Thermop (it's how they say it here)
Well, let me tell you, this is a change! It's like a whole new world over here. I don't even know how to describe Thermopolis. The hardest part of all of this was leaving Belgrade. That was comparable to leaving home. I knew the place so well and I loved the people there. And I had also grown pretty close to the elders I was with. So it was a bunch of mixed emotions. But by the time I got to Billings and I was on my way to Wyoming I was over it. But now I'm here and it's way too weird here. So the town is 3009 people. It's a great community and there is a lot of Christianity here. It's just different though. Haha the whole town smells like a fart because of the hot spring that's here. But I got used to it. I haven't even seen the hot spring yet but I will eventually. But the town is organized pretty well. It's all square and it's named by numbers so you always know where you are. I should learn the town pretty soon.
The Ward is so weird. It's full of fruity people. But I tell you what, there is work to do here! Everybody is a fruit so it just works so well. Everyone and anyone is welcome. It's really nice to see. We have both hicks and classy people. It's pretty cool to see every body come together. Our Ward seems to have a pretty good missionary mindset from what I've seen so far. We've gotten some pretty good referrals already. We will see where that goes. And the Ward really takes care of us. We have a lady from our Ward that does all of our laundry for us. No joke, it's almost too much. I really like our bishop too. He's a great guy. He's got a lot of energy and he cares a lot. He's just down to earth. The only bad thing about this Ward is the number of inactives. We have over 500 members and only 150 show up. So I did some math with these numbers. So theoretically if I get all of the less actives to church then I would have brought 1 tenth of the town back to church. Kind of like my tithing for this area. Well, tithing if it was in people. So that's all I have to do, bring 300 people back to the church, easy right? I wish. We will never have a shortage of work to do. We have months of work to do even if we just did less actives. Wow! And the less actives here are different. So most of the less actives in Belgrade quit coming to church because of a social concern or a doctrinal concern. Not here, the people here don't come because they are lazy. We will straight up ask people why they don't come to church and they just shrug their shoulders and say, I don't know. They don't even give an excuse! It's ridiculous! So we are going to have to spoon feed these people until they can start good habits of basic acts of faith like reading and praying. The active members are sometimes kind of mysterious too. I feel like it's Snowflake drama but times 10. We are always hearing about who did this and who did that. And because we are missionaries everyone just tells us all that they are going through, which is both good and bad. Sometimes I wish I could unhear things but at the same time I kind of need to know so I can help them. It's just too much sometimes. There are too many crazy people here, members or nonmembers!
My companion is also a new experience as well. I don't really know how to describe him. But I'm truly learning so much. I'm thankful to be in this area and to be with the companion that I'm with because I know there is a reason I'm here. I know that as I just accept what I get and make the most of it then I will find the most happiness possible for my situations. I'm really leaning on the lord right now. He's the only one who feels this with me right now so I'm making him work pretty hard to help me.
I'd like to end with my testimony. I don't normally end with my testimony but I'm going to start doing it now because I've been told that some of the most important missionary work I will do is for the people at home and on the other side of the veil. We had a great lesson in church that we taught and my Ward mission leader told us that there were people on the other side whose lives were touched. I never looked at it that way but I knew it was true as soon as he said it. So we never know whose prayers we are answering or who we are touching, even when we feel like we are failing. But I know this is Christ’s gospel on the earth and that this is his church led by him and a living prophet. I know the Book of Mormon is true and is the word of God. I know that God lives and loves us enough to give us this opportunity to come here to learn and overcome death both spiritually and physically. He does it through his son, our Savior, who we must follow so that we can return to live with Heavenly Father. If you ever doubt that you are loved, just stop and look around you. Everything that we have is an expression of God’s love for us. He gave us this earth and our bodies for cryin out loud! We just have to make the best of it :) I love you all! Keep me updated!
|Me and Elder Peterson tracting together for the first time|
|A cute bunny at a members house|
|Me and Elder Peterson at McDonalds|
|Some deer in the neighborhood. I took that from the car, super cool.|
|Me getting a hair cut from a crispy guy named Max|
|Me and Elder Potter in a car wash with a light show|