Monday, May 27, 2013

Elder Thorpe and Pres. and Sis. Angulo

Casualty of walking all day.

Happy Birthday Elder Thorpe.  We stopped in at Walmart and got a chocolate cake to celebrate.

May 27th, 2013

So I had a pretty solid birthday here in Mexico. It was full of service and teaching. I was able to teach the first part of lesson one in spanish which was pretty intense. Later for lunch a member gave us money to go get lunch, so we went to Wendy's and got a family pack, which was awesome. After eating we went to go get a cake from walmart. I decided on chocolate. We went back to the house and dropped the cake off and headed back out into the blistering heat. After a long day of work we went home to prepare our things for meeting Elder Christopherson. We went to the Juarez Central missionary's home because it was closer to where the bus would be to pick us up. So there we celebrated my birthday and ate my cake. The cake was amazing. We then went to bed and slept hardly.
The next morning we arose at 4:15 to get ready and head over to the bus. It was about a 3 hour bus ride which was long and tiring. But we were extremely excited to meet an Apostle. I tried to read as much in the scriptures as I could to prepare myself spiritually for the meeting.
When we arrived we were all super excited and anxious to meet him. He walked in 10 min. after we arrived and we all stood up and the spirit that came in was just amazing. After we sat down we all went up row by row and shook his hand. It was super cool meeting another Apostle, and shake his hand. He of course spoke spanish and having only been here for 4 weeks I didn't understand him. But I understood some things. I listened with all my heart to what the spirt was saying to me.
I wrote,"My call is inspired. My service as a missionary will effect and bless the lives of my family, my future family, and my friends. Be patient in missionary work. I am called to the work."
What he said in his talk was,"We as apostles see you as companions, shoulder to shoulder. The mission here is going to improve really soon."
Then he pronounced an Apostalic Promise."Over the next few weeks you will know if the Lord is satisfied with our work. He will let us know."
The whole time he kept talking about how he was super humble to be there with us. One thing he said that was cool was when the apostles call us to this mission they say,"I hope they're strong."
He also talked alot of the importance of reading the Book of Mormon everyday. I can't tell you enough how happy this made me because this is exactly what we have been telling all of the members here in our ward. Reading is extremely important.
My feet are starting to finally get better so that's good. We still have been having a hard time getting a hold of people here. The area that I'm in is super poor and everybody just works so it's hard to find people home. My spanish is still a struggle and I have been trying to participate more in conversation its hard though with the lack of words.
I know tha the work is going to improve and the Lord will bless me one way or another. I know that he lives.
Elder Thorpe

Monday, May 20, 2013

 Elder King and Elder Thorpe

May 20, 2013

Hola Familia,
I am so excited about turning 19 this Friday. It's kind of crazy thinking I am going to be 19. One of the Elders was telling me about a story of when they changed the mission age from 20 to 19 and how the first 19 year old in that mission later became an apostle. That would be my favorite Jeffry R. Holland. He said, "you better prepare yourself Elder, your gonna be an apostle some day." I laughed and looked at him and said, "Funny." We have been working super hard in the mission, Our ward isn't the strongest of all the Wards in the world. Things here in Mexico are different with the Church. We found out that hardly any of the members are reading the Book of Mormon. So Elder King and I are doing something about that. We have a list off all the names of the families and we are going to each family and commiting them to read the Book of Mormon. Reading the Book of Mormon is super important. Especially reading it, meditating it in your heart, and praying about it. Just like when Joseph Smith was visited by Heavenly Father and Jesus they told him that none of the Churches teachings were right. They spoke highly of Jesus Christ but their hearts were far from him. Unless we take the teachings of Jesus Christ to our hearts, we are just like any of the other religions. Having the Savior in our heart is extremely important.
So we found some new investigators this week. We actually had a really cool experience with finding one family. We were on our way to go talk to a less active family, when we both had the impression to turn around and walk back through the park. As we had almost walked through all the park a man stopped us and asked us if he could talk to us. We agreed and we talked about what we do and what the church is about. He seemed super intrested and sincere and asked if he could cook for us and listen to our message. The Lord works in mysterious ways.
So we got a pretty sweet announcement this week. The Prophet and all of the counselors and the twelve are holding a special broadcast for missionaries and bishops in June. President Angulo thinks something big is going to be announced. Quien Sabe.
The food has been pretty easy to get used to here some of it is still kind of weird, but it all tastes good. It's increasingly getting hotter here and sometimes I wish I was somewhere cold. But I still love the heat and its all good.
-Elder Thorpe

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

May 12, 2013  Mother's Day

We were able to talk with Braiden for exactly 40 minutes on Mother's Day.  I didn't know how serious he was about the 40 minutes until he told me we only had ten more minutes and I looked at the cell phone and saw that we had been talking for 30 minutes already.  It was so good to hear his voice.  He is in a area where when he was called on his mission John said to me I hope he doesn't go to Juarez.  It is a pretty dangerous area which means very strict rules for the missionaries.  They only have elders in the area since it is not safe for sister missionaries.  He told us of some people they had met and some of the problems they run into as they are teaching people.  One of them being that many people are living together and not married which poses a problem for them to get baptized.  He has a great companion that is from Vancouver, WA.  He seemed very happy but I know that he misses home.  He doesn't say it but you can just tell.  I know it's not easy to remember to write to missionaries but now that I have one out serving I understand how much they long for letters from their loved ones.  He says the members take good care of them and feed them lunch everyday.  He said they have also made a friend who has a hamburger place who has a son who looks up to the missionaries.  This man frequently gives them hamburgers so I guess I can quit worrying about him being fed.  In a couple of weeks they have a big conference where Elder Christopherson is coming to split the mission.  I am glad this is happening early in his mission and that he will have the same mission president throughout his mission.  He is doing so great and he says he appreciates all the prayers in his behalf.

May 13, 2013

Ok so as we were walking to go email we saw a bunch of cops over by the mall and they had two escaped convicts in hand cuffs, so that was an intresting way to start our day. Then when we walked into the mall we walked past 20 swat cops with heavy duty machine guns, apparently they are looking for someone here in the mall. Anyways If the mexican music here doesnt drive me insane here Im sure all of the dogs will.
The President yesterday told Elder King and I that we should look for a family that we can baptize either this week or next week. We have 4 potentials but we still have to teach them alot of the lessons. I keep reading in the Book of Mormon everyday and I have been loving every moment that I get to read it.
I loved hearing from all of you yesterday on the phone its weird thinking that I won't hear from you again until Christmas.
Anyways all is well here in Mexico, send me some pictures on the email. I want to be updated on the family too.
Elder Thorpe

May 13, 2013

A letter from Elder Thorpe to his home ward in Lehi, Utah

During my mission so far I have found that reading the Book of Mormon is extremely important. Its not only important for me as a missionary but for individuals and as families. Joseph Smith Said, "The Book of Mormon is the key stone to our religion." Without the Book of Mormon there is no point to our church. In other words without the Gospel of Jesus Christ we are lost! In the introduction of the Book of Mormon it says, "We invite all men everywhere to READ the Book of Mormon, To PONDER IN THEIR HEARTS the message that it contains, and to then ASK GOD, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who Pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth & divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost.
This Brings me to one of my favorite parts of the Book of Mormon. Alma 32 is on of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon. We are going to take Alma 32:28,30,37-43 and analyze them. In 28 Alma compares the word to a seed. Now I like to think of the "word" as the Book of Mormon. He says we must take that seed & plant it in our hearts. In 30  The seed begins to sprout and we recognize that the seed is a good seed, and our faith is strengthened. In 37 the seed begins to grow into a tree, and we see that we must nourish it so that it will bring forth fruit. Now if we begin to neglect the seed and we dont nourish it, it starts to whither away. We must nourish it and look forward with faith.
Now in 41 & 42 It says if you nourish the tree and have FAITH and DILLIGENCE, the tree will begin to spring forth fruit. Now my favorite verse is 43. Verse 43 says, "Then my brethren ye shall reap the rewards of your FAITH, and you DILLIGENCE, and PATIENCE, and LONG-SUFFERING, waiting for the tree to bring forth fruit unto you.
Brothers and Sisters from my ward at home, I am so happy to be serving a mission in Juarez right now. I Love reading the Book of Mormon & sharing it with others. I would encourage you, no I challenge you that you will read the Book of Mormon daily, and I promise that if you will read it and take the words and place them in your heart and you pray about them, that your lives and your families lives will be blessed.
I know that this Church is true with all my heart. AND I KNOW THAT JESUS CHRIST LIVES. I share this with you in the name of our loving brother Jesus Christ, Amen.

Monday, May 6, 2013

May 6, 2013

Ok so our assistants didn't communicate clearly, our real P-day is on Monday. This first week was super crazy. I hardly understood anything that was being said my first day. Luckily the assistants are American and can translate for us. There were six Americans that came and 16 Latinos. The first night we all slept in the mission home which was super small and crowded. The next day we went to the church to meet our new companions. My new companion´s name is Elder King. HE IS AMERICAN!!! I was happy about that so now I can atually communicate with him. So...for my first area. I am located in Juárez. So I will now be in the Juárez mission instead of the Chihuahua Mission. Oh something really cool. I am the very first American to serve as an 18 year old in this mission. So that will be something really cool to tell people. So yeah I can only take out bits and pieces of lessons that we teach. I can almost always understand the topics of the conversations that go on here, but its still really hard to understand what is being said.
So our living conditions are actually quite nice we have warm water for showers we still dont have AC so that will be hard in the summer considering it gets up to 113 degrees here in Juárez. It is super dry here so I am always getting thirsty. For our water we get water jugs that are full of clean water, and every home gets these jugs. So we almost always have clean water. I have plenty of food to eat. We eat at members homes each day for lunch. I have been working my way up with the chile. Elder King told the members to do a little at a time, so I dont get sick. One thing I have eaten here which is actually really good is called ¨chicharron¨ which is fried pig skin. Its super popular here, and it tastes like popcorn. We eat alot of things similar to American food here like hamburgers, and hot dogs and fries. I also eat beans and tortillas here alot too. The tortillas here are amazing!!! One thing thats super funny that they call us here is wedos, not gringos, but wedos, which means like white blondy. One word they always use here which is now one of my favorite words to say in spanish is Suave. It means here ¨Sweet, or Cool¨.
So our President challenged us to all find two families to baptize in May. within our first week we found two families we are hoping to baptize and one of them has a date set up for them. Its amazing how revelation in this mission works. The Lord will provide a way for this work to come to pass, I know it. With one of the families we were just walking down the street on our way home and a litte girl came running up to us and said come teach us. So we followed her to her house and taught her and her mom about Jesus Christ. We taught them again lesson 1 and after teaching the mom told us she wants her kids to get baptized. So we extended the invitation and her and her kids accepted to be baptized.
We are really excited for these up coming weeks right now we are preparing to go to Casas Grandas, there we are going to meet Elder Christopherson. He is going to speak to us and then the mission is going to be split. There is some pretty sweet stuff going on in this mission. It may not be the highest baptizining mission in the world but its is such an awesome mission.
One thing thats really weird about bieng in Juárez is I can see the United States. Its super weird seeing El Paso every night walking home. Another thing thats weird is they play american music here all the time. I see it as the Lord making it harder for me on the mission because you know how much I love my music.
The best thing for everyone back home to do is just email me because it takes forever for the mail to get here.
So we dont skype in this mission yet. We will have to see what the new President says so we only call home. How it works is we call home from one of the Church phones and then you call that number back and then we talk. We only have 40 min. to talk so we cant waste time. I call home on Sunday (mothers day) and I will be calling at 4. The time is the same here as it is in the USA.

So the talk that Elder Holland gave in the MTC I actually have it and I read it alot I still want to read his talk ¨Feed My Sheep¨. But I love that talk and I have it all marked up. My mission has not been easy I can tell you that. I know I will not experience what Jesus did in his life, but as Elder Holland said in life we must take a few steps down the road with our own Cross. One thing that you said can be super hard with life losing a loved one. But I know that with surounding love of others, and with the help of the Savior we can be lifted up. One of my favorite stories in the Bible is about Jesus walking on the water, and how he called out to Peter. I see my mission as this same thing, my savior is calling upon me to follow him and step and walk on water. But the only way I can do it is to have faith in him. I know that when I start to fall into the water or I go through hard times on my mission that he will be there to lift me up and help me.
I know this church is true and I am proud to be on a mission.
Elder Thorpe