Monday, July 30, 2012

Week 7

Dear Family, 
First off I want to thank Brad Shumway. He sent me a letter and I just barely got it this last week when we had zone conference at the temple site. Thank you Brad so much. That letter gave me strength and also had some good advice that I hadn't heard before. Brad you are a great man and I hope medical school goes great this year and when I get back I can call you Dr. Brad. I hope the family is doing well and I am indeed grateful for your letter. It meant a lot that you sent it and it was a great surprise. You are a great example for me and I have always looked up you. Thanks again and good luck with school. ( Mom or Dad make sure Brad gets this message. It was very thoughtful of him to send me a letter and I want to make sure he hears back from me) 

Alright well this week has been great and I can tell you all had a great week. Thats good that you were able to see the Griffins and I sure do miss Skyler. Tell him that he can email he if he likes and I would love to hear from him. Oh yes the farm is great and I hope Jeff took out the Trail 110 for a ride. Yes I already sent grandma an email and I'm sure she'll have many questions for me. I also emailed Erica and it sounds like she is doing great. I'll already be done with one transfer by the time she gets to Russia.
We teach a lot and sometimes we go knocking doors but it is not as effective as getting referalls from members. We get up have personal study at 8 and then companoion study at 9 to 11 then we usually have people to teach or we just go to our investigators houses and go teach them.Then sometimes we do some finding but we teach a lot. we also have meetings at the church on tuesdays. Then we usually have an hour for lunch and dinner and then were back at the apartment by 9 and then we do daily planning and then we go to bed. Its nice to have such a structured schedule.   
Dad thanks for the updates on the tour and i almost forgot about it. Well have to watch it when i get back. I actually had some ice cream today but its really expensive and its not the best but it still is really good. Alright i'll let you know how long it takes to get here and just tell him to email me.  
This week has been great but I realized that there will always be opposition to the work and not everyone is accepting of the gospel. It was a humbling experience and I tried to be as Christlike as I could through the whole thing. I dont want to say anyhting bad about the person so I'll spare the details but it was a good learning experience for me and it really did teach me. It may not have been very enjoyable but it taught me a lot. We also had zone confrence this week as that was great. President Judd is a great teacher and it was great to learn from him. It was a great conference and it really made me want to be better and to be a better missionary. Thank you everyone for emailing it really does mean a lot and its great to hear from you every week. Mom, Dad, Carly, Nicki, Abbey, and Kasey I love you family and I miss you. I hope you have a great week and I cant wait to hear back. I am blessed to be a servant of the Lord and I'm trying to magnify this calling that I have. I love it here in Ghana and I love sharing the gospel. 
love Elder Thornhill
"The one at the temple is with a ward missionary. He is with us for just one transfer.His name is Brother Donkoh and he might be one of the craziest people I've met but I love him. We have really developed a great frienship and he helps me wash on Mondays. " 

"The other one is the boy we baptized on saturday. His name is Joseph and he's 13. He is really exicted to pass the sacrament next sunday and he is a great kid. "

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Week 6

Dear Family, 
Thank you everyone for writing. It really does mean a lot. Abbey Africa is good our house is very simple but its good and I keep my side of the room clean and neat so that makes it good. It sounds like your having a great time. Man that's crazy about the pipe I hope everything is ok and the damage isn't too bad. The area is good we are teaching a 13 year old boy and he is so smart and really loves the scriptures. It's great to see him at church and already trying to help the other deacons.  He is going to be a great Priesthood holder and I can't wait for him to be baptized. Yes the sister missionaries are from South Africa and Ethiopia. Oh Cher bear I miss her and Jeff. You guys are going to love Weston. Tell Kyle hi for me when you get up there. We also got to go to a Alex Boye concert and the temple square on Thursday. He's a Nigerian and is famous for the song Peponi that he sings. You guys should look him up he's really good.  But he actually came to our chapel on Sunday.  There were some white people with him and it was weird to see them. We got to meet him and he was a really cool guy. He gave me a hug which was kind of weird but cool at the same time. I never would have thought I would of meet him but I did and it was a great experience. He is a convert to the church and his conversion story is inspiring. So our Sunday was pretty eventful and the Zone leader came to interview that boy Joseph and that was great too.  It was a wonderful Sunday. Ben it's great to hear from you. ha Dad has always been good at embarrassing us and I'm sure Carly is enjoying that. Oh yes there's bread in the oven. I'm sure Mikkal looks great.  It's going to be sweet to have a little Ben running around. Dang Robert Turbin that is great for USU and I hope he does well. Thanks Ben. Thanks Mom you are the best. Everything here is great and I'll continue to send pictures. I know you like seeing that your baby boy is ok. This work is so great and I'm so grateful to be a part of it and to be the Lords servant. Never before have I studied the scriptures like I do now and I just love my personal study and reading the Book of Mormon.  I get so much out of it every day and my testimony of it grows every time I read. It really is the most correct book on this earth and it is so dense and has so many good things in it it's unbelievable. I'm realizing how important scripture study is and how it can bless our life. The church true and is for everyone.  I love you all and I hope all is well. 

Love Elder Thornhill

Monday, July 16, 2012

Week 5

Dear Family, 
This week has been good and yes we have a lot of investigators to teach. We ride bikes mostly and take a trotro sometimes.  We serve in just one ward teshie 2. We had a baptism on Saturday and I was able to baptize three people. It was a great experience and I truly felt the Spirit. I was also humbled by it as well just knowing that the Lord trusts me with such a great responsibility.  I also read my patriarchal blessing this week and that was also amazing.  After reading it I realized how many great things are promised to me and I want to be as faithful as I can be so that I will be able to enjoy all those things. My scripture reading has been a lot better and I am getting so much out of them and learning to apply the things I learn to myself and the people were teaching.   

The people are very nice and receptive to our message.  Everyone yells, "ohh bruni" (white guy) when I ride by but I'm getting use to it.  I'm eating oatmeal and a lot of indomie which is just ramen here.  I have a lot of bread and fruit as well.  Sometimes I get some fired rice and chicken and I've had banku a few times.  Yes I'm following the mission rules and I'm glad that you are concerned for me and want me to be exactly obedient. Just like it says in alma obey with exactness. I'm having a wonderful time and my testimony is growing still. I love you all and I pray for you every night.  Thanks for everything.  

Love Elder Thornhill 

Elder Thornhill with a boy from church

Before the baptisms of these three men

One of these things is not like the other!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Week 4

Dear family, 
Nicki I'm glad your date went well. Dad I'm glad conducting went well and yes I broke out all my ties.  Oh I'm sad I missed Walmsley.  I totally forgot about the tour but Marshall gave me some NBA highlights.  My companion is Elder Gunda from Zimbabwe and were in Teshie 3 and its like 30 minutes from Accra and were kind of by the ocean. No I don't need anything for my face but I am going to need some contacts and the cleaning solution so you might want to order those.  Yes im sleeping in my net and taking my pill every day.   

Church was good and I was the only white person there.  I bore my testimony so that was good.  There is this lady, Mama O who reminds me of Claudine Jones so much.  She loves to talk so that is pretty funny. That is crazy the guy from Preston.  I cleaned the apartment today cause it was really dirty and it's a little different from home but that's ok it really is a great little apartment.  I hand washed all my clothes today and that was different but good at the same time.  I'm glad everyone is doing good especially grandma and grandpa. I hope chemo goes well for grandpa and I'm sure grandma is funny as ever. 

Carly I really didn't need to know that but I'm glad you're having fun. Africa is great and the work is great.  I think  we have a baptism this Saturday and we've taught a lot of lessons. It's hard to read everything and respond but I did my best and just know that I'm well and having a great time.  My testimony and faith grows each day as I study and learn more.  I feel very close to my Savior and it's a great feeling.  I hope everyone has a great time in Utah and I can't wait to hear from everyone 

Love Elder Thornhill

Dear everyone, 
That's cool about the Elder from Denmark. There is actually an elder in my mission from Heber ha but I wasn't really able to talk to him.  I miss Jeff tell him I say hi.  The first day was good. the Elders came at like 6 to pick us up from the MTC and then we drove to the mission home.  We had to do a bunch of stuff there and their house is really nice. Sister Judd (Mission president's wife) has the biggest smile I think I've ever seen and you can tell she really loves what she is doing.  President Judd is also very nice and I got to talk to him for a little in his office. Then we went to the area office by the temple to get our trainers.  My companion is Elder Gunda and he is from Zimbabwe.  He is a great missionary and has a great knowledge of the scriptures.  Once we got our companions we had a little devotional and then went to our area.  We are in Teshie 3 and it is a great place. I'm excited to be here and to be sharing the joy of the gospel. 
Love Elder Thornhill

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Week 3

Mitchell arrived at the mission home today! When he arrived, he wrote an actual letter to us which his mission president scanned and emailed to us. Mitchell does not have the best handwriting so here it is typed out:

Dear family,
I just made it to the mission home. I'm excited to be able to be out in the field. We had to wake up early but luckily for us the mission home is right by the temple so it is only like a 45 minute drive. The AP's were very nice and the mission home is very nice. I guess this is where it all starts. They said we will have lessons to teach today so that got me kind of nervous but I know if I rely  on the Spirit I'll be fine. They also said that some of us will have baptisms this week. That seems really crazy for me and it should be a great experience. Happy Fourth of July and I hope Logan is good. Say hi to Grandma for me. I can't wait to preach the Gospel to the people of Ghana and become a better person and strengthen my testimony. This is going to be such a wonderful experience and I can't wait for it to really start.

Elder Thornhill

His letter.

With the mission president and his wife.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Week 2- Sunday

Hey everyone,
I'm glad you got the pictures.  Yes I really do like my companion.  We leave on Wednesday to go to the mission home and luckily for me it's only like an hour away.  I'm very excited to be going out in the field very soon.  I hope the fourth of July activities went well and that you will have a safe drive to Logan.  It seems weird to me that its already July it doesn't seem like it should be July yet.  Today we fasted and had a great sacrament meeting.  i wanted to share my testimony but I didn't act quick enough so I didn't get too.  Everything at the MTC is as usual.  Nothing really new to say.  I look forward to playing basketball a lot and eating.  I think I'm going to get pretty fat soon, so don't be afraid to tell me you can tell in my pictures ha.  Today was great and I felt the spirit so strong. I think I've cried more here than I did during the whole first year of college but I think that's a good thing.  The spirit makes me an emotional man I guess.  Well I hope all is well and I know Utah is going to be fun and I can't wait to hear about all the things you guys do.  Mom and Dad I love you both so much.  Mom I hope you don't worry about me too much.  But I know this is where I'm suppose to be and I can't wait to really start the Lords work and be on His errand. 
Elder Thornhill
The missionaries at the MTC