it with the sisters and my comp and we all had a ton of fun with it haha. Thank you so much. I loved the notes from the family too. Thank them all for me please! I cant believe that i am so old... haha. We had a super good zone conference this week. Interviews were great and our training went well. I also gave my dying testimony as you saw. That was weird. THe whole day prez kept cracking jokes about how long i had been on my mission haha. It was a pretty good week.

 Again we had a ton of lessons cancel or fall through. Like ten!!! We had four lessons set on my bday and so i was super excited for that. But they all fell through. OUch. Satan is definitely trying to stop us out here. We have some important things to do. And i think he is really trying to stop me and discourage me before i finish my mission. But i wont let it happen :) 

Marko is doing well and excited for his baptism. Please pray for him that everything will go well and he can finally pull through this saturday. He needs this so badly. BUt as of right now all is well and he is super excited! We havent seen the castro family yet but will see them this week and he talked to us about baptism this sunday so things are looking good.

This week we also were able to see the family that we found a few weeks ago that the sisters ended up seeing. We have the car now so we were able to go visit. Only the 20 yr old daughter listened but she is super cool and very believing in christ! We had a great lesson and she is open to baptism and is excited to come see markos on saturday. We also saw a family yesterday. The dad is muslim and the mom is french not really religious. They have two adorable little girls. We had a pretty good lesson and he is open to learning. We will go back on saturday. We have a lot of potential right now. So hopefullyt everything works out. Things have been tough for a while so i have to think that things will work out soon.  Tomorrow we are going to the city of lorient to do exchanges. That will be fun. And then we will get ready for the baptism!

 THat was pretty much it this week. Zone conference was the highlight. Im very grateful to be a leader and also to be an old missionary haha. We also made enough burritos for all 24 members of the zone haha. That was fun. President was raving over how good they were. ANd then sister poz called me on my bday and told me again that he mentioned them to her a few times in the week. Pretty funny. 

 I cant believe that there is only a month left! I am just trying to give it my all with this bit of time that i have left. BUt still cant wait to see you. Love you tons. Talk to you soon!!! 
Elder Thomas 

My "Dying" Testimony, Birthday  Party and bday dinner at a members home. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Marko is back!....

   This week was a tough one again haha. Aren't the all?? But we still saw some good things happen. Even small miracles are great! We had a lot of lessons fall through so that was tough. And we havent heard from reis or the marie family. Fely is in paris still and so is paul and his family. We werent able to see the other family either. Mince! That basically means bummer in french. But guess who is back?? Marko! He texted us this week and wants to be baptized again. I think he is for real this time. we saw him once and he came to church. We will see him tonight at a members home too. So he should be baptized the 16th of november! We also saw two of the thai people again at the members home. We ate with them and taught about the book of mormon. It went super well. We also ate with a member family where the husband isnt a member. He really likes us and opened up a lot to us as he drove us home. He was open to baptism so we will see! Monday and tuesday were filled with packing and moving. SO fun. The apt is super nice. We really like it. I feel like we live in a hotel. We have the car now and elder smith learned how to drive manuel... all the cars are manuel here. I cant drive in france. SO he will always drive. We dont have very many miles a month. Basically enough to get to church and then to visit a few people. SO we still walk a lot haha. ON friday we went to Paris.. no big deal... for mission council. It was super good. Except we got up at 530 and then had to walk a ways to the metro because the busses didnt work because there was a holiday. Then when we got to the metro it was closed for the holiday so we had to jog to the gare... train station. We didnt catch the train because it was super far away haha. SO we took the next one and showed up a little late. Once we arrived in paris we were running up stairs and i took three at a time, like a beast i know. BUt i pulled something in my knee and it swoll up super huge. So i thought i was going to be in trouble because it was pretty hard to walk. But now it is all normal haha. SO no worries. 
 OUr zone this transfer should be really good. There are so many new and really young missionaries which will be great. We have a zone conference on thursday and then interviews so we will give a training. Im excited for that.  A member family found out that it is my bday and they invited us over to eat. SO nice. This ward is the best. By the way there were 160 members at church this sunday... thats a ton for france.  Well thats about all i got for this week. I hope you all have a great week! Loves! 
Elder Thomas 

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Final Countdown!

Its been a great week this week. We had some harder days but saw a couple cool miracles this week. We werent able to see fely since last monday because he went to paris to  visit his family. Hopefully we can see him again soon. We werent able to see the marie family because they didnt answer their phone or call us back... usually they do so hopefully everything is okay with them. We also havent been able to get ahold of reis. So thats a little hard. Hopefully everything is okay with him. 

So i will be staying here in rennes for my last transfer!!! Im super excited to stay here. It is going to be great. I will stay here as zone leader with elder smith. They also are going to put a new companionship of sisters here in rennes so there will be four sisters and then us. That will be interesting in the ward. Hopefully they dont just focus on the sisters and forget us! haha. But i am really excited for this transfer.

This week we found two super cool families! One of them we knocked on the door and a lady answered. We thought that she lived there but turns out that she was the maid. But we talked to her and she wanted to see us. So we went to try to see her saturday and her two teenage kids but it turns out that it is impossible to get out to where she lives haha. If you dont have a car. So we passed her info to the sisters because they have a car. They said they had an amazing lesson with them. Also we were on our way to a little village to tract. And we talked to a guy named paul on the bus bench. He turned out to be really cool! We taught him saturday night along with his wife two girls and then his niese as well. So cool!!!! Finally we are finding families! We are really excited about them... 

okay random turn of events. We just got a call from the mission secretary and i guess we will be switchiing appartments with the sisters... Ouch. So now we have to take the next two days to pack up and switch our stuff over. Not fun... But on the bright side we will have the car now! so we will be able to go and teach that far away family now! So that will be an exciting adventure. 

On sunday i gave a talk. It went really well. I talked about the blessings that we have as members of the church. And then talked about alma 36:24 to 26 and how we need to share these blessings and joy that we have found with those around us. They loved it and all said that i was a great public speaker! Weird haha. I think thats about it for this week. Super excited to start this last transfer and give it my all. Going to see miracles!!! Love you tons! A bientôt!
Elder Thomas 

Such a good District...

Monday, October 21, 2013

Random Adventures and Memorable Moments...

Well, We had another really good week. It was full of random adventures. We didnt havea  ton of time for "normal" work in our area. But it was good. Fely is doing well. We saw him twice and taught the word of wisdom and then talked about the atonement using alma 7. Then we shared a talk by elder oaks about the holy ghost and revelation from august. He is doing well. Reis is doing super well too. We had a great rdv where we taught about faith and repentance. He really liked repentance and is progressing well. We havent been able to get ahold of rishard. We will keep trying. The marie family is doing well. We had an amazing lesson where we taught the second half of the plan of salvation. The mom florence was in tears when we talked about the celestial kingdom and how we can live as a family forever. We couldnt get her to open up at all but i know that she was feeling the spirit. Hopefully we can see them again soon. The dad is pretty clueless and that was frustrating to florence. But they are doing well. 

On tuesday we went to paris and then to versailles for exchanges witht the assistants. That went super well. We taught some good lessons and did good work. The elder that i was with goes home in a week. Weird to think that i will be in his place soon. We didnt get home till late wednesday nightbecause the train was delayed. 

Friday we helped a member move some books. Actually we moved four thousand books twice. It took forever and we were so tired. We loaded the boxes into a truck from the library and then drove them to a huge shipping container and put them in there. It was pretty much just my comp and i moving them because the member was older. It was like 3000 pounds of books haha. Fun. 

That same day i got a call from the first counselor in the stake presidency. He told me that they needed someone to translate for the stake conference that weekend and that president told him that i would be the best. OH boy haha. So i spent saturday and sunday translating french into english for elder kearon of the first quorum of the seventy and also for elder charles who is an interregion seventy. Crazy! It was a little stressful haha. Translating for a general authority. But i really witnessed the gifts of the spirit. It was amazing how i was able to translate. Even When the speakers were going so fast in french and i had to listen and translate at the same time haha. It was cool. I also got to talk a lot with elder kearon and charles. They were super cool. But i didnt get any pics. 
After the stake conference we had a mini conference with my zone and prez. That was super cool. There are a lot of trials in the mission right now since we set our new goal. So they talked to us about how to overcome those trials and succeed in our goals. Super good. 

That was about it for this week. Always full of surprises!  I cant wait for our trip back here.  It is going to be so much fun! Love you guys so much!!! Have a great week. Loves!
Elder Thomas 

Pic of the sunset from Versailles