Elder Michael Thornton

Elder Michael Thornton
24 August 2011 to August 2013

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ninth Letter Home 17 October 2011

Hey guys, I'm glad you are all doing so well. I'm having a blast. We had two baptisms yesterday, and they were both really nice. 

The two people who got baptised are named Anne Able and Dana Carpenter. Anne is in her 60s, and I got to baptise her which was really neat. Dana is 19, and she got baptised by her fiance Phil. They have both been super golden investigators, and they both had really neat spiritual experiences that led them to be baptized  Dana got baptised in the ocean, which was way cool. 

Next week we have another two baptisms, and we are way stoked about that. One of the guys being baptised is named Scott, and it was really cool how we found him. 

One day Elder Andreasen and I were out tracting. We weren't having any success, but we were having alot of fun regardless. I got a phone call, and the guy says: "You probably don't remember me, but a few weeks ago you gave me a Mormon.org card from your car window. Sorry it takes me so long to make decisions, but I went to Goodwill and bought a Book of Mormon, and read through 2 Nephi. I would like to learn more, can we meet somewhere?" Haha I was so stoked, I was like "Yes! When do you want to meet?" We ended up meeting at McDonalds the next day, and we taught the Restoration. He has studied Hinduism, Buddism, all the different denomination's of Christianity, and he even spent some time with the JWs. He says our faith matches his personal beliefs that he has gained through study and prayer, and that when we teach him it is like he is remembering instead of learning. It is way cool, we teach him at McDonalds because his mom is a JW and she probably wouldn't be very stoked about having us over lol. 

Being a missionary is so fun, It amazes me that Heavenly Father trusts such young, inexperienced guys to do such an important work. This work is Heavenly Father's work, "to bring to pass the immortality and Eternal life of man," (Moses 1:39) it is a great honor to be able to participate in such a glorious cause, and invite people to have the joy that comes from developing a relationship with our Father in Heaven. 

The music standards here in Tacoma allow us to listen to anything made by an LDS artist, as well as some contemporary christian music. We have a bunch of way good stuff, some of it is stuff that Elders have created, and it is super funny. I didn't realize how much I liked music before I left for a mission, its kind of nice to be able to have a little wider variety than MoTab. Not saying I don't like MoTab, but listening to the same CD everyday gets pretty old. 

So I had a pretty interesting experience this week, I got to teach a guy in jail. It was way crazy, this guy requested to speak with someone from the church, and our bishop sent us over to the county jail to meet with him. We talked to him through the glass with the telephones, just like in the movies. We taught him the whole restoration, and gave him a Book of Mormon to read. The guard had to search it first of course. 

It was very interesting, because here Elder Andreasen and I are standing on one side of the glass because of decisions we've made throughout our lives, and there he was standing on the other side because of decisions he had made. 

Every decision we make has consequences, and though we might be free to make choices, we aren't free to choose the consequences. 

I had a funny thing happen to me on Saturday. We were tracting in a ghetto trailer park, and we knocked on this door, and this really grungy drunk guy opened the door... He said, "You are men of God? There are alot of demons around here, do you know how to fight demons?
Andreasen: "Yes. How do you fight demons?"
Guy: "By the grace of God. Don't worry, I've done your work for you, you're saved."
Me: Speechless.
Then the guy took our hands and chanted a quick prayer and wished us luck on our missions... Haha it was great. I wonder if by demons he was referring to really ticked off neighbors. We got cussed-out like five times that night. 

People are really funny sometimes. We were out tracting, and we knocked on a door that was answered by a woman. She said she absolutely didn't want to talk to us, and asked us to leave her porch. We wished her a good evening and left, but before we could leave her driveway, another woman came out and threatened to call the cops on us. We apologized for bothering her, and left. It is amazing to me that people would consider pulling police officers away from their job of busting dangerous criminals to harrass a couple of teenagers wearing white shirts and ties who are sharing a message about Jesus Christ. I think they might have been lesbians: The gay community here is really ticked off at the Mormons. They spray-painted one of the walls on the Church during the whole proposition-8 thing. 

We made the local headlines the other day, it said, "Suspicious vehicle belongs to LDS Bible salesmen." Haha we thought that was pretty funny. Anyways, I'm having a blast out here, transfers are next Monday, but I'm pretty sure I'll be here for another transfer. The new program keeps you with your trainer for two transfers. 

I've been taking pictures, and when I get a chance, I'll put them on a CD and send them home. There are also some videos on there, so that might be fun. I love you all very much, and I'm grateful for your support.
Angela and Trevor, congratulations!! Haha I'm so stoked! I'm a little bumbed that I won't be able to see him or her for a year, but still I'm so happy for you. I hope I'm not ruining a surprise by saying this... Haha I love you both alot. Tell Bella and Xan I love them too please. Oh, what is your address?
Amber and Brad, I'm glad the primary program went well, and I'm glad things are going well for you guys. I love you alot, and my address is the same. I think you asked that... Anyways, I hope you have a great week.
Mom and Dad, I love you both very much. David Tyler, so today I realized that the next time I see you you will be 17...Haha thats crazy. Haha anyways, I love you. Stay sweet, Peace and Love.
Elder Thornton

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