Monday, June 22, 2015

It's finished...

Well, its over.  I honestly cannot believe it.  I never thought that the end would come! Haha for about my whole mission I was really thinking that I would be staying here forever. But, like everyone told me, it does end.  And it ends fast.
It has been a hard two years, I must admit. Many of you know that I struggled pretty hard at the beginning.  I may have cried like a little girl a few times haha. But it was hard to leave everything I had ever known and come to a foreign country where no one knew who I was and no one spoke my language. I suffered, I cried from pain and sorrow, I felt very alone at times. 

However, looking back on the two years, it's hard to remember how I felt in those hard times because I have also laughed so hard, cried from great amounts of joy, and have felt a love and joy that I had never felt before. Those feelings and memories over power the bad ones. I could not be more grateful for my mission.  I have been able to feel the Atonement of Jesus Christ in my life and have honestly felt the healing power that it has.  IT WORKS!! I have seen it change peoples lives once they choose to accept it. It does not matter the pain or sorrow that we have, Christ knows EXACTLY how we feel at all times and will help us through it. And even if we are doing all that we can do and it isn't enough, the grace of the Atonement makes up for the rest. We can't make it to the end of the Plan without Him or His sacrifice. It has been an honor to be able to serve Him as a missionary. I know that this is His work. I also know that this was His mission, I was just used as an instrument.  I found that when working in the work of the Lord, you can't do anything without Him.

After many prayers, fasts, and experiences, I now know that it is all true. I know it for myself because I have lived it.  La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias is the kingdom of God here on the earth.  It is the only church that holds the divine priesthood power to do ordinances and make covenants with God.  I know with all my heart that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that Joseph Smith was called of God to restore the Church and to translate the Book of Mormon. I have been able to feel that confirmation for myself, and have been able to testify many times of it. I know that this Gospel will change and bless lives. I have become completely converted to this Gospel, which was one of my goals I had at the beginning of my mission.  I am so proud and happy to say that I made it. I am finishing this thing, and it has completely changed me. I LOVE this Gospel!   
Like you told me Dad, it's hard to put how I feel into words. It is going to be so hard to say goodbye to this crazy country that I have come to love with all of my heart.  I am very excited to see you all on Thursday, but at the same time a little torn to leave all that I have come to know here. But, I guess its time to move on. I must take what I have learned and put it into practice back home. 

Thank you all for the love and support that you have given me over the past 2 years.  I know that I would not be here finishing if it wasn't for the incredible family that I have!!
I love you all so much and will SEE and hug you all on Thursday! 

Elder P.R. Thorpe

My last zone conference

Monday, June 15, 2015

Uno Mas!!

My dear family!

I would be lying if I said I don't feel weird right now.  I just saw pics of Stephen, Hum, Caleb and Karson all together.  Has 2 years really gone by? I can't believe it! But everyone sounds good! Lazer tag sounds like it was a blast. Loved the pics, so good to see Kaden too! They all don't look like they have changed much. At least not physically haha. 

Well, this week was a good one. We have found some super positive people! They are progressing a lot and we love them!
One of them is named V_____M_____. V___ is a brother of a member that was baptized about 2 years ago.  The member is inactive so we went to visit him to get to know him and that's how we found V___. We have taught him only a couple times, but man he is so cool.  He is one of those investigators who understands what we teach him the first time we teach it. He says he would like to be baptized, but with a little more time. He has a big family that all live right there with him and only 2 of the 10 siblings are members.  So we were jumping for joy when we found this family. 
Another family that we found was kind of a miracle.  It is the L____ family, H___ and V____, and their 2 sons, A____ and M____.  H____ was baptized a long time ago but hasn't gone in many years.  We found them just contacting in the street. We visited them the first time and they were so nice and were really interested. H____ works a lot so he says it will be hard for him to get to church, but V_____ committed to church in the first visit. She was unable to go, but I'm really hoping that they progress quickly!
We have been trying so hard with L____ and her grandma, but the grandma just isn't quite sure about it all yet. Hopefully this week she says yes.
Another cool thing this week is that I was finally able to Meet the Mormons! Pretty sweet flick.  The Navy football coach was cool, and the old pilot guy! And the fighter from Costa Rica.  Sure is cool to be Mormon! We watched it in our church building on Saturday with some members and investigators.
Another thing I did this past week was have my last interview with Pres. Spjut. It was a really great interview and I got some great advice to help me with life after the mission. I'm still nervous for the future, but I feel confident that all will be fine.  I'm well prepared with all the stuff I have gone through and learned in these past 2 years, and I'm excited to see where life takes me and the things I will be able to do.  Can't wait to see you all! Miss ya all like crazy, but just 10 more days.  Next week I will write a summary of my mission for you all and the things that I have learned.  Although, Dad is right, it is going to be very hard to find the words to describe it.
Have a great week guys! Stay busy Mom and Dad, makes the time go faster, haha, I promise.

Elder Thorpe

Monday, June 8, 2015

2 MAS!

Hey fam. I don't really know what you mean when you say that the weeks are dragging because I feel like they are going super fast! I'm still trying to believe that I only have two full weeks left of being a missionary.  Kinda sad! Nick I'm proud of ya for bearing your testimony yesterday! I bet it was awesome.  I got to bear mine too, the last time in this country probably. It was good, it just feels good to be able to testify of things you know to be true.  I can't even explain how grateful I am for the Atonement.  The greatest thing in the world!! But Nick, it's a bummer that you sprained your hand, dude.  Just tape it up really good and keep playing. ;) Hope it gets better soon!

So for us down here, it's been another quick, but rainy week. It has rained everyday since last wednesday so the rainy season/winter has hit.  Rain really isn't a good friend to a missionary who has to be out walking all day to get to the appointments. But it is what it is.  I am just really praying that my shoes hold up for me haha. 
Well, this week was kind of a tough one for us. We worked hard, but things just haven't quite worked out the way we would have liked. We were able to visit with A__ and talk more about his situation and what is going on. So his grandma is very sick and so he and his family are having to take turns taking care of her.  He just happens to be taking care of her for these next 2 months. He will be on the boarder of Guatemala all week except for wednesday and thursday and he will come back to Atiquizaya. We tried to get him to change the days, but he says he can't and has already tried.  So, A___ won't be baptized for another 2 months. It's pretty disappointing for me because I was so excited for his baptism and after all of the hard work we put in to teaching him. But the good thing is that he still wants to be baptized and will in a few months. 
With L____ it has also been a struggle. We have found out this week that due to some problems in the past, L___ is actually in legal custody of her grandma.  So that has changed a lot of things. Now we have to have the permission of the grandma for L____ to be baptized. We are planning with the bishop to go and talk with her to see if we can get her to give the permission.  So its kind of a tough situation there as well, she probably won't be baptized this week. But we are still working at it!

Well the time is going so fast! I'll be seeing you all super soon. Also, that Yellowstone trip sounds like a blast I'm pumped! Have a great week all of you! Love ya tons!

Elder Thorpe  

Monday, June 1, 2015

3 more emails...

Mama! Estoy bien!
Look at you and your spanish.   So school is out? That sounds fun! No school and lots of baseball is the greatest time of year. Crazy to hear that there are so many people coming home in the next few weeks.  Lots of homecomings!  Well, let me tell ya about this week...

Had some changes this week.  On Thursday I got a call from President Spjut telling me that E C___ will be changing areas and that I will be getting a new companion.  I guess there was an Elder who was going home so they needed to make some emergency changes in a few areas. One of the areas just happened to be us.  But I guess its okay.  I was a bit bummed to say goodbye to C___, but my new comp is a real good kid from New Mexico named Elder A____.  #gringo! He just got done being the secretary of the baptism records. (Another reason for the changes) So we have been tearing it up and working hard together for the past few days. 
Another downer of this week is that A____ was not baptized.  His family has some economical problems so he has been staying and working with some family members over by the boarder of Guatemala to earn a little extra money.  He is still wanting to be baptized and everything, but we are going to wait for the 13th so everything is planned out good.  
L___is doing good and is really wanting to be baptized. She is a very smart girl. As we were preparing her for her baptism interview and all that, she already knew the things we were teaching her just from going to church with her mom. It has been a little difficult for her with the decision to be baptized because the grandma doesn't want her to do it at all.   But L____ really wants to be baptized and knows that its what she should do. However, we talked with the bishopric and decided that it would be better to wait for her to be baptized until her grandma is more okay with it. We are going to work hard with her this week to help her understand that L___ is ready to be baptized.  Please send up some prayers for L___ so she can be baptized! 
Also this past week I have had a few days where I have thought a lot of how important it is to study the scriptures, especially the BOM. I love this book! I think I love it more in spanish, too! Haha.  But being able to study it and teach it to other people this past week has given me another confirmation that it is true. I love testifying to people about it because I have felt it's truth while reading it. It's hard to explain that joy you get when helping someone understand something of the gospel that you personally know to be true. But it is amazing. I hope that you all are keeping up with your daily scripture study! If not, well, repentance is real. :)

Well, I wrote a ton this week for ya mom so, you're welcome. :) I love you all so much! Have a great week and I will talk soon! 

Elder Thorpe

Monday, May 25, 2015

Great News!

Hey Guys!

Man you all sound fantastic! And like there has been a lot of baseball to watch.  I am so happy to hear that! Also sounds like everyone is playing great.  Loved the pictures! Congrats Nick on going yard man, that's awesome! Brooks with the awesome catch, wish I could have seen it! And Jdawg with 14 Ks?? Pretty good week then! Happy birthday Gma Faux!! Hope she had an awesome day, the party looked fun!
It was a good week for us too.  It is going to be a short email today because, well, I kind of spent most of my time playing basketball today against another zone haha.  Sorry! But good news is that A___ F____ told us that he wants to be baptized! It is all planned for this coming saturday! We were so pumped when he told us! Ill explain more about it next week and put some pictures of it all.
Also the daughter of a recent convert that we have been teaching will be baptized on the 3rd of June! She is super excited about it too. We have been able to find some cool new people this week and we hope that they progress quick! 
I'm sorry I have no time today, but we will talk more next week. Know that I love you all like crazy and that I am doing well! Loving every minute that I have left of this mission.  I have seen the blessings of the gospel so many times and in so many lives, it is amazing that we have it! 
Have a great week this week! Love ya!

Elder Thorpe


Monday, May 18, 2015

Missionary service...

Great to hear from ya all again! Yes, I am still here in El Angel with Calderon.  Haha! No, I said that he will kill me because I am going to go home this change, which means, I am going to die.  So Elder Calderon who is my companion, will be the one who kills me.  Haha! But, yes he works hard, too.  So sounds like we are making a trip to St. George?! Haha yeah I'm okay with that! It will be a bit tough to get the homecoming talk ready, but I can find time on the plane ride home maybe? What will I be speaking on? Just whatever? But yeah, I would love to spend 2 days watching high school baseball! 
Mom, that's awesome that you had a trip to the temple again, sounds like it was great.  I have been wanting to talk to you about all that, but we can when  I get home. Dad, haha no worries dude I love all the advice you give me so please keep it coming! 

This week started off great on Tuesday. We did some service with the other elders from another ward and with the sisters in our ward. It was pretty fun, we had to move a ton of wood and stack it so that they could sell it, then we swept up all of the leaves on their land and burned them all. Then we got the chance to kill three chickens to eat for lunch and I was lucky enough to be one of those who killed one.  It was cool to see and learn how to prepare a chicken and pluck the feathers and all that.  While we were waiting for lunch to be ready, Elder Calderon and I hit some batting practice with a stick and fallen mangos haha! That was a blast. Later on that same day, I learned how to milk a cow! I have always wanted to do it and I finally got the chance! I didn't have my camera so I couldn't take any pictures, but the members took some I think so I'll have to get them. 
The rest of the week went pretty fast.  The whole week has been the Week of the Family so they have been doing a little devotional type thing in the church every day.  We also sang in the choir yesterday at our Ward Conference. That was... fun.  I'm not a big fan of singing in choirs, haha but it went well.
A___ is doing good and is so close to saying yes to baptism. He goes to all the activities and loves it. I think he is just a little scared to do it because his parents are strong members of another church. But he is getting there. We were able to find a few new and positive people this past week.  We went to go visit an inactive member and we found that he lives with his entire family all together on the same land.  He says that there are like 60 people who all live right there on the same street and everytime we have gone to visit him we have found someone new to talk to.  They are really nice people and for right now, they seem very interested so we will see what happens there.
The rain has come.  It rained real hard a few times, but luckily we were inside when it came so we didn't get wet. The rain makes things kind of hard for missionaries because you get soaked, or you're in a lesson under a tin roof and can't hear a word that anyone says because it's raining hard.  

Well, Hey guys I gotta go, but I hope you all have a great week this week! Know that I love you all tons! 

Elder Thorpe

Monday, May 11, 2015

Post Mother's Day call...

So sweet to see you guys yesterday! Always a blessing to see my family.  You all looked great! I agree mom, haha I don't like talking on the computer as much as in person.  But just a few weeks and I will be able to hug each one of you and talk all day long! We just got the news about changes and Elder Calderon and I are staying together!  I am so pumped haha I did not want another companion... :) 
I basically told you all what has happened this week so this might be a short email. Sorry! But things are going good here and we are just on the search to find new people to teach.  We have the daughter of a recent convert that will be baptized next week so that should be good and A__ is also progressing a lot.  It is sad for A___ and J___ O____ because now it's a lot of work to get J___ divorced and then the two of them married.  But hopefully they don't lose the desire that they have now.  
SO yeah, I'm a little nervous about coming home and facing all of those life decisions that lay ahead.  But I do know that I can do it.  I now know how to deal with trials and what  I need to do to have the Lord constantly on my side.  It is hard work, but so rewarding. I'm excited to see what happens in this next stage of my life. Dad, I will take your advice and really try to soak up all of the things I love here in these last few weeks.  

I love you all so much! Have a great week and I will talk to ya soon!

Elder Thorpe