This week has been really great, I am becoming more comfortable and improving in personal goals. Sometimes the day will start out slow or I will be tired, but then after hard work the miracles start to show. I am also coming to truly love the work. I'm loving the beautiful area, my great companions, and the humble people. I love the sunsets at 9:00 at night, the trees everywhere, clear days when you can see Mount Rainier, and when I get a lot out from my personal and companionship study.
This week my testimony of the Book of Mormon has really gone up. That book is the best. It is like a well of never-ending wisdom. you can go to that book with a prayerful question and it will be answered. As a missionary, I am blessed to carry a sort of "mantle"; I have the authority of a missionary, and with that comes a greater ability to teach and learn with the Spirit and to receive revelation. It is a miracle when you study the Book of Mormon in the morning and then use a verse you read when you are teaching. That happened Friday with a guy we're teaching named Justin. He had for us a very difficult question, but this verse came to mind and really helped. That is cool! I love learning about the gospel because number one, it's true, and number two, because it's true, it is really interesting and powerful. It changes lives.
I've noticed too how much the gospel has blessed my life. Maybe because I've always had it and tried to follow it I haven't really noticed it. But for those who don't have the gospel of Jesus Christ, things are worse. It is very apparent. Obeying God's commandments lead to happiness. Not obeying them doesn't. Bremerton has a lot of struggles, but spreading the message of the Restoration is the best thing for them.
My favorite lesson this week was with Ean and his girlfriend Tiana. They have a baby together and I met them on my very first day tracting. In fact, they were the first door I knocked on! We finally got them on a church tour where we taught the message of the Restoration and the importance of the Book of Mormon. We always finish church tours in the room with the baptismal font and teach about baptism. They are on date for baptism! They are looking for a way to improve their lives and help out their baby daughter. What a privilege to help them do that.
Thursday was our "park day" where the whole mission parks our cars and rides bikes. While riding, I looked at one point at a window in a shop and saw my reflection. Full missionary attire, bike and helmet, Book of Mormon in my backpack :) That was fun. I just smiled.
Thank you for your love and prayers and letters (thanks Ally, Amy, Chrissy, grandma!)
Scripture for the week: 1 Nephi 14:14
14 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory.
last week was 1 Nephi 4:6
6 And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do.
|Tommy (& other missionaries) Fly from SLC to Tacoma, WA in May|
Hi mom and dad!
Sorry the e-mail is late today! For P-day our Zone went on a hike! It was absolutely beautiful!! The library opens late on Mondays, unfortunately. It opens at 1:00, so the e-mail will come no earlier than 2:00. Usually between 2 and 3. Later if we had some activity.
Thank you so much for your updates. I LOVE them! And thank you for your prayers. On one night this week, just before going to bed, I felt the distinct impression that you were praying for me together. It was small yet powerful and filled me with love and gratitude for such wonderful parents. I can't tell you how happy it makes me when I hear that you are all doing family history, going to the temple, reading scriptures, and participating in missionary work!
Some answers to questions:
Officially, Elder Zastrow is my companion, but we always switch up and I spend more time with Elders Ferrin and Lonas anyway.
About mission firesides, I get to go to my first one this Sunday! We will leave right after the missionary broadcast. (which I am really excited for!)
I think of you often, but it doesn't distract me from the work.
I'm glad your seeing the missionaries often! Tell Elder Gemperline hi and that I think about the advice he gave me often.
*Dad - tell everyone that miracles happen even more now!!!! Miracles happen every single day in the mission field! And they will continue to increase and speed up! The Lord's work is moving faster and faster over the whole earth and He is "making bear His arm." I'm glad that you have a strong testimony of that and that you shared with me your life's miracles.
I love you both so much, thank you for everything, love
* This was in response to a discussion we had in High Priests class on Sunday in So. Cal about whether or not there were more miracles between 1825 - 1890 (The first 65 years with the Restoration of the Gospel, printing of the Book of Mormon, crossing the plains to Salt Lake City and the construction of the first 6 temples) as compared to the next 125 years (1890 - 2013)
|Tommy's May group at the Provo Temple before leaving for WA|