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 dearelder.com 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