Thursday, December 18, 2014

Elder Carter (our friends son from Vernal, UT) got to pick Elder Thacker up at the airport when he arrived in Seattle back in November.
(forgot I had this picture)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Decorating for Christmas

Our Christmas gift from the mission presidency. Its a really nice tie 
with the Washington Seattle Mission logo and our slogan, "High Expectations".

Beneroya Hall

Seattle Week 7

What a week it has been! This week has been weird though because it has seemed like the longest and shortest week of my entire mission!

I'll start with what happened after P-day.

Wednesday we had Zone Meeting and I exchanged with Elder Smith while Elder Bennett exchanged with Elder Hillman. Elder Smith and Elder Bennett are the Zone Leaders (and I'm not sure I mentioned this but my companion is a district leader). I went to Elliot Bay area with Elder Smith and had a blast. Elliot bay encompasses more of the main city attractions such as the Space Needle, CenturyLink Field, Safeco Field, and Pike's Place Market. This exchange was much needed for me! Elder Smith really helped me realize my potential and helped me see how my love of people and my ability to bring people up can help me on my mission. Elder Smith is going to be and Assistant before he leaves.... At least, I think he will be:)

Thursdays are, of course, weekly planning and this week we had to do some serious planning. We have officially baptized, dropped, or referred every solid investigator that we had. We are in finding mode right now! Even more so because Sister Choi received revelation (three separate times) that the mission would baptize 100 people in the month of December! Our area already baptized one and our goal is to baptize another!

Friday and Saturday were spent finding and contacting without much success.

Sunday was spent at church and helping our bishop. Bishop Every is fantastic and he took us around while he delivered Christmas Help baskets to part member/non-active/struggling families. It was a great opportunity for us to get to know these families, see what their needs are, and it also put us in a position to start teaching them! Then we had a fantastic member dinner. I love going to eat at member's houses. They love the missionaries and want to help! Members make aHUGE difference!

Monday was a lot of things: slow, exciting, fun, and transfers! Not much contacting and finding. Once again, Mondays are hard because it always seems like nobody is home! We also had the opportunity to go to Seattle to Beneroya Hall and see the Ensign Symphony and Chorus perform. They were amazing and it really helped the investigator we brought feel the Christmas spirit and of Christ's love for her. Transfer calls came, or didn't come, after the symphony. We got a phone call from the zone leaders (mostly to scare us and Elder Hillman may have jumped a little bit when the phone rang) but neither one of us got transferred. Elder Hillman and I are staying in Ravenna Park for another six weeks! But he did get released as a district leader. (I didn't realize last week that transfers were this week or I would have mentioned it)

What a week! The work keeps progressing! 

Love always,

Elder Thacker

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

This is what my name tag regularly looks like. Wet!

Nam's Baptism 

View from Pike's Place Market

Seatlle Week 6

Hello again!

This week seemed to drag on but also go by very quickly!

After we spoke last Tuesday we have done a lot of tracting and finding with little to no success. Other than what I mention, that's all we have done this past week!

Wednesday we had district meeting and then met with Nam and his family in preparation for his baptism that happened on Saturday!

Thursday was weekly planning and my usual training that always takes up all of our morning. That night, we had a very special meeting with a recent convert who is very solid. To him, if it says it in the scriptures, it is law! I love his faith!

Friday we met with Nam and his family once more in preparation for his baptism and then tracted! 

Then came the weekend! Two very busy and very crazy days. 

On Saturday I got to do service all morning which meant that I could wear normal clothing! It was fantastic to put on a pair of jeans. We helped bishop string Christmas lights at his house and then went to the church to start filling the font. The cold water still hasn't been fixed so it takes about 3 hours to fill. While we were waiting and supervising the filling font, we helped set up for the ward Christmas party which was happening later that night.

The baptism went off without a hitch (other than it started about 15 minutes late due to mormon standard time and I had to play the piano because, well, I'm honestly not sure what happened to the other accompanist). I taught the restoration during the intermission with Elder Ford and it went fantastically!

Then we finished setting up for the Christmas party and after it was over, we helped take it down as well! We were two very tired elders when we arrived home that night.

Sunday was spent finding rides for convert children because their parents were all sick or working. I also had the privelage to confirm Nam a member of the church and give him the Holy Ghost. A first for me and a very tender experience. 

I also really enjoyed the Christmas Devotional! I thought the talks were excellent and, as always, I LOVED the music.

Monday was useless. I hate to say that, but truly it was. There is a reason P-Day is usually on Mondays. No one is home! Like, no one! We had no success. 

But to make it all worth it I was able to attend the Seattle Temple today! It is a gorgeous temple both inside and out (for you Makelle). After a wonderful session at the temple we went to Pike's Place market with the Washington Park Elders [Wooley (MTC District) and Hansen]. That was also fun. What a view!

The work keeps progressing! Carry on and share the gospel!

Love always,

Elder Thacker

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

3D Hot Air Balloon

Snow in Seattle

Seattle Week 5

What a week!

After P-Day on Monday we had a busy week ahead!

Tuesday we had a Zone Conference with Elder Falabella of the Quorum of the 70 in Seattle. That was really good and I got to see my old district members from the MTC. Elder Falabella had a lot of great insights for us.

On Wednesday we had a "normal day" full of appointments and tracting. 

Thursday was, of course, Thanksgiving! We went over to the Furness families house. They are very cool people. They also had their family over. Everyone was super nice and friendly. The food  was great, just not quite as good as back home ;) We did a lot while we were at their house. We ate a lot, played with virtual reality (unknown if that is actually allowed or not.....) and even colored (but that requires a back story)! 

Brother Furness is an electrical engineer and a professor. Back in the day he worked as a civilian for the military. He was the head of the team that created information/visor displays for fighter jet pilots. He is really big into virtual reality. Since he doesn't work for the military now and just teaches, he has a team that creates applications. One of the applications his team created is called "colAR". Very cool, and free! Look it up. 

What is does is this: The app gives you pictures to print out and color the way you want. The app then sees that picture and turns it into a 3D image that moves and dances to music etc. For example, I colored a hot air balloon. It turned my 2D image into a 3D image, with the colors I put on it, floating above various landscapes. Way cool!

Friday was weekly planning! I just love weekly planning. After planning we went and taught Nam (the investigator that is getting baptized Saturday) and then went tracting.

Saturday was slow. And COLD!! We woke up to SNOW! Snow in Seattle was supposed to be rare but it is still on the ground!. A lot of tracting. A lot of walking. But it is also the day we meet with the Teeples family every week. They are a very cool, insightful, and spiritual couple. They take us to lunch every week. I love meeting with them.

Sunday, of course, was church and the works! Still cold, and still snow on the ground! We had our member dinner that night, and then went tracting. The work never stops!

As for not emailing yesterday I apologize. I found out after last P-Day that for the next three weeks, P-Day would beon Tuesday. Next week on Tuesday I get to go to the temple! I'm very excited to be back in the temple! That is my favorite place and I am continually learning more about it. Emailing is required so you will hear from me next week. Just not sure as to when.

Love always, 

Elder Thacker

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Nick's Dog Bindi, She likes to eat carrots.

University of Washington Library below.

A giant crane off of Ravenna and Roosevelt. The picture does it no justice. This crane is HUGE.

Sunrise this morning. Sunrises here are amazing! Sunsets you can't see....

Monday, November 24, 2014

Nov. 24, 2014 Seattle Week 4

I can't believe a week has passed already! It seems just like yesterday I was sitting at the computers typing last weeks email.

After I emailed last week we had "Zone Sports Day". Our zone is allowed to get together once a transfer and play sports. We had a blast! Our zone is awesome.

Tuesday we had a district meeting in the Morning. Elder Hillman is the District Leader and so the morning was spent getting ready for that. We had lunch, then did some online training a the library and then went tracting. I really enjoy tracting and contacting. People are HILARIOUS and very unique. It's the teaching I struggle with.

Wednesday was filled with appointments and contacting. I got to meet our investigator's dog Bindi. She LOVES carrots and eats them just like treats. What an odd dog. We are having a hard time with this investigator. He is progressing but OH SO SLOWLY!

Thursday was weekly planning (which takes up most of the day) and then we met with the Roy family (who is awesome!) and exchanged with Elder McBeth and Eler Ford. Both Elder McBeth and Elder Ford serve in the YSA ward so they live on the Ave and almost all of their time is spent at the institute and on Red Square. Red Square is on the campus of the University of Washington and is exactly what the name suggests. It is where all of the students walk, study, and socialize between classes. No one there is very open to religion but I loved contacting people and hearing their excuses no to talk to the missionaries. MyFriday was spent there. I was slightly apprehensive about exchanges at first but I had a blast! Elder Ford is awesome and I learned a lot from him.

Saturday and Sunday flew by with dinner appointments and contacting. We met a family last night who has been inactive since there son was born 7 years ago. They want to start coming back to church and retake the missionary discussions as a refresher. How exciting!

Nam is still on date for December 6 so hopefully I will have a baptism then. 

Until next time!

Love always,
Elder Thacker

Monday, November 17, 2014

Nov. 17, 2014 Seattle Week 3

Hello once again! 

Seattle is still great. People are crazy though! I love it.

We have a baptism set for December 6! He is a little 8-year old who loves the gospel and is super knowledgeable. We went to teach him the Plan of Salvation and his sister and him practically taught us the lesson. It will be good. He just has to keep coming to church!

The couple who fed us last Monday are from Lyman, Wyoming and she has relatives in Duchesne! (Hailey Allred is one of them) What a small world it is.

This week has been crazy busy with meetings

-Monday was P-Day
-Tuesday was New missionary orientation at the mission home on Mercer Island. That was fantastic!
-Wednesday we had a Zone Meeting/Conference. Everyone in our Zone is in our Stake. Kind of cool. I love our zone. They are all really awesome.
-Thursday was weekly planning AND apartment inspection so we didn't leave the apartment until like 2:00 that afternoon.
-Friday our zone had interviews with President and Sister Choi at the stake center.
-Saturday night was the first session of Stake Conference
-Sunday was Stake Conference and then that night was the Member/Missionary Fireside that the mission puts on every month. That was excellent. They had a lot of new converts bear their testimonies. AWESOME!

When we weren't in meetings this week we were studying, planning, teaching and tracting.
On Saturday something exciting happened though. 

The stake center is in our area and 3 investigators live near it. We were in the area when the zone leaders called us and asked us to get to the stake center ASAP. They had a baptism planned that day. We got to the church and the zone leaders were carting water from the kitchen to the baptismal font in big pots on a cart. We quickly found out that the cold water was frozen coming into the building (due to unusual weather) so the font was filling with warm water, just half as fast as it normally does. I wish I had pictures to show you! SO we dove right in and helped and as soon as the font was full enough, we left the zone leaders to their baptism and we went off to another investigators house. Just another day in the life of a missionary!

I hope all is well at home!


Elder Thacker

(Also, I'm in a walking/bus mission. We have bus passes but mostly we walk. Our area is big to walk but too small for a car or bikes.)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Pictures from Seattle Nov. 10, 2014

Moss on his balcony.

The weather in Seattle.  Below is 1 hour later.

Seattle Week 2 Nov.10, 2014

Hello once Again!

The first week here went by really slowly but also very quickly and I am adjusting to missionary life outside of the MTC quite nicely. I don't care what anyone says, the MTC and actual mission field are quite different.

I have met some very interesting people here in Seattle. Most people we attempt to contact on the street are either not interested or just avoid us entirely. BUT! My first official street contact turned into an appointment to tour the church and talk (a sneaky way of teaching the first vision/restoration:) but unfortunately the investigator never showed.

We are also teaching an investiGAYtor. Figure that one out for yourself. He has promise and is progressing (I feel slowly) decently. Most of our investigators and contacts are all YSA referrals because most everyone in this area is single and going to college. I found out yesterday that our ward has A LOT of young couples. (It's really weird compared to my home ward. Most people we teach are over 30.

I am learning to navigate here! I had issues with north because I'm so used to having the mountains there to guide me. Here there are mountains but 99% of the time they are covered in fog and clouds. The sun has shone for almost 3 straight days! It's a lot colder here when the sun shines because the clouds aren't there to hold the heat in.

I find it interesting that in this area there are a lot of converts and baptisms but the issue is retention of those. There are A LOT of inactive members in the are. Never fear! The missionaries are here!

I don't have much else to say right now... I'll try to do better next week! I love you all!

Go forth and Serve!

Elder Thacker

P.S. This is a link to a talk my mission president gave in General Conference in 2009. I haven't read it yet but I'm sure its great!

I forgot to add a couple of things to my email.

The ward mission leaders daughter is named: Emma! Crazy right? It gets better. His next door neighbors (the Walkers I think) daughter's name is Tessa! I just thought that was odd:)

Also, Elder Hillman and I had to speak in Sacrament meeting this week. Nothing serious, just our testimonies but it let the ward get to know me 

Nov. 10, 2014

Elder Thacker and Elder Hillman

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Nov. 4, 2014 update

HEY! The name of my new area is Ravenna Park. I still don't know my address yet..... One cool other thing is that my companions first name is Nathan, just like Tathan.... and his middle name is Alma, just like Brother Burton!

Nov. 4, 2014 Arriving in Seattle

I made it! I am in Seattle. 

Today has been a VERY long and tiring day; full of excitement and also very overwhelming.

Seattle is weird. Everything is so wet and so musty. Like, everything. And the trees are absolutely COVERED in moss. I'm just not used to that much water.

President and Sister Choi are fantastic!! I love them. He is definitely an inspired man called of God to the be the Washington Seattle mission president and also a member of the 1st Quorum of the Seventy. 

Our morning started extremely early. Our district got up at 2:30 AM to shave, shower, and finish packing those last few items. We went to the travel office at 3:30 AM and we were on Utah Frontrunner and then the TRAX at like 4:30 AM. We finally made it through airport baggage check and security at about 7:00 AM when I finally got to call home. It was so fantastic to talk to you! I love you! The flight went really well and before we knew it we were touching down in cloud-covered and rain-soaked Seattle.

We arrived in Seattle at approximately 9:30 AM local time (10:30) your time and were immediately met by President and Sister Choi, the Assistants to the President, and the office Elders [Elder Carter (Dad, he said his dad would email you a picture)]. They had us sing "I'm a Child of God" to random people while waiting for the van. Nothing like diving right in!

We went back to the Mission Office where everyone else in the mission was already waiting for transfers. They had transfers (but didn't tell us who our companions were) and then had a training for the new trainers. We had a class with the AP's, a finance guy, a driving coordinator, and, of course, interviews with President and Sister Choi.

After what seemed (and was quite literally) forever they finally called us in to meet our new companions/trainers. My new companion is Elder Hillman (pictures to come some other time). First impressions: I really like him, he is very enthusiastic. I hope I can keep up.

We went back to the apartment and dropped off my luggage and now we're quickly emailing. Mondays are normally P-Day unless, like today, there are transfers. Don't expect to hear from me until Monday!

I don't officially know the name of my area yet or my mailing address. If you need to reach me, send it to the mission home (address on the blog). I love you all! Thank you for your support!

Elder Thacker

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Nov. 1, 2014

Hola All!
Another week has passed here at the MTC in Provo Utah! I can't believe in three days I'll be gone and landing in Seattle! We have to be at the travel office on Tuesday morning at 3:30 AM! That's early.

It's crazy how slow, but also how fast time goes by. It seems like just yesterday I got here. But at the same time this week has dragged on! The new district that arrived on Wednesday is really awesome. There's a sister from Queensland Australia and her accent is really cool. :-) it's really weird to me that the new district is going a variety of places. Some back to Australia some to California and some to Chicago Illinois when our district and the other district that arrived last week with us are all going to Seattle.

There will be 15 of us flying to Seattle on Tuesday. I believe we have one Russian speaking sister going to the Seattle mission as well. How cool is that? Let's start from the beginning. Sunday was really great. After church and meetings we had a temple walk with Brother and Sister Harris from our Branch Presidency.

Choir practice was awesome and Elder Allen's talk was amazing (at Sunday Night's Devotional). Elder Allen is the church managing missionary director. After the devotional on Sunday we stayed in the same building and washed talk given by David A. Bednar from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on Christmas Day 2011. He spoke on "Character of Christ." It was absolutely amazing! I wish I could get a copy.

We had classes on Monday. And on Tuesday, we had another devotional. The choir actually got to perform at this one and we did an amazing job if I do say so myself. Rosemary M. Wixom the Primary General President spoke as she, too, did an amazing job.

Wednesday rollaround and we have classes in gym and then the new district was here. It's crazy to see all the new Elders and Sisters with the little orange dots on their name tag everyone yelling, "Welcome to the MTC!" I simply could not believe that one more week had passed.

Thursday was tough for me. Teaching with our investigator Meghan has not gone very well at all. She's not very receptive or open to our questions and she doesn't want to participate at all. We finally had a breakthrough with her yesterday though. Elder Jennings and I are learning to work together excellently and slowly.

One of our other investigators, Chaela, had kidney stones and was in the ER on Wednesday and resting on Thursday so we only got to teach/see her twice. It's really very sad because we really really liked her! She was very bubbly and happy.

Friday we had In-Field Orientation where all missionaries leaving have a 9-hour class about planning and working with members and etc. It was long, but good. Halloween in the MTC is no different from another day. Thank you for the candy and packages though!!

Today we had P-Day. Laundry and temple are on our list to do!!

With love always,

Elder Thacker

Nov. 1, 2014 Pictures

Monday, October 27, 2014

Hello from the MTC

Hello all! 

I hope I hope this email finds you well! Life here at the MTC is crazy busy but really awesome as well. Your days are so packed full of things that you only have time for the Spirit and sleep. 

They waste no time in getting to work here. After arriving on Wednesday I got my name tag, dropped my bags off and went straight to class where I met my companion: Elder Jennings. (He is really cool and really knowledgable of the scriptures. We are slowly learning to work together. He is also REALLY homesick. I feel bad cause know how that is but I haven't been homesick yet. For me, at least, there is no time to be homesick!)

After meeting our district and companions we went to meet the mission president. That was a really cool Experience. Then we went to dinner and then to zone orientation and then to bed!

My district is seriously the best one ever! We have some really cool people and we all get along really really well. Elder Jennings and I are in the district, there's Elder Tree, who's the new district leader and there's Elder Wooley, his companion. Elder Owens and Elder Andrews are the new zone leaders. I am the new online coordinator. Because I love technology our Branch President (President Mocher) thought that would be good for me. I think I'll love it. 

The hardest part about the MTC is not saying the word "guys". We have to remember to say Elders and Sisters to each other and it's really easy to forget. In fact one of the wives of the MTC presidency said that, "There are no guys here, only Elders and Sisters. All the guys are at home dating your girlfriends!" It was hilarious!

Our zone is really cool too. Everyone in my district and my zone is going to Seattle Washington. There are 14 of us. One of our teachers said Seattle must really need some help!

Classroom instruction is really cool, really powerful, and really fun. Our teachers are amazing! 

Everyone always says is, but the MTC is absolutely amazing! I've never done so much a growing in my life, especially spiritually!

I know I'm forgetting to tell you things, but this will probably just have to do for now. I'll let you know more next week.

I guess I should mention that today is P day. We have to do laundry, prepare tots, and we get to go to the temple! So I'm excited for that.

I'm also excited for choir. We practice on Sundays and Tuesdays before devotional so I'll probably get to sing for a General Authority! How cool will that be?

One more thing! Our District got iPad minis in the MTC! We are part of a new test group to help the MTC see if iPads in the MTC would be beneficial to everyone. So far, I absolutely love it! I created so many tags and notes and gospel library it's not even funny. My companion, is not so excited about the iPads. In fact, he acts a lot like dad when it comes to technology. :) He is against it. It is okay though! I vowed to have him using it by the time that we leave since our mission is an iPad mission as well. 


Myself and my companion: Elder Jennings. 


From Left to Right: Elder Anderson, Elder Owens, Elder Thacker, Elder Jennings, Elder Tree, and Elder Wooley. 

I hope I remember to include everything, if not, I will next week. I love you all very much! I'll talk to you soon!

Love always, Elder Thacker

Monday, October 20, 2014

Farewell Pictures

The farewell and dinner were a success and lots of fun as you can see here!

Tathan & Larissa

Tathan, Larissa, and Katelyn

Tathan & Becca

Tathan, McKayla, and Emily

Tathan and his cousins!

Tathan & Bailie

Tathan & Kelsey

Tathan & Ryli

Temple Trip