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