June 4, 2012

Well , the open house wrapped itself up this last Saturday. That last day, we had 4,000 people visit. It was a great two weeks!
I would like to answer a few questions. Brazil is spelled Brasil here just because of the pronounciation I think, but I’m not sure, there are different names for all of the countrys in Portugues… for example; Germany is Alemanha, Switzerland is Suiça and England is Inglaterra… and the list goes on. Interesting huh!

We are here lock, stock and barrel with all our stuff so I think it is very probable that we won’t go back to Boa Vista or at least not the same area of it, after the Temple dedication. Trasnsfer will be one week after the dedication, about the 16th of June. The dedication is this Sunday! President Klein gave us permission to watch all three sessions.

My companion hasn’t had troubles with her knee since that last week in Boa Vista when we did a week of letting the physical therepist put 20 minutes of ice, 20 minutes of electrical relaxing pulses and 20 minutes of a heat lamp on it. I guess it relaxed the nerves and muscles because now she is back to normal. She bought two streatchy knee socks and is using them just as a second precaution. We would like to get back into the swing of teaching.

President Klein said that we did a good job at the reception booth and that the Lord was accepting our work. This made me happy. One Elder said that they are teaching a golden family right now and that the mother loved how “that blondie” recieved them after the tour. She said I was full of love and she was very touched. That meant a lot to me because it’s been a super rough few months for me out here. Your mission will be the best two years, but it’s wise to remember that there is opposition in all things. It will also be the hardest two years. It’s hard for a million reasons, but the same reasons why life is hard: relationships, learning to be honest, to be open, to be humble, self esteem issues, learning to feel good about yourself even when your plans fall through….just that normal day to day stuff.

I think we grow more on the mission than in any other situation because there is no running away. We do quite a few things in daily life to run away or postpone thinking about our problems (movies, gym, gardening, working, ice cream, buying something new, going out to do something fun with a friend) , but on the mission, the only way out is straight through the problem. But it’s all worth it and you are never alone, so you just have to dedicate yourself to the cause and  stay put. A lot of knots work them selves out naturally just with time.

I have a lot more respect for my mission President and his wife after this year of working together than I could have imagined at the begining. All the rules are just to help us stay happy out here. He does his best to keep us focusing on our purpose and busy teaching because he know that it is the only way we will stay happy… and it’s true. Even though it’s hot and I’m tired sometimes, I feel much better about life when I get out there and teach, when I stay busy.

I want to pose a question for everyone, you can write me back with one or two lines: Summed up in one phrase, for you today, what is the secret to happiness? I have a new definiton every day. Today for me, the secret to happiness is “Stay busy!” I am anxious to hear yours, and hope to hear from everyone.

Everyone is singing this catchy hymn about the Temple called “Templo Santo” these days. As the last tour guides and helpers with the open house all gathered to our little reception tent at the end of the day Saturday. They spontaniously started singing it. Most of them are in the Temple choir and have been practicing it for about 3 months now so of course everyone had it memorized. It was a beautiful moment. A good half of the helpers had tears in their eyes.

It was interesting to recieve the people and help them fill out reference cards as they left the Temple. There were a ton of less active people who passed through and you could see how just that short 40 minutes of tour had changed something for them. Many made new goals to change and to go back to church to  be worthy to enter. It was super easy to tell the members from non members. The main hint was the clothes. The sleevelss shirts or casual clothes, helped us pick out the non members and give them more attention. The Spirit also helped becaue you could just feel it as they were passing by, if they were members or not.

I’ve decided that it’s a bad idea to argue when you’re tired. My companion and I got in a pretty bad arguement yesterday, and it was more about nothing than anything else. We both ended up crying a bit and leaving the house to teach was just not an option. My zone leader told me to cheer up and that all the good missionarys go through rough periods of time, and that it’s just part of the mission. He said that you are going to feel the Spirit and the angels working on your side, but you are also going to feel Satan and his, working against you. Yep. It’s pretty much how he put it. I had never thought of this before. My companion and I made up before we went to bed. I think we are better friends now than before. Our Bishop asked us to be careful this week because he said that Satan is going to do absolutley everything he can to take away our joy of this Temple dedication. Yikes! I’m going to pray a little bit more this week, and if it’s all right, I’d like to ask for your prayers too. Go to the Temple for me. It will help.

I can’t think of much more to say at the moment, just, I love you all. Take care and remember to take life just one day at a time. Oh, and I’ve decided that repenting is like water skiing. For the Lord, it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve given it a try and haven’t gotten up, all that matters is that you are in the water, one more time and telling the driver to “hit it”.

Sister Thompson


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