Elder Michael Thornton

Elder Michael Thornton
24 August 2011 to August 2013

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tenth Letter Home 25 October 2011

Hello... [a day late]. Haha, Transfers were yesterday, and they took Elder Andreasen. They came out in broad day light, and they took him... in broad day light. He got transferred to Centrailia to be a zone leader. Centrailia is down in the furthest South portion of the WA-TAC, and I'm in the Furthest North portion. 

Well, I'm still in Port Townsend, and I have a new companion named Elder Topp. Elder Topp is super cool, and he is going home after this transfer. More than likely I'm going to be in Port Townsend for at least another two transfers. I love it here, its pretty, I'm learning the area, and the Ward actually likes us now.  

So the reason why the Ward members had such a negative opinion of missionaries was because they had some super apostate Elders here before Andreasen and Harmer arrived. They had a TV and DVD player, tons of movies; they were making fireworks. They had golf clubs and a putting green, and instead of maps and omni boards, they had a collage of pictures of girls they had cut out of the Ensign and New Era. Ridiculous.  

A couple of people can do alot of good in an area, and they can also do alot of damage. It just depends on whether they are obedient and enthusiastic or not.  I'm having a lot of fun out here, I love being a missionary. This next six weeks is going to be awesome, and we are going to witness a lot of miracles. My companion and I need to find more people to teach; so we are going to be doing a lot of finding, ward listing, and member inspiring. I know without a doubt that when you show Heavenly Father you want to work, he provides you with opportunities to do so. We had three baptisms last transfer, and we should be able to put three people on date this week. 

I came out on a mission because the Gospel of Jesus Christ has brought me nothing but happiness, peace, and joy, and I wanted to invite others to partake of the same joy that I have experienced. Seeing someone enter the waters of baptism is wonderful, because you can see them experience the joy that comes from establishing a relationship with Heavenly Father.  I love it. 

As a Mission we are reading the Book of Mormon before Christmas: starting today. I was already in Alma, but I decided to restart. I absolutely love the Book of Mormon. Every time I read it I learn a ton of new things. It's awesome. I want to invite you all to read the Book of Mormon as a family. It is true. It testifies of Christ, and will bring us closer to our Heavenly Father if we abide by its precepts. In Lehi's vision of the tree of life, the only way people could make it to the tree was by "clinging" to the iron rod. They didn't just hold to it, or meander along beside it, they clutched that thing with white knuckles. From Nephi's account of the vision, we learn that the iron rod is the word of God, or the scriptures. 

All of the less active people we teach have the same problem, they don't read their scriptures. The people in the vision that didn't cling to the rod got lost in the mists of darkness. 

I have seen the power of the Book of Mormon not only in conversion, but also in helping people overcome addictions. The power of the Book of Mormon is real, and when we read it we invite the Spirit into our lives. I know you are probably already reading your scriptures, but I felt like sharing this with you anyways.

So I don't really have any funny stories this week, time goes by really quickly and all my memories are blurring together in regards to when they occurred. 

I had fun at the transfer meeting, I got to see all my buddies from the MTC. They are all doing well, except for one Elder who got put in a threesome with two "apostates." He said his whole zone was really struggling. One Elder choked another one out; another carries knives around with him and slashes anything he sees. They had to do an emergency transfer for half of zone. It was really bad.  

I honestly don't understand what some of these guys' malfunction is... where do they get off thinking they can conduct themselves like idiots when they wear a name badge with Christ's name on it? I am really glad I've had companions that want to work, so far, and I feel really bad for the Elder who got put in such a crappy environment his first transfer. I hope he gets a good companion this time. 

The temptation to slack off is real, everyday the adversary whispers that you've done enough, you've helped all these people, you are keeping more commandments than regular members of the Church, you can relax a little, you don't need to wake up at six thirty.... It goes on and on.  But the more you are obedient, the easier it is to tell him to jump in the lake. My goal as a missionary is to live everyday so that when I get down on my knees each night I can honestly tell my Heavenly Father I did my best. I often think of my favorite hero, Captain Moroni, and how the very powers of hell trembled and shook because of his resolve, his obedience and his courage. The jaws of hell gaped over him, and he kicked its teeth out. The devil could have no power over him. My goal is to be like that.

I've been taking pictures, and when my memory card fills up I'll burn the pictures onto a CD and send it home. I love all of you very much, and I hope you have a wonderful week.
Elder Thornton
P.S. Same address as before, and you might be getting calls from some of our converts... for some reason they wanted to talk to you, Mom and Dad. Maybe some facebook requests also. So far we have baptised Anne Able, Danna Carpenter, and Evelyn Honstien.  Love ya.

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