Monday, August 25, 2014

Elder Almen Thorpe - Aug. 3 2014 - Thinking About You

Elder Thorpe
Hello family and friends! 

Wow, it sounds like a lot has been going on this week! Dad is doing great with his job (still looking like the young man he was 50 years ago), mom is getting to take free plane/vacation rides with dad, the Watts family are always up to no good and having too much fun, Kara and Josh sound like they are finding themselves and still enjoying each others company and Megan and Selina are working hard and loving life each and ever single day. Sounds like the Thorpe family to me, still all moving around doing stuff to keep themselves busy, good old family, love you all! Just one question, when are all of you going to just relax or is relaxing not in your vocabulary?!?!  You are all in my prayers and there is not a moment where not one of you don't come up in my head and I think back of how blessed I am to represent my wonderful, silly, and outgoing family and friends! Thank you once again for all you have done for me and to help me get were I am today. 

Mom asked a really good question when she e-mailed me "what has been going on with you?" Just want to say that was a very inspired question...what have I been doing..? Well a lot spiritually, mentally and psychically but not all in that order.  My last area was in Auckland in an area called Henderson and my ward was Henderson valley ward, the members over there were great, they loved helping out with the missionary work and accepted any challenge that they were asked to do. The bishopric was great and were all in-tune in helping out with getting those less actives back into church and making the investigators feel welcome. That was on the spiritual side, the psychical was that I had to ride my bike all around that area, which wasn't too easy because not only did I gain leg muscles but I also gained a little bit of stomach muscles (yes I am gaining just a little weight but not too much that is noticeable). Also we were doing a lot of getting to know the youth and Young Single Adults boys, that was riding bikes while being pulled on a razor scooters, going on hikes with them, and playing basketball or touch rugby we were there with the youth and YSA boys because we felt that getting to know the youth and showing them that missionary work is not only just finding people to teach but was also all about having fun in times were it was most appropriate (sometimes).They loved being around my old companion and I. They would call us up just to go do missionary work with them and visit less actives, members and investigators with us. Those were the physical and spiritual part of my last area but the mental part is that there wasn't much thinking that went into me doing all this it was by the spirit and the spirit worked through my companion and I. I will always cherish the moments in Henderson and never forget the time my old companion and I had together with the members, investigators and less actives. 

Before I left Elder Matua (my old companion) and I were teaching a family name the Toalas, Mel and her two kids Dimond and Dontay were getting ready to be baptized in three weeks. Well it is sad to say that I have left that journey with the Toala family and left it with my old companion Elder Matua to finish the job up. I trust him with all my heart and soul that he will do a great job at helping the Toala family reach the waters of baptism. Please keep him and his new companion in your prayers he will be needing all the help and support he needs from family and friends back home and here but they will do a great job.

As you would of all already guessed I was called on Wednesday afternoon to be transferred to a new area with a new companion. On my last night while packing up Mel, that is sister Toala, her twelve year old son Dimond and her eleven year old daughter Dontay came to our flat that  around six, and because I was leaving the next day  they wanted to come say goodbye. Dimond came and gave me with teary eyes and a smile on his face the BIGGEST HUG EVER! I hugged him back and had tears come down on my eyes too. This twelve years old boy even though he barely met me gave me a hug that I will never forget and cherish for the rest of my life. Dimond was like a little brother I never had, both of us would make jokes at each other every time we would be over at their place, and something that stood out to me while teaching at his house one day was these words..."I want to serve a mission when I get older", even though he still has some years to go I know that Dimond has that determination to go on a mission. When he first heard the story about Joseph Smith, he hasn't stopped on reading the Book of Mormon and wanting to learn more ever since. My last words to Dimond were these "Don't give up, no matter what you do, don't give up". It was a heart felt moment for me and Dimond. I will miss him but I know that goodbyes are not forever! I will see him again! It wasn't me that changed Dimond it was Heavenly Father, it wasn't my example that he was following it as Heavenly Fathers, and it wasn't my teachings that him and his family were was our Heavenly Fathers teachings. 

I am now in my new area called Whangarei, the way you pronounce the word in the beginning is with the letter 'F'. I know it is kind of weird but that is cause I am out in the country side were all the Maori people are. I am not in Auckland city anymore, I am just outside about a three hour drive out in the country side. I made sure to take some pictures while in the car ride down here, and there is tons and tons of green out here! My new companions name is Elder Long, from California!! He is the district leader and because our zone is so spread out we drive a car!!! Woahh! Finally, whoever prayed for me to get a car, I just want to say thank you! All the championships in Whangarei zone have a car except one companionship and their area is in the town. All the districts are also spread out by a an hour away from each P-days consist of just one district or usually just a two or three companionship's. It is just absolutely beautiful out here! Love it, love it, love it! My companion and I also found a family name Thorpe, so we will be looking into them to see if they are related somehow with the family. 

On Sunday we took the mission prep class out with us. I went over to one of the students mates house with a returned missionary, so there were three of us going to one of the students mates house. It was a great experience because the kid named Aaron was preparing to go on a mission and this was his first time ever bringing up the gospel to his mates. He grew up making trouble with these his friends, and had a change of heart and decided to prepare to go on a mission. It was great, Aaron did great and his friends were open to him and what he had to say, later after we left, Aaron said that he wasn't positive what they would say but was happy they were opened to what he shared. Aaron had more strength then I ever did because wanting to share the gospel with my friends was something I never wanted to do but seeing Aaron, someone who didn't know much about missionary work, and him sharing his testimony was something spectacular! Here was this eighteen year old boy talking about the gospel with his mates that he grew up with and having the spirit or strength to change and trying it for the first time on his about courage. Just sharing his testimony to his friends and hearing it from him opened my eyes that you don't need to know a lot of things in order to have a testimony about the church. 

My lesson this week was on change, and love. The two go together perfectly. Putting it in my missionary work, we have to change ourselves and our ways in order to be more converted ourselves. It also came down to three things... love, duty, and fear. Are we getting up every day for work, school, and ect. for the love of it or because it is our duty to do it, or because we fear if we don't do it we will get in trouble. It really hit me with this question, are we as members going to church ever week and being representatives of Jesus Christ because it is our duty, or is it our fear or is it because we want to and love to!? I reflected on that question and asked myself am I doing the missionary work because it is my duty, or because I have a fear of it or because I love it and it is the will of my father. That is something I will have to find out for myself while still out on my mission, the moral is that we are doing all we are doing because we love to do it or is it because it is our duty or because we have fear of what might happen if we don't. Go to church because you love to go to church not because you feel like it is a duty or because you have a fear what might happened if you don't go because you love your Heavenly Father and want to do his will. I just want to leave you all a question to think about, What am I doing everything for...LOVE?...DUTY?...or FEAR??.. we have to be willing to do everything out of love not because it is our duty or because we have a fear of what might happen if we don't. 

Thank you all for you encouragement and the help you have been giving him, thank you for being good examples to me! Hope all your weeks go great and all is well! Remember have fun, smile and laugh a little!

from Elder Thorpe  

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