Elder Michael Thornton

Elder Michael Thornton
24 August 2011 to August 2013

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Twenty-Sixth Letter Home 21 February 2012

Hey everybody, 

I couldn't write yesterday because it was Presidents' Day, and the library's were all closed. But, President Weaver is letting us email today, so here it is. 

This transfer is almost over. This is week six, and we'll be getting our transfer calls this coming Saturday. I've been working really hard, but we don't really have much to show for it. We've only baptized one person this transfer, which is frustrating because this is supposed to be one of the higher performing areas in the Mission. I was starting to get a little discouraged, feeling like the reason we weren't doing well was my fault. These feelings of inadequacy were compounded by the fact that I'm the youngest District Leader in the Mission, and I felt like a few of the older missionaries in the zone didn't really like me for that. I don't really think that is true anymore though. It was just the adversary trying to bring me down. So dumb. 

We had a really good Zone Conference where I was able to receive advice through the training given, and from one of the APs who served here. He said that Fort Lewis is an up and down place. Sometimes they baptize a ton, and other times you have to re-build your teaching pool. The truth is we are working hard, and I know that the Lord blesses us when we are diligent and obedient. 

I love personal scripture study so much; I always learn such cool stuff. My scriptures are my most prized possessions, they are filled with notes and markings, all of which are insights I've gained from the Holy Ghost. He is the best study buddy ever. I'm in 1 Nephi right now, and I only get through maybe two chapters in an hour of study because I cross reference a lot. So it takes more time. Elder Bailey isn't really used to working hard all the time, and he doesn't like to participate in companion study. He is a good Elder though, and I'm trying to help him develop good habits for the rest of his Mission. 

He's so funny: He writes his girl friend every day, lol. No joke, every day. I hope he doesn't get DJ'd, because it's gonna tear him up. Poor kid. 

I think I told you guys about our Japanese "eternal," named Yuki. We witnessed a miracle on Sunday. It was so cool. We've been working with Yuki every Sunday since I've been here. We sit next to her in church, answer her questions, etc. She is such a good lady, and she really just needs to get baptized. Last Sunday, she asked me why Jesus told us to forgive one another. I explained to her that Jesus suffered for everyone, and that He suffered for us as if He was us. In other words, when you fall down and scrape your knee, Jesus Christ felt that for you. Jesus did that so that we wouldn't have to suffer. Interesting to note, when human beings experience too much pain, they pass out. Jesus atoned for us so we could overcome our hardships, and continue forward in our progression. When we aren't willing to forgive one another, we are telling Christ that he didn't suffer enough for us to forgive and forget. What a slap in the face for Jesus. She didn't really say anything, besides, "really?" (Look of surprise on her face) But, this Sunday she told me that she has been thinking about what I told her, and she is thinking about getting baptized. I Holy Ghost jumped on that, and I started encouraging her to do it. I can't even describe it, I opened my mouth, and everything just flowed. I was pulling out scriptures to answer her questions. It was awesome. It was really funny too, because everyone keeps trying to "anti" her. She is always showing up with anti-Mormon stuff. No joke. Last time she had sixteen pages of some of the funniest anti I have ever seen. 

This time she had a little Baptist pamphlet, that was preaching hell fire and brimstone, and she was asking me questions from their pamphlet. The Holy Ghost helped me take the truths quoted in the scriptures they used and expound upon them using the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was so cool. I had all the scriptures marked already from my personal study, but the Holy Ghost told me how to use them, and when to use them. So fun! I invited her to get baptized this Saturday, and she said that she would! I am so stoked, what a miracle. Heavenly Father set it all up so perfectly. I pray that she will have the courage to go through with it. It's like the story of Ammon. He knew how to use his sword. I'm sure he was well trained, and very competent with his blade. Because of this, when he went to defend the king's flocks, the Spirit was able to tell him, when to block, when to dodge, when to strike, and where to swing. 

Anyways, I am really having a blast everyday being a Missionary. It is so fun. I love all of you, and I hope you have an awesome week. I hope that story makes sense, but it is really hard to explain. Just know that the Lord blesses us, and He knows exactly how to touch the hearts of his children.


Elder Thornton

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