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