Elder Michael Thornton

Elder Michael Thornton
24 August 2011 to August 2013

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fifth Letter Home 19 September 2011

Hey! How are things? 

This week has been really long. My companion says the first week of transfers always are. I have gone to bed exhausted every night this week. We eat twice a day, I'll usually have a bowl of cheerios for breakfast or a peanut butter sandwich, and then I'll have the same for dinner at 9:30PM (haha). The eight pounds I gained in the MTC should make up for the lack of sustenance this week lol. The Lord provides though; people have given us fruit off of their trees, they have wild black berrie bushes here, and we have also been given chili and cookies. The ward doesn't have a dinner calender here. So far, it's the non-members who have been sharing their food with us lol.  That is okay though. I was finally able to buy groceries, so now I'll have food. 

We finally got into a member's home on Sunday, and they were really nice to us. The husband is a member, but he is struggling with his testimony. Elder Andreasen and I bore our testimonies about the Book of Mormon, and related spiritual experiences that we've had while reading it. He was happy, and I think we helped encourage him to keep reading and praying about the truthfulness of the book. Every opportunity that I have to teach or testify makes up for all the hard things about being a missionary. We've been antied twice so far: anti-Mormon sentiment; the second time the guy opened his door and said, "I want you to know that you'll never have Celestial babies, and you'll never have your own planet..." Then he slammed his door. Haha, it was ridiculous. These people are pretty funny. 

We get a lot of complements about our dedication and character, but we also have people tell us to get lost and get a life lol. I actually really like tracking, and when ever someone does talk to us it makes up for all the others. No one wants to talk about the Gospel though, which is kind of frustrating. The Unitarian faith is really big here, and because the people are very "liberal" they don't want any form of defined religion or deity. We get mistaken for the Jehovah's witnesses a lot also, but I think people are starting to like us better because we aren't pushy. The JWs are really dramatic, and they try to scare people into joining their church.  You wouldn't believe how many people we've run into that have Book of Mormons, and won't read them. When we ask them why not, they say they have learned everything they need to know about the church from wikipedia, and then they change the subject. The Book of Mormon is powerful, and if the devil can keep people from reading it, he can stifle their entire progression. I love being a missionary, and even though it is really hard, I'm having a lot of fun. 

I confirmed a guy and gave him the Holy Ghost on Sunday, and we taught primary. It was super fun. Our assignment was to show the kids this movie called feed my lambs, and then teach them about missionary work... that didn't work out very well, the only thing the kids got out of the movie was that coyotes eat lambs lol. So, we played Book of Mormon pictionary. Haha, like five kids in a row drew Noah's Ark, it was hilarious. I don't think Elder Andreason has spent much time with little kids, because he was asking the kids what they thought the lambs represented, and reading them scriptures from the Bible. The kids were climbing over their chairs and playing on the piano. So I changed tactics, and we played the game instead. 

We were able to set up a bunch of "member inspires" for this week, so hopefully those follow through and the members gain a better opinion for missionary work. 

We did some service the other day: we painted a members home. I think they are beginning to warm up to us more. One problem is the members are really fed up with the liberal mind-set, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of them pray for a tidal wave every night lol. It seems they have given up on teaching and converting them. But I haven't. Elder Andreasen and I are working our best looking for people who want the to know the Gospel. I know the Lord watches out for his missionaries, and I know he will bless us for our faithfulness.
How was Disney Land? Was it awesome? I hope you all had a great time, and I bet Isabella and Xander loved it.
Amber, thanks so much for your Email. I'm really glad you wrote me haha. I bet the zoo was fun, I'm glad you got to go. I haven't been to a zoo since I was in kindergarten I think. I saw Mt. Rainer on my way in, and It is beautiful. If I ever serve in the city of Tacoma, I'll be able to see it all the time. This place is really pretty, but rainy season is about to start, and then it will rain until next summer. I hope you have a great week.
Bye family, I hope you have a great week, and I'm looking forward to hearing from you next Monday.
Elder Thornton
P.S. Thanks for the jump rope and music. I've been doing push ups and pull ups every morning. The Elders here call that a re-entry program. That's when Elders workout the last 12 weeks before they go home, so they don't show up all soft and stuff lol. So I guess I'll be doing a 24 month re-entry program.

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