June 5

Hey mom and dad so this week has been a crazy one. We had a pretty normal week. Lots of finding, especially on the uni campus. It’s really weird proselyting in a polo shirt. Other than that it has been crazy. Elder Hartman and I and the Farrers went down to Katherine for trade offs with Elder Atkinson and Hammond. They have a branch of about 5 people and teach all aboriginal. Other than that it has been really normal. We are teaching two people, Eric from china and John who is half cast aboriginal.

Brent – Sounds like you are having more of an aboriginal experience in Darwin. That is cool. Mom found pictures of your visit to Katherine and the baptism on Facebook. She is creeping you. Do you have any pictures to send?  I want a picture of you in the Polo Shirt!

Krista – It is great to hear from you. Did everything work out with the Khakis? I’m glad you have some people to teach. I just got home from a fireside about mission prep for the priests and laurels. Our sister missionaries and the bishop spoke. They all did a great job  talking about the practical things for mission prep and the spiritual and emotional challenges. They also spoke about how different a mission actually is to what they thought it would be but how it is hard but very rewarding. What would you say is different about mission like than you imagined?

Tommy – I thought when i came on the mission all we would be doing was teaching and finding would be easy

Brent – It is easy to go finding, harder to catch a quality investigator. What are some of the big differences you are noticing in Darwin vs Adelaide?

Krista – I’m sure everyone learns that lesson. I think you are working really hard. I have learned that throwing a big party is not a good idea before the missionary leaves and that I am so grateful for everyone that helps my child in his mission and from home. I have also learned that it is hard to type an email to a missionary while Jake is busy trying to get you to repeat everything he says:)!!!! That picture of you and Elder Ivory makes me smile. I remember the pictures you sent of him in the MTC and it seems like he always had that great smile there too.  Do you need to buy any more pants this week?

Tommy – darwin is harder to find a quality invetsigator because they are very laid back up here but super easy to find. adelaide is the opposite  no i have plenty of pants and yeah he loves the work

Krista – Well, we will pray that your investigators stick to it. Tell me  a little bit about them. What a blessing it is to have a companion who loves the work.  And what a neat opportunity to go to Katherine. I saw the Farrer’s picture of a river you were checking out for a baptism. Do you not have to worry about crocs?

Tommy – the uni is cool because nobody recognizes us as missionaries so they just talk to us as friends. yeah so thats in katherine and there are heaps of crocs there so we were checking if the water is good for a baptism next week

Brent – So Drew willingly volunteered to sing in a youth ensemble for the next Moroni Quest fireside. I got the email asking if he wanted to join. Was sure he would say no but he said yes to weekly practices until the end of June. Who is that kid. Guess I don’t know my son that well.

Tommy – eric is from hong kong and is awesome but he is going back to china for a month. and john is half cast and really committed but work takes him out to the mines – he said yes because there will be girls there im betting 10$ on that

Krista – That’s interesting. Are there a lot of mines near Darwin? Is it kind of like working on the oil rigs here in Alberta? Is the University year opposite to ours here? They must have their big break around November/ December????

Brent – Good guess but you are down $10. It is an all boy ensemble. But he may actually not know that. He just left so we shall see.

Tommy – yeah they have a lot of gold mines out bush. and eah its like living in calgary and doing a week on a week off at the oil rigs. they do 10 weeks straight here and then 2-3 off and repeat all year

Krista – How was MLC training this week?  What did you learn? What do you want to apply or imporve?

Tommy – we focussed on member work. it has been a slow process in this mission but is coming along

Krista – I think what a blessing that would be. I’m sure there would be lots of inactive members to work with like anywhere in the church. It seems so much more personal as I think about family members and friends who have left the church and how happy I would be if they would speak to the missionaries.

Tommy – yeah its something the mission is really focussing on

Krista – I love that! I think you also told me that you are talking to investigators about their family history. i still remember how we both commented on that part of your patriarchal blessing… who knew! Now that you have been in your district a couple of weeks, tell me some strengths of some of your missionaries.

Tommy – yeah who knew about family history eh?

Brent – Tell me how you use Family History with investigators

Tommy – we usually share a family history pass along cards with them and share familysearch.org

Brent – Nice! I think your epic story is checking out a river for baptisms to see if there are crocs. Awesome. All I worried about was drunks.

Tommy – haha probably as dangerous as the croc

Krista – As you know I have a real testimony of family history and how it can soften people’s hearts. I was listening to president Eyring’s talk from General Conference and it was all about that.   Still want to know more about your district than their names. Tell me their best qualities!

Tommy –

elder arnaud is from tahiti and he is always keen to do the work

elder mattie is from mission bc and he is a really good singer

sister angoy is from philipines and is the happiest person i know

sister purvis is from utah and extremely talented finder

Brent – Add in‎ Tommy D and Elder Ivoreee and you have a powerhouse district!

Tommy – we got to go love you talk to you next week

October 16, 2016

tom-apartment

Hey Mom and Dad,

Yeah I see all the pictures dad sends me and I really appreciate it. All the other elders are laughing at Benny’s halloween costume. The boys we are teaching are being baptized on november the 4th and they are making huge progress. It’s amazing to see how accepting they are of everything we teach! Little miracle this week, we felt prompted to go buy some candy for one of our recent converts and so as we walked into the store there was Ethan and Tyson! We hadnt been able to see them for almost a week and we ran into them. We caught up and set a time to come back and teach. We met this family this week that are just the golden investigators. We stopped by their house and their son Alfy (4 years old) dragged us in the door. Their uncle also wants to join in on the lessons. The poutine went great! Elder Larson (district leader) is hooked and asked me to make it again. Elder Touma is being transfered and Elder Johnson is gonna be training so I wont be the new one in the flat anymore! And yes Mom I made the gravy from a base. The storm was absolutely unreal. There are so many trees that have been blown over. No I havent seen any big spiders yet. It’s been too cold for the snakes and spiders so far.
Krista -That’s great about your investigators. How wonderful to have a baptism within the first couple of months of being in Australia. Tell me about your Golden investigators. Who is in the family? Are you still teaching the woman with the autistic son?

When I get Benny dressed up in the costume I will send a picture. it remains to be seen if he can move around in it. Are you keeping your coat then…? you don’t need to buy one? Are transfers next week?

Tommy – the family is hannah (mom) I cant remeber the dads name and three kids. Every time we stop by Alfy always drags us around the house showing us stuff. We dont know them too well but are going to see them this week. I’ll tell you mom there a reason im in happy valley ward. Yesterday a family in our ward found out that their 4 year old son has autism. I was able to talk to them and comfort them and tell them all about it. We havent been able to see the other family with autism due to us being busy but we will this week.

Krista – I’m glad you are in the right place.  It is great that you know how to relate to those families. I remember how that feels to get a new diagnosis. The first while it is like your whole world is turned upside down.  I spent a lot of time crying. All of the plans you had change and you have to start planning a very different life. It’s like being in mourning for a while. But there is great hope and comfort in the gospel and in family and friends. It sounds like you are keeping busy with teaching and conferences. Was zone conference this week?

Brent – Do you like the website. Do you want any changes?  I saw the pictures on your mission mom’s website of your zone conference. The sloppy joes look good.

Tommy – oh they were freaking heavenly, I had 4 and the website looks awesome

Brent – Super exciting to teach those brothers. I baptized a 13 year old whose parents were members but had gone inactive for a while. That is so great. 59 minutecookie dough fundraiser this week. Drew, Isabelle, Taylor, and Grace are all fighting over the Steeds.

Tommy – haha let them know that grandparents are the suckers and there are only so many Steeds that will buy

Brent – They are selling loaves and cake decorating stuff too. Very exciting. Home taught McCues today. I gave the message today and they pretty much ignored me. I didn’t have the mouse book. They are picky.

Tommy – oh rookie mistake dad – I need a mouse book when I teach these kids – we have a family in our ward that is so hyper and they love to fight the missionaries. I could use something like that

Brent – If you are good maybe you will get one sent your way. Funny how I can get 90 kids quiet in a gym but got killed by 5 McCues. Hopefully it goes well with Stevens next week. They don’t need the mouse.

Tommy – haha we arent allowed to use a mouse book anyways. Do you guys know any good object lessons?

Brent – Be patient. You are a big deal to them. Picture them as missionaries one day. Can’t be any tougher than daily life in the cabins in Waterton.

Tommy – haha yeah they are nothing compared to lukes groin punches

Brent – We need to get Mom on Pinterest. She will find some good ideas for you. McCues were talking about the candy shirt this summer. We can thank Pinterest for that! Are you getting many dinner appointments?  We used to have breakfast, big meal 2-4, then snack at night. Almost no dinner appointments ever.

Tommy – we have one dinner appt this week with our investigating family but its usually 2-3 a week

Brent – We listened to LeGrand Curtis’s talk from priesthood for scriptures tonight. Great talk about the Book of Mormon. He told the story about the church being illegal in Ghana. I taught and baptized a man in Sweden from Ghana whose family lost their home at that time. He was the only nonmember in his family. His name is Eddie. Wonder where he is now and if he is active.

Tommy – my favourite talk is a tie between Mark W. Basset or David A. Bednar

That’s all for this week everyone