Wednesday, January 28, 2015

This Week -- just a bit late!

Wow that's crazy warm. Warmer than here... it's supposed to snow here this week people keep saying. But they said that last week too so idk...
Time has been flying for me here too. I've been here now for 3 and a half months but it doesn't feel like it. Anyways my new companion Elder Faingata'a is canny and great. We get along really well. Elder Wright is our new district leader and he is doing a super job so far as well so everything is good and dandy here.
Not too many super interesting things happened this week. I haven't gotten in touch with the Tony Bowler yet, but I will soon for sure. I just haven't been back in that area too much this week is why.
We met this super crazy inactive guy this week. We were going through our list and stopping by less actives and we met this guy who lives in Tynemouth who is absolutely bonkers. He was baptized at 16 and hasn't been back since but now he is really weird, he's in his fifties or sixties. He has like a shrine in his bedroom to Jesus Christ and he thinks that he is the second perfect man to walk the earth other than of course Jesus. He also believes that Jesus speaks to him and appears to him all the time but what ''Jesus'' tells him is contrary to all of the doctrine of the church (and any church for that matter) but anyways that was a very very interesting visit. We might go back sometime, but if we do we will bring a member of the bishopric because this guy is thoroughly confused.
Vida is doing okay. This week we brought her to a dinner appointment at a members house and that was great. But then later in the week some stuff happened with her mother and she was getting really upset and the couldn't come to church. But we visited her yesterday and we managed to calm her down a lot and she is doing better now. She is still completely reliant on alcohol though.
Also week we also started teaching this guy in North Shields itself who has been in and out of prison and addicted to lots of different drugs for most of his life, but he is really interested about learning about God. His name is Craig, but his drug name is Doc, so nobody knows who Craig is, but if we say Doc like everybody in North Shields knows him. Not for good reasons...   But anyways he is a character. He's living with his parents but everytime we go over there (he has a curfew of 7 so we usually go around then) he is rolling a joint in front of us. It's interesting to say the least. But he's reading the book of Mormon and is determined to stop doing all drugs, so he's cool.
And Dad that is really good to hear that you are helping out in your calling that's really good. There is a less active member who we teach who was baptized just over a year ago who is undergoing a lot of difficulty in her life right now. She is unemployed and has two children and is suffering from severe depression. Her name is Natasha. Last time we went we brought an Ensign and we also went over Brad Wilcox's talk ''His Grace is Sufficient'' with her and she opened up to us and cried a lot and explained all the problems in her life. When we left she said she felt a lot better and would be at church on Sunday (which she says after all of our visits every week) but then of course on Sunday she was a no show :(
Anyways I love you guys. I'm happy here. I've been carrying around that family picture you guys sent out for New Years in a book of Mormon to use when we are finding and teaching and it has been really helpful, but it really makes me appreciate what I have for a family life and a good upbringing, especially here in England where almost nobody has a full family like we have. I would love more things similar to that photo to show people!
Love you!
Elder Thompson
New Castle:
 Me and my new bro:
 English Beach:


Monday, January 19, 2015

This week's Email

Hi everyone.
So this week on Tuesday was p-day and Elder Jaeger, Wright, Shreve and I went with Sarah (our investigator) into Newcastle and Gateshead to do some sightseeing, I'll attach some pictures of it it was pretty big and cool, and while we were in Newcastle it snowed a bit which is cool because I haven't seen any snow in a long time!
On wednesday was transfer day and I went on exchange with our zone leader Elder McGinnis, who is a surfer guy from southern california (he's friends with Elder Jaeger) and that was great, and then I met my new companion Elder Faingata'a who is HUGE! He is a big Rugby player from Sydney, Australia, but he was born in Tonga, so he is a big big tongan dude. He is really really nice though and lots of fun. i'll send some pictures with him soon. He has been on his mission for six months now, he came out at the same time as Elder Wright.
It's a bit of a change up though because I am in charge of the area now and am in charge of planning what we're doing all the time and waht we are going to teach etc. because he is new to the area. Also he talks way less than Elder Jaeger, which is different, but it's good and this week I've had the oportunity to talk a lot more to everyone and I really like it.
So Vida (I found out it's spelled that way) is doing pretty well. She believes everything she's been taught, but she has a big problem with drinking we found out because of the physical abuse she underwent for a long time. She drinks a lot every day. But we challenged her to stop and we gave her a blessing. She didn't make it to church yesterday because she had a bit of a nervous breakdown and didn't want to leave the house, but later that night on the phone I talked to her and she said that she hadn't drank all day and she wasn't shaky or anything. Which is really really cool.
Also really cool story. So we were in Whitley Bay knocking on doors. And after an hour or so with not much success we got to the end of a street and I saw that there was a guitar store there. So we took a brief break and went into the store. We talked to the guy, his name is Tony Bowler and I played one of the guitars (a canadian made one - a seagull - the same brand as mine back home) and I sang a little as well. We are going to visit him soon. But he told me I was really good and it was a shame I didn't have a guitar to play. So he said ''Ahve you ever heard of random acts of kindness?'' and I thought he was gonna try to sell me a bit cheaper on the guitar, but he said ''you can have that guitar''. So he gave it to me for free! It was a £200 guitar! So anyways we're not allowed to keep guitars at our flat, so I've left it in the chappel. But I'm not going to be able to take it with me, but I'm gonna go play it at least every p-day until I get transferred. But I'm trying to figure out how much it would cost to send it home. i'm talking to the members and stuff too to see if they know a good way to send it back home.
So yeah good week!
Love you guys!
Elder Thompson
Angel of the North in Gateshead

 Elder J and Vida
 Coleman and his hero
 New companion and Sarah

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Transfer Day!

Hi everybody!
So I'm staying in North Shields! But Elder Jaeger is leaving :(
It's alright though! I'm done being trained, and my new companion (who I'll meet tomorrow) is named Elder Faingata'a, and he's from Australia, but he's like an islander guy, so I'm really excited to serve with him! I'll send pictures with him next week once I've taken them.
So this weekend we invited Vita to go with us to a baptism in Gateshead, but she cancelled last minute because she found out that her father is in Hospital (she doesn't have a good relationship with any of her family, her mother kicked her out when she was young) but she needed to go see him because he was in Emergency. She didn't make it to church either.
On the bright side with her, her court case this week went really well, the man who beat her was imprisoned for a long time, and she didn't even have to see him. She's doing good now we saw her on the Metro yesterday her Dad is okay and we're meeting with her later tonight. If everything goes to plan she'll be interviewed this weekend by our new district leader....    Elder Wright! And then she'll be baptized on her birthday, the 24th, by me!
Sarah came with us to the baptism on Saturday instead, and she enjoyed it a lot. Sarah is 19, and she doesn't have a good relationship with her family either, she was also kicked out at a young age. She doesn't know her father and her mother and brother are abusive and hostile towards her. She's now living on her own, working and making her way through life by herself, but she has embraced the Gospel and the family it gives her. On Christmas she came with us to the Johnson's and on New Years she went there as well, and it made her year. Today she is taking us to Newcastle to do some sightseeing for p day, so that should be fun, I'll take lots of pictures.
Also, going to that baptism inspired me. I want to be a better missionary, a better finder, a better teacher, a better communicator so that I can help people come unto Christ and change their life through baptism. This weekend helped me increase my desire to be better, especially so that I can baptize someone. Now even though I really want to do that, I know that that's not where the success of a mission lies. I know that if I go throughout my whole mission and don't baptize a single person, as long as I have successfully converted one important person, that being myself, then my mission will have been a huge success in my eyes and the eyes of the Lord.
But baptizing other people is a great goal too! And I am still trying my hardest everyday to talk to everyone and invite as many people as I can to come unto Christ.
Also everybody! But especially Sam and family. Go online and Look up the talk ''Our Identity and Our Destiny'' by Tad. R Callister. Read it, study it. Also Sam - ''Becoming a Consecrated Missionary'' by somebody idk.
All the people that have heard about Vita's story have been quite touched. That experience helped prove to me that God is there and that he cares about all of us individually. I've learned a lot of things these first two transfers on my mission - but that experience is something I'll never forget, and I really hope that I get the opportunity to baptize her, I am really excited for her and what her future will bring.
Love you guys.
P.S. happy Birthday Olivia! How does it feel to be 11?


Monday, January 5, 2015

First Email of 2015

Hi hi Hi Hi hi hi Hi hi hi hi aright
New Years was pretty weird. so in my flat there's Elder Jaeger and I, and Elder Wright (he's the homie we wrestle all the time) and then there's Elder Shrieve.. And on New Years Eve the zone leaders (Elders McGinnis and Mullen) came and stayed the night and it was like really boring, but pretty fun too so it was kinda weird. We watched the Lego movie, and Shark Tale and played monopoly and talked a lot.
So, this week Elder Jaeger and I scheduled two people to be baptized! One is named Margaret, she's older and is a single mother, but all of her children have moved out so she lives alone, but she likes to drink, but she's going sober for the new year which is great! We committed her to be baptized on February 11, she chose it because it is her Birthday! I thought that was cool because that's also Dad's birthday! She didn't come to church yesterday though which made us sad.
The other is Vita Williams, the woman we met on the Metro crying before Christmas. So, Christmas miracle for her, a few days ago she opened up and told us about that night. She was very very depressed and was on her way to Newcastle on the Metro to find a tall building and jump off to end her life. She said she felt like no one cared for her and she was a waste of life. After we spoke to her she went back home and rethought what she was going to do and she thought that God must exist if these two random strangers with 'Jesus Christ' pinned on their coats talked to her and saved her life that night. She told us over and over again that she owes us her life, because we saved her from killing herself.
I remember that night on the Metro, and I remember feeling very very strongly, being impressed by the Spirit of God that we needed to talk to her. The impression was so strong that I felt physically uncomfortable to not move or act. My testimony is strengthened.
Yesterday she came to church with us and she loved it. She told us that she feels safe there. She really wants to be baptized. We committed her to be baptized on January 24, which crazy enough is her Birthday too! She adores the church, she actually asked us 'how do I become Mormon?' before we taught her about baptism.
Anyways. Transfers are coming up on January 14th. There is never a way to know exactly what will happen but I have a feeling that I am going to stay and Elder Jaeger is going to go. I think Elder Wright will leave as well but you never know.
Also Sarah did not pass her baptismal interview - she's not ready, so she will not be getting baptized this Saturday anymore. Elder Wright is pretty bummed cause he thinks he is going to be transferred and he really wanted to baptize her. He's been out for six months now and he hasn't baptized yet, which is pretty normal, but he was still really excited to get to.
Another quick story. There was this investigator a while ago that Elder Wright taught with his trainer Elder Price who progressed all the way to baptism named Nick. He passed his interview and everything, but this man was very very feminine, and a lot of people weren't sure if he was a he. The day before his baptism the bishop brought him in and showed him census records that had his name listed and 'Nicole' and he asked her again if he was a man or a woman. He/she (I'm not really sure) started crying and left the building and was not baptized, but later said he/she still wants to be. Anyways we've been trying to get ahold of Nick/Nicole and we are going to see him/her this week. She has asked us to call her Nicole though, so I will from now on refer to her as she, as long as I'm not proven otherwise. It's pretty weird.
That's my life recently. Love you all!
Elder Thompson
Also on Sunday they showed the Mormon Message "The Hope of God's Light"  And Vita cried a lot because she felt like that was her. Watch it if you haven't.
We like to wrestle a lot. The hierarchy is Elder Jaeger > Elder Thompson > Elder Wright. I have gotten really close with these two guys I'm gonna be sad when we move away from each other.

Also this is Elder McGinnis with us on New Years Eve. He is our new (ish) zone leader. Btw our previous zone leader Elder Mullen this last transfer (the one who I went on exchange with) was called at the beginning of december as an Assistant to the President.
Also i'm going on exchange this week with Elder Kiss from Alnwick (he's hungarian) who goes home this next transfer! So this is his last week in the mission basically before he goes home.