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!)