Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Eve!


Merry Christmas eve! Today we are just hanging out for the day maybe we will play some football or basketball. Tonight we are going to eat with the curtis family!

Our amis were all busy this week. SO we didnt get to see them. But we did find three new amis! That was really cool. Ludovic is doing super well. Yesterday the stake president had his 24 year old daughter with him for the holidays. He is american. And ludovic was flirting with her, hehe. He really wants to find an lds girl to take to the temple! So awesome. SO we teased him a lot yesterday haha.

We had a christmas conference here in Brussels with president and the assistants. That was really fun. They just made it a fun one. We watched segments of the movie Iron Will. And related it to out life on a mission. Then we had a hot chocolate and pastry/cookie dinner haha. They gave us a few little gifts too. It was great. Saturday we went caroling with all of the missionaries in grand place in the rain haha. That was a ton of fun. People really liked it. They all tried to give us money haha. Also while contacting one time we were in a really ghetto area. Lets just call it little arabia. Thats underexagerating. A 13 year old kid walked past us and did something in his pocket and then dropped something on the ground about 15 feet in front of us. Then he sped up a bit. I had the distinct impression to stop and so i just put my hand out and told elder oliverson to stop. We waited for about 10 seconds and then the little thing on the ground blew up! It was a huge firecracker. We think it might have been an M80. Cool. So that was fun. We got out of that area pretty fast haha.

Well, I Cant wait to see you tomorrow! Love you so much! Talk to you tomorrow!
Elder Thomas

Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's haircut time!

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!My week was pretty good. Fairly normal. Lots of contacting. All of our amis were really busy and so we couldnt see them. They have exams or other things happened. Havent seen fabrice yet. But this last week we found five or six potential people to teach! We taught a guy from benin africa yesterday who plays for the brusseles football team. American football! haha I didnt know they had one. So of course we connected with him. HE plays fullback. Ludovic is still good. He has plans to go to the temple in april to do the work for his dad as far as baptism goes. So awesome!!!!!!!! And he is working on his mom too. You guys will be able to see him next year for sure!!!! I did a training this week in our district meeting, It was fun haha. I think everyone liked it. Glad you liked the video about referring your friends too haha. We obviously feel very strongly about that topic!
Im doing well in the cold here. I am going to buy a new winter coat. The sales will start up this week or next so im going to do that.
Thanks for all the candy! The fudge is so good! And i loved all of the pkgs every day for the 12 days thing. Oh yeah, We also went to our ward party yesterday and they had a black santa for the kids hahahaha. And i also did a baptismal interview for the sisters investigator who got baptized on friday, That was sweert. Who knew that i would ever do an interview haha. Love y0u and miss you a ton! Talk to you on christmas!
Elder Thomas

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Hey! I have been great this week! Its been a busy week with transfers and paris and amis haha. But it was good. First week as district leader was good haha. I like it a lot. I get to be in contact with the missionaries in the district a lot and help them out. I actually enjoy a lot of responisbility. Paris was so sweet! And i was able to go to the eiffel tower with my boy! haha. So theres your christmas card photo haha. Ill send it after emails. The council was so cool. Basically like knights of the roundtable missionary style haha. We just dscussed the mission and our goals and what we can do to improve in the mission. Also what we can do as leaders to help the mission. It was really cool. Sis posnanski took a lot of pics so look for those on facebook. We didnt have a whole lot of time to meet with amis this week. We did see natacha and she is doing well. Just wrapping up all of the commandements and she should accept baptism soon. We found a new family too! Well we only met with the husband so far but his name is fabrice and he is really cool and sincere in his search. He has a wife and two little kids. The best thing that happened this week though was yesterday. After church Ludovic got the aaronic priesthood!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was so amazing! I got to stand in the circle for it and you could really feel the power and spirit there. HE was so excited. He will be a great priesthood holder. Then we set him apart as ward missionary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO aweseome!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so happy for him and this awesome step that he has taken. It has been less than three months from the time we met him and he has made a tremendous change. Im so grateful to have been a part of this miracle.
Yesterday after church we got the pkgs from the holloways! Yes! haha. They are so awesome!!!!!!!Thank you for everything that you do for me! You're awesome! Love you so much and i will talk to you soon!
Elder Thomas

Putting up the tree!!!

I'm officially a Disney addict...thanks Grandma!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My only pics of the week

A random statue...and my birthday cake!!!

The New District Leader!

Well i am staying in Bruxelles! Sorry I couldnt email but we had to check it and run. Plus we already knew what would happen. On friday i got a call from the assistants to president... one is elder mayne haha. And I was called to be the new district leader here! Pretty excited for that and very grateful to have that trust put in me. So i will be here for at least another transfer.

Ludovic is doing very well. He is prepping to get the priesthood soon and i think that he will be called as a ward missionary! That would be so cool! He came to stake conference yesterfday and was so excited for it haha. President and sister poznansky ended up coming and speaking too which was great. He liked that. Natacha is doing well. She wants to get baptized but wont fix a date yet. She is getting really busy with exams right now too. BUt she is doing well. Owen is good too. Said he cant be baptized until february. Dang haha. BUt at least he has a desire to. We still havent seen christian yet. Too busy i guess. We met with the man from ghana that we met at the baptism and he is really cool. He has a good desire to know christ and follow him. SO thats cool. We have also been getting a lot of new numbers from people lately and so hopefully we can get some lesons set up soon. It snowed for the first time yesterday and for a while this morning. Nothing sticking though haha. Its kinda like washington. It is super cold though.

We are going to Paris on thursday because I get to go to a leadership counsel meeting haha. It should be fun. Love you and miss you so much! Thank you so much for the pkgs! Maybe we will make the trek out there today. idk. Im sure they will be fine till sunday. Thank you so much. Love you and talk to you soon!

Elder Thomas

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving AND a Baptism!


Hey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a fantastic week we just had here in Bruxelles! It was so amazing. Topped off with a great baptism yesterday. Ludovic is a member of the church and has the holy ghost! So i have a ton of stuff to write about this last week and so i am going to write one email about last week and then one answering your questions and stuff. Okay here we go haha. So this week started out with pday last week in which we saw Ludovic and taught him at his friends house Samuel. We wrapped up a lot of stuff for the baptism and he was super excited for it. Then Tuesday i went on an exchange with the district leader. He speaks spanish and so we had two rdvs with people who only spoke spanish. That was fun haha. I actually understood about 80% of the lessons though. Gift of tongues! haha. But of course i couldnt speak haha. Then wednesday was interview day! So awesome. I love seeing president and sister poznanski. They Ygave great trainings preparing us for our challenge to find a family before Christmas. Then we ate a thanksgiving meal as a zone! It was so good haha. I guess you saw the pics. I saw them on the blog. After that we had our interviews. I love president and his wife so much. I feel so much love from them in the interviews. President told me to keep preparing myself because we will be getting a ton of young missionaries soon and so I'll be the older one haha. He said to prepare to train again and also to be a district or zone leader. Oh boy... haha. We will see. Then our whole zone went and had a turkeybowl!!!!!!! It was a ton of fun. I was like "megatron" out there! haha. Then we came back for dessert and oliverson and i had to get into our church clothes sweaty to go teach Ludovic at our church building. We taught him the last lesson we had and then he had his interview. He passed! duh. Haha but he was so happy when he did. On Thursday we went to a sweet tie shop and bought ludovic a couple ties to give to him at his baptism. Then that night the Curtis family invited us over for thanksgiving dinner! It was so much fun. Their family is awesome and we had a blast with them that night. The food was so good too. They took a pic and said they would send it to you soon. Then on friday we had luch with frere Fraikin again haha. Thats always fun. ANd we had a rdv with Owen. He said he will be ready to be baptized in February haha. Okay... On saturday we went knocking doors for like 6 hours haha. ANd not a single person let us in! Oh well. Then sunday was amazing!!!!!!!!!! I cant get all of the details down in this email but i wrote a ton in my journal. We got to church and then ludovic came and his mom came too! That was awesome. SHe is super nice and was crying like all day haha. SHe has been against him at church but i think she was touched and wants to see us now! The baptism was absolutely amazing!!!!!!!!! He was just smiling the whole time and was so happy. The ward did a wonderful job of integrating him and supporting him. If it could be like that with all of our investigators they all would be baptized! haha- I translated for the service and the talks that were given were great. His friend Samuel baptized him which was so cool. When he came up out of the water he was shining and so happy. He looked like a new person. Then the bishop gave him the holy ghost. I got to stand in the circle for that which was great. Then he gave his testiomny to everyone there and it was so powerful. I cant really describe the feeling at that baptism but it was incredible. After the baptism we went to the Holloways house for a barbeque with them samuel and his wife and ludovic. He also invited our amis Owen and Jonathan and Natacha. It was such a fun night. Oh and Ludovic's mom was there too. SHe enjoyed it a loyt and ludovic was so happy for that. Yesterday was the best day of my mission. SO amazing. ANother member also brought a friend to church and the baptism and he wants to be taught by us too! So literally so much happened yesterday! Well that was my week. IN a nutshell anyways haha. The church is true!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012


Hey mom! I am doing fantastic today. Hope you are doing well too. First of all i apologize for the email today if there are sa lot of typos haha. Because today the okelberry couple let us do emails at their home and so they have a regular american computer. I have been using a fgrench keyboard for so long so i have to really concentrate and peck to type haha. SO this make take me a while and i have a lot to say! haha. The weekend was pretty good. this las week was great with elder anderson to top it off. Ill start with chisttian. SO he reffered himself to a ward member that he found online or something. SO they gave us his info and we contacted him when i first got to bruxelles. He has six kids but they dont live with him because he is divorced. But we saw him a few times but he was really busy so he couldnt see us often. Then we didnt see him for a long time. Until last week. We taught him about faith in christ because he told us he wants to change his life and fix things. He got divorced because he was a drinker :( SO we talked about the path that christ has given us to live with him and introduced baptism. I felt prompted to invite him to baptized on the 8th of december and he accepted! He said he normally works every saturday though but when he checked his schedule he said oh i guess i dont that day thats weird haha. Not weird.... but Heavenly Father helping him out haha. SO thats where we are at with him right now. We havent been able to see him again yet but we will work on getting him ready. Paris was amazing!!! We went to a chappel in versailles. We took a train at 8:15 in the mornign to paris that took us about an hour and a half to get there. Then we met with every missionary in the mission at the chappel and got all set up for a huge group photo wioth elder anderson! Then we heard frtom the area presidency of the 70 for europe. Elder texiera and elder butoille. Then we heard from pres and sister poznansky and then from sister and elder anderson! It zas amazing. HE spoke about how our goal is to baptize. But thats not the only goal and that if we dont baptize a lot we arent failing our missions. But that our goal is to strengthen others faith in christ and we do0 that by simply talking to them on the street. It was great. He also thanked us for all of the work that we have done. ANd said that president monson sends his thanks and love to us all here. I dont knoz if you remember but we made a mission goal at the start of september to have 78 baptisms in the mission before elder anderson came. ANd we ended up having 81!!! The conference ended at 4 and then we got to visit with all the missionaries and then had a train to catch at 6. We had to sprint to the train and only a couple of us caught it haha. But im glad we made it because the others had to wait until 10 for the next train! ouch haha. Good day though. Everytyhing is all set for ludovics baptism. He is awesome. We just have a few things to go over with him this week but he is great. I am so excited for this sunday!!! We will see him tonight and a few times throughout the week. This week we also have a cool day planned for wednesday. We will have our training from pres and the zone leaders. And then interviews with pres. Then a turkey day potluck haha. I think they got turkey! We will see. The we get to have a turkey bowl with the whole zone! That will be so sweet.

Thank you so much for the bday pkg! It is so awesome. I love it! We are going to have a sweet party today haha. That will be fun. I love the journal. That was such a great idea. I loved all of the things written inside. Especially the testimonies. I loved parkers. I cant believe he is going to get the priesthood soon. SO crazy!

Things are going great with my blue. He is a good guy and we are both learning and progresing together.

Woo! go saints! haha Thats so awesome. LOve you so much mom. Thank you for everything. Hope you have a great thanksgiving with lots of food and football!!! Love you and talk to you soon!
Elder Thomas

Monday, November 12, 2012


Sweet strawberry Tart my Comp got me for my birthday!!!


Hey mom! Things are doing pretty well here in rainy Bruxelles. It is getting pretty stinking cold and I guess I got used to the az weather too. Haha, I'm good though. I dont really feel older yet haha. I don't really want to feel older haha. I can't believe that I am not a teenager anymore. I will always be a little kid! My comp and I get along well and are becoming better friends every day. Its great! I am pretty sure that I will be here for Christmas. Almost always the trainer and blue stay together for two transfers. So I am almost positive that we will still be here together. Ludovic is doing super well! We only have a couple lessons to teach him. Follow the prophet, chastity, and word of wisdom. But he already knows all three. We just have to officially teach it so he definitely understands. He is pretty excited for his baptism day. His family and other friends aren't very supportive so that is tough for him. But he knows that this is the choice to make. He is making good friends in the church too. He asked his friend Samuel to baptize him. That will be really cool. He is just too awesome haha. We weren't able to see natacha this week because she got sick. We taught a guy named aden who could be pretty cool we will see. Other than that it was a difficult week. A lot of people cancelling on us and just people not interested. But we keep on working hard, looking for those who are ready. They certainly are there. Yesterday in church I gave a talk. Even as a missionary you can't escape that. Of course I was asked to speak on missionary work. It was great. The ward isn't super helpful in that departement aside from a couple members so I really laid it down! haha. I used a bit of a talk by Pres Hinckley in 1999 called find the sheep or something like that haha. It is super good talk. Sharing the gospel definitely isnt easy but we need to do it! Just pray for opportunities to do so and they will be there.
Yesterday at church Pres. Poznanski's first counselor showed up at church and he loved my talk. haha. Then after church we had a meeting with him and our ward mission leader and the stake pres. to discuss what needs to be done in the ward to help us as missionaries. So grateful for that.
This week we get to go to Paris to listen to Elder Anderson speak to us! that will be so awesome! Super excited for that. They don't celebrate Thanksgiving here. But all the missionaries in our zone will get together next week for a lunch and then a turkey bowl!!!! That should be sweet! Well, thats about it for this week. Always, I'm sure that I forgot some stuff haha. Love you guys so much!!!! Love you and miss you tons. Elder Thomas

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Arch by our appartement


Hey mom! It really is getting close to the halfway mark isn't it?? Its crazy to think about. I have been trying to get into the christmas spirit haha. Because you know how much I love christmas! We found a tree in our storage and put it up haha. And now all we need is some christmas music. If you could send some that would be cool!
Our halloween was different haha. It was like the holiday doesn't even exist haha. Oh well.
This last week wasnt quite as easy as last week haha. But who expected things to be easy?! It was a pretty tough week. But it was all worth it because Ludovic will be baptized the 25th of November!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO excited for that. He is very excited too haha. We had a great lesson with him and I invited him to be baptized. The spirit was so strong. He just looked at us and smiled and asked if we were doing it this sunday. haha. He was like, well there is a bathtub in the other room haha. He is so great. We found out that he is only 21 too. SO cool. He is very ready and so hungry to learn more about the gospel and progress. He is even talking about how he will prolly have to find a girl and convert her so they can get married in the temple! SO awesome haha. It is a miracle like this that makes everything worth it :) So we are working on teaching him everything and helping him to be ready. But he is just golden. He is even talking about possibly serving a mission! I cant even begin to describe how much love I have for him and how happy I am for him. Its just great. Thats all I can say haha. Nadia isnt going to work out. At least not for a while. She isn't really interested in changing. Well she actually doesnt seem to be serious about it at all. So we will see where that goes... haha. Natacha is doing well. We tried to fix a date with her but she isnt ready to commit yet. But she did say she wants to be baptized and that when she knows for sure that its true she will be. So thats great. She is really looking for her answers too. So things are going well. Not teaching a whole lot. But we are certainly very blessed at the moment. Thats for sure! We just continue to do our best and try to find those people that are ready. Elder Oliverson is learning quickly. I remember being a blue. Its tough. But I love training. And He is a really good elder.
My french has continued to skyrocket too haha. So grateful for that. I have to translate now in church for a couple meetings haha. So that is fun. Im doing super well though. Healthy and happy haha. I love you so much. Thank you for raising me to be the kid that I am. I can still claim the title of kid until friday right? haha But thank you so much. I love you and miss you soooooo much! Christmas is around the corner haha. I'll be watching for the bday pkg! And I got a card from granny today. Love you so much. Talk to you soon. Love Elder Thomas

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Well this week has been terrific! That is so awesome that you got to see the facebook post of us. I didnt even know that she was taking a video haha. I saw her take a couple pics but that was it. Super cool! I am very excited to be training. My new comp is elder oliverson. He is the one with the sweet ray ban glasses haha. He is really cool and we are getting along great!!! Couldn't ask for anything more right now. It is a lot of fun being a trainer. I am loving the new responsibility and opportunity to teach. I have really been blessed this week as well in the french departement. Because now I have to be able to understand everything and speak all the time haha. Because he doesnt understand much. I remember being a blue :) He always listens to what someone says and then looks at me haha. Its fun. But I can understand everything now and say so much more than I could a week ago. Its almost weird But I know how blessed I am. We are the only missionaries in this area now. So I'm leading out haha. The okelberrys still live down the street. Ludovic is absolutely amazing!!! His story is golden. This last week he was looking on youtube. And I guess that there is a side bar that suggests videos for you to watch. And he said that for a while the top video for him has been the joseph smith movie from the mormon channel. He said he had never watched religious movies or anything that would be related to that. So he didnt know why that video was there. I do!... hehe. So he watched it and loved it. He got hooked on the mormon channel and general conference all week long. Legit!!! He came to church again on sunday and in class he testified to the members that this is the true church. And that he loves being there. So cool. We will see him tuesday night and will fix a baptismal date with him. We will try for the 24th. Wish us luck! This last saturday we met with a woman named Nadia. I dont know if you remember her but we met with her when I first got here. Anyways we saw her again and she accepted to be baptized!!! We will fix a date with her this wednesday. Things are just rolling here. Out of nowhere I have just gained so much confidence and am being bold with people. And it works! haha. We are excited to baptize a lot together.

By the way I got a halloween package from our wards ym and yw! Tell them thanks!!! The letters were sweet. I loved seeing all of you guys costumes. Hopefully you guys have a great halloween. Im glad to hear that grandpa is doing better.

I really am so grateful to be here on a mission doing the lords work. It is the best. Certainly not easy but worth it. There are people here that need us.

I love you and miss you so so much mom. Hope you have a great bday and week. Stay safe and warm haha. Love you a ton.
Elder Thomas

Monday, October 29, 2012


Taylor with his new blue, (son) on the left and his "dad" on the right.
Elder Oliverson and Elder Mayne.


Bonjour! (like the shrimp on nemo) Well I am going to train a brand new missionary! In our mission they are called blues haha. That should be super fun! A lot of responsibility but I am very glad that i have been called by the lord to do so. Apparently im pretty young in mission age to be training haha. So this wednesday I will go to paris and pick him up! I wont know who my comp is until they just stick us together haha. Im super excited though. I remember being a blue and it was a ton of fun. I want to be the best trainer ever. haha. Im excited to have all of those new experiences with him. Because this will be his first taste of mission life and work and europe too haha. I have a ton of plans of stuff to do with him. I get to take him to the eiffel tower too! And feed him all kinds of good food haha. Anyway, if you cant tell i am super happy for this responsibility. This will also be my first time Leading in an area or in companionship. Also he will be coming into a good situation with lots of good people to teach! We went back to see the american family. He isnt quite ready yet. He just wants to ask questions and not really progress. And talk about football. haha. HE told us next time we came over he would feed us dinner and watch a football game. He gets them all and records them... haha. Prolly going to avoid that one haha. But Ludovic is simply amazing! So in a nutshell here is what has happened. On tuesday his friend samuel forwarded us some texts that ludovic had sent him. He started reading the book of mormon and felt a warmth in his heart as he reads. He has read all of 1 nephi already and understands it better than me hahaha. Seriously, we quized him and he knows the whole family and understands lehis dream so well haha. Awesome! This sunday he came to church and loved it. And then because elder barker is dying a member invited us over for steak dinner last night haha. And they invited samuel and Ludovic too! He loved it a ton. It was great to get him to see how happy we are as members and to make more friends. Also, the members bore their testimonies and the spirit was so strong there. I am positive that Ludovic will be baptized! Hopefully we can set a date this week. Super excited for him. We also met with a man named Cyril who is from congo. He was telling us about all kinds of horrible things that happen there and I just kept feeling that I needed to testify of life after death and about gods love for us. I did so and I know that it wasnt me talking at all. At the end he was quiet and thanked us for bringing the spirit into his home. We prayed and then he said we could come to his home any time and wants us to meet with his whole family. He has a wife and two little girls. Super cool. Also, they are taking the sisters out of my area. SO I will take on all of their work and the people they have been teaching. They have a sweet girl they are teaching who will be baptized for sure. So we have a lot of miracles in the process and I have a lot on my plate right now. Oh and we met with osaertin and her family and their goal now is to be sealed together in the temple!!!!!!!! Whooooooooooooooo! So cool! haha Thats about it for my week haha
Love you and miss you so much! I'll take some good pics this week and send them next week so you can see my new blue! Love you tons! Talk to you soon.
Elder Thomas

Monday, October 22, 2012

Brother Fraikin, he takes us to lunch every Thursday.


Hey mommy! Man this week was flipping awesome!!!!!!!!! So crazy good. Its weeks like this that make everything worth it. SO the baptism was pretty rad. It was super good actually. There wasnt a huge turnout because there was a ward temple trip. But still really good. I'll mail you a copy of the program soon. Actually im sending home a package this week. Its somebodys bday... so look for that :) We made a ton of cookies to bring to the baptism and then spent like three hours in the church filling up the baptismal font with pots of boiling water. haha. There is a pipe to fill it up on the inside but the water was freezing cold. haha So we wanted it to be perfect for her so we just had to boil water the whole time hahaha. Pretty sweet. Her dad did the baptism too which was super cool. He was pretty nervous but he did it perfectly! The spirit was super strong there and she was so happy. Elder barker gave her the holy ghost on sunday too which was really cool. Im not sure what else to say about it haha. But it was great!!! Also I know if you remember but we went over to a members house like a month ago named brother fernandez. And he invited his best friends to come. We taught them about jesus christs atonement. Well they invited us over again saturday night after the baptism to teach their friends again. They had both asked if we could teach them again! So we went over and taught the plan of salvation lesson. Ludovic had lost his father a couple years ago too so this lesson was good. We taught it really well and were able to really just testify the whole time. The spirit was really strong. Especially when His friend Testified to him. There really is such power in members talking to their friends about the gospel with no fear. At the end we were talking about how the celestial kingdom is our goal. And he thought for a bit and then said that now his goal is the celestial kingdom! Super cool. So then we just ate dinner with them and left. But then on sunday Ludovic came to church!!! So awesome. He liked it a lot and is super excited to see us again. And then this morning we got a text from the member saying that he got a text from ludovic saying that he is going to start reading the book of mormon now! It really was a super amazing miracle. We can tell that heavenly father has prepared him. Super cool!!! So talk to your friends about the gospel! haha. Also this last monday I told you about the text that we got from the assistants saying that if we went out to work then we would find someone who is ready for baptism. So we went out and knocked on doors for an hour and a half in the pooring rain and didnt get anything. But finally a guy answered the door and spoke english. Turns out he is from philly and had ran into the other elders in the metro months before. But didnt talk about the gospel. But he let us in and had a ton of questions. We were able to teach him about the book of mormon and he wants us to come back again. We are going to try to see him tonight. So he is american but his wife is french from paris. And they have three boys! Pretty cool miracle there too. It was cool because we just had total faitht htat we would find someone. ANd despite the harsh rejections and freezing rain we just kept working and praying in the rain to find someone. Super cool.
Anyways that was our week in a nutshell haha. Hope it all made sense. I have all of these things written in better detail in my journal so you can read that when I get home! Im on my third one already haha. Sounds like everything is good at home. Im so glad that you guys are doing well. I got the package this last week. They are always so awesome!! Super awesome oreos haha. Thank you! I also got a package from morgans mom with a bunch of popcorn haha. Tell her thank you!

Missions are amazing! And it really is true that we have to love those right next to us. The best thing for missionaries is members inviting their friends. For some reason people listen to their friends better than two weird teenagers in suits haha. >
Pday has been okay today. Nothing too exciting. Had to clean a bunch. We will just finish with dinner soon and then get to work soon. But it was a relaxing day. Well I better get going soon. Love you and miss you so much!!!! Talk to you saturday because we will be checking the repertoire. Im pretty sure I will stay. Love you again!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Elder Thomas

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Hey mommy! This week was fantastic. Thanks to an amazing conference weekend. The announcement of the new misionary age was crazy! We were all flipping out. haha. Especially the new age for young women. SO cool! The work is definitely starting to pick up and the lord needs us more than ever. Each talk was simply amazing. I have honestly never paid super close attention to the conference. But I was able to understand everything and really apply each talk to myself and see how I can do better. We always can! haha. I actually had a very special experience this weekend. I have been prayed for litteraly weeks for a spiritual confirmation of several things. Mainly I just wanted to feel the power of the holy ghost strongly and so that I could know 100 percent that it was the spirit. I havbe felt the spirit several times. But I just needed a strong sure confirmation. But I prayed for a long time and never recieved the answer I was looking for. I would feel peace or good feelings but I wanted to know for sure. So before the conference I prayed very simply and sincerely that I would feel the holy ghost testify to me during conference. And so we left for the church on saturday night to watch the morning session. And during every talk I felt the most powerful feeling I have ever had. It was a physical witness from the holy ghost that these men and women are called of God and that everything they say has come from Him directly. I can not adequately describe the feelings that I felt. But during each talk I felt a warm good tingling over my entire body. And I know without a doubt that it was the holy ghost testifying to me. I know that Heavenly Father hears each one of our prayers and that He will answer them. The apostles all talked about that. That He will answer. But sometimes in the form of another person. Or maybe he won't answer when we want. Because He has His own timetable. Like President Eyring said in conference, His time should be enough, because he only wants what is the very best for us. I just want you to know that it is not always evident that He is there. Or that all of these things are true. But I know that they are. I can not put it any better. I know. We just have to put our trust in God and we will NEVER fail. Sometimes we will not recieve the answers or blessings we want or are promised. But after this life we will recieve every promised blessing. Every prayer will be answered. I know these things by the power and gift of God. I am so greatful for our family and that we are in this gospel. It is the truth. And Jesus Christ has done so much for us. I wish that I could just be there with you guys to live it right now! haha

This last week was a little rougher. Elder barker was pretty sick but is over it now. I was able to give him a blessing and also a Sister missionary. She is serving here while she waits for her visa to go to the states. She will be in the St. George Temple visitor center! I love giving blessings. They are amazing! Oh and I also gave one to a sister in the ward who asked for one while eating at her house. She is from germany. She was crying at the end haha :) She has a son on his mission as well.
Everything is all set for Osaertin to be baptized this coming saturday! Woot!!!!!!! Super excited for that.
That is so super awesome that you guys did well in the marathon!!!! I am so proud of you guys. really. It gives me motivation to do my best and work hard. I am so glad to have great parents that set a great example for me.
I will try to get some measurements some time. Because in the winter we have to wear our suits every day I guess. If I could hold out till february that would be great. Because then I could get a nice french suit on sale haha. But I'll try to get some. My shirts are fine for now because they are all just under my coats haha. Thank you so much haha. I appreciate the mommy worries :) Love you so much mom. I really do. I just want you to know that I know this church is true. And because of Jesus Christ we can endure anything and overcome all. Love you so much! Talk to you soon. Hugs and slobbery kisses.
Elder Thomas

Monday, September 24, 2012

Elder Barker and I Traded Jackets...

He's a very slim guy as you can see...

The Baraketse Family


Hey mama! How are you doing this week?? I'm doing pretty good. That is so awesome that Elder Bednar came to speak for a special stake conference! Super cool. Yup. He came and spoke to us in the MTC. It was so amazing. He also spoke about turning outwards. So cool that he did the same message! I loved it and it has helped me to always be trying to turn outwards to others when I want to turn inwards to myself. I have a lot of work to do haha. Always improving. But it has been a constant remender in the back of my mind.

Thats so funny that you already found out about us meeting the senior couple hahahaha. That was just last night! So funny. Yup, there was another couple here in Bruxelles but they finished their mission. So this couple, the Okellberry couple was in another city in Bruxelles but got transferred here to run the young adult center. They live right down the street from us. Like a two minute walk! So we decided to make them my famous no bake cookies haha and bring them to them. We were just talking about where each other was from and they started naming a couple people that they knew from scottsdale and he was like do you know steve morgan and I was like no way! Thats my bishop! haha. It was so cool because bishop has told me many stories about him with his three musketeer friends as a youth and had actually talked about elder okelberry too haha. Super funny. So they are actually in our district and we see them at least every tuesday if not more haha. Glad you liked the mustache pics hahaha. Pretty funny.

Our week was really good. We still arent teaching a whole lot but we are doing so much work with the ward and it is really so much fun. I love this ward a ton. We are starting to get invited over more and more too haha. We are being taken care of very well here. Last night we ate with an american family and they fed us all american food that they bought from the commisary here haha. rootbeer and fajitas haha. Then they asked what our favorite cereals were and so I ended up walking home with a box of lucky charms in hand hahaha. This last week we decided to show up at a members home and we asked them if we could pray with them because we were going to do tracting in their neighborhood. The dad gave the prayer and they were pretty touched that we wanted to pray and work in their area. So then we set out and knocked on about five doors. But we got the number of a young family who said we could come back and teach, also we set a lesson with a woman for the sisters. And we saw a guy kinda far down the street walking. So we decided we better go get him. We kinda had to run and chase him down haha. But we contacted him and he was super cool. He invited us to his home that night and we taught him about the book of mormon and we will see him again this friday. He is from rwanda and his wife and two kids are still there but will come here in november. SO cool! I know that it is because of the faith of the members that we had those miracles. We told the whole ward about it in church and they all thought it was so sweet. The mom that we prayed with was crying too and told us she was so thankful to have great elders that valued the members faith so much. It really was a great experience. Also, the little girl Osaertin will be baptized the 14th of october. We had to move it later because of general conference. This last week we also had our zone conference which was so good. Sis poznanski took a lot of pics of us and I'm in a few. So look for those on facebook haha. Anyways I am doing super well. Missing you guys like crazy of course. But in no time it will have been a year! so crazy haha. I love you and miss you a ton. I'll talk to you soon. Hope you guys are doing well!

Love Elder Thomas

Friday, September 7, 2012


Sept.3, 2012

Hey guys!! Man it feels like a long time since I have written you back! But it also seems like it has gone by super fast. haha. This last week was pretty good. We didn't get to teach a lesson this week until sunday  so that was kind of hard. But yesterday ended up being a super awesome day. Church was really good. We fasted so that we will be able to find someone to baptize this month. We have fixed a goal as a mission to have 78 baptisms this month. That means one per companionship. So we are really excited to work for that. In the morning before church I prayed for the opportunity to give a blessing to someone. Because I have never been able to do that in my life! So right after church a lady walked up and asked me if we could give her a blessing. SO I was super pumped! But she chose me to do the annointing and Elder Barker for the blessing. I have done a couple annointings before. In french too haha. So I was bummed about that. Then a member asked us if we could go with hil to bring the sacrament to a sick lady and her husband. So we went and they are super nice. Her husband isn't a member and is being taught by the sister missionaries. After we did the sacrament they both asked for blessings. The husband chose me to do the annointing and the wife chose me to give her actual blessing. It was such a great experience!!! Really I could feel the power of the priesthood and guidance as I gave the blessing. My first blessing ever! haha And it was in french haha. Her name is Nini Schippers :) It was so awesome. After that the husband told us he had decided that he wants to get baptized on the 7th of october! Haha so we called the sisters and let them know hahaha. It was really cool. We also were able to teach our Amis Charles and Jennis finally. And then Charles said that he knows that the book of mormon is true!!! We are still working on his wife though haha. He also said that he gave his book to his brother in law because he was really interested. He also invited us to an african celebration for their new baby haha. That will be sweet! They are from Ghana. He said that there will be tons of his family and friends and that we can teach them all!!! That will be so sweet. We already taught his cousin william but had to pass him to the other elders. But he came to church and is doing really well. So we are pretty excited about all of that haha. We also contacted this woman with two kids. She was super nice and open. Literally golden haha. But we had to pass her to the sisters. We keep hooking up other missionaries with golden amis! haha. Other than all that we did a lot of contacting this week. It was hard work but we feel really good about what work we have done. Love you guys and miss you a ton! Cant believe that it is already September. Love you!!!
Elder Thomas

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

July 23, 2012
Hey mom! I’m doing swell how are you?
 Getting a little pre transfer nerves like always haha. This last week was pretty good. This last transfer has been a tough one. It’s hard when nobody will listen to you. And you see other missionaries having success in the mission. But I know that I need this trial right now. Heavenly Father is shaping me to become what he wants me and needs me to become. That’s something that I have learned lately. That trials come for a reason. And heavenly father knows that we can handle them. And that the person that we will become after the trial is what we need to be to grow closer to him. I’ve grown so much closer to my God through prayer the past couple of  weeks. I have spent so much time on my knees. I’ve almost got blisters on my knees :) It really has been a great experience. Our ami Michele is still working on being ready to be baptized the 18th of next month. Hopefully he hasn’t been drinking coffee haha. Our ami Jacques is doing well. He is still waiting for his response. But I know that it will come. He wants it all to be true. We had a really great lesson with him about the plan of salvation. It is a great lesson. I was able to really bear my testimony of Jesus Christ and the atonement and how he is central to Gods plan. It was very spiritual. Have the missionaries come teach you that lesson. It just makes sense :) We regained contact with our Chinese ami lu yue. She has been super busy but we were able to teach her on Saturday. She’s great. I think she kinda wants to serve a mission. She will get baptized. Just on the Lords time :) I really feel like I will stay here in Strasbourg for another transfer. I hope so! I am kinda ready for a new comp though haha. I feel like I can do better work with someone else. I kinda expressed that to Prez in my letter today haha. But it is all in the Lords hands. Everything is. This last week we had our interviews with Prez. It was great. The training that Sister Poznanski gave was amazing. She taught us about prayer and how we can improve our prayers.  She taught us about Nephi’s prayer in Helaman 11 I think. Study that as a fam sometime. Its super cool! I also had my first interview with Sis. Poznanski. She is just like a mom for all the missionaries. She’s great. We visited a lot of less active members this week too. One lady is less active because she has lost confidance in the leaders here. I thought about my experience in Washington and was able to relate to her. But I told her that this is Christ’s Church. And we shouldn’t stop coming because of one person. or even many. But we go to church for Christ.
I love being out on a mission haha. It is really the hardest thing I have ever done. Prolly the hardest thing I’ll ever do in my life. But it is so worth it. People really do try to tear us down each day. I kinda relish those opportunities haha. I’m not prideful. But I’m right. This church is true. 100 percent. And there’s nothing anyone can do to change that. So when someone starts to try to tear us down I get a smile on my face and correct them haha. My competive nature comes out a bit. But our church is true and honestly makes sense too. We do not try to convince anyone out here. All we do is invite them to find out for themselves. Nobody can argue with that. We tell them to just take it to God. And he will answer them. It really is beautiful. I know that whatever happens in this transfer is what heavenly father needs and wants. But I’m praying for Strasbourg haha. I am so grateful for how blessed you guys have been. It is amazing. My faith is really growing each day out here. I’m glad and I can see that your faith is growing too. I love you so much too. This world is tough. Really tough. And the only way we can make it through is with faith in Christ and Gods plan. I just keep pushing on in faith that what I am doing is what Heavenly Father wants and needs at this time. I just want to do his will. Love you so much mom! I miss you a ton too. 5 months till phone call haha. I’m doing well. I pray for you every day :) Love you and miss you! Talk to you soon.
Love, Elder Thomas.
July 16,2012
Olo! Hey guys! How are you? Im doing pretty well as always! haha. Feeling much healthier than last week and just working hard. I got your package on Wednesday. Thank you so much! You guys really are the best haha. I’m so spoiled out here haha. The package was super great and I have a whole desk full of food haha. Thank you so much.
Michele and Jacques are doing well. We moved Micheles date to the 18th of August because he will be on vacation and now we will have more time to get him ready. Don’t want to rush something this important. We taught him the word of wisdom last week and he is fine with all of it except the coffee... he needs it to stay awake in the day... But he said that he will quit it. So hopefully he doesn’t have too hard of a time with that. I think that he will be alright. He has a real desire to be baptized and follow Christ. Which is so great to see :) Yesterday we taught the amis class in church and we taught the plan of salvation. They both liked it. Earlier in the week we taught Jacques. We wanted to watch the restoration movie with him. So we tried to watch it downstairs but we couldn’t get the TV to work. So we had to go upstairs in the church to another room. Once there we put the dvd in and realized that it was only in english and spanish... dang. So we couldn’t watch it with him. So we pulled out the Book of Mormon and asked him if he had any questions about anything that he had read. And he asked us to help him understand the vision that Lehi had about the tree of life. And what do you know... there was a drawing of it on the chalk board. No idea why it was there or how. But I know that God led us to that room because Jacques needed to talk about that vision that day and not watch the movie. God has a perfect plan for all of us. It was an amazing experience. Then yesterday after church we watched the movie with him and he liked it. We asked him what he thought and he just said that he knows the only thing he can do now is to pray and ask God if this church is true and if the Book of Mormon is true and if Joseph Smith was a Prophet. We tried to commit him to be baptized. But he won’t set a date. He said he wants to get baptized. But he wants to know for sure that our church is true and that this is the true baptism before he does anything. Which is exactly what we want. I know that he will receive his answer and be baptized. We just have to wait on the Lord. I think about that quote magnet that you sent me that says that faith in God includes faith in his timing. Very true. We will just continue to pray for him every day. This last week we also ran into an American from LA. He wanted to talk with us because he has a mormon friend. He took us to a cafe. He asked us how we knew our church was true and why we were on missions. I think he will definitely find missionaries in the states and could definitely become a member. Other than that we spent the week contacting and looking for people to teach. Without success. But we are so blessed with Michele and Jacques. So I am grateful always. Sometimes I  get caught up with the numbers. Because if you look just at our numbers it looks like we aren’t working very hard or doing a good enough job. So that worries me. But I just need to remember that the only thing that matters is if I know I have worked hard and if Heavenly Father is pleased.
    The weather has been pretty cold and rainy here. Right when you send me short sleeve shirts haha. But I love the cooler weather. Thank you for all of your prayers and thoughts everyday. They really do help so much. That’s awesome that Morgan is in the mtc. Hopefully i will hear from him next week.  Today we are going to the Jewish concentration camp. It will be sad so I’m a little worried. But we have to see it. Something I need to see in my lifetime. It should be a cool experience. Tomorrow are interviews with president in Nancy. It should be pretty good. I’ve got some questions for him on how to improve :) Should be fun haha. Love you all so much. I love you more than anything in the world mom. Stay happy and strong in the gospel :) Love you and miss you so much. Talk to you guys soon! This last week flew by. Only two weeks left in this transfer. Crazy. Love you all so much! Elder Thomas

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Jun 18, 2012
Helloooooooo, Phew! pday finally haha. It looks like it will be a pretty good day today. Not too hot not too cold. After emails and lunch we are going to a place with the young adults called Montaigne Singe haha or monkey mountain! Woot! I guess it is this forest on a mountain where monkeys run wild. And you just buy a ticket and you can walk around the place with live monkeys not in cages all around you haha. Should be interesting. I’m pretty excited for it haha. Transfers happen this Wednesday. The official transfer starts today but we don’t change up cities and comps until Wednesday. I think this transfer will be a really good one. My comp is pretty cool. we will work well together I hope ;) Haha I definitely think I have gained a ton of patience so far on my mission. Something I needed to work on haha. Last night I made some calls to a couple potential investigators and set three rendezvous for this week. So that already is way more than we have ever had set at the start of a week haha. Valerie is doing well. Getting a little nervous for her baptism though. It will still go through. But I can tell Satan is working on her. We have seen her as much as possible lately so that’s good. She asked elder Bequette to give her a blessing yesterday and that was really cool. She’s doing great. She has already bought some missionary clothes haha. Another young adult in the ward just got her call to go to Ukraine. Yesterday in church the whole bishopric changed. The bishop gave a really powerful testimony. I can’t imagine being released as a Bishop. I guess kinda like being released as a missionary... scary! It made me think about our bishop Morgan :) Love him. He sent me a letter by the way last week.
 I’m super happy to stay in Strasbourg! It will be a good transfer. I can see us baptizing Valerie and possibly one other. The cool thing is that Elder Stringer and I will be combining our teaching pools so we will be busy! I always try to remember that everything that I do is just preparing the people. And bishop told me too that even if we go out and work all day and don’t see any results that the lord is just preparing us in a different way for something else. He has a perfect plan for us.
I’m doing well. Happy and healthy haha. This next transfer will be interesting too because Elder Stringer shops for himself and cooks for himself only... So I’m on my own this transfer in that departement. I’ll have to figure out what to buy and how to manage how much it costs haha. It will be an experience. I really can feel your love and prayers out here every day. Sometimes I have a hard time but when I do I get a feeling of comfort. Thank you. Love you guys so much. Thank you for everything! Love you and miss you, Teelor. 

Jun 10, 2012
Well this last week we only taught one lesson and didn’t find a new ami... But that’s alright. We worked our butts off and so at least we know that we did all that we could. It’s just tough when you work so hard and don’t see results. But you never know who is being affected by it. And really I’m not out here for stats or personal gratification. But all for others. I have to keep that in mind. But this week looks like it will be a good one. We taught Valerie on Saturday about missionary work, She wants to help us out by giving us people to teach and wants to serve a mission! Plus she passed her baptismal interview yesterday so we just have to wait till the 30th now. So excited for that! Hopefully I will stay in Strasbourg. I’m pretty sure I will but you never know. I think they will close one set of elders here though. Because a ton of elders are finishing their missions this transfer and only five are coming in. So they will prolly take a companionship out of here. I think me and Bequette will stay though. Fingers crossed. Yesterday was stake conference. We took a charter bus 2 and a half hours to Nancy with the ward haha. It was fun. Stake conference was great. It was a broadcast from the conference center where we heard from a 70, the primary president and Elder Russel M Nelson and Henry B Eyring! Super cool. It was all about the family haha. Really good stuff. We received a referral from the elders in Paris. She just moved here and is Chinese. She has been taught a lot and is open to baptism but says she isn’t quite ready. We will have our first rendezvous with her on Wednesday. We also set up some rendezvous with a couple other people. Should be really good! We are excited about this week. 
              Thank you guys so much for all of your love and support. I think about you all every day and miss you so much. I will hit my 6 month mark on Thursday! haha. It is going by fast sometimes. I love you and miss you a ton! I know that I need to be here and I have seen that Heavenly Father is taking great care of you guys. I love this gospel so much. It really is the best thing ever! haha. Love you and talk to you soon! You guys are the best!
Love, Taylor

Jun 4, 2012

Ohlo...I mean hello! Hey guys! How the heck is Disneyland?! I bet super awesome! haha. Pday has been pretty good so far. We basically slept in till 9. Got ready and ate some fruit haha. I have discovered how delish kiwis are... yum. And now we are emailing haha. Not too wet so far but there are some dark clouds. I am super thankful for the rain this last week. It has cooled off a ton. Yesterday it poured all day. It definately reminds me of Washington here sometimes :) I miss Washington. We are going to get some rest today haha. I’m feeling pretty good and taking care of myself haha. The people here are still closed as ever haha. But it’s all good. This last week was rough. President was right when he told us that this transfer would be a trial of our faith. We still haven’t found a new ami this transfer... And we only taught one lesson this week. Ouch. Valerie is doing well. So grateful to have her! Proof that there are people ready for us haha. Zone conference was super good. President and his wife gave us a training and then elder Teixeira of the 70 and his wife gave us a training too. It was a long day haha. We left the house at 530 and didn’t get back till 10 at night haha. The training was so good. It really has motivated me and gave me the things i need to have success. Elder Bequette and I have made a good plan to turn the work around here. We have rededicated ourselves and have worked so hard since then. I’m working on being 100 percent obedient and doing everything by the spirit. It is hard when we work super hard each day but at the end of the week have nothing. But i just know that i am doing what is right and that it will come sometime. I really do think that Heavenly Father is testing us to see if we will continue to work hard even when nothing is happening and people wont talk to us. And that as we show our desire and faith that he will trust us and give us people to teach. And I still feel good at the end of the day knowing that I worked my hardest even if we didn’t get anything. So we just keep working :) I love the pictures of Cali in her recitals! haha. SO awesome! She is so talented and so amazing! Awesome that Eric put in his mission papers! Mission really changes people. It has pulled a 180 on my life :) Glad bishop got the letter haha. I miss him a ton. The bishop here reminds me of him a bit haha. He invited us over for lunch yesterday after church. He made tacos! haha So good. It was a ton of fun and he is really cool. He’s got a sweet motorcycle too haha. Maybe I’ll get one when I get home... hehe. His wife also made tiramisu haha so flipping good. Glad Dave got the letter too! haha. Its good to here that people miss me and ask about me haha. I miss everyone. I feel so disconnected haha. oh well. I love you guys so much! You’re the best! Almost at my 6 month mark! Woot! I guess missionaries burn things at every mark haha. And at 6 months it is a tie haha. Should be fun. Love you and miss you. I love technology but not as much as you, you see but I still love technology always and forever. Your sandy hair floats in the air so high just flying by like a kite in the sky. :) 

Catching Up!!!

 Sorry to those of you who have checked in and found nothing there to read! I am going to post the past 3 weeks emails. 
Happy Reading!!!

Transfer #3!

We got our transfer repertoire today, And I'm going to........stay in Strasbourg!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Haha. But my comp is leaving which I am pretty bummed about. I will be with the other Elder in our appartement. So there will only be one set of Elders here now. Try to increase the workload I suppose. It should be good. His name is Elder Stringer. A little different but it should be good. I will get to see Valerie get baptized!

Zone Conference I'm on the top right!

Monday, May 28, 2012


Good morning! How is Ariz doing? And summer?! Get some good use out of the pool for me! :)  I can’t believe Kaylee and Xander are getting baptized already haha. I can’t believe it is already Memorial day too. Haha. Weird. Today is a holiday in France too. I guess it is Pentecost. So basically everything is shut down haha. So grocery shopping will have to wait until tomorrow. And we are out of food haha. Nice. Glad to hear that you got the postcards that I sent! Hope you like them!  I’ll be on the lookout for the letters you sent! Love mail haha. Can’t wait to get the package either! This last week was a pretty good one. We finally have started having some success and people talk to us! Last pday we went bowling with the young adults. That was a ton of fun. I didn’t bowl so well though. Then, after that we had family home evening as usual with the young adults. I taught the mini lesson and based it on the scipture Jacob 4:10. Then we just played games and ate food. There is kinda a crazy member who came and he looks like Santa Claus. I don’t know why he was there but he made this nasty looking food and dished it up for all of us. Haha. He said it was an Italian veggie dish. Our ami Valerie asked him what all was in it a couple times and asked if it was just veggies. I wasn’t sure why. But he assured her it was just veggies. She took a small bite and then he was like oh, actually there is lamb in it. Apparently she is vegetarian haha. So she went and barfed in the bathroom. That was fun hahaha. Then on Tuesday we had our district meeting which took up most of the day. Then Wednesday we had a long day of contacting. After our studies and before lunch we went contacting for a bit. And had some Muslim people throw rocks at us. That was fun. I actually got hit in the back but we just kept walking. Not my favorite people... Then after lunch we contacted for an hour or so and then met up with Valerie. She told us that she wanted to go contacting with us because she wants to serve a mission!  So we contacted with her for like 2 hours. It was so much fun. She actually did pretty good. She was telling us how to contact better in the beginning and asking us why more people didn’t come to church with us or want to get baptized. And by the end she was like wow this is hard! haha. It was a good experience. While with her this guy on a bike stopped us and said that he had been taught by the missionaries a year ago and lost contact with them because he changed phones. Valerie invited him to her baptism and he was super excited haha. Truly a miracle to come across him. We also got a couple numbers that day. On Friday I was on an exchange with one of the zone leaders. And we gave out three Book of Mormons, got two numbers and gave out some pamphlets!  haha. It was a good day. Then we went porting that night and we taught this old lady a little. Her husband has Alzheimers and it was his bday and he didn’t even know it. We left her with a prayer and the spirit was so strong there. It was really cool. Then on Saturday we had to go up to Nancy to exchange back. The zone leaders invited us to stay there to play ball with them. Every Saturday in France they have basketball with the amis and members and missionaries. And Nancy has a full indoor gym. The only one in Europe. It was a lot of fun. And then that night Valerie invited us to dinner at her house with another young adult. We taught her a good lesson about baptism and the Holy Ghost. Then she made us veggie burgers haha. They were actually pretty good. And she made actual French fries. Yum. Sunday was pretty good. I love Sundays so much! I miss our ward sometimes. French wards are good but just different. I taught the lesson in the gospel principles class. I was nervous at first but it was fun. And I was able to teach it all in French!  Well, that pretty much sums up my week haha. Oh yeah. There are huge thunderstorms at night here too, So loud and cool. Haha. But kinda interrupted my sleep! I love you guys and miss you! You guys are the best! Au revoir.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Elder Thomas' new address is:

6, rue Ernest Munch
67000 Strasbourg 

Taylor very much appreciates all the letters and packages you have sent. 
We, (the fam.) do too!
Well, we got our transfer repetoire today at noon. And I am leaving Lille...! I am actually pretty excited. I kind of thought that I would be leaving Lille. So I was ready. I am headed to the city of Strasbourg with Elder Bequette. Woot! Strasbourg I have actually heard a lot about. It is a big city just like Lille. And it is right on the border of Germany! Sweet! It will be a four man appartement again which will be cool. Should be fun and interesting!
Talk to you next time from Strasbourg!

Sitting on the steps of Grand Place in Brussels

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Reading The Book of Mormon in a Chapel

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Salut la famille Thomas!
Things are still cold and super wet here in Lille. And once again I went a week without purchasing a rain coat. Oops. But today it is fairly sunny and a little warmer! Booya! 

You asked what Bisou means. Bisou means kiss in French haha. I can’t believe that I haven’t told you guys about bisou's yet! Everyone in France bise's people. That means when they say hello instead of a hug or handshake like in the states they kiss each others cheeks like you’ve prolly seen in a movie or something. It’s really funny. Everyone does it but we aren’t allowed to. Which makes some people mad. Because it’s like if someone said hello to you in the states and you didn’t say anything back. Oh well. I have had a lot of people try to bisou me. Haha!
So this last week was a little rough. I’ve hit a bit of a bump with my comp. I’m not sure what it is but there’s a tension there sometimes and other times life is normal. Oh well. He's kind of a punk sometimes... haha. But, I think it was just hard because the work is frustrating at times. We got fruged several times this week. Which is never fun. Our rdv (rendezvous) with Phillipe the talker was moved all over and is now set for tomorrow.  The other rdv. with Phillipe2 was bad. He brought a friend who we now realize was most likely a TJ (Jehovah witness). He bible bashed with us and we had a 2 hour rdv with them. Phillipe is actually interested I think. But the other guy was just trying to tear us apart. He was either a TJ or a priest. That will be the 3rd priest that I have met that was the biggest jerk I’ve ever met. It’s ridiculous that a 50 year old man feels like he needs to tear down 20 year olds. The funny part is that we destroyed him. And we don’t even speak French. Silly guy, trying to mess with us. It ticked me off so bad. But hopefully our next rdv with phillie2 will not be the same. Our rdv with Lima was cancelled and she is busy this next week too. I know she needs the gospel and that’s why all of this stuff is happening. Antoine couldn’t meet either. He is the one with the dreads. But the other elders in V D'asq had a baptism and we got our Ami Martiul from the ivory coast to come to it! It was the best baptism that I have been to. He liked it too. So hopefully that helps him. And Lassy texted us this week apologizing a ton for not being able to meet with us. He has been busy with school and exams but he promised he wanted to meet when that was done. So grateful for the blessings that we receive in the midst of trials. We always receive blessings. But sometimes they come in different ways. 
   This last week I went on exchanges with the elders from Dunkerque. That is about as north as you can get in our area. It is a little fishing town that when the weather is clear you can see England. It was really cool there. I have missed the beach so much! It was really cool to see another city too. I spent two nights there and got to see the town a bit. The first night it was pouring rain but we went porting still. We prolly went through 40 doors with half being slammed in our face and none of them wanting to listen. Oh yeah! So fun. But then we decided to knock a couple more before we left and we ran into this one lady who was pretty rude. She told us that religion caused all of the bad in the world and that she was too angry to have religion in her life. But I kept pushing her and testifying of the things I knew and of the Book of Mormon. Then, something amazing happened. She literally had a change of heart right in front of our eyes. She broke down crying and said she knew she was lost and was too prideful to admit it. She took the book and said that she really would read it and knew that she needed it in her life. That was so cool. Hopefully all goes well with her there!

This last Wednesday we had Zone Training and interviews with President Posnanski. It was super awesome! We had a training by the Zone Leaders and then by President. Then we all had our interviews with him. So we just had to hang around the church waiting for our turn. During the training with President he called on me to share an experience that I had written him about. We write a letter to him each Pday through email where we can say whatever. I shared an experience we had:  we didn’t know where to go contacting at the time and so we prayed to know where to go. After we prayed I suggested an area and we went there and met a cool guy and got his number. While I was explaining my experience with all of the missionaries in French I got to the part where we got his number. And in French it is just Numero de telephone. But there is another way that you can say phone number in slang. It is just "06" or "zero six in french. And I have never said it out loud before but for some reason that just came out. Haha! And everyone thought it was super funny and so did President. He was dying laughing and then he was like "Elder Thomas” vous parlez comme vous etes de le "93"!" The 93 or neuf trois is the area in Paris that is the super ghetto (haha) where the bad gangs are. Basically he said Oh Elder Thomas you speak like you are from the ghetto! Hahahaha. It was super funny. 
              He joked with me about it the rest of the day. The interview with him was super good. First thing he said when I got in his office was that I looked really good and thinner than before. That,made me feel super good. haha! We talked and he said he had heard a lot of good things about me and thinks I’m a great missionary and he also said how excellent my French was! So grateful for that!  Haha. 
     Also, this last week we did something monumental. I had McDonalds for my first time in France... I prolly already told you about it huh? But they have an item called "Le Mcbaguette" hahahaha. Super funny. It is a cheeseburger on a baguette.  It wasn’t very good haha. I also sent home a package on Saturday. So look out for it!  I was able to watch the videos you sent me last week too. They were so great!  Hilarious.
France is starting to get crazy too because it is election time. Yesterday was the vote to narrow down the candidates to two. It is now Nicholas Sarchozy and Francois Hollande. The funny thing is that before, in the top ten candidates running there was a woman running and she is communist. That means she was popular enough to have a legit chance of winning. If that doesn’t tell you how crazy France is then I don’t know what can. We have two more weeks of this transfer. This week,and then one more. We transfer on the 8th or something. I really am hoping to stay in Lille for another transfer. I really think that I will too. But I will definitely have a new comp. One of is going. Also, my french has gotten a ton better this last week! I am so thankful for the ability that I have to speak and understand right now. I have full responsibility of the cell phone right now too. So, making and taking calls in French has helped a ton. You asked about the water here. Haha, the water is good. Only a couple dead bugs. We have enough food too. And I’m feeling good. Not sure about the enough sleep part but I’m good haha. Thanks :)
        I love you guys and miss you so much! Maybe I will get to talk to you a little bit later in the day. Hope you guys have a great week! It sounds like you all are doing so well! Its awesome how blessed we are. I love you guys so much! Have fun and remember to pray :) Our Heavenly father is always there and loves us so much.

Love Taylor