Sunday, December 1, 2013

"If there was a vampire in the States, it would make sense for it to come to a Pennsylvania" Dwight Schrute

Hey all,

Happy late Thanksgiving! I have a little bit of time to write quickly since I didn't on Thursday.

Thanksgiving was awesome! We had it all--turkey, stuffing, rolls, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoe caserole, salad, bubbly, pies, mama mia, it was grand. The sacrifices we have to make in the mission, right? We played games all day, ping pong, spot it, connect four, and a few other board games. It was a very fun preparation day. We even got to help them put up their Christmas decorations. It was a great day, but I didn't have time to write at all. But I think it was worth the sacrifice. The beauty of it was that there was not one grain of rice on the table. And, now it is officially Christmas season. Yay!

It's a weird transition still to the office schedule. If we're lucky, we get to work from 6 until 9 at night, and that's if all goes well in the day. We live downtown, so contacting is not too too effective. We rely a lot on references from the members or it is tough to work. With only three hours a day, it has to be a pretty productive night, and if we're stuck contacting, we don't come out with too much. It's just a little frustrating since I've worked all day every day for so long, and it's been more effective to contact. But, we've set some good goals to make our nights super productive and to continue to have success with investigators.

While the change is frustrating at time, I overall am loving my experiences in the offices. I get a ton of interaction with President Richardson and his family, which is a big blessing. He is a calm, wise leader, and I am learning a lot from him every day. I like being able to supervise the mission on a wider scale than just a zone, to find problems and look for solutions, I really love that. I love my companions, they're the best missionaries in the mission and we get along very work and have a good team attitude, always searching for how to help out the missionaries. I love training. I love, love, love training. We get lots of opportunities to do it, and I feel like I'm improving every day. Those are the chances that we have to make the missionaries better, so we've gotta make them good. I like traveling. We don't have a car, but we travel with President pretty much whenever he travels. This last week, we went to Esmeraldas for interviews. It was fun to go back for a quick visit. We stopped at a fruit stand and bought tons of fruit. I bought $10 of mangoes, cacao, red bananas, and more mangoes. Love the fruit here, and everything is in season from November to February. Great stuff.

While I still need to get my groove going here with the balance between working with investigators and working with missionaries, I am happy to have this assignment. There is a lot to do, and never a dull moment. I feel blessed to be able to serve in this way, and I hope to improve with it every day.

Now, to finish this quick note, the things that I am thankful for. I'll keep it within 10 things to not go on forever.

1. Mangoes

2. My family

3. Hard, challenging situations

4. The David Archuleta Christmas CD

5. The Scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon

6. The Restored Gospel, including presiding prophets and apostles

7. The Savior and His Atonement

8. Prayer

9. Our potential to grow

10. Being a missionary! Woo!

Anyways, that'll be the quick note for the week. We don't have the full two hours today, but that's okay because I had a marvelous feast in a third world country. Next Saturday, I'll shoot you guys a good one. Merry Christmas!


Elder Thomas

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