Monday, August 25, 2014

Elder Almen Thorpe - August 18, 2014

Well this week was very exciting and funny at the same time all because of my companion. The two of us equals double the trouble! 

Monday on our P-day our district went out to a place called Ocean Beach, might I say it was beautiful! The sun was out, the birds were flying and a group of missionaries were up to no good, sounds like a perfect P-day. We decided to go out because it was one of the sisters birthday on Sunday but because it was Sunday we couldn't do much so going hiking was on all of our minds. Somehow on the way up we took a wrong turn and ended up by the beach. The time was coming to an end, it was close to five o'clock, we were all ready to get into our cars and call it a day. Well my companion decided that he didn't want P-day to be over so he accidentally locked our car keys in the trunk of the car. In his words "oops..." as soon as we all heard those words come out of his mouth, all was silence. He asked me if I had the keys but because I smile a lot he thought (I tend to smile a lot) I was pulling his leg. We got our exercise in though.. we ran up to the nearest home we could find to ask for help. Elder Long and I didn't realize how out of shape we were, we thought because our white shirts still fit us we were in shape. Guess we were both wrong. The man came out of his house and saw us. We told him about the situation and how we locked our keys in the trunk of our car...he first asked us if it was automatic locks, we said yes and he then handed us a hammer. Elder Long and I just starred at him thinking "what is he wanting us to do with this hammer?" Found out that he wanted us to smash our window to get into the car, this is how i guess Kiwi people open their cars. That idea we didn't like so we told him it wasn't our car, so we borrowed his phone, called the mission office and told them what just happened. They laughed at us (in a good way) and said they would send a person over to open the car. The sisters being as nice as they were stayed behind with their car to wait for us but it was more like they said they didn't know the way back and were afraid to get lost. After two to three hours of waiting the man finally showed up and opened the car for us! We were off to the races back to our flats to get back to work. I don't blame my companion but he sure did learn his lesson...that was to not relax too much on P-days. 

The next day rolled around and we had trade off's, I was with Elder Anderson, and yes he is from the best city in the world!!! SEATTLE, WASHINGTON!!! You could say we got along really well...a little too much. We had a fantastic trade off! We got side tracked because I had to take a driving test by the zone leaders to get certified to drive in New out!! After that was all done we went to go see a family that was not on the schedule. As we were walking up the hill, yes we decided to walk on that day because its pretty safe to say I was a little hesitant of what would happen if I got back on the bikes again. Going up the hill a car honked at us and waved us to come over to their house. This car happened to be one of our investigators. You can guess their last name is pretty famous! The name of the family is THORPE! I didn't know that there was a family that could, maybe, possibly be related to my family in New Zealand. It was a mind boggling moment for me.  We went up and met the family, and met the son, his name is Hamish and his girlfriend Zoe. They were the two that waved us over to come to their house when they drove by. We met Hamish's mom and she was shocked that I looked a little different then them...because of the color of my was happy that her family could possibly have some Samoan decedents. I sadly broke the news with her that I wasn't Samoan and that I was adopted. She still accepted me as family. We started talking to Hamish and Zoe. They are both in their twenty's and found out that Hamish is not a member and neither is Zoe but the mom is the only member in the family. Elder Anderson and I started teaching Zoe and Hamish, we thought we would teach the Restoration and how the church came to be, but in the middle of the lesson we asked Zoe "what is one thing you have always wondered in your life?" she replied, "Even though I grew up as a Catholic, and I never did feel like the Catholic religion was something for me, I keep looking and I'm opened minded about other religions but still kinda kept close to the Catholic Church. I had a question of what was my purpose in life and no one could answer that question for me". Elder Anderson and I looked at each other, nodded our heads, put the restoration to the side and started teaching her the plan of salvation. The feeling in the room was just indescribable. We could tell that we were not the ones teaching Zoe but the Holy Ghost and the Spirit were. In the middle of the lesson she explained "I liked the way you describe God because you describe him as someone loving instead of someone scary and also the plan is comfortable not scary". Those words that she said haven't left my head this whole is our sister sitting in front of us and we were directed to go over that day to not only teach a lesson but teach her the importance of life and the Atonement and how Jesus Christ is the center of that wonderful plan that brings comfort to all of us. Zoe and Hamish were happy after the lesson and felt really comfortable. They both accepted to be baptized but not on a specific date but both said they would give it a go and learn more before making that commitment. All the glory goes the Heavenly Father for qualifying Elder Anderson and I to be an instrument for Him. The joy we feel when we see the investigators, members, and friends smile and say "I feel comfortable". That miracle adds on to my testimony about the gospel of Jesus Christ and the marvelous work he has in store for all of us!!! 

This weekend Elder Long and I had a baptism with an eleven year old girl name Charlese. The story with Charlese is that she is with a foster care family who happened to be members. Charlese was excited about her baptism and the better part was that her dad was going to show up and this would be her first time ever meeting her dad face to face. Saturday rolled around and the day came, and you can tell our minds were anticipating for the moment of her baptism. We waited at the chapel for a couple two hours for her dad to show up....after some time of getting to know the members and little kids her dad finally showed up. Okay I have to admit Elder Long and I were a little bit scared he wouldn't show up but we wrong. The baptism started and we went out to a river in the forest to do her actually baptism because the chapel we are in doesn't have a font. This is because we also cover this branch which is a small group of people. Elder Long and I cover a ward and a branch, Saturday we were up with the branch in Pipe Wie which is 45 minutes from Whagarie. You know that moment were in the movies you have people baptizing other people in the river...well my companion not only got to live that moment in real life because he actually baptized Charlese in the river. What a beautiful moment it was to see our little sister becoming part of the family. Elder Long did the honors and baptized her and she is now officially a Latter Day Saint. Elder Long said the water wasn't cold more like it was warm....but that was a lie because we could all see he was shivering. 

Sunday rolled around and it was a day of would be if Elder Long and I were home but not until  next year!! We had a great lesson in gospel principle and our topic was about the "natural man" in other words pride. It was a great discussion and how we should all be careful of being prideful . At times we can have many miracles happen to us, and other times not many and sometimes complain "why is this not happening right now?" Looking back at our week I think that all of this probably wouldn't have happened if my companion and I were prideful, complaining and not giving thanks. Heavenly Father gives us trials, afflictions, and troubles in life to have us wake up and to say, "hey where is my thanks or why is it being this way". We have many trails in our life, it comes down to the scripture passage in Alma 36:3 "whosoever puts their TRUST in God, shall be lifted up in the last day". The key word is trust, it comes down to how much trust do we have in our Heavenly Father? How much are we giving him all the credit? How much are we letting him work through us to have him bless us with these miracles in life? It comes down to putting of the natural man which the scripture passage is found in Mosiah 3:19, "for the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam and will be unless he yields to the enticing of the holy spirit and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, and willing to submit to all things that his father gives him." I might have worded that wrong but it means we need to get out of the way and move over so that the Holy Ghost can teach us all things, what is right and what is wrong. Also there is a promise in the scripture Alma 36:3 and its the key word "shall", shall means it will happen, that heavenly father will give you this promise as long as you are willing to let him show you. Heavenly Father gives his promises at the time that is the right time for all of us. All these stories, miracles, and moments that my companion and I will always cherish because we have been trying to be obedient to the mission rules and commandments Heavenly Father has given us. If we want to be "exactly" obedient there are two ways of doing it, one we are being exactly obedient by coming to church ,pay our tithing, go to youth nights and etc, or we are being exactly obedient by showing our love to our fellow members but helping them to be exactly obedient as you are trying to be as well.
Our mission president showed us "if you are being exactly obedient and your companion is not and you are thinking of yourself and he is trying his hardest but is sometimes late to get out of the flat because he is getting things ready, or late to bed but you are ready, is that being exactly obedient?" We need to help those who are having a hard time in understanding what obedience is and help those who are struggling. It can be the less actives, investigators, and members who are active to realize that showing your love to your fellow members by helping them is showing that you are not being selfish. 

The lesson that my companion and I have learned is to show each other appreciation, to help those who are struggling, understand that they are loved by Heavenly Father and us, and to always give thanks to our Father in Heaven for all the miracles we do get. My testimony is growing by seeing the examples of members, investigators and less actives everyday. It is the love for others that drives us to do good! Love your companion, love your members, love your family and most importantly love yourself for who you are!!! 

Thank you all and hope you have a wonderful week! Elder Thorpe (Islander boy that never stops smiling) 

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