Hello from Elder Thurber--who serves in the Philippines Manila Mission

Hello from Elder Thurber--who serves in the Philippines Manila Mission

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Dec. 10th "If You Don't Go On a Mission, a Huge Chunk of Your Life Will Always Be Missing"

Tue 12/10/2013 1:16 AM

Family and friends,
This past week has been uplifting and quite unlike any other. I can't believe how much more my testimony has grown lately, and how much I want to just get out the door and teach.

So you know how we set a record this past week for 16 New Investigators? Well, we just passed that this week by 7. Yeah, we got 23 NI! We're on a role! In fact, the whole Narra District is on fire, not just us. January will be a very promising month for all of us.
Here's a cool story about getting referrals. It occurred last Thursday, and brought unprecedented success.

Our 1st appointment of the day fell through, but the guy really likes us (even though he thinks of it as bible study) and gave us two awesome referrals in a place called "housing" which is a little far away. All of our other appointments weren't there, so we decided to see what he was talking about. When we took a trike down there, we saw a few houses here and there and then--BAM! We were in a brand new town!  Everybody waved to us! As soon as we got off the trike, 7 people just randomly started talking to us, and were as interested in the gospel as they could be, and then we taught them. They weren't even our referrals. They all said they'd read. We then taught the referrals from our first appointment, which were just as interested. It was quite incredible, and a total confidence booster for us.

Just this past yesterday we got a special treat. All Narra Zone missionaries watched "The Grinch" after zone meeting. It's the one with Jim Carrey, and I can't believe we were allowed to watch it.
We had "District Conference" this past Saturday and Sunday. It's the same thing as Stake Conference, but our area isn't big enough to be a stake yet. (More on that later). It was a spiritual feast, and we saw and heard a bunch of wonderful talks and testimonies from recent converts, that I could understand. What I got out of it most of all is that the missionary work is moving forward.

One of the talks is actually where my blog title, "If you don't go on a mission, a huge chunk of your life will be always missing" came from.  It was from a guy in our ward who cried while saying it. And it's so darn true! If you're a guy thinking about serving a mission, please consider that you will be twice the man you were before. There isn't a substitute. By losing yourself, you realize that your Heavenly Father has more in store for you than you realize.

I'm running out of time, but I just want you to know that I know the Church is true, and that Heavenly Father did in actuality appear personally to Joseph Smith and that the Book of Mormon holds the truth. You probably know that. But comprehension of these things is a gradual, life-long process that can only come through living every aspect you learn. By going on a mission, these truths will sink deeper into your heart and mind, and you will want, like so many people before, to tell them to all other people on the earth. You'll find, at the point I am right now, that any doubts you had before your mission are, in comparison, extremely weak compared to the benefits.

I'm so happy to be where I am right now. I'm in the middle of The Narra Zone which is hopefully being transformed into a stake soon. We're really close. The solution, President Stucki has said, is to do Home Teaching. We're at 3 percent right now. So every Sunday, all the missionaries here are going to be going on splits and doing home teaching with home teachers to those Less Active members here. All we need is more Melchezidek priesthood holders and then we're a stake. The goal is that in July we will reach that criteria.

This is what we saw one day at a "Tindahan" which is a small store people have as part of their house. It's like a 7-11, but really tiny and cheap. I thought it was funny what the sign said. What they meant was halo-halo, which is this mixture of ice cream, shavings, and fruit, which I have yet to try. It seems they have yet to try the awesomeness of halo 1. 

The guy on the left is who I'll be working with later on today, who is a Zone Leader. Hes Elder Haynie from Alabama. He's great and only a few transfers ahead of me. 

It's interesting how being a missionary doesn't really change how you take a picture. These are all of the ties that I bought for us.  

So yeah! Life's great here. The missionary work is pushing forward at a great rate.  The language is great. The missionaries are great. Every part is great.

Elder Thurber 

Matthew's Mom's note:  Be sure to read the other posts I publish today. I think I will be able to get caught up later today.  Merry Christmas to all of Matthew's friends.

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