Monday, August 17, 2015

And now this week's email

Hi everybody! Hello hello hello
The new area is going great - it's really fun - we have a lot of people to teach actually. A few transfers ago they shut down one of the teams of missionaries in the ward so there is only us now - but we also area booked the area - so we have like 2 full area books of people to go by and work with - and the bus system is really good in this area and it's easy to learn your way around - and yes mama there is a bus stop right outside our house which is great. Also I don't think you can see it in Google maps - but the houses on our street are actually on half houses - so our house doesn't even go out onto the front - we just have the back half of the house...  and the house inside is pretty run down - like our study room doesn't have a light - so in the morning we can study with the sunlight - but when we plan and things at night we have to use flashlights. Also a lot of missionaries have left tons of clothing and stuff around which isn't very helpful either...  but it's okay we spent a while cleaning everything up this morning and it's pretty decent now.
But yes Elder Ma'a is a great guy. I've learned a lot more about him this week and his life is very interesting. He's 21 years old and from American Samoa, and in the village that he was raised in there is only one church, and it's a Mormon church and it's right in the centre of the village of about 2000 people, and every single person in the village is a baptized member, and the activity rate is really high, there are 5 wards in the one village!
He loves to play rugby - and his older brother plays for the New Zealand All Blacks - if you go onto YouTube and look up a guy named 'Ma'a Nonu' there comes up a bunch of highlight videos about him (some members have showed us) and they're crazy! The guy is vicious - and that's my companions older brother. Elder Ma'a actually played junior professional rugby in New Zealand for 2 years before his mission, but he gave up a professional career (at least for now) to come on his mission. He is also the first missionary from American Samoa to be called to a mission in the UK.
And the stories about the cabin are hilarious guys! That sounds so fun! About a year ago now we were in Hawaii - how weird is that?
And glad to hear about you bearing your testimony mama. When I got into this ward I bore my testimony as well, and as I was talking this woman in the front started like yelling, and it threw me off it was really funny she was yelling nonsense, but it was funny because I realized later that she does that all the time, but the first time I heard it was when I was talking so I was really worried haha.
Also quick story, yesterday we went and visited this guy named Paul who we met on the street and who was open to hearing our message, but apparently when we talked, he then spent the entire night and next day looking up anti - Mormon material on the internet, so when we came he was all over the place with this crazy anti made up stuff it was insane. Anyways he invited us in and started speaking about all these nonsense ideas, and we tried to reason with him but he wouldn't have it. So I told him ''You can't put new wine in old bottles'' and he was like ''What?'' and I told him that that was what Jesus said, and then he got offended and aggressively kicked us out of his house. It was an experience for sure.
I've met so many new people this week I cant even wrap my head around it all quite yet, and I have a lot of new responsibilities as a DL, but it's not too bad I'm enjoying life right now. Missionary work is the most fun when it's the most challenging and you have a lot of new people and new challenges to deal with, which I have a lot of right now - which made this week just fly by. Wow.
And dad, for Ward Conference? I think what you talked about with the Youth is Key. Read the Book of Mormon each day and talk to your father in heaven on your knees each morning and each night and we will be able to find help and comfort through the hardest as well as the easiest of times. If we keep Heavenly Father as our number 1 priority in life - followed closely by our relationship with our family, we will find happiness and peace. Also emphasize how important missionary work is, that it is our duty as members of the church who have an increased knowledge about the purpose of our lives, and who have been GIVEN the blessing of having the example of our Savior to lean on in hard times, to share this blessing with others. Bear testimony frequently, invite others to come unto Christ, make it a priority in your life to 1.Invite friends to church/church activities and 2. to make time to teach with the missionaries, in your home if possible. In Alma 26 verse 22  I was reading this morning it talks about spiritual gifts and how we are GIVEN them, I think it says given 4 times. It is our duty to GIVE that blessing to our friends.
Anyways. I love you guys. Have a great week!
Elder Thompson

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