February 20,2017

Hello everyone!
I have no idea what to say right now. I am in Port Gardner now, which is nationally recognized for the most heroin overdoses. There is a lot of crazy going on here. But the good news is that I will grow spiritually from this area! 
We have a 9 year old investigator named Ruth who was supposed to be baptized last Saturday, but her dad canceled it 15 minutes before the baptism. We are planning for her to be baptized this coming Saturday. She is the cutest, bravest little girl I have ever met. Sunday morning we got her ready for church and then a member took her. She sat between Sister Dahl and I and we played tick-tack-toe. 
My new ward missionary leader is Brother Bob. He is 80 years old and a fascinating person. His family was killed in a drunk driving accident, so now he goes to schools and speaks about alcohol and drug use. He also housed troubled people who are often homeless and drug addicts. He has changed a couple of people’s lives around, though!
Brother Bob quote: “If at first you don’t succeed, place the blame quickly.” Hahaha! He is a funny person!
I hope everyone has a wonderful week!
Sister Tomkinson

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February 13, 2017

Hello everyone!
I hope all is going well in school, work, and life!
My whole life has been turned upside-down! I’m being surprise exchanged and they are taking sister missonaries out of Harbour Pointe. Right now I am homeless and three packing with the sister training leaders. Their apartment is the departing missionary apartment so I got to be with my companion one last night among the other five sisters going home. It was weird. Very surreal.😡 You get it in your mind that you will never go home. There was a lot of emotion going on and I don’t think anybody got sleep last night. It’s funny to think that just three days ago I thought I would be taking over Harbour Pointe with a new companion and we would bike off into the sunset. Haha! Not really. But seriously, I need to learn how to expect the unexpected and how to go with the flow. Like a duck. 
I can’t really remember what happened this past week. I had some pictures to share but I’m in a different library with computers that don’t have SD card slots.πŸ™ We shall see if my new area has a library that has computers not from the dinosaur ages! Oh, I remember something! Jo is officially on date to be baptized! July 1st! It will be a few days after she gets married! I hope the elders take good care of her and Steve.πŸ™„ Just kidding! The elders are awesome! 
I hope everyone has a wonderful week and a wonderful Valentines Day!
Sister Tomkinson

February 6, 2017

Hello Everybody! 
How goes life? What’s new? How’s the weather?
I have been doing pretty good.😊 The work on this end has been slow. We are in the process of finding people right now. This is the hard part. This is where we knock doors and talk to people on the streets! For hours! I love it! I look at each person we see and I feel love for them. I see the struggle in their eyes and I know they are people who are searching for peace and truth. I talk to them and hope I can show them a little light. I have learned to love talking to people. I love to hear their stories! It’s like looking through a window into how they experience life.
We had Stake Conference this last Saturday and Sunday. Elder Stapleton of the Seventy presided. Many of the talks were about adversity. He gave a wonderful analogy about a clam. A little grain of sand get’s into his shell and he cannot remove it. So he says:”Since I cannot remove it, I shall try to improve it.” I love this! It is such a positive thing to take the bad and make it good. It is such a happy outlook instead of dwelling on all the negative in the world or in life. There was another talk about adversity where the speaker shared a poem. In the poem, there was a struggling person who asked God:”Why are you taking me through troubled waters?” The Lord answers kindly:”Because your enemies can’t swim.” We have trials so we can be strong enough for the next step God has planned for us, whether that be repentance or a new job. Trials are proof that God is there, and he loves us.
Just keep going and look to God. He will help you through anything. He is only a prayer away! 
Sister Tomkinson

January 30, 2017

Hello again everybody!
The weather here has been pretty gorgeous, and warming up.😊 I’m trying to think about what happened this week…I know it was busy, but everything kinda blurs together. Let’s see…
It was a little bit rough for finding people this week. We ended up dropping four of our investigators: Ed, Alyssa, Hannah, and Alana. But we still have Jo! And we were finally able to meet with her Friday. She is doing okay, still facing her dad’s passing day by day. She was really close with him.
We also helped Roberta with Activity Days. We made, or rather decorated, journals. Those girls LOVE to decorate things! 
Sunday was crazy! First off, people came for a returned missionaries home coming, and then we had Jo, Sister Workman, Roberta, and Trevor prepared and stood in for the sacrament again, though he didn’t try blessing it. A little update on Trevor is we are helping him to get his temple recommend so he can go do baptisms! And Roberta is going to be talking in stake conference this Sunday! We were super excited when she made it to Sacrament meeting. She came to Gospel Principles then when home. She is still healing from surgery. Sister Workman sat with us for Sacrament meeting, then she came to Gospel Principals, and even participated. A brother in the ward took her to our combined third hour in the chapel, where we learned about how to teach our children about some of the more controversial topics out there that most anti-Mormon literature is about. Jo was also with us. It was her first time coming to all three hours of church! And it was all because Sister Brown, the sister we take to Jo’s lessons, asked if she wanted to stay. Steve didn’t want to stay though.πŸ˜‘ We need to find him a friend. 

 

Some little tidbits I have learned this week are:

-It is perfectly normal to be imperfect

-There is only black and white, no gray in-between. Either you are getting closer to God, or farther.

-Pride is the king of contention 
Have a great week!
Sister Tomkinson πŸ’–


January 23, 2017

Hello everybody! Hows the weather?
My week went a little like this:
Fitch Family Home Evening, teaching Trevor and visiting the afflicted, visiting less actives and struggling families, Zone Conference, Jackie, The Migraine vs. God’s Work, and Come See For Yourself. These are only a few of the things we did, they are just the things that stuck our a little more.
I have found that Family Home Evenings are a little difficult.πŸ˜‘ Difficult because you are trying to keep the attention of an age varying group of people with things to get done. It’s fun to see the family dynamics in each family. And I love teaching little kids! The Fitch’s are a wonderful family. Sister Fitch is a doTerra consultant, or whatever you call it. I never thought I would get into it, but it got me! And sister Fitch so conveniently has everything you could ever need at her home. We talked with her family about creating their Family Mission Plan, which has been a major push in this stake. And we love it! We are hoping is will get members involved in missionary work. 
Trevor is progressing nicely. We talked about the importance of prayer with him, and we committed him to kneeling prayers to his Heavenly Father. Our other lesson with him was going over the Law of Chastity with him. He feels very strongly about keeping this law! Sunday Trevor helped prepare the Sacrament again, but this time he decided to bless is. He did really well, but missed a few words. I think he got embarrassed though, and let another young man say it. After the meeting he came up to us sum what dejected. We reassured him that nobody expects him to be perfect his first time. 
We also visited Sister Bergevin, who is a Bishop’s Shore House missionary. She lives alone at home with her four dogs. We saw her specifically because we heard that she had fallen and twisted her ankle. Her daughter was with her when we got there. Sister Bergevin was sitting in her comfy chair with her foot up, and she told us how she had been outside when she fell down, twisting her ankle, and hitting her head on her window. She said she laid there for a long time. And it was cold! Somehow she got up and back into her house. The funny thing is that not only did she drive herself the the hospital, she also took a shower before going! She is a funny lady! 
We have also been visiting a lot of families that have members struggling with their testimonies. It’s sad to see people fall away when you can see the truth. We try our best to show them how to strength their testimonies, then let them go. A less active we visited told us about his story of finding the church. He didn’t like how his mother believed that only a few chosen people would actually go to heaven, and everyone else would burn in hell. So he started his search for the truth. He was pretty active in the church after baptism. He has the priesthood and everything, but something happened that weakened his faith. He told us that organized religion was corrupt, and that nobody really follows the Savior. His thoughts got me thinking about how Christ organized a church, and nobody can fully follow him because we are all so imperfect. Organized religion strengthens it’s members, especially when they have the full truth!  
Zone Conference was really awesome! The instruction we received was truly inspired! I love how much inspiration I take away from these meetings. They help us focus on what we can work on to be better missionaries. President Wilding talked about what repentance means to him. To me repentance is change. Change that brings you closer to Christ. Repentance is handing your will over to God and allowing him to make you better. It’s becoming the best version of yourself. 
Jackie finally responded to us! She was at a hospital for some stuff, but she was discharged against her will so now she is looking for a lawyer. We decided the best thing that we could do for her was to have her study Christ’s life in the Bible. We promised her happiness and light as she studies her scriptures. Happiness is something that she and many others struggle to find. I know that focusing on the Savior brings light into your life. I know that is how we can find true happiness! Let the light of the Savior warm your souls! Oh, and while we were testifying and getting all spiritual, a chihuahua vomited on me. Missionary life struggles.
Yesterday we had to wake up earlier so that we could make it to a missionary round table meeting with Stake President Lee. The meeting was on how we can get members involved in missionary work. It was during this meeting that Sister Bell started getting one of her legendary migraines. She gets blind spots, nauseous, head pain, and numbness. And I can’t drive. She got a blessing after the meeting and we made our way home. Luckily we have 1 o’clock church and she got to sleep some of it off. Her main worry was that we wouldn’t be able to go to the CSFY devotional, and it would be her last one since she is going home soon. Well, long story shot, we got to go. We took a less active lady, Sister Workman, to it and she really liked it. All in all it was a really awesome week filled with adventure!
I hope you all have wonderful weeks filled with many opportunities to share your light! 
Sister Tomkinson πŸ’–

January 17, 2017

Hello everyone!
It has been another wonderful sum-what wet week in Washington!
So for P-Day our little hike/ nature walk took us to the beach! I always love going to the beach. All the many things you find there fascinate me. Naturally I collected shells. 
On Tuesday we were invited/ roped into leading an Activity Days activity, which turned out awesome! We were planning on doing different stations where you would do some kind of missionary activity like sewing a button, or creating a missionary outfit. Sister Bell and I traced ourselves onto some paper so they could color the missionaries. We also had a station where they could make their own name tags. The girls spent all their time decorating the missionaries! They were super decorated! Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, it did!
Thursday we had a blitz with the APs and another set of elders. We sent them to different places in our area to tract and find. While Sister Bell and I were tracting, we met a guy out smoking in his car, so we talked. He said his name was Jeff. We talked about some of our beliefs and the Restoration. Then we asked if we could come back to talk more and he said we could! We set the return appointment for Saturday.
So Saturday we had exchanges with our Sister Training Leaders. I got to be companions for the day with Sister Howard. While we were planning what we were going to do she realized she forgot her Tewi card, which you have to have to drive. We were bike missionaries for the day! I discovered that our area is covered in hills. By the end of the day my legs were jello. But enough about my legs, I’m sure you are all wondering about Jeff. Are you ready for this? Hold on to your had, this is going to be a nail biter! Jeff wasn’t actually Jeff. When we knocked on not-Jeff’s-door and asked for Jeff, the man who came to the door WAS NOT JEFF. Yep. Somebody thought they were really funny! The real Jeff was really nice, though, and being missionaries we decided to start teaching the Restoration. We chatted a bit, and the member that came with us for the lesson may have found the real Jeff a temporary job, of which he was looking for. Though slightly confusing, everything went well.
Sunday Trevor prepared the sacrament and stayed up on the stand to bless it! They thought he should wait to actually say the prayer till next week so he could see how it was done. We didn’t even notice him come in, and then BOOM, he was on the stand in a white shirt and tie (it was his fist time wearing a tie in all the time I have known him) as if he had done it forever! It has been amazing to see all the changes Trevor has gone through since being baptized. I love what the Spirit does with people when you let it in your heart.
I hope you all have a fantastic week!
Sister Tomkinson​

January 9, 2017

Hello everyone!
This past week we did a lot of walking and knocking doors, did some preparing for Valentines day at South Point, crocheted like crazy, and many more things!
One of the things I love most about walking from home to home up and down the streets is that that is what the Savior did. He walked with his disciples everywhere and talked to everyone. I still have some work to do as far as talking to everyone! I love envisioning the Savior walking with me with his followers. It fills me with love and gratitude for everything, even the difficult. Though most people don’t want to talk to us, I know we are planting seeds, especially when we share doctrine for them to ponder, and they will thank us when we pass into the next life. In my morning study today I studied about how we rely on God. We see throughout the Book of Mormon perfect examples of what can happen when you put your faith in Him. We also see what happens when we rely on our own strength. When we are disobedient and do what we want, the Spirit leaves us, and we are left to ourselves. We can’t be left to ourselves and be happy. We need the Spirit. We need our Father in Heaven. He is where our strength comes from. Every choice we make either brings us closer the our Father, or distances us. There are no gray areas, no middle grounds, no fences. Every choice we make changes us.
Mosiah 7: 33

But if ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage.
I love how it says “according to his own will and pleasure” because it helps me remember that sometimes we won’t be delivered out of our trials immediately. Sometimes God wants us to learn something first. 
I hope everyone has a fantastic week! Stay warm, or if your are in Arizona, stay cool!
Sister Tomkinson