Elder Michael Thornton

Elder Michael Thornton
24 August 2011 to August 2013

Friday, January 6, 2012

Ninteenth Letter Home 03 January 2012

Hey, Its so good to hear from everybody. 

New Years for me was funny. I went to bed at 9pm, and then I was awaken at midnight by people yelling outside of my window. I was like super annoyed, and then I remembered it was New Years, so I smiled and went back to bed. 

On P-Day we went to Forks and Lapush as a zone. It was super fun. Lapush (the indian reservations) has beautiful beaches. It was pouring rain, but it was awesome. We should do a family vacation in Washington, and I'll show you guys these places. Gorgeous. 

Elder Fosburgh and I met Stephanie Meyers at church. I didn't know who she was, but I saw a new family so I went up and started talking to them. I introduced myself, and they introduced themselves as the Meyers. I didn't think anything of it, but Fosburgh is a bit of a "Twilight" nerd, so he got excited, lol. She seems a nice lady — kind of introverted. She lives in a super nice house on Marrowstone Island. We wanted to go teach her family our "rat-trap" object lesson, but she had already gone back to Arizona by the time we found her house. 

We have a baptism this Saturday: an investigator who I've been working with since transfer one is now getting baptized. I am so excited; I can't wait. 

This last transfer period hasn't been as fruitful as far as baptisms because of the holidays. No one wanted to meet until after New Years. We have a 10-person teaching pool, but we've been able to meet with hardly any lately. I believe after the next transfer will be very fruitful though, and I'll probably get transferred. The problem with staying in one area so long is that it is easy to get tied working with the same people, doing the same things, and it becomes difficult to not allow preconceived ideas about the investigators and the members to get in the way of the work. I'm working really hard not to allow that to happen to me. I'd kind of like to stay here, but at the same time I'm kind of ready to experience some other areas. Either way, I'll be happy. I really love my investigators, and the members of these Wards. The Port Townsend Ward has three kids leaving on Missions this year: one is going to Atlanta Georgia, another to Ireland and Scotland, and the third to the Philippines. I am super excited for them, there is nothing better than serving a mission. 

Our Tacoma Mission is a really young mission. Almost two-thirds of the missionaries are younger than six months out. One of the problems that the mission is facing is that many of the young missionaries feel as though making it to go on a mission was good enough, and that they can just endure these two years and then go home as "successful" missionaries. This is wrong, and it hinders the work because this kind of apathy takes away their excitement to share the gospel. They aren't as excited to find and teach people to baptize. 

Baptism is the difference between the Celestial kingdom and the Terrestrial and Telestrial kingdoms. If someone isn't baptized, they cannot live with God again. Our Mission President has told us that if someone has the desire to get baptized, we need to baptize them.  Even if the person goes in-active, their name will be on the records of the Church. They can be reached out to, and fellowshipped in the future. Our job as missionaries is to find, teach, and baptize. Its the members' job to fellowship the people we bring into the fold.  

I love being a missionary. I get to go out everyday, and point people in the direction of eternal happiness. Baptism is the first step on the only path to Heavenly Father. Missions aren't to be endured, they are to be enjoyed. There is so much to enjoy about being a missionary, and if you are constantly looking back, wishing you could watch movies, listen to your music, and date girls, you will miss out on a lot. These two years are the only time we have to give everything we have to God. When its over, we don't get to do this anymore. Its all about attitude, and living life in the moment. 

I'm glad that all of you have made a commitment to read the Book of Mormon. There is a lesson to be learned in every group of four verses. When you apply the teachings of the Book of Mormon to your own life, the book comes alive. It becomes as a "voice speaking from the dust..." just as Nephi says. I can testify to you that I've seen the Book of Mormon change lives. There is power in this book. If you read it and apply it, the devil will not have power over you. The Book of Mormon gives you a firm testimony of Jesus Christ, the rock upon which if we stand, we cannot fall (Helaman 5:12) And, the Book of Mormon gives us the tools we need to deflect the fiery darts of the adversary. You can't stand still and deflect darts, you'll get hit. Christ gives you the foundation and strength, tand His words in the Book of Mormon give you the skills you need to be victorious. 

I love you guys. I'm out of time. I've received all of the packages, I really appreciate them. I'll write more next week.


Elder Thornton

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