Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Well, well, well, the email you´ve all been waiting for! 

Argentina update number 1: 

After about 30 something hours of traveling, I finally made it safe and sound to Argentina! I am now in my first area called, Dorrego, which is in the city Guaymallèn, right outside of Mendoza. We´re right in the city which I love! But it´s definitely not anything like an American city.. but I´ll get to that later. My companion is Hermana Dote. She is from Chile and she has been out on her mission for 6 weeks. So I´m basically training/still a Sister Training Leader over 7 hermanas who all live two hours away from us.Luckily, the Lord equips the called, so I know I can do it! Hermana Dote is so sweet and she is teaching me so much! She´s helping me adjust to the South American life. :) 

Everything here is well.. different. But I´m adjusting well! Nothing is anywhere close to or similar to anything American. Except I guess.. me. The cars are all brands I´ve seen in America, but I´ve never seen them before. There are HUGE dogs that walk around on the streets, in stores, and almost in your house. Oh yeah, and they all hate me. Any other person can walk past them tranquilos, but when I walk past any dog they start to growl and bark and everyone can tell I´m the American because I´m the one who runs away screaming. Ok not really, I´m working on it. We have a Walmart! Definitely NOT American. We went shopping earlier today and I didn´t recognize any of the food and didn´t understand what anything said, so I broke down crying because I thought I was going to starve. My poor companion didn´t know what to do. ha. Yay for crying in Walmart! Don´t worry though, I bought some good food and I´m not going to starve. I was relived to find Trix cereal, Dinoaur chicken nuggets, and Lay´s chips. :) The sun here burns like the infierno, I get nose bleeds at least once a day, and sometimes I think, where am I and why am I here? ha. Sorry, that was super negative.. but none of that stuff even matters because I´M IN LOVE WITH ARGENTINA! 

All of the things that are uncomfortable and different, don´t even matter when at the end of the day we get home and think about the miracles that we have seen. They are many. :) I actually love walking everywhere because there are so many fun people outside that we get to meet! Our ward here is incredible! All of our investigators here are referrals from members! No joke. We have three baptisms planned for this month and they are all pretty sure to go through! All three of them got sick this weekend and couldn´t come to church.. Satan.. but with much prayer and hard work, I know they will be ready for the end of this month! Please pray for Rosa, Jose, and Jorge! They are all amazing! 

I love the streets here! They are all lined with green trees and all the houses are different fun colors! The food that the members make is incredible! We have lunch with members at like 2 every day and that starts off the siesta. We actually don´t have a lot of problems during the siesta! There a lot of people here that don´t do siesta and we find a lot of people and teach most of our investigators during the siesta. So that´s good! Cold showers are actually the best! Although I don´t ever feel like I get dry because it´s super humid here. ha. They say it is like 40 degrees.. I don´t know how hot that is.. Yesterday we had the coolest storm! Like the monsoons at home! In the middle of Sacrament Meeting, it started pouring rain, with super loud thunder and awesome lightning that lit up the sky! It lasted for about 15 minutes and then it was scorching the rest of the day. Yay for summer! 

Some funnies of the week:

So there are these guys that make a living off of washing your windows while you are waiting at a stoplight. The assistants were driving us and our luggage to our apartment the other day and we got stuck at a light, and they kept telling the guys that they didn´t want their windows to be washed, but they did it anyways (it wasn´t very good either) the light turned green and the Elder´s didn´t have enough time to grab some money for them, so we took off and they spit in the back of the truck on all of our luggage. Yay. 

I´ve been kissed by an old man on the cheek already. twice. yikes. You gotta be fast with the handshake. 

I´m adjusting. Slowly but surely. My mission president is amazing and I really love the mission here! It is a lot different, but I know I have a lot to learn here as well! I know the Lord gives us challenges specific to our needs and that we can overcome anything if we trust in Him. It takes a lot of humility, which I am definitely feeling, but once you give everything to Him, you get the strength you need to do His will. I know He called me here to Mendoza for a purpose, and I am going to try my hardest to fulfil that purpose. With His help, I will become the missionary He wants me  to be. 

Thank you so much for all of your support and prayers! I say that every week, but I really mean it! I need em! I love you and hope that everything is going well at home! You are always in my prayers and I know that the Lord is watching out for all of you! 

Remember that trials won´t last forever and if we just endure with faith, we will come out with the benefit. :) 

Love love love, 
Hermana McKenna Lawrence 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving...one day closer to Christmas!!!

Ok, I really do love Thanksgiving. But it gets me more excited for Christmas! ha! 

For Thanksgiving, we are going to the casa of the familia Mora. They are from Honduras! So it should be sweet! I've heard they make a bomb turkey. I think we are also getting together as missionaries to play sports and do service, so that should be fun! AND THERE ARE ONLY 30 DAYS TILL CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!! Which means Skype! Yay! 

So the other day, our zone leaders were skyping with the AP's and I walked by in the background and one of them said "Wait, Hermana Lawrence! You got your visa??" And I said "no..." And he said, "Whoops..." ...... Not sure if it was a joke.. but I guess we'll find out soon! ha! I could have a hot Christmas after all! 

The temple trip was amazing!!! I have the name of Aunt Maude and I will send it back to you! Thank you for sending that so last minute! Sorry :/ But it really was a great experience and I definitely needed it. 

This week was a little rough number wise, but next week we are determined to step it up! There are people out there waiting for us and we are going to find them this week! 

For my Thanksgiving dinner table contribution: I am thankful for a wonderful family who raised me in the true church of Jesus Christ. And for 5 best friends who will get to live with me forever! No empty chairs! 

Love love love love love love love love you all!!!!!!
Hermana Lawrence 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Yay for Baptisms!

November 18, 2013

Dear Family,

This last week was amazing! We were becoming a little bit discouraged because after the baptism of Isela, we had to start over and find more people to teach. We were talking to EVERYONE and no one seemed to want us to teach them. This last week Sister Alba and President Alba came and told us about the training they had received from Elder Ballard a couple of weeks ago. He told them that the California missions will one day stand as an example for all of the missions in the world! And he taught them about "the doctrine of high expectations". I learned that God has some really high expectations for us and we have the tools to meet them! We were talking to everyone so that we could get our 20 contacts every day and do what the mission president asked of us, but if we are really seeking to do what GOD wants us to do, we will work so much harder, love so much more, and the Spirit will accompany us in everything that we do. We received a lot of training that changed my mission in just one day! I am so much more energized, so much more excited, and so ready to baptize the world! Elder Ballard told us that we can baptize weekly in our mission if we use the skills we have learned and love everyone. The people are being prepared,  but if I'm not doing my part, we won't find them. I have a lot of repenting to do and a lot of growing up to do, but I know I'm not alone, and I know as I serve others with everything I have, the blessings will come. 

My companion and I are getting along so well! We're best friends! And we work so well together! She has so much fire and she inspires me everyday to arise and be better! This weekend we found a lot of new potential investigators and today we have 4 lessons scheduled with member presents! The Spirit has been with us a lot more since we've received the training and I know the Lord is guiding us and helping us as we are desiring to make this change in our work.

Right now, we are teaching Fortino Martinez, Maria Negrete, Luis Casteneda, and Cristina and Israel Presiado. On Saturday, Luis came to the baptism of Margarite, who is now in the English ward, but he speaks English. He loved the baptism and wants to be baptized too now! He'll take a little bit of time to prepare, he says, but it's something he wants to be able to prepare for. :) I know he'll be prepared soon. The Spirit was so strong at the baptism! Kristin Parker is a member from the English ward that has been coming to lessons with us. Her roommate is Margarite, so they invited us to sing at her baptism and that's how you got the picture! :) Kristen served in Chile, and she is so great! We're good friends :) 

Other than that, we are finding the elect every day! Slowly but surely, we will work up to one baptism a week! 

Know that I love you all! Know that I love Jesus Christ. I know He is with us always and we can always decide to step it up and be better. He will always support us in that. ha. The Book of Mormon is true. No matter how many people say it's not. The work is hastening and we are all a part of it! Zion is being created in our homes, our wards, and stakes. Next step, the world! We're growing every day! Because the Gospel has been restored :) Keep the faith and keep on trucking! 

I love you all soo much! 
Con todo mi amor y muchos abrazos, 
Hermanita McKenna Lawrence  

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Yay for Christmas!!

November 4, 2013

To the world:
I would like to inform everyone that there is now only 51 days until Christmas!!! Yay for Christmas! I made my paper chain on Halloween :)

Wow, what a week! It has been pretty busy here in Vallejo. Tuesday, the day before transfers, Elder Connors (our zone leader) and his greenie Elder Faerber were at the church in the morning for studies and as they were walking out to their car, there was a man with a truck. He asked the Elders if they would like some Redwood bark for our church lawn. They told them it was completely free, a once in a lifetime deal, because people pay good money for that stuff and all we have now is ugly bark. Elder Connors thought and tried to call the
Bishop or anyone who had authority. And while he was on the phone, the
guy said that he had to leave, so Elder Faerber said, yeah sure just
do it. So a huge pile of Redwood bark was left in our church parking
lot and we all spent all day shoveling it and putting it on our lawn.
It still smells like Christmas! And my back is still sore. Pictures to

Also, during our zone meeting this week, a homeless man came in and
sat down. So one of the Elders went to talk to him and he said he just
wanted to come listen to the sermon. So we let him stay and gave him
the papers we were handing out, and he was also really hungry because
he helped himself to the whole two boxes of cupcakes that were in the
back for after the meeting. ha! He's been coming to church lately, but
doesn't want to talk to anyone. But we love him the same!

So it's been kind of a funny week. ha. But other than that Isela is
getting ready for her baptism this Saturday and we are so excited!
I'll send pictures next week! :) Keep praying for her!

We found a new investigator this week who is sweet! He came to church
yesterday and told us that he loved it! We are setting a baptismal
date with him on Tuesday! Yay!

On Halloween we had a sweet combined ward party and it was a lot of
fun! There were quite a few non-members there with their kids so we
got some people to go and visit!

Everyone, the church is true. Never forget that! The Gospel of Jesus
Christ can solve any proplem, and it is the only thing that will save
us in this crazy world! Jesus Christ is our brother. He loves us. He
wants us to come back to Him and be surrounded by His love. No matter
how lost we feel, our afflictions will only be a small moment, and all
of our losses will be made up. I know that the Book of Mormon is true.
Read it. Share it with everyone! It will change their lives.

I love you all so much and I am so grateful for all of your prayers
for the people here in Vallejo. They need em! I hope everything is
well at home and I am praying for you always!

Much love,
Hermana McKenna Lawrence

Ps. The picture attatched to this email is probably one of the best
pictures you'll ever see of me. And I will most definitely be putting
it in my wedding slideshow when I'm married. Don't stare too long or
you'll probably die. Feliz Navidad!

Yay for Birthdays!

October 21, 2013

Dear Family!

Happy Birthday to everyone and their dog! Happy Birthday to Dad! Happy Birthday to Austin! Happy Birthday to Whitney!! Whoohoo!!! You're all so old! I can't believe it! I feel like I've been gone for your whole lives! I miss you guys!

I hope everyone has a great birthday! There are cards coming this week! :) It sounds like you had some fun celebrations!

Things here are going great! Transfers are coming up and we are getting nervous! Our district has a huge white board for guessing where everyone is going! There is a whole point system and everything! It should be fun. ha. But my companion and I have been feeling that we are staying. So hopefully :)
Our investigator, Isela, is progressing so fast! We taught her about the Word of Wisdom and she told us that ever since she met us she has been trying to quit smoking! She has gone from 20 packs a day to 1 cigarette a day! She's incredible! The Elders gave her a blessing yesterday too, and she is so excited to have some extra strength and so ready for her baptism! We might even move the date up to the 2nd of November!

Fortino isn't super progressing but he will be soon! Please pray for him!

Other than that everything is great! The work continues forward! I finally have some pictures to send! Sorry they're not very good. Ps you should all try Strawberries with sweetened condensed milk and chocolate drizzeled over it. Delicious.

I love you all!!!!!! Hope everything is well! You're in my prayers always!

Un abrazo!
Hermana Lawrence

Yay for the Mission!

October 14, 2013
Hello! How is everyone? I'm so glad you had such a fun trip! Jealous!

So, we didn't reach our zone goal of 101 baptismal invites for the week.. but as a district we invited 62 sons and daughters of God to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized! As a companionship, we got 23 of those! In one week! A lot of people said no, but a lot of people said yes! And we are going back to visit them soon! So cool!

We also set two baptismal dates this week! Isela, the one who came to conference last week, is going to be baptized on November 9th, and Fortino will be baptized on November 16th! We have been working with him for a while, so it's great to have a date with him!

Things are going so well! I love my area and I love my companion! And I love my mission! The Spirit guides us every day to the people who really need our help! And we all have the opportunity to participate! The Lord needs us all!

I hope everything is well at home! I love you all! And I'm praying for you always!

Love Hermana Lawrence

Ps. Something funny: We have this Filipino family that lives above us that just got a karaoke machine. They start at 6:30 in the morning and sing ALL DAY! And they don't sing very good.. so far we've heard Shania Twain, Josh Groban, and Alicia Keys.. killed. It makes for very entertaining mornings. ha. 

Love you!!

Yay for Conference!

October 7, 2013
Dear Family,

Wasn't conference amazing?? I loved it so much! I'm so sad that it's all over! But I can't wait till it comes out on the iPad! I can't even attempt to pick a favorite talk because I felt like they all were exactly for me! I loved hearing about your experiences with conference and I'm so glad you had such a fun trip!

Things have been going really well here! I have learned so much from my companion and we have been working so hard! In our zone this week they have issued a challenge for 101 baptismal invites! We are about half way! It's awesome!

We picked up a new investigator named Isela this week! She is amazing and so ready to be baptized! We asked her what some of her expectations were for meeting with us and she said, "Well, I would really like to learn how to receive eternal life." Well, we can teach you that! ha! She's so sweet! And she LOVED conference yesterday! We are going to set a baptismal date with her this week!

Paulo, the one from the grocery store, moved to Santa Rosa. :( But the Elders from there, called us and said they are teaching him! So yay! Sounds like everyone is doing well down there! Good luck starting back up with school and work and everything! I'm so glad you had a fun week in Utah! I was looking for you in conference, but I couldn't find you. :( haha.

Thank you so much for all of your support and prayers! I love you and miss you so much! Keep being lights to the world!

Love love love!
Hermana McKenna Lawrence

Monday, September 30, 2013

Yay for Miracles!

Vallejo is amazing! 

We are seeing so many miracles here!!! Last week, right after I emailed, we went to Food Max to go grocery shopping. We were in the cereal isle and this guy stopped us and started asking us who we were and where our church is. His name is Paulo and he is getting baptized on October 19th! Wow wow wow! He is so prepared and so excited to get baptized! He told us already that he wants to get married in the temple one day! 

Then, the other day in Wendy's we were ordering our food, and the guy behind us started looking at our tags, so I said Hey how are you? And he said Great! And I can tell you are so great! He told us that it was his first time talking to Mormons, but he wanted to know where our church was, he asked for our number, and then he asked if we have people that teach others the scriptures and stuff. We said, that's us! I explained to him what we do, and he said, That's exactly what I'm looking for! Can you teach me?? Umm..... YEAH! So he is going to call us sometime this week! Sadly, he speaks English, so we have to give him to the Elders. But it was awesome! 

People recognize who we are! Especially in Vallejo where everyone is sad. ha. 

This week was awesome! We had a mission conference with Elder Aidukaitus from the 70. It was awesome! 

I love my companion! We get along so great! And she is so funny! Today we are going to spend time with the other Sisters in our zone! They're so fun! I'm getting a hair cut and maybe possibly getting my ears pierced at Walmart.. :) So if you have any cute earrings, you should send them to me :) 

Have so much fun on your trip this week! And enjoy conference! I am so excited! We watched the Relief Society Broadcast in Spanish and I actually understood it! Yay! 

Sorry my email is a little scattered this week! I have letters and I'm sending them home this week. 

I love being a missionary! This church is true and this week we get to hear from a Prophet of God! 
I love you all soooooo much! Hope everything is well! I'm praying for you always! 

Hermana Lawrence 

Monday, September 23, 2013

"Vallejo Zone. The City of the Crime."

Wow! Vallejo is amazing! The people here NEED the Gospel! I got here on Wednesday and we've already seen countless miracles! This is going to be an amazing transfer!

I love my companion! Sister Fernandez is from Malega, Spain, she has been out on her mission for 6 weeks, and she is so sweet! We are great friends! Dad, where did you serve again when you went to Spain? She is helping me a ton with my Spanish and we speak Spanish almost all the time! It's great! I'm getting so good! She is also trying to learn English, so sometimes I help her. Every morning with her cute accent, we get up to go run and she says, "Vallejo zone. The city of the crime." ha.

So pretty much we live right in the ghetto. We live in a gated apartment complex so we're pretty safe, but there's a police siren that's almost constant 24/7, and car chases around every corner. It's pretty sweet! We live RIGHT next to Six Flags.. like you can see it from our window. It kills me. But our apartment is cute and super safe. We're pretty much safe all the time, unless we go tracting after 8pm, which we don't do. So don't worry. :)
I love my new zone and my new district! And being a Sister Training Leader is super fun! I get to go to all of the leadership meetings and go on exchanges with other sisters! I am so excited to get to know them better and hope that I can be a good example to them.

Right now we have a ton of investigators and I have only met one of them! ha. But I'm super excited for this week! From what I've seen so far, Vallejo is doing so great! Sister Fernandez is a great missionary and I know we will see so many miracles!

We are in the Los Santos Branch and it is amazing! Our branch president Presidente Tobias is from Guatemala and he is so sweet! Everyone in our branch is so humble and has so much faith! We have 8 missionaries in the branch just like in Napa, and we're all a district, so it's super fun! The members feed all 8 of us every night, which is nuts! But they still don't sit down and eat with us, they just leave the food on the table and do things in another room.. so we're good friends. ha.There are 6 Elders and us 2 sisters. We also have 3 new missionaries and they are so awesome!

Yesterday at church, none of the speakers showed up and the Branch President pulled aside two of the older Elders to ask them to speak. So, the Elders said, why don't we have all the new missionaries speak today! So, the three new missionaries and I spoke. Basically I spoke for most of the time because they don't speak Spanish. It was a long testimony. ha. But it was fun!

Something funny that happened this week. So there is a less active member in our branch that has 22 dogs.. And whenever we go to visit him, we have to teach him outside because there is no room in there house because of all the dogs. Also, it smells super bad. So we went to teach him and the dogs were going nuts. We could barely hear anything. Then, his neighbor and his heavy metal band started rocking out in their garage and it was literally impossible to teach a lesson. It's not super funny, because the Spirit instantly left. But it was a little funny, because the situation was just outrageous. ha. And he came to church! So that's good. ha. 

I am super excited to be here in Vallejo! And I know I'm here for a reason! Things are going great and I can feel the Lord guiding me every step of the way. Thank you for all of your prayers, I know they help. Hope everything is well at home and I love you guys so much!!!!

Love you,

Hermana Lawrence