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

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

August 4th, 2015

Dear Family,

It has been increasingly easier to see Heavenly Father's hand in my life since the day I got on my mission until now. It has been evident to me that little by little the Lord has opened up to me and has allowed me to see more clearly the vision that he has for me in this time of my life. I'm not completely sure how to explain it in better words than, I know that He loves me.

This week for me was incredible. Nothing majorly changed throughout my week, but I have felt that my vision and love of the gospel has raised to a level that I can not deny nor mistake for anything else. This week we had a baptism for Hermana Martha which was so great. She has been an investigator for about 4 or 5 years now and finally was able to receive the light and inspiration needed to come to accept the gospel in it's entirety. She was baptized last Saturday and Confirmed on Sunday. A day that the Dominguez familly had been waiting for a while now.

On Wednesday my companion and I found a member that owns a hamburger shop in our area and so he gave us a deal that we can have hamburgers for free once a week! We are super excited for that! My companion and I are eating like kings here in Moche and only have to eat rice every once-in-a-while! We don't like rice too much... haha Church on Sunday was really good as well as the rest of the week! Sunday night I gave our bishop a blessing which was really cool because I love the bishop here in Moche so much! 

On Friday we had Leadership training which was so great! I learned so much not just by what was said, but rather what I felt and didn't hear. It was such a great experience and we are super excited to share a little bit of what we learned with our Zone this next Thursday! We are even throwing in a surprise for them! (PIZZA)

Something crazy that is going on is that our electricity went out about a week ago and so don't have power. Living in the dark has been a little rough but we manage to live through it and just say, Well if the Pioneers did it, so can we! So we use candles.. 

Today for P-day we went to the Temple, which was incredible. I love the temple so much! I have never had more of a clearer mind than when I am in the Temple. I can truly testify that it is the House of Lord. I know that he resides in his house and his presence is felt. After the temple we went to the Mall to eat, which my companion and I ate some pretty good steak as well as some Frozen Yogurt! (That is really hard to find by the way) 

Well I hope you all have an amazing week! I love you all so much!

Elder Thorpe