Tuesday, December 29, 2015

December 28th, 2015

For the last week I have been thinking about all that has happened here in the mission, who I have become, and how much I have grown closer to Christ and while thinking about this I asked myself the question, "What do I want to accomplish by the end of my mission and who do I want to be as I come home" Although I have learned a lot here in my mission and I have grown a lot, I know that there is even more for me to become and more for me to learn. If I were to say that I have become a perfect missionary it would be a lie, but what I can say is that I have tried to follow the spirit and put my trust in the Lord and I feel like as I have done this I have become closer to my Savior and have become a better person. I know that these next 6 months are going to go by super fast and I plan on taking advantage of every moment that I have to become a better person.

This last week being the week of Christmas was so good. My companion and I didn't necessarily teach as much as we wished we could have, but it was still a great week of Christmas spirit and filled with the love of Christ. I feel like this Christmas I came to understand the importance of the birth of the savior and his life even more than I have ever understood it. My testimony is that He came into the world as the perfect gift of the Father to us so that he may be the light and life of the world. He came to show us that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that through him, being the light, we might find our way to make it back to the Father. He lives and stands as our light. I love him and know that because of him we may live.

I love you all so much and I hope that you have a great New Year. As this new year approaches let us all ponder the question given to us by servants of the Lord, "What lack I yet" or in other words, what can I change this new year to become more like the Savior. 

Elder Thorpe

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

December 21st, 2015

First of all I wanted to say Merry Christmas to everyone! What a special time of the year that we are able to reflect on our Savior Jesus Christ. Many times we get caught up in all of the business of the world that we forget how simple and humble the very first Christmas was. If it wasn't for the humble yet powerful night that our Savior Jesus Christ was born we wouldn't have ever had any type of Christmas. I love the Word Christmas because it literally means more Christ. (Más Christ) It truly is a time that I have learned to love and cherish here in the mission. Although this will be my last Christmas in the field, I look forward to sharing to great message of the birth of Christ and the love that God had for us to send his only begotten son that we may have eternal life. I love it so much! This past week you could say that my companion and I witnessed a Christmas miracle. We had been praying for our investigator Manuel so that he would be able to be baptized. Friday night we went to his house and asked him how he felt and he told us that he knew that he was to be baptized the very next day. We scheduled him an interview and was baptized at 8 pm Saturday night.
I love Christmas so much and I love how much happiness this holiday brings. One of my favorite Christmas songs is Mary Did You Know. I love that song because it shows the power and importance of the birth of Christ and how important he is to each and everyone of us. A couple of missionaries in my zone and I were able to sing that song for a Christmas devotional. What power I felt as we harmonized in singing "Mary did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new, this child that you've delivered will soon deliver you"
I hope you all know that I have such a strong testimony of Christ the Lord. HE is our Savior and he is risen. He came into the world to do the will of the Father and thanks to him we will live again. I love him and am a representative of him. In this Christmas I will represent him and just as he, do the will of the Father.
I love you all and hope you have a Merry Christmas!
Elder Thorpe

Thursday, December 17, 2015

December 14th, 2015

There is one thing that I have learned this week that will be a lesson that I will never forget for the rest of my life and that is the reality and power that Satan can have upon those that yield their agency unto him, but even more important is the power of God and how he is able to take the bitter darkness and turn it into light. Although we may have trials and although times get rough, we must always trust in the Lord and his power because Light will always beat darkness!

This last week has been a little interesting. There was a lot of things that happened this week that I have never experienced in my mission and what I said up top explains my feelings about this week. It has been rough to see Satan working his power among these people, never-the-less, I know that God is here with us fighting in this battle that Satan is trying to win, but won't win.

I know without a doubt that the gospel is true and that it is through the gospel that we are able to have everlasting happiness. I know that through the atonement of Christ we may be healed and brought up to higher ground. God lives and loves us. He wants us to succeed and to feel his love. I have felt his love and do feel it every day!

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Thorpe

Monday, December 7, 2015

December 7th, 2015

This week has gone by super fast. I'm not sure what was different about this week, only that it flew by. My companion and I had a little more success this last week and so that was good. We have been working on finding new people to teach since we are hardly teaching anyone and we had a little success with that. The weather here has been pretty insane. There is something that is called the kid phenomenon that comes to Peru every 10 years. It's pretty much a huge rain storm that never stops.. So every single day it has been raining a ton! There are a few other things about the phenomenon being natural disasters, but hopefuly those don't happen this time. We have been talking to a few people here and they say there will be a huge earthquake in Lima, like bigger than there ever has been before, but I'm not so sure about that. If it happens in Lima I'm not sure how it will effect Huaraz since we aren't too far away from Lima. 
Anyways, this week has been a week to reflect on the Atonement. I had 2 situations that both happened this week that have been probably the hardests situations that I have delt with here in Peru. I won't go into detail about them, but let me just say that if I didn't have the spirit leading me to say the things that these two individules needed at the time, I don't think they would have been able to understand the importance of the atonement and how it heals us. They are 2 different situations that I won't ever forget especially because of the power of the spirit that I felt as I and my companion were able to offer blessings of comfort. 
For p-day we went up to a glacier called pastor ruri. It was a neat experience to go up there with the whole zone. 
Well, I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Elder Thorpe

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Monday, November 30, 2015

November 30th, 2015

How amazing is it to be instructed by men called of God to represent his son Jesus Christ. This last week we had a visit by the presiding area authority which was incredible. He shared such inspiring doctrine that was truly needed by our mission. Elder Uceda came and bore his testimony of the divine work of salvation and what the Lord expects of us now days. It was such a sweet experience to be able to hear from him and to know what the Prophet has asked of us. The Lord is hastening his work and it is easy to see because he is asking even more of us in our times. Something that really impacted me was the He said we no longer can be superficial missionaries nor superficial members. The Lord doesn't want us to just go through the motions or even just do the minimum. He asks us to give all of us. Everything we have. I love the movie Facing the Giants. This last week we shared a clip from it with our zone. There is a lineman that needs to carry another lineman on his back all the way to the fifty yard line and his coach tells him that he needs to do it blindfolded. Everyone yells at him and says he can't do it, even himself says he can't do it, but the coach knew that he could do it. He is there with him the entire way chanting him on, yelling his name saying "DON'T GIVE UP! YOU CAN DO IT!" By the end the lineman is at the other side of the field in the end zone. What the coach says after is key, "I don't want you to go to the 30 nor the 50 but rather I want your BEST!" The mission has set goals for us, the prophet has set goals for us, even the Lord has set goals for us, but what He wants isn't for us to reach the goals. He wants our BEST. That means we will not just reach the goal but we will go above and beyond. As my zone watched this clip they began to cry because they knew that the Lord was telling them at that very moment that he wants our best. 

When I left my old zone I was worried that I didn't do everything that I could do, but as we listened to Elder Uceda my prayer was answered. He shared with us a few key points that the Lord wants us to focus on as a mission and as he shared them I realized that what we had done in the zone Laureles was exactly what he shared with us. I have no doubt that the reason why we were able to have so much success in that zone was because of divine revelation. I know with all my heart that my companion and I were led in sharing everything we shared in our zone and I know that the missionaries were able to understand that it was what the Lord wanted and needed at that time. My trust is in the Lord and I have no doubt whatsoever that he directs this work. I love the gospel with all my heart and know that we will only be able to do what the Lord wants us to do as we put our faith and trust in him and allow him to work miracles in our lives.

Here in Huaraz things have been a little difficult, but I know that I just need to have more faith and put all my trust in the Lord that the hearts of men shall be softened. Although trials and challenges come into my life, I won't allow them to stop putting my trust in the Lord and know that this is his work and he is the one that directs it.

I love you all so much and hope you have a great week!
Elder Thorpe

Oh I forgot to say, this last week we were in Trujillo for our leadership meeting and we went to the temple! Also I was able to say hello to everyone in Moche one last time. It was such a wonderful experience to see them all again.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

November 23rd, 2015

This week I have learned a simple doctrine that has always been in my mind, but now I understand it more fully and that is the doctrine of fasting. It is incredible to know how much the Lord blesses his children as they fast. I was reading in Isaiah 58 about fasting and I feel like I more fully understand the principle and the real reasons why we fast. What a blessing it is to be able to fast and ask our Father in Heaven for the blessings that he explains in Isaiah 58. It is so incredible to know how much the Lord wants to bless us if you just give up a little of what we have.

Today was such a good day, well this whole week has been great! I arrived to my new area on Wednesday morning and let me tell you, I love it! Saying bye to all the people in Moche was super hard, but I know I am in the place that the Lord needs me right now. Huaraz is really similar to Utah. It is a valley that is surrounded by mountains. I love it so much. something that I love even more is that it rains here every day! I have been missing the rain way too much. Huaraz is at about 12,000 feet, and so you could say it is a lot higher than Utah. We actually went up to a lake today that is at about 20,000 feet. I have no idea how everyone made it in our zone, but it sure was a team effort. We were hiking for about 2 hours all up hill. We had a few areas that we had to grab onto a rope to be able to climb up the rocks. As the missionaries would climb I would yell to them, "Hold tight to the Iron Rod" It was such a good experience for our zone even though it was really difficult. 

The people here are really different from the people in Trujillo. They are a lot harder to teach because they don't want to accept just about anything of our church, but what can I say, I still love teaching the gospel. I am so glad that I have the opportunity to serve here and for the love that I feel from everyone around me. Thank you for always sending your love towards my way. It really means a lot to me. I love you all so much and hope that you have a wonderful week!

Elder Thorpe

Monday, November 16, 2015

November 16th, 2015

Well my streak here in Moche has come to an end. I have been assigned to a new area and a new zone called Huaraz! I am super sad to leave, but yet super excited to get up to Huaraz and serve the people there. And when I say get up I really mean go up.. Huaraz is up in the mountains and so it  is going to be a different experience than what I have been used to. I am super excited because it is cold up there and I am so ready to take a break from the heat! Huaraz seems really pretty, so when you have some time you should go look it up.

I'm going to try to be brief today because my companion and I have so much we have to do today. 
This last week was super good. A lot of it was saying goodbye to a lot of people here, which was one of the hardest things I have ever done. It is like saying goodbye to part of my family. I love these people so much and I am going to miss them dearly. I know that one day I will return to see them and I know that I will be welcomed home when I do come. 

Since this was our last Sunday together, Elder Nielsen and I decided to make Hamburgers and 6 Pizzas! That's right, 6! They were so good. We asked a member to borrow her mini oven and so in our room Elder Nielsen and I made the dough and put all the toppings on our Pizzas. The cooking lessons at Grandma's house truly do pay off! 

I want you all to know that I love Moche and I know the Lord sent me here for a reason and being here I have understood what that reason was. I know that the Lord has more plans for me and like Nephi says, I will go and do what the Lord hath commanded me. I love you all and hope you have an incredible week!

Elder Thorpe

Monday, November 9, 2015

November 9th, 2015

There has always been something that I have loved that Dad used to always say to all of the primary kids that would be baptized when they turned 8 years old and that was, "As important as it is to notice when the Holy Ghost is in your life, even more important is to notice when it isn't in your lives so that you may figure out what you need to do to get the Holy Ghost back in your life."
As the days and weeks have gone on I have started to notice that recognizing the times that the spirit isn't in my life has become a lot harder. Not because I'm not able to notice it not in life but because the times that it isn't in my life have become less and less. Something that I have learned to do here on my mission is trust in the lord in all things. The Lord doesn't say that we are going to baptize all of the people we come in contact with. Maybe we won't even baptize a lot of them, but what he has said is if we put our trust and confidence in him and allow him to do his work, we will be blessed with his spirit and guided in what we say and what we do. Maybe I'm not as great of a teacher as Christ was or as loving, but I know that I can be led by his Spirit to do his work.

This week has been a pretty good week. They keep on going by faster and faster and I'm not seeing any way of slowing down how quick the weeks go. I love how much God is in his work and how much he loves his children. This week Elder Nielsen and I did a lot of service for a family that are investigating the church. Their son (Daniel) was baptized about a month ago and they are looking like they will be following his example. We are really excited for them and their desires to do what is right. I'm going to have a really hard time saying bye to this family when I leave the area.

Well, I love you all so much. I hope you have a wonderful week and I look forward to writting next week!

Elder Thorpe

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

November 2nd, 2015

There has been one scripture on my mind that has helped me realize how important it is to be an example. Not only the scripture of 1 Timothy 4:12 but as well as 1 John 5:2. If we want to show the Children of God that we love them, we ourselves must love God above everything else and the way to love God above everything else is by keeping his commandments. I've been thinking a lot about that this last week and how by being an example to those around us by keeping the commandments of God, we are showing them that we love them. It is as simple as that. We had an experience with an investigator family that is preparing to be baptized within the next few weeks that helped me understand how we are able to love our own children even more. The wife and husband have both gone to church for over a month now and both have the desires to get baptized. They have 2 children that they love so dearly and would do everything for them. The wife has accepted to be baptized but the husband feels like he wants to know more. We asked them a simple question which was, "Since the time that you have been coming to church and keeping the commandments, what changes have you seen in your family?" The reponse of both of them filled the room with the spirit as they were able to realize that the Lord was blessing them so much in their family. We then turned to the scriptures and read Mosiah 2:41. They received those blessings because they were keeping the commandments of God. We then asked, "What do you want for your children in the future?" Both responed, we want the best. We want them to be happy and not getting into trouble. As they said that my heart was filled with the wise words that John gave us, "If we love God's children (even our own children), we will love God." And we love God by keeping his commandments. We must be examples to our children if we want the best for them. We invited the husband to pray and ask God if this is what he would have him do which he agreed to do. 

I have no doubt that they will be baptized. They are such a wonderful family that has finally found what they have been searching for. I love the happiness that the gospel brings to the family and how much love and blessings Heavenly Father shows to those that keep his commandments. My desires are to always live my life according to the commandments of my father, that I may have the eternal blessings that come from righteous living. The blessings are endless. I have seen them in my life as well as in the lives of those that I have taught. My heart aches to see such wondeful people not accept the gospel because I know how much they could be blessed. No wonder the first principle that we teach to those that we visit is "The Gospel Blesses Families."

I love and pray for you always. I hope you have an amazing week.
Elder Thorpe

Monday, October 26, 2015

October 26th, 2015

There are two things that I have been thinking about this week that I wanted to share with you all and they both come from the great plan that our Father in Heaven has for us. While in the Grand council in Heaven, Our Father presented us with his plan and told us, "Here is my plan and in my plan there are 2 conditions which are these. I'm not going to obligate you to do anything. I will allow you to make your own decisions and to grow. The other is that you all need to return to my presence but no impure thing can enter into my kingdom." So then arose a problem and in that council, 1 hand raised up and said, 'Father, send me. I will suffer for all of my Brothers and Sisters that they may return to thee' and the Father than said, "I will send my children down to earth that they may learn and grow so that one day they may become like me, and through my Only Begotten Son they may repent and return to my presence. 

I can't even begin to describe how grateful I am for these conditions and even more grateful for a father that sent his son that the power of repentance could come to be. The plan that our Father presented to us is an act of a Fathers love for his children. At times questions arise and hearts harden asking the questions that are contrary to the plan that we know, but I stand with all the energy of my heart saying that this Plan is perfect. That God loves us and becuase he loves us he presented us with this plan. I have witnessed the power of this plan and the power of repentance that was given to us through our savior Jesus Christ.

This last week has been really good. We did a few interchanges with a few people in our zone as well as the assitants. Both of the interchanges went really well and I learned a lot in each of them. We continue to have a lot of success as a zone and I know it is for the efforts of the missionaries. I feel blessed to be a leader of such great missionaries. They help me become a better missionary and so I am grateful for them. My companion and I are teaching a family that is really close to getting baptized. They are such great people and we hope that everything works out for them. They understand that baptism isn't the goal, but rather is the temple.

I love you all so much. You all are always in my prayers. I hope you have a great week!

Elder Thorpe

Monday, October 19, 2015

Zone leadership training pictures

 October 19th, 2015

It amazes me that we are already to the 19th of October! My companion and I were thinking this morning about everything that has happened these last few months and we are just amazed at how fast all of these events happened. This week was no exception. Since we had received our leadership training the week before, this last week we gave our zone training which went pretty good. I'm not sure what it was about this last zone training that we did, but I felt the need to study a ton for it and to prepare myself even more than I normally prepare myself and so that is what I did. Every morning I sat down at my desk to study for what the Lord would have me share with my zone. I prayed often to know what it was to share and I received a very clear answer which came to me as a surprise. What we had been preparing was a bunch of paperwork talk coming from the area book, but as well as the way we are using our time and how we plan. The answer that I received while preparing was this. "Austin, you can't share the information that you know. What you need to share is the spirit that makes you want to do all of the paperwork and the hefty tasks that you do as missionaries. I understood my answer quite clearly and again. The next day Elder Nielsen and I spent hours planning powerpoints and presentations for our zone, all saved on my USB. 

The morning of the zone training we were just about ready to leave when I realized that I didn't have my USB. I had somehow lost it and it was nowhere to be found in the room. We went searching for it because our whole zone training was on it, but sadly ended up without any results. I decided that I needed to counsel with my Father and so I put myself to prayer. While praying I once again received an unexpected answer and what I felt or rather heard was, "There is something that you need to learn today and I am going to teach it to you."
There was something that I needed to learn that day and that was to trust in the spirit at all times. I have thought about this experience that I had and it makes me realize that this isn't my work. It isn't my zone, nor was it my zone training. The Lord is at the head of his work and he guides it. My testimony of leaders of the church that are called of God has increased immensely. Our Father in Heaven calls us to serve in callings to help direct his work and He expects us to confide in him and do his work how he wants it done. What I felt at first as my answer still was true. It wasn't me nor my companion that taught the zone, but it was rather the spirit that testified. The zone training was a little difficult to give without the powerpoints and without the notes, but I sure was able to learn something and able to grow through this experience. 

The rest of this week was really good. The zone is stronger than ever. In fact, I just got off a phone call with one of our assistants asking about what we are doing in the zone to have so much success. I told him the answer is easy. We have been focusing on what our objective is as missionaries. "Invite others to come unto Christ through his gospel and Atonement." I feel blessed to work with such great missionaries and to help them become the best servants they can be. 
Here in the ward we are doing really well. I love so many different people here. The ward members flock to us to be able to teach with us. I feel like the Lord has truly touched the hearts of these members and has allowed them to see more clearly what it means to be a part of the work of salvation.
I love you all so much and you are always in my prayers. I hope you have a great week!

Elder Thorpe

Monday, October 12, 2015

October 12th, 2015

As I was studying in the scriptures this morning there was one scripture that came to my mind, which led to more scriptures that came to my mind, all having the same meaning and message and that message is, I am called of God to be a disciple and representative of the Lord Jesus Christ in everything I do. I am a light to the people here and I am to share the everlasting gospel to my brothers and sisters that are here in Peru, waiting to hear my voice and the message that I bring. At times I feel overwhelmed and inadequate of my calling, but then I remember my commision, 

I am called of God.
My authority is above that of kings of the earth.
By revelation I have been selected as a personal representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.
He is my master and He has chosen me to represent Him--to stand in His place, to say and do what He Himself would say and do if He personally were ministering to the very people to whom He has sent me.
My voice is His voice, and my acts are His acts; my doctrine is His doctrine.
My Commission is to do what He wants done; To say what He wants said; to be a living modern witness in word and in deed of the divinity of his great and marvelous Latter-day work.
How great is my calling!

I know that this commision is true and that I am here to represent my Savior and to do what he would have me do. I love my calling to be a missionary and to share the everlasting gospel to my brothers and sisters. I know that I am on the Lord's errand and doing what he would have me do. 

I often think about who I represent, not only the Savior, but all of you. I think of how you would want to see me as a missionary and what you would want me to do, and as I think of this I am strengthened to be the best missionary that I can be. I know that I am not perfect and that I have a lot I need to learn still, but I also know that the Lord strengthens me and lifts me to places that I can't reach by myself.

This last week was a pretty good week. I have been thinking so much about my zone this last week and what we can accomplish as a stake. We have had a lot of meetings this last week with the stake, President Rios, as well as with the zone, and I think because of all these meetings I have been thinking a lot about my zone. We had our monthly meeting with the stake President and Mission President which went really well. There is so much growth here in Laureles and I feel honored to have a part in seeing that growth. We also had our monthly leadership training. It was long, but inspired. I am excited to share the same spirit that I was able to feel at the leadership council. I love giving trainings because I love helping missionaries! I look forward to sharing this training with our zone this Wednesday!

This week has been pretty crazy when it comes to food. Elder Nielsen and I are offered so much food it is insane. For example, this last week we ate 6 days straight free hamburgers, and they aren't bad Peruvian hamburgers, they were actually pretty good. I love the members here in Moche and how much they want to help the missionaries, even if it is just giving them a bite to eat. 

I love the gospel and I love my calling. As I said at the beginning of this email, I will be an example of those that believe by being a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ in all way, shape, or form. 

I love you all and pray for you always! I hope you have an amazing week!

Elder Thorpe

Monday, October 5, 2015

October 5th, 2015

This last week was incredible. Can I just say that I love general conference. I feel so spiritually nourished and uplifted. The spirit of this conference was absolutely immense. I hope all of you were able to feel it. While watching conference there were a couple of themes that really stood out to me. The first was Eternal Progression. We are on a path of discipleship and we must continually remember the covenants we have made and the people who we are. The Journey of discipleship is one of continual improvement. It might not be perfect, but in the end the destination is Life Eternal. The Second thing that stood out to me was the importance of the Holy Ghost. As promptings come to us, we must act and choose to stand for what is right. As we so do, the Lord will guide and bless us. The Last thing that stood out to me is the testimony of Living prophets and apostles. I have witnessed such powerful testimony of our Prophet Thomas S. Monson as he struggled in this last conference. I truly know that he is called of God to do his work here upon the Earth. I love him and sustain him as the Living Prophet along with the 3 new apostles that have been called. 
I love the Gospel and I love my calling. I will, as the Prophet declared, stand as an example of all of you, being the believers of him who has suffered for all of us that we may return to our Heavenly home. 

Elder Thorpe

P.S. Elder Nielsen and I are staying together! We also made hamburgers last night and had a great change night party! 

Monday, September 28, 2015

September 28th, 2015

This week has flown by so fast. I have been trying to think of everything that we did this week and to tell you the truth, my mind is blank. I'm not sure what I did this week, so this email might be short.

Elder Nielsen and I had a lot of success teaching people this week. We somehow ended up with more time than normal to teach, so that was super good. We have been working with a few goals in our area, them being, work with members, obtain more new investigators, work with the ward council, and find the people that are able to progress. We focused a lot on each of these areas this last week and had a lot of success doing so. We are super excited to continue working with members and working with a ward council. We have had a few challenges with them because of lack of training, but now that we have done trainings and now that we have vision, I think we are going to be able to see more success. 
This is the last week of changes, and Elder Nielsen and I are pretty positive that we will be staing together, so hopefully that doesn't change! We are having such a good time together and we don't want to be changed! Especially because we printed out a huge photo of us at the temple! (I'll send the picture) 

I love the gospel so much! I feel so incredibly blessed to preach the gospel and to be here in Peru! I love you all and hope that you have an amazing week!

Elder Thorpe

Monday, September 21, 2015

September 21st, 2015

After 9 months of preparation and multiple spiritual experiences, Daniel was baptized. Daniel is someone that was called from the beginning and the Lord has been preparing him all the way up to his baptismal date. He had a hard time deciding to get baptized because he has OCD, but with much prayer and with the faith that he has, he decided to get baptized and continue forward. He is a very special person to me and I know without a doubt that he will continue to choose to do what is right. His baptismal service was probably the most special one that I have participated in. As we got into the water we were shivering and could barely breath, but as he entered completely into the water and came out, the water became warm. Daniel looked at me and said, "Elder Thorpe, I feel it. I feel good." That is the power of the gospel and of the Holy Ghost. I know that it is real and I know that He was present at the baptism. It reminded me of Jesus's baptism and how the dove came flying in after he was baptized. I can testify that he was there and testified to all that were present that the decision that Daniel had made was the right one.

This last week was really good. Felt a little short because we had our P-day on Tuesday, but all in all a really good week. Elder Nielsen and I are all settled in and have now added 2 other elders to our room. We have a great time together and I look forward to spending more time together. The work of the Lord is true. The Book of Mormon is true and helps us understand why we are here and what direction God wants us to take. I truly feel blessed to be a part of this work and to be a part of all the miracles and blessings. 

I love you all and pray for you always. I hope you have an incredible week!

Elder Thorpe

Thursday, September 17, 2015

September 15, 2015

Another Month has gone and passed by. I can't believe that I have been on my mission for 14 months today! This time has continually passed by so fast and I'm not sure if It will ever slow down. Every week I have such a full schedule and before you know it my week is gone. My companion and I are just amazed how fast the time has gone by while being together. It is our 4th week together and it feels like we have only been together for 2! Elder Nielsen and I get along so well and we are having the greatest time here in Moche. The work is truly hastening and the Lord is at the head of it.

This last week is a week I would like to call plan tacos! We have come to find out that Less actives love tacos, and so what we have been doing with all the less actives that we meet is that we have been setting up times to make tacos with them. This last week we made tacos twice and they were so good! Before the mission I didn't care too much for tacos, but let me tell you, the way we are making them with all of these less actives has been incredible and I can now say that I love tacos and guacamole! 

This week we wanted to help our Ward council out and so we created a training for all of them to talk about how they have such a huge role in the work of salvation and how we are able to be a part of the work hastening. Everyone in our ward council got super excited to start working a lot more effectively. We established a ward mission plan and we are excited to see how we will be able to work with all the members and the plan that we established.

We also decided to participate in the annual ward talent show here in Moche and we decided to sing Hallelujah in English and Spanish, so that was way fun. Elder Nielsen and I have been working with an investigator named Daniel and he decided to help us out a little bit with the talent show by practicing with us, but he didn't want to get out in front of everyone because he is a little bit timid. He decided that he wanted to get baptized though and so he will be baptized this Saturday! We are super excited for him and plan on visiting him today since it's his birthday. We bought him a couple things from the temple since we went to the temple today!

The temple was incredible. I love the house of the Lord and I know that I am able to receive inspiration and revelation as I search and ask diligently. I love the gospel and I love the Lord. I know that this is his perfect gospel and that he is calling on us all to take a part in hastening his work. He is asking more of us every day and it is our duty to answer his call in hastening his work.
Love, Elder Thorpe

Monday, September 7, 2015

September 7th, 2015

If there has been one thing that I have learned this week it is that there is always a reason why our Father in Heaven calls certain people to certain positions to serve and that is because they are ready to receive revelation and act upon it. I'm not sure what this church would do, let alone myself, if we didn't believe in divine modern revelation. The Lord loves us and wants the best for us and for that he blesses us with revelation when we are worthy and ready for it. 

To start off my week Elder Nielsen and I went downtown to go and grab a bite to eat and then to go and buy rope to jump rope since I left mine in my old area... I was really sad when I found out I left it and I was a little discourage about starting up again, but now that I have a piece of rope I am ready to get back into the routine. That night we had a Family Home Evening with one of our investigators and we watched Meet the Mormons. We are super excited for him because he is planning on getting baptized on the 19th of this month.

On Tuesday we had our monthly leadership training with President and the assistants which went really well. We talked about hastening the work of salvation and about the Book of Mormon. We focused a lot on our conversion to the gospel and how we can help others understand that the Book of Mormon is how we can be converted. After the training we went to play some sports, which this time they brought a basketball, so my comp and I went off to shoot with a few other people while everyone else played soccer. We both ended up playing soccer by the end of it. You would think that after being in for Peru for about 14 months now I would be really good at soccer, but that isn't true.

Wednesday was a pretty relaxing day because we were with Hermana Rios the entire day. We met up with her to do room checks which went pretty good. Being a zone leader I am in charge of all the money that we have as a zone and so doing these room checks kind of killed all of my zone budget, but that is alright. We took Hermana Rios to a restraunt in our area which is probably the best food I have had here in Peru. We told her that it was super expensive but all she said was if it was clean and good food, then we would go. So we went and had a great time with her. We were able to get to know her a lot better and so that was a really good experience for us.

The rest of the week we did a lot of shopping for supplies as well as planning for our zone training that we had on Saturday. Planning took a little bit of time, but it was all worth it by the end of it. We visited a couple of other people throughout the week including our pensionista who is really interested in the gospel, so we are super excited for her. On Saturday we gave our zone training, which went super well and was super spiritual. We talked a lot about the importance of members and how we can better work as missionaries as the Lord hastens his work. We are super excited for this next month and for the success that we are going to have.

Saturday night we had a lesson that we invited the bishop to which turned out really good. We have been working with the Casana Family for a little while now and they are now ready to take the next step by being baptized. The wife has decided, but the husband was a little hesitant, so this lesson that we had with the bishop was crucial. We talked about choosing now and not putting things off and as we each testified of the importance of acting on spiritual promptings José, the dad, was able to say what he knew to be true and decided to pray and continue working on being prepared for the 26th of September. The Bishop prophesied saying that he would get baptized with his wife and we know that we will as well. It was really cool after the lesson because the bishop was telling us that he had to say what he said because the spirit told him that him being over this area and this family, should help them understand what God thought and what his plans are for them.

I love how perfect the gospel is and how perfect the spirit works in us. I know it to be true. I have felt it and am guided by it every day to a point where I can't deny how incredible it is and what it means to me. I love the gospel I love my mission and I want everyone to know it. 

I love you all so much and hope you have an incredible week.

Elder Thorpe

Monday, August 31, 2015

August 31st, 2015

Well the craziness of my weeks has come to an end. After getting everyone sent off to their new areas and receiving new missionaries we have come to a hault of all the craziness, which is great because we have been able to have more time to teach the people in our area. This last week was a really good start to this next change and being able to see all the new missionaries in the zone was really good for Elder Nielsen and I. The first day that Elder Nielsen was here we both sat down and put together a vision for our zone and area. We went over to the bishops house to talk to him about the plans for the ward and as we were there we had such a great experience. I have always wanted to be able to sit down with each bishop that I have served with so that we could create a vision for the ward and area and I have been blessed to serve with such great bishops that have had the desires to do so as well, and so as we were meeting with the bishop, we were able to share a little bit more about missionary work. The bishop in Moche is so excited to work with missionaries and allowed Elder Nielsen and I to present a plan to our Ward Council so that all of them could be more involved in this great work. I love seeing the desires of members that want to help the Lord in his work. It gives me such great joy to see their desires and willingness to serve the Lord. 

This week we had a ton of success teaching the families that are progressing and each and every one of them committed to work on being baptized and on going to the temple a year after their baptisms. There is nothing more special and more important for me than to see such great desires such as these. I truly believe that every family that we are working with will reach their goals in becoming eternal families, and I feel blessed to be a part of their conversion to the gospel. Being on my mission has increased my desires immensely in having an eternal family. I know that I can have one and I know that I will have one. Our Savior has testified of this time and time again and I know that if we are working toward it and have the faith that we can reach it, then the Lord will bless us with it. Just as he says in 2 Nephi 31:20, if we push forward with faith in the Lord putting all of our confidence in him, we will receive eternal life. 

I love the gospel so much. I know that my Savior taught his gospel, died for us, and lives. He is our perfect example and we should always try our hardest to be just as he is. I know that as we do so and as our hearts our focused on him, we will be blessed and understand everything that we should do. I know that this is the work of the Lord and that he wants all of us to return to him as eternal families. It is through the sacred bond and covenant of marriage that we are able to return to him and receive all that he has. I know this to be true because I have witnessed it and felt it in my life. 

I love you all and hope you have an incredible week!

Elder Thorpe

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

August 24th, 2015

Dear Family,

You are probably wondering why I am emailing so late but I have a good reason. You know how I said last week was the most crazy week of my mission? Well I was way wrong. This week was absolutely 100 times more crazier than last week! And to start off the email I will tell you why I am emailing so late. This week is change week and so in my zone we had a ton of changes and within all of the changes I had to close an area and open a new area in my zone, which means that today we helped move an entire room to a different side of town and being the zone leader, I had to go out and buy a bunch of stuff for this new area. I thought we might have made it back in time to email a little earlier, but we ended up buying a bunk bed and I was busy putting that together, so you could say that my day has been quite eventful.

My companion (Elder González) has finished his mission and so that means that I have a new companion! His name is Elder Nielson and is awesome! He was in our zone and we raised him to be a zone leader this change and so I am super excited to work with him! He is such a great guy and I can tell that we are going to have a lot of success! I loved Elder González and the time we had together, but I look forward to serving with Elder Nielson as well. Elder Gonazález's parents came to pick him up, and so it was good spending time with them. They are such great people and I was happy to meet them. 

This week has been so crazy! Elder González and I were running around everywhere trying to finalize wedding papers and baptismal interviews! It was amazing to be able to be apart of this vision that we have had as a zone and to be able to see it all the way to the end. I'm not sure if I will ever be able to describe the miracles that we saw this last week because they truly were incredible. All I know is that we should always trust in the Lord and everything will turn out the way that he wants it to. I feel blessed to be in this work and to serve with such great people. I love my Father in Heaven and I love my Savior. I know they live and love us and want the best for us!

I love you all and pray for you always! I hope you have amazing weeks!

Elder Thorpe

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

August 17th, 2015

Dear Family,

This week has probably been the most craziest week that I have had yet on the mission, and this week that we are in will just be even crazier! This whole vision that we have had as a zone has been such a rollercoaster I have no idea where to start. We have been planning a Masive wedding and a Noche Blanca for this weekend and we have went from having 2 weddings to 4 to now 7 weddings and we might have a possible of 8! It has been so crazy to be right in the center of all of the paperwork and the phone calls. We have seen so many miracles with all of the weddings that we are pulling off, and that is just the start of the miracles. 
For the Noche Blanca we started with 10 baptisms. After a week we lost about all of them, but this last week we have been praying and have been trying to do the work of the Lord, that this last Sunday we came out to have 13 baptismal dates firm and ready to go for the 22 of August, with a possible of 14! This last month and week have been so crazy! We are super excited to see the results of this vision that we set just about a month ago! The Lord truly does bless his servants and prepares the way. I was reading an old conference talk by President Eyring and he said that one day he asked President Monson how he never got worried when things started looking bad in the church and he simply replied, President Eyring, I have trust in the Lord that everything will turn out the way it should and so I just have faith that it will.
This last week I have been thinking about faith and the role that it has. Faith is the first and probably the most important principle of the Gospel, because without Faith, God couldn't have created the world nor us. Faith is what makes everything go. It is how we make decisions. I have thought long and hard how Satan was trying to take away our agency. In all reality, Satan was trying to take away our Faith, because without faith, we aren't able to choose. It is faith that he is after and he works so hard to take it away from us. My testimony of faith has grown so much in the last couple of months and continue to grows. The Gospel is so true and it is based on our faith. I love it and I love the plan that Heavenly Father created for us, and because of it, we are able to have faith.
Elder Thorpe

Monday, August 10, 2015

August 10th, 2015

Dear Family,

This week has been so crazy! I don't think I have had a more busy week in my mission! Most of this week has been a lot of planning and training, but probably one of my most favorite weeks of the mission so far. I have come to realize that I absolutely love zone trainings! I love giving a training out and setting a vision with my zone! It makes me so happy to think about all of the missionaries in my zone and to think of ways that I am able to help them with their needs. I have really come to love studying and focusing on other people rather than my own desires. When it comes to my zone, I think of them just as I think of all my investigators, with love. I really hope that they are able to see that and I hope that I am able to transmit how much I care for them through my actions. 

So this last week has been a lot of planning for the big zone training that we have every month. Our vision with our zone training was to help us better invite the spirit into our lessons and allow it to be the actual teacher instead of us. I learned so much giving this zone training. The spirit was so incredibly strong and truly was the teacher in our zone training. There has been a scripture that has been on my mind for a while now which we shared at our zone training, and that scripture is D&C 50:17-22. This scripture has become so clear to me these last couple of weeks. It doesn't matter what we are teaching or what we are saying as long as we are doing it all by the spirit. On the other hand, if we are teaching doctrines without the spirit -being true doctrines- sometimes that isn't the Lord's way. I have thought about this scripture over and over and I have come to understand that we can teach correct doctrines and still not be teaching in the way of the Lord. That is why it is so important to be ready to change and adapt according to the spirit, so that we may do all things in the way of the Lord. It is his doctrine and his gospel. If it isn't by his spirit we aren't teaching how he taught and how he wants us to teach. I have noticed that the times when things don't make sense or the times that investigators aren't able to progress are the times when missionaries try to teach it their way, and their way might not be bad, but it is not the Lord's way. I myself fall victm to this very topic. I catch myself doing the very thing and for this I try to do better each and every  day and pray to my Father for guidance that I may teach by his spirit.

We have such huge plans for our zone this next month. On the 21st of August we have a massive marraige planned and on the 22nd a huge baptismal service planned. We have been working with these two goals for the last 4 weeks and they now are all falling into place. We plan on marrying about 13 couples and having around 15 baptisms! We are still searching and praying for miracles, but I feel super good about the work that we have done here in my zone and for all of the blessings and miracles that I have seen this last month. 

On Sunday my companion and I were able to give talks in Church, which they went super good! I talked about the importance of missionary work as well as the power and blessings of missionary work. My companion then talked about the importance of members in missionary work. It was such a great meeting and we had so many people come up to us at the end and thank us for our talks.

All in all this week has been really good! My companion and I even got a special phone call from our dear friend Elder Meaker (Old companion) who is now an assistant and we were invited to go down and see a baptism in Chao! My old pensionista that I had been working with in Chao finally got baptized, so it was really good seeing her and seeing all of the members in Chao! I love that place so much and am so happy that I was able to serve there! 

I hope you all know how much I love this gospel and how much I love my Savior. I know he lives and loves us and that through him and his gospel, we are able to be saved and experience everlasting joy and happiness!

I love you all and hope you have amazing weeks!

Elder Thorpe