Monday, August 11, 2008

Memory Monday: My Mission Mommy (Trainer) Mandi Thomas

On May 12, 1999 I arrived at the destination that I would be living and serving with a stranger companion in for 18 months. I arrive in THE OHIO or the great OCM as we called it. It was the first time in my life that I had ever been away from home and I had no idea what to expect or what I was in for.

The first day you come to our mission field I came off the plane into this humid weather and the mission leadership took us right off the plane, straight down to German Village(outside of Columbus) to go tracking. After litterally the scariest experience of my life (having the first discussion turned over to you for the first time to real people) we went to the President's house for dinner and a testimony meeting.

I remember standing infront of the missionary board (where all the pictures of the current missionaries are) and Sister Johnson, the presidents wife showed me the picture of my trainer and told me how much I would love her and what a good missionary she was and I thought, she looks mean! hahaha. Looking back at that I laugh cause when I look at my picture that was on that board, I looked like I had a mental disability so you can't judge a book by it's cover!

Sister Thomas was nothing as what I labeled her from the picture. She was a bucket of laughs and we got along really well. We had plenty of adventures together. I am going to share just the really random ones, of course these aren't the ones that missions are made of.. more the days that made great mission stories :)

  • We saw topless women on high street
  • We got random calls from Kathy Bonomo about the things that she learned..."Sister Gazaway, today I learned that potatoes come from Idaho, there are 54 channels on cable TV and that ther are 50 states in the United States!" When these calls would come at all hours of the day or night we would gasp with laughter!
  • Second-hand high at 1 am and the traveling we would have to leave in the middle of the night to the traveling sisters house. (we lived on campus housing and all the apartments below and above us were pot smokers and listened to loud music all hours of the night. Some nights our entire room would be filled with smoke)
  • Ordered pizza from what we thought was Papa Johns with some fun money we were sent in the mail and it ended up being Papa Joes and it tasted like cardboard.
  • Worked at the temple open house
  • Made tons of Oatmeal chocolate chip cookie dough and froze it....
  • Fought over who was going to carry the area book and why
  • Bonded over Sister Thomas tears
  • Taught the gospel
  • Worked in the mission office
  • played pranks
  • took pictures of random street signs
  • Yelled sinners every sunday while passing the golf course on our way to church and then laughed till our bellies ached (actually this was a district leader elder cambell)
  • Played hard on Pdays

How I adore my MUDDA as I call her. She started me off on my way to mission success and helped me to realize that I am on my mission to be myself and teach the gospel as myself.

We worked hard! Prayed hard and played hard! These were days never to be forgotten!

Thank you Sister Thomas for breaking me in easy with lots of love and laughs! I had the greatest experience as a missionary and you were there from the begining!

Today is Mandi's birthday and I want her to know that I really celebrate her birth and love her for everything that she is! Happy BDAY MUDDDA!

**mission pics to be posted as soon as I figure out how to scan them... Angie?***


Angie said...

You can never have enough Mudda's in your life can you? Give me a call and we'll talk about scanning your mission pics!