Monday, August 29, 2016

Apparently, the whole human race originated from Africa... (August 22, 2016)

This was just one of those missionary weeks where literally everything
falls through :) Honestly, we're not too discouraged because
sometimes, that's just how it goes. We put forth as much effort we can
and rely on the spirit, but people still have their agency.

Terry came to church!! The insurance company put her up in a hotel and
she is trying to get her strength back from everything that has gone
on. She made it through sacrament meeting AND Sunday school! She's
excited to go and see her son and her granddaughter in Vegas. But she
leaves Thursday and won't be back for another like 10 days. She has a
renewed resolve to quit smoking!

No Tammy this week because she has to take care of family issues :/

Peter is seriously the greatest human alive. So we sat down one day to
read the Book of Mormon, as usual. We got to talking a little bit when
I realized that I don't know a whole lot about Peter's life. I hadn't
sat down and just found out who he is and where he comes from. I mean,
I knew the general stuff that you need to know as a missionary to help
teach him, but I was curious. Not quite sure how we got on the
conversation, but he started telling us about when the Japanese
invaded his home island Chuuk. He talked about how the Japanese
soldiers stayed on the island and set up factories there. He also
talked about a Japanese spy who notified the American army of what was
going on and how the Chuukese people were being treated. When an
American bomber flew over, he pointed a huge spotlight at the plane
and then at the spot where the Japanese ship was so they could bomb
it. Peter was telling us about a farmer who planted his crop and
arranged his potatoes to signal the Americans of where to look to
strike. Apparently, Peter was one of 9 councilmen from his town. There
is one mail warehouse for the whole island that everyone goes to. We
have Peter's address in Chuuk for when he moves back and we want to
send him letters :) There's so much more he told us and I could have
sat there for forever listening to his life. Btw his family found a
new apartment and moved in at the nic of time. Peter is so grateful.

could feel the spirit so strong in that lesson. Ryan was telling us
that it feels right and he feels ready. He's been taught for so long,
but it wasn't until a few months ago that he really started
progressing. He wants to come to church as much as he can with his two
jobs. He really wants to be a full member, be a true part of the
church. We're so happy to help this family as they continue to make
covenants with our Heavenly Father and progress towards being sealed
as an eternal family in the temple.

Ok so crazy person from the week: We were knocking doors along the
street where an inactive member lives. We stopped on the far side of a
random house's driveway to look at our map to see where some more
potentials would be when I spot this figure lurking up and peeking
over his fence. He yells out, "What are you doin!?" He couldn't see
Sister Cichos from where he was at, only me. We were like, "Checking
our map to see where we're headed next." Then he yells, "Where'd you
come from?" So naturally I said, "The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints" lol. He got mixed up and thought we were the JWs. I
was all like, no not really have you ever heard of mormons? Yeah
that's us. How are you doing today, have you ever met with the
missionaries before, we're sharing a scripture from the Book of
Mormon, would you like a copy, blah blah blah the whole shpeel. He
sounded sane at that point, but boy was I wrong. He starts going off
on how our church had some messed up history in hating black people
and that if we were taught correctly, we would know that the whole
human race can be traced back to African ancestors through DNA and how
he is ex FBI and all this other crazy stuff.
We were just like, well our church doesn't practice that hate and God
loves all people. He wasn't hearing a thing. I gave up and said, well
sir, I didn't get to learning that in all of the science classes I've
taken in my lifetime. Theeeeen he asks us who we are going to vote
for!! He went off like y'all better not say Donald Trump because
Hillary is the way to go. Heaven help us if trump is elected and then
he starts rambling about how our church also has a lot of money. By
this point I figured we should probably slowly back away and make our
exit. The man wouldn't even tell us his name, he said it was top
secret. Find out later that night while I was talking to that man,
Sister Cichos had the whole Saratov approach thing happening in her
mind and was getting super freaked out.

It was cool to study this week about Alma the younger becoming
converted. He was super rebellious and went around trying to destroy
the church with his buddies. He had a hard heart and was stuck in his
ways. His father probably had endless nights of praying fervently on
behalf of his son. When Alma was struck dumb by an angel, his father
rejoiced because he knew that the Lord was helping his son to become
humble. Now I'm sure that in the beginning of being struck dumb, Alma
wasn't too thrilled. Afterwards, he got up and exclaimed his
experience with the Atonement and wanted to go about sharing about
repentance. I have to sit back and ask myself if I take all of my
humbling experiences in stride. Can I find a way to rejoice in
experiences that are unpleasant to go through, but will lead me to be
more like the Savior? I'm learning that as I do, I find a greater
capacity in myself to be happy. If I see all of my experiences as ways
to learn, I know that I can one day return triumphant to my Father in

Love y'all,
Sister Thorum

Our washing machine finds ways to flood our kitchen, even when we don't use it!


Froyo because RYAN IS ON A DATE

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Welcome to the 1st annual, 2016 Antelope Zone Olympics! (August 15, 2016)

Transfer week :( We lost like half of our zone. It was super
bittersweet. But we ended up gaining five new missionaries, one new to
the mission! So I am not the baby of the mission any longer. We are
determined to make this transfer awesome, especially since we lost
some awesome people, sooooo we decided to do a zone olympics :) Today
we came up with the theme "Sweet is the Work" and we're gonna do the
moving the cookie from your forehead to your mouth with no hands
challenge, blowing a bubble with a piece of gum hidden under a mound
of whipped cream, and doing a pudding drop on our companions' faces.
Needless to say, were pretty dang excited.

Now for the nitty gritty.

We have to push back Terry's date :/ We think it's word of wisdom
issues, but we haven't seen her in a few days. She's been having lots
of stress and back pain. A few days ago she texted us saying to call
her. So we did and found out that she accidentally left something on
her stove and nearly burned her kitchen down. When the inspectors came
afterwards, they noted that she might have asbestos. She can't go back
in until she meets with whatever department people again. Plus, she
had an anxiety attack the other day and landed in the ER. I do not
know how that woman is still going. She is preparing for 3 court dates
and has no money. She's basically all alone too, besides her cousin,
who has problems of his own. Lots of prayers for Terry.

We had those massive pancakes with the B family again. Guess who
finished her whole one and the side of potatoes that came with it?!?!?
That's right, this sister did :) I think Justin (the dad) was
impressed. We challenged them to hold family prayer together each
night. It was cute because they were talking about how that might be
hard since their dad comes home late at night. Their ten year old was
all like, hey we can call him and put him on speaker phone! There is
always a way folks.

Tammy took the news of not being able to be baptized for the next
while like a champ! We taught about repentance and she was right
alongside us! She was telling us her experiences with each step and it
was amazing to see how she has so much peace because of it. Repentance
brings forth joy and a desire to be more like our Savior. Many prayers
were answered during that lesson, as she took the news well and didn't
kick us out. It ended up being a very joyful lesson.

Peter's sense of humor is coming out more and more. So we didn't see
him at stake conference so we couldnt flag him down to sit with us. We
met up afterwards and he said he sat in a random row, that he lost his
two little girls. We were all like what the heck Peter, what little
girls? He's like they're sisters and they usually sit with me. That's
when I caught on that he was talking about us. That's Peter for ya.

We're not sure if Cecil is all quite there anymore during lessons.
They usually end up going in circles and are kind of frustrating. He
contradicts himself a lot and gets off on random subjects. We're
pretty bummed, but are hoping that we can do service throughout the
week for him by reading him the Book of Mormon.

Ok so there's this family that we are working with and they are the
greatest thing ever. Alexis is a returning inactive member. Her
husband is named Ryan and he has a 5 year old daughter named lily.
We've been teaching them for a little while and have really gotten to
see Ryan's desire to be baptized, they want to be an eternal family so
bad. They've been coming to work when Ryan is off work (which is a
miracle because he works two retail jobs which don't get much Sunday
time off). We get to have FHE with their family and our ward mission
leader's family. Ryan and Alexis seem to be branching out a little,
because Alexis doesn't really like meeting new people. This is a huge
step for them! We're planning on getting Ryan on date by tonight.

Some days I miss being able to get out and do none missionary-y stuff
like hang with friends, listen to regular music, or see my fam jam.
It's tough, but it's comforting to know that what I'm doing isn't
wrong. I get to devote this time to service. I get to stand with my
Savior's name on my badge all the time. I just have to keep reminding
myself that, no matter how hard things get out here and how much
easier it would be to turn around and go home, this is where I need to
be. People have made sacrifice for me to get here and I'm having some
truly incredible experiences. I get to see how people's lives are
changed by the gospel. I get to look at people and see some of their
eternal potential. It makes me excited to be a part of people making
covenants with their Heavenly Father to make it back to Him.

I read up on blessings of the temple this week. We're working with a
returning less active member on helping her feel worthy to enter the
temple again. She feels ready in all of the interview question
categories, except she feels that she needs to clear up some of her
own feelings before she enters in again. We shared the talk, "See
Yourself in the Temple" with her. She said that it was just what she
needed. She's excited to work on her heart so that she feels worthy to
go back to that sacred place. I love how in that talk we read,
"President Monson has stated: “Until you have entered the house of the
Lord and have received all the blessings which await you there, you
have not obtained everything the Church has to offer. The
all-important and crowning blessings of membership in the Church are
those blessings which we receive in the temples of God.” Then he goes
on to say, "It is our great desire that members of the Church will
live to be worthy of a temple recommend. Please don’t see the temple
as some distant and perhaps unachievable goal. Working with their
bishop, most members can achieve all righteous requirements in a
relatively short period of time if they have a determination to
qualify and fully repent of transgressions. This includes being
willing to forgive ourselves and not focus on our imperfections or
sins as disqualifying us from ever entering a sacred temple." We need
those blessings and we can get there through repentance. Never
underestimate the true power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

I love being a missionary.

Sister Thorum

The old crew again

random antelope pic with tucked in shirt for biking

sometimes you need a bunch of popcorn for nightly planning

Ryan, Alexis and Lily