Monday, August 26, 2013

"Did God send you here?"

Hi family.

   Kind of a crazy week.
    We went down to Fort Laud this week and the best thing about going down to Fort Lauderdale is going to BBQ King. The BEST pulled pork sandwich you'll ever have. With fries and a drink for $6.89. Ah. Love it. A must go when we come back to Fort Laud. But that was fun. I absolutely love Fort Lauderdale so so much.
     Yesterday was full of miracles. The rest of the week was ok. On Friday, we went on exchange with the other Jupiter elders. I stayed in South with Elder “T” (I mentioned him in my last email because he asked if I told you that he's from Roy. As a joke. So I did haha). We started out the day by going and eating lunch at Sister “G's!” She's the best. She's 75 and has read the BoM 79 times! She makes the best food too. Ah man, her cole slaw is to die for. I got the recipe :) I'll try to send it home today. (Also, side note. I'm going to start sending stuff home today, so if I could get some money to do that.. :) thanks). Sister “G” has us over every week we have the car because she lives super far away from us. I love her a lot. We eat out on her back patio since she's a widow. It's so good. After that, we went and picked up “MJ.” He's an awesome old guy in the ward. He loves coming out with the missionaries. I had no idea since no one told me, but it was a great experience. Nobody was home.. But it was a lot of fun. We stopped off at Wendy's to end our exchange with him. The day wasn't over however. We went down to the apt complex where a recent convert lives, and started harvesting. We walked over to the building that we were going to start off with. We knocked on one door, no one was home. We looked around, and I see a building all the way across the complex, and point to it saying, "We need to go there". It wasn't some crazy manifestation of the Spirit or some compelling force leading us over there, it just felt good. It looked cool. So we head over there, walk around the lake in the middle of the complex. As we are getting up to the building, a man was walking out of the building. Elder “T” thought to himself (he told me later), "We need to talk to this guy". He said he thought that right as I started speeding up to talk to him. We introduce ourselves and ask if we can leave a blessing with him. He says of course. Elder “T” asks if we can do it in his home with his whole family and he agrees and walks us up two flights of stairs to his apartment. There was “T” (the guy), then his mom and 4 other little kids. Elder “T” leaves the blessing and before saying 'amen', he blessed them, " know that we were sent by Jesus Christ.." After the amen, we look up and the mother said, with tears in her eyes, "Did God send you here?"    Yes He did “J,” Yes He did. They accepted baptism right off the bat, and are super excited to have these blessings in their life!
    So yesterday, we got a new ward mission leader. Bro “M” got released and is now the 2nd counselor in the bishopric! Super cool. And Brother “C” is the new Ward Mission Leader. He and his wife recently returned from a mission in Russia. He's pretty cool. We had a meeting with him and Sister “C” (who got called as a ward missionary) after church. We got home and ate, and afterwards, I got a huge headache. Like one of the worst I've ever had. We talked a little bit about what we wanted to teach our investigators later that day (I was laying on the couch). It's bike week (UGH) so we thought we might as well use the new guy and have him take us out so my head wouldn't be rattling around all night. He said yes and came and got us. We first went and saw this teenage girl “N”who has been coming to church for forever. Just hasn't agreed to be baptized. It was a good lesson and we made some head way with her. She prayed about Thomas S. Monson and for help to decide to be baptized. Then we saw and taught a super awesome lady that has a date for the 8th. As we came out of her apt (same complex as before), we saw a big couch on the side walk with a guy and 3 ladies standing by. We offered to help them take it up to their place. Took it all the way up to the 3rd floor. We then offered a blessing, which they readily accepted. After the blessing, Trelaine (the guy) was so happy. You could just tell he felt the Spirit super strong. His response to baptism, church and a return appt "Anything to feel like this all the time!"
     Super cool. Love you. K bye. 
Elder JR Thorne   

Week of August 19

So we're teaching this way awesome girl named “H.” She's the girlfriend of “A,” I don’t know if I've mentioned him yet. Elder “S,” had served in Jupiter South and he was on exchanges here a couple weeks ago. He wanted to stop by someone he taught while he was here, “A.” “A” was going through a very rough point in his life at that point, and didn't really want to meet with the missionaries.. Last Friday, we were on exchanges again, I was here with Elder “B,” we went to go see them. “H” was there and we went in and taught her about the Savior and had such a powerful spiritual experience with her. She doesn't really have a huge belief in God, but she started crying because of how good she felt. We constantly expressed our love and how we were there to help. She totally loved that, actually gave me a big hug before we left.. haha. Now she's pretty solid. It's just been kinda hard to meet with her since though.. We have had good contact through phone :)

     There's an awesome Venezuelan family in the ward named the “C” family. They just moved from Utah, and the dad was baptized at the beginning of the transfer by the other elders. And oh man do they make some amazing food. She used to work at Cafe Rio actually. Anyway, they have a chubby little boy named “F.” This is him:

Little cutie right there. He just came and plopped himself down right next to me and took my tag haha. 

     Welp, I'm staying in Jupiter South for my dying transfer.. Elder “M” is leaving though. So I get to go to transfer meeting :) I don’t know what else to say.. That's about it. We went bowling again last week :) I got a 198. I was so mad I didn't break 200, but it was all good. It's surprising since I haven't been in so long. We're going to the lighthouse today. And maybe bowling again. I love you! Bye!

Monday, August 5, 2013


Biggest news from the mission world is that back packs are now forbidden, and we must wear shoulder bags. Elder “M” and I found some good satchels at TJ Maxx. We first went to the mall; we actually had to bike because we were out of miles and the other elders didn't have enough to come down to pick us up.. So we biked to the mall (it's a really nice mall over here), and went all over trying to find good shoulder bags. Well no one had any that were good, and the good ones were all at least $150.. Every time we'd ask an employee if they had shoulder bags for men, they would give us a weird look and then tell us no. Ha. It was kind of funny. We were at the mall for like 2 hours trying to find these flippin’ bags. Finally we asked someone if they knew of a place that would have them. The guy told us that TJ Maxx or Ross should, and that they are just down PGA Blvd. So we left the mall and headed east on PGA. We found the TJ Maxx, started in the purse section (I was so ready to just buy a woman's purse at this point), then we headed to the men's and they had small shoulder bags over there! So we got us some pretty sweet satchels. Elder “T” and Elder “B” got some bigger bags. But I know, I look pretty good.
    The “M's” are doing well. We saw them a couple times this past week, mainly just stop by's and answering questions or dropping something off. We feel like as much contact as possible will help them progress more. Man, they are so cool. They know everything, it's just a matter of them making the choice to be baptized. Sometimes people reach a point where they don't really see the importance of  or how many blessings will come to their lives as they are baptized. They just need to take the step of faith and do it. Actually dad, remember the article you sent me about BYU's athletic director? I gave that to them, I hope it will help. We're pulling out all the stops. We even gave her a copy of "Jesus the Christ"! I mean, come on! How prepared can you be?..
     I've been reflecting a lot this past 8 months, and especially this past couple weeks, on "Remembering". I don't think there's any more caring and repeated counsel throughout the scriptures, especially in the Book of Mormon, than that to "remember". 'Have ye retained in remembrance..?' Alma asks frequently in Alma 5. Helaman counsels his sons to remember, remember in Helaman 5. Nephi remembers who he had trusted and who had delivered him from his enemies in his poetic psalm in 2nd Nephi 4. And King Benjamin, in his "angelically delivered sermon", calls us to 'remember and perish not'. If you don't remember, you forget. Sometimes remembering the good is the only thing you have when times are tough. Sometimes a good memory is an answer to a prayer. When God has given you an answer to a prayer, and we ask again and again, it's kinda like when He talks to Oliver Cowdery, (in essence, of course) "I already told you. You already felt the Spirit confirm to you that it's true. Remember?" If we're not willing to remember the good, and if we just forget how good something is and we let ourselves forget, then we show God that important things don't matter. We let the little unimportant things take up most of our time. Remembering is a vital part of our growth and a huge part of God's plan for each and every one of us. For me, it's remembering everything that I've gained on my mission because of the struggles. It's remembering my sacred experience of having God's love given to me by an angel. Most of the time, that is the thing that gets me through my trials and troubles even to this day. It's been amazing to study these things out and especially apply "remembering" to my life. There's a talk by Elder Marlin K. Jensen that I printed and am going to read later on, I exhort that you all do the same. 
    I wish I had more to report on. Like always, we have some people that we're working with. We're struggling finding but I know it will happen. 
     Welp.. I miss you all like crazy. I can't believe the time is coming up. I love you all so much! Oh, and I told Hailey that I might not get an iPhone. So if you're planning to surprise me with those things (especially that Camaro.. :) haha), don't get the iPhone yet. And maybe not a laptop. I'm having a RC hook me up with some programs like AutoCad and Photoshop (Thank you for South Florida ;)), but it might just be for desktops. I love you guys! Bye!
Elder JR Thorne