Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday October 31

My week has been pretty good. Getting up at 6:30 is so annoying though.. Ugh. Oh well. So the members here are amazing. They are so kind and nice. Hopefully they have a lot of people to refer us to. Church is actually really fun. There was literally like 30-35 people in sacrament meeting. It's so weird.haha. The weather has been really really nice. It's been quite cloudy so it hasn't been hot or humid. I love it. There was a huge rainstorm yesterday. Well it only lasted about half an hour but for like 10 min while we were out harvesting, it was pouring so hard! It was like almost a flash flood. We kept on harvesting of course. We've met a couple people that seem interested but are slow to invite us back. So that's been kinda tough. We have 2 baptism dates so far (people from before i got here so i've only taught them a little), Jonathan who is 10. His mom is a less active member but she wants to come back. He'll be baptized on Saturday. And Gustavo. He speaks a little english so i can talk a little to him. He's set to be baptized Nov. 19. His wife is a member and she's probably the nicest lady ever. The people I have met are fantastic. Maria and Olga we met while harvesting. Maria is about 40 and is a member but hasn't gone for about 20 years. She still has a strong testimony which is awesome. Olga is her mother. She has investigated a lot of churches but when they ask her to be baptized, she bolts back to the Catholic church. Even though she doesn't really like it. So we'll try really hard to get them to church. They're in Spanish... But we met a lot of english people yesterday. Hopefully they will want us to teach them. I keep getting less and less homesick which is good. I love you guys and miss you a ton. Love you.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Surprise Picture Text!

Good morning Sonia,
We're so happy to have your sweet son serving in our Ward! He bore a powerful testimony regarding Adversity and how we overcome and endure, when he ate lunch at our house on Sunday. Thanks for sharing him with us - I'll watch out for him while he's here!
He has a GREAT trainer, Elder Smith - obedient and kind.
Let me know if I can help in any way, our love to your family.

I've grown so much in the past 3 weeks. I hope you guys have too. In Alma 17:2-3 it reads... "Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yeah, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God. But this is not all, they had given themselves to much prayer and fasting; therefore they had the Spirit.." A great scripture. Alma and his brothers had just returned from their missions. I hope this comes true with us. I have seen personally how this gospel brings happiness because it happened to me. Be strong and active in the church. Build powerful testimonies. I want to be with you guys for eternity. And the way to do that is with this only true church on the earth. Omg I miss you guys so much. I love you two. But I know this is what I have to do. I love and miss you guys ssooo much. I can't wait to see you two again. Love you. Elder Jaren Thorne

Monday, October 24, 2011

Well, I'm here! The misson pres and his wife are very nice. It should be fun getting to know them. I am in the Hialeah area which i think is a suburb of Miami. I'm not too sure. The roads here are so confusing! I never know where we are going. We have a car since we live in the eastern part of our area and Elder Smith and I serve in the West. So haven't been able to ride the bike yet. But we're running low on miles for our car so we may have to the last few days of the month. Our apt is pretty good. Not super nice but not bad. There are 4of us there. All of us sleep in the same room. Then me and my comp have one bathroom and the others have one. And each companionship has a study area with our desks. I am doing good with blood sugars and stuff. Testing has been a little tough cuz I keep my pump in my backpack and don't always have it. 
The weather here is really nice. It's been pretty cloudy the whole time but that's good cuz it's not as hot or humid. It's perfect. Summer is gonna be rough. We had district training on Saturday at the chapel and when we were finished, there were some members there doing some stuff, a couple took me and my comp to cici's pizza. The Clempson-NC game was on and it made me miss home a lot and all the stuff that i use to do. But oh well. There are 2 wards in our area. One english and one spanish. If you haven't gotten my letter, I'm in a spanish area. It's really annoying cuz everyone speaks spanish so i just have to sit there while my comp talks to people. Church was really good yesterday. It was the primary program and it was combined. There were about 250 people in 2 wards. It's so weird. I felt right at home there, which was good. I've met a lot of great people too. In the ward and just people. It's weird thinking i'm a missionary. Being here for two years seems like a life time. It already feels llike i haven't been home in ages and it's only been a month. Maybe when i actually get to teach people in english it will get better. It was so amazing to hear your voices on tuesday, although it did make me want to hop on another plane and come home. I love you and miss you all like crazy.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Story Behind the Picture

During a conversation with a co-worker this past week, I determined she would be at the airport at roughly the same time as Jaren.  We joked about her finding him and she took a picture of a picture I had of Jaren on a book shelf in my office.  I never thought Marcie would find him.  I wasn't even sure of the airline or the exact time of his flight.  All I knew was that he was scheduled to leave the MTC at 3:00 am and we were to expect his call at sometime around 4:30 or 5:00.  We waited and waited for his call.  Finally, at around 10 minutes to six, my cell phone beeped.  I was not a call, but an email.  It was from Marcie.  In all the anticipation of getting a cal from Jaren, I had forgotten about Marcie's quest.  I opened the email and her message indicated that she had found him and that he said, "tell him I love him!"  Jaren called us later in the morning during his layover in Dallas.  Seems Jaren and the others in his room slept through the alarm and they missed their 3:00 bus and had to catch the next.  When Marcie found him and snapped the picture at 5:45, he had just checked his luggage, so they had to race to catch their flight.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

October 12, 2010

Classes here are so long, but time goes by fast, which is way good. The Lord really has sent so many blessings my way to get me through this time at the MTC.  We go to the temple every P-Day, which today is my last P-Day.  Next Tuesday I'll be in Florida!  I miss you guys so much!  I got my packages.  Thank you!  We're not home a lot so I don't get to eat a lot of it, but it's good for study time.  The food tastes better now.  There are like 2 or 3 meals a week I like a lot.  My testimony has grown a ton over the past two weeks.  Wow!  Two weeks? One of our "investigators" is really cool His name is Bobby and we act like we're in New Jersey at his home.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

First Word From our Missionary

Chad Lewis, who played for BYU and for the Eagles, came to speak at our Sunday Night Devotional.  He did amazing.  He spoke for a full 40 minutes.  He shared some awesome stories.  He served his mission in Taiwan and knows Chinese.  Since he was the only NFL player who knew Chinese, he is the NFL Ambassador for China.  He got to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa with Ted Bruschi, Jeff Fisher and 2 or 3 returned Marines.  He really inspired me.  It was crazy how long he spoke, but it didn’t even seem long.  After he spoke, we did an awesome musical number singing “Called to Serve.  The first verse we sang way quiet, like we were on the other side of a hill.  Then we sang the chorus medium, then the last part loud, then the last chorus way loud.  It was amazing seeing all those missionaries doing that.  I love the Lord.  I love you guys so much.  Thanks for all the letters.  I’m happy.  I love you and my girls (Heather, Hailey, V).  Pass my love along.