Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November 29 and a miracle!

Transfers are tomorrow so that's why p day is Tuesday. We get "the call" Monday night to tell us who is transferring and who is staying. So Tuesday is when the Elders who are leaving pack. Elder Furch is going home, so we'll have a new roommate. I'm gonna give him your info so he can meet you. I love him a lot and I'm sad he's leaving. For me, Thanksgiving was really good. We all bought pies on Monday (I bought a cheesecake) and we had them during weekly planning. It was still a normal missionary day. At 4 we went to a family who is an older couple in the Spanish ward here. Their kids were there too. One of the grandkids had the Dolphins game on so I got to watch that a bit which made me so happy ;). Right after that we went to another family's home and ate. I was so stuffed. But we were well fed. The next day, Friday, after district training with our zl's, Elder Furch and I went to Texas de Brazil with them. It's a super nice Brazilian steakhouse. Elder Munns is leaving too so he had the idea. It was amazing! Some of the best food ever. Oh, and guess where it is. Dolphin Mall right next to Buffalo wild Wings! It was so cool to be there. I got some pics so i'll send them soon. Thank you so much for the packages! They were great. Thanks for the ties. (V got me like the ugliest ties ever....) ha but i still loved it. Thank you. And thanks for the razor. it has really helped. I'm gonna grow out my mustache and see how long it takes for someone to say something. Just letting you know :)

So crazy story. Remember Jonathan? Everything was all set for him to be baptized on the 19th but his mom called us that morning at 8 saying that her brother died. So it had to be cancelled. Then we couldn't get in contact with her til Wednesday. She said she just wanted her son to be baptized so we did it last Friday, the 26th. It actually went very well for such short notice. Oh. And just a couple days ago, I think it was Sunday, we were harvesting, and before we said a prayer asking that we'd be an answer to someone's prayer. So we knocked this door and it's an older couple. And she's like, well anyone who comes in Christ's name is welcome in our home. So that was cool. We blessed their home and she's like, well actually earler today i was praying and asking God if he'd send someone here to help me strengthen my faith in Jesus Christ. She already had huge faith but that was really cool. I don't think she's necesarily interested in our message but it was a cool experience.
Welp... that's all I've got. So I love you all and miss you so much ;) byeeeeeeeee

An another (very exciting note), we were finally able to get a copy of "The News Story."  The background of this is this:

The day Elder Thorne arrived in South Florida, he was asked to write his testimony in and place a Book of Mormon. That night, he and the APs placed his Book of Mormon. Ten minutes later, a tornado hit the neighborhood. In the aftermath, a local news reporter interviewed the woman. Her story:

video

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 21

hi family
On Friday, there was a ward activity where we watched 'The Testaments'. It was so members could watch it and also bring lots of nonmembers. There was only about 2-3 investigators, but it was a really cool experience. The work has really struggled in the past couple weeks. Finding people is way hard. We keep praying to be put in the path of someone who is ready. Not much else to report on. I love you all.

We did get two additional tidbits via letters to Elder Thorne's sisters and a recording he sent this week.  He and his companion had the opportunity to teach early morning seminary last Friday morning.  He reports it was a great experience and he really appreciates that he was able to take released time during the day as he had to awake at 4:30 am in order to get there on time!  He related an experience that he and his companion were at a Ward Activity playing volleyball when a less active member asked to speak with them.  They met with him and he told them that he had, for the last several years reverted back to some of his old habits.  He had found himself now homeless and was living in the bushes at the church eating leaves and twigs from trees and shrubs.  They went home and brought him some of their food and sent him to seek help from a member of the ward.  The next day they went back and it appeared he had done just that. 

We received a few pictures, including this one of Jaren in action in the kitchen:

Monday, November 14, 2011

November 14

Hi familyyy

Today is p day once again. Right after emailing we go grocery shopping. We haven't done anything cool yet. We just get home after that, write letters and eat lunch then whatever personally. I try to take a nap. My week has been ok. Pretty hard. Thanks so much for the recording device. It helped a lot. It's annoying that barely anyone we talk to speaks english. I rarely get to teach anyone. Oh yeah. We had a fireside last night with Pres. Anderson and he showed the news story of the lady and the BOM. He said he'll email you the video so don't worry about that. I spoke in church yesterday. I'll send you it later today. It went well. The past 3-4 days during excersise time (at 6:30) we've played basketball. There's a hoop in the parking lot. That has felt good to play again. We didn't get any new investigators this week. It's super hard finding people. We did get two referrals however yesterday from a non member. Which is pretty exciting. He came with us to the fireside (you needed an investigator to be able to come), and he gave us 2 names. He would be baptized but he has a lot of repentance to go through i guess. He's such a sincere, amazing guy. Super nice. Very doctrinally sound. It's too bad. His wife is a member and she's like the happiest/nicest/most cheerful lady ever. Member's are beginning to feed us more. We had 2 lunches yesterday. We might have one tonight.. idk. But we have 2 or 3 this week. Hopefully they'll have sweet investigators. Who speak english.. ha. For thanksgiving we are going to a members home. idk who. But I know we're going somewhere. This is super hard but I know it's where I'm supposed to be. I've grown a lot. Oh yeah we set a baptismal date with this Salvadorian named Renee. They met him before I got here and we couldn't get a chance to visit him til just last week. The first question he asked (he speaks spanish..) was, "Do i have to get baptized to be a member of your church?" haha. He only had a Restoration pamphlet that he has read and he likes it a lot. He wants to change his life and his heart def was softened when we were talking to him. Hopefully that goes through (Dec. 10). So.. Hope all is well back at home. Tell everyone I love them. Take care of Jasmine. I hope to see her again.. Man it was cold on Saturday. All the way down to 65... haha I love you guys. byeeeee

In addition to Jaren's email, we received a picture and the following text from a member:

Thanks for sharing your sweet son! He gave a fabulous talk in Sacrament Meeting on the B of M. He's a wonderful person. We enjoyed his company at dinner yesterday. Thanks for sharing Elder T with us! We send our love. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Letter after the emails...

Remember how I gave out a Book of Mormon on my first night here? Well a tornado hit that area just a litlle bit later. The lady I gave the BOM to was on the news later. The 2 houses on either side of her were destroyed. In my testimony I wrote on the front pages "This book will protect you..." she was protected by my BOM! There was a story on the news about it and they showed my handwriting on TV! Pres. Anderson emailed us about it and the zone leaders told me it was mine. Crazy huh! Really shows you the power of the scriptures.

Oh, and on Tuesday night, we were out harvesting ("Harvesting the Field"...So the approach is set, we knock, introduce ourselves, say "We're representatives of Jesus Christ, and he has sent us here to leave his peace and blessing in your home, can we come in and do that"? Elder Smith) at about 5:30 we were knocking doors and we're walking from a door when we see 2 people speed walking by (towards the opposite direction, where we had already knocked) so we chase them down about 3 houses and they just told us to go away. So we turn around and see this lady on her porch. (We knocked her house but no one answered). So we went up and talked to her. Her name is Irma and she was investigating the church in Minnesota like 20-30 years ago. She was close to being baptized but her little boy got sick. She wanted him to be baptized because she knew he wouldn't make it. But he was too young. She had stop going to church to take care of him. He died a month or two later. She lost contact with them and moved here. She still has a strong testimony. We showed her that all kids who die before 8 go to heaven. It's incredible the timing though. We chase down those joggers and she's out there right then. We asked her to be baptized the 19th. But she said she doesn't know if she's ready since it's been so long. But she will soon.

Missionary work is great. Very tough, but great. Thanks for everything you guys do. I love you and miss you a ton. Love, Elder Thorne

Monday November 7

So the bishop pushed back Jonathan's baptism for the 19th, not because of Jonathan, just scheduling I guess. So it'll be then. We commited 3 more people to baptism and we are planning to extend a commitment today! Patricia and her daughter Alejandra have a strong spirit. Alejandra is 15 and is preparing to be baptized Dec. 3rd. We're gonna ask her mom today too. We just met them on like Tuesday and they are very receptive. That should go well. It's been a pretty good week. Very busy. All the days just blend together. It's super weird. The weather here is amazing. 70-80 every day and at least once a day, the sun and clouds meet and it looks like it could be the second coming.. haha it's beautiful. The Braithwaites were out of town yesterday so that's why you didn't get a text. But we had lunch at Bro and Sis Russ's house. He's the ward mission leader and an awesome guy. We have meal appts almost every day this week thanks to him. So that's awesome. Everyone in the wards are way way nice. I love them all. They always joke around with me cuz I'm latino and can't speak spanish haha. But it's all fun. Tell the fam I love them. I love you guys and miss you.

From Elder Smith thru his mom:
I don't know if I said it last time, or maybe it was a few times ago, but the Elder Thorne placed a Book of Mormon with the assistants the night he got here, and 10 minutes later a tornado touched down in Plantation and dominated the area, including both houses on each side of the house that he left the Book of Mormon with his testimony in it. But the house that received the missionaries and the Book of Mormon was totally unharmed. And the lady who owns it testified on camera of the truthfulness and protective power of the Book of Mormon - not a member (yet). Super cool. Don't know if it'd be on Google for you, apparently the Miami news network covered it. (Not to sure, don't watch much TV!). So yeah, basically my companion is a super star and they need to make a mormon.org video about it or something. Hahah (= lots of awesome.