April 30th

My goodness, it has been quite a week. We are going to see about physical therepy for Sister Cortez’s knee. I think we will try to visit Sonia again tomorrow. I think maybe we will stay here in Boa Vista and not help with the Temple dedication, but I’m at peace about it. I am just happy that we will have a Temple here and am excited to go through it some time.

Next monday we will know about transfers. The sunday after this next will be Mother’s day I believe and so I will see about finding a member who has skype and we can do Christmas all over again. 😀 I love you all. Thank you for the prayers. Thank you for going to the Temple. It is making a difference. This last week we taught lessons to 19 neighbors. (this is a very good number for this area.)

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April 23, 2012 Seeking Wisdom

We went to a public hospital the other day to get an x-ray of sister Cortez’s knee. It was a memorable experience. It’s been kind of a rough week, but the President just arrived in Boa Vista and stopped by our house to interview us. Sonia was almost Baptised. We were able to bring her to a special mother’s day activity and I think she enjoyed it. She passed her baptismal interview but then didn’t show up because she also likes her church and is not sure she should be baptised more than once.

I’m grateful to be a missionary. My prayer right now is for wisdom. I need to know which lunches I should cancel because they are too far away and which I should try to make it to. I need to have the courage to make more contacts with our neighbors and be lead to those who live close by who are being prepared to hear the gospel. I need to be a better companion to Sister Cortez and give her more opportunities to grow and improve in her teaching abilities and confidence in herself.

Put Him First

1 Kings 17:
8 And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying,

9 Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a awidow woman there to sustain thee.

10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.

11 And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of abread in thine hand.

12 And she said, As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.

13 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.

14 For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.

15 And she awent and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.

16 And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah.

Dear Family,

The other day I was a bit perplexed because it seems like there is never enough time to do all the things I want to do. After quite a bit of pondering and quite a few days and reflections later, this story came out of nowhere into my mind. It was personal revelation to me. What was the secret that kept the oil and meal from failing? The widow fed the Prophet first. It’s so simple. We have to have faith that God can work miracles with our time. If we put Him first, we WILL have enough time to do all the other things we want to do.

I decided to try it out. Opening my email, one day, I decided to try emailing the President first, reading his report and only after I had submitted my numbers to read my family letters and write home. I felt a peace in my heart that this is the secret to being organized with my time. As I finished, I truly had much more time left over than usual and was able to write everything I wanted to the family.

There is not enough time to do everything we want to do. That’s why we absolutley must put the Lord first. We need the miracle. We need His blessing to rest upon our day. He multiplied the loaves and fishes for so many people, the widow’s cruse never did fail. I think one of the biggest lessons He wants us to learn from these miracles is when He touches things, there is never a scarcity. There is never a lack. There is always enough.
How many problems in the world are caused because people are afraid that there won’t be enough? The Great Depression comes to mind, wars, bank failures, theft, greed…ect. Let us enter this next week with just a little bit more faith. Let us put the Lord first. Let us wake up and say our prayers even though we are tired and still half asleep. Let us tell him about our plans for the day and ask Him to bless them. Let us read at least a few verses of scripture over our morning breakfast to strengthen us to face the world. Let’s be on time to church. Keep going to the Temple. It’s more important that we have the capacity to understand.

I love you all. This week has left me super tired so I think I will go home and sleep for the rest of our Preparation Day. Grrr…they are playing american music again here in this internet cafe and it’s `Hey Sould Sister´ by Train. It’s making me homesick for Missy. If any of you can think of some good encouragement for a missionary who is very tired and needs to get better at inviting people to be Baptised, send it my way,

love,

Sister Thompson

The Power of Weaknesses

Today I want to talk about the power of weaknesses. That’s right. “A perfect body is NOT required to achieve a divine destiny.” Russell M. Nelson, this General Conference.

I have found that I drink a lot of water on the mission and as such, often need to use the restroom when we are not anywhere near the house. Why am I mentioning this? Because it has been making me think a lot about physical limitations. Did you know that a physical limitation must be first accepted before it can become a strength. I think I drink more water than anyone I know and it was a bit rough on my companions at the start because I was always excusing us right in the middle of Zone Conferences, right before lessons and such. I felt bad. I tried drinking less water. That lasted for one day. It’s important to respect your body and take care of it. I feel better if I drink a lot of water so I just accepted things for what they were and something interesting has happened.

A week or so ago, we were in a strange neighborhood and I needed to use the restroom. Instead of being frustrated and miserable, I just said a prayer in my heart asking Heavenly Father who needed to hear our message so I could ask them. We passed a few houses and then ran into a very interesting family on the corner. I told Sister Stevens what I was going to ask and went right up to them, introduced myself and asked to use their restroom. She was in shock that I was so bold. They said “of course” Afterward, I shared a little bit about our message with them. It was a great excuse to get in the door! They have created their own little church with just their family. We gave them ” The Family A Proclamation to the World.” What could have been my handicap has become exactly the opposite.

One of my strengths is that I am not afraid to talk to strangers. Coupled with a weakness, that weakness was redeemed to work for my goal.
I want to invite everyone who reads this to think about one weakness that they have. Then think of you you could combine it with one of your strengths to use it to your advantage. It might be that you go to sleep late at night because once you get started on something, you want to finish it. Turn it into a strength by deciding to always start on the hardest things first and do them at the beginning of the day. The weakness of just wanting to add that last finishing touch will suddenly be a levering tool to keep you on track and finish the hard project you are on during the light hours. Your weakness might be that you have a poor body image. Combine it with your natural strength to be sensitive to these things and use that sensitivity to notice, build up and encourage those around you who have a poor body image. Soon you will find that you actually do believe your own adivce. Or it might be a weakness that you are too shy and don’t talk enough. Realize that this gives you a million tiny gifts… it makes you reverent in church and sacrament meeting, it makes you a good listener, it means what you say, when you do say it, will be more sincere. As you frame your weaknesses in a better light, you stop worrying about them. This leads to better self esteem which has a natural tendency to make weaknesses fade into the background. It gives us the power to change and the power to be happy. Now. Today.

Life is a race. But not a race against each other. It’s a race against sin! This is a quote from general conference. Let’s run this race together and run it like a marathon. Let’s all help each other cross the finish line.

I’m super happy today because I just heard news that my dear little family in Manus, Renilda and Andelso, were married and baptized after all! Renilda sent me an email. I can’t describe how it makes me feel. It gives me hope to keep working with the families here in Boa Vista. It makes me keep believing in miracles.

I LOVE my new, dear little companion Sister Cortez. She speaks Spanish and I speak English so we are quite an exotic companionship. It’s awesome!!!! We both still struggle with Portuguese but the people here are awesome and help us a lot. We are starting to be a lot more diligent about our language study. Sister Cortez says that she can feel the Spirit really strong when we teach so I think this opportunity we have to work together is a proof that the Lord really loves us and has faith in our capacities.

Sonia didn’t go to church. 😦 A young man named Leandro did. 🙂 We want to baptize a young girl named Talia and another named Suzana. The work for this week will be trying to encourage Talia’s dad Charlie to return with his family to church, and teaching Suzana’s mom in such a way that she can be touched  and we can mark a baptism date for both of them. Also, we don’t have any more cell phone credits this week so we are praying that Sonia will be at home and we can find out what happened for her to not be at church.

Suzana’s parents are recently separated and so I and her both teared up a little in our last lesson together because she realized that I could empathize with how she was feeling. I told her about how even though my parents are separated, they are both happy and healthy because of the power of this gospel. Her family is very Catholic but I have faith this gospel can help them and so I’m determined not to be intimidated. Several of our investigators have asked us to pray for them or pray for sick relatives. This shows me that they trust us and that The Spirit really is teaching with us in the lessons.

Sometimes I get frustrated because there is not enough time in the day to do all the things we want to do. We want to plan a division. It will be tricky and take a lot of planning but I have faith we can find a way. Sister Cortez is so sensitive and mature that she always makes me feel better when I get a little lost on the map or discouraged about what we should do next. I know this gospel is true. I know God loves us. With this knowledge, everything falls back into perspective.

Thank you everyone for the letters. They are really encouraging. 🙂

love,

Sister Thompson

Ten Month Mark!

Pictures! There is one of the noni fruit here (which smells aweful but good for you). A few of our chapel and of the baptism we had at the first of the transfer of some member’s relatives. We haven’t had a baptism of our own efforts since…yeh, we’ve got to keep at it. I think this transfer I’ve been the investigator and the Lords been teaching me a few things.

Then there is a picture of me with this young member, Sandy. Everyone thinks she looks like me! What do  you all think? You can all choose which you want to put on the blog…

It’s been an interesting week. It’s been super hard not for me to feel trunky because my companion is going home this weekend and every time we teach she is mourning the end of her mission. She loves the mission and doesn’t want it to end, but all this talk just makes me wish I was her. Then I remember that the Lord needs me here and I get excited again. I think it’s not so much that I wish I was her because I’m glad I still have 8 months, it’s just that it’s going to feel so good at the end when I know that I was diligent until the end. I had my 10 month mark yesterday.