Sunday, December 29, 2013

Merry Christmas Adam!

Adam came before eve, get it? ha ha

This week the roads have been super slippery and extra treacherous so it doesn't help when houses have an upward climb to get to the front door. Sketchy! My comp actually slipped this week so there was much rejoicing because now we get donuts! It was pretty dang cold this week so it makes waiting for the buses really suck, oops I mean really unfortunate....

Anyway this week was super quick and we were able to do a lot of service and what not which is always great around the Christmas time of year. On Thursday we were at service most of the day and it was awesome. Not only did we get great service in, but we also got a light saber lamp, a bunch of pizza, and we were on the news. So it was really fun. Our new zone leader caved in to our peer pressure and ate like 10 pieces of pizza. ha ha it was so funny. I ate a bunch of pizza as well so I was stuffed and then we went to dinner and they served us our plates, so we didn't get to serve ourselves and gave us a massive plate of spaghetti. honestly I started crying inside because I was so full.

We had our Christmas conference with our mission president which was amazing. Plus there was a talent show at the  end  and I'm pretty sure the really funny ones weren't supposed to be funny. ha ha it was such a gong show! President Manion is great! even though he shut down our basketball against the high school team. He's not too hot on basketball right now because he just sent an elder home with a torn acl, not sure how he did that playing missionary basketball but whatever. So we countered with just having them come to our pday ha ha so we will play them. we just can't lose or we will be the laughing stock of Edmonton. But I'm fairly confident that we will beat them.

There is a lady in our ward is bonkers with food storage. she has a room full of it and apparently it isn't even half of what they had before they moved. We moved them in and more than half the truck was food storage. Speaking of moves, we helped somebody move into the ward the other day and its really amazing how much faster a move goes when it's not just the missionaries and one other person. It's very nice when we have help.

In other news, it was a sad sad day when the 21 of Dec came around because that marked the last day that we could get the 2 can dine meal for only 5 bucks each. Now our meal is back to 7 bucks :( Im sad just telling about it right now ha ha).

Last night, we went and visited a less active family. I wasn't sure what to expect, but we got there and they are a super sweet family! We are totally in with them and we should be able to get them to church soon enough. I am really starting to feel like a missionary now and not just a total greenie, and I feel like I am actually starting to care much more about others than myself. So I'd say I am really starting to progress as a missionary. I don't want to be a stellar missionary... I want to be the best missionary as well as becoming a disciple of Christ. just being a great missionary is kinda prideful but like Alma 26:20 I think it is, I give all the glory to God.

This week in my studies, I learned a lot about a couple more Christlike attributes. Knowledge and Faith are gifts from God and we really have to work to attain both of them. Lots of people will tell you that they only need faith to be saved but in James 2 and I'm not sure exactly what verse, it says faith without works is dead. Knowledge comes after you work for it and knowledge is essential to be saved in the kingdom of god. No man can be saved in ignorance. Also, I have kinda started studying the Old testament and there are some hilarious scriptures in there ha ha. Maybe just funny to missionary humor but funny none the less.

I love you all and I know this church is true. I wouldn't be out here wasting my time if I didn't believe that. That would be completely pointless. Have a great Christmas adam, Christmas eve, and Christmas!

Keep it real,
Elder Thompson

Monday, December 16, 2013

Well that was Awkward

So I have found it really funny every time "I'll be home for christmas" plays because me and my comp will look at each other and just be like nope! not us. haha it really kind of gets annoying. Also I wanted to thank Grandma and Grandpa for the package. It was awesome! i only had to buy milk and I am set on cereal for a while. And I haven't opened the present yet, in case you were wondering I am going to wait till christmas.

This week I focused on a couple of Christlike attributes for my studies and I found some interesting things. Faith is absolutely essential, obviously. I was going through a rough time this week and I just put it in God's hands and said a quick prayer and did a blind scripture open up sort of thing. The scripture was in 2 Nephi somewhere and it said something like I am a god of miracles, But, I work according to man's faith. So if we are expecting miracles or help or anything really, we need to have sufficient faith. I also studied charity and decided I probably need a little more of it haha. The big thing that stuck out to me in my studies where we can be great at everything except charity, and we are really not all that hot stuff in God's eyes. without charity, we are nothing.
I also studied up on being sensitive to the spirit and I came to realize that the spirit often is only a soft gentle prompting and not very often is it something super powerful. I know that sometimes I get caught up in wanting a super powerful prompting in regards to something but thats not how it works. God expects us to have the faith, and to listen for the spirit. So needless to say i have plenty of things to work on in the next couple of weeks.
At Zone Training M we got a bunch of stuff that we need to work on. The biggest thing that a lot of people including my self is not saying sucks or crap at all. Ok that's understandable. But the next one is what got me like what? We are supposed to not say sweet or awesome when we describe things. That is going to be tough because everybody uses that a lot. so who knows, I guess we   will see. But we did get the info that we can now go ice skating and curling! Curling is such a Canadian sport so you better believe im going to try it. We are also going to play the HS basketball team in a week from friday so we are super jacked about that! We will destroy them!
Mom, you would be so proud of me. We deep cleaned our apartment, which hasn't been done for like a really long time. So now it's super clean and it feels great! We also went on exchanges this week. It was awesome, oh wait it was sweet, oh shoot man it was great I guess haha. that is what always happens. Something we talked about with the people we visited was putting Christ back in Christmas. So I just want everyone to do that. That could be service or whatever. I know some of the most memorable Christmas's I had were when we did some kind of service. I hated it at the time, but now that I'm not so self centered, iIrealize that those were the most memorable.
The roads were super slippery after it rained... yeah it rained at like -10. so it would hit the ground and freeze. so it was interesting riding the bus and then going sideways in the intersection. after that happened, the buses only went like 10 mph or like whatever that is in kph. Just extremely slow
But Sunday was the highlight of the week. Gospel Principles was super super awkward. The lesson was on the law of chastity. So the teacher had some statistics and there were people talking about, well you know, and how it was in their own life and me and my comp were like whoah I didn't need to know that about you. but the whole class was having a discussion, minus us and the sisters, so yeah it was pretty dang awkward for us missionaries. We also found out from that lesson that one of the sister missionaries was extremely extremely sheltered growing up. She was just appalled at some of the statistics and I'm pretty sure she had to wash her ears out with soap haha.
In other news our dinner calendar is hopping! it is booked solid for the next 2 weeks which has never happened before apparently. So we must be doing something right because we get invited back but the sisters don't. haha we have some theories about that but I wont divulge them to you. I almost threw up at dinner last night because I was so full. #firstworldproblems being too full that you can't eat dessert and you almost throw up haha. But after that we had the stake Christmas devotional and it was super good. There was only one speaker, and he gave an awesome talk. the rest was just Christmas music which is always good, unless it is being played way to early... Canada. But yeah it was really good.
Love you all and I hope the week before Christmas isnt too terribly hectic for you.
Keep it real,
Elder Thompson
Edmonton Mission - Zone Training

Edmonton Mission - Zone Training

Sweet Christmas decorations in Canada

Lights in -35 degrees

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Nose Hairs Were Frozen!

So my member part of the mission is complete. I have found the awesome member of our ward. He is exactly like me. He loves baseball, he is a stat geek, and he loves the Lakers! And he said I was the best missionary because not only did I like the lakers, but I love baseball too! So as I'm sure you can imagine, we get along amazing!
It has been extremely cold this week. It was -40 for most of the week with the wind chill. You take one breath through your nose and instantly your nose hairs freeze. haha it's awesome! But it makes me appreciate the warm days. Today it is only -15 and it feel amazing! I remember when that made me so cold and now its like I sweat! So it's probably a good thing that I'm adjusting.
Mornings have become a strength for us. We get up at 6 every morning and go to the stake center to play basketball. Its kinda boring for me though because not to brag, but I am by far the only good one there. It's usually just us and both sets of sisters in our district. This week with transfers we got a couple new missionaries. We got a new sister, and she seems like she will be cool and not one of  those nazi sisters. We also got a new zone leader. He is like 6 4 and he is good at basketball. So now we actually have someone that can gaurd Elder G.! He is also a Celtics fan so I'm not sure what I'm going to do about that.
This week for our time I came across a talk by Elder Holland. I would encourage everyone to watch it. You won't get as much out of it if you just read it. Watch it. It has easily become my favorite talk by an apostle. Elder Holland is just such a boss. The talk is entitled Safety for the Soul. He is super powerful and just lays down the law haha I love it. It is about his testimony of the BOM. So if you want to be energized, I seriously encourage everyone to watch it.
We also met with a spanish member this week. He is a stud. He went to Mexico on his mission and baptized, wait for it.... 106 people.... What a stud! He also got permission from his mission prez to basically do whatever he wanted. He ended his mission, with the permission of the prez, by proposing to a girl that he barely knew... and she said yes. So they shook hands, he went home the next day, got released and then married her. And then he went on to tell us that he wasn't going to tell us his trunky stories so we didnt get any ideas. Haha it was funny. But we did learn our testimonios en espanol this week. We basically just took lines from PMG and put them in. But mine is super short because we didn't have a lot of time to prepare them, so we can continue to develp them.
We had our ward Christmas party and instead of a dinner we had breakfast, it was really good! We had pancakes with chocolate chips, which is awesome, plus we got a bunch of left overs! Sweet!
Haha and to cap off a great christmas party, Bro. Harvey who i have mentioned in previous emails dressed up in an elf costume. It was so funny! I wish I had my camera at the time. But we took a pic with our phone and he tried avoiding it, but then was a good sport and posed for the picture. Haha what a guy. He is also a Laker fan. So yeah the ward is full of great people.
On Sunday, we tought gospel principles, lesson 38. The lesson, was, Eternal Marriage. So yeah we were super qualified to teach that lesson... not. But it actually went really well and there was some really good discussions that went on(that usually doesnt happen in that class) so I guess we did an okay job. And Then we had the Christmas devotional that night. It was awesome! It was a little cheesy with Elder Nelson but thats okay, it was still good.
Yo se que trabajo misional es muy importante y que trabajo misional de miembros es muy muy importante. I have no idea if that is correct espanol but it sounds Spanishy. It really helps when the members pitch in and do their part and let us teach their friends. It gets really frustrating not having anybody to teach and just finding all day all week. But we have come up with some good finding ideas. We will most likely be doing the 3 on 3 tourney i suggested and hopefully we will be able to scrimmage the High School basketball team (Bro. Harvey is the Head Coach). So if all goes according to plans, we should be teaching lots in no time!
Read the BOM. It's actually a pretty decent book haha. Captain Moroni is by far my favorite so if you don't feel like reading it, just read that part. He is a studly boss too! If only we could all be like him, we would not fall into temptation very often.
Love you all,
Elder Thompson

What you smokin man? I aint smoking...I'm breathin!

Name that movie
Well week 6 was a gong show! But it went pretty well. We went to Bulk Barn on monday and I'm pretty sure it's the place that we went to when we visited Great Grandma Cahoon. It looked super familiar and that was my only explanation for that. So every pday we play basketball. It's funny playing with my comp becasue he's not that good so he plays kinda dirty. Plus, he is a bit over weight, but that's okay, I've learned to deal with it.
On Tuesday, we had our open house and I guess you could consider it a success. We had a couple nonmembers there, but that's not enough. We could easily have 10-15 there. The members need to get off their butts and start getting involved in the work. But other than having just a couple people there, I felt like it went really well.

I also learned that I'm not the best teacher or even very good. So I was a bit discouraged, but I was reading in the Book of Mormon and I remembered Ether 12:27 which says that weak things will be mad strong when we humble ourselves before God. So I felt a lot better after that. Plus we were able to eat at our Bishop's house for US Thanksgiving. Sister Baldry was going to make us a turkey dinner but didnt have time. So we had really good chilli. Then, our bishop invited us to a hockey game. We told him that we had to have an investigator go so we could and he said, oh no problem, I can make that happen. Haha such a stud! Then after our lesson, he told us about how he was doing tithing settlements and talking a little about missionary work. He said that pretty much all the members had really good things to say and that they were confident in giving their friend's names to us... now they just need to do it! But that was a really big confidence booster. That saying in the district, are you a burden or a help to the bishop.

Well we just got swore at at the library... haha funny stuff. Just Good classy people. 
So we have done a really good job getting up in the mornings and going to morning sports, but what really grinds my gears, is when I drag myself out of bed, and the gym is full of tables and chairs. like come on, what is more important, your ward Christmas party, or my morning sports... We also have done a good job at not eating out as much. But we did go to MacShak and there was hockey on! It was awesome! The Rangers were playing the Bruins and my comp was like oh it's Texas. And Elder L. and I were like nope that New York haha. Elder L. goes home this week so he is really trunky haha. I wish I had more time to get to know him because he seems like a cool guy. Plus he really likes baseball so for sure we get along, even if he is a Giant's fan. Another thing about morning sports is a lot of times, it's just us and the 4 sisters in our district. So really, it's just us helping the sisters play basketball. But whatever, my comp really likes it so whatever. Even though it's not really workout I'll do it to get out of bed.

Saturday, we had a food drive at a store. Highlight of the day, was when a drunk guy came up and said "I dont know why we spend so much money on Mars, when there are people hungry down here. You cant even %*@# on Mars, you can't even *&@# properly in space! " Haha we were laughing so hard for a couple minutes straight.
But the best part of the week, was this fast Sunday. (i say that sarcastically.) The fast Sunday part was fine. What wasn't, was when we were asked to help somebody move in right after church. So we couldnt break our fast because we didn't even have time, so we went and my headache just massively increased. So needless to say, we straight went on a food rampage when we got back to the apartment. Fun stuff.

Anyway, this week could be interesting. Keep it real!
Elder Thompson

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Love Being a Missionary November 25

So last week I talked about how awesome the ward is here, and how it is a pretty athletic ward. Well, apparently Bro. Harvey was the no. 1 basketball player in Alberta growing up! What a stud! But he got injured so I guess he just called it quits. And our Bishop, is flippin loaded. He not only owns a security system that is big up here, but he also owns the Edmonton Energy...and we are eating dinner at his house on American Thanksgiving so we are pretty excited! We are going to try to get tickets to a game. We found all that out from out zone leader. He served in our area in the beginning of his mission. He is a 6'6 kid from Utah who I have had many sport arguments with. He is the typical hard headed Utah Ute, Jazz fan who hates BYU and the Lakers. All the Jazz fans have a weird fantasy where they are rivals with the Lakers so I had to get it into his mind that the Jazz were just a small little fly that the Lakers have to swat away from time to time. and as for the Utes, I just ask him how many national titles they have in football. That usually shuts him up.

I feel like there isn't enough study time in a week. I want to study all the works, but I only have an hour a day. I was able to finish the Book of Mormon this week though. Its amazing how good it is when you actually sit down and read it, eh? But now I am restarting it and I am also starting Doctrine and Covenants and The New Testament. 

This week we had dinner with a part member family and the husband is one of our potential investigators. He is so close to taking the lessons he just needs something. But we found out that his wife is pregnant so hopefully that gives him the kick over the edge.

This Thursday, we had a new missionary follow up meeting. So I got to meet up with Elders Duncanson and Brevard again. It was awesome! I missed those guys a ton. It would be awesome if we could serve together, but since we get along so well, that probably won't happen. But that was definitely the high point of the week.
The low point of the week came Friday. Being in Millwoods, weed gets smoked on a regular basis by the teens here, so riding the buses with them is always interesting. On Friday we got on a bus with an especially obnoxious group of teens who had obiously been smoking. It was so bad I'm pretty sure we smelled like weed when we got off the bus. And they are so disrespectful. They were yelling throwing out f bombs and this less accountable lady about in her 40s asked them to stop. They just cussed at her and stuff. Man I haven't been so mad since Elder P. was my comp in the mtc. There was just such a negative spirit that we just had to get off the bus. So that was the low or "high" of the week because we may have gotten high off the second hand smoke. The only reason i say that is because after, I slipped on the ice and fell to the ground. That hasn't happened before and I was pretty confident with my balance, so i was shocked when I fell. Now I have to buy the district donuts(thats the rule) so that sucks.

Naps have become my best friend. We helped someone move a bunch of stuff out of their house Saturday and we were just tired, so we took a nap and it was glorious. Just one of the many great things of missionary work. Another is when you are at a bus station and there are no more buses coming and a random girl that we have never met comes up to us and offers us a ride(with her dad so it wasnt burnt) That was awesome. We would have had to walk home and walking isn't fun, but it does burn some calories I guess. On Sunday we had Sunday school lesson on how to have a better family life with our children. so that was fun... I guess. I'm not really sure why we have to sit through those lessons when we could be doing something more productive. After church, I made the ultimate missionary meal of grease, fat and grossness. I call it the Pulkin Bagel with Bacon. It has a blueberry bagel, pulled pork, and bacon. The last few bites were gross but it wasn't too bad at first haha.

We are supposed to teach 20 lessons a week now. I don't know how that's going to happen since we are lucky if we get close to 10. But, we are trying for it!

So if you look up 3 Nephi 18:20 it says "and whatsoever ye shall ask the father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you." Joseph Smith did exactly that... In 1820.
Now that I've blown all your minds, have a great week and keep it real!

Elder Thompson

Kinda cold, but not too bad.  We put on warmer coats and thermals after this pic... It was snowy!

District Temple Pic: No we aren't models - we are just missionaries

The MTC District - minus 2

The Pukin' bagel with bacon