Elder Michael Thornton

Elder Michael Thornton
24 August 2011 to August 2013

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Twenty-Second Letter Home 23 January 2012

What's up guys?

This week has been crazy. We got about 10-inches of snow on Tuesday, and then we had an ice storm -- a Missouri-style ice storm. We lost power, which didn't really mean much since our house doesn't have heating anyway, and we got snowed in. We were freezing and super hungry. Microwaves don't work without power. The whole place went on "lock down." Not even the army did anything all week. A member family took us in, and we stayed the night with them in their home on the military base.

It was pretty fun though; before the ice storm hit we were able to go help some people out. We shoveled a drive way, built a snow man with some kids, and we were able to talk to a bunch of people because everyone was home. We found like three new investigators this week, which is unusual for me: I would go weeks without finding new people to teach in my last area.

I don't live on base, I live in a place called Tillicum, or Tilliancum, lol. Our house is tiny: you could fit the whole thing in my old apartment. We sleep in a bunk bed, and that's about it.

Tracting here is super fun though, people are either soldiers or local folks living in a poorer community. But the people are humble, and they have shown respect for us. They recognize us as "Jesus people." Even a gangster told us he had our backs if anyone messed with us, lol.

The soldiers are respectful, and most of them have served around LDS people. Those who haven't, have seen a lot of diversity throughout their service, so they are respectful of beliefs different than their own. I'm having a lot of fun here. Right now we are working on developing better Ward relations.

Our Mission plan and the Ward's don't coincide at all. We operate without the Ward, which makes retention of converts difficult, which thing really ticks the Ward members off. We are going to change that. Our job is to find, teach, and baptize, and the Ward's is to fellowship, nurture, and help people go to the Temple. If we aren't coordinated, the converts' progression will stop once they receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. We had a super good Ward Council meeting. Missionaries hadn't attended Ward Council here for a long time, and I suggested that we schedule a weekly meeting between us, the big three, and the Bishop. The Ward members were excited about that. Anyways, this week was a little slow because of the weather, while at the same time we got a ton accomplished. In our District, we have two Elders on bikes and two Sister Missionaries. I'm way stoked for coming here this transfer.

Missionary disobedience is an issue here, however, and it is even harder to deal with when the members invite the Elders over to watch movies, watch the super bowl, and let them hang out at their houses. It has caused some problems for many Elders to focus on their Missionary commitment and responsibility.

My companion, Elder Bailey, is a brand new Elder. This is his second transfer, so I'm essentially his follow-up trainer. He is a good Elder. He works hard, and he is nice. He has a few bad habits that he inherited from his "semi-apostate" trainer, but he knows that I'm obedient, and he is willing to be obedient also.

That's about it, I love all of you. Have an awesome week. I'll give you my address once I know it; lol.


Elder Thornton

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