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!