Monday, December 23, 2013

Brasil WEEK 6

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! Feliz Natal! :)
Today we had a big meeting with the entire mission for Christmas, It was so awesome! How very blessed we are to have Presidente e Sister Pinho leading our mission. Pres. Pinho bore the most powerful testimony/expressed his love for us- He said that we are his children, and he expects an invite to each of our marriages, children's baptisms, etc. He said that when we have our own children and they are baptized and TRULY CONVERTED, this is true success to him and Sis. Pinho. He also emphasized how real it is that the Lord chose each of us to be His representatives in this mission at this time. I felt the truth of this so strongly... I also felt this yesterday when 3 of our investigators were baptized!!!!! :) :) :) Wahoo!!! Luciano (the RS president's husband) was baptized before church, and after Queteria and her son Dennis were baptized- one of her other sons, Kelvin, was all ready to be baptized but at the last second he didnt do it because he has a fear of water (he is 9). But we are going to try again this Sat. :) I will attach a picture of them to this email- Words cannot even begin to describe the feelings that were felt seeing these children of our Loving Father entering the waters of baptism. I will tell all details when I skype you all this week!
This is what missionary work is all about, helping others come unto the Savior so that they can enjoy the fruits of living the His gospel. I love the Lord and know that every baptism that "we" have is not really ours, it's always HIS, the one who made all of this possible- the Salvation and Redemption of souls. How honored I feel this Christmas to not only remember my Savior, but to represent Him.
I love you all and will see and talk to you soon!!!! :) Tchau for now!
Sister Katie Thornhill

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Brasil Week 5

"The powers of heaven are real and can dramatically influence the course of events in our lives." (I think Bruce R. McConkie said this)
How true this is! I see it happen in each of our investigator's lives as we find them (or even better, members refer them to us..), we teach them by the Spirit about the restored gospel, and they come unto Christ in faith, repent and are baptized. Lives are changed! Souls are saved!!! Generations to come are blessed! How glorious. This week was sooooo wonderful. Emails don't do these weeks of miracles justice. This week, Marilando had his baptismal interview and will be baptized this Sat! He still struggles with smoking, but is trying and we have faith this week we will see the end of it. He loves the Book of Mormon and knows it is true. Please pray for him that he will be ready for his baptism this week! Luciano will also be baptized this week- the whole ward is thrilled about it because its the primary president's husband. And most importantly, HE is soooo excited to be baptized. Speaking of primary, yesterday the ward put on a primary program in sacrament meeting and they asked me to be the pianist- I was super nervous but it turned out to be great. The Spirit was so strong during the program- The Spirits being sent to the earth at this time are truly special ones, and that was very evident yesterday as some of them (primary age!) bore their testimonies. Mara was at church yesterday as well! Wahoo!! She is what you would call a golden investigator. After the sundy school lesson about the plan of salvation, she told us, "Sisters, I want to be baptized." :)
Now that we are finally feeling more comfortable getting to know our area (that is huge!!), the work is speeding up and we are really excited about it. This week we found 2 families- Queteria and her 3 boys (they were at church yesterday!), and a couple- Vania and Welington. I will tell you more about them next week, but I realized this week more than ever that the Lord really does lead us to these people. We had fasted that day we found and taught both. Fasting is a way we can receive the powers of heaven more in our lives, and I saw this come to pass in a very real way this week.
I love these people, and I love seeing the Hand of God work in each of their lives! How glorious!
I hope you have a wonderful week, and I am reeeally excited to talk to you on Christmas, wahooo!!!! Tchau for now!
Sister Katherine Elizabeth Thornhill
P.S. A picture of Bia, a young woman in our ward who loves teaching with us- Future missionary! We love her!!

Brasil Week 4

Wahoo, this week was great! One of our investigators with a baptismal date, Luciano, is doing wonderfully. He was at church yesterday, and was also at a baptism the elders had. What wonderful opportunities to feel the Spirit of the Lord in preparation for his own baptism. We had a lesson with him last night, and with every commitment we extended to him, his immediate reply was, "com certeza" (in English its like a firm "of course" or certainly). He is so ready and has a sincere desire follow Christ, and it is so wonderful to see. We also have another person with a baptismal date, Marilando- He is great as well, but is having a hard time with smoking. We had a powerful lesson with him yesterday after church with two members of the Priesthood quorum- the Spirit of the Lord was there. I LOVE working alongside members- Its so very true what Pres. Hinckley said about anyone who knows missionary work, knows that there is a better and higher way than simply tracting- and this way is through the members of the church! Yesterday Sister Hamburgo and I gave a stack of pass-along cards to 2 youth-aged boys, and they went around contacting people on the streets- soo awesome! Oh another investigator we have, as of just yesterday is Mara. She is amazing! We were truly led to find her- she was a contact on the street! She came to church for the first time yesterday and loved every bit of it. She said its very different than anything she has experienced before, but that she felt peace and happy there. She is the sweetest older lady- when she hugs us its like she doesnt want to let go haha- She always tells us, "I just love you so much!" Truthfully, the love she feels around us and at church is the love the Lord has for her. But we love her too! We visited her last night and she had made us a cake.
I could go on and on about the people we are serving here, and teaching the restored gospel to. How special each one of them is to our Heavenly Father. And because of this, He sent His Son Jesus Christ. It is His work and His glory, and how grateful and honored I feel to have a part (as small as it may be) in helping to bring this to pass. I am learning sooo much here on a mission, I can't believe it. I pray everyday to have only a desire to serve these special children of God- to serve with ALL I have. I love the Lord, and I love being in His service!!!
I love all of you very very much!
Sister Katie Thornhill

Monday, December 2, 2013


All right family, this week is going to be a shorter email, the internet is really slow today and having problems. Sorry about that! But I'm doing great! :)
I am loving life. You know you're loving your mission when the thought of ever leaving gets you teary eyed. I love it here- everything about it! (okay maybe not the toilets..) This is the most important work there is, the SALVATION OF SOULS!!! It is a great honor and privelege to be serving here among these wonderful people in Braziil. How do I deserve to be so very blessed? I am a full-time missionary! Of course this was the Lord's plan for me- this is confirmed to me each and every day. This was always part of the plan. It is amazing to me how great and marvelous His plan is for each person! Every single person on the earth is a child of God. And He has a very specific, glorious plan for each of us!
This last week we worked hard and although we haven't seen huge results yet, we know our work is acceptable to the Lord and we will see the fruit of our labors soon enough. Last night we had a miracle! We taught the husband of the ward primary president who is a non-member, and he wants to be baptized! His name is Luciano. He meets every qualification for baptism (D&C 20:37) and we are so excited and happy for Him to enter into the covenant of baptism- and what a blessing for this wonderful sweet primary president! They will soon be able to be sealed eternally.
I love the Lord. I love His Gospel. Eu sei que a igreja de Jesus Cristo dos Santos dos Últimos Dias é Seu Igreja na terra hoje. Que benção!!! I love all of you and thank you for your prayers and love! Christmas is just around the corner and I can hardly wait to see and talk to you (skype)! Boa semana para vocês!
Sister Katie Thornhill

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Olá!!! Minha querida família,
My first week in Brazil has been BOM DE MAIS! (reeeally good)!!! I still can't believe I'm here. Nothing here as far as the culture goes is really familiar, but I strangely feel right at home! I can't tell you how good it feels to be here- It is humbling to know that Heavenly Fathercalled me to serve His children here. I don't speak the language well yet, and I know I have soo many weaknesses, but He loves His children SO much that he puts His trust in us to assist the Lord in this great and marvelous work- It truly is a labor of love... and I LOVE it! The people here are wonderful!! I know that I was to serve in Arizona and in a way I didn't want to leave- I loved serving the people there in Mesa. But now that I am here in the place I was called to, oh, it is the greatest feeling of peace in knowing I'm exactly where the Lord needs me at this time. But enough about me.The work here is really going- Sister Hamburgo and I are a new set of missionaries to this area so we are both trying to get to know the area, the people, the ward, etc. The area we are serving in is called Chacara Santana. I don't know how to describe it but there are a lot of people here. Our district has a goal of 50 contacts everyday, so we talk to everyone.:) The people here are wonderful like I said- Even if they aren't interested in our message, they still listen and are super nice. Yesterday was our first Sunday going to church in this ward, and the ward members are awesome! Just to give you an idea of how selfless and goodhearted the people are here, the RS president came with us teaching for an entire day!! I couldn't believe it. Members are so so important. Do you know who the missionaries are in your ward/stake? You should go out teaching with them! :) Miracles are happening. Just the other day we met with a family and extended the baptismal commitment to the mother and son who were there in the lesson- they didn't want to. Then walked in her other little son who is 9 years old, Milton, and he was carrying a Book of Mormon in his hands! He said that the elders had given it to him and he read part of it and knows it's true, and wants to be baptized! A miracle.
There are many like little Milton who are ready and waiting to receive the restoredgospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I know the message we share with the world, the restoration of His gospel, is true. I know that we are living in the last days, and it has been said that it compares to the days of Joseph Smith- we live in a very important time! Never forget that. YOU were sent by our loving heavenly father at this special time, and you have great purpose.
I love you all so very much, and pray for you everyday! We went to the temple the other day (São Paulo) and it was glorious! How blessed we are to have temples and for the opportunity it is to make promises with our Heavenly Father.
Boa semana para vocês!
Sister Katie Thornhill


Dear family,

 I am in Sao Paulo Brasil!! I don´t have much time today other than to let you know that I am here safe- I got here yesterday and I am LOVING IT! The language is coming, the culture is so different here. But I know the Lord is with me. I know I have been called by a prophet of God to be here. Getting my visa IS a miracle, I still can~t believe it. But I know I am supposed to be here- The people are wonderful- I have never been kissed on the cheek so many times haha- Thats how women say hello to each other here, even if you don~t know them. We had district and zone meetings today which was SO great. In the mission now there is a focus on reaching out to the one. My companion is Sister Hamburgo, she is from Salvador, Brasil. She is bom de mais!!! (very good). Life is wonderful, no need to worry about me. I hope everything is going well with all of you! I LOVE YOU!!!

Sister Thornhill

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Mesa, AZ WEEK 4

Dear Family,

The work is moving forward and as always, I'm loving it. I continue to be impressed every week with the members and how willing they are to help us. Yesterday Sister Sallstrom and I taught Relief Society in one of our wards and we did a roleplay with them, and tried to show them that it's really not scary to come with us to lessons! It really is essential at this time when the work of the Lord is hastening that members and missionaries work together. Our stake president said yesterday that in the past we, in a way, viewed missionaries going down one road, members down another. But now, the Lord is changing our view- And that view is members and missionaries on the same road. The work of the Lord truly is hastening. I feel it everyday, and it seems that this feeling even magnifies with every passing week- the members are feeling it too, and it's so exciting! The time is short really, and so we should always have a sense of urgency to be about our Heavenly Father's business.

Sometimes when I stop and think about it, it's still crazy to me that I am serving a mission! I don't care where I am- Arizona or Brazil - The Lord calls each of us where we are needed (to who we are needed), when we are needed. Every P-day we spend our day with a wonderful member family, the Lomax's. They are an older couple and they treat us as if we are their grandchildren- we even have a key to their house. Sister Lomax always says things like, "Anytime you need, whatever you need, even if it's 3:00 in the morning, you're welcome here!" They truly understand what it means to consecrate yourself to the Lord. They are wonderful we love them! The first week I was here Sister Lomax after finding out that I wasn't 19 said, "I would think you would be at home married and with a few kids!" It was funny because that's what I've always thought would have happened by now, but the Lord had a different plan for me. And how grateful I am! I know that I will be a wife and mother someday, I know it! Because I know that I am a daughter of God and that His Plan is perfect and more glorious than we can imagine. Only He knows the end from the beginning, and we must trust in His plan for us and His timing, because it IS perfect. Gordon B. Hinckley said: "Today many sisters are being called to serve. Many more are preparing to serve- not because they aren't married or don't have anything else to do, but they have desired to serve. One reason that the Lord wants more sisters to serve is because within the next generation He will send His Priesthood army to the earth. He wants to send choice spirit children to mothers who have been prepared, trained and taught in the gospel. What better schooling can a mother have than the experience and growth she gains through serving a mission."

As always, I love Sister Sallstrom and she has many strengths as a person, and as a missionary, that I desire to develop in myself. She is a gentle and kind hearted (Christlike) person who never stops trying to be the best she can be. I have thought about this a lot lately- the principle of striving to be the very best you can be, and just simply striving. I remember one of my bishops at BYU once told us that a person is progressing and happy when they are striving to do good. This week I thought about a few of our investigators who seem to be progressing, but are they really? And I had the thought that perhaps when we see one of our investigators simply striving to do good, it is evidence that they are truly progressing. When we strive to do good, what we are really doing is trying to be more like our Savior. When we see our investigators showing charity to others, we can know they are progressing. And that's something I need to be aware of in my own life as well- I need to ask myself, am I progressing? And how am I doing in my strivings to "do good continually" as the Savior would?

The mission has definitely been a transition for me and in all honesty, it hasn't been the easiest. But I have to keep telling myself that it's the first transfer and of course it's a transition- But it's more than that, it's an opportunity. I have an opportunity to work on those "strivings." There is always so much more I can do, and so much more that I can be. I love the Lord and His Gospel. I know that I am a daughter of God and that the people we come in contact with daily are His children.

Look up the video in the gospel library app: "My Joy Is Full." It's wonderful

I love you!


Sister Katie Thornhill

Monday, November 4, 2013

Mesa, AZ WEEK 3

I am so happy!!! I love being a missionary! And I love the people here in Mesa, Arizona! Sorry everyone, but I am in paradise and think I will stay in paradise until I get back. :) The weather is absolutely perfect everyday here- People keep telling me how lucky I am coming to AZ in the winter months and they are definitely right. Sister Sallstrom and I have become joggers/runners (mostly joggers) and every morning it amazes us how beautiful it is. Also, I have never seen such beautiful amazing sunsets as here in Arizona. And I never have seen so many Halloween decorations, it's so funny. People loooove Halloween here and we have the trunk or treat this Wed yay! We have been inviting lots of non members.

This week we had lots of trainings! So it was a little interesting trying to fit in all of our appointments, but somehow we did it. We had one training just for sisters, another for trainers/trainees, district meeting, correlations and ward councils this week for both of our wards, etc. I love it! It's hard work but worth every minute of it. I have never worked so hard. We recite everyday this quote during companionship study: "I have often said one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work. If a missionary works, she will get the Spirit. If she gets the Spirit, she will teach by the Spirit. And if she teaches by the Spirit, she will touch the hearts of the people and she will be happy. There will be no homesickness, no worrying about families, for all time and talents and interests are centered on the work of the ministry. Work work work--There is no greater substitute, especially in missionary work."

We currently have one investigator with a baptismal date- his name is Antonio. He has been through a lot and we feel the Lord has been preparing him to receive the restored gospel. He may look big and scary on the outside with all his tattoos and piercings but really is a teddy bear on the inside. He has a good heart and is very loving. We have seen so much progress just in the past few weeks and he is being converted! It's amazing! He walked into church yesterday and I was sooo happy. They stayed all 3 hours and Sister Sallstrom and I laughed after dropping him off at Elders Quorum because we were just so proud and happy of him- It felt like dropping our child off to nursery. :)

I love every person we teach. I love the members. I love Sister Sallstrom! And I love the Lord most of all. He blesses us when we follow Him.

I love you all!!!


Sister Katie Thornhill

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Mesa, AZ Week 2

Hellooooo! :)
Life is so good. I'm "living the dream!" I love it, I love life and I love missionary work. Yesterday Sister Sallstrom and I had the opportunity to speak in one of our wards (we serve in two wards here in Mesa- This means about 7-8 hours at church every Sunday and it's awesome). I spoke about the necessity for each of us to experience the Atonement in our lives, and how this leads to a greater desire to invite others to come unto Christ (missionary work!). There is greater power in teaching the gospel to others when you yourself have experienced the blessings of the gospel, and most importantly the Atonement. And the only way that we can experience the blessings of the gospel, is by living it! This week I learned (among the many many things I learned) how essential it is for investigators to keep commitments. Because by keeping commitments, they allow themselves to experience the blessings of the gospel in one way or another, and ultimately come closer to Christ in the process. A sincere heart and humility invites the Spirit into our lives, and into the strengthening of our personal testimonies of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
I am really sorry for this week- I know this email is super short, but just know that I'm doing great, I'm happy, and praying for you all. Someone said to us this week: "Success is not measured in numbers--It's measured by your spirit, love, and dedication."

I love you,
Love,  Sister Thornhill

Monday, October 21, 2013

Mesa, AZ week 1

Hello from Arizona!
Wow, it feels like I've been in Mesa for so long- It's crazy to think that I was at the MTC a week ago! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! It really is the best. Everyone should go.:) We have met so many wonderful people and the work is moving forward in this area, it's amazing! Two weekends ago, 27 people were baptized in our mission on one day. My mission president and his wife, President and Sister Jenkins are WONDERFUL. I know everyone says that about their mission presidents and their wives, but it's true! So rewinding back to Tuesday when I got here, we had a big transfers meeting- 37 new missionaries! More than half of our mission have been out for less than 3 months! My companion and trainer is Sister Sallstrom.LOVE her. She has been out for 3 months and this is her first time training. I don't think I could have asked for a better, more Christlike companion. If I had to describe her in one word, it would be gentle. She just has such a tender heart and loves with all her heart. She also works with all her "heart, might, mind and strength." We decided that this is our goal, to serve and work in this way- to be consecrated missionaries, to give everything!! My favorite thing about being with Sister Sallstrom is that she doesn't hold me back from my striving to be a valiant servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. As cliche as it may be, I truly feel that I can "fly" with her by my side. (I should keep this feeling in mind when deciding who to marry haha) We don't waste a single minute and we constantly are trying to do our best. It's hard work, but it's possible when you have the Lord on your side.
We have several investigators. I wish so much that I had time to tell you about each of them- They are so great! But unfortunately I don't have time today. But I will tell you about one. Her name is Diana, and now she let's us call her Sister Carlson. :) She is 72 years old and is very catholic. She is so loving and selfless and we have loved getting to know her. She was actually my first lesson out here in the mission field! We gave her a Book of Mormon during that lesson and committed her to read 3 Nephi capitulo 11. Well by our next appointment she had read the chapter sincerely and she said she loved it. Our second lesson we taught her the Restoration in whole and invited her to come to the Mesa Temple Visitors Center with us this week (with a member of course)! And what a perfect setting to teach about the Plan of Salvation. One of her sons passed away just 6 years ago, so we really think this is going to be special. We really feel that she is elect and both Sister Sallstrom and I said to each other after the first lesson, Can't you see her as a temple worker? :) We pray that the Spirit guides as we continue to teach Sister Carlson. And this is just one of our investigators! And it's amazing the love you develop for each of them as a missionary! It's amazing!
I want to share one last thing, then I have to go. The very first place we went to after being picked up at the airport (which by the way, gool ol Sister Hobbins and I taught at least the whole restoration lesson to the person- a chef named Alfredo) we sat next to on the plane, gave him a Book of Mormon and committed him to meet with the missionaries in Phoenix. It was awesome! haha) So the first place we went once here in Mesa was to the Mesa Temple Visitors Center. The Mesa temple is beautiful!!! All of us new missionaries sat there in the room with the big Christus statue, and as they played the audio message of the Savior's words, I can't tell you how powerful of a spiritual experience that was for me. It was truly a sacred experience, and one I will never forget. I know the Lord loves me, and that in a more special way than I have experienced before, I am His Hands in doing His work.

I know this is where I am supposed to be. I know that this is what I am to be doing, and I know this is the right time for me to be doing it. The hymn "I'll go where you want me to go" has become my favorite hymn here on the mission. I love the Lord. I love my Heavenly Father and I have never been happier than I am right now serving His Children.
And I love all of you! Thank you for your prayers, emails, packages, love, and everything else you bless me with! I pray for you every day and am grateful for the knowledge that we can be together forever! Wahoo! :)
Eu amo voces!!!

Sister Katie Thornhill
Feel fee to send pictures of all of your adventures!
Oh! I almost forgot, my address (the mission office address- *Please update on the blog!!) is:
Sister Katie Thornhill
2525 North 32nd Street
Mesa, AZ (I don't know the zip code, sorry but hopefully you can find it!)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

MTC WEEK 6 (Last week in MTC)

All right family, this is it! My time at the MTC is over, sadly. I have loved my time here and have really felt that this time has really been My Time with Christ. It has gone by super fast but also it seems like I've been here for ages. Tonight in our last class with Irmao Buttars we talked about life out in the mission field- He answered questions we had/calmed our nervousness. :) When we talked about contacting I got really excited because I remember contacting in Tennessee on my mini mission, and it was one of my favorite things- I loved talking to everyone as a missionary. There is a real power a missionary has when talking to people, and INVITING them to come closer to Jesus Christ and telling them about the restored gospel. It is the best feeling and I can't wait to do this for the next year and a half! My feelings right now knowing that I am hours away from being in the field finally: A little nervous of course, but everything else I feel is just excited and happy, and I think most of all GRATEFUL. I will never be able to thank my Heavenly Father enough for the calling He has extended to me to be a full-time missionary. President Nally (the MTC president) told us in our departure devotional last night (775 departing missionaries just this week!) that the time of this mission is short, but we will have a lifetime to remember the special and sacred experiences we will surely experience as a full-time missionary and representative of the Savior. He also said that the greatest miracle we can experience and be a witness of in this life is the MIRACLE OF CONVERSION, as a result of the MIRACLE OF THE ATONEMENT. Can't wait. I can't wait to bring Christ to others and witness HIS POWER in their conversion to His glorious restored gospel. Lives will be changed, and all of this is possible through Jesus Christ and His Atonement.

So, here I go and I couldn't be more happy. I am going to "go forth in faith to tell the world the Gospel is restored...and the joy of families." I am going to go forth with the courage to do what I know I have to do. I will strive my very best every day to be honorable to the Lord and exactly obedient. I will love my companions. I will live worthy of the Spirit and follow the promptings. I will live my mission with no regrets. And I am going to consecrate myself and my life to the Lord. I am going to "forget myself and go to work!" There are things that our Heavenly Father would all have us to- And He has provided the way for each of us to accomplish ALL of these things, and this way is, of course, only Jesus Christ.

I love you all very very much. Eu sei que Jesus Cristo e o nosso Salvador. Sei que Seu Evangelho e restaurado. Eu amo O Senhor. I wish I could say more but my time is up! Have a wonderful week!


Sister Katie Thornhill

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Katie's temporary reassignment! :) MESA, ARIZONA!!!!

Okay minha familia marvelhosa, the moment we've all been waiting for!

"Dear Sister Thornhill,
At this time, we have not yet received your visa to travel to your mission. You will be serving a temporary assignment in the ARIZONA MESA MISSION until your visa arrives" !!!!!!!!!!

I am sooo excited! I know that the Lord wants me to eventually (in His timing) serve in Sao Paulo, Brazil, but for now He has asked me to serve in another part of His vineyard- Mesa, Arizona!!! :) And I couldn't be more thrilled! The language will probably be either English or Spanish (hopefully we will meet some Portuguese speakers on occasion:) I will be able to study Portuguese 1 hour each day after personal and companionship study. Oh, and the best part! Sister Robbins is going to the same mission! We are flight companions too! My mission president is President R. Spence Ellsworth.

Well I have to go now but I will write on Pday which will be in the next few days. Thank you SO VERY MUCH for the packages and letters! Muita obrigada! I LOVE YOU!!!! :)

Te amo,

Sister Katie Thornhill

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


My dearest family,

It´s been another wonderful week in the MTC! No complaints here. I don´t have much time today unfortunately but I will hurry as quick as I can! This email will be random from the bullet points I made earlier, but I hope it still makes sense. :)

Well I think the biggest highlight of the week by far was singing in the choir at the General Relief Society meeting- and seeing Mom!!! It was funny because I think everyone except for me saw you at first. After I finally noticed you, everyone told me, We were wondering who that was! Mom, I love you. I know you would have never left that enormous conference center without getting my attention. I am so grateful I got to see you- I am grateful for your love. The whole thing was such a spiritual experience for me, one of the most spiritual in my life actually. Before the meeting, the Relief Society presidency gave us a little devotional (which was amazing in itself). One of the sisters told an experience about how she ran into Elder Scott once and how she started sobbing right after, and she didn't know why! She later realized that what she was feeling was the Savior's love for her. As Elder Scott looked into her eyes (he being a representative of the Savior), she felt as if it was the Savior she was with in that moment. Well I felt like doing the same thing as President Thomas S. Monson, the prophet of God on the earth today, was walking out. I felt like, in that moment, that I had been sitting behind the Savior during that meeting, as part of His army of missionaries- I don't know how to express what I am trying to say, but it was glorious. I know that the Savior is pleased with us when we are in His service, and in the service of our fellow-beings. Someone said recently (I think it was the MTC President's wife, Sister Nalley) that "This work works on the basis of love." Oh how true this is! Without love, there's no purpose in any of this. The purpose is love.

We had mission conference on Sunday and President Nalley talked about the miracle of the translation of the Book of Mormon. My thoughts about it- The whole thing wouldn't have been a miracle without Joseph Smith's diligence, great faith and righteous desire to fulfill God's purposes. Because of this, the miracle took place. After getting the plates, Joseph Smith didn't go home, sit down and eat a snack. He went straight to work, and immediately started the translation. We should follow his example in our lives- There is no time to waste. We must not wait to fulfill OUR life's mission. I challenge each of you to think about YOUR life's mission. What does God want you to DO in this life? Ponder about your wonderful purpose in life (because each of your purposes IS wonderful), and then immediately go to work. Do something more than what you're already doing. Read your patriarchal blessing in faith- "A patriarchal blessing contains chapters from your book of eternal possibilities." I know that we are not alone in our work. I have felt this so very much here as a missionary. We may be called to do hard things in this life, but it is all for our good and eternal happiness, and we are not alone in doing it. One other thing about singing at the conference center- I couldn't help but to think of the people I will be serving, wherever that may be, and in whichever language the Lord would have me speak. I sang with these people in mind, and with the hope of bringing others closer to the Savior Jesus Christ. 

I want to close with one of my favorite quotes: "Run with your heart, then run with your mind, then at last run with your feet."

I hope you are all doing wonderfully! I wish I could hear every detail of all of your lives! But I am sure you are doing great things and it sounds like everyone is happy, and that makes me happy. :) And yes Mom, I can only access my email account once a week, but letters written through I can receive any day. Have a great week! I LOVE YOU!!!


Sister Katie Thornhill

P.S. I will let you know of my mission reassignment as soon as I can! 2 days! :)

Also, I hope you enjoy the pictures! I think it's obvious from the picture of us sticking grapes in our lips that we are really the most fun district

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Dearest Family,

I hope you are doing wonderfully! It sounds like it! I have to say this in every email because I mean it every email- Thank you for your love and support!!!

There is lots to say, as always! Things are going great! In fact, this is the best thing I have every done. I know I've said this before, but I truly TRULY can't imagine my life without this experience. I know that for ME, this was always the Lord's will. And this is the exact right time for me to be here. And Brazil is where I am to go! And he also has planned for me to serve elsewhere for the time being- We will receive our reassignments next week! And one thing that I didn't know before this week is that those mission reassignments go through the same process as my first mission call to Brazil- The Brethren review it, and receive the revelation as to where the Lord would have me go. I love that, and it makes me think about how we can receive revelation as to anywhere we go in our life. That is how we successfully make it through this life, by counseling with the Lord in all our doings, and He will direct our paths, for good! (See Alma 37:37)- I actually memorized this in portuguese. "Aconselha-te com O Senhor em tudos que fizeres e Ele dirigir-te-a por o bem" (I think that's right:) It's true!

Well, all of our investigators are doing well and each of them are progressing- It's the best feeling to have as missionaries, to see PROGRESSION. I have a feeling that our Heavenly Father feels the same way as He sees us progress, as we continually come unto His Son Jesus Christ throughout our lives. I gain a greater appreciation for His Gospel everyday, and this is something that should happen everyday for the rest of my life. I knew "feasting upon His words" was important before this mission, but I now realize the necessity of it in my life. Every person on the earth would do well to come closer unto Christ in some way, each and every day. I challenge you this week to ponder about your personal strivings to come unto Christ everyday- How could you improve? What things are going good? One of my goals this next week is to, at the end of the day before bed, sit down and ask myself, How have I come closer to Christ today?

Lots of exciting things are happening as far as missionary work goes. As I have studied and applied the things in Preach My Gospel, I realize how much of a blessing it is! This past Sunday, Elder Merrill J. Bateman spoke to us about the power of the Spirit in our lives as missionaries. It was amazing! He mentioned how the times have changed, and this is evident with the coming forth of Preach My Gospel. Rather than memorization and reciting lessons to people like they have done in the past (which was the Lord's will for that time), missionaries are now instructed to teach by the Spirit alone if needed- Teach according to a person's needs. Missionary work has always been needed throughout the world, but these are the final days in which the world is becoming increasingly more wicked and in need of the Savior.

I love the Holy Ghost. There is not a more glorious feeling one can have than the feeling of being filled with the Holy Ghost, especially when sharing the Lord's Gospel. In Pregar Meu Evangelho, it says: "This gift is a foretaste of eternal joy and a promise of eternal life." Can you imagine how glorious that will be?? One thing I thought about this week in my personal study is that the Spirit is like a Spirit-filled home. Let me explain.. You know when you walk into the home of a righteous family and you immediately feel the Spirit that is there? There is power in this. And the same feeling occurs for my investigators- As they feel the Spirit bear witness that we are representatives of Jesus Christ, and that the His Gospel we teach is true, they feel this special peace- The Spirit can be a safe home for them, when they may not have one.

One last thing. I love music!!! Our first Sunday here Sister Robbins and I were called to be the music coordinators for our branch- I LOVE it! It brings back really great memories of when I was in charge of music for one of my wards- Yes, be jealous, it's one of the most fun callings- Even though I was terrible at directing our choir, I learned so much and was humbled and am grateful for that experience. Callings are blessings! When we fulfill them, we are blessed. When we magnify them, we see miracles. I have been pleasantly surprised at just how much music is a part of our everyday lives here in the MTC, and I hope to continue that throughout my mission. Oh, I love it. Music is a powerful way to bear testimony and to praise our Lord and Savior. One of my very favorite parts of the whole week is watching "Music and the Spoken Word" on Sundays before Relief Society- Okay, and Relief Society is one of my very favorite things too. :) I love everything. I love life!

I love you all very very much. I pray for you and feel blessed to have you forever. Watch for me on Saturday! (I will be wearing bright pink) I will be singing in the General Relief Society Meeting at the Conference Center in Salt Lake! The first song we will sing is really neat- Just know that it was requested by the general relief society presidency to put these two songs together (I won't tell you which ones..) and the result is really beautiful. When we first rehearsed it, I couldn't even sing because of how teary I was. :)

Have a wonderful week!


Sister Katie Thornhill

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Oi familia! Tudo bem!

I am halfway done with my time here at the MTC, I can't believe it! Everything is going great- More than great! I am really happy. Never once have I been sad, it's amazing! I can't describe how normal it feels for me to be here. I love love love being a missionary! In the past three weeks, I have learned so much about the Gospel of Jesus Christ- My testimony of it grows and is strengthened every single day. It is truly amazing. How did I get so lucky??

Like always, I don't have much time so this week I want to tell you more about my district and about life here in the MTC! It's awesome! We, by far, have the most fun district here I believe. :) We are like family to each other and have grown so close together. Although we have each taken turns this week being a bit sick, we still press on, work hard and feel the Spirit of the Lord's work together. Last night, Irmao Buttars taught us an entire class in Portuguese- From now on, it's all Portuguese, even in conversations outside of the classroom. The miracle of it all- I (and everyone else in our district) understood everything. By the end, one of the Elders said, "You all know that was all in Portuguese, right?" It was then that we realized what a miracle it was. We didn't even have to think during class, we just understood. I love the Portuguese language and although it's nowhere near being perfect, I know it will come. One thing I think has helped me a lot is not focusing on the language, and focusing more on the learning the language of the Spirit. That's where the power in our ministering and teaching comes from. The gift of the Holy Ghost is such a glorious gift and I have been blessed very personally by it during my time thus far as a missionary.

Let me tell you more about my companion, Sister Robbins. I love her! I am very blessed to have her by my side here. We've grown so much together, and have grown so close to each other. Some of my favorite things about Sister Robbins: She is a great friend who always looks on the bright side. She is really spunky and is just fun. She is good for me because she is more relaxed and not the perfectionist that I am so it balances out- She keeps me less stressed. In fact, I haven't felt a lot of stress and I think a lot of that is because of her. She has an amazing testimony and is confident in her teaching. She always has a "get it done and don't worry about it" attitude. Anyways, I love her and wish you could meet her!

This last week we had our first experience teaching in the TRC (Teaching Resource Center)- It's where volunteers come to the MTC, members, to be taught by us, the missionaries. We taught two 20-minute lessons. Going into it, we were a little nervous because like I mentioned before, the language isn't perfect; and we didn't know what these members need to be taught because we've never met them before. So you really have to listen to the Spirit. One of our lessons in particular was so awesome. We felt impressed to teach this sister about how the gospel can not only bless, but protect your family in this wicked world. As we taught her, it was obvious this sister felt the Spirit and we knew by the Spirit that this was exactly what she needed to hear. It is an experience I will never forget.

I want to close with a short testimony that I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the church of Jesus Christ himself, restored to its fulness. He is at the head of it, and directs it through modern day prophets and apostles. How blessed we are, and we should never forget the magnitude and eternal significance of this blessing. This week I have thought a lot about the significance of the Book of Mormon in conversion. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. And I know that through the Book of Mormon, we can know of the truthfulness of Joseph Smith, Jesus Christ as our Savior and Redeemer, and that this truly is His Church.

I love you all so much! And pray for you everyday!


Sister Katie Thornhill


The picture from left to right: Sister Robbins, (Me), Sister Baird, and Sister Ostvig

Friday, September 13, 2013


Dearest Family,

I have been thinking about you all week- How was Florida? I want to hear all about it! Also, thank you so very much for the package you sent me this week! I loved it! I love you! I also got a package from Sister Barlow- Does that surprise anyone? No- She is truthfully one of the most Christlike people I know. Whenever we are taught about teaching people, not lessons, I think of Sister Barlow's selfless example as a visiting teacher. If you think about it, there are so many people Heavenly Father has put in our life to be examples for us. I am so blessed to have all of you, each and every one. I realize more than ever how powerful a righteous example and influence can be in our lives. And also how much power we can receive as we are the ones having that kind of an influence in the lives of others.

Week 2 here in the MTC was pretty great. It's amazing how much you learn every single day here. There isn't even time to look back and see how far you've grown! But then you look back and even pray about it, and you realize just how much the Lord has already been helping you. I keep thinking, okay I'm ready to speak Portuguese now, bring on the gift of tongues. But that's not how the Lord works. We must struggle in our faith to build faith. And as we build our faith, we must show our faith through diligence and courage and trust in the Lord. And when we show and truly exercise our faith, that's when the miracles happen. I know I will be able to speak Portuguese in time, but right now I must "Pray like everything depends on the Lord. Then work like everything depends on me." (I don't know where that quote comes from but my friend Tiffany shared it with me and I think it's awesome)

Last night in class, Brother Buttars taught us about reaching our full potential as missionaries. It was so great. It made me think about something I heard once about letting the Lord act. We have to let the Lord act in order to fulfill our purpose, and God's purposes for us. And as we continue to do this, we prepare ourselves for greater purposes. For example, Nephi- The Nephi that built a ship was not the same Nephi who killed Laban. Nephi was continually prepared for greater purposes in his life.

There is so much to say but so little time! A few more things I want to say:

-We sang "Where Can I Turn For Peace" in choir this week. Our director told us that this song is like a conversation between a missionary and an investigator. The investigator asks "Where can I turn for peace? Where is my solace? ...Where can I run?" The missionary: "He, only one (Jesus Christ). Constant he is and kind, Love without end."

-We have a new teacher, Irmao Gray- We love him!

-One of the elders in our district is on a flight to Brazil right now, he got his visa! But no more luck with visas here

-We should always bear witness of the Father, as well as the Son. It was the Father, not the Son, who was the first voice of this dispensation: "This is my Beloved Son, Hear Him." Sometimes as missionaries we forget to testify of The Father. I love my Heavenly Father

That's all my time for today. I love you!!! Enjoy the pictures!


There is a rumor that the sister missionaries will be singing at the general relief society meeting... :)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Oi! Minha familia!!!

I am so happy to be writing to you right now! There is sooo much that has happened in the past week, and I don't know where to start! I guess I'll start by saying that I love being in the MTC! I can't fully describe how glorious it feels to be one of the Lord's missionaries. I know this is where the Lord wants me right now. And I know it's only been a week, but I already can't imagine my life, present and future, without this sacred privilege of serving the Lord and our Heavenly Father's children. I feel at home. Although it's a little strange being surrounded with so many younger missionaries, it's also amazing- It's a miracle really. I am so impressed with these younger missionaries, especially the elders. For example, my companion hasn't been sleeping well so the elders gave her a blessing last night. Just minutes before they gave her the blessing, they were goofing around a bit, being typical young elders.. But then they laid their hands on her head and administered to her a Priesthood blessing. The Spirit was so strong as they exercised that power they have as worthy priesthood holders. The Spirit is truly amazing here at the MTC. This is the Lord's training center for His missionaries. And I can testify to you that these missionaries may be young, but they are powerful. As our teacher Brother Buttars keeps reminding us: God saved the best for last. Satan has many ways by which he gets people to forget about God, especially in these the last days.

Let me tell you about my district! I know everyone always says they had the best MTC district, but I really do have the best MTC district! They are so great! We have 8 elder and 6 sister companionships. I wish I could attach pictures, but I will send some this week. I definitely think we have the most fun district, and funny! The elders are hilarious. We laugh until we cry  every day, multiple times. The elders started saying "Tolo ganso" a few days into being here and now we all say that about everything. It means "silly goose"- in proper portuguese it would actually be "ganso tolo," but they stuck with tolo ganso. Speaking of Portuguese, I can speak it! Obviously not fluent or well at all- And I don't know very much, but for only being here just under a week, I know TONS. I was promised by a member of the branch presidency in an interview that if I love my companion with all my heart, I will be able to communicate in Portugues in 3 weeks. Our teach Brother Buttars (who is awesome by the way) bore his testimony the other day about the gift of tongues, and how real it is. The first day I was here, I would have a hard time believing that I could ever speak this language, but I am speaking it and can bear a personal testimony that the gift of tongues is real. The day after I got here (Thursday), my companion and I taught our first lesson, IN Portuguese. Yes we did. We brought a few notes and our lesson wasn't the greatest (it really was pretty horrible:) but we did it! Our first investigator's name was Vanderlei. We taught him two different times. Then yesterday we taught our first lesson to our new investigator Pedro. We loved Vanderlei, but he was a little intimidating. Pedro is much easier to teach, and we taught him with no notes. We gave him a Book of Mormon and committed him to read 3 Nephi capitulo 11. He believes in God and Jesus Christ, but doesn't have a very strong relationship with them. We found out that he doesn't pray, so we are looking forward to hearing him pray in our next lesson. :)

Missionary work is about PEOPLE. Not one thing about this mission is about me- It's about helping OTHERS to come unto Christ "by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." On Sunday (which is the best, even better than P-day. I love Sunday in the MTC!) we watched a film showing of a devotional Elder Bednar gave about the character of Christ. He taught us how Christ turned outward always, never once inward. Turning inward to self is the natural man's way, not Christ's. An example of this is when right after His great suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, he healed one of the guard's ears that was there to take him away. Even after the greatest suffering imagined, FOR US, he still turned outward, even to those who persecuted him. Elder Neal Maxwell said, "There would have been no atoning sacrifice without the Character of Christ."

I don't have much time left, but I want to say one more thing- I LOVE MY COMPANHIERA!!! Her name is Sister Robbins (pronounced "Hobbins" because of Portuguese) :) She is from Texas and is SO GREAT. I love her very much and we are loving serving together.

I have to go now but thank you, MUITO OBRIGADA for the loving emails. I hope all is well at home. I know the Lord loves you, and knows you personally.


Sister Katie Thornhill

Katie Arriving at the Provo MTC, August 28th, 2013!!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Sao Paulo Interlagos Mission Song

This is the Brazil Sao Paulo Interlagos Mission song! I found it through the mission facebook page (which has been such a blessing to me. I love hearing from my mission president, President Pinho- His testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is amazing). Although I don't understand the words of the song because I don't speak Portuguese yet, I learned that the phrase they sing over and over again, "Missao Interlagos vamos voar," translated means: "Interlagos Mission, let's fly!" President Pinho always uses that phrase when he posts things on the mission page. And man is the work of the Lord flying in Brazil. President Pinho just announced that the mission has split. He said this about it yesterday: "The Mission has divided. We now have 105 missionaries and 7 areas, but we are baptizing as if we had 200. We are flying. Continue flying... Believe in yourselves and don't let Satan pay a cheap price for noble and Royal blood. Christ has paid a high price for us, and remember that the value of souls is great in the sight of God. We have value and we are the heirs of all the Father has. Always be on the side of God and be safe. Let's fly." I so much look forward to flying with these wonderful people in doing the work of the Lord- an amazing mission president and wife, incredible missionaries and members. And above all, I look forward to helping others fly as they come unto Christ and receive His glorious Gospel!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Called To Serve

My name is Katie Thornhill and I have been called to serve as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have been assigned to labor in the Brazil Sao Paulo Interlagos Mission. I don't think I could be more thrilled and ready to serve the Lord the next 18 months.

I leave in just 57 days now (15 hours and 45 minutes to be exact- Yes I have a countdown app on my iphone)! You would think I've been waiting since the time I received my mission call, but I feel that I have been waiting much longer than that. I feel that I have really been waiting for this special experience since before I was born. In Preach My Gospel (which is the manual that missionaries use to prepare to teach the gospel), the very first section in the very first lesson is titled God Is Our Loving Heavenly Father. My testimony that we are children of a loving Heavenly Father is a strong one. I believe that if we do not have a testimony of this one thing we cannot have a testimony of anything else in the gospel, because everything in the gospel is evidence of that love. It's no surprise that it's the very first thing you teach someone who is learning about the restored gospel. We are here on this beautiful earth because He loves us. It is because our Heavenly Father loves us that we have modern day prophets and apostles to lead us on the path of righteousness. It is because He loves us that we know, through the plan of salvation, the answers to the questions: Why am I here? Where did I come from? And where am I going? It is because Heavenly Father loves us that He sent His Son to live and die for us and to make it possible to return back to the presence of God. It is because He loves us that we can live with our families forever. It is because Heavenly Father loves us that He appeared to the boy Joseph Smith who had prayed to know the truth. And it is because He loves us that He "said, pointing to the other- This is my Beloved Son. Hear Him!"

I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father. We lived with Him for eternities before coming to this earth, where we have the opportunity to learn, grow and become like Him through the Atonement of Jesus Christ who is our Savior and Redeemer. I recently read a book written by Brad Wilcox called The Continuous Atonement. In his book, He enlightens us about what Jesus Christ being both a Savior and Redeemer really means. I am so grateful I read this book because it made me think about the Atonement in a way I hadn't before. My testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ has been strengthened and I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone. There was a chapter in it titled "The Lone Branch." He tells of a story about a boy who fell off a high cliff and the only thing that kept him alive was a lone branch that caught him as he fell. He likens this story to us and the state that we would be in without Christ's Atonement. Like the boy that fell, living on the earth would be a straight fall to our death (both physically and spiritually). We would die physically because as human beings, that's just what happens; and we would die spiritually because that is also our nature as human beings- We are all subject to sin, and we all do sin. But again, because God loves us, He provided a sure way for us to be saved from both death and sin-- That is Jesus Christ. He is the lone branch, the only thing that can save us- In this way, He is our Savior. But He did not only save us. He made it possible to fulfill our potential as sons and daughters of God. And in this way, He is our Redeemer.

As before mentioned, I feel that I have been waiting to embark on this mission much longer than a few months. I know I lived with my Heavenly Father before I was born and that He loves me, and I know that He sent me here to this earth at this particular time. I know that He has a plan for me and that my serving as a full-time missionary at this specific time in my life in Brazil is a part of that plan. There are many souls to be saved in Sao Paulo, Brazil and I pray that the Lord will help me as I strive to be an instrument in His Hands in saving them.