Alma 29:9

I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.

Monday, August 26, 2013


The mission is going well the baptisms were great and we got a lot of people out to them. There were two separate baptisms, because of work schedules, but everything worked out great and were well attended.

This week is transfer week and we have about 30 new missionaries coming in, which is the most in this mission's history! Elder Mickleson will be training one of the new missionaries. Jacksonville is turning into greenieville. Elder McHan is a great trainer I am lucky to have him. 

When it comes to investigators, they are often like a revolving door. For example this week we had to stop teaching 3 investigators, but found 5 more. As for any that is close, we  have two baptismal dates right now. The first Sister just got married on July 4th and shortly after that moved here to Jacksonville.  She is scheduled for September 14th. Her new husband has been an inactive member who is serving in the Marines Corp.  Despite his inactivity, he has actually held true to church standards like Word of Wisdom. His wife is currently in West Virginia for the last couple weeks and as a result we do not know how she is doing and feeling right now. But, the lessons in the past went really well. One of the new investigators committed to a baptism for October 5th, however we will probably have to move that because of General Conference. He already believes in almost everything we do, he has met with missionaries in the past. The biggest hurdle with him is chewing tobacco and getting him to church.

Thanks for the GPS it will come very handy around here.  I did receive the gps and I do love your cookies.  That is great that you will be helping another student. I have been talking to a lot of immigrants myself. I have talked to people from Poland, Palau, Venezuela, Columbia, Burma, Eastern Africa and Chile. That is crazy that William is driving now. Don't let him scratch that car, I want it back when I come off my mission. 

Speaking of facebook there is a meeting on Friday for all the mission leaders to learn how to properly use it.
Rumor has it that President Bernhisel is trying to get an ipad for every single missionary not just companionship!

That is great that you are talking about how Jesus is the rock of our faith.  Everything I teach MUST come back to Jesus Christ or else nothing can happen.

Thanks for the advice it can be frustrating when people reject you.
Not only is there anti-Mormon literature everywhere, but many people in the South identify missionaries as Jehovah's Witnesses. And some Jehovah's Witness missionaries like to argue and debate and try tear down other people's faith and belittle them. I got nothing against their beliefs but those few members of their faith that do that really create a lot of harm. As a result many people are very wary when they see us. But God is merciful and he will give more opportunities to learn the gospel to those who reject us.
I love you all and will email you next week.

Love Elder Lakey

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I think it's still worth sending cookies.

On Wednesday we were told we were moving on my Birthday! Last week was so crazy packing, planning, and teaching. The apartment we moved to is nicer, bigger and closer to the other Elders, the Church and most of our investigators. It was a nice birthday gift. This week was not the best week, because we had to take time away from proselyting  to pack and move and didn't get to talk to as many people as we had hoped. But, we should still have 2 maybe 3 baptisms on Saturday.

Transfer day is the 27th normally missionaries do not know if they are being transferred until the week before. However, there is a 2 transfer training program for new missionaries, so it is almost certain that neither me nor my companion is being transferred this transfer.

It's good to know that things back home are doing good.  I had a good birthday and I got to move on my birthday to a better apartment ( just by coincidence.) I did receive my card and packages, I got them the day before my birthday. Thanks for the cookies they were delicious. Yours were not broken but grandma's were. I think it's still worth sending cookies.

I like that quote from Mom because faith is action, and we must exercise our faith. I love that scripture (Moroni 7:46-47).  The other day it occurred to me, that in order to gain our salvation we must try to help others achieve theirs before we can worry about our own.

Thanks for your love and support and I will email you next week.
Love, Thomas

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

After the trial of our faith comes the success of the faithful

It's going pretty good out here, we still plan on having a family baptized on the 24th we were also going to baptize a marine but he is moving soon and his family is interested in the gospel in Southern California, so we won't be baptizing him but someone else will. Our investigators are progressing slowly but surely. Anti-mormon stuff is everywhere here, so we often have to spend significant parts of lessons correcting garbage they have found online or a "friend" told them about. But I have yet to lose anyone because of it and we got 7 people out to church and taught 13 lessons with investigators this week ( which is a ton) !!

While I have found some people I have yet to find anyone the traditional way. One investigator talked to some missionaries in the Chesapeake mission and he waved us down when we were biking by past him. Another we received a referral to a man and when we knocked on his door his girlfriend answers it and informs us that he up and left her randomly that same day while she was at work and this is after they have been living together for years and had a child but she is willing to listen to our message. We find stuff like this all the time. The person with one of the strongest testimony I have ever seen is a felon who is not allowed to be baptized yet because of his felony (we hope to be able to baptize him when his parole is up in October).  

The weather here is ultra unpredictable it may start sunny without a cloud in the sky in the morning and rain like crazy in the afternoon.  However those are the only types of weather they get here.  I am doing well there is nothing I really need expect for a GPS .The companionship has a cell phone that we are always using. The GPS we have dies really quickly and none of the roads are straight run, nor run north/south east/west and the road names are random and there are trees everywhere!! And they cause everywhere to look the same. 

I did get the package on Saturday it was pretty beat up, I'm guessing that they lost it for a couple of days, but the food was still good. I didn't get anything for my birthday, although I did my buy me a small discounted cake.

Elder McHan knows a Tyler Egbert who may or may not be related to the Egberts I know. And speaking of Egberts do you know where Andrew is serving right now? We have a Marine who is ready and willing to be baptized and he has been writing to his family and they want to hear about the gospel. The Marine is moving to a different base in September and when he does, the Marines may allow him to spend some time with his family or if he is station in Camp Pendleton he may be able to live with his family who live in Downey in Southern California and about half the city is in Andrew Egbert's mission.

Duck Creek sounds like it was really fun I have been in an ice cave before but never a lava tube. It is weird to think school is starting soon it seems like graduation was yesterday. 

I like that quote too (“After the trial of our faith comes the success of the faithful”).  I heard a talk yesterday where I learned that gratitude precedes a miracle. 

Here in the South you have soooo many different views of god, every church is different. One thing that really surprised me about the South is how many Jehovah's Witnesses there are they are everywhere!!! Many of my investigators have friends or family in that faith but none of them belong to it. In fact many people think we are Jehovah's witnesses missionaries.

Thanks for the birthday wishes I'm sure the packages will show up soon. And I will email you next week again.

Elder Lakey

Monday, August 5, 2013

Man, through faith, might work mighty miracles

Thanks for the email. This week has been a lot more encouraging. We found some eager investigators this week. We committed one of the investigators to baptism on the first lesson for the 14th of September. The other one is eager to learn the gospel but he has some Word of Wisdom problems.  Another family is actually being baptized on the 24th of August. I think they will be ready by then. There are miracles that happen everyday, everywhere we just don't recognized them, we were not trying to contact either of our new investigators when we did. 

The temperature has been the same and the humidity has not changed, but I'm actually getting used to it.  The package has not yet come, but I'm sure it will come soon. I have been praying for Grandma and Grandpa and I'm sure that they will find a home soon. 

Have you read in this month Ensign the article about teaching. I found it very helpful. That's a great spiritual thought. The power of teaching depends on how meek and humble the teacher is, those are the people who have mighty miracles like it says in Mosiah 8:18  "Thus God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles; therefore he becometh a great benefit to his fellow beings."

I love that scripture (D&C 6:36) and the longer you are on a mission the more dependent you are on the Lord. If I'm sounding more confident then it means that the promise in the last chapter in 1 John is coming true. ( I'll let you read that) I love you and I'll email you next week.


Elder Lakey