I'm happy to introduce you to Kathi Thompson this week. She was nominated by Janie Squire, our very first Incredible Woman. I've really enjoyed learning about Kathi - I can see why Janie loves her. Hope you enjoy the interview this week...
KARA: "Describe yourself. What makes you an Incredible Woman?"
KATHI: "I don’t consider myself an Incredible Woman. I am just like all the rest of us on our journey through life. I love my family and tried to learn as much as I could about everything. I have come to realize that we each have special spiritual gifts to help us accomplish the missions we were sent to earth to perform. I know Heavenly Father gave me the desire to acquire knowledge and apply what I had learned to whatever situation or challenge I was faced with. As I have faced each stage of my life I realized just how important it would be to use that gift to survive the difficult challenges that confronted me and my family.
When I was a child my mother had a special mission to try and find out just what my talents were. I remember her telling me that she knew everyone had a talent of some kind. During her years of searching for my talents she exposed me to many different things. I remember her having me try to play the violin in elementary school. I kept breaking all of the strings so my parents decided to have me try something else. I was in the school choir for a time, but my voice was pretty bad. My mother then enrolled me in dance lessons. I tried tap dancing, ballet, and hula. I was so terrible that it was only a matter of weeks before my mom decided she would keep looking for that special talent. In the mean time I found myself really enjoying playing school with the other kids in our neighborhood. I find it interesting looking back on this time in my life that my greatest desire was always wanting to be the teacher when the neighborhood kids and I played school.
On my seventh birthday, my parents bought me a Palomino Horse of my own. I rode her everyday and I began to ride her in amateur Rodeos during my years in Elementary School. I became very good in Barrel Racing and Pole Bending events and won several ribbons in these events. I enjoyed traveling to these little Rodeos with my parents. I also enjoyed school, but horses were my life during this time. I was a tomboy and each day I could hardly wait to change from my school dresses into my blue jeans and take off to the stable.
I didn't like Junior High School. It was a hard transition for me. I was trying to find myself and having a hard time doing it. I wasn't good at anything except riding horses. Then one day I heard some drums outside my house and I went outside to see what was going on. It was a neighborhood Baton Group practicing for an upcoming parade. I followed them and asked if I could learn to twirl the baton. I started taking Baton Lessons in the 7th grade and loved every minute of it. I was a little slow at catching on at first, but I worked really hard and got pretty good at it. I marched and twirled my Baton in many local and area parades. I continued to twirl my baton all the way through Junior High, High School, and College.
The hobby that I have come to love is doing Family History work. I know in my heart that I was sent to be a Savior on Mount Zion to my ancestors. Participating in this great work has brought a great peace and joy into my life."
KARA: "Tell us about each member of your family – what do you love the most about each one?"
KATHI: "Curtis and I have been married for almost thirty nine years. He is a wonderful husband. He is very loving and kind. He has many sides to his personality. He has a great sense of humor that always keeps us laughing. He is thoughtful and very loving. He also is a very spiritual man. He loves the Lord and has taken great care to see that our family has learned the ways of the Lord and has encouraged each of us to keep the Lord's commandments and live the gospel. He is a great example to all of us. I am very grateful to be his wife. Looking back we view our lives together as a great adventure. We have had our share of trials and happiness. We are grateful that we had the gospel in our lives. The gospel gave us the foundation and strength to meet each new challenge. We could feel the Lord's guidance, comfort, and protection each step along the way during our marriage. We have a strong happy marriage and are devoted to each other. We are stronger spiritually because we were able to face our trials together and conquer them.
I spent most of my time as a mother supporting our two boys and my husband in sports. My husband coached our oldest son’s Little League Team. Both our boys were involved church activities and school sports which consisted of basketball, baseball, volleyball, golf, and football. It was wonderful to have so many memories of our family during that time.
In High School, our oldest son Trevor played on the golf team. I was always amazed at how far he could hit the ball. He was every dedicated and was always willing to practice and fulfill any commitment. One evening for Family Night we played golf as a family. Trevor and I were partners and Curtis and Trent were partners and we played against each other. Each person on the team would take turns hitting the ball. I was terrible. Most of my shots went sideways or landed in the sand trap. We had a special rule that I was allowed to throw my balls out of the sand trap instead of trying to hit it out. No matter how bad my shots were Trevor would come to the rescue and hit the next shot perfectly. I loved his patience with me.
After Trevor’s graduation from High School he was called to serve in the Taichung Taiwan Mission. He loved the people in Taiwan had a lot of success teaching and baptizing people there. His testimony and knowledge of the gospel grew each day as he served his mission. He continues to tell us that there is nothing more rewarding than serving a mission and seeing people accept the gospel and change their lives. Trevor was able to touch many lives in Taiwan and says that serving a mission was one of the happiest times in his life. After returning from his mission he met his future wife Alisha while attending BYU. They were married in the Oakland Temple and both graduated from BYU a year later. They have also blessed us a beautiful granddaughter.
Our youngest son was Trent. Trent and his brother were very close and supported each other in all of their activities. He had a very high voice as a child and was made fun of by some of the students in his Elementary School. We sent him to a speech therapist when he was in the fourth grade and he learned how to speak normally. He told us that he didn’t like the way it felt to be made fun of and made a promise to himself that he would never make fun of anyone and that he would stick up for others who were different and be a friend to everyone. Trent was very involved in School Leadership and was an outstanding athlete in both Basketball and Volleyball during his time in Elementary School, Junior High and High School. In his Senior Year he was selected Most Valuable Player in his league for Basketball. He was a beloved friend, athlete, and leader at his High School. He had love and compassion for everyone he met.
Trent enjoyed the letters Trevor shared with our family while he was serving his mission in Taiwan. Trent looked forward to serving a mission of his own after his graduation from High School. Unfortunately Trent was killed in a car accident just eight weeks before he graduated from High School. His death was a shock to our family and the entire community. Trent will be missed by all who knew and loved him. There is a void in our hearts that will last throughout our life time.
We are grateful for the opportunity we have had to be the parents of two wonderful boys and we are grateful to have so many wonderful memories of happy times as a family."
Join us tomorrow for the next two questions in our interview.