Monday, March 27, 2017

Last Family Letter


Well everyone. This is it. I can't believe that I am writing my final email as a missionary right now. If you want the real "juice" and everything I learned as a missionary then you probably won't ever get it. Well, you can sorta get a little now, and a little bit more at my homecoming talk (Date and time TBA). But I have learned a lot more than 18 months of scripture mastery and teaching skills. I feel like my spirit has aged a lifetime since I started my mission. I don't think that I'll look very different to any of you (rather than plumping up a bit, perhaps). But I know that the Lord has totally remade me on the inside. C.S. Lewis said, “Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of—throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace." 

I've learned many things about myself as a missionary. The most important discovery I made, is that it IS possible to offer your whole soul to the Savior. I really didn't think I could let go of the world. I spent the first weeks wondering how I would ever get my left foot "out of Babylon", until I gained a testimony of the truth that has been taught to me for so long! That we are not human beings having an earthly experience, we are spiritual beings, filled with light and intelligence, having an earthly experience! This being said, how could following the voice of the spirit and tuning out evil be counter-intuitive? It may be painful at first, but it IS THE EASIEST WAY! I testify that we can give our whole souls as an offering to Christ. In the Book of Moses, Chapter 5 verse 6, an angel appears to Adam and Eve, asking why they were offering the firstlings of their flocks.

"Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me. And then the angel spake saying: This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father, which is full of grace and truth. Wherefore, thou shall do all that thou doest in the name of the Son, and thou shall repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore." 

I have had more joy than I could have ever imagined possible as a missionary. It has been the most incredible and life changing 18 months of my life so far, because it has been the first time that I have done everything in the name of the Son. I know that he lives, and I pray that the joy I have found will guide me as I work to do all that I do in the same of the "Only Begotten of the Father, who is full of grace and truth."

Here is a little picture of Kevin's baptism on Saturday. What a beautiful way to end this mission. As soon as he was baptized, he changed into his basketball clothes to play ball with the young men after the service! Literally brought tears to my eyes! I love this boy so much. 

I love you all more than I can say, and I can't wait to see you again! Thank you for your encouragement and prayers!! Gotta go because it is so embarrassing to cry at public libraries!


Sister Thayne..... signing out.... *single tear rolls down her cheek*

Monday, March 13, 2017

SICKEST MIRACLE LAST NIGHT!!

WHAT IS UP!?!? I am so excited for this email, because I finally found a camera cord, which means that you all can enjoy a lot of pictures, and I don't have to write as much! A picture is worth a thousand words, I think, so it balances out! 

Karch was baptized on Saturday! It is amazing what the gift of the Holy Ghost can do to help a 9 year old. From our last lesson before his baptism, to our first new member lesson the next night, he was like a totally different person! Telling us his favorite thing about the Plan of Salvation, sharing with us what he learned in primary, etc. There is not a person on this world who doesn't need that Holy Ghost!

Speaking of which, we had the SICKEST MIRACLE LAST NIGHT!! We were driving down the road, and we saw "Promise Court" and said, "Why that looks promising, doesn't it!?" We pulled over and knocked on Thomas' door. There was no female home, but he came outside in the freezing cold to talk with us. We asked if we could open with a prayer, and I prayed that the Holy Spirit would attend us as we talked. After we said "Amen" he looked at us with tear-filled eyes and asked why the holy ghost didn't seem to stay with him. He said he could occasionally feel it's presence, but it would soon leave, and he could feel the void. In almost 18 months, I have never had somebody point this out to me on their own, in such clear words. We showed him (on his iPad, of course) the new first vision video called "Let him ask of God." If you haven't seen it yet, go watch it right now and then continue reading later! He was literally bawling afterwords, telling us that he had recently gotten divorced and his kids wanted nothing to do with him. He said he'd been praying for redemption, and to feel the Holy Ghost daily. He immediately recognized that the missionaries visiting him was an answer to his prayers. This is what the hynm" Ye Elders of Israel" was talking about when it says, " and seek out the righteous, wherever they may be." Good man, bad man, rich man, poor man, doesn't matter. We are all alike to Christ. My mission president recently reminded us, "If a good man is not repentant, he is a wicked man. If a bad man is repenting, he is a righteous man." We have been commanded to go out into the world, and seek out the "righteous" or those who have repentant hearts, regueardless of if they appear to hunger for the gospel or not. I am so grateful for my opportunity to meet these men and women (and children) who have humble hearts, ready to RECIEVE the gospel.

I love you all so much! Stay righteous! 

Sister Thayne

 BACK IN B-MORE


KARCH'S BAPTISM!!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Miracle-Filled Week!

Hey there everyone!! We had such a miracle-filled week! 

  • Our investigator Karch is getting baptized on the 11th of this month! He is such a little stud! I will do my best to find my camera cord and send a picture of his baptism next week! 

  • I gave my final testimony to the other missionaries last week at zone conference. soooooo weird. I remember the missionaries who gave their testimonies my first transfer said they wanted to switch places with the greenies. I was like, "uhhhh.... no probably a lie." But I really know what they mean by that now. 

  • Had dinner with a family who's 6 year old came in clutch with some good dinner conversation:

"You wanna know one of the reasons I feel bad for missionaries? They can't watch movies for 2 years, and then when they get home, nobody cares about the movies they want to see." true. true. 

"So... the kids go to primary, the teenagers go to Young Womens, and the adults go to Relief Society... So where do you guys go?" Don't worry kid, I actually wonder how and when I wound up in relief society myself!

  • We picked up another mother-daughter investigator duo! Their names are Emma and Judy. Mother-daughter duos are my favorite to teach! They've been one of the great joys of my mission! Maybe it just hits home because I am a daughter who has a mother? WHo knows! Baltimore is the single mother capital of the world, so I taught a lot then, and the rest of my mission has followed the same pattern!  They are very open-minded and they LOVED hearing about the Joseph Smith experience. We are visiting again this week to read the Book of Mormon with them. 

  • MIRACLE/MISSION GOAL ACCOMPLISHED!! We taught a lady named Laquisha and had one of the most powerful lessons of my mission. I've made it a personal goal to testify boldly of the savior and his commandments at every opportunity, and when I testifed to Laquisha, she said, " I know this is going to sound weird, because you are you, but I just heard God talking to me through you." That right there has been my ultimate goal throughout my mission, to testify with so much conviction that the spirit could speak right through me. It was really a miracle to hear her say that and know that just by doing my small part, the Lord can multiply my efforts and make miracles happen in other's lives. 
I want you all to know that I really do have a testimony of the power and divinity of Christ. He is the most powerful being in all the universe, his power and light is what is making my heart beat right this very moment, and yet, he knows and loves me personally. He also knows and loves every person in this public library with me right now. What an incredible truth. I challenge each of you to share that with someone this week, BECAUSE THEY NEED TO KNOW!!!

Love you all!! 

Sister Thayne

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

40 Day Fast

THIS IS GOING TO BE AN AWESOME TRANSFER!! All I know is that this area is GREAT, Sister Olsen, GREAT and I'm feeling GREAT!! Sister Olsen picked me up Wednesday, and it has been a party! The sisters here have a pretty good teaching pool going, but haven't been able to contact anyone, so we are working hard on our finding. Something we are starting this week is a 40 day fast. Not the kind that Jesus did, but where someone from the ward will be fasting everyday for 40 consecutive days. The idea comes from Alma 6:6-

"Nevertheless, the children of God were commanded that they should gather themselves together oft, and join in fasting and mighty prayer in behalf of the welfare of the souls who knew not God." 

I've learned on my mission that fasting and prayer combined is one of the most powerful ways to enlist the help of heaven. With the entire ward joining together and fasting for missionary opportunities in this area, I am 100% confident that miracles will follow! Hopefully Heavenly Father will sprinkle some of those blessings a little sooner than the end of the 40 days, because I won't even be here?? Trunky??

Both Sister Olsen and I have lost the cords to our cameras... So pictures are on and indefinite hold. BUT she is tall blonde and has green eyes! That plus the "Sister" name tags have everyone asking us if we are twins! 

You all are in my prayers! Hope you have a beautiful week!

Sister Thayne

Monday, February 13, 2017

Happy Valentines Day EVE!!

Happy Valentines Day EVE!! Hope your days are all filled with love and sweetness!

SO! For my last transfer, I will be...... (DRUMROLL PLEASE).... leaving Winchester!!! I am going to Columbia, Maryland! It is about 20 minutes away from my first area, and about 15-20 minutes away from Baltimore! I am really excited to be back in the center of the mission again! Right next to the mission president! My companion will be Sister Olsen, who is also going home this transfer.. Little strange, but I really love her, and I know we will have a lot of fun! I leave on Wednesday to head to Columbia! 

The highlight of my week was attending stake conference this weekend. As I've said several times, I've been serving in the Winchester Stake for the last 14 months of my mission! So getting to see the members and recent converts from Front Royal, Berryville, and Winchester wards right before leaving was just perfect. Here are some updates with some of my recent converts I was able to see there!

Tim (Berryville) was sustained an Elder in the Melchizedek priesthood at stake conference. He has his application in for BYUI and hopefully will be heading out west soon! 

Shellie (Front Royal) is doing great, but just had surgery on a blood clot in her arm. She has 10 stitches holding it together. 

Tori (Front Royal, Shelly's daughter) is doing well too! She wasn't there because she is playing college softball in Princess Anne Maryland, but she is doing well in the ward there and goes out with the sisters there regularly. 

Maria (Front Royal) is getting ready to go to the temple in June! She STILL hasn't told her Mom that she was baptized. Her mom is about 90, and lives in Ohio and is the catholic equivalent to a senior missionary. 

Elizabeth: Still doing awesome! Now has a second calling in addition to being a young womens leader. She is the activity days leader! She said she is thrilled because it is giving her a chance to participate in the programs she missed out on in her childhood.

William, Wanda, George: Still good!

Tony: Unfortunately,  I didn't see there (Berryville), but had a cool experience this week! We went to teach a new investigator, Julie. We were getting to know her a bit and she told us that she grew up right outside of DC. I asked if she'd seen our temple there (it's a major landmark because you can see it from the freeway. Everyone knows what it is) and she called out to her mom in the other room, "Is that where Tony went yesterday, Mom!?" And then her mom yells back, "Yeah!! He was getting baptized for his deceased ancestors!" So Tony lives about an hour away from these women, so I was SHOCKED that they know him! Turns out, he shuttles a bunch of people to and from work everyday, and they are some of the people that he offers rides to. He has been teaching them about the church every day on their way to work, and even brought a picture of the baptismal font to show them! That's why they had let us in in the first place. GOOD JOB TONY!!!!

I have LOVED Virginia, and I am so sad to leave, but excited for a new experience! Can't wait to  update you on what the new area is like. I've only heard good things!

Love,

Sister Thayne

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Stay Tuned!



Hey everyone! This week was great, but seeing that I am out of time, y'all are getting nothin' but pictures! Included: New hair, leadership stuff, and temple week!!

Stay tuned next week to find out where I'm spending my last transfer...

Love,

Sister Thayne




Monday, January 30, 2017

MIA

Hello everyone! Sorry for being MIA lately! We've just had some pretty busy preparation days lately!! Here are the highlights from the last two weeks:

1. The Rodriguez family (Sarah and Kayla) are on date for the 25th of February. 

2. I cut 8 inches off my hair. FREE AT LAST!! (Picture next week)

3. We get to go to the temple this Friday.

4. We had a worldwide broadcast this last week that changed the missionary schedule slightly. We now get to plan in the morning instead of right when we get home. This might not seem like a big deal to you, but it is EVERYTHING TO ME!!!! This week was like TROPICAL PARADISE getting to just go right to sleep when you get home. Thanks, Tommy.

5. I had interviews with President, and he always tells me what he's going to do with transfers (I'm his favorite) but this time, NOTHING. And it's the only time I have really cared because it's my last transfer, and I want to know where I'm going to die (my missionary death). You wanna know what he said? "So Sister Thayne... Your last transfer you'll..... Well, I think I'll talk to you about that in a couple of weeks." -___-  Thank you. I'm not worried in the slightest. 

I hope you all have a great week! I've been neglecting to take pictures, but I will send our mission photo, taken at the Christmas conference. Excuse the sweater, but it IS the Baltmore mission. (I'm sitting down in the front)

Love you!!

Sis. Thayne

(I had to take this picture from a picture on the computer because it was sent on a PDF and I couldn't add it here.  Sorry the resolution isn't great, but we sure can see that HAPPY HOLLA DAYS shirt!  Sure Love Sister Thayne!)