Monday, June 13, 2016

June 13th, 2016

My heart is full of mixed emotions right about now. I'm not exactly sure what it is that I am supposed to feel or to expect. When I got onto the plane 2 years ago on July 15th, 2014 my heart as well was filled with mixed emotions. Everyone told me that 2 years was such a short time and that the time goes by way too fast, but it was hard to believe them at first. Now that I am sitting here at a computer screen, realizing that this will be the last time that I will be sending an email about my mission, I realized that what they all told me was right. I never expected my mission to go by so fast but it did. Something that I have tried to do, especially in these last few months, has been to enjoy my mission and the time that I have had to serve. At times you think about asking God to slow the time down but what I have come to understand is that everything has a purpose and all we can do is to control the things that we have control over. I might have not been able to slow the time down but what I was able to do was enjoy every single second of my mission. Everything must come to an end and I guess that this next week will be that end for me. 

Something that I told myself coming into the mission was that I wanted to learn what Heavenly Father wants me to be and what he wants me to do or in other words I wanted to truly understand what all of the return missionaries mean when they talk about CHANGE. What I have come to realize is that the change that missionaries talk about isn't because of the knowledge that they gained being a missionary. Well at least it hasn't been for me. It is about the actions that I have taken that has allowed me to change and become a better person and to understand what it is that my Father in Heaven wanted me to achieve in my mission. Thinking about why this occurred in me has only brought me to one answer and that is my will. No one caused this change within myself besides the only one who can him being the Savior Jesus Christ. I can honestly say that I have seen this change because I have felt it and I have seen the different person that I am. The way I think, act, react, talk, serve, my attitude. Everything. I've realized that my heart has been changed because I allowed my Savior to change it through his Atonement. Through diligent prayer, study, and fasting I have seen the effects of the atonement in my life. 

I will forever be grateful for what my Savior and Redeemer did for me. There is no other way but full surrender to his will to be able to receive the blessings of salvation.​​ I think many people think that the mission is a way of repaying God for everything that he has given us, but I see it just the opposite. My mission has been a blessing for me in every way, shape, and form and I have a lot to thank Heavenly Father for because of it. I have loved seeing my life change and as well as the lives of all of those that I have taught. I truly have seen such incredible changes in the lives of so many people as they have allowed the gospel to work within them and as they have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. It has been such a huge testimony to me that the gospel blesses all who come unto Christ and partake of his atonement because I have seen it happen in so many different people. 

I testify of an all loving God who is our Father. He lives and loves us even more than we can imagine. He has created a plan that we might achieve the potential of being perfect. I know that it is possible to achieve it because our Loving Father prepared the way for us to return back to him and be even as he is through his son Jesus Christ. He truly is the Christ. The Savior and Redeemer of the world. He came into the world be be raised up upon the cross and to die for us so that we might have everlasting life. It is through him and his gospel that we are able to understand this incredible plan that the Father has for us and it is through him that we might be lifted up. He came to the world to establish his gospel and for it to be taught and brought to the whole world through his church in which he called prophets, apostles, and teachers. This gospel and church has been restored to the earth once again through a prophet called of God. I know that Joseph Smith was an instrument in the hands of our loving Father in Heaven to restore the truths that had been once upon this earth so that through them we might understand who our Heavenly Father is and what his plan is. I know that the Priesthood Authority has been restored to the earth so that the gospel can be taught and so that we can be blessed. I know that this authority has been passed down through all of the prophets of our days up until our dear prophet, Thomas S. Monson. I know that he is a prophet of God and that he has been ordained to be a representative of the Savior Jesus Christ here in the earth. I know that He directs the church through revelation and through the Priesthood Power. I know that it is through that very Priesthood Power that one can obtain the saving ordinances that are needed to return back to Heavenly Father. I know that Families can be sealed for time and all eternity and that if all members pertaining to it keep the sacred covenants that they have made, then they will receive the highest kingdom of glory, even that of the celestial glory and life eternal.

I want to thank all of you for your support that you have shown me here in my mission. Thank you for your prayers, for your love, and for desires for me to do what is right. I truly have felt power from those that love me and those that have supported me this entire time of my mission. I want you all to know that I love you so much and that I am excited to see you all really soon! May God be with you forever and until we meet again. 

Elder Thorpe

Monday, June 6, 2016

June 6th, 2016

As the days continue to go on I realize how much the Lord still allows me to see such great miracles in my life as well as in the lives of others. It is amazing to see what the Lord is able to do when you allow him to guide his work instead of trying to lead the work on your own. Something that I have learned on my mission comes from a talk that I cherish which is "When you lose, you both win" When I am able to lose and forget about myself, me and the Lord end up winning, but when I try to win and fight for my desires and fight for what I want and it isn't exactly what the Lord has prepared for me or what he wants, then we both end up losing. This principle isn't just for missionaries. In fact Jesus said it the best. 
Matthew 16:24-25  
24 ¶Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
I know without a doubt that this is true. I know that the Lord desires our hearts because that is what he doesn't have. He wants them through our missions, through our callings, through everything and not just in doing his work. It is a principle that makes us become more like Christ because that is what he wants for us. I know without a doubt that as we focus on applying what the savior has taught us then we are able to become more like him.
I love the gospel so much and I love my mission. like I have been saying for a couple weeks now, I am sad for my mission to end but I know that I have served and done what my Father has asked me to do. 
I love you all and hope that you have a wonderful week!
Thanks for all of the birthday wishes!
Elder Thorpe

Monday, May 30, 2016

May 30th, 2016

Well the month of May has sure been a fast month. I can't believe that tomorrow is the last day of May and that on Wednesday we will be entering into June! All I have to say is that May was a great month. We might of not had a baptism in May but we still had a great month of teaching the gospel, sharing our testimonies, and loving the work. This whole last month has been a month of teach teach teach and teach even more. It has been so incredible to me how much we have taught and how little we have walked here in my area. To me it has been such a huge miracle to be able to teach at all times of the day because that is what I love to do. I love helping others understand the gospel and apply it into their lives. Sometimes it is hard for people to be able to apply it all due to certain situations, but I know that the gospel is here for us and God has a way for everyone to be able to enjoy the blessings that come from the gospel. He is a JUST God and is not just going to let his children suffer without the blessings of the gospel. Sometimes it takes a little effort on our part, but if we truly do all we can to be able to have these blessings in our lives, God provides the way so that miracles can happen in our lives. That is something that I have seen throughout my entire mission and it sure wasn't different this last month. I can't say that I have been the most successful baptizing missionary that there ever has been, but what I can say is that I have shared the gospel and my testimony of an everlasting Father in Heaven who loves us and of his divine plan that he has for us to become even as he is. I know that the spirit has touched the lives of so many people here in Peru and whether they were baptized by me, after me, or even if they are baptized in twenty years and endure to the end to receive eternal life, I know that I will be able to say to my Father in Heaven that I bore his sons name and his gospel with the testimony that I have in my which is that I know that my savior lives and loves all of us. Jesus is the Christ that came into this world to teach his gospel and to teach unto all to repent, be baptized, and to come unto who and whosoever cometh unto him will have eternal life. I know that these truths have been restored through a Prophet of these are last days, Joseph Smith, who saw God the Eternal Father and his Son Jesus Christ. I know that through his ultimate love and wisdom, God the Father brought forth the light of the Book of Mormon and that those the read, ponder, and pray about, will be able to receive a testimony of the savior Jesus Christ and his restored church. I know that it is true and I know that it is directed by Jesus himself through men called of God. Thomas S. Monson is he who directs this church as a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ here on the Earth. And I know that the divine plan of our loving Heavenly Father is that we may return to him as eternal families which is only reachable through the saving covenants and ordinances that are available in his holy house, the temple.
I love the gospel. I know that it is true and I know that all who come and partake of the the tree of life and taste of it's pureness will be able to gain a testimony of the truthfulness of it.
I want you all to know like always that I love my mission. I wouldn't trade anything for these 2 years that I have had here in Peru. I will be sad when it is finally over, but I know that I will have eternity to cherish some of the best years of my life. 
I love you all and I hope that you have a wonderful week!
Elder Thorpe

Monday, May 23, 2016

May 23rd, 2016

Well we are pretty much here in the last week of May! Wow May sure went by super fast, and even though it is hard to say... this is my last month here in the mission. This last week I have been reflecting back on a lot of things that have happened here in my mission and it has been such a blessing to see all that has happened and the person that I have become! These last few weeks I have been reading in the Book of Mormon one last time in English here on my mission. Right now I am just about in Alma and something that I have been paying a lot of attention to is the changes that happen to all the people in the Book of Mormon and what I have realized is that I as well have been able to witness this same change in my own life. I love how much we are able to relate to the Book of Mormon. It truly is the word of God and it truly can guide us and give the answers that we need to our prayers. I have such a strong testimony of it and I know without a doubt that it is true.
This last week was super good. My companion and I keep teaching a lot of lessons and we keep having a lot of success. Something that we are trying to work on is having shorter lessons because we literally teach and teach and we have no time to walk around to find new investigators to teach because we are always in houses! It's not something that I am complaining about but rather something that my companion and I see as a blessing here in our area. Anyways we are working on having 20 to 30 minute lessons instead of 45 minute lessons so that we can find more investigators to teach. 
I can tell you all enough how much I love this work and my mission. At times I wonder why Heavenly Father sent me here to this mission and I wonder why things are so different in other missions around the world, but what I have come to know is that every missionary is called to serve in the place that God needs them to serve in and that he has prepared people for every missionary to meet. Maybe all the people that I talk to won't get baptized, but I have come to know that with every person I talk to, there is a purpose and I as a representative of Jesus Christ must stand as a witness of him and testify of him to all kindred tongue and people.
I love the gospel, love my commission and love my mission.
I love you all and I hope you have a wonderful week! 
Elder Thorpe

P.S. I will be emailing on Tuesday next week because I'm going to the Temple for Pday!

Monday, May 16, 2016

May 16th, 2016

This week has been such a great week. It has been incredible to see how much the Lord is here in his work. I'm not even sure how we had so much success this last week since we didn't have a whole lot of time to proselyte. We ended up going to Trujillo for a leadership training which took up 2 days of the week and so for that reason we weren't able to proselyte as much as normal, but other than that the week was super good! 
I've decided to start reading the Book of Mormon again one last time in English while I am here on my mission. I've read it so many times in Spanish that I decided that I would read it once again in English since I will be going home pretty soon and so this time around it has been so good to once again start the Book of Mormon and learn something new!
This last week teaching my new companion the area as well as the responsibilities responsibilities responsibilities being a zone leader has been really good. It's been a lot for my companion to take in since zone leaders have a little more things to do than other missionaries and so our time is more limited, but he is getting the hang of it. I have no doubt that he will be ready to lead the area as well as the zone by the time that I leave in 5 weeks! 
We have had a lot of success this last week with teaching a lot of different people as well as finding more investigators to teach and so you could say that it has been a pretty good week! A couple of our investigators like Daniela and Milagros are progressing pretty well and so hopefully we will be able to have a baptismal service for them in the next couple of weeks. I'm super excited to see what we can do here in the short time that I have left. I want you all to know that I love this work so much. I know that the Church is true and that Families can be together forever! I love the gospel and I know that it is what makes us happy!
I love you all and I hope that you have a wonderful week!
Elder Thorpe

Monday, May 9, 2016

May 9th, 2016

Well once again happy late Mother's Day! This last week for me has been super good and like I say every week, it went by so fast! This whole last transfer has gone by super fast and I think it is because I've had such a great companion. Well, the big moment has finally come! I am in my very last transfer of the mission and the missionary that I will be with is Elder Rivera. He is a missionary that I have known for a long time and was actually over him as a zone leader about a year ago. I'm excited to be able to help him become a new zone leader. I was told that I have 6 weeks to prepare him so that he will be able to lead the zone here in Chimbote Sur and so I look forward to these 6 short weeks that I will have to train him.
Right now I am just feeling extremely blessed and grateful for all the things that my Father in Heaven has given me. He truly has molded me into a better person and I know without a doubt that I am a better person because of it. I'm grateful for my Family and for what they have done to be able to help me realize how I have become a better person. I know with all of my heart that the gospel brings about change in our lives and that it is through the savior Jesus Christ that we are able to become the people that our Father in Heaven wants us to be. I think I said this about a year ago, but change is the actual meaning of the gospel. If we couldn't change we would never be able to become like Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father. I know that it is this change that allows us to understand the will of God and understand the Atonement of Christ. Oh how grateful I am to be able to change. I'm not a perfect person and I know that the Lord will require even more changes after my mission and now for me the change will be something that isn't foreign to me but rather something that must happen in me to become more like the Savior and I know that it is the same for all of you as well.
I love the gospel so much. I love my mission. I wouldn't trade anything for these last 2 years that I have had here in Peru. Maybe it cost me a little bit to learn the language, love the food, and even understand all of the customs here, but I truly love my mission for what it has taught me and for what it has made me. Thank you for your support and for your love. I hope you all know that I am grateful for all of you and that I love you.
Elder Thorpe

Elder Thorpe and Elder Perkes

Monday, May 2, 2016

May 2nd, 2016

Well welcome to May everyone! I'm not sure if it feels like Spring over in the states but luckily for me the temperature is starting to go down a little bit here and so it isn't too hot! This last week was a really interesting but good week! For some reason no one wanted to be in their houses until 5 every single day and so it was a little rough finding people to teach in the early afternoon, but other than that we had a pretty good teaching week. My companion and I are teaching this one family that is so awesome. His name is Genaro and her name is Elena. We had a couple of really good lessons with them this last week and they committed to come to church with us the next week since they had a family get together that they normally never have, and so we are super excited to see them go to church this Sunday!
We have also been working a lot with Liria's family (The one that got baptized) and they are doing really good! Her daughter is so close to getting baptized we just need to help her understand a few more things and then she will for sure get baptized! Her name is Milagros and so if you wouldn't mind having her in your prayers.
Other than that the week has been pretty much the same. Today for P-day we ended up going to this place down south by Casma which was interesting. We didn't plan on going there but that is where the bus driver took us and it was pretty cool because we saw a mummy and played some football and so it wasn't too bad. 
Anyways like I said, this week was a pretty good week and I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Mother's Day! 
Elder Thorpe