Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April 29th, 2013

We were able to talk with Braiden while he had a lay over in Dallas, Texas.  It was so good to hear his voice. He is doing so great and we are so proud of him.  He told us of the many who had written him and how much he appreciated all the letters and packages.

Dear Family,
I am currently here in Chihuahua, Mexico. Not going to lie I´m pretty nervous. I don´t get my new companion until tomorrow. Right now all of us Elders are staying in a small house. There are a total of 22 of us in the house right now. It´s all a mix of Latinos and Americans. I can hardly understand any thing here right now. The city of Chihuahua is pretty big. When we got here the President and his wife greeted us and they fed us food. Our mission president does not speak any English at all his wife can speak some though same with his daughter. This mission is apparently one of the strictest missions in the world. I´m positive it´s for our own safety. I miss all of you so much and think of you all the time. I may be really nervous about speaking the language but I know that Heavenly Father will bless me. In fact this morning on the way to the airport I felt the spirit tell me that I will be blessed. I love this gospel with all my heart, and I love my savior. By small and simple things are great things brought to pass. I know that with all of the effort I give I will be blessed. I love you and I am safely in Chihuahua.

Elder Thorpe

P.S. Our P-day is on Saturday.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Hermano Rhoton (MTC teacher) in front.  MTC District

Where I spent the last 6 weeks

Elder Cahoon and ElderThorpe

Elder Thorpe and Bennett on the Frontrunner going up to meet the Mexican Consulate up in SLC.

April 24, 2013

Apr 24 (4 days ago)

Hello Family!
Well I got to go into the real world this Tuesday. It was so awesome walking down the street seeing all of the people wanting to say hi, or honking their horns. There were about 21 of us who went to the consulate. One guy passing by called us the Mormon Mafia, haha. We wanted to all turn around and give him a Book of Mormon but we didnt have one to give. This lady on the train with us said, "Im riding the train with the Lords Army." So that was awesome, I felt like we were celebrities everywhere we went. All I wanted to do was just talk to everyone on the train and say hi. I have developed a love for every person I come in contact with. There was this mom and her daughter waiting for trax with us and we had a small gospel discussion with her. She wasn't LDS but she has some faith in God. We told her that we are going to Mexico for our mission, and she told us that the God will bless us for doing his work. I told her that what she said was true and that he will bless us because he loves us. I said God loves all of his children and wants what's best for them, and that's why we are going to Mexico. So that they can know of Gods love for them as well. Her daughter was super cute too and wanted to give some of us flowers from the tree we were standing by. Also on the train there was a group of kids going back to school from their field trip to Thanksgiving Point. It was exciting to see them come up to where we were sitting and shout IT'S THE MISSIONARIES! These kids really do look up to us.
This being my last P-Day in the MTC has some mixed emotions going through my body. Especially at the Temple. When I got to the Celestial room, I couldn't help but cry as I sat there and poured out my heart to Heavenly Father. This would be most likely the last time that I would get to go to the Temple for two years. I love going to the Temple so much. I love feeling the amazing spirit. It will be one of the things I will miss the most that I am leaving behind in Utah.
Brother David Evans of the seventy spoke at our Devo this Tuesday. One of my favorite things he said in his message to us was this, "I have promised the Lord two years of my life. I will go where he wants me to go, whatever he wants me to do I will do It. I hope that I can have this mentality with me always as I serve my mission.
I have really been enjoying my personal study time here in the MTC. I love reading Jesus The Christ!!! It is amazing. I love reading the Book of Mormon as well. I love reading the story of Ammon. He is my favorite person to read about in the Book of Mormon. I want my mission to be compared to Ammon's, and Aarons mission. I want to serve and love the people with all my heart. I love this church so much, I know that it is true. For the first time in my life I don't view myself as just a normal teenage boy who's on a mission. I view my self as a Man who is a servant of the Lord. I will serve him with all my heart. I love him.
Yo se que este iglesia es la verdadera iglesia. Yo se que mi salbador vive. Yo se que familias son eternos. Yo se que el libro de mormon es verdadero.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

 MTC District

One of my favorite scriptures

Elder Smith & Elder Thorpe

MTC District

Braiden's mission

MTC Elders all dressed up

Mexico here I come

P-day Elder Thorpe & Elder Lewis

P-day Elder Richardson &Thorpe

April 17th, 2013

Hola Familia,
Yesterday was probably one of the coolest experiences that I have had here at the MTC. I'm sure by now you know that we have a devo. here every Sunday & every Tuesday. Well this Tuesday we had an awesome devotional. Our speaker for the devo. was an Apostle of the Lord, Richard G. Scott. I was sitting 20 feet away from him. Everyone in the MTC was surprised yet happy. It was amazing to see all of us missionaries stand up and show so much respect for an Apostle. The song we opened up with was called to serve. We sing this song almost every other week here in the MTC, (I wonder why) but this time it felt different. This time I felt it was more special, we were singing to an Apostle that we were proud to be called to serve. These men are the ones who are receiving revelation for where we are called to serve and we sang to him proudly that we were called to serve. His topic for the devotional was about prayer and I felt that it really helped me. He said: "Prayer is a great gift from our Heavenly Father. Remeber we are his children, and he wants to talk to us. Just talk to him. He loves us and wants to help us. Don't rush through talking to him. He wants to listen." One thing I found really interesting was he said that his answers will rarely come when you are on your knees. Find some quiet place to seek to hear his answers. In his talk he kept repeating something over and over again which was awesome, he said: "YOUR MISSION CALLS ARE INSPIRED."
In the end of his talk he pronounced a Apostolic blessing uppon us. I felt though it was directed specifically for me, in fact he was looking directly at me when he was saying it. He said: I bless you to have the Holy Ghost with you to help you master the language. I bless you with peace, that you will remember your call is inspired. I bless you your burden of learning the language will be eased as you humbly talk to God in prayer. I bless you that you will experience an increased capacity to love....then he ended but...
He got up before the prayer and said: I feel I need to say something more. REMEMBER THE LORD HAS CALLED YOU TO SUCEED  NOT TO FAIL. REMEMBER YOU HAVE BEEN CALLED. HE WILL HELP YOU SUCEED.
That was just incredible especially at the very end. He pronounced an Apostolic blessing upon us and he received revelation in the end to say more.
My Spanish is improving each day here. Today (4/17/13) is our HSL day Hablo Su Lenguage (Speak you language). It is not fun at all.
I know that what I am doing is super important. I know that my Heavenly father loves me and he will bless me where ever I go. I know that through faith all is possible, even speaking spanish. God loves all his children and he loves them enough to send us out into the world to find his lost sheep. I love to read the Book of Mormon, Im currently halfway through Alma. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know families are eternal and that one day we will all be together in Heaven. I love all of you and hope all is well. I pray for all of you including extended family. I pray for all of my neighbors and friends as well. I love being a missionary. I am a Missionary I live it, I know it, I love it.
Elder Thorpe

Monday, April 15, 2013

April 10, 2013

Mi Familia,
So its technically according to my companion not week 4 but im going off the planner, and it says its week 4. Anyways I loved conference, absolutely loved it!!! And just like I expected Elder Holland through it down. I loved his and President Uchtdorfs talks they were the ones that impacted me the most. I really like what President Uchtdorf said in the Priesthood session, he said, "Get in the game, don't wait for specific callings in the church. As a Priesthood holder we are already called to the work. Rise up to your potential. Study the gospel daily. You are important, you are loved, you are needed. Those words really impacted me especially because I am a missionary. Now for Holland...This is what I wrote in my book..."Hold the ground you have already won. Hold fast to what you already know. Do not start your quest by complaining about what you don't have. Be true to your faith. What we know will always trump what we do not know. Walk in faith. Do not be afraid to ask for help. If we do so humbly we will get that help. Be not afraid only believe. Fan the flame of your belief. Through Faith all is possible." Is that not just awesome.
I also liked Enrique R. Fabella's talk. Even though im serving a mission and it was about marrige I still liked it. I wrote, "The Temple is the place. Strive to be sealed to your wife in the Temple for time and all eternity. Live a celestial life. Tell your wife you love her. write her letters often, or send her a nice text message. Read the Book of Mormon daily. Don't just read it though, live it."
So this past week was a really cool experience I gave two blessings for the sick to two people in my district. I have never felt the spirit more strong while giving a blessing than here in the CCM. While giving the blessing I literally felt like something was rushing through my body, and through my hands. I am so glad to be a worthy Priesthood holder, and be able to exercise my Priesthood.
I am sending some letters to Austin, Brooklyn and Ashlee today. I'm going to try to work on writing them letters more often. I love getting letters from everyone, it makes my day so much better. We finally made a dent in our candy stash that we have im probably going to leave here weighing 500 lbs.
Heres something really cool. So for our Sunday Devo. after confrence we had Vocal Point. And they gave the most awesome church song performance and they shared some awesome spiritual thoughts as well.

I'd better end so...Yo se que la iglesia es verdadera.
Love, Elder Thorpe

Sunday, April 7, 2013

April 3rd, 2013

Mi Familia,
Words cannot express how much I love this church. It's like I feel like my testimony cant get stronger and stronger, but it does. It is the best feeling in the world here in the CCM (MTC), having the constant companion of the spirit here. In our tuesday night devo. We had Brother Ringwood, and he was awesome. He spoke on endureing to the end, and it made me think alot about my role in life as a Priesthood holder. In PMG it states that the most important mission is in the walls of your own home. So why am I here on a mission? Well Brother Ringwood said in his talk that there was a reason why Nephi went back to get the plates before he went back to get a wife. It's funny to think about how that can be related to me as a missionary. Before I can begin my journey as a father and a husband I must build a solid foundation on the gospel, I must know how to endure to the end! Once I complete my mission on bringing others to Christ and building my foundation on the gospel, then I can begin my journey on the most important mission in my life.
Im not going to lie though my favorite day here at the MTC is Sunday. It is the most spiritual day of my week, and I love having so much Personal Study time. I love reading the book of Mormon. I actually thought of something funny while I was reading I thought to my self im studying two languages here in the MTC. Im learning Spanish and Im learning the language of Isaiha. Haha well I have been loving getting letters and packages from friends and family they make me so happy!
I had a really cool experience today at the Temple. By the way I love going to the Temple its the highlight of my P-Day! Anyways I had one of my teachers at the MTC as one of the veil workers. It was awesome. I have the coolest Spanish teachers here they are so nice and their stories from their missions are just the best. One thing I don't like though but it helps us learn faster is we teach them as progressing investigators, and they only speak spanish so it kind of forces us into speaking spanish.
My favorite song to sing that seems to always makes me choke up is "I Feel my Saviors Love" The words in the song testify to me in my heart that I have an older brother who loves me so much. Whenever I feel down or if I ever feel like giving up I think about the Savior and how he didn't give up even when he went through the atonement. I know that serving a mission that I am making him so happy. I know that he is beside me lifting me up when I am falling, when I feel like I just can't do it.
Another thing that I think of when things start getting rough, I think of my family specifically you mom & dad knealing beside your bed pleading with Heavenly Father to bless me. The love and support that I get from home just makes me so happy. I love this church so much and i can't wait to share the happiness that I have to the people of Chihuahua Mexico. I pray for them every night, and I have already developed a love for the people. I can see how happy my life can be when I put off the natural man and I become more like Christ and I turn out, not in. I realize now that you dont need the things of the world to make you happy. All you need in your life to make you happy, is your FAMILY, the GOSPEL, and the SAVIOR.

I love you guys so much and I cant wait to see you again. Keep sending letters, but go easy on the candy our district is starting to develop quite the collection. I would like to leave the MTC under 300 LBS. Haha.
I was told something the other day about our mission. We have two years to do the work, and we have eternity to look back on it. 
Hope all is well & God be with you till we meet again!

Elder Thorpe

 Braiden and his  friend from South Jordan Elder Richardson

 Braiden and his companion Elder Bennett
 Braiden and his friend Elder Jake Smith on his first day at the MTC

Life at the MTC

March 27th, 2013

Umm you guys can email me first haha, bloma! I dont know the family email so tell me. so my first week here has been a blast you know other than my mornings. I am not as big of a fan of the food here its allright. My spanish is imroving day by day in fact when I go to bed I fall asleep to me talking to my self in spanish! I say almost every prayer in spanish including for food (which actually really isn't that hard). One thing that is my least favorite thing about mornings is we wake up at 6:00 so we can actually get a shower. So thats no bueno. We go to bed at 10:30, when were waking up at 6:00 i kind of wish we were going to bed at 9:00. So my companion is Elder Benett and he has been such an awesome companion. My spanish instructors are super awesome though. they have taught me so much in the past 7 days. Wow it's crazy to think ive already been here a week. Time goes by so fast here at the MTC. One day i was here i forgot which day it was, the days just blend together. One of my favorite times of the day is when GYM time comes around!!! GYM time rocks, I set a goal that i want to acomplish before i leave the MTC for GYM. The record of 3 pointers made in a row is 17, and i can get up to 10. So ive set that goal for my self.
Side note my best freind Jake Smith just got here and we got pictures together so YEAH!!!! Man this just got better. I'll attach pictures.
Cool story though so in my Zone one of the Elders and I were talking and we realized that we went to Welby Elementary School together, in fact we were in 3rd grade and 5th grade together. His name is Elder Richardson (Aaron Richardson)
The pictures in this email is Jake and I, and Elder Richardson and I.
Just wondering though are you guys getting my letters Im not sure if your getting them or not.
So back to MTC suff. For alot of our training we teach practice investigators. Righ now our investigator is Lucas and with the little spanish we know its kind of frustrating trying to comunicate with him. On the bright side we taught him how to pray. He read about the restoration and, he is is now reading the Book of Mormon. Hopefully tonight we will get him to commit to baptism!
On Sunday nights and Tuesday night we have devotionals that the General Authorities speak at. We havent gotten some one from the 12 yet but im praying for Easter that Elder Holland will come!!! On Sunday nights we can watch past MTC devotional vidoes. The one we watched this Sunday was Character of Christ by Elder Bednar. I can tell you right now that my life has been changed so much just by that talk. Its all about having the Character of Christ, in other words turn out not in. When we turn in we allow the natural man to come out of us, we become selfish. Im sad to say that I have been that way for a majority of my life. Lo siento! When we turn out we dont think about ourselves anymore we think more of others. Each night instead of praying for Heavenly Father to help me learn spanish. I ask him instead to bless the people of Chihuahua, that their hearts may be softened. I ask him to help me learn the language not for my self but for the people of Chihuahua, Mexico. I have already grown to love the people of my mission and I havent even met them yet! I cannot wait to get out in the mission field and share this awesome gospel to others. I want people to see how happy this gospel can make them. I bought a picture of Jesus Christ and it sits in front of me on my desk so when ever I pray or am doing personal study/write letters. I have the picture to remind me to turn outward not in.
Heavenly Father has called me to be a missionary because he needs me where I am going.
I am to be an example of the believers.
I will not be a dissapointment to my Heavenly Father.
I can do this!
I will be much happier if I endure to the end.
I must do this!
The world needs my message.
I am a Representative of Jesus Christ!

Elder Thorpe and Elder Stevens- March 20, 2013


March 20, 2013 

You prepare them for this day their whole life and then when it gets here it is agonizing.  Braiden spent the morning with us trying to keep his mind off his nervousness.  He and John went to the DMV to get his driving record and then back home.  He got a call from Grandma & Grandpa Gillette which set off the emotions.  John gave him a really nice fathers blessing and we all gave him hugs and kisses.  As we were driving to Provo John thought it would be a good idea if we all thought of funny memories we had of Braiden to keep his mind off things.  It was fun to think about memories that we had spent together with Braiden.  As we got closer he seemed to get more and more nervous.  As we pulled up to the curb for him to be greeted by his Host missionary we were so excited to see that it was his cousin Elder Austin Stevens who had been in the MTC for 4 weeks already. It was such a blessing for Braiden and our family for him to be greeted by someone he knew.  His nerves were immediately calmed and we were relieved to know that he was being watched over by our Father in Heaven who knows his needs.

Called To Serve

  When Pres. Monson announced that the mission age would be changed to 18 effective that day in last Octobers conference Braiden was both excited and terrified all in the same moment.  He thought he had 6 more months to get "mentally" prepared.  Once the news settled in he and his dad finished up the last things to get his papers ready to submit.  It didn't hurt that his dad was the Bishop and was eager to get the papers started and had most of it already done.  Braiden was able to get everything done and have his papers submitted 5 days after the announcement.

The call came on Halloween and we were all excited to find out where he was being called to serve.