January 3, 2017

Hello Everybody! Happy New Year!
Well, since Thursday I have eaten deep fried gizzards, taught the plan of salvation, celebrated the new year five hours early, tracted in the freezing cold, and played games all P-Day.
So, Yah. The gizzard was chewy and I couldn’t stop thinking about how I was pretty much putting stomach in my stomach. Deep fried stomach. Gizzard is now the weirdest thing I have eaten on my mission so far. Sister Bell kept saying that it tasted like chicken.
We taught Trevor the plan of salvation as one of his recent convert lessons. It was pretty fun. We drew it on a chalkboard, which was half the fun. We are such artists! We had Trevor tell us what he remembered about the plan, and them we and the members we had come to the lesson would fill in anything that was left out, or we would just discuss each stage. Trevor has been doing pretty well. He should be getting the priesthood Sunday.
New Year’s Eve was a weird day. It was just like any other day until five o’ clock, when we had to go home and stay inside for the wrest of the night. With the extra free time we were given we finished up with our weekly planning and partied! We played a game that we had borrowed from the Davis family. We also dug into the new year package that my grandma Floyd sent. Thanks Grandma! We broke out the glow sticks, ate the giant scotcheroo, and drank apple pomegranate martinelli’s. And to wrap everything up, we went to bed early!!! 
It has been snowing here a lot more than anybody said it would. I think instead of bikes we would have cross country skis! We also have one o’clock church now! Which is actually kinda weird because we have lunch before church, and we have to proselyte before church. It was hard talking to anybody the morning of new years. Everyone was asleep!
We had a pretty good P-Day, too. We had lots of time to shop and get all our necessities because the library was closed making is impossible to E-mail! After shopping and stuff we had lunch at a Mexican restaurant called Azteca. It was yummy! Then we played games at the Davis’s. Lots of games. Sooooooo many games! 
I hope everybody has a fantastic week, and fantastic year, and fantastic missionary experiences!
Sister Tomkinson

December 29, 2016

Hello everybody everywhere!
I hope all your Christmas’s were magical! Hopefully you also got to participate in #LightTheWorld. It was pretty cool to hear about people’s experiences with it.😀
Christmas day was kind of different. It was a non-proselyting day, but the Sabbath, so we had to keep our activities within that standard. We ate lunch at the Huffaker home. Sister Huffaker is a single mom with two energetic boys. This other lady was there, too. She was the same lady that was at the Durland’s for Thanksgiving! We just keep bumping into her for the holidays. Anyway, they were a lot of fun to talk to. They both go to the single adult activities and they shared some of their funny experiences from those. After lunch we visited Roberta and her son Tyler. She had Christmas jammies waiting for us. And rice pudding! It was pretty great. We also sang a few Christmas songs together and we each said a Christmas prayer in which we thanked God for all of our blessings, for the time we got to spend together, and for the welfare of the bees. Roberta really wants to save the bees!🌻🐝 Then of course we skyped the fam. 🙆 It was really nice to see my family. I can’t explain all why, maybe it was comforting to see that something in my life, even if far away, is still the same. I really, really love my family. After skyping, we played games and ate some dinner at the Davis’s. The Davis’s are some of the coolest people I have ever met! They have an entire room dedicated to games. Board games, card games, and anything in between, many of which I have never heard of. Then we went home and I opened my Christmas gifts. And that was pretty much our Christmas day besides our 1 hour of church.
Today, Thursday, was our P-Day because we went to the temple!!!👼 It was my first time in the Seattle temple and it was wonderful. Some of the architecture represents arms open and reaching for heaven. I love the symbolism in temples! Sister Bell brought some of her own names with her so we got to go through with them.
Well, that’s pretty much been my week so far.😊 I hope you all have a great rest of your week and a happy new year!
Sister Tomkinson

December 19, 2016

Hello everyone! I hope y’all are staying warm!
This week was awesome and busy and cold!
First we went to South Whidby Island for P-Day. We rode the ferry across the sea! It was really cool and obviously my first time.😄 On the island we were picked up by a member, Scooter Thornton. 
She’s in the ward that Sister Bell served in. We drove around to see the town and guess what? There are bunnies everywhere! It is the cutest little town ever! We ate lunch at one of the diners. I had eggnog dipped french toast. Then we visited some people that Sister Bell wanted to see and did a tiny bit of shopping.
We also had Family Home Evening at the D’ Andrea’s. We helped put a felt tree for their 1 year old to decorate and play with. Roberta Champion, a recent convert, also helped with the tree. Later that week we helped Roberta with a project she was preparing for Activity Days. We got a little artsy crazy with the craft!
We got to go Christmas caroling with the Youth on Wednesday. It was pretty great! We got to see some less actives that way. After caroling out in the cold, the leaders had some cookies, hot chocolate, and other goodies prepared for us when we returned.
South Point is a place we volunteer at. It is a retirement home type place. We sometimes go there for Bingo or we help put together decorations to make the place home-like. This time we helped put together Christmas bulbs filled with candy for the Christmas Party there.
We got snow! Again! Washington isn’t supposed to get snow! At least is helps with our miles. 😋 Haha! And we have lots of awesome members who are willing to drive us places when we really need it.
This past Sunday, I guess yesterday, we had the ward Christmas concert. This ward even has an orchestra! It was great celebrating the Saviors birth with such beautiful music.
Our investigator Jo is doing really well. She feels good about what we have taught her so far and she is doing so much to study the Book of Mormon. She is and amazing woman, and I can’t wait till she experiences all the good God has in store for her!
Have a great week and Merry Christmas!
Sister Tomkinson

December 12, 2016

Hello Everybody!
This past week we found 3 new investigators and we had a baptism!!!!!!!!💃💃💃 So, setting up for the baptism was CRAZY! The font was going to be filled because there was a baptism before us. When we got to the stake center nobody was there. It took us about 20 minutes to get keys so we could get in, then we had to get the font filled in about an hour. The font take 2 to 3 hours to fill. So to help in the water filling process we ran to the kitchen and filled water pitchers with the hottest water we could get. We were still doing this when Trevor got there with Brother Durland. We frantically kept filling! Somehow we managed to fill the font with just enough water.😌 The church is true! Trevor was confirmed a member the next day.
We also got snow over here! There was a couple inches on the ground, which is more than they get in a whole winter ( maybe exaggerating a little…), but it was enough to get school canceled and we weren’t allowed to drive because nobody here knows how to deal with snow. So we had the wonderful opportunity of walking around the last couple of days. We had our Christmas party (without Santa) on Saturday. The Harbour Pointe ward goes all out for their parties. It was Christmas in Nauvoo themed and pretty legit. 
This P-Day we are planning on taking a trip to Whigby Island (I probably butchered the spelling). We will take a ferry across the sea and a member will take us around to see some people that Sister Bell knows, she served there once, and then we will find some lunch. I hope to see an orcah whale or find a sand dollar on the beach! 
I hope you all have a fabulous week and #Light the World!
Sister Tomkinson 💖​

This week was kind of a crazy week for me; full of change and newness. It was a little overwhelming at times, but now I’m pretty good, just working through my everyday challenges. This area is very different from Lynden. So, I started out at the very top of the mission. Now I’m at the very bottom! Lynden was a cute little Dutch town with lots of farm land. Harbor Pointe is FILLED with homes.😐 And there are so many people! Which is great, there are more people to hear the true gospel! Sister Bell, my companion is from the Blackfoot, Idaho area. She knows Kelsey Glenn! They saw each other at a school states contest thingy and they became facebook friends. Then they saw each other at the MTC. It’s so funny how small the world is!😱

For Thanksgiving we went to an older member’s home, the Durland’s. They had the Elders over, too, because our area is split with them and I guess they wanted both sets!😁 After feasting on turkey, cranberry sauce, potatoes, and other Thanksgiving food, we ate pie and played Scategory with their divorced son and this other divorced lady. On certain holidays we aren’t allowed to proselyte after 6 pm. So when we got home I took like a 3 hour nap! I then had the energy to unpack the rest of my suitcases. 
This week has been an exciting time of meeting new people and knocking on lots of doors, as well as trying out my street contacting skills. We have like 5 investigators right now and two are on date to be baptized. Trevor, or 26 year old investigator with Asperger’s, will be baptized on the 10th of December, and Ed, our 66 year old investigator who needs to stop smoking, is working for December 31st. We have other people that we are so excited to teach! I know I’m going to learn so much from Sister Bell and I am very excited for those learning opportunities.
Today’s study was a study on gratitude and how I can have more gratitude. I was reading in 2 Nephi 11 and 12. I know that if you read the scriptures that you will delight in them and you will become so grateful for what the ancient prophets wrote for us. We can learn so much from the people in those times long ago.The scriptures also testify of Christ and tell they tell of all that He did for others. When we study the Savior’s life we are always filled with gratitude. He overcame death for us. He has redeemed us of sin through the Atonement and made repentance a possibility. Without Him we could never return to live with Heavenly Father and we would have to bear the pains of our mistakes. We can also develop more gratitude when we study the Plan of Salvation. I am so grateful to know that there is a plan for us to have everlasting happiness. Making mistakes is part of the plan and we knew in the pre-earth life that we would make mistakes and be able to be forgiven. 
I know that focusing on what we are grateful for makes us more happy because we can see what God has blessed us with. I hope you have a fantastic week to come!
I love you!
Sister Tomkinson

Hello everybody out there!
It has been a crazy fantastic week!
Monday we had a few change of plans and ended up going out to lunch with Sister McGirr and her son. The we did a little bit of shopping at Walmart, stopped at Coconut Kenny’s to get paper cups and headed to Birch Bay! I got to play on the beach again! There were so many more kinds of shells than there were at Deception pass. And I filled two cups with shells. I think I accidentally brought some barnacles home, however, and they were stinky! But I bleached them and now it’s okay. After hanging at the beach for a bit we headed to Ferndale to Mt. Baker Lanes where we had a surprise party for Sister Bird, who is now home with her family. Sister Packer and I didn’t bowl because we were late, but we watched, cheered, and occasionally laughed! Then we had cake and headed to our dinner appointment. 
The last couple of days we have helped this older lady named Gail. We’ve done service for her before. We weren’t looking for service when we went to see her. It was just going to be a visit. But when we got there she told us she had just been praying for someone to help her. So we stayed with her a couple hours, moving furniture and such. They she towed us along to the garage where she revealed the Christmas tree we would be dragging in to decorate! While we put the thing up she decided she would prepare us a dinner. It was about 8 pm. I was not expecting to be fed at all and it kind of threw me off just a bit, especially since curfew was fast approaching. During dinner we shared a scripture with her from the Book of Mormon. She was a little hesitant about us sharing from the Book of Mormon, she would have preferred the Bible, like most people in Lynden. We shared it anyway and had a wonderful discussion about Christ. We didn’t have enough lights for the tree, so we came back Saturday at around 2:30 pm to finish decorating. She wasn’t feeling the greatest so she decided to go upstairs for a nap. We didn’t cover the tree with as many decorations as we would have liked because we had a dinner appointment to get to.
We’ve also started weekly lessons with a family in our ward. Her husband left them for a younger woman and she want’s us to bring the Spirit into her home because she no longer has a priesthood holder in the home. They are a wonderful family and she is a super mom! I don’t know how she does it. Anyway, we spent our Friday evening with them and they prepared us an early Thanksgiving feast. People like to test their new recipes on us! We taught them the Restoration using brownie mix. It was soooo cute! They practically taught the lesson because they knew so much.
This week I’ve also been trying to take as many pictures of the families here in Lynden as possible because of the possible transfer. And that’s good too because I’M GETTING TRANSFERRED!😥😥😥 I was hoping so hard that I would be able to stay here for the holidays, but God knows what’s best for me. I’m still pretty jittery, even with this knowledge. I have so much packing that I have to do! I’m super nervous, but excited for a new area. I feel like I was just getting to know everyone! And now I’m leaving. This mission thing is crazy! 
Have a great week everyone and good luck with anything you need good luck for!
Sister Tomkison

Good morning everyone! 
I hope you all have had a fantastic week! 
This week has been great, pretty tough, but great!😊 We’ve been working hard trying to find new investigators because we dropped all our other ones. We have knocked on many doors and contacted former investigators. I’ve been working on being more bold. It is really hard talking to complete strangers without feeling some apprehension. But we can find power in the message we share with the world to get us past our fear!💪💪💪
For P-Day today I think we are just going to take it easy and relax. We are planning on hanging with Sister McGirr at her home. Transfers are coming up on the 22nd and I think I’ll be leaving this time. It’s going to be weird leaving my mission birth place! 
For personal study this morning my question was: How can I joyfully endure all things? I was in 2 Nephi chapter 1 and right off my question was answered with a question! In the midst of trials do we remember all the great things the Lord has done for us? We need to express our gratitude for everything we have in our life. That is how we can face our trials with joy. Plus there is also the “promised land” at the end of our trial, whatever that may be for each of us. There was also a wonderful verse that I came across: But behold, the Lord hath redeemed my soul from hell; I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love. As I work to better myself and follow Christ, my sometimes seem impossible. But then I feel comfort flood my troubled soul and I know somehow I will endure. That is what we are asked to do as members of the church. Enduring is the only option besides leaving the true church. The greatest gift of knowledge we can have in this life is that we will never endure our trials alone. Christ is with us every step of the way. So be joyful! We have been redeemed through the Atonement.
I hope you all have a wonderful week to come! 
Sister Tomkinson